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OK, so I’ve been on the phone with some other cacher’s tonight and the general consensus is… “We don’t get it”. However…

 

I really like the idea of having a “Yellow Pages” of waypoints. I think this can be incredibly useful for the entire world. The possibilities are endless especially if you make an easy way to import these into the GPS. If I go to Alabama and am interested in where all >blank< is I can put those waypoints into my GPS. (Some of the greatest ideas have been the wrong solution to a different problem.)

 

On the other hand… I really don’t see how this fits in with geocaching.com. I would hate to have all the virtuals only become available as waymarks. Unique and interesting places should be able to be logged as finds. I think this can be done with a tighter integration with the logs. For instance. All virtuals are automatically waymarks. If I log a virtual it will appear on the waymark’s logs as well and I get my find.

 

Either way, I think it is worth while to explain your vision and ideas for waymarks very clearly to the geocaching community.

 

If I posted this to the wrong forum, please move accordingly.

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On the other hand… I really don’t see how this fits in with geocaching.com.  I would hate to have all the virtuals only become available as waymarks.  Unique and interesting places should be able to be logged as finds.

I think that's exactly what they are moving away from.

 

If there's a box, it's a geocache. If there's no box, such as a locationless, virtual, webcam, or earthcache, its a waymark.

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The part I don't get is why the waypointing of commercial businesses? If I travel somewhere and I want to know where a Starbucks or Dairy Queen or Gap or Fred Meyer is I can use AAA, Google Earth, or a myriad of similar business locators. While I know the Waypointing site is not following the Geocaching protocol, there is as I understand a semi-strict prohibition of promoting a commercial interest in a geocache (though quite a few McDonald caches have slipped through the net). I even had a geocache rejected because it invoked the name of a local non-profit radio station. Unless the goal here is to create an uber-database of all commerce in the U.S why not restrict the waypoints to people, places and things of interest without allowing at least overt commercial tie-in? peace, fishiam

 

Upon further reflection, I would alter my viewpoint to suggest that Waymarking of unique local businesses (such as the brewpubs category in which I did create a waymark) would be of value to local and visiting waymarkers. But do chain franchises really need to be waymarked?

Edited by fishiam
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I wouldn't say this is an arguement. I just want to really understand what is going on. I'm sure many others have the same questions but aren't as willing to look silly like I am ;) I personally wouldn't say the merit of a cache is if there is a box at the end or not. I do think virtuals are geocaches.

 

I really am very stoked about waymarks.com, I think I'm almost excited about it's possibilities as I was about geocaching.com. Now I understand they are two seperate ventures from Groundspeak.

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I re-read your post and I kind of understand where you're coming from. Let me do my best to explain my opinion.

 

The general reason why virtuals on geocaching.com were considered unique is that at some point along the way we created a strict set of guidelines (well, the "wow" factor). As a result there was a very small "supply" of virtual caches so there was a much larger "demand" for them. At least that's the way I see it. The same went for the very few (250+) locationless caches listed on the site. Due to the limited number the goal to find each one was more difficult (excluding yellow jeeps and flags of the world anyway).

 

So now locationless caches as waymarks generally blows your mind as a concept because now, a category can be created for something that interests a few someones and people can go out and mark them. Gone is the concept of small supply and large demand. The concepts now have to stand on their own and through upgrade/downgrade and other tools you can filter out your interests.

 

The McDonalds listing was an interesting experiment (but not so much, as Sean, the lead on this project, truly would love to document pictures of McDonalds restaurants and locations), as in the first day it was downgraded to relative obscurity. In fact the standard setting for filters would hide it entirely. So as such the idea seems to work well. Remember you don't have to like every waymark category nor do you have to look at those categories. That's why they aren't listed in one big pile with obscure names so you don't know what the heck you're looking at. That's how locationless caches are today.

 

I hope this helps. I do welcome your opinion on this but I also accept that some people won't like it or even understand it. Perhaps it will take some education or perhaps it just isn't for (the proverbial) you. That's cool. I can dig it.

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I can clearly see how it replaces the locationless. And I also see how this can be a better way to handle that. Especially if you're more interested in actually visiting the places (but obviously weren't the first one there).

 

But I have to agree with 4agers about virtuals. Geocaching isn't just about finding a box or a container out there. Part of it is the journey and there are other rewards at the end of that journey - sometimes a view or some kind of information that you can't learn anywhere else.

 

Yet, Jeremy, your point about virtuals becoming just "come see this really quick" type searches makes the strict guidelines for them necessary. Like the armchair caches (lots of them in Germany), things like that really need to be a different "game" rather than a geocache.

