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Cachemate
(Google Android)
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The Basics
Importing Data
Waypoint List View
Cache Log Notes (including the reason for SMS permissions)
Managing Travel Bugs
Settings / Preferences
Compass Navigation
CacheMate GPX Extensions

The Basics

CacheMate is a waypoint database application, with several features geared towards geocaching. It allows storage and organization of waypoint information, editing geocache logs, GPS navigation, and transfer of information to and from external software and services.

Waypoints are organized in one or more databases, each containing multiple categories. When the program is first started, the list of databases is shown. Selecting list items takes you further into each database... categories, waypoints, and finally detailed information on a specific waypoint.

There are two entries in every category list that aren't actually categories at all, but instead show exactly what their names imply. "All" shows all records in the database, and "Bookmarked" shows all bookmarked records, both regardless of category.

Importing Data

Regardless of the source, waypoint data is always imported from one particular screen in CacheMate... the category list. Selecting Import from the options menu for that screen will show the category routing selections for imported records and, from there, the list of installed import plugins.

GPX/LOC Files

  1. Copy a GPX, LOC or ZIP (containing GPX) file to the SD card on the device
  2. Run CacheMate, and select a database from the list (by default, there's one called... "Default")
  3. Press the menu button, and select Import
  4. Ensure categories are set as desired, and tap Import
  5. Select the GPX/LOC Import plugin
  6. Select the file to be imported

GPX, LOC and ZIP email attachments are also supported, as well as web downloads of those file types. GPX/LOC downloads from Geocaching.com cache pages are unfortunately broken right now, though, due to a bug in the Android browser and the way that that site handles file downloads (see Known Issues list for details and a link to the bug report at Google).

To ensure that owned caches are routed properly, go into the Settings menu and add the user names you use on the caching site that the file came from.

For faster importing (particularly with large files), process your GPX files first using CMConvertWM on your computer, then use the resulting file with the CWF Import plugin in CacheMate.

Geocaching.com Live Search

This feature is implemented as an import plugin, which searches the site Geocaching.com using your current location as a center point. You may then use the Google Maps link on a resulting cache page (located just above cache logs on the page, provided you're logged in) to add enough information to the CacheMate database to navigate to the cache and later log it at the site.

The information is unfortunately limited to coordinates and waypoint ID. LOC and GPX downloads would be nice, but don't work with current versions of Android's default browser due to a bug in its handling of file downloads.

Offline caching of geocache images

CacheMate extracts image URLs from imported GPX data and, if possible, downloads the images in the background for use when there is no data connection. Image downloading can be configured to happen any time, only when a Wi-Fi connection is available (the default, for those who have to deal with wireless data limits), or turned off completely. The setting can be found in the Settings menu under Preferences > General Options.

Waypoint List View

After selecting a database and category from their respective lists, you arrive at the waypoint list view, probably the most complex in the application with regards to the number of menu options available. Each list item contains configurable primary and secondary text information, which defaults to record name and waypoint ID, and a collection of icons depending on record attributes. Selecting an item from the list shows more detailed information about the waypoint record.

Record counts for the current category and the entire database are displayed in the list title bar, as well as an indicator if a list filter is active. The category record count displayed represents the total count, not the displayed count, so it may be larger than the number of records actually displayed if a filter is active.

List icon columns:

Bookmark - This icon resembles a yellow bookmark folded over a page, and indicates that a record has been bookmarked.

Disabled / Travel Bugs - These icons are a white X-mark, or a bug, respectively.

Found / Owned - These are both represented by checkmarks, with green indicating "found" and red indicating "owned" status.

Log Notes - If log notes are stored for a record, this icon will appear. A grey "page" icon will appear if the log is just a generic note, or yellow for "found" and red for "not found".

Corrected Coordinates - This icon resembles a crosshair, with a bit of a shadow behind it, and indicates that a record's coordinates have been "corrected" by the user and will not be overwritten when the record is updated during a data import process.

Photos - This icon resembles a tiny Polaroid instant photo, and indicates that a record has photos (from the device's camera) associated with it. Menu options exist in the record detail view for taking and viewing photos.

