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GeoBobC

Poi Loader For New Garmin "x" Series

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I've been reading gripes about the inability to store waypoints on the micro SD cards in the new Garmin X series (60cx, etc.). However, I have read that the new X series units allow use of the custom POI loader.

 

Doesn't this provide an even better solution? My understanding is that a user can load a large number (I don't know the limit) of custom POIs to the unit, and they can be found/displayed just as a waypoint would, without using up the 1000 waypoint limit.

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I also opened up a new thread a while back about sites that have downloadable user-created POIs by state (or region? or interest? etc...). Maybe we can get something started here with this thread...

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OK

 

Here I am

 

The POI LOADER worked well, in uploading several files to the SD Memory Card, separate from the maps on the card. I have tried a 400 Traditionals file, a 200 multicache file, and some other test files.

 

Going to repost my pictures here:

NewCustomPOIFeature-8PanelscreenSho.jpg

SampleCaches.jpg

 

I cannot get the POI Loader to work with sub folders, it only grabs from one folder, but you can have several POI files, that it will upload to the microSD card.

 

-

Geoff

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The files are a Comma Separated Value type of Text files = *.CSV

The files can be *.GPX now too.

 

The CSV files are like this:

 

Longitude, Latitude, Name, Comment

 

-83.444443, 42.987433, The PIG Roast lounge, 3125 NO-Road ave, Burningham Alablama

 

-99.370000, 30.171717, GC6067 - The neigbourhood cache(5/5), This cache is 10 feet under ground.

 

Im having a tough time figuring out how to use GSAK to automate this stuff.

Where is there a book on using GSAK?

Edited by GOT GPS?

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My 400 cache Traditionals takes up 2,021 KB.

My 200 cache Multicaches takes up 1,225 KB.

My regular waypoints converted to POI take up 138 KB

and my Babel file from GSAK takes up 2,117 KB

So this is alot of memory, but I left enough of it on my small 64mb card.

 

I have a new example below using GSAK to generate my POI files:

GSAKexampleonMap60Cx.jpg

This is showing the steps I took getting to the POI File(named BABEL), and selecting a cache, then saving it as a regular Waypoint(The POI is still there after that), then modifying the new waypoint with info like date and time and what you did.

 

In the example above, in the 2nd frame, the cache is by Rooman and its a Diff/Terr (1.5/1.5) and it's a Regular sized cache, and I have the hints after that.

 

-

Geoff

Edited by GOT GPS?

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I'll tell ya, some of you guys really know yer stuff. I don't know if I could ever figure this GPSr out without the help from this forum.

Now a dummy question : Where do ya get the custom POI loader ?

Thanks for the help guys !

HD1

 

Oh, and I have a Map 60 CSx

Edited by HD1

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I'll tell ya, some of you guys really know yer stuff. I don't know if I could ever figure this GPSr out without the help from this forum.

Now a dummy question : Where do ya get the custom POI loader ?

Thanks for the help guys !

HD1

 

Oh, and I have a Map 60 CSx

Right Here. The Garmin POI Loader.

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In the example above, in the 2nd frame, the cache is by Rooman and its a Diff/Terr (1.5/1.5) and it's a Regular sized cache, and I have the hints after that.

 

-

Geoff

Geoff, it appears that you don't have the note/comment restriction of 30 characters in shot #2. You stated that you load the hint as well. Does all this fit in the note box?

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Okay, maybe I'm dumb, but I need a step-by-step tutorial showing me how to use gsak to create this poi file, how to get it into the microSD card on my 60cx, and how to get those waypoints onto the maps. I can't figure it out from reading through the thread.

 

This seems like it would be awesome!

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My question for GOT GPS? is, how did you get those screen shots?

You can get Garmin xImage here. When connected to your GPSr you can capture any screen shot from your unit.

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Ok, now for my next dumb question... When I went to the Garmin POI download page it did not list any of the handheld units as being compatible. It did list units like the IQue and Street Pilots. Am I at the wrong place, or will this software work with my 76Cx?

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Can't seem to get POI icons to work on my 60CSx. No matter what size I make the BMPs they appear as a tiny portion on the screen of my unit. Would appreaciate any advise on making custom icons that work with the 60CSx?

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I need a step by step guide to using the POI loader. I have GSAK loaded with gpx files from geocaching.com. Do i need to export this as a specific file for the POI loder to work? Do I need to only export a subset of the gpx info?

