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Web API to Geocaching.com website?


jfix

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Hello, I was just wondering if Groundspeak intend (or have they already done it?!) to open up an API to access information in their database programmatically. See http://programmableweb.com/apilist for a list of sites already doing this.

 

For example, I would like to put a google map on my personal site which shows all the my found/hidden caches, with additional information in the popup bubble, like links to more photos/blog entries etc. At the moment, my only options seems to be to manually download the .loc files or to do what they call "page-scraping".

 

I have seen other sites who re-use geocaching data, and apparently they download big chunks of data on a daily basis (geocaching-france.com, for example).

 

I am a basic member at the moment, and the availability of an API for premium members would be a huge incentive for me to pass premium!

 

Thanks for any ideas/pointers.

 

Cheers,

Jakob

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I'll second that!

 

As a programmer, I'd like to see an API for some very simple tasks, like:

 

lookup a member name and return the geocaching.com ID

 

lookup a cache and determine if it is currently archived or disabled (in the time since the last pocket query was generated) - ie, allow your geocaching software to double-check all caches before you head out on a cache hunt.

 

submit a log for a geocache after you've found it.

 

As a premium member, I'd be willing to pay for this access. Give us 1000 credits a month, and charge us a credit or two for each API call associated with our username, or 20 credits to generate a pocket query, etc.

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There was a thread talking about this 2 years ago, and Jeremy mentioned a "sandbox" environment for developers before putting something like that live on the site. Haven't seen anything come of that yet personally, though.

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We do. It's currently only being used for a small number of partners. We do have plans to open it up to a larger developer audience but we don't have any concrete timelines for this.

Ah, cool. Ok, I'm back to "eagerly waiting" mode :P

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We do. It's currently only being used for a small number of partners. We do have plans to open it up to a larger developer audience but we don't have any concrete timelines for this.

Ah, cool. Ok, I'm back to "eagerly waiting" mode :huh:

 

If you're into torturing yourself you could always screen scrape. :-)

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If you're into torturing yourself you could always screen scrape. :-)

If you want to viloate the TOU....... :(

Exactly :huh:

 

I'm not sure if that applies to submitting a cache log, though, which would be the only part I'd really be interested in at the moment. Still, I prefer a cleaner interface for that (as opposed to the self-torture) that wouldn't be broken due to a site design whim.

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  • 7 months later...

We do. It's currently only being used for a small number of partners. We do have plans to open it up to a larger developer audience but we don't have any concrete timelines for this.

 

Is there any update on this? As mentioned in other threads, having a web API could help reach new geocachers. Websites such as Myspace and Facebook are rapidly growing and it's becoming very common for people to express their hobbies and interests by displaying data from various websites they belong to.

 

I'm sure you get this question a lot, but might this be available in the near future, even if only to premium members?

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  • 3 weeks later...

I'd also welcome an API (REST, SOAP, etc). Functionality like the following would be great

  • List of your own History (finds, etc) by Date, including Lat/Lon
  • List of your own Caches, including Lat/Lon
  • List of your own Travel Bugs, including Cache ID (if in Cache) and Location by Lat/Lon (if in Cache)
  • List of your Travel Bugs held
  • Ability to list Cache's within x Km or Miles of a Lat/Lon
  • Detailed results for a Cache by ID
  • Detailed results for a Cache by ID, including Last x Logs

Non-commercial use on obviously, this is all for personal use (sharing adventures with family and/or helping with hunting). could even make it Premium Members only and use our subscription keys as the API key to track usage.

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I also agree this would / could be very useful, even if it is implemented as a new higher level of membership. I know I would be willing to pay for it as long as it was reasonable.

$10,000 a plate dinners for certain candidates are deemed "reasonable" - at least to some people.

 

I am sure you could gain access for a similar fee..... ;):mad:

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 6 months later...

Pity about the API taking so long to become available. While working at ESRI I've written a web page, completely implemented in javascript, that can parse .loc/.gpx and map a time- or distance-optimized route order among all the caches.

 

The problem is that due to javascript's limitations, it cannot pull the XML from files on a user's disk. Users must paste their XML into a text field, which is far from usable. A better solution would be to run queries against a Geocaching.com API and retrieve the XML that way...

