Thing tracking system and GeoCaching
The past few weeks I have been doing a lot of GeoCaching in and around Vancouver, BC (funvill on Geocaching.org). There are 1000s of Geo Caches with in a 45 min bike ride around Vancouver.
I have found about 25 different caches. Most of the caches have only been big enough to house a sheet of paper so you can sign your name to it. While others are large enough to contain a few trinkets that you can take and some space to leave a few things. A common thing to leave is GeoCoins.
A geocoin is a metal or wooden coin minted in similar fashion to a medallion, token coin, military challenge coin or wooden nickel, for use in geocaching. Many of them are made to be trackable on various websites to be able to show the movement around the world and visitors to be able to leave comments when they find the coin.
I really liked the idea of the GeoCoins I have been taking any of the GeoCoins that I find and moving them around the city.
Around my 20th find I started to think about creating my own GeoCoins with VHS’s Laser cuter. I looked in to obtaining some tracking codes that I could use for my coins.
The main site for Geo Caching is GeoCaching.org and for a tracking code it costs $100 set up fee plus $1.50 per tracking code with a minimu of 50 tracking codes that must be purchased. $175 just for the tracking codes. That does not include the coins and the designs of my coins would have to be approved by GeoCaching.org before I could print them. I looked in to some local GeoCoin producers and the coins can cost anywhere from $10-$50 each. So for the whole process I could be paying anywhere from $675-$2675
That was well out of my price range for a hobby I just started. Because of the prohibiting costs a lot of the coins that I found did not have tracking codes on them.
So I decided to make my own Thing tracking system. Its far from done but it has the basics. The ability to add new things to the system with descriptions (using markdown). Anything that is added to the system is automatically given a tracking code. Anyone with the tracking code can add comments (with pictures) to the page with the description of the “thing”.
I am planning on adding
- Geo Location data to the comments and description of the "things".
- Visitor tracking to give people stats on how much the "thing" has traveled.
- Global stats page to highlight popular "things".
- OAuth login system to edit "things" that you have added to the system.
- The ability to categories "things" using schema.org organization structure of data.
- The ability to tag "things" with keywords to make them easier to search.
- The ability to subscribe to notifications on comments, or updates to the description.
Obviously this is feature creep for this project. But it does give me an avenue to play with some new web technologies that have emerged over the past few years.
Now that the tracking system is in its beta stage I can move on to designing my first GeoCoins.
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