Saturday, August 31, 2013 (14:00) | Marcel Debets
It is a special activity – geocaching. When you as a child was fond of treasure hunting, then geocaching is for you. In short: a treasure (cache) is hidden in a specific location. Based on the geographic coordinates you go looking, using a GPS receiver. Since the iPhone has a built-in receiver, this can be a good tool for this sport. Use real diehards generally moreover a real GPS receiver, due to limitations of the receiver in the phone, especially when it comes to accuracy. They will then often be the iPhone along, but especially for the use of special applications that can help solve the puzzles that are often associated with finding the right location. iCulture describes in this episode of the Holiday Special iCulture five apps – and a few tips – for more fun to your treasure hunt adventure
Roughly, there are three ‘communities’ where you can go for the first steps towards geocaching. The largest is geocaching.com which this is the official app. Open Caching is an open source platform for avid geocachers and then there – quite confusing -. Opencaching.com, which is owned by Garmin, maker of GPS receivers include
Geocaching.com has a Premium subscription, which you access more information and Premium caches. Furthermore, you can hunt at home on the computer then prepare and send to your GPS receiver (not a smartphone), so you can find the cache without internet – useful to avoid roaming charges abroad. For an in-app purchase of € 8.99 you three months Premium member, € 26.99 for a whole year. Expensive? Reasonably so, especially since there are other alternatives for the app itself and you will have to pay. Still € 8.99 Through the site you otherwise pay € 9.99 / € 29.99, which is also another shall be automatically extended. Experts in the various forums say you fine without the Premium status can, particularly if you are mainly in the Netherlands on the hunt. And for nine euro you’re on the app itself lost you a good starting point.
Based on your current location, you can immediately see the caches in the area, in a list or on a map. You can start immediately and who goes geocaching for the first time is just as easy. If you want you can also search for specific caches: by type, difficulty, terrain and size. The search results can list as an offline store, including the map. What is missing in Geocaching tools that can help you in finding specific caches (see below for more).
When you have found a cache, you can indicate this in the app. You do need to at least create a free basic account, which is highly recommended, because it’s nice to be able to store and display. Possible later to other cachers have found caches You can also leave a comment, the 2000s version of the entry in the log.
Download: Geocaching (€ 8.99, universal, iOS 5.0 +)
As mentioned, the domain name and associated opencaching.com app OpenCaching are the property of Garmin. This is unfortunate, because there is also the open source project opencaching.org and especially for a beginner it will be difficult to realize that they have nothing to do with each other.
Open Caching is an app that is largely similar to Geocaching. Based on your current location or a search you get to see. Caches nearby With zoom the map you increase the search range. It is immediately clear that Open Caching in the neighboring countries is a lot more popular than in the Netherlands. Although the app works fine, we would also definitely recommend for Dutch Geocaching treasure hunters. To be clear: both communities use separate databases for caching , so with OpenCaching you see any caches that are registered with Geocaching and vice versa. You can create a free account that allows you to keep the caches found also in the app from Garmin leave comments etc. If you search using the app, you can disable the cache of the traditional map with your current location and the endpoint , a compass, which makes it just a little more exciting, because you only see the direction where to go.
Download: Open Caching (free, iPhone, iOS 4.0 +)
Geo Bucket is a free alternative to the Geocaching app. You have to give the app permission to access your account at Geocaching. The app shows ads, you can have them removed for € 3.59. The app is fairly basic and not very intuitive. Do you use a third-party app, you can as Basic member only 3 full descriptions request per 24 hours. This information is very deep hiding and get tricky. Above water You must be a cache click, right click on the arrow for more information and then ‘refresh data’. Not very logical, but it seems that this is especially a problem with the Geocaching Live API that makes available to third parties, apparently as ‘live’, but actively change required.
The app itself does Geocaching Moreover, not hard on the entire cache information, even though we only Basic member. For the ultimate treasure hunt makes Geo Bucket using an external navigation app, you can set yourself. By default, the app set to Google, which causes problems since Google has its own app Geo Bucket and automatically goes to the web version of Maps. You can set it to be better than Apple Maps, TomTom Navigon or if you have installed that. Is pity that the result is that you will be navigated, though that does not mean that you therefore have found him right course.
Download: Geo Bucket (free with ads, without ads € 3.59, universal, iOS 5.0 +)
Also Geosphere is an app for Geocaching extensive network. The app looks and feels a lot better than directly Geo Bucket, but of course has the same limitations: only 3 caches every 24 hours with only the ‘traditional’ type: a box or houdertje is hidden and when you find it, let your name behind in the log that’s in it. Other types of caches example puzzle caches – then you have to solve a code to find the coordinates – or multi-caches – the first reference gives you the coordinates of the next and so on until you get to the actual ‘treasure’ is <. br /> Geosphere can save directly make contact with Geocaching also read files with cache information. This is also a link with Dropbox possible. Did you set the cache you can with Geosphere also easily switch between compass, map and the cache description. Although Geosphere so is fairly limited if you only have a basic account with Geocaching, ask the makers still € 6.99 for the app. Nice extra is that you can use as a flashlight when looking at the location of the cache.flash the iPhone
Download: Geosphere (€ 6.99, iPhone, iOS 5.0 +)
an app of a different kind is GCTools. It’s no app to find caches itself but a tool for deciphering puzzle caches. In geocaching course is all about the geographical coordinates. In puzzle caches are often encrypted coordinates in different codes in the description. The coordinates listed in the cache are ‘fake’, although there are rules for how much they may differ from the actual location of the cache. GCTools offers a hefty amount aids in deciphering the codes. For example, there cacher that make use of time-honored encodings as ROT13, morse or other conversions. But there are also many inventive methods for encrypting the coordinates. So you’ll cases against the RGB codes for colors, the periodic table and even the color coding of electrical resistors. GCTools has them all. For some ontcijferhulpjes must do an additional in-app purchase. Once you’ve found the coordinates, you can enter them in the compass and start looking. If additional GCTools also the possibility to use the flash. The phone as a flashlight The app looks pretty basic, but offers many possibilities.
Download: GCTools (Free, iPhone, iOS 4.3 +) There is also a separate version for iOS 4 and below
Other geocaching apps
- GeoHunt (free, universal, iOS 6.0 +) – Very different way of treasure hunting. Find an ending location-based questions and commands between locations. Also playing with a folder-only variant, which you do not need from the door.
- IGCT Geocaching Toolkit Pro (€ 1.79, iPhone, iOS 4.2 +) – Handy tools for geocaching, GCTools similar to, but less extensive. Looks graphic or pretty.
- Looking4Cache Pro (€ 7.99, universal, iOS 5.0 +) – Also an app that uses the Geocaching Live API. Can use offline maps. There is also a free version, in which the cards can not be saved. local
Opening Image: Martyn Wright via Flickr CC