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First off let me say that I really like the new Waymarking site and think I understand it.

 

That being said I would like to petition that not all virtuals should be removed from the geocaching.com site.

 

I would like to propose that truly unique virtual still be allowed on geocaching.com. I agree that roadside markers and tribute plaques don't really belong but I have visited a couple locations that are really unique.

 

For instance this cache http://www.geocaching.com/seek/cache_detai...34-b8029df1b098 is one of only two sites like it in the United States. Because it is a protected nature sanctuary a container is not possible. Driving by the location it looks very unassuming and not any different from any other bluff you drive by in Missouri. Only by stopping and taking a few minutes out do you learn just how fascinating the location is.

 

So my question to my fellow cachers. Should virtuals that have a really high WOW factor still be allowed on Geocaching.com?

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No. Geocaching is about finding a container someone hid and referenced with GPS coordinates (the first cache is not in a very interesting place). Other things have been added to the game over the years, not all of them good. Virtuals are one of these not-so-good things and I'm glad they are on their own site now. The kids don't understand the "find a plaque on this object" type hunts. They don't like multicaches very much until we get to the end. I get to sign the log right there that proves I made it to the spot and the kids get to look through the stuff someone hid.

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So my question to my fellow cachers. Should virtuals that have a really high WOW factor still be allowed on Geocaching.com?

The problem is everyone has a different idea of what the WOW factor is. What ever guidelines you are proposeing could have been used to prevent the need for the new site in the first place. The end of it all is that Jeremy has decided for us all what the WOW factor is and that ended up being "nothing". We don't have to like... we just have to accept it and move on... or in this case not move on (to the new site).

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I will be very disappointed if the virtuals disappear from GC.com. I travel a lot on business, and I like to have my pocket queries - by virtue of GSAK - dump to my PDA and GPSr. Then I can explore a new area, finding all the cool things the locals wanted to show me.

 

I like finding the virtuals in a new area. If they move elsewhere, I lose the ability to find virtuals without having to sift through all the bars and Wendy's in the area.

 

Very sad! :P

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Its funny. Everytime some cacher complains about something another cacher is doing, everyone comes out of the wood work to spout things like "to each his own" or "everyone plays the game their way". But the minute people take issue with a change to the site, suddenly they just need to get on board with how the game is played. Well, you know what? I play the game my way too. I like the occasional virtual! But not so much that I'll start visiting a separate site just for those. I won't be useing it even if that means I no longer get to log virtuals. Thats how I play the game. But thanks to someone else for telling me what I should get excited about... how did I ever make it this far in life not knowing what WOWed me? :P

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I will be very disappointed if the virtuals disappear from GC.com. I travel a lot on business, and I like to have my pocket queries - by virtue of GSAK - dump to my PDA and GPSr. Then I can explore a new area, finding all the cool things the locals wanted to show me.

 

I like finding the virtuals in a new area. If they move elsewhere, I lose the ability to find virtuals without having to sift through all the bars and Wendy's in the area.

 

Very sad! :P

Isn't that the same as having to sift through multis and puzzles now? :P

 

Gve it some time, soon you'll have the ability to filter Waymarks so you don't have to see categories you aren't interested in.

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No. Geocaching is about finding a container someone hid and referenced with GPS coordinates (the first cache is not in a very interesting place). Other things have been added to the game over the years, not all of them good. Virtuals are one of these not-so-good things and I'm glad they are on their own site now. The kids don't understand the "find a plaque on this object" type hunts. They don't like multicaches very much until we get to the end. I get to sign the log right there that proves I made it to the spot and the kids get to look through the stuff someone hid.

Might I suggest that you file a police report on the guy that forces you at gun point to visit virtuals and multis... special if there are kids involved. Perhaps my kid should consult your kids before we buy the next pair of shoes... I'd hate for her to get a color that they don't like. :P

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

*as long as what you are searching for is a container that may or may not be in a location of interest.

