[Editor’s note: Rand McNally introduces their popular US state-by-state road atlas series for the Kindle. Though without a GPS and in gray scale, I have played with a Kindle before and see the allure of the platform in terms of ease of use and portability. I discussed this topic at NACIS Missoula with some fellow cartographers in the context of the new lat-long GIS capabilities of the PDF format I wonder when smart phones like the iPhone that DO have GPS will start surpasing these efforts with such a PDF hack. In fact, there are several native apps for the Phone now featuring marine maps with GPS integration so there is a market out there. Though the iPhone’s display physical dimensions are smaller than the Kindle, it has a higher resolution (pixels per inch) display that it easy to zoom. As to the utility of a road atlas that is NOT Google Maps tiles take the Benchmark (great christmas gifts!) series of western states road atlases, far and away better than Rand McNally or Delorme, which offer integrated relief shading, better road classification, points of interest, and most importantly, landscape maps with land ownership and physiography. Plus, the ability to view maps while not connected to the network is a big plus. Thanks Curt!]
Republished from Gizmodo.
Rand McNally can’t be happy with everyone dropping their bulky atlases for GPS units and nav-enabled phones, so they’re fighting back. But they seem a little confused.
The company is releasing a series of atlases for the Kindle, which will be purchased, delivered and consumed like any other ebook on the platform. The first maps, for Northern California, Southern California, and Washington, will be available for $1.99 each, and like the Rand atlases of your childhood, will probably be exhaustive.
There’s nothing expressly wrong with the concept, and the price could well be worth the utility, but the fact remains that putting static map collections on an ebook reader only accentuates how outmoded they are, and how artificially limited the powerful Kindle is. Regardless, the Kindle’s search function and the carefully indexed maps will provide a workable map solution for that small Kindle-equipped, Google Maps-forswearing slice of the population. [eCoustics]
The eCoustics post:
Rand McNally Road Atlases have been designed to work specifically on the Kindle reader. The digital atlas includes a full, searchable index of every city on the map as well as National Parks and other federal areas. The atlas also features individual overview maps of major National Parks as well as major cities and towns.
“Building on our decades of experience and a tradition of producing the most trusted print maps in the world, we are excited to take the industry lead in delivering easily readable state maps in a truly portable digital format,” said Joel Minster, senior vice president and chief cartographer at Rand McNally. “Our cartographic development team created a map page navigation technique entirely new to the Kindle, letting users easily navigate to the map above or below the current page, not just the page before or after, which is typical of e-book readers. Customers should expect nothing less from Rand McNally than to provide them with the trusted tools they need to discover, map and navigate their world.”
Users can download content directly through their Kindle device or from their computers via Amazon.com. Kindle books include free wireless delivery within a minute of placing an order. Additional Rand McNally state atlases for the Kindle are planned for 2009.
About Rand McNally
From America’s number-one-selling Road Atlas, The Thomas Guide®, FabMAP® and Goode’s World Atlas to StreetFinder® Wireless and IntelliRoute® trucking software, Rand McNally has been an industry leader in the mapping, routing, geographic reference and trip-planning tool marketplace for more than 150 years. With More Roads-Better Directions™, the company’s products are sold in more than 50,000 retail outlets, directly to business, and are distributed to 98% of schools across the U.S. Rand McNally is the premier resource for online travel planning as well as maps and directions. For more information, please visit www.RandMcNally.com, call 800-333-0136 or buy maps and travel gear online at http://store.randmcnally.com/.