Satmap’s On-line Route Planner and Route Share Network functions totally online, so you don’t have to install anything onto your computer. The sign-up charge is £80 but this is waived if you purchase a Satmap Active 10 Plus GPS receiver. It is simplicity itself because Satmap has taken a very clear approach to the way you get into this system, making Route Planner a doddle to use. So this system will particularly appeal to technophobes. Once you have tapped in your user name and access code you are away, browsing maps in various scales and viewing usefully detailed aerial imaging. All the tools and controls are intuitive, making planning and plotting routes a very slick process. You can either plot out your own routes and download them with standard route card information and a route profile, or you can make use of the extensive and growing list of routes through the site’s Route Share Network. For frustrated Mac users Satmap is launching a Mac-friendly version in early 2010. The Beta version looks really good with all the same features. But the Satmap On-line Route Planner and Route Share Network tailored for Satmap GPS users, which means that you really need one of their units to get the most out of it. And if you don’t have decent-speed internet access you can end up twiddling your thumbs waiting for some elements to refresh. Sadly 3D viewing is not yet available. Satmap says it’s on the way, but without it, it is a bit limited.
Access online only
Platform PC and Mac
The Satmap On-line Route Planner and Route Share Network is a stripped-down and fine-tuned package that gives you just what you need from mapping software and no more. It’s an excellent package that we rate very highly but it’s only really for Satmap GPS users so it’s of limited appeal. If you buy a Satmap Active 10 Plus GPS unit you get inclusive access.
Review by Jeremy Ashcroft
First published in Trail magazine March 2010