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PREVIEW: TomTom Maps-on-Line
Posted by Arne Hess - on Friday, 21.06.02 - 22:53:00 CET under 08 - Reviews - Viewed 9281x
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TomTom Maps-on-Line is a wireless mapping and routing application, using location based server technology through GPS. Once the client software is installed on your Pocket PC, TomTom Maps-on-Line gives you access to detailed street-level maps.

TomTom Maps-on-Line is a wireless mapping and routing application, using location based server technology. Once the client software is installed on your Pocket PC, TomTom Maps-on-Line gives you access to detailed, street-level maps of twelve European countries without the need to preload any maps. Maps are sent instantly to your Pocket PC as you need them; no matter where you are, you always have detailed maps of the exact location with you. In order to use Maps-on-Line you will need to connect your Pocket PC to the internet.

Screenshot Screenshot

Planning and Routing

TomTom Maps-on-Line plans your routes between any two locations, whether you’re by car or on foot. You can search places by name or just by pointing on the on-screen map and set your departure or destination. When you attach a GPS receiver, your Pocket PC can automatically use your current location. When planning a route between two cities, TomTom Maps-on-Line will seamlessly switch between detailed city streets and national roads and highways. This makes it possible to very quickly plan the best route between any two streets; within seconds, detailed route instructions will be displayed, offering turn-by-turn instructions accompanied by detailed maps.

In order to keep online time down to a bare minimum, you are given the option to quickly download all the detailed maps and route instructions along your route after which the Internet connection can be closed. The maps and instructions will be stored on your device for offline navigation.

Local Information

TomTom Maps-on-Line offers easy access to local points of interest. These include services such as petrol stations, car parks, airports, and train stations. Once you have selected a location, your Pocket PC will show you the best route to get there. You may also enter your own points of interest and categories them under "Home", "Office", or any other heading. These can be stored as frequently used "departure" or "destination" points for quick and efficient route calculations from any point in Western Europe.

Screenshot Screenshot

Technology

TomTom Maps-on-Line uses a memory friendly client application that can be downloaded onto your Pocket PC. It offers a highly intuitive look and feel and is fully consistent with the built-in Pocket PC 2002  applications. TomTom Maps-on-Line is built on proven and state-of-the-art technology; fast, high ratio compression, combined with local intelligent caching, ensures a highly responsive user experience and minimizes the time to show the map and directions on your screen. TomTom Maps-on-Line is the first application of its kind that uses the local processing and storage capabilities of the Pocket PC 2002 whilst benefiting from the Internet for mass data storage and complex calculations.

Coverage

The map below shows the countries for which Maps-on-Line is available. Please note that "Point of Interest" categories (Airports, Train Stations, Car Parks...) on offer may vary from country to country.

Costs

If you want to try Maps-on-Line, you can do so for free! Just download the client software below, install it onto your device and give it a go. As an introductory offer Maps-on-Line will work for FREE for 1 month. If you would like to use Maps-on-Line after that one month, you will need to subscribe.

On TomTom's subscription page you can subscribe for € 5 per month. Payment can be made by credit card only. Your subscription will then be renewed automatically every month, unless you unsubscribe.

Currently I'm checking which data amount is transferred wireless as this is the killer question for me. A to huge data amount would makes the service to expensive for the online costs.

Final Conclusion

This service is that kind of what I was waiting for a long time. Specially the combination between GPS and GPRS is required, maybe not on mobile phones (as I don't believe in GPS enabled mobile phones) but for sure for Pocket PCs. The interesting part of it is that I'm currently working on a column called "Connected but useless". This is/was (have to re-write it now ;-) about online services which give me great information but doesn't take my current location in addition to provide me the most fit able one.

However, I'm concerned about the price: maybe 5 € is okay for the service itself (even if I would like a more differentiated billing model with lower monthly fees but event based fees) but this service rise and dies with the connection fees. But I will track it.

Anyway: TomTom - it's a great idea and a superb work what I've see. Even if my Munich address isn't available and also not the one of my parents. This means that the street level isn't as detailed as on TomTom RoutePlanner and CityMaps which makes me wonder.

Cheers ~ Arne

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Comments
Posted by Andy Green on 28.06.02 - 00:00:00

I used it and it's great!

Posted by Arne Hess on 29.06.02 - 00:00:00

Yes, I've tested it yesterday on a trip an will upload a review soon. Great tool, even if it has some problems with translations...

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