Anticipating some travel to Europe, I've secured a netbook and usb gps. I'm concerned that I won't always have access to free wifi and a phone data plan is not an option. Is there any decent (preferably free, but not required) mapping software which supports usb gps (nmea compatible of course) and potentially turn-by-turn directions? Windows or Linux


Check out the links and reviews at Laptop GPS World.

Quoted from the review part:

The GPS software listed here works on Microsoft Windows based computers. Use it for your laptop, netbook, notebook, tablet PC, Ultra Mobile PC (UMPC), CarPC, etc. You are welcome to write your review, or add your comments to an existing review. Please, share your thoughts in the forums here at Laptop GPS World.

  • ALK CoPilot / TravRoute CoPilot (forum) - Three versions available:USA/Canada, Europe, and Australia

  • DeLorme Streets Atlas (forum) - The program has street-level coverage of USA and Canada

  • Destinator - Destinator is software used in PNDs and PPCs. There is no stand-alone PC version sold, but it may be purchased along with Centrafuse 'front-end', which does run on Windows-based computers. Three versions are available: USA/Canada, Europe, and Australia. Additional map data can be purchased for the following countries: Mexico, Malaysia, Singapore, South Africa, Turkey, Brazil, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Bahrain, Kuwait, Quatar, UAE Centrafuse w/Destinator - review by malaki68

  • Garmin Mobile PC (forum) - USA/Canada, Europe, (additional maps *may be added for many parts of the world)

  • Garmin nRoute (forum) - maps can be purchased for many parts of the world Garmin nRoute - review by Sam Penrod at gpsinformation.net

  • iNav iGuidance (forum) - Seamless street-level map of USA/Canada(including Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and US Virgin Islands)

  • MapAsia MapKing - maps available for several countries of Asia

  • Mapfactor PC Navigator / Directions PC Navigator (forum) - Three versions: Europe, Europe-Truck, and USA/Canada

  • Microsoft AutoRoute (forum) - Europe This is the same software as Microsoft Streets and Trips, but it includes Europe instead of North America. Microsoft AutoRoute 2007 is the last vesion. The product has not been updated since, but you may buy the more expensive version of Microsoft MapPoint 2009 instead. Look for Microsoft MapPoint reviews bellow.

  • Microsoft Streets and Trips (forum) - Canada, USA (including Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and US Virgin Island), and some coverage of Mexico

  • Microsoft MapPoint (forum) - There are two separate versions: one contains map of North America (same coverage as Streets & Trips), and the other is for Europe.

  • Navigon NavigatoR (forum) - Europe (the USA/Canada version doesn't seem to be sold anywhere)

  • Sygic Driver (forum) - USA/Canada, Europe, Australia, Brazil, Hong Kong, Thailand

  • Hijacking your post JP, sorry ;-) – Ivo Flipse Jul 30 '09 at 7:30

Mappoint Europe is a good program if you are going to be driving in Europe.
Map Point Here

If you are planning on driving CONUS I suggest something like Delorme Street Atlas. Street Atlas USA here

Both of these apps allow you to load the maps to your hard disk so you can drive around with your GPS.

Enjoy the trip!


During a road trip across the US, I used a netbook with Ubuntu NBR installed. All the planning and routing where done with Openstreetmap data shown in tangoGPS (prerendered map, gps track) and Navit (Routing).

They are great programs - and everything, including map data was free (as in beer and in speech).

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