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Google Earth add-in removed


adrian.rutter
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It is a pity the KML function is removed. I am one of the many users of it and really hope it will come back again. As a premium member I thougt we get extra advantages. I cannnot imagine the counted 200 users of the KML layer. It really sould by more. I guess one or two ''zero's are forgotten.

Please bring back the KML layer. Zoekbaars, Netherlands

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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.

 

And now something that doesn't violate the terms of use, eh :ph34r: ?

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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 :P

 

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.

 

And now something that doesn't violate the terms of use, eh :ph34r: ?

How would that violate TOS? :ph34r:

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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 :P

 

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.

 

And now something that doesn't violate the terms of use, eh :ph34r: ?

How would that violate TOS? :ph34r:

 

There sure is something about only one account per person or something .... at least I think there was when I last studied it.

 

In any case, mind the emoticon.

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First of all: I used it as No. 1 method of finding caches in unknown areas, too. And I want the KML back!

 

It makes me angry to be treated like a dumb little child, uhm customer by Groundspeak.

 

Groundspeak turned off a feature a lot of their customers used and found useful! If not most! And they by-the-way claimed that it wasn't.

When I read the now famous 200 number, being naive I thought "Wow, I am a minority!" Now I hope they don't pay the guys that got that number too much. And even less to those who wrote it in the original announcement. If Groundspeak were publicly listed in the stock and that would have been an information for investors, they would get sued... How can you base a business decision on such ridiculously false information?

 

Plus, Groundspeak surrendered from the technical problem. I can see the problem - but why is Groundspeak the only company out there to solve it by just turning the feature off? What with Moore's law and all the servers getting better and faster and all those giftes software engineers all over the world? Now one able to find a solution? That's just sad...

 

Hope they come to their senses and listen to what their customers are saying!

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First of all: I used it as No. 1 method of finding caches in unknown areas, too. And I want the KML back!

 

It makes me angry to be treated like a dumb little child, uhm customer by Groundspeak.

 

Groundspeak turned off a feature a lot of their customers used and found useful! If not most! And they by-the-way claimed that it wasn't.

When I read the now famous 200 number, being naive I thought "Wow, I am a minority!" Now I hope they don't pay the guys that got that number too much. And even less to those who wrote it in the original announcement. If Groundspeak were publicly listed in the stock and that would have been an information for investors, they would get sued... How can you base a business decision on such ridiculously false information?

 

Plus, Groundspeak surrendered from the technical problem. I can see the problem - but why is Groundspeak the only company out there to solve it by just turning the feature off? What with Moore's law and all the servers getting better and faster and all those giftes software engineers all over the world? Now one able to find a solution? That's just sad...

 

Hope they come to their senses and listen to what their customers are saying!

Welcome to the Groundspeak Forums. I see that this was your first post. If you cannot make your point without attacking people -- rather than criticizing actions and ideas -- then make it your last post. Thank you.

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There sure is something about only one account per person or something .... at least I think there was when I last studied it.

"You can't create sock puppets for the purposes of posting" is in the forum guidelines. There's nothing in the Terms of Service that indicate you are limited to a single account per person. I have several accounts that I manage - my own, my dog, one for the Cub Scout Pack for which I'm Cub Master, one for the Boy Scout Troop for which I'm Assistant Scoutmaster Master, one for my in-laws and several others. More than one of these accounts is a premium membership. I use these multiple premium memberships to get more than 5 pocket queries per day. It's not a violation of the TOS.

 

It would only be a problem if the SemperFiWags and Pack13 accounts started posting comments in a thread to try and support off-the-wall comments made by Markwell.

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We are now being told not to get hung up on the 200 - but 200 was used to justify the removal in the first place!!!

 

When the GC maps don't work (usually every Sunday morning (UK), I had to use GE to look at an area I was investigating for caching.

 

Also, GE is much faster, larger screen, more information and has route planning abilities, which is very useful if you want to see what caches are available whilst travelling.

 

I am disapointed that the GE link has been discontinued without any replacement service implemented. I certainly can't say I have seen any improvement in the performance since it was removed.

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OK, and now we have officially strayed off topic. (Sorry Markwell, good reply though)

Let's face facts folks, what's done is done, we WERE warned back in April, it seems the KML app was a big drain on server resources and TPTB are looking at implimenting something similar as soon as possible.

I think we've come to the point where we are .............

beating_a_dead_horse1.gif

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When I first started using the Google earth KML, the caches would refresh each time I panned the map. It did slow things up a bit and was somewhat annoying just like googlemap is. Also when you reached some magic number, was it 500?, you were cut off from looking any more for the day. Then I found out that I could refresh only on demand. That was on of the things that made it so usefull. I could zoom and pan to a level that showed the county or counties I was interested in and then refresh the KML.

