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Best place to represent a location?

 

There are tools to generate coordinates from a list of addresses, but what if you are physically at the location and want to capture the coordinates?

Where is the best place for the coordinates? At the front door of the establishement? At the entrance to the parking lot? At the closest point on the nearest main road?

I initially thought the best place would be near the front door to the establishment to indicate the exact location, but the practicality of it wasn't that great. When driving down the road the icon for the POI woud at best be at the edge of the screen and usually off the screen.

So when marking coordinates for a POI where do you think is the best spot?

Front door

jim407 wrote:

There are tools to generate coordinates from a list of addresses, but what if you are physically at the location and want to capture the coordinates?

Where is the best place for the coordinates? At the front door of the establishement? At the entrance to the parking lot? At the closest point on the nearest main road?

I initially thought the best place would be near the front door to the establishment to indicate the exact location, but the practicality of it wasn't that great. When driving down the road the icon for the POI woud at best be at the edge of the screen and usually off the screen.

So when marking coordinates for a POI where do you think is the best spot?

I generally do the front door. Or, if I park close enough to it, I do it in the truck.
Sometimes if I stand at the front door and capture it on my Garmin, people stare at me. (Or at least I think that's why they are staring). Hmmmmm

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NUVI40 Kingsport TN

You have to think about how others might want an alert

So I would say yes to all of the suggestions. A alert for "along the route" will alert about 90 ft on either side. With that said, if the place is near the road, then place it at the entrance. If back in a mall or big lot I would again place it near the entrance to the mall.

--
Nuvi 650 and 1350.

.

The "best" location for locating coordinates is in the driveway of the establishment right on the main road on which the business is located.

As long as....

Motorcycle Mama wrote:

The "best" location for locating coordinates is in the driveway of the establishment right on the main road on which the business is located.

...you can see the establishment without difficulty.

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NUVI40 Kingsport TN

Bergners Department Stores

Because they are in shopping malls, the location I chose is the nearest mall entrance. I use google maps and the malls website map for locations.
For Dixie restaurants, I use the driveway.

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1490LMT 1450LMT 295w

I always try to get the

I always try to get the driveway or closet enterance if all possible in a mall/shopping center area. When using the physical location, it may be closer to another road that don't lead to the place you want to go to as it has happend to me in the past.

--
Garmin SP 2730 and Nuvi 760

Same here

DaveBrz wrote:

I always try to get the driveway or closet enterance if all possible in a mall/shopping center area. When using the physical location, it may be closer to another road that don't lead to the place you want to go to as it has happend to me in the past.

I had an issue with a Target with the coords located on the physical building. The GPS routed me to the nearest road which happened to be the NJ Turnpike. No way to get to the parking lot from there!

My goal is to pick the last point at which you can drive to as the place to locate the coordinates.

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Streetpilot C340 Nuvi 2595 LMT

.

As a few others have already stated, you should always use the coordinates for the closest entrance to the parking lot. If you use the coordinates for the front door of the estabishment then you may be routed down a street which doesn't necessarily "connect" to the shopping mall or establishment itself.

Agree with driveway

I agree with driveway closest to the street of the address because if you put in on the front door or building how can you tell which is the actual business if it's in a mall surely not from a satellite view. The only way that would work is if you live there & new for sure that where it's at.

Entrances to huge strip malls.

GadgetGuy2008 wrote:

As a few others have already stated, you should always use the coordinates for the closest entrance to the parking lot. If you use the coordinates for the front door of the estabishment then you may be routed down a street which doesn't necessarily "connect" to the shopping mall or establishment itself.

If I have the coordinates to the entrance to the parking lot of a large strip mall, I have trouble finding it. I have to drive in front of all the shops, trying to read the sometimes tiny signs in the windows and avoiding shoppers that do not look for cars.

Our strip malls have too many trees to see most of the stores from the entrance.

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NUVI40 Kingsport TN

.

David King wrote:

If I have the coordinates to the entrance to the parking lot of a large strip mall, I have trouble finding it. I have to drive in front of all the shops, trying to read the sometimes tiny signs in the windows and avoiding shoppers that do not look for cars.

