new & interesting places for your GPS

Free WiFi

 

Sears/Kmart has just annc'd that they will begin
rolling-out free WiFi in their stores ... allowing
customers to comparison shop.

It's gonna take them a while to accomplish this
task.

How long should I wait before adding their store
locations to my "Free WiFi" file? Pehaps add them
now with a "???" to indicate uncertainty?

In a similar spirit, I'm finding that too few of
Wendy's actually have WiFi available, inspite of
their claims. The next iteration will use "Wendy's ???"
to denote uncertainty.

--
I spend 80% of my money on airplanes & beer. The rest is wasted.
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50%+

I'd suggest waiting until the build out reaches a point where a Sears/Kmart is more likely to have WiFi than not have it. It doesn't need to be precise, just more reports of "my Sears has it" than "not here yet".

Agreed

I agree with the first response from NOMAD. This build out may take a while. Id see how it goes before Id go to all that trouble. But your File maintenace and dilligence is sure appreciated!

--
" But I have a GPS. It's easy, I just punch in your address and wait for your house to pull up!"

Free?

I have found a great number of free wifi in my area, most aren't listed in any list. I started my own POI for my area but kept find new ones after new ones. It seems that there are more with than without. Quite a few have their own system plus marginal coverage from a neighboring hot spot. Good luck on your POI file. I have given up on mine, it isn't needed.

with free wiFi

With free WiFi becoming more the norm that the exception is a list truly needed? We know many fast food chains all have the service, all Starbleaah's, Corner Bakeries, Panera Breads, Cosi, and so many more. I don't bother to download the list as it's truly too easy to find a location. That, and in a pinch I just connect the phone.

I'm not saying the list doesn't have a purpose, when I need a hotspot I know I can just bring up the McD POI or one of the others I know have WiFi rather than store that many duplicate locations. There are those though that would rather have your list as it does make it simpler if all you are looking for is a hotspot.

Just as another observation, do you notice how many more people are on their tablet/computer at say one Starbucks than at any 5 McD's?

--
"Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought." -- John F. Kennedy, 35th U.S. president

Quality vs. Quantity

Box Car wrote:

There are those though that would rather have your list as it does make it simpler if all you are looking for is a hotspot.

For me, the real value of such a list would be confidence in knowing that they actually do have free WiFi, not just a list of places that may have WiFi because they are a McDonalds/Starbucks/whatever. When I checked the McDonalds website last spring I found that ~2,000 of their ~14,000 locations in the U.S. did not have WiFi. Also, re: rainsux's comment above, I've never found WiFi at a Wendy's.

There are lots of options in the cities and along the Interstates. However, out in the boonies it could be valuable to know that, for example, the McDonalds in Wolf Point, MT has WiFi but the one in Havre, MT does not (at least it didn't the last time I was there).

--
TomTom GO 720 (for driving), Samsung Galaxy Nexus (for walking)

Thanks to rainsux and an alternative

Box Car wrote:

... it's truly too easy to find a location. That, and in a pinch I just connect the phone.

I'm not saying the list doesn't have a purpose .

I appreciate the fact that rainsux is continuing to work on the file.

However, as Box Car indicates, one can use a smartphone. Here is one of several articles that tell you how.
http://maketecheasier.com/tether-your-android-phone/2010/06/...

What if you don't own a smart phone?

Or you are so far out of cell range that you have no signal?

--
Striving to make the NYC Metro area project the best.

Ugh, Sears. Their customer

Ugh, Sears. Their customer service has gone down the drain the last 5 years.

Looking back

I imagine that in less than 8 years WiFi will be everywhere and free. But there will be better technology that is faster and easier to use on our future cell phones/tablets that we will still crave the latest smart phone.

--
260, 295W, 1490T,2455LMT

Sbux vx. McD

Box Car wrote:

do you notice how many more people are on their tablet/computer at say one Starbucks than at any 5 McD's?

When I have a choice, I will go to a Starbucks for free WiFi, rather than to a McD. Starbucks has comfortable seating!

Bad Coffee

artfd wrote:

When I have a choice, I will go to a Starbucks for free WiFi, rather than to a McD. Starbucks has comfortable seating!

But bad coffee, if you like just plain black coffee.

Bitter and Burnt

JebNY wrote:
artfd wrote:

When I have a choice, I will go to a Starbucks for free WiFi, rather than to a McD. Starbucks has comfortable seating!

But bad coffee, if you like just plain black coffee.

And EXPENSIVE.

Weellll.....

