It’s been a month since kjwx’s ‘Get in the Ring’ poll on the (then) proposed Opencaching.com website. Since that time the site has released a beta version and now boasts over 5000 caches. A number of bugs in the first few days seem to be ironed out a little and there has been much debate over who is using the site and especially who is importing their geocaching.com caches.
kjwx’s poll had a huge response (272 responses) and the results were very interesting. But now things have moved on I thought it was time for a new poll…
In the Get in the Ring poll whopping 48.98% of respondents said they would join opencaching.com, though 31.17% of the respondents said only if it was free. Now that the site is live…
52.63% suggested they would retain their Geocaching.com membership and use both listing services. Which leads me to ask…
Both sites have cool cartoon mascots; Geocaching.com have Signal the Frog and Opencaching.com have Opie. Which do you prefer?
Opencaching.com has a simple and easy way to upload your existing Geocaching.com caches.
Opencaching.com doesn’t have any reviewers and some have expressed concern over what this means for the integrity of Geocaching.
91.25% of the Get in the Ring survey respondents were Garmin users.
Having plundered all the local caches and not being in a position to travel far from home due to Cumbyrocks clone #3’s imminent arrival I haven’t been out much. My recent acquisition of an Apple iPad has been a good distraction from the geocaching withdrawals I face daily and one of the best distractions is the game Angry Birds. The game essentially has you firing angry birds at the pigs (literally) who stole their eggs. It’s a fun game that is worth trying out.
And it seems that The Mad Cacher has gone all Angry Birds on Garmin/Opencaching.com. The blogger/cacher has recently sent out a message that reads:
Hey <insert name here>,
Just a few days ago Garmin launched a brand new website that is basically their attempt at controlling our hobby.
That’s right, they’re trying to hijack the official Geocaching website and control the market in order to sell more GPS units!
Click Here To Read My Thoughts On This & Leave Yours
If you haven’t noticed, I’m a little ticked off about this and I would love to hear your thoughts. Do you have similar feelings about it or are you fine with it?
Please leave a comment below the post. I love reading your thoughts and conversing with all of my Geocaching friends.
“The Mad Cacher”
It seems “The Mad Cacher” is quite, well, mad about Garmin introducing Opencaching.com and is rallying the troops to boycott opencaching.com.
Whilst I have been a little sceptical about the introduction of opencaching.com I’m not sure they deserve such an extreme reaction and a call to boycott. Geocachers will vote with their feet and I don’t see Garmin as producing something so evil that it requires organised destruction. But kudos to “The Mad Cacher” for being passionate about his cause.
UPDATE: For those who really don’t know what Angry Birds is
- Game On: Garmin’s OpenCaching.com Beta is launched (itsnotaboutthenumbers.wordpress.com)
- In light of the reviewerless Opencaching.com – An ode to the gc.com reviewers… (itsnotaboutthenumbers.wordpress.com)
The changes are quite significant and introduce a number of elements to enhance the geocaching.com experience. These changes include:
- Stats – A new page on your profile for geocaching.com generated stats. Cachemania has posted about Groundspeak aquiring My Geocaching Profile for this.
- Maps – possibly the best proposed change is the increased functionality of the maps. At present they are clunky and slow but the changes will produce smooth and dynamic mapping that has no 500 cache limit. The screenshot showing the whole USA is very very cool.
- Favourites (or as it will appear on the site – Favorites) – This is another huge addition to the site and a long-awaited and desired change by many cachers. Based on the number of finds you have you will be able to award favourite points to caches you like. This will be extremely useful for figuring out which caches are the best to go for, especially when travelling – no more wasting time on 200ml snaplock containers listed as regular sized caches!
- Premium Members – Many of the changes, for example the favourite points, will only be available to premium members. This is going to be a big attraction to cachers to maintain premium membership and keep access to all this resource.
The changes were planned prior to the introduction of Opencaching.com but they are certainly timely. I believe they will be big draw card for cachers and may be welcomed by some of the disgruntled ones. Groundspeak have added value to the premium membership – a good thing as it had previously seemed like being a premium member was only to get access to pocket queries.
Well done Groundspeak!
- Geocaching.com goes into training (itsnotaboutthenumbers.wordpress.com)
The fine folk at the NZ Recreational GPS Society are proposing the holding of New Zealand’s first MEGA-EVENT. There is a poll up in the GPS.org.nz forums to indicate whether you might want to attend and you can check out all of the talk about the event there. The event is proposed as being at Easter or in October 2012 and looks likely to be in Christchurch (South Island) with an outside chance of being somewhere else in the country if the organising committee change their minds.
If you are one of the many international readers of INATN and fancy a geocaching holiday in New Zealand coupled with a MEGA-EVENT then this is something you should keep an eye on. You might even like to indicate your possibly attendance on the forum poll.
Of course, if you happen to be one of the many readers from geocaching related businesses (I know you’re there…I’m looking at your IP addresses right now…creepy eh?) you might like to seriously think about some sponsorship of this event – I know the NZ geocaching community would be VERY thankful (wink wink nudge nudge).
- NZ Geocache Featured as Cache of the Week on Latitude 47 (itsnotaboutthenumbers.wordpress.com)
Geocaching.com have a major outage starting at 8pm Tuesday (PST) or 5pm Wednesday (NZDT) for those of us here in NZ. The site could be down for a long as 6 hours, so make sure you’ve got your gc.com fix before it goes down. Why is it going down you ask? The official word from Groundspeak is:
As Groundspeak and Geocaching.com have grown, the demands on our production network infrastructure have increased significantly. As a result, on Tuesday December 14, 2010 at 8:00 PM PST (GMT -8), we will be performing a number of major upgrades to our production network. These upgrades include a new network design as well as new hardware to help increase the performance, scalability, and security of the network.
We’re estimating that the downtime may take up to 6 hours, and during that time, all Groundspeak sites and services including Geocaching.com, the Groundspeak Forums, Pocket Queries, Geocaching Mobile Applications, and other 3rd party applications that access our API will be inaccessible.
While we’re giving ourselves a 6 hour window to cover anything unexpected that might come up, we’ll be doing everything possible to minimize the downtime and are confident that we’ll have the site back up much sooner.
Working on the ‘performance’ and ‘scalability’ leads me to believe they are implementing changes that will help them grow, expand and maybe introduce new functionality for use with other GPSr manufacturers. Okay, so I’m stirring a little with that last bit. However, when I read the announcement I did get visions of the Rocky training sequence…