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Old 08-18-2002, 11:30 AM   #1
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DeLorme Street Atlas version 10.0

Street Atlas, IMHO, is by far the best mapping program to date. DeLorme claims that the new version 10.0 is the biggest upgrade in Street Atlas since it was introduced about 10 years ago. It only took me minutes to order it when I received their email flyer. I have had every yearly update since the program was introduced.

One new option is to just print out larger diagrams for all the turns and route changes. I used this feature on another mapping program and really liked it. Unfortunately, the rest of that other program was very poorly done compared to Street Atlas.

I can get maps at any welcome center, but knowing what the next intersection looks like is priceless. I hope the new program arrives before I shove off for Eureka Springs and Branson in just over a week.
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Old 08-18-2002, 12:08 PM   #2
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I also like DeLorme Street Atlas versions.

When I have to travel or visit a strange city, I hook up the Earthmate GPS that I bought with the original Street Atlas several years ago to my laptop PC. I just toss the GPS up on the dash board, let the satellites acquire and off we go.

I used it just recently on a driving trip from Houston to Denver and back. I just followed the suggested routes and never thought twice about the directions. It makes the driving less of a hassle as you can just see were the next reststop, town or gas station is. It will even announce the next turn if you have the sound turned on.

Maps can also be downloaded to a Palm or Ipaq. The GPS will work with both of these devices for great portability.

If I had a motor home, I would mount a cheap laptop up front and use it all the time.

Highly recommended!

http://www.delorme.com/

-BobbyWright
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Old 08-18-2002, 12:34 PM   #3
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GPS vs Maps

I have been tempted by the GPS, but so far, I have resisted.

I very seldom take all of the program's route; I almost always use vias to force the route that I want.

I travel alone a lot and, most of the time, I entertain myself by following my progress on the strip maps.

Being alone, the new intersection diagrams are a real value to me. DeLorme used satelite and aerial photos to check all highway intersections.

I print the strip maps (omitting familiar stretches) and drop by Ginny's to have them spiral bound with a stiff sheet of Bristol board on the back. The maps lay flat on the console or on my right leg for instant reference. The maps are always in order and I know that each sheet takes 1 1/2 hours, more or less to drive which helps me plan my fuel and rest stops.
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Old 08-18-2002, 04:18 PM   #4
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I use the Street Atlas Delux version, my third upgrade, and have ordered the Version 10 today.
I designed a small table that plugs into the drink holder in the console on my GMC Sierra, and had it covered with the same material as the upholstery in the truck. It holds my Gateway 2000 lap top in a position where I can see it all the time while traveling. I keep the GPS running to keep up with my location and the "Turns" information at the bottom of the screen makes it really nice to keep up with distances to next turns, state lines, or stops. It is a bit of a challange to figure out some of the reasons for the changes sometimes until you get to that point in the trip. I have used the software and GPS unit on trips all over the US, and their "Map and GO" in Canada and the US. I used it on a trip to Alaska last summer, and found it to be excellent 99% of the time. I did find some places where the GPS track did not match the highway at all, which indicated the map was out of date. I can find lots of this in areas where recent (last 5 years) road changes have been made. There are some examples of just wrong data. The Ferry Port at Cape Hatteras, NC, is shown in a place 5 miles from where it has always been. I can list many other examples, but still love to travel with it running all the time. I often use MS "Street and Trips" which has all the campgrounds listed in the Woodall"s Directory located on it's maps to locate campgrounds for manual entry into the trip plan in a Street Atlas Delux trip plan. My GPS unit will not work with Street and Trips software. I always check the campground location agenst the directory directions before inserting it's location on my travel plan map.

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Old 08-18-2002, 07:01 PM   #5
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"Steering" Street Atlas

Good as Street Atlas is, it can't even get me north out of Austin in a rational manner unless I "steer" it with vias. SA has actually gotten worse at this over the years as they "improved" the routing algorithms. The earlier versions actually chose the route I would choose while the current versions try to save time or distance by routing me over streets that I would never take in practice.

Actually, some of the poorer SOB programs, with all their warts, do a better job of this close-in routing because they are "dumber".

