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ONE cache in my state.

 

I'm not sure what 'problem' they are trying to solve with this product. To succeed it needs something significant that makes it better than geocaching.com.

 

One feature I see is 'awesomeness' and it doesn't have several features that geocaching.com has.

 

For the most part it looks pretty, simple (good & bad), and worthless for me.

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I think we are missing the big picture. To protect our user name we will sign up. To protect the saturation area around our caches many people will upload their hides... that alone will create the inroads they need. Plus it looks like they've been combing these very forums and implemented many features asked for.While "awesomeness" is an unfortunate terminology, it's the cache rating system asked for by many. This is a HUGE pain in the butt, but how else to I protect my area from saturation of other cache hides if I don't upload my hides there? This is a beta site and it's already better in several areas (far worse in others, I realize) than geocaching.com. I wouldn't dismiss it ...just...quite...yet.

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I just used my existing Garmin account to get access. With a grand total of 2 caches in my area and about 10 in my province, here's a couple of issues I've found so far:

 

1) Contents of the GPX file are duplicated. GSAK complains about this.

 

2) The GPX contains the user's email address and not their handle!!!

 

The privacy fanatics in here are going to have a field day with number 2.

Edited by Avernar

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I see no mention of a review process or a mechanism to report badly placed or illegally placed caches. I've seen a couple on the maps that look like they are on private farmland, but I can't be sure. It seems they are attempting to put the onus of responsible play completely on the shoulders of the players and absolving themselves of any responsibility.

 

Yes, they seem to have a few features of interest and a pretty simple interface, but they have a long way to go to beat out the features of gc.com.

 

I have registered, but will I list my caches? Doubt it. Will I use their site to find caches? Not likely. There are a lot on gc.com for me to find.

 

I also have to wonder how long it will be before gc.com files suit for copyright infringement. There is a lot of info and a lot of terms on there that are identical or very similar to gc.com like it was lifted and modified only slightly (if at all in some cases).

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1) Contents of the GPX file are duplicated. GSAK complains about this.

I didn't run into this problem, but I did get several different errors when trying to load the GPX files into GSAK myself. I got:

 

"The XML declaration must appear before the first element"

"Unexpected end of file"

"Assertion failure (C:\d5\xml\source\XpParser.pas, line 3394"

 

I'm guessing that's the beta-ness of the project.

 

2) The GPX contains the user's email address and not their handle!!!

 

The privacy fanatics in here are going to have a field day with number 2.

I'm in favor of profile controls and so am probably considered a privacy fanatic, but I don't much care about this. Doesn't bother me to publish an email address along with a cache listing, and if I was concerned about it I could easily get a throwaway gmail account and keep my experience almost identical.

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Although they have Opie, the fun loving mascot, the awesomeness factor is not there, particularly without any listings in my area. If I were Signal I would not be too worried. And if I used a Magellan, Delorme, smartphone, or other unit I would wonder why I should let garmin define opencaching.

 

Although the press release speaks of garmin's role in caching, wasn't that as groundspeaks partner? So it makes me wonder why they would embark on this particular venture, other than to sell more chirps.

 

I see two local caches listed there, plus two to the west of Rochester, MN. I just don't see this happening, but I guess only time will tell.

 

Garmin's role in geocaching not only included Groundspeak, but was dependant upon Groundspeak. The way this looks to me is that it is biting the hand that fed them. But I obviously am not privvy to the backroom discussions between the companies, so that is simply my speculation.

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I think we are missing the big picture. To protect our user name we will sign up. To protect the saturation area around our caches many people will upload their hides... that alone will create the inroads they need.

 

If anyone wanted my user name on opencaching.com, they can have it. I have not protected it on opencaching.us, navicaching, terracaching, or amy other location-based game (except for iSpy). I won't start because it is Garmin.

 

The saturation area does not worry me unless or until it affected this site. I have no problems if there is a letterbox, terracache, navicache, opencaching.us cache, or opencache.com container nearby.

