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Parks Canada On-line Chats


Keith Watson
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I have noticed that the Ontario Geocaching Association has a link for a survey about Parks Canada. I have also noticed that they are holding 4 on-line chat sessions to discuss suggestions for an upcoming workshop with Parks Canada. They indicate the chat as being for members only, but I am sure they will open it up to others as they are discussing things that affect all of us here in Canada. The chats are being hosted on a public server.

 

The link for the survey is Survey.

 

To anyone on the OGA Executive, can these chat sessions be opened for everyone in Canada?

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That's pretty cool. Real time conversation via chat is nice. If opened to all, hopefully things would remain positive. As a veteran of the long running Monday ClayJar chat room, it is a shame when one person gets out of hand. In a discussion of this nature it is important to focus on the positive and to be "professional", so to speak.

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If it's the Ontario Geocaching Association, why is the survey link at geocachingedmonton.com? Haven't registered yet. Is this a Parks Canada sponsored survey? Or something the OGA (and Edmonton) is doing on their own?

 

The survey is on the geocachingedmonton site for the the Geocaching Edmonton forum, OGA decided to use theirs instead of launching their own. I believe the survey credits belong to Parker2 and originally run on the Saskatchewan site. The survey is part of the geocaching workgroup but is not sponsored by Parks Canada.

Edited by Cache-tech
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Yes. Thanks for answering DBC's question Cache-tech. I give a bit more background on the survey, I posted the survey on my personal site along with our MSN group in October of last year to get a bit more input from the SaskCachers. I received quite a bit of feedback from within the Province, as well as a few outsiders. When the workgroup was looking at doing the same thing, one of the workgroup members took my survey, cleaned it up a bit and we decided to post it on all the sites (including gc.com) to get a better look at what Canadians want in this policy. I beleave it will run till the end of March or so, and the data will be compiled regulary to keep the workgroup up to speed as to how the survey is running.

 

 

parker2

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Thanks for the response Cache-tech.

 

I wonder where BC cachers are supposed to do the survey? Maybe I'll check out the survey and look at implementing it on the LMGA website, since that organization is a little more (perhaps a lot more) responsive to the needs of BC geocachers than that other organization around here the professes to represent us BCers

Edited by dogbreathcanada
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The only problem with the survey (I just completed it), is that it is geocaching.com centric, when it shouldn't be. Why perpetuate the monopoly?

I guess a reason might be because of the facts regarding the number of caches on the three most popular sites.

 

Number of active Geocaching.com caches in Canada today: @ 16,650

Number of active Navicache caches in Canada today: @ 120 (I wonder how many are cross-listed?)

Number of active Terracaching caches in Canada today: @ 15 (Info from a friend who can see the site.)

 

These other sites represent a sampling of .0072 and .0009 of the caches listed on GC.com. It would not seem to be "geocaching.com centric", it would seem that they realize where the caches are listed. In addition, it is their survey, not yours. I would think they should be free to do the survey in any manner they wish without checking with you first. Feel free to generate your own survey for your site as you have suggested.

 

You can also feel free to get in touch with the web sites to get them involved in the process... but according to what you have been saying all along you don't want the web sites involved in the process anyway. Your "monopoly" argument above is therefore invalid and seems to yet another insightful post with no direction where you are basically trolling as usual. If you have concerns about the poll, feel free to take your concerns to them directly.

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The only problem with the survey (I just completed it), is that it is geocaching.com centric, when it shouldn't be. Why perpetuate the monopoly?

I guess a reason might be because of the facts regarding the number of caches on the three most popular sites.

 

Number of active Geocaching.com caches in Canada today: @ 16,650

Number of active Navicache caches in Canada today: @ 120 (I wonder how many are cross-listed?)

Number of active Terracaching caches in Canada today: @ 15 (Info from a friend who can see the site.)

Of course, and as long as geocaching.com continues to perpetuate itself into government discussions, representing itself as the only caching service worth anything, the monopoly position shall continue.

 

There's something to be said for competition.

 

The fact that you're even in this discussion (as an American), defending geocaching.com's right to be involved in Canadian government discussions of policy, kind of proves my point. You're involvement here is disconcerting.

