View Full Version : Pocket Queries for the State



NativeMainer
10-27-2009, 11:44 PM
I know there are a couple of people on the forums here who have all the caches of the state loaded into their GSAK program. I know Ekidokai is one of them and I believe brdad is another.

My question: Is there an easy way to do that, and if so, what are the parameters you use to get all the caches in the state? I'm trying right now, mostly making a query to capture as many caches as possible and then set up another one that is right next to it on the map and have as little overlap as possible.

HermonFinder
10-28-2009, 05:21 AM
I made an article for that with the dates.

shuman road searchers
10-28-2009, 05:28 AM
I have all of the caches in the state loaded in GSAK and I did it by the date each cache was placed. It will currently take 13 pq's to get them all but if you do not care about the cache after you find it then you can eliminate those ones from your pq's therefore lessening the number needed to have all of the caches in GSAK. I also have all of the NH caches in GSAK. Done the same way.

Mainiac1957
10-28-2009, 06:15 AM
I currently get the the whole state of my unfounds in 6 PQ's. Start with Jan 1 2001 and go out a until you have enough for that query. Then you just need to experiment with the inclusive dates to have it come out under 500 for each one. I try to stay around 485 to 490 leaving space for any that are temporarily disabled. If you are at 500 and some in that date range come back online then it won't catch them. Just continue making new ones until you get to present time. Making sure you set the final end date a few months away to catch future events. Obviously the have to be spread over several days of downloads due to the 5 a day rule. This has worked for me for many years. I will also get a PQ once a week with disabled caches so I can avoid not loading them when I go caching. That is another subject however.

brdad
10-28-2009, 06:51 AM
I believe going by placed date is the only way to get gc.com PQs without missing caches or having duplicates. People a lot smarter than me tried many methods and figured that out when PQs were first introduced.

My article on the subject, Unfound caches PQ's (http://www.geocachingmaine.org/forum/showthread.php?t=2260) should explain easily how to create the PQs. It is tailored towards your unfound caches PQs, but if you would like all Maine caches as Myself and some others do, you can easily skip the checking of the "I haven't found" and the "I don't own" boxes.

Ekidokai's Paperless caching all Maine caches for GSAK (http://www.geocachingmaine.org/forum/showthread.php?t=4128) article on the other hand, gives you the approximate dates you need to create the PQs by date IF you want to have all Maine caches in your PQs. If you want just your unfound, you will have to adjust the dates a bit depending on how many caches you have found.

There is a GSAK macro named PlacedPQ (http://gsak.net/board/index.php?showtopic=2777&view=findpost&p=32581) which can calculate the dates for the PQs as well. It should work well for all caches or unfound provided you filter any archived and found before running. I don't use it because it does not take too long for me to adjust mine using the technique explained in my article when needed.

I just upped my PQ set to 11 PQs for all Maine caches, I can get them to all fit in ten but #10 is very close to 500 and I like to have some buffer. as caches get archived (and as you find caches if you are just doing unfound) you will need to edit the dates on all your PQs.

If you need any help following my article, send me a PM or check in chat to see if I am around.

TRF
10-28-2009, 07:45 AM
This is a snap shot of the PQ's I'm using today to get all the Maine caches. As BrDad pointed out, number 10 query is pretty close to max'ing out at 500.

http://www.uninets.net/~maggie/Temp/snap_PQ_10-28-2009.jpg

brdad
10-28-2009, 09:55 AM
This is a snap shot of the PQ's I'm using today to get all the Maine caches. As BrDad pointed out, number 10 query is pretty close to max'ing out at 500.

Neat idea to put the dates right in the name of the PQ!

squirrelcache
10-28-2009, 10:00 AM
I've always used a date name as well.......I like his idea in sequentially numbering them too!

cano
10-28-2009, 10:50 AM
I'm using the same approach as NativeMainer. I have set of PQ, each PQ covers a circle of 500 caches around a point. I don't use PQ by dates because it has more disadvantages. First, there is a problem when somebody suddenly enables large number of caches and it will not fit into your PQ. You can leave some room in your PQ but more room you leave more you are wasting your PQ. Second thing is, caches get archived. More caches are archived, less is your PQ utilized and you have to rebuild them. Third thing is you don't know when your most recent PQ will be full to start a new one. As you can see you have to keep an eye on your PQs to make sure you are getting all caches and not wasting your PQ. Which is unacceptable for me. I like set it and forget it approach. Another thing is, if you go geocaching to some area you have to load all your PQs from all dates. Because you don't go geocaching by date, you go geocaching by area, right?. You need to load just one PQ with this area. You may have all your PQ loaded already just in case, but you need to update just one to make sure you will see all the new ones in the area and don't see disabled or archived ones. Minor disadvantage is you will get some duplicates because your PQs will overlap, but that's not an issue since my GPS can deal with it. Major advantage is scalability, that's why I use this method. More PQ you set up the longer it lasts without need to rebuild it no matter what happens. Just set it and forget it. It is possible to cover whole Maine the way so your PQ set will return all caches for as long as it's possible, even when somebody introduce various anomalies like putting large number of caches in one area (hello Ekidokai) or archiving/disabling/enabling large number of caches. It also has a very nice fail safe mechanism. When you get to the point your PQ set can't return all caches in Maine any more, the caches that are not gonna make it are caches far from civilization, you wouldn't want to go there anyway :) So when your PQ set starts failing because you need more of them, it will fail the safe way, it will be still usable in contrast to when you will not be getting the most recent ones. OK enough of theory.

