The navigation software »QV« from Touratech was already rated as an ideal tool for trip planning but also notorious as complex and required training. Now the QV version 5 has arrived. The scope of the service of the newly programmed software has even increased but is now much easier to use thanks to the many assistants. By Sven Degenhardt
Anybody who wants to manage many maps sets and larger tour collections could hardly found anything better than QV. But the less experienced had in the version 4 sometimes difficulties to operate with the program and the immense possibilities of the software could sometimes drive one to despair. Previously you often had to click through a lot of menus but now extensive assistants of QV5 facilitate the start of a map, the creation of routes and tracks or many other functions. The assistants guide you step by step through the processes.
What remains from its predecessor is the great diversity of displayed maps. No matter whether raster or vector maps, topographic data and satellite images, with the new version of QV you can use almost anything, even scan maps and calibrate itself.
One of the most striking innovations is the integration of online mapping services. You can open data from Google Maps and Satellite, Bing, Yahoo and of course Open Street Maps directly in QV. Routes and waypoints can be created in the online maps. For using the online maps with fun is a fast Internet connection recommended. If you want to keep ready a detailed map for quick access without network connection, it is easy to download it with the function »map cache fill« to your hard disk.
Very spectacular in addition is the ability to display three-dimensional maps. QV5 can show in conjunction with the elevation data all compatible raster or vector maps and even the online maps in an amazingly realistic looking, three-dimensional relief view. Especially the 3D mode has certain requirements to the PC hardware because QV5 is now based on an entirely new programming language and is therefore ideally matched to modern computers with multicore processors. Involved satellite images show the user now what vector maps alone could not yet say, that is whether the destination and the track are really nice and interesting sceneries.
All data from routes, tracks, waypoints and maps can be used highly convenient to administer the so-called »Explorer«, which is similar to the same Windows-built counterpart. Especially geocachers will be happy, that now the caches belonging to the »Pocket Querries« can be read directly from Geocaching.com.
Also the communication with different GPS devices from TwoNav, Garmin, Magellan, TomTom and a few others have been improved. QV can of course read and convert many file formats.
Also new is the ability to display multiple raster maps in a map window as an overlay. So far only vector maps could be laid over raster maps or satellite images, such as to display the road network in the satellite image. QV5 can now for example, add several topographic maps even with different scales or online maps like Google Maps and Satellite.
In conjunction with the vector maps of Navteq with upgrade enables QV5 accurate routing on streets. On a laptop with a connected GPS receiver it works also in the GPS online mode in real time. The software can be operated also in touch-screen mode, especially on Tablet PCs. QV5 standard with Navteq Navi Europe is available for the reduced price of 259 Euro.
The track processor allows extensive editing of recorded tracks. It can automatically place images on the time stamps in the EXIF files. The images can be geo-referenced and shown on the map. There is also an astronomy module. According to the position planets and constellations can be shown with it.
Among the many big and small things, that are now easier and more beautiful, is not least the activation or licensing of the software. You can do it also by writing, by fax or telephone but now you can also do it online.
The basic version of QV comes from Touratech with limited maps and display options. The standard version comes with a Navteq map of Europe in full detail and 3D views. If you already own a version of QV4 you can also purchase a less expensive update.