Growing up in a mid-west farming community through the 70's and leaving for the military in the mid-80's; one of my hobbies was collecting maps. It didn't matter what it was for, a state, a country, city, state park, or counties and even lakes. Then, working in Technology in the military, and then ever since, I've had a few GPS units and have noticed that the more I use them, the less I actually know of the areas that I travel to.
My wife isn't too interested in technology, but she knows that the more I use technology, the less I "need" to have a collection sitting around taking up space. Because of my upbringing, I still have a hard time letting go of some of my old paper maps, but for the most part, now I do try to replace my paper with digital formatted maps. Most of the maps I had collected as a child can be found online, so my collection of physical maps has really shrunk. One of these days, I might get rid of the few maps I have left. (naaahhh) To me - I still am fascinated by the amount of data and maps that can be found to eliminate / reduce paper.
Hello, my name is ________, and I am a recovering map-aholic...
Hello Airbrushed, my name is Doog_Poo pand I am also a recovering map-aholic. Do yourself a favor and throw away the paper. I did years ago. Make your wife and the green freeks happy and save a tree.
I carry my large book of maps for the State of New York in my car. It gives me the big picture of where things are in relationship to each other and I like that. I also keep maps of New Jersey and Pennsylvania for the same reason. Then I have a large fold-out map with a 75-mile radius of New York City. Then I have a large fold-out street map of New York City. I love maps. I also love my GARMIN 650 and use it all the time. My maps and my GARMIN perform different functions for me. I cannot study my 4.3-inch screen the same way I can study a map.
I always have an Ohio map in my Bus and my Truck.
The GPS is great but to look at another route I may want to check a map..to see the Big picture. If I could always take along my Laptop I wouldst keep them but a map is still great when someone calls and asks me how to get somewhere.
Hi I was also into paper maps and would study them before a trip to make sure I don't miss a turnoff. I became convinced to throw away the paper when I saw some poor folks at night at the side of the road with car interior lights on trying to figure out where they are and presumably where they were going. The beauty of the GPS is that it re-directs you if you screw up and you get to where you want to go regardless. Try that with paper. Time for garage sale IMO unless they are antiques and valuable!
My prescription for having fun when I am away on holiday in rural upstate New York is to sit at the kitchen table and plan little day trips by examining large-scale maps of the area. I have no intention of squinting at them in the car; I have my GARMIN 650 for navigating from point to point; my roadmaps perform a different mission.
And then there are the joys of topographical maps. I also use my GARMIN for "going walkabout" (see Australian dictionary) but it can be useful to see a document with contour lines.
Paper maps, will go obsolete, just a matter of time before they are over taken by digital maps.
Just like film
They are great to keep in the car just incase the rest stop has run out of t p
I also have a multi year collection of maps. Hard to throw them away. They are much nicer than the GPS, but if you want ease nothing beats the GPS.
The maps that I still have paper of are ones that I will study from time to time. I also have some of the DeLorme Topo series books, which I like to take with me on trips to see the big picture.
Using software on the computer is ok, but sometimes, I like a bigger picture (could be my eyes.)
I tend to rely on a GPS most of the time now when travelling, but pouring over maps before the trip does give me help in understanding the area better. Especially for some of the towns where there doesn't seem to be any straight roads and they all loop around connecting and turning about.
I have used laptop GPS, two Nuvis, and we still take a paper map atlas when we travel. With a paper map for the "big picture", I can cover more distance in an eye-blink than I could in 5 minutes of scrolling and zooming with the laptop or Nuvi. Even with a 15-inch laptop screen, the resolution is not as high as a paper map for that high altitude overview of a large area.
But the map gets put away before the car goes in gear. There is nothing better than traveling with GPS. If I had to give one up, it would of course be the paper.
I still have a paper map of the state and surrounding areas, just to double check and make sure the gps has the right idea...but I am finding that I check less often than at first. The joy of my gps is changing on the go with out having to study and also finding repair shops, stores or food as the need arises without guessing. Being able to call ahead and see if they have the part has been a life saver as well.
