Wherigo Foundation

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The Wherigo Foundation is a community-run nonprofit organization dedicated to furthering the development of Wherigo and coordinating development activities between community members. Its primary goal is to pick up Wherigo's development from where Groundspeak left off, eventually developing Wherigo into a mobile platform on which cartridges can run.

Wherigo Foundation Offerings

The following is a list of components developed by members of the Wherigo Foundation. Some of these projects are open source.

  • Builder Applications: Urwigo, Earwigo, and Wherigo\\Kit
  • Player Apps: OpenWIG, WF.Player, and Windows Phone Player
  • Utilities: Wherigo Compiler and Emulator
  • Wherigo Foundation Web Site
  • Wherigo Foundation API

Founding The Foundation

The Wherigo Foundation was organized in late December 2012 by Wherigo community members Charlenni, Matejcik, Ranger Fox, and sTeamTraen, followed shortly by Mangatome in 2013, completing the list of five founding members.

The first mention of the group's name was in an email on 13 December 2012, from Ranger Fox to Charlenni. In a later email on 18 December 2012 to three founding members (Charlenni, Matejcik, and sTeamTraen), Ranger Fox commented, "Just think: this could be the start of the Wherigo Foundation, or whatever you want to call community members coming together to drive the Wherigo project forward. After five years of stasis, I'm overeager to see something new!" Shortly after that, the group adopted the name officially.

The actual trigger to the foundation's formation was when Charlenni approached Ranger Fox, demonstrating a functional Wherigo compiler, in December 2012. While the community had created player and builder applications before this time, this was the first compiler. This was significant as it meant the community finally had all the tools necessary to develop Wherigo on their own. All that was needed was an API to tie everything together. The idea of the Wherigo Foundation was introduced to Groundspeak that same month, which showed passing interest. A functional demo of a basic site was shown to Groundspeak in January 2014.

Why The Foundation Was Necessary

Groundspeak released Wherigo in January 2008. Excluding a few minor updates to their builder application over the next few months, Groundspeak left Wherigo alone. Over time, the builder application began to experience some problems, which were resolved by the community each time. When launched, the only available cartridge player applications were for the Pocket PC and Garmin Colorado (followed soon after by the Garmin Oregon). The smartphone revolution occurred later, but a Wherigo player app was never developed. Around May 2008, Groundspeak effectively abandoned Wherigo. Since that time, enthusiast community members have independently produced builders and players in an effort to make Wherigo accessible to more people.

Wherigo has many components: the specification itself, cartridge builder applications, cartridge player apps, cartridge compiler, emulator, web site, database, content delivery system, and an API to tie everything together. All these components span several disciplines, making it impossible for one person to do a good job creating any one piece. If the responsibility of Wherigo's future development was given to the community, there needed to be a way to coordinate feature releases among community members so all components could support new features at roughly the same time. In addition, Wherigo across platforms should have a consistent look and feel. These objectives can only be accomplished by a community working together and not many developers working independently.

Partnership With Groundspeak

Pursuing a partnership with Groundspeak, who would then license the Wherigo patents and intellectual property to the Wherigo Foundation, has been a long process. While Groundspeak frequently displayed interest in doing something with the Wherigo Foundation, it wasn't until the beginning of 2015 that things became a little more formalized and the very slow process of partnership negotiations began.

As of November 2015, the Wherigo Foundation has yet to enter into an official partnership with Groundspeak and, hence, remains an unofficial organization of Wherigo enthusiasts.

Wherigo Foundation Members

For a current list of members and their roles, please visit the Wherigo Foundation site. All members have contributed to Wherigo in some significant way.