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Preaching to the Choir
werdnanostaw
A friend of ours is going to Europe for 2 months in a few months' time. He will have a lease Renault car.

I have been trying to persuade him to use PC-based satnav. I just wrote the following. I know it's preaching to the choir, ie trying to convert the already converted. but someone may find it of interest.

In-Car Satnav

The in-car satnav will get you from A to B. It will take freeways whenever it can. If you turn off freeways it will take you on incredibly long, circuitous routes to avoid driving on a freeway for say 1km that, if you knew that was what it was doing, which you can't because you can't review the route on a satnav screen, you would override.

If you look at the satnav screen at default zoom you can't see the alternative routes. If you zoom in to see the detail of the route you can't see where you are in the big picture.

It will always take the bypass around towns and villages.

You cannot get it to take you along the, for example, scenic coastal route because it will always try and get back to the main road.

In the past car satnavs only allowed you to enter the destination. The one we had on our recent trip (Renault Dacia Sandero Stepway) allowed you to enter waypoints so you could control the route to some extent, except you couldn't because if you entered say 3 waypoints on the coast it would go off main road to waypoint and then out again to main road and so on.

On a car satnav you cannot see the possible ad hoc, serendipitous detours to:

* a headland or mountain top lookout with great views

* that castle on the hill, how do we get there?

* the little harbour at the bottom of a cliff

* the village on a lake just off the planned route where we could have lunch.

PC-Based Satnav

I admit that some of the benefits of PC-based satnav that I am going to discuss can be done using Google Maps but:

* it only works in car if you have mobile data which is hideously expensive if you use your Oz plan or you have the hassle of getting a mobile data plan at your destination. Even if you have a mobile data plan it may not be available in "remote" or mountainous areas.

* you can only insert 8 waypoints plus A and B which isn't enough for a detailed driving plan for a day.

You can use Google Maps in offline mode. I strongly recommend you download the map at hotel the night before before walking around a city, even though it doesn't do walking route navigation; only vehicle navigation. However, it isn't really practical for driving over long distances because of the difficulty of ensuring you have downloaded enough maps to give seamless coverage.

If you don't want to use PC-based satnav there are satnav apps available for iPhone or iPad that do work in offline mode such as:

* Co-Pilot

* I can't remember off the top of my head. Ask me when you see me.

You can use PC-based satnav for 2 functions:

* Planning

* In-car navigation

If you consider that PC-based satnav is too complicated to use for in-car navigation - it isn't - you can still use the features described below when you are planning your trip.

POIs - Points of Interest

You can load POIs into PC that display on map, such as:

* Most Beautiful Villages of France

* Hypermarches

* Hotel chains

* Locations of places you have discovered during your research that can be converted, by Andrew, to format that can be loaded onto PC. Christine found 100+ places that looked interesting in Spain and Portugal.

Inline images 1

spain-pois.jpg

The way we use POIs is that we ask software to find route from overnight location to planned destination. We then click and drag route to go through POIs along the route.

As you can see below, we detoured off direct route from Ciudad Real to Toledo to visit Consuegra. There is a red POI displayed there on map.

Inline images 2

route-planning.jpg

Why you might want to detour to Consuegra is shown below.

Inline images 3

171220-144714-wed-consuegra.jpg

Inline images 4

171220-145734-wed-consuegra.jpg

Multiple way points

You can have an unlimited number of way points so you can force route to go exactly where you want it to, eg along coast road or through middle of town along route.

Drag and drop to change route

You can do this on Google Maps but only on a PC.

We don't like freeways or dual carriageway main highways so we drag the route to use back roads which we find are much more interesting.

In Town Navigation

The software has every street, laneway and footpath in every city, town and village from Norway to Spain and Portugal to Romania so when you arrive in the town you can find the centre ville. In many cases the in-car satnav will dump you way off the centre and you will go " Where the f are we?" You can see town centre, parks, rivers, shopping centres, etc.

As you can see in screen capture below the planned route (thick blue line) only went to outskirts of town. Chris was able to guide me into town and to road that led up to windmills (actual track is thin blue line).

