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05/02/2003

National Geographic buy Curious World Maps

The National Geographic Channel have invested in Curious Software’s map creation software, Curious World Maps, after seeing the results it was achieving for other US broadcasters such as ABC, NBC and CNN.
The broadcaster are now using Curious World Maps across a range of programming, including National Geographic Today, a daily show that requires up to 15 maps for every programme.
Curious World Maps is a unique and powerful software package that allows the user to create broadcast quality, highly-detailed, still and animated maps of anywhere in the world for use in broadcast television news, documentaries, video and film production and post-production, websites, and a wide range of other media. The software, which is incredibly quick and easy to use, runs on any Windows PC or Mac.
Lucas P Aragon, senior art director at NGC Creative, says animated maps are vital for The National Geographic Channel because they allow the broadcaster to quickly and accurately explain geography and the locations of worldwide events to its viewers. Before it installed Curious World Maps, map creation was a tedious and difficult task because NGC had to rely on Paintbox or Photoshop, both of which were laborious and time consuming.
“We had great vector files that showed accurate borders and bodies of water, but towns, parks, mountain ranges and other such information had to be researched in an Atlas,” he explains. “We could never have graphic relief or ocean contours, which is very important to many of our stories.”
Given the volume of maps required by NGC, finding a viable alternative became an imperative. Lucas Aragon and his team looked at the maps other broadcasters were producing and soon identified Curious World Maps as the common link.
“Curious World Maps was obviously the solution,” says NGC designer Richard Veteikis. “Creating up to 15 maps a day was very difficult to accomplish, but since we installed the software we have been able to do this with ease. Looking up locations used to require looking it up in the glossary of the Atlas and attempting to find the location on a page filled with lines and type. Now it is as simple as typing a part of the location name and selecting it from the list that appears...a huge time saver.”
Since installing Curious World Maps, Aragon and his team have been experimenting with satellite imagery to create even more spectacular results. Curious recently introduced satellite data as an option for new and existing software users, but NGC is in the fortunate position of having its own satellite imagery, which it accesses from the National Geographic Society. Aragon said: “We used the conversion tool supplied by Curious to convert our imagery into our standard map template. We did have to colour correct the images but the end product was a wonderful image of the earth.”
(GB)
VMI.TV Ltd

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