Subject: Re: mapping software

Some thoughts on GPS mapping and travel...

You might consider a cheaper handheld GPS device. I've used the Garmin Etrex Legend model that costs around $200. It doesn't provide voice directions. It is most helpful on road trips or walking within cities when you don't know where you are (at least it helps you get going in right direction) and in checking for alternative routes or roads that are not on your paper map. It has very detailed maps. I have had problems using GPS in some cities where the streets are narrow and there are tall buildings. It requires a clear view of the sky to be functional. It worked great while driving around Cape Cod. If you know in advance which locations you want to visit, it can build step-by-step directions on your PC that are then saved onto the device. I also save locations that I want to visit. Its screen is much smaller than the ones built into cars but your "navigator" should have no problem viewing the screen.

It does require buying the detailed mapping software (MAPSOURCE). There is one for all the US and another for most of Europe. The small unit can only hold a small amount of mapping info, so it is best for short trips or within a city. It uses AA batteries (regular or rechargeable) or can be run off your car's battery.

Frank in Silver Spring Maryland