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DanPan

[FEATURE] Let premium members have access to google maps

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Let premium members have access to google maps, and non-premium members can have access to the poor-mans maps.

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+1 in the UK the mapquest aerial are no good below orbit. Tiling is incredibly slow (almost unusable) on the others.

Edited by The Frosties!

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Let premium members have access to google maps, and non-premium members can have access to the poor-mans maps.

 

I guess PMs would have to pay more than they pay now and that could only work with an opt-in/out solution and not by simply allowing all PMs access to the expensive Google maps.

Most of the accesses to the geocaching Google maps will come from PMs anyway as for basic members all caches are shown and the found ones cannot be filtered out.

 

Cezanne

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+1 for me too. I loved the old maps and I can't stand the new maps. Please, please, please! I can't express how much I loathe the new maps.

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I posted this idea on the GC.com Update thread, but perhaps it would have been better suggested here...

 

I think the new maps will likely be OK for the majority of users once the server load issues are worked out, but so far they are still painfully slow to work with.

 

If I may ask, are VR's now reviewing caches with these new maps or do their accounts still provide access to Google maps? I can't imagine their accounts would generate enough hits to push into the .35% and I would think these new maps aren't nearly as helpful and complete as the Google provided ones. If they are also using OSM, I suppose it makes Reviewer Notes on cache submissions that much more important as it pertains to land manager issues (ie. Railroad tracks or park boundaries that may not show up on these OSM tiles correctly).

 

I'm wondering also if a 3 tiered membership structure might work or was considered for the use of Google maps? There doesn't seem to be much question that their service is quite good (superior, perhaps?) to the rest of the mapping options available to the public, so perhaps leave it to the caching community to determine what level of service they'd be happy with and willing to pay for:

 

  1. Tier 1 - Premium Membership - Google map access, perhaps a few more PQ's run in one day and some extra value add options at GSP discretion: $50

  2. Tier 2 - Regular Membership - Access to PQ's x5 per day, OSM map tiling: $30

  3. Tier 3 - Basic Membership - No PQ's, OSM map tiling. This is your entry level free membership.

 

As others have mentioned, I'd also be willing to pay a premium to maintain the quality of maps that Google provides. I'm sorta surprised that some comminication to this effect wasn't asked of the general geocaching population to see if it would even be something that they might be interested in. While I don't understand fully the ramifications of Google's pricing structure with respect to how Groundspeak runs their accounting books, at face value, what I propose seems to be a sensible, viable option does it not?

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These new maps are horrible. As a premier member I think we should be getting something a lot better. Basically these maps are worthless. Get Google Maps back.

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I posted this idea on the GC.com Update thread, but perhaps it would have been better suggested here...

 

I think the new maps will likely be OK for the majority of users once the server load issues are worked out, but so far they are still painfully slow to work with.

 

If I may ask, are VR's now reviewing caches with these new maps or do their accounts still provide access to Google maps? I can't imagine their accounts would generate enough hits to push into the .35% and I would think these new maps aren't nearly as helpful and complete as the Google provided ones. If they are also using OSM, I suppose it makes Reviewer Notes on cache submissions that much more important as it pertains to land manager issues (ie. Railroad tracks or park boundaries that may not show up on these OSM tiles correctly).

 

I'm wondering also if a 3 tiered membership structure might work or was considered for the use of Google maps? There doesn't seem to be much question that their service is quite good (superior, perhaps?) to the rest of the mapping options available to the public, so perhaps leave it to the caching community to determine what level of service they'd be happy with and willing to pay for:

 

  1. Tier 1 - Premium Membership - Google map access, perhaps a few more PQ's run in one day and some extra value add options at GSP discretion: $50

  2. Tier 2 - Regular Membership - Access to PQ's x5 per day, OSM map tiling: $30

  3. Tier 3 - Basic Membership - No PQ's, OSM map tiling. This is your entry level free membership.

 

As others have mentioned, I'd also be willing to pay a premium to maintain the quality of maps that Google provides. I'm sorta surprised that some comminication to this effect wasn't asked of the general geocaching population to see if it would even be something that they might be interested in. While I don't understand fully the ramifications of Google's pricing structure with respect to how Groundspeak runs their accounting books, at face value, what I propose seems to be a sensible, viable option does it not?

