First Major Project
All firsts have a certain charisma, be it your first love, first baby, first job .... For me, the first freelance map project from one of the best companies in cartographic mapping occupies that pride of place. I chucked my job in the industry in 2004 and started working as a freelance map maker. GIS and geospatial technologies were the buzz words and everyone wanted a ride on this bandwagon. I wanted some experience in any GIS software but the training was very expensive. So I concentrated on my strengths, Illustrator and Freehand. I did get some small projects of map tracing, but I was just scraping through.
I did not get a good break for two years but I did not lose heart. 2006 brought some cheer and same year I got few projects from a big mapping portal in quick succession. So I cherish 2006 as my freelancing birth year. The projects were tracing maps from paper scans and then reformatting them in Freehand and Illustrator.
The mapping portal was maps.com which even today employs cartographers for freelance map creation in their "bid for maps" program. I got a freelance contract of making a bunch of maps from them. They were small maps but in sizeable number. I have some of those maps displayed below. You can click on the map to view a bigger and better image.
All these maps were made with Macromedia Freehand, another inexpensive software used by freelance map makers and graphic artists. It was a very versatile and easy to learn software for layered vector maps; so very sad that it is no longer maintained and updated by the Macromedia. Adobe Illustrator which allowed import of Freehand map file has also stopped it with version CS6 and above. Such company policies do hurt us freelancers most, thus the growth and acceptance of open souce software.