“Our” Opencaching vs Garmin’s Opencaching, a comparison of sorts


Part two of two, You can find part one here. Since we at the world-wide Opencaching Network, which includes Opencaching North America, are often confused with Garmin’s Opencaching.com, I figured a blog post comparing the two listing services was in order early on in the history of this blog. This blog post is highly influenced by a post fellow OpencachingNA Admin Dudley Grunt made to his local Geocaching forum in July 2012, and he posted links to that post at the forums of all the U.S. based alternative Geocaching websites. I asked him if he wanted to come on and do a guest post, but he was OK with my using it as reference material, and I promised to not to plagiarize it too much!!

 Garmin: Like Groundspeak, the Garmin site is run by a corporation with relatively significant money to  invest in the site.
 OCNA:  The site is funded and run on a fully volunteer basis, essentially, as a not-for-profit entity. We pay for our three domain names and web hosting (at the well-known website host Rackspace.com) out of our pockets.

 Cross Listing:
 Garmin: Strongly encouraged. With a few mouse clicks, you can import thousands of hides or finds. Often runs contests encouraging listing caches on their website. There is no direct way to tell whether or not a cache is cross listed, and no way to filter for unique hides to their site in searches.
 OCNA: Permitted, but unique hides are preferred. The very first page in the cache submission process contains text that informs the hider that we accept cross listings, but prefer unique caches. The cache submission page contains fields to link to sites the cache may be cross listed on. We have a special attribute “OC.US ONLY” available for caches that ARE unique to the site. It is possible to filter searches to show only the unique hides via our “advanced search”.Currently, about 55% of our listings have the “OCUS ONLY” attribute, and we believe approximately 75% of the listings are unique.

 Garmin: None, per se. They have “Peer Reviewing”. The site members vote up or down on caches. The blog author has not participated in this, but from reading their forums, it seems to be often problematic.
 OCNA: Caches reviewed by three site admins (Mr.Yuck, DudleyGrunt, NativTxn), who treat our guidelines AS guidelines and can work with individual caches/cachers to approve things that might not be 100% within the listed guidelines. Caches are generally reviewed & published the same day. Since the blog author, Mr.Yuck, is a newbie admin, he has not reviewed any caches to date.

 Cache Types:
 Garmin: Traditional, Multi, Puzzle, Virtual.
 OCNA: Traditional, Multi, Puzzle, Virtual also. But we also list Moving, Webcam, BIT Caches, Events, MP3, Guest book and Unknown (a catch all).

 Membership Fees:
 Both sites are completely free, with all features available to all users.

 Rating of caches by users:
 Garmin: Finders can give caches a rating based on “Awesomeness”. Garmin uses a sliding scale from 1.0 to 5.0 (in 0.1 increments – that’s 49 possibilities for each).
 OCNA: Cache finders can rate each cache on a 5 point scale and can give a “Recommendation” to 1 out of every 10 caches they find (this is similar to, but predates Groundpeak’s “Favorite Points”).                          

4 thoughts to ““Our” Opencaching vs Garmin’s Opencaching, a comparison of sorts”

  1. In no way do the two sites compare. I just posted another OCUS only historical listing. I like Garmin products, but their geocaching site is quite flawed, and I have been a member of the site from the beginning. The site does have some good features, but it’s still beta after over two years. When the site was first launched, Jeremy Irish posted on his FB page about the site that if you put garbage in, you get garbage out. He was spot on with Garmin’s venture in a alternative and competive geocaching site to Groundspeak. I’m a history cacher and Waymarker that enjoys virtual listings, and I find more common ground with the members of OCUS.

    1. Sorry about the “Anonymous”, but I was not sure how to use the reply link. My geocaching user name is Manville Possum Hunters, and I have been the lead peer reviewer on OX from the beginning.I had great hopes for the site because of the Garmin name, and I enjoy virtual listings. I have gave up on the site, it just don’t make sense anymore. I was a peer reviewer that had hopes in making a better site than what Groundspeak has to offer, and I wanted it to have interesting virtuals, and not end up like Waymarking.com with listings of little or no interest. I just can’t stand to look at OX’s peer review anymore. I understand that the site is for beginners, and most that submit virtual listings never read the sites guidelines. Most peer reviewers are clueless also. I see GSA EarthCaches imported that require a photo and email to log, both are features that do not even exist on the site. I guess the bottem line is I have standards, and OX don’t. They will do anything to add numbers to their data base, mostly with contests. I listed exclusive geocaches and virtual listings on their site, and I feel that I earned a few PathTags during the contests

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