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Thread: Other Caching Sites

  1. #1

    Default Other Caching Sites

    Okay, I admit it. I have never looked at, or had any interest in other caching sites. My numbers are growing nicely on the Groundspeak site and I haven't seen the point in starting again somewhere else. So for all the people who talk about other sites being better/different etc. etc. Why should I use them? Sell them to me.

  2. #2

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    Like you I only use the one so it makes no difference to me.
    I bet GS has about 95% of the active caches in the UK.

    But I do see the wisdom of interaction with the other sites, one of the criticisms of the GAGB is that they are the puppet of GS.
    Only being inclusive to all caching sites would counter this.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by eusty View Post
    ...
    I bet GS has about 95% of the active caches in the UK..
    I bet you're about 4.99% out there
    Snip of the same section of the map, GS.com and OC.com...spot the difference...

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    I'm no longer actively caching, but when I was I did look at other cache listing sites from time to time. I felt, though, that as they had so few listings compared to GC.com it would be rather unrewarding to list on them. I realize that's a bit of a vicious circle - don't list on them and they won't grow - but I wanted my own caches to be found and be found often.

    When GC archived all locationless caches I moved my one LC to Terracaching, and the figures speak volumes. In three years on GC it got 203 found logs. In the three and a half years it's been on TC it's had just seven. Obviously it's not a physical cache, but I think the figures still illustrate the difference between sites.

    I'm no fan of monopolies, and I'd like to see other listing sites providing healthy competition to GC, but I'm afraid I can't see that happening.
    ​​Do not go gentle into that good night.
    Rage, rage against the dying of the light. (Dylan Thomas)​


  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by eusty View Post
    Like you I only use the one so it makes no difference to me.
    I bet GS has about 95% of the active caches in the UK.

    But I do see the wisdom of interaction with the other sites, one of the criticisms of the GAGB is that they are the puppet of GS.
    Only being inclusive to all caching sites would counter this.
    Puppet of GS - emotive words* which deliver no benefit to anyone

    Does the forging of stong links with listing sites mean the same thing as being their puppet?

    Absolutely not.

    What use would GAGB be without interaction with listing sites?

    Probably little to none.

    So long as GAGB supports cachers regardless of which listing site(s) they prefer to use everything should surely be rosy?

    *I realise the emotive words don't necessarily fit the view of the writer

  6. #6

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    I had been hoping that someone who uses the other game sites might offer something to pursuade me, I haven't heard anything yet. I know that the GAGB does have some supporters of the other sites on here. What can you tell me?

  7. #7

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    Sandvika is your man for that, he seems to have finds and hides on most sites.
    There is a lot of shouting about being inclusive of all listing sites, so I'm also curious about what they bring to the game.

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    They probably won't bring much to it! But at least it gives the 'view' that the GAGB isn't 'affiliated' with one listing site which is a misconception of many.

    It's all about perception.....

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by eusty View Post
    They probably won't bring much to it! But at least it gives the 'view' that the GAGB isn't 'affiliated' with one listing site which is a misconception of many.

    It's all about perception.....
    And opportunity

    The listing sites will make of themselves what they choose and what they are able to.

    GAGB is here for cachers and as a bridge between them and listing sites where appropriate and useful :cheers:

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    I placed a Terracache 3.5 years ago at Uffington White Horse and it's had 11 finds in that time. I have a Groundspeak listed cache just round the corner which has had 297 finds in the same time period (despite a couple of temporary suspensions).

    Of course, it's not all about the numbers!

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Wombles View Post
    I placed a Terracache 3.5 years ago at Uffington White Horse and it's had 11 finds in that time. I have a Groundspeak listed cache just round the corner which has had 297 finds in the same time period (despite a couple of temporary suspensions).

    Of course, it's not all about the numbers!
    I've never used any site other than geocaching.com and never felt the need to as it does everything I want.

    Never felt the need to scratch beneath the surface of any of the other listins sites before but I had a quick look at Terracaching today and liked the idea that there seemed to be a strong focus on quality.

    Good idea - does it work in practice?

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    I joined Terracaching in 2009 but have never used it..

    TBH I wasn't sure if I was still a member because my original sponsors had withdrawn and I was put up for adoption.

    I find that side of it a little strange.. it's a bit like being a member of some exclusive society whose membership is by invitation only.

    Anyway, I just logged in and it appears two kind souls took pity and adopted me.. :socool:

  13. #13

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    The concept of getting sponsors who approve your caches means that there should be a relationship between cache placer and reviewer.

    This has pros and cons; the quality should be higher and issues should get sorted out. On the other hand there is distributed control which makes it difficult for organisations like GAGB to contact and build a relationship with representatives for the listing site. It'll be interesting to see if this can be developed this year.

