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Release Notes - March 11, 2015

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As a Basic member sorry the new search is terrible. I'm never going to become a PM, geocaching isn't that important and all encompassing to me. I'm not a computer geek I just want to log in search my state or for that matter whatever state I plan on traveling to and find caches along the route I'll be taking hoping to find an interesting place down a road I've not travel in the past. I have many interests, caching is just one of them. I like Caching for the social part, read that as going to and holding events. This weekend there are nearly 10 Pi events in my area I can't find any easily now with the dang new search, which it looks like TPTB KNEW searching for events was nearly impossible when they launched this mess. A number of CITO are coming up can't find them.

 

I'm into caching to find those little back roads to places I go over and over to see something new. When others ask about caches in my area I have to shrug and say no clue I'm a tourist cacher, I rarely cache within 20 miles of my home. Can't do that anymore.

 

Over the years I told many people about Geocaching.com and the joy it had brought me and HOW EASY it was to use... not any more. A hobby like this relies on NEW people coming in to keep it afloat. This new search is a BIG put off to anyone new looking for a new hobby, it's NOT user friendly, it does NOT allow for growth, if new cachers can't figure out how to use the search in one or two tries they will move on to other activities not giving caching a second thought. If they do figure it out and what they find is next to nothing worthwhile they will never think about becoming a PM, buying a TB or prompting caching. By changing the search into what it is today right now you've turned Geocaching.com into a mostly exclusive PM club, told your basic membership sorry you don't mean much.

 

So sad maybe someday Groundspeak will have this in a user friendly mode that even basic members can use but it's NOT today. I don't think this was as well thought out as implied... I'm going to equate this to the well thought out Challenge Cachse of few years ago... I can only hope that TPTB rethink this and like the challenge caches it to goes into the circular file.

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Like NYPC, I want to make a few comments related to yours.

 

...As mentioned in the FAQ...

...As also mentioned in the FAQ...

So far, the only place I've seen a link to this FAQ is in the first post of this discussion. It isn't on the new Search page, and it wasn't in the announcement in the weekly newsletter. I expect very few people know it exists. Adding it to the new Search page seems like a no-brainer and should be done post-haste to help deal with at least some of the rampant confusion.

 

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.

This just doesn't make any sense. Why would you remove functionality that you plan to replace, but before the replacement is complete? If you're going to develop the replacement in phases, the old functionality should remain until such time as it has been superseded. Either that, or fully-develop the replacement before releasing it to production. Doing otherwise means functionality - in some cases very basic and critical for users - is lost and causes nothing but hardship. I can't fathom why a company would intentionally create avoidable-hardship for its customers, especially when your business model depends on those customers voluntarily forking over cash.

 

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.

Don't get us wrong. We're ecstatic that we were given a chance to poke around in the new tool in advance and provide feedback. This is something we've wanted for a long time, so it's a welcome change.

 

However, it always seems to come back to whether the feedback is actually acted upon. It seems like things at GSHQ might be changing and feedback is now being solicited more than in the past, but it still isn't being acted upon. A great example is the intuitiveness of this new Search tool. Within the first few hours of the sneak peek, it quickly became clear that the tool was not intuitive. Those of us here in the forums couldn't figure out how the tool worked until Lackeys explained it to us. Even then, it took several iterations of this before even the most technical of us became proficient in its use. This should have been seen as a clear signal that more guidance would be necessary for the average user (and the below-average users, of which there are many who would be using the tool), or that maybe even the entire design of the tool was flawed.

 

Nothing has been done to help with this problem. No additional guidance has been provided. The only design change I can see that arose from the sneak peek feedback is the distance-from-home sorting, which is good but doesn't improve the intuitiveness. An FAQ was created that could potentially help, but its existence wasn't announced in any useful way. Even after the tool was released and it became crystal clear that there were still massive usability problems, still nothing has been done. Something as simple as adding a few lines of text to the tool would work wonders, but even that hasn't been done. For those of us on the outside, it's difficult to understand why even the simplest changes aren't being done. Is it lack of resources? Lack of caring? Incompetence? Is there anything the community can do to help? Would it help if some of the more technical-savvy members volunteered some time? Is it time to consider increasing the membership fees so the necessary resources can be acquired?

