John McKinney makes the argument in the article “Don’t Throw Away Your Paper Maps Just Yet” that while GPS units are great for telling you your location, paper maps are better for telling you the picture of where you are (via All Points Blog and The Map Room). McKinney sites several arguments including the British Cartographic Society which has argued that digital maps are increasing geographic illiteracy. Also referenced is an interesting study in Japan:
A study comparing paper map users versus GPS users yielded some surprising results. Dr. Toru Ishikawa and colleagues at the University of Tokyo found that people on foot using a GPS device make more errors and take longer to reach their destinations than people using an old-fashioned map.
Where’s the best place in New York City to hail a taxi? Ninety million taxi trips have been collected since GPS technology was installed into taxi cabs (a move that was bitterly fought by taxi cab drivers). The resulting analysis of those trip allows one to see what the best corners are to grab a taxi at any given time of the day, any day of the week.