POI Creators, you gotta check this out!


Yet another freebie app and this one's cool as H E Double Toothpicks! Stumbled across it while looking for something else.


It's a "Harvester." What it does is searches for a given or name within X amount of miles from a Zip code. It retrieves the name, address, and phone if available, and then the coordinates for each. You can then save the results as a .csv.

I tried a search for Chipotle's Grill from Zip 66609 (Topeka, Kansas - nearly center of US) with a radius of 2000 miles. It returned 351 results! All I'd have to do is re-arrange the file a bit in Excel and Wha-La nearly instant Chipotles POI!

It uses the Yahoo Maps API and is pretty fast with a broadband connection. It returned all 351 results in less than 2 minutes.

It's Windows only and requires the MS .NET framework installed on your PC.

It did return some results that were other than Chipotle's (probably because of the search term I used) but easily weeded out. It would be nice too if it returned the accuracy level. Perhaps the creator of this nifty littl app can be coaxed into adding it. I'll try.

A few sample lines returned...

Chipotle Mexican Grill,2903 E Colonial Dr-Orlando-FL-(407) 228-9514,28.553495,-81.346725
Chipotle Mexican Grill,123 Perimeter Ctr W-Atlanta-GA-(770) 677-5542,33.927312,-84.343085
Chipotle Mexican Grill,1432 W University Ave-Gainesville-FL-(352) 372-5330,29.652225,-82.340966

Enjoy! smile

Frequently Asked Questions

Emergency Brake? What Emergency Brake?

Found one bug

Interesting. Although I already found a bug in it after my third test search. I found a repeatable search that causes the application to give an error of an unhandled exception. But there is no contact info for the author so no where to send a bug report.

Actually maybe you could try it and confirm it really is the program and not just my specific computer setup.

Search for "aquarium", zip = 01886 and any radius from 45 on up. Water World Aquarium so the next one that doesn't get shown is the problem. Set the mileage to 44 miles and Water World Aquarium still shows up last but no error.

Anyway, cool program besides a glitch here or there. Price is right!


Garmin nüvi 200 (my first GPS), 780, & 3700 Series. And a Mac user.

Bug in Harvester

Yup, confirmed it. Error using 44 mile radius, No error using 45. Tried with 400 mile radius, no problem returned about 450 aquariums.

So, like ya said, it's free. I can put up with it.

I Tried something crazy and did a search for wifi hotspots. It said there were 10,000 plus results do you want to continue. Told it yes. It died in a couple of minutes. However it may not be the app totally at fault as I believe there's a request limit to yahoo maps.

As far as the creator, it doesn't look as though he's been active for a while. He also sted in his 1st post that there was no guarantee of anything with the app.

I'll still see if I can hunt him down though. So for now (perhaps always)I'll put up with the little glitches.

Emergency Brake? What Emergency Brake?


It won't download. Says "not at that address". Could you post the file or email to me?

Me too please

Ya I can't get it to download either.

nüvi 660 & 670 - Hello I'm a Mac :))

Just did a good download.

Just did a good download. No problem

Mark - Nuvi 265T NUVI 50LM

Same Here

I downloaded it and did a search for local BestBuy for 50 miles. List looks good to me.

Thanks for pointing to this application.

Shri : Nuvi 660

Dunkin Donuts - No problemo

Just found 125 DD's using one zip. This is a neat tool!

Thanks for the tip! wink


Freedom isn't free...thank you veterans! Heard about the tests to detect PANCREATIC CANCER? There aren't any! In Memoriam: #77 NYPD-SCA/Seattle Mike/Joe S./Vinny D./RTC!

cool program.

neato. downloaded. worked fine.

To install it though, I did have to download some extra microsoft Net Framework file (http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/thankyou.aspx?familyId=08...).

Yahoo LocalSearch

Did a bit of tracing. It's doing a Yahoo! LocalSearch.

arrow http://developer.yahoo.com/search/local/

It seems to be the "V2" variant.

arrow http://developer.yahoo.com/search/local/V2/localSearch.html

It doesn't find anything local to me at all sad

------------------------ Phil Hornby, Stockport, England ----------------------               http://GeePeeEx.com - Garmin POI Creation made easy           »      

after a saved search, it

after a saved search, it opens just fine in excel, but crashes trying to use the garmin poi loader on the file!

nuvi' 2450

Can it be used for an entire POI update?

Does anyone know if I can use this to keep my POIs updated? Some stores, bars, and gas stations change too fast for annual updates.

The Download's a bit confusing...

Here's a more direct link...


