Are maps fading into the past?

12:33 PM, Sep 6, 2012   |    comments
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SAN FRANCISCO, Cal. (KNTV) - In these days of GPS smartphones, Lon Metzger is nostalgic for the paper map.

Not that he has to go far to find one: Metzger has more than 5,000 road maps dating back to the start of the last century, crammed into boxes and drawers and throughout his home in Moraga, California; items he started collecting as a kid on road trips with his family.

Yes, Metzger relies on GPS to get him from point A to point B, but when it comes to traveling long distances, nothing beats paper.

A paper map provides the kind of world view that's hard to visualize on a 4-inch video screen.

While you're plotting your route on a paper map, you might stumble upon a road or place; an adventure you might've missed with your Garmin or Tom Tom.

AAA of Northern California tells us its paper map usage has dropped 60 percent since 2000.

Demand went down so much, the auto club shut down its cartography unit in 2008 and started outsourcing its map production.

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