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Review: DeLorme Street Atlas
Marvin Hlavac
Street Atlas 2012

Version 2012 of Street Atlas has just been released by DeLorme. Reading the brief description, it seems to me that the new version is a map data refresher, just like the previous v.2011 was, and the last feature improvements date back to versions 2010 and 2009.

SA is a mature mapping software product packed with huge number of features as is, so perhaps DeLorme feels most users don't desire any more new functionality, but a map data update is due. Version 2012 adds over a million new roads or road names, exits have been updated, major overhaul in 3000 U.S. counties, updates for every U.S. state and Canadian province, plus Mexico, over 300,000 new places of interest (POIs).

Has anyone bought, installed, and looked at the new DeLorme Street Atlas 2012 already? Please share your experiences with us.
Ken in Regina
I just got a note in my email ... $39.95 for 2012 Plus!! I don't know if that's just an upgrade price for existing users (I've got 2010 Plus) or not. But it's cheap enough I have half a mind.....

....mmmm... Well, most who know me already know I have half a mind so that's kind of redundant....

...where was I? ... Sheesh, getting old sucks.

Oh yeah, at that price I may have to order one just to see if the Canadian content has improved and whether there are any new features.

...ken...
trekker01
Delorme announced release of their new product today. I have ordered it and it is on it's way.
Gary
wmorgel
I bought it and am unhappy. Our street has been here for over 30 years and is NOT named so it can't be found and when I typed in the LAT/LON location it showed the GPS car sitting about 800 feet away from the road (un-named) in my neighbor's yard.
Barthegreat
The amount of updates in 2012 is very thin and the GPS receiver BU-353 FLAT OUT doesn't work, while it will work with old Delorme GPS receivers... update drivers don't work... Don't spend the time and continually work on trouble-shooting Delorme products. I've heard about this receiver and thought they would fix their internal SW/HW integration problems... not yet anyway.
tcassidy
I am surprised you are having problems with the BU-353. Although I don't have SA 2012, I have found the BU-353 to work great with SA 2010. It is much more versatile than the previous Delorme GPS too as it will also work with other mapping programs. There is no need to download drivers as Windows will find them on its update site.

Terry
Ken in Regina
I agree with Terry that both of my BU353s work great with SA2010 and Topo 8. Basically plug and play.

...ken...
Earl Troutman
I've had it for about two months. Some issues are over 10 years old and still are not resolved; ie: A straight line freeway is zig-zagged continually, a curve is shown as stairsteps. The typography for many landmarks is only visible at a few zoom levels; it disappears at some levels then re-appears at other levels. On points of interest, some places that were standard have disappeared from the option list. A neighborhood here is still missing, though it was developed in the 1960s. On the plus side, the colors are nice. I like printing out maps. I draw lines to plan trips, but the instructions for joining lines are appariently incorrect as nothing works. You can cut lines but not connect lines. Comments on the forums mention this a lot so it is a common problem. All in all, it's a useful mapping resource, but many of the really bad graphics are here to stay. I use this to compare with Google and Bing. If I didn't have those I would not recommend this product. Paid $50 at the store in Maine.
tcassidy
Sounds like you need a new video card. Or maybe more pixels or colour levels on your screen.

Terry
Earl Troutman
This is a new laptop with rez at maximum. I also use a much higher rez monitor for my work in Photoshop and the lines are identical there also. I put a copy on my wife's laptops with same results. Still jagged lines where straight should be.
Earl Troutman
I first bought the SA 2004 for both my work computers. Both had max ram, biggest video card, and high $ monitors. The roads were identical back then to what I see today.
GoneNomad
Since, as most of us know, Microsoft will likely make any meaningful or useful updates to Streets & Trips, I am giving Delorme Street Atlas another, more thorough evaluation.

BTW, it looks like the "regular" version of Street Atlas is no longer available:
http://shop.delorme.com/OA_HTML/DELibeCCtpSctDspRte.jsp?section=10120&minisite=10020
leaving the "PLUS" version as Delorme's only road mapping *& navigation software product.

One of the limitations of the "regular" version is that the address book is limited to 200 addresses:

...which is certainly a huge drawback if you're trying to import nationwide POI files like the 2,000+ record Home Depot locations POI file shown above, of which Street Atlas imported fewer than 10%. And what's even worse is that this limit is on the address book itself, not on how many records can be imported into it at one time.

--------------------------------------

I've managed to get past some of the more clunky aspects of the interface that caused me to cut short my previous tests. It turns out that Delorme's "different" scheme for zooming out isn't all that bad once you get used to it. I don't like having to put the point at the edge of the map to make it turn into a pan tool, but as I just discovered during this evaluation, the CTRL key turns the pointer into a PAN tool. Still, that approach normally requires both hands (unless a mouse button is configured as CTRL-Click), so IMO what Microsoft did with S&T2009+ is better, since it requires only one hand to use it.

