Friday, June 28, 2013

MacPro GPS

I've used MacPro GPS, Website, for awhile and while I like it to display USGS 1:24,000 topographic maps, I haven't like a number of features about which is frustrating or irritating depending on the day, to open and use.

These are that it opens the map window full screen and then loads all the maps you want in the startup. This takes awhile, 21 maps in my case isn't fast but it's not slow, and heaven help if you load more because you could go to lunch waiting.

But more importantly it always opens full screen and never remember the size and location of the startup map window you use. Remembering this is common practice with almost all apps on Mac, except this one, and it's dumb.

What I do is open National Geographic's Topo application for Washington state which does remember the window size and location and then open MacPro GPS, wait while the maps load, and then resize it to the Topo window, offset to access and use both.

Well, the company announced new MacPro GPS 10 today, but this one is now $15, not free with previous versions. And while the changes are worthwhile if they interest you, they didn't change the problem of window size and location when you open the app.

A warning. They only warn you when you are start to move the MacPro GPS folder into the applications folder to save your map folders and startup maps, the "Auto-Open Maps" and "Startup items" folders. I would recommend just renaming the old MacPro GPS folder to "MacPro GPS 9" and you're safe.

You still have to copy the two folders from the old version to the folders in the new version. The app reads them and works fine minus the startup time opening all the maps.

Another difference I see is better presentation of combining maps and hiding the legend which often displayed with the adjacent map making reading that area confusing. The samples I looked where it was a problem seem to be solved.

Aside from that there are some advantages to the new version and worth the $15. I just wish they would store the user information about the map window size and location. That doesn't appear to be rocket science since the other apps do it.

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