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easyGPS or GSAK?


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I ordered a Vista HCx that will be arriving shortly. I know this unit is not paperless but I would like to get as much info about the cache onto the unit. My question is: being that the Vista is not paperless would a program like GSAK be "overkill" for what I am trying to accomplish?

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I ordered a Vista HCx that will be arriving shortly. I know this unit is not paperless but I would like to get as much info about the cache onto the unit. My question is: being that the Vista is not paperless would a program like GSAK be "overkill" for what I am trying to accomplish?

I would recommend GSAK for anyone who is serious about geocaching no matter what unit they use.

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Not really overkill, but depending on how you feel about learning software, it might be frustration. (GSAK)

 

I like what GSAK will do, it works well, it's just that it's not "Do you want to do this....? Do you want to do that...?"

 

GSAK will allow you to work with pocket queries, keep your list of caches organized and updated.

 

Also, you can use GSAK to create a GPX file of caches, then run the GPX file through Garmin's POI Loader, and push all the caches to your GPS as POIs, complete with the GC number, terrain rating, difficulty, type of cache, hint, cache name, the last 4 log results (found, not found), the date last found and part of the description.

 

By doing it that way, you can load thousands of caches, and for all intents and purposes, go paperless.

I don't do the puzzle caches, so a few lines is usually enough of a description for me.

 

It's great...I have around 7000 caches on my 60CSx, and it's with me when I go jeeping. Wherever I happen to end up, if I want to grab a few caches, I can. And I can tell on the main screen if they're regulars, micros, etc.

 

Again, it depends on your tolerance for software....if you're one of those that enjoys figuring stuff out, GSAK is for you. If you don;t think that way, then something simpler like EasyGPS would likely be a better option.

 

GSAK is free to try....would give you an idea what you're up against, and make a decision before buying.

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GSAK is handy, but for the most part it is completely unnecessary.

 

I have found it handy for...

  • Loading the same info into multiple different GPSr brands/types.
  • Load many (2,000) cache coordinates into my TomTom for driving directions.
  • Deleting unavailable caches before loading a PQ.

It's a useful tool, but it's not they way I think many people think of it. It's Achilles' heel is that there is no easy way to know when a cache is archived.

 

The learning curve is rather high.

 

If you cache paperless w/o info and just use coordinates you can change the format so that the waypoint shows D/T and size. You can change lots of stuff.

 

In reality though, take a current PQ and load it using easy GPS and forget about it. You do not need GSAK to be a serious cacher.

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Thanks for the replies. I am leaning toward easyGPS. I don't want to know everything about the cache (i.e. all the logs), I just would like to know the name, coords, size, terrain, and difficulty and maybe the hint if there is any. I try to approach a cache as if I am the first to find and do not have any additional hints or tips. Bye the way, how long is GSAK free for? And how much does it cost to register?

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It's a useful tool, but it's not they way I think many people think of it. It's Achilles' heel is that there is no easy way to know when a cache is archived.

 

And when I look at cache search pages on GC.com there is no easy way to tell a cache has been archived. Your point is?

 

Jim

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GSAK is handy, but for the most part it is completely unnecessary.

 

I have found it handy for...

  • Loading the same info into multiple different GPSr brands/types.
  • Load many (2,000) cache coordinates into my TomTom for driving directions.
  • Deleting unavailable caches before loading a PQ.

It's a useful tool, but it's not they way I think many people think of it. It's Achilles' heel is that there is no easy way to know when a cache is archived.

 

 

If you keep your database up to date through regular pocket queries, it is very very simple to identify archived caches. Their last GPX date will be old.

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It's a useful tool, but it's not they way I think many people think of it. It's Achilles' heel is that there is no easy way to know when a cache is archived.

 

And when I look at cache search pages on GC.com there is no easy way to tell a cache has been archived. Your point is?

 

Jim

Huh? :D The listings are red with a line through it. Then when you are at the page it says in red letters that it is archived at the top.

