POI files - many seem neglected

 

Hello,
Just throwing this out there......

What's the incentive for anyone to update / maintain POI files? Unless you really love doing that sort of thing or need a particular POI.

Seems that all the POI's I am interested in are 2 or more years since last update. An example would be animal hospitals for example. So many have closed and others opened since the last update it's of little value anymore.

Now, my thoughts on this were that POI files could be really useful and more people would probably come here to get them (increasing traffic), but if it's become expected that most of the POI files are so out of date as to not be reliable, then you see where this is going ?

Maybe what's needed is a new approach to the POI file thing. What would motivate people to WANT to spend time updating them? Maybe if they stood to get something back for all their hard work?

Also, if over time it became known that the POI files here were all regularly updated and maintained traffic here would grow accordingly? (Careful, someone might run with this idea and create a website doing just this smile

For example, I know I personally would gladly pay a small fee for UPDATED / CURRENT POI files. Maybe a system whereby people that submit new POI's can directly benefit from their hard work? Kinda like Android developers get a small amount for their paid projects.
And maintainer could also benefit from their work depending on the number of updated entries etc? I dunno...something to think about?

Now, I know there are kinks that would need to be worked out and all and I'm not saying it's a perfect or even good idea.....but I do know that sometimes when I need a POI file and I come here and it's years since last update it's discouraging and often I end up making my own from Google maps etc.

Please don't take this the wrong way. I REALLY appreciate all the hard work that has gone into the files and I'm really glad this site is here. Just wishing there was a way to motivate their updating.

Anyway....it's just throwing an idea out....no need to lynch me smile

--
Nuvi 2595LMT --------- Nuvi 2460

A lot of work

I am sure that most of us here has created their own POI files for our trips or things in our neck of the woods. So we understand the amount of work to must go into making a nationwide file for say a fast food chain. So I admit I have hesitated to take on the responsibility of creating and maintaining a POI file here. Because as mentioned if not maintained it will become less and less useful.

With that said I must thank the people here willing to put in the time and effort without much reward apart for being acknowledged as a contributor.

On a lighter note: I am trying to find a project suitable for me, I am thinking few entries nationwide and very little turnaround and changes. But I see the project for State Capitol buildings is already taken. Anybody that can give me any other ideas?

JCA

A lot

also depends on POI users to alert a maintainer that a location has changed, been discontinued or a new one has sprung up.

For an example, member mahoney trying to update the Subway Sandwich chain in North America. By himself it would be a 24/7/365 job !

--
Nuvi 350 long gone, Nuvi 855LMT Retired now, Nuvi 2797LMT, SmartDrive 50 LMT-HD, 3790LMT now my daughters. Using Windows 10. DashCam A108C with GPS.

Life happens

I had a job I was (overly?) comfortable in and had ample time to work on extraneous projects. Since I left that gig a few years back, the same cannot be said. My free time has dwindled down into the negligible range, and unfortunately the files I maintain suffer. It was enjoyable spending time working on them back then, but with greater responsibility comes greater need for my time. Unfortunately again, the POI files become a rare hobby.

--
Striving to make the NYC Metro area project the best.

i have done that numerous times!

I have messaged the maintainer of the Speedway/Super America Gas Stations file several times within the past year to notify of an incorrect location in my area, but I have been ignored. It makes me wonder how many other locations within this file are incorrect. Seeing as contributing to the Factory community is important to maintaining status, it appears that contributions are being overlooked. I don't particularly care for that. it makes me feel as though I am wasting my time contributing.

--

it's the dog's fault

--
Garmin nuvi 2455 - nuvi 350, 260 (spares) - my other toys: Mac Mini, MacBook Pro, MacOS: Mojave 10.14 and introducing The Beast, a 2013 Dodge Charger Pursuit and his Garmin DriveSmart 5. The dog's name is Ginger

I have considered for a long

I have considered for a long time to take on the task of maintaining a POI file. I am retired and have the time for it.

Problem is that I don’t know how to go about. Ex.: Where do-you get the data to maintain Cat Scales?

--
Have a safe trip

Example Animal Hospitals

I am the maintainer of this file and welcome any inputs regarding any files that I maintain. I try to respond to any and all inputs within a couple of days. In the case of this file, I have not received any changes to it since it was last updated in 2015. If you have any specifics, please let me know.

