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metal-bijou

Does anyone know why Garmin Wherigo Player is dead?

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For the first time in four years I'm looking at buying my first GPS around geocaching. I first bought a unit in 2000 for work. It has served me ok for caching but not great as the accuracy is a little off. I then bought a pda that I could maps on and thankfully was able to load caches on too. Even better was that it could play Wherigo. However again accuracy is not great. I've been caching with an iPhone now and is great at paperless and Wherigo. But now I want to buy a GPS that I can go paperless, is very accurate, change batteries quickly and most importantly can play Wherigo.

 

I was thinking of the Oregon 450 so that I could have all that and put UK OS maps on only to ready that Garmin aren't supporting Wherigo any longer. Does anyone know why? I'm now stuck as what to do.

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I know facts and I know speculation. I'll separate them:

 

Facts:

Garmin approached Groundspeak about including Wherigo on Garmin GPS receivers. Garmin's Wherigo Player was released on the first GPSr that supported native GPX files (to my knowledge). There were some bugs in Garmin's Player (and a few things were left out), but it was a good first release. However, through the various Oregon iterations, their Player seemed to become more and more unstable: that is, I observed more crash reports with later iterations. Other GPS receiver manufacturers approached Groundspeak in 2008 and 2009, interested in including Wherigo on their units. Nothing commercial resulted (I do not know the direct cause).

 

Speculation:

Garmin thought Wherigo would instantly hit it big and sell more GPS receivers than was actually the case. They tried again with the Oregon because the operation systems were fundamentally similar and the Oregon was most likely in development at the same time as the Colorado. As Wherigo didn't instantly take off, Garmin decided not to invest more money in the matter. The other GPSr manufacturers may have not included a Player on theirs due to the work and potential updates it may have required.

 

My Current Stance:

For what I see Wherigo becoming, I'm glad to see it leave the handheld GPSr market. Don't get me wrong: I own a Colorado and that, at the moment, is my main Wherigo Player even though I have an iPhone 4S. However, I can foresee Wherigo needing an Internet connection and more processing power than GPS receivers currently allow. I see you being able to play cartridges on multiple devices with your friends, and events in one cartridge affecting others. I see Wherigo as becoming a framework for more visually diverse cartridges. I see streaming video and audio. I can visualize so many things with Wherigo that, frankly, I'm glad we can kill it on the handheld market before this gets out of control and people complain their GPSr can only play a handful of cartridges. Yes, my thoughts on the matter are harsh because it might seem too early.

 

=================================

My Vision of the Future--A Scenario:

You arrive at this nice little park with your cell phone, just having pulled the new Player updates. You know there's a cartridge somewhere around here. You bring up the Wherigo app, check for nearby cartridges, and see the park's cartridge in the list. While it's downloading, you notice the screen indicates some people are currently playing the game. You open the cartridge, pull the list of groups playing the game (there's only one this time) and expand to the list of that group's players. You recognize someone in the group. Might as well join. You send a message through the Wherigo app to the player, asking if you can join his/her game. The response is positive. Your friend shares his/her current location on your map. You look at satellite view, decide to navigate using that, and head out to your friend's location. As your friend's group continues playing, his/her position is updated on your map. Eventually, you meet up. Now that you're in the same location, your friend can accept your request to join the game. You join the group and your cartridge is automatically updated to reflect the group's current progress.

 

The next area you come to is a bridge spanning a small creek running through the park. A video begins playing on everyone's devices. The cache owner explains the castle's bridge is up. Someone will have to go around, lower the bridge, and have someone on your side tie it in place with a rope you found. Some of you decide to wait while the cartridge takes the rest of your group around the long way. Eventually, they show up on the other side of the bridge, select the necessary actions, and someone on your side uses the rope item, which then disappears from everyone's inventory. You can then walk across and everyone can continue as a group again. You also comment the cartridge authors did well when they collaborated: the menu artwork is nice, the programming is solid, the story has been fun, and the video clips really help to bring it home. Although, you comment, there was that secret agent cartridge across town that really played that streaming audio and video feature well. That business with finding a spy kit in real life and choosing what you wanted to add to your cartridge's inventory was also a nice touch.

 

Eventually, you come to the final area, a zone that says a cave is near. It turns out to correspond to an arbor in real life. As your group enters within, the cartridge says a landslide occurred behind you. No other group will be able to complete the cartridge today; the townspeople must clear away some rocks. You wonder about that, then remember two groups did finish the cartridge in the same day; the trailing group had to undertake a small quest to secure some dynamite.

