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Locating Caches Along A Route


Me&My4Girls
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:D I thought it would be cool if we could locate all caches along a route: for example if I were traveling from one city/state to another...I could querey all caches within 5 - 15 miles from the route I'd be taking...like when you map a route in mapquest. Is this something that would be possible? It would be cool for travelers/vacationers.
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I agree. Also (forgive me if I get off topic here), I think it would be cool to be able to locate caches in a certain direction. Example: If I'm going north, I want to find all caches within x amount of miles north of here.

GSAK is an easy solution for that.

 

GSAK is also able to handle the along-a-route problem, but I haven't quite figure out how, yet.

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:lol:I am working on a grant proposal to create a water trail guide along the Rappahannock River (VA) once the Embry & 1854 Crib Dams are removed. We have access to 4500 acres of streambank and would like to create a series of geocaches along the trail. Key to doing this would be the capability to identify all geocaches within X feet of a route. If this was done we would put in a wayside panel at access points explaining the sport of geocaching. Any interest? :P
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GSAK is also able to handle the along-a-route problem, but I haven't quite figure out how, yet.

I'm using it. You define the route by waypoints or long/lat in the filter option for arc/line/polygon.

 

An example there already exists. E-mail me if you need help with it.

 

[Edited to add: Offline conversation with Shunra revealed that the problem was he was not using the current (3.01) version of GSAK. Version 3.0 has a problem with polygon filters.]

Edited by beejay&esskay
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GSAK and GPSBabel do this, but it's a little painful to use, and there are some bugs.

 

Shortly I will have a simple tool to do this: You give it a GPX file with a route in it, a distance, and a series of geocaching GPX files. It produces a GPX file with only those caches within the specified distance of the route.

 

What we need is a place to store and trade routes, so that people don't have to continually re-generate the same routes over and over.

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What we need is a place to store and trade routes, so that people don't have to continually re-generate the same routes over and over.

Wouldn't you have to do that anyway, with caches changing all the time?

He's talking about the routes, not the lists of caches along them. Things like the US interstate system don't move around that much, so they're pretty safe to store as routes for later use :lol:

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:lol: If there is a real interest in trading route I can supply web space. I have a website at geocaching.squirmnet.com I would be glad to create a page and supply space for this. I'll put up a feedback form there tonight if enough people show interest I'll start work on it right away. I'll also check back here. You can save routes in mapsource, streets and maps etc. so we would have to come up with a standard format we can all use, or a page for each format. Edited by programmer64
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...we would have to come up with a standard format we can all use, or a page for each format.

I vote for using the .gpx format. It's the most universal format that I'm aware of for what we're doing.

So the procedure would be as follows, I imagine:

 

If I want to go somewhere, I download the gpx file of the route, and open it in GSAK. I flag all the waypoints. Then I load my PQs with caches of that area into the same GSAK database, make an 'arc' filter by defining the arc by way of all the flagged waypoints, I set the distance ftom the arc. In the same filter, I also determine that non-geocache waypoints are excluded, in order to exclude the route itself. then I apply that filter, and export it to a new gpx file, and voila!

 

Am I imagining this the same way you guys have in mind?

Edited by Shunra
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:lol: actually that sounds just about right, I am right now working on a route from Philadelphia to Cleveland Ohio. It is alot of work and alot of pq's but I think it will work. I probably won't finish tonight as I am pretty tired but tommorow I'll finish it and post the GPX file on my site for all to try out. If you like it I'll start working on a model for the page we can use until Jeremy can work it into the site. It'll be great even after so we can all trade routes!

 

I found that if you have a starting point find a cache nearby on GC.com look for all nearby caches. On the first page of results use the map it feature then scroll along you route and scout all the caches nearest your route. Take down the coordsand waypoint names. Next do PQ's centering on all the way point names along your route. Then go into GSAK and make create an arc filter with the coords of all the caches that are NEAREST your actuall route filter for miles and you should be good to go. It is the most effecient and least time consuming way I see. Any other ideas?

Edited by programmer64
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What we need is a place to store and trade routes, so that people don't have to continually re-generate the same routes over and over.

Wouldn't you have to do that anyway, with caches changing all the time?

He's talking about the routes, not the lists of caches along them. Things like the US interstate system don't move around that much, so they're pretty safe to store as routes for later use :lol:

y'know, I was in WashDC about 15 months ago, I had a day to do some stats enhancing (man, what density of virtuals there), and it would have been 'really' helpful to have a map of all the entrances for the Metro, line by line, to map out an optimal route given an all-day pass (super cheap).

 

Same goes for major interstate exits and the like, it was somewhat difficult to come up with a parsed list of a couple custom queries between Tacoma WA and Vancouver BC (maybe 200 miles) as I-5 doesn't go straight, and the cache density is so high.

 

Just played around with the arc filter in GSAK, wow. Cool.

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An easy way to finding the caches along a route will be great, but there are ways to do that now once you have all of the PQs.

 

Has anyone thought about a tool that would take a route and a distance from the route and generate a set of coords that could be used for generating the PQs?

