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Avernar

Ideas for future PQ1K email or direct download link

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I can remember plenty of threads where you "automatic people" didn't get your weekly fix because the mail server went down, or your ISP decided to throttle your mail, or whatever. I don't see how the risk of the website being down is much different.

that's easily answered: everyone is free to switch to another email provider if their current one isn't stable enough. it's nice to be able to specify an alternate destination address for the PQ :ph34r:

 

If you think email is a lessor risk, just keep your PQs limited to 500 caches.

that's what many people will do, but i doubt that this was the intended outcome of the upgrade. i might be wrong though.

 

Geocaching.com could host an internal PostOffice for POP only (maybe IMAP as well; no SMTP for the users, just for the system) and without reception of email from outside the domain. Each user would have an email address consisting of their usernumber @geocaching.com. Email older than 1 week would automatically be deleted. Then we could simply point our email clients to those accounts.

 

Another way, why not give us ftp access to the downloadable files.

i don't know about those. mail servers can get quite under some heavy load due to user access, which is especially true for IMAP servers (keyword persistent connections). email is a nightmare to administrate and maintain. i can very well understand GS for trying to get rid of the email load generated by the PQs, giving out pseudo-email accounts to users would be a step in the wrong direction.

 

FTP is a horrible protocol as it is, and while it does have its uses (if you actually need to manage files directly, upload, rename, move etc), HTTP is a much better choice for simple download-only cases.

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There's plenty of hand wringing as it is when the site goes down. Not getting you're weekly fix of PQs because you've opted for manual downloads instead emails would be a major kick in the gut.
I can remember plenty of threads where you "automatic people" didn't get your weekly fix because the mail server went down, or your ISP decided to throttle your mail, or whatever. I don't see how the risk of the website being down is much different.

Actually, I think the hand wringing over the email server going down are the folks who after the "just in time" PQs. These are the ones who will take best advantage of the manual downloads. Only now the issue is being shifted from the email server to the site in general. It's still a time sensitive issue.

 

If you think email is a lessor risk, just keep your PQs limited to 500 caches.

That's what I'm saying I'm gonna do.

Edited by CoyoteRed

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<click> download

<click> download

<click> download

<click> download

 

...how hard is that?

 

Is thirty-five seconds going to make such a HUGE difference in your life?

This may have been covered but here is the problem.

 

With downloading them from the website the website has to be up and running. The e-mail server is a separate entity and usually is working even when the site is down. A file I get e-mailed to me is there 3 days later when the site goes down and I can still upload it even when the main site isn't working, remember everyone who is upset when the site goes down on Friday when then need that PQ for the trip that weekend? Even if they were smart and got the data they needed a few days ago they may not have downloaded it out of their e-mail which they can still do, but couldn't if you had to download it from the website.

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I don't see the files being available via direct download or being embedded in emails for two reasons.

 

First is the load on mail servers. With larger PQs it's just more for the server to handle. I know that personally I don't generate a lot of PQs but it seems that some people generate 5 every single day. Their reasons for doing so are something I don't understand, but that's their business.

 

The second reason is that if you have to go to the website to download the PQ you also have to see all of the advertisements on the website. Let's face it, ads are a big part of what keep the site going. Yeah yeah, I know you paid your premium member fee just like I did to generate your PQs, but even with that I'm sure they're not making money hand over fist with premium member fees. "Well I use ad blocking software so I don't even see those ads, I'm gonna stick it to the man". Well, most people have no clue how such software works, so Groundspeak will get their ad impressions, advertisers will pay Groundspeak and the site we've come to love over time will stay running.

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If it was just for reducing load to the mailserver, there was an easy way to do that:

 

-500 PQs are mailed compressed or uncompressed

500+ PQs are only mailed compressed

 

It was so easy, if they wanted it. There must be any other reason, that they don't send it via email. Maybe it is the advertising? I don't know.