 

You continue on and eventually the cartridge is completed. The cartridge is automatically unlocked online for everyone in your group who is at the final area. Everyone also gets everyone else's forum icon in his/her online profile to say they played a game with that person. More for the icon collectors. The cartridge then announces you earned a bronze trophy for completing it. Had you performed some extra side quests or completed in a faster time, you would have earned a higher rank. The cartridge also offers a few extra games or quests. If you complete those, you might earn an extra collectible. However, everyone decides to save it for later and it's time for lunch. The game is saved for later. You choose to back it up to the Wherigo site so you can access it on your other device. It has been a nice morning. Time for lunch with friends.

 

=================================

 

I don't think I shared my concept scenario on the forum before. So now you know what I want to see in Wherigo.

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I love your vision for the future.

 

I wish that this can be incorportated slightly into the standard gecaching apps as I'd love to know there is:

 

<_< another cacher on my trail stalking me

:mad: another cacher close that I just can't catch up to

:D a friend nearby that I could meet up with.

 

===========================

 

There are certainly areas that could be developed as I'd love to be able to download a GPX into the maps area so that I know if I'm passing another cache :lol:

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Personally I'm not surprised that they dropped it. If I were in Garmin's shoes, I'd probably have done the same. Seeing how Groundspeak shows only little (read: none) interest in continuing the project, why should a third party be interested in keeping it alive?

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Speculation:

Garmin thought Wherigo would instantly hit it big and sell more GPS receivers than was actually the case. They tried again with the Oregon because the operation systems were fundamentally similar and the Oregon was most likely in development at the same time as the Colorado. As Wherigo didn't instantly take off, Garmin decided not to invest more money in the matter. The other GPSr manufacturers may have not included a Player on theirs due to the work and potential updates it may have required.

 

 

In December I researched GPSr for my friend. I noticed that Garmin no longer links to Geocaching.com from their site, but rather their own geocaching site. Yesterday I went geocaching with my friend and noticed that her Dakota 20 did not have Wherigo support. I put 1 and 1 together and developed my own speculation. Garmin and Groundspeak had some type of falling out, so Garmin created their own geocaching site. Wherigo is a trademark of Groundspeak, so Garmin can not include Wherigo on their site. Since they can not include Wherigo on their site they stopped supporting it on their devices.

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Yesterday I went geocaching with my friend and noticed that her Dakota 20 did not have Wherigo support. I put 1 and 1 together and developed my own speculation. Garmin and Groundspeak had some type of falling out, so Garmin created their own geocaching site. Wherigo is a trademark of Groundspeak, so Garmin can not include Wherigo on their site. Since they can not include Wherigo on their site they stopped supporting it on their devices.

I think that the two events (Garmin deciding to drop Wherigo support, and Garmin launching their own site) are pretty much separate. I can understand Garmin looking at the cost/benefit of keeping Wherigo working on their handheld GPS devices and taking a decision to drop it; maybe the need to include Wherigo had other impacts on the operating system of the unit, for example. This probably happened in mid-late 2009, if not earlier, when Garmin saw that Wherigo was not exactly setting the world on fire in volume terms.

 

Garmin's decision to launch their own site came later, and I wouldn't expect the Wherigo thing to have been a factor. I think that Garmin got greedy and didn't like the trends in geocaching (namely, towards smartphones, which Garmin doesn't make). An alternative explanation is that Garmin wants to force Groundspeak to the negotiating table with a view to acquiring them. So far, however, it seems like Signal is kicking Opie's hind quarters...

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=================================

My Vision of the Future--A Scenario:

You arrive at this nice little park with your cell phone,

/snip

I don't think I shared my concept scenario on the forum before. So now you know what I want to see in Wherigo.

 

does that mean that only cell phone users will get to play it?

 

 

Speculation:

Garmin thought Wherigo would instantly hit it big and sell more GPS receivers than was actually the case. They tried again with the Oregon because the operation systems were fundamentally similar and the Oregon was most likely in development at the same time as the Colorado. As Wherigo didn't instantly take off, Garmin decided not to invest more money in the matter. The other GPSr manufacturers may have not included a Player on theirs due to the work and potential updates it may have required.

 

 

In December I researched GPSr for my friend. I noticed that Garmin no longer links to Geocaching.com from their site, but rather their own geocaching site. Yesterday I went geocaching with my friend and noticed that her Dakota 20 did not have Wherigo support. I put 1 and 1 together and developed my own speculation. Garmin and Groundspeak had some type of falling out, so Garmin created their own geocaching site. Wherigo is a trademark of Groundspeak, so Garmin can not include Wherigo on their site. Since they can not include Wherigo on their site they stopped supporting it on their devices.

 

i would call it a fact not speculation, the fall out happened but was never "publicized" so i guess the correct term is "speculation"

 

So far, however, it seems like Signal is kicking Opie's hind quarters...

 

i don't understand why people even need to make such observations, comparing an 11 year old running project with one barely 1 year old one makes no sense

Edited by t4e

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So far, however, it seems like Signal is kicking Opie's hind quarters...

