Difference between revisions of "GeoBeagle"

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=== How to get GeoBeagle ===
 
=== How to get GeoBeagle ===
 
At present the most up to date version the Market is 0.9.11 and the site is 0.9.15.
 
  
 
GeoBeagle can be downloaded from the Android Market. Simply search for GeoBeagle and it will come up. Sometimes a newer test version may be available at the [http://code.google.com/p/geobeagle/ project's official website]. It is recommended you use the official Market version unless you want to test the newest release.
 
GeoBeagle can be downloaded from the Android Market. Simply search for GeoBeagle and it will come up. Sometimes a newer test version may be available at the [http://code.google.com/p/geobeagle/ project's official website]. It is recommended you use the official Market version unless you want to test the newest release.
  
The guide below represents a slightly older version, and screen shots and features may change as new versions are released. This guide may lag behind the release version. However, the guide should still be effective for use in the newest version.
+
The guide below represents an older version, and screen shots and features may change as new versions are released. This guide may lag behind the release version. However, the guide should still be effective for use in the newest version.
  
 
==== Manually installing the GeoBeagle APK file ====
 
==== Manually installing the GeoBeagle APK file ====
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[[Image:Geobeaglestartscreen.png|thumb|left| First screen of GeoBeagle in version 0.7.4.]]
 
[[Image:Geobeaglestartscreen.png|thumb|left| First screen of GeoBeagle in version 0.7.4.]]
 
<br style="clear:both" />
 
<br style="clear:both" />
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 +
This screen displays information about your location fix. The heading of your phone is shown in green. Below, type of fix (network/GPS), accuracy, and time since fix are displayed.
  
 
From here you may import a cache from any of the sites listed or press the menu button and go to the [[#Importing_Caches_for_Offline_List | cache list]].
 
From here you may import a cache from any of the sites listed or press the menu button and go to the [[#Importing_Caches_for_Offline_List | cache list]].
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<br style="clear:both" />
 
<br style="clear:both" />
  
A couple notes. The Icons tell what kind of cache, we see 3 regular caches here, and one puzzle or unknown cache, another common ones not seen here is mutli-caches, virtual, EarthCaches and many other types. The (1.5/1.5) is how difficult the cache is to find, followed by how difficult the terrain may be. With the four we see above, they are all fairly easy, and the terrain in each case isn’t too hard to cross. The icon below the difficulty ranking is the size of the cache. At the far left is really small, magnetic key holders, film canisters and smaller, for you first couple of caches, you would probably want to skip this size. At the far right are large ones such as ammo boxes. Anything from the third size on up to the large should be good for your first couple caches.
+
A couple notes. The Icons tell what kind of cache, we see 3 regular caches here, and one mystery/puzzle cache, another common ones not seen here is mutli-caches, virtual, EarthCaches and many other types. The (1.5/1.5) is how difficult the cache is to find, followed by how difficult the terrain may be. With the four we see above, they are all fairly easy, and the terrain in each case isn’t too hard to cross. The icon below the difficulty ranking is the size of the cache. At the far left is really small, magnetic key holders, film canisters and smaller, for you first couple of caches, you would probably want to skip this size. At the far right are large ones such as ammo boxes. Anything from the third size on up to the large should be good for your first couple caches.
  
 
From the above we'll select ''Trump Hotel for TB & GC''. Once we get to that page we read the description as it will give you more details about the cache, such as history of the location, the cache, and perhaps clues as to what you are looking for. Next we come to the map and an area where we can select what we would like to open it up in, we'll be back to this in a moment. Below all those links is a hint if there is one. This will normally be encoded. There is a simple guide near it on how to translate it. Below that will be the logs for that cache. We’ll talk more about the log later. In short the log tells if somebody found it or not, and they typically thank the person for the cache, and perhaps give other details, sometimes they may contain spoilers so watch out. Read a few logs for a few caches to get an idea of what you can say when you log your find.
 
From the above we'll select ''Trump Hotel for TB & GC''. Once we get to that page we read the description as it will give you more details about the cache, such as history of the location, the cache, and perhaps clues as to what you are looking for. Next we come to the map and an area where we can select what we would like to open it up in, we'll be back to this in a moment. Below all those links is a hint if there is one. This will normally be encoded. There is a simple guide near it on how to translate it. Below that will be the logs for that cache. We’ll talk more about the log later. In short the log tells if somebody found it or not, and they typically thank the person for the cache, and perhaps give other details, sometimes they may contain spoilers so watch out. Read a few logs for a few caches to get an idea of what you can say when you log your find.
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There is a [[GeoBeagle#Known_Issues|known issue]] with the built in GMail application in saving LOC, GPX and ZIP file attachments. However, access one's email account through the web browser works fine. Simply save download the attachment and follow the instructions for Importing Caches for Offline List below.
 