Inline images 5

town-navigation.jpg

When you are walking you can:

* see all the pedestrian only areas in a town

* find where you left the car because map records location (this has happened once or twice in past)

* see how to get out of a town with wildly non-linear street pattern (this happened on last trip)

Inline images 6

pedestrian-areas.jpg

Conclusion

You may decide that you don't want to get a new PC and / or run PC-based satnav software.

That's fine with me. I am extremely happy to help you plan your trip either way.

However, if I couldn't use PC-Based satnav I don't think I could travel anywhere near as easily as I do now.

If you don't use PC-based satnav don't think you can rely on in-car satnav. You will spend all your time on freeways and highways bypassing all the interesting places and scenery. You must install an off-line satnav app on your iPad (as long as it has a built-in GPS - WiFi only version doesn't have one. SIM card version does.) or iPhone (all have GPSs). There is a way to share GPS from iPhone to iPad - ask.

Call me to discuss any of these issues and arrange a visit so I can demo what I have listed above.
Boyd
Well I'm not a member of the choir, just part of the congregation. So I completely disagree with the idea of using "PC-based satnavs" in 2018. This is something that made sense 10 years ago, but not today. Now I'll grant that it might make sense for someone who has done this for many years, or maybe a truck driver who needs special software (whatever that might be). But not for the average person.

From the little I've seen of them, I do agree that built-in automotive navigation systems are not so good. But I just don't think a "PC" is the answer. For most people, either a dedicated device from Garmin or software on your phone with onboard maps is going to be the best solution.
Ken in Regina
In this particular case you can count me as a member of the choir.

Most of my navigation is trivial - getting from Point A to Point B where Point B isn't any great distance from point A or a longer trip where I'm happy taking the shortest (or quickest) route. I can use either my phone or standalone nav device quite happily.

But Andrew is talking about something much more complex. Two key points he made that absolutely come down on the side of at least a 12" or 13" screen and the sort of features you still only get from a PC nav program:

1. Enough screen real estate to see BOTH the details AND the big picture.

2. Lots more waypoints and POIs than a typical phone or PND nav app will support.

To Andrew, for anyone who wants to use a phone or tablet (iPhone or Android, the Here-wego app allows for downloading specified areas (state, province, country, named region) for offline use. And they don't "expire" like Google maps. Hugely more useful for offline navigation than Google Maps.

The same feature is available in the Windows 10 preinstalled MAPS app on PCs.

...ken...
GoneNomad
Quote:
Originally Posted by Boyd
Well I'm not a member of the choir, just part of the congregation. So I completely disagree with the idea of using "PC-based satnavs" in 2018. This is something that made sense 10 years ago, but not today.
Maybe you're associating "PC-based satnavs" with 'a full-size laptop'?

A Windows-centric "workflow" gives users a lot more device choices and a lot more versatility than a small handheld device (PND or phone) or built-in car nav, can provide. It's at the opposite end of the spectrum as having to use whatever (if anything) is already in the vehicle.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken in Regina
In this particular case you can count me as a member of the choir.
^ Me too.

If someone only want a 4" or 5" screen for nav, that's fine, they're definitely in the crowd, not the choir. But if someone wants a larger (tablet-sized-or-larger) device for nav, then what difference should the operating system make? I think there are probably 7" or 8" Windows tablets, but personally I can't imagine restricting myself to something a lot smaller than my 10.8" Surface 3 LTE tablet... especially since the other tablet I use (and consider to be about the smallest practical size - for ME - for a mobile data device) is an 8.0" the LG GPad X.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken in Regina
Most of my navigation is trivial - getting from Point A to Point B where Point B isn't any great distance from point A or a longer trip where I'm happy taking the shortest (or quickest) route. I can use either my phone or standalone nav device quite happily.
Yep. The Google Maps/Nav app or whatever is already in the vehicle - even an old standalone PND - is good enough for a short trip that begins now to the some other point in your hometown area, provided it doesn't make any gross routing mistakes, which you probably won't be able see easily on a small screen without a lot of time consuming zooming, panning and/or stepping through segments.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken in Regina
But Andrew is talking about something much more complex. Two key points he made that absolutely come down on the side of at least a 12" or 13" screen and the sort of features you still only get from a PC nav program:
... and mobileOS nav software tends not to have the features you list below because hardly any Android/iOS devices have screens as large as a smallish Windows Ultrabook, and the software developers aren't going to cater to the tiny niche that consists of IPad Pro (12.9"), original TabPro (12.2") & Galaxy View (18.4") users (the latter of which isn't aimed at mobile users anyway, despite being available in an LTE version).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken in Regina
1. Enough screen real estate to see BOTH the details AND the big picture.
True, but that's mainly a function of the app. Some Android apps pretend to have trip planning features now, and maybe someday they actually will have them.

