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OpinioNate

Geocaching.com site update Feb 14th, 2012

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These maps are a joke. Just drop MapQuest, it has no value.

 

This may actually be a good suggestion. If the mapping page did not provide a satellite photo imagery layer at all people couldn't complain about the inconsistent coverage, but this leads to another question.

 

Just what is the value of satellite maps. I'd suggest that the primary value is when you're just looking at one cache and want to see the "real life" physical features at ground zero or near the cache. If you're looking at a lot of caches on a satellite base map I would contend that the satellite imagery is mostly just a matter of aesthetics and really doesn't provide any functional value. Someone else complained that the mapquest satellite imagery was not available in Perth, Australia. So I did a search for Perth in the maps interface, then saved it as a pocket query then edited the PQ so that it only displayed 100 caches. Then viewed the map (using the PQ map preview) and zoomed the map so that it showed all 100 caches. Then, using the greasemonkey script that someone else posted I changed the basemap to the google Satellite imagery. I recommend trying this for yourself and I think you'll find that the satellite imagery really doesn't provide any functional value.

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The only value I see for satellite maps is when I'm going after a cache (or multiple caches in the area) that's somewhat remote and doesn't have a child waypoint marking the parking area or trailhead. The satellite view gives me the opportunity to see what parking areas might be close and viable. Other than that I really don't use the maps that much when I'm caching. I'm already there! That being said, these maps have a pretty retro look to them!

Edited by coachstahly

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Hello guys, if like my previous post - there's new version of Grease Monkey script that contains also Google terrain map, Google hybrid map and standart Google map is set as default, so you don't have to change it in upper right corner. It also contains czech "Amapy.cz" but I guess you don't care... ;) You can also disable/enable map in selection window.

 

http://userscripts.org/scripts/show/125938

 

aaa.png

Edited by mitak

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Here is something about the new maps that I *do* like.

 

Go to the hide-n-seek a cache page and select "search with Google Maps" (that link text should be changed). Enter a location name (pick a city you might be visiting in the future). Then zoom in/out and pan the map until it shows a couple hundred caches or so. Then click on "Save as Pocket Query". All you need to do is change the name of the query and save it.

 

Before this feature existed if I wanted to create a pocket query for, say Buffalo, NY I'd either have to know the a postal code in Buffalo, the GC code for a cache in Buffalo, or already know the lat/long coordinates for a point in Buffalo. To me, that's a significant improvement.

 

Having the correct area quickly is good.. but then what do you do with an all grey map with cache icons scattered about?

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These maps are a joke. Just drop MapQuest, it has no value.

 

This may actually be a good suggestion. If the mapping page did not provide a satellite photo imagery layer at all people couldn't complain about the inconsistent coverage, but this leads to another question.

 

Just what is the value of satellite maps. I'd suggest that the primary value is when you're just looking at one cache and want to see the "real life" physical features at ground zero or near the cache. If you're looking at a lot of caches on a satellite base map I would contend that the satellite imagery is mostly just a matter of aesthetics and really doesn't provide any functional value. Someone else complained that the mapquest satellite imagery was not available in Perth, Australia. So I did a search for Perth in the maps interface, then saved it as a pocket query then edited the PQ so that it only displayed 100 caches. Then viewed the map (using the PQ map preview) and zoomed the map so that it showed all 100 caches. Then, using the greasemonkey script that someone else posted I changed the basemap to the google Satellite imagery. I recommend trying this for yourself and I think you'll find that the satellite imagery really doesn't provide any functional value.

 

Good maps provide a lot of data if you can read them.. otherwise you are correct.

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If you want to return the Google map and Google satelite view into your geocaching map, install Mozilla Firefox and Grease Monkey add-on. Then download this script and install it. This script adds these two map views into new map (see the map options in upper right corner). Credit goes to Pesulap from Czech Republic.

 

https://rapidshare.com/files/2126139919/116103.user.js

image.png

 

Excellent, I actually like the OSM maps quite a lot and using this script to give access to Google Satalite view the maps are perfect :)

 

That said I really hope Ground Speak do have OSM's permission to be throwing all this extra load onto there servers.

