Forum: Using The Website
Topic: Download Waypoint Names?
started by: Quinn

Posted by Quinn on Jan. 08 2002,5:56 am
We are working on adding a way for you to download waypoints right into your GPSR from within each cache page you view. We are thinking of what to name each of these waypoints and I wanted some feedback from all of you. you need to take into account that these can be no longer than 6 digits and also the fact of future amounts of caches placed. i was thinking the first 2-3 letters of the users name then digits to show which number he/she placed. Or maybe based on the name of cache, but some caches will have close to same names in the future. Any ideas from all of you as to what would be ideal?
Posted by Scout on Jan. 08 2002,7:51 am
Quote (Quinn @ Jan. 08 2002,01:56 am)
We are thinking of what to name each of these waypoints

Use the number already assigned to the cache in your database, that is, the number used in the URL of the cache page. Perhaps prefix it with "NC" so you don't have just a number and so that all the geocaches will get sorted together in the list on your GPS.
Posted by barrington on Jan. 08 2002,9:13 am
Anything but those meaningless numbers on another site.  It's tough with the limited number of characters, but should be linked to the cache name or user name; "GMP579" would be nicely descriptive. ;)

But regardless, downloadable is GOOD, however they're named!
Posted by Gimpy on Jan. 08 2002,10:07 am
I like the idea of the initials of the cacher & the number placed. But I'd go with first,middle & last initial. Just in case you get 2 cachers with the same initials. 3 numeric digits after the initials should be plenty to cover the cache number placed, for now anyway. This would also double as a "other caches placed by this individual" type thing if you were to load a whole bunch into your unit.
Posted by Road Kill on Jan. 08 2002,3:32 pm
Back when I planned 13 caches for a day in Chicago, I put a leading letter (A, B, C etc...) to signifiy the order in which I planned to attack them. That was followed by an abreviation for the cache name. This worked out very well. The alphabet gives you a count of 26 caches and if you plan that many you're in for a busy day. Loading in the way point for the next cache was simple. (IE; if you're done with "Cxxxxx" the next one is "Dxxxxx"). Even nicer was that they were one after the other in the GPS - no searching.  Just "goto" [down one] key and the next one is loaded.
Of course I had a Chicago map (Car rental map) with matching red circles labeled A, B, C as well. That's all anyone needs: a loaded GPS and a street map.

Just an idea. Make up an abreviation (Don't worry about duplications) and give it to the user as a default. Then give the user the option to change abreviation for downloading. There's a slim chance his/her list would have duplicates, but if there were, allowing the change solves everything. In fact the users can enter whatever they want if the default abrevation doesn't mean anything to them. :love
Posted by Choberiba on Jan. 09 2002,9:03 pm
I kind of like the fact that caches stand out on the "nearest" list when they all share the same first two characters.

YMMV, but I'm always using the "nearest" feature.
Posted by beej71 on Aug. 20 2003,4:58 pm
Sorry to bring back an old thread, but it doesn't seem this functionality is in yet.

I wrote a program to parse those .LOC from gc.com into something I could use, but the info is still incomplete.  For instance, I want to know which caches are virtual, but the file doesn't seem to have that information in it.

I can have more than 6 characters for a waypoint name on my etrex, so I'd definitely want to label the cache type and difficulty, like so:

  NC0000 V2+3

Which would be cache "NC0000", a virtual cache, difficulty 2.5, terrain difficulty 3.  Or something like that.

If this information was in the file we downloaded, I could parse it as I choose.  If it's not, then I'm up the creek.

Regarding waypoint naming schemes, beware those that would lead to collisions (like based on peoples initials, hardly unique).  Also, beware that there is only so much space in there.

If the waypoints are "NCXXXX", we have 4 characters to play with.  If there are 36 different characters (0-9, A-Z), that's 36^4 different possible caches; that's only 1,679,616 unique IDs.  Making the waypoints with "NXXXXX" gives over 60 million unique IDs, which is significantly better.  However, this increases the chances of having a collision with some other organization that uses "N" as the prefix.

One possible solution: have the navicache ID be a 5-character number using all 36 digits so you get the full 60-million.  Then have a user-defined prefix letter which could default to "N" for "Navicache", but the user could change to be whatever they wanted if "N" happens to collide with something else they have.

All this being said, maybe 1.6M is enough IDs for all the active caches in the world at any one time.  I fear it, though. :)

[After writing this and actually looking, it looks like you are doing the 5-digit ID already.  Hooray!]



Posted by robertlipe on Sep. 16 2003,10:51 am
GPSBabel contains code to generate intelligent waypoint names that are optimized for specific receiver types.  You're welcome to use GPSBabel or even the logic in it, as long as you conform to the GPL requirements.  It's trivial to call as either a CGI or to just shell out to it from your server.  You could hand folks a file ready to drop into mapsend/mapsource that's guaranteed to have unique, readable names even in the face of duplicate cache names.   It's something I've spent a lot of time on.

If there is something that GPSBabel can do to make life easier for Navicachers, please contact us  via the < GPSBabel > site.

Posted by Cacheola Crew on Sep. 16 2003,12:23 pm
What about using the two letter state abbreviation code for the first two "digits".

So VA0001 would be the first one using the new system placed in Virginia and so on.

