ODTMaps.com Acquires WorldEagle.com
World Eagle map publishing has been taken over by ODT Maps of Amherst Mass. Both businesses expand the public’s global awareness and perspective, seeing the developing nations through a lens that is non-traditional. They both offer a fresh point-of-view, one that brings a better understanding of non-American cultures to American audiences. Intellectual assets include the series of Global Perspective Maps drawn by Russell H. Lenz, Chief Cartographer of The Christian Science Monitor.
World Eagle was the Educational Division of IBA Radio (Independent Broadcasting Associates), a non-profit media production company which creates programs on India, Europe and Islam for National Public Radio (NPR). Its mission is to live and work among villagers and city dwellers in the Third World to tell their stories, to bring their lives to Western radio audiences. IBA has been funded by grants from, among others, The Rockefeller Foundation, The Carnegie Foundation, The National Endowment for the Humanities, The National Endowment for the Arts, and The National Science Foundation.
The World Eagle map business and the IBA radio documentaries shared the common quality of expanding one's perspective. Both have helped us look at people in the South or the Third World through a lens that is non-traditional. They both offered a fresh point-of-view, one that brings a better understanding of non-American cultures to American audiences. "Looking to turn over our intellectual assets to ODTMaps was a 'natural;' they are the premiere map publisher offering non-traditional views of the world." explains Martine Crandall-Hollick. "I knew our titles would find a good home at ODT Maps, and ODT customers and World Eagle customers both share a deep desire for broadening their world views."
Martine Crandall-Hollick, a former teacher, brought her passion for geography to World Eagle and published a number of noteworthy map resources, including the Muslim World Past & Present map, Africa: Would You Believe?, and a unique Pacific Rim map.
Perhaps most remarkable of the World Eagle resources are the series of Global Perspective Maps drawn by Russell H. Lenz, Chief Cartographer of The Christian Science Monitor. The ten maps in the series are all hand-drawn. Looking at these maps created in the 1970's, the viewer immediately gets a sense of what is lost when the "art" of map-making is taken over by computer driven GIS programs. The Lenz maps are all hand-lettered, and shown in 3-D relief. All of the mountain ranges are hand-drawn in perspective. One may wonder why don't we see more of these kinds of maps, although they do arise from time-to-time in map-making history. Perhaps it is because perspective maps lack precisely what other maps appear to promise…some sort of universal view…devoid of bias. The book, Seeing Through Maps, also includes one of Lenz's maps: a view of the USA, as seen from Canada. The view of the hemisphere with Canada at the bottom and the USA above is truly disorienting and destabilizing. It is quite contrary to our habituated view, and helps us deconstruct our prejudices and biases, as Seeing Through Maps explains.
In Amherst, Massachusetts, ODTMaps.com is creatively adding the World Eagle products to its catalog of innovative map offerings. The Global Perspective Maps, Africa - Would You Believe?, the Pacific Rim Map, and ANTARCTICA - 5 views of the continent are all posted on the ODT offerings at http://odtmaps.com/maps.18.104.22.168.htm. Also included is a beautiful full-color map of India published by the Indian Government, showing each state in a different color, international and state boundaries, as well as rivers, railroads, roads, district lines, cities. The map is in both English & Hindi and there is really no map quite like it. The Crandall-Hollicks discovered the map and found it invaluable in their radio documentary work. They brought back the stock to World Eagle in 1990.
Because transferring the map inventory was a delicate process, many of the maps now have some damage to the edges, and consequently the price has been reduced accordingly - by 40-50% -- on ODTmaps.com. "Customers can find some real bargains on the web," says ODTMaps owner Bob Abramms. "We did the best we could moving the World Eagle merchandise, but we just didn't have the space to carefully lay out and repack all the stock. Schools and organizations wanting volume purchases are encouraged to ask for even deeper discounts on the World Eagle maps."
"It is not clear at this time," says Abramms, "what World Eagle Maps we'll be reprinting, or whether we'll eventually move to an electronic fulfillment process. More and more customers are requiring special sizes, or special papers, or classroom pull-down maps. As we move our business in that direction, we may just have World Eagle maps available electronically or printed one-off (called POD, or print-on-demand). So while we have stock left, there are some excellent deals on some very creative maps." ODT is encouraging customers to visit the www.WorldEagle.com web site, and then email ODT at firstname.lastname@example.org) or call them at 800-736-1293 with an order. ODT will reduce the World Eagle posted pricing by 50% while supplies last.