Many of you have made comments about missing POI types, etc. on MAPCAT, therefore we’d like to draw your attention on how we handle POIs on our site.
As our portal uses exclusively the OpenStreetMap database, we take every POI info from there, although we might visualize them differently.
We start showing POI items as of zoom 13, with some important exceptions like airports and heliports that you will see earlier, while addresspoint-type POIs will start appearing only as of zoom 15. Each point has been categorized as international or national, and of course, places of international importance (e.g. international airports) are shown prior to the national ones. Plus, all POIs have been given a level of importance in OSM, which also counts at the visualization of the places. At the last zoom level, all places in the database should be visible.
At maximum zoom level, all POIs have an icon and a name, although the name might not be shown as early as the icon, when there’s not available space. In this case, the importance comes in again. But nevertheless, when you click on the icon, you will be given the full name of the place.
To make POI search easier, we are visualizing them in groups (referred as layers). The categories are taken from the OSM database, as the contributors have classified them.
So far, we’ve created POI layers from the most searched place types, and where it was possible, we have even set sub-categories (e.g. there is a restaurant layer, but also chinese restaurant, italian restaurant, etc. are available). Check out the most important POI layers in the below table.
These layers come in handy when a user is not looking for an exact place, but has a broad idea only (‘Let’s go out for a pizza!’). Then by selecting the ‘pizza restaurant’ or ‘italian restaurant’ layers, he can browse among all similar places nearby.
It is even possible to open up to 5 POI layers so that there is further possibility to look around and choose the most applicable place.
Using the search box
You might want to find a given place or wish to scan the map for a type of place .
When searching for an exact place, simply type in its name or its fragment into the search box and we will list you the closest matches.
When you only have a broad idea, type in the POI category and if a that layer exists, it will be offered to you on the first place. Choose the category, and all POIs of the category will be visualized on the map. At the same time, a legend will open up in the bottom right corner of the screen where you can switch off this layer when not in need any more.
Using your mouse
You might look for interesting places around a given spot. In this case, click on the central spot with your right mouse button, and from the menu appearing, choose Nearby places. This will list you the top places around your starting point. Should you be looking for places similar to the central item, check if it belongs to a POI layer (also in the same menu). Then you can switch on all similar places by clicking on the category.
If you click on the POI icon with your left mouse button, you will see a window appearing at the bottom of the page. It contains the name of the place and the exact address. You can also find the coordinates of the place and check out the wheelchair accessibility. When available, we also show you the picture of the place. You can even start routing using the small icons on the right.
(Image source: Wikipedia. The POI database might lack some information, but YOU might have access to them. Please help the community by adding these pieces of info on the map. Log in to the IdEditor on the MAPCAT site and upload the data using your OSM account.)
When you click on the POI with your right mouse button, a different window will open for you. The key functions here help you in routing (set starting or end point), but you can also check if his place is categorized into any layers. Plus, you can get a list of nearby places that mentions the most important places around this point.
Hope you had found this article useful. Please don’t forget, you can always refer to the Help and FAQ sessions on MAPCAT when you are stuck with a question, or write to us on firstname.lastname@example.org.