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TillaMurphs

I hope this is just temporary

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Tonight, all the geocaching benchmark photos are small. All the pictures that I looked at have a maximum size of 300 pixels on the longest side. This is even true of photos that previously displayed at a larger size.

 

I see this on the individual pages for benchmarks as well as those viewed via the Benchmark Gallery.

 

Maybe when I log on again in the morning this will all have just been a bad dream.

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Be sure to note the workaround (is this Geocaching.com, or Workaround.com?) wherein you can edit the URL to remove the '/preview' portion and get to the full-size images.

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Be sure to note the workaround (is this Geocaching.com, or Workaround.com?) wherein you can edit the URL to remove the '/preview' portion and get to the full-size images.

What if there is no "/preview" in the URL?

 

For example, I just looked at these photos:

 

http://img.geocaching.com/benchmark/lg/a3f6826b-3b5c-4cba-b111-88ef53ad64dc.jpg

http://img.geocaching.com/benchmark/lg/465fbf38-852a-4d6d-a6b7-5a8ffe45cd08.jpg

 

Note that they both say "/lg" in the URL, but they're pretty small when I view them. (Removing the "/lg" results in the same display.)

 

Patty

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Be sure to note the workaround (is this Geocaching.com, or Workaround.com?) wherein you can edit the URL to remove the '/preview' portion and get to the full-size images.

 

I have not been able to make that work with Benchmark photos.

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Looks like everything is downsized to 300 px (if my very small sample is any guide).

 

Photos at that size are about one-quarter the size of a 600 px picture. Could be that this is a way for Groundspeak to save on bandwidth and storage. Or possibly there is some other explanation, though I can't come up with one at the moment.

 

Whatever the reason, it is unfortunate. Some might see this as yet another example of the company's continued focus on Geocaching and continuing deprecation of Benchmarking. They certainly have every right to do so, I just am sad to see it happen. Again.

 

This might be a good time to think about uploading photos to NGS, for those who file reports with the agency. (However, a number of photos I uploaded going back to October, using the DSWorld software, have still not appeared on NGS datasheets. Possibly they are swamped with submissions.)

 

ArtMan

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Looks deliberate and permanent. On a geocache, you can enlarge the picture by going to the log, and clicking on the photo. That does not work from Benchmarking. 300 pixels is it. This is sad.

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I think we're in a lot of trouble with this one and I am quite frustrated.

 

Looks like everything is downsized to 300 px (if my very small sample is any guide).

 

Whatever the reason, it is unfortunate. Some might see this as yet another example of the company's continued focus on Geocaching and continuing deprecation of Benchmarking. They certainly have every right to do so, I just am sad to see it happen. Again.

 

Thanks GoinHikin and Artman and Harry. It is good to hear other opinions on this. I was afraid I was the only one who cared about this.

 

I am saddened and frustrated. I put a lot of time and effort into benchmark photos. I thought it was bad enough having to deal with the restrictions that we had before the 300 pixel limit. With a 300 pixel limit the limited resolution makes it such that it is hardly worth the effort to attempt to produce worthwhile photos. It seems strange that, with Moore’s Law, and a corresponding drop in costs for memory and computer hardware, that the limit of the photo size is actually going down – down to the size of pictures from a decade-old cell phone.

 

Besides that, there is the worry that this is yet another harbinger of the end of Groundspeak benchmark support.

 

Worthwhile or not, we put a large amount of our lives into the Benchmarking portion of geocaching.com. We would be sad to see it disappear. We would definitely shed a tear.

Edited by TillaMurphs

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Well, there you go.

I didn't try my proposed workaround assuming there would/should be no difference between geocache pictures and Benchmark pictures.

 

Looks like my assumption was not correct.

 

Sorry for the false hope.

 

The future here is looking bleak indeed. :(

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What bothers me the most is the lack of transparency.

 

Jeremy is running a business. Fine. I'm glad he's successful at it. Geocaching.com has brought much joy to many people, and I hope it has been fun and profitable to those who run the site also.

 

Benchmarks probably represent a small percentage of the site's users, and probably account for an even smaller percentage of revenue. (No bling to speak of, and probably only a handful of premium memberships.) So if Groundspeak wants to discourage benchmarkers by not updating the database for a decade, making our portion of the site hard to find, and reducing the size of images to limit their usefulness, I can understand that.

 

I would welcome a statement of intentions, even one in pseudo-English business-speak, e.g., "We are focusing attention on the Geocaching portion of the site to maximize the user experience of the vast majority of visitors to Geocaching.com. We are pleased that many benchmark players have enjoyed that small corner of the site, but hope that as we continue to improve Geocaching they will find a more rewarding activity there. In the meantime, as we concentrate on Geocaching, we are reluctantly unable to provide our prior level of support and service to the benchmark community."