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If it was just for reducing load to the mailserver, there was an easy way to do that:

 

-500 PQs are mailed compressed or uncompressed

500+ PQs are only mailed compressed

 

It was so easy, if they wanted it. There must be any other reason, that they don't send it via email. Maybe it is the advertising? I don't know.

does anyone actually use uncompressed PQs?

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I don't see the files being available via direct download or being embedded in emails for two reasons.

 

First is the load on mail servers. With larger PQs it's just more for the server to handle.

And how's that different from someone just getting another account and generating twice as many PQ500s? Yes, it's more money for Groundspeak but that doesn't reduce the load on the email servers.

 

The second reason is that if you have to go to the website to download the PQ you also have to see all of the advertisements on the website.

No I don't. I just have to paste the URL of the PQ into my browser's address bar as mentioned in another thread. No ads. And that's the way I'd probably do it if I wasn't running PQ500s still.

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If it was just for reducing load to the mailserver, there was an easy way to do that:

 

-500 PQs are mailed compressed or uncompressed

500+ PQs are only mailed compressed

 

It was so easy, if they wanted it. There must be any other reason, that they don't send it via email. Maybe it is the advertising? I don't know.

I think the real reason is that with downloading the PQ, they can know if you never download your PQs, and eventually disable the unused ones.

 

My prediction: in a year or so, they'll get rid of emailing completely and *all* PQs will have to be downloaded.

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I believe that OpinioNate (or maybe Jeremy) posted in the past that it was their intention to eventually get rid of the PQ emails and that all of them would be downloaded. Or that they were at least exploring that possibility.

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My prediction: in a year or so, they'll get rid of emailing completely and *all* PQs will have to be downloaded.

If they allow non-cookie downloads of the PQs by then, it won't be an issue. As long as the site stays up. If there is a site outage for a day or two, will my premium membership be extended by that amount of time?

 

Right now I don't care if the site goes down temporarily as my PQs are sitting waiting for me on my mail server.

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My prediction: in a year or so, they'll get rid of emailing completely and *all* PQs will have to be downloaded.

If they allow non-cookie downloads of the PQs by then, it won't be an issue. As long as the site stays up. If there is a site outage for a day or two, will my premium membership be extended by that amount of time?

 

Right now I don't care if the site goes down temporarily as my PQs are sitting waiting for me on my mail server.

 

One time the site was down for a couple days. Of course Bing and some other very major sites were also down. Something about a fire in a electrical distribution panel. I also seem to recall a 6 to 8 hour night time PST down time for some other maintenance. Other than that I can't really remember any serious down time except for the monthly 1 to 3 hour maintenance down time. I think worries about the site being down are much over blown and quite frankly since nothing on this site is mission critical I fail to see the concern.

Edited by jholly

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Is thirty-five seconds going to make such a HUGE difference in your life?

35 seconds + 5 seconds to log in * 2 accounts = 80 seconds per day * 365 days = over 8 hours

 

Why should I loose 8 hours of my life for something that can be accomplished in about 6 minutes (1 second * 365 days)?

 

But seriously, why would I do something that takes 80 seconds when I can accomplish the same thing in 1 second?

 

Breathe deeply. Say "Oh, well." Stop petting the sweaty things. And life continues on! Remarkable how that works. Ya don't like what is offered here, go somewhere else!

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I think worries about the site being down are much over blown and quite frankly since nothing on this site is mission critical I fail to see the concern.

It's not the big outages that would be a problem. A small outage right before I'm ready to leave for a trip would mess me up for 1-3 days depending on the trip.

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Ya don't like what is offered here, go somewhere else!

So I don't like one thing about the site and you're telling me I should just abandon geocaching? :unsure:

 

Groundspeak has said that they were thinking about doing this. I started this thread so we could discuss ways that it can be accomplished. This way the programmers can get ideas and see what the community likes and dislikes about each method.

 

I'm astonished of the amount of people on this site who got their pet feature implemented and then would go out of their way to try to undermine the efforts of others who are trying to get something they want. Especially if the other feature won't impact them at all!

