Geocaches – CacheMania http://www.cachemania.com Geocaching Can be Addictive Thu, 27 Aug 2015 19:14:40 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.4.11 Garmin Capitulates http://www.cachemania.com/garmin-capitulates/geocaches/2015/08/ Thu, 27 Aug 2015 19:13:35 +0000 http://www.cachemania.com/?p=1426 Is there are real advantage to being the first mover in a new category?  Absolutely!  The recent reversal by Garmin is a prime example. Let’s set the stage.  In May of 2000 the US Government turned off selective availability on the military initiated Global Positioning System (GPS).   Prior to this change consumer GPS units were […]

The post Garmin Capitulates appeared first on CacheMania.

]]>
garmin-60cs

Is there are real advantage to being the first mover in a new category?  Absolutely!  The recent reversal by Garmin is a prime example.

Let’s set the stage.  In May of 2000 the US Government turned off selective availability on the military initiated Global Positioning System (GPS).   Prior to this change consumer GPS units were typically accurate in the 10-20m range.  Instantly, consumer grade GPS devices were now accurate to within 3-4m and a new industry was born.    It was at midnight May 2nd when Selective Availability was turned off and on May 3rd Dave Ulmer hid a container and posted the coordinates online.   People started finding Dave’s container and within a month this activity had a name, geocaching.  By September Geocaching had an online home at the geocaching.com website created by Jeremy Irish.   This made Irish and his Groundspeak cofounders Bryan Roth and Elias Alvord first movers in the Geocaching arena.

Early GPS units were little more advanced compasses.    Groundspeak, the company that owns the geocaching.com website worked with Garmin to add geocaching features to Garmin GPS units thus making them the defacto standard for the geocaching community.   The relationship seemed to be going well until Garmin opted not to include the geocaching feature called Whereigo in its newest GPS receivers.   In early 2010 Garmin introduced the GPSMAP 62 family of devices and the Whereigo feature was missing.   This appears to have been the start of a change in direction for Garmin.

By December of 2010 Garmin had officially launched a website to compete with geocaching.com called opencaching.com.   The geocaching community, about 2 million strong by this point, were excited by Garmin’s entry but not convinced it was for the better.   There were features about opencaching.com that some people liked but it was missing one thing that the first mover in the space had – users.    More than 80% of geocachers were using Garmin devices to find geocaches so it’s not surprising that Garmin would want to build a better relationship with those consumers.    From 2010 onwards every new handheld GPS unit came with opencaching.com built into the device.   There was talk that this would kill the geocaching.com website which charged a membership fee for premium access while opencaching.com was free.  Garmin couldn’t have been more wrong.

At the time of the launch of opencaching.com there were in excess of 2 million caches listed on the geocaching.com website.   People that enjoyed geocaching want to find geocaches.  Some geocachers have found over 40,000 unique geocaches around the world.  The need to find geocaches is what forced opencaching.com into oblivion.   Groundspeak saw the early opportunity and moved first.   Garmin lead the way in device construction but was playing catch up on the website side of things.   Groundspeak’s lead was just too great and in August of 2015 opencaching.com is no more.

Garmin reported $2.8 billion in revenue in 2014.   Groundspeak is a private company so revenues are not known but it’s safe to say the 50 employee company generates significantly less revenue than Garmin.  Even with vastly superior spending power Garmin could not buy the one thing that mattered, website users.   If you see an opportunity, seize it, if you are a first mover you just might become the first mover David to established industry Goliaths.

You can read more about this story here.

teamvoyagr

I have been writing the cachemania blog since 2008. I'm interested in the development of geocaching and the many ways that people play the game.

More Posts - Website

Follow Me:
TwitterFacebookGoogle Plus

The post Garmin Capitulates appeared first on CacheMania.

]]>
The Aliens are Back http://www.cachemania.com/the-aliens-are-back/geocaches/2011/05/ Mon, 30 May 2011 17:58:24 +0000 http://www.cachemania.com/?p=1292 It would appear that ET phoned home and his friends are back with reinforcements!  This time there will be 1500 geocaches.  Can it be true? There is an event scheduled that seems to indicate that the ET highway is back. Alien Search Party – The 2nd Invasion! I love the idea that geocaching can be […]

The post The Aliens are Back appeared first on CacheMania.

