Reading Handout

_______________________________ Core________ Date_________________
Reading Handout- Take A Map
World Maps in Your Pocket
Today, maps are at the tips of our fingers. We have them on our televisions, computers,
tablets, and even cell phones. As long as you have access to electricity and a good data
connection, you are can explore different places throughout the world. Today’s maps are
animated and changing. Because of the development of mobile mapping software, maps are no
longer only kept in bound atlases or folded inside dashboards. Many cars now come with builtin GPS systems that allow drivers to type in their destination and receive point-by-point
Maps and charts have actually existed for thousands of years. In medieval times, castles
had map rooms where hundreds of maps were rolled into scrolls and stored. Unless there was a
detailed catalogue, maps could be easily forgotten. The updating of maps took a long time
because a new map would have to be commissioned, or made according to specific instructions.
If there was a seasonal change to a landscape, such as a river in spring flooding a nearby road,
you would have no way of knowing just by going to the map. After the invention of the printing
press, maps became more widely available and faster to change, but they still needed to be
copied and carried to other locations by foot or horse. There was also another problem: you
were stuck with one map of an area. If you wanted to move outside of the mapped borders, you
needed to buy or borrow a whole new map!
Today, much of our society is electronically based. Many things you use, like your music,
movies, and even textbooks, can all be stored electronically. Why should maps be any different?
The Internet has allowed for the preservation of information. We can now access the map
Magellan used to circle the globe. However, although old maps are helpful for research, they
will not help you find the nearest hotel on a road trip. That’s where mobile mapping software
comes in.
You may already have access to mobile mapping software, even if you don’t know it. But
what is it? Mobile mapping is the process by which data from your cell phone, tablet, or other
chip sensor is received by a global positioning system (GPS). The receiver uses data from four
satellites to determine where the sensor is in relation to the area the satellites cover. A signal is
taken from your cell phone and relayed through a cell tower to a satellite to determine your
position on Earth. This is called georeferencing. Software has been developed that creates
complicated maps of the world so that your location can be quickly pinpointed. Georeferencing
can be done in many ways, such as the collection of camera images like the Google street view.
Maps to the Rescue!
The software in GPS systems can help emergency responders travel to the scene of an
accident quickly and safely. This is because many GPS systems have layers that collect data
such as traffic patterns, construction alerts, and weather conditions. Immediate access to this
information can help responders choose the best route to reach the accident location.
For hikers and campers, GPS systems can help keep a vacation safe. If hikers lose their
path in the woods or on a mountain, they can use their GPS to find their way back to the trail
without going deeper into the wilderness. Or, if they do become lost, they can signal their
location to responders so they can be quickly found. This is helpful in the mountains especially,
where the weather can quickly change. Hikers may leave on a summer’s morning and as they
move into higher elevations become stranded because of quickly moving storms. Having access
to a map that pinpoints your exact location is not only useful, but it is a potential lifesaver!
Maps for Travelers
Having easy access to applications such as Googlemaps, Mapquest, or Telenav through
cell phones can help people navigate cities and towns that they have never visited before. Not
only are the maps continually updated, but new software has allowed tourist destinations and
public transportation routes to be marked directly on the map. If you were visiting Washington,
DC, you could fly into Dulles International Airport and navigate your way through the Metro to
the National Zoo or Lincoln Memorial without even asking for directions.
Mobile mapping software has allowed Earth to be mapped electronically. Old maps are
not useless, however. Any person interested in history can analyze the maps of the first
explorers to see how they compare to the ones designed through satellite images. Now every
person can become skilled in map reading and geography. Mobile mapping allows for everyone
to have access to maps, and maps are no longer stored in dusty map rooms to be forgotten over
time. Mobile mapping has changed the way modern society operates. Now we have cars that
can give us spoken directions, and cell phones that pinpoint exactly where we are. What are
some ways mobile mapping impacts your life? How would your life be different without it?
Question (8 points)
1. In just 20 years, many people have switched from relying on paper maps to using
electronic maps. What do you think the next advance in global mapping will be? Why?
Use ideas from the passage to support your answer.