New souvenir: Blue Switch Day 2021!

It’s no secret that GPS is a huge part of our lives. When we find the fastest way to work, check the weather at our location, tag our location on social media, or order a ride share or dinner from an app, GPS is responsible for it all. We can even add finding a geocache to this list! This is all thanks to a change made to GPS in the year 2000

When GPS was first developed, it was only available for use by the U.S. military. Eventually GPS was opened up to civilians but with Selective Availability. This meant that although everyone had access, the accuracy was lowered for civilians. On May 2, 2000 the U.S. government “flipped the switch” so high-accuracy GPS was available to everyone. For reasons unknown, geocachers know this as Blue Switch Day. However, there really wasn’t a blue switch!

Opening up accurate GPS technology to everyone around the globe launched a flow of innovation and new cutting-edge technology that changed the world forever. It created an entirely new world of possibilities. It’s not a coincidence the first geocache was hidden on May 3, 2000, and the game of geocaching was born!

We recognize that for many of us in our community going outside to earn this souvenir is not an option right now based on advisories from public health authorities. Due to these circumstances we decided to make the Blue Switch Day souvenir available from May 2 through December 31, 2021.

Starting May 2 through the end of the year, earn the Blue Switch Day 2021 souvenir by finding a geocache, Adventure Lab®, or attending an Event.

Emily Woerly
Emily is a Community Coordinator at Geocaching HQ. She's a native Texan raised in the Midwest and enchanted by the Pacific Northwest. You can usually find her lost in a guidebook planning her next adventurous travels.