How to Create POIs - A series of posts

jfheath
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How to Create POIs - A series of posts

Post by jfheath »

#1 Introduction

Many mapping programs use the tem 'Points of Interest' to mean a location that has been stored. Garmin uses this term for that purpose too - in Basecamp.

However, Garmin also uses it for something slightly different: a saved location that will show up on the map whether it is part of a route or not. It also has a perimeter associated with it. If your route passes through a POI, the Zumo will alert you as soon as you reach its perimeter: A banner is shown across the top of the Zumo screen, and a custom mp3 file is played as an audible alert.
  • Custom POIs start life as a set of Waypoints in Basecamp.
  • They have a proximity field set - ie how close you need to be for the POI to alert you
  • They are associated with a home made icon - with some rules.
  • They are associated with a home made sound of any length
Once all of these are assembled, Garmin's POI loader can be used to create a .gpi file to be placed in the POI folder on the memory card or in Internal Storage.


The image below shows the bike approaching a custom made yellow POI when following a route.
Note the announcement at the top of the screen. An mp3 file is played at the same time


01 POI on Route.png
01 POI on Route.png (467.49 KiB) Viewed 543 times
Have owned Zumo 550, 660 == Now have Zumo XT2, XT, 595, 590, Headache
Use Basecamp (mainly), MyRouteApp (sometimes)

Links: Zumo 590/5 & BC . . . Zumo XT & BC
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How to Create POIs - A series of posts

Post by jfheath »

#2 Create a new folder on your computer.

It really does help if you can create a folder from the root of the disk drive. I keep small empty partition called J: just for this situation. But you could create a temporary folder from the main drive C: Move the folder for safekeeping elsewhere out of the way when you have finished.

Avoid spaces and long names. Mine is J:\IndPoi (Individual POIs)

Use this folder to keep all of the resources that you want to create in one 'session'. I am creating just three Points of Interest. I need
  1. An MP3 file containing the alert sound to be played when you approach the POI
  2. An icon that will show up on the XT screen - the same icon is used for all of the POIs
  3. A GPX file containing the waypoints - prepared in Basecamp. My file contains just 3, but it could contain many more.
Have owned Zumo 550, 660 == Now have Zumo XT2, XT, 595, 590, Headache
Use Basecamp (mainly), MyRouteApp (sometimes)

Links: Zumo 590/5 & BC . . . Zumo XT & BC
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How to Create POIs - A series of posts

Post by jfheath »

#3 Create Waypoints in Basecamp

Pick up the flag tool and use it to place a few waypoints. These can be anywhere - they don't have to be used in the route, the icon will be displayed wherever they are. However, they will only produce an audible alert if they are actually on the route that you are following. A bit like Via Points - but unlike Via Points, POIs do not have to be built into the route. They are just there as Points of Interest - and if your route happens to pass through them, then they alert you as you appraoch the icon.

My route will head north on the B6160. As as a test, I placed point B02 away from the intended route.


BC Create Waypoint.png
BC Create Waypoint.png (103.2 KiB) Viewed 529 times


The above picture shows the Basecamp screen. Click the image to see a better quality version. On the map I have placed 3 Waypoint - marked with the default blue flag. The blue flag is not relevant to this exercise.

On the left, the lower left window pane shows the 3 Waypoints. I have selected all of them by clicking on the top one, then holding the shift key down and clicking on the bottom one. All three are highlighted in light blue.

Right click and select 'Open'. BC cannot open 3 dialog boxes at the same time, but it can open one and the information that is entered will then be set for all three Waypoints. I am going to set the proximity to 0.3 miles.

That proximity value is indicated on the map by the red circle that is around each of the three points. It indicates how far away from the point you will be when the alert is given.

Save all of your Waypoints into a single GPX file: In Basecamp, select the Waypoints as described before.
File -> Export -> Export Selection - and find the location of your folder and give the GPX file a name.

eg mine was saved in J:\IndPoi\IndPoi.gpx
Have owned Zumo 550, 660 == Now have Zumo XT2, XT, 595, 590, Headache
Use Basecamp (mainly), MyRouteApp (sometimes)

Links: Zumo 590/5 & BC . . . Zumo XT & BC
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How to Create POIs - A series of posts

Post by jfheath »

#4 Create an Icon and an alert sound.

