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Feature Request - Pocket Query Limit


deirarobert
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I LOVE Pocket Queries. However, I spent a couple of hours last night trying to download all of the waypoints outside of my "immediate area". When I hit query number six I got an error telling me that I was limited to 5 queries per day. I would like to see this change. I am a database administrator by trade, so I know a thing or two about query cost. I ran a total of 8 pocket queries over two days and downloaded about fifty percent new waypoints per query. I think it would be much more user friendly, and efficient, to allow a larger number of caches per pocket query instead of limiting it to 500. I know my immediate response was to run five more queries from surrounding cities, causing more overhead. Currently you can get results within a few minutes, and I think this is FAR EXCEEDING expectations. I propose a larger number of waypoints per query with the understanding that it may take more than two minutes to get your emailed results. I live in a somewhat rural area with a decent cache density, so I can only imagine the trouble that cachers in big cities have getting results. If someone with "the keys" to the database and queries reads this, I would be happy to help out if this is not your specialty. Thanks in advance for considering my request.

Edited by deirarobert
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I would recommend that you read this topic.

 

http://forums.Groundspeak.com/GC/index.php...=147456&hl=

Ok, I may need to direct this request to a specific person, as opposed to a forum, so let me know if that is the case.

 

In layman’s terms, many of the arguments make sense. However, in database query cost terms, this is a valid question. I agree completely with some that responded to the recommended post, there is a difference between what seems logical and what a database does. Latitude and longitude are specific enough for an efficient index. With that, you shouldn't really have to limit the quantity of results returned, only the speed in which you receive them. This is proved by being able to perform a search that results in more than 500 waypoints. This requires the same cost as a similar pocket query. If there are any Groundspeak DBA's monitoring this forum, please respond or let me know where to direct this request. Otherwise, please do not respond if you do not understand database theories, as this was only intended for those who do and have the ability to alter current processes. If you want tips on how to better work around the limitations, please see the following post:

http://forums.Groundspeak.com/GC/index.php...=147456&hl=

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I can tell you that the primary focus for the upper level admins is improving the site's ability to handle the user growth. The focus is on the problems of all users of the site, not on a few people that want to up the number of returns on pocket queries. You will notice that I linked a topic from the end of October, the last time this request came up. Site performance topics are a constant issue at this point.

 

Honestly, when site performance issues are resolved, they could probably increase the pocket query limit without adding stress to an already stressed system. I appreciate that you are new to the site and want to help, but the focus is on other more pressing issues at this time.

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In layman’s terms, many of the arguments make sense. However, in database query cost terms, this is a valid question. I agree completely with some that responded to the recommended post, there is a difference between what seems logical and what a database does. Latitude and longitude are specific enough for an efficient index. With that, you shouldn't really have to limit the quantity of results returned, only the speed in which you receive them. This is proved by being able to perform a search that results in more than 500 waypoints. This requires the same cost as a similar pocket query. If there are any Groundspeak DBA's monitoring this forum, please respond or let me know where to direct this request. Otherwise, please do not respond if you do not understand database theories, as this was only intended for those who do and have the ability to alter current processes. If you want tips on how to better work around the limitations, please see the following post:

http://forums.Groundspeak.com/GC/index.php...=147456&hl=

Your arguments are valid (and I agree 100%). This seems to be more of a political issue and not a technical issue. Your right that increasing the limit to 1000 would put very little "extra" stress on the site and in other posts it has been clearly stated that bandwidth is not an issue (the 2nd argument against an increase). Anyone who understands basic database concepts can understand this (those who argue otherwise don't have these concepts).

 

This has been asked for MANY times and the requests just seem to be ignored by everyone except the users.

 

If (and I'm not saying which way I think it swings here) it does cause an excess load to the servers, then that is a very basic and fundamental design issue to the site and shows extremely low skill in running a site of this magnitude, or any site that depends on data on the back end for that matter. Look at the performance of the site for the past couple weeks and see if you think that applies to this statement...

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I suspect that Jeremy's stated position on offline databases may make this idea a dead duck, even if the technical issues allowed it.

Sorry to ask again, but it sounds to me like there may be some basic issues with website performance that could be improved with some database optomization. Is there a way for me to make a request, and ultimately maybe offer some help, to someone who actually manages the database and/or website? I may be new to geocaching, but I have been working with databases and websites for a long time. If there was a way that I (and I'm sure others in the community) can help to BOTH improve performance and increase functionality, I would be happy to help out. I just need to know who to direct my questions and offer of assistance to. Thanks again for your help.

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Let me see if I can make this very simple for you.

 

First of all, you will need to be ready to move to Seattle. It is not negotiable. Except in a very few rare instances, they don't want part-time and/or long distance assistance. This is a fact and has been posted by Jeremy some time ago when he was looking within the community for developers.