 

I'm sure you can understand that it's frustrating for us to provide feedback until we're blue in the face, only to see nothing come of it. You've asked us to provide the feedback, we've done so, and things still aren't changing. Let us know what else you need so we can all get to a good end-result. It's clear that more than just feedback is required.

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Like NYPC, I want to make a few comments related to yours.

 

...As mentioned in the FAQ...

...As also mentioned in the FAQ...

So far, the only place I've seen a link to this FAQ is in the first post of this discussion. It isn't on the new Search page, and it wasn't in the announcement in the weekly newsletter. I expect very few people know it exists. Adding it to the new Search page seems like a no-brainer and should be done post-haste to help deal with at least some of the rampant confusion.

 

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.

This just doesn't make any sense. Why would you remove functionality that you plan to replace, but before the replacement is complete? If you're going to develop the replacement in phases, the old functionality should remain until such time as it has been superseded. Either that, or fully-develop the replacement before releasing it to production. Doing otherwise means functionality - in some cases very basic and critical for users - is lost and causes nothing but hardship. I can't fathom why a company would intentionally create avoidable-hardship for its customers, especially when your business model depends on those customers voluntarily forking over cash.

 

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.

Don't get us wrong. We're ecstatic that we were given a chance to poke around in the new tool in advance and provide feedback. This is something we've wanted for a long time, so it's a welcome change.

 

However, it always seems to come back to whether the feedback is actually acted upon. It seems like things at GSHQ might be changing and feedback is now being solicited more than in the past, but it still isn't being acted upon. A great example is the intuitiveness of this new Search tool. Within the first few hours of the sneak peek, it quickly became clear that the tool was not intuitive. Those of us here in the forums couldn't figure out how the tool worked until Lackeys explained it to us. Even then, it took several iterations of this before even the most technical of us became proficient in its use. This should have been seen as a clear signal that more guidance would be necessary for the average user (and the below-average users, of which there are many who would be using the tool), or that maybe even the entire design of the tool was flawed.

 

Nothing has been done to help with this problem. No additional guidance has been provided. The only design change I can see that arose from the sneak peek feedback is the distance-from-home sorting, which is good but doesn't improve the intuitiveness. An FAQ was created that could potentially help, but its existence wasn't announced in any useful way. Even after the tool was released and it became crystal clear that there were still massive usability problems, still nothing has been done. Something as simple as adding a few lines of text to the tool would work wonders, but even that hasn't been done. For those of us on the outside, it's difficult to understand why even the simplest changes aren't being done. Is it lack of resources? Lack of caring? Incompetence? Is there anything the community can do to help? Would it help if some of the more technical-savvy members volunteered some time? Is it time to consider increasing the membership fees so the necessary resources can be acquired?

 

I'm sure you can understand that it's frustrating for us to provide feedback until we're blue in the face, only to see nothing come of it. You've asked us to provide the feedback, we've done so, and things still aren't changing. Let us know what else you need so we can all get to a good end-result. It's clear that more than just feedback is required.

Amen to that.

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I would like you to add another filter.... Date Placed..... That filter should allow for a range of dates? How can I find older Hides when you limit the number of records retrieved. My example is GC4XAT2

Edited by H2W

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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....

 

Some times you need to hear the truth and the honest truth about something regardless if its gonna be good or bad regardless of who's feelings are gonna get hurt.

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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.

 

This is the thing that I find most disappointing, I participated in the "sneak peek", I followed the forum thread closely and added my feedback. It was clear to me from that thread that lots of people found it difficult to get the best out of the new search, and it should have been clear that something needed to be done about it, not necessarily by changing the functionality but perhaps adding some help dialogs on the page. Sadly many of the same questions/problems are now being raised over and over again, leading many people to think that "it just doesn't work" and creating widespread dissatisfaction.

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RockChalk says the interface is 'intuitive'. I beg to differ. It is not intuitive to leave the only data entry point on the page empty in order to obtain results. ? ? ? ? ? ?

