January 23, 2008

Paperless Geocaching, Part II

Last time we mentioned how programs like CacheMate allow you to load geocache listings onto your PDA, thus eliminating the need to bring geocaching.com print outs on your cache hunts. So all you need to pack is a PDA and a GPSr. If, however, you happen to have a GPS-enabled mobile device, then you have almost everything you need (except the water and the trade items) all in one device.

Not too long ago, Trimble developed the “GeocacheNavigator” program which, according to the web site, “is linked directly to Geocaching.com's geocache listings and provides you with real-time access to caches near your location. Your GPS enabled cell phone becomes both your browser for accessing listings of caches and your GPS unit for navigating to them.”

The newest toy to arrive on the seen is the Garmin Colorado series of GPSr units. These are not GPS-enabled mobile phones, but instead, geocaching-enabled GPS receivers. These devices come pre-loaded with different types of maps (depending which model you buy), and allow you to download geocaching.com cache listings directly to the unit. You can also send and receive waypoints, tracks, and geocaching data with other Colorado users.

The Colorado also comes with the new “Whereigo” player pre-installed. Whereigo is the brain child of the folks at Groundspeak (geocaching.com developers). According to the web site, “Wherigo is a toolset for creating and playing GPS-enabled adventures in the real world. Use GPS technology to guide you to physical locations and interact with virtual objects and characters.” Since it requires either a GPS-enabled pocketPC, or a device like the Garmin Colorado, to play, we’ll have to wait and see if this idea takes off.

An event cache being hosted by Garmin and Groundspeak on Feb. 2nd will give attendees an opportunity to try out the new Colorado and Whereigo application. If you’re in the area, you might want to check it out.


John said...

I noticed that you mentioned the Geocache Navigator software. I have written a review of this software here - http://www.commercialcaching.com

GeoJoe said...

Thanks for the nice, thorough review of Geocache Navigator, John. A friend of mine has it on his blackberry, and I concur that it is a nice little application.