It’s July 4, 2012 – America’s birthday. Many people celebrate by having cookouts with family and friends or taking a vacation. July 4 is the peak of summertime travel. In an earlier post, “GPS versus Paper Maps,” I discussed the future of paper maps.
I personally have a map and a GPS in my car. I usually print directions from the Internet on paper in addition to using my GPS. For some reason, I just feel like it doesn’t know what it’s talking about and that it’s always taking me the wrong way. It’s also kind off-putting that I can’t play my radio very loud otherwise I won’t be able to understand the GPS.
I recently read an article on CBS News’ website titled, “Paper maps: Amid GPS boom, nostalgia finds a place,” in some states, such as Georgia, Pennsylvania, Oklahoma, and Ohio, the printing and demand of paper maps has decreased. Washington eliminated paper maps altogether. However, in other states, the printing of paper maps has remained consistent or even increased. It’s unclear why it varies from state-to-state.
According to the article, “Charlie Regan, who runs the maps division for National Geographic, said the company has sold more paper map products in the past three years than it has ever sold since launching the division in 1915. He attributed it to customers learning to appreciate good map data — and also noted that sales of international maps have remained consistent, and that sales of recreational hiking maps are on the rise.
“It’s almost like a golden age in mapping. More people than ever before in history are using maps every day,” he said. “For me, that’s fantastic, and it’s an opportunity.’”
Paper maps are not something that my generation grew up with. However, it is something my parents and grandparents generation did. As the baby boomer generation reaches retirement, I wonder if the demand for paper maps will increase. According to the article:
“There’s a universal theme to paper road maps, especially for baby boomers traveling after retirement, said Kevin Nursick, spokesman for Connecticut’s transportation department. Paper maps, he said, offer an experience that dead batteries and unreliable service connections cannot.
“’Simpler times are something everyone yearns for. And maybe looking at a map takes you back,” he said. “The technology is neat, but on a personal level, there’s a sense of nostalgia when you look at the paper map. A lot of people are yearning for simpler times.”
In addition to being practical, paper road maps are also collectible.
According to the article, “what most people agree on is that paper road maps will not go away quietly, like payphones or phonebooks.”
Share your thoughts? Do you think paper road maps will become obsolete? How did you travel this July 4, 2012 – with a paper map, GPS, or both?
- Papers maps endure despite GPS boom (seattletimes.nwsource.com)