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Geocaches on Google Earth

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12 hours ago, partner said:

Just found out that the Geocaching thing on Google Earth did not worked anymore. I normally make trips in Mapsource and view them in  Google Eart. And with the "GeocachingNetworkKML" I could look for nice caches nearby and select them.

I have't heard of any project that can do the same!.

How about that!.

 

I have been hearing a lot about  cachetur.no  as a relatively easy and effective cache planning tool.  I have not used it myself.

I have also never used the Google Earth Viewer, either for searching or placing caches, even GeoArt.  So I don't know if using GE would compare to the CacheTur website, but it might be good for people to check out if they need a web-based cache route planner.

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Since there's no official statement that "wetook it down", it's just a feature that doesn't work right now. So... come on people, fix this asap! Yes, it's possible to look at caches in another way. Yes, we can live without it. Yes, we can even start another hobby. But yes, it's a feature we paid for, and we'd (or at least I) like to use it again!

 

Searching on Google Earth is so much easier than using the map on GC.com. For example: I just searched for caches near Beilen, a small village in Drenthe (NL). I entered "Beilen", and the map scrolled to "Beelen", approximately 150 kilometers from Beilen. In Google Earth, the map immediately scrolled to Beilen. We had dinner some time ago in "Café Sjiek" in Maastricht. Looking for nearby caches I entered "sjiek maastricht" in Google Earth and it went to the exact spot, entering "sjiek maastricht" on the Geocaching map brought me to Maastricht, the town itself, but nowhere near the exact location.

Edited by vanBaarsel
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2 hours ago, vanBaarsel said:

Since there's no official statement that "wetook it down", it's just a feature that doesn't work right now. So... come on people, fix this asap! Yes, it's possible to look at caches in another way. Yes, we can live without it. Yes, we can even start another hobby. But yes, it's a feature we paid for, and we'd (or at least I) like to use it again!

 

Searching on Google Earth is so much easier than using the map on GC.com. For example: I just searched for caches near Beilen, a small village in Drenthe (NL). I entered "Beilen", and the map scrolled to "Beelen", approximately 150 kilometers from Beilen. In Google Earth, the map immediately scrolled to Beilen. We had dinner some time ago in "Café Sjiek" in Maastricht. Looking for nearby caches I entered "sjiek maastricht" in Google Earth and it went to the exact spot, entering "sjiek maastricht" on the Geocaching map brought me to Maastricht, the town itself, but nowhere near the exact location.

 

It's a bit unfair to compare search results and geolocation services from a company worth over 100 billion dollars to that of a small company with about 70 employees.  

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2 hours ago, vanBaarsel said:

Since there's no official statement that "wetook it down", it's just a feature that doesn't work right now. So... come on people, fix this asap! Yes, it's possible to look at caches in another way. Yes, we can live without it. Yes, we can even start another hobby. But yes, it's a feature we paid for, and we'd (or at least I) like to use it again!

 

Searching on Google Earth is so much easier than using the map on GC.com. For example: I just searched for caches near Beilen, a small village in Drenthe (NL). I entered "Beilen", and the map scrolled to "Beelen", approximately 150 kilometers from Beilen. In Google Earth, the map immediately scrolled to Beilen. We had dinner some time ago in "Café Sjiek" in Maastricht. Looking for nearby caches I entered "sjiek maastricht" in Google Earth and it went to the exact spot, entering "sjiek maastricht" on the Geocaching map brought me to Maastricht, the town itself, but nowhere near the exact location.

Do you have your map preferences on geocaching.com set to use Google Maps? If not, give that a try. 

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4 hours ago, NYPaddleCacher said:

 

It's a bit unfair to compare search results and geolocation services from a company worth over 100 billion dollars to that of a small company with about 70 employees.  

 

It's a bit unfair, even for a small company, to disable a fine working function. Why do people find it so hard to be critical about stuff they pay for? They do a great job, but this is not functioning the way it's mentioned on their own website (see here), so they need to fix it, right?

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You can export your route as a GPX file, and import that as a custom user route on the website, then create a pocket query along a route. Problem solved?

 

 

The immediacy of visualizing caches in Google Earth along an imported kml or gpx file was really helpful, and I used GE and The Geocaching KML at least weekly to explore potential trail running routes, and see if there were any caches along them.

Is there a way to do this without having to create a PQ first? 

 

It's unfortunate the Google Earth functionality is still broken.