There is a [[GeoBeagle#Known_Issues|known issue]] with the built in GMail application in saving LOC, GPX and ZIP file attachments. However, access one's email account through the web browser works fine. Simply save download the attachment and follow the instructions for Importing Caches for Offline List below.
  
===Importing Caches for Offline List===
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===Importing caches for offline list===
Once you are ready to move beyond the staring stages of geocaching you will want to start using the offline list feature of GeoBeagle. For this you will use your PC and web browser. You will also need the USB cable that came with your Android.
+
Once you are ready to move beyond the starting stages of geocaching you will want to start using the offline list feature of GeoBeagle. For this you will use your PC and web browser. You will also need the USB cable that came with your Android.
  
 
At this time there are two types of files you can import into GeoBeagle for geocaching. Which one you will use will depend on your membership level at geocaching.com. If you have a basic membership you will be limited to the Basic Membership method, if you have paid the small fee to become a premium member, you will be able to take better advantage of the tools available to premium members, and get more information on the detail screen of GeoBeagle which will aid you in your quest for caches.  
 
At this time there are two types of files you can import into GeoBeagle for geocaching. Which one you will use will depend on your membership level at geocaching.com. If you have a basic membership you will be limited to the Basic Membership method, if you have paid the small fee to become a premium member, you will be able to take better advantage of the tools available to premium members, and get more information on the detail screen of GeoBeagle which will aid you in your quest for caches.  
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With both methods you need to be logged in.
 
With both methods you need to be logged in.
  
====Basic Membership====
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====Basic membership====
 
The first thing to do is search for caches near you, or near where you will be geocaching. Your search may turn out like this (this is my search near me; the exact caches near you will differ).
 
The first thing to do is search for caches near you, or near where you will be geocaching. Your search may turn out like this (this is my search near me; the exact caches near you will differ).
  
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Once you have the .LOC file, or files downloaded, it will become time to copy them to your phone’s SD card, which I will detail in its own section. If you have more than one, you may wish to combine them into one file. There are several programs that allow you to do this, chief among them [[GSAK]] (Geocaching Swiss Army Knife), and is a must have tool for all serious geocachers.
 
Once you have the .LOC file, or files downloaded, it will become time to copy them to your phone’s SD card, which I will detail in its own section. If you have more than one, you may wish to combine them into one file. There are several programs that allow you to do this, chief among them [[GSAK]] (Geocaching Swiss Army Knife), and is a must have tool for all serious geocachers.
  
====Premium Membership====
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====Premium membership====
 
At the Premium Membership level, on the Cache’s detail page you can select the [[GPX|GPS eXchange File]] option. This will give you far more details about the cache.
 
At the Premium Membership level, on the Cache’s detail page you can select the [[GPX|GPS eXchange File]] option. This will give you far more details about the cache.
  
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To build a Pocket Query, go to your Profile and scroll down until you are near the bottom, where you will select Build Pocket Queries from the Premium Features.
 
To build a Pocket Query, go to your Profile and scroll down until you are near the bottom, where you will select Build Pocket Queries from the Premium Features.
  
====Hooking up Your Android and Copying the Files====
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====Hooking up your Android and copying the files====
 
You will hook you your Android with the USB cable provided with your phone. You may or may not be able to use a USB cable that you may already have on your PC to hook up to other phones, cameras or such devices. Once you hook up your phone your Android will notify you have USB connected, slide the notification bar down and select the USB connected notification.
 
You will hook you your Android with the USB cable provided with your phone. You may or may not be able to use a USB cable that you may already have on your PC to hook up to other phones, cameras or such devices. Once you hook up your phone your Android will notify you have USB connected, slide the notification bar down and select the USB connected notification.
  
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If you wish to clear the full offline list, delete the LOC, GPX or ZIP file from the SD Card. Then sync to the card from GeoBeagle as if there was a list. It will clear the list and tell you there is no caches.
 
If you wish to clear the full offline list, delete the LOC, GPX or ZIP file from the SD Card. Then sync to the card from GeoBeagle as if there was a list. It will clear the list and tell you there is no caches.
  
