A GSAK Introduction (Geocaching Swiss Army Knife)

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Transcript A GSAK Introduction (Geocaching Swiss Army Knife)

Advanced GSAK
(Geocaching Swiss Army Knife)
How to live the simple life with GSAK
Presented at GeoWoodstock IX (July 2, 2011) by Michael Weiner (aka TeamDotOne)
Advanced GSAK Topics
Custom POIs
Creation and modification of macros
Route Creation (optimizing routes)
Optimizing GSAK arrangement
Loading POIs for various smart phones
FindStatGen macro
Caching in group
Mapping macros
Custom icons for GPSr
Database manipulation
Why use Custom POI’s?
• GPSr’s limited to 500 or 1000 waypoints.
• Getting ready for a large trip becomes a nightmare
(which caches should I delete?)
--- > NO MORE! Keep them ALL LOADED!!!!
Why use Custom POI’s?
• POI’s – not limited to 500 or 1000 waypoints
• (can have 30,000, 40,000, 50,000+ caches in GPSr at all
• POI cache description can hold lots MORE text!
• Can use BOTH POI’s and Waypoints
• Multiple overlapped search while geocaching
• VERY customizable
• Advanced icon options
• Once GPX files are created, one-process to
upload to GPSr (Garmin POI loader)
What you need:
• A program to create and filter GPX files
(GSAK – geocaching swiss army knife)
• Garmin POI loader (can get from Garmin website)
• Garmin Etrex GPS with memory card
A great way to filter caches
GSAK master database with ALL caches
How do I get all that data?
• Run pocket queries from geocaching.com / import
into GSAK
Filter caches to your preferences
search > filter …
Filter Caches
My personal favorite filter:
1. No events (CITO, Event, Mega
Event, Maze Exhibit)
2. No puzzles (most are bogus
coordinates anyways)
(Example: some may want to filter
out Earthcaches or WebCam
Caches are filtered
• Filtered caches results screenshot
(this example: only caches that can be done on the fly any day)
Export to GPX
File>Export>GPX/LOC file
Export to GPX file
Give the file a short meaningful name (this name will show up on GPS
as a searchable database)
GSAK Special Tags
Use keyword “special” in GSAK help file to find this list
%bear - Bearing from current centre point
%bgMap = Brithish grid - the 2 character grid map
%bgEast = British grid - the 5 digit easting value
%bgNorth = British grid - the 5 digit northing value
%blank - Blank or nothing
%bug = Travel bug status (notes)
%by = Placed by
%c_Code = Full child code child waypoints
%c_Code1 = Child 1 character code - see child waypoints
%c_Comments = Child comments - child waypoints
%c_Lat = Child Latitude see child waypoints
%c_Lon = Child Longitude - see child waypoints
%c_Name = Child name - see child waypoints
%c_Prefix = Child prefix - see child waypoints
%c_ShortName = Same as %ShortName but for the child
waypoint name - see child waypoints
%c_Type = Child type - see child waypoints
%children = see child waypoints
%centre = Current centre point
%code = Waypoint code (For example, the GCXXXX code)
%con = Container
%con1 = One letter indicating the container type (notes)
%correct = Corrected coordinate status (notes)
%database = The current database name
%crypt = The coded hint (I.E. encrypted)
%datelf - Date last found)
%datepl - Date placed
%des = Cache description (Deprecated. See note)
%dif = Difficulty in full
%dif1 = Difficulty reduced to 1 digit (dif * 2 -1), so 1=1, 1.5=2, 2=3, 2.5=4, ...
%dif1a - Difficulty reduced to 1 character, so 1=1, 1.5 = A, 2=2, 2.5=B,
3=3, 3.5=C, 4=4, 4.5=D, 5=5
%dist - Distance from current centre point
%dnf = Did not find status (notes)
%drop2 = Same as %code, but drops the first two characters (notes)
%found = Found status. (notes)
%foundbyme = Found by me date
%gcid = Geocaching.com Cache number. (notes)
%GPX = Path to GPX file for current waypoint. Useful only for custom programs.
%hint = The decoded hint
%last4 = Last 4 found/not found logs (notes)
%lat = Latitude - 4 different formats to choose from (notes)
%loc = Path to LOC file for current waypoint. Useful only for custom programs.
%lon = Longitude - 4 different formats to choose from (notes)
%macro = this tag shows the result of running a macro (notes)
%name = Cache name
%ownerID = Cache Owner ID
%ownerName = Cache Owner Name
%notGC = Tags after this tag apply only to non geocaching.com waypoints (see below)
%smart = GSAK "Unique Smart Name" (notes)
%shortname = Same as %smart but no guarantee of unique name (notes)
%ter = Terrain in full
%ter1 = Terrain reduced to 1 digit (dif * 2 -1), so 1=1, 1.5=2, 2=3, 2.5=4, ...
%ter1a - Terrain reduced to 1 character, so 1=1, 1.5 = A, 2=2, 2.5=B, 3=3, 3.5=C, 4=4, 4.5=D, 5=5
%typ = Cache type
%typ1 = One letter indicating the cache type (notes)
%user = User Data.
