Find Your Way with a Treo

By Bruce Brown  |  Posted 2003-08-13 Print this article Print

Attach the Mapopolis GPS to a Treo and forget about calling for directions.

Your PDA becomes a valuable navigation aid with Mapopolis.coms GPS add-ons for most popular makes of Palm OS and PocketPC handhelds. We tested the Mapopolis GPS for the Handspring Treo ($180 street). The bundle includes a National Marine Electronics Association–compatible (and waterproof) GPS module, a Mapopolis v.5.16 PDA mapping application, and downloadable street maps for the U.S. (excluding Alaska) and major Canadian cities.

The GPS add-on measures 2.5 by 1.9 by 0.9-inches (HWD) and weighs 6.6 ounces. A 9-foot power adapter (for boat or car) is included, though theres no special means of attaching the GPS to a dashboard. With the softwares icon-based navigation tools, its easy to view, zoom, scroll, and search Mapopolis maps, which you can customize with street colors and street, town, and landmark names.

The turn-by-turn directions feature lets you display directions as a text list or on the corresponding map. With the latter option, the GPS displays your current position on the PDA map as you navigate. The bundle worked fine on our tests with a Handspring Treo 270. The PDA application plus the Hartford, Connecticut, county map required 1,751K of PDA storage, which is noteworthy because Treos lack expansion to store map segments. But all in all, the Mapopolis GPS for the Handspring Treo is a compact accessory for road trips in unfamiliar territory.

Bruce Brown

Bruce Brown, a PC Magazine Contributing Editor, is a former truck driver, aerobics instructor, high school English teacher, therapist, and adjunct professor (gypsy) in three different fields (Computing, Counseling, and Education) in the graduate departments of three different colleges and universities (Wesleyan University , St. Joseph College, and the University of Hartford). In the fall of 1981 he was bitten by the potentials of personal computing and conspired to leave the legitimacy of academia for a life absorbed in computer stuff. In the fall of 1982 he founded the Connecticut Computer Society and began publishing a newsletter that eventually had a (largely unpaid) circulation of 28,000.

Bruce has been a freelance writer covering personal computing hardware since 1983, the year he co-founded Soft Industries Corp., a computer consulting company, with Alfred Poor (also an ExtremeTech contributor) and Dick Ridington (a Fortune 500 consultant with Creative Realities, Inc., a Boston consulting firm). In 1988 Bruce left Soft Industries to be a full-time freelance writer. He has written for several now defunct publications including Lotus Magazine, PC Computing, PC Sources, and Computer Life as well as Computer Shopper and PC Magazine. In 1990 he and Craig Stinson co-wrote Getting the Most Out of IBM Current, an immediately remaindered work published by Brady Books.

Married to PC Magazine Contributing Editor Marge Brown, Bruce is the father of former PC Magazine Staff Editor Richard Brown (a former and currently thriving freelance writer), Liz Brown (a recent graduate of Colgate University who aspires a career in marketing and public relations), and Peter Brown (who evaluates console gaming systems and games for PC Magazine and various Websites).

Bruce can be contacted at


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