 

Please help, I'm brand new to this, and would like a simple way to load all the local caches in my new GPS60Cx.

Edited by Rosterman

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Ok, I just loaded all the gpx files in the folder, and the POI Loader put them on the microSD card, using a card reader. I found them on the GPS60Cx under the "Custom points of Interest" listing. How can I get the Cx to display them all the time with the treasure chest icon?

 

They don't appear on the display unless I do a "find", then I can only look for them one at a time.

Edited by Rosterman

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Geoff, it appears that you don't have the note/comment restriction of 30 characters in shot #2. You stated that you load the hint as well. Does all this fit in the note box?

I've been working with the POI Loader and use GSAK to format my database files for export as .gpx files. I found you can have 44 characters total in the Waypoint Name box for the first two lines. (I set the maximum characters to 60 to be sure). And you can have 88 characters total in the Cache Description Format box for the next four lines.

 

I've been using "%name %code" in the Waypoint Name box, and "By %By (%Dif/%Ter) %hint" in the Cache Description Format box. This gives me lots of info for a geocache and a good chunk of the hint, if there is a hint.

 

I now have 5 databases of custom POIs for geocaches for a total of over 2,500 cache waypoints. I take my PQs and proccess them and they load up in seconds.

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Has anyone had any luck getting custom bitmaps to work correctly with their POI files? I am using 16 x 16 bitmaps that should work (same size and format as those that work fine for custom icons in Mapsource and in my 60CSx), but instead of nice images accompanying my POIs I get what appear to be 4 x 4 images consisting of the upper left corner of the image. The uploaded images also lack transparency where expected. I want to be sure that I am not doing something wrong before writing this off as a bug in the software.

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O.K! This may be the deal-breaker for me, as I have been sitting on this refund check from Magellan for almost a month now....

 

Are we saying that the X series will hold an unlimited number of waypoints as long as you have enough memory to store them? I want to be able to store a couple thousand caches in my unit (for long trips without CPU access), and be able to display them on the map as POIs and it sounds like this POI loader will let me do just that. Is it as easy as exporting a .csv file through GSAK and loading it up? This is really good news. Any more info would be greatly appreciated!

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Are we saying that the X series will hold an unlimited number of waypoints as long as you have enough memory to store them? I want to be able to store a couple thousand caches in my unit (for long trips without CPU access), and be able to display them on the map as POIs and it sounds like this POI loader will let me do just that. Is it as easy as exporting a .csv file through GSAK and loading it up? This is really good news. Any more info would be greatly appreciated!

 

Yes, we are saying exactly that. I currently have over 3,000 custom POIs loaded on my 60CX. Of that about 700 of these are GC.com waypoints that I grabbed from my PQs. These 700 cache waypoints total about 4.5 MB. I used GSAK to export .gpx files that I customized to get the maximum amount of text to be included. I mentioned earlier you can have a total of 132 characters (44 on first two lines, 88 on next four lines), so I have a good chunk of any hints for each.

 

Along with my GC.com waypoints I also have well over 2,000 other custom POIs I created as .csv files. Since the text is minimal with these the total file size is about 100 KB. My entire POI folder loads up in seconds.

 

Just so you are aware, these custom POIs display as small blue icons, and you can only view them and navigate to them, no editing either. They are just like other POIs such as a pizza joint I suppose, that you do a Find, read the attributes, or Go To. They work perfectly to autoroute to in my 60CX running City Select v.7. I think you'll love this X series.

Edited by Timpat

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Yes, we are saying exactly that. I currently have over 3,000 custom POIs loaded on my 60CX.

 

Nice. I'm coming off of an eXplorist 600 that I returned because of freezing/joystick/customer service issues-- one of the best things about that unit was the ability to store unlimited waypoints on the SD card. The eXplorist let me store them as Geocaches, with the GC icons... but I think I can deal with little blue icons until Garmin comes up with a way for us to customize them. I wasn't going to buy a CSX if I was limited to 1000 geocaches, but now I'm definitely leaning towards it.

 

I think you'll love this X series.

I sure hope so. I'll still miss the size of the eXplorist (that antenna on the top of the GPSmap is funky!) and the 3-axis compass, but I think the X series' ability to get a lock quickly and Garmin's apparent superiority in the firmware update department should make it worth it. We shall see! Thanks for the info.

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I don't go much for the Explorist 600 or Map60CSx, but I prefer either the Explorist 500, which has fewer problems, or the Map60Cx which is the one I got. There are more bugs crawling around in the ones with sensors. The Map60Cx has a good battery life.

