Here is a summary of how I create POI's

 

This is, in a nutshell, how I am creating my POI files. If there is an easier way that you guys see, let me know. This may be useful to those that haven't done one yet. I figured this out on my own, so trust me, if I can do it anyone can. A basic knowledge of MS Excel is needed. I am not a technical writer so I apologize if this confuses

1. Go a "store locator" page on a website. Do a search. The broader the better. Publix's site allows you to do an entire state. Some give only 5 at a time (not much fun for a long list of locations.

2. Highlight and copy the stores locations, addresses, and phone numbers.

3. I open a blank excel file. This is important, RIGHT CLICK, AND USE PASTE SPECIAL. This opens a box, and select the "Text" option. This removes all formatting and hyperlinks in the selection.

This gives you a list of each location with the addresses below the store which is no good.

At this point I try to delete any unnecessary info in broad strokes. I use “Find and replace tool” if you want to delete “United States” from all locations. I hit CTRL+F, click REPLACE, type UNITED STATES, and leave the REPLACE blank. This replaces every “United States” with noting, thus deleting it. I am sure that there are other tricks, and I hope that this thread will start everyone sharing their own way of doing it.

The key is not to go into each location and delete, one by one, any unneeded info. The goal is to get all locations with the same info in the same number of lines. Name, address, zip code, etc.

All I really want is the address, city, state, zip. This list will go into a geocoding tool. It doesn't need to know the name of the store.

4. Using this formula I can filter each line. Highlight column A and Insert the following formula:

=MOD(ROW(1:1),4)=1

The result of the formula in the first line of your worksheet results with a "TRUE". Copy and paste this formula throughout the list of locations and every 4th line is "TRUE"

All you do if you want change what interval you want to be true is change the 4 in the above formula to whatever interval you need.

5.If each location entry has the same number of lines per entry, then using this you can filter each address, each city, and each state and zip code. Once filtered, highlight the info, select visible cells only and paste in a new worksheet.

Place the address selection in column A of the new worksheet.

Then Place the city, state, and zip in column B of the new worksheet. If you want to keep the name of the store or any other info, just keep it in Column A.

6. Once you have you list with addresses (one location per line) Go to a geocoding site; I use GPSVisualizer.com. Find the process multiple addresses tool and copy and paste the address, city, state, and zip code into the geocoding tool and watch it spit out the coordinates.

The rest of the process is noted through out the POI Factory webpage. I really wanted to start a thread of how I use a web store locator and excel to create my POI's. In three weeks, I have created 6 so far, with over 100 downloads, yet I am not an active user sad On average, I can do one in an hour or less. Sometimes I do it a little at a time. If you are an excel junkie, it is fun.

Other pages

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This is info from help on

This is info from help on poiloader.

You can also associate .bmp images with all the data files in a subcategory. For example, a customized bitmap called "restaurants.bmp" would be associated with all the points in a "Restaurants" subcategory. Custom bitmaps associated with individual file names take precedence over custom bitmaps associated with subcategories.

--
Charlie. Nuvi 265 WT and Nuvi 2597 LMT. Android Here WeGo - Offline Maps & GPS.

Vertical text editing

This should be helpful for editing text files.In addition to editing left to right. I have found 2 programs that will edit in Column Mode ( up and down). How often have you wanted to add or remove a charactor and had to do each row one at a time.
The first is a paid program called Ultredit which can do almost anything that you can figure out to an text type file.
The second, and I recommend it, is called Crimson Editor. It is Donation ware. If you like it you can send in a donation if you wish. It is limited compared to Ultraedit but it does Column editing.

You have got to be kidding

sad On average, I can do one in an hour or less. Sometimes I do it a little at a time. If you are an excel junkie, it is fun."
(quote from loderjosh)

The only reason Excel is on my machine at all is that it came attached to a "creative suite" that included a word processor that I wanted.

This is why I am on this site where all you guya and dolls do all the tedious work and let me download the results.

It's either that, or adopt a computer literate teen ager.

