Just finished a 8K trip around the USA.
Used a few poi files.
I know I've said this before, but the files are horribly inaccurate.
About 80% of the locations were far off. Only about 1% were dead on.
Lots of Walmarts were grassy lots. Many more were miles off. Some never existed. It gave one Walmart in the middle of no where Texas. We laughed because there wasn't a building to be seen for miles, nothing but grass lands. But the file said we arrived.
A couple of Flying J's were in the middle of residential neighborhoods.
The worst one was in Rapid City, SD... It took us into some tight streets with low overhangs, since we were towing a 37 ft. fifth wheel. Dropped us right off at the front door of a single family ranch. The real location was several miles away.
I was trying to keep track of the locations and submit corrections , but the list was so extensive I just stopped.
For POI file makers check your locations. Quantity is not good if the quality is off.
For POI file makers check your locations. Quantity is not good if the quality is off.
Unfortunately, people who make these lists can't always verify all of the locations. Especially when it is a nation-wide list.
From my own experience, I made a list of the ATM's for my local bank. I got the addresses from the bank's website and I have had the same experiences that you have had. Some are accurate, others are a few blocks off, or on the wrong side of a busy road. I correct them as I find them, but the accuracy is so bad that I have never tried to submit it here for others to use.
If you still have the list that you started to make of corrections, go ahead and submit them here so at least some can be corrected. Otherwise they will be just as inaccurate for the next user.
That is what happens when one person tries to make a poi for all of the states. They have very good intentions but sometimes thing don't work out that way. I have had that same problem even with the poi's I have submitted. The KOA file was off on one campground as it put it in another city. The owner said that is due to the mapping company as both him and KOA have tried to get it changed. Best is when you find and error let someone know and it will get correted. These list are just helpers and not ment to be correct everytime.
For my files I always do a visual confirmation of the location (either on the gps or by sat view). My personal thought is that some cities do not "properly" follow the address number sequence as they should - and that is why when you google or yahoo it is so far off. Most of the time I have a bigger problem with small towns than large metro areas.
I have noticed the same thing with google earth. You enter the address given for a building and end up in the middle of a forest near no road. That is obviously a mistake. The hard part is differentiating between buildings. How to tell which building is the correct one? I take as much care as I can with all my locations, but sometimes I just have to hope it is close enough for the user to see the correct location.
My personal thought is that some cities do not "properly" follow the address number sequence as they should - and that is why when you google or yahoo it is so far off. Daniel
The reason that adres number sequences are often off by a few houses is because of they way they are generated. The numbers at the head and tail of the block will be accurate because they have been manually set, the ones in between are assigned proportionally. A city block is generally shorter and more densely occupied, where a country block can be over a mile with the adress numbers few and far between.
And of course, some towns just don't bother to get it right at all. There is one town near my home that didn't even get its streets in order. A St. is follwed by D 1/2 St, then W St. then B. Address numberes there seeme to be assigned at random. Makes for a hard delivery run in that area.
Well I will write again what I wrote last time this came up. This site is free. And almost all the POI files are "homemade" done by members, in their free time, for nothing and put up here where you can download them if you wish, for nothing.
So nearly all the POI files on this site are only going to be as good as the data we, as a community, feed back to the original authors about mistakes, tweaks, missing locations, locations that are not valid, etc. It is very easy to complain about the POI files, but if you don't try and register back some of the errors to the original author, then that is all it is, complaining.
You can always try your luck with places that SELL POI files, then at least you could legitimately complain all day if they are not right (especially if they were stolen from here and are being sold somewhere else).
As another poster mentioned, this is probably a much larger issue with the POI files people attempt to put together of nation wide locations. I agree and I think the POIs would be a lot better if people just stuck to making ones for their own regions or states. You likely would still get the same type of errors, but at least they would be less and the original author may actually be able to check many of them personally. But then again, considering what I am paying for these POI file, who am I to complain.
By the way, I am curious. Did you double check some of the wrong Custom POI locations against the built in ones of the GPS?
