For initial description and reasoning behind the OfflineCacher application, see the previous post. In short – OfflineCacher is a Windows Mobile Standard (otherwise known as Smartphone) application for geocaching without using data (GPRS/EDGE/…) connection. Both maps and additional cache information is predownloaded on the desktop and copied over the wire to the phone.
Note: the instructions below are constantly updated when new version is released.
Download (current version is v.5):
- unzip the desktop application – no further setup required, just launch it;
- on the mobile phone storage card create directory \Storage Card\OfflineCache (the directory goes directly on the storage card, the given path is when accessed from the phone itself) – it cannot be changed currently;
- it is recommended to either use a card reader or switch the phone to work as a removable drive and not via ActiveSync (otherwise the copy speed will be extremely slow and during the copy it will automatically overwrite files and not leave existing ones; also via ActiveSync the desktop application will not be able to directly connect to the phone).
- download .gpx file from geocaching.com (either individual cache or a pocket query) to a local folder – specify this folder in the desktop application; alternative is to download .gpx files to the OfflineCacher data folder under Caches subfolder.;
- connect your phone via USB connection, set it up so it does not use ActiveSync;
- create the OfflineCacher folder on the memory card – this way the download application will detect it automatically and work always even if for some reason Windows decides to give the card different drive letter later;
- launch the downloader application, select the removable folder option (if required, browse for the folder), it will automatically read the .gpx files and display the caches on the map;
- navigate the map by mouse (right click centers the map, double left zooms in, double right zooms out);
- select the caches you want to visit either from the list or from the map;
- click “Download maps and extras” – this will download maps for all zoom levels (only the deepest for sattelite map) for all selected caches – approximately 3x3 mobile screens are predownloaded; it will also download the cache web page with all logs (the .gpx includes only the latest ones) and images;
- launch the the mobile application, it usually takes about 5 seconds to load (no matter the number of caches);
- usage of the mobile application is via the menus and keyboard shortcuts:
- “1” – zooms out;
- “3” – zooms in;
- “0” – centers on GPS coordinates, second click zooms in on GPS coordinates;
- “Enter” – opens the selected (under the center of the screen) cache info page.
The usage of this application might seem a bit complex at first but after the first time it should be very straight forward – it is this complex because of the requirement to predownload maps – once you start copying the maps to the storage card you will understand why it is better to be done this way – the size of them is quite large and if that is downloaded from the mobile phone, the bill can grow quite a bit.