GeoCaching

So I’m kind of liking this GeoCaching thing. You’ll have to excuse how I capitalize it. It may not be the ‘correct’ way but my OCD makes me do it. Ok, either way this has become quite addictive and works well with photography. You can use the camera as a ‘cover’ for rummaging around off to the side of parking lots or in the woods.

I bought a handheld GPS because my automobile one was not granular enough to get me off of the beaten path in which most of these things are. It was also not geared to measure in ‘feet’ even in pedestrian mode. I bought the Magellan Triton 500 which is MSRP’d at much higher than I wanted to pay but REI had a deal starting May 1st that dropped the price to only 20 or so dollars more than what I was going to pay for a much lesser model. I did not want to drive all the way back to REI the next day so I sweet talked and negotiated the sales person/manager into letting be buy it a day early at the sales price. I did buy a membership to REI but the benefits in owning a membership would have encouraged me to do that anyways. Either way I saved 50-70$ on a nice GPS.

I’ve been using GSAK for the caching but its been a very time consuming experience. If you buy an annual membership to geocaching.com you can download cache points in bulk and better data files at that but I’m not so sure I want to do that just yet. Currently I go to the geocaching page and do a search based on my zip code. Once the results are displayed I download them 20 at a time to a .loc file. The issue I had with these files is it considers every ‘way point’ a generic location. Being OCD again, I didn’t want question marks displaying as my nodes on the GPS but the actual geocache icons and changing them one at a time would be tedious when you are talking about hundreds of nodes or more. Since the .loc file is merely xml (text) I wrote a powershell script to convert all of the ‘default’ icons to ‘Traditional’ so they displayed correctly in the GPS. I will post the code in a bit.

I know it may be backwards but I’ll write a post specifically for GeoCaching soon.

And now, for your moment of Zen…

boobear

 

– Jason

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