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Broomsticks

Groundspeak, PLEASE TALK TO US!

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I'm certain I'm not alone in becoming increasingly frustrated about the lack of feedback and information from Groundspeak about the overwhelming dissatisfaction of what looks to be the majority of Geocaching.com's users. As a Premium Member who gave money in good faith to use your service, when that service is seriously downgraded (in my opinion--here in the UK we have no satellite/hybrid maps, and MapQuest is not as accurate as it should be), you have an obligation to address our concerns with more than a "I hope you get used to the new maps." Tell us in plain words what you are doing to restore your service to its previous level, or say straight out that we're going to have to like it or leave it. The vague comments and subtle snipes I've seen from Groundspeak forum moderators are creating even more bad feelings and frustration amongst those who are unhappy about the changes, so instead of allowing them to continue to communicate in this manner, please, I'd like a member of Groundspeak who has the authority to speak on the company's behalf to address the Geocaching.com community.

 

To fellow Premium Members: I for one will not be giving any more money to Groundspeak unless the maps are sorted. I would like to let Groundspeak see how many others feel the same way. Please speak up on this thread to let them know if you will or will not be re-subscribing.

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Do you have any idea as to WHY they changed?

 

Do you realize how much time & effort it takes to work with a new system, get to know that system, and make changes to it? It's NOT just Groundspeak... It's an effort that involves other vendors/services & tons of poeple.

 

This hobby isn't about the maps. It's about finding caches..... I'm not about to let the map issue ruin the hobby.

 

Besides... If you use Firefox, there is a WORK AROUND (and its actually pretty dadgum good). I'm happy!!

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Yes, I'm perfectly aware of why the change has happened. And yes, having a husband who is the head of IT for a rather large company, I know how much effort it takes to implement a new system. My husband and his team work the lion's share of the bugs out before presenting that new system to his users. And they certainly wouldn't remove a function that a large section of his users considered to be imperative to the use of the system and just ask them to cope. To quote my husband, "I'd certainly be communicating with my users on a regular basis as to what was going on and what we are doing to correct it, otherwise I wouldn't have a job for long. This kind of pre-emptive action gives IT a bad name."

 

The fact that here in the UK MapQuest has a multitude of errors and we have no satellite view (not even one that takes hours to load) is, in my opinion, unacceptable. Of course this hobby is about the maps--it's how we find the caches! If you didn't use satellite maps as much as I do, well, good for you. That's your choice and your preference. I used them almost exclusively, I don't like the new, inaccurate maps, and I'm allowed to do so.

 

I'm running IE9, and am perfectly happy with it. I don't (and shouldn't be expected to) change my browser for accessibility to one site that used to work perfectly well when I paid my membership fee. Switching to FireFox is a lazy answer to the problem. Internet Explorer is still the most popular browser in the world, and should be supported. It is not, and shouldn't be, my job to fight the browser wars.

Edited by Broomsticks

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Yes, I'm perfectly aware of why the change has happened. And yes, having a husband who is the head of IT for a rather large company, I know how much effort it takes to implement a new system. My husband and his team work the lion's share of the bugs out before presenting that new system to his users. And they certainly wouldn't remove a function that a large section of his users considered to be imperative to the use of the system and just ask them to cope. To quote my husband, "I'd certainly be communicating with my users on a regular basis as to what was going on and what we are doing to correct it, otherwise I wouldn't have a job for long. This kind of pre-emptive action gives IT a bad name."

 

The fact that here in the UK MapQuest has a multitude of errors and we have no satellite view (not even one that takes hours to load) is, in my opinion, unacceptable. Of course this hobby is about the maps--it's how we find the caches! If you didn't use satellite maps as much as I do, well, good for you. That's your choice and your preference. I used them almost exclusively, I don't like the new, inaccurate maps, and I'm allowed to do so.

 

I'm running IE9, and am perfectly happy with it. I don't (and shouldn't be expected to) change my browser for accessibility to one site that used to work perfectly well when I paid my membership fee. Switching to FireFox is a lazy answer to the problem. Internet Explorer is still the most popular browser in the world, and should be supported. It is not, and shouldn't be, my job to fight the browser wars.

