Ever since Google Maps launched its app in 2008, I’ve been using GPS to get around town, and across the country. For a decade, a digital voice from my phone has led me, turn-by-turn, in cities I’m not familiar with and even cities I’ve lived in for years.
But during the past year or so, I’ve become uncomfortable with my reliance on GPS for a variety of reasons.
So I bought a paper map of my fair city of Tulsa, as well as a road atlas of the United States. (Apparently, I’m not alone in this; sales of the classic Rand McNally Road Atlas have, counterintuitively, been rising in the last several years). And I’ve been pleasantly surprised by how enjoyable it’s been to use old-fashioned maps to get around town, and country. In fact, I’ve gone to using “analog” maps as my primary method of navigation, only relying on Google Maps as a back-up.
Here’s why I’ve made this navigational switch, and 7 reasons — from the practical to the philosophical — why you might consider putting a paper map back in your glovebox too: