Picture This: Geocaching with Photos

23 January 2012 @ 10:15 AM  / Trail Tech /

Having trouble finding that geocache? Want to know more about the area you’re hunting for geocaches in? Or are you just getting tired of printing puzzles to take with you? The launch of photo support on OpenCaching.com brings a whole new dimension to your geocaching experience, and with it comes game-changing new functionality to your Garmin handheld (see Supported Handhelds). After upgrading your handheld software to the latest version, you can automatically receive geocache photos alongside your geocaches when syncing with OpenCaching.com. These photos can then be viewed on your handheld when reviewing a geocache.


Getting Photos

So, how exactly do you get photos on your handheld? If you’re an OpenCaching.com user, you won’t have to do anything extra. As usual, simply connect your handheld to your computer and when you’ve found the geocaches you want, select the “…directly to GPS” option from the Download button. You’ll notice a couple differences in this process. First, hovering over the “…directly to GPS” option causes the Download button to expand and reveal the number of photos to be included in the transfer. Selecting this option will send all photos to your handheld.


Second, the “…directly to GPS” option has an arrow next to it, which when clicked will present four new options. These options allow you to send only specific types of photos to your handheld; giving you the control to carry with you only content that is relevant to your geocaching experience.


with all photos Send all photos
with spoiler & required photos Send only spoiler photos and photos the geocache author deems necessary to complete the geocache
with required photos Send only photos the geocache author deems necessary to complete the geocache
with no photos Do not send photos


Hovering over these options will update the number of photos shown in the download button.


It is also worth noting that selecting “…as a GPX file” will download only geocache information without photos.

On The Handheld

Now that you have the latest software and geocache photos on your Garmin handheld, you’ll be presented with new options when interacting with a geocache that has photos. When viewing a geocache’s details, the number of photos and spoiler photos is listed, and a photo button (Montana/Oregon/Dakota) or “Show Photos” option (62/78/eTrex) is available. Also, when navigating to a geocache, the Geocaching application will display a “Show Photos” button. These two paths both launch a Photo Viewer containing only that geocache’s photos.


The geocache photo viewer treats photos a little differently from the standard Photo Viewer application. First, names are displayed. This can be helpful or insightful information, and helps give meaning to what it is you’re viewing. Second, each Spoiler Photo is covered up by Opie until you choose to reveal it. To do so, select the Spoiler Photo and follow the instructions shown. Revealed Spoilers will remain that way until you leave the geocache photo viewer.


Works With All Geocaches

You can also take advantage of geocache photos on your Garmin handheld for geocaches obtained from a source other than OpenCaching.com, it just takes some work. A geocache’s photos, JPEG only, need to be placed on the handheld’s mass storage in the following manner

\Garmin\GeocachePhotos\Last Character\Second To Last Character\Full Code\

Spoiler Photos
<Photos Path>\Spoilers\

For example, photos for a geocache with code OXZTXGC would be placed under the path


And spoilers would be placed under


If the geocache has only three characters total, a 0 (zero) is used for the second to last character. For example, photos for a geocache with code OXR would be placed under the path


Supported Handhelds