HomeMicrosoft


Route Planning Windows 10 App
Baja Boojum
I just found a Windows 10 app route planning app that works across all W10 devices:

https://www.microsoft.com/store/apps/9nxvvrgdbhcq

Route Organizer is obviously a very limited alternative to S&T, but once you figure out how to use it, it's pretty good. Pros are its ability to sync locations and routes across devices (I can create a route on my tablet and use it on my phone); cons are its lack of offline route visualization and somewhat clunky input process.

I just started using it, so perhaps others can add more comments.
Ken in Regina
Hey, welcome back!! Good to see you. It has been awhile.

The default Windows Maps app on Windows 10 is actually excellent for routing, including multipoint routes. It uses the online Here maps so it has access to the massive POI database.

It's search ability is very flexible. As a test of the routing I decided to get it to route me from my home to a motorcycle shop in a town a couple hours away. For my destination I simply typed in "schraders yorkton". That's the name of the shop followed by the name of the town. From that bit of info it found the shop and created three alternative routes for me to choose from. I was impressed!

I suppose I should do a proper review of it one of these days.

If you haven't discovered it yet, just tap the Windows key and start typing "maps". You may be pleasantly surprised at just how good it is.

...ken...
Ken in Regina
If you look at the first few topics in here you'll see some of the discussion we've had on the Windows Maps app, including a fairly extensive one on its routing capability. We haven't done a proper review but a lot of the capabilities show up in the threads that have been done so far.

...ken...
Baja Boojum
Thanks- it's been a while!

I use the native W10 Maps app almost exclusively and saw the Maps discussion. The Route Organizer app is an obvious repackaging, but at least it's another alternative. It also is supposed to save routes (though that isn't always reliable), unlike the Maps app (unless I missed something).

I'm always looking for S&T replacements, and still use it for initial planning. I'll try some of the alternatives on an upcoming Texas to Alaska road trip and report any exceptional pros or cons.
Ken in Regina
Saving is really easy but not obvious. Once you have selected a route and have the directions showing you will see a line just above the directions with three options:

"Share", "Print", and "Pin", each with its associated icon.

"Print" is obvious.

"Pin" is also sort of obvious: it pins the route to the start menu. When you go to the Start page and click the icon for your route it launches Maps and takes you to exactly where you were when you hit the "Pin" button.

"Share" is less obvious. Although the literal meaning is to share it a variety of ways, including email, and others depending on what you have installed, it's not obvious what the target of the share will receive. On my system I get options to share via email, Cortana Reminders, Twitter, and OneNote.

To illustrate how Share works I'll describe the email option because I've actually tested it. When you select email it does what you would expect ... launches your Mail app, loads the directions and map pictures of the starting location and destination location. You can enter any email addresses you wish to send it to and send it.

Here's where it gets interesting...

If the recipient scrolls all the way to the bottom of the email they will see two links:

View location in Windows Maps AND View location in Bing Maps

They are actually a bit misleading. They do not simply display the location. They actually load the complete route!!

So, if the recipient has Maps and pokes the button to view in Maps they will end up in Maps with exactly what you saw when you poked the "Share" button. Not only will the selected route show up. If there were, say, three routing options offered, those three options will be displayed.

Same deal if they select the View in Bing Maps option ... they get the whole deal.

So, if you don't want to clutter up your Start page with route link icons you can email them to yourself and save those emails in a Routes folder or something similar.

Not as straightforward as just having a Save function but still effective.

I seem to recall that there's another way to save routes but I'll have to scratch my head a bit to see if I can come up with it.

Hope that helps.

...ken...
GoneNomad
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken in Regina
Saving is really easy but not obvious....
I get options to share via email, Cortana Reminders, Twitter, and OneNote.
...
Here's where it gets interesting...

If the recipient scrolls all the way to the bottom of the email they will see two links:

View location in Windows Maps AND View location in Bing Maps
They do not simply display the location. They actually load the complete route!!

Hope that helps.

...ken...
Excellent!
Damn right that helps!
Thanks!

I would expect that sharing as OneNote allows it to be opened in OneNote on the same computer?
Meaning that it's describing the route analogous to the way Google.com/maps does it?

...

BTW, I'm going to buy the current version of CoPilot for Windows; I'm not waiting on the new 10.x version.
I'll post the reasons why later in another thread.
Baja Boojum
Thanks- I saw that and even started to email a route to myself. It's still a lot of trouble. I remember fondly saving those .est files. Maybe a Save feature will come along at some point.

Other than the easy save, my biggest criticisms of the Maps app routing are offline uselessness and it doesn't show the running distances. One of the best things about S&T is I can go to the Directions and find a random mileage point along the way, say somewhere close to the 500 mile point. I could start a new Maps plot for that same info, but again, a lot more trouble.

