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  1.    #1  
    First off this is by no means a professional review of either product; just an average Joe who owns both.

    As a long time user of Mapopolis for palm and PPC I tried TomTom over the last week on a 5 hour trip I took through NC and TN. I have used Mapopolis Navigator platinum for years on an iPaq. Anyone who's used Mapopolis on pocketpc knows it's a responsive and good program. When the 650 came out I rushed out and renewed my license with Mapopolis but for Palm this time ASSUMING the T650 version would be as stellar. Well anyone who's tried it for the palm knows it's years behind the norm. Slow, cumbersome and not very user friendly; especially compared to the PPC version. I resolved to use my iPaq for maps for the last 10 months or so since palm can't touch it. I had read many things about the TomTom and seen al the pictures and thought it was a great looking program. I never could bring myself to buy another mapping program. Well I recently bit the bullet and picked it up.

    TomTom for the palm I.e. Treo 650 is a really good app, and is leaps and bounds ahead of the Mapopolis counterpart. It's not though the perfect program and lacks a few bells and whistles that Mapopolis has but has a few that Mapopolis needs. For some comparison reasons I'll compare Mapopolis as a whole (palm and PPC) since palm by itself lacks so much this would be a one sided thread. I'm sure many people out there still use a PPC for maps using Mapopolis just like myself for many similar reasons. The purpose of this thread is to compare and contrast these points for potential buyers or people holding on.

    Equipment used: Treo 650 | IPaq 3635 with the elusive bluetooth sleeve | Fortuna Clip-On bluetooth GPS
    Software Tested: Mapopolis Navigator for Palm and PocketPC | TomTom Navigator 5 for PocketPC and Palm

    1) Trial Period
    Mapopolis wins this since they have one, although on Palm with nothing to compare to you don't know what your missing. It TomTom offered a trial I think it would help them TREMENDOUSLY but with so many people making PSNG and cracking apps I can't hardly blame them.

    2) Price
    Again Mapopolis wins, at $99 it's the cheapest. If your buying strictly for the PPC you can probably stop here as a quick trial of the app on PPC shows it will do everything you need.

    3) Install
    Both were pretty painless in my book, the PPC was a little more tricky for me since I can't use activesync on my IPaq (I have to copy cabs over BT or CF card) thus doing it this way on the PPC for some reason never asked to register TomTom like the Palm did. Don't worry though I have since removed it.

    4) Map Choice / Installation
    This is one of my on the fence items here. TomTom has a nice automated installer based on states or areas (I.e. multi state clusters) you are limited to installing the whole state. This is not a BIG problem if you have ample storage card space. Mapopolis allows individual county which are especially good for shorter trips or limited space. The problem is like me your forced to either install the whole state anyway or if your anal retentive like me you'll print a state map(s) of the trip your taking and install the individual maps for each county your traveling through. I know I know there are highway maps of the states but I like the POI information for counties incase like yesterday I had a craving for Arby's and only wanted Arby's. The POI's allow this to happen. For Mapopolis on Palm install the beginning county, major roads and ending counties. To many maps will bog you WAY down.

    5) User Interface
    Here the winner goes to TomTom, both Palm and PPC are VERY similar and the large clear buttons are easy to use. TomTom while guiding has a nice caption on the bottom showing speed, distance to next turn, name of next turn is on the top, satellite reception and overall trip info all easy to see. Mapopolis has many of these features and when using the mini bar (when turn by turn instructions are up press the PPC D-pad down) but Mapopolis lacks the current speed function unless you use the pilot pane. For Mapopolis on Palm the user interface is basic and clunky. There are limited options and for navigation you either have turns up or not, and if they are up they consume half the screen. One nice feature the Palm version has is a small optional box which can show speed in the upper left corner. It's almost so small though to make it unusable. Mapopolis (for PPC) does seem to allow for faster route planning though, finding places and route making require less steps and just seem to take less time (I'm coughing some of this up to the authors long term familiarity with Mapopolis).

