Talk:Rand McNally

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The Simpsons episode is not the only place in fiction where writing on maps has been mistaken for, or used to stand for, actual geography.

In the movie Five graves in Cairo, General Rommel hides five ammunition and food deposits in Egypt at exactly the places where the letters E G Y P T appear on his map.

An European comic book, whose name I forget, shows that the letters A T L A N T, appearing on a map of the Atlantic Ocean, actually represent real islands in the shape of the letters. The heroes of the story travel to each island in turn. JIP | Talk 10:20, 15 Apr 2005 (UTC)

First numbered highways?[edit]

I have removed the following line:

In 1917, they introduced the concept of numbering roads, which state and federal authorities adopted across the country.

I did some searching and cannot find a reference for this. The first numbering (at least in the US) was in 1917, in Wisconsin, but nothing indicates Rand McNally helped. --SPUI (talk) 14:34, 27 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Re-added. Originally on their company site, now here;
By 1917, the Company had implemented a road numbering system for Illinois that is still used today (including Route 66). The Rand McNally Auto Chum, the original Road Atlas, was published in 1924. [1]
Jokestress 7 July 2005 04:11 (UTC)
Route 66 was given its number in 1926. --SPUI (talk) 7 July 2005 08:26 (UTC)
See also
Around 1917 saw the beginning of the Auto Trails system of creating routes initiated by Rand McNally. []
Jokestress 7 July 2005 04:13 (UTC)
The National Auto Trail system was complately separate, and had nothing to do with numbers. --SPUI (talk) 7 July 2005 08:26 (UTC)

And last but not least from

1917 - Rand McNally introduces the concept of identifying roads by number, debuting on a road map of Illinois. State and federal authorities subsequently adopt this system and it is still used today. [2]
Jokestress 7 July 2005 04:21 (UTC)
This seems to be apocryphal information - companies often claim things like this. [3] says that Wisconsin was first. [4] says that Illinois was numbered in 1918. I'm removing it again - Rand McNally is not exactly an unbiased source, and I have doubts about its accuracy in this case. --SPUI (talk) 7 July 2005 08:26 (UTC)

According to [5] Rand McNally maps didn't show numbers in Illinois until the 1920s. --SPUI (talk) 7 July 2005 09:01 (UTC)

Agree on the change. Though it would be accurate and NPOV to say "according to their site," and then adding the statement, I have just sent a note to their communications firm requesting evidence of this claim. Jokestress 7 July 2005 16:22 (UTC)

What is the cite for the installation of route markers? Dnrothx —Preceding undated comment was added at 22:16, 5 August 2008 (UTC)

Word Usage: Jocular[edit]

The article states that "[t]he company has always been named "Rand McNally," but is sometimes jocularly referred to as "Rand and McNally," as in the opening to O. Henry's story, A Municipal Report" Is there some reference I am missing here which makes the use of the word "jocularly" make sense? I would submit that "colloquially" is the more appropriate word usage here. [[User:Lumenpetere|Lumenpetere}} 11 November 2005 12:17 (UTC)

It was jarring when I read it, too, but it's probably close to the right word. No one actually uses that phrase in everyday talk (ie, colloquially); it was only mentioned in a humorous bit of doggerel. I'm going to put it in the humor/trivia section with Bart Simpson. flux.books 18:28, 22 February 2006 (UTC)
It's not used colloquially. When it is used, it is a deliberate malapropism, used for (feebly) humorous effect. Sort of like pronouncing Target, the department-store chain, as if it were a French word: "Tarzhay." Dpbsmith (talk) 19:20, 22 February 2006 (UTC)

See also: Why maps of the US?[edit]

I don't see why Maps of the United States is linked to in the See also section. If we really want to point at Wikipedia articles that contain maps, why not have a link to Category:Atlas or Portal:Atlas instead? Moreover, I'm not sure that those interested in a map making company would be interested in looking at any maps. At best this is geo-politically imbalanced. At worst, it is unrelated altogether. I'm not sure which course to take, so I thought I'd just lay out my thoughts here. BigNate37(T) 21:58, 31 August 2006 (UTC)

You're right about it not being useful. If there were some Rand McNally maps that might be useful, better to put a more specific link to those in. I'll delete it. flux.books 13:45, 1 September 2006 (UTC)

Who owns Rand McNally?[edit]

Recently, Azumanga1 added some information regarding Rand's ownership. I think there has been some misunderstanding about that. As far as I know, World Color Press (Quebecor World) never owned Rand. Rand was majority owned by the McNally family up until 1997, at which time the book services division (located in Versailles, Kentucky) was sold to World Color Press, and control of the company was bought by AEA Investors. It's a little more complicated than that, because Rand owed money to several creditors, but AEA became the majority owner. During AEA's control, Rand fell upon some hard times in the late 90's - early 00's, struggling to compete with the new online mapping services. AEA ended up selling their stake, and Leonard Green & Partners acquired a 60% interest in Rand. After debt consolidation, restructuring, and prepackaged bankruptcy (that is, Rand wasn't in danger of disappearing, they were just leveraging the U.S.'s financial laws) in 2003, they are now entirely owned by Leonard Green. Rand continues to have things printed at the Quebecor World plant in Versailles, which might have caused some misunderstanding of ownership.

