Hi all, I’ve spent around three months writing a detailed comparison of different mapping software, and it’s time to release it into the wider world. I hope it’s interesting to anyone who uses this type of software for planning AT, and I’d be really interested to know what you think.
I love maps, and because I’m a bit of a geek, I love mapping software too. It’s super convenient and it unlocks so many possibilities for using and exploring maps in new and interesting ways.
There’s a good variety of mapping software out there, but most people pick one and stick with it due to the relatively high cost of switching. There’s the financial cost of having to purchase map tiles or subscription packages, the mental cost of having to learn a new system, and the cost of the time it takes to transfer your library of routes from the old system to the new.
Despite that, I meet lots of people who would benefit from switching. The best options include crisp high-definition maps, an intuitive user interface and whizzy features like 3D flythrough and more. The worst software is slow and unresponsive, clunky to use, and some systems even lack an undo button.
This long-form comparison covers six pages, each exploring a different aspect of the software. I cover the different options available, and give my opinion on what works well and what doesn’t.