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JustMike

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Everything posted by JustMike

  1. There's a top-level forum 'Geocaching for iPhone' yet nothing for Android. Given the popularity of the device wouldn't it make sense to have an Android group?
  2. Have you found a way to search for a specific cache in GeoBeagle/GeoHunter? It's fine to be able to load 5000 caches, but one needs to be able to search and sort that big list and I don't see a way to do that. Perhaps I'm overlooking it, however. I have found that CacheMate and GeOrg allow one to search and sort. CacheMate can't seem to handle large lists, but GeOrg does and can have multiple large DBs so is presently making my tail wag.
  3. The Android geocaching apps are fairly immature so perhaps you will find them better in time. Just curious, what features does BeeLine provide that you'd like to see in an Adroid app? (I'm not developing Android apps, just curious).
  4. I have used GeoBeagle on a Droid a few times and found it workable so perhaps the GPSr in the Desire is not as good as the Droid.
  5. Lots of nice features/ideas outlined in your note. I found the web page for OpenGPX (http://sourceforge.net/projects/opengpx/) and am playing with the PC DB manager. Looks like this could be a great app.
  6. Yes. From cache description screen, press 'navigate.' GeoBeagle seems to integrated reasonably well with Google Maps.
  7. The tanker truck analogy breaks down in that you're already driving the tanker truck when you have a device in your hot little hands that can perform the tanker truck role. Actually using the tanker truck doesn't add additional cost. By default, GeoBeagle only shows a small number of caches in the 'nearest' list so the cache list is quite easy to work with. You can request that GeoBeagle show all caches in the DB, which results in a tedious experience with 18000 entries. The Google map display works perfectly. Also, GeoBeagle allows multiple DBs so I suspect one could pretty easily manage more than 18000 waypoints (if you had days to download them and somehow managed to generate that many PQs). This exercise was really an attempt to see how limiting it is to skip live searches since they cause TOU problems and because sometimes cell coverage is a problem. If GeoBeagle can handle a DB with 18000 entries it can clearly handle smaller, more sane data sets so, as you point out, with a small amount of planning one doesn't need live search capability. And, being able to load a very large data set allows greater flexibility. One doesn't need to precisely plan a route/etc. Just load up thousands of caches over a broad region and go. Easier than ensuring you have collected just the right PQs.
  8. I've recently spent some time looking at how well the various Android geocaching apps handle very large gpx data sets. This is useful for a few reasons. 1) it avoids Groundspeak TOU problems, 2) it allows off-line use, and 3) with a very large data set in one's Android-based phone there is no need for live searches (see reasons 1 and 2). Once a week, for example, load up your phone with a very large data set and then wherever you go there's a good chance you have the local geocache data. CacheMate can handle about 3000 caches, but attempts to use data sets of 12000 and 18000 fail. The app stops functioning and Force Closes. Clearly, this pushes the app beyond what it was designed to do. GeoBeagle is working well with a data set of 18800 waypoints (All traditional Washington state caches and the 1000 mystery/puzzle caches near my home). While GeoBeagle runs with this large data set, loading that large data set is a pain. It took about an hour for GeoBeagle to parse the gpx file into 1880 html files. Seems like this could be done much faster on a PC and the html files could then be copied directly to the SD card, but I've not looked into this. A GSAK macro for this purpose would rock. I plan to try GeOrg and Geooh with the same data set as I have time. I assume the other GeoBeagle-based apps would behave like GeoBeagle. So, there's an approach to consider. Rather than live searches, and the difficulties that brings, perhaps loading large data sets would be a good alternative in some cases. If anyone has any feedback on this approach please pass it along to the group. Better apps for this purpose? Useful GSAK/PC apps? Thanks!
  9. Of course. Many people are concerned. Really, it's disappointing that Groundspeak doesn't seem interested in providing a public API for mobile applications. Seems like it would be a great business decision for the company and would be useful to those of us that enjoy the game.
  10. Based on a quick read of Evo specs it's running Android 2.1, which means the Groundspeak app should work you. Not sure when it will be ready for release. Another option is 'Find Geocaches' (FG) coupled with GeoBeagle. GeoBeagle is a good app for managing gpx files and with FG it can do a live search too. There are a number of good gpx-processing apps available so if you don't mind giving up the live search capability there are a handful of good options. GeoBeagle, CacheMate, GeOrg, Goooh to name a few.