I'm not stating all of the above as irrefutable fact, but I think it's more or less correct. Much more so than what was previously written in the article. This article in general is not so great; it could use a bit of clean up.—Lazytiger 16:35, 31 January 2007 (UTC)

Big additions, rewrites, and clean up of article[edit]

I'm currently compiling information from dozens of sources about Rand McNally. I'm slowly adding new material to the article, and will start refining the article as more info is added. I could work on all this outside of Wikipedia and submit it when I'm done, but that seems to miss the point of Wikipedia. Expect more big changes in the days/weeks ahead.

Where are all the map buffs? I know they have dedicated sites elsewhere; I'm surprised there isn't a bigger interest in this and other map company articles on Wikipedia. Oh well. I'm happy to try to fill in some holes.—Lazytiger 04:11, 15 March 2007 (UTC)

Products section: In Rand McNally's own words[edit]

I'm not sure if this is a Wikipedia policy or not, but it seems a bit self-serving for Rand McNally's own description of their products to be listed here. I won't remove them or make changes myself as I'm still getting my feet wet here, but perhaps these should be marked for change in the near future. CWGannon 18:28, 15 October 2007 (UTC)

I absolutely agree. I've been meaning to sweep a bunch of stuff out, but haven't gotten around to it yet. For that matter, I've been meaning to finish writing the article. I have lots of sources and info but just haven't sat down and dealt with it. Feel free to purge the product section if you are feeling up to it.—Lazytiger 22:35, 17 October 2007 (UTC)
I've removed the Products section because it has not had a neutral point of view for far too long and is at this point serving nobody's interests except perhaps Rand McNally's own. If somebody feels fit to revamp that section to include Rand McNally's most important products, so be it, but I feel that a) that has been covered already in this article and b) Wikipedia should not serve as an extension of Rand McNally's own advertisements. CWGannon (talk) 23:41, 25 March 2008 (UTC)
The products section that you removed was written entirely by me in a manner that was, I thought, as factual and non-marketingspeak as possible. Nowhere did I use superlatives or otherwise give any sort of subjective opinion of the products. I was simply listing what exists and a brief description of what it is and how it relates to other products. I suppose it does benefit Rand McNally, in the sense that it informs readers of products' existence. But I would hardly describe this section as a "hard sell". The only thing I might concede was bad is that the section might be more Wikipedia-friendly simply by being briefer. There was otherwise absolutely nothing factually incorrect or advertisement-driven about it. I think you were a little hasty deleting it all.—Lazytiger (Talk | contribs) 00:33, 26 March 2008 (UTC)

Message to anonymous editor (IP 72.197.X.X)[edit]

Sir or Madam: I am writing this message here since you do not have an account, and therefore no user talk page. I mean no disrespect with the deletion of your contributions to this article; you obviously are very supportive of Rand McNally and their products. However, you apparently are not familiar with the policies of Wikipedia—it does not exist to serve as an advertisement for companies or products. Products may be described in earnest, but you cannot use verbatim passages from product catalogs. Catalogs are advertisements and cannot be considered neutral sources of information. (See WP:NOT#ADVERTISING for more information.) Using such passages is also plagiarism, which is not acceptable in Wikipedia or anywhere else. (See WP:COPY) For portions of your content that are not direct lifts from Rand's catalog, you are not writing in an encyclopedic, neutral tone. (See WP:NPOV)

I have tracked some of your activity in Wikipedia and it is also evident that you do not understand the mechanisms that are used. You have complained about "users" removing your content, but it was actually removed by automated processes put in place to remove inappropriate content. Even when you were told this was the case, your response indicated you still did not understand.

I implore you to better familiarize yourself with the policies and culture of Wikipedia. I don't want to discourage you from contributing, but I also don't want anyone's time being wasted with inappropriate edits.

Thank you.—Lazytiger (Talk | Contribs) 02:24, 18 November 2007 (UTC)

Merge proposal[edit]

I propose moving/incorporating appropriate portions of the Thomas Guide article into the Rand article. Thomas Bros. is really just a co-brand on Rand's west coast products, not a separate company anymore. Info pertaining to the pre-merger company should remain a separate article, but should be moved (back) to Thomas Bros. Maps, I think. Thoughts, comments?—Lazytiger (Talk | contribs) 02:47, 28 May 2008 (UTC)

I propose exactly the opposite - that the Thomas Guide article remain seperate from Rand McNally, since the Thomas Guide maps existed as a product AND a widely-known pop-culture touchstone for decades before the Rand McNally merger. I've lived in Southern California all my life, and have never heard anything to suggest that the residents of the region know or care about the merger - however, the vast majority of residents immediately recognize the phrase "Thomas Guide" and are very familiar with its nature, appearance and usage.
Oppose. When people in California think of a book of street maps, they think of Thomas Guide. Sincerely, GeorgeLouis (talk) 15:31, 28 June 2008 (UTC)
I propose merge would be good idea to put the Thomas Guide into Rand McNally wikipedia page. The Product line will start working on the expand the list such as State Road Atlases for Colorado and Etc. Street Guide titles would be only visible by Annual edition. Such as Chicago, San Diego, and even Phoenix for example. The good things about Rand McNally is still growing list for new street guides titles in mostly every month. —Preceding unsigned comment added by SimMoonXP (talkcontribs) 06:38, 7 July 2008 (UTC)
I oppose the merge as well; the Thomas Guide has a distinct history separate from Rand McNally. -Branddobbe (talk) 22:01, 18 July 2008 (UTC)

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