Speaking of offline, Maps can't plot a route offline unless you've downloaded the necessary maps. That's obvious, but again another bother.

Re: Saving Route Organizer routes: It synced saved locations and routes across my four W10 devices, but mysteriously lost them at some point.
Ken in Regina
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoneNomad
I would expect that sharing as OneNote allows it to be opened in OneNote on the same computer?
Meaning that it's describing the route analogous to the way Google.com/maps does it?
Yes, and Maybe.

The page that gets created in OneNote is the same as the email that is created except it does not include the screenshot of the starting and destination locations.

Importantly it has the two links that take you to either the Maps app or Bing Maps with the route loaded.

I don't know if the info is similar to the way Google does it.

I discovered one thing that is causing me a bit of annoyance. Maps is a Universal app and launches the Universal app version of OneNote. I have been using the full Win32 version of OneNote 2016 because there were features in it that were missing from the Universal app. Might still be for all I know.

The new page show up in the designated notebook when it's opened in the Universal app and works as I've described. However, that same page does not appear in the same notebook when I open it in the Win32 OneNote 2016 program. It's almost as if the Universal app is maintaing a seperate version of the same notebook and not syncing it to the Win32 version.

Also, you are limited in your ability to direct the Maps Share function which notebook and category to place the new page into. You pretty much have to remember to open the OneNote app and navigate to the notebook/section you want before you share to it.

...ken...
GoneNomad
Quote:
Originally Posted by Baja Boojum
Speaking of offline, Maps can't plot a route offline unless you've downloaded the necessary maps. That's obvious, but again another bother.
Just about everything except S&T (or maybe SA) works that way.
That's the way you get updated maps while continuing to use the same program.

It's not a chore unless you don't have a fast internet connection, of if the app forces you to select each state one-by-one (there is one out there that works that way).

The way that Win10 Maps (or HereWeGo, or CoPilot) work is a lot more convenient than having to fiddle with GoogleMaps' area selection scheme, and also have to worry about it auto-expiring every 30 days.
Ken in Regina
1. I checked for that page in OneNote on my Android phone and it's there. Obviously the link to launch Windows Maps is irrelevant. Unfortunately clicking the link to launch the route in Bing Maps results in a seriously annoying behaviour. Chrome browser launches but immediately hands off to the Google Maps app. The Google Maps app has no idea what to do with it, naturally, so it just sits there on the route creation screen.

the only way around this is to copy/paste the link into Chrome. And that is nowhere near as easy as it sounds. When you try to paste it into a new page, Chrome treats it as a search instead of a link. So you have to open a web page -- any page -- to get a usable URL field and paste it in. Boooo Google!!!

2. After checking the page on my Android phone the route page now appears in the appropriate spot in the Win32 OneNote app. I don't know if the two actions are related or if it simply took all that time for it to show up in the Win32 app. I'll test it again with a different route in a few minutes.

3. I agree that the way Windows Maps handles the download for local use feature is totally civilized. In some ways it's actually friendlier than, say, Garmin or ALK because you have finer control over which areas you download.

...ken...
Ken in Regina
I tested again and it looks like it does not require me to check the OneNote page on the Android app first. If you are just patient and wait a bit it will show up in the desktop app on its own. The time seems to be somewhat variable.

Of course if you use the Universal app by default this won't be an issue at all.

...ken...
GoneNomad
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken in Regina
...Unfortunately clicking the link to launch the route in Bing Maps results in a seriously annoying behaviour. Chrome browser launches but immediately hands off to the Google Maps app. The Google Maps app has no idea what to do with it, naturally, so it just sits there on the route creation screen....
WTF?!

A Bing.com/maps link is treated by the Chrome browser as a link to Google Maps app?

That last part must mean you are by then on an Android device since there is no Google Maps app for Windows (right)?

I'm just thinking in terms of careful trip planning on Bing.com/maps on a desktop PC, and easily being able navigating the *exact* same route on a Win10 mobile device. What needs to happen is, save the routes into the "collection" and then be able to open them on the Win10 Maps app when logged into the same account. That's how Here was supposed to work but they only got around to conveying the places from one to the other, not routes (even though it allowed routes to be saved into a user's collection on the Here website).

That's what I was alluding to before about buying CoPilot for Windows now, rather than waiting. I've decided that it's worth $20 to be able to plan trips on a desktop PC, then easily transfer that trip to a Win7 or Win10 mobile device, and be pretty sure the routing won't change, since CoPilot *does* allow saving trip files. CoPilot 10.x for Windows may be as optimized for smaller screen sizes as the Android version is now. And a large enough desktop screen offsets some aspects of the CoPilot 9.x UI that I don't like (for instance, the map occupying less than half the screen in the edit trip window). CoPilot still has a couple of key advantages for large vehicles, (e.g.: underpass heights) that aren't available on any of the others we tested last November, including the TomTom app.