Another thought I have in my mind is that someday a satelite may fall from the sky... and then what...
Then you have a useless toy to use as a paper weight or to set in a drawer and gather dust. I have that problem with vidio camera's. I still carry an atlas even though I use both the 660 and MS Streets and Trips. The magellan lays home gathering dust.
Inside the Government's Backup Plan for GPS Failure
Glad to see that somebody is thinking ahead to a war scenario vs. the Chinese. It's a safe bet in any military conflict with them that our GPS satellites will be targeted early on; instead of getting into a losing race to launch new satellites faster than the Chinese can knock them down, why not have a proven, terrestrial back-up (at least for navigational purposes)?
Satellite-based navigation has become a ubiquitous tool for business, military and personal use. The downside is that any disruption in the Global Positioning System could wreak havoc down on Earth.
This year, the Department of Homeland Security decided that a 30-year-old navigation system used by mariners will be upgraded to back up GPS. The decision preserves the Long-Range Aids to Navigation (LORAN) network, which has been teetering on the verge of forced retirement since the 1980s, according to the Coast Guard’s Navigation Center.
The backbone of LORAN is a network of transmission stations, many located in remote regions, staffed with Coast Guard personnel, and equipped with antennas as tall as 900 ft.
The 2009 DHS budget allocates $34.5 million for the Coast Guard to start upgrading the LORAN system with modern electronics and solid-state transmitters. Users of the enhanced system, called eLORAN, will acquire and track signals from ground stations in much the same way they triangulate signals from multiple satellite feeds.
I carry an atlas as well as my 660. I don't feel that my GPS gives me ideas for a trip, because I can't see "the big picture", but the atlas does. Once I've decided where I'd like to go, then I can use my 660 to help get me there. I'm not sure that any GPS will entirely replace a map, paper or otherwise. While on vacations, I always have my laptop with "Street Atlas" loaded. I find it better than my paper atlas for allowing me to see things in proper perspective.
I like keeping some paper maps such as a Thomas Guide in the truck just in case the GPS stops working and I am in the middle of somewhere I do not know.
With the recent flooding of the Wisconsin River the last few weeks knocking out most of the highways in the state, I had to turn to my paper maps to figure out a route that crossed the river but wasn't actually closed---which Emily my C340, for all her merits, could never have done for me. Finally found one that wasn't closed though the water was lapping up onto the pavement. If it hadn't been to take my mom for medical treatment I would have stayed hom but I really had no choice. I was glad I still had the paper map---though to be honest it was the first time I'd looked at it in well over a year.
I'm a former submariner and well versed in navigation, map usage etc.
My perspective is that for getting around and finding the things you need to find, if you are willing to spend the $$$$, then electronics will do the job. The Navy still maintains the "manual" plotting and navigation techniques, but nothing beats the data you get from real time updates from GPS.
On the other hand you can't beat a paper map for seeing the "big picture" unless you have a 27" or better display in your mobile land yacht.
Also, from a historical perspective, keeping some paper maps is not a bad idea. I don't know what the market will be for a 1960's vintage New Jersey Turnpike map, but you never know . . . and if it interests you or brings back memories, isn't that the point?
...that paper maps have been relegated to:
1) being a backup to the GPS receivers in case they fail (lose the power cord, battery dies, display failure, major electronic breakdown, etc.)
2) seeing the "big picture", which to me, is simply a comfort thing to ease my mind, but is not necessary to get where I'm going if I had the GPSr.
This is for women only, but the third back-up plan is ask for directions!
I've had a few GPS units and have noticed that the more I use them, the less I actually know of the areas that I travel to.
That is so true. I travel a lot in the Baltimore/Washington area. Back in the day of ADC, I could get around both cities without problem. A couple of years with GPS has decreased my traveling memory. Instead of thinking about were I am going, I just mindlessly sit there awaiting my next direction...turn left ahead...
