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There seems to be a lot of negative buzz about the decision to include a McDonald's waymark category on the waymark site. I thought I'd come in and defend the decision, since the category is managed by me.

 

I realize that a lot of people don't give a crap about commercial entities, particularly gigantic successful ones that have been accused of "suburbanizing" the planet, or exponentially increasing the number of obese people in the world. I also realize that geocachers in particular might be offended because the inclusion of such a category taints the independent, grass-roots, community-based culture that they hold so dear.

 

First off, I will start by saying that I personally like McDonald's and have been enamoured with the brand for years. I am smart enough to not eat there every day, and I know that the food there generally is unhealthy. But I still love the taste and it's a treat for me whenever I visit. I also dig the branding, the history, the logo, cartoon characters, etc. The restaurant might not be your thing. But it's my thing. I want to keep track of which McDonald's restaurants I've visited. With this site I now can do that. I want to hear anecdotes about various McDonald's around the world. I want to know what other people eat when they visit McDonald's. This site allows me to do so.

 

Waymarking is not Geocaching. They are similar activities, but they aren't tied together in any way, other than the fact that your Groundspeak membership applies for both sites. You don't have to be a waymarker if you are a geocacher and vice versa. In the future we may put the option to display geocaching stats on the Waymarking site (if you choose), but for now they are totally separate entities.

 

As we slowly unroll the site to the general population, we will start handing out categories. Then you will understand what it means to be in charge of "your thing". There will be hundreds/thousands of categories and you might not like that many of them. But you'll probably find at least a couple that tickle your fancy. And if not, you can create your own. You don't have to pay attention to the ones you don't like.

 

One more thing. The upgrade/downgrade feature has been provided to you to allow you to vote for or against a category. As the site gets more populated with waymarks and categories, the popularity filter will start to weed out the categories that people don't like as much. If no one likes McDonald's but me (which seems to be the case at the moment), it will slide down the popularity scale. If you want more info on the popularity filter, you should read this post by lil devil:

 

http://forums.Groundspeak.com/GC/index.php...dpost&p=1648828

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The inclusion of a McDonald's category bugs me, but not for any of the reasons you've brought up.

 

I personally don't care about the place of McDonald's in the global scheme, their place in feeding us, their politics, etc.

 

Waymarking is not Geocaching. Very true. But you can't deny that it did grow out of Geocaching.

 

What I hope is that Waymarking is more than, and different from, a GPS-enabled phonebook. Logically, if we have a McDonalds category, then we should also include Burger King, Wendy's, Subway, Payless Shoe Source, Jiffy Lube, dentists offices, proctologists, etc. To me, that's not what my ideal concept of Waymarking is about.

 

Just my 2 cents.

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Here is a great example of why I am concerned about the whole "vote for my category" idea.

 

Who are any of us to say that someone should or shouldn't be allowed to create a category that interests them?

 

Have fun with your McDonald's category! Heck, I logged one as much out of curiosity as anything.

 

It is a good thing it was there from the start, because 2/3 majority would be hard to come by, it appears.

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Far as I can tell there is no confirmation process (picture) that proves you were there. One could go throught the phonebook, find all the addresses, put them in a site that gives coords and log them all without setting foot in one.

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Is this about numbers or what? It's a POI that appeals to the individual. There is always going to be some sort of numbers abuse. Who really goes and looks at the log books in each cache to see if Joe Blow really went to the cache? It's the same thing here. If you want the title of Mr. McDonalds then blow yourself away. There is logic in log visits. If Joe live in BFE and logs every McDonalds there then starts logging all the McDonalds in BFU, which is 800 miles away, then this could raise a red flag. Most people leave a trail. It's not about the numbers, at least that's how I feel about it.

 

I think that too many people are worried about this becoming too generic. It's not a being generic, it's about marking the way to places.

 

There are always going to be those who are scared or offended or disturbed by change. Get out of the rut <_<

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I am personally thankful the McDonald's category was here yesterday.