Also, Large Android/iOS tablets match the screen size of small Ultrabooks, and someone could also use a larger external screen with a tablet, leaving the full functionality of the tablet itself fully portable in a coat pocket.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken in Regina
2. Lots more waypoints and POIs than a typical phone or PND nav app will support.
Yep. Except for that cross-platform conundrum some of us like well enough to try, only to be reminded of why we still don't like it: CoPilot

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken in Regina
To Andrew, for anyone who wants to use a phone or tablet (iPhone or Android, the Here-wego app allows for downloading specified areas (state, province, country, named region) for offline use. And they don't "expire" like Google maps. Hugely more useful for offline navigation than Google Maps. The same feature is available in the Windows 10 preinstalled MAPS app on PCs.
Might mention one more thing: at this point in time, it's a safe assumption that companies like google that are built from the ground up to capture all the data they can all the time, even if some of that might be illegal, absolutely *WILL* do that if you use their services for your travels. So for those who don't like that idea too much, some of the other alternatives that were built to work the only weay they could at the time (entirely stsandalone) and never meaningfully updated - including the hoary old S&T have that advantage too, along with portability across any device that can run Windows 7 - 10.

This setup allows a trip to be planned on a desktop system with a very large monitor...

(something that still isn't particularly feasible on an Android device because that OS and the apps that run on it is way too mobile optimized... simplified, touch-centric, whatever... to be as easy to use on a desktop system...I've tried it using the ReMix OS Intel port) as a "desktop OS" like Windows, MacOS or Ubuntu)

...then transferred (without any unexpected route alteration as will happen when going between two different apps) to a mobile device running Windows without having to have an internet connection as is typical with Google, TomTom, etc (which require logging into an online account to access the trip). Only S&T & CoPilot make that easy to do entirely locally.

Not sure how Win10 Maps fits into that though... as of now, I don't think it allows planned trips to be saved and transferred by any means does it?
Boyd
OK, I guess I need to update what I wrote above. Not only am I not a member of the choir, I don't even go to the same church. In fact, I don't even believe in the same god as you guys!

Granted, "PC" might mean a variety of things. But the screenshots appear to show MS Autoroute running on Windows XP. And I've read the posts about the crazy hoops some people jump through to continue using discontinued software.

Hey, if it works for you that's great. I can appreciate that you have methods and tools that you've been using for years and you don't want to switch. It just seems misguided to reccomend these to someone who is new to navigation systems.

FWIW, I was just at Best Buy and they had a 6" Garmin GPS for about $160 and a 7" model for about $250. They also had a 7" Rand McNally Android tablet with pre-installed software for only about $120. There are very few dedicated devices with 4" screens anymore.

Have a good time at choir practice.
GoneNomad
Quote:
Originally Posted by Boyd
OK, I guess I need to update what I wrote above. Not only am I not a member of the choir, I don't even go to the same church. In fact, I don't even believe in the same god as you guys!

Granted, "PC" might mean a variety of things. But the screenshots appear to show MS Autoroute running on Windows XP. And I've read the posts about the crazy hoops some people jump through to continue using discontinued software.
I agree. But maybe some people like to acquire/tinker with tools more than their actual practical need requires.

I think at this point that also applies to programs like MapSource/Basecamp, even though they aren't abandonware yet either. But using a Windows device for mapping & nav certainly doesn't require users to reply on abandonware.


That's why the MSDN version of S&T2013 (no registration/activation) hassle along with the Win10 Maps app work so well together, on the same Windows 10 device, which - if it happens to be a Surface 3 - has built-in LTE & GPS.

