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Review: Microsoft Streets and Trips
Marvin Hlavac
SpadesFlush started a discussion of backwards compatibility: Streets & Trips 2013 compatibility with old version files
Marvin Hlavac
This morning's Press Release:

Quote:
REDMOND, Wash., July 17 -- Nobody wants to spend more money than necessary to fill the gas tank, and drivers want to get the most out of each gallon. Making efficient, customized travel plans is now easier than ever with today's launch of Microsoft Streets & Trips 2013, the new edition of the popular trip-planning software.

Current users of Streets & Trips will find the new 2013 version offers a sleek and clean look in high contrast designed for easier viewing, updated maps of the United States and Canada -- including 150,000 new miles of roads since the 2011 version was released -- and more than 2.5 million points of interest. Longtime fans will also find they can now turn all pushpin names on or off with a single click, and they can create larger drive times for more flexibility in trip planning.

"A new feature people are really going to love is the online ratings and reviews. Customer ratings and reviews on restaurants, hotels and more take the guesswork out of deciding where to go," said Larry Petersen, software design engineer at Microsoft Corp. "Streets & Trips 2013 adds upgrades our customers have asked for, including 600,000 more points of interest than the previous version."

The 2013 version of Streets & Trips is designed to help travelers plan the perfect trip start to finish -- generate maps and directions, customize with start and stop times, and add notes such as reservation numbers or operating hours -- all without an Internet connection.

For many truckers, RVers, family vacationers and other motorists, laptops have become an essential travel accessory. Microsoft Streets & Trips helps them efficiently plan and customize their travel before they hit the road. Whether the day calls for visiting an amusement park, winery, casino, national park or museum, there is a stop along the way for everyone when using Streets & Trips. One-click route optimization provides the most efficient route, and a fuel consumption manager helps consumers budget gasoline costs. Then, while on the road, Streets & Trips on a laptop helps travelers find necessities such as ATMs, hotels, auto services, restaurants and more, with no Internet connection required, helping plan for -- or discover -- plenty of fun and useful stops along the way.

"Microsoft Streets & Trips helps travelers tailor personalized itineraries with as much or as little detail as they prefer," said Lori Stock, group product marketing manager for Streets & Trips at Microsoft. "It's a great travel companion and easy-to-use laptop tool that really helps our customers' travel inspirations become a reality. Everyone will appreciate how the software takes so many hassles and headaches out of the road trip while providing personalized options for creating memorable experiences."
RsH
And how many of those 600,000 new POI are in Canada outside the major cities? I've found, in the past, that even gas stations were lacking in locations like Hastings, ON and many of the common locations that have a POI in the U.S. were missing in Campbellford and Walkworth, ON, to give three rural community examples.
SpadesFlush
So, does this imply a migration of POIs from the Megafile to the S&T imbedded POI set?

Or is there some other characterization of the newly-added POIs?
Marvin Hlavac
Jennifer (Microsoft) posted about ST2013 availability in Canada, and also how to get a discount, in the following discussion: http://www.laptopgpsworld.com/4862-s-t-2013-discounted
Larry
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpadesFlush
So, does this imply a migration of POIs from the Megafile to the S&T imbedded POI set?

Or is there some other characterization of the newly-added POIs?
The majority of the built-in POI data comes from NAVTEQ and Woodalls (for campgrounds). This year the built-in POI have been scrubbed. Obsolete/closed/moved/wrong locations have been removed from the database and new updated locations have been added. The NET gain over last year is 600K additional POI.

None of the POI Megafile collections have been included as they contain freely shared pushpin collections which are updated regularly and need to be kept free.
SpadesFlush
Thanks, Larry, for that clarification.
joshuals
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin Hlavac
This morning's Press Release:
(See Post #77, above for press release)

I wish Mr. Petersen would specifically and directly address the issue (without blaming the map provider) of why the "sleek and clean" new version is incapable of planning a simple "fastest" route between Phoenix and Flagstaff in Arizona without being routed off an Interstate (which directly connects the two towns) and "through the woods", twenty miles out of the way. (See above post #69 for screen captures)

I realize not everyone lives in Arizona, but I'm betting this egregious problem exists elsewhere in the US and Canada.

