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Von-Horst

10+ and 25+ feature on the Google Map Search

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There are more than a few of us in the Fredericksburg, Virginia area that have posted on our local boards of how completely annoyed we are with the new feature. We all agree that it needs to go away or be an option. As many have said, it makes the map unuseable now when looking at unfound caches in your area that you are trying to clear. The past few months the map feature was finally near-perfect...there was no need to change it.

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There are more than a few of us in the Fredericksburg, Virginia area that have posted on our local boards of how completely annoyed we are with the new feature. We all agree that it needs to go away or be an option. As many have said, it makes the map unuseable now when looking at unfound caches in your area that you are trying to clear. The past few months the map feature was finally near-perfect...there was no need to change it.

 

I cannot speak for the Central Virginia Geocaching association, but I will state that I have followed the Fredericksburg Geocaching group discussion though -- it mirrors my own opinions as well. This feature isn't quite as helpful as I'm sure it was intended. I'd like to see an option for toggling it on and off -- set it to on by default, if desired.

 

Anyway, just my two cents.

 

-bhoard

Edited by bhoard

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This new "feature" makes using the maps almost worthless in my opinion. I searched the Grand Rapids MI area and I get the blue splotches everywhere and then when i zoom into them there is one or two caches there because I have the hide my finds box checked. B)

 

I agree with ALL the arguments listed so far against this feature. It sounds like the easiest way to solve the problem would be to be able to turn it on and off.

 

To sum it all up, this new "feature" really pissed me off this morning when I saw the blob taking over instead of nice little green and yellow boxes. B)

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Hello?????? Is anyone one from Groundspeak paying attention???

 

Any updates? Comments???

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Sounds like there are a few possible improvements for this feature:

  • Allow the user to turn it off completely.
  • Make the splotches take into account the "Hide My Finds" checkbox.
  • Allow the user to specify the number of caches that constitute a splotch (e.g. 10, 25, 50, 100, etc).

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I kind of like it, It lets me be able to pick an area with a high concentration of caches in an area. I am trying to hit the 200 mark on the 26 and want the 200th to be at an event. this new feature helps me find an area that has just the right number (199) and then go to the event for # 200. I think that if a cacher is in it for the numbers, this new feature will help them get the numbers in an area that has a high cache count.

If someone wants to turn it off then thats ok just give them a button.

 

You'll probably feel different shortly after you hit that mark. I zoom out looking for caches I HAVEN'T found and these blue spodges show me everywhere I've been. Yes, I know there were a lot of caches there... I got all those. But this blue spodge looks just like every other.

 

I like that you can still see something when you zoom out further (although they go away when you get out far enough and then you get nothing), but I would prefer to turn them off.

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Hello?????? Is anyone one from Groundspeak paying attention???

 

Any updates? Comments???

 

They are listening. They just watch in silence and get a feel for what the public is saying. They should know by now that most people don't like it, and are hopefully working on a solution. They are busy though, and I know they get all upset with posts like this. Just FYI. They are out there.

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Thank you for the comments, folks. Raine made some tweaks over the weekend to the way clustering is displayed. Once they are polished off we'll implement a few changes and you'll have a chance to comment on those.

 

If you are still not satisfied at that point we have no problem with reverting back to how they were last week, but give it a chance before you dismiss it outright. There is a significant portion of the population who are stuck with slow PCs and internet connections, so we're hoping this clustering will allow them to enjoy the maps, too. It's difficult to please everyone but we're doing the best we can. Thanks.

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Thank you for the comments, folks. Raine made some tweaks over the weekend to the way clustering is displayed. Once they are polished off we'll implement a few changes and you'll have a chance to comment on those.

 

If you are still not satisfied at that point we have no problem with reverting back to how they were last week, but give it a chance before you dismiss it outright. There is a significant portion of the population who are stuck with slow PCs and internet connections, so we're hoping this clustering will allow them to enjoy the maps, too. It's difficult to please everyone but we're doing the best we can. Thanks.

 

Thanks for the info. Will we get a heads up when the tweaks are implemented?

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Here we go again, fixing something that wasn't broken in the first place. Sheesh! :unsure:

I agree. Hate it. Get rid of it. Worse than useless.

