What is an 'iGage' and Why Do They Sell Maps?
iGage Mapping Corporation is a small engineering company in Salt
Lake City, Utah. Founded in early 1996, iGage traditionally provided electrical
engineering design and software services for industrial and automation customers.
The word 'iGage' is a play ('Eye Gauge') on the machine vision,
non-contact measurement devices that provided our core products.
The name was coined long before iEverything and eEverythingElse become popular.
Over the years we have come to regret our trendy name, we are just boring engineers,
but it always appeared too difficult to change our name to something more descriptive
like 'Light and Chemical Based Measurement Tools and Systems'.
iGage originally was responsible for many infrared absorption gas
measurement devices that check automotive emissions; the gas analyzers for oxygen
concentration measurement and calibration used in hospitals and industry; several
lines of high speed laser based measurement tools for the non-contact measurement
and control of wire, fiber and cable extrusion; motorized valve testing equipment;
and lots of other nifty, but equally unexciting tools and devices.
In March 1998 Mark Silver, an iGage engineer, built a software tool
that allowed him to view all the 7½ minute quadrangle maps in the North Eastern
corner of Utah where he fishes and recreates. Mark paid his way through the University
of Utah, fighting range fires for the Bureau of Land Management in Vernal Utah.
He loves maps, and he has always dreamed of making a tool like All Topo Maps. Originally
he called his hobby 'iTopo' and it intrigued everyone who saw it. He soon expanded
it to cover all of Utah.
By August, Mark was literally burning up the iGage office CD-ROM
burner making copies for his friends and their acquaintances. In October 1999, Mark
decided to have a couple hundred copies made to give as Christmas gifts. He learned
that it was about the same price to press 1,000 sets as it cost to burn 100 so he
made a simple User's Manual and some cover art then had 1,000 sets pressed and assembled.
Mark spent several weeks giving maps sets away, pulling the front
covers and autographing them as if he was a famous musician. Very quickly it became
evident that he would not be able to give them away fast enough to satisfy everyone
who wanted a copy so he convinced three local retailers (Denali, Utah Idaho Map
World and the Utah Geological Survey store) to retail All Topo Maps.
When All Topo Maps were released, there was no competition and no
comparable products to set a price against. Mark decided that $100 was a fair price
that he would be willing to pay for the two-disk set. Within a couple of weeks the
concept of a simple, reasonably priced consumer mapping tool was proven. Hundreds
and hundreds of copies were quickly sold. The 1,000 original map sets barely made
it through Christmas.
Selling maps is a lot more fun than building gas measurement systems,
so iGage had a GPS interface tool written, improved the resolution and viewing software
and released several new states (Idaho, Colorado, Wyoming.) Soon we had sold over
5,000 copies of All Topo Maps to consumers, and to our surprise other engineers.
More states and nifty mapping tools like BigTopo have followed.
In September 2000, all of iGage's mapping products, employees, equipment
and technology were acquired by 'Igage Mapping Corporation'. The name
Igage has forever become synonymous with topographic maps and it is probably far
too late to change our name to something reasonable.
In 2002, we decided to focus primarily on supplying digital map
sets for professional use. Our V7 Pro product is focused towards professional users.
As of April 2010, we have sold nearly 160,000 sets of digital topographic maps
We print lots of custom topo maps and when the supplier of the ink-jet
paper that we used to use raised the price so high we could no longer sell paper
maps at a reasonable price, we developed a superior line of plastic paper for our
internal use. Over the years we have offered our Weatherproof Paper to our customers
at extremely reasonable prices.
Our mapping products have forced us to become experts in the use
and misuse of GPS receivers. When it became obvious that our All Topo mapping customers
needed Mapping and Survey grade receivers to meet the accuracy requirements of their
projects, and more importantly needed a knowledgeable source for products, support
and service we began selling the Thales Navigation GPS product line. Thales became
'Magellan Professional' and recently was rebranded Ashtech. Igage is proud to now
be a knowledgeable dealer of both mapping and survey GPS equipment.
iGage is just a little company with three products: maps, weatherproof
paper and mapping/resource/survey grade GPS receivers.
Up On The Soapbox
Topographical maps are the basis for almost everything that we do.
Early maps guided exploration. Later maps formed the basis for land sales, plat
maps and land ownership. The topographic map series is one of this nation's finest
treasures, a resource of uncountable value. The series was paid for by citizens
for their benefit, it should be available in a concise, friendly form for everyone
to use at a reasonable price.
Topographical maps are art. Each map has been painstakingly generated
by hundreds of artisans, each improving on the work of their predecessors. When
you hang a quadrangle on your wall and look your favorite place you don't see a
paper map. Your mind sees the places you have been, the mountains, hills, streams
and lakes. You can instantly remember those hikes you took 20 years ago and the
events that occurred on them. The maps, like fine art, are more than paper and ink.
Down, Off the Soapbox
So, it is by accident that iGage has fallen into the role of providing
digital mapping solutions. At the time of this writing we have served millions and
millions and millions of maps, hopefully our products provide extreme value, and
simple to use map gratification for the map needy and the truly map obsessed.
We are not a big outfit, so your comments and suggestions do make
a difference! Don't hesitate to drop us a note if your have a great idea or hate
our guts and want to let us know about it. You will get a quick response by contacting
firstname.lastname@example.org or just calling us at +1 801-412-0011.
Our office is located at:
1545 South 1100 East STE 1
Salt Lake City UT 84105
We are on the East side of 11th East, the next building South of
the sewing machine shop.
You can contact us by phone:
voice: +1 801 412-0011 +1 888 450-4922
fax: +1 801 412-0022
Thank you very much for purchasing or just checking out All Topo
Good mapping to you!