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Taking Photos Caching

Whilst a lot of us like to take photos while caching, with Garmin’s latest update to a number of their recent units, they have now opened new possibilities of taking photos with you where you go caching.

Why is this useful? Well, we’ve all come across caches that have a hint such as ‘see photo’ or ‘see spoiler photo’ but of course the photo doesn’t get downloaded with the GPX we get from websites. So we’re stuck out in the field, without a hint. And if we’re out of cell coverage, then we’re not going to be able to download the spoiler photo on our phones at GZ.

Naturally, Garmin have fully integrated the photo experience with their OpenCaching.com website, and you can now download photos with the GPX and they will be seemlessing installed onto your GPS (the models supported, via the latest software updates, are the Montana, Oregon x50, Dakota, GPSMAP 62/78, and eTrex 20/30). Those of us that use other, somewhat larger, geocaching sites aren’t left entirely in the cold however – Garmin does tell us how to load photos manually, and there is already a couple of GSAK macros that can be used to select, and upload to the GPS, ‘grabbed images’. Note that these macros (one to aid selection of grabbed images, and the other to do the preparation and uploading to the GPS) is very much in the experimental state, and still has a fair amount of refinement to go. It is also coming along in leaps and bounds and improving rather quickly!

I tried the GSAK approach this afternoon, and selected a few photos from unfound caches near my hometown of Christchurch. Worked no problems, and I now have direct access to photos on the GPS, just like the description, logs and hints. The only real catch at this stage, is that the photos must be installed on the internal storage of the GPS, and they cannot be stored on the microSD card.

I’ve included some screenshots to give you some idea what it looks like. First up, top right, looking at the description of a cache shows a photo icon down the bottom left to indicate that this cache has photos attached.

Next up, below left, the paperless cache page has added Show Photos between Description and Logs, and on the right, a thumbnail view of the photos associated with the cache.

And finally, the photo itself. In this case, on the Montana, I rotated the GPS to landscape to get more viewable area. For those that recall the Christchurch earthquake on 22 February 2011 that killed 181 people – its epicentre was just out of the left edge of this photo.

Personally this is a welcome addition to the caching arsenal, and I’ll be very interested to see the development of the GSAK macros over the next couple of weeks!

 

 

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