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Release Notes - March 11, 2015

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I also dislike the new format. I haven't really had a chance to familiarize myself with it in great detail, but, my initial thoughts on it aren't good. One of the things I enjoyed doing was opening up the map and just scrolling around…looking for geo-art, or huge clusters/concentrations of caches that I could perhaps plan a day trip to visit. Whether that be near my home location, or just somewhere random. With this 30 mile radius limit…this is impossible to do (I think). Bleh...

 

You can still do that. Just find a cache in the area you want to search in (or even go from your private profile, although that can take longer if you're searching farther away), and click on the geocaching maps from the cache page or your profile page.

 

When you map the results of the search, it will only show the caches contained in your search. If you move to an area outside of that search, it does not populate with any other caches. From the standpoint of seeing the caches of your search on a map, that makes sense. But, if you wanted to see any other caches nearby, you have to click on a cache on the map, go into its page, click on nearby caches, click on "map these results" to get the fully functional map. Not horrible, just cumbersome.

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I started caching in 2005 with someone who had less than 50 finds. Thank goodness we did NOT have this system back then as I would have said NO. Today I am a senior citizen who uses a Garmin that allows uploading, but no smartphone (or apps). I have enough to understand without all this filter stuff. Please go back to old searching method. Both seniors and techies could use it.

Please remember that not all progress is forward. To the rear MARCH!

Thanks! :blink:

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Not liking this at all. It is imposable to find events in our area. There needs to be a return to where we can find out the newest caches and all event for each state. If this is what we get for our subscription I am not liking it.

 

Go to the Filters without entering anything in the search box. Enter your state in the "Search only in" field. Select "deselect all" for the cache types, then select Events and execute the search. It'll show all events in order from the distance to your home coordinates. Click on the "Placed by" column header and now they're sorted by date. What am I missing?

 

I live 45 miles from a major metro area that has most events and the search does not go out that far. I would like what I had before and to know all event in my state without having to add filters. This is all good and well for those computer geeks out there but I would rather be spending time on a trail in the woods then be adding filter to get what I need.

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The way this is now, no on will come to your events that you hold except for people who just happen to come by your town and see the icon on the map

 

Bookmark this

http://www.geocaching.com/seek/nearest.aspx?&State_id=18&tx=69eb8534-b718-4b35-ae3c-a856a55b0874

 

By replacing the state id number with something else it works for states other than Kentucky

and by replacing the tx part by something else for other cache types.

 

Quite tiresome however and so annoying as all what is needed for the old search is still there.

I do not know what you just said but what ever you did it provides what I need. This is my point, do I have to be a filter guru to do this stuff that I used to just pick in a box and say go

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Not liking this at all. It is imposable to find events in our area. There needs to be a return to where we can find out the newest caches and all event for each state. If this is what we get for our subscription I am not liking it.

 

Go to the Filters without entering anything in the search box. Enter your state in the "Search only in" field. Select "deselect all" for the cache types, then select Events and execute the search. It'll show all events in order from the distance to your home coordinates. Click on the "Placed by" column header and now they're sorted by date. What am I missing?

 

 

we shouldn't have to do this tho.... the old system worked perfectly

 

Amen Brother

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Not liking this at all. It is imposable to find events in our area. There needs to be a return to where we can find out the newest caches and all event for each state. If this is what we get for our subscription I am not liking it. You took away the state button in our profile some months ago but we could still use the old search to find out the newest caches in the state as well as the events that were coming up. Perfect example of what is wrong with this format is that I am trying to find out all the events leading up to the Geowoodstock in may, the way thing are now I do not know how that could be done. All I can say is HELP!

 

I am able to find the events near the date of Geowoodstock by going to Find a cache, clicking Add Filters. Once you see the criteria page, deselect all cache types except Event and enter Maryland in Search only in (when you see United States: Maryland, click on it.

 

Then Click Search.

 

Once you have the list of events, click on Placed On to reverse the sort.

OMG, I appreciate the help but I got to do all that just to get the info that a drop down and one click of the mouse got me before.

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I didn't have a chance to comment on more detail till now.

 

It is hard to know where to start there are so many issues.

 

Though it seems there are complex ways of doing some things I will concentrate on problems for a user who doesn't want to have to do things the hard way, that is most of us, and particularly those using the search for the first time.

