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The New Maps On The Cache Page Suck


jimmyreno
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Would it be possible for Groundspeak to provide a choice of maps in your account set up? Those on dial-ups or who simply don't like the new maps could change their default to the old ones.

 

Bret

That is a great idea. My dialup connection is only 24K, so I've never been able to use Google . . .

 

Although . . . at that connection speed, the old maps also loaded very slowly. :)

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when i click on the map on a certain cache page, i am trying to find out more about the location of

that specific cache and not others cachers around it..i find it very frustrating and not user friendly at all..

the cache i am looking for doesnt even show up when i click onthe map so it is doing me no good at all now or taking me longer to find where it may be..there was nothing wrong with mapsource and at least it was

fast and specific to that cache page..not happy at all about the new mapping changes!!

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when i click on the map on a certain cache page, i am trying to find out more about the location of

that specific cache and not others cachers around it..i find it very frustrating and not user friendly at all..

the cache i am looking for doesnt even show up when i click onthe map so it is doing me no good at all now or taking me longer to find where it may be..there was nothing wrong with mapsource and at least it was

fast and specific to that cache page..not happy at all about the new mapping changes!!

 

Yes, many keep saying that, but can you hear the deafening silence we are receiving from geocaching.com????

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The Google maps also are terribly inaccurate at times. I have caches showing 2km out in the water until I zoom in at least two times and then they get back on shore.

 

At lesser zoom, the Mapquest maps were more usable for navigating to the cache area.

 

JDandDD

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I used to use mappoint, until the newest upgrade made it pretty much mandatory to use IE....

I still will If google isnt doing its job, but luckily for me, most of my areas are pretty good, or I already have them in other formats.

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I am using Firefox 1.5.0.3 also and of the 2 dozen print friendly maps I just looked at the map is split over 2 pages with the second page map being blank on most of them. Also the same for some using MSN Exploerer browser.

 

Let me add to the fray that I also liked the old maps much better. I think they looked much better than the google maps. I have the same problem with the layout when making cache pages "print friendly." Now that the google maps are appearing on the print friendly pages, they show up at the bottom and sometimes get split over 2 pages, sometimes don't print, and just look bad. I much preferred the old maps at the top of the print friendly pages.

 

I don't know if it's remotely a possibility or not, but I like the idea of having a choice in the map displayed.

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So in summary of all of the "Me Toos" and "Not Mes"...

 

If you are in an environment where they acutally work, for the most part, they are good.

 

If however, you can't get it to work because of dialup or browser considerations, they're bad - worse than the old ones because they're not there.

 

Placement of the map on the printer friendly page should be at the top like it was (I think everyone can agree with that).

 

There are some areas of the Google Maps that don't have high resolution, which is a problem (but then you could just use the street maps and not the hybrid). There may also be areas of inaccuracies in some of the locations.

 

It would be nice to have the option of having the old maps available, as something that is defined by your profile.

 

Does that pretty much sum it up?

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So in summary of all of the "Me Toos" and "Not Mes"...

 

If you are in an environment where they acutally work, for the most part, they are good.

 

If however, you can't get it to work because of dialup or browser considerations, they're bad - worse than the old ones because they're not there.

 

Placement of the map on the printer friendly page should be at the top like it was (I think everyone can agree with that).

 

There are some areas of the Google Maps that don't have high resolution, which is a problem (but then you could just use the street maps and not the hybrid). There may also be areas of inaccuracies in some of the locations.

 

It would be nice to have the option of having the old maps available, as something that is defined by your profile.

 

Does that pretty much sum it up?

 

Sounds right to me. Now is Raine/Jeremy listening?

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So in summary of all of the "Me Toos" and "Not Mes"...

 

If you are in an environment where they acutally work, for the most part, they are good.

 

If however, you can't get it to work because of dialup or browser considerations, they're bad - worse than the old ones because they're not there.

 

Placement of the map on the printer friendly page should be at the top like it was (I think everyone can agree with that).

 

There are some areas of the Google Maps that don't have high resolution, which is a problem (but then you could just use the street maps and not the hybrid). There may also be areas of inaccuracies in some of the locations.