 

The sruvey should be altered such that all reference to geocaching.com is removed. It should be a general survey on the hobby itself. The hobby does not belong to geocaching.com, thus creating questions that revolve around geocaching.com policy and guidelines, that could affect Canadian government policy is unethical.

 

I wonder why you're trying to involve yourself in this Canadian debate so deeply. As an American, your opinion on the matter means diddly-squat. And that's not a disrespect to you ... any American opinion on the matter would mean diddly-squat.

Edited by dogbreathcanada
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The link for the survey is Survey.

Further question. The survey requests a first name, last name and email. (If we don't give such information, is the survey for that person scrapped?)

 

Are we expected to give up our identities to take this survey, while the Working Group argues their right to remain anonymous if they so desire?

 

Something is wrong with this picture.

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The online chats hosted on the OGA Site can be accessed from this link

 

OGA Chat

 

This chat is open to all, regardless of OGA Membership or not. However the content that participants provide is for expressing their opinions related to the upcoming Parks Canada workshop. Any content that people provide is considered to be "For review and consideration".

 

As Parks Canada selected "The Ontario Geocaching Association" as the Ontario contacts, I felt that we should host the chats on our site.

 

Hope to see many there tonight. I would have posted sooner but Monday's are always very busy and I didn't get into the Forums yesterday.

 

:) The Blue Quasar

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The link for the survey is Survey.

Further question. The survey requests a first name, last name and email. (If we don't give such information, is the survey for that person scrapped?)

 

I would guess this is just trying to make sure that one person doesn't fill out 100 surveys.

 

(although why any one would do this, I don't know). If you look at the last page of the survey, it says that your name isn't recorded along with your survey information (only your gc.com handle). You are also of course free to lie about any of the information you choose to.

 

Are we expected to give up our identities to take this survey

 

You're free to lie/not fill out any fields that you like. The e-mail validation thing I think is just to make sure that you only fill out the survey roughly once (although you'd have to ask Brat to be sure), also as stated in the last page, your e-mal address isn't recorded along with your survey results, so it is anonymous if you choose to make it that way.

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The only problem with the survey (I just completed it), is that it is geocaching.com centric,

 

I didn't get that feeling at all. I think there was one question that mentioned gc.com by name (IIRC, its been a while since I filled it out). Something about the regular gc.com guidelines applying within townsites. As it could just as well have read "The guidelines on the site you happen to frequent and post caches on", I don't see it as being overly gc.com centric. Also, given that most people filling out the survey are probably not familiar with the other caching sites but probably *are* familiar with gc.com (even those who frequent the other sites more) the question should be answerable by just about every one. Also pretty much every other question has a field for comments, if you have something to add about Terracaching, or navicache or what ever, we'd be more than happy to read about it.

 

Also, don't like the registration aspect ... I certainly didn't supply my real name and/or primary email address. So, if that excludes my opinions, then so be it.

 

Well the first name/e-mail addy bit is only to somewhat restrict people from filling out the survey 20 times (at least that is how I see it), and isn't associated with your survey data, the handle I believe was requested so that if we have any follow up questions/comments about your survey we can get a hold of you and chat some more about it. Pretty sure you are free to leave the handle field blank, and as far as names go, I don't see how we could possibly verify that even if it was 'required' so if you don't feel comfortable telling us, by all means don't.

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I have to agree with most of what DBC has said. It's rather concerning that an american company is so involved with creating policy within Canadian National Parks. I'm sure if there were foreigners figuring so prominently in policy being creating in US National Parks there would be quite an uproar there.

 

I don't have any disrespect for the reviews at GC as they do an admirable job and I know they volunteer their time. However, they are representing GC whether they like it or not and this is not how to create policy in Canadian National Parks. We need Canadians looking our for the best interest of Canadians.

 

The survey of course was not created by GC but nevertheless it is concerning that it and most other discussions about geocaching center around GC and its guidelines. Any policy discussion regarding Canadian National Parks should not include references to an american company.

 

I think the survey in general was setup pretty well and brought up some of the key points about creating policy in Canadian National Parks. But lets keep it Canadian.

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I have to agree with most of what DBC has said. It's rather concerning that an american company is so involved with creating policy within Canadian National Parks. I'm sure if there were foreigners figuring so prominently in policy being creating in US National Parks there would be quite an uproar there.

