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PantherX

SUBMITTED (32975) - Errors with time stamps in logs and field notes

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I love the Geocaching iPhone app but one of the biggest issues is the fact that when I submit logs, they do not appear on the website with the same timestamp. Depending on the time of day, the log will either submit with yesterday's date or today's date. When the logs are submitted, it should use the date and time that the entry was made.

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We are aware of the issues involved here and it is caused by database conventions put in place way back at the time of the start of the site. We are investigating ways to correct the situation, but it is far more complicated than it appears from the outside.

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In my professional life I have done a lot of database work. Date/time issues, especially with multiple users across many time zones, are always a concern. However, not having a fix for this is causing me real headaches. Why?

 

The problem is magnified when you mix and match devices which are creating and submitting field notes. When caching I often end up using both my iPhone with the official geocaching.com app and my Garmin Oregon 550t. For example, the other day (11/11/11). I cached a good par of the day, from 8am until nearly midnight. I covered such a large area that at various times during the day I ended up in some places where I didn't have cache data loaded into my Oregon. No problem - pull out the iPhone, search, find & log field note from the phone. When I get home I have some caches already logged into field notes from the iPhone app and then I upload the rest of my finds from the file on my Oregon. What a mess! The finds from the iPhone and the finds from the Oregon are all intermixed instead of in the order I found them because of this time shift. Now it might just be me being picky, but I do like to try to log my cache finds in the order that I actually found them and on the right day. And, it would be nice not to have to doctor up the Garmin file before I upload it.

 

If we can't get this fixed in the iPhone app side, maybe something else could be done to allow us to time shift field notes that are already uploaded. Or, as a last resort, maybe a "Download Field Notes" feature would allow me to pull all the data into a program like GSAK so that I could fixup the dates.

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Whenever I post a field note from my iPhone to GC.com, the time stamp is significantly off from the actual time of the posting. For example, I recently found a cache at 00:07 09 Feb 2012, but the posted time on the GC.com entry was 16:07 08 Feb 2012....exactly 8 hrs behind the time I actually posted the note. Every time I post, all entries appear to be 8 hours behind. I have checked my time zone settings on my GC.com profile as well as the time zone setting on my iPhone. Everything appears to be correct. Any ideas as to the cause of the discrepancy?

 

Not sure if it matters or not, but I am in the Eastern Time Zone, and my GC.com profile is set as such (i.e. GMT -5:00).

Edited by mblatch

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This comes up a lot and is not actually due to a bug in the app but rather in inconsistencies in the database that have built up over time (no pun intended). The gist of the issue that when logging a cache via the web site, the time stamp is (and always has been) set to noon Seattle time on the selected day. Conversely, logs posted via the API use UTC. The break occurs when the site then reads these differing time stamps. We have a lot of work to do to overcome this issue. Fixing it is a high priority but very complicated for a variety of reasons.

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I am in the eastern US, (GMT-5) and that is what time my device is set to. Because the server is in GMT-8, my logs are always 3hrs off, so I fudged my account settings, saying I was in GMT+3, and my fieldnotes show up with the 'right' time now. I haven't seen any ill-effects of this, but I believe it might have something to do with what day/time your PQ's run.

 

(FYI, submit a field note, leave it in the queue. Change your timezone, check your field note queue and the time has changed. You can trial and error this.)

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When posting a log from the iPhone app, Groundspeak's server date is used instead of the local date. This is also the default behaviour when posting a log on the geocaching.com website, but at least you can edit the date from the website; in the iPhone app, you can't.

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This happened to me today on the leap-day. But worst of all it was a FTF.

 

http://coord.info/GC3D7WJ

 

So my local log-time was about 8.15 AM the 29.2. in southern germany. After loggin with Iphone app the log occurs in the Listing before the publishing an the day before (28.2). When i recognised that, i corrected the date by editing the log. In spite of the correction, neither the souvenier badge was in my profile nor the FTF-Entry in my GCstatistic was recognisable.

