Old 04-16-18, 07:14 AM
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Originally Posted by gauvins View Post
I am surprised by the proportion of paper maps fans.

Try to navigate across Tokyo with a paper map and post your experience so I can learn.

Paper maps are ok in some circumstances, but inferior to electronic maps in all respects with the exception, maybe, of lighting a campfire. The debate would be like comparing pencil paper to a spreadsheet.
I think its fair to say that the people who respond here are those who still like using paper maps, so that skews teh responses a bit.

re your Tokyo example-absolutely, I dont own a proper gps unit, but as others have shown on this forum in the past, urban settings is really where its going to be a huge help and time saver. In medium cities that I have biked into during my Latin America trips, I found my phone or tablet gps feature a great help to place myself when unsure , or to confirm things, and I was using either preloaded country maps with free app Map.me or using google maps when I had data service on my phone (in Mexico this last trip).

but I would counter the "maps are useless" view with personal experience with folks who rely on and or are just used to using gps stuff- maybe because I grew up doing outdoor stuff and am visual, but I have found that some people need to check up on their gps much too often, or believe or follow blindly what it says.
I know this is a generalization, but Tokyo aside, a large percentage of bike travelling doesnt require that much precision, ie its more like- follow route 14 along to X town, continue on rt 14 to Y town, then take rt 11 to Z town, sort of thing.

I do not have a dyno hub, or even carry a top up battery unit, so its also nice to know that I dont have to have my electronic units even on for most of the day, and if I do need to use them, in 30 sec my phone can be on, so there is an advantage to not using these devices if charging availability is perhaps remote.

also, in my last trips, I often was out of cell phone service, but yes, a regular gps unit even on my tablet will work in these conditions using offline maps.

and I do come back to liking a good old paper map to show and discuss with people, maybe I have this view because having travelled in Latin America, and not wanting to use "flashy or expensive" doodads when talking to local people.
Yes, in Mexico anyway, just about everyone has a smart phone today, so perhaps my argument is weak, but I still like how when looking at a paper map with someone at the side of the road, we can both see the large picture aspect of a map, and like I said earlier, I like the social interaction with someone with a map.

I completely understand that in areas where its not easy to have a map, or you have to have many many maps, electronic is obviously a help, but if possible to have one, it is just nice to have a real paper, non breakable, non battery dependant map to go over and not worry about battery life.

remember too, older devices can have battery issues as well, meaning they can go from a good charge to hardly anything suddenly, which can be a reality for some people and their device, leaving you with no maps at all.

I truly believe there is a place for both in todays world, gps is fantastic and a huge help, but its still cool holding a real map, but maybe Im an old fart.....
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