 

The first reaction is "what on earth....." when confronted with a search bar and no instructions other than the word "filter" and a few sample searches. This in itself enough to deter people from proceeding further and will mean some will give up altogether- fewer members for Groundspeak!

 

Many of us want to search for a cache by name. It seems the only way to do this is to do a search on the location. I don't know what else to say except that it is totally ridiculous and cumbersome.

 

People inside the USA will know their state but for those outside not necessarily so, for example here in New Zealand our "states" are North Island, South Island and Chatham Islands, none of which are actual states in the political sense of the word so without a drop down menu people will have no idea what "state" they are in unless they were here before the changes! In any case a state search is useless when restricted to 30 miles/50 kilometres. There are those including me who used to use the state search frequently both in our own "state" and others for various reasons, e.g. we solve puzzles outside our area ready to pay a visit, and/or we may decide to plan where we go on vacation based on the area with the most interesting caches.

 

As an aside I chose Tawa, a significant suburban area in Wellington, New Zealand (formerly known as Tawa Flat) and it doesn't recognize the location unless you type Tawa, Wellington, it's about time that was fixed!

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I don't really like the new system initiated for finding caches, but I won't start bashing it just yet. What I want to still be able to do is to start from my home, open up the geocaching map and see the caches available on the map as I scroll along the route I plan to travel, or might travel if I see a cache that looks interesting even if it deviates from the main highways, and to be able to scroll across the entire country if I want to seeing caches with every scrolling click without having to constantly do additional searches. And only having a desktop computer, not a fancy, costly carry on the trail phone, this all has to be done before hitting the road. I don't care what else you do with the system...at least give me that option. Please!

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I can't see any benefits from the new search myself. I couldn't figure out how see events in my area. I wrote G/S and someone got back to me with instructions a few hours later. It took me 4 attempts to get it to work so I could see events. If I had to do it again right now I couldn't. It maybe able to do somethings that the old search couldn't, but it has certainly complicated the process of doing a simple search. I think what we are all trying to say is that this new search just doesn't work for us.

 

I'm going to say that if I was new to geocaching right now I would take one look at that hard to use search and walk away I would never be able to figure it out. As an incoming WSGA board member I am quite concerned that geocachers will not be able to figure out how to search for events, which means fewer attendees.

 

Sure I wrote G/S and now have instructions, as I'm sure quite a few other folks have. Given enough repetition there might come a day when I can look up events without having to read how to do it first. But what about all the folk that don't ask, what about the folks that are casual cachers? What about basic members? Aren't those folks potential future premium members? Will all those folks just stop going to events? Will they stop caching entirely?

 

I'm sure there are some that will love the new search, but I think for must of us we just want to be able to get on the website and search for caches without having to click this, and filter that. It's not user friendly, it's not intuitive and it's difficult to use.

Edited by SirKarp

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I WON GEOCACHING!!!

 

I just did a search for all caches "Not Found by me" there were ZERO results, so I must have found them all. I WIN!!

 

Seriously, this search is horrid. Nothing is explained about how to use it to get results, much less the desired results.

 

Someone told me about a sign that said...."Make Better Mistakes Tomorrow" It looks like several tomorrows all showed up today.

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I don't really like the new system initiated for finding caches, but I won't start bashing it just yet. What I want to still be able to do is to start from my home, open up the geocaching map and see the caches available on the map as I scroll along the route I plan to travel, or might travel if I see a cache that looks interesting even if it deviates from the main highways, and to be able to scroll across the entire country if I want to seeing caches with every scrolling click without having to constantly do additional searches. And only having a desktop computer, not a fancy, costly carry on the trail phone, this all has to be done before hitting the road. I don't care what else you do with the system...at least give me that option. Please!

For your style of searching, you might do best to use the "Search for Geocaches Near Your Home Location" link on your Profile page, or go right to the map by clicking on the map icon just to the right of that link.

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I am also very disappointed with the new search, and I am a PM.

 

I haven't tried the new search with all its filters, but actually I am trying to solve a mystery where one has to find information from several caches which all start with the same name.

 

With the old search I typed in the name in "cache starts with" and got a list with all those caches. Now there's a DNF! I should adjust the filters or add a location! But that's the point: I don't know where the caches are located - they are hidden all around the world!

 

Does anyone know how to do this search right now, or do I have to contact the owner of this mystery and tell him that his puzzle can't be solved anymore?

