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I would like to hear peoples opinions of GSAK and whether they have found it to be intuitive or difficult to learn.


I have been trying to figure it out but to be honest, I find it one of the most difficult peices of software I have ever tried to learn.


Yes, I have followed the GSAK forums and the FAQ's. Is there another program that offers similar features but is more intuitive? :mad:

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GSAK will do a lot of things for you. It takes the place of all the software that I use.


Watcher-to view the GPX files

GPSBabel-to upload caches, filter along a route, combined GPX files

GPXSpinner-to change the waypoint icons, combine files, seperate files by type etc.


Even though GSAK will do all of that, I continue to use the other programs because I think they are better used seperatly and are easier for me to get my mind around.


If you decide to go with my setup let me know, I'll help out were I can.

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GSAK is a very powerful and well supported program. It kind of depends on what you are trying to do. If you just want to upload waypoints to your GPSr, then maybe Easy GPS is an easier program to use (although I prefer GSAK for this).


What types of problems are you running into? What type of GPSr are you using? I'm sure anyone that uses GSAK could assist. The more you play with it the easier it becomes, and the more features you'll discover. For example, I love the macro feature and then importing filtered GSAK databases onto my GPSr; so I don't have to load caches I'm not interested in finding at that time.

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I could have been more informative as to my particular interests in the application.


- I use a Garmin eTrex Legend C.


- I am relatively new at geocaching and am avidly hunting these little buggers down.


- I am really hoping to use only 1 more peice of software as I already have to use Mapsource (from Garmin) and the Website. Mapsource is neccesary for adding and removing maps but will also hold waypoints, routes, etc, etc..... otherwise it is useless software with very few features.


- I want to maintain a database of caches that I can draw from as needed, due to the limitation of only 500 waypoints my Legend can hold. I would prefer to get my GPX PQ's only once per week or so.


- I want to be able to have this database communicate and effectively manage my cache data in conjunction with Cachmate that I use on my Palm PDA.


- My first desire is to get GSAK to compile a list of caches based on similar filter factors as the PQ's.... ie: 30 km from a given center-point... well, actually I don't like the radius idea at all and would prefer to gather information based on polygons or rectangles. But since GC.com doesn't do that , I am relegated to the radius method.... (I have a few threads on the Groundspeak forums dedicated to that topic.)


There is more but I shouldn't be too greedy to start.


I hope this helps clarify my perspective. :mad:

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your in luck gsak does do polygons, not just radius from centre points.


in gsak (after you have imported your PQ's) click on the filter button (page with magnifying glass second from the left.) a new window will open up called set filter. click on the rightmost tab (arc/poly) and follow the directions on the right side of the screen. each of the tabs at the top of this window will give you some conntrol over how you search with this filter. if its an area you will want to search a lot be sure to save it (at the bottom of the window.)


one more thing to remember ( I always forget) seperate your north and west coords with a comma and but each point of your poly on its own line.


hope this is helpful.



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I love GSAK and wouldn't cache without it. It is "swiss army knife" with a lot of different tools and capabilities which can sometimes be confusing. But you don't need to use all of those tools at once! Start simple -- load a GPX file, do some basic sorting or filtering, and download the waypoints to your GPS.


Once you're comfortable with that, you can ... Export a PDB for Cachemate. Merge multiple GPX files into a single database. Print condensed html cache sheets. Setup polygon filters to filter waypoints along a route. Build macros to automatically download GPX files from your e-mail in-box and refresh your databases.

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My opinion: one of the most value to cost ratio buys I've made. I use it quite often.


Perhaps instead of the radius/polygon debate you are worried about - it might be worth it to buy a mapping program like Microsoft Streets and Trips. Caching has been so much more fun since I have been doing this. I upload a PQ to GSAK once a week or so or when I go on trips. I upload CAches and Benchmarks. Then I export caches to streets and trips and make them red dots and the the benchmarks and make them yellow dots. I organize a route with the caches I want to do and then see what benchmarks lie along the route. Really amazing.


It is so easy to export to cachemate on the palm. Two easy steps. Export then Hot Sync.


I like downloading the Found Caches PQ everyonce in a while. And with this feature it is great that it singles out and only contains your log. Very fun to organize by log date and look back through.


But it does so much more. Really I think it is very worth it!

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BigBadger, I can sympathize with the vast array of options facing someone just getting started with GSAK, but I think you'll find if you stick with it you'll find it is the best bet for that single add-on piece of software you seem to want.