 

As long as there are truly meaningful places to search where a container cannot be placed (National Parks, WashingtonDC top my thoughts right now), I hate to see the possiblity of new virtuals on GC.com disappear all together. The new earthcaches are a great example of where this can be done well.

 

I also know that many cachers view a virtual as a good "starting place" to create a cache. Perhaps there are more things that local cachers could do to help newbies feel comfortable placing caches with containers.

 

Just my 2cents.

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The big difference I see is creativity. With Geocaching there are endless possiblities in how to present a cache and what can be experienced and learned from it. Whether there is a box or not has nothing to do with it.

 

With Waymarking I don't see where this creativity can play a part. General interest, maybe. Some history, perhaps. But it seems a limited thing.

 

That is where many locationless and virtuals ran afoul on GC.com. But not all.

 

Cataloging locations can be interesting in topics like "Plane Crash Sites". I can go for that. But bottomless, endless creative applications that are a part of Geocaching does not appear to be there in Waymarking, at least as to what I see so far.

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We have some ideas on how to add some challenges and interactivity to Waymarking. Don't give up on us yet :P

 

I'd go into more details but my handlers tell me I shouldn't divulge too much until we have the concepts fleshed out more.

 

And there will be more interesting ones as this grows. I expect some very creative ideas to come out of the Waymarking site.

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When we first started this crazy pasttime, we avoided virtuals. Why go if there's nothing to find? Now, having a bit more experience, we've found that we like to "save" the virtuals for a beautiful day when all we want to do is take a hike and there's the special bonus of seeing something with that "wow" factor along the way. And with the virtuals, that's almost a "promise" given by our fellow cachers (who submitted it) and by GC.com (who approves it). It's a sure-fire way to see something worth seeing that otherwise we might drive or walk by.

 

I don't see (yet) how Waymarking will assure us of the "wow" factor for our time (and yes...our gas!). It looks like a fun site. I see the benefits. I just don't see how it replaces virtuals on GC.com. Maybe I just don't know my way around it yet, but I'm already missing the idea of new virtuals and getting the "wow - I'm so glad someone wanted me to see this" feeling.

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At first glance I can’t say I was too impressed with the Waymarking idea.

 

It shocked me to think that this would totally dilute the ideas and concepts of geocaching, and certainly the mere mention of Micky D’s is enough to turn any epicurean away. :P

 

However, and I think my assumption is correct (based on forums and reading between lines), Waymarking will be run as a separate enterprise with a separate set of statistics etc. This way those staying true to the GC concept can stick to that and those that want to dabble in WM can do so without offending GC purists. If this is true… then I’m happy with the concept. As for the details within WM…. Will have to scrutinize more closely once I get over the Micky D shock (and yes I know it was meant to be an experiment)

 

It will be sad to see a handful of LC’s and virtuals go to WM. There have been some excellent and innovative caches in this category which have been a real challenge and fun to do. On the other hand.. there have been many which are just plain stoooopid…. And I’ll admit to having done a few of those too…although it was generally out of boredom and the lack of physical caches.

 

On the upside… (and this may well exist on a forum somewhere..apologies if it does)…Jeremy..can we have the cache rating functionality plugged into the caches on GC.com. I know that there are sites that have tried to provide this for cachers, and I have myself been working on an Amazon style rating system for our local caching community who have requested this functionality.

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We were happy to see the long awaited answer to the virtual & locationless problem in GC.com, but upon first looks at the Waymarking site we are disappointed. The uniqueness issue was totally ignored even though in every explaination of Waymarking the unique issue is pointed out. With the very broad categories being offered, why not phrase it unique and mundane. I do understand that Waymarking can someday become a powerful database of useful places and information, but it really isn't part of a game or sport which, we think, geocachers thought they were getting. Why not promote it as a travel resource? The only reason we see geocachers so involved is that they carry GPSrs and can mark the waypoints for the site.

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In defense of the Waymarking concept, I'd like to say it is still early on, and the rating system is a big plus for making it work. The first thing I did was to degrade the McD's and upgrade the Plane Crash Sites. Certainly this concept will auto-filter out the total garbage. (Read commercial and so-called adult stuff).

 

We'll see if enough inventiveness can be input to make it more than just a catalog of locations. I suspect we'll get there. But even if we don't the Plane Crash Site thing and stuff like it is intriguing to me.

