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      09-02-2007, 11:07 AM   #1
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Thumbs up DIY SatNavPro POI (Points of Interest)

I've started this thread, because a few members have asked me about modifying their own Nav DVD, by adding their own POIs (points of interest), in addition to SpeedCams.

The likes of TomTom allow you to download POIs from various sources & use the data as-it-is (.ov2 format), without having to convert it.
Unfortunately, the BMW Siemens VDO (SatNavPro) system needs the data to be converted (into .idx & .url files) using software, before it can be displayed as POIs in the iDrive.

The credit for modifying your DVD goes to mathmos & the others at bmwnavaddpoi.co.uk- they've done a great job!

They are currently developing an online version of the POI converter, which makes use of a Perl script to produce data which your nav DVD needs to show the POIs.
This will mean you won't need to install some software on your PC to do the conversion.

The instructions, below, will show how to produce your own POI data, which you can then stick straight into your TomTom, or convert & use to modify your nav DVD.

Once you have your final POI .asc file from my instructions, you will then need to follow the instructions on bmwnavaddpoi.co.uk, to produce the working disc.
If there are problems doing this, then I may edit this post sometime in the future to go through those steps, but NO promises!



So, if you want to make your own customised POIs, then you will need the following:


A Some POI data

B Some nice POI file format conversion / concatenation (it means 'joining', Carlos!) software

C If you want to use Google maps to make your own POIs, then you will also need the GMapToGPX browser plugin.


So,

A You can download POI files, in various different formats, from various sources on the net, such as Garmin POIs & PoiDownload.


B Download PoiEdit. This software lets you download POIs, convert them & display them.


It'll be easier to show an example of using PoiEdit, so here's how you can produce a POI file of KFC, McD, & PizzaHut (there's an error in the BK file, so I won't use that, ok)!


1 Download the Food.zip file from
Garmin POIs & extract it, using WinZip etc
2 Open PoiEdit -> Tools -> Batch convert



3 You should see the above window, so browse to the directory to which you unzipped 'Food.zip' & choose 'Garmin Comma Separated (*.csv)' as the source format.

4 Choose whichever files you want (hold down 'Ctrl' to choose multiple files, Carlos!), choose 'Append' as the destination mode, choose 'Generic Ascii (*.asc)' as the destination format & browse to a folder & choose a name for your output file.

5 Click convert & you should now have a single .asc file in your destination folder.

You can open this with Notepad & you should see a list of co-ordinates & named locations.

This is your finished .asc file. You will ned a single gif icon to represent these POIs in your iDrive. You can find individual ones in your extracted 'Food' folder, or just download a suitable one.

You will now need to follow the instruction at
bmwnavaddpoi.co.uk & change the 'SpeedCam' references to 'Fast Food', or whatever you want to call this group of POIs. You will also need to follow the directions & place your chosen gif icon in the appropriate folder.


C If you want to make your own POIs using Google maps, then you can do this:

1 Go to this
GMapToGPX browser plugin page & follow the instructions to save the link.

2 Using the example of finding local Indian restaurants around Bakewell, go to Google Maps here.



3 If you have Firefox, just click on the GMapToGPX bookmark which you've saved. With IE, you'll need to go to your saved Favourite.

You should see the likes of this:



4 The painful part is having to produce a single text file with all the POI information you need, which may mean going through several Google pages, before you have all of the info you need.

If anyone knows how to list all business info on a single page, then it would be a help?!

So, copy the text from the window & paste it into a new text doument- call it 'curry.txt'.

Now, close the text window & you should see the previous google map page. Just click on the next page, to bring the next lot of restaurants & do the same again- ie click on your
GMapToGPX bookmark, but this time, just copy from here...



to here...



So, you are only copying all of the <wpt... ....</wpt> info & ignoring the lines before & after.

Now, go to your 'curry.txt' document, find the very last '</wpt>', insert a carriage return & paste your text.

You should still have a '</gpx>' as the last line of text.

Carry on doing this, until you've got all of the POIs you want & now save your file as 'curry.gpx' - not 'curry.txt'

5 You now need to convert the document to a generic .asc file, using PoiEdit, so..

6
Open PoiEdit -> Tools -> Batch convert



7 You should see the above window, so browse to the directory to which you saved 'curry.gpx' & choose 'GPS eXchange Format (*.gpx)' as the source format.

