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Logging Caches Via Email

Prime Suspect

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I thought about writing some code on my server to allow me to log caches via email. I, like others, have access to email via a handheld device, and would like to use it to log caches. But I thought that this would be something others might like as well. So here's how I envision it working on geocaching.com:


First of all, a "Log By Email Address" field would have to be added to a user's profile. This could be the same address as their usual GC address, or (most likely) different.


Three target email boxes would be set up:

  • found@geocaching.com

  • notfound@geocaching.com

  • note@geocaching.com

To log a cache, send an email to the appropriate address above. In the subject line, put the waypoint id, the date in mdy format (sorry for being USAcentric) and your GeoCaching name. There should be at least 1 blank space between each of the three pieces of information.


Subject: GC1234 3/26/2002 Prime Suspect


Send the email. GeoCaching will store this information, and create a unique random key number, which it will associate with the stored information. An email will be sent to the "Log By Email Address" specified in the cacher's profile. The key number will be in the subject line.


(The reason for this is to have a reasonable amount of assurance that the cache poster is actually who they are supposed to be.)


The cacher replies to the message (making sure not to change the subject line), putting the information they want to show up in the cache log, in the body of the email. If they want the log encrypted, they would start the body text with "encrypt:".


The key numbers should have a life of about 24 hours. After that, if the key number has not been used, it would be purged and the cacher would have to resubmit to get a new number.


Just an idea... icon_smile.gif



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That's slick... you might change to one email address (logbymail@geocaching.com) and put the found/notfound/note as the first line of the log.


Another way might be to set up a VERY simple web form... can Palm VII/etc handle that?


> Martin (Magellan 330)

Don't have time to program and record your shows while geocaching? Get a TiVo!

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With the 3 email addresses, I was trying to reduce the amount of parsing that would have to be done. And reduce the possibility of input error. If your device has email, it probably has some sort of address book as well. So you don't have to remember whether you're supposed to type "NOT FOUND" or "NOTFOUND" or "DIDNOTFIND" or "COULDNOTFIND", etc.


I ran an email list off my PC for years, before moving off to a server-based system. I found it was easier and far more reliable to set up JOINLIST@... and EXITLIST@... email addresses to allow people to join or leave the list, rather than having them put "subscribe" or "unsubscribe" in the subject line. The typos I received were amazing.


As for a simple form - I used to be able to log caches using my Palm VII, using the DPWeb browser. Unfortunately, the company that ran DPWeb went belly-up.com a few months ago. No one has stepped up to the plate to fill the gap yet.


However something WAP enabled might be useful.



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