Best Travel & Map Software Reviews

Best Travel & Map Software Reviews

Travel & map software helps you to create precise customized maps for traveling to your next appointment, summer vacation or off–road trip with confidence.

Unlike online driving direction services or traditional travel atlases and topography maps, Mapping Software offers clever features that can change the way you travel. Features like, Points of Interest (POI), which enables you to add or search for special stopping points, GPS compatibility or safety tools like real-time tracking, voice navigation and contact information for local emergency services.

Handy draw tool features let you easily insert images, text or Internet links to personalize maps that you can share or keep for yourself. These draw tools can also mark trails or planned travel routes; some allow you to draw multiple routes on the same map.

Mapping software allows you to explore endless possibilities—on the road, on the trail, and on the computer.

If you have a trip to plan or to create a custom map, please see our side–by–side comparisons, comprehensive reviews, and articles related to travel to start your adventure in the right direction.

Mapping Software: What to Look For

We reviewed two types of travel mapping software for this site – street travel and topography based programs – and provided separate awards to each category.

Street Travel Mapping Software – focuses on driving directions and points of interests. Typically, the maps will include city grids, roads and highways, and contact information for local attractions.

Topography-based Travel Mapping Software – is for people who plan to travel into the wilderness by foot or off–road vehicle. Usually the programs include topo maps or cartography tools with elevation data and terrain information.

Before choosing mapping software, identify your needs. Are you going to use mapping software to build complex topography maps with manually plotted routes? Do you need to track business travel expenses? Or perhaps, have you promised to plan a glitch-free family vacation?

Once you know how you plan to use mapping software, then you can decide what features you need, how much customization power you want for your maps and how much time you plan to spend to learn the software.

When evaluating what mapping software program is best for you, consider the following criteria that Top Ten Reviews used to rate the programs:

Ease of Use
Mapping software should require little, if any, expertise to navigate and use the features and tools needed to create a map.

Feature Set
First, determine your mode of travel then search the software features to find the program best suited for you - street or topo. Features vary widely for each type of software. Overall, precision and customization are key.

Ease of Setup
Mapping software should be easy to setup and install. No special degree required.

Help & Support
Manufacturers that make contacting their customer service easy and timely are important. Indexing and search functions for help and support are ideal.

Map Customization
Personal customization of maps is the difference between mapping software and traditional maps. Software that allows photo, illustration, note attachments and draw tools can take your trip planning to a new level.

Points of Interest (POI)
Locations and sites, such as historical landmarks, entertainment centers, rest stops, and restaurants appear as icons along a given map route. Many mapping programs allow you to choose which types of icons you want to display and have contact information for local services.

Safety Features
Traveling can be dangerous, especially in unfamiliar areas. Look for mapping software programs with features to keep you on track and offer contact information to access up-to-date travel information.

Fugawi Global Navigator 4.5 Review

Fugawi Global Navigator mapping software is a navigational system for creating digital maps from any scanned map or map database as well as planning your travel course. Being able to import a scanned map is a great feature and could be very useful to some people. However, this mapping software is more challenging to use than most, and it doesn't offer an extensive feature set.

Fugawi Global Navigator comes as a CD with DVD bonus material. They also offer a free one-year subscription to an X-Traverse data plan. While this is more useful for those who are searching for topographical maps, some street map users may find it interesting.

If you are thinking about taking this mapping software for a test drive, Fugawi Global Navigator does offer a free 10-day demo program that can be downloaded from their website.

Fugawi Global Navigator does not offer as many features as our top pick Microsoft Streets and Trips or our second pick Street Atlas.

Unfortunately, Fugawi Global Navigator mapping software is difficult to use. At a glance, it's hard to differentiate between the different icons on the toolbar. We also found it quite difficult to figure out how to erase routes that we had created. We also felt a bit let down with the speed of the zooming feature. Compared to other travel and map software, Fugawi Global Navigator seemed to be quite slow.

Fugawi Global Navigator includes both city and topography maps. While the casual traveler will likely only use the city and street maps, it may be a nice function to view topographic maps if you are interested in making a side trip to the mountains for a short hike or checking out the local sand dunes for a day of 4-wheeling.

Our favorite feature – one that is unique to this software – is the ability to import maps. We found this to be a very helpful addition to the program.

This mapping software also offers a built-in odometer which is great for those who are also concerned about the distance they will be traveling. It's really helpful for trying to plan out gas station stops.

We were disappointed to find that while the maps show good detail, the program graphics and the mapped routes are not detailed enough to see clearly.

Fugawi Global Navigator mapping software also offers a 3D mode with a fun feature in which you can adjust the date, time and lighting conditions to see how the shadows would fall. This could be helpful if you are planning a trip in the early evening when the sun is setting and don't like being on the road in the dark.

The program also optimizes the number of track points (based on a user-specified number).

This mapping software is compatible with a GPS unit, palm or pocket PC. With a laptop connection to your GPS unit, you can use the real-time tracking feature.

Fugawi Global Navigator mapping software includes several points of interests such as schools, churches, civic buildings, housing facilities and many natural parks.

We were baffled to find out that unlike many other mapping software programs, Fugawi Global Navigator does not offer much entertainment or restaurant information. For those who are using this software for their daily or extended travel needs, we felt this should be one of the main features. Though you do have the ability to add POIs, it brought on false hope for us because it soon became apparent that you can only add these as points and not as selected icons.

To highlight one of the great characteristics of Fugawi Global Navigator mapping software, you can attach sound and pictures to waypoints that play automatically as you approach, so without looking at the screen you can tell if you are getting close to a waypoint.

You also have the option to download elevation data for the United States and can merge this with maps to create a 3-D image.

Using Fugawi Global Navigator you have the option of uploading your own maps. They also allow you the ability to turn any map into a digital image. We thought this was a great component of this mapping software.

Fugawi Global Navigator only provides a status box and lets you know the sunrise and sunset times. Sadly, there are no other features related to safety which we were let down by. We didn't have any problems installing Fugawi Global Navigator. The Fugawi staff was quick to respond to our emails and seemed committed to helping customers. The program comes with a startup guide and has a "What's this?" tool which we found to be quite helpful.

While we weren't all that impressed with Fugawi Global Navigator mapping software as a city guide, or even as topography guide, when compared to other mapping software applications, we did find one unique and helpful feature – the ability to upload scanned maps. To their credit, they also offer exceptional customer service.

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