Maps printed this afternoon in Tokyo!
Two days ago we got word from the printers in Tokyo that they'd begin our run this afternoon. We rushed to find someone in Tokyo who could document the process, and in the end an intern-of-a-friend-of-a-friend* volunteered.
She couldn't remember the address of the factory, but she took a picture of a sign in front, which was enough that a bit of google-fu revealed this building as the birthplace of our maps:
Here's the boss of the print-shop, Mr. Kohiyama:
Inside the print shop are several Ryobi 750 offset machines, a venerable sort of heavy duty offset press that are used all over the world for high quality printing.
And here's a picture of a map proof:
The current shipping date we have from the folding company is July 11th, but we're trying to see if they can rush the run and have it done by July 6th instead, in order to avoid having to wait another weekend.
We've given out quite a few prototype maps to backers who are arriving before the final thing is ready, so if you will be getting to SF before July 13th please get in touch by Kickstarter message. We're sorry that this is taking longer than expected, but we'll make sure anyone who gets here early will get a map, even if it isn't the final Tyvek version.
Because of a combination of low tech things (like international money transfers that we have to fax in, one sheet at a time) and fairly high-tech things (like google street view) we can all watch the process of the map becoming real in stop-motion. It's a bit frustrating in its asynchronicity,and it's made this project late, but it's also pretty awesome.
We've got mailing labels ready to roll, so as soon as we have the maps, they'll be zipping around the country (and world!) into your hands.
-Eric & Shan
*Interestingly, the company she was interning for is called Gengo, a realtime translation tool that we actually used quite a bit early on to communicate with the printers in Japan. Small world.
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