Do You Know How to Navigate with a Road Map? #NationalReadARoadMapDay
To remind everyone about the importance of being able to read a map, today is National Read a Road Map Day — and that might sound a little weird to millennials. To join in on the conversation use #NationalReadARoadMapDay on social media.
Maps are one of the many items that have become less used and even forgotten about in today’s digital world. Like writing a check, we can turn to the Internet and use a faster system that does the work for us.
But relying on mobile devices for directions can potentially be a big problem for someone on a road trip or in an unfamiliar area. The batteries on mobile devices can die, Internet service may not be available, or the roads may have changed and the GPS data can be outdated and give you bad information.
Aside from the potential problems one may get into without knowing how to get to their destination, being able to read a map and comprehend cardinal directions (north, south, east or west) forces us to pay attention to our surroundings. Furthermore, if you have no idea which way north, south, east or west is, you may not be able to understand the directions someone might give you if you had pulled over to ask for directions.
When it comes to being able to determine which way north, south, east or west is, Floridians have it fairly easy. Which direction is the beach or what view does the beach get of the sun? The beaches on the Atlantic Ocean are on the East Coast and they get sunrise. So, you know that when you looking at the ocean on a beach on the East Coast, you are looking in an easterly direction — to the east. South is to your right, north is to your left and west is behind you.
Also knowing basic directions makes it easier to navigate or to take alternative routes when necessary. Sometimes roads can approach much faster than you anticipate, so if you know that you’re destination is south of you and you know that you will be taking I-95, you can determine that you need to get on I-95 South. Or, if I-95 South is closed down one day, and you know that you need to go south, you’ll understand that the other highways marked south, will take you in the direction you need to go.
Reading a map is pretty easy, we promise. So if you don’t know how to do so, spend some time looking at one — it will be much easier learning now than when you are lost on a road trip with no cell phone service and a flat tire. Plus, a map can give you perspective to size and distance that a cell phone screen sometimes can’t.