There are tons of people who could very easily argue that city maps printed on paper have become all but obsolete in these day. Certain online sites can give detailed directions to practically any destination on the planet, and many modern vehicles are equipped with GPS devices that are meant to ensure that drivers will never be lost again. Printed maps are still available at many truck stops and convenience stores across the country, but it seems like more and more people are more willing to forego traditional atlases and city maps in favor of modern technology. And yet, there are still times when it is best to have an old fashioned paper map available for use in a car’s glove compartment.
GPS navigation is the wave of the future, this is true. But the technology has been progressing to the point where maps are downloaded much more quickly, and they often are capable of delivering directions to destinations in real time. Free online map services also provide easy-to-read directions to a destination for those who have an internet connection but since lack a GPS system. Still, neither GPS systems or online map services are a perfect solution. GPS devices run on batteries which is an expensive cost. GPS navigation system may get a driver to where he or she needs to be most of the time, but when the batteries die during a long road trip, then what do you do? The fantastic source of up-to-the-minute information that was so convenient, in just moments before is essentially useless. Fortunately, a driver doesn’t have anything to worry about if he or she has a city map to pull out. It won’t give anyone directions in real time, and it also won’t tell anyone if there is road construction happening or any detours that are happening, but it will give the driver directions to get where he or she needs to go. As a navigational backup alone, paper maps can be endlessly useful in all situations.
Many drivers have been spoiled by their GPS systems. GPS devices are amazing tools, but they are far from perfect devices. A GPS map can easily be outdated, in fact some people may not realize this as they are using their GPS tool. Those precise directions that they can give also may steer a driver in the entirely wrong direction. It is true that paper maps printing on paper can never be updated, but the basic layout of road doesn’t change on a day to day basis.
All in all, drivers should not be left a paper city map on hand during long trips. As great as GPS systems can be, sometimes they simply cannot beat a folded up map or atlas when it come to navigation.