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FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions

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Joined: Jul 21, 2004
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Location: Chelmsford, UK

PostPosted: Sun Feb 05, 2006 9:52 pm    Post subject: FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions Reply with quote

Speed Camera Database Questions And Answers

Please note that the safety camera warning software is a free add-on to membership and as such is not a commercially guaranteed product. Both the camera database and the site offer community support and help only. That said, the the vast majority of questions are answered within 24 hours.

Membership Help - Sign-Up Problems? Go here

Camera Download/Installation Guides Go here

We are aware that a small minority do have problems downloading the camera database. This is often, but not always, due to the configurations that they choose to use on their computers. With a little reading and patience the problem can always be sorted out.

99.9% of our members achieve a trouble-free download of the database each month. However, if you are one of the few who do experience problems, please post details in the appropriate forum, where the PocketGPSWorld.com team, moderators and other members will try to help.

SEARCH TIP: To search this page (or any other) press Control and F and type in your query, i.e. FireFox, Mac, firewall, TomTom, etc. (may not work with all browsers)

DOWNLOAD TIP: We strongly recommend you use Internet Explorer or Netscape; there are known issues with FireFox.

Using the questions and answers below may help. If not, please ask your question in this monitored sign-up support forum by using the post reply button at the bottom of the last posted question or answer.

We get several thousand emails per week (yes really!) and unfortunately it's inevitable that the odd one gets missed. Your question or comment will be more efficiently responded to in the forums, after all, that is what they are there for! Wink

Post your question and, usually within 24 hours, someone will help you. However, often you will receive your answer MUCH quicker. Sometimes, though very rarely, it may take a little longer at the weekends, over holiday periods or when team members are travelling abroad on business. If on the rare occasion your post is overlooked, please post again. It is highly unlikely to be missed twice.

Posting support requests in our forums also helps others who are experiencing the same problem get a resolution to their problem. When time is precious and we aren't in the forums, there is still a wealth of knowledge from other GPS users which can help resolve a problem especially when they have the same equipment as you.

If your issue is account or password related, please submit a support ticket here

Q. Which applications can I use the database with?

A. If you don't see your application listed here, we may still be able to support it, but the program must be able to support customisable Points Of Interest (POI) and be able to import 3 fields containing longitude, latitude and comments. If it has its own custom format and there is a utility to convert then yes. If it can't accept custom POIs then no. If you are unsure, ask in our Speed Camera Forums.
Q. What camera database categories do I need?

A. It is down to personal choice and the limitations of your SatNav package. If you were to stay in the UK there are 3 levels of options (if unsure just download the single file cameras, and when you have a better understanding of it all, download other files) :

Single File: Contains all the speed cameras in a single file irrespective of type. As stated above, this category contains all of the above categories, except for the Continental one. It is for UK users who have SatNav systems that can only use a limited number of POI categories at time.

Consolidated by Type: Contains one file for each type of speed camera. This is just the main categories and none of the subcategories that show speed limits.

Speed Zoned: Contains the speed cameras in individual files for each speed limit and each camera type. If you want the above but with subcategories of the Gatso, Mobile, and SPECS databases to show speed related cameras.
Q. I'm subscribed, why can't I download the camera database?

A. Please make sure that you always use the main site www.PocketGPSWorld.com and not a mirror site. Your browser needs to accept cookies from our site. There is an issue (which we are addressing) with cookies when you use a mixture of www.pocketgpsworld.com, pocketgpsworld.com (without the www) and the co.uk sites.

On Internet Explorer you can clear your cookies using Tools/Internet Options/Delete Cookies.

Some ISPs store (cache) web pages so they don't always update immediately. 'Hard' refresh subscription/download page by pressing 'Control' on your keyboard whilst pressing the refresh/reload button on your browser.

