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Release Notes (Website and app: Icon updates) - December 5, 2016


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Groundspeak wrote me they introduced the new icons to be more consistent with the app.

First: I don't use the app so I don't care, second, why don't you change the icons in the app to the real Geocaching-icons?

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A few years ago, there was uproar when the log icons changed

 

I mentioned how everyone hated the change to a Lackey IN PERSON (at a Mega Event) and the reply was "nobody died"

 

This is their attitude really. :(

 

Hey, the map has changed and it's unusable but [as far as we know] nobody died!

 

 

M

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A few years ago, there was uproar when the log icons changed

 

I mentioned how everyone hated the change to a Lackey IN PERSON (at a Mega Event) and the reply was "nobody died"

 

This is their attitude really. :(

 

Hey, the map has changed and it's unusable but [as far as we know] nobody died!

 

 

M

 

It's true that nobody has died as a result of these unasked-for changes. But every time someone seen as one of the "powers that be" gives a flippant, insulting answer like that, a little piece of our enjoyment of geocaching dies.

 

I could say a lot more, but to what end?

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I'm fine with the icons either way. The new ones don't bother me in the last.

 

Though it's a perfectly valid complaint about the colors for those who have color perception problems, and I believe that's already been acknowledged as something to address.

 

Personally I'd like to see one more app function moved to the website. When there are tons of caches, having a map full of dots isn't very useful. I like the app's collapsing into groups with "20+" sort of thing. I'd find that useful when scrolling the web map in areas I'm not familiar with. Is that on the plan to bring to the web maps?

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A few years ago, there was uproar when the log icons changed

 

I mentioned how everyone hated the change to a Lackey IN PERSON (at a Mega Event) and the reply was "nobody died"

 

This is their attitude really. :(

 

Hey, the map has changed and it's unusable but [as far as we know] nobody died!

 

 

M

 

You have made an allegation about a comment that you say one person made an event. Even if it were true that someone made this comment, it would be grossly unfair to assume that an entire company shares the same thinking as one person.

 

Let's be very careful with the tone of this thread. A Release Notes thread is for commenting on a specific release, not for making unfounded allegations or personal attacks. The thread will be closed if it continues in this direction.

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On the rare occasion that I am using (the old) app ("new" one still is not ready for prime time) I am looking at a screen that has about 10% of the usable viewing area of my laptop. Why should the limitations inherent in a relatively small smartphone viewing space dictate what I see on my laptop or desktop? The old icons worked quite well in the "desktop" environment. There is no need to hobble the desktop presentation for the sake of "uniformity" I suspect most of us are (and have been) smart enough to be able to function in two different geocaching environments. Otherwise we would have gone over to one of those other, more simpleminded, games.

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why don't you change the icons in the app to the real Geocaching-icons?

I'm not an app developer, but my guess is that with the smaller screen and other constraints as well as, perhaps, "app style" in general, the requirements for the icons in the app are quite different. That would explain why they don't change the app icons for consistency, but it doesn't explain why other considerations aren't more important than consistency when considering using the app icons on the website.

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A Release Notes thread is for commenting on a specific release

 

Fine, however I'm wondering since months why the threads get closed down if the next such thread gets opened. Cachers often will have comments also at a later time, in particular when two releases are close to each other.

When a still very active release notes threads gets closed down when a new is started, it somehow feels like now Groundspeak thinks that the topic has been sufficiently taken care of.

 

Of course as a workaround additional threads can be opened but only the release notes threads appear to be monitored and moreover it's not an ideal situation to spread discussions over several threads.

 

Maybe the approach to close down release notes threads too sonn could be reconsidered.

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Wow.. I am not saying I like or dislike the icons. But I've been banned for far tamer things than the Groundspeak bashing I've read here in this thread. :(

 

When people are upset and feel their concerns are taken lightly, or even brushed off entirely, it has been my personal experience that they then move on to anger and resentment. I don't condone personal attacks on people who are uninvolved in the decision making, but I do feel those who make these decisions bear some responsibility for not coming forward. An open discussion, like that which surrounds the prospective revival of Mission 9, would be welcome.

 

Groundspeak wrote me they introduced the new icons to be more consistent with the app.

First: I don't use the app so I don't care, second, why don't you change the icons in the app to the real Geocaching-icons?

 

+1

Edited by DragonsWest
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Thank you everyone for the feedback. We’ve investigated the colorblindness concerns and have identified areas for improvement. We’ll be rolling out the changes in the coming days.