I just looked on the internet to determine if a complete listing even exists at this time and I was unable to find said listing. Again, if you have any specifics, please send them to me.

I suspect many POI lists die out with smartphone internet

With Google and an array of instant information available from the smartphone while in your vehicle, I suspect that many of these POIs will eventually get the kiss of death. I can see usefulness of things like unusual or weird places in a state, covered bridges in a state, etc. but is it really worth it to maintain all the Chick-Fil-As or Burger Kings, Walmarts, etc. when Google maps will show you instantly? Furthermore, Google is rapidly updated whereas many offline lists aren't.

Cat Scale Listing

Go to website www.catscale.com and you can download a complete listing and according to the website the download also contains the coordinates.
However, there is already a file available on POI Factory, maintained by kixbit. It has not been updated since 2015 and if he no longer wants to maintain this file, you could take it over. Contact Angela and see if she can transfer it to you.

Maintaining POI files

There are many reasons that a lot of POI files appear to have been abandoned.

I think that the biggest reason is that the "Company" websites now use an "Interactive Map" on the internet to show the locations. This presents a major problem. Many only show the closest 10 locations. In the case of my Bank of America POI file, that I maintain, it only shows up to 50 locations. That's fine for my town, but it sucks for NYC, Washington DC or Los Angeles. Those cities have well over 100 ATM/Branch locations. One has to use a location on the edge of those already found to check for more. This gets very tedious. If I already did not have a fairly current listing, it would be easy to miss some as most of the locations displayed would be duplicates and you have to check each one in the 50 listed.

The BoA "locator" site will also miss a location and not list it. Several times I have selected a town or city only to show 2 locations, but my spreadsheet says 3. Enter the missing address in the search bar and VOILA, the location is listed (along with the other 2). This doesn't happen a lot, but for anyone just starting a new POI file, this would mean that a location would be missed.

New locations can be hard to pin down. Many times ATMs are located in shopping center parking lots. That's OK for a small strip mall, but the larger ones that have acres and acres of parking lot(s) that surround the mall, it's best to know EXACTLY where the location is. If it's inside the mall, I look to see if maybe the mall's website shows or lists the location(s) so I can get the user as close as possible (same with airports, such as LAX).

There are also incorrect addresses which can be hard to track down the correct location.

From my own personal experience I discovered long ago that "Google Maps" is full of mistakes. One must understand that most of the locations are supplied by the folks that want their place of business to show up on the maps. One typo in the L/L and the locator could be miles away. Or they could rely on a cellphone or a camera with GPS. Visit Google Earth and check some of the uploaded photos and see how far off they are, as those coordinates were taken from a phone or camera. FYI - most phones and some cameras embed the L/L in the JPEG file that is created (usually can be turned off in your settings).

Most companies no longer supply a list of their locations and when asked, they claim "there is no list". Well they need to check in Finance, because they have a list that they use to check the performance of every location in a spreadsheet or database.

Some of these POI files are just hard work. I commend donaldb530 and mahoney and others that continue to strive for perfection.

Off my soapbox (for now!)

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

I'd like to delete my old ones

But it's not an option.

--
><> Glenn <>< Garmin nüvi 2598

Seemed like a good idea at the time

The Factory has been around since the mid '00's when GPS's and POI's were relatively new and interesting and may I say exciting. (Remember all the discussions about not leaving a suction cup outline on your windshield?)
We have thousands of POI files out there and I think a lot of contributors put them there just because. As an example, there's a file out there with gay bars in Philly (no offense intended, just an example). I can imagine the author not maintaining it. Another example: I have a file out there with all the covered bridges in Ashtabula County, Ohio. There probably won't be another covered bridge built in Ashtabula County in my lifetime. What I'm trying to get across is that the reason some POI's haven't been updated is because they're static, nothing changes with them. They do, however, remain relevant.
Other files remain unchanged because the authors no longer visit the Factory or they have lost interest in them.
And I agree that some of these files have become so large and unwieldy that there's no practical way of keeping them current.

Just sayin'.