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We were happy to see the long awaited answer to the virtual & locationless problem in GC.com, but upon first looks at the Waymarking site we are disappointed.  The uniqueness issue was totally ignored even though in every explaination of Waymarking the unique issue is pointed out. With the very broad categories being offered, why not phrase it unique and mundane. I do understand that Waymarking can someday become a powerful database of useful places and information, but it really isn't part of a game or sport which, we think, geocachers thought they were getting.  Why not promote it as a travel resource? The only reason we see geocachers so involved is that they carry GPSrs and can mark the waypoints for the site.

If you were thinking it would be something just like locationless and virtuals, you're going to be disappointed. To me it appears to be something very different and is intended to be! sure there are some odd waymark categories (the often referenced McDonald's) but there are some cool ones as well, that are very much in the spirit of a locationless/virtual cache.

 

Take the Weird Story Locations waymark. This is very much like a locationless/virt, giving you the option of finding a place like it and submitting it (locationless) or going to visit one of the places already submitted (virtual).

 

Apply that same logic to the other categories and you can see the similarities, no matter how different things may be.

 

The other thing to keep in mind is this is only a couple days into it, and is still in Beta. To those that are dismissing it this early, you're not giving it a fair chance to show you what it really is. It may not be for everyone, but I had fun submitting a location for the Weird Story Locations. If there are any more that show up near me that I can go visit, then I'm all for it! I'm waiting for someone to post the Blair Witch forest, since unfortunately the house (previously a virtual) was destroyed.

 

edit: the other thing I forgot to mention (still trying to learn all this) is the popularity filter. you may not even see the ones that people think aren't all that great.

Edited by robert
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I hate change! Now there is an opening statement. Its true though, ask my parents. For 20 years I sat in the same exact seat at the dinner table at my parents house. Why? Because that's just the way it had always been done. Maybe it is the thought of being unprepared for the unexpected that I actually hate, but regardless, it makes me uneasy.

 

But at the same time, I get bored very easily.... just ask my husband. While someone is in mid sentence my mind may drift off to more creative lands because I just got tired of listening. I love my job, but I am studying to eventually do something even bigger. I crave new and unique experiences to feed my sense of adventure. That's not ADD, its simply human nature.

 

I feel confident in saying that many of us feel the same. We enjoy many of the comforts tradition have to offer, but also urn for adventure and opportunity.

 

And how does all of this apply to Waymarking and geocaching? Well...

 

Geocaching was the perfect combination of stability and discovery. It had a whole lot of everything and every aspect was unique in its own right. The ammo cans for their loot, virtuals for their history, micros for their accessibility, and locationless for the creativity in all of us. As cachers, we could pick and choose the types that interested us and run with them. Each had its unique place in this hobby.

 

Waymarking, that's all fine and good. Okay, so it is a list of things. Whether you want a list of things or not, whatever, its here now. Geocaching, on the other hand, was more than that. The virtuals caches opened the door to caching opportunities that we could not experience otherwise.

 

In the Shennendoah Valley, Finding Fraggle Rock hiked to a number of virtual locations. The virtuals that people placed in that park led us to some of the most spectacular locations. Out of the 1,790 caches I have found to date, my absolute favorites were virtuals atop the mountains in the Shennendoah Valley. Those moments and memories are irreplaceable to me.

 

In the Great Smokey Mountain National Park, we climbed a mountain to an amazing Bluff with a view that would take your breath away. There was no box at the end for us to take trinkets from. Just the overwhelming satisfaction in having conquered the mountain, spent a day with family, and marveled at God's majesty.

 

My point... it is impossible to put a price on our time. We are given so little of it and should be eager to make the most of every moment. Unfortunately, work and responsibility often stand in the way of what we really want to do. Geocaching provided a combination of ways to make the most of every minute of our spare time. We enjoyed every aspect of the hobby. Now that virtuals and locationless have been pulled out into their own loose knit "game" they may not make their way into our outings. That would mean another website to visit, more searches to run, and more multi-tasking to clog up the fun.

 

Waymarking, I don’t care if it is here to stay or is thrown out the window. The true crime is that geocaching has been limited.

 

Hey Jeremy…geocaching isn’t about the container at the end anymore. For many of us, it’s about the journey to get there. That’s what really matters.

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Hey Jeremy…geocaching isn’t about the container at the end anymore. For many of us, it’s about the journey to get there. That’s what really matters.

"Geocaching: The sport where You are the search engine"

 

I guess a slogan change is in order... to specify that you must be searching for a container in the woods.

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"Geocaching: The sport where You are the search engine"

 

I guess a slogan change is in order... to specify that you must be searching for a container in the woods.

Where is it broken again?

