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Streets & Trips Construction Update Quality
Salty
S&T 2008 construction update does not show I80 State Street to 1300 East reconstruction. Many street names are still incorrect. Enjoy

Gary
Larry
Hi Gary,

Welcome to the forum!

Many travelers appreciate and benefit from the free monthly construction updates but unfortunately they do not contain an exhaustive comprehensive list. I can't tell you why that particular location was not included in the update but I will give some general comments about the construction updates that may be helpful. Sorry for any inconvenience.

What are they?

Each month (usually on the 9th of the Month) users get prompted to download the monthly construction updates. These updates are FREE and are offered to Streets & Trips and MapPoint users for several versions back. When you create a route you'll see on the top of the itinerary pane a message to click to update your construction file. It downloads a small .DAT file which contains all the US construction projects for the month that MS knows about.

Where does the construction information come from?

Oh, how much easier it would be if there was a single provider for all such information however it is collected from hundreds or maybe thousands of regional Department of Transportation (DOT) and highway camera data streams across the US. In any given State there are somewhere between 6 and 30 Regional Departments and each provide the construction information as soon as the project is funded.

Why doesn't the update include the major construction going on in my neighborhood/city?

This happens from time to time for several possible reasons. For example, maybe it was never reported to us. Also, the construction project must last for a month or longer in that location for it to be included. The construction information could have missed the monthly deadline to be included. You get the idea. Anyways, remember it is a free service.
Salty
Thanks to Marvin for moving my first newbie post to the correct page.
Thanks to Larry for somebody from Microsoft paying attention and giving a darn. This snip might help.

This update contains information regarding construction activities along I-80 from State Street to 1300 East. This is just a portion of the work currently taking place along I-80. To stay up-to-date on all I-80 projects, please visit www.udot.utah.gov/innovate80 or contact the Innovate 80 project team at innovate80@utah.gov.

Whoever Microsoft gets map data from needs to send someone to Salt Lake City to drive around and read the street signs then compare them to the S&T map data. The Salt Lake City/County grid system is different from many other cities, very confusing to visitors when the navigation software we all depend on is inaccurate.

Not wanting to sound negative or critical, just hoping for an improved product.

Gary
Ken in Regina
Salty,

Just for the record, Microsoft doesn't have any input to the mapping data. They purchase it from a company called Navteq. This is the same company that provides the detailed map data for Garmin's North America product and some others, including Google Maps. They do some good work in some areas and not so great in others.

Here's the link to Navteq's Map Reporter page for error reports in their data.

...ken...
taoyue
Just to be clear -- construction data is not a map update. It lists areas under construction, so you can drive around delays. You should not expect construction data to supply new map information, e.g. a new housing development or whatever. Map data is only updated with new versions of S&T.

The New Yorker did a fairly informative article on Navteq in 2006, around the time they got bought by Garmin. Here it is: http://www.newyorker.com/archive/2006/04/24/060424fa_fact

Average time for Navteq to close out my error reports is about 3 months, but then, I don't live in a big city so you may see better speed. They release data quarterly, so there could be an additional 3 months before it shows up on online mapping sites. Then, up to 9 months before it makes it into S&T, depending on whether it makes the cutoff for the next version.

Presumably, the "Send Map feedback" menu item under "Tools" will look up the appropriate data provider and pass along the feedback. In most areas in the US, this will be Navteq, so you might as well report it directly.

P.S. I think "Send Map feedback" is a terrible euphemism. People won't think to click on it. "Report map error" is more direct, assuming people ever think about finding it under the Tools menu. If you search for "error" in Help, the first result is right, but the title is similarly euphemistic: "About the feedback wizard."
Steve S
Larry: Let me begin by saying that I'm happy that you, and some other members of the MS S&T team have chosen to dialogue with us in this forum. I know that most companies, MS included are very skitish about public forums and public access / information. So I hope you will understand that I am not unappreciative of your presence if the following comments come across as being a bit negative. They are.

<> In the course of using S&T for years, I cannot recall even a single instance when construction information relevant to my location was ever displayed. Fair enough; it's a big country, and as you say, there are few comprehensive data collection centers.

