GeoTransformer 4.2

A new version of GeoTransformer has been published to CodePlex. As usual, GeoTransformer will autoupdate itself.

The biggest change is the support for automatically publishing images (photos) to Garmin GPS devices. This requires Live API to be enabled (it works even for basic members) and a bit of patience while the needed data is loaded.

The first screenshot below shows the ability to load the URLs for images from Live API (both of the options do this but the “missing data” takes much more time since it will load much more data to fully refresh the caches).

The second screenshot shows the default (and recommended) configuration for publishing to Garmin GPS devices.

Remember that this does not work if you publish to a folder instead of choosing the GPS device directly from Export/Publish menu.

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SpoilerSync and Garmin geocache photos

Garmin not so long ago added ability to view geocache images directly on the GPS unit (more details). The functionality is not limited to caches from opencaching.com and can be used by anyone.

Since currently the most popular way of downloading photos from geocaching.com is using SpoilerSync, I created a small application that converts the output from SpoilerSync into structure that is supported by Garmin devices.

Download the application (5Kb). You will need .NET Framework 4.0 to run it.

To run it, open a console window and run SpoilerSync2Garmin.exe “C:\Where\SpoilerSync\Saved\The\Images” “G:\”

The first parameter is the folder where SpoilerSync saved all the pictures (it will have a lot of images, the file names starting with GC12345 style codes).

The second parameter is the drive letter where the Garmin GPS (must be the internal storage; for now the SD card does not work for photos) is located.

The application can also resize the images but that most probably will not be used since you can specify the size in SpoilerSync. If you need the resize, add resize 240x400 before the folder parameters. First value is width in pixels, the second – height in pixels (240x400 is the screen size for Oregon 450).

Note that GeoTransformer will soon support this out of the box.

GeoTransformer 4.1

GeoTransformer 4.1 is now available. Download, issue tracker, discussions and documentation is now available at CodePlex.

Release notes:

  • Added an option to put geocache attributes in a log entry so it can be read on GPS.
  • Added an option to select which caches should be ignored when publishing.
  • Inner workings of GeoTransformer changed to strongly-typed objects which mean better performance and support for GPX 1.1 files. Partial support for Groundspeak 1.0.2 extensions is also implemented (this version is still under development by Groundspeak and not yet available for geocaching.com users).
  • Virtual caches are now displayed on the map with the correct symbol.
  • Geocache list tables now remember sort, column widths and hidden columns.
  • List view / editor size proportion is now saved between restarts.

GeoTransformer goes open source

GeoTransformer is now available at CodePlex as a open source project. This is not one those situations where “going open source” means “I’m out, if someone else wants, here”. In this case I really think that giving full access to the source code and moving to a solid platform for project maintenance will benefit the application.

The new website: http://geotransformer.codeplex.com/

What new features this move brings to the table:

  • The source code is available to everyone under Ms-RL license (in short it means that you are free to use it in any project but you have to keep the copyright headers intact).
  • Wiki based documentation (currently it is still empty but it will come there).
  • Discussions section (forum).
  • Issue tracker – place to submit bugs and feature requests.

If there is someone who wants to join the development or help write the documentation, please send me a note.

GeoTransformer 4.0

Layers-iconDownload GeoTransformer.zip (1.21 Mb)

A new version of GeoTransformer is now available. As usual, existing installations will update automatically.

The biggest change is the introduction of geocaching.com Live API. This means that there is a new search functionality directly in the application. Unfortunately pocket queries are still the way to go because the direct search is rather slow. There are only two benefits from the direct search – it allows filter by favorite points and it enables basic members to download cache names and coordinates (no descriptions and hints though).

Other changes:

  • First run now displays a welcome screen that should help new users to start using GeoTransformer – existing users should complete it as it includes logging into Live API and it is now required for pocket query download.
  • Additional waypoints will automatically be enhanced:
    • The description on the GPS unit will now display the name of the waypoint (that was previously not visible at all) and the name of the cache that the waypoint belongs to.
    • Trail head waypoints will now have the correct symbol (image on Garmin).
    • All other waypoints will now have a random color navaid (circle) symbol. This will allow you to visually group waypoints for a single cache. The color of waypoints are chosen from the cache code so it always remains the same.
  • Bing Maps view now displays disabled caches as grayed out icons. It also displays the name of the cache when the mouse hovers over the icon.
  • Various bug fixes, for example, now it is possible to move the GeoTransformer data file around without the application crashing.

Custom waypoint symbolsCustom waypoint symbolsMap viewDirect search queries

LĢIA kartes priekš OziExplorer

Lielākā daļa no tiem, kam hobijs vai darbs saistās ar kartēm (pat jā tā ir tikai slēpņošana vai 4x4 bezceļu orientēšanās) programmatūras meklējumos agri vai vēlu nonāk līdz OziExplorer. Iemesli ir dažādi, bet tieši šo programmatūru daudzi atzīst par vislabāko, ja vajag strādāt ar rastra kartēm.

