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New Maps - HORRID!


God of Caching
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I think you guys are being too optimistic about what the cost increase would be if GS were to start offering a tiered mapping plan. Let's assume that GS creates a new "Premium Plus" membership level that includes Google maps. The problem is that GS loses much of their negotiating power. Sure, at 2,000,000 map tiles per day, you may have the negotiating power to push Google down to $2. But... Don't forget, all the basic members... they won't be using Google tiles. All the Premium members that opt out... they won't be using Google tiles. The lion's share of the volume will be gone and you'll be negotiating with less volume.

 

So to use your numbers, it may be an 80 USD hike, not 40 USD.

 

And think about it... given a choice between paying 80 USD a year more (110 USD/year total) or simply using Firefox, Chrome, or Opera as your browser so you can use the free workaround... How many people would pay the $80? Not enough to justify the development costs of a "premium plus" membership model. And what happens when 3 weeks from now, someone has ported the greasemonkey script into an ie7pro script, and all 5 major browsers have a free workaround? Nothing in product development is as simple as "a few guys said they'll buy it, so we should go ahead."

Except that the maps wouldn't cost anywhere near that.

 

Numbers could vary until they actually enter a contract, but the reality is, the WORST CASE pricing would be in the $200k/year range (based on the two million hits a day that nate quoted, I have doubts that its really that high, most likely he quoted some peak number, not an average number), since there are over 100,000 premium members, even to distribute the cost over those would be LESS THAN $2/year, a cost that in all reality they should have no need to pass along as an extra cost.

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Well the real reason for the move away from google maps to the OSM maps has been revealed in the update announcement thread. It is to kill C:geo. Has to be, Waymarking is still using google maps.

What are there, like 10 people that use the Waymarking site? It would most likely have a different API key anyway, and its own limits.

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Caching with online maps is CHEATING! You are supposed to use a GPSr, not use a bird eye view from Google.

 

Back in the old days we'd have to print out every page and decript the hints BY HAND! Most of the GPSr units back then didnt even have maps. You're all spoiled! :mad: :mad: :mad::rolleyes::P

 

If you remember, Google Maps themselves didn't even exist until 2005. We did actually have 3rd party Buxley's Geocaching maps, but TPTB squashed that like a little bug. :ph34r:

 

And incidently, I just got my first mapping handheld GPS 2 months ago. :lol:

 

Yes, I can also recall that in the early days posting parking and trailhead coordinates in logs made quite a few COs upset, as it was considered making it too easy, and cheating. The main part of the game was figuring a way in to the cache. The maps took a large amount of the challenge out of it.

 

Its amazing that these maps exist at all, let alone cost nothing anyhow. It was almost unthinkable that the technology would be used by civilians eventually, as it is today. They used to spend billions to secretly obtain what is free now. Sending up spy satellites with film, to be developed on the ground.

 

hexagon-spy-satelllite-description.jpg

 

Much of what is available on this site would be classified.

Edited by 4wheelin_fool
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Well the real reason for the move away from google maps to the OSM maps has been revealed in the update announcement thread. It is to kill C:geo. Has to be, Waymarking is still using google maps.

 

This "conspiracy theory" exhibits a fundamental misunderstanding of how c:geo works. c:geo doesn't get its map data from geocaching.com. The individual user's android actually goes directly to Google to get the map tiles for the background. The problems with c:geo have nothing at all to do with the change from Google maps to OSM. c:geo breaks pretty much every time that GS updates geocaching.com, and it takes anywhere from a few hours, to at most a few days for the c:geo guys to examine GS's HTML and modify the app.

 

There are plenty of things that GS does that just baffle me, but even then, it seems unlikely to me that degrading their own product by switching off of Google maps is just a ruse to disrupt c:geo users for the few days until there's a new release of c:geo.

 

If GS really wanted to, they could kill c:geo easily, and instead, they largely just ignore it.

Edited by Sky King 36
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even to distribute the cost over those would be LESS THAN $2/year, a cost that in all reality they should have no need to pass along as an extra cost.