  14. #14

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    I was actually more wondering if peer review drove quality up?

    Or not - as the case may be

    Quote Originally Posted by The Wombles View Post
    The concept of getting sponsors who approve your caches means that there should be a relationship between cache placer and reviewer.

    This has pros and cons; the quality should be higher and issues should get sorted out. On the other hand there is distributed control which makes it difficult for organisations like GAGB to contact and build a relationship with representatives for the listing site. It'll be interesting to see if this can be developed this year.

  15. #15

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    Thanks to everyone who has replied so far. The lack of replies from people who use the other sites tells me that there are a couple of posibilities.

    Nobody frequents the GAGB who use those listing sites ( yet I know a few do)

    or

    There isn't anything different/better to offer than what I already have with Groundspeak.

    With the elections on at the moment and all the talk of the GAGB supporting members from all the different caching sites, I would have thought that my question was asked at an appropriate time for people to reply whose first choice as a listing site isn't Groundspeak. Not only for myself to learn something, but the candidates as well.

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jacaru View Post
    Thanks to everyone who has replied so far. The lack of replies from people who use the other sites tells me that there are a couple of posibilities.

    Nobody frequents the GAGB who use those listing sites ( yet I know a few do)

    or

    There isn't anything different/better to offer than what I already have with Groundspeak.
    Give us a chance!!! I was out all day yesterday caching, logging in the evening, and I've been working all day today!

    My view is to reverse the question, what do I gain by NOT using all the sites!

    The first thing to point out is that you don't lose anything by using the other sites, they are in addition to Groundspeak, and you can still use Groundspeak . I load PQs from all the sites into GSAK and generate the files for my GPSr from there, so they contain caches from all sites.

    The next thing is that the numbers are tiny compared to Groundspeak. If you have no interest other than the numbers it's true they aren't worth bothering with.

    I like the idea of there being alternatives to Groundspeak. That's not because I have any issues with them, but they are a profit making company and their actions have to be determined by the benefit to the shareholders, not the customers. Luckily, most often the shareholders will benefit from the company giving cachers what they want, but it's not necessarily always the case. If they are a monopoly then the bias shifts even more to the shareholders rather than the customers. I think it's good that there are alternatives up and running to keep them focussed on what's good for caching rather than what's good for Groundspeak, and to be ready in the (probably unlikely) event they make a decision I find unacceptable.

    Did you know that GC "favourites" are a direct copy of opencaching.org.uk "recommendations"? So you may have already benefited without realising it .

    I regularly use opencaching.org.uk (which I will call OC) and TerraCaching (TC). NaviCaching (NC) is, I'm afraid, pretty much moribund in the UK even by comparison with the other "minor sites". Garmin opencaching (which I'll just refer to as Garmin) I'll log if it's cross listed but not go out of my way for.

    Quality - I believe it does tend to be higher on OC and TC. That doesn't mean there are no naff caches on OC or TC, or that there are no great ones on GC. But I believe the average quality is higher. There are few (if any) loops of large numbers of bland caches, and a higher ratio of multis.

    OC. It's important to note that quality is built into the guidelines - they don't only cover things like drystone walls, but emphasise quality in all aspects, finding as well as hiding. Of course, this is something that is not really enforceable, but it's hoped that if the idea pervades the site that people will pick up the vibes. Your first 3 caches are reviewed in a similar way to GC. If you have demonstrated that you are responsible you then "self certify", but if you were subsequently irresponsible that would be rescinded. Cross-listing is discouraged, though I have a couple cross-listed for a particular reason. It has a cache rating system built in, and a "recommendation" system from which GC "favourites" were copied. The committee listens to the members. The web site is pretty good, probably not as good as GC, who can afford to spend much more on theirs, but it's free even for features such as PQs that GC charges for. Low traffic, and if there was a sudden influx of thousands of cachers it would probably collapse - but that's a problem which might be nice to have . There are many country specific OC sites, but they are not inter-connected and worldwide caching is not integrated like GC.

    TC. Has a "sponsor" system that can put people off. But it's not intended to be elitist, your sponsors are just your reviewers. When you join you will get several sponsorship offers, and you can choose your sponsors from them. It also has a very sophisticated (but easy to use) cache rating system. It is notionally a more competitive system, where caches acquire "TPS points" shared among all finders according to the find frequency and each cacher has a "UCR" depending on how highly rated their caches are. But the rivalry is extremely friendly, and in the UK we are a very close bunch and always help each other out even if it means losing points to someone else. Strongly discourages cross-listing. Is world-wide like GC. The web site currently is not good, slow and clunky. The site nearly closed a couple of years ago, but was bought by a really great guy, an altruist, who has sunk a lot of money into a new site but seems to have been taken for a bit of a ride by the software house. The new site should happen, but we don't know when.

