Do Maps Still Matter? The GPS vs. Map Debate

November 7, 2018 11:10 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Today, global positioning systems (GPS) are the most common form of navigation aid. Almost every commercially available cell phone is now equipped with GPS technology, allowing everyone to easily navigate unfamiliar areas. Additionally, many consumer cars and professional flee vehicles come equipped with ready-made GPS systems installed designed to make the driving process easy and effortless.

While GPS technology is certainly convenient, it’s not exactly foolproof. There are a number of significant drawbacks to using GPS that good, old-fashioned maps don’t encounter. Paper maps are particularly useful if you’re in need of a mapping tool that showcases topographical detail. In fact, if you’re in need of topographical surveying in Mobile, AL, it’ll likely come in the form of a physical, readable map that details the intricacies of your site. Here are just some of the reasons to consider sticking to paper mapping systems, at least as a backup to your existing GPS:

  • Maps don’t rely on batteries: Unlike any GPS technology, maps don’t rely on batteries; they can’t suffer from software malfunctions, and they can’t die when you need them the most. Maps are infinitely more reliable than even the most rugged, well-built GPS system.
  • Maps can survive water damage: GPS technology is always a piece of electronic equipment. While many GPS systems are now water resistant, few are as rugged and easy to safeguard as a waterproof map. You can rely on waterproof maps in virtually any conditions, regardless of electricity and energy supplies.
  • Maps guide, but don’t dictate: The purpose of a map is to show you where to go. The purpose of a GPS system, on the other hand, is to tell you where to go. This difference, while subtle, can substantially change the way that you enjoy your time out on the road. It’s much easier to take memorable detours while navigating via paper map.
  • Maps provide more context: While GPS systems let you see a small snippet of the area that you’re traveling through, maps provide you with a much bigger picture. The large-scale nature of maps allows you to see all of the nearby cities and sites that you might consider visiting.
  • Maps encourage engagement with the world: When you use a map to navigate, you’re more cognizant of the world around you. For instance, you’re more likely to pick up and identify certain landmarks, like hills and buildings, based on their labeling and presence on the map. This helps you create more meaningful memories of your trips.

Since 1972, Polysurveying has been a trusted provider of land surveying and mapping services in Alabama. We are among the most trusted surveying companies in Mobile, AL. If you need assistance mapping out your site or conducting a topographical analysis of your land, you can count on us to provide you with an accurate, easy-to-read and understandable mapping tool that meets your needs. Reach out to one of our friendly representatives today to learn more. We look forward to working with you soon!

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