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I know it's not the same as the feature you're looking for here, but since I don't think it's well known, I'll mention another workaround that works on all the OSes that desktop Earth runs on: MacOS, Linux, and Windows.

You can drag and drop an (unzipped) GPX from a PQ right into the 3D panel of Earth or just open the GPX from File->open. It renders cache icons appropriately (with icon use approved by Groundspeak), has balloons with a tabbed interface for the cache description, logs, and links to external maps. Because it's still a flat-file and not a regionated tree, it can be a bit janky with more than a few thousand points, so it's not a substitute for the broken feature being discussed, but it's a fun little easter egg planted into Google Earth by a geocacher on the Earth team many years ago.

As another little known feature (that can be admittedly a bit fiddly) you can use the edges of the time slider thingy that appears to limit caches that were placed between the dates in the brackets. If you're working with parks and trying to show the growth of caching in your area, it can be a fun way to animate the explosion of placements. If you also have other time data displayed at the same time (e.g. tracks from a recent hike) the interactions of the time of your track and the placement of your geocaches can be hard to grasp so it's usually best to leave them at the maximal range which is, I think, the default.

This won't get you data that you can't get in a PQ, so it's not the same, but it's still a handy way to visualize placements in a full 3D window for the times that planning a trip when you're deciding on going over a mountain or around it or confirming that something is on the right side of a river or whatever.

(I respect that this is exactly the opposite of what UltraRunCacher is asking for. I offer it in the hope that it helps other or that he can schedule a daily PQ or find some other workaround.)
 

Screen Shot 2019-04-10 at 12.27.37 AM.jpg

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Please fix Google Earth/ geocaching interface

Reason 1) BLM map overlay on GC forbidden zones.

        Yes, there are other work arounds but come on, lets keep it simple.

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I have the same problem and it would be desirable if GC fixed the problem!

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On 4/9/2019 at 3:06 PM, vanBaarsel said:

 

It's a bit unfair, even for a small company, to disable a fine working function. Why do people find it so hard to be critical about stuff they pay for? They do a great job, but this is not functioning the way it's mentioned on their own website (see here), so they need to fix it, right?

 

I was specifically referring to the place name lookup differences one will see when searching for a location in Google Earth  vs. a Groundspeak search form.   Google has a massive database that it can be used for reverse geocoding.  In the example, described entering "sjiek maastricht" in Google Earth returned lat/long coordinates that were very specific (to a restaurant).   Groundspeak uses reverse geocoding services as well (from my understanding they rotate using several "free" services) that just don't provide the granularity that Google can provide unless they pay a fairly substantial fee.

 

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On ‎4‎/‎9‎/‎2019 at 12:06 PM, vanBaarsel said:

It's a bit unfair, even for a small company, to disable a fine working function. Why do people find it so hard to be critical about stuff they pay for? They do a great job, but this is not functioning the way it's mentioned on their own website (see here), so they need to fix it, right?

There are a number of things to address here:

  1. As far as we know, they did not intentionally disable it. Something broke.
  2. We're not being critical of the feature. We're trying to suggest alternate methods or workarounds, given that the Google Earth viewer doesn't work at the moment.
  3. Just to be clear, the viewer itself isn't a paid feature. Both Basic and Premium members can use it, though Premium members get more "views" (refreshing the caches when the map is dragged).
  4. There are many things on the website that don't work correctly. The developers need to prioritize the long list in order to fix the most important issues first. Since the Google Earth viewer is used relatively minimally and there are workarounds for many use-cases, fixing it could be pretty far down the list.
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I discovered that Geocaching Google Earth Viewer wasn't working last week.   Did what everyone else did--deleted and reinstalled.  All to no avail.   I use this feature frequently. Especially when I am planning to put out new caches -- saves me huge amounts of time.  I have hidden over 1000 caches so this is an important resource for me.  I can determine where there are open areas for new caches before I even leave home.  Currently I am planning an event with 35 new caches and without the viewer I am having a hard time trying to figure out where I can put them.  Please HQ  fix this problem.   

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You don't actually need the google earth viewer to plan new caches. As mentioned multiple times in this thread, the placement of the caches via the viewer is imprecise, which means you are not getting an accurate look at the free and available space to hide a new cache. There are numerous tools you can use, including the planning map on the cache creation page, that give you the .1 mile radius circles that show you the areas where you cannot hide a new cache. Use those. They are more accurate than the Google Earth viewer. So is importing a pocket query with all of the hides in the area into google earth. It will have precise coordinates with no random offset. You may have been lucky using the google earth viewer for hides so far, but it is far from the best choice of tools.

