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POI Scanner for Microsoft Streets & Trips
toyfountain
POI Scanner Version 1.8.0
for MS S&T 2006 to 2009 with Vista and XP. Plus Autoroute 2007.
Other versions of Windows are untested.


Adds compatibility with
Street & Trips 2006-2009 on Vista.
Fixes bug with year 2008 of beta001

Download zip file below
http://www.laptopgpsworld.com/attachments/435d1223788817-toyfountain_poi_scanner_1_8_00_2006-2009.zip

The POI Scanner acts as a warner when approaching points of interest and plays a different alert (mp3 or wave) for each of four types of POIs when detected in the preset range around the GPS icon. The POIScanner searches the map for four specially colored push pin symbols. The defaults are blue, purple, yellow and orange large circles. Personalized push pins can be used as long as colored pixels from the default push pins are incorporated in them. Just copy and paste the colored pixels into your preferred symbols. The POI Scanner is compatible with Microsoft Streets & Trips 2006 to 2008, AutoRoute 2006 and 2007 and MapPoint 2006.

What's new:
1) Select the individual wave volume at which the sound alerts will be played.
2) The scan area has been resized to reduce the bottom scan area (rearward to the GPS icon) to ten percent of the top scan area (forward of the GPS icon). This should reduce the alert warnings set off once it is passed.

Once a POI is detected, the scanner warns by playing the default sound files, included in the download zip file. Just unzip them in the same directory as the POI Scanner. You can also select any other sound file that you would like instead of the default sound files (in MP3 or wave format) by selecting the Sound Alerts tab of the POI Settings.

How does the POI Scanner work? It first determines the GPS position on the map by finding the position of the first dark burgundy pixel of the GPS icon. Then it establishes a search area around itself, defined in pixels on the map image. The size of this area varies depending of the preferred range set in the POI Settings and the zoom level of the map. When a POI is found to enter this area, it plays the sound alert. The first alert will also indicate the approximate distance setting. A few seconds later, the second reminder alert will not indicate the approximate range since it is assumed the vehicle is moving and the distance has reduced. The rearward scan distance is set to 10% of the forward and sides distance. There is no need to know of a POI once it is passed and behind.

The POI Scanner is configured to work with a zoom level of the map above 50%. Below this the scan range is set to 1 pixel of the map image only. At this zoom level even one pixel is more than 2 km. In short, it needs to be almost touching the dark burgundy section of the GPS icon to sound an alert. The later versions detects the zoom level even when the tool bar is hidden. There's no need to keep it visible. (thanks Marvin)

I made a short video clip of the POI Scanner in action to help in visualizing how it operates. It's uploaded it on Youtube. Be sure to raise the volume on your system and disable mute if there is no sound. I created a GPS icon to emulate the moving GPS icon, it's made with the same dark burgundy pixels found in the GPS icon. This way it allows me to test in different areas I could never access. It does the job for testing and saves on gas money. The first alert should be heard after about 20 seconds into the video clip.

YouTube - POI Scanner 1.7 Microsoft Streets & Trips,AutoRoute MapPoint

http://www.laptopgpsworld.com/attachments/435d1223788817-toyfountain_poi_scanner_1_8_00_2006-2009.zip


Pushpins surrounded in red with a red slash across them should not be used because they will interfere with the detection of the GPS icon. To scan for POI's the four custom coloured flags must be used. Anyone can make his own icon as long as they copy and paste pixels of the active colors of each flags to their icons.


This is a screenshot of the POI Scanner in Toronto (well not really, I emulated the GPS icon with the maroon pushpin).


This is the POI Scanner settings general pane. It gives a quick description.


Different scan distances can be selected for each pushpins.
(Approximation only)
OFF-10 meters/yards
250 meters/yards
500 meters/yards
1000 meters/yards
1500 meters/yards
2000 meters/yards


Here you can adjust the number of pixels the scanner skips while searching to accelerate the search. A value of 1 is the slowest, but most reliable. You can play by increasing the value in steps to find you comfortable point. Personally I use one. Todays laptop are more than capable of maintaining the pixel search.


I've programed default sounds which you can modify by browsing to your sound files on your computer. A newly selected file will be written in the white box after the settings tab is closed and reopened. You can test the sound file chosen to be sure this is the message you need by clicking on the test button.


When browse is clicked it will open in the same directory where you have the POI Scanner unzipped.


If you have not selected a file, this window will open to indicate it. It closes itself after seven seconds.


This will show the sound file you have selected for confirmation. It will be written in the white box after the settings tab is closed and reopened. You can test the sound file chosen to be sure this is the message you need.


This is a sample of the main directory. I keep the POI Scanner and Keys together. I've modified my version of Keys to start the POI Scanner as it starts if they are located together.