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Virtuals are a good part of the game since it can take you to places where a physical cache isn't possible. Look at Washington DC. all of a sudden it has become a wasteland for Geocaching. If the litmus test for whether it is a cache or not is whether you can make trades or not, then lets eliminate micros as well. No I am sorry, Virts. web cams, and Eartcaches don't need to be moved to Waymarking which is nothing more than a big yellow pages directory that can be later sold to a company for GPS software updates or mapping software. I can see and agree about the locationless caches being over there, but come on, you can't physically put a cache everywhere you want to take someone.

 

Take I can see Lincoln, This was a Virtual that would show my kids something of importance. It is now relagated to a waymark and equal to a McDonalds down the street. I hope this doesn't last and virts, webcams, and earthcaches make a quick come back with a truly better way to handle them. I am disappointed that this was the big solution for them.

 

edit to add: I can see alot more problems with cachers and the reputation of GC since now we are forced to try to hide something small at a place we feel is worthy of visiting on GC. The onrush of micros is about to begin.

Edited by pghlooking
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...then lets eliminate micros as well.

I'm sorry, but we found a lot of micros before we found one that didn't have trades in it. Even though I don't care for trading I always like the inventiveness of the micro trades. So much so, I created a micro TB specifically for micros.

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Its funny. Everytime some cacher complains about something another cacher is doing, everyone comes out of the wood work to spout things like "to each his own" or "everyone plays the game their way". But the minute people take issue with a change to the site, suddenly they just need to get on board with how the game is played. Well, you know what? I play the game my way too. I like the occasional virtual! But not so much that I'll start visiting a separate site just for those. I won't be useing it even if that means I no longer get to log virtuals. Thats how I play the game. But thanks to someone else for telling me what I should get excited about... how did I ever make it this far in life not knowing what WOWed me? :P

You know what's really ironic about this statement? You're not being stopped from playing the game your way, your just being advised virts are now on a different location, because just like benchmarks, they don't really represent a cache, just a place. That's why micros are considered a cache. As small as they are, they still fit the definition.

 

People get told to each his own because everyone plays the game their way only when someone tries to complain that the person of compaint is not playing it the way the complainer thinks it should be played and wants rules to be created to stop them from doing it that way, or gain a concensus so they can go back and bash the player from playing it that way.

 

Apples and oranges. :P

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I'll take it a step further - I'd be OK with all virtuals, webcams, locationless, etc. caches not only being transfered over to the Waymarking site but also to NOT allow grandfathering of existing virtuals. As soon as a category exists where a virtual can be moved over to the new site - move it over, stats, logs and all.

 

This does not change ANYTHING about how neat the virtual may be. The experience is still there, the coordinates to find the experience is still there, and you can still search for waymarks - even refine it to TOP NOTCH waymarks closest to you (or wherever you may be travelling) - and get the real cool experence just the same. The rating features on Waymarking will probably HIGHLIGHT the best virtuals way better than how they get mixed in to the whole mish-mash on GC.com. Right now, if I see the ghost icon, my initial reaction is that it is more likely to be ordinary rather than a must see stop. I often only get the virtuals from either having a little extra time and no physical caches nearby (or not many) or by reading the description and actually seeing that there is something valuable about the experience.

 

For the sake of simplicity, the original geocaching rules have been Take something, Leave something, sign the log. Virtuals never were able to adhere to that ruleset and were created to provide SOMETHING to go to using your GPSr when a physical cache was unable to be placed. At the time they were included on GC.com because there was no other option available. Now there is another option available. Leave GC.com to the physical caches and Waymarking to the waypoints without physical logs. It seems quite neat and cut-and-dry to me. Sure, everyones numbers will drop on the GC.com site but does that really matter? It just everyone a second chance at hitting some new milestones. That means more celebrations and more beer and more beer is never really a bad thing :P

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I'll take it a step further

 

... <snip> ...