--
nuvi 785 nuvi 350, nuvi 270, GTM 20, jag in dash, mercedes in dash.

Excel

A spreadsheet program like Excel would also work well.

gandalfthegrae wrote:

This should be helpful for editing text files.In addition to editing left to right. I have found 2 programs that will edit in Column Mode ( up and down). How often have you wanted to add or remove a charactor and had to do each row one at a time.

Bulk Geocoding

alexanderrg wrote:

sad On average, I can do one in an hour or less. Sometimes I do it a little at a time. If you are an excel junkie, it is fun."
(quote from loderjosh)

The only reason Excel is on my machine at all is that it came attached to a "creative suite" that included a word processor that I wanted.

This is why I am on this site where all you guya and dolls do all the tedious work and let me download the results.

It's either that, or adopt a computer literate teen ager.

The main problem in using bulk geocoders such as Yahoo or Google is they don't report errors. Doing a search on an address through one of them will often end up in the middle of the zip code, county, or even another state depending on what pieces of the address it matches to its database.

When the address is located in a large shopping complex, there is no guarantee you can get to the POI by the best route. Bulk is fine for some stuff, but I still prefer to check each location to be certain it is where it thinks it is. Definitely takes longer and is almost impractical for really large files but accuracy counts in more than horseshoes.

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ɐ‾nsǝɹ Just one click away from the end of the Internet

takeitwithme

Really curious of why that happens.I use the same process and do not get the repetition.One thing that I do when I create the poi on Google maps. When the small screens come up sometimes you will see info at the bottom that is not needed maybe a picture or text.I always delete that before hitting the save at the end.Not sure if that may be causing your problem.

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Charlie. Nuvi 265 WT and Nuvi 2597 LMT. Android Here WeGo - Offline Maps & GPS.

Bulk Geocoders

a_user wrote:

The main problem in using bulk geocoders such as Yahoo or Google is they don't report errors. Doing a search on an address through one of them will often end up in the middle of the zip code, county, or even another state depending on what pieces of the address it matches to its database.

The Yahoo! and Google interfaces return an 'accuracy' statement along with the data, but many of the web-based interfaces don't give access to it (or at least, not when using in Bulk mode). Adam Schneider (owner of gpsvisualizer.com) joined in the discussion here at one point. Apparently, it was his choice of interface to the API that was the cause of the shortcoming (the interface and its documentation didn't quite agree with one another sad ).

I do agree though - it's hard to see when anything less than 'street-level' accuracy would be appropriate for GPSr use.

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------------------------ Phil Hornby, Stockport, England ----------------------               http://GeePeeEx.com - Garmin POI Creation made easy           »      

Bulk Geocoders - 2

hornbyp wrote:

The Yahoo! and Google interfaces return an 'accuracy' statement along with the data, but many of the web-based interfaces don't give access to it (or at least, not when using in Bulk mode).

Phil,

Thanks for that piece of information. It's been too many years since I did any programming.

--
ɐ‾nsǝɹ Just one click away from the end of the Internet

1-click "pasting as text" & how to copy all the columns together

" RIGHT CLICK, AND USE PASTE SPECIAL... "

I don't know much about maps & POI (a couple of years flitting in and out) but I have manipulated a lot of data in my time in Excel. Thanks for the tips! (particularly Jambaj's about www.takitwithme.com, which solves my dilemma of how to export a whole POI file from Google Maps) and in return:

If you are going to be doing a lot of pasting as text and you'd like to make this process faster, there is a "paste as text" button in Excel that you can customise your toolbar with. To set this up permanently (you need to do this only once per installation):
1. right click anywhere on a toolbar in Excel
2. select Customise... at the bottom of the list
3. in the Commands tab, pick Edit in the Categories list on the left
4. on the right, scroll down to Paste Values (clipboard with 12 in it) & drag that to wherever you want it on the toolbar

Alternatively, set up a Notepad session (or any other text editor) and paste everything into that first. This has the advantage that you can easily delete any extra blank lines that you copy by mistake, split/merge lines and edit within lines more easily. When you are done, select with Ctl+A and copy the whole lot over to Excel.

