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Waymark E V E R Y T H I N G ?

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I'm seeing in the category proposal area statements like: "there are too many of those". It's a good point, I think, but I'm not really sure.

 

Let's imagine a future state of Waymarking with a Category for:

every type of restaurant, every type of store (office supply store, clothing store, shoe store, greeting card store, convenience store, dollar store, hardware store, hobby store, auto parts store, jewelry store, bookstore, grocery store, etc.), every kind of bridge no matter how small, telephone poles, fire hydrants, banks, post offices, stoplights, etc. etc. etc. What if every business in the yellow pages belonged to some Category or other? Imagine thousands of different Categories.

 

Is there a reasonable limit? Does memory storage cost matter anymore? What about pictures of all this stuff, logs, and descriptions? What about maps - will Waymarking ever have maps like geocaches shown on geocaching maps? In the above scenario, the map of every populated area would be a solid carpet of icons, impervious to zooming-in. How would one select which categories to see on maps?

 

Where does fun and usefulness end and craziness begin? Fire hydrants? Shoe stores? Telephone poles?

 

Is voting enough of a filter? Can absurd and therefore deceased categories get deleted?

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The popularity filter seems to be working nicely so far. If you're opposed to commercial waymarks, it's likely that you voted "down" for McDonalds Restaurants and Pikachu Sightings (the two lowest-rated categories).

 

As the database grows, I would hope that filtering and downloading options will grow with it. Sometimes I will want to order the Waymarking equivalent of a pocket query for "all waymarks in the Ruins category that are within 100 miles of my house" so that I can spend a weekend seeking just things that I know I will like. At other times, especially when visiting a new area, I will want to order up "everything cool within 20 miles of the center of Distant City" -- meaning any waymark above a specified popularity threshold, regardless of the category.

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It's all about the filtering of the data. The more filtering options we can provide such as popularity filters, folksonomies, waymark associations and collaborative filtering it shouldn't be so bad. I don't see why you can't eventually mark anything as long as you can slice and dice the data you want.

 

Only Otaku need a firehose option.

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I am not at all opposed to commercial waymarks. In fact, I'd find many of them useful and have even proposed some categories of them.

 

I think in the maturity of Waymarking, using the popularity filter might not be enough; too many kinds of things will be 'popular' (to others). I'm thinking that searching with a list of favorite (to me) categories would be better.

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I'm thinking that searching with a list of favorite (to me) categories would be better.

 

That's the approach we're taking with the Google Earth implementation for Waymarking.com - at least for starters. It is primarily due to the CPU impact of querying every place within x miles of the search but also because eventually no one will want *all* of the listings showing up in every result.

 

It's a big reason why we added popularity filters of *categories* first. Even though it isn't readily apparent at this time it will be extremely useful in the future when there are tons of waymarks in your immediate area.

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Only Otaku need a firehose option.

 

:laughing: tozainamboku learns another word. I hope I'm not otaku - I knew all the other words in the otaku vocabulary on wikipedia :D

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That's the approach we're taking with the Google Earth implementation for Waymarking.com - at least for starters.
This sounds really cool !

 

I also like the wiki and logs option for categories.

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A similar to or "people who liked this category also liked..." may also help for finding new categories. It is going to suck if there are 1,000,000,000 categories and you are only looking for a few different types, even with the subcategories, I bet it could be difficult to wade through. On the other hand if you have a Lighthouse category that has Landlocked Lighthouses in the Similar panel that would own.

 

I'd also like to be able to give the thumbs down on entire supercategories so I don't have to go through and thumbs down every single category in it if it is a particularly heinous supercategory. For instance a Chain Restaurants category would be nice to give the thumbs down and theirfore get all the McDonald's and A&Ws out of the way without having to go into each category individually and do it.

 

Personally I could also stand to see the popularity filter set higher than it is. Maybe another 10% standard. I mean premium users can change it anyway but it does make the popularity thing a bit more meaningful... (I think it is currently set at 80%?) Could also do it so that Premium members are started at 80% but non-premium have it set at 60% but can move it 10% either way. Kind of a happy medium. (that might be difficult to program=P)

 

There definitely is a possibility this site gets to be too much. I honestly wish that Groundspeak would have a directory site that would be for commercial crap and leave Waymarking for more interesting, lesser known categories that people might get more of a "hunt" out of.