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If you keep your database up to date through regular pocket queries, it is very very simple to identify archived caches. Their last GPX date will be old.

Yes, but that is only if you do the same thing regularly. If you are going to do that you might as well just load the PQ and forget it.

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It's a useful tool, but it's not they way I think many people think of it. It's Achilles' heel is that there is no easy way to know when a cache is archived.

 

And when I look at cache search pages on GC.com there is no easy way to tell a cache has been archived. Your point is?

 

Jim

Huh? :D The listings are red with a line through it. Then when you are at the page it says in red letters that it is archived at the top.

 

I don't think so. I do a search on zip 98392. I get a list of caches. I know for a *fact* there is an archived cache on that search. The archived cache is not listed, red line or not. How do I know it is archived? Simple it is mine that I archived. Now if you look at your personal profile, or the list of caches you found, then yes the archived caches are denoted, but on searches they are not.

 

So you do some random search and get a list of caches. You do the same search 5 days later. In the mean time 3 caches were archived. Unless you compared the listings line by line you would not know the caches were archived.

 

At least with GSAK I can compare the Last GPX date to see which ones were not updated when a new gpx is loaded. The cache not being updated probably means it was archived. Can't do that with the web site. Don't even need to be a computer scientist to figure that out.

 

Jim

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I use GSAK and found it very easy to use. There are a lot of features, but you don't need to know all of them to benefit.

 

I keep 2 databases on GSAK. Found and unfound. When I find a cache I change the found by me date and move it to the found database.

 

I have a group of PQs that I run every 2 weeks or so. My PQs filter to exclude archived or offline caches. When its time to rerun I delete ALL caches in the unfound database, and load all PQs to GSAK. Filter and export by state to my GPSr, and to Microsoft Streets and trips on my PC. Use streets to plan a route, the note the GC code of the first cache and plug it into my GPS.

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If the archived cache isn't listed then why in the heck or you talking about it? You want to have a database of archived caches?

 

I don't think so. I do a search on zip 98392. I get a list of caches. I know for a *fact* there is an archived cache on that search. The archived cache is not listed, red line or not. How do I know it is archived? Simple it is mine that I archived. Now if you look at your personal profile, or the list of caches you found, then yes the archived caches are denoted, but on searches they are not.

 

So you do some random search and get a list of caches. You do the same search 5 days later. In the mean time 3 caches were archived. Unless you compared the listings line by line you would not know the caches were archived.

 

At least with GSAK I can compare the Last GPX date to see which ones were not updated when a new gpx is loaded. The cache not being updated probably means it was archived. Can't do that with the web site. Don't even need to be a computer scientist to figure that out.

 

Jim

Your point is what? Caches get archived. Use a fresh PQ. Lets compare apples to apples and not something else.

 

That GSAK gpx thing is only if you load the same PQ over and over. Many people don't do that. I have no need to keep entering the same PQ over and over. I may cache in this city Saturday and an entirely different city Sunday. So if I go back 3 months later to an overlapping area it will know which ones in the database are archived within that radius. I don't think so.

 

Use a fresh PQ. Sure you could search for an archived cache if it was archived after the PQ but lets be realistic. :D

 

If its archived, its archived. Who cares? I just don't want to go searching for it.

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I ordered a Vista HCx that will be arriving shortly. I know this unit is not paperless but I would like to get as much info about the cache onto the unit. My question is: being that the Vista is not paperless would a program like GSAK be "overkill" for what I am trying to accomplish?

 

If you are buying a Vista HCx, it will come with MapSource. I haven't spent a lot of time bothering to learn all of GSAK's features, but my impression is that MapSource is perfectly adequate for managing waypoint files and transferring data between your computer and your gpsr.

 

Set MapSource as the default program and it will open when you click on "LOC Waypoint File" from the cache description. You can use MapSource to edit waypoint properties. For caching, you will want to make sure that the waypoint symbol is a "cache" (that will instruct the gpsr to use geocache mode for that waypoint). If sent from the cache description, it will already have that symbol. Depending on how you choose to identify/organize waypoints, you might want to change the waypoint name. For sure you will want to edit the comment field - use shorthand and put the most important information first because there is a limit on how much information will show up on your gpsr. When operating in geocache mode, you can display the comment field by selecting "note" from the compass page.

