Maps on paper (an appreciation for the tactile)

I’ve always appreciated maps on paper, and can look at them for extended periods of time even when I’m not planning a trip. Fandangled electronic options are taking over though, and some suggest this could lead to a loss of cultural and geographic literacy. Besides this, I’ve heard of a few disasterous accounts of over-reliance on GPS in the past year, one of which ended up with the wrong house — full of family heirlooms — being demolished.

The most significant advantage I see in GPS is the ability to point you to local services which the article I link to above also points out. This is useful and something paper maps can’t do.

Still, let’s not give up on tactile mappage just yet.


About pcNielsen
Paul Nielsen founded The Aesthetic Elevator late in 2005. He owns a piece of paper, located somewhere in his house (not on the wall), stating that he earned a B.F.A. from the University of Nebraska around about 2001. While there, he studied studied architecture, graphic design and ceramics, graduating with a degree in studio art. Paul presently serves as communications manager for a small non-profit doing their print design and marketing. He spends as much time sculpting in his studio as possible — which is not nearly enough. Visit his website at

One Response to Maps on paper (an appreciation for the tactile)

  1. Julie says:

    Books. I like my book in my hands.

    For me, GPS is like letting somebody else take me somewhere. When that happens, I tend to quit paying attention to the things that’ll let me repeat the journey. (For example, being taken on a tour of the first architecture office I worked in, which was sizeable! That was bad.)

    Or when I was learning to drive. Sure, I’d gone to these places a hundred times… riding in the back seat. Left to my own devices, I had to re-learn where everything was. My family STILL makes jokes that I get lost easily. (I don’t. Now.)

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