October 12, 2006

More on the Canada Map Office closure

Ironically, just this AM I heard from a discussion list that the decision has been reversed... now just today the CBC is reporting about the decision to halt printing of paper maps (see http://www.cbc.ca/canada/north/story/2006/10/11/topo-maps.html). I'm curious how some of you professionals feel about having access to paper maps. Its been a number of years since I've had a need to buy paper maps. In the past I've digitized features directly from them and I've also had a need to b uy paper hydrographic charts. However, it seems that most of the general population really doesn't have much of a need for access to paper maps. Does it really make sense to have an entire government agency setup to handle/manage/administer this service? I fail to see how providing the public with access to an efficient online service where PDF maps can be downloaded or ordered online cannot substitute for this service? Providing options to purchase low quality or high quality maps would be a nice service, likewise, printers could also provide other options such as print on acid-free material, print on cheaper paper stock etc... Do you think this service could be effectively managed by an online service provider or regional resellers?

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