 

I still think you are being wildly optimistic about the cost, but even if you are not... OK, let's assume your $200K is the actual number... For a company the size of GS to simply eat that $200k and not pass it along? Again, this gets back to what I said earlier, that people have this perception that Jeremy is just rolling around in a hot tub filled with 100's, that is, when he isn't out driving his BMW 9 series. Quite the contrary, $200K is a staggering amount of money for a company the size of GS. There are tens of thousands of companies that are 10 to 100 times larger than GS that operate less than $200k above or below breakeven, and even for them, a delta of $200,000 would be a complete game changer.

 

This is what the posting of the Louis CK video was all about. GS gives the vast majority of its users the vast majority of their services for free, and when they need to make all their salaries and pay all their bills from the tiny sliver that is left to make any money from, they are villainized.

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even to distribute the cost over those would be LESS THAN $2/year, a cost that in all reality they should have no need to pass along as an extra cost.

 

I still think you are being wildly optimistic about the cost, but even if you are not... OK, let's assume your $200K is the actual number... For a company the size of GS to simply eat that $200k and not pass it along? Again, this gets back to what I said earlier, that people have this perception that Jeremy is just rolling around in a hot tub filled with 100's, that is, when he isn't out driving his BMW 9 series. Quite the contrary, $200K is a staggering amount of money for a company the size of GS. There are tens of thousands of companies that are 10 to 100 times larger than GS that operate less than $200k above or below breakeven, and even for them, a delta of $200,000 would be a complete game changer.

 

This is what the posting of the Louis CK video was all about. GS gives the vast majority of its users the vast majority of their services for free, and when they need to make all their salaries and pay all their bills from the tiny sliver that is left to make any money from, they are villainized.

$200k isn't optimistic, its more like the idiot price for someone that walks into a new car dealership and pays whats on the sticker (and if you do a little research, you will find that this is the top price for 2 million daily hits).

 

$50k is what they will get if they have more than 10 minutes of negotiating experience.

 

But, lets play with $200k, for a company that has revenues of approximately $4 million (and yes, this is gs's approximate revenue, for some quick math, 125k users, figure 1/2 pay annually at $30, and 1/2 pay quarterly at $40), its a 5% hit. For a company that has no significant expense in the product that they sell (they aren't out placing the caches, they don't own the caches, they very simply have a listing site, nothing more), there is definitely room in the budget for a 5% variance. This comes to less than $2 annually for each premium member and still giving it to free members.

 

More realistic, they would pay less than $50k, which would only be a 1.25% hit to the budget. ANY company that operates that tight won't be in business for long. This comes to less than 50 cents annually for each premium member.

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What? Open caching? Or qutting? Those are not options. It's like a diet or starvation.

Yeah OC sucks right now but it sucks because no one uses it. If most people cross listed their caches then it would not suck as bad.

 

One of the reasons for poor communication beforehand has been that many years ago they were more transparent and it only bit them in the end. There were things that they considered doing, and then changed their minds, or there were things that they said were coming but then took a lot longer to implement. The negativity that they received from the geocaching public was enough that they stopped telling us things in advance. Newer cachers may not see this, but some of us oldies can probably remember how bad it could get.

This is no excuse. If you think you may change your mind about a product/service then you don't announce it. Once you announce it then you are obligated to make the product/service a reality. That is poor business on the part of Groundspeak to announce a project then abandon it. On the same time is very damaging to the credibility of Groundspeak when they have the apathetic, uncaring, antagonistic attitude that they have. They don't even attempt to have some resemblance of Public Relations with their customers. As another user articulated, that they needed to:

 

1. Say in advance what was coming.

2. Explain the reason for the change.

3. Acknowledge that the transition was going to be very difficult.

4. Apologize for the inconvenience.

5. Assure us that they are working diligently to improve the situation.

 

As for having setbacks and it taking long to implement something, I think It goes with out saying that if they explained the situation their users would understand.

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For a company that has no significant expense in the product that they sell

I work with companies like GS (no, they aren't a customer) for a living and I can tell you from deep subject matter expertise this is simply fundamentally flawed thinking. "We deliver our product primarily over the internet" is NOT a synonym for "inexpensive." It is not like delivery by means of UPS is the only real expense a business has, and once avoided by selling a product online, then you're rolling in cash. If you were to go back and ask Facebook, Google, Yahoo, whoever... And ask them about what their cost structure looked like back when they were at a few million in revenue... They would all say the same thing. "The development, hosting, network, and security costs required to scale our application to a global audience wasn't 5, or 10, or 20 times more expensive than we thought, it was hundreds of times more. We thought for year X we would need to spend $200,000 on infrastructure, and it ended up being $30 million."

