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Geocache search by postcode


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Years ago I noticed the search by the post code option on the 'hide and seek' a cache would take me to Bayern, Germany when I entered a postcode from central Belfast eg BT2 8GB. :D

It was OK as I quickly realised that typing "www.geocaching.com/seek/nearest.aspx" into my browser, brought me to a different search screen. This listed the caches around Belfast and I was happy :)

 

Well, in the last week or so, my fall back has been cruelly changed so that I now get German caches again :P

 

In the first instance I hope someone out there has a work around. If so can you let me know.

I am thinking that the problem could lie in one of two places, but I am prepared to be wrong.

 

1) Groundspeak/Geocaching have a set of look up tables which do not include Northern Ireland (All postcodes start BT....)

2) The geocaching website passes the input to Google maps or similar, and Google have eroneous data.

 

Maybe this could be looked at by the masters, as it worked, and was soo handy.

 

THIA.

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BT28GB (no space) gives this result: http://www.geocaching.com/seek/nearest.asp...e9-496530baf758

 

How accurate is that?

 

Searching using "Belfast" in the address section of the main Hide and Seek page gives this result:

 

http://www.geocaching.com/seek/nearest.asp...88&dist=100

 

As you can see the two are different but I'm not sure where exactly your postcode is centred?

 

edit to add:

 

Looking at mapped results of the top link I see that this takes you to Lisburn which I assume is BT28?

 

I also tried BT02 but that didn't work out either :P

 

Might be one for the main website forum: http://forums.Groundspeak.com/GC/index.php?showforum=8

Edited by dinö
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Using the search on the Geocaching home page with your exact post code (including spaces) and the word UK afterwards seems to work.

 

i.e.: BT2 8GB UK. That got me caches in Belfast. (Adding the relevant country after any description such as postcode, town etc usually takes you to the place you expect...)

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Years ago I noticed the search by the post code option on the 'hide and seek' a cache would take me to Bayern, Germany when I entered a postcode from central Belfast eg BT2 8GB. :D

It was OK as I quickly realised that typing "www.geocaching.com/seek/nearest.aspx" into my browser, brought me to a different search screen. This listed the caches around Belfast and I was happy :)

 

Well, in the last week or so, my fall back has been cruelly changed so that I now get German caches again :P

 

In the first instance I hope someone out there has a work around. If so can you let me know.

I am thinking that the problem could lie in one of two places, but I am prepared to be wrong.

 

1) Groundspeak/Geocaching have a set of look up tables which do not include Northern Ireland (All postcodes start BT....)

2) The geocaching website passes the input to Google maps or similar, and Google have eroneous data.

 

Maybe this could be looked at by the masters, as it worked, and was soo handy.

 

THIA.

It's not just you, for a couple of weeks now if I use my postcode (Ipswich) it puts me in Portugal, the nearest I can get is by using my postcode and adding GB after, eg. IP7 5BP GB which gets me to within a couple of miles.

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Dino, tiiiim and norsch thanks for your help. You have answered my question quickly, and now I can happily search for caches close to home easily again :)

 

That was my second post in 4 years. Both complaints/queries, I will get a reputation as moaner :D

 

dino, good to hear from you. I will put this onto the geocaching ireland forums for others so they can avail of my misfortune and good luck that knights in shining armour did read of my plea.... stuff this, it makes me sound too girly :P

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I wonder if GC.com is using the Google API to geo-locate the searches. If so, then the behaviour everyone is seeing is:

  1. As expected. The API will throw back its first guess at your location from anywhere in the world. UK postcodes are but a small set of the data the Google machines have in their database - they'll just return whatever matches your search criteria first, and there could be other places in the world with BT in the name, whether it be postcodes or the local theme park...
  2. The GC staff have no control over what the API spits back, so can't do much about it. Well, I guess GC could see what you've set as your home location and tag the country code onto the end of searches, but that depends upon everyone correctly setting their preferences.