    NC. World-wide but pretty much moribund in the UK, most of the listed caches are no longer there. Cross-listing is encouraged. Web site fast but not very good. Also recently been sold to a new owner, don't know how that is going to work out.

    Garmin. Set up in overt competition to GC, fevershly promotes cross-listing to the extent of proving import routines for GC hides/finds. Encourages hides by offering GPSr prizes, and has grown more quickly than the other "minor-sites" as a result, but with mostly cross-listed caches. It was very unfortunate (and arrogant) that they called themselved opencaching when there was already a worldwide network of opencaching sites, this caused and still causes much confusion. The web site looks pretty, until you actually try to do anything when I find it extremely clunky. All free, including PQs.

    The above is a personal view of the sites, but mostly, I hope, a reasonably well informed one, because I do use them all.

    Rgds, Andy
    Last edited by amberel; 23rd November 2012 at 07:38 PM. Reason: Spelling

  17. #17

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    Jacaru,
    The other possibility is that you only asked the question ~ 36 hours ago and lots of people don't come onto the GAGB forums that frequently so maybe the respondents you're looking for just haven't passed this way yet. (I've just noticed Ambrel has posted while I'm writing this so maybe that's now been rectified).

    I can't sell the other sites to you, it's up to you to search them out for yourself.

  18. #18

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    Thanks for asking! :cheers: I've only just spotted this thread, having been pretty occupied in another part of the forum, whilst on a project in the City, commuting there daily.

    I'm curious and enjoy research, so it was only a few weeks after I started Geocaching that I found out that there were other listing sites - and GAGB - and just a month before I found my first Navicache.:socool:

    I'll not repeat what Amberel has said, because he has covered it off very well. Suffice to say, that I knew from early on that quality appealed to me more than quantity and I 'got it' instantly when I read about TerraCaching's scoring system. It's complicated, involving all caches within 100 mile radius of the cache in question, but in essence, the score for a cache is related to its age divided by the number of finders. Thus, harder caches found less frequently acquire more points than easier ones, and the greater prize makes them worth the extra effort. This won't appeal to those who want pure numbers (power trails have their place for people who want to play that game) opcorn: but may appeal to those who seek a caching experience and a different type of competition. However, there are not enough active participants in the UK for the competitive element to work. After a year of inactivity, cachers drop off the leader board, so you are never competing against dormant or ex-players.

    The 'hot bed' of TerraCaching in UK used to the SW of England, but as Amberel put it, the 'rot from the top' with the non-delivery of TerraCaching2.0 by the owner eventually led directly to Lord Darcy throwing in the towel and bringing OpenCaching to the UK instead. His local TerraCaching community jumped ship to OpenCaching UK - and subsequently another TerraCaching community has grown in East Anglia. I think it's a shame our minority community is now further fragmented, but it was totally understandable.

    Afterwards, TerraCaching was sold to my immediate sponsor (what a coincidence) and I'm rather gutted that he has spent a fortune on TerraCaching3.0 and has not yet got anything to show for it. I had suggested that he should deploy an OpenCaching site first (the name stems from the freely available open source code), then add the TerraCaching scoring and review functionality to it, but he didn't take my advice I also argued that the need for sponsors on day 1 is offputting - it delayed my entry into TerraCaching by several months - and should be deferred until the player wants to set caches. We'll see what becomes of that.

    With OpenCaching UK Lord Darcy has created a UK listing site, for UK cachers, by UK cachers. It's ours! :socool: To my mind, that's highly commendable, because I consider it to be our game and this is our opportunity to put our British twist onto it. Thus, I am particularly disappointed that it grew well at first, then hit a plateau from which it has not really developed.

    My experience, like Amberel's, has been that the average cache quality is better on TerraCaching and OpenCaching UK :cheers: and to a lesser extent on Navicache, which has been rotting from top and bottom. Amberel is perhaps too modest in neglecting to mention his "Top Cache" awards. He makes outstanding unique geocoins as awards for outstanding caches. His website is like a little shrine to the very best of UK caching, and frankly, I'd commend this to everyone, especially if they are looking for that special cache with which to achieve a milestone Despite their small numbers, OpenCaches and TerraCaches are disproportionately prominent - this is not coincidental - Amberel has a discerning and rigorous rating system. I commend OpenCaching and TerraCaching to all, but few choose to 'smell the coffee'.