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Okay, I checked out the site. Took a break and looked again. My opinion inproved a little. This site is fine for locationless caches. It does nothiing for vituals or earthcaches. Sorry, I think you missed why we look for virtuals. I don't need another list to go through. I need a link for all caches nearby! I need to know that going there will be worth my while.

 

So, for locationless I'd give the site an A. For virtuals and anything else....is there a grade less than F.

 

terri

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One of the things that I like most about WM.com is that it will allow me to find all the virts (ok, waymarks) in an area that I visit. This will be awesome when traveling out of town. I would love to be able to pull a PQ of the categories that interest me. A bonus is having all of the coords for Starbucks in the area.

 

Further, if I pull this PQ for my own area, it might help me find more great locations that need a geocache. A plus is that the distance rule won't apply.

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When do you know you've created something that sucks? That's the question I keep rolling around in my head. This concept has been so eagerly anticipated, people have been griping about its delay for months. Now that it is here...BACKLASH. Maybe Groundspeak needs to rethink this thing. To me it just looks like a huge, broad list of meaningless crap that could be found anywhere. Where's the uniqueness?

God, I hate to see virtuals and earthcaches absorbed by this monstrosity. I was always such a fan of them. Now they'll be buried under mounds of phone booths, lug nuts, trash cans and manhole covers.

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Now that it is here...BACKLASH.

Backlash? please. Spare me.

 

(eh. too flippant. I'll offer a more appropriate response to "meaningless crap" instead)

Edited by Jeremy
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When do you know you've created something that sucks?

Probably when no one cares. That's usually a good litmus test for a concept. It seems to me that the overwhelming support of current locationless cache owners would mean that apparently it does interest some people - not just the noisy ones that don't prefer to provide more constructive criticism, or even more shocking, some suggestions on how to make it better.

 

The second section shows that people do dig the idea. So when do you know you've created that sucks? Well, time will tell. But seriously your kind of responses are neither constructive nor helpful in the near or long term.

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I really would like to be helpful because I so wanted this idea to rock. But at this point, I can't think of anything I want to say other than "bring back virtuals and earthcaches to GC.com." And I know that's not going to happen. So do you want opinions, or not? Why did you trot this thing out if you didn't want people like me to give honest opinions? I really and truly think it is not a good idea. Sorry.

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Why did you trot this thing out if you didn't want people like me to give honest opinions? I really and truly think it is not a good idea. Sorry.

I certainly would prefer honest constructive opinions. Not offhand comments that aren't very helpful. I think all of us would prefer "I think that Waymarking should do x to make it better" not "I think that this sucks." You know? Constructive not deconstructive.

 

So honestly? No. I would rather if you think it sucks you should keep it to yourself unless you can explain some ways that it would suck less.

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I can't think of anything I want to say other than "bring back virtuals and earthcaches to GC.com."

This is kind of irrelevant to Waymarking. Virtuals and earthcaches haven't gone away on geocaching.com as far as I can tell.

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I  can't think of anything I want to say other than "bring back virtuals and earthcaches to GC.com."

This is kind of irrelevant to Waymarking. Virtuals and earthcaches haven't gone away on geocaching.com as far as I can tell.

well, the overall impression I've been getting is that they have not yet... but are going to be shortly after the beta phase of Waymarking.com. I really couldn't give a rats tail about locationless caches. They never appealed to me but I never thought they should be moved since others do like them. You decided to move them, so what ever. The people who love locationless caches can fight that fight. But it seems like the attitude is that if it doesn't have a container and a logbook, its not a cache so its on its way over the Waymarking.com. Like others, this is what I'm upset about. If they stay, that's totally cool. We'll never have to worry about Waymarking.com again. If they do go, then our "honest constructive opinions" that they should stay will have fallen on deaf ears.

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If they do go, then our "honest constructive opinions" that they should stay will have fallen on deaf ears.

What do you mean by "go" ? I asked this in another thread. What do they do if they "stay"? What is the criteria for a virtual cache? What is a virtual cache exactly?

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I certainly would prefer honest constructive opinions. Not offhand comments that aren't very helpful. I think all of us would prefer "I think that Waymarking should do x to make it better" not "I think that this sucks." You know? Constructive not deconstructive.

 

So honestly? No. I would rather if you think it sucks you should keep it to yourself unless you can explain some ways that it would suck less.

Now that's the best thing I have heard said in the forums, and I think it's long overdue.