$50 is way to much. Since they don't have a family plan that would be $100 a year for me and my wife.

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$50 is way to much. Since they don't have a family plan that would be $100 a year for me and my wife.

 

OK, I can understand the concern. Given that Groundspeak has made this switch as a result of excessive costs that would be incurred by them to continue to use the Google Maps with the existing $30 annual membership fee, what would you consider to be a reasonable cost option for your family?

 

I like your idea of a family plan. How would you structure it and what would you price it at?

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+1 for me too. I loved the old maps and I can't stand the new maps. Please, please, please! I can't express how much I loathe the new maps.

 

I also loved the old maps and these new maps really sucks. You really need to do something about this cause as it is now it just doesn't work. Now GC.com is not better than open caching.

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What's the point in paying premium membership fees if we don't get premium products. Google maps is far and away the best mapping tool online. I'll pay extra if needs be. The new maps are awful.

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Sounds great to me. By my back-of-the-envelope calculations, this could double the cost of Premium Membership as a worst case scenario, but more likely it would only increase Premium Membership cost by $10 or less per year.

 

Count me in.

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Let premium members have access to google maps, and non-premium members can have access to the poor-mans maps.

Sounds great to me. By my back-of-the-envelope calculations, this could double the cost of Premium Membership as a worst case scenario, but more likely it would only increase Premium Membership cost by $10 or less per year.

 

Count me in.

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How about if you pay extra for it and the rest who don't want it keep our $30 memerships. Something like Pay-per-view or Premium Plus Membership.

 

Just leave mine alone.

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More than willing to pay a few more bucks for decent maps and decent satellite/aerial/zoom resolution. You really need to consider making GoogleMaps a premium member only feature.

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How about if you pay extra for it and the rest who don't want it keep our $30 memerships. Something like Pay-per-view or Premium Plus Membership.

 

Just leave mine alone.

The point is that yours has not been left alone. Today Google Maps were removed for everyone.

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How about if you pay extra for it and the rest who don't want it keep our $30 memerships. Something like Pay-per-view or Premium Plus Membership.

 

Just leave mine alone.

The point is that yours has not been left alone. Today Google Maps were removed for everyone.

I'm talking about my fees.

 

 

...and I still have Google Maps for geocaches.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It's called GSAK.

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How about if you pay extra for it and the rest who don't want it keep our $30 memerships. Something like Pay-per-view or Premium Plus Membership.

 

Just leave mine alone.

The point is that yours has not been left alone. Today Google Maps were removed for everyone.

I'm talking about my fees.

 

...and I still have Google Maps for geocaches.

It's called GSAK.

 

GSAK is not an option for some, but I see your point. I use Google Maps outside of Groundspeak for most of geocaching planning, but I would still be happy to pay $10 more per year for P.M. if it kept the site in the 21st century.

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GSAK is not an option for some, but I see your point. I use Google Maps outside of Groundspeak for most of geocaching planning, but I would still be happy to pay $10 more per year for P.M. if it kept the site in the 21st century.

and I don't need it so why would I want to pay more for it?

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I agree with a point in the other thread about if google maps were limited just premium members I would suspect that the views would drop well away from the 2,000,000 views a day and likely not require a dramatic increase in fee if any.

 

There are darn few actual benefits to being a premium member at this point. Maybe it's time to actually give some benefits for being one.

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I agree with a point in the other thread about if google maps were limited just premium members I would suspect that the views would drop well away from the 2,000,000 views a day and likely not require a dramatic increase in fee if any.

 

There are darn few actual benefits to being a premium member at this point. Maybe it's time to actually give some benefits for being one.