 

But while I was walking from the ferry, I thought about how unfortunate it is that Garmin chose "Opie" for its fun-loving mascot. Wasn't that the annoying kid from Mayberry?

 

Still, if I could just convince sdarken or some other cacher in my area to place an opencaching.com cache, I suppose I could become the area's leader and clear out my region in one easy swoop.

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To succeed it needs something significant that makes it better than geocaching.com.

Or have an advantageous distribution channel. IE didn't destroy Navigator because it was significantly better (if it was better at all).

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I just used my existing Garmin account to get access. With a grand total of 2 caches in my area and about 10 in my province, here's a couple of issues I've found so far:

 

1) Contents of the GPX file are duplicated. GSAK complains about this.

 

2) The GPX contains the user's email address and not their handle!!!

 

The privacy fanatics in here are going to have a field day with number 2.

 

Where did you see the user's email? The only entry I see in the GPX file is for a support email address:

 

<email>support@OpenCaching.com</email>

 

I don't know if this site will get any traction, but it's an interesting departure from Groundspeak's approach as a "steward" of the game (where they make the rules in what they consider the best interest of the game) and Garmin's approach of giving everything away and it's one big open area.

 

Since Garmin doesn't depend on the "data" as a revenue source, they're free to open access to everyone (APIs for 3rd party developers, etc).

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1) Contents of the GPX file are duplicated. GSAK complains about this.

I didn't run into this problem, but I did get several different errors when trying to load the GPX files into GSAK myself. I got:

 

"The XML declaration must appear before the first element"

"Unexpected end of file"

"Assertion failure (C:\d5\xml\source\XpParser.pas, line 3394"

 

I'm guessing that's the beta-ness of the project.

Huh? Yes, you did run into this problem. "The XML declaration must appear before the first element" means that it saw another XML header line (only one per file allowed, even with multiple caches in a file). The other errors are because the the second copy isn't always complete.

 

This is not just beta-ness. A glaring buffer overflow like this is some seriously bad programming. Didn't they take a look what their GPX generator was spitting out during testing???

 

2) The GPX contains the user's email address and not their handle!!!

 

I'm in favor of profile controls and so am probably considered a privacy fanatic, but I don't much care about this. Doesn't bother me to publish an email address along with a cache listing, and if I was concerned about it I could easily get a throwaway gmail account and keep my experience almost identical.

Assuming the user knows it's happening. Not many people dig through the contents of the GPX files and I didn't see any warnings about it on the site.

 

I just noticed that some caches don't have the email in them. This might be because they were published from an uploaded GPX file.

Edited by Avernar

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I just used my existing Garmin account to get access.
I used mine too, and at least my user name is pre-claimed due to me being registered to deal with my GPS units I own.

 

2) The GPX contains the user's email address and not their handle!!!

 

The privacy fanatics in here are going to have a field day with number 2.

Sure spammers, here is great site to harvest email addresses! Holy cow! No thanks.

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Garmin's role in geocaching not only included Groundspeak, but was dependant upon Groundspeak. The way this looks to me is that it is biting the hand that fed them. But I obviously am not privvy to the backroom discussions between the companies, so that is simply my speculation.

I suspect that it cuts both ways, a bit. More symbiotic than unidirectional.

 

And it quickly gets difficult to sort out; I'm guessing that at this moment Garmin has a higher percentage of business that is independent of geocaching (car navigation, etc.) than Groundspeak's percentage of business that is independent of Garmin (Magellan, smartphones, etc.). I don't think the relationship is cut-and-dried, although it is certainly interesting.

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Where did you see the user's email? The only entry I see in the GPX file is for a support email address:

 

<groundspeak:placed_by>xxxxxxxxx@gmail.com</Groundspeak:placed_by>

<groundspeak:owner id="334">xxxxxxxxx@gmail.com</Groundspeak:owner>

 

I blocked out the user's email.

