People still love their paper maps vs digital ones

Various people across the US from New Jersey to California still keep a paper map on hand for several reasons.

Stephanie Kivett Ohnegian from New Jersey keeps a paper map in her car because there are times when a GPS signal doesn’t work or its routing, she says, is ridiculous.

Then there’s Kimberly Davis in Oregon who stores a paper map in her ‘earthquake go-to bag’ just in case.

And there are people like Christine McCullough of California who keeps a paper, spiral-bound Thomas Guide in her car because of her rule for her teen kids: no phones while driving.

No one can deny though that GPS despite its imperfections is a blessing if we end up losing our way. And the same goes for other digital geographic positioning systems or digital maps like Google Maps, Apple Maps and Waze.

According to Apple, it now has a redesigned Apple Maps which it claims to have faster, more accurate navigation and with more comprehensive views of roads,  buildings, malls, parks, airports and more.

It also launched its new Look Around feature that’s similar to Google’s Street View but uses high-resolution photographs.

Google Maps was created 15 years ago in 2005 and to celebrate the occasion, Google is launching a new look for Google Maps on both iOS and Android.

While digital navigation and mapping tools continue to grow in popularity and its global worth is estimated to be around $5.6 billion in 2018, one wonders if there is still a use for printed maps.

The answer is yes! 

And they’re on the rise according to the NPD BookScan which reports that the US sales of print maps and road atlases have had a compounded growth rate over the last five years of 10% and in 2019 sales climb by 7%.

There is one company called The Map Shop that sells only maps in all forms and varieties, owned by Tony Rodono, in Charlotte, North Carolina and has been in business for 30 years and will soon be expanding to a larger facility.

AAA members still request TripTik which routes and tracks their destination in a spiral bound notebook filled with fold-out maps.

People who favor printed maps do so because they don’t have to depend on a satellite or cell signal which sometimes isn’t available nor do they have to worry about batteries running out on them, says Kendra Ensor, who is the vice president of marketing at Rand McNally in Chicago, IL.

Also, paper maps provide privacy. They don’t track your every movement.

And paper maps provide a special keepsake and souvenir that can’t be recreated by a GPS, says Marty Levine of Vancouver, Canada.