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Everything posted by gis_girl

  1. I only like cute TB's. If it isn't cute, I'm not grabbin' it. Just kidding. We're new to the game. When I peruse certain threads where cachers get agitated b/c their TB moved a mere 28 miles in the opposite direction tells me that this isn't a "GAME" sometimes. After reading some of these other topics out there I've thought twice about grabbing bugs b/c of owners just like that. I'm going to mother some bugs here soon and have decided to give them some goals but won't freak out or accuse another cacher of being moronic b/c they didn't follow the goal exactly. I wouldn't bother with TB's if the things weren't going to move exactly WHERE i wanted them to go b/c that's the point of the game to me, see where other people in the world take them. So, really, the reason I've opted not to grab a bug is b/c I don't want to deal with the pressure of doing something "wrong" in the eyes of another cacher when being new to this game. But, after reading a few posts above now I'm changing that attitude, it is, afterall, just a GAME.
  2. Ah...great tip LightningBugs! I searched and searched...gonna try that too, much easier than the only way I could figure out...where were you when i posted for help last week ?
  3. i have the gpsmap 76cs, but i bet its the same. i think easygps can only load them as waypoints. this is what i did: -download the .loc files from the gc.com site -then i used gpsbabel (free download http://www.geocaching.com/waypoints/) -i used gpsbabel to convert the .loc files to the garmin format .pcx 5) -then i used the MapSource software File-Import utility to load the .pcx file -then used the send to device tool in MapSource to upload them to my Garmin GPSMap 76cs -- they come in as "Geocaches" now
  4. UGH...and while I tend to believe Katie is really 14, this is often a fake lure by bad people to get other kids to respond so I'd recommend against that also! Sorry Katie! But, that's the other part about being safe on the 'net...
  5. Hi there... I just bought a new GPSMap 76CS and used EasyGPS to load waypoints (geocaches) from the website. I didn't think they loaded because the Garmin receiver does not beep when data is transfered to it (there may be a setting for this, but factory out of the box it beeps when it finishes sending the data to my PC). Anyway, my problem was not really a problem. I didn't think the waypoints were loaded, but they did get loaded. When I went to waypoints, it only shows "waypoints nearby" and I missed that -- so when I was in vegas (the location of the waypoints I uploaded) -- they magically appeared! Could this be your problem? Another thing to check might be the units in EasyGPS for the coordinates and make sure they are decimal minutes if your settings in the receiver are decimal minutes, too. Hope this helps.
  6. Maybe I'll pipe in my 2 cents. The North American Datum 1927 is referred to as NAD27. It was developed in 1927 before the geodetic scientists saw earth from space -- it is centered in Meade's Ranch, KS b/c it is the geographic center of the continental US. So, think of that as 0,0 reference point. Now the State Plane coordinate systems for all US states use this datum as a starting point so that distances, calculations, etc. can be made to a common point on the face of the Earth (well in the US) and we can figure out relative positions of things with better accuracy for mapping. However, it's not so good because being positioned on the surface, accuracy can decrease because of mountains and topographical changes. Then came along satellites and spacemen and they developed NAD83, which is more accurate positionally since the geodetic scientists could approximate the real size, shape, mass/density of the Earth -- it's referred to as an "Earth centered datum" because the 0,0 "point" is at the approximated center of the Earth -- better accounting surface elevation and such than NAD27 then. But, they didn't do a bad job back in 1927 since I *think* the average difference between NAD27 and NAD83 is about 200 meters off -- this is why many of those USGS benchmarks are in the wrong position (not the only reason, but often b/c they are based on NAD27). NAD83 is mostly used for the US Stateplane coordinate systems. WGS84 is another datum as described very well above. The datum is the mathematical model that guesses what the true shape, mass, etc. of the Earth is. A projection is another mathematical model for scaling down the real world (which is technically an Oblate ellipsoid if you ever play Jeopardy!) on to a flat piece of paper (or bits and bytes in a computer map). There are 100's and 100's of projections because when you scale down an area of the Earth to fit on a flat surface you will distort either: shape, area, direction, or distance measurements. No map can preserve ALL of these relative measurements -- only one or maybe two. So no map is EVER 100% accurate. All of these projections are designed depending on what type of use the map is intended, such as measuring true distance, showing true relative area, or navigating where angles of measurement are cruicial. The Mercator projection is good for navigating, any straight line shows true direction but not distance and notice how areas are greatly distorted in the poles (think of that horrible map on your grade school wall -- why everyone thinks Greenland is huge). In simpler terms, think of a projection as wrapping a piece of paper on the earth and the outlines of stuff you want on the map have wet ink. A coordinate system is based on a projection, which uses a datum as the frame of reference for wrapping that piece of paper around the part of the Earth you want to map. Latitude and Longitude is an angular coordinate system that most people are familiar with -- it divides the earth (whatever the shape calculation based on the datum) into degrees of measurement. Since measuring in degrees isn't easy (1 degree of latitude is not the same distance across at the poles as it is at the Equator) and doing that kind of math, many coordinate systems have been developed to take that projection of the Earth (based on a datum) and divide it into "arbitrary" zones that everyone can use as a relative frame of reference -- and they generally use FEET or METERS for measuring (much easier than Radians!). For example, the UTM coordinate system divides the Earth into 60 zones both North and South of the Equator. The UTM system is good when mapping in ONE zone. It is based on the Transverse Mercator projection and often uses NAD83 or WGS84 for the datum and METERS for the measurement scale. The GIS data collected by local county and government agencies in the United States, generally use their own Stateplane Coordinate system. For instance, California has 6 zones in the California Stateplane system -- for example the system might be refered to as CA_ZoneIV_NAD83 based on FEET. Each state has it's own coordinate space because depending upon its latitude, its area, its shape, etc.. one of those 100's of projections out there was chosen as the best one to preserve those 4 most important measurements: area, distance, direction, and shape. The distortions of those 4 are much less when mapping a smaller area -- and thus you have happier map users.
