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Is it time to deprecate .loc format


NYPaddleCacher
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Over in the general topics forum someone mention a thread that apparently suggested that some of the newer Garmin GPS devices wouldn't support .loc format.

 

That made me wonder if it might be time to deprecate the .loc format. Essentially, basic members could download waypoints (one at a time as they do now) in gpx format but without the Groundspeak extensions or just with a subset of the GS extensions (e.g. D/T ratings, size, container type).

 

While I was looking into this I download a .loc file for a cache for comparison and saw that it has elements for terrain, difficulty, and container elements. I looked at some old .loc files I had downloaded and these elements did not exist. I suppose that since the .loc files are just XML without a DTD or schema they can put anything in it they want.

 

If a GPX format was used for premium and basic members it would provide a format that could be validated and continue to be used with modern gps devices.

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The 'send to gps' button creates a .gpx file, regardless of member status. Premium members get the full gpx while basic members get only the coordinates, cache name and GC code, and the D/T and size. No description, logs, or hints. I see no reason why basic members can't download a gpx with the same information.

 

But my original thread linked above was regarding benchmarks. Unfortunately, Groundspeak appears to be neglecting its non-geocaching ventures - benchmarking and Waymarking. Wherigo has already been abandoned.

 

Why not integrate all of these into the geocaching.com site, and include updated search tools and mass download options, including full descriptive .gpx files?

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In light of the new "Send to Garmin" feature that hasn't fully replaced the dying "Send to GPS" function, I'm going to attempt to revive this conversation. For non-premium members who enjoy keeping their browsers and/or operating systems up to date, there are no longer any good options for getting geocache information directly to a GPS. The options include using a 3rd party geocache manager via the very limited API, or downloading an unsupported LOC file that must be converted to GPX before being placed on a GPS.

 

In keeping with the spirit that geocaching should remain open and free, can we please make the "Download GPX" option available to non-premium members? Even if they're downloading GPX-lite files? This is a much better option than asking free members to keep an outdated browser and/or OS just to use the "Send to GPS" feature.

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The options include using a 3rd party geocache manager via the very limited API, or downloading an unsupported LOC file that must be converted to GPX before being placed on a GPS.

 

The loc files do not contain the additional waypoints anyhow.

 

In keeping with the spirit that geocaching should remain open and free, can we please make the "Download GPX" option available to non-premium members? Even if they're downloading GPX-lite files? This is a much better option than asking free members to keep an outdated browser and/or OS just to use the "Send to GPS" feature.

 

I had a lengthy communication (it took time to explain the details to the support person) with someone from the GS support about this some weeks ago and the answer in the end was that GS is not planning to offer such a lite version of gpx files for basic members.

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I had a lengthy communication (it took time to explain the details to the support person) with someone from the GS support about this some weeks ago and the answer in the end was that GS is not planning to offer such a lite version of gpx files for basic members.

 

But why? The "Send to GPS" feature already produces a lite GPX file for non-premium members. It shouldn't be that hard to just integrate that into the "Download GPX" button.

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I had a lengthy communication (it took time to explain the details to the support person) with someone from the GS support about this some weeks ago and the answer in the end was that GS is not planning to offer such a lite version of gpx files for basic members.

 

But why? The "Send to GPS" feature already produces a lite GPX file for non-premium members. It shouldn't be that hard to just integrate that into the "Download GPX" button.

 

This is also what I have thought. I was not provided with reasons neither in other forum threads nor in the mentioned communication with someone from the staff.

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