When you don’t have an address, POIs are the quickest way to help find what you’re looking for
If you’ve ever watched your petrol gauge winding down with no idea where the nearest pump might be, or just wanted to find fun places to visit on a trip, then you’ll find the addition of Points of Interest – generally abbreviated to POI – helpful. One of the most useful POIs for drivers will be petrol stations, but a good POI database can cover so much more.
Points of Interest can provide an instant location for nearby services, such as a hospital, or shopping centre. Street addresses are handy and phone numbers are a must – especially with the growing number of GPS devices offering Bluetooth phone synchronisation. Having a tailored solution that offers the best-sorted consumer POI information possible will help ensure you always have great information at your fingertips.
Here are a few key ways you can use POI information and a GPS device to make your life easier.
Keeping the kids busy
There’s little that’s more stressful than a back seat full of kids becoming rapidly bored. GPS can’t do much to keep them quiet on the trip, but knowing where a nearby park, pool, beach or shopping centre is (depending on the age of your kids) can be the difference between being driven accurately, and being driven nuts.
A good, updated POI database is like having a good food guide in your car at all times. You don’t have to spot the restaurant sign, or look up the phone number online, as it’s there for you in your car. If you’re in unfamiliar territory and unsure what you want to eat, it’s also a great way to quickly survey the nearby eateries for ideas.
There’s nothing worse than being on holiday and feeling sick – except feeling sick and not knowing where a nearby medical professional is. A quick POI search for a nearby doctor or hospital and you’ll be back on your feet in no time flat.
Park and shop
Shopping can be enjoyable, but not if you can’t find the right shop – and certainly not if you’re left fuming while driving around trying to find a parking space. Selecting the parking POI will let you know where suitable parking stations are nearby, and have you shopping quickly and without fuss.
It is always very frustrating when you realise you’re out of cash at a crucial time. Simply selecting the ‘ATM’ or ‘Bank’ Points of Interest will help you find a nearby ATM location.
Points of Interest aren’t just useful for when you’re driving – pedestrians can make use of them too. If you need to know where a nearby train station is after a late night concert, then finding it online with your 3G phone (or portable GPS device) allows you to relax on the way home.
Don’t leave the GPS in the car
There are two really good reasons not to leave your portable GPS device in your car. First of all, it’s a very common target for car thieves, and even just leaving the windscreen mount on the windscreen can be a bit of a giveaway that there’s something of value within the car. Remember to wipe the windscreen down as well – most windscreen mounts will leave a rather obvious suction mark.
Aside from the theft risk, leaving your GPS in your car is also limiting the potential of what you can do with POI. Even if you’re in familiar territory, being able to quickly find nearby restaurants, ATMs and other useful amenities described on these pages makes a compact, demountable GPS device a useful companion to have with you all of the time.