Two interesting articles were published recently highlighting the importance of paper and digital maps. Outside magazine described well the benefit of large format paper atlases, an old stalwart for planning trips, traveling, and exploring. Ian Frazier with Outside magazine writes, “The map application on your phone cannot give you the big picture”, and he’s right. Many applications, available in the dash of a car or on your smart phone can provide precise navigation to a location, but they can’t provide the same “big picture” that a small scale, large format map can, especially in a bound atlas.
Meanwhile, Flipboard published a terrific article describing future applications of digital map data and services. These uses include the enabling of autonomous transportation, and improvement of map information through users’ smart phones.
Maps are important, and the future will see map data literally driving our vehicles while we use smart phones and mapping applications to ensure we get there quickly and safely, while traditional map products like atlases provide an easy to use means of seeing “the big picture”.