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Posted (edited)

I don't use GE for coordinates.  The viewer just gives me some general ideas where I can look for available spots..  It has worked well for me over the years.   The fact that there is an off set hasn't been a problem because I usually know exactly where the local caches are (either I have found them or they are mine).  After determining where I might locate a cache, I load the nearest ones into my GPSr, drive out there, pull up the nearest cache, and work out from that location.  I suppose there are better ways, but I am technologically challenged so have come up with this method of doing things that works for me.  The creation page is helpful but doesn't show me ahead of time what the area actually looks like.  I like being able to view a location both from above and at ground level before I make a trip thee. Thank you for your suggestions though.  I will try the PQ method.

Edited by mommio
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3 hours ago, mommio said:

I will try the PQ method.

Try the map on the website, too. That should give you all of the same information, with the added benefit of having accurate coordinates (as well as other functionality, like seeing your own hides more easily or toggling cache types).

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The website map is a good solution.   Only drawback is I can't see area from ground level.   But that's ok---can select likely spots from map and then check them out at GEPro.   Just discovered another drawback--can't measure distances from one cache to a chosen location.   Will work that out.   Thanks everyone for giving me some options.

Edited by mommio

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Why do you need to see them from ground level? Go visit the site. Half the adventure of placing a cache is looking for the perfect place to hide it. What's the worst that happens? You get there, find that it's not really a good spot, and you got out of the house exploring.

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Ground level just gives me an idea what to expect.   Around here that could mean a huge cactus patch.  I don't mind exploring for hiding places; but when I am planning on hiding 35 caches by May 3rd,   it is more efficient to do my research first.  (When I am doing a special gadget cache or looking for an interesting place to put a cache,  I definitely will take more time to find the perfect spot.   I am known locally for my ghost town, old cemetery, historical marker,  and scenic caches').  Another problem is that I need to hide these caches as close to the event date as possible.   Muggles aren't the problem.  Critters are.   You would be surprised at how many caches get stolen by pack rats or chewed up by whatever.    If I want to be sure they last at least through the event,  I have to put them out as close to date as possible.  So doing my research for locations first works best for me.

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I don't use Google Earth regularly, mainly for planning trips. Especially for county and DeLorme runs (cross-checking with GSAK and other maps for county or Lat/Long lines). It is also indispensible for planning deployment of GeoArt where you have to avoid existing caches and stay within the max distance between "art" and "actual".

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On 4/7/2019 at 1:20 PM, Mineral2 said:

You can export your route as a GPX file, and import that as a custom user route on the website, then create a pocket query along a route. Problem solved?

 

No - The problem is that the geocaching earth kml plugin, a premium member feature, failed well over a month ago and Groundspeak has yet to address it.


 

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On 4/12/2019 at 2:05 PM, Mineral2 said:

Why do you need to see them from ground level? Go visit the site. Half the adventure of placing a cache is looking for the perfect place to hide it. What's the worst that happens? You get there, find that it's not really a good spot, and you got out of the house exploring.

 

One very obvious answer is to view an area when solving puzzles. I do (did) that all the time to help narrow down the location, days, weeks, months in advance.

 

 

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Hi there,

 

it might be that the reason for the quite sudden non-functioning might be the changed Google Earth - API.

 

At least this happened to a GSAK-macro using GE to display caches on a map (swiss gc-forum german spoken ).

The worldwide freelancing programmers for GSAK addons have been much faster than GS,

so one can now just use another macro together with OSM-Maps for display.

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Bevema:

Which replacement macro are you specifically referring to?

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12 hours ago, bevema said:

Hi there,

 

it might be that the reason for the quite sudden non-functioning might be the changed Google Earth - API.

 

At least this happened to a GSAK-macro using GE to display caches on a map (swiss gc-forum german spoken ).

The worldwide freelancing programmers for GSAK addons have been much faster than GS,

so one can now just use another macro together with OSM-Maps for display.

It was the Google Maps API that changed, not Google Earth. That's unrelated to the current issue.

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22 hours ago, SigsPig said:

Bevema:

Which replacement macro are you specifically referring to?

 

Leaflet Maps V1.1

 

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Please fix the Geocache Google Earth viewer!! We really miss this, as we use it to plan our trips to find caches!!

