Geohashing wiki history
Once upon a time, every user of the geohashing wiki remembered when the comic came out, and when almost the whole wiki was on the front page. As the sport grew and the wiki was developed, the people who had been here all along understood some of the wiki quirks as having historical or evolutionary reasons, and recognized why some things were strange. But then new people came and they didn't know the history. No one could be expected to read every history page to reconstruct the evolution of the wiki, but it's interesting to know how the wiki grew, and perhaps it will prevent recurring arguments and well-meaning "fixes" if the newcomers know where it came from.
This page attempts to document the major points that things changed on the wiki.
In February of 2008, well before The Algorithm was announced, Randall sent Drache and NoTerminal out to test the algorithm and the idea for geohashing. They wrote this report. The weekend before the algorithm was released Randall, Zigdon and emad did a final beta test, adding their report to the wiki to seed the expedition list for the grand opening on May 21st, 2008. The YYYY-MM-DD LAT LONG naming convention for expedition reports was established with those first reports.
Randall also created a graticule page for San Francisco, describing the area, and then he listed his May 17th geohashing expedition under Notable Dates, demonstrating the use of graticule pages.
The First Week
The first day of the algorithm was a Wednesday and there were four or five reported expeditions. Randall created a page for the date and on it announced his and Zigdon's intention to attend. People calculated the location and then Zigdon posted the confirmed official coordinates. Other people used that page to post descriptions of the day's coordinates in their own graticules, and link to their own expedition reports.
The following days others followed Randall's YYYY-MM-DD page naming scheme. On the Thursday there were six expeditions, and on the Friday there were eight. Then on Saturday, the first Mouse Over Day, there were seventy-four reported expeditions and probably many more that went unreported. The 2008-05-24 page became a list of all the coordinates people had looked up or visited and a gallery of the photographs taken.
30W Time Zone Rule
Because Randall had chosen an algorithm that released the coordinates at 9:30 a.m. Eastern Time, the coordinates were not available to Europeans or Asians in time to go on expeditions. On May 24th he announced a change to fix that, and starting on May 27, 2008, expeditions east of the 30W meridian use coordinates in line with the 30W Time Zone Rule.
The Main Page
Tim Parenti automated creation of the daily pages, and appearance of its photo gallery on the Main Page. In June 2008 the daily pages were still an unsorted graticule-by-graticule list of expedition plans, links to expedition reports, and descriptions of coordinates. An expedition report created at that time might be linked to the user page, graticule page, day page and photo gallery. Or it might have been written as a one-line description in any of those places with no links anywhere else. By October the use of the daily page as an expedition reporting area had fallen to just pictures.
Graticule Names & Pages
In July 2008, Moose Hole spearheaded a name standardization that resulted in all the North American graticules being moved as necessary to all be named City, State instead of the haphazard combination of just the city or city plus abbreviated state name. The convention of naming a graticule after its largest population centre, in its native language resulted in some more name changes. Graticule names are going to keep changing as inactive graticules become active with users who can better choose the dominant population centre there, or as the names of places themselves change. Most Naming conventions are a codification of existing practices or an agreed compromise between different possibilities.
At first graticules were named and their pages created by whomever was first to geohash there, but by September 2008 there was a concerted effort to populate All Graticules, and then in March 2009 ReletBot was designed to create and maintain graticule pages.
Thomcat wanted to analyse the results of expeditions, to see who arrived and who didn't and why. In August 2008 he created the Expedition outcomes categories and he and others read old reports and retroactively categorized them all as best they could from the descriptions.
In June 2009 aperfectring wrote AperfectBot to extract information from expedition planning pages and save it to Current events, later archiving expedition summaries to the date pages. Prior to this, wiki users looking for planned expeditions had to monitor Recent changes, search Category:Expedition planning and look on individual graticule pages.