 

i don't understand why people even need to make such observations, comparing an 11 year old running project with one barely 1 year old one makes no sense

On September 2, 1990, there were 75 geocaches in the world. A year later, on a site financed by the sale of 144 T-shirts, there were over 6,000. That's at a time when only a few hundred people on the planet had heard of geocaching.

 

In their first year, with millions of geocachers out there, Garmin, a $3 billion company, attracted less than 1,500 new unique caches. Does anyone really think that that number was in the business plan?

 

@moderator: sorry if this is a bit off-topic.

Edited by sTeamTraen

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@moderator: sorry if this is a bit off-topic.
I'm harsh. I'll see you after your three day ban. (The bad part about joking here is if you purposefully don't post for three days... Then no one will know for sure...)

 

It didn't seem like you were off-topic to me. You were making a comparison. No trains seemed to derail.

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So far, however, it seems like Signal is kicking Opie's hind quarters...

 

i don't understand why people even need to make such observations, comparing an 11 year old running project with one barely 1 year old one makes no sense

On September 2, 1990, there were 75 geocaches in the world. A year later, on a site financed by the sale of 144 T-shirts, there were over 6,000. That's at a time when only a few hundred people on the planet had heard of geocaching.

 

In their first year, with millions of geocachers out there, Garmin, a $3 billion company, attracted less than 1,500 new unique caches. Does anyone really think that that number was in the business plan?

 

@moderator: sorry if this is a bit off-topic.

 

are you absolutely sure about that year? :anibad:

 

your example reinforces my statement....breaking into a well established market is not as easy as breaking into the market with a new product

 

think in terms of Apple, how many years did it take them to make it out there and still Microsoft dominates

 

but its OK, economics and the laws of supply and demand are a hard concept to grasp

Edited by t4e

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your example reinforces my statement....breaking into a well established market is not as easy as breaking into the market with a new product

I'm not sure what "breaking into the market" actually means. But if you mean that it's easier to start a new market with a product that nobody has ever heard of, versus producing a "me-too" product, then it depends what you mean by "difficult". By definition, on day 1, Geocaching.com had 100% market share, but it was of a market of infinitesimal size. As of today, Garmin (per my post at notaboutthenumbers.com) has about 0.4% of the geocache "placing marker" and about 0.01% of the geocache "finding market". Most "me-too" products aim to take a rather bigger percentage of that in their first year.

 

think in terms of Apple, how many years did it take them to make it out there and still Microsoft dominates

Well, Apple shipped their first computer in 1976, and Microsoft shipped their first operating system (Xenix) in 1980. And Apple shipped a Windows interface several years before Microsoft. So Microsoft's dominance is not about being first. (It's mostly about a series of historical accidents, including Lotus 1-2-3 not respecting the MS-DOS standard but instead writing to the IBM BIOS, thus making the IBM PC architecture the true standard to which everyone had to write and hence, ironically, assuring Microsoft's future dominance; it's also about a quirk in the A20 address line of the 80286 processor, which kept DOS and early Windows just viable enough until the 80386 family arrived with true virtual memory.)

 

but its OK, economics and the laws of supply and demand are a hard concept to grasp

If someone can point out what "supply and demand" have to do with this, I'd love to know. I don't see that anything much here is controlled by a classical model of economics. There is essentially no capital, labour, or distribution to worry about. In fact it doesn't have much to do with economics either, except perhaps that a fairly efficient market is operating, and consumers are finding their needs adequately satisfied by the current dominant provider.

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To me Wherigos failed because cachers had to work to get the smiley.

No instant gratification of going to a place and get a cache and thus a smiley.

And not like a multi where you still have a cache on each site to find.

Wherigos also required equipment that was not widely available too.

And most importantly what a pain in the dog to develop a cartridge.

Kudos to those that spent time to learn and actually make wherigos.

So yeah it failed.

 

I did three wherigos and was not really satisfied with the outcome. So its not a cache I particularly look forward to.

Edited by ZeMartelo

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If someone can point out what "supply and demand" have to do with this, I'd love to know. I don't see that anything much here is controlled by a classical model of economics. There is essentially no capital, labour, or distribution to worry about. In fact it doesn't have much to do with economics either, except perhaps that a fairly efficient market is operating, and consumers are finding their needs adequately satisfied by the current dominant provider.

 

you can use the "supply and demand" law to apply it to everything

 

what was the supply of caches from GC in 2011 when "the site that shall not be named" started their own?

 

what was the demand for caches?

