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OT: Good map print server on the web?

Discussion in 'Electronic Design' started by Joerg, Feb 25, 2012.

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  1. Joerg

    Joerg Guest

    Hello Folks,

    With Google and Mapquest printing out B/W maps for biz trips has become
    almost useless. Prints only half a page, lettering fuzzy, street
    outlines next to invisible.

    Does anyone know a better map service that prints _legible_ maps without
    nonsensical fluff and bonbon colors around them?
  2. Joerg

    Joerg Guest

    Yes, yes, some day I might buy a GPS. But it's one more gizmo to carry.
    And I don't want to have the laptop sitting in the passenger seat. It
    used to be so easy, Google maps .. print one side airport to client or
    home to client, other side for the local map ... done. No more, they
    broke it :-(
  3. Rich Webb

    Rich Webb Guest

    Delorme? Not web-based but ...

    I used the Delorme Street Atlas products back in the ancient days before
    GPS was available. The current product is pretty affordable (and it can
    talk to a GPS!) and has been polished over the years.

    The routing is flexible and you can print a one-pager, or "individual
    strip-map" AAA-style, turns, etc. Pretty customizable as well as
    readable/useable. "Map-style" colors.

    I (slightly) miss the geeky days of strapping the laptop into the
    passenger seat and plugging in the old serial-port Earthmate GPS. Ahhh,
    those were the days...
  4. Guest

    My cell phone beats any dedicated GPS I've ever used. Even very recent
    streets are in there.
    I have DeLorme Street Atlas for my laptop (and netbook). I updated it once,
    from 2008 to 2011. There are streets that were there in 2007 that still
    aren't in the 2011 version, like the one I live on.
  5. Guest

    But, contrary to their claims, it's *way* out of date. It's useless for
    subdivisions that have gone in over the last five to seven years. I give it
    two thumbs down.
    Delorme has a BlueTooth attached GPS. Two thumbs down on it, too. OTOH, my
    smart phone is fantastic. I bought SWMBO (and can't read maps) a GPS a few
    years ago. It's about to be replaced by her cell phone and a windshield mount.
  6. Jasen Betts

    Jasen Betts Guest

    I just use google maps.
    what bits don't you want?
  7. miso

    miso Guest

    I'll second using the smartphone. However, coverage is always an issue.
    I ran into a couple trying to use an Iphone in the backcountry,
    perplexed that it stopped working. Hey, it's on AT&T people. Worse yet,
    it is an iphone.

    Those Garmin Nuvi with life time maps are fine. Or a Tom Tom. What you
    don't want to do is have to buy maps every few years. The database price
    is obscene.
  8. Don Y

    Don Y Guest

    Hi Joerg,

    Print to a graphic file format and convert to B&W *there* -- instead of
    letting MS and your printer decide how to map colors, scale (or NOT
    scale! ) the image, etc.

    I like SnagIt! as a screen capture/"printer" utility.

    When I'm looking for directions, I use a GPS *as* a virtual map. Some
    don't scroll properly, though. Works regardless of "network" access,
    etc. And, lets me listen to my MP3's, etc.

    *Very* useful in that I can just type in a destination and have it
    find it for me (I don't use the navigation features, though. Too

    And, reasonably affordable (I think I now have 6? of them that I have
    bought or inherited along the way). Don't trust the maps, though.
    *All* of them think there is a back way out of our subdivision. There
    isn't! :-/ (IIRC, google suffers from the same delusion)

    OTOH, when I have to prepare a route for someone else to follow, I
    resort to google maps (though I often have to coerce it to show the
    route *I* want to take, not the route that it *thinks* I should take).
    Then, print to a "capture" device before ultimately routing to a
    PDF (that I can mail to someone).
  9. Guest

    I use Verizon for good reason. A cell phone isn't much use if it can't find a
    tower. I refuse to pay the iTax, too.
    Delorme runs about $50/yr, but isn't worth $.50. Updates aren't.
  10. Rich Webb

    Rich Webb Guest

    Probably varies by region; around here it's pretty up to date. Have you
    provided them any feedback on the new or changed streets?
    I long ago moved from the original serial-port model to the newer (at
    the time) USB-connected model. Nowadays it's the smartphone and a vent
    mount, though.