Our strip malls have too many trees to see most of the stores from the entrance.

David - you obviously don't understand the problem with using store coordinates versus mall entrance coordinates. Please read Shrifty's post above. He gives a good example of the possible problem using actual coordinates.

If you're having trouble locating a store within a large mall how about using your cell phone to call the store and ask where they're located? Or if you have a smartphone there are quite a few apps which contain mall directories/maps. Even google maps now has detailed directories for large malls.

STRIP malls

GadgetGuy2008 wrote:
David King wrote:

If I have the coordinates to the entrance to the parking lot of a large strip mall, I have trouble finding it. I have to drive in front of all the shops, trying to read the sometimes tiny signs in the windows and avoiding shoppers that do not look for cars.

Our strip malls have too many trees to see most of the stores from the entrance.

David - you obviously don't understand the problem with using store coordinates versus mall entrance coordinates. Please read Shrifty's post above. He gives a good example of the possible problem using actual coordinates.

If you're having trouble locating a store within a large mall how about using your cell phone to call the store and ask where they're located? Or if you have a smartphone there are quite a few apps which contain mall directories/maps. Even google maps now has detailed directories for large malls.

Gadget, I never mentioned malls. I said strip malls. They are different.

I think it's obvious I understand the problem.

Regards

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NUVI40 Kingsport TN

Strip Mall vs Mall

David King wrote:

If I have the coordinates to the entrance to the parking lot of a large strip mall, I have trouble finding it. I have to drive in front of all the shops, trying to read the sometimes tiny signs in the windows and avoiding shoppers that do not look for cars.

Our strip malls have too many trees to see most of the stores from the entrance.

David, I agree that you specifically said "strip mall" but I think Gadget (and I am sure he will weigh in) is talking about any kind of mall.

What are the issues we are discussing here?

Let's agree for the moment that we are not talking about TourGuides where the alert is given when the vehicle enter a circle that is within x feet of the "store" (for purposes of this discussion) Note: the radius of the circle is the proximity distance.

If a POI developer is wanting to provide the capability of "along the road" alerts to a custom POI user, then the developer needs to make several decisions - malls of any type complicate this decision.

If a store is just along a road, then we usually suggest that the developer make sure that the coordinates used are within 30 meters (approximately 98 feet) of the center of the approach road.

Then, if someone wanted to be alerted in advance of some store, they would only get the alert while traveling along some route when they entered a rectangle that was a little less than 200 feet wide at the top of the rectangle and where the side length of the rectangle was the requested proximity alert distance.

What this requires is that the POI developer may need to adjust the coordinates to fall within the 30 meter distance from the road - even though the front door of the store is more than 30 meters from the road.

If a user is navigating "to" a store, then the alert distance is not such a big issue. The issue becomes how to best navigate to the store itself. What entrance will be the best one to use? Note that the developer does not know in advance which direction the user will be coming from. Note that there may only be a "driveway" entrance to the store as opposed to a "road" on which the person will be traveling.

This is a complicating factor because one can have a store on a dead end side (and not crossing) street that would never generate an alert "along the road".

Personally, if I were creating a POI file for a store in a mall, I think I would choose one of the "main" entrances - and I would skew toward the entrance that someone who did not live in the immediate are would use when navigating from another part of town or from out-of-town

I have done all this only to ask exactly what element of coordinate placement are we debating.

Yes

jgermann wrote:

David, I agree that you specifically said "strip mall" but I think Gadget (and I am sure he will weigh in) is talking about any kind of mall.

What are the issues we are discussing here?

I agree with just about everything you say. Let me reiterate what I said.

If you have a strip mall with many obstructions preventing seeing the stores itself, a better place to put the coordinates is in front of the store.

In a "closed" mall, the best place is the nearest entrance.

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NUVI40 Kingsport TN

My $.02 All kinds of malls

Don B maintains the Kitchen Collection Stores file. He places the location at the entrance to the outlet mall. Some outlet malls are huge with 50 or more stores.
I know I have had a problem finding the store. The Williamsburg IA Tanger Mall has two kitchen stores. I can't remember which is which. With this particular file, the actual store location would be best,like David suggests.

