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How to create POIs from Google My Maps on Mac OS X for a Garmin Nuvi GPS

I have a Garmin Nuvi 370 GPS device, and a Mac OS X MacBook. We’re planning a trip to Stuttgart, Germany and I hoped to be able to easily load waypoints, locations, POIs (Points of Interest)–in other words, “places”–onto my GPS beforehand. I don’t know if I’ve discovered the only way to do it, but I did find a way. And it is far more complicated than I’d hoped. So, until I find a better way, here’s how it’s done:

1. First, I created a new personal map at Google My Maps. I named it, “Germany”. I then searched Google Maps for various places and addresses in Stuttgart that we planned to visit, saving each to my “Germany” map.

  1. The custom map, “Germany”, appears listed in the left-hand sidebar on the Google My Maps page. When you click it, your map will load, and all your saved points of interest will be listed in the lower left-hand area of the Google My Maps sidebar.

  2. In the main Google Maps screen, you’ll find a “Link to this page” link, which when clicked exposes the unique URL to this particular Google map (and containing all your points of interest). You will now want to copy this URL to your Mac’s clipboard.

  3. Paste that URL into the form provided at TakItWithMe, then click “Download GPX”. This will create a .gpx file in your Downloads folder. (It’s actually better if you then move it into its own folder, as you’ll see in a bit.)

  4. Connect your Garmin Nuvi via USB to your computer, if you haven’t done so.

  5. Download the Garmin POI Loader software, run it, and point it to the folder that contains your downloaded .gpx file.

If everything goes well, it will load your Nuvi device with the POIs located inside that .gpx file. The file created should be called “poi.gpi” file in the /Garmin/poi directory that you can see by navigating the Garmin volume that’s mounted on your Desktop when you connected the device. When you’re back from your trip, you can simply delete this file (as far as I know. 🙂

Please add any reports of success, corrections, and/or improvements below in the comments.

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