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It would be nice if the geocache page let you know a if cell phone signal available


Wekiva
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it would be nice if there was a way for people to let others know if a cell signal is available on the geocache's info page.

Perhaps the site could overlay the cell coverage maps from whatever carrier one uses. Or better, make it a plugin for use within the App.

 

If the official App gathered data [“there's no phone service at cache X”], it could create a database, and local GC Groups may add to it ["X Forest has spotty cell service"]. Part of the problem will be dead spots (even miles away) that prevent loading a given cache, when the cache itself has data just fine.

 

Here's an idea. The App could use its growing database, and suggest a plan of action. Maybe when a cache is selected. “It looks like data service may be unavailable in the area of this cache. Do you want to download the cache description and maps for offline use?”

 

While we wait for this Feature to be implemented :ph34r:, Cache Owners can add info to individual cache pages as people have mentioned. When you know one cache in the area has no cell coverage, plan on having no coverage in that area.

 

If there is a surprise of no cell service (even if the maps say there is service), yet there is a hotspot, you may at least download the caches and rescue a caching trip. So I'd suggest hotspots be added to the idea. I don't use a smartphone but would like to know if there are wifi hotspots (if they're reliable or non Taco Bellish), if only to decide which place to camp for a cache weekend.

Edited by kunarion
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erg, highly unlikely they'll get implementing cell coverage maps, especially per provider, whithin geocaching.com's web or app features... Groundspeak doesn't like maintaining more in-house than they need to; I don't think they'd go farther than letting the CO decide what to inform their caches' viewers.

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erg

What about a bookmark? The Cache Owners in the area of typically really bad cell reception (or really great reception) could bookmark the affected caches (updating as desired). That would be good for the OP's concern, mapping out whether a place has service or not, in advance. It doesn't address individual cell phones (mine loses signal apparently at random, where I guess others have no issue, who knows). But it's a start.

Edited by kunarion
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The map microSD in my Garmin 60cx broke so today I tried to Geocache with my phone and it was a bitch. My smartphone would show the caches and where I was but no maps. Someone in this thread mentioned to download the maps. How do I do that? I have an Android. Is it an app?

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The map microSD in my Garmin 60cx broke so today I tried to Geocache with my phone and it was a bitch. My smartphone would show the caches and where I was but no maps. Someone in this thread mentioned to download the maps. How do I do that? I have an Android. Is it an app?

 

"The app" shows maps with some detail.

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The map microSD in my Garmin 60cx broke so today I tried to Geocache with my phone and it was a bitch. My smartphone would show the caches and where I was but no maps. Someone in this thread mentioned to download the maps. How do I do that? I have an Android. Is it an app?

 

"The app" shows maps with some detail.

 

I use c:geo as it works much smoother even though I have "the app" - was a waste of money but I'll try it next time I'm in that situation. Thanks!!

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I'm getting ready to go backpacking this weekend in the Ocala National Forest in Florida. I'd love to do some geocaching but an not sure if there will be cell phone signal where we'll be. From what I understand cell signal is spotty in this area. I was thinking it would be nice if there was a way for people to let others know if a cell signal is available on the geocache's info page. Obviously there are different carriers that would complicate it a bit. But I'm assuming as smart phones become more common that more and more are using them to geocache.

 

I see that this is an old thread but I thought I would reply to this. I go geocaching all the time in the Ocala National Forest. Sometimes with other people. There are areas where no one gets cell coverage. There are areas where only one person might get cell coverage and the other doesn't. I've been to geocaches where I've phoned for help, and am talking to the person and they say look over there. I move 2 feet and no longer have cell coverage. I move back and it comes back. So I could tell you there is cell coverage on a listing, but it wouldn't be guaranteed so why make the statement. It might just get someone mad at the CO because they thought there might be cell coverage. You would have to say what carrier you have and how new your phone is. I'm not sure it would be worth it in areas like this, especially not knowing if other carriers work where yours works.

