Comments on: Avoid Traffic Jams in Real Time with Mapopolis

A new real-time navigation product, announced by Mapopolis aims to eliminate time spent waiting in traffic jams for its users. The product actively searches for accidents, slow downs and construction on the user’s route and re-routes them if necessary to avoid it.
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A bit expensive?

Fzara2000 @ 11/24/2002 12:07:03 PM #
I dont see the use for this at the moment, since my Lexus Navigation does the exact same thing, provides a GPS tracker, gives voiced directions, and is much more integrated into my car.
Also, this will require some kind of internet connection, for ex., BT with a T68i, and an internet plan. So on top of that, 19.99 would be rather expensive.
I do have to award the concept however, this looks like a very innovative product, and I hope to see lower prices and maybe more software developers doing this.
^Did anything of what I just wrote make any kind of sense? :(

"Now thats just PRIME!"
RE: A bit expensive?
hkklife @ 11/24/2002 12:37:54 PM #
...and a Lexus (or any car w/ GPS system is inexpensive?

While I'd never pay for the service either, and would prefer an OEM integrated GPS setup on my next car, I am sure a lot of PIC readers out there will welcome this news from Mapopolis.

On a general note, GPS seems to be the holy grail that a lot of manufacturers are looking for. I know the demand is there from consumers, but the hardware prices _have_ got to come down drastically. My father and I recently bought a Garmin Street Track Color GPS unit--got a good price for it because the replacment unit is now out. I about died when I saw the ultra-high cost of the proprietary memory cards it uses, the cost for an additional slow serial cable for the PC, and for the mapping software. Total, the accessories came to about the price of the unit itself! I will probably E-bay the unit soon and look at a Magellan handhelf GPS unit, since those at least use standard SD/MMC cards for map storage.

What I'd really like to see is a clamshell type of device that resembles one of the portable DVD movie players (Pansonic PalmTheatre,etc) but with an integrated GPS antenna and DVD-ROM capabiulity to read maps from the entire continental US on a single disc. I could pack one of those up and hit the road with it and even watch movies at night when I am not driving. No expensive memory cards needed! Until something like that arrives, I'll probably pass on GPS (like the rest of the mass market) until the prices come down to a reasonable level.

RE: A bit expensive?
I.M Anonymous @ 11/24/2002 12:59:59 PM #
Wait, does you Lexus take accidents into account when giving directions?

RE: A bit expensive?
TrafficGeek @ 11/24/2002 1:00:37 PM #
Not trying to sound like I'm supporting this product. But this is different then the information you'll receive in your Lexus, or any other onboard navigation system in the US. None of the onboard system have available to them congestion or traffic accident information. So the route guidance you receive is from the shortest(hence fastest) geographical path rather then the fastest path considering traffic conditions.

I am a bit concern about providing this information to drivers while enroute from a PDA platform. Hopefully the primary use will be for pretrip data and decision making.

OT: And likely to be sensored, but ...
Token User @ 11/24/2002 5:10:54 PM #
... go into the voice activated nav system on a Lexus, and ask where you can find a BJ. Interesting result :)

~ "Don't be too proud of this technological terror you've constructed." - DV ~
RE: A bit expensive?
Fzara2000 @ 11/24/2002 10:59:16 PM #
"Wait, does you Lexus take accidents into account when giving directions?"

The European version of the BMW 740iL does, complimentary with iDrive.
If I do get the new G35 Coupe, I will still def. take the navigation, and use the radio to navigate through accidents. The whole *accident* part of the program doesnt justify the 19.99 cost a month, in addition to a costly internet data suscription plan.

"Now thats just PRIME!"

RE: A bit expensive?
gfunkmagic @ 11/25/2002 2:16:39 AM #
I think this meant to be used in conjuction with a device like the EMTAC Bluetooth GPS receiver. They have an article on brighthand describing how to use mapopolis with the EMTAC. Looks way cool in opinion.

RE: A bit expensive?
Fly-By-Night @ 11/26/2002 7:23:52 AM #
Toyota Avenses (plural of Avensis?) have integrated accident spotting (apparently very popular with lawyers) for the SatNav systems; so I assume Toyota can stick that into a Lexus.

BMW's iDrive is more difficult to understand than a PPC interface.

TrafficMaster in the UK (and maybe elsewhere) sell inexpensive (about Ģ100 I think) units that detect accidents and congestion.

I'm sure there are other examples too. I live in London, so there's always congestion! Smoke would pour out of one of these units if you tried to use it here!


More useful to travelers

Lowrez @ 11/24/2002 1:43:02 PM #
When I was traveling more on business, I would have killed for this product. Nothing worse than being in a strange city with 30 minutes to catch a plane and suddenly finding yourself in a traffic jam. Locally, though, a radio tuned to traffic and weather every 10 minutes does me just as well since I can reroute myself.

As for cars with DVD navigation, it seems that if a car costs $20K US or more, theres a good chance that you can get it as an option. At least, for cars introduced in the last two years or so. Given that, $20 a month again seems a bit much. Now drop it down to $1 per usage and make it as user friendly as GM's OnStar, and it'd be a winner in my book.

