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Jan 19th 2019, 09:16 AM   #1
A2B
 A2B's Avatar
 
  Jan 2019
  Methow Valley

  ATK Rotax, Buell xb12ss, CL160
Question Are trip maps still useful?

This is the time of year that I start going over riding gear, tools, patch kits, camping gear, etc.. But I'm wondering "Why do I have a whole drawer filled with old ride maps, atlases, gazetteers, etc.." It seems that Google and a good Garmin have done the job the last couple years, so do I still need to go through the pre-trip ritual of highlighting maps and trying numerous origami folding methods so they fit the tank bag?

So what do you think? Are maps still an important part of motorcycle travel? Any bad GPS/Google experiences? Is being lost kinda part of the adventure?

A2B
Jan 19th 2019, 09:42 AM   #2
 chadams66's Avatar
 
  Jan 2016
  Garden Home

  2012 Versys...'83 BMW R80 RT...Suzuki GS 450t
Butler maps mark the best motorcycle roads...they aren't necessary but they are very helpful...
FidalgoRob likes this.
Jan 19th 2019, 10:30 AM   #3
 Boatdriver's Avatar
 
  Jan 2016
  Washington

  16' Tuono Factory, 15' Kawi Concours
I always travel with a trip map. It's much easier to look at a large area to help with direction decision making, they don't need batteries or a source of power (other than a flashlight in the dark) and they rarely fail.
juanitotheclumsy likes this.
Jan 19th 2019, 11:42 AM   #4
 GPD323's Avatar
 
  Jan 2016
  Spanaway

Friend I trip with always uses the Butler maps when making our GPS routes. He has found some obscure roads that are a delight to ride, others like some goat trails not so much.

Once we were in Canada and missed the ferry, he got the map and we found a road that circled the lake and got us back on track w/o having to wait for hours for the next ferry.

I have the full PNW Butler set also to include many states nearby. 6 maps in total.
Jan 19th 2019, 11:56 AM   #5
 GPD323's Avatar
 
  Jan 2016
  Spanaway

Oh one more thing, the last few years we have had to detour due to all the fires in several states, we did look at the maps but we know the areas so we were able to detour.

If you are unfamiliar with and area the maps assist a lot!!!
Jan 19th 2019, 11:58 AM   #6
 Transported's Avatar
 
  Jan 2016
  Portland

  2006 FZ1, 1999 R1
Besides the good points mentioned above, roads in parts of the region have no or spotty cell service.
Jan 19th 2019, 09:46 PM   #7
 Lena's Avatar
Forum Admin
 
  Jan 2016
  Portland

  Monsters
Quote:
Originally Posted by Transported
Besides the good points mentioned above, roads in parts of the region have no or spotty cell service.
Are you speaking from experience? Because GPS doesn't use cell service

It's nice to have multiple redundant options but I still prefer Benchmark Atlases.
Jan 20th 2019, 05:45 AM   #8
 Transported's Avatar
 
  Jan 2016
  Portland

  2006 FZ1, 1999 R1
Yeah, you’re right. Don’t know what I was thinking.
Jan 20th 2019, 07:34 AM   #9
bcj
 bcj's Avatar
 
  Jan 2016
  teh rock

  K1200RS SV650
All the health nuts advocate turning off all your electro devices an hour before sleeping.
Maps aren't electric devices.

Be like Billy. Mind your manners.

Jan 20th 2019, 08:18 AM   #10
 
  Jan 2016
  Woodland, WA

I just finished planning a ride to Northern California in May, and I used a combination of the Butler NorCal map plus Google Maps plus a couple of county maps. I construct each day's route using an app called EnRoute, and then send the gpx files to my Garmin. I find that when you get down to the little itty bitty one-lane roads (what Butler maps calls "paved mountain trails") you need detailed local maps to locate them in Google maps. What is maddening is that there is inconsistency between the naming of roads in these various sources.

Another problem about planning a route at this time of year is that EnRoute uses Google Maps, which has up-to-date road conditions. Right now some of the mountain roads are closed due to snow and Google Maps doesn't want to allow me to use those roads, which will be open by the time I make the ride.
Jan 20th 2019, 08:22 AM   #11
 
  Jan 2016
  Woodland, WA

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lena
Are you speaking from experience? Because GPS doesn't use cell service
If you navigate using a cell phone, aren't you using cell service and not gps satellites?
Jan 20th 2019, 09:07 AM   #12
 WarpShatner7's Avatar
 
  Jan 2016
  Here

Quote:
Originally Posted by McRider
If you navigate using a cell phone, aren't you using cell service and not gps satellites?
No, you can tell when you're on cell-only location service: that's when you see the huge big circle that often doesn't narrow your location down enough to be useful for things like picking roads. Your phone can't really triangulate on multiple towers even if they're available. (How big that circle is depends on the number of towers around and how much area they cover.) Your phone's GPS is actually called "A-GPS" for "assisted"; it uses a service on the cell network to find and coordinate the satellites faster. But it will still do it when there's no cell service available, it's just slower. But once it's got them it'll work normally until you power off or close all your location-aware apps.

I've tried the google maps trick of caching the area I'll be riding into in advance. It's kind of fiddly and uses a lot of storage if you try to include too much high resolution, but works pretty well.
Jan 20th 2019, 11:37 AM   #13
 Mudslinger's Avatar
 
  Sep 2016
  Seabeck

  Africa Twin
I use "MAPS.ME" it downloads the maps ahead of time so you can use it "offline".
Jan 20th 2019, 01:09 PM   #14
 Lena's Avatar
Forum Admin
 
  Jan 2016
  Portland

  Monsters
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mudslinger
I use "MAPS.ME" it downloads the maps ahead of time so you can use it "offline".
I do too! I was required to use it in Colombia and have been using it ever since. Same concept as Google Maps offline, both more or less equally useful.
Mudslinger likes this.
Jan 20th 2019, 08:50 PM   #15
 
  Jan 2016
  Gig Harbor

  BMW F650GS / BMW R12R
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mudslinger
I use "MAPS.ME" it downloads the maps ahead of time so you can use it "offline".
The HERE mapping app uses the same concept and I've had very good luck with it. The website says maps for 200 countries are available. In the US one can download individual states (or partial states for some of the large ones that would otherwise require lots of storage on a phone.). Once downloaded the only cellular data used is a tiny bit for traffic, if you select to use that option.

https://mobile.here.com/?x=ep
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