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Asking companies to create & make available their own POI files

 

I haven't found many comments here on this. Nearly all company websites have a button to locate their outlets (even then, sometimes this is wrong). Some companies, especially those in tourism-related industries, provide GPS coordinates of their outlets, but only one at a time.
Many privately operated campgrounds still don't even provide this much.
Seems to me all these companies should easily be able to generate a POI file of all their current outlets, and simply provide a spot where their would-be customers can download it.
I'd like to know if anyone has tried contacting companies to request this?
REI.com does provide GPS coordinates of each of their outlets. There are POI files floating around the internet. What I have found are outdated. REI continues to open new outlets.
They seem to pride themselves on good customer service. Today I sent them an email requesting they generate & provide online a POI file of all their retail outlets. Will report what, if anything, comes of this.

Twice

I asked Maid-Rite for a list. They would look into it. No reply... We have a great file for Toyota dealerships in our forum. I asked Scion for a list of dealers that sell & service Scion. He directed me to the website that only shows my nearest dealer. DUH. I know where it is. I pressed them for a list. He said they don't have a list of Scion dealers, but he sent me a list of Toyota dealers anyway.
I give up.

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1490LMT 1450LMT 295w

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This has been discussed a lot in the past.

For the most part, people have not had much success in getting companies to provide this type of information.

Prompt response from REI

Shortly after I sent my request to REI, I got the following reply:

Thank you for the information regarding point-of-interest files.

Customer feedback is our best tool for improvement.

I have directed your comments to the appropriate department for further consideration. Your effort in bringing this matter to our attention is appreciated.

Best wishes for great outdoor adventures.

Becca I
REI Online Customer Service

Discover outdoor adventures near you! Visit REI Guidepost:
http://www.rei.com/guidepost

www.rei.com / www.rei-outlet.com
PO Box 1938, Sumner, WA 98390-0800
Phone: 800-426-4840
Fax: 253-891-2523
Click Here To Email REI.
http://www.rei.com/helpContacts#email_tab

-----Original Message-----
From: ----
Sent: May 16, 2012 3:20:33 PM
Subject: REI Help Contact-US - customer-service Question from REI.com Customer

Name ----------
Member ---------
Email ----
Question Would appreciate it much if REI would provide a complete point-of-interest file of all its current locations, suitable for uploading to standard GPS units, in the usual .csv, .qpx, etc. file formats. There are user-generated files like this floating around the internet, but they are out of date. It would be easier for your members to get this kind of info direct from a company website and simplify locating REI outlets on road trips for members using GPS. Thanks."

Exxon Mobil Stations

Exxon / Mobil / Esso stations are maintained and provide GPS files for Garmin, TomTom, Magellan, and Mio.

http://www.exxonmobilstations.com/gps.php?c=20120516162058&l...

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Garmin Nuvi 2450

BestWestern use to

BestWestern use to have POI files for all the different GPS manufacturers. When it disappeared I emailed and questioned them why. They responded that their file was maintained by the other POI website that closed last year (can't remember their name right now). I sent them our website's info and maintainer's info for our BestWestern file and suggested they could work together but never did hear back.

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Zumo 665, (2) Nuvi 765Ts & 1450LMT | 2005 Harley Road King, Black Cherry Pearl / Black Pearl

I missed their POI

bear007 wrote:

BestWestern use to have POI files for all the different GPS manufacturers. When it disappeared I emailed and questioned them why. They responded that their file was maintained by the other POI website that closed last year (can't remember their name right now). I sent them our website's info and maintainer's info for our BestWestern file and suggested they could work together but never did hear back.

I was a bit bummed that they removed it from their site, so now I use the one listed here. Not sure why businesses don't have a POI on their website. It wouldn't take much effort as they already have a compiled list of all of their locations.

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Streetpilot C340 Nuvi 2595 LMT

I tried this with a couple

I tried this with a couple of Canadian country-wide coffee chains (not Tim's). I had built the POI files myself, after much trawling through their one-at-a-time listing. I merely wanted them to keep me apprised of new/closed locations, and I'd be happy to maintain the list.

Could not care less.

