Jump to content

Google Earth add-in removed


adrian.rutter
Followers 28

Recommended Posts

This really sucks!!! Taking geocaching off of google earth!!! I used google earth to help me find the caches and a way to get to them since I do not have a gps for my car.. Not to mention all of the far away places I have been (cyber traveling) looking at cool caches, when I have nothing better to do... I used that tool just about everyday!!! I also used google earth to measure how far away the caches are to where I can put my next cache. I hope someone will create a tool like this later... This was a poor choice, by whom ever decided to no longer make this available.

Link to comment

How do the reviewers live without this feature? It seemed like the primary tool to evaluate a proposed cache relative to National Park, Tribal Lands and Wilderness areas. Or did you leave it switched on for them?

As a reviewer, I never once used the Network KML. It would be malpractice to evaluate a cache placement issue based on intentionally fuzzy coordinates. NO, Groundspeak did not leave the network KML switched on just for the reviewers.

 

I know that some reviewers use Google Earth to open a cache's GPX file, or a series of caches, in order to evaluate cache placements, see park boundaries, etc. Their ability to do this has not been affected in the least.

 

For me, I never found Google Earth useful. It is bloatware that slowed down my desktop considerably, and wouldn't even load on my laptop where I do most of my reviewer work. I use other mapping sources, all of which are equally available to "regular" geocachers.

 

As a player, I have somehow managed to rack up 4,200 something finds without once using Google Earth for planning, including two "All Counties" challenges. My average find is more than 200 miles from home, and less than 45% of my finds are in my home state. I am quite happy with the many other planning tools which existed prior to the Google Earth option or which have been developed since then.

Link to comment

One step forward, three steps backwards!

 

This feature is the kind of development/advance many paying users would like to see become part of gc.com. Right now, we just see some really "minor" features added as a result of paying, and some rather biased development towards geocaching apps (Iphone only? what about Blackberrys, Androids, etc.)

 

Fact is, Iphone Geocaching app is the ONLY gc.com heavily sponsored app.

Link to comment

Guess I must be one of the 200. :(

 

This stinks. I suppose I'll try using Mapsource, get to my area, right click & "find nearest geocaches". Then has to rely on the maps at gc.com & the slow time it takes for them to load. Its was my way of staying OFF gc.com & all the unnecessary times to load a map, move it, zoom, move....... Its a DRAG.

 

I've been actively using too because I've already started working on our GW8 trip to OR / WA and it was great to see how many caches in an area, be able to see pics on GE and find hotels all in one application.

 

I don't use it for local caching, but it was great for areas I was unfamiliar with or areas I don't already have GSAK full of caches for.

Edited by wandering4cache
Link to comment

RIP Network KML.

 

I used to use it on a very frequent basis. My job takes me all over the UK at very short notice. As soon as I knew where I was going GE was fired up to look for suitable caches along the way and at my destination. Without that functionality I'll be forced to use up a couple of my tiny PQ allowance to do the same (5 a day with a max of 500 caches seems ather mean).

 

I haven't had time to read the whole of this thread and I'm sure Groundspeak feel justified in their actions but they sure know how to piss off their customers - What a shame they have a monopoly over our hobby.

Link to comment

It seems to me that there's a business opportunity here. I would bet that people would pay a few $ for a Google Earth add-on which extracted its data from a locally-stored GPX file or GSAK database. No issues with performance, ToU or site-scraping, either. (I'm not volunteering to do this; I can't even get GE to stay open for more than 5 seconds on any of my PCs without crashing.)

Link to comment

btw. no anoucement or comment from Groundspeak?

 

googler25

I see you are not a regular participant in the Groundspeak forums, so here's some tips:

 

1. There is an "Announcements" forum at the very top of the main forum index. If you subscribe to receive notifications for the site updates thread there, you will receive an e-mail alert whenever the website has a significant update. That way you can stay informed even if you don't read the forums very often. Follow the link in the announcement to the detailed thread where each change is documented. Three months ago, the site update thread included an explanation for why the Network KML feature was being discontinued. That discussion thread provides a place for asking questions, saying thank-you, or registering criticism.

 

2. In addition to the original announcement, Groundspeak employees have remained active in the discussion. Search, for example, for posts in the past three months from OpinioNate and Raine. You can identify posts by Groundspeak employees quite easily due to their special avatars, the "Moderator" tag which many of them have, and the identifying information in their forum signature line. "Lackey" is the affectionate term that Groundspeak adopted to call its hard-working employees. A post from a Groundspeak Lackey is authoritative.

Link to comment

I'd markwell the prior topic but it's late...