 

If you have a good technical reason why any of the things we've discussed would negatively affect the download people, please post them. I welcome such input. Otherwise, take you're own advice and go start your own thread. I don't want this one shut down for going off topic.

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My prediction: in a year or so, they'll get rid of emailing completely and *all* PQs will have to be downloaded.

If they allow non-cookie downloads of the PQs by then, it won't be an issue. As long as the site stays up. If there is a site outage for a day or two, will my premium membership be extended by that amount of time?

Hopefully threads like this will alert Groundspeak of our concerns, and if they do decide to do away with email results altogether, an automated retrieval mechanism will be in place.

 

As for extending membership a day for every day the site goes down, unless it is a common occurrence, I don't find it necessary. If it is a common occurrence, it'll take more than a small extension to make me happy. The only lengthy outage in the short time I've been caching is the Fisher Plaza fire. Scheduled updates shouldn't count.

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Breathe deeply. Say "Oh, well." Stop petting the sweaty things. And life continues on! Remarkable how that works. Ya don't like what is offered here, go somewhere else!

Follow your own advice. If you don't like what's being discussed here, go somewhere else.

 

This is not a thread to bash Groundspeak. This is a thread where people come together to discuss alternatives and work-arounds.

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Ok, just went into my Pocket Queries download page for the first time (all mine are still 500 or less and getting emailed). I notice there's a lovely check box down the left side for bulk deleting my PQs.... I wonder why they didn't give us a "Download All" or "Download Checked" button !?

 

This would at least satisfy those of us who don't relish the thought of hitting "right click / save as" 40 times a week. I don't mind logging in, hitting "download all" and pointing GSAK at the downloaded file as much.

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Ok, just went into my Pocket Queries download page for the first time (all mine are still 500 or less and getting emailed). I notice there's a lovely check box down the left side for bulk deleting my PQs.... I wonder why they didn't give us a "Download All" or "Download Checked" button !?

Having one click return several files seem like a rather awkward interface to me. The only examples I can think of uses a Java applet or some other ActiveX magic to do it. The files could be repacked into one ZIP archive, but that would incur server load.

 

It'll be nice to download everything in one click though. Is there something I missed?

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If it was just for reducing load to the mailserver, there was an easy way to do that:

 

-500 PQs are mailed compressed or uncompressed

500+ PQs are only mailed compressed

 

It was so easy, if they wanted it. There must be any other reason, that they don't send it via email. Maybe it is the advertising? I don't know.

I think the real reason is that with downloading the PQ, they can know if you never download your PQs, and eventually disable the unused ones.

 

My prediction: in a year or so, they'll get rid of emailing completely and *all* PQs will have to be downloaded.

 

Yeah, I have that same sinking feeling. If they work out a way to automate things with the downloadable PQs before switching off e-mails, I'll be fine with it.

 

I'm sure I'll deal with more manual steps if forced, but it sure is nice to click one button in GSAK and have all waiting PQs loaded and ready to go.

Edited by rob3k

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Just lost a 1KPQ... :D

 

The PQ (among others) was generated and shown on the "Ready for download" tab.

After I had downloaded two other PQs, one of the PQs had disappeared from the list, although I didn't delete anything. Unfortunately it was one I had not downloaded yet. :P

 

So one PQ is missing and can't be re-generated until tomorrow. If it only was in my mailbox... :)

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I wonder if the frog has thought about changing the way they schedule the running of those PQ's that are scheduled.

 

If I understand correctly, they start running scheduled PQ's at midnight Pacific time.

 

Now, they know where we live, because we've provided our home coordinates. Right?

 

Why not schedule the PQ's of the cachers that live in a certain time zone to run at midnight local time. So, if you live in England, or along the prime meridian, your scheduled PQ's would start running at run at 0000 GMT. If you live in the Eastern US time zone, they'd start running your scheduled PQ's at GTM +4. If you lived in the US Pacific time zone, they'd start running your PQ's at GTM +6, And, so on.

 

Wouldn't that spread the load out on the servers?

 

Just a thought.

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I wonder if the frog has thought about changing the way they schedule the running of those PQ's that are scheduled.

