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Creating a "Donut" Pocket Query?


wingryder
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You are saying what the heck is he talking about??

 

I will explain. I center my P.Q.s on a zip code. I ask for 500 caches but I really do not want the caches

inside the city in question. What I want is as much area outside the city as possible per the 500 requested.

I exclude such things as public trans, strollers, handicap, and anything else I can think of that might lend itself

to in city caches. (I might add these are small towns with a single zip code not New York)

 

What else can I do to frame my P.Q. to look like a "Donut" The long and short of it is I do not wish to cache in town... so I want my searches to exclude town. I have though of using the rating to control this but then you might miss a easy cache out in the boonies.. where I want to go.

 

Your ideas?

 

wingryder

Edited by wingryder
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If there aren't too many of them, you could just add them to your Ignore list. Create an Instant Notification, to make it easier to keep it up to date.

 

That would work except there are maybe close to 200 in town. I would like to avoid those and would like to use that 200

to expand the total area containing the 500.

 

I would think others would like to solve this as well. Many are like me and are not interested in caching in the city park. :laughing:

 

I guess one way would be pick a cache in the middle of the area you wish to visit and use it for your center.

You would still pick up the in town caches to a degree.

 

wingryder

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There are definitely ways of doing it once you have the data, but not before you have the data from a standard PQ. But you can do it from a route.

 

You'll need to create a circle of the center of what you do want to find - imagine the very top of a 3D donut as a circle. That's what you want as your route:

98c50755-de62-4f60-8f0b-8c58b0d72956.jpg

Click to Enlarge

 

Then set your distance from the route to be just big enough so that it DOESN'T encompass the "no cache zone" you don't want.

15b1263b-d26f-40a6-9cd6-9cd8499f058f.jpg

Click to Enlarge

 

The result should be a donut.

 

Big problem is that there's no predictible way for the caches to drop off one they hit 500. If you limit the criteria to caches you'd like to find with the right terrain and difficulty, type of container and type of cache, then you're good.

 

But if you're looking to build an offline database, this is not so hot because once you go over 500 there's no telling which ones will drop off.

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What I dont know about GSAK would... well fill the help files and then some, but I'm willing to bet that it has some kind of filter or there is a macro you could get that would allow exactly what you want.

So if you did one PQ for every cache size & type ( you could have up to 45 PQs that way) you could get thousands of caches. Run some kind of ignore macro and BINGO.

I bet if they don't have the macro somebody will quickly get to work on one.

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GSAK has a filter for distance greater than XX. Get several PQs to cover the area and then set one of the caches in the center of town as the center point. Next set the filter to greater than a certain radius and I think you will have what you seek.

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GSAK also has a polygon filter that can exclude caches within a polygon - but as I said that's supposing that you GET all of the cache in a wider area first. If there's 200 caches that the OP wants to ignore, that's 40% of a PQ wasted.

But if you PQ:

  1. traditional/micro
  2. traditional/small
  3. traditional/regular
  4. traditional/large
  5. traditional/other
  6. multi/micro
  7. multi/small
  8. multi/regular
  9. multi/large
  10. multi/other
  11. Mystery/micro
  12. Mystery/small
  13. Mystery/regular
  14. Mystery/large
  15. Mystery/other

That could potently provide you with 7500 caches so 200 is no big loss. Sure it would take three days to get all the info, but its better than nothing.

Actually it will return results so far away that the OP will want to also filter out anything exceeding a certain diameter.

I did a PQ for large once and it returned caches 4 states away and in Canada also.

 

~~edit~~

said also twice in one sentence.

Edited by Vater_Araignee
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I guess one way would be pick a cache in the middle of the area you wish to visit and use it for your center

 

This is my technique. I generally PQ for a relatively small number of caches in the park/preserve/forest that I'm planning to visit. I do that either evening before caching or that morning.

 

I don't bother with much of an off-line database. I'm not interested in quick roadside caches, though I'm sure I miss some nice stuff.

 

If you want to stick with your zip code center technique, another way to get rid of 'urban' caches in your PQ is to eliminate caches with the STEALTH attribute.

 

As others have mentioned, an alternative would be to run 5 date ranged queries from your zip code, each using the date placed filter to pick up ~> 500 caches per PQ. Dump all of that into one database and using software of choice (GSAK being the king of geocaching database management tools) ask for all caches at a distance GREATER than or equal to X miles.

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I think GSAK is the way to go.

 

I have a filter that gives me a list of caches that I'm interested in within 5 miles of a circuitous route that take for work. It looks a lot like a donut. Setting up the route was a little tedious, basically I used Garmin's Mapsource to created the route and then I exported it as text in added it into GSAK. (If you want help with this PM me)

 

Populating the database is a one time issue. Either do there nearest by date or just do all 500 from 5 or 6 points of interest. PQ-ing by date can be tedious, but it's very efficiant a you wont have any duplicates. PQ-ing from several key point is quick and dirty and pretty easy to get running, but you'll probably get 30-40% duplicate caches. No big deal as GSAK will handle this, but it will also take you more PQs to get all your data.

