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Google Earth add-in removed


adrian.rutter
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No amount of petitioning will bring back the network KML, but if you do have requests for mapping enhancements I'm all ears. [emphasized by mapwitch]

My wishes to the Geocaching Maps, e.g., are the following

  • Full screen map view
  • Setting a certain view firmly (map size, view option "map/satellite/hybride/...", central coordinate)
  • Possibility to switch on/off Caches (e.g. during the search for the desired region to quicken the loading time)
  • More flowing and more flexible navigation in the map
  • Addition of tracks of my own
  • Addition of markers of my own

Greetings from Germany

mapwitch

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Thanks to everyone who keeps posting ways to make things work like before. The only thing is that none of them do. They take more steps and still only give you a hand full of caches in a small area. I still think it a shame that the whole thing needed to be scrapped instead of addressing the shortcomings.

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I too am one of the 200. - What a stupid number. I found Google Earth invaluable for a quick check of the caches in a region and to choose which to go for. Its removal degrades the activity. I'd like to see a survey to get a more realistic idea of usage.

Cheers,

Dan

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I would like to see some I statements in these comments. It appears that those who liked and used the KML are allowed to state dogmatically that it was the best thing since sliced bread and every premium member is up in arms at its disappearance. I'd really appreciate it if you didn't try to speak for me. I find the other methods suggested in this thread infinitely preferable to using the Google Earth KML but I don't demand that everyone agree with me. I've been told that it was impacting the performance of the site. No one has offered proof that it wasn't. If it was impacting the performance significantly then I think discontinuing the feature temporarily or permanently is the right decision. I personally would prefer limited development time went into enhancements to maps on site and I also recognize that site changes are not likely to appear more often than once a month or so.

Team Taran

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I found Google Earth invaluable for a quick check of the caches in a region and to choose which to go for.

 

That's a task you can easily complete using Geocaching.com-GoogleMaps. No need to install and use an external application for this.

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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.

I would like to see some I statements in these comments. It appears that those who liked and used the KML are allowed to state dogmatically that it was the best thing since sliced bread and every premium member is up in arms at its disappearance. I'd really appreciate it if you didn't try to speak for me. I find the other methods suggested in this thread infinitely preferable to using the Google Earth KML but I don't demand that everyone agree with me. I've been told that it was impacting the performance of the site. No one has offered proof that it wasn't. If it was impacting the performance significantly then I think discontinuing the feature temporarily or permanently is the right decision. I personally would prefer limited development time went into enhancements to maps on site and I also recognize that site changes are not likely to appear more often than once a month or so.

Team Taran

You have been labeled as "delusional." :ph34r: I guess that makes me delusional, too. It is a basic truism of forum posting that someone who is happy with how things are will not make the effort to start a thread to say that. So, thanks for posting that veiwpoint.

 

Posters are reminded AGAIN to post respectfully and without attacking or insulting persons. It is fine to criticize an action or an idea - but not the person who does or thinks something. While I am fine with letting person after person come in and vent as they learn about the loss of a feature, I am getting tired of posting reminders about the forum conduct guidelines.

Edited by Keystone
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Count me as another one of the disgruntled GE KML users. I didn't use it constantly as others have, but it was extremely useful in helping to plan longer trips or areas that wasn't familiar with. I don't peruse the forums regularly, so I had no idea this was coming. I went to access the file in helping me to plan my upcoming trip to Seattle and was shocked to see this functionality gone. I have tried using the other options discussed in this forum thread, and there really is no comparison. Some may disagree with me, but that is just my personal opinion. I am not going to launch into a lengthy tirade or set up a picket line in front of the Lilypad, but I will say that I am extremely disappointed to see it go. I hope that some comparable alternative that doesn't overburden the server can be launched soon.

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No amount of petitioning will bring back the network KML

 

Apparently I missed this post a long while ago. It seems as if my original post was correct.

 

After all, you can't get PQ's without a premium membership and there's no point in giving away free what you can charge for.

 

Groundspeak obviously doesn't care what its paying members think but only about the bottom line...which may or may not be suffering in this economy. Unfortunately, I'm seeing that more people are going to discontinue their premium memberships because of this slight by Groundspeak. I wonder how Groundspeak would feel if their server providers took something they pay for and enjoy using and discontinued it. I just wonder how bad to uproar would be from the management then. And how fast the management would switch companies to someone that did offer what they wanted. Shame that Groundspeak is the only game in town after all for its users, huh?

 

I'll deal with the change as I used both mapping options when they were available. I found the KML easier to use overall and easier to introduce potential cachers to the sport using the Geocaching Google Earth KML file. I'll deal, but would like to see the KML returned although

No amount of petitioning will bring back the network KML

 

Have a nice day.

