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Waymarking And Logging Guide For All Categories

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The scenario: it's a nice day, so you want to go out to waymark and log some stuff.

 

You've read the descriptions of pretty much all of the categories so you know what they are. There's a lot of them, though, and they all have particular requirements for Waymarking and logging.

 

In planning this, the first thing you find is that there's no resource that lists all the categories for you to print out even just their names.

 

The second thing you find out, is that even if you take the trouble to print out a book of the description page (more detail version) for each of the categories, it's not enough information to establish waymarks. Why? Check out the variables - they're listed, but what are the choices within them? Those are NOT listed! You don't even know which are optional and which are not. How do you find out before you go? There's just one way to be sure - you have to pretend to waymark the category to really find out what you need to write down when you're there, so that when you get back to your computer, you know you have enough of the right information to establish a waymark. Click on "Record Waymark" and then click on each of the dropdown menus and write down the choices, write down all the radio button labels, etc.

 

Yuck!

 

(Of course, if you have one of those fancy mobile phones that connect to webpages and don't mind fiddling with it on the spot, then you're set.)

 

So, I did a little experiment. I did a sampling of categories, picking just the first category in each supercategory in the directory listing. The idea I had was to try to get the information from each category needed for Waymarking and logging in a fairly consise form.

 

I made abbreviations:

 

W: Waymarking requirements section

L: logging requirements section

P a picture of the waymark

PG a picture with your GPS

PS a picture of the waymark's sign

PGS a picture of your GPS and the waymark's sign

PU a picture of you (actually I didn't find this in my sampling, surprisingly)

P(someotherkindofpicture)

Variable Name[] a variable's choices

Variable Name{} an optional variable's choices

 

Here's the results:

=========================================

 

Animal Memorials: W: P, Complete story,

Type of memorial[plaque,statue,other]

Type of animal[Pet, Service/work animal, Wild animal, Other]

L: PG

 

Art*o*mats: W: P, Detailed story, Builder, Artists, Medium

L: PG

 

Canadian Benchmarks: W: P, Designation,

Benchmark type[Which Canadian benchmark database it's in]

Marker type[Concrete/Metal Post, Survey disk, Vertical Control disk, Bolt, Chiseled circle, Benchmark disk, Triangulation station disk, Other, Unknown]

Condition[Good, Slightly damaged, Damaged, Toppled or moved, Possibly missing, Definitely missing, Could not find it, Unreachable but visible, Totally unreachable, Unknown]

L: P

 

Airports: W: P, PS,

Type[international, Municipal, Grass (rural), Military, Heliport, Remote control], Airport Code{text}

L: P, PS

 

Active Quarries: W: P,

Type of stone/ore mined[text]

L:

 

All Things Star Wars: W: Description of how the waymark or its name relates to Star Wars

Type[statue, Sign, Vehicle, Other]

L:

 

Abandoned Cemetaries: W: P, Surnames,

Earliest Burial[date of the oldest grave mm/dd/yyyy format],

Latest Burial[mm/dd/yyyy]

L: P(grave marker), Description

 

American Civil War Monuments and Memorials: W: P,

Date installed or dedicated[mm/dd/yyyy],

Name of Government Entity or Private Organization that built the monument{text},

Union, Confederate or Other[union, Confederate, Other]

Rating[stars, in ½ star intervals],

Website

L: PG, comments

 

Artesian Well: W: PG, Describe water quality,

Vote[stars, in ½ star intervals]

L: P

 

Devilish Locations: W: PS L:

 

"Z" Welcome Signs: W: PGS L:

 

Amusement Parks: W: P,

Date built{mm/dd/yyyy},

Opening date[mm/dd/yyyy],

Closing date[mm/dd/yyyy],

Open to the public[checkbox],

Main attraction[text]

L:

 

Abandoned Train Tunnels: W: P, Coordinates of at least one opening, Coordinates of parking, Details; number of tracks, length, etc.,

Construction[Natural - no lining, Rock & Mortar, Wood Timber, Brick or concrete block, Concrete, Steel, Other, Unknown],

Condition[Good, Fair, Collapsed, Fully Destroyed/ filled in, Other, Blocked off],

