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United Kingdom Counties when?


markandlynn

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It would certainly be a great idea to include additional regional detail for viewing and searching listings -- in the UK and elsewhere.

 

Out of curiosity, I looked at a quick, unscientific sample of caches in a few countries to see where there is subnational geographic information.

 

It's by no means an exhaustive list, but here's what I found so far:

 

Extra Detail (state, province, etc): US, Canada, Belgium, Australia

 

No Extra Detail (country only): UK, Germany, France, Spain, Netherlands, Portugal, Mexico

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Heck, sure would be nice to have that county level of detail for the States as well!

You do have city level sorted from the approximate center. Go from the main page by using the links on the top right. When you go to your state, you will see a city selection area at the top.

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Yes, California has almost 34,500 caches alone.

Not saying it is a bad idea, just giving a comparison.

 

Which almost makes an argument for counties in the states.

 

I know in GSAK I use the user notes to track counties however I enter those in manually (during boring conference calls, of course).

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Yes, California has almost 34,500 caches alone.

Not saying it is a bad idea, just giving a comparison.

 

Which almost makes an argument for counties in the states.

 

I know in GSAK I use the user notes to track counties however I enter those in manually (during boring conference calls, of course).

 

Yeh I try and keep track of the counties within NC (same land area as England) I have cached in, it's pretty hard at times. A perma GPX field for county would rock :laughing:

 

http://monarch.tamu.edu/~smrs/18204143.gif

Edited by Maingray
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As a Yank currently visiting the U.K. I agree this change would be helpful, particularly as the category "U.K." contains England, Scotland, Ireland, and Wales all lumped together. If for some reason counties are not feasable, at least list the individual countries separately!

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As a Yank currently visiting the U.K. I agree this change would be helpful, particularly as the category "U.K." contains England, Scotland, Northern Ireland, and Wales all lumped together. If for some reason counties are not feasable, at least list the individual countries separately!

:(

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geocacheuk does have this option for us. But it can be a pain navigating from one site to the other, and I don't think you can do PQ's through it?

geocacheuk also doesn't list Members Only caches! So it is a good resource for us in the UK, one that I have used many times. But it can't always give us all the information we want and how we want it!

 

So the OP's request would be a nice addition to have.

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But some of our states are the size of the UK

Yes, California has almost 34,500 caches alone.

Not saying it is a bad idea, just giving a comparison.

 

Very true, but isn't it strange that :-

 

Gibraltar with 5 caches,

 

Guernsey with 6 caches,

 

Jersey with 23 caches and

 

Isle of Man with 89 caches

 

All merit an entry as a country in the search page, yet Scotland;Wales;Northern Ireland and England with 12000 + caches are all lumped together as UK......????? :laughing:

 

Slainge Bob

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Very true, but isn't it strange that :-

 

Gibraltar... Guernsey .... Jersey .... Isle of Man ....

 

While these aren't technically Countries (being territory, Bailiwicks, and Crown dependency, respectivly), the are at least seperate entities.

 

All merit an entry as a country in the search page, yet Scotland;Wales;Northern Ireland and England with 12000 + caches are all lumped together as UK......????? :)

 

Because each is only a Constituent country whereas the UK is a country.

 

I know that doesn't explain it at all! :P Don't you just love the complexity of it all :)

 

{edit: as messed up the quotes...}

Edited by barryhunter
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When you add them, add also all the other countries. The lists were provided in the old thread a couple of years ago. If you'd rather take them in some fixed format (CSV, SQL INSERT etc) I'm sure there are many volunteers to fix them.

 

Someone was worried about setting the attribute for existing caches. I'll think cache owners will set most caches, when given possibility to do so. You could set everything to "Not selected" but disallow saving with this setting, so owner must set it when editing the description page next time. Just to be curious: How well have cache attributes been set to old caches? I mean, old caches didn't have any attributes; what percentage of caches hidden before attributed were implemented still have no attributes set? (excluding of course the grandfathered cache types; who would set flags for virtuals...)

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I think adding a county field would be neet idea for all countries (the USA included). But to what end? What conveniences do you expect to gain by having an extra field that you are forced to fill out when submitting a cache page?

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I, too, would like a "County" field.

