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saguaroastro

Getting back into it

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After a bit of a hiatus, I'm getting back in to Caching & benchmarking. I recall Getting archived files of data sheets by county that could be run through a utility called BM2GPX that created a GPX file that could be loaded to GSAK. It seems the yearly archive where they were is no longer available. IN the time away has a newer more efficient way to get this data been implemented?

please enlighten me on how we are getting datasheets to GPX Files.

 

thanks in advance

Rick

aka SaguaroAstro

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These days I think most people who load datasheets into GSAK use NGS>GPX which is available here:

http://ngs.tsqmadness.com/help/index.html

 

Unlike the old BMGPX it can create better formed pocket query style GPX files. (Including translating recovery reports into log entries.) It also is able to use the current datasheet format which has undergone a few changes that might cause issues with BMGPX. It has multiple options you can set and is a Windows GUI program rather then a command line one.

 

For Android smartphone users there is also the free BenchMap app, by the creator of NGS>GPX, which downloads datasheet info on demand.

http://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tsqmadness.bmmaps

 

As far as how to get the datasheets, I use per-state monthly archives when I load a new state into GSAK, (each state having it's own database) and if I wanted to get the most up to date info for a specific area I'd do a county search. Some of those files, for states with a large number of benchmarks, may need the text file split into multiple parts for processing in NGS>GPX (2 is usually enough in my experience) and I use a hex editor that can handle large files (XVI32) to do that.

 

I also use the GDAK app on my Android phone for Geocaching/Benchmarking because it supports multiple databases and can handle an entire state's benchmark database, so doesn't need to download datasheet info and I can even preload maps on a state by state basis for use in areas with bad cellular coverage.

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I haven't chased brass much this year (back into chasing Montana birds); but about 18 months ago I start using just Google Earth and GSAK state files on a laptop while on a road trip. I will spend lots of planning time with data sorts in GSAK, move selected groupings into Excel and then really Hi-grade for the old/unique ones.

 

Excel columns of target PIDs will copy/paste into DSWorld for pinning on GE. A left click on a mark will give quick links to the DATASHEET, a DESCRIPTION, PHOTOS, and the GeoCache page. I use a Verizon air-card to connect to the internet and have had good luck with GE being useable even after dozens of miles out of cell tower contact.

 

Very seldom do I pre-load my Garmin Venture with Lat/Longs but will punch them in and make short hand notes of the DS description in a field book if the mark is not obvious or a long hike from a parking place.

 

DSWorld will also pin by counties.

 

kayakbird

 

PS: I did get one the other day in Powder River County - spotted the WP while a young rancher was changing a flat tire for me, and later fixed the flat at the ranch shop.

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Thanks for the reply, Quite helpful. I had already downloaded the Benchmap App a few days prior. I did get NGS>GPS and downloaded the AZ archive into GSAK. A few questions though. I checked the box to put the county in the country field and No Soap. Also entered my Cache ID & caching name so it would find my recoveries as finds and again, Just a plain import. Any ideas what I missed?

 

Again, I really appreciate the info, it was just what I was looking for.

 

Cache on

Rick

aka SaguaroAstro

 

These days I think most people who load datasheets into GSAK use NGS>GPX which is available here:

http://ngs.tsqmadness.com/help/index.html

 

Unlike the old BMGPX it can create better formed pocket query style GPX files. (Including translating recovery reports into log entries.) It also is able to use the current datasheet format which has undergone a few changes that might cause issues with BMGPX. It has multiple options you can set and is a Windows GUI program rather then a command line one.

 

For Android smartphone users there is also the free BenchMap app, by the creator of NGS>GPX, which downloads datasheet info on demand.

http://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tsqmadness.bmmaps

 

As far as how to get the datasheets, I use per-state monthly archives when I load a new state into GSAK, (each state having it's own database) and if I wanted to get the most up to date info for a specific area I'd do a county search. Some of those files, for states with a large number of benchmarks, may need the text file split into multiple parts for processing in NGS>GPX (2 is usually enough in my experience) and I use a hex editor that can handle large files (XVI32) to do that.

 

I also use the GDAK app on my Android phone for Geocaching/Benchmarking because it supports multiple databases and can handle an entire state's benchmark database, so doesn't need to download datasheet info and I can even preload maps on a state by state basis for use in areas with bad cellular coverage.

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Thanks for the info, Do you have a link for DSWorld? Never heard of it.

 

Again thanks for the reply

 

Cache on

Rick

AKA SaguaroAstro

 

 

I haven't chased brass much this year (back into chasing Montana birds); but about 18 months ago I start using just Google Earth and GSAK state files on a laptop while on a road trip. I will spend lots of planning time with data sorts in GSAK, move selected groupings into Excel and then really Hi-grade for the old/unique ones.

 

Excel columns of target PIDs will copy/paste into DSWorld for pinning on GE. A left click on a mark will give quick links to the DATASHEET, a DESCRIPTION, PHOTOS, and the GeoCache page. I use a Verizon air-card to connect to the internet and have had good luck with GE being useable even after dozens of miles out of cell tower contact.

 

Very seldom do I pre-load my Garmin Venture with Lat/Longs but will punch them in and make short hand notes of the DS description in a field book if the mark is not obvious or a long hike from a parking place.

 

DSWorld will also pin by counties.

 

kayakbird

 

PS: I did get one the other day in Powder River County - spotted the WP while a young rancher was changing a flat tire for me, and later fixed the flat at the ranch shop.

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I've never used the Geocaching ID part, so I don't know how that would work, since that info would not be in the NGS datasheets. (As for the Initials field, your initials would only be in there if you submitted an official recovery report.) When I find a benchmark I usually mark it manually as found in GSAK.

 

As far as the county field, I use this macro instead to populate state/county/country fields:

http://gsak.net/board/index.php?showtopic=10074&st=0entry65322

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