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I am disappointed in the new maps. I use them quite often. There has to be a better solution. These new maps are very slow and the detail is now that good. Supply and demand, this new map system just can't handle the demand. Groundspeak needs to better evaluate the map sources before using it. At this level of business you should have caught this problem before releasing it in my opinion. Please work on finding a fix for the present map system or find another system that can handle the demand that we can use with improved speed and accuracy. :(

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I can't believe some of the comments, are you people Geocachers or what? This is the way it's gonna be for right now so like it or get out. Sounds like some would like a picture of the cache and a picture of spot its hid and a robot to run and get it. Your doing a good job Groundspeak, Thank you.

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I'm open to change, however, the new maps leave a lot to be desired. My biggest complaint, other than the slow load and random tiling, is the less than accurate representation of bodies of water. At least my Android app still utilizes Google maps! Should suffice to keep me in the game until the dust settles on this map fiasco.

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Old Maps circa 2005...

 

New maps...

 

Hmm, I kind of like the old ones if you ask me... <_<

 

There were no satellite maps in 2005.

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That's a good point that I'd noticed but not mentioned before.

 

Here's an example of the Illinois River not looking so good. The first is Mapquest:

 

mapquest.png

 

Here's Google's satellite view, showing how things really are:

 

google_aerial.jpg

 

OSM is better than Mapquest, but it's not default:

 

osm.png

 

And just for completeness, Mapquest Aerial never did really load:

 

mapquest_aerial.png

 

I'm open to change, however, the new maps leave a lot to be desired. My biggest complaint, other than the slow load and random tiling, is the less than accurate representation of bodies of water. At least my Android app still utilizes Google maps! Should suffice to keep me in the game until the dust settles on this map fiasco.

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Horrible maps now....large tiles and blocks of nothing but grey. Slower than molasses. I used satellite imagery for all caches before heading out to make sure I was familiar with the area. There must be a better solution that whatever is being used now b/c it's next to worthless.

 

Same here. The new aerial view is very very slow. Usually doesn't load all the way. A few "tiles" appear, then it stops. When I refresh, it goes back to Mapquest, then I have to choose Aerial. It will load a few more tiles, then stops. I truly miss the Satellite vew. It loaded immediately. :(

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Horrible. Hate the new maps. I'd pay more for my premium membership to get google back. WAY too slow. Some portions of the map don't even load. EVER!

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Hi..

The caches are inactive on the map, when i'm using my iPad. Very frustrating since my ipad is my favourite cachefinder.

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YUCK!!

 

Where's my satellite imagery??

 

The aerial map is too grey and takes forever to load!

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Hmm very strange, I made a post on this thread earlier which now seems to have been deleted, it only mentioned two things. One was thanking the person for the GreaseMonkey script adding Google Maps back, the other was saying how I hoped they had permission to use the Open Street Maps . As there are still several posts here on the first topic I have to conclude the second one was the reason it was deleted?

 

That also happens to be the reason for my return, over the last few hours I have made several edits to my local maps on OSM, so far none of them have shown on OSM's own website how ever each one appeared on the geocaching.com version of the map straight away. This suggests one of two things, either openstreetmap.org is bit broke or GS are not infact not using the saved tiles on the OSM servers but rather are just accessing the data and rendering the maps locals. This would mean there not doing anything wrong so I'm not really sure why my post was deleted but hey ho.

 

Edit: Judging by others posts while I was writing this it would appear to have been option 1 after all :rolleyes:

Edited by Raver Dave

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Deleting of my post, how to enable Google maps again is realy childish. There are only few people that know how to use scripts.

It's OK to circumvent rules if there's only a few people doing it? That's pretty childish...

