Olathe, Kan. - Garmin hopes to stimulate demand for GPS handhelds with the launch of OpenCaching.com, a free online site promoted as making it easy to create, find and share caches.
Because the free site is designed to be "the most intuitive experience possible," the company said, it will promote the growth of the geo-caching hobby to a wider consumer base and stimulate sales of GPS handhelds.
Geo-caching hobbyists stash a container of items in a public area, save the GPS coordinates, and upload the coordinates to a website. Other people search for the cache by going to the website and downloading the cache's coordinates to a GPS handheld.
OpenCaching.com will work with any device or software package that can read GPX files, regardless of manufacturer, the company said.
"By making it free and easy to download every detail of every cache, Opencaching.com will introduce more people to this great activity and show them just how fun, easy and rewarding it can be," said Dan Bartel, Garmin's vice president of worldwide sales.
For first-time geo-cachers, the site includes a how-to guide. The site also provides tips and lets people rank a geo-caching experience by terrain and difficulty.
For cachers who created or found caches via other sites, Garmin designed OpenCaching's cache code system to coexist and integrate with other databases, devices and applications. Cachers can add existing caches they own to OpenCaching.com.