This tutorial shows the difference between a .GPX file and a .LOC file.

GPX Files

.GPX files are the robust waypoint descriptor XML files that uses for premium members in order to be able to transfer waypoints to their GPSr and/or paperless caching application. As can readily be seen by the example file below, quite a lot of information is included in these files. Everything shown on the cache's page at is available through this file format. The .LOC file below is from the same cache.

.GPX File Example

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<gpx xmlns:xsd="" xmlns:xsi="" version="1.0" creator="Groundspeak, Inc. All Rights Reserved." xsi:schemaLocation="" xmlns="">
  <name>Cache Listing Generated from</name>
  <desc>This is an individual cache generated from</desc>
  <author>Account "Westside Snikers" From</author>
  <urlname>Geocaching - High Tech Treasure Hunting</urlname>
  <keywords>cache, geocache</keywords>
  <bounds minlat="34.085433" minlon="-118.394517" maxlat="34.085433" maxlon="-118.394517" />
  <wpt lat="34.085433" lon="-118.394517">
    <desc>Alto by Westside Snikers, Traditional Cache (1/1)</desc>
    <type>Geocache|Traditional Cache</type>
    <groundspeak:cache id="110380" available="True" archived="False" xmlns:groundspeak="">
      <groundspeak:placed_by>Westside Snikers</groundspeak:placed_by>
      <groundspeak:owner id="99443">Westside Snikers</groundspeak:owner>
      <groundspeak:type>Traditional Cache</groundspeak:type>
      <groundspeak:country>United States</groundspeak:country>
      <groundspeak:short_description html="False">
      <groundspeak:long_description html="False">This is a pretty easy one.  The contents include a guitar pick and a pressed penny.  bring your own pen!  Happy hunting!</groundspeak:long_description>
        <groundspeak:log id="17471159">
          <groundspeak:type>Found it</groundspeak:type>
          <groundspeak:finder id="359936">dooley2001</groundspeak:finder>
          <groundspeak:text encoded="False">EASY cache.

Left business card.</groundspeak:text>
        <groundspeak:log id="17292701">
          <groundspeak:type>Found it</groundspeak:type>
          <groundspeak:finder id="765142">Hunterny</groundspeak:finder>
          <groundspeak:text encoded="False">Whoohoooo! Exciting 2nd find! I have to be more stelthy in the future though. Small compass, smiley face.  TNLNSL

[This entry was edited by Hunterny on Saturday, July 22, 2006 at 6:08:05 PM.]