 

Everyone can log a McDonald's. So, it allowed me to go through the steps and see what was happening.

 

Before I created a waymark, I had no idea what the fuss was about.

 

Now I just need someone to go eat at the one in Sterling, Illinois!

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Far as I can tell there is no confirmation process (picture) that proves you were there. One could go throught the phonebook, find all the addresses, put them in a site that gives coords and log them all without setting foot in one.

This isn't geocaching. This is Waymarking. With this McDonalds category as an excellent example, I think the goal is to ultimately get every single McDonalds entered as waymarks into the category. To enter a waymark you really don't need to even visit the actual location if you are able to determine the coordinates someway on your own.

 

After the waymark for a particular McDonalds is created, then the next step is for other people to "visit" them and log their "visits" under the previous created waymark. And it looks like whoever creates the waymark can visit it too. It seems like anyone can visit it again and again and again. I see a visit as a way of simply confirming that the waymark is still valid...There is no need for any kind of additional confirmation requirement. On the chance that a waymark is created that is not valid or the coords were entered wrong, this will soon be verified when people go to "visit" the waymark and then the category owner and waymark creater can work on correcting the waymark. Pretty straight forward.

 

This is not geocaching and these are not locationless caches. Waymarking appears to be a website with a database to thousands of different types of object categories. I think the hardest thing for geocachers is to get their mindset around the fact that waypointing is a different game than geocaching and it is played different. Actually Geocaching is a game, Waypointing is an Information Database about People, Places and Things (Locations and Objects).

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I posted in another thread but will repeat here. I like McDonalds!

 

I have two young boys that would eat every meal there if they could. I myself love the fries, mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm!!!

 

I also have no guilt at all about using a McD's as a quick rest stop on a cache run with out buying anything. They are quick and generally cleaner than gas stations.

 

p.s. I'll put some McDonalds coupon's in my next offering to the Frog just for Bootron.

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This isn't geocaching. This is Waymarking. With this McDonalds category as an excellent example, I think the goal is to ultimately get every single McDonalds entered as waymarks into the category. To enter a waymark you really don't need to even visit the actual location if you are able to determine the coordinates someway on your own.

I think you've summarized both what Waymarking is and where the confusion lies in that people are trying to wrap geocaching around it.

 

IMHO, that confusion stems from the fact that for months, the Waymarking site was offered as the "coming" solution for listing virtual and locationless caches.

 

While people can now add those "sites" as waymarks, Waymarking ISN'T a substitute for those types of caches...because it isn't set up as a cache listing site.

 

It's going to take people a while to understand that this isn't the same activity as geocaching.

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What the McDonald's Waymarking category means to me is that anything...anything can and should have its own category...within 24 hours of it's announcement, we've skipped to the bottom of a slippery slope...everything is included...no need to draw any lines...unless someone can explain how to do so now.

 

nfa-jamie

Edited by NFA
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A game is fun. Waymarking has a great potential to be too boring to care about much less participate in. No offense to Jeremy, but in offering this as the great exciting alternative to locationless and virtuals, Im having trouble getting as excited over this as I would like to be. We have to have our categories voted on, but one person on your staff gets his McDonalds? Potential sorespot. I like the idea of being able to demand proof of visit to a spot. Is that still an option? Can we still delete logs of those who dont fulfill the requirements? Or are we all merely creating lists for people without the adventure feel of geocaching? Now this is starting to get a bit tedious. We tried to play with markeroni/ snarfing. It turned into a listing service type of deal and bored us rather quickly.

 

What Im getting at, is that I was looking forward to another game to play, not merely a listing service. It isnt worth my time and gas money to just list stuff without a game aspect.

 

Just my thoughts Jeremy. I assume you want feedback in the beta stage of this venture.

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A game is fun. Waymarking has a great potential to be too boring to care about much less participate in. No offense to Jeremy, but in offering this as the great exciting alternative to locationless and virtuals, Im having trouble getting as excited over this as I would like to be.

