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CD-ROM maps for Europe

CD-ROM maps for Europe

Old Aug 8, 99, 4:16 am
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CD-ROM maps for Europe

NY Times, August 8, 1999

TRAVEL Q & A / By RAY CORMIER
CD-ROM Maps of Europe

Q: Are there CD-ROM maps for European cities and country routes similar to Microsoft's Streets USA? -- Joseph F. Boyle, Nanticoke, Pa.

A: It turns out that Microsoft makes such a product -- the Auto Route Express Europe 2000 CD-ROM, covering 45 countries from Ireland to the Urals and 1.7 million miles of roads. It allows a traveler to plan customized trips, search for destinations and print out maps and directions. It can also be used with a global positioning system to determine your location.

It requires an operating system of Windows 95 or later or Windows NT Workstation 4.00, and minimums of 16 megabytes (32 recommended) of RAM, 85 MB of hard-disk space and a double speed CD-ROM drive.

For England, Scotland and Wales, you could choose Microsoft's Auto Express Great Britain. Rob McIntosh, international products manager for Microsoft, said the Britain program includes all streets in every city, whereas the Europe program does not show some small streets.

These products, however, are also almost impossible to find in America, he said. To find out where to order them, go to www.microsoft.com/uk or call (800) 426-9400. The list price for each is about $95, at $1.59 to the pound. A British mail-order company, Elstead Maps, sells them for about $79, plus $8 shipping.

Elstead also carries a Dutch product, the AND Route 99 World! CD-ROM, which maps everywhere but Antarctica. It does not offer as much detail as Auto Route Express 2000, according to Stephen Colebrooke of Elstead, but does provide printable optimum and alternative routes and multiple destination trips. It is about $67. Contact Elstead at (44-1252) 703-472, fax (44-1252) 703-971, or www.elstead.co.uk .

The Eartha Global Explorer by Delorme of Yarmouth, Me., (207) 846-7000, www.delorme.com is another world atlas, showing major highways and streets. It can plan trips by mass transit and be used with a G.P.S receiver. Cost: $39.
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Old Aug 8, 99, 12:06 pm
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Rudi, I own and use both Streets & Trips 2000 (US) and Auto Route Express 2000 Europe. There are major differences between the two products. MS acquired the AE product, but S&T is largely an inhouse effort and is more advanced. S&T has EVERY street in the US, and every street address (and even place names) can be searched and shown. It is now impossible to get lost on a US (or GB, see below for AE 2K GB) street if you have S&T. I use S&T to navigate into cities I have never visited and it works better than a map and questions to 5 strangers (3 of whom have no clue and 2 who give wrong directions). S&T has a wonderful feature called "Pocket Streets" that downloads S&T maps into a handheld PC (Windows CE), which makes it a good fit for current Windows CE devices and for car navigation systems and GPS (available now from Alpine and Clarion).

The AE 2K Europe product was bought by MS maybe 4 years ago and does NOT have street addresses, or even display every street. It is a trip planner, and shows primarily roads useful for intercity itineraries on the Continent. The "Europe" version does not have Pocket Streets, but Autoroute Express 2000 Great Britain DOES support Pocket Streets (download maps to Win CE device). It's probably a matter of time before AE 2K Europe gets Pocket Streets. AE 2K Europe is VERY useful, but I still have to buy Michelin or K+F sectional maps when I rent cars in Europe (but not in GB, since AE 2K GB is better than maps).

When I walk, bicycle, or drive in a new city, I have my electronic dictionaries and maps in my Win CE HPC, and I can locate my position by keying in a street address and telling Pocket Streets to find my location.

[This message has been edited by Eidetic (edited 08-08-1999).]
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