This is the Custom POI Page-6

Garmin GPS

Tricks, Tips, Work Arounds, Hints, Secrets and Ideas

for the Garmin nüvi (nuvi) GPS (and others)

Lots Of Things You Didn't Know

[many ideas may also apply to various nüvi 200, 300, 500, 600, 700,
800, 2X5, 7X5, 8X5, 1200, 1300, 1400, 2200, 2300, 2400, 3700 series units,
the nüvi 1690, nüLink! 1695 & nüvi 5000
,
and possibly
other Garmin road GPSs.
A nüvi 650 was originally used for initial testing.
As of 12/12/08 a nüvi 755T is also being used for testing.
As of 01/27/11 a nüvi 3790LMT will be used for major testing
A smaller separate section for 7X5/8X5 devices has been established.
Other articles may be updated, where necessary, to include 7X5/8X5 instructions.]

-- a continuing helpful instructional and comment Blog --
[there are currently 34 pages containing well over 100 help articles in this project]

Presented by: Gary Hayman
[since October, 2007]


[This site has been constructed so that it can be more easly viewed with various resoloution settings, including older computers and computers where the user need a lower resolution (Ex: 800x600) in order to increase the size of the fonts (for easier viewing of tired eyes) -- as well as for better use by smart phones, netbooks and tablets.]


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MY WATERING HOLE AT THE STRIP CLUB
- Hiding A Custom POI

After reading the articles in the Garmin nüvi Tricks, Tips, etc. WEB site, a User, (I won't use his real name for reasons you will see -- we will just call him a_user), writes for some help with a specific Custom POI problem he has.

> It seems that his physician has advised him to drink more bottled water. He is willing to do this but has found that he dislikes all brands except for a particular brand that they only serve in the strip clubs in his town. Apparently, according to a_user, the clubs must have a corner on the market for this brand of bottled water which is imported from New Jersey.

Anyway, when he drives through his town he never knows when he needs some water, as he wasn't used to drinking very much in the past, so he wanted to set up Custom POIs to alert him when he was passing those places that had this type of water. He would then be alerted by his GPS so that he could stop in for a drink of water, no matter which part of the city he was currently at.

Now this is no problem when he is driving alone, because he can react quickly and turn into the club, however, he is thinking that when his
wife and kids are accompanying him in the car it might not be wise to have an alert sound as he is passing a strip club -- even though all he needs is water.

He added that he has a two car family and that when the family goes for a drive it is always in his car. It is either he, by himself, or he with the entire family -- kids in the back seat.

He asked what he should do? For he doesn't really want an alert to go off on his GPS and his wife to look out the window and see a strip club and wonder what that is all about.

NO PROBLEM

Go ahead and make a Custom POI '.csv' file identifying all the strip clubs in your city, that sell the special bottled water, with their longitude and latitude coordinates.

Name the file, for example:
Wateringholes D1000.csv

and save it in your
My POIs folder.

The sample .csv file might look like this:

Remember the correct order, longitude then latitude.

-119.812603, 39.529104, Water #1,
-119.806337, 39.527788, Water #2,
-119.812900, 39.525890, Water #3,
-119.782070, 39.488250, Water #4,
etc.


Now, if you also want a large icon,
and who doesn't, here is one you can use to be the generic icon for the 'watering holes'. Don't laugh, it is supposed to be a bottle of water.


24x24 pixel 'water.bmp' icon

Right click this link (not the icon),

water.bmp

NOTE: 'Save Target As' (IE) = 'Save Link As' (Firefox)


Select (in IE) 'Save Target As',
and save the file in folder 'My POIs' (or what you have chosen). BE SURE that the file is saved with the proper file type '.bmp'. You may have to adjust your 'Save as Type' to 'All Files' to do this.

Save it as a .bmp file in the same folder and re-name it:

Wateringholes D1000.bmp

NOW FOR THE TRICK

Use a distraction alert which will keep your wife from looking out the window and spotting the strip club.

Here is one I have prepared for you. You can prepare a similar one using your own voice.