RE: More useful to travelers
Fly-By-Night @ 11/26/2002 7:27:28 AM #
Ooh yes, and RDS is useful too!


In Germany, this is standart and some more....

Schorsch @ 11/24/2002 2:11:39 PM #
In old Germany every bridge over the Autobahn is equiped with an traffic scanner which is linked wireless to an centraltrafficcomputer. Although accident announcments from police are liked to this computer. From there, all traffic informations are linked to every radiostatin which sends RDS signals (Radio Data System). This informations are linked to the carnavigationsystem. So all 15 minutes my navigationsystem gets an new trafficinformation (called TCS - Traffic Controll System). Related to my GPS position and where I need to drive, I have all accident informations an stop and go informations on my navigationdisplay. The navigationsystem although offers me a new route automaticly. This is all for free! (OK, every taxpayer pays it)
This system is in operation now since two years, but still, the informations are mostly to late!!!!
Its in two ways to late, 1. Im already in the stop and go when the informations are arriving, or I have still the informations on my display, and the announced accident is already cleaned up!


RE: In Germany, this is standart and some more....
hkklife @ 11/24/2002 4:39:19 PM #
Agreed. I was amazed when traveling to Europe over the past half-decade or so how much RDS has caught on over there. Even the cheapest new cars being sold currently--Skoda, Opels, etc. come equipped with RDS-enhanced radios. This was a technology with a fairly low implementation cost yet with a tremendous upside if utilized correctly (as the above poster shows). It could have been tacked on very seamlessly to the existing automotive OEM and home/portable hi-fi equipment for pennies per unit, assuming widespread adoption. However, I think broadcasters and consumers alike in the US saw RDS as the 2nd coming of AM Stereo and avoided it in droves, not considering the benefits that could come from it. The only 3 radio stations in my area that transmit RDS info show the station name and the format of music played-nothing more. Someone please correct me if I am wrong, but if I am not mistaken, in addition to RDS, there exist a slightly more elaborate system (perhaps piggybacking on the RDS signal) called ARI for traffic reporting-it will interrupt your CD player to broadcast traffic info at a pre-determined volume. Also, something calle TP ("Traffic Punkt") which may be just another name for the same technology.

Like GSM/GPRS and PAL, here's another technolgy where Europe has leapfroggged ahead of America. Sigh...

RE: In Germany, this is standart and some more....
elo @ 11/25/2002 1:37:29 PM #

In my last trip to your beautiful country, I was struck by this and other ways the Germans have outpaced Americans in adopting new technologies with real benefits for the people. This is, I think, clear evidence that government can play an active and useful role in setting standards and disseminating technology.

Regards, elo

What about voice?

treo007 @ 11/24/2002 2:33:53 PM #
I think this is a great innovation, but now it's time to utilize the impressive sound of some of the newer Palm OS devices. Mapopolis, if you're listening (and I'm sure it's not the first time you've heard it): voice prompted directions!! Other than that, great product.

RE: What about voice?
Schorsch @ 11/24/2002 5:05:10 PM #
should be no problem to integrate voicecommand.
The Navtech database already has it. The problem may be, that Navtech is charging extra license fee for this, and than, very fast, the Palm OS software will have pricing like PPC software. I currently using sometimes Digimap, (its only avalible with Europe database)this software just makes a pep before you have to turn. This is enough! I have although a original navigationsystem in my car with display and voice. After the first weeks of using voicecommand, I have turned it down, because it makes you cracy in a city. After a while, it sounds like you have your wife on the sideseat :-) - I just missed the commands:
Donīt drive so fast; donīt drive so close to the car in front, donīt drive so close to the side walk......................!!!!!! But all other is simmilar.


Think on a bigger scale

sdittm1 @ 11/25/2002 8:45:47 AM #
This product would be great for a delivery business with 100 plus vehicles in a congested area like Chicago.

If I'm a mapopolis saleman I think I'm knocking on a Ups brown door right about now.

No way! An annual fee you say?

mopcodes @ 11/25/2002 2:37:06 PM #

I'd rather spend money on something that interfaces with Microsoft Streets and Trips. I buy it every year because it works and I like the interface, but it only supports the Pocket PC. Some hot brilliant developer needs to consider interfacing this product with the Palm OS rather than what they came up with as told about in this review/article. I tried it. Yuck.

D. Martin
Former Amiga/Commodore Author/Writer/Reviewer


dsamuilov @ 11/25/2002 5:31:23 PM #
Guys, anyone tried to use Mapopolis fully installed on an SD/MMC card?

I am asking this because I use an older version (Mapopolis 3.1) which copies the maps to RAM every time you want to use it, and deletes the maps from RAM when you're done.

Has anyone used version 4.5 or 5 on SD/MMC, is this still happening on the newer versions?

sdittm1 @ 11/26/2002 8:13:39 AM #
I'm running mapopolis 2.0 and using an sd card.

When I exit the software it askes me If I want to delete the maps that were transferred into memory from the card. So yes it does delete them.



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