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Old 05-09-2009, 07:26 AM
 
943 posts, read 2,783,276 times
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"Most Americans do not know how to read a map" That was the opinion of the man I talked to at the AAA Office. He works with AAA members in the trip planning office where people will come in and say I want to know how to drive from Richmond VA to Atlanta. He says that the majority of the people who come in to see him have never looked at a road atlas and do not know where our major cities are in relation to each other.

Many of these people are college graduates and professional people but are completely confused when it comes to cross country travel.

I think the people at AAA could be helpful to tell the members which routes have construction, heavy traffic, lots of turns, stop lights, long commerical strips, etc and which ones are easier through roads. But generally the average person should learn how to use things like www.mapquest.com and read an atlas. Don't you think?

I support the people using the services at AAA but they should be able to read a map and learn where cities and states are too.

Last edited by Weekend Traveler; 05-09-2009 at 08:39 AM..
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Old 05-09-2009, 07:37 AM
NCN
 
Location: NC/SC Border Patrol
21,135 posts, read 21,907,788 times
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The AAA trip plans are so superior to the regular on-line maps. Have you ever tried several different places on-line. They don't all give the same directions for the same question. We also found they list streets that cannot be found. It is so much better to have more details like the AAA trip planners. We just came back from vacation and luckily I keep an atlas in our back seat at all times after a nightmare without one a few years back. Unfortunately we didn't bother with AAA this time because the place was only 4 hours away. We should have! We were fine until one detour had another detour. That was when we turned to our atlas.

We also like the travel books we get at AAA with restaurant and hotel information.

I also like the form of the AAA trip plans. One year we were traveling out West and could see that the direction they were sending us was experiencing bad weather, so we just opened up the page and went in the direction of the better looking weather and avoided a huge snow storm in the mountains.
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Old 05-09-2009, 09:32 AM
Status: "I hate living in Georgia!!" (set 19 days ago)
 
48,282 posts, read 45,567,709 times
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I am a GIS major. That is part of the reason I have learned how to read a map. Another part is that I have been looking at maps since I was 8 years old.
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Old 05-09-2009, 09:54 AM
 
Location: USA
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I know how to read a map and have GPS in my car but I still have AAA do the "Triptik" when traveling across country.
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Old 05-09-2009, 10:49 AM
 
Location: South Carolina
13,826 posts, read 18,824,106 times
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i think this is one of the things that should be included in the geography classes starting in junior high school . I think that gps is one of the worst things that was ever created cause it tends to make you loose your sense of direction instead of improve it . I definately think it should be taught in school .
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Old 05-09-2009, 10:57 AM
 
14,267 posts, read 24,025,211 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Weekend Traveler View Post
"Most Americans do not know how to read a map" That was the opinion of the man I talked to at the AAA Office. He works with AAA members in the trip planning office where people will come in and say I want to know how to drive from Richmond VA to Atlanta. He says that the majority of the people who come in to see him have never looked at a road atlas and do not know where our major cities are in relation to each other.

Many of these people are college graduates and professional people but are completely confused when it comes to cross country travel..
Back in the "old days", they taught geography where maps were studied as well as climate conditions. They also taught civics which covered what you really needed to know to be a citizen.

In the 1970s, that was all replaced by social studies, a conglomeration of politics and political correctness, maybe with a bit of history. Also, in many cases, social studies is where a number of schools hide their weaker teachers and their athletic coaches.

Personally, we always were surrounded by those book atlases that the State Farm agent would drop off. One or two pages per state was the norm with a lot of the major tourist sites and institutions.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Weekend Traveler View Post
"I think the people at AAA could be helpful to tell the members which routes have construction, heavy traffic, lots of turns, stop lights, long commerical strips, etc and which ones are easier through roads. But generally the average person should learn how to use things like www.mapquest.com and read an atlas. Don't you think?.
AAA has offered a TRIPTIK to its members for AT LEAST 50 years where they provide you strip maps for your route with areas of congestion, construction, and speed traps.

I no longer assume that people know what they should know. When I hire kids out of the university (in the US), you would not believe it but I have to train them on how to balance a checkbook, how to book a plane ticket and certain other life skills. The Asian graduates that I manage seem well more prepared for life.
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Old 05-09-2009, 11:01 AM
Status: "I hate living in Georgia!!" (set 19 days ago)
 
48,282 posts, read 45,567,709 times
Reputation: 15366
Quote:
Originally Posted by jlawrence01 View Post
Back in the "old days", they taught geography where maps were studied as well as climate conditions. They also taught civics which covered what you really needed to know to be a citizen.

