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Don Hundley

I found this article interesting. First off, I was not aware that people even still used paper maps. To me, they seem to belong to the same family as things VCR's and and 8-track taps---useless in today's world. I am someone who relies heavily on google maps. Unless I am going somewhere I have been numerous times, I have no idea where I am going. I even have to use when I go to my grandmother's house every few months, because I am just that bad at remembering places/roads. Using google maps on my phone is very convenient, and I would think much more convenient than taking out a paper map and reading as I am going down the road. But Broussard brings up many good points. I particularly thought her point on what would happen to those of us who rely so heavily on technology when/if google stops offering this service, or a government shutdown means satellite data is no longer powering smartphone GPS systems. Those points kinda make me think I should start using paper maps here and there, just in case I may have to one day.

Rhonda Wolford

I realize that GPS is more accommodating when you are traveling. You can listen to the directions without having to stop the vehicle or risk taking your eyes off the road to read a map. However, the access to GPS may not always be available. You may be in an area that does not have satellite service, your device may go "dead" or malfunction. These problems are not an issue if you have a paper map to read.


I always believe in "just in case, always have more than one." Great article.

Connor Nachurski

In the modern day age not many people use maps as opposed to using their gps or phone. I found this article to be intriguing, but I still find that maps have lost their purpose in the 21st century. While it may be helpful to have a map as a back up in case your phone loses signal, gps is far easier to use for a variety of reasons. They’re easy to update for one, as long as you have WiFi or a signal. They also can easily inform you as to whether or not there are traffic, accidents, etc. Another reason to use a gps is that they read the directions to you, preventing distracted driving and the like. Maps are much more fragile than a gps, a spill or tear could lead to the end of your map’s life. A phone is also more relevant in our generation where most people carry their phones on their person at all times. Carrying a map around is now just another unnecessary hassle that we have to worry about.


Interesting point you made about the hassle of having to deal with maps, Connor. The phone is such a useful tool because it is a compact collection of all the tools we found useful but could never really carry around. I tend to be old school and glorify the paper map, but you made a valid point that paper maps are simply not convenient. But, as Broussard mentions, and you make clear, there is always the possibility of an unforeseen shutdown in the GPS system. In this situation, we might find that we're in dire need of an inconvenient paper map. I agree with Broussard that we all need to choose the map which best fits our needs, and I also agree with you, Connor, that in today's world, the GPS is much more relevant.

Dominique Harris

I have mixed feelings toward this article. I want to start by saying that I think having a digital map, alongside a physical map would be ideal because, of course, there's always the chance that your digital map could stop working or lead you to the wrong location. I don't think that it's fair to say that physical maps are necessarily superior, though, because they "teach you the layout of areas." I think you can look at a map all you want, but until you actually explore that area, you won't know what it's like. So, digital maps are the same way because you're exploring the area as the map is telling you where to go. So overall, I think they're both equally important to have. One doesn't outweigh the other.


I found it interesting to say how some digital maps are better than others, while a physical map may be incorrect simply because it's out of date. People nowadays heavily rely on their phones to navigate them, but more often than not the digital maps do not bring them the fastest desired way. Using a physical map gives easy access to seeing where you are in a specific area and navigating the distance between two places easily.


I understand the main premise in the argument, but I think it overlooks a major assumption. That being, that electronic maps often are more detailed, and they make for a much easier way to find important locations and services. Take for example that your car breaks down in an unfamiliar environment. On paper you have a 50/50 shot that the map even has mechanics listed. If it does, you have to make the call as to which is the closest one to reach out too, and you have no way of knowing besides estimating the distances on the map. The essay discussed in length about the advantages to paper maps, as if reading them makes you smarter as a whole, however it failed to mention their disadvantages that caused them to fall out of the main stream in the first place. Therefore, the article seems out of touch, and it fails to address why the topic matters to most people.


I have mixed feelings about this topic. I think that GPS's and digital maps are very useful, but I agree with the author's point that reading paper maps can help you store the information better by making those real life connections in your mind. Just by touching the paper, the smell, the lighting; it can all make a difference in how a person can understand the directions. However, digital maps can do more than paper ones can, like showing restaurants and schools and inns, while paper maps only consist of roads.


Before reading the article, I did give thought into maps. All I could bring to mind is my father who still use maps instead a GPS. He studies the map before taking off on a road trip so he will be two steps ahead. I had found that interesting; especially when Broussard explained that maps help increase cognitive skills.


I understand why it's becoming a lot harder to find paper maps and that's because you actually have to learn to read a paper map. Where with digital GPS you just type in an address and it talks to you.A dead phone and no service will make you wonder why you never knew how.


