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Release Notes (Website: Progressive release, new Search/Map) - September 14, 2018

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22 hours ago, brendanjw said:

New Map Settings:

 

We’ve added an additional setting allowing the geocacher to set the number of caches shown on the map.

Is this envisioned as a final solution, or is this just a temporary measure until technology/equipment/expertise improves to the point that we can get back the ability to see an unlimited number of caches? Personally, I consider this limitation to be a deal-breaker. Pan, click, pan, click, pan, click, pan, click, etc. is not a good user experience. I also have the same concerns as some others here in that it isn't easy to predict which caches aren't being shown, if any, and how many.

 

Basically, what I'm wanting is what we have now: the ability to browse the map. The current proposed implementation drops this ability and replaces it with a search function, such that browsing is significantly more difficult. Browsing accounts for 90+% of my map use, so losing this ability or making it more difficult will significantly impact me.

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What if... and this doesn't necessarily reduce server pressure...  the prior layering system is kept, but rather than displaying icons for the layer, the data is retrieved, then of those results (of the caches shown in the viewport) the filter is applied so that matching cache listings are highlighted in some way.

 

Not knowing in the slightest how the backend is set up to reitreve search/browse/layer results on the current map, would it not be possible to defer the more complex query to after the basic data is retrieved?

Perhaps 1) ie, display the basic cache map (at this point afaik the search is limited by location only to the window bounding box), per the current map feature, then filter the results to the more complex parameters and update the icon plotting visually as expected?

Or 2) Query the complete search parameters, then display the basic cache map per the window position, then apply the matching cache filter to the icons to highlight the matches?

(by highlighting the matches I mean either some visual distinction between match and not-a-match, or simply not showing the non-matches at all; just something to distinguish them)

 

If a search is a radial search from a center point, the initial zoom could be expanded to match the search diameter. Or, since the current map only allows layering out to a minimum zoom, then zoom out to that minimum and if it's not far enough then drop an alert in the corner saying that matches expand beyond the zoom level. (panning will be able to browser the results, but if you zoom out then the 'advanced' filters will no longer apply; or, you lose the view of all non-matching caches if they're shown).

 

Just brainstorming here... exploring ideas to retain the 'old map' browsing feel combined with a more advanced live filter...  But then, they may just be conceptually incompatible if the server power is just not sufficient.

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I've been using the new map and search for a while, but some new changes just popped up today (12/06).  A LOT of functionality has just been lost if we're using a mobile browser.

 

Using a mobile browser on my Android tablet or phone using Chrome, I can no longer tap on an icon on the map and have it open the description in the pop out panel.  This works on the default internet browser, but not in Chrome.

 

The Filter option works as before on the Android tablet but is no longer functional on the smaller screen of the phone.

The Filter page on my phone stops at the checkboxes for the cache types.  It will not scroll beyond that to show the rest of the filter options.  This is happening with both browsers on the phone. (Android 8.0.0)

 

I get that the new option to "search this area" reduces server hits, and it actually makes it easier/faster to pan the map to a new area.  But it's pretty annoying to move the map a mere millimeter or on a mobile device have it interpret a screen tap as a millimeter pan function and have it pop up the "search this area" button again.  You should really be looking at the amount of map change first to determine if a refresh search is necessary.

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22 hours ago, The A-Team said:

Basically, what I'm wanting is what we have now: the ability to browse the map. The current proposed implementation drops this ability and replaces it with a search function, such that browsing is significantly more difficult. Browsing accounts for 90+% of my map use, so losing this ability or making it more difficult will significantly impact me.

Agreed. That is what I like about the current map. If I want to search from a specific location, that will normally be while I'm out, in which case I will be using Cachly anyway, not the website. At home when I use the website, I like to be able to browse around, easily spot trails and clusters of caches in locations I want to visit. I travel a fair distance for days out, if it's somewhere I want to go, so I generally want to be able to see a large number of caches at a time. Hopefully I can stick with the old map for a long time yet!

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11 hours ago, heartradio said:

Agreed. That is what I like about the current map. If I want to search from a specific location, that will normally be while I'm out, in which case I will be using Cachly anyway, not the website. At home when I use the website, I like to be able to browse around, easily spot trails and clusters of caches in locations I want to visit. I travel a fair distance for days out, if it's somewhere I want to go, so I generally want to be able to see a large number of caches at a time. Hopefully I can stick with the old map for a long time yet!

 

Assume heartradio and The A-Team are referring to the "Live Map" function ( e.g. https://www.geocaching.com/map/#?ll=54.42532,-3.90015&z=6 ), which is still available and working well - this extremly useful function DEFINITELY needs to be retained. For reasons given by both, I also use this to browse for potential caches in new areas - also useful for displaying caches you have found Vs unfound. When using the "Live Map", it makes you realise how restrictive, clunky and frustrating the new search map operates at present.

 

GCHQ should use a selection of actual cachers to test such major changes ... perhaps that would curb some of the (poor) ideas being followed by developers of the new search map.

 

None of the bugs / important changes needed / additional requests that I have logged so far on this forum have been mentioned by Brendon!!