 

Does this mean we have our old map and icons back?

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A few years ago, there was uproar when the log icons changed

 

I mentioned how everyone hated the change to a Lackey IN PERSON (at a Mega Event) and the reply was "nobody died"

 

This is their attitude really. :(

 

Hey, the map has changed and it's unusable but [as far as we know] nobody died!

 

 

M

 

You have made an allegation about a comment that you say one person made an event. Even if it were true that someone made this comment, it would be grossly unfair to assume that an entire company shares the same thinking as one person.

 

Let's be very careful with the tone of this thread. A Release Notes thread is for commenting on a specific release, not for making unfounded allegations or personal attacks. The thread will be closed if it continues in this direction.

 

I don't want to be the one killing the thread but in the end, what does it matter? It's a one sided discussion, one that the powers to be could care less about. My opinion is that Groundspeak thinks they are the almighty geocaching site and therefore do whatever they want without regard to its customers. Except for people trying the app for a few days and then quitting, geocaching has all but died in my area. There are a few diehards like me but i predict even our days are numbered. I'm sure those phone app hits are up right now but i honestly don't think they're gonna continue for all that long. Just not sure what Groundspeak's plans are after that.

 

I remember when Jeremy used to come onto the forums and enter into the various discussions. Of course he had his opinions of how things should be done but he did take time to talk and listen to us lowly geocachers. It's a shame the monopoly, along with customers come second attitude is here now because i really believe this is gonna have a negative impact on the future of geocaching.com.

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I remember when Jeremy used to come onto the forums and enter into the various discussions. Of course he had his opinions of how things should be done but he did take time to talk and listen to us lowly geocachers. It's a shame the monopoly, along with customers come second attitude is here now because i really believe this is gonna have a negative impact on the future of geocaching.com.

 

Those of us who who have been here long enough to remember those days no longer matter to Groundspeak. Heck, we use dedicated GPS units to find caches, and we populate them with data from a PQ. Only a caveman would do that any more. Time to move on.

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Personally I'd like to see one more app function moved to the website. When there are tons of caches, having a map full of dots isn't very useful. I like the app's collapsing into groups with "20+" sort of thing. I'd find that useful when scrolling the web map in areas I'm not familiar with. Is that on the plan to bring to the web maps?

To the Lackeys reading this request, please note that multiple people that have used the Groundspeak app DO NOT like the clustering feature and have asked to remove/disable clustering. Speaking for myself, I would find the maps on the website extremely difficult to use if clustering is done the way it's done on the app. I would bet money that making the website maps match the app maps, in regards to clustering, would result in 5+ forum pages of complaints. The rants could probably be minimized by allowing the option to turn off clustering and/or to customize the level at which clustering occurs. For example, having clustering only at larger zoom levels and/or allowing users to set the minimum number of caches that will be clustered (100, 200, etc).

 

Just wanted to add my 2-cents, in case clustering is being considered. Oh, and changing the cache size terminology on the website to match the app would probably be at least 3+ pages of complaints. :blink:

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I must add my discontent with this change.

first the map is ugly

the icons are very large. must be good for the blind.

the icons look like the back ground colors and are ugly and hard to see.

the map has failed to load several times-- this really needs fixing seems the only way do any thing is to kill the browser and reload.

why is Groundspeak trying so very hard to please the "smartphone" crowd?

the best thing for that is to discourage use of a "smartphone" and get a real gps.

it is very easy to tell when a "smartphone" is used to hide a cache. it is never close to the container.

besides it is UGLY!!!

 

did i say it is UGLY and doesn't work right.

 

i really hope that the lackies read these posts and realize that they shot themselves in the foot or maybe in the head.

send the programmers home and save a bunch of bucks.

 

why make changes when nothing is broke??????

 

as someone a few posts ago this well effect my caching negatively that is for sure.

Edited by k7da
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why make changes when nothing is broke??????

 

Thing is it was "broke" as you say. For years there has been complaints of cache icons on the map being intermittently unresponsive. GS have also been saying that the website is a Hodge-podge of code that is likely to break further if repairs on existing code are made (also think the often complained about timezone issues).

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why make changes when nothing is broke??????

Thing is it was "broke" as you say. For years there has been complaints of cache icons on the map being intermittently unresponsive.

