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Paperless caching, what do you use for a map?


jacobsen1
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OK, I've taken the first steps towards going paperless... I have GSAK and cachemate installed. I even paid for cachemate already so I can have more than 10 caches. I plan on paying for GSAK before the 21 days are up too....

 

I also went "premium" today, so I could get PQs sent to me... I've filed 2 out, but neither have arrived yet, but I DLed the .gpx files and loaded those through GSAK and cachemate... Anyway I have all that sorted out kind of (I wish I could get a pocket querery to try...) but my other question is what do you use for a map of the area, in terms of getting to the general location in a car?

 

I used to print the cache page using FF set to print at 50% and that would give me a 1 page piece of paper with the cache info and the first few logs depending on the size of the cache page... The I would load the google map and zoom to whatever level I needed to see where I was going. I would then flip over the paper and print that on the back side of the cache page. That way I had one page with all the info I needed and the other side had directions as to how to get there...

 

Right now I have all the info in my palm, but no maps??? :antenna: What do you guys use to figure out how to get there, in the car/ road wise? Still paper maps? I've print screened a few of the google maps and loaded those in, but that's time consuming and takes up a lot of memory... Do you just use mapping software, either in the palm or GPSr??? If so how do you get it to use the waypoints location? Can cachemate drop the coords into other software in my palm to give me a live map?

 

The other issue is how do you guys load the waypoints into your GPSr? I've typed them all in by hand until now, but that's already getting old. I have a GPSMAP 76, and It uses serial. I think I have an old usb~serial cable at home, so with that can I DL waypoints into the GPSMAP? And if so, what software do I use for that???

 

Basically I've figured out the cache pages and getting them paperless, but that's not even half of the equation... :antenna:

 

Thanks,

Ben

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Hi Ben

 

I use a Garmin GPSMAP 76cs and my husband uses a GPSMAP 60cs--they both had the standards USB cords with them--the same cord my HP digital camera uses, by the way. I was out of USB ports a long while back, so I use a USB hub for the GPS, the iPod, and the cameras. My Palm PDA is connected via a serial port.

 

We use City Select mapping software (and more rarely TOPO east) for our maps on the GPS.

I like City Select because I can download only the parts of the map that I want for that trip, but City Navigator works, too. It loads bigger chunks of maps at once, but is supposed to compress them so you can fit more at once than you'd think.

 

I run a PQ to get the caches I want for an area, then use GSAK to put the caches into the mapping software, clean up any that I don't want (too far away from the main road, etc), create a route I want to use, and then send the map with waypoints to the GPS.

 

If I see that I am running off my usual maps (I keep some in the GPS all the time) I just add them while I am doing the other stuff. I usually only have to fool with maps if we go on a trip outside our home area. I keep maps for all of southern Indiana and about 2/3 of Kentucky, plus a bit of Ohio near Cincy on my GPS all the time.

 

Before we got that fancy, I used a Garmin eTrex Legend...used the cable that came with it to upload waypoints using easyGPS. I never did get around to loading any maps in the Legends. We used the base maps.

Edited by Neos2
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For maps on my Palm Z22, I use DeLorme's Street Atlas Handheld and Topo USA (Eastern). The maps are small, but useable.

 

DeLorme's StreetAtlas 2007 now includes the HandHeld portion, so at ~$40 gives you a good street map for your computer, plus maps for your Palm. If you want the Topos, it's another ~$45 dollars for Eastern or Western, or ~$90 for the whole USA.

 

GSAK exports to the DeLorme HandHeld program, and DeLorme StreetAtlas (desktop) can import a GPX file.

 

Using the exported waypoints on the Palm is a bit tricky. See Geocacher U for the how-tos.

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The options are endless (almost) - for my pocket PC setup I use GPXSonar cheaper than GASAK - it's free. Mapping software I use is Memory-Map this loads onto PC and the PDA. Just drop a pocket query onto the MM on the PC and transfer via ActiveSync to the PDA. No keying its all electronic - then copy the pocket query file to the PDA. Perfect everything you need for caching. Memory-Map has masses of features with many high quality maps available. It'll give speed, bearing, topo, routes and proximity warnings as well. The PDA buzzes when you're within a user selected distance of the cache.

