Joined: Sep. 2004
||Posted: Dec. 13 2004,10:01 am
|Quote (Scout @ Dec. 13 2004,8:53 am)|
|Yes, search engines violate Groundspeak's TOS. But well-behaved search engines will avoid your site if you request it.|
www.geocaching.com is not indexed by google. It used to be, through Buxley's, but not any longer. The only part of groundspeak dealing with today's cache listings which you can find on Google is jeep.geocaching.com, which contains lists of geocaches by state (the same lists as at the main gc.com website, albeit formatted a bit differently). These lists are cached by Google, I assume by the agreement between the three sides (Google, DaimlerChrysler, and Groundspeak), so it is easy to get the lists of recent caches without ever venturing on groundspeak turf.
I think that the lists of recent caches, by an area, can be directly imported into Buxley's lists (although not maps yet, 'cause you'd need some location info for the latter). I further propose that each listed, but not yet mapped, cache will be accompanied by an "Upload location" link. Once a user clicks it, one will be given a free-form textbox for pasting data. The data could come from user's own GPS observations, or combined observations of a group of volunteers, or some guesstimates, or maybe even from something originating at geocaching.com website. But the form will of course have a stern warning that one shouldn't paste in the information directly from the geocaching.com website, since it may violate certain aspects of their TOS. This way, if someone chooses to disregard the warning and just to paste in a whole cache page, then obviously Buxley's is not at fault.
I think it is a workable solution.
Just as a side note, I think Groundspeak has largely undermined their own legal standing in any possible dispute over this scheme, since they admitted, not once, that they appreciate the service provided by Buxley's to the geocaching community, and since their objections in the forums, apart from the scraping claim, were all technicalities (archiveds, opt-outs, this kind of small stuff). Moreover, if Groundspeak really wanted to block the users of Buxley's, they would have disallowed requests with HTTP_REFERER being at Ed'd site long ago. I think it is very clear that Groundspeak's problems are with the methods and minor details, rather than with the mere fact of existence of an independent listing service.