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Release Notes (Website: New Search Map) - April 25, 2019

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Posted (edited)

I never noticed this before (right at the top of a cache page), so I'll assume it was snuck into this release.  I like it, though I have one nit to pick.

 

The icon is an envelope.  That's commonly used to indicate a message (why, even on the same page!) between two people.

 

But a cache note is personal, between you and nobody.

 

note.jpg

 

EDIT: Oh, I get it now.  It's a square purse.  Yeah, those are pretty personal.  (Grab the keys out of your purse?  Ew, do you keep kleenex in there too?)

 

Edited by Viajero Perdido
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When I now click on the "Geocaching.com map" link, the cache selected and the closest surrounding caches do NOT show up.

However, if I click on "browse" then the cache and all the surrounding ones are visible.

What is the purpose of having the map selection on a cache page if it doesn't show the selected cache?

The selected cache will show on Google Maps 

This is using the latest Chrome browser

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Posted (edited)

Speaking of the "Geocaching.com map" link, shouldn't this now be two links?

 

Geocaching.com "Browse map"

Geocaching.com "Search map"

 

...or somesuch.

 

PS, the MyTopo offering for Canada is laughably prehistoric.  Decades, seriously decades out of date.  But useful very occasionally for history research, and to remember how bad the old maps were.

 

Edited by Viajero Perdido
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4 hours ago, Viajero Perdido said:

I never noticed this before (right at the top of a cache page), so I'll assume it was snuck into this release.  I like it, though I have one nit to pick.

 

The Personal Cache Note "badge" was implemented many moons ago.  Around the same time the puzzle piece icon for Corrected Coords was implemented.

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The new map doesn't work for me at all. Literally. I get a blank page. 

Please, give me the old page back!

At least as an option. 

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Groundspeak, do you know of a troubleshooting / FAQ / system requirements page at MapBox or Klocantech (or even Groundspeak) that can help the folks with blank screens?  You're using external code, right?, and those developers must know the limitations.

 

Not for my sake; I don't need that map, but other people may be stopped in their tracks.

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Posted (edited)

This has buggered up my caching experience in a major way. I log caches by opening a cache on the app and transferring to the site. Unfortunately, the new process has blocked me from doing this meaning logging caches has now become an even more difficult process. Pointless and ridiculous - Groundspeak couldn’t have made their middle finger to loyal cachers more known. This change is a farce and a big stuff you to those who have loyally paid membership 😡

Edited by Hitman9956
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After receiving a reply to an email with a few instructions, I see the new map will do what I want. I think when you make "IMPROVEMENTS," it would be a good idea to include some basic instructions for users - especially those of us who hate change. 

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On 4/27/2019 at 9:34 AM, bajjab said:

If I klick on "View Larger Map" in an archived cache listing it opens the new map-page with an eror message (Sorry, we couldn’t find "GC...."). Why doesn't it open the map at the coordinates of the archived cache as it was before with the old map?

archived.jpg

Yes, thank you for bring this up.  I don't so much mind the new map but I just found this out.  It brings me to my home location.  If I click on "larger map" I want to see that location even though the archived cache doesn't show.  I do it all the time for whatever reason. Could Groundspeak please fix that?

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Yes I can delete the problem junk in the URL to get me to the type of map that will open for me, but then it returns me to my "home" location rather than where I want to be.  Scrolling across 20 or 30 miles of map to get to where I wanted to be is a waste of time and effort. Why does Geocaching.com have to change my destination?
 

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Posted (edited)

I have one big problem with the new map - it doesn't workon my tablet. When I'm in lists and try to map a list I get a blank page. Nothing, nada, completely blank. Because I can't get to the new map, that means I can't get to the second map, unless I use a bookmark to get there. Really!?

Edited by 51MarLin
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Why arn't my Draft field notes not showing up in the browse map as a blue exclamation mark like they used to?

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Ok, I found the blue exclamation mark on the search map, but the link doesn't show the date the field draft was created like it used to.

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Not a fan of the new map at all. Thank you Groundspeak for sending me the link to this topic so I could get back to the older map that worked great for me. So for now until that one goes away completely (if it does) I am happy. 

