Opencaching.de and the co-hosted domains Opencaching.it, Opencachingspain.es and Opencaching.fr - hereafter "Opencaching websites" - belong to the world's most important Geocaching websites and are one of several Opencaching websites.
The Opencaching websites are run, supported, maintained and permanently improved by a team of volunteers. Furthermore, there is a community of tens of thousands cachers, who use the platform to hide and seek geocaches and support the project with donations.
What is the nature of the Opencaching websites?
Our Geocaching platform is open to all cachers and free to publish all legal kinds of geocaches. However, we would like to point out that our geocaching websites do have special principles and goals:
Geocaching with heart and mind!
- There are no binding rules regarding hiding a geocache but most cachers prefer geocaches with a higher quality level. We want geocaching to be a pleasant experience. We favor geocaches which bring fun to geocaching, show places of interest, history, nature or a special hiding place.
Opencaching is open and free of charge
- Our geocaching websites' content is open to all users at no cost. Most website features are usable without a registration. Anyone can register and use the personalised services for free. The content is licensed under Creative Commons. The Opencaching software is "Open Source" and licensed under a GNU GPL license.
Opencaching is non-commercial
- It is a fundamental principle of Opencaching not to allow that others earn money out of your caches or logs. The "NC" = "Non-Commercial" part of the data license is ensuring that. The team members are all volunteers and do not gain benefit from their membership.
Opencaching is independent
- Opencaching does not represent the interests of third parties and is independent. The Opencaching Deutschland e.V. as responsible body is funded by donations.
Opencaching encourages owners' responsibility
- Each owner is responsible for the listings of her/his geocache(s). There are now binding rules how to describe or design the descriptions as long as cachers can find the geocache and legal regulations are observed. The owner can decide the status of a geocache, for example the time of publication of a new geocache. Furthermore, an owner can even reactivate a geocache from the archive if useful.
Opencaching is fair and user-oriented
- The Opencaching team acts in the interest of the website's users. Support requests or geocache reports (function "Report this cache") are handled case-related and reliable.
Opencaching helps to protect nature
- The Opencaching websites display an information if a geocache is located within a protected area. Cachers therefore know that they have to respect special regulations in the vicinity of the geocache. If a geocache is reported as in conflict with nature protection, the support team might archive a geocache after a case-by-case review.
Opencaching is open for new ideas
- There are established habits and written and unwritten rules in geocaching. But Opencaching might go new ways or try new ideas. The same counts on owners' creativity that might produce unprecedented geocaches.
- In the past, Opencaching introduced a recommendation system, a user-friendly editor and new innovative map functionalities.
Opencaching is no competitive sports
- Opencaching is about single caches, not about power trails. We do not wish to promote geocaching as an competition. Statistic shall not supersede quality. Therefore we do not provide sophisticated statistics. We prefer geocaches which are only listed at one of the Opencaching websites - so called OConly-geocaches.
- The Opencaching websites provide a user-friendly editor to create and maintain geocache listings and log your finds. You do not need to learn HTML. You can create several descriptions for your geocache - each in a different language. In this way you can support cachers with a foreign language.
- Opencaching provides a powerful search page. You can narrow your search by difficulty, attributes, number of recommendations and many more options. You can even search through the geocache descriptions and log entries. You can also find many search options at the Opencaching map.
- The Opencaching map displays additional waypoints and thumbnails for geocache listings.
- You can publish a new geocache at a pre-defined date.
- You can log your find not only with the date but also with the time.
- Each geocache listing has a web counter.
- You can define a log password for any of your geocaches. That's a way to ensure that the find is authentic.
- Several image galleries show the latest uploads per user or cache or time, for example the New log pictures gallery.
If you are a developer, feel free to join our development team to improve the website.
How can I support Opencaching?
There are many possibilities to support Opencaching:
- Hide so called OConly-geocaches - geocaches which are only listed at an Opencaching website. By doing so you are increasing the number of Opencaching geocaches and the fun cachers get from using the website.
- We are always looking for organisers, developers, web designers, linux system administrators, editors, graphic designer and lawyers to join our team.
- Join Opencaching Deutschland e.V.
- Join our Opencaching.de team.
- Improve our platform without being a team member.
Join Opencaching Deutschland e.V.
- Become a sustaining member.
- The minimum membership fee is just 1 Euro per month. This might be the best way for supporters who can not work directly on open tasks but want support the Opencaching websites.
- Become a full member.
- Contribute your time and work to support our goals. As a full member you automatically join the Opencaching.de team. Additionally you can become a sustaining member.
Join the Opencaching.de team
Supporters who contribute their time and work should be a member of the Opencaching.de team. We can provide more information and documentation in internal ressources.
Support team members have to join the Opencaching team due to data protection and security regulations.
We are also looking for linux system administrators, and from time to time for 1st level supporters and second level supporters.
Improve our platform without being a team member
- The easiest way is just to use the Opencaching website to hide and seek OConly geocaches. It is a win-win-situation: On the one hand good maintained and interesting geocaches help to improve our geocache database and the user experience. On the other hand an increasing number of find logs gives better feedback on the geocaches - and makes the owners happy. ;-)
- You can improve the quality of geocaches by reporting geocaches which can not be found or are causing trouble (private property, nature).
- You can improve our database quality by seeking geocaches without logs for a long time.
- Be part of the Opencaching forum community. Help newbies with their first steps, tell us your ideas or feature requests, tell us bugs you find on the platform.
- Donate to fund the operation and hosting of the Opencaching servers at our provider's data center. Even little donations help!
Are you interested? Don't hesitate and contact our team at firstname.lastname@example.org
Opencaching.de was founded by Oliver Dietz. The first version went online in 2005. During the next years the website was improved step by step and got popular among German cachers. Just one year later the geocache number hit the 10.000 mark and over 500.000 online logs being available in 2010.
A team was formed and Oliver got help with development, design, support and translation. Opencaching got multi-lingual and was extended to opencaching.it and opencachingspain.es. In 2006 the responsibility was transferred to the Deutsche Wanderjugend, a German registered association.
Server operation and web hosting was sponsored by the internet service provider schwarzwald.de. Hardware and domain registration was covered by donations of the geocaching community.
After some years the original team members could not provide as much time anymore as they used to. The development came to a halt. The community decided it was time to found a new team to carry on with the work at Opencaching. In 2012 they sent a call for help via email to all interested cachers to support "their" Geocaching website.
As a result, 15 cachers founded the Opencaching Deutschland e.V. a few month later. The association Deutschen Wanderjugend transferred the responsibility to the organisation Opencaching Deutschland e.V. New teams for data maintenance, support, server administration and development were formed. In August 2012 the development was re-started.
In April 2013, one years after the successful restart, the servers were moved to a new internet service provider.