 

I don't have any disrespect for the reviews at GC as they do an admirable job and I know they volunteer their time. However, they are representing GC whether they like it or not and this is not how to create policy in Canadian National Parks. We need Canadians looking our for the best interest of Canadians.

Ok, I will say this one more time. Parks Canada will not allow any input from an American stakeholder. This is an actual fact. If there is to be any input from another country, it has to be delt with other ways.

 

The survey of course was not created by GC but nevertheless it is concerning that it and most other discussions about geocaching center around GC and its guidelines. Any policy discussion regarding Canadian National Parks should not include references to an american company.

 

IMHO, I do not beleave any company should be refrenced to, as this policy will cover any and all aspects of the game / sport of caching.

 

I think the survey in general was setup pretty well and brought up some of the key points about creating policy in Canadian National Parks. But lets keep it Canadian.

 

I was going to question you on the format of this, but realized that it was one of your fellow cachers from the LMGA that did not like it when it was first posted over 4 months ago on the Sask. Site. :laughing: I'm glad that you like the format and made a point of filling it out. It will make things a bit easyer for the workgroup when looking at subjects brought up by PC.

 

parker2

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Just a slightly different stake from what parker2 said...

 

I have to agree with most of what DBC has said. It's rather concerning that an american company is so involved with creating policy within Canadian National Parks. I'm sure if there were foreigners figuring so prominently in policy being creating in US National Parks there would be quite an uproar there.

 

I don't have any disrespect for the reviews at GC as they do an admirable job and I know they volunteer their time. However, they are representing GC whether they like it or not and this is not how to create policy in Canadian National Parks. We need Canadians looking our for the best interest of Canadians.

 

In what way do you see the reviewers not looking out for the best interests of Canadians? Remember the reviewers in question are Canadians, they DO NOT REPRESENT GC.COM at these discussions. They are included for among other reasons their unique view point (extensive experience with cache listings, potential problems etc). But we're getting a bit off this thread's topic. I'd be more than happy to continue this discussion, either via PM, or in the other thread a bit further down entitles something like "GC.COM Volunteers working with PC".

 

The survey of course was not created by GC but nevertheless it is concerning that it and most other discussions about geocaching center around GC and its guidelines. Any policy discussion regarding Canadian National Parks should not include references to an american company.

 

Why? Because they are American? Would it make a difference if they were a Canadian company? The fact of the matter is that most Canadians who geocache have extensive experience with geocaching.com, and very little experience with the other caching sites (see mtn-man's post regarding the statistics from the various sites). It's only natural then that there should be some reference to the 'status quo'.

 

The one question that I recall that mentioned them was something like "Should the regular gc.com guidelines apply to caches within the townsites of national parks?" As these are the only guidelines that most survey respondents will be familiar with, the format of the question is natural.

 

If you'd care to interject any comments about how other caching sites run things, etc. I'm sure we'd all be very happy to listen to them.

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Not to be nit-picking...

 

Geocaching.com is not a business. Groundspeak is the business end of things. Geocaching.com is a listing service. Their site is free, if you so chose.

 

The idea that US Companies are not involved in Policies of Canadian Government is pretty far fetched. I'm sure the Ministry of Fisheries would beg to differ, as would the Oil Sector in Alberta to name a few.

 

General Motors and Ford both have Canadian operations... Toyota, Canon, Xerox, Toshiba..... to name a few

 

All of these companies have had to meet with the governing bodies to forge agreements.

 

The difference here is... Groundspeak isn't getting involved at all, but some people that volunteer for it are, as Geocachers with a unique perspective

 

If Parks Canada makes a bunch of rules that Groundspeak doesn't agree to, then Groundspeak won't list caches at Parks Canada. In the same way if Microsoft said "Nope, we aren't going to make French packaging"... then M$ doesn't sell in Canada.

 

:laughing: The Blue Quasar

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BQ has it right. Geocaching is a generic term (it's not trademarked) defined as being an outdoor activity involving hiding and finding hidden objects using GPS data and sharing this data with other players.

 

If Parks Canada or any other land managing group establish a geocaching policy then it would apply to any listing service - not just the one owned and managed by Groundspeak. The geocaching wiki currently lists 9 of them.

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