8 Choose 'curry.gpx', choose 'Multiple' as the destination mode, choose 'Generic Ascii (*.asc)' as the destination format & browse to a folder & choose a name for your output file.

9 Click convert & you should now have a new .asc file in your destination folder.

As before,
once you have your final POI .asc file from my instructions, you will then need to follow the instructions on bmwnavaddpoi.co.uk, to produce the working disc.


Each time you produce an output file, you can use this in your own satnav system, just by setting the appropriate file destination format
eg .ov2 for the TomToms


For those who have BMW Assist / BMW ConnectedDrive, you should now be able to send any business address location to your car's Nav system, straight from your PC!

With an Online subscription, you can also search Google maps whilst you're in the car!



More info below:




All the best.

Viv
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Last edited by vivekk; 09-02-2007 at 01:50 PM.
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      09-02-2007, 01:18 PM   #2
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Nice post viv. I could never get the disks to burn properly, what software do you use?

Aren't we supposed to get 6 months "Assist" with a new car? I haven't had any info through about it....
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      09-02-2007, 01:46 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by silverbmwz3 View Post
Nice post viv. I could never get the disks to burn properly, what software do you use?

Aren't we supposed to get 6 months "Assist" with a new car? I haven't had any info through about it....
If you buy a car in the UK with BMW Assist and/or BMW Online / BMW ConnectedDrive (as it's collectively called now), as part of the Telematics system, then you are supposed to get a free subscription to the service.

Give the dealer a call & find out what they're upto, Paul!

As for burning the discs, Nero works fine. More info here.
Just use a good quality DVD-R or DVD-RW (Tesco discs don't work for me!) & burn at a x2 or x4 speed.

All the best.

Viv
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      09-03-2007, 03:51 AM   #4
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Thanks viv. Think I need to get hold of nero. Email alredy on its way to dealer re: assist and my torch!
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      09-05-2007, 04:11 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by silverbmwz3 View Post
Thanks viv. Think I need to get hold of nero. Email alredy on its way to dealer re: assist and my torch!
Here's the current BMW Assist application form, Paul.

I didn't take out a subscription when I first bought my car & it's now needs to have it's warranty/emergency service re-newed (got 2 years as the car is an import), so I thought I'd pay for a year's subscription now.

I emailed it back to them today & it should be set-up within a couple of days, so I should soon be able to send Google Map locations straight to the car!

All the best.

Viv
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      09-06-2007, 03:05 AM   #6
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I thought the google map things only work in Germany?
I'm still waiting for the dealer, I want my free 6 months!
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      09-06-2007, 03:56 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by silverbmwz3 View Post
I thought the google map things only work in Germany?
I'm still waiting for the dealer, I want my free 6 months!
It was trialled in Germany in March & it's now available to all European Assist subscribers!

More info here.

All the best.

Viv
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      09-06-2007, 03:59 AM   #8
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Got to get that
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      09-06-2007, 04:20 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by silverbmwz3 View Post
Got to get that
I'm just waiting to play with it!

Once you're setup, just go to Google Maps UK, look for a business name somewhere, go to 'send' in the top right of the page & then on 'car' & away you go!

Google should then send the location, phone number & notes to the car's nav system!

I'm sure someone will soon be able to hack into the Google API & the Javascript to let it send any location to the car- not just business addresses!

All the best.

Viv
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      09-06-2007, 05:26 AM   #10
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shit now isn't THAT clever...

My brother works for google, have to ask him about that...

SJ
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      09-06-2007, 05:39 AM   #11
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Wink

Quote:
Originally Posted by Serjames View Post
shit now isn't THAT clever...

My brother works for google, have to ask him about that...

SJ
Could you ask him about sending non-business address info please, SJ!

Cheers.

Viv
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      09-06-2007, 05:46 AM   #12
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Lol will do, they did change the way googlemaps worked for me... I moaned and moaned that you couldn't see motorway junction number on the map itself. Their excuse was the junctions were always listed in the directions text. Anyway I won them over, and since 29th may they now appear...

YAY !

So then been studying this BMW assist stuff.

Questions - I've gone for the tracker version. Now is that through BMW or RAC or something?

How much does the assist option cost, not sure I paid for this ?

