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Geomate.jr


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hey that thing's kinda cute :rolleyes:

 

And it really is "all you REALLY need" to get started in Geocaching. But.. is Geocaching "all" that it's good for? One of the perks of more mainstream GPSr's is they are useful for other tasks not ONLY geocaching.. so in that regard, $70 is kinda pricey for a "1 use only" device

Edited by NordicMan
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There's a new gadget out there, that might be great for beginning geocachers.

 

Found out about this thing via navigadget.

 

The Apisphere Geomate, Jr.

 

It's $70 and comes preloaded with 250,000 of the easiest Traditional caches in the United States.

 

Apisphere product page here.

 

REI page where you can buy it here.

 

Um,,, there is an "update kit" you have to purchase if you want "fresh" caches listed on it.

From the company site:

The UpdateKit

The geocaching anywhere, anytime with a Geomate.jr rocks. And the 250,000 geocaches that the Geomate.jr comes with is sure to keep anyone busy for some time. But new caches are being added every day. And geocaches exist all around the world! So if you want fresh new caches, or are looking for a geocaching adventure in New Zealand (for example), then you may want to think about an Update Kit for your Geomate.jr.

The "Upgrade Kit" is currently unavailable, but "coming soon".

Edited by wkmccall
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I know this is supposed to be aimed a kids and new users but the FAQ below (from the geomate site) and the fact you can't create a waypoint at any location other than your current position just makes me cringe. Also, once these things sit on store shelves for a few months with outdated geocache lists, how happy are people going to be about their new GPS? Prediction: upgrade kits for everyone in 6 months.

 

Does the Geomate.jr contain ALL possible geocaches?

 

To make sure that your first geocaching adventure is the best possible, we’ve actually taken out geocaches that haven’t been found for awhile or are too difficult to find. The Geomate.jr also only supports ‘traditional’ geocaches so it doesn’t include mystery, multi, or puzzle caches, and only supports US caches (for now). But don’t worry, the 250,000 geocaches that the Geomate.jr ships with should keep you busy for awhile...

 

If I use the Update Kit, do I get ALL geocaches then?

 

Yep, all traditional geocaches anyway. You can even get geocaches for other countries other than the US!

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I know this is supposed to be aimed a kids and new users but the FAQ below (from the geomate site) and the fact you can't create a waypoint at any location other than your current position just makes me cringe. Also, once these things sit on store shelves for a few months with outdated geocache lists, how happy are people going to be about their new GPS? Prediction: upgrade kits for everyone in 6 months.

 

Yes, not shipping with a cable and instruction for updating waypoints is just silly. Not a lot of thought went into this.

Edited by Red90
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I know this is supposed to be aimed a kids and new users but the FAQ below (from the geomate site) and the fact you can't create a waypoint at any location other than your current position just makes me cringe. Also, once these things sit on store shelves for a few months with outdated geocache lists, how happy are people going to be about their new GPS? Prediction: upgrade kits for everyone in 6 months.

 

Yes, not shipping with a cable and instruction for updating waypoints is just silly. Not a lot of thought went into this.

 

I beg to differ - probably lots of thought. Sell a low cost kid centric (or beginner) device to whet peoples appetite to either 'get started on the cheap' or 'get the kids their own unit to use on caching trips' then release the upgrade kit at a price point that will be palatable for owners and very profitable for the manufacturer and retailer.

 

You and I would both agree that it's not the device for us, but I see these flying off the shelves. Consider that for $70 you can add some great hiking activities to a family vacation (whether a drive across the county, state or country or any other trip).

 

Another alternative? Spend close to $100 on a couple of trips to new release movies for a family of 5 over the summer.

 

If they like Geocaching - maybe they buy the upgrade kit or a new GPSr. If they don't then it getting stuck in a drawer, yard sale or given to aunt Sally isn't all that big a deal.

 

I know - a nice used eTrex unit is about the same money, retains its value better and is lots more flexible.

 

However the instant gratification factor will make this unit sell - and the absence of an upgrade kit is not an oversight in all likelihood.

