Our History


In anticipation of the coming Electronic Logging Device mandate for professional drivers, Rand McNally launches a small, low-priced HD 100 device that pairs with Rand McNally’s TND™ 720 to create an electronic logging solution.


In partnership with Good Sam, the largest organization of RV owners, Rand McNally launches a branded RV GPS, printed Road Atlas, and online Trip Planner to the RVing market. Also, for the outdoor market, the Foris™ 850 handheld GPS device is launched for hikers, bikers and geocachers.


As the revered print Road Atlas celebrates its 90th edition, Rand McNally launches iPad app and eBook versions.


The second Best of the Road® competition is featured in a Travel Channel special.


In partnership with USA Today, Rand McNally launches the Best of the Road® competition in search of the best small towns across the country.


Leveraging its TruckPC technology, Rand McNally revolutionizes mobile fleet management by releasing the TND™ 760, the first single box, single cable in-cab device priced below $800. With the launch, Rand McNally immediately becomes a top-tier player in the market.


Rand McNally becomes the first company to launch a GPS device designed specifically for RVers.


Rand McNally enters the mobile fleet management segment of the commercial transportation market with the launch of TruckPC.


IntelliRoute® TND™ 500, the first GPS device built from the ground up for truckers with integrated business tools, launches using proprietary truck data. It becomes the market leader and standard for truck-attributed devices.


Rand McNally launches MileMaker® Global software for the commercial transportation market, taking the industry standard worldwide.


Rand McNally launches Rand McNally Classroom, an interactive subscription service for schools.


Rand McNally celebrates its 150th birthday.


Time® magazine names randmcnally.com as one of its "50 Best Websites."


The company releases Mobile Travel Tools®, a full-color, richly rendered maps-and-directions application for wireless phones.


Rand McNally launches a new site: trucking.randmcnally.com, a repository of i nformation for the commercial transportation market.


Rand McNally launches a Road Atlas on an expansion card, making the Road Atlas available on Palm® OS handhelds.


The randmcnally.com website is revamped with personalized trip planning and an enhanced online Travel Store with more than 4,500 products.


Rand McNally acquires Thomas Bros. Maps®, the mapping standard in California and the west coast


Rand McNally introduces a new software program for commercial trucking called IntelliRoute® and featuring the most advanced trucking database in North America


The Rand McNally Travel Store, the world's most comprehensive online travel store, is launched on the company website


The company's website, randmcnally.com is launched, offering up-to-date information on road construction and weather, online reservations, shopping, and other services


Building on the success of TripMaker®, the company introduces StreetFinder® street navigation software


The company develops and patents EasyFinder® laminated maps that are easy to unfold and refold


Rand McNally introduces TripMaker® software for travel planning on personal computers. It becomes a market leader and wins a host of awards


Rand McNally acquires Allmaps Canada Limited, a leading producer of consumer and business-to-business maps and atlases


The Road Atlas becomes the first Rand McNally product created using an all-digital method


Rand McNally acquires the assets of Denoyer-Geppert Company, a leading school map and globe publisher.


Rand McNally acquires a small company called Transportation Data Management (TDM). TDM marries Rand McNally's enormous map database to an electronic system for delivery of routing and mileage information to the trucking industries.


Thomas Bros. Maps relocates to Irvine, California.


Andrew McNally IV succeeds his father as president.


The first edition of The New International Atlas is published by a historic cooperative project of an international group of mapmaking firms led by Rand McNally; the atlas includes maps utilizing the Robinson Projection, created for Rand McNally by renowned cartography professor Arthur H. Robinson.


Rand McNally's Book Manufacturing Division automates the process by which thumb indexes are cut and labeled for dictionaries and encyclopedias.


The first full-color Rand McNally Road Atlas premieres.


Rand McNally revolutionizes the industry by becoming the first commercial mapmaker to adopt the scribing process to make maps. The ticket division produces the first pressure-sensitive railroad and airline tickets, which eliminate messy carbon copies.


Having outgrown its Chicago offices, the company moves its corporate headquarters to Skokie, Illinois.


Andrew McNally III becomes company president.


Rand McNally takes a chance on a little known, maverick Norwegian scientist named Thor Heyerdahl and publishes his book Kon-Tiki; it becomes a best-seller around the world.


Rand McNally creates a new carbonized ticket book that eliminates the bulky accordion-fold airline and train tickets.


Within 24 hours of Germany's invasion of Poland in 1939, stores across the United States sell out of Rand McNally's map of Europe.


Rand McNally opens its first Map & Travel Store in New York City.


Andrew McNally II becomes company president.


Noted aviator Charles Lindbergh uses Rand McNally railroad maps for navigation over land during his historic flight across the Atlantic Ocean.


On April 15, the Rand McNally Auto Chum is published; it is the first edition of what will become the best-selling Rand McNally Road Atlas.


Rand McNally publishes the first edition of Goode's World Atlas (named after its first editor, Dr. J. Paul Goode); it becomes the standard geography text for high schools and colleges and continues today.


On a map of Peoria, Illinois, the company debuts a new highway numbering system that will become the model for the system used across the United States today.


The Real Mother Goose, which became one of the all-time best-selling children's books in the United States, is published.


Thomas Bros. Maps is founded in Oakland, California. Their distinctive page-and-grid system will help to make Thomas Guides® the "bible" for drivers on the West Coast.


Rand McNally assumes publication from G.S. Chapin of the Photo-Auto Guides, which combine maps and photos with overlaid arrows to indicate correct turns; Andrew McNally II (grandson of the original Andrew McNally) personally takes the pictures for the Chicago-to-Milwaukee edition while on his honeymoon!


Rand McNally's first automobile road map, New Automobile Road Map of New York City & Vicinity, is published.


William Rand leaves the company to pursue other interests; Andrew McNally becomes President and his family runs the business for the next century.


The company ventures into educational publishing, offering a line of globes, maps, and geography textbooks.


Rand McNally is incorporated with William Rand as president and Andrew McNally as vice president.


The first-ever Rand McNally map appears in the December 1872 issue of the Railway Guide; Rand McNally uses a new wax engraving method, which significantly reduces the cost of printing maps.


As the Great Chicago Fire races through the city, Rand and McNally rescue two ticket printing machines by burying them in the sand! Three days later, the machines are up and running in rented space.


Rand McNally expands from printing into publishing with the introduction of business directories, railroad guides, and an illustrated newspaper.


The first railroad guide, the Western Railway Guide, is published.


Andrew McNally and William Rand begin their partnership and establish Rand McNally & Company; they take over the Chicago Tribune's printing shop and agree to print tickets and timetables to serve Chicago's booming railroads, which are the nation's premier railroad hub.


Irish immigrant Andrew McNally takes a job in Rand's printing shop for $9 a week.


William Rand opens a small printing shop in Chicago's Loop, forming the precursor of Rand McNally.