 

This would be useful all over the world, for those of us that use Geocaching as a very useful "tour guide"... My geography is not as good as it, perhaps, should be. So, all I would need to do when travelling would be to discover the County and then I'd know the local caches...

 

Right now, I have to discover the co-ordinates, and then find a nearby cache, then use it as a centre for a further search...

 

Bob

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I think adding a county field would be neet idea for all countries (the USA included). But to what end? What conveniences do you expect to gain by having an extra field that you are forced to fill out when submitting a cache page?

 

Why does he need to justify this to you, exactly? After browsing through your post history, i see that all of your comments are nearly globally negative, especially when it comes to new features. Are you the feature police?

 

Anyway, it'd be the same convenience that US people have when using the 'state' page, which you yourself have linked to. in other threads, when trying to shoot down someone ELSE's suggestion! That's almost irony!

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I think adding a county field would be neat idea for all countries (the USA included). But to what end? What conveniences do you expect to gain by having an extra field that you are forced to fill out when submitting a cache page?

 

Why does he need to justify this to you, exactly? After browsing through your post history, i see that all of your comments are nearly globally negative, especially when it comes to new features. Are you the feature police?

I'm not sure what part of "I think a county field would be neat" you consider negative.

 

No one needs to justify anything to me I am simply asking for more information. A majority of the post in this thread basically say the same thing, "That's a neat idea". However, TPTB typically don't add new features because some people think that they are neat. TPTB do entertain ideas that enhance the usability of the website and a good number of people will use.

 

So far no one has said what they expect a county field on cache pages would do for the site. I am sure it wouldn't be hard to add a new field to the database and cache page. Then what? All current cache pages would then need to have that information added for them to use the new feature. There are too many pages and too few employees at Groundspeak to expect them to do it. There isn't a way to automate the process. You can't expect every cache owner to update their page in a timely manner (look at the new attribute feature for an example). So what should be done with the cache pages until a county is selected.

 

Then there is the problem that there is no error checking in place and it would very hard to impliment. For example I live in Hawaii. A few months ago a saw new cache listing on the Hawaii page that didn't show up in my new cache email. I read the cache page and it looked like a cache that I'd like to find. However when I looked at the map the cache was located in California. The cache owner had the lat/long correct but selected the wrong state. So even though the lat/long put the cache in California because the owner picked Hawaii in the drop down box it shown on the Hawaii page. Now it was simple to fix and an obvious mistake. County boundries however can sometime be tricky and I can see a lot of forum topics being generated about disputes over what county a cache is located. Although I image those topic would be easy to identify and ignore.

 

Next is the how the county and country pages will behave. Do keep country page of countries that have county pages? There are 50 states pages but no USA page (AFAIK). If you don't keep the country page then someone would have to look in each county page to see all the events in that country. If you keep the country page what information if any do you duplicate from the county page?

 

There are a few things that need to be ironed out. If we leave it up to TPTB then, if this feature is ever implimented, it will be implimented on thier schedule. If we can work some of the problems and details out here then not only will it reduce what the TPTB have to do but it will also show that feature is something that we are really interested in and not just a neat idea.

 

Anyway, it'd be the same convenience that US people have when using the 'state' page, which you yourself have linked to. in other threads, when trying to shoot down someone ELSE's suggestion! That's almost irony!

 

Because Geocaching deals with goelocation compairing geopolitical boundrieds is like compairing apples and oranges. Geopolitical boundries greatly very in size. For exapmle the USA has 3,717,811 square miles (9,629,091 square kms) while Greece has 50,942 square miles (131,940 square kms). Greece is approximently the size of the State of Alabama. Compared to the State of Texas, the state you linked to from your post, Greece is five times smaller. As I see it, even with a land area one third the size of the USA, the Eupropean Union with 1,5352,86 square miles (3,976,372 square kms) more closely relates in size to the USA when trying to make comparisons conserning geopolitical boundries.

 

Using land area, which I think is a more accurate way to make this comparison, means that it is more accurate to compare European Union member countries to individual States in the USA. It is still comparing apples to oranges but it is somewhat more accurate than trying to compare member states of the European Union to the USA as a whole.

 

Which leads full circle back to my original observation and question. I think adding a county field would be a neat idea for all countries (the USA included). But what do we expect to gain by this feature?

