Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Geography Lesson in the City by the Bay

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Geography Lesson in the City by the Bay

Article excerpt

A world of maps revolve around Nexpo

AP and MapQuest launch electronic cartographic services that get newspaper artists out of the mapping business

In the five "W"s of pyramid-style reporting, "Where" often is singled out as the element in a story that gets its own graphic. But while maps are a popular choice to illustrate a story, they present newspaper editors and artists with another W: When can it be ready?

At last week's Nexpo equipment show here, two big names in newspapers and maps -- The Associated Press and National Geographic -- launched competing Web-based mapping services that not only speed up the production of maps but also have the potential of taking the mapping task out of the purview of graphic artists and into the hands of page designers, Webmasters, or even copy editors.

MapQuest.com, a New York-headquartered custom mapper that is often called in to help settle international boundary disputes, introduced MapWire as its first service for print and Web newspapers. The subscription Web service allows newspapers to download any of thousands of stock maps or create a custom map by layering on information such as parks, terrain, or highways. The Dynamic Map Maker feature of MapWire allows newspapers to enter any street name in the United States and get a customized map.

"It's essentially an electronic atlas," said MapQuest.com Accounts Manager Linda Peters. "In those situations where you have a disaster or an upheaval in a country, you're not ever going to take the time to have your artist make it, but with MapWire, you can let us make it. …

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