I have been thinking about this lately because I have been using my Garmin Nuvifone G60 as both a cell phone and GPS automobile navigator for the past several months now. Prior to that the Garmin StreetPilot 2730 was my day to day GPS workhorse. With the 2730 I would find myself looking at Custom POI files that I had downloaded for gas stations, restaurants, stores, etc. However, even though I just have T-Mobile T-Zones and not the full internet, I find that the YellowPages.com works just great. Thus, for example, earlier today when I was looking for a particular business I used the YellowPages.com function to find it and navigate to it. However, the less common POI files may be of even greater benefit to me. For example, the POI files for FM Broadcast Radio Stations, Amateur Radio Repeaters, boat launches, horse trails, etc., things that very well may not show up on YellowPages.com will be more important.
That is not to say that I don't still enjoy POI files. One big benefit that I find is that if I want to find say the nearest Best Buy Store, I only need to select the Best Buy POI file and it will display those stores near me.
After having the experience with a "connected" GPS device the last few months, I really appreciated the YellowPages.com function, but I realize that it isn't necessarily better than regular POI files, but just another way to doing a similar function.
If others with connected GPSs, say those with the Garmin Nuvi 1690T, I would be interested in whether your POI File usage has changed now that you have Google Local integrated into the unit.
I am just curious how other forum members POI File usage has changed and why.
Originally I was downloading a number of different POIs, McDonalds, gas stations, etc. Now I primarily just use the red light list.
I downloaded several when I started out, but I never used them. Since I have Garmin Mobile XT in addition to my nuvi 200 I would simply fire up XT and use my data plan to find the nearest location.
The only POIs I load now are the rest area file, the redlight and speed camera files, and my historic vessels POI file.
I download only what I specifically need for a specific trip and load them onto the SD card.
When I went to Branson last November and the most important one downloaded was the Rest Areas. I also downloaded Cheesecake Factory, Bob Evans and Kia USA. When the trip was done, I deleted them.
Some I leave on my GPS at all times, such as Rest Areas for Ontario and Kia Canada.
I also keep Highway of Heroes, which provides an alert if I enter a section of our main Ontario highway that was renamed to honour the 142 Canadian soldiers that have died, in Afghanistan, fighting, with the Americans, in the Kandahar region.
We Canadians love our Tim Horton's coffee and donuts, but I think it can get a bit unnecessary and overwhelming to put POIs for almost every conceivable chain of restaurant, gas station, department store etc.
Please send me a P/M using my contact tab. It's about the US KIA file.
I only download POIs as needed. I update the red light list weekly, as needed. I check the list of POIs for new lists and when I need a specific one. I bought my gpsr just before I got laid off. Then I found this great site and got involved. When I was hooked and contributing, it was great. Then down the road, a new job and more demands to help with grandchildren. This meant less time for involvement in this group. I am here daily reading whatever others write and contribute or answer a question when I can, but my time is limited. This group is not only interesting, but a savior when I needed to occupy a lot off time. Thanks to all.
I dl what I'm interesed in to my pc then load to my gps as needed. I check my favorites and dl any updated files.
I find POI Factory because i was looking for red light cameras file, but after that i use the site for any trip or any concern i have about my GPS, always find an answer.
I am just curious how other forum members POI File usage has changed and why.
I have a 1690 and have used Google and the White Pages function but I still use my custom POI's from this site more. It seems so easy to find something I am looking for in my custom POI's. When I can't find it there, I then go to Google to find it.
I wouldn't say changed as much as matured. Do I download the same file i did when first starting? Yes and no. Some I found I had no use for, still others are of limited use. Those I use frequently are updated on a regular basis, others as the need arises.
I would classify my use of the files here as maturing rather than changing. I think you will find many others will echo this as well. One of the issues I have with a connected device such as a 1690 or smart phone is the distraction. It's dangerous enough out there and i don't need to be trying to Google an address while driving. Both my wife and I can operate the GPS to look up addresses or POI so the driver doesn't have to fiddle with something that detracts from the task of driving.