But..... changing the icon shapes & colours doesn't fix any of the things that were "broke". The cache icons are still intermittently unresponsive - but they didn't fix that (or any of the other broken things), they used the developers time to make a cosmetic change that was unnecessary and is widely regarded as a retrograde step.

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I would bet money that making the website maps match the app maps, in regards to clustering, would result in 5+ forum pages of complaints.\

...

Oh, and changing the cache size terminology on the website to match the app would probably be at least 3+ pages of complaints. :blink:

..when forumgoers begin to resort to predicting the acceptability of a new release by guessing the quantity of negative forum thread pages... ph34r.gif

 

why make changes when nothing is broke??????

Thing is it was "broke" as you say. For years there has been complaints of cache icons on the map being intermittently unresponsive.

But..... changing the icon shapes & colours doesn't fix any of the things that were "broke". The cache icons are still intermittently unresponsive - but they didn't fix that (or any of the other broken things), they used the developers time to make a cosmetic change that was unnecessary and is widely regarded as a retrograde step.

 

Yeah, I think they had intended to make the map change for quite some time, and this was the result - attempt to fix the 'broke', but also work towards merging mobile and web maps. All in one slick move.

 

For the record, I did just find a couple of unresponsive cache icons dots on the map on the desktop web. So that 'broke' doesn't seem to yet be 'unbroke'.

 

---

And to those (once again) ranting and railing at Big Bag Corporate Groundspeak, please, please, take those complaints somewhere else. It's one thing to criticize and attempt to productively guide away from continued issues (even perpetual annoying ones that never seem to get fixed), and adding ad hominem attacks indirectly to people and developers who we have no contact with and have no idea what they are in fact working on or told to work on, or even know about, or if one person may actually be a problem or multiple, or none. If we think there's a communication problem in the company, there are better ways to address it than emotionally driven exaggerated flames thrown in a thread intended to discuss specific potential issues with new releases, especially once a warning is given to keep it civil.

If I for one shake my head at over-exaggerated comments angry about evil Groundspeak and their motivations and agendas always posted by people in update threads (it never fails) and thus tend not to take the comment seriously, imagine how effective it is to those at HQ who actually read the thread and may have some semblance of sway at the company?

 

We can be very, very critical and still remain civil and reasonable (even if you think there's a lack of reason in response). Let's try to progress that way...? If only so the thread doesn't get prematurely locked.

Edited by thebruce0
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It's one thing to criticize and attempt to productively guide away from continued issues (even perpetual annoying ones that never seem to get fixed),

 

One of the issues is that is not only about continued issues (like unresponsive icons or now the change of the icons), it is also about the fact that many who are at gc.com for many years do not feel taken seriously any longer in favour of some hypothetic app customers. I find it hard to think of the last change at gc.com that I experienced as an improvement and not as making something worse or more difficult for me and I'm by far not the only one.

 

While I'm sure that Groundspeak is not acting the way they are to harm people like me, it's what it effectively ends up to when they are not willing to come up with a system that takes into account also the preferences and needs of a target group which is meanwhile almost completely ignored also when it comes to replies. These people feel neglected. Take also the example of this thread: There has been a reply with regard to the color-blind issue but there has been no reply at all with regard to the fact that the big majority of people commenting in here (including those who are not color blind) does not appreciate the change at all. There has been no explanation of why the webpage needs to follow the app even thoug the webpage has been there much before the app.

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It's one thing to criticize and attempt to productively guide away from continued issues (even perpetual annoying ones that never seem to get fixed),

There has been no explanation of why the webpage needs to follow the app even thoug the webpage has been there much before the app.

 

I think this is a big reason why people are upset, changes are just given without any explanation or argument (or minimal ones). I understand Groundspeak doesn't need to explain these things, but considering this is a game with such a big community involvement it would be nice of them to at least defend their position when such abrupt changes are made.

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[..] but also work towards merging mobile and web maps. All in one slick move.

 

You identified the problem.

A 4" mobile phone display is no 24" desktop monitor and the same UI on both of them is useless.

Large companies like Microsoft totally failed in bringing the same interface to all devices - but it's Groundspeak's right to repeat the errors made by others.

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I find it hard to think of the last change at gc.com that I experienced as an improvement and not as making something worse or more difficult for me and I'm by far not the only one.

And not to reduce the effect it has on you, but that's quite a subjective viewpoint, where certainly many, many others are positively affected by the changes. There is somewhat of an echo chamber in these forums, where many of us have come to think that the problems continually raised are very, very significant and affect "everyone".