 

Once you got you GSAK database populated. You can keep it fresh by running 2 PQ every few days.

First is a Newly Placed caches PQ. You grab everything placed within x miles of the center of the donut in the last 30 days. (In NJ that gets me about 90 miles) The second PQ is just caches that have been updated or logged within the last 7 days. (That also gets me about 90 miles)

 

Both PQs will return will return basically the same caches, but I find this keeps my GSAK db very accurate, up to data and useful. The best part is that GSAK has 5 pages of filtering methods so you should be able to get exactly what you're looking for.

 

Good luck!

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But if you PQ:

  1. traditional/micro
  2. traditional/small
  3. traditional/regular
  4. traditional/large
  5. traditional/other
  6. multi/micro
  7. multi/small
  8. multi/regular
  9. multi/large
  10. multi/other
  11. Mystery/micro
  12. Mystery/small
  13. Mystery/regular
  14. Mystery/large
  15. Mystery/other

That could potently provide you with 7500 caches so 200 is no big loss. Sure it would take three days to get all the info, but its better than nothing.

 

I'd suggest two more: One with the size "not listed", and one for all of the other types (which are usually a very low percentage): Event Cache, Letterbox Hybrid, Project APE Cache, Webcam Cache, Cache In Trash Out Event, Earthcache, Mega-Event Cache, GPS Adventures Exhibit and Wherigo Cache

 

But holy cow - that just seems inefficient - pulling more data that you need.

 

Again if you limit the route PQ as to the types of caches you really like to find, then you can get 500 caches in one PQ and load them and go - no need for extra software at all.

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"Caches Along A Route" is definitely the easiest method, though most seem to be focusing on GSAK. GSAK can do it more powerfully (more caches, etc) but it's really not needed for the OP, and the interface for creating a polygonal filter is not very slick. Caches Along a Route has a nice interface and is easy to use.

 

Caches along a route info:

http://www.geocaching.com/my/userroutes.aspx

 

-Ben

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But if you PQ:

  1. traditional/micro
  2. traditional/small
  3. traditional/regular
  4. traditional/large
  5. traditional/other
  6. multi/micro
  7. multi/small
  8. multi/regular
  9. multi/large
  10. multi/other
  11. Mystery/micro
  12. Mystery/small
  13. Mystery/regular
  14. Mystery/large
  15. Mystery/other

That could potently provide you with 7500 caches so 200 is no big loss. Sure it would take three days to get all the info, but its better than nothing.

 

I'd suggest two more: One with the size "not listed", and one for all of the other types (which are usually a very low percentage): Event Cache, Letterbox Hybrid, Project APE Cache, Webcam Cache, Cache In Trash Out Event, Earthcache, Mega-Event Cache, GPS Adventures Exhibit and Wherigo Cache

 

But holy cow - that just seems inefficient - pulling more data that you need.

 

Again if you limit the route PQ as to the types of caches you really like to find, then you can get 500 caches in one PQ and load them and go - no need for extra software at all.

Don't forget, you don't have to let the PQ max out just by implementing you maximum search radius directly in the PQ.

 

I went back an had a look at my old database, I had almost all the caches in the LP and had caches into Canada, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Wisconsin. To bad I couldn't keep all those caches in one database on my Mio but BlineGPS wigs out if you have more than about 500 way points per database.

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"Caches Along A Route" is definitely the easiest method, though most seem to be focusing on GSAK. GSAK can do it more powerfully (more caches, etc) but it's really not needed for the OP, and the interface for creating a polygonal filter is not very slick. Caches Along a Route has a nice interface and is easy to use.

 

Caches along a route info:

http://www.geocaching.com/my/userroutes.aspx

 

-Ben

The biggest problem with caching along a rout is defining the width of the search and then making sure your rout width stays outside of your exclusion zone.

 

Another thing that could be done is to create a database with the caches you don't want and use the "Exclude Caches from a secondary Database"

That way you can do 1 pq to get the ones you dont want, delete any extras that you do want to keep.

I also thought I saw macro that will let you ignore caches on GS but I cant remember the name of it. If you find it then you could also apply it to your secondary database so that you wouldn't be repetitively downloading caches you don't want, barring new inner city caches of course.

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I don't know if this will help you, but what I do with my beeLineGps software on a PDA is start a search at a certain zip code and then preview it, jump to the last page and pick a cache number in the next area to search and do another. There is some overlap of course but each time it expands the boundaries further. As far as doing a doughnut shape though, mabey do a search of that city up to its radius and then delete those from your list, but again I don't know if that helps because the software you use may be totaly differant than mine. I have a huge database of caches in areas I may be in and as I am driving around they are all displayed on a blank map of waypoints and breadcrumb trails. hope this helps.