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I found Google Earth invaluable for a quick check of the caches in a region and to choose which to go for.

 

That's a task you can easily complete using Geocaching.com-GoogleMaps. No need to install and use an external application for this.

That´s not true! Implementation of tracks is not possible, it is much slower, out zooming increases waiting time, no additional information like hotels, restaurants etc. GM is no replacement of GE! If GM covers the same functionality...ok, but it doesn´t.

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No amount of petitioning will bring back the network KML

 

Well, that doesn't deter me at all. If you aren't concerned about a petition, why did you ban me, and why won't you let me mention it? Hmmm, last time I got banned TPTB said it was because I was plugging a website that requires a login and password. Well, it doesn't, so why the censorship?

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Rather than quoting a post from Nate from almost three months ago, perhaps we should look at a post from Raine from three days ago.

 

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 this can be taken as an official Groundspeak statement, it's close to ok.

 

We all know the website often is slow as hell, and if Google Earth is one of the reasons for this (which I think is correct) disabling it is the only way for now to cope with resource problems.

 

But from what we got from Groundspeak, it wasn't so sure until now that the feature would ever come back. If they are re-implementing it in a more efficient way, then could we please be kept up to date about that?

 

-nik

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If this can be taken as an official Groundspeak statement, it's close to ok.

 

We all know the website often is slow as hell, and if Google Earth is one of the reasons for this (which I think is correct) disabling it is the only way for now to cope with resource problems.

 

But from what we got from Groundspeak, it wasn't so sure until now that the feature would ever come back. If they are re-implementing it in a more efficient way, then could we please be kept up to date about that?

 

-nik

 

Same time as we get to see archived caches on the GC maps again? I won't hold my breath for that.

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If this can be taken as an official Groundspeak statement, it's close to ok.

Raine is a developer at Groundspeak. It's about as official as you'll get barring Jeremy Irish posting something.

 

If they are re-implementing it in a more efficient way, then could we please be kept up to date about that?
Historically, developers aren't too keen to keep end users up-to-date on progress until its very close to release. If Groundspeak told us that they thought it would be back in 4 weeks (no statement to that fact) and sometime in those four weeks there was a fire in the building that housed their main servers, people would still be clicking their "refresh" button on day 28 after the promise, and if day 29 came by with no KML, the pitchforks would already be sharpended and being raised up and down.

 

So - rather surprise people with a perfectly working feature.

 

As a developer, I usually get as much input as possible from the end users, and hunker down on a project. The manager of the project is usually given a worst-case scenario for a time frame, and I update the manager as the process moves forward. Meanwhile the end users get a "we're working on it". If the users' manager NEEDS to know the time frame, the manager speaks to my manager so I can keep working on projects instead of updating a blog with "Today we tested A, B and C, and while A and C worked great, I had a real problem with B. I may have to take B back to ground zero." :ph34r:

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If this can be taken as an official Groundspeak statement, it's close to ok.

 

We all know the website often is slow as hell, and if Google Earth is one of the reasons for this (which I think is correct) disabling it is the only way for now to cope with resource problems.

 

But from what we got from Groundspeak, it wasn't so sure until now that the feature would ever come back. If they are re-implementing it in a more efficient way, then could we please be kept up to date about that?

 

-nik

 

I didn't see anywhere where Raine said it was coming back. He said he'd look into finding something. If you're taking his comment to mean the KML or something similar is coming back, you may be severely disappointed.

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I've been trying to wade through the comments of those who are unhappy with the GE/KML link being taken away. I totally agree with the "200" and have to be included with them. Why hasn't there been any reply from the Geo-Castle in the Northwest, or did I miss it? I used it constantly and would love to see it brought back!!

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I found Google Earth invaluable for a quick check of the caches in a region and to choose which to go for.

 

That's a task you can easily complete using Geocaching.com-GoogleMaps. No need to install and use an external application for this.

Sorry but that is not so. The maps supplied by Groundspeak are effective for caches hidden in city parks and along the sides of roads etc, but go to the cache "Mt Emerald" or "Leech Cave" and see how effective those maps would be to check out a route in. A full screen image in Google Earth is a hell of a lot better.

Cheers,

Dan

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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.

 

What ads? I see no adds. The beauty of proxies and editing any code sent to your browser.

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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.

 

What ads? I see no adds. The beauty of proxies and editing any code sent to your browser.

 

Frank, how many edit all the stuff that comes into their browser? Even at that it is yet more work to be done. Barb has enough to do.

