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Thread: What's the best app or device for maps and directions

  1. #1
    Cyburbian
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    What's the best app or device for maps and directions

    I'm looking for an app to use on my computer or a stand alone device (eg. gps system) to get maps and directions. Ideally, I'd like to be able to enter 10 addresses and have the app plan the shortest route. If that's not available, I'd like to enter the 10 addresses and have the sites show up on the same map so that I could roughly figure out the order I should visit the sites. Then I could enter the addresses one by one to get directions from one site to the next. What would be the best app or device for this use?

  2. #2
    Suspended Bad Email Address teshadoh's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by tipton
    I'm looking for an app to use on my computer or a stand alone device (eg. gps system) to get maps and directions. Ideally, I'd like to be able to enter 10 addresses and have the app plan the shortest route. If that's not available, I'd like to enter the 10 addresses and have the sites show up on the same map so that I could roughly figure out the order I should visit the sites. Then I could enter the addresses one by one to get directions from one site to the next. What would be the best app or device for this use?
    If you have the money, resources, & training - as I know how to do what you're requesting it would be ArcGIS with a Network Analyst extension through ESRI. But I have no idea how much you're expecting to spend.

    The key is not to manually enter the 10 addresses, but have all your addresses in some database which you would geocode based on a street centerline file - again possibly another expense to buy GIS data.

    Otherwise - this is just a theory - I wonder if someone has further hacked Google maps to allow multiple address geocoded points to develop a route. That would be the cheapest possibility. Or possibly there is some low-end GIS application that I'm not aware of that has routing & geocoding.

  3. #3
    Corn Burning Fool giff57's avatar
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    Check out Maptitude from Caliper. It's a watered down TransCad and will do what you stated.
    “As soon as public service ceases to be the chief business of the citizens, and they would rather serve with their money than with their persons, the State is not far from its fall”
    Jean-Jacques Rousseau

  4. #4
    Cyburbian
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    I'm willing to pay for a solution but not sure how much. What amount would it cost for your GIS solution and how much training would be involved? Someone pointed this out to me showing that the solution is rather complex.

    The best online service that I've seen for my purpose is randmcnally.com. They have a Plan a Road Trip service that will let you enter a starting location, ending location, and up to 10 points of interest in between. It will then give you directions from one point to the next from start to finish. With Google Maps, I'd have to enter 10 separate searches which is a bit more tedious. However, the problem with this is that I need to know the order beforehand. So, is there a way to get all of the sites pinpointed on the same map so that I can roughly plan the best route, either in Google Maps or any other app?

  5. #5
    Super Moderator luckless pedestrian's avatar
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    If you are a member of AAA you can get a triptik that can handle that number of addresses, I think

  6. #6
    Cyburbian jmello's avatar
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    Looks like Google Earth Plus and Pro do this:

    http://www.keyhole.com/GoogleEarthHe...ing_Places.htm

    It's called "touring."

  7. #7
    Cyburbian
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    The Touring feature on Google Earth doesn't really do what I'm looking for. It just takes you from one place to the next on a tour, but you still have to plan the tour yourself beforehand then enter the directions one by one which is cumbersome.

    AAA's TripTik is very similar to Rand McNally's Plan a Road Trip service. However you still have to get all of the sites on a map first so that you can plan the order of the route instead of having it figure out the order for you.

  8. #8
    Cyburbian the north omaha star's avatar
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    I like Streets and Trip. It's relatively affordable. The only thing, you may to update it more often than you might think. I once with to Pittsburgh, only to find out that PENNDOT changes the exit numbers on I-376.
    I am recognizing that the voice inside my head
    is urging me to be myself but never follow someone else
    Because opinions are like voices we all have a different kind". --Q-Tip

  9. #9
    Cyburbian
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    So far in my search, Maptitude's Compute Delivery Route function seems to be the best software solution for this problem which costs about $500. As for stand alone GPS products, the Garmin StreetPilot 2720 at around $750, the Garmin StreetPilot 2730 which will plan routes with realtime traffic info, at about $950, and the Garmin StreetPilot 7200 which is similar to the 2730 but with a larger screen, at $1300, seem to be the best.

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