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Fantastic Cache Page Layouts


blandestk
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Forgive me if there is an ample thread on this subject in the past, I could not find it. If it exists, please point me to it!

 

What are some of the best cache pages you have seen? I'm thinking about well formatted, creative cache pages that look good. Looking for some great examples!

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Keep in mind that your cache description will be viewed with devices ranging from modern web browsers running on 30" displays down to GPS receivers that display only what appears in the GPX file from a Pocket Query. IME, simple layouts work best across such a wide range of environments. Use basic markup like paragraphs and lists, with an inline image or three if their content is relevant to your cache description.

 

I do recommend specifying a background image. If you have one that matches the theme of your cache, then use that. Otherwise, use one that matches the green background at the top and bottom of the page. For example, compare these two pages when viewed in browser windows that are wider than the page layout:

http://coord.info/GC1HQ1W

http://coord.info/GCZXNA

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I appreciate the thoughts, but I was simply thinking more about cache pages that use the limited html capabilities creatively or are appealing. I realize things look different on different devices, I was just wondering if people recall specific pages that stand out from the crowd.

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Not to put a damper on the subject, but please keep in mind that although creative page designs look great on the computer, they come across as a page full of HTML tags for paperless cachers in the field. Sometimes cache descriptions can be nearly unreadable on my Oregon 400t.

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Not to put a damper on the subject, but please keep in mind that although creative page designs look great on the computer, they come across as a page full of HTML tags for paperless cachers in the field. Sometimes cache descriptions can be nearly unreadable on my Oregon 400t.

Gotta go with hzoi on this one; and not only for Oregons. Here's a screenshot of a 62s displaying what appears to be an unfortunate overuse of HTML:

 

GC2F41T.jpg

 

As well-designed and "pretty" as pages like this may appear on a computer, they certainly generate some angst in me when seeing this display while searching for them.

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Not to put a damper on the subject, but please keep in mind that although creative page designs look great on the computer, they come across as a page full of HTML tags for paperless cachers in the field. Sometimes cache descriptions can be nearly unreadable on my Oregon 400t.

Gotta go with hzoi on this one; and not only for Oregons. Here's a screenshot of a 62s displaying what appears to be an unfortunate overuse of HTML:

 

GC2F41T.jpg

 

As well-designed and "pretty" as pages like this may appear on a computer, they certainly generate some angst in me when seeing this display while searching for them.

 

I was hoping someone would post a screen shot to illustrate my point. Thanks.

 

I saw an earthcache recently that had the entire description in a JPEG. I had to print out the cache page in order to have the description in the field, which I found mildly ironic.

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I try to use creativity and humor in my cache listings...basic HTML and images, but they pop a bit more than the basic text.

 

Examples:

 

My link

My link

My link

My link

My link

 

The first one hurts my eyes. Too much contrast with the hot pink/purple whatever color it is.

The last two have the one thing on them that will absolutely ruin any cache page design. Marquee, or moving text should be abolished. I personally can't stand anything moving on a page that I am trying to read, but text bouncing back and forth is horrible.

 

Other than that, they are good pages and I appreciate the effort to spice things up. You really should do something about all those DNFs on the first one.

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GC2F41T.jpg

 

As well-designed and "pretty" as pages like this may appear on a computer, they certainly generate some angst in me when seeing this display while searching for them.

Well, that certainly "stands out from the crowd", although not in a good way...

 

I don't have one of these units but almost all of my friends do. I find it strange that I have never heard anyone ever complain about this. I just took a quick look around the GSAK forums and found an export macro that adds html to make the font bigger on the Oregon display. This leads me to believe that these units should handle html. Perhaps a setting?

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Not to put a damper on the subject, but please keep in mind that although creative page designs look great on the computer, they come across as a page full of HTML tags for paperless cachers in the field.

Not to be contrary, but actually I don't think cramming a bunch of HTML into a description make the description look that great to begin with. I'd much rather have a simple, clear layout than a bunch of images, tables, font changes, and whatever else the CO has learned about lately. That just adds junk I have to wade through to find the actual information about the cache.

 

Not to minimize your point about the HTML gumming up text based presentations, such as GPSr displays, but personally I think it usually gums up the display back home on the computer, too, just in a different way.

