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Notice of Upcoming Change to Geocaching.com XML Schema

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Groundspeak plans to update the Geocaching.com XSD to include useful geocache information not found in the current schema. Application developers will please be aware that these changes are coming and take steps to prepare your applications for them.


Changes include:


  • “Unknown” caches will now be referred to as “Mystery” to match the cache type designation on Geocaching.com
  • All elements in text fields will be wrapped in CDATA tags
  • “Premium Member Only” cache status added
  • Cache Favorites Points added
  • Personal Cache Notes added
  • URLs for cache images added


The update is currently scheduled to go live on August 2nd, 2011 TBA. In the next few weeks Groundspeak will provide a sample XSD for developers to review.

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Due to other projects taking priority recently, we are delaying the planned schema redesign until late September at the earliest. As promised I will provide a sample XSD for developers to review with plenty of lead time to make accommodations before the final version is made available for download on Geocaching.com. Thank you for your patience!

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With deep apologies for the delay, I'm happy to report the design for version 1.0.2 of the schema is completed and attached to this post for your review.


The strategy for implementation is as follows:


  • Allow developers at least 2 months before deployment to incorporate changes
  • Deploy the new version 1.0.2 as an option in the user profile
  • Default all user accounts to version 1.0.1 (i.e. bump up the default version to the last update from 2010)


Hopefully this strategy will minimize some of the issues we had the last time we released an updated schema, while still making it possible for users to take advantage of the additional data provided if they choose to do so.


Summary of Changes


• In general the schema for the Groundspeak specific sections of the GPX is now data type specific. In previous versions almost all data types were string. In this new version we want to be more specific on the types of data you can expect for elements and attributes.

• Attributes, Containers, Cache Types, and Log Types now contain an “id” attribute. This “id” attribute will correspond to the value in either the attributes.xml, containers.xml, cachetypes.xml or logtypes.xml files that will reside on www.Groundspeak.com. This is being done to make it easier to add new items or change text values of attributes, containers, cache types or log types in the future. It is strongly recommended that applications going forward use the “id” attribute as opposed to using the textual value of the corresponding element.

• The “id” attribute for cache, owner, travel bug, log and finder have been changed to reference a valid identifier that can be passed to http://coord.info/XXXXXX

• Member Only (memberonly) attribute has been added to the cache element. If this is true then the cache is a premium member only cache.

• Custom Coordinates (customcoords) attribute has been added to the cache element. If this is true then the coordinates in the wpt element are the users custom coordinates.

• Favorite Points (favorite_points) element has been added to the cache element. The value of this element corresponds to the number of Favorite Points the cache currently has.

• Personal Notes (personal_note) element has been added to the cache element. The value of this element corresponds to the user’s personal note for that cache.

• Individual cache logs can now contain a collection of images associated to that specific log.

• Caches can now contain a collection of images associated to the cache. Note these images are not specific to individual logs.


Additional information can be found within the attached zip file. Our special thanks go to Robert Lipe of GPSBabel for his valuable input in this process.


Download GeocachingGPX_v1.0.2-b.zip

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I have updated the schema to incorporate feedback received since making this announcement. The changes include:


• Previous example.gpx used invalid alphanumeric identifiers for cache logs and user profiles.

• Previous example.gpx did not have the proper schema location values set in the gpx element.

• Added inc attribute back into the attribute element.

• Changed inc attribute to be required.

• Image description has been added to the image element.

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