First, Create the Icon

The Garmin documentation, such as it is, requires the image to be
  • 24 x 24 pixels - this is about the size of the blue disc shaping point. I have tried larger sizes - 36x36 and 48x48 and both seemed to work on the XT. 48x48 was a bit large though. Although they worked on the XT, the Garmin documentation specified 24x24 - so they might be a requirement for earlier Zumos.
  • 8 bit or 16 bit colour code (8 bit gives 256 different colours, 16 bit gives 65,536 different colours). 8 bit is plenty !
  • Saved as a Windows / OS2 bitmap file with the BMP extension.
The picture below shows the 24 x 24 image. On the left, I have enlarged it to make the idividual pixels very clear. The smaller version is what it looks like in the editor actual size. On the right is how the same icon appears on the XT screen.

Image Compare.png
Image Compare.png (30.19 KiB) Viewed 526 times

The magenta colour (RGB = 255,0,255) will be regarded by the XT as transparent. All you will see is the black and the yellow - the magenta will not be seen and anything that is behind it will be seen.

Save the bmp file with a name that you will recognise as belonging to this collection of POIs.
Save it in the same folder as before - eg J:\IndPoi\IndPoi.bmp



Create a 'Ping' ... alert sound

This can be any mp3 file. It needs to be resonably loud and could be a simple ping sound or a voice recording, or a complete piece of music. Up to you. Audacity is a free piece of software that allows you to edit and create MP3 files. Google it. It's free. It is brilliant.

Audacity.png
Audacity.png (21 KiB) Viewed 526 times

Find or make a sound and store it in your folder. I created one with me saying 'Point One'.
So that is saved as J:\IndPoi\IndPoi.mp3

You should now have the following 3 files in your specially created folder.

Saved Files.png
Saved Files.png (13.58 KiB) Viewed 526 times
Have owned Zumo 550, 660 == Now have Zumo XT2, XT, 595, 590, Headache
Use Basecamp (mainly), MyRouteApp (sometimes)

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How to Create POIs - A series of posts

Post by jfheath »

#5 Put it all together

So we now have 3 files inside a folder that we created. In my case J:\IndPoi\

Saved Files.png
Saved Files.png (13.58 KiB) Viewed 524 times

I have called them all by the same name, but they have different extensions. If you do a few of these, you very quickly get confused about which files belong with which collection. It makes a lot of sense to identify them with a name that matches the name of the folder that they should be in.

In a later example when I talk about creating a tour guide, it is essential that the files are named according to a certain pattern. This method adopts some of the same ideas.



Run POI Loader

POILoader is free software from Garmin.
Download from here for Windows.
Download from here for Mac


Click image to see a clearer version

POILoader 01.png
POILoader 01.png (118.09 KiB) Viewed 524 times

POILoader 02.png
POILoader 02.png (73.44 KiB) Viewed 524 times


Note the underlined item in the bottom right picture (above). You should have only three files in the folder that you specify. One of those is a gpx file. IT actually doesn't matter what you call it - but my system of using the same name for the folder, the gpx, bmp and mp3 files makes this step easy. If it finds other gpx files it will show them on this screen - and it gives the option to ignore. This is where mistakes can be made. Just have the 3 files and there won't be any problem.

Also note that I have not ticked the option for proximity alerts. That is because we set them for the waypoints that we created in Basecamp.

And that's it for POI Loader. The J:\IndPoi folder now contains an extra file - the IndPoi.GPI file that it has just created.


Completed POI Files.png
Completed POI Files.png (25.54 KiB) Viewed 524 times


The IndPoi.gpi file needs to be copied to the Zumo. Put it onto SDCard/Garmin/POI folder.

If the folder doesn't exist, create a Garmin folder and in that create a POI folder. Capitals where I have placed capitals.