 

Each view you did when moving the window of the network kml amounted to a small PQ. Now imaging someone constantly panning the window, over and over and over and over.. is it still hard to imaging that maybe that was a hit to the system?

 

Now to the people that balk at the 200 user count. The 200 user count was a number that I gave to Nate and Jeremy when we were looking at the system resources.. That number can be explained. I kept detailed logs of what IP was hitting and when it was hitting. I can tell you how many people used it and how many times they panned the map. The 200# was based on someone panning the map more than 500 times a day and has stuck now as the battle cry of people in this thread. That number doesn't count the many people who panned the map once or twice or even 100 times.

 

Yes the feature was a great addition to the site and yes, once again I'll say that I'm sad it had to go for now, I am looking for a better way to provide that type of functionality, though.

 

-Raine

Just throwing in this reply for new posters - so they know a few more facts.......

Link to comment

Late to the show becuase I just noticed it not working for me and came here to investigate.

 

I was not harmed by the decision, however I am dissapointed. I used the feature to plan trips and get caches in new counties. The GC.com maps do not have county lines. Also the GC.com maps are painfully slow to navigate.

 

Does anyone have an easy workaround for viewing caches with county lines shown?

 

Hopefully some sort of solution can be found to help those 200? of us that are/were regular users of the Google Earth KML feature.

Link to comment

 

1. There is an "Announcements" forum at the very top of the main forum index. If you subscribe to receive notifications for the site updates thread there, you will receive an e-mail alert whenever the website has a significant update. That way you can stay informed even if you don't read the forums very often. Follow the link in the announcement to the detailed thread where each change is documented. Three months ago, the site update thread included an explanation for why the Network KML feature was being discontinued. That discussion thread provides a place for asking questions, saying thank-you, or registering criticism.

 

2. In addition to the original announcement, Groundspeak employees have remained active in the discussion. Search, for example, for posts in the past three months from OpinioNate and Raine. You can identify posts by Groundspeak employees quite easily due to their special avatars, the "Moderator" tag which many of them have, and the identifying information in their forum signature line. "Lackey" is the affectionate term that Groundspeak adopted to call its hard-working employees. A post from a Groundspeak Lackey is authoritative.

 

It would have been a nice touch to also put the announcement in the weekly emails we get from GC.com. You seem to annouce new features there, but not this "new feature". You can see from the number of posts indicated on many of the posters here that we are not regular visitors in the Forums. I am a daily user of GC.com but had made only one post to the Forums prior to this issue.

Link to comment

To remove KML from Geocaching is yet another sign of the ignorance of Groundspeak towards its users and moreover paying members.

 

The KML was THE way for me to find caches. Not it is gone and I am mad as hell!!!

 

What is next? Pocket Queries??? Hmm, maybe we could also disable them to save some traffic. After all there are at most 200 people using them.

 

Sorry but I don't know how long I will be willing to feed 30 bucks to GS every year if I get that in return.

Link to comment
It doesn't happen all the time, just often enough to be really annoying. And it's not the main page, it's the stats pages. Say I'm going on a trip out of state and want to refresh my memory about which counties I need to find caches in, or want to know how many more caches I need to find in other counties/states to change the map color, or refresh my memory as to which squares in my D/T grid I still need to fill, etc. It appears to be working right this minute.

 

Each view you did when moving the window of the network kml amounted to a small PQ. Now imaging someone constantly panning the window, over and over and over and over.. is it still hard to imaging that maybe that was a hit to the system?

Yes, it's very easy to imagine the hit to the system. But, and I'm probably exposing my ignorance here, doesn't the Google Maps option do the same thing? Every pan still results in a hit to the system to know where to display each icon, plus you also display found and disabled status. Is there no way to incorporate this exact information into a Google Earth KML? This is just speculation, not a demand for a new service.

 

Now to the people that balk at the 200 user count. The 200 user count was a number that I gave to Nate and Jeremy when we were looking at the system resources.. That number can be explained. I kept detailed logs of what IP was hitting and when it was hitting. I can tell you how many people used it and how many times they panned the map. The 200# was based on someone panning the map more than 500 times a day and has stuck now as the battle cry of people in this thread. That number doesn't count the many people who panned the map once or twice or even 100 times.

Now THAT makes sense, and I'm glad StarBrand reposted this info. Actually, I may officially be one of the infamous "200". I remember 3 or so times where I ran into the max hits limit when planning a long trip to a new area where I was looking at caches in areas spanning hundreds of miles. But those 3 times were spaced out over a period of a few years; it's not like I hit the limit once a week or even once a month. But one of those times happens to have coincided with Raine's report to the head honchos then I contributed to the number. So I guess this is my fault... :ph34r:

 

Yes the feature was a great addition to the site and yes, once again I'll say that I'm sad it had to go for now, I am looking for a better way to provide that type of functionality, though.