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Pity about the API taking so long to become available. While working at ESRI I've written a web page, completely implemented in javascript, that can parse .loc/.gpx and map a time- or distance-optimized route order among all the caches.

 

The problem is that due to javascript's limitations, it cannot pull the XML from files on a user's disk. Users must paste their XML into a text field, which is far from usable. A better solution would be to run queries against a Geocaching.com API and retrieve the XML that way...

 

i currently read XML via java script:

 

 ///////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
 //
 //  importXML() - this function will open an XML document
 //	and parse it for tags.
 //
 function importXML(fileName)
 {
// Check for Mozilla browser
if ( document.implementation && document.implementation.createDocument ) 
{
  xmlDoc = document.implementation.createDocument('', '', null);
}
else if(window.ActiveXObject)
{
  xmlDoc = new ActiveXObject('Microsoft.XMLDOM');
}
else
{
  alert('Your browser can\'t handle this script');
  return;
}

xmlDoc.async=false;
xmlDoc.load(fileName);
ParseXml(xmlDoc);
 }

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Prime, the Garmin plugin isn't reading from a web services API; it's reading from a PQ-like interface. Also, since the Garmin plugin isn't really purely a web-resident solution, but requires a browser-specific piece, it gets a "pass" on all that annoying security stuff that real web services have to comply with.

 

The logging interface for Garmins and their plugin thingy are handy, but please don't confuse them with real web services.

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Prime, the Garmin plugin isn't reading from a web services API; it's reading from a PQ-like interface. Also, since the Garmin plugin isn't really purely a web-resident solution, but requires a browser-specific piece, it gets a "pass" on all that annoying security stuff that real web services have to comply with.

 

The logging interface for Garmins and their plugin thingy are handy, but please don't confuse them with real web services.

Well if Garmin isn't using a web services API perhaps Trimble is. The point is that Geocaching.com has agreements with a limited number of partners who can access the Geocaching database. What people are really waiting for is an open API that can be used by all those developers that have given us great third party tools for geocaching to give use even better tools. I want to thank these developers for all that they have done to improve the geocaching experience; and that includes both Prime Suspect and robertlipe along with many others.

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i currently read XML via java script:

 

xmlDoc.load(fileName);

 

Z,

 

Thanks for the thought. I've tried everything I can think of to get this approach to work. Unfortunately the web page is hosted one one machine (e.g. "http://otherserver/GCRouting") and the XML file is on a user's local machine ("file:///C:\temp\geocaching.loc"). So while you could configure IE security settings to allow this, Mozilla sees this as a cross-domain request and gives me a permission denied error on the call to load().

 

If you've got a way around this, I'm all ears.

 

I finally added in a few lines of ASP.NET code to allow a file upload; then the XML can be downloaded from the proper domain, packaged up, and resent as a set of routing parameters. It's kludgy, but it works. But a Geocaching API would still be nice...

 

Thanks!

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  • 1 year later...

It seems to be all about the money for these types of API or web service interfaces. They def have something for their partners to pull in the data being requested in this thread. However, they are only going to make it available for those that are willing to pay a premium right now until they can find out how to make money off it otherwise.

 

I stopped caching last summer because it was becoming too tedious to pull up the website before i wanted to cache, download GPX files and then load them out in the field. Trimble is a great solution, but I'm sorry I'm not paying $40 a year for premium membership at GC.com and $4-6 for a mobile phone application that would require another $30/month data plan. I think many GC'ers are in the same boat with this one.

 

I would love to write my own app and make it available to others to load on my PDA phone with Wi-Fi built in that could pull in nearby caches or allow for logging notes, etc. I'm sure many would even approve of paying for a premium membership on this site in order for their application to use this API that supported the application. When I want to cache (or have time to cache) I want to go now. I don't have time to access this site and do my research first. Let me find a nearby cache and go! I'm still looking for a cheap solution to allow me to do this.

 

I think it is a shame Groundspeak doesn't see the value in creating an open API (or available to premium members only) that could support this type of software. Open access is only going to help increase the interest and availability to the GC community for the users of the software that results. They are not thinking two inches in front of their nose when thinking about their revenue stream.