I had an instructor who said that a sure sign of a geek is someone who tinkers with programs, makes changes to things that aren't wanted or needed, and then tells you how much you want his changes even tho it does absolutely nothing for you. The geek "knows" what is best because all he knows how to do is tinker but doesn't have the knowledge or marketing skills to ask the customer first. Sure sign of geeks in action again. Tinkering, making changes not asked for or needed, but, by golly!, you'll have the changes and darn well like em.

Geez, you guys are harsh! And wrong. This change was a direct result of folks complaining about a problem and asking for improvements. One way to accomplish this would be to post surveys and talk about options for a year. Another way is to try something and see what happens. Asking the customer first is often a SURE way to get nothing done, because the customers often don't know what's possible.

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There is a significant portion of the population who are stuck with slow PCs and internet connections, so we're hoping this clustering will allow them to enjoy the maps, too. It's difficult to please everyone but we're doing the best we can. Thanks.

 

This makes perfect sense. I believe the one thing that would please everyone, would be the option to use this feature or not depending on your connection. Maybe something you can set in your profile about how your Map It screen will work. Is something like this possible? I don't know how you are implementing this, so I am just curious if it even allows such an option.

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Hi!

 

Thank you for the comments, folks. Raine made some tweaks over the weekend to the way clustering is displayed. Once they are polished off we'll implement a few changes and you'll have a chance to comment on those.

 

If you are still not satisfied at that point we have no problem with reverting back to how they were last week, but give it a chance before you dismiss it outright. There is a significant portion of the population who are stuck with slow PCs and internet connections, so we're hoping this clustering will allow them to enjoy the maps, too. It's difficult to please everyone but we're doing the best we can. Thanks.

 

I will only be satisfied if this option can be turned off as it makes absolutely no sense for me regardless how it is implemented. It simply just hides the information I want to see. Speed is no problem for me, blue bubbles are!

 

And I still say that it is very unprofessional to do "improvements" that way. You can't really tell me that it would be impossible to have both map versions running at the same time allowing public testing without annoying people who don't like it. That way you would be able to test new features and make them work BEFORE adding them to the official site.

 

Sorry to be that hard but that is exactly my opinion after being annoyed another time :-(

 

Bye,

Christian

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Hi!

 

Here we go again, fixing something that wasn't broken in the first place. Sheesh! :unsure:

I agree. Hate it. Get rid of it. Worse than useless.

I had an instructor who said that a sure sign of a geek is someone who tinkers with programs, makes changes to things that aren't wanted or needed, and then tells you how much you want his changes even tho it does absolutely nothing for you. The geek "knows" what is best because all he knows how to do is tinker but doesn't have the knowledge or marketing skills to ask the customer first. Sure sign of geeks in action again. Tinkering, making changes not asked for or needed, but, by golly!, you'll have the changes and darn well like em.

Geez, you guys are harsh! And wrong. This change was a direct result of folks complaining about a problem and asking for improvements. One way to accomplish this would be to post surveys and talk about options for a year. Another way is to try something and see what happens. Asking the customer first is often a SURE way to get nothing done, because the customers often don't know what's possible.

 

No, we are right! Just doing SOMETHING also isn't the right way to solve problems! There was a BIG discussion the time the new map came about the possibility of showing many caches on one page so this was implemented in the end and I guess that most of the people were happy in the end.

 

If there are some people having problems with this right now doesn't mean that the others want to get this to be changed now. The "improvement" that might help those people is just annoying for many of us having a high speed line as we WANT to see all the caches on first sight! So why just don't have the option to chose if I want to see bubbles or not. That would be the professional solution to a problem that just is a problem for SOME people!

 

And I just wonder why Groundspeak just isn't able to fix things on first try. Meant good not necessarily IS good...

 

I hope to see the old version being back in the next hours/days or at least the option to turn off this annoying "feature".

 

Bye,

Christian

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Thank you for the comments, folks. Raine made some tweaks over the weekend to the way clustering is displayed. Once they are polished off we'll implement a few changes and you'll have a chance to comment on those.

 

If you are still not satisfied at that point we have no problem with reverting back to how they were last week, but give it a chance before you dismiss it outright. There is a significant portion of the population who are stuck with slow PCs and internet connections, so we're hoping this clustering will allow them to enjoy the maps, too. It's difficult to please everyone but we're doing the best we can. Thanks.