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Posted (edited)
On ‎4‎/‎12‎/‎2019 at 8:02 AM, The A-Team said:

There are a number of things to address here:

  1. As far as we know, they did not intentionally disable it. Something broke.
  2. We're not being critical of the feature. We're trying to suggest alternate methods or workarounds, given that the Google Earth viewer doesn't work at the moment.
  3. Just to be clear, the viewer itself isn't a paid feature. Both Basic and Premium members can use it, though Premium members get more "views" (refreshing the caches when the map is dragged).
  4. There are many things on the website that don't work correctly. The developers need to prioritize the long list in order to fix the most important issues first. Since the Google Earth viewer is used relatively minimally and there are workarounds for many use-cases, fixing it could be pretty far down the list.

(My bolding)

This is true, but it does make me wonder how the priorities are managed between what needs fixing and what is simply being changed on a whim, marketing reasons, or whatever other decision making process aside from broken.

 

Just for a laugh consider this analogy.  A bunch of people buy a certain type of car.  One day, one of the standard features - the rear window wiper - fails on all the cars.  People come to a forum owned by the car company and complain about the failure, requesting it be fixed.  Lots of very helpful people mention workarounds for while its broken, like getting out and wiping the rear window by hand, or having someone outside the vehicle to guide you when reversing in the rain.  Someone even suggests, still being totally helpful, that the company has a list of things to fix and have to prioritise important things over things like this that don't get used very often.  Meanwhile the company is not fixing the issue, or many others, but instead is putting a great deal of effort into changing things that already work ok and/or flashy new features that seemingly no one asked for, like, I dunno, little automatic spray washers for headlights, features that are probably for some marketing purpose to attract new customers rather than keep working what they already promise... :)

Edited by funkymunkyzone
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Thanks funkymukyzone for your apt analogy.  I was disappointed to read the many complaints (above), from geocachers like me, who appear to be simply begging for a tool that had been working fine for many years to be returned to its proper functionality, only to be told that: (1) there apparently aren't enough of us, or we don't use it enough (low usage?), (2) it is therefore too low on the priority list of things to be repaired (for two months now?), and (3) Geospeak apparently knows of all these complaints but has yet to officially respond in a meaningful way -- such as a message somewhere on the geocache web site, and certainly a message on or a change to the help page ( https://www.geocaching.com/about/google.aspx ) that  continues to instruct users on how to "View Geocaches with Google Earth ".

 

And then NYPaddleCacher responded to vanBaarsel's recollection about how they were able to do so much more (and easier) with GE (better location searching, for example) with:

 

It's a bit unfair to compare search results and geolocation services from a company worth over 100 billion dollars to that of a small company with about 70 employees.

 

PRECISELY!  That is exactly why we all want to use Google Earth Pro to "search around" rather than the Geocaching site maps!  Not just for the searching features, but for EVERYTHING GE Pro has to offer!  Google Earth is exactly what you said: a 100 billion dollar mapping and search tool.  I would prefer to use the 100 billion dollar map please!  And don't tell me that there are work-arounds that require downloading PQ's into other programs and such.  That IS NOT A REPLACEMENT for Google Earth!

 

NYPaddleCacher, you are correct: GE Pro has an enormous edge in mapping functionality compared to any of the simple maps on the Geocaching page.  With GE, you can look at 3D topography (from any angle!), 3D building views, quick zooming, fly overs, street views, historical views, measure distances, create paths, polygons, and circles, (quickly) examine elevation profiles of roads and cache trails (or any line), overlay dozens of databases (parks, transportation, postal zones), quickly find (and mark) ALL churches, schools, hospitals, museums, post offices, libraries, etc., use different coordinate systems (UTM, decimal degrees, etc.), etc.  AND you can save any of this personalized stuff to use/look at later.  Yes, of course, I could go back and forth between the caching page and GE, but why do I have to?  I have dozens of my own kml files with various locations, boundaries, shapefiles, previous mapped hikes, etc. that I would like to use AT THE SAME TIME (i.e., overlay) when viewing new unexplored cache areas.  And I would like it to access to the most up-do-date cache info, not from last week (when I pulled the PQ).

 

GoogleEarth is an amazing mapping tool (I also use it daily in my work as an environmental consultant).  I am surprised to hear that so few geocachers apparently use it, since almost all my geo-caching friends use it at least sometimes.  Whether or not lots of geocachers make use of the feature (everyone finds their own way of comfortably playing this game), Google Earth Pro is still the state-of the-art when it comes to mapping tools (and it is free!), so it seems that there should be some effort made to fix it for those of us who count on the feature.