===Once You Found or Did Not Find the Cache===
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===Once you found or did not find the cache===
  
GeoBeagle support the logging of finds using SMS Text Messaging only at the moment. A request for offline logs has been made and may be seen in a future version. The next few paragraphs are for those who are new to geocaching, if you have a few caches under your belt feel free to skip to the [[#Logging_using_SMS_Text_Messaging | Logging using SMS Text Messaging]] or [[#Logging_without_using_SMS_Text_Messaging | Logging without using SMS Text Messaging]].
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GeoBeagle support the logging of finds using SMS Text Messaging or to a text file on your sd card. only at the moment. The next few paragraphs are for those who are new to geocaching, if you have a few caches under your belt feel free to skip to the [[#Logging_using_SMS_Text_Messaging | Logging using SMS Text Messaging]] or [[#Logging_without_using_SMS_Text_Messaging | Logging without using SMS Text Messaging]].
  
 
Look at a few logs for caches before you head out to see what people normally put in a log. If you found it you will normally thank the person for the cache and perhaps say a few quick things about your finding experience and make a note you found it with GeoBeagle. If you didn't find it, you may wish to log it, especially if you are sure you were in the right spot and spent a good bit of time looking for it as it may have been lost and lots of Did Not Finds in a row from different people will let the owner know they may need to check on it.
 
Look at a few logs for caches before you head out to see what people normally put in a log. If you found it you will normally thank the person for the cache and perhaps say a few quick things about your finding experience and make a note you found it with GeoBeagle. If you didn't find it, you may wish to log it, especially if you are sure you were in the right spot and spent a good bit of time looking for it as it may have been lost and lots of Did Not Finds in a row from different people will let the owner know they may need to check on it.
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FWGB is Found With GeoBeagle. It is generally nice to say if you found it with GeoBeagle using the abbreviation or the full phrase. TFTC is Thanks For The Cache. See the http://www.geocaching.com/about/glossary.aspx for other common abbreviations.
 
FWGB is Found With GeoBeagle. It is generally nice to say if you found it with GeoBeagle using the abbreviation or the full phrase. TFTC is Thanks For The Cache. See the http://www.geocaching.com/about/glossary.aspx for other common abbreviations.
  
====Logging using SMS Text Messaging====
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====Logging using SMS text messaging (US only)====
  
Once you find the cache you push the menu button and it will bring up a choice to send a Found or DNF to the geocaching.com page for that cache. These will be sent via an SMS text message. To setup this service you must visit http://coord.info/textmarks.aspx for full instructions. The service is free, however any SMS fees your provider may charge will apply. Also the TextMark service sends ads (only in reply to your message, they do not send others unsolicited), neither Groundspeak (the owners of geocaching.com), GeoBeagle nor any other geocaching application that uses the service has any control over the ads.  
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Once you find the cache you push the menu button and it will bring up a choice to send a Found or DNF to the geocaching.com page for that cache. These will be sent via an SMS text message. To setup this service you must visit http://coord.info/textmarks.aspx for full instructions. The service is free, however any SMS fees your provider may charge will apply. Also the TextMark service sends ads (only in reply to your message, they do not send others unsolicited), neither Groundspeak (the owners of geocaching.com), GeoBeagle nor any other geocaching application that uses the service has any control over the ads.
 +
 
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The message you receive from textmarks.com with your device identifier and password can be confusing.
 +
Your device identifier will have the form "TM#1234567" (including the "TM#" prefix), even though only the "1234567" part is linked in the message.
  
 
A key advantage of the service however is that if you go to http://www.geocaching.com/my/sharing.aspx you can set it up to use your Twitter account to send Tweets about your finds/DNF's and even if you are going to or leaving a cache (and if you have a Facebook account tied into your Twitter account, it will update with that info as well).
 
A key advantage of the service however is that if you go to http://www.geocaching.com/my/sharing.aspx you can set it up to use your Twitter account to send Tweets about your finds/DNF's and even if you are going to or leaving a cache (and if you have a Facebook account tied into your Twitter account, it will update with that info as well).
  
====Logging without using SMS Text Messaging====
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====Logging without using SMS text messaging====
  
 
Alternatively you can just remember and then manually log the entry into the cache’s webpage when you get home, or directly from the cache’s page using your Android device there and then. As mentioned before, alternatives to SMS messaging has been requested already.
 
Alternatively you can just remember and then manually log the entry into the cache’s webpage when you get home, or directly from the cache’s page using your Android device there and then. As mentioned before, alternatives to SMS messaging has been requested already.
  