 

I am not that strong statistic cacher but anyway it was dissapointing.

 

Grettings

Digger-one

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Thanks to Moun10Bike for the explanation on what Groundspeak is doing with respect to this timestamp error.

 

I am a newcomer to the sport and geocache mostly in Japan. Using the iPhone has been great for logging cache find and notes -- logs can be immediately sent and it's easy to attach photos. My kids love to use the app.

 

But the timestamp error is frustrating at times. I noticed that I had missed out on Leap Year Day souvenirs for cache find logged via my iPhone (luckily I had to log one at home on my computer). Yesterday it snowed in Tokyo for the first time in a while and when I had uploaded a photo of a snow-covered scene, the cache owner kindly sent me a message saying that the date on my log is a day behind.

 

So I hope the problem can be fixed and fixed very soon!

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Hi,

 

there's one thing in the iPhone app that bothers me at times: when submitting a log, it looks like the U.S. time zone is used to log the date found.

 

I did a FTF this morning at 7 a.m. (04 March 2012, 07:11 CET) but when submitting it with the app, it got logged as found on 03 March, even before it was published. That's not good - either you don't log the cache on-site (not fair to other FTF seekers, who would know it's pointless from then on), or you have to return to the web site later and edit the log so that it fits to reality.

 

Should be really easy to get the date & time & timezone from the iPhone APIs.

 

On a wider note, supporting time zones everywhere on geocaching.com would also be a plus, but that's for another time.

 

Greetings,

 

stefan.winter

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This seems to be a new problem. It used to log using the local time but I have noticed that it has stopped doing this and is using the US time. Is there an option that can change this? Did this happen in a recent "upgrade"?

It is a real hassle as it will log every find a day early.

CorvettePete in Australia

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This seems to be a new problem.

Not new at all, the app has always done this. This topic from October 2009 reports the same issue. Interestingly, a lackey posted in that topic saying it would be fixed in the next update, but it never has. The site-wide time zone issue has been a long-standing issue with no resolution on the horizon.

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I noticed this morning that the cache I did on my way to work was logged as found yesterday.

The current date: 28th March 2012

Date logged: 27th March 2012.

 

I checked the timezone settings on my phone: Automatic, GMT+2 "Mid European summer time"

So the date on my phone was the 28th as well, I know because I looked at it before writing the in the logbook.

 

Is the server date used for saving the log? As it is in "GMT -8 hours"

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Hello Friends!

 

Sinth a lot of month i have a big problem, when i logged from my mobile device. Info: I´ve got the newest App from GS.

When i go geocaching and i log a cache, later i see, i logged with date a day before. Not every time but the most of logs i took.

Later i must edit the cache at home. Then i have an edit quote in my logs.

I think it´s not this what the dev´s are represent :rolleyes:

 

I read from a worldwide problem with the gc server settings and the prob was public. So, i´m from germany, i must say.

 

My Idea, please make a datepicker in the app, like this on the gc site, so i can set the right date.

 

Hope u understand ;-)

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Geohirse, this is a known issue with the way the database is handling time stamps coming from a variety of sources. I'm merging this thread into the existing one on the topic.

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Please read my comments above - this is not an issue with any particular app, but with the overall Geocaching.com database. There are a number of technical obstacles to overcome in order to correct the problem.

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Could a date picker in the app overcome this hurdle?

When I log on the website and enter the date, is exactly the same, or not?

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I am aware this issue has been raised as far back as August 2010, but as it has not been fixed yet I wanted to raise it again. I am currently running iOS 5.1 and V4.6.0 of the app and I am located in Canberra, Australia. My geocaching user id is JB666. This bug has existed for me since I logged my first cache back in early October 2010. Since then I have logged a further 280 caches and with the exception of some of the ones logged in the US, I have had to edit the date on the website to add one day to it as all logs seem to get posted from the app as US west coast time zone.

 

Can you please fix this bug as I am sick of having to edit every log I post from the app?

