Posts posted by caderoux
Anyone found a way to get round the problem with Mapopolis not zooming down far enough when you get to the final location to really better pinpoint your position. Sometimes I just wish it zoomed in a little more - I know the big circles are within normal GPS accuracy, but sometimes it just seems to make that final lock more difficult.
I use Mapopolis on my iPaq with both the ALK Pocket CoPilot Sleeve and/or Bluetooth GPS. The Bluetooth seems to give me longer battery life. With a battery-powered sleeve instead of the non-battery GPS Sleeve using CF, I would probably get longer battery life, too, but I don't have a CF GPS.
Either way is good - I think the BT option now let's me migrate to a non-sleeve iPaq or other Pocket PC without having the sleeve be my only GPS.
I don't have a "traditional" GPS.
In New Orleans, we have three natural "power trails" with caches by multiple cachers - Lakelawn Cemetery, Lake Pontchartrain south shore, City Park circumference.
Never raised a comment or a problem before - I don't think anyone here views them as power trails. Bamboozle once placed 18 caches in a single day around City Park and like three other sites further to the east (most not much more than the .1 mile limit apart). Most people drive it, though - and the variation and difficulties of some of the hides makes it difficult to complete in a single day.
I personally think the "make a multi" is not appropriate in every situation, every cache has it's own merits, and I know our approver got it right.
In particular, advocates of the multi are right about the multi maintenance problem, but have ignored the finder's perspective. Multi's require the same maintenance and the same effort to find. The problem is that with a multi, you conceivably have to make n days/trips to an n-stage multi if the next stage is always out of commission (assuming power trail-type proximity - each day is 1 trip, since obviously the caches are close, otherwise a power trail would not be the point of debate here). With a n-cache traditional, each cache found is immediately removed, so assuming that each day/trip you get only 50% (or whatever your find rate is - 50% is pretty bad, I would think) of the caches, then the number of days/trips is log n. Obviously the decay rate (this is the old half-life problem) to complete the cache is pretty much always better (unless your find rate is real bad) for multiple traditionals instead of a multi - which accounts for the gut feeling that most cachers have about being able to complete the run quicker if it's structured that way. You could work out a full statistic assuming random rate of muggling etc, but it should stand up pretty well. Breaking it up into several multis does help in finder satisfaction - but each is subject to the same effect.
Also, making it a open book multi (in terms of exposing all the coordinates at once or in bursts) where the stages are not in a mandatory sequence can also eliminate the problem to a certain degree, but this requires a design of a reliable starting point which always has all the coordinates or the users being sure to have the coordinates of all the caches rom the web page before arriving at the first location. I would not have a problem with either of these techniques - although unless redundancy is built in and "Find" requires every stage, they will still not have as good of a decay rate - however the trips will decay similarly to the multi-traditional approach. Unfortunately, having so many stages will still hinder the hiding of other caches according to my reading of the guidelines, and this is a drawback of the multi - it places a strain on the approvers to keep track of the stages or on hiders who don't realize they may overlap a multi.
With the rule change, I don't know if the approver would have done things differently or not. I hope not for our cases.
This is not meant to be an advocacy for or against power trails - just for some reasonable judgement in cases which do not violate the spirit of the guidelines.
Actually Markwell, you just repeated what was already said. The Navigatorz gave their circles 0.05mi radii.
But that prohibits multiple overlaps.....Markwell is right. (note the "gaps" in between the .05 circles....vs lack of gaps in Markwells)
edit: incomplete thought....
I think you'll find that both Navigatorz and Markwell are correct - those "gaps" you see in Navigatorz are within .1 miles of the other caches because Navigatorz used .05 radius (two Navigatorz circles can never properly intersect, they can only touch at a single point, resulting in a cache-to-cache distance of .05+.05 miles=.1 miles). In Markwell's diagram, he has not done as close packing but it will end up with a hexagonal pattern when the .1 mile radius falls exactly on the next cache.
This is my design for a micro based on a match case: http://www.lageocaching.org/index.php?name...bnails&album=27
I've recently made some where I replaced the dowel with hollow tubing - now a pencil can fit inside the tubing.
