View Full Version : Feature Requests for the Next Version of MapPoint

Eric Frost
06-11-2004, 08:14 AM
It is generally known by now that some next version of MapPoint (2005, 2006 ?) is in the works though what form it will take is still very much under wraps. (The biggest outstanding questions is perhaps data for Brazil and Australia which are already in the MapPoint Web Service or will be shortly.)

What would you like to see in the next version? Let's compile a list for the MapPoint team at Microsoft before the specs for the new version are set in stone, maybe they will be able to consider some things or get some good ideas.


06-11-2004, 03:40 PM
1- Ability to hide names of cities/towns. Other GIS packages have "layers" of data. It wouldbe nice if there was a city name layer and the user could hide/unhide the layer.

2- Continuing with the layer idea, to be able to create/identify a layer for each data set. So I could have a Customers layer, a Warehouse layer and I could hide/unhide the layers

3- Lines should also be able to be identified with a layer.

4- Able to specifiy where the arrowhead is on a line. Most lines have the arrowhead at the end (----------->) , but it is nice to be able to show the arrowhead in the middle of a line (----->-----), or at regular intervals on the line (--->---->---->).

Whew ... thanks for asking. That was almost therapeutic.


06-15-2004, 02:06 AM
1. Be able to either modify the mapped roads and other features or be able to download updates in a timely manner.

2. Be able to set up an Avoid Area at any location, irrespective of intersections.

3. Make Golf Courses/Country Clubs part of the searchable Nearby Places.


06-29-2004, 02:07 PM
1. Allow user to select pushpin color from a pallette instead of 8 preset colors many of which are too similar.

2. Change the balloons. You should be able to resize pushpin balloons and move them freely so they don't always overlap one another!

3. Give me the option to label shaded area maps with a value so I can see an identifier in addition to the color when i print the sheet out. This way I don't have to guess what shade of green Idaho is.

There are a couple that consistently bother me


07-09-2004, 09:21 AM
1. The abilities to merge and divide shapes (especially free form/polys) via both the builtin gui and through the object model.
2 . Toolbar customization, at least though the object model. Certain users are dangerous with certain tools and work better with fixed version of those tools.
3. Add a property to Shapes(Index).Line in the object model called .Visible just like with .Fill, etc.
4. Make the size of a shape available as a property. Show and Hide isn't really enough if you need the value for a calculation.
5. Some features, available only through the object model, could be pretty useful in the builtin user interface. Like naming shapes.

07-24-2004, 10:52 AM
I would like to see an option for track-up display of the map for driving with a GPSr.

07-27-2004, 03:46 AM
I like that the next version of MapPoint could order object queryallrecord after the execute linkdata.

07-30-2004, 01:00 PM
1. Ability to hide names of city/state etc
2. Driving instructions that tell you when a road is dirt!!!!
- I have had it twice send me on dirt roads as the quickest route a warning would be nice.
3. Zip Codes for Puerto Rico that I can map data to.

07-30-2004, 01:19 PM
I would like to see the start and end point locations of each individual route segment made available.

This would make writing navigation type applications using GPS far easier. The information must already be calculated by MapPoint and just needs exposing.


08-06-2004, 04:26 PM
I hope it is not too late to add another suggestion:

Make the zip code boundary information upgradable. It would be nice to be able to "refresh" the zip code information when the post office changes zipcode boundaries and/or adds new zip codes.

08-10-2004, 02:50 PM
I have created some Addins for MapPoint. It would be great if the next version would allow creation of additional toolbars, or at least allow additional buttons to be added to the existing toolbars.

Another thing that would be awesome would be the ability to add items to the context menus when the user right clicks on something in the map.

08-12-2004, 01:46 PM
1) State selection = the ability to print one state without the surroundings
2) flexible shading colors (already mentioned)
3) UPDATABLE street, zip code, etc information without a new product release - please MS should we have to wait 2 years each?
4) simple layering system without significant increase in costs.
5) Better address name recognition
6) Did I mention updated data?!

08-13-2004, 05:38 PM
Since this a a wish list...