 

OMG, I can't believe someone actually suggested using a green background just to make the margins that sickly green to match the top instead of leaving it white to match the text field.

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[The last two have the one thing on them that will absolutely ruin any cache page design. Marquee, or moving text should be abolished. I personally can't stand anything moving on a page that I am trying to read, but text bouncing back and forth is horrible.

 

Other than that, they are good pages and I appreciate the effort to spice things up. You really should do something about all those DNFs on the first one.

 

I tend to agree about the marquee text. At the time it seemed a fun thing to do, but I have been removing the bounce. Thanks for your feedback.

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Not to put a damper on the subject, but please keep in mind that although creative page designs look great on the computer, they come across as a page full of HTML tags for paperless cachers in the field. Sometimes cache descriptions can be nearly unreadable on my Oregon 400t.

Noted...I create pages that I would like to see and I have fun with it, which is the point for me.

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http://www.geocaching.com/seek/cache_details.aspx?guid=daae91dc-4fc3-4e43-a525-badec8c82efe

 

Not the best cache page ever, but a good example of what I like to see as far as formatting. A little html goes a long way.

 

Lots of paragraph breaks, making it easier to read

Horizontal lines to break into different sections

Colorful/relevant background image

Unordered and ordered lists

Image embedded on cache page

Use of bold or capitalized text to emphasize important points

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I also believe that tables, images, illustrations, etc. can be very helpful with Earthcaches and puzzles. Obviously a lot of folks don't like the HTML code, but for me, as an artist, I actually enjoy looking at the colorful and creative pages. It's just an added element of fun to the whole experience. I've awarded favorite points on the creativity of a page layout.

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Not to put a damper on the subject, but please keep in mind that although creative page designs look great on the computer, they come across as a page full of HTML tags for paperless cachers in the field. Sometimes cache descriptions can be nearly unreadable on my Oregon 400t.

I'm curious how you're downloading and loading caches into your Oregon. Through testing, I've determined the following HTML behaviour depending on the method used to download the cache to my Oregon 450 (behaviour may be different for other models):

-The "GPX file" button on the cache page: HTML is ignored by the Oregon

-The "Send to My GPS" button on the cache page: HTML is not ignored by the Oregon

-Pocket Queries: HTML is ignored by the Oregon

-API (using GSAK): HTML is ignored by the Oregon

 

That is, through my testing, the only way the HTML shows up while viewing the description on my GPS is if a cache is loaded using the "Send to My GPS" button.

 

I also determined that the only difference between the "Send to My GPS" version and the others is that the "&" (ampersand sign) is replaced by the "&" HTML entity in that version. I'm guessing that the Oregon is programmed to look for HTML to ignore, but doesn't recognize the HTML properly when this entity is used.

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Not to put a damper on the subject, but please keep in mind that although creative page designs look great on the computer, they come across as a page full of HTML tags for paperless cachers in the field. Sometimes cache descriptions can be nearly unreadable on my Oregon 400t.

I'm curious how you're downloading and loading caches into your Oregon. Through testing, I've determined the following HTML behaviour depending on the method used to download the cache to my Oregon 450 (behaviour may be different for other models):

-The "GPX file" button on the cache page: HTML is ignored by the Oregon

-The "Send to My GPS" button on the cache page: HTML is not ignored by the Oregon

-Pocket Queries: HTML is ignored by the Oregon

-API (using GSAK): HTML is ignored by the Oregon

 

That is, through my testing, the only way the HTML shows up while viewing the description on my GPS is if a cache is loaded using the "Send to My GPS" button.

 

I also determined that the only difference between the "Send to My GPS" version and the others is that the "&" (ampersand sign) is replaced by the "&" HTML entity in that version. I'm guessing that the Oregon is programmed to look for HTML to ignore, but doesn't recognize the HTML properly when this entity is used.

That is very thorough information.

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Yep, another NM log from a DNF. Don't understand how a cacher who doesn't find the cache knows whether it needs maintenance.

I wasn't really thinking about the NM log, but rather the 6 DNFs over the last 6 months since the last find, compared to 2 DNFs in the first 20 logs. If I saw that on a cache around here, I wouldn't even consider going to look for it, because it sure sounds like it's missing. A check by you and a Note/Owner Maintenance confirming its presence or absence would go a long way.

