OpenCaching vs OpenCaching - What's the Deal?

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OpenCaching vs OpenCaching - What's the Deal?

Post by DudleyGrunt » Wed Jul 18, 2012 12:58 pm

I've written up the following to share on my local caching forums. I'm considering additional material and will add here, as / if I expand it. If you're new to the site, use this for your edification. If you've been with us for a while or are familiar with the two sites, read over and let me know if you have any suggested additions / changes.

I'm hoping this will be something folks here could also share on their own local forums, once it is fleshed out / completed.

Image vs Image

Not surprisingly, after nearly 2 years, there still seems to be confusion about "OpenCaching". As one of the admins for OpenCaching North America ( / /, I thought I'd try to shed some light on the situation.

In short, there are 2 "OpenCaching" entities:

1) The (Nation-Based) OpenCaching Community (left, above) - started in Germany (2005) and Poland (2006) and later expanded to other countries, including the US (then North America, as a whole) on August 18, 2010 (opencaching.US). You can learn more and see links to each of these sites at Each nation-based site is run independently, but with cooperation with each other.

2) Garmin's (right, above) - Sometime in 2010, Garmin decided to launch their own geocache listing service. The site went live in December 2010 I believe this followed a "spat" of some sort between Groundspeak and Garmin. Despite, the existence of the above mentioned websites, Garmin decided to name their new site "OpenCaching" and acquired the domain

Unfortunately (IMO), the original OpenCaching Community never acquired the the "" domain. If they had, this whole confusing "mess" could have, most likely, been avoided.

So, what are some of the key differences / similarities between Garmin's site and "the original" OpenCaching community?

For the rest of this discussion, I'll refer to Garmin (opencachign.COM) and OpenCaching North America (OCNA / opencaching.US), since the latter is the specific OC Community site I work with and is the one area cachers are going to be using.

Garmin - Garmin, of course. Like Groundspeak, the site is run by a corporation with relatively significant money to invest in the site.
OCNA - Coffee Peddlers is the domain owner and chief admin. Site is run on a fully volunteer basis, essentially, as a not-for-profit entity.

Garmin - Strongly encouraged. A few clicks will allow you to import thousands of hides (or even finds) in a few moments. No direct not as to whether a cache is or is not crosslisted. No way to filter
OCNA - Permitted, but unique hides preferred. Crosslisting must be done manually (per cache). Cache page includes fields to list links to crosslistings. Special attribute "OC.US ONLY" available for caches that ARE unique to the site. Possible to filter searches to show only the unique hides.

Garmin - "Peer Reviewing" the site members vote up or down on caches. I've not participated in this, but from their forums, it seems to be someone problematic.
OCNA - Caches reviewed by site admins (Coffee Peddlers, 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 generally reviewed & published the same day.

Garmin - Traditional, Multi, Puzzle, Virtual
OCNA - Traditional, Multi, Quiz, Virtual, Moving, Webcam, Event, MP3, Guest Book, Dead Drop, BITcache, and Unknown (a catch all)

Both sites are completely free with all features available to all users.

Garmin - For Difficulty, Terrain, Size and "Awesomeness" (by finders), they use a sliding scale from 1.0 to 5.0 (in 0.1 increments - that's 49 possibilities for each).
OCNA - Traditional D/T scale. Traditional Size options, plus Extra Large. Cache finders can rate each cache on a 5 point scale AND can give a "Recommendation" to 1 out of every 10 finds (this is akin to, but predates Groundpeak's "Favorite Points").

An additional point about the history of OpenCaching North America.

RVRoadTrip (Jerry) launched OpenCaching.US, originally. After a while, he decided to focus more on his full-time RV missions work and less on geocaching. Around the same time, Coffee Peddlers was looking at launching OpenCaching.CA (Canada). After some discusssions, it was decided to re-work the existing US site into OpenCaching North America (OCNA) and add Mexico to make it one unified site for North America.

OpenCaching North America now can be reached from,, and
Dave, OCNA Team Member
For the smiles, not the smilies.
Maryland Geocaching Society

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Re: OpenCaching vs OpenCaching - What's the Deal?

Post by glorkar » Tue Jul 24, 2012 3:21 pm

Very nice write up on the differences. Global Moderator
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Re: OpenCaching vs OpenCaching - What's the Deal?

Post by k3iv » Sun Aug 26, 2012 1:58 am

I haven't looked at Garmin's site in about a year. I wonder if it has managed to get going at all. When I last looked, it was pretty much dominated by a rather negative frame if mind, I thought.

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Re: OpenCaching vs OpenCaching - What's the Deal?

Post by Mr.Yuck » Sat Sep 01, 2012 8:27 am

k3iv wrote:I haven't looked at Garmin's site in about a year. I wonder if it has managed to get going at all. When I last looked, it was pretty much dominated by a rather negative frame if mind, I thought.
Forums still dominated by a negative frame of mind. :lol:

There's an active thread right now about how you still amazingly cannot contact another player, over a year and a half since the website was launched. This is just mind boggling. That has to be the most basic feature of a Geocaching website, and you can even do it at Navicache. On the bright side for them, I suppose, they sent out a newsletter just a few days ago announcing they've hired a Geocacher off the street to be their liason within the Geocaching community. They announced this position in the forums a month or so ago, I believe. Looks like a very active, high number (in both finds and hides) Geocacher from the Wichita area. Garmin of course being Headquartered in Kansas.

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