Comparing Geocaching WAP site and BCaching


Here’s a comparison between Geocaching.com’s WAP site functions and bcaching.com, hereafter referred to as GCWAP and BC.

View Cache Search

  • GCWAP requires entry of GC waypoint with or without the GC prefix.
  • BC does this too but will also search the cache name (although name search is only done near your current origin).

View Cache Detail

  • GCWAP includes name, gc#, owner, coords, short and long descriptions in plain text.
  • BC does this but also shows when it was hidden, when the last find was, size, difficulty, terrain, and also shows the full html version of the description with images and links (note: if the description exceeds a certain size only the plaintext version is shown and truncated at that, but then there is a link to view the complete original description.)
  • GCWAP and BC both show hints and travel bugs in the cache.
  • BC will also show additional waypoints
  • GCWAP will show the 5 most recent logs. These will always be the most recent and up to date.
  • BC will show as many logs as are available on BCaching. After the first pocket query, there may only be the most recent 5, but over time with regular updates, the number of logs will increase. However, it will only be as up to date as the most recent pocket query.
  • BC also shows the icons for the 8 most recent finds up top of the detail page so you know right away if there are a bunch of finds, DNFs, notes, etc.
  • BC provides links at the bottom of the details page to various GC pages: full detail, print view with logs (same as full detail but takes less bandwidth, Cache Owner profile page, Log, and Nearest caches).
  • GCWAP has a link to a google map image.
  • BC links to Google Mobile Maps or Blackberry Maps (both of these currently only work on Blackberries though).
  • GCWAP has super small pages and uses very little bandwidth.
  • BC has larger page sizes than GCWAP, but provides more information and sends the pages compressed with gzip if possible (supported by most modern mobile phone browsers).

Logs and Field Notes

  • GCWAP lets you write LIVE cache logs and drop off trackables from your inventory.
  • BC uses Garmin Colorado-style field notes that have to be later downloaded from BC and uploaded to gc.com. Trackable Inventory is managed independently of gc.com so they have to be logged in gc.com later when writing logs from the field notes.
  • BC also keeps track of your finds and can include the find# in your log.
  • BC can also include the find-time in your log and keep track of a recurring header to be included at the beginning of your logs.

Find Caches Near a Location

  • GCWAP lets you search by coordinates or zipcode and lists cache summary information with distance.
  • BC supports coordinates, zipcodes, and also city names. You can also find nearest caches from another cache.
  • BC displays summary information with distance and ALSO direction.
  • BC uses keeps track of where you are based on the field notes you write. As you travel from cache to cache and write a field note for each cache, BC automatically updates your origin based on the cache coordinates of the last field note.
  • GCWAP does not exclude caches you’ve already found from it’s list of nearby caches.
  • BC by default DOES exclude caches you’ve already found, but also lets you setup a custom filter similar to a pocket query: including cache types, container types, difficulty and terrain ranges, caches you’ve found, haven’t found or even own.

Travel Bugs

  • GCWAP lets you lookup trackables, view its detail, history, and write LIVE logs for pickup, discovers, and notes.
  • BC lets you lookup trackables, view LIMITED detail (with a link to the full gc.com page), NO history, and manage your FIELD inventory. All pickups and discovers must also be recorded later on gc.com.

New Features and Enhancements

  • GCWAP hasn’t changed much in years.
  • BC is under active PART-TIME development and I’m always looking for ideas to improve the site (The Travel Bug inventory management and Field Note headers functions were user requests).

BC Only (not applicable to GCWAP)

  • Since it can be a pain to have to keep a mobile/pda application up to date with the latest pocket queries, BC provides a personalized email address for each user to which GC pocket queries can be be sent to directly on a regular basis; eliminating the need to manually run and upload pocket queries.
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