Say what? Lets see, PQ's, Caches along a route, API access with GSAK, and bookmarks to mention a few. Those right there are worth the membership. Yeah, I lament the demise of Google Maps, but given what they cost I can manage just fine with what we have. Not enough coverage or detail? Okay, submit information to improve that. Others have indicated they will drop their premium memberships. I wonder if they will be saving money when you factor in the increased paper costs because they can load up their paperless GPS's before they go caching.

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I agree with a point in the other thread about if google maps were limited just premium members I would suspect that the views would drop well away from the 2,000,000 views a day and likely not require a dramatic increase in fee if any.

 

There are darn few actual benefits to being a premium member at this point. Maybe it's time to actually give some benefits for being one.

Say what? Lets see, PQ's, Caches along a route, API access with GSAK, and bookmarks to mention a few. Those right there are worth the membership. Yeah, I lament the demise of Google Maps, but given what they cost I can manage just fine with what we have. Not enough coverage or detail? Okay, submit information to improve that. Others have indicated they will drop their premium memberships. I wonder if they will be saving money when you factor in the increased paper costs because they can load up their paperless GPS's before they go caching.

 

As a premium member I never use GSAK because I can't figure it and as such do not use PQ's either. I originally got premium for caches along a route which I have used one time. So for techy people yeah your premium membership is worth something.

 

I don't have a paperless GPS and yet don't have paper costs. Well that was until I had an unusable application on my phone which also went to profit ground speak.

 

I would not kill them to give some good carrot out there for us who wouldn't mind maintaining a membership. I tolerate the horrendous change to those beta maps from what was a functional map only to not have, literally, an unusable map to view all the caches on. And since I use maps extensively when planning my cache trips this is actually pretty problematic for me and I'm sure other people (as evidenced by the complaints).

 

All I want is a map that god forbid actually loads in general but I really need aerial views to load too and I need a scale on there. I think it's wonderful that GSAK does that all. Just stupendous but I expect a little better from here if this is what they are going to use for status quo. If you want to keep paying for your member ship super. But I'm going to have seriously think about when it's time to renew which leaves ample time for some fixes to take place.

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I completely agree with everyone. These were all the map options I avoided. The beta map was the fastest way for me to get to these caches and plan a day. Now due to these dulled down maps, this feature has become useless due to extremely slow load times and washed out aerial maps. PLEASE bring back Googles map options!

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If the cost of PM access to Google Maps would significantly increase the cost of a premium membership, then I too would rather see a three-tiered system:

- Basic (free) members

- Premium (paid) members

- Premium Plus (paid extra) members

 

Those with Premium Plus membership could have access to Google Maps, and maybe additional benefits as suggested by Dr. House.

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+5

We would definitely pay more for our premium membership to get the google maps back. I don't mind when GS change things if it improves the hobby. These new maps are a HUGE step backwards and terrible to use. Please consider other options (like PM increase or a tiered payment or something) so that we can again access what used to be the best thing about geocaching.com for us - the ability to use the superior google maps.

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These new maps are the worst I've ever seen. How about using the Beta map with bing or another mapping tool that gives you satellite views. I really liked the new Beta maps for ease in making up a route. I'd pay $5-15/yr more for the option to get back the Beta w/google maps aw/sat coverage.

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Yeah, I lament the demise of Google Maps, but given what they cost I can manage just fine with what we have. Not enough coverage or detail? Okay, submit information to improve that.

And how exactly are you supposed to add detail to an area you've never been before?

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Groundspeak is charging premium price but not giving me premium service.

Please give me back google map!

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NOT happy the new maps are no good for me we pay we should have the best. if that cost more ask us if we would like to pay not just take it away this game would not be here if its not for the members so ask. things change yes! but we should go farwards not back.

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I am also in favor of Google maps being a premium member only feature. I dont like the new maps. now for the paying extra im a high school student without a job atm so i cannot afford to pay anymore than i am paying now. the fact that i am paying what i am paying should be enought to have google maps. its a good thing i also plug my pqs into google earth.