 

Thank you!

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Update on the ticket is worthwhile to all the members

 

It's been 90days since first reported. I would like to do some delorm squares and counties. Have tried troubleshooting several different ways and no avail. Groundspeak map will not show county lines or the squares. Please don't pawn me to a 3rd party site when Groundspeak is suppose the be the top of geocaching sites $30 for the past 11 years for geodata.

 

please resolve

 

 

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Posted (edited)
9 hours ago, jack of hearts said:

PRECISELY!  That is exactly why we all want to use Google Earth Pro to "search around" rather than the Geocaching site maps!  Not just for the searching features, but for EVERYTHING GE Pro has to offer!  Google Earth is exactly what you said: a 100 billion dollar mapping and search tool.  I would prefer to use the 100 billion dollar map please!  And don't tell me that there are work-arounds that require downloading PQ's into other programs and such.  That IS NOT A REPLACEMENT for Google Earth!

You can use Google's products on the website. Both the search and browse maps let you use Google Maps as your base map, including the street map, terrain map, and satellite imagery. It's not Google Earth (which Google does not spend 100 billion dollars to develop and maintain), but it is still Google.

I'm still not really following how the Google Earth interactive KMZ file is a better "search around" tool than the mapping at the website. Remember, the coordinates in the KML file are not precise. They are offset with a random error, no matter how far you zoom in. The same cannot be said about using the browse or search maps at Geocaching.com. Those points are as spot on as the coordinates were entered by the cache owner. Or put it this way, you can use the website to locate which tree or bush the cache is hidden under, you can't do that with Google Earth. There's also the matter that the website's searching and filtering tools are much stronger than the Google Earth feature. The ONLY extra that Google Earth gives you over Google Maps on the website is 3-d terrain. I don't see that as a necessity for browsing areas for geocaches. The rest of the features you mention: 

 

9 hours ago, jack of hearts said:

3D building views, quick zooming, fly overs, street views, historical views, measure distances, create paths, polygons, and circles, (quickly) examine elevation profiles of roads and cache trails (or any line), overlay dozens of databases (parks, transportation, postal zones), quickly find (and mark) ALL churches, schools, hospitals, museums, post offices, libraries, etc., use different coordinate systems (UTM, decimal degrees, etc.), etc.  AND you can save any of this personalized stuff to use/look at later. 

Those features are all really great. They have nothing to do with geocaching. I mean, do you really need to know what the historical satellite imagery looks like to decide if you're going to search a particular area for a cache?

I'm not saying that the Google Earth feature isn't useful, or fun. Yeah, it sucks that the feature isn't working right now. The developers know, but it's not a high priority job at the moment, both because there are likely more pressing matters to attend to, and it's a feature that relatively few people use (Moun10Bike has access to that information. He knows how often it was accessed and by how many unique users). It's just not a feature that the game is dependent upon. Its existence doesn't make or break the game. At the end of the day, you have all of the tools available to you to: a) find a general area to go geocaching and b) download the caches. All you need is a GPS, standalone or phone + app, to make that happen. Google earth doesn't actually get you there or make the find for you. Yet.

I'm going to point out (again) that in the meantime, you can import your pocket queries or GSAK database into Google Earth - it will open GPX files directly. In doing so, you actually eliminate some of the limitations of the live Google Earth feature - waypoints show up in their actual location, you're not limited to 250 caches at a time. All of the information for the cache is visible including the description, recent logs, links to the cache page, and different icons based on cache type.

Edited by Mineral2
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Posted (edited)

Mineral2, I'm just not sure that you get it!

 

If you don't follow how Google Earth provides a "better search around tool" than the map at the Geocaching website, then you must not use GE!  Yes it is true that the cache locations are only approximate when using the GE kml -- but so what? -- sure I wish they were exact, but I can quickly convert that approx location into a real one -- let's say I see a cache located (approximately) along a path, mountain top, or city block in Timbuktu that I am am viewing in GE (and I will be or am considering visiting).  I click on the cache and it opens (in a browser window).  After checking out the cache deets (looks like a fun one, lots of faves, no climbing, etc), I simply copy the coords back into GE and zoom in on the actual treetop, bush etc.  AND also get a "street view" preview.  AND measure the distance to my hotel.  AND quickly see how steep the walk is.  ET CETERA.!  Of course I could do the initial search on the Geocache map page, BUT I WANT TO USE GOOGLE EARTH!   Why?  Because it offers all those other bells and whistles while I am just "searching around" Timbuktu!  The point is I am already using GE Pro daily to map out lots of stuff for my work and various life adventures.  Which sometimes includes geocaching.  So I would simply like to be able to overlay caches (even approx) on my favorite mapping tool that I am already using all the frigging time!  Why is that so hard to understand??

