Everything has found a way to become digitalized in our technology-savvy world, including maps. Even so, despite GPS trackers becoming an essential part of cars, paper maps have yet to lose their importance in the world. Whether it is for a geography assignment for school or a hiking trip with friends, maps are your best friend at finding your way through places.
You may be no Christopher Columbus on a voyage to find India, but it is still necessary that your maps are of high quality and resolution; ticking these boxes is the task of the printer. Luckily for you, we have some options for the best printer for maps.
Printer For Maps Buying Guide?
Printers can be used for many things: printing, faxing, scanning, and copying. As a buyer, it is important to know what features you require in a printer so that you can complete your task, which is printing maps. Below, we have highlighted some features that you may consider when purchasing your printer for map printing.
Maps often come in a larger size than regular documents. Hence, it is advisable to choose a printer that can print on a wide range of sheet sizes; it may be even more helpful if the printer is able to print on media rolls as that means it can print out very large maps such as detailed ones of an entire country or continent.
From the plain paper pages of an atlas book to large, glossy ones, maps are printed on numerous media. Therefore, a printer compatible with printing on many different media like plain paper, glossy film, banner paper, etc., would be suitable for printing maps.
The media (along with ink) also determines the durability of the maps against the test of time. For example, Mylar film printing makes the maps fade out for much longer than standard paper.
When it comes to maps, the resolution is something that you cannot compromise if you want maps where you can accurately locate narrow streets, water passages, etc.
Unlike other devices, the resolution of a printer is measured in dots per inch or dpi. The higher the dpi of a printer, the better the picture quality and resolution is. A dpi of 150 may be enough to print out large format printed maps (e.g., 24″ x 36″), whereas 300 dpi is a good fit for smaller ones (e.g., 8.5″ x 11″). Generally speaking, 300 dpi would be ideal for printing most maps.
Onboard Hard Drive
Most printers these days come with this feature, but it is useful to keep an eye out and make sure it is included. On-board hard drive allows for print spooling while also reducing the stress put on your network.
Using regular dyes that are sensitive to UV light sand oxygen is an inconvenience when printing maps. Instead, pigments are preferred as they are scratch-resistant and fade, making them much more durable.
5 Best Printer For Maps Reviews
Many types of printers are easily available on the market: inkjet, laser, dot matrix, and 3D. Plentiful brands produce these printers like Canon, HP, Brother, etc. As a result, it is easy to become drowned in confusion over which one to buy.
Well, today is your lucky day! Because we are going to suggest a few printers which you can check out to buy for printing maps.
1. Canon imagePROGRAF TM-300
With a maximum printing resolution of 2400 x 1200 dpi, the Canon imagePROGRAF is more than capable of printing high picture quality maps which usually only require a resolution of 300 dpi at most.
It features a printhead consisting of 15,360 nozzles that lay down ink droplets as tiny as 5 picoliters, which gives it high-precision and a line accuracy of ±0.1%. This means that any lines representing narrow streets, rivers, or other features on your maps’ land and water bodies will be precise and in the correct places on the printed paper.
The printer uses Canon’s 5-Color Lucia Inks, which are scratch-resistant pigments and minimize bronzing while also producing vibrant, bright colors on your maps rather than dyes that are sensitive to ultraviolet light and moisture. Unlike dyes, these pigments are ultraviolet and water-resistant and can withstand harsh outdoor conditions; this will give your maps a longer shelf life.
A bundle of software and management tools makes this printer compatible with most devices and operating systems like Apple or Windows, so you can connect the printer to your device and print out the maps directly.
- Uses pigment-based inks that are resistant to UV and moisture
- Maximum printable length of 18m on roll paper,1.6m on cut sheet
- Print media is only plain paper
- No hard drive is available
2. Canon Pixma iX6820
This printer is capable of printing on a large range of paper sizes that include sizes larger than letter and legal-sized paper: 4″ x 6″, 11″ x 17″, 13″ x 19″. This makes it capable of printing on tabloid and super tabloid-size paper. That means you can print out various sizes of maps!
An impressive maximum dpi of 9600 x 2400 and ink droplet size of 1 picoliter deliver high-resolution maps that are refined and detailed. The printer also has good color accuracy, correctly places ink on the paper, and makes well-defined small details so that lines and features highlighted on your maps are precise.
Although the printer supports a 5-color ink system, only the matte black color is pigment-based, whereas the rest –cyan, magenta, yellow, and black – are dye-based inks. Dyes are volatile inks that are water-soluble, which makes them unable to withstand moisture and ultraviolet light. As a result, there is a higher possibility of the maps fading out over time.
On the flip side, the printer has Wi-Fi support and enables mobile printing and printing through Cloud, Airprint, Android, and iOS phones, tablets, etc. So, you can print out your maps from your device of choice.
- Less pricey
- Can print a maximum size of 13 x 19 inches
- Maximum print resolution of 9600 x 2400 dpi
- Color inks are dye-based which are sensitive to moisture and UV light and fade faster
3. HP DesignJet T730
The ability to print on an abundance of media – banner paper, plain paper, glossy film, back print film, glossy photo paper, and high-resolution paper – makes the HP DesignJet a great fit for printing maps. You can print out glossy maps or plain paper ones, whichever you require. The printer also has a maximum printable width of 36″ and can print D/A1-size prints, so you can even easily print out large GIS maps. It is also able to handle roll feed and comes with an automatic cutter that will precisely cut off your map from the paper roll.
