"Aire today, gone tomorrow..", your free guide to low cost camper van touring in France
FREE SATNAV POI DOWNLOADS
These files contain the GPS co-ordinates of all the Aires we have personally visited and reviewed on airetoday.mobi, along with the locations of the Dover & Calais Ferry Ports, and the main shopping centres at Calais and Dunkerque. These files will be updated as we review more Aires.
- download file and open to view Aires in Google Earth
Google Earth KML File (filename aire_today.kml)
Not got Mobile Google Earth? Go to m.google.com/earth
- copy both POI files into the W Europe Map folder on your device
TomTom POI File (filename: aire_today.ov2)
TomTom POI Icon (22 x 22 pixels, filename: aire_today.bmp)
TomTom 3D Camper Van Vehicle Icon (as seen on the SatNav screenshots above, filename Autocaravan.bmp - copy to art > cars folder, then select in Change Preferences > Change Car Symbol on device)
- copy both files into the POI folder on your device, or use POI upload software
Garmin POI File (filename aire_today_g.csv)
Garmin POI Icon (22 x 22 pixels, filename aire_today_g.bmp)
- check manual for destination folder, or use POI upload software
Navman POI File (filename aire_today_n.csv)
Navman POI Icon (22 x 22 pixels, filename aire_today_n.bmp)
ASCII POI file (filename: aire_today.asc)
GPS eXchange POI file (filename: aire_today.gpx)
MioMap POI file (filename: aire_today_m.csv)
iGO8 Nav n Go POI file (filename: aire_today.upoi)
Nokia POI file (filename: aire_today.lmx)
Look no further than the French CCI Telechargements GPS webpage for a fully comprehensive TomTom .ov2 POI download and its ASCII equivalent. Both in Zipfile format, they cover all of the known Aires Camping-Car in France, and a significant number in other countries. One word of caution though - be aware that their ASV file (blue & white camper icon) indexes individual service points as well as overnight parking areas, so don't assume that you can automatically park at any of these locations without first checking the individual reviews on their website - or ours.
To convert the CCI TomTom file into other SatNav compatible files, try POIEditor.com's file conversion page.
Huge thanks to the creator of the excellent POIEditor.com online sofware that enabled the creation and editing of our POI files - a highly recommended resource.
WHAT ARE POI FILES?
POI stands for 'Point of Interest'. They are places whose GPS (Global Positioning System) co-ordinates can be added to your SatNav to help you navigate to them.
It's highly likely that your SatNav system includes a number of pre-loaded POI files, for example Railway Stations, Banks, Garages, and a 'Navigate to Point of Interest' option among its menus.
The POIs on your SatNav will probably be indicated on its screen by a small symbol or icon, for example a train icon indicates a railway station. These icons are custom-designed using graphics software to match the theme of the POI.
Anyone can create a POI file and icon using the correct software, and transfer it to a SatNav from a computer via a USB cable. Sometimes this will involve using computer software that came with the SatNav Unit, or which you've downloaded from the Internet. It is also possible to connect directly to the SatNav as a remote storage device (similar to a memory stick or external hard drive) and to transfer files directly into certain folders on the device, but you need to have a confident working knowledge of computers to attempt this.
If you connect to your SatNav manufacturer's support page there is probably a section where you can select and download POI files. You can also find them, create them, and edit them on a number of other websites.
I have used the word 'probably' in a number of places above because my SatNav is a TomTom and I know it to be true for that product. I imagine it is very similar for other products - if not, please feel free to contact me and correct me.
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