 

 For me the new map loads slowly. 

Solved puzzle piece icons took about 15 minutes to show up on my map page after solving them. That was this morning on 3 of them.  

Having to keep clicking "search area" to see caches when moving to different areas is a pain. Sure, easy to do but yet more clicking that has to be done. 

 

Looking at it, there really is nothing I really like about it. I am okay with change and know it has to happen sometimes but this version is not for me at all. Sorry to sound so negative but that is all I got for the new map page. 

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On 4/25/2019 at 3:50 PM, arisoft said:

 

My bookmarked link to the Browse Map at my home coordinates is still working as usually. It is my main tool for browsing so I am not affected by the change at all. Is it possible that you could try the same solution? A link like this one https://www.geocaching.com/map/#?ll=32.314584,-64.808145&z=12

You have made me SOOOOO happy with this link. I for one HATE the new maps. The old one had better options for maps which I use constantly. The new maps don't show me what I need to know. 3 Options just doesn't cut it when we plan our excursions. I personally gave feedback that I did not like the new proposed map and feel a bit cranky that I would be forced to do so without this option, Thank you so much Arisoft!

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"Set Map Preferences" on "Browse" type map not worked on IE11 W7 + Windows10 - not possible switch Google/Leaflet map.

Please repair this...

 

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This seems a fairly one-sided conversation, but in any event, I'll add my (uncharacteristically not-so-negative) opinion:

 

I very rarely use the Search map.  That being said, the ability to see additional cache information when going to the "View Larger Map" screen is kind of nice.

 

I have a few suggestions, though:

  1. Add a toggle to see the additional cache info in the Browse map. (Maybe make it another "tab-like" selection along with Search and Pocket Queries)
  2. When using the View Larger Map, it would be nice if zooming out didn't require a button click to refresh the view.  After all, when viewing the area around a cache, it's probably because we want to see the other caches in the area.
  3. The limit of 1000 caches seems arbitrary for the Search map, especially in a cache-dense area (but then, I guess the primary function is to search for some specific set of attributes, not every cache, so maybe this isn't a big deal)
  4. Have an option to make the Browse map the primary interface (adding new interfaces is fine, but forcing them on the user, who is often unsuspecting, is not good practice.  There was a bit of backlash against the ribbon when MS introduced it.  Some people still don't like it.)
  5. Even better, leave the Browse map the primary interface and add an option so people can choose to make the new Search map their primary interface
  6. I fondly recall the days when interfaces had distinct colors and square corners and minimal whitespace.  (Not exactly a critique of the new Search map, but of the "new" everything on the site - but then I don't use, own, or in any way interact with smart phones, so this may just be the "new normal.")

In summary, do I like the new Search map?  Not exactly (but I certainly don't hate, loathe, or despise it).

Can it be improved? Certainly

Would I like to see the Browse map as the primary interface? Most definitely

Best compromise? Allow the Browse map to display more detailed cache info in the side panel and allow the Search map to more seamlessly update the view (i.e. not having to click the "Search This Area" button all the time).

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2 hours ago, GO Geiger said:

I have a few suggestions, though:

#1-3 pretty much boil down to the fundamental difference in usage and framework between the Browse and Search maps. Don't think of the Browse map as detail priority, and don't think of the Search map as speed and scope priority.  The Search map is a plotter of complex search results, so making search updates automatic with every map zoom/move is a Bad Idea for server activity, and assuming that moving or zooming the map means a user must want to requery the search is certainly not universal... A few points like that imply keeping many various use cases in mind and selecting the most common / least impactful to the back-end.  Though, having certain features as options is something one make an argument for :) (but given the amount of problems the maps have right now, luxury options like manual/auto updating probably aren't all that important on the to-do list)

 

(assuming there is a to-do list being made)

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The release notes (above) includes the following:

  • Search the world – This removes all location constraints from your search. For example, “Show me all of the Webcam Caches worldwide.”

This sounds like an interesting feature; but it does not seem to work.

 

I tried a search for "Show me all of the Webcam Caches worldwide" and map zooms in on a traditional GC1ZR73 in Maine!