  11. Bingo. [endorsement removed by moderator.] Groundspeak is working on one that is very similar.
  12. http://www.androidzoom.com/android_applica...umbus_gvst.html 3 minute eval: Must use the same access methods that the app-that-cannot-be-named uses. Seems a little clunky compared to that app, but others may like the look 'n feel better. Will have to give it a spin in the field. In any case, great to see another app available. It's good to have choices!
  13. Wonder if the author of 'Find Geocaches' could be persuaded to make his app work with GeoHunter in addition to GeoBeagle. In any case, care to summarize how GeoHunter is better than GeoBeagle?
  14. Post 258 seems clear. "Groundspeak thinks that app violates their rules " If you look at the Terms Of Use that you agreed to when using the site, automated access to scrape pages is disallowed. To firmly beat this dead horse, 'automated access to scrape pages' could be any web browser. 'Automated access' implies that someone is not manually issuing an instruction. (click a link, etc). The app in question retrieves cache data as a result of a manual request. It's obviously not a bot, something specifically mentioned in the TOU as something that is not allowed. It's hard to see that the app in question, or any other app that retrieves and displays html, is significantly different from a web browser in terms of automated access. 'Page scraping'.... is there a definitive definition for page scraping? Displaying some, but not all, of a web page? I think page scraping means collecting large amounts of data by picking out data from web pages. One could, for example, write a bot that would eventually retrieve the entire geocaching.com data base. I honestly believe that is what Groundspeak is, wisely, trying to avoid. But the app in question doesn't do this so it's hard to understand the problem. And, just to mention the obvious: the Groundspeak mobile app violates the TOU since it is automated and displays a portion, rather than all, of the web page data. But, hey, the emperor can wear whatever clothes he likes. Is this all pointless and insane yet? At some point, Groundspeak will need to change it's TOU and/or web interface to reflect the widespread adoption of mobile devices and the display limitations that come with those devices. Just insisting that no one use the app that works nicely on mobile devices when there is no apparent detrimental affect to the web site or the game/sport is not an effective approach.
  15. See post 258 on this very page. http://forums.Groundspeak.com/GC/index.php...t&p=4296202 Huh? Not sure if that's a typo or my web browser is not following the link correctly. In any case, the answer to the question is simple: Groundspeak doesn't want the unmamed app to do what it's doing. We can opine all day about why Groundspeak doesn't want the unnamed app to do what it's doing, but that's pointless.
  16. There's a Garmin handlebar mount on my mountain bike. Fun way to cache.
  17. I've used GeOrg a little. It processes GPX files so, yeah, it's an off-line tool. Just grabbed Mapdroyd. Looks rather handy.
  18. The Terms of Use is a contract between USERS and Groundspeak. That would be us, not the unnamed developer of the unnamed app. So, really, wouldn't Groundspeak need to take action against the users of the unnamed app rather than the developer of the app? Can you imagine that public relations nightmare? Also, I would guess that Groundspeak would need to get the court to issue an order blocking said app from being given away THEN google would remove it from the market. Until then, it seems unlikely that google would remove an app from the marketplace. And is there a law, let alone an international law, against writing a computer application that renders html differently than what the html owner likes?
  19. Looks like we need research dollars to study how the various Android phones compare to the various hand-held GPS for navigation. I volunteer to accept the funding and perform the research. Personally, I have found my Droid works nicely as a spur-of-the-moment, urban geocaching tool. Very accurate and convenient. For the type of caching that I really love -- back country hikes, mountain biking, etc -- I'll stick with the Garmin 60. This choice is driven mostly by the fact that the Garmin handles water and mud while the Droid behaves like a little girl if it gets splashed. And comparing any functioning gps to a Garmin Colorado is guaranteed to make the device look good.
  20. Good point. Not all hand help GPS units are the same. I've used quite a few, including a Garmin Colorado (didn't like it). I use a Garmin GPSMAP 60CSx and have found it more accurate than my Droid. That's just my perception rather than clear, repeatable test results, however. And..... my observations are based on geocaching away from urban areas. In urban areas my experience has been mixed, with the Droid seeming to do better at times. I've assumed that was due to getting location data from the cellular network in addition to GPS (perhaps that is A-GPS technology?). So, perhaps for urban caching a smart phone is better. Hmmm..... an Android-based smart phone that was as rugged as a Garmin 60.... Hm.....
