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GSAK?


fuegoman
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GSAK is fantastic and well worth the registration fee. I'd hate to go back to caching without it.

 

For me the most useful facility is to write (and run) macros which let me export unfound caches a certain distance from specified centre points in various formats. I also regularly search the database for unfound caches to export.

I've recently discovered the 'Get geocaches' menu which lets you, amongst other things, query the GS website and download caches within 50km of a given centre point.

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I deplore paying for most software but I have never once regretted paying for this software nor paying for the very infrequent requests to have to pay for an upgrade. Geoacaching without GSAK and the phenomenal support that Clyde and the macro writers provide on their board is like a day without sunshine!

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I deplore paying for most software but I have never once regretted paying for this software nor paying for the very infrequent requests to have to pay for an upgrade. Geoacaching without GSAK and the phenomenal support that Clyde and the macro writers provide on their board is like a day without sunshine!

Same here. I would even pay a yearly fee to keep it.

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GSAK is a very very powerful program. I don't fully understand its capabilities, but my husband uses it more than I do. It's COMPLEX almost like computer programming!!! Lol

 

Maybe if you look at this... You might get a better idea.

http://www.gsak.net/v80/hs21000.htm

 

It *can* be complex (and it does have its own language for the writing of optional, but very powerful macros) but it doesn't have to be.

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If the tutorial you were watching was from last year it may be from version 7.. version 8 is so much better. Chiefly, the way it talks to gc.com's own API.

 

One tiny example - only this morning, I had 2000 caches in my database that hadn't got a recent GPX because they'd not appeared in my pocket queries. In several clicks, I can set it to refresh and a few minutes later, every single one has been refreshed, with recent logs, and those that have been archived have been marked accordingly.

 

You can do a lot of things it can do yourself, but this does it so much quicker.

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I deplore paying for most software but I have never once regretted paying for this software nor paying for the very infrequent requests to have to pay for an upgrade. Geoacaching without GSAK and the phenomenal support that Clyde and the macro writers provide on their board is like a day without sunshine!

Same here. I would even pay a yearly fee to keep it.

 

Shush!

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I deplore paying for most software but I have never once regretted paying for this software nor paying for the very infrequent requests to have to pay for an upgrade. Geoacaching without GSAK and the phenomenal support that Clyde and the macro writers provide on their board is like a day without sunshine!

------------------------------------------------------------

 

Shush!

Uhhhh!!! :unsure: I meeaaannnnnn... uuuuuummmmmmm :unsure:

 

Nothing to see! Move along.

 

bye :ph34r:

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I deplore paying for most software but I have never once regretted paying for this software nor paying for the very infrequent requests to have to pay for an upgrade. Geoacaching without GSAK and the phenomenal support that Clyde and the macro writers provide on their board is like a day without sunshine!

 

This!

I think that the most important feature is the program's developer and his two assistants involvement with their customers through the support forum. Bug reports are patched, usually within hours. Feature requests are implemented if they make sense, and if it doesn't, it is clearly explained why a feature request won't be implemented. Do you want to do something that no one has thought of yet? Post it and someone will write a macro, just for you. Some of these macros turn into major endeavors and even become a part of the program.

 

Kind of ironic considering what happened this week, but earlier this year, I posted that it would be nice to be able to change the tool bar icons in GSAK. The next day, a new patch was released, where if you create a Toolbar folder and place the properly named icons in it, they replace the ones on the toolbar.

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earlier this year, I posted that it would be nice to be able to change the tool bar icons in GSAK. The next day, a new patch was released, where if you create a Toolbar folder and place the properly named icons in it, they replace the ones on the toolbar.

Hey... can you think of anybody else that could use that idea? :laughing:

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GSAK is a very very powerful program. I don't fully understand its capabilities, but my husband uses it more than I do. It's COMPLEX almost like computer programming!!! Lol

 

Maybe if you look at this... You might get a better idea.

http://www.gsak.net/v80/hs21000.htm

It's even complex for me but I love it and I learn more all the time. We have a cacher who teaches classes about it. We even recently went to one and I now know more then I did before going.

I sometimes can't figure how cachers can not have it. It really helps with Challenges too.

