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Download *all* Geocache's in UK to Garmin?


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Hey, I have a Garmin Legend HCx which I'm using for geocaching at the moment. The biggest problem that I find with it is that I can download caches manually to it through Geocaching.com or 10 at a time based around a location through the myGarmin website; while this is great and works well I often find myself going out and ending up somewhere that I never intended on going too.

 

If it were possible to have all the UK's geocache locations added as locations into my Garmin, I would! (Well, the "normal" caches anyway... not much point having multi-caches without the clues, etc.) Although I can't find a way of getting this data onto my Garmin in one large "data-dump". So am I stuck with having to download them all bit by bit, 10 at a time from the myGarmin website!? :rolleyes:

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Hey, I have a Garmin Legend HCx which I'm using for geocaching at the moment. The biggest problem that I find with it is that I can download caches manually to it through Geocaching.com or 10 at a time based around a location through the myGarmin website; while this is great and works well I often find myself going out and ending up somewhere that I never intended on going too.

 

If it were possible to have all the UK's geocache locations added as locations into my Garmin, I would! (Well, the "normal" caches anyway... not much point having multi-caches without the clues, etc.) Although I can't find a way of getting this data onto my Garmin in one large "data-dump". So am I stuck with having to download them all bit by bit, 10 at a time from the myGarmin website!? :rolleyes:

Your Garmin should hold up to 1000 waypoints. Keep in mind you should keep a few waypoints in reserve for marking your vehicle and such.

You can, with a premium membership, use pocket queries and obtain 500 caches per pq at 5 pq's per day and up to 20 pq's per week.

With that in mind, it is best to up load cache data onto a mapping program and feed the info onto you GPS from there. You can also keep a pq or two in reserve per week to update or use for special requests of a particular area/cache/event.

I do not think you would be able to fir all of UK's caches in to your GPS anyway plus the way the caches change it would soon be outdated information.

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I know what your saying about it only storing 1000 points, but surely what with me having a 4GB MicroSD card in there, must be something I can do with that? Hmmm... (Start's racking his programmers brain)

The 4 GB card is for mapping. Any imput for waypoints will be on the GPS memory only.

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The 4 GB card is for mapping. Any imput for waypoints will be on the GPS memory only.

 

Darn. :lol: It's annoying because this weekend I ended up going for a walk with some friends to some small little village in the middle of nowhere; I get back home and find out that I walked past about 10 caches which must have been no more than 25 ft away from the path I walked down! :rolleyes:

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If it were possible to have all the UK's geocache locations added as locations into my Garmin, I would! (Well, the "normal" caches anyway... not much point having multi-caches without the clues, etc.)
With a PDA, a Palm app called Cachemate, and GSAK you could have a portable database with cache descriptions, hints, etc in your pocket.

 

I bet you could get all the caches in the UK onto a PDA with enough memory (and a fast enough processor to handle the DB searches)!

 

I've never used it, but I believe Cachemate has a "Search By Coordinate" option, too. Next time you were in a location you thought there might be caches, you could simply punch the coords in and you'd see what is nearby. You'd have to enter the coords by hand into your GPS, but...

 

Another (pricier) option would be to get a Garmin Oregon or Colorado. They hold all the cache descriptions that you load in. They are limited to 2000 caches at a time, but it is double the capacity of your current unit. With my Oregon, if I'm going somewhere outside my usual caching radius, I'll do a PQ of the nearest 500 caches I haven't found and just drag the .gpx file onto the GPS.

 

I frequently do this when I'm caching with a friend who usually plans where we're going. Rather than him sending me a list of caches picked out, I have a "Shotgun Pattern" of caches in the area we're going to. Rarely do I not have the caches he's picked (it's usually when I've done a cache he hasn't, not a frequent occurrence since he has 5X as many finds as me), and we frequently get a couple he didn't notice for one reason or another that I have loaded up.

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The 4 GB card is for mapping. Any imput for waypoints will be on the GPS memory only.

 

Darn. :lol: It's annoying because this weekend I ended up going for a walk with some friends to some small little village in the middle of nowhere; I get back home and find out that I walked past about 10 caches which must have been no more than 25 ft away from the path I walked down! :rolleyes:

 

Get a Premium Membership and start exploring PQ's. There are ways of accomplishing what you want with a bit of cumbersome effort.

 

But the first step is a PM.

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I think I *may* have to investigate the PDA approach... Which brings me to another question; I have a really, really, REALLY portable Netbook. Is there anyway I can get a download of all the UK caches, locations, descriptions, clue's, etc. onto that?

 

As I have a USB cable and the Garmin drivers on it, so potentially I could just transfer the closest across when I get there!?

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I think I *may* have to investigate the PDA approach... Which brings me to another question; I have a really, really, REALLY portable Netbook. Is there anyway I can get a download of all the UK caches, locations, descriptions, clue's, etc. onto that?

 

As I have a USB cable and the Garmin drivers on it, so potentially I could just transfer the closest across when I get there!?

No - Pqs are limited to 500 per PQ and you can run 5 per day for a total of 2500 caches. I suppose over time you could capture all of the caches in the country but new caches are added all the time and caches get moved, archived, disabled and etc all the time. Your data would be old very quickly. Good reason to have but a single database. They give you the abilit to grab 500 real quick (less than 5 minutes typically) which should be more than enough to keep you busy on a Saturday afternoon.

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Read here for an explanation of why Groundspeak may not want you download all the caches in the UK to your GPS. You might find that you wouldn't want to do this anyway. Caches are dynamic. Old caches are disabled and archived and new ones created all the time. Without downloading fresh data all the time you'll find yourself on a walk in the country where you're searching for caches that are no longer there while walking right past others that have been recently placed. Its best to grab the caches for the area you are going to right before going out. And usually this can be done with PQs. For people who are not sure where they are going to be, there are applications for the iPhone and other GPS enabled smartphones that let you get caches in the area in real time.