 

But I would rather that Mr. Irish think of benchmarking as an opportunity for public service, rather than an underperforming part of his enterprise. Many cultural and educational institutions in our communities benefit from local businesses that donate money and time and expertise to the benefit of all. The charitable obligation doesn't go away because the business is in cyberspace. Google donates millions to sundry charities. I don't think it's asking too much for Groundspeak to continue to support and to restore full service to benchmarking as a public service — to which the participation of professionals in surveying and geodesy attest — even if it is not a particularly profitable part of its corporate portfolio.

 

ArtMan

Edited by ArtMan

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They're just the right size for viewing on a cell phone, so what's the problem? I'm sure at this point everyone has dumped their giant clunky laptops and even more enormous desktops and replaced them with a smart phone, right? :huh:

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Just checked out some BM photos on gc.com, and found that I can use the magnify feature on the browser to enlargen them. I use Firefox 8.0. Just click on the "+" magnify button on the toolbar, and each press makes the image larger. Doesn't seem to be any loss of clarity or detail either.

 

Shouldn't have to do it that way, but it works here.

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Just checked out some BM photos on gc.com, and found that I can use the magnify feature on the browser to enlargen them. I use Firefox 8.0. Just click on the "+" magnify button on the toolbar, and each press makes the image larger. Doesn't seem to be any loss of clarity or detail either.

 

Sorry, but there IS a loss of detail. The image is 300 px wide (maximum), and enlarging it in the browser only means that the same number of pixels (i.e., the same amount of visual information) is just spread over more screen real estate. And since the picture was as large as 600 px across when uploaded by the user, it means that the image quality was degraded yet again after first being saved in the camera — except on high end cameras that support RAW files — as a lossy jpg, then probably edited and downsampled to get a small enough picture to be accepted by geocaching.com, and now a third time unless you are uploading 300 px-wide images ... which apparently we should now be doing. So three iterations of lossy saves. Not good for the image at all.

 

ArtMan

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It's just a round thingy with some numbers on it...how much detail is needed anyway? :ph34r:

Often, tis true: not much. But I've seen some pretty sketchy photos posted where a larger image or better resolution might make a difference in discerning the stamping or details of the surrounding environment in an area shot.

 

ArtMan

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Would it work to create a "Benchmark Image" site of our own and have it host the equivalent of the Gallery, reached by links from the GC site? I assume the cost would be very low, relative to the cost (pain) stemming from the 300px limit. [Of course, with all the technology talent resident in this group, we could probably produce a benchmark-only site on its own. Or could we?

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I suggest dropping your Premium Memberships in protest for the continued "slights" that the "powers to be" have inflicted on the Benchmark Hunting section of this site. I've have done so a few years back. To say the very least, it is quite unprofessional to FORCE changes on a system, process, law, rule, or web site without making any sort of prior announcement to those affected.

 

The hand writing is on the wall for us Benchmark Hunters. They relegate the "Benchmark Hunting" link to a barely noticeable section on the bottom of the home page and in a smaller font. Now they are shrinking the Benchmark images by half. To my knowledge, neither of these were announced. I was an IT professional for 32 years. To make drastic changes to our systems without consideration of and consultation with our user community would #1, have been unprofessional, #2 inconsiderate, #3 disrespectful and finally #4 would have been professional suicide. We existed to support and not dictate to our user community. They paid our salaries.

 

I believe the only way the "powers to be" of this site will listen to the Benchmark Hunting community on this site is to withdraw financial support.

Edited by gearedsteam

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It's just a round thingy with some numbers on it...how much detail is needed anyway? :ph34r:

Often, tis true: not much. But I've seen some pretty sketchy photos posted where a larger image or better resolution might make a difference in discerning the stamping or details of the surrounding environment in an area shot.

 

ArtMan

 

I was being facetious...I want to be able to see every scuff and scratch.

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Reports about restoring the large (well, largish: 600 px) pix to benchmark logs seem to have been premature. Or at least I'm not seeing anything more than 300 px on the longest dimension as of this morning.

 

-ArtMan-

Edited by ArtMan

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Groundspeak site was down for updates last night. This morning I'm getting the below message about half the time (both PID to PID & within a PID log) when I try to look at photos. Mostly older logs of mountain peaks along the 40th, but also one of my most recent logs

 

MORC WALL - ONLY ONE PHOTO WILL COME UP

 

Server Error

404 - File or directory not found.

The resource you are looking for might have been removed, had its name changed, or is temporarily unavailable.

 

Working with three bars on a Verizon Air Card. kayakbird

 

1005 ALL HAPPY NOW. MEL

Edited by kayakbird

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