    6) Route Planning
    As stated above PPC route planning seems faster since you have several better ways to find what your looking for. First, good ol POI finding in TomTom we were searching for some old caves (popular tourist attraction) and were required to tap the screen, press navigate to, press Point of interest, choose a category (and hope you know it), start typing the name of the attraction your looking for, then select it. For Mapopolis you must go to tools, navigate, find place or business, (and here is a nice time saver) start typing the place name (you have the option of searching all categories) I could not find where TomTom allowed you to search all categories, I was delayed one time trying to find something since it was not in the category I expected it to be in and was forced to try searching multiple categories until I found it. Once a route was found though there were no troubles... or are there?

    Like I said said I tried this on my PPC and Palm for TomTom, as well as Mapopolis for PPC and my brother in a nearby car used a Garmin iQue 3600. We routed all of them to this 'cave' in Tennessee, it was about a 30 mile trip, 3 of the 4 units had an identical route, the PPC TomTom though was a little more creative and had a shorter route. Well not tooo worried as we had multiple GPS units and maps with us we headed off in to the unknown territory. 2/3rds the way there we knew something was wrong oh so very wrong. The PPC TomTom unit took us off the nice 4 lane road to a 2 lane paved road, then a 1 lane paved road, then a compacted dirt road, then a rough dirt road and finally on to what my 5 year old son described as a "dark path in the woods" I kid you not I swore we were on a quadracer or dirtbike trail, not a road a trail. We continued though as we got with in 3 miles and at the end of the path apparently our attraction awaited. We eventually had to stop when our trail led us through a small pond (while I seriously considered Duke of Hazarding it in my 4 door car none the less the wife shot me a look like someone in the car might receive mortal harm if they so tried) Thus we turned around and routed back to a main road, all the time a courteous gentleman from TomTom told me to turn around you yutz your going the wrong way. By the time we found it (ignoring the courteous man) it was pretty much closed for the day, so we went home and tried again the next morning. This time taking the 3 unit unanimous route, we arrived and all was well.

    7) Accuracy
    Aside from my little 'adventure' above they both seem to have similarly accurate maps. I'd think though that TomTom might be a little newer since it was released this year and my Mapopolis maps have a date of August 2004.

    8) Praises
    Mapopolis> Trial unit, ease of use, statewide major roadmaps, the ability to scroll about the screen without have to drill down into the 'browse map' feature, quick route to's on the main screen, easy to use via's and route-thrus, easy searching capabilities on the PPC and kind of slow and clunky on the Palm version. The ability to set highway preferences either yes or no.

    TomTom> Nice 3D viewing option, VERY smooth plotting while driving, nice auto zoom in and out while driving (very smooth scrolling). Maps are the same for PPC and Palm. Great road width scaling as the maps zoom in and out. Fast route planning (the actual determining of the route, it's 8-10 times faster than the Palm Mapopolis counterpart). Vibrant colors and details, easy to see when working on and easy to 'glance at'.

    9) Gripes
    Mapopolis> Lackluster and clunky interface on palm, slow searching and routing on the palm version, a lack of a 'status bar' on the palm version, lack of good color customization on the palm version. Lack of a 3D view on the PPC version but a semi functional one on the palm version. The Palm version has a large triangle showing your vehicle and it needs to be heavily reduced in size. The Palm version on screen tracking is choppy, it does not move fluidly like the other programs do. Different maps for PPC and Palm.

    TomTom> No trial of the software. Difficult BT GPS use, It asks for the passkey EVERYTIME I use it, I now know just to keep entering the 0000 and after the 3rd or 4th time it will see it. Tedious POI searching. No free map browsing without entering settings and selecting 'browse map'. When browsing the map you can not tap and hold to 'route to' or 'route thru' you need to enter the navigate to option to set a point. No zoom option, let me qualify this by saying yes you can zoom in and out but after a few seconds it returns to preset 'height'. Sometimes I like to have the map zoomed out when I'm on a long road like a highway. The Garmin iQue does this best, you can set it to zoom out as far as the next turn is. The lack of a customized color palette, they offer nearly a dozen options of color schemes to choose from but I can't quite find one I love. The lack of a highway preference other than no highways (should have a prefer highway button).