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I geocache in the UK fairly often, and (with respect to Mark & Lynn) have to be honest and say that I would find a county attribute almost completely useless, unless I'm misunderstanding the intention. In general, UK counties are very small, so any selected cache is likely to be pretty close to a county boundary. The bigger ones (e.g. Yorkshire) have too many caches for a list to be of use.

 

Also, the boundaries have no meaning once you're travelling around as they're basically of administrative significance only and in Geocaching terms are an artificial and arbitrary divide. I'm not sure why I'd want to see a list of all caches within a boundary without seeing those only a few miles away.

 

I'd much rather have a search feature that relates caches to the nearest town or city: I often head for a general area (recent examples Kirkby Lonsdale, Cumbria and Kefalonia, Greece) and it would be handy to be able to use this as a central point for a search rather than having to work out the Lat and Long first.

 

HH

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I think a counties option or a countries option would be fantastic. I have recently started using GSAK and currently generate 28 pocket queries to download the info for the UK. I would prefer to be able to select the counties neatest me and only download the info that i actualy need. I know I am not the only one who downloads all of the UK regulary. By splitting us into counties or countries you may slove you PQ generated overloads at the same time

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I think a counties option or a countries option would be fantastic. I have recently started using GSAK and currently generate 28 pocket queries to download the info for the UK. I would prefer to be able to select the counties neatest me and only download the info that i actualy need. I know I am not the only one who downloads all of the UK regulary. By splitting us into counties or countries you may slove you PQ generated overloads at the same time

Try filtering based on your home coordiates.
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I think a counties option or a countries option would be fantastic. I have recently started using GSAK and currently generate 28 pocket queries to download the info for the UK. I would prefer to be able to select the counties neatest me and only download the info that i actualy need. I know I am not the only one who downloads all of the UK regulary. By splitting us into counties or countries you may slove you PQ generated overloads at the same time

Try filtering based on your home coordiates.

Doesnt work in whole of the UK as it is an island with large estuaries, rivers etc to cross and is not a neat shape.

Some of the nearest caches to Liverpool for example are in the isle of man, ireland and the lake district all quite a distance away.

The coast of cornwall is very close to the welsh coast but its a 4 hour drive away.

Caches on the isles of scilly, isle of white are close but again fairly inaccesible.

We are also quite close to france if you LOOK at a map.

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geocacheuk does have this option for us. But it can be a pain navigating from one site to the other, and I don't think you can do PQ's through it?

Technically it can (the code's been written), but we're not allowed to. Back in 2004, Elias seemed very positive about allowing G:UK to provide free services to premium members of GC.com, but sadly nothing ever came of it and I didn't want to "just do it" (the "I think Groundspeak would be happy in principle, but they can't support it openly for fear of opening a can of worms so let's just switch it on and hope they turn a blind eye" approach), in case that jeopardised our permission to provide the rest of the site.

 

Any, back on topic... I also support the proposal to add UK counties to GC.com. If the county is user-selectable, rather than determined automatically by the coordinates, then it shouldn't be too politically awkward as a superset of both traditional and modern counties could be listed. So if someone wanted to list their cache in "Hereford and Worcester", or "Rutland", that'd be their choice -- meaning fewer irritating emails to contact@Groundspeak.com! :laughing:

 

I'd draw the line at including unitary authorities in the list though as these are small, volatile, purely administrative, unfamiliar to 99% of the UK population and generally just plain annoying! Slough is fit only for friendly bombs and to elevate it to countyhood is somewhat offensive!

Edited by Teasel
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Any, back on topic... I also support the proposal to add UK counties to GC.com. If the county is user-selectable, rather than determined automatically by the coordinates, then it shouldn't be too politically awkward as a superset of both traditional and modern counties could be listed. So if someone wanted to list their cache in "Hereford and Worcester", or "Rutland", that'd be their choice -- meaning fewer irritating emails to contact@Groundspeak.com! :laughing:

But if they are user selectable, then you end up with half of the caches in the 'traditional' county, and the rest in the modern counties, which makes it useless and confusing (just like the current country option in (Northern) Ireland).

And, unless the county option is done automatically based on coordinates, most existing caches probably won't get updated anytime soon.

