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 MS Streets and Trips, AutoRoute, and MapPoint
 New Features of Streets & Trips 2005
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Marvin Hlavac

Canada
6904 Posts

Posted - 31 août 2004 :  22:53:57  Show Profile  Visit Marvin Hlavac's Homepage  Reply with Quote
What’s new in Microsoft Streets and Trips 2005
by: Marvin Hlavac



In my opinion this new 2005 version is a big milestone for Streets and Trips because it no longer is just a trip-planning software but now it finally is usable for GPS navigation.


Click to enlarge


Keep Position Centered. This is a feature that didn’t work well in previous versions. Even though Streets & Trips still cannot show your GPS position in one constant place on the screen without moving, it now at least does a better job at it then before. The icon no longer travels all the way to the edge of the map before the map refreshes but instead it appears there is some "invisible" border close to the centre of the map and when the icon reaches it the map refreshes and icon goes back to the centre. Not a perfect solution but a great improvement.

Rotate Map to Follow Travel Direction. This is a must feature for GPS navigation software these days. It lets you see what’s ahead of you in a more natural way. When this feature is enabled north will not be constantly the top of your map but instead your heading will be the top.

Recalculate Route from Current Location. This is also a must feature for any satellite navigation system. While other navigation software products do have “Automatic-Recalculate” feature, Streets & Trips requires you to hit a button to “manually” do it. Perhaps S&T 06 will introduce Auto-Recalc.

Warning: S&T always recalculates route using “Quickest” setting even if you set “Shortest” or “Preferred Roads” in Options. Let’s hope Microsoft will fix this bug.

Create GPS Trail. When traveling on a road which is not on the map you may wish to turn this feature on. Thus, if you save it, it may help you later in finding your way back. If you change the blue color of the trail you created to color white, and if you also increase the width, it may look like a real road. Unfortunately, a road created this way is not routable. I wish Microsoft makes it possible in future versions for users to add new roads this way. That should include the ability to edit road properties like one way streets, road type, prohibited turn and so on.

1.8 million POI’s. MS Streets & Trips 2004 had an impressive database of 1.3 million Points of Interest. The new 2005 version still managed to increase that by a hefty 40% to 1.8 million!

Updated Maps. Maps and POI’s are the main strength of Streets & Trips. I see newer streets that were not in previous version. But as always, do not expect to find new streets that were built during the last 2 to 3 years. It takes that long for map data providers to make new data available and then Microsoft has to put the new data into a new version of Streets and Trips. Hopefully this 2 to 3 year lag time will be shorter in the future.

Configure GPS. It was made easier by adding a new Scan button which will automatically check which communication port is your GPS receiver connected to.

GPS Pane houses all GPS features: Track Position, Keep Position Centered, Rotate Map to Follow Travel Direction, Recalculate Route from Current Location and Configure GPS. It also displays your traveling speed, compass, altitude, latitude and longitude coordinates, and the time of day. In my opinion I would rather see distance-to-turn instead of my speed (cars do have speedometers).


Click to enlarge


Low Price. People are reporting prices as low as US $23 for the software. Even if you don’t intend S&T to be your main navigation software why not buy it anyway for its other good features (ease of search, POI’s…).

Optional USB GPS receiver. A Pharos product.

Pocket Streets for Pocket PC and now also for Smartphone is included at no extra cost but has no routing capability.


---
Regards,
Marvin Hlavac
Toronto, Canada

Edited by - Marvin Hlavac on 01 sept. 2004 17:13:07

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gpspassion

94635 Posts

Posted - 31 août 2004 :  22:57:44  Show Profile  Visit gpspassion's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Thanks for the nice write-up, if you have a few screenshots, we'l put them up ;-)
I'm especially intrigued by the "GPS Pane"!

Good disclaimer on the maps, but sometimes for some reason they show streets/roads that haven't been built yet - it seems that the data collection is a bit half-hazard at times.