Agreed. But we're biased as we like geocaching <_<

 

I'm glad the exisiting (maintained) virtuals listed on Gc.com will stay there as well. I admit it, I like the numbers. I love finding them... I will lose the thrill of logging a "find", but instead a "visit" when other people have simply lied about going there. I'll would otherwise miss the ability to do a cool find in a town centre I'm driving through and adding it to my geocaching score! But again, this ain't geocaching.com it's waypointing.com so we just need to go with the new flow for virtuals..or well, ignore it totally.

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A game is fun. Waymarking has a great potential to be too boring to care about much less participate in. No offense to Jeremy, but in offering this as the great exciting alternative to locationless and virtuals, Im having trouble getting as excited over this as I would like to be.

This is pretty funny. It mirrors a plethora of similar comments about geocaching as an activity when it started in the first year. No offense meant. It's just funny coming from a historical view. This takes me way back.

 

[edited for clarity]

Edited by Jeremy
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I admit it, I like the numbers. I love finding them... I will lose the thrill of logging a "find", but instead a "visit" when other people have simply lied about going there.  I'll would otherwise miss the ability to do a cool find in a town centre I'm driving through and adding it to my geocaching score!  But again, this ain't geocaching.com it's waypointing.com so we just need to go with the new flow for virtuals..or well, ignore it totally.

Just so you all know, there WILL be a focus on numbers eventually with Waymarking. There also will be a lot more game-like activities coming. This is a very early release, and there is MUCH more to come. We just wanted to release something now so that you all will be familiar with the concept when we start to add the various features. This isn't an easy concept to get. There will be a learning curve. We want to approach the game with baby steps.

 

And contrary to many of the assessments made in this thread, we do believe that Waymarking is a direct replacement for locationless caches. On the geocaching site the locationless cache itself was like a waymark category. The cache owner makes his own rules and administers his cache, in almost the same way a Waymarking category manager will administer his category. In loc-less caches the logs were basically waymarks, but there was no way to visit the logs. We've just moved them up one level so that people can actually "visit" the logs. A locationless cache is a waymark category. A locationless log is a waymark.

 

And if we really want to get technical, Geocaching is actually a Waymarking category (or it could be). Waymarking.com is basically a collection of Geocaching-like sites.

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What I hope is that Waymarking is more than, and different from,  a GPS-enabled phonebook.  Logically, if we have a McDonalds category, then we should also include Burger King, Wendy's, Subway, Payless Shoe Source, Jiffy Lube, dentists offices, proctologists, etc. To me, that's not what my ideal concept of Waymarking is about.

It will be. And if anyone wants to take on Wendy's or Subways, more power to them. And maybe it isn't the Waymarking concept that you envision, but it could be for someone else. But it also doesn't mean you can't turn Waymarking into the concept that you want too!

 

I will admit that even though I am managing a McDonalds category, I don't want Waymarking to turn solely into a citysearch of commercial locations either, and that's why we are taking the painstaking efforts to show examples of all different types of waymark categories in our initial release. McDonalds, while it is something that truly interests me, is more placed in the directory to show that commercial waymarks will be allowed (even if it isn't the best waymark category idea ever). We want to set the stage with all kinds of different examples, so people can see the breadth of what we're talking about here. The only thing that isn't allowed at this point is taboo subjects like Brothels and XXX shops, but even that isn't a hard fast rule yet.

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My problem with Mcdonald's is that it would lead one to believe that each restaurants chain should have their own subcategory. Then you might have to go to type of food; seafood, Steak House .. ; Cost - $ $$ $$$$.

 

The name of a chain just seems to be the wrong breakout in the Restaurant category.

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like I said, there has to be a requirement to verify a visit. If not, I could get thousands of #s (ex- all the McDs and Subways in the world) without moving. It makes the one that people do go to "worthless".

Also the categories will have to be restricted- if not, how about bathrooms I have used?

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My problem with Mcdonald's is that it would lead one to believe that each restaurants chain should have their own subcategory.