 

Jeremy has given us a new toy to play with in Waymarking. I would personally like it to grow and succeed. It looks like Jeremy has given us, the geocaching community, the ability to help shape what Waymarking is and will become. We should be working together by being constructive and contributing to the Waymarking phenomenon (...couldn't think of the right word, so this one sounded neat). We've been given a fresh start with something new here (less than 3 days old), and we don't need to resort to all the negativety and smart-alec remarks that seem to take place in most of the threads in the regular gc.com forums.

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If they do go, then our "honest constructive opinions" that they should stay will have fallen on deaf ears.
What do you mean by "go" ?
get removed from gc.com

 

What do they do if they "stay"?
not get removed from gc.com. continue to allow new ones. get treated just like the other caches.

 

What is the criteria for a virtual cache?
we already have this in the guidelines. if TPTB don't think the guidelines are working then let's see how they could be changed instead of just telling us they are crap and shipping them off to another site.

 

What is a virtual cache exactly?
see above.
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FIRST, I'd like to applaud all the hard work on the Waymarking site. As someone so clearly stated before me.. This is a new toy. Not the same as GC.com, just different. I am not sure yet if I like Waymarking or not, that is yet to be determined.

 

I think the whole frustration is that Waymarking was billed to replace the virtual and locationless caches, so people are comparing GC.com and Waymarking.

I think people must start viewing the situation as ...Waymarking is a new and different toy. People need to give their constructive input on the site to make it better. It is brand new and needs some tweeking, and maybe even a lot, but that is yet to evolve as ideas come in.

 

I personally liked locationless caches, it was exciting to happen upon an item or a site that would give me another find. It was insurance to include the picture with the GPS that it was a current picture to log the find. But that's just my preference.

I enjoyed virtuals as a find because I gained knowledge and education or just awe that I normally would not necessarily get if it wasn't for the listing.

And I liked very much, that both of these gave us a find. Yes, numbers are fun too. I like the competition and challenge of getting the numbers.

 

In effort to try to understand this better, can you tell me exactly why the idea came up to separate virt/loc caches from GC.com? I am not clear why the diverse methods of seeking out a cache has been determined not acceptable for GC.com?

.. dictionary meaning of cache: a: a hiding place especially for concealing and preserving provisions or implements b : a secure place of storage

 

Maybe that is the intent? To keep it limited to only a storage box, not to include a hiding place for something you want someone to find?

 

Thanks for listening, I am not debating, just looking for clarification for better understanding.

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What is the criteria for a virtual cache?
we already have this in the guidelines. if TPTB don't think the guidelines are working then let's see how they could be changed instead of just telling us they are crap and shipping them off to another site.

You'd think that the site was built in html in a day or something. How short sighted can you be? Perhaps a beta site ain't for you. Come back later when things are fleshed out since all you can do is complain and not offer any constructive solutions. See above in my last post.

 

Speaking of solutions, the "wow" factor doesn't work. What is your solution for virtuals? And no, you aren't allowed to pass the buck this time. If you can provide a solution please do so. One liners don't hack it. Tell me a fair way to provide high quality and well defined virtuals on geocaching.com please.

 

What is a virtual cache exactly?
see above.

 

Your answer must be virtual too, because it doesn't seem to exist.

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FIRST, I'd like to applaud all the hard work on the Waymarking site. As someone so clearly stated before me.. This is a new toy. Not the same as GC.com, just different. I am not sure yet if I like Waymarking or not, that is yet to be determined.

Thanks for keeping an open mind about the process.

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Speaking of solutions, the "wow" factor doesn't work. What is your solution for virtuals?  Tell me a fair way to provide high quality and well defined virtuals on geocaching.com please.

I had thought that the "WOW Factor" was working, and working well. There are far fewer virtual caches being approved, and the ones that do make it through the approval process have been very nice ones to do.

 

As far as a fair way to provide high quality and well defined virtuals, I had been thinking about this for locationless caches and these are my thoughts on those.

 

First, open it up to a limited number, say 500 per year. To keep it open to more than just a few people, only 3 may be by the same person.

 

The vetting process will start by a group (or locationless committee, if you prefer) of 7 or 9 people. These can be current reviewers or an entirely new group of folks. If the locationless cache doesn't pass the muster of this first group of people, it doesn't get listed. A simple yes or no majority vote on the question of whether the reviewer would like to do this cache or not.

 

Once listed, a scoring system will be put in place. A rating of 1 through 5 (1 - lowest, 5 - highest) will help to determine whether the people finding it feel it would be worth keeping. If, after 20 finds, the average score is lower than 3, the cache is archived to make way for another one.