1) Better GPS support
a) Voice output for turn-by-turn navigation
b) Voice inputs for hands-free interface
c) Auto-rotating map in direction of travel while using GPS
d) Auto-routing when off course
e) 3-D "birds-eye" view (near roads are larger)
f) Line-of-site navigation (with elevation, vertical speed, bearing)
g) Snap to road to make up for some GPS inaccuracy
h) Clear visual indications of upcoming turn (distance (maybe a progress bar), time to turn, large arrow indicating which way to turn, and info on turn to make (road name, exit number))

2) Night time color setting

3) Ability to drag-and-drop a created route to include a new destination

4) Runway layout for airports and maybe what class

5) When using autoroute, long road lengths show up as a single leg in the route instead of being broke up.

6) Better topographical data

7) Add option to include some scenic parts to route based on known scenic roads and/or topographical data such as lakes, rivers, waterfalls, valleys, hills, historical markers, etc.

8) Route with best cellular reception or a route with the least chance of losing coverage.

9) Maybe some options for truckers... routes based on road weight limits, weigh stations, least populated areas for hazardous materials, etc.

10) Grid overlay with latitude and longitude data

11) Ability to import land ownership data

08-15-2004, 02:07 AM
1. Pushpin Sets that are on the "assigned address" NOT a random spot in the zipcode.
2. Pushpins that DON'T move!
3. Overlapping territories.
4. Better instructions to linking to Excel.
5. Radius circles that are more accurate.

These are basics that should be in this program.

08-29-2004, 12:07 PM
1) Actual dates for trips (rather than Day 1, 2...)
2) Control over the print area
3) The ability to hide the previous or next days route.
4) More choices of orientation of the text for pushpins.
5) Proper language for Ottawa Canada. Ottawa is english, the streets are known by their english names, but MapPoint has the names in french.

John... Visio MVP

09-08-2004, 06:19 PM
these are wishes for the mappoint control... (in no particular order)

1) map rotation
2) ability to get next turn based on coords sent to mappoint control
3) ability to set perspective for use to make 3d view
4) closer zoom with enlargement of roads at close view
5) ability to set background colour of map bg
6) fast routing engine with option never to disaply turns list etc
7) ability to query if coords are on route to enable re-routing
8) better sub-categorisation of POIs
9) ability to set colour of route
10) ability to get road data based on coords
11) route from coord on highway/motorway
12) speed limit data for roads
13) ability to link avoidance points, ideally with avoidance priority to allow link to traffic data database and allow avoidance based on severity
14) topology data. in a perfect world ability for this to show when perspective set
15) ability to import custom background to allow use of aerial photographs behind map
16) license to allow navigation software to be written in mappoint control at least for non-commercial or personal use (unsure whether this is disallowed at the moment 'Real-time vehicle guidance applications are not allowed' is surely guiding a vehicle itself though mappoint, not helping the driver)

09-14-2004, 02:34 PM
1. Ability to easily change route sequence (Points order after getting directions)
2. Work in layers (to hide an unhide independent territories data).
3. Ability to import more than 10000 addresses and more than 8 different set of points at once.
4. Enter parameters to help the route optimization process
5. Avoid road features (rather than avoid a squere portion of area) such as toll road or congested highways
6. Provide some stats for re-routing (maybe a comparisson chart for different ways to set a route-scenarios)

09-21-2004, 06:46 PM
I've been working on a project that integrates Mappoint and Visio. To do this, I use the mappoint ActiveX control, and the equivalent control in Visio. The difference in development approach and architecture is pronounced between these two, with Visio being very clearly designed to be used as a complete drawing system tool.

Visio apparently was architected as a complete drawing system toolkit, and the visio application was then written as a user interface that utilizes that toolkit. As a result, literally anything you can imagine controlling in visio seems to be possible. Any modification of user ingerface, etc. If there is something visio can do, or data it can manipulate, you can get your hands on it or adjust it in some way.

Mappoint clearly is a monolithic application with a thin ActiveX automation layer wrapped around it and, as such, it just can't offer anywhere near the precision of control that Visio can. Yet from all the questions and wishes I see here, it is clear that mappoint needs to be rearchitected as a mappint toolkit, with the application a UI wrapped around that. Then we can utilize that toolkit.