%user2 = User Data2
%UserNote = The full text of the user note (including the log section)
%UserSort = The value of the user sort column for this cache
%UserLog = The full text of the user log section within the user notes
%UTMZone - The UTM zone
%UTMEast - The UTM Easting
%UTMNorth - The UTM Northing
My Favorite Special Tag Setup
• Waypoint Name (Max 15 characters):
• %ShortName=5%drop2%typ1%con1%dif1a%ter1a
• Example output: ThreePDECMRB3
• Cache Description:
• %ShortName=30-%last4%hint-%ownerName-%datelf-%datepl
• Example output:
• ThreeSisters-FFNNgeoflauged in a large fallen tree-B n J4/25/2009-6/22/2005
• I also add to the cache description on the end %macro="CountyTag.gsk“
• * This is more involved and if there is enough time I will cover this.
Repeat creating filtered files
Some possibilities:
An “on the fly” AllCaches GPX
Separate GPX for Traditionals, Multis, Letterbox, Earthcaches
Low difficulty / terrain combo
Needed difficulty / terrain combo
Caches above 3.5 terrain
“wishlist” caches
“my finds” caches
Other caching sites: Terracaches, Navicache, Waymarking, Benchmarks
Puzzle Bogus Coords
Solved Puzzle Caches
“New” caches (caches posted within last month or whatever time frame)
“History” caches (caches placed in 2000, 2001)
Child Waypoints (parking coordinates, multi cache stages, etc)
Keep each of these in the same directory on your computer with corresponding
BMP icon image for each.
Each GPX paired with BMP icon
Keep all GPX and
BMP files in same
folder on computer.
POI’s load in
alphabetical order on
your GPS so if you
want an icon to
overlap then make
sure you preface
name with a letter
Do not use
numbers, only
letters in name.
** Note: This is an extreme example from my GPS.
You might choose just a few searchable GPX files
instead of the 32 shown in this example.
Upload POI’s to GPSr
Use Custom POI loader software that can be
found and downloaded from Garmin website
to upload the GPX file(s) as POI’s.
1st step
Remove all previously installed POI’s
Upload POIs to GPSr
Point to directory where your customized
GPX and BMP files are located
Then click “Next” and in one-step all of your GPX files and BMP files are uploaded to your
GPSr. When this is done, you’re ready to start using POI’s on your handheld GPS.
Example GPSr Screenshot
Three Sister’s geocache by BnJ
Using the POI’s you’ve installed
You now have green icon with red flag for custom POI’s
GPSr POI list - ALL
Default shows ALL POI’s.
• The beauty of POI’s is that you can
quickly filter down this list by the
GPS databases you have created to
upload to your GPSr.
• The next slide will describe how to do
GPSr POI’s – select database
List of
(one for each
GPX file
Screenshots of POI databases
Standard ones
More specific to my
personal preferences
Filtered POI list screenshots
Showing ONLY multis
Showing ONLY “wishlist” caches
Duplicate Listings Explained
• One geocache may be inside
multiple GPX files.
• Example “all multis” +
“traditional” GPX files)
• This results in duplicate
geocache listings on your
“ALL” POI list.
To resolve:
• Just filter to one specific
GPX file and the duplicates
go away
listed 3
filtered to
al” GPS it
is listed
only once
Route using Map OR List
• If you prefer using the map over a list to search for
next cache to route to, you can still use the map
just like a waypoint.
• Just move your arrow to the POI icon and click it
and click “Goto
• Once you have POI’s in your GPSr, here are the
steps to refresh with your latest pocket querries:
• 1. Import new pocket queries into GSAK
• 2. Update any GPX file you want using GSAK
(you only have to update the ones
that you want to update)
• 3. Remove all POI’s from GPS using Garmin
POI loader
• 4. Upload POI’s to GPS using Garmin POI loader
It takes just a bit of getting
used to POI’s… (1 of 3)
• POI’s are NOT Waypoints – you
can only delete with a computer.
• Route to a POI like you would a
Waypoint by hitting the “goto”.
• Once you find the POI, you may
have to do a quick search on
nearest POI’s, click on the cache
that you are at, then click “Save” to
save it as a waypoint.
• Once you are on the “save” screen
change the icon to an open treasure
chest (or whatever icon you prefer
to keep track of things)
It takes just a bit of getting
used to POI’s… (2 of 3)
• Once you save a POI as a waypoint to mark it as found, the
waypoint icon OVERLAPS the POI icon.
• The POI is still there (just delete the waypoint and you will see the
POI again). You can only delete a POI with a computer.
It takes just a bit of getting
used to POI’s… (3 of 3)
POI’s that you save as a Waypoint to mark as found show up in your
calendar so you can keep track of caches found electronically.
Credits and Q&A
Thanks go out to Slammer47 for the Custom POI slide ideas .
Thanks go out to Clyde England for all his wonderful hard work and
development of GSAK.
Thanks go out to all of you for attending GeoWoodstock IX and
participating in this class.
And of course please feel free to contact me with any additional
questions and/or comments via email at [email protected] or
through our geocaching.com profile.