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Future Of Virtuals


TheAprilFools
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Hi,

 

While there has been a lively debate on the future of virtuals and earth caches in other threads, I would just like to get a clarification on what is going to happen to them.

 

Will any more virtual or earth caches be approved?

 

Are all the existing virtual and earth caches going to be forced into archived status?

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Im curious about existing virtuals. Will they be grandfathered and allowed to stay or will they all turned into waymarks.

 

I own only 1 virtual and it's a monument on Plymouth, MA harbor to honor my cousin as well as all the other men and women who have died on the sea.

 

Since there has already been a waymark category for memorials, if my virt is moved to Waymarking, the category owner will probably get ownership of my virtual as well as many others.

 

I hope Im wrong about this, but it really doesnt seem fair to take away our virtuals and, essentially, give them to someone else.

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Will any more virtual or earth caches be approved?

 

Waymarking faq

What about virtual caches?

 

No new virtual geocaches will be listed on Geocaching.com, but if there is a suitable category for submitting your location on Waymarking.com, please feel free to submit a new waymark. If you are a Premium Member and no category exists, you can create a new category for posting your waymark.

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Since there has already been a waymark category for memorials, if my virt is moved to Waymarking, the category owner will probably get ownership of my virtual as well as many others.

No. He would only own the category, as he does now. Think of categories as similar to locationless caches.

 

You would create a waymark in that category. Think of waymarks as similar to virtual caches.

 

Others could then "visit" your waymark. You, not the category owner, would have the chance to approve or deny those visit logs.

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Since there has already been a waymark category for memorials, if my virt is moved to Waymarking, the category owner will probably get ownership of my virtual as well as many others.

No. He would only own the category, as he does now. Think of categories as similar to locationless caches.

 

You would create a waymark in that category. Think of waymarks as similar to virtual caches.

 

Others could then "visit" your waymark. You, not the category owner, would have the chance to approve or deny those visit logs.

The Category owner can archive logs on waymarks in their category as well.

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WH, take a look at one of my two waymarks in Boston. It'll be just like that. I actually "placed" those two "virtuals" and await logs from people who visit them.

 

As it is, I'm not requiring anything to claim a "find", as I want to see how logging these more like waymarks than a classic virtual cache pans out for me (as "owner") and for others (as "finders").

 

Let's say your virt is transferred to WM.com. Assume it gets put into "Places > Monuments". The Monuments sub-category "owner" would first determine if your waymark was appropriate. Assuming it is, then it sits as a listing that you own for editing/managing purposes. If you want it to remain virtual-like, then you'd need to make sure the text reflected the heightened logging requirements (above that of a plain vanilla waymark). Then as logs come in you can check for their validation info and delete/archive or leave their log.

 

Now that I think about it, it would be good if you could set a flag/icon so that a waymark listing that is being treated more like an old virtual (strict logging requirements) could be tagged differently than a new waymark (anyone can log whatever they want).

 

Since sub-categories are replacing locationless caches, I guess that'd be another place for the flag/icon, so that waymark placers would know quickly and easily whether there would be some sort of stricter placement issues for that sub-category similar to old locationless cache descriptions/requirements for a "find".

 

Maybe this flagging/icon feature should get its own topic?

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For those of us without a premium membership and have plans to continue creating earthcaches, how does the Waymarking process actually happen?

 

Do we need a new login, are the geocaching.com and Waymarking.com earthcaches going to be linked, who's got the earthcache category, do we log them like geocaches now?

 

Its a change and I just don't know what's going to happen!!! :D :D

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The Category owner can archive logs on waymarks in their category as well.

 

Thats the part I don't like. Its my virtual and noone besides me should have any control over what is and is not acceptable as find. With the exception of cache reviewers of course.

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Which is why I think all locationless, virtuals and earthcaches should remain as is and "grandfathered". My virtual is of special significance to me and I would feel insulted to have control over it taken away and given to someone else.

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The Category owner can archive logs on waymarks in their category as well.

 

Thats the part I don't like. Its my virtual and noone besides me should have any control over what is and is not acceptable as find. With the exception of cache reviewers of course.

