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Clan-Wallace

FEATURE REQUEST: Add Custom Child Waypoints

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User-Defined Child Wapoints

There are numerous Geocaching Apps and software (like GSAK) that are available and almost all of them have the ability to add custom child waypoints for a specific cache.

 

That's all very well but if you use more than one app or device (as many of us do) or your membership is shared with a partner / family member / team, then in each and every case we might have to add that same child waypoint, repeatably.

 

Surely it makes sense that GC.com is our central database for all caches of interest to us and the ability to add user-defined child waypoints on the cache page would rectify this issue for one and all. You download caches and there are all the additional custom waypoints, whatever app or team member makes the download. (One ring to rule them all).

 

Feature Enhancement

If this much needed feature is hopefully provided for us, perhaps an additional child waypoint feature could be added. That is, a 'Calculated Child Waypoint'.

All that would be required is instead of entering coordinates, you would be able to enter the formula that will be used to calculate the coordinates once the answers have been collected, as in many Multicache scenarios. The note field would also be utilised so that the user can enter a cut-down version of the information about where they need to look for answers and the questions that need to be solved. (Rather than trying to scan through an over-bloated description, in italics, in fading light on a rainy day).

 

Here's an example of how this might look:

 

Visible Parking AreaParking Area P0 P0 Church Car Park (Parking Area) N 53° 04.258 W 001° 42.569 

Note: There's a narrow entrance to the left of the Church

  image.png.966c4dffaa79731d739de4e520c60b90.png        C0 C0  Muti Stage 2  (Calculated)  N53° 04.(A+A)(B-E)(C-D-D) W001° 42.(D+E)(C+F)(E+G+H)

 Note: As you enter the churchyard, to your right, you'll see a plaque in memory of Joanna Rugman.
She lived from ABCD to EFGH.
Checksum: 48 (or perhaps: Checker available)

 

Application developers, including GC.com, could easily parse the formula with regular expressions to check it is a valid format, valid expressions and then create

textboxes for each letter parsed. This would allow the user to enter a value for each letter and the app would calculate the result. Allowing the user to set this calculated set of coordinates as the final location.

 

I  feel sure many members will see this feature and its enhancement as a very useful addition, aiding us in our Geocaching Adventures.

 

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Even GSAK can't handle formula waypoints, can it?

 

While I like the idea of user waypoints on the website, I wonder if this has some backend issues.

 

I imagine the technical difficulty of adding a single text box (Personal Cache Note) on each cache is much less than any number of waypoints. Especially since waypoints have GC codes. (Ex: GC123 has parking coordinate PK123 and final FN123)

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I like the idea of personal waypoints, but the coordinate calculator seems to be a big ask.

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Part of the 'Mystery' or 'Puzzle' in a 'Mystery' or 'Puzzle' cache is to solve the puzzle.

 

If you have a coordinate calculator where all you have to do is type in Joanna Rugman's birth and death years and the app does all the math, then why create a math puzzle?

 

If I create a cache where you have to get the final coords by applying the Pythagorian Theorem and divide by the first, third and fifth digit, then that's the puzzle I've set for you.

 

Why would GS provide a way to shortcut puzzles?  Might as well just provide a list of previous finders' 'Corrected Coords'. 

 

Next step, just shoot a photo of the Historic Marker and let the app find the pertinent info?

 

As for sharing your waypoints with others, same argument! "I solved the middle stage; here it is, everybody!"

 

As for multiple devices, yeah, that's a pain. Maybe they should be available to YOUR account only, but I'd bet that's not what you're asking for; everyone in your family would have to share an account.

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I like the idea of user waypoints as well. I use Geoget for offline cache management (an app similar to GSAK) and have been adding my waypoints to caches for years. Often parking when the CO has not provided one (or I know of a better spot), stages, reference points and especially final waypoints (with formulas for quick and error-free final coords calculation on-the-go).

 

The database already has a table for storing waypoints. So far only an owner is allowed to add waypoints to a particular cache. Why not allow players to add their own private waypoints to caches? :)

 

EDIT: Groundspeak does not monitor Geocaching topics for feature requests. Ask an administrator to move this thread into the Website section.

Edited by Pontiac_CZ
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9 hours ago, Clan-Wallace said:

Application developers, including GC.com, could easily parse the formula with regular expressions to check it is a valid format, valid expressions and then create

textboxes for each letter parsed. This would allow the user to enter a value for each letter and the app would calculate the result. Allowing the user to set this calculated set of coordinates as the final location.

I think the obvious step would be to let COs create multi waypoints this way to begin with.
 

There’s at least one dedicated app (Cachetoolbox on iOS) that does a lot of this (you need to copy the calculation result to your caching app, there’s no place to add explanations for the variables, it can only handle upper case variables so if the CO used something else you need to retype/convert it to upper case yourself...).

