|Subject: Re: mapping softwear|
I suppose you are talking about GPS devices. They can be used for hiking and boating as well as for car usage. I bought a Garmin GPS Deluxe for a trip to Westcliffe, CO. It got me back and forth to the airport in Colorado Springs. Since then I've used it for Long Island, NY, Portland,OR and most recently San Simeon,CA for sightseeing purposes.
If you decide to buy the Garmin model, you download the software and zoom in which state(s) you'd like to know about. Once downloaded, you can make waypoints for hotels, restaurants, movie theatres, gas stations and so on. It's also handy for lighting up in the evening time and speaks to you if you'd like.'In 500 feet turn right' for example.
I believe they have a European model as well as for Canada. It's at http://www.garmin.com
If you and your wife can afford a Garmin, go for it. Especially if you think your family may be going on future trips to the US/and or Europe. Mine cost $900.00 in summer 2003. Now I believe it's gone down to $600. or so. Thankfully one can view prices from competitors online --that's what I did.
Hope this helps, Nelly MS