"could not care less"

I appreciate all the replies. I am starting to think people who run businesses are even stupider than I thought they were.

Thanks..

Thanks for this link.. It will be useful.. KIRK

I've been always told

artfd wrote:

I appreciate all the replies. I am starting to think people who run businesses are even stupider than I thought they were.

In my trade, I've been always told mechanics are a dime a dozen, sometimes I have to wonder.????

--
All the worlds indeed a stage and we are merely players. Rush

.

I guess biz is so good, they figure they don't need new business, or more money... rolleyes

Of course, the concept of people knowing your location so they can leave money with you, seems to be a foreign thing to some of these dunderheads.

If I was a business, I would use every means possible (especially the free ones) to put myself out there.

--
nüvi 3790T | nüvi 775T | Those who make peaceful revolution impossible, will make violent revolution inevitable ~ JFK

I asked the church

I asked the church organization that ordained my Pastor if they would send me a list of all the current church addresses and they told me that the board has determined that information will only be provided to Pastors in the organization.

I screen scraped one at a time and was able to perservere through the east coast but then gave up.

I was thinking of replying and telling them that I was able to get a list of locations from a similar but separate organization and that I pulled form the online listing locations in east coast states, but I never found the energy.

I don't quite understand why businesses/organizations wouldn't want this information available other than the number of people that understand the capability and will actually download the file and put it on their GPS is probably a very small percentage of customers.

This forum seems to be very effective at maintaining locations without support from the company that benefits.

Afraid of terrorists?

jim407 wrote:

I asked the church organization that ordained my Pastor if they would send me a list of all the current church addresses and they told me that the board has determined that information will only be provided to Pastors in the organization.

I've found similar attitudes in some non-profit organizations, like sites that collect horse-riding trails and such. It's amazing.

Is it just that some people don't like to share information, because that makes them less important?

Do your church leaders think that terrorists or kids with firebombs will use it to target them?

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NUVI40 Kingsport TN

If business does not greatly benefit from it, they won't do it.

Your GPS has already contained lots of POIs from the map provider. For me, the only great benefit of a dedicated POI files for outlets of a particular business is to notify me when I am near by and in need of that service or product. Other than that, I can always punch in the address, that's much easier than loading a POI file from a computer.

Other than gas stations, most business do not think creating POI will earn them that much extra business. How likely you will stop at a particular brand of coffee shop every time you pass by one of their outlet? Considering the high cost of gas today, how likely you are willing to travel several miles out of your way just to pick up a cup of coffee of that brand?

It is not so much about companies creating POI files, but on going maintenance of the POI files, and what companies can get as return on that investment.

Corporate assistance

cameotabby wrote:

Other than gas stations, most business do not think creating POI will earn them that much extra business. How likely you will stop at a particular brand of coffee shop every time you pass by one of their outlet?

Currently BpACKer is updating the Which Wich POI. I contacted the company asking for a BMP. Once I explained that GPS users will see their logo when they drive by, the were very helpful getting me a usable BMP. I uploaded it last Friday, but haven't seen it on the site yet.

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NUVI40 Kingsport TN

3 files in POI factory

jfossy wrote:

Exxon / Mobil / Esso stations are maintained and provide GPS files for Garmin, TomTom, Magellan, and Mio.

http://www.exxonmobilstations.com/gps.php?c=20120516162058&lang=en_us&storenum=&lid=&cardnum=&balance=0

How are the 3 POI files (exon, esso, mobil) from the factory different than the one file from their site? Are they just separated into 3 files so one can choose?

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ChefDon

they are the same

The files are downloaded from Exxon/Mobil every month and I spend about 4 hours cleaning them up before posting both a CSV & a GPX version. The Exxon site doesn't forbid this as long as the files are distributed without cost to the recipient and the copyright is acknowledged. The file page on Poi-factory states the data source.

