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ju66l3r

Solution: Misplaced/denied Waymark

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So, between the "Absolute BS" thread and the most recent "What's WM.com good for?" thread and the suggested "Wow" category, I came up with a needed implementation for the site.

 

There needs to be a category for "Uncategorized Waymarks".

 

Let's think about this in a somewhat scientific method. Waymarks, in and of themselves, are not inherently "archivable" because they are descriptions of objects at waypoints (assuming the item of interest at that location is present and the waymark description is accurate). Waypoints are simply locations and locations don't go anywhere or do anything. In other words, all accurate waymarks have *some* place they can fit (minus inappropriate ones or categories that the website chooses not to list). What is then the problem is getting waymarks into their position in the heirarchy appropriately. It is much simpler to add new nodes to the heirarchy when membership (meaning the existence of a new waymark) dictates than to generate the entire all-encompassing heirarchy and leave empty nodes waiting for membership.

 

Here within lies the problem: Where does a new waymark go before the category is created for it?

 

With "Absolute BS" a waymark that was not category-appropriate ends up being "denied" (a very negative connotation for something as innocent as an object at a location...it's not like it doesn't exist simply because it's not in the heirarchy). This could be avoided if instead of "denying" or "archiving" a created waymark, it were instead put into an "Unknown Category" (other names could be: "Unlisted", "Displaced") category. This would be a temporary home for waymarks that were submitted to an inappropriate category or for which no category existed. The end goal would be to find these waymarks an agreeable and appropriate home in the heirarchy. This is a concept that's widely used in heirarchical schema where the tree is built in order to best encompass the data rather than the data placed into a rigid and/or perfect schema. One example is the Gene Ontology database where genes of unknown function are put into categories once their function has been better assigned or once an appropriate category is designed into the tree to fit their unique function. (In the GO tree, it's also important to note for potential site design issues here, that branches can fit multiple container categories and navigating downward through the tree shows these branches from every container category that they fit...aka "A is a B; A is a C; a listing of B shows A; a listing of C shows A").

 

The category managers therefore would have the ability to move waymarks to the "unlisted" category if they don't fit. Waymark creators would have the ability to petition category managers to accept their waymarks from the "unlisted" category. WM.com administrators would have the ability to archive "unlisted" waymarks that have no place in the heirarchy (due to inappropriateness of material or inaccuracy of description, etc).

 

I think this will improve manager/creator relationships and provide a really important staging area for getting the heirarchy established in the most accurate way possible as well as helping potential category managers/management teams and the site administration see current needs for new branches in the heirarchy based on patterns of waymarks that are not listed in the current schema (as opposed to always waiting for someone to come up with a new locationless idea they want to implement). This enables virtuals to stand on their own as waymarks (that then get categorized to fit the site design) rather than being "under foot" of the locationless concept.

 

Thoughts?

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Well, there are 293,591,338,427 possible uncategorized waymarks. One such is the northern red oak tree on the corner of Third and Moss streets in East Haversham, Vermont as a representative of an as yet undescribed and unestablished category. Why bother with it?

 

The present situation is "We're Currently Not Accepting Proposals" (except that there are a few new ones from time to time).

 

When the time comes for proposals to be accepted, then members could attempt to get new categories accepted instead of piling up some of the 293,591,338,427 possible uncategorized waymarks as some kind of loophole in "We're Currently Not Accepting Proposals".

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The idea, from where I'm sitting, is that people are supposed to submit Waymarks to Categories that are appropriate.

 

As in, it must fit the Category description.

 

If anyone wants to make a new Waymark that doesn't fit in yet, they should wait until there is a Category it fits into, even if that means they must petition to have a Category created.

 

Since people like to bash the McDonald's Category, I'll use it.

 

In 1977 I had my first Burger King Whopper, on a trip to DisneyWorld... so I decide I want to place a Waymark at that location to celebrate this oh-so important moment in world history (sarcasm is free, like smiles at McDonalds).

 

So I submit it to Bootron's McDonald's Category... because I am totally 'spun'. He rejects it, and stuffs it into the "PIT"

 

Now, I understand that Waymarking still holds the data for this useless page somewhere, since they don't 'delete' submissions pending that they get fixed. But to set aside a special area for Waymarks that are placed before their time does not seem like a good idea for this reason..

 

Right now, the people that are submitting Waymarks that don't belong on the site yet is limited. Most people figure out pretty fast that there is no place for the Waymark yet, and hence space isn't wasted. But if there was a 'holding pit' for future Waymarks.. more and more people would dump them in the pit hoping that one day there would be a place for them to move them to.

 

This would be like selling real estate on the moon...

 

People wanting a Category to place a Waymark in, should get the Category first.

 

I wouldn't rush out and get a "Hovercar License", until I knew that Hovercars will be a functional alternative.

 

:mad: The Blue Quasar

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I don't think the three responses quite get it (WH comes closest but this needs to be a sysadmin-style monitored location with greater potentials and not just another category).