 

If only the developers had spent at least a little time on an easy-to-underatand set of instructions.......for those of us who are have low levels of intuition.

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I saw a Forum Post that you could access the results of the old "Found By" Username search via a direct URL... but the Post didn't provide the URL itself. Does anyone know what it would be?

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I saw a Forum Post that you could access the results of the old "Found By" Username search via a direct URL... but the Post didn't provide the URL itself. Does anyone know what it would be?

 

If you're viewing the webpage of a cache hidden by the user, then you can just click on the link for "other caches found by this user". Otherwise, construct a URL like this:

 

http://www.geocaching.com/seek/nearest.aspx?ul=Nylimb

Replace "Nylimb" by the name of the cacher you're interested in.

 

If the name has any spaces in it, replace them by plus signs; e.g.:

 

http://www.geocaching.com/seek/nearest.aspx?ul=Angelic+Relic

Other special characters in the name may have to be changed also. For example, an ampersand (&) should be replaced by "%26":

 

http://www.geocaching.com/seek/nearest.aspx?ul=johnny%26cher

 

If you want to see caches hidden by a user instead of those found by the user, change "ul=" to "u=" in the URL.

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I'm wondering how this software was developed. Did you bring "real" geocachers in a room and discuss what they would like? Did you sit novice geocachers and experienced geocachers down in front of the new interface and count the keystrokes to accomplish a task. Then again, we all know what software comes out of the Seattle area (Click the Start button to shut down the computer).

 

I'm looking for novelty filters - like caches that haven't yet been found (have First Finder potential). Or caches that haven't been found in X number of months (or years). Both results sorted on distance from my location.

 

The problem I had was initially choosing, of the three choices, a Best Rated category. It wasn't clear that that main filter was influencing all my other choices, resulting in no hits. Once I hit the back button - again and again and again - I finally returned to that initial screen and was able to switch to "from my location" as the overriding umbrella. Then the search results made more sense.

 

Note that in the right middle panel of filters, at the top, you say Geocache Name contains .... But in the field to fill in, you have the suggestion Keyword. I'm assuming that means the cache author can assign keywords to a cache. But a keyword and a word contained in the name are two different things.

 

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.

 

Remember, because you have given this to the Premium members, you are most likely getting a bias of experienced geocachers, not novices.

 

If I were your programmer - who understands "humans" - I'd suggest that as choices and filters were added, a text "script" of what was selected could be built and displayed. So at the end (and while building) the user could see something like. "From my location, go out 20 miles, and look for all caches I haven't found, that are level 3 (or greater) in difficulty, and are mulitcaches.

 

Also, it seemed I have to completely reset some filters each time I visited the page. I'm guessing, as the finished version gets near, you may save those filters as preferences so they don't have to be reselected each time.

 

When I search, I am either searching for a cache I found long ago - what to see how it's doing and maybe review my original post - or I search for a cache in a area I'm about to visit - a different city or country. And then there is the meat and potatoes search for caches near home.

I really don't care about difficulty or type of cache so much. Single and Multi-caches have such a majority that eliminating other types makes little difference.

 

But it would be nice to select or remove Premium Members only status caches from the search results. Because I go out with non-premium geocachers and it hurts for them to find a cache with me an not be able to log it. I know the cache says Premium members only in the description, but sometimes that is missed.

 

Kudos on a VERY well thought-out post! I hope that Groundspeak will read it and take what you say to heart!

 

I especially agree with your suggestion of displaying to the user the search criteria that the engine interpreted. It could probably be made human-readable although, boolean logic and operator/operand priorities isn't something that everyone understands. Something like "Searching for regular sized caches of traditional type within 10 miles of St. Paul, MN where the name contains "Warrior Woman" and was hidden by King Boreas" That would at least help me to understand what its doing.

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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....

 

I would have no problem telling face to face the team responsible for the new search "feature" that I thoroughly hate everything about it. That is not a personal comment about them as people, but it is my honest opinion about the value to me of their work. Just because it might actually be functional for a database engineer, does not mean it has any value for the rest of us.

