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Is it me or is Microsoft Streets and Trips a horrible GPS software?
astroidea
Hey guys. First off, I wanna thank all you guys for this awesome resource on GPS for laptops. I see that you guys often recommend Microsoft Streets and Trips as a great software for laptop GPS, but I'm not seeming to have much luck with it.

I'm using the 2007 one, and it just doesn't seem anywhere near as comparable as stand-alone GPS in terms of ease of use, simplicity, interface, effectiveness...

1. If you get off route, it won't recalculate a new route to the destination, it'll just say OFF ROUTE.

2. When you want to find a location, say Walmart, it won't give you a list of the closest Walmart to your GPS location, it'll give you a list of ALL OF THE WALMARTS in the US.

Do I just not know how to use the software, or is Microsoft seriously shortsighted in making a decent GPS software?

Any suggestions for a GPS software that does what I want it to do?
nealrm
Streets & Trips in general is a good program (but not perfect). In their defense comparing an old version of S&T to a new GPS is not very fair comparison. It is like comparing a new computer to one that is 3 years old and wondering why the older computer does not have the same features or speed.

The versions of S&T since 2008? do recalculate a new route. However they do not recalculate until you are at least a block off. They also will give you the closest wal-mart based on your current location using the "Find nearby places".
SpadesFlush
Quote:
Originally Posted by astroidea
...

I'm using the 2007 one, and it just doesn't seem anywhere near as comparable as stand-alone GPS in terms of ease of use, simplicity, interface, effectiveness...
First off, the version you are using is a bit out-dated now and you really should try Streets and Trips 2010. Download free, full-functioned 60-day trial from Microsoft.

Quote:
Originally Posted by astroidea
1. If you get off route, it won't recalculate a new route to the destination, it'll just say OFF ROUTE.
Streets and Trips 2010 will recalculate after a reasonably short time "Off Route."

Sorry about the overlap with NealRM's response posted while I was composing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by astroidea
2. When you want to find a location, say Walmart, it won't give you a list of the closest Walmart to your GPS location, it'll give you a list of ALL OF THE WALMARTS in the US.
It depends on how you do your search. I guess you are just doing a simple search. If, on the other hand, you use the "find nearby places" Streets and Trips 2010 feature it will find points of interest and active pushpins sorted in various ways, one of which is distance from a selected point which can be your current GPS location.

Quote:
Originally Posted by astroidea
Do I just not know how to use the software, or is Microsoft seriously shortsighted in making a decent GPS software?
It depends on what you want your software to do. S&T seems to be more for developing cross-country routes and following them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by astroidea
Any suggestions for a GPS software that does what I want it to do?
I can be easily persuaded that for tasks like your Walmart search example, there are better apps; in-dash sat-navs or I-Phone apps among various.
Marvin Hlavac
Hi astroidea,

Welcome to Laptop GPS World.

Quote:
I'm using the 2007 one, and it just doesn't seem anywhere near as comparable as stand-alone GPS in terms of ease of use, simplicity, interface, effectiveness...
If you desire simplicity, consider GPS software such as iGuidance, or Garmin Mobile PC, etc. That will likely be all that you need, if the features of your PND (personal navigation device) were meeting your needs.

Software such as Microsoft Streets and Trips, and DeLorme Street Atlas, are much more complex, with many more features. They require a bit more time to master. S&T vs. a PND is like comparing a high end professional image editing software, such as the expensive Adobe PhotoShop, to a freeware photo editing software that takes only few minutes to download.
taoyue
Delorme had the right idea -- create a completely separate interface to cater to former PND users.

Streets & Trips needs to do the same. Elsewhere on the Internet, I've seen people take one look at S&T and conclude that it was a useless piece of software. They simply can't get past the 20-year-old interface. Software has to meet users' expectations. If the users' expectations change, then the software has to change.
Marvin Hlavac
Tao, I very much agree with all that you've said. The new E-Z Nav feature of the new version of DeLorme Street Atlas 2010 is a simple, yet very useful feature, that will most likely eliminate the initial frustration of most first time users who would otherwise say "Is is me, or is this a horrible software?".

