Thousands of POIs for Streets and Trips

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November 16, 2009

by Chris Guld

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 available for programs like Streets and Trips. Chris in the cockpitIn 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

If you want to attend an RVing Educational Conference in the tradition of Life on Wheels – mark your calendar for June 3-6 for the RV Lifestyle, Education and Safety Conference in Bowling Green, KY.  See for more details.

Chris Guld

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  23. Ron Kennedy

    I use a Mac and Boot Camp and use Delorme treet Atlas 2010 Plus
    Boot Camp runs windows as well as a PC, I have not found one thing
    the Boot Camp does not do, and it is faster than my PC

  24. bwfencer

    I found that WalMart does not know where WalMart is! If you use their store finder on their web site you will end up way off course, often out in the sticks. I am sure that the creators of this overlay are just using what WalMart provides.

  25. Don

    POI-Factory Wal-Marts are constantly updated

  26. Frank Teale

    Take a look at RV It has lots of POI and has much more complete information than the above site. It’s not free but is very reasonable

  27. Harris Schultz

    I have a question about how up to date the data is… frequently I find, from some older data, it is out of date. When Wal-Mart builds a new store a mile away from an older one, that data didn’t know the new store location, for instance. And now and again, some of the sites are located in the desert miles from the hiway.

    that said, I have used some older information, importing it each time into my S&T 06 version. but I just bought the new 2010 version, so now things are really going to be different.

  28. Chris, great article, as always! Thanks for mentioning Laptop GPS World. From the time you posted the article till 8:45 pm EST, your article sent 262 visitors to our site. You do have VERY MANY readers!!!

  29. Miles

    For Mac try Garmin Road Trip. A little clumsy, but useful.
    The POIs are downloaded in a CSV file format. Garmin provides Garmin POI I’ve used it with my Nuvi 750.


  30. Judy Geisser

    What is available for MAC users?

  31. Ron

    Good job on the article. Has anyone found a good source for new maps for Garmin GPS that do not cost as much as a unit. Thanks

  32. If there aren’t enough POI files at the Discovery Owners site, here is another site with even more…

    A one time PC guy with MS Streets and Trips, today on my Mac I really miss MS S&T as a great — the best — mapping program available.