Atlas and Map Publishers in the US Industry Market Research Report Now Available from IBISWorld

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The Atlas and Map Publishers industry is quickly losing ground to digital substitute products like GPS navigation and internet-based map services such as Google Maps. While some consumers, particularly baby boomers, may still prefer paper maps, the vast majority of Americans have switched to using digital maps for their travel needs. Major player Rand McNally maintains a recognizable brand name and controls a fairly large share of the market, but the popularity of digital services is eroding its performance as well. For these reasons, industry research firm IBISWorld has added a report on the Atlas and Map Publishers industry to its growing industry report collection.

IBISWorld Market Research

IBISWorld Market Research

Online map services and smartphone apps are slowly making industry products obsolete

Consumers are increasingly plugged in to their digital devices, and they are buying fewer printed maps. The transition to digital technologies was particularly pronounced during the past five years as consumers adopted online map and driving direction services, smartphone apps, and GPS technology in lieu of paper maps. Consequently, Atlas and Map Publishers industry revenue is expected to fall at a 7.0% annualized rate during the past five years to $437.0 million, including a 6.2% decline in 2012. “The shift toward digital maps and atlases and away from industry products has been underpinned by a number of trends,” says IBISWorld industry analyst Nima Samadi. One of the primary drivers has been the rapid proliferation of internet connectivity. The number of broadband connections is expected to grow rapidly during the past five years to reach 237.2 million connections in 2012. Consumers are increasingly looking up driving directions by using online services like Google Maps, which has siphoned away demand for traditional map and atlas publishers.

The proliferation of smartphones has also contributed to the swelling of total connections, as they offer broadband-quality service that consumers can carry with them. Smartphones often come equipped with (or come equipped with the ability to download) apps that provide interactive maps, driving directions, and even turn-by-turn GPS navigation. The increase in smartphones with mobile internet connections has given consumers access to detailed maps and directions at all times, “rendering traditional paper maps and their publishers nearly obsolete,” says Samadi. In the five years since 2007, the number of mobile internet connections increased at a 59.9% annualized rate to 167.2 million in 2012, largely contributing to the decline of the Atlas and Map Publishers industry.

However, the industry has some bright prospects. Growth in the number of adults aged 65 and older will continue to support demand for paper maps and atlas publishers. This older segment of the population is more comfortable using paper maps and will continue to sustain demand for these products despite technological shifts. Domestic travel within the United States is projected to continue its rebound during the five years to 2017. As more Americans travel, they become more likely to purchase maps, including destination-specific maps that point out local attractions and points of interest. As a result, industry revenue is forecast to fall more slowly over the next five years. For more information, visit IBISWorld’s Atlas and Map Publishers in the US industry report page.

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IBISWorld industry Report Key Topics

This industry edits and designs maps. It does not include surveyors or printing services. Digital-only publishers are also excluded from this industry.

Industry Performance
Executive Summary
Key External Drivers
Current Performance
Industry Outlook
Industry Life Cycle
Products & Markets
Supply Chain
Products & Services
Major Markets
Globalization & Trade
Business Locations
Competitive Landscape
Market Share Concentration
Key Success Factors
Cost Structure Benchmarks
Barriers to Entry
Major Companies
Operating Conditions
Capital Intensity
Key Statistics
Industry Data
Annual Change
Key Ratios

About IBISWorld Inc.
Recognized as the nation’s most trusted independent source of industry and market research, IBISWorld offers a comprehensive database of unique information and analysis on every US industry. With an extensive online portfolio, valued for its depth and scope, the company equips clients with the insight necessary to make better business decisions. Headquartered in Los Angeles, IBISWorld serves a range of business, professional service and government organizations through more than 10 locations worldwide. For more information, visit or call 1-800-330-3772.

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Gavin Smith
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