 

It would be nice to have the option of having the old maps available, as something that is defined by your profile.

 

Does that pretty much sum it up?

 

Sounds right to me. Now is Raine/Jeremy listening?

yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, and apparently no.

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Moved from previous thread -

 

Regarding the new maps on the print friendly pages.

 

As a cacher in Australia, we use (used) the maps at the top when filing caches to be done. They provided us with a quick way of planning trips eg This one is a bit North of Bendigo, this one is a little north east from that, the next is a little further east etc. Although the old maps were fairly basic they did for what we wanted. Although the new maps are a lot better - the following problems are occuring which are making it currently worse -

 

1. The maps, being at the "bottom" of the page are no longer a good quick reference for us when flipping through. For different caches, is the map at the bottom of page 1 or the top of page 2 or the middle of page 3? Only the length of the description determines this.

 

2. When we print from the "Make this Page Print Friendly" view, the map cuts in half between pages, should it be located in that spot.

 

3. When this happens the part of the map on the first page is a blank square and the part on the second page prints map

 

4. The page would have previously have printed on one page anyway and not two, had the map been in the same position as the first map was and is thus not that friendly any more.

 

In short - can the map go back to the top where the old one is? This will fix all.

 

Thanks for the assist.

 

PS Just to shortcut - No, I'm not getting a palmtop anytime soon

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It would be nice to have the option of having the old maps available, as something that is defined by your profile.

 

Does that pretty much sum it up?

 

I think that sums it up. In addition to the poor placement on the (not so) print friendly pages, I simply don't like the lack of detail on the google maps. Aside from the poor satellite resolution in some areas, the google maps are much less detailed in my area, unless you zoom right in...then you're looking at such a small area that it's useless for an overview. So what's the solution? Print the cache page twice with two different map views?

 

As an example, here are both maps from one cache page. The google map was already zoomed in once to provide a comparable view, with more detail than originally seen...

 

oldmap.JPG

google.JPG

 

So if I print this map and don't happen to be familiar with the area, the squiggly lines don't do me much good. Zooming in to where it actually starts putting meaningful labels on roads gives a very small view.

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I think the real question here is why doesn't anyone from Geocaching.com seem to be involved in this discussion. Could it be that a decision has been made and no matter how bad it was we will just have endure it? The originator of this thread said it all in his title. When will admin figure it out?

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When you don't like something, you don't like it and you feel that your opinion is what matters and something should be done!

 

Same with if you like something. I've been reading threads since they started and have stayed out of them because honestly I have no need to try and "change" your mind on a feature.

 

I've been working on adding an option to the profile page so you can select whether or not you would want to see the Wonderful/Horrible Google map or the static image.

 

Until I roll that feature out, I'm disabling the Google Map on the Cache Detail page and putting the static one back.

 

So, I'm sorry to the people who were actually able to use that feature, it will be back soon.

 

-Raine

Edited by raine
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I've been working on adding an option to the profile page so you can select whether or not you would want to see the Wonderful/Horrible Google map or the static image.

 

-Raine

 

Thank you for your efforts.

 

It would be nice if it were easily (temporarily) switched back and forth, since I do like Google for online investigation, but for printing the old map worked better [for me]. (And in any case, I hope the chosen map is near the top so it will appear on the first page of print.)

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I really like the the recent maps. I can actually plan a trip when I want to go caching. I like bieng able to have all the caches in the area listed. Part of the thrill of caching is not knowing exactly where the cache is. I think the recent maps that listed all the caches in the area were great. I think that each person should be able to pick what map option they want.

 

Dardevle.

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I really like the the recent maps. I can actually plan a trip when I want to go caching. I like bieng able to have all the caches in the area listed. Part of the thrill of caching is not knowing exactly where the cache is. I think the recent maps that listed all the caches in the area were great. I think that each person should be able to pick what map option they want.

 

Dardevle.

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I really like the the recent maps. I can actually plan a trip when I want to go caching. I like bieng able to have all the caches in the area listed. Part of the thrill of caching is not knowing exactly where the cache is. I think the recent maps that listed all the caches in the area were great. I think that each person should be able to pick what map option they want.

 

Dardevle.

