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Living Western Canada all of my life, my holidays have been mostly to Washington, Oregon & California. I have never been to Eastern Canada or the Eastern United States - unfortunately. :(

So when I read some of the forum members great stories of their daily or weekly excursions in the Eastern part of the USA, I have no idea of where those places are :?: , but I always like to learn something new every day, so I needed to find some good maps to follow along with.

I have noticed in the Eastern Canada, but in particular Eastern USA, that you have a lot of towns, cities and States in close proximity to one another. That is not really the case here where I live on Vancouver Island. The closest Canadian Province is Alberta and that is approx. 550 miles away :shock: . I chuckle when I see someone write that they travelled through four States in one day.

To help with my geographic education, this week I bought Microsoft's "Streets and Trips" software and installed it on my computer. So today when I read about Paul's great round trip through Iowa and Nebraska (Aftermarket & Accessories : Cold Weather riding R me, Sun Oct 24, 2004), I just typed in the places he mentioned into the "trip planner" and asked for directions. It drew out his route with a green line on a map that I could zoom in and out on.

That made his trip so much more interesting :) because I could graphically see where he went (could even zoom down into the streets of the small towns), and I could also see any other points of interest that were on the route that he may have not mentioned. Afterwards, I saved the route on the hard drive so that I could call it up anytime I wanted in the future.

The program also gave me the distances, cost of fuel and approximate travel times, plus an exact step-by-step text instruction of each part of the route. This is a truly amazing program. This is far better than some old out-of-date paper map. It will even tell me if there is road construction on the route (updated via the Internet).

Now I am going to back and read all the other road stories, & enjoy them more than the first time I read them, because now I will be there with you, the rider. (well, virtually!) :D :D :D

A highly recommended program!

Reg

ps. buy it and then explore Beautiful British Columbia! :wink:
 

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Watch it with Streets & Trips. If you are using it in Canada you will find problems with secondary roads and smaller roads, local road as a description does not help. One other problem that I have found is that if a street is part of a highway, the highway number is displayed and not the street name.
There aren't too many products that are available at a reasonable price to cover our Canadian roads. I did a couple of routes around Ottawa and found them to be useless once I got out in the country. It works fine if you have a laptop but so far I haven't stuck one of mine on the bike yet.
 

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vfdcaptain wrote
I chuckle when I see someone write that they travelled through four States in one day.
I have had that same feeling one or twice myself,
according to my route planer it's about 600 miles north just for me to get out of Texas. :(
 

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Reg,

We've got the same program. I love the zoom in/out tool because it enabled me to print out a color map of the course, section by section. This was helpful in case I wanted to slightly alter my route.

Have fun!

Bryna
 

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Reg, I live in Maryland, half way between Baltimore and Washington and am right in the middle of it all. We go skiing in New Hampshire and we can hit 8 states in about 8 hours. When we go south it is a little different. My mother is in Tennessee and we only go thru 3 and that takes 12 hours to middle Tennessee. So having as much space as you have is just as foreign to me. But, I have a feeling you don't have the traffic problems we have here. One of these days I will get up there, but it will have to be in the summer.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
If you are using it in Canada you will find problems with secondary roads and smaller roads, local road as a description does not help.
Sails, you're right. Most software mapping programs do not do justice to rural Canada. :( I think because of our small population base, and large geographical area, that it may not be finacially prudent for an American software company to put lots of time, energy and money into mapping some of our more rural areas in the same manner as they would do in the United States.

But for the intended purposes that I bought it for (following forum members on their treks in the USA), it's great! :)

Microsoft also has a second verion of "Streets & Trips 2005" that has a GPS module that can be connected by USB to a laptop or a Pocket PC. In effect, you end up with a "moving map" program that shows your position on the map at any given moment, plus things like altitude, compass direction and speed. It would have been great to have on my round trip to Calgary in September, but at the time I wasn't very sure about the software portion. I may get it sometime in the future, although it could only be used in the car...not enough room on the Burgy. :(

I wonder how well the Canadian portion of the mapping system is on the Garmin-type GPS protable devices that have been installed on some of the Burgy's?

Reg
 

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I've been using Steets and Trips for several years now. I used it on my recent Canada to Mexico excursion to plan my fuel stops.

Sometimes it recommends turns that aren't possible (the streets intersect on the map but it's actually an overpass, for example), and sometimes it gives a less than optimal route, but overall I really like it.

I've learned to "force" it to give me the route I want by adding "stops" at the intersections I want use, and when I'm trying to get to a house with an address that isn't in the database (new subdivisions, etc.) I'll just create a waypoint that's close and use common sense to get me the rest of the way.

I'm using a 5 year old version now, and should upgrade before my next big trip.
 

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vfdcaptain said:
...Where's the road report on your Canada/Mexico trip? I want to live vicariously through your experiences. :D :D
I've been a bad boy. I keep procratinating. I've been using school and work as an excuse, and a slow computer, etc.

I'll try to get it up some time this week. I promise (he said, with his fingers crossed behind back). :wink:
 
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