Monday, June 4, 2018

Paper Maps Still Have a Purpose

My wife and I went on a ghost town exploring trip yesterday.  But how do you do this without paper maps.  Once you away from the zone where Starbucks, Facebook, and Spotify are the dominant culture, the Maps app on your cell phone does not help.  Worse, many of these now obscure and remote place do not appear on GPS-based navigation systems.

I have always had a thing for paper maps; when I was young, I had a Mercator projection map of the Earth on which I was laboriously marking the Ice Age coastlines (100 meters below current sea level) by consulting National Geographic undersea maps.  I sometimes fantasized about having a house with just a map room.  (Okay, I was a weird kid.)

When we first moved to Idaho, I bought a Delorme Idaho Atlas & Gazetteer, a very detailed and complete collection of Idaho maps.  That's what we should have had yesterday.  Now, where is it?


Darkisland said...

I love gps for finding my way around (Garmin. No Google tracking, please)

But it gives no sense of where you are or where you are going. Only maps can do that. I always like to have both

DryCreekHistory said...

I have a map room in my house in Hidden Springs (cue the music from "Raiders of the Lost Ark). I keep a sturdy plastic tube full of topo maps in my SUV, and make sure than any place I go hiking or camping is represented on at least one paper map in my possession. Apps and downloads are fine when they work, but a paper map and a compass *always* work, and there's something highly satisfying about shooting a bearing and tracking your progress to a destination on a map.

I don't think there's a room on our house that doesn't have a framed map on the wall, and that includes every bathroom and the laundry room.