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Assume that it isn't, and get a proper GPS.

 

Sounds like the best answer so far.

 

I went to an area yesterday and wanted to find one particular cache. I did what I normally do if I think I might want to cache - I looked at the map ahead of time. It did not require any particular attribute to let me know that I would not have cell service. But it also did not require any particular kind of gpsr - proper or not. It simply required the same kind of preparation that I would do regardless of whether I decided to use my phone or my Oregon 600.

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If you have time to check the attribute, why don't you just pre-load the cache information in your smartphone app? It's not practical for the CO to set the attribute as the reception is completely a dependent of the carrier and most COs have contact only with one carrier (or some COs don't even use a smartphone).

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The map microSD in my Garmin 60cx broke so today I tried to Geocache with my phone and it was a bitch. My smartphone would show the caches and where I was but no maps. Someone in this thread mentioned to download the maps. How do I do that? I have an Android. Is it an app?

"The app" shows maps with some detail.

I use c:geo as it works much smoother even though I have "the app" - was a waste of money but I'll try it next time I'm in that situation. Thanks!!

 

"download maps" is entirely app dependent. I don't think there are any geocaching apps that include the ability download maps, but there are many navigational apps that allow you to do so (some may cost more $$$).

Caching maps is a different thing. I can't speak for Android, but on iOS, any app that uses an OS-level map object (afaik pretty much any app will as it's better than programming one entirely from the ground up) includes the map caching feature. That is, the most recent map tiles you've viewed will be stored in memory for quicker access.

 

So if you know you'll be in an area with no data service for a while, you can scroll over that area at various zoom levels, and those map tiles will be retained and accessible when you have no data signal. You can try it by doing that whil you have signal, then turning on airplane mode. Testing it out will also tell you how much memory is used for map caching (how much you can scroll and keep in memory before tiles are 'lost' again).

 

I would presume the same mechanic applies to maps in the Android OS, so play with it, then you'll know.

Or just get an app that lets you download map regions :)

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I'd like to know if there's WiFi at the cache location. Don't care for cell coverage. In summer I'd like a "Icecream nearby" attribute too. :lol:

Instead of all these "warnings" about cell/no cell just one attribute "GBV" might work. Look it up, hint: it's an abbreviation in Dutch.

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The map microSD in my Garmin 60cx broke so today I tried to Geocache with my phone and it was a bitch. My smartphone would show the caches and where I was but no maps. Someone in this thread mentioned to download the maps. How do I do that? I have an Android. Is it an app?

"The app" shows maps with some detail.

I use c:geo as it works much smoother even though I have "the app" - was a waste of money but I'll try it next time I'm in that situation. Thanks!!

 

"download maps" is entirely app dependent. I don't think there are any geocaching apps that include the ability download maps, but there are many navigational apps that allow you to do so (some may cost more $$).

 

I would presume the same mechanic applies to maps in the Android OS, so play with it, then you'll know.

Or just get an app that lets you download map regions :)

 

I switched from an iPhone to an Android phone a couple of months ago. Rather than pay for the official app again I decided to try Cachesense. Yesterday I downloaded map tiles for Rome. The download runs in the background and I *assume* that all the tiles have been downloaded. I probably should put the phone in airplane mode and see if it worked before getting on a plane tomorrow.

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I switched from using map tiles (they get bulky really fast if you want, say, an entire European country) to vector maps. The ones from http://www.openandromaps.org/en are excellent. Fully offline.

 

I don't think there are any geocaching apps that include the ability download maps

Locus does, either in-app automatically, or via a compatible site like the one I mentioned above.

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"download maps" is entirely app dependent. I don't think there are any geocaching apps that include the ability download maps, but there are many navigational apps that allow you to do so (some may cost more $$$).

 

For the iPhone, looking4cache supports offline maps that can be downloaded through the app. Geobucket supports offline maps as well, but requires them to be made through MOBAC or Tilemill. A couple of years ago, I installed MOBAC maps before traveling to Scotland but ended up deleting them shortly into the trip - the refresh was slow so that I ended up using cached maps with normal app (geosphere), that I linked to pocket earth and navigon.