 

Secondly, when/if you decided that you can make that commitment, write the contact address and ask for a job application. Explain your qualifications thoroughly. A resume with references would be advised. I am sure that as a savvy web person, you can find the contact address on the main web site.

 

Jeremy reads this forum pretty much daily. The fact that he has not responded is probably a hint. nod.gif

If he was interested, you would have an email by now.

 

Again, I am not trying to put you down and your offer of assistance is admirable. You do not seem to be listening to the answers you are getting. You seem to be treating me and others in the forums as if we don't have a clue, and you have taken this topic from a request to increase the number of returns in a pocket query (which my reasons for not doing so are outlined in the topic I linked to) to now saying that you alone can solve all of the issues that Groundspeak might possibly have. If that is the case, then please follow the two points I have outlined above.

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Let me see if I can make this very simple for you.

 

First of all, you will need to be ready to move to Seattle. It is not negotiable. Except in a very few rare instances, they don't want part-time and/or long distance assistance. This is a fact and has been posted by Jeremy some time ago when he was looking within the community for developers.

 

Secondly, when/if you decided that you can make that commitment, write the contact address and ask for a job application. Explain your qualifications thoroughly. A resume with references would be advised. I am sure that as a savvy web person, you can find the contact address on the main web site.

 

Jeremy reads this forum pretty much daily. The fact that he has not responded is probably a hint. nod.gif

If he was interested, you would have an email by now.

 

Again, I am not trying to put you down and your offer of assistance is admirable. You do not seem to be listening to the answers you are getting. You seem to be treating me and others in the forums as if we don't have a clue, and you have taken this topic from a request to increase the number of returns in a pocket query (which my reasons for not doing so are outlined in the topic I linked to) to now saying that you alone can solve all of the issues that Groundspeak might possibly have. If that is the case, then please follow the two points I have outlined above.

 

I appologize if I came across as condescending, that was not my intention. I just wanted to attempt to reach the appropriate people and not start a rant about the things people wish they could have.

 

I, apparently incorrectly, assumed that this was not only a gathering place for like-minded people, but a community supported and improved website and hobby. I also, incorrectly again, assumed that you did not work for Groundspeek as you list Georgia as your home area, so I requested the appropriate method of contact.

 

I have a job and I am not looking to get a second one, relocate or be compensated for ASSISTING in improving the hobby that I, as you pointed out, so RECENTLY aquired. Clearly we have the support infrastructure we need to keep our hobby alive. I wasn't attempting to use this forum as a really bad attempt at getting noticed for a potential job. I just wanted to offer my technical experience and expertise to improve the hobby that all of us enjoy. I remove that offer, as I am sure that there is someone more qualified than I wondering why I think I can fix it when they can't.

 

I hope all newbie posts aren't met with this reception on the forums. If so, I don't see my new hobby continuing to grow at the rate it has in the past. I have been doing this for a month and as much as I have enjoyed all 32 of my finds, I sit here wondering if maybe there aren't other sources to do something similiar where the veteran moderators aren't so unwelcoming.

 

 

Jeremy,

Love the sport. TFTC's!

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..... I ran a total of 8 pocket queries over two days and downloaded about fifty percent new waypoints per query. .....

You may be a database expert but it appears that you are not a pocket query expert. It appears that your 8 PQs only resulted in about 2000 "new waypoints". Four good PQs would have the same result.

 

Check out Markwell's PQ Info which included this:

If you're looking to get more than 500 caches (e.g. you're in a cache dense area), you can split the PQ up by date ranges. Make the first one Jan 1 2000 - Jun 30 2003 (or whatever date works) and the second one Jul 1 2003 (again, play with it, but make it one day later than the ending date of the other query) to Dec 31 2008. Splitting them up by date placed makes it so that each query uses it's maximum potential to grab data. While GSAK and Watcher will both eliminate duplicate data, why have a query pull extra data only to be eliminated?

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..... I ran a total of 8 pocket queries over two days and downloaded about fifty percent new waypoints per query. .....

You may be a database expert but it appears that you are not a pocket query expert. It appears that your 8 PQs only resulted in about 2000 "new waypoints". Four good PQs would have the same result.

 

Check out Markwell's PQ Info which included this:

If you're looking to get more than 500 caches (e.g. you're in a cache dense area), you can split the PQ up by date ranges. Make the first one Jan 1 2000 - Jun 30 2003 (or whatever date works) and the second one Jul 1 2003 (again, play with it, but make it one day later than the ending date of the other query) to Dec 31 2008. Splitting them up by date placed makes it so that each query uses it's maximum potential to grab data. While GSAK and Watcher will both eliminate duplicate data, why have a query pull extra data only to be eliminated?

