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Review: Microsoft Streets and Trips
Newbee
There is no question in my mind, the user friendliness of S&T is hands down a winner compared to Base Camp and older Mapsource products. It goes without saying you need the maps to run these applications.

However, as I read over and over again, GPS stand-alone devices are becoming less and less popular thanks to smartphones. Aside from the iPhone, with an Android device you can buy a mapping subscription where you download the maps on your device. Again, I think the trend is moving away from desktop application for maps and Garmin devices. However, I will always use desktop applications for my needs and a stand alone GPS when travelling so I don't incur roaming fees on my data plan.
malaki86
On the iPhone, Android, Windows 8 & laptop, you can use CoPilot, which is *not* subscription based. You pay once and download the maps once. They're stored local. In fact, the only time you HAVE to have an internet connection with it is with the initial purchase and download. Also, their maps are updated quarterly for free.
Newbee
CoPilot and others that don't have a subscription typically lack free updates and/or have older maps.
There's other smartphone (paid) apps for various platforms:

Apple Maps (iOS)
CoPilot Live GPS (Android)
CoPilot Live GPS (iOS)
Google Maps Navigation (Beta) (Android)
Google Maps Navigation (Beta) (iOS)
iGO primo (iOS)
MetroView MetroView (Android)
Navfree (Android)
Navfree (iOS)
Navigon Navigon (Android)
Navigon Navigon (iOS)
Nokia Drive+ (Windows)
RoadMate (iOS)
Sygic GPS Navigation (Android)
Sygic GPS Navigation (iOS)
TomTom (Android)
TomTom (iOS)
Confused
But if anyone wanted to go to Mexico - as we do - are any of these of any use to us? We need a comprehensive system that tells where were are and where we are going anywhere in North America without any need to ever go online to see where we are. So far we only have S&T and when that is not practical we have Garmin. Are there really any others that work where we need them to work?
Newbee
The good thing about Android is that often the above maps have free trials. Sygic for Android (not sure about iOS) has a 7 day trial. What some people have done is actually reset their device and reinstalled the app to get an additional 7 days.

I agree, going online isn't what WE want, but the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few. Most people are more than happy to pay for roaming plans to access their data on the fly. If they find their cellular bills are too high when they return home as a result, they'll just cry to the carrier to get them to reduce the charges. #smh
malaki86
Again, the map updates for CoPilot are released quarterly and are free. If you want additional maps, you buy them directly through the app. Those, too, will have free quarterly updates. Whether you can route directly from, say, Toronto, Ontario to Mexico City, I don't know. But, I do know that I can route between Canada & the USA with zero issues.

As for being out of date, I've noticed that any newly built roads normally show up within about 6 months on average.
Ken in Regina
I just checked on my phone ... CoPilot's Android maps have only modest information for Mexico. It's really more of a basemap. Decent coverage for major roads and highways and major cities and towns but no street level details even in major centres. I can route from here to any town in Mexico but when I zoom for street details there's still only the major roadways.

Garmin City Navigator North America has far more detailed maps of Mexico.

...ken...
Newbee
Thanks Ken for sharing...I suspected as much from Copilot.

I remember years ago how not even Garmin CN NA didn't have very good detail of Mexico. You had to buy either their minimal maps of Mexico (City Select Mexico) or the very detailed thorough BiciMapas maps. Now, City NA is typically all one needs for the touristy areas of Mexico. Google of course, reigns supreme in Mexico and rivals or even surpasses Navteq in some parts of Mexico.

Typically, my experience with any mapset with the exception of Google is new roads take on an average a few years (not 6 months) to be reflected on individual devices. Garmin is no exception. BTW. I am in Vancouver.
Ken in Regina
In fairness to Garmin/Navteq, it's generally less than a year before road details for new subdivisions around here show up. 6 months is not unusual although some street names might be missing for another update or two.