I have limited the type of files I now use plus removed un-necessary alarm settings after the adventure wore off.
I agreed with A_user in that my interests have matured. When I got here it was "Oh cool. I can use that." As time went on I built the files I wanted or needed myself but weren't available here.
When I travel out of my local area, updating the RLSC and rest area files are a must, as is the Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives file. Depending on the purpose of the trip I'll update other files, but there is no doubt that the total number of files on my unit has steadily decreased. Some are retained "just in case". Lastly, I almost always build a custom file for each trip so I have all the places I want or expect to go to are in the unit and easily found in one place, my custom poi trip folder.
So overall, I gone from being attracted by all the shiny new things to just having the tools I use.
I'm retired and want to travel but have really been everywhere I was curious about.
So I''m using POI files to find and see All of a certain thing if I can.
Like all the states by motorcycle (that one's easy, don't need a POI file to find all the states... heheh. (41 so far btw... 40 of them in the last 3 years.)
But I want to know when I'm within range of a National Monument. Or an Aircraft Boneyard. Or a Warbird Museum. Someday, I'll be able to say... I saw 'em all.
... like lakes and mountains, to mostly making my own files that meet my needs, such as hiking trail heads, kayak put-in spots, winery/vineyards, and restaurants I want to get back to. I've made use of a handful of others quite heavily, like NPR radio stations so that I can easily find the channel when I'm driving out of my home town. But, otherwise I'm more into just using a GPS for point to point navigation, and making sure I don't miss my out of state destination.
What it's done over time is make me sharper in finding GPS coordinates that I can load directly into my unit, including for places with no addresses (like boat ramps and trail heads), and that's the ultimate in convenience for POI creation I think.
I think as you hang out here you learn alot about how to use the GPS and set it up for whatever your needs are. It is real nice sometimes to find out what others are doing with these files and how they have improved on them. I do not spend as much time on the forum unless I need some answers or to keep my windmill alive.
my 1490T has forced me to interact with them differently.
In the past (with my 200W), I've loaded many POI files--something like 500+ files becuase of my travels around the country. In loading all those POI files into the 1490T, there must have been some kind of coding error, because in several cases, some spurrious "category" data have appeared where instead of showing a location as a "food" category, the POI might have a category shown as "ST9382" for some inexplicable reason.
So lately, I've simply added a few POI files that don't result in those erroneous categories and in time may add back others one by one to see where the error(s) are coming from.
I have an older c550, so the built in POI are basically completely useless. On that unit, I'll update stores, gas stations, restaurants, etc. I also have a phone with Garmin XT on it. I don't load nearly as much on that one since I can use Google local search most of the time.
I like to scroll through the master POI list every once in a while to see what may pique my interest - new or old files - doesn't matter.
if you fill it up with garbage, that's what you'll have, a littered GPSr. So after being here a while you will realize exactly what you need. Run lean and load and remove POI's before and after a trip. Customize your specific trips with fresh files and maintain the files you use daily basis weekly or monthly.
I like to travel and never know how far I will drive on any day.
I loaded the hotel chains I use (Holiday Inns & Choice Hotels) These files have helped me more ways than I can say. To be on a new road and need a hotel late at night is not fun.
So after being here a while you will realize exactly what you need.
That's a good word, NEED.
After being here a while and trying out sevral POI files, I decided that I, personally, don't need anything except what I have built-in to my GPS.
To each his own, I guess.
P.S. Nice pictures in your avatar there, Bob.
I know Jimmy Carter; one of the nicest, most upstanding gentlemen you could ever want to know.
PPS..I hope you have enjoyed your stay here. Your obsessive, compulsive behavior is sure to get you kicked off eventually.
That's how many POI's I put on my 1690t. I still have a lot of room (around 225mb) as I deleted lota of language and help files.
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