    However, there isn't one ideal, complete solution. I love the Waze
    smartphone app; the real-time, cooperative traffic notification is
    great. OTOH, the stand-alone Garmin GPS doesn't need cell connectivity
    and has handy features like the "intersection view." And, the Delorme
    gives one a much larger screen and more options. The days of the "laptop
    in the seat" have passed but Street Atlas would probably rock on a
    tablet PC with the right dashboard holder.
  11. Guest

    It's not by region. I've found these problems all over the East (South and
    North). Right now I'm looking to buy a house in Georgia. Something like
    10-15% of them have addresses that Delorme can't find. I haven't found one
    yet that GoogleEarth or my Cell phone (which uses Google's services) can't
    locate. No, I haven't contacted them, and I won't be sending them any more of
    my money, either. It's not just one street they're missing, it's everything
    newer than about 2006. My current street isn't even in the 2011 edition and
    the first house in the subdivision was built in 2005.
    We both just got smart phones. At work they have the Internet locked down so
    tight it's useless. I (usually) get great 4G reception at my desk, so...
    Just get a built-in GPS unit. 8" displays aren't uncommon and they'll be
    getting bigger. Fast.

    I thought about buying a tablet but I'm not so sold on Android. I have it on
    my smart phone so the only thing a tablet gives me is a larger screen and a
    kludge for connectivity (through my cell phone) or more $$ going out each
    month. X86 tablets are way too expensive, so I'm holding on that one.
  12. Joerg

    Joerg Guest

    That would bump my cell costs by about 20dB, from $5 to around $50/mo,
    and probably require being tethered to a contract. Rather interesting
    was when a bigshot corporate guy with his expensive phone couldn't get a
    connection, zero bars, and he had to use my cheapo phone which had
    crystal-clear connection.

    Maybe I go back to maps and compass. Or celestial navigation :)

    According to Keith MS may be the better deal. Or maybe I should only
    have clients in pristine backcountry areas that are easy to find with
    map and compass :)
  13. Joerg

    Joerg Guest

    I want it to be like it used to be until about a couple years ago: Print
    the map on the whole page, and most of all have street outlines visible.
    There's just no contrast in those things anymore.
  14. Joerg

    Joerg Guest

    Yikes! Ok, if I go into the wilderness expedition business I'll consider
    it :)

    That depends on where you have to go. You might have to buy it all over
    again, along with four new hub caps and some other things that they took.
  15. Joerg

    Joerg Guest

    Years? That's nothing. Talking about decades: UPS could said a package
    was "undeliverable". I called. "Sir, your street address doesn't exists
    and the driver used staellite-based navigation" ... "The street was
    built in the late 60's and your driver can get a map at the gas station
    near the Highway" ... "Oh! We'll be there tomorrow".

    Had a similar experience in WA state where the only vehicle left was a
    Mitsubishi Montero, similar to the one I have now. Another time they
    gave me an extra air filter and asked whether I was familiar with that
    kind of maintenance work. Mount St.Helens had decided to release lots of
    I normally print everything out. Beat the GPS of an engineer when we
    toured IC design places. Sometimes my "map on dead tree" was "faster".
    But now those map service on the web are screwed up.
  16. Joerg

    Joerg Guest

    Those links do not work with Thunderbird, it only opens an email window.
  17. Joerg

    Joerg Guest

    It is actually a very nice email software. Ok, maybe not perfect for
    newsgroups but I like things integrated.

    Can't, my news server carries no binaries. I never bothered to get a
    service with binaries because >>95% of Usenet users have no access, so
    there is no point anymore sharing schematic ideas that way.
  18. Nico Coesel

    Nico Coesel Guest

    I use Firefox and just hit the print button in the browser. I use to
    grab the screen and print using paint but that's too cumbersome.
  19. Joerg

    Joerg Guest

    So how many participants on s.e.d. are left on a.b.s.e.?

    Care to start a poll? You'll be very surprised.

    I am also using a 3rd party since my ISP dumped first binaries, then all
    of Usenet.
  20. Joerg

    Joerg Guest

    I tried the same because the print routine in Google Maps makes a bad
    print even worse. Problem: I only have B/W printers and on both the
    street lines are not visible. Because Google changed that in a
    nonsensical way, to a border between very light gray and white.

    In the good old days when Google Maps still worked it printed nice
    contrasty lines on the sides of each street.
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