<> At the moment, I live in a major US city. Miles of one of our major freeways are closed for construction. The project has been underway for over a year and a half and has at least that much longer to go. This is a numbered US highway, and it is one of the largest road projects in the state. It's hard for me to accept your take on S&T construction updates when this road closure has never appeared as the result of an S&T construction update.
CLARIFICATION: So that there is a minimum of confusion, I'm not talking about Salt Lake City in the above. I live in a major mid-western city. I'm only discussing this here because this thread veered into a discussion of S&T construction updates (despite the title of the thread...)

<> In addition, the very short download times (only a second or two) of construction updates tells me that they can't contain significant content. Even in the worst imaginable circumstances, I can't imagine that a company like MS couldn't unearth and distribute a significant amount of relevant construction information, leading to download times of at least several seconds.

<> And it isn't free. You are correct in implying that we don't pay an explicit charge for updates, but the activity is either factored into the cost of S&T as a bulk charge on the product or in the cost of all MS products as a component of overhead cost. Companies aren't charities and MS is no exception; you conduct business activities with the goal of producing a profit and improving shareholder value.

Now, having said all this, I understand that you may not be in a position to comment favorably on any of this. That's OK. But please be respectful of our collective experience and insight into these sorts of things. We're a knowledgeable group.
Moving Man
Not only is SLC behind on the updated road information, but I've found that to be the case with many cities as I travel the lower 48. I upgraded from the 2006 version of Streets & Trips to the 2008, and found very little improvement to the roads. It's caused me to get lost on several occasions due to road improvements, even though I constantly go on-line for road updates.

Has anyone else been disappointed with this version upgrade and the lack of new roads being added to the database?
Marvin Hlavac
Hi Moving Man,

Welcome to Laptop GPS World.

As Tao said:

Quote:
Originally Posted by taoyue
Just to be clear -- construction data is not a map update. It lists areas under construction, so you can drive around delays. You should not expect construction data to supply new map information, e.g. a new housing development or whatever. Map data is only updated with new versions of S&T.

In some Streets & Trips versions I have to look long and hard to find some (if any) new streets in my area. But Microsoft uses approximately 12 months newer map data in each version of the product. Navteq might have done more work in the preceding 12 months in some locations, and perhaps less in others. But rest assured, each new Streets & Trips contains not just new software program, but also new map data. I have been using S&T for several years now, and each new release did include some newer streets not included in earlier years.
taoyue
Just an update: Google Maps is no longer using Navteq data in the US and Canada, as of today. Try it. You'll be shocked at how bad the Tele Atlas data is (with a few exceptions). My area has now dropped down to base TIGER coverage, complete with mislabeled roads.

Yet another reason to use Laptop GPS software. The maps live on your own hard drive, so you aren't at the mercy of a web site which decided to save a few million bucks.
Marvin Hlavac
Google Maps topic moved to: Google Maps: Navteq Out, Tele Atlas In
SteveJonesMO
Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry
Why doesn't the update include the major construction going on in my neighborhood/city?

This happens from time to time for several possible reasons. For example, maybe it was never reported to us. Also, the construction project must last for a month or longer in that location for it to be included. The construction information could have missed the monthly deadline to be included.
Larry:

Missouri has some months-long ongoing large freeway construction projects, with significant traffic impact, which don't show up on the construction information. For example, on I44 from Pacific to Gray Summit, there is a widening and repaving project that has been underway for some time and is causing epic delays.

I'd like to explore where the breakdown in communication might be, but I don't know enough about how the data should be made available to Microsoft to ask about why it isn't. Can you educate me about this enough that I can speak intelligently on the topic if I contact MODOT?

Steve Jones
Larry
Hi Steve

As was mentioned earlier in this thread our Map data comes from NAVTEQ. However, our construction data does not. It comes from another company that aggregates this info from MANY sources. If you have any current info on major construction projects that are not showing up send me an email and I will pass this along to the construction folks.

Regards,
Larry
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