    Well that's it for now, I really could go on and nit pick each one for ever as they both are imperfect products. Contrary to what it may seem by the large TomTom gripes I really do think it is a superior product for the Palm. The Palm and PPC version of TomTom are VERY similar and I didn't notice anything one offered the other different aside from screen real estate. If your looking for a good mapping software on the Treo 650 TomTom is your solution. If your looking to replace the Mapopolis PPC based solution you hang on to, this is definitely a viable option. While I haven't sold my iPaq yet unless I start having major troubles with TomTom that's not to far off in the future.

    I'm not claiming to be an expert on either piece of software, heck I haven't even read the manual (I have TomTom's right here just lazy). but I have been using PDA GPS units for many years. I'm open to feedback and questions so please fire away.

    Last edited by turbosteve; 10/26/2005 at 02:39 PM.
  2. #2  
    Thanks for taking the time to put this together.
  3. #3  
    I'm not familiar with TomTom but have been using Mapopolis (Palm) and am somewhat happy with it. It's functional and can do most things I need it to (better interfacing with my address book would be a nice plus). I'm wondering if TomTom has a similar product to Mapopolis' NavCard. I use the NavCard which is great because there is no messing around with maps at all. They send you a 1 Gig SD card with Mapopolis plus all the maps (U.S.) seamlessly loaded on it. This is done much more efficiently than loading all the individual counties on your SD card. Even better, I simply copied that NavCard to a 2 GB SD card and it leaves me with 1 gig for music, docs, etc... I like some of the points you brought up about TomTom and am interested but I hated messing around with maps. I just want to have everything loaded seamlessly. Is there a similar solution from TomTom? Thanks for taking the time to review.
  4. #4  
    Fantastic! Thanks for this. TC should post to the front page.
    <a href="">Beergeek</a> - History: Newton>Pilot Pro>Visor (blue)>Pencil>Toshiba e740>Treo 300>Treo 600>Treo 650>Cingular 8125> <b>Treo 650</b>
  5.    #5  
    phattysalz> I'm not aware of a SD package but you can do the same thing just install the whole set of maps on the SD card from the Cd's. One thing TomTom does have though you'd be interested is a program called Cantacts Navigation which is included and when you open it it allows you to cycle through your address book and 'show on map' or 'navigate to'.

  6. #6  
    I've been using TT Nav 4.420. I rec'd a V5 upgrade free, but never installed. Other than missing the contacts integration added by V5, V4 works great for me (it'd be nice to know if I could add it on top of V4).

    One thing I don't like about TT is the fact there is no seemless navIgation across maps. Can Mapopolis do this?
  7. #7  
    I have had my first big test of TomTom this week in Denver. I have used it for several months, but I have been in areas that I was somewhat familiar with. I came to Denver this week and have not driven around here in more than 15 years. I got off the plane, rented a car, put my Delorme on the dash and took off for the hotel. It took me right to the front door even after I missed an exit. It wasn't TomToms fault. I just got caught in traffic and could not get over to exit. TomTom recalculated and worked like a charm. We have gone out to eat at several places and it has take us to the location perfectly. The 3D view makes it more than adequate to view on a Treo.
  8.    #8  
    Mapopolis can do seemless map opening and it works well on PPc but on Palm they recommend not putting to many maps on it since it bogs it down and can cause a crash if there are to many. The number that comes to mind is like 12mb, I have nearly 30 on mine for my 3 state trip this last weekend and it took minutes just to open the program and recalculate the route. First time I put all the maps on the card and opened it I thought it froze up it took so long and I reset it, next time I just gave it more time.

  9. #9  
    turbosteve> when you load all the maps on the SD with TomTom, does it bog the system down? As mentioned before, this was a major issue with several Mapopolis maps being loaded into memory. That's what made the SD Navigation card so helpful. It is completely seamless and is much quicker than the individual counties being loaded.
  10. #10  
    Another quick thought - can TomTom integrate with Beyond Contacts? Mapopolis couldn't, but I never got it to work right with the Treo Contacts anyway.
  11.    #11  
    I couldnt notice any performance issues when loading maps, it seemed completely fluid. I did notice though with Mapopolis though that the more maps you had the slower it got. As far as the contact question, I have never used beyond contacts (I own contacts 5 but can't see where it interfaces) but the built in app from TomTom seems to do the trick.


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