Craig Edward Given
Table of Contents
Automating Inbound Pocket Queries
Create Custom Pushpin Maps in Microsoft Streets & Trips
I've automated a majority of my geocaching hobby that relates to file handling. You will find that some of my workflow still requires manual intervention,
and this is due to personal preference rather than oversight. You will also find that the automation is geared to my specific environment
(MS Windows, MS Outlook email client, Pocket PC PDA, GSAK, and MSST). Consequently, the tools used to "glue" the pieces together are specific for my environment. Therefore, consider this a documentary rather than a strict how-to, unless you intend to mimic my environment exactly.
Here are the systems through which my GPX data flows:
- GPX files are sent as ZIP attachments from Geocaching.com's Pocket Query engine
- Microsoft Outlook 2002 (Office XP) inbox rules call the EZDetach add-in
- EZDetach detaches the ZIP file and calls a batch file to process the attachment
- The batch file extracts the GPX from the ZIP and gives it a meaningful name (which also stages it for PPC synchronization)
- The batch file imports the GPX into the appropriate Geocaching Swiss Army Knife (GSAK) database
- After importing the updates, GSAK exports GPX subsets (which are also staged for PPC synchronization)
- Upon demand, GSAK exports datasets used to create map pushpins, and creates a control file
- Upon demand, a custom program (that I wrote in WinBatch) imports the datasets into Microsoft Streets & Trips 2005 (MSST) and assigns custom graphics for each cache type
and for special cache statuses (Found, DNF, and Archived)
- MightySync and ActiveSync are used to synchronize GPX files to my Pocket PC. MightySync has the special ability to synchronize with files on a PPC's storage card. I prefer storing GPX files on the storage card (a 1GB SD) since I have about a dozen different files, and some are 2Mb in size.
- On the PPC the GPX files are used by GPXsonar 1.3.1, GPS Tuner 3.6, Vito Navigator II 1.3.
- I use GPXsonar to export the GPX files as LOC or pushpins for Microsoft Pocket Streets (which comes free with Microsoft Streets & Trips 2005).
The LOC files are much smaller and less memory intensive, and can be used by GPS Tuner and Vito Navigator II when hunting a cache.
Also, GPXsonar creates better pushpin maps for Pocket Streets than does MSST (ironic, isn't it?).
Contact information for the above tools
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