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bjorges

Feature request: Sharing PQs, and remove the 500 limit.

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Did you ever wonder why the GPS functionality was increased to beyond 500??????

 

Presumably for the same reason that the number of TV channels I can get has increased to around the same number. My ability to watch them, however, has not.

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Did you ever wonder why the GPS functionality was increased to beyond 500??????

 

Presumably for the same reason that the number of TV channels I can get has increased to around the same number. My ability to watch them, however, has not.

 

Very true. But the fact you are not watching the channels doesn't mean others aren't watching them and it hasn't stopped them from offering more and more.

 

I don't watch the Food Channel but far be it from me to tell the rest of the world they can't watch it either. Or that there isn't a need for it.

Edited by Tequila

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As Markwell said above, time spent messing with PQs is time not spent caching. It's slightly cool to have all the caches in your country in a database, but only slightly, and only once.

 

Sorry to do this, but your caching area (country) is large and can be covered with 15 PQs, less if you have a lot of finds. spare a thought for those of us through the tunnel with less than half the land area and 5 times the caches. 17,500 gets me about half the country in the UK and 200 mile radius in the US when I'm there, for you it gets you your entire country plus all the caches in 4 of your neighbouring countries, that's quite the caching area you have there, I can't get much further north than London from my location before that data runs out. your opinion may change if France gets as heavily saturated as the US & UK

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Did you ever wonder why the GPS functionality was increased to beyond 500??????

 

Presumably for the same reason that the number of TV channels I can get has increased to around the same number. My ability to watch them, however, has not.

 

Very true. But the fact you are not watching the channels doesn't mean others aren't watching them and it hasn't stopped them from offering more and more.

 

I don't watch the Food Channel but far be it from me to tell the rest of the world they can't watch it either. Or that there isn't a need for it.

Quite right Tequilla, but my ability to watch Tv channels has increased, at least on a quality of show basis, this is due to the fact I have upgraded to Sky Plus (Tivo to the US), plus theres always Red Bull which could also be considered an upgrade to ability too.

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There are a couple reasons why the date range approach doesn't get you 500 cachers per PQ:

Thanks everyone for the explanation on why there's never really 500 caches in a PQ. I use the date range for mine and generally when I hit 490 or more caches for one of them, I call it good, so in that regard, I'm never getting 500 a day.

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Did you ever wonder why the GPS functionality was increased to beyond 500??????

 

Presumably for the same reason that the number of TV channels I can get has increased to around the same number. My ability to watch them, however, has not.

 

Very true. But the fact you are not watching the channels doesn't mean others aren't watching them and it hasn't stopped them from offering more and more.

 

I don't watch the Food Channel but far be it from me to tell the rest of the world they can't watch it either. Or that there isn't a need for it.

Quite right Tequilla, but my ability to watch Tv channels has increased, at least on a quality of show basis, this is due to the fact I have upgraded to Sky Plus (Tivo to the US), plus theres always Red Bull which could also be considered an upgrade to ability too.

 

LOL. I tried Red Bull and it is just plain awful. Like Cream Soda. LOL

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I don't know anyone who actually likes the taste of Red Bull, myself included, but I always have a can in my caching box in the car, it's thew effect most but it for, a case of the ends justifying the means!

 

Perhaps that's why I feel a need for all that Data, gives my something to do when I'm up all night thanks to Red Bull (trying to pull this back on topic with a tenuous link :yikes: )

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My current job? I'm a terminal manager at one of the worlds busiest international airports and this requires me to have a strong knowledge of dozens of different business models and practices, to be able to consider the needs and capabilities of the hundred plus companies required to make an airport work, not including the 150 plus airlines we deal with and thousands of different people every day that pass through oblivious to what goes on behind the scenes. This and powers of observation give me the business insights that I have explained here.

At least then I can explain why your statement

It's also far more efficient to query a large dataset for a large number of results a few time than to query for few results many times.
doesn't mean this is less costly for Groundspeak.

 

It's clear that it is far more efficient to transport more people in one large airliner a few flights a day than to have many flights with fewer people. I would venture that it is costing your employer a significant amount of money to upgrade the airport for the new A380. In spite of the improvements you are making or have already made, there are many air travelers who are still wary of the delays from having to load and unload over 500 passengers and their luggage all at once. They are also concerned with the loss of flexibility they will have in selecting from fewer flights. Of course your employer and the airlines probably weighed the benefits and determined what the payback would be before making this investment. They believe the business model supports the larger jets. But given the economic downturn it may be that the airlines will decide that they can be more flexible flying smaller planes and will decide to cancel their A380 orders. And you will have all those super jumbo gates and advanced luggage handling systems and everything else you bought sitting there being under utilized.

 

Your analysis of the payback for new hardware to support platinum members may also be flawed. I would hope that Groundspeak has taken a more detail look at the cost/benefit of allowing larger PQs and not just made wild estimates like your analysis. They may have other considerations as well, such a protecting the value of the database and the website against the possibility that some unscrupulous person may use large downloads for other than personal use. Or they may weigh the advantages of platinum membership against the demand for online services which they may feel are more profitable.

 

Database efficiency is really a non issue in determining whether to allow bigger PQs. As your own analysis shows, the cost for additional hardware and bandwidth to support this is small enough that even just a few subscribers could pay for this. What some people fail to recognize is that a computer may be able to run 5 PQs of 500 caches with 5 logs each much faster than one PQ of 2500 caches with 5 logs each. The difference is that in the first case the database engine has to do 5 joins on smaller datasets that can be done in RAM while the later case may be only one join but has to be done in virtual memory using a much slower hard disk. Granted you could by a more powerful computer with lots more RAM to handle bigger PQs. I leave it to the experts to decide how much this would cost :yikes:

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....It's clear that it is far more efficient to transport more people in one large airliner a few flights a day than to have many flights with fewer people. I would venture that it is costing your employer a significant amount of money to upgrade the airport for the new A380....

 

In the case of my particular employer, they've been pretty shrewd with the 380 upgrades, and employed just the technique I'm suggesting here, albeit in a slightly different way.

 

Firstly they got in touch with the Main future users of the aircraft at their airports and reached a partnership deal with them, the airlines put up some cash to contribute to the upgrades, in return they get some extra considerations with regard to stand and terminal usage (there's that Upper tier again) the main considerations being they are guaranteed use of those stands whenever their aircraft are in, meaning they will never be coaching their 380s. The really clever thing they did was to then demolish the oldest parts of the terminal and rebuild a new facility that would have been needed to be done regardless of the 380 anyway. Thanks to the sheer size of the 380, you can actually fit 2 smaller long haul (767/757) or 3 short haul aircraft(737/A320) on the same stand when not used for the big one, so they provided this additional functionality in the design stage. Basically, they replaced 3 old 1950s 747 stands that were well past their sell by date and one redundant office building, and replaced it with a shiny new 5 x 380 stand facility that can handle even more smaller aircraft than before. they would have had to do this anyway but the clever bit is getting the airlines to cough up a chunk of the bill with a "Platinum Tier Service" and that is actually what we call it as we already had bronze, silver and gold.

