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Release Notes - March 30, 2015

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Read the previous Release Notes

 

We’ve received tons of great feedback about the new Search tool since its release earlier this month. This feedback is invaluable as we continue to build this ever-improving product. Our team is hard at work on the next round of improvements!

 

We recognize, though, that learning the ins and outs of the new tool will take some time. To that end, we’re keeping the old Search around a bit longer. With today’s site release, we’ve made that page easier to find by adding a link to it from the new Search page.

 

Questions? Check out the Advanced Search FAQ in the Geocaching Help Center.

 

The release also includes a healthy dose of bug squashing.

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Has a conscious decision been made to not provide a link to documentation from the Search page? One would think that such a link would have been added at the same time the link to the old search was being added, but it isn't there.

 

If so, can you explain the reasoning behind that decision? It's painfully clear from the discussion in these forums (and elsewhere) that the primary hurdle being encountered with the new Search is that people can't figure out how to use it, and a link to the FAQ would go a long way.

 

Edit to add: Further...

We recognize, though, that learning the ins and outs of the new tool will take some time.

Time won't help. If a user tries to use the new Search tool and can't figure it out, they're not going to continue banging their head against a wall until they suddenly figure it out. They're going to try it, fail, decide that it's broken/not designed for them/garbage, and give up.

Edited by The A-Team

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Questions? Check out the Advanced Search FAQ in the Geocaching Help Center.

 

Unfortunately, the FAQ does not address the question I have: Why does the new search offer filters for cache types for basic members which are much less needed for the everyday use than being able to filter out found caches or being able to search within a state/country? Both the latter options have been available to all members for more than a decade and have been removed now in the new tool.

 

It is the first time that very basic functionality has been taken away from basic members and not that new functionality has been made available only to premium members. The latter is something natural to expect, the former is not.

 

If the restrictions of the new search stay that way, it would suggest itself to introduce two categories of paid members, a cheaper one without the name premium and without all the additional stuff that comes along with the higher category and a more expensive one which can be referred to as premium.

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TY! TY! TY!

 

 

Please Keep The Old Search There FOR GOOD !!!

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To that end, we’re keeping the old Search around a bit longer.

I have no idea why you want to get rid of the old search at all. In fact, I don't understand why the new search wasn't added as an advanced search via a link from the old search page. If the new search was inherently easier, that would be something else, but in case you didn't realize that it's not very easy to understand before, you certainly should understand that by now, so it makes sense to go to an approach with a simple search that everyone can understand without reading a FAQ backed up with the advance search that has so many interesting new features.

 

And, mind you, I'm saying this as someone that's never found the old search to be very useful, so I'd likely go to the advanced search page every time.

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What I'm hoping for is a combined search feature - much like dprovan described. Earlier on I suggested that it's not about flexibility in filters so much as it is about simplicity of populating those filters with common search parameters.

 

The old search, as is quite visible, has multiple search entry points, various common methods of finding caches. The new one has one single entry point field, opening up to modifying all the parameters to suit your needs. Bring the old entry interface over to the initial step for the new search form, and everyone gets what they want, and it's easy to understand and intuitive.

 

It really is just about the first page, what the user is first presented with. One unified field is insufficient and unintuitive.

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Well, this is the first piece of good news here I've seen in a while! Thank you thank you!

 

Now I have just three requests:

 

1. Leave the old search link there forever!

2. Add a link to the instructions for the new search, instead of leaving it buried and hard to get at when people are already frustrated.

3. Please, please, don't mess about with any other part of the site! We don't need change for change's sake.

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"Take me to the old search" is an OUTSTANDING addition to the website. It is small, but that old search screen is so needed. I tried an archived cache search via the GC and it came right up! THAT is a good thing!

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To that end, we’re keeping the old Search around a bit longer.

 

Another question not answered in the FAQ: If the old search will go away in the (near?) future, what will happen to the search links on the cache pages (search for the nearest caches/nearest unfound caches/nearest caches of that type/nearest unfound caches of that type)? These links rely on the old search and the old output format which seems to be preferred by the big majority of cachers.

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Read the previous Release Notes

 

We’ve received tons of great feedback about the new Search tool since its release earlier this month. This feedback is invaluable as we continue to build this ever-improving product. Our team is hard at work on the next round of improvements!

 

We recognize, though, that learning the ins and outs of the new tool will take some time. To that end, we’re keeping the old Search around a bit longer. With today’s site release, we’ve made that page easier to find by adding a link to it from the new Search page.

