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

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-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.



Trying it out on the tablet yesterday, I had the hardest time tapping on icons. ~80% of the time, nothing happened. Dunno what the problem is there, possibly the target area is too small for a finger tap. But maybe it's moot - who uses the website map on a mobile device anyway? That's what apps are for.


Visually at least, things look improved, thanks.

Edited by Viajero Perdido
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-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.

Further to this...

It seems like overnight or sometime today, things were changed and I now see the following behaviour:

  • At zoom 14+ (the large icons), the image map/clickable area is perfectly aligned to the size and position of the icon.
  • At zoom 12-13 (the small icons), the area seems to be the right size, but it's offset by a small amount (~5 pixels) to the southeast.
  • At zoom 7-11 (the dots), the clickable area is larger than the actual dot and is offset significantly to the southeast. I estimate that it's off by more than a dot-width, which it makes it fairly unusable.
  • At zoom 1-6, it's offset by about half a dot to the northwest.

FWIW, all of the above testing occurred in IE11 and Firefox 48.0.2, and I see the same behaviour in both browsers. Neither browser has any add-ons installed.

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At least an improvement.

However a lot of things are still worse than before:


Deactivated caches are almost invisible.

Differentiation of caches within the same category is still difficult.

Owned caches have almost the same colour like traditionals.

It's impossible to show owned caches only on the map.

Removal of POIs is a step back. Why not remove the complete map? This would improve the visibility of all cache types extremly.


The idea to commonize app and web design is not realy a good idea in my view. The purpose of the web is different. You can't search for caches outdoor using the web map and the APP is not really an option for me.


I don't want to complain only.


What about having a white background for all icons and having only the symbol coloured? This would eneble the option to show disabled caches in grey.

What about having the star on owned caches in yellow to differentiate a bit more from traditionals?

What about having coloured circles around the icons to indicate PMO, corrected coordinates(just showing the icon on the corrected position would not help), ...?

What about change the shape of the icons to a more pin like shape pointing to the cache location?


Maybe further improvements will result in an overall improvement in the functionallity of the map

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I just went back a skimmed the User Insights topic that HQ posted back in March 2015. It discussed what people liked or didn't like about the map.


There were a few common themes:


- Besides "dead icons" (nothing happens when you click on them) it
works pretty well


- A few new features were mentioned.


- Nobody complained about the shape or color of the icons.


- Don't mess it up by turning it into a phone app map!!


... If that problem gets fixed, I don't see any urgent needs to change the map.

What I DONT want:

The map ruined by turning it into some sort of phone style responsive page.

I think the website map should be (stay) optimized for the BIG SCREEN.

Overall: Please do not over-simplify the map like it happened to the new search.

Also I wanted to echo what others are saying: PLEASE DON'T try to make the current map better for smartphones at the expense of users on a PC. If you can make it better for smartphones (which I personally would not care to use) that is fine as long as it does not impact negatively on the computers users.

...keep every thing else the same



This makes me continue to wonder why these changes were made in the first place. You asked the community, we answered. You went the other way. Why?

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There appears to be a zoom level 'missing' between the zoomed in 'local' map with big icons (where you can see your finds) and the zoomed out 'overview' with coloured dots (where you cannot see your finds).


Previously there was an intermediate zoom with small icons and a semi- regional view that showed your finds and which was the most useful level of zoom for going on days out.



Can we have it back, please?

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Well ground speak, I can tell you that the new app has pretty much ruined our experience. We very rarely cashe now, and miss the time we spent as a family together hunting in the woods for tuperware.


We're not afraid of change, the new app simply does not work. The geocache will float across the page and move geographically, as you physically move around.


Our premium membership is up in a couple of days, honestly will probably renew for one more year, and if things don't get better we won't be renewing next year. Adjusting to a different app is one thing, paying to be frustrated in the woods is another.


You took a good wholesome fun experience and ruined it. It should be noted, we are no longer advocates of Geocaching, and haven't turned any one onto it since the app update.

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Ok I do not like the new icon at all but can live with them

My Question is how do we filter on the map for Premium caches HOW??

was working on a challenge that you have to Get X number of Premium caches with in X number of hour


You can use the advance search to filter on Premium only caches, but you can only see the first 1000 in the area you selected and the icons don't change size or shape.

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I have the impression that some folks are not aware that there are two separate zoom control features.


If you are having issues with icon size, then try this with the geocaching map displaying in your favorite browser:


(First) move the mouse pointer into the map in a spot where there is no cache icon. Click to give the map focus. Now with the keyboard use Ctrl + (with macOS: Command +) and Ctrl – (Command -) to zoom in and out and note how the map zooms.


(Second) Now move the mouse pointer to click anywhere in that large green block containing the white Geocaching logo and your geocaching name. Now with the map pointer over the green bar, try Ctrl + (with macOS: Command +) and Ctrl – (Command -) to zoom in and out and note that the entire browser window (not just the map frame) zooms as do all the graphical elements including the icons hovering over the map.


This is not new; it worked this way with the old icons also and earlier browsers. (In case someone is not seeing this behavior, I verified this with Safari 10.0 and Firefox 50.1 under OS X 10.11.6, as well as with Firefox 45.6 and Internet Explorer 11.0 under Windows 8.1)


I mention this because for some of the comments being made the observations are different depending on how the browser as a whole is zoomed in concert with various zoom levels of the map.

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My own reaction to the change is that it is a very minor change for me.


I feel that the new icons are “plainer” than what was there before. The previous icon images were distinctively Geocaching; the new icons look like generic POIs. Maybe the marketing folks can give some insight as to whether being less distinctive is good for the company. I personally don't think it matters much.


Sometimes we hide geocaches in plain sight; and that is what I see with these icons. They do not stick out as well as they did before. But I don’t have a problem with that. For members giving up geocaching because they don’t like things hidden in plain sight, well, really?!?!

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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 know there has been a lot of negativity about the new map, but personally I like the new icons and don't have any complaints. I don't understand why it is not possible to filter 'my hides' and 'my finds' after zoom level 12. at least taking to another couple of levels would be great but why restrict it at all?



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I just noticed that the identification marks on interstate highways is no longer being displayed, e.g. "I-5". That makes figuring out where places I see in the map are much more awkward.


They're showing up fine for me. Granted, not at every zoom level. But they're there when it counts.

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The only ongoing problem I have with this change is the insistence at removing the differentiation between PMO and non PMO. If most cachers don't understand the difference, that isn't a reason to remove the different icon. A square vs a circle is such a small change that it still fits in quite well with whatever 2016 Web Standards document that you've prescribed to.


I still believe that we are going to lose having two different cache types for this very reason. Either admit to that or admit that the designer had a fit over having squares and circles on the same map. This wasn't done because some users kept complaining about being confused about having circles and squares. Groundspeak rarely changes things because of user complaints. <ahem>

Edited by fbingha
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