I have some waypoints from other states I travelled to but didn't get to find and want to leave them in my GPS in case I go back.  But with just a random number, they all are listed mixed up with the ones from my normal caching area.  But having the state info at the front would make it easy to figure out which caches are which.  


Janine

Posted by PC Medic on Sep. 16 2003,3:18 pm
Quote (Cacheola Crew @ Sep. 16 2003,2:23 pm)
What about using the two letter state abbreviation code for the first two "digits".

So VA0001 would be the first one using the new system placed in Virginia and so on.

Problem with this approach is that geocaching is a world-wide sport. This would require different methods (abbreviations)  for different countries or it could become confusing for our world travelers that also enjoy geocaching. But like everyone's ideas, it is worth looking into.
Posted by robertlipe on Sep. 16 2003,7:50 pm
OK, I've put at least a little bit of code where my mouth is.

I have extended GPSBabel to read the XML files that this site will generate.  Because it is a small amount of "new" code (< 100 lines) I expect it to work just fine.   It focuses on waypoint conversion and not full scale "cache conversion" but this means you can read these XML files and write them to Mapsend, Mapsource, serially to almost any Garmin or Magellan receiver, or any of about 40 other formats.   In addition to position and names, difficulty, terrain, and cache type are mapped.   So if you write to, say, a mapping Magellan unit (8 char waypoints, 30 char comments, icons) and select "smart names" you'll get

EaglsNst,30/30 Eagle's Nest, icon of a box
HOGNSHTL,10/10 HOGANS HOTEL, icon of binocs (virtual)
TRSRCHS2,10/15 TREASURE CHEST #2
TRSRCHS1,10/10 TREASURE CHEST #1 (note trailing #'s preserved)
ViewOnWF,20/20 View On WF II
ViewOn.1,15/15 View On WF (name conflicted and resolved)

If you're mapping to a unit with different characteristics, you'll get different names.  If you don't add the -s, you'll get the plain ole numbers.

This works on about any interesting operating system.  I'll check it in to the GPSBabel tree in the next couple of days after I add test case, doc, and the ability to write these files.  Alternately you can get an early copy by mailing gpsbabel-misc at lists.sourceforge.net.  

This format is about 20 times easier to parse than GPX.  It plays much nicer with expat...

Posted by Scout on Sep. 17 2003,8:23 am
Quote (robertlipe @ Sep. 16 2003,8:50 pm)
I have extended GPSBabel to read the XML files that this site will generate.  Because it is a small amount of "new" code (< 100 lines) I expect it to work just fine.   It focuses on waypoint conversion and not full scale "cache conversion" but this means you can read these XML files and write them to Mapsend, Mapsource, serially to almost any Garmin or Magellan receiver, or any of about 40 other formats.

Now, if Navicache supported batch submission of new caches, I could see something along these lines being very useful in migrating caches from gc.com to Navicache. Download your cache listing from gc.com, run it through GPSBabel (or something) to convert it to Navicache XML format, then upload it to Navicache.

Posted by robertlipe on Sep. 17 2003,8:45 am
I'd considered that, but that really is a different tool than GPSBabel.   This program really focuses on waypoint/track/route transfers (with occaisional concessions for geoaching) and not a fullscale geocaching-specific application.

At one point I even started on a "read a GPX file, fill out the form on Navicache to post a cache" program - armed with XML::Twig, it's a pretty simple chunk of code.

Posted by Scout on Sep. 17 2003,9:09 am
Quote (robertlipe @ Sep. 17 2003,9:45 am)
I'd considered that, but that really is a different tool than GPSBabel.   This program really focuses on waypoint/track/route transfers (with occaisional concessions for geoaching) and not a fullscale geocaching-specific application.

At one point I even started on a "read a GPX file, fill out the form on Navicache to post a cache" program - armed with XML::Twig, it's a pretty simple chunk of code.

I wasn't really suggesting that GPSBabel was the right platform. Keep that program lean and simple (at least conceptually, the code might be a bear, for all I know).

But I can foresee real popularity for a Web form that allowed a user to specify the name of one of his caches on gc.com and a check box to say transfer it to Navicache.com and a submit button. Everything handled automatically. (Later on, we might need to add check boxes to transfer the other way, or transfer to www.opencaching.com, or to synch the sites, or whatever, but not at first.)

Maybe my post will inspire someone else to make it a reality. ;-)

Posted by robertlipe on Sep. 22 2003,8:12 pm
I just checked the Navicache module into GPSBabel.   With it, you can read the XML this site hocks up and  convert them to your choice of about four dozen format or shoot them straight into your receiver.   If you can build from source, you can start today.   If you need a Windows binary, you can either wait for the next beta or shamelessly offer me a bribe to spin a new binary kit.  :)
Posted by Scout on Sep. 22 2003,8:18 pm
Quote (robertlipe @ Sep. 22 2003,9:12 pm)
I just checked the Navicache module into GPSBabel.

GPSBabel rules!
Posted by Volvo Man on Oct. 27 2003,6:24 pm
I would personally suggest using the NC prefix and the "indistinguishable letters  numbers" system used by "the other site" the reason for this is if you use initials, then when I go out looking for Gary Coleman's caches, or Graham Chapman's, My GPSr will probably run into a conflict with the other waypoints for the other sites of the day. If you run out of Waypoint names, then you could start using the second character to multiply the available cache names by a factor of 35.:)
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