View Poll Results: What is your favorite mapping/roadtrip planning software?

25. You may not vote on this poll
  • Microsoft: Streets & Trips

    12 48.00%
  • Delorme: Street Atlas

    1 4.00%
  • Rand McNally: Street Finder

    4 16.00%

    0 0%

    0 0%

    2 8.00%

    3 12.00%

    0 0%
  • Others

    7 28.00%
Multiple Choice Poll.
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Results 1 to 10 of 19
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Default Trip Planning Software

    One more poll...

    As we build our own RTA road trip planning software, I am curious about what software packages you use out there. I think I know, but real info would be better. In particular, I am curious about those packages that create maps for your use.



  2. Default MS Streets and Trips

    For pre-planning purposes, I use Streets and Trips. I create a rough plan and fit the trip to my needs and time, then when I begin, I use paper maps either from AAA or from the states themselves for the driving. I usually have a rough outline on paper for "oversight" purposes from the pre-planning (times, waypoints and mileages) , so I know about how far I need to go each day to stay on schedule, and how much extra I have if I want to deviate. Bob

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default Not much help for your program

    I still use the good old fashion paper atlas for planning most of my trips. But when I'm looking for quick mileage estimates, I generally go with

    For the web based programs, I still think mapblast a few years ago was the best, but I stopped using it after Microsoft bought them out.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Use It All!

    For mapping software, I rely most heavily on MS Streets and Trips which I have installed on by my desktop and laptop computers. If I'm at work or using someone else's, I tend to use MapQuest. The thing I like about Streets and Trips is the ability to rearrange routes on the fly with multiple destinations and get immediate feedback on what the changes in routing are doing to the distance and time involved. I also like the ability to set my own average speeds for various types of roads and to change scale at will. And it will update information on road construction on request.

    That having been said, software is only one of the tools I use when planning a trip. I have somewhere between 800 and 1000 paper maps as well as a handful of atlases and these will always come in to play as I try to get an overview of the terrain I'll be covering, what's available in the way of attractions, especially parks, historic sites, and scenic roads. I find there's nothing better for the synoptic view or situational awareness than 2-d paper. Besides, by and large, you can still get many of them for low or no cost.

    About 2 weeks before departure, I will sit down with AAA and get a customized Trip-Tik. The advantages of these are that they are easy to read and manipulate on the fly, give a decent overview of the road and what's available in the way of services, and give current info on both road construction and 'strict enforcement' areas. Also, now that they are computer produced rather than just pre-printed, they can be pretty customized.

    Once I actually hit the road, though, my primary reliance for navigation and making changes to routing falls back on the paper maps. I've tried GPS and computer generated maps and I have always been disappointed. So I guess my answer to the survey's actual question about which software package I use is MS S&T, but it is only one arrow in the quiver.

    Last edited by AZBuck; 11-10-2005 at 03:36 PM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Default "One arrow in the quiver"

    Quote Originally Posted by AZBuck
    ...I have somewhere between 800 and 1000 paper maps as well as a handful of atlases
    AZBuck, I wonder how many I actually own? I think 1000 paper maps would exceed my collection. But from where I am sitting, I can see 25 and there are a bunch in the files.

    I like that one arrow in the quiver concept.

    Thanks for the feedback from all, thus far.


  6. #6


    I only have Delorme Street Atlas USA and it is also the only planning software that I have used aside from

  7. #7
    RoadTripper Brad Guest

    Default Google Earth... two thumbs up

    I just downloaded the free version of Google Earth, and I must say, it is EXCELLENT! Wonderful satelite images of most of the country, digital relief terrain, and 3D buildings, not to mention a cool 'fly in' feature. I've been up all night playing around with it....

    I haven't tried to plan a trip with it, but using it along with Streets and Trips (S&T to do pritable mapping, Google Earth to get a view of what you'll be seeing), I think it would be a great, great tool. For those who are lucky enough to be a 'dashboarder' with some sort of Wireless Internet connection (cellular, Cellular Wide-Area Broadband) or just motel access, I would definately recommend having this on your notebook.

    It's layers function is very nice too, you can opt to have the program show certain things, such as schools and school districts, parks and recreation areas, sports arenas, Earthquakes, etc.

    The geocoding is, well, the same as Streets and Trips, hit and miss. Some addresses (like my home) come up Pin-Point, where my work (sadly, the AAA Building in Phoenix), is about 100 yards off (Google Earth, just like Streets and Trips, shows AAA Arizona's HQ at N. 7th Ave and Earll Drive, where we are actually about 100 yards north at 7th Ave and Flower.

    I'm suffering the Insomnia tonight, so I will plan a few fake trips with the program and get back to you all in about, oh, 30-40 minutes.


    *** Okay, I've gone and tried some things out. The program, which intergrates Google into the map from Keyhole, does allow some things that even S&T doesnt. The lodging layer looks to be fairly good. There is also another layer you can add that syncs your view with the Google Earth Community and creates pinpoints from submitions by users to their service (some examples include pinpoints of known free WiFi spots at motels, coffee shops, etc, to Amtrak Station locations).

    I tried out the Directions portion of the program, and I must say, I am very impressed. Like S&T, it automatically gives the most direct route via federal/interstate highways, but it also gives you a flyover of the entire route (yes, thats right, a High Res. Satellite image flyover (high res not in all areas, by the way) of your entire route.). For me, the route flyover option is a little too slow for my tastes (I'm impatient, I know), but if you broke your trip into segments that you wanted to see the areas "as real as you can get without being there or seing it on TV/Pictures", It's great. Again, with the 3D Relief terrain, you get a fairly accurate idea of the lay of the land... especially when the map view is 'tilted'.

    I suggest trying it out, seeing how you like it.
    Last edited by RoadTripper Brad; 01-15-2006 at 06:09 AM. Reason: **Tried out some more features, adding PS

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Default Cool but a RAM hog!

    Quote Originally Posted by Arizona Brad
    I just downloaded the free version of Google Earth, and I must say, it is EXCELLENT! Wonderful satelite images of most of the country, digital relief terrain, and 3D buildings, not to mention a cool 'fly in' feature.
    I have been using it for a couple of weeks -- Yes it is cool, and I have used to spot geographic characteristics I had not noticed before. Downside -- it is RAM and storage Hog. I have 2 GB of RAM on my desktop, so the fly-over is reasonably quick, but I wouldn't attempt using it on any machine with less.


  9. #9
    RoadTripper Brad Guest

    Default Only a little sluggish

    Wow... I'm running it just fine (save some graphic changing slowdowns if I try to work to fast or have many things open) on my machine, and I'm running approx a gig between my two Sticks. I'll keep an eye on my processor monitors and check that out further...

  10. #10

    Default Mapquest

    I've never tied MS Streets & Trips, but I'd have to say Mapquest is what gets it done for me. I also like AAA's trip-tik as well. Only time I had trouble following something from Mapquest was in Washington DC, but I think that was more of me not being accustomed to the weirdest set of streets I'd ever encountered and crazy traffic.


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