ANY company that operates that tight won't be in business for long.

I'm not sure if you've been catching the news lately, but, plenty of companies are operating that tight. You don't see many companies under $1 billion in revenue paying out dividends lately for a reason, it's because their EBITDA is just a few percent above or below break even. And if you do a little research and come back with a list of companies that are doing better than that, my response will be "they're doing better because they don't make the potentially survival-risking mistake of undervaluing their product and giving it away 1% here and 1% there."

 

More importantly, you can't have it both ways. Your assumptions about GS having the moxie to negotiate Google down are also flawed. Let's assume you are right and that GS has, and I quote directly, "no significant expense in the product that they sell." And they go to Google and say "by our calculations, we're going to have to pay you a few million, and we aren't doing it. You let us in for $50K or we're simply going somewhere else." If what you say is true, then the Google sales rep would be rolling on the floor. He/she would say "let me get this straight... you guys are making millions of dollars of profit on $4 million in revenue doing nothing more than repackaging our product, and you only want us to get 1.25% of the action? You guys are crazy. It's 500,000, take it or leave it. Don't let the door hit you on the way out." If you're a Google sales rep, here's a quick way to get fired. Take a product that costs many millions, take a slice of it that retails for $3 million, and sell it for $50K. Drop that bad boy into your sales forecast for next quarter and see what your VP of sales has to say about that.

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On a scale of 1 to 10, I reserve angst levels above 4 for those times when I am parachuting out of a helicopter, at night, with tracers coming up at me.

You have the brass-ballsiest angst scale I have ever heard of. If that's a 4, I'm not sure I could even listen to your stories of 7's and 8's without breaking into a cold sweat (or going into cardiac arrest).

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Well the real reason for the move away from google maps to the OSM maps has been revealed in the update announcement thread. It is to kill C:geo. Has to be, Waymarking is still using google maps.

I suspect that there are many, many more efficient ways to try to kill c:geo than crippling maps, writing a bunch of new code and ticking off a bunch of users.

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If what you say is true, then the Google sales rep would be rolling on the floor. He/she would say "let me get this straight... you guys are making millions of dollars of profit on $4 million in revenue doing nothing more than repackaging our product, and you only want us to get 1.25% of the action? You guys are crazy. It's 500,000, take it or leave it. Don't let the door hit you on the way out." If you're a Google sales rep, here's a quick way to get fired. Take a product that costs many millions, take a slice of it that retails for $3 million, and sell it for $50K. Drop that bad boy into your sales forecast for next quarter and see what your VP of sales has to say about that.

That attitude was pretty common in the glory days of the tech bubble when people thought nothing of paying a million dollars a year for Oracle licenses. In fact it sounds eerily like some Oracle reps that I've been around. Google reps have a reputation for being politer than that. And there are plenty of stories about them being willing to negotiate terms.

 

There is little point in speculating about the details because we don't have access to the numbers and we can't even make informed guesses. GS even keeps their Quantcast scores locked up, which leads to some interesting speculation, but nothing more. I tend to think that Potato Finder's observation about the Google pricing numbers that actually have been mentioned by GS is very likely to be correct.

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Why is everyone blaming Groundspeak? Why not complain to Google?

Because we pay you for the service not google. duh.

You do? I didn't know that the google maps were a premium member only perk. They were available to all users whether you paid or not.

An overwhelming number of the people participating in this thread, or complaining if you will, are premium members. The rest are pretty happy with their ROI.

 

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I work with companies like GS (no, they aren't a customer) for a living and I can tell you from deep subject matter expertise this is simply fundamentally flawed thinking. "We deliver our product primarily over the internet" is NOT a synonym for "inexpensive."

The flawed thought here is that there is no product, they are a listing service, they don't produce a thing, they LIST stuff that me and you produce.

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I work with companies like GS (no, they aren't a customer) for a living and I can tell you from deep subject matter expertise this is simply fundamentally flawed thinking. "We deliver our product primarily over the internet" is NOT a synonym for "inexpensive."

