September 10, 2011

Pocket Query Wish List

For me, pocket queries are the greatest thing since sliced bread, and the main reason I cough up my hard-earned $30 each year to maintain my Groundspeak premium membership. Whether it's a pocket query along a route, of my bookmarks, within a 10-mile radius of my home or any location I plan to visit; the ability to create a list of up to 1,000 caches meeting any search criteria and instantly load them into my GPS receiver is one of my favorite aspects of geocaching (besides the actual outdoor part).

As great as PQ's are, there are a couple of nagging issues that drive me crazy, some of which may only pertain to a small percentage of people that geocache the way I do - using a non-wireless Garmin GPS device (GPSmap 60CSx), and an iPodTouch running the geocaching app.:

(1) The Search Radius
This is primarily an iPodTouch end user complaint. It's great that you can generate pocket queries containing up to 1,000 caches, which is the most I can load onto my Garmin device. But having a list of 1,000 caches in one pocket query set up for off-line use on my iPodTouch is a bit unwieldy. It takes forever to scroll through the whole list to pull up the info. for one specific cache.

That's why I like to break up my pocket queries into manageable amounts; say 500 caches each, or less. This is easy enough to do for caches along a route or bookmark PQ's. But it is impossible to do for a list of caches I haven't found within a 10 mile radius of my home - my most frequently used PQ.  Coincidentally, there are typically right around 1,000 caches that I haven't found within that radius of my home.

What I would love to do is to be able to set up one PQ that lists all my not-found caches within a 5 mile radius (which I can do), and then a 2nd PQ that lists all of the not-found caches within a distance covering between 5 and 10 miles from my home. The current PQ search options do not allow for this:

(2) Why no United States?
The other thing that has always bothered me is why there isn't a United States option in the list of countries to search within?

This would come in very handy, for example, for those of us working on one of the many Jasmer Challenge caches, which requires that you log at least one cache that was placed in every month back to the start of Geocaching (May, 2000). I would love to generate a PQ showing me all the active caches in the United States that were placed in the year 2000, of which there are very few. The only way I can do that now is to create a separate PQ for each state, rather than one PQ for the entire US. Quite annoying.

Other than that, I can find very little to complain about when it comes to pocket queries, especially considering the alternative: loading caches into a GPSr one at a time.

Cache On!


Mike said...

There is (was) a state \search. I'm headed out now so I don't have time to look for it. I have 8PQs set up to search all of Maryland, set up by date. 2000,-2001, 2002-2003, etc

GeoJoe said...

Agreed - there is a State search. My gripe is that the United States is not one of the countries included in the Country search options. Therefore, I cannot generate just one pocket query containing all the caches hidden in the year 2000 in the United States. Instead, I'd have to create 50 different PQ's (one for each state) to get that information.

GeoJoe said...

Mucho props to cacher "AndrewRJ" who pointed out to me that you can at least select multiple states into one pocket query using CTRL-select. Never knew that was an option. My blog readers are the smartest people I know!