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Marking current GPS location on map with Microsoft Streets and Trips
philrobj
I am hoping someone can help me out with something I would like to do.

I am a supervisor for a highway crew. I obviously log quite a few miles. I would like to use S&T to mark different locations that need attention or monitoring.

I would like to be able to head down the highway and mark my current location by pressing a keyboard key (or shortcut). The particular key I would press would place a pushpin at my current position. Those pushpins would be color coded based on what I define them to be, for example, I could press one key (or shortcut) to place a blue pushpin which may mean 'shoulder work', a green pushpin may mean 'resurfacing required' etc.

I could cover so much more territory marking areas of interest without having to pull over or jot down notes (unsafely) on a pad perched on my lap. I even toyed with the idea of using a programmable gamepad that would allow me to do the same thing, much more safely, by pressing one of six buttons.

Any ideas on how I could accomplish this? I am currently using S&T 2007 and a third party usb receiver. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks!

Rob
MisterMoonlight
Hi,

You may use S&T Keys 2007. This a free addon first created by Marvin, the forum administrator, that is used in addition to street and trip 2007 to add some extra features. Toyfountain, another active forum member has enhanced this tool by adding some other features. One of them is that when you press the F6 key, it will place a pushpin on the center of the map. If you are navigating by keeping your position at the center of the map, it would mark your current position.

This is not exactly all of what you are needing, but it is a beginning i guess.

The latest version of S&T keys 2007 available on this forum has been released by myself and add a couple of enhancements as well.

You can find it by clicking the link of my signature at the bottom of this post.

Give it a try and give us some feedback. Toyfountain could probably add more on this himself...
philrobj
Thanks MisterMoonlight! That sounds like what I need. The only thing missing would be the ability to place pushpins (or symbols) of different types to denote different conditions. I am not sure how you would program that since S&T would probably only place a pin of the currently selected type based on the F6 press.

I am now wondering if text could be added to a pin via voice recognition software that would allow labelling of the pin, eliminating the need for different pins or symbol types. Of course then I would need a mic or headset...so much for trying to keep it simple. Sorry, thinking out loud.

I will definitely try out the keys software and get back to you with input. Thanks for the info!

Rob
Ken in Regina
I don't know if this would work because I've never used "Keys". There are utility programs out there that let you create "macros" that you can assign to specific keys. These "macros" can be a combination of keystrokes and mouse clicks.

So, you could install "Keys" and one of these macro utility programs, then use the macro program to create macros that select a particular pushpin, with the last step in each pushpin selection macro to be to push the F6 key to cause "Keys" to place the selected pushpin.

There is a potential flaw to all of this and that's the question of timing. By the time you spot a problem on the road and press a key to mark the location, you will probably have travelled some way past the spot. When you combine that with the typical (in)accuracy of a consumer-grade GPS your pushpin won't be on the spot that needs the work.

Perhaps you can use "Keys" by itself to test a couple of spots while you are driving, to see if the pushpin ends up close enough to serve your purposes. If that gets it done, then you can look at using a macro utility to have different keys select different pushpins before invoking F6 to place them.

Or, since this is a commercial use of "Keys", perhaps you can commision one of the authors mentioned above to create a custom version that lets you press one of, say, half a dozen F-keys equivalent to the F6 key function, each with a pre-selected different pushpin assigned. That shouldn't break your budget, I wouldn't think.

...ken...
MisterMoonlight
Quote:
I don't know if this would work because I've never used "Keys". There are utility programs out there that let you create "macros" that you can assign to specific keys. These "macros" can be a combination of keystrokes and mouse clicks.

So, you could install "Keys" and one of these macro utility programs, then use the macro program to create macros that select a particular pushpin, with the last step in each pushpin selection macro to be to push the F6 key to cause "Keys" to place the selected pushpin.
Because Keys is already a tool made from a macro utility, i don't think you can easily use another macro to run the F6 function of keys and do the job. Modifying Keys itself is probably a simpler solution (or building another similar program with a macro tool to do the job better than what keys is actually providing)...
Marvin Hlavac
Hi Rob, :welcome: to Laptop GPS World.

You just joined, and I hate to do this to you, but I think a good thing would be to go over to Eric's MapPoint Forums, www.mapforums.com -- and repost your original question there. However, before you do that, substitute all references to Streets & Trips with MapPoint, and all S&T with MP.

Microsoft MapPoint user interface is identical to that of Microsoft Streets & Trips, but the more expensive MP is programmable.

It is possible that an add-on you are looking for has already been developed by someone. Perhaps in the following forum section your question could get some attention: Map Forums - MapPoint Desktop Discussion at MapForums.com
philrobj
Thanks for all of the suggestions. I will also try a cross post over at the other forum, but I feel like I'm being unfaithful . I also don't know if I can afford the MP software. I was hoping to develop something as low cost as possible so that I could show people the value of it before they decided against dropping very scarce highway funding on it.

I don't think the lack of precision is too much of an issue since I just need general areas where the work needs to be done. If I am within even a quarter mile it should be fine. I would think the current precision is good enough, and I could use WAAS also to help out a little (oh I know that is a whole other discussion)!

I will try a few things out and post what I come up with.
Marvin Hlavac
Keep in mind that there is a 60-day downloadable trial available for Microsoft MapPoint 2009, not just for Microsoft Streets & Trips 2009.

If you decide to stay with Streets & Trips, then I think Toyfountain may be excellent resource for you. I think it's quite complex the way he implemented the feature, but it works!
philrobj
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin Hlavac
Keep in mind that there is a 60-day downloadable trial available for Microsoft MapPoint 2009, not just for Microsoft Streets & Trips 2009.
Thanks Marvin, I didn't realize there was a free trial of MP avaialble. I'll give it a shot.
MisterMoonlight
I think that giving a way to add pushpin at current position while driving is a very usefull feature (original idea from toyfountain). In the S&T 2009 keys version (beta 3), it is beginning to work also with some limitations/improvement. I am planning on making this function really working and add also the possibility to use more than one kind of pushpin type so the user can mark different kind of things. This is an already requested function long time ago by other users and i would like it to work myself, so i can mark interested POI easily while driving, or place where i don't want to come back later as an example. I am planning also to add a way to use it while navigating in full screen view!

Stay tuned for future S&T 2009 keys development
philrobj
Sounds good Mr Moonlight!

As an update, I did find that the delay between marking something and having it show up is a little on the long side, as was pointed out. So you do kind of overshoot whatever it was you were trying to mark, but it still could be useful for a general location.

I also found out that I have a copy of MP at work that I should be able to use so I may try it out with that as well. I anxiously await the newer version of S&T Keys though!

Thanks
Marvin Hlavac
philrobj, the newest Beta versions of S&T Keys 2009 have already been posted: http://www.laptopgpsworld.com/3115-s-t-keys-2010-hotkeys-microsoft-streets-trips-2010-a
MisterMoonlight
Marvin,

I think he was talking of a future version i was talking about in this thread that could add some enhancements regarding pushpin function...
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