 

While I'm sure that Groundspeak is not acting the way they are to harm people like me, it's what it effectively ends up to when they are not willing to come up with a system that takes into account also the preferences and needs of a target group which is meanwhile almost completely ignored also when it comes to replies. These people feel neglected. Take also the example of this thread: There has been a reply with regard to the color-blind issue but there has been no reply at all with regard to the fact that the big majority of people commenting in here (including those who are not color blind) does not appreciate the change at all. There has been no explanation of why the webpage needs to follow the app even thoug the webpage has been there much before the app.

1- yes, and that's a good response (so far)

2- because much of it subjective and argumentative. That doesn't mean that our opinions aren't in any way valid, but they've demonstrated that they are far more willing to respond to objective concerns than subjective ones, especially as the latter can easily and very quickly erupt into anger and emotionalism. Another reason why it's less effective to merely voice opinions in threads expecting, as if owed, a response. It's good for them to take note of the acceptance and opinions of certain changes, but it's more productive to respond to civil, relevant, helpful, objective points than those who comment out of anger and frustration and (dare I say) a level of entitlement.

 

So let's continue to point out issues and flaws, ideally with ideas for improvement; but leave the big bad corporate money-hungry Groundspeak sentiment at the door.

 

[..] but also work towards merging mobile and web maps. All in one slick move.

 

You identified the problem.

A 4" mobile phone display is no 24" desktop monitor and the same UI on both of them is useless.

Large companies like Microsoft totally failed in bringing the same interface to all devices - but it's Groundspeak's right to repeat the errors made by others.

Oh as a web developer I completely agree. I'm not a fan of all the changes being made either :) Personally, I'm not as affected as others by the graphical adjustments, but there are indeed legitimate concerns that I hope are addressed in a good way very soon. And I do hope they also see fit to make some esthetic re-alterations to the visual design, just due to the feedback here.

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And not to reduce the effect it has on you, but that's quite a subjective viewpoint, where certainly many, many others are positively affected by the changes.

 

I'm not convinced that many cachers are positively affected by the present change. If they like how it is done in the app, they use the app anyway.

 

So let's continue to point out issues and flaws, ideally with ideas for improvement; but leave the big bad corporate money-hungry Groundspeak sentiment at the door.

 

The big bad money aspect is not what seems to be behind much of the frustration voiced in this and other threads. It's rather the frustration and disappointment of many of contributed over

many years to the growth of this site and now feel that they and their needs are considered as being completely irrelevant. Without caches and cachers who hide them this site is worthless.

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That doesn't mean that our opinions aren't in any way valid, but they've demonstrated that they are far more willing to respond to objective concerns than subjective ones, especially as the latter can easily and very quickly erupt into anger and emotionalism.

 

Okay, here are some of the objective issues that have been raised, apart from the colour-blindness problem.

1. PMO caches are no longer distinguished (well they've said hardly anyone used or understood this feature, but on what basis?)

2. Disabled found caches are no longer shown as such.

3. In highly urbanised areas, the new icons are similar in size, shape and appearance to ones used on the map for places such as fuel stations, eateries, train stations, monuments, etc.

4. Some of the colours used are too similar to the background map colour, camouflaging the caches. Earthcaches and disabled caches look to be the worst offenders, but others can be problematic when using the satellite view.

 

I look forward to the willing response to these.

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[..] but also work towards merging mobile and web maps. All in one slick move.

 

You identified the problem.

A 4" mobile phone display is no 24" desktop monitor and the same UI on both of them is useless.

Large companies like Microsoft totally failed in bringing the same interface to all devices - but it's Groundspeak's right to repeat the errors made by others.

Oh as a web developer I completely agree. I'm not a fan of all the changes being made either :) Personally, I'm not as affected as others by the graphical adjustments, but there are indeed legitimate concerns that I hope are addressed in a good way very soon. And I do hope they also see fit to make some esthetic re-alterations to the visual design, just due to the feedback here.

 

I seldom use my mobile phone for geocaching, due to the 4 inch screen frustration - it's very difficult to read in daylight and when I'm trying to distinguish round things I'm probably not going to get the target without a lot of patience - this is why I use a dedicated device, it is GOOD at what it does, rather than pretty good (or even mediocre) at many things.

