Microsoft’s flagship mapping product, MapPoint, will be discontinued, along with AutoRoute, Streets & Trips December 31, 2014. Online support will be available for the latter product through July 14, 2015. The MapPoint product offered offline routing and basic business analytics. There were problems with its delivery, it appears, as it was on a two-year upgrade cycle rather than the more frequent updates offered by competing software packages.
There has not been much press or an official announcement from Microsoft, only mentioned on the official Microsoft landing pages for MapPoint and Streets & Trips (via Neowin). Microsoft has decided to discontinue Microsoft AutoRoute, Microsoft Streets & Trips and Microsoft MapPoint.
In 1988 Mark Atherton and Ian Mercer started building what would one day become the very popular Microsoft mapping software products. Together with Simon Anthony, Michael Biscoe-Taylor, and George Roussopolos the team, which started NextBase Limited, was self-funded and supplemented their efforts with outside jobs while they spent seven months coding what was to become the first version of AutoRoute.
Microsoft MapPoint allows users to view, edit, and integrate maps by facilitating the geographical visualization and analysis of either included data or custom data. The initial release came in the form of MapPoint 2000, which has been improved and enhanced approximately every two years.
Here’s what users of MapPoint are told to do after the product is no longer with us:
- Need data visualization and analysis? PowerBI for Excel and Sharepoint.
- Are you a developer? Bing Maps API and SDKs including AJAX V7 Control, Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) Control for desktop, REST Services, and Spatial Data Services.
- Just need maps and directions? Use Bing Maps.
Caliper’s Maptitude is a location-intelligence offering that covers all the areas that MapPoint covered, with a full featured mapping application. It is a desktop mapping software (US$695) that does not incur monthly or annual fees for cloud services as it is a one-time software purchase. There are frequent software releases.
Maptitude employs new data for new location-based analytics. It has the latest features and demographics, including the annual updates to nationwide counts from the U.S. Census and American Community Survey (ACS).
According to Steve Hendel, director of Market Planning for Office Depot, “I believe that Caliper’s Maptitude continues to provide more GIS-related features and more flexibility in defining and presenting data and map layers than MapPoint does.”
With the discontinuation of MapPoint in the US, MapPoint Europe and AutoRoute are also coming to an end. There are now 20 Country Packages available for Maptitude,