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Home arrow News arrow GPS arrow From Space Down to Earth: How Geocaching Has Become One of the World's Favorite Hobbies     

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From Space Down to Earth: How Geocaching Has Become One of the World's Favorite Hobbies PDF Print E-mail
Written by Geocaching.com   
03 May 2010

Nearly 600 worldwide events this weekend will mark 10th Anniversary -- SEATTLE, May 1 -- The idea for a high-tech treasure hunt started nearly a decade ago in the woods of suburban Portland, Oregon.

At midnight on May 2, 2000, the federal government allowed the general public access to a level of GPS technology that previously was restricted to the military. Hours after the proverbial switch controlling "selective availability" was thrown, Dave Ulmer hid a bucket -- filled with a logbook, slingshot and other items -- near his home in Beavercreek.

He logged the coordinates -- N 45 degrees 17.460 W 122 degrees 24.800 -- on an online GPS users' group page. Within three days, two readers used their GPS devices to find Ulmer's stash and shared their experiences online.

That's how geocaching was born. Today, as the 10th anniversary of geocaching approaches, more than 5 million geocachers of all ages participate worldwide.

Geocachers on six continents will mark the anniversary with nearly 600 events this weekend, including more than 350 events in the U.S.

According to Geocaching.com, the world's most popular website for geocachers, there are more than 1 million active geocaches hidden in more than 150 countries. Geocaches can be hidden almost anywhere, including parks, hiking trails, mountains, urban areas, and other outdoor spots.

Why is geocaching so popular?

"People love treasure hunts. Just look at the popularity of the 'Pirates of the Caribbean' and 'Indiana Jones' movies," said Bryan Roth, one of the founders of Geocaching.com, the online global headquarters for geocaching. "Through an impassioned geocaching audience, an extensive volunteer team and ever-improving technology, we're able to deliver treasure hunting to everyone in a way that combines technology, outdoor recreation and a global community."

Geocaching is also popular because of its relative low cost during a tight economy. A GPS device costs about $100 and the Geocaching iPhone app costs $10.

"Geocaching is accessible to everyone," Roth said. "Your grandparents can go geocaching, your children can go geocaching, and you can go geocaching."

About Geocaching.com

Geocaching is a high-tech treasure hunting game played throughout the world by adventure seekers equipped with GPS devices. The basic idea is to locate hidden containers, called geocaches, outdoors and then share your experiences online. Geocaching is enjoyed by people from all age groups, with a strong sense of community and support for the environment. Geocaching.com is the world's #1 location-based, outdoor recreation portal, handling more than 1.2 billion page views and 82.6 million site visits in 2009. Geocaching.com is owned by Groundspeak Inc., a privately held corporation in Seattle, Washington, USA.

Source: Geocaching.com

CONTACT: Geocaching.com, +1-206-396-7502

Web Site: http://www.geocaching.com/

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