MapPoint 2011 for North America was just released as of March 1, and we'd like to review here the features available for both 2010 and 2011 versions. MapPoint is the Microsoft mapping software that works with our Excel add-in CDXZipStream, performing a variety functions within Excel such as driving distance and time calculations, route optimization, geocoding, map creation, and address verification.
The main difference between the 2011 and 2010 versions is the additional street update in 2011 – about 88,000 miles of roadways were added. That represents about 2 percent of the approximately 4.8 million miles of roads in the US and Canada. Particularly if you're using MapPoint for address verification or geocoding, the street update can be a significant factor in improving direct mail and customer outreach efforts.
If you're using an older, pre-2010 version of MapPoint, you may also want to consider upgrading to MapPoint 2010, which also includes updated street data over previous versions as well as some significant functional improvements. For instance, MapPoint 2010 allows sharing of data with other mapping software or even portable GPS devices, by both importing and exporting gpx files. It can also send location information to a mobile phone or GPS device. MapPoint 2010 users can specify an easier-to-remember name for a route stop in lieu of an address, and can import more than 10,000 addresses into the software at one time, a limitation in other versions. And best of all, pricing for the 2010 version is more than a few pennies cheaper than the 2011 version.
MapPoint is currently available as a free trial from Microsoft, and you can directly compare it to the version you're now using – just specify that you want to keep your current version intact during the installation process.