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10 hours ago, Clan-Wallace said:

There are numerous Geocaching Apps and software (like GSAK) that are available and almost all of them have the ability to add custom child waypoints for a specific cache.

That's all very well but if you use more than one app or device (as many of us do) or your membership is shared with a partner / family member / team, then in each and every case we might have to add that same child waypoint, repeatably.

 -snip - 

The note field would also be utilised so that the user can enter a cut-down version of the information about where they need to look for answers and the questions that need to be solved. (Rather than trying to scan through an over-bloated description, in italics, in fading light on a rainy day).

 

Guess my thoughts are similar to TeamRabbitRun .   Short cuts...    :)

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”Short cuts” indeed. I think making existing cache types more accessible on the go is exactly the kind of thing HQ should focus on.

 

 

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7 hours ago, mustakorppi said:

<...> making existing cache types more accessible on the go <...>

 

What does that mean? Can you explain that, please?

 

Are you actually in favor of the website having a facility to do the work for you to solve part or all of a puzzle? Why the hell would anybody ever create a puzzle?

If I create a complex, hard puzzle and you don't want to put the work into solving it, then don't do my cache!
Next: REQUIRING CO-supplied Spoiler Pictures that you can click on and display?

If you think all the stuff in your area is too hard, maybe you could get together with your buddies and put out some more to your liking.
 

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30 minutes ago, TeamRabbitRun said:

Are you actually in favor of the website having a facility to do the work for you to solve part or all of a puzzle? Why the hell would anybody ever create a puzzle?

 

In relation to the OP request, surely you're not suggesting that this:

Quote

  N53° 04.(A+A)(B-E)(C-D-D) W001° 42.(D+E)(C+F)(E+G+H)

 

Is part of the puzzle and that the CO would somehow be challenging us to to add or subtract single digits?

 

It seem to me this is just requesting a way to implement the simple number/letter substitution required for many multi caches to convert the numbers found on some item into the co-ordinates for a waypoint.  I've tried a few of the 3rd party apps which do this, and personally I've found it's not worth the effort and I still do it mostly in my head, but I can see why some might want a bit of assistance with this type of substitution in the field. It's not as if the OP is requesting an option to perform complex mathematical equations/solutions.

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How would this be a benefit "in the field"  (where the info is gathered)?

Is it easy to have the website open while caching and then add WPs? How would you navigate to that WP?

 

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21 minutes ago, MartyBartfast said:

 

In relation to the OP request, surely you're not suggesting that this:

                                       N53° 04.(A+A)(B-E)(C-D-D) W001° 42.(D+E)(C+F)(E+G+H)

 

Is part of the puzzle and that the CO would somehow be challenging us to to add or subtract single digits?

 

It seem to me this is just requesting a way to implement the simple number/letter substitution required for many multi caches to convert the numbers found on some item into the co-ordinates for a waypoint.  I've tried a few of the 3rd party apps which do this, and personally I've found it's not worth the effort and I still do it mostly in my head, but I can see why some might want a bit of assistance with this type of substitution in the field. It's not as if the OP is requesting an option to perform complex mathematical equations/solutions.

 

Marty, I'm not sure I understand. That seems like a perfectly reasonable and common puzzle, where you have to substitute the ABCD and EFGH digits from the birth and death years on Ms. Rugman's plaque into that long calculation. Yeah, it's in the field, and yeah, you might want a pencil and paper, and yeah, it might not be a D2!  (See above)

 

Even if were, as you say, a 'number/letter substitution required for many multi caches to convert the numbers found on some item into the co-ordinates for a waypoint', DOING that substitution and possible fat-fingering the solution and getting it wrong is all part of the puzzle.

 

If that's not what you meant, please explain.

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1 hour ago, TeamRabbitRun said:

 

What does that mean? Can you explain that, please?

 

Are you actually in favor of the website having a facility to do the work for you to solve part or all of a puzzle? Why the hell would anybody ever create a puzzle?

If I create a complex, hard puzzle and you don't want to put the work into solving it, then don't do my cache!
Next: REQUIRING CO-supplied Spoiler Pictures that you can click on and display?

If you think all the stuff in your area is too hard, maybe you could get together with your buddies and put out some more to your liking.
 

Interesting post. You started with some effort at being civil and then just went off the rails all on your own. It’s been nice talking to you.

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3 minutes ago, mustakorppi said:

Interesting post. You started with some effort at being civil and then just went off the rails all on your own. It’s been nice talking to you.

 

Yeah, well, maybe I should have put the "Can you explain that, please?" at the end. Sorry about that; could've been worded better.

But, my question still stands.

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On 10/26/2020 at 7:22 AM, Clan-Wallace said:

User-Defined Child Wapoints

There are numerous Geocaching Apps and software (like GSAK) that are available and almost all of them have the ability to add custom child waypoints for a specific cache.

