TAG :: Toronto Area Geocachers » 2010 » December

Dec 25 2010

Merry Christmas, from everyone here at TAG!

If you find a GPS under the tree, make sure you pop out and find a cache with it for the Ontario Public Holidays Challenge Cache too!

Dec 22 2010

Garmin has release a second round of firmware updates for their Geocaching capable receivers.

GPSMAP 62/78 v2.92: Download

  • Fixed issues with WAAS/EGNOS
  • Fixed issue with progress bar displaying properly on power up
  • Fixed issue with track navigation not adding waypoints to the Active Route list when they are exactly equal to a track point

Oregon v4.12: Download

  • Fixed issues with WAAS/EGNOS
  • Fixed issue with photo viewer not displaying correctly
  • Fixed issue with 3D view
  • Fixed issue with track navigation not adding waypoints to the Active Route list when they are exactly equal to a track point

Oregon x50 v4.32: Download

  • Fixed issues with WAAS/EGNOS
  • Fixed issue with moon not showing on sun and moon page
  • Fixed issue with photo viewer not displaying correctly
  • Fixed issue with progress bar displaying properly on power up
  • Fixed issue with waypoint distances showing significantly off in the waypoint manager
  • Fixed issue with 3D view
  • Fixed issue with track navigation not adding waypoints to the Active Route list when they are exactly equal to a track point

Dakota v3.82: Download

  • Fixed issues with WAAS/EGNOS
  • Fixed a hang that occurred when a unit had 1000 auto-named waypoints
  • Fixed issue with track navigation not adding waypoints to the Active Route list when they are exactly equal to a track point

As always, use at your own risk.  If you have to go back  to a previous version of firmware it will reset all your settings to default.

Dakota software version 3.82

Dec 22 2010

I’ve pulled together some handy searches for quickly finding which caches are most favourited on the site in Ontario, and which caches are the newest in Ontario. Upcoming events are always posted first in the Newest Caches list, which makes that particularly handy.

I’ll be using that last one for planning my cache outings. I’ve added a couple of them to the TAG links under “Geocache Listing Sites”. Some of these links will require you to have a Premium Membership on the Geocaching.com site.

I also found a great article for power using the Geocaching.com website by GizmoGuy411. It’s great resource if you want to make your own custom, bookmarkable searches too.

Dec 22 2010

The Ontario Geocaching Association, the geocaching group that covers all of Ontario, are electing their next executive now. If you’d like to run for a position with the Association, you have until January 1 to register your intent.

From the OGA site:

It has been 2 years that most of the current OGA Executives have held their positions and it is time once again for OGA elections. There are 10 executive positions up for grabs which are: President, Vice-president, Secretary, Treasurer, Webmaster and 6 Regional Executive Officers (one from each region: Southwestern, Golden Horseshoe, Central, Eastern and Northern and an Executive at Large). Elections are open to all premium OGA members. Would you like to be part of the OGA Executive team? If you would like to run for a position, please indicate your intent by sending an email with you Real Name, Geocaching ID and which position you want to run for to [email protected] by January 1, 2011. Make sure you receive a confirmation reply within a few days. For all of the information on Elections and the various Executive positions, refer to the OGA Bylaws.

A list of current candidates can be found here: 2011 OGA Election.

Dec 21 2010

Groundspeak just posted a new “Holiday Card” on their Youtube channel. Enjoy!

Dec 21 2010

Groundspeak has relaunched the Geocaching.com site after today’s highly anticipated update. The core features are in place, and obviously people are taking notice as the site is getting slammed right now traffic wise. Here’s some of the new functionality you can now play with on the site.


The most impressive of the new features is the update to the maps. You can now view a lot more information on the screen, and there is no 500 cache limit on the map anymore … in fact, there is no limit at all any more. This makes locating a cache cluster much easier, and helps to easily visualize an area you may be visiting without all that pan/zoom madness that was on the old maps. You can also easily grab a link (URL) for the map to easily share with others.

When zoomed out past 500 metres, the display will change to coloured boxes instead of icons. You can change the map type displayed easily from the usual Google Road/Satellite/Terrain and also MapQuest, Bing and event OpenStreet Map and OpenCycle.

There is also a promise of “Geocaching Social” in the future, which will most likely utilize live.geocaching.com and/or the Geocaching.com mobile apps to show where your friends are geocaching on the map.  To use the new map, you’ll need to click on the “View the Map Beta” link at the top left of the screen when you head to a map page.


This is the implementation of the oft requested rating system for caches. Rather than go with a 1-5 rating for various attributes of the cache, Groundspeak has opted to use a system where you can mark a cache you have found as a “Favorite”

You get 1 “Favorite” point for every 10 geocaches you visit. Multiple “Found it” logs on a cache count as one visit.  On cache pages which have been marked, you will see how many people have marked that cache as a Favorite. Click on the badge and you will see who they are, and have a link to their log entry for that cache.