The person who set up the category would probably be the best judge of whether or not a submission fits the category. They should have the authority to remove something that's inappropriate for that category.

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I want control over my virt. If Jeremy decides that all virts need to move over to Waymarking, he will be essentially taking it away from me involuntarily and giving it to someone else. Thats what I have an issue with.

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I want control over my virt. If Jeremy decides that all virts need to move over to Waymarking, he will be essentially taking it away from me involuntarily and giving it to someone else. Thats what I have an issue with.

I don't think that happens that way.

 

If you move your virt over to Waymarking you still have control as it is your waymark. The category owner is like an reviewer, but only has control over the categories he owns.

 

In essence, from what I get out of it, the only changes are there will be no reviewers. That function is taken over by the category owner. Once you find a category your waymark fits into, your "reviewer" is the category owner.

 

Additionally, if you think you have "control" over your virt here, think again. TPTB that easily take it away from you and give it to someone else, they can change or delete logs, they can archive it, and even edit your words. So, do you really have control? ...or do you share control with someone else much like over in Waymarking?

 

If I'm wrong with the above characterization I'm sure someone will be happy to point that out.

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Expanding on CR's excellent point, you've acknowledged, WH, that nobody should have say over your virtual except for your reviewer. Suppose you want to highlight a statue of a famous politician. Who would you rather have as a reviewer? Someone who has to pass judgment on every single category of "virtuals," or someone with a strong interest in political history? Think of a Waymark Category owner as a specialized reviewer. A reviewer who by definition will be interested in the place you're trying to share.

 

Groundspeak's volunteer cache reviewers have no real say about waymarks, other than for the categories we manage as individuals. And as a group, we're delighted to move away from the days of rubber-stamping "ARCHIVE" on the new virtual cache submissions. For years, the voices in the forums have railed for taking a reviewer's authority and discretion out of the decision whether to list a virtual cache. Those voices were heard. Welcome to Waymarking.

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So now instead of having to deal with only the one reviewer for my area who was selected by Groundspeak based upon his qualifications, I will have to deal with a slew of them whose only qualification is the fact they laid claim to a particular category before anyone else. :D

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With respect to the question of virtuals and their conversion to waymarks, I think WH's concerns about logging requirements are valid. As it stands right now, the category manager can establish logging requirements which will apply to every log posted for visits to every waymark in that category. These logging requirements show up on the waymark logging page, and the 'owner' of the waymark (I think we're calling this person a 'guide') has no ability to turn them off.

 

What is not clear yet (to me, anyway), is what ability a guide will have to deviate from the logging requirements specified by the category manager.

 

So now instead of having to deal with only the one reviewer for my area who was selected by Groundspeak based upon his qualifications, I will have to deal with a slew of them whose only qualification is the fact they laid claim to a particular category before anyone else.

 

As far as I can tell, the process by which category managers will be selected hasn't been finalized yet, so the selection process might not be as simple as first-come-first-served.

 

edit: clarified things a bit

Edited by cache_test_dummies
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It is clearly the will of TPTB that every cache actually have a physical manifestation. I know it is hard for many of us to accept that, and for those in charge of shaping the future of geocaching.com, we do have to trust them to some extent to do the right thing.

 

So I would urge every owner of a vitrual cache, to convert it into a Traditional cache. Be sure the description to mentions that it has a significant interest factor and that it used to be a Virtual. If a physical cache cannot be placed nearby, then place it at another location and list the coordinates (i.e. make it an offset or multi). As owner of the cache you can also give the geocacher the choice of signing the log or sending you answers to questions.

 

I understand that this will cause problems for persons that are too far away from the cache site to maintain the cache. In this case, you would need search for someone to help you service it or to adopt it.

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I think I should clarify that my concerns are in regard to existing virtuals.

 

If someone currently owns a virtual which happens to fall under a particular category, the virtual owner will be basically stripped of their cache and control given to the category owner.

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I think I should clarify that my concerns are in regard to existing virtuals.

