FOUNDED in 1998, Dalkeith-based map-making company XYZ Maps took small steps into the world of cloud computing before really taking the plunge.
“We made some obvious and simple steps such as using Office 365 to provide our e-mail and deliver it reliably regardless of where we are and the Adobe Creative Cloud for backing up our map artwork, but we have gone beyond that,” says XYZ co-founder Dr Tim Rideout.
The firm’s “Maps on Demand” [www.maps-on-demand.biz] system allows both the public and re-sellers to create custom maps - anything from a huge world wall map for a Christmas present to a postcode map of a sales territory for a business user.
A specially created front end sits on top of a cloud storage and delivery system which creates, stores and delivers the PDF artwork for the custom map. This could go direct to the customer in digital form, or it can be plotted by XYZ Maps (or our third party resellers when they have their own printing system). Other publishers’ content, for example National Geographic, is now available via XYZ Maps, while resellers around the World can access our maps and deliver them e.g. in the USA, with only a local delivery charge and next-day service.
“This sort of system would just not have been possible without huge costs in the past, and it is allowing a small Scottish company to access the entire world market without huge cost or other barriers,” says Rideout.