. . . By the way, I am curious. Did you double check some of the wrong Custom POI locations against the built in ones of the GPS?
I was at HHI last week and the Navteq ones have the same issues.
Thank you, I appreciate the defense - you would make a good POI attorney!
PT very good I couldn't have said it any better I always say never look a gift horse in the mouth. Just be glad that someone tried to provide something helpful
I have started checking entries, to add addresses etc., according Google earth some of these locations do seem to be in areas without any buildings... I then check Wal-Mart for a correct location and update the info, it's a good thing I don't have a life... In 2 days I have finished 19 locations... I just emailed Wal-Mart requesting a current list of stores; we'll have to wait to see what that brings, in the mean time I'll keep plugging along.... Keeps me out of trouble.
I'm one of the members here that makes custom POI and have noticed these "errors" when making my files.
If you take a look at this thread:
you will see further down the list I mention many POI's being off location by many mile sometimes when GeoCodeing for a location using this program.I believe many members are using this program to make GPX files and my guess is some don't double check the locations or it may be impossible to double check for lack of something accurate to compare with. What I mean is when the custom POI web site has a "location link" somewhere; it will almost always give you the exact location where you can compare it with what you have. I always try to double check the locations with the sites "location link" when possible and many times have to manually move the pointer to the correct locations.
I have made a bunch of tourguide files. I have used, wikipedia, wikimapia, google maps and google earth to obtain coordinates (some poi's ended up being adjusted). If any of them are off, and there is a person standing next to me with a gps too; I know he was using my tourguide.
My coordinates will be confirmed but I am using them for my guide to get there and enjoy my trip as well. Not try and make the whole file while I am there, but will make adjustments for any "off" poi's.
I used Google Earth to make my boat launch POI. One thing about boat ramps, you can see them on the satellite pictures - no confusion there. So I felt safe making that POI, since I was marking the co-ordinates right on the picture of the ramp itself . . . how could I go wrong, right?
Well, when I checked a few boat ramps near home, one ramp(out of the four I checked that day) was being perceived by the GPS as being on the other side of the bayou. In co-ordinates that's a small discrepancy, but the resulting driving directions are WAY off.
When I double checked the co-ordinates on Google Earth they were right at the top of the picture of the boat ramp. huh
So, even Google Earth is not 100%, even when you can clearly see the item you are targeting.
I fixed that one ramp by arbitrarily marking the thing further away from the bayou. I intend to check many of the rest of the ramps, but not all. Some are quite remote. I'm a busy person and gas is expensive. I hope to get feedback about those.
Maybe I should not have posted unverified POIs? Or is it better to put something out there to be corrected than to not put anything out there at all?
Bottom line is that these are free, homemade POI files. No warranty is implied. Error reporting is encouraged. We should think of ourselves as beta testers when we use these files.
I try to use the best info that I can.. Sometimes if I don't like what I see, I will def recheck it. I am not the best at making these but
I sure do try.. One of my best projects that I have made was the offbeat tourest one. I love them. i use the file all the time where ever I go. I have seen errors and do correct then when time permits. i also get emails that help me fix them. which I do. Once I get a large amount, I them upload them here. The same gos with my Auto Repair from all the
POI users. If you ever got that file, You will see the name of the user in poi-factory that gave me the info. I am just the typest, not the auther.. all of you are. I did do a few others but not really kept up with them. Now I am doing a thing with vacationing. If I am going somewhere I will do all the resarch and put everything that I find in a file. i may know that I wont go but now I think.. maybe someone in poi-factory will. so I include it. never know, I may change my mind and go when I am there. I think I am going to call them "POI-Factory to that I am seeing.
I would also be glad to help others in there quest for places to go, eat, and shop. hotels, i will not do, to many of them unless it is a special one that should be mentioned. And besides that.. By the time your using the file, I sure hope you already have booked your hotel.
Any thoughts on this?
Google Street View is getting more and more coverage, especially in urban and suburban areas. I've found it particularly useful in verifying geocoding. It sometimes is tough to identify something from a satellite view, but looking at it from the perspective of someone on the street often makes identification/verification dead easy.