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I also find it quite a "bug" and an "bugbear" to alwsys have to come back to the computer and re-date the finds which have been made and logged on my iPod touch or iPhone App in Australia. The system always presents US West Coast (Seattle) date, even on the computer log-in. At least when using the computer keyboard you have a choice to modify the date - or, if you are cunning, you make your logs late in the evening Australian time, by which time Seattle has switched to "our" date. Even better would be for the logs to be made using "device time" in the case of iPod/iPhone. As a second-rate fallback, the device should have a facility for the user to set the date of the log as does the computer log panel already. More and more in-field devices are being used for geocaching so this is a problem which needs a bit of urgent attention from Groundspeak.

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Recently a cahing buddy of mine got the Groundspeak app for Android and I got him to check the dates posted in his logs and they were fine. When I looked at his logs on my iphone they were the corret date. It seems to me to be an iphone specific issue.

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Recently a cahing buddy of mine got the Groundspeak app for Android and I got him to check the dates posted in his logs and they were fine. When I looked at his logs on my iphone they were the corret date. It seems to me to be an iphone specific issue.

I'm pretty sure all the different apps use the same API, and therefore the same timestamp code. As I understand it, whether you run into the problem or not depends entirely on which time zone you're in and when in the day you log.

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I frequently see, that if i log a cache as found on my iphone and send the log to the geocaching website that is shows up on the website, but found on yesterday?

What can I do to prevent this?

 

Grtz

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change and check the default system date BEFORE you click submit on your log,

if error is allready done, simply click on your log, and edit it.

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change and check the default system date BEFORE you click submit on your log,

if error is allready done, simply click on your log, and edit it.

 

Thx for the reply.

I'm sure my system datetime is correct. Maybe there is a problem with time-zone conversions?

Edit the log afterwards is a solution but is also very annoying.

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I got up pretty early this morning, and did a few geocaches; then submitted the logs live from the Android app.

 

The first two I sumbitted are showing as being posted yesterday (16th May)

http://www.geocaching.com/seek/log.aspx?LUID=b546d119-27d3-4f89-bd92-0d023eeecab9

http://www.geocaching.com/seek/log.aspx?LUID=f2fef04b-55fe-4719-91cf-11a6ff9a1f23

 

I actually logged and posted them today 17th May at around 8am.

 

I've checked my account details on geocaching.com - which show my timezone correctly as Romance : Brussels, Madrid, Paris.

The app has no setting for timezone.

 

Andy.

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Hello. What can I add to all these comments?

Just my complaining voice requesting this issue being fixed. Please.

 

For the record, an open-source alternative Android app does not have this issue. Maybe because it is borderline with Groundspeak ToS and do not use the restricted API. The fact is it just works... and now attracts me more than the official one I paid for.

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So for the first time I used the iPhone App to upload my fieldnotes. But the App doesn't use the localtime. Would be nice when you can fix this bug.

 

Cheers

Martin

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This has been an issue for us too. Just playing around, I did find that setting the timezone within the Groundspeak account settings to offset the opposite of the GS local got me the right time in the field notes. I have had another confirmation of this working for someone else in a much different time zone. So the formula, is take your local timezone and add 8 to it. Example, we are eastern US, so that is GMT-5, add 8 and we set our account settings with GMT+3. All timestamps have been good. IF you are in GMT+1, set your account to GMT+8. I don't know what other implications this might have, but I haven't noticed any ill effects yet.

 

If this works, please let everyone know. If it doesn't work, let me know and I will stop telling people this.

 

Also, see this thread that deals with the same topic.

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I am in the eastern US, (GMT-5) and that is what time my device is set to. Because the server is in GMT-8, my logs are always 3hrs off, so I fudged my account settings, saying I was in GMT+3, and my fieldnotes show up with the 'right' time now. I haven't seen any ill-effects of this, but I believe it might have something to do with what day/time your PQ's run.

 

(FYI, submit a field note, leave it in the queue. Change your timezone, check your field note queue and the time has changed. You can trial and error this.)