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The only thing it doesn't do for me is find the cache :) I use it to keep track of solved puzzles, generate stats, determine if I qualify for challenge caches, and keep my Nuvi (using POI) and Oregon updated. FindStatGen macro is a wonderful waste of time. The support is excellent. I paid for ver 7, and when ver 8 came out I paid for the upgrade without hesitation.

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Add me to the list of voices who love GSAK. I've paid for it three times over the years as the major releases come out and never minded one bit because it is so worth it.

 

Yes, over the years Groundspeak has added a number of features to the site that you had to do in GSAK before, but GSAK can do as much or as little as you want. The community support for it is amazing too. I needed a macro to do a very specific one-off task and I asked in the GSAK forums because I couldn't find the right command and within an hour someone actually posted the full code I needed -- just copy and paste.

 

GSAK rocks.

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Ohhh ... do you mean you can geocache without GSAK? Never thought this was even possible! :ph34r:

 

The best spent money in software ever!

Not sure if that was at me. What I'm saying is you may never have to go to the website. You can get your pocket queries, refresh your cache data, log your caches, look at the maps, read a cache page, just about everything.

Me I still like visiting the website.

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Until I drank the koolade and got an iPhone, the only way for me to bypass the PMO audit log was with GSAK.

 

I ran the thing unpaid for a LONG time; once the API-integrated version was released, I finally coughed up the dough (worth every penny).

 

Besides, it was cool to see at what number of seconds the delay on the nag screen maxed out (coincidentally or not):

 

ebf91ebf-56f4-41fc-99cb-2fe2d18b0e4b.jpg

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Thanks for all the response to the question... does anyone have any examples of what it can do that I can't do on the site? I understand that it will run macros, but what macros would I need to run? Can I download the coordinates of multiple caches to my GPS at once?

 

Thanks again!!

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Thanks for all the response to the question... does anyone have any examples of what it can do that I can't do on the site? I understand that it will run macros, but what macros would I need to run? Can I download the coordinates of multiple caches to my GPS at once?

 

Thanks again!!

 

Just one example of something that I did last weekend - for all the caches in my database (placed there with a combination of PQs and GSAK API calls) I filtered for those within 30 miles, that hadn't been found in over 12 months, that weren't archived, that had a d/t of at least 2/2. I then updated these with the API to make sure that my data was up-to-date. I then exported them to a GPX file that I uploaded to my GPS using Windows Explorer.

 

Another example - when I was trying to fill my grid I wrote a macro which gave me just those caches that would help me complete it. Not that it's complete I've modified the macro so that it can give me those caches that will help me complete the grid for each cache type. These can then be exported as a GPX file.

Also, when I was trying to complete my grid, I had another macro which would set a user flag field on caches that would help me. When I exported caches for an area to MemoryMap format I modified the export so that those caches were given a red icon so that they stood out more on the map.

 

Lots more examples...

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I used it in two ways that currently the site has no provisions for. I keep a database of about an 85 mile radius of my home. At least 1 a month I have others I cache regularly with. I can filter on caches that none of us have found. I also, via the API and GSAK, took my unfound database and pulled down all the found it logs for my unfound caches. By doing this, I was able to set up a cache run of caches none of us had found previously.

 

It also easily identifies caches you have not found by certain placed dates, counties, D/T combos and year/month placed combos, etc.

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Thanks for all the response to the question... does anyone have any examples of what it can do that I can't do on the site? I understand that it will run macros, but what macros would I need to run? Can I download the coordinates of multiple caches to my GPS at once?

 

Thanks again!!

 

Here's a simple one. In a PQ you can't search by keyword.

 

With GSAK you can create a PQ of all the caches in an area you are interested in (there are ways to get around the 1000 limit). You then load the PQ into GSAK and then filter on all sorts of things. You could filter for, say, show all the regular caches placed by monkey; that contain the word banana. Once you have run the filter, it's then just a button press to upload the deatils onto your GPS.

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Thanks for all the response to the question... does anyone have any examples of what it can do that I can't do on the site? I understand that it will run macros, but what macros would I need to run? Can I download the coordinates of multiple caches to my GPS at once?

Thanks again!!