This sounds promising, and is hopefully NOT a vague promise to get us to shut up. :ph34r:

 

Incidentally, it wasn't my intent to pick on Raine, it just looks that way. :ph34r:

Link to comment

I used Google Earth for many things, including Geocaching. Maybe I am one of the few. I do think that the "200 users" may refer to "an average of 200 users logged in at any one given moment".

 

I feel that if it's too much strain on the server then allow someone to setup a mirror and use that for the KML server. First- I can't believe that KML takes up all that much bandwidth, and second, servers are cheap nowdays.

Link to comment

I felt like I should weigh in on this topic as well, since I do (did) use GE's GC tool almost every day.

 

I would love to have it back...I will lose much of my desire to geocache because of this. I would look at locations using GE and find ones that looked fun, and head out from there. Without this, I will just be hit-and-miss with the good and bad cache locations.

 

On the other hand, I can imagine the huge drain on resources that must be, if there are as many people using it (even casually) as I imagine there are. It's only reasonable that they would have to shut it down in order to keep functionality in other, more vital areas (like forums, etc.) I hope Raine's comment about working up something equally or more effective than GE's KML was. If not, I'm sure I can cope, but it's certainly the end of an era for me.

 

Mike (Mike & Kate)

Link to comment

I was hoping to see some work done to fix the problems on the maps before the final demise of the kml. To be honest having something on Groundspeak's todo list hasn't got the best record. I was among those who was happy to hear that gs planned to give us back a way to see archived caches. That used to be one of the things that could be done with maps supplied on the site. When it went away tptb said they'd work on bringing it back. Um, what happened to that? Now they say they will work on the maps and try to give us back a tool like the one they just chopped. Sure, thanks.

 

For all practical purposes gs is the only game in town. We have to learn how to do the things we used to in other ways. I know that, doesn't mean I have to like it.

Link to comment

Raine,

 

Why does a full PQ have to be made with each page redraw. Can you not just grab from the db the coordinates and the title of the cache?

 

To tell you the truth I have a huge OLDB - I simply use the GME macro in GSAK when I plain my routes. I too, as a user above, find GE to be bloat ware and it slows my system down too much. The only thing I use GE for is to see if I have full coverage of a county with my OLDB. I can easily do that now with a GPX export from GSAK.

 

Raine is it that hard to only grab the info that is needed instead of a full PQ (logs and all as you explained before) and would this save cpu and ram usage on the server?

To the user above who said no one pays more than $30 a year to GS, you are wrong - I pay more! and I get more too :ph34r:

Edited by Frank Broughton
Link to comment
Groundspeak seems to be enjoying the removal of useful features as a sport. First the PDF, then the KML. (snip)

 

The PDF loss was no feature loss, the current print option is way better and more flexible. I have not seen any worker at GS say they "enjoyed" taking the KML feature away. I saw a post by Raine saying he is trying to find a way to bring it back so it is not a resource hog. Did I miss something The Hawks? I have read every post in this thread to date.

Link to comment

Signing in as 1 of the 200 - however I may have not been present for the count, as right around the update time my computer was "upgraded" and so I was without all equipment for a week and a half. When I got it back, I slowly gathered my GSAKs and my Google Earths, and when I came to reload the KML....I heard crickets chirping.

 

I am going to have to live with the Google Maps method, but with a big trip coming up (going to a rural area a distance away, so having to trace along the road carefully is less fun in 2D) , the feature will be sorely missed.

Link to comment

I just opened Google Earth to do a quick search for a cache and I found that the Geocaching KML file didn't work anymore. So I came to the forums to see what I could find out. I've read about 1/2 of this thread including the first several pages and most of the last two or three pages. And I went back and read some of the thread about the Release Notes from 4/21/09.

 

Count me as one of those users who is very disappointed to lose this functionality. While I search for caches in multiple ways, my most common method is to just open up GE and navigate to where I want to look. www.geocaching.com/map provides similar functionality but it's not as good, and I can't simultaneously use the other features that GE has.

 

Now to the people that balk at the 200 user count. The 200 user count was a number that I gave to Nate and Jeremy when we were looking at the system resources.. That number can be explained. I kept detailed logs of what IP was hitting and when it was hitting. I can tell you how many people used it and how many times they panned the map. The 200# was based on someone panning the map more than 500 times a day and has stuck now as the battle cry of people in this thread. That number doesn't count the many people who panned the map once or twice or even 100 times.