 

The POI Loader does help out with making the X-series more in line with the Explorist, but still rate the X-series much better, with the Garmin's better Trip Info screens.

 

-

Geoff

Edited by GOT GPS?

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Where can I find POI files for the US. The Garmin website list a couple, but they are for other countries.

 

Thanks

Edited by PhntmArcher

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TIMPAT

Can you send an example of theCustom POI "small blue icon"?

 

Here you go Grasscatcher, a screen shot showing what the custom POIs appear as.

ALB_POIs_Map.jpg

 

And PhntmArcher, here's a screen shot of the menu under FIND for your custom POIs.

Find_screen.jpg

 

Ooops, I noticed after you weren't asking for this, but it may help someone anyway.

Edited by Timpat

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Changing the "little blue square" symbol.

Note: I don't have an "x", so I'm only guessing at what might work. I know that you can't edit the Custom POI in any way once they are in the GSPr

 

Have you tried having your custom POI points in Mapsource as waypoints and selecting another symbol there, before exporting as a GPX file to import for the Custom POIs? Mark a sample waypoint in your GPSr with the same new symbol selected in Mapsource so that you would have your GPSr symbol set on this new symbol when the Custom POI file is imported.

 

The symbols for POIs in my Map76CS match whatever "maps" I have loaded at the time. That's the "regular" POIs not "Custom".

 

If it still changes the symbol to the "l.b.s." then it might be time for someone with an "x" to contact Garmin to see if it is possible to have another symbol on Custom POIs...if that hasn't already been done.

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So I was able to load some geocache waypoints using the POI loader then only thing I don't get is now they don't show up as a geocache with the treasure chest icon, thus you can't mark a POI as found. I did notice if you got find -> POI -> pick one, then say save, then i can change the icon, and it show in the GC list in the find. But I am guessing is this copying it off the card back into the internal memory? Is this defeating the POI loader stuff. I wish ther was a way to have custum POI that are GC as well.. Is there a way? maybe I missed something.

 

Thanks

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Ok, dumb question.

 

I loaded some custom POI's up and they seemed to work fine. But I named them stupid and would like to change them, how do I remove custom POI once they have been added.

 

Thanks,

kgag.

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Hi Timpat, thanks for the info. However, what I am really looking for are POI files that can be downloaded. I saw on the Garmin site that they had several for European countries... ie SpeedCams etc. Has anyone created anythning like that for the US?

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Ok, dumb question.

 

I loaded some custom POI's up and they seemed to work fine. But I named them stupid and would like to change them, how do I remove custom POI once they have been added.

 

Thanks,

kgag.

 

Sorry to post like three times in a row but just a quick note, I figured this out I just made my corrections in the file, and reuploaded it with POI loader, based off lat, long (i think) it made the updates and did not duplicate the POI's.

 

However just for future reference I did try a master reset first, and that does not work.

 

How do you set them up in different catergories? Like I noticed you had a Costco Catergory, as well as a traditional, multi, etc?

 

Thanks,

kgag.

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Sorry to post like three times in a row but just a quick note, I figured this out I just made my corrections in the file, and reuploaded it with POI loader, based off lat, long (i think) it made the updates and did not duplicate the POI's.

 

How do you set them up in different catergories? Like I noticed you had a Costco Catergory, as well as a traditional, multi, etc?

 

Thanks,

kgag.

 

POI files are overwritten, in the same way any mapping you have previously loaded. For example, if you had 2,000 custom POIs loaded and then went to load just a single POI waypoint, it would result in you having just one POI.

 

To have different categories, you simply create a separate file for each and keep them all in your POI Folder. When you go to upload POIs it will ask you which file(s) you want loaded. If you choose all of them you will be able to search by category. Pretty slick.

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Changing the "little blue square" symbol.

Note: I don't have an "x", so I'm only guessing at what might work. I know that you can't edit the Custom POI in any way once they are in the GSPr

 

Have you tried having your custom POI points in Mapsource as waypoints and selecting another symbol there, before exporting as a GPX file to import for the Custom POIs? Mark a sample waypoint in your GPSr with the same new symbol selected in Mapsource so that you would have your GPSr symbol set on this new symbol when the Custom POI file is imported.

 

The symbols for POIs in my Map76CS match whatever "maps" I have loaded at the time. That's the "regular" POIs not "Custom".

