Mexico map coverage in Microsoft Streets and Trips
Brand new here, so forgive me if this has been asked before. I am contemplating purchasing Streets & Trips 2009, strictly for the additional information in Mexico. The ultimate goal is to make a database of all my stops in Mexico. I was going to download the trial version, but I don't have the patience for a 6 hour download. Beside I think my laptop is about to have a stroke as it is. I have not been able to attach the image of a town off of S&T 2008, that I was going to see as a reference. But, the question is how much more detail does 2009 provide, in Mexico? 2008 is surely sub-par for what I am looking for. If anybody that knows how to snag an image of a town called Saltillo off of 2009, I would love to see it. I would like to know if I should go buy 2009.

Any assitance is appreciated.
I don't know if it is the correct one, but it seems there are many places with this name in mexico...
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Marvin Hlavac
Ciguenale, welcome to Laptop GPS World. There is just one thing to keep in mind, the find address feature is still not supported in Microsoft Streets and Trips 2009. Otherwise the map coverage seems very good. I see street level map coverage even in what appears to be really small towns in Mexico now in the new 2009 version. (2008 version only had street level detail for the three largest cities in Mexico.)

If you do use S&T 2009 during your trip, please do come back and give us your feedback on Streets & Trips. Many people bought S&T 2009 just because of the new improved Mexico map data, but I don't recall reading any real-life experience by someone actually using it in Mexico.
Baja Boojum
I have used Streets & Trips 2009 in Mexico a lot. I've used it in the following states: Tamaulipas, Veracruz, Coahuila, Chihuahua, Sonora, Sinaloa, and Durango. Generally I'd say it has very good coverage from major roads down to small pueblos.

Perhaps the biggest limitation is when you try to map along the autopistas, especially the newer ones. For instance, you can't map a trip from Tampico to Veracruz using the autopista from south of Tuxpan, then bypassing Poxa Rica/Papantla (180D, I think). Of course, this is a common problem for all Mexico maps; the latest Guia Roji atlas doesn't show some autopistas that have been done for years (Ojinaga to Aldama, for instance).

The other limitation is obvious- roads in rural areas are iffy. We travel in very remote parts of Mexico and its utility is limited. For that I depend on the digital versions of INEGI's 1:250,000 topos for the whole republic. You can easily load these gif or tif files on a laptop, or print out sections you need. If you can get the CDs directly from INEGI, they are reasonably priced.

The GPS feature has worked well, but usually it locates me in a big yellow area with nothing around. Of course, that can mean we're in a beautiful, remote place with no one around with great birds, plants, and scenery to enjoy!

As with other similar programs, projected driving times in Mexico are more fantasy than anything. But I do find it very useful for location finding (manually scanning) and trip planning. I've checked the internet for other options, but so far I think S&T 2009 and my INEGI topos (with some help from Guia Roji) are best.
Marvin Hlavac
Baja, thanks very much for sharing that. I added a link to your posting into our Streets & Trips 2009 review.
Thanks a lot guys. This helps. It looks as if that was the Saltillo I was looking for. I think S&T 2009 will be a purchase, even if the address function does not work. Though, I think you can manually fill out a push-pin address, and save it. Nonetheless, I think it will be a good investment. I'll share my thought on it, as I make a database.

I am unfamiliar with what INEGI is, but I'll check it out. Fortunately, I find myself in populated areas (industrial), so the maps will probably be in my benefit. I guess that I could also say Unfortunately. I don't find myself in the beautiful yellow-areas, ever.

Thanks for the help.
Baja Boojum
INEGI stands for Instituto Nacional de Estadistica y Geografia, Mexico's version of the US Geological Survey and Census Bureau. Their website lists information centers where you can buy their map products; there is one in Saltillo.

I'd highly recommend the latest version of Guia Roji's Por Las Carreteras de Mexico (Guía Roji). They have other versions, but this is the most detailed. You can find it online in the US, but it's about half the price if you find it in Mexico. Good places to look are the bigger PEMEX stations, especially the ones with an Oxxo store attached. It's the best for major and minor roads. It's not great for cities, but S&T 2009 covers that. Guia Roji advertises digital city maps, but I have no experience with them.

As a total aside, if you like grilled meat, try Chivatito restaurant on the south side of Saltillo, near the bus station. Chicken to die for.
I am almost positive, that I have been there. I think they are also famous for Chaceata (unsure of spelling), pork cheek tacos. I will double check, I'll be there in a couple weeks.

I'll stop in at Oxxo, for the INEGI.

Al Nelson
If you just want a detailed satelite view of Saltillo, check it out in "Google Earth". Saltillo has the highest resolution of anywhere I have seen in Google Earth. It is 3 to 4 times the usual resolution. It is sharp enough to actualy see people on the streets and see into vehicles with sun roofs.
No, not just Saltillo. But, I will be checking out google earth today. I never noticed it to be that detailed. Thanks
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Is Microsoft Streets and Trips 2009 or 2010 useful in México?
Hi RollyB,

Welcome to the LaptopGPSWorld forum.

Great question. I'm sure many have thought about traveling in Mexico and wondered if there was much Mexican map data.

IMO, the answer is "yes". There is both street level data and points of interest in Mexico. To be honest, it isn't quite at par with the coverage for the US or Canada but wheneven I've shown it to people they've been happy to see what we have.

I've attached a couple of screenshots but my recommendation is to download the 60 day free trail yourself and see if it meets your needs.
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mexico-hermosillo.jpg   mexico-tamaulipas.jpg  
Marvin Hlavac
Rolly, last year there was a dramatic improvement in the map coverage on Mexico in Streets & Trips 2009. Earlier versions had only street-level detail of the biggest cities, but starting last year Streets & Trips shows detail in much smaller areas. Many people purchased S&T just for its Mexican coverage.
As Larry concedes above, built-in POIs are not up to snuff. You wouldn't want to do any serious tourism based on Streets and Trips 2010. The Landmark category is especially weak. For instance, it does not show any proper landmarks in the major city of Puebla. Don't throw out your guidebooks just yet.
Hey Rolly (from Mexconnect): we used 2009 extensively earlier this year on the Gulf coast from the border to the Yucatan and inland to Puebla. Coverage is excellent. The 2 or 3 times I took a wrong turn in the motor home, it was because I didn't believe the S&T. I was wrong and it was right. This was in some very small towns. It does a pretty good job of routing but I always double checked it with a Guia Roji in the planning phase. The only problem is that it gets confused about the free vs toll roads but this is not a major issue. As others said, it doesn't have POI's SOB so no searching for things. Steve
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