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Discussion Starter #1
Since it's too cold to ride, like many of you, I've been planning summer trips.

I've been using Microsoft Streets & Trips 2002. It's easy to use but I don't like the print features. You cannot suppress the numbered boxes along the route (I've called Microsoft and they confirm this).

Have any of you used DeLorme or Rand McNally map software? I'd be especially interested in comments from those who have used one or both of these along with Microsoft so we get a side-by-side "experience" comparison.

Besides the printing limitations mentioned above, are there features in DeLorme and Rand McNally not found in Microsoft that you really like? I don't know if the others have this but in Microsoft you can select "Preferred Roads" and set priorities. I like that.

Are there other map software packages for consumer use (trip planning as opposed to business applications) besides the 3 above that I should look into?

All comments appreciated. Thanks!
 

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I have been using Delorme Street Atlas for years. I have the latest 2004+ Deluxe Edition, now, and have upgraded every year since 1998. I also have Streets & Trips 2004, as my Southern Cruisers local chapter uses it for routing chapter rides.

The one thing that Delorme can do that Microsoft cannot is to export contacts from my Act database program. I am in sales for a small fiberglass tank and piping systems manufacturing business, and we use Act for our customer database. On that program I can create a group of customers in a particular area of the country that I may want to visit. I can then export these contacts to my Delorme program and develop the best fit route, to call on them. If I can't get an appointment to see someone, it is easy to remove them and change the route to those that I can see.

Microsoft does have an import function, but it only works with Microsoft Outlook. I do not have all my contacts information in my Outlook program, so do not have the complete information to import from there. Adding all this information to Outlook would create much unwanted duplication of information, and I would never remember if I did it all.

Delorme has all the same functions as Microsoft, (as far as I can see) just using different keys, mouse clicks, etc. to do it. You can set preferences for roads, speeds traveled etc. just like Microsoft. I must say that I have been frustrated more than once with the auto routing feature of Delorme, taking me places I don't want to go, having to add many (vias) to the route to make it work the way I want to (read that as time consuming). With Microsoft, it is more manual where you plot your route and then get the directions when you are done. This (to me) just saves time when setting up routes. I really haven't paid much attention to the differences of printing either of these programs.

To sum this comparison up, I find myself using the Microsoft program more now than Delorme, unless I am setting up a route to call on customers. My personal use of mapping software has slowly switched over to Microsoft Streets & Trips.

These are just my experiences with these two products. There may be other advantages or disadvantages with each, that I am just not aware of. If you have specific questions, please feel free to contact me.
 

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map software

i have been using microsoft and rand and i think the ease of use catagory would go to microsoft but i really like all of the features in rand ..it took me a while to get sued to the different setup but i think that in accuracy i would trust rand over microsoft ..microsoft seems to steer me wrong and be misslabling streets and rt numbers...this one treck i use is always miss numbered its telling me to go west when i want to go east and the rout only goes east in real life but microsoft seems to think it goe west ...go figure...anyway i reall like the rand feature it take a while longer to set up your rt but itis very feature rich ....
 

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I use Microsoft Streets & Trips 2004 and Garmin Metroguide (for my GPS). You can use the Garmin software even if you do not have a GPS. MS Streets & Trips does let you import data from Excel, Access or various text file formats (don't see Act on the list though).

I use Streets & Trips more than Garmin, but can't really explain why. I have learned to live with the numbered boxes. Compromise seems to be the norm with Microsoft products (kinda like marriage :shock: ).

Looking forward to reading more opinions.
 

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Mike (Michigan) said:
Have any of you used DeLorme or Rand McNally map software? I'd be especially interested in comments from those who have used one or both of these along with Microsoft so we get a side-by-side "experience" comparison.
I have used StreetAtlas (SA) for about 5 years, since version 7 I think. Despite it's aggravations it is still the better of a bad lot. I bought M$oft S&T two years back to try, and it was a royal pain in the butt by comparison.

I demod the Rand thing but was probably too set in my ways and expectations relative to SA that I was not impressed with it either.

As much as I hate to seem to endorse a not-yet-commercial-grade software, I'd still go for SA. The delorme tech support is all but useless as they send "canned" replies and hope they fit. Once you get a reply for that questione you are dead in the water for any follow up no matter what.

On the good side of SA is that it does integrate well with the garmin GPS for a moving map display and voice prompts.

It is the better of what's available but it still aint close to perfect.
 

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FlyTheWing wrote

On the good side of SA is that it does integrate well with the Garmin GPS for a moving map display and voice prompts.

I forgot to mention that I do use an Earthmate GPS with My Delorme Street Atlas, with laptop open on the passenger seat. I also use a Garmin Emap mounted on the dash, when it's not on my Wing, because none of these mapping programs is perfect, and I really do like knowing where I am.
 

