Shortened URLs generated by Google Maps

Feature in Google Maps that automatically generated a Short URL (aka URL Shortner) to link to any page on Google Maps. This quickly became one of our most popular experiments, and today we’re excited to announce that we have graduated the Short URL into an official feature of Google Maps.

Starting today, when obtaining a link to a Google Map using the ‘Link’ button on the upper right-hand corner of the page, you now have the option of obtaining a convenient, shortened link by clicking on the ‘Short URL’ check box. Shortened URLs can make it easier to coordinate events and share maps with your friends.

Click on the link button to create a Short URL for a location

All  take advantage of Google’s recently announced shortening service. We only use to send you to Google web pages, and only Google Maps can generate a URL. This means that you can visit a a shortcut with confidence, and always know you will end up on a Google Maps page.


Dakota handheld as a reward in new tour


As summer winds down, things are really heating up at In addition to looking for our first class of ambassadors, Opie and our OC crew just announced their biggest sweepstakes yet. First we gave out limited-edition geocoins, then we awarded chirp wireless beacons to lucky cachers. That was just the start. Now we’re giving away Dakota handhelds to weekly winners throughout August. Starting Aug. 1 and going through Aug. 28, every 10 approved caches that you add will earn you an entry to win a Dakota 20 touchscreen handheld. While this specific sweepstakes is open to U.S. and Canadian residents, many of our international offices are cooking up exciting promotions to share with their respective countries as well.

Entering the Sweepstakes is easy (click here for official rules), as every 10 approved caches you add at will give you a chance to enter. Once you’ve entered, be sure to check your inbox to find out if you’ve won. We’ll notify each week’s winner the following week. And by all means, feel free to try, try again. After all, publishing caches doesn’t just push you closer to a chance at winning, it also gives your fellow cachers another chance to make great memories in their next outing. And if you’re a diehard cacher who just loves telling their friends about this popular pastime, be sure to click here to apply to become an official Ambassador.

Of the countless emails we get from happy OpenCachers, their most frequent request is that more of their fellow cachers would list their geocaches on! Know a fun place to visit near your home? Hide a cache for others to find. Already have caches listed on another site? We provide a page to easily import those listings and let others discover your caches. Whether your importing your existing caches or creating brand new ones, geocachers everywhere will benefit as a wider audience gets exposed to your creativity and enthusiasm for caching. Good luck, and happy caching and creating!

Francis de Sales on Growing


“Do not lose courage in considering your own imperfections, but instantly set about remedying them – every day begin the task anew.

–St. Francis de Sales (1567–1622)
French bishop

Part of the problem is the eggshells.

We’ve laid them out around ourselves and become worried about stepping on those that others have laid around themselves.

Some of us (all of us at one time or another) have forgotten our interdependence and obligation to other people. We’ve put ourselves (our comfort, our hearts, our minds) at the center of our universe (our universe?).

I want to encourage you to Love Your People.

Who are your people? Everyone who’s important to you… your family… your friends… your colleagues… your customers, patients, team, students. These are your people (and you’re theirs).

And love? It’s care.

And care? It’s attention and contribution (what you give, what you do)…