 

Thanks for the update. One thing that still doesn't seem to work the way it used to, with no apparent explanation, is that the scrollable list isn't in the order the caches were published. This was a big help for me (a regular member) in finding newly published caches, and I'd like to see that detail make a return, if possible. I don't see how this would affect the mapping itself, but then again I'm not a programmer.

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Hi, it's me again, the malcontent....

 

OK, so I saw the splotches and I thought I'd give it a fair shot... it only took a few seconds to fail me, and for reasons that no one here has touched on yet... The tool is not geographically aware. What I mean by that is that it is grouping caches that just dont make any sense. Take a look at san diego. No seriously, take a look. As the crow flies sucks here. We have rivers and canyons and bays and islands and bridges and mesa cliffs that make the splotches almost a statement of 'pick one cache in the area, and you cant go to the others'.

 

So here is my suggestion, and I know this one is a giant technical hurdle... set boundaries on rivers and cliffs and stuff so that it sees them as hard boundaries and doesnt group across them.

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Thank you for the comments, folks. Raine made some tweaks over the weekend to the way clustering is displayed. Once they are polished off we'll implement a few changes and you'll have a chance to comment on those.

 

If you are still not satisfied at that point we have no problem with reverting back to how they were last week, but give it a chance before you dismiss it outright. There is a significant portion of the population who are stuck with slow PCs and internet connections, so we're hoping this clustering will allow them to enjoy the maps, too. It's difficult to please everyone but we're doing the best we can. Thanks.

Thanks, Nate.

 

How about having two mapping options, one for fast connections and one for slow connections (like there is a Lo Fi version of the forums available)? Users would just click on the desired map link.

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Wow...the feature could be nice but it doesn't work quite right. I deselected all my finds but the +10 still shows on the map. So in a place where I have found 16 of 17 caches it still shows the +10. It would be better if that didn't happen except in areas where it was actually going to display 10 or more items.

 

Even with that said, drop it. If I load a map I wan to see all the caches not a bunch of shared areas on the map.

 

Thanks

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Why does the map show NO caches when you are using the 5 and sometimes 2 mile scale? I am looking in a rural area and there is less than 500 caches, but you would think there weren't any caches there, because the STUPID new map doesn't show anything. What's up with that? If I zoom into the 1 mile range, I can see them.

 

I really don't like this new feature/function and the blue splotches don't seem to add much.

 

My thought exactly!! Why the hell are the caches not showing up? None. Zilch. Nada. Zoom out a little, and finds no caches at all. Some people who live in un-urban areas might never find a cache. If there's not one within a couple miles of them, they will see no caches exist. Then they walk away from GC.com thinking "I guess it's not very popular, I'll go find something else to do."

 

BRING THEM BACK!

 

SD

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I want to add a few more thoughts here.

 

This change was made for people with slow computers and internet? You have to recognize that this is a vast minority of the population. My computer is 3 years old. That's ancient in computer standards. Hi-speed has been around for more than a decade, and is no more expensive than dial ups. If someone is using a trully old machine and dialup, they probably aren't likely to be tech savy enough to be using a GPS. Not saying that this group doesn't exist, but they are a tiny minority.

 

Second, this has effectively ended the way in which I cache. I have logged every single cache within a 30 mile radius. I USED to zoom out, and pick which area I wanted to search next. I could pick routes by seeing the cache placement. Now I have to keep the map zoomed in, and scroll the map around hunting for caches. I have to load them into my GPS to see an actual map of thier dispursement, at the zoom level of my choosing.

 

I will re-iterate py previous statement though. Scrap it or allow me to choose which mapping version I want.

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Hi!

 

Here we go again, fixing something that wasn't broken in the first place. Sheesh! :)

I agree. Hate it. Get rid of it. Worse than useless.

I had an instructor who said that a sure sign of a geek is someone who tinkers with programs, makes changes to things that aren't wanted or needed, and then tells you how much you want his changes even tho it does absolutely nothing for you. The geek "knows" what is best because all he knows how to do is tinker but doesn't have the knowledge or marketing skills to ask the customer first. Sure sign of geeks in action again. Tinkering, making changes not asked for or needed, but, by golly!, you'll have the changes and darn well like em.

Geez, you guys are harsh! And wrong. This change was a direct result of folks complaining about a problem and asking for improvements. One way to accomplish this would be to post surveys and talk about options for a year. Another way is to try something and see what happens. Asking the customer first is often a SURE way to get nothing done, because the customers often don't know what's possible.

