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Relax, Map Lovers – DeLorme to Continue Making Paper Maps!

delorme_atlas_mapsAnyone 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!

Panic Moment

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!

Hike Hong Kong With GPS

hong_kong_hikingThere’s no better time to get outdoors and enjoy a hike than smack in the middle of October. The leaves are falling, the air is crisp, and most trails are free from tourists and traffic. There’s no doubt that hiking is a great way to enjoy nature, but getting lost on a trail can be treacherous too. That’s why GPS tracking apps complete with accurate maps exist – and the latest app to join the bunch maps out trails in Southern China.

The ‘Enjoy Hiking’ App

The ‘Enjoy Hiking’ ap is available via iOS or Android, and it comes with a ton of features that any hiker will love. When hiking in Hong Kong, this app sends a hiker’s trail route to the Communications Associateion of Hong Kong, so that lost hikers can be found quickly. If a hiker disappears, local police will have tracking data.

This app is the handiwork of Hong Kong’s ‘Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department,’ and it was created form a need to offer an easier way to locate hikers. Every year, three to five hikers get lost in South China, and many people are rescued each year as well. The ‘Enjoy Hiking’ app should put an end to those losses.

How It Works

When the ‘Enjoy Hiking’ app is downloaded and activated, location data must be transmitted. From there, the app tracks by GPS for up to 24-hours. The app can be turned off at any time, but it’s recommended that the app stay active in order to accurately track hikers. This app features all major trails in Hong Kong, and it uses very little data.

The data the app transmits is encrypted when it reaches the service provider, and can be requested at any time for up to one week. After that seven-day period, all location data is deleted. Hikers can also select a great trail from a list of trails, and the app will state whether or not that trail is advanced or intermediate (or a beginner route). The app makes sure hikers don’t get in over their heads, or disappointed in a hike that’s too simple.

Great For Tourists

This app provides a new level of safety for Hong Kong hikers, and it is also useful for tourists setting out on a new hike. In fact, the GPS tracking app is featured on the discoverhongkong.com website, the official website of the ‘Hong Kong Tourism Board’ along with other apps that allow tourists to explore Hong Kong safely.

And it’s a good thing tourists can turn to the app for guidance: Hong Kong features amazing landscapes to explore, but the trail system is quite confusing with many to choose from. If you’re headed to Hong Kong and plan to explore nature via hiking trails, you’ll want this essential app!