Geocaching with a Nokia E72

2011-05-30

    Geocaching is an outdoor game where you search for hidden logs in which you note that you found the cache. In addition to logging on paper, you log your visit on a site that gathers several caches. The site with the most caches is geocaching.com.

    Many caches can be found by looking at maps and satellite images, but the best is to have a GPS so that you can enter the coordinates of a cache and follow the GPS there. I use the GPS and the included OVI maps on my Nokia E72.

    One thing I really like about satellite view in the E72 is that it is possible to zoom in to a resolution of a few meters. It is very helpful when the GPS is not quite keeping up, especially in a city environment.

    The default settings for the coordinate system in the phone is not the one used on geocaching.com so change it to: GGG MM.MMMM. Otherwise it is a pain if you are looking for a cache where the coordinates are the result of a quest or a math problem.

    To get the cache coordinates to the phone I use a program called GSAK (Geocaching Swiss Army Knife) and Dropbox. In GSAK, I use a macro called Nokia (without version number). There is one known as Nokia xxx, where xxx is a version number, but I did not get it to work. The  Nokia macro exports all the caches that are currently visible in GSAK to an LMX file. LMX is the file format that Nokia uses to store locations on the map.

    When I export LMX file I make it go to the folder called Public in my Dropbox directory. Right-clicking on the file when it is the gives you a public URL (Web address). I use the same file name for each export. The public URL to my LMX file is saved as a bookmark in my phone. Then I can quickly import new locations to the phone when I export them with GSAK.

    It looks pretty complicated, but takes less than half an hour to set up. It is time you save up quite fast because you do not have to convert the coordinates and enter them manually into the phone.