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memepasmal

Good bye c:geo

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So you're saying c:geo's users are special? The TOS doesn't apply?

No.

 

I can see that there could be a traffic problem with the live radar part of c:geo.

But I'm sure if GS would speak with the developer they could have find a solution.

Because:

Groundspeak DID talk to the developer, as Bryan and Jeremy have both posted already here and in the feedback forum.

 

a) the developer could have changed the refresh rate

Still web scraping, still violates the TOS

 

b ) could habe built in a caching system

Yup, that's a good idea.... why not extend to PQs too

 

c) GS could configer the server to accept only a number of requests per minute.

c:geo pretends it's a regular browser to hide it's web scraping, so GS would have to throttle everyone, not just c:geo users.

 

d) GS could put the map things on its own server - so it doesn't affect the mail server.

Groundspeak is already heavily investing in infrastructure. Is the developer of c:geo willing to give Groundspeak the funding required to gut and rebuild their internal infrastructure?

What happens when the next developer comes along and wants the opposite resource allocation?

 

e) the developer has statet he had access to the api - but it's only a very basic one

 

The API is the same one that Groundspeak uses for their iPhone 4.5 app. Seems full and complete to me. Perhaps the developer wanted to do something beyond what Groundspeak is willing to allow. I'm pretty sure if I, say, wrote an app that requested the entire Geocaching.com database that would be rejected, as it would allow me to mirror the entire database to a competing site - and the number of caches listed is a competitive advantage for Geocaching.com.

 

I've never used the live radar and I'm not sure if many people do use it.

 

Don't assume because you don't use a feature that it isn't used. I've seen plenty of irate users here and in the feedback section demanding specifically that the live radar/live map is reinstated no matter what the cost.

 

And cost is an issue. When you use c:geo to access the site via web scraping, Groundspeak loses money on you. You didn't buy the app from them, you're not necessarily purchasing a Premium Membership (which has the PQ option for mobile users), and you're not even generating ad revenue for the organization since c:geo isn't downloading the ads nevermind having you click on them. Over 250,000 people downloaded c:geo. Think about that - more than 250,000 people are requesting information from the database you are supporting with user generated content. If Groundspeak makes absolutely zero money, they will likely follow in the footsteps of other companies, like Flickr. If you feel the site operators are too rigid now, just imagine Groundspeak as a Yahoo/Microsoft/Time-AOL company, or perhaps how the experience would be if a GPS manufacturer bought the company.

 

If you're purchasing a Premium Membership you're at least giving a bit back so my complaint is more aimed at those who demand to be able to web scrape with whatever app so they can paperless geocache without supporting the site financially in any way. At least when you're stuck printing out cache pages, or visiting them from your mobile browser, Groundspeak gets that hundredth of a cent from the banner ads.

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e) the developer has statet he had access to the api - but it's only a very basic one

The API is the same one that Groundspeak uses for their iPhone 4.5 app. Seems full and complete to me. Perhaps the developer wanted to do something beyond what Groundspeak is willing to allow. I'm pretty sure if I, say, wrote an app that requested the entire Geocaching.com database that would be rejected, as it would allow me to mirror the entire database to a competing site - and the number of caches listed is a competitive advantage for Geocaching.com.

Bryan stated in his update post on the feedback site that the iPhone 4.5 API is the same one that is the release candidate. But he also said that the released API will be a premium member benefit. My take is the only difference between the release candidate and the iPhone API is the premium membership check. The c:geo author in his goodbye speech said he was offered the version 1 API, not the version 2 that GS was keeping private, as if the version he was offered was significantly inferior. My take on all this is that the c:geo author did not like the idea of tying his product to a premium membership requirement. It will be interesting what GS will do once the API is released in regards to c:geo.

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The constant reference to "live maps" is starting to get on my nerves. Every caching app has "live maps", including TOU compliant ones like geobeagle. "Live radar" is cute because the waypoints look like blips on a radar, but there is a provider app called "radar" that is used by apps like geobeagle and c:geo to point to a destination coordinate.

 

I have read a few Android tutorials and books so I can write a non-geocaching app idea I have. Virtually every tutorial has a section titled "Adding maps to your app". Because Google does Android and Maps and because Android platforms have GPSs it takes only a few lines of code to add "live maps" to an app.