 

I will not even make the mistake of telling you what I was looking for. I do not want anyone to drop by with friendly advise about how to accomplish my search. I don't even want to know. Actually I did find what I was looking for. I edited the URL of a completely unrelated cache page and went right to it. How many newbie users would have realized they could do that? I am about to hit the "Add Reply" button now. I did not say anything that I regret. Fair enough?

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Moun10bike, Rock Chalk,

 

I'm going to be very simple in explaining my hideous displeasure with this new search.

 

1. It's not intuitive. If you have to start defining variables in your filters WITH NO EXAMPLES GIVEN... that's a problem, especially if you are unfamiliar with the system.

 

2. When we searched, we could easily search from a location, our home location, by region, by geocachier, by...well, a lot of things, FROM THE SAME MENU. We are now faced with nested slide downs that may or may not give us what we want based on the combination of variables that we may or may not know that we have to do.

 

3. Region searches were by date. You got the newest first. Unless you go click on a 'Placed On' heading to reorganize them (wait, a second click, doesn't that put more stress on the database?) You don't see the new caches...which are first and foremost, the events in the future.

 

4. And here is where I think that many, many people have gotten upset with you for many times, and honestly guys, this is not a good way to keep people happy and wanting to spend money here....and that is your response to feedback. There are legitimate concerns that people have brought up. Your response has been "but modern webpage. you love it!" in some form or fashion.

 

I honestly don't understand why when you release a new feature that you allow a trial period, say 2-3 weeks where both options are available as a choice on your profile. And see, here's the thing...YOU PUT A BANNER that allows people to go straight to the option. I'll try something, but if I don't like it, I can switch it back.

 

That way you'd have hard data as to what features people want, and what features you want that almost no one else does.

 

I'm sorry, but the search kind of ticked me off. Some caches I don't want to hide found caches while searching the database....there are caches that have you find the top X favorite points caches in a state. Before it was REALLY EASY to see if you found it or not. The whole bar turned color. Now it's an itty bitty smiley on a cache logo. with no color change on a row. Awesome removal of a feature that helped with visual searches quickly.

 

And let me also be clear. This website's main draw is that geocache database. Not how flashy, or modern, or spiffy the design of the icons are. I STILL hate this generation of smileys. By all means allow for better, stronger, faster ways to access that database, but if people can't understand how to access the main draw of your website, they will not come back.

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I don't have the time nor inclination to even try to adapt to the new search at this point.

Please give us the option to continue using the old search.

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The concept behind an "Advanced" search feature is that it is *OPTIONAL* --- and implies that the "Standard" search feature is still available. Perhaps that is all Groundspeak needs to do in the short-term to fix this situation... make both Search features available: Standard Search and Advanced Search.

 

I participated in the trial-period for the Advanced Search and provided my feedback. This whole issue however is due to the fact that people's expectations were that the Advanced Search would be ADDITIONAL to the Standard Search - and NOT REPLACE it.

Edited by Doug.G

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I saw a Forum Post that you could access the results of the old "Found By" Username search via a direct URL... but the Post didn't provide the URL itself. Does anyone know what it would be?

 

When you have done a search using the new page and it's displaying the list of caches add this to the end of the URL and it will additionally filter for caches found by Fred:

 

&foundby=FredFlintstone

 

 

I honestly don't understand why when you release a new feature that you allow a trial period, say 2-3 weeks where both options are available as a choice on your profile. And see, here's the thing...YOU PUT A BANNER that allows people to go straight to the option. I'll try something, but if I don't like it, I can switch it back.

 

 

To be fair they did exactly that, it's been there as an optional search for Premium Members for a month or so, it was announced in a thread on the forums, where there was much feedback provided. There wasn't exactly a banner but it was there on your homepage under a heading "Sneak Peaks" or something similar.

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One (maybe the only?) funny thing that came outta all of this is quite a few locals have emailed me (of all people) over this search thing.

Bringing this out just before the busy Pi weekend probably did it...

I've only noticed two that ever posted and most (probably the same everywhere...) never even lurk the forums.