The flawed thought here is that there is no product, they are a listing service, they don't produce a thing, they LIST stuff that me and you produce.

Ah, the list *IS* the product.

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Why is everyone blaming Groundspeak? Why not complain to Google?

Because we pay you for the service not google. duh.

You do? I didn't know that the google maps were a premium member only perk. They were available to all users whether you paid or not.

An overwhelming number of the people participating in this thread, or complaining if you will, are premium members. The rest are pretty happy with their ROI.

 

Yes.. but my point is that the maps are not one of the things premium members are paying for. They are/were a free perk.

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I work with companies like GS (no, they aren't a customer) for a living and I can tell you from deep subject matter expertise this is simply fundamentally flawed thinking. "We deliver our product primarily over the internet" is NOT a synonym for "inexpensive."

The flawed thought here is that there is no product, they are a listing service, they don't produce a thing, they LIST stuff that me and you produce.

Ah, the list *IS* the product.

Which has ZERO acquisition cost. People like you provide the listings free of charge, in fact, you even continue to pay them, there's not even any kind of credit for generating a listing.

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Why is everyone blaming Groundspeak? Why not complain to Google?

Because we pay you for the service not google. duh.

 

You do? I didn't know that the google maps were a premium member only perk. They were available to all users whether you paid or not.

GS's decision to give away a service that I pay for shouldn't later be held against me.

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The flawed thought here is that there is no product, they are a listing service, they don't produce a thing, they LIST stuff that me and you produce.

 

That is all google does. They don't create the content, they merely list the content that others have produced. And the act of providing that listing costs them BILLIONS of dollars a year. The NYSE doesn't actually create any stock, they merely provide a listing service for companies that do... And that listing service costs hundreds of millions to operate.

 

The acquisition cost for a cache listing is zero. But the acquisition cost for the servers that listing will sit on is not zero. The acquisition cost for the software on those servers is not zero. The acquisition cost for firewalls, routers, and load balancers is not zero. The acquisition cost of employees and licensing is not zero.

 

Without those investments, all you have is an ammo can sitting in a tree that no one knows about.

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I work with companies like GS (no, they aren't a customer) for a living and I can tell you from deep subject matter expertise this is simply fundamentally flawed thinking. "We deliver our product primarily over the internet" is NOT a synonym for "inexpensive."

The flawed thought here is that there is no product, they are a listing service, they don't produce a thing, they LIST stuff that me and you produce.

Ah, the list *IS* the product.

Which has ZERO acquisition cost. People like you provide the listings free of charge, in fact, you even continue to pay them, there's not even any kind of credit for generating a listing.

But, of course, providing the list is free to Groundspeak and us, no expense at all involved. Pure profit. No wonder every one at HQ is driving a series 9.

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Why is everyone blaming Groundspeak? Why not complain to Google?

Because we pay you for the service not google. duh.

 

You do? I didn't know that the google maps were a premium member only perk. They were available to all users whether you paid or not.

GS's decision to give away a service that I pay for shouldn't later be held against me.

 

How can I say this any more clearly? You are not paying for the maps. You have never paid for the maps. Nobody pays for the maps. Nobody has ever paid for the maps. Groundspeak is not out to get you.

 

Rinse. Repeat.

 

If GS had stayed with Google, THEN you would be paying for the maps. Through the nose. And no doubt everyone would then start complaining about THAT - I know I would!

Edited by Sioneva
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Why is everyone blaming Groundspeak? Why not complain to Google?

Because we pay you for the service not google. duh.

You do? I didn't know that the google maps were a premium member only perk. They were available to all users whether you paid or not.

An overwhelming number of the people participating in this thread, or complaining if you will, are premium members. The rest are pretty happy with their ROI.

 

Yes.. but my point is that the maps are not one of the things premium members are paying for. They are/were a free perk.

Yes, but my point is that someone is paying for them and it sure isn't the regular members who are paying nothing at all.

 

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Yes, but my point is that someone is paying for them and it sure isn't the regular members who are paying nothing at all.

 

I thought - and please correct me if I'm wrong! - that up to this point, access to Google Maps was free, and certainly the opensource maps are free. So where does payment come in, previous to Google's decision to charge?

