The Changing Face of Mapping Organizations

Riding the wave of new technologies and trends

The map, chart and data production (MAPS) industry is being revolutionized by changes in technology, societal trends, and the mapping community itself. This wave of change is not only reshaping the MAPS industry landscape, but providing new opportunities.
Mapping has evolved from manual methods, to computer assisted cartography on workstations, to map publishing software on PCs and now to database-driven cartography that can be accessed by a variety of devices including mobile phones, tablets, notebook PCs, and personal digital assistants.
Society is changing and so are its expectations of what a map is and how it should be used. Consumers expect to receive their desired online content quickly and easily, including maps. People are beginning to expect maps with all their apps from driving directions and Point Of Interest searches, to multi-model way finding and 3D map visualization.
The MAPS industry has experienced a 50% drop in production of paper maps, charts and atlases in the last decade, and another 50% drop is expected in the next five years. However, the number of maps generated online has increased substantially in this time. This increase can be found in electronic maps and derivative map and data products for the web and mobile devices. Business is booming in these areas and smart MAPS organizations understand this is where the growth opportunities are. Providing the right map to consumers accessing web and mobile devices is the key to harnessing new business opportunities.
Some MAPS organizations are riding the waves of change, tapping into their core mapping competencies and revolutionizing their organizations, while others are not adapting to these changes and have been washed away. The turbulent MAPS community itself can provide opportunites to savvy MAPS organizations partnering to find synergies and strengthen their collective businesses.

What strategies and resources are organizations employing to leverage changes in technology, social trends, and the mapping community?

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