Life as a Geocacher

Caching and Reviewing

This is made up of stories from my caching and my reviewing.  It is a collection of those along with comments and thoughts.  Photos, and maps of some adventures and lists of some of the oldest caches.

Groundspeak responds about C:geo

I have heard a number of people complain that groundspeak personally is working to destroy other apps.  Especially with this change in  maps.  It has bugged me because with my work as a moderator, and reviewer, Groundspeak has never mentioned doing anything to hurt another program.  Even in the day when they asked me to moderate and pull non-geocaching.comapps out of forum listing.  They were more worried about internal affairs then the work of others.

Today tBryan at groundspeak posted this note to C:geo

At Groundspeak, we have been contacted by a number of users who are angry about the impact of recent site changes to C:Geo users. In the spirit of transparency, here is some additional information that will hopefully help clarify what happened:

For what it's worth, our decision to remove Google maps from our site had nothing to do with C:Geo. The loss of functionality from the Cgeo application was an unintended consequence of our site change and the site change was made out of necessity due to Google's new License fee policy for Map use. We simply removed the Google maps from the site and replaced them with Open Street Maps where our former Beta Maps existed. We didn't realize that it had affected C:Geo until we were told by customers, and we certainly didn't do it with any intent of harming the application or negatively affecting geocachers.

We have offered C:Geo (and many other developers in the geocaching community) a royalty free license to use our API for the purpose of building and maintaining their app. This means that we are not asking them for any money, and they are welcome to keep their app free or charge for it. If they choose to use the API, it is fully supported and we won't likely have any similar issues going forward when we make site changes. We currently have over 100 third party developers who are either testing the API or actively using it to develop applications for geocachers (see and scroll down for a list of active third party api-enabled applications, including other Android apps). The offer to C:Geo stands and we'd be happy to work with them going forward. I believe we can work with them to provide a variety of functions that will ultimately make C:Geo better and more stable (at least as far as site changes are concerned). There may be other issues with implementation but we are happy to work through them with developers. If you ask any of the other API-enabled developers, I believe they'd happily confirm this.

Although the API is provided royalty free for the developer, there are some usage limitations. The most notable one is that basic members are limited to viewing the full details of 3 traditional caches per day. Trackable functionality, viewing basic details or caches and other features are virtually unlimited. Hopefully the basic functionality is enough for users to get started geocaching. It also allows developers to innovate, using geocaching data, with no upfront cost from Groundspeak and a built in user base. Premium Members have almost unlimited access to all cache data from via the API, using any API-enabled applications that they own.

So, with this new API, one of the new benefits of a $30 Premium Membership is that all api-enabled apps (like those on the list referenced above, and many other third party apps currently in development) have full functionality for all Premium Members. A Premium Membership has been $30/year since we introduced it ten years ago. We have never raised the price and we have worked very hard to add value to it over the years. Hopefully you'll agree that having unlimited access to geocaching data through any application you choose would be worth the price of a Premium Membership. From our perspective, we believe we'd be providing you with fair value and you'd be helping to support and the associated API.

So, rather than crippling other apps and C:Geo, I believe that we have opened the door to enabling other apps with geocaching data. We believe that the results will ultimately benefit the global geocaching community, including users of C:Geo. Many third party developers seem to agree and we are excited to see what Geocaching API-enabled products and services they can build for everyone.

I hope this helps. Thanks again for your feedback.



I am sure many will not believe it, but he did put it out there.  Groundspeak is more worried about making their site better, and making sure changes do not effect the API.  There are some cool things coming out in the next few months, and I am sure they are trying to not "break" what is there when new things are rolled out.  

My two cents worth...

c:geo does not use the API.  It was their decision to make, and they made it.  There is a consequence.  Every time there is a site upgrade, programs that do not use the API are at risk of a complete crash, or breaking the software.   That is the risk they take.  Unfortunately Groundspeak gets the bad reputation for someone else pulling of maps or web pages, and gets the blame far more often than the program creators.

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