 

I'm trying to figure out if they fixed this as that cache was published during the small "alpha test" window a little while ago. I'm checking the other caches in the area to see if they're original caches (aka not a GPX upload cross list).

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Huh? Yes, you did run into this problem. "The XML declaration must appear before the first element" means that it saw another XML header line (only one per file allowed, even with multiple caches in a file). The other errors are because the the second copy isn't always complete.

 

This is not just beta-ness. A glaring buffer overflow like this is some seriously bad programming. Didn't they take a look what their GPX generator was spitting out during testing???

Oh. Okay, I thought you meant it was duplicating listings and that GSAK wasn't handling the duplication well.

 

I'll defer to you on how unforgivable these glitches are in a beta service; I don't know enough about programming to know how bad this situation is. As a consumer I'm figuring they'll get it ironed out before too long.

 

Assuming the user knows it's happening. Not many people dig through the contents of the GPX files and I didn't see any warnings about it on the site.

All things equal it's good to let people know what's going on.

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I'll defer to you on how unforgivable these glitches are in a beta service; I don't know enough about programming to know how bad this situation is. As a consumer I'm figuring they'll get it ironed out before too long.

In this case it's not that bad as it's only the same content duplicated. But sending more data than required has the potential to be serious. What if your personal details were in the memory right after the GPX data? That's why this type of bug is unforgivable, beta or not.

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Grrrr.... :)

 

Try to create a my handle on the 'open'caching website and it tells me that my email address is already used. Because I had used that email address three years ago to setup an account on Garmin, when I purchased a car GPS. Fine...

 

Try to login to the account and it doesn't like any of my passwords. (It's been over two years.) Fine...

 

I submit a request for a password reset, made easier because I guessed correctly the username on that account at the time. I get sent a random password. Fine...

 

I log into the account on 'open'caching (how can it be 'open' when its so tied in to Garmin?). My 'open'caching handle is my Garmin handle. I change it. Fine...

 

Then I try to change the password to something that isn't a random jumble (to me). I put in the 'old' password and the 'new' password twice and I get (this is not a typo) "Erorr - try again". "Erorr", really?

 

No explanation as to why the error. I try different passwords, none work.

 

Double grrrr. :santa::P

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actually i like their user interface, it's simple and clean. extensive use of AJAX and DHTML makes it pretty, interactive and responsive, but that will probably cause a lot of problems on mobile devices. at the same time some parts of the site are slow and sometimes the wrong parts appear for a while, but that's fixable, theoretically anyway.

 

it's funny how they use the "Groundspeak" extensions in their GPX files, i wonder if this is going to cause legal problems?

 

i'm not sure if i like the public display of coordinates. also i don't get the "awesomeness" rating, at least as long as this can't be affected by other people's ratings? of course i can't try, as the "log this cache" button doesn't work for me, heh.

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Sure spammers, here is great site to harvest email addresses! Holy cow! No thanks.

I'm trying to figure out if this was a one time thing or still exists. I've now found a way to identify new caches vs cross listed so I can hunt down more new cache to check. New cache codes start with OXZxxxx while cross listed are OXyyyyy where yyyyy is the the same as GCyyyyy.

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My 'open'caching handle is my Garmin handle. I change it. Fine...

how did you do that? i always get the "erorr" when trying.

 

now if their website only had a working forum... :)

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So...

 

If you upload 'Your Finds' gpx file to the 'open'caching server, does it automatically create those caches in their system?

 

If so, what happens when that information changes or if there are differences in the details in the files? Will 'open'caching be providing bad coordinates, disabled, archive information to users?

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Then I try to change the password to something that isn't a random jumble (to me). I put in the 'old' password and the 'new' password twice and I get (this is not a typo) "Erorr - try again". "Erorr", really?

I had to reset my password too and got the same thing. Log into my.garmin.com first to finish resetting your password first.