 

At the end of the one-year period, all the locationless caches in that "class" are reviewed. Those receiving an average of 4.5 or higher are kept for the following year and are added to the next year's "class". Those with a lower score are archived.

 

As far as virtual caches go, keep the "WOW Factor" and the system as it currently is set up. I don't know how the WOW Factor isn't working, but if I did, I might be able to provide some feedback.

 

On a final note, I rarely post in the forums due to the general negativity of many of the postings. If this is what you are looking for, I appreciate the opportunity to provide feedback.

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As far as virtual caches go, keep the "WOW Factor" and the system as it currently is set up. I don't know how the WOW Factor isn't working, but if I did, I might be able to provide some feedback.

Hatemail. Lots and lots of hate mail. Lots and lots and lots and lots of hatemail, hurt feelings, and hate mail. Nasty revolting hatemail because their rotting bird virtual wasn't listed.

 

I'm sure the reviewers have kept some good gems to share (of course, removing the user's name). The "Wow" factor didn't work.

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Once listed, a scoring system will be put in place.  A rating of 1 through 5 (1 - lowest, 5 - highest) will help to determine whether the people finding it feel it would be worth keeping.  If, after 20 finds, the average score is lower than 3, the cache is archived to make way for another one.
Gee, that sounds a lot like how the voting and filtering system works, except filtered categories still exist for others to see who may *want* to see them. That way no ones will is forced on anyone else.

 

As far as virtual caches go, keep the "WOW Factor" and the system as it currently is set up.  I don't know how the WOW Factor isn't working, but if I did, I might be able to provide some feedback.
The way it isn't working IMO is that dozens and dozens of virtuals are submitted every week. Often by newbies or others who don't come to the forums. They get quite disappointed and even insulted when the reviewer says their virtual isn't good enough. It's too subjective.
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As far as virtual caches go, keep the "WOW Factor" and the system as it currently is set up.  I don't know how the WOW Factor isn't working, but if I did, I might be able to provide some feedback.

Hatemail. Lots and lots of hate mail. Lots and lots and lots and lots of hatemail, hurt feelings, and hate mail. Nasty revolting hatemail because their rotting bird virtual wasn't listed.

 

I'm sure the reviewers have kept some good gems to share (of course, removing the user's name). The "Wow" factor didn't work.

It's too bad that people can't correspond in a nice way. :D

 

The biggest reason I think that virtuals play an important role is in National Parks. What a shame to go on a vacation in a NP, and yet not be able to geocache because they are not allowed. Especially in my case, like I have mentioned before, if the cache is not right where we are going to, I can't do it because of my family. So that means off-sets are out for me. I would like to see the virts that are in NPs still be listed at gc.com. I get numerous logs every week from people going to my family's Glacier virts. It gives me a lot of satisfaction to know that all these people are getting so much enjoyment while on their vacation. If we didn't have these virts in NP's, vacations in those areas would be dead to geocachers. And I don't see how Waymarking truly replaces that.

 

I do echo what others have said, however. The more I look at it, the more I feel that Waymarking is a very good solution for locationless. Thanks. :o

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What is the criteria for a virtual cache?
we already have this in the guidelines. if TPTB don't think the guidelines are working then let's see how they could be changed instead of just telling us they are crap and shipping them off to another site.

You'd think that the site was built in html in a day or something. How short sighted can you be? Perhaps a beta site ain't for you. Come back later when things are fleshed out since all you can do is complain and not offer any constructive solutions. See above in my last post.

 

Speaking of solutions, the "wow" factor doesn't work. What is your solution for virtuals? And no, you aren't allowed to pass the buck this time. If you can provide a solution please do so. One liners don't hack it. Tell me a fair way to provide high quality and well defined virtuals on geocaching.com please.

 

What is a virtual cache exactly?
see above.

 

Your answer must be virtual too, because it doesn't seem to exist.

Well, to start with, I don't have a problem with virtuals therefore I don't have a solution to what ever problem other people are having. I've liked the virtuals I've seen. I've never looked at a virtual's cache page and thought, "now that's lame. why do that?". If I knew what problem there was with the guidelines, then I might be able to offer suggestions on how that could be fixed. I don't know. I'm sorry I can't offer solutions for a problem I don't have.. It all seems pretty clear to me in the guidelines but I've neither submitted a virtual nor had to review a virtual. I would define a virtual much the same way the guidelines have already done it. I guess there are enough people that didn't get it, thus sent endless hate mail for rejection, that it sounds easier to make the change. So be it. Fortunately for you guys, the ones that DID get it are probably too smart to think that sending endless hate mail will solve anything... so the hate mail may decrease but not likely the hate itself. But i don't like to use the "H" word like that. As displeased as I am at even the notion of losing virtuals to Waymarking.com, I don't hate you for it. You've made a business decision that was yours to make. I do wish you luck with the outcome.

