Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 2
Sol seaker

New Maps

Recommended Posts

I was inspired to start this topic when it turns out that the thread we've been discussing the maps on, is not for the maps after all.

 

Since I know it's important to keep on topic in these forums, I didn't want to keep adding to a thread that was off-topic.

 

so now this thread is about maps.

 

Keep it friendly and constructive. A little frustration venting is to be expected but try to be constructive.

 

 

 

 

This from the thread we have been discussing the maps on (the "Open Letter to Geocaching.com" thread)

  18 hours ago, The A-Team said:

Just as a gentle reminder, this discussion isn't about the new search map (I'm regretting highlighting that in my OP, because people seem to be target-fixated on that now). Discussions of the new search map's design or ways to improve it should be in the relevant discussion threads. This discussion is about the general methodologies used by HQ and how we can help them improve their processes for the betterment of everyone.

 

(the only other thread I could find with maps as a topic was really about powertrails, not maps)

Share this post


Link to post

How is this topic about maps different from any of the other open topics about maps; in particular, the Release Notes thread that is monitored by Geocaching HQ Lackeys?

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Posted (edited)

I was inspired once again to come here to the forums to discuss maps after attempting to plan a hike for this weekend.

 

To find new caches I need to hike in unknown areas. If I were doing a small area city cache adventure then the current maps might suffice.

 

To find new caching trails in many miles of mountains, I need a big view of the available caches. I find trails by looking for cache trails.

 

It is very frustrating to keep having to reload the caches. My internet connection can get bogged down and what is supposed to be a few fun moments of searching for new cache trails turns into a long frustrating exercise in testing my internet speed. I end up thinking about quitting caching and stop my search early.

 

I suspect new cachers who use their phones may not care about the new map differences.

But it's the old cachers who find a lot of caches who are the ones who pay to keep the electricity on at Groundspeak Headquarters, so I would hope that they will pay attention to how many people are reporting in on this. Pay attention to what exactly people are complaining about, and who is not happy.

 

I am considering writing an old fashion letter, this issue is so important to me, since it doesn't seem to draw any attention to talk about it on the forums.

Anyone else who wants to join me on this:  Groundspeak Headquarters 837 N 34th St #300, Seattle, WA 98103

 

 

Edited by Sol seaker

Share this post


Link to post
1 minute ago, Keystone said:

How is this topic about maps different from any of the other open topics about maps; in particular, the Release Notes thread that is monitored by Geocaching HQ Lackeys?

 

I had not seen the release notes thread. Glad to know that they are listening there. I will go there.

 

The difference is that this is the only one I could find just talking about the maps. The other thread talking about maps is the thread on "an open letter to GS" and the thread owner just reported in that that's not what his thread is about. Please read my opening statement for the quote on that.

 

The only other thread I saw on maps was really about power trails. This is just in the main forums though. There may be maps threads hidden in other parts of the forums. I just looked in the main forums where i go for geocaching topics, and one would expect a map thread, and indeeed where it's important to have a map thread, since it seems people keep coming here to discuss the maps.

Share this post


Link to post
Posted (edited)

There are, by my count, 20 threads active in the past month on the recent changes to maps.  Most could have been replies to the Release Notes thread. The "Open Letter..." thread is different because it is speaking to the change process generally.

 

Are you using the browse map or the search map to look for target areas to cache in?  The browse map seems better suited to general scrolling around, without having to refresh.  Once you've located an area you're interested in exploring, you may then want to use the search map and its stronger filters if you are picky about which caches you actually go out to find.

Edited by Keystone
  • Upvote 3

Share this post


Link to post
1 hour ago, Keystone said:

Are you using the browse map or the search map to look for target areas to cache in?  The browse map seems better suited to general scrolling around, without having to refresh.  Once you've located an area you're interested in exploring, you may then want to use the search map and its stronger filters if you are picky about which caches you actually go out to find.