  7. In November I was waiting patiently for my boyfriend to be done with browsing the brand new R.E.I in Rancho Cucamonga. Sitting on the table were 3 Geocaching/GPS books. We're both in the GIS industry, we both were Geography majors, we're both map geeks. We make maps. We buy maps. We love maps. And we've had the GIS koolaid in how important it is for social and environmental reasons. I love puzzles and challenges and when tasked get super competitive. He loves hiking and used to do the Scout stuff with his son when he was younger. He's tried to get me to go Orienteering, but haven't just done it. We've talked about needing a new hobby. He wants to jump out of planes more, I don't have that deathwish. He's going to trade in the Liberty for a real Jeep next year...so many planets are coming in line here... Then along came that book on this thing called "Geocaching"...hmmm... so interesting, it has GEO and what do they mean by CACHE, gotta figure this out...bought the book. He dug out an old ammo box he has from his Army days. Bought him (us) the Garmin GPSMAP 76CS for xmas and off we were on xmas day finding our first caches out in the desert. We have challenged ourselves to get out and go hiking around California for 2005 and this is the ultimate gift -- he jokes I have adult ADD so this is the perfect way to get me focused on a challenge. And as competitive as I am <sigh> he found the first cache. Dang it! But, we're already hooked -- I have 765 caches within a 20 mile radius and a bunch out in Palm Springs already uploaded into the GPSr...now if only this rain will stop.
  8. My boyfriend and I are both map/GIS geeks and can't believe that we've never gotten into this sport until now. We found 6 caches this weekend and love the new GPSMAP 76CS that was for him (us) from me for xmas. While he doesn't really get to enjoy the gift he got me (sapphires!) he lets me play with OUR gpsr for our new hobby. The many helpful posts on this site have been great -- thanks to all the veterans!
  9. Thanks to both of you for the great tips! The problem was between the keyboard and the chair -- somewhat. When I loaded them they did only load as waypoints and I was checking that, but the waypoints are only set to display if they are "Close by" -- hence I was elated to find all of the uploaded geocache points in the receiver while standing in front of the Bellagio waiting for the fountains to dance. So, I'll own up to that -- I should have tested the geocaches near my computer desk's lat/long. We really like this GPSMap 76CS. It came in quite handy finding our first 6 geocaches this weekend. However, the user manual leaves much to be desired and I wish the unit BEEPED after it successfully receives information -- since it wasn't beeping, I figured there was an error. I also wish I could transfer loaded waypoints into the Geocaching category, but that's a comment to Garmin... I've also found that GPSBABLE will convert the downloaded .loc files into a Mapsource readable format. But, we're still joining the premium membership. The work that goes into the website is much appreciated. signed, ex-Maryland girl now in SoCAL
  10. Hi guys, I've searched and tried to do homework before posting, but could anyone tell me or point me to the correct posts out there -- on how to load waypoints (*.loc) and send them automatically to my GPSMAP 76CS -- oops, we opened presents a bit early. I have Mapsource installed that came with the Garmin unit (& the US TOPO 100K data). I installed and tried out the EasyGPS program. I imported a couple of the .loc files I made from geocaching.com (for our trip to Vegas tomorrow!). I can receive the two waypoints from my GPSr into EasyGPS so they are talking to each other. But, when I send the selected waypoints from EasyGPS to my unit, it scrolls through the dialog and ends happily, but checking the 76cs unit waypoints, nothing got loaded -- no app errors, nothing. Thanks! I'd rather not have to manually enter these in using MapSource and there has to be an easier way with Mapsource (or maybe not) -- anyone know why Mapsource won't read .gpx files -(UGH!) unless i'm missing something? We're psyched, this will be our first geocaching adventure and we're total map geeks!
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