 

In spite of the improvements you are making or have already made, there are many air travelers who are still wary of the delays from having to load and unload over 500 passengers and their luggage all at once. They are also concerned with the loss of flexibility they will have in selecting from fewer flights. Of course your employer and the airlines probably weighed the benefits and determined what the payback would be before making this investment. They believe the business model supports the larger jets. But given the economic downturn it may be that the airlines will decide that they can be more flexible flying smaller planes and will decide to cancel their A380 orders. And you will have all those super jumbo gates and advanced luggage handling systems and everything else you bought sitting there being under utilized.

 

All the routes currently planned for the 380 by our main airlines, plus Singapore airlines already operating, are high load factor routes even in off season, that is they regularly turn away stand by passengers due to all seats being full on the 747s, also the 380 is actually cheaper to fly for a given distance than the current 747-400 due to more modern enginges that will not be matched by Boeing until the 787-8 arrives in a couple of years. as above, the gates were needed anyway and we got someone else to help out with the bill, the same can be said for the baggage systems, even the short hauls airports in the group are getting new baggage facilities in the next couple of years. Our system for instance dates back to 1988 when the terminal was built and is being pushed so far over its intended capacity, I am convinced we have Lt Cdr Montgomery Scott himself down there keeping it running, and we don't get the 380s yet!

 

Also, smaller more "flexible" aircraft are much harder on the system than larger long haul aircraft, on a per passenger moved basis due to the sorting system and the baggage loading methods. On the point of airlines and the 380, the main operators are unlikely to be concerned about reduced passenger numbers, strange as it sounds, this isn't what pays for the trip. The Plane, maintenance, fuel and handling charges are all met by the Air Cargo operation, the passengers upstairs are merely the cream on top of the profits made from cargo that is jammed into every slot in the bay that isn't taken up with baggage (about 80% of the capacity of most transatlantics is used for cargo)

 

Your analysis of the payback for new hardware to support platinum members may also be flawed. I would hope that Groundspeak has taken a more detail look at the cost/benefit of allowing larger PQs and not just made wild estimates like your analysis. They may have other considerations as well, such a protecting the value of the database and the website against the possibility that some unscrupulous person may use large downloads for other than personal use. Or they may weigh the advantages of platinum membership against the demand for online services which they may feel are more profitable.

 

Database efficiency is really a non issue in determining whether to allow bigger PQs. As your own analysis shows, the cost for additional hardware and bandwidth to support this is small enough that even just a few subscribers could pay for this. What some people fail to recognize is that a computer may be able to run 5 PQs of 500 caches with 5 logs each much faster than one PQ of 2500 caches with 5 logs each. The difference is that in the first case the database engine has to do 5 joins on smaller datasets that can be done in RAM while the later case may be only one join but has to be done in virtual memory using a much slower hard disk. Granted you could by a more powerful computer with lots more RAM to handle bigger PQs. I leave it to the experts to decide how much this would cost :)

 

I don't think the database join in ram is any kind of issue at all, the entire world database for PQs would fit in the RAM on my desktop , which didn't cost more that $150 for the sticks. Math for that statement - average 500 cache PQ 2.3 Mb, thats 4.7Kb/cache multiplied by 677,675 (todays world figure) = 3.1Gb total, and I really doubt they are running memory hungry OS's on the servers. I would hope that the query system has been designed more efficiently than to handle the entire database for every criteria test. more likely it handles the much smaller indices first, trimming the largest chunks of the database first, making the final set of index queries very small, then it would extract the co-responding records from the database to insert in the GPX File, maximum memory load of this would be around 11.5 Mb x 2 to allow an input and output flow of data, just 23 Mb out of a likely 4-8 Gb RAM given that the max number of processors using this space will be 4, I think that's well within limits.

 

A simple demonstration can be achieved by loading up a 5000 record GSAK database, then write a couple of Macros, one to output the results of 5 seperate filters each containing 500 results, then zipping the files, time this execution, then write a macro that extracts the same 2500 caches and outputs to a single zip file. Yes, the larger query will take longer than a smaller one, but not longer than the 5 smaller ones, this is mainly due to removing a lot of repetition, such as zipping less files, applying less criteria etc.

 

The suggestion of state downloads is the ultimate in efficiency, as this requires processing only one index (State) and extracting those records to a single file. I'm assuming CA is the largest total caches as it's 8% of the worlds database, this would make a file about 266Mbin GPX, zipping to about 83Mb, not such a huge download by todays standards I'd split that one to north and south anyway. but think about the reduction in PQs that would be achieved, that 83 Mb is equivalent to 106 PQs, or just 22 members allowances, but no one would need to query for that state if they have any of the 3rd party offline systems.

 

As for protecting the database, the entire database complete with all history could easily be ripped off without raising suspicions until the competing site appears, I'm not going to say how, but its not difficult to work out, I don't do that because I do agree that it is wrong and I respect GC enough to lobby for the right to pay for what I want. The point is that the moment such a site went online, GS inc would be able to hit them with a sure thing lawsuit for copyright infringement.

 

At least I will take some solace from convincing you that the higher rate memberships would cover the hardware costs to supports it. I'd like to also note that I'm advocating either more PQs or more results per PQ, each has its own advantages , yeah a double whammy would be great, say 20 PQs of 1000 caches, but I do concede the point that some ISPs don't allow files of this size, I'm just used to Gmail's higher limits, and some may choose not to set up a Gmail account for storing their PQs. My suggestion has remained at 20 Pqs/day at 500 caches each with 160 stored definitions for $120, all i'm really asking for is effectively to add the ability to slave 3 extra PM accounts to my main identity in some way, be it eliminating my finds from PQs using my name or a more fixed checkbox that recognises linked accounts.

Edited by Volvo Man

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Its also occurred to me that if the PQ server needs to use virtual memory to handle an 11Mb file, they really need to change the hamster on that wheel!! :)

Edited by Volvo Man

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I think the heading of this thread is causing it to be ignored by TPTB, considering the lack of posts from above, despite the rather impressive number of views and posts that it has accumulated, making it the hottest currently ongoing topic.

 

With this in mind, I have posted a new request for a simple solution to eliminate the most Kludgy workarounds to the multiple subs solution, I have also listed two other benefits of this solution which should appeal to more members.

 

This doesn't mean I'm giving up on Gold/Platinum tiers of subscription, but lets just call it baby steps for now.

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The point I'm trying to make is that while it would be really neat to slice and dice all of the data, Geocaching.com is the constant best source for the data as everything else is instantly stale. If you only download what you need to go hunting and be creative in the ways you use the wonderful system you've got - you'll probably be able to spend more time actually caching.

 

 

Exuse me, but does this "defence" of GS follow with the moderator role?

 

No. I am repeating what was said by Groundspeak employees. I am not a moderator in the Geocaching.com Web Site forum - only a moderator in the Getting Started forum.

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Oddly enough I found a reference in a thread about raising the 500 cache limit.

 

There's no plans to adjust the way Pocket Queries are handled at this time. Instead we have been concentrating on applications that get you access in real time data via a mobile phone. As TotemLake has indicated you can get the information you need today by being creative with how your pocket queries are generated.