Dan

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Let me redirect the focus on this thread. I am trying to maximize my pocket queries to avoid in town and get the widest range out of the 500 max that is provided.

From input above it looks like it will take more than just p.q. to do this.

GPSbabel just might do it.. but at first glance.. I sure did not get it.

Gsak also looks like it would work but will have to learn it first.

 

Is there a way to direct pocket queries to say give me everything "south" of X point.??

wingryder

Edited by wingryder
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I'm not sure that this is all that complicated. You don't live in NY, so there are not a gazillion of them. You can do 5 PQs per day. SO within a few days, you can nail every quadrant around you by doing a 'get 500 within x miles of zip code y' search.

 

Merge all of these files. Use GSAK as Tequila said, above. You can have a file of all caches outside the donut, in the donut hole, or between the boundaries of the donut.

 

Are you targeting a caching run/pillaging? Do a PQ of caches along a route, and couple that with a PQ or 2 of the cache-dense areas and upolad to the GPS.

 

I keep everything I have not found in my GPSr for my area. When I do a specific run or travel, I do exactly the above. Get them for my routes and also for specific areas where I know I'm likely to venture off the route.

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I did not read all of the post but around here if the town only has one zip code then the town does not have anywhere near 500 caches. I would say a one zip town might be lucky if it had 100. Maybe your area is different! So... That would leave 400 caches around town and I know of no one who can pick all of them up in one day. Just don't follow the arrow into town.

 

Other wise find the area outside of town that you want to cache with the geocaching.com mapping. There is a place to click to get a PQ of that area. If you wanted you could do that all around town making a "window frame" around the town like a tic tac tow board but don't PQ the center tile. Then load the 8 PQs into a database on GSAK a tada!

 

Good Luck!

Edited by Influence Waterfowl Calls
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I'm not sure that this is all that complicated. You don't live in NY, so there are not a gazillion of them. You can do 5 PQs per day. SO within a few days, you can nail every quadrant around you by doing a 'get 500 within x miles of zip code y' search.

 

Merge all of these files. Use GSAK as Tequila said, above. You can have a file of all caches outside the donut, in the donut hole, or between the boundaries of the donut.

 

Are you targeting a caching run/pillaging? Do a PQ of caches along a route, and couple that with a PQ or 2 of the cache-dense areas and upolad to the GPS.

 

I keep everything I have not found in my GPSr for my area. When I do a specific run or travel, I do exactly the above. Get them for my routes and also for specific areas where I know I'm likely to venture off the route.

 

Thanks Cachestacker. It's complicated to me.

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Let me redirect the focus on this thread. I am trying to maximize my pocket queries to avoid in town and get the widest range out of the 500 max that is provided.

From input above it looks like it will take more than just p.q. to do this.

GPSbabel just might do it.. but at first glance.. I sure did not get it.

Gsak also looks like it would work but will have to learn it first.

 

Is there a way to direct pocket queries to say give me everything "south" of X point.??

wingryder

 

Yes, Perhaps you did not understand what caches along a route is. This is a PQ. You define a road, or route between two points. Then you can tell it to give you every cache within 2 miles of that road. So you can figure out a 'loop' road around your city it will exclude the center of the city.

 

This comes directly into the Pocket Query for the route and no GSAK or babel is required.

 

I gave the link above.

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((directions on creating a donut PQ using Route feature omitted))

 

The result should be a donut.

 

Big problem is that there's no predictible way for the caches to drop off one they hit 500. If you limit the criteria to caches you'd like to find with the right terrain and difficulty, type of container and type of cache, then you're good.

 

But if you're looking to build an offline database, this is not so hot because once you go over 500 there's no telling which ones will drop off.

 

Creating a route and using it to gather data like this has a significant drawback in the last two lines.

 

So - as others have said, GSAK is really your best betthat brings up other problems. If you're talking about avoiding downtown Salt Lake City, that's a pretty cache-dense area.

 

Using N 40° 45.240 W 111° 53.820 as an approximation, to get just under 2500 caches (maximum you'll get with one account in one day), you'll only be able to go about 16.5 miles from the center of town - that will get you 2,486 caches. Then to EXCLUDE the downtown ones, you'll exclude about 9.75 miles from N 40° 45.240 W 111° 53.820 - and that excludes 1,451. So you'd be using 5 PQs to gather information on 1,035 caches.