But hey --- not the Wifi. Crappy coffee and free wifi versus Good coffee and no wifi. Depending on the situation, I can totally see myself take the former.

yeah but

polaris_silvertree wrote:

Weellll.....But hey --- not the Wifi. Crappy coffee and free wifi versus Good coffee and no wifi. Depending on the situation, I can totally see myself take the former.

If you like the slow WiFi speeds at most of those places at least McD's will let you get somewhat flavorful dishwater for less and do offer free refills.

--
"Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought." -- John F. Kennedy, 35th U.S. president

Other Drinks

When we are on the road we stop late morning at McD's get a large cold drink, fill up our insulated water jugs with ice and water and fill up the computer with eMail. The cold drinks lasts till lunch time, ice water lasts most of the afternoon. Then we repeat if we are still on the road.

Free WiFi

For those of you who have Internet connection like Cable Vision and Comcast and a few more you can enjoy free WiFi in most cities. They are strategically placed in locations in those cities so you can get free connection. The trick is you will have to enter your user name and password for the related internet provider.
In other words if you subscribe to Cable Vision you can not get access through Comcast. The free WiFi service is available in most cities where those companies provide Internet service.

--
Garmin Nuvi 260W Garmin Nuvi 1490T If you think knowledge is expensive, try ignorance.

sears going down the drain

@darkcanuck I would say more than just their customer services has gone down the drain! They make Target look like Saks!

--
“love to travel, But hate to arrive” - Einstein

There is Free and then there is Free

Unfortunately, there is more than one category of Free WiFi. While they all claim to connect you to the internet for free, many are limited in what you can do once there. One the most annoying limit is when they allow you to surf around but will not let you use Skype to make a call. Another limitation is whether they allow your phone and your PC to talk to each other.

I wish there were some standards that would let us know upfront what the limits are.

I am sitting in a Starbucks now...on the laptop >>>

Box Car wrote:

Just as another observation, do you notice how many more people are on their tablet/computer at say one Starbucks than at any 5 McD's?

I'd never use a laptop at McDs...just a different culture...I do use my iTouch at McDs...go figure smile

--
"You can't get there from here"

sears going down the drain?

ohiocamper wrote:

@darkcanuck I would say more than just their customer services has gone down the drain! They make Target look like Saks!

Don’t know if you are aware but Sears & Roebuck went down in 2005 when they were bought out by K-Mart

--
Garmin 38 - Magellan Gold - Garmin Yellow eTrex - Nuvi 260 - Nuvi 2460LMT - Google Nexus 7

To compound the felony

And to make things even more of a crime, K-Mart had just finished going through bankruptcy when they took over Sears . . .

--
XXL540, GO LIVE 1535, GO 500

Library

TMK wrote:
Box Car wrote:

Just as another observation, do you notice how many more people are on their tablet/computer at say one Starbucks than at any 5 McD's?

I'd never use a laptop at McDs...just a different culture...I do use my iTouch at McDs...go figure smile

I think in all States public libraries have free WiFi now. I use those a lot in NJ when I am on the road.

--
Garmin Nuvi 260W Garmin Nuvi 1490T If you think knowledge is expensive, try ignorance.

Add one

Rainsux:

Here's one you can add to your list:

-89.023868,42.492262,Neli's Family Restaurant,"1055 Gardner St, South Beloit, IL (815)389-0529"

--
Anytime you have a 50-50 chance of getting something right, there's a 90% probability you'll get it wrong.

McD's wifi

I've never taken my laptop into a McDonalds to pass the time like I would at Starbucks, but a lot of times when I'm traveling and I need some information, I just park at a McDonalds and use the wifi without getting out of the car. I feel a little guilty doing it, but they say the wifi is free and I figure free means free.

Agree

dantanman wrote:

I've never taken my laptop into a McDonalds to pass the time like I would at Starbucks, but a lot of times when I'm traveling and I need some information, I just park at a McDonalds and use the wifi without getting out of the car. I feel a little guilty doing it, but they say the wifi is free and I figure free means free.

As far as I know, it's not 'free with purchase'.

WiFi

dantanman wrote:

I've never taken my laptop into a McDonalds to pass the time like I would at Starbucks, but a lot of times when I'm traveling and I need some information, I just park at a McDonalds and use the wifi without getting out of the car. I feel a little guilty doing it, but they say the wifi is free and I figure free means free.

No need to feel guilty. All WiFi is free access as long as there is no code to enter to get online access. In NJ all public libraries have free WiFi. However I went into one town and the Library required me to show ID because I didn't have a library card. I connected to the WiFi but I could not get online because I needed a code. On showing my Drivers license i got the code and was able to get on line. That's the first I was required to do that.

