From the official Final Fantasy XI forums:
Viewing maps of other areas
The other day on the JP forums there was a suggestion to make it possible to view maps of other areas by selecting the map from the key item list. The development team decided to look into it and while they are still discussing this more in depth, they came up with a couple of ideas.
• Viewing the map of other areas
We are discussing to see if it's possible to view the map of other areas by preparing an area-selection interface similar to the area search and display the map of the area players select. There are areas with multiple maps, but for these we are considering to display the map of the area in order.
• Markers on maps of other areas
We are also looking into whether or not it's possible to place markers on the maps of other areas when displayed. We are starting to see some possibilities so the design is being worked on at the moment. As long as everything goes well, you will not only be able to view the map of other areas, but also place markers on them as well.
However, in regards to sharing the marker placement with party members or displaying the location of party members in other areas on the map, this would be difficult since the method for handling the data in multiple areas needs to be solved first. We will continue to look in to the possibility, but please understand that this is quite difficult to make happen.
• Balance Adjustments
Along with the discussion on the feedback we have received, we are also reviewing the balance on acquiring the area maps. As of now, the methods on how to obtain maps vary depending on the area. Some you can purchase from NPCs, while others you receive as a reward for completing quests. Overall, we would like to make them easier to obtain.
Once we get some more information on the solidified plans we will be sure to let you know.