 

Looks like the have a lot of little issues left to squash. Things like this should have been caught by their own testers. Their site isn't that complex yet so there's no excuse for a full test of everything.

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I'll defer to you on how unforgivable these glitches are in a beta service; I don't know enough about programming to know how bad this situation is. As a consumer I'm figuring they'll get it ironed out before too long.

In this case it's not that bad as it's only the same content duplicated. But sending more data than required has the potential to be serious. What if your personal details were in the memory right after the GPX data? That's why this type of bug is unforgivable, beta or not.

Oh is that what's happening? When I send a GPX file to GSAK it's including a dump of everything that's in my computer's memory cache? That seems like that could be an issue. Luckily it's only going to my own copy of GSAK, but still, they should fix that.

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My 'open'caching handle is my Garmin handle. I change it. Fine...

how did you do that? i always get the "erorr" when trying.

 

now if their website only had a working forum... :)

 

Yeah, I kept getting that too. Turns out they didn't like the space in "Semper Questio". Changed it to "SemperQuestio" and it was happy. I'd bet that "dfx" is too short.

 

They need to put in some kind of help facility or at least meaningful messages if they want the rank and file user community to be able to use the thing.

 

Edit for rampant fat-fingering.

Edited by Semper Questio

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it's funny how they use the "Groundspeak" extensions in their GPX files, i wonder if this is going to cause legal problems?

They probably did this to remain compatible with all the GPSr's and 3rd party software. I doubt there will be legal issues as it's become a defacto public interchange format. But IANAL.

 

i'm not sure if i like the public display of coordinates. also i don't get the "awesomeness" rating, at least as long as this can't be affected by other people's ratings? of course i can't try, as the "log this cache" button doesn't work for me, heh.

The log button not working just makes me laugh. How can you open a site up with one of the main features not working?

 

There is a roundabout workaround. Go to the log tab and search for the cache name. Then you can log through there.

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I'd bet that "dfx" is too short.

Yes - minimum 5 characters.

ah ok. reason enough for me not to use the site :)

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If you upload 'Your Finds' gpx file to the 'open'caching server, does it automatically create those caches in their system?

I assume it tries to match it up to the cross listed caches. Haven't tried it yet.

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I just used my existing Garmin account to get access.
I used mine too, and at least my user name is pre-claimed due to me being registered to deal with my GPS units I own.

 

2) The GPX contains the user's email address and not their handle!!!

 

The privacy fanatics in here are going to have a field day with number 2.

Sure spammers, here is great site to harvest email addresses! Holy cow! No thanks.
I was surprised to see that my account already existed, as well. I wonder how Groundspeak feels about their Import features. Yeah, I suppose somebody could have been keeping track of their hides and finds in GSAK without using Groundspeak Pocket Queries, but we all know what they really are expecting people to use to import their finds and hides.

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Is anyone else having problems getting the site to display properly? I (exclusively) use Google Chrome but my browser won't display the site as it appears, for instance in IE 8 (or whatever the latest is). Looking at the page code, I see that it has the following;

 

<!--[if lte IE 6]>

<meta http-equiv="imagetoolbar" content="no" />

<script defer type="text/javascript" src="j/png.js"></script>

<![endif]-->

 

I certainly have javascript enabled and Chrome works everywhere else for me. Is this bit of code suggesting that Chrome is recognized as lte (less than or equal, I imagine this means) to IE 6? Boy, that's a laugh.

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Hmm, they supposedly have an open API. I'm not a Garmin fan, I own a DeLorme. I could be the first person to list a cache in my area, though. Hmm.

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Here's something interesting:

 

Keep your fellow geocachers safe

 

Don’t hide your caches on cliffs, down abandoned mines, in trenches or anywhere that might put the safety of geocachers in peril.

Welcome to boringville. A lot of the fun finds I've done here were on the dangerous side.

 

So I'm wondering what a 5 terrain cache on that site means now.

