Garmin Colorado gets a 3.70 update

Well it seems the Colorado has a pinch of life in it yet. After a solid week of Garmin announcements about new product lines I’m surprised to see there’s an update for my Colorado. This is mainly a BirdsEye bug fix release but still nice to see they are still taking care of us Colorado owners!

Changes made from version 3.60 to 3.70:

  • Increased the maximum number of supported JNX files to 250 from 200
  • Fixed shutdown that sometimes occurred while scrolling through the list of background images

You can get it via WebUpdater

[ Colorado 3.70 Firmware ]

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Rouge Park to become National Park

According to the CBC, Stephen Harper’s throne speech on Friday included a part about finally making the rumours of Rouge Park a reality. Rouge Park is set to become Canada’s first “Urban National Park” as part of Parks Canada’s 100 year anniversary.

The document said:

“In this, the 100th anniversary year of our national parks system, our government will create significant new protected areas. It will work with provincial, regional, municipal, aboriginal and community stakeholders toward establishing an urban national park in the Rouge Valley of eastern Toronto,”

So, for the geocaching part of the story – if you have a geocache in the Park, you may want to verify that it meets Parks Canada’s geocaching policy guidelines if you want it to stay in that park.

[ CBC ] [ Parks Canada ] [ Parks Canada Geocaching Policy ]

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Interested in a Geocaching Licence Plate?

Here’s an interesting project that the Central Ontario Geocachers have started up. The idea is to convince Ontario’s Ministry of Transportation to issue licence plates with Groundspeak’s Geocaching logo on board. This has already happened for many organizations around the Province, and it appears to be easier than one would think to get this to happen. COG needs 200 people to commit to getting one of these plates at $90. Once that happens the MTO will not only mint the plates for these 200 early adopters, but the logo will be made available for the general public to put on their vanity plates as well.

I can see this sort of thing taking off here. How long before people get that travel bug number beside the geocaching logo.

Head on over to the Driven to Geocache site for the details.

[ Driven to Geocache ]

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Geocaching.com Update Tomorrow

Geocaching.com is gearing up for a site update tomorrow. The site will be getting a new look and feel, with lots of changes visible on the main screen. There is a video posted on Latitude47, Groundspeak’s official blog, that shows what to expect.

From the Geocaching Forums, some lackeys are giving some small details about the planned outage:

Colin said:

Geocaching.com will be going offline for 4-6 hours for a site update on Wednesday, May 04, 2011 at approximately 9am PDT (GMT -7). We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

In an effort to keep people informed, here are some more details about the planned outage:

Estimated start time is 9 AM PST
Will be down:

  • Geocaching.com
  • Waymarking.com
  • Wherigo.com
  • Internal Groundspeak Admin tools
  • User Voice: unless you are already logged in – User Voice itself will be up, but you won’t be able to login with Geocaching.com
  • All API
  • Notifications
  • Pocket Queries

Will be up:

  • Knowledge Books
  • Forums will be operational

And, MissJenn added more detail about the involvement of the hamsters in the process (this was also in the weekly mailer):

… You may or may not be aware that Groundspeak’s servers are powered by hamsters.* We are adding several additional hamsters to the mix**, which should fix website service issues. Groundspeak products will go offline around 9 am Pacific Daylight Time (UTC/GMT -7 hours). We are not sure how long it will take to complete the upgrade; we estimate 4 to 6 hours, but it may be more or less. We will be providing updates on the 4th via Facebook and Twitter. When the Groundspeak products come back online, Geocaching.com will have an updated look and thewebsite performance will be improved.

*Our servers are not powered by hamsters
**Upgrading our database server

The short message here, is if you’re planning on geocaching tomorrow – generate and download your pocket queries now. The site will be out from noon to about 6pm Toronto time. You won’t be able to use the iPhone or Android apps either, unless you download a Pocket Query to your device and log with Field Notes instead of logs.

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Garmin Launches Official OpenCaching Clients for iPhone and Android

When OpenCaching.com launched, one of the big questions on everyone’s mind was – Will Garmin support non-Garmin devices on the site? Today we have an answer: Yes, yes they will.

Garmin has launched official geocaching clients for the OpenCaching.com site today for iPhone and Android based devices. Since I use an iPhone, the screenshots are from that version. All the usual features one would expect are here in the app.

You can lookup caches (50 at a time), navigate to them via map or compass, log them or …. hide caches. Yes I just said hide caches. While Groundspeak has the idea of hiding a cache with your smartphone  ”under consideration” (or do they?) … , Garmin – a GPS company – is enabling people to create or even publish caches from their smartphones while in the field. The app does indicate position error when grabbing the co-ords, but it remains to be seen whether we’ll see a lot of inaccurate placements, better than expected smartphone GPS performance, or simply people using the app to mock up their cache listings to be finished later. There’s nothing stopping a person from submitting this as a “Draft” to OpenCaching then just copying that info over to Geocaching.com as well.

