Did You Know…? Five Controversial Things About Geocaching.com

Geocaching.com was early on the subject of controversy. Did you know…

…that the sites’ creator, Jeremy Irish, tried to trademark the word “geocaching”? He did so when the word had already been used for months as the common term for the hobby, and failed.

…that Groundspeak Inc, then Grounded Inc, wanted to file a lawsuit against Navicache.com for the use of the word “geocaching”? This too failed, and Navicache responded by increasing their site activities and making it a full-fledges site for geocache listings.

…that banner ads, merchandise sales and paid memberships were used to fund geocaching.com? This despite many attempts to keep geocaching non-commercial.

…that geocaching.com used to censor the names of other geocaching websites? People were not allowed to utter them or link to them on geocaching.com.

…that the site tried to merge the much older hobby of letterboxing with geocaching, which was resisted by many members.

Source: geocaching.gpsgames.com.

8 thoughts on “Did You Know…? Five Controversial Things About Geocaching.com

  1. You list two of these like they are no longer happening and were only happening in the beginning.
    Obviously Groundspeak continues to use banners, merchandise, and paid membership for funding.
    Groundspeak continues to censor other sites, like Opencaching. They even censor sites that are not geocaching, like Munzee and Pathtags.

  2. yes… the “seven letter dirty ‘P’ word”.. “pathtag”. I still laugh at the thread in a forum I accidentally got locked and deleted just trying to figure out what pathtags were, and what to do with them, when I found one in a cache. oops!
    I wouldn’t recommend repeatedly typing that word when trying to get answers in the same thread in the midst of all the “IBTL’s” as to WHY you shouldn’t say certain words in the forum. “Huh? Why can’t I say ‘Pathtag’?” “So nobody is going to tell me what to do with the pathtag?” “Are pathtags in competition with geocoins or something?” “pathtag pathtag..pathtag pathtag pathtag?” haha not really that last one, although you would think so by the effect it had. Weeee… noob problems.

      • Clever little geocoin look-a-likes that are stashed within a cache (preferably a cache with a high-muggle risk so you have to move quickly, therefore not inspecting the swag too closely) Their purpose is to confuse noobs, and lead them to the forums, that place where all their previous questions were answered so kindly, so the noob hazing can begin. 😉

  3. I am one of the new owners of Navicache.com and we are going to be relaunching the site soon. Wondering what sort of flak we are going to get from geocaching.com when we start ramping up.

    • “I am one of the new owners of Navicache.com and we are going to be relaunching the site soon.”

      Why are you doing this?

      I don’t see why we need another geocaching listing site. Even if you give Navicache.com a very desperately needed site update and purge all the listings that aren’t really there anymore, what is your site going to offer that isn’t offered by Groundspeak, Garmin’s Opencaching, OpencachingUS, or Terracaching? (Not to mention some caching sites I am vaguely aware of used solely by foreign sites.)

  4. I don’t know why these things are “controversial”…they are a company who makes money, and they make certain steps to protect terms (through attempting to copyright them), gain capital from ads and membership, and can censor whatever they want on their site. No different from any other company out there.


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