Thursday, July 19, 2012
Finding My Way
Have you ever tried to fold a map, only to realize that no matter how you fold it, it's not going to go back the way it was originally? I read in a magazine recently that there are now waterproof maps that are intended to be wadded into a ball and stuffed into your purse or travel bag. The benefit of this new style of map, according to the magazine, is that, unlike one's smartphone where you can only see a small section of a city at a time, when you use a real map, you can see the entire city or area at a glance. Nowadays, we're increasingly dependent on our smartphones, Internet directions and GPS, making paper maps seem to be destined to extinction. But not so fast. I had to laugh lately when traveling to a conference with someone from my workplace. Despite our printed Internet directions and the GPS, we still got lost! We finally stopped at a local chamber of commerce to get directions, which seemed so much easier when explained by an actual, live human being pointing down the street. Then, while out of town for yet another conference, one of the presenters asked the audience how they found their way to the conference center. As expected, people mentioned GPS and various Internet way-finding methods. Then, one woman in the back of the room stood up and proudly yelled out that she had used a paper map. Everyone in the audience applauded! In a world of so many newfangled things, it's nice to know that good o' maps are not only surviving, they're thriving, neatly folded or wadded up into a ball.