I have family and friends in Vancouver and Chilliwack and Powell River and Courtney. I lived in Victoria for a couple years in an earlier chapter. So I consider myself an honorary We't Coaster.
Confused
I am not sure how NavTeq or any other mapping software gets their data to include in the most recent maps. I know of a Mexican Gov't website . . . http://www.sct.gob.mx/informacion-general/planeacion/atlas-cartograficos/listado-de-atlas . . . that seems to be the official Gov't maps of the main highways in Mexico (free .pdf downloads). As we travel all over Mexico we see new roads being built everywhere. Sometimes sections of a road may be open while other sections are still under construction. But SCT (gov't agency) does not put the new road on their map until it is completed. If NavTeq gets their maps from SCT then they won't be updating until SCT releases the maps - which often takes a couple years. But then SCT does not show streets in towns and both our Garmin and S&T do show many of the local streets so they must get this info from other sources. I have no idea. All the maps on both Garmin and S&T have gotten much more detailed and accurate all over Mexico in recent years.

On another note about Google Maps and Google Earth. We often use Google Earth to look at places we plan to go in Mexico. In many cases we can use the Street View to see what places look like down on the street level. We are amazed by how many places Google Earth Street View now covers. That little car zooms around everywhere. Maybe there is some connection between Google and companies like NavTeq to get more accurate maps. As that little car roams around it records all the data and tracks for everywhere it goes?? I know there must be a great many little cars. If the maps on our devices are as accurate in Mexico as we find them to be then they must be very accurate in the US etc. We know the data must be available but not all GPS systems - such as CoPilot use all the data that is out there. We had CoPilot for a few years a while back but found it too limited compared with S&T. Maybe they have improved it? But it was created mainly for truckers so they weren't putting a lot of stuff in that was not of interest to truckers. One of these companies should figure out that there are a heck of a lot of truckers in Mexico too - there could be a huge market there. I am not sure if truckers in Mexico can get Garmin or S&T. I have looked briefly at BICI Maps but don't know if truckers use them in Mexico.

I still think it is essential that good accurate up to date GPS devices are available that do not require going online. There are far too many places we roam where internet is not yet available - and may never be as some places are just too remote.
srphil
I have Streets & Trips 2013 that I'm using with Windows 8.1 and a GlobalSat BU-353S4. What I would like to know is how do you get the program to allow you to use the full window navigation pane that enables you to use the night mode. When you load the program the icon for the navigation mode does not highlight and does not allow for this option.
We have tried on three different laptops and all were the same. In the instructions it tells you to switch to the full navigation window to access the night mode but then it doesn't allow you to do it. Please Help.
SpadesFlush
Quote:
Originally Posted by srphil
... how do you get the program to allow you to use the full window navigation pane that enables you to use the night mode...
"Road map (night)" is a display option in S&T. You should select that mode before you try to switch to "full screen navigation mode." You do that by selecting one of the four options, the one you prefer, at the upper right of the screen.
Newbee
Streets and Trips will be pulled off life support at the end of the year: http://www.microsoft.com/Streets/en-us/default.aspx

Quote:
Today we announce the end of another era, the discontinuation of Microsoft Streets & Trips. We so appreciate the support of our dedicated users over the years.

"The success of these products would never have happened were it not for the loyal and supportive fans who purchased the product and its various iterations over the years,” shares Larry Petersen, test lead for Microsoft Streets & Trips. “Speaking at RV rallies over the years, I’ve loved hearing about our avid customers’ experiences using the software to plan and enjoy road trips across North America."

This retirement will not affect software already installed. Current users may continue to use Streets & Trips to plan their travel adventures and will have online support until July 14, 2015. Streets & Trips 2013 will be available for purchase until December 31, 2014.

We encourage everyone to check out http://www.bing.com/maps online or via their PC and Windows Phone 8.1 by downloading the Bing Maps app. Thank you for the ride of our lives.

Wishing you all safe and happy trails!

If you would like to learn more about the history of Microsoft's mapping products click here.
werdnanostaw
If you've ever wondered what Larry Petersen, software design engineer and test lead at Microsoft, looks like here are two photos from 2009:

http://geeksontour.blogspot.com.au/2009/09/streets-and-trips-2010.html
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