<%secureLevel=2%> POI Tutorial
   
 

 

 

 

       
 

INSTRUCTION FOR MANAGING POI FILES


This document will deal with how you manage POI an existing (Point of Interest) file, such as Flying J, Passport, etc.

All that I need is a text file or spreadsheet that gives the latitude and longitude of each POI "point", which is the location of the appropriate campground, gas station, etc, and either the name of the POI or additional information such as the address.

If you download any of the POI text files (and also its README file) on the website and open in either a text editor or spreadsheet program, you will get a better idea of this.

If you DON'T have Delorme Streets and Trips, use this tutorial:
This document will deal with how you manage POI an existing (Point of Interest) file, such as Flying J, Passport, etc.

Can't I just use MS Streets and Trips instead? Unfortunately, no you cannot. Although you could add and delete POI's within MS Streets and Trips and save your file, there is no way to reliably extract the text data from the MS Streets and Trips program. Without the text file, there is no way to make the Delorme, Google Earth or text files that are required by other users.

WHAT YOU WILL NEED
You will need the free Google Earth program - this is the program that you will use to either add or delete POI's for the POI file you are managing.
It will also be helpful in you have a spreadsheet, such as Microsoft Excel, or the free OpenOffice or LibreOffice.

Let's run through an example using Crackle Barrel. First, go to http://www.discoveryowners.com/cginfo.htm and click on the Sorted Alphabetically and then choose Google Earth from the drop-down menu. On the next page, scroll down until you find the Cracker Barrel line and notice there is a README file and also a Google Earth file. Download both of these and unzip. The README file may be either a text file or an Excel spreadsheet file. Either of these file can be opened in a spreadsheet (Libreoffice or Openoffice are excellent free alternatives) and is best viewed and modified in a spreadsheet.

Next, start your Google Earth program and open the CrackerBarrel.kmz file in Google Earth. The first thing you will notice is that the file opened with the Cracker Barrel icons at the location of the restaurant. You will be using this file in Google Earth to make modifications. Let's assume the Cracker Barrel McAllen, TX, has closed. In the Google Earth Fly To box, type in McAllen, TX. Google Earth will fly to McAllen, TX, but it may zoom in so much so that you cannot see the Cracker Barrel symbol (although you could have referred to the README file for the exact address and input that into the Fly To box). To delete this location from the map, hover your mouse over the Cracker Barrel icon, right click and select Delete and confirm that you want to delete this symbol in the box that pops up.

Next, let's assume that you want to add a new POI location for Cracker Barrel at a new location at 111 Main Street, McAllen, TX. Type this address into the Fly To box and press the search icon. Usually, if the address is correct AND the Google Earth view was made AFTER the restaurant was constructed, you should see a structure and parking lot that looks like the standard Cracker Barrel location. In this case, you are viewing a vacant lot, so you would safely assume this location is correct UNLESS there is obviously a Cracker Barrel next door or very close. (This happens a LOT with Walmart as it seems Google Earth sometimes has erroneous locations. In Google Earth, click the Find Business tab in the search box and then type Walmart, McAllen, TX and you will see what I mean.) Note that this new location also has the latitude and longitude coordinates at the bottom of the screen. If you are including the latitude and longitude coordinates in your README file, this is where you can copy them down and type into the new location's entry in your README file.

Now that we have made the necessary changes in Google Earth, click File, Save and then choose Save Place As on the menu that pops up on the right. On the next menu, you can keep the default file name, just remember where you saved the file so you can email it to me (zipped preferred but not necessary).

Back to the README file. In this case, we deleted the original entry in McAllen, TX, so we will need to delete that entry in the README file. We also added a new location, so we will need to type in the details for the new location in this file. Once you have made the necessary changes in the README file, save it and email it to me also.

Note that sometimes folks include specific details of the specific POI. In the Cracker Barrel example, Sue Teague included the phone number and also whether RV parking is available. Other POI's may include additional information such WIFI, 50 amp, etc for a campground. In general, any additional information that would be beneficial to an RV'er should be included.

Instructions for Delorme Street Atlas Users:

What you will need.
Delorme Street Atlas 2009 or later
Google Earth (recommended)
Microsoft Excel or free OpenOffice or Libreoffice, (recommended)

Let's run through an example using Crackle Barrel. First, go to http://www.discoveryowners.com/cginfo.htm and click on the Sorted Alphabetically and then choose Delorme from the drop-down menu. On the next page, scroll down until you find the Cracker Barrel line and notice there is a README file and also a Delorme file. Download both of these and unzip. The README file may be either a text file or an Excel spreadsheet file. Either of these file can be opened in a spreadsheet (Libreoffice or Openoffice are excellent free alternatives) and is best viewed and modified in a spreadsheet.