 

If you are transferring multiple caches from the website to your computer, a new instance of MapSource will open with each transfer. But, you can still build a single file with multiple caches - simply copy the waypoint from the new instance of MapSource and paste it into the other instance, etc.

 

If you also are buying a mapping program, e.g. Topo 2008, it will show up as a data layer in MapSource. Even if you are not, you can view a MapSource file, i.e. the waypoints, in GoogleEarth.

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Say I wanted to find caches in the area that had travel bugs or coins, can GSAK do that? If so, how many times have you gone to a cache and not found the bug or coin do to somebody not logging properly?

 

Yes GSAK can search on travel bugs. But I don't really pay attention anymore. Many times they are listed as in the cache but are not, or somebody came the day before and got it.

 

Jim

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Honestly, I'm a bit flabbergasted here.

 

GSAK is THE single greatest bit of software for the geocacher. I imagine the only people who don't like it are the ones who haven't taken the time (a few mins) to learn who to use it.

 

I have no vested interest in selling it, it's just a great bit of code which I use for every caching venture.

I use it for almost every caching trip. It's good, but completely unnecessary.

 

Say I wanted to find caches in the area that had travel bugs or coins, can GSAK do that? If so, how many times have you gone to a cache and not found the bug or coin do to somebody not logging properly?

Sure you can. (But you can do that with a PQ.)

 

Going after a bug that isn't there is common.

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Honestly, I'm a bit flabbergasted here.

 

GSAK is THE single greatest bit of software for the geocacher. I imagine the only people who don't like it are the ones who haven't taken the time (a few mins) to learn who to use it.

 

I have no vested interest in selling it, it's just a great bit of code which I use for every caching venture.

I use it for almost every caching trip. It's good, but completely unnecessary.

 

Necessity was never up for discussion. If you want to be reductionist, hell, only a GPS is necessary to cache. But GSAK is not just useful, it's dadgum fun. And fun's why I cache. Note sure about others, I suppose.

 

[edit: Wow, how long now have the Groundspeak boards been auto-editing text? Ugh, censorship bites. Please note I never actually used the word "dadgum," but d-a-m-youknowthelast letter.]

Edited by Cache Liberation Front
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One of my other hobbies is woodworking. A sort of mentor once taught me "cry once". In that he meant buy the best tool you can, otherwise you will end up spending more money in the long run.

 

In this case, cry once getting used to a piece of software by getting the best you can up front. Contrary to an earlier comment, GSAK is as easy, if not easier, than easyGPS for all the functions that easyGPS does.The cry once comes into play when you get more involved and want those extra features such as filtering, macros, stats, etc.

 

Yes, for the added features there is a learning curve, however not as steep as some would have you to believe. Most become very proficient within days, not weeks or months. It is very powerful so learning all the little tricks will take a while, however not knowing them all won't interfere with it's basic functionality for you.

 

Not only is there a lot of user community support, the author is also very accessible. Clyde often answers questions in the GSAK forums as well as here often before others get a chance. It is a rare instance that if you send him a message directly, you wait 24 hours for an answer.

 

Many seem to not like it because it has become the defacto geocaching software. There is a reason for that.

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It's Achilles' heel is that there is no easy way to know when a cache is archived.

 

You can minimize the impact of that by filtering using the exclude logs bit. Check the needs archived part and that gets rid of many of them. By doing that I've not had a repeat of the searching for an archived cache. I done that once in Arkansas. What a hassle and I put a lot of effort into it too.

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One of my other hobbies is woodworking. A sort of mentor once taught me "cry once". In that he meant buy the best tool you can, otherwise you will end up spending more money in the long run.

