Geocaching

February 29, 2012

OpenCaching with Photos - Win an eTrex 30

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OpenCaching is the "Other" GPS based treasure hunt game in town, and they have upgraded their capabilities as a result of user feedback. You are now able to upload photos to your cache descriptions. On certain Garmin handheld models you'll even be able to see pictures on the handheld while in the field.

This change can get more cache owners involved as well as users. OpenCaching, has been around for a while, but I know in my area, there has been relatively few caches loaded into their system. Garmin has probably figured this out, and that's the reason for the change.

They are adding a sweetener, and offering a chance to win a Garmin eTrex 30 if you upload your cache with a photo. They will be giving away one eTrex 30 per week in the month of march, and offer entries based on cache imports/uploads. from OpenCaching:

"To get things off on the right foot, we're giving away an eTrex 30 every week in March. You'll get 2 entries into the drawing for every new cache you post with a photo, 1 entry for every photo you add to an existing cache, and 1 entry for every new cache you add without a photo. To enter, import your caches and photos, then e-mail the OX codes of all the qualifying caches you add or alter to geocaching@opencaching.com. Follow @OpenCache on Twitter for more news and updates."

Scott Martin at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

December 10, 2010

Geocaching Article in the NYT

Maybe not the most earth shattering article on geocaching, but a nice one nonetheless that points out the stunning number of Geocaches within 100 miles of times Square (answer is 21,000).

While you might want the accuracy of a dedicated handheld GPS device, the applications coming out for smartphones may just be good enough to get you there; at only $10 for the Geocaching.com App, on the iPhone, it can get a family hunting for local treasure pretty quickly.

More on Geocaching at NYT

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December 8, 2010

OpenCaching.com; Geocaching Website from Garmin

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OpenCaching.com has opened as a Beta site, and is ready for customers. The site is now in competition with the landmark Geocaching.com site as well as independent "OpenCaching" sites from other countries that have been opening up.

A long time partner of Geocaching.com, Garmin is putting its muscle behind running its own OpenCaching.com site for reasons I can only speculate on. If I were the Garmin brand manager, I would want to more tightly integrate and promote existing aspects like Chirp functionality, and lay a solid groundwork for pending innovation. Working through Geocaching.com must not have been getting either the features promoted or the marketing message customized in a Garmin way enough so they decided to get into their own Geocaching business. The decision was certainly taken before the Chirp launch, and may have been born out of the failed WhereIGo game that never caught on in the geocaching community. Opencaching.com is a free service/site, while Geocaching.com has a lot of free services and features, but also offers a premium membership that brings additional features and a small incremental set of member-only caches.

The task at hand is not small; Geocaching has a decade head start, over a million caches world-wide, and 4-5 million cachers according to their website. Currently, there are hundreds of geocaches within 5 miles of my house on Geocaching.com, and the nearest geocache in OpenCaching.com is about 40 miles away. In retrospect however, that might be pretty good for being announced less than 24 hours ago. There is the ability to indicate that you own a set of caches and that you are cross listing them in OpenCaching; which is what several owners have done in my area.

OpenCaching.com Features

OpenCaching has the ability to find caches near you, with a faceted search, allowing you to use sliders to rate the difficulty level, the terrain level the size of the cache and the "Awesomeness" of the cache. While a bit egotistical at first blush, this is a good addition in my mind; there are some caches that are awesome to visit and it should have its own rating. It appears that the owner can seed the awesomeness rating and then let those who found it tweak the ratings up or down depending on their point of view when they log their finds. Well done.

Hiding a geocache - You can offer to hide a geocache, plugging in information about the geocache in a simple user interface, with a prominent checkbox for it being "Chirp" enabled. It's clear that the legal team has been all over the site in a way a start-up wouldn't worry about with warnings and disclaimers at many turns. Not to fear, I would imagine that the 99.9% of people who don't read the 10-page end user license agreements and just blindly check "I Agree" will seek to skip the legal terms here too.

Logging your Finds - Of course, the big area for use here - allow you to leave notes, rate the cache on the difficulty, terrain, size and awesomeness scales.

Garmin seems to be gunning for a robust springtime readiness with OpenCaching.com - go check it out.

Full Press Release Follows......


