MobileInfocenter
Lost in the Sea of Maps
By Pepper
8/9/2001


One of the neatest features of your Palm is its ability to save time and simplify your life. But with so many programs available it can often be very difficult deciding which program will work best for you and fill you needs. In fact, one type of program that can truly save you time is a map. There are lots of titles of mapping software available, making this a very difficult choice to make.

Earlier this week I went to Palmgear.com and searched through their software to see what kind of maps are available. There were lots of choices to go through, but I gave each one a fair try, in the end settling on three favorites: Mapopolis, Jungle Port, and HandMap. Each of these maps provide the basic features, but what makes any one map better than the others?

Mapopolis
When I started this review, I was using Mapopolis as my main mapping program, and I was more then happy with it. Mapopolis offers a user all of the basic features like locating streets but it doesn't stop just there. Mapopolis has two types of map: a free, basic map and an Enhanced map which costs $3. The free map has only the basics, but the enhanced map has plenty of extra features. There's the ability to find any address by simply entering it, finding any of numerous pre-programmed locations, and creating your own maplets.

A maplet is a user created file that can be beamed, viewed, edited, or deleted. Maplets are backed up on every HotSync operation and allow the user to program in their own set of locations to add into the base map. So a user can put in a week's worth of appointments, and then quickly locate them that morning so they instantly know where to go.

Mapopolis files all run off of a single viewer which is about 100k and allows you to have lists of maps. The typical map is a full county, and the size 500k. The maps do not support VFS or higher resolution yet, but are available in color.

There is a beta of Mapopolis 3.0 on their site. This adds support for GPS , VFS-compatible external memory, map rotation, search using city/town filter, large text for high-resolution displays, and more. It also supports the HandEra 330's high-resolution screen.

Jungle Port
Jungle Port is a free program that allows users to view maps. The maps are available for all 50 states, and there are currently a few available Asia with more coming soon. Jungle Port uses maps provided by MapQuest and runs very quickly.

What makes Jungle Port unique is that it ties in with a dinning guide and yellow pages. There's also the ability to mark where you are so you can find near-by points of interests from a customizable list. This software is also capable of tying in with your address book - a VERY valuable feature!

Jungle Port also has exceptional customer service. About 90% of queries are resolved the same day and and 99% are resolved within 24 hours.

HandMap
HandMap does exactly what it sounds like it should - map. There are two versions right now, HandMap Deluxe, and HandMap Pro costing $16 and $30 respectively. The main difference between the two is GPS support, and both versions have support for both the PocketPC and Palm platforms.

Including all of the basics, HandMap also has some unique features including VFS support. There is also higher resolution support for the Handera 330, with a version for the Clié coming within a month.

Pricing on HandMap is a bit more then the other products, with their entry-level viewer at $16. The maps themselves cost an additional fee, too. A 5-pack of county maps is $16 with an unlimited subscription at $48. Maps of cities in the UK are available in a 3-pack for $18 or a subscription for $49.

Conclusion
When deciding on a map, it's most important to decide what features work best for you . You need to individually weigh the pros and cons of every program and decide what fits your needs.

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All these maps and not a single...

I.M. Anonymous @ 8/9/2001 3:50:13 PM #
Hey, Pepper's commented so much that she's starting to post articles! :)

Anyways, no maps for Canada. So I'll have to stick to Fireviewer.



RE: All these maps and not a single...
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/9/2001 4:21:06 PM #
Hi there

There are maps for Canada, They can be located @ portableinternet.com. They have over 135 city including Toronto and other canada maps. The price is $20per city or $50 for all citys. Check it out.

Brett

RE: All these maps and not a single...
Snubolis @ 8/9/2001 4:41:44 PM #
Hey thanks for the great review Pepper!

Anyway none of these programs do support Canada, that's quite true, although Mapopolis has a database converter tool to create your own maps. That's something I've been looking at for making maps of Canada (Vancouver in particular).

I've checked out portable internet's selection, and they really only have the city proper, and do a poor job of getting the entire metro area. I just wasn't happy with their Canadian maps.

Those who are looking for Canadian maps, all I've found through my months of searching are those Mapopolis-type programs that'll convert bitmaps of maps to its format for viewing.

Snubolis
Vancouver, Canada

RE: All these maps and not a single...
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/9/2001 4:53:39 PM #
For any given review, there are always two responses that you can bank on:

Somebody whining about how Canadians were left out
Somebody whining about how Mac users were left out

I dream of a day when these gripes can simply be implied, whatever the occasion.

Happy palming, fellow elitist Wintel-using Americans!

RE: All these maps and not a single...
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/9/2001 6:33:39 PM #
Snubolis,

I am looking for a vancouver map... Have you already created one froma bitmap?

RE: All these maps and not a single...
mondo @ 8/9/2001 7:17:38 PM #
I've said it on the forums before - I am getting the sense that Canadians have a poor sense of direction. They always seem to be looking for maps.