 

I have downloaded offline maps on my android tablet through GCDroid. I tried cachesense, which also supports offline maps, but like gcdroid much better.

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There have been times where there was a significant difference in signal strength between my wife's phone and mine. We had the same phone and same carrier. Just because I have a signal doesn't mean you will nor will you having a signal mean I will have a signal. GPS does a much better job but then there are also times it doesn't have a reliable signal either.

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Sorry. I don't own a cell phone.. I have no idea if service is available at my caches. Oh, well.

 

Right and that's fine; it shouldn't be 'Cell Service Available' :P

It's more like a hazard attribute, both for users of mobile devices and in cases of emergency (people tend to take cell service for granted; even now with more wilderness area getting coverage, shoddy as it may be). If you know there's no cell signal (especially if you think it may be a concern of people who visit your cache, or the area), you have the option of adding the attribute.

 

Again these days it's not so much about smartphone gps users - most every smartphone brand these days does not require cell service for GPS reception. It really is, primarily, for phone access, and partially for access to data via mobile network.

Edited by thebruce0
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Sorry. I don't own a cell phone.. I have no idea if service is available at my caches. Oh, well.

 

Right and that's fine; it shouldn't be 'Cell Service Available' :P

It's more like a hazard attribute, both for users of mobile devices and in cases of emergency (people tend to take cell service for granted; even now with more wilderness area getting coverage, shoddy as it may be). If you know there's no cell signal (especially if you think it may be a concern of people who visit your cache, or the area), you have the option of adding the attribute.

 

Again these days it's not so much about smartphone gps users - most every smartphone brand these days does not require cell service for GPS reception. It really is, primarily, for phone access, and partially for access to data via mobile network.

So does that mean it comes down to being prepared (downloading maps before you go), and being willing to wait to log your find until you're home? How in the world can we be expected to do that?! :ph34r:

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One thing to keep in mind is that not all CO's use a cell phone when they are placing a cache. I use my handheld GPSr when I've placed mine, since it's more accurate. Living in the NW, it's assumed that urban caching you'll have cell signal. But when you're hiking in the Columbia River Gorge, or the side of Mt. Hood, you more than likely will not have cell service. You might be able to make a phone call, but your data network won't work. I'm with Sprint, and have pretty good coverage.

 

I'm getting ready to go backpacking this weekend in the Ocala National Forest in Florida. I'd love to do some geocaching but an not sure if there will be cell phone signal where we'll be. From what I understand cell signal is spotty in this area. I was thinking it would be nice if there was a way for people to let others know if a cell signal is available on the geocache's info page. Obviously there are different carriers that would complicate it a bit. But I'm assuming as smart phones become more common that more and more are using them to geocache.

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If there were a cell signal option I would NEVER use it.

So it's irrelevant to you. That's fine. Again, like any attribute, "Bad cell reception" (or whatever it's called) would be an opt in attribute a CO could use if so desired.

 

Don't get me wrong, I'm not a huge proponent of making sure this attribute is created :P But I can see the logic behind its existence.

 

It's not a smartphone vs gpsr debate.

 

It's an attribute for a legitimate hazard, now that there are more and more people with mobile phones who take may their coverage for granted who are also more often going out into the wilderness for hikes and geocaching trips, potentially not aware or not prepared for emergencies. An attribute like this could be helpful for such people.

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If there were a cell signal option I would NEVER use it.

So it's irrelevant to you. That's fine. Again, like any attribute, "Bad cell reception" (or whatever it's called) would be an opt in attribute a CO could use if so desired.

 

Don't get me wrong, I'm not a huge proponent of making sure this attribute is created :P But I can see the logic behind its existence.

 

It's not a smartphone vs gpsr debate.

