More Information on MapPoint 2006


I posted some time ago about the cool new features in MapPoint 2006. I also said it was set to be released in Q1 of 2006 which the end is creeping up quickly, so what's the scoop? Well, I just installed the latest build, so you want to know what I know?


First off, when can you get it? Release to market (RTM) is still set for March. Which means you'll be able to pick it up at Best Buy in May. I guess RTM means start the CD stamping. Additionally, there is a software assurance discount running for MapPoint 2004 that if you buy SA now you get the free upgrade to 2006. Its a screaming deal and worth at least asking your MS account executive about.


What's up with the delay? Why are we always late releasing products? (To make them better) Because we're adding A TON OF MORE DATA FOR EUROPE - it would seem our European counterparts are always snickering at being the red-headed step child (squeezing the piss) - we delayed the release. I believe our European friends will be happy to know that Eastern Europe is going to be included. EU, EU, EU (futbol worthing chanting). If there is anyone reading this blog from a non-EU country that wants to know when their data will be in MapPoint, you may have to convince your polit bureau to join the EU. If you're on the polit bureau let me know if you'd be willing to license us your data and maybe we can work something out.


What about an Australian version? I love you Australians and your enthusiasm for MapPoint. I've really been pulling for you, but again there won't be an Australian version of MapPoint. South America (Brasil/Brazil) neither.


Is it just another data update? There is more than just a data update in MP 2006; however, most of it is via the user interface and not focused in the APIs. There was talk about rewriting the product in managed code and improving the API integration but we couldn't find time - the developers share time with other products. Improvements include better support for GPS devices (including shipping with a GPS sku), integration with Windows Live Local and a night time map style (like the one in MWS). Additionally, all of the driver guidance you see in S&T 2006 is now in MP 2006. The "locate me" feature from Windows Live Local is included which locates you based on wireless networks and reverse IP lookup - no API. 🙁


In fact, the only changes to the API are that the Location object supports two new properties: Latitude and Longitude. The MapStyle property now supports a road map style for low light conditions: geoMapStyleNight.


And, of course, a data refresh. 🙂


Still a pretty sick product, but I agree, tough to work with in managed code and definitely not suitable for a server. Which reminds me - I've gotten alot of flame mails about installing it on a server - neither MapPoint 2000, 2002, 2004 nor 2006 are server products. We don't build them for the server, nor do we test them on a server. PLUS, if you've got them running on the server you're in violation of your user agreement! Ouch. It says so in the license agreement. Now, using the ActiveX control, there are ways to distribute a custom application so that server-based custom applications can be handled, but everyone who accesses the application must have a local copy of MP licensed and installed.


Didn't mean to end on a downer. Besides, if you've got a server-based application you should use MapPoint Web Service or Virtual Earth.

Comments (17)
  1. Boris says:

    Any information about automatic route recalculation feature or at least about possibility to calculate new route starting on freeway?
    If is one of the major problem preventing to use Mappoint in the car with driver only. You need stop the car and create new direction when you miss the exit on hiway.

    +++++

    With MP 2006 you will have the same ability to recalculate a route based on current position (as you do in Streets & Trips 2006) by hitting F3.

    CP

  2. Rob Farnell says:

    I spotted an Amazon link saying Mappoint 2006 will be released April 28th.
    Link here: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/B000CC09UW/102-8657820-4158547?v=glance

    No sign of it on the UK site though.

    ++++++

    Awesome! An official date. Well, there you have it.

    CP

  3. Frank Z says:

    Will there be the ability to change fill color within the base maps?  

    +++++

    No. You still won’t be able to color the maps.

    CP

  4. Charles says:

    Is there centerline data for streets, or do all addresses still appear in the middle of the road?

    +++++

    All addresses will appear in the middle of the street if they are geocoded by us. You can provide more specific lat/lons that will plot the pin on the right (or left :)) side of the street, but our geocoding and rendering will drop it in the middle.

