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Jayeffel

Waypoint Averaging

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I have been having problems with obtaining good coordinates when placing a cache. I was told a good way, if not the best way,  is to use Waypoint Averaging. So when I placed two caches recently I did that. Then on the cache page under"Directions "the Map shows the distance  off some . One cache said by a cacher to be 88 feet away, the other showed in on the other side of a road. 

 

Maybe I didn't use it correctly. Using an Etrex 30, I went to the cache site,  turned on the Etrex, scrolled to Waypoint Averaging pressed start and placed it on a post until it shows 100% done. Then I saved it. Those were the coordinates I showed on the cache page when submitting it.Is tyherrre another way? That is what I understand the directions from a video about Waypoint Averaging in the Etrex 30,

 

I have used my iPhone with app "MYGP Coordinate", "Google Map", "Latitude and Longitude Finder" * (app on iMac), when I use them and then put the coordinates in the space provided when creating a cache it changes the numbers tremendously. All, I can do there is just delete and enter proper numbers.

 

Another related question is how can I insert a degree symbol from my iMac? I can see nothing that has that symbol. the best I can do is copy and paste another set of coordinates and merely replace number.

Edited by Jayeffel
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1 hour ago, Jayeffel said:

Using an Etrex 30, I went to the cache site,  turned on the Etrex, scrolled to Waypoint Averaging pressed start and placed it on a post until it shows 100% done. Then I saved it. Those were the coordinates I showed on the cache page when submitting it.Is tyherrre another way?

 

This all sounds good, but looking at the '88 feet away' cache (https://coord.info/GC8K3RX), there does seem to be a problem.  Your coords seem to be in the middle of the cemetery.  (And look, @cerberus1 is nearby!)

 

Capture.thumb.jpg.39f70e52def3a013a4113503fbc83e12.jpg

 

(You shouldn't use Google Maps, etc. to get coordinates, but it's always worth using them for a sense-check.)

 

Many of the issues people run into with coordinates are due to formatting.  The Geocaching standard is 'Degrees and decimal minutes', e.g. N 39° 55.603 W 077° 38.842.  Some tools will use, 'Degrees, minutes and seconds', like N39° 55' 36.180'' W077° 38' 50.520''.  You need to be careful converting between the two.  You might want to confirm the settings on your Etrex and the App.

 

Edited by IceColdUK

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The cache is in the tree on the center of the circle to the right of the indicated spot. Rather obvious where the cache should be here. Other places not so obvious.

 

Thanks, I will check those settings. It is a bit aggravating when seeing coordinates shown are in various formats-- UTM, GPS, lat and long in several formats.

 

I just opened MYPSCoordinates app, it shows Lat and Long as ( my home )39°55.6513 N  77°39.8327 W.  Would I enter all digits?

 

 

Edited by Jayeffel

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8 minutes ago, Jayeffel said:

The cache is in the tree on the center of the circle to the right of the indicated spot. Rather obvious where the cache should be here. Other places not so obvious.

 

Thanks, I will check those settings. It is a bit aggravating when seeing coordinates shown are in various formats-- UTM, GPS, lat and long in several formats.

 

 

Yep, a minefield!  It's probably worth checking those settings and going back again to take more readings.  Good luck.

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3 hours ago, IceColdUK said:

 

Yep, a minefield!  It's probably worth checking those settings and going back again to take more readings.  Good luck.

 

I looked at that picture again, and I'm pretty sure you're wrong; it's a cemetery.

Well, it could be both, I suppose. That WOULD add a unique twist to the cache, as well as at least a whole "T" point!

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7 hours ago, Jayeffel said:

I just opened MYPSCoordinates app, it shows Lat and Long as ( my home )39°55.6513 N  77°39.8327 W.  Would I enter all digits?

 

Just round the coordinates to three decimal places. The standard format used on the website is DD MM.mmm (three decimal places), so the 4th decimal place isn't necessary. With consumer-grade devices, that 4th decimal place is nothing but fiction anyway.

