AutoRoute 2010 has been released, or should we say "resurrected", since MSFT has skipped two version years, leaving us believing the excellent trip-planning and navigation software program was discontinued.
Let's look at some of the new features of version 2010 that were not present in the last 2007 version.
Improved map coverage
Version 2010 comes with street-level map data of 43 European countries versus the previous 2007 version which contained detailed map coverage of only 36 countries.
In total, the new 2010 version contains 8.3 million kilometers or 5.1 million miles of routable roads. Version 2007 had 6.3 million km / 3.9 million miles.
The North American version is sold under the name of Microsoft Streets and Trips (link
), and it covers USA, Canada, and Mexico. Navigation view
This feature is also known as "perspective view" or "3D" view. Many drivers may find it more suitable than the old style "2D" view. This feature is optional. Turn it on if you like it, Don't use it if you don't. I personally do like it.
Automatic route recalculation
AR2010 will reroute automatically if you miss your turn. This feature can be enabled/disabled by users. Voice direction prompts include street names
Earlier versions said: "Turn left in 300 meters". The new v 2010 will say: "Turn left in 300 meters on Main street". Even this feature can be turned off by users who prefer to hear the shorter version, or those who have lower tolerance for mispronunciation of the text-to-speech engine.
On the following screen shot you can see where some of these new features can be enabled/disabled: "Pan" and "Select" tools
Originally Posted by taoyue
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? Driving Time, Next Stop, Distance To End
The new AR2010 now shows remaining driving time to destination, distance to next stop, and distance to end destination, all in the bottom right corner of the Navigation pane.
Save custom map settings and reuse them when the map reopens
There is now an easier way to save some of the application's default settings. You can save such items as your desired default map view, which pane is shown when the program starts, etc.
Import/Export .GPX files
AR is now capable if importing and exporting of .GPX files that can be used in other GPS applications and even in personal navigation devices.
Send to mobile phone
You may send location information, such as POI info, from the software to a mobile phone.
POIs (Points of Interest)
The "Find nearby places" feature has been expanded slightly by the addition of 6 categories: Border crossings, Civic and Community Centers, Entertainment, Ferry Terminals, Pharmacies, and Post Offices.
Previous versions had all restaurants in one category. Now there are separate categories by cuisine: Asian, BBQ, Chinese, Delis, French, Greek, Indian, Italian, Japanese, Mexican, Other, Pizza, Seafood, Steak, and Thai.
In total, the new version contains
1,452,348 POIs. The previous version had 747,318 points of interest.
In addition to searching the built-in database of POIs, users can search a much larger database if/when connected to the Internet. Searches then can be performed even outside the categories of the "Find nearby places".
Show/Hide pushpin set, Show/Hide pushpin information
The new AR adds the ability for users to easily hide/show individual pushpin sets. When pushpin sets are shown, users can toggle show/hide all pushpin information balloons. This feature has been requested by users, and thanks to Microsoft for implementing it.
In earlier version it might have not been very practical to keep too many pushpins in one file, but it may start being quite practical now.
Tom Bernardi has observed that the new export and hide/show functions are connected:
Delete visible pushpins inside or outside of a selected area
Originally Posted by Tom Bernardi
Another great feature of this is that it will only export the pushpins that are showing, not the hidden ones. So, you can control what you export to your GPX file.
This is another new feature which will help users manage their pushpins. The 10,000 addresses import limit has been removed
Earlier versions allowed up to 10,000 addresses to be imported at one time. This hard coded limit has been removed. Back/Forward
Earlier versions had Back/Forward buttons. Those buttons have been removed, but the functionality is still present, and it can be accessed either by going to the View menu, as shown on the above picture, or by using keyboard shortcuts Alt+ LeftArrow and Alt+RightArrow.
Rename Route Stops
Pause Windows Media Player during spoken navigation instructions.
Originally Posted by SpadesFlush
Rename Route Stops is a relatively minor new feature, but it can potentially add a lot of 'usability' to route planning. Thanks for that MSFT.
Configure the program to turn off your music while voice instructions are spoken. This is an excellent feature, and I wish all other GPS navigation software products would have it. Actually, at the moment I cannot think of any that does!
Perhaps a future enhancement of this functionality could include the muting of all sound sources, not just be limited to controlling Windows Media Player.
Improved discoverability of "Click 'n' Drag Routing" feature
Microsoft AutoRoute 2010 with GPS Locator
Originally Posted by Gladwin
If you have a USB (or Bluetooth) GPS receiver that has worked well with an earlier version of Microsoft AutoRoute, then save yourself money, and buy only the software program. However, if you do need a GPS receiver for your laptop, it may be convenient to buy the Microsoft bundle that included the "GPS Locator". This year the included unit is the one depicted on the above photo. It is Navation GPS 168, and it is based on uBlox 5 chip. it works well, but do use the included USB GPS extension cable. Otherwise, if the unit is plugged directly into your laptop computer, there may be RF interference preventing the GPS stick from working satisfactorily. Related information Forum
- Share experiences with other AutoRoute users Tips & Tricks
- A collection of tips and tricks by many users and from many sources Questions? Comments?