3) The same version is used for Streets & Trips 2006 to 2008. It may work with previous versions of S&T if the id control for the map control pane is identical to year 2006. If it doesn't and you are prepared to send me the needed data, I can attempt to modify the scanner to add compatibility for previous years.

4) It detects the zoom level even when the toolbar is hidden. No need to keep it visible and it works with Win98, XP and Vista the same way. (thanks Marvin)


NEW POI Scanner Version 1.8.0
Now with voice prompts and volume control.
Download by clicking the zip file below
http://www.laptopgpsworld.com/attachments/435d1223788817-toyfountain_poi_scanner_1_8_00_2006-2009.zip

Select custom sound prompts from over 500 mp3 files at this thread
Custom MP3 files for GPS POIs
Attached Images
toyfountain_blue_area.jpg   toyfountain_general.jpg   toyfountain_skipped_pixels.jpg   toyfountain_sound_alerts.jpg  
toyfountain
For those who would like to see how it works, you can now use the maroon pushpin instead of the maroon tack to emulate the GPS icon position. The maroon pushpin is made with the same dark burgundy pixels in the GPS icon. Just set the zoom level to 200 km or less, place the maroon tack in the map. Then place the indicated coloured tacks near the maroon pushpin and if within the set distance, it should play the wave files.
Attached Images
toyfountain_browse.jpg   toyfountain_nofile.jpg   toyfountain_chose.jpg   toyfountain_import.jpg  
Marvin Hlavac
toyfountain, congratulations on the release of this new version! Here are a couple of screenshots:


To access the above menu, click the system tray icon, as illustrated bellow:

toyfountain
New version of POI Scanner 1.3.1 is available for download

1) This version now offers extended scanner range distances.
Added to the existing four are:

10 meters/yards
250 meters/yards
500 meters/yards
1000 meters/yards
1500 meters/yards
2000 meters/yards

2) POI Scanner version 1.3.1 now uses a detailed scan area for each unit of the zoom level from 50 % to 100 % zoom (200km to 1 km). There are 50 different defined scan areas. Compared to the previous version which used only five defined scan areas from 50% to 100% zoom.

3) The sound notification is modified to reduce the amount of sleep time between repeat alerts if two or three are functioning simultaneously.

Download below
Attached Images
toyfountain_import.jpg   toyfountain_directory_content.jpg   toyfountain_streets.jpg  
Marvin Hlavac
Wow, more options and a nice icon, too . But for some reason I'm getting false warnings. Occasionally I hear various types of sound for no apparent reason even when I'm using a clean, brand new map, with no pushpins, (and even all POIs turned off). Try to drive around with POI Scanner, but without any pushpins, to see what I mean.
toyfountain
I'll have to attempt the welding on my motherboard before I can take the laptop on the road again. I might have time next week to attempt it.

I did notice that when right clicking in the map control pane the window that opens will set off the alarm because it contains icons with the scanned colours.
Can you identify which of the sounds it makes?
pink pixel is the ding.wav
light grey is the chimes.wav ( same colour as the GPS icon when it losses the sat signal)
Dark yellow is the notify.wav

If you can PM the location where it happens and the approx zoom level, maybe I can attempt to duplicate it using the maroon pushpin as the gps icon. As much information as possible can help in detecting why it happens. I imagine this was with Vista, 1400 X ??? resolution, S&T 2008.

Does this happen with both version 1.3.0 and 1.3.1 ? I did modify the code to sound off to some degree. If version 1.3.0 is exempted from this, I'll have a good indication that the new code might be the problem.

Also, in previous versions, it would detect the icons in the toolbar if the GPS icon came too close to them. I set up a limitation in the scanned area. It's not supposed to scan outside the map control pane. Where you in the true full screen mode with the driving guidance pane?
hrp41
toyfountain/marvin- i keep getting the following error using poi locator 1.3.1 autoit error
X line 1:
error: variable used without being declared

this occurs when i do the following:
start poi scanner 1.3.1
start s&t 2007
zoom in on map(to 14 mi.)
create purple flag p/pin and place on map
create maroon p/pin and place within scan range of purple flag p/pin

whenever i place the maroon p/pin the above error box pops up
i'm running s&t 2007 and windows xp(sp2)
i've also gotten this error message a couple of other times when initially starting s&t with poi scanner already running- i'll keep playing with it to see if i can get better info for you- otherwise it seems to work ok(at my desk)
Marvin Hlavac
hrp41, that will be very useful to toyfountain, thanks for the feedback. I haven't had the time today to do any testing myself, but from what I can recall from a few days ago:

* Version 1.3.0 would play a sound while in full-screen mode when the black auto-hiding tool bar on top appeared. This problem has been corrected in the new 1.3.1 version. I'm not sure if there were other issues with 1.3.0.

* Version 1.3.1 plays all three different sounds at various times even with no pushpins. I will try to give more useful feedback on this next time I test it.