 

8 hours ago, Jayeffel said:

Maybe I didn't use it correctly. Using an Etrex 30, I went to the cache site,  turned on the Etrex, scrolled to Waypoint Averaging pressed start and placed it on a post until it shows 100% done. Then I saved it. Those were the coordinates I showed on the cache page when submitting it.Is tyherrre another way? That is what I understand the directions from a video about Waypoint Averaging in the Etrex 30.

 

That sounds right, but averaging is just one part of the process. Once you've come up with a set of coordinates, try navigating to them yourself and see if they bring you to the expected spot (or close enough based on what you'd expect to be reasonable for that location, like if there's tree cover, tall terrain, etc.). If they don't bring you very close, adjust them as necessary until they fairly reliably bring you to the right spot.

 

Quote

I have used my iPhone with app "MYGP Coordinate", "Google Map", "Latitude and Longitude Finder" * (app on iMac), when I use them and then put the coordinates in the space provided when creating a cache it changes the numbers tremendously. All, I can do there is just delete and enter proper numbers.

 

If the numbers are changing a lot, it's probably because the site is converting your coordinates from some other format to the one used by the website. To avoid this, try to set your app to use the DD MM.mmm ("degrees, decimal minutes" or "decimal minutes") format, and then there won't be any conversion required.

 

Quote

Another related question is how can I insert a degree symbol from my iMac? I can see nothing that has that symbol. the best I can do is copy and paste another set of coordinates and merely replace number.

 

Don't worry about the degree symbol. It isn't required. The website can understand coordinates without the degree symbol. You can enter "N39 55.603 W77 38.842" and it will understand that just fine.

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9 hours ago, Jayeffel said:

Another related question is how can I insert a degree symbol from my iMac? I can see nothing that has that symbol. the best I can do is copy and paste another set of coordinates and merely replace number.

 

It is generally best not to include the degree symbol in geocaching coordinates.  The coordinate format is well-understood and does not require it, as all geocachers understand the coords without the degree symbol.

 

N 37 43.267, W 120 38.624   is perfectly understood by geocachers, Google Maps, etc.

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I managed to get back two more times to do Waypoint Averaging. The once cache showed about 8 feet difference, the other showed 1 foot difference. Neither enough to show corr4ewctly. Another cacher did locate the one and got what he said were better coordinates, I updated the cache and they are spot on. I  used the same model  instrument, Etrex 20, he used!

 

It seems quite possible that my unit is identifying coordinates with an error of about 80 feet about 250 degrees off. How I would correct that I do not know. (I guess I could place a cache, move that distance and direction away and use these coordinates) 

 

Per the Etrex manual. the  Model 20 does not have calibration, at least not like the Model 30. They mention the difference is the type of compass in the different models. The 20 compass only works when you are moving, the 30 apparently works all the time. 

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4 hours ago, Jayeffel said:

I managed to get back two more times to do Waypoint Averaging. The once cache showed about 8 feet difference, the other showed 1 foot difference. Neither enough to show corr4ewctly. Another cacher did locate the one and got what he said were better coordinates, I updated the cache and they are spot on. I  used the same model  instrument, Etrex 20, he used!

 

It seems quite possible that my unit is identifying coordinates with an error of about 80 feet about 250 degrees off. How I would correct that I do not know. (I guess I could place a cache, move that distance and direction away and use these coordinates) 

 

How do you know the other cacher's "better coordinates" are "spot on"?

 

How could your coordinates be typically 80 feet off and you not know there's a problem until you hide a cache?

 

 

4 hours ago, Jayeffel said:

Per the Etrex manual. the  Model 20 does not have calibration, at least not like the Model 30. They mention the difference is the type of compass in the different models. The 20 compass only works when you are moving, the 30 apparently works all the time. 

 

Many GPSs have magnetic compass sensors which you can calibrate to see better compass directions.  You don't calibrate coordinates.

