10 things you didn’t know about Geocaching.com


Ok, Ok, so you probably do know some of these things but I thought it was a good title for the blog. πŸ˜‰ I thought I’d put an entry together about all of the cool little things I’ve learned after using the site for a good few years. Hopefully someone will learn something from this…

1. You can add dynamically updating stats to your geocaching.com profile

Thanks to Groundspeak giving access to the Live API to developers we now have project-gc. This site allows you to get up to date statistics about geocaches as well as your Geocaching statistics. In the past you would have to use GSAK to manually generate your stats and copy and paste the html code to your profile page on a regular basis to keep up to date. Thanks to Project-GC we can now just paste the code in once and it will automatically update itself!!!

To do this, visit the Profile stats page of the site and click ‘Create dynamic image HTML code‘. You will be instantly given the link to add your stats to your profile. Simply paste it in and you’re up to date! πŸ™‚

Part of the profile stats that will appear on your Geocaching profile page

Part of the profile stats that will appear on your Geocaching profile page

2. You can adopt a travel bug from another user

I think a lot of cachers are aware that if you can no longer maintain a cache you can allow someone to adopt it. The same is true of travel bugs. Simply go to the same Geocaching.com Adoption page and enter the TB number instead of the GC code:

Put your TB up for adoption!

Put your TB up for adoption!

3. You can quickly log multiple travel bugs at once

If you’ve been to an event and discovered many Travel bugs it can take a considerable amount of time to log them all once you get home. The Log them all website allows you to quickly log a long list of Travel Bugs with a generic discovery log. It will also tell you how many minutes you saved by letting the website do it for you! πŸ™‚

Enter the list of codes and a generic message, click submit and the website will do the hard work!

Enter the list of codes and a generic message, click submit and the website will do all of the hard work!

P.S. Project-GC allows you to do this too, but I’ve highlighted log them all as it was around first! πŸ™‚

4. You can log a premium cache as a non-premium member

Groundspeak have left a little workaround in their system so that (for example) if a family caches and each child has their own geocaching account you don’t need to have multiple premium accounts in order to log premium caches, just one. To be able to do this follow this procedure.

1. Log in on the computer using your premium account.
2. Locate the premium cache that you wish to log and pull up the page. Click ‘Log your visit’ to get the log page to appear.
3. Click ‘Sign out’ in the top right-hand corner of the screen.
4. Enter the username and password of the user with the basic account and log in.
5. You will automatically be redirected to the log page of the premium cache that the previous user was just viewing and can log the find πŸ™‚

In step 10 I’m going to detail how you can use the program ‘GSAK‘ to log multiple caches at once and speed up logging times. It’s worth noting that you can also log premium caches as a non-premium member through this method.

5. You can change the Geocaching.com maps

If you change the map selection on Geocaching.com to ‘Leaflet‘ by clicking the ‘Set map preferences‘ button you will have a lot more mapping options when viewing the caching map on the website.

dsfds

Setting map preferences gives you a longer list of viewable maps

If you use the Firefox or Chrome internet browsers you can install the ‘Greasemonkey’ user script manager program. Basically this means that you can add a load of custom add-ons to your browser that other people have created. One of those add-ons allows you to view OS maps on your Geocaching.com maps.

To do so, first download Greasemonkey/Tampermonkey from here (Firefox users) or here (Chrome users). Next install ‘Geocaching map enhancements’ from here. Now when you next visit Geocaching.com you will have the option to show caches on OS maps.

Geocaches on an OS map on Geocaching.com

Geocaches on an OS map on Geocaching.com

6. Add URLs and formatting to logs

Geocaching logs support the use of BB code. This means you can format your Geocaching.com logs to make them a little more exciting, or add in URL links. For example:

[b]Thanks[/b] for the cache –> Thanks for the cache
Thanks for the [i]cache[/i] –> Thanks for the cache
[u]Thanks for the cache[/u] –> Thanks for the cache
Click [url=https://geocass.wordpress.com/]here[/url] to visit my blog –> Click here to visit my blog

7. You can get Geocaching wallpaper for your desktop

Just a little fun tip, you can pick up a range of Geocaching wallpapers here. A lot of them feature Signal and are really quite cute. πŸ™‚ They also feature different wallpapers for different months.

8. You can quickly check all of the caches in the country

From the cache search page, simply select ‘United Kingdom‘ from the ‘Country‘ drop-down box.

