February 1996

Cyber News and Reviews is a monthly column published for parents, teachers & business owners featuring kids educational software reviews, business software reviews (small business & home business), games and entertainment articles, a free resource since 1995.


DeLorme Mapping: Street Atlas USA 3.0

With this CD-ROM product from DeLorme Mapping of Freeport, Maine, you will never have to ask for directions again. This disc (available for the Macintosh or IBM compatible) is amazingly jam packed with every street in the United States. It's hard to im agine, but the disc has over twelve million streets, allowing you to search, view and then print detailed maps of any area of the country. Not only does it cover all the streets, it also has over one million maps for lakes, ponds, rivers, parks and railr oads displayed on your screen in full color (I'm impressed--and you'll be too, once you see it in action). So, if you buy this product you should never get lost again.

The software is very easy to use and it's fast. After you decide what area you want to map, you can use a number of tools to find what you're looking for. You can search by street name, zip code and phone number (area code and exchange). After you've found the street or area you'd like to map, you can zoom in or out and reposition the map until you've got it the way you want it. The next step is to print what you've located. Or, you can copy the image to the clipboard, and then use it with other ap plications.

Let's say you've planned a party and want to incorporate a map with your invitation to direct your guests to that hideaway clubhouse on a private lake, where even in the day it's difficult to find. And if your party is at night, you're sure to lose half the invited guests without detailed directions. Well, your problem is solved. All you have to do is paste the image into your letter or invitation design and your guests will find that secluded clubhouse day or night (at least most of them).

Another excellent application is for business. Let's say you've opened a new business and want to get customers out to your shop. One way is to offer a free product or service either by direct mail, or a newspaper advertisement. Now, it's easy enough to include a map to your business location.

Just when you thought that Street Atlas USA did everything you'd need for mapping software, version 3.0 does even more (over the previous version 2.0). Maps can be customized with their new editing features that allow adding annotations, map notes and sy mbols. Another new feature allows users to Email saved map files to other Street Atlas USA 3.0 users. And finally, you can link to another Delorme CD-ROM product called Phone Search USA. This CD allows you look up listed phone numbers and then locate the corresponding address (residential or business) on Street Atlas USA.

Street Atlas USA can be found for the street price (no pun intended) of around $79. All I can say is that this is a great product, for business or home use, and I recommend it.