 

I think one of the biggest issues with the rollout of the new search map is the lack of any orientation from HQ regarding the change. As we've been told, HQ internally always considered the "browse" map and the old "search" map to be separate entities, but the vast majority of users didn't see them that way and only saw one map. When this "new" map rolled out and replaced the "browse" map in many of the old locations across the site, it threw a lot of people off because they thought it was a 1-for-1 replacement. Some communication explaining the change and how the "browse" map still exists would have alleviated a lot of the confusion.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
1 hour ago, The A-Team said:

Some communication explaining the change and how the "browse" map still exists would have alleviated a lot of the confusion.

I disagree. As long as they replaced the browse map with the search map, there was always going to be confusion and complaints no matter how carefully they explained the change. In the case of just changing the search map, we can see that it would go exactly as you explained: they replaced the search map and released it incrementally, and there was a little confusion in the forums until they explained that it was just the search map, then there were still some complaints, but generally everyone was satisfied that for searching, the difference might not be overwhelmingly better, but at least it was comparable and the differences were pretty much a matter of taste.

 

But then in the real release, they replaced the browse map with the search map, and no amount of talking about browse vs. search is going to explain away the fact that people browsing are getting the search map and are very upset about the map having the wrong features for what they're doing.

  • Upvote 4

Share this post


Link to post
2 hours ago, dprovan said:

But then in the real release, they replaced the browse map with the search map, and no amount of talking about browse vs. search is going to explain away the fact that people browsing are getting the search map and are very upset about the map having the wrong features for what they're doing.

 

Yep.

I would've expected that  Play -> Search  would've directed cachers to the new "Search Map"

and  Play -> View Map  would've continued going to the "Browse Map"

 

I'm not sure why the regular Advanced Search remains  (accessed by going to  Play -> Search)  as it seems that the new "Search Map" replaces that functionality.

  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
51 minutes ago, noncentric said:

I'm not sure why the regular Advanced Search remains  (accessed by going to  Play -> Search)  as it seems that the new "Search Map" replaces that functionality.

 

Because it doesn't replace it, not by a long shot. The Play -> Search list isn't limited to 500 caches and displays a lot more information about each cache in tabular form than you can see in the list column on the map. Also, the Play - Search list tells me immediately that there are 18076 caches in my state whereas the map only tells me that there are more than 500. Often times when searching, a list of results, showing all the information, is far more useful than dots on a map.

  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, barefootjeff said:

Because it doesn't replace it, not by a long shot. The Play -> Search list isn't limited to 500 caches and displays a lot more information about each cache in tabular form than you can see in the list column on the map. Also, the Play - Search list tells me immediately that there are 18076 caches in my state whereas the map only tells me that there are more than 500. Often times when searching, a list of results, showing all the information, is far more useful than dots on a map.

 

Actually, that's not entirely correct.

  • The limit is 1000, not 500.  It sounds like your setting is at 500. You can increase it to 1000 by clicking on the gear icon on the Search Map.
  • Regarding the total, the grand total is shown at the bottom of the left pane. For example, I did a "Search the world" for "Virtual" cache type, and the left pane says there are 7,158 even though only 1000 will be mapped.  I get the same result if I select Virtual cache type from the Advanced Search, which also will only show 1000 on the map.

You're right that the List view from the Advanced Search shows more info about the caches in the results set though.

 

image.png.f212bdb3827f64cee449d368f5303c3c.png

 

Edited by noncentric
fixed attached image

Share this post


Link to post
On 5/8/2019 at 11:23 AM, Keystone said:

There are, by my count, 20 threads active in the past month on the recent changes to maps.  Most could have been replies to the Release Notes thread. The "Open Letter..." thread is different because it is speaking to the change process generally.

 

Are you using the browse map or the search map to look for target areas to cache in?  The browse map seems better suited to general scrolling around, without having to refresh.  Once you've located an area you're interested in exploring, you may then want to use the search map and its stronger filters if you are picky about which caches you actually go out to find.

 

 

Thank  you!!!

 

I didn't know there was a different option. I just looked and found the "Browse" option. That's much better.

