[GeoStL] MapPoint 2004 vs. Street Atlas 2004 Plus

  • From: "Jim Bensman" <jbensman1@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <geocaching@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Tue, 27 Jan 2004 22:16:56 -0600

Well I have both programs and will offer some observations.  Overall, I
think Street Atlas 2004 Plus is much better than MapPoint 2004.

I will have my laptop with both programs on it in JC this weekend.  I will
be happy to show people how they work.

I tried MapPoint 2004 and did not like it.  While it was pretty easy to get
the cache files into the program, I did not like the way it navigated when
you were on the road.  I had used Street Atlas for quite a while and had
loved the way it navigated you on the road.

MapPoint simply highlights your rout on the map.  It also does not have an
option to orientate your map with your direction of travel.

Street Atlas highlights your route on the map.  It also has a big pane where
it tells you things like your next turn, how far and how long to your
designation. They are in big easy to read letters.  It also has two separate
parts of the screen that show where you are at.  One is zoomed out much
further.  I really like that feature.  It also speaks to you to tell you
when you are approaching a turn, where you turn and all that kind of stuff.
It also will accept voice commands so while you are driving you can operate
the computer  by talking to it.  (It works too, but you have to train it to
your voice).  It also has a night vision mode.  It will also search for gas
stations, stores and the likes ahead of you.  MapPoint has none of this.

The one problem I had with Street Atlas 2003 was everyone in a while the
program would lose contact with the GPS.  It would rotate as you turned, but
it did not move.  I switched the interface from Garmin to NEMA and did not
have any problems after that.  I have not used Street Atlas 2004 Plus very
much on the road so I do not know if that problem is there.

One of the problems with Street Atlas 2003 was there was no way to get the
geocaches into the program.  The best I could come up with was to load the
waypoints into my GPS and then download them into the program.  It worked,
but it was a royal pain and only the cache number was in the program.

Street Atlas 2004 Plus (not Street Atlas 2004) solves that problem.  Like
MapPoint 2004, Street Atlas 2004 Plus will not directly import the loc or
gpx files.  The best way I have found to get the files into the program is
to use GPSbable and convert the loc file into a TopoMapPro Places file and
save it with a .csv extension.  Street atlas will import it (just don't
import the first field).

When importing the file, you can chose whether to have the number or name
displayed on the icon.  I chose the name to make it easier to find with
Watcher.  You can select different colors or icons for different sets of
caches (caches you found could be one color, ones hid another, and ones to
look for another color).  You can also turn off and one which sets of caches
to display.

One of the neatest things is it creates a hyperlink to the cache page on
each icon for the cache.  So when you are at home, all you need to do is
click on the icon and the cache page pops up.  There is also a feature where
you can click on the icon or the name of the cache and it will display the
cache number.

MapPoint 2004 is similar, but I like the way Street Atlas displays the data

So my recommendation is Street Atlas 2004 Plus (not Street Atlas 2004).

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