The app also includes a “Guide” so you have the Opencaching guidelines right there in the field. Handy when you’re thinking about a placement, and aren’t sure if that would be allowed.

Multi caches are supported as well, you can create additional waypoints for a cache from the compass screen – click the waypoint symbol with the + on it in the top right, and carry on caching.

You can mark caches as Favorites (not Favourites in Canada ….) and you have a “Logbook” icon where you can see all your log entries to date.

The app is free (vs $9.99 for Groundspeak’s) but that is to be expected when the site is trying to get a foothold in the market. Links to OpenCaching.com downloads are at the end of this article. Try it out, see how you like it. Compare it to Cache Me if you use iPhone

Some screenshots from the App:

OpenCaching: Prep for the hunt

OpenCaching: Map Search

OpenCaching: Cache Details

OpenCaching: Filter

OpenCaching: Nav by Map

OpenCaching: Nav by Compass

OpenCaching: Log a Cache

OpenCaching: Share a cache

OpenCaching: Hide a Cache

OpenCaching: Hide a cache - Coordinate Entry

[ Garmin OpenCaching iPhone ] [ Garmin OpenCaching Android ] [ Garmin OpenCaching Blog Post ]

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Garmin Beta Updates

Garmin has published some more Beta firmware updates. While these can enable additional functionality, they’re not always fully baked – you might have to deal with unexpected problems when you run a “beta”.

GPSMAP 62/78 2.95 Beta:

Change History

Changes made from version 2.94 to 2.95:

  • Fixed issues relating to WAAS performance.
  • Fixed issue where the device would not regain a GPS signal after losing the GPS signal in a tunnel.
  • Fixed shutdown on the map screen when a waypoint was being moved to the same location as a geocache or other POIs.
  • Fixed issue where proximity waypoint alerts could only be set in feet regardless of what was selected as a Distance/Speed unit in the setup page.
  • Fixed an issue where the enabled/disabled option for custom maps could not be changed when two or more BirdsEye™ Satellite Imagery providers were on the device.
  • Fixed an issue where the device would not beep when approaching a destination while routing off-road.
  • Problems with the software may be reported to 62-78Beta@garmin.com

Oregon x50 4.49 Beta:

Change History

Changes made from version 4.47 to 4.49:

  • Fixed issues relating to WAAS performance.
  • Fixed issue where the device would not regain a GPS signal after losing the GPS signal in a tunnel.
  • Fixed shutdown on the map screen when a waypoint was being moved to the same location as a geocache or other POIs.
  • Fixed an issue where the enabled/disabled option for custom maps could not be changed when two or more BirdsEye™ Satellite Imagery providers were on the device.
  • Fixed an issue where the device would not beep when approaching a destination while routing off-road.
  • Problems with the software may be reported to OregonBeta@garmin.com

Thanks Allory_D (Twitter)

[ GPSMap 62/78 Beta ] [ Oregon x50 Beta ]

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Garmin’s OpenCaching.com launches Virtual Caches

While the debate continues at Groundspeak over Virtuals, Waymarks and how or if they should bring back virtual caches, Garmin has gone ahead and launched the feature on their competing service, OpenCaching. From their blog post:

Since OpenCaching.com launched four months ago we’ve been listening to the community and using your feedback to build features you’ve requested.  Along with our continously improving peer review system for new geocaches; saved searches with email alerts for new caches; and email alerts when someone logs a visit to your cache; today we’re excited to bring virtual caches to the OpenCaching.com community!

What is virtual caching?  This type of caching is perfect for areas where physical caches are not allowed or unfeasible, but where a cool “search or do” activities can still be done.  These often have educational, outdoors, or human interest components that tap into geocachers’ natural instincts to explore and learn.

Starting today, geocachers can publish their virtual caches in accordance with our updated guidelines.  Keep in mind that in the US & UK, your submission can get you entered to winchirp geocaching beacon, but the contestends soon, so get your entries in before the end of April!

 

[ OpenCaching.com ]

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Ontario Trails Project Updated to 0.78, now with Canoe Routes

The Ontario Trails Project has been updated to version 0.78 tonight. We’ve got a whack of new trails, including Algonquin’s Western Uplands trail and the Killarney loop. Also new in this update, we have added a new class of trail – canoe routes. If you have any canoe trips along the Province’s established canoe routes, please send in your tracklogs. Put-in and Take-out points should be noted. I am using the Put-in symbol to represent areas where you can put the canoe in the water or put out. The Canoe take-out symbol is reserved for locations where the canoe comes out of the water only – like above a dam.