 

Second, what does how the site is built or how long it took have to do with reviewing the guidelines and trying to fix them to better define what should be acceptable as a virtual?

 

I have no doubt that the Waymarking site will work out just fine for a locationless cache replacement. which is why I don't give two craps about it, I'm not into locationless. As stated before, they'd have been fine to stay or leave gc.com. I'm not going to debate that.

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I think I am in the minority in this thread, but here goes.

 

I see a new clear division of Geocaching/Waymarking about to develop and I'm all for it.

 

To me, Geocaching is about walking to a physical container whether that be Traditional, Multi or Puzzle (Not counting Project Ape, which is a novelty that should be converted to Traditonal... another topic all togehter)

 

Waymarking seems to be two different things... Locationless Caches and Virtual Caches.

 

So, I guess if I was to suggest something it would be to create a way to differentiate between "Specific Location Waymarks" which would be the Virtual Cache equivalent, and "Variable Location Waymarks" which would be the Locationless Cache.

 

I see Waymarks as a purely "tourist styled" game. Go see some neat feature, or show one that you found that matches a criteria.

 

So if I was a tourist to, as an example, Washington DC, I would be able to quickly get a list of all the really cool places to visit.

 

If I am looking more for a game of 'here is my cool Van Der Graff generator" then that would be totally different. Everyone could post different ones, and get a list of them across the world

 

I guess another way to put it is using that as an item to find

 

You could post a "Specific Location Van Der Graff Generator" and require people to post a picture at that "one and only" spot, like holding the GPS infront of it.

 

Or, you could have just one "Variable Location Van Der Graff Generator" listing, and run it like the old locationless would be, with rules about multiple logs etc.

 

So it goes without saying, that my opinion is that all Locationless Caches, Virtual Caches, Web Cams and Earth Caches get moved off of Geocaching.com and forced to be either converted to a suitable (as above) Waymark, or Archived.

 

Locationless would be Variable Location, Virtuals would be Specific Location, as would Earth Caches and Web Cams.

 

Since there is one other pre-waymark type, what I refer to as "Social Caches", I guess I should cover that too.

 

Event Caches and CITO's should remain on Geocaching.com as they are not "tourist minded" and are usually for the local community of active Geocachers wot meet and greet.

 

I just think that a clear division already exists... why not make it obvious and divide the two games all together.

 

Then Waymarking could have its own method of scoring, ranking, voting, whatever you want to call it. With logs, finds, all that jazz.

 

:D The Blue Quasar

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Well, to start with, I don't have a problem with virtuals therefore I don't have a solution to what ever problem other people are having. I've liked the virtuals I've seen. I've never looked at a virtual's cache page and thought, "now that's lame. why do that?". If I knew what problem there was with the guidelines, then I might be able to offer suggestions on how that could be fixed. I don't know. I'm sorry I can't offer solutions for a problem I don't have.. It all seems pretty clear to me in the guidelines but I've neither submitted a virtual nor had to review a virtual. I would define a virtual much the same way the guidelines have already done it. I guess there are enough people that didn't get it, thus sent endless hate mail for rejection, that it sounds easier to make the change. So be it. Fortunately for you guys, the ones that DID get it are probably too smart to think that sending endless hate mail will solve anything... so the hate mail may decrease but not likely the hate itself. But i don't like to use the "H" word like that. As displeased as I am at even the notion of losing virtuals to Waymarking.com, I don't hate you for it. You've made a business decision that was yours to make. I do wish you luck with the outcome.

 

Second, what does how the site is built or how long it took have to do with reviewing the guidelines and trying to fix them to better define what should be acceptable as a virtual?

 

I have no doubt that the Waymarking site will work out just fine for a locationless cache replacement. which is why I don't give two craps about it, I'm not into locationless. As stated before, they'd have been fine to stay or leave gc.com. I'm not going to debate that.

mini cacher, thank you for a thoughtful post. I will try and give you a summary, as someone who was "just a geocacher" for my first year, and then a volunteer cache reviewer since May 2003.

 

Virtuals had been "broken" since sometime in 2002 when a flood of awful submissions came in. Sneakers in the woods. Tennis balls. Rotting animal carcasses. You name it, it was submitted as a virtual. The rules were tightened up. Then when people started hearing "no," the hate mail started. And the forum threads about "my virtual wasn't approved."