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Why didn't Groundspeak use the weekly newsletter to announce a change of this significance? Was it hoped that the change could be sneaked in without anybody noticing? I agree with others that the new maps are a backward step for Geocaching.com.

How would that have changed your experience?

Some advance notice would have made it less of a "what the heck is going on here" experience.

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How can I say this any more clearly? You are not paying for the maps. You have never paid for the maps. Nobody pays for the maps. Nobody has ever paid for the maps. Groundspeak is not out to get you.

LOL... +1 !

 

You are correct Sioneva, prior to this the maps were free. It is extremely hard to monetize a map tile server. Google Maps is an enormous investment and resource drain on Google in return for very little revenue. As I have said much earlier in this post, Google is just the latest of many (will soon be all) providers that can't continue providing high volume tile services entirely for free. Google has some pretty good revenue streams in place for tile services to android devices, but serving tiles for embedding in another company's website is a free service that has only cost, and no revenue.

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Yes, but my point is that someone is paying for them and it sure isn't the regular members who are paying nothing at all.

 

I thought - and please correct me if I'm wrong! - that up to this point, access to Google Maps was free, and certainly the opensource maps are free. So where does payment come in, previous to Google's decision to charge?

There were previous circumstance in which Google was charging fees for the Maps API, such as requiring a login and charging for access, but I have no idea if Groundspeak was paying them or not and it does not really matter. Free to use is does not mean there are not costs associated with using them. Groundspeak's utility bills are not listed as a premium member benefit, but we are paying those as well.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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If adding a PR department would mean an increase in the price of membership or something that actually affects my caching experiance, then I can deal with sudden changes... that don't actually affect my caching experiance. Like this one.

Well they can take part of the 30 million they are not going to spend on maps and give one or two people a job.

 

Why didn't Groundspeak use the weekly newsletter to announce a change of this significance? Was it hoped that the change could be sneaked in without anybody noticing? I agree with others that the new maps are a backward step for Geocaching.com.

Because they have wretched PR and a bad attitude.

 

How can I say this any more clearly? You are not paying for the maps. You have never paid for the maps. Nobody pays for the maps. Nobody has ever paid for the maps. Groundspeak is not out to get you.

 

Rinse. Repeat.

 

If GS had stayed with Google, THEN you would be paying for the maps. Through the nose. And no doubt everyone would then start complaining about THAT - I know I would!

Does not change the fact that the maps were part of their service and changing it to an inferior product devalues their product as a whole.

If they stopped giving you fresh garlic bread at your favorite italian diner and instead started giving you garlic toast made with wounder bread it would devalue their restaurant as a whole. It does not matter if the garlic bread was free or not.

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Why didn't Groundspeak use the weekly newsletter to announce a change of this significance? Was it hoped that the change could be sneaked in without anybody noticing? I agree with others that the new maps are a backward step for Geocaching.com.

How would that have changed your experience?

Some advance notice would have made it less of a "what the heck is going on here" experience.

I don't think so, unless you had taken the time to go over to the newer map sites and look at them, which I suspect is not likely, and even if you had, you couldn't have changed the end result.

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If adding a PR department would mean an increase in the price of membership or something that actually affects my caching experiance, then I can deal with sudden changes... that don't actually affect my caching experiance. Like this one.

Well they can take part of the 30 million they are not going to spend on maps and give one or two people a job.

 

LOL!! Take some of the money you can't afford to spend on something and spend it on something else?

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Why didn't Groundspeak use the weekly newsletter to announce a change of this significance? Was it hoped that the change could be sneaked in without anybody noticing? I agree with others that the new maps are a backward step for Geocaching.com.

How would that have changed your experience?

Some advance notice would have made it less of a "what the heck is going on here" experience.

I don't think so, unless you had taken the time to go over to the newer map sites and look at them, which I suspect is not likely, and even if you had, you couldn't have changed the end result.

I don't disagree that it wouldn't have changed the end result but why are you trying to tell me what I would or would not have done?

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One of the best write-ups I have seen so far...

 

http://www.notaboutthenumbers.com/2012/02/16/new-geocaching-com-maps-and-the-google-issue/

 

Otherwise, +1 to Sioneva

I agree... nice, clear explanation, especially for those who didn't even know what an API is. Thanks!

