Saturday, October 13, 2007

Waymarking - A new Research Tool, perhaps?

Periodically I check out the new blogs at Chris Dunham's Genealogy Blog Finder. The person behind a blog called FamilyTrees is a genealogist in central Ohio whose newest hobby/obsession is one called waymarking.

This was something new to me so I checked out mentioned in the FamilyTrees post. Waymarking is apparently an offshoot of geocaching, which I had heard about. Both make use of GPS technology. Geocaching is somewhat like a scavenger hunt where items are hidden, usually out in the countryside. The GPS coordinates are recorded, and then other people attempt to find the hidden items. Waymarking, on the other hand, does not involve hiding anything, but you are still searching for something, whether it be an object or a location.

What's neat about waymarking is that an online directory has been created of these places that people have found. So far over 67,000 locations have been waymarked in 617 categories that range from AM/FM Radio Broadcasting Stations all the way through the alphabet (except X) to Zoos.

Interested in
Ghost Towns, Hot Air Balloon Festivals, Indiana Historical Markers, Renaissance Fairs, or Outhouses, perhaps? Hmm, guess I'll have to get myself a GPS so I can post the location of the Historic Foust Outhouse!

The database at the
Waymarking website can be searched by category, by proximity to an address, by zip code, or by using the site's Google Maps platform. Once you've found a location of interest, one click will bring up more information along with photos and written directions as well as a map and the GPS coordinates.

I can see using this to find sites of interest in an area to be visited: museums, libraries, memorials, theaters, restaurants, cemeteries, etc. And if the places you visit aren't listed, you could take pictures, get the GPS coordinates, and add them to the database. Registration on the website is required to be able to post new locations or add photographs to an existing location, but there is no charge.
Additional features are available for a fee of $3 per month or $30 per year. You can use the site to find stuff without registering or paying a membership fee.

Of course, you could just use the site to play some games using your GPS. . . one of the games that interested me was the Ansel Adams Photo Hunt.

1 comment:

Charley "Apple" Grabowski said...


This is a cool find. I searched just for Oswego, NY and got pages and pages of hits. There were pictures of all of the local locks and murals that I didn't know existed. Some of the games were interesting too. I don't see me getting a gps and contributing but I will be checking out towns where my ancestors lived.

Thanks for the links!