A thought about your steps 4 & 5:
- in the columns to the right of your MOD check (very neat solution), if you create a formula that picks up row 1, then the next column a formula that picks up the value in row 2 (eg if your data is in A1:A4, your mod check is in B1, then type "=A1" in cell C1, "=A2" in D1), and so on, to the right, picking up further rows down.
- paste the whole row of formulas down alongside your data
- this will create garbage in every row apart from the TRUE ones - but you are filtering out all rows apart from these anyway!
- make absolutely sure you copy the resulting filtered block as text
This basic principle can be useful for situations where there's a variable number of lines, but you have dividers (eg keep a single blank line) between them - in this case you move the formulas above to the dividing line to point to the address in the next block and test for the divider,
Example your vertical address is in A11:A14 with a blank line in A10. B10 has =A10="" (or something that's TRUE for the dividing line only), C10 has "=A11", D10 has "=A12" etc (you'll need to edit some of the pasted results for the start of the following entries).

Thanks for your detailed

Thanks for your detailed write up. I am going to give it a try now.

thanks for the information.

thanks for the information. i hope to post some POIs soon.

.

gavreh wrote:

thanks for the information. i hope to post some POIs soon.

In case you weren't aware there are now free programs which allow you to easily create POI files. One such program is http://turboccc.wikispaces.com/Extra_POI_Editor

Much much much easier than trying to build a POI file manually.

AA Meetings

I'm interested in creating a POI file of AA meetings in the US. The information ideally would contain an address, day of the week and time of day. Can this be done, or am I barking up the wrong tree?

Great information on this

Great information on this thread. I am posting this so I can also easily reference the information.

Gpx

heswartz wrote:

I'm interested in creating a POI file of AA meetings in the US. The information ideally would contain an address, day of the week and time of day. Can this be done, or am I barking up the wrong tree?

The refernce above by GadgetGuy http://turboccc.wikispaces.com/Extra_POI_Editor will do what you want.Using a gpx file will allow you to put more information in the file such as meeting times etc.

--
Charlie. Nuvi 265 WT and Nuvi 2597 LMT. Android Here WeGo - Offline Maps & GPS.

AA Meetings

heswartz wrote:

I'm interested in creating a POI file of AA meetings in the US. The information ideally would contain an address, day of the week and time of day. Can this be done, or am I barking up the wrong tree?

After a suggestion from one of the members here last year, I decided to tackle it for the 3 counties in the Tampa Bay area. You may want to take a look at what I did to see if it will help you or if you come up with ideas to improve on what I did.

Here's the link: http://www.poi-factory.com/node/18039

Just download one of the files and open it with something like Notepad or Excel.

It took me several months to complete since there was so much manual keying of meeting data.

Doing it for the whole US would be a huge undertaking. While the locations don't change much, the meeting days, times and types change often - at least in my area. The ongoing maintenance of the files is very time intensive I have found.

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Tampa, FL - Garmin nüvi 660 (Software Ver 4.90), 2019.30 CN NA NT maps | Magellan Meridian Gold

Just my .02 cents worth, but

Just my .02 cents worth, but on a project like that, going by the enormity of it, wouldn't leaving the meeting times and dates out, and insuring the phone number was there be an easier solution?

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Frank Nuvi 3597LMT 37.322760, -79.511267

Something I Considered

phranc wrote:

Just my .02 cents worth, but on a project like that, going by the enormity of it, wouldn't leaving the meeting times and dates out, and insuring the phone number was there be an easier solution?

I agree with you. I've thought about that and I am considering it for the files I maintain. A lot of the meetings in my area are in churches. Those are easy to locate and geocode. The locations are relatively constant and that is what a GPS is for - getting you to a location.