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Will the useful Google maps with the "gmnearest" URL for the cache coordinates still be linked from the cache page? The ones that show the caches and allow for the quick creation of routes? A direct link during this interim period would be preferable to having to bookmark or remember a "gmnearest" URL and then tell the map where you are at.

 

Stop one group from whining and another will start whining. You can't win, Raine! :laughing: Thanks for your hard work on the cool new feature.

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I really like the the recent maps. I can actually plan a trip when I want to go caching. I like bieng able to have all the caches in the area listed. Part of the thrill of caching is not knowing exactly where the cache is. I think the recent maps that listed all the caches in the area were great. I think that each person should be able to pick what map option they want.

 

Dardevle.

 

We heard you thrice the first time :laughing:

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I've been working on adding an option to the profile page so you can select whether or not you would want to see the Wonderful/Horrible Google map or the static image.

 

Until I roll that feature out, I'm disabling the Google Map on the Cache Detail page and putting the static one back.

 

-Raine

 

I think that's a very reasonable approach. Thanks much.

 

FWIW, I 'hated' the new Google maps in some contexts, and 'loved' it in others. Let me 'splain.

  • one way we use the maps is on a single-cache page to figure out where the heck it is. When we click on that link, the old Mapquest way got us to a bigger, zoomable/pannable, Mapquest map showing just that cache. Made it wonderfully efficient to figure out driving etc.
  • the new google maps implementation was different, it went to a big page, with (almost always) the cache you came from 'not' shown, at a very zoomed out scale, cluttered with dozens of other caches that were 'not' what we were looking at. It took 'minutes' to try to find the bigger google map matching the little one on the cache page. Previously it took a couple seconds. Not helpful.
  • if the new google map feature on the cache page went to a big google map showing 'just' that cache on a full page, then I'd say the addition of google maps plus satellite overlays would have been a major win.
  • I could see in some contexts where a clickable "show caches nearby" with different pushpins might be a good piece of functionality to add. I could also see a clickable "show caches I've hidden, or found, or not found" on a map would be good stuff. Of course that doesn't mean it's a reasonable feature to add at the code level. Just because we'd like doesn't mean it's trivial or cost-effective to add.

Personally, I think a simple link pointing to a google-maps page with 'just' the cache page you came from as something we 'could' use would be a reasonable middle ground. The overlaid satellite picture does make it more helpful, otherwise we'd do all kinds of convoluted manipulations with Terraserver or LostOutdoors etc in the past. But personally I think the Mapquest map as the default the way it used to work is the right default answer in terms of usability.

 

But thanks for trying to be creative. Helps lots. Really.

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I was liking the Google Geo maps on my Mac (10.4 Tiger & cable modem). They had some great features. Panning was great and being able to see the other caches in the area on one map. Being able to identify (different color pin) caches you have already found would have been nice though.

 

It all appears to be a moot point today, since last night when I logged onto Groundspeak.com, I was back to the old default mapquest maps - boo hoo

 

lcjhnsn

Colchester, CT

Edited by lcjhnsn
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I too prefer the now missing google maps and hope they come back soon. Would it be possible to do a toggle right above the map between the two that saves a cookie on your machine? Then for those who like it with mapquest sometimes and google for the rest of the time, its very easy to switch back and forth. Would that be easier to code then a 'preferences' thing? I'm not a web coder so not sure.

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IMO....google has a "pretty" map with "cute" little features like panning, etc. But "cute" and "pretty" aren't functional. I don't care if my map is cute and pretty and it pans easy. The main concern is will it get me to the cache. Being that google is definetly missing things such as county names, creeks, and landmarks, i am happy to see the reinstatement of MapQ.

Edited by Polgara
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I too liked the Google maps - but for certain things they did suck. Since I cache paperless I didn't mind - but it sounds like the people who print out cache pages prefer the old maps. The level of detail on them would help get you to the area where the cache was (for instance - you could see the numbers of major highways) Google maps seem to just have a bunch of lines indicating the roads without labels - unless you zoom in, and then you don't have a big enough area to see where you are going. I never understood why they changed the print friendly pages to use Google maps. Google maps were best for planning your cache outing. I think the best comprimise would be to have a link on each cache page to "show nearest caches in Google maps". That brings up the other problem of the Google maps. Instead of seeing the cache you selected and the nearest caches to it, you would get 20 random caches. What most people wanted was to see the nearest caches to one they had selected. Selecting 20 at random - which usually meant the selected cache was missing - was pretty stupid. I hope that when Google maps come back - or when there is a link on each page to see the nearest caches in Google maps- that we see the caches sorted by distance instead of being shown in random order.