 

To the first response, this isn't a loophole. This is part of the full roll-out. When category proposals are accepted, there'll be a place for this category as well. It's not always clear to see what category should be proposed by a single waymark. In fact, I'd expect you to soon after rollout see "Where does my waymark go?" posts. This starts to get to response #2.

 

What happens now? Let's say I'm friendly with a category manager and want my waypoint listed. It's a similar enough waypoint but truly doesn't belong in his specific category..but he lets me list it there anyways (or the manager is AWOL and doesn't require waymarks to be approved upon submission). In other words, you submit a BK location for your whopper fun to the McD category and bootron accepts it (for whatever reason). Instead of moving the BK waymark to a staging area for a potential BK category, it sits in McD corrupting that category. Best case scenario: The category popularity goes down (oh noes!) and/or admins have to curate every waymark complaint (I bet they want to hear about every landlocked/water-visible lighthouse). And what if it is curated out. Is it an invalid waymark? No. It was just inappropriate for the category. So a new category comes up (BK locations). Now, the waymark has to be recreated? You have to petition for it to be unarchived? Someone else can list it because they saw the new category come to life before you? OR it was waiting in the "Unknown" column for such a day and upon creation BKs already created and waiting get moved in to populate (and nucleate) the new category.

 

OR let's say I sit on my new waymark (as you suggest), because there is currently no appropriate category. Let's say it's not as obvious and similar as BK is to McDs. Let's say it's a funny-shaped lightning rod....or a wind farm...or the finish line of a marathon. There could be 10 of us holding onto marathon finish line waymarks. There could be 2. There could be 200. I don't want to manage a category (I'm in it for the virtuals not the locationless), so I don't propose one. It might even be illogical that I don't propose one even if I don't want to manage it. OR I propose it and nobody else sitting on a similar waymark sees the proposal to agree and it gets shouted down by those who aren't interested in these things (also, just as with geocaching, more people will have waymarks than use the forums to discuss Waymarking). Or maybe there are plenty of "finish line" waymarks in the waiting (that nobody can see or know about) but not "marathon finish lines" and so the former would be a much better category. And maybe the proposal is even listed but not enough support is shown to convince me, GS, others, whoever that a category would be viable TODAY...but I have to keep checking a week, month, year from now to see if someone else comes up with the same idea (at the same time, unless they poke through the archives of category proposals, they won't know there's others out there interested in "finish lines" too). If I start a "marathon finish line" category, why should someone else have to wait for the creation of a container category called "finish lines" and then a second parallel category called "hillclimb finish lines" before they can list their finish line? If we'd seen a number of different finish lines earlier, then the category may have just been created as "finish lines" without all of the sub-categories created by having created the categories before knowing what waymarks existed.

 

As I said, this is how *good* heirarchical structures run. As with the genes in a single genome...they exist regardless of the heirarchy. If they don't fit the current minimal heirarchy, they aren't simply ignored and not listed. They're put into the "unknown" category until it's clearer what function they serve or that a new category needs to be created to encapsulate their specific function. Often, their specific function only becomes clear by looking at a number of the genes in "unknown" and finding a useful pattern that can be labelled into a category that wasn't present prior.

 

This isn't a loophole and it has nothing to do with pre-purchasing licensing and it isn't "real estate on the moon". This is a place to discover patterns in the data that make for valid categories and a place for virtuals to exist until the point that a good locationless is found that fits them. There's no promise of anything by listing a waymark in the "unknown" category. And the "unknown" could even be created in a way that doesn't allow logging visits, so it's not just another way of getting your item listed early/without consideration of category.

 

It's ignorant to think that categories _must_ exist before items do. There would be no categories without items. The opposite is completely untrue. How are we to sort the items if we don't even know what items are ready to be sorted? So what if there are a million waymarks in "unknown" and only a few thousand in the heirarchy? That actually gives you a good measure for how well the heirarchy is fitting the data and shows a need for more categories.

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Determining/establishing categories using such a process seems cumbersome to say the least.

 

This process model, while it could be called cumbersome, is really far less cumbersome and is well established elsewhere (Newsgroups).

Edited by Black Dog Trackers

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I understand a lot better now.

 

I can see the logic behind having a "Misc - People", "Misc - Places" and "Misc - Things" as a catch for the Waymarks that do not fit in quite into the square hole of a Waymark Category.

 

But if that was to happen, I think that a Time Limit should also be placed. If a relevant Category does not present itself within, as a number, 3 months... the Waymark gets Archived.

 

To me, if a Category doesn't get created that it fits into then the topic is too vague or specialized to be something that people want to see out. The niche is too small I guess.

 

Jut thinking it through, not sure if I agree with myself... but suggestions never hurt.

 

:unsure: The Blue Quasar

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Determining/establishing categories using such a process seems cumbersome to say the least.

There's nothing in this proposal that requires it to be the sole method for establishing categories.

 

There's everything in the basic fundamentals of what we're trying to accomplish that requires it if we're to truly assume Waymarking will supplant virtual caching.

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