Garmin Coins a New Pathtag

As many geocachers know geocoins are popular items for discovery and trade.  When opencaching.com lauched it seemed like a bit of a miss that they did not have this functionality.  It probably made sense to Garmin to leave this functionality out as there focus was on maximizing the value of their devices.  It makes more sense for Garmin to do something like the Chirp which leverages their hardware.  There isn’t much value added to a device when a cacher finds or discovers a geocoin.  Garmin’s launch of the Opie Pathtag might be recognition that geocoins are a popular aspect of geocaching that opencaching.com does not support (Yet?).

opie pathtag backopie pathtag back

I have one Pathtag that I’ve never actually logged.  I received it at last year’s Geowoodstock.  The idea of an open geocoin standard is something I would like to see.  We might never see that though.  I suppose that might like letting you track your UPS shipment on the Fedex website.

For a while now I’ve been running a script in my browser that adds Geokrety support to my cache listing pages on geocaching.com.  In this way it is “kind of” open in that I can see if a cache has a Geokrety in it or not while on the geocaching.com website.    Geokrety is similar to Travel Bugs and are more popular in Europe.  I inquired about buying a list of numbers from Geokrety for use in the minting of a coin but that is not a service they offer.

As of now there is no way for an independent operation to produce products that are trackable on geocaching.com.   It makes sense for Groundspeak to get paid for making that service available.  There are costs associated with offering the tracking service.  Right now every geocoin you buy that is trackable at geocaching.com pays a fee to get a tracking number from Groundspeak.  Depending on the minting cost of the coin the fees to Groundspeak can represent 20-50% of the cost of the coin.  Starting at $2/coin Pathtags offer a much cheaper alternative to geocaching.com geocoins.   At those prices I can see them being price competitive as a signature item.  Geocachers still want to be able to track geocoins on geocaching.com.

Maybe I should ask Pathtags if they would be willing to sell some tracking numbers but let me mint my own coins?

Opencaching.com Continues to Improve

The folks over at Garmin have not been idle.  It was announced yesterday that you can now edit your logs on opencaching.com.   Now you can delete and edit your logs.  This is a much needed improvement.  I contacted Garmin last year and asked how I could delete my logs and was told that I couldn’t.   I’m pleased to see that users have more control over their data.  Cache owners can also delete logs.  [note:  this post was updated based on comments]

The ability to edit logs is not yet available to third parties using the opencaching API.

edit link for opencaching logsYou need to navigate to a cache you have found.  From their you will see the edit option. In the image below you can see the options available for editing.  If you have previously uploaded your my finds file you can now go back and edit your previous listings.

opencaching log editing options

Geocaching Souvenirs

It’s been a while now since Geocahing.com released online souvenirs.  Now that there are more of them you can start to see the utility a little more.  Groundspeak has picked the easy ones to include first.  US states and Canadian provinces now have souvenirs.   There are a few special caches that also have souvenirs.  Those were some of the first to be added.

I hope that Ontario’s Spring Fling gets a souvenir.  It is one of the biggest or perhaps the biggest event in Ontario.

You can see the souvenir’s I’ve accumulated since Groundspeak has been doling them out.  I’m up to twelve, my frequent geocaching partner Bakers Dozen is up to 18.   Of all the people I regularly cache with none have more than res2100, he has 50.  I was surprised to see that Portugal has a souvenir.

I wonder if someone will create a challenge cache were you need to get all the souvenirs offered by Groundspeak?

TeamVoyagr's Geocaching.com Souvenirs

TeamVoyagr's Geocaching.com Souvenirs

The Night Cache Book Review

The Night Cache Cover

I just finished reading Andy Duncan’s, The Night Cache and I enjoyed it, you might too.  As a novella the book is not very long and I was able to read it in one sitting.  The book gave me a few ideas that I’d like to incorporate into some future caches.

Follow this link to read my longer review of The Night Cache.

Geocaching.com Changes after Maintenance

Difficulty Terrain Position

Do you notice anything different about the layout of the cache page?  It looks like the Difficulty and Terrain are now listed one above the other instead of side by side.  As part of that change the Favorites feature has moved down a little.

favourites changedThe favorites number has also experienced an interesting change.  You now see a ration of favorites to logs (premium members logs).  A couple of weeks ago a geocaching friend mentioned that there was a thread going on in the forums that was discussing the notion of a percentage of favorites to finds.  It would appear that Groundspeak was paying attention and has updated this feature.

And lets not forget the new maps.  They have finally received an update that makes them a little more useful.  Now you can see your find and your hides as well as limiting by cache type or type groupings.  Here’s a link to the new map.