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Microsoft Streets & Trips: What about MODULAR mapping?
One of the biggest complaints about the Thomas Bros. Map Books is that in order to get the ONE or TWO PAGES that have the changes you need, they require that you buy the whole book! This is inconvenient, because you have probably written lots of notes in the book, drawn circles and arrows and used a highlighter to mark your favorite spots

Suppose S&T was set up so that the initial purchase of the software and antenna was a certain price, and then updates could be done over the net for an additional charge?

Imagine this ... the whole map is divided into sectors of (x) size, say one square mile. Each sector would have a unique serial number or identifying code, such as the GPS coordinates of the center of that sector ... or some other unique mark.

So we buy and load the original software and merrily navigate the country. Meanwhile, S&T makes ALL of their sectors available for download. So a month goes by, and I discover that there is a new offramp at Maple avenue, the bridge over Buzzard's Creek collapsed and someone rolled a freight train at Miller's crossing!

Wouldn't it be GREAT if I could go to the S&T website, find the one (or two or three ...) sectors that contain these geographic locations, and download the UPDATED sectors, showing the new offramp and the missing bridge and the sleeping train that the software would no longer navigate across?!

The updated sectors would be written to my hard drive and would replace the original software version's sectors and everything would be peachy keen again!

There could be a little "Updated Sector Available!" flashing icon on the screen as you pass through that sector. Simply click on the "GO GET IT!" button, and the new sector is written to your computer, and your credit card or other account is charged ... $5.00 or whatever! If your vehicle doesn't have net access,the updates would occur when you hook up that computer to the net, based on the sectors that you traveled through in the past (n) days or weeks.

Ideally, a PREVIEW of the new sector should be able to be viewed, with the changed highlighted so I could determine whether it is important TO ME to add that to my map or not. If I want the update, a simple click would make my computer's maps as up to date as possible.

PERMANENT updates such as a new highway would be a one-time download. TEMPORARY updates, such as the crashed train and fallen bridge could be downloaded once to update the maps. The NEW sector could be marked "temporary" in which case the OLD sector would be saved, and be restored to the map by the user when the obstruction has been removed, or by clicking on "General Updates" which would use Microsoft's instructions to restore the old sector, which would not require a download of a new "old sector."

Also, people could then use the drawing tools, breadcrumbs and other tools to SUBMIT a sector to Microsoft showing changes, additions and so forth. After MS (or Navteq) checks out the report, they could update their database, and the new sector could become immediately available!

Imagine how useful that would have been back in the 70's (pre-GPS) when all of those high concrete California overpasses crumbled down to the ground in the 1971 earthquake? Imagine how quickly people could navigate out of a flood area if S&T users were able to quickly report blocked roads, fallen bridges, crashed trains and other long or fairly long-term obstructions to navigation!

Imagine a map that could be updated in 72 hours (or less,) using the army of S&T users as their eyes! I'd pay good money for this setup, and the updated sectors that *I* travel through would only make that software more valuable to me!
Oh my goodness, a dreamer.

Oh, from me that's a good thing. That is one of my biggest beefs. Why not be able to get updates more frequently.

To the best of my knowledge, the mobile GPS units can do it. And one of them even allows updates from users, of blockages, new streets, street names.

It is NOT too much to ask for.
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