Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Future of Maps

There has been discussion lately about the rise of personal navigation units and if they spell the end for the road map and paper maps in general.

Map Room Blog reports that Japanese map makers are making "value-added maps" to attract consumers. These value-added maps have extra information like history, politics, games, etc. in addition to the simple map. Sounds like my kind of map!

I expect paper maps have a great future. GPS units can provide current road information but that's about it. When I buy (or am gifted :) ) an atlas or map I like the extra stuff. Paper road maps tend to have state historical and regional information. Plus, a well done map is a work of art. Good cartographers are artists capable of making something beautiful. Finally, let's see a GPS unit have the sentimental value of old maps. Nothing can top my 1946 maps of Europe, collection of pre-World War I maps, and 1939 puzzle of the world.

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