Phil

--
Phil in Mentor, Ohio -- Garmin Nuvi 1450

My perspective

I've posted several files here. I don't use anything that accepts GPX files anymore (still looking for something wieldy for Android), but I try to maintain them nonetheless. Some of them, particularly for mass transit, come from automatic data feeds. Those are fairly easy to maintain, but I still spend some time looking over the results before I post them. Others took far more effort to create in the first place, such as manually identifying locations on maps. I've let those go stale simply because I don't have time to reverify the data by hand, I don't use them myself, and maybe most importantly, I don't know whether anyone else uses them at all.

Other

So, a question to the site owner.

Are there any statistics on the number of times a POI file has been downloaded? Any stats on whether the file maintainer even logs on the site anymore?

I have also sent updates to certain file owners on errors or missing data, but have never gotten a response. And yet the file continues to show it being updated, but it seems my updates never get in the file.

Is there a problem with the email sent through this site to a POI file maintainer? And I never get an email copy, even though I check the box.

--
I never get lost, but I do explore new territory every now and then.

Updates

I contribute, albeit in a relatively small way, because I enjoy doing it. I like to think by contributing, I encourage others to do the same. The reward I get, like all members here, is access to a wealth of information which is easily added to my GPS devices.

My bike trail files aren't updated often because there are no changes to make. As Plunder says, some files don't require much maintenance. Dates can be deceiving.

Files containing business locations are a different story however. Here, changes occur almost daily and maintenance can be very time consuming. For example Mahoney, one of our biggest contributors, must spend a great deal of time updating his many files. I for one would like to thank him for all the effort he puts into his contributions!

The time I have to spend on contributions is limited. I regularly review the number of downloads for each of my files and concentrate my effort on the ones that are the most popular. Any leftover time is spent on creating new ones.

Yes, Google and other navigation apps provide much of the same data as our POI Factory files. They however suffer the same update issue that we face. For them, updates cost money. In many cases, our files are more accurate and contain more information.

I've let my Brueggers file go by the wayside.

To update it from the internet is a pita. You have to go by city/state and try and find them. Emails to there corporate office have gone unanswered. And, no one has given me any updates. So this will become a dead poi.
And, even though I am retired I have found plenty to do so my other files aren't updated as often as they should. I know there are updates, but, again, no one seems to send me updates.
What it comes down to is a file maintainer must pretty much update the entire file on his/her own.

--
Nuvi 2460LMT.

Me, too

KenSny wrote:

...Is there a problem with the email sent through this site to a POI file maintainer? And I never get an email copy, even though I check the box.

That's been my experience lately, too. Something with their e-mail here at the Factory broke within the last seven or eights months or so.

Phil

--
Phil in Mentor, Ohio -- Garmin Nuvi 1450

Me Three

Yes, I have had problems with using the "contact tab" on the maintainer's home page. Angela is aware of this problem and they are working on it. In the meantime, try sending your inputs directly to Angela at POI-factory.

If that doesn't work, and I can't believe that I am saying this, but send them to me (or to Angela) and we will attempt to get the comments into the system.

Oh boy,oh boy

mahoney wrote:

If that doesn't work, and I can't believe that I am saying this, but send them to me at email removed and I will attempt to get the comments into the system.

Mahoney, do yourself a favour and change you email address to this

wgam at aol dot com

Should avoid a lot of grief for you.

--
Nuvi 350 long gone, Nuvi 855LMT Retired now, Nuvi 2797LMT, SmartDrive 50 LMT-HD, 3790LMT now my daughters. Using Windows 10. DashCam A108C with GPS.

list of orphaned POIs

I know I have several files that have not been updated in a long time. I will gladly let someone take over responsibility. I created them when I was driving charter coaches, but I don't drive them any longer

Thanks for all the

Thanks for all the responses.
This is pretty important....after all the Site here is POI-FACTORY right?

For those of you who diligently maintain your files, a BIG THANK YOU. To those who simply can't do it anymore...totally understandable. No should feel bad if they just can't do it anymore. It's time consuming hard work.

That said, Why can't we contribute to those who maintain files that are important to us? If, for example, someone finds a POI file that Mahoney has worked hard on, why can't thry send him a small donation as a thank you? (Not that he would even want or accept it). But it seems human nature that hard work is more often given by those rewarded for their efforts.