 

And I just wonder why Groundspeak just isn't able to fix things on first try.

 

 

Bye,

Christian

Yes, that would be FANTASTIC! Unfortunately for us, then they would probably quit with the geocaching stuff and make billions doing consulting work, since fixing things on first try is quite uncommon in this field.

However, I do agree that the option to switch it off seems like a good idea, along with a couple of other adjustments mentioned. But I still maintain the fastest way to find this out was exactly the way they did it!

Edit to add: Did you ever hear, "Those who can, do... those who can't, teach" I hope you didn't take more than one class from that instructor...

Edited by hukilaulau

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I really don't like this. the most useful aspect of the map is to see the distribution of caches, this completely spoils this and make it hard to see where things are from a distance. I realise that it gets a bit bundled up when there are a lot of caches, however this makes it less useful then seeing a blob of caches.

What suprises me most is that I see so many requests for useful features on the site yet they seem to be playing with things that don't need fixing.

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Even after tweaking the clustering rules and reducing the zoom level at which clustering occurs, the map still isn't performing up to our expectations. As a result we'll be rolling back the map to its prior state shortly.

 

Please understand that sometimes we need to try out new techniques before we know how they perform under serious load. It's always a challenge to balance the needs of a wide variety of users while retaining core functionality for the majority.

 

We're reasonable folks around here so we won't force something on you which isn't working. Thanks to everyone for expressing your thoughts with this latest feature. I expect things will be back to normal before you plan your weekend caching.

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As a result we'll be rolling back the map to its prior state shortly.

As a newbie who doesn't know anything other than the "blue splotches", I really anxious to see this previous version that just about everyone is saying is so much better.

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Hi!

 

 

And I just wonder why Groundspeak just isn't able to fix things on first try.

 

 

Bye,

Christian

Yes, that would be FANTASTIC! Unfortunately for us, then they would probably quit with the geocaching stuff and make billions doing consulting work, since fixing things on first try is quite uncommon in this field.

However, I do agree that the option to switch it off seems like a good idea, along with a couple of other adjustments mentioned. But I still maintain the fastest way to find this out was exactly the way they did it!

Edit to add: Did you ever hear, "Those who can, do... those who can't, teach" I hope you didn't take more than one class from that instructor...

 

I do ;-) That's my job...To be serious: If I would do my job like those who implement these "features" I would get fired in a fraction of a second.

 

Look, it's quite nice what they did with the map just before those blue spots. But the way until it worked that way was very hard and I just wonder that it shouldn't be possible to have two different versions running at the same time. One stable version and a playground to test some new features. That's what normally should happen with a project like this. And doing this job that way should allow them to do things right at first try ;-)

 

That's what I meant.

 

Bye,

Christian

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Hi!

 

We're reasonable folks around here so we won't force something on you which isn't working. Thanks to everyone for expressing your thoughts with this latest feature. I expect things will be back to normal before you plan your weekend caching.

 

That's some good news ;-)

 

Bye,

Christian

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[

This change was made for people with slow computers and internet? You have to recognize that this is a vast minority of the population. My computer is 3 years old. That's ancient in computer standards. Hi-speed has been around for more than a decade, and is no more expensive than dial ups. If someone is using a trully old machine and dialup, they probably aren't likely to be tech savy enough to be using a GPS. Not saying that this group doesn't exist, but they are a tiny minority.

 

........ :) Some of this is harsh. There are places in the woreld that do not all have access to high speen i/net. Take parts of NZ - most unlikely given our present political climate that some areas will ever be consiodered for hi-speed. I am lucky to live in a serviced area, buit many aren't and have to rely on dial-up.

 

MW

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:) So glad they are going to put it back the way it was. - I am a new Cacher and have just spent the last couple of days camo-painting & stock 8 different types of containers so I could set out my first hever 'Hide' - I really needed the maps so I could check area's where there was no cache, as I did not want to put them out & find there was a cache already in the place.

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to add my 5 cent:

I became a premium member today, and first thing I tried out was to play around with the "formerly known as greyed out" cache options, i.e. to locate rare earth and virtual caches.

didnt work, as you might guess and I was not amused to see that. you can turn cache types off and on, the blue surfaces stay the same. so I'm quite happy that they will go away soon. :)

 

regards duskiboy

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While I am not a fan of the blue splotches, I do have to play devil's advocate: I really like the fact that you can click on a splotch and it will zoom directly onto the splotch - usually several steps closer.