Of course with all my expertise in tech - I directed 'em here. :laughing:

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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.

Thank you Keystone this works! I don't know why they would change this option from the search. If I am on vacation I don't want to start looking for caches from my home.

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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.

 

May I ask you why this filter which is so essential for the new search is not available to basic members and this is not even mentioned somewhere? I fully understand that you restrict the fancy features to premium members, but taking away from basic members nearly everything which they have been able to to with the old tool and without notice is somehow not very kind.

 

I wonder what kind of feedback from basic members the developpers expected when essentially all the useful search functionality which is present in the old system has been taking away from basic members. Have you tried to use the new search with an account without PM rights? Does anyone think that the search as offered to basic members is good for anything reasonable?

One cannot even exclude found caches.

 

While you refer above to the fact that the new search has recently been enforced on all users while it has been available to PMs before, not a single of your comments refers to the issues the new tool causes for basic members. I'm not sure whether the fact that you did deal with this issues, means that it is not common even though it concerns every single basic member.

Edited by cezanne

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I think we can discuss this matter as long as we want. GS won't change anything for basic members. All they really care for is selling pm's.

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GS won't change anything for basic members.

 

Maybe. I'm not expecting them to change something, but to answer some questions and I wonder why the issue of basic members which has been brought up many times in this thread is not one of the common issues referred to by Rock Chalk. At the very least it would have been nice to point out that the often referred to country filter is not available to basic members. Also the FAQ do not mention basic member restrictions with a word. I wonder why as I do not think that by mentioning the weaknesses of the search tool for basic members, would make them lose a single PM.

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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.

Thank you Keystone this works! I don't know why they would change this option from the search. If I am on vacation I don't want to start looking for caches from my home.

After opening the Geocaching.com cache map from your profile page or from any cache listing, type your vacation location in the search box at the upper left to re-center the map.

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At the very least it would have been nice to point out that the often referred to country filter is not available to basic members. Also the FAQ do not mention basic member restrictions with a word. I wonder why as I do not think that by mentioning the weaknesses of the search tool for basic members, would make them lose a single PM.

A little (but just a little) surprised that there was no mention that basic members would lose most of the already limited "basics" they had just a few days ago too.

I'd think the site loses for alienating 'em like that.

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Due to the number of caches in the US and Germany (and the impact that sorting results would have on performance), those two countries are not offered in the regional breakdown in the UI for doing whole-country queries.

 

Sorry, but this is not a good answer as also these countries should be searchable as a whole.

I even want to search "worldwide" in some cases.

 

I think every actual database does have a "select * from xxx where cachename=like(%something%)" should work in an enourmous speed when searching for fragments of names - just as one example.

 

Please add this kind of search options as well AND please keep the old search available as well. Why not having the old and the new version in parallel. Both have their advantages and disadvantages...

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Broken?

 

I've tried three browsers on both a PC and an iPad and no matter what filters I select or don't I get a DNF, can't get any results.

 

I can only get results if I select a location.

Edited by Roman!

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I tried only selecting event and got DNF and it won't work.

 

It will work if I select has corrected coordinates or if I enter something in search only in..... But I have to say it is confusing when sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't, just depends on what is selected.

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I can say I really do not like this new search. It gave me caching 30 miles from my house. I liked the old search because you could pull up your state and the event caches were first and then the newest released caches. I am a premium member and I can say I have a hard time with the new search.

 

I like the idea of keeping the old search or option of having the new search. I think HQ would see most people stick with the old after trying this new search.

 

From reading the forums I think GSHQ made a big mistake. I am coming up for renewal and if I cant understand this new search I just may not renew my membership. I think I have been a member for 10 years now.

 

I would tell HQ to go back to the old search it seems no one likes it. If I could give a thumbs down on the new updates I would. I have never felt this way before on the geocaching.com site

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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:

...

 

Discovering Events:

...

 

Download/Export Results:

...

 

Usability:

...

 

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....

 

Nice to hear that the comments are read.

Nice to see some sum ups of what was written on other pages already.