  5. Matthias Moetje says:

    Will there be a new PocketStreets version? I hope at least the lack of VGA support will be fixed, soon.

    +++++

    I wish. We were working on a completely new version, but the release has been delayed signficantly. It included routing among other sweet features, but it has been shelved for a while.

  6. Ron D says:

    I heard that MapPoint 2006 was -not- going to be released onto MSDN Subscriber Downloads for us software developers to test against.  Is this still true?  We have a software app that tightly integrates with MapPoint and I will need to test it against 2006.  The last thing I want is for a customer to call me, unhappy that the integration doesn’t work with their shiny new copy of MapPoint (and that our app isn’t ready for it).  If I recall correctly, this exact situation was the entire point behind MSDN Subscriber Downloads, so vendors like us get a head start on compatibility the latest versions.

    Thanks

    +++++

    NOT TRUE! MapPoint 2006 will be in your MSDN subscriptions this summer. Stay tuned.

    CP

  7. Eric Frost says:

    "Still a pretty sick product"

    ouch

  8. Paul C says:

    Does it have the direction up (rotation) capabilities like Autoroute(Streets & Trips) 2006.

    +++++

    Yes.

  9. Burrito says:

    Can you create a territory from a drivetime zone or other non-square shape?

    +++++

    You can’t create “territories” with a drive time zone, but you can create a shaded area using the drawing tool. If you need to extend this via the API or something it won’t work, but if its just for visualization you can draw an arbitrary area and shade the area, move it to the back, front, etc.

  10. allen says:

    Why doesn’t microsoft make it so you can manually draw territoties to be divided by freeways or streets?

    +++++

    Well, you can. MapPoint just won’t snap the lines into place. If you want to create your own customer polygon shapes go to View | Toolbars | Drawing to enable the drawing toolbar. Select the squigley polygon shape from the menu and start drawing. You can change the line colors and width, as well as the fill color.

    CP

  11. Arunpv says:

    I m using ST2006. Are there any major differences btw these 2?
    another question is the voice prompts it only prompts “take right in 1.8miles” it doesnt prompt the street name like “take 2nd street in 1.8 miles”. How is this handled in MP2006?
    Thanks

    +++++

    Streets and Trips doesn’t have the analytics that MapPoint has. That’s the biggest difference. The geo data is the essentially the same (S&T is a little dated now). The navigation is the same – so, if you’re just looking to get around S&T is for you. MapPoint also has an API in case you want to build out an application. 

    The reason we don’t state the street name is that there is a restriction from our data provider to invade their space. 🙂

  12. Knox says:

    Can 2006 use the +4 zip information?   Sometimes I find that 5 digit zip is not granular enough.

    +++++

    Unfortunately, no. It’s on the feature request list, but just can never make the cut.

    CP

  13. user says:

    how can one retrieve the shape of a route (an array of lat/lon points that accurately respresent the route polyline) in mappoint 2006? Is there an API for doing this?

    +++++

    No. We don’t expose route geometry in MapPoint.

    CP

  14. tc says:

    Any better connectivity to other msoffice items(excel,access,etc) without having to write vb code to send data back and forth….That would be nice..(import/export) was lame,

    +++++

    Unfortunately it is still lame where you connect to a remote data source and pull data into the client. If you want better perf you should look into using MapPoint Web Service or Virtual Earth – http://www.microsoft.com/mappoint/.

    CP

  15. Dino says:

    How can I create a territory using the drawing tool and link it to a data source?

    +++++

    No can do my friend. The drawing tool is just that – a drawing tool.

    CP

  16. Starbuck says:

    Which eastern European countries will be covered in Mappoint 2006 Europe? Thanks a bunch for the info from Slovenia!

    +++++

    You can see the detailed map coverage for MapPoint 2006 European Edition here: http://www.microsoft.com/mappoint/products/2006/coverage_eu.mspx.

    CP

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