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A question to anyone who has an answer.


I have been away for a bit... and would just like to know what's going on?



What has happened to GC:UK?


[EDIT: my grammar leaves a lot to be desired]

Edited by bradonline.co.uk
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Thanks The Hokesters.


But this puzzles me even further. Why after all this time, have they stopped allowing GC:UK access??? and seemingly with no explanation?


The only thing that i can think of is that makes sense is that the long awaited API is about to be released, and they(GC.com) want GC:UK to use that instead.


I have a couple of conspiracy theories as well, but westonwanderers beat me to it. <_<

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Am I missing something?

Well... what is missing is all the new caches that have been placed in the last week. Some of the exisiting caches aren't updating either. Not sure why. Also it seems to have had a knock on effect on the mobile midlet. I now it is not the end of the world, and won't loose sleep over it, but the interactive map is a very cool part of the site, which GC.com don't come even close to matching for functionality and ease of use at the moment.


I would like to know the reasoning behind it?

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An API would certainly be a great addition to the GC.com site! Such a thing would be great for facilities such as the mobile midlet. But the best enhancement to help what we do at G:UK would be a pocket query option to remove the 5 log restriction. That might actually lower the load on the GC.com pocket query server, too, as people who just want to keep GSAK updated wouldn't need to download every cache every day.


I've not heard any concerns recently from the guys at Groundspeak, so I'm hoping that the blocking is for technical, rather than political reasons. A lot of people access GC.com cache details page via G:UK (which adds grid references, links to streetmap etc). So it could appear that we're being a much heavier drain on GC.com resources than in fact we are.


I'm still addding my allotment pocket queries to the database each day, and I've moved the "webscraper" program to a different server which still has access. However, the UK-enhanced versions of the cache details pages are still unavailable, as I don't want this other server to get automatically blocked before Elias realises that it's all kosher!

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Thanks Teasel.


So does that mean some of the stats that we get from GC:UK are scraped? Surely it would be in there(GC.com) interest to setup a Web Service(as it is already written in ASP.net) that can be subscribed to. It would almost certainly put an end to the webscraping taking place, which does reduce performance for everyone else.

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A bit of SOAP would be nice, yes :rolleyes:


The G:UK database is (should be!) updated in a number of ways:

1) My pocket queries are mailed to the G:UK server where they update the database. This doesn't put any extra strain on GC.com

2) When people view the cache details pages via G:UK, they automatically update the database. This doesn't actually put any extra strain on GC.com, but does mean that G:UK shows up uncomfortably often in the GC.com server logs! :rolleyes:

3) When new caches appear in the pocket queries, we need to webscrape them also, to ensure they're not members-only. This puts a teeny-weeny load on the GC.com server (one image-free page for each new UK cache).

4) Because the pocket queries only show a maximum of 5 logs, we need a webscraper to find any older logs. So we slowly but continually rotate around all the UK caches, scraping them from GC.com. In the scheme of things, this represents a very small load on the GC.com servers, but I'm constantly looking for ways to reduce this further.

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I have noticed a weird thing in the Uk stats. I was trying to figure out the difference between our found total on G.com and GCUK, and I know that when looking at the 'my stats' page it only includes UK caches, and I also now know that any caches which are no longer available are not counted in the GCUK total, but this does not account for the difference. Here are the numbers:


Found G.com 329

Found GCUK 292

Difference 37


Made up of:


Non UK 4

unavailable 19

last few days not updated yet 3


This still leaves a few unaccounted for. when I look at the interactive map, it shows at least one we did ages ago as unfound (Freeview Zoo GCJMKZ).


This isn't a complaint, I'm just curious as to what the difference is and how it is caused.


For those that think I'm mad to be working this out, my excuse is that I'm an accountant, so it's in my nature to reconcile numbers!

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I have noticed the same thing with my stats.


Whilst I was aware that GCUK doesn't show non UK caches in my cache total, there is still a discrepancy. The stats used to update overnight too but it seems to be taking up to 3 days to notice some finds.


Also, the interactive map is still showing caches I have found and logged as not found.


This is also not a complaint as I'm happy to wait and see if it corrects itself in time. :rolleyes:

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Looks like a glitch! :rolleyes:


GUK do include archived caches in your total (it is the search results where they disappear) - look at my total 1064 (ex locationless) per G.COM and 1063 per GUK with the difference being Castle Clean Up (for some reason) which we attended the other week. :)


Your total should be....