 

As others posted before: Please bring back the old search! Everything I needed until now I could find there with just one click! Maybe the new search has more options, and I'm sure I'd give it a try some time later, but I was happy with the old one. So having the new one additionally would be fine with me, but only the new one? No thanks!

 

Meanwhile I got an answer from Groundspeak:

Hello Heike,

Thanks for writing in to us. The release of the new advanced search you've seen was meant to streamline the search for geocaches.

 

Although the "Cache starts with" search function was removed, we're tracking feedback from the community on that subject and will take it into strong consideration when discussing further revisions to the advanced search.

 

If you haven't already, please read over our Advanced Search FAQ to learn how to use the new search tool. If you have ideas, suggestions, or feedback, share them on the related forum post.

 

Have fun and let me know if you have any questions.

 

Well yes - so the answer to my question is no? Or at least: No, it's not possible to find a cache by name at the moment, when you don't know where it's located?

Edited by heike_hgw

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In hindsight, the sneak peak should have been shown to basic as well as premium members as the implementation is so vastly different for the different member types.

 

I happen to disagree. I do not think that in this case testing and sneak peak for basic members would have helped.

I disagree with You. The new search misses a lot of functionality which can be observed by both premium and basic members. For example, did You try to search for a cache by a specific name (or part of the name). If You try You get some weird results having nothing in common with the keywords given or an 'unknown location' message. If I remember correctly announces a improved keyword search but now there's nothing. Also the download-functionality is missing as well as the 'Send to GPS'-button. There are some other issues I mentioned in a previous post.

And it took just some minutes to find all these issues.

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This is a horrible "improvement." Updates don't seem to work as I move around. Why, oh why, must programmers do this sort of thing? Have fun with it, folks. I'm dropping Geocaching as a hobby because I don't have the inclination to "learn" this new system. Goodbye.

 

Follow on: I'm a premium member and pay premium memberships for family, too. Not anymore.

Edited by CSUSGeog86

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Bottom line is that there are some positive changes for Premium members but also there are a lot of indistinctness's. The old system worked smoother. that's a fact. The new system requires some knowledge of how things work. (For the moment it's only the programmers who wrote this crap that knows. laughing.gif ) But ... when you take your time you can learn how to handle this new system.

 

On the other hand all the few features that were still there for basic members are stripped. A basic member can only do a search in a region with a 50km (30 miles) radius. That's it. Nothing more, nothing less. I believe that what GS did is not in favor of the basic members who are potential future premium members. A lot of new people who wants to have a quick look on how things work around geocaching.com will be disappointed and maybe never come back. For all I know there are plenty of other geocaching websites who do exactly what you need to go out and find some cool geocaches. I can't believe that this is what GS wants because the only thing they want is money!!!

 

And that is what this whole new thing is good for ... MONEY!!! If you want to do more then just a search in an area with a 50km radius you have to buy a premium membership. With the old system you could geocache a very long time without a premium membership. You had enough search options to go out and find geocaches. After a few months you could buy a PM to get the most out of it. But now??? Now you have to buy a PM immediately to get the most out of it. Is this good thinking of GS or are they gonna shoot themselves in the feet with this one? Time will tell.

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I was not a fan of the the Search functionality. When I wanted to look for caches, then I'd just select "Play --> View Geocache Map" and pan around the map to the area I was interested in. That was my main way of planning where to go for cache runs, or to determine whether I could pick up a few caches on an already planned outing.

 

Tried the new search tool and didn't like it, but reading the first few posts in this thread gave me insight into how to use Search and I'm starting to like the tool. I'm not a fan of the results display, but the sorting is nice. I understand some of these are limited to PM's though. The biggest thing I learned is leaving the main search box empty and clicking on "Add Filters".

 

For robnzh: Not sure if the below helps. Maybe the additional screenshots will make explanation more clear.

 

Many of us want to search for a cache by name. It seems the only way to do this is to do a search on the location. I don't know what else to say except that it is totally ridiculous and cumbersome.

Once clicking on "Add Filters", you should be able to search by cache name by populating the name (or part of it) in the filter box within the blue box.

 

People inside the USA will know their state but for those outside not necessarily so, for example here in New Zealand our "states" are North Island, South Island and Chatham Islands, none of which are actual states in the political sense of the word so without a drop down menu people will have no idea what "state" they are in unless they were here before the changes! In any case a state search is useless when restricted to 30 miles/50 kilometres.