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It seems to be all about the money for these types of API or web service interfaces. They def have something for their partners to pull in the data being requested in this thread. However, they are only going to make it available for those that are willing to pay a premium right now until they can find out how to make money off it otherwise.

 

I stopped caching last summer because it was becoming too tedious to pull up the website before i wanted to cache, download GPX files and then load them out in the field. Trimble is a great solution, but I'm sorry I'm not paying $40 a year for premium membership at GC.com and $4-6 for a mobile phone application that would require another $30/month data plan. I think many GC'ers are in the same boat with this one.

 

I would love to write my own app and make it available to others to load on my PDA phone with Wi-Fi built in that could pull in nearby caches or allow for logging notes, etc. I'm sure many would even approve of paying for a premium membership on this site in order for their application to use this API that supported the application. When I want to cache (or have time to cache) I want to go now. I don't have time to access this site and do my research first. Let me find a nearby cache and go! I'm still looking for a cheap solution to allow me to do this.

 

I think it is a shame Groundspeak doesn't see the value in creating an open API (or available to premium members only) that could support this type of software. Open access is only going to help increase the interest and availability to the GC community for the users of the software that results. They are not thinking two inches in front of their nose when thinking about their revenue stream.

Sounds like the Iphone app to me. Geocaching from your phone, one time price.

 

Not sure who is ripping you off, I and everyone else only pays $30 a year for premium membership.

Edited by AndrewRJ
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It seems to be all about the money for these types of API or web service interfaces. They def have something for their partners to pull in the data being requested in this thread. However, they are only going to make it available for those that are willing to pay a premium right now until they can find out how to make money off it otherwise.

 

I stopped caching last summer because it was becoming too tedious to pull up the website before i wanted to cache, download GPX files and then load them out in the field. Trimble is a great solution, but I'm sorry I'm not paying $40 a year for premium membership at GC.com and $4-6 for a mobile phone application that would require another $30/month data plan. I think many GC'ers are in the same boat with this one.

 

I would love to write my own app and make it available to others to load on my PDA phone with Wi-Fi built in that could pull in nearby caches or allow for logging notes, etc. I'm sure many would even approve of paying for a premium membership on this site in order for their application to use this API that supported the application. When I want to cache (or have time to cache) I want to go now. I don't have time to access this site and do my research first. Let me find a nearby cache and go! I'm still looking for a cheap solution to allow me to do this.

 

I think it is a shame Groundspeak doesn't see the value in creating an open API (or available to premium members only) that could support this type of software. Open access is only going to help increase the interest and availability to the GC community for the users of the software that results. They are not thinking two inches in front of their nose when thinking about their revenue stream.

Typically - I can run an off the cuff PQ for any area and have the data in my inbox inside of 5 minutes. Another 5 minutes and I can load it on my GPS and off I go - with a Garmin Oregon or Colorado - I am fully paperless. Not sure why that is a big deal to you. If it is - the trimble app and the iphone app were designed to get the data to you in the field. Many folks already have a data plan and the cost is coming down quickly with boost mobile out there.

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I stopped caching last summer because it was becoming too tedious to pull up the website before i wanted to cache, download GPX files and then load them out in the field. Trimble is a great solution, but I'm sorry I'm not paying $40 a year for premium membership at GC.com and $4-6 for a mobile phone application that would require another $30/month data plan. I think many GC'ers are in the same boat with this one.

 

 

It never ceases to amaze me the reasons people can come up with to justify being to lazy to enjoy a past time. And $40/year for a GC membership? Did the prices go up? The iPhone app is a one time $10 charge. But of course it is tedious to push the screen to start the app. The boat I'm in we are all happy to run a PQ, down load to the gps and PDA and go caching. Might take a couple extra minutes, but hey, I'm not paying to do it.

 

Oh, wait a minute, I think I figured it out. You want it all for free. Never mind, I really know what I was thinking.

 

Jim

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Sounds like the Iphone app to me. Geocaching from your phone, one time price.

The iPhone app is a one time $10 charge.

 

Wow these comments are so wrong and incredibly off base.