Total per G.Com 329




Locationless 5

Members only 8

Sweden 1


Total per GUK 315


So you have 23 missing somewhere as GUK is showing you at 292.


Maybe you have been caching so heavily lately that the system can't cope!! :rolleyes:


Cheers! (from one accountant to another!)



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So you have 23 missing somewhere as GUK is showing you at 292.

I've found the 23 using a vlookup in excel of the two downloads.


The 23 are made up of 21 done in the last 3 weeks (8 in London and 13 in the North East), which I guess will update in time and are due to the latest probs between the 2 databases.


This leaves 2 which were done ages ago, these are Tockholes Wander (GCHQQK) and Freeview Zoo (GCJMKZ). Sorry, too much time on my hands!



Edited by Pengy&Tigger
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I've found the 23 using a vlookup in excel of the two downloads.


Excellent!! :)


So we did manage to reconcile it!! :)


I can go to bed happy now - enough excitement for one night - can't take too much us accountants you know!! :rolleyes:






[Old accountants never die - they just lose their balance!] :rolleyes:

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<<I've also worked out that members only caches are not listed on GCUK (for good reason) >>


I wonder what the reason is? I would have thought it better to encourage people to become members. In fact I'm amazed that with all the work and technology involved in this hobby it's not wholly "members only" and I'd have thought at least £50 per year would have been reasonable. Just think what the average person spends each year on their "interest" magazines..


Regarding the stats... we've only worked just over 100 caches so we're not in the league of worrying too much about our totals on each site - yet. However, we still find that when we download pages from GCUK for MM with descriptions the pages somehow become corrupted. Typically half the "comments" when you bring up "properties" is missing.... details tail off half way through, hints are missing, etc. Why that occurs I don't know but we now download all our cache details from gc.com and have the whole page available.

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Its not a good idea to open up the members only debate/annual fee debate. :oB)B):D


GC.com have been implored to keep the sport free from its inception and thats the way it should be. We are all welcome to pay the members fee, buy their goods and/or donate extra funds to them if we so wish.


I believe the Groundspeak team do a fantastic job and it is worth supporting it financially which is why I am a premium member and I but their goods.


However some folks can't afford to do that or don't feel it is necessary - that is there want. If you want to help support the site then set members only caches (there are very few in the UK) this might attract more premium members




The Hokesters

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:blink: Does any of the above also explain why the mobile phone access does not seem to work as it did before? It still brings up outline details of the ten nearest caches but will not retrieve the full details.

Probably. There is a lot going on in the background.


Teasel has already said that he is in the process of moving servers which is a big job. On top of that every time Groundspeak make changes to their set-up it cobbles up something on GC:UK. That in turn makes more work for Teasel.


Remember, he does all this in his spare time. He has a full time job and a family life.


Cut the guy some slack. Everything will work out in the end.



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:blink: Does any of the above also explain why the mobile phone access does not seem to work as it did before? It still brings up outline details of the ten nearest caches but will not retrieve the full details.

Sort of! When the main G:UK server got blocked by GC.com, I modified the mobile phone programs to use a different server to access GC.com. However Mark's account on that server expired a while ago and I forgot to switch it back to our main server. Thanks for letting me know!




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Wondering why UK site can't access G.com?


Simple..TPTB are attempting to stop other sites from using the info that the users are providing for free.


G.com has copyrighted everything that the users provide, and do not want to pass that on to other sites to use.


Geocaching, unfortunately has gotten to be a fairly profitable business for someone. And they don't want to take the risk of someone else profiting off of the user provided information.


Which is why I don't buy travelbugs for $6.00, I use laminated banknotes stamped with Wheresgeorge.com and have a destination note laminated with them. They are lamintated because I have heard other cachers were using the WG$ to pay their premium membership fees here.


Blue and Lutions are a good alternative / addition to the Geocaching world.

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Well, to be fair on GC.com, they have given G:UK permission to use their data in the way that we do. If they wanted to shut G:UK down, they'd presumably just withdraw that permission. The G:UK server was blocked because it was requesting so many cache pages from GC.com.


But to be fair to G:UK, most of those pages were the result of real people clicking on cache names or dots on the interactive map. All these requests for cache pages go through G:UK so that streetmap links etc can be added. I explained to Elias that although we're heavy users of GC.com, blocking us doesn't significantly reduce the load on their server, and he unblocked us.


If I have a gripe against GC.com, it's that they've not granted me permission to provide real-time GPX downloads to their premium members. If anything, this would encourage more people to become premium members, so it's got to be a winner for everyone!

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