Article by Dave Burrows
For ages I've been rambling on to the effect "Why
can't we get a single map, why do we have to be forced to loading a new map for
each area of the country we visit ?". Since then TomTom have now brought out
what I'd call the ultimate map. It's 84mb in size, and covers the whole of
the UK, and it's a dream to use! No changing map whenever I drive to a
neighbouring city, or when I get out on to the motorway, and I don't reach a
location to find that I've forgotten to load the map before commencing my journey! I also don't have to
switch applications between a street atlas, and a city map, but is it better ?
The quick and simple answer is YES! Much
less hassle! However over the past several weeks we have started noticing various subtleties.
Unfortunately to get the maps down to 84mb in size, there has to be some
compromises, and those compromises seem to be in data. Specifically when
you're zoomed out.
We took 4 screen shots from the various GPS
applications that we've tested, primarily from left to right (PowerLOC
Destinator, SmartPath Trips, SmartPath City, and TomTom Navigator). Now the
main two screen shots we're interested in are the latter two (SmartPath City,
TomTom Navigator). You'll see here, as the new TomTom Navigator has really
taken SmartPath Trips and City (aka TomTom RoutePlanner and CityMaps) and
amalgamated the two and included up to date map data, you would think that the
detail would be even greater on TomTom Navigator ? This isn't so, and
you'll actually see at roughly the same zoom levels that TomTom Navigator
actually has less detail than it's predecessor at 50-60% zoom. The maps
have also been changed somewhat, as now you'll see on the new TomTom Navigator
that you don't have an expanse of ocean below where the cursor is on the map.
Is this a good thing or a bad thing ?
Well it really depends on how you want to use your
maps. Most of us want to have very high amounts of detail, in which case,
TomTom Navigator excels, however if you'd rather have a less detailed map in the
form of a street atlas, then TomTom Navigator may not be ideal application. It really
comes down to Apples and Oranges. Which do you prefer ?
Personally, I prefer the better maps on TomTom
Navigator, but it's something as a reviewer we decided that we should bring to