 

I could be wrong in which case these babies will be super cheap on eBay and the REI clearance racks in about 8 months.

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I"m baffled about the business decisions in this product. Given how much emphasis there is on "freshness" of caching data, I'm surprised that there's now a $70 device (that can sit on the shelves for HOW long?) that inherently has outdated cache data.

 

Unless this device uses SMS or cell data (ala Kindle) to keep itself fresh. But if that's the case, explain this "update kit" option. Does this really contain copyrighted information from cache submitters? Is that cool with the licensing agreements?

 

I don't understand. I'd appreciate someone that knew the licensing involved explaining this.

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I"m baffled about the business decisions in this product. Given how much emphasis there is on "freshness" of caching data, I'm surprised that there's now a $70 device (that can sit on the shelves for HOW long?) that inherently has outdated cache data.

 

Unless this device uses SMS or cell data (ala Kindle) to keep itself fresh. But if that's the case, explain this "update kit" option. Does this really contain copyrighted information from cache submitters? Is that cool with the licensing agreements?

 

I don't understand. I'd appreciate someone that knew the licensing involved explaining this.

 

This was my thought too. I have a hard time believing that after years of arguing against larger pocket queries, all state queries, archived cache queries and the like because "the data is likely to be out of date" that Groundspeak would allow this product.

 

I can't wait for a family to go out and spend hours looking for a cache that is archived because a land manager wanted it removed and getting into trouble on their first hunt. Then I hope to buy the GPS from them for the novelty of it.

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Some info available here: http://www.geomatejr.com/GeoMateJr_Product_Sheet.pdf

 

- SirfstarIII based

- You'll get Size, Difficulty, terrain and GCID.

- Update costs $25

 

I'm not sure that I am so positive about this. Getting through the trouble of getting a GC account and learning a "real" GPS makes sure you are somewhat motivated to follow the basic rules. Handing out a "toy" GPS to a couple of bored kids filled with cache locations and I foresee an increased frequency of muggled and vandalized caches. I haven't read the full user guide but the Quick Start guide says nothing about getting a GC account and logging your finds online.

 

Also this is targeted for kids, no doubt about it. Not every cache is suitable for kids, and not having the full cache description increases the danger. I'd rather send out my kids with a real GPS where I've carefully choosen a bunch of suitable caches than to send them out with 250.000 positions that I have no idea where it will lead them. Yes, I know, it should be used as a complement for the kids when the follow you on a caching trip, but be realistic, there will be kids going out alone with these toys.

 

I'm sorry to be so negative but the only postive thing I see about this is when someone hacks it so that you can transfer your own choice of caches to it.

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Some info available here: http://www.geomatejr.com/GeoMateJr_Product_Sheet.pdf

 

- SirfstarIII based

- You'll get Size, Difficulty, terrain and GCID.

- Update costs $25

 

I'm not sure that I am so positive about this. Getting through the trouble of getting a GC account and learning a "real" GPS makes sure you are somewhat motivated to follow the basic rules. Handing out a "toy" GPS to a couple of bored kids filled with cache locations and I foresee an increased frequency of muggled and vandalized caches. I haven't read the full user guide but the Quick Start guide says nothing about getting a GC account and logging your finds online.

 

Also this is targeted for kids, no doubt about it. Not every cache is suitable for kids, and not having the full cache description increases the danger. I'd rather send out my kids with a real GPS where I've carefully choosen a bunch of suitable caches than to send them out with 250.000 positions that I have no idea where it will lead them. Yes, I know, it should be used as a complement for the kids when the follow you on a caching trip, but be realistic, there will be kids going out alone with these toys.

 

I'm sorry to be so negative but the only postive thing I see about this is when someone hacks it so that you can transfer your own choice of caches to it.

 

Hacks it? It says you can load caches to it! You can't do multi's because you can't change the coords (if I read that correctly), but traditionals are there!

 

That said, a new Etrex is another $20, I don't see this as much of a deal.

