How is it that you all can make so many POIs so quickly. Is there a program I could use for my area (Eastern PA)? I'd love to help out but I have no way of going to a place, marking and saving the co-ordinates and transfering them for use...
Any suggestions are welcomed!
For personal files, a lot of people use a combination of Google Earth and POI Edit. Here's a thread that talks about creating POI files from Google Earth.
For most of of the files I make, I use a combination of Excel/Access and GIS software.
First, I reformat raw data using a spreadsheet or database program. Excel is quick and easy for small files, but it's limited in the number of records it can handle. For larger files I always use MS-Access.
To split data by geographic area or create maps, I use a GIS package. GIS software lets you plot locations as points on a map and select them visually or by using areas like states, regions, etc. It's kind of like Google Earth, but with a lot more power and flexibility.
I've been using Terraserver for the U.S., as well as Wayhoo, and geocoder.ca for the Vancouver file I put up. I find the addresses I want to use, and save them in an Excel spreadsheet, but under the .csv format, rather than .xls. Having 2 or 3 windows open at a time makes it far faster, and all I have to do is copy and paste the long/lat coordinates in to the excel spreadsheet.
I've caught a few mistakes in the process, when I've gotten myself confused, or the cut/paste didn't work quite right. But, it's a fairly simple and easy method to use.
I'd like to get some feedback from people who have downloaded my files and actually used them, as to any inaccuracies they've found. Or, to hear if they're helpful or not. One issue I have is that I keep trying to cram more info (subway stops, hours of operation, seasons a site is open, etc.) and I don't know how well such lengthy material formats across various brands of GPS. It looks decent on mine, but that doesn't mean it's good on others.
I actually use a freeware program called EasyGPS that allows fairly simple creation of waypoints, very rapidly. Then it saves them in GPX format, which many GPS units can read. You can also open the GPX format in Excel and save as CSV too. I don't normally use my Magellan POI Editing software for anything other than loading the waypoints/POI's as it's not very intuitive, and has a terrible GUI, and lacks in any graphical detail. Anyone want a copy of EasyGPS, you can find it at http://www.easygps.com/
If I only had a brain...
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