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Access to all Lab locations


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BIG HUGE STEP BACKWARD from Groundspeak to restrict the API.

 

How the heck I will plan my trip in Montreal area next month without wasting hours opening 50 adventures and trying to figure out where I should go without missing a bunch of them without needlessly backtracking?

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3 minutes ago, peter-tvm said:

There is macros to GSAK that downloads all ALC stages and the information in them.

 

There is also an web page that can download all information as an gpx. 

Related to your first statement?

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3 hours ago, peter-tvm said:

There is macros to GSAK that downloads all ALC stages and the information in them.

Nearly all GSAK LabCache-API macros do not work anymore.

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Posted (edited)

I didn't particularity liked labcaches as the workflow for planning, of at all possible, was cumbersome to say the least. Until the stage coordinates and names became available in GSAK and plotting a map with caches and labstages (see the screen shot of HHL above this post)  became a breeze, since then we've done many labcaches in tours combined with 'normal' caches. 

Today we went caching at some distance of our home when at a certain moment we realised there were no labcaches on our printout nor in my list of planned caches today.. just because the needed info is not easilly available anymore.. Geocaching and Labcaches are now two different games again, and whilst I will continue to hunt for geocaches enthusiastically, labcaches will not get much of my attention anymore now. Pitty.

 

The same goes for the two labcaches I was planning to publish myself, this also became a lot less interesting for now.

Edited by Mars Express
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Posted (edited)

"We just unveiled a new catalogue system that allows to you search for all sorts of unique media at our library, as well as all of our partnered libraries across the country!"

 

"Great! How can I use it?"

 

"Sorry, it's for staff only. You'll have to go talk to a librarian at the front desk to perform a search."

 

"What...?!"

 

"You're more than welcome to go flick through the index card cabinet, though!"

 

---

 

(somewhat true story)

 

This is a ridiculous leap backwards by HQ. Luckily it looks like https://gcutils.de/lab2gpx/ still works?

Edited by Hügh
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22 hours ago, hostanut said:

 I understand not allowing access to the questions.....you can't answer the questions until you are within the geofence so there is little advantage to seeing those questions early.

 

I disagree.  Overly restrictive geofences are horrible and can be, as in the case of one I did last week, dangerous.  Knowing the questions ahead of time can make the experience more pleasant without compromising the requirement to log fro the area.

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In our area there are Adventure Labs where you have to travel more than 20 km from Lab Stage to Lab Stage. These are Adventure Labs where you are allowed to visit stages in any order you want.  So if the Start is about 100 km away - how will I ever notice this lab with my current abilities? Don't you think it's frustrating for owners if their Labs are not found? It's at least as frustrating not to be able to plan a tour including the Labs. So what we need exposed via the API is: Starting Location, Stage Locations and if the order of stages is free or not. I don't think it's necessary to have the questions up front because they are normally made to be answered on location.

Not even the GC.coms own Adventure Lab App shows me I'm nearing a free stage I could answer and that app at least should be able to do this, because it knows who I am and which Labs and stages I have already done. Right?

 

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I am joining the chorus:

 

Dear HQ, PLEASE give us back the access to names and coordinates of adventure lab stages! 

 

Without this, ALs are really cumbersome to handle and the motivation of many geocachers - including me - to visit them will decrease to zero again.

 

Edited by c-h-b
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On 7/10/2021 at 10:04 PM, Atti said:

Not even the GC.coms own Adventure Lab App shows me I'm nearing a free stage I could answer and that app at least should be able to do this, because it knows who I am and which Labs and stages I have already done. Right?

Agree 100%.  I could kind of understand Groundspeak restricting external access, if their own app accomplished what GSAK macros were doing, but in reality the app is useless at trying to work your way through more than one Adventure at a time.  Nowhere on the app can you see locations of more than one Adventure.  There is no way to plan an effective route using the app.  And to be honest, none of the Adventures I have done so far have been worth the time and effort if I was required to visit the same location again for multiple Adventures.  If I can see beforehand that in one area there are lab locations for multiple Adventures, I would do them all at once.  Don't need to see the questions, just need to know that there is a lab in that area.  Surely if the Adventure is a non linear one (which most I have seen are), then knowing the locations in advance is not a detriment to anyone.  I think that the lack of popularity of multi caches, where people have no idea where they are headed or how long it will take, is a good indication that geocachers are not keen on heading off blindly.  For me, planning makes for a better day of caching.

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I don't use GSAK but the inability to see the stages of more than one AL at a time can sometimes be a pain. The lookout on Mount Sugarloaf, a 60 metre steep climb up from the mountain's car park, is home to two AL locations as well as being a waypoint in a Virtual Rewards 2 virtual. One of the ALs has its starting point 16km to the east while the other is 16km to the west. I ended up making three visits to do them all, making them expensive finds too as the mountain is a 100km drive each way from home.

 

What I'd really like to see is an AL webpage with a map that shows the starting points and/or the waypoints of selected ALs, with the ability to download GPX files of the waypoints. That would make planning long-distance caching (and pretty much all my caching now is long distance, or will be when the COVID lockdown eventually ends) so much easier.

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32 minutes ago, Goldenwattle said:

The first WP is often not even where it shows on the map, until you click on the AL. Even that basic thing needs fixing. Show the first WP where it really is.

Your first waypoint may be different than my first waypoint. Except in linear adventure labs. 