 

Here is a quote from the article:

 

"Heck, if I was going to see an increase in operating costs for a business of US$2.9million a year, with no increase in revenue to make up for it, I’d say no too."

 

But why can't they increase their revenue? Offer up a maps option and charge for it. Some will pay, some won't but you'll increase your revenue and decrease Google map views at the same time. If as they say the premier licence is $10,000/year I'm sure 5,000 members would ante up an extra $5.00, heck I'd be willing to bet it would be a lot more and since it would only be a fraction of who used the maps before their map view cost would go down too.

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One of the best write-ups I have seen so far...

 

http://www.notaboutthenumbers.com/2012/02/16/new-geocaching-com-maps-and-the-google-issue/

 

Otherwise, +1 to Sioneva

I agree... nice, clear explanation, especially for those who didn't even know what an API is. Thanks!

 

Here is a quote from the article:

 

"Heck, if I was going to see an increase in operating costs for a business of US$2.9million a year, with no increase in revenue to make up for it, I’d say no too."

 

But why can't they increase their revenue? Offer up a maps option and charge for it. Some will pay, some won't but you'll increase your revenue and decrease Google map views at the same time. If as they say the premier licence is $10,000/year I'm sure 5,000 members would ante up an extra $5.00, heck I'd be willing to bet it would be a lot more and since it would only be a fraction of who used the maps before their map view cost would go down too.

People keep tossing around the "maps option and charge for it" idea like it could be implemented tomorrow - that's a pipe dream! It would take a lot of man-hours to program, many more to test (which means people paying extra for possibly buggy service for a while) and headaches from people switching to which level service and other complaining about $$/maps/service (just like they are doing now - but more so).

 

There are so many other options to use for maps, I can't see where the anger over such a change comes from. I use MS Streets & Trips, MapSource with both city maps and locally produced trail maps (NW Trails), NG Topo!, and online sat views - the maps on GC.com are a very small part of the equation. GC.com has had to adapt to a changing world (many times) and so do we - get over yourselves already, it's not the end of the world.

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One of the best write-ups I have seen so far...

 

http://www.notaboutthenumbers.com/2012/02/16/new-geocaching-com-maps-and-the-google-issue/

 

Otherwise, +1 to Sioneva

I agree... nice, clear explanation, especially for those who didn't even know what an API is. Thanks!

 

Here is a quote from the article:

 

"Heck, if I was going to see an increase in operating costs for a business of US$2.9million a year, with no increase in revenue to make up for it, I’d say no too."

 

But why can't they increase their revenue? Offer up a maps option and charge for it. Some will pay, some won't but you'll increase your revenue and decrease Google map views at the same time. If as they say the premier licence is $10,000/year I'm sure 5,000 members would ante up an extra $5.00, heck I'd be willing to bet it would be a lot more and since it would only be a fraction of who used the maps before their map view cost would go down too.

People keep tossing around the "maps option and charge for it" idea like it could be implemented tomorrow - that's a pipe dream! It would take a lot of man-hours to program, many more to test (which means people paying extra for possibly buggy service for a while) and headaches from people switching to which level service and other complaining about $$/maps/service (just like they are doing now - but more so).

 

There are so many other options to use for maps, I can't see where the anger over such a change comes from. I use MS Streets & Trips, MapSource with both city maps and locally produced trail maps (NW Trails), NG Topo!, and online sat views - the maps on GC.com are a very small part of the equation. GC.com has had to adapt to a changing world (many times) and so do we - get over yourselves already, it's not the end of the world.

 

Firstly, they had lots of warning to come up with options but more importantly, great for the many other options, me, I want to come to 1 site and have things there for me (especially if they were there before). I have no problem paying for convenience.

 

I shop at grocery stores that charge more but have no line ups, I pay to have stuff delivered, I pay for oil changes and I pay for movers when I move and I'm not the only one so what may not be a big deal to you is an inconvenience to others. Yeah I'll get around it, but quite frankly I'm not happy that I have to.

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If as they say the premier licence is $10,000/year

It was if they signed up early on google was offering a lifetime unlimited pass for $10k/year, they most likely missed that boat but could possibly still get it if they are good at negotiating.

 

By the way, at $10k/year, that comes out to less than 10 cents per premium member per year (125,000 premium members currently). If GS cant handle such a minute change in their costs, something is seriously wrong with their business model.