It's interesting how some people don't look at maps on paper as much anymore. Even though using a smartphone identifies practically everything live, we use data and require connection to the internet to use its maximum potential. Maps on paper is well used for long distance trip planning to understand the route taken and roads that may not be shown on the digital map. Both paper and digital maps present their unique uses to the users but paper does have their uses still.


I thought that this article was very interesting and critical. In the modern world, whenever you need directions or are in search of something around you, the use of digital maps is very useful. However, with this article, I can understand the author's point of paper maps being more useful in their own ways. Also, having knowledge of using paper maps also helps people that can't use digital maps if not available to them for whatever reason. It's also very interesting that the author answered the "so what" for this article as many do not challenge this idea and think a digital map is better. One of the strategies that were very useful to the author was using her own personal experience with very large cities to show the effects of using these two different types of maps.

Krysta Johnson

Harrison, I appreciate that you acknowledged Conner's insight on paper maps losing there importance in today's society and defending the old school method of navigation. I was amused by Don Hundley's comment's on his not knowing paper maps still existed and basically, his classification of there being from the dark ages of VCR and 8-track tapes. Dominique Harris made valid points too, though I probably, when planning a trip across the United States, would most likely have that old school paper map. My luck would be the battery not keeping charge. Overall I agree paper maps still have there place. Thank you Meredith, I'm with you!


I find this topic very interesting with all the technology advances we have in society today however it is still important for paper maps and address books instead of relying on contacts in your phone for back up you never know when electrical items shut down and need back up and paper is the one you can always rekey on so fact that can get you threw like essay you have on computer saved you have it on paper your safe and have back up you get lost in the wildernesses map is the savor to getting out that mess

Pragya Sonker

In this article, Meredith Broussard is arguing that in the digital age today paper maps should not be forgotten, and they still and always will have a purpose. She supports her argument by explaining the meaning of deep and surface knowledge. Surface knowledge is acquired by digital maps, but deep knowledge is acquired by paper maps because you become more familiar with the area around your destination. Broussard uses her personal experiences as examples in this essay to further support her argument. Another point she mentions is that digital maps are not always accurate because they are not updated for that specific location and you would never know, but with paper maps you can easily identify how updated it is. Broussard's last supporting detail for her main argument is that if something were to ever happen, like a government shutdown, and digital maps weren’t available, it would be crucial to have paper maps to respond to emergencies.

I agree with Broussard that paper maps shouldn’t be forgotten. Paper maps are reliable and always there for you. Although we are in a technologically dependent age and everybody uses digital maps, you never know when there is going to be a need for paper maps. It is entirely possible that someone could be traveling to a place with no proper service, so having maps printed out beforehand would make their lives so much easier. Digital maps are the most convenient, but paper maps are reliable. I don’t think people are ever going to choose paper maps over digital maps, but that doesn’t mean paper maps should be forgotten because who knows when they will be needed.

Omar Macon

Although I believe paper maps should indeed stay around, I disagree with Meredith Broussard in that paper maps are better than. In her article, she tries to make her argument for why paper maps need to have a place in today’s society but instead, it leans more toward an argument of why paper maps are better than digital maps. Her point on paper maps needing to stick around is something that most people will agree with, including me, but paper maps are not better than digital maps. She argues that paper maps can help you obtain knowledge of the geography which will help you understand an area’s culture and history, but she does not include the other side of the argument in how digital maps are more helpful when it notifies you that areas are blocked off or if there is road work that is being done. They even show you multiple routes to a location and which is the fastest. Digital maps can create routes for not only driving but for walking as well. Her argument for map mistakes, saying that issues with digital maps go viral is correct, but digital maps update quickly and frequently to account for most things which is something that just isn’t possible with a paper map and specific issues such as the unmarked exit example she uses rarely happens and are easily fixed. Towards the end of the essay, she returns to her original argument to say paper maps need to continue to have a place the digital age by saying the first responders need them when the satellite systems go down and discontinues her argument on paper maps being better than digital maps. She does this by saying that both types of maps should both be accepted and that both will be needed in the future, making her main argument unclear, but there is still a prevalent bias toward paper maps in the article.

Laura Goldsby

I haven't really put much thought into how maps were made; aside from seeing an occasional google car cam or pole taking pictures of the streets. I like to use both paper and digital maps when traveling. I've found on different occasions, while using digital maps, my final destination has either been several miles away or nonexistent. When it comes to preference, I don't have one a favorite way to look up a location. I typically use digital maps to help find more immediate spots that are new to me like dentist or doctors offices. I was taught to always keep a paper map in my car because you never know what could happen. In this vast world there are places where reception is scares or absent.

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