Testing Microsoft Streets and Trips 2005

Published by Andrew Hreschak in research and planning, the navigation
Published on 04/07/05 @ 07:35:00 pm using 412 words, and has 3153 views

I had a chance to try out Microsoft Streets and Trips 2005, which my mom got for me off a deal I found. (Thanks mom!) I tested it this past weekend when I drove up to North Jersey. Since I'm still in the development stage on this thing, I hooked up the Rikaline GPS to my laptop, had S&T handle the mapping, and off I went...

The accuracy was very good, with only one peculiar patch of erronious datum information while traveling along an underpass that was approx 1/4 mile long. The tracking icon drifted at an angle out into the center of the river, and then corrected itself after a quarter mile or so. I can only attribute this to bad signal deflection along the superstructure of the bridge. I didn't encounter this kind of anomaly anywhere else on the trip.

The speedometer on the GPS registered about 1 mph off from what my car was showing me (which could possibly be attributed to my tire pressure being slightly off), so I'm pretty satisfied with that. However, I'm not sure that S&T is going to be up to the challenge of functioning as a super-intuitive and easily controlled mobile GPS app for me. Here's why...

Navigation within the app is clumsy, and what seem like obvious keyboard combinations (CTRL+ to zoom in, CTRL- to zoom out) are just not present. Instead you're offered a slider bar with relatively tiny buttons that are just too difficult (and dangerous) to try to configure while driving.

S&T does do rerouting, but I havent found a way to get it to automatically reroute which, again, means typing and clicking (while driving) to reroute in the event of construction or a road closure.

The lack of speech output is not critical, but it's definitely something I'd like to have onboard, to make the experience somewhat more user-friendly.

Overall, and understanding that S&T is primarily a mapping software, I don't think it'll be the software I use for my mobile system. As a mapping software, I think I'll be using it a lot, since the maps are fairly detailed. It's the interface that makes it unsuited for vehicle-based mapping.

To see Streets and Trips integrated into the Roadrunner CarPC Front-End, check out my Acura ITX front-end design for Roadrunner.

Contemporaneous Auditory Narcotics:
or, What my speakers are currently pumping...
Juno Reactor - Pistolero

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