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Opencaching network still in the dark

November 17, 2010

It’s been great to have some comment in the last few days from people who are actually part of the opencaching network (the .us, .eu crowd – not the .com site). This comment came through today from Jorg at and I’ve felt the need to paste it below. It’s clear from his comments that Garmin are not communicating with the current opencaching network and are leaving them completely in the dark. These guys voluntarily run these sites out of love for the game and it’s sad that Garmin producing the site is likely to severely impact their work.

Hi folks (sorry for a little bit “bad” english :-) )

I’m a member of the “Team” which provides the free services behind the free german plattform

We are “not amused” about the choice of this already used name. is one of several national opencaching.XY, that have been started years(!) ago, several other national plattforms are prepared to start.

Take a look at All of this plattforms are driven and supportet by volunteers in their rare spare time all over the world. And they are growing! From US to japan!

In europe Garmin is the marketleader of GPS-devices. The Geocaching-market in germany is the biggest one after US.

I’m shure, most of this people from the several opencaching-network-plattforms using GARMIN devices.

And now, this big company is going to initiate a new plattform with the exactly (!) identical name “Opencaching”?!

Whats their goal?

a) Displace/Eleminate the free opencaching-network?

b) Work together with the opencaching-network?

c) …(?)

reg. a) With a lot of (marketing/PR) money Garmin has the power to do that, shure!

reg. b) No dialog has been iniiate by Garmin Ltd at this time!

Discussions about the behavior of Garmin Ltd has been started in germany geocaching-scene (>google). Some say, they will not use Garmin-devices further, if Garmin “execute” the free opencaching-network.

We, the Team of the german plattform are open for dialog with Garmin Ltd.

Hey Garmin Ltd, what’s going on? Pick up your phone or drop us a line via mail!

Garmin Germany can give you the phone-number.
We already work together for better support of GPX-files from opencaching.XY in Garmin-devices.

Member of Team (Germany)

and from DudleyGrunt

As a user and admin at (though, just speaking for myself), I’m not sure what to think. I like the idea of competition and think that currently, Groundspeak doesn’t have any real competition.

The current confederation of OpenCaching sites are each independent, so it would be interesting if Garmin was interested in working with these sites to create a shared database and a stronger competitor to Groundspeak.

Will have to wait and see.

Good luck to both of you guys!

It’s also great to see are also willing to take on Garmin:

From CraigRat

It will certainly be interesting to see what they do.

As one of the developers of an free-and-open geocaching site ( )I look forward to seeing what they dish up and how ‘open’ it really is. The concept of a large commercial company running an ‘open’ site is something I need to get my head around, I can see many conflicts with such an arrangement.

Look, a heck of a lot of people use devices and software that handle more than one geocaching listing site, this is just potentially another alternative.

Bring it on I say!

10 Comments leave one →
  1. November 18, 2010 2:16 am

    While I see the frustration, if was an important link to the others, someone should have registered it for a few bucks a year. That’s how domains work, someone snatches it up and you can’t control what they do with it …. I guess be glad it’s not something far worse or offensive? lol

  2. November 18, 2010 6:36 am

    Just because someone can buy a domain almost the same as yours doesn’t mean they should. The web is no different to business in being a place where you should behave ethically and with respect, despite the absence of rules stating otherwise. That is the first sign that the intention of a large, commercial company to operate a ‘free’ and ‘open’ cache listing service may not be possible. Their tag on the current site about ‘your community’ doesn’t sit well if they are going to negatively impact the current opencaching communities.

  3. November 18, 2010 11:16 am

    What’s all this whining about? The Opencaching team missed its opportunity to register It was suggested back in 2006 that the association “powering and supporting” (for which Jörg is working) should take a chance in registering At this time the domain was in the hands of a domain grabber so there would have been a fair chance to get it. If I read it right, Garmin registered the domain just 2 month ago on September 13th, 2010 (see About 4 years should have been enough time for the Opencaching team to secure the domain for their own purposes.

    • Jörg (DWJ_Bund) permalink
      November 18, 2010 8:17 pm

      Well, Carsten, several Domains (com, info, org, national domains …) should be registered from opencaching-network for blocking them against other occupation.

      But who will pay this as a “voluteer-startup”? The hard working voluteers of the several Opencaching-network-partners in the world themself? With donations from geocachers? Possible, but the opencaching-network is a very young “organisation” (not realy an organisation at this time, but the international connections are growing).

      By the way: The domain was lost, because of missunderstandings for paying the rent of the domain between several persons from the opencaching-network, as far is I know. The domain then was in transit, a domaingrabber get it.

      This was a mistake, shure, but the opencaching-network is not a big company, it’s a small circle of person, which like to enforce a free service in several nations for geocaching people all over the world.

      “The fair chance to get it” as you wrote, means, to give a domaingrabber lot of money, payed from the private pocket of geocachers?

      No problem to buy the domain for a big company, but a big problem for a young international network living all over the world.

      The “whining” you wrote, regards to the decision of Garmin, to use a NAME, which is already used for SEVERAL YEARS for the SAME THING (geocaching-listing-platform).

      Carsten, we do not have the same opinion for several things regarding opencaching-network. We know that, and you leave the german team because of other opinions regarding the future of opencaching.

      For the german team I can say, that our activities covered by teamdiscussions an teamdecissions and we act in concert.

      Now, there is hope for the volunteers, to talk about with Garmin and we hope, that they will support opencaching-network and will not work against it.

      Signals are given. Chances for Garmin (selling more devices) are great, if they will join a right and fair way for both sides.

      Kind regards

  4. SaltercreaseRangers permalink
    November 18, 2010 7:29 pm

    Whilst we’re waiting to hear Garmins intent it’s worth remembering that the open community can be supported and collaborate with a tech business – just think of Sun Microsystems and all they contributed thru their work on Java and SQL many more open source ‘products’

    • November 18, 2010 8:32 pm

      Look how well that ended 😦

      Oracle grabbing it, kicking the community off the boards of Java, MySQL , Openoffice. VirtualBox and now threatening to sue people who use implementations of it…

      You probably should have found a better analogy 🙂

      • SaltercreaseRangers permalink
        November 19, 2010 1:26 am

        All things will end, eventually – but as an analogy, whilst Sun was successful, the community did receive more support and sponsorship than perhaps any other group has received in a technological model

        Not a bad model to aspire to – I hope you’d agree


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