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Geo-News: Luck Of The Irish

Welcome aboard Captain Irish … the dapper, new alter-ego of Groundspeak ‘pilot’ Jeremy Irish – and one of three geo-teasers now on Facebook.

Firstly, the high-flying chief executive unveiled this design for his latest TB, which he will launch early next month in Ulm, Germany (presumably at GC2MEGA FORTsetzung: – Die DOSENFISCHER).

In response to comments by Facebook fans, he explained that co-founders Bryan Roth and Elias Alvord also have their own new tags. “We each hold a piece of the map that points to the Groundspeak HQ in Seattle.”

To get your hands on one of these coveted trackables, you’ll need to bump into any of the trio at an upcoming geo-event – which in Irish’s case will also include GC2GA1J The Best Of The Bad Mega in Alberta’s Canadian Badlands on July 16, GC2921G Mega Wales 2011 on July 31st and Groundspeak’s own GC2FYVM Geocaching Block Party in Seattle on August 20.

(Don’t forget to grab a spare one to send to kjwx too.)

Previous tags have depicted the three men as gnomes, in a series named the Founders Geonome Project.

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Announcement No 2 will surely have Project APE fans going … well, ape – especially with Washington’s GC1169 Mission Nine: Tunnel of Light being archived on June 13.

Irish said although movie studio 20th Century Fox had rejected being involved in “an official Project APE promotion” for its upcoming Rise of the Planet of the Apes release, “we’re going to do something cool without them”.

For the uninitiated:  Project APE began in 2001 as a promotional tie-in with Fox, to publicise its remake of the movie Planet Of The Apes. Fourteen ammo cans were hidden worldwide – including two in Australia – each featuring real props from the Tim Burton-directed film, starring Mark Wahlberg, Tim Roth and Helena Bonham Carter. 

Until this month, only two of the ‘Alternative Primate Evolution’ hides remained in their original format (others have since been replaced as traditional caches). But due to repeated vandalism, Mission Nine – part of geocaching’s fabled Triad – has now been permanently archived, leaving only GCC67 Mission Four: Southern Bowl in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

“Expect a blog post next week or so about it,” Irish teased on the social network site, before later adding “Project APE lived beyond the movie really, as it probably will for this one too.”

When his Facebook followers expressed disbelief at Fox passing up the chance for a cheap advertising campaign, he replied: “It was pretty much a free promotion, like before, though they did donate props from the movie in the first promo. No money exchanged hands, though.”

Just don’t presume Groundspeak will reinstate any of the 13 original, archived APE caches. “That doesn’t mean we won’t have new ones, however. Details are still being worked out.”

Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes – starring 127 Hours lead James Franco, Harry Potter’s Tom Felton and Andy Serkis, aka Gollum in Peter Jackson’s Lord Of The Rings trilogy – will be released in the United States this August.

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Faster than a speeding bullet, Irish also introduced SuperGuy  – a merit badge-style icon for “a new project on Geocaching.com. And no, it isn’t achievements.”

According to the company CEO, the caped crusader “is part of our new approach for virtuals”. “We’ll have a teaser video up in the next couple of weeks.”

Facebook users had a mixed response to the news, prompting Irish to exclaim: “Oh for the love of everything that is holy, we’re not bringing those nasty virtuals back.”

His only subsequent comment dealt with one fan’s hope that Groundspeak’s new virtual scheme would involve waymarking – “That isn’t happening either.”

As always, It’s Not About The Numbers will keep you posted on any further developments. And we’d love to hear your thoughts on these topics.

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