Looks like the "Search Only In" box is what you'd need to use. If you start typing New Zealand, then a drop-down list will appear below the search box and the state can be selected from there. You could also type just the state, such as South Island and two options will appear in the drop-down list ('South Georgia and Sandwich Islands' and 'New Zealand: South Island').

To avoid the 30 mile limitation, then leave that box (upper left corner) blank.

 

newzealand.png

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newzealand.png

That's a very nice explanation but you can only use this as a premium member, not as a basic member. And that's a great part of what's wrong with this new search feature.

In the past (the old system) basic members could also search on "Geocache starts with..." or "Hidden by..." Now that's all gone.

For PM's they did add some useful stuff but the basic members are left alone or are even outcasted.

 

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Visit this FAQ to learn more about Search (including how-to’s for all our favorite searches).

 

I just noticed this hyperlink to the FAQ. Might be helpful adding a prominent FAQ link to the search splash page. Perhaps under the "Add Filters" button, or above the "Start With the Most Popular Searches" line.

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That's a very nice explanation but you can only use this as a premium member, not as a basic member. And that's a great part of what's wrong with this new search feature.

In the past (the old system) basic members could also search on "Geocache starts with..." or "Hidden by..." Now that's all gone.

For PM's they did add some useful stuff but the basic members are left alone or are even outcasted.

 

Hi RHCV, yes - I agree that my post doesn't help Basic Members. It was mainly directed at answering a PM's question, so figured it would be helpful there. I'm not sure what the filter section looks like for Basic Members. Thought about creating an account just to see the difference, but haven't done that yet. Would be great to see an image of what the screen looks like for BM's.

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I am also very disappointed with the new search, and I am a PM.

 

I haven't tried the new search with all its filters, but actually I am trying to solve a mystery where one has to find information from several caches which all start with the same name.

 

With the old search I typed in the name in "cache starts with" and got a list with all those caches. Now there's a DNF! I should adjust the filters or add a location! But that's the point: I don't know where the caches are located - they are hidden all around the world!

 

Does anyone know how to do this search right now, or do I have to contact the owner of this mystery and tell him that his puzzle can't be solved anymore?

...

 

Yes - I agree that the location limitations with Cache Name searching are problematic. There is another forum topic specifically around that issue.

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That's a very nice explanation but you can only use this as a premium member, not as a basic member. And that's a great part of what's wrong with this new search feature.

In the past (the old system) basic members could also search on "Geocache starts with..." or "Hidden by..." Now that's all gone.

For PM's they did add some useful stuff but the basic members are left alone or are even outcasted.

 

Hi RHCV, yes - I agree that my post doesn't help Basic Members. It was mainly directed at answering a PM's question, so figured it would be helpful there. I'm not sure what the filter section looks like for Basic Members. Thought about creating an account just to see the difference, but haven't done that yet. Would be great to see an image of what the screen looks like for BM's.

 

What basic members see is the same screen, but when one clicks on add filters one is told to subsribe as PM. One cannot use a single filter.

This means one cannot not do searches for caches in a region/country, with a certain name etc.

One can do almost nothing except listing all caches near a given set of coordinates and within 50km - but again without being able to filter out finds and owned caches.

 

The new search tool is not of any use for a basic member who is not maybe just a cacher that caches for the first day and just wants to see the cache closest to his location and wants to go for that regardless of anything else.

 

But at least basic members cannot do anything wrong and get confused about the new tool which is not very intuitive as they have no options anyway and the thing is just plain useless.

 

Suppose e.g. a basic member wants to hide a new cache and wants to make sure that he/she does not use a cache name already in use nearby. There is no way to do that now for a basic member on gc.com with the new tool. I think that this and related aspects mean that the basic component of geocaching has been restricted and it also shows that apparently Groundspeak does not seem appreciate the contribution by basic members who hide and maintain great caches. The fact that they do not comment at all about the issue makes it unlikely that what they did just happened and was not intended.

Edited by cezanne

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That's a very nice explanation but you can only use this as a premium member, not as a basic member. And that's a great part of what's wrong with this new search feature.

In the past (the old system) basic members could also search on "Geocache starts with..." or "Hidden by..." Now that's all gone.

For PM's they did add some useful stuff but the basic members are left alone or are even outcasted.

