Do a lot of young people not know how to use maps?



We had this girl come with us for a holiday recently who struggled to read the towns on a map and work out the roads we were going by direction, and didn't understand a road being by the sea with no land gap means the road is by the sea.

I asked her why she couldn't and she just said she uses a GPS to get everywhere.

Can most people under the age of 20 read a map correctly? Or was she just a bit slow? Lol.


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Most Helpful Girl

  • I guess i don't know why she didn't know how to read a map. Maybe no one ever taught her! But i can assure you that not all us 18-19 twenty somethings are hopeless. I know a lot of people my age that know how to read a map including myself. :)
    take care

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Most Helpful Guy

  • i feel like it's become less of a focal point in education. i work with a girl who recently graduated college and her lack of understanding of direction, like where things are relative to our geography is baffling. she hardly knows where any state that doesn't border us is. i literally had to teach her about time zones

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    • i think it comes from the internet and gps. when i was a kid i had to literally look at a map to know where something was located. on family trips my mom would pass the map back to me and tell me to find x, y, z... now on family trips i imagine most people don't even have a map in the car.

What Girls Said 12

  • Alas, my map reading skills are not up to scratch. I've simply never really needed to use one so I don't have much practice. I also generally don't have a sense of direction anyway, I get lost pretty easily. Plus, I don't drive, so it's less important for me to actually know where I am. I've had a few experiences where I needed to read a map and I can do it alright but I'll still get frustrated with it.

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  • I also use my phone's GPS to get everywhere but that's just because it's handy. I mean maps are usually huge and it's hard to use a map when it's raining/snowing outside.

    But I do know how to use a map. When we went to Rome with our class, we had to use maps because using your phone's GPS would be too pricey when you're abroad.

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  • i think i can read a map alright. better than most at least.

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  • I'm not proud to admit it, but I have no idea about how they work lol

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  • in my opinion many young people have never even seen a map. Why would they it's GPS now days.

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  • I don't know why she finds it difficult. It's easy af.

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    • Yeah I thought so too, but not for some people.

  • Well I surely know how to read a map if it has a legend attached😊

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  • is she stupid? how hard can map reading be?

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  • I'm not that good at reading them. Luckily Google Maps can tell me how to get there ;)

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  • I use the map. on my. phone lol

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  • She just has topographical disorientation.

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  • Yeah I can use a map a GPS map that is 💁

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    • What about a real map lol

    • Oh heavens no. I have no since of direction at all. You know how campuses always point north well to me whatever way I face is north to me and once I turn that becomes north and if I turn again then that's north. I think you get my drift.

What Guys Said 16

  • Hahaha... I have noticed the same thing. I do a lot of orienteering for outdoor educations with youth and some know what a compass looks like but have never used one.

    Once I show them how to line up the compass on the map grid and get a bearing towards something they always say, that is really cool! LOL

    I can find a location and be much more accurate with a map and compass than your typical GPS.

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  • Well I'm not over 20 . .. . or under 20 . . .

    But yeah, map reading is easy for me, I don't have GPS so what I'll do is find a map online print it out, or keep a screenshot of it, if not I'll go without a map. Then I'll write down the route (if I'm using public transport) but for the most part I just stare at the map then try to memorise it

    That's just how I get around, it always works

    33.media.tumblr.com/.../...02zJfR1sxcftfo1_400.gif

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  • Although I will admit I use a GPS for the sake of convenience, I do always consult the map to know where said GPS would be taking me. + I used to like navigating with maps as a kid.

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  • I would have thought if they actually stopped to think about it and look at the map they could work it out.

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  • reading a map is easy, but it's not practical. i mean it kinda is when you have no tech available, but you can find gps's anywhere so why would you use a map? the problem with maps is that it's terrible for orientation and spacial awareness. i mean look at most europeans. most of my european friends can't conceptually fathom the size of the usa. they couldn't believe that i could drive 8 hours and get almost nowhere.

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  • I could read them a little bit but for the most part don't I mean around here you don't really need a map.

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  • I think I can read most maps pretty well. Never use a GPS.

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  • I think all the "young" kids just use GPS now. Have probably never ever looked at a map even. They'll probably stop making them in time I think lol. A lot of people don't know how to read a map properly anyway but with GPS, forget it.

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  • I doubt many can. I'm not even sure where you'd get a map anymore, I haven't seen one for sale in a gas station for years (and how often do you even go into the station these days anyway?)

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  • Please make it clear that you are talking about a large paper map which does not say "you are here". Typical example would be a County or State map. This question is not about opening Google Map and the map or lo ation service telling you where you were.

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    • No one else has trouble understanding it so take your two cents elsewhere.

    • I was trying to add to your question in a friendly way. But I guess you are one of those many morons here who are full of their mother's shit in their head.

  • I've still got maps that say beware they be Beastie's here

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  • i can read a map, but i won't ask for directions.

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  • Sign of the times

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  • Who uses actual maps these days when you have GPS? Lol

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  • im 22 and im really a good map-reader. it's also about visual abilities of a person.

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  • If I was ya I'd tell her to fuck off and leave her...

    See why I hate 21st century? It made people dump... I can use a map and I'm 24... I don't even need a GPS at all...

    And ya know wot? Maps are easier... GPS is harder... it doesn't always work unlike a map...

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