Alerting with Icons and Sounds for Every Point


One little known advantage of a .gpx file is that it can provide a unique icon and/or sound alert for every individual point of interest contained within it. And, you can have a different "proximity" for each point.

An easy way to create a .gpx file with these capabilities is to use Extra POI Editor (EPE) created by TurboCC, one of our members.

This Tutorial will provide you with a sample .gpx file as well as icons and Sounds for you to install on your Garmin and then use a Simulation to demonstrate the results. You will not need to know anything about .csv or .gpx files. All you will have to do is some downloads and then run POI Loader.

Then, once you have proved to yourself the possibilities of .gpx files, you may want to use EPE to create some special POI files for yourself.

There are several FAQs that will explain EPE, including
Extra POI Editor (EPE):
Downloading and Installing EPE {G}
Configuring EPE {G}
Building alert distances in GPX files using EPE {G}
Troubleshooting EPE - Application window does not appear {G}
Troubleshooting EPE - Run-time errors and crashes {G}
Testing POI Alerts – Manual mode {G}
Testing POI Alerts – Express mode {G}

If you are not familiar with how to Simulate a route, then see
Learn to do Simulation (Garmin) {G}. However, the instructions below should be easy enough to follow.

The demonstration file is called
Test GPX Washington DC Simulation.

There are four sound files (.wav) and 4 Icons (.bmp) that are used by the demo file. They are called
Test Point One.wav,
Test Point Two.wav
Test Point Three.wav
Test Point Four.wav

The sound files were made using an online facility found at

Note that .wav files will work in all Garmin units assuming that a program called sox.exe resides in the same directory as "POI Loader.exe" (which for newer computers will likely be "C:\Program Files (x86)\Garmin\POI Loader"). To download the only version of sox.exe that works with POI Loader click

The Icon files were created using Greenfish Icon Editor Pro. This software is portable and free. If you are interested, you can download a copy from
It is not at all easy to use, in my opinion, as it has no real help or tutorials.

If you do not happen to have a first level directory named "MyPOI" under your C:\ drive on your PC, you can create one and download the .gpx, .bmp and .wav (a total of 9 files) to that new directory. Then, you could point POI Loader to the MyPOI directory, load a total of 5 points to your GPS, safely disconnect your GPS and then proceed directly to a simulation procedure outlined below.

If you do not want to create a folder called MyPOI, then you will have to do some work on the .gpx file because that file assumes that the 4 sound files and the four Icon files are in C:\MyPOI.

Let's take a look at the .gpx file.
(Note: in order to display it here, I have had to replace every "<" with a "&lt" (followed by a semicolon) and every ">" with a "&gt" (followed by a semicolon) in order to have it display properly)

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" standalone="no" ?>
<gpx xmlns="" xmlns:gpxx="" creator="Extra_POI_Editor V5.32" version="1.1" xmlns:xsi="" xsi:schemaLocation="">
Extra_POI_Editor can only be used for personnal usage and not for any commercial purposes without a written permission of the author, aka TurboCCC. I can be reached at
--><link href=""></link>

<wpt lat="38.888644" lon="-77.030640">
<name>Start point</name>
<cmt>This file was created with EPE and tested. Using Notepad++, file reformatted to fit FAQ page with GT and LT symbols replaced. FAQ result copied and new file created in order to simplify location of links to wav and bmp in first level directory called MyPOI. Tested links in EPE.</cmt>

<wpt lat="38.888594" lon="-77.029331">
<name>Freer Gallery</name>
<desc>actual address is 1200 Independence Ave SW, Washington, DC</desc>
<link href="C:/MyPOI/Test%20Point%20One.wav"/>
<link href="C:/MyPOI/numberone.bmp"/>

<wpt lat="38.889045" lon="-77.025919">
<desc>actual address is 1100 Jefferson Dr SW, Washington, DC 20560</desc>
<link href="C:/MyPOI/Test%20Point%20Two.wav"/>
<link href="C:/MyPOI/numbertwo.bmp"/>

<wpt lat="38.888728" lon="-77.019053">
<name>Air Space Museum</name>
<desc>actual address is600 Independence Avenue Southwest
Washington, DC 20560</desc>
<link href="C:/MyPOI/Test%20Point%20Three.wav"/>
<link href="C:/MyPOI/numberthree.bmp"/>

<wpt lat="38.888862" lon="-77.015748">
<name>Reflecting Pool Ahead</name>
<link href="C:/MyPOI/Test%20Point%20Four.wav"/>
<link href="C:/MyPOI/numberfour.bmp"/>



A couple of things about this .gpx file. whenever you see the character string "%20" it will be replaced with a " " (ie: a blank or space) when it is compiled.

