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Trading/Collecting/Display/Information-Tools for Coins


JoergWausW
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Hi,

 

there are a couple threads now about almost the same topic, so I thought it might be a good idea to talk about it at one place.

 

Here the status quo, from my point of view in Germany, not complete - and probably most likely pretty inaccurate

 

1) Geocaching.com provides a list of their icons. It contains icons without coins and is missing coins that are out there, because those are either not trackable or share one icon with others.

 

2) geocoincollection.com doesn't exist anymore, the URL is taken over by someone else now, over 9000 entries gone. Still a lot of links out there...

 

3) trackablegeocoins.wetpaint.com/ is a wiki-project to collect information about coins. Recent activity: almost none. Problem: consistency.

 

4) geotrackable.info/ was discussed here in the forum about a year ago, when there was new development. Trial phase for input of data. Only a few people volunteered. Trading features were planned. I emailed mekle recently but didn't get a response.

 

5) some coin stores have their archives or discontinued coins on display. Those lists are nice to have! But if the store is discontinued, the list is gone as well (like hogwildstuff.org)

 

currently active tools with trading options:

 

A ) cointracking.com is probably the oldest tool alive. Huge lists of collectors that are into it for a long time. They probably don't want to move their tremendous amount of data.

 

B ) mygeodb.de/ is a German database that started as a display/discovery tool. You can retrieve a list of discoverable tracking codes, if the coin owner gives you a password for his collection. Has public trading lists and a growing community.

 

C ) geocoincollector.com/ - you don't really know what is going on before you sign up. On the public pages you get information about the collection status of an item, nothing about the item itself but the name. Obviously that is about to change if there was a demand.

only 2 other members have agreed to have a link added to their page, and when I look at the logs, only one member is really using the site. So I'm happy to try to find time to improve the site to make it more usable for those who want to use it

This quote is the reason for this thread, because there is D ):

 

D ) geocointrader.net/: a lot happened here recently (after a long break), but only two people admitted in the forum that they like to perform administrative duties. Within a week, about 20 editions were added and one user. I posted suggestions for features in the related thread but got no feedback about it (am I too impatient? Or just missed? :unsure: ).

 

Probably there are more projects that I don't know.

 

So here are some questions:

- What features are considered successful, which ones are not necessary?

- Is there reserve, because most people don't want to input their collections in a system that might be discontinued? Or is it a lack of features?

- Should people join together for one project instead of three or more? How?

- Who is interested in such a tool at all? Especially a new one?

 

I hope there can be results achieved more efficiently if information and efford is put together. If there was lack of demand, ok.

 

My input about nice display-related features:

- There are several sites that are display-purpose only, mostly blogs or some flickr accounts. They usually just post what information they have, like newgeocoin.com - they even started an archive.

- I like the display at Danoshimano's collection.

- At last, I tried myself to start a display "tool" about a year ago here (JoergWausW). My interest is mainly a pure catalog, because my collection contains only of a couple event coins and gifts, but I like to look at the existing variety. So I started to collect information.

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4) geotrackable.info/ was discussed here in the forum about a year ago, when there was new development. Trial phase for input of data. Only a few people volunteered. Trading features were planned. I emailed mekle recently but didn't get a response.

 

Geotrackable.info is still ongoing - Mekle's been updating the code and adding data but things have slowed down over the last several months as there's a new baby in their house taking lots of attention away from the project. :)

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Hi,

 

As a starting coin collector i was looking for a tool to catalog and display my collection of seekers, traders and keepers to friends and after browing the internet i came to the conclusion there wan't a single tool that met my 'simple' needs, the one that came closest to what i wanted was the geocointraner.net solution (i like a lot of aspects of it) which has a, in my opinion, huge disadvantage and this is that the added coins/editions first need to be approved. The single coin i entered, i think it was a templar one, took a couple of days to get approved.

