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Setting up GSAK for a statewide database
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MNMizzou
Geocacher


Joined: 23 Feb 2005

Posts: 703
Location: Maple Grove, MN

PostPosted: Fri May 09, 2008 10:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ghost640 wrote:

If I have this right, the process seems to be:

1) create a series of pocket queries with time brackets
2) run 5 per day untill you get the 14-15 files you need
3) load the 15 zip files into a single GSAK database
4) run filters to select sets of caches for uploading to GPS



If you have a GPS that supports POI's you can use a macro within GSAK to "automate" the process and load the entire state to your GPS as POI's. Basically the process I go through is the following:

1. Let all the PQ's come in via e-mail.
2. Use the Get data via E-mail option, it goes out gets the PQ's and churns them into the database.
3. Use the Garmin CSVPOI macro... this will take all the data and crunch it down to the Garmin POI format automatically.
4. Open Garmin's POI Loader, run it and presto the entire state is on my GPS.

I do that because there are a lot of times I don't know what part of the Cities or even state I'll be in with time to kill, so the POI's eliminate the 1000 cache limit. (Plus you get the gc.com icons, so at a glance I can see if it is a multi or a mystery that I might actually need to read the page for info, or if it is a traditional Rickrich that I won't need any additional info at all! (I have it set where it gives me sort of the trunicated name, size, and ratings... plus hints output at a separate POI, so if I get stuck and there is a hint I can pull it up)

Start to finish I'm guessing the whole process takes maybe 10 minutes to get 6000+ caches into my GPS, not too bad! The largest time killer is getting the PQ's out of the e-mail and into GSAK, but it is fully automated which is faster than going into your e-mail, downloading it, opening GSAK and telling it to open a file from a specific place.
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speedysk1
Past MnGCA Board


Joined: 29 Oct 2007

Posts: 1991
Location: Mound MN

PostPosted: Fri May 09, 2008 10:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

MNMizzou wrote:
ghost640 wrote:

If I have this right, the process seems to be:

1) create a series of pocket queries with time brackets
2) run 5 per day untill you get the 14-15 files you need
3) load the 15 zip files into a single GSAK database
4) run filters to select sets of caches for uploading to GPS



If you have a GPS that supports POI's you can use a macro within GSAK to "automate" the process and load the entire state to your GPS as POI's. Basically the process I go through is the following:

1. Let all the PQ's come in via e-mail.
2. Use the Get data via E-mail option, it goes out gets the PQ's and churns them into the database.
3. Use the Garmin CSVPOI macro... this will take all the data and crunch it down to the Garmin POI format automatically.
4. Open Garmin's POI Loader, run it and presto the entire state is on my GPS.

I do that because there are a lot of times I don't know what part of the Cities or even state I'll be in with time to kill, so the POI's eliminate the 1000 cache limit. (Plus you get the gc.com icons, so at a glance I can see if it is a multi or a mystery that I might actually need to read the page for info, or if it is a traditional Rickrich that I won't need any additional info at all! (I have it set where it gives me sort of the trunicated name, size, and ratings... plus hints output at a separate POI, so if I get stuck and there is a hint I can pull it up)

Start to finish I'm guessing the whole process takes maybe 10 minutes to get 6000+ caches into my GPS, not too bad! The largest time killer is getting the PQ's out of the e-mail and into GSAK, but it is fully automated which is faster than going into your e-mail, downloading it, opening GSAK and telling it to open a file from a specific place.


That's what I've been using now with my 60CSx. It works great. I still load 950 waypoints, so I can use the geocaching mode, but then I load everything within 50 mile radius as a POI. I leave 50 open waypoints for projection on multis or other points I need to keep track of.
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LucidOndine
Past MnGCA President


Joined: 17 Jan 2006

Posts: 1931
Location: Under Some Rock

PostPosted: Thu May 29, 2008 7:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thought I should mention that we're up to PQ 17 now.
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LucidOndine
Past MnGCA President


Joined: 17 Jan 2006

Posts: 1931
Location: Under Some Rock

PostPosted: Tue Jul 08, 2008 10:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Resquashed the PQ dates and updated them so now we're still on PQ 17.
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bflentje
Geocacher


Joined: 29 May 2006

Posts: 3972

PostPosted: Tue Jul 08, 2008 12:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

LucidOndine wrote:
Resquashed the PQ dates and updated them so now we're still on PQ 17.