 

If I understand correctly, they start running scheduled PQ's at midnight Pacific time.

 

Now, they know where we live, because we've provided our home coordinates. Right?

 

Why not schedule the PQ's of the cachers that live in a certain time zone to run at midnight local time. So, if you live in England, or along the prime meridian, your scheduled PQ's would start running at run at 0000 GMT. If you live in the Eastern US time zone, they'd start running your scheduled PQ's at GTM +4. If you lived in the US Pacific time zone, they'd start running your PQ's at GTM +6, And, so on.

I believe this is already under consideration. A Lackey posted here a couple months ago asking for suggestions along these exact lines.

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Emailed PQs are extremely useful for automation. BCaching.com offers a free email address to its users so that they can setup automated PQs to be sent to their bcaching account and always have access to the almost-latest data in their mobile device without any manual preparation. It would be unfortunate if Groundspeak took that feature away without first providing some kind of alternative for automated retrieval.

 

Granted there are only a few hundred bcaching users, but I get the feeling from what I've read that there are many more GSAK users who would also lose out and have to resort to doing things by hand again.

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Took me about half an hour of trying to figure out why I didn't get my 1,000 cache file before I read the email. I have no issue with downloading the file. I actually prefer it. Normally I download the files off my mail server. Now I just download them off the web site.

 

I can see this being an issue for people who pool pocket queries by sending them to a group email address and having the results forwarded to multiple people. For those people, they will just have to get used to the TOS they agreed to when they got their premium membership.

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Took me about half an hour of trying to figure out why I didn't get my 1,000 cache file before I read the email. I have no issue with downloading the file. I actually prefer it. Normally I download the files off my mail server. Now I just download them off the web site.

 

I can see this being an issue for people who pool pocket queries by sending them to a group email address and having the results forwarded to multiple people. For those people, they will just have to get used to the TOS they agreed to when they got their premium membership.

 

For people that cache by firing a 'one-off' PQ before heading out, it won't be much of a hindrance. For people that use multiple automated PQs going to the website and downloading multiple times a day is a P.I.T.A. vs hitting "Get Data via Email" in GSAK.

 

This will be less interesting to me when Geocaching.com has a full set of macros for sorting out whether or not I qualify for whatever the latest inane "challenge" cache is in my area, on the site. Right now, I'm using a bunch of PQs and GSAK Macros to get rid of the little blue question marks that surround my 'radius'.

 

Anyway, this thread is about ideas for Groundspeak to make it easier to download the PQ1Ks, not about the 'hey it works for me, therefore you should do it my way' argument. I like the colour blue, but that doesn't mean everyone should be forced to make that their favourite colour.

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Took me about half an hour of trying to figure out why I didn't get my 1,000 cache file before I read the email. I have no issue with downloading the file. I actually prefer it. Normally I download the files off my mail server. Now I just download them off the web site.

From your wording it sounds like you only have one PQ that you use for daily caching. In that case, downloading is easier. I have two accounts and max out my PQs as I have a large caching area that I travel around in on very little notice. Downloading 10 PQs a day every day would get tedious. I use Markwell's date method on setting up the PQs so eventually I'll probably need a third account as more caches are published.

 

I can see this being an issue for people who pool pocket queries by sending them to a group email address and having the results forwarded to multiple people. For those people, they will just have to get used to the TOS they agreed to when they got their premium membership.

I'd think those people would not complain much at all. They'd just throw more people at it if they wanted more caches.

Edited by Avernar

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hm. just my two cents:

 

I get the impression Groundspeak will very soon "offer" a new type of membership (or extension there off): "the download all your pocket query special membership for a special upgraded price"...

 

which in itself is an idea to lower PQ-server load.

Edited by novw

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hm. just my two cents:

 

I get the impression Groundspeak will very soon "offer" a new type of membership (or extension there off): "the download all your pocket query special membership for a special upgraded price"...

 

which in itself is an idea to lower PQ-server load.