I'm must say that, while far less versatile than S&T, MapSource is at least more accurate in it's routing capabilities. Frankly, I would much prefer to have an accurate routing capability than to have a bunch of reviews (that are of questionable origin) of restaurants and hotels...

For anyone who cares, (and I hope Mr Petersen does) I have cancelled my presentation to my computer club (i.e. "plug" for this product) and uninstalled it from my laptop.

The only "thank you" I can offer to Microsoft with regard to this product is that they allowed a fourteen-day evaulation before having to make a purchase...
SteveJonesMO
Quote:
Originally Posted by joshuals
I realize not everyone lives in Arizona, but I'm betting this egregious problem exists elsewhere in the US and Canada.
Hwy 17 northbound between exits 268 and 278 is simply not available for routing. It's there visually on the map, but it's like it doesn't exist.

This is a rather remarkable error... being on freeway, and a key route to the Grand Canyon, one of the biggest vacation destinations on the planet.

The problem must have its roots in the Navteq data, but one has to marvel at how such an error evaded the QA processes of both Navteq & Microsoft.
tcassidy
I can check that in Garmin to confirm Navteq's data, Steve. But from past experience I'm betting it is an error in the S&T database.

Terry
Marvin Hlavac
I'm also leaning towards suspecting Navteq has it right, but something in the processing of the data at Microsoft has gone wrong and S&T doesn't route that highway section correctly in the northbound direction (it routes just fine in the southbound direction though).

One reason for me suspecting the error is in S&T is that Bing Maps routes this highway section correctly (even though we cannot be certain if Bing and S&T both use the same version of Navteq data).

We know how to report errors to Navteq (via Navteq Map Reporter). But I'm not certain what would the proper avenue be for reporting routing errors which are likely Microsoft's errors.
SteveJonesMO
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin Hlavac
I'm also leaning towards suspecting Navteq has it right, but something in the processing of the data at Microsoft has gone wrong...
Navteq data is a living, dynamic resource. New data is added, obsolete data is deleted, reported errors get fixed, and new errors likely are born. The nature of the beast.

S&T uses a snapshot of that data taken sometime in the past. We can't know when that was though it seems logical to presume it wasn't terribly long before the S&T release. For a given error, when that snapshot was taken could have been just after it appeared, or just before it was fixed. Though unlikely - perhaps both. We just can't know.

We can only guess at the source of the error - and that guessing doesn't really help us.

The main take-away I think is that we should insist that Microsoft take ownership of these errors - not deflect responsibility to Navteq. Microsoft engaged in a contract with Navteq, not us.

I can see the wisdom of directing us to Navteq if the issue is a missing, obsolete, or mislocated map feature. But if the issue is a routing error - the name Navteq should not even come up. It just doesn't matter what the source is and the customer should not be held responsible to figure it out.

I do want to add that Larry and other MS reps who have participated here have been nothing but helpful assets to the user community - and I really doubt they have much say in this matter. Who knows - maybe they know the right ears to whisper into. But I would feel awful if they took frank discussion of user concerns as reflecting on them.
flannigan
Steve:
This is great. I am not capable of adding anything intelligent to this subject. Just thanks for putting in a context that I am not able to.
Regards,
Mike Flannigan
a fellow St Louisan
tcassidy
I have no idea where the exits are you are referencing. However I17 appears to go from Phoenix to Flagstaff and I can route the whole way northbound in CNNANT 2008.This would be Navteq data from 2007 or earlier. I also checked CNNANT 2012.4 and the same situation applies. Unless you are speaking of some other I17 I haven't checked, the error is with S&T, not Navteq.

Terry
Attached Images
i17.jpg  
tcassidy
If you are really interested, the problem in S&T 2013 appears to be with the northbound lane of I17 between approximately 34.35540N 112.11042W and 34.37127N 112.10961W. You can't put a stop northbound there so the section must be missing from the database.

Terry
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