Right now there are a great many things that one can do through the UI only -- no object model exposes them. For example, I can't create a manual territory; I would have to write a file and then import it. Similarly, just about any sort of dataset based on a field set other than simple pushpins just can't be done any other way -- yet obviously the internal workings of Mappoint provide for this. That is, Mappoint must have a way to create such datasets, terroritories, etc, internally.

Of course the mappoint developers can keep breaking out more and more of the internals of mappoint and providing us an object model interface, but this is really a sort of band-aid approach to what is a basic architectural problem. The architecture of Mappoint is not very amenable to the type of total control needed by developers.

So my wish-list item is this: Give us complete control to hook every user interface action. Give us complete freedom to create, modify, read and delete every internal data structure relevant to mapping, such that we could completely recreate the mappoint application from these constituent parts and features. If that were done, then indeed we'd have the mapping tool that would suffice the broadest range of developer needs.

09-27-2004, 10:58 AM
Currently MP has only COM interface to develop apps. This puts lot of pressure on Java developers to use some sort of COM-Java bridge.

If MP has web services interface, Java apps can directly use MP functionality without going through bridges.

InTow Manager
10-01-2004, 09:00 AM
The ability to plot multiple routes on a single map would be great.

Also I'd love to see EXIT SERVICES come back...we used that all the time...

10-28-2004, 06:43 AM
I am desperate to be able to map territories at post code district level for Northern Ireland, Jersey, Guernsy and the Isle of Man - if it is not in the next release i wil not be buying it!

11-04-2004, 12:34 PM
Ability to search for poi within a drive time zone.

Ability to generate territories which mix multiple types of geography (as an example, for the US: states and counties, and internationally, mixing say prefects, counties, and provinces.

Ability for users to patch errors in streets. I've had MP directions send me the wrong way on one way streets, down dead end streets.

Ability to get 'simplest possible' route, e.g., the one with the least changes in roads.

11-10-2004, 08:27 AM
Whilst I appreciate that most people would only require maps by region, e.g. North America, Europe, etc. An integrated world version would nice, and my particular interest would be mapping of the Caribbean Basin.

1) Integrated world version
2) Map of the Caribbean Basin

05-08-2005, 08:35 PM
I would like to be able to selectively turn off or on the yellow numbered boxes that label the stops used in describing the route. I have plotted a route with more than 40 stops that covers the area between Dallas, TX and Labrador, and when I display at a scale that includes the whole trip, the yellow boxes obscure much of the route, itself. Many of those stops were included only to force the software to follow a particular route and are not, themselves, points I am interested in. (I wanted to avoid retracing any roads and also wished to include some more scenic roads on my trip, so I added virtual stops to make the software do what I wanted. I definitely don't need to see those stop labels.)

05-11-2005, 11:19 AM
Ability to search for poi within a drive time zone.

This is a good idea... and to enlarge, make the dataset from the poi exportable, i.e Send to Excel/Word/etc

I use the Hotel information within a radius... and those points can be added as stops. I then route to all those stops and copy the directions to Excel where I remove all the route information and have a resulting list of Hotel information (Hotel Name, Address, Phone).

So, my wish list item would be: include the ability to export poi's directly to Excel or Word either from a radius, a freeform selection, drivetime zone, etc.

06-23-2005, 04:41 AM
1. User control over the level of detail displayed

2. The ability to select standard or customised colours for each individual data interval when producing Thematic Maps (for me, based on UK postcodes in the main). The current ones on offer are very "wishy-washy", and would need another feature to assist clarity (especially for presentations), viz:

3. The ability to set the colours of map backgrounds

4. Regular (downloadable?) road databases. My 2004 version does not have the Birmingham Toll motorway, and associated local road changes, which represents a major change to driving habits in the Midlands

Perhaps Microsoft would like to check the functionality of a system called "Geoconcept", which, although more difficult to use than Mappoint, has a range of data display capabilities that are generally superior and under the total control of the user

06-23-2005, 07:40 PM
MS MapPoint Asia or at least the big places. Japan, Tiapei, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Singapore, Jakarta, Bangkok, Manila, etc...

