Have you ever wondered why world maps are still necessary when you can just use GPS? Do maps still come in handy today?
Just so you know, there are actually so many reasons why maps still matter even in this day and age. For many centuries, maps have been offering mankind with that important knowledge necessary for decision-making.
Maps first appeared on clay tablets, mammoth tusks, and cave walls before explorers started drawing maps on paper as humans start understanding the shape of the world.
Right now, advanced GIS or Geographic Information Systems combining complex visualization and math lets people to understand, plan, and connect them with what really matters. So, how do maps do all of these things in the first place?
Read on to know the top reasons that make maps important even in this modern world:
Maps Can Be Your Life Savior
Research has revealed that there are over 300 million people who visit national parks, wilderness areas, and forests on a yearly basis. Just so you know, cellular signals do not extend to these places and maps might serve as the only reference you can use in case an emergency happens.
In case there is flooding close to you, it is important to know how you can go to the nearest high elevation to you. If an injury occurs, you also need to seek help by getting to the closest high traffic area. If your path is cut off by a wild animal, you have to look for an alternate route immediately.
The last thing you want is to get caught in the middle of nowhere clutching your phone, hoping that you will get a signal. Paper maps can save your life, especially in the most unexpected situations.
World Maps Act as Functional Tools
While GPS can take you from one point to another, it might still do a poor job in helping you visualize exactly where you are in relation to other things around you.
Many of you are probably familiar with GPS. It helps you find your location and all you have to do is tell it where you have to go. Yes, GPS functions well at getting you to your next location but it won’t be able to tell you something about the rest of the places that you pass on your way.
There is a good reason why you should never plan cross-country trips over the phone. The best routes are not always the fastest routes and you can never choose your best route without being aware of your relationship the surrounding places.
Maps Make Complex Information Simple
World maps take complicated sets of data and show them in the form of a pleasing graphic that you can use for answering questions about the world around you.
Imagine yourself as an elementary student and you asked your teacher to show you how big the US is compared to the rest of the countries. She smiles and pulls down a large spreadsheet from the spring roller listing all countries and their areas. How do you expect to understand all of that?
Maps serve as a visual representation of complex data. Others might think maps are complicated and unnecessary tools. But, the truth is that maps can make your life simple.
Maps Help Children Learn New Skills in Life
Maps also support spatial thinking through helping kids visualize where countries, cities, places, and objects are in relation to each other.
Spatial thinking is associated with greater success in science and math. Kids who develop strong skills in spatial thinking have a better edge in today’s technological and global society.
As the world starts to shape children’s education and prepare them for their future, skills in map reading help kids gain more proficiency in geography principles. You can go to all places with just a map alone!
Maps Serve as History’s Blueprint
Maps give you a good idea of how people understood the world during the time they created the map. Take old maps, for instance. Of course, an old map shows you the different things that used to be there and those that exist there now. However, maps also show you how mapmakers understood the world during their time.
Are there missing parts of the world because they weren’t aware of its existence? Is there any inaccuracy due to wrong assumptions? The way a map looks is completely changed by the cartographer and why the maps were developed in the first place.
Maps are like wonderful time capsules that explain more beyond how geography is depicted.
Maps Offer Safety in This Highly Detached Modern World
There are already several cases dealing with GPS-related accidents. A study that looked at the effect of GPS on drivers came to a conclusion that users of GPS attend to those objects in the routes they take to their destination. However, researchers also discovered evidence that environmental engagement is lost and that the process of world interpretation, adding more value to it and transforming space into place has been cut down to some extent, with drivers remaining detached from those indifferent environments surrounding them.
They concluded that GPS got rid much of the need for paying attention. It is also applicable to other life areas as well. When you pay more attention to you device, you end up paying less attention to your surroundings. On the other hand, world maps help you stay grounded to your environments. Maps in this modern world are like the story’s hero and GPS is only a sidekick.
Maps and Your Memories are Connected
Finally, maps are not only an image of a place. More than that, they connect you to those memories you have in that specific place. A map inspires you to think outside the box, widen your horizons, and give you a glimpse of places you visited and those you wish to go to.
Every time you see a map of the place you visited, you can never help but remember the memories you have of that place. Maps are the treasure trove of stories and memories of places where you spent your time.
So, the next time you think world maps are no longer a thing, you might want to think again.