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I only just recently joined up as a premium member. I've been looking at geocaching for a while and finally decided to get going. So when I was looking at the site a few weeks back and saw the Google Maps feature I was sold... Things were very well organized and made finding and planning for a day of caching much easier. I signed up and paid for my membership knowing that there is overhead involved with running a site like this and I wanted to contribute. Now only a few weeks later I cannot even get a full map to load (actually I do get a map once in a while... just don't zoom or move or anything). Today I wanted to quicky lookup a couple of caches to hunt down while I am out shopping today... and I cannot even get these new maps to load fully. I am on satelite internet and that slows things down some (things were very acceptable before), but now it is almost unusable... VERY DISAPPOINTING... and I ran out of time before having to leave... so I guess I loose.

 

Now from what I can tell... I am going to have to try and work out some new 'greeasemonkey patch' (what???) to be able to get back to where I was.. and hopefully start hunting again soon. I will have to find some time one of these days to do the research/browsing on this I guess...

 

If anyone could post some sort of steps required to get this working it would save me (and maybe a lot of others) a lot of time working this out...

 

Thanks in advance for any help.

 

... WeBeRVing (just not geocaching any more)

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....And to think there are those who think the lackeys are filthy rich because of the site? 30 bucks a year is NOTHING.....

 

Thirty bucks a year multiplied by tens of thousands is hardly "NOTHING".

 

It's interesting to see all the posts by people who have never posted before. It speaks to the uproar this update has caused. Put me in the camp of those who would gladly pay an extra premium to have access to Google maps as it once was. Some of the other feature upgrades are a nice touch but this current mapping situation is horrible and nearly unusable and running some third party script isn't necessarily a safe solution.

 

I'm surprised there are users who claim the satellite views offer no value. You've got to be kidding. Maybe they add little value to your specific needs but I think most of us get much value out of those views.

 

Please pursue options that will allow the thousands of people here ready and willing to pay a premium to utilize Google maps. There's got to be a way.

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Not happy with the change. You took away Google because of $, I can understand but now the one left over has very limited user control. When I am researching a location I like to zoom out to see the area--now all the caches blot out any recognition of a map. Can you please bring back the Google thing to not refresh? And--don't make us unclick all forms of caches. Just open the map with tradition and then the user can add whatever else.

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I've restored the posts containing links to Greasemonkey scripts and will let the moderating team know that these posts are fine.

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Here is something about the new maps that I *do* like.

 

Go to the hide-n-seek a cache page and select "search with Google Maps" (that link text should be changed). Enter a location name (pick a city you might be visiting in the future). Then zoom in/out and pan the map until it shows a couple hundred caches or so. Then click on "Save as Pocket Query". All you need to do is change the name of the query and save it.

 

Before this feature existed if I wanted to create a pocket query for, say Buffalo, NY I'd either have to know the a postal code in Buffalo, the GC code for a cache in Buffalo, or already know the lat/long coordinates for a point in Buffalo. To me, that's a significant improvement.

 

Having the correct area quickly is good.. but then what do you do with an all grey map with cache icons scattered about?

 

Switch to the OSM base maps. I'd prefer it if I could use the OSM base maps as the default but it only takes one click to change the base map to OSM (does anyone have any examples of Mapquest maps showing more (and accurate) detail than the OSM base maps?). I admit that the Mapquest Aeriel layer really bites when displaying a map with a bunch of icons, but when displaying a bunch of cache icons I think the non-aeriel maps work much better (even Google satellite maps).

 

Personally, if it were up to me, I would eliminate both of the Mapquest base map layers, and the cloudMade maps. I don't think that the cloudMade maps adds a negligible value, and since it's a commercial company GS may be paying for something that really doesn't add any useful value (cloudMade uses OpenStreetMaps and adds additional datasets). I don't think that the quality of the MyTopo maps is consistent enough to be used worldwide so get rid of those too. Keep the OpenStreetMaps and the OpenCycleMaps. Then focus on getting a good topo or terrain layer to replace the MyTopo layer. Rather than try to include satellite maps as a base layer, create a "Save as KML" option that would allow use to use Google Earth if that's what we want for multiple caches. Keep the Google Maps link on every cache page for viewing a *single* cache in Google maps because that's where Google Maps satellite images provide the greatest benefit.