I know a lot of moans and groans will come from saying this, but I think a small fee for downloading POI files would actually benefit everyone. AS LONG AS THE PEOPLE DOING THE MAINTAINING ACTUALLY GET THE SAID BENEFIT.

Let's say I was maintaining a file and in a month I got 20 $5.00 donations. At the very least I could say I received something for my time and it might motivate me to do more, even though that is a very small amount for all intents and purposes.

The purpose of my post was not to point fingers at those who can no longer afford the time to update their files, but rather an open question to ask if the idea of changing the model here is a bad idea.

Another possible snafu could be the apparent demise of the automotive GPS market. in another thread it's mentioned that garmin seems to be slowly bowing out (MUCH to my dread).
I personally find the little Nuvi units FAR superior to anything else including in dash GPS and cellphones and even Google maps. I am SO NOT looking forward to garming ending the Map Updates sad

Anyway, for now maybe there's not much that can be done.

--
Nuvi 2595LMT --------- Nuvi 2460

Lol

mistypotato wrote:

Anyway....it's just throwing an idea out....no need to lynch me smile

I once said something similar, about correcting a poi and the person did go off the deep end. Was his own fault he didn't answer the message i sent him twice. So yes one needs to be careful, there are some touchy people here. I know for sure some files don't get updated because the Maintainers won't answer their messages, other times they don't acknowledge that you sent them either. I've had to contact Jim and or Angela several times through the years to get stuff updated. I no longer do that.

--
nüvi®3580LMT,nüvi®2598LMT| We do not live in Igloo's, and do not all ride to work on snow mobiles.

Time and things change

Probably repeating many others but people change and situations change. What seemed important 2, 5 or 10 years ago may not be anymore. I was also in a cushy job which I'm not anymore. I bust my butt and am glad to have a job at my age but I don't have the time or energy that I did 10 years ago. A small fee isn't why anyone on here did or does what they do. Maybe instead of making your own you take over one of the files on this site? Not a dig by the way. Just saying if you got time to make yourself a file (which you say you do) how can you be motivated to maybe make one everyone can use?

I don't have the time - but no problem compensating others

Frside007 wrote:

Probably repeating many others but people change and situations change. What seemed important 2, 5 or 10 years ago may not be anymore. I was also in a cushy job which I'm not anymore. I bust my butt and am glad to have a job at my age but I don't have the time or energy that I did 10 years ago. A small fee isn't why anyone on here did or does what they do. Maybe instead of making your own you take over one of the files on this site? Not a dig by the way. Just saying if you got time to make yourself a file (which you say you do) how can you be motivated to maybe make one everyone can use?

The file I made is very limited and only pertains to a small area in my vicinity. I don't have time to update general purpose lists for the fun of it....but I'd have no problem paying folks who take the time something for their time and efforts.

--
Nuvi 2595LMT --------- Nuvi 2460

HEY!!! renegade734

Bill just sent me a note about your post. I don't know when or how you sent me messages...never received them.
FYI: Any comments or suggestions sent to me get my attention and I resolve any inaccuracies.
I have over one hundred files that I've spent HUNDREDS of hours developing and maintaining.
Just curious...how many files have you developed and maintain.

Send me a note either at aasaro@yahoo.com or ajasro50@gmail.com. I'll respond to you directly when I receive them.

PS: I check the individual locations using google. I also ask members to send me corrections.

HAVE A NICE DAY!!!

No need for an attitude. I

No need for an attitude.

I have sent you changes twice in the last couple of months thru the site here.

They have a problem getting the email to you and also providing a copy of the sent email.

I will try and send them directly to you this time. Hope for the best.

--
I never get lost, but I do explore new territory every now and then.

Email delivery is getting harder.

Getting email delivered from the POI Factory web site has been getting harder.

A lot of the recent increase in trouble is related to spammer activity, but there are also several other factors involved.

If you're not getting a response, please send a note to us via the contact form and we will help.

And here is more info for those who are interested in the details.

= More Details =

We use CAPTCHA, black lists and other techniques to help block unwanted registration attempts, but more and more are getting past our automated screening. And this is triggering more and more emails for new account setups.