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November 14, 2010

WahooFitness - ANT+ Fisica Sensor Key to be Chirp Compatible


WahooFitnessLogo.jpgWahoo Fitness is working to enable their Fisica ANT+ Sensor Key so that it will "talk" to Garmin's Chirp chip for wireless geocaching on the iPhone. That's pretty cool.

So while they are working on getting the API's working, CompeGPS has Tweeted that their next version of the iPhone TwoNav App will be ANT+ Chirp enabled through the Fisica Sensor Key.

All good stuff.... stay tuned

Scott Martin at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

November 4, 2010

First Chirp Enabled Caches Appear

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The first Chirp-enabled Caches are appearing around the world, with a few dozen already hidden. They seem to be concentrated here enthusiastic Cachers are hiding a few of them; there is even one already hidden in New Zealand and in the UK.


It's only been a little over two weeks since Garmin Announced the Chirp wireless module for helping people enjoy the Geocaching treasure hunt game.


Like I thought, a lot of these are Chirp-Only caches where you need the Garmin Wireless handhelds to pick up the Chirp signal along the way or path continuing on to find the ultimate cache. Also, unfortunately for the general member, a lot of these are Premium Member only caches. Caches with a "Wireless Beacon" requirement will be shown with the icon below in the right margin showing off the attributes of the cache.

Have fun; the Chirp works with the select Dakotas, Oregons and GPSMap units.

Geocaching_Chirp.jpg
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September 15, 2010

Geocaching.com Announces Android Application

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Citing the success of the iPhone App, Geocaching.com announced their Android App today, opening the doors to another huge user base who can join the millions of people finding hidden treasures out there in the wild. The critical features are carried into the Android App making it easy to find Geocaches while you are out there doing anything and everything that you do every day. Of course you need coverage to retreive the informaiton on caches that you want to go find, but once you save their information, you can hunt them down while offline using the onboard GPS.

Features include:

  • Search by current location, address or GC code
  • Filter your finds from the Geocaching.com search results
  • Access geocache details, including description, photo gallery, attributes, recent logs, hint and inventory
  • Look up Trackable details, including item goals, while on the trail
  • Save geocache listings, including maps and photos, for quick retrieval and offline use
  • Log geocache finds and post notes in the fieldDownload active pocket queries for use while outside of network coverage
  • View geocache web pages on Geocaching.com without leaving the application using embedded web browser
The geocaching Application is available for Android Platforms 1.5 and higher.
More information at Geocaching.com - Full press release is below.......

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June 9, 2009

Book of Lies ties Novel to Series of Geocaches

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Had to pass this along - a new book has been released and has an accompanying set of progressive Geocaches that correspond to events in the book. The first Geocache is located in the MD area, and offers the clue to the next Geocache, and so on. The book, "Book of Lies" is a mystery novel that offers a bit of intrigue, using Bible stories as a backdrop for the modern day tale. You can read more about the Geocaching, the plot and read the first chapter for free at the author's website.

Check out Brad Meltzer's website for more information.

Scott Martin at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

May 26, 2009

Apisphere Geomate Jr - 250,000 Preloaded Geocaches

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The Geomate Jr. is an out of the box Geocaching GPS that comes loaded with thousands of Geocaches so it's ready to go without connecting it to a computer. The database of 250,000 geocaches is impressive, and the simple interface can get you from here to there in a child friendly way. I will say that if you are sitting in your house, and want to go geocaching, there is a bit of a decision process to go through around location, difficulty, and Geocache type that I find using the Geocache website helpful to screen through the list of possible geocaches out there. From the review at CNet, the unit seems simple enough for kids to use, and enjoy getting outdoors.

For $69 it's a cheap way to get into Geocaching. At REI - The Apisphere Geomate Jr


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February 13, 2009

Delorme "Send to GPS" on Geocaching

Owners of the powerful PN-40 can now head over to Geocaching.com and download the details of the geocache directly to the unit, instead of programing it in manually. This is a big boost for frequent users of the hide and seek game played with a GPS. The ability to add the cache details directly to the GPS saves time and a lot of aggravation especially when you are running through several caches.