 

I'd draw the line at including unitary authorities in the list though as these are small, volatile, purely administrative, unfamiliar to 99% of the UK population and generally just plain annoying! Slough is fit only for friendly bombs and to elevate it to countyhood is somewhat offensive!

I don't know about England, but in my experience, in Scotland, the unitary authorities are the most common / most familiar subdivisions. Most people know what their local council is, but they probably don't have a clue what 'county' they are in.

 

But still, I support the idea of some sort of counties option.

And of splitting the UK up into the actual "countries" of Scotland / England / Wales (and I won't mention Northern Ireland and leave it to them to decide what they want).

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Yes, California has almost 34,500 caches alone.

Not saying it is a bad idea, just giving a comparison.

 

Which almost makes an argument for counties in the states.

 

I know in GSAK I use the user notes to track counties however I enter those in manually (during boring conference calls, of course).

 

You do know that GSAK can filter for counties with some pretty good available polygons, right?

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I think adding a county field would be a neat idea for all countries (the USA included). But what do we expect to gain by this feature?

 

There is actually no need to add a new field. After all, in the UK counties are analogous with the US states. All it would require is inserting the UK's counties into the available options for the State/Province field.

There would be little confusion since most UK cachers would see Province as an acceptable synonym for County, whilst not confusing US users by adding it to the description of that field.

After all, it doesn't specifically label the state as such on cache pages, just as "In Limburg, Belgium", for example.

 

I hope I've been clear, but I think I probably haven't :huh:

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You do know that GSAK can filter for counties with some pretty good available polygons, right?

 

The trouble with using this method of filtering is, I need to create several pocket queries centred on different parts of Kent to pick up all Kent caches. Kent is roughly rectangular. 500 caches centred at about the centre of the county ends up picking up a great deal of London caches - which is very dense with caches. At the moment I have a second PQ that picks up the caches to the extreme east of Kent that get missed off the first PQ because they are further away than London. Today I found that a cache at the extreme southeast of Kent is not being picked up by either PQ - aaargh!

 

I know I can create lots of PQs but it would be so much easier to be able to just create one for Kent and not have to worry I'm missing off the extremities - I'm pretty sure Kent on its will come in at under 500 caches (especially now we've found about half of them).

 

Lisa

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I too think this is a good idea. Especially when you consider the Ordnance Survey must have sort of mapping technology that they can sell to geocachingc.om that will "Ohh, you have something at X co-ordinates, then that is in X county."

 

The UK is very well mapped country, there has to be something that can be obtained!

 

A good idea, put my name down on the sponsor list!

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I too think this is a good idea. Especially when you consider the Ordnance Survey must have sort of mapping technology that they can sell to geocachingc.om that will "Ohh, you have something at X co-ordinates, then that is in X county."

 

The UK is very well mapped country, there has to be something that can be obtained!

 

A good idea, put my name down on the sponsor list!

 

Oh yes, the OS have the data, and do sell it. Sell it being the operative word, to use it on a site like GC you are probably talking in the tens of thousands (a year), meaning its not likely to happen anytime soon...

Getting free data sets using the older counties (and probably more desirable IMHO) is possible, but it takes time to process that data (I hear in the new year), as it has to be from maps/data over 50 years old to be out of Crown Copyright...

 

What is definitely possible is for GC to offer a dropdown of UK counties*, to leave it up to the user to select the county.

 

(* but which counties is a whole different story! - in fact this is probably the cause of the delay; if asking my vote is for historic counties)

 

Editing to add links, spelling, and to hopefully make more sense...

Edited by barryhunter
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I too think this is a good idea. Especially when you consider the Ordnance Survey must have sort of mapping technology that they can sell to geocachingc.om that will "Ohh, you have something at X co-ordinates, then that is in X county."

 

The UK is very well mapped country, there has to be something that can be obtained!

 

A good idea, put my name down on the sponsor list!

 

That would be a great feature for us in the US too.

 

As it is now we have a drop down box and we select the State from the list. There is no automatic checking to see if the coordinates actually fall within the State selected. A few months ago a cache showed up on the Hawaii page and when I clicked on it the map showed it as somewhere in California. It turned out that the person listing the cache had selected the wrong state.

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