  21. Observations about the location accuracy of various Android-based phones do point out a fundamental limitation to any Android geocaching app -- they are great for managing data (web lookups, in-device cache lists, etc), but as a replacement for a good-quality hand-held GPS they are limited. I find the various geocaching apps on my Droid to be great for looking up data about a cache, but prefer using a Garmin 60 for actually searching. The Garmin doesn't behave like a whiny school girl every time it gets splashed and is normally more accurate. So..... given this fundamental limitation of smart phones in general, what should the ideal mobile geocaching app do? I'd love to have gsak on my Droid and be able to download cache data into my Garmin directly from the Droid. Anyone else have a wish list?
  22. Yeah.... and we don't even get bubble gum with the app! There are many Android apps that are licensed/etc by a specific content owner. The content in our case is the geocache data base owned by Groundspeak so they control how the content can be accessed. The only official/licensed/legal access to that data is 1) via a web browser, 2) via a pocket query or 3) via the Groundspeak app. So if you want a mobile app that performs live searches/etc and want to avoid violating Groundspeak's TOU you must use the official app. Hence, people are looking forward to the release of the Groundspeak app. I hope that someday Groundspeak will create and license an open network API so we will have many mobile applications to choose from. Regardless, I expect that the app from Groundspeak will be a useful tool and be widely used. I plan to buy a coy, not because it's the only official app, but for the utility of it.
  23. If "live searches" is needed for a good app, then you've leveled the playing field to just one... Groundspeak's when it comes out. Since there are no open API's that would allow other apps to not violate TOS, every other app doesn't fit the criteria above unless they go through a convoluted set of steps to get live data. I suspect that is Groundspeak's marketing strategy. You are assuming that Groundspeak's app will meet my list of requirements. And, yes, I think live searches are a requirement for a good mobile geocaching app. It seems obvious to me, but, hey, the market will decide which apps are useful. My requirements list is just that. Others undoubtedly have different lists. As for the 'convoluted set of steps' needed to get live data, as a user I'm not sure I care as long as I get live data. Right? If the desired data is available in a timely manner, is presented in a usable format and does not place excessive load/etc on the network/servers does it really matter what underlying protocol was used?
  24. Hey, Spiritguide, Geooh looks like a good one. I just played with the demo and will purchase the full version to give it a spin. I can see it does turn-by-turn navigation -- cool. Looks like it cannot do live searches, but does handle gpx data nicely. Not sure if it can handle zipped pocket queries as I tried to get it to load one and it puked. Does seem to have a nicer user interface than some of other apps. Like you, I don't see the cost of these various apps as an issue. In fact, I've donated to the free apps.
  25. Android apps that I've tried: CacheMate -- I've used this one for years on a Palm. The Android version feels quite similar and does make use of some Android features like off-road routing and Google maps. I don't believe there's a way to do a live search nor does CacheMate provide a clean way to do turn-by-turn routing. $7, or was it $10? GeoBeagle -- Handles loading GPX data easily. With the addition of 'Find Geocaches' can do live searches. Can display google maps, but cannot do turn-by-turn navigation. Free/Open Source. Find Geocaches is $2. GeOrg -- Handles GPX files well, but does not handle live searches due to a failure to workaround the well-known Android browser bug. GeOrg does do both off-road and turn-by-turn navigation. $10? The app we cannot promote/mention -- Since I cannot outline it's feature set, perhaps it's safe to say that it's feature set is competitive with other apps. Groundspeak's app -- I don't believe beta testers are allowed to discuss this one either. In general, it seems to me that a good Android geocaching app needs to 1) Conveniently handle GPX files, 2) do live searches, 3) do off-road navigation, 4) do turn-by-turn, on-road navigation, 5) provide access to geocaching.com (and perhaps the other caching sites), and 6) have a clean Android look 'n feel interface. None of the existing apps hit all these points yet, although the combination of a couple gets one there. Ok, back to work.
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