Posts Tagged ‘textbook maps

12 products for sale on your website

As you may or may not know, is not only the home of some wonderful cartographers, programmers, designers and all-around smashing type people, it is also the location of the world’s largest map store at

We have literally tens of thousands of titles viewed by millions each year looking for everything from guidebooks for their vacation to giant wall maps, to delivery maps for their restaurant and surf maps for their latest wild excursion. We also provided exclusive access to some of the worlds most talented, independent cartographers through our publisher program.


Maps on Everything at

We are contacted frequently by bloggers and sites whose content has a link to maps in some way shape or form, and for this we refer you to our affiliate program. The affiliate program is incredibly successful, having run for over a decade and proving incredibly successful for hundreds of website owners. We provide lots of ads and updates and plenty of incentives for your visitors to click through and make that purchase.

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Review: The Barefoot Atlas for iPad.

Since we occasionally like to feature ‘extreme mapping’ in this blog, and recently looked at one of the hugest atlases EVER, to strike balance we just reviewed the Barefoot Atlas. It is  relatively microscopic and as pleasing an example of atlas content for the iPad as you are likely to see (for now).

Ebooks hold great potential for literary authors with so many distribution platforms to take advantage of. However in the Atlas market there is a distinct lack of product that really utilizes devices such as the iPad effectively. The Barefoot Atlas has been touted as one example that does. Immediately apparent to the user is the beauty of the graphics. The opening screen includes a globe and illustrations which give it an ethnic, hand made quality. The delivery of the atlas appears far from hand-made (if that were, in the field of technology, a bad thing). This book is designed to take advantage of the new retina display technology on the latest iPads and I can only say that it looked beautiful on our antique, over the hill, has-been iPad2 so be prepared to have your eyeballs singed on the new model.

The Barefoot Atlas by Touch Press

The world and its many attractions: Barefoot Atlas

The visuals are slick, based on a 3-D globe familiar to users of Google Earth. The controls are simple – in fact at first glance the content looks sparse. Initially one can see that the globe is littered with small objects. Navigation is smooth and of course uses the touch screen and accelerometer to its fullest, in that one can increase gravity instantly by giving the earth a good hard spin. Each region has its own incidental music which appears appropriate but not stereotypical. The ‘objects’ include landmarks, historical features, monuments, cities and more. Each can be clicked for a small description with optional voice narrative.

To separate out the ‘information’ sections, the book uses audio and visual effects. The background music changes to a more subtle, atmospheric sound and the screen is divided using a shaded, transparent background. A photograph of each feature is also included. Users can also explore by region and by country. Again, each region, continent and country has its own detail page with a selection of facts and figures including terrain, climate, natural resources, environmental outlook, wildlife, transport and population. Each has a short description and optional voice narration.

For individual countries, a datasheet is included to show local time, distance from your current location, current temperature and weather. Flag, outline map, land area, currency and ‘eco-indicators’ like average CO2 emissions are also provided. There is definitely more than a hint of the eco message surrounding this book.

With much debate around right now about the value of the ‘whistles and bells’ that ibooks, ebooks and apps provide over and above the standard text, the Barefoot Atlas is certainly evidence for the ‘pro’ camp. The beautiful illustration and attention to detail that the background music and voice overs (from BBC presenter Nick Crane) provide only serve to compliment the appropriate level of content that is delivered.

Barefoot Atlas by Touch Press

Gorgeous Illustrations, Detailed Content

Verdict: Cool for younger children to play, great for older ones to use as a reference tool.

What are you looking for in an atlas these days? Are E-books the way forward? Do you see them as taking the traditional atlas to the next level or as a gamifying distraction to educational content? What are your favorite Geography-related ebooks/apps?  

We would love to hear your comments.


Students Prefer Print; For Now

The Book Industry Study Group yesterday released data from their first Student Attitudes Toward Content in Higher Education survey. Their press release opens with this:

Despite their fondness for social networking and cell phones, most college students say they prefer textbooks in printed rather than e-text form. Nearly 75% of students to recently respond to a major new research survey from the Book Industry Study Group (BISG) said they prefer printed texts, citing a fondness for print’s look and feel, as well as its permanence and ability to be resold.

