Long-Time GPS Users: still buying maps?

Dec 11, 2003
Denton, Texas
I've carried all the "Roads Of" and several Gazetters in a duffle bag for years. With GPS, I haven't used them very often. (I can think of one time in six years.) I also carry a plain jane Rand-McNalley Road Altas up front, wedged between the console and the passenger seat.

Tonight I realized my Rand-McNalley was five years old so I went to Target for a new one, and on my way out was thinking that my Roads Of and Gazetters are even older. I can't remember the last new one I bought. They're not cheap either, so replacing them isn't pain-free, like the $5 Rand McNalley.

Anybody else who has used GPS for years still replacing your Roads Of and Gazetters?
I just purchase some Atlas & Gazetter this month from a bookstore.

Illinois Atlas & Gazetteer: Fourth Edition: Copyright 2003
Iowa Atlas & Gazetteer: Second Edition: Copyright 2001
Kansas Atlas & Gazetteer: Second Edition: Copyright 2003
Minnesota Atlas & Gazetteer: Fourth Edition: Copyright 2003
Missouri Atlas & Gazetteer: Second Edition: Copyright 2002
Nebraska Atlas & Gazetteer: Second Edition: Copyright 2000
Oklahoma Atlas & Gazetteer: Second Edition: Copyright 2003
South Dakota Atlas & Gazetteer: Second Edition: Copyright 2001
Texas Atlas & Gazetteer: Fifth Edition: Copyright 2003

The Roads of Oklahoma: Copyright 1997
The Roads of Texas: Copyright 1995

Best Road Atlas out there:
Rand McNally The Road Atlas 05 Large Scale

As much as I like my GPS I am the king of poorly timed catastrophic electronic failure. I always like to have a "Roads of" or similar detailed map of whatever state I frequent. This last year I can think of numerous occasions when even with the GPS running I was grabbing for the maps to double check roads, find smaller roads, clarify pavement vs. dirt roads, and to just get the big picture.

Even when doing school work out in the field there is nothing better than a brunton compass and paper map. Technology is sure nice but it is always good to have a back up and know how to use that paper map!!

Graham Butler
[email protected]
Always depend on paper maps 1st - but this year Im going to get into the gps delorme as Ive found a simple one (street maps 2004 delorme) that powers up quickly and locks in fast to the satellite (or appears to)
Im ditching my new delorme set 2004Topo Series because it wont locate any satellites for some reason (probably a comport problem) besides there arent any reasons to look for mountains in OK!
I still prefer paper maps (roads of, delorme) over the delorme gps unit. Having both is optimal, though. Like Graham mentioned, the atlases are much better at giving the bigger picture and are great for thinking/planning ahead. I can sit and "read" a good map for hours ... like it was a good book.

BTW, check out the new google maps page: http://maps.google.com/

Yeah Amos, I plan to go to GPS this season, but have no intention of bailing on my map books. Cause as mentioned, electric failure can happen any time, and even as it may be hard to update your books more than once or twice every 10 years, it is definately worth having just in case. I won't give up my map books, and use them sparingly even now, but definately nice to have just in case.
I agree with everybody here. I'm not suggesting throwing the paper maps away. I carry mine everywhere I go---they never leave the vehicle. I have Roads of and Gazetters for all of Tornado Alley and the upper midwest.

What I was wondering is if people who are using GPS as their primary navigation means are still replacing (updating) their paper map collection. In other words, do those who rely on GPS almost exclusively still go and buy new versions of Gazetters or Delorme (sounds like no new Roads Of in a long time)?
Paper maps still rule here, have GPS and electronic maps but the great thing about paper maps is you can scribble notes on them.
I recently went out and purchased a whole load of new uk 1 1/4 inch to the mile maps.£ 5.00 a hit .
I have not used a GPS yet, but haven't chased much unfamiliar territory either. Amos, I think if I make the switch to GPS as the main tool, I would update my maps little by little. Possibly every few years at least.

Most rural areas aren't going to see much in the way of changes, and since that's probably where the majority of use comes in, I wouldn't get too crazy replacing each and every map. Those are my initial thoughts anyway. I usually end up tearing it, losing it, lending it, or spilling something on a map so it has to be replaced after a few years anyway.

I wont go anywhere without my "Roads Of" maps plus a few small laminated state maps for quick reference.

The GPS is great but it doesnt show all the roads. there are things that "Roads of" will show that nbobody else does plus you never know when your GPS will lose signal or your laptop crashes. I always want a paper backup. plus if you are alone it is easy to just grab a small map and get your bearings.
LOL. I will assume some of these replies are a little revenge for my occasionally "redirecting" a topic over in the Everywhere Else forum last fall. :D

I definitely respect the paper maps, want to keep them, carry them everywhere (they're about to go to Arbys with me!). I can't say I have nostalgia for the bygone days of scrambling through pages to find where Johnson County ended and where Hood County begins, or where I am in either one, or how I can keep looking with this big diesel coming at me---WHOA. But maps versus GPS is a matter of personal preference. When I'm stopped and trying to plan the next option and want to stay outside, I take the map and lay it out on the hood. I bring the Rand-McNalley into the motel with me at night to get a big-picture feel for the next day's area. Paper maps are indispensible.

But let me restate this since we all agree on their value: How often do you replace your paper maps?

I tend to agree with Tim that every couple years makes sense--maybe as many as four?
I agree with the value of paper maps... For me, it's MUCH easier for me to pop open a Delorme Atlas book and quickly look at a part of a particular state (e.g. for picking a general target, etc) than it is to zoom in/out, pan, etc, around Street Atlas 2005. The fact that the Atlas and Gaz. is twice the size (physically) than my computer screen makes it easier to get an 'eyeball' look at something...

As for the length of time before replacement... I wouldn't be afraid to go 4-5 years, considering that I only really use my paper maps for 'eyeballing'... Sure, the old maps may not have some new small roads on them, but I use my GPS for street-by-street navigation, so small-road accuracy isn't important in a paper map (for me atleast). Usually, interstate or state highway construction projects take several years, so a major rerouting of a major road doesn't happen very much... My OK and MN Atlas and Gaz. are both ~4yrs old, and I don't really have any intentions on replacing them, unless they reroute I-35 in a couple of months...
I still replace my Rand McNally Road Atlas every year. I replace the "Roads of" maps whenever I notice a new edition ( I don't think they revise them every year, but I could be wrong). After all, there could be that one new road I need that might be on a new map :lol:

GPS is great, but I still use maps for planning and just getting a good understanding of the road network.
Originally posted by Amos Magliocco
But let me restate this since we all agree on their value: How often do you replace your paper maps?

I tend to agree with Tim that every couple years makes sense--maybe as many as four?

Guess I missed the target of this one :oops:

I replace mine about every 2 years barring any damage to the maps.