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Wellington cartographic company flies high

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Wellington-based internationally-recognised Geographx was one of three finalists for the International Map Trade Association's (IMTA) coveted Global Map Awards held earlier this month in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The IMTA represents those engaged in the production and sale of maps, spatial information and related products.

The 2012 Global Award went to the British-based Collins World Atlas. Geographx is unfazed, however, having enjoyed plenty of other industry recognition in recent months.

A fortnight ago in Auckland Geographx won the New Zealand Cartographic Society’s (NZCS) annual Map Awards for the second year running. The winning entry was a 3D panoramic map of Tongariro National Park.

In July, the same map won both Best Sheet Map, and the Graham Stanton Award for Best Overall Map Product, at the IMTA Asia Pacific 2012 Map Awards in Brisbane.

Geographx’s director Roger Smith says, "We are very happy mapsmiths. To have competed successfully on the world stage is international affirmation of the interpretive cartography we want Geographx to be known for."

To top it off, Geographx’s map of the Marlborough Sounds has been selected as one of 27 from around the world to be featured in the inaugural Atlas of Design, to be published in October by the North American Cartographic Information Society (NACIS). The publishers state the atlas will showcase cartography "at its most beautiful, its cleverest, its sharpest and its most intriguing." The idea is to inspire readers towards a new understanding of design.

In addition to making its own maps, Geographx recently acted as chief cartographer and cartographic project manager for the largest world atlas ever produced, EARTH Platinum. This book, weighing 150 kg and featuring maps 5m2 in area, was launched in Abu Dhabi in June. To produce the maps Geographx coordinated a team of dozens of cartographers working out of six different continents. The company was also directly responsible for developing all the relief mapping for EARTH Platinum, the colour and textural backgrounds used to define land masses, oceans and seas.

"Earth Platinum was the biggest project yet for Geographx. Given that the book set a Guinness World Record, it’s unlikely we will ever be involved in a bigger one, at least not a bigger book."

Roger Smith says the company has exciting new projects underway. "We have recently signed on to distribute SkylineGlobe software in New Zealand. This is a dynamic, interactive virtual globe, similar to Google Earth but with powerful analytical functionality and inter-operable with most GIS platforms. The software will handle large datasets without missing a beat and streams very efficiently over networks. We believe it will interest central and local government clients, and also major players in the private sector. Besides which, SkylineGlobe is the ideal platform for showcasing our own new data."

Launching this new data will be another major focus for Geographx in the immediate future. The company has spent months developing two significant new map datasets for New Zealand. The first is a seamless terrain model at 8 metre cell resolution; the second a tileset of seamless raster landcover texture maps at 4 metre pixel resolution. Geographx is confident both datasets will spark interest from those in any way connected with mapping or GIS, including the managers of land information geoportals and those undertaking virtual 3D visualisation.

Geographx is a Wellington-based mapping company that creates custom maps for print and electronic media. It specialises in topographic representation and 3D visualisation using applied GIS, virtual reality, digital imaging and vector graphics. The company produces feature wall maps, atlases, interpretative and interactive maps, aerial obliques and panoramas, recreation maps, thematic maps, and dynamic 3D models of the past, present and future. The Geographx team consists of four full-time mapsmiths and a part-time administrator. There’s also often a cartography school intern from one of the more respected European universities. Geographx’s maps are particularly well-known to outdoor enthusiasts, and they can be equally be enjoyed by people who simply love maps.

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