 

Getting the coordinates and details for geocaches needs to be done in a TOU compliant manner for cache lists or cache details(not just for map landmarks).

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The constant reference to "live maps" is starting to get on my nerves. Every caching app has "live maps", including TOU compliant ones like geobeagle. "Live radar" is cute because the waypoints look like blips on a radar, but there is a provider app called "radar" that is used by apps like geobeagle and c:geo to point to a destination coordinate.

 

I have read a few Android tutorials and books so I can write a non-geocaching app idea I have. Virtually every tutorial has a section titled "Adding maps to your app". Because Google does Android and Maps and because Android platforms have GPSs it takes only a few lines of code to add "live maps" to an app.

 

The "live map" means that the "app" is able to show caches on the map without having to preload them. The "live" refers to caches being loaded on the fly, as you go, as you scroll and zoom around.

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The constant reference to "live maps" is starting to get on my nerves. Every caching app has "live maps", including TOU compliant ones like geobeagle. "Live radar" is cute because the waypoints look like blips on a radar, but there is a provider app called "radar" that is used by apps like geobeagle and c:geo to point to a destination coordinate.

 

I have read a few Android tutorials and books so I can write a non-geocaching app idea I have. Virtually every tutorial has a section titled "Adding maps to your app". Because Google does Android and Maps and because Android platforms have GPSs it takes only a few lines of code to add "live maps" to an app.

 

The "live map" means that the "app" is able to show caches on the map without having to preload them. The "live" refers to caches being loaded on the fly, as you go, as you scroll and zoom around.

 

The issue is more the refresh rate for the scraped data than the plotting on a map, as far as the TOS issue goes

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Here's my take on the situation; I started caching way back in the beginning (2001) when caching was a fun inexpensive hobby/game. IMO, it's gone downhill since then. More caches are thrown out there simply because they can be, rather than because they should be. The quantity is way up, the quality is way down.

 

Then Groundspeak started offering Premium memberships. Now you had to pay for additional features. Fine, not a problem. Worth it for those that cache alot, while still allowing the occasional cacher a way to cache for free (which, I remind everyone, Groundspeak always, always, always promised would be available). But then comes the smartphone revolution. IMO, Groundspeak has, and continues to miss the entire boat. I really don't think they understand the whole smartphone thing; they still are operating like the only way to geocache is with a GPS specific device. Originally, their target audience was quite limited; hikers, backpackers, outdoorsmen...and just a few others willing to spend a couple hundred dollars on a device that did nothing more than pinpoint their location. But that has changed; now nearly everyone now has a smartphone, opening up geocaching to 100 times more people. With that huge number of smartphone users, increasing exponentially every single day, an official app costing $1 or $2 (as well as a lite, ad-supported version for free) would make Groundspeak a fortune. Instead, they charge one the most expensive rates out there for an app that is by many accounts inferior to a number of low cost or free apps. There are literally millions of apps out there for Android, and perhaps 5% of them cost more than $5, most are $2 or less, and that's not counting the huge number of free apps (lite or otherwise). None of the other caching apps (that do meet the TOU) are that expensive, why should GC's be? IMO, $10 is too expensive even if it didn't have the multiple problems that it seems to have.

 

Groundspeak, by insisting on charging $10 for their app, accomplishes nothing other than alienating potentially millions of new geocachers, many of whom would increase GS's bottom line by purchasing their low cost app and many even becoming Premium members. Or maybe GS sees this as a way to "thin the ranks" of geocachers to only those who are hardcore and willing to spend even more $, which would relieve the pressure on their servers?????

Edited by 4x4van

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Still web scraping, still violates the TOS

 

c:geo pretends it's a regular browser to hide it's web scraping, so GS would have to throttle everyone, not just c:geo users.

 

Groundspeak is already heavily investing in infrastructure. Is the developer of c:geo willing to give Groundspeak the funding required to gut and rebuild their internal infrastructure?

What happens when the next developer comes along and wants the opposite resource allocation?

 

And cost is an issue. When you use c:geo to access the site via web scraping, Groundspeak loses money on you.

 

 

I have to call 'baloney' on almost all of your comments above.

 

I see no difference between using my phone to bring up the website in a browser and beating the heck out of the geocaching.com website versus and running a different app on the same phone grabbing the same data via the same web interface. Claiming web scraping is somehow harmful is ludicrous.

