Gene maps, or annotations, enable us to navigate the functional landscape of our genome. They are a resource upon which virtually all studies depend, from single-gene to genome-wide scales and from basic molecular biology to medical genetics. Yet present-day annotations suffer from trade-offs between quality and size, with serious but often unappreciated consequences for downstream studies. This is particularly true for long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs), which are poorly characterized compared to protein-coding genes. Long-read sequencing technologies promise to improve current annotations, paving the way towards a complete annotation of lncRNAs expressed throughout a human lifetime.