What about the online service thing ?
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      09-06-2007, 06:46 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Serjames View Post
Lol will do, they did change the way googlemaps worked for me... I moaned and moaned that you couldn't see motorway junction number on the map itself. Their excuse was the junctions were always listed in the directions text. Anyway I won them over, and since 29th may they now appear...

YAY !

So then been studying this BMW assist stuff.

Questions - I've gone for the tracker version. Now is that through BMW or RAC or something?

How much does the assist option cost, not sure I paid for this ?

What about the online service thing ?
Nice work!
I did notice the junction numbers when I looked at it for this meet.

What do you mean by 'tracker' version, SJ?

Tracker is a vehicle recovery system, totally separate to BMW Assist, although our American friends get it organised as a BMW service within Assist- we, however, do not. :mad:

BMW Assist on its own costs £120 per year, which includes the Google mapping, automatic accident reporting, SOS etc.
Combined with BMW Online (reading emails & getting on the net in your car) it's £300.

You should get the first 6 months of BMW Assist free.

Online servicing should be part of the Assist package, where the car contacts the dealer to tell them it needs a service.
They then call you to make sure you're happy to book it in!

All the best.

Viv
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      09-06-2007, 07:17 AM   #14
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hmm ok.

On the tracker bit I ordered this through BMW, I guess this must just get franchised out then.

I also believe Assist is now a free option... certainly got is as a no cost on mine ?

Anyone else ?

Just had a response from google.. see below

~~~~~~~~~~~

I imagine this is down to a partnership between us and BMW/Mercedes together with the advertisers to drive traffic through the website whilst minimising cost. Hence at the moment it would only be a business listing because the advertiser would be charged, and that cost would either be picked up 100% or a significant percentage by us or us and BMW/Mercedes. The revenue from the advertiser is likely to cover some or all of the mobile cost of the SMS...

If we can get a better deal with the mobile providers this could expand to the non-business listings although the work around is probably to use the SEND TO function and pick up email on your phone (download Google Mail for mobile) and then just type it in by hand.

I would say that there are some very cool things happening with our stuff and mobile products over the next 6 months (even if you don't have GPS on it) so I imagine this will be getting better...the My Maps feature and mapplets together with the mashup community are probably going to provide a make shift answer before we officially launch anything.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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      09-06-2007, 07:56 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Serjames View Post
hmm ok.

On the tracker bit I ordered this through BMW, I guess this must just get franchised out then.

I also believe Assist is now a free option... certainly got is as a no cost on mine ?

Anyone else ?

Just had a response from google.. see below

~~~~~~~~~~~

I imagine this is down to a partnership between us and BMW/Mercedes together with the advertisers to drive traffic through the website whilst minimising cost. Hence at the moment it would only be a business listing because the advertiser would be charged, and that cost would either be picked up 100% or a significant percentage by us or us and BMW/Mercedes. The revenue from the advertiser is likely to cover some or all of the mobile cost of the SMS...

If we can get a better deal with the mobile providers this could expand to the non-business listings although the work around is probably to use the SEND TO function and pick up email on your phone (download Google Mail for mobile) and then just type it in by hand.

I would say that there are some very cool things happening with our stuff and mobile products over the next 6 months (even if you don't have GPS on it) so I imagine this will be getting better...the My Maps feature and mapplets together with the mashup community are probably going to provide a make shift answer before we officially launch anything.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~
BMW's Telematics division provide Assist free for the first 6 months only, then charge for it, if you want to carry on with the subscription.

Tracker is fitted by dealers & they act as a franchise provider.

The youtube video, in my first post, talks about BMW Mobile as well, where you can have the car send its GPS position to your mobile, if you don't know where it is, for some strange reason?!

There are going to be quite a lot of 'internet meets BMW' over the next few years. Having Google as a part of it just makes things even more interesting!

All the best.

Viv
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      09-08-2007, 12:45 PM   #16
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I just filled in my assist form today. Personally, the whole google maps thing looks excellent, & I cannot see why it won't get better as time rolls on.

At £300 (given that I do about 30,000 miles a year), this service will be worth it to me.

Did I notice in the video, a screen shot on the iDrive showing a 3d landscape in green? that looked pretty cool. Was it part of the mapping software?

regards
B
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      09-08-2007, 01:10 PM   #17
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I had read that this was possible, but didn't realise just how easy it was to do. I can see scope for sending malicious information to the car (amost like a virus!!!!!). Very powerful stuff indeed.


