With the rise of smartphones, millions of people have tossed away their paper maps, instead relying on GPS and mapping apps on our phones to find a restaurant or plan a road trip. But is that really a good thing?
Surprisingly enough, there’s a lot of academic research into the digital versus paper maps issue.
Paul Clough, Senior Lecturer in the Information School at the University of Sheffield, conducted one of these studies and found that, aside from the fact that we still like paper versions of things (books, magazines), we trust paper maps more. Whether it’s because of technical difficulties with apps, or fear of running out of battery power, the usability and reliability of paper maps still fare better than digital. Even if you do look like a freakin’ tourist if you unfold a paper map on a city street.
Error in paper maps: –
Hundreds of years ago, map makers mistakenly represented California as an island off the west coast of North America. Today’s digital cartographers wouldn’t dream of making such a huge mistake, but they’re not perfect either. As maps become more advanced and detailed, the technology to improve them also evolves.
Error in Digital Map: –
As you well know, last year’s introduction of Apple Maps was an epic failure. Missing bridges, improperly placed landmarks, directions to places that never existed and stranded tourists topped the list of Apple Map fails. A life-endangering situation befell a group in Australia when they were following directions to what they had believed to be Mildura, a vibrant city of 30,000 people in Victoria. Instead, they ended up stranded for 24 hours in a national park in the outback wilderness – in 115-degree heat with no food or water. Turns out that Apple Maps plotted the city of Mildura 40 miles away from its actual location