...
GoneNomad
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken in Regina
Saving is really easy but not obvious. Once you have selected a route and have the directions showing you will see a line just above the directions with three options:

..."Share" is less obvious. Although the literal meaning is to share it a variety of ways, including email, and others depending on what you have installed, it's not obvious what the target of the share will receive. On my system I get options to share via email, Cortana Reminders, Twitter, and OneNote.

To illustrate how Share works I'll describe the email option because I've actually tested it. ...

...ken...
I have finally taken the time to do a little hands-on testing with the latest version of the Win10Maps app, and I'm finding a few problem areas that (as usual) make it not quite what I'd hoped it would be. For instance, even though the Maps app now supports multi-stop routing, there are still some significant differences between how it handles those routes and how bing.com/maps handles routes.

Ken, when you did this test, what browser were you using?
I'm having some problems duplicating your results but I'm using Chrome on a Win7 PC to access bing.com/maps for "trip planning" so maybe that's at least part of the problem.
Ken in Regina
Chrome is the only browser I use because it syncs everything that matters across all my devices. If I ever use a different browser I will explicitly mention it because it will be an exceptional situation that forces me to. That's just for context. I don't expect anyone to remember it.

...ken...
GoneNomad
Thanks, Ken.

I seem to remember that you posted somewhere else (can't find it right now) something to the effect that the Win10Maps multi-point routing was clunky or not as easy to use as GoogleMaps (I think pertaining to making adding or changing stops), and now that I've given Win10Maps a bit of a workout, I would have to agree.

The Win10Maps still does not work quite the same as bing.com/maps in several important ways.
One example:

bing.com/maps


Win10Maps

...and it appears that the only way to get to this is with a mouse.
I tried many different 'tapping' methods, and even tried tapping while holding down different keys on a hardware keyboard, but the only way I got the above flag to pop up was via the secondary mouse button (right-click for most people).

UPDATE: OK, turns out that when in what I'll call the "edit trip" mode (shown below), another option shows up (using the secondary mouse button) that allows that point to be added to the end of the current trip (after which it can be moved to an intermediary stop if desired):


Adding POIs selected this way in Win10Maps to an existing route is clunky at best because it can only add one at a time as a new destination (a new route), not add them to the existing route. The same is true for saved favorites.

But doing this with either points on the map or saved POIs does make them show up in the 'short list' of recent destinations, from which they can then be added to a multi-stop route.

IMO, if mainly using POIs in saved collections, as it stands now, this clunkiness still makes Win10Maps more suited to single destinations to any of those POIs, one at a time.

Another discrepancy (where Win10Maps has the advantage) is that several Win10Maps route options (e.g.: to avoid ferrys, unpaved roads, etc.) aren't available on bing.com/maps, which means the route planned at bing.com/maps may not match the route calculated by Win10Maps when it avoids those.

This may not matter too much in most areas, but it sure does out west, where a lot of very long roads are unpaved Forest Service roads that can be far too rough to travel anywhere near the posted speed limit (if there is one).

Maybe they'll eventually make the two work more alike, but as it stands now, these are some of the drawbacks to trying to using bing.com/maps as a trip planning front end for navigation in Win10Maps.

When I tried the steps you mentioned above:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken in Regina
Saving is really easy but not obvious...

...If the [email] recipient scrolls all the way to the bottom of the email they will see two links:

View location in Windows Maps AND View location in Bing Maps

...ken...
All I see in the resulting email is this (nothing else the very bottom):

Here is the actual link, if you want to try it for yourself:

https://binged.it/2weCXtz
I have no idea how this can be opened into Win10Maps.

The other thing I wonder about is, what does the bing.com/maps "Go" button do?


I can understand that there's no Maps app to launch on a Win7PC, but nothing happens when I tap on it on my Win10 Surface 3 either... although it *acts* like it's doing something (several blue dots "cycle"):

...ultimately nothing happens. I would expect it to have launched the maps app to begin a navigation of the route (like google.com/maps & the GoogleMaps app).

UPDATE: I think the source of this last problem was that the origin was not set to "My Location."
Turns out that google maps has more or less the same problem if the origin was not set to "My Location" even if the address of the current location is entered as the starting point.

-----

FWIW, I've been very favorably impressed by the Surface 3 hardware, and Windows 10 (in general). Considering that I'm accustomed to an i7 Win7PC (Passmark 5,397), I am particularly surprised at how (relatively) speedy the Surface 3 (Atom x7-Z8700 Passmark 1,917) is for most ordinary tasks. The Surface 3 actually subjectively seems faster than my old (and admittedly software bloated) Win7PC.
Attached Images
bing-directions-1.png   bing-directions-2.png   bing-directions-3.png   win10-bingmaps1a.jpg   win10mapsapp1a.jpg  

win10mapsapp2.jpg  
laptopgpsworld.com About