When going to maps.google.com (i.e. global Google) and typing in your postcode only, does it work? It does for me, but I presume that Google does some geo-IP matching to see what country you're in, then return results relevant to that country. Using the API through the search box on GC.com, Google has no idea what country you're in (and remember the servers are in the US, so the queries to Google will come from the US, not the UK) and will return results which it thinks are relevant.

 

Obviously, this is all conjecture. I'm probably wrong.

Edited by tiiiim
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typing the postcode into maps.google.com does not bring back any results. nada. zilch etc

I do have a link on the LHS to set default location whicj I assume I have never done. Would you have done this tiiiim? If so, this could as you suspect, weigh googles answers in your favour.

 

I tried entering BT2 8GB UK as a location and that brings back nothing either.

 

My maps page may be 'up the left'.

I will have to experiment later, but atleast I can search now. Thanks again.

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typing the postcode into maps.google.com does not bring back any results. nada. zilch etc

I do have a link on the LHS to set default location whicj I assume I have never done. Would you have done this tiiiim? If so, this could as you suspect, weigh googles answers in your favour.

 

I tried entering BT2 8GB UK as a location and that brings back nothing either.

 

My maps page may be 'up the left'.

I will have to experiment later, but atleast I can search now. Thanks again.

 

Hmmm, weird: I used the 'Set default location' in Google Maps to set my location to the USA. I then typed in my UK postcode and it still took my straight to my proper address in the UK!! It wouldn't be using geo-IP location information over what the user has expressly set as their default?

 

I then typed in your postcode using the same default location in the USA, and it returned this:

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source...mp;t=h&z=16

which is in the centre of Belfast, as with the Geocaching search.

 

No idea why your results are different, but my theory's obviously wrong! Anyway, glad to help you find a work-around! I hope it stays working for a while...!

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typing the postcode into maps.google.com does not bring back any results. nada. zilch etc

I do have a link on the LHS to set default location whicj I assume I have never done. Would you have done this tiiiim? If so, this could as you suspect, weigh googles answers in your favour.

 

I tried entering BT2 8GB UK as a location and that brings back nothing either.

 

My maps page may be 'up the left'.

I will have to experiment later, but atleast I can search now. Thanks again.

 

Hmmm, weird: I used the 'Set default location' in Google Maps to set my location to the USA. I then typed in my UK postcode and it still took my straight to my proper address in the UK!! It wouldn't be using geo-IP location information over what the user has expressly set as their default?

 

I then typed in your postcode using the same default location in the USA, and it returned this:

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source...mp;t=h&z=16

which is in the centre of Belfast, as with the Geocaching search.

 

No idea why your results are different, but my theory's obviously wrong! Anyway, glad to help you find a work-around! I hope it stays working for a while...!

Google maps shows my location exactly, I don't think its an IP thing, as when I buy my lottery ticket online I always get a page which says "We think you are outside the UK" even though I'm in deepest, darkest Suffolk.

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typing the postcode into maps.google.com does not bring back any results. nada. zilch etc

I do have a link on the LHS to set default location whicj I assume I have never done. Would you have done this tiiiim? If so, this could as you suspect, weigh googles answers in your favour.

 

I tried entering BT2 8GB UK as a location and that brings back nothing either.

 

My maps page may be 'up the left'.

I will have to experiment later, but atleast I can search now. Thanks again.

 

Hmmm, weird: I used the 'Set default location' in Google Maps to set my location to the USA. I then typed in my UK postcode and it still took my straight to my proper address in the UK!! It wouldn't be using geo-IP location information over what the user has expressly set as their default?

 

I then typed in your postcode using the same default location in the USA, and it returned this:

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source...mp;t=h&z=16

which is in the centre of Belfast, as with the Geocaching search.

 

No idea why your results are different, but my theory's obviously wrong! Anyway, glad to help you find a work-around! I hope it stays working for a while...!

Google maps shows my location exactly, I don't think its an IP thing, as when I buy my lottery ticket online I always get a page which says "We think you are outside the UK" even though I'm in deepest, darkest Suffolk.

 

I see their point... :P

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