Judging by the amount of new POI files, I think it would be fair to say that some folks are submitting files not in accordance with the request to not post them here. Does anyone know if there is a way to differentiate wether a file has been created using Harvester?? I imagine most of these files would be riddled with mistakes......Just curious.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why do you say that. I have had it only a day but it seems to be right on with most of my queries?
When I tested it for Starbucks (a file I already have so I could compare the results), it brought up several other coffee shops.
It also brought up a Cold Stone Creamery and a church (which I thought was funny).
Regardless, the files are for personal use only.
Did you use 2 words like Starbucks Coffee and if so did you use - between the words or parenthesis around them"? BTW, there are churches with Starbucks inside their book stores. Harvest church near me has one. Also, Barnes and Noble comes up in the search and they also have Starbucks in some of their locations. You should check before you completely throw out the baby and the bathwater. I have found very few discrepancies with Harvester.
No, I just typed in "starbucks" to see what would come up, again, just for comparison sake. It actually missed a bunch, as well.
Certainly, I know about SB being inside BN and got several of those hits as well. I don't think this church has a SB inside it and can't really explain the Cold Stone.
And I'm not throwing out the baby and the bathwater. I like the tool. I think it's cool.
The point is that if users are not scrutinizing the results, they might not be filtering out these errors. And as stated, they can't be submitted to the site, anyway.
What is "Harvester?"
I pulled this up off the web http://www.softpedia.com/get/Internet/File-Sharing/Torrent-H...
In short Harvester is almost a "Yellow Pages" program - type in Name of company, restaurant or whatever with ZIP code and area of search (miles) and it will give you coordinates and address of locations it finds which match your search. Not perfect but quite useful !
I agree with not allowing harvester files to be submitted to the site. If you are going to make a POI file, take the time to verify your information yourself and then build the file. In my experience with this program, it misses ALOT of results and adds in a lot of results in error.
My experience has also been that there are a lot of old results (i.e., moved, closed, etc.) that have not been purged from the database. It's a great tool, but it requires lots of filtering.
Considering I'm the guy that found it and brought it to the attention of users here in the spirit of sharing, I feel a need to clarify some things about POI Harvester and it's use.
I guess you could consider it a FAQ of sorts.
Would I recommend the POI Harvester to just flat out create a POI? No.
As stated by other folks who've tried it out, it's not without its little issues. It is meant as a tool to help gather information. That's it. Due to the nature of the database that it obtains its results from there WILL be errors in some of the returned data as well as Extra Fields, Duplicate Entries. out of date listings, etc. in some cases. Some of the data provided to Yahoo Local Search is from commercial concerns and some of it is "User" provided. Yahoo makes no guaranties, expressed or implied, to the completeness or accuracy of the information returned.
The only difference between using http://local.yahoo.com (their web page) or the Harvester, is that the Harvester allows you to save the results. Nothing more, nothing less.
Also, as stated by its creator "The program is not warranted in any way shape or form, nor is it documented."
To create a good POI, one needs to manipulate, CHECK, and VERIFY the returned data for actual final use.
Does the Harvester create Licensing or Copyright issues?
By the way, a similar TOS also applies to the use of Geocoders that use the Yahoo Geocoder API like batchgeocode.com or gpsvisualizer.com .
The Harvester uses Yahoo's Local Search API (V2)which is provided by Yahoo for non-commercial use only as defined here http://developer.yahoo.com/faq/#noncomm .
Because any files created with the help of the Harvester would be provided for PERSONAL USE and FREELY available, there is no breach of their Terms of Service. Because users aren't paying for individual files on POI Factory, a breach of the TOS still doesn't exist related to the site.
So what does the Harvester actually do?
It sends a query to local.yahoo.com based on your search term (and any included Boolean qualifiers or disqualifiers), Zip Code, and Mileage radius and then returns the results to the harvester. You then have the option to save the file in .csv format or copy it directly from the Harvester's screen to a text editor.
Is the resulting .csv file ready to go?
No. It is simply output made available to you to view and manipulate as necessary either through the use of a text editor or spreadsheet program. The output is NOT IN GARMIN FORMAT. As stated above, one needs to CHECK, and VERIFY the data as best one can and then put it in Garmin .csv format.
How come some of the returned data has so much other stuff in it that I didn't want?
It's beacuse of the type of search used. If it's very general, you will get very general results. There are ways to get better results. First, be as specific as possible with your search term. Second, use Boolean Operators. Here's a Wiki on boolean searches. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boolean_logic
If you scoll to near the bottom of the Wiki, you'll see the heading of "Search engine queries." This pertains to how you'd like the Harvester to bring back the most relevant results for your query.
It can also be caused by using too large of a search radius. You'll find that searches with smaller radii give more accurate results when used along with Boolean Operators (Yahoo's Local Search Web Page Radius limit is 50 miles). Personally I've found 100 mile or less searches to be the most inclusive. I broke the US down into "Zones" using Google Earth. Found the nearest Zip code to the center of the zone and then used that as part of the search criteria. It's a bit tedious, but works.
Is it possible to discern a POI created with the use of POI Harvester from another POI that wasn't?
If, as mentioned twice already, the resulting POI has been checked for errors, verified, and saved in proper Garmin .csv format, No.
How come I can't upload POI's created with the help of POI Harvester to poi-factory?
I fully agree that POI's created solely by the use of the Harvester without the proper checks and validations should not be uploaded. Nor should anyone attempt to "just" upload a .csv straight from the Harvester as it's not in Garmin Format.
However, personally, if a GOOD POI is created with all of the checks, validations, and proper formatting, with the help of POI Harvester, I don't see why not. To me, it's no different than running a list of addresses through a batch geocoder or converting a company's publicly available locations excel file.
At this time, it is the policy of the staff of poi-factory.com to disallow files created by the use of POI Harvester. I will abide by that policy until that policy is changed. If ever.
For now, I suggest you use it (if you care to) for your Personal Use Only to create POI's that YOU can use.
I hope this has answered most of your questions and addressed various concerns.
Thanks, Driven1. And thanks for finding and bringing the tool to us.
As I said, I think it's extremely cool.
I can think of lots of uses even beyond creating Custom POI files.
For example, last summer a friend of mine who lives in NYC was out in town with a bunch of friends and they wanted to go to Cold Stone. So they called me on the phone and asked if I could look it up.
Using this tool would have been much faster than using the locator on Cold Stone's website which turned out to have a location shown in the wrong spot on the locator map. (I was able to verify this by using Google Maps Street View, which was extremely cool as well, BTW.)
Or even if I was sitting at home and wanted to find some particular store, I think that it would be very valuable.
I have had similar results. It's also searching descriptions and categories. Try searching for something generic like "restaurant". You'll get hundreds in a 5 mile radius. More than half of them will not have that word in their name. But almost all of them will actually be restaurants. Harvester uses Yahoo search, and businesses PAY to have their names come up "higher" in category and description searches and they often use competitors names as search keywords.
I used Yahoo local search on my Dash Express and it works fine when you are looking at the results and deciding what is usable and what is not but to put the results on to a POI file could be disastrous.
Too bad the author can't tweak it to work with Google local search the results are much more accurate or maybe yellowpages.com.
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