Ian Cowley, Melbourn, Cambs  19/May/2024 - London time is 05:06 (BST)
Geocaching Tools


What is EasyMPS?

EasyMPS is a tool I'm developing that imports .loc EasyGPS files as downloaded from Geocaching.com, .gpx TopoGrafix files as saved by EasyGPS, and .mps and .gdb Mapsource files, and exports them as Mapsource or EasyGPS file format, allowing a few tweaks to the file along the way.


What good is that?

Well, ordinarily, the only way to get .loc and .gpx files into Mapsource is to:

  1. Open them individually in a program such as EasyGPS
  2. Upload them individually to a GPS receiver
  3. Download the GPS receiver's memory to Mapsource
  4. Or, downloading back to EasyGPS gives a merged file

What EasyMPS allows the user to do is import several .loc, .gpx and .mps files alongside each other, then export them as a single .mps or .loc file.
Thus EasyMPS acts as either a file merger, or a file convertor, or both!

Time, effort and bother are all saved!


And I suppose this fabulous software costs a lot, right?

Not at all. I originally wrote EasyMPS as a Freeware application. However, if you do find that EasyMPS is mind-numbingly useful, and you'd like to make a donation, I have a Paypal account to which you're more than welcome to make a donation:

In return, you'll get a warm fuzzy feeling inside and priority updates on new features and releases.

Alternatively, please click on the adverts on the right to generate me some revenue with Google Ads!


The Downloadables

The current version of EasyMPS is version 0.61.215 (23/08/2004)  (go to version history).

Is EasyMPS a standalone application?
Not enirely, no. It uses the files msvbvm50.dll and comdlg32.ocx. Chances are you already have these files. However, if EasyMPS complains about not having them, download them in this zip (lib.zip) and extract them to your %windows%\system32\ directory - just copy them in (it's normally c:\winnt\system32 or c:\windows\system32)
If you're on an NT-based computer (NT4/Win2k/XP) and don't have permission to write to the %windows%\system32 directory, just copy the files to the same directory as EasyMPS.exe, and it'll work

You might also need comctl32.ocx. This should be unzipped into the system32 directory too.

EasyMPS also makes use of the Microsoft XML library, and some people have reported an ActiveX error when running EasyMPS. In the event of this, download and install the Microsoft XML parser 3.0 SP4. Once downloaded, right-click the .msi file and select "Install" from the context menu.


How do I get help using EasyMPS?

Well, I'm hoping that EasyMPs is intuitive enough to use without any help files....if not, try the following:
* Specific help on the command-line parameters that can be used with EasyMPS can be found by running "easymps /?" (without the quote marks) from the Start->Run menu in Windows.
* Have a look through the version history - a lot of the entries in there detail new features and how they work.
* Worst comes to the worst, - if it's a question, I'll respond immediately (allowing for timezones and picking up my email), and if it's a request or something that needs a bit of research I'll aim to have a solution to your woes in a day or so.


What if I find bugs, have problems or suggestions?
Email me at with any bugs you find, any problems you have running the program, or any suggestions you have for improvement.
I will take all suggestions seriously and will try to incorporate as many as possible.

Please download EasyMPS and use it as much as possible - I'm always keen to hear suggestions and fix bugs!


EasyMPS Version History - (Old versions available here)

Known issues (as of Build 215):

  • If you run TopoGrafix's EasyGPS it stops .loc/gpx files being openable directly into Mapsource on the right-click menu.
    This is because EasyGPs is written badly and overwrites an entire branch of the registry!. Solution: Don't use EasyGPS! If you must, then you'll need to run EasyMPS and tick the little box in the lower-left of the window
  • Cannot import routes, tracks or maps. Imported files with these things in them will import the waypoints and ignore the other items.

Version 0.61 (Build 215)

  • Added menu bar
  • Removed spurious code
  • Changed browse-for-folder text
  • Removed file association check box (now in options menu)
  • Moved the UI around a bit
  • Added status bar, removed labels, changed some labels and frame captions
  • Significantly rewrote the GDB_write routine
  • Significant rewrite to Read_LOC and Read_GPX
  • Changed GDB output files to Mapsource 6.1/6.3 format (were 6.0 beta something)
  • Tidied up the last/current imports labels thing so they're more consistent
  • Changed empty separator to ---- in export drop-down
  • Added export modes into File/Export.. Menu
  • BUGFIX: URLs wouldn't auto-generate for GCxxxx waypoints if name/description swap was enabled
  • BUGFIX: Shouldn't now crash if importing a GDB/MPS with no waypoints as the first file.
  • BUGFIX: "Last import" number now works for all import formats
  • BUGFIX: Swap names/descriptions with some duplicate descriptions gave an invalid file output
  • BUGFIX: Waypoint times are now written as UTC, not local time
  • BUGFIX: Wasn't preserving detected times for waypoints
  • Update: For GPX files, the preserved time is the cache-hiding time. For GDB files, it's the last-modified time of the waypoint.
  • BUGFIX: Fixed crash when trying to import non-waypoint files as first file (such as .bmp, .doc from drag'n'drop)
  • UPDATE: 13-second difference applied to time to make it GPS time :)

