Our printed onHaywood.com West Asheville map celebrates 12 years in 2016, which may seem odd in our increasingly digital and mobile computing world.
We actually started out as a web-only mapping of businesses on Haywood Road in 2002. That was before Google maps were in wide use, before smart phones with GPS were in most pockets, before social media allowed you to share your location and tag photos of places. We walked, yes, physically walked, on Haywood Road and noted down each business, took photos and hand coded pop-up boxes on a custom drawn map on our website. It was a labor of love to be sure. Looking back, it is amazing how fast technology and web development tools have sprinted past our very local work towards giving the historic main street of West Asheville an online presence.
In 2004 it became obvious that large companies with resources far greater and teams of coders far smarter were getting ready to change how people accessed information online about businesses and communities and our painstaking way of creating an online directory was a going to be thing of the past. Google Maps came into being in February 2005, and indeed changed the way we all access information. Amazing to think that our online mapping of Haywood Road predated Google Maps!
As Google was changing the internet, we took stock of what was needed specifically to assist Haywood Road business connect with new patrons. It was apparent that a great number of visitors to Asheville as well as locals were still using, in fact searching out, physical maps to plan their activities and West Asheville was not represented.
Being that graphic design is our main business, it made absolute sense to design a printed map to fill this void and bring visitors and new-toWest-Asheville customers to businesses on Haywood Road. So we took the leap, and it was a big one since, unlike the web, there are considerable costs associated with the printing and distribution of physical pieces. Not to mention the static content, yep, crazy talk.
Well, 12+ years later the printed map has grown in size, number of businesses listed and in distribution locations. A few years back we also expanded it to include our close neighbors in the River Arts District. We print on uncoated paper that is responsibly sourced using soy-based inks at local printer Daniels Graphics. We still see it as a labor of love, but now more businesses are partnering with us to make it happen and we are able to invest in content articles and website upgrades. We are grateful for each and every business that has supported this project over the years..
We distribute maps year-round and continue to add distribution locations each year. Currently, the printed onHaywood.com West Asheville map is distributed across North Carolina at all the official NC Visitor Centers and distributed locally at participating businesses, the Asheville Chamber of Commerce Visitor Center where we are the featured brochure for the months of June and October, the Asheville Regional Airport, various area hotels and B&Bs, AAA, the West Asheville Branch Library and various other locations around town.
If you would like maps to distribute at your location, please email Hugh@onhaywood.com. We are also happy to provide maps in quantity for visiting groups and events.