I'm new to the POI world and have been playing around with them a bit in the past couple weeks. In exploring GPX files I realized that there are some issues when converting from CSV to GPX. I know there are a lot of tools that already do this, but with varying degrees of success due to the accuracy of the source CSV file.
I've noticed a very big range in the quality of the address information in some of the POIs. Since GPX files are structured these differences are pronounced when the files are converted. There are understandably many typos, but other smaller things like inconsistent phone number format, states spelled out instead of abbreviated (Iowa vs. IA), etc.
I'm writing a program that will attempt to normalize the CSV data as much as possible to make for more accurate converted GPX files. Do any of you CSV file owners have any suggestions for such a utility? And would you mind if somebody was "correcting" your files in this manner? I don't want to step on anyone's toes or cause any hard feelings.
...and I am not talented enough to create things on my own, as so many of the great members here have done and shared with the community, but in my opinion, your efforts would be welcomed, at least by me.
You might want to get in contact with TurboCC. He may ahve some ideas.
I don't have a problem with you correcting my files for conversion to GPX format only. I do all of mine in CSV format, so feel free to do whatever is necessary to convert them.
You could just use Excel, make any multiple changes using Find/Replace, Save the new file and then use Turbocc's Extra POI Editor to open the new file and save it in GPX format. Plus you can check the accuracy of location via Google Maps via EPE. http://turboccc.wikispaces.com/Extra_POI_Editor
or as you stated you could write your own program.
As I try to do my work with GPX files the varying contents of any CSV files is an issue. While not surmountable, the differences in formatting of phone numbers, addresses and state designations are often found in the same file.
The biggest problem I think you will have is from the file maintainers themselves. Often they don't like people changing their files.
We really do not have standards on formatting fields here even though I believe we should.
Keep in mind that some people format their POI to match the source website format so that comparison can be easily done.
I tend to build my files in the GPX format (Raw construction in Google Earth and then converted to GPX using GeePeeEx.
I expect people who use GPSr units that only accept CSV files to convert them for their own use.
However, if they'd like to repost them on here to save others the effort of conversion, I'd like them to ask first, and then give me credit for building the original version. If you come across problems in the conversion process, I expect you to correct the problem as a matter of course, My GPX file works properly. The CSV you build from it should work properly as well.
It may be better to make the program available to the file maintainers and let them make the decision before making any changes.
I agree with charlesd45, as a poi maintainer I would perfer that if someone seen or found a problem that they notify me. If they want to change from a csv to gpx file for their own use that is fine with me.
There are quite a few threads discussing the merits and issues of standardizing POI files. You may wish to read those before proceeding.
What language would you write something in?
a-user might have some ideas
I'm writing it in C#.
True, but that's a *lot* of work. As an example, say I wanted to standardize the phone number format to be (999) 999-9999. In a Wal-Mart-sized file doing it manually in Excel could take me upwards of a couple weeks. Computers are great for repetitive mind-numbing tasks like this.
I'm not trying to re-invent the wheel or compete with Extra_POI_Editor. This is really for my own use, but if it's beneficial to others I certainly don't mind putting it out there for all to use.
Thanks. I did look through the discussions somewhat, but I'll check again more thoroughly.
Computers are great for repetitive mind-numbing tasks like this.
A lot of POI files probably are built from the data provided by the company - a lot of time from the web-site. It would be helpful to be able to standardize data with some tool.
A number of people do not think that the effort would be worthwhile but standardization makes files a lot easier to debug.
GO FOR IT!!!
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