 

For the sake of simplicity, the original geocaching rules have been Take something, Leave something, sign the log. Virtuals never were able to adhere to that ruleset

Many (if not most) micros also don't adhere to that. It seems pretty rare that you can actually Take or Leave anything in a micro. Yes it does happen, but I guess by the standards being reported here, those that don't hold trade items need to be moved to http://www.tiny-sign-only-caches.com

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Take I can see Lincoln, This was a Virtual that would show my kids something of importance. It is now relagated to a waymark and equal to a McDonalds down the street. I hope this doesn't last and virts, webcams, and earthcaches make a quick come back with a truly better way to handle them. I am disappointed that this was the big solution for them.

 

That's our virtual! So cool that you used our virtual as an example. We also had the Who Am I virtual, but they decided to archive it on me.

 

Gabwp

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I think you would be hard pressed to find anyone who says the Lincoln Memorial doesn't possess a "WOW" factor.

 

There is the problem. Instead of a WOW factor why don't we use the formula of, is this place unique to the point there are not 50 of these everywhere AND can it sensibly be converted into an actual physical cache. I am in favor of a physical cache in alot of instances, but some truly can not physically contain a cache for a variety of reasons. The most obvious is the simple fact that some of these places are too public which may cause much more unwanted attention than we need to draw. I truly do not understand why this formula doesn't work.

 

Waymarking is not the answer to this problem. It is a Yellow pages style database. If I have something unique to show like the Lincoln Memorial, doesn't it make sense to make it a virtual cache instead of a line in the yellow pages? As an owner I don't think it does a fair service to the place. Isn't geocaching more about taking us to a place, teaching us about it, and enjoying the journey? By moving these to the phone book, what we are saying is basically, Its cool only if you can put something there to sign your name, otherwise its just another category in the phone book for you to look through. The database does have a place and immediately vacation comes to mind. But there are too many cool virts to just lose them over the sake of no log book. I hope they reconsider these points and bring them back with a better plan of management.

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I was under the impression that existing virtuals would be grandfathered and allowed to stay.

I think I read this was till the end of the year. After that it was either archieved or moved to WM. Same goes for webcams and earthcaches. I am assuming the breakdown of your total finds will still be represented with the virtual icon showing you found them even after they are moved to that other place.

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I would like to go on record asking that virtuals not be removed from being caches. The existing virtuals should be allowed to remain and new ones should be allowed in the future.

 

The fact that they are counted as a cache give them a value to many that would not be there otherwise. I know the official line is that we should not be concerned about find totals but the reality is for many its very important.

 

Now I would not be apposed to restricting new virtuals to places where regular caches are prohibited, like national parks. Otherwise we are going to see a lot of two stage multi's where you find a plaque or something in the parks with the actual box just outside.

 

As an additional note, we just added Earthcaches and find it hard to believe they are going to be eliminated already.

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Actually, I think virts, earthcaches and LCs are only being allowed to remain on GC.com temporarily. At some point, they will all be archived.

 

That being said, 'Big deal'. With any luck at all, we will be able to grab a PQ from WM.com just like we are at GC.com. If you want to go hunt for virts at that point, you still will be able to.

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I think you would be hard pressed to find anyone who says the Lincoln Memorial doesn't possess a "WOW" factor.

True, but is it a cache?

 

Even its name implies that it's not really a cache.

I can see where you are coming from but disagree to a point. I think the answer probably lies somewhere between us. I feel it is more of a cache than a waymark. This is a point of interest that I would like to show others by bringing them here. I do not feel that a database will bring me here. How many of us have found something new or interesting in our hometown due to the fact that someone wrote it up on GC and made a cache involving it. If this is not about the numbers but is about the adventure then it needs to remain here. I think tweaking the old guidlines would ensure a better fit to the game than moving it entirely to that site and calling it something else.

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I'd like to point out the none of the geocaches really can adhere to the defintion of "cache" that has been pointed to several times. The caches that do contain swag can hardly be true caches that "hold supplies for future travels" or "keep food safe from bears". Most of the swag is pretty worthless in the grand scheme of things and caches aren't to have food in them. So if we can latch onto this definition from long ago and stretch it for our own agenda, then I submit that a lot of virtual caches "hold valuable knowledge for future generations"... something for more valuable than the McSwag that someone else picked up at a McD's they found while "Waymarking".

