Comments on: Review: Rand McNally Road Atlas

One of the great advantages of handhelds is they can compress a tremendous amount of information into a very small space. Rand McNally has taken full advantage of this ability by cramming its huge road atlas onto a memory card the size of a postage stamp. Guest reviewer Kevin Crossman brings us this review of the new PalmPak Travel Card: Rand McNally Road Atlas.
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Hook up a GPS

tipds @ 1/2/2002 1:59:40 PM #
Am I mistaken, or shouldn't Palm users be able to connect a GPS using the serial cable? I use a Sony Clie now, but I'm pretty sure the same think can be done with Palm brand units. They both support EIA-232 type connections.

Tip DS

RE: Hook up a GPS
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/2/2002 2:25:31 PM #
Sure, you can connect to the Palm via a null modem adapter. There seem to be quite a few available including the one for the Palm III from Pawgo ( unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be anything available for the m125/m500/m505 yet.

RE: Hook up a GPS
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/2/2002 2:43:02 PM #
Depends on how you want it connected... snap on or just cable attached.

I have the Rand McNally StreetFinder GPS for the Palm III that works quite well with the other map programs out there, both on my old Palm IIIx and new HandEra 330. Mapopolis works very well and supports the HandEra's hi-res screen... a big plus in my book.

If you go with a simple cable attached unit, then there are companies that sell converters that will allow Palm III serial devices to attach to other types of handhelds... but I can't remember their names (search this site).

RE: Hook up a GPS
Berliner @ 1/2/2002 3:36:16 PM #
I got my Garmin emap connected to the m505 via the serial cradle and a null modem adapter (which hooks to the Garmin).
It's a little bulky in the car (and no reloading...), but it works.

I am curious how the driving directions would look with a GPS hooked up. I assume there is no GPS simulation mode, right?

Kevin, good article, thanks for that.


...Wherever you go, there you are...

RE: Hook up a GPS, and my opinion
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/2/2002 4:18:21 PM #

In the program there is a GPS demo option from the menu. It shows a little purple (I think that's the color) crosshair moving along a route. The map kind of moves with it and you can also drag the map at the same time. In case you wanted to drag the map ahead of the GPS area a little bit. I didn't drag the map so far that the crosshairs went off the screen, but I can test it out later and post more if no one has added anything by then.

Pretty cool little app. It just doesn't get down very detailed, to the street level for instance, which is a bummer. I suppose it's not expected on a little 16MB card, but oh well. Maybe the could sell regions with more detailed info on em.

RE: Hook up a GPS
Berliner @ 1/2/2002 4:54:16 PM #
Thanks for the info.

And since there is no street level information (and no route definition), I will also not get driving directions as in "in 1.2 Miles go right" - is that assumption correct?


...Wherever you go, there you are...

RE: Hook up a GPS
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/28/2002 2:14:04 PM #

Pawgo is shipping for all palm models now
Null modems for all models

Does it work for Clie?

I.M. Anonymous @ 1/2/2002 4:20:59 PM #
Clie has the MemoryStick slot GPS, will this work on a Clie?

RE: Does it work for Clie?
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/2/2002 4:23:01 PM #
I've tried copying it over to a clie but it says to "Please insert the Road Atlas Travel Card."

Any ideas on how to get around that?

RE: Does it work for Clie?
kevdo @ 1/2/2002 4:33:49 PM #
No, you need the MMC card in your Palm OS device for this to work. (I didn't mention it in the review but the card is a 99.9% full 16 MB MMC card)

BTW - the PalmPak Games Card doesn't work for the Clie either.

-Kevin Crossman

RE: Does it work for Clie?
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/2/2002 4:39:41 PM #
You can't fool it into thinking the card is inserted? How does it know? If I have all the files copied ont my 64MB card, how does it check to see if it's "THEIR" card or not? Card device ID or something or what? Isn't there any way to "trick" the program?

RE: Does it work for Clie?
Ed @ 1/2/2002 5:24:32 PM #
Sorry guys but conversations on how to to circumvent the piracy preventions on software aren't appropriate here. I'd suggest you send some email to Rand McNally urging them to release this app on a Memory Stick or as a stand-alone application.

News Editor
RE: Does it work for Clie?
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/2/2002 6:17:34 PM #
He makes a good point!

RE: Does it work for Clie?
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/2/2002 8:55:15 PM #
Security concerns are fine, but switching out cards is irritating as well. I have the dictionary card and am going to get this new map card (also got the game card which was a) free and b) useless) I would love to be able to copy the contents of both to one big card.

Oh well, I am sure that someone will figure it out soon enough and I will implement it guilt free since I am paying for both.

