Why traditional paper maps beat electronic GPS
Did you know there’s a National Map Reading Week?
Every third week of October, the Ordnance Survey and other associated outdoor organisations encourage the British public to switch off their phones, leave the satnavs at home and embrace good old-fashioned paper maps
In preparation for this year’s National Map Reading Week (21st – 27th October), we’ve put together a few reasons why we think traditional maps are still worth the paper they’re printed on.
They’re more reliable
Let’s say you’re heading out on a week-long hiking trip and you need to navigate your way through the wilderness.
You could try relying on your phone’s GPS to guide the way; but a paper map is the far more sensible option:
- Paper maps don’t need to be charged or plugged in – perfect for situations where your access to electrical power is limited or non-existent.
- Paper maps don’t need a GPS signal, WIFI connection or 4G data – ideal if your chosen hiking spot is unspoiled by communications infrastructure. You’ll never be stuck waiting for your paper map to get a reception!
- When it comes to longer-term hiking trips, carrying light is a necessity, and every opportunity to lose weight counts – it’s why many backpackers bring a toothbrush with a shorter handle. Paper maps obviously take up far less weight than navigational electronics – and they’re much easier to replace if they get lost!
- Electronic maps may seem smart, but like any computer, they’re only as smart as the person using them. If your satnav brings up ten results for the same street name and you blindly click on the first one on the list, there’s a good chance you’ll end up at completely the wrong place – there are many horror stories of drivers letting their satnavs lead them astray! Paper maps are not only better at delivering location-relevant information, but they also demand greater focus and a bit of common sense to use.
They’re more satisfying to use
It’s not just reliability that paper maps offer – the experience of using them is often a lot more enjoyable too:
- Electronic maps are tools to help you reach your destination – input where you want to go, and your fastest route is right there on the screen for you to follow. Paper maps, on the other hand, are all about the journey. It’s up to you to figure out your own route forward; you’ll be fully taking in your surroundings as you go, and you’ll probably be more inclined to take any scenic detour opportunities that pop up on the way. All in all, navigating with a paper map makes for a far more rewarding experience.
- Whether you’re using a maps app for guidance or just casually scrolling through your Facebook feed, the feeling of having your phone in your hand is always the same. In contrast, opening up a z-folded paper map (and folding it back down) is always a satisfying tactile novelty.
- An electronic map disappears as soon as you close the tab or pop in a new destination, but a printed paper map can make a fun take-home souvenir of a trip, location or event – which makes them a great marketing tool for boosting repeat visits!
Looking to produce maps for your own business location or event? Choose custom-printed Z Fold cards from the team at ZFoldPrinting.co.uk. Call us on 02380 878030 to find out more!