GPS vs. Paper Maps for Pedestrians

John McKinney argues that paper maps may have some life left in them; among other things, he cites a Japanese study that found that “people on foot using a GPS device make more errors and take longer to reach their destinations than people using an old-fashioned map.”

The study found GPS users made more stops, walked farther and more slowly than map users and demonstrated a poorer knowledge of the terrain, topography and routes taken when asked to sketch a map after their walks. GPS users also adjudged the way-finding tasks as much more difficult than did map users. Those proving to be most proficient at navigation turned out to be those shown the route by researchers — they bested both map and GPS users by striding to destinations faster and with fewer missteps.

What I take away from this is that GPS and paper maps are not direct replacements for one another; each has weaknesses and strengths that the other lacks. Via All Points Blog.