Jump to content

Google Earth add-in removed


adrian.rutter
Followers 28

Recommended Posts

Or perhaps a sure sign that people really weren't using it that frequently and are only slowly realizing that it's gone. :D

Bingo!

or, like me; I got a new computer and needed to re-load this 'feature' for GE and that is when I noticed it was gone. :P

Of course, a quick google search today and its up and running again. got it off the GC website. :laughing:

 

So you're saying caches still show when you're on Goole Earth ??? I don't think so....! I don't understand

why some people would still be able to see the KML's , while others can't when that option has been terminated. What version of Google Earth are you using and what did you "get off of the GC website" that enables you to still see the KML's (caches) ???

I THINK SO!!! I still get the kml on GE I downloaded it about a week or two before thay said "no more"

It still works for me.

 

:D I am still able to view mine. Hopefully GS has had a change of heart. :laughing:

Link to comment

There is no way possible that only 200 people used the Google Earth network KML. I also didn't use it on a daily basis but I did use it to go quickly check an area I was going to travel to to give me a quick idea where the caches were located. I would usually then find one very near the spot I was going to stay then do a pocket Query using that GC number as my starting point.

 

I know there are other ways of doing this but I was familiar with this method and I will definately miss this feature.

No one said that only 200 people used it. Well, actually some have said it. But they were misquoting what was originally said, just as you have.

Link to comment

There is no way possible that only 200 people used the Google Earth network KML. I also didn't use it on a daily basis but I did use it to go quickly check an area I was going to travel to to give me a quick idea where the caches were located. I would usually then find one very near the spot I was going to stay then do a pocket Query using that GC number as my starting point.

 

I know there are other ways of doing this but I was familiar with this method and I will definately miss this feature.

No one said that only 200 people used it. Well, actually some have said it. But they were misquoting what was originally said, just as you have.

The original quote said "only about 200 users regularly accessed the Google Earth KML" No one has offered a definition of what constitutes regular access. OpinioNate is probable sorry that he wrote that, although depending on the meaning of regular access, it might even be true. I think the point was that the feature caused a disproportionate load on the servers for the amount of use it was getting. This is also something we can only take at Grounspeak's word. Has anybody noticed an improvement in site performance since the change?

Link to comment

Why are some people still able to see caches in Google Earth while others cant if the feature isn't active anymore? I still have the KML checkbox on my Google Earth , and it is checked.....but they dont pop up on the screen anymore. I've tried zooming in or out and nothing appears. Why can other people still get them ?

Link to comment

There were more than "200" users of the KML Feed. That number represented the hard core users who would use the feed more than normal users. We had tons of 4 - 5 view users and a handful of others in the 100 - 200 views per day

 

The reason the feed was taken down was because it was a more complicated query than the query used to populate the Google maps we provide on the website.

 

On the Google maps at http://www.geocaching.com/map we're able to query just for the lat/lng and a few small attributes that are needed to show the icon. Once you click on the icon then we do a query for that individual cache and pull back travel bug info, etc...

 

On the Google Earth KML file we were basically doing a full blown pocket query with logs and and travel bug information because at the time that was created you couldn't support "calling back" to a feed to get that additional information. That put a HUGE strain on the database server trying to process that information as it's very easy to get in the habit of moving the globe around and around just to see what's there. Add in the functionality of showing what cache's you've found already and it's even more strain.

 

So, long story short. It's gone for now in it's current form.

 

-Raine

Link to comment
The reason the feed was taken down was because it was a more complicated query than the query used to populate the Google maps we provide on the website.

Thanks for the answers.

 

On the Google Earth KML file we were basically doing a full blown pocket query with logs and and travel bug information because at the time that was created you couldn't support "calling back" to a feed to get that additional information. That put a HUGE strain on the database server trying to process that information as it's very easy to get in the habit of moving the globe around and around just to see what's there. Add in the functionality of showing what cache's you've found already and it's even more strain.

Ok, so this was the bit that interested me. As a developer myself I could not understand why the KML query packed so much more of a database performance hit than any other type of search.

 

Database 101 says (as you know) "only query for what you need". The GE overlay only ever displayed lat & lon, cache name, type and the GUID to link to the cache page. I seem to recall it showed D & T ratings as well. Clearly there's no need for a full on PQ type database query to retreive that info (which presumably is all in the same table less the cache type which should only be a foreign key away) so why not just use a basic query for basic results?

