October 23, 2010


You may have heard or noticed that a new geocaching web service recently launched in the U.S., called Opencaching. According to the site's wiki page,

"The goal is to provide a higher quality cache listing service in a user friendly format with features that members of the geocaching community have requested. The main difference between opencaching and traditional listing sites is that all services are open to the users at no cost. Additionally, Opencaching sites allow users to rate and report on existing geocaches."

You can listen to an interview with Opencaching moderator, Dudley Grant, on both the PodCacher show #289.0, and on the Geocaching Podcast show #174, for a detailed discussion about what the site has to offer.

In my second post ever on this blog (I'm sure you remember), I identified some of the other geocache listing services out there, but explained that this blog would primarily focus on caches from geocaching.com, since that site has the largest database of caches and the most features. I am impressed, however, with the opencaching site (free is good, and the cache search page is excellent), but I think they have an uphill battle on their hands. 

I don't see a lot of people dropping their existing geocaching.com memberships and switching to opencaching, nor does it seem likely that new geocachers would choose opencaching over gc.com, when there are so many geocaches available through the Groundspeak site, and so few on opencaching (or the other sites like Navicache and Terracaching). That's not to say that people can't enjoy both, and initially, you might see cache owners from gc.com list their existing caches on opencaching.com too. But for now and the foreseeable future, gc.com has the advantage by way of sheer numbers:

Cache Listing Site
Total US Caches
Caches w/in 10-mile Radius of Geojoe HQ
 1,221,513 (worldwide)
 0 (3 w/in 100 mi.)
 ? (see map)

One thing worth noting, however, is that Opencaching offers many features that are currently not available or not allowed on geocaching.com, such as virtual caches and a cache rating system. Interestingly, these are some of the features that gc.com is currently considering bringing back and/or adding. Coincidence?

In spite of the relatively few caches currently available on opencaching.us, I did create an account (if, for no other reason, than to secure the user id name, "geojoe"), and will probably list some of my existing gc.com caches on the site just to see what happens. Take a look at the site and see what you think.

Cache On (and Go Giants)!

1 comment:

The Hekawi Tribe said...

I think OpenCaching could catch on quick, It may not ever reach GC status but it is another option for Geocachers. Right now there are no caches in my area within 100 miles so I am going to be placing an OpenCaching cache soon in Connecticut and I want to see how long before someone finds it.