Apple iPad + Michelin maps
A thought crossed my mind when thinking about the benefits and costs of GPS vs. paper maps: what if Michelin maps digitized their maps and put them on the iPad?
When I say benefits and costs I'm thinking of things like saving space and weight (GPS), being able to plan long routes from a high level (paper), finding shortest paths and quickest routes (GPS), getting a quick lay of the land and jumping around (paper), searchability (GPS), etc.
It seems that something like a combination of an iPad (3G/GPS version) with digitized versions of Michelin's maps saved on the device may be a nice compromise, adopting many of the benefits of both GPS and paper maps. Considering size, weight, battery life, fast scrolling and zooming, iPad seems to be a nearly ideal package for this sort of use. And as for Michelin maps, to me their design is more clear, their data more quickly digestible than something like Google Maps or Google Earth.
Are there any devices out there that approximate my description?
I'm coming from the perspective of someone who has used very few dedicated GPS navigation systems, all several years ago, and found them to be generally frustrating when not paired with paper maps.