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TNXPro

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Posts posted by TNXPro

  1. In your mind, what is a high quality geocache?

    To me, a high quality cache is one where the CO has put a lot of effort into the cache page, location and container and is well maintained. It is placed in an area that is meaningful and a really nice place to bring people. It is more than just a tupperware container behind a bush. 

     

    In your mind, what is a low quality geocache?

    In my opinion, these equate to approx 80% of the caches I have found. They are mostly thrown down, store-bought containers placed with not a lot of thought about its location and not a lot of effort put into the cache description. They are placed in a location just because there is a gap on the map. The containers are not great at keeping the weather out and CO takes too long to maintain, or doesnt maintain at all. They are often owned by CO's with hundreds or more caches which are too hard to maintain that many, or inexperienced cachers who havent found enough good quality caches to know better.

     

    What steps can the community take to improve geocache quality?

    I think education is the key. Social media groups and events are a very useful way to bring newbies together and give them ideas. Also newsletters with useful information to everyone, not just premium members. These days, many newbies arent even aware of the Geocaching.com website. They have heard through others about this game and downloaded the app on their phone. They dont know there are guidelines about finding, logging or placing caches, because there is no information about this on any of the phone apps.

    It is up to us to improve the quality of caches in our community, by placing quality caches ourselves, to show future CO's what it should be like.

         

    What steps can Geocaching HQ take to improve geocache quality?

    You could restrict who can place caches. Instead of only suggesting that people should locate around 100 caches before they place one of their own, you could make it a mandatory minimum number of finds. You could also set up an automatic reminder to CO's who have not been active for (say) 6 months or a year, to check on their caches or remove them, to discourage unmaintained caches being left out. This also opens up areas for newer CO's to place better quality caches in the area, to get some cache rotation. You could restrict CO's with a high number of caches to place new ones if they have a high percent of caches in need of maintenance.

    Phone apps could be turned into an education experience also, with useful tips and information (if they dont already).

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  2. You'd get better feedback without the "Ban PQs" part of the subject line.

    Agreed.

     

    PQs have their purpose, and most of the functionality they provide would need to be retained by any future search/retrieve method. Eliminating or banning that functionality would be a bad thing.

     

    Also, it isn't completely clear what problems you see with PQs that would lead you to suggest banning them. Maybe if you could explain that part further, we'd have a better understanding of your position.

     

    That would certainly help. As a start, it's important to understand what a PQ *is*. A PQ is comprised of three parts

     

    1. A form based search interface which allows one the filter cache listings based on several criteria. One can select caches which are within a specified proximity of a specific point, select caches with a range of D/T ratings, size of the container, type of cache, the placed date, and whether or not the cache has certain attributes.

     

    2. The ability to save multiple search queries and schedule any of them such they can automatically be replayed on a periodic basis.

    3. A mechanism for encapsulating the list of caches produced by the search in a format that can be saved and transferred to a GPS enabled device.

    The OP is basically asking for a replacement of the first part, using a map with filters to perform the search. Some of that work has already been done. From the map page, one can filter out caches based on the cache type, and pan/zoom the map to select a region where the cache are located. Once that's done, one can "Save as Pocket Query" which basically just populates the PQ search interface with some criteria chosen on the map. Then one can further filter the list based on attributes, and other fields on the PQ form.

    The caches along a route features goes a step further in that it basically uses Google maps to create a polygon around a "route". There have been discussions in the past about being able to created a box or polygon around an area on the map, and that sort of functionality does exist in GSAK (however GSAK is a native application that only runs on a PC). The GSAK application has been around for years and nobody has stepped up to the plate to port it to MacOS. What are the chances that someone will turn it into a mobile app that runs on all the major mobile platforms? Note also, that one can go from the "new search" to the map to show a filtered view of caches on the map, but caches that appear on the map can't be saved as a GPX file (or imported into the PQ form). One has to "turn off filters" in order to get the side panel that has the "Save as Pocket Query" button. We've been told that there are issues between the filters available on the search form and the map page and that it was being worked on. That was a couple of years ago.

    So essentially, the OP is asking for a much more full features filter panel on the map, and the ability to select caches within a box/polygon. The "drag-n-drop" to a tree view, and I'm not sure how useful that would be.

    Getting all that to work as a mobile app adds a whole other level of complexity.

    Personally, I wasn't offended by the "ban PQ" comment. I don't care whether it's called a PQ or not, as long as all the functionality available with a PQ is still available. I did, however, roll my eyes at: "I want things done immediately, life is too short for waiting when theres a few FTF's up for grabs!"

  3. Okay maybe not ban them but it got your attention. Yes pqs can be useful. In my opinion it would be great to do it as I suggested.

     

    Yeah. Come in telling bald face lies gets my attention. At which point, I think, this person has nothing to offer.

     

    Thanks. I'll make sure I find your posts too and call you a lier and that your ideas suck too.

    If you dont have something nice to say, then keep it to yourself.

  4. Okay maybe not ban them but it got your attention. Yes pqs can be useful. However, I believe an alternative could be even better. While preparing my GPSr for a coming trip, I once again battle to create Pocket Queries to upload. I want things done immediately, life is too short for waiting when theres a few FTF's up for grabs! There must be a better way!

     

    My idea to bring Geocaching.com's search methods into the 2000's.

     

    It would be fantastic if all the cache icons on the map could be made selectable, to add directly to a list, in which you can save as a GPX file. If you use the filters function already on the map to filter out the caches you dont want (or do), and select using a single pick, a box select or a polygon select, you simply drag the selected caches into a 'Tree structure' on the left hand side of the page. It could then automatically layer them into the respective cache types, which you could expand to view individual ones if necessary, or further filter out things like e.g. disabled listings, by a tick box. When you are happy with the list, click Save as, and write it as a GPX file, which is easily uploaded into a GPSr device or phone app.

    This process should also make it easy to do on a mobile phone, which is where the future is heading.

     

    Now of course I am not a programmer and dont know the complications of this idea, but I'm sure someone will tell me.

     

    BTW. I apologize if this idea has already been mooted, because I dont have the patience to trawl through the whole forum.

  5. Where have the Favorite Points functionality gone?.

     

    Why can we no longer add fav points with our logs? It seems to have gone completely. Is there another way to do it now, with the new format with adding Found It logs?

     

    As a CO who goes above and beyond on most my caches, I really love seeing the Fav Points roll in. How else can I share my caches with more and more people if the points arent being added?

     

    TNXPro

  6. After just upgrading to Premium membership (and its not only $30 here in NZ, its more like $50 with exchange rate), I have been quite disappointed at the lack of extras it provides. Now I that I have no aerial images on the map anymore and replaced with a really crap map, I feel that the Premium Membership is a real rip off. Bring back Google maps at your cost.

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