 

Lets see:

 

iphone=$399

monthly cost for 2 years locked in contract=$60/month

 

Total 2 year cost not including gc.com fee: $1,839 plus taxes. Plus another $10 for the iphone app.

 

Now your locked in with the 2nd worse carrier out there for two years, it won't work when your in a "weak area" (which seems to define about 90% of my area) and even though your contract says no roaming, your monthly bill is pretty much guaranteed to be hit with another $20/month in roaming fee's, bringing total cost up another $500 for 2 years for a total of over $2,300.

 

Now you have another piece of equipment to worry about that isn't "ruggedized" like a typical gps, isn't waterproof, and will probably require replacement after your first or second caching trip. So go ahead and figure on replacing it a couple times too the first time it starts raining while your out caching, or the first time you slip and fall in a creek, or the first time your walking on a trail and a branch whacks back and either hits the screen or makes you drop it and the screen cracks anyway. This could easily be another grand in costs.

 

Yeah, thats only a $10 one time charge to some one that can't do basic math.

 

A well written API would have a lot of benefit and could reduce the PQ load as well without locking into certain carriers or otherwise useless pieces of hardware.

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Sounds like the Iphone app to me. Geocaching from your phone, one time price.

The iPhone app is a one time $10 charge.

 

Wow these comments are so wrong and incredibly off base.

 

Lets see:

 

iphone=$399

monthly cost for 2 years locked in contract=$60/month

 

Total 2 year cost not including gc.com fee: $1,839 plus taxes. Plus another $10 for the iphone app.

 

Now your locked in with the 2nd worse carrier out there for two years, it won't work when your in a "weak area" (which seems to define about 90% of my area) and even though your contract says no roaming, your monthly bill is pretty much guaranteed to be hit with another $20/month in roaming fee's, bringing total cost up another $500 for 2 years for a total of over $2,300.

 

Now you have another piece of equipment to worry about that isn't "ruggedized" like a typical gps, isn't waterproof, and will probably require replacement after your first or second caching trip. So go ahead and figure on replacing it a couple times too the first time it starts raining while your out caching, or the first time you slip and fall in a creek, or the first time your walking on a trail and a branch whacks back and either hits the screen or makes you drop it and the screen cracks anyway. This could easily be another grand in costs.

 

Yeah, thats only a $10 one time charge to some one that can't do basic math.

 

A well written API would have a lot of benefit and could reduce the PQ load as well without locking into certain carriers or otherwise useless pieces of hardware.

Really - you'd get an iphone and use it strictly 100% for geocaching and nothing else?? come on.......

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Really - you'd get an iphone and use it strictly 100% for geocaching and nothing else?? come on.......

Since I have a phone from a real carrier, and the iphone is locked to a worthless carrier, yeah, thats all I could use it for, but oh wait, if I can't get a working signal, nope, can't even use it then.

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Really - you'd get an iphone and use it strictly 100% for geocaching and nothing else?? come on.......

Since I have a phone from a real carrier, and the iphone is locked to a worthless carrier, yeah, thats all I could use it for, but oh wait, if I can't get a working signal, nope, can't even use it then.

Still - you have to admit - it IS a viable option though expensive. Even if you do have a personal beef with the carrier.

 

PQs can be in your inbox typically in 5 minutes or less. I just can't see why that isn't enough. And if it isn't enough the trimble app and the iphone app will get you where you want to be.

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Yeah, I'm not going to go with another carrier or buy a new phone just for the convenience of caching. I have a better solution; automation and offline databases. Oh, wait, these are heavily pooh-poohed.

 

Yeah, I get tickled when those who like to pull "off the cuff" PQs complain the site is down. Me, I've go mine.

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Yeah, I'm not going to go with another carrier or buy a new phone just for the convenience of caching. I have a better solution; automation and offline databases. Oh, wait, these are heavily pooh-poohed.

 

Yeah, I get tickled when those who like to pull "off the cuff" PQs complain the site is down. Me, I've go mine.

Scan through my posts - you'll not find a single complaint ever from me that the site was down. To the best of my recollection - it only happened to me one time and I didn't complain.

 

While I see some use for an API - it doesn't include downloading substatial amounts of caches for an offline database - just in case I want some data during that less than 1% of the time that the website doesn't work.

