What is CoordMaker?

CoordMaker is an online tool for converting words/phrases to coordinates using a one way hashing algorithm.

Why did we create CoordMaker?

Many puzzles allow the users to check the answer using a geochecker. There are two primary geocheckers used (atleast in sweden); geocheck.org and certitudes.org. Geocheck.org only allows the cache owner to validate coordaintes while certitudes.org additionally allows validating arbitrary words. Many puzzles are hard to design so that the answer is a coordinate, but they could still be very neat puzzles for a geocache. At a first glance it looks obvious that the service provided by certitudes.org would be a perfect match for this scenario. However, the certitudes service is limited in configuration of the response given to a user when he is right or wrong. It also only allows the creation if a single checker per geocache. CoordMaker allows a puzzle designer to create a puzzle where the answer is a word or a phrase, and still use geocheck.org to validate the answer.

Who wrote CoordMaker?

The initial idea and first implementation was made by talavis. Code cleanup and additional features were implemented by lillfiluren.

Instructions for puzzle solvers

If the designer of the puzzle you are solving has directed you to CoordMaker it means that the solution to the puzzle is a word or phrase, and that you should use CoordMaker to convert that word/phrase to a coordinate and then enter that coordinate into a geochecker to validate its correctnes. There are few things that might surprise you. All words result in a coordinate when you use CoordMaker. The coordinates can point to any location on earth (but they are always valid coordinates. For example, the word "CoordMaker" results in the following coordinate: N06° 48.832 W106° 14.528. It is in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, 1000km south of the coast of Mexico. The word "coordmaker" results in the coordinate N33° 20.704 E100° 27.264. that coordinate is in the middle of China. Small changes to the word or phrase you enter into coordmaker will result in completely different coordinates. Make sure you use the correct values for N/S and E/W when you enter your coordinate into the geochecker. The cache owner will typically give you instructions and hopefully a the coordinate of the final location of the geocache in the response page of the geochecker.

Instructions for puzzle makers

If you want to use CoordMaker for your puzzle cache, you are most welcome to do so. The easiest way is simply to link to "http://lillfiluren.se/gc/CoordMaker" from your cache page and instruct your visitors to use this service to convert their answer to a coordinate, and then link to the geochecker from your cache page where they will be able to validate their answer. If the answer to your puzzle is "topsecret", then you should convert that word using CoordMaker and configure your geochecker to accept the coordinate you got from CoordMaker (that would be N37° 40.160 E126° 14.400). In the solution for your geochecker, you should show the true final coordinate of your geocache so that your visitors know where to go.

NB! CoordMaker is case sensitive by default. If you add the URL parameter "ignorecase=true" when loading the CoordMaker-page, it will convert all guesses to uppercase before calculating the coordinate. This will make "Guess" and "GUESS" and "gUeSS" return the same result coordinate (it will be the same as for "GUESS" without "ignorecase=true"

If you want to integrate CoordMaker a little deeper, you can call the javascript from your own html-page (not from your cache page, cachepages don't allow html input controls, or javascript). It should look something like this:

 <script type="text/javascript" src="http://lillfiluren.se/gc/CoordMaker/coordmaker.js"></script>
 <p>Enter text in the box below to generate a coordinate.</p>
 <input type="text" id="input">
 <button type="button" onclick="showCoordinate('input', 'output', 'Your coordinate is: ', false)">
     Generate Coordinate
 <p id="output">Your coordinate will be here</p>
the function "showCoordinate" takes five parameters. If you don't use a key, nothing will be recorded by CoordMaker. All requests by your users will be handled completely client side. No information will be stored on our servers what so ever. You can download the coordmaker javascript and check for your self. You can even host it on your own server if you want to. Just don't forget to give credit where credit is due.

You will always be able to see a history of attempts in the logs on the geocheck.org site, but since the coordinates are hashed, you will only be able to recognize the correct attempts. If anyone misspells your answer they will get a completely different coordinate, and you will have no idea why they tried that coordinate...

Geochecker integration

Since the coordinate normally needs to be geochecked, you can tell CoordMaker the id of your geochecker so that your users can get an automatic link from the coordmaker page:
This will add a geochecker image to your coordmaker page with a link to your geochecker. When the link is clicked, the input field in the geochecker page will be automatically filled in with the coordinate from CoordMaker. You can also get the geochecker page loaded inside the CoordMaker page:

If you want an image to display on the cache-page, you can use the following URL:

It will give you an image that looks like this:
NOTE! replace the id above ("249971030fb-5db4-45f2-a4ec-2e2312ca63d9") with the id of your own geochecker!

Logging the attempts

If you want to see the clear text history of attempts on your puzzle you have to activate CoordMaker logging. First of all, you must register a key, and a password for this key. This can be done at http://lillfiluren.se/gc/CoordMaker/createaccount.php. Here you can give a key (the GC code of your cache is a good suggestion), and a password. The password is VERY important. dont loose it!!! We don't store your password, only a oneway encrypted version of the password. We suggest you use a strong password, since anyone who is be able to guess your password will see all the attempts that have been made on your cache.

Once you have created a key, you can use it either when linking to the coordmaker html-page: http://lillfiluren.se/gc/CoordMaker?key=GC12345 or you can pass the key when you call the javascript method:

 <button type="button" onclick="showCoordinate('text_input', 'output', 'Your coordinate is: ', false, 'GC12345')">
CoordMaker will also register the values for the URL-parameters "gccode" and "tag" that you can use as you see fit. One way is to have the same "key" for all your CoordMaker purposes (that way you only need one password), and then use the GC-code and some easy to remember identifier for each cache,.

When your visitors convert a word/phrase to a coordinate, the script will also send the word and the resulting coordinate to a server side script that will store it in the database. The answers are not stored in clear text, they are encrypted using a public/private key encrption (RSA), and the only way to decrypt them again is using your password (that we don't store).

To look at your logs, you can go to http://lillfiluren.se/gc/CoordMaker/log.php and provide your key and password. if your password is correct, the attempts that have been logged for your key will be decrypted and displayed to you along with the date that the attempt was made, and an anonymous version of the IP address that the attempt was made from.