I guess I see it as ANY chain COULD have it's own category if there is a waymark-person who is interested enough in requesting the category.

 

The owner of McDonald's, the category, wants to see McDonald's as a waymark.

 

I am still trying to decide what it is that I want to manage as a category. I have long given up* on trying to enforce my tastes on what others want to see as a waymark.

 

Waymarking... To each their own.

 

*About yesterday (8/16/05) at 1:30pm.

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like I said, there has to be a requirement to verify a visit. If not, I could get thousands of #s (ex- all the McDs and Subways in the world) without moving. It makes the one that people do go to "worthless".

Also the categories will have to be restricted- if not, how about bathrooms I have used?

I think the verification is up to the category owner. They can require that and police it if they desire. If they don't, then OK. People might put less faith in accuracy or something then. Since it isn't really the same as cache finds, I'm not sure it matters unless it leads to inaccurate information? What I did with my categories is ask for GPS coordinates since I figure getting them will help with accuracy (although I suppose they could use mapping software to get them). My main concern is accuracy to find the object/place/thing with my categories. Others might feel differently with theirs and want verification. They can require that.

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like I said, there has to be a requirement to verify a visit. If not, I could get thousands of #s (ex- all the McDs and Subways in the world) without moving. It makes the one that people do go to "worthless".

Also the categories will have to be restricted- if not, how about bathrooms I have used?

I think the verification is up to the category owner. They can require that and police it if they desire. If they don't, then OK. People might put less faith in accuracy or something then. Since it isn't really the same as cache finds, I'm not sure it matters unless it leads to inaccurate information? What I did with my categories is ask for GPS coordinates since I figure getting them will help with accuracy (although I suppose they could use mapping software to get them). My main concern is accuracy to find the object/place/thing with my categories. Others might feel differently with theirs and want verification. They can require that.

Is verification of visits up to the category owner or the waymark owner?

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Is verification of visits up to the category owner or the waymark owner?

Both have the ability to archive logs. But generally I think the waymark owner controls his/her own visits.

Interesting situation: Category owner wants to keep a log on a waymark in the category. Waymarker doesn't, or vice versa. Then what? I can see the potential for angst there. :P Perhaps it should be left to the category owner and the waymarker can ask that they delete and they hash it out? Or just the opposite, let the waymarker only decide and they can hash it out privately if needed? I see potential for conflict, although I doubt it really would come up all that much.

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...Waymarker doesn't...

Is one who visits Waymarks a "Waymarker"?

 

That could get confusing.

 

Waymarkist?

Waymarkee?

Waymarkdude?

Waymarkman?

Waymarkian?

Waymarkperson?

 

Hmmmm.

 

Geocacher works, but Waymarker sounds like a place, not a person...

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...Waymarker doesn't...

Is one who visits Waymarks a "Waymarker"?

 

That could get confusing.

 

Waymarkist?

Waymarkee?

Waymarkdude?

Waymarkman?

Waymarkian?

Waymarkperson?

 

Hmmmm.

 

Geocacher works, but Waymarker sounds like a place, not a person...

This is probably a good one for another thread. I pick pointer since you point the way.

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This is probably a good one for another thread. I pick pointer since you point the way.

Sorry, was thinking out loud.

No seriously. Now is the time to talk terminology though it may be a bit premature since the rest of the community doesn't know about this.

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...Waymarker doesn't...

Is one who visits Waymarks a "Waymarker"?

 

That could get confusing.

 

Waymarkist?

Waymarkee?

Waymarkdude?

Waymarkman?

Waymarkian?

Waymarkperson?

 

Hmmmm.

 

Geocacher works, but Waymarker sounds like a place, not a person...

Yeah, that could be confusing. I meant the person who made the waymark, e.g. waymark owner. It will be interesting to see the terminology that evolves in this game! :P

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When I set my filter to 100%, I still don't see McDonald's.