DelormeSendtoGPS.jpg


More at Delorme and Geocaching


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October 7, 2008

Geocaching with your iPhone

Well it's about time that the GPS enabled 3G iPhone got out in the woods and found a little treasure! We've seen that it can go running with you via RunKeeper, and now the latest iPhone can get you into Geocaching. It's not a big surprise to see, but you'll have to keep yourself close to civilization so that you have at least Edge network coverage while searching.

Geopher Lite (iTunes Link) is a new application that allows you to access the Geocaching database to search Geocaches around your current location, and then go out and find them. The application is a work in progress with more features coming including managed Geocache lists and GPX file management. The price now is a measly $1.99; cheap. Read more at their Blog/website.

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Also in the news, Groundspeak/Geocaching has let it be known that they have also submitted their own Geocaching application for consideration and review to Apple. It should be posting to the iTunes App store in the coming days. See below for a screenshot of the new application. The retail price will be $9.99.

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Finally there is iGeoCacher (iTunes Link) that is a full featured Geocaching application for the 3G iPhone, which at $15 tops the list in terms of price. It is able to search by location at the Geocaching site, and by bringing up details of the Geocache, you are able to download its ket information enabling paperless geocaching.
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February 8, 2008

Got Colorado? Free Premium Membership Trial For Geocaching

garmincolorado400small.jpg Geocaching is offering a free trial to the premium membership level of their service if you are one of the people who recently bought a Garmin Colorado handheld. Registration of your handheld at MyGarmin.com allows you to get this free membership, which entitles you to a discount on Garmin accessories, and a lot of capabilities that make the process of Geocaching a lot easier. The one I think sounds great is the ability to search and then download Geocaches along a route. Much like looking for a restaurant along your route for a place to eat, I know a lot of people will hit a few caches as they are traveling somewhere to pick up or drop off travel bugs. Pretty cool.

More at Geocaching
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May 25, 2007

Another Geocache, another Bomb Squad


This chapter of the same book takes place in North Carolina where a geocache was attached to a Starbucks sign. The cache was being hidden at the time when some "Muggles" came by and noticed the activity, got nervous and called the police. After the police learned that there were no explosives, they logged into Geocaching.com and recorded their visit...... well maybe they did everything right up until that last part.

ReadMore

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March 9, 2007

Geocaching as Advertising

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Students are cleverly using Geocaching to promote Coke these days in an advertising competition. Longtime the promoter of Garmin GPS units and Jeep SUV's geocaching has gone more mainstream and caught the eye of these students as a way to connect with consumers. So the idea is just an idea, not an actual event.... yet.

The idea is to go to the Coke Geocaching website, plug in your zip code to find a Coke Geocache and when you do you find a big box of Coke schwag. Don't know how you keep the first person from raiding the treasure chest, but I like the idea.

ReadMore at RedandBlack.com

Scott Martin at Permalink | Comments (1) | social bookmarking

February 6, 2007

Cops Jump on Another Geocache

policelights.jpgThis time it’s in New Hampshire. Apparently a tiny Altoids box, affixed magnetically to the underside of an electrical box outside a Shaw’s supermarket sparked some concern and Police at looking to talk to the owner of the cache. The cache was put on private property, which is not recommended by Geocaching in their guidelines without the permission of the property owner: by placing a Geocache “you have adequate permission to hide your cache in the selected location.” As more people get into Geocaching, and more people get uptight about finding bomb-like mysterious boxes in strange places (maybe rightfully so), we’ll continue to see this kind of stuff. Geocaching goes on to say that another stipulation is: “Caches near or under public structures deemed potential or possible targets for terrorist attacks. These include but are not limited to highway bridges, dams, government buildings, elementary and secondary schools, and airports.”

Recently in Boston, the whole city was nearly paralyzed after some light boards, which were part of a gorilla marketing campaign for Turner Broadcasting, were thought to be bombs. After several were found around the city, the bomb squad had their hands full, and traffic was snarled for hours. Apparently after 9/11, a law was passed essentially saying that you can’t cause panic associated with placing something like this if its interpreted as a dangerous item…sounds like Geocaches are in a similar position. Put in the wrong place, and interpreted as dangerous by a reasonable person (i.e. the bomb squad and a judge), you’d be in trouble.


Via

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