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Well we went for the first time with the palm last night. Found 2 caches. I went to the google map that shows caches in there area found here:

http://www.geocaching.com/seek/gmnearest.aspx?

 

And then just did a print screen so I knew how to get there for the most part. That one piece of paper has enough info for ~7 caches near me, so I can do it this way until I purchase some sort of maps for either the palm or the gps...

 

The other issue we're having is out GPS is getting grumpy with holding a signal. It's gotten a lot worse since I've read about the Sirf III receivers. :bad:

 

Ben

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OK, I've taken the first steps towards going paperless... [...]

Right now I have all the info in my palm, but no maps??? What do you guys use to figure out how to get there, in the car/ road wise? Still paper maps? I've print screened a few of the google maps and loaded those in, but that's time consuming and takes up a lot of memory...

 

I have almost gone paperless, but stopped short of fully. Sort of a hybrid approach. I've got a binder of just Google maps from the beta feature that shows multiple caches and a list of the names. I print these up when I identify areas that I'd like to visit and hunt in.

 

I don't have any actual cache listings, though - that's all in my Palm.

 

I'll set out more or less at random, grab my binder to pick an area to go to, and get reasonably close that way. Once I leave my car I abandon the binder, and continue with just the GPS and Palm.

 

I'm not printing huge reams of cache listing anymore - one page may show as many as 20 caches - but I still get the large scale paper maps that are so useful.

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That's pretty much exactly how we're doing it right now... I'd love to have (read afford) good maps for either the GPS or Palm so I could stop that, but until then, I'm using the paper maps. I also think the lack of a Sirf receiver makes it more important for me to have the paper, because last night on the way to the caches my GPS kept loosing signal in the car... Combine that with lack of detail on the base map, and yeah, I was glad to have the paper map in my back pocket....

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I like to use Mapopolis (you can get info about the program at www.mapopolis.com). I just got back from a vacation in the UK and it worked great. Not only could I download my geocaches into the program, but it also helped us get around since we were driving. The roundabouts over there can be tricky, but Mapopolis really got us to where we needed to go. You don't have to buy the program or the maps to give it try, but if you don't want the maps to expire and then you have to keep reloading them, it isn't too expensive to buy the maps.

Edited by TeddyTexas
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Ditto. I use a geko for a GPS (perfectly adequate, imo, a 301) and a palm for cache listings and maps. I have both a zire 71 and a tungsten E and am currently using the zire. (zire 72 is a whole different beast btw.) I use cachemate (fed by GSAK) for the listings and MapOpolis for the maps. Cachemate will export palm listings into the address book and MapOpolis will pick them up and display them. Maps of the US were $40 which is very competetive with a stack of map books, and much more portable. I have county maps of my area on an SD card and I copy the ones I need into RAM depending on where I go. The whole setup sync's quickly and is ready to go in a small camera bag. The MapOpolis map is actually easier to manipulate than the map on a mapping GPS and when I go out with my wife and her Legend CX we often turn to it when trying to figure out "where next."

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Ditto. I use a geko for a GPS (perfectly adequate, imo, a 301) and a palm for cache listings and maps. I have both a zire 71 and a tungsten E and am currently using the zire. (zire 72 is a whole different beast btw.) I use cachemate (fed by GSAK) for the listings and MapOpolis for the maps. Cachemate will export palm listings into the address book and MapOpolis will pick them up and display them. Maps of the US were $40 which is very competetive with a stack of map books, and much more portable. I have county maps of my area on an SD card and I copy the ones I need into RAM depending on where I go. The whole setup sync's quickly and is ready to go in a small camera bag. The MapOpolis map is actually easier to manipulate than the map on a mapping GPS and when I go out with my wife and her Legend CX we often turn to it when trying to figure out "where next."