 

Can you get together with the other cacher and get some pointers?  There seems to be a disconnect where you're having trouble with coordinates.  Maybe entering them, or maybe with some setting that could be changed.

 

I try to talk people out of the "Waypoint Averaging" thing.  It's best used for specific purposes, and way beyond what is required for "geocaching".   It requires a definite plan, a lot of time, and visits to the same spot in various weather conditions, times of day, and seasons.  After all that work, all you get is an average of waypoints (go figure). 

 

Instead, walk to your chosen waypoint (the cache hiding spot), stand there for a while, take some snapshots (save some waypoints), walk a few yards away, return and see which snapshot is closest.  Use those coordinates for the cache.  Takes 10 minutes.  When you return to place the container, check that selected snapshot again, and see if it's still fine.  If so, submit the cache page.  :cute:

 

 

Edited by kunarion
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30 minutes ago, kunarion said:

 

How do you know the other cacher's "better coordinates" are "spot on"?

 

How could your coordinates be typically 80 feet off and you not know there's a problem until you hide a cache?

 

 

 

Many GPSs have magnetic compass sensors which you can calibrate to see better compass directions.  You don't calibrate coordinates.

 

Can you get together with the other cacher and get some pointers?  There seems to be a disconnect where you're having trouble with coordinates.  Maybe entering them, or maybe with some setting that could be changed.

 

I try to talk people out of the "Waypoint Averaging" thing.  It's best used for specific purposes, and way beyond what is required for "geocaching".   It requires a definite plan, a lot of time, and visits to the same spot in various weather conditions, times of day, and seasons.  After all that work, all you get is an average of waypoints (go figure). 

 

Instead, walk to your chosen waypoint (the cache hiding spot), stand there for a while, take some snapshots (save some waypoints), walk a few yards away, return and see which snapshot is closest.  Use those coordinates for the cache.  Takes 10 minutes.  When you return to place the container, check that selected snapshot again, and see if it's still fine.  If so, submit the cache page.  :cute:

 

1 ) I updated (tentatively )the coordinates on the geocaching.com  then looked under directions, it shows it where the cache is.

2)I use the iPhone predominantly and seldom the Etrex.

3) Mosty those I talked to recommended Waypoint Averaging.

4a) I did not say anything about calibrating coordinates, only that the Etrex 20 has no calibrating capability like the Etrex 30 apparently does.

 

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14 minutes ago, Jayeffel said:

I use the iPhone predominantly and seldom the Etrex.

 

Are you also getting bad coordinates from the iPhone?

 

There are other Apps, such as the Official Geocaching App, that will display coordinates in the Geocaching format, coords updated as you go, which may then be typed into a cache form.  Walk to the cache site, make a note of the coordinates.  Type them into the cache page.

 

 

14 minutes ago, Jayeffel said:

3) Mosty those I talked to recommended Waypoint Averaging.

 

That's cool except that this guy already tried "Waypoint Averaging" as he understands it, and that was no help. :ph34r:

 

 

Edited by kunarion

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Ok, where in the geocaching app from geocaching.com can I find anything with coordinates showing? All I see under Navigation  is a direction line and a distance figure. Se nowhere top access that coordinate info,  may be there. 

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8 hours ago, Jayeffel said:

Ok, where in the geocaching app from geocaching.com can I find anything with coordinates showing? All I see under Navigation  is a direction line and a distance figure. Se nowhere top access that coordinate info,  may be there. 

 

While navigating to any Geocache, the Official App's compass screen shows a live display of your current location exactly how you would enter it on a cache page. Go to the spot where you wish to place a cache, write down the letters and numbers as shown, go to the cache page and type them in as written. Submit the cache.