 

But I am missing a statement concerning the questions of "basic vs. premium memberships". I think this is also a topic to be considered. It seems that the new search is almost unusable for basic members. From my point of view all members should be able to use the full range of search options. PMs have the PQ as an additional option - that's enough, at least for me.

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I normally use the map to find caches along LONG routes. If I know that I am going on a trip(say from Jackson,sc to Maggie Valley,NC) then I normally just click open the map and pick a few caches along the roads that I plan on traveling and load them if I think they wont make the already long trip too much longer. The map function if useless now with the 30 mile limit. tried to do the locationless thing mentioned a few times but it only came back with a few caches in the middle of SC nowhere near where I will be traveling.

 

Unhappy, Unhappy, Unhappy.

 

please fix the map scrolling feature back to the way it was.

 

Did I mention how unhappy I am with this new map layout. :(

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The only thing this update is gonna do is run off current paying members and cause anyone that discovers geocaching not want to pick up the hobby cause of the site not being user friendly, thus losing them as new paying members in the future.

 

 

and that's a FACT

 

If i was new and just started the day before the update and i came back this mess to try to figure this out

I WOULDN'T OF COME BACK

 

 

Your forums blow up cause of a update and you don't wanna address any of it, constructive criticism goes both ways good and bad, but we only get cookie cutter responses of go check out the FAQ, and "well its easy you just leave the Search Bar Blank ?!?!?! then apply filters but then select only search with in this state or country but uncheck all the cache types then select the one you want but remember don't put anything in the mileage radius box" and it will show you everything.... or we just click i wanna view "This State" or "this country" oh look its ONE CLICK

 

simple examples of how easy the old system was

 


  •  
  • Wanna see most Fav cache? oh ok clicks on the state then clicks sort by favorites TADA! oh look its sorted, well that was easy (same thing applies to a country)
     
  • wanna see the oldest cache in a the state well glad you asked *selects state* *clicks sort by placed date* tada all done this also showed you all OLD CACHES for people trying complete that grid

 

 

An if its not that you respond to the few "beta" testers that find it some what usable which if you had your eyes open would see ITS NOT you have people that have been doing this for almost a decade or more are telling you they ain't gonna renew ?!?! this should be a instant red flag.

 

 

 

Searching By Name , and what not GREAT IDEA it really was but WHY NOT JUST APPLY IT TO THE OLD SYSTEM? versus redesign the wheel

 

Map These Results = GREAT IDEA but yet again why not have it on the old system

 

Searching By City MEGA GREAT ! (except some don't work my own hometown doesn't work its about 250miles west according to your searching system and also this would eliminate the whole zip code which was the only thing that required a little work when searching making it truly simplier if you know im going to this city and i wanna cache the area)

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I normally use the map to find caches along LONG routes. If I know that I am going on a trip(say from Jackson,sc to Maggie Valley,NC) then I normally just click open the map and pick a few caches along the roads that I plan on traveling and load them if I think they wont make the already long trip too much longer. The map function if useless now with the 30 mile limit. tried to do the locationless thing mentioned a few times but it only came back with a few caches in the middle of SC nowhere near where I will be traveling.

 

Unhappy, Unhappy, Unhappy.

 

please fix the map scrolling feature back to the way it was.

 

Did I mention how unhappy I am with this new map layout. :(

Just open the map from any cache listing, or from the map icon in the right hand column of your profile page, under "search options." Pan, zoom and click as you wander around, seeing all the caches in the world on the map.

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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

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It would be really useful to have a filter box to click on that would give you oldest or newest in a State or Region.

 

old system could do that with 2 clicks

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It would be really useful to have a filter box to click on that would give you oldest or newest in a State or Region.

 

The screenshots I posted in this post (#115) might help explain searching an entire state and this post (#137) might help explain searching for events in a state.

For the oldest/newest functionality you mentioned, you can run the "entire state" search and then click the "Placed On" column name when the search results appear...click once and it will sort with newest first, click again and it will sort with oldest first. This post from another thread may help. I'm posting links to avoid muddying this page with a bunch of screenshots.

