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Avenza: Mapping The Largest Balloon Event

[ 0 ] May. 6, 2013 | SBO Editor

Every year hundreds of thousands of people from all over the globe travel to Albuquerque, New Mexico for the largest international ballooning event. During this nine-day fiesta, guests are able to view hundreds of colorful and unique hot air balloons touring the skies over 350 acres of Balloon Fiesta Park. Because the event covers such a large vicinity, Information Systems Manager, Mike McKnight, explained that the need for a clear, easy to use, map was not only important for the pilots, but for the guests as well and so McKnight went searching for a digital solution.

Avenza Systems, Inc., a leading developer of cartographic software, had created a mobile app called PDF Maps for the iOS (iPhones and iPads) platform so that map publishers and individual cartographers could upload paper maps at no cost. Now in a digital format, maps could easily be downloaded onto an iPad or iPhone. Paired together with mobile devices that use GPS, the PDF Maps app provided the best of all worlds – the ability to read details clearly like a paper map, find your location with GPS and search for direction like a Google map.

When McKnight discovered Avenza’s PDF Maps app could offer crystal-clear, interactive digital maps, he was thrilled. “I had been looking for something like this for years,” McKnight explained, “most companies that made GIS conversions for maps used equipment that was just too small; and the larger PDF conversions were only able to be viewed with a laptop. When you’re hundreds of feet above the ground in a hot air balloon, a bulky laptop or for that matter, a jumbo-sized paper map just isn’t suitable.”

With Avenza’s Maps app, balloonists and guests can download maps through the Avenza Map Store 24-hours a day. Through this technology, pilots as well as tourists traveling to this extraordinary ballooning event can easily prepare well in advance, quickly and conveniently.

With the use of Avenza’s PDF Maps app, McKnight was able to transfer large 5’x3’ traditional paper maps to digitized, interactive PDFs. This simple transfer of data from traditional maps to digitized PDF garnered approval from the pilots.

More about Avenza Systems Inc.

Avenza Systems Inc. is an award-winning, privately held corporation that provides cartographers and GIS professionals with powerful software tools for making better maps. In addition to software offerings for Mac and Windows users, Avenza offers value-added data sets, product training, and consulting services. For more information visit www.avenza.com or call 416-487-5116.

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Category: Features