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WSJ: Forget Google Maps - Why Paper Map Sales Are Booming

WSJ: Forget Google Maps - Why Paper Map Sales Are Booming

Old Jan 20, 2023, 10:04 am
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WSJ: Forget Google Maps - Why Paper Map Sales Are Booming

https://www.wsj.com/articles/why-pap...hare_permalink

"...The AAA produced 123% more maps in 2022 than in 2021. Enthusiasm for the organization, a representative said, is growing among millennials and members of Generation Z, who account for half of its new members in the last three years....
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Old Jan 26, 2023, 3:48 am
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There are several reasons why paper map sales are booming in recent years. One reason is the increasing popularity of outdoor activities such as hiking, camping, and backpacking. These activities often require the use of a physical map for navigation, rather than relying solely on digital devices. Another reason is that paper maps offer a level of reliability and durability that digital maps do not. They do not require batteries or an internet connection to function, and they are less likely to malfunction or break. Additionally, paper maps can be a more personal and tactile experience. People enjoy the feeling of holding a map, annotating it, and physically turning the pages. Lastly, some people prefer the aesthetic of paper maps over digital maps, and enjoy having them as decorative items.
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Old Jan 27, 2023, 5:22 pm
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I wonder if I can sell my old ones for lots Headed south to California and pulled out a whack of AAA maps from the mid '90s. Major roads thee but robably hopelessly outdated as far as subdivisions go.
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Old Jan 29, 2023, 6:09 pm
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Backcountry Navigator XE is an app you can load on your phone to ensure you have something to navigate with if hiking. Here We Go is an app that allows you to download states or the entire US to your phone so you have offline maps available if you lose cell or wifi service.

But yes, paper maps are still amazing. The hundred or so gas station maps from the 60s and 70s I have in my collection are testament to this.
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Old Jan 31, 2023, 7:07 am
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I'm almost 70 and grew up with paper maps, including the AAA TripTiks. I have zero sense of direction and like to visualize where I am (and I need to turn the map so it's consistent with the direction I'm facing, not necessarily at an angle where the print is right-side up!).

Last May I got lost in Munich- a wonderful city for walking. I do tend to wander in cities like Munich till I get tired or the area looks dicey and then get my bearings and head somewhere else. I had Waze (not really good for walking but highly recommended for driving). I had Apple Maps and Google Maps. One didn't work at all and the other was sending me in circles. I finally pulled out my paper map and ignored the electronics. I walked almost 16 miles that day according to my FitBit. In Dubrovnik I had similar issues with my Apple AirTag when trying to find my way back to my hotel (AirTag was in luggage- a handy tactic).

It took me a few more futile walks to realize what the silly apps were telling me. When the successive messages say, "Turn right on Main street in 0.7 miles", "Turn right on Main Street in 0.8 miles", "Turn right on Main Street in 0.9 miles..." , what they really mean is "Make a U-turn- you're going in the wrong direction!". (I do not always think clearly when frustrated.) I also cannot process directions such as "Proceed East on Main Street". My late husband was excellent at navigating by the sun but I really have to ponder it.

So, yeah, I have a ton of paper maps of various places. Wanna borrow my map of Tirana?
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Last edited by Athena53; Jan 31, 2023 at 8:18 am
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Old Jan 31, 2023, 7:35 am
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I still have my Rand McNally road atlas in the back seat pocket in my car. It might be time to get a new one, though. I plan a lot with Google Maps, but the road atlases are fun for road trips. You can see your route at a much more detailed macro level.

I save all my National Park brochures. The maps in them are much better than anything on my phone. Especially when there is no phone service.
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Old Jan 31, 2023, 12:19 pm
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I LOVE paper maps! When I'm planning an itinerary for a driving trip, I can see what's along the way that I might never have thought to visit. Then after googling the place, I often find it worthwhile to add them to the trip. Have found many memorable places exactly that way, particularly state parks or historic sites. I have current maps for all 50 states - courtesy of AAA membership..
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Old Jan 31, 2023, 3:57 pm
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For back country use I much prefer the 15' topo maps. They give a much larger view of where I am and where I am going compared to the electronic maps, they give a huge amount of info in addition to directions to places and topo lines, and(especially) I can draw lines on them.
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Old Jan 31, 2023, 9:56 pm
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Originally Posted by DenverBrian
Backcountry Navigator XE is an app you can load on your phone to ensure you have something to navigate with if hiking. Here We Go is an app that allows you to download states or the entire US to your phone so you have offline maps available if you lose cell or wifi service.
I use GaiaGPS--downloaded, it doesn't matter that I have no service.