Taču pati programmatūra ir tikai tik vērtīga, cik labas ir pieejamās kartes. Pietiekami ilgi apgrozoties noteiktās aprindās, tiks iegūti kontakti, kuri padalīsies ar dažādām jaunām un vecām kartēm, ja tādu nav, var pats skenēt un kalibrēt kartes vai arī iztikt ar publiski pieejamiem risinājumiem, piemēram Google Maps.

Taču Google Maps Latvijā pat zemes lielceļi daļa nav sazīmēti un tipiskajai lietošanai derīgas ir tikai satelītkartes. No pieejamajām alternatīvām (kurtuesi, balticmaps.eu utt.) vislabākās kartes viennozīmīgi ir LĢIA karšu serverī. Lielajos mērogos tās nav tik ērtas un pārskatāmas kā citas, taču informācija tajās ir vispilnīgākā.

Iepriekš pieminētajās aprindās jau kādu laiku no rokas rokā ir klīdusi manis izstrādāta programmiņa, kas ļauj LĢIA kartes lejupielādēt un konvertēt izmantošanai OziExplorer. Tagad piedāvāju to lejupielādēt ikvienam, kam ir nepieciešamas labas Latvijas kartes OziExplorer (vai arī jebkurā citā kartēšanas aplikācijā, jo gandrīz visas ļauj importēt OziExplorer karšu formātu).

Lejupielādēt Lgia2Ozi. Pirms palaišanas vajadzēs atvērt .config datni un ievadīt direktorijas, kurās saglabāt kartes datus.

Jāņem vērā, ka vajag prātīgi izvēlēties, kurus apgabalus lejupielādēt. Piemēram, nav jēgas mēģināt “Riga Topo” līmenī iezīmēt Liepāju, jebkurā līmenī iezīmēt sektorus jūras vidū vai “V4 Aero” iezīmēt Latgali (šajā fotogrāfēšanas kārtā nosegta ir tika rietumu daļa, sīkāk var palasīt LĢIA lapā).

Tāpat lūdzu atcerēties, ka uz kartēm attiecas autortiesības. Visās ģenerētajās kartēs ir prasītā atsauce uz informācijas autoru, taču, lūdzu, noskaidrojiet juridiskās nianses, ja kartes plānojat izmantot ne tikai savām personiskajām vajadzībām.

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GeoTransformer 3.1

Layers-iconDownload GeoTransformer.zip (1.29 Mb)

A new version of GeoTransformer is now available. Starting from version 3.0 the application supports third party extensions (description on how to develop them will follow) and also by default contains much more functionality, such as the Bing map view.

Also version 3.1 contains an important fix for the Bing translator that restores its functionality to GeoTransformer.

Note: if your version automatically upgraded to version 3.0 few weeks ago then you will not get automatic update to this or any future version because of a bug in that particular version. Please update manually.

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How to enable translation in GeoTransformer

Recently Microsoft changed their Translator from free application to a paid service. Fortunately they still offer 2 million character translations every month free of charge.

This means however that each user of GeoTransformer will have to register with Microsoft himself to make sure that those 2 millions characters are not split between multiple users.

This requires two steps:

1. Open Windows Azure Marketplace and activate the free subscription (you will have to log in using your Windows Live account).

2. Open Windows Azure Marketplace Registered Applications and register a new application. The important values are “Client ID” and “Client secret”.

Once these two steps are performed you can now enable Bing Translator in GeoTransformer by entering these two values in the configuration section.

GeoTransformer 2.3

Layers-iconDownload GeoTransformer.zip (838Kb)

New features:

  • Automatic download of pocket queries from geocaching.com. You still have to schedule the queries to be generated but the download will happen automatically once a new version is available online.
  • After the automatic updates the release notes are shown.
  • Correct behavior when clicking Save directly after editing data (previously it was possible that the field being changed did not get saved).
  • Deletion of rows is much more straight-forward (just click on the row header (or drag to select multiple rows) and press Delete).

Install and usage instructions in the previous post. Upgrade by just replacing the files (back-up GeoTransformer.data just to be sure). If you have the previous 2.2 version (you can check in the Options tab) you will get the new version automatically.

GeoTransformer 2.2

Layers-iconDownload GeoTransformer.zip (838Kb)

New features:

  • Automatic updates – from now on GeoTransformer will automatically update itself to the newest version.
  • Automatic duplicate detection – useful when you have a PQ but download a fresh GPX for a single cache because you need the most up-to-date information.
  • Automatic download of Latvian caches from GPX Tautai.
  • Cancelation of the publish process now works much more effective.
  • Added a link to geoforums.lv.

Install and usage instructions in the previous post. Upgrade by just replacing the files (back-up GeoTransformer.data just to be sure). Remember that this is the last time you will have to upgrade manually.