Select 'United Kingdom' from the country drop-down

Select ‘United Kingdom’ from the country drop-down

This will give you every cache in the country and the exact number of caches there (149,792 at the time of writing!). Here is the quick link to do that. From here you can then click the favourites column and find the top favourites in the country. Here is the quick link to do that.

I hope to cover it in more depth in a future blog entry, however at this point I’ll mention the project-GC website that is very good at giving cache statistics. For example you can see how many caches are in each area of the country by clicking here.

Active geocaches in the UK and the areas that they are in.

Active geocaches in the UK and the areas that they are in.

9. You can use Geograph to automatically show images near a cache location

If you’ve followed the steps in section 5 and installed Greasemonkey, you can also install the “Geograph Images” userscript. This modifies the cache pages that you view so that they also include the nearest images on Geograph. This can be really handy for quickly seeing what’s around a cache location as the closest 4 images from Geograph will automatically be shown on the cache page.

The geograph images that are shown on a cache page

The geograph images that are shown on a cache page

10. You can make logging multiple caches easier using GSAK

My full famous GSAK 8 user guide is available here however I know a lot of people use GSAK who don’t realise you can use it to publish logs so I thought it’d be worth a mention here as it saves oodles of time! Full details are on page 50 of my guide, however the gist of it is that you can upload the text file from your GPS into GSAK that stores your cache finds as you mark them as found on the GPS. You can then open the list in GSAK and write your logs for each cache and then publish them in one hit. This saves lots of time as firstly you don’t have to remember every cache that you have found and try to find it on the site. Secondly you don’t waste time opening the cache page and then loading the log page.

Cache list in GSAK

Cache list in GSAK

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12 Responses to “10 things you didn’t know about Geocaching.com”

  1. Annemarie Halls Says:

    Thanks for another fantastic blog Cass. I learnt loads more things, even after having been caching for 4 years. Love all the little tricks that are available to make caching easier.

  2. TofLaBeuze Says:

    It’s always useful to recall these great functions, thanks Cass !

  3. Malcolm Bland Says:

    Sadly, the ‘phone App, which allows cachers to log caches at the time of finding, also encourages the briefest of logs to be sent by cachers in a hurry. One I received was simply ‘!’ . TFTC is a common complete log. This is both disappointing & discouraging for those of us who spend time and thought on placing interesting caches.
    Logging multiple caches ‘to save time’ will only serve to further lower the standard of logs. This is not progress.
    On the other hand, GeoCass stands out as a thoughtful, interesting and conscientious logger and I always enjoy reading what she has to say. What a shame many new cachers seem to think that the object is to rush round accumulating numerical statistics instead of contributing meaningfully to the activity. Just scroll down any set of cache logs to see what I mean.
    Rant over!!

    • geocass Says:

      You do of course have a very good point, Malcolm. However I think the people that leave rubbish or tiny logs will leave the same logs regardless of whether they are doing it on their phone, through GSAK or through the Geocaching.com website. Some people just don’t realise the importance of sharing their caching adventures. When I gave my GSAK talk I encouraged all of those listening to not just use it to add rubbish logs. The time that they save doing it quickly should be put to good use by writing better logs. That’s what I hope anyway! πŸ™‚

  4. Quest for the Blowing Stone Part 2 | The Ivy Covered Tree Says:

    […] Just found this useful blog post today: https://geocass.wordpress.com/2013/07/08/10-things-you-didnt-know-about-geocaching-com/ – 10 things you didn’t know about geocaching.com. […]

  5. Sarah Says:

    Thank you Cass… you have made my day. DS2 can now log his PM cache he was STF on πŸ˜€

  6. Phetlern (Australia) Says:

    Thanks for the info Cass . . . . knew most of your hints but always interested in learning more.

  7. Be-con Says:

    Thanks Cass, very interesting info – now I’m off to try some of these hints!

  8. grinning_buddha Says:

    Hi Cass,
    Re “5. You can change the Geocaching.com maps”
    userscripts.org appears to be no more, but you can still download the GME script from
    https://openuserjs.org/scripts/jri/inge.org.ukuserscripts/Geocaching_Map_Enhancements
    and there’s more information about the script at http://geo.inge.org.uk/gme.htm

    grinning_buddha

  9. Michael Greene Says:

    It appears the Geocaching Map Enhancements and the Geograph Images userscript links are not valid. Can we still have these features?


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