How to get the optimal coverage?
The coverage which has all the good properties I mentioned above. First I printed a map of Maine and tried to do it by hand. It was a time consuming work and I wasn't sure if my coverage is optimal. Then I stopped and started thinking. Hey, why I don't use something what has been here for millions of years and works perfectly? Why I don't just let it evolve out of nothing? I made an evolution algorithm to solve this problem for me. It works the same way like evolution in nature. It starts from set of completely random population of solutions, there are not really a solutions at this moment, it's just a random noise. Then by applying natural selection and random mutations over many generations this will became an optimal solution we are looking for. Longer this simulation runs, more optimal solution you will get. You can stop at any time if the solution is good enough for you, or you can keep it running to the point no more optimal solution can be found. Of course not every random noise will evolve into the optimal solution and for that reason you have to run many instances parallel and discard the wrong ones to save processor power for the good ones.

I ran this maybe a year ago a here are the coordinates you are looking for, please note that 9 and 10 PQ set no longer covers whole Maine, 11 is OK and will be for a while. I may run this again for 13 PQs so it will be good for another couple of years.

-- points coordinates for 9 PQs --
-67.4796853806228, 43.5615122606597
-71.1598729238754, 43.4862042839903
-70.307813884083, 43.681665611424
-69.69150683391, 44.3554635176991
-67.7924064013841, 46.3598405671762
-71.1605595588235, 45.5320748230088
-69.1500155276817, 44.8303752614642
-70.4983083910035, 44.1170804062751
-69.8254226211073, 43.8427864400644

-- points coordinates for 10 PQs --
-68.2113965397924, 46.8310471922767
-70.2322126297578, 43.8350498451327
-70.1593908737024, 44.2211193704747
-70.2019347750865, 43.2577539621883
-67.4057924740484, 44.0730874014481
-69.3841580449827, 43.8536176729686
-71.2556118079585, 43.8172383990346
-69.4291243944637, 44.4986999497184
-70.7045680363322, 45.0761225362027
-69.0589237889273, 45.0644235760257

-- points coordinates for 11 PQs--
-70.2902030709343, 44.9572746158488
-69.9350150519031, 43.0973012067578
-69.1225666089965, 44.9881288475463
-71.8093471885813, 43.9347962469831
-68.8456879325259, 44.243446069992
-69.4953874134948, 44.3761315526951
-69.745058866782, 43.80255614642
-69.7528590397924, 46.7218018644409
-70.3867109861592, 43.8070291653258
-67.2030374134948, 45.1836247304907
-70.1907618512111, 44.1990537570394

This will return all caches in Maine, including temporary disabled. If you are looking for custom set of unfound or what ever PQs just for you for given criteria, I can have it evolve just for you :)

pm28570
10-28-2009, 12:08 PM
Uh.......I just wanted to go for a walk in the woods, maybe even find a cache.:)



I'm using the same approach as NativeMainer. I have set of PQ, each PQ covers a circle of 500 caches around a point.......(deleted)...... If you are looking for custom set of unfound or what ever PQs just for you for given criteria, I can have it evolve just for you :)

pm28570
10-28-2009, 12:11 PM
And Michal, to confirm, you are or are not using dates paramaters? All joking aside, this looks pretty easy.