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On 4/27/2019 at 12:37 AM, arisoft said:

 

https://www.geocaching.com/play/search/@62.930089,26.74707?origin=62.93008880080978,26.7470703125

 

LIst format is still available but I don't know how to open the list from the website. My example link above opens a list with sortable columns as you requested.

That list format is available from a location -- yes on the front search page ...

However, you used to be able to see BOOKMARK lists in this format -- if you clicked on a PUBLIC bookmark list it would show in the nice

multicolumn output format -- now if you try and list a bookmark in that format it REDIRECTS you to the NEW map format instead.

NOT what I want.

I want to be able to use the real estate of the DESKTOP web interface and have it be formatted in such a useful way for a DESKTOP.

It's EASY .css to change the display for a Desktop over a display for a tiny screen of a phone.

 

This new map stuff makes it *really* hard to plan out a days worth of caching without giving me carpal tunnel for all the extra clicks that I need to do

in order to display basic types of data.

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Geez.. Enough messing with the 'never really have been functional' maps. Just please fix the Google Earth KML plug-in already!

 

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21 hours ago, thebruce0 said:

#1-3 pretty much boil down to the fundamental difference in usage and framework between the Browse and Search maps. Don't think of the Browse map as detail priority, and don't think of the Search map as speed and scope priority.  The Search map is a plotter of complex search results, so making search updates automatic with every map zoom/move is a Bad Idea for server activity, and assuming that moving or zooming the map means a user must want to requery the search is certainly not universal... A few points like that imply keeping many various use cases in mind and selecting the most common / least impactful to the back-end.  Though, having certain features as options is something one make an argument for :) (but given the amount of problems the maps have right now, luxury options like manual/auto updating probably aren't all that important on the to-do list)

 

(assuming there is a to-do list being made)

Good points and I agree with all of them.  But it seems like the majority of use cases (or at least users on the forums) desire the use of the Browse map rather than the Search map.

 

Would it be that bad (or that hard) to have the additional cache info added to the Browse map?  (Serious question, I'm a computer programmer, but not an interface guy.  It would seem easy enough to me, but I have no knowledge of the legacy code in the Browse map which may make this difficult/painful/impossible.  Bolting it on just to have it, as opposed to designing it in, would also be a bad idea for the programmers.)

Also, going to the Search map using the View Larger Map seems silly - I'm not actually searching for anything, other than the caches near to the cache I was previously looking at.  As such, the view should not be limited to one screen full of caches at a certain zoom level.  (Give a reasonable search radius around the cache, say 5 miles?  10 miles?  Or go back to sending us to the Browse map.  Or make it an option :))

I do agree about the server load from doing constant re-searches being problematic.  That makes me think that the Search map should be used in as few use cases as it makes sense to use it, not in the majority of them.  (Although, I don't know what the server load is from constantly panning/zooming the Browse map.)

 

Again, as a computer guy, I know all about the infamous "to-do" list that never gets done (or sometimes never even gets made), due to shifting priorities, employee turnover, difficulty of implementation, being distracted by shiny things, etc.

 

Still not in love with the new Search map (too many extra clicks when panning around), but I can see its purpose.  I think it may be getting used in too many use cases, though.

 

At the very least, I would hope HQ is watching these discussions and evaluating the (hopefully) constructive criticism we're offering.

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3 hours ago, GO Geiger said:

Would it be that bad (or that hard) to have the additional cache info added to the Browse map?

 

We have some information in the popup when you click on the icon. Sure adding more would be possible, but it might come to some inhibitive UI redesign to show more info than that. Adding the sidebar to show much more detail - well, that's what the search map UI accomplishes.  I think the intent is to keep the 'browsing' to the Browse map, and the details to the Search map.

 

3 hours ago, GO Geiger said:

Also, going to the Search map using the View Larger Map seems silly - I'm not actually searching for anything, other than the caches near to the cache I was previously looking at.

 

Yep, I've argued that there should be two links - one to Browse the map from here (the cache location) and the other to plot a search for the nearest caches (to the Search map) with parameters that can be adjusted.

