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Can Microsoft Streets & Trips help me locate WiFi hotspots?
Rick2U
Hi, I am new to this site today and am being promped to join a discussion. I just downloaded Microsoft Streets and Trips 2009 to my laptop and will be trying it out on the Aug. long weekend here in Ontario Canada (going from Timmins to Ottawa area). I have not had time to research all that the program offers but as an opening question(s) would there be an option on the program to locate, on a trip, spots where there would be "hotspots" along the way for logging on to the net. If not then maybe a new idea. it could inform the user when entering the zone. Please forgive me if this is a idiot question but it will remove the prompt to start a new thread. Of course I will be asking more relivant questions in the future. Thanks for listening.
Ken in Regina
Hi Rick,

That's a good question. The necessary information does not exist in the S&T database to warn you about the proximity of wifi hotspots. However, if you can find the necessary information you can add it to S&T. For instance, there are data files available that list various store and hotel and gas station chains, speed camera locations and so on that can be loaded into S&T.

If you know of chains that typically have open wifi hotspots you could look for data files with their locations. Maybe certain hotel chains or perhaps coffee chains like Starbucks, whatever.

Places to look would be like POI Factory or POIFriend.

You might not have time to track down the necessary data and learn how to add the file(s) to S&T and how to use the feature before this weekend.

...ken...
My Point...Exactly
Hi Rick - Great question - I always plot out WiFi locations when going into a new area. There are several sources for WiFi location data. In addition to POI factorory and POI friend suggested by Ken, check out JiWire. The Leading Mobile Audience Media Channel & Wi-Fi Advertising Network

Under heading 'WiFi Users' (center page, bottom), click on 'WiFi Finder'. Then, you can click their map - or choose 'click here for more options'. You can then type in specific cities and towns, choose the type of service you're looking for (paid, free) and get a listing with site details and address. You can then cut/paste the best spots onto your Streets and Trips maps (paste the address into the 'Find a location' box - upper left corner and click binoculars).

Looks like coverage is pretty sparse on your route of travel - but plenty of locations shown for Ottawa.

Your desire for a point of interest 'Radar' in Streets and Trips is shared by many. Having S&T notify you when approaching selected POI's that are on or near your route would be a nice feature. Perhaps down the road!
Rick2U
Thanks Ken and My Point. I am presently looing at the sites Ken suggested and will do some searching. I don't leave until Aug 1 so I have time. Do I look for POIs specific to Microsoft Streets and Trips, or will any POIs work?

This is a great forum.

Thanks again.
SpadesFlush
One of the nice things about Microsoft Streets and Trips is its virtually infinite POI adaptability. You can use the pushpins in various creative ways. You can even create your own mini-graphics for pushpins. You can populate your map with your own custom selection. Also, you can create color ranges for areas. So, if you get specific information about, say, Wifi coverage, you can create a map overlay, perhaps color-coded, to show coverage.

Once you have the data from whatever sources, it will be up to your imagination and ingenuity as to how far you take it. If you do something along these lines, it would be appreciated on the Forum if you would post some examples for us all to see.

Good luck!
Ken in Regina
Sorry about taking so long to answer, Rick. I had to scratch my head to figure out a useful answer.

You first need to look for the types of POIs that you are interested in, regardless of whether they are specific to S&T. If you can't find the POIs you need, the format isn't particularly important, eh?

Once you find them, then you can look for a version that will be easiest to import into S&T. You might find .EST files that can be opened directly. Or you might more commonly find .CSV files that you need to open in Excel and import into S&T.

Or you might find .GPX files that you need to convert. There are online converters and conversion programs you can download. In either case, you might find some that can convert directly from GPX to EST. But it's more likely that you'll need to convert from GPX to CSV and then import through Excel.

I hope that helps.