 

To answer your specific question, yes! The program was originally developed to do just that. At the time, there were very few GPS units that had a file system that you could manipulate by attaching it to your computer. GC.com allowed you to download Pocket Query files containing up to 500 geocaches, but it needed to be sent to the GPS in it's own special format. GSAK as well as few other programs filled this need. The real power of GSAK is that you can use a multitude of different criteria to send just the caches that you want to your GPS unit. Instead of trying to isolate the types of caches that you may want at any particular time on the PQ page, and then using one of you PQs just to find that you didn't get it right, you can just run a PQ that has everything, put it in GSAK and then play with it as much as you need to get just the caches that you want.

 

The examples above are a great illustrations of what the program can do. I'll offer another. I keep a database updated weekly of all unfound caches in a 40 mile radius. That is currently 9227 caches. My GPSr holds up to 1000. I live in a irregularly shaped valley surrounded by four mountain ranges. With GSAK, I can create a Polygon filter using the program's utility to draw the boundaries of my valley on a Google Map. Click a button and it imports it into the proper place in GSAK and filters to include only those caches that within that polygon, which gives me 723 caches, well within my GPSr's limits. The magic is that I can save this filter and bring it up with two mouse clicks.

 

I also have saved polygon filters for each area of the mountain ranges, so if I wake up on Saturday and decide that I am going hiking, I can clear my GPS, click the saved polygon filter for the area that I want, use the API menu to refresh just those caches, then send it the GPS. Five minutes and I have fresh data and I'm out the door.

Edited by Don_J
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Thanks for all the response to the question... does anyone have any examples of what it can do that I can't do on the site? I understand that it will run macros, but what macros would I need to run? Can I download the coordinates of multiple caches to my GPS at once?

Thanks again!!

 

I also have saved polygon filters for each area of the mountain ranges, so if I wake up on Saturday and decide that I am going hiking, I can clear my GPS, click the saved polygon filter for the area that I want, use the API menu to refresh just those caches, then send it the GPS. Five minutes and I have fresh data and I'm out the door.

 

I wanted to add. In my example, if I was smart enough, I can create a macro to do all of those step automatically. I can then put a button on the tool bar and assign it to that macro. Hook up the GPS, click the button and wait for the magic to happen.

 

Since I'm not smart enough, I can write about what I'm trying to accomplish on the GSAK support forum and by the end of the day, I'll probably either have my macro, or a template of the proper programming code so I can fill in the blanks and be on my way.

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Thanks for all the response to the question... does anyone have any examples of what it can do that I can't do on the site? I understand that it will run macros, but what macros would I need to run? Can I download the coordinates of multiple caches to my GPS at once?

For me, and possibly for you, it depends on which challenge I am working on. From the site you have no idea the elevation of any caches, yet via GSAK and a macro you can tell the elevations of caches you are hunting as well as those you have found.

 

From the site you really can't tell if you've found a cache every 10 miles out from your home to a certain distance but guess what..... there's a macro for that.

There are all kinds of macros that do all kinds of things, some I find useful some I don't, but the possibilities are endless.

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I wanted to add. In my example, if I was smart enough, I can create a macro to do all of those step automatically. I can then put a button on the tool bar and assign it to that macro. Hook up the GPS, click the button and wait for the magic to happen.

 

Since I'm not smart enough, I can write about what I'm trying to accomplish on the GSAK support forum and by the end of the day, I'll probably either have my macro, or a template of the proper programming code so I can fill in the blanks and be on my way.

Not to mention that if you have a problem or question about GSAK itself, Clyde gets back to you very quickly.

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Thanks for all the response to the question... does anyone have any examples of what it can do that I can't do on the site? I understand that it will run macros, but what macros would I need to run? Can I download the coordinates of multiple caches to my GPS at once?

 

Thanks again!!

 

Here's how I use GSAK (usually):

 

I maintain a database of unfound caches (about 3400) within about 20 miles from home. I have five different Pocket Queries that I run about every week or two. I download these PQs into a GSAK database, where I can purge the handful that have been archived/disabled since the PQ was last run. This takes about ten minutes from the time I check the boxes on geocaching.com. Then I plug in my GPSr and download the whole database into it. Now my GPSr always has a pretty fresh set of caches that I can go find on a moment's notice.