 

One thing google has shown, is that they are HIGHLY negotiable if asked. There is no indication that GS has even asked.

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I work with companies like GS (no, they aren't a customer) for a living and I can tell you from deep subject matter expertise this is simply fundamentally flawed thinking. "We deliver our product primarily over the internet" is NOT a synonym for "inexpensive."

The flawed thought here is that there is no product, they are a listing service, they don't produce a thing, they LIST stuff that me and you produce.

Ah, the list *IS* the product.

Which has ZERO acquisition costs.

 

Again, products start from materials (if you made cakes you buy flour, if you make bouncy balls, you buy rubber), and those materials naturally have an acquisition cost, listing services don't have the same costs.

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Yes.. but my point is that the maps are not one of the things premium members are paying for. They are/were a free perk.

Its always been a fact here that the premium members are carrying the free members.

 

If it weren't for the paying members, not only would there not be maps, there wouldn't be anything.

 

So don't for a second assume that the premium members didn't pay for the site, its development, and so on.

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Yes.. but my point is that the maps are not one of the things premium members are paying for. They are/were a free perk.

Its always been a fact here that the premium members are carrying the free members.

 

If it weren't for the paying members, not only would there not be maps, there wouldn't be anything.

 

So don't for a second assume that the premium members didn't pay for the site, its development, and so on.

 

Yes, without premium members we'd be stuck with opencaching, don't under estimate us, we are willing to pay for great service but you have to figure out what that is.

 

Hint, hint: you're not even close..

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Yes.. but my point is that the maps are not one of the things premium members are paying for. They are/were a free perk.

Its always been a fact here that the premium members are carrying the free members.

 

If it weren't for the paying members, not only would there not be maps, there wouldn't be anything.

 

So don't for a second assume that the premium members didn't pay for the site, its development, and so on.

 

Yes, without premium members we'd be stuck with opencaching, don't under estimate us, we are willing to pay for great service but you have to figure out what that is.

 

Hint, hint: you're not even close..

 

Assuming that the $2.9 million a year figure is correct for what it would take to use the Google Maps services based on the number of hits it would generated, and that there are 125,000 premium members, if my math is right, that would require an increase of the premium membership fee to about $53. How many of those 125,000 members do you think will decide that $53 (which would probably be rounded up to $55) is just too much to pay? How many potential *new* memberships will be lost if the cost of a PM goes from $30 a year to $55 a year? Sure, GS can generate more revenue by increasing the PM cost, but that will only hold true if the number of memberships do not drop significantly and I suspect a near doubling of the price of membership would do that.

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Here is a quote from the article:

 

"Heck, if I was going to see an increase in operating costs for a business of US$2.9million a year, with no increase in revenue to make up for it, I’d say no too."

 

But why can't they increase their revenue? Offer up a maps option and charge for it. Some will pay, some won't but you'll increase your revenue and decrease Google map views at the same time. If as they say the premier licence is $10,000/year I'm sure 5,000 members would ante up an extra $5.00, heck I'd be willing to bet it would be a lot more and since it would only be a fraction of who used the maps before their map view cost would go down too.

Following that line of thinking then why doesn't GS offer each premium member feature à la carte? By charging $5 for each PM feature, if PMs sign up for all the features, GS could make a lot more money. I don't use every PM feature so it could end up saving some money.

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Assuming that the $2.9 million a year figure is correct for what it would take to use the Google Maps services based on the number of hits it would generated, and that there are 125,000 premium members, if my math is right, that would require an increase of the premium membership fee to about $53. How many of those 125,000 members do you think will decide that $53 (which would probably be rounded up to $55) is just too much to pay? How many potential *new* memberships will be lost if the cost of a PM goes from $30 a year to $55 a year? Sure, GS can generate more revenue by increasing the PM cost, but that will only hold true if the number of memberships do not drop significantly and I suspect a near doubling of the price of membership would do that.

That is also assuming that Google will not increase it's prices or change the pricing structure. I don't see why GS would want to tie the price of Premium Membership to the price that Google Maps charges. PM has been $30 for the last, what is it now, 8+ years. I can't think of too many things that I can buy now for the same price I bought it for 8 years ago.

Edited by Glenn
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