 

Hi RHCV, yes - I agree that my post doesn't help Basic Members. It was mainly directed at answering a PM's question, so figured it would be helpful there. I'm not sure what the filter section looks like for Basic Members. Thought about creating an account just to see the difference, but haven't done that yet. Would be great to see an image of what the screen looks like for BM's.

 

gcNewSearchFeature_zpsk9fzjbjc.jpg

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Sad that new cachers will not know about events in their state

 

You might want to read the thread from the beginning. Several people have claimed this so far and several people (mostly me) have responded that (if you're a premium member) it's relatively easy.

 

 

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Sad that new cachers will not know about events in their state

 

You might want to read the thread from the beginning. Several people have claimed this so far and several people (mostly me) have responded that (if you're a premium member) it's relatively easy.

 

Yes, but this then assumes that new cachers become PMs instantly.

I think the stress in the above was on new cachers.

There is also the event calendar, but again I'm not sure whether it's the best way for new cachers and if they look there.

Edited by cezanne

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That's a very nice explanation but you can only use this as a premium member, not as a basic member. And that's a great part of what's wrong with this new search feature.

In the past (the old system) basic members could also search on "Geocache starts with..." or "Hidden by..." Now that's all gone.

For PM's they did add some useful stuff but the basic members are left alone or are even outcasted.

 

Hi RHCV, yes - I agree that my post doesn't help Basic Members. It was mainly directed at answering a PM's question, so figured it would be helpful there. I'm not sure what the filter section looks like for Basic Members. Thought about creating an account just to see the difference, but haven't done that yet. Would be great to see an image of what the screen looks like for BM's.

 

gcNewSearchFeature_zpsk9fzjbjc.jpg

 

Actually your red frame should include also the left part for this menu as one cannot do any search so the left part does not help.

Edited by cezanne

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Bring back the old hide and seek a cache, this new search is a big dissapointment.

 

Where did the "found by" option go?

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I don't understand how this can be considered an improvement. If one of the lackeys had to open a page with several fields that needed to be filled out (with many options) before they could open a file that contained there e-mails, and then had to filter thru them with another filter before they could see the one e-mail they were looking for do you think that they would think that it was an improvement.

 

I THINK NOT.

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I read the FAQ. Some of the new searches are neat but why change the appearance of the results? I really find them much, much harder to read than I did the old results. It seems very counter productive considering that now they look nothing like the cache pages (the D/T symbols are gone) or the paperless images on my phone. Also, is there any way to download the cache to my device from the results page or do I need to click on each cache page and add it separately if I want that cache?

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Sad that new cachers will not know about events in their state

 

You might want to read the thread from the beginning. Several people have claimed this so far and several people (mostly me) have responded that (if you're a premium member) it's relatively easy.

 

Yes, but this then assumes that new cachers become PMs instantly.

I think the stress in the above was on new cachers.

There is also the event calendar, but again I'm not sure whether it's the best way for new cachers and if they look there.

+1

I know of only one person who became premium upon joining.

We were a week or two afterwards (new cachers) , I believe it was because of CJ's blackberry back then, and notifications.

 

Never bothered to look at the event calendar. Never needed to with "Hide and Seek".

Great, you get to thumb through every cache in the World on any given day.

That's about as helpful as the newsletter ...

Maybe it's just me, but when clicking on todays date on the calendar, well, you can't.

- The link's no longer there on the date of all the events, so make your plans early. Sad.

 

Maybe the intro app explains things more than the site today.

If not, can't see too many interested in the hobby of a site with constant reminders how nice it'll all be if pm, but now with even fewer ways to play (to see if you'll like it) in the meantime.

Edited by cerberus1

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I have another question:

 

I read the FAQ but cannot find events. I live in between (about 30-50 miles) from about 4 or 5 major cities and caching hubs. Do I have to search each city for events or is there someway I can search for events in a radius from my home location?I tried doing a locationless search and a search with mileage from my home but nothing is popping up except one local event in my town. Am I doing something wrong?

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In an attempt to add some new features you have taken away some of the features I find most useful. I can no longer search by State and see all the newest caches. I also used the State search to see all upcoming Events. Now I can't find all the events in my State. Bring back the old search capability and make the new stuff an additional option. It has made everything much worse for me. I don't like it at all!