The day of the week, time of day and meeting format are just the frosting on the cake, but by including all that information I've created a high maintenance, low usage set of files (10 downloads of the Tampa Bay Combined file since January). In fact I have already found myself delaying updating the files because I know there will be a lot of meeting day, time and format changes, but still at the same physical location.

I have even put this suggestion on the download page - It is suggested that you first get a copy of the current meeting schedule, either by calling the appropriate Central Office, or by visiting their website. Then, use this POI file for directions to the meeting location.

The only meaningful phone number would be to the local AA Central Office. Even after normal business hours, they have an answering service. A church phone number would do you no good - they are just renting out a room to the group. Some AA clubs do have their own phone numbers, which I've included in my files.

--
Tampa, FL - Garmin nüvi 660 (Software Ver 4.90), 2019.30 CN NA NT maps | Magellan Meridian Gold

Subject field is required.

heswartz wrote:

I'm interested in creating a POI file of AA meetings in the US. The information ideally would contain an address, day of the week and time of day. Can this be done, or am I barking up the wrong tree?

Not a member, but I'm guessing that this might be a very very large file. Do you have some source for the information? There should be no technical reason that this cannot be done, but I would suggest that as a first effort you limit yourself to a smaller area than the USA, a state or even a metropolian area for starters.

If you have the data already, the biggest effort on such a project seems to be geocoding accurate coordinates. This can be a lot more work than you expect if your original data is less than optimal, as it frequently is.

One technique that helped me create some POI files was to build the data in a simple multi-line text list, with things link address, coordinates, and in your case meeting times on separate lines, then generate a .csv file with a simple AWK script. I found this much easier than working with Excel or a similar spread sheet (but to each his own). If you would like to try this AWK script approach, hit me with a private message and I'll email you my script and some related data and examples.

I did it very differently

loaderjosh wrote:

This is, in a nutshell, how I am creating my POI files. If there is an easier way that you guys see, let me know......

I did something very different, and found it much easier (for me) than using Excel. I do use Excel a far amount, but this isn't the kind of thing that I want to do in Excel, way too much scrolling around. Basically I just dealt with a simple text file, and then converted it to a csv file automatically once I had all of the data in a a organized form.

AWK is a powerful but simple scripting language. It started out on Unix and Linux but free PC versions are widely available. I used the free version known as GAWK. See http://www.gnu.org/software/gawk/ for details, but if you just want to use my script no programming at all is needed.

I imported the type of data that you describe into a text file. The original raw data looked like this:

VEHICLE & LICENSE PLATE RENEWAL OFFICES
Alamance County

1. Burlington, 85 Plaza Shopping Center

For driving directions try MapQuest!
spacer

2668 Ramada Road, 27215

(336) 228-7152

Monday - Friday 9:00 - 5:00

Alexander County

1. Taylorsville

For driving directions try MapQuest!
spacer

121 East Main Street, 28681

(828) 632-4463

Monday - Friday 9:00 - 5:00

I then cleaned up the data in a text editor and geocoded it. The final data before running the script against it looked like this:

COUNTY: Alamance
CITY: Burlington
STREET: 2668 Ramada Road
ZIP: 27215
LAT&LON: 36.066959,-79.472771
HONE: (336) 228-7152
HOURS: Mon-Fri 9:00-5:00
COMMENT: 85 Plaza Shopping Center
END_of_POI

COUNTY: Alexander
CITY: Taylorsville
STREET: 121 East Main Street
ZIP: 28681
LAT&LON: 35.923177,-81.174442
PHONE: (828) 632-4463
HOURS: Mon-Fri 9:00-5:00
COMMENT:
END_of_POI

The script that I used to convert this to a csv file is very simple, less than 20 lines of AWK code, and I'll gladly share it with anyone who wants to try this approach. Note that I added the lat and long in the normal Lat. first format that you get from almost all mapping software on the Internet, the script transposes it to the backwards Long. first Garmin format. AWK is pretty slick, processing the location lines that you see above into Garmin format took only one line of code.

Anyone interested in this approach is welcome to hit me with an e-mail and I'll share my work and offer any assistance needed.

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