Thank you - that's very helpful.

 

I'd second cezanne's questions btw. I don't use the search itself much, but the links from the cache pages I use regularly.

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TY! TY! TY!

 

 

Please Keep The Old Search There FOR GOOD !!!

 

I completely agree! Give the user the option to use either based on their needs at the time.

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Well, it seems that the users feedback was successful.

As some other people mentioned, I would also appreciate if the old search will be available in the future as it is by today.

Cheers

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Just a small point on this new search. The "Top-Rated Geocaches in Your Region" search finds ALL caches in my state and sorts them by FP's. I know the fine print at the bottom mentions state or country, but the problem is that NSW is bigger than Texas. It is also bigger than any European country, other than Russia. Some of these caches are over 1000Km from home. I'm sure someone from Amarillo wouldn't regard Houston as being in their region. I don't regard far North NSW as being in mine. Why not set a range here, where it might be useful rather than in the main search box where it just plain confuses people? Also set a limit of something like 50% of the FP's of the top rated cache in the range. Now you get the top rated caches in what could reasonably be described as my region.

 

Simple algorithm:

 

1. Find all caches within 200Km of my home location (or my GPS location if available, but not my IP address location)

2. Sort by FP's

3. Take a cut-off at 10 caches or 50% of the highest FP, whichever is larger.

4. Display this set of caches.

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Awesome to see that added back. I think having both really is the best of both worlds for searching.

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Where is the language selector? I know, I can set it in "Preferences" section, but sometimes my langage set back to English. In the past I can select my language on the main page, but it's disappeared. Please give me language selector (or repair the bug :rolleyes: )!

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Many, many, many (etc) thanks GS. :D Please leave the 'old search' in and add the 'advanced search' as an optional extra. At the same time, just be thankful you don't have a 'Pepsi' - yet! :rolleyes:

 

We're not that dumb, and we're not that smart.
- Donald Keough, Coca-Cola company's president and chief operating officer

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Just a small point on this new search. The "Top-Rated Geocaches in Your Region" search finds ALL caches in my state and sorts them by FP's. I know the fine print at the bottom mentions state or country, but the problem is that NSW is bigger than Texas. It is also bigger than any European country, other than Russia. Some of these caches are over 1000Km from home. I'm sure someone from Amarillo wouldn't regard Houston as being in their region. I don't regard far North NSW as being in mine. Why not set a range here, where it might be useful rather than in the main search box where it just plain confuses people? Also set a limit of something like 50% of the FP's of the top rated cache in the range. Now you get the top rated caches in what could reasonably be described as my region.

 

Simple algorithm:

 

1. Find all caches within 200Km of my home location (or my GPS location if available, but not my IP address location)

2. Sort by FP's

3. Take a cut-off at 10 caches or 50% of the highest FP, whichever is larger.

4. Display this set of caches.

 

Or you can also just put a minimum favorite point value in the additional filters until you return less than 1000.

1. No center point (blank main field)

2. 'Search Only In' your state

3. Minimum favorite points: 100 should probably even be enough to dramatically reduce the chaff.

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recently you made the avatar top profile picture smaller and round,

WHY ? it was much better looking when it was bigger and square

a picture is not supposed to be round, that looks bad.

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Where is the Feature suggest forum section ??

or Feature change suggest ?

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Where is the language selector? I know, I can set it in "Preferences" section, but sometimes my langage set back to English. In the past I can select my language on the main page, but it's disappeared. Please give me language selector (or repair the bug :rolleyes: )!

 

"Choose Language" is in the footer. Just below the "Partner With Us" links.

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Just a small point on this new search. The "Top-Rated Geocaches in Your Region" search finds ALL caches in my state and sorts them by FP's. I know the fine print at the bottom mentions state or country, but the problem is that NSW is bigger than Texas. It is also bigger than any European country, other than Russia. Some of these caches are over 1000Km from home. I'm sure someone from Amarillo wouldn't regard Houston as being in their region. I don't regard far North NSW as being in mine. Why not set a range here, where it might be useful rather than in the main search box where it just plain confuses people? Also set a limit of something like 50% of the FP's of the top rated cache in the range. Now you get the top rated caches in what could reasonably be described as my region.

 

Simple algorithm:

 

1. Find all caches within 200Km of my home location (or my GPS location if available, but not my IP address location)

2. Sort by FP's

3. Take a cut-off at 10 caches or 50% of the highest FP, whichever is larger.

4. Display this set of caches.

 

Or you can also just put a minimum favorite point value in the additional filters until you return less than 1000.