I recall on several occasions in the past various users suggesting similar ideas for Streets & Trips, too. It would be nice to see something like that implemented in a future version.
tcassidy
Funny, I haven't seen any comments in the SA section about how wonderful the program is now they have included a dumbed down interface to a very complex, slow loading program. Most people like the complexity and have worked with it to meet their needs.

If you want a simple interface and less features, buy software that has one, like iGuidance.

Terry
astroidea
Thanks for all the replies.

Is streets and trips able to search for places using the find nearby places option? On the 2007 one, it only lists them, and you have to dig through it to find what you want.

It'd also be helpful if I can find points of interest based on type. For example, if I wanted to find an ice cream place, I want to be able to type in ice cream in a search and have a list of all the locations that serve ice cream sorted by distance. S&T seems to only search for places with ice cream in the location title, and only lists them alphabetically within a certain radius of a location that I have to input in. Thus if I typed in ice cream, it wouldn't return something like cold stones or goldenspoon. Then I want to be able to click on the location I want, and go to it from my current GPS location without setting up the route planner.

It also seems silly that you can't zoom in to a location by double clicking on it. The quickest way to zoom to a point seems to be to right click and navigate the menus to zoom to that location.

It just feels to me that S&T(2007 version at least), despite its more advanced features, doesn't have the basic features grounded down well. I actually don't mind the complexity so much if it does the things I ask it to do and does them as quickly or in a similar amount of steps as your average PND. Also I'm quite certain that most, if not all stand alone GPS from the past 5+ more years can do what I mentioned.

Sorry for my frustrated newb rant for those of you who find the software useful. I think I'll look into Garmin Mobile PC. Thanks again.
tcassidy
I've had 3 Nuvis and none of them could find ice cream parlors by using the term ice cream (unless it was in the name).

Mobile PC is just a Nuvi on a bigger screen.

Terry
Attached Images
ice-cream.jpg  
astroidea
Hmmm, yesterday I was out with friends and we were looking for an ice cream place. My friend has a nuvi and I had my tablet with S&T 2007 on it. She searched for ice cream and found goldenspoon. I searched for ice cream and got nothing. I could be mistaken though.
But do you guys know of any software that could do that? iGuidance?
Marvin Hlavac
If you happen to have internet access, you may use the Live Search feature built into Streets & Trips 2010, as shown at the attached screen shot. I searched for "icecream", and the results returned stores such as Cold Stone Creamery, Dairy Queen, Baskin-Robins, etc.
Attached Images
streets-trips-live-search-20100109.gif  
tcassidy
Less POIs in my area give a limited selection in iGuidance but the results are similar.

Terry
Attached Images
ice-cream.jpg  
astroidea
S&T one looks good. But I don't have 3G on my tablet.

Doesn't iGuidance have a search food by type option? I guess there'd be a chance that ice cream isn't on one of the 57 food options though.
Larry
Hi Astroidea,

The Streets & Trips team is always looking for ways to improve the software its users. Many of the comments you have mentioned have been addressed in one form or another in the 2010 release.

Quote:
Originally Posted by astroidea
Is streets and trips able to search for places using the find nearby places option? On the 2007 one, it only lists them, and you have to dig through it to find what you want. It'd also be helpful if I can find points of interest based on type.
You can always turn off the find nearby categories you are not interested in. Another way to reduce the volume of results would be to reduce the search radius.

As Marvin mentioned earlier there is also the ability to do a Bing search from within S&T (provided you have an internet connection) to get results beyond those POI that are built in the software.

Quote:
It also seems silly that you can't zoom in to a location by double clicking on it. The quickest way to zoom to a point seems to be to right click and navigate the menus to zoom to that location.
In 2010 you can double-click on a location to zoom in. Shift+double click to zoom out. In 2007 there is a select box icon on the top toolbar. You can drag a small box on the map over the area you want to zoom to then click inside the box.

If you download the S&T 2010 free trial you can have both 2007 and 2010 installed side by side so no worries there.

Larry
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