To get going, think in terms of three main processes:


(1) Importing new data to update your database;


(2) Filtering to select your caches of interest;


(3) Exporting to your GPS and/or PDA.


If you have any difficulty with any particular process, getting some help on the GSAK boards is the best thing to do. Lots of users are glad to help out there.


Without knowing more about your current GSAK familiarity, I'd guess/recommend playing around a little with the filters to start to feel comfortable with how they work. Don't get too fancy at the outset; just get a foundation you can build upon. Clustering around a centre point may not be what you eventually want, but it's a pretty simple way to get a usable set of POIs for a given geographic area.

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The problems you are having BigBadger is because GSAK is a database! All databases present this problem, moving to another program will not ease the learning curve. Under menus TOOLS=>OPTIONS will will customizeing info and what you need to know about the database of waypoints you have. There is a help button on all information requesters on the bottom right that will help you understand everything in the requester. In the Locations tab is a place to place your home co-ordinates, with examples. These must be set. In the Display tab is everything you can see in the mainwindow. It is also all the info on each waypoint at your disposal. I sugest turning all of them on and looking at the display window. See what information is availiable, move the columns around - later you can set your own custom display OR displays up and save them.


Then work on Filters these are on a requester under SEARCH=>FILTER. You are not goning to use evry filter, you will come up with a few that are good enough to save and to select either in the speed bar or in the filter window (Select a saved filter).


Then move your database info to another database and set up your Getmail requester and Load requester. In playing with them set the Leave On Server box and don't check Only Check New Messages. That way you can download the same email into GSAK over and ov er untill you get it right.


The most important peice of advice I can give is DON'T MESS WITH MACROS!!!!! At least untill you have the operation of the main database down and UNDERSTAND it.

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I upload a PQ to GSAK once a week or so or when I go on trips. I upload CAches and Benchmarks. Then I export caches to streets and trips and make them red dots and the the benchmarks and make them yellow dots. I organize a route with the caches I want to do and then see what benchmarks lie along the route. Really amazing.


I use Mapopolis on my PPC. I have a GSAK export which I send through "GPXToMaplet" so I can see all the caches on a map.


If you want to setup a list of caches I'd highly recommend giving the GSAK "Cache Raid" macro a look. It's pretty amazing. You set your center point and define search criteria (in a search scope called "Cache Raid") and the macro will create a logical order of caches from your center point (i.e. going in the same relative direction). When I do that I typically print or save off the list of caches then mark them in Mapopolis as I go along.


Back to the OP's question about GSAK - like most tools the time you spend will definately be worth it. Read more about it, try some different things. Once you get the hang of it you'll be very pleased.


First and foremost is to learn how to setup the filters. Once you play around with that you can save the filter and re-use it.


Good luck!



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I started using GSAK about a week ago. Man is it powerful. It is the core of my GPSing. I use it to keep all of my waypoints, open up pocket queries and export to my GPS and Palm pilot (using Cachemate) and to mapsource. I have barely scratched the surface in everything it can do.


BTW, Does anyone know how to highlight just a bunch of waypoints and delete them without first having to go through the filter routine. I can delete one waypoint, or all, but I can't figure out how to delete like 20 waypoints without using a user filter.

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I use GSAK as the central component of my geocaching, organising my PQ data and sending all the info to my... Legend C, Palm Pilot/Cachemate, Mapsource and webpage as html.


Highly, highly recommended.


Is it intuitive? Yes, but with so many features added over time it will be hard to just jump in. Try it, import a PQ, play with the filters, and export to GPSr. It will become clear.

Edited by Maingray
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BTW, Does anyone know how to highlight just a bunch of waypoints and delete them without first having to go through the filter routine. I can delete one waypoint, or all, but I can't figure out how to delete like 20 waypoints without using a user filter.


You can just clear all the user checkboxes, check the ones you want to delete, then select the delete waypoint menu item and check the appropriate options in the dialog box - one of the options is to delete the "user ticked"boxes.

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I have to say that GSAK is a great asset to my caching. It does have a learning curve, but it's fairly straightforward to get started. Download it, try it out, ask questions on the GSAK forum when you have them, and you'll be glad you learned how to use it. Oh yeah, Buy it!

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You might find this little GSAK tutorial to be helpful.


When I first downloaded GSAK, I couldn't figure it out, but now I can't imagine caching without it.


On a recent 2600-mile trip, I used it on my laptop to filter the waypoints in my huge "Road Trip" database and get a new set of caches in my Vista C, which has the 500-waypoint limit, as I drove.

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