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  1.    #1  
    Saw this WM5 review over at PDALive but there's also a Palm version

    "Earthcomber, a free mobile navigation service, is now available to the owners of Windows Mobile powered devices.

    To the naked eye, Earthcomber first appears like any other type of navigation software – except that its GPS-enabled maps for all territories in the U.S. are conspicuously missing a price tag. All maps, “Look Lists” and “Community” features are entirely free, providing users with tremendous new travel tools at no cost.

    However, the power of Earthcomber is its unique exploration ability. Unlike search-box style, web-dependent mobile search programs, Earthcomber’s trademark and patent-pending service lets people set up and automate the equivalent of “play lists,” then searches constantly for vast and diverse personal interests as the user moves around the local landscape or distant destinations.

    Users can specify exact types of restaurants, shops, ATMs, hotels, landmarks and plot them on a map – as well as join or create groups that let them share or discover spots like where movies were shot, where crimes occurred, sites of public art or places to spot wildlife or enjoy dog parks, pictures, picnics, or freebies.

    The new Windows Mobile version of Earthcomber includes a point-to-point direction feature that requires a phone or Internet connection. Earthcomber makes it easy to connect from a mobile device via the "Wi-Fi hotspot location" data set included with every Earthcomber map.

    Even for basic PDAs that do not have any Wi-Fi connection, cell service or GPS capability, Earthcomber can still provide “combing” or sweeps of a person’s current surroundings via its touch-screen maps calibrated to figure out distances. For instance, a person can simply plant their “X” by tapping the screen on the intersection where they are, or by looking up an address. Then Earthcomber reports any and all “hits,” just as if a GPS signal spotted the location on the map.
    Saw this over at PDA Live

    “While Google can give you a zip-code full of what look like Chinese restaurants, it can’t tell you where the Kung Pao Chicken is excellent,” said Jim Brady, Earthcomber CEO. “There is a huge difference between having search-box access to millions of points-of-interest, and having a program that looks through millions of POIs – constantly - for the 40 or 50 exact things you actually care about.”

    The new Windows Mobile version of Earthcomber includes maps of every region in the United States. The patent-pending technology maintains individual privacy while constantly combing the area each person travels for anything from an ATM to a waterfall, cup of coffee, museum, bistro, school, golf course, bar or even local events.

    Earthcomber supports devices based on Windows Mobile 2003 and Windows Mobile 5.0."


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  2. #2  
    I think EarthComber has been mentioned here a few times. It's pretty decent, although it can be slow. Cool thing is you can load up several counties and it will move seamlessly between them. I have a large section of my state on my SD card and I can move all around between maps with no issues.

    The "play lists" are ENTIRELY user-submitted as far as I can tell, so it depends on how many people have been inputting data for it to be of any value. Locally there is nothing, even though it's a fairly large city. There are other things, such as historical spots, etc, which apparently come from a public database.
  3.    #3  
    I had seen it also but since they just released a new WM5 version, I figured I'd offload a lotta "is there a Palm version" posts
  4. ssrjazz's Avatar
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    Will this run off an SD card?
  5. #5  
    Does it need Java (like Kmaps does?).

    I don't like their web site (no FAQ or Knowledge base articles ..)
    Cingular GSM
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  6. #6  
    I tried this but have uninstalled. Doesn't use Java. Maps can be moved to the SD but it appears they need to be installed to internal first, then moved with the Earthcomber app. As indicated, the poi data seems to come from user input. Must not be significant in my area as there were only 2 american resturants/sports bars within 25 miles of my house. User interface seems overly simplified to me. Things like check all or uncheck all are missing. Maps are ok but large for the area covered and fairly slow to load from SD. Didn't connect with GPS receiver so not sure what routing or tracking capabilities it has, if any. Decided to stick with KMaps. Hopefully ulocate will eventually support it and fix the direction function or add GPS, etc.
  7.    #7  
    Seem you gotta add the free city guides talked about here:
  8. ssrjazz's Avatar
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    No. the maps can be installed directly to the card, you just have to tell the earthcomber updater app where you want them to go. It wants to put them on the device by default. It also does not SAVE your preference of where you want them to go, so you have to go into the updater app and tell it you want everything on the card prior to it updating.
  9. #9  
    I tried Earthcomber and it sucked. The overly simple sloooooow loading maps were missing and skipping streets. It never found a single address I typed in and a major state university I was visiting was completely forgotten about, just a huge unlabeled void in the middle of the map.

    I tried it for over a week thinkign it was my error and I just deleted it.
  10. #10  
    Quote Originally Posted by JackNaylorPE
    Seem you gotta add the free city guides talked about here:
    That happens automatically, but these updated guides are new.. That's from March 22. Worked great, lots of info in my area now, yay!!

    Thanks for the tip, I hadn't updated my install in a while.

    BTW, you can install everything directly to /palm/launcher and not take up much ram. Just a few flies here and there get dumped into ram.
  11. #11  
    I tried it a while ago. Maybe its time to reconsider.
  12. #12  
    Yep, it's great.. If you set the map range to 100 miles, yes, it's slow as hell.. But if you're at 2.5m it only takes a second or two to update. And if you're going to a specific location, setting the mark to show where you are, and fire up a list, it doesn't take any time at all. BTW, PXAClocker really helps here. At 100 mile radius it reduced the time from 140something seconds to 80something seconds, so I suspect the same holds true for most of the maps, about 40% faster.

    They have plans to make multi-level maps, so if you want you could go to a large view and it wouldn't take forever to load. Right now if your view encompasses four maps, it loads all four maps into the picture, which obviously takes a while. I wouldn't use EarthComber as a wide area map, that's for sure.

    Oh, a tip on finding locations. Don't attempt to put in a street designation. Like if you want to search for 300 Broadway Boulivard, just put in 300 for the street number and Broadway for the street name. I have, however, found some things it just does not find. Not sure why. One map I was looking for a specific street and could not locate it, finally found it by scrolling around on the map, and still looking at the name shown could not 'find' it in the application. Generally it works, however.

    I wish their web interface had a map interface for picking counties.. I sometimes don't know offhand which county some place I'm going is, although you can search for it, if I'm picking a few at a time that gets annoying. But I usually know where it is geographically. Or if I'm headed in a straight line down a highway for instance, I could pick all the counties along that line easily, etc. I might email them and ask about something like that.

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