 

I also noted this text from filter help:

 

The default setting is 100. A threshold of 0 will display all waymark categories. The higher the number, the more selective the filter.

 

I don't think that is true, because if I set it to 0, I don't see anything. I think it is worded backwards.

 

I need to play with this some more.

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When I set my filter to 100%, I still don't see McDonald's.

 

I also noted this text from filter help:

 

The default setting is 100. A threshold of 0 will display all waymark categories. The higher the number, the more selective the filter.

 

I don't think that is true, because if I set it to 0, I don't see anything. I think it is worded backwards.

 

I need to play with this some more.

Yeah. The help text is wrong. We had that flipped around in the past. now 10% means the top 10% rated listings.

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No. It is using statistics to determine a threshold at each increment at the moment. If you look at the URL the current low threshold is 5 while the final threshold is -22. If you change it to -23 it will show mcdonalds. When you choose your threshold, however, you pick the top x percentile so it adjusts every time you visit the site.

 

As the site grows with waymarks the statistics will even out better. For now the spectrum is between 5 and -22 votes so the range doesn't go that far.

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...Waymarker doesn't...

Is one who visits Waymarks a "Waymarker"?

 

That could get confusing.

 

Waymarkist?

Waymarkee?

Waymarkdude?

Waymarkman?

Waymarkian?

Waymarkperson?

 

Hmmmm.

 

Geocacher works, but Waymarker sounds like a place, not a person...

How about a Waynker :P ? (A nod to British cachers)

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like I said, there has to be a requirement to verify a visit. If not, I could get thousands of #s (ex- all the McDs and Subways in the world) without moving. It makes the one that people do go to "worthless".

Also the categories will have to be restricted- if not, how about bathrooms I have used?

Shouldn't that be the point of a waymark category. To obtain as complete a list as possible of all waymarks that fit in a specified category. I really don't see anything wrong with someone entering 100 or even 1000 McDonalds as waymarks, as long as you are able to get accurate information (i.e., coordinates). It is the people then who actually visit the specific McDonalds waymarks to log a "visit" entry on that waymark.

 

I don't think it should really matter how many waymarks someone creates, but more importantly a logged "visit" to a waymark is what is important to show that the waymark exists and is accurate.

 

...on the topic of McDonalds, I volunteer to manage a Kentucky Fried Chicken category if it's created.

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I would like to be the Head Waynker in Charge of the Popeye's category as soon as it is created.

 

I'd also like one to be the HWiC for Bud's Broiler and Ted's Frostop categories as soon as they're up, too.

 

On a related note - when you have small regional or limited chains, it might be useful to have these in a sub category to stop them for spreading the hierarchy too wide.

 

In case you didn't know, New Orleans has a lot of restaurants, and I love to eat at as many as I can and let people know which ones to try first - but categories are supposed to cross geographic boundaries.

 

Would a question Waymarking.com be intended to answer be "Give me a list of top-rated restaurants in this area?"

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Just to show my support for the McDonalds Category (I've waymarked a bunch of them already).

 

I see aspects to Waymarking:

 

1. Its a big ol' POI database. This might not seem like such a big deal to people with mapsource or other mapping packages, but it has a lot of potential. There are lots of places on the planet that don't appear in just about any database, that would be useful to have. I mean if I want to know where all the outhouses are from here to whereever I'm driving to, how am I going to find out? (and trust me there's been times when I would have been very greatful for such a database). Its not supposed to be hard to find (although I imagine eventually it would be hard to find one not already in the database). The database itself is meant to be useful. (and thus it doesn't matter how its created, as long as it isn't by ripping off some commercial product)

2. Then there is the replacement for locationlesses aspect. These are things that are hard to find. Things that make you go 'wow'. You can use this part of the database to either visit these 'wow' locations, or when you find a wow location, enter it in to the database.

 

FWIW, before I started caching, the first place I marked on the GPSr was a gas station, the second was a McDonalds...

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I know I am gonna stir a hornets nest of this...