For a period of time, it appeared some of the activity might have been a buggy spam bot or perhaps was intended simply to be disruptive. Registrations were being requested with a large variety of old email addresses. Many were bounced back as no longer valid accounts, and some even prompted emails from people who hadn't requested an account.

We still see a lot of messages bounced for invalid accounts, but now we're also seeing more bounces with messages like "The user you are trying to contact is receiving mail at a rate that prevents additional messages from being delivered." The latter sort is typically associated with a spam bot using the same email address to make automated registrations at hundreds of different web sites.

Another issue relates to messages sent on behalf of email addresses from services like yahoo, which are asking the receiving mail server to perform additional checks to verify the source of the message. These messages are sometimes rejected due to the way they're being sent from our web server.

And some messages are rejected because of the reputation of nearby IP address(es) at our hosting service. Misbehaving customers of the hosting company can generate mail traffic that affects other customers with nearby IP addresses.

These days, we see way more posts from new users that have to do with online pharmacies, porn sites, essay writing services, trojan horse malware, and other unwanted stuff. We do a good job intercepting these posts so they don't pollute the forums.

It's been an ongoing arms race to stay ahead of bad actors, and we will always have work ahead of us. And the reality is that's just part of what it now takes to keep a web site going.

Angela and I are happy to be part of this community. And we're happy to keep doing the work in the background to keep this space going.

Jonathan (aka JM)

Yikes

JM wrote:

Getting email delivered from the POI Factory web site has been getting harder.

A lot of the recent increase in trouble is related to spammer activity, but there are also several other factors involved.

If you're not getting a response, please send a note to us via the contact form and we will help.

And here is more info for those who are interested in the details.

= More Details =...
Jonathan (aka JM)

Thanks for reminding us users of the efforts you go to in the background to keep the site functional. cool

Renegade734

Just found your note in spam folder. Made changes.

Download Stats

KenSny wrote:

So, a question to the site owner.

Are there any statistics on the number of times a POI file has been downloaded? Any stats on whether the file maintainer even logs on the site anymore?

I have also sent updates to certain file owners on errors or missing data, but have never gotten a response. And yet the file continues to show it being updated, but it seems my updates never get in the file.

Is there a problem with the email sent through this site to a POI file maintainer? And I never get an email copy, even though I check the box.

A D/L stat is available to the file maintainer when they are logged in and view the the POI file page(s) that they own. My BoA file has been downloaded 19 times since I updated it 13 Jan 2018. I made a note of how many downloads there were just before I posted an updated file.

I'm sure that Jon has all the stats on D/L info and user login info. Examples are "Popular POI Files" and the "Online Users" listing at the lower right of the home page.

FYI - It never hurts to ask questions here, as long as they're in the correct context.

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

Thanks JM!

Thanks for all your work and for keeping POI Factory the premier reliable site that it is.

--
Alan - Android Auto, DriveLuxe 50LMTHD, Nuvi 3597LMTHD, Oregon 550T, Nuvi 855, Nuvi 755T, Lowrance Endura Sierra, Bosch Nyon

I .....

alandb wrote:

Thanks for all your work and for keeping POI Factory the premier reliable site that it is.

....second this remark!!!

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

Never knew

JM wrote:

...Angela and I are happy to be part of this community. And we're happy to keep doing the work in the background to keep this space going.
Jonathan (aka JM)

Jon, I never appreciated how complicated it was to administer a Web site. Thanks to you and Angela for all the hard work protecting us from the bad actors, as you call them.

Phil

--
Phil in Mentor, Ohio -- Garmin Nuvi 1450

Outdated files

The members who work in the background maintaining poi and other files, deserve a big thank you from all the membership. They are the backbone of this community.

The OP has pointed out a problem that has existed for some time now. This is not the first time this has came up for discussion. Many POI files has been abandoned for some time. Just look at some of these lodging files http://www.poi-factory.com/taxonomy/term/46 .Many files need to be purged from the system by the moderators. I know it is nice to say how many poi files we have here, but the truth is that many are not up to date. Need to start fresh with only the current files that are being maintained and build from there.

