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How to manage POIs in Microsoft Streets and Trips?
Confused
POI questions – how do they work together?

We use Microsoft Streets & Trips in our motorhome to navigate all of North America – US – Canada – Mexico. We have purchased a new version each year since 2006. We now have 2010 and have loaded the Mega File from the Laptop GPS World website. There are a number of other POI lists we would like to add to our S&T and the Mega File but we can’t quite figure out how to do it. We read the tips on the forum but some of the language is not in our limited computer vocabulary. Some tutorials assume everyone reading them has risen to a certain level of computer competence – but this is not always the case. Is there some way some of you experts can get together and work up some sort of very basic tutorial in laymen’s terms to help some of those of us who haven’t yet attained your level of expertise with some of this stuff?

Some of what I know? With help from the Laptop GPS World forum I figured out how to create my own POI list of all the campgrounds and RV parks in Mexico using Lat/Lon numbers found in a Mexico Camping Guide by Mike & Terri Church. I used Notepad to make a straight text file in .csv and formatted it like this – NAME, LATITUDE, LONGITUDE – works great – we use Decimal Degrees whenever possible.

But one of the tips I read says others format as – LATITUDE, LONGITUDE, NAME – so it is not the same and I don’t know if these will work together and don’t know how to make this work.

I recently discovered the POI Friend website because I was looking for Taco John’s Restaurants and they said to go to that website to download the location list. Great. Found it. I downloaded it to Notepad in .csv by clicking on Garmin for the download. It shows up in Notepad as a file with 415 entries – the first entry looks like this on a single line….
-96.80886,43.51482,"Taco John`s #9918","6729 W 41st Street Sioux Falls SD 57106 (605) 361-9920" ...

Using the Streets & Trips 2010 Data Wizard I did as instructed and it appears that about 310 entries load, but about 105 do not load. Then when I try to get them on my Streets & Trips map I get nothing? I did get the Taco John’s icon to work, but it only shows up in one location and it is not anywhere near any location in the file that I am able to determine. Maybe different people use different formats or something so they do not work together?

One thought I had was that maybe some of you experts on these different websites could get together and somehow create one really huge Mega File with some of the more useful POIs from the POI Friends website. Taco John’s would be a good one from our point of view. Maybe a standardized format? Maybe a tutorial for those creating POI lists so everyone works in the same way so they can all work together? Maybe a basic easy to understand tutorial for those less capable of understanding how these things work?

Here are some of the websites with various different things we are trying to figure out how to get to work with our S&T 2010.



Larry
Hello Confused

You have done a great job formulating your questions. Now, if I hope I can be as clear with my answers.

Quote:
Is there some way some of you experts can get together and work up some sort of very basic tutorial in laymen’s terms to help some of those of us who haven’t yet attained your level of expertise with some of this stuff?
Some of the best videos I've seen come from Chris from Geeks on Tour They sell a CD full of great tutorial videos for Streets & Trips. You can see a few for free here:
Tutorial Videos on Streets and Trips and other GPS Navigation devices

The Streets & Trips team recently did 4 videos and posted them on YouTube for all to enjoy: YouTube - Broadcast Yourself.

Also, forum member My Point...Exactly has also created several videos - you can sample one here: [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JQB0qJ7__oM]YouTube - Microsoft® Streets and Trips 2009 - Adding Old Pushpins[/ame]

Quote:
one of the tips I read says others format as – LATITUDE, LONGITUDE, NAME – so it is not the same and I don’t know if these will work together and don’t know how to make this work.
Streets & Trips is very flexible with input format and order of data. During the import data wizard steps you will get the opportunity to tell the software which value is latitude and which is longitude etc. You can import many files from many sources in different formats and see them all together.

Quote:
...I was looking for Taco John’s Restaurants and they said to go to that website to download the location list. Great. Found it. I downloaded it to Notepad in .csv by clicking on Garmin for the download.
In the Garmin CSV format you will need to let S&T know that the order is Long, Lat, Name, address. When at all possible I would recommend downloading and importing in GPX format (called GPS Exchange on POIFriend.com). In S&T 2010 you can choose "Import GPX file..." from the Data menu and select the file and click OK and you're done. It is very fast and you end up with the same data on the map as with the CSV file.


Quote:
...some of you experts on these different websites could get together and somehow create one really huge Mega File with some of the more useful POIs from the POI Friends website
I think you are quickly becoming one of the experts! You may want to change your user name.

We created the POI megafile to try to keep it easy everyone. We've done all the work to get all the POI up-to-date and imported with custom icons in one map file to freely share out.

There are 2 issues with making a huge Mega File that would include POI collections from some of the site you have listed.
1) size - The file would become too large and hard to use. You would have too much info to sift through and likely many collections that you would not care about.
2) permissions - Some people share freely others do not for various reasons. Unless, the POI collection owners give us permission we don't include it in the POI megafile.

Hope that helps. Others may follow by offering additional tips and answers.
Confused
I think I followed the instruction to the letter - downloaded Taco John's using the GPS exchange - shows as .gpx - but Streets & Trips doesn't seem to be able to find it - Windows does not recognize file type so had to go find something to download that is supposed to open it but it won't open saying not able - it says compressed which I assume is Zipped - but I don't know what else I need to do - I am sure I am missing something, but I can't get it to work?

