Creating Custom POI Files top

Advanced users can create their own .csv and .gpx data files that include Custom POI lists or TourGuide files on compatible Garmin devices*.

POI Loader loads all .csv and .gpx data files saved in a particular directory. When creating or downloading Custom POI data files, it is recommended that you save all the data files you want to upload to your device in the same directory.

POI Loader determines whether or not a file contains speed and proximity alert points based on specific criteria. Use the following information to help you create Custom POI files:

Understanding Speed and Proximity Alert Information top

POI Loader automatically scans .csv and .gpx data files for speed and proximity alert information.

If there is speed and proximity alert information contained in your data files, POI Loader can automatically detect it by looking for key information. POI Loader checks the file name for valid speed information and keywords to indicate proximity alerts (for example, "redlight," "camera," or "safety"). If the speed or proximity information in the data file is missing or incomplete, POI Loader assumes the file is a regular POI file.

If you want to specify speed and proximity alert information to override the information included in the file name, use Manual mode to enter additional information. Manual mode allows you to specify the default speed and proximity alert information as needed for each data file you are loading. You can use Manual mode to override the default speed and proximity information included in the file names of the data files you are loading. For example, if you are loading a file named "Speed_30," but you want the default speed to be 25, you can enter a speed of 25 in Manual mode.

Speed Information

Speed information can be included in the file name or in the names of individual POIs within the file.

POI Loader determines speed information based on the following information, listed from highest to lowest priority:

  1. Speed information included in the name of the individual Custom POI. For example, a POI named "SpeedZone@30" will have an alert speed of 30 regardless of the speed information specified in Manual mode or in the file name.
  2. Speed information entered in Manual mode.
  3. Speed information included in the file name. POI Loader interprets any numbers in the file name as speed information.

Proximity Alert Information

Proximity alert information can be calculated automatically based on speed information. It can also be included in .gpx data files or added in Manual mode.

POI Loader determines proximity alert information based on the following criteria, listed from highest to lowest priority:

  1. Proximity alert information listed for individual POIs in a .gpx file. This information overrides all other proximity alert information.
  2. Proximity alert information entered in Manual mode.
  3. Proximity alert distance calculated by POI Loader based on speed information in the file name or in individual POI names. This calculation uses the following formula:
  4. Prompt Distance = 36 seconds * Speed.
  5. A default proximity alert distance of 400 meters/0.25 miles if the file name contains the word "redlight."
  6. If there is a TourGuide audio file attached and no other proximity alert information is available, POI Loader assigns a proximity alert distance of 0.25 miles.

Creating Custom POIs in MapSource or RoadTrip top

Users can create Custom POIs in Garmin MapSource or RoadTrip and save them in a .gpx file.

You can attach .mp3 audio files to your Custom POIs. You can also create TourGuide points that include .mp3 files containing audio descriptions of the POIs. The .mp3 audio file plays instead of the default alert tone on your compatible Garmin device when you approach a POI. See Creating TourGuide Files for more information.

To create a .gpx file using MapSource or RoadTrip:

  1. Create a waypoint.
  2. In the Waypoint Properties dialog box, enter information as needed in the following fields. NOTE: The speed and proximity alert information entered in these fields overrides other speed and proximity alert information assigned in the file name or in Manual mode. See Understanding Speed and Proximity Alert Information and Creating Custom POI Files for more information.
  3. Name—Enter a name for the Custom POI, including speed information. NOTE: Speed information entered here overrides information entered in the file name or in Manual mode.

    Proximity—Uncheck the Unknown box beside the Proximity field and enter the appropriate distance. NOTE: Proximity alert information entered here overrides information entered in the file name or in Manual mode.

    Comment—Enter a comment.

    File/URL—Enter the file name or browse to the file or directory you want to attach to the Custom POI. You can include .mp3 audio files as well as .jpeg images. You can also specify a directory name to include all the files within that directory. For example, if you enter "C:\MyPOIs\Data", all the .mp3 and .jpeg files in that directory will be attached to the Custom POI. You can specify a relative path to the directory if applicable.

  4. Click OK.
  5. Repeat Steps 1-3 as needed.
  6. Select File > Save As or File > Export Folder and browse to the appropriate directory. NOTE: It is recommended that you save all your Custom POI data files in the same directory.
  7. Enter a file name. If you want to set a default speed for the Custom POIs in this file, include the appropriate alert speed in the file name (for example, "Speed Zones 25"). POI Loader interprets any numbers in the file name as speed information. See Creating Custom POI Files for more information.
  8. (MapSource only) Select GPS eXchange Format (*.gpx) from the Save As Type drop-down list.
  9. Click Save.

You can also open existing MapSource files containing saved waypoints and save them as .gpx files.

Creating .CSV Files top

POI Loader accepts .csv files that contain longitude, latitude, speed alert information, and optional comments. You can create .csv files using a text editor, MS Excel, or a similar program.

POI Loader assumes a .csv file utilizes the following format for each POI (brackets [ ] denote optional text):

<Lon>,<Lat>,["]<Name>[@<Alert Speed>]["],["] [comment]["]

Longitude and latitude must appear in WGS84 decimal degrees format (ddd.ddddd; negative numbers indicate West and South).

If you include quotes around the name or comment, you can include line breaks in the text.

The following are examples of Custom POIs in the proper format:

-94.79731,38.81099,Ridgeview@25

-94.74240,38.81952,Heritage Park,Perfect site for a picnic

-94.76416,38.81227,Garmin,"1200 E. 151st Street

Olathe,KS 66062
913/397.8300"

Speed information can be included in the file name and in the name of individual POIs. See Understanding Speed and Proximity Alert Information and Creating Custom POI Files for more information.

Creating TourGuide Files top

TourGuide is a feature available on compatible Garmin devices*. TourGuide files include Custom POIs with descriptive .mp3 audio files. When you approach a TourGuide point, the .mp3 file plays and provides you with information about that point, much like a guided tour. TourGuide files must be saved as .gpx files.

NOTE: TourGuide files are usually created by third party developers.

To create TourGuide points, follow the steps for creating Creating Custom POIs in MapSource and use the File/URL field to attach the appropriate .mp3 files to the points. The .mp3s must contain the word "TourGuide" in the file name to activate the TourGuide feature. For example, "TourGuide.mp3", "TourGuide USA.mp3", or "TourGuide 12.mp3" are all valid TourGuide file names.

After you have created all your TourGuide points, save them as a .gpx file. See Creating Custom POIs in MapSource for more information.

After you have saved your TourGuide points in a .gpx file, you can save them on an SD card or load them on your compatible GPS unit using Express Mode or Manual Mode.

Adding Pictures to TourGuide Points

You can add .jpg images to your TourGuide points by following the steps for creating Creating Custom POIs in MapSource. Save the .jpg images and TourGuide .mp3 files in a directory, then use the File/URL field to link to that directory.

You can also include the path to the .jpg image in the ID3 data of your TourGuide .mp3 file. Search the internet for more information on ID3 tags for .mp3 files.

*Except for our basic handhelds and older Rino® two-way radio GPS units, all of our current Outdoor and Automotive products are compatible with custom POIs. Tour Guide POIs are only compatible with our MP3 capable nüvi® and zumo® units. Please check your particular Garmin model’s spec sheet for custom POI compatibility.