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Mapping Software?(6 posts)

Mapping Software?vindicator
Oct 7, 2002 3:45 PM
I use sites like Mapquest all the time to find driving directions, driving distances, etc. But they are useless for calculating the distance of a planned ride because they calculate the shortest or fastest route from point a to point b, not necessarily the one I'll be taking.

Does anyone know of a similar site (or software to purchase) that lets you enter the various points along your chosen route and then calculates the distance for you?
Topo USA or its competitors ...Humma Hah
Oct 7, 2002 4:02 PM
Imagine, for about a c-note, you get the entire US in 15-minute topographic maps, with roads and a few trails. Not only does it let you trace out a road route, but it will also give you the elevation profile and elevation gain.

Topo USA has a few warts, but at the price, heck, I'll put up with 'em.
Microsoft "Streets & Trips"coonass
Oct 7, 2002 5:05 PM
is the best that I've used..you can plot your own route, input the mph (i.e. 19mph), and it will calculate the time of your route and highlight your indicated route. It can also display interesting points (local [all or specialized] restaurants, fast-food chains, hospitals, parks, police depts. (too many others to mention here), etc.) in the area or along the route (great for riding unknown routes) I also have TopoUSA, good for elevations, but will not compare to MST for route info. It covers the entire US in detail, and will display all of the cities of the world (no road mapping), but you can measure the distance between foreign cities...Best BANG for the $$$$$
Circuit City had it on sale 2 weeks ago: $39.95 w/instant $25 discount + $10 Microsoft rebate = $4.95...Mapquest can't compare.
Forgot to mention...coonass
Oct 7, 2002 5:38 PM
I've used MST 1998, 2000 and 2002....there must be a new version coming out; because of the SALEs.....for clarification, the aforementioned 'interesting points' are programmed in the software...all you have to do is request the display and you can find a Pizza Hut, Breadeaux Pizza, McDonald's (or whatever) anywhere in the US. :))
2nd Microsoft "Streets & Trips"Scot_Gore
Oct 7, 2002 6:58 PM
If you've seen any of my ride reports. I open them with a shot of the route pasted right out of MS S&T.

The program lets you set your road preferences. I generally turn all roads to strongly dislike except 2ndary arterial roads which I crank up to highly like. Then, like mapquest, I let it pick a route for me.

I did this in Cleveland OH and Elkhart IN (two cities I know nothing about) and it picked some pretty good bike roads for me.

You can also draw a route freehand on a map and it will show you the distance.

I'm pleased with the software.

Two things I don't like.
1) You can't have disconnected legs on the same route. I'd like to be able to map from point A to point B. Have the route pick up at another point C and continue to D. A,B,C, & D automatically route between each other.
WHY do I want to do that? because of the second thing I don't like.
2) The program was made for cars ONLY. It can't route a bike path or a cut through a parking lot. If you go "Off Road" the program can't handle it. It would be nice to route to a bike path, ride it, jump back on road, and the route planning be flexible enough for the program to handle disconnected legs on the same map.

HTH

Scot
re: Mapping Software?jwarrenod
Oct 7, 2002 9:14 PM
www.expertgps.com is a cool product. Lets you grab topographic or overhead photo maps and draw your route on them. You can then download the route to your GPS if you have one.

JW