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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
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    4,546

    Default Trip planning software

    What software do you use for planning trips?

    I've been using Google maps, Mapquest, and of course the many ideas in the Map Centre.

    But in making my Christmas list, I thought about putting something down that I could have in the laptop (Win 7) that would not necessarily need the Internet to access.

    I saw reference to Streets and Trips.



    Donna

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

    Default

    I use Streets and Trips.

    The newest version works best with Windows 7, it caused some major issues on my XP box.

    You can get it with a GPS module to use while on the move. It connects via USB.

  3. #3

    Default

    Another vote for Streets & Trips. I'm using the 2013 version with XP and have had no issues although I do not like the appearace of the control panels as well as some of the previous versions I have had.

    I like Streets & Trips because I can access my route maps without being on line and I will often review the next day's route the night before without having to depend on a good internet connection. I've even on occasion taken my laptop in to a restaurant to check on something.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
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    Default

    Hubby already told me that he did not get us the software for Christmas; he wants to research the two different versions of MS S&T a little more before purchase.

    We have a stand-alone GPS, and use it all the time. Our laptop also goes with us on trips. Is there any reason to spend the extra $25 to get the version of MS S&T that has the GPS module, if you already have a GPS?

    I will say that I don't plan long trips using the GPS. To us, the GPS is for finding an address, seeing how far it is to our destination for the day if we're not absolutely certain, and occasionally looking to find a restaurant nearby if we're traveling on local and US highways (rather than interstates). I'm thinking, therefore, that the "plain jane" S&T software might meet our needs at less expense?


    Donna

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
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    Default

    The GPS is handy for seeing exactly where you are at on a zoomable map display. To me, it has a lot more situational awareness than a typical standalone GPS.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default More on Situational Awareness

    Here's the thing, as a trained pilot I have a somewhat different view of situational awareness. I had it drilled into me over and over that the 'situation' was outside the cockpit and that's ware my 'awareness' should be. Every second spent operating or scanning my instruments (except, of course, when flying IFR) was time spent NOT being aware of my situation. This is far more the case when driving where the margin for error is so much smaller. Setting a GPS, or even zooming in/out, while driving is just as bad for you as texting, talking on the phone, or any number of other activities which are finding themselves outlawed for very good reason.

    Situational awareness is the sum total of all your knowledge about where you are, where you're going, how you plan to get there, and most importantly: What's going on around you right now. Most of that should already be in your data base (the one between your ears) before you get behind the wheel. Everything else requires that your attention be outside the car, not fumbling with 'aids'.

    So, what should you be doing on a RoadTrip? As we say here time and again, look at the old stand-by Paper Maps, preferably well before departure. Know what routes you'll want; how far, roughly, you'll be taking each one; what cities will be along your route; what major road junctions you'll have to negotiate. Programs like Microsoft Streets and Trips® (my personal choice) or RTA's own Map Center are great for quickly checking different routings and getting an idea of how much each one will cost in additional miles and/or time. If you have the luxury of a competent navigator for the actual drive, so much the better - but ultimately you are the driver in charge and you are responsible for making sure that your journey is first and foremost safe.

    Does GPS have any place in RoadTripping? Yes, but it should really be kept to a minimum. As others have noted it can be great at negotiating an unfamiliar city when it is quite easy to get 'turned around in your tracks'. Boston is a great example. As my sister who lived there once told me: "If you ask directions and someone say's 'Go straight', ignore them. They don't know what they're talking about." But even then, your destination should be pre-programmed. If you need to enter something, or even change scales, do so only when fully stopped and out of traffic. And listen to the GPS's instructions, don't keep looking at the screen.

    Always remember: The situation you need to be aware of is outside the car.

    AZBuck
    Last edited by AZBuck; 12-23-2013 at 11:33 AM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
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    Default

    Buck - I believe Donna usually travels with her hubby, so I'm assuming the passenger would be the one operating the electronics anyway.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default Habit forming.

    Although I rarely use it for planning or routing, my GPS was always on. It comes in handy to find addresses. I do like to check my speed against the speedo, knowing that the GPS is the more accurate. It is also the only clock I have in the car. On the other hand.....

    At the end of my last trip, the van was dropped off in the FL panhandle. I rented a car and drove I-10/I-95 to Ft Lauderdale to my daughter's home. A trip I had done several times. The GPS was left in the van. The rental car did not have one. I took the paper maps with me.

    It came to my notice during this last trip just how dependent I now am on a GPS. I kept glancing over to where it should be... but it wasn't. I really felt quite 'lost' and insecure. I did not realise how dependent I had become, despite a good knowledge of the area and with paper maps.

    Have now resolved to use the GPS only when I need it, and not habitually turn it on, lest I should lose the ability to travel without it. Paper maps always served me well.

    Lifey

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
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    Default

    Buck is right. I travel with my hubby, and on the occasions I have to travel alone, I don't mess with the GPS while driving. As he said, it's just unsafe.

    The non-GPS version seems to work with the laptop with the USB connection.

    We shall see.


    Donna

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
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    Default

    The non-GPS version will work fine with any 3rd party USB GPS receiver, if you want to go that way. That's what I was using.

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