==Known Issues==
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=== Cache Icons ===
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To keep its intellectual property free, GeoBeagle uses its own cache icons.
 +
 
 +
{| class="wikitable"
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|-
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| [[Image:GeoBeagle Cache Traditional.png]]
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| Traditional Cache
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|-
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| [[Image:GeoBeagle Cache Multi.png]]
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| Multi-Cache
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|-
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| [[Image:GeoBeagle Cache Mystery.png]]
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| Mystery/Puzzle Cache
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|-
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| [[Image:GeoBeagle Cache Letterbox.png]]
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| Letterbox Hybrid
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|-
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| [[Image:GeoBeagle Cache Event.png]]
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| Event Cache
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|-
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| [[Image:GeoBeagle Cache Mega.png]]
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| Mega-Event Cache
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|-
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| [[Image:GeoBeagle Cache Earth.png]]
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| EarthCache
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|-
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| [[Image:GeoBeagle Cache Virtual.png]]
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| Virtual Cache
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|-
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| [[Image:GeoBeagle Cache Webcam.png]]
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| Webcam Cache
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|}
 +
 
 +
==Known issues==
  
 
Below are some known issues. Other may be followed at the [http://code.google.com/p/geobeagle/issues/list issues tab] of the official site and the program's [http://groups.google.com/group/geobeagle group page].
 
Below are some known issues. Other may be followed at the [http://code.google.com/p/geobeagle/issues/list issues tab] of the official site and the program's [http://groups.google.com/group/geobeagle group page].
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===Can't download LOC or GPX files directly from geocaching.com in default Android browser===
 
===Can't download LOC or GPX files directly from geocaching.com in default Android browser===
 
There is a bug in the default web browser that prevents it from importing LOC and GPX files directly from geocaching.com (http://code.google.com/p/android/issues/detail?id=1780). You may download at your PC and follow the above steps, use Opera for the Android or email them to you and access the email though the web client (another issue with the default Android GMail application prevents it from showing the files, so only the web client works).
 
There is a bug in the default web browser that prevents it from importing LOC and GPX files directly from geocaching.com (http://code.google.com/p/android/issues/detail?id=1780). You may download at your PC and follow the above steps, use Opera for the Android or email them to you and access the email though the web client (another issue with the default Android GMail application prevents it from showing the files, so only the web client works).
 +
 +
 +
Can someone take a look at what GCDROID (beta) is doing to allow that application to directly download to phone.  Maybe the same implementation can be made with GeoBeagle.
  
 
===Can't download LOC, GPX or ZIP files from built in Android Mail or GMail applications===
 
===Can't download LOC, GPX or ZIP files from built in Android Mail or GMail applications===
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There have also been complaints that it is largely a wrapper for geocaching.com; however, that doesn't take into account the offline list abilities of the program.
 
There have also been complaints that it is largely a wrapper for geocaching.com; however, that doesn't take into account the offline list abilities of the program.
  
==Further Notes==
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==Further notes==
 
GeoBeagle, as noted before is still in beta and many of the features and screen shots above may change rapidly as the program progresses. It is expected that the next major update will feature UI improvement. [http://groups.google.com/group/geobeagle]
 
GeoBeagle, as noted before is still in beta and many of the features and screen shots above may change rapidly as the program progresses. It is expected that the next major update will feature UI improvement. [http://groups.google.com/group/geobeagle]
  
 
This guide may lag behind releases as it is not maintained by the developers but fans of the program.
 
This guide may lag behind releases as it is not maintained by the developers but fans of the program.
 +
 +
GeoBeagle is the successor to GeoBrowse (and another app that was never released).
  
  
 
[[Category:Software]]
 
[[Category:Software]]

Latest revision as of 20:38, 14 July 2011

GeoBeagle is a free, open source application for the Android platform to aid users in finding geocaches and letterboxes. It enables the user to do paperless geocaching. GeoBeagle is still in Beta, which means it is still in the early stages of development and updates and changes will be frequent.

GeoBeagle officially supports finding caches online through geocaching.com and Open Cache Network, and letterboxes through atlasquest.com. It also supports GPX and LOC files from those sites for offline finds.

Contents

[edit] How to get GeoBeagle

GeoBeagle can be downloaded from the Android Market. Simply search for GeoBeagle and it will come up. Sometimes a newer test version may be available at the project's official website. It is recommended you use the official Market version unless you want to test the newest release.

The guide below represents an older version, and screen shots and features may change as new versions are released. This guide may lag behind the release version. However, the guide should still be effective for use in the newest version.

[edit] Manually installing the GeoBeagle APK file

It is generally recommended that you wait for an official release to the Market before upgrading, but if you want to use the newest test version of GeoBeagle, or the Market is having issues and you can't find it there, installing the APK file is fairly straightforward.