So, long story short. It's gone for now in it's current form.

That's slightly more positive sounding. Perhaps if it ever should come back in a new form, you should impose a slightly lower refresh limit than 200/day and introduce a time delay (refresh on camera stop +3-5 seconds, perhaps) in the KML network link's refresh parameters to save your own database resources? :P

Edited by JeremyR
Link to comment

The KML was an easy way to keep the not so techie people like me involved. It takes me about 5 minutes to get all the questions on the pocket query page correct...it mostly gives me a big fat error message.

Then I have to wait at least 15 to 20 minutes for an email of what I searched for and hoping it was correct.

 

 

Been there... been caught out by that loaaaaads of times..... :(

 

Filled out form... checked it.... double checked it....

Submitted it....... :)

 

..To Discover I missed 1 single tick box, and got completely wrong results......

 

or entered United Kingdom Postcodes into the 'Post Code Search' box... and ended up with geocaches in the middle of USA Arizona desert.. :D

 

Or wrong dates ticked at the begining.... :D

 

..etc...etc.....ad nausium..

 

That form is such a PITA to use............ :D

Link to comment

...On the Google Earth KML file we were basically doing a full blown pocket query with logs and and travel bug information because at the time that was created you couldn't support "calling back" to a feed to get that additional information. That put a HUGE strain on the database server...

 

THANK YOU for an honest answer finally from GS. That makes sense, cheers.

Link to comment

The KML was an easy way to keep the not so techie people like me involved. It takes me about 5 minutes to get all the questions on the pocket query page correct...it mostly gives me a big fat error message.

Then I have to wait at least 15 to 20 minutes for an email of what I searched for and hoping it was correct.

 

The KML doohickie is very easy for me to use.

 

I believe I share that opinion with many people....

Definately with me... :D I have tried so many different angles in the last few weeks to "find a new way" or "trying something different". We simply can NOT get the same ease of usage and amount of features that we got with GE.

 

Another thing that I have been trying to do in the last few weeks it to set up a specific puzzle cache, using the destination of five different caches to create a STAR pattern when going to the different caches in a certain order... To do that, you need an area large enough that you can place 5 caches in general proximity of each other, while at the same time, not be intruding on any other caches in the area. The easiest way to do that is in the woods. Again, GE works better. I can see, in no time, not onlky where the woods are, but how far they go by moving my cursor left, right, up or down.

 

So, I'm not all-together the most computer literate person you will ever want to meet. I don't pay the yearly dues that many of you do. But what I do know, is that the ease of use that this site provided to me has left me wondering if I can ever use any of the different suggestions with the same certainty.

Link to comment
QUOTE(Motorcycle_Mama @ May 25 2009, 08:39 PM)

Or perhaps a sure sign that people really weren't using it that frequently and are only slowly realizing that it's gone.

 

Shouldn't matter if I use it once a year or once a day. It was a valuable tool. I might need a hammer 4 times a year. But if someone takes it away, I'll surely realize banging a nail with a brick stinks.

:D:) Well said.

Link to comment

Wow! Lots said since my first request to return the KML!

 

Sadly, several member's "simple requests" seem to have segued into a major "us against them" polarization, which I certainly didn't want!

 

I can understand that anyone who hasn't used the KML it might think that the maps and PQ's are as good or better, but I've tried both ways, and I prefer and really miss the KML.

 

I have tried the "maps" many times and found several limitations:

 

1) you must begin from a specific location and pan to explore, spending much time waiting for "requesting geocaches" just about every time you pan or zoom.

 

2) While the satellite maps do show buildings and roads, unless you know exactly which road you're looking at it's easy to get lost.

 

3) Essentially, they're fine if you know where you want to start and exactly what road you're "seeing".

 

4) You're limited in the number of PQ's and I don't always know exactly WHERE I want one for.

 

With the KML in Google Earth:

 

1) I could see all the caches ANYWHERE I decided to look, anywhere that caught my interest.

 

2) I could plan trips and days by zooming out and looking for a "cluster" of caches in the general area of interest and then selecting my route and destination to penetrate the cluster.

 

3) I could see at a glance the higways and roads BY NAME/NUMBER (in overlay) and "follow" a specific one, looking for caches along it and "seeing" rest areas and motels.

 

I'm really missing it as I plan trips and our vacation.

 

Please restore the KML!

