OT - GPS Software for Laptops

Would appreciate any user comments on GPS software & receivers for running on a laptop. I have looked at MS "Streets and Trips", Garmin "Mapsource
City" and Delorme "Street Atlas" but have not been able to find any good review comparisons.
TIA for any help....
Laurie Forbes
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I have been using Streets and Trips for about six months and I like it fairly well except the popup that warns you about navigating while driving. I made a trip after some equipment in Milwaukee and drove to both locations without a problem using the GPS software. The speaker in my Dell laptop isn't quite loud enough to hear the driving instructions but they are on the bottom of the screen and just hearing the voice alerts me a turn is coming up. Some roads that have been rebuilt in the last couple of years aren't in the software and updating it online does not update the roads just the construction advisories. It is funny to watch the icon driving off in the toolies and the voice warning "Off route" when you know you are on the right road. The initial layout of $125.00 attracted me to the software but I would be happier with a standard automotive GPS unit as the laptop takes up too much room and the cables are a pain. Steve
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Up North wrote:

In (I think) 1984 or 85, at a conference on satellite communications and navigation, ETAK and others demo'd in-car, speaking, yellowpages linked, moving map GPS systems. I think they predicted 10, rather than 20 years before they became consumer items.
ETAK spent a lot of money in the bay area doing "value added" map data enhancements and corrections, to provide info on left turn lanes, advance signals, one-way streets and other practicalities missed or superceded in the original USGS/Census mapping projects.
One of the first computer-dispatched / routed vehicular demos I watched ran into trouble when the route chosen by the software was NOT a freeway onramp, but an alley running 50 feet underneath the freeway. I suspect it may be another 20 years before the onboard computer drives my car (or "our" minibus), based on GPS and mapping data....
/mark
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Laurie Forbes wrote:

I had an older version of Streets and Trips on my old laptop, using some no-name GPS reciever. Saw Delorme's Street Atlas at Costco one day, and thought the voice prompts and voice input might be interesting. Overall, I liked some of the features of Delorme's product, but went back to Streets and Trips, mainly because I just liked the display better.
But then, decided to upgrade S&T to the 2007 version, and I have to say, I really like it a lot. Bought at Costco again, and had to buy the version with their GPS reciever, but don't regret it. The GPS hooks up faster than the old one, and the newer software has some neat features.
Never poked around Street Atlas to see if they have a night mode, but the new S&T does, and that is really cool. It's hard to drive at night with a glaring bright screen in the passenger front seat. Also, if you miss a turnoff, after a changable distance, it will automatically reroute a given route, making it a total piece of cake to get back on track.
Really want to try out the voice input/directions sometime, just haven't been doing enough driving lately to get around to it. (Delorme btw, has this also)
One benefit, couple years ago we were all heading out on vacation. We hit a major traffic jam only few miles before our turnoff from the main interstate. It was really stop and go. Wife was driving, so as we came alongside a trucker, I asked if he knew what was up. Told me there was a major accident with overturned vehicles and fatalities. Key was, he told me what onramp it was at.
I quickly zoomed out, and saw that if we took the next offramp (and the last one before the accident a few miles down the road) we could take some back streets and bypass the traffic. We barely squeezed off the freeway before the offramp, but I would hazard a guess that we saved at least 1 hour of crawling along, maybe more like 2. Setup paid for itself right there!
Jon
BTW, both S&T 2007 and Delorme's 2005 version, have inaccuracies. I've found phantom streets, and on a trip to Yosemite, at one point S&T 2003 showed us about 1/4 mile to the right of the road we were on.... Whether the latter was software or GPS reciever, I can't say.
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Well the last two versions of MS Streets and trips have my home about a mile away from true position. Delome has been right ever since 4.0 .
Wes
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wrote:

My location is about a half a mile east of where S&T says it is. Another thing about S&Trips is if you neglect the comma between address and city or state it freaks out and goes to parts unknown. Steve
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On Sat, 24 Feb 2007 19:56:59 GMT, with neither quill nor qualm,

A trucker friend of mine got a DeLorme mapping system (for his 18-wheeler for his personal use.) He said it's great, almost as good as the $3,500 system his company uses to track his mobile TV studio location. Both suggest routes for him and the results are generally the same. I'll ask him for specifics if you like, Laurie.
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quickly quoth:

