Maps - Google / Gps Or Hard Copy - What Do You Like To Use

Discussion in 'General Discussion / News / Information' started by DavidFL, Sep 25, 2016.

  1. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator
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    Jan 16, 2003
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    In this increasingly digital dominated world I thought it might be a good idea to look at the Google Maps / GPS vs Hard Copy Maps issue.

    What do you use?
    Do you just need one or do you still need both?

    I use my GPS for map surveying & the hard copy GTR map is the result.

    Sometimes I get guys contacting me for info or directions, because their GPS or Google Maps has failed they & they are not sure where to go.

    For me, unless you are familiar with the road network or town names, then you should always carry a map with you.
    • With a map you get the big picture. You can see the while network of roads. With a GPS you can only look at a small area on the screen.
    • You can plan your trip with a map
    • You can open your map out & discuss your route & options with friends over beer.
    • A GPS actually isolates you from other people & interacting more with the locals. It takes a lot of the fun & adventure out of touring.
    • With a map you can interact with locals, checking directions & suggested routes.
    • With a map you can learn something as you go, looking out for landmarks or kms as you go. With a GPS you look at the screen to navigate & don’t necessarily look out for landmarks or kms, route numbers as you go.
    • Navigating with a map is part of the excitement of travel. Blindly following your GPS, letting it lead you round by the nose is no adventure.
    • A map doesn’t have a power failure of lose the GPS signal – it works with you all the time.
    • Lose your way with a GPS; but with a map you can least see the big picture & road network to work out where to go – what the options are.

    What are your ideas.
    • Is Google maps good enough?
    • Is the GPS map good enough?
    • Is a hard copy map good enough?
  2. brian_bkk

    brian_bkk Ol'Timer

    Mar 30, 2010
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    #2 brian_bkk, Sep 26, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2016
    I use a combination of all three.

    Primarily GPS with multiple maps installed.
    - Also have a copy of OSM map on my phone just in case the GPS dies I still have a fully functional GPS via the phone..
    - If we go in a group.. Usually try and make sure different people have different maps as some maps will have info others don't have.
    example.. Me OSM, Jim ESRI. Then no switching between maps.

    Also with OSM.. Where the paper map is lacking.. You can go back and update OSM.
    Personally along with other friends have added a lot of tracks in Kanchanaburi province, Laos. Emerald triangle, back of pattaya. Chonburi. To name a few

    Google is good for up to date info.. At the end of the day.. The GPS and paper map are only as good as last updated.
    Obviously major roads stay the same. Plus petrol stations, hotels etc come and go.

    On the road.. You can slip in to zombie mode using the GPS for sure. Guilty of that myself.
    A GPS is a valuable resource when going off to more remote places and trying to link things up.
    You can get an overview of the land.. See where you have been and look at the terrain to see if there is a possibility of getting through
    This was a big help to Jim and myself in Southern Laos when we went off the beaten track around Lake Nong Fa.
    Also when exploring around the Emerald triangle.

    Google maps can be cached.. But sometimes that doesn't work.
    So when no signal you are screwed.. The satellite images can be handy too when exploring.
    Depending on when the satellite image was last updated.

    Paper map good for an overview.. getting an idea of distances and planning your route.
    But a little tedious if you don't know the way to be stopping and looking at the map all the time as no one wants to ride past 20 or 30 km if it is hard to judge the distance and depending on the map scale.

    For me ..
    GPS is king with the right maps and backed up with a phone in case of hardware failure.
    Paper map as a back up to the back up and planning the next days activities
    Google maps / Satellite imagery handy tool if available.

    My thoughts..
  3. pensionist

    pensionist Ol'Timer

    Jul 25, 2011
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    I am a fan of GPS, also using google maps. All a nice to have.
    However only on a papermap I get an overview where i want to go respective have been, enabling me to judge directions and distances.
  4. Hua Hin

    Hua Hin Ol'Timer

    Aug 13, 2007
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    I use GPS on the bike and google maps on my phone or computer at night. I also always carry paper maps for back up. It sucks when the gps quits and you don't have a back up plan.
  5. Goran Phuket

    Goran Phuket Ol'Timer

    Apr 2, 2008
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    GPS and google maps for me.

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