Originally Posted by Athena53
It took me a few more futile walks to realize what the silly apps were telling me. When the successive messages say, "Turn right on Main street in 0.7 miles", "Turn right on Main Street in 0.8 miles", "Turn right on Main Street in 0.9 miles..." , what they really mean is "Make a U-turn- you're going in the wrong direction!". (I do not always think clearly when frustrated.) I also cannot process directions such as "Proceed East on Main Street". My late husband was excellent at navigating by the sun but I really have to ponder it.
It thought you were driving and couldn't make a U-turn so it was trying to take you around the block.

Originally Posted by bitterproffit
I still have my Rand McNally road atlas in the back seat pocket in my car. It might be time to get a new one, though. I plan a lot with Google Maps, but the road atlases are fun for road trips. You can see your route at a much more detailed macro level.
Yes, this is the real merit of paper maps--you can see so much more than you can with an electronic map. Useful for planning, but I find the map on the phone far better in the field.

I save all my National Park brochures. The maps in them are much better than anything on my phone. Especially when there is no phone service.
The National Park maps are nothing compared to a good topo. They are nice for listing trails.

Originally Posted by pgary
For back country use I much prefer the 15' topo maps. They give a much larger view of where I am and where I am going compared to the electronic maps, they give a huge amount of info in addition to directions to places and topo lines, and(especially) I can draw lines on them.
What do you mean by 15'?
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Old Feb 1, 2023, 4:08 am
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15 minutes of latitude and longitude in each quadrangle, using the traditional nomenclature system of degrees (°), minutes ('), and seconds (").

I love the 15' USGS topographical maps (topos). What I often do is carefully cut out the map itself, without the white margins, into four quarters, pasting them onto unbleached muslin, about 3-4 mm apart, then painting the map with some waterproofing. That way, there is no fold crease, and I don't have the topo blowing in the wind. I paste the topo quadrangle name and info from the margin on one cover. For the USGS 7˝' topos, I cut them into nine pieces. I have been doing this since I was a Boy Scout.
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Old Feb 11, 2023, 2:14 pm
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I quit using paper maps several years ago. I'm 73 so it is not because I'm sticking to my old ways.

It seems every time I tried to use a paper map the area I was interested in was on a fold seam. I also didn't like having to unfold a map to some incredibility large size! I'm usually on my own so I don't have a navigator. Something like an atlas also gave me issues because I was always changing to another page.

I go to the UK a lot and I used to drive until I got lost, pull over and look at the map. Now I just program my destination in and let the software do the work. In 2016 I picked up my new BMW in Munich using their European Delivery program. I would just input my destination into the cars nav system and it would take me there, every time!

I use Google Maps and Here. I use Here because I can download maps for a state or country where Google Mapsneeds a network unless you go to the trouble to manually download a section.

I do a lot of hiking and I use My Garmin GPS wit topos or another app I like is Gaia Maps.
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Old Feb 12, 2023, 3:57 pm
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Originally Posted by DenverBrian
Backcountry Navigator XE is an app you can load on your phone to ensure you have something to navigate with if hiking. Here We Go is an app that allows you to download states or the entire US to your phone so you have offline maps available if you lose cell or wifi service.

But yes, paper maps are still amazing. The hundred or so gas station maps from the 60s and 70s I have in my collection are testament to this.
I'll have to checkout those apps. Although for walks around town, and even driving, I find maps.me to be fairly good.

That said, Google maps, GPS, etc., are great for 5 minutes ahead, but not for 5 hours ahead. I've used AAA maps of PA, IL, IA, NE, and CO over the past three years to do some off the interstate exploring. And before travel tools became so popular on the web, AAA's tour books were OK also. In fact, I am quite sure I used a couple of AAA tour books and paper maps in Europe.
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Old Feb 12, 2023, 11:11 pm
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For gps driving I’ll use Google maps esp for traffic and eta. I’ll also use that app when plotting a trip even if it’s just within my city. I loved paper maps and now never use them. With Google maps I can zoom if I need to see details and I can scroll or expand if I want go see that bigger picture.
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Old Mar 12, 2023, 9:18 am
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I enjoy the simplicity. Especially in more specific situations, trekking along trails and the sort. However I cannot say they'd replace my digital maps.
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Old Mar 12, 2023, 9:37 am
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Maybe cause Google has worsened the utility of Maps?

It tells me a hotel I frequent no longer has a location and does not let me navigate there.
It reports stores as open when they are closed (stupid me, clicking the "open now" checkbox doesn't actually filter which ones are open) and vice versa.

It lists Taco Bell as a grocery store.

And if you happen to be in adverse weather conditions it gives the stupidest advice (make a left turn and then a u-turn. In a city that just show the most snow it has seen for half a century. I wonder how many got stuck because of their stupidity following Google Maps, rather than their inability to drive in the snow).
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