As far as the business cards - we've had people trying to stuff them in micros here since the fall - they end up having to have maintenance trips just to retrieve the cards and throw them away.
Is there a way to make this wait for the program you run to complete?
I launch GPX2Maplet and then MightySync (I'm glad I found out about this - it has made a lot of steps I used to do manually a whole lot easier) in my macro after exporting my hitlist.
I don't have it set to automatic, because I found that it seems to want to put the GPX files files on the PDA right as GSAK starts importing them at the beginning of the script (because I start GSAK right afte I detach the messages from my email, and this isn't enough time for MightySync to do it's thing in between), so I decided to launch MightySync at the end, but then I noticed they both launch even though the first hasn't exited. It hasn't caused any conflicts, but it seems to make more sense use a wait option to avoid a potential conflict.
I first went caching with my brother using his GPS. I didn't log those finds until I got a GPS and then I retroactively logged those four and started going out myself less than a year later. Since then, I've pretty much cleared out the New Orleans area, done caching on out-of-town trips and have never gone more than 3-4 weeks without a find, dnf or hide.
I did some experiments on a cache page I'm gradually building for a mystery cache, and you can use an absolutely sized <div> with background-color or background-image - WITHIN your page. This would also mean that you can also do nested divs to get an effect of a box within a box, where the inner box has a simple background-color, while the outer box has a background-image. And you would be able to control the perceived ratio of text to image that way.
It does also look like there is no scripting allowed - so you can't navigate the DOM and resize an element on the page to fit your layout needs.
Having said that, there are already/still caches where the layout is being altered by unclosed HTML tags - http://www.geocaching.com/seek/cache_detai...c8-17cc84893cdf
Given the options of:
Hiding a micro under a lamppost in a parking lot 3 miles from the lighthouse
Hiding an ammo box in a wooded area 3 miles from the lighthouse
Making a plain old-fashioned virtual
(Assuming you don't just place an unsanctioned micro or list it on another site - remember it's your cache and your game - this is just a place to list them)
It would seem to me that the third (or fourth) option is the one closest to the "basis" of our activity. I'm dubious about the premise that the challenge is actually finding a physical cache, to me it's really hunting for anything.
I personally don't see what is specially different about virtuals, and I have no idea why there is even a wow factor in the criteria. If a physical cache can't be placed, and a location is worth visiting, that would be enough for me. You still have to visit the location, and the time and effort it takes to locate the answers for a virtual can be equivalent to the time and effort taken to check the fencepost tops to find the loose one, extract a micro and sign the log.
It appears to me that the problem is not the approval of virtuals but the fact that too many people were attempting to make virtuals when they shouldn't have, now spoiling it for people like the OP who have a legitimate case for a virtual. And pulling out examples of other approved caches and talking about them is just a pointless demonstration of something we already know: there is a continuum and variety of caches, cachers, approvers and their opinions.
My cache - Lost Cemetery (So Sadly Misted) - is a multi in a cemetery with a single final physical location. http://www.geocaching.com/seek/cache_detai...d8-ae0a764ed8c5 I've had nothing but positive responses. We have a large number in one cemetery here, a virtual at the gravesite of Marie Laveau (voodoo queen), and a couple in the Greenwood cemetery. Some are more intrusively near or on top of the grave sites than others, but I consider none disrespectful. I tend to be more concerned about what muggles think about us doing this, but just because I don't want us to be mis-branded as vandals.
We have one here which plays applause when you open the cache - light sensitive. All the night only ones around here are passive and use hunter's reflective markers.
Off Topic - if anyone else does need a gmail account - invites are freely available at: http://isnoop.net/gmail/
my favorite useless clue was
yeah, that's all there was...
Not knowing if that is relevant to the single Y hint, but sometimes I've seen letters carved in tree to indicate the hiding spot.
So, I covered a recent cache with a loose piece of bark and carved A.E. (for Amelia Earhart - the cache is Amelia's Lost Entrance) on the bark covering the cache.