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Hi Mike,
I only use the 04 version of MS's Streets and Trips but I have a complaint with it and wonder if any of the other programs have similar shortfalls..that being outdated info. Makes me wonder why a major scenic hwy like (the Cherahala Skyway) between Robbinsville, NC and Tellico Plains, TN still is shown under construction. The highway was completed in the fall of 1996. It's also way behind on motels that have been in place for years. I fnd my confidence factor is not high using this software, always wondering what else is outdated that I'm counting on .... not a good feeling....so I'm reading with interest the responses as well.
http://www.tailofthedragon.com/cherohala.html
(And Mike, I updated my route with all your great suggestions...thanks again)
Bill
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Bill - It was my pleasure providing the suggestions. I love dreaming about trips, planning them, riding them and then reliving them by going over the routes and updating where I followed the handlebars instead of the map.

Regarding your software showing the Cherohala Skyway under construction, I thought about sending the following through a private message but then realized it may be of value to others on this board.

I just now created a map of the Skyway in Microsoft Street & Trips 2002 and no section of the road appeared under construction. So, I'm wondering if your software's construction info needs updating? There's a couple ways to do this in Version 2002. Click "Route" and then "Update Construction Information". The next time you "Get Directions", there should be a green line on the map all along the Skyway. Version 2004 will have a similar update feature, if not identical.

You will also see something like "Construction information needs updating - Click here to update". This will be seen below the "Summary" information line near the top of the Directions Window. I'm not sure if clicking on the above described update links will put your computer online since I always make sure I'm already on line before clicking to update.
 

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Mike,
I know what you're saying and update whenever the software suggests. I manually just now did it again to make sure I had the lastest info. Can you try this for me... If you use Robbinsville, NC as the start point, and Tellico Plains TN as the stop point, and read your directions... when is the first mention of being on the Cherahala Skyway?... for me, it's saying to use SR-1127, then Pine Rodge Rd, then an unnamed Forest Service Rd....and finally at 20.1 miles from Robbinsville, it says "turn right onto Cherahala Skyway". If you're getting something different, can you send the file to me directly?...thanks
 

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Mike, I switched over to "Streets & Trips" four years ago and have been very happy with the decision. I use Garmin's Metroguide and City Navigator V5 out of necessity with the GPS but would prefer S&T if it worked on the GPS.

The work around that I have devised for the printout with out numbers on the S&T is to export the map as a web page, then:
1. Open the web page, which is now a .gif, with the MS Paint progam.
2. Use the "pick color" icon on the left side, to match color by the
number block to erase.
3. Use the paint brush erase the number block.

This method has been a big help to me as my wife likes to made a CD of our trips and the map adds a nice visual aid.
 

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Delorme TOPO 4.0

I have owned and used several different map programs. I have used Delorme regular, Nationa Geographic, Street Atlas, MS maps and I finally just bought Delorme TOPO USA 4.0 3-D and I am amazed with it. The 3-D topography is unbelievable. I have followed routes that I have ridden on my wing and it is turn for turn and hill for hill. It is somewhat technical. I had to read the instructions to use the 3-D, which is unusual for me. It is also quiet expensive at $100.00 retail. I bought mine on ebay for 65.00.
I would recommend this to those who can afford it.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Bill - I just sent you a file and a Word doc. The Word doc has a screen shot of the map I get - all green - no construction. Nowhere in the file does it label the road/route "Cherohala Skyway".

I tried to pull up "Cherohala Skyway" as a destintion or point of interest and it wasn't found. However, I believe the route indicated is the Cherohala. I used this software 2 years ago when I rode the Cherohala and the directions worked. Don't recall how I determined the route. Must have been from Hwy #s I pointed to and clicked on. That info/file is on my laptop at home and I'm still at the office.

Hope the emailed attachments help.
 

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Paupton - I just check out Topo USA at http://www.delorme.com/topousa/default.asp They say on that page: "New version 5.0 coming in mid-March. Additional information will be posted here soon." The 3-D demos on that page are awesome.
 

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Questions about Delorme and Rand...

Three questions: 1. For those who use Rand McNally StreetFinder and TripMaker Deluxe, does it cover Canada? 2. For those with Delorme Street Atlas USA 2004, does it have campgrounds? 3. Does either one have informaiton on state and national parks?

Thanks.
 

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I also found the error for the skyway in Streets and Trips. It seems to end right at the Smoky Mountains. But that is the only misinfo I have found. Once in awhile it has trouble routing offramps like they don't exist for some reason. You have to schedule a stop at the ramp to get it to route properly.

It is far more accurate than the Garmin software. We have numerous major roads that have been renamed or re-routed over 10 years ago and the software doesn't show it. That was the primary reason I got rid of my Garmin. I figure if it is that inaccurate on the roads that I know, what about the ones out of town.

Larry
 

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Mapping Software

I am willing to supply a sample of Street Atlas and Microsoft Maps for anyone who would like.
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Generally the programs allow for both Senic and Quickest way. I would suggest a route you know so you can compare.

I would like to supply only 1 or 2 samples and will print to PDF format. And post the links for all to comment.
 

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I have had excellent results using Rand McNally Trip Maker. easy to use program...operating system friendly...has voice directions if you chose to use them. I would rate McNally as excellent as a map source product is to a garmin gps. bear in mind they are two differnet animals...but both are excellent in what they do. Mcnally is paper...garmin is eletronic gps.
 
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