Easy peasy. No fiddling, no accounts, and no registration/activation/subscription required. Sadly I sure can't say the same for some 'wouldbe-step-above-google' alternatives on Android (e.g.: TomTom, CoPilot) that despite being modern, recently updated software, can still be a PITA to install because of unrleiable, byzantine IP protection schemes.

While I sure do wish more Windows devices (especially tablets) were available with built-in LTE & GPS, both are easy enough to accomplish externally on any modern Windows device suitable for mobile use.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Boyd
Hey, if it works for you that's great. I can appreciate that you have methods and tools that you've been using for years and you don't want to switch.
It's not a function of 'been using for years and don't want to switch' - it's a function of providing features that the "simple" alternatives don't have.
S&T's nav functionality SUCKS, and that's why I'm glad that Win10Maps fills that hole so nicely... and can run on the same device that lets me use S&T for the things it does that others like google still do not do. Google and the others like it still deal only in elapsed time for driving trips, not time of day. While I wish there was an app that automatically helped figure start time *on a future trip* to avoid rush-hour traffic in the major cities along the way, and also took into account time-zone changes, for now, using S&T is better than adding & subtracting elapsed times from a google trip.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Boyd
It just seems misguided to reccomend these to someone who is new to navigation systems.
That's not too likely on this forum, is it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Boyd
FWIW, I was just at Best Buy and they had a 6" Garmin GPS for about $160 and a 7" model for about $250. They also had a 7" Rand McNally Android tablet with pre-installed software for only about $120. There are very few dedicated devices with 4" screens anymore.
Smart phones & googlemaps have all but eliminated the market for this type of device. If the Rand McNally software wasn't tied to their POS hardware, it might be a very worthwhile option to CoPilot. But I've read that their Android nav app is buggy too.

If somebody wants a handholdable device for standalone nav (not on their phone), none of those come anywhere close to this, which has been sold on ebay for the last year, for as little as $130 when on sale:
LG G Pad X 8.0 V520 32GB Wi-Fi + 4G LTE Cellular
8.0" 1920 x 1200 touchscreen display
Full-size USB host port & micro-USB charging port
LTE Bands: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 12, 29 & 30

The LTE connection adds more versatility, especially for something long-distance travelers need in the winter: live road condition updates via the DOT traffic cams.

But I guess if somebody has been using a particular brand of PND for years and doesn't want to switch, then one of those listed above might make sense for them... even though the UI on newer units isn't exactly the same as theirolder counterparts, it's not as unsettling as transitioning to an all-new system with a lot more capabilities for a lot less money.
werdnanostaw
It was more complex than you realised. AR 2013 was running in Windows XP that was running inside VirtualBox inside Win 10. Win XP had no connection to the Internet so it was safe.

I agree that this was hideously complicated but it had to be done to overcome the 14 day AR trial limit. I have been working full time in IT since 1986 and I have used computers as an Engineer since university in 1970 so this is pretty simple for me.

I would never suggest that a non-IT person go down this route (pun acknowledged). However, now that I have the MSDN versions of AR and S&T that have no activation they can be run on a standard non-virtualised PC.

The user has used AR 2007 several times previously (the last non-copy protected version) on a very old 1GB RAM, 300 Passmark netbook so he is used to using it.

In paragraphs before the ones I posted here, I suggested that he should get a faster 2000 Passmark, 4GB RAM 128GB SSD Dell Inspiron 3000 11.8" laptop for AUD250 (USD195) so he could use AR 2013. I have the touch screen version so I know this is a very good PC for satnav use.

He queried whether, since all Renault lease cars now come with a built-in GPS, did he need to get a new PC, or even use AR.

Millionaires can be real cheapskates at times. I love the way he suggests I should stay at the CDN500/night Chateau Fremont at Lake Louise in Alberta Canada and then in the same visit asks me to find him the best deal on a hotel in Bali. He is a good mate though. He better be. I have just spent literally (in the correct sense) a whole day going through his 5 naked HDs, 3 external drives and 5 old PCs extracting all photos so he can find ones of his father to be used at the imminent funeral.

You imply that 5 year old mapping is not much use. The roads in "outback" Europe and in towns and villages don't change much. Where they do change is they build bypasses around towns, dual carriageway (as a verb) highways and build freeways. We're aiming to use back roads so that doesn't affect us very much.

