The basic problem is that people have a very hard-to-model knowledge of their community.
A delivery driver (pizza, or whatever) would likely have a VERY thorough knowledge of the area, basically, the whole thing mapped out, just in their head.
The prepper would likely have something similar, but on paper.
The average joe would likely know where a certain number of shops are (the places they shop - how do we model that?!?), the immediate street layout and buildings (even smaller than the current default starting area), and the "major" streets for a good ways beyond that (what makes a street "major" in this game? nothing obvious...), along with a few random freebies that they just happen to remember (had a friend who worked there, had a funny story there one time, etc).
Many would know where the nearest hospital or walk-in clinic would be. Almost everyone would know of at least one grocery store (not necessarily the nearest).
How about non-city area? Well, for most people these days, if they aren't a farmer, rancher, or hunter, well... uh. This is a foresty type area?
The things one would care about in a zombie apocalypse are, for most people, a very different set of things than what they care about in day-to-day life. How to model that is difficult and open to LOTS of interpretation. The current setup works well enough for most types of start, I think - certain professions should probably start with a larger and fuller map and/or one (or more) of the map items (probably used on the starting location, actually, whether they have the item in inventory or not), but for the rest, something that averages out about like it does is decent.
Unless you have a more specific suggestion than "make it better"? "Reveal the map" is available through the debug menu - feel free to use it!
(I do think that the phone book should randomly reveal 1-3 building-type tiles (not parks, parking lots, fields, forests, etc) within a certain distance that are adjacent to a road you have already revealed - that would give a reason to actually READ the silly things.)