I agree with many of the comments here. These POIs are our best effort with the time and tools we have. I have benefited greatly from the POIs of others, and hope some have found mine useful. Post away.
I use POIs as a guide. Even the POI's that Garmin provided are not necessarily accurate or even still exist.
I have had no problems with any of the POIs provided by this site.
Part of my problem is that it is hard to tell sometimes where new stores are because the sat view still has an open field. I have tried to verify store locations from their web sites and they are often way off as well.
This is an ongoing process, that will never end. I am just thankful I can make a file and not solely rely on the built in poi's - because that would be a problem as I don't update yearly...
I can not imagine how much work it takes to verify and check everything at google/yahoo/navteq. It is still better than nothing and sometimes you get to see some "country."
I find that when I put in an address, the Nuvi will give me roundabout directions when there is a clear direct route. For example, for one route, the Nuvi had me make a right, a left, a left and a right when travelling on the same road that I was on led to the same destination. Is there a way to correct this.
It makes a difference if you are set for shortest distance or fastest time...I find that quite often for me the shortest distance is exactly that and creates many extra turns.
isn't the shortest distance a straight line, or did I fall asleep during algebra class.
On the Nuvi "Shortest Distance" is whatever route give you the least distance driving. Unless you are travelling down the same road the whole way, it is very unlikely you can drive in a straight line to your destination unless you drive THROUGH buildings, across lawns, etc.
The road was straight to my destination. The Nuvi had me going in circles (or around a box, with all the turns). While getting to the same destination, there is no way that it was the shortest distance mile-wise.
This particular scenario can happen if the road you want to travel on (straight or not) is considered a Highway and you have "AVOID HIGHWAYS" set in the Navigation Avoidances !
PS Other type of advoidances can also cause the problem
Depending on how far apart two points are the straight line distance may take you below ground, or even to the center of the earth (sounds like a movie). My parents suggested I'd get to China if I dug far enough.
Unless of course you're a flat-earther, then there's no earth curvature.
Then some of our users never go straight, but go forward instead.
Hopefully you're laughing.
This technology is still in its infancy. Who'd of thought that a car would need a radio, a speedometer, a transmission (automatic or otherwise), need gas (not kerosene), need to go 200mph, need a heater or air conditioning, a backup camera, remote locks, water cooling, an enclosed cabin, or need a GPS.
Over the years street names change, cities combine or divide, street numbers get reassigned, who determines the numbers change (the post office, the city, county, state, federal, the builder/developer, or other), houses and business are built, moved and torn down. Whew... In spite of the arbitrary way things happened it's a wonder they've got it as close as they do. With our help they can do better.
it is just frustrating sometimes when I know where I am going to have the Nuvi tell me to use a longer route.
On the other hand, if you know where you are going...
I like to check the Nuvi accuracy with my known routes. It gives me more confidence the the Nuvi when I am in unfamiliar territory.
I agree the verifying part of posting your POIs is an ongoing activity. I have posted the Bicycle Trailheads for the state of Minnesota. I have been on most of these trails with my bicycle and thought it would be helpful to identify parking locations for those that have not yet visited these trails. Well, I have to rely on Google Earth and Virtual Earth to get the initial coordinates (because I didn't have the handheld with me) but I am also in the process of verifying these locations as my spare time and gas expenses allow it.
My guess is the manual entry will be off at times because of a 'fat finger' issue while entering coordinates (hitting the wrong number on the keyboard), or maybe by 'rounding off' the digits or even a dyslexic entry of the numbers due to the consumption of alcoholic beverages while typing.
... I DO try to verify that the map location on 'Dorothy'... read, nüvi 200W, matches up with where it was on the satellite view and with where I remember parking my nüvi host vehicle when I was actually there... if I was there.
There is a way to find out if your mental routes and the Nuvi generated routes are the shortest.
If you have MapSource use it to build the route the way you think is the shortest.
Then let your Nuvi make the route.
Now download the route from the Nuvi into MapSource and compare the two.
