MapPoint 2009 Europe is perhaps the only, and the best, alternative trip planning software for those who still use Microsoft AutoRoute 2007. As of the time of this writing, Microsoft has not yet released AutoRoute 2008, or 2009.
While the price of MapPoint 2009 is admittedly much higher than AutoRoute 2009 would be, it still will cost you less than a PND (personal navigation device), and it is much more suitable for elaborate route planning than even the most expensive PNDs on the market today, not to mention the other many tasks that a laptop can do for us, which PNDs obviously can't.
Microsoft MapPoint is the business version of Microsoft AutoRoute. AR is a subset of MapPoint features. As an ex MS AutoRoute user, switching to MS MapPoint, you will not need to learn new software, as the look and feel is the same. The only differences are a few additional features in MapPoint, which AutoRoute never had, and functionality improvements/changes done to the program since version 2007. MapPoint vs. AutoRoute Pros:
- MapPoint accepts plug-ins. There are many plug-ins available, but I will mention at least two that come to mind now:
- Pushpin Tool - Allows for better pushpin management
- DriveSpeed - Do you hate the slower/average/faster sliders? Then enter actual speed instead.
- MapPoint can export to Excel -- a feature I suspect many readers of this forum may find useful
What's new in Microsoft MapPoint 2009 Europe: MapPoint 2009 Europe map data:
- New version of MapPoint releases only once every couple of years
- More expensive
Detailed street-level maps and address find capability for Austria
and United Kingdom
In addition, it provides some street-level coverage, but does not support address find, for Andorra
, Czech Republic
, Isle of Man
, San Marino
and Vatican City
To me it is a bit disappointing that the above list of country coverage for the European edition of MapPoint 2009 is 100% identical to AutoRoute 2007 (released in the fall of 2006), and MapPoint 2006 (released in August 2006). However, the bright side is that the map data is approximately two years fresher.
Road map data is Navteq version 2008-Q1 (April 2008). The Navteq data constitutes the vast majority of the maps. TeleAtlas data (April 2008) is also included for postal codes in MapPoint 2009 EU. Navigation map view (3D-view)
This is a new feature. Usually this feature is referred to as "3D-view" in other GPS navigation products. You may enable it in the GPS task pane, if you like it, or don't use it at all, if you don't like it.
The above two screenshots were actually taken from my earlier review of MapPoint 2009 North America, but the feature is now also in Mappoint 2009 Europe. Automatic re-routing
MapPoint 2009 Europe, unlike the last version of AutoRoute, is capable of automatically recalculating a plotted route, if we take a detour. This feature can be enabled or disabled by users. Voice direction prompts that include street names
The voice direction prompts in MapPoint 2009 Europe include street names. Instead of just "...turn right in 300 meters..."
MapPoint will say "...turn right on Queen Street...".
This is an optional feature, too. If you don't like to hear street names, the feature can be turned off. "Pan" and "Select" tools
The single greatest improvement in usability is the integrated pan/select cursor. Left-drag to pan, right-drag to select. You no longer need to keep switching back-and-forth between the two tools when moving around the map. Saves a huge amount of clicks and mouse travel in normal usage. Nitpick: discoverability of feature.
S&T Team wrote an article about this feature: Where did the "Pan" and "Select" tools go on the Toolbar in S&T 2009?
. This feature works the same in Microsoft MapPoint 2009 Europe, just like it does in Microsoft Streets & Trips 2009. MapPoint 2009 Europe Options:
The above screenshot shows some of the new and useful features. Related Reading
- Book: MapPoint for Dummies http://www.laptopgpsworld.com/2538-mappoint-dummies
- Review of the European version http://www.laptopgpsworld.com/2738-review-microsoft-mappoint-2009-a
- Various add-ins http://www.laptopgpsworld.com/3459-mapping-tools-microsoft-mappoint
- List of reviews http://www.laptopgpsworld.com/37-list-laptop-gps-navigation-software-programs-reviews