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"Must Have" software?


Stormstaff
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A lot of that depends on your Operating System, your gpsr, and what you want to do. Must have software for a Mac might be different than for Windows. Mapping on my old explorist, and creating custom trails, is different than for my Garmin Colorado. I like geosphere for the iphone but they have no plans to do an android version, so that recommendation may not be any use to you. More information would be helpful if you want a meaningful response.

 

However, in terms of the system I use, GSAK is probably a good place to start.

Edited by mulvaney
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In your opinion, what are the "must have" programs needed for:

 

Geocaching?

Mapping?

Converting files to custom maps?

Etc?

 

Thanks in advance for your help!

Kirk

 

There's a lot of useful information for making Garmin maps here:

 

http://www.gpsfiledepot.com/tutorials/how-...rmin-topo-maps/

 

These tutorials are quite thorough. This software is mostly for Windows.

 

If you are on a Mac and want Garmin maps start here:

 

http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Mkgmap

 

This stuff is Java and runs on anything that runs Java.

Edited by seldom_sn
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In your opinion, what are the "must have" programs needed for:

 

Geocaching?

Mapping?

Converting files to custom maps?

Etc?

 

Thanks in advance for your help!

Kirk

 

If you have a gps based on wince. solutions are seldom ....

 

But, there may be a solution for you : geocachingce.

 

http://sites.google.com/site/geocachingce/

 

or

 

http://sites.google.com/site/geocachingceeng/

 

that I develop for me, but also for other geocachers.

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My Essential Programs:

GPSBabel, for converting GPS data from one format to another. Use it to pull or install data from your GPS. (I use it to pull tracks from my PN-30 among other uses.)

G7ToWin, for managing track files, combining, separating, saving and converting.

GPS Visualizer, for online converting of waypoint and track files, adding elevation to track files, colorizing track files, etc.

Google Earth, for viewing locations, viewing waypoints, tracks. Create track files to install in your GPS

GSAK, the ultimate geocache management utility.

SportTracks, for logging all your hikes, bikes, kayaks. Compiles statistics, lets you view your track on maps, elevation graphs, etc.

GPicSync, for geotagging your photos.

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My Essential Programs:

GPSBabel, for converting GPS data from one format to another. Use it to pull or install data from your GPS. (I use it to pull tracks from my PN-30 among other uses.)

G7ToWin, for managing track files, combining, separating, saving and converting.

GPS Visualizer, for online converting of waypoint and track files, adding elevation to track files, colorizing track files, etc.

Google Earth, for viewing locations, viewing waypoints, tracks. Create track files to install in your GPS

GSAK, the ultimate geocache management utility.

SportTracks, for logging all your hikes, bikes, kayaks. Compiles statistics, lets you view your track on maps, elevation graphs, etc.

GPicSync, for geotagging your photos.

 

Nice list and explanation! Thanks

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One from the Delorme "fanboy" court..... :)

 

In your opinion, what are the "must have" programs needed for:

 

Geocaching?

 

Delorme Topo software. Unzip a PQ, import to Topo and export to the PN GPS. Editing the PQ's is not as capable as GSAK, but it is decent.

 

Mapping?

 

Delorme Topo software. It puts detail vector topo and street maps on the PN. On top of that you can also download (from the free sample certificate or from the $30 annual subscription) Aerial, real USGS topo and coastal charts and have that on the PC or the GPS. You can also create custom paper maps of these mentioned maps. That and custom Draw Layers are my favorites with this software. I can have a USGS topo map with my own custom gridding, WP's and other custom stuff on paper or on the PN's memory.

 

Converting files to custom maps?

 

If you mean "converting files" like with importing/exporting WP's, Tracks, etc between GPS and the computer, then Topo also does this. If you mean customized maps, already answered that above.

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Woodtramp, have you and Norm been drinking together? The OP is a Garmin user, see post #5. DeLorme software is only a "must have" for Delorme users. Garmin users have a lot more options, both for geocaching and and mapping.

 

Lee, I was up in the wee hours of the AM and read the original post (which made no mention of Garmin) and missed his later 450 comment.

 

And yes, me and RR were out drinking, I think. :)

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GSAK is a great piece of software. The bad thing is that it has a steep learning curve. What really makes it useful are the macros. With a Garmin, I would use the following two macros:

 

Garmin Export - A Universal export for Oregon,Colorado,Dakota,GPSMap 62,GPSMap 78, & others? On my Oregon 450 & 300 it creates POI's of my finds (smiley face icon) and placed caches (star icon), and places gecoaching attributes next to all the geocache icons that I haven't found ( travel bug, micro, etc...). It's very cool!

http://gsak.net/board/index.php?showtopic=...st&p=109814

 

FindStatGen3 - Creates statistics that you could paste into your profile

http://gsak.net/board/index.php?showtopic=...st&p=107726

 

There are many more GSAK macros available that do all kinds of things and work with different brands of GPSR's and they can be found here:

http://gsak.net/board/MacroIndex.php

 

I almost forgot to mention the filters. THEY ARE AWESOME! Recently I have started using the polygon filter to geocache with. It covers only the areas that I want to cache in. The filters in GSAK are a thousand times better than what Geocaching.com offers.

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Since you are in IL, I would say my maps at

 

http://www.gpsfiledepot.com/

 

They are all transparent overlays that work with City Navigator

 

Go to IL

 

and select

 

My Trails (Thousands of trails for IL and numerous POIs-if you find something not on the map, GPS it and send it to me to add to the map)

 

My Topos: 100% coverage of IL with topo and hydrology

 

My POIs Thousands of the USGS POIs

 

Eastern landownership: has all of DNR and FS land in the state and quite a bit of other landownership

 

I am going to be uploading some new versions tonight-so don't download until tommorow

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GSAK - To load PQs into and load GPSr with caches for the day // to export .csv files (explain later) and .gpx file of the caches I have selected // and to make logging caches easier ( I use the "Log" macro to bring up "Log Find" page of each cache.) The list is endless of what you can do with this program.

 

Microsoft Streets & Trips - I import the .gpx file from GSAK into this mapping program to plan a route for the day (most days I go looking for 20 or more caches) to make driving cache to cache more officiant and I'm able to print a map of the caches for reference. Once I have caches in an order that makes since for a route I use...

 

Excel - I import the .csv file from GSAK to make a spreadsheet (deleting columns not needed) of the caches, numbering them to reflect the corresponding number on the printed map, then use "Sort" to put them in order and print the list.

 

Sounds like a lot of work but it's not really. I do this the day before or in the evenings during the week.

Edited by The Ravens
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Not many essential programs for me: Firefox is it!

 

Actually I'm not sure where I'll go next with the Colorado being axed - it has been so nice not to need ANY additional software - just load the PQ and go. Perhaps GSAK and Garmin have a kickback deal...

 

Anyway, .gpx files are just XML files, so you can get all the info out with some simple programming. You can even import them directly into Excel and get all you want out of them. GSAK is a beast when you compare it to any simple spreadsheet tool available (even from Microsoft!)

 

Others:

 

Google Earth is great

 

GPSMapEdit is a nice tool

 

cGPSmapper is a really nice tool

Edited by drfred
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