Locate eoeAppInstaller, or Astro File Manager on the Market and install. Download the newest APK file for GeoBeagle from the official site and put it in the Downloads directory of the SD Card. Run eoeAppInstaller or Astro File Manager and select GeoBeagle from the list (or in the case of Astro File Manager the APK file) and install. Astro File Manager comes highly recommended as it now only allows for installation of APK files, but is a full file manager allowing the user to delete, edit files, and allows the user to browse folders such as the GeoBeagle directory where pictures taken in GeoBeagle are stored.

[edit] Cost

GeoBeagle is free and open source.


[edit] Using

As noted earlier, GeoBeagle officially supports finding caches online through geocaching.com and the Open Cache Network, and letterboxes through atlasquest.com. It also supports GPX and LOC files from those sites for offline finds. This guide specifically covers caches from geocaching.com, but the basics are the same at all of them.

In all cases you will need a free membership and be signed into the site.

When you first start GeoBeagle you will be greeted by the following screen:

First screen of GeoBeagle in version 0.7.4.


This screen displays information about your location fix. The heading of your phone is shown in green. Below, type of fix (network/GPS), accuracy, and time since fix are displayed.

From here you may import a cache from any of the sites listed or press the menu button and go to the cache list.

[edit] Importing an individual cache from geocaching.com

One of the features of GeoBeagle is its ability to import an individual cache from the Geocaching.com webpage. Importing a cache is not too complicated, and allows you to add a cache if you have no offline list, or if you are in an area that your offline list may not yet cover. However, it should be noted that you should generally use the Offline List option as it gives you more information, and more caches to choose from, but does require some more forethought.

First select geocaching.com from the main page and it will bring up a search for your coordinates.

Searching Geocaching.com for a nearby cache.


A couple notes. The Icons tell what kind of cache, we see 3 regular caches here, and one mystery/puzzle cache, another common ones not seen here is mutli-caches, virtual, EarthCaches and many other types. The (1.5/1.5) is how difficult the cache is to find, followed by how difficult the terrain may be. With the four we see above, they are all fairly easy, and the terrain in each case isn’t too hard to cross. The icon below the difficulty ranking is the size of the cache. At the far left is really small, magnetic key holders, film canisters and smaller, for you first couple of caches, you would probably want to skip this size. At the far right are large ones such as ammo boxes. Anything from the third size on up to the large should be good for your first couple caches.

From the above we'll select Trump Hotel for TB & GC. Once we get to that page we read the description as it will give you more details about the cache, such as history of the location, the cache, and perhaps clues as to what you are looking for. Next we come to the map and an area where we can select what we would like to open it up in, we'll be back to this in a moment. Below all those links is a hint if there is one. This will normally be encoded. There is a simple guide near it on how to translate it. Below that will be the logs for that cache. We’ll talk more about the log later. In short the log tells if somebody found it or not, and they typically thank the person for the cache, and perhaps give other details, sometimes they may contain spoilers so watch out. Read a few logs for a few caches to get an idea of what you can say when you log your find.

Back to the map selection. We want to select Google Maps. When we do, we'll be asked what we would like to open it up in, select GeoBeagle, this will import the cache ID and coordinates into GeoBeagle. (Note: This doesn't appear to work when using the newer Dolphin web browser for Android. Selecting Google Maps from the cache information page bypasses the "open with" step and opens the map on the Google Maps website.)

When selecting an online cache in GeoBeagle, select GoogleMaps to import the cache into GeoBeagle.
Select GeoBeagle when importing the GoogleMaps link from Geocaching.com. Do not select Google Maps and leave the default action off unless you are sure you will not associate the files with anything other than GeoBeagle.


After clicking the GeoBeagle above, you end up with is something like the below:

The cache page in GeoBeagle. This is the cache page after choosing the Google Maps link and then choosing GeoBeagle from above.


You are at the center of the radar/compass at the top; the green dot would be the cache location. The distance to the cache is 1.5 miles (by default GeoBeagle is set to metric we will cover how to get to US Imperial units in a moment). The accuracy in this shot 105 yards (this shot was taken deep inside a house, your accuracy will normally be much better outside, also the distance to the cache effects the accuracy). The accuracy can narrow down as much as 2m. The accuracy will be important once your distance is inside the accuracy range. The more cover, that is the more trees, or other objects that obscure your view of the satellites, the less accurate your Android device will be. This is through no fault of GeoBeagle, but is the nature of GPS devices. Even with clear skies above you, tall buildings or trees nearby may scatter the signal.

To change from metric to Imperial units by clicking the menu button > setting and checking "Use Imperial System". Version 0.7.9 also adds the ability to used cardinal directions (N, S, SW, E, etc.) instead of arrows in the cache list in the same settings menu.

