Thursday, 6 January 2011

Additional Waypoints

It’s possible to download from the internet various categories of waypoints.  For example; most major UK supermarket chains will provide a file with the location of all their stores.  Sometimes this information is obtained in the Garmin format and on other occasions it may just be the latitude and longitude coordinates with some additional information such as a name or telephone number.

In many cases it is possible to convert waypoint information to the Garmin format.  Usually I use GPSBabel during this process. If the data can be converted to a plain text file then it can be pasted into Excel.  I then save the Excel file as a CSV file.  This can be converted by GPS Babel to Garmin gdb format and then imported into Mapsource.  Another option that can be used with Google Earth is to save the waypoints from Google Earth as a kml file.  GPS Babel will convert this to Garmin gdb format.

One early mistake I made was failing to recognise some of the downloaded files had their latitude and longitude coordinates in reverse sequence.  I converted the file using GPSBabel and imported the waypoints into Mapsource but nothing appeared.  Then I repeated the process with the same result.  None of the waypoints were in the UK.  By chance I increased the scale and found the waypoints in the middle of the Indian Ocean!  That’s when I realised the sequence of the coordinates had been reversed.  To rectify the problem I converted the coordinates to a CSV file and imported them into Excel.  It was then a simple case of reversing the column sequence and re-saving the file as a CSV before converting it back to a gdb file.

What waypoints are available?  For the UK….. quite a number.  I now have the locations of all the major supermarket chains, B&Q, Screwfix, fast food outlets (for the wifi!), petrol stations, red light camera, public toilets, police stations, TIC offices, attractions, the list goes on. 


rigby said...

hello Waioru!
love reading the blog.. i'm researching so starting from your beginning is quite useful.
this is a great idea getting the locations of places.. did you make it public anywhere?
not sure if you watch many youtube videos but a new narrowboater vlogger on there was wondering if anyone had done something similar for laundrettes.. did you include that?

Tom and Jan said...

I still have the file of supermarket waypoints. If you send me an email
I'll send you acopy of the file. I don't have the laundrettes as we have a washing machine onboard.