Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Create a Geocaching Search Engine in Chrome

The Chrome browser from Google is simple and power. It provides the option to set up your own customer search engines for sites you use a lot. Well I use geocaching.com a lot to look at cache page by their unique IDs or GC codes. This post will show you how to set up a custom GC code search engine in Chrome but the steps can be applied to any site with search.

Step 0
You need Chrome, so if you don't already have it, download the Google Chrome Web browser for free.

Step 1
Click on the Tools menu icon in the upper right corner of your screen to display the Tools menu. From the menu, click on "Settings." This will take you to the "Settings" page.

The Tools menu in Chrome
Step 2
On the "Settings" page, scroll down to the Search section and click the "Manage search engines" button. This will open a popup window.

Settings page in Chrome

Step 3
In the "Other search engines" section of the popup window page, look for the three fields for adding a new search engine:

  • In the first field, enter a name for the search engine. I chose "Geocache Finder."
  • In the second field, enter a shorthand code for using the search engine. I chose gc.
  • In the third field, enter the search link for geocaching.com. Copy and paste this: http://coord.info/%s
  • Click "Done" to save your new search engine.
Create a new search engine

Step 4
To use the Geocache Finder search engine at any time, enter the shorthand code, such as gc, into the address bar at the top of the browser and press the tab key. This will initiate the search engine. Then enter the GC code for the cache page you want to view and press enter. For example type in GCK25B to view Geocaching Headquarters.

Initiate a search in the address bar of Chrome

That's all there is to it. I hope you find this as useful as I do.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Geocaching Stats for August 2013

August 2013 was the busiest month of geocaching for me so far. This was partly due to Groundspeak's 31 Days of Geocaching challenge which incentivized people to find a cache every day in August by rewarding them with daily souvenirs. I wasn't chasing souvenirs but it gave me community support to start streaking and I'm now to day 40.

So much happened in August that I wanted to jot down these caching events:
  • Most finds in a day: 50. On 3 August, Mh171 and I went out to chase the Texas 50 State Star geoart puzzle series finding 47 of 51 (four had been muggled).
  • Most finds in a month: 148
  • Cached in two new states, Washington and Oregon, allowing me to complete the 10 States and Provinces Challenge.
  • Filled five Jasmer spots, clearing out 2002 and 2006, finding the 2nd oldest active cache GC12 5/12/2000 in Oregon and finding Iron Horse (2000-10) in Washington.
  • Finished up the AlphaNumeric Cacher Name Challenge (need to sign the log!) by finding caches placed by 50 State Star, 6 Pack Rats and 86suzuki.
  • Logged 13 Geocaching Labs caches (which have messed up my stats because they counted towards total finds but nothing else) including the Microbrew Tour before the Block Party and special event caches during it.
Microbrew Tour Lab Caches in Seattle - 15 August 
  • Reached my 800 milestone by attending the 2013 Geocaching Block Party for the first time in Seattle, WA on International Geocaching Day, 17 August.
2013 Groundspeak Block Party - 17 August
  • Brought my souvenir total up to 52.
New souvenirs for August 2013
  • Rounded out the month by caching in 11 new Texas counties (81/254)
Day 31 of 31 Days of Geocaching
  • Found four more TXGCC13 caches, bringing my total up to 52/80 for the challenge by visiting Mission Tejas and Martin Dies Jr. state parks.
  • Last but not least, I was picked for the Texas Geocaching Association's August 2013 Member Spotlight, thanks to being nominated by the Caching Dead, TXGA's education directors.
My stats are updated monthly around the 7th and can be viewed on my website at strontium87.com.