The links to left of the map thumbnail do more detailed searches, providing a link to the map view from their result lists. Effectively the same things, just an extra click away.  My argument is they should use the same terminology in the link texts so people know what map they're going to, which describes what they want to do.  "Map view" isn't descriptive when there are two fundamentally different mapping experiences.

 

3 hours ago, GO Geiger said:

Still not in love with the new Search map (too many extra clicks when panning around), but I can see its purpose.  I think it may be getting used in too many use cases, though.

 

Ditto. They're pushing everyone to a vastly different experience than the Browsing, forcing a search result mentality when people start off on the surface, just browsing. That's why people don't get/like the "Click to update" option. It's not intuitive when you're just panning a map of geocaches. Once you're in the mindset of reducing the options via filters or searching, then it makes a little more sense.  Work from the top down. Browse. Want greater flexibility? Here's your powerful search filtering interface with some additional technical restrictions.

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As I reported in the pre-release thread here:


When mapping some of my lists I get a world map displayed with my caches grouped over one of the UK regions either in the top left or top right.

I've figured out that this happens when the list contains caches on either side of the Greenwich Meridian. I suspect that where the cache clusters are displayed depends on which side of the Meridian the bulk of the caches lie.

 

image.png.af6a5633cea71736bfceec08176d38cc.png

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I browsed all comments in this thread and noticed that all my worries about new search map were presented already. Here is still my summary:

- Making the search map as default adds one extra click before I can get the browse map that I prefer as starting point. Not a big thing but entirely unnecessary!

- Using the word 'search' in context of the new map is confusing because 'search' is already used in Play menu for listing caches. Even 'filter' or 'select' would be more accurate but you surely can find something better. 

- Why in the heck the search map brings all my finds as default? When one is found it is generally not in my interest anymore. Same applies to browse map of course but search map is clearly most usable for working with unfound caches so why not help the user by filtering out found caches initially and not leave it to the user?

- The search map has only three layers available. Several of the browse map's layers are obsolete but OSM is the most important one in my opinion. It is a frustrating mistake to eliminate OSM.

 

I am wondering why Groundspeak forces users to do something in their way and not allow users to choose their preferred way? A few options in user's preferences would make a big difference! Like "Show / hide found caches in maps" or "Use browse / search as default map" or "Default map layer Geocaching / OSM / Google / Satellite". 

 

All this repeats the recent trend by Groundspeak. The system changes seem to be driven by IT engineers and not by the end users (i.e geocachers). That's unfortunate because system's usability suffers. 

 

Finally I present my astonishment about Groundspeak's silence in this thread. In the beginning they say that brendanjw is watching this thread and may even answer questions if possible. I did not notice any comments by brendanjw. The questions are surely not too tough!

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I mentioned this last year in one of the early Release Notes threads about the new search map but the issue persists...

 

Whenever the map is visible in the browser, even if it's just sitting there doing nothing, it appears to have one of the processor cores running flat-chat all the time. On my quad-core desktop PC, I see this in Task Manager:

 

SearchMapDesktop.jpg.6a830e175947b3de148a2791aa23b812.jpg

 

On my dual-core Surface Pro, I see this:

 

SearchMapSurfacePro.png.5708721cc43ce52bc8f4c4202e2850aa.png

 

Both machines are running 64-bit Windows 10 with Firefox 66.0.3.

 

This suggests that somewhere in the map code there's a thread constantly spinning rather than blocking when there's no user input. I don't have a single core machine to try it on, but I'd imagine it'd have a pretty drastic impact on one of those.

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Please leave the "old" maps accessible, I prefer the Open Cycle Map to the geocaching map.  It is one of the last reasons I still pay for premium membership. 

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Hello everyone, brendanjw and I have been watching this thread and have been filing tickets based on bugs you are reporting. We are also looking into performance related questions. We are working on sharing a more comprehensive update in the near future. 


