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Geocaching by County


South Lyon Trekkers
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I've thought long and hard about this. I think it would be awesome. I've even sent an email to Google.com requesting that they show county lines on their maps.

 

One solution, if anyone knows how to implement it, is to take the county-line map that ItsNotAboutTheNumbers is using, blow it up, and overlay it on the Google map.

 

It's not so much that I want to know "all of the caches in county x." I want to know exactly where the line is, so I can make my caches count for that county.

 

I've had some trouble with the County filter on GSAK. Eventually I'll get around to figuring it out, but I basically get nothing when the macro runs.

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Currently the website offers no U.S.A. county breakdown. Mapquest links on the cache page show county boundaries, and as Markwell has mentioned, you'll find a macro on the GSAK forums that returns counties.

You must have GSAK (Geocaching Swiss Army Knife software) and it must be a fairly current edition.

There are some boundary errors in Florida along the coasts, where the software bounds each county at the coastline, leaving a lot of outlying islands in no man's land. I assume a certain error rate elsewhere.

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There are some boundary errors in Florida along the coasts, where the software bounds each county at the coastline, leaving a lot of outlying islands in no man's land. I assume a certain error rate elsewhere.

The GSAK macro (or more accurately the data defining county boundaries) makes a similar error with a few counties along the Lake Erie shore in Ohio. When I run the macro, the county entries for a few caches on islands near the shore are left blank. I discovered this when I was preparing for The Great 88 Counties of Ohio Challenge.

 

--Larry

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I think the only truly accurate way to get that data is to go through your entire list one cache at a time with a DeLorme Atlas or something comparable. Adding "County" to the data on the cache pages would make it easier, but I've done a couple caches that are listed in the wrong state and I imagine the inaccuracy rate for "County" would be much higher. I've been content just to check off each county as I do them and not worry about how many I've done in each one.

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I think it's possible you folks are missing something here. Several references have been made to Google maps. I'd like to point out that one of the things that you can do in Google Earth is to have the county boundaries (and names) displayed. If you already have your PQ downloaded as a KML file, all you have to do is click on the 'county borders' icon in the layers section of the GE sidebar.

 

Just a thought.

 

A Happy Holiday season to all, and many caches in the New Year!

 

Cheers,

 

Phil/ve1bvd

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I think the only truly accurate way to get that data is to go through your entire list one cache at a time with a DeLorme Atlas or something comparable.

 

Ultimate accuracy is the county tax collector or appraiser. My admin account checks for caches in counties as part of owning the South Florida Challenge Quest. I've had to resort to a county tax appraiser website twice, both on riverside caches. The cacher was correct in both cases, though the ALL the maps linked on the webpage had them in a different county then they were claiming.

 

Typically I drop the PQ into Expert GPS and from there onto the USGS topo maps - which are available on the cache page and are better than Google Earth for county boundaries. Google Earth uses the same mapping program that the GSAK county macro uses, with the same errors of bounding the counties at the coast line. Even the USGS topo maps have errors, often drawing county boundaries along rivers, which may be roughly accurate, but are not precisely accurate.

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Now that we know your end goal that's a little easier to come up with the solution. GSAK is indeed your best bet.

 

Right now there's 8,577 active caches in Michigan - more than is reasonable to get in a short time, but you don't need them all. Set up about 3 or 4 PQs using date ranges. Start with Jan 1 1997 and go up to whatever date gets you just under 500 caches. Then do the same thing for the next day, up to the most recent date that will get you 500 again. I'd say that with about 3 or 4 PQs you should be able to cover most of the oldest caches in the state.

 

Then use the GSAK macro to populate User2 with the county names. You can then filter them on county and sort them by date.

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Now that we know your end goal that's a little easier to come up with the solution. GSAK is indeed your best bet.

 

Right now there's 8,577 active caches in Michigan - more than is reasonable to get in a short time, but you don't need them all. Set up about 3 or 4 PQs using date ranges. Start with Jan 1 1997 and go up to whatever date gets you just under 500 caches. Then do the same thing for the next day, up to the most recent date that will get you 500 again. I'd say that with about 3 or 4 PQs you should be able to cover most of the oldest caches in the state.

 

Then use the GSAK macro to populate User2 with the county names. You can then filter them on county and sort them by date.

 

There are two macros that GSAK uses that I use to pretty much do the same thing you want to.:

 

The first you will need to populate your database by hand first. Basically you need to set up a PQ based on place date. Keep adjusting the end date until your preview is less than 25 pages (20 caches per page in preview). The schedule your PQ's. After you load them in GSAK, you can run the following going forward to adjust your PQ's to get the maximum. Since I run my PQ's weekly, after loading them, I delete all caches not found that were not updated in the last 7 days, using a filter, since these are the caches that have been archived. With a clean DB like this, this macro works great:

 

PQ Generation by Place Date

 

With any of your DB's, the following macro will populate the column in GSAK titled "User2" with the county. You can them collate them however you want:

 

County

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There's a country search option here http://www.geocaching.com/seek/ but personally I'd use a local coords search to find the ones closest to me.

 

You are saying search by country, he is wanting search by county.

 

You have to know what towns are in what county to do as the OP asked about. Or you can possibly get a file of county boundaries and import it onto your own mapping software. There was a link to the county boundaries on Massachusetts in a forum message about 2.5 years ago and that possibly can get you to a place to get other states free. I know of a propfessional mapping company that used to ship SHP files for a state at about $500/state.l That was back in the year 2000 and I can't remember the company name.

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