 

Also, while we're talking about HTML and page layouts, I'd like to suggest that you remove some of the very extensive stats from your profile. On my work computer this morning, it took several minutes to load and froze my computer several times. Even at home tonight on my fast computer and high-speed connection, it took over a minute to load and threw a "script is taking too long" warning once.

 

Just a couple of friendly suggestions. No malice intended. :D

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Yep, another NM log from a DNF. Don't understand how a cacher who doesn't find the cache knows whether it needs maintenance.

Also, while we're talking about HTML and page layouts, I'd like to suggest that you remove some of the very extensive stats from your profile. On my work computer this morning, it took several minutes to load and froze my computer several times. Even at home tonight on my fast computer and high-speed connection, it took over a minute to load and threw a "script is taking too long" warning once.

I've played with the script error problem. I stripped the plugins from the GSAK stats and the error disappeared. As soon as I added just one of them, it didn't matter which one, the error was back. I'm at a loss how to change it.

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I've played with the script error problem. I stripped the plugins from the GSAK stats and the error disappeared. As soon as I added just one of them, it didn't matter which one, the error was back. I'm at a loss how to change it.

Interesting. It's a Google Maps API script that's causing the warning for me, but it's hard to say why it's happening.

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As a web content person, I also appreciate a simple, well-formatted cache page that looks good on any device. Large text sizes are not user-friendly even on my large PC screen, and neon text colors are hard to read.

 

I still hand-code most of my HTML to prevent unnecessary tags, and stick with the core stuff that works well to organize the content: subheads, bold, bullets, horizontal rules, touches of color. Pictures when appropriate, but not so large you have scroll to find the text.

 

I'll toss out a couple of mine, since we're sharing:

 

A Mountain Mosaic

Turntable

Edited by hydnsek
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Thanks so far for the examples from those who provided some. There are certainly a range of styles and opinions out there and multiple avenues can create pleasing pages.

 

It seems to me that having problem viewing a cache page on your unit is more a personal problem than it is a fault of the cache owner. Coding for multiple web browsers is bad enough, let alone having to make sure everything looks good on every single GPS unit. Seems there are some fixes for the Oregon problems out there, in addition.

 

I didn't intend this to be a critiquing thread. I was simply looking for some good examples of what people think are nice pages. Please keep them coming if you have any.

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As a web content person, I also appreciate a simple, well-formatted cache page that looks good on any device. Large text sizes are not user-friendly even on my large PC screen, and neon text colors are hard to read.

 

I still hand-code most of my HTML to prevent unnecessary tags, and stick with the core stuff that works well to organize the content: subheads, bold, bullets, horizontal rules, touches of color. Pictures when appropriate, but not so large you have scroll to find the text.

 

I'll toss out a couple of mine, since we're sharing:

 

A Mountain Mosaic

Turntable

Yep, those are very clean. The EC looks like an interesting one...popular, also.

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I've played with the script error problem. I stripped the plugins from the GSAK stats and the error disappeared. As soon as I added just one of them, it didn't matter which one, the error was back. I'm at a loss how to change it.

Interesting. It's a Google Maps API script that's causing the warning for me, but it's hard to say why it's happening.

I've seen it on plenty of other profiles. I assumed it was an IE issue...maybe not?

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OMG, I can't believe someone actually suggested using a green background just to make the margins that sickly green to match the top instead of leaving it white to match the text field.

LOL. That used to be the default layout for all cache pages that didn't have background images. You should have seen the uproar that was created when they changed it.

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A couple more of mine. The first is from a series. I create the page in Publisher, then save as a .jpg, then upload to the cache page. I'm not sure how it looks on other people's screens, but it looks good on mine. Below the image is white text, which is a summary of the information above and goes on the GPS. In order to the color for the background, I sampled the color in the geocaching banner at the top of the page. The 2nd link is for an earth cache.

 

http://www.geocaching.com/seek/cache_details.aspx?guid=263f4f5c-fc24-4f27-9f2b-beb7a5cc3188

 

http://www.geocaching.com/seek/cache_details.aspx?guid=bf0053be-692d-44ea-8b60-34380bee583a

Edited by The_Incredibles_
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A couple more of mine. The first is from a series. I create the page in Publisher, then save as a .jpg, then upload to the cache page. I'm not sure how it looks on other people's screens, but it looks good on mine. Below the image is white text, which is a summary of the information above and goes on the GPS. In order to the color for the background, I sampled the color in the geocaching banner at the top of the page. The 2nd link is for an earth cache.