On the other hand, on a recent cemetery multi (Lost Cemetery (So Sadly Misted)) - in the final location I used the hint R.I.P. because that's what I wrote on the bark there - unfortunately that was a bad choice of marker for the cemetery and I've added a more descriptive hint to avoid people thinking they need to disrupt any of the residents.
Bad or useless hints are the most frustrating.
On the other hand, we have deceptive hints sometimes here - like "magnetic" when something is permanently attached to a tree and then the cache magnetically attached to that, say. Very tricky.
Nice - it looks like you've done all the things I've been planning to do to make my automated solution more fully automated...
And I think I'm going to go back for that high one - I can probably reach it if I bring some coffee cans or something.
I've climbed trees (meant to be climbed - the only one we have suspended like that is one I made with rope - but it's just gone MIA) and reached in holes where I didn't know if there was a snake or brown recluse.
The one out of reach for me is just unfortunate - it is a great hiding spot which is almost perfectly invisible and easy not to be muggled - unfortunately I had no confidence that although I could probably jump up and knock it off the ledge and sign the log, I might not be able to get it back up there safely.
As far as the termite cache, the termites had largely covered the cache with pieces of the tree and themselves and I just didn't have the courage to reach through all the wriggling larvae. I did take a photo which shows the cache.
None of the other local cachers gave me any grief over these, so I assume they either condone it, don't want to say anything or have done similar themselves.
I'm not looking for absolution, just showing how there's probably not hard and fast rules, some of us have probably done some of these things, and although I think logging a find when you just find where the cache was is totally wrong, you gradually run into a bunch of other scenarios...
And I did it on a termite-infested cache (GCJ57C - Southern Comfort) which has since been archived:
April 16, 2004 by caderoux (258 found)
4 of 5 this evening. Logged as a find, but didn't sign log, because the maggots put me off (see photo)
[view/edit logs/images on a separate page]
[upload an image for this log]Raw and wriggling, my preciousss
Never thought of myself as a cheater (I've got a good shared of DNFs), but I've done this once myself - I considered it found - it was the third trip to a cache (I logged all the DNFs and a spoiler from the hider only confirmed my fears) - a well-placed grey painted film can about two inches from my finger tips - I finally spotted it on the third visit to the site but was unable to reach it. I considered jumping for it, but felt the risk of being unable to replace the cache properly (or damaging the structure) a greater risk.
This was my log (on Arbor Day - GCJ099):
<< [You'll forgive me for not signing the log.] I'm too short for this one - I finally saw it today, however. >>
So you guys tell me - do I have to go back to this fairly high muggle area with a tall person or a small ladder? Would you do it for a film can you've seen and visited three times already? It would be different if there were some trick to getting the cache or traversing water or something (I'm waiting on a few of those myself), but there was no intended need for special equipment or climbing.
Took me three attempts to find one of my own caches which had only been moved about 4 feet from its proper location - magnetic, camo painted to match it's surroundings and placed so I can see it as I drive past. There were a bunch of no finds, so I went to check on it. Couldn't find it. Then one of the no finders posted a find on a repeat attempt. I went back, couldn't find it. I emailed them and they said they had JUST found it and they told me it had been moved to the other side and about 3 feet up in the column. I guess I did too good of a camo paint job.
You just don't expect people to replace the cache completely differently. I think that's something newbie's don't understand.
OMG, that is awesome. No need for Outlook macro at all.
Yeah, and it excludes the caching-devoted non-premium-members, as they are not (easily) able to build up a bookmark list.
Sorry, you're right, that's probably a big drawback.
Let's see how mentoring might work in a hypothetical scenario from the mentor's point of view without a pre-prepared set of recommendations:
You get an email out of the blue which says someone wants you to mentor them in your area, when can you meet up and which caches should you go to to get started.
Now you HAVE to go to gc.com (or GSAK) look at your found caches which you liked which are still active and which you think would be suitable for a newbie and then pick a time and email them back with the waypoints or URLs or even print the latest cache listings so when you meet up you'll have them (in case they don't really understand how to cache - after all they are newbies).