 

I haven't heard anything in any of the gobs of requests to increase the limits from anyone on the official front.

 

Ironic choice of quotes given the fact that mobile phone access no longer works unless you have an iPhone.

Your complaint has nothing to do with PQs. How's that for ironic?

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I think the heading of this thread is causing it to be ignored by TPTB, considering the lack of posts from above, despite the rather impressive number of views and posts that it has accumulated, making it the hottest currently ongoing topic.

Groundspeak has said earlier this year, in response to requests similar to your current threads, that the ONLY planned enhancement to the pocket query generator will be the introduction of downloaded queries "on demand." (That is, the results of your submitted query are stored on a server and you can request the file transfer at a time convenient to you.)

 

If that plan has changed, or if Groundspeak is ready to announce further planned enhancements, I'm quite sure that a lackey will stroll by to correct me.

 

Otherwise, you can safely assume that Groundspeak knows about your requests and others like it from earlier threads.

 

I hope that this is sufficiently "official" and that I am sufficiently "from above." I put on a white coat, plus I showered this morning. And, next weekend I'll be staying at a Holiday Inn Express.

 

I hasten to note, however, that I am on record as stating that Groundspeak will "never" have an Off Topic forum.

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Couple of things:

1. You can't get 500 because, if you did, you wouldn't know if the system actually had 501, 502 etc and merely cut it off at 500 or, did you actually hit exactly 500. So, 499 is assured correct, but 500 is an unknown.

 

2. If you actually go out and find caches, it's kinda fun watching the numbers drop in each PQ. Once the current PQ (the last one that keeps climbing) reaches 495 or so, it's time to reshuffle the date ranges or you'll be adding a new one to the list.

 

3. I only worry about a full month query, not down to the day. Yes, I could probably squeak out one extra PQ out of the list but 10 PQs give me over 4500 caches within 30 miles that I haven't found yet.

 

4. Yes, raising the limit to 750 or 1000 or whatever would reduce the number of PQs that I'd request. However, I would soon extend my radius and the new limit would become my new norm. Then we'd all be clamoring for a 1250 or 1500 limit, etc., etc., etc.

 

5. The 500 limit isn't an issue associated with my GPS because my GPS and my nuvi's Favorites are both limited to 500 anyway. I just use GSAK to select a cache that's centered in my target area (make it a location) and then adjust the radius in the search until the total is under 500 (usually 475 or so). Never been an issue since I've never seen anyone get even 50% of that 475 in one day!!! If I ever pop for a new GPS (and a new nuvi) that held 1000 waypoints, I just expand the radius to 975 instead. Means I could roam just a bit more each day.

Edited by Cache O'Plenty

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one more math thing has popped into my head, that once a week my finds query has to be a monstrosity to run and handle if its requested by mega cachers with over 5000 finds,

 

By my calculations, CCCooper Agency's Query would be about 45Mb just for the Zip File, and that needs to be emailed somewhere.

 

This also goes to evidence my statements about the server being able to handle large queries, if it struggled with a thousand results or so, a 25,000 would bring it to a standstill and maybe even take it down altogether until an admin hit the reset. I take the standpoint that this feature would not have been enabled if the server couldn't handle such a large number of results in RAM, and therefore assert that the hamster in the wheel does not need to be changed.

 

Incidentally, I remember one day I ran an SQL server query by accident, before adding all my criteria. The query cleared through the process queue faster than I have ever seen before or since, unfortunately, I then locked out one of the output queues for more than 2 hours while I downloaded more than 3 million Cable TV customers account notes for a company that had been in business for 12 years.

 

That was one hell of a text file, but I had to delete it at server end for fear of trashing the local network which would not have made me popular in the national call centre.

 

Moral of this story: don't let me at an undocumented database during office hours. (i was running the query to find out what data was held in the badly named and undocumented fields)

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I've said it once but I'll say it again. I just would like the PQ's be increased to 1000. Then I could cover all the area's I work in with just one PQ instead of three.

 

But I've got workaround's and done update more than once a week.

 

The big thing for me is I like to do a couple of caches on my way home from work. Which I work all over eastern Iowa. I've never used all 5 PQ's in one day and doubt I ever will. The only reason I would like the 500 limit increase to 1000 would be to save me the time of submitting all three, Which doesn't really take that long to just check the box, so I really can't complain at all.

 

Just something I'd like to see for convenience. But can live without.

 

I don't agree with the idea of sharing PQ's. If a person want's there own then support the site and buy a membership.

 

I also should mention I usually cache by myself and don't get into the group cache very much, so I personally can't relate to that, so I'm not saying there shouldn't be a want for it, it's just this is how I do it.

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Presumably for the same reason that the number of TV channels I can get has increased to around the same number. My ability to watch them, however, has not.

Very true. But the fact you are not watching the channels doesn't mean others aren't watching them and it hasn't stopped them from offering more and more.

 

I don't watch the Food Channel but far be it from me to tell the rest of the world they can't watch it either. Or that there isn't a need for it.

I'm not sure that you have understood my analogy. The number of channels available maps to the number of caches published. I still have two eyes and most of a brain, so my ability to watch TV channels simultaneously is still limited to one.

 

Downloading X times as many caches is like owning X video recorders or TiVo boxes; you can record every baseball game or soccer game which is broadcast but you won't be able to watch them, so in the end you're just collecting. That's a valid hobby, but Groundspeak has chosen not to make that particularly easy (at least insofar as it applies to caches; I suspect Groundspeak is very hapy for you to collect Geocoins ;)).

 

Given the increasing demand for (dark) grey-market cache data - for example, I wonder where some of the non-Groundspeak geocaching apps for smartphones get their data from :) - I reckon that any short-term revenue they might miss out on as a result, could be more than compensated for by the ability to keep the lid on the data, which is ultimately what powers their business.

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Presumably for the same reason that the number of TV channels I can get has increased to around the same number. My ability to watch them, however, has not.

Very true. But the fact you are not watching the channels doesn't mean others aren't watching them and it hasn't stopped them from offering more and more.

 

I don't watch the Food Channel but far be it from me to tell the rest of the world they can't watch it either. Or that there isn't a need for it.

I'm not sure that you have understood my analogy. The number of channels available maps to the number of caches published. I still have two eyes and most of a brain, so my ability to watch TV channels simultaneously is still limited to one.

 

Downloading X times as many caches is like owning X video recorders or TiVo boxes; you can record every baseball game or soccer game which is broadcast but you won't be able to watch them, so in the end you're just collecting. That's a valid hobby, but Groundspeak has chosen not to make that particularly easy (at least insofar as it applies to caches; I suspect Groundspeak is very hapy for you to collect Geocoins ;)).

 

Given the increasing demand for (dark) grey-market cache data - for example, I wonder where some of the non-Groundspeak geocaching apps for smartphones get their data from :) - I reckon that any short-term revenue they might miss out on as a result, could be more than compensated for by the ability to keep the lid on the data, which is ultimately what powers their business.

 

This week's sign the Apocalypse is upon us:

 

There is a "grey market" for geocache data......AND it is increasing........

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And now the Geocaching.com FBI and CIA and ATF are gearing up to go after this grey market and punish those people for violating their TOS.