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Fron the Waymarking FAQ:

 

Existing maintained virtuals on geocaching.com will be grandfathered on the web site, but we do not guarantee they will remain listed forever. We'll see how Waymarking goes.

 

It would seem that, for the ime being, exisiting virts will remain on GC.com

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Until I catch the flavor of actually using the new site I can't really offer an opinion on how things will play out.

 

What I can say is that geocaching in all it's variations which includes virtuals, webcams, benchmarks and tupperware involved an element of the hunt. But it had something more. Anyone at any time could use waypoint.org or find a degree confluence. But it took geocaching and the degree confluence projects to add the something extra to get people out, to take photo's and find boxes, and signs. That something that didn't exist before.

 

If the new site keeps that something extra then moving cacheless hunts to it won't matter much. But if it doesn't, it will flop and hopefully that would mean virtuals and the like that do have the spark will remain as they are.

Edited by Renegade Knight
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99% of all virts are simply sight-seeing stops. Those will fit much better as a waymark.

 

The problem with the rest is how do you justify keeping them here?

What percentage of geocaches are placed because there is something worth seeing at, on the way or near the cache location?

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99% of all virts are simply sight-seeing stops.  Those will fit much better as a waymark.

 

The problem with the rest is how do you justify keeping them here?

What percentage of geocaches are placed because there is something worth seeing at, on the way or near the cache location?

Don't know, but physical caches have never needed an excuse to exist.

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I posted the following category suggestion in the Waymarking forum.

 

Category Suggestion: WOW!!!

 

This category is meant as an answer to those who feel the Waymarking solution does not capture the spirit of virtual caches and think that there is still a place for virtuals on geocaching.com. It is meant to show that eventually one or more categories might be started on Waymarking.com that can address some of the issues of those who would like to keep virtual caches. While several parts of this proposal may be controversial, there is one area that I know will be. For those who want to see these "virtuals" in their find counts, I proposed logging a find on one of my caches. This part is probably already a no-go with Groundspeak because it would result in thousands of logs on this cache. The real solution is to realize that the numbers don't matter.

 

Category Places > WOW!!!

 

To report a waymark in this category it must meet the following requirements:

 

1. A WOW!!! waymark must be a unique physical object that can be referenced through latitude and longitude coordinates. That object should be semi-permanent to permanent. If I post the waymark today, someone else should be able to find it tomorrow and the next day.

 

A trail is a trail, a beach is a beach, a view is a view; but a trail, beach, or view is NOT a waymark (at least not a WOW!!! waymark). A WOW!!! waymark has to be a specific distinct GPS target - not something large like a mountain top or a park, however special those locations are.

 

2. A WOW!!! waymark must be novel, of interest to other players, and have a special historic, community or geocaching quality that sets it apart from everyday subjects. Since the reward for a WOW!!! waymark is the location, the location should “WOW” the prospective finder (why else do you think I called it WOW!!!). Signs, memorials, tombstones, statues or historical markers are among the items that are generally too common to qualify as WOW!!! waymark. Use a different category to report these. I, the category owner, make the final decision as to what constitutes WOW!!!. There are no appeals. Any waymark submitted by a Geocaching.com volunteer approver, using either their personal or approver account, who ever rejected a virtual cache because it didn't have the "WOW factor" will automatically not be accepted.

 

3. There should be one or more questions about an item at a location, something seen at that location, etc., that only the visitor to that physical location will be able to answer. The questions should be difficult enough that it cannot be answered through library or web research. The use of a "certificate of achievement" or similar item is not a substitute for the find verification requirement.

 

4. An original photo posted to the waymark log can be an acceptable way to verify a find, or an email to the waymark reporter with valid answers for the question or questions. In NO cases should answers be posted in the logs, even if encrypted. The waymark reporter (owner) is responsible for verifying visited logs to their waymark. The owner is expected to delete/archive logs that don't meet the verification requirements.