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Yeah, I'm not going to go with another carrier or buy a new phone just for the convenience of caching. I have a better solution; automation and offline databases. Oh, wait, these are heavily pooh-poohed.

 

Yeah, I get tickled when those who like to pull "off the cuff" PQs complain the site is down. Me, I've go mine.

Scan through my posts - you'll not find a single complaint ever from me that the site was down. To the best of my recollection - it only happened to me one time and I didn't complain.

 

While I see some use for an API - it doesn't include downloading substatial amounts of caches for an offline database - just in case I want some data during that less than 1% of the time that the website doesn't work.

Eh, I didn't mention names. Even though you did mention "off the cuff," I was referring to those, in general, who pooh-pooh offline databases and claim pulling on-demand PQs as the ultimate viable solution. The site going down has happened several times. Yes, it was on Fridays when most folks are looking for their weekend's caches.

 

Also, I don't need an API for "downloading substatial amounts of caches" as I already have a not-very-efficient way to do that.

 

What an API would be great for is creating webpages similar those produced by GPXspinner or GSAK--nothing but the data needed. This would be great for PDA phones or PDA with WiFi. Full webpages suck on a PDA and the WAP layout just plain sucks in my opinion. An API would allow the data to be presented the way we want it. ...and especially without the need for javascript.

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As I was waiting for the forums to digest that last post I thought of a way that an API could help to provide data in a new and unique way: texts. Not everyone has a data plan on their phones, while some do have the ability to receive texts. Short and sweet. Text a code and zipcode to site hooked into Groundspeak's API and the response is few caches. Text back the waypoint and receive some data back.

 

I probably wouldn't use it, but there's an example of a third-party solution simply waiting for Groundspeak's API. Something that Groundspeak is not offering.

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...

Eh, I didn't mention names. Even though you did mention "off the cuff," I was referring to those, in general, who pooh-pooh offline databases and claim pulling on-demand PQs as the ultimate viable solution. The site going down has happened several times. Yes, it was on Fridays when most folks are looking for their weekend's caches.

 

Also, I don't need an API for "downloading substatial amounts of caches" as I already have a not-very-efficient way to do that.

....

Neither did I. :laughing:

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While you guys are arguing back and forth, geocaching.com does in fact have web api's. They were outed about a year ago. The only thing missing to get them to work was the session key.

 

This is the link

 

Here is what Jeremy had to say about them Nope.

So they are there, are you going to be able to use them? not a chance.

 

You can go back to your argument now.

 

Jim

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While you guys are arguing back and forth, geocaching.com does in fact have web api's. They were outed about a year ago. The only thing missing to get them to work was the session key.

 

This is the link

 

Here is what Jeremy had to say about them Nope.

So they are there, are you going to be able to use them? not a chance.

 

You can go back to your argument now.

 

Jim

:laughing::laughing:

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While you guys are arguing back and forth, geocaching.com does in fact have web api's. They were outed about a year ago. The only thing missing to get them to work was the session key.

Useless answer, if they aren't usable, then they may as well not be there.

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Here's an API Idea that I might be willing to pay for.

 

My Blackberry(8310) has a Built in GPS, and I'd like to be able to click an API, and it send my Current GPS Coordinates and showed me the nearest caches. The Second option would be the same, but with a filtering ability(Finds, Types, D/T, Size)

 

The Steaks

 

Ohh Wait.. I already have the Premium Membership.

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Here's an API Idea that I might be willing to pay for.

 

My Blackberry(8310) has a Built in GPS, and I'd like to be able to click an API, and it send my Current GPS Coordinates and showed me the nearest caches. The Second option would be the same, but with a filtering ability(Finds, Types, D/T, Size)

 

The Steaks

 

Ohh Wait.. I already have the Premium Membership.

 

Hope springs eternal.

 

Jim

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While you guys are arguing back and forth, geocaching.com does in fact have web api's. They were outed about a year ago. The only thing missing to get them to work was the session key.

Useless answer, if they aren't usable, then they may as well not be there.

 

perfectly usable answer. They are not there because the choice is not to have them there. Maybe you just don't like the answer.

 

Jim

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