 

did GC satisfy this demand by supplying enough content?...yes, without a shadow of a doubt

 

unless the newcomer has something extraordinary to offer there is a very slim chance they will succeed as fast as GC did

 

when GC was created it was not intended to be a business in the sense of producing profits etc...was a hobby

and no matter what the outcome would have been nobody would have lost anything

 

comparing the market shares makes no sense...because those that started way back have everything they need from GC

for the newcomers, GC has made a name for itself in the last 11 years and is the most prominent and dominant

 

here's another example....back in 1999 someone had an wild idea to launch an internet radio station with one PC powered by a 366MHz Celeron running Windows 98 on his home DSL line

a hobby that turned into a 110 channel radio station that averages 60,000 listeners a day and for many years now is a real business that makes profits from premium memberships

 

many have tried during the last 12 years and the best i have seen is 1500 listeners a day, even though they offer for free the bitrate that you get by paying on the other site

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To me Wherigos failed because ....

 

And most importantly what a pain in the dog to develop a cartridge.

 

Agree. They are logical but the builder is not simple. It could be.

 

Popularity is growing in the uk. Good versions are cropping up as alternatives to multis and good role playing games.

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As much as I would like to comment on what is currently being discussed, I instead must point out the thread's topic of conversation is about why Garmin's Wherigo Player is dead.

 

This started to get off-topic around post #8 and #11 and is now obvious. Post #13 sounds like the "Is Wherigo Dead" thread.

 

Let's get back on topic in this thread or, by all means, carry the current conversation to a more appropriate thread (or create a new one).

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We enjoy Wherigo caches and are sorry that thy are not more of them. We would rather spend a few hours learning something than grabbing a bunch of skirtlifters or doing a power trail. It is a shame that Garmin and Groundspeak are fighting over this lucrative market. As I write this I am wearing a Opencache tee shirt that I won at an event. There ain't no opencaches around her ande probably never will be. Wake up, Garmin and bring back the Colorado and get rid of the tiny touch screen junk. My wife has a Dakota and it is no match for my Colorado. I could not find a Colorado when I replaced her E-trex so I bout that POS.

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To me Wherigos failed because cachers had to work to get the smiley.

No instant gratification of going to a place and get a cache and thus a smiley.

And not like a multi where you still have a cache on each site to find.

Wherigos also required equipment that was not widely available too.

And most importantly what a pain in the dog to develop a cartridge.

Kudos to those that spent time to learn and actually make wherigos.

So yeah it failed.

 

I did three wherigos and was not really satisfied with the outcome. So its not a cache I particularly look forward to.

 

I think that you are actually onto something. It does take more work to earn a smiley with a Wherigo. The experience needs to be a good one for it to be worth the effort to complete the cartridge. Unfortunately, although anyone can drop a film can with a log in it, a fun and interactive cartridge takes a lot more work. There is a certain amount of skill involved that not every hider will possess. A lot of Wherigos are lame... very few are actually worth the effort to play.

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I love your vision for the future.

 

I wish that this can be incorportated slightly into the standard gecaching apps as I'd love to know there is:

 

<_< another cacher on my trail stalking me

:mad: another cacher close that I just can't catch up to

:D a friend nearby that I could meet up with.

 

===========================

 

There are certainly areas that could be developed as I'd love to be able to download a GPX into the maps area so that I know if I'm passing another cache :lol:

 

Sounds like you want something like:

http://live.geocaching.com/maps.php

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I just bought an Oregon 450 and it still has a Wherigo player in it. Working just fine so far with the exception of not being able to enter a very long answer into a cartridge.

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I just bought an Oregon 450 and it still has a Wherigo player in it. Working just fine so far with the exception of not being able to enter a very long answer into a cartridge.

What's the limit on the input length? And what happens when you exceed it?

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For an input there is a maximum of 18 chars. If you enter a 19th char the last char will be overwritten. You enter 123456789012345678 ... this is ok. Now you enter a "9" these was the result : 123456789012345679

But I never have needed more chars ... I wonder in which situation I should need this ?

But its right to say, it would be nerdy if a cartridge use inputs/answers which are longer than 18 chars. An Oregon user has no chance to give the right answer.

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I just bought an Oregon 450 and it still has a Wherigo player in it. Working just fine so far with the exception of not being able to enter a very long answer into a cartridge.

 

I counted it to be 17 Characters....I tested it by putting in ABCD.....MNOPQ into one of my "Play anywhere carts" that asked a question to see. It starts to overwrite the answer beyond that.

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I got an Oregon 550t and it worked for the first Wherigo. I updated the unit and now all of the cartridges turn the unit off if you hit "action" on an item. I have tried waiting before pushing buttons and all. I don't know if this due to the update or not. I am a bit frustrated because the Wherigo player was one of the main reasons for spending the money on this unit. Is anyone else having this same issue?

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(And, in the early days of Wherigo, I kept an archive of all software and firmware updates for the Garmin Colorado, Groundspeak Builder, and Groundspeak Pocket PC Player. I did not archive Oregon firmware updates, so I can't help you on that front.)

 

From what I can tell, you have an Android-based cell phone (from the Lost Maples Earthcache). Keep that around.

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