 

http://www.geocaching.com/seek/cache_details.aspx?guid=263f4f5c-fc24-4f27-9f2b-beb7a5cc3188

 

http://www.geocaching.com/seek/cache_details.aspx?guid=bf0053be-692d-44ea-8b60-34380bee583a

Those pages are a hideous mess of HTML and practically unreadable on a paperless unit.

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A couple more of mine. The first is from a series. I create the page in Publisher, then save as a .jpg, then upload to the cache page. I'm not sure how it looks on other people's screens, but it looks good on mine. Below the image is white text, which is a summary of the information above and goes on the GPS. In order to the color for the background, I sampled the color in the geocaching banner at the top of the page. The 2nd link is for an earth cache.

 

http://www.geocaching.com/seek/cache_details.aspx?guid=263f4f5c-fc24-4f27-9f2b-beb7a5cc3188

 

http://www.geocaching.com/seek/cache_details.aspx?guid=bf0053be-692d-44ea-8b60-34380bee583a

Those pages are a hideous mess of HTML and practically unreadable on a paperless unit.

 

Which GPS are you using? They read beautifully on my Oregon 550. I'm happy to upload screenshots if you don't believe me.

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A couple more of mine. The first is from a series. I create the page in Publisher, then save as a .jpg, then upload to the cache page. I'm not sure how it looks on other people's screens, but it looks good on mine. Below the image is white text, which is a summary of the information above and goes on the GPS. In order to the color for the background, I sampled the color in the geocaching banner at the top of the page. The 2nd link is for an earth cache.

 

http://www.geocaching.com/seek/cache_details.aspx?guid=263f4f5c-fc24-4f27-9f2b-beb7a5cc3188

 

http://www.geocaching.com/seek/cache_details.aspx?guid=bf0053be-692d-44ea-8b60-34380bee583a

Those pages are a hideous mess of HTML and practically unreadable on a paperless unit.

 

Which GPS are you using? They read beautifully on my Oregon 550. I'm happy to upload screenshots if you don't believe me.

eTrex 30.

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A couple more of mine. The first is from a series. I create the page in Publisher, then save as a .jpg, then upload to the cache page. I'm not sure how it looks on other people's screens, but it looks good on mine. Below the image is white text, which is a summary of the information above and goes on the GPS. In order to the color for the background, I sampled the color in the geocaching banner at the top of the page. The 2nd link is for an earth cache.

 

http://www.geocaching.com/seek/cache_details.aspx?guid=263f4f5c-fc24-4f27-9f2b-beb7a5cc3188

 

http://www.geocaching.com/seek/cache_details.aspx?guid=bf0053be-692d-44ea-8b60-34380bee583a

Those pages are a hideous mess of HTML and practically unreadable on a paperless unit.

 

Which GPS are you using? They read beautifully on my Oregon 550. I'm happy to upload screenshots if you don't believe me.

eTrex 30.

 

What do they look like on your eTrex? Can you show an example?

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Those pages are a hideous mess of HTML and practically unreadable on a paperless unit.

Which GPS are you using? They read beautifully on my Oregon 550. I'm happy to upload screenshots if you don't believe me.

eTrex 30.

That's odd. The eTrex 10, 20, and 30 came out in 2011, a few years after the Oregons, which deal with HTML just fine. I wonder why they don't parse the description in the same way? See post #24 for a description of how HTML is handled on my Oregon.

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Those pages are a hideous mess of HTML and practically unreadable on a paperless unit.

Which GPS are you using? They read beautifully on my Oregon 550. I'm happy to upload screenshots if you don't believe me.

eTrex 30.

That's odd. The eTrex 10, 20, and 30 came out in 2011, a few years after the Oregons, which deal with HTML just fine. I wonder why they don't parse the description in the same way? See post #24 for a description of how HTML is handled on my Oregon.

Ah, post #24 explained the problem, a simple case of PICNIC (Problem In Chair, Not In Computer).