 

The bulk of my map viewing is on the monitor at home, where the map now bears a striking resemblance to the old Centipede video game. Quick recognition of familiar objects has been replaced by a plodding, peering, squinting experience.

 

To draw some parallels, perhaps haphazardly, I work with an information system vendor who constantly goes in for shiny gadgetry, while aspects of a difficult end-user and data quality experience languish. I've heard the phrase, "Nobody else has asked for that" and "That's not on our road map" quite a few times when trying to get changes made, one of which follows a federal mandate. Perhaps when I look at the sudden and radical change to the icons I bring some baggage with me - but I also bring experience with me as well, I know a change which really is superficial when I see it - I've seen these many times. There are reasons people are unhappy and it isn't only the change in artwork, but effectively a wall of silence regarding repeal of it. Sometimes a poor idea, no matter the best of intentions behind it is still a poor idea. The road to h-e-double toothpicks is paved with good intentions isn't exactly a new phrase and could be considered apt in this very instance.

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That doesn't mean that our opinions aren't in any way valid, but they've demonstrated that they are far more willing to respond to objective concerns than subjective ones, especially as the latter can easily and very quickly erupt into anger and emotionalism.

 

Okay, here are some of the objective issues that have been raised, apart from the colour-blindness problem.

1. PMO caches are no longer distinguished (well they've said hardly anyone used or understood this feature, but on what basis?)

2. Disabled found caches are no longer shown as such.

3. In highly urbanised areas, the new icons are similar in size, shape and appearance to ones used on the map for places such as fuel stations, eateries, train stations, monuments, etc.

4. Some of the colours used are too similar to the background map colour, camouflaging the caches. Earthcaches and disabled caches look to be the worst offenders, but others can be problematic when using the satellite view.

 

I look forward to the willing response to these.

Hope you're not holding your breath. :o

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If Groundspeak would really like to improve the map then please show caches at their corrected coordinates.

If seeing caches at their corrected coords is a current need of yours, then this post might be of interest.

 

ETA: Corrected link.

Edited by noncentric
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I think that it is safe to assume, that the map (as horrible as it is in my opinion) is here to stay. It's been over a week for some kind of a response from the "powers that be" and so far nothing of substance. There might be a few minor tweaks to it - but it is what it is. Us "old dogs" that use a GPS unit are still going to be able to play their game, but they have (again in my opinion) come closer to making their map as close to MUNZEE (sorry if I offend any MUNZEE players) as possible. I'm now waiting to see how they can merge it with Pokemongo.

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I think that it is safe to assume, that the map (as horrible as it is in my opinion) is here to stay.

 

Of course! Why would anyone think any different?

 

This is the route they always take. They just stand their ground until everyone gives up complaining. :(

 

There is nothing else we can do. Yeah we can threaten not to renew our premium memberships but who will that hurt most?

 

Most previous pointless and irritating changes have been fixable with Adblock and GreaseMonkey & Stylish scripts. I don't think this one will be fixable though...

 

I hope Project-GC's servers can handle the extra traffic :huh:

 

M

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It is only a matter of time before these icons make their way to geocache find page - why else would they have a 'locationless cache' icon as shown in the original post? They aren't visible on maps.

At least Greasemonkey or Stylish should fix that :rolleyes:

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Having read through this thread it seems most participants are objectionable to the new icons; I would like to add that personally I find the new icons (and mapping) to be lacking quality with inferior functionality. Furthermore, the appearance seems child-like and unnecessarily so, and I would like to see at least an option to use the original icons - which I would take up immediately.

The point has been raised in previous posts about the functionality of smartphone and laptop screens - and in particular how it's a technological impossibility to expect to be able to represent on a 9cm screen what one can represent on a 39cm screen. Whether the intention here was to make the website mapping more compatible for smartphone users or not, that certainly seems to have been the outcome.

It would be interesting to know how many cachers use a smartphone as their primary device currently, in comparison to dedicated GPS units; for this fundamental percentage breakdown will surely drive future development and design of not only icons / mapping but the very direction that our hobby is heading in. I still feel that the Premium Membership fee represents excellent value for money, and I won't be cancelling my subscription any time soon, but in the meantime I'm off to ProjectGeocaching to use their mapping..............

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Having read through this thread it seems most participants are objectionable to the new icons; I would like to add that personally I find the new icons (and mapping) to be lacking quality with inferior functionality. Furthermore, the appearance seems child-like and unnecessarily so, and I would like to see at least an option to use the original icons - which I would take up immediately.