The in-car satnav handles those, though in Spain we came across several places where roads had been built that weren't in the brand new car satnav but were in AR. Of course, the opposite was also true and there were places where neither of them had coverage. You just follow the road until things get back on screen.

My friend uses Apple hand held devices. If you can suggest an app that:

* allows user defined POIs to be loaded

* the route can be dragged as many times as necessary to force the route to go where you want it to go

* has offline maps

I will be more than happy to evaluate it and suggest it to my friend.
Boyd
Sorry, I just don't need most of those capabilities myself. I use the Garmin StreetPilot app on iOS. It is really just like their nuvi devices, but Garmin has intentionally crippled it out of fear that it will be "too good". So you can't import or export anything, which is not going to work for you. You can create custom routes within the app and it does have offline maps though.

Even more ridiculous, you can't even add maps to the app. I have the EU and US versions, they are actually two separate apps, each of which only has one map installed. Ridiculous.
werdnanostaw
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoneNomad
I agree. But maybe some people like to acquire/tinker with tools more than their actual practical need requires.

I think at this point that also applies to programs like MapSource/Basecamp, even though they aren't abandonware yet either. But using a Windows device for mapping & nav certainly doesn't require users to reply on abandonware.


That's why the MSDN version of S&T2013 (no registration/activation) hassle along with the Win10 Maps app work so well together, on the same Windows 10 device, which - if it happens to be a Surface 3 - has built-in LTE & GPS.

Easy peasy. No fiddling, no accounts, and no registration/activation/subscription required. Sadly I sure can't say the same for some 'wouldbe-step-above-google' alternatives on Android (e.g.: TomTom, CoPilot) that despite being modern, recently updated software, can still be a PITA to install because of unrleiable, byzantine IP protection schemes.

While I sure do wish more Windows devices (especially tablets) were available with built-in LTE & GPS, both are easy enough to accomplish externally on any modern Windows device suitable for mobile use.

It's not a function of 'been using for years and don't want to switch' - it's a function of providing features that the "simple" alternatives don't have.
S&T's nav functionality SUCKS, and that's why I'm glad that Win10Maps fills that hole so nicely... and can run on the same device that lets me use S&T for the things it does that others like google still do not do. Google and the others like it still deal only in elapsed time for driving trips, not time of day. While I wish there was an app that automatically helped figure start time *on a future trip* to avoid rush-hour traffic in the major cities along the way, and also took into account time-zone changes, for now, using S&T is better than adding & subtracting elapsed times from a google trip.

That's not too likely on this forum, is it?

Smart phones & googlemaps have all but eliminated the market for this type of device. If the Rand McNally software wasn't tied to their POS hardware, it might be a very worthwhile option to CoPilot. But I've read that their Android nav app is buggy too.

If somebody wants a handholdable device for standalone nav (not on their phone), none of those come anywhere close to this, which has been sold on ebay for the last year, for as little as $130 when on sale:
LG G Pad X 8.0 V520 32GB Wi-Fi + 4G LTE Cellular
8.0" 1920 x 1200 touchscreen display
Full-size USB host port & micro-USB charging port
LTE Bands: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 12, 29 & 30

The LTE connection adds more versatility, especially for something long-distance travelers need in the winter: live road condition updates via the DOT traffic cams.

But I guess if somebody has been using a particular brand of PND for years and doesn't want to switch, then one of those listed above might make sense for them... even though the UI on newer units isn't exactly the same as theirolder counterparts, it's not as unsettling as transitioning to an all-new system with a lot more capabilities for a lot less money.
I agree to some extent that AR / S&T voice guidance is difficult to follow.

However, we use the ChrisChris navigation system, ie Christine has the PC on her lap and she keeps me on track (route actually). She provides excellent directions.

I have travelled by car in Europe by myself for 9 weeks (Christine had returned to Oz to look after a sick relative after being with me for 6 weeks). I placed a cardboard box in the passenger seat footwell and sat the laptop on top of that with an ocky strap to hold it in place.

I used AR in conjunction with the in-car satnav to drive through Italy, Spain and UK.