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Some info available here: http://www.geomatejr.com/GeoMateJr_Product_Sheet.pdf

 

- SirfstarIII based

- You'll get Size, Difficulty, terrain and GCID.

- Update costs $25

 

I'm sorry to be so negative but the only postive thing I see about this is when someone hacks it so that you can transfer your own choice of caches to it.

 

Yeah, I would really like to know what connectors or sockets or sensors or antennae (other than the GPS) are inside that thing.

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This was my thought too. I have a hard time believing that after years of arguing against larger pocket queries, all state queries, archived cache queries and the like because "the data is likely to be out of date" that Groundspeak would allow this product.

 

I can't wait for a family to go out and spend hours looking for a cache that is archived because a land manager wanted it removed and getting into trouble on their first hunt. Then I hope to buy the GPS from them for the novelty of it.

 

Not only are they allowing it, Groundspeak is promoting and selling it:

 

http://www.geocaching.com/geomate

 

I tend agree that this out of line with Groundspeaks' previous arguments against off line databases and improved support for PQ's.

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I"m baffled about the business decisions in this product. Given how much emphasis there is on "freshness" of caching data, I'm surprised that there's now a $70 device (that can sit on the shelves for HOW long?) that inherently has outdated cache data.

 

Unless this device uses SMS or cell data (ala Kindle) to keep itself fresh. But if that's the case, explain this "update kit" option. Does this really contain copyrighted information from cache submitters? Is that cool with the licensing agreements?

 

I don't understand. I'd appreciate someone that knew the licensing involved explaining this.

 

This was my thought too. I have a hard time believing that after years of arguing against larger pocket queries, all state queries, archived cache queries and the like because "the data is likely to be out of date" that Groundspeak would allow this product.

 

I can't wait for a family to go out and spend hours looking for a cache that is archived because a land manager wanted it removed and getting into trouble on their first hunt. Then I hope to buy the GPS from them for the novelty of it.

 

Interesting idea: Since I assume you are/were involved in Scouts, can you see this as a cost effective way to get a bunch of GPS units into the hands of Scouts assuming they are able to be updated ?

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i don't know. I am on the fence with this one. While it is a great way to get people out there geocaching, I don't buy into this instant gratification thing. I think with any hobby one needs to do research and know what they are doing instead of just jumping in. I also believe that as a 'technology based' game and those looking for a quick easy way to geocache will be soon disappointed and want more flexibility.

That said, I would give it to my kids and be less worried about them wrecking the unit. I would only buy it for them if I could update the caches once in a while. Also, if it was usable in Australia of course :unsure:

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I"m baffled about the business decisions in this product. Given how much emphasis there is on "freshness" of caching data, I'm surprised that there's now a $70 device (that can sit on the shelves for HOW long?) that inherently has outdated cache data.

 

Unless this device uses SMS or cell data (ala Kindle) to keep itself fresh. But if that's the case, explain this "update kit" option. Does this really contain copyrighted information from cache submitters? Is that cool with the licensing agreements?

 

I don't understand. I'd appreciate someone that knew the licensing involved explaining this.

 

This was my thought too. I have a hard time believing that after years of arguing against larger pocket queries, all state queries, archived cache queries and the like because "the data is likely to be out of date" that Groundspeak would allow this product.

 

I can't wait for a family to go out and spend hours looking for a cache that is archived because a land manager wanted it removed and getting into trouble on their first hunt. Then I hope to buy the GPS from them for the novelty of it.

 

Interesting idea: Since I assume you are/were involved in Scouts, can you see this as a cost effective way to get a bunch of GPS units into the hands of Scouts assuming they are able to be updated ?

 

For about $20 more each, I would buy a bunch of etrex H (the yellow etrex units) and go from there. While this toy might work, you KNOW the etrex will and you're going to want a unit which is dependable and you can trust to work!!