I'm sure when these issues are corrected, POI Scanner will be a very useful tool for very many Streets & Trips users! Keep up the great work, toyfountain! And take the time to fix the laptop, too !
toyfountain
For the error: variable used without being declared

I was able to reproduce this.
I think this is caused when the zoom level is under 50. I introduced new variables in version 1.3.1 and didn't define them for the zoom under 50

In the source code, in all instances, instead of

case $x_coord_zoom = 50
$Zoom_pixel_1 = 1

I modified these two lines to this:

case $x_coord_zoom = 50
$Zoom_pixel_1 = 1
case $x_coord_zoom < 50
$Zoom_pixel_1 = 1

It adds a definition for Zoom_pixel_1 when under 50. The same needs to be done for Zoom_pixel_2 and Zoom_pixel_3.

I've downloaded a modified version 1.3.12 below
Please tell me if you still get the error.

For the others, I'll keep trying to figure it out.
toyfountain
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin Hlavac
hrp41, that will be very useful to toyfountain, thanks for the feedback. I haven't had the time today to do any testing myself, but from what I can recall from a few days ago:
thanks to both of you, this helps identify the problem.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin Hlavac
* Version 1.3.0 would play a sound while in full-screen mode when the black auto-hiding tool bar on top appeared. This problem has been corrected in the new 1.3.1 version. I'm not sure if there were other issues with 1.3.0.
This is caused by the grey moon in the toolbar. When it first goes to true full screen the map control pane ends below the toolbar. As soon as it disappears, the pane goes all the way to the top. When the toolbar reappears, the control pane still stays defined up to the top. I'll add a line to set a minimum limit for the top coordinates below the grey moon.

edit : Try version 1.3.12 below

You might/will get the occasional warning when going from TFS to normal screen until the program can redefine the coordinates of the newly resized map control pane. It should fix the detection of the grey moon pixels. It establishes a minimum top coordinate of 50 pixels. I imagine it should be pretty rare that the GPS icon travels that high before centering on the map.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin Hlavac
* Version 1.3.1 plays all three different sounds at various times even with no pushpins. I will try to give more useful feedback on this next time I test it.
Try to notice if this is when the GPS icon is very near the top or the bottom of the map control pane. Was this in truefullscreen (TFS)?.

I noticed when coming back from TFS it detected an icon in the standard toolbar. See reason above for a possible explanation. Try hiding all toolbars. If this is it, it should eliminate the yellow and pink detection. Keep the gps icon in the upper left corner and set the range of the scanner to 2000 meters.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin Hlavac
I'm sure when these issues are corrected, POI Scanner will be a very useful tool for very many Streets & Trips users! Keep up the great work, toyfountain! And take the time to fix the laptop, too !
I hope so. This will be my first application ever. Thanks again both for the feedbacks. Every bit helps in identifying the problems and solving them.


Download here, just below
hrp41
toyfountain - thanks for your reply and program change - i think this will be a great enhancement to s&t - thanks again for all the effort you have put into this - hrp
toyfountain
I'm going to give a go again with custom pushpins to avoid false warnings. Below is version 1.3.13 with the three necessary custom p/pins that are needed.

I noticed custom p/pins change colours if it is clicked on and selected. They get lighter in colour when not selected. This is why I kept getting different colour codes for the same p/pins before. In reality, there's only two codes. I found that the light yellow pushpin does not change colour. For now try it with these three. You will find that when the red and purple p/pins are clicked on, they will react as a new colour and sound off five times again. That is normal for now. The yellow is unique and will not do this.
toyfountain
POI Scanner Version 1.4.0

What's new

1) Made four custom coloured flags included in the zip file instead of using the standard ones. It should provide less interference from other colours.
(added the chord.wav sound for the new orange colour).

2) Restored the complete search to the true full screen mode. The top bar should not be detected using these new flags.

3) When going from TFS to standard screen, there should be no false detections with the new flags.

edit: changed the file for better cpu usage.
Marvin Hlavac
I bet you were resisting for the longest time the temptation to implement custom pushpins to make POI Scanner work. I bet this will tremendously simplify things for you. And the added benefit is that you can now create really cool pushpins that look like a red-light camera, or anything else .

I'll test it tomorrow for false warnings. And, by the way, I actually haven't used the 'true' full-screen in many months. I only use the 'regular' full-screen. But that will likely make no difference .
hrp41
toyfountain - being a total "idiot" concerning this software, i have downloaded version 1.4.0 and have a question about using it - should i import the new .bmp files into s&t as "custom pushpins" and then use them instead of the "standard pushpins" supplied with s&t ? - also can i import them directly from the folder they are in after being extracted from the downloaded 1.4.0 zip file or do i need to create a new folder to hold the .bmp files before importing them to s&t ? - thats probably enough dumb questions for awhile -
thanks - ray
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