    I've had a bit of a roller-coaster feeling about alternate caching - I felt I'd done a lot to help promote it to no avail so was ready to throw in the towel and retreat to Groundspeak (I cross-listed the second half of my BBC series that had been OpenCaching-only, on Groundspeak to find myself inundated with retrospective logs), but now that my home patch is super-saturated with Groundspeak caches, I know my caches are absolutely unnecessary there. Thus, even though I know they will be found rarely and require disproportionately more maintenance per find than Groundspeak caches, I feel myself recommitting to OpenCaching UK and TerraCaching, because I can make a difference there that might lead to them having a brighter future. :wub: I agree totally with Bill D that it's less rewarding to have your caches found infrequently, but I believe its vital for the good of our game: someone has to do it, so I'll rise to the challenge. :cheers:

    To be frank, I feel that GAGB is almost in the same category as the alternate caching sites: ignored by the majority, and that's why I'm also so passionate about it. :wub: Maybe too passionate.....we'll soon see how badly I shot myself in the foot h34r:

    I feel it's important to have alternatives to Groundspeak because they should foster innovation and in turn encourage Groundspeak to innovate and be less restrictive (less focus on shareholders, from Amberel's perspective). However, the alternatives need to have critical mass to achieve this, and at the moment, they have not got it in UK - in Germany they are much closer to getting it. The copying of OpenCaching's recommendations is one example, adopting TerraCaching's scoring, or allowing it to be overlaid on GC.com, would in my opinion, be a game changer - and for the better - as cache saturation levels become extreme there has to be a variety of means to identify caches really worth hunting and favourite points is but one.

    TerraCaching only exists because Groundspeak refused to let Montana Geocachers have continuing access to Groundspeak data to enable their own scoring system to work. This is but one example: We see an ongoing stream of new rules and restrictions from Groundspeak - stifling innovation. I don't think this is healthy for our young game.....others might be convinced the rules are necessary, but I think they are self-serving: Groundspeak dodges issues by creating rules rather than tackling them head on. That's how we arrived at 'Ground Breaking' and a morass of rules for 'Challenge Caches'. More will follow as surely as day follows night. We can turn the tide, one alternative cache at a time :cheers:

  19. #19

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    It seems a rather odd question to me, but then I take variety as a self-evident good, and monopoly as a self-evident bad.

  20. #20

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    Seems a bit of a shame that Jacaru asked the question, commented after a little more than a day that there had been no responses, and subsequently appears to have ignored those replies that took quite a bit of effort to prepare.

    So, were the replies useful Jacaru? I don't mean did they persuade you to use any other site, but did they answer the question?

    Rgds, Andy

  21. #21

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    Thankyou Sandvika. Your detailed post has given me a lot to think about and has explained things a lot more clearly. Before I have really had no idea about the different caching groups and why/where/who and how they ran.

  22. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by amberel View Post
    Seems a bit of a shame that Jacaru asked the question, commented after a little more than a day that there had been no responses, and subsequently appears to have ignored those replies that took quite a bit of effort to prepare.

    So, were the replies useful Jacaru? I don't mean did they persuade you to use any other site, but did they answer the question?

    Rgds, Andy
    Actually Andy I do have a life outside of caching, and am not continually on the forum, you said similar yourself in an earlier post to my question. As you will see by my reply I found Sandvika to be most helpful rather than just criticising my question. It is a shame that when the question was originally asked that one of the people standing for election who is big in one of the other groups didn't come back with any reply. Hence he didn't get my vote.

    Once again I thank Sandvika for his reply and I look forward to hearing more about the alternatives now that he is on the committee.
    Regards,

    Daryl
    Last edited by Jacaru; 8th December 2012 at 05:19 PM.

  23. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jacaru View Post
    Actually Andy I do have a life outside of caching, and am not continually on the forum
    That, Daryl, was exactly my point. You posted the question, complained after 36 hours that no-one had answered it, then when myself and Sandvika went to a deal of trouble to post replies, you made no response for two weeks. If you can't respond in two weeks, and even then only after prompting, maybe you should have given us a bit more than 36 hours to reply to you!

    Rgds, Andy

  24. #24

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    I know it's different from geocaches, but there was some mention of Locationless earlier in the thread.

    If you like locationless and virtuals, waymarking.com is a very successful listing site and there's plenty to go at there. Currently there are just over 11,000 "virtual caches" within 100 miles of my location in North Notts and 1054 "locationless". I think that the "virtuals" count excludes those categories (such as restaurants) which I suppressed.

    You might not want to log a lot of the more trivial items on there but it should still keep someone busy for a week or two!

    I'm just off out now to complete my first Scavenger Hunt.

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