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Making of a School Atlas January 5, 2016

Posted by simarp in : Books , add a comment

How long can it take to make a school atlas? A few decades, if it is a quality product you are looking at. Yes, an Atlas is a work in progress and it can take lot of time to get rolling. Way back in 1998 we had started making maps and loading them on Mapsofindia.com, at the back of our thought process was a dream, a dream that one day we will prepare the most authoritative school atlas. Today we hold that dream as an achievement in our hands, it is a dream fulfilled.

It was not simple, it was a complex project which remained a dream and something which was under various stages of production and visualization. Finally one day, all cards opened up and a relationship was stitched. Compare Infobase Limited tied-up with Encyclopedia Britannica to create a product to be exclusively marketed by the latter. With marketing tied-up, dream was well on its way to realization.  212 pages were panned and planned, each page had to go through stringent checks, numerous approvals were required and everything was time-bound. But then, this kind of pressure is the best environment for a product to be released. Someone has to keep on breathing deadline while others keep breathing perfection and quality.

While we were at it, it was important that our product is not a me-too. We wanted our product to be a unique compendium of maps that matter. Accuracy and cartographic details were defined as cornerstones and innovation and students need were stitched together to form the backbone of the product. 10 departments worked together and with support from the Britannica team and Survey of India a defining product has been launched. Now, from here onward a quality atlas has a new benchmark. I am sure whenever people would sit together to visualize landmark publications in Geography and Mapping space, B Sure school atlas would have a lot to contribute and talked about.

Thank you Team Compare for making it happen.


Jinnah of Jaswant Singh October 11, 2009

Posted by simarprit in : Books, Review , 6comments

Question: Do I like Jinnah?

Answer: I didn’t like him before reading the book, I haven’t changed my mind after reading the book

Question: Why pay Rs 695/- for a subject you don’t like?

Answer: One should be open to reviewing stands long taken, which may or may nat have had a strong basis. Having said that I found all the reviews shallow and wanted to form my own opinion about Jaswant Singh and Jinnah through this book.

Question: Do you like the book?

Answer: No.

Question: Why don’t you like much acclaimed, and much talked about – Jinnah India-Partition-Independence

Answer: For one, Mr. Jaswant Singh had no patience to read the copy of his book before it finally went for printing. The book has typos and other mistakes which Mr. Singh could have easily spotted had he read “his life’s work” even once after compiling.  The book has been poorly researched. The author and publisher didn’t feel a need to have an editor as a result the book is loose collation of random articles which may or may not talk to each other. A good book is like a river without dams, it just flows its course, Jaswant’s Jinnah doesn’t flow – you need to turn pages to read on and do pick-and-drop till your wrist starts aching.

Question: What was that you were looking in the book and you didn’t find?

Answer: For starters, I was not looking for trash which is in abundance in this book.  What I was looking was for an insight of a scholar and a balanced book which was as detached as required to connect millions of people to an opinion other than the one they have been forced to believe. I was looking for statements, judgments and an insight which are just missing.  Loss of life & property in both Bengal and Punjab have been given at best passing references. The emphasis has been on what is written and re-written hundreds of time. I was looking for a new drink, which could have been hot or cold, any color, any density – what Mr Singh has served is a glass of polluted water from the beds of Yamuna pulled out from ITO bridge Delhi side.  Armchair rewriting at its best.

Book Expo America 2008 L.A. – A Review May 30, 2008

Posted by simarprit in : Books, Review, Uncategorized , add a comment

There are authors, there are books, and then there is me. I must be the third most seen and noticed in this largely “white American” show.  So what is this turban doing amongst all this? MapXL Inc, the holding arm of Compare infobase for mapping business in the US decided to participate in this Book Expo; Mani felt that my being “Local” could be of “help.” I would wait for the verdict.

I drove south from San Jose on I-5 and covered the distance in 6 hours with three breaks. The journey was fine, and the Garmin Nuvi knew where I had to go, exactly.

  1. Pre arrangements and communications – 9/10
  2. Official hotel selection – 9/10
  3. Website: 9/10
  4. Shuttle service to the venue 10/10
  5. Information in rooms: 0/10
  6. Exhibition venue and guidance: 6/10 – technlogy is absent, signage is inadequate, the exhibition – it looks like hasn’t grown.
  7. Cooling: 8/10, Could have been a bit cooler
  8. Particpants :10/10 you name it and the publisher is there
  9. Authors: 9/10 Very Good book signing activity
  10. Walking area: 9/10 Plenty
  11. Food: 9/10 Plenty
  12. Restrooms: 4/10 -No good

After checking with a few regulars, I conclude there is a significant recession rub-off. High gas prices have also contributed in lesser footfalls.

I am glad we had prefixed appointments before coming here.