 

It might be against the TOS, but claiming it's harmful to the site is ludicrous.

 

[...and yes, I tried c:geo and 'still' bought and use the needs-a-lot-of-work official android app anyway...]

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Still web scraping, still violates the TOS

 

c:geo pretends it's a regular browser to hide it's web scraping, so GS would have to throttle everyone, not just c:geo users.

 

Groundspeak is already heavily investing in infrastructure. Is the developer of c:geo willing to give Groundspeak the funding required to gut and rebuild their internal infrastructure?

What happens when the next developer comes along and wants the opposite resource allocation?

 

And cost is an issue. When you use c:geo to access the site via web scraping, Groundspeak loses money on you.

 

 

I have to call 'baloney' on almost all of your comments above.

 

I see no difference between using my phone to bring up the website in a browser and beating the heck out of the geocaching.com website versus and running a different app on the same phone grabbing the same data via the same web interface. Claiming web scraping is somehow harmful is ludicrous.

 

It might be against the TOS, but claiming it's harmful to the site is ludicrous.

 

[...and yes, I tried c:geo and 'still' bought and use the needs-a-lot-of-work official android app anyway...]

 

Using just your mouse and say, Mozilla Firefox, open 500 cache pages at once (request them in less than one second) Now get 250,000 of your friends to do that.

 

That's the difference between Mobile Safari/Android Browser and c:geo. The webserver can easily recover from the load your mobile browser generates no matter how fast you can point or type.

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I just want to thank everyone for the informative (and sometimes spirited) discussion. After giving some thought to the arguments raised by the anti c:geo/pro GS camp, I shelled out the $$ for the official GS app & uninstalled c:geo. It really is a small price to pay for a lot of enjoyment. I didn't realize that the developer of c:geo was, in effect, pirating/stealing GS info without paying for it. I've tried the GS app on a couple of caches & found it to be pretty comparable to c:geo for impulse caching.

 

Thanks again for all of the info!

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I didn't realize that the developer of c:geo was, in effect, pirating/stealing GS info without paying for it.

I think that's way too harsh. I wouldn't call what he did pirating and stealing.

 

BTW there was someone selling pocket query results on eBay once. That got shut down really fast.

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I'm not sure what else you would call it. He deliberately created a method to grab information from the website in violation of the site's TOS. He not only used this information himself but made it available to thousands of other people. One of the reasons the app was so popular was that it made the information which was intended to only be available in the detail offered to people who purchased a premium membership available to everyone. In addition he encouraged those that used his app to donate to him thus profiting from his actions. Sounds like pirating and theft to me.

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...it made the information which was intended to only be available in the detail offered to people who purchased a premium membership available to everyone. In addition he encouraged those that used his app to donate to him thus profiting from his actions. Sounds like pirating and theft to me.

You've summarized that quite well, and I don't understand how that point keeps getting missed. It was no different than selling a device that would allow a basic cable customer to obtain premium channels without purchasing the subscription. [Whether the cable companies' prices make any sense to begin with is a separate issue.] The author allowed users to short-circuit the $30 annual memberships that help keep the servers running at gc.com.

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It's not quite the same thing as the information is free and available to all (c:geo doesn't give access to premium caches if you aren't a premium member). c:geo just allows you to get at it in a quick and convenient method that isn't allowed.

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It's not quite the same thing as the information is free and available to all (c:geo doesn't give access to premium caches if you aren't a premium member). c:geo just allows you to get at it in a quick and convenient method that isn't allowed.

I'd bet that the vast majority of premium members are less concerned about hitting P.O. caches than with Pocket Query functions.

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You've summarized that quite well, and I don't understand how that point keeps getting missed. It was no different than selling a device that would allow a basic cable customer to obtain premium channels without purchasing the subscription. [Whether the cable companies' prices make any sense to begin with is a separate issue.] The author allowed users to short-circuit the $30 annual memberships that help keep the servers running at gc.com.

 

The problem with the analogy is that theft of services is a crime, violation of a ToU is a civil matter at best. The services that can be accessed by the app are still dependent on the individual users membership status.

 

The point that seems to keep getting lost is that this app does not violate the ToU.