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The newest map update is horrible. You have to click "Search this Area" constantly. I like to just move freely around the map while caches load on their own. 

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I was one of the initial recipients of this new search and had stuck with it for a long time, finally reverting back to the 'old' new search about a week ago.  I regularly come back to this thread to see what progress has been made and read other's opinions on the functionality.  Today I switched back to the 'new' new search to view the newest updates.  Long story short, I only see two improvements that I like which are being able to choose to see all premium caches or all basic caches and the ability to filter on GeoTour caches. Other than that, it is still terrible. "Search this area" is the worst.  It expands the radius of caches but only shows a limited number of them based on # of favorite points.  I would like to see all of them. And where is the setting to change the number of caches shown on the map?  I am unable to locate it.

 

If you haven't noticed, most comments here preferred the 'old' new search as it was practically perfect and don't understand the need for this 'new' new search.  I am tuning out again, reverting back to what works.  Using the 'new' new search gives me a headache and makes searching for geocaches a frustrating experience.   

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There've been a number of issues people have repeatedly raised almost right from the beginning but so far haven't even been acknowledged let alone addressed. These include:

  • No scale on the map. All the other maps on the site have a scale, why can't this one? Not all caches are in urban streetscapes where the scale is obvious. Consider this one - is the cache fifty metres from the road or several kilometres?
    NoScale.jpg.84f4ae46dd5b6d63000716359d560113.jpg
     
  • Owned caches appear as unfound on the default map, but change to their owned "star" icon on the other two Google options. Is there are reason for this or a reason it can't be fixed?
  • Clicking on More Info overwrites the existing browser tab rather than opening the cache page in a new tab, wiping out any filters and map panning/scaling that had been set up when you go back to resume searching. Having it open the cache page in a new tab would also mean you could have several cache pages open at once, something that's very useful when planning a day's caching in an area.
  • The content of the "Short Description" field on older caches isn't included in the text when showing the description, whereas it is everywhere else on the site and in the app. On some caches the Short Description is used as an "if you don't read anything else, read this!" but not displaying it defeats that use. Is this by design or is it a bug that's going to be eventually fixed? If the former, I'm going to have to go back through all my older hides and move the content in the Short Description field to the Long Description, but I'd rather not have to do that if it's something that's about to be fixed.
  • The summary information for event caches doesn't show the event date anywhere, which is arguably the most vital piece of information when looking at event caches. It would also be useful to see the hidden date on caches when sorting by oldest or newest, otherwise it's just a list with no indication of how new is new or how old is old. As it currently stands, the "Last Logged" field in the summary panel is duplicating information that can be seen in the list of logs lower down, so could this be used instead for the event/hidden date?

Please, can we have some indication of whether these are features or bugs, and if the latter, can they be fixed?

Edited by barefootjeff
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I agree with everything barefootjeff posted. Some of those issues are so simple and quick to solve that it's hard to understand why they weren't addressed when they were first pointed out (like the scale, hide icons, and open in new tab).

 

In the case of this point...

54 minutes ago, barefootjeff said:
  • The content of the "Short Description" field on older caches isn't included in the text when showing the description, whereas it is everywhere else on the site and in the app. On some caches the Short Description is used as an "if you don't read anything else, read this!" but not displaying it defeats that use. Is this by design or is it a bug that's going to be eventually fixed? If the former, I'm going to have to go back through all my older hides and move the content in the Short Description field to the Long Description, but I'd rather not have to do that if it's something that's about to be fixed.

 

...I feel there's really only one answer: the short description needs to be added to the map display. When weighing the impact of a relatively small amount of developer time compared to having all COs change all of their cache listings, there's no contest.

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On 12/5/2018 at 12:20 AM, brendanjw said:

New Map Settings:

 

We’ve added an additional setting allowing the geocacher to set the number of caches shown on the map.

 

BUG on Firefox 63.0.3 (64-bit):

  • go to new map settings and increase the number of caches shown on the map to either 750 or 1000
  • zoom out until you exceed this limit
  • ensure that you clicked on "Search this area" to update map view and search results
  • now try e.g. to zoom in/out, move the map, step through the search pages - the result is always the same: the Firefox window gets completely white, everything's gone
  • even a refresh doesn't help

On Chrome this is not an issue.

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8 hours ago, Die Batzen said:

 

BUG on Firefox 63.0.3 (64-bit):

  • go to new map settings and increase the number of caches shown on the map to either 750 or 1000
  • zoom out until you exceed this limit
  • ensure that you clicked on "Search this area" to update map view and search results
  • now try e.g. to zoom in/out, move the map, step through the search pages - the result is always the same: the Firefox window gets completely white, everything's gone
  • even a refresh doesn't help

On Chrome this is not an issue.

 

I noticed same bug appear from this morning using Firefox Quantum 63.0.3 (32 bit). If I click page refresh the "loading caches" message and part of the background appears briefly before returning to a white screen. Also agree that Chrome does not seem to show the same bug.

