Release Notes (Website: Downloading caches to GPS devices) - August 28, 2018
With today’s website release, we have made updates to how geocaches can be downloaded to GPS devices.
We have removed the ‘Send to GPS’ option from the Geocaching map and the ‘Send to My GPS’ button from cache pages. This functionality has become increasingly unreliable in recent years because modern web browsers do not allow the operating system access required for the plugin to function correctly. This results in a poor experience for users whose browser plugins suddenly stop working, as well as for new users who expect the options to work correctly.
We have also removed the ‘LOC waypoint file’ button from cache pages due to lack of usage, and also because GPX files contain more information and are more widely supported.
Going forward, GPSr users can put geocaches on their devices by clicking ‘Download GPX’ on the Geocaching map, or by clicking the ‘GPX file’ button on the cache page. Then, transfer the downloaded file to a GPS device.
Premium users can also send geocaching Lists to their supported Garmin GPSr with Garmin Express.
Update (9/5/2018): the initial release did not include a few related updates. Effective today, we have:
• Removed the Send to GPS functionality from the 'Your Recently Viewed Caches' page.
• Removed the Send to GPS functionality from old search results (e.g. https://www.geocaching.com/seek/nearest.aspx?lat=47.778633&lng=-122.289967)
• Removed the actual 'Send to GPS' page
• Removed the Download .LOC button at the bottom of bookmark list pages
Ben (Ben H) from HQ’s Product Team is watching the thread to answer questions whenever possible.
Any posts in this thread should relate to features in this release. Unrelated comments may be removed. Please direct unrelated comments to other appropriate threads. Thanks!
I would like to speak up for my parents Oldsters Go Play Outside who like "fraager" above are 80 years old and like "horseshoechamp" above have older GPSs that cannot accept a GPX download file directly.
This change has completely blocked my parent’s ability to geocache as they have for the last 14 years.
They have 4 different Garmin GPSMap 60 series devices that they have accumulated over the years and have found over 10,000 caches, all of which were individually loaded (and in to separate GPSs) using the "Send to GPS" feature of the website.
My parent’s computer literacy is very limited, compounded by my father’s recent and inexorable decent into Alzheimer/dementia. My parents learned how to use the internet and email in the last 15 years just to Geocache after we introduced them to the sport. Geocaching is their main source of physical activity and recreation.
I moved them off of Firefox last year on to their old Internet Explorer to allow them to continue using Sent to GPS when that stopped working.
My parents bought a new GPS a couple of years ago, a GPSmap 62 but the new navigation and menu system completely stymied them and I ended up exchanging my 60CS with them so they could continue using an user interface they were familiar and comfortable with. Changing to a new GPS compatible with GPX files is not only expensive but in their case not practical.
As for using a desktop program as an intermediate, I have used GSAK for a decade or more and I know that my Mom will not be able to use it or likely any of the other GPX management programs without constant assistance.
When my Mom called this evening to ask for help when the Send To GPS button disappeared I offered to load up all the caches in the city they are travelling to tomorrow using GSAK remotely on their computer but bulk uploads are not practical either.
As I said, they are both 80 and the caches they can do these days are limited. And those limitations are not just defined by the Terrain rating.
My Mom carefully reads every potential cache including logs, attributes, and D/T ratings to decide if they could or should try to go after it. Only then does she load it into the 2 or 3 GPSs they usually use. One for each of them and a spare in case one does not work properly (like I said, the GPSs are old too). She then prints out the cache page for reference and to make notes on.
Because of this a bulk download of caches in an area would just add a lot of unwanted caches to their GPS and make it confusing and difficult to navigate cache to cache.
They like to go on caching trips out of town and with a limit of 500 waypoint storage, bulk downloads are often not practical way to load the GPS anyway.
The only solution I can think of so far is a scripted or automatic way of passing a downloaded GPX straight to a connected GPS without user intervention but I can’t see a way to do that yet.
Failing that, this change that has been made that is supposed to remove a feature that was getting little use is going to have a huge effect on my parents and I can’t imagine they are alone in this.
My father has lost the ability to read, he is almost deaf (has been for decades) but can no longer read subtitles on TV and his remaining forms of entertainment and passing the time are getting very limited. Geocaching is the one thing he wants to do to alleviate the boredom and this may be being taken away from him as well.
I know this may seem like a unique and limited use case but it affects us and I imagine others as well.
I hope there is a solution but I can’t see one yet.
Edit: update, just talked to my Mom again and she says that she is too old to learn a new GPS or new software. If I can't find a seamless transparent way to load caches on their GPS then they are done caching, which would be heart-breaking for them