 

I am in the lucky position of being a php developer myself and decided to build a solution (based on a well known web CMS) for myself. Since this is not the right time and place to promote it i won't do so (yet :-) )

 

These are the things that come into my mind when thinking about a perfect solution (in random order).

 

1) Open, crowdsourced database

 

Data is entered by users based on trust and moderated by other (privileged) users, like the wikipedia concept.The data is not owned by anyone but the community. The project should be open source

 

2) Free of use

 

Anyone can use the data for whatever purposes.

 

3) Post 2010 user interface

 

The tool should have a easy to use and good looking interface for which you don't have to be a nerd to use it.

 

4) Connect users with offers and needs together

 

When a user marks a coin/edition as seeker the user should easily be notified of user who have the coin available and be able to connect to this person easily.

The trader can mark their coin as trade only or sellable for a certain price.

 

5) New geocoin notifications

 

I love the newgeocoin.com blog for information about new coins that are released, if only the site was in english :-)

When the coin vendors use the tool also and enter data about new coins we can all benefit: The vendors can promote their new coins, collectors see what new coins are interesting for their collection and the community has correct data in the database which comes right from the source.

 

6) Store user related additional data to collection items

 

Store additional information with the coin which can be private or public available. Examples are tracking code, personal note, price payed for it, position in which album etc.

 

7) API (Application programming interface)

 

Open up the data to third party applications like mobile/tablet devices.

 

8) Export to Excel/PDF.

 

Export your collection (or a selection of it) to Excel/PDF. Usable for trading meetings or insurance purposes (in combination with personal notes/images).

 

9) Social media.

 

Show off your new additions or seekers on social media like Twitter or Facebook.

 

These are just a couple of thoughts in a random order.

Edited by Dofferson
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I am in the lucky position of being a php developer myself and decided to build a solution (based on a well known web CMS) for myself. Since this is not the right time and place to promote it i won't do so (yet :-) )

 

(... long list ...)

 

These are just a couple of thoughts in a random order.

 

Thanks for your thoughts! There are a lot of good suggestions.

 

-> if you try to promote another tool, be aware that it will be hard to find people to crowd it, because you have to share people with the others.

 

As a starting coin collector i was looking for a tool to catalog and display my collection of seekers, traders and keepers to friends and after browing the internet i came to the conclusion there wan't a single tool that met my 'simple' needs, the one that came closest to what i wanted was the geocointraner.net solution (i like a lot of aspects of it) which has a, in my opinion, huge disadvantage and this is that the added coins/editions first need to be approved. The single coin i entered, i think it was a templar one, took a couple of days to get approved.

 

Probably the main purpose of approval is to make sure that coins are not entered twice. Problem: it will happen, when people use different names for the same coin - imagine there are already 2000 items in the system. Try to find the duplicate...

 

Maybe a good solution (for trackable coins only) would be this:

1) the owner has to enter either tracking code or TB-number. The system looks up (by that number) what Groundspeak-icon it belongs to and connects the item to it. This way the item has a definite position in the system and can be accessed.

2) There should be a list which coins and what editions of those coins can be found within that Groundspeak-name.

2a) if the list is already crowded, the user picks which variety he owns.

2b) if the owner has an item that is not listed yet, he may file a name and an edition for it - if that input has to be approved, the owner should be able to wait a couple days, since he can access his item using the default Groundspeak-name. Companies do the same for the icon they bought.

This would make approving easier as well, because there are probably never more than 100 different coin editions per icon to check for duplicates. Click here to see the maximum of editions I found so far for the same icon. There would be some issues that are to be considered, but it would be too long (and boring) to post this here.

 

Geotrackable.info is still ongoing - Mekle's been updating the code and adding data but things have slowed down over the last several months as there's a new baby in their house taking lots of attention away from the project. :)

 

Thanks for letting me know. When I talked to him at the Block Party last year, he told me that he's pretty busy at his job alone... I'm glad he's still around.

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-> if you try to promote another tool, be aware that it will be hard to find people to crowd it, because you have to share people with the others.