In the 1970s, that was all replaced by social studies, a conglomeration of politics and political correctness, maybe with a bit of history. Also, in many cases, social studies is where a number of schools hide their weaker teachers and their athletic coaches.

Personally, we always were surrounded by those book atlases that the State Farm agent would drop off. One or two pages per state was the norm with a lot of the major tourist sites and institutions.





AAA has offered a TRIPTIK to its members for AT LEAST 50 years where they provide you strip maps for your route with areas of congestion, construction, and speed traps.

I no longer assume that people know what they should know. When I hire kids out of the university (in the US), you would not believe it but I have to train them on how to balance a checkbook, how to book a plane ticket and certain other life skills. The Asian graduates that I manage seem well more prepared for life.
I wouldn't be surprised that the education has gone down a bit in quality. I learned more just sitting donw and reading the encyclopedias than I did in school. There were actually certain parts of my own textbooks that were never covered. For that reason, I ended up learning about maps at an early age. I did it myself.
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Old 05-09-2009, 12:23 PM
 
6,351 posts, read 19,363,631 times
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I'm appalled at the lack of map-reading skills we Americans have... Even truck drivers don't do the proper trip planning they should. I've always enjoyed looking at maps and, as a kid, I dreamed of visiting the faraway places I'd visit when I was grown. If I had a dollar for averey car that passes my truck where the passenger has an AAA Trip-Pak, I'd be rich!
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Old 05-09-2009, 01:24 PM
 
Location: SW France
14,269 posts, read 14,157,411 times
Reputation: 27923
I adore maps and have a small collection of them.

I also have a 1908 edition of The Motor Routes Of Britain, an Edwardian route guide.

Whilst in Houston I was shown some 17th century road maps of England in an Antiquarian shop, together with maps of Texas from the 1830s!

Back to the present day, relying on a GPS system alone is just asking for trouble.
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Old 05-09-2009, 08:10 PM
 
Location: The Big D
14,874 posts, read 37,291,940 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phonelady61 View Post
i think this is one of the things that should be included in the geography classes starting in junior high school . I think that gps is one of the worst things that was ever created cause it tends to make you loose your sense of direction instead of improve it . I definately think it should be taught in school .
AGREE!!!! I love calling a store or business that your not aware of and then asking them for directions. Basically, if it is anywhere in the city I live in I know the main and most side streets but it is always the, "what corner are you on?" that throws them. My favorite is the turn left/right......... um, you never found out which direction I am coming FROM!?!?! These people have no clue when you ask them "northwest........ northeast..... southwest........ southeast".

My parents drove on all of our vacations and my dad being a truck driver we took many a "backroads" in some places that were rather, err, interesting. I have ALWAYS paid attention to where we are going and what is around. I can be in a new state/city and in one drive know my way around for the rest of the time. Go back a few years later and remember how to get around w/o even looking at a map.

GPS is NOT reliable. We had one on one rental once and after that I told them to forget it. For fun we used it to help us get to our hotel for the week on Hilton Head Island. It was a novelty for us. It gave us semi right directions but told us to turn into this one place and then said, "you have arrived". Umm, I didn't book the local 7-Eleven for a weeks stay. LOL!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by jlawrence01 View Post
Personally, we always were surrounded by those book atlases that the State Farm agent would drop off. One or two pages per state was the norm with a lot of the major tourist sites and institutions.
Same here. We have some and the covers are completely worn off. Those things are GREAT!!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Crew Chief View Post
I'm appalled at the lack of map-reading skills we Americans have... Even truck drivers don't do the proper trip planning they should. I've always enjoyed looking at maps and, as a kid, I dreamed of visiting the faraway places I'd visit when I was grown.
LOL!!!
The company my dad drives for is based out of Florida. My dad is out of "Dallas" and their driver out of Houston quit a few months ago. The manager in Florida told my dad he could cover BOTH setups in Dallas AND Houston in a DAY!!!! According to the moron in Florida they were pretty close to each other. Mind you this is not simply driving a load from one city to the other and back. This is going to certain locations on a weekly/daily basis and setting up and then tearing down and going to the next with several "stops" in one day.
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