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DeLorme Street Atlas 2011 vs Microsoft Streets & Trips 2011?
quickskill
Anyone here done a comparison?

It's time for my company to upgrade the mapping software that our technicians project managers use to plan their weeks. We're talking somewhere in the range of 80-100 licenses that will be needed in all and if we're paying that kind of scratch I'd like to make sure we're using the right project.

We're currently using Microsoft Streets & Trips 2008 and I was thinking of upgrading to S&T 2011. But given the delay in its release, there seems to be a lot of negativity about this release in general and also regarding the map updates themselves, the latter being the sole reason I'm looking to upgrade.

I'd love to get a comparison of the maps in the program to see if one is significantly better than the other. Other important capabilities (if we move to DeLorme Street Atlas) would be to ensure our S&T 2008 maps could be easily converted into Street Atlas maps without losing all the data (pins) and CSV files could be imported.

If someone can point me in the direction where this comparison might have been done, I would appreciate it. And if there's any other competitors worth taking a look at it, please let me know.

Thanks in advance for any help.
Ken in Regina
Hi quickskill,

If you are planning to spend a significant chunk of your company's money and, more importantly, make a recommendation/decision that's going to affect how a bunch of other people work, it seems to me -- as a long-time IT manager -- that you should do a proper controlled evaluation of the two. Nobody here or on any other forum can do your work for you because we don't know how your users use the product, whether they want to use it differently from the way they use it now, or anything else that's necessary to give you useful feedback that is relevant to what matters to your company.

But let me give you a bit of free but useful feedback:

Even if all you care about is getting updated maps ... ESPECIALLY if all you care about is getting updated maps ... there are really two things you need to be concerned about:

1. The maps, and

2. The learning curve.

It appears you have not used Street Atlas or you probably wouldn't even be asking these questions. These are not interchangeable programs. Although they perform pretty much the same functions and provide pretty similar feature sets, they are hugely different in the way they work. The working paradigms (user interfaces) are as unlike as it's possible to be. You literally have to think differently to use even the basic functions of each.

Bottom line: the learning curve for your Streets&Trips users to learn how to use Street Atlas multiplied by 80 to 100 people will cost your company far more than the small cost to upgrade Streets&Trips to get the new maps, if new maps is really all you want.

So if you don't want to force 80 to 100 people through a huge learning curve just so they can do what they already know how to do with Streets&Trips I strongly recommend that you simply download the free trial version of Streets&Trips 2011 and evaluate it properly in your specific context.

See if the maps are improved in the areas you care about. It makes no difference if they are crap in, say, Columbia, MO, or other places the users here are familiar with if you never go there. You need to check them where your project managers drive. Or have a couple or three of your project managers play guinea pig for you.

If you get some typical users to try out Streets&Trips 2011 for you you can also get their feedback on the functional changes to see how they like them.

For what it's worth, there will even be a bit of a learning curve associated with moving to the new version of Streets&Trips. You can help this process by giving them a list of the changes. If you aren't afraid of doing a little work yourself, you can find the main ones in the Streets&Trips review thread. It's a cut/paste exercise to make them a nice list of feature changes/additions. Marvin and the users of this forum have already created lots of content about that.

You can also help them by making sure they back up any saved maps (.est files) and/or templates (.sst files) they use regularly because new versions of Streets&Trips will immediately convert older maps into the new format as soon as you load them and they are not backwards-compatible once they are converted. There is a lot of content here about that, too.

Then, your users can give you good feedback on what else you need to do to make the transition easier for the rest of the users if/when you upgrade them.

The free trial version of Streets&Trips is fully functional. Nothing is blocked. It doesn't even nag you. It simply stops working after 60 days if you don't purchase it and plug in an activation code.

Y'er welcome.

...ken...
taoyue
I just have one thing to add about the "negativity" that you refer to. Many of the people posting on this forum are living on the cutting edge of software releases. They're comparing S&T 2011 to S&T 2010. So when an update comes out four months later than usual, or the maps don't look better than in 2010, you're bound to see some disappointment at the very least.

But as Ken pointed out, your situation is different. In particular, you're upgrading from Streets & Trips 2008. The improvement from 2010 to 2011 may be minor, but the improvement from 2008 to 2011 is greater. And since 2011 is already available for purchase, it really isn't a bad thing fr you that it came out later than usual. Quite the contrary -- because the map data is fresher than if S&T had been released in October.
SpadesFlush
As much as I like, value, and respect most of the views posted on this forum, I would hope that you do not rely on it for more than a few percentage points of your business decision. We cannot possibly understand the needs of your colleagues and you to be in a position to match any of these software applications to your company's needs.

As suggested above, probably the best thing to do is to get the Streets & Trips free download into the hands of a few typical users and conduct an in-house comparison to Street Atlas and then make a decision.

The fact that I have used Street Atlas in the past and much prefer Streets & Trips should be of absolutely no interest to you.
malaki86
If a company has that large of a budget for that many copies of software, wouldn't it be feasible to buy, say, 10 copies of each and distribute among different people in the organization and then get a report from them?
Ken in Regina
If quickskill takes a few minutes to explore this site it won't take long to discover that the answers to all of the original questions are easily accessable.

On the main index page the names of the forums with logos in front of them are a list of all of the major nav programs and a few that aren't so major.

Each of these forums contains stickies with important information about each product. The top sticky in each forum is a review of the product, usually quite extensive. Where it's available and appropriate, these reviews will have information about the differences between versions.

Marvin has done an excellent job of laying this site out. All a person has to do to get started is read for awhile.

...ken...
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