Even though I know how to get out of Austin, I want a proper routing so that the running program mileage coincides well with my trip odometer. To make things easier, I routed the first 30 miles north and saved the file. Now, I can simply load that file, change the end point, and save it under the new route name without having to redo all of the close-in routing.
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Old 08-19-2002, 07:33 AM   #6
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I find I often get very dumb routing on the first try, then try to steer the rout with great difficulty. I then realize I have changed the "preferances" or "options" about the road or route types I prefer to travel on for some reason. Changing preferred road type or the options of "shortest, quickest, or senic route will have a big impact. The type of road you have chosen as your preferance can make steering very difficult as mentioned before. If you have "interstate" set as your road preferance, it is really hard to steer the route onto US highways or state roads when there is an interstate anywhere nearby. I have also found times when the routing didn't make sense, then find out the map did not have an exit off the interstate where I wanted to get off. I have found errors in both directions in this case. State Road 191 is not listed as having an exit on I-40 at Asheville, NC, but there is one there. I stay at a campground at that exit a couple of times each year and can't use SA routing to that stop for that reason. SA also shows an exit at the junction of US 13 and I-40 north of Wilmington, NC, when there is not one there, and it will route you through that nonexistant exit. The delux version allows you to go in and change these mistakes, if you wont to take the time.

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Old 08-19-2002, 08:17 AM   #7
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Re: "Steering" Street Atlas

Quote:
Originally posted by Pahaska


Even though I know how to get out of Austin, I want a proper routing so that the running program mileage coincides well with my trip odometer. To make things easier, I routed the first 30 miles north and saved the file. Now, I can simply load that file, change the end point, and save it under the new route name without having to redo all of the close-in routing.
S.A has given me bad routes out of New Orleans. Of course I know the best routes myself. I must assume that routes I get for other locations are just as bad and this worries me.
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Old 08-19-2002, 09:25 AM   #8
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Nothing replaces the good ol' eyeball method of planning a trip. I normally will review a computerized printout to make sure it makes common sense. I even do this when using AAA routing.

I remember one infamous trip to Gattlinburg Tn. (my first) when the person drawing the map sent me down U.S. 441 through Knoxville rather that a much faster and better exit a few miles further down the Interstate.

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Old 08-19-2002, 10:46 AM   #9
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Routing

What Street Atlas lacks that Microsoft Streets and Trips (and maybe others) has is the ability to select different preferences for various parts of the route.

Unfortunately, the "Fastest", "Shortest", or "Scenic" options apply to the entire route. The only way around this is to break the trip up into shorter segments with a different preference for each. Unfortunately, changes in preference don't always coincide with overnight, or even fuel, stops.

The refueling calculations are completely useless without the ability to tell the program where I am filling up along the way. There should be an option on stops to tell the program that I am filling up.

The end-of-day calculations are just as useless. Microsoft Streets and Trips handles overnight stops better than SA. There should be an option to restart the mileage on an overnight stop so that the running mileage is that day's mileage.
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Old 08-21-2002, 04:13 PM   #10
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Mixed bag

Version 10.0 came in the Monday mail. It is really a mixed bag. I used it to redo the calculations for my upcoming trip and wasn't impressed at all.

The roads and intersections have been greatly improved. Lots of roads have been added, but not always correctly. There is a road shown through out subdivision that doesn't (and can not) exist.

The "user friendlyness" is gone. DeLorme changed the screen format to the same format as the DeLorme "Map Print Pack" that I have. The commands are all changed and are completely non-intuitive. It takes 3 clicks to do what used to take one.

Routing seems to be improved somewhat.

The option of printing information for only turns is useless. A one day trip took 5 pages of which over 3 1/2 pages were just getting out of Austin. Most things printed were in the nature of "Continue on US79" with a diagram of straight highway or "veer right onto US##" where there is nothing but a long bend in the highway. The printout resides in the waste can. There is no way to just print selected information or selected pages.

Before, when it calculated, it showed you the entire trip on the screen and it was very easy to drag on an area and see what the routing looks like in that area. Now, the screen doesn't change so that if I zoomed in to add a via, I have to zoom all trhe way out and recenter the screen to see the whole route.

Fuel and day end calculations are still useless.

I'm thinking of returning it, but the updated highways and intersections have made me pause for the moment.
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Old 08-23-2002, 06:18 AM   #11
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GPS

If anyone is interested Gander Mountain has Garmin Emap's on sale for $149. This unit is similar to the Etrex Legend, only it is larger and has a larger LCD screen, plus it is $100 less. Great mapping GPS unit. I bought the PC cable, and got free firmware updates from their website. I have Delorme 6.0 and the Emap works well with it. You can also buy a memory card for the Emap and load their Mapoint software in it for more detailed maps on the unit.
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Old 08-24-2002, 04:04 PM   #12
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Apology to DeLorme

I complained about the need to tell the program whether fuel was taken on at a stop and how long the stop is (especially overnight stops).

Well, it is actually there, although it is pretty well hidden by the poor user interface. I had to stumble on to it. It should simply pop up anytime you define a stop.