You can ask POILoader to put the file onto the 'Device'. If you do, it will put it into Internal Storage / POI along with a long list of other POIs - which it typically uses for speed cameras.
Have owned Zumo 550, 660 == Now have Zumo XT2, XT, 595, 590, Headache
Use Basecamp (mainly), MyRouteApp (sometimes)

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How to Create POIs - A series of posts

Post by jfheath »

#6 Testing at Your Desk

Testing is easier if you choose your test route points to be within a couple of miles from your current location.
Assuming that is the case, these are just brief pointers as to what to do.

Copy the GPI file to SDCard/Garmin/POI.


Restart your Zumo and check the following:
  • Plug your Zumo into a power supply - do not let it think it is connecting to a computer.
  • If it asks if you want to transfer New Extras Data to make it available if the card is removed - say "No" - on this occasion.
  • Settings -> Navigation -> GPS Simulator - check.
  • Where To -> Categories -> Custom POIs -> IndPoi (ie the name that you have been using)
  • View each of the POIs that have been created, tap the Info (i) button. Note the point with the new icon is displayed to the right. Scroll down the list on the left to see what options are available. Don't choose anything or save. Just tap the return arrow, bottom left. Check out the other POIs that you have created as well.
  • Settings->Map & Vehicle->Map Layers->Up Ahead Places. Make sure that it is ticked. *** See note below.
  • Check your volume settings in general and for alerts in particular

05 Display POIs.png
05 Display POIs.png (283.28 KiB) Viewed 521 times


Now you are ready to check out the points.

Set a destination for an ad-hoc route. No need to use the Trip Planner App. Simply scroll aroundthe map screen and tap a location. Say Go !
Hopefully the route will pass through some POis but not others. That way you get to see what happens on approach.
The POIs should appear on the map as they come into view. They should announce if you actually pass through them.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

*** Up Ahead Places
'Up Ahead Places' must be ticked in order to show Waypoints and POIs on the map.

Unfortunately it also shows up three other categories as icons on the screen. If you don't want this to happen, then the following will stop those big green icons from cluttering up your screen. It will still show up Favourites though.

Settings -> Map & Vehicle -> Map Layers
Up Ahead Places needs to be ticked. Tap the black arrowhead.
This gives a list of three items that it will search for and display down the right hand side of the map.

I have my list set to three things that it will probably never find.

05 Up Ahead Places.png
05 Up Ahead Places.png (9.28 KiB) Viewed 521 times

To change the top search item, tap the top row and then select 'Custom Search'.
Where it invites you to enter a business name or category, Enter 'Xxx'. Done. Choose an icon. Save.

Repeat for the other two with (eg) Yyy and Zzz searches.

Although it suggests that a Category can be named for the search, I have been unable to get it to locate the Custom POIs for the 'Up Ahead' display that can be shown on the RHS of the navigation screen.
Have owned Zumo 550, 660 == Now have Zumo XT2, XT, 595, 590, Headache
Use Basecamp (mainly), MyRouteApp (sometimes)

Links: Zumo 590/5 & BC . . . Zumo XT & BC
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How to Create POIs - A series of posts

Post by jfheath »

Please feel free to add comments / questions.

I am leaving this almost blank page here in case there is something that I have missed and need to add anything extra.
Have owned Zumo 550, 660 == Now have Zumo XT2, XT, 595, 590, Headache
Use Basecamp (mainly), MyRouteApp (sometimes)

Links: Zumo 590/5 & BC . . . Zumo XT & BC
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Re: How to Create POIs - A series of posts

Post by Mzokk »

Excellent @ JFheath I wonder could these two threads this and the tour guide one be made stickies?
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Re: How to Create POIs - A series of posts

Post by jfheath »

They almost are stickies - both of them appearing at the top of a thread that has previously only been added to just once in the last three years.

But I don't see why not - they answer most of the questions posed in the other topics and posts in the thread
Have owned Zumo 550, 660 == Now have Zumo XT2, XT, 595, 590, Headache
Use Basecamp (mainly), MyRouteApp (sometimes)

Links: Zumo 590/5 & BC . . . Zumo XT & BC