Points of Interest
A POI is an abbreviation for Points of Interest. A very basic explanation of a POI is simply that it is a coordinate. When a GPS is turned on, it is constantly updating coordinates so it can show the users position in the world on the appear screen. A POI is simply a coordinate that the GPS alerts the user as a special interest. Such as a red light camera POI.
POI GPS point coordinates consists of a minimum of 2 numerical values which are latitude (North to South) and longitude (East to West). Altitude, phone numbers, addresses and naming information can be included as well. Icons can also be assigned to POI's which will appear on the display of a GPS representing the exact / calculated position of that individual POI.
POI file formats range based vendor and GPS device.
Known formats of POI's include and are not limited to the following file formats:
- ASCII Text (.asc .txt .csv)
- Topografix GPX (.gpx)
- Garmin Mapsource (.gdb)
- Google Earth Keyhole Markup Language (.kml .kmz)
- Pocket Street Pushpins (.psp)
- Maptech Marks (.msf)
- Maptech Waypoint (.mxf)
- Microsoft MapPoint Pushpin (.csv)
- Ozi Explorer (.wpt)
- TomTom Overlay (.ov2)
Applications for converting POI's from one format to another are very useful in recycling and reusing the same POI data and making it usable for different GPS systems and GPS software.
Copyright of POI's vs Royalty Free
Royalty Free POI collections are exactly as described. They are free. They can be distributed an unlimited number of times without any limits, restrictions or penalties. They are essentially public property and or public information.
Copyright laws in North America stipulate that it is impossible to copyright names, name lengths, naming structure, letters, numbers, decimal numbers, words, addresses etc. Reselling an unaltered, unchanged, verbatim commercial collection of POI's to a third party that was originally purchased from a first party is illegal because it is the exact same data "package" and or property that was originally sold by a first party.
Selling a POI collection of data that is different in naming, naming structure, numerical values, .XML data, amount of POI's, listing order etc, is not illegal because the data is original (not a verbatim, unaltered duplicate) and the entire content of the collection overall will vary in data packet size, description, naming structure, numerical value, scope, affiliation, numerical values etc.
Example: If a POI collection of 10 public parks was sold commercially, and another collection of the same 10 public parks was sold by a competitor with a different naming structure, different naming order, different coordinate number, different name length, different description and different icon, no court of law would recognize the 2 POI collections as being the same because of the existing copyright laws in place. This prevents many companies including GPS manufacturers of different GPS systems with included POI's and vendors selling POI's from initiating lawsuits against each other based on the subject and or information listed above.