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I don't work for Groundspeak. I am simply a volunteer. Being around for quite a while though, I have seen lots of similar instances. Three times you asked basically the same question. It seemed that a direct response was the only way to help you understand what you were looking for. For the third time I will say that I was not trying to put you down and your offer of assistance is admirable. It seemed the only way to point you in the right direction was with a very direct post, which is what I provided. Understand that your posts were unwelcoming as well.

If someone with "the keys" to the database and queries reads this, I would be happy to help out if this is not your specialty.

 

If there are any Groundspeak DBA's monitoring this forum, please respond or let me know where to direct this request. Otherwise, please do not respond if you do not understand database theories, as this was only intended for those who do and have the ability to alter current processes.

 

Is there a way for me to make a request, and ultimately maybe offer some help, to someone who actually manages the database and/or website?

You asked. I gave you the answer.

 

By all mean, enjoy the game. It is a blast. I would always be more than happy to help you in any way I can, either via the forums or via email. I did not mean to sound cranky, but I saw no other way to give you the information you requested without a very direct post. At least you do understand the answer to your questions now, so all is not lost.

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I don't work for Groundspeak. I am simply a volunteer. Being around for quite a while though, I have seen lots of similar instances. Three times you asked basically the same question. It seemed that a direct response was the only way to help you understand what you were looking for. For the third time I will say that I was not trying to put you down and your offer of assistance is admirable. It seemed the only way to point you in the right direction was with a very direct post, which is what I provided. Understand that your posts were unwelcoming as well.

If someone with "the keys" to the database and queries reads this, I would be happy to help out if this is not your specialty.

 

If there are any Groundspeak DBA's monitoring this forum, please respond or let me know where to direct this request. Otherwise, please do not respond if you do not understand database theories, as this was only intended for those who do and have the ability to alter current processes.

 

Is there a way for me to make a request, and ultimately maybe offer some help, to someone who actually manages the database and/or website?

You asked. I gave you the answer.

 

By all mean, enjoy the game. It is a blast. I would always be more than happy to help you in any way I can, either via the forums or via email. I did not mean to sound cranky, but I saw no other way to give you the information you requested without a very direct post. At least you do understand the answer to your questions now, so all is not lost.

 

I give up!!! Thanks for all of your help, you too "Peter and Gloria", I will use your post to workaround the problem.

 

These types of non-specific queries are the ones that lead to I/O contention issues! Everyone has their own workaround. Maybe I'll try a few queries where terain <= 2.5 and >=2.5, or maybe found by someone I know has found most of the caches in my area. There are many OTHER ways to get the same result.... more than 500 waypoints. All of them hurt performance. I guess I'll just join the masses and kill the servers instead of offering a few suggestions to address a problem that is plaguing us all.

 

Good luck to all posting finds as the number of users increase...

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I don't work for Groundspeak. I am simply a volunteer. Being around for quite a while though, I have seen lots of similar instances. Three times you asked basically the same question. It seemed that a direct response was the only way to help you understand what you were looking for. For the third time I will say that I was not trying to put you down and your offer of assistance is admirable. It seemed the only way to point you in the right direction was with a very direct post, which is what I provided. Understand that your posts were unwelcoming as well.

If someone with "the keys" to the database and queries reads this, I would be happy to help out if this is not your specialty.

 

If there are any Groundspeak DBA's monitoring this forum, please respond or let me know where to direct this request. Otherwise, please do not respond if you do not understand database theories, as this was only intended for those who do and have the ability to alter current processes.

 

Is there a way for me to make a request, and ultimately maybe offer some help, to someone who actually manages the database and/or website?

You asked. I gave you the answer.

 

By all mean, enjoy the game. It is a blast. I would always be more than happy to help you in any way I can, either via the forums or via email. I did not mean to sound cranky, but I saw no other way to give you the information you requested without a very direct post. At least you do understand the answer to your questions now, so all is not lost.

 

... and my posts were only unwelcoming to YOU because they were not MEANT for YOU. I just wanted to reach someone technical who works for Groundspeek. I'll keep my suggestion to myself going forward and just deal with the "Site could not be found" errors.

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I am not sure this was mentioned in this or other threads (splitting in dateranges was) but I would suggest to add selections in PQ's according to tiles (select between two latitudes and two longitudes).

This seems far easier to me than selecting a circular range around a point which leads to overlapping areas and many trial PQ's before the wanted result is obtained.

Looks a more efficient way for people who want to cover an area completely with PQ's.

At first glance it also looks an easy add to the PQ selection menu.

Just my two (Euro)cents

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Seems like the typical response once again...

hh1 and deirarobert I feel your pain. No one wants suggestions around here. It might seem they are content with trying to keep what they have running instead of improving it to make it easier.

Suprisingly though, some users agree but when it comes to those who "run" GC thay don't care, nor do they intend on changing their minds.

Good luck

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