This shows the cache page when you select the Menu button. To change to Imperial we would select Settings. Other options are Select Online which returns to the main screen, edit cache which edits the cache info such as coordinates (needed sometimes for puzzle caches) and cache list which takes you to the offline cache list.
The settings menu as of GeoBeagle 0.7.4. Version 0.7.9 also adds an Absolute Bearings in List, which gives cardinal directions, SW, E, etc. instead of arrows.


Generally, you navigate yourself to get the green dot (the cache location) in the center and search out to the edges of the accuracy range. If you click the radar/compass it will take you to another radar screen (this one too allows for Imperial or Metric). Keep in mind also that the person hiding the cache may had accuracy issues when hiding. See How to get good coordinates (when hiding) for details on how they try to get accuracy, and How to get good coordinates (when finding) for some hints on when finding.

Selecting Map will provide you a Google Map of the area with the selected cache at the center. Other nearby caches will also show up. Clicking on them will take you to that cache's page. Click an empty area of the map to bring up the zoom in/out buttons.

You will likely use the radar and the map both to take you to your cache.

Selecting Web Page from the screen will take you back to the web page for the cache you are looking for where you can read the details; see a hint if there is one, and read the logs that other people gave for it.

GeoBeagle cannot automate the above due to Groundspeak’s (the owners of geocaching.com) terms and conditions. There are plans in place to make the webpage easier to navigate, that is fit the Android’s screen better, and may have other stuff to help you find the correct link easier, but may not do much more beyond that as to avoid violating any rules.

An important note: While searching for the cache, you must try to be discrete so that people nearby don’t know you are searching for a cache. If you find it, you must attempt all the more to be discrete to remove it and open it. People who don’t know what you are doing are called Muggles, an older term adopted in the Harry Potter books for non-magical people. See the geocaching.com website for hints on how to keep others from knowing what you are doing. A number of caches have been destroyed by people being afraid of what they may contain or simply stolen.

If you find it, you will log it as Found. Once found, open the cache, sign the log book with the date and your geocache.com username or id. If you take something, it is a common courtesy to be sure to leave something of equal or greater value. Close the cache up tightly, and re-hide the cache in the same spot, putting anything back over it that may have been there before to restore it to the same condition as you found it.

If you searched and searched for the cache but had no luck, you will note it as a Did Not Find (DNF). It is possible the cache has been removed, destroyed, stolen, or more likely you simply didn’t find it. Don't worry, even expert geocachers sometimes have to return to a cache 5 or more times to find it if it is a tricky one.

(Skip to Once You Found or Did Not Find the Cache if you do not need to know how to use the offline cache list feature at this time.)

[edit] Importing a LOC, GPX or ZIP file from email

There is a known issue with the built in GMail application in saving LOC, GPX and ZIP file attachments. However, access one's email account through the web browser works fine. Simply save download the attachment and follow the instructions for Importing Caches for Offline List below.

[edit] Importing caches for offline list

Once you are ready to move beyond the starting stages of geocaching you will want to start using the offline list feature of GeoBeagle. For this you will use your PC and web browser. You will also need the USB cable that came with your Android.

At this time there are two types of files you can import into GeoBeagle for geocaching. Which one you will use will depend on your membership level at geocaching.com. If you have a basic membership you will be limited to the Basic Membership method, if you have paid the small fee to become a premium member, you will be able to take better advantage of the tools available to premium members, and get more information on the detail screen of GeoBeagle which will aid you in your quest for caches.

GeoBeagle offers no limit to the number of caches you can load in; however, your Android device may have issues with too many at one time depending on the device, the amount of other software installed and a number of other factors.

With both methods you need to be logged in.

[edit] Basic membership

The first thing to do is search for caches near you, or near where you will be geocaching. Your search may turn out like this (this is my search near me; the exact caches near you will differ).

With the .LOC file that the methods below give you, you will be limited to the cache name, waypoint name, and its coordinates. With the .GPX file you get with the Premium membership you also get details, lots, hints, what Travel Bugs it has if any and more.

You can select all the caches on the page by checking the box at the top and deselect ones we don’t want from there, or select as many as you want by checking the ones you want to download. The option to send to GPS option doesn't work for Android devices yet, this may change if/when Garmin releases their Android device, though it may not support all Android devices at that time.

You can select all the caches on the page by checking the box at the top and deselect ones we don’t want from there, or select as many as you want by checking the ones you want to download.

Once you are done selecting all the ones you want on that page, click Download Waypoints button shown above.

You can then download the .LOC file for that page which will hold all the ones selected. You do this for each page that has caches on it that you are interested in.

You can also download a .LOC file for just a single cache from the cache’s page

Notice there is an option to Send to Phone on the cache's page. At the moment this works only with the iPhone and select others using Trimble software.