I guess my hope is to be able to add selected lists to the Mega File so if I open Streets & Trips with the Mega File, I will have my personal lists on there as well.

Thanks for all the help.
SpadesFlush
Dear Confused (I sound like Abby),

I don't know what you are doing wrong but it is something. I tried to replicate the task and I had no difficulty, although I tried a slightly different tack in that I used poi-factory.com rather than poifriend.com. Here's what I did.

1. I went to poi-factory.com, found an entry for Taco Bell and downloaded the CSV file provided. NOTE: I did NOT open it in Notepad which usually wants to make sentences out of stuff.

2. I opened Streets & Trips 2010 and ran the Data Import Wizard. I made sure that the first column "F1" was identified as having data type (the second row) selected as "Longitude", the second column "F2" as "Latitude", and the third column as "Name". That put 5,623 Taco Bell locations on the map.

3. I downloaded the Taco Bell icon from the file provided by poi-factory and imported that as a custom symbol under Properties for the new pushpin set and then chose that is the symbol/icon rather than the default.

The result is the file attached below. Now, you can (as I will) copy the set of these Bells to your mega file and you are set.
Attached Files
File Type: est Taco Bells.est (1.61 MB)
Confused
Thanks for the tips - problem is Taco Bell is not Taco John's - Taco Bell is inedible while Taco John's is not so bad - when I downloaded from POI Friend I first used Garmin and got a .csv in Notepad - it looked like it was loading but said only some loaded but some would not - but as far as I can tell it never actually worked though not sure.....Thanks for help...
SpadesFlush
Well, personally, I don't know one taco from another although I understood that you were about Taco John's. However, I am not a registered user of POIFriend and POI-Factory only has Taco John's for two States. I was really just trying to illustrate a procedure rather than recommending you eat at Taco Bells.

Nonetheless, I think you should NOT open the downloaded CSV file with Notepad as my prior post suggests.

I recommend you start over and just download a clean clean CSV to a place you can find it (like your desktop) and then just use the S&T Data Import wizard to open it, the way I described in my post above.

Or give me your POIFriend user name and password and I'll try it for you.
Confused
I think I finally figured it out. I downloaded the file from the POI Friend as a GPS Exchange which is a .gpx - I did NOT OPEN it but saved it to my Streets & Trips folder. I did NOT click ZIP WITH ICON. Then in my Mega File version of S&T I did the Import GPX file and it worked. I also got the icon to work without any problem. I know show Taco John's in my Mega File folder and can turn it on or off just like all the other files. I am not sure why it worked now and not the other attempts but this time I clicked SAVE instead of OPEN and I did not check ZIP so that could have something to do with it.
SpadesFlush
I am sure we all are glad you've sorted this out. Being able to make the step of converting location data bases to sites on your map is a very powerful feature of Streets & Trips for serious Navigators.

Now that you've done the work, it might be a good idea to make the data base available to all on this forum by up-loading either the GPX or the EST file that you created here as an attachment. Who knows, I might even try the joint out.
Confused
Sorry but I don't think I know how to post a file here and the Taco John's file is about 415 locations so might be too long to post - but POI Friend is a free website where you just have to sign up to access all the stuff - a lot of it is not that great - I just did the Taco John as an example - there are some other worthwhile files and lists but it takes some looking to find ones that might be desirable - I also went to the POI Factory website which is also totally free with a basic sign up and downloaded from there - I found both .csv and .gpx files on both sites that I was able to add into my Mega File - I don't think I am qualified but I am going to try to write up what I learned in very basic language and detail so even non computer whizzes might be able to figure out how to download more POIs to their Streets & Trips 2010 - I don't know about using any of these POIs for any program or device other than S&T 2010
Ken in Regina
Hi Confused,

I'm not trying to coerce you into uploading the file, but it's really easy if you decide you ever want to.

When you are entering a message, you can scroll down a bit and below the box you are typing in you will find a button to Manage Attachments. It will open a box that allows you to select files to attach. Click on one of the browse buttons and browse to the file on your computer you want to attach. The rest should be pretty obvious. When you submit your message, the file will be attached. You can preview your post to be sure it's there before posting.

...ken...
Confused
OK - I think I did it and included the icon - but I guess my point was that this comes from one of these totally free websites that anyone can go to and find all kinds of POIs which may or may not be of interest - we all have different interests - it seems there are thousands of files and lists on these websites and anyone can download them for free - the trick was to figure out how to add them to the Mega File I already downloaded so they would work with all the other POIs in the Mega File - anyway, see if this works.........
Attached Images
File Type: bmp Taco_Johns_Restaurants__USA.bmp (1.7 KB)
Attached Files
File Type: gpx Taco_Johns_Restaurants__USA.gpx (59.5 KB)
Ken in Regina
It worked fine. We'll turn you into a techno-expert yet!

I agree with your point about the POI web sites. I use both POIFriend and POI Factory. They are both gold mines of useful information and allow you to get just what you want.

...ken...
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