One of my favorite uses of the Web is finding maps and driving directions. Unfortunately, this seems to be one of everyone elses favorite uses as well, and I find that sites such as Yahoo Maps and Mapquest are generally pretty hard-hit by my fellow map-browsing brethren, which tends to slow page load times as I zoom and pan for what Im after.
Microsoft Streets and Trips 2002, which crossed my desk recently, allows users to take their mapping tasks offline, with a ton of map and location information residing on the programs two CD-ROMs.
After a brief installation, I set immediately upon locating and calculating driving directions to the closest Chinese restaurants to eWeeks Medford, Mass., headquarters. From there, it was easy to download the data Id come up with to a Pocket PC and, so armed, march off into Kung Pao nirvana.
Streets and Trips 2002 sells for $44.95, and Microsoft is offering a rebate to shave $10 more off the price. Check out www. microsoft.com for more information.