DeLorme Street Atlas: What about MODULAR mapping?
One of the biggest complaints about the Thomas Bros. Maps 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 DeLorme 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, DeLorme 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 DeLorme 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 DeLorme'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 DeLorme showing changes, additions and so forth. After DeLorme 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 DeLorme 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 DeLorme 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!
Sounds good in theory but I highly doubt this setup would ever become reality.

If Delorme updated every single change that happened in the US and Canada at that fast rate, they would need thousands of employees to update the data, even if the customers were submitting the changes. There would be hundreds if not thousands of changes per day if it covers the entire country.
If Delorme updated every single change that happened in the US and Canada at that fast rate, they would need thousands of employees to update the data,
Not employees, but validated contracted users! Submissions by users who provided a valid I.D. so DeLorme would not have to deal with brain-dead teenagers out for a cheap thrill. For instance, they could accept MY change as submitted, and even "tokenize" it for validation by a third party who would eventually check out the same route. If my submission turned out to be bogus, I'd lose my updating privileges. If it WAS valid, I'd get a gold star, and a pony, and a new Corvette ... and ... oh, anyway, users who submit updates could receive a rating much like eBay rates sellers according to the integrity of their transactions.

I'd be happy to be a part of a large army of users who have the ability to update the maps whenever and wherever we find a necessary change, be it temporary or permanent!

Just tonight, I drove down two new roads in Carlsbad, CA. that do not YET appear on the new 2009 version. I traced them, and drew them in. Then I plotted a route across them to make sure the computer could "see" them and navigate through the new intersections, etc.

Certain changes could be made by users with only a superficial oversight by DeLorme. For instance, the burger joint near my house that changed it's name from "Martin's" to "Abuelita's". I could make that name change myself, and DeLorme would only have to quickly check to make sure I didn't change the name to something obscene! A quick phone call would validate my submission if necessary, and heck, I wouldn't even mind scanning a business card and sending it in via e-mail or fax, to verify the change.

I wasn't thinking of changing sectors instantly for small and insignificant things like a new phone number, or a Shell Station that starts to carry diesel fuel. I was thinking of the updates for changes in navigational data such as new off ramps, a new county road and so forth. Those changes occur, but not overnight, and they are easily validated by other DeLorme users.
I remember a topo map that still showed a working quarry, where Jay Leno keeps his car collection near Bob Hope Airport.
As for business name changes, these are handled by InfoUSA and not DeLorme. The newer the Database the more expensive it becomes.

I remember driving on the spanking new Mojave by pass SR58 in California before SA had it in the map database.
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