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POI’s – Point of Interest

Point of Interests or POI’s

What are they??

“A point of interest, or POI, is a specific point location that someone may find useful or interesting”. This was taken straight off Wikipedia it is simple but it says it well.

For motorhoming POI’s can come in very handy. If you want to find an aire to stay overnight, the nearest McDonalds to use Wi-Fi, the closest ATM to get some cash, LPG fill up points in countries that do not have them at service stations, the list can go on and on.

Points of interest come in the form of latitude, longitude, name, description and other relevant information relating to the site. For example  Camperstop POI’s relate to the Camperstop book and they give the page number that the site can be found in the book. Aires sites give different letters that related to the facilities and costs. They provide a guide page and you see what the letters are and you cross reference them in the guide page. Other Aires sites have numbers that relate to their data base and you can seek out the information on the sites, APPs or offline guides. Some example of how they look.

POI view

The first example is from the Camperstop POI’s, they show the Longitude, Latitude then the page number and some addition names and information. You can look up the information of the site which gives you the details of the facilities, costs etc.

womo POIs

The second example is from the Womo Poi’s, here they give Longitude, Latitude the number of the site, name and then in brackets a series of letters. These letters relate to the facilities and costs of the sites. On their site they have a legend which explains what all the letters mean

[Click to view page] Womo Legend Page

Womo Sites   Legend of Symbols

The notation of the aire’s equipment is displayed in abbreviations:

N      overNight parking (only), overNight stay,
VE     freshwater and dumping at extra charge,
Ve     freshwater at extra charge, dumping free,
ve     freshwater and dumping free or part of general charge,
S      electricity available at additional charge,
s      electricity free or part of general charge,
D      showers available at additional charge,
d      showers available free or part of general charge,
T      Toilets/washroom (VE therefor most times possible),
W      laundry for Washing available,
g      P fee up to 8 Euro/24h,
G      P fee more than 8 Euro/24h,
GG     P fee more than 16 Euro/24h
alternatively charge in Euro/24h
-2.82500, 48.60001, “22 BINIC – Blvd. Clemenceau [P/Ve/S/g]”
2.82500 ° West
48.60001 ° North
22                      Department 22
BINIC                  (close to/in) city BINIC
Blvd. Clemenceau       street
[N/Ve/S/g]           overnight parking
water supply and dumping available
electricity available at additional charge
fee up to 8 Euro/night (or per 24h)

Other abbreviations:
P     (general) parking spot
CP    campers´ park, Camping resort
GH    GastHof, Restaurant, Inn
SP    aire, stopover, lay-by, stay&park here
TI    Tourist Information (office)
~…  close to…, nearby …
![    coordinates verified and (most likely) correct
.[    coordinates verified and nearly correct (e.g. within same street)
->    towards …, direction to …


As the POI’s have latitude and longitude they can be install on a sat-nav device and also a mapping program eg Autoroute, OsmAnd, Google Maps etc. This is where for the motorhomer having POI’s makes navigation and finding sites easier.

When we are planning a route we normally look at our Autoroute program and see what sites are along the way. When we find one that we wish to go to, if we haven’t already download loaded it onto out TomTom we can just punch in the GPS co-ordinates and the TomTom directs us to the exact location.

How do you get POI’s

They can be downloaded of the internet or from other people who have the data stored on their computer. If you look at our Download Page we have a list of some sites where you can down load POI’s relevant to motorhoming.

Installing to sat-nav

We have a TomTom and even different types have different ways of installing them on the unit. With our old TomTom we could drop and paste them into the country or region file, but with the new one we need to be on the internet to install them. You need to consult you user guide as to how to install them on your particular device.

Installing to Autoroute.

To install them on the Autoroute I have made a small tutorial which I hope may help.                                      How to install POI’s to Autoroute

Editing POI’s Files

Of course POI’s come in different files depending on which devise you have. It would be great if all the computer geeks would get together and make one simple system. I live in a dream world and this won’t happen. TomTom uses ov2. Files, Google maps use kml. files, Autoroute uses csv. Files and so it goes. If you download from many sites they often give you the option of the type of file you want. But sometimes you have only one type of file and want to convert in to another. I have some POI’s for my TomTom and then want to put it onto our Autoroute program, then I need to convert the type of file to another version. Eg ov2. Files to csv. files. I use a site called POI Editor which converts files from one form to another.

Bitmap Files

Point of interests usually come with bitmap files, these are icons which come up on your maps or sat-navs which show the position of your POI. For example if you download McDonalds at bitmap file come with the logo of the golden arches. These bitmaps are important when you have several POI’s showing on the one map and you want to differentiate which is which. You able to change or include other icons or even make up your own. Below are a few samples of what I am talking about. There are sites on the internet where you can download bitmap files or you can edit an icon in Photoshop reduce it in size and save it in bitmap form. The usual size is between 16 x 16 to 22 x 22 pixels. On our next trip we are planning to use the kangaroo icon and make our own set of POI’s showing the places we have been.

Bit map samples

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