Maps.. Don’t lose your way..

Published on: Author: Mike Hall Leave a comment

Until recently, I had MapPoint 2010 installed. The trouble is that it is now 2012 approaching 2013, and the accuracy of the maps can’t be guaranteed. There is an update service for road works etc. but not for revised maps. Make no mistake, Microsoft’s MapPoint is a very good business application, but it has a huge price tag too. So, what to do?

For the common man, there is Streets and Trips 2013 priced at around $40.  For this. you do get some features.

  1. The ability to set up driving speeds and fuel costs
  2. Show places of Interest and restaurants primarily.
  3. Send maps and directions to a cellphone.

Useful to you?  The third could be useful if you have a family member of friend who is totally lost  somewhere. The other two are borderline useful.. If you have to make the trip, does knowing cost help that much. The second may be if you are planning a weekend somewhere and you want to know the locations of major attractions..

There is a trial version available here .. http://www.microsoft.com/Streets/en-us/default.aspx .. and you will be able to determine whether the features are what you need or find useful. Remember that you will still have to upgrade regularly to get new maps which better reflect changes and addition.

Before you buy it, you should compare results with online map services. I compared results from S&T 2013 and Bing maps, putting in my current address as a start point, and my old address in Eastern Ontario as a destination.

  1. Bing maps did well, giving me a 683.6 km route, and the most direct, logical route.
  2. S&T 2013 gave me a 743.7 km route which almost included downtown Montreal.

After hours on Ontario Canada’s Highway 401, the last thing I will be looking to do is to drive through Montreal’s western suburbs. S&T loses out, but I have noticed this kind of thing in MapPoint 2010 too.

I remember looking for Ottawa International Airport in MapPoint 2010, and the directions took me to a service entrance on the other side of the main runways. Of course, I didn’t know that until I arrived there, although I did have misgivings for the last three kilometres, but I just had to see where it was going to take me.

Anyway, Bing , Google and Yahoo did ok with the present to last address, but the real winner is MapQuest because it gave the two most logical routes AND it has tabs for all of the activities, places to stay, places to eat, places to get gas, places to get cash from an ATM, way more stuff than S&T gives. all along the route.

Why am I telling you this?

Missing a map service, I looked for something more affordable and in the process re-discovered MapQuest.

I can finally free up some space in my ‘OS and application images’ folder without having the feeling that I have lost something good.. 

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