Geocaching goes mainstream

In the world of advertising and marketing, it is fairly easy to guess that if something starts to show up on deal sites and clearance sections that it has either A. gone mainstream or B. jumped the shark and is no longer “cool”.  Either way, this is good news for geocaching which has shown up in some fairly mainstream places lately.

Todays, Woot megadeal site has an entertaining video, Mortimer’s Adventures in Geocaching, to sell geocaching items on sale that features their mascot, Mortimer.  Statements like “Geocaching is like a real life treasure hunt you can go on almost anywhere there is a steady population of nerds” might indicate that the Woot Seattle office has some veteran geocachers in the office.  However, finding cool Lego figurines might just be a geocacher’s dream item.

Another place where geocaching showed up unexpectedly is at a conference at in Canaan Valley Resort, because while the state park setting is a traditional geocaching spot, the age of some of the attendees interested in the activity, in their 60’s – 80’s, was a nice surprise.

Is it good for the geospatial community that geocaching has caught on as a hobby? Some geospatial professionals argue that it is a “gratuitous” use of geospatial technology. It is the the same argument that some programmers have made about making SmartPhone games.  However, such a big market that provides so much public outreach can’t only be gratuitous.

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