Dr. Gernog Paulus, study field Geo Information and Environmental Technologies, FH Kärnten, Europastraße 4, 9524 Villach, e-Mail: Paulus@cuas.at
Geocaching (from Greek “earth” and English cache “treasure trove”) is an electronic treasure hunt. The hiding places (“Geocaches”, in short “Caches”) are found with geographic coordinates with the help of a GPS device. The description of the caches and the related coordinates are published on the internet and can be obtained via Geocaching gateways.
A Geocache is generally a waterproof container containing a logbook and sometimes bartering objects. Every visitor makes an entry in the logbook in order to document his/her successful search. Then the geocache is returned to the same place where it was found (Source: Wikipedia, 22-02-2012).
The aim of this course is to offer the participants a concise theoretical and practical introduction to the subject of “GPS-technology” and “geocaching”. Thereby the basic theoretical background and functionality of global positioning systems (GPS), as well as the procedure of the game, the required equipment and technical terminology are explained.
The American global positioning system (GPS9 is a global satellite navigation system to determine location and timing. It is being developed since the 1970s, and since May 2000 it provides a locating precision of 10 metres for civil use. GPS has established itself as the most important locating procedure worldwide and offers basic technology for geocaching.
After the theoretical introduction, the joint search for geocaches commences outdoors where, besides the search for geocaches, participants also learn to create and hide their own geocaches.
The basic course consists of four days in total.
· Theoretical introduction (2 hrs á 60 mins.)
o Basics and background of GPS
o GPS Equipment – overview
o Introduction to Geocaching (basic principles, different types of caches, geocaching gateways, rules of conduct)
· Practical Part I (3 hrs á 60 mins.)
o Practical work with GPS equipment
o First searches of geocaches
o Recording of the distance covered during the search as GPS tracks
· Working with geocaching gateways (theory) (3 hrs á 60 mins.)
o Evaluation of the recorded GPS tracks
o Practical use of geocaching gateways
o Preparation for the creation of a geocache in small groups. Each group creates a different type of geocache.
· Practical Part II (3 hrs á 60 mins.)
o Hiding and searching of the participants’ own geocaches
o Final competition after consultation with the participants (choice of “best” caches, etc.)
· Theoretical lessons
o Computer with internet access, Google Earth
· Practical lessons
o The GPS Equipment is being made available by the study course Geo Information and Environmental Technology. Participants also have the option to bring their own equipment or to try out different devices.
o Outdoor clothing and outdoor shoes
· Course materials
o Course materials are provided in the form of PowerPoint sheets and simple operating manuals.
Participants are required to have the following basic knowledge:
· Interested in learning of (??)
· Computer literacy in working with windows workplaces
· Internet use
· Fitness to exercise on easy terrain
Number of Participants
Not more than 10 persons per course