 

Sheesh...

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I think the heading of this thread is causing it to be ignored by TPTB, considering the lack of posts from above...

I've found that they don't normally comment on individual posts and suggestions, but be sure that someone "in the know" has read it, and they're aware of it.

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Downloading X times as many caches is like owning X video recorders or TiVo boxes; you can record every baseball game or soccer game which is broadcast but you won't be able to watch them, so in the end you're just collecting. That's a valid hobby, but Groundspeak has chosen not to make that particularly easy (at least insofar as it applies to caches; I suspect Groundspeak is very hapy for you to collect Geocoins ;)).

 

Actually, this shows you didn't entirely understand my reply to your analogy, since there are more channels, the probability that I will have something to watch at any given time has increased, Tivo has given me the ability to save 2 more shows that clash with what I am watching to watch at a later time, without having to buy 2 more satelite boxes. those shows recorded can then be watched when there is nothing else to watch (as I work nights, this is fairly common)

 

Given the increasing demand for (dark) grey-market cache data - for example, I wonder where some of the non-Groundspeak geocaching apps for smartphones get their data from :) - I reckon that any short-term revenue they might miss out on as a result, could be more than compensated for by the ability to keep the lid on the data, which is ultimately what powers their business.

 

Oh no, the greys are coming, better contact MulderNScully.

 

Seriously though, those apps probably get their data from the same source as my non Groundspeak Laptop, or my non Groundspeak Sat Nav, or even my Non Groundspeak GPSr, that is to say the PQs that I download, alternatively they may well get it from such places as follows

 

wap.geocaching.com

www.geocaching.com

 

If you're querying the data base live based on your position, and interpretting the pages to reformat the data to display on their screen, I don't think that would be a violation of the TOU, there is one app I know of that can download the entire GC site one page at a time, but I suspect this would be a TOU violation, and easily trackable when one IP queries every cache page in less than 24 hours. this would likely result in suspension of the offenders account.

 

They cannot stop use of the data by other apps without risking alienating most of the cachers out there, I think it would also risk an anti trust case. As for a second site ripping the DB, I think my previous comments on this are valid, it would be rather obvious where the data came from.

 

We are currently asking for the ability merely to make easier what we can already do with violating the TOU, that is pay more and get more PQs, it would be nice to have one place to manage the PQs instead of 4 and be able to eliminate my finds from all queries not just my main account.

 

As to volume of data, this would give access to 1.4% of the database per day for a total of 10.3% per week. when PQs were introduced, you could dowload the UK in 2 PQs and Europe in another 2, by the end of the week you could have downloaded most of the world, or the entire United States. I remember thinking wow, California has 3000 caches now, which was more than 3 times the UK, now its up to 56000, more than the whole database back then.

 

So i don't think the PQ limits were set to protect the data, just the load on the PQ server, which has most likely been upgraded dramatically since. As has been noted here, they also matched the capacity of GPSrs back then, as evidenced by the ability to receive the PQs as .LOC files, but seriously who uses that now? perhaps they could remove that functionality and replace it with what we are asking for.

 

As for need, I don't need a luxury saloon car, but Volvo were more than happy to take my money for it, I could most likely get by with a little peugeot 106, but I don't want to, I want the big luxury tank.

Edited by Volvo Man

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OK this thread is really going off on a tangent, so I think I must make a pest of myself and say something controversial and then have this thread closed down.

Oh wait, I promised to be nice, darn it.

 

PQ's are what they are, they are NOT going to change, if you want to change them then buy the company and make the rules what you want them to be. Nothing other than that will change the system.

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Some people have taken the position that PQ size should be expanded because GPSrs can now hold more waypoints.

 

I fail to see the connection between these two bits of information. Sure, when I upgraded to a Venture Cx, I went from being able to load 500 caches to being able to load a seemingly infinite number of caches into the GPSr, but I fail to see why my GPSr having more capacity has anything to do with whether I should be able to download cache information for more than 17,500 caches per week. After all, my cache finding ability hasn't been upgraded.

Did you ever wonder why the GPS functionality was increased to beyond 500??????
I have every reason that it has to do with POIs. People want to know where all their favoriate restaurants are, where the gas stations are, their church, dentist, cat groomer, speed traps, etc. I seriously doubt that they were increased solely because some geocachers might want to toss 3000 caches into their Venture Cx.

 

Presumably for the same reason that the number of TV channels I can get has increased to around the same number. My ability to watch them, however, has not.
Very true. But the fact you are not watching the channels doesn't mean others aren't watching them and it hasn't stopped them from offering more and more.

 

I don't watch the Food Channel but far be it from me to tell the rest of the world they can't watch it either. Or that there isn't a need for it.

I don't care much for underwater caches, but that doesn't mean that they shouldn't exist. Happily, this has nothing to do with this thread.

 

I think the heading of this thread is causing it to be ignored by TPTB, considering the lack of posts from above, despite the rather impressive number of views and posts that it has accumulated, making it the hottest currently ongoing topic. ...
TPTB are not in the habit of giving the same old replies every time similar threads are posted. They are on record regarding this issue. There is no need for them to pipe in every time it is brought back up. Edited by sbell111

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OK this thread is really going off on a tangent, so I think I must make a pest of myself and say something controversial and then have this thread closed down.

Oh wait, I promised to be nice, darn it.

 

PQ's are what they are, they are NOT going to change, if you want to change them then buy the company and make the rules what you want them to be. Nothing other than that will change the system.

 

I guess I missed the announcement where you "bought" the company and was thus empowered to make such a powerful statement.

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Ah, but the person that does own the company HAS said it.

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The quote I saw was April 2006 and a lot has changed since then. Perhaps it is time for him to say it again.

 

I am going to summarize the thread:

 

- A group of cachers has expressed a desire to have the ability to download more than the current quota of PQ's for a single account. They are quite willing to pay an additional charge for this ability.

 

- Another group of cachers have suggested a number of less than elegant ways of achieving the desire through the use of mulitple memberships.

 

- Another group has expressed a firm opposition to anything but status quo.

 

Personally, I have been able to meet my needs through creative use of several Date Placed PQ's and I would probably not take advantage of the so called "Platinum" Membership. However, I recognize and appreciate the desire and needs of other cachers and support their right to request such a membership.

 

It is my assumption that those opposed have no need for such a membership and would not take advantage of it.

 

What I don't understand is why those individual would even care about others requesting such a membership or care about Groundspeak offering such. Their adamant opposition doesn't make sense.

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Ah, but the person that does own the company HAS said it.

 

Actually, what Jeremy said in the post YOU quoted from 2 1/2 years ago was:

 

(Jeremy @ Apr 27 2006, 06:47 PM)

 

There's no plans to adjust the way Pocket Queries are handled at this time. Instead we have been concentrating on applications that get you access in real time data via a mobile phone. As TotemLake has indicated you can get the information you need today by being creative with how your pocket queries are generated.

 

There you have it, AT THIS TIME, that was 2 1/2 years ago, and now is not At That Time anymore.

