Alan Freedman -- The Computer Language Company - Computer Desktop Encyclopedia
Computer Desktop Encyclopedia
Longest-Running Tech Reference on the Planet

A CDE Definition

You'll love The Computer Desktop Encyclopedia (CDE) for Tech Term of the Day (TTOD)



A high-tech treasure hunt in which trinkets are stored in a waterproof container ("geocache") that can be located in the wilderness or in a public venue, typically not in plain view. The GPS coordinates of the cache are published on the geocaching website, and the object of the hunt is to locate the cache and enter your name in the log book as well as move objects from one cache to the next. In addition, geocachers may want to share their experiences online. Like a traditional treasure hunt, the contents of one geocache may provide the coordinates to the next one. As of mid-2008, there were more than 600,000 geocaches around the world.

Trackable Travel Bugs and Geocoins
A major goal of geocaching is to track an object as it moves across the country or around the world. In order to track the movement, Groundspeak, Inc., the founder of the geocaching website, developed the "Travel Bug," a physical tag with an identifying number. Groundspeak also issues ranges of IDs for minting "geocoins," which are commemorative coins with tracking numbers, and other sites have issued their own geocoins. When geocachers find Travel Bugs and geocoins, they post their IDs online to update the trackable's new geocache location. For more information, visit See portable GPS.

Specialized for Geocaching
Although any portable GPS can be used to locate a geocache by entering latitude and longitude, Garmin worked with Groundspeak to enable coordinates and descriptions to be downloaded to Garmin units via a USB connection to the computer. In addition, geocache data can be transferred wireless between two Garmin users in close proximity. (Image courtesy of Garmin Ltd,

portable GPS

A GPS-based unit that is designed for handheld operation or windshield/dashboard mounting in a vehicle. Portable GPS devices offer many of the navigation features of in-dash units and can run for several hours on battery before being plugged into the car's power outlet. However, because they are not connected internally to the vehicle's odometer, they can get off course if there is no line of sight when traveling in tunnels, in between tall buildings or on lower levels of bridges. See in-dash navigation, GPS augmentation system and GPS.

In the Car
This Magellan unit offers most of the navigation features of in-dash units, including text-to-speech playback of street names. Portable GPS screens range from 3" to 7".

Smartphone GPS
With the advent of smartphones, people can get directions at all times, and the navigation apps are as good as dedicated portable GPS units but not as comprehensive as factory in-dash models. See CarPlay and Android Auto.

Into the Wilderness
This Garmin GPS includes topographic maps for hikers and high-tech treasure hunters (see geocaching). It also supports the WAAS augmentation system for improved accuracy. (Image courtesy of Garmin Ltd.,

Built for Runners
This Garmin sports watch provides greater accuracy than a pedometer and helps runners find their way home in unfamiliar territory. It also attaches to a heart monitor via a wireless connection. (Image courtesy of Garmin Ltd.,

Personal Use Only

Before/After Your Search Term
geo-cachinggeodetic coordinates
geoblockinggeographic boundary data
geocachegeographic entity
geocachergeographic information system

Terms By Topic
Click any of the following categories for a list of fundamental terms.
Computer Words You Gotta KnowSystem design
Job categoriesUnix/Linux
Interesting stuffPersonal computers
InternetIndustrial Automation/Process Control
Communications & networkingAssociations/Standards organizations
HistoryDesktop publishing
ProgrammingHealthcare IT
System design