...ken...
Rick2U
Thanks SpadesFlush and Ken. You guys have been really helpful to a newbie and I am sure I will be able to find a solution with assistance like this. Again Thanks.
dtong22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick2U
Hi, I am new to this site today and am being promped to join a discussion. I just downloaded Microsoft Streets and Trips 2009 to my laptop and will be trying it out on the Aug. long weekend here in Ontario Canada (going from Timmins to Ottawa area). I have not had time to research all that the program offers but as an opening question(s) would there be an option on the program to locate, on a trip, spots where there would be "hotspots" along the way for logging on to the net. If not then maybe a new idea. it could inform the user when entering the zone. Please forgive me if this is a idiot question but it will remove the prompt to start a new thread. Of course I will be asking more relivant questions in the future. Thanks for listening.
Suggestion:
If you are a Bell HSS user you will be surfing free in Starbuck cafe. Alternatively you can get a Starbuck card and surf fee. The Starbuck card itself is a store credit card but you are not required to buy coffee to surf. You are expected though.
Panera bread is another store. But I am afraid there is still not too many stores in Ontario particularly northern Ont. In the US there are quite a few along all major highway
Once you locate the Starbuck shops you can put pushpin to where they are and save the file for your trip.
Another alternative is to get the 3G stick of Rogers. But that costs a lot more and so far the 3G is hardly available outside the Toronto area

The POI will not help you at all as far as I can see

When I travel I plan my trip have a stop over at a hot spot (usu 3-4 hours apart) to check my msn and phone messages

Daniel
Rick2U
Tim Hortons would be better, eh.
SpadesFlush
Rick, I would think your best bet on that route (which looks like a nice drive) would be the public libraries along the way. S&T plots a route through Notre-Dame-du-Nord in Quebec and there are a few libraries strategically placed along the route. There is one there, about three hours out of Timmins. There is another in Temiscanming about two hours later and a third one in Pembroke, Ontario about three hours later.

Summary: 440.2 miles (10 hours, 55 minutes)

Time
Mile
Instruction
For
Toward
8:00 AM
0.0
Depart Timmins on Hwy-101 [Algonquin Blvd E] (East)
41.8 mi

8:53 AM
41.8
Keep STRAIGHT onto TC-11
78.1 mi

10:31 AM
119.9
Turn LEFT (East) onto Maybrook Rd
2.0 mi

10:34 AM
121.9
Turn LEFT to stay on Maybrook Rd
1.0 mi

10:35 AM
122.9
Turn RIGHT to stay on Maybrook Rd
2.0 mi

10:37 AM
124.9
Turn RIGHT (South) onto Development Rd
1.0 mi

10:39 AM
125.9
Turn LEFT (East) onto Hwy-65
2.9 mi

10:43 AM
128.8
Entering Québec


10:43 AM
128.8
Road name changes to Chemin New-Liskeard
0.6 mi

10:44 AM
129.4
Road name changes to Rue Ontario
0.6 mi

10:44 AM
130.0
Bear RIGHT (South-East) onto Rue Desjardins
120 yds

10:45 AM
130.1
Arrive Municipalité Notre-Dame-du-Nord [15 Rue Desjardins, Notre-Dame-du-Nord QC J0Z, (819) 723-2695]


11:15 AM
130.1
Depart Municipalité Notre-Dame-du-Nord [15 Rue Desjardins, Notre-Dame-du-Nord QC J0Z, (819) 723-2695] on Rue Desjardins (South-East)
0.2 mi

11:15 AM
130.3
Bear RIGHT (South-East) onto Rte-101
20.5 mi

11:41 AM
150.8
Turn RIGHT (West) onto Rte-101 [Rue St-André]
52.8 mi

12:46 PM
203.7
Turn RIGHT (South-West) onto Rte-101 [Chemin Kipawa]
1.5 mi

12:48 PM
205.1
Turn RIGHT (North-West) onto Rue Lumsden, then immediately turn LEFT (South) onto Avenue Anvik
0.4 mi

12:50 PM
205.5
Turn RIGHT (North) onto 7E Rue [Rue Dupont], then immediately turn LEFT (South) onto Rue Boucher
0.3 mi

12:52 PM
205.8
Arrive Bibliothèque Municipale Témisc [40 Rue Boucher, Témiscaming QC J0Z, (819) 627-9778]


1:22 PM
205.8
Depart Bibliothèque Municipale Témisc [40 Rue Boucher, Témiscaming QC J0Z, (819) 627-9778] on Rue Boucher (East)
0.1 mi

1:22 PM
206.0
Turn RIGHT (South-East) onto Avenue Riordon
0.2 mi

1:23 PM
206.2
Bear LEFT (South) onto Rue Windsor, then immediately turn RIGHT (South-West) onto Rte-101 [Chemin Kipawa]
1.1 mi

