Well…not quite daily recently…

Photo #1321 – 06.27.12

Time to Print the Maps

As a cartographer, I have found many people have questions about how trail maps are made, so I am always more than happy to describe the process.  Aside from creating the maps and collecting GPS information on the trails, a big component of the process is the printing itself.  Working with large printing facilities, we print our maps on a special synthetic material called Tyvek, and this Tyvek is run through massive six-color offset printing presses like the one above.  Each ink color has a separate printing plate, and the sheets of Tyvek run through this machine from right to left to produce our popular trail maps.  It’s fascinating watching this machinery at work, so I always enjoy attending these map printings.

Tonight I’ll be in Norwalk, CT concluding a series of presentations at regional REI stores about how maps are made.  I hope I have shed some light on this topic for you as well!


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