Are you sure that your privacy/security settings are not set too high? Try adding http://www.pocketgpsworld.com to your trusted sites (Using Internet Explorer - Tools/Internet Options/Security/Trusted sites). Is your firewall blocking us? You should also have JavaScript enabled.
Q. I downloaded the camera file but now can't find it. Can you help?

A. When you save the file to your PC, before you click on "Save" look to see where it is being saved. Or, if you use Internet Explorer, you could go to Start/Search/Files to see if you can find it.
Q. I use FireFox, why am I having problems?

A. Try opening ZoneAlarm and then the 'Privacy' tab and temporarily Turn 'OFF' (at your own risk) both 'Cookie Control' AND 'Ad Blocking'. If you then refresh the page the buttons should now be visible.

If this doesn't work, please post your question on one of the following threads:

New download system - Comments and suggestions

Subscribing to PocketGPSWorld.com

Possible download problem
Q. Why can't my Mac open the database download?

A. We all use Macs here so it does work. We recommend using Unarchiver, a much better unzipping tool. It's available in the Mac App Store here
Q. I've tried adding camera files to my TomTom but nothing happens. What am I doing wrong?

A. You need to copy the camera files, i.e. the .ov2 and .bmp files individually to the map folder and then activate them to in the manage POI menu. Please visit http://www.pocketgpsworld.com/tomtom-go-poi.php for more information. Also, please note that TomTom will only recognise the first 27 or 39 POIs (Points of Interest) depending whether you are using 5.201 or 5.420.
Q. The files have downloaded in .asc format. How do I convert them to .csv?

A. asc is the same as csv. If your input program cannot handle that, simply rename the extension.
Q. There's not enough room on the SD card . Can I delete anything?

A. You could try deleting any unused voices.
Q. When I try to download, I'm told that the file cannot be downloaded/extracted because the programme that created it is unknown. What shall I do?

A. In Explorer, right click the file and choose 'Properties'. Check that the download file has a .zip Extension. If it doesn't, add the .zip to it and try again.
Q, I've downloaded, why can I not find the files?

A. Your system gives you the option of saving to disk. You can then put it into any folder, maybe one that you have created especially for the purpose. Just remember where the file is going.

If you see no file extension (.zip) you need to go to Folder Options, in Explorer. Select View and then UNTICK the Option to 'Hide Extension of Known File Types'.

If you right click the file and select Properties, the details of the file are displayed. If there is not a '.zip' at the end of the file name, then it has to be added. (It would appear that some PC security combinations strip the extension off.)

To add the '.zip' to the file you need to rename the file by amending the file name in the white box at the top of the properties display.

Click OK.

Double clicking the file will now open whichever UnZip Program you have installed.
Q. Why is the speed wrong on my Garmin when I approach a camera?

A. Have you selected KPH instead of MPH on the POI Loader?
Q. What if the database file corrupts on download or I accidentally wipe it from my hard drive?

A. You have access to download it again for the duration of your subscription and a licence to take one backup copy for personal use only whilst your subscription is active.
Q. Why aren't the Speed Cameras visible in the POI list on my device?

A. There may be a limit for 3rd Party POI groups. If you delete your unwanted POIs this should free up more space.
Q. How often will the database be updated?

A. We release a new database every week where possible.
Q. What are the database's limitations?

A. It must be understood that by the ever changing nature of the medium, the database will always have discrepancies, i.e. camera locations that have been added, moved or removed may not be recorded yet. Also speed limits may have changed or may not yet have been confirmed. We currently estimate over 95% accuracy and we continually strive to improve on this.
Q. How will the database improve?

A. Our Speed Camera Database enjoys great levels of accuracy. We use systems that enable us to verify every UK camera location ensuring data accuracy as near to 100% as possible.

One of the problems we often face is the accuracy of the core maps. If you take a reading from a SatNav unit it will often give you a location based on your position on their map. This is not always the actual GPS location.