Menu items that may require more explanation:

Center Point sets a center point for the list, from either manual entry or an external source, and is required for sorting and filtering based on distance and bearing. Constant updating of this information isn't done, as that would potentially cause a huge drain on the device's battery. It is also possible to set the center point using coordinates of a particular waypoint record, either through the list view's context menu or the detail view's option menu.

Actions is a container for plugin-based operations that aren't covered elsewhere, currently only exporting and calculations. The record detail view has this menu option as well.

Cache Log Notes

The log editor for a particular record may be accessed from the waypoint list or from that record's detail view. You may set the log type, start and end times for the cache hunt, and enter log notes. Menu options exist for travel bug management and the voice recorder. The Add Tmpl option adds a configurable log notes template, which can also be added automatically when creating a "found" or "not found" log.

"Quick notes" are available for fast input of commonly used log notes, and are accessible from the log editor's options menu. Quick notes may also be edited outside of the log editor, through the Settings menu option on the database and category screens.

The Send menu option allows log notes to be sent instantly to geocache listing sites or services, and is enabled when a log type other than "None" is selected and the record's waypoint ID has a supported prefix. Bundled with CacheMate is support for US-based users to send log notes to Geocaching.com via SMS, and support for other sites and/or locales may be added later.

Log Template Variables

Log templates may contain one or more variables that are filled in when the template is used. %date% and %time% are replaced with the current date and time, respectively.

%fcount% is replaced with a counter of times the template has been used in a "found" log, when the log is inserted automatically as part of selecting a "Log as Found" menu option. The current value of this counter is viewable and editable from the Preferences menu option, under "Found Log Actions".

Groundspeak SMS field notes (US-only)

SMS setup instructions are located at Groundspeak's coord.info site, and the procedure can be completed in minutes. Once that is done, "found" and "not found" geocache logs may be sent via the log editor's Send menu option. Once they are sent and received by the site, they will appear on your personal "field notes" page to be converted into cache logs.

Twitter support

Short logs may also be sent via Twitter, when either the free or pro versions of TwiDroid are installed. This is also done from the Send menu option.

Managing Travel Bugs

CacheMate allows for easy management of travel bugs and geocoins (trackable trade items hosted by Geocaching.com), moving them between geocaches and a separate "inventory" list. Travel bugs may be moved from the log editor, and your inventory and travel bug log may be viewed and managed from options in the waypoint list menu.

A threshold may be configured (Settings > Preferences > General Options) for the maximum number of days you wish to hold a travel bug in your inventory. Travel bug movements are timestamped, and any held in your inventory longer than the threshold will be highlighted, as well as a message displayed in the main list views.

Settings / Preferences

The Settings menu is available from the database and category lists, and contains all of the configurable options for the program. Preferences covers all of the options for the CacheMate application itself, and Plugin Settings allows for configuration of bundled or other installed plugins.

The remaining Settings menu options edit various lists that are used in the program. Record and container types are used in the editors for list filters and waypoints. The "Website User IDs" list allows proper routing of owned geocaches to their own category during the data import process, when that information is available, by storing user names (not numeric IDs) that identify you on the sites that produce the imported data.

Compass Navigation

CacheNav, the bundled compass navigation plugin for CacheMate, is available from the options menu whenever you're viewing the details of a waypoint record. It displays location information obtained from the device, and calculates bearing and distance to the target waypoint for display as well.

The need for compass navigation is indicated by the compass pointer color. If it's green, then the system is indicating that the heading is reliable. If it's yellow or red, then you need to calibrate the compass. If the pointer is red, or if there is no compass hardware in your device, the software uses changes in location to determine direction of movement.

A current issue with this portion of the software on some devices is that it uses the network location provider, even if GPS hardware is enabled. If this happens to you (look for the GPS icon in the notification bar to determine), try disabling the network location provider. This is an Android issue with those certain devices, but will be worked around in a future version of CacheMate.

CacheMate GPX Extensions

CacheMate has its own GPX extension schema for user-entered log notes and custom fields. The schema may be found here:

http://www.smittyware.com/schema/cmdata/1/0/cmdata.xsd

The elements documented in the schema are extensions to the GPX <wpt> element. The <log> element is supported for exporting only, and <extra_data> is supported for both import and export.

 
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