I suspect that ocky (octopus) strap is Strine = Strayan = Australian slang. What do you call them?

https://www.google.com.au/search?q=ocky+straps&num=100&newwindow=1&rlz=1C1CHFX_enAU771AU77...INg&biw=1366&bih=647
werdnanostaw
Re 32GB LG G Pad, I am currently fighting with a friend's nominally 32GB Windows 10 / Android tablet to get enough storage to upgrade from factory supplied 1603 to 1709. It says I need 8GB. It won't even let me do a factory reset as it says there is insufficient storage.

After:

* switching off hibernate and swapfile

* uninstalling every app.

* running Disk Cleanup

I have 5.8GB free. He has 128GB uSD card in it but it can't use that for update.

I am going to Junction out the Driverstore (1.5GB) to the uSD card and anything else I can think of.

It is a peculiar PC. On my PCs the Windows tree has about 15GB in it. The tablet has 21GB.

The main problem is the dual boot Android capability that uses up a lot of storage.

Even if I get it to take this update I don't think the owner will be able to manage to do the next one, 1803, after I have re-activated hibernate and swapfile and reinstalled apps without jumping through the same hoops.
werdnanostaw
32GB of storage is just too small for a Windows PC.

I had a Lenovo one and it was constant fight to keep enough space free.

Fortunately, the keyboard died 2 days before the 1 year warranty expired and because the PC was superseded and it was a non-replaceable sealed unit they refunded my purchase price including GST (9.1%) which I had had refunded when I took it overseas within 60 days of purchase.

I replaced it with current Dell that has 128GB storage. I still needed to install 64GB uSD card and install programs on that to get enough storage.

GST = 10%

Base price + 10% = sale price

Sale price - 9.1% = base price

1/11 = 9.1%
GoneNomad
ocky straps = bungee cords
whereas, "tiedown straps" are usually the ratcheting web-fabric type, e.g.:
https://www.homedepot.com/b/Hardware-Tie-Down-Straps-Bungee-Cords/N-5yc1vZc2dn

BTW, the 32GB LG G Pad X 8.0 is an Android device, and 32GB is plenty large enough for even a couple of sets of North American maps. I mentioned it because in that price range, it's an example of a more versatile mobile device that blows away Garmin PNDs in terms of value. Although Garmin loyalists might have a legitimate claim that Garmin's PND UI is better than any currently available Android nav app, I think that for a trips across town that start now, Google maps/nav sets a very good balance between simplicity and functionality.
GoneNomad
Quote:
Originally Posted by werdnanostaw
...If [Boyd] can suggest an app that:

* allows user defined POIs to be loaded

* the route can be dragged as many times as necessary to force the route to go where you want it to go

* has offline maps

I will be more than happy to evaluate it and suggest it to my friend.
You left out what IMO is one of S&T's most valuable features compared to the much newer mapping & directions web sites & mobile device apps:
S&T keeps track of time of day rather than just elapsed time. This is useful for any travel, but especially so for longer trips.

Case in point - here's a trip from St. Louis to Miami planned in S&T.

The route passes through large cities with rush hour traffic that would add hours to the trip if you get stuck in it.
S&T makes it easy to set arrival times for stops or waypoints (which in S&T are just stops of zero duration) at city centers or the outskirts.
I usually drop a point in the middle of each big city along the route to see whether I want to try to be ahead of, or after, the rush hour traffic,
depending on my approximate start time, and allowing time for meals and quick "pit stops" every few hours
(something that googlemaps, etc. don't have, S&T's built-in "Automatic Rest Stops" works OK for the latter).
Time of day is important for a lot more than just rush hour avoidance, but all the top map/nav apps
pretty much ignore time of day for driving trips, except for ETA when the trip is already underway.

An entire trip ends up looking something like this in the route planner:



S&T makes it VERY EASY to set arrival times and stop duration for *ANY* point in the route planner,
and
VERY EASY to rename the points (without saving as favorites) to anything that makes them more meaningful.
For example, I designate city centers with >>> <<< to make them easier to see in the list.
Does Google maps and the rest do all that? NOPE!


That's why I've said so many times before that google maps and the others like it are mainly good for short trips across town that begin now.
If you want to conform to some kind of schedule using one of those apps, you need to use some other app, which will probably require internet access to work,
or else you have to start adding and subtracting elapsed times from the google route.

