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Getting frustrated with cache search function!


The Sidecar Bandit!
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I tell ya, this website is driving me nuts. It's simply NOT user friendly. Doing a general radius search from a given location is easy enough, but beyond that, I feel like I'm running in circles, and I'm REALLY not seeing the benefit of the Premium Membership that came with my new GPS purchase. Things that have me stumped:

 

1.) When doing a normal search, I can batch download LOC files for an entire results page. Why isn't there an option to do the same with GPX files (or am I overlooking it?)?

 

2.) The Google map is really cool, but again, I see no way to batch download. Am I SERIOUSLY going to have to download each one individually? That's insane! I can see all the codes lined up nice n' pretty on the right, but no way to save them.

 

3.) Somewhere I read that there's a way to plot out a course and get all the cache locations along that route. I've yet to discover how this can be done, unless it's using the Google maps manually.

 

4.) Pocket queries. I don't even understand the concept. Sure, it's got a super-fancy filter, but is that it? That doesn't strike me as membership-worthy, from what I can see thus far. But what do I know, I'm just getting started here.

 

If anyone can enlighten me, I'd greatly appreciate it.

 

~TSB

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1 - the answer is Pocket Queries (PQs), you can download up to 1000 caches at a time including all the cache page details using criteria you specify either in an area or along a route - GPX files.

 

A great tutorial for pocket queries is found at http://www.markwell.us/pq.htm

 

2 - Again Pocket queries - there is an option on the map page to run a PQ centered on the same point as the map. Circular area rather than the maps square but close enough.

 

It is worth noting that you can also create a bookmark list of caches and then run a PQ based on that list.

 

3 - See this page link to user routes - yup, you guessed it again - the answer is a map and a specialized Pocket Query for the route

 

4 - See number 1!!!

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If all a premium membership gave me was a sig line, I'd be happy.

Not because I want a sig line, I'm just happy that I can support the site in some way.

 

That being said, just being privy to the premium members only caches are worth the small amount of cash for the membership.

The others benefits are invaluable.

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Amen. Keyword searches are a dismal failure. Pocket query as an answer? Puhlease. 21 steps to get the information emailed to me that I'm staring at on my screen! The "ajaxy" map that gets in the way and starts zooming in and out when I'm trying to scroll down a page. I dunno, so much potential and yet the big upgrade is adding a new intro to the website. I wish my money was going towards real development.

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I've suggested in the past that they rename pocket queries. Essentially, all a pocket query is is a saved search criteria. As of today you can save as many as you like (well up to 1000). You can at use your saved searches any time in place of the standard or advanced search functions. The results of the saved search are displayed online just as the regular search function shows its results. You can also view a map of the caches that a save search returns.

 

One thing that you can do with saved searches that you can't do with the regular search function is to download a GPX file with the descriptions, logs, and other information about the caches the search returns. Because it is compute intensive to build this file, it is done offline. Normally you set the day of the week you want this to be ready and it will run on that day. But if you select today (Seattle time), the file will generally be generated and available for download within a few minutes. You are limited to getting up to 5 of these bulk GPX files per day.

 

Aside from the confusing name and the confusing Pocket Query form, there are a few other things you need to know. One is that some of the capabilities on the search page are not available on the PQ page. For example there is no keyword search for pocket queries, or search for caches hidden by a particular cacher. However the PQ has a lot of search options that aren't available elsewhere. Many people have problems using the PQ search because it so powerful that it is easy to mess up when combining criteria and ending up with no caches. Look at some of the tutorials people have linked to to see why this is.

 

If you have a bookmark with a list of caches (or even if you find someone's shared bookmark list with the caches you are interested in), you can create a saved search (pocket query) that returns just the caches on this list. Also on the map page look for the link that says "Create Pocket Query". It will create a pocket query that shows the same area the map covers. Unfortunately it doesn't use the premium filters that you may have set to select particular caches types, or to hide caches you have found. You have to added these manually using the pocket query form.

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Amen. Keyword searches are a dismal failure. Pocket query as an answer? Puhlease. 21 steps to get the information emailed to me that I'm staring at on my screen! The "ajaxy" map that gets in the way and starts zooming in and out when I'm trying to scroll down a page. I dunno, so much potential and yet the big upgrade is adding a new intro to the website. I wish my money was going towards real development.

