Welcome to: Opencaching.se

With the introduction of opencaching.com last year there was a lot of talk about geocache listing services. One of the things we noticed was that there wasn’t much of a focus on what the other listing services were and what they offered. In an attempt to rectify this we have invited the other listing services to write a guest post on It’s Not About The Numbers. In this guest post we welcome OlofL from Opencaching.se:

There has been some interesting activity on the original opencaching community since the launch of oc.com. We have had greater focus on cooperation across sites and I think that the end result will be an integrated network of the original opencaching nodes so the users feel like they are using one site instead of national sites, but it may take a year or so to make it happen.

The site I’m running is opencaching.se. It was started in 2009. To give you an idea of our importance we have approximatly 0,5% of the caches hidden in Sweden.

My primary reason for starting it was that I thought that Groundspeak didn’t value its most dedicated customers. One example was the RefreshAllGPX-issue, where instead of supplying an API to check whether a cache is archived or not, users were forced to work around this by running a script to get this information. When these scripts created too much traffic on Groundspeaks servers these users were banned – but these users were the most loyal and addicted geocachers. There were other examples that all made me feel that geocaching (generally speaking) was not controlled by cachers, it was controlled by a company failing to listen to its customers. The caches are hidden by us, the descriptions are written by us, the logs are written by us, i.e. all content are created by its users. I have a problem with the restrictive download and distribution of this material. Our slogan is “For cachers, by cachers”, but today we are still only a small group making the decisions.

Another important issue was language. When geocaching spread from technical nerds to a wider audience a non-translated site is a problem. This has been much, much more important in the other opencaching-countries like for example Poland. You simply cannot expect an english only site to work globally.

But my experience from previous alternative cachelisting sites was not good at all. After thinking of it my main objection had been that they encouraged double listing caches. Double listing is like taking drugs, it makes your site look good quickly, but in the long run the site doesn’t provide any added value. Discouraging double listing gives you an increadibly slow start, but all caches are unique and has proven to attract even more interest to some users than caches listed among thousands of other caches on the largest site. With that in mind I personally think that Garmin did a serious misjugdement by encouraging double listing of caches. We discourage it.

Opencaching.se cache map

With that in mind our target was active cachers that wanted something different. We didn’t see upon geocaching.com as a competitor, they are and they will be largest and most important cachelisting site for a very long time. I doubt that there are any cachers in my country that will go on a caching-trip without bringing caches from geocaching.com. And this brings me back to it, we disourage double listing because otherwise we would provide no added value.

I’m very happy to see that geocaching.com has been translated since oc.se started. Also their feedback option is a great, and they might even listen to the demand for virtual caches coming back.

OlofL at Pamukkale, Turkey

Contrary to what has been posted on blogs I personally don’t think that lack of reviewing is of any concern. It might be different in different countries though. I cannot see the value of the 161-m limit anymore, it is an unfair restriction affecting new cachers. And deliberate same-place-hiding is on the same scale as deliberate muggling, i.e. very low. Badly placed caches are reported almost immediately by the users and blocked. If opencaching.se would introduce reviewers it would only be to check that the cache description and pictures don’t seem to have any copyright issues.

So why would anyone download caches from opencaching.com when the same caches and more of them can be downloaded from geocaching.com? I don’t know. And why would anyone download caches from opencaching.se? Perhaps because most of the caches can only be found on opencaching.se.

But I think that the competition from Garmin is good and it will hopefully make Groundspeak to listen to its users.

I have 1795 finds and 56 hidden on geocaching.com. I have 22 finds and 17 hidden on opencaching.se. I will contine to see upon geocaching.com as the most important cache listing site in Sweden, but I also see upon opencaching.se as the most interesting with interesting features added at a greater pace. I will probably hide a unique cache on opencaching.com some day.

Thanks OlofL and all the best with Opencaching.se!

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  1. Navigeren op GPX of geocaching met BlackBerry

    […] Welcome to: Opencaching.se (notaboutthenumbers.com) […]

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