My Garmin has thousands of internal POI's. I see that this site is in the process creating POI's on just about every business in the US. I am trying to understand how to use all these POI's. For example what is the benefit or advantage of having all the Walmart's, Bestbuy's, Kohl's, etc around the country. If I put this in my Garmin is it susposed to help me find these in another state? I'm not sure why I would want to. What are we supposed to do with all this information especially since it appears to be a work in process with many of the state's information missing or incomplete? I found a few great POI's, however, I am just trying to get on board with what everbody is doing. I have only had my Garmin for 3 weeks. I see some POI's that are helpful on vacation, however, on a day to day normal driving basis, how do I use all this stuff. Please help me out!
It is easier to find it in a poi for that store. The poi also may have newer/more accurate information than the poi in the gps...
Edit Also the information is available quicker...
Edit#2 I just did a search for "Walmart", not counting the time it took to type in Walmart, it took about a minute to locate nearby Walmarts. Going to custom poi's scrolling to the Walmart poi, (About the same time to type in Walmart) I had the locations in about 5 seconds... The first time I tried going to shopping centers and entering walmart and after a minute or so it returned "none found".....So once again ease of finding a store or whatever is easier with the custom poi's (Which I rarely use... but if I am in a location away from my home and needed a Walmart......
First of all, many of the POis which are built in to the GPSr units are somewhere around 2-3 years old or older. Many new locations are missing and many have closed in that time.
Saying that, you only need to download those Custom POis that are of interest to you. I personally have less than 13,000 POIs in my units which I consider "needing" - I could probably filter those out by what states I typically drive in to 1500 locations. You can do this easily with programs like POI Verifier.
The big benefits of the Custom POIs are
#1 You can set up proximity alerts and/or speed alerts for them.
#2 They are typically more up to date and more accurately placed.
This is only one "persons" opinion.
The POI's that come with any GPSr are pretty bad as you will soon find, out dated and inaccurate to say the least. So the intent of this community is to make POI's that are both accurate and complete.
After you become experienced with your unit you won't need to ask that question. Since stock poi'S can not be edited and the map companies main interests are maps the problem is simple, the POI's don't get updated very often.
I can only speak for myself. I use our(POI Factory) POIs to get the most updated locations of the places that I want to go to. Also I have found from other members some neat locations ie:(Mom and Pop Hamburgers) near my house that I did not know about. I do look at the list and pick and choose when I am traveling away from my home. I do keep some loaded in my GPS at all times, Red lights, Rest Areas, Dunken Donuts, and a few others. I don't not set the alarms for them, I just tap the up when I need them.
I created the Jersey Mike's subs POI because I'm originally from NJ and this was a summertime favorite stop when at 'the shore' - and their franchise list is growing rapidly. Now when traveling, I can easily search this custom POI and be pleasantly surprised when a Jersey Mike's is nearby.
In addition to what the others have said - some things are never going to be included in built in POIs. Like boat ramps . . .
It's about loading your unit with info that is relevant to you. If you are a water sports kind of person, you might want to load up all the boat ramp files. If you are a truck driver, you might want to load all the truck stop files, or scales or whatever. Whatever is relevant to you.
As you get more into it, you might build your own files - maybe you'll mark all the dog parks in your area and share that file with community. You never know what might be helpful to someone.
As to the 'work in progress' thing, for the big files it's an opportunity for you to participate in and improve the community. You know where your local WalMart is, you don't need the POI to find it . . . why not check the POI and verify that the location is marked correctly on your next trip? If it isn't, report it. Your correction will likely be included in the next update (which it never will in the built in POIs).
On another note - I recently evacuated to Katy Texas for Hurricane Gustav. I hadn't loaded up many of the nationwide POIs, like fuel stations and food places. Even dollar stores would have been useful. So, I was at the mercy of the built in POIs - grrrr! Not a fun experience! Lesson learned. I've loaded up on POIs that I may have no use for now, but it doesn't hurt to have them, just in case.
POI's like ESPN Radio file are great for those of us that travel. When I lose reception, I simply go to my nuvi and find the nearest station. I don't actually hit "Go" on the Garmin, but it gives me the call letters in the search results. It's awesome.
I also create custom POI's for my personal usage (not shared with site) ... like my dealer/distributor parnters (work related), family points of interest, and so on and so on - things that aren't in the built in database.
I use the poi information for special purposes such as red light cameras, rest stop info, smaller stores not on the garmin listing, light houses, grapefruit league ball diamonds and many others. You will find with time that the custom poi's allow you to customize your gps unit making its use more fun and interesting. this is especially true when the alerts sound notifying you of a nearby poi.
What...there are radios that lose reception when you drive too far?? If you like your ESPN or CNN or your favorite music all the time, satellite is the way to go, my friend DJS.
Need to get satellite radio!
Now I have a better understanding. I too will develop my list of personal POI's and use them to full advantage. Thanks for sharing all of your ideas. I love my Garmin and feel like a kid again with a brand new toy.
[Need to get satellite radio!
This is why I never got satellite radio.
Here's an example of why someone (me) might want a custom POI. I recently completed a POI file of all of the covered bridges in Ashtabula County, Ohio. There are two things you should know about covered bridges: 1) They don't have street addresses; and 2) They're out in the middle of nowhere.
My wife and I wanted to visit all of these bridges, so armed only with an Ashtabula County Visitors' Bureau pamphlet and Google Earth, I created the file.
It's a cool thing to be driving down a bunch of really rural roads IN THE MIDDLE OF NOWHERE and turn a final corner and find the covered bridge our
GPSr had taken us to.
And that's why I build custom POI's.
Wow, very nice.
Sometimes you will find that the "street address" is off by say a mile or more from the actual location (from where entering the addy in mapquest/google/yahoo/gpsr shows it to be and where it actually is). By creating a custom poi file you can put the coordinates anywhere you want - so that they are correct.
That is why it is a work in process. We refine the files as we use them.
I was looking for a Starbucks in Buffalo about three weeks ago to get some free internet access and maybe a glazed dough ring or two to sop up in a cup a joe. I was using Streets and Trips to find the locations. The first two addresses I went to were empty Starbucks ghosts. I eventually stumbled on Panera Bread on Niagara Falls Blvd. Got the joe and huge expensive artery clogger. Yum!
I didn’t have an up to date POI listing. I do now… thanks to the contributors to this site. Yup I have lots of custom POI’s now.
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