-- points coordinates for 11 PQs--
-70.2902030709343, 44.9572746158488
-69.9350150519031, 43.0973012067578
-69.1225666089965, 44.9881288475463
-71.8093471885813, 43.9347962469831
-68.8456879325259, 44.243446069992
-69.4953874134948, 44.3761315526951
-69.745058866782, 43.80255614642
-69.7528590397924, 46.7218018644409
-70.3867109861592, 43.8070291653258
-67.2030374134948, 45.1836247304907
-70.1907618512111, 44.1990537570394

This will return all caches in Maine, including temporary disabled. If you are looking for custom set of unfound or what ever PQs just for you for given criteria, I can have it evolve just for you :)

cano
10-28-2009, 12:23 PM
And Michal, to confirm, you are or are not using dates paramaters? All joking aside, this looks pretty easy.
No, I never did. Because of the disadvantages which comes with it. I was looking for a robust scalable low maintenance solution and this was the best I found. I understand you may have different priorities and this solution may not be the best for you. I also use this for building stats on this page http://mgs.cano.sk/ It is important for me it will work without touching it for many years :)

Gob-ler
10-28-2009, 12:24 PM
Each method has its slight disadvantages. The PQ's with center points has a lot of overlap and produces many duplicate caches as well. The date method while it produces no duplication requires a bit of update now and then, but with the PQ BY DATE Macro in GSAK that is minimized.

Either works just fine. Me, I used the by date method quite successfully. At one time I had all of Maine found but for 1300 caches. That is far gone now. Think of it, the whole state of my unfound caches in three PQ's. Those were the days!

cano
10-28-2009, 12:49 PM
I know, for my other project, where I'm trying to cover whole world I use time based combined with another criteria based PQs :P

Sudonim
10-28-2009, 08:48 PM
I know, for my other project, where I'm trying to cover whole world I use time based combined with another criteria based PQs :P

Is that a worldwide distribution of caches?
(If so, I'm taking my next vacation in Greenland, looks like it's covered in them...):p:p

But seriously, are the white areas caches? Pretty cool if so.

cano
10-28-2009, 09:44 PM
Is that a worldwide distribution of caches?
(If so, I'm taking my next vacation in Greenland, looks like it's covered in them...):p:p

But seriously, are the white areas caches? Pretty cool if so.

Yes the bright white color are caches, the gray white in Greenland and Antarctica is just snow :) However there are caches in Greenland and I was thinking of going there for little caching, but I couldn't find a flight :(

NativeMainer
10-29-2009, 08:15 AM
Thanks, everyone. I think I'm going with the date method. It seems like it'll be a bit of work keeping the queries updated (like, when I decide to do Stud Mill) but it was mostly the overlap that I was concerned about. I was trying using a point as a center and trying to put queries as close together as possible, but it was taking a bit of time. I was able to put together ten queries using the time method in a matter of minutes.

Cano, if you ever find out about flights to Greenland, let me know. It's not going to happen any time soon (maybe not even in the next five years), but I'd love to go where few people have gone to find a cache.

Ekidokai
10-29-2009, 01:44 PM
Put my name in the search on GSAK and then remove the ones you don't want. Then bring up a map and pick out some of the nearby ones that are great.

That might be a good place for an "along the route" but I don't know about the legs for that.

shuman road searchers
10-29-2009, 03:58 PM
The date option is a good one. I only redo my pq's when they drop below the 425 level which means you have to find 500 or so before you need to redo the pq's

masterson of the universe
10-29-2009, 09:03 PM
Correct me if I am wrong but it appears today needs to be the cut for the the 10th pq that used to be from 8/13-12/31 and a new one needs to be set for 10/29 to 12/31?

hollora
10-29-2009, 09:22 PM
PQs all depend on if you capture all caches or just your unfound. I capture all as when I cache with my daughter and sometimes my son - there are many I have done which they have not done. That being the case my last PQ started in September and is still not at 300.

I just keep tickling my file and make it work for me. Depending on your caching style, what you are looking for - there is no one answer to PQs.

Just general knowledge and then you fine tune from there. So of like cooking - tweek it and add the spices you like.

brdad
10-29-2009, 09:40 PM
Correct me if I am wrong but it appears today needs to be the cut for the the 10th pq that used to be from 8/13-12/31 and a new one needs to be set for 10/29 to 12/31?

My tenth PQ currently has 491 caches. As has been stated, there will be differences depending on how much buffer you left on your other PQs. if yours is today, then it's most likely because a few caches got archived in the other PQs and you could squeeze a few more days into one of them.

That's why I created an 11th PQ, Set from the day I made it (last Sunday maybe) until 2010. That way, when #10 boils over, #11 will pick up the overage. There will be a few dupes, but it insures you don't miss any.

Waterski
10-30-2009, 10:11 PM
I am wondering how many caches this oregon will hold in memory. Has anyone put the whole state on one? If it needs to go on the memory card, I have no idea what to do about getting them on there. Just getting through the tutorials and they are great on how to break thenumbers down. Thanks.

Waterski
10-30-2009, 10:16 PM
If I load nine and ten, does it appear that all the stud mill area caches should be on there? I am still trying to figure out the best way to get them . I thought most were posted on June 11th, but may be wrong.

masterson of the universe
10-30-2009, 10:18 PM
You should easily be able to put the whole state on to a card as long as you are doing them as POI rather than waypoints. On my 60csx i only load my finds as POI and my unfounds as waypoints so that I can use the Geocaching mode when doing larger runs.