Current Status[Abandoned & Visitable, Recreation Path, Closed/Blocked, Unused & Hazardous, Other, Active - in use by railroad],

Original use[Freight, Passenger Train, Subway, Mining, Military, Other]

The "other end"{coords},

Tunnel length{feet},

Suggested parking area{coords},

Terrain[stars, in ½ star intervals],

Website

L: Experience description

 

Amateur Radio Repeaters: W:

Output Frequency[MHz],

Input Frequency[MHz],

Input/Output Tone[No tones, Output only, Input only, both, unknown],

Input Tone{text},

Output Tone{text},

Output Power{watts},

Antenna Height (HAAT){feet},

Club web page,

Internet Radio Linking Project[checkbox],

IRLP Node ID{text},

Echolink[checkbox],

Echolink Node Number{text}

L(non-ham): P

L(ham): Complete a QSO with: your call, the other station's call, signal report, coordinates or bearing/distance to repeater, transmit power

 

Ansel Adams Photo Hunt: W: P, Ansel Adams' picture

L: P, coordinates of your photo location

=========================================

 

Not so bad, really. The idea requires you already know each category description and its peculiarities, however; only the requrements are here.

 

Could this be done by Groundspeak with some programming? The variables part could be done OK, but parsing the requirements text would be very difficult and unreliable. Another solution is to have the category managers help by abbreviating the requirements text, perhaps like the above in a separate section. Another solution is to improve the variables listing in the category description page by including a way to indicate which are optional and which are not, and to provide the variables' choices. (The Recovered US Benchmarks category might be a problem there as the number of benchmark agencies in the dropdown list increases to a large number. However, the RUSB category would probably not be on many favorites lists anyway.)

 

It's sort of interesting to see the amount of variation in just these 14 categories laid out like this. I was a bit surprised that most variables were not optional. Some of the variables really seemed like they should be optional, though. Some categories express some of the same requirements in the verbal section as in the variables section while some separate them completely. Five categories specified no logging requirements at all.

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yes, i have gathered info to submit some marks, but get ready to post, and i am missing some KEY factor that is going to cause it to be declined...so then, i just dont post it...if i can get back by, and REMEMBER what i was missing, i will, but often it was something i was passing while traveling (in a place that ones does not often go unless there is a cache there, or it is a throughfare.....

 

is this not part of the peer review process? i get enought info to post the mark, and those who visit my mark can 'fill in the blanks'....

 

and i am still under the impression the the poster (owner) of the waymark can log it no matter what the requirements are.....

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I had asked for that too in another thread, and a few people were interested.

 

The problem is that it will get out of hand as more and more Categories are created.

 

I think that the best solution is a universal set of rules/guidelines that applies to all Waymark Creation for images and etc.

 

But I really do like the idea of some kind of Code Letter or ICON identifiers to let you know what you will need.

 

:ph34r: The Blue Quasar

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and also attributes for visiting the waymark:

24 hrs

snakes

$$$

Kids--this could also factor into the adult section if it ever works.

pets

etc.....

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I've been wanting something similar from Waymarking for a while. I've spent the past hour searching through the forum looking for indications for whether or not a "printable" directory will be created, and this topic seemed to be the closest to what I was looking for. Instead of creating a new topic, I'll add on to this -- hope that's OK.

 

As the number of categories grows, it's more and more difficult to remember what's required to record / log a waymark for a given category. I'd like to see the ability to easily print the "more detail" information for a category -- perhaps the ability to create a PDF similar to the PDF creation available (for permium members) on a geocache page.

 

If I had that capability, I'd be able to easily browse the directory, printing out category details for categories that interest me. I'd take those print-outs, put them in a binder, and keep them in my car, so when I stumble across a potential waymark, I can easily check the category requirements before starting to gather information on a specific site. As it is, I'm starting the process of creating that booklet for myself by doing a copy-paste of the information on the "more detail" page to my word processor. Some of the formatting I get by doing that is a little annoying, but I can clean it up without much difficulty. It would be much easier if I could just grab a wm.com-generated PDF.

 

Taking this idea a little further, I'd love to combine the PDF-generating capability with the "my favorite categories" capability. One click to generate a PDF booklet containing the "more detail" information for every category that I've designated as one of my "favorites" would be great. While I'm dreaming, I'll go ahead and mention that a dynamically generated table of contents, shoing the category heirarchy for categories saved in this booklet, would be a feature that I'd love.