But first, open the CRACKERBARRELD.zip file and unzip it. Next, using Delorme Street Atlas, open the CRACKERBARRELD.an1 file (Map Files tab, Add tab, choose Draw File and navigate to the CRACKERBARRELD.an1 file). The Cracker Barrel locations should now be shown on your screen (icons below View level 7 and red/yellow boxes above that).

This is VERY IMPORTANT. Click the Draw tab. If you don't see a list of Draw Layers, then click the Files tab. You are now looking at all the Draw Layers you currently have loaded into Delorme Street Atlas. We only want to edit the CRACKERBARRELD file - if you have more than one Draw Layer file showing on this page, MAKE SURE you click the Active radio button for this file. While you are on this page, if you have multiple Draw Layer files loaded, uncheck the box in front of the Draw Layer name for all the other files which will leave only the CRACKERBARRELD file visible to reduce clutter and possible errors.

Next, let's assume the Cracker Barrel in McAllen, TX has closed. Click the Find tab, push the Quick Search tab, type McAllen, TX in the search box, and then click Search. If you know the exact address, click the Find tab, then the Advanced tab. In the Find dialog box to the immediate right, click the drop-down menu and select address. Type the Street Address, City and State in the appropriate fields to the right and click Search. Once you have located the icon for the Cracker Barrel location that has closed, right click and then select Manage Draw and then click Delete Draw Object.

Now, let's assume a new Cracker Barrel location has opened at 111 Main Street, McAllen, TX. Type this address into Find, Advanced, Street Address box and press the search icon. You will be taken to this location. Usually, the address is correct and this is all that is needed, but you may want to use Google Earth as a check. Open Google Earth and type this address into the Fly To box and press the search icon. If the Google Earth view was made AFTER the restaurant was constructed, you should see a structure and parking lot that looks like the standard Cracker Barrel location. In this case, you are viewing a vacant lot, so you would safely assume this location is correct UNLESS there is obviously a Cracker Barrel next door or very close. (This happens a LOT with Walmart as it seems Google Earth sometimes has erroneous locations. In Google Earth, click the Find Business tab in the search box and then type Walmart, McAllen, TX and you will see what I mean.)

Once you are satisfied that the new location is correct, you will need to add this new location to Delorme Street Atlas. Click on the Draw tab. If you see the Draw Layer screen with CRACKERBARRELD on it, click the DONE tab. Now, you should be on the Draw screen that has a TOOLS are on the far left and a SYMBOLS area next to it on the right. In the TOOLS area, click the red flag symbol on the bottom left. In the Symbols box, you should have the custom Crack Barrel icon visible. Click on it. (NOTE - if you don't see the custom symbol, don't fret, I can add it). Also, to the right of the icon symbols is A box entitled Reduce Size at Zoom and choose 7 from the drop-down menu (again, this step is OPTIONAL, I am just including it for your information). Next, place you cursor where you want to add the new Cracker Barrel icon and left click. After you click, a box will pop up - in the Label field, type in the address (usually, street address is sufficient). Click your Enter key and you have now successfully added the new location! (Later, you will be updating the README file and will need the latitude and longitude of your new POI. To find it, center your cursor on or near the POI and then Right Click, then select Coordinate Mapnote. A map note will appear on your screen with the latitude and longitude. Copy these down so you can input them into the README spreadsheet.

At this point, we are done and you just need to click on the Map Files tab, File and Save or Save As. The revised file is saved to the location under the Directory listing for your Draw Layers mentioned above. Usually, this is the C:/Delorme Docs/Draw/ directory. Email this file to me (zipped or unzipped is ok).

Back to the README file. In this case, we deleted the original entry in McAllen, TX, so we will need to delete that entry in the README file. We also added a new location, so we will need to type in the details for the new location in this file. Once you have made the necessary changes in the README file, save it and email it to me also.

Note that sometimes folks include specific details of the specific POI. In the Cracker Barrel example, Sue Teague included the phone number and also whether RV parking is available. Other POI's may include additional information such WIFI, 50 amp, etc for a campground. In general, any additional information that would be beneficial to an RV'er should be included.

 
     
       
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