Deciding on the best route for a trip

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elm_tx

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Joined
May 19, 2006
Posts
106
Location
Houston, Tx
Hey All,

What have various folks determined to be the best way for them to find good routes when planning trips to new areas?

We are wanting to take a real short trip to Lake Conroe from Houston, mapquest recommends I go down the beltway to I-45. This is the shortest and most direct route. However I-45 is under construction and there is a 3 - 5 mile stretch that is a wreck, very narrow lanes that are patched, asphalt, concrete and un-even. It's not fun driving in a car.

I know there are longer routes that will get me to where I want to go and avoid construction and narrow roads. What do y'all use to find something other then the "mapquest best route"?

Thanks
Eddie
 

Ned

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Feb 1, 2005
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25,107
Location
USA
We use DeLorme's Street Atlas.  If you know a route has construction or other reasons for avoiding it, you can mark it as such and the program will route you another way.  Or you can tell it to us a specific road by using "vias", points that you tell the program to include on the route.

There are other programs that do routing, such as Streets and Trips and the choice is one of personal preference.  We prefer Street Atlas for the power and flexibility of the program compare to the other comparable mapping programs.
 

vlady daddy

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Joined
Jul 23, 2006
Posts
104
Location
Texas
Delorme SA2007 is already available but base on what I have read on the Delorme Forum, folks are having initial install problems specially with the Microsoft Beta tester of Vista operating system.

For 2007, they do not support the on-line Preview function. Now, you have to submit an area map in question to the forum so users who already have the 2007 version can tell you if missing info or incorrect street data of SA2006 were updated with the new release.
 

Ned

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I wouldn't be concerned about Vista compatibility as Vista is likely to change a lot before it's released next year.  By then, all of the software publishers will have had an opportunity to modify their installers to work with it.  DeLorme is far from the only software producer seeing problems with Vista's much tighter control over user access.

I don't have my copy of 2007 yet but the biggest complaint I've seen so far on the DeLorme forums is about the road colors.  I don't consider that a serious problem :)  As for submitting mapping corrections, there has been a process in place for a long time for that and that hasn't changed as far as I know.
 

hleap

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Joined
Apr 18, 2005
Posts
160
Eddie,

I live in the Woodlands and yes, there are lots of other routes to Lake Conroe. It really depends where your destination on Lake Conroe is. If you avoid the afternoon rush hour traffic (2:00 PM to 7:00 PM), using I-45 would be my preferred route. Any other route takes you way out of the way and could be on roads much worse condition (Old Egypt Rd.) and more congested (1488). Unfortunately there just aren't that many bridges over the San Jacinto River and with all the commercial construction on 1488 its getting as bad as 1960 or Westheimer. You could try 249 through Tomball and Magnolia but you would also find that very congested at rush hour and you end up on the far west side of the lake.

Howard
 

John From Detroit

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Apr 12, 2005
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25,271
Location
Davison Michigan
Mapquest is supposed to advise you of construction but I don't know if it gives you an option to avoid.  Microsoft Streets & Trips which I use defaults to what they think is the quickest route... Trust me, you don't necessarly want that, I took path that, well, calling it a  street would be a real streatch (Goat trail perhaps but street,,, never) I do admit it was a TRIP however.

But you can check the "Preferred roads" option (This avoids goat trails) and if you don't like a route you schedule a stop or two around it.  i've done that when I did not like it's path,  I just told it I wished to stop at the McDonalds or some such, and it obliglingly re-routed me,  a couple of those stops and I'd totally avoided where I did not wish to go (that was last week by the way)

Street Atlas is another excelent program and if I were doing my computer over and did not already own a GPS receiver (External) most likely how I'd go

Having your routing software "On board" as opposed to using internet routing is a big PLUS in my book because I can change routes without being connected.... Some places you can not easily connect (Takes me up to 30 minutes if I'm in the middle of no place, faster if I can use the cell phone, Faster still if there is a Free Wi-Fi but so long as I'm on the sunny side of the grass I can get a connection)
 

Ron

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Jan 29, 2005
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Home is where we park it
When has I-45 not been under construction??? ??? ??? ???  Having lived North of you for a few years in the 90/s I can't rcommend any other reasonable way.  Besides the road won't be any rougher under construction that what it normally is. ;D
 

BruceinFL

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Mar 12, 2005
Posts
3,205
elm_tx said:
Hey All,

What have various folks determined to be the best way for them to find good routes when planning trips to new areas?

Thanks
Eddie


Eddie,
The most cost effective method is to buy Microsoft's Streets and Trips software (without the GPS locator) which is less than $30. If you don't want to spend any money at all, try Google maps on the internet. But with the software you can manipulate the route.
 

Shayne

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Jan 22, 2006
Posts
4,324
Bruce that's what we use and print out the maps showing the alternate routes of different areas.  That way we already have a solution should we devert or inm case something should occur that is unforeseen.
 

joelmyer

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Joined
Mar 5, 2005
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1,058
Location
Georgia
Paper Atlas costs less than $10.

We use S&T and have a Garmin but Camille still pulls out the paper atlas to check on them.
 

BruceinFL

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Mar 12, 2005
Posts
3,205
joelmyer said:
Paper Atlas costs less than $10.

We use S&T and have a Garmin but Camille still pulls out the paper atlas to check on them.

Hi Joel,
You are right but the scale of the various atlases doesn't allow for detailed routings. What we do is get the current free maps of each state we visit and confirm/plot our routing on them. Usually, but not always, they have more detail than the atlases. Of course if one never gets off the interstates who cares about detail.  ;D
 

Wendy

Site Team
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May 14, 2005
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12,555
Location
Colorado
We use it all. We have a paper atlas for U.S./Canada and detailed recreational atlases for the states we travel in most often (4 Corners states plus a few others). We pick up the free maps at visitor centers as we enter states. And we use S&T for electronic planning. Thinking about getting the GPS version of S&T but haven't done so yet. Mike keeps looking at TomTom/Garmin/Magellan but if he gets one of those, he won't need me to do the navigating !!
 
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