Map Geek's Worldview: We are one

I have been in awe of the manifestations of love that have been expressed throughout the world since the last time I posted here. As you well know, the novel coronavirus has spread across the globe at an alarming rate these past weeks and travel has come to a screeching halt. As a Map Geek, I am a true global citizen, so this worldwide pandemic has affected me to the core.

I have been pulling up many of the destinations on the Discovery Map website and looking and wondering how everyone is faring throughout. Are you allowed to walk on the beaches of Cape May, New Jersey right now? What about in San Diego, California? Can you take a dip in the ocean at Cozumel, Mexico? What’s it like to walk down the street of one of the picturesque towns of The Berkshires (in Massachusetts) on a dewy spring morning without a soul around? Is it possible to grab takeout from one of Providence, Rhode Island’s fabulous Italian restaurants? Are they still serving up some of that gorgeous lowcountry food in Hilton Head/Bluffton, South Carolina? I can practically taste that delicious crab rice topped with shrimp, fried green tomatoes and beer-and-bacon-braised greens. I hope they’re still preparing their jalapeño cornbread and peach cobbler. I’m wondering which of the fantabulous bars and restaurants featured on our Discovery Maps are selling craft cocktails to go. And what shops are depending more on online shopping than actual in-store purchases? Basically, I just want to know how it’s going for everyone out there.

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Armchair Travel Tips

With most everyone hunkering down right now due to the coronavirus outbreak, Map Geek says it’s a perfect time to catch up on armchair travel and also to research upcoming trips. Sure, some of you adventuresome types will be looking to cash in on cheap airfare and discounted lodging, however, hopefully most of you will follow the CDC travel guidelines and lay low. That’s the smart thing to do right now. The sooner this pandemic passes, the sooner we can get back to doing what we love most, which is traveling.

When I was a little girl, I remember seeing the book mobile pull into a parking lot in our remote mountain community in upstate New York. Written on the side of it in big, bold letters was “See the World Through Books.” That thought has stayed with me throughout my life and I imagine that concept resonates with many of you, too. One could also add: see the world through magazines, online publications, podcasts and yes, maps. Maps definitely tell a story - pull up anyone of the maps featured on the Discovery Map International website for our almost 150 destinations they will transport you to the heart of some of the most popular travel spots in the United States and beyond. Go ahead and do it; check out what beloved cities like San Diego, Baltimore and San Antonio have to offer (just to name a few). And how about little-known locales such as Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, Addison County & Middlebury, Vermont or the Eastern Shore of Maryland? Looking at the maps of these destinations online is not quite as fun as holding them in your hands, but zooming in and out on them still provides an informative and entertaining experience. (Don’t forget, too, that you can order an actual map directly from Discovery Map’s website).

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Sam and Ann Douglass Celebrate 25 years of making maps, friends, and memories

In a day and age when most marriages don’t last 25 years, Sam and Ann Douglass achieved that milestone long ago and accomplished another one: 25 years as business partners as owners of five Discovery Map franchises. The couple recently celebrated their quarter century in business together with the following Discovery Map locations: the Lakes Region/Winnipesaukee, Hampton Beach, Kennebunkport/Wells, York/Ogunquit and Camden/Rockland.

“I’m not sure what we envisioned when we first purchased the Discovery Map of the Lakes Region franchise,” said Sam. “We thought the maps were great and we became the first franchisee. We could see the value and were attracted to how much people loved the maps. After getting our feet wet with the first one, it was pretty clear that Discovery Map would be useful in a number of areas beyond the Lakes region. So, we went for it.”

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Bamrick Celebrating 25 Years with Discovery Map

When Brian Bamrick began his Discovery Map business back in 1995, he made a tactical decision to be as hands-on with his business as possible. From Day One, he handled sales, creative and distribution, all done with a positive attitude. This old school formula provided Bamrick with a pathway to success that recently saw him celebrate his 25th anniversary as a Discovery Map owner.

Brian is the owner and publisher of Discovery Map of Cape May, Discovery Map of Princeton, Discovery Map of Long Beach Island and Discovery Map of Lewes/Rehoboth. He began Discovery Map of Cape May in 1995.