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As the number of categories grows, it's more and more difficult to remember what's required to record / log a waymark for a given category. I'd like to see the ability to easily print the "more detail" information for a category -- perhaps the ability to create a PDF similar to the PDF creation available (for permium members) on a geocache page.

I was searching the forum trying to find out there was a way to organize all the information for Waymarking and found this thread. Is there anything like this being worked on? Or a solution for a paperless system for Waymarking? It would be a lot easier than having to remember all the categories and there requirements. Thanks.

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If I had that capability, I'd be able to easily browse the directory, printing out category details for categories that interest me. I'd take those print-outs, put them in a binder, and keep them in my car, so when I stumble across a potential waymark, I can easily check the category requirements before starting to gather information on a specific site. As it is, I'm starting the process of creating that booklet for myself by doing a copy-paste of the information on the "more detail" page to my word processor. Some of the formatting I get by doing that is a little annoying, but I can clean it up without much difficulty. It would be much easier if I could just grab a wm.com-generated PDF.

 

Yeah, me too! Cumbersome at best!

 

I do agree heartily that this is something that needs to be addressed if Waymarking is going to survive and flourish.

 

It is true that the variables also need to be included.

 

The code idea has some merit -- for the more common requirements. But, I think it is going to be nearly impossible to standardize such widely varying categories as we have.

 

One approach might be to use some sort of template for each category -- more detailed than what we now have -- that would allow a printer friendly, and/or pdf document to be generated and printed easily and would give a standard look.

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Oh man! I've been putting together a spread sheet of requirements to take with me on road trips. Black Dog Trackers code system is SO much better than mine. I wish that I had read this thread before I started and saved myself some time.

 

Great idea, though. I get so irritated when I spend a bunch of time researching and putting together a waymark and it gets declined because the sign photo that I took doesn't have my GPS in it. :huh:

Edited by Hikenutty

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This is going to be a high priority. Indeed, I have been in the situation where you're standing in front of a known waymark but don't have the requirements handy. It's frustrating. We'll probably patch in a simple solution like a print-friendly version of the cat page at first, and then later add something like a weekly digest download of all or just favorite categories.

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When you get it fine-tuned and working, the catalog will be very useful for those who want to move beyond the most basic beginner levels. In the meantime, though, it's likely that there are newcomers being turned off by a simple lack of information. We firmly believe that, if you want a photo or some other item to be included in a log, those logging requirements should be featured somewhere on each waymark's page. Not another link away. Sometimes one has to use a really awful internet connection; do any of you remember when each click means waiting another 30-90 seconds, or even losing the connection itself?

 

Most beginners don't study the forums and the definitions of each category before they go out. They type in a zip code, and go look for a nearby waymark. It seems to me to be a poor webpage design on the part of the waymark creator to leave the logging requirements off the individual waymark page. We recently submitted a waymark for approval and had it denied because we put a single sentence mentioning the logging requirements in the short description. The category manager simply referred us to this forum, rather than answer our question about whether we could put it in the long description.

 

Although we have been geocachers for almost 5 years, we have only just started Waymarking. We spent a few hours last month on our first Waymarking hunt, one afternoon while out-of-town. Since we had limited computer time before we went out, I printed out a list of the waymarks closest to our hotel. I clicked on each waymark's page, and we made handwritten notes of the coordinates and any logging requirements listed on each waymark's page. We only had time to look at the waymark pages, not to study each category.

 

As others have stated, it was maddening to find, when we got back to the hotel, that there were logging requirements for a few of them that did not show up on the waymark's page. We did not know about them until I clicked on the "Log It" button, and we were not about to drive out into a thunderstorm to repeat our circuit of the town. Is this game for the ones who log the waymarks, or for the ones who define the categories?

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At the risk of getting shot.... can we make a "Bookmark List" of favourite Categories?

 

Then we could request a PDF file that includes the Owner/Visitor requirements for each category in our Boomark List. As a trial, you could limit the number of Categories in a Bookmark List to 25.

 

This would count against our Pocket Query allotment of course.