Maps have errors and most SatNav applications will "Snap" to the road. The problem we are presented with then is which reading to use. Even standing at a location with perfect conditions and a good hand held GPS the reading can be 30 feet or more out. With 2 users one could be 30 feet out in one direction another 30 in the other direction a difference of 60 feet. Add into the equation mapping inaccuracies and you can see how these 'errors' can get compounded.

To ensure that we process them correctly the best thing to do is locate the Camera on the Google Map on the submission page and then reposition it to the correct place with a comment explaining the change. This will then be read and understood by the reviewer. A good comment is probably the most important thing as the reviewers can often have difficulty making sense of 10 conflicting submissions for the same camera. With thousands of submissions a week unless one stands out it could easily be missed.
Q. Shall I record only new cameras?

A. No, we encourage everyone to report every existing camera so we can repeatedly confirm locations. Over 100,000 SatNav users visit our site per day and huge amounts regularly verify camera positions. This of course places us in a perfect position to collect the most accurate up-to-date data. You can submit using the following link: http://www.pocketgpsworld.com/modules.php?name=Cameras&op=SubmitCamera
Q. Is POIEdit supported?

A. POIEdit is no longer supported.
Q. How can I get a FREE 12mth Subscriber memberships?

A. Award criteria are published here.
Q. I passed a camera that wasn't on the database. Why wasn't it included?

A. Most likely because it's a new camera. Please note its position and submit it for inclusion. When verified we will add it to the database.

We take great care with all submissions to the database processing over 100 modifications a day. It is possible that very occasionally some submissions may not be processed correctly, but we will have the history in the database for follow up on reported discrepancies.
Q. How do I submit cameras for inclusion in your database?

A. We'll accept submissions in a range of formats, whatever suits you, be it Latitude and Longitude, .ov2, .csv, .asc, .xls or even links to Streetmap. Please submit here
(where we will help you easily find the latitude and longitude) or send to cameras @ pocketgpsworld.com

If you look at the right hand side of this page you will see a form for Single Camera Submission. After entering the co-ordinates (Lat/Long) of the location, use the Locate on map button to see the spot on the Google map further down the page. The location is shown by the cross-hairs ( a small +) at the centre of the screen. Double-clicking at a new location will centre the map at that point and the Update Co-ordinates button will transfer the new location to the form. Please remember to select a camera type.

Update format
If you are emailing updates in text format, as opposed to attaching TomTom overlays (*.OV2), then entries in the following format will be appreciated.

Longitude,Latitude,Name:m@nn,"Information #AA" where Longitude and Latitude are in decimal degrees if possible (but any format will be accepted). Please make sure you use GPS location rather than trying to remember where the camera was. (Note: please do not confuse '#AA' with AA Navigation software.)

Name is your surname, m is a unique id (1,2,3,...) or existing camera ID, nn is the speed zone (30,40,...)

Information is explanatory text

#AA denotes camera type (#G Gatso, #GT Truvelo, #R Red light, #M Mobile, #S S.P.E.C.S, #T Temporary/Roadworks)

For example
-0.12345,51.23456,Davies:1@40,"A325 Farnborough Road. Northbound #G"
GATSO:1234,"Does not exist"
GATSO:3456,"Redlight camera. On A325 #R"

We are interested in all fixed Gatsos (grey/yellow boxes), gantry speed cameras (eg M25), Truvelo, Frequent Mobile Speed Traps, S.P.E.C.S Cameras and Temporary/Roadwork Cameras. Please do not list an accident blackspot unless there are frequent mobile speed cameras at that location.

But if you use TomTom, please got to http://www.pocketgpsworld.com/poicapture.php - you may want to use our POICapture utility.
Q. Are your speed camera warnings legal?

A. Yes, the official Government line is that most fixed cameras are installed at accident 'black spots' where four or more serious road accidents have occurred over a three year period. It is the joint policy of both the UK Department for Transport and the police to make the locations of these cameras as well known as possible. The Speed Camera Database (which also includes traffic light camera warnings) adds to this process by identifying the places where extra care should be taken. Not only do we receive additions and modifications from police forces, but we are also reliably informed that police officers 'unofficially' use our database. Officers are often treated more harshly when caught, especially by their senior officers, so it is in their interest to be extra careful!
Q. Do the Government support what you do?

