13 June 2009 ~ 0 Comments

(Products) Microsoft MapPoint 2009

First off, Microsoft MapPoint 2009 is NOT a Google Maps wanna be. Yes they can both be used to map out trips. Yes, they can both be used to find nearby businesses. But for me, that is where the similarity ends. Only a few years ago to map out demographic data took months of research and the hand recreation of data onto a map. With MapPoint 2009 a click of a button imports select US Census data and automatically overlays that information on the map. Tie this with the software’s ability to define territories and companies can now many valid decisions on where best to spend its time and effort. What I wouldn’t have done for this 10 years ago!

Other reviewers have said that the interface is “not fluid” and “kludgy”. While I have not used any previous versions of MapPoint, I can truthfully say that I cannot disagree more. I am an avid gamer and the map controls are very similar to those that have been developed for real-time strategy gaming. I found the controls to not only be fluid, but to make more sense than the control schemes mentioned in other reviews. That said, I do wish there were more options for push pins. I find the existing options greatly lacking. Perhaps as I use the software more I will find ways to make the pins and their tags easier to identify at a glance.

The Route Planner function has already proven very useful. Do you need to make a lot of deliveries? Create push pins for all of the locations you service, then active the Route Planner. You can then add the locations you need to visit that day. When you are done, select “Optimize Stops”. That is all there is to it.

After your route is planned, click on “Find Coupons”. After all, a person’s got to eat. Restaurants and other businesses located along your path will be displayed. Click on the business and you’ll be given the option to print a coupon. Even 20% off of fast food can add up pretty quick.

Overall I give Microsoft MapPoint 4 out of 5 stars. If I had a GPS, perhaps it would earn the full 5. However, the cost versus what I am using it for is a little steep when compared to similar products. Still, it’s a great product if you are going to use it for all that it has to offer.


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Product Features

* Updated maps–New geographic and demographic data
* Data mapping–Use maps to visualize the meaning of your data
* Custom territories–Define your own delivery or sales areas
* Programming–Build custom solutions and Office add-ins
* Go mobile–Send addresses and phone numbers to your mobile device

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