As we travel by RV, we’ve gathered lots of different sources for finding places to park and stay. Our favorite is the Streets and Trips program, with the POI Megafile. This is a file that is used in combination with Microsoft’s Streets and Trips program. POI stands for Points of Interest. It is a currently a compilation of 220 categories, containing thousands of points of interest. Many of them are very near and dear to RVers . That includes campgrounds like Thousand Trails that usually do not show up on other lists because it requires a membership. Same thing with Elks Lodges that offer RV parking for their members. You can download this POI Megafile for free. It is updated every month or so. The current file is meant for the S&T 2013 program and it is dated June. It is specifically made for MS Streets and Trips. If you don’t use Streets and Trips, you are limited to downloading individual sets of POIs yourself from places like Discovery Owners.
Each set of data is called a Pushpin Set and once you’re viewing Streets and Trips, you have the option to Show or Hide any given pushpin set. Look at the image at right. The list of pushpin sets from the Megafile are showing on the left side, if you scroll up or down, you’ll find all 220 sets. Pick one you want to see, right-click on it and choose ‘Show Pushpin Set.’ In the example, I have chosen to Show Elks Lodges, Corps of Engineer parks, and Fairgrounds. They each have their own unique icon and are very recognizable as you look on your map.
I like the Streets and Trips Megafile for several reasons:
- It is a collection, all in one place, of so many places that I’ve had to look up separately in the past.
- You can turn each set on or off as desired so your map doesn’t get cluttered, yet you have everything you need.
- It’s right on the map that we use for our trip planning. So we can plan our route more efficiently. No more looking up campgrounds in one place only to go back to your map and find it.
- No Internet needed – all the data is on your computer.
You can read more about the POI Megafile on the Streets and Trips blog. And, if you want to learn how to use Streets and Trips, check out the Geeks on Tour Tutorial Videos on our Learning Library for Streets and Trips.
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