Friday, October 24, 2008

Paperless Caching in 2008

What's it been.. 2 hours? I think I just set a record for reinstalling my geocaching tools on the PDA using the few upgrades that have taken place in the past few years in hardware and software. First, I am no longer using the 512mb SG cards that used to be the norm. With 2,4,6 and 8gb cards now on the market my problems with available space have virtually disappeared. I have swapped in a 2gb Mini-SD card (using a full-size sleeve) allowing me to be more flexible in what can read it (many devices now accept only Mini-SD cards).

Software-wise, I fell back on the same old setup, albeit with the newer versions which are now available. CacheMate for paperless .gpx data, BeeLineGPS for on-site cache locating, TomTom Navigator software for global view of nearby caches and driving to them, and GSAK for the PC data compilation required to edit my .gpx files and convert them into .ov2 files for TomTom. Lastly, of Google Earth is the at-home viewer for the at-a-glance pre-planning of caches I want to hit. I'm entirely paperless, though I admit this really is a somewhat complicated setup. Once it's installed, it's very simple. I guess I've never been one to shy away from complicated procedures.

Getting the TomTom to display the caches was super-simple.. I just copied the .ov2 file (and .bmp file) to the maps folder on my TomTom installation (I hear this works in the same way on OEM TomTom devices in addition to TomTom PDA installs) and then just selected POIs from my settings. Viola! I'm GeoCaching again in just a few hours, using the same software with the updated versions and new SD hard hardware.. frankly I think it all runs much faster now on my PDA.

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