Dennis reproduces Arctic map for Antarctic team

Rhys Handley
Monday, August 12, 2019

Laura Gerrish, mapping specialist at the British Antarctic Survey (BAS), knows better than most that our polar icecaps are changing at a rapid rate that printed maps cannot keep up with.

As our planet warms, the ice will melt, and the landscape will shift. So Gerrish’s task is to create a snapshot of the shifting environment so as to chart it before it is too late.

What was produced?
The Arctic region surrounding Greenland is portrayed on an 890x1,000mm sheet of 115gsm Arctic Matt supplied by Denmaur Paper, using a 1:4,000,000-scale map devised by Gerrish on behalf of the BAS. Folding down to 222.5x125mm, the finely-detailed work is protected by a cover on 260gsm Celebr8 substrate.

What did the job entail?
An initial run of 1,000 copies was printed by specialist company Dennis Maps, which has worked with the BAS a number of times, using a Koenig & Bauer Rapida 162a perfecting press in four-colour process inks.

The cover was laminated using a Bilhoffer 102, then die-cut and scored on a Heidelberg cylinder before being cut to size on a Schneider 137 guillotine. The map was also cut on the Schneider and then folded using a Stahlfolder 142 map folder before the two parts were brought together on a CMC map casing line.

A further 500 copies have since been ordered by the BAS.

What challenges were overcome?
The region covered in the map, which includes Greenland and northern European territories such as Iceland and Svalbard, has never appeared on a map like this before and the fine detailing and fascinating geographical features highlighted by Gerrish needed careful attention to ensure they were rendered accurately.

Dennis operations director Roger Gilson said: “One aspect of this job that was different from our usual map production was the illustrated reverse side, made of sheets that contained lots of colour images and colour text.

“This is the first map we have produced for the BAS of the Arctic region and the information on the reverse illustrates the challenge the region is currently facing from climate change and the work various organisations are doing to preserve this unique part of the world.”

What was the feedback?
Laura Gerrish said: “Dennis Maps have been printing British Antarctic Survey maps for many years now and they always provide us with excellent quality products. The Greenland map is very detailed and required professional, precise printing, which we knew they could deliver. 

“We are extremely happy with the final product and the map is now being used by scientists, tourists and those with a general interest in the Arctic.

“Our next two printing jobs are already lined up with Dennis Maps and we will continue to work with them to produce our high-quality products.”


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