 

If by default, this feature was set up this way , it would dramatically cut down on server demand.

In fact add that feature to the geocaching google maps and and Groundspeak could give us back the GE KML without an overload to the server.

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OK, and now we have officially strayed off topic. (Sorry Markwell, good reply though)

Let's face facts folks, what's done is done, we WERE warned back in April, it seems the KML app was a big drain on server resources and TPTB are looking at implimenting something similar as soon as possible.

I think we've come to the point where we are .............

beating_a_dead_horse1.gif

 

Hey Mick. You knew what this thread was about before you came in to make this post. So to borrow from the phrase so often heard in these forums, If you don't like it, don't read it.

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I guess I will ask for one more stroke in the beating of this horse. I just got a new computer and I am in the process of loading all of the programs when I came across this issue. I am greatly dismayed at this decision since I too used the function extensively to plan caching adventures both large and small. The mothership doesn't offer anything comparable, in my opinion. As with most business decisions, we as the "little people" aren't really consulted when the decisions are made. In looking through this thread, I believe that all 200 users of that function, including myself, have voiced their opinions here. What are the odds of that?!?! Seriously though, I think this feature should come back. I have often lamented the lag time in loading MANY things on the site and I have cursed Jeremy for not upgrading his servers. I often ask what my $30 goes towards. There are alot of premium members who wish for this feature to come back just as I do. And like others before me, I feel that the system should be improved not pared to reduce demand. I honestly don't know what I will use in it's place. It won't be the GC maps. It will be adding several steps to the system that I have grown accustomed to. I am actually shocked that I haven't noticed this or heard about it sooner. I guess the lights have not gone out completely. It was a valuable tool in planning my geocaching. My family may applaud it's demise; but I am mourning the loss.

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OK, so GS bailed on the GE app.....From what I can gather maybe it was a $$$ and server load issue. I didn't use it too often but certainly found it useful when I did. How about if GS initiates a "Premium2" user category..I would be willing to pay another dollar or two on the yearly dues to be a "Premium2" user with a few more bennies....anyone else?!?!?..... :ph34r: FINDIT

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It was removed in yesterday's site update. Only used by about 200 people and caused significant performance problems for everyone else.

 

I'm also disappointed that this feature has been lost. I used GE frequently to plan cache runs in locations I was planning to visit in the near future. I hope there can be a resolution to this that gives us access to the feature even if it is at a less 'robust' level.

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I also used it and found it the best way to search for caches in remote areas. The system could be made MUCH more efficient by requiring manual updates instead of "auto-update every time you move". The alternative is much slower and will require the use of many pocket queries, which I then load into google earth anyway.

 

PLEASE BRING THIS FEATURE BACK!!!

Edited by Mr. Waldo
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This is what I am seeing in this thread. A group of people feel as their favorite cache planning tool was taken and feel as though they have no other options in planning their cache day.

 

You can still use Google Earth with your GPX file. If for some reason loading a gpx file is an issue with you you can download google earth tweaker to make a kml file for you out of a gpx.

 

You don't want to use up your PQ's for the day because you aren't quite sure where you are going. You can build a PQ by coordinates (that you can get off of google earth) or by zip code. Don't click the day to run, you can just preview it. It won't count against your daily totals if you don't click day to run. From there you can click on the caches to see if you want to use them to run a "real" PQ, or you can check the caches you want download the .loc and put them into your gsak export them and make a gpx then into a kml file. That way you can still use google earth to plan your day, and you don't have to learn to use google maps for your trip.

 

Learning new techniques can take time, and you might find a couple of new tricks along the way. If you need help with using gpx and google earth feel free to contact me through the site or pm me. I will try to help. Change is not always bad, google earth is gone. But we have not had the regular sight down issues in a looooong time. I remember in the not too distant past trying to log caches on Sunday evening or Monday was a pipe dream. Now I don't even think twice about what day I am trying to log on. I think using resources for the greater good is a good thing.

 

I think they are trying to use their resources best they can without increasing prices. I shop at Winco, they have a big sign that says in an effort to keep prices low, I have to bag my own groceries. If I didn't want to bag my own groceries, or take them out to my car I could pay a little more and go to Safeway. Same food more perks, higher prices. I am sure if GS were to raise prices for more resources so the minority could have google earth kml's there would be complete anarchy in the forums. Now if you want to chat about restructuring the price ranges with the most perks being expensive and a basic memebership being just being a pq runner thats a different thread.

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I can understand the server load issue and I suspect (although I do not have any facts) that the GE kml allowed more non-premium members to get by without premium (=paid for) membership (which is bad for business - please help me if I'm wrong). Now if one could make the GE kml Premium Member only (not sure if that is possible) then it would encourage more people to become PM's. As far as server load is concerned: as I and several others have stated before, if one could make it refresh manually (with even a limit on refreshes per day if necessary) it could sort out that problem. Sounds like a win-win situation to me.