 

I'd be fine with that. Heck I pay more for Flickr than I do for my Premium Membership, and I use Geocaching.com waaaaaaaay more.

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Took me about half an hour of trying to figure out why I didn't get my 1,000 cache file before I read the email. I have no issue with downloading the file. I actually prefer it. Normally I download the files off my mail server. Now I just download them off the web site.

From your wording it sounds like you only have one PQ that you use for daily caching. In that case, downloading is easier. I have two accounts and max out my PQs as I have a large caching area that I travel around in on very little notice. Downloading 10 PQs a day every day would get tedious. I use Markwell's date method on setting up the PQs so eventually I'll probably need a third account as more caches are published.

 

I can see this being an issue for people who pool pocket queries by sending them to a group email address and having the results forwarded to multiple people. For those people, they will just have to get used to the TOS they agreed to when they got their premium membership.

I'd think those people would not complain much at all. They'd just throw more people at it if they wanted more caches.

 

Actually I run a few queries. I only run them for my immediate area, for events, and placing I am going caching. I don't spend a whole lot of time and bandwidth loading up data I don't go to and my Colorado only loads up 2,000 geocaches with all their data, so that pretty well limits what I load. There have been times where I have gone out the door with minutes of warning and just ran a PQ of the area I was going to and dropped the file onto the GPS.

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Actually I run a few queries. I only run them for my immediate area, for events, and placing I am going caching. I don't spend a whole lot of time and bandwidth loading up data I don't go to and my Colorado only loads up 2,000 geocaches with all their data, so that pretty well limits what I load. There have been times where I have gone out the door with minutes of warning and just ran a PQ of the area I was going to and dropped the file onto the GPS.

A large number of times I've gone caching from somewhere other than home so last minute PQs are not a possibility. And GSAK is at home anyway and so is the AC power cable for the StreetPilot (I load both GPSr units).

 

I also have the 2000 cache limit but I do load the rest of them as POI. I've crossed the boundary between Geocache and POI on quite a few occasions.

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Let's try to get back to the original topic.

 

Here's something I've been wondering. For all the non-email solutions we've discussed, how would we retrieve our PQs if the site goes down for the day?

 

I would think this would probably hurt the manual downloaders more than us automatic people...

 

If the site went down for the day, there is a good chance email would not work either.

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Let's try to get back to the original topic.

 

Here's something I've been wondering. For all the non-email solutions we've discussed, how would we retrieve our PQs if the site goes down for the day?

 

I would think this would probably hurt the manual downloaders more than us automatic people...

 

If the site went down for the day, there is a good chance email would not work either.

Let's say your PQ runs at 1 AM.

 

The site goes down at 2 AM.

 

If the results are emailed, they're sitting in your inbox.

 

If they're only available as a download from gc.com, you're hosed.

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Let's try to get back to the original topic.

 

Here's something I've been wondering. For all the non-email solutions we've discussed, how would we retrieve our PQs if the site goes down for the day?

 

I would think this would probably hurt the manual downloaders more than us automatic people...

 

If the site went down for the day, there is a good chance email would not work either.

 

True, but if the site goes down at 6AM but your PQ fires at 2AM, you still get your day's PQ. Say your 1000 caches closest to home PQ, which should cover typical use. The PQ is sitting there in your e-mail box.

 

Also, been lots of times the website is giving a 501 error but the emails are still working.

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Actually I run a few queries. I only run them for my immediate area, for events, and placing I am going caching. I don't spend a whole lot of time and bandwidth loading up data I don't go to and my Colorado only loads up 2,000 geocaches with all their data, so that pretty well limits what I load. There have been times where I have gone out the door with minutes of warning and just ran a PQ of the area I was going to and dropped the file onto the GPS.

A large number of times I've gone caching from somewhere other than home so last minute PQs are not a possibility. And GSAK is at home anyway and so is the AC power cable for the StreetPilot (I load both GPSr units).

 

I also have the 2000 cache limit but I do load the rest of them as POI. I've crossed the boundary between Geocache and POI on quite a few occasions.