Walruz, I would like to try this. I think I have downloaded and installed all the software. Would you have time to explain how to get cachemate to export palm listings into the address book, and then how to display them? I'm using a Tungsten E.

Edited by Kacky
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wow. I can see I'm missing out on a lot of the tech. I just read a page, download the waypoint, and go.

 

looks like I'll be getting into this stuff eventually too. hope it's more useful than tedious.

 

Bad CRC, I think you will come to the dark side eventually! I routinely download 100 or 500 caches just to hunt for maybe three, in the same amount of time it takes to download and print just one. It's paid off a couple of times because we'll show up someplace and find the trail too crowded, or realize it's not the hike my Faithful Sherpa was hoping for, so we'll just hit the next closest on the GPS and then go find the description in the Palm Pilot. But I still spend WAY too much time and gas driving around trying to figure out where I'm supposed to start from! That's why I need some kind of portable street mapping utility. No way am I going to enlarge and print 100 maps before starting out. Even if the name of the street is in the description, if I am away from home I sometimes have a hard time figuring out how to get there.

 

One of my trips was to Minnesota, before I had the PDA, and I was disappointed a couple of times by caches that had gone missing, or were in wierd spots that I couldn't figure out how to get to, and had to find a library to pick out a Plan B.

Edited by Kacky
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Bad CRC, I think you will come to the dark side eventually! I routinely download 100 or 500 caches just to hunt for maybe three, in the same amount of time it takes to download and print just one. It's paid off a couple of times because we'll show up someplace and find the trail too crowded, or realize it's not the hike my Faithful Sherpa was hoping for, so we'll just hit the next closest on the GPS and then go find the description in the Palm Pilot. But I still spend WAY too much time and gas driving around trying to figure out where I'm supposed to start from!

 

yep, I have a really good memory (usually), so I can read 10-20 cache pages and remember the description, clue, cache type, etc. pretty well. BUT, a couple times my gf and I will be out on a cache trip, and just end up going somewhere other than where we planned, and I may have the caches downloaded into my GPS, but no idea what or where they are, which makes it tough... especially if they are multis, and the only coord is the middle of a parking lot.

 

I bought an old cheap palm off ebay today because of this thread, and will be trying that out if it ever gets warm again.

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man, wish I had done that earlier.

 

Got the IIIxe for 20 bucks plus shipping, but they have been going for as little as 5 bucks. Everyone needs to get one.

 

20 minutes and every cache I could possibly want to get to is loaded up and portable.

 

 

wow. so easy, so convenient.

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I have a Garmin 60CSx with topo's and a Palm M125. I usually only need the map on my 60CSx but I keep an DeLorme Atlas and Gazetteer in my Jeep just in case. I use MacGPSPro and Google Maps at home for pre planing and any detailed maps I might decide I need. Buy the way paperless with cachemate is da bomb, I keep every cache in a 100 mile radius loaded in my GPS and Palm and I can cache on a whim.

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I have a Vista Cx loaded with City Navigator and Topo Maps for most of the NorthEast. We store about 400 of the closest “not found“ caches on the GPS'r and PDA with smart names. I use GSAK to process a PQ and Cachemate on a Palm Z22. It takes minutes to update the GPS'r and PDA with caches from a new PQ.

 

We generally just decide on an area or cache to begin with and start driving, pick the cache in the GPS'r and navigate to it following roads. The mapping software (Navigator) directs us, turn by turn, reasonably close. Along the way we consult the PDA for cache info. Upon parking I "recalculate" to off road and follow the compass. Hopefully, we log the "find" on the PDA and use the GPs'r to find the next closest cache and off we go again. If we are in a large park or woods with multiple caches I sometimes turn off (hide) the Navigator Map and use the Topo map to plan our path to the cache.

 

No paper at all and we can wander and cache at will, just need the cache bag, fresh batteries and a charged PDA. It's not perfect, sometimes Navigator directs us to the wrong place. The closest road to a cache is not always the preferred parking spot but a few moments reviewing the map in the GPS'r and we are off. The color PDA screen can be washed out by the sun. All said I would not go back to paper, love the spontaneity.

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