 

If it still changes the symbol to the "l.b.s." then it might be time for someone with an "x" to contact Garmin to see if it is possible to have another symbol on Custom POIs...if that hasn't already been done.

 

From the POI Loader help...

 

"POI Loader can associate customized bitmaps (.bmp) with the points in a data file if the .bmp has the same file name as the data file. For example, a customized bitmap named "Speed_30.bmp" would be associated with all the the points in the file named "Speed_30.csv" or "Speed_30.gpx." Bitmaps must be saved in the same directory as the associated data files.

 

Your Garmin GPS device may have image size requirements. Most compatible Garmin products work well with icons that are 24x24 pixels or smaller. Bitmaps that do not meet those requirements may appear distorted when viewed on the unit's screen.

 

Custom bitmaps can also include a transparent color. Most compatible Garmin products use magenta (RBG 255, 0, 255) as the transparent color. "

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This has got to be one of the cooler features that there is available. Works perfect, thanks for everyone's help / input.

 

Thanks,

kgag.

Edited by kgag

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POI Loader is definitely a cool feature-- I can put thousands of geocaches in my CSx and that is a good thing! I still have 2 questions, though....

 

1) Has anyone figured out how to make the custom icons work? Whenever I load a custom .bmp with my POI Loader folder, only the corner shows up as other users have pointed out. Is this a bug, or are there different specs for custom POI icons than for custom waypoint icons (my custom waypoint icons work great :blink:)?

 

2) How do we get custom POIs to show up on the map the way the user waypoints do? I can tell the CSx to show all of the map points at a certain zoom level, but then it shows me every POI (food, lodging, auto service, attractions) except my custom ones. Isn't there a way to decide which icons show up and which ones don't? Say, only resaurants and custom POIs? I wouldn't mind having a visual reference for when I'm near a cache or a restaurant, but I could care less how close I am to the nearest community center.... :blink:

 

Any help would be greatly appreciated! I'm loving this CSx!

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Im having a tough time figuring out how to use GSAK to automate this stuff.

Where is there a book on using GSAK?

 

Open "Add/Delete Columns" under "View". Uncheck all but Code, Latitude, Longitude and Waypoint name or whichever two data fields you want.

 

Rearrange the columns by dragging and dropping into the correct order.

 

Set coordinate formate to decimal degrees in Tools/Options.

 

Save this view as something like "POI Loader". Your regular setup is stored as "Default", including the normal decimal minutes,

 

Export to a CSV file.

Edited by Red90

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Im having a tough time figuring out how to use GSAK to automate this stuff.

Where is there a book on using GSAK?

 

Open "Add/Delete Columns" under "View". Uncheck all but Code, Latitude, Longitude and Waypoint name or whichever two data fields you want.

 

Rearrange the columns by dragging and dropping into the correct order.

 

Set coordinate formate to decimal degrees in Tools/Options.

 

Save this view as something like "POI Loader". Your regular setup is stored as "Default", including the normal decimal minutes,

 

Export to a CSV file.

 

There is also a GSAK macro (GarminPOI.txt) specifically designed to generate these files. You can download from here http://gsak.net/Macros.php

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There is also a GSAK macro (GarminPOI.txt) specifically designed to generate these files. You can download from here http://gsak.net/Macros.php

 

When I try to load these using POI Loader, I get an error saying they are invalid. The only change I made is to the folder location for the output. What am I doing wrong?

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...

2) How do we get custom POIs to show up on the map the way the user waypoints do? I can tell the CSx to show all of the map points at a certain zoom level, but then it shows me every POI (food, lodging, auto service, attractions) except my custom ones. Isn't there a way to decide which icons show up and which ones don't? Say, only resaurants and custom POIs? I wouldn't mind having a visual reference for when I'm near a cache or a restaurant, but I could care less how close I am to the nearest community center.... <_<

...

Timpat discovered it:

select Menu/Setup Map/Menu/Show All

http://forums.Groundspeak.com/GC/index.php...dpost&p=2067832

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There is also a GSAK macro (GarminPOI.txt) specifically designed to generate these files. You can download from here http://gsak.net/Macros.php

 

When I try to load these using POI Loader, I get an error saying they are invalid. The only change I made is to the folder location for the output. What am I doing wrong?

 

I think I answered my question. I just rolled my own macro to do this (but without the cool filter by cache type - why bother when no one can seem to get custom icons to work yet anyway), and compared my output (which works) to the output from Clyde's macro (which for me, doesn't). As counterintuitive as it may seem, I believe the longitude must appear first, not the latitude. Then the name (smart name), then whatever you want to appear in the comments.