Scroll to the bottom of the page, Click the "Free" Button.

On the next page, scroll down to near the end of the page, You'll see "No premium user. Please enter"

There is a 4 character set of numbers/letters. Type those in the box where it says "Here:" . Then Click the "Download from..." button. Should be GTG from there.

I've also run some other tests. Very large queries may take some time and the program appears to really start using some CPU after about 500 entries. When using it on large queries, the PC may indicate that the Program's not responding. Actually the program's still working, just veeeeery slowly. Again, this could be yahoo maps limiting bandwidth or it could be the harvester. I think it's the harvester.

Shutting down some unnecessary programs and being smart about how to make smaller queries but still getting a complete and big result in the end helps. In about an hour I got about 4000 results for "Free Wifi" that covers the US.

I've e-mailed the apps creator. Waiting to see if he responds.

Emergency Brake? What Emergency Brake?


cellmerch wrote:

after a saved search, it opens just fine in excel, but crashes trying to use the garmin poi loader on the file!

Did you make sure that you moved the columns around so that the file has the proper structure?



You'll have to re-arrange the fields following Garmin Format using a spreadsheet and then re-save.

Longitude, Latitude, Name (up to 39 characters), Comment (up to 256 Characters)

You should visually check the file in a spreadsheet 1st anyway. I've noticed that there can be some minor glitches or info you didn't intend to get.

Emergency Brake? What Emergency Brake?

RE: Can it be used for an entire POI update?

It could be in a way. You would actually be creating a new file based on your search criteria and then giving it the same name as the old file.

I'd be careful though as, again, we don't know at what accuracy levels are being returned for each entry.

Another way would be to import the file created by your "Harvester" search into a spreadsheet that already has your current POI loaded and then go through and check for and remove duplicates. This method will not however get rid of entries that may no longer exist.

Emergency Brake? What Emergency Brake?

Are there any modifiers for the search?

This tool is very interesting, but pretty limited. It seems to pull up anything with the search string anywhere in the name or the description, which is not shown. Searching for Best Buy calls up 48 entries within a 5 mile radius of my small town. The one single Best Buy store in that radius is indeed listed. Not a very good hit ratio! Here's a copy & paste of the first few items it calls up:

Pedal & Spoke Limited,157 S Lincolnway-North Aurora-IL-(630) 892-1010,41.801094,-88.325405
Penske Truck Rental,65 Randall Rd-North Aurora-IL-(630) 844-0778,41.805492,-88.350196
Barkei Randy Carpenter Contr,601 Ridgelawn Trl-Batavia-IL-(630) 879-5445,41.827022,-88.296394
Fashion Bug,908 N Lake St-Aurora-IL-(630) 859-0550,41.775447,-88.314877

The words Best or Buy are nowhere in this list. So what else is it searching, a not shown description field? Searching for "Best Buy" (with quotes) to try a limit it to the exact string drops the hit list to 4. But only one of those 4 actually has either the word Best or Buy anywhere in the name.

Checked it out

I checked this it for Marshall's Department Stores for 50 miles around my zip. I got a return of 86 hits. After I weeded out the ones that were obviously wrong, I was left with 68. I then went to the Marshall's site and searched 100 miles around the same zip and got 25 hits. I'll check this out further, but there does seem to be a major disconnect here.

I hope my experience is just a fluke, because this certainly looks like a very useful application.


Does not work for Canada

Does not work for Canada sad

yes! thank you and any

yes! thank you and any others for the info about structure,,,worked fine:)

nuvi' 2450


As Hornbyp stated, it's using yahoo's local search (I boo-boo'd and said it was using the yahoo map API) which employs user inputted information as well as yahoo info, so there's going to be some irrevalent info returned. As far as the output, other than standard "boolean" searches, I don't think there's much that can be done. I'm not the creator, so I can't say what can or can't be done with the app. I'm not a programmer either. If you find the app useful, enjoy! If not, uninstall it. I do it with stuff all of the time.

I might suggest, probably illegal though, that if someone with a knowledge of C+ wanted to Decompile, "Improve" it, and re-compile it. That could probably be done by the right person. wink

Emergency Brake? What Emergency Brake?

How do You Move the Files Around In Excel?

Hi, I used the harvestor application to download some POI's but how do I rearrange the collumns in Excel so they will be compatible with Garmins POI loader? I don't know excel that well. Thanks!


cut paste in Excel

If you click at the top of a column and hi-light the whole column you can then right click and CUT, then paste on top of the cell you want to move to the right...(or at least that is the way it went for me a min ago)

I ended up with an empty A column and properly ordered B through E. I just hi-lighted A and deleted and everything moved to the proper A through D placement.

