RoadTrip America

Routes, Planning, & Inspiration for Your North American Road Trip



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GPS Systems & Navigation
Atlases & Guides - Canada Atlases & Guides - United States
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Wall Maps

FEATURED ROAD ATLASES
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COMPANY
PRODUCT
American Map
2008 Road Atlas
A review of the new 2008 road atlas will appear here shortly. The following applies to the 2007 edition: The 2007 road atlas produced by American Map is unquestionably the best map book in its price range. It's spiral bound, printed on good quality paper, and it's a great size for reading while on the road. The atlas has maps of all fifty US states, ten Canadian provinces, and includes detailed maps for 326 cities. This atlas also has the best maps we have seen for Mexico and Canada in this price range. Two more features that we really like are the mileage and driving times map that covers the entire region between central Canada and central Mexico, and the temperature, distance and volume conversion tables on the inside rear cover. The state maps are chock full of useful, easy-to-see-at-a-glance information for locating places in adjoining states. For road trip planning purposes, the National Parks locator and the suggested drives section is excellent. This atlas is superior to products that cost twice as much.
Rand McNally
2008 Motor Carriers' Atlas

A review of the new 2008 road atlas will appear here shortly. The following applies to the 2007 edition: We purchase new atlases every 1-2 years for our personal use, and this year's edition is the best of breed. The boundaries of state and national parks leap off the page with the updated color scheme, and we find the use of the slightly muted colors for the different municipalities on each page make it much easier to use. As in past years, truck routes are easily identifiable, and the information about fuel taxes, road conditions, bridge restrictions, clear channel radio stations and other data vital to long-haul truckers make this atlas fascinating to read and use. The laminated pages and spiral binding make this atlas nearly indestructable. Yes, it's more expensive, but for serious road trippers, it's well worth the price. Not only will the pages resist spilled coffee, you can write on them with a grease pencil or "dry erase" marker and wipe it off later.

Rand McNally
2007 Road AtlasPerennial favorite, updated and rendered even more attractive by a new low price. You really can't beat it for value.

STATE MAPS
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COMPANY
PRODUCT
Benchmark Maps
Road & Recreation Atlases
Benchmark AtlasIn the last nine years, Benchmark Maps has established itself as the best source for detailed state road gazetteers. Unlike most road atlases, the Benchmark series uses landscape illustration to show mountains passes, marshes, canyons, and other geographical elements clearly. The maps look like aerial maps with elevations shown in relief, and it is easy to see at a glance if the roadway you are considering climbs up a steep pass or slogs through a swamp. These superb maps also identify little known locations, dirt roads, historical sites, and they provide the most extensive list of recreational opportunities we've ever seen in an atlas. Unlike DeLorme, the areas contiguous to the title state are included, making it easier to navigate when in close proximity to borders. Currently the series includes atlases for Arizona, California, Colorado, Washington, Oregon, Nevada, New Mexico, Idaho, Utah, and Wyoming.
Ultimate Press
Atlas & Travel Encyclopedias
With over a hundred detailed black-and-white maps and hundreds of photgraphs & extensive coverage of historical events & recreational opportunities in Idaho, Wyoming, Yellowstone National Park, and Montana, these two volumes live up to their "Ultimate" name. Excellent resources for Yellowstone & Glacier National Parks. Read RTA's review.
DeLorme
DeLorme's series of state gazetteers are a good place to turn for more detail than ordinary road maps. A blend of road atlas and topo map, the gazetteers can help you keep from getting lost when you're way off the beaten path, and they're conveniently published in book form for easy reading while driving. Something to remember when purchasing DeLorme Gazetteers is that they adhere strictly to state lines. This means that if you're exploring Death Valley, for example, you have to keep juggling between the Nevada and Southern California books. For this reason, we always carry a standard road atlas and use it in conjunction with the DeLorme Gazatteers.
Thomas Guides
Spiral-bound atlas with the great detail Thomas Guides are known for.

MAPPING SOFTWARE & GPS
Sources for online and print topo maps
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COMPANY
PRODUCT
Microsoft
Microsoft Streets and Trips 2010Microsoft Streets & Trips 2010 makes trip planning easy with street level maps of the U.S. and Canada. Send your route to your GPS device; connect a GPS device for spoken directions. Share trip details or itineraries with friends and family. Save time by setting your map to always start at a particular location. Choose specific roads to use on your trip just by dragging and dropping the route. Craig Antill, RoadTrip Advisor and frequent Forum contributor, is using this equipment on his road trip in the southeastern U.S. this week and provides this assessment of an earlier edition of this software. (1/12/10)
DeLorme
Street Atlas 2006We've been using StreetAtlas USA since 1994, and it's gotten better with every new version. In this latest version, the designers have clearly focused on "building a better mousetrap" and are directly targeting the users of the industry leader -- Microsoft Streets and Trips (see next entry). While we haven't field tested DeLorme's 2006 software ourselves yet, it does seem to have some nifty features. The "avoid routing tool" has been simplified and makes it easier to block out areas that you might wish to bypass when traveling. There is also a "MapShare" utility that allows for the posting of maps and routes with a unique URL for sharing with friends and family. The voice recognition software has also been enhanced and is capable of responding to simple voice commands like "be quiet" or "next turn" in addition to providing the industry standard of turn-by-turn directions.
Rand McNally
Although the online version of Rand McNally's mapping software is good, Streetfinder doesn't measure up well against the equivalent Microsoft and Delorme products.
DeLorme

Create your own topographic maps for the entire U.S. Includes automatic trail & road routing and realistic shaded relief or 3-D views. Discover 300,000 miles of trails, 43 National Parks, and 120 National Forest trail networks.

Garmin

Similar in scale to the USGS 1:100,000-scale topograpgical paper maps. The entire US is on one CD. Features trip and way-point tracking capability.

Alexis Publishing
Good introduction to using GPS equipment; includes a free CD with MapTech's mapping software.

WALL MAPS
COMPANY
PRODUCT
National Geographic
Distinctive design with bold colors and relief shading.
Measures 70" x 49". Scale: 1 inch = 44 miles.
National Geographic
All of North America (Canada, United States, Mexico, & Central America) Measures 30" x 23". Scale: 1 inch = 209 miles
Binford & Mort
Reproduced from the original four-color letterpress plates. Includes portraits & illustrations of historic figures and events of the settlement of the Pacific Northwest. Measures 34 3/4" x 19 3/4".
Ives Goddard
Display map showing North America native languages and language families
ADC the Map People
Display map of Washington, D.C. and everything within a 50-mile radius

 

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