 

These steps may not be as slick as the 'old' search, but considering the 'new' search is here then hopefully this info will help. Admittedly I'm not familiar with the 'old' search because I rarely use the site's Search options...I just use "Play --> View Geocache Map" or "Community --> Events" or PQ's or Project-GC. I don't myself using the 'new' search much either, but figured I'd look at it since there's so much discussion about it.

 

When I run all caches in Massachusetts, then I get the same results as Moun10Bike's URL link. I wonder if there are intermittent bugs that could cause his link to not work for you. I used Moun10Bike's URL in both Firefox and IE.

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Spent my day attending 3 Pi Events. Spoke to a number of folks NOT a ONE likes the new search. At least 3 told me they were testers, ALL made comments to GS about the very issues being mentioned here... so clearly whomever wrote this new search program was well aware before they embarrassingly snuck this new search onto the web site there were numerous problems. I say that because in the past whenever GS did something major they crowed it to the roof tops so everyone even me a basic member knew about it... except for the few beta testers no one I spoke to knew this was coming down the line. Back to those testers... one says they'd never use this search again and a number of folks they know wouldn't as they do everything via GSAK. The others were not thrilled with the product we now have and had hope their comments would have been addressed before launching. All were unaware how handicapped this new search would be to basic membership. Nearly all I spoke with agree handicapping the basic membership is going to hurt caching in the long run. With less no new blood less chance to turn that basic member into a PM, less money generated from merchandise and tracking numbers, few caches as I'm sure basic members place a LOT of caches... maybe not the best quality ones but then I can name a number of PM caches that are nothing more wet log in torn ziplock tossed is a GRC or LPC where the CO hasn't maintained in any way shape or form. I really hope that TPTB address this handicapping... I bet no one here started their Caching life as a PM we all started as a basic lets NOT forget our roots.

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I was in the computer industry for almost all my working life (I wrote my first program in 1967) mostly as a programmer and manager of programmers. This is almost certainly the most counterintuitive user interface I have ever seen.

 

The internet is full of search boxes. Until this appeared, every one of them accepted a search string. Enter what you want to search for and a list of possibilities appears.

 

At a rough guess 90% of searches using this system require you to leave the search box empty.

 

My solution? Remove the front page completely. Go straight to the filters page and add an optional location box.

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Is there a way to have access to the old search page?

 

Some research we used in the past are no more possible, ie:

 

- Impossible to find a cache by its name only if I don't know its location

- No more search beginning by the most recent caches

Edited by starless

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I really, really don't like the new search. Please bring back the old search. I just did a search on Nashville TN for a trip we are taking. The first few results seemed to work, but halfway down the page it switches back to local caches. why???? The results are too spread out to do any eyeball comparisons and I am finding it hard to follow across the page without guidelines. I don't understand how this is supposed to be an improvement? It will take me hours to figure out all the new ins and outs. I would rather be finding caches!!!!

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I normally use the map to find caches along LONG routes. If I know that I am going on a trip(say from Jackson,sc to Maggie Valley,NC) then I normally just click open the map and pick a few caches along the roads that I plan on traveling and load them if I think they wont make the already long trip too much longer. The map function if useless now with the 30 mile limit. tried to do the locationless thing mentioned a few times but it only came back with a few caches in the middle of SC nowhere near where I will be traveling.

 

Unhappy, Unhappy, Unhappy.

 

please fix the map scrolling feature back to the way it was.

 

Did I mention how unhappy I am with this new map layout. :(

Just open the map from any cache listing, or from the map icon in the right hand column of your profile page, under "search options." Pan, zoom and click as you wander around, seeing all the caches in the world on the map.

That's a helpful response to this particular cacher. The problem is that it doesn't address what happens when someone who doesn't frequent the forums, and this thread in particular, tries to accomplish the same thing via the search page.

 

It's not intuitive and they're more likely to get frustrated and give up, rather than experiment until they get the results they're looking for.

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Domo!!!

 

Has anyone succeeded in solving the so called "Ground Zero" or "GZ" Puzzle caches AFTER the introduction of this Advanced search?

 

I guess not...