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i don't know. I am on the fence with this one. While it is a great way to get people out there geocaching, I don't buy into this instant gratification thing. I think with any hobby one needs to do research and know what they are doing instead of just jumping in. I also believe that as a 'technology based' game and those looking for a quick easy way to geocache will be soon disappointed and want more flexibility.

That said, I would give it to my kids and be less worried about them wrecking the unit. I would only buy it for them if I could update the caches once in a while. Also, if it was usable in Australia of course :unsure:

 

Might be good for the kids, but so is the yellow etrex which is a proven unit! I'd not cringe a bit if my youngster grabbed up the yellow and started running off into the woods!

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Might be good for the kids, but so is the yellow etrex which is a proven unit! I'd not cringe a bit if my youngster grabbed up the yellow and started running off into the woods!

I agree 100%!

 

While the extreme simplicity of the Geomate.jr sounds initially attractive, together with the "slightly sort-of a little bit paperless" capability (size, difficulty and rating info included, but no notes or clues), the first thing I would want my kids to have in a GPSr device for cache hunting is the ability to mark a few useful waypoints of my choosing (e.g. where we parked the car today, the picnic table we are having lunch at, etc, not just one "Home" location, which might be hundreds of km away!), and the ability to leave a "breadcrumb" trail so they can find their way back out of the bush again. To me, basic navigational capability is much more important than knowing the size of the nearest cache.

 

Even the basic yellow eTrex H will do those things, but as far as I can see, the Geomate.jr won't. If anyone asks me, I will definitely point them to a regular consumer GPSr of some sort.

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This geomate gps dosnt come with any writing about the rules of geo caching or where to log the finds at geo caching.com. Alot of caches have gone missing in our area and I cant help but think it might be because of families not knowing the rules and taking caches they find. I think its a bad idea

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That is an excellent point.. I took a few friends on mine on a trip with me and they asked questions as to "Are we just going to leave it there?" and "Can we move the cache now that we have found it?" I know that these questions seem obvious to all of us, but they were valid considering that they were not familiar with the game.

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That is an excellent point.. I took a few friends on mine on a trip with me and they asked questions as to "Are we just going to leave it there?" and "Can we move the cache now that we have found it?" I know that these questions seem obvious to all of us, but they were valid considering that they were not familiar with the game.

very good points here.

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G'day All

 

I noticed a bit of a Geomate.jr thread going here and I wanted to make myself available for any questions anyone may have. My name is Warren and I work for Apisphere (the company that released the Geomate.jr) and I am the Geomate.jr product lead. Please feel free to post any questions you may have and I'll do my best to answer them. I would also like to hear any suggestions anyone may have so we can better support the geocaching community.

 

Cheers

 

Warren

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There is a " Geomate Jr. owners thread going on this site " . Got one and have enjoyed it. Very accurate. See my preliminary review posted about four nights ago. In my "stable" I play with: 60CSX, PN20, PN40, and find this to be a great adjunct especially when you have to hit the road in a hurry and have not loaded P.Q.'s ... Has served well when out in the boonies and away from cell service and you can't play with the various caching links available on the various cell phones.

 

So for those of you who have been caching with your little caching buddies and have heard a clatter followed by " Grandpa it sort of just fell " and looked over to see your mega $$$$$$$ GPS'r on the ground ... this also has a place. Just my $0.02. Geo Hugs to all.

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[snip]

Does this really contain copyrighted information from cache submitters? Is that cool with the licensing agreements?

 

I don't understand. I'd appreciate someone that knew the licensing involved explaining this.

 

Wow, if I had some caches I'd be a little upset about this... I'll need to review what I give up in the license.

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Bought one, as I couldn't resist.

 

Great sensitivity, achieves lock very quickly. My wife keeps in the car for "caching emergencies" with the kids.. they all enjoy being able to find a cache wherever they are. This saves me from keeping a GPS loaded up for them and guessing where they might go :) They have a long beach vacation coming up which i'll only be there for a few days, so this is PERFECT for leaving with them. The fact it just reports traditionals is even better as that suits what they are after.

