---------- ---------- PC Pro Realworld Computing: Paul Lynch - PDAs

Expedia Pocket Streets 2.0

Microsoft have announced an upgrade to the Automap Pocket Streets program for Windows CE, which was released as a free download earlier this year, and reviewed by me in PC Pro issue 32. They have changed the name to Expedia Pocket Street 2.0, and added a few new features, all of which sound like good, honest, but minor, improvements.

The new look for Pocket Streets
The new look for Pocket Streets

The major new feature is PushPins, which means that you can add your own markers to any map, and a system to search for them, much like the street locator in the original version. Maps are apparently much more detailed, which I hope means that I'll now be able to find major landmarks in San Francisco as well as street names. You also have control over the amount of detail visible, so that you can decrease it in urban areas, and increase it in empty rural areas, which wasn't possible before.

Streets 2.0 lets you define custom locations as PushPins
Streets 2.0 lets you define custom locations as PushPins

With 1.0 you could generate maps yourself, instead of using one of the 40 prepackaged maps provided on the Microsoft Web site, but only if you had the Automap Streets package running on a desktop machine. This was only available in one of the rarer Microsoft Office bundles, the USA Small Office one. Old maps will still work on Pocket Streets 2.0, but will be less detailed than the new ones; of which there will be only 15, but that's progress, I guess.

However, there is still no GPS support; this feature is only available in the desktop version of Expedia Streets, which would be funny if I thought anyone was joking. Unlike Autoroute for the Psion Series 3, or En Route for Series 3 and Series 5, this is just a map; there are no route planning facilities included.

This product is mentioned on the Microsoft Web site, which leads you into a download page. It then has an intensely annoying registration page before giving you access to the real download page, and absolutely insists that you supply your name and address before letting you through. The real annoyance comes when you have filled out all the forms to the scripts satisfaction, because the download page tells you that 2.0 isn't yet ready for download, and would you like to download 1.0 (yet again)? It's not my day, is it?


Words and design by:
Paul Lynch
Last updated: September 12, 1997

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