Ex Encarta User Looking for Good Online Maps
Hi Folks... I'm new here.

Hoping someone can help me find good online maps for downloading. I used to use the Encarta MapPoint maps freely available online. They could be scaled for detail and had exactly the kind of features I liked. (I'm an educator... and love to use good maps with photos shows, and such.)

Suddenly, a year or more ago, the Encarta maps were no longer available.

I'd be pleased to pay a reasonable fee to get access to a similar service. I see lots of advertising about MapPoint... but the price seems to be high, and it may still not get me what I want. I'd really love to have the old service... without many bells and whistles.

Anyone know what I'm talking about??? Your helps will be much appreciated.
Marvin Hlavac
Ron, welcome to the forums. How about the less expensive, consumer-oriented, Microsoft Streets & Trips?
Thanks, Marvin... but my interest is not streets and highways... rather, identifying geographical countries, states, city locations, and topographical features. I do a lot of photography-related travel as an amateur/retired guy, but love to demonstrate where I've been using scalable maps. The old Encarta maps were great for my purposes.

Any idea how I can get through to the right department within Microsoft to see what they did with their old versions?

Thanks for your interest... and helps...
Ken in Regina
Hi Ron,

Have you looked at the World Atlas online? It might be right up your alley.

World Atlas including Geography Facts, Maps, Flags -

Another option is Google Earth. If you haven't tried it, it's a free download. You need an internet connection to view the maps but as you browse areas, those areas are placed in a disk cache on your PC for a performance boost. The areas you have browsed remain in the disk cache when you do not have a connection. This disk cache is 2GB and you can load an awful lot of stuff into it.

If Google Earth is useful, the caching feature should let you do what you want.

Of course you could do screenshots if you want to be able to use them for inclusion in slideshows rather than doing interactive stuff.

For screenshots for slideshows, you can use any of the online map products if they show what you want .. e.g. Google Maps, Bing Maps, MapQuest, Yahoo Maps.

Lots of options. But I think World Atlas is the first place to look.

I use Googly maps, and I haven't had any issues yet. Of course I don't rely on any software to tell me where to turn. I just use it as a reference to keep from passing up roads or stops.

I dunno why, but I have 6000mb disc cache. We discussed this in another thread. I dunno why it's so high, but I was running Windows Vista on a 80gb hard drive and 2gb memory. Here's a screen shot.

Ken in Regina
Hi Ben2go,

I tried changing my disk cache setting to 6000MB just to see if the limit has changed in recent versions but no joy. See the attached image for the error message I got. I'm not complaining. That's still a lot of area you can store in the cache.

What version of Google Earth are you running?

Here's the info from Help > About Google Earth on my computer.

Google Earth .....
Build Date ..... Sep 1, 2010
Build Time ..... 11:06:01 am
Renderer ..... OpenGL
Operating System ..... Microsoft Windows (5.1.2600.3)
Video Driver ..... ATI Technologies Inc. (00006.00014.00010.06912)
Max Texture Size ..... 8192x8192
Server .....

Attached Images
I have the same version of Google Earth as you. I didn't change those settings. Those were the settings that were already in Google Earth. I just checked them because someone in another thread asked me to. I was getting some help with trouble shooting my set up. I don't think I have ever used more that 700kb on the short trips I make.
Ron, if you could attach some examples of the sorts of images you were using, then it'd make it easier to see the level of detail you want.

Another thing you could try is to go to Amazon/eBay and buy an old version of Encarta, from back when they still sold it on DVD/CD. It may or may not provide what you want, because you can't see what you get until you install it. But it's only $20, so it's not like you'll be out hundreds of dollars.

Sadly, Encarta fell victim to the onward march of technology. It's not coming back. (Onward, not forward -- technology often marches backwards. In the early 1990s, one of the selling points of AOL used to be access to an online encyclopedia. But then we got CD-ROM encyclopedias, so we no longer had to wait for the information to inch over by modem. Now we have Wikipedia, and we're back to having no local access to the information. This despite the fact that we now have multi-terabyte hard drives.)
Thanks Taoyue and others. Your help is appreciated.

Here is my second attempt to reply.

To view map images I have used before, please click here. It should give you an idea of the scaling and topographical elements that I've appreciated in this older version of MapPoint.

I'll explore the Encarta disk option. It would be great if it has this map feature.

And if I you can't see my images, I'll try again.

FWIW, Ron, I can see your map images.

If your priority is to be able to attach links on a map to photographs you have taken and if a simple zoomable map will do (you have already said you weren't interested in roads or routes), then either Streets and Trips or AutoRoute might be worth considering for the simple virtue of being able to attach such links quickly and easily. Both of these provide the "Pushpin" facility. One can enter hyperlink text into the "flag" or "balloon" of each Pushpin that can then be used to call up the photo file from either your local storage media (hard disk or something else) or from the internet. If you have S&T, you can open the first attachment below to see an example I submitted to the library some time ago. If you do not have S&T, you can down load a free trial from Microsoft.

If the Pushpins have their information hidden and thus show only the Pushpin icon on the map, you can Ctrl-Double-Click the icon and the target file (stored or on the internet) will pop up. To see what I mean if you have opened my attached file, go to Legend and overview and right-click on the camera icon ("My Pushpins") and click on "Hide all pushpin information". Then, select a camera on the map and Ctrl-Click-Click. It might take a few seconds, but it will open the flickr page for that photo.

And you can get even more elaborate by converting your photos into Pushpin icons to place on the map. See the second attachment for an example from the library showing that facility. Although this map is of Denmark and S&T does not "cover" Denmark, it does drop the photo-icons on the map in the right places.

I hope this is at least some of the way to meeting your needs.
Ron, those maps you posted look just like the ones that the CD version Encarta World Atlas used to have before the product was cancelled. You should definitely buy a copy of Microsoft Student with Encarta Premium, and try it out.

Of the online mapping services, Microsoft Bing Maps comes closest to the style of map that you're used to. In aerial mode (not in roads mode), you get thick provincial borders and labeling -- without any roads to clutter up the map. You can't highlight the province, though.
This has been a great help. Thanks, Taoyue. About