07-08-2005, 06:09 AM
1. Make avoid area work. Avoid junction is what it currently does, which is useless for low bridges, narrow roads and closed roads, which leads me on toi...
2. Map data. Can we have some that's newer than 12 years old? Check out closed roads in the London Boroughs.
3. Multiple routes OR the ability to create highlight lines of different colours, which need to...
4. Snap to Roads. If we plot a waypoint taken from GPS, it isn't always on the road. If you "route start" off road, MapPoint snaps the route to the nearest, so why can't it snap a waypoint to the nearest road in the same way?

07-15-2005, 05:00 PM
Being able to select specifically which legend items (I'm speaking here of the default categories; Populated Places, Transportation, etc) to display or hide would provide the user much greater control over how "cluttered" the map becomes.

Similar to "layers" in other GIS packages.

07-18-2005, 11:01 AM
1) Built in, more robust, spatial data import tool
2) The ability to draw custom territories, name and query them (as we can with polygons)
3)lat/lon grid
4)The ability to update postcode, street data
5)The ability to password protect the editing of maps
6)More detailed map of Northern Ireland

08-02-2005, 03:31 PM
Ability to import "Cross Street" on a search. This function works on a "Find" but not on an import.

08-17-2005, 11:24 AM
Allow setting both fill and line around textboxes to not visible. I am using the textboxes as labels and the border lines around the text makes the map too cluttered.

An alternative would be to add a label object with different font types and sizes and both scalable and non-scaling fonts.

09-01-2005, 01:01 PM
Import Street names from a file

09-27-2005, 05:07 AM
1. Improve the search engine (this is really a disaster in Europe (Belgium), especially for streetnames with names in it: e.g. "Avenue Jules sartiaux" (when you insert "Avenue Sartiaux", it should at least return "Avenue Jules Sartiaux". Now it returns a whole list of streets in other cities, but no "Avenue Jules Sartiaux"). Very hard to sell your product if only 80% of the adresses are quickly found.

2. Ability to change streetnames, and save this in the local database (since they sometimes aren't correct). When there's an update, you should be able to check the changings, and update your personal street information with the updated database.

I really hope this will be achieved shortly !

10-05-2005, 03:11 AM
While dates are not written in stone. My source tells me that MapPoint 2006 is scheduled for release on November 7, 2005.

10-09-2005, 09:06 AM
I know this isn't going to come out on 2006 or for any GIS system on the market. The realtime drivetime zones. Yes, this is still too new of a technology for it to be incorporated in any GIS system. There are many factors that are involved when dealing with drive time from weather, wind, time of day, road construction, traffic lights, accidents, etc.

Ideally, I would like to see what NavTech and a few other organizations are doing with traffic on navigation systems do on GIS software. However, right now the traffic information is limited and has a lot of bugs to fix. However, I think the biggest complaint with drivetime in real time is that on the same exact day of the week and time without any accidents on the road and no major events, you will find a two hour drive turn into a five hour drive due to rain and windy conditions in the city. This means instead of expecting a vehicle out for 5 hours for a round trip, you have the truck out for 11 hours.

I've pondered over all the components that factor slow traffic conditions, however it seems we are at least a decade or two away before GIS software has the infrastructure to support realtime drivetime. Currently, mappoint's drivetime is mediocre at best, especially for urban areas where traffic is not always predictable.

Anybody here ever use navigation with traffic? There's only one car that has it stock and I believe it is an Acura RL. Only one aftermarket indash navigation system with NavTech traffic which is Pioneer. And as of the second half of 2005, there have been several portable devices with Traffic rerouting features. Then there is traffic.com and the many state websites. They have a lot of limitations. It is much like when cell phones were first released to the public. It's still in its infancy. However, it would be a nice feature to have 2006 with some sort of basic traffic features such as what these devices offer. Limited in their coverage and accuracy, but overall useful and constantly improving.