 

So what do you expect them to say? It still won't get fixed overnight.

 

Perhaps GOOGLE didn't communicate to Groundspeak soon enough that Groundspeak was able to get the lion's share of the bugs out before implementing. ???? Perhaps...Groundspeak's IT department has been busting their as#*'s just to get something in place??

 

I used the satellite maps all the time - the new maps do suck. You're right, you shouldn't have to change browers.... but, in the real world - If you want something bad enough and you want it NOW....you'll get firefox and the add-ons and move on.

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Yes, I'm perfectly aware of why the change has happened. And yes, having a husband who is the head of IT for a rather large company, I know how much effort it takes to implement a new system. My husband and his team work the lion's share of the bugs out before presenting that new system to his users. And they certainly wouldn't remove a function that a large section of his users considered to be imperative to the use of the system and just ask them to cope. To quote my husband, "I'd certainly be communicating with my users on a regular basis as to what was going on and what we are doing to correct it, otherwise I wouldn't have a job for long. This kind of pre-emptive action gives IT a bad name."

 

The fact that here in the UK MapQuest has a multitude of errors and we have no satellite view (not even one that takes hours to load) is, in my opinion, unacceptable. Of course this hobby is about the maps--it's how we find the caches! If you didn't use satellite maps as much as I do, well, good for you. That's your choice and your preference. I used them almost exclusively, I don't like the new, inaccurate maps, and I'm allowed to do so.

 

I'm running IE9, and am perfectly happy with it. I don't (and shouldn't be expected to) change my browser for accessibility to one site that used to work perfectly well when I paid my membership fee. Switching to FireFox is a lazy answer to the problem. Internet Explorer is still the most popular browser in the world, and should be supported. It is not, and shouldn't be, my job to fight the browser wars.

 

Sandy (Groundspeak employee) posted in several of the map complaint threads. Here is a link to one of the post (they were all the same post)

 

http://forums.Groundspeak.com/GC/index.php?showtopic=290410&view=findpost&p=4980846

 

BTW, try the OSM maps, I used them on my GPS when I was in England and they were accurate on all the roads I traveled.

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Internet Explorer is still the most popular browser in the world, and should be supported.

 

very wrong, as an IT person your husband should know

 

http://www.w3schools.com/browsers/browsers_stats.asp

 

i am not saying you should change your browser, i agree that GS should support all the popular ones...but saying that IE is the most popular its not true

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This hobby isn't about the maps. It's about finding caches..... I'm not about to let the map issue ruin the hobby.

 

 

I find the maps to be an important part of geocaching.

Edited by oaknest

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Sandy (Groundspeak employee) posted in several of the map complaint threads. Here is a link to one of the post (they were all the same post)

 

http://forums.Groundspeak.com/GC/index.php?showtopic=290410&view=findpost&p=4980846

In addition, Moun10bike, another Groundspeak employee, has been responding to many threads all over the place since the site update. Using the search feature you can easily get all his posts in one place.

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Internet Explorer is still the most popular browser in the world, and should be supported.
very wrong, as an IT person your husband should know

 

http://www.w3schools.com/browsers/browsers_stats.aspi

Note that w3schools.com is not a typical web site. Its users tend to be more aware of the various browsers available than most, and are not representative of the web at large.

 

Still, MSIE has been less than 50% of browser usage for a while now, and more representative statistics show a trend that will have it losing the top share in a few more months.

 

Regardless, Groundspeak did not tell anyone to use the Firefox plugin. The Firefox plugin is something that was developed by the Firefox community. Groundspeak did not provide it, and is not recommending that anyone change browsers to use it.

 

This hobby isn't about the maps. It's about finding caches..... I'm not about to let the map issue ruin the hobby.
As a geocacher that has a lot more finds this month than you have total, let me tell you that the maps are a MAJOR part of the hobby. And these new maps are putting a serious damper on a hobby I enjoy so much.
It's not about the numbers.

 

:P SICNR...

 

Seriously, there are feature suggestion threads for allowing people who want the Google maps back to pay for a Premium Plus membership that would cover the extra costs of providing them. Personally, I'd rather not pay extra for maps I hardly used.