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....And to think there are those who think the lackeys are filthy rich because of the site? 30 bucks a year is NOTHING.....

Thirty bucks a year multiplied by tens of thousands is hardly "NOTHING".

Um, you are aware that it costs money to run a website like this, aren't you? Perhaps not. You can't run a website this large for free. There's a lot of expensive equipment, and the rent for the building in Seattle can't be cheap. I highly doubt that the lackeys are rolling in money.

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Once again, I find myself incredibly disappointed and annoyed by the implementation of a site update that degrades the user experience. I understand there are different varieties of geocachers, with different needs, and that for many users the maps are not vital to their caching, but personally, I use satellite imagery ALL THE TIME. I am often hiking unmarked trails and it would be IRRESPONSIBLE to not use that information to acquaint myself with the area. And, yes, I am aware that I can get that information from other sources, but part of the reason I pay premium membership is to have that accessible in one place, without having to jump through pocket query and GSAK hoops (which doesn't work on a Mac anyway).

My biggest beef, however, is that once again, much of this annoyance could have been forestalled with some basic customer courtesy on the part of Groundspeak. Had they apprised users of the Google Maps situation ahead of time,—even a day or two, people!— invited suggestions and comments on what we valued most in the maps and let us know they were working on possible solutions, rather than summarily instituting a change and telling us to deal with it, much of this dissatisfaction could have been ameliorated. You might say that $30 is not a lot of money, but the amount is irrelevant. Far more important is the amount of time and effort in creating, hiding, and finding and logging caches that we, the users, contribute to the ongoing success, and indeed, the continued existence of geocaching.com. Personally, I have contributed and invested thousands of hours, and provided not inconsiderable other resources to the geocaching experience for others that Groundspeak has not, as have many others I know, and to continually be disrespected by the lack of advance communication or by unwanted feature changes is becoming increasingly tiresome.

So, yes, I too am displeased with the substitute maps, and sincerely hope that a better solution is forthcoming. Soon.

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These maps are WAYYYYYYYY too slow. What was wrong with the old ones? With the old maps I could zoom in and out instantaneously with the roller wheel on my mouse...well that convenient ability is gone. Seriously, this is a major pain and needs to be fixed ASAP.

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I've restored the posts containing links to Greasemonkey scripts and will let the moderating team know that these posts are fine.

From what I've been able to find, that script uses an unauthorized method of accessing the Google Map tiles. It bypasses their API, which is against their ToU. By allowing it to be advertised here, it violates section 13 of the Groundspeak Forum guidelines.

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The New Maps are not very good, you cannot see an aerial view and the quality is poor.

 

There is a solution, which has already been muted somewhere on this page but if it didnt work for you try this for an idea.

 

install firefox as a browser

install greasemonkey as a plugin (look under addons in firefox)

open up the addons, and opne up greasemonkey user scripts

do a search on the user scripts page for "Geocaching.com extra map layers" omit the quotes !

or simply keep searchin down the pages, at the moment is appears either at the bottom of the first lot or on the second page.

install it.

 

Bobs your uncle ! the old maps are back

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Some of the posts in this thread are becoming a bit too personal. Please refrain from personal attacks and remember to stay respectful of your fellow posters.

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I am hugely disappointed with the map change. I would much prefer the edition prior to the google maps version over this one. Why can't we go back to that at least? And I will add my vote to increasing the cost of premium membership to get google maps back. It would be the primary value of being a premium member imo. These current maps are completely useless. My preference for caching is wilderness based and I therefore prefer the topo or atleast the terrain shaded maps. I left my computer running to load a topo map for over an hour and still didn't get even one tyle filled in. just a lovely shade of grey with caches splattered all over it - meaningless.

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As a retired person on a limited budget, the $30.00 a year does not hurt much. I do not use, or care about about all the fancy phones or Ipads. I feel the Admin does a good job even if I do not like alot of the changes including the new maps but then I did not like Beta either. I will just click Bing maps icon and hope the new system irons out the bugs.

