We're donating $10,000 to the cause

The Groundspeak Lackeys entered the DARPA Balloon Network Challenge on December 5, 2009. In the end we didn't win the $40,000 for charity, but we're still donating $10,000 of our own money to DonorsChoose.org programs.

Friday, December 4, 2009

APB Going out Today to Enlist Geocachers

We have a significant email list for our weekly notifications, so we're sending an APB out to all geocachers to get involved. In addition we have posted the contents of the email in our forums so people can read and comment on the challenge.

What defines success for Groundspeak and geocachers?

Our feeling is that we have a large community of hiders and seekers that thrive on these kinds of projects. With the size and reach of the geocaching community we think we have a real possibility of winning the prize. If we don't win the money, however, we still feel that there are many fun successes we could achieve, like:

1. Geocachers could take a picture of one or more of the 10 balloons. This heralds back to Project APE in 2001 where almost all of the 13 caches were found within the day. We didn't have nearly as many participants in geocaching that we have today.

2. Geocachers spot one or more balloons and send us the coordinates before anyone else. Unlike other competing groups we have a broad community with a bigger network than AT&T. (Ok, not that big)

And as a worst case scenario, we raise awareness of geocaching as a fun, outdoor activity.

Geocachers do it with latitude. If anyone knows how to work GPS coordinates and find things, we do.


  1. With some of the other groups offering money for first sightings maybe groundspeak could offer lifetime free geocaching membership to the first sightings of each balloon.

  2. We talked about offering something like that, but we really don't want to deal with the liability of what could be considered a "contest."

    I don't think some groups really understand what messy liability issues that may come out of sharing the winnings with strangers.

    We'll definitely acknowledge the contributors after the contest is over. So all we can offer is bragging rights.

  3. I would love to see a map of the geocache coverage... lol.

  4. You caould give out a big red balloon geo-coin
    to all the conttributors. They's be hotter than a Jeep TB.

  5. How accurate do the coordinates have to be?

  6. Coordinates need to be within a mile of the cache, er, balloon location.

  7. there is no balloon...

  8. MikeLostInSpace from Germany wishes Good Luck.
    Keep an eye in the sky.

  9. steve - hope mills, ncDecember 4, 2009 at 5:26 PM

    i'll be on the lookout around fort bragg, nc! why wouldn't darpa put one around bragg? good luck!

  10. I'm a teacher and geocacher who wrote and received a Donors Choose grant for 5 GPS units almost 5 years ago. My students love to geocache with me! Come on geocachers, let's make it possible for other teachers like me to add this equipment to their classrooms!
    Bracelet Lady

  11. New Orleans, 17th Street Canal, next to Katrina Remembrance plaque. White Semitruck parked nearby with DARPA written on the trucks left door. Coincidence?... aim screen name is texaspride8008. message me with questions. I am familiar with the area.

  12. I will lookout in the sky above Poland, Europe in case some of the balloons got caught in the windstream and crosses the ocean over to Europe!
    Good luck and have fun.

    May the balloons be with you,

  13. On the lookout in the northern suburbs of Philadelphia today.

  14. I'll be watching in the San Diego area!

  15. getting ready to go canvas the philadelphia suburbs

  16. Try Houston TX. In a soccer field. That's all the info I have.

  17. http://twitter.com/stevexe

    I've got some info.

  18. 3 hours and 80 miles of searching. mostly in Bucks County PA - no sighting