Quote:
Originally Posted by vivekk View Post
I'm just waiting to play with it!

Once you're setup, just go to Google Maps UK, look for a business name somewhere, go to 'send' in the top right of the page & then on 'car' & away you go!

Google should then send the location, phone number & notes to the car's nav system!

I'm sure someone will soon be able to hack into the Google API & the Javascript to let it send any location to the car- not just business addresses!

All the best.

Viv
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      09-09-2007, 04:32 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluemax View Post
I just filled in my assist form today. Personally, the whole google maps thing looks excellent, & I cannot see why it won't get better as time rolls on.

At 300 (given that I do about 30,000 miles a year), this service will be worth it to me.

Did I notice in the video, a screen shot on the iDrive showing a 3d landscape in green? that looked pretty cool. Was it part of the mapping software?

regards
B
I think the 3d landscape you saw is part of BMW Online, when you get on the net with GPRS, to check weather forecasts etc

All the best.

Viv
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      09-10-2007, 08:03 AM   #19
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Woohooo...my dealer has got a spare torch for me
He's sent me the application form for Assist, how do I know I'm not commited to more than the 6 months trial as the form isn't clear?
Do I want "online" also or do I have to have ordered an option for that?
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      09-10-2007, 01:38 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by silverbmwz3 View Post
Woohooo...my dealer has got a spare torch for me
He's sent me the application form for Assist, how do I know I'm not commited to more than the 6 months trial as the form isn't clear?
Do I want "online" also or do I have to have ordered an option for that?
All the information you need is in the small print, Paul.

BMW Online requires BMW ConnectedDrive (Assist+Online) to be selected as an option- well that's what BMW UK told me when I asked them.
It is retrofittable & allows you to go online whilst in the car.
However, you don't need it to send Google Map locations to the Nav from your PC- you only need Assist for that.

I uploaded the entire Assist/Online application form here.

Here is the info I was emailed by BMW Telematics:

HTML Code:
> Further to your recent request,
please find attached a copy of the BMW  Assist application form.
> 
> Once you have fully completed the  form,
ensuring that it is signed and dated.
You can return the form to us via  any of the following methods:
> 
> Fax: 0870 5050 207
>  
> Email: Telematics@bmwfin.com  
> 
> Post: BMW Telematics Services
> Europa House
>  Bartley Way
> Hook
> Hampshire
> RG27 9UF.
> 
> As  soon as we receive your completed form, we will be set up your account.
We will  then contact you to confirm this, and advise you of the initialisation process.  
> 
> After the free six-month introductory period we will contact  you,
so that you have the opportunity of extending this service for another  year.
The cost of a year's subscription is currently 120.00
(please be aware  that this price may be subject to change in the future).
If you decide not to  renew your subscription at the end of the free six-month period,
the system will  automatically switch itself off.
> 
> We hope this information is of  use.
Please feel free to contact us if you have any further questions.
>  
> Yours sincerely
> 
> 
> 
> xxxxx xxxxxx
>  Telematics Advisor
> 
> BMW Group
> Great Britain
>  
> Tel: 0800 5610 555
> Fax: 0870 5050 207
> Email: Telematics@bmwfin.com
> 
>  >  <<Full Application form 2 pages 2006.pdf>>
All the best.

Viv
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      09-10-2007, 02:13 PM   #21
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Thanks viv, much appreciated. I thought I read that assist was £300 but that is for online! I did try to read the small print but not very good with it. Dealer didn't explain how this assist thing wasn't given to me before but he is giving me a free torch so can't complain! Is it rechargable ? Surely if the cars don't come with them they won't have a recharging point???
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      09-10-2007, 03:35 PM   #22
vivekk
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Drives: 330i SE
Join Date: May 2005
Location: the North, UK

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Quote:
Originally Posted by silverbmwz3 View Post
Thanks viv, much appreciated. I thought I read that assist was £300 but that is for online! I did try to read the small print but not very good with it. Dealer didn't explain how this assist thing wasn't given to me before but he is giving me a free torch so can't complain! Is it rechargable ? Surely if the cars don't come with them they won't have a recharging point???
Paul, it is rechargeable & you'll have a recharge point on the right-side of the glove compartment!

All the best.

Viv
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