This document is an assignment for ILS 604 at the University of Michigan. It was created on 13 March 1996 by Susan Howell.
CD ROM: The DeLorme Street Atlas USA
c. 1993 Version 2.0
DeLorme's Street Atlas USA is a collection of street-level maps of the US that a user can rapidly locate and display. The maps are in color and are quite detailed. Any map that can be displayed on the screen can be printed. This product is currently available for use at the Ann Arbor District Library. I printed out some maps and even with the old dot matrix printers the Ann Arbor District Library provides, the map didn't take too long.
There are various ways a user can search this product.
- 1. The Phone Button -- When the user clicks on this a window opens up prompting the user for an area code and exchange. An area code by itself can also be entered. The Street Atlas does not locate individual phone numbers.
- 2. The Zip Code Button -- One can enter any number of digits. For instance if the user enters 480, the user is placed at the appropriate area in the list. If the user enters the full five digits, the appropriate map is displayed.
- 3. The Street Name -- This is best used once the user has already chosen a city or place. If the magnitude is too broad and the user clicks the Street Button, an error message will pop up. If the user chooses a street once they've chosen a city they get a list of matches. When they choose an item from this list, it is highlighted on the map.
- 4. The Place/City Button -- The user cna not choose a state name. A city name or place name must be entered. For instance, I entered Glacier National Park thinking that it was a 'place'. I retrieved the hit Glacier National Park Headquarters. So apparently Glacier National Park is not really a place. Anyhow, this tool is still useful since it places the user in the alphabetical placement of the list. The user can also browse the list from there. This is especially handy since the list of place names and city names will be for that particular area the use is searching.
- 5. The user can also simply click anywhere on the map to increase the magnitude. There are two arrow buttons that allow the user to pan up or down or recenter the map. The user can also increase or decrease the magnification.
There are many legend features included on each map printed out. There are the basics such as US Highways, Railroads, Streets, Trails, Cities. While the maps can be displayed in color on the screen, printouts typically come in black and white. The creators of this package perhaps did not think of this. The symbols for a land mass and for open water are identical on a printout. On the screen they are simply a different color but on the printed page, they appear exactly alike. Using my map of Glacier National Park I would have no idea where the water was unless it had a name.
The rest of the features printed out along with maps. The user gets the scale of the map, the title they've given the map, the magnitude of the map, the day of the week, the date and time. This is along with the rest of the legend.
The help function of this product is pretty good. When the user chooses the help button they recieve a list of topics in a table of contents. This lets them browse to find the specific topic they need. This is definitely one of the better help functions I have seen among CD ROM products.