Geocaching Australia history [closed]

Discussion about the Geocaching Australia web site
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Geocaching Australia history [closed]

Post by ideology » 28 March 03 5:03 pm

Geocaching Australia started out when we read Team Chaos' web-site and were distracted by the pop-up ads. So, we thought we'd provide ad-free web space where people could publish their stories in some kind of linked community.

We didn't want to get into the cache-directory game because we liked the idea of a central repository.

Soon after, the Lane Cove cache was removed and there was a flurry of
widely distributed emails about ecological damage. We realised that
there were local issues that were outside the scope of the secondary site
and that Geocaching Australia could help facilitate through a local
discussion board, voting and other network-community things.

Two other local discussion boards emerged, and one accidently discovered the Geocaching Australia site, which we hadn't yet announced. Rather than duplicate those, we set up Geocaching Australia as a simple portal with links to all the caching pages we knew of.

Cachers started finding online maps and were doing manual coordinate conversions to plot caches. So we wrote a simple program called Cheatisearch (we thought it was cheating at the time!) to convert coordinates and link into the online maps. It was soon stopped by one of the online mapping sites that didn't like deep-linking. So we added some javascript which hid the referer string and linked into some other online mapping sites.

We realised that it was dangerous to rely on other sites, so we started building our own database of caches, airports, cities, coastlines, roads, railways, waterways and all sorts of stuff. We soon got a little mapping program which we called the Planner, and linked that into CheatiSearch. They are still ticking along on the site.

Over time we realised that the direction that the secondary site was going wasn't what we wanted to do. It seemed to us that the sport was being dumbed down to the lowest common denominator. So we figured that we should build an escape route just in case the US went off in a different direction.

We started building the infrastructure to add and log caches. We didn't turn it on because we weren't sufficiently annoyed with the US situation. One day one of the Australian cachers suggested we plot all our houses on a map. We turned on that part of the functionality and half a dozen or so cachers put in their home coordinates and saw their waypoint on the map.

We are now modifying the underlying infrastructure to speed it up and support cache setting, logging, etc. We aren't sure whether it will ever be used, but our concerns about the secondary site are growing with their recent unilateral decision to stop moveable caches.
Last edited by ideology on 16 June 04 10:57 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Mix » 02 May 04 7:33 pm

We aren't sure whether it will ever be used
I have a feeling it may. I had never read this post, obviously because I cam late to the party, as did others so I am sure others have not seen it. If the day does come we need to turn away from the evil empires cache listing service its good to know i! have planned ahead.

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