Anyone who loves travel has fond memories of places they’ve been. Scott Lussier, 45, of Bridgewater, has started a business, Passport Maps, putting a place to those memories for his clients, creating maps of destinations that include photos and corresponding legends to points on the maps. Lussier, a professional mapmaker, is also a geographic information systems instructor at Bridgewater State University, and a practitioner in residence in the Suffolk University physics department. We talked to him for this story.
Q. How did this come about?
A. In my senior year in college, I was abroad in London for three months and went all over Europe, catching the travel bug. Ten years later, I was making maps professionally, working for environmental firms. I started doing vacation-memory maps for friends and they liked it, but this was before we had the ability to sell on the Web like we do now. A couple of years ago, I ramped up the whole process.
Q. Who’s buying these maps?
A. People who love to travel, and people buying as gifts for others. When a map is done and framed, it’s a neat gift for the person who has everything, or for yourself, for a great trip you remember. And it’s good for kids — they can remember and review where they’ve been, and it makes them realize that travel is doable.
Q. What do people want on them?
A. I put in places that mean something to them. Say they were in Hawaii and saw a rainbow somewhere, or someone famous, or ate at a great restaurant. I put those points on the map, with legends describing their memories, and photos. I try to draw it out from them, and ask, “What are you going to want to remember years from now?”
Q. How do people get them, and how much are they?
A. There’s a form at www.passportmaps.com; they drop their points on a map and type in what they want in legends, and can add photos. The maps are usually 13 by 19 inches, on 51-pound, acid-free paper so they don’t fade. The rate is $75 through Sept. 30, then it’s $99.
Q. You still have the travel bug?
A. Absolutely. For years, I made maps of water and power lines, but it’s more fun to map someone’s ski trip to the Alps. I can live vicariously through them and see where I want to go.Paul E. Kandarian can be reached at pkandarian@ aol.com.