 

I think it is sadly amusing that this measure (200 people moving their GE map 500 pans in a day) was translated to "only about 200 users regularly accessed the Google Earth KML" in the official release notes back in April. Of course there aren't many users that pan their GE map more than 500 times per day. This is a ridiculous metric to use. So Raine, can you tell use how many users panned their maps a normal amount, say 30 or 40 times per day?

Edited by m^3
Link to comment

Yes, Bring Back Google Earth KML

 

I use(d) Google Earth feature almost every time I wanted to look for new caches or do pocket queries for an area I was planning to travel to. How else can you quickly center on a cache in a location you are not familiar with and display the nearby caches quickly? How else can you quicklyopen, copy and paste a cache number into a query and search for the nearest 500 caches? How else can you quickly assess the terrain around a cache in 3D? I am sure there are many other advantages others have found as well.

 

b65e94f0-5da1-4dbb-ab6b-b397d747786c.jpg

 

GC.Com, it was a mistake to drop the KML...maybe we can convince Dave Carroll to write a song and produce a video for YouTube..."GC.com Breaks Links"

 

Edited by Falach-fead
Link to comment

To the user above who said no one pays more than $30 a year to GS, you are wrong - I pay more! and I get more too :ph34r:

 

I have only seen the $30 per year Premium memberhip offered. Maybe others would be interested in the other arrangements that are available. Please describe your arrangement and what you pay for it.

Link to comment

Go to hell, groudspeak, i am cachimg for three years only with google earth and kml file.... i hate google maps at all, so what will i do.... i am paying you membersihp not for new features (most of them is for nothing, like caches along the route, it is mutch better to do more PQ with 500wp and thet delete caches which will you surrely miss) but for keepeng database and good old functions... mad.gif mad.gif mad.gif mad.gif mad.gif mad.gif

 

PLEASE GIWE ME KML FILE BACK.

Link to comment

From the Forum Guidelines:

 

Forum courtesy: Please treat Groundspeak, its employees, volunteers, fellow community members, and guests on these boards with courtesy and respect. Whether a community member has one post or 5,000 posts, they should be treated fairly.

 

If you cannot post constructively and respectfully, don't post. Plenty of community members have been able to register their displeasure in a constructive and respectful fashion.

Link to comment

I must say I am very sad to see this go. I am also highly suspicious of the 200 number, as I probably personally know of about 50 people that use it - just in my little corner of the geosphere.

 

Not the end of the world, bud sad nevertheless.

Link to comment

It seems to me that there's a business opportunity here. I would bet that people would pay a few $ for a Google Earth add-on which extracted its data from a locally-stored GPX file or GSAK database. No issues with performance, ToU or site-scraping, either. (I'm not volunteering to do this; I can't even get GE to stay open for more than 5 seconds on any of my PCs without crashing.)

 

Maybe Groundspeak should do something like that. Have a separate server just for GE with it's own separate database that could get updated from the main database a couple times a day or whatever.

Link to comment

I liked the GE KML and used it alot to determine the best route for a bunch of finds.

 

Without it, Im thinking Ill no longer subscribe to the "service"

 

Its been a BIG assist when placing a cache!

 

Load it up and you can/cannot hide one there...

 

Fast and effective!

 

I have found MANY in my area and I cant remember them ALL.....

When I want to place a new one I have to ask my reviewer is that spot is ok..

NO?

How about THAT spot?

No, well then forget it, I wont hide one!!!

 

WHY????

Why allow this to happen??

 

Let US help YOU!!!

Edited by Bass_Chaz
Link to comment

To the user above who said no one pays more than $30 a year to GS, you are wrong - I pay more! and I get more too :ph34r:

 

I have only seen the $30 per year Premium memberhip offered. Maybe others would be interested in the other arrangements that are available. Please describe your arrangement and what you pay for it.

 

Easy, you can do it too; get a second account or three or four.

Link to comment
Go to hell, groudspeak, i am cachimg for three years only with google earth and kml file.... i hate google maps at all, so what will i do.... i am paying you membersihp not for new features (most of them is for nothing, like caches along the route, it is mutch better to do more PQ with 500wp and thet delete caches which will you surrely miss) but for keepeng database and good old functions... mad.gif mad.gif mad.gif mad.gif mad.gif mad.gif

 

PLEASE GIWE ME KML FILE BACK.

 

This post is uncalled for. I stand strong that you should be allowed to say what you want (within reason) but the above has crossed the line. I do not think you should get banned or warned for being critical of GS, but saying things that are just plan old street lingo of the uneducated is not being critical.

