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Review: PC Navigator
Marvin Hlavac
Mapfactor PC Navigator 8 is now available in the following versions:
  • Mapfactor PC Navigator 8 - USA and Canada
  • Mapfactor PC Navigator 8 - Europe
  • Mapfactor PC Navigator 8 Truck - Europe
  • (Maps available for some countries in Africa, Asia, and South America. List in the review bellow)
The same PC GPS navigation software can be purchased from Directions Ltd in the following versions:
  • Directions PC Navigator 8 - Europe
  • Directions PC Navigator 8 - Great Britain and Ireland
  • Directions PC Navigator 8 Truck - Europe
  • Directions PC Navigator 8 Truck - Great Britain and Ireland
Mapfactor sent Terry, Ken in Regina, and me the USA/Canada version of PC Navigator 8. It was just before the holiday season, and even though our intentions were to share our impressions here at Laptop GPS World immediately, our families and other responsibilities prevented us from doing so. Now that the trial period is just about to expire, we will do our best to describe our likes and dislikes.


The above two screenshots of Mapfactor PC Navigator 8 show what users of the software will see most of the time while driving, that is, if they opt to use 3D in navigation mode. I love simplicity, so I do like what I see here. The map covers most of the screen real estate, as it should. The three information boxes in the right bottom corner of the screen, each display any of the following user-selectable data: time to destination, estimated time of arrival, time to maneuver, distance to destination, time to waypoint, distance to waypoint, speed, course, position (lat/long), number of satellites, altitude, time, date, and GPS time.

I set my Mapfactor PC Navigator 8 to show me what I personally need the most: TTA (Time To Arrival), ETA (Estimated Time of Arrival), and DST (Distance to destination).

Maps & Routing

Mapfactor PC Navigator 8 USA and Canada
  • USA and Canada
Mapfactor PC Navigator 8 Europe
  • Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Ireland, Lithuania, Latvia, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Austria, Greece, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Great Britain, Albania, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Moldavia, Romania, Serbia and Montenegro
Other available maps
  • Russia
  • Egypt, Lesotho, Morocco, Nigeria, South Africa, Swaziland
  • Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Singapore, Thailand, Taiwan
  • Brazil, Mexico


Here in Toronto, Canada, the map data seems fine, and I haven't experienced any bad routing so far. Mapfactor PC Navigator 8 uses map data licensed from the European-based Tele Atlas. Tele Atlas has historically been slightly stronger in Europe, and the USA-based Navteq has been known for better USA/Canada maps. Some users believe that in recent years Tele Atlas has been catching up to Navteq.

Car / Truck / Pedestrian are three available modes of routing that I see in the version 8 of Mapfactor PC Navigator USA/Canada. I was actually quite surprised to see the Truck option, since this version of the software has no "Truck" in its name.

The Truck version of PC Navigator 8 (available for Europe) does route optimisation for large vehicles based on vehicle height and weight. Avoid low bridges and narrow lanes.

POIs (points of interest)

I see insignificant POI coverage in my geographical area, but USA seems better covered. I'm not a heavy POI user, so the lack of Canadian POIs doesn't personally affect me much, but others may have stronger opinion here.

It is possible to import POIs into Mapfactor PC Navigator 8, but I haven't tested this functionality myself.

Touch-Screen Friendly


Mapfactor PC Navigator 8 is a pleasure to use on a touch-screen. This is a GPS navigation software program suitable for a UMPC, a Tablet PC, and a CarPC. It is also possible to use it with a keyboard, but implementing keyboard shortcuts would make for a better experience.

Feature List (as per Mapfactor web site)


Voice guidance
  • intuitive voice navigation in different languages
  • door to door route planning
  • cross-border routing without the need to switch between countries or to a less detailed map
  • overview of the upcoming manoeuvre and distance shown on the screen
  • Traffic lane assistant
  • Motorway Signs – clear signs which show the direction of travel
  • Real 3D icons of important landmarks
GPS satellite navigation
  • 2D/3D mode allows realistic visual map display
  • day/night modes switch colour schemes for day or night time driving
  • map rotates in driving direction, or north up
Searching
  • find nearest points of interest
  • postcodes
  • full GB postcodes (1.8 million)
Speed cameras
  • hear audible warnings as you approach speed cameras
  • updates free for six months
Features
  • odometer keeps a track of private and business mileage
  • add your own favourites
  • organise your favourites into different categories
  • TMC - real-time traffic information
  • routing modes for car, pedestrian, truck
  • route avoidance - block off certain road from your route
  • import your databases into the map
  • import directly from xls, dbf and access files with utilities provided
Remote TCP/IP commands
  • 2 way communication between driver and dispatcher

My wish for Mapfactor PC Navigator 9

In the process of entering destination address, the entering of city name should be optional, not mandatory. Mapfactor PC Navigator should be able to search the whole USA state, or Canadian province, or a whole European country, etc.


Questions? Comments?
artur
How can I install GPS in my PC?
Marvin Hlavac
Hi Artur, and welcome to the forum. It is actually quite easy. All you need is (1) to install a software program that includes map for your geographical area, and (2) an inexpensive laptop GPS receiver (USB or Bluetooth).
loomis71
Can I have Swedish voice in this?
Marvin Hlavac
loomis71, PC Navigator comes with many languages, but I cannot verify now if Swedish is one of them, because I was given only a time-limited trial version of the software. Perhaps someone else will answer this for you.
loomis71
ok thanks
taxi
How to setup tcp ip Remote TCP/IP commands
  • 2 way communication between driver and dispatcher
  • I purchased a single country and i am waiting for a viliv hsdpa ready in few weeks
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