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Trip to England. Mapping software needed.
Mr Edd
My wife and I will be traveling to England and Ireland in April and I am looking for the best mapping software. I own a Nuvi but really don't want to spend the money for the Europe software for just this short trip. Any thoughts?
Marvin Hlavac
Hi Mr Edd.

Welcome to Laptop GPS World.

If I were to travel to Europe, I would definitely take with me a copy of Microsoft Auto Route 2007 (or the more expensive Microsoft MapPoint 2009 Europe) installed on my laptop computer.

AutoRoute is identical to the North American Streets and Trips, but it includes street level detail of most of Europe. It is an excellent trip planner. It makes it easy to search for places to visit, POIs, addresses, etc. It can easily be used with an inexpensive laptop GPS receiver, too.
Ken in Regina
A friend of mine went to the UK last year. He has a Nuvi and bought the Garmin maps for the British Isles. He was very happy with them.

Given the cost of the trip it seems odd to cheap out on a decent set of maps, especially given the amount of work and learning curve associated with any "free" or really cheap alternative, and given that you can simply slap the UK maps in your Nuvi and you're ready to rock.

...ken...
Ken in Regina
You can get the City Navigator NT2009 - UK/Ireland for Cdn$83.95.

If you do an internet search you'll probably find some 2008 versions still available for even cheaper.

...ken...
Marvin Hlavac
... or you can do a Google product search (froogle.com), or go on eBay, and look for AutoRoute 2007 for your laptop. I've seen it selling in the $10 to $20 price range. It may beat any PND in trip planning. :-)
Ken in Regina
Marvin, that's a good suggestion if all he wants is planning capabilities on the cheap. But he can get that for free with Google Maps and an internet connection.

The problem with a laptop solution, especially when he already has a Nuvi and knows how to use it, is that you can't really pack your laptop around when you're out tramping around and decide to find the nearest restaurant of a particular type or coffee shop or other point of interest.

Or your way back to your hotel ... one of the uses my friends made of theirs quite frequently on their trip!

They loved the freedom it gave them to simply go roaming whenever they had some free time, whether they were walking or renting a vehicle. Personal navigation at its most useful. Everything you need all built into a single device you can stick in your pocket or purse.

Sure, you can drag your laptop and external GPS receiver around with you for such things, I suppose. But how many people really want to?

...ken...
Marvin Hlavac
Well, Mr Edd in his first post indicated he did own a Nuvi, but he was looking for a different solution . And "... how many people really want to?..." use a laptop & mapping software? I'm hoping that the vast majority of people who visit Laptop GPS World does . That's been the focus of the site since it was born .
Mr Edd
I did not know you could buy just UK/Ireland, I was looking at the $170 or so for the whole of Europe. We'll only be in the UK for 5 days with no car so my main concern was Ireland. Thanks everyone for the great response. I'm heading for ebay to see if I can find the software for my Nuvi. If not, I'll go with Auto Route 2007. I purchased a Asus 1000 HE mainly for this trip. I think it will be small enough to carry around most of the time but I know you can't beat a Nuvi for size and performance. Thanks once again!
Ken in Regina
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin Hlavac
Well, Mr Edd, in his first post indicated he did own a Nuvi, but he was looking for a different solution .
Actually what he said was: "I own a Nuvi but really don't want to spend the money for the Europe software for just this short trip. Any thoughts."

My thoughts are that for a short trip a personal navigation device that he already owns and knows how to use is probably the best solution in almost every respect except pre-trip planning, which he can already do for free with half a dozen different online map products (Google, Yahoo, MapQuest, MS Live Maps, etc.), a dozen different search engines and an internet connection.

My thoughts are also: why would you risk messing up a really great trip that's already probably going to cost a pretty good amount of money by holding back the cost of half of one night's hotel room for some good maps and zero learning curve?

Quote:
And "... how many people really want to?..." use a laptop & mapping software? I'm hoping that the vast majority of people who visit Laptop GPS World does .
Me, too. That's a good part of the reason I hang out here.

But he asked for our thoughts and my thoughts are that sometimes a personal navigation device is the better solution, the focus of the site notwithstanding.

Of course we can only go by the information that Mr. Edd provided in his initial post and that's half specific (doesn't want to spend the money for Garmin maps) and half very vague (wants the best mapping software).

It would be helpful when Mr. Edd posts again if he could be a little more specific about whether he owns a laptop and is planning to take it along. And what sort of things he wants the "best mapping software" to be best at: trip planning or realtime navigation?

And what he means by "best"? In my experience you don't get the "best" of anything without parting with some coin. Unless you are defining "best" as "free or really really cheap". Nothing wrong with that but it helps to know.

In the meantime, I think we've flushed out some pros and cons that will allow Mr. Edd, and anyone else who wonders about such things, to be able to better weigh their options. Eh??

...ken...
Marvin Hlavac
Quote:
My thoughts are also: why would you risk messing up a really great trip that's already probably going to cost a pretty good amount of money by holding back the cost of half of one night's hotel room for some good maps and zero learning curve?
I strongly agree. The cost of maps, software, gps, etc, is just a fraction of what people usually spend on airfare, hotel, and other travel-related expenses.
Ken in Regina
Hi Mr. Edd,

Glad we could help. If you need help finding a deal, just holler.

...ken...
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