]]>
It would appear that ET phoned home and his friends are back with reinforcements!  This time there will be 1500 geocaches.  Can it be true?

There is an event scheduled that seems to indicate that the ET highway is back.

Alien Search Party – The 2nd Invasion!

I love the idea that geocaching can be an important part of the local economy I just wish the caches were a little more interesting.  Everyone plays the game differently I guess.

There could have been a movie tie in here with Aliens and Cowboys coming out soon.

teamvoyagr

I have been writing the cachemania blog since 2008. I'm interested in the development of geocaching and the many ways that people play the game.

More Posts - Website

Follow Me:
TwitterFacebookGoogle Plus

The post The Aliens are Back appeared first on CacheMania.

]]>
ET Phone Home … or NDOT http://www.cachemania.com/geocaching-supports-economy/geocaches/2011/04/ http://www.cachemania.com/geocaching-supports-economy/geocaches/2011/04/#comments Sat, 30 Apr 2011 22:39:56 +0000 http://www.cachemania.com/?p=1283 ET didn’t phone home he called NDOT.  I have it from a reliable source that the Nevada Department of Transportation has been pressured into allowing the ET Highway cache series to return.  The local businesses saw a material impact to their business as a result of the influx of geocachers. While the ET Highway series […]

The post ET Phone Home … or NDOT appeared first on CacheMania.

]]>
ET didn’t phone home he called NDOT.  I have it from a reliable source that the Nevada Department of Transportation has been pressured into allowing the ET Highway cache series to return.  The local businesses saw a material impact to their business as a result of the influx of geocachers.

While the ET Highway series are not my favourite kind of geocache I find it very interesting that geocaching can have a meaningful impact in a local economy.  I did some research last year and one community that was part of a geocaching trail saw a $250,000 direct impact as a result of the geocaching trail.

It will not be long now before geocaching is used by local economic development departments as a way to drive visitors.  The key will be to place quality caches.  The temptation to do it cheaply or without the proper experience will be very strong.  There is no doubt that organizations will be placing caches for their own purposes.  I just hope these organizations hire an experienced geocaching consultant.

If there are any tourism or economic development departments out there I’ll be happy to discuss your project with you 😉

Admin

Discovering places one cache at a time.

More Posts - Website

Follow Me:
Google Plus

The post ET Phone Home … or NDOT appeared first on CacheMania.

]]>
http://www.cachemania.com/geocaching-supports-economy/geocaches/2011/04/feed/ 3
Finding Kid Friendly Caches http://www.cachemania.com/finding-kid-friendly-caches/geocaches/2011/04/ http://www.cachemania.com/finding-kid-friendly-caches/geocaches/2011/04/#comments Mon, 18 Apr 2011 16:33:58 +0000 http://www.cachemania.com/?p=1271 Based on the calendar Spring is here. It hasn’t felt that way for the last week! Now that summer is approaching more people are getting outside to enjoy some geocaching. I’ve personally introduced caching to a few families and have others contact me by email. How do you introduce someone to geocaching? For most of […]

The post Finding Kid Friendly Caches appeared first on CacheMania.

]]>
Based on the calendar Spring is here. It hasn’t felt that way for the last week! Now that summer is approaching more people are getting outside to enjoy some geocaching. I’ve personally introduced caching to a few families and have others contact me by email. How do you introduce someone to geocaching? For most of us it involves a group outing of some kind where you take the interested party or parties on a cache hunt. Through that experience the uninitiated learn about various cache hides and hopefully will get a sense of what they might like to look for.