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For those that prefer the Google maps beware.. often the cache is actually located miles from the map that you are shown. Street names and route numbers are often incorrect or missing. Yes, they look pretty but they are not always useful. Be careful what you ask for....

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(Admittedly, I didn't read all of the posts that came before me)

 

What is the big deal with the maps? The maps are cool. You click on them and you get a new window that is 100% manipulative. But, Since I've only started last week, I've only seen 2 versions. The old one was zoomable on the cache page, the new one, not.

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Part of the "big deal," for me at least, is how slow the pages load for those of us who unfortunately still have dialup connections. Mine is 24K. :laughing:

 

With the old maps, the cache page loaded "relatively quickly" and I could get an idea where the cache was located.

 

The Google maps took forever to load and gave me no real indication where the cache was. :)

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I too liked the Google maps - but for certain things they did suck. Since I cache paperless I didn't mind - but it sounds like the people who print out cache pages prefer the old maps. The level of detail on them would help get you to the area where the cache was (for instance - you could see the numbers of major highways) Google maps seem to just have a bunch of lines indicating the roads without labels - unless you zoom in, and then you don't have a big enough area to see where you are going. I never understood why they changed the print friendly pages to use Google maps. Google maps were best for planning your cache outing. I think the best comprimise would be to have a link on each cache page to "show nearest caches in Google maps". That brings up the other problem of the Google maps. Instead of seeing the cache you selected and the nearest caches to it, you would get 20 random caches. What most people wanted was to see the nearest caches to one they had selected. Selecting 20 at random - which usually meant the selected cache was missing - was pretty stupid. I hope that when Google maps come back - or when there is a link on each page to see the nearest caches in Google maps- that we see the caches sorted by distance instead of being shown in random order.

Between yourself and edscott the issues have been laid out pretty well. Zoomed out the Google ones can show caches miles from where they really are. In my area, any caches within a km or two of the Great Lakes tend to show up as in the middle of the water. Zoom in and, as you say, you often don't have a big enough area to be useful. To be fair to GC, those are Google's issues and they (GC) have tried to give a functionality of showing other caches in the same area, which I don't believe is available in the other map services. A great idea by GC and that is useful to a certain extent.

 

The other issue, of course, is the actual caches shown as a number of people have pointed out. Rarely do you get the main cache you are interested in show up in the first zoom. Usually it takes two and often 3 clicks to zoom in far enough.

 

That said, Google maps are nice for street references at a zoomed in level. If they (Google) can fix those problems, and add some topo detail, especially at the default zoomed out level they could be a better solution for planning cache hunts in an area.

 

JDandDD

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When you don't like something, you don't like it and you feel that your opinion is what matters and something should be done!

 

Same with if you like something. I've been reading threads since they started and have stayed out of them because honestly I have no need to try and "change" your mind on a feature.

 

I've been working on adding an option to the profile page so you can select whether or not you would want to see the Wonderful/Horrible Google map or the static image.

 

Until I roll that feature out, I'm disabling the Google Map on the Cache Detail page and putting the static one back.

 

So, I'm sorry to the people who were actually able to use that feature, it will be back soon.

 

-Raine

 

Thanks Raine for this information. Knowing that you guys/girls are working hard instead of hoping for put my mind at ease. I appreciate all work that is being put into www.geocaching.com. Would it be an idea to introduce a separate thread pinned at the top of the discussions list in which development updates are posted at a regular interval (weekly?/biweekly?) mentioning a list of items being worked on, their status and sorted in order of apparent priority? (Of course accompanied with a statement that no guarantee etc....) This would, I think, be very informative.

 

Thanks again

 

Hintendealer

(Netherlands)

Edited by hintendealer
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