How To Edit a Garmin GPI
By David Lipscomb
Each Garmin GPS device comes preloaded with numerous points of interest, or POIs. However, any one of these POIs may not have sufficient information, such as rapid speed reductions, red light cameras or known areas of traffic congestion. Software like GPS Babel and GeePeeEx Editor lets you make changes and updates to the existing database file, entering the changes in pre-defined fields. You can even use Microsoft Excel or another spreadsheet program to make edits in comma-separated value format. Using Garmin's POI Loader software lets you send the modified file, converting it to Garmin's proprietary GPI format.
Use the supplied mini-USB cable to connect your Garmin device to your computer.
Click the POI Loader icon, read the introductory screen and click "Next."
Click on the "Garmin Device" option to indicate where you want to save the GPI file, such as your desktop. Click "Next."
Verify the drive name under the Device header that corresponds to your Garmin unit. Click "Next."
Select a custom point of interest database from the Garmin Custom POI Sources Webpage (see Resources.) Options include POI Factory, Travel By GPS and POIEdit.
Download the file to your desktop.
Launch the GeePeeEx Editor.
Click "File" and select "Merge." Locate the point of interest database file you saved to your desktop. Merging the file auto-loads parameters into the GeePeeEx Editor fields.
Enter any changes or details in each field as necessary. For example, you can edit latitude and longitude, address data, phone number information and more.
Click "File" and select "Save." Your edits will be written back to the original database file on your desktop.
Click on the database file you saved to your desktop. Your output file will look similar to "gps babel -i gpx -f " RedLightCameras.gpx" -o garmin_gpi,speed=30mph -F "RedLightCameras.gpi," for a red light camera alert.
Accumulate any additional data you feel needs to be edited or changed, such as correction to latitude and longitude, street addresses and others.
Click on the "Options" button to select the type of alert or adjustment you wish to add, such as "Speed," "Category," "Notes" or "Position."
Add adjustments into the corresponding Options field. An example file in the "Category" field might look like "gpsbabel -i gpx -f "My Points.gpx" -o garmin_gpi,category="FavoriteHotels" -F "My Points.gpi." This adds a category header for your favorite hotels and motels along frequently traveled routes.
Click "Apply" to save the file.
Gather and name the data you want to add or change to the existing file.
Enter the data you wish to change under the appropriate headers. For example, typing latitude and longitude corrections under a "LATLONG" header organizes the file and makes it easy to reference. Each data point or category should have its own row.
Add further details to the latitude and longitude information, such as the name, address and phone number of a hotel, gas station or store. Enter this data in its own subsequent row, labeled, for example, "NAME," "ADDY," and "PHONE."
Click the "File" menu and select "Save As." Click the "Save As Type" drop-down menu and choose "CSV (comma delimited)." Save the file back to the original location. POI Loader will make the necessary conversion to GPI.
Uploading the Edits
Use the supplied mini-USB cable to connect your Garmin GPS device to your computer.
Start the POI Loader software. Follow the on-screen prompts to locate your saved and edited file.
Wait for the POI Loader software to upload and convert the file to Garmin's GPI format. POI Loader supports GPX, OV2, KML, LMX, CSV, ASV, ITN and other file types to the GPI format necessary for use on Garmin GPS devices.
Disconnect and power cycle your Garmin device. Locate your new point of interest by tapping "Where To," choosing "My Locations" and selecting "Custom POIs."
David Lipscomb is a professional writer and public relations practitioner. Lipscomb brings more than a decade of experience in the consumer electronics and advertising industries. Lipscomb holds a degree in public relations from Webster University.