Thursday, December 18, 2008

Rand McNally

Rand McNally, the well-known atlas company, has released three atlases for the Kindle: Washington State, Southern California, and Northern California. I was pleased to help in the design and implementation of these great books, and I think they exemplify the possibilities that are available on the Kindle for those with the courage and know-how to pursue them. Here is a screenshot from the Washington State Road Atlas:

Washington State Road Atlas

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Blogger Len Edgerly said...

Congrats on working on this project, Josh. I did a brief interview today with Joel Minster, sr. vp at Rand McNally, who did a good job explaining the project and what's ahead. Fun! Link to the show: .
Oh yeah, there was an even MORE articulate guy in the main interview on the podcast, talking about Kindle formatting! :-)

December 19, 2008 9:22 PM  

Blogger Joshua Tallent said...

Thanks again for the opportunity to be on the podcast! It was a great honor, and I hope you will have me on again.

December 21, 2008 12:11 AM  

Blogger Andrys said...

Joshua, you're just the person I need. I've posted this on another blog but just found that you were helping in the formatting of this.

I've reported in emails and a phone call to Amazon that several items were not working in this Northern California one, at least not as described in the "How to Use" the book chapter.

The 'search' process described in the "How to use" chapter doesn't work within the map book - it searches all the books of the Kindle but doesn't catch city names that ARE listed in the indexes of the McNally atlas. I ran the searches from Table of Contents, and from Index.

It doesn't see "Berkeley" in a search. Nor 'Albany' ... Clicking on Index listing for Monterey I just get the No.Calif map with a circle letting me know where Monterey is.
Then, going 'back' one 'page' I get a street-level map of Modesto!

The chapter says the indexes or searches allow you to get individual city maps but the customer service person and I couldn't get those. (Except inadvertently for Modesto, as described above.)

I will see if Rand McNally uploaded a fixed version -- will try to download it again after a week. Maybe I got it too early.
Have seen only one actual review and that was of the Washington map, by a user.

Other than the above, the graphics are done VERY well for the Kindle and the maps are very clear.

Using the Northern California map was fine, though with a screen this size one may want to use a magnifying glass. Resolution is very good though on those map sections.

I didn't want a refund, as what is there is still worth the $1.59 charge for the piece. But I'm hoping they fix the functioning of this.

January 10, 2009 6:29 AM  

Blogger Joshua Tallent said...


I am sorry you had problems with the Atlas. I will forward your thoughts on to my contact at Rand McNally, and hopefully they will be able to address the issues.

- Joshua

January 10, 2009 11:22 PM  

Blogger Andrys said...

Thanks very much, Joshua.

I did download it again to make sure I had the latest they uploaded to Amazon and have done a report on the No. California version, at the Amazon product page, at

If you're responsible for the clarity of the maps on a Kindle, great job!

I do recommend they redo the map sectors with some overlapping of the places to orient us better, especially where city names and road names are split up between two sectors. I realize that would take a lot more work and create more problems with scaling and then the various links needed. But it's just a mild recommendation (treating the first 3 issues as 'beta' ).

January 11, 2009 6:16 AM  

Blogger SeanAtRand said...


I have looked at your index problem for Northern California and have posted a fix to Amazon. It will take 2-3 days to see the change on Amazon so wait until later this week and you should be able to redownload. Thanks for your interest in our product.

January 12, 2009 7:25 AM  

Blogger Andrys said...

Sean, thanks. I apparently replied to the email alert for your post, which meant it went nowhere. Will re-download then, as it's been about 5 days.

January 17, 2009 9:13 PM  

Blogger Andrys said...

Sean, I downloaded that following weekend (about 5 days later), and the same things I described are there. Could you tell me what would have been changed?

The 'how to' still says we can use the Kindle Search button to find a city, but that's not so.

The cities of Emeryville and Albany where I live are still not in the alpha-index though they are on the map. I checked only the cities I'm very familiar with.

I realize the individual overview maps are for only those cities listed in the 2nd portion of the Table of Contents.

Tried to find an address to write you directly but couldn't, easily, so am writing here. Thanks for any help.

January 26, 2009 3:10 PM  

Blogger Sam said...

Some good tips on formatting, as this is not my strength.


March 11, 2009 5:00 PM  

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