 

:( The Blue Quasar

Edited by The Blue Quasar

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When you get it fine-tuned and working, the catalog will be very useful for those who want to move beyond the most basic beginner levels. In the meantime, though, it's likely that there are newcomers being turned off by a simple lack of information. We firmly believe that, if you want a photo or some other item to be included in a log, those logging requirements should be featured somewhere on each waymark's page. Not another link away. Sometimes one has to use a really awful internet connection; do any of you remember when each click means waiting another 30-90 seconds, or even losing the connection itself?

 

Most beginners don't study the forums and the definitions of each category before they go out. They type in a zip code, and go look for a nearby waymark. It seems to me to be a poor webpage design on the part of the waymark creator to leave the logging requirements off the individual waymark page. We recently submitted a waymark for approval and had it denied because we put a single sentence mentioning the logging requirements in the short description. The category manager simply referred us to this forum, rather than answer our question about whether we could put it in the long description.

 

Although we have been geocachers for almost 5 years, we have only just started Waymarking. We spent a few hours last month on our first Waymarking hunt, one afternoon while out-of-town. Since we had limited computer time before we went out, I printed out a list of the waymarks closest to our hotel. I clicked on each waymark's page, and we made handwritten notes of the coordinates and any logging requirements listed on each waymark's page. We only had time to look at the waymark pages, not to study each category.

 

As others have stated, it was maddening to find, when we got back to the hotel, that there were logging requirements for a few of them that did not show up on the waymark's page. We did not know about them until I clicked on the "Log It" button, and we were not about to drive out into a thunderstorm to repeat our circuit of the town. Is this game for the ones who log the waymarks, or for the ones who define the categories?

 

the catalogue, as you say, will also help all waymarkers....there are 2 types of waymarkers.

 

(1)the most prevalant kind at the moment are the 'finders'. the website is set up more for people to find and post waymarks (and create places to put them). this Waymarking type will have to evolve (more) as Waymarking grows older, and it is more concerned with requirements for submitting waymarks--though often have enough [or can work it into the routine] to also log the waymark; you do visit it in order to waymark, whichever version you are

 

(2)the other type is the 'logger'. this is a different type of Waymarking. they, as like caching, get coords from the site and the few rules about visiting. there are few with the 'answer the ?' stipulation, most need a pic of some sort (you do intend to visit it, you 'set out' to do so, why not take a pic of it) [variations on 'take your picture there', and a few have no requirements. if you go to visit something (especially 'on vacation') it might need a picture taken of it.

 

yes, it does suck (WM.com) on a slow connection. what i had to do was, photoshop (shrink) the image--to not have the upload time out. for quite a while i coudnt even get the GC.com 'upload pic' page to even load. you gotta do what you gotta do. at least on that site i can rely on my 'signature' (which i also have a pic of), or even upload at a later date.....

 

read further in the forums and you should notice that the site is due for a massive update. issues, such as you speak of, are being resolved as we breathe (supposedly). maybe some of your ideas will be incorporated.

 

Waymarking is different than caching, in that, you should know more about what you are setting out to find. the category (bushwacking for a RUSB vs. walking 6 blocks to the wifi/coffee house) and region (rural vs urban) of search should determine what 'sort of experience' you are to have. it might seem odd to take your pic in the coffee house, but you can take a pic of the storefront. in this respect, you can more determine what type of journey you want to have.

 

in short summarization:

welcome to the world of Waymarking. it is [primarily] set up for 'finders/creators' and takes time/research to waymark at all--read the categories and descriptions before you 'do anything', and the forums are a good source of discussion on matters at hand. issues/suggestions are arising and resolving 'every day'. if you dont like it now, come back occasionally. it will one day be able to break out from under its older brothers shadow.

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This is going to be a high priority. Indeed, I have been in the situation where you're standing in front of a known waymark but don't have the requirements handy. It's frustrating. We'll probably patch in a simple solution like a print-friendly version of the cat page at first, and then later add something like a weekly digest download of all or just favorite categories.

I'll be looking forward to this. I've printed out the directory pages for each category, but not the categories themselves. This will hopefully help me figure out if I see something whether or not it fits anywhere. I'll have to hope to find a hotspot to look a few up if needed. Going to try to add a few this weekend, will see what happens.

 

:)

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