Wateringholes D1000.mp3 or Wateringholes D1000.wav

DISTRACTION ALERT SOUNDS

.mp3 file

.wav file
adjusted to PCM 44.100kHz 16 Bit, Mono
for nüvis that don't have
.mp3 capability

dear.mp3 dear.wav
[If the reader has no kids or just wants to distract his single female passenger -- use the following .mp3 or .wav file instead.]
leg.mp3 leg.wav
TO LISTEN: Left click a link
TO SAVE: Right click a link and then select 'Save Target As' or 'Save Link As' (depending upon your Browser) and direct it to your Custom POI Folder and change the file name to either

Wateringholes D1000.mp3 or
Wateringholes D1000.wav

depending upon your nuvi model requirements

Save the file in the same folder with the above files and make sure it is named:

Wateringholes D1000.mp3

[Readers who don't have .mp3 capabilities can use .wav files for their alert sounds if they also have the proper 'sox.exe' installed on their computer. See:   DON'T MAKE A .WAV - Now nüvi Series 200 Can Have Music, Sound & Voice Alerts and DID YOU PUT ON THE RIGHT SOX.EXE THIS MORNING? - Getting Your .WAV Sound Back for information]


Now when you load your .csv and .gpx files to your nüvi using
POI Loader in MANUAL mode, when you get to the 'Wateringholes D1000' file, set a distance alert of 1000 feet (that's what the D1000 is in the file name, a reminder of the distance to set. [You may adjust the distance to what you want.]

[See: BUT I WANT BOTH SPEED AND DISTANCE IN AN ALERT- Can This Be Accomplished Using .CSV Files? Yes! As If By Magic! and THE SECRET (?) SPEED NUMBERS THEY DIDN'T TELL YOU ABOUT - Surprise Settings and How To Take Advantage of Them for background information, if needed.]

There you go Mr. a_user. When your wife is in the car,
she
will be distracted, by the special alert -- turning to her children (a mother's instinct), as you pass the strip club. [If no wife then -- female passenger -- using the second sound file -- will be distracted, I guarantee.]

When you are in the car alone, you can, upon hearing the alert, determine how thirsty you are.


Good Luck and Bada Bing!

090506





AN ALTERNATE TECHNIQUE FOR PLACING CUSTOM POIs IN YOUR NÜVI
- Employing A Little Used Method

procedures suggested and championed by reader Matthew Miller

While this technique of placing Custom POIs in your nüvi has always been available it is has received little attention and/or very few have commented upon it in the various Internet forums. Matthew Miller has adopted this technique and recommends it's use. It does have several advantages in that:

  • You are not overwriting your current 'poi.gpi' file
  • No SD or SDHC card is necessary
  • You can experience better control over Custom POIs in your nüvi during additions and deletions through better selectivity and processing
  • Updating changes can be easier
  • Adding other POIs are easier


When first starting out to add Custom POIs to the nüvi, the beginner usually either prepares .csv files or .gpx files (maybe with the help of a .gpx editor - if they are a little more advanced) or obtains them from various on-line sources, and places them in a common folder on their computer's hard drive (along with attendant .bmp, .mp3, .wav files, if needed) and uses Garmin's POI Loader to process the files either in Express or Manual Mode.

POI Loader then takes all the files in the folder and combines the information into one '
poi.gpi' file that is sent to the nüvi into its
?('Drive letter')/Garmin/POI folder. This is where the Custom POIs are (normally) housed.


This is all covered in many articles in this Custom POI section that precede this writing.

Some more advanced techniques involve having POI Loader send the 'poi.gpi' file to the SD/SDHC card and then renaming the file using your computer file management system such as 'Windows Explorer' (My Computer) or, for the Mac, 'Finder',

See:LOADING YOUR CUSTOM POIs - Facts
You Know, Probably Know & Might Know


...but for this exercise you will pretend that you are not using an SD/SDHC card and are loading everything into your nüvi proper.

Here is Matthew's procedure:

1. Create a .csv or .gpx file, and any associated .bmp/.mp3/.wav files as you normally would.

Remember the correct order, longitude then latitude.


[Example .csv file]

Save this file in a well identified folder on your computer's hard drive.