--
Garmin Nuvi 260W Garmin Nuvi 1490T If you think knowledge is expensive, try ignorance.

Free for NJ Residents?

jamstyle wrote:
dantanman wrote:

I've never taken my laptop into a McDonalds to pass the time like I would at Starbucks, but a lot of times when I'm traveling and I need some information, I just park at a McDonalds and use the wifi without getting out of the car. I feel a little guilty doing it, but they say the wifi is free and I figure free means free.

No need to feel guilty. All WiFi is free access as long as there is no code to enter to get online access. In NJ all public libraries have free WiFi. However I went into one town and the Library required me to show ID because I didn't have a library card. I connected to the WiFi but I could not get online because I needed a code. On showing my Drivers license i got the code and was able to get on line. That's the first I was required to do that.

Do you know if it is free for any N.J. resident, or is it free for anyone who can belong to the library system?

Can someone from out of state show a driver's license and be allowed acces to get online?

Thanks....

I appreciate the heads-up.

--
RKF (Bethesda, MD) Garmin Nuvi 660, 360 & Street Pilot

Speculation vs confirmation

Regarding the speculation of Sears, Wendy's etc. I'd say don't include it until it is confirmed by somebody.

--
Garmin nuvi 350

Confidence Level

krash wrote:

Regarding the speculation of Sears, Wendy's etc. I'd say don't include it until it is confirmed by somebody.

I agree, and going back to [-Nomad-]'s original reply I'd "vote" that the threshold should be much higher than 50%. As I said in my previous reply, IMO this group will be much less useful if it is a bunch of locations that might possibly have WiFi. Particularly irksome (for me) are all of the "McDonalds" locations in Walmart stores that don't have WiFi.

--
TomTom GO 720 (for driving), Samsung Galaxy Nexus (for walking)

Compromise

Maybe a compromise on the list would be to not list the chains like Starbucks, libraries, etc. where you know WiFi is available and only list the locations that wouldn't be generally known like "Grandma's Country Kitchen", or K Mart until they all have it.

Personally I find it more convenient to have them all listed. When I'm in an unfamiliar location if I have to search several files, WiFi - McDs - Starbucks - etc., to find the closest WiFi, it becomes a treasure hunt. If I'm in familiar territory, I don't need the file because I already know where the WiFi is.

As far as having WiFi available everywhere, since routers are only good for a couple hundred feet at the most, we are a loooong way from having WiFi available everywhere. Even picking up a reliable WiFi signal from outside the building can be hit and miss.

WiFi

In NJ there are many libraries I have been into that do not require any ID if you have your computer or other online devices like PDAs. If you need to use the computers in the Library you definitely will need a library card or some ID for access code. For those libraries not requiring ID or access code if you have your own computer you get instant access NJ or other state residents. I like that because I travel to different cities in NJ every month and never had a problem getting access at the libraries.

--
Garmin Nuvi 260W Garmin Nuvi 1490T If you think knowledge is expensive, try ignorance.

Routers

avandyke wrote:

Maybe a compromise on the list would be to not list the chains like Starbucks, libraries, etc. where you know WiFi is available and only list the locations that wouldn't be generally known like "Grandma's Country Kitchen", or K Mart until they all have it.

Personally I find it more convenient to have them all listed. When I'm in an unfamiliar location if I have to search several files, WiFi - McDs - Starbucks - etc., to find the closest WiFi, it becomes a treasure hunt. If I'm in familiar territory, I don't need the file because I already know where the WiFi is.

As far as having WiFi available everywhere, since routers are only good for a couple hundred feet at the most, we are a loooong way from having WiFi available everywhere. Even picking up a reliable WiFi signal from outside the building can be hit and miss.

What I find about routers is, a year or two ago folks didn't use the security function on the router. it was not secured or locked. If I am in a neighborhood I sometimes find multiple routers where I could log on to and get online. They had no security lock. If I got a weak signal I moved down or up until its gets stronger. Its different now. My current observation is that more people are using the security features. You cant log on line unless you get the security code. Its tougher to get connected for free.

--
Garmin Nuvi 260W Garmin Nuvi 1490T If you think knowledge is expensive, try ignorance.

Sears

I thought Sears was on their last leg and going out of business.

.

jamstyle wrote:

Its different now. My current observation is that more people are using the security features. You cant log on line unless you get the security code. Its tougher to get connected for free.