Thank you for your post. I don't think I could have said it any better! :D

Link to comment

Thanks for the insight, Raine.

 

The GE overlay only ever displayed lat & lon, cache name, type and the GUID to link to the cache page. I seem to recall it showed D & T ratings as well. ... so why not just use a basic query for basic results?

Exactly my thoughts. I hope it will be rewritten more efficiently.

Link to comment

I've been hooked on Google Earth ever since the first time I used it and 4 hours later they shut me down for the day! I've found the GE KML a valuable tool for planning out our caching route for the day, at home and while traveling. So I was disturbed and a bit lost when I found out it was to be no more. Since then I have learned to use GPSBabel to convert the pocket query .gpx files to .kml files so GE will still work for me way I've been used to. It takes a little more forethought, (to run the query) but it works great.

There's a solution for every problem.

Link to comment
I have learned to use GPSBabel to convert the pocket query .gpx files to .kml files so GE will still work for me way I've been used to.

 

You did know that you can just drag and drop your PQ into Earth, right? Earth uses GPSBabel to do that very conversion.

 

Now it's possible you're using some of the nerdy knobs in GPSBabel (and there's almost 400 of them....) that just wouldn't be exposed in a general purpose program like Earth, but it knows enough about geocaches to be quite useful.

Link to comment

Raine, Thank you for the insight. I would like to first note that I am one of the fans of the GE interface and would really like to see it brought back. As software engineer myself, I appreciate the intricacies involved in writing software for the web and Google Earth. At our company we build data mining tools against multi-terabyte databases, sometimes with billion-row tables. If you would like suggestion on how to optimize the queries, improve performance, or provided the ‘calling back’ ability inside GE, I would be willing to kick around ideas with you. It seems that the Groundspeak folks are apparently proficient at such things I’m assuming the problem is resources/time and not really a technical infeasibility. Given, that I’m looking forward to it’s eventual return!

Link to comment

Just making sure that I understand this:

 

I need to pay $30/year so that I can build my own PQs, have them e-mailed to me (which I have read has not gone very smoothly), plug in the PQ into other software that I will have to learn how to use, and perhaps have to register that as shareware, to get a result that doesn't come close to what we had...

 

Please don't take this as complaining - I really want - no HAVE - to learn how to do what has been described through the forums AS PQ packets that they get through e-mail and use a program called something like "gmak" to be able to read the PQ file? Or am I still confused??

 

It is much harder, at least for me, to do the kind of caching that I used to do. In one day a few months ago, I got 29 caches in one day. ;) Friday I got 2, today 5. That's with me going all out... I like this hobby as it gets me out of the house and gets me doing some minor exercise. This change has just slowed me down too much...

 

-= Dewski =-

Edited by Dewski
Link to comment

No, you are making it too complicated. You can use the map interface Raine posted above.

 

http://www.geocaching.com/map/default.aspx

 

You can only see 500 caches max at any time. You can scroll the map around. You cannot hide your finds or hides, so you have to deal with that. You can see groups of caches though. You can click on a cache and see the cache page. You can then look at the nearest caches just as always and download .loc files. You can still do all of that for free.

 

If you want to pay for a membership, you get pocket queries. You use the map links above and find an area you want to go to. You then pull a pocket query of that area. You can drag that file that is emailed right into the Google Earth window and let it go. It opens automatically and displays the caches. If you click on a cache, a window pops up and you can click a link and the cache page opens.

 

Other software out there does great stuff, but you do not have to have it to go geocaching. Ten cents a day for premium membership rocks though. If you want to be more efficient, it is something to consider.

 

(By the way, let me add my trick to using the GC Google Map page. As soon as it opens, zoom WAY out. Move the map to your area you want to look at. Double click once to center the map. Move in a couple of slider notches. Double click to center and move in one notch. Then use the slide to move in closer. Adjust from there.)

Edited by mtn-man
Link to comment

That just isn't as flexible and feature full as using GE was. It also is so slow. It would help immensely if there was a way to set it to only refresh when told. That way you could get the map where you want it before having to wait for it to refresh a couple of times along the way. It should also take at least a bit of the load off the system.

Link to comment

Just making sure that I understand this:

 

I need to pay $30/year so that I can build my own PQs, have them e-mailed to me (which I have read has not gone very smoothly), plug in the PQ into other software that I will have to learn how to use, and perhaps have to register that as shareware, to get a result that doesn't come close to what we had...