For example, establish a folder '
Northern Virginia Business Contacts' placing your .csv or .gpx file there along with any needed associated .bmp/.mp3/.wav files. [In this exercise you have created a .csv file, named it 'Northern Virginia Business Contacts.csv'] and placed it in the folder named 'Northern Virginia Business Contacts'. Because you want an icon and an alert message, you are also including the appropriate .bmp and .mp3 (for some, .wav) files.

[Remember that all prefixes must
be
EXACTLY the same for each file]


2. Open
POI Loader and chose 'Custom Folder [Advanced]' when you gets to the 'Save Options' screen; Then 'Next'.

3. Using the 'Browse' capability, select a folder where the 'poi.gpi' file will be established. You will use the very same folder where you have placed the .csv or .gpx file and its attendent .bmp, .mp3 or .wav file - 'Northern Virginia Business Contacts'. It will be OK to have both the 'poi.gpi' file AND the .csv/.gpx file in the same folder. Select 'OK', then 'Next'.


4. You are then asked to select the directory where the data can be found. It is in the folder 'Northern Virginia Business Contacts' so you again browse to there (it may already be listed), choose your unit system (US or Metric), and if you want a distance alert (you do in this case), select 'Manual', then 'Next'.

5. At the next screen, for this experiment, you are going to set a distance alert of 2500 feet. You check the box for '...priority alert points', the radio button for 'Alert whenever you get close to a point', and enter 2500 in the box. Then 'Next'

6. You will then be congratulated. Whoopee!


7. Now for some important work. Go to the folder [in this case 'Northern Virginia Business Contacts'] and
rename the newly created 'poi.gpi' file to 'Northern Virginia Business Contacts.gpi'


Before



After


8. Connect your nüvi to your computer via the USB cable
(*).


9. Using Windows Explorer or Finder,
copy the file 'Northern Virginia Business Contacts.gpi' and paste it into your nüvi in the
?('Drive letter')/Garmin/POI folder. It will co-exist with the 'poi.gpi' that is already there. That file containes your other Custom POIs.


[This is my J:/Garmin/POI folder]

10. Disconnect your nüvi from the USB cable and TURN IT OFF, THEN ON. This is important in order for these new POIs to register.


If you now go to your nüvi to
'Where to?' > Extras > Custom POIs you will find a listing for 'Northern Virginia Business Contacts' which, when touched, provides a listing of the contacts. If one is touched it will present the 'Go' screen with which you can use to set your route or if you touch the 'More' button (bottom right) will provide some additional detail of your Custom POI.



You now have these business contacts in your nüvi. You can use them as a destination. You can gleen information such as a contact, phone number and address from them (much more if you are using .gpx files), and you will receive an alert for each at 2500 feet if you are just passing by on the same road.


The above technique is simplified, but can have many perturbations. You might use the Express mode rather than the Manual mode of POI Loader. You might have more than one .csv or .gpx file in the folder that is used, each file having different alerts -- or no alerts. You still are able to use file names with keywords, make the file into an automatic speed alert by using a number or special keyword in the name or even have your alert be of the radial type by using the keyword 'TourGuide' in the title. See lots of previous articles.


The main value of creating 'poi.gpi' files, which you re-name and install in this manner, is that once you do it you really don't have to touch it again (unless there are some changes) and when you install your regular 'poi.gpi' file, multiple times, it will not overwrite or change your re-named .gpi file.


When you have large collections of POIs, this is a much easier way to operate.


Thanks Matthew for suggesting this technique.


(*) You may ask why you were directed to wait so long to connect the nüvi to your computer via the USB cable. Matthew explains "If you forget to select “Custom Folder Advanced” on POI Loader, this delalyed action will safe-guard against automatically over-writing the precious 'poi.gpi' file that may already be on your nüvi. If you forget, POI Loader will say it can’t find the device. Now you have a second chance to click back and pick the “Custom Folder Advanced” option with no harm done."

090915




POI LOADER, POI LOADER, EVERYWHERE
-- Let's Get Rid Of Those Extra POI Loader Copies




As you know, Garmin's POI Loader (poiloader.exe --
current version 2.6.1) is utilized for processing Custom POI files and their attendant .bmp, .mp3, and .wav files, producing the working 'poi.gpi' file that is sent to your nüvi.

