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Destinator
by Powerloc

 

Note: This review, like my other software reviews, will focus mainly on a discussion of what I see as the
strengths and weaknesses of this  program based on my (growing) experience with PocketPC Navigation programs.
Hopefully, this will help readers to see what sets a product aside from the competition, in good or bad.


 

Index
Current Versions:
System Requirements
Map Data
Strengths
Weaknesses
Tips
Q&A
Rate the Quality of the Routing

Official Links
FAQ
Download
SDK


 

 
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Current Versions:
- 1.7.2a SiRF Only
- 1.7.2b NMEA
- 1.80 - This was distributed with the Navman sleeve but I think it might be a "leaked" Beta...
- 2.03 - This was tested under a beta program, at least in the UK - Read Graeme's impressions here and see screenshots here

- 2.06 - Destinator's Presentation is here. Main difference with v1.7 is the addition of a 3D navigation mode.
 

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NMEA Mode Warning
While it is possible to use the current versions of Destinator in NMEA mode it will perform VERY poorly. This has more or less been acknowledged by Destinator but they seem to blame it on the hardware (see the warning on their website about using a Navman) rather than the protocol. Several users have been able to see for themselves here and here that switching their (SiRF) GPS receivers between from NMEA to SiRF made a HUGE difference !
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Position updates will be not be regular and will sometimes "hang" for near to a minute,

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The routing engine will often "hang" when a turn is coming up

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Successive turns are not announced timely

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Re-routing will be less efficient
 

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Map Data:
Destinator uses maps provided by Navtech. This company has the reputation of providing the most accurate maps and they are used in most high-end navigation systems. While Navtech provides quarterly updates to its licensees, Destinator has not yet integrated any significant updates since it was first launched in 2001. It is expected that such an update will be rolled out in the fall.
 

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Q&A - (excepts from various threads at PocketPC Passion)
 
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From this discussion thread at PocketPC Passion:
"...One thing you need to understand is that Destinator only lets you open one map at a time. On average there are 1/2 street level maps per state depending on the size/density of the state.
I think they only allow one map to be open for memory optimization reasons. They seem to have this very efficient compression/decompression scheme that would be hard to implement with several maps.
Having said that:
For Destinator, if I was planning a trip across states (and multiple map files):
1) Can I do that with the more detailed maps, instead of the highway map?
Not if your trip requires several maps
2) Can some sections of my trip use the detailed maps, and other the highway maps? for example, I may want the detailed maps of my start/stop states, but not the middle ones where I am just passing through
No but you can load/unload maps as you please. Each maps keeps a history of destinations so you can recall them easily
3) - Can I plan a multiple state trip directly on the PDA, or do I need to use the PC? I can see on a long trip I would not bring the pc. But sometime during the trip I may want to change the route, new destination, etc.
yes with the "highway map" and that's the only program that lets you do that AFAIK, CoPilot would require a laptop to create the route I believe.
4) - if I plan a trip, can I plan it from my current location as indicated in the GPS? Or do I have to give it specific start/stop points?
Either is possible. Remember that you can't specify intermediate stops though
5) - If I get the Destinator package (software & hardware), and later get a CF based GPS receiver, can I still use the Destinator software with it, or does it only work with their receivers?
Good question, if you get a SiRF based received (see
my website here under hardware for details) than you could certainly. I think Destinator sell the SiRF only version of their software with the bundle so NMEA wouldn't be an option. Destinator performs poorly in NMEA so you wouldn't be losing much..."

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Overall evaluation (compare)
bulletShort distance in town:  C
bulletMedium (<200 miles) distance: C (D if map crossing necessary)
bulletLong (>200 miles) distance:  C
 

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