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My husband & I were 2 of those 200 users (I don't really believe that number either). Since we are not very active on the forum, we knew nothing of this decision to kill the kml until tonight. A couple of weeks ago my husbands computer had some difficulties and resolving them required a restoral and a reinstall of Google Earth. He lost the ability to see caches in GE and we thought it was a technical problem, but we could not find the link for the kml on GC. After finding the kml in my download directory and reloading on his computer, it worked again. However tonight it is gone on both our PCs.

 

We are fulltime RVers and used GE exclusively to "view" an area we were going to just get a quick lay of the land. Also found it invaluable for places out of the country when we are traveling abroad as you could put in a place, country name and it would fly there, letting you determine if caching would be a possibly to work into plans while visiting. Much easier than trying to come up with finer details for places with no zipcode.

 

No this is not the end of the world and we will find other ways to work geocaching into our travels, but none as easy as this was. I'm not only sorry it is gone, I don't like the sly way it was removed and the cavalier method it was explained and the attitude. It was one of the reasons we decided to buy the premium membership.

Edited by lazybees
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I have already posted my request to bring back the KML link and I sure hope it does, but until then, any ideas to QUICKLY scope out new areas is welcome. Panning the google map on a cache page 1000 kms to locate some new location you may be going on vacation is painfully slow. I always did PQs centred from a GC# picked off a location in Google Earth and swept with the ruler to pick a distance for the PQ. Haven't found a fast method to do that.

 

Once the PQs are in though, for Garmin users with MapSource, there is the View - View in Google Earth feature which duplicates the GE KML feature (with solid coordinates) for the 500 caches in a PQ or you can paste in as many as you want into MapSource (at least 3000) and then view them in Google Earth. It may be possible to run several 500 cache PQs to cover a large area and save them to one MapSource format file and then just run update PQs for the time period since the BIG download that you need.

 

A few other notes: Loss of the feature also limits being able to search the world QUICKY for puzzle caches which provide great ideas for cachers in other areas that are putting out puzzles. It was also interesting to zoom in on other areas to see where in the world caching is taking place.

 

I have seen it mentioned that GE was slowing down GC.com and that was the reason/part of the reason for dropping it. Without a doubt, I have found all the alterative methods required to "replace" the functionality provided by GE to be slower, require more steps and may only be available to those that use software such as MapSource.

Edited by Falach-fead
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I loved using GE to plan my vacation geocaches. In fact, it's how I ended up picking Antigua for my honeymoon (ever wanted to find every hide in an entire country?). I am leaving for vacation soon, and that's how I found out about this development.

 

Hopefully the GE browser will come back. I did not use it often, but it was extremely helpful.

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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.

 

What ads? I see no adds. The beauty of proxies and editing any code sent to your browser.

 

Frank, how many edit all the stuff that comes into their browser? Even at that it is yet more work to be done. Barb has enough to do.

 

 

GOF, it all started with PROXOMITRON! (http://www.proxomitron.info/) and now with Ad Block Plus and a nice plugin to it that allows blocking of elements and it is pretty much automatic.

 

Get Firefox browser with Ad Block Plus plugin and 99% of the ads on the internet are automatically written out of the code that your browser displays.

 

You can make any web page in the world look like you want it to in YOUR browser!

 

I hate internet advertising and was among the purists who fought it when the WWW first came out. Still do till this day.

 

Back to the topic on hand. Looks like this KML removal is shaping up to be a sizable Public Relation mess for GS.

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I am another one of the 200 that used GE to plan caching outings. I am sad to see it gone and feel that the other methods of finding caches (for instance, in google maps) and planning trips to be much slower and take much more time.

 

I do alot of hking on the AT and can overlay my tracks on GE and see caches nearby. To the best of my knowledge, this can't be done with google maps. I also don't believe that you can make a landmark (waypoint) in the google maps version to quickly determine distances to caches.

 

Am I missing something? I saw quite a few posts from people who never used GE and felt that it wasn't a loss that it is not available anymore. I haven't seen (but I have only skimmed) any posts from these users on how they perform the tasks listed above.

 

Any suggestions?

 

Thanks,

Jim

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Arggggg I'm working on the California County Challenge and tried GE to find caches near the county lines in Northern California where I'm visiting and they've shut it down! It worked last week. Darnit, I knew I should have planned the whole trip last week instead of in pieces.

 

OK ... so with the options available to me now, how do I see the county lines? :anicute:

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I'm guessing the people who make the decisions didn't actually use the KML the same way lots of us used it or just didn't use it at all. If its something they used a lot and found useful for general overview and trip planning, they would understand.

 

I used to have the same problem with a boss making changes on things he didn't actually understand how to do in the first place.

