OV2Tools not working? Let us explain three confusing things.


Mrs. Mango and I have a diesel Smart car, which I just absolutely love.  He holds a surprisingly large amount of cargo (such as enough equipment for a two-camera video shoot along with the operators), he's all kinds of fun to drive, and as a bonus he's cheaper than the bus.  We've even named him.  Affection aside, I made a Google map with locations of all the Diesel Stations in Vancouver, BC that I could find.  This of course required going to the computer and looking up the map any time we needed gas in an unfamiliar area.  So when I got a TomTom GO720 GPS, I thought it would be a grand idea to create a POI list of the Google map.

As it turned out, this was VERY much easier said than done.


TomTom has released set of tools called OV2Tools.  These tools convert to and from ASCII and the TomTom OV2 format.  At first glance, these tools look easy enough to use.  Of course, I've long since learned that software with crucial design flaws seems to magnet itself to me.

Let's use the coordinates (49.26386, -123.15296) as an example.  If you enter this into Google Maps, you'll come up with the Shell station at Broadway & Arbutus.

You can't actually enter a minus sign into the TomTom, and the TomTom doesn't display it when you're browsing its map.  So already we have the issue that if we got these coordinates from Google and tried to plug them into TomTom, it just plain wouldn't work, and if we got coordinates from the TomTom and plugged them into Google, sans minus sign, we'd end up in northern China.  But here's the first confusing thing.  When you're creating your text file for OV2Tools to read, you do want to use the minus sign, à la Google.

Here's the second confusing thing, which is not only confusing, but I think royally insane.  The text file doesn't go Latitude, Longitude, like every other set of coordinates ever written, including those displayed on the TomTom itselfIt's backwards.  It goes Longitude, Latitude. Though the instructions that come with OV2Tools mention this, the mention was insignificant enough that I missed it.  And the only error that the program gave me said "Invalid coordinates", but it didn't specify anything further so I had no idea exactly what was invalid.

Here's the third confusing thing.  You must have a blank line at the end of your ASCII file.  This one was NOT covered in the instructions.

Here's the working files for TomTom POI list of Diesel Stations in Vancouver.  It includes the OV2 file, the ASC file that I made it with, and the little icon.
 

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