Subject: Re: mapping softwear
Hi Ziners,

I agree with Lucy. One of the best parts of travel is the challenge of figuring out how to get from Point A to Point B and the chance that you might get lost. That being said, I accept that there probably are some circumstances where getting lost is not an option one wants to risk.

I don't have any type of GPS system, but I do have MS Map Point 2004 which does support GPS and gives extremely detailed maps (right down to the exact address) and driving directions. However, I've learned that you can trust it only so far, since it locates my own house 1/2 a mile away from where it really is, shows the roads neighboring my property in the wrong configuration and has a phantom railroad going right behind my house. (There was one there about 70 years ago, but the tracks are long since gone and it is a right-of-way for the utility company and a favorite route for dog walkers.)

Recently when driving to a staff retreat in a rural area about 40 miles away, I recently decided to test out the directions that Map Point gives. I arrived half an hour late after being directed down a road which ended in the parking lot of an abandoned factory. I think the idea was that I was supposed to drive through a fence and cross a small railroad yard to a road that probably would have gotten me where I wanted to go quite nicely. Once I managed to retrace my way back to where Map Point had misdirected me, I decided to follow my nose and my AAA map of NYS and reached my destination without further delay.

I am, however, using Map Point quite extensively in planning my cross-country road trip (leave tomorrow!). I'm just making sure that when there's somewhere I absolutely need to be taking local roads, that I check my directions with the locals!

Landra in Columbia County NY