 

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Posted (edited)

553768764_ScreenShot2019-05-03at2_46_05PM.thumb.png.ac46bec63d5f9a5ed46ba0524235f678.png

 

My first experience with the new Search Map was quite baffling.  The map (without filters of any kind) simply did not return all the caches in the area.  It took me a while to realize there was a "Browse Map" option and when I clicked on that, all of the caches in the area magically showed up.  I have clicked around all of the filters and any other thing I could think of and there just doesn't seem to be any logical reason why the Search Map excludes caches that should be on the map.  The map above is the Search Map and is missing the caches I wanted/needed to see.  BTW, the unfound cache I was really interested in (Knotty Monkey's Revenge) DID show up in the sidebar but DID NOT show up on the map.  The map, below, is the Browse Map and everything is correct on that map.  Look right in the middle of each map and you will see what I mean (the Knotty Monkey's Revenge cache is single "green box" unfound cache on the map).

 

The most curious thing to me was that I accessed the map from the Knotty Monkey's Revenge cache page, but that cache didn't even show up.  How in earth is THAT correct or helpful?!?

 

1587518322_ScreenShot2019-05-03at2_46_12PM.thumb.png.430831b2f5ffa43c8200ab5c7a261656.png

Edited by Marko Ramius
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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Marko Ramius said:

My first experience with the new Search Map was quite baffling. 

 

We have a serious problem here.  If even a reviewer can't figure this out...  (I certainly can't.)

 

I spent a little time staring at that image (the first one in the post above).  My first thought is, what's it showing?  Seeing a map and icons, the natural answer was, "caches there".

 

But no, this is the "Search Map".  But where does it even say that?  Where does it say anything about "search" on that screen?  And most importantly, since it's been pointed out that it's not simply showing everything, then where does it say what it is showing?

 

Confusion leads to lack of trust leads to lack of use.  Noticed that already?

 

Edited by Viajero Perdido
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15 hours ago, Oceansazul said:

Hello everyone, brendanjw and I have been watching this thread and have been filing tickets based on bugs you are reporting. We are also looking into performance related questions. We are working on sharing a more comprehensive update in the near future. 

There were some bugs posted in the pre-release notes thread, are you posting tickets from that thread too or do we need to re-post those bugs in here to be followed up?

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On 5/3/2019 at 5:33 AM, barefootjeff said:

Whenever the map is visible in the browser, even if it's just sitting there doing nothing, it appears to have one of the processor cores running flat-chat all the time.

Wow, just checked this myself.

 

Just one single Firefox instance with one tab open, left to "settle" for a minute with no input or activity:

CPU utilisation with the Browse map selected = 1%

 

Screenshot_2019-05-04_11-20-50.png.bb8d40bf123b461321fd83037092613d.png

 

CPU utilisation with the Search map selected = 93%

Screenshot_2019-05-04_11-20-02.png.ee01aa5ffeadb6eab783235ddcf6511a.png

 

I hadn't noticed this because it's a pretty speedy 8 core system and I avoid the search map wherever possible, but I hate to think what effect this map will have on a low spec machine.

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52 minutes ago, MartyBartfast said:

Just one single Firefox instance with one tab open, left to "settle" for a minute with no input or activity:

CPU utilisation with the Browse map selected = 1%

 

Foreground about 33% (more than one CPU) on single threaded Firefox on my i5 but it goes smaller when put on backgroud.

Maybe it is mining bitcoins for GS while you are watching the map?

Actually it is recalculating styles all the time. Some unnecessary animation is always running.

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Posted (edited)

Is there a minimum requirement for iOS for the new Search map to work?  They're not working on my old iPad (running iOS 9.3.5 - "up to date"), I just get a blank screen.

Edited by IceColdUK

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Is there a way to set the browse map as default instead of the search map? I would also apprechiate if there was a map type I could choose as default, e.g. OpenStreetMap Default.

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3 hours ago, gimme5 said:

Is there a way to set the browse map as default instead of the search map?

No.

 

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7 minutes ago, MartyBartfast said:

No.

 

Huh??

 

Using GClh tampermonkey add-on it's no problem to directly link to the browse map (and having your own default settings).

 

GClh_links.jpg

mapchoice.jpg

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19 minutes ago, on4bam said:

Huh??

Using bookmarks & plugins has already been discussed so I don't think that's the answer they were looking for,  I was I'm talking about the Groundspeak's provisions and they don't provide a way to change the default map.