Recently I have received a quantity of e-mails from people having trouble getting their Custom POI .wav alerts to work with their nüvis. S.T. Coleridge writes that he, after attending a wedding, took a trip South to the 'cape' and beyond, and found that his Custom POI alerts didn't work on his nüvi 250. Similar stories from other writers, especially those with
non-.mp3 capable nüvis and those others who were planning to use .wav files for sound alerts to bypass the well known .mp3 shuffle problem that happens with some nüvis when alerts sound.

Their techniques appeared correct.

BUT -- WHAT HAD HAPPENED

They had multiple copies of 'poiloader.exe' in various folders on their hard drive, and, as they were supposed to, they placed a
PROPER VERSION (14.0.1) of 'sox.exe' in ONE of these folders.

However, when they wanted to use POI Loader to process their Custom POI files, they always pointed to another copy in a different folder that DIDN'T have 'sox.exe' along with 'poiloader.exe'.


That is a requirement for Windows OS computer owners who are using .wav files as sound files alerts in their nüvis.

Most of the individuals having trouble were using a
Shortcut that pointed to the 'poiloader.exe' in the WRONG folder. The POI Loader worked but wouldn't process the .wav sound files, and of course, didn't raise a flag when not doing this. They didn't know.

SUGGESTIONS ..........

  • If this is all new to you, see one of my previous articles 'DON'T MAKE A .WAV - Now nüvi Series 200 Can Have Music, Sound & Voice Alerts' for background and help

  • Do a search of your entire computer and see where your copies of 'poiloader.exe' exist.

  • Delete all but the one copy. Place it anywhere you want. Many (including me) use -- C:\Garmin

  • Make sure you have a correct copy of 'sox.exe' (v. 14.0.1) in the same folder

  • Make sure that any shortcut you have, pointing to 'poiloader.exe', points to this correct file in the proper folder

  • If you have had problems in the past and you have made these corrections, re-process your Custom POIs with POI Loader creating a fresh 'poi.gpi' file on your nüvi -- which should now operate the way you want -- giving you established sound alerts ... provided you have set proper distance or speed alerts.


NOTE: Mike from Canada suggests that to make a real clean 'ONE' copy of POI Loader on your computer (Windows) go to your Control Panel/Add or Remove Programs and remove all 'Garmin POI Loader' listings -- making a 'clean delete of the program and all it's accessories/extensions'. Then go to Garmin [http://www8.garmin.com/products/poiloader/] and download a fresh copy of POI Loader, placing it in the proper folder on your computer.

090920


CRACKING THE CRACKER BARREL CODE
- The TourGuide Sez It's Lunchtime

I confess that I created the title of this article long before I even thought about the body of the article. After writing and publishing this article my intentions are to create an appropriate movie screen play, market it to a Hollywood studio, find a good director, and entice a major movie star such as Tom Hanks, Matt Damon, or Jack Black to take the lead role ... the role of You.

 
 

You are driving North on the Interstate. You still have two hours to reach your destination which you have diligently programmed into your Garmin nüvi. It is approaching 11:30 am. Suddenly your GPSr announces 'Cracker Barrel Near By'. Your stomach now tells you ... it is time for lunch...

 
 


Two months earlier you found an excellent group of files on the fabulous
POI Factory WEB site. Charlesd45 and others before him had gathered some ~600 coordinate locations of Cracker Barrel establishments in over 40 States and created a Cracker Barrel section with a .bmp (icon), .csv, .mp3 and .wav files.

Cracker Barrel.bmp
Cracker Barrel.csv
Cracker Barrel.mp3
(You may not want to download this. See below.)
Cracker Barrel.wav
(You may not want to download this. See below.)

Because you are an
Advanced User you processed these files a little differently from the norm, which would have been to place them in your POICollection folder (see many of the previous articles), activate 'poiloader.exe' in Manual mode and resend your entire POI collection to your nüvi as the single 'poi.gpi' after again setting all your distance and possibly speed alerts again -- file by file by file.

