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April 2021 - Meet the Team

Perhaps it comes with the territory, but it is fairly common for our staff to be asked a lot of questions about what it's like to work for HARVEY Maps. There is a real fascination about map making and so we would like to introduce you to the people behind the scenes who work tirelessly to make the fantastic maps we are renowned for.

At the start of 2021 HARVEY Maps welcomed Luke to the Production department. We asked him a few questions on what it's like to be a cartographer.

What made you choose cartography as a career?
Have you ever met someone that isn't interested in maps? I've always been interested in geography, maps and places so it feels like the natural choice. I love the blend of science and art and presenting lots of information graphically in a pleasing way. I studied geography for my undergraduate degree and cartography for my postgraduate degree so becoming a cartographer was the perfect career choice!

What is it like working for HARVEY Maps?
It's great fun! The team is very friendly and everyone brings their passions from different areas to work together to make a great final project. Everyone here takes great pride in the final product so no corners are cut during map production. Opinions of new products and ideas are discussed with everyone. Your own suggestions for new maps, marketing ideas and other products are always welcome no matter how (un)developed they are. This wouldn't be as easy to handle in a larger organisation so I really do feel valued here already. A goal of mine for the year is to rise to the top of the office ping pong league. There will be some tough matches ahead but you've got to dare to dream!

Where are you planning to explore next?
I want to add to the list of Scottish Islands that I have visited and Arran is next on my radar. I would like to cycle a loop round the island stopping off at the towns for an ice cream along the way and finishing at the Arran Brewery in Brodick. I’ve already enjoyed some of the beer from the Arran Brewery but I’m sure it’ll taste even better on the island. I'm using the HARVEY Arran Ultramap to plan my route and for camping spots. I've already spotted a few detours along the way and some interestesting cultural heritage on the island. Fingers crossed the weather will be kind.

Which maps are you working on now?
As a cartographer I am involved in many stages of a map’s development. I have a few projects on the go at the moment, one is the forthcoming Pitlochry 1:25,000 Superwalker map (exact title to be confirmed). We are in the planning stage for checking our data in the field, which will be my first survey trip with HARVEY Maps, so i’m looking forward to heading out with the team. The Pitlochry Superwalker will be the first map I will have worked on and I am looking forward to seeing the map in print. I am also working on the Saunders Lakeland Mountain Marathon map in preparation for their 2021 event. During this process I’ve been learning lots about the printing process and layout techniques that are used to ensure the event organisers and competitors get the perfect map for their adventures.

If you had to choose a Map of the Week, which one would it be?
The Thames Path Trail Map. I grew up close to the Thames and spent my summer holidays working on ferries going up and down parts of it so it’s an area I know well. In the six summers of work I travelled the equivalent distance of London to New York within a 13 mile segment of the Thames, so I know that part really well! This inspired me to venture further along the path and it’s a lifetime goal to travel the entire length. The path meanders through areas rich in history and every time I visit I discover something that is hidden in plain sight which has a fascinating reason as to why it's there. There are gun turrets, hidden markings and so much more that tell stories about the area that people walk past daily without even noticing. It is a spectacular walk and one I would recommend to anyone. It will be one incredible holiday journey but it’s also perfect for completing in segments over a longer period of time - that’s what I’m doing.

What song, book and luxury would you take to a desert island?
For my song I’d want something uplifting and positive so I’d go with Lovely Day by Bill Withers - a classic! My book would have to be Neither Here nor There by Bill Bryson. I enjoy Bryson’s humour and from the comfort of my new home I’ll be able to travel all over world, similar to pondering over a good (HARVEY) map! Finally, my one luxury item would be a good notebook and pen. I would then keep a diary of my island life so once I get rescued I can convert my experience into a bestselling book so I’ll be able to buy my own private (luxury) island!

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