[GeoStL] Disabled features at geostl.com

  • From: "Jack Konecker" <jackkonecker@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <geocaching@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 19 Oct 2005 20:48:36 -0500

I decided that after the recent changes to the
gc.com website, I don't have the patience to fix
the  perl script that gets data for recent logs,
member stats and new/archive caches.
Other webmasters who used to get the data for
their site the same way gave up a long time ago.
I've just been more stubborn on giving up. Until
now.  I've also resisted many requests from
webmasters to share my technique of getting the
data, for fear that the 'sleeping giant' would
wake up from all the noise and spoil it for

One small change in one of the gc.com web pages
can amount to hours of troubleshooting and
research for me.  The recent changes were not
trivial.  I know what needs to be changed to
make the Perl script work again. But I'm tired
of making the changes.

We've been flying below the radar by getting
data from the gc.com web site the way we have.
They know what we are doing. gc.com could cut
our access off at any time.  Other people are
doing the same thing we are.  Regardless of the
fact that we generate hundreds of referral
links as a result (which helps their Google ranking),
we have to tippy-toe around the sleeping giant.

There are more efficient ways to get the data
from gc.com, but Jeremy Irish and Groundspeak
refuse to enter into meaningful discussion about
sharing 'their' data.  Many groundspeak forum
threads have discussed it over the years.  Jeremy
won't even discuss the option of allowing geocaching
groups to pay an 'access fee' to extract localize
data. Many groups would pay that fee.  (I would
pay that fee).
People like me, who think that attitude is a cop-out,
have used technology to 'scrape' the data from
web pages (emulating a browser requesting pages
from their site), then saving the data in a database
and presenting it to their members (recent logs,
member stats and new caches).

On the bright site, my 'retirement' creates a vacuum
for new, ambitious individuals to fill.  Anyone feel
up to the challenge?

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