I found a nasty error in the map in my own subdivision and another on the way out of town. In one case, the road was shown, but the program could not route over it. I used the new program ability to add my own 2-way road over the erroneous road. Worked quite well.
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Old 08-25-2002, 08:49 AM   #13
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Trip completed, followup on SA US

I now have the new Version 10 loaded on my laptop. I had the "delux version" from last year, so there was very little change to the interface of verious parts of the program. I like several of the new features at first glance. The ability to do some file management was needed, and is now supplied. The split screen while the GPS is tracking is helpful to have a closeup and a broader look at where you are at the same time.
I have a trip from Wilmington, NC (Home) to Ennis, MT, for some serious fly fishing in that area, loaded in the program. I will start the execution of this trip 9-6-02, and will get a good chance to really check out the software. The trip route is up I-77, US-250, US-20, I-475, US-23 and I-75 to the UP in Michigan, then across US-2 through Wisconsin, Minnesota, North Dakota to western Montana, and state roads down to Ennis. The return trip heads south down US-20 through Idaho to I-15. I hit the I-15 blue line south to Utah and I-84 to I-80 across Wyoming,Colorado, and Nebraska. I will get off the blue line at US-81 south in Nebraska to I-135, US-400, and a series of state roads through the corner of Missouri and Arkansas to US-412 an Cotter, AR, for some more flyfishing in the White River. The rest of the trip is along US-412 to I-40 to Gatlinburg, TN, for a quick visit with Family, then on to I-26 to I-20 to I-95 to US-74, US-17, US-421, and local streets to Home.
I have 24 campground stops in a little over 2 months over the route described above to check out the program. I will try and remember to give a follow up when we get home in early November on how the program preformed the task.

The teip to Ennis, MT, is now complete along with one to Williamsburg, VA.
The Street Atlus 2003 preformed quiet well on the trip to Ennis. I only found one big problem with the "Turns" portion of the program. It jumpted to the last leg of the trip at about the 2/3rds point of the trip, and no amount of working with the program could get it back to the proper point in the trip. I had to take the time to inter a new trip from the next stop to the end point to get the "turns" info to be correct. All other functions preformed very well. This problem happined to me on the way out to Ennis, MT, just before getting to the MT border on US-2, and on the return trip it happined just after crossing the AR border. I found the usual errors in the maps in the areas where new roads had been built in the last several years.
I found the "routing" portion of the new program to get very frusterating at times. The program deals with the "Preferences" of "road type" choices very strangley sometimes. I found it had routed me over some "Snowmobile Trails" in Wisconsin because I had not placed "Forrist Service" roads on a lower preference level than the other types of roads. I also found a couple of stretches of US-412 that it refused to route me over no matter how many via's I plugged in. The other, and strangest, routing fault was how it would route me off an Interstate and onto city streets on occasion to get through cities. I did all my routing in the "quickest" mode, and fail to see how getting off an Interstate and taking parellel surface streets could possibley be quicker through a large city. The other watchout if you are interested in the milage on the trip is making sure you zoom in very close before placing "via's" on the route. I found the program will pickup which side of an Interstate you click on, and do all sorts of getting off the Interstate at the next exit, turn atound and get back on the other side of the road to run through the misplaced via, then do this all over again to get you headed back in the proper direction.
I E-Mailed DeLorme about the problem of the program jumping to the end of the trip whe I was about 2/3rds of the way there. The reply I got back was to follow the "Clean Reload" procedure they sent me, and reload the program. I was un able to get that to work because the keyboard on my computer would not work in the limited startup mode they wanted to use. The procedure requires you to put in your name during loading the program in order to complete the process. i therefore did the cleanest reload I could (did not load the Startup part of the computer that loads all the background programs) and the resusts worked on the trip to Williamsburg, VA. The "turns" portion of the route worked as designed on the way there and on the way back. I also used a trip to Gatlinburg, TN, an a further test, and found the "Turns" data worked fine. This was after trying to reload the software and finding out I could not do a "clean" reload. I just reloaded the software without doing any thing to my computer, and found the GPS unit had trouble locking on and staying locked on during the trip to Gatlinburg. I did the modified "Clean" reload after returnign from that trip. I then took the trip to Williamsburg, VA, and all the program seemed to work finally.
I am now loading a trip to the Airstream International, The US portion of the "Nor' by Nor'East Caravan, and the "New York" Caravan for our 2003 travels. I am using DeLorme's "Map and Go" for the Canadian portion of the trip. It does not have the detail maps of Street Atlas 2003, but seems to have a better listing of campgrounds that SA 2003.

That concludes my very long followup . Hope this helps someone with their travel planning using Street Atlas 2003.

Joe Scudder

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Old 08-25-2002, 09:43 AM   #14
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Interface

Apparently, the delux version of last year had the new interface. I didn't know that since I had the standard version. I did have the new interface in the "Map Print Pack" program.

The new program has enough other improvements that I'll get used to the new layout.
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