Techniques for arranging Custom POIs


Techniques for arranging Custom POIs

There appears to be no limit to the number of POI files that you can load to your unit. However, POI files do take up space. How much space a single POI file takes up will depend on how much "text" is included about each location, for example. GPX files will usually take up more space on the unit because one usually uses a GPX file to add things like proximity distances for each location.

So, it is possible that one might have over one hundred different POI files downloaded from poi-factory - one could easily have 30 or more places to eat; 20 or more places to shop; and 10 or more miscellaneous places like banks, gas stations, rest areas, etc.

It can easily be a problem when accessing Custom POIs to "scroll" and find the particular POI you want. For those who like their POI files to be in alphabetic order, this would be a problem.

Why, because if they had all of their POI files in a folder (say, MyPOIs) and pointed POI Loader to this folder when they loaded their POIs, then POI Loader would put all the files in alphabetic order. So long as those wanting everything alphabetized added any new POI files (ie. .csv or .gpx) to their single MyPOIs folder (deleting any unwanted .csv or .gpx) and did a replacement run using POI Loader, then all their Custom POI files would remain in alpha order.

However, if they were to create a new folder (say, MyNewPOIs), add their recently found and desirable POI files to that new folder, and then do a POI Loader run pointing to MyNewPOIs, they would find that their Custom POI files were not longer in alpha order. They would find all of the files in MyPOIs in alpha order followed by the MyNewPOIs files in alpha order.

This has confused many people because they may have expected to see all of their Custom POI files in order and did not scroll down far enough to find the newly added files.

The takeaway should be that every POI Loader run creates a .gpi file with a default name of the folder to which it is pointed (although the user can change it) and time stamps it. The device - when asked to display Custom POIs - shows .gpi files with the earliest (chronologically) time stamp first followed by any other .gpi files in time stamp order. Note that, within each .gpi file set, the POI files are displayed in alpha order (assuming there were multiple .csv or .gpx files in that set).

Note - this would be a good time to comment that the name of the folder to which POI Loader is pointed is used only for the name of the .gpi file created and is not used anywhere within the Custom POIs.

Note that it is possible to use subfolders within the main POI folder (like MyPOIs) and use these subfolders to create Categories to group similar POI files together.

Well, what do we mean by Category? I love the explanation which Box Car used in a thread in which he said.


Perhaps one way to visualize [Categories] is to think of a database. Now, there are two basic types of databases, a "flat file" where everything is laid out in a single file and you go through the file picking the elements you want. The other is a relational database where items fitting in one or more category are related so therefore they are grouped together.

In creating individual GPI files, you have a "flat" database where all your POI are displayed and you pick the one you want. Using subfolders, you group the items into pieces that are related to each other and when you want to see what is available, you go to that group and all your files which are related are displayed. Hence, a "relational" database.

The process of "Categories" may be the way you found the POI files that you downloaded from poi-factory. When you went to POI File Categories , you may have clicked on "lighthouses" and scrolled around till you found some lighthouses in the area where you were planning a vacation. Perhaps you picked "Outer Banks" and "East Coast". You likely would want to see these two files grouped together when you look at Custom POIs on your device.

To keep these files together, you would put the "Outer Banks" and "East Coast" POI files into a subfolder named, say, "Lighthouses". When loaded to the device by POI Loader, there would be an "category" entry in Custom POIs called "Lighthouses", which, when tapped. would display the "East Coast" and then the "Outer Banks" files (having put them in alpha order).

Let me illustrate what might be in a folder called "MyPOIs" to which I will point POI Loader.

>>> one or more subfolders (*)
>>> one or more individual POI sets (**)

I do this because files and subfolders will be arranged within the MyPOIs folder (assuming you have Windows Explorer set to display in "name" order) as above - subfolders in alpha order, then files in alpha order.

However, when POI Loader creates MyPOIs.gpi, it arranges things as follows within MyPOIs.gpi (and I will act like I could - which I can't - see its directory tree)

>>> possibly some individual POI sets
>>> one or more subfolders
>>>>>> two or more file POI file sets
>>> possibly some individual POI sets
>>> one or more subfolders
>>>>>> two or more file POI file sets
>>> etc.

"Possibly" is used because POI Loader arranges its entries in alpha order of whatever (file or subfolder) it finds at the root level and then alpha within subfolders

(*) a subfolder can not contain more than 32 file sets
(**) a file set is described as a .csv or .gpx file and possible a Icon (.bmp) file and possible a Sound/Alert (.mp3 or .wav) file. Note that the character string to the left of the extension of each file within a file set must be the same - not being the same is a common reason why alerts do not work.

The name of any subfolder become the name that your device will display when you go to Custom POIs. When you touch that name, the device will then display the up to 32 entries within that subfolder.