(CBS NEWSPATH) – Getting from A to B is going old school with the resurgence of paper maps. According to the NPD Group, sales of maps and atlases reached 1.8M units last year, up 20% over 2021. AAA says it produced 123% more maps in that time frame.
“We’re seeing obviously an uptick in travel across the board. So, as we’re sort of coming out of the COVID pandemic, people are really traveling more,” says Ragina Ali of AAA. The road club produced five million paper maps last year to accompany its popular “TripTik” route planners. “There is all this additional information, points of interest, locations where you can stop for electric vehicle charging perhaps, or AAA diamond hotels, restaurants, things like that,” Ali says.
Retired detective Miller Edwards says while he also uses GPS navigation in his leisure travels, paper maps offer perspective. “They give me a general idea of a larger area that I need to go to see,” says Edwards. “They have different cities and different points of view.”
Truckers are on board, too, with paper atlases. Driver Shawn Gresham uses an atlas to solve practical problems out on the road, like identifying low clearance areas and weigh stations. He encourages other truckers to keep an atlas in their cab and learn how to use it.
Another upside to paper maps in this digital world: they don’t rely on cell signal. Users say that’s especially handy when traveling off the beaten path, whether on foot or in a vehicle.