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I used to use a online HTML editor for my cache pages and they looked great on the computer but a few cachers emailed to let me know that their paperless units came up blank or with unreadable HTML when viewed. At first I thought tough luck, I like to make pretty cache pages (and I didn't have a paperless unit so I couldn't feel their pain), but working with one of the cachers I realized what part of the HTML was causing the problem (the HTML editor was designed for ebay listings and always used unecessary "Table" tags which was causing the problem). I removed them and still had my pretty cache pages and kept my local cachers happy. And now that I have an Oregon I can understand where they were coming from.

 

Here are a couple of mine. Nothing too crazy. I like to use different colors and font sizes and almost always include a pic that is relevent to the hide.

 

http://www.geocaching.com/seek/cache_details.aspx?guid=a4571015-3ec6-4a54-a68e-4377d7c8e1a0

 

This one was meant to be annoying thus the tough to read font. I didn't purposely made the description using .jpeg files in order to piss people off. It was the only way I could get the effect I was going for.

 

http://www.geocaching.com/seek/cache_details.aspx?guid=8ef0e0e9-11b6-4466-a925-2258272f8a8f

 

I am sure not everyone appreciates this but I often like to tell a story in my description (and I appreciate reading other's stories as well). Since I usually read the cache pages of the caches I plan to seek before heading out(and I am not a huge numbers run cacher) I don't get frustrated with having to read through a long description to get to the nitty gritty.

http://www.geocaching.com/seek/cache_details.aspx?guid=8717e092-e6fd-4545-b58c-591f2efa68b0

Edited by slukster
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I used to use a online HTML editor for my cache pages and they looked great on the computer but a few cachers emailed to let me know that their paperless units came up blank or with unreadable HTML when viewed. At first I thought tough luck, I like to make pretty cache pages (and I didn't have a paperless unit so I couldn't feel their pain), but working with one of the cachers I realized what part of the HTML was causing the problem (the HTML editor was designed for ebay listings and always used unecessary "Table" tags which was causing the problem). I removed them and still had my pretty cache pages and kept my local cachers happy. And now that I have an Oregon I can understand where they were coming from.

 

Here are a couple of mine. Nothing too crazy. I like to use different colors and font sizes and almost always include a pic that is relevent to the hide.

 

http://www.geocaching.com/seek/cache_details.aspx?guid=a4571015-3ec6-4a54-a68e-4377d7c8e1a0

 

This one was meant to be annoying thus the tough to read font. I didn't purposely made the description using .jpeg files in order to piss people off. It was the only way I could get the effect I was going for.

 

http://www.geocaching.com/seek/cache_details.aspx?guid=8ef0e0e9-11b6-4466-a925-2258272f8a8f

 

I am sure not everyone appreciates this but I often like to tell a story in my description (and I appreciate reading other's stories as well). Since I usually read the cache pages of the caches I plan to seek before heading out(and I am not a huge numbers run cacher) I don't get frustrated with having to read through a long description to get to the nitty gritty.

http://www.geocaching.com/seek/cache_details.aspx?guid=8717e092-e6fd-4545-b58c-591f2efa68b0

 

Most of my cache pages are pretty consistent. I change the font and the font size, add a header rule and then a linked image for our local caching group. I use a Firefox html add-on that lets me edit in the form. It is very conservative and probably adds about 100 bytes of html. I used to do the exact same thing using Frontpage and it would give me about 5K of code to copy over. Not all editors are created equally.

Edited by Don_J
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I tend to agree about the marquee text. At the time it seemed a fun thing to do, but I have been removing the bounce. Thanks for your feedback.

This is exactly what I find about so much web content: people do things because it seemed like a fun thing to do, not because it improves the content. Marquee text is a perfect example, but I react the same was when I see the text size increased or the color changed just because.

 

I also believe that tables, images, illustrations, etc. can be very helpful with Earthcaches and puzzles.

Yes, absolutely for sure. There are definitely good uses for all these features. It's the web pages that just use them to use them that annoy me.

 

Obviously a lot of folks don't like the HTML code, but for me, as an artist, I actually enjoy looking at the colorful and creative pages. It's just an added element of fun to the whole experience. I've awarded favorite points on the creativity of a page layout.

Creative pages are great! But putting in marquee text or using an odd font and making it purple doesn't automatically make a page creative. Quite the contrary, in fact.

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I tend to agree about the marquee text. At the time it seemed a fun thing to do, but I have been removing the bounce. Thanks for your feedback.