 

I totally agree,at this moment i have absolute no intentions of releasing another tool into geocoin land, i will be using this for myself since i can't seem to find a tool that has the features i like it to have. When a community based and open source project that suits my needs becomes available i will gladly transfer all the data i collected and put my time and effort into that project.

 

Probably the main purpose of approval is to make sure that coins are not entered twice. Problem: it will happen, when people use different names for the same coin - imagine there are already 2000 items in the system. Try to find the duplicate...

 

When you have user generated content there is always a risk of getting duplicates, like you said: it will happen. Personally i think that approval is not the way to go. I am more into a wikipedia kind of handling this. Duplicates and quality can be monitored and where needed changed by other users of the community. It all depends on the purpose of the tool, will it be some kind of reference tool with all known coins and editions in it or will it be a digital version of your own coin collection, in the last case duplicates are not that much of a problem.

 

I think the most important thing will be usability: If the user needs to do to many steps and wait before his collection is in some kind of application he/she will drop out. Not every coin collector is a techy or developer :-)

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I'm bringing this one to the top again, due to current discussions in other threads and to try a new overview of 'catalogue' sites, very likely not complete.

 

1) user generated content, based on individual collections only, limited options to post information about coins (usually only along with the owned item)

 

- cointracking.com (probably the oldest site, no obvious Groundspeak reference)

- mygeodb.de (currently only in german, contains a list of Groundspeak icons, you can connect your coins with the icons)

- geocoincollector.com (very limited information on public display)

 

2) user generated content sites:

 

- trackablegeocoins.wetpaint.com/ (not very active anymore)

- wiki.ssoca.eu/Hauptseite (current german wiki project, pretty new, contains english entries)

- geocointrader.net (based on coins, referencing Groundspeak's icons, good search options, requires review before information is published)

 

3) sites with content generated by few individuals (or just by one), aiming at collecting information of larger set of coins, based on icon/entry in geocaching.com's trackable environment, no user interface

 

- geocaching.com (almost complete list of their icons, list contains dummies), no non-trackables

- geotrackable.info (user interface is on the way)

- firststategeocoins.blogspot.com (state coins, trackable and non-trackable)

- nepomukhausen.de/Coins (my own silly project, contains some non-trackables, for now you're starting with the icons)

 

4) there are several sites that publish information about current releases - I didn't try to compile anything complete... every seller does this, some blogs collect these information - so no list here.

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- geocoincollector.com (very limited information on public display)

 

I admit the public display of my site is limited. But pretty much the main purpose is to display coins, so if you want to see what it looks like, check out the members page

(find a link on the main page, or click here to see mine: http://sirzman.geocoincollector.com). We have three main sections. Coins I'm keeping for display, coins I have released into the wild and Coins I am willing to Trade.

 

If you have questions, please feel free to ask and I'll do my best to answer.

Edited by sir_zman
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I have a friend that builds websites for a living, I am gonna send him the link to this thread and see what he says it would take to build a "tool" incorperating as many of the listed suggestions as possible. He has built and runs several Forum style sites currently.

 

As to the topic of this thread, I think a blend between the two main concepts I see posted here would be the best...

 

Concept 1: general data base of all coins made from their inception

 

Concept 2: personal digital data base of ones own collection.

 

So how I see this setup is that the main level is all the coins with the manufature name, their given icons and most current year produced/minted, then you click on either a name or icon and you get a list of all users with that coin and the name that each person changed their coin name to. If you click on the year you get a list of all coins produced/minted in that year.

 

This can be further refined by adding an intermediate page that gives you more details of each coin before going to the owner list. The general trackable page would have a stock photo of that trackable and more detailed info about it like how many were produced/minted(if known) dimentions, weight, manufacure description, known versions(if any), year(s) produced(if remade in other years), any other info a collector would want to know.

 

Under the owners name page in the "tool" would be a list of owned trackables with thier prospective icon. Owner contact info would be a link to their profile page either on geocaching.com or some other caching site that is out there. Each personal trackable page would be very basic to save on data space and could include info like where it was released, date activated, external link to it's trackable page.

