We live in an always-connected world where technology offers us solutions to everything. It wasn’t very long ago that standalone GPS units were pricey, cutting-edge gadgets promising to guide us to our destination—unless, of course, they were recalculating the route. Well, prices have dropped and accuracy has improved and GPS navigation is now available as an app on the ubiquitous smartphone. If you need turn-by-turn directions, and can use a device while still remaining fully aware of the traffic around you, the GPS will get you to your destination. In a GPS-driven world, one must wonder whether paper maps are still relevant?
Choosing mapsMaps come in a wide variety of prices, sizes, and levels of detail, ranging from free travel bureau or tourist maps to book form atlases. Folding maps of individual states are easy to carry on a motorcycle and can be acquired free at interstate welcome centers. The limited size of these maps limits the level of detail. For finding great motorcycle riding roads, more detail is better. At the other end of the spectrum are state road atlases. If you have saddlebags, it’s worth carrying these as you explore. The level of detail will reveal twisty roads and out-of-the-way points of interest, along with terrain types. Each page of these atlases can provide you with days of exploration. Grab some old school paper maps and see America!