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Replacing nRoute with Streets & Trips in a police environment
rsl
Hello all,

We are a police agency with about 40 patrol vehicles which about 25 have Garmin 18PC Serial GPS's and use Garmin nRoute software. We are looking at equipping the rest of the cars with GPSs and also updating the mapping software and/or GPS hardware in he other cars.

I am evaluating Microsoft Streets and Trips because our county have a all software license with Microsoft so there would be no additional cost to us. I have found a couple of major set backs though and hope someone can tell me how to over come them so we may use this software. While doing normal driving nRoute displays the closest address to the cars locations and it also shows the next intersection you will be at. These are both very important features in a patrol environment? Does S & T have this capability and if so how do I turn it on?
jsnoik
First off, I am not an expert, so if I am wrong, someone please correct me.

However, you picked an excellent forum to inquire. There are a lot of guys on here with a lot of knowledge.

I think the answer to that question is no. I believe it will display your next turn, if you have a route mapped.

I have been using Streets & Trips for a few years for delivering pizzas. One feature I love in it is the ability to "trail" a new street, draw it on the map, and I used the letter pushpin to mark the street to find it when I need it.

Also, the S&T Keys add-on is great to make it easy to zoom in and out, or to minimize the screen.
winwaed
I don't know nRoute, but how accurate is the street numbering in it?

Most navigation programs (including Streets&Trips and MapPoint) use a simplified street number store. Instead of storing the locations of every single address, they store the ranges for each road segment and then interpolate. This has the advantage that it saves a lot of space (probably not an issue for a single county, but it is for a national map), and it does a reasonable job of handling new buildings and addresses. However, if the addresses are distributed unevenly (eg. all at one end of a street), you can get some erroneous locating. The street is right, just where exactly on the street is wrong.

MapPoint supports all of Streets&Trips abilities plus custom programming and might be modifiable to get closer to your specific needs. I don't think it would be a perfect solution though.

Richard
Marvin Hlavac
RSL, welcome to Laptop GPS World. I recall there are at least two or three software solutions, based on Microsoft MapPoint, which are specifically targeting emergency departments and/or police. Here's one: http://www.laptopgpsworld.com/45-new-navigation-solution-police-cars-based-microsoft-mappoint#post86
taoyue
A police-customized solution built on top of MapPoint is going to be more capable than either Streets & Trips or nRoute.

Unfortunately, it's going to cost money. If the police department is trying to save a couple thousand dollars by using the county's Enterprise Agreement to get Streets & Trips for no additional charge ...
Ken in Regina
Richard, your points about the simplified civic address list are technically accurate but they may miss the point. The point is that when nRoute displays the nearest civic address it will be showing you the correct "block" the majority of the time. Once you are in the correct block it's pretty simple to look out the window at the house numbers to get to the correct address.

It's more difficult to quickly get to the correct block or a particular intersection if the nav software does not have the display that nRoute does.

...ken...
Larry
Hi rsl,

Welcome to the forum.

I know of several law enforcement agencies that use S&T in their cars. I learned alot about how they use it last year when I was invited on a ride-along'.


You can read some stories here: Streets and Trips

You may find that the feature set of nRoute had a few things you wish S&T had but also that S&T likely has several key features that nRoute didn't have.

You have great support on this forum if you need help with anything. All questions are welcome and we (forum folks) can usually generate a bunch of possible solutions or work-arounds.
rsl
The ability to know the block vs the actual number is exactly what we need. will Map Point let us create a display to show the current block range and also the next intersecting street?


ON the attached image, toward the bottom left...the top line is the standard numbered address I should be passing and the bottom line is the next intersecting Street
Attached Images
File Type: bmp nroute need.bmp (68.9 KB)
Ken in Regina
Does the Mappoint API allow for customization of the nav display and nav functions?

Or does it only apply to the integration of the static map display and planning/search functions with external data and applications?

Larry? Richard?

...ken...
rsl
I looked at the Bio Key Mobile Cop Solution and it appears to be a separate program that just places the incident location into Streets and Trips
rsl
Larry, can you provide me some contact info so I can talk with you about some of the other features we might be able to use.
Larry
@rsl - streetsandtrips [at] hotmail [dot] com
I'm on my way to Quartzsite so responses may be delayed.

Thanks in advance for your input.
winwaed
rsl: Understood. In which case MapPoint / Streets&Trips database should be sufficient. The question becomes: what is the best way of getting at that information. Thinking as a programmer it wouldn't be as simple as you might think, but with some experimentation I think something could be written.

It sounds like one of the police applications that Larry knows of, is going to be the best solution.

Also as Larry notes, Streets&Trips/MapPoint can do things many other navigation systems can't - eg. route optimization, avoid areas, dragging a route to modify it.

Richard
rsl
OK, so I have installed Mappoint now, anyone have any clue where to find, or where to begin, for an interface that will display the info I am looking for?
ki4nai
Just my 2 cents worth:
I've used S&T from a EOC for plotting and planning my response units, and am aware of 1 L. O. agency that used it for response to Miss. and La. after Katrina. (After a phone call to me about what the program was that I had showed one of the officers on a visit while in their area). As others as stated, u can get down to the block, but addresses could be off.
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