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I agree with a point in the other thread about if google maps were limited just premium members I would suspect that the views would drop well away from the 2,000,000 views a day and likely not require a dramatic increase in fee if any.

 

I do not think so at all. Using the personalized geocaching.com Google maps does not make much sense for basic members as all caches are displayed and the found ones are not

filtered out.

 

I definitely use Google maps for a single cache from time to time when I want to check the satellite view, but note that this link is still available on the cache pages (and even it will be eliminated one time, I can go to Google maps by myself and type in the coordinates - no big business involved).

What is missing since the last update is only the map showing all caches (subject to the filters set) in an area on Google maps, using this view makes mainly sense for a certain subgroup of PMs. This group would have to pay for the special service they want to have and splitting up the cost of 3 million dollar among this group would lead to quite a contribution for those PMs who want access to the personalized Google maps.

 

The percentage of PMs who are not willing to pay more than they have paid until now (when the Google maps did not cost anything) will not be sufficiently high to be on the safe side given the extreme growth rate of geocaching and the fact that Google could easily increase their charges after a while. The jump from zero cost to 3 million Dollar is quite a dramatic one.

 

Cezanne

Edited by cezanne

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What is a lot in your opinion? Perhaps Groundspeak could offer an opt in? The monthly bill from Google could be divided among those who wanted the service and they could be billed in advance. I started caching with a non mapping GPS and the old, old maps. I found caches. I planned trips and had fun. I don't understand the level of angst on this thread. Yes, I occasionally found the aerial view useful but you can always get it by using Google Earth or GSAK or other third party solutions. Groundspeak did not increase the cost of a premium membership when they improved the site. I paid $30 when I first used it with very poor maps and I'm stilling paying $30 will actually $90 since I pay for 3 memberships. The site offers me all the tools I need to find caches. I know Groundspeak devoted lots of development time to creating the custom maps and I'm sorry that changes in Google's business model have resulted in them having to make a change. As to what they spend my $90 a year, I expect it is keeping the site running, They never promised me continuous new features.

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Good grief - this is horrible!

We hadn't been online for a couple days and came back to find this map disaster this morning.

 

We are Premium Members, and - Yes, we would definitely pay a reasonable additional fee to access workable maps. This new map system is absolutely useless to us right now.

And there is no longer the lists of cache links on the sidebar.

And there is no way to open an icon to get to the cache description using an iPad - this alone will seriously hamper our ability to cache on the run. Now we will have to do a pocket query for every day we go caching.

 

This day in age we should be moving forward in technology usability - not backwards!

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According to this article (http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/10/27/google_maps_api_no_longer_free/) keeping Google Maps would cost $4 for every 1,000 visitors. If one in every 1,000 cachers is a PM, why not simply increase the PM cost from $30 to $35? Or increase the cost for PM to $35 and only let the PM use Google Maps.

 

I'm relatively new to Geocaching, and I have been spreading the word like crazy to my friends, family, and coworkers about how great the activity, community, and Groundspeak in general is, but this change has really frustrated me. With as slow and buggy as the maps are right now, I can't imagine those I talk to working through the pain of these maps to get started caching.

 

And just as a side-note, if Groundspeak had initially sent an email out to Premium Members explaining the situation and asking for a vote for poorer maps or increased cost, I am sure the majority would have been in favor of increased costs.

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According to this article (http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/10/27/google_maps_api_no_longer_free/) keeping Google Maps would cost $4 for every 1,000 visitors. If one in every 1,000 cachers is a PM, why not simply increase the PM cost from $30 to $35? Or increase the cost for PM to $35 and only let the PM use Google Maps.

 

Most of the views via the personalized cache maps are due to PMs anyway. You seem to ignore that a single cacher who is viewing at the map often and scrolling around, creates a lot more than one view per day. Currently there are 2 million views caused by gc.com per day and this is increasing exponentially.

