page title icon Great Map Heist

Remember the golden age of paper maps.

Literally, you didn’t leave home without one.

Now the trend is that you don’t need them at all. And why? Did the roads suddenly become more navigable? The short answer is we all use our smart phones instead.

But thinking back, there was a day when the service station attendant knew the local roads like the back of his hand, and could reliably point any patron in any direction they needed to go. Yes, that sometimes involved turning right at a cow by a fence, but it worked. And most importantly, there was a human to human interaction that brought with it a sense of time and place, and togetherness.

Fast forward to my recent trip to Sarasota. I relied completely on the GPS in the smart phone, and just as reliable it delivered me to an Industrial Park, not the aquatic center I’d told it to lead me, too. The problem? My thumbs are too damn big for the scrunched up keypad. As a result, it entered me in for a different spot.

Sadly, the computer never apologized.

I have a hunch in a similar circumstance the gas station attendant would have done better.

“Take a right at the bay hale,” is all I needed to hear!