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Alternative Co-ordinates 
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Post Alternative Co-ordinates
Your development team is looking at developing capability to maintain alternative co-ordinates at Geocaching Australia. This is more than corrected co-ordinates for mystery or multi geocaches but will also potentially provide for future geocache types which are not at the listed co-ordinates. The way that people geocache will affect the way we development alternative co-ordinates so I am seeking the community's input before we head into a discovery of what is capable and feasible.

Assume (for the moment) that there is a geocache with listed co-ordinates at S37 55.000 E144 55.000 and the world is as it currently is with no changes.
These co-ordinates will place an icon on a map so you can visually see where the geocache is listed.
These co-ordinates will create a GPX (or other download) file.

If you were to provide alternative co-ordinates, say S37 55.555 E144 55.555
Do you want to see the alternative co-ordinates on the map, all the time?
Do you want to see the alternative co-ordinates on the map, some of the time?
Do you want to see the alternative co-ordinates in the download files all the time?
Do you want to see the alternative co-ordinates in the download files some of the time?

Let me pose a scenario.
Someone makes some GeoArt using geocaches. They may be traditional, mystery, multi, virtual, other, it doesn't matter what the geocache type is, they have false co-ordinates. They look very pretty on the map. You either provide or have provided to you alternative co-ordinates which will define the physical location of the geocache which will not be where the geocache is placed on the map.

WHEN do you want to have the MAP display the original co-ordinates (so you can see the pretty art) and WHEN do you want to have the MAP display the alternative co-ordinates so you can see where you need to go to find them physically? Same for a file download. WHEN do you want the co-ordinates to be provided as original co-ordinates vs. alternative co-ordinates?

I can envisage that some community member will want to have the MAP display the ORIGINAL location (e.g. the GeoArt) unless they are planning to seek the geocaches. If they are PLANNING to seek the geocaches, then the MAP displays the ALTERNATIVE locations (i.e. the actual geocache location). Then then the PLANNING is complete and the geocache has been FOUND, then they may want to see either the ORIGINAL location (i.e. The GeoArt is back) or remain in the ALTERNATIVE location (i.e. See where they have found actual geocaches).

The outcome of this discussion will be used to drive the discovery of what is desired for a given geocache and what we can do to make it simple and easy to switch between ORIGINAL (GeoArt) and ALTERNATIVE (actual location).

Your assistance and input will be very much appreciated so we can best balance the outcome for what YOU want rather than what the developers decide you want.

BTW: All calculations for distance, etc, will be calculated on the ORIGINAL listed co-ordinates. Alternative co-ordinates will not be used for any distance calculations.


14 August 17 12:59 pm
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Post Re: Alternative Co-ordinates
so the alternative coords would only be visible to me. i would want the alternative coords shown on my map so i knew where i needed to go if i was passing by a specific area so i would know if i was close or not really. after i find the cache and logged a find then i am in 2 minds. a mystery for example i think i would like the alternative coords to stay, but if it was something visually appeasing like geoart i would want them to return to original after being found.
not sure if that is helpful at all ](*,)


14 August 17 2:04 pm
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Post Re: Alternative Co-ordinates
Alternative co-ordinates would be visible only to the geocacher who created them, unless the geocache owner also had a set of public alternative co-ordinates.

So you would like the workflow to be:
ORIGINAL until you provide ALTERNATIVES;
then ALTERNATIVE until you have FOUND them;
then ORIGINAL after you have FOUND them.

That's a viable workflow 1.

Do you think you would ever want them to REMAIN as ALTERNATIVE even after you have FOUND them?


14 August 17 2:44 pm
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Post Re: Alternative Co-ordinates
A geocache has three sets of coordinates:

1. The initial published coordinates (exactly one), which indicate where the icon is placed on the map. For non-puzzle related geocaches (non-multi, non-mystery) this is the location where the container is hidden or the virtual is findable.

2. The additional published coordinates (none or more), which are to identify the location of waypoints on how to get to the geocache or other locations of importance for the player: beginning of tracks, parkings etc. These coordinates can be public for everybody or private only for the owner.

3. The user added coordinates (none or more), which are to identify calculated waypoints by the player: next waypoint, final location. These coordinates are private only for the owner.

Groundspeak shows only the initial one on the map with all geocaches and the first two on the map with the details of a single geocache. This is reasonable approach but will make you accidental miss out waypoints if you have them far from the initial published coordinates. See https://coord.info/GC63F09 as an example.

Personally I want to see all three on the map I'm looking at, an approach I took while creating Geocube. When a cache gets displayed or would get displayed even if the initial published coordinates are out of range for the current showed location, it shows all related waypoints for the current showed location, when a cache doesn't get displayed it will show none of the related waypoints.

And yes, download them all, all of the time.

Edwin


14 August 17 3:21 pm
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Post Re: Alternative Co-ordinates
Item 2. That is a Groundspeak construct and not part our way of thinking. We are not intending on providing this construct.
Item 3. There is only going to be 1 alternative co-ordinate set. The site does not have a mandate to track your journey to the geocache. The mandate is to provide a set of co-ordinates where you can find a geocache. So 1 set of co-ordinates, being your final alternative will be catered for.