 

There are many PMs who would not want to pay more - so your calculcation does not work out at all.

 

Cezanne

Edited by cezanne

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I understand the need to drop Google given the pricing issue, and the new road maps seem fine, though slower, but the main issue is the satellite maps are so so so slow to load that it's pointless to even use them. If you limit Google maps to just satellite and terrain maps, and only for premium members, perhaps this will enough to get out of that 0.35% of users and it will be free again. I really really miss Google's great terrain maps :-(

 

At the very least we need to get some usable satellite maps!

 

On the other side of things, THANK YOU SO MUCH, for finally bringing back mappable PQs. Hooray!

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I've only recently become a Premium Member and did so based on a few months usage of the Geocaching.com website. During this time I learnt about the features it offered and based my decision to join upon that experience. Now that I have paid my money, Groundspeak have removed part of the functionality I paid for. This was done without consent or (to my knowledge) notification.

 

I fully understand that Google have started charging for their maps, but you know what, I paid Groundspeak for a service which included these maps and now Groundspeak aren't delivering it. To me this seems very unfair.

 

I wonder how long it will be before OSM and MapQuest decide Groundspeak are outstaying their welcome and also start charging.

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Now that I have paid my money, Groundspeak have removed part of the functionality I paid for.

Your argument doesn't hold water. According to the Membership page, even basic users have access to maps, and nowhere on that page does it mention who the provider of said maps is. The only additional feature related to maps that you get for your $30 per year is the ability to filter geocaches on the map. That feature is still there.

 

Edit: rats. You have to log out of the site to see the information on the page I linked above. I can't find any way to see it while logged in <_<

Edited by Lil Devil

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I fully understand that Google have started charging for their maps, but you know what, I paid Groundspeak for a service which included these maps and now Groundspeak aren't delivering it. To me this seems very unfair.

 

Nowhere in the "Premium Membership" section does it say that a particular set of maps is a PM benefit.

 

http://support.Groundspeak.com/index.php?pg=kb.book&id=5

 

"Maps" are not exclusive to PM's, so I don't see the connection between the two.

 

There's nothing in your premium membership that has been compromised by this change.

 

 

B.

Edited by Pup Patrol

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According to this article (http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/10/27/google_maps_api_no_longer_free/) keeping Google Maps would cost $4 for every 1,000 visitors. If one in every 1,000 cachers is a PM, why not simply increase the PM cost from $30 to $35? Or increase the cost for PM to $35 and only let the PM use Google Maps.

 

Most of the views via the personalized cache maps are due to PMs anyway. You seem to ignore that a single cacher who is viewing at the map often and scrolling around, creates a lot more than one view per day. Currently there are 2 million views caused by gc.com per day and this is increasing exponentially.

 

There are many PMs who would not want to pay more - so your calculcation does not work out at all.

 

Cezanne

 

you may be right. My understanding was that it was per 1,000 visitors, not 1,000 visits. Regardless, this is obviously ruffling a LOT of feathers around here, and it'd be nice to know if we're just going to have to deal with this or if Groundspeak is looking into other options.

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I understand the issues relating to Google new cost structure but OSM is really lacking. I too agree that something needs to be done to get Google Maps back for Premium Members or a new tier needs to be created that gives access to "Super Premium" features such as this. Along with Google Maps access maybe the number of Pocket Queries allowed per day could be increased, and a few other little niceties could be added.

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I dont want to pay more for my premium membership. Instead why not get rid of the free membership. If you want to use the site and geocache then pay for a membership. I dont want to pay more while all the freeloaders continue to pay nothing.

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Im not paying more for my membership either. I just recently became convinced to spend the $30 based on the amount of PM Only caches in my area, and Groundspeak doesnt seem interested in adding features a lot of premium members might enjoy, and that might be relatively easy to integrate into the current game. I plan on just entering the coordinates into the maps section of google, which seems to work for now if I want to see a good aerial of the caches Im looking at. Good enough for me.

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