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More third-party "geocaching.com" enhancements

posted Sep 27, 2012, 5:28 PM by Greg Jewett
information provided by Jay (Bing-GTX)

Geocaching Map Enhancements

Adds Ordnance Survey and other popular map types to the maps page and cache listings on Geocaching.com. Also adds other enhancements like a scale indicator, adjustable brightness, location information tool and GB grid reference search.

Among the other popular map types that it adds are Google maps, which means that this script overlaps with the mapping enhancements that are provided by GC little helper (http://userscripts.org/scripts/show/81052) which I mentioned in an earlier message. I am running both on my browser and it appears, at least as far as I can tell, to be compatible with GC little helper, although it appears to override the default map layer set in GC little helper. If you have both installed there will be two entries for the Google maps in your drop down list. This can be easily remedied by un-checking one of them in the “Choose maps” section of the Configuration menu. In addition to the Ordinance Survey map and the default popular map types (many of which are not among those provided by GC little helper), it provides access to additional maps that GC little helper does not provide via the “Add more maps” option in the configuration menu. This option seems a little obtuse until you click on the “Add mapsource” button, which brings up a page containing the JSON code to add a host of other maps some of which I think are more useful than others (here is the link to that page if you want to look at what is available: http://geo.inge.org.uk/gme_maps.htm). The set of maps that I find most interesting are the topographical maps available in the CalTopo list. (Although it is called CalTopo the maps are not limited to those of California). There are also JSON code strings to add overlays to maps.

The scale indicator mentioned in the description is pretty cool. It tells you how wide the underlying map view that you are looking at on Geocaching.com is. By underlying I mean the map that is the width of the page including the map that is under the sidebar if you have it visible. This defaults to metric but can be changed to imperial (miles) easily via the Configuration menu.

The location information tool is nice as well. It is more intuitive than the Geocaching.com Find My Location tool, which I think returns the location at the center of the map that is being viewed. This tool pops up a message box, similar to the one you get when you click on a cache, which contains the coordinates at the point clicked in two formats and the following list of links: Cache List, Panoramio, Google Directions, Google Streetview, Wikimapia, Drop marker, Get height and Measure route. Drop marker is interesting; it draws a circle on the map centered at that location of a specified size, the default is a radius of 0.1 mi. (Now isn’t that cool. I seem to recall someone on this list asking for that capability recently).

The only deficiency that I can see it this script is that once you have added a map or overlay it is not easy to remove it. As near as I can tell is you want to remove it from the list you have to remove all of your customizations and then add back the ones that you want. This does not mean that you cannot disable it from appearing on the list of maps and overlays that you want to be able to choose from that is easily done with a checkbox in the “Choose maps” section of the Configuration menu.

GC Tour

This tool could be very useful to those who do not have the capability to do paperless caching. I think that it could also be useful to those who do. Here is its description:

Cachetour planing made easy. Pick some Caches, order the list and print it out.

It does much more than that. Once you have your caches picked out you can send all of them to your GPSr in one fell swoop, that is something that I have wanted to be able to do for a long time without having to create a Pocket Query. You can also create a GPX file containing those caches. If you have paperless caching capabilities you will probably not be interested in the full printout produced by the printout function but if you want a list of the caches including their coordinates printing just the first page of the printout could be useful. The printout function, in addition to producing the list of the chosen caches, produces a map of the area containing the chosen caches which can be sized according to your desires. It also produces a ‘page’ for each cache in the list that contains the description, a map (resizable as well) and recent logs. A pretty cool tool when you just have a few caches you want to target and you don’t want to get fancy with things like pocket queries and GSAK.