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igurevich38

USA
764 Posts

Posted - 31 août 2004 :  23:08:16  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Do you know if MapPoint will be updated this year to include all of these features as well? Or is it only S&T?
Also, how come Microsoft still didn't update their web site?
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gpspassion

94635 Posts

Posted - 31 août 2004 :  23:10:17  Show Profile  Visit gpspassion's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Two questions that no one here has any way of answering, unless you think Marvin resides near Redmond, which we know for a fact he doesn't ;-)

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Marvin Hlavac

Canada
6904 Posts

Posted - 31 août 2004 :  23:16:52  Show Profile  Visit Marvin Hlavac's Homepage  Reply with Quote
But I'm willing to bet (no more then Cdn$10 ;-) that there will not be MapPoint 2005. We will have to wait till MS MapPoint 2006. But again, do not take my word for it ;-)

Pictures will be added, Gpspassion.

---
Regards,
Marvin Hlavac
Toronto, Canada
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xcanuk

Canada
77 Posts

Posted - 01 sept. 2004 :  01:06:35  Show Profile  Visit xcanuk's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Questions and comments.

Recalculate route on the highway, I just tested it, and it did seem to do it, although I do wish it did it automatically. I'll fully test this when my wife is in the truck to watch the screen. It also allows me to use the local highways as a starting point.

GPS trail, not only for mapping out new roads, but for also indicating favorite stop offs. Basically I do my routing beforehand, point A to B, but ever take a trip and try to remember what exit you took when you found that really great diner/shop/ the last time, or want a second stop on the way back.

Odd things,
> they seem to ignore citys within Metropolitian areas.

> some of the local basic intersections/blvd's look like interchanges/highways. It took me a while to figure out the maps actually acknowledges blvd's with a divider vesus a solid line. Nice, but confusing. Direction of streets is also a nice touch. Street names has also been improved when they happen to be numbered routes.

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Marvin Hlavac

Canada
6904 Posts

Posted - 01 sept. 2004 :  01:32:32  Show Profile  Visit Marvin Hlavac's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Xcanuk, if my memory serves me well you are located in Ottawa. I just tried to set a Start somewhere in Ottawa at hwy-417 and an End on some local street nearby. After clicking on Get Directions the software wanted me to jump off the highway to the nearest road... Sometimes you get lucky and locate a spot on a highway where it works but majority of the time it doesn’t work. I tried it on many different hwy’s. The issue was the same when using MS MapPoint 2004 with AGPS add-on and attempting to Route-Recalculate while on hwy.

---
Regards,
Marvin Hlavac
Toronto, Canada
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gpspassion

94635 Posts

Posted - 01 sept. 2004 :  01:40:30  Show Profile  Visit gpspassion's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Just to pipe in, you might want to clarify that you have to "hit a button" to recalculate if you go off-route, I hadn't realized that at first ;-)

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Marvin Hlavac

Canada
6904 Posts

Posted - 01 sept. 2004 :  03:07:16  Show Profile  Visit Marvin Hlavac's Homepage  Reply with Quote
You are right, Gpspassion. I just modified it a little.

---
Regards,
Marvin Hlavac
Toronto, Canada
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xcanuk

Canada
77 Posts

Posted - 01 sept. 2004 :  03:42:52  Show Profile  Visit xcanuk's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I'm actually in Montreal, tried it again (stationary test) selected our highway 40 westbound, selected a location east of that point, as if I missed my exit, it routed me off the highway, looped me back eastbound on the highway to the proper exit.
I had the same result while driving earlier, hit the recal from current position (while stalled in rush hour traffic) and it did the same. I couldn't say how long it took to do it though. Not only do you have to hit the reroute button, you also have to specify the reroute point... I'll have to double check which point it recalculates to by default, closest, next, in direction travelling ?
Maybe its within your preferences/options on how it does it?

Edit.. forget that last comment,just read your revised post.
I also just realized rerouting ian't really new. If you passed an exit or street, you can always drag and drop your route to your current location.

Edited by - xcanuk on 01 sept. 2004 04:20:52
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Marvin Hlavac

Canada
6904 Posts

Posted - 01 sept. 2004 :  12:14:16  Show Profile  Visit Marvin Hlavac's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I tried it again, too. 5 minutes at home and 10 minutes driving on 2 different highways. It seems to be just fine.

