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Has Groundspeak just broken thousands of puzzle caches?


winterdragon
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It looks like Groundspeak has moved their image hosting to Cloudfront, and in the process, elected to have all PNG images converted to JPEG format. I'm basing this on the error message in this thread, and from some testing I've done on images in cache listings.

 

Of course the problem is that any puzzle caches that relied on a PNG image posted to the geocaching.com website (using steganography for example) will no longer work. I feel particularly sad for those people who are now going to waste hours of time trying to solve puzzles that are now completely unsolvable.

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Hmm, you're right, that post is indeed a year old. However, the website appears to only recently have started redirecting image URLs to Cloudfront.

 

For an example of what's happening, take a look at GC3BWHX. This has a link to the image

http://img.geocaching.com/cache/large/aac82851-3331-44c2-a247-e529e5b963d1.png

However, that image is redirecting to

http://d1u1p2xjjiahg3.cloudfront.net/aac82851-3331-44c2-a247-e529e5b963d1_l.jpg

Try opening or saving the image to see this. The original PNG image is now inaccessible.

 

Note that if you try to get the original sized image by removing the "/large":

http://img.geocaching.com/cache/aac82851-3331-44c2-a247-e529e5b963d1.png

It redirects to a slightly different address

http://d1u1p2xjjiahg3.cloudfront.net/aac82851-3331-44c2-a247-e529e5b963d1.jpg

Edited by winterdragon
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It looks like Groundspeak has moved their image hosting to Cloudfront, and in the process, elected to have all PNG images converted to JPEG format. I'm basing this on the error message in this thread, and from some testing I've done on images in cache listings.

 

It appears that this only concerns png files and it rather looks like that for png files they sent the file through a filter.

The puzzle caches are not broken anyway as one can simply host the png images outside of the Groundspeak site. Then nothing happens to the file.

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If they did break anything recently, it isn't as a result of the move to Cloudfront. If you look at the dates on the discussion you linked to, it was from over a year ago.

Whether anything has changed more recently, I couldn't say. Can you give us any examples where you know the image has been converted?

My animated gifs worked fine until they moved them to cloud. I hosted the png files on a different server because they didn't work here anyway. It now looks like all my images will need to be hosted elsewhere. They could have at least let us know so they didn't mess up so many puzzles. I only found out today because I was checking one of my cache pages and noticed the puzzle wasn't working so did some investigation. I want to know if they're going to fix it before I have to move my stuff over.

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I noticed this "problem" when I went to create a puzzle that had the final coordinates embedded in the metadata. Looks like cloudfront strips images of their metadata.

 

However, this seems to only be a problem with new uploads, as a previous puzzle of this nature (one I solved years ago) still contains the metadata. I just ended up hosting the image on my own web space.

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