1. No center point (blank main field)

2. 'Search Only In' your state

3. Minimum favorite points: 100 should probably even be enough to dramatically reduce the chaff.

Yes, I understand that. My point, however, was that the standard search doesn't do what it says on the box. It doesn't provide a list of top rated geocaches in my region. It produces a list of all caches within my state, up to 1100 kilometers away, sorted by FP.

 

The fact that I can achieve what the standard search claims to offer by ignoring it and rolling my own search is beside the point.

 

Cheers

 

Tony

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My point, however, was that the standard search doesn't do what it says on the box. It doesn't provide a list of top rated geocaches in my region. It produces a list of all caches within my state, up to 1100 kilometers away, sorted by FP.

Actually, it does exactly what it says on the box:

Top-Rated Geocaches in Your Region

 

Search for geocaches in your state or country sorted by Favorite Points.

It just doesn't do what you would like it to do, which seems to be for caches over a certain number of Favourite Points and within a certain distance of home. To perform such a search, you'll have to create it yourself.

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Where is the language selector? I know, I can set it in "Preferences" section, but sometimes my langage set back to English. In the past I can select my language on the main page, but it's disappeared. Please give me language selector (or repair the bug :rolleyes: )!

 

"Choose Language" is in the footer. Just below the "Partner With Us" links.

 

Thanks, I was blind. :unsure:

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Where is the link to Benchmark Hunting from the Geocaching Home Page? This link is very important to those of us who hunt for benchmarks. Please return this link so that everyone can search for benchmarks!! :)

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Where is the link to Benchmark Hunting from the Geocaching Home Page? This link is very important to those of us who hunt for benchmarks. Please return this link so that everyone can search for benchmarks!! :)

The first post from the 3/25/15 release notes explains it as "These pages did not make it into the new navigation but you can still find them on our website" (with a link to what you're looking for there).

Edited by cerberus1

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Has a conscious decision been made to not provide a link to documentation from the Search page? One would think that such a link would have been added at the same time the link to the old search was being added, but it isn't there.

 

If so, can you explain the reasoning behind that decision? It's painfully clear from the discussion in these forums (and elsewhere) that the primary hurdle being encountered with the new Search is that people can't figure out how to use it, and a link to the FAQ would go a long way.

It's unfortunate that we haven't gotten a response to this. The combination of silence and inaction indicates to me that there are no plans to provide any additional assistance to users, which is simply mind-boggling. I guess everyone is just supposed to figure it out on their own.

 

If that's the case, I'll put the final touches on my guide and distribute the link as far and wide as possible, because the user base in-general desperately needs assistance in understanding how to use the new search. I don't want to see people suffer needlessly, so I'll do whatever I can to fill the gaps. It's unfortunate that this couldn't have been provided by the Lilypad, but I guess that's just the way things have been decided.

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Has a conscious decision been made to not provide a link to documentation from the Search page? One would think that such a link would have been added at the same time the link to the old search was being added, but it isn't there.

 

If so, can you explain the reasoning behind that decision? It's painfully clear from the discussion in these forums (and elsewhere) that the primary hurdle being encountered with the new Search is that people can't figure out how to use it, and a link to the FAQ would go a long way.

It's unfortunate that we haven't gotten a response to this. The combination of silence and inaction indicates to me that there are no plans to provide any additional assistance to users, which is simply mind-boggling. I guess everyone is just supposed to figure it out on their own.

 

If that's the case, I'll put the final touches on my guide and distribute the link as far and wide as possible, because the user base in-general desperately needs assistance in understanding how to use the new search. I don't want to see people suffer needlessly, so I'll do whatever I can to fill the gaps. It's unfortunate that this couldn't have been provided by the Lilypad, but I guess that's just the way things have been decided.

 

We have got a response to it - the standard No Response. This, above all else, is the most vexing thing in my life on the internet - whether at work or at home. No reply, given a few days, says in the most clear terms possible "We don't think this is worth a reply." Sometimes it's at least polite to say, "We will look into it" or "Thanks for the feedback."

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We were among those who were extremely upset with and frustrated by the new search tool. We complained in the forum and waited to see what would happen. Thank you, thank you, thank you for listening to all of us who have been confused and upset by the new way. We greatly appreciate having the old way back; it's easy to use and we love it. Thanks again!

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