Back in 2004, we attended Life on Wheels, a week-long school for RVers. One of the best things we learned was about the Discovery Owners website and all the GPS data overlay files they made avaialble for programs like Streets and Trips. In case you’re unfamiliar, this data is called ‘Points of Interest’ or POI’s for short. The data file needs to have the name of the POI and the Latitude/Longitude coordinates. Then, when you load them into your program, they become markers on the map.
Our favorite file was a listing of all Passport America RV parks. We take advantage of the Passport America half-price deal whenever possible, so, having them show up on our Streets and Trips map that we use when we’re on the road is extremely handy.
Another time, we knew we were going to be driving till late and we just wanted a place to park and sleep before starting early again the next morning. The perfect scenario for Walmart. So, we downloaded the POI file for all the Walmarts and installed that on our Streets and Trips program. It helped a lot that day, but we really didn’t want *all* those markers on our map all the time, so we uninstalled it. That was a cumbersome process, one that prevented us from downloading and using very many POI files.
Install all POI’s then use Show/Hide
All that has changed. You can now get a file with over 200 POI sets, all the Flying J’s, Cracker Barrels, low bridges, Thousand Trails parks, Walmarts, and, of course, Passport America parks – just to name a few. All of these sets are in one data file. You can load it into Streets and Trips, then, with a feature new to S&T 2010, you can simply hide or unhide each pushpin (POI) set individually. At any time you can make one set of POIs visible, or invisible.
The usefulness of this mega-file and the show/hide feature of S&T 2010 cannot be overstated – we used it all the time during the last month. Jim says, ‘We’re getting low on gas, can you find where the next Flying J is?” I say, “Just a sec” I find ‘Flying J’ listed as a pushpin set, right-click on it and choose ‘show.’ I can see a Flying J on our route in a short distance. I can even add it to our route so that Streets and Trips can remind us at the correct exit because I’m bound to find myself spacing out looking at the scenery at just the wrong time. Don’t you just hate it when your first view of the Fying J sign is in your rear view mirror? Whenever I feel that the Flying J icons are cluttering up my screen, I can just right-click on the set again and choose Hide.
If you have Streets and Trips, you can read more about this file, view a short video, and download the file for free at LaptopGPSWorld.com.
If you want to attend an RVing Educational Conference in the tradition of Life on Wheels â€“ mark your calendar for June 3-6 for the RV Lifestyle, Education and Safety Conference in Bowling Green, KY.Â See RVSafety.com for more details.