 

Geomaps do not provide: 3-D (terrain imagery), street views (which are different than street maps!), county/zip borders, lat/lon (or UTM) grids (useful for delorme challenges), different coordinate options, locations of places (churches, etc.), (just to name a few), and yes even historical views!  If you don't understand why any of these might be useful when searching around (and also when considering candidate hiding spots), including historical views, then you must never have hidden a "history-rich" geocache, or have planned out an extensive delorme grid/county challenge!

 

I am not suggesting that one cannot go caching without using GE to locate caches, but for those of use who already using GE all the time (is it really so few of us?  can you share some stats with us Moun10Bike??), we would simply like to continue to use the Geocache kml feature to locate caches when (virtually) flying around Timbuktu (even approximately)!

 

And why can't there be a bit more transparency?  As a geo-user I would like to know IF it is going to be repaired, and an estimated date for such fix, before I go and invest lots of time finding an alternative (if there even is one!).  And maybe some info about what exactly is the problem with the kml widget -- maybe one of us nerds knows a way to fix it or get around the problem (it can't be that complicated).

 

I just want geocaches overlayed on my (already highly personalized) GE Pro.  I don't NEED it.  I just WANT it!  Do I really need to convince you that GE Pro is extremely useful before you can see the merit in keeping this feature working (which has worked for more than a decade)?

Edited by jack of hearts
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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, Mineral2 said:

The ONLY extra that Google Earth gives you over Google Maps on the website is 3-d terrain.


- Google Earth will load .kml and . kmz files.  Google Maps does not.
- Google Earth allows you to draw radius's, squares, paths, etc...  Google Maps does not.
- Google Earth allows you to toggle on multiple useful layers of data...  Google Maps does not.
- Google Earth allows you to see boundary lines, and load .kml and . kmz for those it does not do natively.  Google Earth is limited on the first, and does not the last.

Etc... etc...
 

4 hours ago, Mineral2 said:

I'm still not really following how the Google Earth interactive KMZ file is a better "search around" tool than the mapping at the website. Remember, the coordinates in the KML file are not precise.


They don't have to be precise.  The imprecise coordinates are more than good enough to tell me whether or not I need to investigate that cache in more detail.  That is, your argument rests on the broken assumption that the only possible reason to use a mapping tool is to find the precise bush a geocache is located under.  (Setting aside the laughable notion that the cache's actual coordinates at Geocaching.com are consistently that accurate.)  I'm currently using it to plan a caching run Memorial Day weekend - in previous years, it's been trivially easy to open Google Earth and take a quick look to see if there were any caches near our routes between non-geocaching stop or near those stops.  Or, more correctly, all I have (had) was cause the plugin to refresh because I already had Google Earth open to plan and map those stops.  Getting the same data without the plugin takes much more time, and leaves me with a mess (in the form of PQ's, route queries, and downloaded files) that I have to clean up.

 

4 hours ago, Mineral2 said:

It's just not a feature that the game is dependent upon.


It may not be a feature that's important to your game...   But it is to my game, and other's as well.

Edited by Elde
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THANK YOU Elde for concisely saying what I have been desperately trying to convey!!

 

(1) Google Earth has countless features that Google maps doesn't have and MANY of these have been extremely useful to some (many?) of us.

(2) Approximate cache locations are good enough -- especially when overlayed on a powerful mapping platform like Google Earth!

 and

(3) Everyone uses different tools (and has come to rely on many of those tools) to play this game.

 

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Elde said:

It may not be a feature that's important to your game...   But it is to my game, and other's as well.

1 hour ago, jack of hearts said:

(3) Everyone uses different tools (and has come to rely on many of those tools) to play this game.

Yes! This! Keep this in mind if one tool goes down, there are other tools available to get the job done until your preferred tool comes back. I, and the other knowledgeable people in this community,  have given some suggestions, including one to continue using Google Earth, so that you don't have to stop geocaching just because the GE feature provided by Groundspeak is temporarily out of order.