 

So downloading would be of benefit for you then. You don't need to be at home to go caching spur of the moment. You can run the PQ from anywhere, only an internet connection and a browser is required, and you can load your Colorado with the PQ that was just created by plugging it into just about any computer as it appears as a mass storage device and copy the PQ over. You can also use a BlackBerry to do it. Just download the PQ right to a Micro SD card and use the included adapter if required to put it in your GPS and go.

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Ok, just went into my Pocket Queries download page for the first time (all mine are still 500 or less and getting emailed). I notice there's a lovely check box down the left side for bulk deleting my PQs.... I wonder why they didn't give us a "Download All" or "Download Checked" button !?

 

This would at least satisfy those of us who don't relish the thought of hitting "right click / save as" 40 times a week. I don't mind logging in, hitting "download all" and pointing GSAK at the downloaded file as much.

I would really like to see this enhancement. Having the download automation done by a script on the web page would seem to be ideal as it would give Groundspeak full control over it and thus avoid the obvious automation attempts that are sure to come.

 

I had given consideration to converting all my PQs to the new size, but don't currently have enough free time to spend extra time on data management when I already don't have enough time to go geocaching. So I am leaving my current PQs in unchanged for this week. I know of other users who changed their PQs to the new ones and then changed back when they realized that it cannot be automated.

 

I did use the new feature this weekend for refreshing my data and found it to be great. I was able to get 1000 caches along a route on two occasions to freshen up my data as all the events and new cache placements came on line. I would say that it did save me considerable time in not having to time-slice and visualize data. It is indeed a great new feature.

 

Getting two additional links next to the Delete link on the Download page would indeed be fantastic.

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Ok, just went into my Pocket Queries download page for the first time (all mine are still 500 or less and getting emailed). I notice there's a lovely check box down the left side for bulk deleting my PQs.... I wonder why they didn't give us a "Download All" or "Download Checked" button !?

 

This would at least satisfy those of us who don't relish the thought of hitting "right click / save as" 40 times a week. I don't mind logging in, hitting "download all" and pointing GSAK at the downloaded file as much.

If you use Firefox, get the DownThemAll extension and experiment with it. It should be possible to do exactly what you're saying here.

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If you use Firefox, get the DownThemAll extension and experiment with it. It should be possible to do exactly what you're saying here.

 

I'm familiar with DownThemAll, and the danger with it (as with other download accelerators) is that you'll set off the "bot detection" when your computer requests 40 links at once on the site. You risk getting your IP address banned - particularly if your download accelerator makes multiple calls for the same file (to speed up the transfer).

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So downloading would be of benefit for you then. You don't need to be at home to go caching spur of the moment. You can run the PQ from anywhere, only an internet connection and a browser is required, and you can load your Colorado with the PQ that was just created by plugging it into just about any computer as it appears as a mass storage device and copy the PQ over. You can also use a BlackBerry to do it. Just download the PQ right to a Micro SD card and use the included adapter if required to put it in your GPS and go.

In an emergency if GMail happened to be blocked by the firewall, then yes. But I wouldn't have my solved puzzles loaded then or any of my other child waypoints that I've manually added. The child waypoints in the PQ would get loaded as waypoints instead of POI which would be annoying. And I wouldn't be able to load my StreetPilot.

 

Downloading from the site is a great backup if some emails were lost for whatever reason. But I'd still run them through GSAK first.

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Yeah, I have that same sinking feeling. If they work out a way to automate things with the downloadable PQs before switching off e-mails, I'll be fine with it.

The problem with a pull system versus a push system is we have to initiate the pull. We have to hope the site is up to do that.

 

If we wait too late to pull and the site is down, we're SOL.

 

If we do it too early the downloads might not be ready.

 

We end up potentially polling the site several times to see if it's ready for us to pull the data.

 

The email scheme simply sends us the data when it's ready. We don't have to ask for it on a continual basis.