Wow, 75%! Surprised? Don’t be. What devices have students been using for years? cell phones. What have they been using in the classroom? textbooks. It’s no wonder then that they would be more comfortable with them as they move into college. A major factor in the adoption and acceptance of ebooks by college students will be their familiarity and comfort with them. So, who then will be the college publisher’s best friend? The k-12 publishers and schools, of course! As more ebooks and digital curricula are embraced at the secondary level, the more students will be acclimated to learning via digital texts and media.
The BISG release doesn’t state whether this aspect of student’s buying behavior and acceptance was a component of their survey, but it certainly warrants inclusion with the other factors such as ebook cost vs. paper books, hardware and software availability and cost, title availability, instructor adoption, etc. is part of both the elhi and higher-ed ecosystems, providing products and services for print and digital products to both publishers and schools, helping teachers use technology to increase learning and understanding.
The study will be discussed by Steve Paxhia in his keynote on Feb 11 at BISG’s Making Information Pay event.

@Publisher’sWeekly BISG Survey Finds Students Prefer Print


Sudan in the spotlight.

The spotlight is once again shining on Sudan and once again not necessarily in a good way. A referendum is scheduled in the country for January 9, 2011 allowing citizens to decide whether the oil-rich South will separate from the North, where the ruling government is based.


The Sudan via

The Sudan via


And therein lays the issue. Sudanese president Omar Hassan al-Bashir, who has been accused of atrocities in the past, has said that he would not accept anything less than unity. That attitude, despite an outward commitment to peace, has observers from all over the world on edge, fearing not only fraud and intimidation in the referendum process, but outright civil war if the outcome is a ‘yes’ vote supporting secession.

Sudan was embroiled in a two-decade civil war until a peace was brokered by the UN in 2005. This referendum is a result of that peace deal. Many fear that without intervention by the UN, another conflict will erupt and could result in genocide. Two weeks ago at the UN General Assembly, President Barak Obama warned the factions in both North and South to ensure that the referendum and the likely split of the country proceed peacefully and promised normalization of relations if that happens. However, with the oil wealth of the nation in play there, it will surely be a difficult path to independence for the South.

Movie actor and activist George Clooney made the point on the Today show that either way, the United States is going to pour money into Sudan. The choices are stark – spend it on cleaning up a man-made disaster and the atrocities that will surely result, or  be proactive and provide the material and capital support that is needed to ensure a peaceful transition.

Voter registration is scheduled from November 14th through December 4th, but the registration process continues to be a problem. So even with international support, the referendum may need to be delayed beyond January, which could itself spark violence.


Omar Hassan Ahmad al-Bashir, the president of ...

Omar Hassan Ahmad al-Bashir via Wikipedia


Cartographically speaking, if you have products in the pipeline that include maps showing Sudan keep a close watch on this situation. At the moment, it is too early to include South Sudan as an independent entity and it may take some time after the referendum to settle the situation. Our editors will establish a policy for the display of the boundary in the interim period after the referendum if it passes. Consult with us before making changes to your products.


Sun Rises over Malawi’s new flag

The President of Malawi has officially unveiled the country’s new flag.

New Malawi Flag

New Design

The new design retains many of the original elements but the ‘half sun’ is now a full sun, in white.

The president insists this is a modification, not a change, which symbolises the development of Malawi into a modern state. The colors, red, green and black are retained, but the black and red have swapped so that he black is now in the center. The sun, which previously only occupied the black  stripe, now touches all three colors with its rays.

Original Flag of Malawi

Old Design

The decision to modify the flag has been controversial, with human rights advocates pointing out that more than 50% of the country’s population still live in severe poverty. This is made more significant by the high cost of replacing and updating all of the old flags, signs and crests which feature the old design.

“We strongly call upon government to desist making changes to the flag because of the financial and budgetary implications this course will take,” said Undule Mwakasungura, spokesperson for the Human Rights Consultative Committee – a plat form for human rights groups in Malawi.

The Protected Flags, Emblems and Names Amendment Bill was passed through the Malawi parliament, and unveiled by President Bingu Wa Mutharika but there remains the possibility of a legal challenge to the decision.

Malawi Facts:

Population: 15,447,500

Area: 18,484 sq km

Borders: 2881 km with Mozambique, Tanzania, Zambia.

Capital City: Lilongwe

Source CIA World Factbook.


Mapping Solutions the way YOU want them…’s Custom Mapping Division offers really cool mapping solutions to a variety of businesses – from publishers to destination marketers, hotels to home improvement stores.

We have almost 20 years of history behind us and a wealth of Cartographic talent.

Our philosophy involves finding practical solutions that please our customers and keep us in business, fueled by our enthusiasm for all things mapping.

Print maps, online maps, interactive maps, mobile maps. Pretty much anything that includes a direction.

In this blog we intend to profile some of the projects that we have completed, as well as some that we didn’t even start. We hope to let our readers know who we are and why we do what we do, and we would love to hear their opinions in return.

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