The
Advanced Technique that you used was to:

  • Create a new folder on your computer named Cracker Barrel
  • Place the .csv and the .bmp files in that folder
  • Rename the .csv file to 'Cracker_Barrel_TourGuideD5000.csv'
  • Rename the .bmp file to 'Cracker_Barrel_TourGuideD5000.bmp'


Because the .mp3 and the .wav files from POI Factory speak "
Cracker Barrel Ahead" and because you are going to use a TourGuide keyword in the file name to create a multi-direction proximity alert, and because the establishment might not be ahead on the road you are traveling but most likely will be off somewhere to the side on a service road or in a shopping center away from the road on which you are traveling, some 5000 feet or less (your chosen distance [you can change it]) to the left, right, or ahead somewhere, you are going to let an AT&T Labs, Inc. program create a new spoken .wav file for you that will say, 'Cracker Barrel Near By'

[The text to speech on-line program can be found at: http://www.research.att.com/~ttsweb/tts/demo.php]

I found that using 'Cracker Barrel, Near By' (note comma) as the text, with (AT&T) Lauren's voice, works well for me. You may have other preferences. Try them and see.

After you create and listen to the .wav file you will download it to the Cracker Barrel folder to accompany the other two files. You will then rename the long numbered file name that AT&T created to:

'Cracker_Barrel_TourGuideD5000.wav'

NOTE: if you are using .wav files you must have v. 14.0.1 of 'sox.exe' in the same folder as your 'poiloader.exe' See articles:

DON'T MAKE A .WAV - Now nüvi Series 200 Can Have Music, Sound & Voice Alerts
DID YOU PUT ON THE RIGHT SOX.EXE THIS MORNING? - Getting Your .WAV Sound Back
POI LOADER, POI LOADER, EVERYWHERE -- Let's Get Rid Of Those Extra POI Loader Copies


You now have three files in your Cracker Barrel folder having the prefix of '
Cracker_Barrel_TourGuideD5000' with the three different suffixes of .bmp, .csv, & .wav.

For the purpose of this article, you have not used the POI Factory available .mp3 or .wav file
only because it didn't say what you wanted. If it did, then please use it and forget about making a .wav file -- unless you are an owner of a nüvi that doesn't take .mp3 files or one that does, but, you are using .wav files to keep your .mp3 player from skipping.

Fire up POI Loader ('poiloader.exe') [
currently v.2.6.1] on your computer.

  1. Tell it to save your Points of Interest in the 'Custom Folder (Advanced)' [This is a screen choice]
  2. Select the folder for saving your POI file. (It will be your 'Cracker Barrel' folder and you can find it via the 'Browse' button)
  3. Select the directory where the data can be found (It will be the same folder, 'Cracker Barrel'. Again, you can use the 'Browse' button
  4. On the same page -- set your units (Feet) [Metric users use Meters and instead of using the 5000 number that I am presenting throughout this article, you should use something more to your needs; perhaps 1600 meters]
  5. On the same page -- make sure the mode is set to 'Manual'
  6. On the next page check 'This file contains proximity alert points'
  7. On the same page check 'Alert when you get close to a point' and place the distance 5000 in the box. In case you forgot what distance to enter just take a look at the file name to see the 'D5000' which gives you the hint. Remember, you set it up that way. This technique becomes handy when working with many .csv files that require manual distance settings.
  8. After you click 'Next', the screen will tell you that you have installed 591 POIs to your computer -- not your nüvi. This may change as files are revised at the POI Factory.
  9. You now look in the 'Cracker Barrel' folder and you find a new file 'poi.gpi'. You need to change the name of the file to 'Cracker_Barrel_TourGuideD5000.gpi' [You could use another prefix but this gives you the name of the POI, the fact that it is a radial proximity type (TourGuide) and that you have set it at a distance of 5000 feet.]
  10. Now it's time to connect your nüvi to your computer through the USB port and using your File Management system, copy and paste this 'Cracker_Barrel_TourGuideD5000.gpi' file to your nüvi, placing it in the nüvi's Garmin/POI folder. The path may look something similar to: J:\Garmin\POI


OK, you have collected a .csv file and its associated icon .bmp file. You created an appropriate sound file (.wav) and placed all three in a 'Cracker Barrel' folder on your computer's hard drive. You made very sure that the keyword 'TourGuide' was included and that all the prefixes were the same; the only differences in the file names were the suffixes. You used POI Loader in Manual mode setting a distance alert of 5000 feet [1600 metric]. You had POI Loader save it's generated 'poi.gpi' file in the Cracker Barrel folder and immediately changed the prefix of the file name to match the others. You copied this one Cracker_Barrel_TourGuideD5000.gpi file to the nüvi's Garmin/POI folder.