Version 0.60 (build 204)

  • Changed version to 0.60
  • Added GDB read support (file version k/6.1)
  • Added GDB write support
  • Added "Open in Mapsource (GDB)" output
  • Added option to put cache hint into description field
  • Added ability to mass-modify waypoint times
  • Added support for changing categories
  • Added "Open in Mapsource 6" context menu for LOC and GPX files
  • Added /g and /6 command-line parameters for writing a GDB and opening in Mapsource 6 respectively. See "easymps.exe /?" for more details.
  • Changed "Open in Mapsource (MPS)" droplist item
  • Changed the browse-for-folder: *much* better
  • Changed layout slightly (preserve icons box moved)
  • Changed layout a lot:
    • Made it sort of tabbed
    • Added categories and time stuff
    • Added more icon types
  • Rewrote MPS import (now much more robust GDB)
  • Sorted out importing (well, ignoring) routes and tracks
  • EasyMPS attempts to auto-fill URL for GCxxxx caches that don't have one already
  • Fixed bug where some waypoints would be imported with N0 W0 location and an with an anchor icon!
  • Fixed bug importing files with directions fields (auto-routing)
  • Fixed two bugs where routepoints would import as waypoints
  • 201: Fixed bug importing GPX files with no hint field (such as GPXSpinnered ones)
  • 204: Fixed bug with importing GDB or MPS files with over 100 waypoints!

Version 0.54 (build 182)

  • Added functionality to swap cache names and descriptions (MPS output only - other outputs will be done if people ask)

Version 0.53 (build 173)

  • Sorted out the 'Current Import' with MPS files
  • Made the current import clear on 'Clear List'
  • Import directory now starts where you left it
  • Save dialog now suggests the filename of the last imported file as the save-to filename
  • Removed a bit of spurious code

Version 0.52 (build 172)

  • Fixed a bug when trying to import two caches with names that are same but in different cases

Version 0.51 (build 171)

  • Discovered old versions of EasyGPs save their .LOC files differently - these files now supported.
  • Fixed the System Menu->About... option so it will always work :) No reason to have the help when clicking the logo - this is now another drag'n'drop area

Version 0.50 (build 166)

  • Added network accessibility - click the button to the right of the drive box
  • Moved some stuff on the UI to fit in new features

Version 0.49 (build 165)

  • Added support for importing Mapsource 5.0 files
  • Added 'Geocache found' icon option
  • Build 165: Stopped EasyMPS puking when importing Geodashing files.

Version 0.48 (build 162)

  • Build 149
    • Typo fix in help, and updated help
    • Changed "Generate file" method to drop-box
    • Added Terrabyte .LOC format as an output format
    • Fixed scripting bug when trying to save without importing
    • Changed scripting/command-line inputs so that it's more flexible, and easier to code. BE WARNED - CHECK "easymps /?" FROM A COMMAND LINE!
    • Slight changes in UI text and layout
  • Build 161:
    • Fixed bug with command-line and long filenames with /s /l /e tags
  • Build 162:
    • Fixed importing .LOCs with no waypoint names - imports description for nameless waypoints

Version 0.46 (build 139)

  • Fixed invalid drive errors (and learnt something about VB!)
  • Expanded .GPX icon support to first 119 Mapsource icons (thanks to Eric Cloninger for supplying data)
  • Added .LOC icon import/preservation
  • Added support for preserving display mode in Mapsource files

Version 0.45 (builds 133 and 136)

  • Should now preserve icons for imported GPX and MPS files if checkbox is checked
  • Now have an option to modify the waypoint name according to cache-type (multi, virtual etc) for GPX imports
  • Build 135: 'Fixed' infinite loop in .LOC imports when the .LOC has routes downloaded from a GPS
  • Build 135: Removed debugging 'waypoint-type' message box when importing Topografix .LOC files
  • Build 136: Fixed detection of Locationless caches (for name modding) when importing .GPX files

Version 0.44 (build 132)

  • Now imports altitudes from .gpx files
  • Clear button now changes caption when importing .mps files
  • Progress counter also displays on .mps imports
  • Standard file-browse dialog now used for locating Mapsource.exe
  • Added support for importing .loc files that are in TerraByte/Topografix format

Version 0.43 (build 130)