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While I am not a fan of the blue splotches, I do have to play devil's advocate: I really like the fact that you can click on a splotch and it will zoom directly onto the splotch - usually several steps closer.

 

I agree. I liked this ability. I do hope the splotches return, albeit, with the ability to turn them off.

 

I also am appreciative for the continual attempts for new features. Many of the responses here have been inappropriate, almost childlike in their uncivility.

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Thank you trying out new things, that is how we make progress. This one didn't work for me though, I'm excited to get the old maps back.

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Even after tweaking the clustering rules and reducing the zoom level at which clustering occurs, the map still isn't performing up to our expectations. As a result we'll be rolling back the map to its prior state shortly.

 

Please understand that sometimes we need to try out new techniques before we know how they perform under serious load. It's always a challenge to balance the needs of a wide variety of users while retaining core functionality for the majority.

 

We're reasonable folks around here so we won't force something on you which isn't working. Thanks to everyone for expressing your thoughts with this latest feature. I expect things will be back to normal before you plan your weekend caching.

 

Woohoo!

 

I'd like to point this out as proof to the pessimists that the Groundspeak people really are listening to, and watching out for, us. It's good that they're always trying new stuff to improve the site; it's a mark of being truly user-oriented that they're willing to admit they messed up and take their hard work back to the drawing board. Thanks.

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Looks like the "EO.Web Controls Client Side Debug Message" that some (me included) are getting (in both IE and Firefox on XP and Vista) is related to areas...

 

If i "search with google maps" - so the map starts off somewhere in the US, I ca nsee caches and the infamous vlue blobs.

 

If I search in my own area - as soon as I zoom out or pan to where there are some chaches, I get the error - and it breaks the map - just showing "requesting geocaches" and never refreshing...

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Figures - I actually like the Blue Blotches and now they will be going away.

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FWIW, I liked them from the first moment. Makes loading and scrolling the map much faster, eliminates clutter, and conveys much more information than a pile of a zillion icons all on top of each other. And when I want to investigate those high concentration areas, I have to zoom in anyway.

 

An on/off switch is always a nice option, but the concept itself is useful and functional.

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Although I said the maps would be returning to their prior state, that's not totally true. For those of you who enjoyed the clustering for their ability to scroll to other areas quicker, in the new (old) new (w/e!) incarnation you will be able to zoom out beyond 100 miles and it will stop showing caches. Then you can scroll to a new area quickly and zoom back in to see the caches. We hope to release some code later today.

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Several people asked for a way to turn this feature off.

 

Another way might be to have a "level" of detail. For example, my Garmin lets me have "Least", "Less", "Normal", "More", or "Most" detail on its maps. In practice this is not so much about what is or isn't shown, as what zoom level you have to be at before map feature X appears.

 

I can see how the 10 and 25 regions could be more useful the further out you zoom (and why not 100 and 250 as well). Packaging up a few levels of detail could be a way to allow people to indicate roughly how complex they like their maps, without having to add checkboxes for every new feature.

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For those of you who enjoyed the clustering for their ability to scroll to other areas quicker, in the new (old) new (w/e!) incarnation you will be able to zoom out beyond 100 miles and it will stop showing caches.

 

Hmm personally I don't think that's an ideal solution. It's ok in relatively "dense" cache areas, but sometimes when travelling you get into areas with almost no caches and then you should be able to zoom out beyond 100 miles and still get results. Try finding a cache in India, just as an example. I know there are other options to find caches (google earth, find by country etc.) but I think the google maps are just the quickest and easiest way to get an overview of what's around (and google earth may not be available while travelling...)

 

I see there needs to be some limit to the number of caches displayed in a dense area (which is currently set to 500 i think), but I don't see the point in stopping to display caches completely after some zoom level (for dense areas people could still zoom out beyond the cache limit). I didn't actually mind the blue patches too much as long as they are not kicking in too early (10 was much too early imo - 25 or better 50 ok, or something like from 200 total caches on the map might have worked...) and as long as they would be updated with changes in the selected caches (which I assume is technically difficult as this is done in the browser whereas the "patches" are generated on the server). But then the maximum distance shouldn't be limited, because we have the patches or the number of caches limit that will at some point avoid loading too much.

 

Anyway just another twopence opinion (sorry we don't have cents over here :drama: ).

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