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LBS to help motorists travel faster

A tie-up between a South African company and a Taiwanese computer firm should help motorists arrive at their destinations faster. MobiTrak and Comparex Africa have just launched HandyMAP – a detailed map and routing software system covering all of South Africa.

Comparex’s Geographic Information Service (GIS) provided local geographical data for HandyMAP to MobiTrak so that it could tailor the data to provide detailed map and routing information for the entire country, accessible via either a conventional PC, a laptop or a Pocket PC. Irvine Aitcheson, the Comparex GIS regional manager, said there was a strong strategic fit between the two companies, Comparex GIS already supplied navigation data for BMW inbuilt navigation systems while MobiTrak was one of the leading global providers of navigation software, outselling its competition and providing the widest feature range.

Kun-cheng Tu of MobiTrak said Comparex GIS was a natural choice for his company as they were leaders in local geographic data. MobiTrak was one of the first to market its navigational software and systems in Taiwan three years ago. Since then the company has grown to map and cover 38 countries of the world, including the major cities of China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Europe and North America. “Partnering with GIS Comparex Africa is enabling us to now offer cutting edge navigation software to SA businesses and consumers.” Aitchison said the software offered complete South African map coverage (including Lesotho and Swaziland) to road warriors, couriers, transport drivers, messengers, executives and tourists visiting the country.

It also provided fixed speed camera warnings for motorists, ensuring they reduced speed and consequently avoided traffic fines. “The fact that one feature of the software enables drivers to avoid getting speeding fines means the technology will probably pay for itself in double quick time. “The software is both useful and price competitive and includes over two million points of interest, real-time auto navigation or the ability for hard copy maps to be printed out for wherever in SA you want to go,” he said.

Aitcheson added that features of the software included automatic re-routing – enabling a motorist to by-pass rush hour traffic, voice prompting – for hands free navigation while driving, GPS tracking, searching by keyword, city or intersection, auto map rotation, distance measurement, multiple zoom in/out, contour mapping, printing support, and the ability for the user to share their discovered points of interest, routes and tracks with others.