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Using phone apps to locate private caches

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I am running a geocaching class at school and want to 'hide' some caches on the school grounds that only my students can locate (what I call 'private' or non-public caches). I have figured out how to get the coordinates of the hidden caches, but what I want to be able to do is then get students to upload coordinates to their phones and use their apps to locate the hidden caches. Can anybody point me to a place where I can find out how to do this using the different phone apps?





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what I want to be able to do is then get students to upload coordinates to their phones and use their apps

One thing they can do is make a waypoint. The coordinates would be entered by hand. There are various ways to do that depending on the App, but here's how to make a waypoint using the official Geocaching App:



Another thing you could do is make an actual "GPX" file. You'd type coordinates, cache name, container type, terrain, difficulty, description, and hint. I've made a very basic GPX file (with just name and coordinates, I didn't type every field) just fine using a free Windows program called EasyGPS. But there's kind of a learning curve, and then you'd have to plan to upload the GPX files to the phones. Maybe the files could be in some web site's file area. Anyway, those are some ideas.

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You may have a problem with the "downloading" issue.

Obviously, with geocaching.com, downloading is available only with listed geocaches. All listed geocaches on the site are open to the general membership (public). I suspect this is also true with other "geocaching" website that provide download options.

So that fact by itself negates private or non-public caches.


I think that leaves you with supplying the students with a list of coordinates and they would have to enter those coordinates as waypoints and navigate to them from that point. A "geocache", technically is only a waypoint with a package at that location, anyway.


The upside to this is that you are teaching them something beyond merely downloading from a listing service (website). Some caches require projecting or adding a waypoint anyway... so you kill two birds with one stone [Many folks using apps are unaware that they can do such]!


Another problem that does rear its ugly head is that if they are using their phones, you are going to need to know how to do such with probably three different platforms -- Apple, Android and Windows. I *believe* they all do it, but they do it differently.

If all were using a single platform... it would be less of a problem, obviously.


This page in the Groundspeak Help Center delineates the method of creating waypoints for the Apple and Android apps. Sadly, getting that info for Windows platform is a bit of a drag.


Good Luck...

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I agree that the main problem you are dealing with is the number of apps and platforms. I would probably not rely on the Groundspeak app because of the cost. On the iphone you might think about having people enter coordinates using something like the free version of motion x. There are, of course, free caching apps that could be used as well.


With all the different apps and formats out there, a good place to begin would be to show your students the systems that are used for recording coordinates and how to convert coordinates from one format to another.

Edited by geodarts

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