 

When GSAK downloads the database into my Montana, I have it runs a macro which adds the number of days since the cache was last found to the title (so my cache titles look like "CACHE TITLE (12)"). This is helpful here in Minnesota; it's nice to know a cache has been found since the last snowfall. If I'm not in the mood to dig a lot, I can just walk past.

 

I also maintain a separate database in GSAK with all my solved puzzles and the challenges that I qualify for. GSAK is made for challenges; many of them have macros that automate the (often tedious) task of sifting through my finds for qualifying caches. When there isn't a macro, I use my little bit of programming and database skill to create one.

 

GSAK also has powerful filtering tools. If I want to know (for example), how many puzzles I have found that start with "Q" and were published between June 13, 2002 and February 2, 2007, it only takes a few clicks to get the answer.

 

And GSAK 8 allows you to use the API skip the entire PQ process entirely, and download caches straight from Groundspeak's database to yours.

 

I'm not a huge fan of GSAK's interface (I think it should present you with a map view instead of a list), but it is an amazingly powerful tool.

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I do agree, A map view would be great. I'm just learning the program, I'm sure there's a way to load them into Google Earth.

 

Go to the GSAK forum, open the Macro Master Index towards the bottom and type Google into the search field.

 

I prefer myGoogleEarth.gsk for Google Earth and Google_Map_V3.gsk for Google Maps.

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I do agree, A map view would be great. I'm just learning the program, I'm sure there's a way to load them into Google Earth.

 

There's a GSAK macro called "Google Map V3" that opens a browser window to Google Maps with all the caches in your database on it. I put a button on my toolbar so I can run it with a mouse click. It's not interactive with the database, but it's the next best thing.

 

Edit: Heh. Beaten by two whole minutes. :)

Edited by JJnTJ
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I do agree, A map view would be great. I'm just learning the program, I'm sure there's a way to load them into Google Earth.

 

There's a GSAK macro called "Google Map V3" that opens a browser window to Google Maps with all the caches in your database on it. I put a button on my toolbar so I can run it with a mouse click. It's not interactive with the database, but it's the next best thing.

 

Edit: Heh. Beaten by two whole minutes. :)

 

Actually, it's all of the caches in your filter. This is a good way to see if your filter is covering the area that you desire.

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Actually, it's all of the caches in your filter. This is a good way to see if your filter is covering the area that you desire.

 

Yes, I know, but I wanted to keep it simple for newer folks. It can take a little while to get one's head around filtered database vs. unfiltered (and how to tell whether the database is currently being viewed through a filter), especially when you just want a quick map view.

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Here is another one I use -- My garmin (GPSMap60csx) can only hold 1000 waypoints/geocaches. However, it can hold a nearly unlimited number of Points Of Interest. Using GSAK and a macro (notice a theme on the macros?), I can create a set of POI files for the GPS, and load in more than 1000 at a time -- including cache page information, even though the unit is not really a paperless unit. This is nice when I am on a trip, I can load whole areas, just in case I get the opportunity to get one. It is also nice around home, as I am in a cache dense area, and can keep lots of the caches (both found and unfound) in the GPS so they are ready when I am.

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I still think the Merge Macro is the best thing since sliced bread...after GSAK, of course. I keep a master database of all unfound caches in our state, currently just under 10,000. I keep another 17 sub-databases for things like DeLorme and County Challenges, solved puzzles, other challenge caches, My Finds, etc. For instance, every now and again I take a crack at solving some puzzles. When one gets solved, it gets copied to the Solved database. I use the Merge macro to combine whatever filtered set(s) from the Master database I may be interested in at the time (minus puzzles), and the Solved puzzles. That way, I only have solved puzzles and regular caches loaded on the GPS.

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There's one other thing that GSAK can do, thru the API, that you can't do currently on site: Get caches in an area but ignore (i.e.. not download) caches by one or more hiders.

 

Also, you can get more logs when you download a set of caches - up to 30 on the initial download (compare 5 in a PQ, 20 from individual GPX files from the cache page), then you can get all the logs if you wish (there are limits on how many you can get at one time, just to control the load on the servers).

