Paper Maps and Why We Should Keep On Using Them

I've already listened to too many stories of gruesome experiences people have had while navigating (read: being navigated by) an electronic GPS.

Perhaps you've even had a like-experience yourself - a journey that was less than ideal as you wheeled yourself through unfamiliar territory, straining with bated breath for the next instruction from a robot voice.  

I know the feeling inside out.

It can be difficult enough just getting around, let alone adding the stress of waiting to hear what you should have done half a kilometer back.

I'm writing this as a reminder that these sorts of experiences are optional. 

Paper maps still exist. 

They may be difficult to find on a whim, several gas stations have stopped stocking them because demand is down, but they are out there and the more we use them, the longer they'll be with us. 

This is why I think we should continue to refer to maps in print:

1. Paper maps require that we continue to use our brains to make our own decisions with regards to where we'll go in a given environment.

2. The image of the surrounding area is presented in detail, so one is aware that the route of choice is one among many. 

3. With paper maps, the person determines which way makes the most sense, based on preferences and needs.

4. As a navigator using paper maps, memory and instinct are engaged.  Excercising memory and instinct keeps these faculties sharp and therefore more trustworthy.