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Geocaching NSW: About geocaching

HTML for cache pages

If you’re tired of your geocache listing page looking dull and drab, there are a number of ways you can add colour and formatting.

The simplest approach is to use either a word processor (e.g. Microsoft Word) or an HTML editor (e.g. Dreamweaver) to design your page and save as HTML.

Open the .html file using Notepad or TextEdit and copy the text between the lines <BODY> and </BODY>. Unfortunately, most of these programs create surplus HTML coding, which makes later editing cumbersome and time consuming.

An alternative is to learn HTML coding and use Notepad or TextEdit to create your own. Note: make sure you select plain text, not rich text (RTF) when writing your HTML.

Read more: HTML for cache pages

Finding archived caches

Before placing a new geocache, it's worth taking a look at the 'geocaching history' of the location you have in mind. It may be likely that one, or more, geocaches have been placed in the area before but have since been archived. It may be that the area is frequented by muggles, is regularly cleaned by the land manager, or just isn't suitable for a hide. This information can be useful, to avoid your new geocache following the same fate.

While geocaching.com retains the details and logs of archived caches, it isn't easy to find them. Thankfully, geocaching.com.au does. Here is one way in which you can find archived caches in your region.

Read more: Finding archived caches

Tips on hiding

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Some additional points to consider before placing a geocaching (adapted from the The Geocaching Association of Great Britain guidelines.

Read more: Tips on hiding

Geocaching and the police

nswpolice 300x200From time to time, geocachers ask how they should conduct themselves with Police and security personnel. Additionally, Police would like geocachers to understand how they can minimise unnecessary, and often costly, Police involvement.

This article results from discussions with NSW Police, including some involved in "suspicious package" callouts.

Firstly, it is important to remember that police must attend to concerned calls from the public, particularly in this era of heightened alertness. You can reduce the chances of having to explain yourself by considering these guidelines.

Read more: Geocaching and the police

Maps for your Garmin GPS

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There are many commercial mapping products on the market, but did you know that there are also a number of free, and legal, maps available for you to download?

This tutorial will take you through a few of the options available, how to upload them to your Garmin GPS and you can make them better.

For most maps you will need:

  • A Windows PC or Mac
  • At least 500 MB of free hard drive space
  • A licensed copy of Garmin Trip and Waypoint Manager, MapSource or CityNavigator (PC), or Garmin RoadTrip and Garmin MapInstall (Mac).

Read more: Maps for your Garmin GPS

Geocaching with Garmin Colorado and Oregon

oregon gpsrThe Garmin Colorado and Oregan GPS receivers have been built with geocaching in mind. Their ability to play Wherigo caches and handle GPX files make it a logical unit for geocachers.

But there are a few things to keep in mind when tranferring GPX files into the unit.

When  you connect the GPS receiver to your computer, it should appear as a mountable drive - similar to an external hard or flash memory drive. Double click on the drive to open it and look for the GPX folder - not the Geocache folder. Drag GPX file containing geocaches, typically a pocket query from Groundspeak or Geocaching Australia, into this folder. Eject or unmount the drive from the computer and restart the unit.

If the geocaches in the GPX do not appear, check that you did not copy across a zip file. A Groundspeak pocket query, by default, are zipped. You must unzip these before copying them across.

 

Read more: Geocaching with Garmin Colorado and Oregon

History of GPS

GPS consists of a series of satellites, called NAVSTAR (navigation satellite timing and ranging) and a ground based GPS receiver. The NAVSTAR satellites orbit the Earth at a distance of approximately 19 000 kilometres and take 12 hours to complete an orbit of the Earth. The GPS receiver determines its location on the Earth's surface by collecting signals from the orbiting GPS satellites.

Read more: History of GPS

Degree and minutes

Many years ago, cartographers (map makers) knew that the world was a sphere. To help people figure out where they were located on this sphere, they devised a grid system called longitude and latitude.

The Earth rotates once every 24 hours around its axis. The points where this axis meets the surface are called the North and South Poles. Half way between the North and South Pole is an imaginary line that runs around the Earth called the equator.

Read more: Degree and minutes

Finding your location

Even though a grid system had been developed, it was still difficult to determine the exact latitude or longitude of your location. Some people used the position of stars, while others matched the position of the Sun with accurate timepieces.

Today, the satellite-based GPS allows anyone with a receiver to find their longitude and latitude quickly and easily.

The receiver uses signals from the US NAVSTAR satellites to triangulate its location.

Read more: Finding your location

GPS in research

The GPS is used quite extensively in the commercial sector by trucking and freight corporations to monitor shipments of goods and plan routes to deliver shipments faster and more efficiently.

Some cars have GPS on-board navigation to assist drivers in finding their way through a busy city or to locate their car if it has been stolen. Similarly, the GPS units in Queensland trains provide passengers with information about where the trains are and when they will arrive.

Read more: GPS in research

NSW National Parks geocaching policy

three sisters 300x200Geocaching NSW is pleased to announce that the NSW Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) has released its new Geocaching Policy. This policy reverses the ban on geocaching that has been in place since 2002.

To place a geocache in an area managed by NPWS geocachers must apply for consent before posting it on the internet.

The NPWS Geocaching policy 2010 provides a detailed summary of where geocaches can and cannot be placed.

 

Read more: NSW National Parks geocaching policy

Subcategories

  • What is geocaching?

    Geocaching is a worldwide game of hiding and seeking treasure. Discover what it is all about and its history in New South Wales.

  • Finding a geocache

    There's nothing quite like the thrill of the hunt. Here are some tips to help you find that geocache. 

  • Placing a geocache

    One of the great things about geocaching is that you can 'give' back to the pastime by placing your own geocaches. Discover some helpful hints to help you with your next hide.

  • Resources

    Whether you're new to geocaching or have years of experience, here is where you'll find resources to make geocaching easier. Feel free to suggest, or write, additional resources to share with the geocaching community. 

    • Software

      Tips on how to get the best software, and the best out of software, for your next geocaching adventure.

    • Hardware

      From GPS receivers through to smart phones, here's some tips to help you get the most from your geocaching tool.

    • How GPS works
  • National Parks

    Geocaching is permitted in some areas managed by the NSW Parks and Wildlife Service. Discover what is allowed in National Parks, how you can avoid stumbling into 'no-go zones' and keep up-to-date with news regarding the policy.

  • Geocache of the Month

    Discover the best geocaches that our state has to offer.

  • Challenge geocaches

    Geocaching NSW has placed a number of challenge geocaches to help inspire and stretch your geocaching experience.