S&T is far from optimal* for this, but AFAIK it beats the alternatives, especially if you need something that is fully functional without any internet access.

* So now I'll list a few examples, even though it's a moot point now:

Sure would be nice to have a more automated method of rush-hour traffic avoidance.
Given that large cities all have bad traffic and the times of day are pretty much known constants,
it should be possible to automate the process that now requires manually dropping waypoints at eacy big city to see when you'll be passing though it.
Still, at least S&T offers a way to do it manually, and automatically keep track of the time, except for one minor time-related problem...

S&T "knows about" and warns you of a change in time zone, e.g.:

...but is unable to automatically adjust the times shown after entering the new time zone
(and there's no manual adjustment either, short of splitting long trips up into segments that start anew at every time zone change).
So in this example, the S&T user has to remember to add one hour to all times after stop #7.
Also, I'd sure like to see times in the route planner (especially since there is enough room),
not just in the driving directions pane. And I'd like to be able to change the route planner font size
(as is possible for driving directions).

Speaking of which, S&T's driving directions are still way too verbose
(even though they made a provision to consolidate some instructions under the "+" symbol a few versions back).
It takes multiple screen caps to capture the entire set for this fairly simple trip.

And other standout features like this, which allows you to see (in a list and on the map) all the chosen POIs within a user-set distance from the route.
This is another 'good enough' feature because the numbers in the list tells you there are a lot of restaurants in that area, but...

...it's also an example of a nagging problem that should have been fixed a decade ago:

The POI flag is way more difficult to see than it should be in the highlighted search area of the map, and there's NO way to change the appearance of the built-in POI icons, nor is there any way to "tone down" the the search area background either. Yeah, I know user-added POIs can have custom icons, but their fixed size (in pixels) regardless of zoom level tends to create another problem if you use them for POI that are as close together as restaurants typically are.s
Ken in Regina
Re Time Zone changes, that's easily "solved", or at least worked around. Just don't change your watch/clock for the rest of the driving time that day. It's rather simple to do a mental adjustment of an hour one way or the other for a little while, if it actually matters to know what the local time is for some reason.

My wife never changes her watch when we travel, even though we are often two time zones west of here. She is more interested in "home" time so she can easily keep track of the grandkids' day and simply figures local time on the fly if it actually matters. And she's a long way from anyone's definition of a math whiz!

...ken...
GoneNomad
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken in Regina
Re Time Zone changes, that's easily "solved", or at least worked around. Just don't change your watch/clock for the rest of the driving time that day...
That makes you out of synch with the actual time of day in the area you're in.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken in Regina
It's rather simple to do a mental adjustment of an hour one way or the other for a little while...
True, but (although it's a moot point now) users shouldn't have had to keep doing that once S&T started warning of time zone changes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken in Regina
if it actually matters to know what the local time is for some reason...
...like rush hour traffic, public transit schedules, or opening & closing times?

IMO, unless a trip repeatedly goes back & forth across time zones,
the best solution when headed east is to add 1 hour at the first waypoint inside a new time zone, like this:

...and add 23 hours when heading west
(although that adds another day to the trip, that is easy to ignore, and S&T doesn't keep track of actual dates anyway, just Day 1, Day 2, etc.).

I assume that others have come up with this workaround before, but I just re-realized this.

I'm also finding S&T's easy stop re-naming capability to be more useful than I remembered. I can use certain naming conventions to convey more info at a glance in the route planner than any other app shows me.

I guess that's an example of why it's useful to spend time getting re-aquainted with "an old friend" rather than trying to find something new that actually does the job better, which has thus far been an exercise in futility.

The bottom line is, S&T is still very useful, providing capabilities that mobile apps do not have (AFAIK). The key to getting the most out of S&T is to use those capabilities but not even try to use S&T for the things it does not do very well, which are tasks that Bing Maps (S&T2013 links the current map view to bing.com/maps with just one click) and the Win10 Maps app do well, even better than google maps in many cases (e.g.: guiding to an actual parking lot entrance rather than a dead end at the back of a nearby subdivision).


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