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1490LMT 1450LMT 295w

Good Example

spokybob wrote:

Don B maintains the Kitchen Collection Stores file. He places the location at the entrance to the outlet mall. Some outlet malls are huge with 50 or more stores.
I know I have had a problem finding the store. The Williamsburg IA Tanger Mall has two kitchen stores. I can't remember which is which. With this particular file, the actual store location would be best,like David suggests.

This is a good example of a situation where it is very unlikely that a user would want to set an "along the road" alert. so this would not be a concern for the maintainer. Myself, I would likely set the coordinates to the store itself.

Still, I recall one time when I was navigating to a location by its address and my GPS wanted me to turn at a particular road but the mall had made that "road" a one way out street. I had to turn around and go back to a road I had already passed to get to where I wanted to go.

Takeway is that it is not always obvious what a maintainer needs to do if they are setting coordinates

To make it easier on those of us debating this, I am going to add the OP

jim407 wrote:

There are tools to generate coordinates from a list of addresses, but what if you are physically at the location and want to capture the coordinates?

Where is the best place for the coordinates? At the front door of the establishement? At the entrance to the parking lot? At the closest point on the nearest main road?

I initially thought the best place would be near the front door to the establishment to indicate the exact location, but the practicality of it wasn't that great. When driving down the road the icon for the POI woud at best be at the edge of the screen and usually off the screen.

So when marking coordinates for a POI where do you think is the best spot?

The choices are all good.

But as has been said a lot is dependant on type of store and whether it is a mall or strip mall. There is no "best" choice. As a maintainer we make the best choice and then maybe hope that we will get better coordinates from the users.

--
Nuvi 650 and 1350.

ATM placement

For consistancy, I use the actual location of a BoA ATM.

Many of BoA's ATMs are stand alone. To complicate matters, the street address is not always where the ATM is actually located and I have had to do some lengthy searching to pinpoint the actual location.

If a map of the mall is available online and it has the ATM locations on it, I will try to be as accurate as possible for those folks using a smart phone w/GPS. If I can't find it using Street View, I'll put "(Approx)" in the "C" column.

I know many of you say to use the driveway, but who wants to go cruising around a large parking lot late at night. There could be an 18 wheeler blocking your view of the ATM when you pull in. The more time you spend cruising around, the greater the chance of some thug(s) spotting you and trying to score some easy cash. You're better off to be able to head right to the ATM, so you won't look like a "Lost Tourist" and be tagged as "Easy Prey".

A couple of the POI files I downloaded here were loaded with lots of inaccurate locations (some were way, way off). They were created by using a Geo-location website. DON'T EVER TRUST THEM. Always verify the coordinates using Google Earth, Bing maps or some other reliable arial/satellite map program.

Now, if we could just get the companies to supply an up-to-date list of locations (as discussed in another thread), life would be easier and they would get more customers.

Anyway, that's my 2 cents.

--
Metricman Nuvi 660, GTM-20 Traffic Receiver Nuvi 3597 GTM-60 Traffic Receiver Williamsburg, VA

Stores in Malls

I find that locations of stores or services in a mall can be a real problem for the GPS. With some of the larger indoor malls, the coordinates for an entrance to the parking lot does not really help find the store you're looking for. But the more prescise coordinates may not be near an entrance to the mall, so you end up walking forever anyway.

Coordinates for shops in a strip mall can be even worse, as the actual location of the store may not provide access from the street. I encountered this problem last week as I had to circle a large strip mall three times because the specific address was on a busy thoroughfare, but the only entrance to the lot was off a side street. It can be really frustrating when you can "see" the place you want from the road but you can't get there mad

Position of POI

it all depends whom your making the file for. If it's for a consumer looking for a dd or starbucks, giving you the entrance to the parking lot won't work. If it's for a truck driver making deliveries, you will need the loading dock. For a bus driver, what I do mostly, I use the bus drop off point. bottom line, you have to know who will be using that poi file, doing what.

