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MotionX

This is a generic iPhone app available via the store for about $3.99 

I downloaded the free lite version originally to use as an alternative to the built in Google Maps app.

It can be used for caching by simply entering in the latitude and longitude of the cache location and then navigating to that point, however it is much more useful if you buy the full version as it allows you to import gpx files available on the Australian geocaching site geocaching.com.au. You can't view all of the cache details in MotionX, however you can view the cache by name. The official Groundspeak Geocaching app only does caches from the US site so by using MotionX you can navigate to Geocaching Australia only sites.

To use it do the following;

  1. Download a GPX file from Geocaching Australia http://www.geocaching.com.au on your PC/Mac
  2. Email the attachment to gpsimport@motionx.com but make sure you email it from the same account you have sync'd on your iPhone
  3. Open your iPhone email application
  4. Open the reply email that will be send within a few minutes from MotionX
  5. Click on the iPhone link in the email
  6. the MotionX app will open and import the waypoint from the gpx file
I've had a look at how this all works and I'm not too happy. They could have made this so much more powerful. This is how it all happens behind the scenes (as at December 2010).

We email the gpx file to gpsimport@motionx.com
We open the return email in the iPhone mail client
We click the link in the email to import the gpx file as a waypoint 

The email from motionX contains a link like;
motionxgps://share.gps.motionxlive.com/imp/x/importlist/lotsofnumbers

The motionxgps:// sevice is associated with the motionX app on the iPhone which then does an http:// download of a file that looks like;

<imp> 
 <files> 
   <file path="/imp/r/lotsofnumbers/filename.gpx"/> 
 </files> 
</imp> 

This translates into http://share.gps.motionxlive.com/imp/r/lotsofnumbers/filename.gpx

The .gpx file is the original gpx attachment we sent motionX in the first place.

The domain name portion of the url is obviously hard coded in the MotionX app. This is sad because it stops us from hosting the gpx files on our own servers. If we could do this then the Geocaching websites could provide a "send to iphone" link (they could possibly still do this by sending the email themselves and setting the from: address to the email address on file for the logged in user). We could also do our own automated funky stuff on our own servers if we wanted to. 

I've asked the MotionX people if they might consider changing this but hadn't had a reply at the time of writing this, however I suspect it may be a security requirement of the Apple store. If the domain part of the url could be set by a dodgy user then it may be able to be used to exploit any vulnerability in the iPhone OS or the App itself.

End result? MotionX is slightly useful for Geocaching.
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