From the newbie's point of view, everything is handed to them on a plate - they get a list of all the mentors and their recommendations based on their home criteria, and they click on a mentor to generate an email and can browse the recommendations while they are waiting for the mentor to get back to them.
Now let's go back to my suggestion and see how much extra work you need to do. If you are introducing someone to the sport, I think there are caches you would recommend and those you wouldn't. You're going to have to think about that ANYWAY after they contact you and before you go out together - wouldn't it be nice to use the feature we now have to facilitate your mentoring. It would get them off to a start on good caches - caches which you (and others) recommend for a lot of reasons they are good for newbies - like reliability (they have been around awhile without getting muggled), in good areas for a search without muggle problems, more exciting that a micro under a lamppost, demonstrating proper cacher techniques and rules.
One list which defines your recommendations for newbies and the area you can handle. You don't have to _restrict_ yourself to that list, but it serves a dual purpose of indicating to newbies which caches other people think are good for starting out AND put them in touch with mentors. It also allows you to list caches near work and home so you can offer MORE than one area you're willing to mentor in. What happens if all the good caching for newbies is not near your home coordinates or zip code? And it collapses down to the same thing - you make a bookmark list with a single recommended newbie cache and you're a mentor, too, just one who doesn't have an extensive list of recommendations.
It kills a lot of birds with one stone using an existing feature. It was just a suggestion designed to have minimum effort and be self-supporting and self-maintaining requiring no more work than you will already have to do to be a mentor.
The "Find a mentor" function needs to be easily found, and simple for the new users to figure out how to use.....let's not hide it in bookmarks or anywhere else they'd need to know how to find. By the time they figure out how to find someone else's bookmarks, they probably don't need a mentor anymore.
I meant this could be automatic from the newbies point of view and mean that mentors will have to be somewhat committed (in addition to having been online - I think that is an important part of it).
To be a mentor, you need to make yourself available and also designate one of your own bookmark lists as your mentor locations. So from a mentor's point of view, it is pretty simple - you probably would have a local bookmark favorites which you will share out anyway.
From the newbie's point of view, I think it IS simple: If any newbie is looking for a start, they should say "I'm a newbie and this is where I want to start, and I only want caches with mentor assistance available" then they will see newbie icons next to any cache which a mentor is willing to help out on in that search (maybe they ONLY see the caches which one or more mentors have volunteered for).
This will help mentors define larger areas than just one coordinate or zip code AND simultaneously serve as a recommendation list, since these are caches at least one or more mentors have also recommended for newbies.
What about using the new bookmarks list? You could designate a bookmarks list as the caches you are willing to mentor on. This could serve as your area newbie recommendations, too.
Some sort of accompanying description on mentors might be useful - for instance, I don't actually have a traditional handheld GPS and never have (I use a Bluetooth GPS with a PDA), and I cache paperlessly - not exactly conducive to useful mentoring for a beginner (or even many veterans with far more finds than me), as much as I love the idea and would love to do it, I fear I wouldn't be able to give them much useful guidance.
Do You Pay?
in General geocaching topics
I paid for both (GC.com and GSAK), and have automated my geocaching to the point where now I have more time for geoposting since I don't need to actually visit gc.com's caching side very much. Wish there were more daylight hours, though...
In addition, I have some filters in GSAK which let me check for caches which are missing in the area which may need a note to the owner or approver. I also have a filter which I have to go through regularly to update my database for archived caches, since you cannot get archived caches in a PQ (and have to download the GPX files one at a time - I guess you could add them to a bookmark list and maybe PQs on bookmark list will include archived caches - whenever that is available - but I don't see that as being any faster). Since I basically am keeping up with the caches within 75 miles (I've found nearly all the caches within a 25-mile radius), that means that the caches and owners in that radius are also being indirectly helped to various degrees (more so with owners who have basically left the game) through GSAK/gc.com automation, too.
So the minimal cost is _well_ worth it if you factor in the hours saved by going paperless and automated, plus the general upkeep of the caching landscape in my small area.