1. Geocaching.com Introduces "Challenge Caches"
On their Latitude 47 blog site this week, Groundspeak announced that "Challenge Caches" are coming soon, and provided us with this interesting, but not completely informative, video:
Like most who have seen this, I'm not quite sure what it means. Is this the long-awaited replacement for Virtual Caches? Possibly. But why call them "Challenge Caches" when an informal category of challenge caches has existed for years, including the likes of all the Quad, DeLorme, County and Fizzy Challenges? I guess we'll find out soon enough.
2. GSAK Version 8.0 Beta Release
The good people at GSAK (aka, Clyde) released version 8 in beta form this week. This is/will be a significant upgrade from the current version and includes many new features, the biggest being:
- Increased functionality by leveraging the new Groundspeak api
- Support for custom data (virtually unlimited number of fields)
- A newer, more modern look and feel
The first bullet item above is significant in that the GSAK program will now be able to interact directly with geocaching.com, giving you the ability to pull down cache data directly and instantly from the website into your GSAK database. The final release of version 8 will be a paid upgrade, but prices have not been announced yet.
If you are interested in running the beta program without losing your current version, you can install the v8 beta in a separate directory. There is no charge for downloading the beta product. Learn more at gsak.net.
3. Geocaching App for iOS 4.5.2 Released
A free update to the Geocaching iOS App is now available in the App Store. This release fixes a number of bugs including (1) the time/date bug which caused some logs to be posted "tomorrow" (a particular annoyance that I've discussed before), (2) searches returning incorrect cache sizes, and (3) a User Notes display problem.
4. Goodbye MapSource
GPS Tracklog reported this week that Garmin will no longer support its MapSource program, as they focus development efforts on Base Camp instead. Like a lot of long-time Garmin GPS users, this news is tough to swallow. I've tried Base Camp a few times, but it runs so slowly that I always end up coming back to MapSource. I guess it's time to make the permanent switch to Base Camp and hope that Garmin addresses the performance issues.