About GPS, points of interest (and map data)

Pierre Hébert pierrox at pierrox.net
Mon Jan 22 10:55:27 CET 2007

In my opinion a central repository is really needed, for several 
reasons :
- this will allow anyone to share and submit new POIs, or correct them (a 
bit like articles on wikipedia !)
- this will ensure that POIs are always up to date : POIs lists included 
in traditionnal navigation softwares must be manually kept up to date, 
and usually we must pay for them.
- this will enable insertion of new and original POIs. By "original" I 
mean locations that are perhaps not well known, but that are worth of 
My feeling on actual POIs database is that often we don't find what we 
are looking for. There are two reasons for that : first the database 
includes a preselected set of locations (for both a question of size and 
cost probably), secondly this preselection does not necessary fits the 
needs of everyday users. Did you already notice that there was more 
filling stations that places of tourism in most of POIs lists ? This is 
simply because POIs list often focus on navigation purposes, where the 
car driver is more interested in getting fuel than visiting monuments.
As a Neo1973 owner using a shared POIs database I would be able to select 
POIs according to my preferred subjects, and possibly with very precise 
criteria. Being online such a database would be powerfull, although of 
course querying it would have a cost for most of us (GPRS may not be 
specially cheap everywhere).

Also I would clearly separate POIs and navigation/map softwares : each 
application can be used alone, even if they benefit from each other. 
This is the same thing for the adress book and phone, or e-mail.
Building a standalone POI application, with API for use by other software 
like navigation, would help to invent new applications.
As an example the idea about GPS friends 
(http://www.linuxtogo.org/gowiki/OpenMoko/ideas/GPSFriends) could be 
implemented using dynamic POIs. The Neo would then alert us when a 
friend is near :-)
By dynamic POIs I also mean POIs having a limited lifetime. This could be 
used to store temporary locations, like a show for example. This way if 
I get bored I could ask the Neo "where is the nearest show ?".



On Sunday 21 January 2007 00:03, Richard Nelson wrote:
> On Sunday 21 January 2007 07:47, Pierre Hébert wrote:
> > Hi !
> ><snip>
> > Does someone know about existing free softwares dealing with POI ?
> > There are some existing projects, like this one for maemo :
> > http://eko.one.pl/index.php?page=Nokia770_software#POI for
> > maemo-mapper, but a central database is missing.
> This would be fairly trivial using the Google Maps API.
> I currently plot tracks recorded by my GPS on to Google Earth/Maps -
> saving points of interest (possibly into a central repos) would not be
> hard. And to have this built into a device carried around every day
> would be terrific.
> -- Richard

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