 
  Now back to the story.

You have just received an alert from your nüvi telling you that a Cracker Barrel was somewhere in the vicinity -- right?, ahead?, left?

You love Cracker Barrel. What is it about that restaurant. The old Southern charm? The row of available rocking chairs on the front porch? The barn wood decoration? The mounds of candy and nicknacks in the general store portion of the establishment? The simplicity of the home cooked meals? The Hooteresque costumes that the friendly waitresses wear? [all good for later movie color shots].
 
 

At this point you don't know where the nearby Cracker Barrel is. Depending upon your zoom level and whether you are in 3D (most likely) or 2D mode, you may not be able to see the Cracker Barrel icon on your Map Screen.

As you want to now go to the Cracker Barrel, there are a couple of things you can do.

--- If you are in 3D mode you might just zoom out a little till the Cracker Barrel icon appears and then just follow the roads you see that will lead you to the establishment --
ignoring the 'route line' of the nüvi and the recalculating comments.

--- or, you can touch the screen to get into 2D mode, the icon will probably appear, if not adjust your zoom, then follow the roads you see that will lead you to the establishment --
ignoring the 'route line' of the nüvi and the recalculating comments.

--- or, either diligently pull off to the side of the road and safely stop (or have your passenger do the screen pressing for you) (I'm thinking of your safety) then:

  1. Press 'Menu'
  2. Press 'Stop'
  3. Select 'Where To?'
  4. Scroll to Extras/Custom POI and select them
  5. Scroll to listing 'Cracker_Barrel_TourGuideD5000' and select it
  6. Choose the very first listing (that's the nearest Cracker Barrel to you)
  7. Select 'Go'
  8. Let your nüvi guide you to the restaurant.

NOTE: this is difficult to do while moving as time is short and there are a lot of screen touches (unless you are using the voice command 800 series), so Safety First, or perhaps you will want to use one of the other listed methods.

 
  As you park your vehicle at the restaurant, you remember to take your GPSr with you. You approach the porch of the restaurant there are 8 beautiful ladies occupying the rocking chairs - 'dressed to the nines', each of whom will play an important role in the rest of your star-studded International movie. The 'rockin' ladies' are Angelina Jolie, Salma Hayak, Halle Berry, Beyonce, Charlize Theron, Tong Lei, Aishwarya Rai, and Marjorie Main. You tip your hat to each and enter the Cracker Barrel for nothing can now stop your search for a good lunch....  
 

9. Please remember, when you leave the restaurant to tip well and reset your nüvi to your original destination. You will probably find it listed near the top in the 'Recently Found' section. You are now on your way.


Ya'll Come Back Now, Ya Hear! (CLICK)

091025




STRICTLY NEWBIE - A LITTLE ON CUSTOM POIS
- Getting Started

A far off friend of mine, who I haven't seen in years but I do contact via e-mail and phone, had been very resistant to owning a GPS. We will call him 'Jim'
(for I don't think that Marc would want to be identified).


Jim recently purchased a nüvi and is now so enthralled with the unit that I do believe he sleeps with it under his pillow at night.


I realized that most first time owners have no conception of
CUSTOM POIs so the following is written just as a short introduction to make them aware and to encourage them to investigate further using this site and the other highly valuable sites which discuss Custom POIs and provide files and application programs for their use.

THIS IS JUST A BRIEF

(default)
POINTS OF INTEREST (POIs), millions of them, are included with your nüvi. They reside in your nüvi's Points of Interest area when you visit with a 'Where To?' You cannot add to or change them. They can only be changed by new maps. They can be used as locations (waypoints) and you can route to them. You can see their 'special' icons on your map when zoomed into 200 or less feet.