 

I very much prefer the push system to the pull system. If load is the issue, then start looking at differential PQs where the only (and all) the data that has changed is sent. There's no need to send a cache description that hasn't changed in years when the only thing that has changed is a single additional log. (...or the other 4 logs for that matter.) OTOH, sending out that a cache has been archived will make a differential PQ actually useful.

 

I did an experiment with gathering only the data that had changed in the past week and reduced the PQ size well in excess of 90%. Massive amounts of bandwidth could be saved.

 

Okay, so it's not bandwidth as per Raine.

 

The number caches sent is smaller therefore fewer PQs have to chunk through the system. It's takes 6 PQs to all of the filters caches in SC. While it takes only 2 PQs using the same filter except I added "Changed in the last 7 days." (I need a weekly full dataset to remove archived caches.) Just being able to fully use the differential available to us today, but indicating archived cache somehow and it doesn't have to be a full waypoint, reduces load by one half to two thirds.

 

Fully differential PQs would greatly reduce the number of PQs and bandwidth getting them out--all the while still getting the important data out to the customer.

 

How about canned PQs? "Send me all of the caches in South Carolina." or "Sending me all of the caches in South Carolina that has changed in the past 7 days." There's two PQs that would have to run only once. Speed at the expense of it being a custom PQ. I know which caches I've found and I can filter caches much better with GSAK that what's available on GS.com's PQ system.

 

There's more savings right there. All of this has been offered before--multiple times. Ideas that would save processing power and bandwidth well beyond that of down-loadable 1KPQs. I have to wonder what the real motivation is behind this latest development. I suspect it's not really a gift.

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My PQ's are set up to periodically update all the caches in an extended area around where I live. I download them all via email and keep them in GSAK. For me, GSAK is the master of the data I use for geocaching.

 

I periodically refresh my car GPS with all the caches I have.

 

I periodically refresh my handheld with custom POI's so I have more than it's 1000 waypoint limit in it's memory.

 

When caching, I do on the spot lookups to verify current status of a cache with my iPhone.

 

That said, what I want is:

 

1. A periodic regional PQ that I can download in an automated fashion.

2. Freedom to run infrequent non-regional PQ's for when I am out of my local area.

 

In talking to my friends that use GSAK, we have discovered that we all pretty much use the same PQ's to get the same data.

 

What if Groundspeak generated some large, standard queries -- like all caches for a state -- and allowed you to choose one that you could regularly download. They could then generate a query one time and then deliver it many times. I know that among me and my friends we would stop running dozens of queries and only run the infrequent one's.

 

The PQ system on Groundspeak is set up to assume that all queries are ad-hoc, when most likely that is not the case, especially for the GSAK users.

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What if Groundspeak generated some large, standard queries -- like all caches for a state -- and allowed you to choose one that you could regularly download. They could then generate a query one time and then deliver it many times. I know that among me and my friends we would stop running dozens of queries and only run the infrequent one's.

Groundspeak has stated many, many times that they do not endorse people building & maintaining large offline databases. Doing what you suggest would do exactly that, unless those large, standard queries were updated infrequently enough to not be terribly for daily use.

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So downloading would be of benefit for you then. You don't need to be at home to go caching spur of the moment. You can run the PQ from anywhere, only an internet connection and a browser is required, and you can load your Colorado with the PQ that was just created by plugging it into just about any computer as it appears as a mass storage device and copy the PQ over. You can also use a BlackBerry to do it. Just download the PQ right to a Micro SD card and use the included adapter if required to put it in your GPS and go.

In an emergency if GMail happened to be blocked by the firewall, then yes. But I wouldn't have my solved puzzles loaded then or any of my other child waypoints that I've manually added. The child waypoints in the PQ would get loaded as waypoints instead of POI which would be annoying. And I wouldn't be able to load my StreetPilot.

 

Downloading from the site is a great backup if some emails were lost for whatever reason. But I'd still run them through GSAK first.

 

You can't count puzzle solutions into the equation because you don't get those from Groundspeak.

I would say you are in the minority if you want to load up multiple devices with 10,000 geocaches every day. I am basing this on wish to be able to cache anywhere with minimal notice which would mean using all 10 queries from your two accounts every day to make sure you are up to date and ready to go at a moments notice.