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

How likely you will stop at

How likely you will stop at a particular brand of coffee shop every time you pass by one of their outlet? Considering the high cost of gas today, how likely you are willing to travel several miles out of your way just to pick up a cup of coffee of that brand?
I search out Starbucks routinely for the consistent quality in their coffee. I got tired to paying $ for hot water flavored with local dirt, which is what passes for coffee in most other places I used to go to. I don't stop "every time" I pass, but my routes tend to take me right by one of their branches, so it is very helpful to have their POI's. If I am in the mood for coffee and I have a choice in routes, I will pick the one with Starbucks. I have been known to set up a small propane stove at the side of a lonesome Texas highway & brew my own in the middle of nowhere, but that was an extreme measure on a morning when I was very slow to wake up.

Companies

I think that the IT guys think that we would put them out of work. I have ask numerous companies for a complete list of their locations & I have only got one reply, Bakers Square, Village Inn properties that send me one. I think I have asked about 5-10 companies. The other companies haven't said no that they won't send the list they haven't said a thing. But that's my opinion nobody has said anything.

They are the same

ChefDon16 wrote:
jfossy wrote:

Exxon / Mobil / Esso stations are maintained and provide GPS files for Garmin, TomTom, Magellan, and Mio.

http://www.exxonmobilstations.com/gps.php?c=20120516162058&lang=en_us&storenum=&lid=&cardnum=&balance=0

How are the 3 POI files (exon, esso, mobil) from the factory different than the one file from their site? Are they just separated into 3 files so one can choose?

They are 3 separate files. I just assumed the user that posts them here on the 1st of the month, just pulls them from the exxon-mobil website and reposts them. I haven't compared the files side by side.

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Garmin Nuvi 2450

Company POI Files

I don't know about you guys, but I still believe companies, big and small, should have their own POI files included on their websites and ready to be downloaded by everyone. It's good for their business since most people have gpsrs, smartphones, and anything similar. Still more to gain than lose. But then we would be out of business--irrelevant! Oh well. smile

I'm going to send Mobil NZ a copy

jfossy wrote:

Exxon / Mobil / Esso stations are maintained and provide GPS files for Garmin, TomTom, Magellan, and Mio.

http://www.exxonmobilstations.com/gps.php?c=20120516162058&lang=en_us&storenum=&lid=&cardnum=&balance=0

I have a mobile account here in New Zealand, here we have several companies who act as agent for Exxon Mobil and not all Mobil outlets give us our discount, so I have just made POI file of the outlets which give us the discount, I had a real problem with about a dozen of the outlets and even Mobil couldn't tell the correct street address. I found that very interesting.

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Today is a gift, that's why they call it the present...

Searchable Locations

I have noticed that a lot of restaurants and stores have a "Locator" page, where you can search for operations in specific cities or areas. So these companies have an electronic file of individual store locations. The fact that they don't make the whole file readily available means that they have made a conscious "corporate" decision not to do so. Even companies that used to have POI files (Best Western) have gone to these Locator pages.

Perhaps they view the effort of looking up individual stores as a demonstration of brand loyalty. I have actually done that, so perhaps it works rolleyes

No luck

I have emailed at least four companies and have only had one reply which was Carlos O'Kelly's Mexican Restaurants. They were really appreciative that I undertook the project and sent me some coupons and a free cap, plus the guy I dealt with said if I was ever in Kansas City to stop by and he would buy lunch. I emailed him the list as an Excel file but I never have checked back on their website to see if they posted the coordinates for each restaurant.

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

Not only business don't bother but churches

jim407 wrote:

I asked the church organization that ordained my Pastor if they would send me a list of all the current church addresses and they told me that the board has determined that information will only be provided to Pastors in the organization.

I screen scraped one at a time and was able to perservere through the east coast but then gave up.

I was thinking of replying and telling them that I was able to get a list of locations from a similar but separate organization and that I pulled form the online listing locations in east coast states, but I never found the energy.

I don't quite understand why businesses/organizations wouldn't want this information available other than the number of people that understand the capability and will actually download the file and put it on their GPS is probably a very small percentage of customers.

This forum seems to be very effective at maintaining locations without support from the company that benefits.

I did the same thing for all Catholic Churches in Ohio. I had sent a few emails asking the site that provides the base information and mass times. It would be simple if you had access to the database and could output a csv file with the info. Oh well it too hard to maintain the file so I hope anyone who uses it understands.

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260, 295W, 1490T,2455LMT

I'm sure"..........

