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Earthcaches

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As it seems it is not so well known that Earthcaches are back! And I'd like to see them more here in Finland.

 

This is nowadays the only cache type you can list on GC.com site where are not hidden the cache box. The cache site is the thing and earthcache has to have some educational geology aspect. More from the guidelines:

 

_____

 

EarthCache Guidelines

1. EarthCaches must provide earth science lessons. They take people to sites that can help explain the formation of landscapes or to sites of interesting phenomena such as folds, faults, intrusions or reveal how scientists understand our Earth (such as fossil sites etc.)

2. EarthCaches must be educational. They provide accurate but simple explanations of what visitors will experience at the site. Cache notes must be submitted and assume no previous knowledge of earth science. The educational notes must be written to a reading age of an upper middle school (14 year old) student. Additional technical or scientific notes can be provided for the scientific community. Please note appropriate place on the submittal form for the technical notes. All notes can be submitted in the local language but must also be in English.

3. EarthCaches can be a single site, or a multiple virtual cache. No items, box, or physical cache can be left at the site.

4. EarthCaches follow all the Waymarking and geocaching principles and adhere to the principles of Leave No Trace outdoor ethics. Use waypoints to ensure cachers take appropriate pathways. Use established trails only. Do not create new trails to a site in order to concentrate use impacts. EarthCaches will highlight the principle of collect photos - not samples. However, if there is no possible damage to a site which is outside of the public land system and approved by the site owner, small samples may be collected as part of the cache experience.

5. Logging of EarthCaches must involve visitors undertaking some educational task. This could involve them measuring or estimating the size of some feature or aspect of the site, collecting and recording some data (such as time of a tidal bore), or searching and sending via email to the developer, some fact that they find from signage. Developers should try to involve visitors in learning from the site … rather than just logging a visit. Logs should show that the visitors have 'learnt' by visiting your EarthCache.

6. EarthCaches developed on private and public land must have prior approval of the landowners before submission. EarthCaches developed in association with National Parks, National Forests, or other public lands are encouraged. These must have verbal or written approval with the appropriate land-managing agency. The name and contact details of the person from who you received approval MUST be given.

7. All EarthCaches must be approved by GSA (to ensure appropriateness of the site and educational standard of the notes) before they can be submitted for approval via this website.

8. The Geological Society of America retains the right to edit, modify, delete or archive any EarthCache that does not adhere to these guidelines, or for any other purpose, including for the promotion of sponsors for the EarthCache program.

_______

 

It is just so easy... :(

 

Here is something more on the international forums:

Earthcaches back?

 

And here is the site where you can see earthcaches and list your own:

www.earthcache.org

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It is just so easy... :rolleyes:

 

I agree. :)

 

We have been thinking of hiding a couple of caches to Koli national park. One option is to set up an Earthcache to Ukko-Koli where are always so many muggles around that hiding an actual box is quite hard.

 

However, it seems that there are so many regulations in placing such a cache that it seems hardly worth the effort. We are not geography teachers and writing high scool level study material (also in English) seems pretty hard. Just copy pasting it from the Internet doesn't seem right. There is also the requirement of an educational task involved when one logs the cache. We might have a couple of ideas about it, but measuring our ideas by submitting them for an approval seems quite uncomfortable. There are propably good guidelines for writing the approval application for the GSA. Anyway, at least I'm so shy with my English that I'd propably have to hire some native or fluent English speaker to check the grammar of our cache description. :anicute:

 

Here are just a couple of reasons why it seems a bit awkward to set up an Earthcache. It is quite much simpler to just send a note about placing a physical cache box to Forest and Park Service (in Finnish).

 

But what do you others think?

 

OsMi,

the male half on behalf of both

 

Edit: typos.

Edited by OsMi

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Heips !!

 

I agree with OsMi,

the acceptance procedure is rather unclear. My GSAK lists four Earthcaches in Finland of which two have been lately arhieved due to not fufilling the regulations. For me it is not clear what is missing and if I compare the cache descriptions to the two accepted ones, I cannot see the difference !

 

However, I have one place in my plans and actually it already had a traditional cache until it was removed due to Nature Reserve area. Also, earlier this year, we had some discussion about Earthcaches in the Waymarking site where those seemed to be almost forgotten. Maybe now it is the time to reconsider !!

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Anyway, at least I'm so shy with my English that I'd propably have to hire some native or fluent English speaker to check the grammar of our cache description. :)

 

Reading your post I don't see any issues with your English. There only needs to be enough English for the reviewer to get the idea of what your showing. I think it would be fine to use a website's english text (clearly stated as a quote) with a longer description in your native language.

 

Based on the level of detail on some of the US ones, they are not looking for highly technical writing (see GCZCPA and GCQV53 ) If you still want someone to look at your english I'd be happy to look at it. I've helped out a couple of placements in the states.

 

Look at the above mentioned logging requirements. They are simple measurements of the features or obtaining something off the sign.

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Team GeoMarmots sent me a question regarding how to fill out the earthcache.org submittal form and what would be appopriate. I tried to respond, but Team GeoMarmots' e-mail account is over limit.

