I've been looking at lots of POI files from this site and elsewhere and the names, descriptions and addresses are loaded with superfluous wording, unnecessary punctuation, spacing, characters, etc. Please don't misunderstand me, I appreciate those who take the time to create POIs but I just don't understand why so many characters are used? I don't know how some gps units can possibly display so much text and assuming it does display how a driver can safely read all of it.
I have edited many downloaded POI files because I only want the absolute essential text being displayed much like Garmin does in their display of text. I realize I am creating a lot of work for myself and admittedly it does discourage me from downloading updates since I have to rework them. When I was in flying in the Air Force, a cardinal rule of cockpit/instrument design was to keep any written instructions/labels/symbols as brief as possible to minimize reading and enhance safety.
A particular practice puzzles me, and this may well be due to my lack of understanding of some uses of custom POIs, but why are ZIP codes included in addresses? I recently ran across a file that had the ZIP+4 attached to addresses!
Anyone else agree? Can someone enlighten me on this practice?
Many of the submitted files are created from stripping data from web sites, others from user submissions. If the zip isn't provided when the data is compiled then it won't be in the output file posted to the POI-Factory. It also has to do with the preferences of the maintainer, some will extract the zip from the web site, others see no use for it. It was only a few revisions ago Garmin (and the overwhelming number of people here use Garmin) allowed a zip to be used in a search. I know for my purposes, I'm more interested that the coordinates be accurate than it would be to do a search for a location by zip or postal code.
As to my files, if a post code is provided, I'll include it but I won't go searching through the Internet to see if one exists if the postal code isn't in the original data. On a more practical view, I don't intend to mail letters while I'm in my vehicle nor do I send faxes. I'll include a zip but never a fax number.
As to the effort of working with data provided by others, just remember IIWII - It is what it is. I download the bulk of my files from this site as CSV, rework them in Excel and then convert to GPX. I appreciate the standardization many posters have adopted in that their files are consistent in the data provided. Others because of the large amount of text in their description fields are an absolute pain and I very rarely work on these files. But then IIWII.
I also don't agree with the way that a lot of the poi files are named. Not much you can do about it because you can't change the world. I prefer upper and lower case, not underscores or weird punctuation. I also change some of my files for better reading.
As for zip codes, it's part of the address. Is it needed in the poi file, probably not.
As to the effort of working with data provided by others, just remember IIWII - It is what it is.
Well said...I've never heard that expression. I like it!
Also, there is WYSIWYG. What you see is what you get.
Garbage in, garbage out...
Don't look a gift horse in the mouth
@OP: You said, "...superfluous wording, unnecessary punctuation, spacing, characters, etc." Please provide an example from one of the POIs.
For some of my POIs, it was very easy for me to copy and paste the data from the location's website, which may include more information than necessary. When working with a POI with a few hundred locations, it would actually be quicker to include all of the data rather than to cut it out.
For me, the most critical thing is to have the coordinates accurate, second is the name of the location.
I plead not guilty, I use coordinates, name, address, and phone number. I also delete zip codes.
full state names instead of standard abbreviations also Suite information.
I've been looking at lots of POI files from this site and elsewhere and the names, descriptions and addresses are loaded with superfluous wording, unnecessary punctuation, spacing, characters, etc. ... I just don't understand why so many characters are used? I don't know how some gps units can possibly display so much text and assuming it does display how a driver can safely read all of it.
Strephon_Alkhalikoi has already asked for some illustrations of superfluous wording, unnecessary punctuation, spacing, characters, etc. I also would be interested in examples.
However, I have an additional question about whether eKeith thinks that this information will appear while someone is in the act of driving.
There is extra information in some files as the maintainer is trying to give information on, say, the amenities at truck stops. My feeling is that this information will display in the Where To? > ... > "I" sequence. I assume that the vehicle is stopped if the driver is accessing such info; otherwise, a passenger is looking for some unplanned, intermediate stop if the vehicle is in motion.
... but why are ZIP codes included in addresses?... eKeith
I guess MY question would be: If the POI author chooses to add zip codes or any other non-essential information, so what? I know in my particular case I write very structured POI's that include the complete address and phone number. That's just the way I choose to do it. Never do I intend that the user actually read the entire POI as they're tooling down the road at sixty miles per hour. I put it there for documentation purposes.
One more thing: size shouldn't matter, either. The size difference is, for all practical purposes, insignificant.
One should download the GPX verion if aval. If do correctlly, the feilds should be broken down and you can use EPE to strip oiut any field s you want to.
My Offbeat file is like this, I start to use the GPX verison then convert it to a CSV file with almost all the informat in it. Zip code and all.
If the author did it correct, all feilds should be used (address, city, zip, phone, etc..
This way the user can do anything they want with it with something like EPE.
Just my thought!
I guess MY question would be: If the POI author chooses to add zip codes or any other non-essential information, so what?
Just conjecture here, but I think the OP believes that the non-essential information is a distraction to him, thus POI authors should not be adding this information at all.
Naturally that's merely his opinion. I consider the zip code, telephone number, fax number, and email address to all be necessary. I wonder if he'd consider all the descriptions I added "superflous"?
I build my poi's with full addresses. I feel that phone numbers are crtical to the poi. I wish everyone would add phone numbers. Many times when I am on the road, I want to call the "business" first to get a reservation, found out if they are open, have a room for the night, etc. I don't want to drive there and be turned away.
All motel files should have the numbers. Choice Hotel does not. An easy workaround for me is search for suitable lodging along the route. Then I call the 800 number for rates and reservations.
I thought the entertainment value of adding images to a POI was so cool I wanted to do it with animated gif's. Just sitting at a rest stop perusing the content of the next Point. Never thought of doing it at 70 mph was an option. LOL I ran across a European model that allowed it.
Yeah boy! Looks like an original. I've never heard/seen it either. Do we need to involve the lawyers ?
Anyway, I like the extras but some of the nation wide POI's consisting of over 1,000 stops might be a real mind bender.
IIWII for President!
I often view the POI files in Basecamp or EPE for more data than the actual location. When I find something in the area I plan to be next, the phone number is the next field I need. When I create my POI files, if the zip is in the data, I include it. What the hey, I always say. Five (or nine) more digits is just more information. The more the merrier.
If you are using EPE, you can do a Reverse lookup and it will find the City, State and zip for you from the Long. and Lat that you gave in the file. I use this all the time if I do not know the Address. works like a charm!
In my Bank of America POI file, I use the Zip Codes to sort the file using MS Excel.
I have a 5th column that contains a formula in row 1:
which was copied into all the cells below. This grabs the last 5 characters in the address string, which is the Zip Code.
Excel increments the formula automatically. The "E" cell in in row 6134 reads:
And if I add or delete a line, Excel adjusts all the cells below.
I sort the file by Zip Code by sorting on column E. This makes it much easier to locate a BoA location when I verify/update the file. I don't have to use the "Find" function so much. But, BoA has made address corrections (including the Zip Code) that can be a challenge at times.
Also, having the file sorted by Zip Code, allows users to edit the file much easier, such as when they are only interested in the state they live in.
I delete the 5th column when I create the CSV file.
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