This makes the work flow on the map:
ORIGINAL until you provide ALTERNATIVES;
then ORIGINAL and ALTERNATIVE.

For a download:
ORIGINAL and ALTERNATIVE.

There a few questions:

1. This will place two markers on the map; what is the proposal for identifying which one is an ORIGINAL set of co-ordinates and therefore not necessary to seek vs. an ALTERNATIVE set of co-ordinates which are the ones you will seek?

2. Are you going to want both pins on the map all the time or do you envisage a point where you will want them? Please bear in mind the more markers there are on the map, the larger the data download and the slower the users computer will run while it places all of the icons on the map. Think that if I create a 100 piece GeoArt puzzle right over your home location, you will see 100 geocaches listed on the map cluttering and covering other markers you may be interested is seeking.

3. What is the GPX file construct using the Groundspeak namespace that we can use to provide dual sets of co-ordinates? This is likely to be a technical limitation as there is no element for that use. However, if you have an alternative that we can't see, please let us know.


14 August 17 4:22 pm
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Post Re: Alternative Co-ordinates
caughtatwork wrote:
Alternative co-ordinates would be visible only to the geocacher who created them, unless the geocache owner also had a set of public alternative co-ordinates.

So you would like the workflow to be:
ORIGINAL until you provide ALTERNATIVES;
then ALTERNATIVE until you have FOUND them;
then ORIGINAL after you have FOUND them.

That's a viable workflow 1.

Do you think you would ever want them to REMAIN as ALTERNATIVE even after you have FOUND them?


Perfect!!!

My closest to home have a lot of Mystery Caches on GCA and no way of storing the solutions has been a real turn off.

Can't think why I want them to remain on a map where I have already found them.

Although, can I still see the solution?


14 August 17 7:07 pm
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Post Re: Alternative Co-ordinates
caughtatwork wrote:

3. What is the GPX file construct using the Groundspeak namespace that we can use to provide dual sets of co-ordinates? This is likely to be a technical limitation as there is no element for that use. However, if you have an alternative that we can't see, please let us know.


GPX files from Groundspeak provide the 'corrected' coordinates in place of the 'listed' coordinates with no indication of which they are. Only those apps or websites which use the API can ever differentiate between them as only their API will tell you which is which. Those apps or websites that do not or cannot use their API can never tell so it up to the user to remember if they corrected any particular coordinate or not.

In light of this I doubt that there is anything in their version of GPX files that can be used to provide an indication that the coordinates provided are listed or corrected directly as I think they would have done it already.

Of interest they bastardize the long description with the following for the extra waypoints like trailheads which apps like GSAK must be able to handle as GSAK doesn't display this in the long description but in a separate Additional Waypoint section.

Quote:
Additional Waypoints
TH30XXD - Gate
S 32° 26.028 E 115° 46.436
Gate to enter reserve. Parking nearby.
</groundspeak:long_description>


and for individual GPX downloads add extra wpt code like this one from GC30XXD

Quote:
<wpt lat="-32.4338" lon="115.773933">
<time>2011-07-26T03:32:43.353</time>
<name>TH30XXD</name>
<cmt>Gate to enter reserve. Parking nearby.</cmt>
<desc>Gate</desc>
<url>https://www.geocaching.com/seek/wpt.aspx?WID=d6b72bb1-e2e9-4351-87d7-b6d02e381c71</url>
<urlname>Gate</urlname>
<sym>Trailhead</sym>
<type>Waypoint|Trailhead</type>
</wpt>


and for PQ stuff all the extra additional waypoints are in a separate file.


14 August 17 7:41 pm
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Post Re: Alternative Co-ordinates
canary wrote:
caughtatwork wrote:
Alternative co-ordinates would be visible only to the geocacher who created them, unless the geocache owner also had a set of public alternative co-ordinates.

So you would like the workflow to be:
ORIGINAL until you provide ALTERNATIVES;
then ALTERNATIVE until you have FOUND them;
then ORIGINAL after you have FOUND them.

That's a viable workflow 1.

Do you think you would ever want them to REMAIN as ALTERNATIVE even after you have FOUND them?


Perfect!!!

My closest to home have a lot of Mystery Caches on GCA and no way of storing the solutions has been a real turn off.

Can't think why I want them to remain on a map where I have already found them.

Although, can I still see the solution?

I would imagine that we would retain your alternative co-ordinates whether they have been found or not. The workflow is when we show the original or the alternatives to you.


15 August 17 9:20 am
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Post Re: Alternative Co-ordinates
Thanks Chwiliwr.

<xsd:element name="wpt" minOccurs="0" maxOccurs="unbounded">
http://www.topografix.com/GPX/1/0/gpx.xsd

The base schema allows for multiple wpt elements. It then becomes a situation where the device or app reading the file would need to know what these additional waypoints are for. As the <type> elements is free form, any value Geocaching Australia add would need to match a Groundspeak value otherwise it will be ignored. As the GS schema is not enumerated, this is an unappealing rabbit hole.