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There was a comment above about how people who hardly post are posting about this. I am one of those people, in fact this is my first post and I haven't really used the forums until today, when I was looking for an explanation as to why I don't have any aerial imagery any more.

 

My GPS/Phone setup is fairly basic, which means I rely in looking at the cache position on the aerial picture before I go out and (try to) find the cache. Now, with the 'upgraded' maps I, as someone in the UK who is not covered by whatever aerial mapping is being linked to, cannot do this so well. The tag line for Geocaching on the home page is ' Geocaching - The Official Global GPS Cache Hunt Site'. So why are we using aerial imagery that isn't global in its coverage?

 

For the record, I find the open street map maps are more accurate for me than Google, and more detailed in terms of footpaths etc. Pity about the aerial view, but at least as a Premium Member I can always load my PQ into Google Earth!

 

And on a side topic - my wife has an android phone with the Official GC app loaded and the aerial map on that is still on Google - is this likely to also change? Going to be some pretty annoyed users over here if it does...

 

Still enjoying caching though, just a bit trickier...

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Something i do not understand... even if i go to mapquest i have more details that the mapquest page here why?

 

here is Geocaching with mq layer: geo.JPG

 

here is the exact same zoomlevel on mapquest:

 

geo-mq.JPG

 

whye so less details in teh Geocaching version of that Mapquest page...

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Users of the forums are reminded to be respectful in all content. You can read the full forum guidelines here. Personal attacks against other geocachers will not be tolerated, so please check your content before clicking, "post."

 

If you would not say it your grandparent or to a child, it is likely not suitable for the Geocaching.com forums.

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So many people are disappointed. So am I but GSP is just reacting to a cost they can't bear from Google. Get over it and try to be constructive. They didn't do this to be mean or spiteful or to get rich. They did it to stay in business which I think we all want.

 

Someone said this before, but only 74000+ have found over 500 caches. If all of them were PM (and they aren't) the entire annual revenue from those PMs would not pay the annual Google bill.

About 135,000 have found over 250 caches. If all of them were PM (again, they aren't), the annual revenue would pay the Google bill but something would probably have to go to maintain all the other services we have. (maybe we'd lose challenges, Wherigo and waymarks :P). The money collected also has to pay the staff, offices, website, servers, software, license fees and other things. Bottom line is that GSP doesn't reveal the number of PMs so we're just guessing. I know there are millions of geocaching accounts, but I'll bet the vast majority of those are not active members out finding caches nor ar they paying members. People keep citing the millions of accounts but that isn't a meaningful number.

 

I wouldn't mind an increase in PM fees if it brings real improvements in things most of us care about. I'd like to hear if giving PMs Google maps is possible or if a tiered PM system would be possible. In the meantime, I'm fairly content with the greasemonkey script on Firefox.

 

The map changes aren't being called an upgrade, they are a necessary update. Why can't people understand that? Like most updates, it starts out rocky but improves as they tweak things. I wish better testing was done, but you know what? The hardship usually passes quickly and the improvements over the long haul have been well worth a few days of aggravation here and there to me.

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I can't believe some of the comments, are you people Geocachers or what? This is the way it's gonna be for right now so like it or get out. Sounds like some would like a picture of the cache and a picture of spot its hid and a robot to run and get it. Your doing a good job Groundspeak, Thank you.

Not everybody is talking about using the maps to find the caches. Some use them to plan their caching, and the more information, the better. For example, you might think that the nearest distance between two caches is a straight line until you look at the satellite view and notice a bog between them. The Google terrain maps are much easier to understand when considering the amount of physical effort needed to get to a cache or to go between two caches. There are reasons for the maps, or they wouldn't be there.

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I've restored the posts containing links to Greasemonkey scripts and will let the moderating team know that these posts are fine.