Whenever you see "gpxx:Proximity", you are seeing a Garmin extension that sets the alert distance for a particular point when processed by POI Loader. Note that this file is loaded in "Express" mode, has no numbers in the file name, has no numbers in the point name BUT still generates visual alerts (a black oval), a sound (either a "Dong" or the playing of a .wav file) and an Icon (if provided) for each point.

Also notice that the "proximity" is given in meters. The proximities for the five fields were entered as "50", "300", "500", "600", and "700" into EPE. However, EPE converts distances to meters when saving the file, so they are stored as "15.2", 91.4", "152.4", "182.9" and "213.4" respectively. Based on the use of only one decimal place, when one looks at this file in EPE with "feet" as the distance, one will see "49.9", "299.9", "500", "600.1" and "700.1", respectively.

So, if you want to test this file but want to put in a different directory than MyPOI, you can do that by adjusting the .gpx file accordingly. You can use Wordpad, but I happen to prefer NotePad++ (free, portable, and available at

Ok, assuming you have used POI Loader to put this file on your GPS, let's test what it does. The points in the file are in Washington DC and are along Jefferson Drive which goes past the Smithsonian Institution. I know you are not in Washington, DC but it is easy to get your GPS to think that is where you are. We are going to use the technique of "Recently Found"

What you will do on your GPS is:

"Where To?" > "Intersection" > "Change State or Country" >
"Spell State or Province" >type "D" > choose District of Columbia

Now press "Spell City" > type "W" > "Done" > choose the top Washington entry

For <Enter Street 1>, type "jef" and choose "jefferson (Dr SW, Pl NW....."

For <Enter Street 2>, type "14t" and choose "14th (Pl NE...

Then, choose the entry US 1 & 14th St NW & Jefferson Dr SW.......

After the choice, you will get a "Go!" button, but you want hold down your "Back" button till you get back to the Main Menu.

Note that the last location has been saved in Recently Found

"Where To?" > "Intersection" > "Spell City" > type "W" > "Done" > choose Washington DC.

For <Enter Street 1>, type "jef" and you will get "jefferson (Dr SW, Pl NW....."

Select that entry

For <Enter Street 2>, type "3r" and you will get "3rd (Ave, Ave SW, Pl...."

Select that entry

From the two choices, select the one that has "Jefferson Dr" in it.

Now hold down your "Back" button till you get back to the Main Menu.

Now, let's put the GPS in "Simulation" mode. On my 765T, I press "Tools (wrench)" > "Settings" > "System" > "Simulation" > "On" > "Ok" and then hold the "Back" button till I get to the Main Menu.

With Simulation on, we need to get to the first intersection above.

"Where To?" > "Recently Found" > pick the "US 1 &14th St NW" entry. Now you will have a "Go!" button but you will press "Map" and then "Set Loc.".

Then, press and hold the "Back" button until you get back to the Main Menu.

Since we are in Simulation mode, all we have to do is navigate to the other intersection.

"Where To?" > "Recently Found" > and choose the entry "3rd St NW & 3rd St SW" (which should be 0.9 mi to the East). I know! That is not the intersection that we looked up, but that is what my 765T thinks it was.

When you press the "Go!" button, you will be asked "Do you want to simulate driving this route?". Answer "Yes" and you are on your way.

Note: If for some reason, you have trouble with getting the above intersections, you can use Coordinates instead. The one from which you want to start is W77.03197, N38.88862. The destination is W77.01519, N38.88879.

On the Simulation, You will get the following alert ovals "
"Alert: Start Point" with a "Dong"
"Alert: Greer Gallery" with a voice "Approaching test point 1" and Icon "1"
"Alert: Smithsonian" with a voice "Approaching test point 2" and Icon "2"
"Alert: Air Space Museum" with a voice "Approaching test point 3" and Icon "3"
"Alert: Reflecting Pool Ahead" with a voice "Approaching test point 4" and Icon "4"

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