Get lost!


LIFE WAS uncluttered in the 60s and 70s. But, when they said technology would make life even easier, we sheeple believe them. Is that so?

For twenty-years I kept appointments with businesses scattered around four British counties. Before leaving my home I used my dog-eared £4.95 A ~ Z atlas. The easy to understand book accurately got me from my home to any obscure address in towns many miles away.

Popular today, the Global Positioning System (GPS) is a satellite-based innovation used by drivers. Has GPS finally made Geographer’s A ~ Z Maps history?

I recall the Daily Mail carrying out a survey in which a dozen invited participants tested the two systems. Six of the contestants used their A ~ Z conventional maps to reach their objective; the other six used the GPS tracking system. The A ~ Z map users reached their destinations more quickly.

Be prepared for more surprises; the Geographer’s A ~ Z maps were introduced in the 1930s. Another revelation is that the originator of the flawless A ~ Z road map was Phyllis Pearsall MBE. Little did I realise that it was a woman who, for over 80 years, directed me and millions of other motorists safely and trouble free to whatever address we wanted.

Another thing you may not know: Every map published by the Geographer’s A ~ Z map Company includes a non-existent ‘trap street’. This helps her team to tell at a glance if a bought copy is illegally copied. This ingenious innovation has since been hijacked by various publishers of reference works.

Geographer’s A ~ Z Map Company is the largest independent map publishing company in the UK. The Sevenoaks-based company publishes over 300 atlases.
Recently, hundreds of tourists seeking one of Norway’s most visited attractions were misdirected by Google maps to an obscure hamlet situated 30km from the attraction. Roy Jarle Johansen of the Norwegian Public Roads Administration says road signs (and maps) aren’t the answer because people trust Google more.

Chatting with a haulier, whose business operates between the Costa del Sol and the UK, he told me he preferred the A ~ to Z maps to the GPS system.

When in 2012 the Olympic Games were held in London the A ~ Z Company was chosen to provide the detailed maps for the Olympic Parks in Stratford and other Olympic locations. As Henry Ford said, “If it isn’t broke why fix it?” Case closed, the rest of you can get lost.

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