 

 

 

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It's a solution to the problem. Using add-ons is the only way to make the GC site usable. I wouldn't even dream of using the site "as provided".

 

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2 hours ago, on4bam said:

Using GClh tampermonkey add-on it's no problem to directly link to the browse map (and having your own default settings).

 

 

But does it also help when I want to click menu "Play -> View map"?

 

This is (was) the most common way I use to get to the Browse Map. Currently I'm forced to use bookmarks or browser's address bar instead.

 

@Groundspeak: If you do not want to set the browse map as default, could you then please upgrade the menu and provide two links?? "View Search Map" and "View Browse Map". The search map is not useable for me.

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6 minutes ago, fraggle_[DE] said:

 

But does it also help when I want to click menu "Play -> View map"?

 

This is (was) the most common way I use to get to the Browse Map. Currently I'm forced to use bookmarks or browser's address bar instead.

 

@Groundspeak: If you do not want to set the browse map as default, could you then please upgrade the menu and provide two links?? "View Search Map" and "View Browse Map". The search map is not useable for me.

 

If you ask nicely the authors of GClh might add this function ;)

Anyway, I just have my profile page open all the time so that I have everything available from there.

 

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2 hours ago, on4bam said:

It's a solution to the problem. Using add-ons is the only way to make the GC site usable. I wouldn't even dream of using the site "as provided".

It is a workaround. The solution would be if the sources passed from server to browser were functional enough without any additional add-ons. Maybe GS should add a disclaimer saying for example: "To have the page fully functional you will have following add-ons installed:...", then it could be treated as a solution 😉

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10 minutes ago, rapotek said:

It is a workaround. The solution would be if the sources passed from server to browser were functional enough without any additional add-ons. Maybe GS should add a disclaimer saying for example: "To have the page fully functional you will have following add-ons installed:...", then it could be treated as a solution 😉

Yes, but in the 13 years that I'm using GS's services I've learned that the only way to make everything work efficiently is to use third party tools (GSAK, add-ons...). Most of the broken things never get fixed or at least never get fixed completely. It took more than 15 years to get the timezones sorted and even now logging via API/website/app is not consistent.

 

 

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2 minutes ago, on4bam said:

Yes, but in the 13 years that I'm using GS's services I've learned that the only way to make everything work efficiently is to use third party tools (GSAK, add-ons...). Most of the broken things never get fixed or at least never get fixed completely. It took more than 15 years to get the timezones sorted and even now logging via API/website/app is not consistent.

So everyone has to stop requiring any improvements or bug fixes, then? These are release notes and users here give feedback how do they perceive the changes and new functionalities, not how to bypass them, am I wrong?

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16 minutes ago, rapotek said:

So everyone has to stop requiring any improvements or bug fixes, then? These are release notes and users here give feedback how do they perceive the changes and new functionalities, not how to bypass them, am I wrong?

That's not what I mean. I'm just saying not to hold your breath for all the fixes. If I have a choice of using a broken tool or fixing the shortcomings at my end then it's a no-brainer what I will go for.

 

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7 hours ago, on4bam said:

 

If you ask nicely the authors of GClh might add this function ;)

 

 

Nice idea. But that's something I expect Groundspeak to implement (they broke it, they can fix it). This feature should be available for all users, not only add-on users.

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14 minutes ago, fraggle_[DE] said:

 

Nice idea. But that's something I expect Groundspeak to implement (they broke it, they can fix it). This feature should be available for all users, not only add-on users.

You're right. Buuuuuut......... (I'm not going to repeat myself).

 

 

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Posted (edited)

I brought this up before the launch was final, and nothing has changed for the better. Not only is this design almost universally disliked, it very often doesn’t work correctly.

 

See that little clump of caches in the top left? They are all supposed to be in that park at the bottom of the screen. The part that has an actual map. All I did the get this was scroll around and zoom out. Doesn’t seem like a particularly difficult test case.

887ACC5C-1A20-4B2D-9609-AFE364CAF1A8.png

Edited by CanUSeeIT
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Performance problems seem to be browser and OS independent ... The SEARCH map runs at close to 40% on MAC OS using Safari. So bad behavior all around.

 

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