 

If someone currently owns a virtual which happens to fall under a particular category, the virtual owner will be basically stripped of their cache and control given to the category owner.

thats a pretty definite statement. Where did you get the information that this is what is going to happen. To the best of my Knowledge we do not know what is going to happen to existing virts.

 

Did I miss a memo?

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Jeremy said that he had not yet decided whether or not existing virtuals would move to Waymarking, if not, this discussion is meaningless.

 

If so, these snippets of the Waymarking FAQ are the basis of my concern:

 

As a category owner it is your responsibility to determine the rules for posting a waymark to your category.

 

Also, you will have the option of approving each new waymark submitted to your category. If you choose to review all new waymarks, it will be your responsibility to judge each submission for adherence to your stated guidelines. Many people will be counting on you to preserve the integrity of your category so this is not a position to take lightly.

 

I read this to mean that if my virtual becomes a waymark, the category owner will have the authority to deny its submission if he doesn't like it. My virt has already passed cache submission guidelines so it shouldn't have to again.

 

When you submit a new waymark you must enter a nickname, latitude and longitude, the country, a short description, and any further information required by the category owner.

 

My virtual already has a set of verification questions that have worked very well since its listing 2 years ago. What if these are insufficient? I will be forced to alter it to fit the desires of the category owner. This is yet another intrusion on the integrity of my virtual as it currently stands.

 

Your responsibilities as a waymark owner are to exactly follow the instructions of its category and to describe it in detail.

 

Again, its is MY virtual, I don't want to be forced to follow someone else's instructions.

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I think I should clarify that my concerns are in regard to existing virtuals.

 

If someone currently owns a virtual which happens to fall under a particular category, the virtual owner will be basically stripped of their cache and control given to the category owner.

thats a pretty definite statement. Where did you get the information that this is what is going to happen. To the best of my Knowledge we do not know what is going to happen to existing virts.

 

Did I miss a memo?

According to Jeremy here

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.

 

So for now your existing virtual will stay on GC.COM. My guess is that virtual owners will be encouraged to archive their virts and create waymarks if there is an appropriate category. WH may decide that there is no appropriate category until a category is created that has the attributes he thinks are important to his virtual cache. It may be something like the Wow!!! category that I have proposed or it may be something different.

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Man, to read WH's post, I would think the whole world is coming to an end. The theme I don't agree with is the assumption that every category owner is going to be some sort of Nazi Ogre that wants to control everything under him. Somehow I just don't see that happening. :mad:

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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.

 

Are any other categories being removed from Geocaching.com?

 

Yes. Most likely web cam caches and Earthcaches will be moved to the Waymarking site. As with virtuals, existing maintained listings will remain active on geocaching.com for the near future.

 

Thanks for the reference tozainamboku. I think this is as close an answer as we are going to get for a while. Now I just wonder how long is the "near future".

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Man, to read WH's post, I would think the whole world is coming to an end. The theme I don't agree with is the assumption that every category owner is going to be some sort of Nazi Ogre that wants to control everything under him. Somehow I just don't see that happening. :mad:

Of course they won't...but what if WH's cache is in the category who's owner is an ogre? I think it's a valid concern...or at least a valid question to ask if he'll be forced to move.

 

And it seems the answer "for now" is that active virtuals can stay on gc.com. I'm sure owners will be encouraged to move them of course.

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Jeremy said that he had not yet decided whether or not existing virtuals would move to Waymarking, if not, this discussion is meaningless.

 

If so, these snippets of the Waymarking FAQ are the basis of my concern:

 

As a category owner it is your responsibility to determine the rules for posting a waymark to your category.

 

Also, you will have the option of approving each new waymark submitted to your category. If you choose to review all new waymarks, it will be your responsibility to judge each submission for adherence to your stated guidelines. Many people will be counting on you to preserve the integrity of your category so this is not a position to take lightly.

 

I read this to mean that if my virtual becomes a waymark, the category owner will have the authority to deny its submission if he doesn't like it. My virt has already passed cache submission guidelines so it shouldn't have to again.