 

This request has evolved over the last week from wanting everything for nothing, to creating a new level of subscription with a pro rata ammount of data access, no different from your own suggestion of multiple PM accounts, save for one tiny little feature, the ability to eliminate your finds from all the queries at source instead of using kludgy workarounds to get around it.

 

Kludgy work arounds are fine when you've only found a few hundred caches, when I get up in the thousands, it's going to mean those PQs are very inefficient unless I sit down and trawl through thousands of cache pages to make an ignore list, then repeat this for every single PM account that I may subscribe to.

 

This of course all assumes that GS won't look at the output of my PQs and notice that it's structured in such a way that it lines up with 3 other accounts to produce a large non redundant set of data, all going to the same email account, then I get accused of breaching the TOU and sharing Data. No, much rather be up front with GS about it all than work around the issue.

 

Incidentally, yes I know I haven't logged a cache for quite a while, although I have been doing some caching, but the barriers that stopped me having time to go caching are now gone, and I am planning to get moving again, and thanks to the density now prevalent in my favourite caching areas, I expect to be racking up some real personal bests in the not too distant future. Now, say I get up over 17,500 finds, not too big a goal, what good will that second PM account do me then when all it puts out is my finds, what a waste of server time and mine that would be.

 

Even the ability to generate an ignore list from someones finds list would be a step in the right direction, although thisa will need to be done every time you log a few caches to stay up to date and would therefore place more load on the systems than just ignoring my own finds for more PQs would be.

 

In answer to the comment about buying GS, even if it were for sale, which I doubt it is, I doubt I would have the cash to buy it, but if I had the money lying around, you can bet I would be making an offer to buy the company. And the very first thing I would do would be to introduce Gold and Platinum membership levels. I do however have $120 a year to spare and would gladly exchange this for the features I have asked for, I also know for certain there are enough others out there like me that the service would pay for itself.handsomly with no negative impact on those who wish to stick with the standard levels.

 

Next thin I would do would be to sit down with Clyde England and work out a way to submit PQs directly from GSAK by sending a text file, and bypass the whole online form system, thereby reducing the bandwith and processor load on that particular system, same for submitting caches, its a real pain when halfway through building the cache page, the link times out and you have to start again. oh, there I go again, getting someone else to contribute to my upgrade for free, wonder where I learn't that? ;)

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Add "Another group that is trying to point out what has been said before by TPTB", and I'd agree with a summary.

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What I don't understand is why those individual would even care about others requesting such a membership or care about Groundspeak offering such. Their adamant opposition doesn't make sense.

 

Yeah, put that way, what's that about?

 

Maybe it's some kind of future jealousy fear or something. Who knows, perhaps even some of those who just subscribe to be proud to support GC.com would subscribe to a higher level, and be even more proud and supportive.

 

Oh and I'm sure GS know that if they increased the base membership price, they would lose too many members to remain viable, so I'm not sure what legitimate objections anyone can have and really cannot see how this request would affect them in any way, perhaps they could explain to us what actual impact it will have on their experience.

 

Seriously, if you neighbour has real gold bath taps and a 200 inch plasma TV in the lounge, how does that really affect you in any way? (I'm not going to use the Ferrari or Rolls Royce analogies because I'm not going to get into the environmental argument that is just so obvious as the only possible argument for such an example.)

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Add "Another group that is trying to point out what has been said before by TPTB", and I'd agree with a summary.

 

I think that was acknowledged in the first line of Tequilla's post, albeit un vocalised.

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And, as for the query sharing idea, you can already send your pocket query settings to another user so I don't see the need to send the actual data around.

 

 

Ummm, just noticed this post from the first page of the thread and it managed to go uncommented on, how exactly is this possible, I don't see any such option in my PQs or anywhere else.

 

I do hope he is not sending his PQ results to his friends using the different email address option in the PQ definition, thinking that he's sending the settings.

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And of course, he's not forwarding the GPX file to his friends, which would constitute a violation of the terms of use.

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You know - this would be all a moot point if somebody out there somewhere would just take the time, effort and expense of taking all of that geocaching listing data and coordinates and putting it in a high speed database server and making it available on some kind of highly available 24/7 service via something like an easy to navigate website on the internet. They could even figure out some way of allowing users to grab (oh say for example) up to 500 caches and all the listing information in some kind of standardized text based format like xml. If they went really nunts - they might even allow you to do that 5 times per day. If enough advertisers and subscribers got onboad - I'll bet they could even do all of that for around $2.50 per month.

 

.....or maybe I'm just dreaming.

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You know - this would be all a moot point if somebody out there somewhere would just take the time, effort and expense of taking all of that geocaching listing data and coordinates and putting it in a high speed database server and making it available on some kind of highly available 24/7 service via something like an easy to navigate website on the internet. They could even figure out some way of allowing users to grab (oh say for example) up to 500 caches and all the listing information in some kind of standardized text based format like xml. If they went really nunts - they might even allow you to do that 5 times per day. If enough advertisers and subscribers got onboad - I'll bet they could even do all of that for around $2.50 per month.

 

.....or maybe I'm just dreaming.

 

This has to be the most meaningless post I have seen in the entire forum. It adds NOTHING to the discussion.

 

You were already firmly in Group 3. As clearly stated elsewhere in this thread, others feel they have a need for more than the current offering.

 

If you are happy with the current offering, great. But others are not. They have a right to request something more. We have had a good set of inputs on how they can achieve their requirement through multiple memberships but as some have pointed out, those alternatives are cumbersome, particularly for a cacher with a large number of finds.

 

As a person in Group 3, please answer one simple question: Why do you care if someone else wants something more?? It won't impact you. In fact, if Groundspeak were able to generate additional revenue through a "Platinum" membership, it might delay a future price increase in the current membership AND you can vicariously benefit from that. There is no downside to you.

 

Please refrain from using sarcasm to respond to this simple question.

 

Thank you.

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Please don't tell me what opinions I'm allowed to express. Groundspeak, like any other business has limited resources to devote to future projects. I'm reasonably sure that the offering of extra special memberships would require significant investment of time and resources. If they choose to spend those resources in this endeavor, it is likely to impact on the time frame for some of the changes I would most like to see happen. Also if you look at the reaction when premium memberships were first offered, it resulted in significant unhappiness, the archiving of caches and the some people leaving caching. A three tier plan might have the same results.

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I finally understand the objections posted here, its all so simple now, I've been such a fool!

 

If GS allowed what has been asked for, there would be less people here asking for PQ upgrades and therefore less targets to object to.

 

What? I can be sarcky too.

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Please don't tell me what opinions I'm allowed to express. Groundspeak, like any other business has limited resources to devote to future projects. I'm reasonably sure that the offering of extra special memberships would require significant investment of time and resources. If they choose to spend those resources in this endeavor, it is likely to impact on the time frame for some of the changes I would most like to see happen. Also if you look at the reaction when premium memberships were first offered, it resulted in significant unhappiness, the archiving of caches and the some people leaving caching. A three tier plan might have the same results.

 

No one has told you what opinions you can express, apart from anything else, this is your first post to this thread. What has been said, is a legitimate objection to the un constructive and sarcastic posts that have been submitted in objection to this request.