That's certainly true in residential areas because consumer-grade routers all used to ship with security disabled, ostensibly to reduce support calls. Now they ship locked-down and require you to run the "Setup Wizard" so you have to choose the level of security you want. That way, if someone parks in front of your house and uses your Internet connection for something illegal then it was your choice, not the manufacturer's.

The commercial space is the opposite. Businesses used to lock down their WiFi and try to get you to pay for it. Now in many cases the business owners have decided that it's better to just let anyone connect after they agree to their TOS (which absolves them of any responsibility for anything questionable that their customers might do).

--
TomTom GO 720 (for driving), Samsung Galaxy Nexus (for walking)

Free WiFi

VersatileGuy wrote:
jamstyle wrote:

Its different now. My current observation is that more people are using the security features. You cant log on line unless you get the security code. Its tougher to get connected for free.

That's certainly true in residential areas because consumer-grade routers all used to ship with security disabled, ostensibly to reduce support calls. Now they ship locked-down and require you to run the "Setup Wizard" so you have to choose the level of security you want. That way, if someone parks in front of your house and uses your Internet connection for something illegal then it was your choice, not the manufacturer's.

The commercial space is the opposite. Businesses used to lock down their WiFi and try to get you to pay for it. Now in many cases the business owners have decided that it's better to just let anyone connect after they agree to their TOS (which absolves them of any responsibility for anything questionable that their customers might do).

All along I thought that router users have gotten more conscious about security. They may be but its because they were forced to use the security features. thanks for the insights.

--
Garmin Nuvi 260W Garmin Nuvi 1490T If you think knowledge is expensive, try ignorance.

Independent WiFi & Great Barbecue

While we argue what chains should be included I'll add an independent. While having lunch at my favorite barbecue place this week i notice they have free wireless. Try their brisket it is fantastic.

Bad To the Bone Barbecue
5120 New York 104
NY 14589-9624
(315) 589-9252
43.235727,-77.138676

Free wifi POI request

Hi there,

I really appreciate the time you took to create the free wifi POI, thank you.

Is there any way to breakdown the list? Either by region or some other kind of breakdown? I dont think chains should be included because if you know the chain, then it is very likely your GPS will already have it in it's database. Besides, you can download a separate POI for the chain itself.

I am trying to edit the file via Mapsource and it's taking an insanely long time to load and edit. I have a very fast i7 CPU and still can take around 15 minutes to load. And takes almost as long when I want to remove some POIS. I guess I shouldn't be suprised, total POIs are over 67,500!!!

My intent is that I would like to remove some POIs that are close to home or where I am familiar with the area.

Also, I dont know of any Best Buys that actually offer Free wifi. None in Washington State and none in Canada. Most of the hotels, motels, and other businesses you mention have free wifi to their guests, but need a password to access. I think those types of wifi connections should not be included in the POI list.

Use EPE or excel or notepad

I don't recall whether the file is in gpx or csv, but there are numerous ways you can break the file dowm. Open it in EPE (Extra poi editor) and sort it or convert to csv. Open in excel or notepad if in csv format.
The file as is does not take a lot of room if that is what you are concerned about.

--
Nuvi 650 and 1350.

Excel

Excel would be an easy way to do it, sort the data alphabetically and delete out the lines you don't want.

--
Streetpilot C340 Nuvi 2595 LMT

If its this one

Is this the one? http://www.poi-factory.com/node/30753

Then it is in csv and the best way would be excel.

--
Nuvi 650 and 1350.

File is too large for editing: fact

pwohlrab wrote:

Is this the one? http://www.poi-factory.com/node/30753

Then it is in csv and the best way would be excel.

that is the file. It has over 65,000 pois which imo is redundant like Wendy's Burger King, McDonalds, Starbucks, etc. It takes a very very long time even in Excel (running into .csv saving issues) to edit all those lines. The fact that Mapsource takes a long, long, long time to load and edit the large file should be enough motivation to create a smaller POI.csv or .gpx file.

The bigger question for those who dont want to edit the POIs is do want our GPS to go off everytime we're near one of the above places? The fast food chains are already programmed in your GPS so it's definitely a duplication.

Also, bear in mind, in Garmin you cannot select which POIS are on and which ones are off. It's either all the POIS are enbabled or disabled. This is why I think it is imperative to have a non chain WIFI poi file and have it broken down into smaller wifi POI files. Besides, once you save the CSV, many converters will also take a very long time to convert to .gpx.

Mapsource???

