ROAD was founded in February 1994.
Although a country relying on tourism, with millions of visitors each year from every corner of the planet, Greece was essentially an uncharted country as no accurate maps or up to date travel guides providing objective information were available commercially to Greek and foreign travellers. The only maps available then, which also carried a great many limitations as to their commercial availability and were severely lacking in information of interest to travelers (such as distances, gas stations, the names of beaches, names in English, etc.) in addition to exhibiting important gaps in the updating of the road network, were the maps of the Hellenic Military Geographic Service.
As far as travel guides for Greece, the only reliable ones in these sense that they provided objective information without embellishments, were those published by foreign publishing houses, written by foreigners for foreigners. Their great disadvantage was that their writers were themselves visitors to the country they were describing and, therefore, unable to delve deeper than what was visible to the naked eye, touristy and obvious. ROAD was founded specifically to cover the significant gap in precision map and travel guide availability existing at the time. This was and remains its exclusive business.
ROAD maps are high technology products that require a high level of know how. The creation of a map requires specialised and technologically advanced equipment as well as specialised knowledge, but the most important element of map creation is exhaustive onsite research. To accurately mark a road on a map, a cartographer must make an on the spot survey, equipped with the appropriate equipment. Someone has to do onsite research and ask the locals to learn the name of a remote beach, a country church or a castle. This is exactly how ROAD creates each of its maps and the way we go about it is what distinguishes us from any other Greek cartography company.
ROAD spends considerable funds and time on onsite research undertaken by its full time cartographers. This is why ROAD's maps provide you with the most comprehensive road network of the areas covered.
FEATURES OF THE ROAD MAPS
The most complete mapping of road networks
ROAD's cartographers survey the road networks using technologically advanced equipment and careful, exhaustive field research. This simple yet exhausting, time consuming and expensive procedure is what distinguishes ROAD maps from all other maps distributed in Greece, by Greek or foreign publishers. Most publishers follow the simple solution of copying and collating data from other maps in circulation and do not spend the time or take on the expense of creating maps from scratch. ROAD is a worldwide pioneer in the cartography of Greece, thanks mainly to the hundreds of thousands of kilometres of onsite surveys realised to date - an ongoing project in light of the publication of new titles and the continual updating of the already existing maps.
Of course, the roads are endless, while new ones are continuously being constructed. Since the map is an image of reality made to scale, some information considered to be of secondary importance will be omitted in this "shrinking" process. Therefore, certain immaterial unsurfaced roads will naturally be left out of even of the most detailed ROAD maps (as they should be), so as to avoid "crowding" of the map. This is, however, a conscious choice made by the company, which aims to retain the user friendly and practical character of the maps. When we say immaterial, we certainly do not mean dead ends or rugged unsurfaced roads, as these too are important from certain viewpoints. We do mean certain secondary unsurfaced roads that are of no use to the reader or the user of the map and whose omission creates no problems.
Geophysical Background from the Hellenic Military Geographic Service
The road network mapped and all geographic data collected by ROAD through its onsite research is printed on an accurate geophysical background, purchased from the Hellenic Military Geographic Service and then further processed with the addition of colour and the highlighting of contour lines, so as to render it more user friendly. You are, therefore, able to see all roads placed in a "natural environment" where all rivers, waterfalls, gorges, coastlines, mountain peaks and their altitudes are clearly and precisely charted as are all mountains with contour lines that "outline" their volume and shape. Therefore, each ROAD map presents a clear, easy to read and handy "image" of the region you are visiting, revealing the sights and roads leading to them.
Easy to use and read
On no other map will you encounter such true colours, easy to read symbols and fonts or such careful placement of information! The roads - even secondary unsurfaced roads - are visible at a glance, as are the villages and cities, gas stations, tire repair shops and toll posts. The distances in kilometres are concise and useful, divided into detailed and total distances. You will be able to read and use the ROAD maps easily and effortlessly, even with little light aboard a moving vehicle. Moreover, they are folded in the most practical way there is, allowing easy opening and closing of the map.
A wealth of information
In addition to roads, ROAD maps also provide a plethora of other information in the same precise manner, such as country churches (with their names, on our detailed maps), beaches (also with their names on our detailed maps), castles, monasteries, archaeological sites, ports, lighthouses, airports, camping grounds, mountain refuges, ski centres, gas stations, tire repair shops and much more. Notice also the green shading with which we highlight certain roads on our maps: these are scenic routes that offer an enjoyable drive through exquisitely beautiful landscapes. All this information is also gathered through the onsite research of ROAD's cartographers.
In addition to the thorough charting of the road network and other information contained in ROAD maps, another element that distinguishes us from our competitors is charting accuracy. This is not always evident at first glance. It is however easily discernable during a trip, especially if you have GPS equipment or elementary map reading and map relief interpretation skills. In any case, an inaccurate map or one with major omissions will most certainly confuse and aggravate its user, perhaps even expose them to danger. To get lost in a mountain at night time because the map is inaccurate, does not correctly show intersections, etc. is a very unpleasant experience. So, to be sure you're travelling by the best map, trust the quality of the pioneer and opt for ROAD.
All ROAD maps are protected by a hard cover that protects them from wear and "holds" them correctly in place when placed on a bookshelf or in your glove compartment. The hard cover also allows binding (with glue or staples) of the insert containing the alphabetical directory of villages, cities, archaeological sites, or tourist information, as the case may be.
The "third generation" of ROAD maps, which will gradually replace all ROAD titles over the next two years, is printed on special waterproofed paper, which is particularly resistant to wear and heavy use.
A map is an image of a fluid reality and ever-changing scenery. New roads are opened, unsurfaced roads get surfaced, names change, ports and airports are built, and new national roads are continually being released to the public. ROAD prints it maps in short runs so as to quickly sell out each edition and publish new updated editions in its place. Before each republication, ROAD's cartographers check the area for any changes. They are assisted in this task by travellers and locals, and the information they send us regarding any changes they detect on the road network.
Excellent print quality
The large maps published by ROAD (dimensions of over 100 x 70 cm) are printed by a leading printer in northern Italy, specialised in the printing and folding of maps. Maps that are less than 100 x 70 cm are printed on the new ELEFTHEROTYPIA (leading daily newspaper) presses, on one of the best printing machines available in Greece, the KBA RAPIDA 105.