All Things Maine
All Things Maine

Sunday, April 13, 2008

The Origins of Delorme

The founder of the Delorme map company was profiled this weekend in the Bangor Daily News.
More than 30 years ago, upon returning from Vietnam, a young Dave Delorme soon reverted back to his Maine roots of outdoor recreation. What soon became evident to him was a major lack of dependable and detailed mapping of highways, secondary roads and woods roads. Dave learned that the state actually published a fairly comprehensive highway atlas, and that these Pine Tree road charts were in the public domain, meaning the maps were available for use by one and all.

Dave formulated a unique idea for the state maps. He set up shop on his kitchen table, copied each page and made changes and addendums, and added a listing of boat launch sites, parks, nature preserves, campgrounds and other locations of interest to travel- and recreation-oriented readers. A new cover with a $4 tag dressed up the 1976 introductory issue, which Dave then began selling from his vehicle to markets and stores throughout the state. It wasn’t long before cartography specialists were hired and computers entered the picture to store and produce more info and yield precision maps with accuracy, detail and complexities never before available. [Link]

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