This update’s changelog:

Ont-Trails 0.78
* New Trail Type added: Canoe Route
* Updated TYP file – new canoe route trail type, updated parking icon, new icons for canoe put in/take Out

Updated – Bruce Trail @ Crawford Lake CA – Milton – Conservation Halton
Updated – Crawford Lake Trail @ Crawford Lake CA – Milton – Conservation Halton
Updated – Burns Conservation Area Trails – Milton – Conservation Halton
Updated – Hilton’s Highway Trail – Hilton Falls CA – Milton – Conservation Halton
Updated – Red Oak Trail (Red) – Hilton Falls CA – Milton – Conservation Halton
Updated – Esquesing CA Trails – Conservation Halton
Updated – Highland Backpacking Trail – Algonquin PP – Dennis Sheen
Updated – Gould Lake – Swimmrguy
Updated – Cruickston/RARE trails – Cambridge – Zeke
Updated – Hanlon Creek Trails – Guelph – Entogeek
Updated – Glen Major Forest, Walker Woods – Entogeek
Updated – Little Tract – Guelph – Fizbot
Updated – Crawford Tract – Guelph – Fizbot
Updated – Palgrave Side Trail – Palgrave – Entogeek
Updated – Glen Haffy CA trails – Entogeek
Added – Grand River Canoe Route, Cambridge to Paris – northernpenguin
Added – Tour de Matchedash – Swift Rapids – northernpenguin
Added – Lingham Lake access trail – northernpenguin
Added – Nottawasaga River Canoe Route, Minesing Swamp Section – Minesing – northernpenguin
Added – Beaver River Canoe Route (Bruce) portions – Grey County – northernpenguin
Added – Baylawn Drive Ravine Trails – Pickering – Entogeek
Added – Snake Island – Lake Simcoe – GPSDerek
Added – Nonquon Wildlife Area – Entogeek
Added – Lawson Tract – Oxford County – Treknschmidt
Added – LaCloche/Silhouette Backpacking Trail – Killarney PP – polarhiker (Everytrail) (With Permission)
Added – Frank Tract – Milton – Fizbot
Added – Montreal River/Ishpatina Ridge Canoe Route, Trail – Barnie’s Band of Gold
Added – Durham Region Forest Trails (Partial) – Entogeek
Added – Bechtel Park Forest Trails – Waterloo – Cache4Pat
Added – Indian Point Trail – Petawawa – Entogeek
Added – Morris Island CA – Fitzroy Harbour – Entogeek
Added – David Lake to Silver Peak – Killarney PP – Sudbury – Jason Fowler
Added – Western Uplands Backpacking Trail (Second Loop) – Algonquin PP – Jason Fowler
Added – Bat Lake Trail – Algonquin PP – Jason Fowler
Added – Moon Island Trail – Massassaga PP – Jason Fowler
Added – Wreck Island Trail – Massassaga PP – Jason Fowler
Added portages – Massassaga PP – Jason Fowler:

Portage A 406
Portage B 730
Portage C 1225
Portage D 488
Portage E 239
Portage F 634
Portage I 782
Portage K 369
Portage L 542
Portage N 232
Portage M 348

Added – Campbellville Road Pond Trail – Milton – Entogeek
Added – Rattlesnake Point CA – Milton – Conservation Halton
Added – Mountsberg CA – Milton – Conservation Halton
Added – Iroquoian Village, Visitor’s Centre @ Crawford Lake CA – Milton – Conservation Halton

[ Ontario Trails Project ]

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Garmin Releases Beta Update for Oregon x50 Series

Garmin has released another beta for the Oregon x50 series GPS units. It corrects a shutdown issue introduced in the last beta and some ANT connectivity issues (ie Chirp).
This is a BETA release so don’t use it if you are not comfortable with reloading your GPS, or dealing with odd errors here and there. If you need to rely on your GPS 100%, you should be using the production firmware instead.

Change History

Changes made from version 4.45 to 4.47:

  • Fixed shutdown when selecting an option on the ‘Where To?’ page that was introduced with 4.45 beta
  • Fixed ANT connectivity issues that were introduced with 4.45 beta
  • Fixed the slow rendering time of the ‘About’ page that was introduced with 4.45 beta
  • Fixed a bug introduced in 4.45 beta where JNX settings were not being saved for each profile
  • Fixed an issue with magnetic north reference and waypoint headings
  • Problems with the software may be reported to OregonBeta@garmin.com

[ Garmin Oregon 4.47 Beta ]

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Groundspeak Updates Windows Phone 7 App to v2.2

Groundspeak's Geocaching App

Over the weekend, Groundspeak launched an update to their Windows Phone 7 app.  From their forum post, here’s the details:

Greetings!

Below is a list of updates for version 2.2 of the Geocaching for Windows Phone 7 Application. Given the scope of changes in this release it is recommended you reinstall the application and powercycle your device.

New features:

  • Mark and navigate to new waypoints from within the app (helpful when seeking Multi-caches)
  • Option in settings to allow the application to run under the lock screen
  • Quickly download Pocket Queries in batches of 10, 20, or 30 caches to save time or limit data usage
  • Italian and French language support

Bug fixes:

  • Enhanced stability and addressed connection errors
  • The compass now works with offline caches
  • Application state now persists when you exit the app (this was an issue particularly with viewing PQs)

[ Geocaching on Windows Phone 7 ]

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