 

21 steps? Click on PQ link. Make your choices and submit. Pretty easy.

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Something else I love about being a premium memeber is the premium member cache listings and also the notifications. I love to go after the FTF and there is no other way to get that information faster than setting up a notification. Also as someone else stated everything can't be for free, so you have to pay a little for the work that has been done here, seems a small trade off to be honest. I consider things like say..... TV..... I pay more monthly for TV than I do yearly for my membership here and to be honest there are days that my TV doesn't get turned on but I can't remember a day that I was not on this site.... oh and it is nice to come here and not have adverts poping up and clogging the bandwidth.

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Amen. Keyword searches are a dismal failure. Pocket query as an answer? Puhlease. 21 steps to get the information emailed to me that I'm staring at on my screen! The "ajaxy" map that gets in the way and starts zooming in and out when I'm trying to scroll down a page. I dunno, so much potential and yet the big upgrade is adding a new intro to the website. I wish my money was going towards real development.

So save the criteria you use most often and just change the centerpoint each time. 2 steps at most and within 10 minutes or less you have up to 1000 caches to load into your unit. Seems like a great way to go.

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It's funny how question number 4 is pretty much the answer to numbers 1, 2 and 3 :lol:

 

Ha, well, I guess that would be the reason I have so many questions then, since the big answer is the thing I understand the least. :blink:

 

I guess I just need to spend more time with it and watch some of those tutorials. The membership price is cheap, I wasn't complaining about that, I just couldn't figure out what I was supposed to be getting out of it! It's rather confusing.

 

Thanks for the info!

 

~TSB

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Something else I love about being a premium memeber is the premium member cache listings and also the notifications. I love to go after the FTF and there is no other way to get that information faster than setting up a notification. <snip>

 

I'll share a tip here: Pocket Query

 

Set up a PQ with "That have not been found" (Are not on my ignore list, I do not own) checked. On the main Pocket Query page, you will note that there is a 'Preview this query' link to the left of the cache name. It looks like this ---> lightning_go.png Right click and save the link location to some place that you can access it easily. This gives you one-click results to your query whenever you want them. I have mine saved as a link on the 'Links' bar in my browser.

 

I logged FTF #243 yesterday. ;)

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FYI, I'm starting to get this figured out. I think a big part of it was just finding the correct links. The "path" you have to take on the website to get to the Pocket Queries is kinda' convoluted, IMHO. Considering it's such a big part of membership, I would have expected there to be a much more direct link. Again, I may be overlooking the obvious (still haven't done any tutorials), but right now I'm having to go to the main "Hide" page, then click on the Google Maps link (which never mentions PQ's), then find the tiny little link on the right that says "Create a PQ". For a newcomer, you've gotta' be pretty darn determined to ever figure all that out.

 

That said, the PQ filter IS pretty sweet!

 

~SM

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FYI, I'm starting to get this figured out. I think a big part of it was just finding the correct links. The "path" you have to take on the website to get to the Pocket Queries is kinda' convoluted, IMHO. Considering it's such a big part of membership, I would have expected there to be a much more direct link. Again, I may be overlooking the obvious (still haven't done any tutorials), but right now I'm having to go to the main "Hide" page, then click on the Google Maps link (which never mentions PQ's), then find the tiny little link on the right that says "Create a PQ". For a newcomer, you've gotta' be pretty darn determined to ever figure all that out.

 

That said, the PQ filter IS pretty sweet!

 

~SM

From your profile page - http://www.geocaching.com/my/default.aspx - on the right side coloumn of links - look under premium member features for the link to your own Pocket Query page. It says "Build Pocket Queries"

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Something else I love about being a premium memeber is the premium member cache listings and also the notifications. I love to go after the FTF and there is no other way to get that information faster than setting up a notification. <snip>

 

I'll share a tip here: Pocket Query

 

Set up a PQ with "That have not been found" (Are not on my ignore list, I do not own) checked. On the main Pocket Query page, you will note that there is a 'Preview this query' link to the left of the cache name. It looks like this ---> lightning_go.png Right click and save the link location to some place that you can access it easily. This gives you one-click results to your query whenever you want them. I have mine saved as a link on the 'Links' bar in my browser.

 

I logged FTF #243 yesterday. ;)

 

no way the PQ is faster unless you run it every 5 minutes

 

i see my emails from my phone

Edited by t4e
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