A. In the UK, Yes. The Road Safety Bill 2005 states: "The Government will not be prohibiting those devices that rely on Global Positioning System (GPS) technology to warn drivers of published camera sites or posted speed limits, as these complement the Government's policy to ensure that camera sites are visible and conspicuous to drivers, and so help deter excessive and inappropriate speeds on the roads." They also say "The road safety benefits are clear. The existing GPS systems can contain information including the location of all approved speed camera sites in the country and the speed limits that apply there. Providing this information to drivers can only improve the prospects of drivers amending their speeds in order to comply with limits at or near camera sites."

The RAC Foundation also support what we do. Edmund King, the executive director, said: "These alerts have clear road safety benefits. They provide drivers with a legitimate reminder that they should slow down, and prevent the need to keep taking their eyes off the road to check the speedometer.

However, the legality os using speed camera data in other countries varies. It is the responsibility of the user to obey the laws in other countries and use of the database where it is not permitted is at your own risk. Currently (Dec 2012), France and Switzerland do not permit the use of speed camera POIs and there is some dispute over the legality in Germany.
Q. But then why have I read media reports that detectors are illegal in the UK?

A. The Government plans to include a ban on radar detectors in a forthcoming Road Safety Bill. The Department of Transport states: "Devices which detect or interfere with the proper functioning of such cameras have only one purpose: to tell drivers when they can break speed limits and get away with it. This is unacceptable, it prevents the police from carrying out their duties, and is a danger to other law-abiding road users." This has no relation whatsoever to the PocketGPSWorld.com database, the type of which the Government actively supports.
Q. Haven't the Government said that they will be phasing out speed cameras?

A. No, they have said that they will be slowing down the growth. The overall volume of speed cameras will continue to grow, but not as fast as has recently been the case. Additionally, substantial increases in the numbers of red light cameras and mobile locations are predicted.
Q. Can Pocket Streets use the UK GATSO Database?

A. Not directly, although you could import them as pushpins, save your maps to Pocket Streets and use Push Pins.
Q. Do you produce Speed Camera Databases for other countries?

A. Indeed we do, we support 30+ countries world-wide with more countries being added all the time.
Q. I have a website and would like to publish your Speed Camera data, or use it within my own application, am I permitted to do so?

A. Sorry, no you cannot publish our database on your website or use it within your own application.
Q. What other Point of Interest (POI) files are available from PocketGPSWorld.com?

A. 100s of free files with thousands of points of interest are available at http://www.pocketgpsworld.com/tomtompoi.php
Q. Do you own the copyright to the database?

A. Yes. Thousands of working hours have been spent (and ongoing) obtaining, compiling, collating, validating, editing, formatting, distributing, supporting and improving upon the database.

The database is a compilation of data arranged in a systematic way. PocketGPSWorld.com makes a qualitatively and quantitatively substantial investment in the collection, assembly, verification, organization and presentation of the contents of the database and a significant investment of human, financial and technical resources. This entitles PocketGPSWorld.com by law to claim sole copyright of the database.

A number of fluid, changeable methods are in place where we can easily identify copied versions of the Speed Camera Warning Database. All individual downloads and batches of the Speed Camera Warning Database can be identified both to a particular download and member. For commercial reasons we do not disclose details of this protection methodology nor do we give all (some will be obvious to the more technical) system or visual clues that protection is active.

Those identified to be passing on or attempting to degrade the database will have their membership cancelled (both subscribers and life members) and no refunds given. Attempts at corruption of the protection system and consequent dissemination of the data will result in prosecution.[/b]

Last edited by RobBrady on Tue Feb 10, 2009 2:33 pm; edited 61 times in total
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