 

That's all very well but if you use more than one app or device (as many of us do) or your membership is shared with a partner / family member / team, then in each and every case we might have to add that same child waypoint, repeatably.

 

Surely it makes sense that GC.com is our central database for all caches of interest to us and the ability to add user-defined child waypoints on the cache page would rectify this issue for one and all. You download caches and there are all the additional custom waypoints, whatever app or team member makes the download. (One ring to rule them all).

 

Feature Enhancement

If this much needed feature is hopefully provided for us, perhaps an additional child waypoint feature could be added. That is, a 'Calculated Child Waypoint'.

All that would be required is instead of entering coordinates, you would be able to enter the formula that will be used to calculate the coordinates once the answers have been collected, as in many Multicache scenarios. The note field would also be utilised so that the user can enter a cut-down version of the information about where they need to look for answers and the questions that need to be solved. (Rather than trying to scan through an over-bloated description, in italics, in fading light on a rainy day).

 

Here's an example of how this might look:

 

Visible Parking AreaParking Area P0 P0 Church Car Park (Parking Area) N 53° 04.258 W 001° 42.569 

Note: There's a narrow entrance to the left of the Church

  image.png.966c4dffaa79731d739de4e520c60b90.png        C0 C0  Muti Stage 2  (Calculated)  N53° 04.(A+A)(B-E)(C-D-D) W001° 42.(D+E)(C+F)(E+G+H)

 Note: As you enter the churchyard, to your right, you'll see a plaque in memory of Joanna Rugman.
She lived from ABCD to EFGH.
Checksum: 48 (or perhaps: Checker available)

 

Application developers, including GC.com, could easily parse the formula with regular expressions to check it is a valid format, valid expressions and then create

textboxes for each letter parsed. This would allow the user to enter a value for each letter and the app would calculate the result. Allowing the user to set this calculated set of coordinates as the final location.

 

I  feel sure many members will see this feature and its enhancement as a very useful addition, aiding us in our Geocaching Adventures.

 

 

How would this work on my Garmin GPSr, or are you asking for a phone app change? And what happens in those areas with no phone signal?

Edited by K13

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47 minutes ago, TeamRabbitRun said:

If that's not what you meant, please explain.

Well yes it is, what I meant. It seems your idea of what constitutes a puzzle is different to mine. In my experience this sort of substitution is most often used in the field for multis - so the "puzzle" component doesn't really come into it.


For puzzle caches which might use similar substitutions then the puzzle part is usually about working out the numbers in the first place, not about writing them into the formula.

 

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1 minute ago, MartyBartfast said:

Well yes it is, what I meant. It seems your idea of what constitutes a puzzle is different to mine. In my experience this sort of substitution is most often used in the field for multis - so the "puzzle" component doesn't really come into it.


For puzzle caches which might use similar substitutions then the puzzle part is usually about working out the numbers in the first place, not about writing them into the formula.

 

 

OK, so a puzzle or a multi; doesn't make a difference to me. And, the distinction between those isn't exactly cast in stone. Frequently it's a matter of personal preference.

 

The hoops a cacher has to jump through are set by the CO. Anything GS does to bypass the tasks or make it 'easier' is a compromise of the CO's work and design.

 

The other point in the OP was to avoid having to read through all the boring junk in the Cache Description and have the website extract the important info (meaning only the specific task) and give you that.  Again, why have a creative cache description? 

 

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1 minute ago, TeamRabbitRun said:

The hoops a cacher has to jump through are set by the CO. Anything GS does to bypass the tasks or make it 'easier' is a compromise of the CO's work and design.

 

The other point in the OP was to avoid having to read through all the boring junk in the Cache Description and have the website extract the important info (meaning only the specific task) and give you that.  Again, why have a creative cache description? 

 

 

I think it's about dumbing down (again). It must be easier, less effort, take less time... :ph34r:

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1 hour ago, K13 said:

How would this work on my Garmin GPSr

Any custom waypoints you’ve defined on the website can be carried over in the gpx file. Just like you could manually type them in the XML right now. If you want the interactive equations, talk to Garmin I guess. Garmin GPSr have built-in coordinate projection and the official app doesn’t, so feature parity obviously isn’t a high priority for anyone,

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1 hour ago, on4bam said:

 

I think it's about dumbing down (again). It must be easier, less effort, take less time... :ph34r:

I geocache mainly on a bicycle and have ridden over 10 000 km this year keeping a 500+ day streak alive. I don’t want to mess with pen and paper outside when it’s cold, wet and dark like it’s going to be in Finland for the next 5 months or so. And I don’t really enjoy copy pasting stuff between multiple apps on a wet/frozen touchscreen either when it comes to that. Especially when I know it’s completely unnecessary, a relic from a different era. In short, I would like it to be easier because I’m a dumb lazy smartphone user.

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