By Andrew Liszewski
I can’t remember the last time I used a map that wasn’t provided by Google or displayed on a GPS-equipped device, but Rand McNally has convinced me that traditional printed maps aren’t dead yet. Of course paper maps can still be easily torn, destroyed by rain, and never seem to fold up the same way once they’re opened, which is why Rand McNally has produced a series of tourist-friendly maps printed on microfiber cloths instead.
In fact during CES they were handing out maps of the Las Vegas strip, and as someone who’s never 2 feet from a microfiber cloth for cleaning my iPhone and camera lenses, I was instantly sold on the idea. I mean think about it, they’re waterproof, they can be easily crumpled up and crammed in a pocket without being damaged, and they never need a couple of minutes to lock onto a GPS signal or download map data. The fabMAPs aren’t for all travelers though, given their size they seem mostly targeted at tourists, and there’s only about 25 of them available at the moment (for cities like New York, Chicago, Beverly Hills, Las Vegas etc.) but at just $5.95 each on the Rand McNally website they could be one of the most useful things you stuff in your pocket.