Sunday, March 11, 2007

Streets & Trips Feature Idea: One-click Directions + Map

I've been a fan of MS Streets & Trips for a few years now. As nice as, say, Google maps is, the thick-client advantage for mapping applications is huge. I tend to like maps, Beth tends to like printed directions. So I often wind up printing both, but that uses two pages. A nice technique I only discovered in the past year is to copy the directions to the clipboard , and then paste them into a textbox overlayed on (an unimportant section of) the map view.

MS has included very nice, intelligent copy commands, so it isn't too much trouble to do this. But a 1-click command, PlaceDirectionsIntoTextboxOnMap, would be--as my kids say--sweeeet. Odds are that it would have to be hand-tweaked after placement, but automating the copy-insert textbox-paste would provide very nice start. And it would lead less sophisticated users to the technique, which they might otherwise never discover.

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