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Ski Maps Bonanza

It’s no secret that here at Discovery Map International we’re into skiing. Headquartered in Waitsfield, Vermont in the heart of ski country, most of the staff at DM loves snowsports. Peter Hans, president of Discovery Map International, is arguably the most enthusiastic skier of us all. And being the quirky bunch that we are, of course, there’s a couple from the dark side AKA snowboarding among us. Oh c’mon, hike up your snow pants up and have a chuckle.

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Highlights from the 2019 Denver FranJam

You all have really unique talents and things that work well specifically to your market,” said Laura Potter, Production Manager of Discovery Map International, at the recent Franjam in Denver, Colorado. And while the first day of the two-day event was focused largely on debriefing attendees about what was new and exciting at Discovery Map, the second day showcased panel discussions that allowed the franchisees to share their experiences. Actually during the whole two-day meet up–from the get together of many of the franchisees for dinner the night before the official start of the program through to the parting photographs taken at the end of the last session–the spirit throughout the gathering was much about networking, becoming better acquainted with the DM staff and their doings, sharing tricks of the trade at every opportunity and yes, lots of fun socializing replete with super tasty food and drink. (There was even a fun event in an Escape Room to top it all off.)

Peter Hans, Discovery Map president, steered the program most of the time with the help of Laura and Rob Amon, Head of Franchise Development. Presentations highlighted current doings at DM, online order forms & CC payment information, marketing and social media and an introduction to Local Loot, a new and exciting perk and app soon to be launched by DM.

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Digital Maps vs Paper Maps

Map Geek loves to read. I love to read maps and books. A while back the buzz within the publishing world was that real books–the ones made out of paper–would soon be obsolete. That seemed plausible about five years ago as Ebook sales rose significantly month after month and regular book sales declined. The word within in the industry was that only picture books, coffee table-type publications and fancy cookbooks with mouthwatering photographs of food would continue to be printed. And then suddenly, the big trend stopped. No growth in Ebook sales followed a steady rise in traditional books and an eventual decline in Ebooks. The shine of the Kindles and E-readers had worn off for many. People realized that after spending a day staring at their computer screens, they didn’t want to relax at night with another device. No, they wanted to curl up in bed with a real book, one that they could hold in their hands and not tire their eyes or worry that one quick and inadvertent touch of the screen might send the Ebook reeling while the reader desperately tried to relocate his or her place in the tome.

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Loving the Library of Congress Online

Whoa, it’s hard coming up for air to write this story. I have been immersed the past couple of hours in the Library of Congress website. It’s the Fourth of July and I found that to be an appropriate way to honor our nation’s birthday. So much is happening in Washington DC today – actually these days – that I thought I’d take a quick trip there to soak up more of our nation’s history.

As I wrote in my previous post, "Loving the Library of Congress", this bastion of world history and culture ranks as a top place to visit. But know that you can have almost as much fun taking in the treasure trove of pieces from the vast collection of this renowned American institution online.

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Loving the Library of Congress

Located on every Discovery Map within a little red frame is the following: "This map is catalogued in the Library of Congress, Harvard Map Collection & American Geographical Society Library for Historical Reference." Have you ever noticed that? If so, have you ever thought about what that means?

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James Niehues: Ski Map Maker Extraordinaire

Even in today’s high tech world of computerized maps and apps, there’s nothing like holding a ski map in your hand and studying the mountain. Typically best reviewed over a hot chocolate or a frosty beer, it’s always fun to trace with your finger where you have been and/or where you plan to go tomorrow. And yes, ski resort maps still make for wonderful souvenirs that you tuck into your luggage and tote home along with many treasured memories of the mountain you just skied or rode.

Map Geek recently discovered the main man behind these maps and I wanted to let you know how incredibly prolific he is and how there’s actually a book in the works that will feature a compilation of his paintings. Look in the corner of ski maps from world-renowned resorts such Telluride, Steamboat and Vail and you’ll see the signature of James Niehues, an artist that has skillfully and accurately represented some two hundred ski resorts in his paintings.

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