A forum I once belong to,some time back, The option was there, that allowed you to deleted any of your own poi files.Needs to be considered here as a option.

--
Charlie. Nuvi 265 WT and Nuvi 2597 LMT. Android Here WeGo - Offline Maps & GPS.

Maybe

Maybe instead of deleting them they can be placed in an Archive section so the data is retained in case someone wants it to build from it.

--
I never get lost, but I do explore new territory every now and then.

Good Idea

I love this idea. I once made a POI file but I haven't maintained it and would just as soon have it archived. Putting the non-maintained POI files into an archive that can be accessed if one wishes works for me. Of course that is kind of how they are now...

--
GPSMAP 76CSx - nüvi 760 - nüvi 200 - GPSMAP 78S

Thanks for all you do ...

... to help keep the Community up-to-date.

ajasaro wrote:

Just found your note in spam folder. Made changes.

--

it's the dog's fault

--
Garmin nuvi 2455 - nuvi 350, 260 (spares) - my other toys: Mac Mini, MacBook Pro, MacOS: Mojave 10.14 and introducing The Beast, a 2013 Dodge Charger Pursuit and his Garmin DriveSmart 5. The dog's name is Ginger

Outdated files

KenSny wrote:

Maybe instead of deleting them they can be placed in an Archive section so the data is retained in case someone wants it to build from it.

Maybe. In the past they tried to find members to take over the outdated files.Sucess was limited. The reason I used the Lodging files as a example. My wife and I travel a lot by car,sometimes as much as 30 days at a time.At that time the lodging files we used were being updated on a regular basics. Through the years they have either been abandoned or not updated for what ever reason. So we just depend on the ones provided by Garmin.

A member should be able to go to the lodging category and only see the updated files.Right now you have to go through some of the bad to find the good ones.At the least they should be sorted by latest udate.This problem has been around for sometime now.

--
Charlie. Nuvi 265 WT and Nuvi 2597 LMT. Android Here WeGo - Offline Maps & GPS.

issues to overcome: 1.

issues to overcome:
1. Creator/maintainer goes away so file becomes an orphan.
2. Things change too fast to keep up so they aren't.
3. Contributors are ignored (maybe because of 1 & 2) and stop contributing.
4. Duplicate files - I still have not figured out why there are 2 Costco files. At least they are both updated at the same time.
5. Some files (IMHO) do not have a consistent and/or usable format so become unused.
6. Feedback to creator/maintainer MAY only be if someone contributes (I don't know about this).

My biggest use issue is #5. For example: I store Walmart, Costco, Target, etc. in folder "Discount stores". I then POILoad that folder to my 3597. When I pull up Walmart under Discount Stores what I see is Walmart Supercent.... Of course, that is useless for selecting the store I want to go to. So I edit the CSV files. I replace verbose text with codes (G = Gas, N = Neighborhood Market, etc.) The result is something like this
"SG, 1450 N Brindlee Mount.." It is a Supercenter with Gas on Brindlee, and if that isn't enough, I can scroll to the phone number
"SG, 1450 N Brindlee Mountain Pkwy, (256) 586-8168"

But I must do this every time I update.
Fortunately, Excel make it somewhat simple. I would post those files if we had a discussion and agreed on some format that most people could use. Otherwise, it is just more useless files. It would also best be done in coordination with the maintainer.

Any thoughts??????
If so we should start another thread.

How do you determine which file goes to an archive?

As previously stated there are files that don't get updated frequently just because of the type of file. Then there are those files that can't be updated because their web site is to convoluted to do any good to grab the info from or their site administrators won't get us what we need so we can update them.
A few years ago I did suggest an archive location where abandoned files could be put. Then anyone that wanted to take them over would have a spot to look. We need to determine what we want to consider "abandoned" to mean. My Brueggers file isn't abandoned BUT I can't update it.

As for abbreviations in a file...we can post all we want but what an abbreviation to one person means, will mean absolutely nothing to another person. Great idea, but how to you get something that means the same to everyone?

Before I was retired I would travel and send updates in on a regular basis. I don't do updates as much anymore. Times change. There are many reasons for things falling by the wayside.

--
Nuvi 2460LMT.

Duplicate Files

I maintain TWO files because some people want csv and others want gpx.