This means we will only be able to provide one set of coordinates in the actual GPX file and I suspect we will end up providing the alternative co-ordinates in the download files vs. the original co-ordinates.

That's not a major issue in any workflow or process as I suspect that people would only use the GPX file for finding the actual geocache at the actual location which would be the alternative co-ordinates. It's a limitation, but not a dramatic one.


15 August 17 9:43 am
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Post Re: Alternative Co-ordinates
Following on from the previous post.

The GCA API (which is based on the OKAPI) allows for alternative waypoints in a manner which is much more easily implemented.

In the API we would likely provide the ORIGINAL co-ordinates and then provide the following:
alt_wpts - list of alternate/additional waypoints associated with this geocache. Each item is a dictionary.

The type is currently enumerated:
type - string, unique identifier for the type of waypoint; one of the following:
o parking, path, stage, physical-stage, virtual-stage, final, poi, other - used by OC itself, for detailed descriptions of these you'll have to refer to external Opencaching documenation,
o user-coords - extra coordinates supplied by the user who had found the cache (NOT the owner of the cache), most probably pointing to the final location of the cache (e.g. a quiz cache); this type of waypoint is available only in some installations and only if you're using Level 3 Authentication,
o more types may be added at any moment; unknown types should be treated as other.

We would most likely provide the alternative co-ordinates as "final" which indicates this is the final location of the geocache. We would ensure our API partners are aware that we would provide the additional information and the values so they could handle these situations.


15 August 17 9:49 am
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Post Re: Alternative Co-ordinates
I notice that at Groundspeak, if you have corrected co-ordinates, when you visit the geocache page it will tell you the corrected distance and direction. I notice that when I am doing a search for geocaches, the original co-ordinates are used and so the distance and direction are different. This results in an anomaly where the same geocache is reported on two pages as being different distances from home base.

Does this bother anyone? I suspect this is a performance limitation and may not be able to be addressed at GS or at Geocaching Australia, but I'll ask the questions anyway.


15 August 17 10:03 am
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Post Re: Alternative Co-ordinates
is there a scenario where i wouls want the alternative coords to remain after i found a cache. yes.
if the more relevant plave to look back on is the alternative coordinate then i would prefer it to stay there. i would only really want it returned to its original location after i found it if it was purposely put there for visual aesthetics such as for geoart. in saying that how geo art shows up on groundspeak map vs how it shows on GCA map are different. especially for art that shows colours. so may only be half relevant at the moment.

i am struggling to think of the ideal work flow. as i can see scenarios where i would like different types or would not like different types
eg
if the flow was ORIGINAL then user input ALTERNATIVE until found then after find then BOTH
would allow you too see the original effect while also keeping reference to where you found it BUT if there was a alrge piece of art then that double the pins which would clutter the map

if flow was ORGINAL then ALTERNATIVE and stayed alternative then the original effect intended by the user may be lost

If ORIGINAL then ALTERNATIVE and then after found return to ORIGINAL then you i guess the worst part about it is you would have to just manually look at the alternative if you need to go back to that cache which generally is unlikely... so i guess that really isnt much of a problem.

i guess it all depends on the intended usage of these alternative coordinates

but i think my preferance would be ORIGINAL-ALTERNATIVE-find-ORIGINAL


15 August 17 10:49 am
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Post Re: Alternative Co-ordinates
this is all of course catering to how i use GCA which is primarily with a phone and not with GPS or GPX files


15 August 17 10:53 am
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Post Re: Alternative Co-ordinates
For Mystery, Multi, etc where you need to input the alternative co-ordinates we seem to be heading towards displaying them on the map in the following manner:
i.e. ORIGINAL -> User determines and provides alternative co-ordinates -> ALTERNATIVE -> FIND -> ORIGINAL

For a GeoArt series, there may be two sets of co-ordinates. The ORIGINAL and the cache owner would provide the ALTERNATIVE as well. You would need to check a box on the cache page to have the map display the ALTERNATIVE co-ordinates. Then one you have found the geocache it would go back to displaying the ORIGINAL.
i.e. ORIGINAL -> User Checks a Box which set the alternatives for the user -> ALTERNATIVE -> FIND -> ORIGINAL

Same workflow, two different actions to get the alternative co-ords.
1. Determine from a puzzle or something.
2. Tick a box to set the alternatives.

We could also consider having an override per geocache where you set set whether you want to see the ORIGINAL or ALTERNATIVE co-ordinates. The default would be as above, but if you wanted to have the alternatives so you can see what's around when you're hding, you could override the default.

Hope that makes some sense :-)


15 August 17 11:35 am
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Post Re: Alternative Co-ordinates
it does makes sense. tink a checkbox to allow the user to change would be good.
would you go along the line of having a tick box on each cache, or would it be a bulk map tick box all or nothing style?


15 August 17 12:03 pm
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