The point has been raised in previous posts about the functionality of smartphone and laptop screens - and in particular how it's a technological impossibility to expect to be able to represent on a 9cm screen what one can represent on a 39cm screen. Whether the intention here was to make the website mapping more compatible for smartphone users or not, that certainly seems to have been the outcome.

It would be interesting to know how many cachers use a smartphone as their primary device currently, in comparison to dedicated GPS units; for this fundamental percentage breakdown will surely drive future development and design of not only icons / mapping but the very direction that our hobby is heading in. I still feel that the Premium Membership fee represents excellent value for money, and I won't be cancelling my subscription any time soon, but in the meantime I'm off to ProjectGeocaching to use their mapping..............

 

I'd betcha phone users have surpassed dedicated gpsr users. I figure that's one of the reasons we see these kinds of changes which have negative effects on the dedicated users.

 

As far as the pay for membership but then go elsewhere for service,,, seems like a win win for Groundspeak.

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I'm fine with the icons either way. The new ones don't bother me in the last.

 

Though it's a perfectly valid complaint about the colors for those who have color perception problems, and I believe that's already been acknowledged as something to address.

 

Personally I'd like to see one more app function moved to the website. When there are tons of caches, having a map full of dots isn't very useful. I like the app's collapsing into groups with "20+" sort of thing. I'd find that useful when scrolling the web map in areas I'm not familiar with. Is that on the plan to bring to the web maps?

 

Nooooooo! This would make the map completely useless for planning caching trips! How can you zoom out and search for caches along a certain route if all you see are collapsed icons? This makes the app completely useless for me: looking at the road network ahead and for caches, and only seeing collapsed icons just doesn't work for planning trips! A toggle to chose for either option: collapsed or non-collapsed is something I'm fine with, but only collapsed items is a big no!

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I'm fine with the icons either way. The new ones don't bother me in the last.

 

Though it's a perfectly valid complaint about the colors for those who have color perception problems, and I believe that's already been acknowledged as something to address.

 

Personally I'd like to see one more app function moved to the website. When there are tons of caches, having a map full of dots isn't very useful. I like the app's collapsing into groups with "20+" sort of thing. I'd find that useful when scrolling the web map in areas I'm not familiar with. Is that on the plan to bring to the web maps?

 

Nooooooo! This would make the map completely useless for planning caching trips! How can you zoom out and search for caches along a certain route if all you see are collapsed icons? This makes the app completely useless for me: looking at the road network ahead and for caches, and only seeing collapsed icons just doesn't work for planning trips! A toggle to chose for either option: collapsed or non-collapsed is something I'm fine with, but only collapsed items is a big no!

 

I agree! The map (as it was) was our primary tool for planning our road trips. As it is now it's all but useless to me. Collapsing icons would put the nail in the coffin!

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I'd betcha phone users have surpassed dedicated gpsr users. I figure that's one of the reasons we see these kinds of changes which have negative effects on the dedicated users.

Bingo!

 

It is clear the app users drive the agenda at Groundspeak now. There does not appear to be any other reason for this change, which did not improve functionality in any way, shape, or form.

 

I am sure there are many good backend reasons for unifying the app and web experience. Certainly must be easier to support. I think it's a real shame the way the game is moving though. As the long-time users become less and less of the Geocaching population, the newer players will continue to be the market being appealed to.

 

We know the forums are not a statistically representative sample of cachers. I compare my wife and myself, with me being the long-time hardcore cacher and she being newer and much more casual. I'll only cache with my phone if I don't have my trusty Oregon loaded, she has never owned a dedicated GPSr and relies solely on her iPhone. I'm sure she won't even really notice anything has changed the next time she logs onto the site. She's much more representative of the caching masses than I am.

 

I'm going to miss the old icons. :(

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I'd betcha phone users have surpassed dedicated gpsr users. I figure that's one of the reasons we see these kinds of changes which have negative effects on the dedicated users.

 

While I mostly cache with my trusty Garmin rather than an app, even if I did, the map in the app and the map on the website are for quite different purposes. I use the website map to plan caching trips whereas the app (or GPSr) is only used when in the field and on the hunt. To me it makes no sense to try to make them the same, as doing so is a case of one size fits none.

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I'd betcha phone users have surpassed dedicated gpsr users. I figure that's one of the reasons we see these kinds of changes which have negative effects on the dedicated users.