 

Its always best to ask the users, and get input before making changes.

 

I was actively in the process of looking at the Northwest for GW8 for next year. Just turning on the KML part every once in a while, once I picked out the touristy stuff first. Now I have to use at least 3 applications / websites to just get the same overview picture of the area, and honestly, its not as good. I'm not doing PQs yet, but I don't need them.

 

I'm very disappointed in Groundspeak at the moment. VERY. :anicute:

Edited by wandering4cache
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Using kml on Google Earth was the easiest way to find caches in an certain area. I used for every quest. I am very disappointed about the features' loss.

 

Groundspeak, please give us kml back!!! Because nothing else is so easy to use and so helpful for geocaching.

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Using kml on Google Earth was the easiest way to find caches in an certain area. I used for every quest. I am very disappointed about the features' loss.

 

Groundspeak, please give us kml back!!! Because nothing else is so easy to use and so helpful for geocaching.

 

dear Ge.com

guess what,i am one of the 200 pers who use the kml file in Google Earth,

very easy,simple ,a perfect tool for what makes this hobby so great,

if you want to go to some unknown place,just a quick look will tell you about the area!!

its holiday season,and was planning when i noticed the file was gone...why????

 

no offence,but how can the organisation ignore all these requests by premium members, i may seem as an attack to yuor organisation but saying the truth isnt a crime right? thats what forums are for!

 

bring us back this perfect tool,and listen to your members! and dont give us the thought that we just complaining, we want our tool back and we can all go back to our lives

 

regards from Holland

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I estimate that this took 5 to 10 times longer to create than if the KML feature was working. Not only slows down the process for me but perhaps the extra time on GC.com will contribute to slowing down the entire site.

 

5b351040-5572-49ad-92a6-ebca92c04acf.jpg

 

Without GE, many will never happen upon this unique series in their searches.

 

(Of course, with the GC# taken from the image above anyone should be able to find the area quickly and display in Google maps.)

Edited by Falach-fead
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It took me about 1 minute to duplicate it in Google Maps on site I can't even open Google Earth that quickly. I simply went to one of the pages clicked on show nearest in Google maps zoomed in and switched to satellite view.

Team Taran

Edited by Team Taran
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Just to boost the numbers: I miss it sorely.

 

For US citizens the existing search function by address may be OK, but try that for places elsewhere in the world.

In addition GE is quite handy to correlate caches with other places I bookmarked in GE.

 

I would be willing to pay real money to have it back.

 

V of VSMPG

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OK ... so with the options available to me now, how do I see the county lines? :anicute:

This has been answered several times, by several different people already.

 

Run a Pocket Query, and drop it into Google Earth.

Time required to perform the task beforehand: About 20 seconds.

Time required to perform the task today: About 10 minutes.

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No KML for GE, No renew for GC from me , and how many others well it take????

 

I might be in your group of non-renewers as well. I cache infrequently as it is, and GE was a great tool to let me target the sorts of caches I wanted to find. Google maps doesn't have the richness or integration I desire, and pocket queries are nearly useless for the type of caching I do.

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I've been using GE for a long time and think it was a simple and effective way to search for caches. Have read many posts but cannot find an option that is as simple as GE KML was. I hope it will soon be possible to develop a new tool for GE.

Please let us get back the possibility of using GE for caching.

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OK ... so with the options available to me now, how do I see the county lines? :anicute:

This has been answered several times, by several different people already.

 

Run a Pocket Query, and drop it into Google Earth.

and again I say ;)

How do I run a pocket querie to give me caches near county lines ... and I don't even know where those county lines are??

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and again I say :anicute:

How do I run a pocket querie to give me caches near county lines ... and I don't even know where those county lines are??

 

I'll expand my answer above a bit because it is possible, it's just a PITA. First up, find the county line you're interested in with Google Earth and note it's approximate coordinates. Next set up a PQ based on the coords you noted down a minute ago. Be sure to test it before you set it up for email lest you waste one of your 5 PQs/day allowance. Wait for the PQ to arrive. Open the Zip archive, extract the GPX file it contains. Drag said GPX file into Google Earth. Find caches.

 

Alternatively: Open Google Earth, trace the county lines you're interested in with the line tool. Save the line as a KML file and import it to the Caches Along A Route tool. Set up a caches along a route PQ. Wait for it to arrive. Import to GE as above.

 

Both methods are a cumbersome pain in the rectal area and take quite a while compared to the old way:

Open Google Earth. Go to the right spot. Turn the KML layer on, wait 3-4 seconds. Choose caches. Time elapsed: About 20 seconds.

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