Anyone out there still rely on paper maps? There’s something about paper maps that keep certain people from plunging into the world of the GPS tracker. Is it the fact that you feel like you are more in control of your route? Is it that you can see farther in advance? It can’t be the process of folding the map – that’s pretty annoying for just about everyone (kind of like folding a newspaper!).
People today see the benefit of the GPS tracker. It keeps your eyes focused on the road while it provides voice commands to get you where you need to go, and shows you where all of the best POIs are located at the press of a button. Can your paper map show you the restaurants nearby to wherever you are, even unfamiliar territory? Not quite!
It’s people that can’t let go of these paper maps and atlases that almost had a heart attack when they heard that Yarmouth, ME, company ‘DeLorme’ (a major map maker!) is moving into the world of digital maps. As soon as the company released the news, the phone started ringing with anxious customers voicing their displeasure with a digital-only map.
Kim Stiver, DeLorme’s vice president of marketing, assures everyone that this simply isn’t happening. While DeLorme is starting to offer digital maps for GPS trackers, they don’t plan on halting the production of physical, paper maps. Map lovers: you can breathe now!
A Proud History
DeLorme has been in the map business since 1976, at which time they published the Maine Atlas & Gazetteer. Now, they offer a wide variety of maps and map-related products, competing against companies such as Merriam-Webster, Rand McNally, and even Oxford University Press. With their hat in the digital product ring, they can now compete with the likes of Google and Microsoft, as well as Magellan, Garmin, and others in the mobile GPS playing field.
It’s the mobile field that is the most competitive, as map apps are hot. Look at all of the location-based apps out there that rely heavily on maps like Zillow, the app that shows you homes for sale, or any of the apps that help you find a certain POI in an unfamiliar area. Patrick Kennelly is the co-director of the Mobile GIS App Development Program located at LIU Post University in Long Island, NY, and according to him, maps can be created for mobile platforms so easily. As a result, it’s almost impossible to list the competitors DeLorme is up against in the mobile field. There would be far too many!
Advancing With Technology
And to think, it all started when they released ‘Street Atlas USA,’ the first map CD-ROM available on the market. It was released in 1991, and was kind of a big deal! No matter how tech-savvy the company is however, there will always be those die-hard map lovers, not ready to part with those pages showing streets and cities.
While DeLorme is moving forward technologically, they will stay true to their original product, the paper map, for those who just can’t see themselves traveling any other way!