 

Please don't take this as complaining - I really want - no HAVE - to learn how to do what has been described through the forums AS PQ packets that they get through e-mail and use a program called something like "gmak" to be able to read the PQ file? Or am I still confused??

 

It is much harder, at least for me, to do the kind of caching that I used to do. In one day a few months ago, I got 29 caches in one day. ;) Friday I got 2, today 5. That's with me going all out... I like this hobby as it gets me out of the house and gets me doing some minor exercise. This change has just slowed me down too much...

 

-= Dewski =-

 

PQ let you do "paperless caching" using most popular GPS units and even some phones (Blackberries, iPhone, etc). I am able to drag and drop the PQ into the software that comes with my GPS (A Magellan Triton 400) and it uploads the PQs into my GPS unit. It did take a while to get all the bugs sorted out, but that was Magellan's and my own fault.

 

The silly PQ-email is a silly system, but it's due to technical issues involved with querying such a huge set of data (500 sets of cords, 5 comments each, full description and hints, etc). 7 out of 8 PQs I've done have arrived within 5 min of my submitting them. the 8th took a little longer (hour or so). I've not personally had any problems with them. Most of the threads I've seen where people have had some problems is because there was something wrong with the query (conflicting filters) or with their account (not having agreed to the TOC, etc).

 

I've been here a few weeks and so far for me, premium membership has worked out well and I don't regret it.

Link to comment
Raine, Thank you for the insight. I would like to first note that I am one of the fans of the GE interface and would really like to see it brought back. As software engineer myself, I appreciate the intricacies involved in writing software for the web and Google Earth. At our company we build data mining tools against multi-terabyte databases, sometimes with billion-row tables. If you would like suggestion on how to optimize the queries, improve performance, or provided the 'calling back' ability inside GE, I would be willing to kick around ideas with you. It seems that the Groundspeak folks are apparently proficient at such things I'm assuming the problem is resources/time and not really a technical infeasibility. Given, that I'm looking forward to it's eventual return!

 

I do hope the above post is not missed by Raine & Nate........................ sounds like a great offer!

Link to comment

Why are some people still able to see caches in Google Earth while others cant if the feature isn't active anymore? I still have the KML checkbox on my Google Earth , and it is checked.....but they dont pop up on the screen anymore. I've tried zooming in or out and nothing appears. Why can other people still get them ?

 

My .kml still works at work and at home, just saying.

 

It still work for me as well at home & at work (both Macs, just sayin'), and I get new caches on it as well. I thought for a long time I was using something different than everyone was discussing.

 

For the record, I use it constantly and would be pretty unhappy should it go away...

Edited by SD Marc
Link to comment

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

How can you compare http://www.geocaching.com/map/ to Google earth? They are two different tools. Oh yeah- the maps page is still trying to load 5 minutes later (and counting). Google earth never did that.

 

I guess you can count me among those "200" people that used that feature. I'm pretty upset that it is gone too. The pages load way to slow, and you also loose all of the convenient features that make GE what it is. I could go anywhere in the world, and just by checking a box, I could see if there are caches there. Now I have to search GE for the place I am looking for, get the location (GE was nice enough to add DD mm.mmm format that we use for caching) and then go to the website and wait for that map to load. Then if I want to see them in GE, i have to make the query for the area, dig it out of my email, load it to GSAK, then export it to GE. Gee whizz, that is so much easier than checking a little box.

 

This truly sucks. Groundspeak, you have somewhat let me down.

Link to comment
Now I have to search GE for the place I am looking for, get the location (GE was nice enough to add DD mm.mmm format that we use for caching) and then go to the website and wait for that map to load. Then if I want to see them in GE, i have to make the query for the area, dig it out of my email, load it to GSAK, then export it to GE. Gee whizz, that is so much easier than checking a little box.

 

You could simplify this process somewhat to:

  • Get the coordinates from Google Earth
  • Put them into the Pocket Query form
  • Dig the query out of your email
  • Drop the GPX file onto Google Earth

Link to comment
Now I have to search GE for the place I am looking for, get the location (GE was nice enough to add DD mm.mmm format that we use for caching) and then go to the website and wait for that map to load. Then if I want to see them in GE, i have to make the query for the area, dig it out of my email, load it to GSAK, then export it to GE. Gee whizz, that is so much easier than checking a little box.