I don't mean to personally attack anyone here for using the Google Earth tool, and I apologize if I made anyone feel that way. I, too, use it on occasion. But it's unavailability in recent months hasn't impacted my ability to go geocaching and participate in the game, and I hope you can also continue to enjoy the hobby until the feature returns.

 

Edited by Mineral2
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On ‎5‎/‎6‎/‎2019 at 11:00 AM, jack of hearts said:

And why can't there be a bit more transparency?  As a geo-user I would like to know IF it is going to be repaired, and an estimated date for such fix, before I go and invest lots of time finding an alternative (if there even is one!).

 

That just isn't the way HQ operates. You're lucky that you even got the one response from Moun10Bike here. Typically, you won't get any acknowledgement of an issue. I believe they've chosen this method so they can avoid committing to timelines they can't meet, or to give them the flexibility to just not fix it at all.

 

Please understand that many of us in here do understand how useful Google Earth can be. While I don't use the plugin very often, I've used GE for many things for many years. It's just that our experience is that this won't be fixed quickly, so we've been trying to point affected users to alternative options.

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I have used the Viewer on Google Earth to find Delorme grids and caches in counties that I need. I can not find them any other way. All I had to do is hone in on an area and the caches would appear and I could choose the caches I needed for my challenges. PLEASE FIX IT.

And the new maps on Geocaching.com are a joke. What happened to the way they were???

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You can use project-gc.com for both of those.

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Still waiting!!   Any ETA on the fix for the Google Earth KML viewer yet? It's been broken for months!

 

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I can add my voice to this discussion.  I continue to miss being able to use the Google Earth viewer.  I used to use it all the time.  I find it interesting that many of the responses continue to say that it's a feature that not used very much.  I find that hard to believe.  If it's a feature the HQ is not going to fix, please remove it from your website as an offered feature.  I love the feature and want to be able to use it but why keep it on your website if it's not working and appears not to be a feature you're interested in fixing.  FIX IT OR REMOVE IT.

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On 5/8/2019 at 8:36 AM, Mineral2 said:

You can use project-gc.com for both of those.

I searched around and found the answer is no. Per the project-gc owner, it's not going to happen. IF I am incorrect, please point me in the correct direction to use unfounded hides in a delorme square. Approaching 120 days of google earth being down

Delorme_Map.JPG

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2 hours ago, x_xenolith_x said:

I searched around and found the answer is no. Per the project-gc owner, it's not going to happen. IF I am incorrect, please point me in the correct direction to use unfounded hides in a delorme square. Approaching 120 days of google earth being down

Delorme_Map.JPG

Apologies. It must be a different site that tracks your delorme challenge progress. How do you view that in Google Earth?

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2 hours ago, x_xenolith_x said:

please point me in the correct direction to use unfounded hides in a delorme square

 

You can use mygeocachingprofile.com to track which Delorme pages you've satisfied.  I know there is a GSAK macro for county and Delorme challenges, it also shows you which pages you've found.

 

As far as showing all the caches on a particular Delorme page, I presume there is a GSAK macro for this that uses the same data set as the challenge checker, but I haven't used one.

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I use Google Earth when planning geocaching trips and finding new counties. It has been easy to see what caches are available and devise the best route to take. Is there a GC map that has that info?

 

When I used to be in the working world and you got the answer that included "We don't no when someone will get to it because it is not high on the priority list" It surely meant that there was intent to ever look into the matter. Funny thing was as an employee I was expected to take care of every duty on my lists regardless of priorities. GC wont even let us know they are aware of the issue.

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4 hours ago, cal25 said:

GC wont even let us know they are aware of the issue.

 

They did so 2.5 months ago, back on the first page:

 

On ‎3‎/‎13‎/‎2019 at 4:01 PM, Moun10Bike said:

I've reported this issue to the engineers and documented it in our issue tracking software. I can't say when or even if they will get to it, as it has pretty low usage (although I'm sure that it's more than 200 people :bad:).

 

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On 4/11/2019 at 1:02 PM, The A-Team said:

There are a number of things to address here:

1. As far as we know, they did not intentionally disable it. Something broke.

  And this is why we're asking them to fix it. It's a very useful tool that many of us have been using for over a decade!

 

2. We're not being critical of the feature. We're trying to suggest alternate methods or workarounds, given that the Google Earth viewer doesn't work at the moment.

  Understood, but we're not asking for a work around, we're asking for the broken feature to get fixed.

 

3. Just to be clear, the viewer itself isn't a paid feature. Both Basic and Premium members can use it, though Premium members get more "views" (refreshing the caches when the map is dragged).

