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Old 08-25-2008, 01:46 AM   #1
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Default Free GPS Points of Interest (POI's)

If anyone wants to add POI's to their GPS, I found this site that has free ones. It has Walmart, Home Depot, Tim Horton's, Malls and more and they are free. If anyone is interested, here is a link to the site. As far as how to get them on the GPS, you will need to check the manual for your device.

http://www.gps-data-team.com/

You can select your country in the top right of the screen if you want them for only one country.
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Old 08-25-2008, 02:07 AM   #2
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Default

Thanks for the info. I'll check it out.
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Old 08-07-2010, 01:33 AM   #3
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Default Re: Free GPS Points of Interest (POI's)

www.poi-factory.com seems pretty good for lots of stuff. Just register and it's free.
I've downloaded some stuff but am still deciding how to go about loading it to the GPS
so that it's reversible if I don't like or need some of them, after all.
Help? Suggestions? Experience?
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Old 08-07-2010, 02:20 AM   #4
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Default Re: Free GPS Points of Interest (POI's)

It's been a while since I put POIs in my GPS. If I remember, all I did was copy the POI files into the map folder in TomTom but with Garmin, I needed a POI installer.

I don't actually have a GPS. I have a Smartphone that has TomTom and Garmin installed in it. It's nice having a pocket computer, phone and GPS all in one device.
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Old 08-07-2010, 04:57 AM   #5
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Default Re: Free GPS Points of Interest (POI's)

Hey thanks for the experience.
I've since been in touch with Garmin POI support, and it's easier than I thought. They pointed me
to a weblog out there, by this guy who tries to explain it so even I get it (sort of).
http://home.comcast.net/~ghayman3/garmi ... agepoi.htm
With Garmin you do need the POIloader pc app to convert stuff from whatever it is .txt, .gpx, etc.
to .gpi which is the filetype Garmin uses. The trick is, that it reads from a user defined pc folder
containing your desired POI files, and either puts them directly into the GPS hard drive/memory
or on the optional MIcroSD card you can add to many Garmin GPS models. You get to choose.
The trick is, as explained by Mr. Hayman, every time you update the SD or the GPS itself,
it overwrites the previous POIs, so it effectively refreshes your GPS with whatever is in the
POI folder on your pc each time you run the POIloader app. So to remove stuff you don't need/want
anymore, you just delete it, or move it out of the source folder, before the next POIloader run.
As I now understand it, anyway. So I'll be adding a MicroSD card to my GPS, just in case I mess it up,
before I try to add some stuff. He even shows you how to make your own DIY custom POI, as an
exercise.
Live and learn.....
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Old 08-08-2010, 02:30 AM   #6
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Default Re: Free GPS Points of Interest (POI's)

Well I'm now officially a GPS geek, as I registered at the POI-factory, and have just finished downloading
every POI file I figure we'll ever need in the short term. I must have clicked and saved over 200 files,
including icons and mp3 alerts and sounds files.
Now off to the POIloader.......
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Old 08-09-2010, 01:06 AM   #7
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Default Re: Free GPS Points of Interest (POI's)

There are a lot of POIs available. I mainly got Tim Hortons (Can't miss that one), Canadian Tire, Walmart, Home Depot and a few others. The one I use the most is the Timmy's one.
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Old 08-09-2010, 01:12 AM   #8
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Default Re: Free GPS Points of Interest (POI's)

Is there some trick to getting the audible and visible warnings to popup when you're
just driving along? I've got all the .bmp and .mp3 files that were available with the .csv
files.
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Old 08-09-2010, 02:08 AM   #9
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Default Re: Free GPS Points of Interest (POI's)

Not all poi files are created equal!

Its well worth some time checking the files before loading it to the GPS:
I downloaded USACE campsites and state parks for several states prior to a recent trip. Many duplicates, some are just place names. Duplicates are easily fixed by loading the text file into excel and doing some sorting. Other problems can be a to identify.

POIs for major stores (WMart in particular) seem to be accurate. But try finding grocery stores in northern Arkansas that sell dry ice (WM doesn't).

If you have a Blackberry, try a free app called 'Poynt'. It finds your location by either a zip code, your cell location or GPS spot, then gives you search results (restaurants, businesses, gas prices) in order of distance to your location. You can then get a map showing you and whatever you select and a route if you desire. You can use it to plan ahead by giving it the zipcode of wherever you intend to be next as a search reference.

Of course, you need to have good cell signal to make this work. How is it that when you really need something, you are most likely in a place where you won't get signal?
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Old 08-09-2010, 02:29 AM   #10
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Default Re: Free GPS Points of Interest (POI's)

Hey Dan,
I have a bazillion .csv, .gpx, .mp3, and .bmp files loaded now, but when I'm cruising along
and approach some place I know is in my GPS, nothing happens. Just wondering if there was
anything else I need to do or add to this little beast. It's a Garmin nuvi 855. I have the latest
and greatest firm/soft/map ware. I'm getting files from POI-Factory.com, and so far the files
seem to load OK with a couple of exceptions, which I've since tried to correct, or just removed.

The 855 talks and listens. It wouldn't listen for the first few days after I set it up, but after tweaking
some settings, and emailing Garmin, it's started to co-operate, which is a really cool hands free feature.
I just have to learn to speak phonetically, so it understands me. My wife just threatens it, and it works
fine for her.
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