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There's one other thing that GSAK can do, thru the API, that you can't do currently on site: Get caches in an area but ignore (i.e.. not download) caches by one or more hiders.

 

Also, you can get more logs when you download a set of caches - up to 30 on the initial download (compare 5 in a PQ, 20 from individual GPX files from the cache page), then you can get all the logs if you wish (there are limits on how many you can get at one time, just to control the load on the servers).

 

Plus, you can get caches that are within a rectangle as opposed to a PQ which is generally in a circle.

 

And, you can download only caches that have not been found by other users, up to five names. In other words, only the caches that your friends have not found. Great for setting up cache runs where you want only caches that you all need to find.

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Another nice little trick is sorting out the caches that I and my caching buddy both have not found. That we have nothing but unfound caches to look for on our trips together. Then I can turn around in a matter of just a minute or two and have a set caches just for my trips.

 

It's not just what it can do, which is everything, it's how easily and quickly it does it.

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Thanks for all the response to the question... does anyone have any examples of what it can do that I can't do on the site? I understand that it will run macros, but what macros would I need to run? Can I download the coordinates of multiple caches to my GPS at once?

 

Thanks again!!

 

I pretty much use GSAK exclusively for browse caches. Since I've been using it since day 1 or 2, I have just about ever cache published in NJ and Eastern PA. I frequently browse my archive data base to see if a new cache was in the area of a new placed cache.

 

My main function is to keep track of corrected coordinates on puzzles. I also keep notes about hide. The multiple locations center points is nice, too. As is the filter for nearest by points.

 

I recently used a macro to filter caches by days hidden to complete a 31 day calendar challenge. I was doing this with a friend, so I was able to refine the search to exclude caches that she had found.

 

There are two filters that I use all the time for my GPS uploads.

 

I have my "Work Route" filter. I frequent two offices that are about 30 miles apart. I take different routes to both from home and another when I go between them. The filter returns all caches that are a terrain rating of 2 or less, and have been found in the last 30 days, and do not have 2 or more recent DNF's

 

I also have my "Favorites" filter. This returns all caches with 3 or more favorite points within 30 mile of my home. I use this to create an upload of these caches and any caches within .15 for those. This is my out and about on the weekend filter.

 

One of the other things I do are exports to flat files or HTML code for Forum post on our local site.

 

You can use it for more than just Geocaches. I have loaded many Waymarks that I've found interesting as well as many Benchmarks from the NGS Databases. I had even entered all of the local Geocaching Challenges into GSAK, so I was able to export them to a GPX file.

 

Finally, I combine all of those databases and upload them to my Nuvi as POI's, so if I'm really desperate, and find myself lost in the swamps of Jersey. I can see if there is a cache nearby.

Of course, with my smart phone, this is not as important to me, but it's always fun to watch caches come on and off the screen while I'm driving. :rolleyes:

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Thanks for all the response to the question... does anyone have any examples of what it can do that I can't do on the site? I understand that it will run macros, but what macros would I need to run? Can I download the coordinates of multiple caches to my GPS at once?

 

Thanks again!!

It'll depend on what your 'goals' are...... GSAK helps you will all sorts of geocaching goals.

 

My husband does all the work with it, but we've recently taken trips across the State to collect caches in all of the counties & delorme maps. Two separate challenges - Counties & Delorme maps and you can't use the the same cache to fulfill both requirements. Hard for me to explain, but my husband was able to run queries, sort them by the D/T we wanted, have them listed on a special map with county lines & Delorme grid lines so we knew which caches were in what counties /grids.... pinpoint a route and had the caches listed in order of our route. He had a HUGE list of all the caches and what counties / grids they qualified for in case we couldn't find the couple on our route (and had to deviate).

 

Another Challenge (puzzle) is to get a cache NAME starting with every letter in alphabet/0-9. GSAK helps us keep track of a which ones we've found and what we have left (without having to manually go thru all your finds).

 

It also allows you to make up custom profile pages.

 

And.... we use GSAK and a macro to put caches (info, details) in our Garmin Nuvi.

Edited by Lieblweb
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