What is Groundspeak®?

Matt Brady

Groundspeak® is a company which exists as one of the principle channels for people to become involved in the GPS scavenger-hunting hobby known as geocaching. The company was founded as a means to help further develop and manage the popular website, Geocaching.com, which was one of the first sites to give enthusiasts of the hobby a place to list cache sites, create forums and communicate with a larger community of geocachers. Since it was founded in 2000, Groundspeak® has created other GPS-related websites, such as Waymarking.com and Whereigo.com.

Geocaching is a modern-day scavenger hunt that uses GPS to find the treasures of the hunt.
Geocaching is a modern-day scavenger hunt that uses GPS to find the treasures of the hunt.

The world of geocaching was born in 2000, when the U.S. made GPS signals more accessible for public use. Almost immediately, GPS users came up with the idea of geocaching, where players create stash sites and provide coordinates to other players who must use their GPS devices to hunt for the loot. Upon finding a stash site, players may take what they find, but may be expected to replace any found treasure with something for the next geocacher. To help supply the demand of a community site where geocachers could keep up on the latest stash sites and activities, Groundspeak® founder Jeremy Irish created Geocaching.com, along with Elias Alvord and Bryan Roth.

Over the years, Groundspeak® established itself as a pioneering company among the geocaching community. With a zealous community backing him, Irish and cohorts had little trouble garnering support for his geocaching website, attracting the help of some of the most famous and avid geocachers, such as Jon Stanley, better known as Moun10Bike. Stanley’s trackable geocoins — the first of their kind — are legendary in the geocaching world. Groundspeak®, through Geocaching.com, has helped pioneer the advent of trackable treasures, which have become a popular staple of the hobby. The company has its own tags, which people may register and track through the site.

After a few years' time, Geocaching.com was well established as one of the premiere destinations to list stash sites, track items and communicate with other geocachers. Irish decided to expand Groundspeak® and began developing other sites. Groundspeak's® other sites also focused on using GPS devices to facilitate entertaining social interaction. Waymarking.com is a site that allows people to log coordinates of unique and interesting places they've visited throughout the world. Others are then encouraged to go visit those places, and to log their own favorite locations. Whereigo.com is another GPS device-based game in which users are challenged to find real world locations via coordinates, but which also incorporates elements of fantasy games.

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