My name is Steve Hendel and I am an internal Senior M.I.S.
Consultant at Office Depot's Corporate headquarters in Delray Beach,
Florida. I had originally looked at MapPoint when I received the trial
version from Microsoft in the Summer of 1999 and I was moderately impressed.
Last week, I attended the Microsoft Office XP launch and received my free
copy of MapPoint 2002. I took it home and loaded it onto my eMachines 233
running Windows 98 and was even more impressed than before. (I needed to
take it home because I am still running Windows 95 on my computer at work
and MapPoint requires Windows 98 or higher.)
The maps are very well done, the streets are up-to-date, the
geocoding is accurate. The bells and whistles are a lot of fun. There is
more flexibility than before in how mapped information is presented, and it
works very well for simple cases. However, overall, I believe that
Caliper's Maptitude continues to provide more GIS-related features and more
flexibility in defining and presenting data and map layers than MapPoint
does. I also believe that the most comparable product to MapPoint in price,
performance, and data included is Maptitude and not MapInfo or ArcView.
My only reservation about Maptitude is that it currently ships with
the Caliper Streets 98 street data, which is at least a couple of years
behind. However, I am reliably informed that the next version of Maptitude
(4.5) will be released before the year is out and will include Streets 99
(or more recent streets information). (Please note: forward-looking
statements such as the preceding are subject to the exigencies of the market
and software development issues, so until Caliper makes the announcement
itself, caveat emptor.
Summary - MapPoint is an excellent mapping product and an excellent
buy for the data, maps and demographics that come included. One quantum
level beyond, taking a jump into full-fledged GIS, is Maptitude. Your needs
will determine which is best for you. ESRI and MapInfo products offer
pretty much what Maptitude does, at a much higher price.
Senior MIS Consultant
2200 Old Germantown Rd
Delray Beach FL 33445-8299
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