[This entry was edited by Hunterny on Saturday, July 22, 2006 at 6:29:30 PM.]</groundspeak:text>
        <groundspeak:log id="17181428">
          <groundspeak:type>Found it</groundspeak:type>
          <groundspeak:finder id="586439">flyingmonkeys</groundspeak:finder>
          <groundspeak:text encoded="False">Monkeys Mr's & Mrs. took to the jungle and altoed. TNSL. Thanks Westside Snikers.[:)]</groundspeak:text>
        <groundspeak:log id="16815761">
          <groundspeak:type>Found it</groundspeak:type>
          <groundspeak:finder id="474209">forresto</groundspeak:finder>
          <groundspeak:text encoded="False">Pretty easy one for sure but still nice to find it. Signed the log, and took a little rubber monster to make some room.</groundspeak:text>
        <groundspeak:log id="16771303">
          <groundspeak:type>Found it</groundspeak:type>
          <groundspeak:finder id="574388">rammd</groundspeak:finder>
          <groundspeak:text encoded="False">Easy find. TFTC</groundspeak:text>
        <groundspeak:log id="16341652">
          <groundspeak:type>Found it</groundspeak:type>
          <groundspeak:finder id="349615">gribble</groundspeak:finder>
          <groundspeak:text encoded="False">Quick grab. Had to avoid a couple hired dog walkers... TFTH</groundspeak:text>
        <groundspeak:log id="16266744">
          <groundspeak:type>Found it</groundspeak:type>
          <groundspeak:finder id="660620">dante1</groundspeak:finder>
          <groundspeak:text encoded="False">Found it.</groundspeak:text>
        <groundspeak:log id="15947405">
          <groundspeak:type>Found it</groundspeak:type>
          <groundspeak:finder id="350271">dellboy</groundspeak:finder>
          <groundspeak:text encoded="False">We didn't encounter any foot traffic and there weren't too many cars either, which made our job easy.  We had no trouble locating the cache, but we both agreed it was an excellent camo ... muggles just wouldn't see it.  We signed the log at 1:00 PM.  Thanks, R&G</groundspeak:text>
        <groundspeak:log id="15784034">
          <groundspeak:type>Found it</groundspeak:type>
          <groundspeak:finder id="117489">dshadovi</groundspeak:finder>
          <groundspeak:text encoded="False">11 PM.  Parked my Honda Civic a few feet from the cache.  Hussled, because such cars are illegal in this land of SUVs and high-performance sedans.  Took a little eraser and left a Creature Kid.</groundspeak:text>
        <groundspeak:log id="15770947">
          <groundspeak:type>Found it</groundspeak:type>
          <groundspeak:finder id="243197">the bonecacher</groundspeak:finder>
          <groundspeak:text encoded="False">Nice mid day cache & grab, thanks!</groundspeak:text>
        <groundspeak:log id="15551216">
          <groundspeak:type>Found it</groundspeak:type>
          <groundspeak:finder id="544694">iwoodress</groundspeak:finder>
          <groundspeak:text encoded="False">Wow! nice houses!! Found it pretty quickly! Thanks!</groundspeak:text>
        <groundspeak:log id="15040375">
          <groundspeak:type>Found it</groundspeak:type>
          <groundspeak:finder id="534769">troupb-b</groundspeak:finder>
          <groundspeak:text encoded="False">This was a pretty funny find with my friend, Foon, while out for an afternoon of spontaneous geocaching.  Foon had already found this one while out with his mom back in February, and was helping me to "cache up" with his finds.   As we were parking, he told me that he saw the cache already, and no more help was coming from him.  I had no waypoint, so gpsr was useless. So, I pretend to be a car and do a little backtracking; looked around, and voila!  [:)]  TNLNSL, and TFTC!  </groundspeak:text>
        <groundspeak:log id="14738715">
          <groundspeak:type>Found it</groundspeak:type>
          <groundspeak:finder id="308712">glynt</groundspeak:finder>
          <groundspeak:text encoded="False">Got this shortly after dark. I found Alto on the ground next to it's likely hiding spot. I SL and put it where I thought it belonged, and left. Owner may want to check it out. Thanks for the hide... well, sorta'!</groundspeak:text>
        <groundspeak:log id="14573394">
          <groundspeak:type>Found it</groundspeak:type>
          <groundspeak:finder id="644109">mratomic</groundspeak:finder>
          <groundspeak:text encoded="False">EZ find. Original log soaked in rain. Most names were washed out. New temp log has been started on scrap paper. May need new waterproof baggie. </groundspeak:text>
        <groundspeak:log id="14230648">
          <groundspeak:type>Found it</groundspeak:type>
          <groundspeak:finder id="437173">fordsbasement</groundspeak:finder>
          <groundspeak:text encoded="False">A rare west-side trip this morning had me looking for caches on the way back home. Had to wait for a dog walker, but other than that, this was a quick find.</groundspeak:text>
        <groundspeak:log id="14204286">
          <groundspeak:type>Found it</groundspeak:type>
          <groundspeak:finder id="562856">BioUnit</groundspeak:finder>
          <groundspeak:text encoded="False">quick n EZ, but it was very wet inside, being a rainy day
sl tnln
        <groundspeak:log id="14184751">
          <groundspeak:type>Found it</groundspeak:type>
          <groundspeak:finder id="516067">Furbrat</groundspeak:finder>
          <groundspeak:text encoded="False">Easy find.  Log was soaked.  We put a temp log in until the owner can add a new one.  Found with Lil Weasel and Brewer Chef.  We signed the new log.  Thanks for the cache!
        <groundspeak:log id="13657827">
          <groundspeak:type>Found it</groundspeak:type>
          <groundspeak:finder id="406802">mshock</groundspeak:finder>
          <groundspeak:text encoded="False">Quick Find TNLSNL TFTC!</groundspeak:text>
        <groundspeak:log id="13547821">
          <groundspeak:type>Found it</groundspeak:type>
          <groundspeak:finder id="455685">ycats&ekard</groundspeak:finder>
          <groundspeak:text encoded="False">Saw this one as I drove up.  A great Cache and Dash.  SL.  TFTC. Ycats.</groundspeak:text>
        <groundspeak:log id="13352497">
          <groundspeak:type>Found it</groundspeak:type>
          <groundspeak:finder id="509233">smav3719</groundspeak:finder>
          <groundspeak:text encoded="False">Grabbed it on the way back over the hill.  TFTC!</groundspeak:text>
      <groundspeak:travelbugs />

LOC Files

.LOC files are the simplified waypoint descriptor XML files that uses for basic members in order to be able to transfer waypoints to their GPSr. As can be seen from the sample below, they are very small and contain very little information. This is just enough information to find and navigate to a paricular cache, but may not be enough to actually complete the find. Puzzle and Multi caches, in particular, can be very difficult using only this format. Either a separate paperless solution or paper printouts of the cache descriptions are necessary in most cases. This .loc file is the same cache as the .gpx file shown above.

.LOC File Example

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<loc version="1.0" src="Groundspeak">
	<name id="GCHFMJ"><![CDATA[Alto by Westside Snikers]]></name>
	<coord lat="34.0854333333333" lon="-118.394516666667"/>
	<link text="Cache Details"></link>

Select A Cache To Navigate To

Coming Soon

Note: If you have suggestions for improving this tutorial, or a topic for another tutorial, please let me know.

Online Documentation




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