 

When you submit a new waymark you must enter a nickname, latitude and longitude, the country, a short description, and any further information required by the category owner.

 

My virtual already has a set of verification questions that have worked very well since its listing 2 years ago. What if these are insufficient? I will be forced to alter it to fit the desires of the category owner. This is yet another intrusion on the integrity of my virtual as it currently stands.

 

Your responsibilities as a waymark owner are to exactly follow the instructions of its category and to describe it in detail.

 

Again, its is MY virtual, I don't want to be forced to follow someone else's instructions.

Just a thought, but wait until you get forced before you panic. You are getting worked up about something that might not happen. There is enough angst in the world without making more for your self that might not even be a problem.

 

This:

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.

 

Are any other categories being removed from Geocaching.com?

 

Yes. Most likely web cam caches and Earthcaches will be moved to the Waymarking site. As with virtuals, existing maintained listings will remain active on Geocaching.com for the near future.

 

Is what I know to be true. No point in my thinking up all the possible problems that might arise. Unless you want to consider including caching becoming illegal in the near future too. That is just as possible.

 

Relax and wait and see. I have a virtual cache too and I am not worried.

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The problem, as I see it, is that locationless caches were "categories" of things, of which you found an example, while virtuals are, usually, "unique" things. While Waymarking accommodates the locationless concept well (find all the redwood indian statues), it doesn't do a very good job of handling virtuals. I think that moving them to Waymarking is just a copout.

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The problem, as I see it, is that locationless caches were "categories" of things, of which you found an example, while virtuals are, usually, "unique" things. While Waymarking accommodates the locationless concept well (find all the redwood indian statues), it doesn't do a very good job of handling virtuals. I think that moving them to Waymarking is just a copout.

Wow!!!

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Name a virtual cache that couldn't be part of a waymark category.

I can't even think of a "regular" geocache that couldn't be a part of Waymarking.

 

Directory
 Places
   Geocaches with Boxes
     Traditional Cache
     Multi-Cache (offset Cache)
     Letterbox Hybrid
     Mystery or puzzle caches

 

This isn't meant to say that geocaches should be moved to Waymarking, but it looks like they could.

Edited by AllenLacy
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The problem, as I see it, is that locationless caches were "categories" of things, of which you found an example, while virtuals are, usually, "unique" things.  While Waymarking accommodates the locationless concept well (find all the redwood indian statues), it doesn't do a very good job of handling virtuals.  I think that moving them to Waymarking is just a copout.

Wow!!!

Nice category. I think you hashed out the details nicely, including things like visit log verification, etc. Good job.

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Directory
 Places
   Geocaches with Boxes
     Traditional Cache
     Multi-Cache (offset Cache)
     Letterbox Hybrid
     Mystery or puzzle caches

 

This isn't meant to say that geocaches should be moved to Waymarking, but it looks like they could.

That would certainly make the Waymarking site more popular... :lol: We could change their names to waycaches, which aren't banned anywhere! :laughing:

 

--Marky

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The problem, as I see it, is that locationless caches were "categories" of things, of which you found an example, while virtuals are, usually, "unique" things.  While Waymarking accommodates the locationless concept well (find all the redwood indian statues), it doesn't do a very good job of handling virtuals.  I think that moving them to Waymarking is just a copout.

Wow!!!

Nice category. I think you hashed out the details nicely, including things like visit log verification, etc. Good job.

Are you serious, Marky? I guess your forum signature tagline isn't really true.... :laughing:

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Name a virtual cache that couldn't be part of a waymark category.

A few that I have done:

 

GCD461

GC440D

GC4140

GC7FE3

GC9F98

GCA97D

GCJWJ2

GCG1TF

GC6EB6

GC6D43

GC3B18

GC233D

 

In my opinion, these would suck as waymarks, because categorizing them will ruin the fun.

 

For me, the joy of many virtual caches was the mystery of going someplace and having no idea what I would find there, but knowing that it would be something interesting and special. Making them waymarks will destroy that aspect.

 

Just my opinion, though, mmm-kay?