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4 hours ago, Goldenwattle said:

The first WP is often not even where it shows on the map,

What you call "first waypoint" is NOT a waypoint (LabCache) but the listing coordinates of the AdventureLab. The real "first waypoint" is one of the five (or less) LabCaches.

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27 minutes ago, HHL said:

What you call "first waypoint" is NOT a waypoint (LabCache) but the listing coordinates of the AdventureLab. The real "first waypoint" is one of the five (or less) LabCaches.

I now know it isn't always, but sometimes it is. I don't see why the place where the AL is shown on the map can't be the first WP, or one of the WPs for those ALs that can be done in any order. It would make planning a lot easier. The first few ALs I had done had the WP matching the map, so I was confused by the next two and after going to what I thought was WP1 (or one of the WPs) I found the closest WP was several kms away. A long walk, although that day I was cycling, but still, I didn't have time to go several kms out of my way. Very disappointing and does nothing to endear one to ALs.

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15 minutes ago, Goldenwattle said:

I now know it isn't always, but sometimes it is. I don't see why the place where the AL is shown on the map can't be the first WP, or one of the WPs for those ALs that can be done in any order. It would make planning a lot easier. The first few ALs I had done had the WP matching the map, so I was confused by the next two and after going to what I thought was WP1 (or one of the WPs) I found the closest WP was several kms away. A long walk, although that day I was cycling, but still, I didn't have time to go several kms out of my way. Very disappointing and does nothing to endear one to ALs.

I was the first to put an adventure lab in my city and the next person put their icon on top of mine. So I moved mine so it would be visible. 

When I hit start, the app takes me to the nearest waypoint in an any order adventure lab, and to the first waypoint for a linear lab. So are you saying you went to what you thought was the first waypoint before hitting start? Just trying to understand the scenario. 

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4 hours ago, Max and 99 said:

I was the first to put an adventure lab in my city and the next person put their icon on top of mine. So I moved mine so it would be visible. 

When I hit start, the app takes me to the nearest waypoint in an any order adventure lab, and to the first waypoint for a linear lab. So are you saying you went to what you thought was the first waypoint before hitting start? Just trying to understand the scenario. 

Yes I cycled to where the WP shows on the map before hitting start. I didn't know it would then move several kms away. If all first WPs (and after that's logged, the next WP) showed where they actually are on the map, it would make planning easier. ALs seem a free for all to me, but it could be made impossible for someone to overlay a WP on someone else's. In the example I was referring to, there was no reason WP1 on the map couldn't have been put at the actual WP1, as there was nothing else nearby.

Giving coordinates for each WP would help too for planning, and if some distance, allow the car GPS to navigate there. Now it's a bit of a guess and also dangerous, as it encourages the geocacher to keep illegally looking at their GPS as they drive, instead of just being able to put in the coordinates, and then drive there without continuously looking down at the GPS.

Edited by Goldenwattle
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14 hours ago, Goldenwattle said:

I now know it isn't always, but sometimes it is. I don't see why the place where the AL is shown on the map can't be the first WP, or one of the WPs for those ALs that can be done in any order. It would make planning a lot easier. The first few ALs I had done had the WP matching the map, so I was confused by the next two and after going to what I thought was WP1 (or one of the WPs) I found the closest WP was several kms away. A long walk, although that day I was cycling, but still, I didn't have time to go several kms out of my way. Very disappointing and does nothing to endear one to ALs.

 

There's an AL I did last year that's a driving tour around Lake Macquarie. It's non-sequential, so the locations can be done in any order, although the owner recommends doing it anti-clockwise (probably because that will put the finish closer to the bonus cache than going clockwise). The place where the AL is shown on the map, which is also the bogus coordinates for the bonus, is in the middle of the lake. Further south, there's another one very similar that's a tour around Brisbane Water, with the pin on the map in the water.

 

For my own two, the first one (Wreck of the Maitland) was pretty straightforward as the five locations are along a loop track that starts and ends at the national park entrance and car park at Killcare Heights, which is where I put the marker on the map, although some have found it easier to break the walk into two parts, doing the three upper locations from there but then parking at Putty Beach and following the trail along the water's edge to the last two.

 

OverviewMap.jpg.1c4fb9214499145013bc2d4456349e60.jpg

 

My second one (Broken Bay Sands), though, was more of a head-scratcher, as it consists of five locations spread along the beachfront from Ettalong Beach to Umina Point. It's also non-sequential so the locations can be visited in any order (there's off-street parking close to all the locations for those who want to drive it or do it piecemeal), although from a narrative perspective it probably makes a bit more sense to start from the Ettalong end and finish at Umina Point, which is where the bonus cache is. I'd considered placing the pin on the map in the bay itself but eventually decided on the car park at Ettalong as I figured that would be where most people would be starting from.

 

OverviewMap.jpg.461e71edbb9e28a8118c7e8b62959674.jpg

 

So yeah, everyone seems to have different ideas as to where to put the pin on the map, particularly for those ALs that can be done in any order, and often it can be really unhelpful for someone trying to do overlapping Adventures or mix them in with other caching.

Edited by barefootjeff
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11 hours ago, Max and 99 said:

They do. Although it is harder to see the linear waypoints.

 

Screenshot_20210722-091145.png

That's only after clicking on the map, not the original map, and where are the other ALs on that map? I want to see the relationship between them.

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