January 9, 2008

Setting Useful Search Criteria

If you just want to see a list of all the geocaches within a given radius of your city center (based on your zip code), then the main “Hide and Seek” page on geocaching.com is adequate for the task. But at some point after you’ve found a fair number of the geocaches closest to your home, you’re probably going to want to perform a more customized search that limits the results to just the closest caches that you haven’t found yet. You can accomplish this by using geocaching.com’s “advance search options”, available by clicking on the link of the same name near the bottom, left-hand side of the “Hide and Seek” page.

Now you can type in your zip code, check the box that says, “Exclude hidden/found items from results”, click the “seek” button, and presto; you’ve got a list of all the nearest geocaches still waiting for you to find.

You can add even more precession by entering your home coordinates instead of your zip code by selecting the coordinates option in the drop down menu.

At this point you’re probably thinking, wow, this is great, but I don’t want to have to type in my entire latitude and longitude every time I want to run this search. Well, you don’t have to. If you’ve paid your $30 Groundspeak membership fee, then you can create a pocket query (more about this in future posts) with even more advanced filtering options, and even save the query. After you set up the query, run it to see what the results look like, and then bookmark it! Better yet, drag the browser icon from the URL address bar down to your browser’s link tool bar, and you’ll always have instant access to an updated list of your closest, un-found geocaches.

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