I have been somewhat pleasantly surprised to find that Street Atlas has some of the POI search capabilities I described in this thread: http://www.laptopgpsworld.com/4931-find-nearby-places-route-ahead-see-their-icons-any-zoom-level

Aside from superior POI-related search features, Street Atlas also provides a limited range of adjustment for when larger, easier to recognize icons are displayed (S&T offers no view options like this). In Street Atlas you can choose to see the "Large Symbols" when zoomed out as far as this zoom level:

While it's great that Street Atlas has much better POI search capability that S&T, from what I have found so far, it also looks like Street Atlas has far fewer POIs in its database... in some cases showing maybe half as many restaurants in a given area (that have been there over a decade) than S&T.

Street Atlas has much more fully developed navigational functions and a much better navigational screen than S&T:

...and also has an "E-Z Nav" button that brings up a standalone-style set of buttons for common functions:


But Street Atlas has a clunky interface. Even after getting used to it, it's still inherently clunky and non-standard.

They also made some poor choices about which functions work in which tabs, and that does reduce their usability.
Here's an example (though not related to a POI search) of one of their more egregious gaffes: the Street Atlas "Route" tab has a few options buttons, including an "Advanced" button that shows a list of all the route points
(nearly identical as S&T's "Route planner" including the 'delete' & 'move' route point buttons on the right):


But unlike S&T, Street Atlas does not allow any changes to the "Start" point or the "Finish" point from the list shown in the Route tab (buttons at right are greyed out).

Un-[frikin']-believable....


It looks like Marvin covered a lot of this in his review of Street Atlas 2010 here: http://www.laptopgpsworld.com/3888-review-delorme-street-atlas-2010-a so I don't want to duplicate too much of what he has already done. But I have a lot more screen captures that tell a more complete story about Street Atlas than you will see on Delorme's website. If anyone is interested, let me know and I will post them.
Attached Images
street-altas-2010-can-only-move-delete-intermediate-points-route-list-cropped.jpg   street-altas-2010-nav-mode.jpg   street-altas-2010-e-z-nav-mode.jpg   street-altas-2010-importing-addresses-into-address-book-200-record-limit-1-2-combined.jpg   street-altas-2010-cant-delete-endpoint-route-list-cropped-r3.jpg  

GoneNomad
I've had it for about two months. Some issues are over 10 years old and still are not resolved; ie: A straight line freeway is zig-zagged continually, a curve is shown as stairsteps. The typography for many landmarks is only visible at a few zoom levels; it disappears at some levels then re-appears at other levels. On points of interest, some places that were standard have disappeared from the option list. A neighborhood here is still missing, though it was developed in the 1960s. On the plus side, the colors are nice. I like printing out maps. I draw lines to plan trips, but the instructions for joining lines are appariently incorrect as nothing works. You can cut lines but not connect lines. Comments on the forums mention this a lot so it is a common problem. All in all, it's a useful mapping resource, but many of the really bad graphics are here to stay. I use this to compare with Google and Bing. If I didn't have those I would not recommend this product. Paid $50 at the store in Maine.
IMO, map data is certainly not as current or complete as S&T 2011.

Street Atlas does have a little adjustability for what it calls "symbols" at different zoom levels. Here's a chart from the manual:


This is a new laptop with rez at maximum. I also use a much higher rez monitor for my work in Photoshop and the lines are identical there also. I put a copy on my wife's laptops with same results. Still jagged lines where straight should be.
I think what you're seeing is that StreetAtlas doesn't render curved lines or 'alias' pixels as well as other programs, such as the latest version of ALK CoPilot.
Attached Images
street-atlas-2010-how-displays-major-minor-pois.jpg  
DrAlloway
Maybe you guys can help.
I am running SA 2012 under Windows 7 Pro and everything is OK.
Added GPS and works IF AND ONLY IF it is One Stop route.
Like Home to Tennis, then, turn-by-turn is great.
GPS bread-crumbs spot on, etc, etc, everything OK.
however
When I have Multiple Stops - then - SA screws up something awful.
It does not recognize successful arrival at Stop One
and therefore, will NOT go to Stop Two.

I can not believe SA is worthless on Multi-Stop routes
( I usually have about 6 stops per day )
There has to be some way to make this work !!
Earl Troutman
I don't plan multi-stop routes so haven't dealt with that issue. One thing that is annoying is saving files. If I create a new file, save a route, and then close it - and then open another file that is in no way connected to the new file - the old file has the new route. Odd but it is happening each time I try it.
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