 

I'll have the DTs when we go on a long road trip..normally I obsess about running PQs a long a route just in case we make a pee stop :rolleyes: ... for the next trip I'm going to rely solely on the Geomate. This will be an even better feature if/when I can strip out previous finds.

 

I'm looking forward to being able to refresh the database and even slightly modulating what goes on there. First in line for the update cable.

Great extra device for the geocar. I have extra older GPS devices, but this solves the issue of keeping them loaded up.

 

Nice idea, thanks.

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G'day All

 

I noticed a bit of a Geomate.jr thread going here and I wanted to make myself available for any questions anyone may have. My name is Warren and I work for Apisphere (the company that released the Geomate.jr) and I am the Geomate.jr product lead. Please feel free to post any questions you may have and I'll do my best to answer them. I would also like to hear any suggestions anyone may have so we can better support the geocaching community.

 

Cheers

 

Warren

 

How come that this product sheet: http://www.mygeomate.com/GeoMateJr_Product_Sheet.pdf and this QuickStart: http://www.mygeomate.com/quick_start_guide.pdf doesn't even mention geocaching.com or anything about logging online?

 

And in the UsersGuide (who reads it anyway?): http://www.mygeomate.com/GeomatejrUsersGuide.pdf it is mentioned in a copyright message on page 3, mentioned briefly on page 16 and the twice on page 20. Not much of the online part of geocaching is explained.

 

I find this very strange since getting the priviligie of being a geocacher for me meant that I had to agree to the "TERMS OF USE" for geocaching.com, create an account and even then, get a message about a disclaimer that I need to agree to on every single cache I view.

 

Does this disclaimer not apply to those who bought a Geomate.jr? Perhaps a similar disclaimer is shipped with the product?

 

Some kind of activation system where you needed to create a geocaching.com account before activation your Geomate.jr would have forced the new Geomate.jr owner to become more aware of what Geocaching is before they head out for their first find.

 

As I cache owner I want cache finds on my caches to be logged online and I want to know that the ones that find it have a basic knowledge of geocaching. Luckily I live in Sweden and are not (yet?) affected by this product.

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How come that this product sheet: http://www.mygeomate.com/GeoMateJr_Product_Sheet.pdf and this QuickStart: http://www.mygeomate.com/quick_start_guide.pdf doesn't even mention geocaching.com or anything about logging online?

 

And in the UsersGuide (who reads it anyway?): http://www.mygeomate.com/GeomatejrUsersGuide.pdf it is mentioned in a copyright message on page 3, mentioned briefly on page 16 and the twice on page 20. Not much of the online part of geocaching is explained.

 

I find this very strange since getting the priviligie of being a geocacher for me meant that I had to agree to the "TERMS OF USE" for geocaching.com, create an account and even then, get a message about a disclaimer that I need to agree to on every single cache I view.

 

Does this disclaimer not apply to those who bought a Geomate.jr? Perhaps a similar disclaimer is shipped with the product?

 

Some kind of activation system where you needed to create a geocaching.com account before activation your Geomate.jr would have forced the new Geomate.jr owner to become more aware of what Geocaching is before they head out for their first find.

 

As I cache owner I want cache finds on my caches to be logged online and I want to know that the ones that find it have a basic knowledge of geocaching. Luckily I live in Sweden and are not (yet?) affected by this product.

 

You bring up some very good points and are ones that we have been discussing in great length with other geocaches, Groundspeak, and on other forum threads. The bottom line is that you are right and we are working away at developing additional material to help educate any newbie the least of which is a "Pocket Guide to Geocaching" that will ship with all Geomate.jrs that is designed to cover things like guidelines, ethics, trackables, muggles, etc.

 

Cheers

 

Warren

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My wife keeps in the car for "caching emergencies" with the kids..

 

Not a bad idea...

 

One of my friends just getting into caching bought one, because he really likes it, but could not justify the cost of a high end unit...

 

I bought one for exactly what you said and to be able to hand to my pals that I take Caching that are not into it enough to have their own units...

 

It has its place...

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