  • Fixed drag-drop-onto-icon .mps error
  • Changed FileVersion field to Dg - it's not strictly a 4.13 file now, but files can now be opened in 4.05+ (4.00+ if you don't set silly icons)
  • Added warning dialog for Geocache icon and version 4.04-
  • Changed code so .mps files with tracks and routes can be imported. EasyMPS skips the tracks/routes, and imports only the waypoints - and it doesn't crash!
  • If a non 4.xx .mps import is attempted, EasyMPS refuses rather than crashing.
  • Fixed bug where altitude wasn't retained on .mps import
  • Various code changes - internal effects only (except shaving the file size slightly)
  • Changed temporary file handling - EasyMPS now gets windows to generate a %tempdir%/MPS****.TMP file.
  • Temporary files deleted when EasyMPS exits
  • Added 'Easter egg'

Version 0.42 (build 118)

  • Fixed bug from 0.40 where lat/long got slightly changed
  • Internal: Drastically changed the .mps read and write routines again
  • As a consequence, colour, depth, proximity and altitude should now all be retained when opening .mps files

Version 0.41 (build 117)

  • Modified output header of mps files to match MapSource 4.13
  • Internal: Changed file-writing code so it's more efficient and lat/long gets written properly
  • Add "Symbol Only" as display option for waypoints
  • Fixed .mps drag-drop error
  • Fixed invalid lat/lon: If a .loc has an out of range latitude or longitude, it can't be written to the .mps file - the format just won't support it. So now EasyMPS sets offending value to 0, and then changes the name of the waypoint to "FIXED -" plus the original waypoint name, so the user is alerted that lat/long was changed

Version 0.40 (build 114)

  • .mps files can now be imported alongside GPX and LOC

Version 0.39 (build 113)

  • Fixed check-box bug where it wasn't picking up registry entries
  • Made the name of waypoints be set to the description for .gpx files that don't have a name field
  • Removed right-click about menu from form body (why did I ever put it in?)
  • Started thinking about importing .mps files

Version 0.38 (build 112)

  • New splash/help screen rather than a dialog.
  • Changed the graphic slightly so it doesn't look so weird
  • Added "Open in Mapsource" right-click menu option in Explorer (optional) functionality
  • Made saving files much much much faster (only really noticeable on large files like the UK Trigpoints database)
  • Added a "Generate .loc" button. Now you can import loads of .loc files and export them as one!
  • Couple of minor bug fixes
  • Made imports faster
  • Reduced RAM usage by tidying up some code and learning all about UDTs
  • The program now starts in the directory that EasyMPS is in, rather than c:\.
  • The "Clear list" button works properly now (beforehand, it'd go wrong in certain circumstances)
  • Some other stuff I probably forgot

Version 0.35 (build 77)

  • Couple of small bugfixes.
  • Added much much much better command line jiggerypokery:
    • /m flag opens imported files in Mapsource
    • /s out.mps flag saves imported files as out.mps
    • /q flag quits Mapsource after doing the command line
    • Relative and absolute filenames now coped with
    • /? flag shows the help
  • Removed save message when /s flag is used
  • Made it use outfile.mps for the file to open in Mapsource if both /m and /s are used.
  • Program now remembers the following:
    • Window position on the screen
    • Icon and display settings for waypoints
  • I'm off to the pub now

Version 0.32 (build 55)

  • Added "Open in Mapsource" function
  • Fixed it so it doesn't matter where Mapsource is installed

Version 0.31 (build 50)

  • Revamped the UI (Thanks to Chris Shepherd)
  • Bug-fixed the About...box (and added a right-click functionality)
  • Bug-fixed the cancel import button and its cache-clearing (build 40)
  • Bug-fixed the cancel-import button again! (build 41)
  • Bug-fixed 'object required' bug
  • Bug-fixed drag-n-drop of multiple long filenames
  • Bug-fixed the cancel-import button again! (build 46)
  • Corrected typo in label caption
  • Changed logo to correct edge artifacts
  • Started doing things properly re: variables and stuff

Version 0.3 (build 39)

  • Changed import to MSXML parser - requires XML support (comes with most installs of IE5 or higher)
  • Added .gpx import capability
  • Export as various modes: Different waypoint icons, and different display options in Mapsource
  • Generating a .mps file no longer clears the imported waypoint memory
  • Some more bug fixes (primarily with drag 'n' drop)
  • Can select and import multiple files, can drag'n'drop multiple files.
  • Drag'n'drop now works either onto the main window or onto EasyMPS.exe in explorer
  • Added an about box in the system menu

Versions 0.2 and 0.1 (Builds 0.1.7 and 0.2.35)

  • 0.2: Added drag 'n' drop capability
  • 0.2: Nice save dialog added
  • 0.2: Loads of bug fixes
  • 0.1: Wrote the thing :)
  • 0.1: Import of .loc files
  • 0.1: Export to .mps
This page updated on 18 December 2015 at 22:18