 

Your own post is in fact one of the first in objection that has actually stated clear concerns regarding how such a service would actually affect them whether directly or otherwise. Your post was clear, free of sarcasm and expressed a constructive argument.

 

The fact that I personally believe something contrary to you is neither here nor there (must be a locationless cache ;) ) , it is my opinion, and I am just as entitled to it as you are to yours.

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Please don't tell me what opinions I'm allowed to express. Groundspeak, like any other business has limited resources to devote to future projects. I'm reasonably sure that the offering of extra special memberships would require significant investment of time and resources. If they choose to spend those resources in this endeavor, it is likely to impact on the time frame for some of the changes I would most like to see happen. Also if you look at the reaction when premium memberships were first offered, it resulted in significant unhappiness, the archiving of caches and the some people leaving caching. A three tier plan might have the same results.

 

Now, its time to respond to your concerns.

 

"Extra Special" memberships already exist, they are called charter members, although as far as we know they don't get any extra priveledges. what is being asked for is effectively a small feature to link togther multiple ordinary memberships either as a single upper tier membership, or to enable PQs to eliminate finds by the master account, I really don't see how that's going to cause a mass exodus of premium members from the site, I really don't think the existing membership is that petulant. In fact its no more likely than the leaving of anyone who objects to whatever feature is up next for release. There was no serious impact when GS implemented far more controversial changes like dumping Locationless caches and moving Virtuals out to Waymarking.

 

With regard to the time and resources invested, it has been proposed here that the creation of a Platinum membership would result in a significant increase in cashflow, enabling the purchase of new equipment, bandwidth etc which would benefit all. It may also offset the possibility of any increases in PM charges for the forseable future, again in your favour. As for the changes you'd like to see happen, they may delay the changes I'd like to see happen, so I guess we'll just disagree on that., Except for the fact that additional cashflow invested in newer, faster or more equipment would mean less time spent by the GS team in maintenance, leaving more time for development of new features that you want that won't raise any additional revenue to support them or maybe they will, who knows.

 

One thing that is for sure is that the current focus on development of mobile services for the iPhone application is a feature that not only will be used by a minority of members, but is not available to all members, even if they want it, if their country or area does not support 3g services, it's not going to be any good to them. It also forces them to use an iPhone if they want that service. An upgrade to premium accounts would be available to every member and does not limit their choice of hardware at all.

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There you have it, AT THIS TIME, that was 2 1/2 years ago, and now is not At That Time anymore.

And *my* post, above, draws upon a Groundspeak post in a thread *just like this one* earlier this year.

 

Perhaps OpinioNate could program a macro to start a thread once a month stating "At this time, no enhancements are planned for the pocket query generator, except for plans previously announced."

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There you have it, AT THIS TIME, that was 2 1/2 years ago, and now is not At That Time anymore.

And *my* post, above, draws upon a Groundspeak post in a thread *just like this one* earlier this year.

 

Perhaps OpinioNate could program a macro to start a thread once a month stating "At this time, no enhancements are planned for the pocket query generator, except for plans previously announced."

 

Or maybe Jeremy could listen to the people who are supporting his website and consider making some changes like increasing PQ limitations, with or without an increase in membership rates.

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There you have it, AT THIS TIME, that was 2 1/2 years ago, and now is not At That Time anymore.

And *my* post, above, draws upon a Groundspeak post in a thread *just like this one* earlier this year.

 

Perhaps OpinioNate could program a macro to start a thread once a month stating "At this time, no enhancements are planned for the pocket query generator, except for plans previously announced."

 

Hmmmmm, yes, and I believe that post also mentioned something about the "off topic" forum too ;)

 

As I remember it, there was not a lot of announcement regarding the last lot of enhancements to the PQ generator, ie the uplift of definitions to 40, the adding of the attribute icons etc.

 

having just had a look through the PQ page source, I note that at least from a front end point of view, adding a line to input another cachers name to filter out of the query would me a matter of about 5 minutes typing and adding a variable name to send to the backend. whereas, adding the attribute icons was a massive undertaking with dozens of lines to come up with, code that had not previously been used, and a variable name for every single button.

 

From my experience with the backend of databases, the frontend is usually the larger of the tasks, the backend part of a query usually consists of something along the lines of:

IF [index_xyz]=[variable_a] THEN [do_something_interesting] ELSE [Make_Cup_of_tea]

 

or, if you have a decent database system:

WHERE [index_xyz]<>[variable_a] INCLUDE=TRUE

 

really, this ain't gonna take a lot of time to do

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I may be that Volvo Man is spending too much time in the forum here. By now he should realize that any idea for enhancements (not just bigger or more PQs) will be shot down in the forum by the same vocal few . Since he seems to have spent a fare amount of time doing analysis of the cost versus the benifit to Groundspeak of providing a higher tier of membership for getting more caches perhaps he needs to send this proposal to Jeremy instead of discussing it here.

 

I actually recall in one of these many threads that I once said that providing this feature at an additional cost might be something that Groundspeak would consider at some time in the future. I note that Volvo Man is not requesting the canned PQ with a full country's or state's data or the ability to download the entire geocaching.com database. He simply want to increase the number of caches he can download from around 2500 per day to 5000 or 10000 per day.

 

I also recall that at some point in the past I stopped using the example I gave in this thread to show why a larger query is not always more efficient than several smaller queries. The fact that you can now get a my finds PQ with a lot more than 500 caches in it probably indicates that Groundspeak now has severs that that can handle these bigger queries. Note that there are still other reasons why you may want to break a larger query up to several smaller ones particularly in a website like this where the database is constantly being updated by users. In any case the efficiency of the database server is probably not a very compelling reason for increasing the size of PQs just as it isn't for having canned pocket that only a few users would take advantage of.

 

The fact remains that the overwhelming majority of cachers, including most of those with ultra high find counts are not clamoring for bigger pocket queries. High number caching still requires a great deal of preparation. Cache density only means you can plan high number runs more often and in more places. High number finders tend to get specific pocket queries for each trip and use online tools - especially the maps to find the areas where they are going to cache. And those who claim to be spur of the moment cachers who might go anywhere without having planned in advanced are better served by one of the cell phone solutions. There just aren't that many places where you wouldn't have cell phone some place along your route and there are ways with these applications to grab a bunch of caches at the place you are headed to while you are still within cell phone service.

 

I understand the appeal of an offline database for making plans and not having to worry about Geocaching.com being offline or PQs not getting generated. I use an offline database that covers a good deal of the Los Angeles area. It takes quite a few of my PQs to cover that home area and update the caches in it at least once a week. But I still have plenty of PQs left to run special ones whenever I travel outside my area. So I can understand someone whose home area is bigger (and nearly as dense) wanting to have a bigger offline database. But as the density increases beyond a certain amount, my attitude is to begin reducing the size of my home area. I simply don't need to travel as far to find a cache and frankly even though gas has gone down that still suits me. At one time I did ask Jeremy to increase the number of saved PQs and he surprised me by doing so. Its probably near that point again only this time its not to increase the number of PQ to cover my home area but to save some PQs for nearby areas that I would only run when I plan a trip in that direction.