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Another key part of the communication for the mapping changes is OpinioNate's thread in the Announcements forum. Among other things, from that thread we know we can look forward to Groundspeak's implementation of an in-house tile server as a way to increase map performance.

 

We also know that some of the issues with mobile device mapping have been resolved and will roll out in the next release.

 

As for advance notice, we have known for quite some time from posts in these forums that Groundspeak was hard at work on changes to the mapping tools.

 

What you will NOT find is any post from Groundspeak that recommends switching over to Firefox and a Greasemonkey script as a means for improving mapping functions. What the OP calls the "lazy answer" is not coming from Groundspeak.

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Back when I first started caching, I don't remembeer there being any link to Google maps (I'm not even sure Google Maps was invented yet)

 

I used to manually enter all my waypoints into the mapping software for my GPS and print out the Cache pages for the other information I might need.

 

Now some years later I return to the sport and find these "new" maps and am blown away. Searching for Geocaches to find via a map that shows you where they are? Whodathunkit!?

 

Now, I know that if these maps were powered by google maps as I'm hearing they used to be, they would be much more powerful, but Google decided that the people who were heavily hitting the google maps servers needed to pay for the service. Groundspeak opted for the less expensive option. I can't blame either company for their decisions.

 

But we do have some sort of work around for Firefox, and there are other ways to compile your mapping. Yeah, change sucks - but it is what it is.

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Another key part of the communication for the mapping changes is OpinioNate's thread in the Announcements forum. Among other things, from that thread we know we can look forward to Groundspeak's implementation of an in-house tile server as a way to increase map performance.

 

 

For a guy who's not all that tech savvy with these sorts of things, can someone shed a light on exactly what an "in-house tile server" entails and how it will improve the maps? It seems logical to me that whatever in-house option Groundspeak comes up with will not include a viable aerial option for Canada (and elsewhere that seems to lack this ability now) while looking at beta maps and PQs, but perhaps I'm wrong on this?

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Funny - I thought they were doing a great job of communication. While I am not very thrilled with the new maps via the website - it still remains easy enough to drop a new PQ into Google Earth and get just what I want.

 

Going from essentially zero cost for mapping to $2 million plus (possible) forced an undesirable change. Given what we used to have for maps around here - I am not upset in the least.

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For a guy who's not all that tech savvy with these sorts of things, can someone shed a light on exactly what an "in-house tile server" entails and how it will improve the maps?

As it is right now, when you view the maps, another website is serving up the map tiles. Some of them (Mapquest) seem fairly slow, and others (OSM) have limited resources and may not be able to handle the increased load for long. Having an in-house tile server will move this load away from these other providers and onto their own, presumably faster, server. I suspect this could also include the ability to customize how the maps are rendered (ie. what colours/patterns are used for roads, parks, trails, etc.).

This would all be dealing with the OpenStreetMap data, though, so aerial images aren't covered by this.

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The new maps are useless within the UK.

 

For me it was all about the maps. How can you plan a day's caching without a map?

 

I wish I hadn't renewed my membership for what is now a downgraded service.

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I am a confused newbie so please bear with me.

 

I really have no idea what everyone is complaining about. I have been using Neongeo on my Android phone (which uses google maps) for weeks with no problems (although just today I have been receiving timeout errors when downloading new caches, bit have not had any problems otherwise. What exactly is everyone complaining about?!

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As for advance notice, we have known for quite some time from posts in these forums that Groundspeak was hard at work on changes to the mapping tools.

That's a bit of a stretch at best and it's completely irrelevant to the vast majority who read the forums rarely, if at all.

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If you are using the Firefox browser you can add a whole range of maps to the beta maps by adding user scripts. You can add a little widget called Greasemonkey which makes it really easy to do this. Currently I have OS, Bing aerial, google, google sat, google hybrid and google terrain plus a couple of others too. Really easy to do and works perfectly even on my very very old PC. There are also loads of other scripts to enhance how you view and use the website. As for the debate about switching browsers, adding firefox takes about 5 minutes, is free and you don't have to set it as your default browser. The scripts can also run in Chrome.

Edited by Dibbleys

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