Ekidokai
10-31-2009, 05:30 AM
OK I have been playing with this for a while. Lets see if this works.

These are just My caches along the Stud Mill Rd. I think that's what you have been asking for.

The only one I see that is not part of that series is Pocomoonshine Package, but it is a 2001 cache and is very worth doing.

Ekidokai
10-31-2009, 05:55 AM
Here is another one with all the caches. You can also find it by looking in the public search on the "along a route caching" section and looking for my name or Stud Mill Rd.

brdad
10-31-2009, 06:46 AM
Hey Mike, sharing of PQs is against gc.com's terms of use. You are risking your account by posting them in an open forum.

There is no problem creating the route and posting a link to that, however - then anyone can create their own PQ from that route.

Ekidokai's Stud Mill Rd. (http://www.geocaching.com/my/userrouteedit.aspx?rguid=eb4f7f84-1f07-4b7e-9bac-aef5bc7207ae) route.

Another method is to create a polygon filter for GSAk. I made a 5 minute one here. Just select this file in GSAK's Arc/Poly filter. Do not load it as you would a PQ as it is not a PQ file!

Better instructions:
Save the file to your computer
Load GSAK with all your caches.
From the menu, select Search - Filter
Click on the Arc/Poly tab
Click on the Polygon radio button
Click on the Select File button
load the gpx file you downloaded
Click Go
GSAK will now only show caches within that polygon. If you want just Ekidokai's caches you can filter that in addition.

brdad
10-31-2009, 06:57 AM
I am wondering how many caches this oregon will hold in memory. Has anyone put the whole state on one? If it needs to go on the memory card, I have no idea what to do about getting them on there. Just getting through the tutorials and they are great on how to break thenumbers down. Thanks.

Looking at the web site, it appears the lower Oregon models can hold 1000 waypoints while the 550 series can hold 2000. On the other hand, if you are putting POIs on a memory card, with the Nuvi I have calculated my 2 GB card can hold at least a quarter of a million Geocaches as POIs.

masterson of the universe
10-31-2009, 07:50 AM
After reworking the dates to "clean out" the archived caches, this is what I now have set up...

1. 1/1/00 to 8/12/05 499 caches
2. 8/13/05 to 8/12/06 496 caches
3. 8/13/06 to 5/8/07 496 caches
4. 5/9/07 to 11/17/07 499 caches
5. 11/18/07 to 6/30/08 497 caches
6. 7/1/08 to 9/21/08 497 caches
7. 9/22/08 to 3/24/09 493 caches
8. 3/35/09 to 6/10/09 393 caches
9. 6/11/09 to 8/14/09 492 caches
10. 8/15/09 to 12/31/09 491 caches

I can see where Cano's method would eliminate the issues like PQ 8 being cut short. This way just seems more organized to me. I guess to me, it really doesn't matter how they get into GSAK for filtering the way I want, as long as they are all there.

Waterski
10-31-2009, 09:37 AM
Thanks for all the help everyone. I will try to work the GSAK program and use your suggestions and info. Appreciate all your imput.

Waterski
10-31-2009, 09:47 AM
Please explain what the difference is between a POI and waypoint. Is the waypoint the file that would have all the log informtion? If so, what would they POI give me? These terms are really vague to me on what I am getting with each one.
I hope I am not alone in needing this info....

Sudonim
10-31-2009, 11:07 AM
I hope I am not alone in needing this info....

Don't worry about asking questions about this stuff. While I may not need exactly what you are looking for today, it will be on the forums for next month when I happen to need it. The information exchange on forums is one of the best tools cachers have.

brdad
10-31-2009, 12:08 PM
The major differences I see in waypoints vs. POIs:

Waypoints:
Total amount is limited by the firmware.
Always show up on the GPSr Screen.
They can be deleted individually.
Are stored on the internal memory of the GPSr
Contain only basic data (coordinates, name) except in the newer GPSrs that allow geocaches, then those will have all the data.

POIs:
Total amount is limited by the memory of the unit or memory card.
Can be stored on the internal memory or a memory card (at least on the Nuvi)
Contains all cache data.
Will only show on he screen when it is within proximity limits.
Can have an alarm sound when you are within a specified proximity range of a POI.
Can not be deleted individually - only the entire POI file can be deleted.

Anyone feel free to correct or add to this list, I am still learning this as well and I know different models have different abilities.

In a perfect world, waypoints would contain all cache data AND could be stored on a memory card to a total amount limited by the amount of that memory. Perhaps someday they will get there.

Ekidokai
10-31-2009, 02:03 PM
Sure, I figure out how to do something and it is illegal.