 

You could simplify this process somewhat to:

  • Get the coordinates from Google Earth
  • Put them into the Pocket Query form
  • Dig the query out of your email
  • Drop the GPX file onto Google Earth

 

Still not as easy as a tick in a box is it.

 

Dave

Link to comment

Removing the GE feature is regrettable. As others have mentioned, using GE to locate 'clusters' is an invaluable tool for trip planning. Using the slow and clumsy map option is inconvenient. Not to mention, an ugly interface.

 

Another cool part about the GE feature was that you didn't actively have to be looking for caches to see them. I would on occasion use GE for other reasons, and see, 'Oh, there's a cache near there,' and plan accordingly. I can't do this anymore.

Link to comment

Am I missing something? Three nights ago I downloaded the kml file from gc website, and it is bang up to date and working.

 

In fact, I've just done it now on another PC. It still works. For the record (and potentially at risk of now having it taken down!) I accessed (removed), downloaded the kml file and off I went in GE.

 

Matt

Edited by mtn-man
Link to comment
To Geocaching.com: Wonder where my Premium membership renewal money is? Same place your kml is.

 

Maybe you'll change your tune when enough people vote with their wallets. Guess it's time to give up this stupid game anyway.

 

ps - Geocaching.com/map stinks.

 

Yes, the KML is missed but please, Geocide over it? You just started out.

Link to comment

To Geocaching.com: Wonder where my Premium membership renewal money is? Same place your kml is.

Maybe you'll change your tune when enough people vote with their wallets.

I can't blame you for not renewing if the service is not what you want/need etc...

 

Guess it's time to give up this stupid game anyway.

Stupid Game,

Wait is that my little daughter posting... The spitefulness sounds sort of familiar....

 

ps - Geocaching.com/map stinks.

 

The stinky map Works fine for me and tons of other people... Maybe the maps not stupid or doesn't really stink?

 

Oh, well.... I guess if the geocaching community was going to lose a few people, it might as well be ones that think its stupid, vs ones that enjoy it...

 

See ya around...

Edited by solo63137
Link to comment

And for everyone that says "I used it every day" there are those of us that never used it at all and don't miss it one bit.

 

Not trying to make light of you missing something that was useful, but there are other options.

 

And none do what we got from the one that is gone.

 

Once again, What function is going to be cut off next? Will it be one you use and enjoy?

 

Oh heck, to some if it not their ox being gored it is ok. Seems sorta playground attitude to me

Link to comment

I guess I'm one of the lowly 200 that used the KML. Yes, it is still working on my PC for now, but I did not realize that I had not loaded it on my laptop. I just finished a 11 day road trip with lots of geocaching and was very disappointed when I tried to use GE to look for caches. Geocaching mapping is ok in it's own way but lacks detail. Maybe it should be added as Premium user item.

Link to comment

Geocaching mapping is ok in it's own way but lacks detail.

 

I've never seen the G.E. that everyones talkin about...

 

Whats it show that the map does not???

 

I'm pretty new to Geocaching and so far and I've had good luck using the plain old map, bit I just wonder what I'm missing and that everyones fussing about...

Link to comment
I'm missing and that everyones fussing about...

It used to be possible to view cache details and approximate location in Google Earth. That facility was fantastic but poorly implemented by Groundspeak, so rather than sort the problem that was draining their resources, they pulled the plug. As you might guess by the length of this thread, it was a rather unpopular decision.

 

You can see an image of what used to be possible here (not my image or Flickr page)...

Link to comment
I'm missing and that everyones fussing about...

It used to be possible to view cache details and approximate location in Google Earth. That facility was fantastic but poorly implemented by Groundspeak, so rather than sort the problem that was draining their resources, they pulled the plug. As you might guess by the length of this thread, it was a rather unpopular decision.

 

You can see an image of what used to be possible here (not my image or Flickr page)...

 

It out performed the maps your using from the GC site by about 10 to 1.

Link to comment
I'm missing and that everyones fussing about...

It used to be possible to view cache details and approximate location in Google Earth. That facility was fantastic but poorly implemented by Groundspeak, so rather than sort the problem that was draining their resources, they pulled the plug. As you might guess by the length of this thread, it was a rather unpopular decision.

 

You can see an image of what used to be possible here (not my image or Flickr page)...

 

It out performed the maps your using from the GC site by about 10 to 1.

 

Really, 10:1.... How are you quantifiying that???

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