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I just thought it would be good if they offered a service which allowed you to download all the geocaches in a specified region ie. The British Isles / East Coast USA / West.. etc. Which you could then view all the data for (location, hints and clue) locally on a laptop or PC and then transfer to your GPS device.

 

Obviously the database for such a cache data set would be quite large, so they could offer it as a premium member only download and even then only allow a download once per week (or even bi-weekly). Because to me that service would be invaluable, and the difference between me paying a PM sub and not.

 

The ability to have a weekend like I just had, I live in Wales and somehow ended up over in England (near Bath for the Brits), and walked past no less than 12 caches simply because I hadn't put the POI's in for that location as I didn't think I would end up there! However, in my "cache-bag" I have my laptop, a USB cable and could easily transfer over points in the car.

 

Now you could go one step further and use a mobile as a modem and use the website still, but then a) it's slow :rolleyes: potentially expensive c) most caches aren't in places of particularly "great" phone reception. A 50MB download of my "regions" caches I'd happily pay for!

Edited by Global_Inferno
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I use a Lowrance Ifinder expedition C with my unit I have to load the caches into GSAK and then I export the waypoints in groups of 1000 onto the card. when I went to Edmonton last summer I had 6 different files of caches on my SD card when I went into a new area I deleted the waypoint on my GPS and loaded the waypoints for the area I was in withe that and cachemate on my PDA I had all the caches in the areas I was going to. it worked great at the end of the day I would check for any new caches in the area to add.

 

I looking into the new Lowrance Endura series that are looking really promising a couple of the features they have are 2000 waypoints, Touch screen w/hot buttosns for backup and the ability for paperless caching and for a lot less than the Colorado or Oregon. Unfortunatly it doesn't get released till May

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You might want to try walking before running.

 

Yeh, I have... But surely if I'm running into these sorts of problems already and I'm at snails pace, it's only going to get worse!?

 

Problems??? You don't even have a premium membership to see what it can do for you.

 

You are NOT going to get Groundspeak to provide any sort of "massive download capability". Go over to the geocaching.com forum and spend a few hours reading. That topic has been beaten to death countless times.

 

A PM will give you the ability to download 2500 caches per day. That should more than keep you busy. Remember the idea is to get outside and find caches, not build some sort of database that will instantly be out of date.

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Problems??? You don't even have a premium membership to see what it can do for you.

 

Ok, I have now... And I'd still prefer to have access to it all locally; doesn't change my point.. or my question. Hell if it's even possible to build up that kind of collection somehow using the existing features given to Premium members, I will code something that automates it. I just wondered if such tools already existed.

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For my vacation last year, I had all the active caches in Scotland in one GSAK database on my laptop, with a dozen PQs sending regular updates. It took me a weekend to set it all up, but once that was done the system just worked. On each day of vacation, I sliced out the several hundred caches nearest to my location to load into my GPSr and Cachemate on my PDA.

 

But I suspect that you can't get every cache in the U.K. with a week's schedule of PQs.

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Problems??? You don't even have a premium membership to see what it can do for you.

 

Ok, I have now... And I'd still prefer to have access to it all locally; doesn't change my point.. or my question. Hell if it's even possible to build up that kind of collection somehow using the existing features given to Premium members, I will code something that automates it. I just wondered if such tools already existed.

One word...

 

iPhone

 

Edited to add two more VERY important words...

 

Geocaching App!

Edited by mtn-man
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If it were possible to have all the UK's geocache locations added as locations into my Garmin, I would! (Well, the "normal" caches anyway... not much point having multi-caches without the clues, etc.) Although I can't find a way of getting this data onto my Garmin in one large "data-dump". So am I stuck with having to download them all bit by bit, 10 at a time from the myGarmin website!? :)

 

As of 16Mar09 at 19:52 PDT there are 39310 active caches in the UK

 

If you have 2 premium accounts and use the date based query method you could have the entire country covered every 8 days.

 

2x500x5x8=40000

 

Some data will be up to 7 days old.

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Ok, well i've been playing with the PQ's for the last few days and that combined with GSAK seem's to be able to provide me with enough coverage of my area so that I couldn't "accidentally" go somewhere without data for. Now I just bring my Netbook with me in the car, centre GSAK's data around the Garmins coords and voila! 1000 of the closest geocaches at my fingertips. :)

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If you have a Garmin Oregon, you can get along without the PC.

 

With GSAK you can export up to 2000 caches directly to the OR. You can also opt to export the child waypoints as POI's which will avoid the 1000 waypoint limit.

 

Then, you can export as many other caches as you want to a series of files on the microSD card. When you get to a new area, use your cellphone/PDA to move the gpx files around so that the OR sees the correct file for the area you are in.

 

Works like a charm.

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Ok, well i've been playing with the PQ's for the last few days and that combined with GSAK seem's to be able to provide me with enough coverage of my area so that I couldn't "accidentally" go somewhere without data for. Now I just bring my Netbook with me in the car, centre GSAK's data around the Garmins coords and voila! 1000 of the closest geocaches at my fingertips. :)

That's what I do. Very cool isn't it?

 

BTW, did you know that if you hook your GPSr up to the computer, open GSAK, you can then tell GSAK to use the GPSr as an antenna and find all the nearest caches (Centre Point - Get from GPSr)?

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BTW, did you know that if you hook your GPSr up to the computer, open GSAK, you can then tell GSAK to use the GPSr as an antenna and find all the nearest caches (Centre Point - Get from GPSr)?

 

I did and that's what I meant (Albeit badly described) but it's worth highlighting that point for other users that may not be aware of that functionality! :)

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