 

I'm just catching up on this thread and didn't realize that those posts had been deleted. I did install one of the scripts, and loved it, but I am concerned... won't that still look to Google as though Groundspeak accessed the map, and end up costing Groundspeak anyway? What are the implications of using those scripts? ('scuse me if this has already been answered... I see that I still have a way to go before I'm caught up)

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I can't believe some of the comments, are you people Geocachers or what? This is the way it's gonna be for right now so like it or get out. Sounds like some would like a picture of the cache and a picture of spot its hid and a robot to run and get it. Your doing a good job Groundspeak, Thank you.

Not everybody is talking about using the maps to find the caches. Some use them to plan their caching, and the more information, the better. For example, you might think that the nearest distance between two caches is a straight line until you look at the satellite view and notice a bog between them. The Google terrain maps are much easier to understand when considering the amount of physical effort needed to get to a cache or to go between two caches. There are reasons for the maps, or they wouldn't be there.

No doubt the maps are extremely useful and for a variety of planning purposes. And the Google maps are much better than the officially available current options.

In a pinch I can make do with the current options and with the greasemonkey script I'm just fine. I truly hope GSP is working on alternatives to improve the options. For bigger trips, I use a combination of tools and don't rely solely on the maps here. I try to be flexible and I'm setup to use other tools so this won't affect me all that much.

[edit to clarify that "I use other tools" and not suggest that others should.]

Edited by nittany dave

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I've restored the posts containing links to Greasemonkey scripts and will let the moderating team know that these posts are fine.

 

If we all use this, would the Google Maps hits count against Groundspeak, or against individual users?

It's probably API-key-based, so I'd say Groundspeak, but I'm not sure how the script works.

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These maps are WAYYYYYYYY too slow. What was wrong with the old ones? With the old maps I could zoom in and out instantaneously with the roller wheel on my mouse...well that convenient ability is gone. Seriously, this is a major pain and needs to be fixed ASAP.

Nothing was wrong with the old maps, except Google is now charging more than Groundspeak can afford.

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It is really a bummer about the map. The new map works fine without the areal look, but to load the areal look takes FOREVER. We can't control what Google does so... We all must get used to it. BUMMER!! Life moves on.

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I've restored the posts containing links to Greasemonkey scripts and will let the moderating team know that these posts are fine.

 

If we all use this, would the Google Maps hits count against Groundspeak, or against individual users?

It's probably API-key-based, so I'd say Groundspeak, but I'm not sure how the script works.

Actually, as I mentioned earlier, the script does not use an API key, and in fact seems to be using a method to bypass the Google API entirely. This, of course, is against the Google Maps API ToU. I'm amazed that Groundspeak is actually allowing it.

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If it is a workaround and does not causes them direct trouble i do not see why not

after all... all those caches are placer byt user so what is wrong to having users other ways to display them?

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I've restored the posts containing links to Greasemonkey scripts and will let the moderating team know that these posts are fine.

 

I'm just catching up on this thread and didn't realize that those posts had been deleted. I did install one of the scripts, and loved it, but I am concerned... won't that still look to Google as though Groundspeak accessed the map, and end up costing Groundspeak anyway? What are the implications of using those scripts? ('scuse me if this has already been answered... I see that I still have a way to go before I'm caught up)

 

I've only taken a cursory glance at the scripts, but they appear to be bypassing Google's API altogether. I've seen applications in the past that took advantage of the method these scripts appear to be using, and their use was tracked by IP address. If you used one of the app too much, you would find access to Google Maps blocked from that IP for the next 24 hours.

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I've restored the posts containing links to Greasemonkey scripts and will let the moderating team know that these posts are fine.

Policies are changed?

 

A few months ago i earned a 1-week suspension from the forums for posting a link to a GM script...

 

Dear Danny,

 

While you may not like the new functionality of [removed], they were updated so as to improve site functionality overall. Of course you can opt to use a GM script to circumvent our coding, but you may not post about it in our forums.

 

This is a warning against this type of behavior. Please refrain from using the forums for this purpose.

 

Sincerely,

Sandy

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