 

This new ability to have 1,000 geocaches in a single PQ reminds me of The Monkey's Paw. Groundspeak delivered what people asked for. People show have been more specific in what they asked for and how they wanted it delivered.

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How about canned PQs? "Send me all of the caches in South Carolina."

 

Nicely put. That's what I was trying to say in my post. Canned PQ's would probably remove most of the load on their servers. I would have no problem with being limited to the number of regions I could download either. Anything outside of my region I download on an infrequent basis and I almost always do a final check with my iPhone when I know the data in GSAK is a little stale.

 

Please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please!

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You can't count puzzle solutions into the equation because you don't get those from Groundspeak.

 

Actually, that's another thing people have been screaming hoping for - the ability to mark caches with corrected coordinates and custom child waypoints, and have those come down in a GPX file download or PQ. Again, if Groundspeak gave us the tools to manage this information on the site, I'd be willing to give up a lot of my PQ activity.

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You can't count puzzle solutions into the equation because you don't get those from Groundspeak.

That's why I need to run the PQs through GSAK frist which makes grabbing them out on the road a little less useful for me.

 

I would say you are in the minority if you want to load up multiple devices with 10,000 geocaches every day. I am basing this on wish to be able to cache anywhere with minimal notice which would mean using all 10 queries from your two accounts every day to make sure you are up to date and ready to go at a moments notice.

I am most likely in the minority. But I really like the freedom of spontaneous caching. Some of the best caching days (quality wise) was when I just decided to drive off in one direction or other. If my workflow and caching style works for me, why should I change it? If I need more PQs to cover the same area because of increasing cache density I'll just have to get more accounts.

 

This new ability to have 1,000 geocaches in a single PQ reminds me of The Monkey's Paw. Groundspeak delivered what people asked for. People show have been more specific in what they asked for and how they wanted it delivered.

Funny you should mention The Monkey's Paw. We got our wish, but it was not what we were expecting it would be.

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All caches in a state is ridiculous for a large state. For instance, someone who lives on Long Island is not very likely to need all the caches in New York State on a regular basis.

 

It amuses me how much time is being spent on this.

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All caches in a state is ridiculous for a large state. For instance, someone who lives on Long Island is not very likely to need all the caches in New York State on a regular basis.

I doesn't have to be the whole state. Large states could be split off into slightly smaller pieces.

 

It amuses me how much time is being spent on this.

Glad we amuse you! :D

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All caches in a state is ridiculous for a large state. For instance, someone who lives on Long Island is not very likely to need all the caches in New York State on a regular basis.

 

It amuses me how much time is being spent on this.

 

Back in 2002, a 500 cache Pocket Query would be more than anyone would have needed to cover say, all of Canada. Nowadays that would cover (maybe) half of a typical Canadian city. Nevermind places like New York State which tends to have way higher cache densities.

 

Remember when Bill Gates said nobody would ever want more than 640 KB of RAM? Now imagine your current computer, with 2 GB of RAM, but you're only allowed to use three specific programs above 640KB, and two of those tend to crash on Fridays.

 

I do, however agree that 'canned' PQs would have to be segmented more than a full state. Ontario, the Province I live in is over 800km across. I'm unlikely to go caching on the other side of that divide any time soon (more often I hop over the border into NE PA, Western New York).

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All caches in a state is ridiculous for a large state. For instance, someone who lives on Long Island is not very likely to need all the caches in New York State on a regular basis.

I doesn't have to be the whole state. Large states could be split off into slightly smaller pieces.

 

It amuses me how much time is being spent on this.

Glad we amuse you! :D

 

What happens if I live next to a boundary? Then I would have to download two files.

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What happens if I live next to a boundary? Then I would have to download two files.

 

<devils advocate>

... and?

 

Two canned files for 10 people in Bramalea to download is still way less resource intensive than those same 10 people running a PQ for caches within 500km of Bramalea individually.

 

</devils advocate>

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