This is exactly what I find about so much web content: people do things because it seemed like a fun thing to do, not because it improves the content. Marquee text is a perfect example, but I react the same was when I see the text size increased or the color changed just because.

 

I also believe that tables, images, illustrations, etc. can be very helpful with Earthcaches and puzzles.

Yes, absolutely for sure. There are definitely good uses for all these features. It's the web pages that just use them to use them that annoy me.

 

Obviously a lot of folks don't like the HTML code, but for me, as an artist, I actually enjoy looking at the colorful and creative pages. It's just an added element of fun to the whole experience. I've awarded favorite points on the creativity of a page layout.

 

Creative pages are great! But putting in marquee text or using an odd font and making it purple doesn't automatically make a page creative. Quite the contrary, in fact.

 

I saw a page the other day that had pink text on a lime green background. I had to highlight it so I could read it.

 

I use this on my cache pages because it makes it easier for me to read them. My eyes are not as good as they used to be.

 

I hope that it's not too big or fancy.

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Try to keep my the best of both worlds.

 

Post backgrounds and a photo or two maybe. Give plenty of info for the cacher both at home or in the feild. Keep in mind that many cachers, myself included, cache paperless. In some case the first time I read the cache page may be on my GPS in the field.

 

Make sure all the extras you put on the cache page to make it look good on the computer don't mess it up on the small screen.

 

Also even if the cache page is written words, avoid the 1,000 work report that has nothing to do with the cache at all.

 

Do that and it is a fantastic cache page layout.

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I use this on my cache pages because it makes it easier for me to read them. My eyes are not as good as they used to be.

Looks fine. Just don't over do it. Some COs seem to think that if big is good, then bigger must be better, so the text gets so blown out of proportion I have to scroll to read each sentence.

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Not to put a damper on the subject, but please keep in mind that although creative page designs look great on the computer, they come across as a page full of HTML tags for paperless cachers in the field. Sometimes cache descriptions can be nearly unreadable on my Oregon 400t.

I'm curious how you're downloading and loading caches into your Oregon. Through testing, I've determined the following HTML behaviour depending on the method used to download the cache to my Oregon 450 (behaviour may be different for other models):

-The "GPX file" button on the cache page: HTML is ignored by the Oregon

-The "Send to My GPS" button on the cache page: HTML is not ignored by the Oregon

-Pocket Queries: HTML is ignored by the Oregon

-API (using GSAK): HTML is ignored by the Oregon

 

That is, through my testing, the only way the HTML shows up while viewing the description on my GPS is if a cache is loaded using the "Send to My GPS" button.

 

I also determined that the only difference between the "Send to My GPS" version and the others is that the "&" (ampersand sign) is replaced by the "&" HTML entity in that version. I'm guessing that the Oregon is programmed to look for HTML to ignore, but doesn't recognize the HTML properly when this entity is used.

 

Interesting. Thanks for experimenting. I tend to use pocket queries and GSAK rather than the Garmin plugin that "Send to My GPS" employs, so that would certainly explain why I keep seeing this issue.

 

This may be worth bringing up on the GSAK message board to see if they can work a fix -- it would seem the Garmin plugin is working as designed and GSAK's Garmin interface is not. Would you mind cross-posting your findings over there?

 

It seems to me that having problem viewing a cache page on your unit is more a personal problem than it is a fault of the cache owner.

I guess it is, but I think taking that attitude maybe misses the point of this activity.

 

If this was a game played solely in front of a computer screen and the object was to gaze upon beautifully crafted web pages, then I would agree that HTML should take precedence. My focus is on the part of the game that's played away from the computer.

 

I want people to find my caches, so I try to make them accessible to the widest audience possible. So when I encounter issues in the field, I try to eliminate them in my own caches. I have had issues with HTML displaying on my GPSr, so I tend not to use it. I have had issues with earthcache descriptions getting cut off before they got to the logging requirements, so not only do I put the logging requirements up front in my description, I also include them in the hint section (in brackets so they display as uncoded text).

 

To make an analogy, businesses that are customer focused tend to have more repeat customers than businesses that glorify their product and look down upon the end user. When you only market to yourself, you can only sell to people who share your taste. I operate under the assumption that geocaching works the same way, and so far I've gotten pretty good results. But your mileage may vary.

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