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Which route planning software?

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#1
Kartograph

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Dear CartoTalkers!

Long-time-no-write, as I have been terribly busy, only time to lurk once a day.
Me and my wife will do the U.S. of A from coast to coast. Is there a decent route planning software for offline use, so we can use a laptop as a car navigation substitute? (to put it otherwise: Which product would you prefer?) Motel Locations and maybe contact addresses would be great, but not essential. Even a no frills non routable road map would suffice, if it´s up to date, affordable and covers all of the continental states.

Regards,

Andreas

#2
Nick Springer

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I may be biased (I designed the software) but Microsoft's Streets & Trips is honestly the best for just pure offline trip planning and travel. It has the standard Navteq data and a great set of POIs. Plus you can usually get it cheap (<$US50).

The Delorme product is difficult to use and the Rand McNally software is just bad.

Microsoft also offers a version of Streets & Trips with a USB GPS device for around US$130, but it just plots your location and doesn't add any navigational guidance.

If you are really interested in in-vehicle navigation on a laptop, you should look for CoPilot Laptop 8. The cost significantly more, but the GPS navigation is the best around. Unfortunately their map data leaves a bit to be desired (home-grown, not Navteq).

Nick Springer

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#3
Kartograph

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Dear Nick,

Thank you very much. I´ll buy the Streets and Trips. Not enough money for a gps :( .
I´ll let you know how I got along with it. Will fly on monday. I guess the programm will be available in everywhere I can buy software.

Regards,

Andreas

#4
Kartograph

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Dear Nick,

Maps and Streets was terrific and just right for the purpose. Even the one and only cafe in Dyess, Arkansas (pop 512) was in it. User interface was nice. The only thing I didn´t like was the driving directions. But I don´t like em with any route planning software.

Thanks again,

Andreas

#5
Nick Springer

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Glad it worked for you, and it makes me feel validated that you liked the UI.

Nick Springer

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Owner: Springer Cartographics LLC


#6
Hans van der Maarel

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Not exactly route-planning software, but worth mentioning as well...

A not-to-be-named car rental company offers a cellphone-based navigation solution as an extra option for the rentals. The idea is great, but I've only used it for about 10 minutes, during which time it fell off the window twice (bad suction cup), lost connection once, gave me illogical and generally barely audible directions. This all caused me to get more or less lost in a bad part of Seattle. Fortunately I spotted a highway leading in the correct general direction.

Moral to this story... Eh... I'd rather stick with maps to be honest.

One funny thing though, when getting the rental:
Me: So does the navigation system also work in Canada?
Rental Guy: No, the satellites don't work in Canada.
Me: Oh really... [holds hand in front of mouth to hide laughter]

In contrast, Mapquest has provided me with spot-on and accurate routes from door to door.
Hans van der Maarel - Cartotalk Editor
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#7
Kartograph

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One thing that maps excel in is getting a good overview -> survey knowledge
Using a laptop for navigation worked so good for me, because my wife could use it just like a very convenient map, while I was driving. (Screen-) size matters, after all.
I think, as long as HUD displays don´t come into general use, people won´t get anywhere faster because of looking on tiny screens of onboard units.

Regards,

Andreas

#8
Hans van der Maarel

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Andreas,

I have to disagree. I was travelling through the SF Bay area with my friends and they have a navigation system built into their Toyota Prius, which works pretty well. The screen is large enough to be actually useful, you have the option of adding your own POI's and it's a fairly userfriendly system. I wouldn't mind having one of those in my car (which, incidentally, would double the value...)
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#9
frax

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hey hans, what bad part of seattle was that?

/me lived there for a little bit way back...
Hugo Ahlenius
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#10
Hans van der Maarel

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Hugo,

Well, 'bad' is all relative anyway, but I ended up close to the airport in an obviously-not-so-well-doing area, don't remember many street names except "Military Road". Since it was going to be afternoon rush hour, I really just wanted to get to the I-5 to head up North. Fortunately, I ran into WA-99 North, which eventually led me across to I-5
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#11
frax

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:)

The thing about being a map geek, cartographer and geographer is that you can't really get lost (when family members and/or friends are present, esp wife) without being ridiculed...
Hugo Ahlenius
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#12
Hans van der Maarel

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:)

The thing about being a map geek, cartographer and geographer is that you can't really get lost (when family members and/or friends are present, esp wife) without being ridiculed...

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Absolutely true.

But at least I knew I had to
- find an interstate or highway
- go north

Once I got on I-5, I drove to my friends house in Anacortes, WA without taking one wrong turn, even though it was dark by the time I got there and I had only been there once before.
Hans van der Maarel - Cartotalk Editor
Red Geographics
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#13
loximuthal

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The thing about being a map geek, cartographer and geographer is that you can't really get lost (when family members and/or friends are present, esp wife) without being ridiculed...


Geographers (and, I suppose, cartographers) are never lost. We are only taking the scenic route ;)
Andy McIntire
US Census Bureau

#14
Nick Springer

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We're just mapping new territory as research for a future project.

Nick Springer

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Owner: Springer Cartographics LLC


#15
Rob

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Who on this board actually ever admits to being lost? that's a no no.

rob




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