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Paper maps vs Screen maps

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WS Member ユーザー WS Member の写真
Paper maps vs Screen maps

I am not sure this is an "issue" except in a philosophical sense. however,I will try to explain....

In my 13 years of WS experience, I have amassed a number of paper maps, and other paper resources ( Fact Sheets etc) that answer the repetitive questions Guests usually ask : Best road out of town, best bike shop etc...I even have a bicycle cookbook, two pages long :) ... I also have a "hard copy" of my local WS members in CSV format, which most WS Visitors have never seen before...

Anyway, I noticed that recent Gen Y Guests were quite uninterested in anything but their Google maps and screens... paper maps were of no interest to them, and i am beginning to wonder, if they even had the ability to "read' a paper map, let alone use one effectively. In any case, they were bored immediately I tried to show them a paper map.

Now while I understand the flexibility of e-maps - and i hope there is a place for both at WS - i wonder if this attitude by Gen Y in particular is an issue ..?

I have to say, I find e-maps frustrating, especially when the power is off, or it's raining....and I find it hard to usefully discuss or "share' an emap on eg a laptop or phone, which seems a very *individual* experience....

any ideas ..?

WS Member ユーザー WS Member の写真
Paper vs e

Hi Bicyclefish,
We like both. Paper maps for spreading out on a table and discussing. E-maps for finding those quiet back roads that the paper map doesn't show. Paper maps are the best for trip souvenirs, though... the bicycle route traced out in ink, the dates scrawled on it, ahhhh the memories.
Your bicycle cookbook is intriguing. Why only 2 pages? It would be great to have that and your other paper resources, Fact Sheets etc, online as well.
Michele & Benoit

WS Member ユーザー WS Member の写真
I carry both. The maps are

I carry both. The maps are always laminated if possible so I can scribble routes and notes on them. With a paper map I can unfold it and it gives me a better overall view of where i am and what is around me. Plus the power never fails me on a paper map.

I also have a Garmin GPSmap 60CSx and the amount of information on is is wonderful.

Steve

WS Member ユーザー WS Member の写真
Learned a lesson about GPS

This past summer on a ride up to Hanover, NH using only a GPSMap 60csx for navigation, the unit lost satellites due to unusually thick cloud cover. So just before I got totally lost, I ducked into a STAPLES and bought a map. I'm not giving up the convenience of the GPS, but I won't travel in strange areas without hard copy again.

WS Member ユーザー WS Member の写真
i personally like riding

i personally like riding without any map at all. but i am in my late 20s, most people i know in my generation use screens only. i have never actually used a screen and find constantly pulling out a phone or tablet or something to be kind of against my enjoyment of touring.

and remember, the batteries in a paper map never run out.

WS Member ユーザー WS Member の写真
I am a member of "Gen Y" (I

I am a member of "Gen Y" (I am currently 23) and I only use screen maps when absolutely necessary. Last summer I did a couple weeks of touring and I had endlessly debated this question in my head: issues of weight, detail, reliability (service, maps getting wet or being outdated, etc), and costs, and all the rest. In the end I found that "a map is a map", after considering the loss of peace that comes with having your cell phone out. For my tours at least, I am not biking high traffic roads, and coverage isn't there half the time anyways. Screens glare terribly outside, especially on a sunny day. Phone cameras are typically low quality and make me feel like a moron (no offense) for whipping out my phone camera on a rustic bike tour, a time I relish for it's elements of escape. Paper maps are quicker, too, and facilitate collaboration. A group of people can brainstorm over a map much easier than huddling over a 2x4" screen. Lastly, maps represent space, and the more the map engages your spatial thinking the better. Paper maps get you turning the maps, folding the maps, setting them down, flattening, etc. Screens automatically adjust if you turn them, blah blah blah, etc. I have a smart phone as my cell phone so I guess it's always there, but it is never a part of my plans to use.

WS Member ユーザー WS Member の写真
I'm basically 100% GPS at

I'm basically 100% GPS at this point. I've been on the road almost three years now and most countries I haven't had any sort of paper map at all. I don't think I've used one in well over a year now. I've met several cyclists relying on paper maps who have to stick to large roads because they simply don't know about the smaller ones that I have on the GPS.

There is a hell of a lot more detail on GPS maps, you can search for places, and the GPS will tell you exactly how far it is to your destination.

As to batteries and the like, I've actually not had an issue with this in three years riding. I have a smartphone and a standalone Garmin bike GPS, so I already have some redundancy. I've also got battery backup that will keep my GPS going for probably around three weeks away from a power source- I plan to extend this out to indefinitely with a solar panel when I get to Malaysia.

WS Member ユーザー WS Member の写真
A non issue, without generational bias

I have a tablet with a map program than I can use offline... it is a great tool because of its versatility and accuracy... something even a recently updated paper map doesnt really offer.

I also carry a few paper maps for brainstorming, specialties like state park specific, or tourist promo maps... they are also a handy tool, however limited... and redundant.

My tablet maps offers simple switching from satellite precision, to terrain, and bicycle friendly routing.... papers are just more complicated to switch amongst and dont have all the current info.

Im a Boomer, and I have no problem running out of energy, seeing in the shade, or sharing with others... 7 inches is my screen choice though.... old eyes and all.

I love cartography, but maps are the "extra" that gets mailed home as a souvenier... my tablet is my navigator, communicator, information hub, and entertainment... a multipurpose tool that I will never again travel without...

No matter what my mode or age!

WS Member ユーザー WS Member の写真
Paper vs. Screen

Great reply!! A tablet with good maps is the ultimate solution to the mapping conundrum. If I only had a tablet...

Unregistered ユーザー anon_user の写真
I'm an old fart and the only

I'm an old fart and the only piece of paper I carry on trips is a photocopy of my ID cards. I use a GPS and my smartphone, but I travel mostly on roads; no trails.

WS Member ユーザー WS Member の写真
Both!

We recently finished a Maine to Key West tour. We started with ACA maps and a smart phone. VERY quickly, we realized we needed good old fashioned paper maps for an overview and understanding,as well as alternative routes. We continued to use both ACA and screen as appropriate, but lived by the paper maps.

Unregistered ユーザー anon_user の写真
Both for me also

Using a Garmin Etrex 20 which is a very nice unit with good reception
and the ability to use the Russian GLONASS-satellites.
Its great if I have a preplanned route, but for overview
or going places without a route I prefer a paper map.
The gps has led me a merry chase on a few occasions with autorouting.
Or tried to insist I go up the smallest sandy firepath.
When I refused to do it it tried to make me go back,
then recalculated and picked the next small path. Which got it turned off.

If I'm using a regular map, Poor mans-lamination works well.
Its clear, selfadhesive bookbinding on both sides.
Makes the map more or less waterproof but still allows it to fold.
Learned the trick when I flew gliders many moons ago.

Else I raid the first service station in a new country.
They almost always have roadmaps as booklets etc.

WS Member ユーザー WS Member の写真
I have just come back cycling

I have just come back cycling in Mallorca. Like all Spanish islands, the main roads are marked fine but the minor roads are navigated by local knowledge.

I used a dedicated cycle map and my i pad gps and it worked very well indeed. I made a waterproof pouch for the i pad and it sat on the bar bag securely.

The i pad does not indicate the type of roads on the ground but when married up with the cycle map it became clear.

Steve