 

But the Etrex 20 also shows coordinates as you go, and it's even easier to show them, and you can save snapshots of “waypoints”. If it's always way off, you can forget about “waypoint averaging”, because you'll get an average of coordinates that are way off. Instead, go to a Geocaching 101 Event and ask, or go to most any Geocaching Event, or ask that guy who also has an Etrex 20. Or do all of those.

 

I’d bet it’s just a setting or two, maybe a combination of things. Suspects are the coordinates format as A-Team previously mentioned, and the “Map Datum” setting.  Because the Etrex does the conversions for you, you may find caches at GZ, but unless everything’s set up properly, you’d have to manually convert waypoints to place a cache.
 

 Get it all set up correctly, get some pointers, and place the caches! :)

 

 

Edited by kunarion
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5 hours ago, kunarion said:

I try to talk people out of the "Waypoint Averaging" thing.  It's best used for specific purposes, and way beyond what is required for "geocaching".   It requires a definite plan, a lot of time, and visits to the same spot in various weather conditions, times of day, and seasons.  After all that work, all you get is an average of waypoints (go figure).

 

I differ on these comments. I use my Etrex 20s Waypoint Averaging exclusively when setting my caches. I may take several readings depending on the geography of the area or weather of the day. Local cachers have come to recognise that my coordinates are generally "spot on", oft quoted in Found It logs. I do test my coordinates when by following my GPS to GZ and rarely need to alter them except for the occasional "tweak".

My Etrexs are set to GPS + GLONASS and WAAS/EGNOS is ON. As I have an Etrex 20 and a 20s I often use both together and average their readings. And, all this discussion on calibration - meh. Have never seen a need for it.

 

 

Edited by colleda

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2 hours ago, colleda said:

I differ on these comments. I use my Etrex 20s Waypoint Averaging exclusively when setting my caches. I may take several readings depending on the geography of the area or weather of the day. Local cachers have come to recognise that my coordinates are generally "spot on", oft quoted in Found It logs. I do test my coordinates when by following my GPS to GZ and rarely need to alter them except for the occasional "tweak".

My Etrexs are set to GPS + GLONASS and WAAS/EGNOS is ON. As I have an Etrex 20 and a 20s I often use both together and average their readings. And, all this discussion on calibration - meh. Have never seen a need for it.

 

 


I differ with your differential ^_^.  Sure, it’s a function on the device.  But the OP has a perfectly averaged waypoint, and it’s no good.  Whatever the problem is, it is not averaging out.  The priority is to get all the settings right.  
 

Per the OP:

 I was told a good way, if not the best way,  is to use Waypoint Averaging. So when I placed two caches recently I did that. Then on the cache page under"Directions "the Map shows the distance  off some . One cache said by a cacher to be 88 feet away, the other showed in on the other side of a road. 
 

 

Edited by kunarion

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1 hour ago, colleda said:

My Etrexs are set to GPS + GLONASS and WAAS/EGNOS is ON.

 

WAAS and EGNOS are region-specific (USA and Europe respectively) so they're probably just draining your battery here in Australia.

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41 minutes ago, barefootjeff said:

 

WAAS and EGNOS are region-specific (USA and Europe respectively) so they're probably just draining your battery here in Australia.

Oh:(

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1 hour ago, kunarion said:


I differ with your differential ^_^.  Sure, it’s a function on the device.  But the OP has a perfectly averaged waypoint, and it’s no good.  Whatever the problem is, it is not averaging out.  The priority is to get all the settings right.  
 

Per the OP:

 I was told a good way, if not the best way,  is to use Waypoint Averaging. So when I placed two caches recently I did that. Then on the cache page under"Directions "the Map shows the distance  off some . One cache said by a cacher to be 88 feet away, the other showed in on the other side of a road. 
 

 

:)If your saying it's the settings I totally agree. I don't believe it's the device unless it's faulty but I don't recall anyone in these forums previously mentioning such a fault with the Etrex 20.

I once met a noob using an Etrex 20 who had a similar problem, cache coordinates out by 80m-100m. He was using the Mark Waypoint by mistake.

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