At the moment, Pocket Queries do not support filtering on Favorites, but it is planned for the future.


Groundspeak acquired mygeocachingprofile.com so we were expecting this change. On every cacher’s profile page there is a new tab, “Statistics“. The tab does what you’d expect and shows various stats about your caching history. One nice touch is that the oddball caches, like that Virtual in Germany or the moving cache in BC are not included when calculating the distance stats.

While you can use the mygeocachingprofile.com web page, or the FindStatsGen macro for GSAK to get a lot of these statistics (and more), the stats on the Geocaching.com site are created automatically with no need to download your MyFinds PQ and wait for the number crunching. It’s a convenient way to flip back and forth between your friends if you’re sharing a challenge cache for example the Cache a Day or Fizzy challenges.

The statistics tracked at launch include:

  • Your find rate caches/day
  • Your longest find/no find streaks
  • Your best day, month, year for number of caches found
  • Finds/month (graphed)
  • Finds for Each Day of the Year
  • Cache types/ container types  found
  • Difficulty and Terrain Matrix (for Fizzy challenges et al)
  • Farthest distances travelled to find a cache

Dec 21 2010

The long awaited update to the geocaching.com web site has begun today shortly after 2pm.

The three main updates are:

  • Geocaching Favorites
  • Geocaching Maps
  • Geocaching Statistics

You can read more about it here:  Geocaching.com site update 12/21/10

Geocaching Favorites

Dec 21 2010

The Groundspeak forums came back with a mainly cosmetic update last night. Logging in, it’s quite easy to notice the entire forum has a much nicer look and feel to it. The core functionality appears to be pretty much the same, though there are performance enhancements in the background. This will hopefully get rid of those forum timeout messages and duplicate posts that have plagued the system for years.

Jeremy posted this to describe the update:
As you may have noticed, the forums underwent a complete renovation on Monday, December 20. It was long overdue and will hopefully come with some much needed performance enhancements. There is still some drywall dust and spent nails around the place, so we’ll likely be making adjustments for the next couple of days. However, all the content for the last 9 years is still here and ready to search. We’re looking forward to continuing the conversation! Jeremy & Elias

Sadly, while the RSS subscription is more prominently displayed, it is still limited in that you get the first post of a topic only – no subscribing to replies in the forums via your favourite newsreader.

A wonderful development is the mobile device support. The forum detected my iPhone and switched to a touch  friendly layout, optimized for the small screen. This also worked for me running on my Android device. It did not correctly detect my Blackberry Bold 9700 (OS 6), or my Windows Mobile Device (Touch Pro2) and produced the desktop version of the forums on those devices.

Forum upgrades have been requested by the community for years and the responses of “it’s coming” had taken on an almost Duke Nukem: Forever persona where it was widely believed we’d never see an actual update.  This upgrade kicks off Groundspeak’s major site update with the rest of the pieces falling into place later today.

Dec 20 2010

The forums suddenly went offline this afternoon at Groundspeak. Looks like some maintenance is going on there now. Could this be the much requested forum upgrades, or are we looking at something more basic like a server hardware upgrade. Given that tomorrow is the “big” upgrade we’re all waiting for, I wonder …. The forum upgrades are expected to last the rest of the day, and tomorrow’s Geocaching.com site upgrade kicks in at 1PM EST.

Dec 20 2010

Interesting development last week. You might have just found a Locationless cache, even if you started geocaching after 2006. Moun10bike made a small change to a cache listing, with an interesting side effect.

The cache in question is one that was common to log as an “armchair” find – GCF55a “Four Windows”, by Faxenmacher. This cache had a riddle about a house with four windows on it. If you answered the riddle correctly, you emailed the cache owner and you could log a find. 9,682 people did just that. The cache is no longer loggable, as it was archived and locked back in 2003.

Only one small issue, that the recent addition of “Souvenirs” brought to light. The cache was posted at N 55° 57.000  E 4° 00.000, in Niedersachsen, Germany. That meant 9,682 people got the Niedersachsen Souvenir, and many of those people had never travelled to Germany!

So, on the weekend, Moun10bike changed the listing from a Virtual to now be a Locationless type. This will also have an effect that the Stats tab coming tomorrow (and the MyGeocachingProfile.com site) – it won’t be telling a bunch of  Torontonians their farthest East cache find was in Germany (unless, of course you’ve been to Germany geocaching). Of course, when a change like this is made to a grandfathered cache or cache type, forum drama is sure to follow.

Since the cache is now locationless, it has no co-ordinates to mess with the stats programs. If you logged this cache in the past, you now have the locationless icon. On the flip side, you may have lost the Virtual icon if that was your only virtual find.

UPDATE: 2:00PM – Moun10Bike has changed it back to a Virtual:

Okay folks, I heard your concerns and have changed “Four Windows” back to what it was originally, a virtual. Since the Niedersachsen souvenir has already been retroactively awarded, this change back won’t affect that aspect of the souvenir.