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Author: Mary Anne DeCurtis
System Requirements: Recommended: MS Windows 95/98/NT 4.0 or later; 16 MG RAM; PC with 486DX/66 or higher; MS Windows-compatible printer; sound card, speakers; 27MB available hard-disk space;CD ROM drive; 256-color monitor with Super VGA graphics; Mouse
Map'n'Go, from DeLorme (http://www.delorme.com/), is intended for professional and leisure travel planning with extensive travel information covering the US, Canada and Mexico. A database of services found near highway exits includes gas stations, food, lodging, rest areas, ATMs, auto service/repair, local/state police and medical services. Combined with the AAA Tourbook database of accommodations, restaurants and attractions, I found Map'n'Go an impressive trip-planning tool. The ability to search by placename, address, zip or area code proved to be quick, straightforward and easy to use.
I defined a user profile selecting a scenic route for this trip (although the quickest, shortest were other choices available), avoid roads with construction or congestion, set my budget limits for accommodations and restaurants, places that accept pets and cultural attractions along the way. I then selected the starting point - Nyack, NY, ending point - Richmond, VA and intermediate stops - New Hope, PA to browse the country lanes and Philadelphia, PA. to visit friends. Map'n'Go automatically calculated the distance and driving time(s).
By selecting the Along the Way option, I had the opportunity to compile a list of attractions, restaurants and points of interest within 10, 20 or 50 miles of my route. Map'n'Go automatically compiles a list from which you can select individual items in order to obtain more information. I made a mental note that the day before my trip to download the latest information on weather forecasts, upcoming events and road construction. Note: radio station information is also available.
Viewing and moving around the maps is easy -zoom in and out. The problem of finding out-of-town destinations was completely eliminated. I was able to create high quality, easy to follow custom-made maps that let me zero in on my destination. I quickly found streets, addresses and points of interest. A variety of hard-copy trip prints include directions, maps, detailed location maps and an AAA-style strip map of the whole route. Map'n'Go supports GPS receivers. You can also upload maps, directions and AAA listings to handheld computers/organizers.
For those traveling families with kids there is the Kids' Travel Activities. Just print out a variety of fun, entertaining and/or educational things to do for all ages. And hopefully that will entertain everyone until the next rest stop. And, finally, another feature is the Trip Pix which let you create a slide show of your trip that you can share in person or e-mail to family and friends.
I found Map'n'Go a convenient routing program with comprehensive destination and location content. The online travel information is powerful and impressive in its depth and organization, so much so, in fact, that I don't know how I ever planned a trip without it!
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