Edited by the pooks
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Wow, this thread grew quick! I'm surprised no one has started a petition thread or anything to have the GE link brought back. I myself used it heavily to plan ahead where i was thinking about going. Made it easier to find alternative routes with lots of caches on the way to where I was going. Oh well. :ph34r:

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Wow, this thread grew quick! I'm surprised no one has started a petition thread or anything to have the GE link brought back. I myself used it heavily to plan ahead where i was thinking about going. Made it easier to find alternative routes with lots of caches on the way to where I was going. Oh well. :ph34r:

 

The petition has been started. There is a link back there someplace.

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Dear Mr. and Mrs. Groundspeak,

 

a lot of geocachers used the KML-tool for their own trip preparation. It was easy, fast and very useful.

Other possibilities are not that good and efficient.

Please be so kind and enable it again. Cachers worldwide would be glad!!!

 

Greetings from Cologne, Germany

Homer Jay

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Harriet the Spy, thank you for being the only person to actually address the question of what to do now! I appreciate the suggestions!

 

I agree - Harriet nice post. Perhaps a tutorial with pictures is in line for those who are struggling with a replacement for the GE KML.

Edited by Frank Broughton
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I utilize Google Earth for many things. I use it to store my cache finds, my cache placements, parts of puzzle and mystery caches, and many other things. I liked the KML feature but never really used it for more than just a general look at where caches "may" be, because of all the bouncing it did with actual cache locations. Sometimes the the KML view would put caches in rivers, middle of the street, or on top of buildings and every time I refreshed my look it would be somewhere else. I preferred to do as Harriett does, run a .gpx file from GSAK or directly from a PQ and load it into GE. This gave me more of an accurate view of where to look for caches.

 

Doing it this way gave me more accurate looks at where the cache should be located and it enabled me to, as many of you also like to to do, set up a route. Since it went it away and because I utilize this method of creating caches and routes in GE, I have not really missed it.

 

I have also found it very simple to "create a route", since they have fixed some of the issues with that program, and have it downloaded into GE and then verify my route in GE. I find this method pretty simple and yes it is a few more steps, but it really doesn't bother me. I don't run a lot of PQ's so it doesn't impact my total number of downloads. I also always preview my "route" before running the PQ to ensure that it is what I want to download. I also then run a few PQ's of an area that I want to look in and open those .gpx files into GE also.

 

I do understand some of the frustration that some of you are having from the disappearance of a nice to have feature, but there are ways around it until the long term solution is created. If it were to come back, it would need to be more accurate for me to enjoy or I will just continue to do what I'm doing now.

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I utilize Google Earth for many things...I liked the KML feature but never really used it for more than just a general look at where caches "may" be...

That's the only portion that's not working. Google Earth is still there, and can accept GPX files directly, and give an accurate result. It's only the fuzzy KML that isn't working now.

 

You know I did this one today with my GPX file and GE...

 

Google Earth Image with GPX

And because so many people come in here and don't have a chance to read all of the posts...

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

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If only 200 users (a number I cannot believe!) using that service, where´s the problem? Opening a GPX-file, which I got as a result of a PQ is not a really good solution, because this way is slow and needs many interactions and steps in between.

KML was a great tool and from our point of view, switch it on again, pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeease :ph34r:

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I'm 1 of only 200? I'm impressed with me, I didn't know I was so special and I was one of the elite few, the top 200 who used this feature all the time. Hey while on my many trips I was even getting strangers to start geocaching by using this feature and showing them how many geocaches were in their area. They never suspected so many free adventures were so close to them and they didn't know. But I guess the end of being a rare breed is just the end. Sort of like being kicked out of Mensa, another top 2%.

PS. Now that you are not spending any time or energy or money on GE + live KML you may want to think about using the savings to advertising because you have turned off my most impressive recruitment tool.

Good Luck to ya in moving forward with the sport, and I guess I'll see all of you back on the ground. (I can see my next 100 finds while traveling are going to be hard, hard fought........like back in the good old days. :ph34r:

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To the Geocaching.com gurus...

 

Generally, I love your work - and I understand the difficulties associated with maintaining and improving a site with limited funds and a massive number of users.... As a Geocaching lover and avid user of Google Earth, it is extremely disappointed this functionality has been removed. I agree with most other posts - 200 users??? To quote from a great Australian move 'The Castle' ... "tell him he's dreamin!" I often use Google Earth without being logged into the Geocaching.com website (if that makes a difference??). I have completed some of my best spontaneous caching with my little netbook and GPS on the road using this Google Earth Feature.