 

I'm not sure how that analogy applies to this thread. EasyGPS is free. MapSource is included in the purchase price of most Garmin units. GSAK, however, requires a purchase and, a premium subscription is necessary to take advantage of GSAK's functionality.

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I bought Gsak & have never used EasyGPS. With that said I would recommend using EasyGPS, not because GSAK is bad but because why spend more money when a free alternative can get you going for nothing?

 

I don't do that many caches a year(less than 200), so for me gsak has tons of features, most of which I don't use. Gsak may be simple to some of you but it isn't new user friendly, the layout and many options will confuse even the most techno-savy until you give it some time to learn it.

 

Save your money and use the mapsource that comes with your gps or try easygps. Heck even just use the send to gps button found on each cache page, can't get much easier than that.

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Honestly, I'm a bit flabbergasted here.

 

GSAK is THE single greatest bit of software for the geocacher. I imagine the only people who don't like it are the ones who haven't taken the time (a few mins) to learn who to use it.

 

I have no vested interest in selling it, it's just a great bit of code which I use for every caching venture.

I use it for almost every caching trip. It's good, but completely unnecessary.

 

Necessity was never up for discussion. If you want to be reductionist, hell, only a GPS is necessary to cache. But GSAK is not just useful, it's dadgum fun. And fun's why I cache. Note sure about others, I suppose.

 

[edit: Wow, how long now have the Groundspeak boards been auto-editing text? Ugh, censorship bites. Please note I never actually used the word "dadgum," but d-a-m-youknowthelast letter.]

 

I took the time to learn GSAK for weeks! :blink: Still has not worked for me after hours of searching threads for a clue...asked questions too...updated software...just not getting it to work...somthing I am doing wrong or missing??..maybe...gone over it many many times...installed and reinstalled but I am not giving up..but it's not as easy as it seems for some...very frustrating..not sure what the prob is just can't get the clues or logs..sometimes get the more button but with no info added on my nuvi..with true paperless macro.. The 60CSxPOI was easier for my etrex but really wanted the former to work on my nuvi 850... :D

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GSAK is a really powerful and useful tool. The trial period is reasonable to figure it out.

If you just need to transfer waypoints to a GPSr, Mapsource or GPSBabel will be adequate.

Why not try all the options and see what works best for you?

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Honestly, I'm a bit flabbergasted here.

 

GSAK is THE single greatest bit of software for the geocacher. I imagine the only people who don't like it are the ones who haven't taken the time (a few mins) to learn who to use it.

 

I have no vested interest in selling it, it's just a great bit of code which I use for every caching venture.

I use it for almost every caching trip. It's good, but completely unnecessary.

 

Necessity was never up for discussion. If you want to be reductionist, hell, only a GPS is necessary to cache. But GSAK is not just useful, it's dadgum fun. And fun's why I cache. Note sure about others, I suppose.

 

[edit: Wow, how long now have the Groundspeak boards been auto-editing text? Ugh, censorship bites. Please note I never actually used the word "dadgum," but d-a-m-youknowthelast letter.]

 

I took the time to learn GSAK for weeks! :blink: Still has not worked for me after hours of searching threads for a clue...asked questions too...updated software...just not getting it to work...somthing I am doing wrong or missing??..maybe...gone over it many many times...installed and reinstalled but I am not giving up..but it's not as easy as it seems for some...very frustrating..not sure what the prob is just can't get the clues or logs..sometimes get the more button but with no info added on my nuvi..with true paperless macro.. The 60CSxPOI was easier for my etrex but really wanted the former to work on my nuvi 850... :D

 

Without going to far OT, it sounds like you are loading LOC fiske and not GPX from what little I could get from the above.

 

You posted to the GSAK forum without much help? That is very unusual. You might try again.

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Save your money and use the mapsource that comes with your gps or try easygps. Heck even just use the send to gps button found on each cache page, can't get much easier than that.

 

Being that I am a premium member, if I hit send to GPS from the cache page, does anybody know what information I will be able to view on a Vista HCx?? My is on the way, so I don't know.