Link to comment
Go to hell, groudspeak, i am cachimg for three years only with google earth and kml file.... i hate google maps at all, so what will i do.... i am paying you membersihp not for new features (most of them is for nothing, like caches along the route, it is mutch better to do more PQ with 500wp and thet delete caches which will you surrely miss) but for keepeng database and good old functions... mad.gif mad.gif mad.gif mad.gif mad.gif mad.gif

 

PLEASE GIWE ME KML FILE BACK.

 

This post is uncalled for. I stand strong that you should be allowed to say what you want (within reason) but the above has crossed the line. I do not think you should get banned or warned for being critical of GS, but saying things that are just plan old street lingo of the uneducated is not being critical.

 

Yeah Frank is right. Even though we are extremly upset, we must remember that all of this is only for a hobby.

Link to comment

With the amount of money being made on memberships alone, not counting kickback on adds maybe a little more investment in bandwidth, or whatever is needed, could be done to bring back the feature. I found it to be extremely useful. I'm not certain how it was effecting the performance of this site, maybe an enlightenment on that aspect would be helpful.

Link to comment

Go to hell, groudspeak, i am cachimg for three years only with google earth and kml file.... i hate google maps at all, so what will i do.... i am paying you membersihp not for new features (most of them is for nothing, like caches along the route, it is mutch better to do more PQ with 500wp and thet delete caches which will you surrely miss) but for keepeng database and good old functions... mad.gif mad.gif mad.gif mad.gif mad.gif mad.gif

 

PLEASE GIWE ME KML FILE BACK.

 

Gotta say, I've been among the more vocal opponents of this move and find this one counter productive as well as unnecessarily rude. If you think this is helping the cause please, don't help.

Link to comment

I, too, am one of the 200. Seems like there is an awful lot of us out there that used it. Who came up with the 200 figure? I am not a premium member, don't have a GPSr that I can download to, so Google Earth was my way of planning a caching trip. I am very disappointed that this feature is gone and can understand everyone else's frustrations. I feel like I am living in some 3rd world country with a dictator in charge. Someone made the decision to disable this add-in and we, the cachers, never had a chance to speak our minds. This has really taken some of my joy out of the sport. How about us Google Earth users banding together and starting our own caching website??? Any webmasters out there?

Link to comment

I, too, am one of the 200. Seems like there is an awful lot of us out there that used it. Who came up with the 200 figure?

 

Now to the people that balk at the 200 user count. The 200 user count was a number that I gave to Nate and Jeremy when we were looking at the system resources.. That number can be explained. I kept detailed logs of what IP was hitting and when it was hitting. I can tell you how many people used it and how many times they panned the map. The 200# was based on someone panning the map more than 500 times a day and has stuck now as the battle cry of people in this thread. That number doesn't count the many people who panned the map once or twice or even 100 times.

 

Yes the feature was a great addition to the site and yes, once again I'll say that I'm sad it had to go for now, I am looking for a better way to provide that type of functionality, though.

 

-Raine

Link to comment

 

Now to the people that balk at the 200 user count. The 200 user count was a number that I gave to Nate and Jeremy when we were looking at the system resources.. That number can be explained. I kept detailed logs of what IP was hitting and when it was hitting. I can tell you how many people used it and how many times they panned the map. The 200# was based on someone panning the map more than 500 times a day and has stuck now as the battle cry of people in this thread. That number doesn't count the many people who panned the map once or twice or even 100 times.

-Raine

 

The problem not too many ISPs assign specific IP addresses. Here in the Aliant system we have 2 IP address' (one primary, and a second as a backup) for the ISP. there are more than 500 geocachers on this ISP, so you likely counted one user (The primary IP address) now that gives you really accurate numbers, yeah right. Eastlink (another ISP in the same area, more than 200 geocachers) is set-up the same way, I expect that many other ISPs are setup in a similar fashion.

 

Please bring back the KML

 

Misha

Moncton, NB; Canada

Link to comment

Wouldn't the demand on the server and database be the same from an IP address, regardless of whether it was one addicted panner who refreshed Google Earth 500 times in one day, or fifty casual users who refreshed ten times each? As has been pointed out, don't be so obsessed with the "200 users" figure.

Link to comment

One more time...can someone tell me what to do now? All "200" of us have had our say...all but one very politely...but I need a solution. I will be traveling across the country, and I want to check out the route I am taking, or the places I'll be staying, and be able to choose some caches. They add to the pleasure of the trip, and add to my numbers, as well. I know about caching along a route and PQ's but they provide many unsatisfactory results (i.e no room for the RV). I really like to choose from among the caches on the map. I am not familiar with other mapping options...guess I was too dependent on GE KML. Thanks, in advance for your help.

Link to comment
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
Followers 28
×
×
  • Create New...