GSAK + Geocaching.com API – First Look
I’d heard there was a new version (8) of GSAK (Geocaching Swiss Army Knife) from many sources and was actually excited to be able to hand Clyde an extra $20 to upgrade from my registered version 7. There are some new features worth the upgrade, not the least of which is the Geocaching.com API.
After installing the new version, I had no idea what the limits were so I went looking for the app. It’s found in the new “Geocaching.com access” tab right next to help. If you click on “Get Geocaches” it will bring you to the window where you can define things much like you can in pocket queries. The basic tab is where you define a center point, distance, max geocaches to get, # of favorite points, size, difficulty and terrain. The advanced tab allows you to choose cache types, hidden by, found by, exclude by and even lets you define a box with top left coords and bottom right coords.
Then the fun began. The window started with a very small amount of caches to get but I thought they set the bar way to low at 30 caches. To find out what it could handle I plugged in 5000 and let it rip. Did it come back and tell me I was out of my mind? Too big a number to grab all at once? Nope. It started plugging away at them 30 caches at a time. Tick-tock went the clock and within 10-15 minutes I was up to 3500 caches! Way cool! Then it happened, I don’t know exactly what but it stopped and froze GSAK. I waited for about 5-10 minutes and then…GSAK came back and showed it was processing the files. When all was said and done I’d managed to download 3558 caches. Not quite the 5000 I was hoping for but considering this version of GSAK had just been released I suspect many might have been trying the same thing. Another way of looking at it, with this one app I was able to get all the caches from Milton to Clarinton, Kawartha Lakes to Tiffin and the south end of Barrie to Toronto with everything in between. Now if only I could fit them on my Colorado all at once!
When GSAK finished it’s processing it showed a screen similar to the one you get after loading a Pocket Query. In that I found Geocaching.com has set limits on the amount of caches one can load using the geocaching.com API. It seems the 5000 it put in was not to far off as the DAILY LIMIT is 6000 caches. The best part is that it also loaded the favorite points for each cache, something that didn’t come through on my last PQ. In order to view them as part of the list, you’ll need to click the “View” tab and click on “Add/Remove Columns”.
Other popular items included in the “Geocaching.com Access” tab include Refresh Cache Data, Download Pocket Queries (No need to go to the site to download those ready to go PQ’s), Get Logs (you set the amount per cache), Status Check (archived, Disabled, Enabled), Publish Logs, and Add to Bookmark List.