Groundspeak Weekly Newsletter – April 27, 2011

Website Downtime Wednesday, May 4

On May 4, 2011, Geocaching.com, Waymarking.com, Wherigo.com and all related mobile applications will be going down for several hours as we perform site maintenance. You may or may not be aware that Groundspeak’s servers are powered by hamsters.* We are adding several additional hamsters to the mix**, which should fix website service issues. Groundspeak products will go offline around nine am Pacific Daylight Time (UTC/GMT -seven hours). We are not sure how long it will take to complete the upgrade; we estimate four to six hours, but it may be more or less. We will be providing updates on the 4th via Facebook and Twitter. When the Groundspeak products come back online, Geocaching.com will have an updated look and the website performance will be improved.

*Our servers are not powered by hamsters
**Upgrading our database server


Throw a Geocaching-Themed Celebration!


Who doesn’t love a treasure hunt? The pursuit of hidden treasure turns people of all ages into outdoor adventurers. We are following the dotted line to where X marks the spot, only nowadays the dotted line is a GPS device and the X is a geocache.

The universal appeal of geocaching makes it a great activity for any celebration. It entertains and serves as a great teambuilding activity at children’s birthday parties, family gatherings, company meetings, and other events.

Geocaching.com member fatman1969 recently threw a geocaching-themed birthday party for his daughter Jordan. He hid goodie bags in the woods near the party and marked their coordinates. Each girl drew a number and received a set of coordinates. She then navigated to the location and found her hidden “geocache” (goodie bag). fatman1969 says, “I think the girls really enjoyed it.”

Guests at your geocaching-themed celebration can search for geocaches already hidden nearby or seek temporary geocaches that you have hidden for the event. Temporary geocaches cannot be listed on Geocaching.com, but you can create your own course by following these three steps at each cache location:

1. Hide the cache

2. Mark the coordinates on your GPS device

3. Input these coordinates into any other devices that you will use for the event

4. Set the teams loose to go find their geocaches

In some cases, it may be better to hide your own caches for the event since you may want to target them to a specific age group or fill them with extra special SWAG. You should still obtain land owner or land manager permission to hide these caches. This will help to ensure that your celebration is not interrupted or cut short by a concerned individual. Please remember to clean up the area when your party is over!

Have you thrown a geocaching-themed party? Tell us about it on Facebook or Twitter.