Once you have the .LOC file, or files downloaded, it will become time to copy them to your phone’s SD card, which I will detail in its own section. If you have more than one, you may wish to combine them into one file. There are several programs that allow you to do this, chief among them GSAK (Geocaching Swiss Army Knife), and is a must have tool for all serious geocachers.

[edit] Premium membership

At the Premium Membership level, on the Cache’s detail page you can select the GPS eXchange File option. This will give you far more details about the cache.

You can also use the Download Waypoints option at the bottom of the page, but this will limit you to just a .LOC file. If you want to have more than one geocache in your GPX file, you will need to build a Pocket queries.

To build a Pocket Query, go to your Profile and scroll down until you are near the bottom, where you will select Build Pocket Queries from the Premium Features.

[edit] Hooking up your Android and copying the files

You will hook you your Android with the USB cable provided with your phone. You may or may not be able to use a USB cable that you may already have on your PC to hook up to other phones, cameras or such devices. Once you hook up your phone your Android will notify you have USB connected, slide the notification bar down and select the USB connected notification.

This will bring up the option to Mount or Don’t mount the SD card. Select Mount. This will allow your PC to access the SD card as though it was a removable drive. The first time you hook the phone up, Windows may need to run through the New Hardware detected wizard. Unless you are going to be developing applications yourself, just let it select the best drivers for it and it should give you the drive. The full details of that procedure are a bit beyond this guide.

When you have everything hooked up, navigate to the Download directory of your phone and copy the .LOC, .GPX or .ZIP files to that location.

When you are done, you will slide the notification bar down, select the USB connected notification again and select Unmount. Once it looks done you can disconnect the USB cable.

In GeoBeagle, select Offline List, which will bring you to a new screen. Push the menu button on the phone and you will get the option to sync to the SD card.

Choose “Sync/sdcard/download” and it will find the .LOC/.GPX/.ZIP file(s) and bring them in.

Notice there is also an option to Add My Location. This is helpful if you park somewhere and want to be able to find your way back. Your screen will end up like the below:

An example of the offline list in GeoBeagle. As of 0.7.9 the arrows can be replaced by cardinal directions, such as SW, E, etc. in the Settings menu.
The cache page as of version 0.7.11. Notice it adds more information than the version seen from an online injection.


To select a cache, just click it and it will return you to the main screen.

The Details screen is now available, and will give all the details that the file allows, which in the case of GPX files will be the full details as seen on the cache’s web page.

If you import a second LOC, GPX or ZIP file, GeoBeagle will only add the new caches not already in its database.

[edit] Clearing the offline list and deleting individual caches

If you wish delete an individual cache, long click on the cache on the list and it will give you the option to delete it.

If you wish to clear the full offline list, delete the LOC, GPX or ZIP file from the SD Card. Then sync to the card from GeoBeagle as if there was a list. It will clear the list and tell you there is no caches.

[edit] Once you found or did not find the cache

GeoBeagle support the logging of finds using SMS Text Messaging or to a text file on your sd card. only at the moment. The next few paragraphs are for those who are new to geocaching, if you have a few caches under your belt feel free to skip to the Logging using SMS Text Messaging or Logging without using SMS Text Messaging.

Look at a few logs for caches before you head out to see what people normally put in a log. If you found it you will normally thank the person for the cache and perhaps say a few quick things about your finding experience and make a note you found it with GeoBeagle. If you didn't find it, you may wish to log it, especially if you are sure you were in the right spot and spent a good bit of time looking for it as it may have been lost and lots of Did Not Finds in a row from different people will let the owner know they may need to check on it.

If you do find it, there will normally be a log, either a notebook or piece of paper, or something to write the date and your GeoCaching name in, sometimes if the log is big enough you can include more. Sometimes you will need your own pen, so always keep a pen with you.

Also, if you do find it, there may be items in it, these are for equal or greater trade. That is, you drop off an item of equal or greater value for what you are taking out. The exception to this rule are Travel Bugs, GeoCoins and other trackable items. These items are meant to travel from geocache to geocache. If you don't think you will be able to move it in a reasonable time, you can still log the fact that you Discovered it, leave it, but write the number down on a piece of paper that you have on you (travel bug management has been requested for GeoBeagle so you wouldn't need a piece of paper). When you get home you can log your discovery. Trackable items often have goals, do your best to make it achieve its goals. Presently you will need to visit the cache's page when you get home (or via your Android device) and manually remove the trackable item from the cache and manually insert it to the cache you drop it off at.

