Extract Cloudmade POIs for Locus

Started by rijackson741, May 29, 2011, 01:47:50

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There is a very large database of POIs here:

The problem is converting them to something Locus can use. There may be commercial software out there that can do all the necessary steps, but I could not find any free software that can do all of them. To save anyone else from wasting time, I tried POIEdit 2007, GPS Babel, KML Builder, GPS Utility, and Extra POI editor. Although none of them can do all the steps, you can do all the steps using the first two: POIEdit 2007 and GPS Babel.

1) First you need to get the Cloudmade file you are interested in. Get the Tomtom files, because POIEdit 2007 was clearly written by someone for which this format is the priority. It will read the gpx files, but it will do it more slowly and it will not save correctly in either gpx or kml formats (it will not even load the resulting files itself!).

2) Load one of the files into POIEdit 2007. If the file is large this takes a realllllllllllly long time! You have to be very patient! Note that the Tomtom files load faster than the gpx files!

3) When the file has loaded you can click on the top of the description column, and it will sort by name. If there is a very large number of POIs this can take a long time! You can now Ctrl or Shft select all the POIs you do not want and delete them by hitting the Del key. If there is a very large number of POIs this can also take a long time! Save the remaining POIs in Tomtom format (not kml or gpx!). This is the only piece of free software I could find that will allow you to sort by name and then select and delete large numbers of POIs in one step. Because of the speed issues with large files I found it useful to first delete everything that I knew I had no use for, and then save that as a new starting point.

4) When you have finished extracting all the categories you are interested in, copy all the Tomtom files from one folder into another. Fire up a command prompt and change all the extensions from ov2 to either kml or gpx (whatever your final format will be). This might seem like a strange thing to do, but you will see why in step 6:

5) Launch GPS Babel.  Select the starting format as "TomTom POI File (.ov2)". Click on FileNames and select the POI file or files you want to convert. Note that if you select multiple files you do NOT have the option of converting them to multiple files! They will all be put into one output file!

6) For the output format select either "GPX XML" or "Google Earth (Keyhole) Markup Language". I personally use kml because then I can easily check what I have in Google Earth. Now click on the button that says "File Name" and select the corresponding gpx or kml file that you renamed in step 4. Do not be tempted to just type the name! I did not try typing the entire path and name from scratch, but if you have a path and name, say "c:temppeaks.kml", and you edit the name to be, say, "c:tempbuildings.kml", it will not create "c:tempbuildings.kml"! What it will do is overwrite the "c:temppeaks.kml" file! So you need to actually select a file and then overwrite it. This seems so ridiculous that I keep thinking I must have missed something, but if I did it's not obvious.

7) Once you have selected the file and told it that yes, overwriting is OK, click on the "Apply" button.

8) You will need to repeat the input file selection, out put file selection, and "Apply" steps for each output file you want to create.

You are done! Now you just have to import them to Locus. If you extracted a lot of categories in the steps above this is also rather tedious  :D