The GPX pages at POI Factory now include a button to download a converted file in CSV format for Rand McNally.
This means Rand McNally GPS users can use POI files that are maintained in GPX format without needing to go through an extra conversion step.
On pages with both GPX and the converted CSV formats, Garmin users should continue to use GPX format.
Rand McNally's extended CSV format uses 9 columns. Garmin CSV files use just 3 or 4 columns. The CSV files converted from GPX are in 9 column format.
Jonathan (aka JM)
That's great news JM. It's always great having the site keep up with changing user needs.
Nice addition to the site. Thanks
TomTom owners can also use these CSV files if they run them through ov2optimizer. However, on the device only the POI Name is available (along with the coordinates, of course) even though the CSV file contains address and phone number information.
TomTom users can refer to the Camera Files FAQ for more detailed instructions on using ov2optimizer with CSV files.
Hmmm...Rand McNally CSV is supposed to be nine columns, yet the Rand McNally CSV version of Historic Vessels only shows 8, which makes me wonder what column is missing. It also appears that if an entry has alternate phone numbers all the numbers are mashed together into one column.
Other than the phone numbers it appears to translate GPX files pretty well.
Looking through the user manuals for the Rand McNally units it appears the missing column is the country. What is not shown in the RM manuals is the location of the phone number field which JM has. Counting the fields listed in RM's manual, there are 8 including the country but no phone number. JM must have gotten the information from RM which makes their manuals incorrect regarding the POI fields.
Then there's an issue with the converter. If country is one of the fields, every entry I have for Canada should be displaying the country when converted to CSV. Those entries have no country listed in CSV.
@Box Car & Strephon
You are both correct. The missing field is Country.
The converter currently does a 1-to-1 mapping from GPX fields to the CSV fields, with some additional adjustments required by the Rand McNally format (e.g., no commas inside fields).
Since the GPX format has a "State" field, the country can be determined using a lookup table from the state or province. I will add this to the code and push it into production after it's tested.
You might want to check the code to be sure you're only pulling the primary phone number. Because as I mentioned, entries with alternate phone numbers are getting those alternates pulled in with the primary number. The end result is the numbers are all strung together and rendered virtually unreadable since all the punctuation is stripped out.
The converter now adds a USA or CAN country code based on cross-reference lookup from the State field.
In situations where the GPX record has multiple phone values, the phone field in the CSV file will now show the first phone entry (of whatever type).
And lastly, I also added some characterset adjustments to better handle multi-byte characters.
EPE has Phone, Phone2 and Fax as its fields containing phone numbers. I know phone and fax are tagged as such but I've never played with Phone2. As to character sets are you using UTF-8?
I use Phone2 for a secondary number, if the location offers one as well as the fax. In a few cases all three phone slots were used.
Thanks to you both for your help and feedback!
== ENCODING ==
I had assumed using UTF-8 text from the GPX file would be good, but I ended up needing to decode to ISO-8859-1 before putting it in the CSV file in order to get the special characters to show correctly on the computer and a Rand McNally GPS. I didn't have any specs for character encoding needed by the GPS, so it may be that I'll need to revisit this issue again sometime.
== PHONE ==
Since the GPS only has one phone field, any additional phone values from the original GPX file end up being discarded.
Behind the scenes, it looks like Rand McNally holds custom POIs in a SQLite database running on the GPS. It has separate fields for each piece of information (e.g., phone, street, city, state, etc.). It doesn't have any general description or notes field for extra misc. stuff.
I have to admit, there's one nifty thing I like. If a location has no phone number at all but has an email address, the email address is pulled into the phone field. At the same time, thanks to your work it pointed out a few fixes of my own to make in the phone field, as a couple of the entries pulled in a hidden <br> code that does not show up in Extra POI Editor but does show up in a Notepad ++ scan of the GPX file.
One more feather to add to the Poi-Factory hat!
I don't use Rand McNally, but this should help attract more users to our community here.
Does anyone know of a way of converting from Rand McNally csv to GPX?
I was looking for a way to create a csv file that would have the necessary columns to populate the GPX files, just as they're setup on EPE. i.e. Name, Comments, Description, Address, City, State, Country, Postal Code, Phone, etc.
EPE does not have an import for Rand McNally. Sometimes you get a business file that has in Excel or csv that you could break out things like hours of operation, etc that would go in the Comments or Description.
Maybe if you made the csv with these column names EPE would open correctly.
Looking for some guidance.
And, I've written a tutorial that covers the process. The difference between the example in the tutorial and the RM format is the order of the elements. It's really simple as all that's needed is to create a custom layout listing the elements in the same order used by RM.
This is exactly what I was looking for.
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