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Working with DeLorme Street Atlas 2010 - Via??? Poor Help Instructions
t1d
My father ordered and received the new DeLorme Street Atlas 2010 release. He has no prior experience with this type program. The help tutorials are rather poor. I am a Microsoft Streets and Trips user and not much help.

How do you select particular roads in a route? We have tried setting the road preferences and then adding the roads in "via." We have also tried using the via button and selecting roads that way. Both methods produce squirrelly results.

I think we need a tutorial on setting up a route with selecting particular roads.... Again, I consider the help tutorials to be very poor.

Thanks for your help!
tcassidy
I can't be much help as I feel SA is not for novices. It has a wealth of features unmatched in any other program if you have the time to learn them. Unfortunately, the non-standard interface and unusual map data somewhat takes it out of the mainstream.

A newcomer though, would be better served with Streets & Trips for its excellent trip planning facilities. Why don't you suggest he try a trial of S&T 2010. If something he wants is missing, he could spend some time learning the SA interface.

Terry
t1d
Thanks, Terry, for your advise... I use ST 2008 and have not been that happy with it... So, my father purhased SA to see if it would be better... It's a bit too early to abandon it... Maybe other members will have suggestions... And, we'll keep working at it ourselves...

You are gracious to have replied; thank you.
t1d
I found some information on the DeLorme site which instructs as follows:
1) Turn off Auto Calculate feature
2) Enter starting point
3) Zoom in and select roads with Via feature
4) Enter ending point
5) Calculate directions

I had intuitively tried this procedure and still got squirelly results. Maybe I didn't zoom down far enough; but, the identifier was showing the correct roads. It kept routing me off highways and on to county roads, though I had selected limited access highways as my preference. It left gaps in the route and kept circling back to pick up points. Rather frustrating, all in all...

Anybody having success with it?
Ken in Regina
Can you tell us the start and end points of your route? And perhaps a couple of the Vias that are causing the most heartburn? It would be interesting to see if it's just that specific route or if there's something about it that can be replicated in other areas.

The usual explanation of your problem is breaks in the road data that cause the routing calculation to try to route around them. I'm not refering to actual breaks in the roads themselves but bad data in the map database. This usually occurs because the person who created that part of the map did not make the lines connect properly at an intersection or some similar mistake.

Wonky routing is almost always due to something in the road data in the map database. Here in Canada the road data is not very good. I did an 800km route as a quicky test when I first installed 2010 and got some odd results. The route would have gotten me there but it took me over a lot of secondary highways. I had to do two Vias to force it to take a better route. The highways for the good route are all showing on the map display and there are no breaks in the data (I tested) but for some reason Street Atlas wouldn't use them until forced to.

...ken...
t1d
Ken, thank you for your help and the link, which was informative. Thanks for the explanation about the road data.

We were starting from our home in Northport, AL, zip code 35473, and ending at an address on Lorna Lane, near Birmingham, AL, zip code 35216. We wanted to take these major roads: US-43 to I-359 S to I-20 to I-459 to get to Lorna Lane.

We did not use the routing wizard. Our final attempt was done as follows:
We set the road preference to Limited Access Roads.
We entered the starting address directly into the starting address line.
We entered (lots of) Vias for each of the desired roads in order using the point and click function and confirming the road by its identifier information.
We entered the ending address directly into the ending address line.
We selected the "Go" function to calculate.

The routing breaks that you describe sound exactly like the problems we encountered. There were breaks in the route which caused the program to calculate extra loops/legs to backtrack or go around the break.

Do you know any solution to the problem? Even with lots of Vias, we had problems. Without a real, permanent solution, I would be tempted to research DeLorme's return policy.

Thank you again for being so gracious with your time and expertise.
tcassidy
That sounds like a very complicated procedure to plan such a short uncomplicated trip. With a simple start and end, did it use the wrong highways?

When you placed the vias, did you ensure each one of them was on the correct side of the highway? If some were placed on the highway side going in the wrong direction, the program would have difficulty routing to them especially on a limited access road.

Terry
tcassidy
I tried this roughly in SA 2008 and got the highways you wanted. However 2010 seems to have a problem with 43 between University and 9th. Probably a break as Ken suggested.

Terry
Attached Images
route-error.jpg  
tcassidy
This error with highway 43 and 359 seems to have been introduced in 2010. 2009 also shows correct routing for a trip from Northport to Birmingham.

Terry
Attached Images
2009-route.jpg   2010-route.jpg  
t1d
Terry,

Thank you for going the extra mile to test the route and report your findings... That's good and useful information...

The complicated via routing effort was our attempt to clean up an original poorly calculated route that was based on our limited access roads preference and just the starting and ending addresses. It used odd backroads instead of the major interstate that parallels the same backroads.

While I thought that our via road selections were correct, the zooming down to make sure I have the correct side of the road may be a valid point. I will make another attempt with super tight zooming. Even if that should work, I still would be underwhelmed with the data base. I shouldn't have to go to such extremes. In S&T 2008, you can cheat the road selection process by clicking the road identifier icon... no need for directional clarity, street address, pushpin wrangling, or inserting a destination/stop... It just includes the desired road in the route... I tried to make sure that I was using the road identifiers in SA, also.

Thank you, again, for your help...
Mandolin Guy
Quote:
The help tutorials are rather poor.
I think you'll find that most all software is moving this way. Almost none furnish decent instructions. I believe they think their software is more intuitive than it really is. In reality, SA is a relatively complicated piece of software. If you've used it a lot it may not seem that way. For a newcomer, it can be bewildering. It's worth learning, however.
t1d
I spoke with a technical rep at DeLorme. He simulated the exact route as above. He encountered the exact same via/routing difficulties and confirmed the database problems. Accordingly, they provided a return shipping label and will refund the full purchase price plus shipping.

I suggest the site monitor re-title this thread as DeLorme 2010 - Known Database Files Corruption in Alabama


Per Ken in Regina
The usual explanation of your problem is breaks in the road data that cause the routing calculation to try to route around them. I'm not refering to actual breaks in the roads themselves but bad data in the map database. This usually occurs because the person who created that part of the map did not make the lines connect properly at an intersection or some similar mistake.
tcassidy
That is what Ken was referring to - a discontinuity in the database referencing the road.

Terry
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