FWGB is Found With GeoBeagle. It is generally nice to say if you found it with GeoBeagle using the abbreviation or the full phrase. TFTC is Thanks For The Cache. See the http://www.geocaching.com/about/glossary.aspx for other common abbreviations.

[edit] Logging using SMS text messaging (US only)

Once you find the cache you push the menu button and it will bring up a choice to send a Found or DNF to the geocaching.com page for that cache. These will be sent via an SMS text message. To setup this service you must visit http://coord.info/textmarks.aspx for full instructions. The service is free, however any SMS fees your provider may charge will apply. Also the TextMark service sends ads (only in reply to your message, they do not send others unsolicited), neither Groundspeak (the owners of geocaching.com), GeoBeagle nor any other geocaching application that uses the service has any control over the ads.

The message you receive from textmarks.com with your device identifier and password can be confusing. Your device identifier will have the form "TM#1234567" (including the "TM#" prefix), even though only the "1234567" part is linked in the message.

A key advantage of the service however is that if you go to http://www.geocaching.com/my/sharing.aspx you can set it up to use your Twitter account to send Tweets about your finds/DNF's and even if you are going to or leaving a cache (and if you have a Facebook account tied into your Twitter account, it will update with that info as well).

[edit] Logging without using SMS text messaging

Alternatively you can just remember and then manually log the entry into the cache’s webpage when you get home, or directly from the cache’s page using your Android device there and then. As mentioned before, alternatives to SMS messaging has been requested already.

[edit] Cache Icons

To keep its intellectual property free, GeoBeagle uses its own cache icons.

Error creating thumbnail: Unable to save thumbnail to destination
Traditional Cache
Error creating thumbnail: Unable to save thumbnail to destination
Multi-Cache
Error creating thumbnail: Unable to save thumbnail to destination
Mystery/Puzzle Cache
Error creating thumbnail: Unable to save thumbnail to destination
Letterbox Hybrid
Error creating thumbnail: Unable to save thumbnail to destination
Event Cache
Error creating thumbnail: Unable to save thumbnail to destination
Mega-Event Cache
Error creating thumbnail: Unable to save thumbnail to destination
EarthCache
Error creating thumbnail: Unable to save thumbnail to destination
Virtual Cache
Error creating thumbnail: Unable to save thumbnail to destination
Webcam Cache

[edit] Known issues

Below are some known issues. Other may be followed at the issues tab of the official site and the program's group page. Should you come across something that crashes GeoBeagle and isn't covered on those two areas, download Log Collector (from two forty four a.m. LLC as there are two programs doing the same thing, but this is the one the team uses, in theory both do the same thing) from the Market. Recreate the problem with GeoBeagle and then use Log Collector to send the information to the GeoBeagle team, along with any additional information you can provide, such as how to recreate the issue (what you were doing when it crashes).

[edit] Can't download LOC or GPX files directly from geocaching.com in default Android browser

There is a bug in the default web browser that prevents it from importing LOC and GPX files directly from geocaching.com (http://code.google.com/p/android/issues/detail?id=1780). You may download at your PC and follow the above steps, use Opera for the Android or email them to you and access the email though the web client (another issue with the default Android GMail application prevents it from showing the files, so only the web client works).


Can someone take a look at what GCDROID (beta) is doing to allow that application to directly download to phone. Maybe the same implementation can be made with GeoBeagle.

[edit] Can't download LOC, GPX or ZIP files from built in Android Mail or GMail applications

If someone knows a fix for this, or if Cupcake fixed it, please note it here. Right now the best option is to access your Gmail from the web browser, where it will then let you download the attachment.

[edit] Location on Map is off

This issue has been fixed and should no longer apply, upgrade to the newest version. For legacy sake I'll leave this here for now. This is a Google Maps issue and not GeoBeagle and the Google Maps team is looking into it. The location on the compass/radar is correct.

[edit] Reception

GeoBeagle has generally been fairly well received with many of the issues are being addressed rapidly. Many of the complaints have been in regards to the user interface (UI), which is undergoing a refit to make it more user friendly. Even fans of the program admit that the UI was clunky, especially for beginners, this has been addressed some. With some bug fixes, this is primary focus of the current set of updates before returning to feature requests.

There have also been complaints that it is largely a wrapper for geocaching.com; however, that doesn't take into account the offline list abilities of the program.

[edit] Further notes

GeoBeagle, as noted before is still in beta and many of the features and screen shots above may change rapidly as the program progresses. It is expected that the next major update will feature UI improvement. [1]

This guide may lag behind releases as it is not maintained by the developers but fans of the program.

GeoBeagle is the successor to GeoBrowse (and another app that was never released).

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