FAVORITES are additional locations that you can add via hand input to your device or via outside application programs in conjunction with your computer, or in some cases, via 'air waves'. They can be added to or deleted at will. They are found in a second section of your nüvi after doing a 'Where To?' -- the Favorites section. They can be used as locations (waypoints) and you can route to them. They too have 'special' icons and can be seen on your map at various zoom levels (not just extreme zoom-in). There is a limit to the number of Favorites that you can have which depends upon which model Garmin you own, but it is quite generous.

CUSTOM POIs are additional 'locations' (waypoints) to which your nüvi can respond. [Custom POIs are NOT the same as POIs. Confusing? Yes!] They are always produced with or by outside programs and loaded to your nüvi via your computer and the USB cable connection. They are found in a third section of your nüvi after doing a 'Where To?' -- the Extras/Custom POIs section (or in some older models, just the Custom POIs section.) They can be used as locations (waypoints) and you can route to them. They too have 'special' icons but now you can have an unlimited choice of icons produced by others, or even design them yourself with your graphics program. The icons can be seen at various zoom levels (under conditions that you will discover in other articles). These icons can be quite large or just a default small black square. You may have thousands of these Custom POIs installed, limited only by the available memory of your device.

You
CAN construct Custom POIs yourself, outside of your nüvi, or obtain, from the Internet, hundreds of Custom POI files are already prepared for you. Custom POI files can be of three types -- '.csv', '.gpx' (these two types are the usual types - each has it's benefits), and '.gpi' (I won't go into detail about this type here, as it is more for an advanced user.)

.csv and .gpx files are processed by Garmin's 'POI Loader' program which you can download from Garmin to your computer. This special program makes necessary conversions of those files and places the results into your nüvi. You can process one location or thousands of locations at a time with POI Loader.

Besides just having the Custom POIs placed on your nüvi, one of the great values of this type of POI is that you can (if you desire) specify
SOUND ALERTS, either by proximity distance or speed,

  • using special POI Loader 'Manual' processing
  • specific 'keywords' in file names
  • symbol and certain numbers in location IDs
  • placing a number (from a specific range) in the .csv/.gpx file name


The alerts can be the default 'ping'
(speed) or 'bong' (proximity) of the nüvi or you can establish a variety of sound alerts for various Custom POIs that include sounds: Ex. "doorbell ringing", and even voice: Ex. "Approaching a Starbucks -- Have you had your java fix?".

BTW, your nüvi can control the sounding of alerts via a preference setting, either no alerts, Single Tone, or Continuous Tone. Models differ but in the 755T it is adjusted at
Tools > Settings > Proximity Alerts (for On/Off) > Audio (for Single Tone or Continuous Tone)

Custom POIs are also very handy for placing groups of locations into your GPSr such as Restaurant Chains (Cracker Barrel), State Parks, Highway Rest Stops, Red Light Cameras, Speed Cameras, Shopping places (Wal*Mart), etc. Some of the Custom POIs may be the same as the included POIs, but with the custom feature,
you can associate an alert that tells you when you are nearing the location. You can also cause a larger icon to appear on the screen when you are near the location, at zoomed out levels. You can't do this with a regular POI.


Many people use Custom POIs as part of their Geocaching experience. Some attach alerts to the locations and are notified as they near 'treasure spots'. They then may stop a while and do their fun searching.

Jim, once you get used to your new nüvi you should investigate Custom POIs to achieve a better experience with your unit.

You can investigate the Custom POI section on this WEB site which will also include important information and links to other pertinent sites to help you with Custom POIs. [See:
Garmin Tricks etc.: Custom POI section]

You will find that writing a simple Custom .csv file (using a simple text editor) is quite easy once you learn about 'coordinates' and you will find that using POI Loader to place the information on your nüvi is also an easy task. Many have undertaken the task of preparing Custom POI collections and making them available to you. One excellent source that I use is the POI Factory [
http://www.poi-factory.com/]

Jim, I will 'mark' my calender and get back with you to see how you are coming along with your Custom POIs.

091212


 




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