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Thread: A loss of paper maps?

  1. #1
    Cyburbian Richmond Jake's avatar
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    A loss of paper maps?

    This is sad. I enjoy map reading during family vacations. Another victim of technology. But is it for the better?
    Guess I better go to CSAA and get some of those great local area maps (the wine country maps are wonderful).

    Auto club's paper map unit nears end of road

    The California State Automobile Association produced its first road map in 1909. It showed major highways in California and Nevada, and was sent free to all members.

    Ninety-nine years later, San Francisco's CSAA is set to produce its last paper map, another victim of the shift to digital technology.

    The auto club, which serves Northern California, Nevada and Utah, is phasing out its 12-person cartographic unit by year-end, the association said.

    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/articl...BUOE10S5V4.DTL
    Annoyingly insensitive

  2. #2
    Cyburbian ofos's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by RichmondJake View post
    This is sad. I enjoy map reading during family vacations. Another victim of technology. But is it for the better?
    Guess I better go to CSAA and get some of those great local area maps (the wine country maps are wonderful).
    I've always been attracted to maps. Probably one of the reasons for becoming a geographer by education. Part of that education was learning to draw maps the old fashioned way with a crow quill pen and a sometimes steady hand. There's an elegance to hand drawn maps that just doesn't translate to electronic rendering. They are functional art at it's best. There's no doubt that GPS and electronic maps are much more accurate but they dumb down the user. As in the other thread about potential impacts of fossil fuel shortages, don't get caught out in the woods with your GPS and no way to keep it charged. Don't count on those satellites being up there forever to show you your ground location either.
    “Death comes when memories of the past exceed the vision for the future.”

  3. #3
    Cyburbian Zoning Goddess's avatar
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    Is that AAA or somebody else?? AAA can't just quit making maps. There is a whole old people generation ahead of us who wants maps. Oh wait, I still order a bunch of maps from SE US AAA.

  4. #4
    Super Moderator kjel's avatar
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    I like paper maps. I get the free ones at the welcome centers at the state borders.
    "He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?" Jeremiah 22:16

  5. #5
    Cyburbian illinoisplanner's avatar
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    I'm still a loyal patron of Rand McNally. I look forward to their new street guides and road atlases every year like a 6 year old child looks forward to Christmas.

    I also have a collection of over 200 road maps.

    I love maps. And it saddens me when I hear of map companies doing bad and not making maps anymore.
    "Life's a journey, not a destination"
    -Steven Tyler

  6. #6
    Cyburbian WSU MUP Student's avatar
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    I cannot see paper maps disappearing entirely any time soon. As mentioned above, what will those with GPS systems do without a reliable way to charge them?

    Personally, when traveling, I would much rather be able to stop and unfold a map to see not just the immediate area that I am in but all of the surroundings. This seems like it would be next to impossible to do with a GPS system. Additionally, I think paper maps allow the maker to put more information on to it without having to worry about storage capacities or processing speeds.

    Maybe its the Marine Corps School of Infantry land navigation instructor in me, but I would rather be out somewhere hiking or on my bicycle with a good map and my wrist watch than to be stuck out there with just a GPS unit.
    "Where free unions and collective bargaining are forbidden, freedom is lost." - 1980 Republican presidential candidate Ronald Reagan

  7. #7
    Super Moderator kjel's avatar
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    I also like paper maps because the GPS units are often unreliable in the great state of NJ and more often than not lose signal in NYC due to the tall buildings. Besides there have been a couple of times that I have given a road map away to a person who needed it more than me.
    "He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?" Jeremiah 22:16

  8. #8
    I've always been a map geek. I love planning out trips and seeing the place on the map and how to get there. I love riding shotgun and following the jouney on the map. I've found mapquest, gps to have flaws whereas a good old paper map is pretty reliable. We aare also in a profession that is map intensive. We are always looking a zoning maps, road maps, etc.
    When did I go from Luke Skywalker to Obi-Wan Kenobi?

  9. #9
    moderator in moderation Suburb Repairman's avatar
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    My previous car had GPS. My current one does not. I am happy.


