PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- Maybe your car comes with a navigation system. Maybe you have a GPS device.

Most phones now have maps and apps to help you get around, but do people still use real maps anymore? The answer is yes, because a map store is still going strong after about 45 years in the Valley!

 "We are one of the few places where you can buy the world, literally buy the world," says Jeffrey Diaz, the director of Wide World Maps.

To check the place out, just head to the area of Indian School Road and 20th Street. A few clicks on whichever navigation system you use will get you there, or anywhere these days. But Diaz says you lack the overview of where you're going with digital technology.

"Here's the deal, a lot of times when you are navigating with your device, it's blind navigation. You really don't know where you are. You're just following arrows and commands," he says.

We wanted to know how the Wide World Maps, that opened up in the Valley in 1974, is still going strong today.

"It's a special niche that is still out there, and people come in everyday," Jeffrey says. "I kind of always have thought that because it's a special unique type of niche, you still can in this day and age need tangible maps."

Many of Diaz' customers, he says, are small business owners, teachers, and outdoorsy types.

"A lot of times the digital world, when it comes to mapping, is small, kind of hard to read, not very good for planning. With tangible maps you can open that map and boom you're there and start your planning, which is half the fun," he says.

Diaz' other clientele is not whom you think. Many, he says, are in their 30's, and that's even changing.

"Some of the younger generation are discovering that maps are cool, out-of-print books, specialty maps, antiques," Diaz says.

Diaz says it was scary to see navigation technology get bigger and bigger, but, luckily his business did too.

"We know what's in demand and we keep our eyes open all the time. I want to go another 50 years! I wan to keep this going," Diaz says.

Start your mornings with anchor Yetta Gibson weekdays from 4:30 a.m. to 7 a.m. on CBS 5 This Morning. Her passion is telling great stories, getting out and about to meet and talk to people in the community, and making what she calls "that comfortable connection" with her viewers.


Copyright 2019 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.



CBS 5 This Morning Anchor

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