I'm sure if we do the work for them and ask for there blessing, they might approve.

Best Western

DanielT wrote:

... Even companies that used to have POI files (Best Western) have gone to these Locator pages...

Best Western responded to me about this saying a user on the POI Friends website (I think that was their name) use to maintain their POI files for the different GPSs. I sent them the maintainer info for our Best Western file if they would like to continue having the POI files but I guess they never connected up.

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Zumo 665, (2) Nuvi 765Ts & 1450LMT | 2005 Harley Road King, Black Cherry Pearl / Black Pearl

Pay app

Happycow.com, a place that lists vegan and vegetarian-friendly restaurants, has a smartphone app to help you find these places. $2.99.

I use this website to create my list of local restaurants.

Maybe this is why some companies don't want to send us their lists? So that they can sell them like this?

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NUVI40 Kingsport TN

very likely

cameotabby wrote:

Considering the high cost of gas today, how likely you are willing to travel several miles out of your way just to pick up a cup of coffee of that brand?

It seems you're not a coffee fanatic. Nor am I, I have a coffee POI on my Nuvi to let me know if a coffee place happens to be nearby in case I happen to want one at the time.

But I have relatives who drive miles out of their way, right past stores *of the same brand*, to get to the particular shop of their particular brand that has the best coffee. I've often pointed out just how expensive the coffee is when you factor in time and fuel, but it doesn't matter, they're willing to do it to get the best coffee around.

Are the locations top secret?

jim407 wrote:

I asked the church organization that ordained my Pastor if they would send me a list of all the current church addresses and they told me that the board has determined that information will only be provided to Pastors in the organization.

I screen scraped one at a time and was able to perservere through the east coast but then gave up.

I was thinking of replying and telling them that I was able to get a list of locations from a similar but separate organization and that I pulled form the online listing locations in east coast states, but I never found the energy.

I don't quite understand why businesses/organizations wouldn't want this information available other than the number of people that understand the capability and will actually download the file and put it on their GPS is probably a very small percentage of customers.

This forum seems to be very effective at maintaining locations without support from the company that benefits.

Don't they want people to go to church?

Maintenance...

One issue the organization mentioned was maintaining the file. I'm uncertain the turnover rate, but churches come and go. Plus not all of them give a physical location, many start in the Pastor's home and the web site says to call for location.

POI files are cerainly convenient when on the road, but I would think that companies would prefer you to go to their web page to find the location and give them an opportunity for you eyeballs to view their propoganda/marketing. That isn't always convenient.

Churches

Only a few times have we attended a church when traveling. Fortunately my 1490 always has a list of places to worship. The phone number is available to call for times of the services.

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1490LMT 1450LMT 295w

POI's from companies

I understand the work in keeping up POI's from a company point of view.

But how often do they change locations?
I happen to like 7-11 coffee, and have them all on my GPS.
I know they are not going to get rich on my coffee (and extras) order. But add all other people who like them and you are talking a lot of money.
When I am on the road and in a strange location, without this POI I never would find them.
There is a saying (you have to spend money, to make money)

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Don't sweat the petty things and don't pet the sweaty things!

They musalready have the street addresses of all their locations

cameotabby wrote:

It is not so much about companies creating POI files, but on going maintenance of the POI files, and what companies can get as return on that investment.

True, but surely they must already have the street addresses of all their locations. Most companies already have an online store locator that provides the same information, in a fragmented form (one metro area at a time) that requires reworking into a usable format. So that doesn't explain why companies typically don't want to even provide a list of just the street addresses they already have of all their locations. But the other problem is that there are many address errors in online store locators.For example, I captured addresses of 66 Church's Chicken locations in Tennessee and surrounding states, and Streets & Trips 2011 could not find 15 of those addresses. I contacted Church's Chicken via their online form, letting them know of the address errors I found, and asking if they had a list of correct addresses for all their locations. I haven't gotten any reply yet, but I will post here if I do. The point I'm trying to make here is, maybe the effort to get POI info (or at least the address) from companies *might* be more successful if the initial contact is to let them know that your nav system can't find some of the addresses they already provide online.

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