I.M. Anonymous @ 1/2/2002 10:46:42 PM #
I saw Milpitas on the map & couldn't stop thinking: Didn't we trade Milpitas for some oil during the Gulf War?
Hmm... maybe we could us it to house some of those Taliban prisoners..
Just a thought

RE: Does it work for Clie?
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/3/2002 2:34:18 AM #
Ed, there was no real talk of doing anything illegal. One could argue that the discussion was along the lines of - "I bought the CD for my home, and I want to copy it to a tape for my car."

RE: Does it work for Clie?
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/8/2002 4:10:27 PM #
Is there a memorystick GPS for the clie T615C?

Will R.M. offer updates?

I.M. Anonymous @ 1/3/2002 8:47:25 AM #
One of the annoying things with atlases is that they get out of date, or are out of date when you get them. Will there be updates that can be downloaded from the R.M. site to get these maps more accurate over time? Being able to put these updates on their MMC card would help too.

RE: Will R.M. offer updates?
kevdo @ 1/3/2002 10:32:15 AM #
I doubt it. The best we can hope for is a yearly new edition, just like the paper product. Remember that the paper product doesn't have updating info throughout the year, either.

-Kevin Crossman

Still Needs Work

I.M. Anonymous @ 1/3/2002 1:02:40 PM #
Rand McNally crammed as much as they could into a 16MB MMC card, but the map detail and exit information are limited. I also noticed some miss-located roads and a missing interstate exit in the DC metropolitan area. I find it a useful substitution for those little pocket-sized road atlases, but it won't replace my paper maps or Garmin 12MAP GPS. Think of it as an electronic index to the Rand McNally paper road atlas with a lot of COOL appeal.

The look up function need some work to allow you use Graffiti letters to zero in on a location name rather than having pick from virtual alphabet buttons then scroll through tables and pick on a name. When you tap the USA start up map, and select Washington DC from the start up map and list, you still have to pick on W in the city index and select Washington again before it takes you to the Washington map. Clunky. This is a work in progress, and I look forward to future versions. You may want to skip this one.

Handera 330??

I.M. Anonymous @ 1/3/2002 1:48:39 PM #
Does this work on the Handera? I thought we needed OS 4xx to get it to work?

Great review.

RE: Handera 330??
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/3/2002 2:06:48 PM #
>> Does this work on the Handera? I thought we needed OS 4xx to get it to work?

Possibly not. I picked up the Dictionary/Thesaurus that Palm sells, only to find out the PRC file would not execute on my 3.5.x HandEra 330 (said it needed OS 4). I guess we'll have to wait for HandEra to post the OS 4 upgrade.

Anyone else know?

BTW... If you want a really cool mapping program, w/GPS support, optional door-to-door directions, support for hi-res screens, etc... check out Mapopolis ( Works very well and you can subscribe to updates at a reasonable cost.

Rand McNally Atlas

I.M. Anonymous @ 1/29/2002 1:54:23 PM #
I received my new Atlas card and got "fatal exception" the very first time of use on my 505. This is very disappointing considering I received this from the Palm Store....waiting for Palm Support to help out on this one.

Rand McNally GPS for the Palm III for Trail Hiking??

I.M. Anonymous @ 4/9/2002 11:19:14 PM #
Does anyone know if the GPS will give me readings off road? I want to use it for hiking and geocaching and my research hasn't made this clear to me. Thanks

better than a null

I.M. Anonymous @ 5/28/2002 2:10:47 PM #
Better than a null modem is the pawgo adapter

Warning.. Road Atlas doesn't work with Magellan GPS

I.M. Anonymous @ 6/19/2002 1:29:17 PM #
I just purchased the Magellan GPS Companion to go along with my Rand McNally Road Atlas. Apparently the Magellan unit does not work with the Road Atlas PalmPak because the Road Atlas application is looking for a different baud rate data feed.
RE: Warning.. Road Atlas doesn't work with Magellan GPS
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/8/2002 11:28:37 AM #
If this is true, then I will be truly disappointed. The No.1 reason I purchased the Palm and GPS, was for using it with the Rand McNally Road Atlas.
RE: Warning.. Road Atlas doesn't work with Magellan GPS
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/29/2002 1:13:33 PM #
The Road Atlas card is programmed for a GPS with a different baud rate than the Magellan GPS Companion (allegedly the NavMan GPS for the M500 does work). This would seem strange given that Magellan and Rand McNally have a marketing arrangment that bundles the Street Atlas software with the Magellan GPS Companion. Be forewarned that the Rand McNally Street Atlas software claims to be compatible with Windows XP. That hasn't been my experience.

Using Rand McNally Product

uedahideo @ 12/17/2002 3:43:33 AM #
There is a "StreetFinder/TripMaker Deluxe" which is relased as of 2002 and supports PalmOS with color!
You can use any map of Hawaii on the PC, but cannot download into the PDA, since somehow these map are not configure for the PDA format size, yet. (May be 2003 version)



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