This way you will be able to see the difference between the two routes, and determine the accuracy of both your mental route and the Nuvi route.
I've been putting together a POI of all the state liquor stores in Oregon. I'm using the official listing posted by the Oregon Liquor Control Commission. Sadly, some of the addresses given seem to be bogus. GeePeeEx editor can't geocode them. Some of these CAN be found on Google however and, if you go to the geocaching.com site and use their geocoder it also gives you coordinates that purport to be correct. Some of them reference towns that, when I search online, I can't find ANY reference to the existence of a liquor outlet in that town. There are a couple that GeePeeEx Editor claims don't exist at all but, when I search on Google, I find the store and it's at the exact address I'm entering. The geocoder used by GeePeeEx Editor simply doesn't seem to understand that the town and address actually DO exist as listed.
How is one supposed to KNOW? I'm afraid to post the dang file for just this reason. Some of the addresses I have been able to verify and others seem to be made up completely. The "official" list has odd inconsistencies. Sometimes Highway is spelled out and sometimes it's Hwy, etc. One entry was made in all caps. What's up with that?
I have well over 200 entries in this POI and it took a fair amount of time to put it together even using GeePeeEx Editor which definitely made the task faster and easier.
Should I post the file or should I just keep it to myself? I don't want to post it if I'm going to end up making folks angry due to inaccuracy. I'm unsure what to do at this point.
If you write highway instead of hwy or str instesad of st/street, ect, it might not find the address. I have found this occurs at most mapping sites..
Should the member overlook the email...
Then we try to contact the member in the forum.....
Speaking of...The Offbeat poi...
Edelweis German Restaurant Entertainment
That location is in the middle of the northbound lanes of I-35W.
The correct location is 11mi west at
Also, it's Edelweiss (two s')
I guess you missed the email I sent via your contact tab several months ago....LoL, keep pluggin away.
BTW; they have great food, good band and plenty of opportunity to do the chicken dance, before, during and after dinner.
The vacation thing might not be a bad idea, while traveling, anyone could mark interesting places and make a poi of that area. At least that way, the locations would be accurate by pulling the lat/long directly from your gpsr.
I'll email you with more.
This is part of the problem that I ran into at times...a listing for a store/resturant in a neighborhood. I think that it was probably an owner/managers home address and where he wanted stuff mailed. So finding good data IS HARD. You have to do a couple things:
1) Get your Master list (state info)
2) Verify with local phone directories or Chamber info
3) get coordinates and look at sat view
4) make a guess and put in the comments unverified
5) wait for someone to tell you - YOU MESSED UP AND DON'T KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT MY TOWN OR WHAT YOU ARE DOING
6) Email them back and thank them for their time
7) Feel appreciated that someone tried to use your file.
I've been putting together a POI of all the state liquor stores in Oregon. [snip]
Post it and in your description just put in a line like "Many locations estimated using online geocoding sites so are subject to errors. Please report any corrections you find."
Seems straight forward enough so no one will take it as the gospel truth of booze locations in Oregon.
Anything interesting in Poughkeepsie NY?
I've been putting together a POI of all the state liquor stores in Oregon.
...just to say that you got the coordinates AFTER you visited the liquor stores in person, and that way everyone will be more tolerant of any mistakes that might creep in. : )
...just to say that you got the coordinates AFTER you visited the liquor stores in person, and that way everyone will be more tolerant of any mistakes that might creep in.
When making a large POI file (such as a national chain) it is next to impossible to verify more than a few of the locations. I try to verify the ones near my home and occasionally try to spot check locations when I'm travelling. Most people creating large POI files use a batch geocoder to obtain coordinates. I use GPS Visualizer's Easy Batch Geocoder. You can feed up to 1,000 addresses at a time and it returns the coordinates, which can then be pasted into a spreadsheet. Trying to verify each location manually would take forever on a POI with over a hundred or more locations (which most of the files on this site are. Some are even many thousands). I always give feedback to the author of the file whenever I find an incorrect location and have always received a favorable response. If everyone will do this, the files will become more accurate over time. However, I must say that the vast majority of the locations I have visited by using the POI files downloaded from this site are pretty darned accurate.