Snubolis => hope you find what you're looking for



-----
mondo
Downunder

RE: All these maps and not a single...
Snubolis @ 8/9/2001 7:41:30 PM #
Hehhe I was thinking the same thing when I posted my comment previously. In response to other posters, no I haven't quite found good enough maps of Vancouver to convert, but I just noticed maps on CD now out at Staples and Costco, so I'm gonna pick up one of those and see how it goes. I'll post a topic in the forums once I have anything worth posting. =)

As for directions, no I know my city like the back of my hand, but when I show off my Palm it would be awesome if I could show it off w/ a map of my city, and then blurt out "yeah can your Pocket PC do this?" heheh



Snubolis
Vancouver, Canada

RE: All these maps and not a single...
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/9/2001 9:52:51 PM #
Unfortunately Pocket Streets can already do this. And it has Canadian maps (with Streets and Trips) too grrrrrr....

RE: All these maps and not a single...
Trevethan @ 8/10/2001 4:12:03 AM #
You are lucky toi be Canadian.. Try being European... We have to get up at 4.30 am, eat some cold poison, work 22 hours down the mill for fourpence a year, and when we get home our dad thrashes us to sleep with razor wire.... all because he find any maps for his PDA. Least we have GSM and text messaging though...



Nick Trevethan

Devon
UK

RE: All these maps and not a single...
JStraub @ 10/1/2002 3:32:22 AM #
FYI, Mapopolis now has Canadian coverage. You can visit http://www.mapopolis.com/search.jsp for more information about our coverage of major Canadian cities. Also, note that we are preparing to release European maps. More information about participating in our European beta can be obtained by emailing mapopolis100@yahoo.com.

Thanks,

Jeremy Straub
Mapopolis.Com, Inc.

gray scale

I.M. Anonymous @ 8/9/2001 4:16:42 PM #
I've tried all these in the past, last time more than a year ago, and it didn't seem to me then that they were really usable in black and white. Anyone with a grayscale Palm finding them genuinely useful? I'm sure I'll be a convert when I get a color Palm, but my PDA of choice right now is the Kyocera Smartphone.

RE: gray scale
Pepper @ 8/9/2001 4:34:37 PM #
I've installed and tried Mapopolis on my m500 as well. Although it wasn't as graphically pleasing as in color, it was still very usable.

-Pepper

I love my Palm . . . do you?

RE: gray scale
sub_tex @ 8/9/2001 7:49:54 PM #
I've been using Jungle Port for a few months on my IIIxe and i've never felt it wasn't up to par. The grid lines of the streets and the street names are very legible.

True, having color to distinguish other landmarks would be a neat bonus (one i'll be loving when i get my clie), but in greyscale, i can say it works great.



RE: gray scale
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/10/2001 1:09:31 AM #
Try QuoVidas, it is very fast on my TRGpro
www.marcosoft.com

RE: gray scale
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/10/2001 7:47:28 AM #
Quo Vadis is a great program. scrolling street names always let you know where you are and the way you move the map as if you were driving down the road is cool. Took a trip to Boston and with Quo Vadis and Vindigo on my palm, was never lost as I bladed around the city.

Vindigo

I.M. Anonymous @ 8/9/2001 4:19:17 PM #
I have found Vindigo to be very helpful. There is GPS support. It is free. The downside is that they only have a limited number of cities available.

RE: Vindigo
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/9/2001 6:09:48 PM #
Although they don't contain maps, I find the Weissmann City Profiles from NeoHand to be a great source of information when I'm traveling. Yeah, mapping would be nice, but I don't think it's as necessary as helpful content, particularly when I'm travelling on business.

No affiliation with the company, just a fan of their guides.

use your own maps

I.M. Anonymous @ 8/9/2001 4:28:45 PM #
Anyone know of any software available for the Palm that allows a user to upload their own digital maps to the handheld ( e.g. georefrenced vector maps and/or raster images)??

RE: use your own maps
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/9/2001 4:34:18 PM #
HandMap Pro offers the ability to make your own maps.

RE: use your own maps
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/9/2001 4:35:46 PM #
I think Mapopolis allows you to create maps with some software they have (or maybe had) on their Site.
-Si

RE: use your own maps
Pepper @ 8/9/2001 4:39:58 PM #
Mapopolis allows you to create maplets for their already existing maps, but not create all new maps. The maplets basically allow a user to add custom places to the pre-programmed list such as a house or business

Handmap Pro would probably be better for you

-Pepper

I love my Palm . . . do you?

RE: use your own maps
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/9/2001 4:42:16 PM #
Here is the link and the heading from the Mapopolis Site
-Si
http://www.mapopolis.com/developers.html
Build Your Own Maps With MapConverter and M2M


RE: use your own maps
Pepper @ 8/9/2001 5:01:14 PM #
I stand corrected

-Pepper

I love my Palm . . . do you?

RE: use your own maps
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/10/2001 3:39:15 PM #
Yes, there is Atlas from GPSPilot (www.gpspilot.com) that use a freeware named
"Cartographer" from the same developer; that allow it.