 

I think you should have investigated alternative solutions to the performance problems (such as some suggested ie displaying caches at a limited zoom level... or allowing users to manually select type of cache shown or limit number of total GZ displayed in a particular area to a defined parameter - ie 100 or 200 etc...).

 

Technology is always improving.... as far as I am concerned, there is simply no excuse to disable such a useful tool (nice to have for some, essential for others...).

 

Perhaps issue a broader communication out of the forums as well regarding your intended plans for improved functionality, timeframes and issues/successess/compromises etc... as clearly you have hit a sore spot with a lot of users.

 

A suggestion for next time... how about doing some 'voice of customer' investigation - you know, ask the people, particularly those that pay membership fees for premium features like this, what they might want to see.... bang for the buck and all that jazz....

 

Other than this issue - generally very happy with the services geocaching.com provides

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Harriet the Spy, thank you for being the only person to actually address the question of what to do now! I appreciate the suggestions!

 

I agree - Harriet nice post. Perhaps a tutorial with pictures is in line for those who are struggling with a replacement for the GE KML.

 

Are you kidding me? ~5 convoluted steps (worst being waiting for the PQ via email) instead of GE KML! There is absolutely no comparison. GE didn't need any tutorial, it just worked. Simply, Seamlessly, Quickly and Beautifully. Anyone that says otherwise is delusional.

 

There has been all kinds of ideas thrown out... on demand refresh, premium2, abbreviated information. They would all address the "server load" issue.

 

I suspect the real issue is keeping people on the site vs. spending time on GE. Ground speak earns $$$ while people are on their site browsing (viewing adds), they earn zilch while people are eleswhere.

 

Pathetic.

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I am not the best splainr especially when it comes to technical things. Which is why I offered anybody to email or pm me. I just re tried, it took me a couple of more clicks... but I hacked up my data in gsak exactly the way I wanted it. No puzzles, only puzzles with answers, found on a certain day, not found by me etc. It seems that it was easier to view caches, just the ones I wanted. If I remember correctly, on the old geocaching kml you had to view everything, and definitely not the finals to puzzles that I had stored. I like having control over my data and what I see.

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I like to have icons in Google Earth, so I have downloaded a free program called Google Earth Tweaker

 

After installing I drag and drop my gpx file, either a straight PQ fresh from the GC or one that I have created by hacking data in GSAK directly onto tweaker. Click the top bubble complete file. Tweaker then generates a .kml file. Then File-->Open-->your KML. Google Earth then flies to that location and you see your pretty caches.

 

Sometimes I am running short on my daily PQ's, so I like to preview them before making them go towards my daily count. Do everything you usually do when you set up your PQ, but do not click a day to run. Instead sumbit information, and then you get the message

"Thanks! Your pocket query has been modified and currently results in 500 caches. You can preview the search on the nearest cache page. " Click on preview search, then you get your pages of caches that you can browse through the caches.

 

You can then make a "real" pq either off of coordinates or cache pages. Then I like to build my kml file as listed above.

 

If you really really don't want to use your pq to see them, you can download the .loc files, dump into gsak, export a .gpx file and then lather rinse repeat.

 

As for posting pictures... right now there is a group of cachers in the NW giggling at the thought of me figuring out how to do that. Wait... they are all at Champoeg drinking and laughing because I am the only that didn't make it down there. :ph34r:

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I'm disappointed. I've been so busy with grad school and my summer job that I had not had a chance to see that this was disabled. When I teach teachers and students about geocaching, I always tell them how easy it is to use Google Earth to see what geocaches are close to their homes, schools, etc. Now I have to take that part OUT of my talks. Even if there are "other ways" to get similar functionality out of Google Earth for geocaching, a newbie isn't going to jump through all those hoops.

 

It's a shame. I personally know at least 200 geocachers who used the function with some regularity. I guess I need to wade back through the posts to see how that was explained.

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I'm disappointed. I've been so busy with grad school and my summer job that I had not had a chance to see that this was disabled. When I teach teachers and students about geocaching, I always tell them how easy it is to use Google Earth to see what geocaches are close to their homes, schools, etc. Now I have to take that part OUT of my talks. Even if there are "other ways" to get similar functionality out of Google Earth for geocaching, a newbie isn't going to jump through all those hoops.

 

It's a shame. I personally know at least 200 geocachers who used the function with some regularity. I guess I need to wade back through the posts to see how that was explained.

 

I am pretty sure that the geocaching KML was a premium member only feature, so a person just signed up to the site wouldn't have been able to use it anyway. Now they can still see what caches are close to home, premium or not, on the home page by "Enter your postal code or address and click "go" to explore the geocaches near you."

 

which leads to me another idea. Get cords from google earth in an area you want to explore and put them in on the front page, or just put in the address of Grandmas. That is soooo much simpler, than my previous thoughts.

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