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Being that I am a premium member, if I hit send to GPS from the cache page, does anybody know what information I will be able to view on a Vista HCx?? My is on the way, so I don't know.

You'll only get the standard waypoint with GC code and cache name.

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Being that I am a premium member ...

 

Since you're using a Garmin, give bcaching.com a try (also free). You can setup pocket queries to be emailed directly to your bcaching account and load up to 1000 waypoints into your GPS at once directly from the web interface.

Edited by m_and_w
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Being that I am a premium member, if I hit send to GPS from the cache page, does anybody know what information I will be able to view on a Vista HCx?? My is on the way, so I don't know.

You'll only get the standard waypoint with GC code and cache name.

 

So I can edit waypoints in Mapsource, I know that but it kinda seems like a pain to go through waypoint by waypoint editing so I can see the size or hints. My question is can I tell EasyGPS to put in the comment field the name of the cache, size, d/t... or do I have to use GSAK???

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So I can edit waypoints in Mapsource, I know that but it kinda seems like a pain to go through waypoint by waypoint editing so I can see the size or hints. My question is can I tell EasyGPS to put in the comment field the name of the cache, size, d/t... or do I have to use GSAK???

 

BCaching writes the waypoint name as GC# followed by container, difficulty and terrain. For example "GCxxxx m1+/2" where m means micro, 1.5 difficulty, 2 terrain. Waypoint comment is the cache name. You can also setup custom waypoint symbols to show the cache type instead of the standard treasure box.

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I like both but if you just want to get your pocket queries in your gps then Easy Gps is all you need.

 

I use both. They put information in differently. One gives the cache number (Easy) and the other one (GSAK) is setup to put the name and the difficulty and terrain and part of the hint in. Therefore I have two waypoint entries with different (and more) information. Of course, I use a NUVI also with the rest of the information.

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GSAK is handy, but for the most part it is completely unnecessary.

 

I have found it handy for...

  • Loading the same info into multiple different GPSr brands/types.
  • Load many (2,000) cache coordinates into my TomTom for driving directions.
  • Deleting unavailable caches before loading a PQ.

It's a useful tool, but it's not they way I think many people think of it. It's Achilles' heel is that there is no easy way to know when a cache is archived.

 

The learning curve is rather high.

 

If you cache paperless w/o info and just use coordinates you can change the format so that the waypoint shows D/T and size. You can change lots of stuff.

  • keeping "sticky" solved co-ordinates puzzle caches which a "fresh" pq would otherwise override on your unit
  • filtering out finds of caching buddies going out for a group hunt to leave you with a list of mutual unfounds
  • keeping track of challenge cache progress (county / delorme / fizzy...)
  • generating bookmark lists for friends to share
  • generating overview maps that aren;t slow as gc google maps.
  • generating stat pages used by a large number of cachers
  • keeping multiple cities / runs in separate databases to allow past logs to build "up", circumventing the gpx past log limit (which new GPS units can handle...multiple past logs)
  • better handling and processing of child waypoints
  • custom databsses of intersting spots, caches that need maintenance etc
  • offline processing and logging of field note texts without need for gc.com (cool for vacation trips)
  • assigning custom icons to geocaches (e.g. cache size...yes, even on the Colorado and oregon)
  • provision of an offline database for multi-city trips
  • generate a paper overview grid of cache targets

Darn, I could go on and on.

 

The lack of an inbuilt "archive" detection has never really been an issue to be honest... especially with advent of an active macro community :lol:

 

 

 

In reality though, take a current PQ and load it using easy GPS and forget about it. You do not need GSAK to be a serious cacher.

 

You don't NEED no... but you also don't REALLY need a tin opener to open a tin can. But it makes life 100 times easier.

Edited by Maingray
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Another quick question about GSAK if I may. I have a Garmin Nuvi that I use for my road navigation and I would like to send the parking coordinates that some of the caches have to that GPS if I am able. How would I go about sending just the parking coordinates and not the actual cache coordinates??

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