 

For the volunteer team, virtuals were the number one problem. I don't think I'm disclosing any secrets by saying that there were more arguments among the reviewer group about virtuals than any other single issue, and we spent countless hours thinking with the top leaders of our sport about how to fix them. It was also the number one cause of stress for many reviewers. It is no fun applying the rules, saying "NO" and then getting hate mail. I'm talking the "I know where you live" type of hate mail. We could not come up with an easy fix. I wish that everyone could understand the existing guidelines as clearly as you seem to. But they don't, and the facts bear that out.

 

I also know for a fact that Jeremy has been committed to developing a better solution since the problem was identified in the 2003 timeframe. As I've already mentioned in the Waymarking forum once, he told me the "big picture" during a hike to a cache in September 2003. What we see today is basically the same thing he described. It was hard for me to keep it a secret!

 

My observation: Jeremy is not fond of bandaid solutions and constant tweaks. He prefers to take longer and fix the issues as best as he can -- even though that may be frustrating for you, me and everyone else who wants to see rapid change. After more than a year of hard work, Waymarking.com is the template for the best fix possible. How that template gets filled in -- that is up to the community.

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First, open it up to a limited number, say 500 per year. To keep it open to more than just a few people, only 3 may be by the same person.

That stinks right there. In my area, few do virtuals or locationless caches, few benchmark at all. Why would they waymark? So there is a great category of Fountains. (I live in the desert, I like water.) I can only post 3 listings. So because no one else wants to post them, I cant log anymore fountains in my area? Not a good option. That might lessen the fun for me if that happens. Why would I want to play if I cant log much? There is no reason to limit how many listings people post. People can still log them after someone else posts them.

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After more than a year of hard work, Waymarking.com is the template for the best fix possible. How that template gets filled in -- that is up to the community.

After a couple of days looking at it, I can see that the new site has a lot of potential. (And no, Im not trying to get on anyones good side by posting this.) I missed new virtuals, I missed new locationless caches. Now I can get them. I know Im posting a lot of thoughts about this site. Since this is still "in development" as a beta version, for the very reasons Leprechaun mentioned, Im being vocal.

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<snip>The biggest reason I think that virtuals play an important role is in National Parks.......... If we didn't have these virts in NP's, vacations in those areas would be dead to geocachers. And I don't see how Waymarking truly replaces that.<snip>

This concerns me as well. There are locally many wonderful virtuals in the Smokies NP that are logged very frequently, and I would hate to see those become defunct. Which it seems like they will eventually.

 

I was recently interested in converting one of my existing virtuals in the NP into an Earthcache, but was told by the Earthcachers I'd need to get permission from the NP. For a location on a well-traveled trail. For a location that literally thousands of hikers go to yearly. I decided to leave it be as it is, for it seems perfectly ridiculous for me to run about asking permission for something in *that* particular situation. Other situations may be different, ie: more sensitive areas off trail.

 

So my question here is:

Does anyone know where the NPS stands on Waymarking, or is there no stance on this yet? Will they be requiring permission for any and every waypoints/waymarks/whatevers on NPS land? Will marks ON trails be allowed, but marks NOT on trails be disallowed?

 

Somebody clue me in here or point me to the thread already discussing this.

 

PS, I hope I get used to Waymarking, because as a big fan of the virtual concept (when they're done nicely, OK, I'm tired of hearing about the rotting carcasses) I'm so far not real excited about this :rolleyes:

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As far as I'm concerned, I can waymark any location so long as I'm legally entitled to be there. If there's a sign in the National Park that says "no off trail hiking - sensitive area" then I have no business Waymarking a giant tree 500 feet away from the trail if there is a "giant tree" category.

 

I fail to see how visiting cool spots in National Parks would become "defunct." Rather, I believe they will blossom under the Waymarking concept. No more disallowance of "nice views" or "nice trails" if there are Waymarking categories with those names. Go ahead and waymark the view from every mountain summit. No more denials because "this object is too common." Go ahead and waymark every waterfall in the park.

 

It is just a point on the earth. No permission is needed if I am already at that point legally, unless GPS use in National Parks is outlawed. I never did agree with the logic of earthcaches requiring permission.

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So does this mean that now, in addition to all the good virtuals.. er.. I mean waymarks, we can expect to see the previously rejected virtuals... er.. I mean waymarks... in categories such as "Sneakers in the woods", "Tennis balls", and "Rotting animal carcasses"? This may sound smart-a** but I am serious. Would those categories be allowed if someone wanted to create them?

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