 

The types of searches you mention are possible if you omit an origin and instead add a filter for the region you want to search on. For example, use this query for the newest caches in Massachusetts:

 

https://www.geocaching.com/play/search?r=22&sort=PlaceDate&asc=False

 

OK, I can see how to do that. Not intuitive, but it works. How about if I want to find the oldest caches in a state? Before I just went back to the last page in the State and paged forward until I found what I wanted. I don't see anyway to do that now.

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Now that the new search tool has been open to all Geocaching members for a couple days, we wanted to check in and try to answer a few questions that have been brought up here. We'll try to focus on the common issues.

 

The 30 mile/50 kilometer search radius limit: This is a result of database performance concerns. As mentioned in the FAQ, we're looking at ways to expand the radius going forward. As also mentioned in the FAQ (and by many posts in this thread), leaving the location box blank and instead searching a region in the "Search Only In..." filter is very useful. But, again, it's a known and understood issue, and we're working on it.

 

Discovering Events: It's a high priority to make Event-Cache listings more easily discoverable. And it's a function that will be open to all members. Be patient on that one, it’s on the radar.

 

Download/Export Results: Another understood issue that is high on the priority list. This "release" was about discovering caches. Upcoming releases will address what to do with those cache listings once you've found them.

 

Usability: This is probably the toughest one to answer. Intuitiveness is in the eye of the beholder. But it's important to know that the new search tool has undergone more testing and received more feedback than any project ever at Geocaching HQ. Yes, we brought in play testers many times. Newbies, longtime players and everyone in between. Our product team watched them use the search tool, and noted what did and didn't work for them. Premium members had 6 weeks to play with it. We received thousands of surveys from those members. That doesn't mean the team went through point by point and changed each and every thing that's been asked for. (That's simply impractical.) But the feedback has absolutely informed the process in an unprecedented way. More importantly, it will continue to inform the process. This will be an evolving and ever-improving product.

 

I want to say again that we read everything posted here. Constructive criticism is highly valued. There's been a lot of that. Sadly, there's also been some chatter that isn't as courteous, polite or respectful as anyone would like. Change is rarely easy and it makes us understandably emotional. But please remember that your comments are read by real people who have done real work on this project for many months. That doesn't mean you can't be critical. To the contrary, we want you to continue providing good feedback. But before you click the "Add Reply" button, consider whether you would say it the same way if the person on the receiving end was standing right in front of you. Fair enough? Okay, on with the show....

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PLEASE read the two posts above, then consider that MOST of us who geocache do NOT want to make this our primary technological field of study and research.

 

When you are dealing, for the most part, with HOBBY geocachers ... you obviously bypassed one basic rule: K I S S ...

 

There are far more important things in my life than remembering to add this, delete that, leave that other field empty, don't enter a region, unless you mean a country, then enter something else unless you change the field to another choice, omit the filter unless you enter a different cache type ... then it works ... :blink::blink:

Yeah...

My other 2/3rds (in IT/IS) sometimes gets frustrated whenever I don't get it.

All of us aren't tech heads and those that are, don't seem to understand why not.

- But she's having a tough time figuring out much of this stuff, so I'm a goner. :laughing:

- Like most things, easy if you're skilled in that environment, or the one who created it.

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Here's a thought-maybe all Premium members need to ban together and NOT RENEW Premium membership. That's a lot of money.

 

And I didn't even spell the word out...used symbols.

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Here's a thought-maybe all Premium members need to ban together and NOT RENEW Premium membership. That's a lot of money.

And I didn't even spell the word out...used symbols.

It's possible that's where some of this seems to be headed, but I don't believe premium membership (really) amounts to as much as you think. :)

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Don`t know if it was mentioned already, but if I search for an archived cache using the exact GC-code I don`t get this archived cache in the result, which was possible before.

 

So how can I look up archived caches now?

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I have another question:

 

I read the FAQ but cannot find events. I live in between (about 30-50 miles) from about 4 or 5 major cities and caching hubs. Do I have to search each city for events or is there someway I can search for events in a radius from my home location?I tried doing a locationless search and a search with mileage from my home but nothing is popping up except one local event in my town. Am I doing something wrong?

 

Hi Trotter, see below image for what should work for all Events in North Carolina. Your profile shows you're a Premium Member, so hopefully you see the same option as in the image.

(1) Filter "Geocache Types" section to select only Events

(2) Enter your state in the "Search Only In..." box

(3) Hit "Search" button

 

I ran this search, then selected the "Map These Results" option (bottom right of background image on page that shows results) and see events across the entire state of NC.

