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Geocaching on Laptop


Welsh_Fox
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Hello everyone, I am new to all this but I am really excited about getting started on it all but I have questions that I need help with if that's not too much trouble.

 

I don't have a handheld GPS unit, I have a bluetooth GPS receiver for computers, It did not come with software and I am a little lost as to what software I need. This is the one I have, is it usable?

 

Preferably I think I would like software that will show my location on a map and allow me to set waypoints, this is what I need to Geocache yes?

 

I'm sorry I sound like a complete idiot but I just need a helping hand to get going and then I'm sure it'll be fine.

 

Any help would be greatly appreciated, thank you.

 

Edit - Sorry, I forgot to say that my laptop is running XP pro. That is important ;p

Edited by Benco97
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Thank you for your concern but it is quite a small and light laptop being one of the Asus EEE-701 laptops, it is easy to carry around in one hand.

 

It's small size combined with a HSDPA modem and the GPS receiver should make it a powerful tool surely? This is why I would like to have it work.

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I don't know about GC but I use a laptop + GPS a lot in the field. While it is always for work, live tracking with a high resolution aerial photo or satellite image on screen is a treat as well. It gives the greatest versatility of any mobile GPS setup as you can use any vector or raster files you want as the background. The downside IME is the fact that laptop screens, including the EEE, don't work well in open daylight. Adding a hood is an option that mappers use but that adds more handling issues. Certainly you wouldn't want this as the only system; an inexpensive hand-held is going to be more manageable at times.

 

OziExplorer is a very good and affordable application for live tracking.

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I have a bluetooth GPS receiver for computers

 

From what I'm reading on that link it's a GPSr, which is what you need. I'm thinking even something as simple as Microsoft Street and Trips will do what you want. I've used it for auto-routing but I'd have to check to see if it give a directional arrow. Some people don't use an arrow but rely on matching the coord numbers as close as possible.

 

I happen to be traveling right now, with my laptop, but I didn't bring a connector cable for my GPS so I won't be able to test MS S&T at this moment.

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Streets and trips does not give you a arrow to find the cache. I looked around and I am at a loss for any XP or vista products being able to give you pointing compass arrow to get to a cache. I mean there a ton of them out there for the pcoketpc. I looked at Garmin mobile PC but that only gives you street navigation and no topo. Not sure if it has a compass arrow

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I'd look at streets and trips to get you nearby, via GSAK export of caches specific for streets and trips. Then you'll need an application to run on the PC.

 

Check out Backcountry Navigator, by Crittersoft. He's developed an application for the PC that mimics what he has developed for WinCE devices. I've not tried the PC version, but use the WinCE version on my Dell Axim. You can download it and try it for free.

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Thank you for your concern but it is quite a small and light laptop being one of the Asus EEE-701 laptops, it is easy to carry around in one hand.

 

It's small size combined with a HSDPA modem and the GPS receiver should make it a powerful tool surely? This is why I would like to have it work.

Can you connect your Bluetooth GPS to your Eee PC? (My 701 doesn't have Bluetooth.)

 

Are you running XP or Linux?

 

As long as you can get the GPS to communicate with your Eee PC, and if you are running Windows XP, you might want to talk a look at OziExplorer http://www.oziexplorer.com/. You can load any scanned map of your choice (topo, street map, etc), and you can download geocache coordinates to the software as "waypoints", and have real-time moving map functionality from the GPS showing you the distance and bearing to your waypoints (geocaches).

 

It works fine for me, but I am running with a Garmin Summit HC using the standard USB interface, so getting the GPSr to talk to the OziExplorer software is simple - I don't know how OziExplorer goes with Bluetooth devices (especially on the Eee).

 

Hope this helps!

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Can you connect your Bluetooth GPS to your Eee PC? (My 701 doesn't have Bluetooth.)

 

Are you running XP or Linux?

 

As long as you can get the GPS to communicate with your Eee PC, and if you are running Windows XP, you might want to talk a look at OziExplorer http://www.oziexplorer.com/. You can load any scanned map of your choice (topo, street map, etc), and you can download geocache coordinates to the software as "waypoints", and have real-time moving map functionality from the GPS showing you the distance and bearing to your waypoints (geocaches).

 

It works fine for me, but I am running with a Garmin Summit HC using the standard USB interface, so getting the GPSr to talk to the OziExplorer software is simple - I don't know how OziExplorer goes with Bluetooth devices (especially on the Eee).

 

Hope this helps!

 

Yes I can connect it to my Eee pc, I am quite an avid modder of computers, It originally ran on Linux as they all did at release but I replaced it with XP pro SP2 and now SP3 and have Overclocked the CPU to 900mhz (By flashing the BIOS to a beta version that was cut before the 701 was released, it unlocked all the available multipliers), installed 2gb of 667mhz RAM, an internal bluetooth dongle, a touchscreen, an N1 class wireless receiver instead of the G and an internal HSDPA modem.. though when you think about it those are all basic mods really. As you can see it is quite a capable little machine.

Check out the forums here for great resources about it all.

 

Thank you very much for the recommendation of OziExplorer, I will definitely take a good look at it.

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Yes I can connect it to my Eee pc, I am quite an avid modder of computers, It originally ran on Linux as they all did at release but I replaced it with XP pro SP2 and now SP3 and have Overclocked the CPU to 900mhz (By flashing the BIOS to a beta version that was cut before the 701 was released, it unlocked all the available multipliers), installed 2gb of 667mhz RAM, an internal bluetooth dongle, a touchscreen, an N1 class wireless receiver instead of the G and an internal HSDPA modem.. though when you think about it those are all basic mods really. As you can see it is quite a capable little machine.

Wow! With all those hardware changes, it might be simpler to modify a Garmin Colorado or Oregon to run Windows Vista, and then you could run OziExplorer (or any other software of your choice) direct on the Garmin! :)

 

Seriously though, take a look at OziExplorer - it may well do what you are after!

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Ah, still, I would HIGHLY suggest going with an inexpensive GPS at least. Carrying a laptop out into the woods is inadvisable, at best. Unless you plan on doing strictly urban micros, you will, in all likelihood, drop your laptop sometime, thereby destroying it. Trust me, you WILL drop it at some point. A lappy works fine navigating to the general area you need to go to; get a GPS for getting to the cache though. You have to take into consideration weather (laptop wont be used in the rain!), terrain, clumsiness (after all, if it comes to falling down & breaking a leg, or dropping a laptop, well, lappy goes!), distance to-from the cache, not to mention, being the wierd guy wandering through the woods with a laptop. All in all, a laptop, IMHO, is not a good choice for caching, other than getting the info FOR the cache.

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I'm going to have to agree with oldsoldier on this one. Your laptop may indeed be able to be carried in one hand fairly easily. So does my handheld GPS, but I still keep it attached to a lanyard for a reason. It has saved my GPS on more than one occasion. When oldsoldier says you WILL drop it, he is absolutely correct.

Just my 2 cents. Take it for what it's worth.

Cheers! ;)

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