 

I would be interested in the percentage of frequent users that are also premium members, which would make the loss of revenue arguments moot if a significantly higher number are PM. The issue would then be getting the authors, more difficult now that it is open sourced (which kind of begs the whole "the devil you know is better than the devil you don't" analogy), to change the app to only work for premium members which would more than likely have a negative impact GS revenue stream as many users who have been involved in the thread and comments in the marketplace indicate they became involved due to the apps current implementation.

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My grandfather used to quote the punchline of a joke. I forgotten the joke but I remember the punchline, It was "calling a tail a leg, my son by no means makes it one," Having an app pretend to be a browser does not make it one, The site owners have said repeatedly that it did violate the TOS as have people who examined the source code.

Edited by Team Taran

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You've summarized that quite well, and I don't understand how that point keeps getting missed. It was no different than selling a device that would allow a basic cable customer to obtain premium channels without purchasing the subscription. [Whether the cable companies' prices make any sense to begin with is a separate issue.] The author allowed users to short-circuit the $30 annual memberships that help keep the servers running at gc.com.

 

The problem with the analogy is that theft of services is a crime, violation of a ToU is a civil matter at best. The services that can be accessed by the app are still dependent on the individual users membership status.

 

The point that seems to keep getting lost is that this app does not violate the ToU.

 

I would be interested in the percentage of frequent users that are also premium members, which would make the loss of revenue arguments moot if a significantly higher number are PM. The issue would then be getting the authors, more difficult now that it is open sourced (which kind of begs the whole "the devil you know is better than the devil you don't" analogy), to change the app to only work for premium members which would more than likely have a negative impact GS revenue stream as many users who have been involved in the thread and comments in the marketplace indicate they became involved due to the apps current implementation.

The point you seem to constantly ignore is the fact that Groundspeak has stated that c:geo is violating the ToU.

Jeremy has said

He is well aware that the application violates our site's TOU, but instead of us trying to shut down his application we reached out and offered him early access to our new API, the same version being used by our Android and WP7 applications now. We just haven't allowed our partners to use the production version until we can ensure that it is scalable.

Perhaps if you would explain how c:geo gets it's data without resorting to web scrapping and post it here and send an email to Jeremy perhaps they will change their position that c:geo is a web scrapper. Until then c:geo is a web scrapper in violation of groundspeaks ToU. It is also interesting that the author refused to use the API, but instead decided to quit and throw the code to the wind, perhaps hoping that GS will be engaged in a game of whack-a-mole. It will be interesting how GS deals with c:geo once the API is released.

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Is that ToU even legal all over the world?

 

The way I see it, if you put a website up on the internet the information disclosed on that website is freely available to anyone who knows how to open a socket. If you want to prevent people from seeing the content, block them from your server. It is, after all, YOUR SERVER.

 

And if webscraping isn't allowed.... then how come Google does show results from Geocaching.com? They sure as hell are scraping too!

 

Also, the money I pay Groundspeak every month should be MORE then enough to cover the few live queries I do with c:geo.

 

Anyway, opensourcing c:geo may be the best thing that happened to geocaching on Android. Go C:GEO!

Edited by crewone

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I'm not sure what else you would call it. He deliberately created a method to grab information from the website in violation of the site's TOS. He not only used this information himself but made it available to thousands of other people.

He did not make the information available. He made the application available for people to use, using their own geocaching account, to access that information. I think there is a very distinctive difference here. I'm not just splitting hairs either (or debating the definition of "is").

 

A thief and a pirate is a criminal. What he did is not a crime. It is, however, a clear violation of the TOU as interpreted by Groundspeak (the only party whose interpretation matters).

 

Is that ToU even legal all over the world?

Doesn't matter, IMO. I'm not sure if Groundspeak would sue in any case even if they could. It's a no win situation. It does give them the right to shut down accounts (and applications) violating that TOU.

Edited by Chrysalides

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As a volunteer moderator, this conversation is going nowhere and I'm closing it. Feature requests and complaints about Groundspeak's commercial app should go to the site they dedicate to that app that is actually monitored by Groundspeak staff. http://feedback.geocaching.com/forums/75279-geocaching-for-android

 

Continued whining about an app that the site's owners have repeatedly said violates the TOU of this site are going nowhere - especially since the developer has stopped development of the program.

 

Please open no more threads mourning c:geo's demise.

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