you are about to go to a new place that you just heard about it before and you already searched about it online. You also have a good smartphone and you previously stored needed maps on the memory. So you have a good estimation of where you are going to. After enough search, you decide to ask some locals, so you can decide with peace of mind. But what you hear from people are totally different from what you had estimated! What`s going on around here?!
The point is, sometimes local people tell what they have in mind exaggerated! For example, a ten-kilometer track in a very short distance may seem normal for locals, but the same route for someone from another country, is a long way to go! So, at the time you asking the address, you might hear “it`s just in that corner!” and in reality you see that you are driving for minutes to arrive at that place!
This is not something that happening for short distances. I had this situation when I was at Yosemite National Park. My fellow traveler from Italy asking about the path to Las vegas and Grand Canyon, and each person answered something totally different! However, those maps I stored on my iPhone before this journey showed something different from what other people had beed told us. The 600 kilometer way to Las Vegas and the type of roads and speed limits clearly showed that what other people are saying is not completely right.
Among those people in there, One gave me a very good advice: buying a paper map and keep it with me during my road trip. Because there are some spots that there is no cellphone coverage and therefore, i will have no access to internet to use smartphone routing system properly. That advice was very useful to me. In a reference paper map, there are quite details to estimate and calculate distances between different places, so you can have a better view of how much time is needed to arrive.
As an answer to “asking locals or relying on maps?”, I should say that a mixture of all of them can work fine! You can check what you hear from people with those information from different maps that you have with you and then you can choose the best way to go.