    I prefer planning my own routes and get irritated at inaccurate GPS because it is difficult for me to see the context and adjust my route. Also, my GPS had a hard time in downtown areas, I guess because the satelite was getting blocked.

    "Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

    - Herman Göring at the Nuremburg trials (thoughts on democracy)

  10. #10
    Cyburbian Plus PlannerGirl's avatar
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    I hate in car GPS, hate hate hate But I think we have been over that

    I get new maps every year from AAA and frequently hop online and order new ones of places Im interested in for the sheer fun of reading the map.

    What I have noticed is less USGS Topo maps in outdoorsy type places, heck I have had a hard time finding them at all in many stores
    "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." Ben Franklin

    Remember this motto to live by: "Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, martini in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming 'WOO- HOO what a ride!'"

  11. #11
    Cyburbian Emeritus Bear Up North's avatar
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    This Bear loves maps. I have a big collection, all types, all sizes, many different locales. When I travel I will grab maps of that locale when I am there, and browse the maps when I return, going over my routes, etc. Map geek all the way.

    I have about 20 of the DeLorme Gazetters, buying a new one or two every six months or so. I still have a big collection of waterproof canoe maps for the Boundary Waters (northern Minnesota). Very handy when I did some portage trips in the BWCA (so many years ago).

    When my uncle passed on I picked-up some older maps of the Toledo area. I also have some great National Forest Service maps, including the Ottawa NF and the Hiawatha NF. I even have a few detailed maps of Middle Earth. (Onward to Mordor!)

    And of course, maps of the world's largest hand-drawn fictional city.

    Love 'dem maps.

    Bear
    Occupy Cyburbia!

  12. #12
    Cyburbian Plus JNA's avatar
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    Among the best paper maps are from National Geographic and National Park Service.

    My internship with CO State Parks was to produce paper maps of urban trails.
    Oddball
    Why don't you knock it off with them negative waves?
    Why don't you dig how beautiful it is out here?
    Why don't you say something righteous and hopeful for a change?
    From Kelly's Heroes (1970)


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    No. Just some parts wake up faster than others.
    Broke parts take a little longer, though.
    From Electric Horseman (1979)

  13. #13
    Cyburbian otterpop's avatar
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    I have a box of road and tourist maps I keep in the basement. I keep a DeLorme and a couple maps of Montana and neighboring states in a bag in my car.

    But I do use Google Map and MSN Maps & Directions a lot, especially when I want direct directions to the motel, store, national park, etc. I am headed to on my trip.
    "I am very good at reading women, but I get into trouble for using the Braille method."

    ~ Otterpop ~

  14. #14
    Cyburbian jsk1983's avatar
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    Count me in as another of Cyburbia's map geeks. I've been collecting older maps for the past few years. I've got plenty of Buffalo and its suburbs, including a massive one of suburban Amherst from about 100 years ago. Now that I live in Chicago I've been adding to my collection even more. I also collect transit maps as well, studying them to see how service has generally declined over time.

  15. #15
    Cyburbian Hceux's avatar
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    Count me as a map nerd.

    I remember of a particular project that I gave myself to do during one summer holiday when I was in elementary school. With a Rand McNally map and a new (at the time) Almanac that listed all of the Metropolitian Areas in the USA, I figured out which counties were included in the metropolitan areas for various cities listed on this list. I did this without a calculator. Once I figured out all of the counties that are considered as part of a city's metropolitan area, I would highlight the boundaries and label this area as __(city)___ metropolitan area. It was quite fun!

    This project didn't work so well for some of the states in New England. (Does anyone know why?! I was never able to answer this myself.)

    Anyways, I had to share this story to claim that I'm actually a map nerd.

  16. #16
    Cyburbian Zoning Goddess's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Bear Up North View post
    I have about 20 of the DeLorme Gazetters, buying a new one or two every six months or so.
    Bear
    I buy the DeLorme maps for FL just cuz they are more accurate than anyone else, and show all the back roads. But sheesh, the last edition came out 5 years ago! I also order AAA maps and like kjel, pick them up at welcome centers. And order them from tourist bureaus. I am so anal about not getting lost.