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Well, this tread started with a simple feature request: Increase or remove the limit of 500 caches in a PQ, and the ability to share a PQ amongst other PMs.

 

To those of you who keeps posting "memories" from an old thread: I don't care about what GS said four years ago, I still would like to see some changes. I expect development, not a "end of discussion, will not happend, EVER" solution. That is probably aslo why several people have posted their opinions in this thread.

 

I really support Volvo Man's suggestion of an "platinum membership", that would give us the ability to choose what we want.

 

To those of you who posts "this we dont need"-postings: Why bother, if you don't need it, maybe others do. The needs of others might give you a bonus too. I don't have a iPhone, and will NEVER get one either, but I don't "yell" around that this is a stupid development. Surely I would welcome a "Geocaching Navigator" for Windows Mobile, but that's not the issue.

 

Respect other meanings than yours, and to the moderators who have posted "negative" posts here: Remember you have a moderator-sign under your avatar, you should be even more careful when you post a "support" against the suggestion and what can seem to be a solely support to GS.

 

Hopefully this thread can continue as a constructive thread, not as a "I want, I don't"-discussion.

Edited by bjorges

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Here's OpinionNate's post from January 2, 2008 (not 2 1/2 years ago).

 

http://forums.Groundspeak.com/GC/index.php...p;#entry3234210

The only changes to the PQ system planned for release when the new Phoenix project is completed will be the introduction of instant downloads. There are some details that have yet to be finalized concerning the storage of those PQs on Geocaching.com, but those issues will be worked out.

 

For those of you who are not satisfied with the limits set by the Pocket Query generator there are numerous ways to refine your searches; many of which have been pointed out in this thread. There are important reasons for Groundspeak setting those limits, foremost being that the site performs better when they are enforced, but also because we want you to visit the site frequently to retrieve fresh data. I'm sorry if that inconveniences some of you.

 

It's also interesting to me when people post that those who disagree with an idea or wouldn't use it should not post in the thread. If the discussion is supposed to be representative of what the community thinks/feels/wants, then most assuredly opposing opinions SHOULD be posted so that ALL views on the subject can be aired. If only those who AGREE with the idea are allowed to express their views, that has the effect of skewing the results. Doesn't make sense to me. A debate/discussion should explore ALL sides ... I would think so, anyway.

Edited by Motorcycle_Mama

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Yeah, I am spending way too much time in this forum, unfortunately this is because I have been signed off sick for a couple of weeks due to a foot injury, on the up side, I should be fully healed by the time I fly to California next week.

 

The time I've had in the last week has given me the oportunity to build a good offline database and query set in preparation for that trip, something that usually gets done on the fly on some motel's wifi, and takes a whole load of my holiday to mess with. Doing this has reminded me of some of the limitations of the PQ sysstem and how ity could be improved so easily.

 

When I first started using GSAK, it exposed one major weakness in the PQ generator that has not changed since the system was introduced, although now due to the number of cachers out there finding stuff, addressing this particular weakness would not be as useful as just throwing a bit more money out to get more data subscriptions.

 

That weakness is the limitations of querying on the basis of updated listings. when i started using GSAK, I tried first building a full UK database, took 3 or 4 Queries, simple enough. Next I created a single query to extract all the updated caches, this kept it all up to date as back then there were less than 500 updates a week. Unfortunately soon after I realised that the major limitation was that caches that were permanently archived did not show up anywhere on the queries, so GSAK didn't know they were no longer available. Now at first glance you'd say just archive anything that has not been updated recently but then some pretty cool caches go by un noticed just because no one has been there recently. also unfortunately when running the updated in the last 7 days query, it doesnt give them in update order, so running a daily update doesn't help the capacity of this method either.

 

There was a Kludgy workaround for this for UK cachers only, there was a site that produced a .gpx that was a simple list of all active caches in the UK. This was generated by the site daily by scraping the GC.com site of every UK cache page and compining a up to date database (this was done with the sanction of GC.com as the scraper code was tuned to minimise site loading spread across the day) Sadly this resource has been gone for over a year, along with my beloved league tables and UK stats. But that file enabled me to query the updated caches only and then confirm the ones that hadn't been found for a while.

 

Requests to change the PQs back then to help reduce server load fell on deaf ears too, so I started running the whole database weekly, in itself a kludgy work around to the limitations of the PQ system. I've started asking for more functionality now because using Kludgy workarounds to fix Kludgy workarounds is just something I see headed in a very dark direction, eventually that kludgy work around that gets proposed will cease to work properly and then another kludgy work around will be needed to make it work again.

 

Ideally, I'd like to be able to download the full dataset that I want some way or another even if it takes me 3 weeks of PQs to get it, then just download a file daily of the updates to that data set (All UK) to apply in GSAK. It's quite possible to do If those update PQs were for instance set up to give a single 2500 query (instead of 5 x500) of all updates in the last 48 hours in reverse chronological order, plus a small notification with a list of all Archived caches in the last 72 hours in gpx format, the offline database would be up to date and fresh without using all my PQs or getting anymore data than I already subscribe to. In fact, the query would regularly produce less than 2500 results, and I really only need it to overlap the last time the query was run ie 24 hours give or take a little.

 

Now, I appreciate that my request originally was a major change to the functionality of the PQ system, and I accepted at the time the suggestion of a former mod to use the date range method to catch all the UK in less than a week's queries, even though I felt it to be a Kludgy work around to a more elegant solution that would streamline the process and keep the Db load low. Now of course the Kludgy work around is broken and yet again, I find myself asking for a fix. But this time I don't want another Kludgy work-around. A platinum membership isn't going to last forever as a solution to my needs, maybe another 2 years or so, but the additional capital raised could well cover the cost of upgrades more in the direction of my original requests. Linkable premium accounts could potentially be a permanent fix at least as far as I am prepared to buy additional subscriptions. Also the ability to generate an ignore list from my finds list would have the same result.

 

One other possible solution would be to be able generate ignore lists from a submitted text file that is esentially a list of cache codes, I could write a GSAK macro to generate this and submit it automatically on a daily basis, in about half an hour. If I could also submit my daily PQ requests as Text file definitions, This too I could write a macro to optimize my daily requests and submit them automatically.

 

but again, I am asking for some major changes to the way PQs work, despite the fact that such features would benefit every user of an offline database of any kind. In effect, it's no different to using Outlook to download my Gmail account, sure I can read my mail online at Gmail or veven by email, but they accept that there are situations where its better for me to have it as an offline database, and so they enabled the ability for my offline reader to download a starting copy of the entire set, then just get the updates whenever its able to get online.

 

I suspect this argument would be a very different one if Broadband wasn't so prevalent, I expect a lot more people would support the major changes I suggested several years ago if they had to use dial up to access the myriad of features and pages on the site. Lets not forget that for some users around the world, Dialup is still the only way they can access the site.

 

As for the high finds cachers, some of them are probably part of syndicates that share data (controversial? yes, True? it certainly has been in the past, I see no reason why its not still ongoing) I know of the existence even of a syndicate that shares the cost of rather expensive mapping software. Inevitably, the more caches you find, and events you attend, the more other cachers you get to know and therefore the more opportunity you have to get involved in stepping outside the boundaries.

