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App Creator Takes The Geocaching Road Less Travelled

GRBA French geocacher is offering a guide – or rather a roadbook – to being a popular geo-event host

Baptiste T

Baptiste T

Baptiste T (GC handle: Surfoo) has created GeoRoadbook, a new web app that lets event holders produce a booklet displaying the Geocaching.com hides in the area. “A roadbook lists local caches with information on their co-ordinates, attributes, descriptions and hints etc. You can use it for your events and give a copy to the geocachers who attend,” he explains.

“In France, it’s pretty common. Event organisers always distribute this booklet with all published caches (and GPX, of course) for their guests. Roadbooks are quicker to use than smartphones or GPSr when searching for information, they’re easier to read and will save your batteries. You can also write notes like the calculations for mysteries or hints for multi caches.

“It’s even a great souvenir to keep after the event; when you re-read it, you will remember some of the caches you did and how you passed those moments.”

5From his home base in Savigny-le-Temple near Paris, the web developer told It’s Not About The Numbers that he developed the free, open-source application to “improve the UX (User Experience)” of his fellow players.  “A roadbook is just the listings on a piece of paper, so why do things twice?

“I love to simplify boring tasks with my knowledge, and letting other geocachers create a roadbook automatically from a GPX file should produce awesome results. I had never seen a similar roadbook application and thought it was a good idea to make a web app. It’s useful for geocachers and I, personally, learned some stuff making it. I love the end result.”

He boasts his website is so simple that even “people who aren’t familiar with computers” can quickly master it. “With GeoRoadbook, you just have to upload a GPX file with all your caches, choose some options (sort, table of contents, hints etc) and click the button. After that, you can edit your roadbook’s contents with an online editor: adding or removing information, resizing images, customising the header and footer with text or pagination. There are help sections everywhere in the app, as well as a FAQ.

4“Each roadbook is absolutely private; no one knows the link except you. When your roadbook is finished, you can print copies with the PDF export. It’s fast and can support a lot of caches!”

Slowly but surely, Baptiste is making inroads with his beta app – primarily thanks to the support of European cachers.  “GeoRoadbook is pretty recent,” he says, “and I’ve mostly been spreading the word in French forums. Geocachers are very pleased with the web app; I’ve received a lot of feedback on system bugs and ideas for future features.”

3To date, he’s aware of two players who have created one of his GeoRoadbooks for an event; both of whom were “really happy with my time-saving” option.

“United States geocachers don’t know about roadbooks, so I don’t know if GeoRoadbook will be useful to them.”

In future, Baptiste intends to add a direct link to Geocaching.com using the Seattle company’s API , include a published cache search (when planning roadtrips, for example), add the ability to save completed roadbooks and provide more language options for his website. “And I’m listening to users about their ideas, of course!”

Before signing off, he adds: “Give it a try for your next event; your guests will not be disappointed.”

*To create your own event roadbook, visit Baptiste T’s free GeoRoadbook website.

3 comments

  1. debaere

    What is this “book” you speak of? :)

    Seriously, aside from printing log books and label tags for TBs, the amount of paper I’ve used on geocaching is about 4 sheets. This would be cooler if it came in PDF format, or just downloaded a custom GPX file.

    My skeptical comments aside, the app itself is pretty cool. I just can’t for the life of me see how having a book of caches actually helps an event when most cachers I know are all digital these days.

    1. Surfoo

      PDF format is available of course :-)

  2. GSVNoFixedAbode

    Seems a perfect way to create a ‘Beginners’ version of a Geotour for non-cachers in a small area.

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