Although Belgium is a small country, there are so many places, worth a visit. It has so many precious memories of the past. In no other country you will find 24 Beguinages, of which 13 figure on the United Nations World Heritage List as are 32 splendid Belfries. Not to mention the hundreds of castles, many abbeys and old windmills. How to find all those places?
As we live in Belgium and like to make day trips, we wanted to have a system that would allow us to overview all points that we would eventually visit one day. We started to look for castles, but soon realized that we do not only want to visit castles. So we decided to tackle the problem systematically.
We started to collect the exact GPS-Coordinates of as many POIs (points of interest) as possible and found out that we could easily build lists with many POIs in at least 30 different categories. Then we decided to build a web site around it, so that everyone can take advantage of our collection.
We started to plot the points with a program called OziExplorer and put a lot of energy in it, only to find out that this was not flexible enough. Every time that we wanted to correct some coordinates or wanted to add a new point to a category, we had to start all over to build a new map. What is more: these were static images. No way to zoom in to see more details surrounding a particular point or group of points.
We found out how to present all points from a category on Google Maps. This gives a good idea of where the POIs are located. Some categories are equally spread over the whole of Belgium, while others are over-represented in the North and some others can only be found in the South of the country.
This is not the ideal tool to plan a trip, even a trip with only points from one category. To plan a trip we need an overview of all POIs of all categories that interest us on one map. Each category with its own distinguishable icon. A very important consideration is also that it would be better to have a map as large as possible. We choose the Google Earth program to show us all the possible information in a large, easy to use map/satellite imagery on our desktop computer screen.
We realize that not all our readers will have Google Earth installed on their computers. Well, now is the exact right time to discover this magnificent program and play a lot with it. We explain in detail how to obtain the program for free. How to install it and how to modify some settings. There is so much more to this program. Once you have used it and appreciate it, you will discover so many interesting places on our planet. You will get a much better understanding of distances and surfaces. And you will often wonder how it is possible that you can see so many beautiful details on our Earth's surface. Many users find it to be addictive.
Once you can open the .KML files in Google Earth for as many categories as you like, you can plan any trip in any part of Belgium.
Only when you can navigate to POIs, stored in your own GPS Navigator, you can take full advantage of the information on this site. And there is no need for you to manually enter the GPS-Coordinates of every point into your device or program. We created special files for different systems, containing all the info, and ready to install. Sometimes it is as simple as Copy/Paste. Other systems require the use of their Desktop Console to install the POIs in their program.
Splendid views and modern wind turbine parks do not have a postal address, so will be difficult to program in your GPS car navigator. Many points have an address, but clicking a POI in a list to select them is much more comfortable than entering a complete address. This is why we do not add addresses to the points on this site. Another reason is that in many cases, for instance for castles, the postal address does not correspond with the physical location of the object, but serves only correspondence by snail mail.
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