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Anyone else think this is going to be really cool when Waymarking comes in to its own...

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Woohoo!

 

Made the fix in the GSAK macro, swapping lat and lon, then changed to output waypoint name and code rather than the smart name and, voila, 1139 geocache POIs are in my receiver!

 

I've always wanted my found caches loaded in my receiver so I can get an idea of how to approach nearby new caches - this is perfect!

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I've been experimenting some more with the Garmin POI Loader business and found some very cool things. Here's what I did.

 

One example is I took a PQ of mine of, "My Finds within 30 miles", and opened the Zip in GSAK. Using GSAK to export a .gpx file, I chose to assign the Waypoint name as: "%name %code", and made the maximum characters a large number (60 is what I settled on for my test).

 

Then, in the Cache description format box, I wrote this dialog: "%Name by %By (%Dif/%Ter) %hint".

 

Then, I exported the .gpx file to my "Custom POI" folder on my hard drive, and used the Loader to load up ALL my over 14,000 custom POIs to date I have made. I have several .gpx files and several custom .csv files. When I do a Find/POIs/Nearest search, then click on one of my "Finds within 30 miles" cache waypoint, I get the cache Name, cache Code, hidden by, difficulty, terrain, and the hint (if any). By testing this I find my screen is made up of two components; 2 lines for the Name/Code, as I have it configured (has 44 characters max), and 4 lines for the comments (has 88 characters max). So there are 132 total characters available for each custom POI. Maybe Clyde's macro will do the same thing but this was sure an easy way to go. I'm stoked! Boy, I love my 60CX!

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I actually used the POI loader to load the gpx files to my Nuvi just as an experiment. Worked great. And with the sirf chipset in the Nuvi I got very acurate results. However, I would not reccomend the Nuvi as a caching device as there is no compass screen, data fields, etc. Just a map view. But for a vehicle only device it did a great job pinpointing caches! The proximity alerts actually helped make up for the visual shortcomings!

Edited by Fhantazm

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I've been experimenting some more with the Garmin POI Loader business and found some very cool things. Here's what I did.

 

One example is I took a PQ of mine of, "My Finds within 30 miles", and opened the Zip in GSAK. Using GSAK to export a .gpx file, I chose to assign the Waypoint name as: "%name %code", and made the maximum characters a large number (60 is what I settled on for my test).

 

Then, in the Cache description format box, I wrote this dialog: "%Name by %By (%Dif/%Ter) %hint".

 

Then, I exported the .gpx file to my "Custom POI" folder on my hard drive, and used the Loader to load up ALL my over 14,000 custom POIs to date I have made. I have several .gpx files and several custom .csv files. When I do a Find/POIs/Nearest search, then click on one of my "Finds within 30 miles" cache waypoint, I get the cache Name, cache Code, hidden by, difficulty, terrain, and the hint (if any). By testing this I find my screen is made up of two components; 2 lines for the Name/Code, as I have it configured (has 44 characters max), and 4 lines for the comments (has 88 characters max). So there are 132 total characters available for each custom POI. Maybe Clyde's macro will do the same thing but this was sure an easy way to go. I'm stoked! Boy, I love my 60CX!

 

Great idea! I re-load my geocache POIs using your method, excellent!

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1) Has anyone figured out how to make the custom icons work? Whenever I load a custom .bmp with my POI Loader folder, only the corner shows up as other users have pointed out. Is this a bug, or are there different specs for custom POI icons than for custom waypoint icons (my custom waypoint icons work great :))?

Has anyone gotten custom POI icons to work?

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Has anyone gotten custom POI icons to work?

 

A tried this whole thing on my 60csx. I'm quite impressed with the result, it works fine. I can also switch between the database while searching. Cool. My only problem is the same. Custom POI icons doesn't seem to work. Actually, I managed to load the icons to the unit, but displaying is problematic. I loaded two different icons, but both of them are wrong. I only see the upper left corner of the image. Seems like the unit can only deal with a 4x4 pixels image, and cannot use any larger than the original blue square.

Looking forward for a firmware update, maybe it will help.

 

Other experiences?

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Other experiences?

Same exact experience. Hoping a firmware update will address this. I've emailed Garmin tech support on this. Perhaps if we all do the same they will listen. The custom POI feature is simply awesome!

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