I love that term!
I've been interested in maps for a very long time. As a pilot I've been interested in where I could go. As a business traveler I've been interested in getting to that new location. I worked in a state-run census processing agency and found many fascinating uses for maps.
I've found maps to give me clues for my genealogy interests. Roads are important but when did they get built? When were they upgraded? Paved? Removed?
GPS is in it's infancy. Computer maps are a big sister. Surveying long recorded our history on paper, papyrus or other media. I enjoy them all.
Hello, my name is ______________, and I, too, am an active map-aholic...
Nothing like the feeling of getting that fold right before putting it away!
I have some maps that are pre-Interstate system that are fun to look at (nothing pre-horse n buggy though).
Global travel still requires paper as far as I'm concerned, and as others have mentioned, sitting down to plan a trip is funner with a big fold-out map of possible destinations. The big picture is there for others to look over your shoulder and add their input.
I think the paper map may be obsoleted by something along the lines of Microsoft's Surface® that would allow zooming and panning of "packaged" map files within a very portable device. (IMHO)
I use Mapsource in place of paper maps for planning my trips. I can't SEE the dang paper maps well enough to keep from being utterly frustrated. Figuring routes, etc. on a paper map while having to use glasses and a magnifying glass just irks me way too much.
I just plotted out a route last night from Chico, CA to Belgrade, MT. I've made the same trip several times but like to take a different route there each trip so we can see different places along the way. Mapsource is my friend for routes.
Nothing like the feeling of getting that fold right before putting it away!
There's also nothing like the feeling of frustration at ripping the map at the folds at exactly the place you need to see.
I actually leave a paper map in the car. I've experienced a off detour route..due to flooding in the midwest and the paper map had all the small streets and off-roads...something the GPS couldn't come close to.
Air, thanks for posting this. Now I'll remember to bring the map when I go on vacation tomorrow AM! I would have completely forgotten about it.
I still like to sit down with a cup of coffee and study the map early in morning before going on any sort of trip. While the GPS is a wonder-device, the paper map still has its place.
I use my garmin when travelling, but find that a paper map is a good backup. There are errors in the Navtech files that Garmin uses that can get you in real trouble (ie lost). Someday, maybe the GPS maps will be accurate enough to replace the paper maps totally, but not yet.
I still prefer to do my browsing with paper for the big picture. I also have a big interest in history and enjoy the artistry of some of the older maps.
There was an article in the Atlanta newspaper a few weeks ago offering several thousand dollars (more than enough to buy a new Garmin) for a map showing Terminus (the original 1840's name of Atlanta).
I still have paper maps in the backseat pockets. I haven't used them since getting a Nuvi 350.
Although I'm taking both of my GPS units with me to Montana in a couple of weeks and they both have my pre-determined route on them, I wouldn't be at all surprised if my wife took along a map. She's like that. She does her planning on the map and then tells me what she's thinking of. If I could see the darn thing I might do that as well.
Why throw them out? They are a part of history, just like an old book. Technology is great, but there is something to be said about the tangible feel of paper and the "human" factor!
I haven't even looked at a paper map in years.
I recycled all my paper maps and now just use Sam. Plus, no more trips to CAA!
Haven't done away with the paper maps yet, I keep them as a backup in case my 660 stops working. I'm also a bit of a pack rat when it comes to having collections of roadmaps.
I keep a Thomas Guide as well as the Gazeteers in the car. I once got lost using my Street Pilot C340 as for some reason it had a rural address located about half a mile away from where it actually was and on a different street. And even though I am a guy, I called the client and asked for directions.
I also am a map-aholic in the historic sense. I have some beautiful pre-interstate maps of OR and WA.
My wife told me the other day that we needed a road atlas so that she can see how far away things are.
I also think they are a great historical source. When roads vanish due to new construction, road re-alignments, etc, you know what used to be there and what the area once looked like. When the electronic mapping companies update our software, they are lost...
A nice article on how GPS works.
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