 

I think this thread has really made some progress in evolvong a workable solution, that has received some very positive support and at the end of the day, not only is that the very purpose of the Website forum, but it's far more likely to be listened to by TPTB. Even if the liklihood of implementation is just 1%, its got to be a lot better than the .01% that it probably was to begin with. Hopefully, the next round of requests will move that to 2% or more, and so on and so on. Don't forget that the method I currently use for my data is that which was endorsed by a part of TPTB at the time I started doing it. (it actually was on a forum at a site which is sadly gone, and was suggested by a Reviewer/Mod who has sadly left that position now.)

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I don't recall anyone stating that those who disagree or won't use it should not post here.

 

What was being said is that if you disagree/won't use, state your reasons for that. A number of people have flat out expressed total opposition to having such an increase without saying why they are opposed. I repeat my simple question: "If you aren't going to use it, why do you care if others ask for it?"

 

To date, I have only seen one response to this that stated they were concerned it would divert development resources away from some other more important feature. A valid concern. Some have said it should be very simple to implement but I am not a programmer. It would be nice if Groundspeak perhaps commented on the development effort.

 

We now have a more recent quote (last few months) from Groundspeak stating there are no current plans to offer an increase. That is helpful. Since plans often change there is the possibility that they may change their mind if presented with an appropriately compelling justification.

 

I also find it interesting that some of the naysayers used the terms "overwhelming number" or "vast majority" of cachers when stating there is no need for an increase. I have yet to see any validation of how they came to the conclusion for those adjectives.

 

In fact, I would suggest (without any statistics etc. to validate) that the "vast majority" of the cachers don't even read these forums much less express an opinion on this single topic.

 

I would further suggest that the number of cachers that want/need such an increase is not large (perhaps less than 10%) but if such an increase were offered, additional cachers might very well take advantage of it. Still, it would not be a large number but it would generate, I would think, more than enough recurring revenue to offset the develop costs. And it would allow GS to keep pace with the sport's growth. Let's not forget the PQ size of 500 was decided upon at least 2 years ago. Since then the number of caches has grown exponentially, the capabilities of GPS units has increased significantly and the ready availability of third party products, such as GSAK, to handle more than 500 caches exist.

 

Finally, there seems to be an opinion that the major reason is to protect the intellectual property of Groundspeak by discouraging offline databases. In my opinion, GS has already "sanctioned" offline data bases by providing a PQ service that allows 2500 caches per day. 2500 far exceeds the daily capability of any cacher. Therefore, people are already maintaining offline databases; only the size is now in question. And with the recent rash of PQ delivery problems (usually on a Friday), maintaining some sort of off line database is making more and more sense.

 

As for third parties taking advantage of a larger PQ to provide data for their service, I doubt the larger PQ would have much effect. If there are such third parties, I would suggest they have already found some sort of backdoor method through multiple memberships or screen scraping. Since a larger PQ would carry an appropriately larger charge, there is no real financial gain to those third parties.

 

Finally. I doubt there is enough geocaching revenue in the world to support two organizations. Groundspeak already has the physical infrastructure and the intellectual property. To attempt to develop a rival offering would be cost prohibitive. Since GS is a privately held organization we don't know their financials but I doubt they are wading in massive amounts of cash. I suspect that they make a comfortable living and enjoy what they are doing. But they are not going to be the next Bill Gates.

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Here's OpinionNate's post from January 2, 2008 (not 2 1/2 years ago).

 

http://forums.Groundspeak.com/GC/index.php...p;#entry3234210

The only changes to the PQ system planned for release when the new Phoenix project is completed will be the introduction of instant downloads. There are some details that have yet to be finalized concerning the storage of those PQs on Geocaching.com, but those issues will be worked out.

 

For those of you who are not satisfied with the limits set by the Pocket Query generator there are numerous ways to refine your searches; many of which have been pointed out in this thread. There are important reasons for Groundspeak setting those limits, foremost being that the site performs better when they are enforced, but also because we want you to visit the site frequently to retrieve fresh data. I'm sorry if that inconveniences some of you.

 

It's also interesting to me when people post that those who disagree with an idea or wouldn't use it should not post in the thread. If the discussion is supposed to be representative of what the community thinks/feels/wants, then most assuredly opposing opinions SHOULD be posted so that ALL views on the subject can be aired. If only those who AGREE with the idea are allowed to express their views, that has the effect of skewing the results. Doesn't make sense to me. A debate/discussion should explore ALL sides ... I would think so, anyway.

 

What has been said is that its not constructive to post sarcasm or opinions on what we do or do not need, only we know that. What at least 2 of us have asked for is very specifically, what effect would this have on them, only one poster has actually managed to do that so far.

 

And yes, I know I put up a sarcastic post, but I could not turn away from such an oportunity as was presented to me, and also I posted it in the hope that opponents would perhaps see that I have significant self control in this respect, having waited so long to post anything remotely sarcastic, and perhaps themselves try to better my level of self control themselves. and, No, that statement was not based in sarcasm, but in genuine explanation of my hopes.

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The reasons that some people might express an opinion against the idea are exactly those stated in OpinioNate's post. TPTB have stated that the site performs better when the limits are enforced. So people who state that "it won't hurt you if we get it" are wrong.

 

If the site performs more poorly, then it affects everyone. So even those who "wouldn't use" the new feature have a vested interest in whether or not it is provided. Some people who "want what they want" seem to be turning a blind eye to this fact.

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Well, the results are In, and I am very surprised at the outcome, on going back through the thread, I find that the number of posters who have expressed a firm opinion one way or another are as follows:

 

Pros - 11

Cons - 13

 

Now I have been lenient with regard to what I considered Con, in order to offset any accusation of personal bias, and I didn't count Keystone as he is very careful not to state his personal opinion in a forum he mods, while Markwell has been counted as a con despite the fact that he's the one who suggested multiple PMs in the first place.

 

there are also several who have posted work arounds or made comments without showing their own opinion either way on the discussion.

 

Now if this was a democracy, we'd lose, but its not, this is a business we are dealing with, If the Auto Industry only made a vehicle if it met the needs of 51% of the population, we'd all be walking everywhere.

 

lets just apply that split across the total of all premium members, and allow for 30% of them to have no opinion either way, that would give us 30% in favour, 40% against, given some of the pros have said they would not necessarily take up such an option, so lets reduce that to 20% who would take it up, that's massively over the take up of any top tier business model I've ever seen.(just count the first class seats on an airplane compared to coach) and therefore extremely viable from a commercial point of view, not to mention that most of those top tiers would not make full use of all those queries.

 

I am however surprised to learn that the planned changes currently in works will involve significant investment in hardware to store that data, without any additional revenue generated to pay for it. I'm sure that they are probably only spending the extra money from an increase in PM signups, plus the fact that the hardware our PMs pay for lasts longer than a year, so allowing for regular additions. The drop in price of Tb level drives is probably a factor too, just $700 will buy you a simple and powerful 4Tb server these days (if you're paying more and in the UK, mail me and I'll do you a deal ;) ). which represents over 1000 copies of the whole database if trimmed down to 5 logs.

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