 Perfectly clear  - it's not a premium feature - meaning that is more 'core' than premier and thus more important.

 

4. There are many things on the website that don't work correctly. The developers need to prioritize the long list in order to fix the most important issues first. Since the Google Earth viewer is used relatively minimally and there are workarounds for many use-cases, fixing it could be pretty far down the list.

And many of those broken items have been broken for YEARS. Yet they keep on piling on more and more unnecessary features, without any focus on fixing the basic functionality issues we've been complaining about.

 

 

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On 5/31/2019 at 8:06 AM, cal25 said:

I use Google Earth when planning geocaching trips and finding new counties. It has been easy to see what caches are available and devise the best route to take. Is there a GC map that has that info?

 

When I used to be in the working world and you got the answer that included "We don't no when someone will get to it because it is not high on the priority list" It surely meant that there was intent to ever look into the matter. Funny thing was as an employee I was expected to take care of every duty on my lists regardless of priorities. GC wont even let us know they are aware of the issue.

 

Nah, they are aware of it, they just refuse to address it and even stopped replying to our requests to get it fixed.

Keep e-mailing contact@Groundspeak.com until they do.

 

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On 5/23/2019 at 1:52 PM, djbach said:

I can add my voice to this discussion.  I continue to miss being able to use the Google Earth viewer.  I used to use it all the time.  I find it interesting that many of the responses continue to say that it's a feature that not used very much.  I find that hard to believe.  If it's a feature the HQ is not going to fix, please remove it from your website as an offered feature.  I love the feature and want to be able to use it but why keep it on your website if it's not working and appears not to be a feature you're interested in fixing.  FIX IT OR REMOVE IT.

 

I disagree - I don't want them to remove such a good tool!  I want it fixed! It's a very useful tool that I used to use all the time for trip planning, puzzle solving, routing out hiking trails, scoping out best routes to arrive at a hide etc.. the list is huge.

 

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8 minutes ago, Zop said:

 

I disagree - I don't want them to remove such a good tool!  I want it fixed! It's a very useful tool that I used to use all the time for trip planning, puzzle solving, routing out hiking trails, scoping out best routes to arrive at a hide etc.. the list is huge.

 

I'd love to see it get fixed too. 

But, let's not go overboard with hyperbole here. Every function that you use Google Earth for is still there. You can find routes, you can use it for puzzle solving, routing out hiking trails, scoping out best routes to arrive at a hide, etc. Because none of those functions explicitly relies on the live geocache viewer to be working. You will have to make a few extra steps to your workflow (for now) - either download and import a PQ for the area of interest, or use the browse or search map on the website, in satellite view if preferred, to find specific caches of interest and copy the coordinates over to Google Earth. 

In conclusion, I agree. HQ, please look into fixing the Google Earth Viewer. But for you regular users who rely on this feature, stop acting as though Google Earth or Geocaching are dead without it. Geocaching has existed before Google Earth did, and Google Earth exists outside of Geocaching. Both the game and the Google Earth program work fine without each other. You can make due without Google Earth, and you can make due with some workarounds that let you continue using Google Earth. These options have been well discussed in this thread, so scroll up and read. But your refusal to use these solutions is on you, not Groundspeak. 

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On 5/31/2019 at 8:06 AM, cal25 said:

GC wont even let us know they are aware of the issue.

 

On 3/13/2019 at 4:01 PM, Moun10Bike said:

I've reported this issue to the engineers and documented it in our issue tracking software. I can't say when or even if they will get to it, as it has pretty low usage (although I'm sure that it's more than 200 people :bad:).

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On 6/7/2019 at 11:38 AM, Mineral2 said:

In conclusion, I agree. HQ, please look into fixing the Google Earth Viewer. But for you regular users who rely on this feature, stop acting as though Google Earth or Geocaching are dead without it. Geocaching has existed before Google Earth did, and Google Earth exists outside of Geocaching. Both the game and the Google Earth program work fine without each other. You can make due without Google Earth, and you can make due with some workarounds that let you continue using Google Earth. These options have been well discussed in this thread, so scroll up and read. But your refusal to use these solutions is on you, not Groundspeak. 


No offense, but let's stop talking down to those of us who are seriously and significantly inconvenienced by the loss of this tool.  For us, the game and Google Earth do not work fine without each other.  There are workarounds for some of the lost functionality - but they're all much more time consuming and/or more difficult to use and often only replace a portion of the lost functionality.

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