I'm sure there is a better method... check your menu... but given the late hour at least it worked.. smile

John Nuvi 750 765T Winnipeg, MB

This may be my tool I need

This may be my tool I need in the near future. Good find!

Lowrance 710 - Garmin Street PilotIII - TomTom 910 - Gamin Nuvi 680 - RQ-4 Global Hawk, plus around 11ty billion maps or so

I've also found that if

I've also found that if you're doing a search with a large radius, it leaves out some results. If I search for an item within 500 miles it shows lots of listings in surrounding states, but none of my local results. If I narrow the search down to 100 miles, it also shows my local results.

Wow this is a great POI

Wow this is a great POI mining tool. Sweet! even if it has a few quirks.

eTrex Touch 35, Nuvi 1350LMT, Nuvi 350, Nuvi 260, Garmin GPS III, Basecamp

Anybody else noticing this behavior?

I've noticed in my playing around that the Hervester is only giving me results for the lower half of the US. Anybody else notice this?

I've converted a couple of csv's to gpx and loaded them into Google Earth. All results are located in the lower half.

Emergency Brake? What Emergency Brake?

Works good

Driven 1 Thanks for the tip, this could be very handy for me in the future.

2597 Sometimes I wonder..."Why is that Frisbee getting bigger?"...and then, it hits me.

Reply from the creator of the Harvester

I haven't been actively updating the program as I have been changing jobs and moving to a different city. But, I may look at doing something with it in the upcoming months. In reality, I am not a professional programmer; in my "real life" I am a finance manager for a large company, so I don't have many opportunities to sneak some development time. If you let me know what your feature wish is, though, I can certainly see what I can do when I get back to coding.
I sent him a reply that points out some of the things that we've noticed, and would like to see, and also asked if he'd be willing to provide the source code to someone for further development if he doesn't have the time to work on it.

Emergency Brake? What Emergency Brake?

Garmin Only?

I've got a nuvi 360 but am considering switching brands when the next generation of GPS's comes out later this year. Will this work with GPS's other than Garmin?

I don't know where I'm going or remember where I've been...without Garmin.

This sounds....

This sounds pretty useful, I'll have to try it out on some of my favorite places.

nice program... thanks.

nice program... thanks.

New FAQ regarding Harvester

I know that new tools can be very exciting, however we need to make sure that we are playing by the rules. Here is the new faq regarding the Harvester tool.


This is a great tool for your personal use but please do not submit files that have been created using the tool.

Miss POI

Revised my opinion

johnc wrote:

This tool is very interesting, but pretty limited. It seems to pull up anything with the search string anywhere in the name or the description, which is not shown.

After playing with this for a while, I can say that this is a REALLY useful tool. Unfortunately, the very first thing I tried was to search for Best Buy and that particular search string returns hundreds of irrelevant hits. But after trying many others, I get a "bad" hit ratio of perhaps 5%. What it's doing is not only searching for a match in the name but in the Yahoo descriptions as well. So you can search for "restaurant" and it will call up hundreds of restaurants around your target zip code. Who knew I had 250 restaurants in a 5 mile radius of my home? Of course, it's counting Dairy Queens and Starbucks as restaurants.

I guess the words "best" and "buy" must be some of the most-often used words in the business listings. laugh out loud It does seem to respect some of the common internet search modifiers like "restaurant -pizza -taco" will return restaurants but not those with pizza or taco in the name or descripton. I just can't figure how to send an "exact match" modifier. Then again, the searching is actually Yahoo, not from the program itself.

It's really too bad that we can't use the direct output of this tool as contributions here.



Found this file (CVSed) that works great with harvester. In addition, it is good with other files - saves a ton of key stroking. Since I make a typo about every ten key strokes it is super.


I used it to get rid of the extra data I didn't need and reformat the columns in Excel and combine columns.

Price is good - free.

Mark - Nuvi 265T NUVI 50LM

Great Stuff!

Thank You!

Garmin Nuvi 660, GTM 20 Traffic Receiver, eTrex Vista HCx, Mapsource US Topo Maps 2008, Mapsource MetroGuide USA V.5 with MetroGold


I ran this program using request such as "Taverns", "Liquor Store", "Resturants" for a small radius from my zip code. This should have given results that I am familiar with. The accuracy was nowhere near acceptable. Many of the results had the correct business name however the Address and Coordinates were those of the owner's residence.

Thus, using the listed coordinates will take you to a home many miles from the business.