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Here's something interesting:

 

Keep your fellow geocachers safe

 

Don’t hide your caches on cliffs, down abandoned mines, in trenches or anywhere that might put the safety of geocachers in peril.

Welcome to boringville. A lot of the fun finds I've done here were on the dangerous side.

 

So I'm wondering what a 5 terrain cache on that site means now.

there don't appear to be any reviewers though, so technically anyone can list anything and the guidelines are just suggestions. will be interesting to see how they plan on enforcing any of the rules and getting rid of abandonded caches etc.

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Oh is that what's happening? When I send a GPX file to GSAK it's including a dump of everything that's in my computer's memory cache? That seems like that could be an issue. Luckily it's only going to my own copy of GSAK, but still, they should fix that.

No. Nothing from your computers memory is being sent. When you download a GPX from Garmin's site, they send more data from their servers memory than needed. Fortunately that extra data is just a repeat of the first part. But it could easily be sensitive information.

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there don't appear to be any reviewers though, so technically anyone can list anything and the guidelines are just suggestions. will be interesting to see how they plan on enforcing any of the rules and getting rid of abandonded caches etc.

The do have a "Report a violation of geocaching guidelines" link on each cache page.

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now if their website only had a working forum... :santa:

They do. I'm thinking these problems being discussed here would be better served if discussed over there :)

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I just went onto Garmin.com and typed "geocaching" into the search box, and it sent me here. So apparently Garmin thinks that the best chance of finding caches near you is to use Geocaching.com. :)

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now if their website only had a working forum... :santa:

They do. I'm thinking these problems being discussed here would be better served if discussed over there :)

Yes, they do have a forum. And, at the very least, discussing the issues over there would be more appropriate than discussing them here, and more likely to see this thread stay open.

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Fortunately that extra data is just a repeat of the first part. But it could easily be sensitive information.

Oh, good. I'm glad it's just a repeat of the data I was trying to download in the first place.

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Sooo....

 

I click on the ONE cache they have listed in our state and try to click on the 'Log' button. Nothing happens. Hmmm. Click again. Nope, nothing. Well, I'm using Chrome so lets go to Internet Explorer...

 

Oh, I need to logon. Ok, 'Ecylram' then password. 'erorr' message. Hmmm. Try again, typing carefully. Nope. Ok try my email address...Oh, that works. They can't resolve the name change yet. Onward...

 

Now try clicking on the 'Log' button....Nothing.

 

Great product you've got there Garmin. grrrr. :)

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now if their website only had a working forum... :santa:

They do. I'm thinking these problems being discussed here would be better served if discussed over there :)

 

Oooh, they're even using vBulletin. Fancy.

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Great product you've got there Garmin. grrrr. :mad:

Now we know what happened to the team that developed the Colorado. :anibad:

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i wonder what the "real" opencaching peeps have to say to this...

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i wonder what the "real" opencaching peeps have to say to this...
Yeah, isn't there also an opencaching.us or opencaching.org or something similar?

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Yeah, isn't there also an opencaching.us or opencaching.org or something similar?

yeah opencaching.us. i believe it originated in poland or something like that and is quite/somewhat popular in central europe and UK.

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Yes, they do have a forum. And, at the very least, discussing the issues over there would be more appropriate than discussing them here, and more likely to see this thread stay open.

And when I try to log into that forum, it says I'm logged in and then immediately spits me to a logon screen. Ironically, this leaves me with a way to report that bug to them. :anibad:

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Yes, they do have a forum. And, at the very least, discussing the issues over there would be more appropriate than discussing them here, and more likely to see this thread stay open.

And when I try to log into that forum, it says I'm logged in and then immediately spits me to a logon screen. Ironically, this leaves me with a way to report that bug to them. :anibad:

Did you just create the account now? If so, there is a post on their forums that lists that as a bug. You get an error, but the account is created anyway.

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i wonder what the "real" opencaching peeps have to say to this...

From what I understand they aren't too happy that Garmin absconded with their brand.

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