 

Only just found the selection bar for number of caches to be displayed ... why on earth is it part of a drop down menu in top right corner of the page? Not somewhere you would think to look, but I kept searching having reada few comments about the choice - couldn't see it in filters etc ... now I understand why!

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22 hours ago, The A-Team said:

I feel there's really only one answer: the short description needs to be added to the map display. When weighing the impact of a relatively small amount of developer time compared to having all COs change all of their cache listings, there's no contest.

 

Tbh, it would have been simpler for them just to have concatenated the data from the two description fields and got rid of the short description altogether.

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On 12/7/2018 at 3:07 AM, OneEighth said:

The newest map update is horrible. You have to click "Search this Area" constantly. I like to just move freely around the map while caches load on their own. 

 

Hitting "Search this Area" when panning the map short distances would definitely get annoying.   That's much less the case when one wants to move the map a great distance. 

 

I would prefer to see an option to turn off/on a 'refresh when panning map' behavior.  If I am looking at the map and panning the map in a general area I leave the zoom level and just pan to another nearby area.  However, I will often look at caches at an area then go to another place on the map far away.  For example,   a few months ago I had a 10 day trip to Belgium and over the weekend took the train to Luxembourg.  I was looking at the map  in an area where I was staying in Belgium then wanted to see caches in the town I would be visiting in Luxembourg (Ettelbruck).  When I zoomed out on the map, so that I could pan quickly to an area several hours away, the density of the caches on the map was such that I couldn't see any place names on the map.  In such a case, I'd would like to be able to turn off "refresh the map" so that I could more easily find and zoom into another area, then hit "search this area".  

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I think there is a big missunderstanding. I think the new "MAP" is a replacement or enhancement of the search funktion.

 

The old "MAP" was a map for browsing, just to do some visual search without the requirement to define some search criterias. One of the positive goodies is the fact that there are some filters activated by one click.

 

The new search"MAP" is OK, although the the usability of the filters is a nightmare,  if the browsing MAP will be available as well.

Stll very important is the ability to show the result of PQs just by a click. 

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1 hour ago, Linus.de said:

I think there is a big missunderstanding. I think the new "MAP" is a replacement or enhancement of the search funktion.

 

The old "MAP" was a map for browsing, just to do some visual search without the requirement to define some search criterias. One of the positive goodies is the fact that there are some filters activated by one click.

 

The new search"MAP" is OK, although the the usability of the filters is a nightmare,  if the browsing MAP will be available as well.

Stll very important is the ability to show the result of PQs just by a click. 

 

Actually, have they actually said this?  I've been looking for the answer to "Is this replacing only the search function OR the map and the search function" and haven't been able to find that?  I've asked in these forums two times and have not seen a response (and pardon if I missed the response....)

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1 hour ago, GeoMonkeyTiger! said:

I've been looking for the answer to "Is this replacing only the search function OR the map and the search function" and haven't been able to find that?  I've asked in these forums two times and have not seen a response (and pardon if I missed the response....)

TPTB haven't said anything officially, but I think it can be safely assumed that this new map is intended to replace both the old map and search. They wouldn't go to all the trouble of building a new map and then leave the old one running (at least not long-term; maybe for a short change-over period).

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2 hours ago, GeoMonkeyTiger! said:

 

Actually, have they actually said this?  I've been looking for the answer to "Is this replacing only the search function OR the map and the search function" and haven't been able to find that?  I've asked in these forums two times and have not seen a response (and pardon if I missed the response....)

That haven't said anything. However, in the course of discussion, it helps to know which Map people are talking about when describing features or issues.

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1 hour ago, The A-Team said:

TPTB haven't said anything officially, but I think it can be safely assumed that this new map is intended to replace both the old map and search. They wouldn't go to all the trouble of building a new map and then leave the old one running (at least not long-term; maybe for a short change-over period).

 

I for one, (of likely MANY) can only hope that this atrocity doesn't replace the current (old) map.  A tried the new experience early on, and held out for a while, but found it so lacking for me. I have returned to the old search because IT WORKS.

 

Making better mistakes tomorrow may make a cute sigh in the office hallway, but it is not a working philosophy for a successful company.

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I may be misunderstanding something about the new map.

I click on newest caches which brings me to the new map search. I use the filters function to select "not found", expecting to see caches that have not been found yet. Instead, I get a list of caches that have not been found by me.  Am I missing an option?

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Hello,

 

I was opted in at some point and immediately began looking for ways to opt back out. Integrating the search and map will never be something I use. When I want the map, I just go to it from a cache page. I also bookmark frequented areas on the map as well, so it's always quickly available when and where I need it. But to me a search is a search.

 

In a spirit of co-operation, however, I want to applaud the effort. I'd like to suggest that instead of forcing the integration of search and map that a link or button be available from search results to "map these results" or alternately "map this area" so the map remains interactive rather than restricted to the search results, noting that filters would have to be honored in that kind of handling.

 

By way of analogy, searching a location from google's main page gives search results with an option to go to the map. I think ground speak would be well advised to take a serious look at that practice.

 

Thank you for allowing me to opt back out. I hope you can find something useful or productive in my few words of feedback. By all means, please carry on.

 

 

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