There’s a story today from Minneapolis about the closing of the Hudson Map Company that is shuttering their business after 100 years of business. The reason for the closure is the complete lack of paper map demand, although the store will still maintain inventory and sell maps online.
Just a year ago there was a story about the closure of the Hagstrom map store in New York City, with a sister store in Washington, D.C. also shuttered. Hagstrom has since been consolidated into Kappa Map Group that was formed earlier this year, which also consolidated American Map, Mapsco, ADC, and Universal Map.
I’m happy to see that my favorite map store The Boulder Map Gallery still has a storefront, but I’d guess that the days are numbered. People rely heavily on GPS now, and with the advent of tablets we can bring rather detailed map presentations into our travels. These larger screen sizes, and the assisted navigation, will largely mark the end of paper maps for most users, although the outdoor adventurer will still surely demand the disconnected map experience.