Shlomie

You're Correct

Shlomie wrote:

it all depends whom your making the file for. If it's for a consumer looking for a dd or starbucks, giving you the entrance to the parking lot won't work. If it's for a truck driver making deliveries, you will need the loading dock. For a bus driver, what I do mostly, I use the bus drop off point. bottom line, you have to know who will be using that poi file, doing what.

Shlomie

Good suggestion. Personally, I've not given it a thought. The accuracy of my GPS isn't sufficient to make much difference where the location is as long as it's "close". Obviously, I'd like to find the destination driving my car, so a position I can't see from the car, or easily get to in the car, isn't much help.

--
Tuckahoe Mike - Nuvi 3490LMT, Nuvi 260W, iPhone5

Some standards I've decided to use

Most locations that I am plotting are in strip malls, or are stand alone locations with their own parking lot.

When I first started my efforts I would capture the coordinated at the front door of the establishment, but my TOMTOM will only navigate along roads it won't plot a course into a parking area. It will plot a course to the point on a road closest to your destination, for one location it was to a road behind the strip mall, that won't work.

At the momemt I am updating locatios in my geographic area that I know about. I keep an eye on my GPS as I drive by and see if the icon on the GPS correlates to the location of the establishment. If it is off, or missing, I will use itouchmap.com to get the coordinates I want to use and update the POI file.

What I first try to do is pick an entrance into the parking lot where the establishment can be clearly seen. I balance that with an entrance into the parkig lot that can be easily accessed. Some locatoins are at intersections of a highway and a side street. The entrance on the highway may only be easily accessible from one direction, while the side street entrance may be easily accessible from every diretion. I would use the side street entrance.

The POIs that I am updating are mainly consumer locatoins used by the general GPS navigator. The audience is not truck drivers or bus drivers.

But even it the audience were truck drivers, I don't see the benefit of plottig the exact location of a loading dock location if the GPS won't plot a course off road (at least that is how my TOMTOM is, I don't know about other brands).

Entrance to drive

I have found that some places have addresses on one road and the entrance to the parking is on a side road. By putting the entrance to the drive in I know what road drive to.

This has helped me in several places.

--
Nuvi 750 (gave to son) Nuvi 2450

Dock location

jim407 wrote:

.
But even it the audience were truck drivers, I don't see the benefit of plottig the exact location of a loading dock location if the GPS won't plot a course off road (at least that is how my TOMTOM is, I don't know about other brands).

If you plot the dock location, when you get to the general area and drive in the entrance you can still see your dock location and know what direction to drive even though the unit does not work in parking lots. It looks to me like you would need both. The dock and the entrance. That way you would know just where to go to find the dock so you would not be driving in the wrong direction after entered the parking lot. You could do the route with two via points and that way after you enter the parking lot the final destination would still show even though you were not being told how to get there.

--
Nuvi 750 (gave to son) Nuvi 2450

Outlet Malls

I have brought up the Mall Directory of the outlet malls that we might visit. Then using that map & Google Maps, I have added the front door location of individual stores where we might shop.

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1490LMT 1450LMT 295w

Yep!

mgarledge wrote:

I have found that some places have addresses on one road and the entrance to the parking is on a side road. By putting the entrance to the drive in I know what road drive to.

This has helped me in several places.

I'm with you. Every one of the POI files I've created has their coordinates on driveways. They're along the road and they lead to the desired destination.

Phil

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Phil in Mentor, Ohio -- Garmin Nuvi 1450

exact coordinates can produce undesired results

jim407 wrote:

Where is the best place for the coordinates? At the front door of the establishement? At the entrance to the parking lot? At the closest point on the nearest main road?

When I created my first set of POIs, there was a local one that I knew to be at the back entrance of a local shopping plaza. So, thinking I was clever, I got the coordinates for the proper door to use from Google, and used that rather than just a point along the street at the parking lot entrance. Unfortunately, when I ran a simulation, I found that my Garmin would take a number of strange turns and miss the shopping plaza completely, then would get on the Interstate, and would finally go up an off-ramp half way and stop there. It was apparently the closest road to the coordinates that I used, but you couldn't park there, there was a fence, and there was no way to get to the POI from where the Gamin took you.