What are the date spans you use?
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LucidOndine
Past MnGCA President


Joined: 17 Jan 2006

Posts: 1931
Location: Under Some Rock

PostPosted: Tue Jul 08, 2008 12:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Please see previous post Wink

http://spreadsheets.google.com/pub?key=p_WfZoOFOiRZSjGW7KxhDLQ
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pfalstad
Geocacher


Joined: 02 Feb 2006

Posts: 1007
Location: Edina

PostPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2009 11:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I give up.. I'm sick of babysitting 19 queries and counting. From now on, I'm only pulling a 25 mile radius.
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LucidOndine
Past MnGCA President


Joined: 17 Jan 2006

Posts: 1931
Location: Under Some Rock

PostPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2009 12:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Don't feel bad, I gave up too Smile Its so... tedious, blarg.
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Pear Head
Past MnGCA President


Joined: 04 Apr 2004

Posts: 5676
Location: north of Duluth

PostPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2009 12:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So how many of us are there left that do this then?
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speedysk1
Past MnGCA Board


Joined: 29 Oct 2007

Posts: 1991
Location: Mound MN

PostPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2009 12:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pear Head wrote:
So how many of us are there left that do this then?

I do PQs for a 60 mile radius from my home. This is only 13 PQs, but agreed it's a pain in the rear. With GSAK and being able to get the PQs directy from gmail, it makes it a bit more convenient. I wish GC.com would allow more caches in their PQ results. 500 was ok when there were only a few thousand caches. Now with so many caches and so many devices that can store thousands of caches, they really should open it up.
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GeoPierce
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Joined: 16 Nov 2005

Posts: 1657
Location: Eden Prairie, MN

PostPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2009 1:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pear Head wrote:
So how many of us are there left that do this then?

I still have about 16 running but haven't checked them for a few months.
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ghost640
Geocacher


Joined: 03 Nov 2006

Posts: 270
Location: Independence, north of Twig

PostPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2009 1:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's still on my list of things I outta do, but I haven't pursued it far enough to be discouraged with it yet.

My current method is to have way too many GSAK databases by zip code, all with varying numbers of caches returned, filters, and degrees of updating.
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jrest
Geocacher


Joined: 11 Jun 2005

Posts: 389
Location: Western 'burbs

PostPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2009 2:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I still run enough PQ's to cover the state. Did notice I could redo some of the dates as I got a much smaller return on a cache count when the state parks archived a pile of caches all at once.

I am not real sure where I will end up when I get a cache run in my head, and seem to get around the state enough that it works well for me to keep doing this.

I did find a cool tool to create polygon shaped maps and that will let me copy and paste the polygon corners into a GSAK filter, and can now split the state three ways (Metro, North, South) and then depending upon where I am headed I can run those specific GSAK filters and then dump that into the gpsr...

Seems to work pretty good so far, but does require keeping upto date info in the GSAK database or else I end up looking for an archived cache.
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Pear Head
Past MnGCA President


Joined: 04 Apr 2004

Posts: 5676
Location: north of Duluth

PostPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2009 4:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ghost640 wrote:
My current method is to have way too many GSAK
databases by zip code, all with varying numbers of caches returned,
filters, and degrees of updating.


That's the beauty of filters.. I dump all of my stuff into one database (my MN PQs, OK PQs, WI PQs, and my finds PQ), and then use the filters to sort out what I want and what I don't. I don't delete anything. Smile

The only headache in doing it this way is that it's taking GSAK more and more time to do the database cleanup after I load PQs. The process of loading them takes my computer probably about 10 minutes to load 5 PQs (not including the download time). The nice thing is though that it's all in the background and I don't have to touch it. Lately, since I haven't been caching, I'll let the PQs sit at gmail until I have a week's worth or so, and then I'll grab them all at once.

Like jrest points out, you have to stay on top of it or you'll be searching for archived or disabled caches...
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Pear Head
Past MnGCA President


Joined: 04 Apr 2004

Posts: 5676
Location: north of Duluth

PostPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2009 4:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

speedysk1 wrote:
I wish GC.com would allow more caches in their PQ results. 500 was ok when there were only a few thousand caches. Now with so many caches and so many devices that can store thousands of caches, they really should open it up.


PQs aren't meant to be a substitute for searching gc.com, thus the 500 limit. We're just using them in an unintended way...
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