In the past when using MP w/AGPS that above mentioned issue was the reason users could not keep auto-recalc on at all times. It would work in the city but hwy's would be mess. When I got my new S&T 05 and noticed the new recalc feature I checked how it worked on hwy's and I must have been driving in a bad area because the old problem was still there. After seeing it once I didn't bother testing it more but now I cannot recreate the problem.

Xcanuk, thanks for bringing it to my attention and I'm going to delete that part right away.

---
Regards,
Marvin Hlavac
Toronto, Canada
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ve7mdt

Canada
171 Posts

Posted - 01 sept. 2004 :  14:15:28  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
There is a website and forum dedicated to MapPoint products: www.mp2kmag.com . In the previous years, they predicted when the next version will come out :-) , I just took a quick look, nothing mentioned so far.

The GPS Locator (what a name) is OEMed from Pharos, and is GPS-360 in transparant case, and internal blue LED (just for power indicator I think), and a Microsoft soft rubber sticker on top. It comes with the USB cable, which is actually a USB-RS232 converter , a bulge in the middle of the 6' cable.

It can be adapted to Compact Flash, Bluetooth, or serial for various PDAs etc. The Compact Flash adapter also comes with an extension cable, which is interesting. (In essence, the CF adapter is a CF Serial adapter, which is normally a very exotic industrial piece of product otherwise.)

Sensitivity is probably similar to other SiRF IIe/LP units, but the lock time is very long at my first trial at home , hanging it somewhat halfway in my balcony (not outside of). I am not sure if it's b/c of WAAS being enabled, or other reasons.

My notebook has crashed, and needed major fixing. Otherwise would have reported more usage results.

Thanks for all the updates.

Garmin Venture
Rand McNally "mouse"
Clarion AutoPC GPS Odessey 2000
Magellan Springboard GPS on Visor 2MB
Fortuna BT Clip-On + Haicom 303S + 401BT (manufacturer's defective, in RMA process) Bluetooth + Dell Axim X30H
Sotec 3120X, SonicBlue FrontPath 1050SE tablet
Routis 2004, Mapopolis, MapPoint 2004, Delorme Deluxe, AAA Map'n'Go 7, Streets & Trips 2005
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Marvin Hlavac

Canada
6904 Posts

Posted - 01 sept. 2004 :  18:41:41  Show Profile  Visit Marvin Hlavac's Homepage  Reply with Quote
VE7MDT, notebooks are pain. While I have no problem fixing or building my own desktop pc... ...I don't even have the right size screw driver to open my laptop when something goes wrong!

Gpspassion, thanks for "fixing" the pictures. It now loads faster even on my slow mobile GPRS connection.

---
Regards,
Marvin Hlavac
Toronto, Canada
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gpspassion

94635 Posts

Posted - 01 sept. 2004 :  22:00:55  Show Profile  Visit gpspassion's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Sure, put up a news items on the portal too ;-)
http://www.gpspassion.com/fr/comments.asp?id=413 and have a SiRF press release in store.

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xcanuk

Canada
77 Posts

Posted - 01 sept. 2004 :  23:44:53  Show Profile  Visit xcanuk's Homepage  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Marvin Hlavac

Xcanuk, thanks for bringing it to my attention and I'm going to delete that part right away.



The more people testing it, the more we find out about about the new stuff.

Since you are on the road more often, I am curious about one point to the reroute aspect to test. If you marked out a route with several points in a straight line A-B-C, get lost going to "B" and ask for reroute, will it default to B or C? For those without the program, the GPS pane has one manual button for recalculating route, as well as a drop down window to select a point. Just wondering how cumbersome it will be to get the info.
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Marvin Hlavac

Canada
6904 Posts

Posted - 02 sept. 2004 :  12:12:52  Show Profile  Visit Marvin Hlavac's Homepage  Reply with Quote
When you click on "Go" it will recalculate your route with the address visible in front of the button being your next stop. That does not change automatically even when you are close to another stop. You may however select a different stop from the drop down list and click "Go" to recalculate. Sorry, no magic is involved here...

---
Regards,
Marvin Hlavac
Toronto, Canada
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