Here at Hema we're all about making maps that help Aussies hit the road to discover the delights of our spectacular country, but there are many more reasons to make maps than helping travellers navigate their way across the country. Steve Randall from Business Maps Australia knows this as well as anyone, and it was with that understanding that he set out to become a different kind of mapping provider.
We caught up with Steve to chat about Business Maps Australia and how they serve the ever-changing demands of industry with their exceptional range of products.
(Image: Business Maps Australia supply map resources across the mining sector, as well as Oil and Gas mapping.)
Q. Tell us a bit about Business Maps Australia, how it came about and the services you provide.
Business Maps Australia was started in early 2014, and was built to produce and publish a wide range of customised mapping products to service the commercial, industrial and resources sectors.
The company sources the latest data from private enterprise, company sources, and both Federal and state governments.
We supply a comprehensive range of resource mapping across the mining sector, as well as Oil and Gas mapping. Our key services include supplying such mapping; producing custom items to suit client requirements; and a range of general road maps for the general public.
(Image: People buy and use maps for a variety of reasons.)
Q. How long have you been in the map business?
- 10 years as a sea captain on small ships off the southern Australian coast – maritime charting
- 10 years driving long-haul transport for Exxon Mobil across WA
- Small amount of time with ADF – military mapping
- Managed a segment of the Map World chain in Perth for over 9 years; developing new products and running a range of successful trade shows
- Opened Business Maps Australia in February 2014 – about seven years trading
Q. What have been some of the biggest changes in the industry and how has that affected your approach?
Digital mapping, both in terms of computerised products and the modern mapping hardware. The current and increasing demand for “raw data” by industry.
In my day as a sea captain, the GPS system was called a Decca system. It filled a 3m x 3m room (on a ship), and had an accuracy of +/- three miles.
Today – GPS is four inches’ long, handheld, owned by every 4WDer, and has an accuracy of +/- five metres.
(Image: Business needs current and accurate information, whereas individuals often want something that looks good for decorating.)
Q. How do the needs of businesses differ from the needs of individuals, as far as mapping is concerned?
Individuals buy a nice wall map for the games room for $100-$200, and it looks good. Private people spend for leisure.
Businesses spend funds for tools to create, improve or facilitate operations.
Compare a world map for the games room at a cost of $200 with a World Shipping map made for Global Commodities trader – facilitating major business – at a cost of $2,500 and you can see the difference.
Business needs current and accurate information, whereas individuals often want something that looks good for decorating.
Digital mapping a critical issue for business; not so much for leisure.
Q. How have print maps remained indispensable in an increasingly digital world?
Print maps provide the ability to “visualise your world” in a way digital products cannot – generally.
Paper maps are an important part of visual display of many types of data, and will always have a place in modern society.
Also, you probably would not traverse the Great Sandy Desert with only an electronic GPS – people have died doing that. GPS plus some paper maps/atlases etc. is the ideal combination.
Q. How do you imagine the future of mapping will look?
Going forward, and fully variable between different industries: a wide variety of combinations of digital and hardcopy products.
The essential skills involved in mapping will always be needed to run the wheels of industry.
Hema Maps is very excited to partner with Business Maps Australia to distribute their unique mining and resource maps on our site. To check out the range please click on this link