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Heips again !!

 

I think that building Earthcaches in Finland should be a common interest and that is why I suggest that private posts are limited to the really private matters. I mean, that TerryDad2's valuable help here should be available for as many cachers as possible and private mails will not help in that.

Earthcaches are the best thing Geocaching can offer and in Finland we have thousands of places which require are worth visiting.

 

Could it be possible to save these forms with the filling helps, and whatever further helping tips to some GC related commonly available server here in Finland ??

PekkaR has one of the commonly refered ones, how about that ?? Ofcourse other sites can have the same information if they are interested.

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Team GeoMarmots sent me a question regarding how to fill out the earthcache.org submittal form and what would be appopriate. I tried to respond, but Team GeoMarmots' e-mail account is over limit.

 

Sorry, that mailbox needed some cleaning - already done.

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My GSAK lists four Earthcaches in Finland of which two have been lately arhieved due to not fufilling the regulations. For me it is not clear what is missing and if I compare the cache descriptions to the two accepted ones, I cannot see the difference !

I was able to only find the two active ones. Based on my understanding, the two active ones will be archived as well. It looks like geoaware hasn't even looked at them yet otherwise there would be a note from him on the page.

 

The issue is the logging requirement. Pictures only are no longer accepted. If some form of measurement, observation of the geology of the area, guess at the reason why the formation exists or was formed, or request for geologic information from a informational sign needs to be included in the logging requirement.

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Moiks all !!

 

The issue is the logging requirement. Pictures only are no longer accepted. If some form of measurement, observation of the geology of the area, guess at the reason why the formation exists or was formed, or request for geologic information from a informational sign needs to be included in the logging requirement.

 

Thanx TerryDad2, this is the kind of info and help we need to get started !!!

I agree completely that the pictures are nowadays not good enough. Also there can be some kind of a test or a need to examine something before the log is accepted, I feel this is fair.

But this also means that the cache owner has to someway accept every log ?? Before or after ??

 

Does these "new" rules also mean there is a new way of accepting the logs ?? Or is the owner responsible for deciding if the logs are Ok and if not, should he delete the unaceptable ones ??

 

I think that the rule

 

5. Logging of EarthCaches must involve visitors undertaking some educational task. This could involve them measuring or estimating the size of some feature or aspect of the site, collecting and recording some data (such as time of a tidal bore), or searching and sending via email to the developer, some fact that they find from signage. Developers should try to involve visitors in learning from the site … rather than just logging a visit. Logs should show that the visitors have 'learnt' by visiting your EarthCache.

does not make it clear enough, but the problem may offcourse be my poor talent of English language.

 

Anything else you can make me understand the rules better will help again !!

Thax alot!!

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Does these "new" rules also mean there is a new way of accepting the logs ?? Or is the owner responsible for deciding if the logs are Ok and if not, should he delete the unaceptable ones ??

 

I think that the rule

It is up to the owner to decide if the log is OK. Either delete the log or if they ask for verification before logging, ask them to go back for more.

 

 

5. Logging of EarthCaches must involve visitors undertaking some educational task. This could involve them measuring or estimating the size of some feature or aspect of the site, collecting and recording some data (such as time of a tidal bore), or searching and sending via email to the developer, some fact that they find from signage. Developers should try to involve visitors in learning from the site … rather than just logging a visit. Logs should show that the visitors have 'learnt' by visiting your EarthCache.

does not make it clear enough, but the problem may offcourse be my poor talent of English language.

 

Anything else you can make me understand the rules better will help again !!

Thax alot!!

I think this requirement is vague on purpose to allow a variety of verification methods. I've seen measuring flow from a well, counting the number of features in a given area, comparing the shape of volcanoes to idealized drawings, obtaining the age of a rock formation from signs, estimating the direction of wind flow from crossbedded sandstone, guessing how the rock was squeezed based on folds in the rock,....

 

You can be as creative as you want, just so long as the visitor appears to need to do some thinking.

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I'll be happy to help with the Finnish to English translation.

 

Autan mielelläni tekstin kääntämisessä Suomesta Englanniksi.

Edited by ncfinn

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Thanks about your interest!

 

My GSAK lists four Earthcaches in Finland of which two have been lately arhieved due to not fufilling the regulations. For me it is not clear what is missing and if I compare the cache descriptions to the two accepted ones, I cannot see the difference !
I was able to only find the two active ones. Based on my understanding, the two active ones will be archived as well. It looks like geoaware hasn't even looked at them yet otherwise there would be a note from him on the page.

 

The issue is the logging requirement. Pictures only are no longer accepted. If some form of measurement, observation of the geology of the area, guess at the reason why the formation exists or was formed, or request for geologic information from a informational sign needs to be included in the logging requirement.

 

I know that my Earthcache do not meet the _recent_ guidelines. But the point is that every Finnish Earthcache met the guidelines while approved, therefore I think that they all supposed to be "grandfathered". Now three of them are dead already and rest of them will too if geoaware will someday point out his/her awareness to them. I can not find any way to modificate my Earthcache to meet recent guidelines because everything information which that site gives away on cache site is available on internet. So how an earth I should modificate that? If it won't be grandfathered then it will die like the others.

