Centuries ago, traversing unfamiliar areas could be quite challenging. The risk of getting lost or getting into dangerous situations was quite high. Thankfully, comprehensive maps were discovered around the 16th century, making it easy to travel across the world. It is quite interesting because up to this day, many of us still rely on maps for various reasons from time to time. Of course, the majority of us use digital maps found on our smartphones and GPS devices.
But there are so many reasons why the physical paper maps are still relevant up to today. For instance, they have a rich history, help us understand geographical features better, and come in handy when our tech gadgets fail us. Without further ado, let’s look at some concrete reasons why maps are still relevant.
They Make Up For Where Technology Can’t
We can’t turn a blind eye to all that technology has done for us, including the introduction of GPS and digital maps. While this is very important, we shouldn’t ignore the fact that technology has its limitations. For example, while GPS and Google Maps have proved to be very instrumental, their use is still limited to places with reception. This is why people going for an adventure in the woods, wilderness, and even national parks will always have a physical map and compass at hand. Most of these areas will have little to no reception, which limits the use of digital maps. This is one reason paper maps are still relevant.
They Are Easy To Acquire
In the past, getting a map of a certain area could be a daunting task. Their supply was limited and could often be purchased at selected gas stations. Some of them were only located at government offices. Thanks to technology, however, you can even get a detailed map of any urban center, jungle, or sea you are interested in. For just a few dollars, you can access a map of the Pacific Ocean online, which you can download and print on paper. Vector map options are also available in case you want something you can edit and modify to suit your usage needs. The best part is that you can print the map for backup purposes in case your gadget runs out of juice when using the digital version.
Maps Are Functional Tools
In the current world, getting from one point to the next has been made quite simple using GPS. The GPS locates you and all you have to do is key in your destination and the journey begins. The remaining part is to keep checking on your device for instructions. While this is quite effective, it denies you the opportunity to interact with your immediate environment. Maps on the other hand will only direct you relative to other landmarks. This means that if you are going to reach your destination, you will have to be keen on everything on the road. Therefore, maps will help you interact with your environment well enough that you may never forget the path ever again.
Maps Help Children Acquire Life Skills
One of the benefits of paper maps in learning is the fact that they promote the visualization of objects to others. When children are exposed to paper maps, they learn to visualize objects, places, cities, and countries to one another. This, in the long run, promotes what is called spatial thinking. It enables learners to find meaning in shapes, trajectories, orientations, and sizes among others. This kind of thinking has been known to promote excellence in math science among learners. Maps, therefore, prove to be of relevance in promoting proficiency in thought and the study of geography among learners.
They Are a Blueprint of Our History
If you want to know the transformation that your country has taken over the years, take out an old map and a new one. Looking at both, you can easily tell what used to be there and still is or has become extinct and what currently takes its place. The difference between the two maps can tell you how our ancestors understood their world and what has changed in our understanding of the same. Based on our understanding of the modern world, we can say that most of the older maps were made out of assumptions and lack the accuracy we so much value today. Regardless of that, they were effective at the time as equally as how useful the ones we have, are to us. The relevance of maps, therefore, goes beyond showing what our world is made up of but explains more of the difference in times which we regard as history.
If you think you have been to places, pull out a map and you will realize just how little of this world you know. Some of us have been to many places around the globe and we can all agree that the inspiration came from the visualization of just how vast the world is and how little we know of it. This is what motivates us to work hard and travel so we can have a glimpse of what lies beyond the horizon. Once you have taken the time to look at a map, you will realize just how small your world has been and you will be motivated to explore. It doesn’t matter if you travel to another state, country, or even continent for as long as you have a taste of a culture different from yours.
Maps Are Guides Not Dictators
As much as the digital navigation methods come with their many advantages, one can say that they are somehow replacing our navigation intellect. When you solely depend on them to reach your destination, they tend to dictate where you are going rather than a guide. You follow instructions instead of working together to find a path. Maps on the other are simply a guide meant to complement your intellect. They are our navigation partners rather than path dictators.
While the new digital era has made things simple and improved how we do things, some of the old ways remain golden. Even after the invention of digital maps, paper maps still have their advantages altogether. The above piece should elaborate this vividly.