Here are some things to look for if you are introducing a family with children to geocaching:

  1. Pick regular or large container sizes.  Kids like to exchange swag.  It’s the treasure they are after.  Be sure and bring ample amounts to trade.
  2. Look for a group of caches in a neighbourhood park or a local conservation area.  Don’t make the trip to the caches so long that the kids get bored before they get there.  Shoot for 3-4 caches in 1-2 hours.  Longer trips are possible but you might want to save those until the muggles turned geocachers get a little hooked.
  3. You probably don’t want to try for anything to difficult either physically or hard to find.  Save the 5/5 for an adventure day.  Build up the difficulty once the new players have demonstrated an understanding of how to find a cache.
  4. Look for attributes that indicate this cache hunt won’t pose too much of a challenge for younger players.  Here’s a few attributes I’d look for:
    1. Recommended for kids
    2. Less than an hour
    3. Short hike
    4. Parking Available
    5. Restrooms nearby (the little ones don’t always think in advance)
    6. Winter Friendly, these tend to be off the ground reducing the amount of leaves that need to be moved thus keeping everyone a little cleaner.
    7. Stroller Accessible if the kids are very small
    8. Parking available, road-side parking is not ideal for kids
  5. Search for “kid” in the cache name, this isn’t a sure fire way to find kid friendly caches but it can help.

If you are the kind of person that likes to introduce people to geocaching you might want to set up a bookmark list of the caches in your area that you’d recommend for newbies.  A little preparation in advance makes it a lot easier later.

teamvoyagr

I have been writing the cachemania blog since 2008. I'm interested in the development of geocaching and the many ways that people play the game.

More Posts - Website

Follow Me:
TwitterFacebookGoogle Plus

The post Finding Kid Friendly Caches appeared first on CacheMania.

]]>
http://www.cachemania.com/finding-kid-friendly-caches/geocaches/2011/04/feed/ 1
Maintain Your Caches! http://www.cachemania.com/maintain-your-caches/geocaches/2011/03/ http://www.cachemania.com/maintain-your-caches/geocaches/2011/03/#comments Mon, 21 Mar 2011 15:36:09 +0000 http://www.cachemania.com/?p=1249 NOTE:  There are spoilers in this post. Is visiting your cache every once in a while important?  You betcha!  I learned this the hard way this weekend.  I have a cache close to home.  I actually pass by it quite regularly but I didn’t think I had any reason to stop in and check on […]

The post Maintain Your Caches! appeared first on CacheMania.

]]>
NOTE:  There are spoilers in this post.

replacement logIs visiting your cache every once in a while important?  You betcha!  I learned this the hard way this weekend.  I have a cache close to home.  I actually pass by it quite regularly but I didn’t think I had any reason to stop in and check on it.   The cache was placed on October 24, 2009.  I thought I was reading the logs as they come in, apparently I was not reading them well enough.

I saw a log yesterday that said the log was too wet to sign so they put in some fresh paper.    With the cache so close to home I decided to drive over and have a look.  I emailed the person that found my cache to ask if they were sure it was mine as my cache is very weather resistant.  They were certain that it was.   On arriving at the cache if found my original log book was there and it was fine.  Some more emails were exchanged and the finder even sent me a picture of the wet log.  Something odd was going on so back I went to check things out.  That’s when I discovered what had happened.

original log and containerIn looking at the online logs I see that a number of people had made comments about a damp log.  I was certain my log would not be that damp as it is in a watertight container.  I don’t know why but I did not pay near enough attention to these comments.  I’m a little embarrassed that I didn’t.   When I went to look the second time I found out what was going on.  A helpful cacher thought that the log was missing, it wasn’t, so they added their own piece of paper.  Future cachers found this piece of paper and assumed it was the correct log.   The correct log is inside a plastic matchbox inside the outer container.

The lesson I learned here is that you need to pay special attention to any log that seems even remotely unexpected for your cache.  I was lucky in that this cache is close to home and I can easily maintain it.  I’ll be paying special attention to future log entries!

 

teamvoyagr

I have been writing the cachemania blog since 2008. I'm interested in the development of geocaching and the many ways that people play the game.

More Posts - Website

Follow Me:
TwitterFacebookGoogle Plus

The post Maintain Your Caches! appeared first on CacheMania.

]]>
http://www.cachemania.com/maintain-your-caches/geocaches/2011/03/feed/ 2