Edited by Razak

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"people who liked this category also liked..."
With a thousand categories, this kind of thing would be excellent! Analyzing people's 'My Favorites' lists is what I assume you mean.

 

I must say that I'm not a proponent of the 'Popularity Filter'. To put it very bluntly, I don't really give a hoot about the categories that most people like. Instead, I want to make and use the list of categories that I like. However, I'm guessing that the popularity filter is going to be more of administrative use to find out which categories are failing and need help or deletion.

 

I'd also like to be able to give the thumbs down on entire supercategories
The one you'd first want to 'thumbs down', I imagine, is the existing 'Business/Commerce' under 'Things'. But, you might actually like some kind of commercial establishement. Suppose there is a category called 'Hiking and Camping Equpment Stores', or 'Map Stores', or .....

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Well I think it would still be nice for blanket rankings.. then if you find other categories in that category that you like later you could thumbs up that one category and still have the blanket on the rest of the category.

 

An easy filter they could probably add would be a thumbs down filter. Meaning anything you thumbs down will be filtered out. This would essentially make your list... sure it would be more work than just going through and taking your favorites like a bookmark list, but they can do that as well. I think it would promote people actually voting if they did something like this (either show just thumbs up or don't show thumbs down).

 

You are right though, what most people like isn't necessarily indicative of what is good. I think the music industry alone has been able to prove that they can make everyone like stuff that isn't good.

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It's all about the filtering of the data. The more filtering options we can provide such as popularity filters, folksonomies, waymark associations and collaborative filtering it shouldn't be so bad. I don't see why you can't eventually mark anything as long as you can slice and dice the data you want.

 

Only Otaku need a firehose option.

Jeremy, could you share with us what the thoughts behind Waymarking are. Yes, there are filters but what is the point of Waymarking. What was your philosophy and what need did you see it as fulfilling?

 

Perhaps understanding those things will help some of us get a sense of why we should want to participate in Waymarking. The point behind geocaching was and is very obvious but I'm very lost of the underlying point to Waymarking. :rolleyes:

 

I also have to say that the more waymarks out there the less meaningful the exercise seems. Despite how things might look from my posts in the past, I actually would like to get interested but I keep struggling to find the meaning in this new game.

 

JDandDD

Edited by JDandDD

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Originally (or so I thought) the idea was for a person that was interested in something to be able to create a database of items that match the criteria.

 

For example, Carleenp wanted to get a list of Brewpubs. I assume she has some interest in this for personal reasons, like maybe she owns one, or would like to be able to find them if she goes on vacation. This then expands to others... If MNT-MAN goes on vacation in Woodinville Washington... he can find one to quench his thirst.

 

Then lies the problem to most people... some categories either hold limited appeal or are not useful. I don't want to give examples, nor pick on the usual whipping posts.

 

It's the challenge of having a category of interest to a majority of people. But it's hard to determine what is actually of interest to people in large amounts.

 

And when you factor in the ease or difficulty of finding these locations without Waymarking, that adds to it. It may be hard to find a Brewpub.... but a Wal-Mart is pretty easy. Some day both could be listed.

 

The dreaded V-word did have that appeal... you knew that if a Virtual was listed, it was likely to be interesting, but people complained that not enough were getting listed. Now the opposite can be true... everything can be listed that could be called Virtual-esque.

 

It's up to you to decide if a Category is of interest to you, if you can think of a Cateory that people will enjoy and flock to, and people will enjoy visiting the listings within a Category.

 

For me, I couldn't care less about Brewpubs because I don't drink, but I will list one because I challenge myself to find a good listing and make it interesting to others.

 

There are plenty of people out there that will list locations that don't interest me at all. And that is fine. I will visit them all that are near me, because I like doing these kinds of things. It's no different than finding that crappy micro stuck at a gas station for 'lord knows what reason'. They are forgetable, but those few that stand out as exceptional and interesting and challenging... that's what it's about for me.

 

:rolleyes: The Blue Quasar

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It's no different than finding that crappy micro stuck at a gas station for 'lord knows what reason'. They are forgetable, but those few that stand out as exceptional and interesting and challenging... that's what it's about for me.