The printer’s 2400 x 1200 dpi and accurate plotter will produce well-defined maps. It also has a 4 ink system that gives off vibrant results. This makes it very useful to AEC, GIS, and MCAD professionals who need to print out very detailed maps.
It cuts waste by 50% while maintaining a print speed of 25 sec/page, making it office and environment-friendly. It also allows for mobile printing so that you may conveniently print from your smartphone or tablet directly without the hassle of first sending the files on your computer.
One drawback may be that the printer uses original HP ink cartridges that are dye-based, making them sensitive to moisture, UV light, and other environmental factors. This might reduce the longevity of your maps.
- High maximum dpi of 2400 x 1200
- Accepts roll feed and has automatic cutter
- Utilizes dye-based inks that may fade out over time
4. Canon imagePROGRAF PRO-300
What stands out immediately about this Canon printer is its 10 colors ink system called the LUCIA PRO ink system. This, paired with a maximum printing resolution of 4800 x 2400 dpi, produces high-quality maps with a wide color gamut and detailed gradation. In addition, the ink droplets can be laid at a minimum pitch of 1/4800 inch which further adds to the precision.
The LUCIA PRO inks are pigment-based, so your maps will not be damaged by moisture, ultraviolet light, or any other environmental conditions. These inks are also scratch-resistant, providing an extra layer of protection to your maps, making them durable and not fade away with time.
The printer also utilizes numerous types of media such as plain paper, glossy paper, and photo paper, and a large range of sheet sizes to print on such as A3+, A3, A4, LTR, and Ledger. This way, you can make various sizes of maps. Along with this, it supports both borderless and bordered printing.
Its helpful software allows for soft proofing and hard proofing while also simplifying printing out your maps. In addition, this makes the printer compatible with multiple devices and operating systems.
- 10 colors ink system that produces vibrant results
- Supports both borderless and border printing
- Borderless printing on matte paper sometimes causes errors
- Comparatively slow print speed
5. Epson SureColor P900
The Epson SureColor supports both cut sheets and paper roll up to 17 inches wide as well as borderless printing, so you may print numerous sizes of maps.
It uses the UltraChromePRO10 pigment inks, including six colors, two grays, and a black ink that will be able to produce rich, vivid maps with a wide color gamut. In addition, as the inks are pigment-based, the maps will not fade away and be able to withstand conditions such as humidity and ultraviolet light. There are also separate nozzles for photo and matte black inks, so there will be no hassle.
Another feature of the printer that allows it to print out well-defined, vibrant maps is its print resolution which can be increased to a maximum of 5760 x 1440 dpi. It also has utilizes the 10-channel MicroPiezo AMC printhead, which lays down the print with high speed, precision, and consistency; this will further ensure that your maps will turn out with high quality.
Its compatible devices include smartphones, PC, and laptops, so you can quickly connect the device of your choice and directly print out the maps without the roundabout way of first sending the files to the PC.
- Wide gamut supported by 10 pigment inks
- Automatic switching between photo black and matte black colors
- Extra cost incurred by paper roll adapter
There are some common questions that come to mind when deciding which printer would be best to buy for printing maps. We have answered some questions below.
Which Printer Is Used To Print Maps?
Sometimes, there may arise the need to print out a map. In such situations, you can use inkjet printers like the Canon imagePROGRAF TM-300, which comes with an abundance of software and management tools that make it compatible with multiple devices, including Apple and Windows.
The Epson SureColor P900 is also a great choice as it comes with a wide color gamut of 10 pigment inks that are resistant to fading.
Thermal printers like HP DesignJet T730 won’t disappoint either due to the wide range of media that it is able to print on.
Can You Print Maps?
Just plain paper and a laser or inkjet printer will suffice to print out maps for school assignments or any other purpose at home or work. It will be a simple task to feed the paper into the printer and print your maps just like any other documents.
On the other hand, to print large 40″ x 40″ maps, you may need to use paper roll or synthetic paper, which might be a bit more expensive. You will also need to use a printer that is able to accept such media and is generally used to print maps.
To put it in a nutshell, yes, you can print maps.
How Do I Download Google Maps In High Resolution?
Our good friend, Google, is always there to help us whenever we need it; obviously, maps are not excluded from this list! Simply follow the steps below to download any map:
- Search the address www.google.com/mymaps
- Go to “create a new map”
- You will now need to sign in to your Gmail account. If you don’t have one, you will need to open an account
- Find your required location and zoom in or out accordingly
- Click on the three dots in the top right corner from the left panel, next to “Untitled map” and “Share”
- Click the “print map” command from the menu box that will appear
- Select the size and output
- Click the print button to create a pdf or jpg file
- Save the pdf or jpg file from the browser onto your computer
Maps are used for many purposes: to find places, to create blueprints of spaces used by architects. So even though digital Google Maps and vehicle GPS tracking systems exist, there may still be a long time before paper maps go out of style.
There may arise the need to print maps that will lead you to a search for a printer. In that case, we hope this article will help you find the best printer for maps.