Posted by: geonarcissa | December 11, 2010

More on Opencaching.com

Love it or hate it, this new site is generating tons of buzz.

Some of us are determined to be early adopters while others seem to be staunchly opposed to the new site’s existence. If you’re just looking for more information about what it is before you make any decisions, here are some links to look at.

First of all, here’s Garmin’s official announcement about the new site.

This article is full of praise for the new site and its purported objective: “… OpenCaching.com lets users rank the Awesomeness in addition to size, terrain and difficulty. These four factors are displayed in a “bulls-eye” illustration for each cache, giving geocachers a unique and vivid idea of the fun that lies ahead. And cachers themselves can rate these factors, turning the bulls-eye illustration into a true representation of peer reviews.”

The Gear Caster has written a pretty balanced piece about the new geocache listing service. Here’s an excerpt: “…Garmin did not currently plan to use OpenCaching as an advertising platform for their devices but they may have strategic ‘product placement’ in How To videos, etc. Garmin also has no plans to directly copy the Trackables or Geocoins from Geocaching.com, but is instead looking to bring their own fun and unique interactive initiatives and events to the community.”

I think he's cute.

This short article discusses some of the challenges the new site is going to face if they hope to be a serious competitor. The author’s take is that “Garmin seems to be gunning for a robust springtime readiness” with the new site.

It’s interesting to note that Garmin’s new venture is bringing media attention to the game in a manner that is somewhat unique. It’s not every day that stock market traders take an interest in our game, for example. Garmin is a big company, and the new site could have far-reaching impact for the game.

A lot of the praise, optimism, and enthusiasm around the new site seems to be centred on its API, which will allow developers to access their data and create compatible applications. The lack of a public API has long been a major criticism of Geocaching.com, who were mysteriously quick to announce the release of their own API fast on the heels of Garmin.

I’m still cautiously optimistic that competition between two listing sites might be positive for the game. It remains to be seen.

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