So my advice is to use coordinates that will get you to the parking lot entrance. Beyond that, you could use comment space in the POI to give any details that you think are needed. But you can't put the coordinates exactly on the destination and always get routed to it properly.

I did that

once. I had the bldg in the parking lot. It took me to a street in the back of the bldg. I couldn't get there, no entrance. I figure that I should of use the entrance to the parking lot instead, learned my lesson.

--
3790LMT; 2595LMT; 3590LMT

I actually do the rear alley by my garage...

I feel this is the best location.

Best Place for a POI

I think the best is where you can see the address and the number of the place. If is in the mall the entrance closer to the store.

I agree, It is best to mark

I agree, It is best to mark a location on the street where you can get a direct route to it.

I always use...

....the closest entrance to the place where I want to target. For example, I would use the main road in front of a gas station, but I would use the closest entrance to a department store. I would keep in mind that the store or place of business should be visible from the place where you are placing the coordinates.

--
It is impossible to rightly govern a nation without God and the Bible. ----George Washington

If

They have a parking lot I mark the entrance to that, otherwise I mark their front door

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

Some Malls

Some Malls actually have their lot roads in the maps supplied to the GPS companies.

I think some experimentation is in order, to find a place like that and create an icon at the mall entrance versus the store location within the mall.

The best way...

... is to try both and see which is better.

--
NUVI40 Kingsport TN

Agree about co-ords on nearest active roadway to entrance.

Frovingslosh wrote:
jim407 wrote:

Where is the best place for the coordinates? At the front door of the establishement? At the entrance to the parking lot? At the closest point on the nearest main road?

When I created my first set of POIs, there was a local one that I knew to be at the back entrance of a local shopping plaza. So, thinking I was clever, I got the coordinates for the proper door to use from Google, and used that rather than just a point along the street at the parking lot entrance. Unfortunately, when I ran a simulation, I found that my Garmin would take a number of strange turns and miss the shopping plaza completely, then would get on the Interstate, and would finally go up an off-ramp half way and stop there. It was apparently the closest road to the coordinates that I used, but you couldn't park there, there was a fence, and there was no way to get to the POI from where the Gamin took you.

So my advice is to use coordinates that will get you to the parking lot entrance. Beyond that, you could use comment space in the POI to give any details that you think are needed. But you can't put the coordinates exactly on the destination and always get routed to it properly.

For me, the whole point of using the POI files as proximity audible alerts, is to tell me when there is something I might be interested in, somewhere up ahead on the road I'm currently driving on. Since I can't use Tourguide in my 855 (hangs the unit requiring regular reboots) I have to rely on my nuvi "seeing" the POI item ahead on the active roadway, so I can decide if it's worth stopping for. That said, I would always prefer that the co-ords are as near to the entrance to the driveway or parking area on the nearest active roadway, as possible.

There have been times when there have been things obstructing my view of the actual POI or building, but I would hope that I'm persistent enough that if I've stopped for it, I can find it in a few minutes, once I'm in the vicinity, or the driveway/parking area. I don't need to be directed to the front door.

So, on the nearest active roadway at the entrance to the parking area or driveway. That way I know it's there somewhere, and it's up to me to slow down, pull in, and/or park, and find it. If my nuvi can't see it on the roadway ahead, because the POI co-ords are under the front door awning too far from the active roadway, it won't matter to me, because my nuvi will just sit quietly while we drive on by.

I first became aware of this issue when I noticed my unit stopped seeing the local Walmart POIs a while back, and after talking with the maintainer, discovered that front door location co-ords had been requested by a majority of users, and those modifications had been made to the file. Not sure which other files have been changed to front door locations, but I'm sure I'll figure it out on our next trip, if any other obvious proximity alerts fail to fire.

roads in mall don't show as street

David King wrote:
Motorcycle Mama wrote:

The "best" location for locating coordinates is in the driveway of the establishment right on the main road on which the business is located.

...you can see the establishment without difficulty.

The roads in s mall, don't usually show on the GPS. As a result you will seem to be off road.

--
NUVI2555LMT, NUVI350

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