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Pablo Mac

Garmin Geocaching Live Log Syncing Functionality

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Posted (edited)

I am a long-time Garmin GPS user, and have been connecting my Garmin GPS units to my computer via cable to upload my drafts (previously “field notes”) for years, and am ready for a better way. The feature that sends your logs wirelessly and automatically from your GPS to your Geocaching account was a major reason for my upgrade from my trusty 64 to a 66ST.

 

I like my 66ST a lot, but I am very disappointed in how it sends those logs as posted logs rather than drafts. I would much rather the logs be sent wirelessly automatically as drafts, and not posted as the generic “Submitted via Garmin Geocaching live” post on each cache page.

 

Until and unless Garmin gives us the option to send our logs as drafts (like the mobile apps), rather than as posted logs on each geocache page, the value of this feature is essentially zero to geocachers like myself who prefer to QWERTY type a unique log for each find.

Edited by Pablo Mac
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I completely agree. I was actually taken by surprise the first time that my logs showed up as "Submitted via Garmin Oregon 7xx" on cache pages (I thought I was entering drafts since I was not typing in log comments). For that reason I've turned off "Auto Upload Logs" (which I didn't know at the outset would be on by default) and just upload the drafts text file as we have been doing for years. I only use Live functionality for those cases where I find myself wanting to pull in caches that I don't have already loaded in my device.

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Yes I also agree.  Sometimes what I do is just log "Found" and later edit the log to complete it.  I find it much easier to do a complete log on a computer rather than my 66st or even a phone. But normally I prefer to not have them upload and later I will "try" to remember to log them.  A bit of an issue for me as I have been known to forget to log many finds over the years.  I bet I have found at least 10% more caches than my stats show.  You might think that is because searching is more interesting than logging?  But really it is because often when I am geocaching, I am on a trip or somewhere new and get caught up in other activities and just forget.  If I could send them as drafts, I would just default to that and it would be easier to know I have not missed any. 

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Posted (edited)

Hey Cheminer Will,

 

You can always just connect your GPSMAP 66 to your PC/Mac and copy the 'geocache_visits.txt' to your desktop, then open and view with any text editor to see each Geocache logged on that device, with date and time stamps.

 

This information will also be available in the GPSMAP 66 Calendar page.

 

If you are using GSAK, it will pull that info for you when composing logs (this is my method).

 

Or you can just open the 'upload field notes' page at GC.com and point it to the same text file on your GPSr to help guide you to all your finds!

 

More Garmin GPSr Geocaching information also available at GPSrChive > GPSMAP 66 > Pages > Geocaching, and GPSrChive > How To... > Geocaching.

 

Edited by Atlas Cached

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Atlas Cached said:

'geocache_visits.txt'

 

Thanks!  I will experiment with using that file directly.

 

And thanks for the below warning.

Edited by Cheminer Will

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3 minutes ago, Cheminer Will said:

 

Thanks!  I will experiment with using that file directly.

 

It is very important that you COPY the file to your computer for reading. DO NOT edit the file on the GPSr.

 

8^)

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9 hours ago, Cheminer Will said:

 

Thanks!  I will experiment with using that file directly.

 

And thanks for the below warning.

Be forewarned. If you're doing this for the first time, you *may* end up with field notes from every cache you've marked as found on the device as the geocaching.com servers limit field notes/drafts since you last uploaded the file. Drafts on caches that you've already found won't post. But you'll have to manually find those. you can bulk delete drafts, but you can't reload them once they've been uploaded.

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The original topic is also well covered in this thread, which is also currently active.

There is no solution and complaining here may fall on deaf ears because it's Garmin that has to make the change, not Groundspeak. Right now the solution is to upload field notes the old fashioned way, or use a phone to make a draft log.

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Posted (edited)
19 hours ago, Mineral2 said:

There is no solution and complaining here may fall on deaf ears because it's Garmin that has to make the change, not Groundspeak. Right now the solution is to upload field notes the old fashioned way, or use a phone to make a draft log.

 

You're right, so I contacted Garmin support, and they are starting a support case that will entail involving Groundspeak to incorporate the ability to send logs as drafts. 👍🏼

Edited by Pablo Mac

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1 hour ago, Pablo Mac said:

 

You're right, so I contacted Garmin support, and they are starting a support case that will entail involving Groundspeak to incorporate the ability to send logs as drafts. 👍🏼

That ability exists. I don't think anyone at Groundspeak wrote the code for Garmin but rather just supplied the API key. Garmin's software engineers need to add the functionality. It exists because other API apps can do it.

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Quite right, Mineral2.  I guess Pablo doesn't believe you.

 

@Pablo Mac

Refer to the following url, and have a look at the entire section related to drafts.  It IS all in the API.  It's up go Garmin to make use of these calls.  Groundspeak has already made all the necessary provisions for the feature.

https://api.Groundspeak.com/documentation#get-logdrafts

 

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14 hours ago, ecanderson said:

Quite right, Mineral2.  I guess Pablo doesn't believe you.

 

You made a false assumption: it's not that I don't believe Mineral2, I was simply referencing what the Garmin rep I spoke with said about involving Groundspeak. I was optimistic about a solution coming soon, until I discovered another cacher attempted the same approach 3-1/2 years ago (where you also commented). UGH.

 

Maybe if a number of us contacted Garmin Support at 800-800-1020 they might start making it a priority.

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Yes, that's about all we can do, Pablo Mac, just that it doesn't involve Groundspeak.  On that issue, it's all up to Garmin.  If I owned one of these units, you can be sure I'd be in contact with them requesting urgent attention to the problem.

 

Like many, I depend upon my 'field notes' (I still prefer that name for what I do) to remind me of the specifics of a given site/container, especially on a day where the list of targets is long.  Nothing would be more embarrassing than having all of my spoiler information published accidentally!  Given that Garmin also operated a site (or perhaps still do, don't know), you would think they would have understood the difference between field notes and actual logs.

 

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Garmin closed down OpenCaching a long time ago before they ever had direct wireless capable GPS devices. I don't remember if it did field notes, but it synced with the GPS via the now defunct communicator plugin seamlessly, such that you could log your finds directly (via wired connection) and load new caches in bulk simply from the map page. There were features of that site that were glorious that I wished at the time Groundspeak would have adopted (now obsolete, though analogs have been created), and there were features of that site that made it terrible (community peer-review of cache submissions, for example). In the end, Garmin didn't maintain it well, didn't promote it well, and it couldn't compete with the already established community here at geocaching.com. And that's fine given that most of the caches on Opencaching were cross-listed here anyway.

Garmin has a history of both pawning off problems as somebody else's fault and ignoring bugs/feature requests except where they cause a major problem. Otherwise, if it takes too much effort to fix, they'll wait and introduce it in a later model. Case in point: There's no reason why older BT devices such as the Oregon 600, 700 and 64 series be opened up to connect with smartphone apps (Garmin Connect, Garmin Explore).

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I very much liked the 'Verified Finds' that prevented all but the most complex of armchair logging. There were a few other features that I still think Groundspeak would do well to adopt, but I think there is still some bitterness and spite there that prevent this from happening....

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