Edited by fizzymagic
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Name a virtual cache that couldn't be part of a waymark category.

A few that I have done:

 

GCD461

GC440D

GC4140

GC7FE3

GC9F98

GCA97D

GCJWJ2

GCG1TF

GC6EB6

GC6D43

GC3B18

GC233D

 

In my opinion, these would suck as waymarks, because categorizing them will ruin the fun.

 

For me, the joy of many virtual caches was the mystery of going someplace and having no idea what I would find there, but knowing that it would be something interesting and special. Making them waymarks will destroy that aspect.

 

Just my opinion, though, mmm-kay?

Exactly why I think there will be one or more categories like my Wow!!! category. Perhaps a suprise category.

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Name a virtual cache that couldn't be part of a waymark category.

A few that I have done:

 

GCD461

GC440D

GC4140

GC7FE3

GC9F98

GCA97D

GCJWJ2

GCG1TF

GC6EB6

GC6D43

GC3B18

GC233D

 

In my opinion, these would suck as waymarks, because categorizing them will ruin the fun.

 

For me, the joy of many virtual caches was the mystery of going someplace and having no idea what I would find there, but knowing that it would be something interesting and special. Making them waymarks will destroy that aspect.

 

Just my opinion, though, mmm-kay?

By chance, I happened to click one of those that I've actually done (GCA97D) and that would match an existing locationless for that type of item...granted, not on the same scale, but it fits into the category already.

Edited by KoosKoos
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The first one on there would make a great "Then and Now" category entry. The spoiler link took me to this site which is dedicated to a rail line. This could definitely be better fleshed out into a category.

 

I didn't run through them all, sorry, but the first one definitely peaked my interest for a new Waymarking category.

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By chance, I happened to click one of those that I've actually done (GCA97D) and that would match an existing locationless for that type of item...granted, not on the same scale, but it fits into the category already.

But then you'd know exactly what you were looking for before you went, wouldn't you? That's the "feature" of Waymarking to which I am objecting.

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By chance, I happened to click one of those that I've actually done (GCA97D) and that would match an existing locationless for that type of item...granted, not on the same scale, but it fits into the category already.

But then you'd know exactly what you were looking for before you went, wouldn't you? That's the "feature" of Waymarking to which I am objecting.

True, but that is just one waymark category. With some imagination I'm sure you can come up with a surprise type category and create your own subjective rules as to what should and shouldn't be listed there. I can't believe you would protest the feature of more flexibility.

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The problem, as I see it, is that locationless caches were "categories" of things, of which you found an example, while virtuals are, usually, "unique" things.  While Waymarking accommodates the locationless concept well (find all the redwood indian statues), it doesn't do a very good job of handling virtuals.  I think that moving them to Waymarking is just a copout.

Wow!!!

Nice category. I think you hashed out the details nicely, including things like visit log verification, etc. Good job.

Are you serious, Marky? I guess your forum signature tagline isn't really true.... :laughing:

Um, oops, it appears I didn't read all the fine print. Heh, um, oops? My bad. It took fizzymagic to point out to me what I didn't notice.

 

--Marky

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To me, the virtuals have been a great complement to regular caches. They have taken me to places where regular caches could not be placed -- and the way that they have been integrated into the maps on geocaching.com has made it easy when traveling. That would be missed.

 

But then again, two of the favorite caches I have done have been locationless. It took a lot of work to research and find a California site for the underground railroad or to track down hidden Lime Kilns through a path surrounded by poison oak. I doubt that I will use Waymarking.com in the same way that I have used this site.

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To me, the virtuals have been a great complement to regular caches. They have taken me to places where regular caches could not be placed -- and the way that they have been integrated into the maps on geocaching.com has made it easy when traveling. That would be missed.

 

But then again, two of the favorite caches I have done have been locationless. It took a lot of work to research and find a California site for the underground railroad or to track down hidden Lime Kilns through a path surrounded by poison oak. I doubt that I will use Waymarking.com in the same way that I have used this site.

There are lots of virtuals "placed" where a regular cache could go. That's one of their biggest problems, they keep regular caches out.

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