 

Hope that's what you were looking for.

 

NorthCarolina.png

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newzealand.png

Whoa - is this for real? Search for nothing, then add a filter to search for what you want?

 

This is ludicrous. Who could figure that out by accident?

 

Excellent illustration BTW, a screenshot worth a thousand forum posts. Suddenly I understand why the forums are coming alive about this. (And yeah yeah, I know, if I wanted to comment, I should've done so while it was in "beta". Never had a chance to look, no need to search. But this picture sums it up nicely for those of us who woke up late and wondered, what the L just happened?)

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Also - and this may be the influence of "city" programmers. The issue of slowed down performance is one of too many selected hits. So why not make THAT the filter and not distance from a set location. Amazing but true, some of us live in areas where there is not the "cache every 0.1 mi." density. From some locations you can go much further than 30 miles before resulting in a long list of caches. Why not filter on number of hits - that's the issue - like give me up to 50 (sorted by distance) hits. The you can report the result like 50/78 - "I'm returning 50 of the closest hits out of 78 that matched the criteria."

 

Now if the actual finding of those hits causes a slow down, rather than reporting them on the page, you could do a First X (were X equals the limit) in you SQL query - assuming the record set is already sorted on distance.

I would say that this isn't done because wouldn't take advantage of a database spatial index and would probably make things a lot slower.

 

Calculating the distance from a point for all geocaches and sorting by distance takes time. One creates a range (geographic area, such as a circle with a 30 mile radius from a given location), then compares whether a cache resides in the range or not. Utilizing a spatial index, that check is fast. Then, computing distance and such from the location only needs to be performed with the resulting set of caches that fall within the range.

 

Like you mention, when in a rural area with few caches, allowing a larger range is not going to affect performance, but in urban areas it sure would. But how to know a priori how many caches will fall within the range? Deciding how large of a range to allow is a design/business decision.

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I also dislike the new format. I haven't really had a chance to familiarize myself with it in great detail, but, my initial thoughts on it aren't good. One of the things I enjoyed doing was opening up the map and just scrolling around…looking for geo-art, or huge clusters/concentrations of caches that I could perhaps plan a day trip to visit. Whether that be near my home location, or just somewhere random. With this 30 mile radius limit…this is impossible to do (I think). Bleh...

 

You can still do that. Just find a cache in the area you want to search in (or even go from your private profile, although that can take longer if you're searching farther away), and click on the geocaching maps from the cache page or your profile page.

 

Ahhh…that does work, although it adds a few more steps. Thanks! (I still don't like the new layout :P)

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I think that all the criticism I've made has been constructive but since you've described the "common" issues I wanted to make a couple of comments;

Now that the new search tool has been open to all Geocaching members for a couple days, we wanted to check in and try to answer a few questions that have been brought up here. We'll try to focus on the common issues.

 

The 30 mile/50 kilometer search radius limit: This is a result of database performance concerns. As mentioned in the FAQ, we're looking at ways to expand the radius going forward. As also mentioned in the FAQ (and by many posts in this thread), leaving the location box blank and instead searching a region in the "Search Only In..." filter is very useful. But, again, it's a known and understood issue, and we're working on it.

 

As I see it, there are multiple issues with the 30 miles search radius. First, if you're presented with a search form, it's just not intuitive that leaving the search box empty is the best way to search a region. As soon as one does put something in the box it imposes the limit, and if they've entered something like "Georgia" and get 4 four results people are going wonder what the heck is going on. There are obviously more than 4 caches in Georgia, but it's not intuitive that typing Georgia into the search form results in a search for caches within 10 miles of the center point of Georgia (and yes, there are only 4 caches).

 

Here's the thing. You live in Seattle. There are over 1800 caches within 10 miles of the center point of Seattle, enough to keep someone occupied for a year. Try using using the search using a location which only has a handful of caches you have not yet found.

 

There have been lots of complaints about the new search. I haven't seen anyone complain about the performance.

 

 

 

Discovering Events: It's a high priority to make Event-Cache listings more easily discoverable. And it's a function that will be open to all members. Be patient on that one, it's on the radar.

 

 

That's good to hear and I was a bit surprised to see so many people wanting to be able to search for event caches listings (perhaps it has something to do with tomorrow being Pi day).

 

 

Download/Export Results: Another understood issue that is high on the priority list. This "release" was about discovering caches. Upcoming releases will address what to do with those cache listings once you've found them.

