If you’re into technology and location-based games, I’m willing to bet that you’re familiar with geocaching, one of my favorite personal pastimes. And if you’re not at all familiar with it, you’re going to be happy that you’ve read this post (I hope).

Geoacaching is basically a recreational outdoor sport activity / high-tech treasure hunting game based on GPS (you know, the Global Positioning System).

Players worldwide use a receiver or mobile device and other navigational techniques to hide or look for hidden ‘treasures’ called geocaches or, simply, caches. They’re usually planted by other players in a waterproof plastic container in interesting locations all over the globe.

Most of the time, the container also has a logbook where geocachers can jot down their registered nickname and date when they find it.

Geocaching was invented shortly after the removal of artificial error from GPS on May 2, 2000. Before that date, accuracy of the system for civilians was roughly 100 meters – after this date less than 3 meters.

You can join the community here. I highly recommend it.

Anyway, all that to help you discover this awesome real-life treasure hunting game and to let you know that Geocaching.com is turning 12 years old today.

Brought to life on a home computer in the spare bedroom of a Seattle-area apartment on September 2, 2000, Geocaching.com was launched way before geocaching became widely popular.

At that time, fewer than 100 geocaches had been hidden around the globe. Today, the website claims more than 1,000 geocaches are hidden by players and published by volunteer reviewers every single day.

In late 2000, Web developer and Geocaching.com founder Jeremy Irish teamed up with Elias Alvord and Bryan Roth to start a new company called Groundspeak, and they made managing the website a full-time job several years later (Roth actually held out until late 2005 to become a full-time employee at the firm).

A nice tidbit of information: the founders obtained initial funding for the website from the sale of 144 donated geocaching t-shirts.

The company later spawned other sites like Waymarking.com and Wherigo.com, and they’ve also established a global environmental cleanup initiative supported by the geocaching community, dubbed Cache In Trash Out.

Irish, Alvord and Roth still own and operate Geocaching.com today.

Happy birthday, guys.