 

WOW!!! Waymark Maintenance Guidelines

 

Although the WOW!!! waymark is not something you physically maintain, you must maintain your WOW!! waymark's web page and respond to inquiries and periodically check the physical location. You should also return to the Waymarking.com web site at least once a month to show you are still active. WOW!!! waymarks posted and "abandoned" may be archived by the category owner. The waymark reporter will assume the responsibility of quality control of logged “visits” for the WOW!!! waymark, and will agree to delete any “visit” logs that appear to be bogus, counterfeit, off topic, or not within the stated requirements.

 

WOW!!! Waymark Logging Guidelines

 

Logging a WOW!!! waymark visit requires compliance with the requirements stated by the waymark reporter, including answering the required questions by e-mail to the waymark reporter (NOT the category owner), providing original photos if so requested, etc. Answers to questions, hints or clues should not be placed in the logs, even if encrypted. In order to get credit on geocaching.com for your "find" you may post a find to the following geocache: GC????. Your geocache log will be deleted if the waymark reporter deletes your corresponding waymark log.

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So... let me see if I understand tozainamboku's category correctly. The category owner gets to decide what constitutes "WOW" factor? Sounds incredibly subjective and arbitrary. People will whine in the Waymarking forums about how such-and-such category manager won't approve their waymark. There will be personal attacks tossed at the category owner. After awhile, the category owner, who is only trying to do his job in enforcing the standards for that waymark category, will get really burned out and will petition Groundspeak to develop a better solution.

 

Oh, and thanks for the personal attack. I did get a chuckle out of it. <_<

Edited by The Leprechauns
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But that is what Waymarking is..........a data base of Points of Intrest.

Incorrect. Waymarking is a database of points.

It interested someone, other wise they wouldn't have listed it.

..only if the Category owner then also finds it interesting, or it is listed to an auto-magic category.

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But if it was a virt I would know there was something different and not just a basic everyday lighthouse. I don't think a plain old lighthouse would be a virt before, but the landlocked one that was moved by hand over 3 miles towards the sea with nothing more than man and animal power and was turned back on just in time to save 1,243 lives on a cold december night back in 1943, is much more interesting than just....Lighthouses. But under this structure, it is nothing more than a ...Lighthouse... Of course I could always spend my free time reading line after line in every category to find the ones that are interesting and not just run of the mill. Does that seems way more productive than the old way? how many McDonalds do I have to go through before I find out about the one thats built in a treetop canopy? Now that is interesing but I am sure most will never see that listing since McDonaldds will be one of the most blocked categories. Not to mention the size of the PQ one must run to get a listing for a city. A year from now you plan to visit New York. Any idea how many Waypoints (Waymarks and Geocaches combined) you will be downloading? I am guessing here and have no facts to support the actual numbers, but I am guessing its going to be way over the 500 limit in existence now, and well over the limit on most mid level GPS units being used today.

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That seems incredibly burdensome.

To say the least.

This is extremely subjective legalese babble.

No offense but it only seems to provoke more controversy.

I could be wrong but I read his category suggestion as a tongue-in-cheek indictment of just how rediculous the new system will be. It seems to solve nothing that it meant to solve. It is as if, rather than try to regulate some sort of control over the lameness issue by way of solid guidelines, they simply transplanted it to another site that they and we don't have to look at unless by choice.

Edited by mini cacher
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But if it was a virt I would know there was something different and not just a basic everyday lighthouse.

What is the litmus test for a virtual? Who decides what is listed and what is not?

 

1. My dog Fluffy was very important to me. When I broke my hip on the trail it drug me 2 1/2 miles before it collapsed. Please, oh please, make the tombstone a virtual so I can tell of Fluffy's bravery.

 

2. This lighthouse was where my parents first proposed and is very important to me. Please list it as a virtual.

 

3. This rock was carried by pilgrims and cemented here at the base of the church. If you find the rock, what color is it?

 

So, what litmus test would you create for this? Do you plan to review and publish every virtual based on your litmus test? Is a virtual reall, truly a cache?

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