 

 

Now this I don't understand. Okay, the new search engine demonstrates a new way to discover caches, but what does that do if you've taken away the mechanism many use to get those caches on their GPS and actually go out and *find* those caches? That should not be a feature for an upcoming release if the tool we use to do something with those cache listings has been replaced with something that doesn't allow us to do anything with the results (other than click on each result individually or few a bunch of icons on a map).

 

 

Usability: This is probably the toughest one to answer. Intuitiveness is in the eye of the beholder.

 

 

To me, usability goes beyond intuitiveness for how it works. After one has seen the filters overlay it might be intuitive that selecting one or more filters will reduce the result set but bouncing back and forth between "Add Filters" and "Search" starts to get pretty annoying.

 

While I think how it looks is entirely subjective, taking up 50% of the browser window with search box surrounded by a large image (that one has to ignore in order to avoid the proximity limit) leads one to the conclusion that "how it looks" has become more important than "how it works."

 

Although you might see this short list as the "common issues", I think you're under-estimating the impact that the new search, and how it was implemented is having on basic members.

 

So anyone want to comment on the new "Hide a Cache" page?

 

 

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Discovering Events: It's a high priority to make Event-Cache listings more easily discoverable. And it's a function that will be open to all members. Be patient on that one, it's on the radar.
That's good to hear and I was a bit surprised to see so many people wanting to be able to search for event caches listings (perhaps it has something to do with tomorrow being Pi day).
Yeah, I've never searched for events. I just read through the list that is emailed to me every week by Groundspeak.

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Using the new search, is there a way to search for caches found by a user? I see how to search for caches not found by a user. I understand one can go to the user's profile page and search for his/her found caches there.

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Man oh man. The search function has to be one of the worst case scenarios one could imagine. When I plan an out of town trip I like to see caches along the route I'm taking by scrolling the map down what ever road I want to travel. Now that is impossible unless I put in a point every 30 miles out. Crazy and wrong. Things must be pretty slow at HQ to dream up this kind of stuff. Please , Please change it back or at least give an option to go to the old way. Horrible.

 

I use this also. Seems to work just fine from the "Play" menu option and selecting "View Geocache Map".

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Please add back the previous search and results list. The new search is nice, but it just is not ready for prime time; too much important functionality is lost.

Totally agree. So many functions are now missing. e.g. How do I do a search on "Found By" cacher-name?

Edited by Doug.G

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oh no Where's the color and the joy gone.

It's all been so all similar. It looks like an indifferent sad advertising page.

Come back with the old icons. Borderless looks very confusing and overwhelming.

 

NOT HAPPY

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Here is a thought. Since a lot of us are very unhappy with the current state of the new search would it be possible to have both the new and the classic search available? It would seem like it could be possible since they were both available during the sneak peak period. If G/S did that then folks could still use the classic search the way they are use to using it and the way they like to. Mean while the new search could continue to be improved on and perfected without it taking away from the fun of the game. I think a lot of folks used the state pages to find events, and with no direct link to them that's another issue. Again as a incoming WSGA board member, having it difficult, for folks to find events is a huge issue that I think anyone who holds or attends a lot of events would agree with. I'm thinking what needs to be realized here is that this new search isn't fine tuned well enough to be the only search method available. I say run both the new and classic search, maybe down the road classic could be dropped but it way, way to soon for that, the new search has a long way to come before it could be the only effective search tool.

 

For many years anytime I needed to map something I used yahoo maps. At some point I think around 2008 or 09, yahoo did an update to their maps, and I didn't like the new search tool, so over to google maps I went. And I have continued to use google maps, since then google did a major map update, I don't know probably 6 months to a year ago now, it appeared to be a major overhaul but guess what, they kept the old google maps around as classic google maps.

 

Couldn't something similar be done here? I know G/S is not google, I'm not trying to compare apple to oranges. And I'm definitely not a programmer so I don't know the ins and outs. But What I am saying is this is a really major change. It is a total overhaul of the search system, and if the new system is to be the only search system, then people need to be eased into it, with both searches being available all the while the new one is being refined. If there is someway for G/S to watch the traffic on the two search engines at some point when the classic has low enough traffic it could then be turned off. This is WAY to much of a drastic change all at once.

 

Thank you,

SirKarp

Edited by SirKarp

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