First, thanks to all for their comments.
Larry, the DeLorme Street Atlas s/w looks good to me but I wonder how it compares to Google Maps in accuracy and being up-to-date? I also wonder if their Earthmate GPS LT-20 receiver compares well to the units with the SiRF III chip (which I understand is pretty much the best now)?
If you friend has any info on that I would appreciate hearing about it.
Laurie Forbes
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On Sun, 25 Feb 2007 01:38:05 GMT, with neither quill nor qualm,

OK, I emailed your original request paragraph to him and am awaiting a response regarding both hardware and software suggestions.
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Please post the response here for the benefit of us lurkers. ;-)
Thanks.
-- Mark
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On Sun, 25 Feb 2007 22:38:14 GMT, with neither quill nor qualm, "Mark

Will do, Mark. I'm kind of curious myself.
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quickly quoth:

I think that there are are only a couple of sources for the mapping data and if that's true you may find that all products that use data from the same source will have the same errors. NavTeq is one supplier I think.
I've used Delorme and MS Streets for paper maps and planning and prefer Streets - Delorme's user interface changed a few years back and I just can't get used to it for occasional use. I tried the Delorme GPS units with a laptop and handheld and it had too many problems to make it worth dealing with. Last year I bought a Garmin Nuvi and am much happier with that. It locks on to the satellites within a minute or less, is easy to program for destination, and the text to speech feature lets me keep my eyes on the road while navigating in busy traffic. Mine is mounted on the windshield and a quick glance is enough to give me a sense of what's coming up. The downsides are that only one waypoint can be programmed per trip (Garmin calls them via's) and it doesn't save the actual route traveled, which some to like. There are other Garmin models that have those features.
Mike
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Yes, it seems that Navteq is the preminent supplier (at least as I understand it) and some GPSs use it but IIRC Garmin is one who has their own propriotory data. I think I mentioned before that Google Maps uses Navteq maps.

I've read some very negative reviews of the latest DeLorme laptop s/w (particularly on Amazon.com) so I've pretty much scratched that off the list. I have also looked at iGuidance and CoPilot both of which look good but are more pricey. I'd like to have at a minimum voice commands capability, the new SiRF based receiver and hot key assignment. Here's a list of "nice to have" I have drawn up - now to narrow down which systems have it and which don't:
SiRF receiver
Voice recognition
Multiple Way Points
Can enter street addresses
Function key assign (hotkeys)
Day/night mode
USB port
Trip planner
Street name/number annunciation
Up-to-date maps (when?)
Outside receiver mount
Select shortest/fastest route
Navteq maps
POI search (within a given city)
User forum
Left freeway exit info
Print route directions
WAAS enabled
Trip computer
Exit # annuciation
If there are others anyone thinks worthwhile, please add to list.

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Strap sez:

Or as Capt. Hook replied when asked how he lost an eye, "Seagull shit, Mam ! "
Bob Swinney
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I've been running S&T, Delorme's Street Atlas, and Delorme's TOPO software for a couple of years using Delorme's receivers.
Each has its good points and bad points:     MS S&T has a "drag-and-drop" interface that makes route adjustment fairly easy but doesn't give as much point-to-point information as Delorme's packages do.     Delorme's gives more searchable "points of interest", more point-to- point data, and has a better voice interface but route modifications are a bit klutzier.
Of the 3, TOPO is my primary choice since it can display not only the "lay of the land" via Topographic [aka Contour] maps but can also display satellite photos as well.
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On our recent trip to KCMO (to the Arabia Steamboat Museum) my friend took along a new Compaq laptop and a $50 Lowrance GPS. He had a dongle interconnect between the GPS and laptop. It worked flawlessly; we were able to see street signs and roads either by viewing the laptop or by looking out the window !
My friend was using MS "Street and Trips" whereas I have always been a Delorme advocate. He says that IHO, MS has a slight edge over Delorme. Emphasize slight; in that he thinks MS is a little easier to use in "search" mode.
Bob Swinney

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I was leaning towards the DeLorme s/w but then read some scathing reviews on Amazon.com. Now am not sure what to do - probably S&T or iGuidance (both have the SiRT chip available in the GPS receiver).
Laurie Forbes
PS Does anyone know if S&T or iGuidance support voice commands??
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