RE: use your own maps
Altema @ 8/12/2001 10:44:27 PM #
There's also FireViewer, which will let you zoom and pan large maps (and also access web pages and view video clips!). Unfortunately you don't have the address, street, or business search functions that you get with some mapping software. The files will be large, but map files get large too. I agonized for days about trading in my recently purchased device for one with removable media, just so I could keep more than one Mapopolis map at a time. The decision process ended when the kids spilled something on the box, which ruled out taking it back to the store. Oh well, I love the screen, but may send it out for a 4Mb ROM upgrade.

RE: use your own maps
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/13/2001 12:48:28 PM #
PathAway GPS Navigation and Mapping software provides a PC tool so you can convert your own maps for use on the Palm. PathAway is most useful with a GPS, but the layered high resolution full color mapping support is very powerful. Check it out at http://PathAway.com



Memory Stick support

I.M. Anonymous @ 8/9/2001 4:46:47 PM #
I am a frequent user of Mapopolis, for about 11 mnths, it has saved my B***, quite a few times (thanks guys!).
When they first created their enhanced maps I downloaded some counties, in my State, saved them on CD, before I went on a road trip to specific county, I would install it on my Vx, thru my PC.
Now I own a Clie 710, if they could get Mapopolis to work with the MS, I would buy the whole state and a few others too.....
I hope....
-Si

RE: Memory Stick support
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/9/2001 6:16:33 PM #
I love mappopolis to death! I have a m505....

One thing I wish it had though were broader highway maps (with less drill down details) that covered multiple counties. I was travleing through Southern California and could not see quite what I was doing because I had to switch between counties...



RE: Memory Stick support
JStraub @ 10/1/2002 3:34:51 AM #
FYI, Mapopolis does support the Memory Stick, though due to transfer speed limitations, maps must be temporarily swapped into RAM for use. You can store as many maps as memory allows on you Memory Stick for use with the software! More information is available at http://www.mapopolis.com/faq.jsp.

Thanks,

Jeremy Straub
Mapopolis.Com, Inc.

OmniSky & m500 series

I.M. Anonymous @ 8/9/2001 8:10:39 PM #
I know this is off topic, but I thought many would be interested in knowing that OmniSky is planning a Fall (Sept.) release for m500 series support. They sent out an email with that info in it this week.
RE: OmniSky & m500 series
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/9/2001 10:59:38 PM #
yeah, off topic. but glad to hear; thanks

What about...

tipds @ 8/9/2001 8:43:54 PM #
What about Rand McNally's software? It comes with the GPS. I don't think it's that great, but it does the job.

RE: What about...
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/9/2001 8:58:37 PM #
Rand McNally also comes on the Sony CD as a demo. You can download a free city also. Try it, you'll like it.

I also recommend JunglePort over Vindigo. JunglePort has a color specific interface and has more cities in its selection.

RE: What about...
tipds @ 8/10/2001 1:48:18 PM #
Hmmm. The version I got came with two or three CD's, and I have yet to find a location I can't map. I think the only thing you have to add are updates, which are free on the web, when released. $50 and I got the map software and the GPS.

Palm Maps...

I.M. Anonymous @ 8/10/2001 12:25:46 AM #
I have m505 and I've tried the JunglePort and Mapopolis... My review of these two software is that it is useful but limited.

For jungleport, it is information packed if you're looking for a business or a restaurant. I found a restaurant I'm going to try this weekend:) However, the area which it covers is pretty limited. If you live in that specific area, it is a great, but if not, your out of luck. I'll give 3/5 for its effort!

For Mapopolis, it is a better program as a eMap. It is definitely readable and zoom is very functional. However, the problem with this is that maps are shown as a county and if you live somewhere between counties, then you have to switch back and forth between maps to view the area of interest. This sucks... In conclusion, I like the interface and it is definetly usable for a quick portable map, and it is pretty cheap... I'll give 4/5 ;> but if they are able to find a way to stitch two or three county maps together so that readers don't have to switch maps, than I'll give 5/5!

What do you guys thing?

Sam

RE: Palm Maps...
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/10/2001 5:32:15 PM #
My mapopolis automatically scrolls between adjacent counties provided both are loaded on the device. I was frankly suprised at that functionality, but it's there.


RE: Palm Maps...
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/12/2001 3:45:33 PM #
Me too . . I live in Minneapolis and its really slick how it seamlessly joins Hennepin and ramsey counties . . . I may look into the enhanced. I was very impressed with this free software.

can't wait for hi-res color

AriB @ 8/10/2001 6:00:08 AM #
I can't wait to see what these maps look like when optimized for the Clie

RE: can't wait for hi-res color
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/10/2001 5:16:10 PM #
Rand McNally StreetFinder is already High Res color. It comes with the Sony Clie 610 and 710 on the cdrom, and you get a free download of a map on some big cities.

The high res is very nice, but the program itself is very clutterred and confusing symbols (i didn't try to learn them). as for the high res again, it's great, but since the palm has to draw 4 times more than a normal 160x160 screen, it takes a while for the screen to refresh completely.

Mapopolis Rulz!

Gonzo @ 8/10/2001 8:09:50 AM #
As a beta tester of 2.0 when it was released, I use it regularly. For those with external memory (like Handspring Springboard modules), you can move the maps to the module - freeing up internal memory.
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