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Sat Nav can get you from A to B - But it wont get you Exploring!

28/08/2019
by Chris Meeten
Now you might think that as a map publisher we would always say that the paper map is the best and that would be partly true - of course we want to be able to sell you a printed paper map to your destination rather than you use a digital device but....
Don't forget that we also offer a digital mapping service on our website ViaMichelin.


Lets look at why paper can be better then digital

When it comes to having a printed map we will always say that is the way to go. Here we list the advantages and disadvantages of paper and digital mapping.
  • Research record that using a paper map is good for our ability to envision places and use our cognitive spatial skills to maneuver through the physical world.
  • If you navigate an area using a paper map your more likely to arrive quicker than if you use a digital GPS device as you will concentrate more on your surroundings to make sure they match the map you are using.
  • A paper map never needs a battery that might go flat - doesnt need a GPS or wireless signal  and definitely doesnt require a data connection!
  • OK so a paper map can be outdated - but so can a GPS system which can cost thousands to update where as a map is only a few pounds to replace.
  • Digitised mapping solutions simply have the mission to get you from one point to the next in the most convenient and efficient way. There is no need to gaze at the world around you.
  • A GPS will only give you the detail within a few hundred feet of your location - on the other hand a paper map will give you a detailed overveiw of the area you are in for many miles.
  • A paper map can give you a holistic view of where you are - can show you multiple different routes to your destination, show you natural features, towns, cities, historic sites, rivers, mountains etc, and all these things can help you plan your journey with a simplicity that GPS can only do turn by turn.
  • A paper map provides context for a particular locale and a big-picture of the surroundings
  • Paper maps make you a participant in the art of navigation.
  • Satellites that power GPS devices are vulnerable to cyberattacks and technical glitches In 2016 a software bug threw off the timing of satellites by a few microseconds, causing hours of hassles with GPS devices on Earth that couldn't lock with them.
  • Paper maps can be an historical record of what an area was like before the new motorway or town was built on those green feilds!
  • Reliance on GPS might not only weaken our memory but could hamper our ability to plan! The hippocampus orients us in space and time. So GPS might be hampering our ability to plot a course around town . . . and towards our future.


I could go on as the argument for and against paper and digital is never ending. but the bottom line: Go ahead and use your GPS, but also carry a paper map or atlas as a handy backup (make it a Michelin if you can). A paper map will enhance your travel experiences, help you explore your surroundings and could even be a life-saver. 


Remember your not a blue dot!!

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