 

This also could be expanded to include other trackables like vehicle tags, patches, travel bugs, pathtags, etc.

 

Just my 2 cents.

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So after a brief, or not so brief emailing to my friend, here is what he had to say about the project...

 

1 - Items need individual code/tracking. Barcode, numerical, whatever. That needs a database in itself just to register the items, etc..

2 - User database

3 - Front end / web interface that links it

 

Other things like location tracking, does it show on a mini-map like Google maps, etc.. all "features" that make a site like that attractive, and all things that take a lot of time for professionals to code and get right.

 

It's a huge undertaking for one main reason. Popularity. You know upfront you are building for a user base of 500,000 to a mil upfront. It will catch on fast. The server horsepower needed to back that is serious as well. It's not like a small 70k post message board like OO. You're talking legit 4 possibly 5 figure server numbers by the time it's in full swing. All that data communication costs $$.

 

There is really no way to estimate a project like that. You could code it cheap and dirty just raw text and do it pretty cheap. Or what most geocachers want, that full blown website with images of the items, last locations, etc.. the more "info" people want on a page the more it costs to develop and maintain.

 

------- after i read the thread

 

One thing I would fear is that if you have that many sites in that thread failing, why would another site not just fail like the rest of them? Granted, most of those sites sucked balls. There is the idea of developing a magical do it all site, spending lots of time and money, and then you hear crickets when the site releases.

 

people want notifications, they want it free to use (ok so who pays for them to coin-jerk themselves all day?), post 2010 interface obvious, social media no big deal, open data w/ an API system is a project to itself and is basically saying "hey you want it all free and you want to take our data to use how you like" ... greedy f***s a lot of them when you add up all of the "needs"

 

PS - that thread having like 8 posts in 7 months would scare the s*** out of anyone. it makes it feel like there is just no demand for the tool in the sense of someone spending time or money doing it. that's why you get random devs and web guys putting together bare bones setups. they don't want to undertake a huge project and lose all that time and make nothing from it.

 

i could be wrong, but that thread just says RRRUUUUNNNNN when people are admitting there is fragmentation in the people who enter stuff.. one of the sites has 1 guy entering data???? i would have a heart attack putting out a commercial site and having 1 guy using it.

 

another idea would be to setup a wordpress front-end w/ a membership plugin.. this way you can have free and paid members (paid get more features or whatever)

then you need a catalog/shopping cart plug in that gets heavily modified to fit the criteria

add in all the external design and whatnot.. boom you are done.

 

that gives you a blog front end with a working database. you leverage all of the user features of wordpress, all of the image handling, etc.. it takes tons of development time off but it's still a giant project. then you can just setup shop at a good host and have them know that when the hammer strikes you will need to move the site/server asap. they can back the site with flexibility if it's knowingly going to get a crush of hits.

 

just another idea. i still question the concept of it being busy enough.

 

also the "trading" are they trading them in person? digitally? that's going to be where the biggest customization or the biggest compromise needs to happen lol.

 

So all in all, yes this can be done, but will take time, money, and lots of server speed and space. Oh and a lot of patients.

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So all in all, yes this can be done, but will take time, money, and lots of server speed and space. Oh and a lot of patients.

 

with 'patients' you are talking about those people who are sick enough to use it...? :laughing: (sorry, it was just too punny)

 

Seriously: Yes, it can be done, but the warning signs are obvious, too.

 

Problem about patience: most of the mentioned projects 'failed' because of too much of it: after some people entered their own data - they wait patiently, but not very much happens and then, some day, they forget about it.

 

What now?

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You know upfront you are building for a user base of 500,000 to a mil upfront

I feel that is way, way, way off the mark. The number of "big" time geocoin users who need a database is surely less than 10,000.

Sounds like he was thinking of the number of people who have ever purchased a geocoin, not those who have so many that they seek a database to deal with them.

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