 

Now my favorite Burger is Burger King... My favorite fries is Hardees Fries... My favorite type of food is Chinese food.

 

But there is something about McDonald's. There is a historical and Unversal value of it. McDonald's was the first fastfood place to really popularize america, so maybe there were other fast food joints before McDonald's, but McDonald's took that Giant Leap to popularize the fast food industry.

 

And no I would not look forward to all other restaruarnts being waymarked. If that is the case then we would have to change the name to WAYMARKETING.

 

By the way, it would be a neat idea to waymark, Independant Interstate Restaurants.... in S.e> MO, you have Lamberts Cafe.. Home of the Throwed Rolls... in Amarillo TX, you have the Big Texan.... in Detroit MI, there is the Big Detroiter.....

 

I would love to see what Unique places (individually owned though) to eat that are along the interstates.

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My objection to this category is that it is so very obviously the top of a slippery slope into the Waymarking game becoming a blatantly commercial advertising website for all sorts of chain stores and other multinational companies.

 

If you want to find a particular firm which markets atherosclerotic fatburgers then there are plenty of online directories, such as Yellow pages, already.

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Today, as I as driving, all I could see was McDonalds. I never noticed them before. Now I cant stop seeing them. This is a really bad side effect of that category.  :rolleyes:

I may have to sign a secret deal with McDonald's here soon. They are getting way too much PR out of my category. Too funny.

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In loc-less caches the logs were basically waymarks, but there was no way to visit the logs. We've just moved them up one level so that people can actually "visit" the logs. A locationless cache is a waymark category. A locationless log is a waymark.

 

Yes but surely there must be a qualitative difference in Waymarking a McDs, at the bottom level, and, for example, Waymarking an Earthcache where the "owner" has to research and provide some validated educational information, and really make an effort to get the best location for observing the site.

 

I hate to think that an well planned earthcache is only as good as a drive-by McDs sighting!

 

With Waymarking are they REALLY equal???

Edited by Happy Landins
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In loc-less caches the logs were basically waymarks, but there was no way to visit the logs. We've just moved them up one level so that people can actually "visit" the logs. A locationless cache is a waymark category. A locationless log is a waymark.

 

Yes but surely there must be a qualitative difference in Waymarking a McDs, at the bottom level, and, for example, Waymarking an Earthcache where the "owner" has to research and provide some validated educational information, and really make an effort to get the best location for observing the site.

 

I hate to think that an well planned earthcache is only as good as a drive-by McDs sighting!

 

With Waymarking are they REALLY equal???

As a matter of fact, they aren't equal. The McDonald's category has already been rated down heavily by the community thus far, and only shows up when you have your popularity filter on 100% as opposed to Earthcaches which are in the top 10%. At this point they ALWAYS show up, no matter what.

 

If all you care about is earthcaches, you never have to go anywhere else. Each category is going to have its own stats and rankings. You'll also be able to see cumulative rankings and stats for the entire site, but we plan to weigh the importance of categories based on a yet-to-be-determined algorithm consisting of various factors such as popularity, # of waymarks, newness, and whatever else we can think of. We are more than aware that there will be categories that people will dislike. But we still want categories like that to exist. It's up to the manager to make his or her category interesting.

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we plan to weigh the importance of categories based on a yet-to-be-determined algorithm consisting of various factors such as popularity, # of waymarks, newness, and whatever else we can think of.

Now that is *way* cool, dude!

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Personally, I'm probably not going to use the McDonald's waymarks since I've learned to spot the Golden Arches from a distance, and can "smell" a McD type location. Besides, highway information makers will point people to the proper exits.

 

If there's a subcategory of historic McDonald's restaurants, then I might be interested. I know of one in San Jose near Almaden Expressway, and of course in San Bernardino where it all started (both in California).

 

BTW: McDonalds burgers are great sources of usable calories per $ especially if you hike in one location, take a lunch break, and head to another hike location. Saves time, too. I know some vegetarians who are overweight, because they don't use their calories.

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