 

Wow that other one was really driving me nuts. I'm really glad  you've got the other option.

 

Now I can actually see what's going on around me.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post

I don't even know the difference between "browse" and "search" maps. I just noticed that one day I had to refresh the map to see caches in a new area. At first I thought this was annoying, remembering the long ago days when the maps were static and you could only scroll a short distance down the road. But after I thought about it I realized, THIS IS GREAT!

One of my biggest complaints over the past several years is that many areas are so saturated now than if you pan out very far the map is such a mass of green slime that you can't even see what town you are near. Now you can scan around the map first and then see the caches only when you know you are looking at the area you want to search.

Now I love this feature! So much better now that I understand how to use it.

Share this post


Link to post
14 hours ago, hukilaulau said:

I don't even know the difference between "browse" and "search" maps. I just noticed that one day I had to refresh the map to see caches in a new area. At first I thought this was annoying, remembering the long ago days when the maps were static and you could only scroll a short distance down the road. But after I thought about it I realized, THIS IS GREAT!

One of my biggest complaints over the past several years is that many areas are so saturated now than if you pan out very far the map is such a mass of green slime that you can't even see what town you are near. Now you can scan around the map first and then see the caches only when you know you are looking at the area you want to search.

Now I love this feature! So much better now that I understand how to use it.

 

I feel the same way about it  It probably takes some getting used to but having a map clear of icons while panning/zooming makes it much easier to find a specific location. 

 

Maybe it's that there are two ways to look at this.  For some,  showing lots of cache then zooming to the area where they are located is how they want to play.  The area is chosen based on the number/type of caches seen on the map.   For others,   locating places on a map takes priority, then seeing what caches will be available when they get there.  Perhaps, someone wants to spend the day  in a large park,  and finding caches while enjoying the park is a bonus.  

Share this post


Link to post
19 hours ago, hukilaulau said:

One of my biggest complaints over the past several years is that many areas are so saturated now than if you pan out very far the map is such a mass of green slime that you can't even see what town you are near. Now you can scan around the map first and then see the caches only when you know you are looking at the area you want to search.

Now I love this feature! So much better now that I understand how to use it.

This is a good point, and I'm relieved that someone has finally come up with one good reason for this behavior. I know this experience and have had to deal with it for years. Having said that, for me, at least, more often than not, I'm trying to find a place within the search area, so keeping the search fixed doesn't really help. On the other hand, I can think of features that would help even more than a limited search, such as a one click way to turn off all the cache icons, or a simple way to jump to the same view in one's favorite non-geocaching mapping page. (The latter is something I've wanted for more reasons than this almost since I started geocaching.)

 

As I recall, GS came up with a couple clever ways to deal with this problem, but they both disappeared 'cuz no one liked them even though, in my opinion, they were a better solution to a map unreadable because it's covered with cache icons. One was to only show 500 (or whatever) caches no matter what the zoom level, but the problem with that was deciding which 500 to show. (I actually thought that might work pretty well to solve your problem if we as users got used to it while GS figured out how to let us order the caches so we'd see the ones we would be more likely to care about.) The other was some kind of clustering, showing one dot to represent many caches as you zoomed out, but my memory about that is so vague that I can't remember whether it was actually implementing, or just a proposal.

 

Besides, even though I understand your point, in the time since the search map became standard, I haven't once been in a situation where I was happy the search was limited because I could see the map after I zoomed out, but every day I have at least one experience where I zoom out and am reminded I have to jump to the browse map to browse because the link I used to browse put me in the wrong map.

Share this post


Link to post
20 hours ago, hukilaulau said:

One of my biggest complaints over the past several years is that many areas are so saturated now than if you pan out very far the map is such a mass of green slime that you can't even see what town you are near.

 

While that could occasionally be annoying, there was always the option to remove caches by type by deselecting them on  the sidebar - so it wasn't really a problem that needed to be fixed; and while it might require a few extra clicks on the rare occasions  it's needed, I still think it will be easier on the mouse button in the long run than the new maps. 

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 2

×