Hey....Quasy....NO!!! picking on my "Gas Station Micro" it made a lot of drivers stop or have a coffee break. 401 Series Service Centre Caches B)

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Oh man... I didn't even think of that! Seriously... I was trying to come up with something... and what do I come up with... a Jake39 cache.

 

But at least THAT has the point of stopping for a break, to stretch your legs....

 

Oh you knew what I meant you trouble-maker!

 

:wub:

 

:unsure: The Blue Quasar

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Originally (or so I thought) the idea was for a person that was interested in something to be able to create a database of items that match the criteria.

 

........

 

Then lies the problem to most people... some categories either hold limited appeal or are not useful. I don't want to give examples, nor pick on the usual whipping posts.

 

It's the challenge of having a category of interest to a majority of people. But it's hard to determine what is actually of interest to people in large amounts.

 

And when you factor in the ease or difficulty of finding these locations without Waymarking, that adds to it. It may be hard to find a Brewpub.... but a Wal-Mart is pretty easy. Some day both could be listed.

 

The dreaded V-word did have that appeal... you knew that if a Virtual was listed, it was likely to be interesting, but people complained that not enough were getting listed. Now the opposite can be true... everything can be listed that could be called Virtual-esque.

I think you've probably hit the problem of finding Waymarking interesting right on the mark. There is way too much to wade through to find one or two good things. Waymarking is letting anything occur and there is no qualitative control. The interface doesn't help that.

 

Before Waymarking was even made beta for members, when people were debating why they couldn't get virtuals on geocaching, the consistent response from people working on the site was "a solution for virtuals is being developed". So it was sold as an alternative to virtuals. Actually, at best its a replacement for locationless and not virtuals.

 

Locationaless was always a misnomer. They should have been called multiple location caches because that's what they were and that essentially what most waymarks are (a Walmart anywhere, a McDonalds anywhere. Virtuals were very specific spots on the planet and definitely had a location.

 

The very number of 'locationaless' waymarks overwhelms the 'location specific' virtuals and makes them very hard to find and also degrades their value. This is especially unfortunate in the case of the highly educational earthcaches which have almost disappeared off the radar because of this decision.

 

Finally, I don't get the need for waymark databases. Those databases already exist. Want to find a Brewpub, MacDonalds, Walmart etc.? Well there in things called phonebooks, city directories, yellow pages, 411 online services etc. Why re-create what already is available online by using Google? And, when you get the address/location online you can then find the coordinates online or on your mapping software. I don't have to come to Waymarking.com to find this and in fact the online info more often than not tell me a lot more than I can find on Waymarking. And since anyone using Waymarking has to have online access then everyone using it has access to the other online info.

 

Want to find historic markers? Well they can be found online too. In fact, every category I've looked at is already databased somewhere on the net. So that's why I ask what the point is to Waymarking and had hoped that Jeremy would respond. Because I just can't get what the point is of re-creating in a piece meal kind of way information that is readily and freely available. To be a meaningful game/activity it has to have some other point and geocaching has that but not Waymarking.

 

JDandDD

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The very number of 'locationaless' waymarks overwhelms the 'location specific' virtuals and makes them very hard to find and also degrades their value. This is especially unfortunate in the case of the highly educational earthcaches which have almost disappeared off the radar because of this decision.

 

Want to find historic markers? Well they can be found online too. In fact, every category I've looked at is already databased somewhere on the net. So that's why I ask what the point is to Waymarking and had hoped that Jeremy would respond. Because I just can't get what the point is of re-creating in a piece meal kind of way information that is readily and freely available. To be a meaningful game/activity it has to have some other point and geocaching has that but not Waymarking.

 

JDandDD

I agree with JDandDD in asking what's the point of Waymarking if all it's going to be is databases of 'locationless' caches? I am interested in Waymarking because this is where 'virtuals' got shunted to. But except for historical markers, 'virtuals' seem to be treated as the b*st*rd child in the family.

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The internet will never work. There are too many categories to find anything interesting on the internet. And none of the search tools work. I get hundred of pages that I'm not interested when I enter a search term. Its too much work to scroll through them to find what I want. Why can't there just be an internet that has only what I'm interested in. In the good old days, when I went to the library I knew the books would have interesting information in them. Not just anyone could publish a book, and the library had limited space so the librarians only got the most interesting books to put on the shelves. The internet lets anybody publish anything. It will never work. :)

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