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New Features in MapPoint 2013

MapPoint 2013 was released in July 2012, and is primarily a data update. It also includes new ‘Metro-style’ toolbar buttons, the addition of reviews to online business searches, and a number of other smaller changes.

New Toolbar Buttons

The new style of toolbar buttons are the most noticeable change in MapPoint 2013. These use “Windows 8 Metro” style black and white silhouette images. Color is used very sparingly – e.g. to show a selected option or color.  This is what they look like:

New MapPoint 2013 Toolbars

The new MapPoint 2013 toolbars (click for larger image)

This new “Metro-style” is intended to match the the new Metro interface implemented by Windows 8. Although there is a lot to be said for simpler images, many think it is a step backwards with many comparing the new Windows 8 logo and images to 1980s-era Windows 1 & 2.

Data Updates

MapPoint 2013 also includes a lot of data updates, including 2.5 million points of interest and 6,688,642 miles of navigable roads covering the US, Canada, and Mexico. A good example can be found in the Irving area, where MapPoint 2011 showed the Texas Stadium with lots of parking lot detail:

Sample MapPoint 2011 Image

Sample MapPoint 2011 image

The Texas Stadium was demolished a couple of years ago, and has been removed from MapPoint 2013:

Sample MapPoint 2013 Image

Sample MapPoint 2013 image

Also note the railroad which has appeared north of 114. This is the new DART (Dallas Area Rapid Transit) Orange Line which opened at the end of July 2012 – three weeks after MapPoint 2013 was released.

This small area of Irving is undergoing a lot of changes and will be a good comparison point for future versions of MapPoint. All three intersections between 114, 183, and Loop 12 are being rebuilt or are due to be rebuilt. These will be followed by new development on the Texas Stadium site and the area to the east.

The data updates do not include 2010 US Census Data. This will be a disappointment to many people, but it should be noted that the 2010 census data is still in the process of being published.

Business Search

Finally, the online business search facility now supports reviews and ratings. This little known feature includes online (Bing) search to be included in MapPoint’s gazetteer search. Here is an example where the map view (Las Colinas, Texas) has been searched for “hotels”:

Business Search in MapPoint 2013

Business Search in MapPoint 2013

Each business within the map view that matches the online search is displayed in the search window on the left. This feature was in MapPoint 2011, but MapPoint 2013 adds the star rating and Reviews link. The Reviews hyperlink opens the Bing Local page for the hotel in question. This includes user-provided reviews and the opportunity to add your own review. Depending on the business, it may also include a booking or reservation form.

Navigation Changes

A number of improvements have been made to the navigation interface:

  • Agreement to a “Safety Warning” is no longer required every time navigation is enabled.
  • The Navigation pane now displays the heading (north, south, east, or west)
  • Full screen mode displays the current speed

These are already proving popular with users of Streets & Trips, but should also prove popular with MapPoint users who use it for in-car navigation.

Other Enhancements

A couple of other enhancements have been made to MapPoint 2013. First, Drive Time Zones up to 9999 minutes drive time can be created. With a start location in the central US, this enables a drive time zone that includes all of Mexico, and the drivable portions of Alaska and Canada.

MapPoint 2010 added the feature to show or hide all of a pushpin set’s pushpin information. This has been expanded to also add the option to show or hide all of a pushpin set’s pushpin names. This is useful because the pushpin ‘balloon’ windows can get quite large and hide a lot of the map. With a lot of pushpins, you often want to be able to see the names without hiding the rest of the map.

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