 

While I mostly cache with my trusty Garmin rather than an app, even if I did, the map in the app and the map on the website are for quite different purposes. I use the website map to plan caching trips whereas the app (or GPSr) is only used when in the field and on the hunt. To me it makes no sense to try to make them the same, as doing so is a case of one size fits none.

 

True. Though I do use the app for making changes to plans, with the old app anyway as this isn't possible with the new one. If a trip is much faster than expected I just zoom out and load all caches within say 10km to see if something along a detour or in a nice area comes up. This is not possible with the new app as I'd need to zoom in and follow all sorts of roads to see if there are interesting caches nearby due to them being clustered otherwise.

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It would be interesting to know how many cachers use a smartphone as their primary device currently, in comparison to dedicated GPS units; for this fundamental percentage breakdown will surely drive future development and design of not only icons / mapping but the very direction that our hobby is heading in.

While those percentages would indeed be interesting, they're irrelevant as far as determining the direction of development. Whatever the breakdown, there's still a significant number of members using each platform, and designing services solely for the use of one segment of members will create (and is creating) a poorer service for the rest. This latest change for "consistency" is a perfect example of this.

 

To provide a good service to the members, the service needs to work for both platforms. If that means doing things a bit differently on the different platforms, then so be it. As has been mentioned already, what works on the website may be useless on a smartphone, and vice versa. In those cases, they need to provide a good service designed for that platform.

 

Is there really any benefit from being able to trumpet "our platforms are consistent" if the experience is undesirable on one or both as a result?

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As promised, we've worked to address some concerns raised since the December 5 release.

 

Today's updates include:

 

-Minor updates to the icon colors. It's possible that most users will not notice the changes (ie. the green of the Traditional Cache icon is a slightly "brighter" green), but they're aimed to address problems experienced by those with colorblindness.

 

-The large circle icons, with cache icons in the center, were formerly available only at the closer zoom levels. Now, those icons will display at zoom levels a little further out. This helps users who like to identify caches while zoomed further out, while also assisting players with colorblindness.

 

-We have improved the clickability of the cache icons on the map. The new icons at the closer zoom levels are now slightly larger.

 

-On 12/15 we removed the point of interest icons from google maps (to avoid confusion between cache icons and the google point of interest icons)

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As promised, we've worked to address some concerns raised since the December 5 release.

 

Today's updates include:

 

-Minor updates to the icon colors. It's possible that most users will not notice the changes (ie. the green of the Traditional Cache icon is a slightly "brighter" green), but they're aimed to address problems experienced by those with colorblindness.

 

-The large circle icons, with cache icons in the center, were formerly available only at the closer zoom levels. Now, those icons will display at zoom levels a little further out. This helps users who like to identify caches while zoomed further out, while also assisting players with colorblindness.

 

-We have improved the clickability of the cache icons on the map. The new icons at the closer zoom levels are now slightly larger.

 

-On 12/15 we removed the point of interest icons from google maps (to avoid confusion between cache icons and the google point of interest icons)

 

I'm really sorry to say, this makes me sad. I certainly appreciate that these changes were made to address the concerns of the population that complained about the accessibility issues (colorblindness) , but there are five pages of comments about this release, almost universally negative. The best solution would have been a roll-back. Instead, the message delivered is "We're making this change because we want to make this change, and the users will learn to live with it. We'll change the colors a bit to avoid ADA concerns, but that's it. "

 

The sadness comes from the feeling that concerns of so many users are being ignored. These are the users who care enough to write their concerns on these forums. These concerns have been thoughtful, and well-considered, not ungrateful users who just hate change.

 

Please, listen to your users.

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-Minor updates to the icon colors. It's possible that most users will not notice the changes (ie. the green of the Traditional Cache icon is a slightly "brighter" green), but they're aimed to address problems experienced by those with colorblindness.

The colour of traditional caches is worse now than it was, in my opinion.

At zoom levels 11 and under, it's almost harder for me to distinguish unknown caches from traditional caches.

 

At zoom levels 12 and higher, traditional caches are almost exactly the same colour as owned caches. I don't have colourblindness (I don't think?), but the colour of traditional caches and my owned caches is indistinguishable to me unless my nose is at the screen. Yes, the icon in the centre is different, but the shape and colour trick my mind into thinking they're one and the same.