 

If someone has drawn the proper GZ coords for a certain postal code, could you please post here how you have accomplished that in detail so anyone can follow?

 

HUGE Thanks.

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I bet no one here started their Caching life as a PM we all started as a basic lets NOT forget our roots.

 

Actually I was a premium member before searching for a single cache, mind you I had a few beer, I was on the bus and I was bored.

 

Originally I liked the new search, today i ws out finding a few caches before a PI event and wanted to check on my iPhone when it started, I then saw a note on the cache page that due to the heavy rain they moved it to a nearby shelter and gave a GC code of a cache for coordinate so I hit the search. Not thinking I entered the GC into the main text box and of course got the DNF then I went into the filter and entered the GC code, another DNF, guess I forgot to reset something. At this point I went into the app and used the search there to get me the coordinates of the cache so in my one real life experience with the new search I'd say it's a fail.

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Has anyone succeeded in solving the so called "Ground Zero" or "GZ" Puzzle caches AFTER the introduction of this Advanced search?

Are you talking about ones like Ground Zero: Swansea? If so, here's a way that works for that one:

 

Use the new search to look for caches near "Swansea, MA". Ignore the results and look at the URL of the search results page:

 

https://www.geocaching.com/play/search/@41.74816,-71.18977?origin=Swansea,+MA

That contains the base coords for Swansea in decimal degrees format. Convert them to "DDD MM.MMM" format using (for example) the "Other Conversions" link on any cache page. Apply the offsets specified in the Ground Zero: Swansea page, and check the result using the Geochecker link. I just did that and confirmed that I have the right coords.

 

NOTE: The fact that I'm explaining how to use the new search to do something should not be interpreted to mean that I like the new search. I do not!

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When using the website, an easy way to search for a particular GC Code is to go to the homepage (for logged-in users) and enter the GC Code in the search box on the right-hand side of the page.

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There were definitely features on the old system that were much easier to use than the new one. One of the things that made it easier was the fact that most of us knew how it worked. No one seems to have a good idea how this new thing works and people don't like this type of change. I'm sure that if everyone knew that the sneak peek of the advanced search tool was going to end replacing the old one the reviews of it would have been very different. If this doesn't make a lot of sense I was talking to a three year old why I was typing this.

 

To be honest though, when we were looking for something that required a complicated set of search criteria we would use the pocket queries to narrow it down, and we still do.

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I normally use the map to find caches along LONG routes. If I know that I am going on a trip(say from Jackson,sc to Maggie Valley,NC) then I normally just click open the map and pick a few caches along the roads that I plan on traveling and load them if I think they wont make the already long trip too much longer. The map function if useless now with the 30 mile limit. tried to do the locationless thing mentioned a few times but it only came back with a few caches in the middle of SC nowhere near where I will be traveling.

 

Unhappy, Unhappy, Unhappy.

 

please fix the map scrolling feature back to the way it was.

 

Did I mention how unhappy I am with this new map layout. :(

 

Thanks REDNECK for helping me out. Now I can use my map scroll the way I like to route my day.

(Using "view geocache map" tab under the play tab.

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Has anyone succeeded in solving the so called "Ground Zero" or "GZ" Puzzle caches AFTER the introduction of this Advanced search?

Are you talking about ones like Ground Zero: Swansea? If so, here's a way that works for that one:

 

Use the new search to look for caches near "Swansea, MA". Ignore the results and look at the URL of the search results page:

 

https://www.geocaching.com/play/search/@41.74816,-71.18977?origin=Swansea,+MA

That contains the base coords for Swansea in decimal degrees format. Convert them to "DDD MM.MMM" format using (for example) the "Other Conversions" link on any cache page. Apply the offsets specified in the Ground Zero: Swansea page, and check the result using the Geochecker link. I just did that and confirmed that I have the right coords.

 

NOTE: The fact that I'm explaining how to use the new search to do something should not be interpreted to mean that I like the new search. I do not!

 

Thanks Nylimb!

 

Great point!

This GZ Puzzle, Solved!

 

And, yes, I also agree that the 'new' search does not seem to be intuitive nor favored...

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