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Read a Road Map Day

Ready for an adventure? Celebrate Read a Road Map Day by taking a scenic drive and exploring new destinations with the help of a trusty map!
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When it is?
April 5
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Country
United States
Creator
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Founded
Introduction

Get ready to navigate your way through Read a Road Map Day on April 5! This holiday may seem like it's just about reading a map, but it actually has a rich history dating back to the early 20th century when road maps became widely available to the public. Today, with the rise of GPS and digital navigation, this day is a great reminder to appreciate the art of reading traditional paper maps and honing our navigational skills. So put away your phone and get ready for some old-school map reading adventure!

History of Read a Road Map Day

Read a Road Map Day Dates

Read a Road Map Day Timeline

<div class='timeline-item'><div class='timeline-left'><div class='timeline-date-text'>1917</div></div><div class='timeline-center'></div><div class='timeline-right'><div class='timeline-text timeline-text-title'>First Free Road Maps</div><div class='timeline-text'>In 1917, Gulf Refining Company became the first to distribute free road maps at its service stations.</div></div></div><div class='timeline-item'><div class='timeline-left'><div class='timeline-date-text'>1920</div></div><div class='timeline-center'></div><div class='timeline-right'><div class='timeline-text timeline-text-title'>Rand McNally Auto Chum</div><div class='timeline-text'>In 1920, Rand McNally introduced its first compact, comprehensive road atlas called the "Auto Chum".</div></div></div><div class='timeline-item'><div class='timeline-left'><div class='timeline-date-text'>1930</div></div><div class='timeline-center'></div><div class='timeline-right'><div class='timeline-text timeline-text-title'>AAA Issues Maps</div><div class='timeline-text'>By the 1930s, the American Automobile Association (AAA) started issuing road maps for its members, contributing to popularize road trip culture.</div></div></div><div class='timeline-item'><div class='timeline-left'><div class='timeline-date-text'>1985</div></div><div class='timeline-center'></div><div class='timeline-right'><div class='timeline-text timeline-text-title'>Read a Road Map Day Established</div><div class='timeline-text'>In 1985, Read a Road Map day was established to remind people about the usefulness and beauty of paper maps.</div></div></div><div class='timeline-item'><div class='timeline-left'><div class='timeline-date-text'>2005</div></div><div class='timeline-center'></div><div class='timeline-right'><div class='timeline-text timeline-text-title'>Rise of Digital Navigation</div><div class='timeline-text'>Following the rise of digital navigation services like Google Maps in the mid-2000s, the tradition of Read a Road Map Day gained newfound significance and nostalgic appeal.</div></div></div>

How to Celebrate Read a Road Map Day

<div id='' class='facts-item'><div id='' class='facts-header'><h3 id='' class='facts-number'>1</h3></div><div id='' class='facts-text-wrapper'><h3 id='' class='facts-title'>Plan a road trip</h3><p id='' class='facts-text'>Take advantage of Read a Road Map Day to plan your next road trip! Gather some friends, grab a map, and start plotting out the perfect route to your destination.</p></div></div><div id='' class='facts-item'><div id='' class='facts-header'><h3 id='' class='facts-number'>2</h3></div><div id='' class='facts-text-wrapper'><h3 id='' class='facts-title'>Create a map-inspired craft</h3><p id='' class='facts-text'>Get creative and make a map-inspired craft to celebrate the day. You can make a map-themed scrapbook, wall art, or even a map-shaped pinata!</p></div></div><div id='' class='facts-item'><div id='' class='facts-header'><h3 id='' class='facts-number'>3</h3></div><div id='' class='facts-text-wrapper'><h3 id='' class='facts-title'>Learn map reading skills</h3><p id='' class='facts-text'>Use this day to brush up on your map reading skills. You can take a class, watch tutorials online, or simply practice with a map and compass.</p></div></div><div id='' class='facts-item'><div id='' class='facts-header'><h3 id='' class='facts-number'>4</h3></div><div id='' class='facts-text-wrapper'><h3 id='' class='facts-title'>Organize a scavenger hunt</h3><p id='' class='facts-text'>Gather some friends and organize a scavenger hunt using a map. This is a fun and interactive way to celebrate Read a Road Map Day.</p></div></div><div id='' class='facts-item'><div id='' class='facts-header'><h3 id='' class='facts-number'>5</h3></div><div id='' class='facts-text-wrapper'><h3 id='' class='facts-title'>Visit a local map museum</h3><p id='' class='facts-text'>Take a trip to a local map museum or exhibit to learn more about the history and art of cartography. You may be surprised by what you discover!</p></div></div>

