Why Paper Maps Aren’t Going Away

A few years ago, as part of an episode exploring male and female differences, the MythBusters tested how well men and women could give directions from a map.  While the scores and the sample size did not show a conclusive result for either gender, it highlighted how much people are reliant on GPS through their phone to get around.

But you’re not always going to have it.  Power issues, cell reception, and hacking could all compromise your ability to access GPS satellite data.  What then?  A map would be lovely to have so you can figure out where you are.

It’s harder on water.  Without distinguishing features, determining location requires extra work and a clear night in many cases.  And more often than not, a very old technology.  The Navy finally figured out they could have a problem and resumed teaching celestial navigation to its Academy students this academic year.  It hadn’t done so in nearly a decade at the Academy, but had resumed training navigators and assistant navigators in the fleet back in 2011.

I’d encourage people to brush up on their map reading skills.  I can’t be alone in having problems with my phone providing me an accurate location and accurate maps.  If you aren’t quite ready to move away from your phone (which you really shouldn’t access when your driving, anyway), try using you maps app without the GPS.  Give it enough time and you can get the hang of it.


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