    I first used a GPS when RJ and I went to NOLA a couple months ago. I am real, real, bad at driving into new places, like the worst one I can think of, the French Quarter on a Sat afternoon. OK, maybe NYC or a few other big cities would be worse. But the GPS got us right to our inn. Got us out of town easily, too.

  17. #17
    Cyburbian Richmond Jake's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by JNA View post
    Among the best paper maps are from National Geographic .....
    Sure wish I had all the maps that came with NG. Mom and dad were long time subscribers. (I liked looking at all the boobies in NG, too. )
    Annoyingly insensitive

  18. #18
    Cyburbian
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    I can't believe how many people are surprised when they find that I use paper maps instead of GPS, and that I plan my own routes.

  19. #19
    Cyburbian Plus JNA's avatar
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    And don't forget the famous miss south carolina answer:

    some people out there in our nation don't have maps
    Oddball
    Why don't you knock it off with them negative waves?
    Why don't you dig how beautiful it is out here?
    Why don't you say something righteous and hopeful for a change?
    From Kelly's Heroes (1970)


    Are you sure you're not hurt ?
    No. Just some parts wake up faster than others.
    Broke parts take a little longer, though.
    From Electric Horseman (1979)

  20. #20
    I will miss maps! Tho I love GPS.

    What will we all keep in our glove compartments? What will we ponder when we can't ponder the fact that where ever you want to go, it is on a fold of the map? How will we be able to comparre current streets to street layouts 20 years ago in growing areas?

    Sad sad

  21. #21
    Cyburbian rcgplanner's avatar
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    This is very sad news for another fellow map-geek. I have always loved maps. I remember always tracing the route in the road atlas during family road trips. It seems like from my limited knowledge of in -car GPS systems they are garbage and make people lazy. I interned at a place where one of my co-workers used her GPS to go to lunch at a place we all went at least once a week. It was less than 5 miles from the office.

    Reminds me of a great scene from The Office, where Michael and Dwight end up driving into a lake b/c they listened to the GPS. A bit exaggerated but still funny.

  22. #22
    Cyburbian
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    The wife and I just took our honeymoon to Costa Rica and rented a car. We had several maps, a GPS and our own considerable combined navigational intellect. There were times where all three of us were wrong and generally but not always, when our instinct conflicted with the maps and GPS, we were right. If we didn't have the maps or the GPS, we might still be there.

    I too, am a map lover and have a collection of maps from all the places in the world I've been. I also spend money on antique maps. I do it for the enjoyment of the "art," not the investment but there is that small part of me that sees them as possible retirement income, along with the lottery.

  23. #23
    Cyburbian Fat Cat's avatar
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    Fat Cat

    I noted that Amazon still lists the Rand McNally Atlas in its top four non fiction in my latest e-mail.
    I still prefer the paper maps because of detours traffic accidents and other unexpected occurances that may require you to take a diffent route, Not to mention we will notice something on a map that attracts our interest and we take that diffent route just to explore,.
    I am lucky that I am married to my soul mate who feels the same as me, Take the time and go look at it, maybe it is just a different route that will take you by something scenic or just go on the local by way and visit a different area,
    Our daily lives have enough structure that when you are on your own it is relaxing to do non structured things which paper maps help you to do.

  24. #24
    Cyburbian dandy_warhol's avatar
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    this weekend we were in Baltimore and went to the Walters Art Museum where we saw the Maps: Find Our Place in the World exhibition. it was great! i'm glad i attended. there were maps ranging from BC clay tablets of Rome to current digital representations of the Civil War. it is only in Baltimore for a few more days but if you are in the area i highly recommend that you attend!
    In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends. -Martin Luther King Jr.

  25. #25
    Cyburbian TexanOkie's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Gotta Speakup View post
    ...I love GPS.
    I like the old school GPS units we had in the geography department at OU that only told us our coordinates (on many various coordinate planes).

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