Sam888 wrote:
pwohlrab wrote:

Is this the one? http://www.poi-factory.com/node/30753

Then it is in csv and the best way would be excel.

that is the file. It has over 65,000 pois which imo is redundant like Wendy's Burger King, McDonalds, Starbucks, etc. It takes a very very long time even in Excel (running into .csv saving issues) to edit all those lines. The fact that Mapsource takes a long, long, long time to load and edit the large file should be enough motivation to create a smaller POI.csv or .gpx file.

The bigger question for those who dont want to edit the POIs is do want our GPS to go off everytime we're near one of the above places? The fast food chains are already programmed in your GPS so it's definitely a duplication.

Also, bear in mind, in Garmin you cannot select which POIS are on and which ones are off. It's either all the POIS are enbabled or disabled. This is why I think it is imperative to have a non chain WIFI poi file and have it broken down into smaller wifi POI files. Besides, once you save the CSV, many converters will also take a very long time to convert to .gpx.

Mapsource? Are you a glutton for punishment or something?

The suggestion was to use a spreadsheet program and the editing features in it. If you sort on a column that is common, then all the chain locations would be grouped together. Just highlight those sections and delete them from the file. Resave the edited file and reload.

--
"Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought." -- John F. Kennedy, 35th U.S. president

@Sam888

I took a look at the file and there is an issue that I have with it. That being there are no address's or phone numbers. There is no way to sort that list with excel.

The other thing is that, though you have a good idea to remove McDonald, Burger King, Starbucks, etc is valid, but using the built in pois for them is not. All built in pois are not accurate. That is why there is the poi factory.

I have tried on 2 separate computers and EPE is "not responding" when I try to open the file. I wanted to see it in EPE.

--
Nuvi 650 and 1350.

.

pwohlrab wrote:

though you have a good idea to remove McDonald, Burger King, Starbucks, etc

Given the way I use the file I have to disagree. I don't use it to signal me when I'm passing a WiFi location, but I do use it to

Navigate to > POI > Near me > WiFi

so it is very valuable to me that the file consolidates all of the McDonalds, Starbucks, etc.. I don't really care which chain it is; I just want a WiFi connection. Otherwise I'd have to search each of those POI groups individually, and that would be a pain.

--
TomTom GO 720 (for driving), Samsung Galaxy Nexus (for walking)

@VersatileGuy

VersatileGuy wrote:
pwohlrab wrote:

though you have a good idea to remove McDonald, Burger King, Starbucks, etc

Given the way I use the file I have to disagree. I don't use it to signal me when I'm passing a WiFi location, but I do use it to

Navigate to > POI > Near me > WiFi

so it is very valuable to me that the file consolidates all of the McDonalds, Starbucks, etc.. I don't really care which chain it is; I just want a WiFi connection. Otherwise I'd have to search each of those POI groups individually, and that would be a pain.

If you are going to quote someone, at least put the entire "meaningful" part of the quote in. I was not advocating removing the McDonalds, Burger King, etc and that is the way you made it sound. I am advocate for a complete file not something that broken into less useful little bits that never gets updated.

--
Nuvi 650 and 1350.

"FREE" wifi

Brighthouse Cable Network is offering hotspots all over central Florida and a few other states to their paying customers for "FREE" and non customers for a fee.

I have 4 hotspots near my house and they work well in the immediate area but looking at the map it is not hard to find them all over the place.

Scroll down below the map to see what states are included.

http://brighthouse.com/corporate/shop/Internet/WiFi

--
Garmin 38 - Magellan Gold - Garmin Yellow eTrex - Nuvi 260 - Nuvi 2460LMT - Google Nexus 7

EPE and WiFi.csv

pwohlrab wrote:

I have tried on 2 separate computers and EPE is "not responding" when I try to open the file. I wanted to see it in EPE.

I used to think that WiFi.csv had more POIs than EPE could handle, but that wasn't the problem. There was a bad record in the file that was causing EPE to hang. rainsux has fixed the record and EPE can open the file now (just wait a few seconds).

--
TomTom GO 720 (for driving), Samsung Galaxy Nexus (for walking)

Unreliable information

I took the Free WiFi POI off of my GPS, there was too much misinformation.

It would list hotels and such as having free WiFi, but it was only for their guests and you needed an access code.

I found the information to be not very useful.

Re: Unreliable information

jim407 wrote:

I took the Free WiFi POI off of my GPS, there was too much misinformation.

It would list hotels and such as having free WiFi, but it was only for their guests and you needed an access code.

I found the information to be not very useful.

Unfortunately, I have to agree.

--
TomTom GO 720 (for driving), Samsung Galaxy Nexus (for walking)
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