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iGeoCacher - Loading Data

Here's how it all works. Everything in the iPhone/iPod touch is oriented toward network connectivity. Therefore your gecache file data in either GPX or LOC or legacy iGeoacher (web app) format is simply read over the network and parsed directly into the internal SQLite database in the iPhone/iPod Touch (hereafter both will be refered to as simply iPhone unless specifically called out differently.)

So the very first thing to do in setting up iGeocacher is to specify one or more URL's from which the iPhone will read the data. IF you have been using the original web app you can just point the iGeoacher URL in the settings to the following URL:

http://www.ayefon.mobi/geo/igeocacher3.html?id=<your web app account id>

If you don't have a web account and would like one, email me and I'll set you up. This feature was primarily for the benefit of existing web app users that moved up to the new native app.

Many users would rather not be dependent on any external server and you can easily do that by just puting your GPX or LOC files at a URL that is reachable by your iPhone. There are a number of ways that you can do this.

1. You can set your PC up as a simple web server on your local network. This isn't hard to do and most modern OS's allow you to do this. I'll post some videos over in the userguide page that will give you a couple of ways that I do it.

2. Most of you access the internet via an ISP (Internet Service Provider) like Road Runner, AOL or Earthlink. Many of these ISP's provide the ability for you to have your own personal web server as a part of your account offering. You can use that to store your files.

3. Some of may already subscribe to mobile services like the new mobile me service offered by Apple (used to be mac.com I think) or some other equivalent. Most of those allow you to store content online which can be reached by a URL. One customer had to use a different form of the URL for their service (see the userguide page) so be aware that some experimenting may be in order.

 

 

 

The bottom line is simple though, wherever you put your files you need to be able to see them in your web browser at some URL. The browser will just display the XML data in the file.

By the way, if you haven't ever looked at a GPX or LOC file with a browser that in itself is instructive. Compare the amount of data stored in the respective files and you can see the benefit of getting the full GPX file. You'll also understand why when you use LOC files in iGeocacher the display is so sparse. There just isn't much more in a LOC file than "name, rank and serial number."

When you are able to see your data in the browser then use that SAME URL for the setting of the GPX and/or LOC download URL's in the iGeocacher settings on your iPhone. It will "fetch" them the same way your browser does over the network so viewing in your browser is a good way to make sure you have things set up correctly for serving your files on the network.

It is worth mentioning that the actual file isn't loaded onto the iPhone. Rather, the data is parsed from it as it is read and populates records in an internal SQLite database. While Groundspeak limits GPX files to 500 caches, the only limit to the database is the amount of storage it can use on your iPhone. I haven't yet found that limit.

One more thing. until you get things rolling I recommend that you stick with the GPX and LOC files that come directly from Groundspeak. Those were my models for doing the XML parsing of the data. If you start out trying to use your mega GPX file that you created with a third party merge or sort tool, you might encounter problems. I've found that not all GPX files exactly follow the Groundspeak schema. Without the ability to test these third pary applications, I can't be sure that they'll parse correctly. So to keep the number of variables down for possible troublshooting, it's better to stick with unmodified files straight from Grounspeak until you get your connectivity established and are confident that the download process is working as expected.

If you have a data format that you just HAVE to have but which doesn't work with iGeocacher, zip it and ship it to me in an email and I'll take a look at it. I can build a translator in short order that you can run from my web site and in the long term if it's a popular format I can build it into the installed parsers.

User Guide (bear with me. This is a work in progress)

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