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Black Dog Trackers

A Point For This, A Point For That (?)

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The Waymarking concept is really a cool idea! Fun too!

 

There are 3 categories/levels of establishment:

1. Establishing a category

2. Establishing a waymark

3. Logging a waymark

 

I'm not much of a numbers or competitive person, but Waymarking presents some interesting questions about comparative worth, incentives, and facilitation.

 

GPS receivers are becoming increasingly common in vehicles. Some are built-in now, and the GPS receivers made to be installed in cars by the car owner are increasing too. There's going to be a large increase in people wanting destination data from a website. Waymarking will be that site! People driving down the road, looking for that next reptile farm or campground will want to be able to use their car's GPS to answer the question - "How far do we still have to go?".

 

No doubt there will be two kinds of people using the Waymarking site. Those of us that want to establish categories, waymarks and logs, and those who just want to get and use the location data that the Waymarking site offers.

 

There are lots of possible categories; some of them more useful than others to those people who want to use the data, instead of being into the game of adding to it. This type of person could bring in money to the site too, I would think. (I don’t know Groundspeak’s position on the idea of using the Waymarking site for some advertising income. It seems to me that it would be good to have such income to enable Waymarking to become even more cool for those of us participating in establishing categories, waymarks, and logs of waymarks.) Also, what's fun about logging a visit to an uninteresting category or waymark? Nothing. So, for both data users, and game players, the presence of lots of interesting/fun/useful categories would be a good thing.

 

In establishing a waymark, coordinates are required, apparently. (If not, what's the use of a waymark?!) If the establisher is using one of those sites that give the coordinates of where you point your mouse, the accuracy level is what we call 'scaled' in the benchmark area - scaled from a map. Loggers, however, use their GPS, giving much more accurate coordinates. The difference in the accuracy of scaled versus GPS coordinates probably isn't extremely important for most waymarks, which are much larger things than a 3-inch disk or a 12-inch geocache. So, 'scaled' coordinates are good enough for establishing a waymark.

 

Establishing a waymark can be an 'armchair' level activity, whereas establishing a log requires a physical visit. Shouldn't a visit be worth more 'points' than establishing a waymark? Perhaps not; that's where the incentive thing comes in. What's better for Waymarking in general, more waymarks or more logs? More waymarks, I think! One obvious solution is to allow/encourage people to both establish a waymark and log it at the same time, thereby getting 2 points. Why not?

 

Logs are important too, of course. They give the opportunity to give a quality review of the item, making the Waymarking site more interesting and useful. The waymark site has a strong popularity focus, making it again useful for all kinds of users.

 

Someone could get ahold of a database of coordinates of some waymark category item and turn them all into waymarks and get lots of points. Good! The waymark site seems to be made to make this an option. The more waymarks the better!

 

The facilitation idea is to specifically allow easy establishment of waymarks when establishing a waymark category's set of rules. The idea is to make your new category so that it is relatively easy to establish waymarks for it. At least a scaled-level set of coordinates and evidence that it fits in the category.

 

Is Waymarking to some extent ‘about the numbers’? Another incentive to establishing good categories is to give category creators/owners a type of point for each waymark established under their category. Similarly, the establishers/owners of waymarks could be given a type of point for each log made for their waymark. These points would engender the establishment of popular and useful categories and waymarks. These incentives would promote categories and waymarks that are fun to log and useful to have locations for, like RV campgrounds or sites of historical interest, rather than purple highway signs or houses made with cinderblocks.

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Wow, that was a long post.

 

Creating a waymark should not be an 'armchair activity' in my opinion. People should get out of the house and make sure that their data is correct before they should create a waymark.

 

Also, I don't think that 'points' are the answer that you are looking for. As you stated, the game will be different things to different people. By scaling each activity through the assignment of point values, you will dissatisfy those players that rank the different activities differently than you do.

 

If each players stats are broken down by the number of categories established, number of waymarks created, and number of logs, you will get the data that you are looking for to make any comparisons that you wish.

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