The only other problem with some of the poi's is when someone builds one and postes it then never goes back and check for updates or they don't provide anyway to get in touch with them to update and error then you have to pester Miss POI to try to get them to do and update.
It's not a matter of looking a gift horse in a mouth. It's really not a gift horse if it's wrong.
Kinda like getting a flat tire and someone offers to help, but starts changing your head light.
Many people want to do it fast. Well if you want to do it fast, then don't do it.
For example had you check google Earth you would have seen a residential house in Rapid City as opposed to a Flying J. There is no mistaking the two and both have been there for a long time.
This is flying J rapid city.
THis is not. Too bad we ended up here.
Part of the problem is the mass coding programs.
Having the amount of errors means there is not a lot of double checking going on.
What I meant was in most cases the poi's that are posted are very good, but I also have to agree with you in the fact that some relie on a program to give them the info and don't bother to verify it. Some post just to get the badges and then never check for changes or updates. I look each one of my lines in my poi's before posting, but even then you can have a error for some reason or another.
Heh......... I visited one last night. It was one that had an odd address and couldn't be properly geocoded. I found that the address given isn't on a street - it's a little shopping center. No wonder it couldn't be found. The "fake" geocoding I was able to do turned out to be almost 9 miles off! I made a small purchase and took coordinate readings with my 76CSx so I can make the correction.
I've never used a geocoder to create POI files. I normally look up the addresses individually on Mapsource or MS Streets & Trips, which can show the coordinates for the location. That still doesn't solve the problem of non-existent or erroneous address numbers. For ambiguous entries, I'll try to see if the company website has its own maps of store locations, and then try to look up the coordinates on my map programs.
The address I was using was supplied by the Oregon Liquor Control Commission. It "should" have been good.
I just finished the Office Depot list for the U.S. and Canada. Using their website, I cross-checked it by typing the address in at www.usps.gov and getting corrected street names and abbreviations... and (most importantly) getting a +4 zip code. In particular, I would use the "look up business" tab of the search. I use mailing lists in all the stores I contract with to liquidate. If I don't get a +4 zip on the address, I don't use the address.
By running them through the postal service site, I can catch the website errors. Initially I caught 50 addresses that were incorrect. After searching for these stores, out of about 1250, I would use yellowpages.com and a reverse telephone directory to find the correct locations.
I submitted the file with only 10 stores that I couldn't find a zip+4 code... but verified them with two other sources (two of them I have actually shopped).
Zip+4 code is our friend... so is the reverse telephone directory. The officedepot.com site was pretty good but somewhat inaccurate. I "kinda" complained to them initially about only showing 5 locations at a time in searching. Now I see that they expanded that to 10.
Just for accuracy's sake, I punched in all the missing store numbers to find locations that didn't pull up when searching major metropolitan areas.
Office Depot numbers their stores from #1 to #699 in the USA. #700 starts their Canadian stores. The USA starts up again with the #800 to #991, and then jumps to #2001 before ending at #2798.
Before posting, I submitted the list in Store # order for future easier editing. I used a program called "MyDataBase", instead of Excel, to enter info, sort, find duplicates, etc. I use it in my normal work, it's an excellent program, very easy to use.
I have sympathy for the WalMart maintainer, it's a big load to handle. It could be done if the same method of verification were used.
jacksonalan, Your Office Depot poi is very good. I found three possible errors
Line 407 Store No. Missing
Line 447 You have another address in column.E
Line 556 you have two numbers for the address 100 108,
I tried to contact you by e-mail but you don't have that option set in your profile. I would maybe go and activate it so people can contact you that way for any changes they may have.
I agree and have experienced it myself. I wish Garmin would let you put your own routes in.....
If you purchase a nuvi 7xx or 8xx, you can store routes on the unit.
The ones who get REALLY upset about inaccurate liquor store POI's are the ones who probably shouldn't be driving anyway
I did not know that. I also don't think it will convince my wife to let me buy the 8xx I want
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