 

That's not all that bad and you'd get a whole lot of caches just for one day's worth of PQs. Here's how I'd do it:

  • Set PQ#1 as all within 16.5 miles of N 40° 45.240 W 111° 53.820 that were placed between Jan 1 1998 and Aug 30 2005 (that gets 497). Preview to make sure (don't generate it)
  • Set PQ#2 as all within 16.5 miles of N 40° 45.240 W 111° 53.820 that were placed between Aug 31 2005 and whatever date gets you just under 500 caches. Preview to make sure (don't generate it)
  • Keep doing that until you use 5 PQs set with date ranges to give you the caches within 16.5 miles of the center.
  • Generate the PQs to your e-mail.
  • Load them to GSAK.
  • Use the polygon exclude feature in GSAK and exclude this polygon:
    40.821656, -111.916460
    40.777344, -111.851655
    40.714283, -111.806450
    40.637265, -111.807588
    40.635181, -111.903173
    40.639366, -111.977209
    40.697127, -111.983204
    40.765436, -111.986782
    40.821656, -111.916460
  • Use GSAK to load the resulting caches into your GPS (as many as will fit).

Edited by Markwell
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Seems to me that since this is something that there has to be such a huge amount of playing around to get to work, wouldn't it make sense for TPTB to add this to the properties available for a PQ? Centered on a spot, but no closer than X to that spot as an option.

 

Workarounds are nice. But the workarounds seem to require the downloading of a huge number of PQ's, which are limited by TPTB because of the amount of server time they tie up. So it seems they should be in favor of this from a "lower server load" perspective.

 

Wonder if Jeremy will comment on this.

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Let me redirect the focus on this thread. I am trying to maximize my pocket queries to avoid in town and get the widest range out of the 500 max that is provided.

From input above it looks like it will take more than just p.q. to do this.

GPSbabel just might do it.. but at first glance.. I sure did not get it.

Gsak also looks like it would work but will have to learn it first.

 

Is there a way to direct pocket queries to say give me everything "south" of X point.??

wingryder

gpsbabel is a command you enter in a cmd window that does file type conversion and filtering.

 

To cut a dougnut hole out a PQ you you input a gpx "-i gpx" file "-f" and filter it by excluding points within a radius "-x etc" and then write the output "-o gpx" to a dougnut file "-F"

 

Command(case is significant in the dash options)

gpsbabel.exe -i gpx -f PQ.gpx -x radius,distance=10M,lat=27.83853300,lon=-82.66748300,exclude -o gpx -F fladonut.gpx"

 

I make bat files for each of my gpsbabel commands with the full paths to all the file names. For example:

C:\Geocaching\gpsbabel-1.3.4-beta20070711\gpsbabel.exe -i gpx -f "C:\Geocaching\834663.gpx" -x radius,distance=10M,lat=27.83853300,lon=-82.66748300,exclude -o gpx -F "C:\Geocaching\fladonut.gpx"

 

See: http://www.gpsbabel.org/htmldoc-1.3.6/filter_radius.html

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I like FireRef 's idea best so far.

Ben yes I understand and like the idea.. However I am new to uploading routes and will have to learn how to do that.

John gpsbabel looks good.. the command line thing blows me away. I did the dos things years ago and have got real lazy since.

GSAK also looks good but I have avoided it because of the learning curve.

I will work on all ideas given and thank you all very much.

 

A option in P.Q. would be the simplest for old guys like me...Lets beg for this

Edited by wingryder
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I like FireRef 's idea best so far.

Ben yes I understand and like the idea.. However I am new to uploading routes and will have to learn how to do that.

John gpsbabel looks good.. the command line thing blows me away. I did the dos things years ago and have got real lazy since.

GSAK also looks good but I have avoided it because of the learning curve.

I will work on all ideas given and thank you all very much.

 

A option in P.Q. would be the simplest for old guys like me...Lets beg for this

wingryder,

 

My wife said "For your birthday you are going to get a year membership even if you don't want it."

Now considering my personal db is so big I only have to check to make sure a cache is still active, I will be happy to help you out considering you inspired me to dig deeper into GSAK.

 

GAAAK I'm now officially in the first 15 year block.

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"Caches Along A Route" is definitely the easiest method, though most seem to be focusing on GSAK. GSAK can do it more powerfully (more caches, etc) but it's really not needed for the OP, and the interface for creating a polygonal filter is not very slick. Caches Along a Route has a nice interface and is easy to use.

 

Caches along a route info:

http://www.geocaching.com/my/userroutes.aspx

 

-Ben

Ben, check this out. Draw your polygon, then just copy/paste the coords on the right into your polygon filter in GSAK.

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Without getting too complicated (or even using GSAK), I sort of like the easy solutions of the ignore list, or a "loop" caches along a route around the City.

 

It's pretty obvious what the OP is trying to do here. I'm quite amazed the big 6 ankle biting staunch defenders haven't hijacked the thread, and accused him of not wanting caches he doesn't like to exist. That may still happen though. ;)

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