 

It doesnt seem like this would be too difficult once you have the route in a usable format. I havnt found anything (okay, I havnt looked _too_ hard) that will convert an MS S&T route to something useful. Are there other route-generating apps that output something usable?

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:lol: I compiled a listing of 484 caches between philadelphia and sideling hill along the pa Turnpike. It took me about 45 minutes using the method I described earlier in the thread. I did it by running PQS on 1 cache every 25 miles, and searched for all caches within 50 miles. I have now loaded them into GSAK and am getting ready to run a pre-programmed ARC FILTER. All I need to do is put in the coords for 5 or 6 of the caches and I should be able to generate a route with all caches within 10 miles of the turnpike from philadelphia to sideling mountain. I'll let you know how it comes out shortly.
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Actually I'm using MapSource's USA Metro Guide version 5.0 and GSAK to do this all the time. I have some standard pocket queries setup that give me everything I'm looking for, I load them into my GPS, I also drop the cache's into Metro Guide and when I plot a route, I just click on Cache's I'd like to hit on the trip and it factors those in too... Works AMAZINGLY well!!!

 

An alternative I'm considering is just dropping in extra waypoints after MapSource has build a route for me, moving those into GSAK and then running filters based on that data, which would give me a tick by tick list of nearby caches...

 

Lacking those two options, it is also just fun to drop a pocket query into the GPS and have them show up as you drive. Then you can choose which to stop and look for from there... I keep the query results on a CF card that I drop into my PDA while traveling... Works out well too!

 

Sam...

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[so the procedure would be as follows, I imagine:

 

If I want to go somewhere, I download the gpx file of the route, and open it in GSAK. I flag all the waypoints. Then I load my PQs with caches of that area into the same GSAK database, make an 'arc' filter by defining the arc by way of all the flagged waypoints, I set the distance ftom the arc. In the same filter, I also determine that non-geocache waypoints are excluded, in order to exclude the route itself. then I apply that filter, and export it to a new gpx file, and voila!

 

Am I imagining this the same way you guys have in mind?

1. How do you get a GPX file of your route?

 

2. How do you set an arc filter? (Very new to GSAK).

 

southdeltan

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1. How do you get a GPX file of your route?

At present there's no really easy way to do this. You have to create enough overlapping Pocket Queries to cover your whole route. This forum topic discusses a method of doing this MicroSoft Streets and Trips.

 

2. How do you set an arc filter? (Very new to GSAK).

The arc filter requires a list of points (latitude and longitude) along your route at the significant turns. You can then set a distance off this route and GSAK will search your PocketQuery GPX files for caches within this distance from the route.

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1. How do you get a GPX file of your route?

At present there's no really easy way to do this. You have to create enough overlapping Pocket Queries to cover your whole route. This forum topic discusses a method of doing this MicroSoft Streets and Trips.

 

2. How do you set an arc filter? (Very new to GSAK).

The arc filter requires a list of points (latitude and longitude) along your route at the significant turns. You can then set a distance off this route and GSAK will search your PocketQuery GPX files for caches within this distance from the route.

Thanks PDOP.

 

I think I misunderstood what people meant by a GPX file of their route. 2 PQ's covers my entire state (with over 300 caches left on the 2nd PQ) so I don't have a problem getting the gpx files for the caches. I thought they meant a GPX with the coordinates of the actual route I was planning.

 

I assumed (yea, bad idea) that you needed this to load into GSAK.

 

The 2nd question was more of a "How do you use the arc filter, where do you find it in the program?". I could find the helpfile but the feature was escaping me til I found it in a button on the filter page.

 

Reading the helpfile explained to me what I actually meant in my first question.

 

However, I thank you a ton for the answers - I just asked the wrong questions :blink:

 

I think I have it figured out, now to try it out...

 

sd

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I think I misunderstood what people meant by a GPX file of their route.  2 PQ's covers my entire state (with over 300 caches left on the 2nd PQ) so I don't have a problem getting the gpx files for the caches.  I thought they meant a GPX with the coordinates of the actual route I was planning.

 

I assumed (yea, bad idea) that you needed this to load into GSAK.

 

The 2nd question was more of a "How do you use the arc filter, where do you find it in the program?".  I could find the helpfile but the feature was escaping me til I found it in a button on the filter page.

 

Reading the helpfile explained to me what I actually meant in my first question.

 

However, I thank you a ton for the answers - I just asked the wrong questions :blink:

 

I think I have it figured out, now to try it out...

 

sd

I hope I don't confuse this issue but ....

 

GSAK arc filters also support the direct import of GPX files.

 

These GPX files can also contain routes (as converterd from st2gpx and GPSbabel, and GSAK will use the route points for the arc filter - if there are no routes GSAK then just uses the individual waypoints from the GPX file)

 

Eventually I plan to add the ability to interrogate your GPS to grab a route to use for your arc filter. That way you can travel any route in your car first, then download to GSAK to see all the caches within x miles of that route (though, if you are familiar with GPSBabel, you can effectively do that now - you just need to be able to ge babel to download the route and convert to a GPX file to load into GSAK)

Edited by ClydeE
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