Wednesday, March 7, 2007
Posted by Don Tolson in "SOFTWARE" @ 09:00 AM
The main difference between this and a road-based GPS application is that you really can't ask GN “How do I get there?” because it will simply draw a straight line between you and destination, regardless of the terrain. Even using the street map overlay, Global Navigator is unaware of the use of streets as preferred routes for travel.
This application is most useful for back-tracking to the starting point when out on a hike (using the tracking function) or following a route predefined by you or supplied by others. The tracking function allows the application to mark your route as you travel, by recording your current position at regular intervals as you hike (or ride) along.
Figure 9: Setting up how GN tracks your progress.
Figure 10: An example track following along a street.
Then, once you've gone as far as you want, you can ask Global Navigator to run through through the route backwards and voila, you're back at your starting point!
On the Road
The Canada Data Pack which comes with the software includes a Streets map, which can be used separately or as an overlay on any other map on the PC version. For the PPC version, it can only be loaded as a standalone map. Unfortunately, it was almost 10 years old so it had limited use in driving around in the city. I contacted Northstar, and no more recent version is available. There are some major roads shown on the topographic maps, but none are named or 'bounded'. Street maps are available, I believe, for most major cities in the US and Europe as well, but be sure to check the date of issue/update.
Figure 11: An example shot of the Canada Streets overlay map.
As noted before, the street map overlay can't be used to 'route' between locations since the software is not set up to recognize directions, addresses, etc. I did, however, find the positioning on the maps to be fairly accurate (tested at various street corners and at known topographic locations) which is crucial for these applications.