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Pocketpc Caching Software


rjo
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I use an iPAQ 3630 pocket PC (a bit old, I know, but it works for me :blink: ) with a Navman GPS3100 sleeve.

 

I loaded BeelineGPS (www.visualgps.net) tried it for a few weeks before purchasing the program.

 

I don't know whether it's the sophistication of the software, the increased computing power of the pocket PC or my imagination, but this setup seems to be much more accurate than the handheld units. I have a Magellan GPS315, a Meridian Platinum and a Garmin unit. The pocket PC system outperforms all of them with regard to accuracy.

 

I understand that there are newer models than mine out there, but have no experience with them. I'm extremely happy with what I have.

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I just use my pocket pc for viewing cache info, not for a gps. for viewing cache info i use gpxsonor and gpxview(dothe same thing but nice to have a backup program) I also download .pdf files of statepark trails and open with pocket adobe acrobat. the other thing i do is use usaphotomaps and take screenshots (.jpg files) of topo and aerial photos of cache areas. quite a mix of software but i have lots of info with me.

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I use GSAK in my desktop to create gpx files and GPXSonar in my PPC for paperless caching. I use Mapopolis in my PPC for auto-navigation in the car and as a second GPS in the woods. My primary unit for the woods is or had been my Vista hand held. I also added a GPS that slips into the PPC CF slot to give my position. I have a cable that would allow PPC connection to the Vista, but I find the CF GPS more convenient. This setup gives me two GPS's in the field in case one fails. With National Geographic Pocket Topo loaded in my PPC with the CF GPS, I see my position on USGS 24K quad topo maps better than the usual 100K topo maps in the hand helds.

 

Although Mapopolis's main purpose is to auto-navigate on the roads (with both voice and visual prompts), it also has basic GPS positioning info (bearing arrow, current coordinates, distance to cache, etc). So you can use it to find the cache in the woods as well. Since I use a high gain receptive CF GPS, I actually get my position in places (between tall bldgs in the city and under foliage in the woods) that I can't with the Vista.

 

I use gpxtomaplet to create maps of all the caches to appear on the street maps of Mapopolis so you can see nearby caches as you are driving by. You tap on the cache icon to get its name, distance from home, D/T, hider's name etc. Click navigate, and Mapopolis will auto-navigate your car to the road spot nearest the cache.

 

(Am I cheating?) :laughing:

Edited by Alan2
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What geocaching software does everyone recommend for a pocket pc?

I don't know about everybody, but I would recommend GpxSonar. Pocket Streets also comes in handy in conjunction with it.

 

Also is getting a GPS module for the iPaq worthwhile?

There's lots of discussion about this. I wouldn't do it for geocaching.

I have GPXSonar and have found it to be very easy to use and besides it accepts the GPX file strait accross without a translator.

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I have a BlueTooth GPS that I use with my iPAQ. I use it to auto-route to caches (iGuidance), plan which to hunt (Microsoft Streets & Trips), look up details (GPXsonar), etc.

 

But I do not take the GPS "into the field." But I do take the PDA into the field, but with protection. I've switched to my handheld GPS for the actual hunt for many reasons. Foremost would be the fragility of the PDA and its expensive nature. In urban and easy rural terrain it's safe enough on my belt. But in rough terrain or weather it goes into a Pelican box (tough and waterproof). You can also protect a PDA in an expensive Otterbox, but they cost about as much as a hand held GPS (especially the Otterboxes that can accomodate both the PDA and the PDA's GPS).

 

Another point is that a number of GPS units for PDA do not support WAAS. Some SirfTrac units are too slow for geocching. But others offer great sensitivity under tree cover. So thoroughly research any unit you might consider for off-road navigation.

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I have tried a few PDA-based applications, using both Compact Flash GPSr and a cable to connect to a handheld GPSr. My conclusion is that the best GPS solution for geocaching is a stand-alone, handheld GPSr from Magellan, Garmin, et al. PDAs and Pocket PCs are indeed much more fragile than typical GPS receivers, which are quite rugged. Looking at the PDA screen while wandering among the boulders is almost a sure recipe for disaster. So I use a SporTrak for searching, and keep the PPC safe in its case unless standing still. Since my Pocket PC cost 2-3X what I paid for my GPSr, I'll risk the one that is (1) more rugged, and (2) cheaper to replace if I drop it off a cliff.

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