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This review is from: Rand McNally Road Atlas (Rand Mcnally Road Atlas: United States, Canada, Mexico) (Paperback)
First let me say this is April 2011 and I am trying to figure out how this could possibly be an up to date 2012 map. By the time it's 2012 everything in here will be nearly a year old. It's not just Rand McNally, all the map companies do it. Obviously a marketing ploy to get it out there before the summer driving season. Go figure, just some food for thought.
If you do decide to buy this Rand McNally map I strongly suggest you read the map legends on the back of the front cover page. They will show you the symbols that represent rest areas, type of roads, state parks ,parking areas, the size of towns, and cities, plus many more items that have to be abbreviated ,since they would not fit on the Map in full size. This map is large " 15 in. By 10 1/2 in, " but necessary to fit everything in so it is legible. I would not recommend the mid size map, it's lacking in detail and is difficult to read.
Before retiring I was an over the road trucker for over twenty years, driving in excess of one hundred twenty thousand miles a year from coast to coast and Canada. I have probably tried every road atlas out there at one time or another, but always came back to Rand McNally.
Most people forget not to long ago there where no GPS devices to get you from point A to point B. Most of my trucking career was spent without a GPS, and I had to depend on a good Road Atlas to get me to where I was going. If you think you had problems getting lost in a car, try doing it in a 70 foot long tractor trailer. You just cant stop anywhere to reevaluate your directions or make a U turn on a 2 lane road. Consequently you need an easy to read, accurate Road Atlas at your side so you get it right the first time.
Evidently some people think every small town or sub division should be on this map, get real there is only so much space on there to fit everything before it gets overcrowded and the whole map is totally illegible. Best to get a state or local street map for a small town or city coverage. Be prepared before you start your trip.
Each year there are thousands of new upgrades to keep up with all the new road construction that's going on out there. If you need an accurate Atlas for directions, it might be a good idea to get a new Atlas yearly. Even if you have a GPS as I do, they are not perfect. Best to buy an Atlas as a backup, I did.
Rand McNally makes a special truckers version of this Atlas with truck information such as truck routes, overpass heights, weight limits, etc. etc. Since retiring I use this version which is the same, without the trucking information.
Another item that might be helpful if you travel a lot is the Travel Distance Finder Distomap
for easily checking the distance from city to city. It's not expensive, very sturdy and never needs to be replaced until it wears out.
I personally know the overwhelming majority of truckers including myself use the Rand McNally Road Atlas for good reason, its the best.