1:26 PM
207.3
Entering Ontario


1:26 PM
207.3
Road name changes to Hwy-63
14.9 mi

1:44 PM
222.2
Turn LEFT (East) onto Hwy-533
31.8 mi

2:23 PM
254.0
Keep STRAIGHT onto Hwy-533 [Valois Dr]
0.1 mi

2:24 PM
254.1
Keep STRAIGHT onto Hwy-533 [Main St]
0.3 mi

2:25 PM
254.4
Keep STRAIGHT onto Hwy-533 [Valois Dr]
54 yds

2:25 PM
254.5
Keep STRAIGHT onto TC-17 [Valois Dr]
88.8 mi

4:20 PM
343.2
Turn LEFT (North-East) onto CR-42 [Forest Lea Rd]
2.7 mi

4:24 PM
345.9
Keep STRAIGHT onto Local road(s)
76 yds

4:25 PM
345.9
Bear RIGHT (East) onto CR-51 [Pembroke St W]
2.0 mi

4:30 PM
347.9
Road name changes to Pembroke St W
0.8 mi

4:32 PM
348.7
Turn RIGHT (South) onto Victoria St
87 yds

4:33 PM
348.8
Arrive Pembroke Public Library [237 Victoria St, Pembroke ON K8A, (613) 732-8844]


5:03 PM
348.8
Depart Pembroke Public Library [237 Victoria St, Pembroke ON K8A, (613) 732-8844] on Victoria St (North)
87 yds

5:03 PM
348.8
Turn RIGHT (East) onto Pembroke St (W)
1.5 mi

5:07 PM
350.3
Road name changes to Hwy-148 [Pembroke St E]
1.9 mi

5:10 PM
352.2
Keep STRAIGHT onto CR-40 [Greenwood Rd]
5.2 mi

5:17 PM
357.3
Turn LEFT (South) onto TC-17
42.8 mi

6:12 PM
400.2
Bear RIGHT (East) onto TC-417
38.4 mi

6:51 PM
438.6
At exit 119, take Ramp (RIGHT) onto Isabella St [Rue Isabella]
0.4 mi
Rue Metcalfe / Metcalfe Street
6:52 PM
439.0
Road name changes to Hawthorne Ave [Avenue Hawthorne]
65 yds

6:52 PM
439.0
*Turn potentially restricted* Turn LEFT (North) onto Queen Elizabeth Dr [Promenade Queen Elizabeth]
1.0 mi

6:55 PM
440.1
Bear LEFT (West) onto Ramp
0.1 mi
RR-48
6:55 PM
440.2
Bear RIGHT (West) onto RR-48 [Laurier Ave W]
32 yds

6:55 PM
440.2
Arrive Ottawa




SUMMARY
Driving distance: 440.2 miles
Trip duration: 10 hours, 55 minutes
Driving time: 9 hours, 25 minutes
Cost: $53.29
Attached Files
File Type: est Timmins to Ottawa.est (192.0 KB)
dtong22
Most Toronto public libraries have wifi as well but you need to log on with a Toronto library card though. No clue if the Quebec locations (Spadesflush mentioned above) requires that ?
SpadesFlush
Quote:
Originally Posted by dtong22
Most Toronto public libraries have wifi as well but you need to log on with a Toronto library card though. No clue if the Quebec locations (Spadesflush mentioned above) requires that ?
This is a good point but I understand that some libraries will issue temporary or visitor cards. I don't know if these extend to internet connectivity, though. If this has any appeal, a simple phone call to one of the libraries on route before you go should be able to sort it out.

I don't see any Starbucks along the way, so this may be your best option.
dtong22
There are quite a few in Ottawa/Kanata area (specifically wifi spots) indeed. You still need to register though http://www.starbucks.ca/en-ca/_Our+Stores/
SpadesFlush
Sure, there are quite a few once Rick gets to the Ottawa area, his destination. I thought his concerns were about along the route where I don't see any Starbucks.
MisterMoonlight
It is a little outside of the thread subject, but here is a list of free wifi hotspots networks in different region of Quebec province (Canada) i have just found for travellers that would go there:

Zap Quebec
Ile Sans Fil
Ottawa-Gatineau Wifi
ZAP Sherbrooke
Centre du Québec Sans Fil
Shawinigan Sans Fil
Montérégie Sans Fil
Communautel
ZAP Bas-Saint-Laurent

Take care that some of the pages are in french only...
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