Why We Love Read a Road Map Day

<div id='' class='whywelove-item'><div id='' class='whywelove-letter-cont'><div class='whywelove-letter'>A</div></div><div id='why-we-love-main-cont'><h3 id='' class='whywelove-title'>Discover new places</h3><p id='' class='whywelove-text'>Reading a road map can lead you to some amazing adventures. Whether it's finding a hidden gem in your own town or discovering an entirely new destination, using a good old-fashioned paper map allows you to navigate and explore without relying on technology.</p></div></div><div id='' class='whywelove-item'><div id='' class='whywelove-letter-cont'><div class='whywelove-letter'>B</div></div><div id='why-we-love-main-cont'><h3 id='' class='whywelove-title'>Challenge yourself</h3><p id='' class='whywelove-text'>Reading a road map requires a fair amount of skill and concentration. It can be both challenging and rewarding to use your sense of direction and problem-solving abilities to get from point A to point B. Plus, it can be a fun activity to do with friends or family!</p></div></div><div id='' class='whywelove-item'><div id='' class='whywelove-letter-cont'><div class='whywelove-letter'>C</div></div><div id='why-we-love-main-cont'><h3 id='' class='whywelove-title'>Learn about geography</h3><p id='' class='whywelove-text'>Studying a road map can teach you about different types of terrain, landmarks, and geographical features. It's also a great way to become more familiar with the layout of your country or state. Who knows, you could even discover your new favorite vacation spot!</p></div></div>

5 Uncharted Facts about Read a Road Map Day

<div class='facts-item'><div class='facts-number-wrapper'><p class='facts-number'>1</p></div><div class='facts-core-content'><h3 class='facts-title'>Map Folding: An Art Within Itself</h3><p class='facts-content'>Did you know map folding is an art? Road maps are usually large and folding them back into their original form can be challenging. Common folding types involve the accordion fold or the 60-seconds fold that includes a sequence of pleats and re-folds.</p></div></div><div class='facts-item'><div class='facts-number-wrapper'><p class='facts-number'>2</p></div><div class='facts-core-content'><h3 class='facts-title'>Mapping the World: Collective Endeavour Over Centuries</h3><p class='facts-content'>Cartography, the science of making maps, has been done for thousands of years. Ancient cave drawings often included maps of local terrain, while modern ones are the result of collective observations, advancements in technology, and sharing knowledge over centuries.</p></div></div><div class='facts-item'><div class='facts-number-wrapper'><p class='facts-number'>3</p></div><div class='facts-core-content'><h3 class='facts-title'>Not All Maps are Created Equal</h3><p class='facts-content'>There are many types of road maps. While standard road maps focus on highways and major roads, others like topographic maps show physical land contours and features, and thematic maps illustrate specific geographical information like climate or population density.</p></div></div><div class='facts-item'><div class='facts-number-wrapper'><p class='facts-number'>4</p></div><div class='facts-core-content'><h3 class='facts-title'>Maps Utilize Symbols to Communicate</h3><p class='facts-content'>Road maps use a system of symbols, also known as cartographic symbols, to represent real-world entities. These symbols, denoting anything from roads and railroads to parks and hospitals, are designed to be easily understood by users.</p></div></div><div class='facts-item'><div class='facts-number-wrapper'><p class='facts-number'>5</p></div><div class='facts-core-content'><h3 class='facts-title'>Reading Maps Boost Cognitive Skills</h3><p class='facts-content'>Learning to read a map can improve cognition, specifically spatial thinking skills, as it requires you to visualize the geographic locations in a two-dimensional context and translate them to the environment around you.</p></div></div>

Read a Road Map Day FAQs

When is Read a Road Map Day?

Read a Road Map Day is celebrated on April 5th every year. In 2024, Read a Road Map Day will occur on a Friday.

Read a Road Map Day Dates

Year
Date
Day

2023

Apr 5

Wednesday

2024

Apr 5

Friday

2025

Apr 5

Saturday

2026

Apr 5

Sunday

2027

Apr 5

Monday

Special Interest Holidays