 

-The large circle icons, with cache icons in the center, were formerly available only at the closer zoom levels. Now, those icons will display at zoom levels a little further out. This helps users who like to identify caches while zoomed further out, while also assisting players with colorblindness.

All other comments aside, I actually think this improvement looks pretty nice!

 

There are still many other issues which still make this map not very user-friendly (which I and many others have noted above, so I won't reiterate).

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-Minor updates to the icon colors. It's possible that most users will not notice the changes (ie. the green of the Traditional Cache icon is a slightly "brighter" green), but they're aimed to address problems experienced by those with colorblindness.

While the slightly brighter green (luminance 40.6 -> 48.9) helps a little bit in differentiating between it and the blue of Puzzles, it isn't by much. At zoom 11 or lower, it's still difficult for me to distinguish them on my colour-calibrated monitor. I'm skeptical that such a minor change will change anything as far as the colour blind, but I'll wait to hear what those with the condition say before passing final judgement.

 

-The large circle icons, with cache icons in the center, were formerly available only at the closer zoom levels. Now, those icons will display at zoom levels a little further out. This helps users who like to identify caches while zoomed further out, while also assisting players with colorblindness.

This is a definite improvement, and highlights the way in which the different shapes make things so much easier to differentiate. At the zoom levels where the icons have cache type detail, the colour is really secondary to the shape inside the icon.

 

-We have improved the clickability of the cache icons on the map.

The image map is much better at the lower zooms, but it's offset by almost half the icon to the northwest (ie. left and up) at zoom 14 and higher.

 

Hopefully all the concerns that have been raised throughout this discussion will be noted down for whenever the next overhaul of the map occurs. The current version seems to be a lost cause at this point, but hopefully lessons will be learned which can lead to a better map for the members at some point in the future.

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Still no more way to see the difference between PM and non-PM.

 

Removal of POI on the map may solve the self-induced visibility problems but takes away functionality (we like to take a food/drink break during our caching day).

 

GM scripts and GSAK to the rescue (as always).

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As promised, we've worked to address some concerns raised since the December 5 release.

 

Today's updates include:

 

-Minor updates to the icon colors. It's possible that most users will not notice the changes (ie. the green of the Traditional Cache icon is a slightly "brighter" green), but they're aimed to address problems experienced by those with colorblindness.

 

-The large circle icons, with cache icons in the center, were formerly available only at the closer zoom levels. Now, those icons will display at zoom levels a little further out. This helps users who like to identify caches while zoomed further out, while also assisting players with colorblindness.

 

-We have improved the clickability of the cache icons on the map. The new icons at the closer zoom levels are now slightly larger.

 

-On 12/15 we removed the point of interest icons from google maps (to avoid confusion between cache icons and the google point of interest icons)

Yeah, those all improve stuff a little for me - and I use the map for nearly everything. Thank you.

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First of all, thanks for altering the zoom issue - for me, you have now made the map usable, it's still a backward step in terms of design but at least you listened to some of the issues raised. I won't be using it of course as Project-GC is much better but I'll give you credit for trying to respond to some of the issues raised here.

 

However, you clearly have a vision of website and app looking the same or similar so, your adjustments to the design are purely within the context of that vision which, is essentially flawed (see the forums for the mass of various reasons). I found my first 2000 caches with an android phone and soon realised, even as a newbie, that C:Geo blew your app away. Even though I now use a gpsr I still use my phone too and I've often tried to use your upgraded app in the field and it just doesn't cut it. So, every step toward making the website look like the app is a retrograde step with a degradation in design and functionality.

 

One other thought about the direction you have chosen to move in; the 'community' cares about geocaching because they are actively involved, not only as cache seekers but as cache placers. It's a strange and rare thing that the customers for your product actually create the product too - we all have a vested interest in the success of geocaching. Perhaps this is why so many people complain when you take the wrong direction (which you have this time and, have in the past too). I sincerely hope that your gamble of chasing smartphone users at the expense of website users pays off for you, after all, you need them to become premium payers and good cache placers to keep geocaching alive. Personally, I don't see why you have gamble at all, you could accommodate all of your customers if you wished to do so.

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I agree that it's an improvement, but it still doesn't address the issue of identifying PMO caches, especially as this is something that the Project GC map doesn't do either. I often go caching with non-premium members who for various reasons won't log PMO caches, so the ability to see whether a cache is worth visiting would be a great help.

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