 

It's an attribute for a legitimate hazard, now that there are more and more people with mobile phones who take may their coverage for granted who are also more often going out into the wilderness for hikes and geocaching trips, potentially not aware or not prepared for emergencies. An attribute like this could be helpful for such people.

 

Not suggesting you fall into this category even in the slightest but I equate the cell phone addicts as the class of people needing everything handed to them on a platter. Yes, I have a smart phone. But yes, I can also live without it.

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There is an attribute, sort of. I've used this icon on a few of my remote-cache listings:

phone-no.gif

 

Note the retro phone shape; eventually it won't mean anything to anybody.

How quaint :)
How about something a bit more modern?

1868ea41-beca-469d-8c94-77c888679fbe_l.png7e9d0aa3-4141-4093-ab3d-d445d4649496_l.png

 

I still don't think we need this attribute though. Actually, I think the current "[No] Telephone Nearby" attributes are pretty pointless now too.

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There is an attribute, sort of. I've used this icon on a few of my remote-cache listings:

phone-no.gif

 

Note the retro phone shape; eventually it won't mean anything to anybody.

How quaint :)
How about something a bit more modern?

1868ea41-beca-469d-8c94-77c888679fbe_l.png7e9d0aa3-4141-4093-ab3d-d445d4649496_l.png

 

I still don't think we need this attribute though. Actually, I think the current "[No] Telephone Nearby" attributes are pretty pointless now too.

Just rename the attribute then...? Simple enough to just call the "telephone nearby" attribute "Phone available nearby". That can mean a pay phone or cell phone signal.

 

But a cell signal isn't enough most of the time to get maps downloaded, caches loaded, or to log a find from the field.

 

I think that being prepared for when you leave the house to hunt a cache is more important than working out a new attribute, but I also see why some may want to have it. I say, "meh".

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If there were a cell signal option I would NEVER use it.

So it's irrelevant to you. That's fine. Again, like any attribute, "Bad cell reception" (or whatever it's called) would be an opt in attribute a CO could use if so desired.

 

Don't get me wrong, I'm not a huge proponent of making sure this attribute is created :P But I can see the logic behind its existence.

 

It's not a smartphone vs gpsr debate.

 

It's an attribute for a legitimate hazard, now that there are more and more people with mobile phones who take may their coverage for granted who are also more often going out into the wilderness for hikes and geocaching trips, potentially not aware or not prepared for emergencies. An attribute like this could be helpful for such people.

 

Sure, a smartphone can help in an emergency, even save my life. Still, i'm certainly not going to rely on it to keep me safe. People have gotten use to computers and phones doing everything for them these days but there are times when these devices won't help one bit. People who go out unprepared are people who tend to get themselves in trouble. They need to learn and they need to think before they venture off into the unknown.

 

To my thinking, a cell signal attribute could actually get someone into trouble. They see the attribute and think they're ready for anything. They take off unprepared then run into a problem only to find that there is no signal or their battery is dead.. :o

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"download maps" is entirely app dependent. I don't think there are any geocaching apps that include the ability download maps, but there are many navigational apps that allow you to do so (some may cost more $$$).

Caching maps is a different thing. I can't speak for Android, but on iOS, any app that uses an OS-level map object (afaik pretty much any app will as it's better than programming one entirely from the ground up) includes the map caching feature. That is, the most recent map tiles you've viewed will be stored in memory for quicker access.

 

So if you know you'll be in an area with no data service for a while, you can scroll over that area at various zoom levels, and those map tiles will be retained and accessible when you have no data signal. You can try it by doing that whil you have signal, then turning on airplane mode. Testing it out will also tell you how much memory is used for map caching (how much you can scroll and keep in memory before tiles are 'lost' again).

 

I would presume the same mechanic applies to maps in the Android OS, so play with it, then you'll know.

Or just get an app that lets you download map regions :)

 

The app Locus Maps Pro lets you download free maps. Then you can go geocaching with a loaded gpx and pre-installed maps as if you are geocaching with any regular gps.

Edited by Twentse Mug
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