 

DOH, I see a statement error up above. I remember our logs being off, and I believe they were off by 8hrs (not three as stated above!) So we found to get our field notes to post correctly, we fudged our GC.com setting timezone to be equal to actual local + 8. Since we are GMT-5, this turned into -5+8 which is +3. With our GC.com setting at GMT+3, and our iPod set to true local time, all our logs have been submitting with the correct timestamp. I don't know what other effects this might have on our account, but I haven't noticed anything yet.

 

I know it worked for us, I would be curious to see if anyone else had luck with it....

Edited by jvSquared

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Merging duplicate topics.

 

Instead of merging this threads all the time it would be good to see a bugfix :D

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Merging duplicate topics.

I just LOVE how mayn times you've HAD to do this for this One single Issue... Isn't it about time...

 

The Steaks

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*This is the reason that I've been re-logging OVER 400 DIFFERENT CACHES! As a possible fix, and new feature, allow people to goto a page that shows the GC, Name, Log Date, and Log number. Being able to change the Log Number for Any cache. That way, you can log caches, and then go back and re-number them to update the ordering. Also, the ability to lock after your finished correcting logs.

 

The Steaks

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I paid for an expensive app and it doesn´t work correctly. Last week i was caching, i found a lot of caches. When i come home i see the logs have all the wrong date. So i must edit them. Much boring work. What does Groundspeak do with the problem? I see a lot of services in the internet, they works perfectly for free. When i see some sides of Groundspeak, i ask me, are the interns, trainees or students the Groundspeak programmers here? i hope you know what i would like to say. there are problems many month and there´s no solution. :mad:

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I paid for an expensive app and it doesn´t work correctly. Last week i was caching, i found a lot of caches. When i come home i see the logs have all the wrong date. So i must edit them. Much boring work. What does Groundspeak do with the problem? I see a lot of services in the internet, they works perfectly for free. When i see some sides of Groundspeak, i ask me, are the interns, trainees or students the Groundspeak programmers here? i hope you know what i would like to say. there are problems many month and there´s no solution. :mad:

 

Was that before or after you randomly "discovered" geocoins that you've never seen (like ones in people's personal collections that have never left their houses)?

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The wrong date is presented in logs for geocache listings on the site (including view/edit log, view logbook). Probably in other places too, like statistics for instance.

 

* The details of your configuration (browser and version, application version, etc.)

 

Any browser through the geocaching.com web site.

 

* The specific steps you are taking that lead to the observed behavior

 

1. Log a find through a live-anabled app, like geocaching live or neon geo.

2a. Compare logging date in application to the date on the cache listing page.

2b. Wait for friends to remind you that you logged the wrong date.

 

* Details of the observed behavior

 

On the cache listing page the date is sometimes not the same as the date logged.

 

By downloading a GPX file for the given cache it can be verified that the correct time and date is stored on the server.

 

Take a look at this example (which I will leave as is for reference): http://www.geocaching.com/seek/cache_details.aspx?guid=7175d7d6-8363-48eb-a3f5-83eb9935d045

 

I logged this cache on the 10'th of june at 8:58 am local time (GMT+2, Stockholm DST)

My found-log in the gpx file for that geocache correctly states "<Groundspeak:date>2012-06-10T06:58:43Z</Groundspeak:date>" while the cache listing page displays the 9'th of june.

 

In this example http://www.geocaching.com/seek/cache_details.aspx?guid=217d782c-7ed4-447b-8763-13e3d8af1a53 logged 20 minutes later the date is correct, and the subsequent finds for this day is also correct, from which I find that there is a breaking point at 7:00 am GMT in the datestamp. Interestingly this is also the current time offset in Seattle from GMT with daylight savings time.

 

* Details of the expected behavior, i.e. what you believe should be happening instead

 

I expect the date on cache listing pages to correspond to the recorded log date. Logs from fieldnotes seem to be unaffected as the timestamp is lost somewhere in the web logging process, which in itself is a bug I suppose.

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