 

And I can imagine that every Earthcache in Finland met the same kind of difficulties. It is not too easy to built an Earthcache which fulfill recent guidelines. To modificate older ones, perhaps it is impossible? Too bad because everyone of the dead ones were on very specific places.

 

5. Logging of EarthCaches must involve visitors undertaking some educational task. This could involve them measuring or estimating the size of some feature or aspect of the site, collecting and recording some data (such as time of a tidal bore), or searching and sending via email to the developer, some fact that they find from signage. Developers should try to involve visitors in learning from the site … rather than just logging a visit. Logs should show that the visitors have 'learnt' by visiting your EarthCache.

does not make it clear enough, but the problem may offcourse be my poor talent of English language.

 

Anything else you can make me understand the rules better will help again !!

Thax alot!!

I think this requirement is vague on purpose to allow a variety of verification methods. I've seen measuring flow from a well, counting the number of features in a given area, comparing the shape of volcanoes to idealized drawings, obtaining the age of a rock formation from signs, estimating the direction of wind flow from crossbedded sandstone, guessing how the rock was squeezed based on folds in the rock,....

 

You can be as creative as you want, just so long as the visitor appears to need to do some thinking.

 

Anyway the points I gave above was not the reason why I started this topic. The answers given here on this topic hopefully enlighten the questions which the new guidelines might give. Hopefully here in Finland will be plenty of interesting Earthcaches in the near future.

 

Let the story continue, use your imagination. B)

 

edit: quotes

Edited by hikerbiker...

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Thanks about your interest!

I can not find any way to modificate my Earthcache to meet recent guidelines because everything information which that site gives away on cache site is available on internet. So how an earth I should modificate that? If it won't be grandfathered then it will die like the others.

 

Your earthcache looks like a great example. I am sorry I will likely never get the chance to go and visit it. It would be a shame to let it die.

 

You can continue to use the photograph in addition to the information available over the internet (a 2 part requirement). Just the activity of getting the visitor to go and look up the information shows interest in the subject and meets the goal of the educational requirement. Hopefully the archived ones could be modified along the same lines and brought back.

 

Another option in your case would be to have your visitors describe what happened to the watersource that carved the cauldrons, where and what direction did it come from originally, what happened to it? The info pannel shows a large rock at the bottom of the cauldron, is it still there, can you see it from behind the fence? Are the depth and width measurements listed on the cache page on the internet?

 

I hope these give you enough ideas to add to your already great earthcache.

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Kontulakin sai tänään (tai siis eilen) oman Earthcachensa. Oli käsittämättömän nopea prosessi, minkä näkee kätkön Kontulan hiidenkivi (GCZWQ0) sivun päiväyksistäkin. Kirjoittamisesta eathcache.org:iin kätkön hyväksyntään kului alle 12 tuntia. Siinä taisi olla aika tavalla joululisää. :)

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Noniin. Nyt kaikissa Helsingin laatulähiöissä on oma maisemakätkönsä. Jakomäki liittyi eilisiltana Kontulan ja Pihlajamäen seuraan.

 

On kiva että virtuaalikätköjä ei olla tapettu ihan kokonaan, varsinkin kun Eartcacheissa on aina jokin selvä idea. Ja sitä paitsi Helsingin pahamaineisimpiin paikkoihin on paljon mukavampaa piilottaa purkittomia kätköjä, ei tarvitse miettiä ainakaan, mitkä kaikki hiipparit purkin kohtaloksi voisivat koitua. :o

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Yes, they're back, that's absolutely perfect, honestly!

 

But I'm quite upset about website with submittal form, it's unbelievable.. <_<

I was preparing really educational listing in 2 languages in HTML editor whole night and wanted to submit. Their server was failing over and over, and when I caught the chance to copy text with tags there, I've faced limitation of 250 + 8000 + 2500 characters.. That's very very limiting number, if you consider, that it SHOULD be in 2 languages and SHOULD be of educational character!! :D

So I've cut my listing down to 10000 and tried to submit it.... didn't get thru:( So tried to submit just part of it, with idea to update it later (same way as it is possible on GC.com). It went thru, but I cannot get to it and make necessary updates! I'm not even talking about uploading pictures, terrible... Just unuseful requirements to complete some phone numbers of landlords. Funny.

 

I know they're just starting with this database and there are some complications. But why is not geocache submit form applied for earthcaches as well???

Edited by Rikitan

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Just to clarify: Copy-paste job took me just about 2 minutes on submit form site.. I couldn't exceed time limit. And have left several characters in each window uncompleted... Don't understand this problem.

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There used to be 5 eartcaches in Norway, until geoware archived 3 of them. Its rather sad, since they had some really good features to show visitors. I'm absolutely sure about that other EC's that are remarkable also are archived.

 

It seems like it is the rules and guidelines that are overwhelming to go trough.

 

Could it be an idea to send the owners of EC's that are archived a note about what is missing for meeting the new standards?

 

I think that sort of effort would make it possible to get most of the archived EC's back in business...

 

;)

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