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.1 mi. rule...earlier notification?


gymjunkie0902

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I believe that there should be an automatic notice that comes up when you are submitting a cache that tells you if the coords are too close to another cache. and if that cant be done then at least change the search engine so that there is an option to show the distance from the actual cache in a puzzle cache or any caches in a multi cache. This would be very helpful to cache placement. Instead of submitting the cache and waiting for three days to get the Prime Reviewer log that says it is too close to another cache, why not know right when you submit it?

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Yes, it would be quite handy to do a self-proximity check and this would work find for regular caches. However, not all multi's and puzzles have all the intermediate and final waypoints entered using the additional waypoints feature. Until they all do, you could only get a partial check at best. Granted, this may be enough in many cases so it may be worth looking into to save at least some reviewer hassle - on BOTH sides of the process.

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Yes, it would be quite handy to do a self-proximity check and this would work find for regular caches. However, not all multi's and puzzles have all the intermediate and final waypoints entered using the additional waypoints feature. Until they all do, you could only get a partial check at best. Granted, this may be enough in many cases so it may be worth looking into to save at least some reviewer hassle - on BOTH sides of the process.
I like the idea. I wonder why they don't just ask everyone to enter all the intermediate waypoints for their multis and final coords for their puzzles by a certain date? If people don't do it they are probably long gone anyhow.
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I was just going to post the same thing. A solution would be to list the nearest published coordinates that need to be respected along with the GC codes and a link. There could be a note stating that if unpublished coordinates on caches exist nearby then a cache reviewer might not approve the proximity.

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Any auto-notification system would allow cachers to discover the solution coords to puzzles and the mid or endpoints of multi caches with a few queries. At least this is the argument usually made.

 

You can email your reviewer with coords and ask if they're okay. I get an email like this about once a week.

 

A solution would be to list the nearest published coordinates that need to be respected along with the GC codes and a link.

 

That's what hide and seek and cache already does, or on your cache page, use the nearest caches list right there on the page. IF there are no puzzles within 2 miles, you're likely in the clear on puzzles (though some older ones may bite you) - there's no distance limit on multis, but generally they'll remain within the same area.

 

I wonder why they don't just ask everyone to enter all the intermediate waypoints for their multis and final coords for their puzzles by a certain date?
Huh? or do what? archive their caches? The waypoints tool was announced, discussed and now there's a warning on the cache submit form if it's not used on multi and puzzle caches. But its by cachers use is still intermittent.
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You can already do this to detect conflicts with nearby Traditional caches: create the cache listing, uncheck "Yes the cache is active", and then use "Find nearby caches". If the issue you're checking for is the proximity of your Multi/Mystery final (or intermediate micro) stage, put its coordinates as the cache coordinates during this operation.

 

Why would they have to list anything? Just a message saying the entered coordinates are too close to coordinates on file for an active cache is all that's necessary.

 

Ooh, another cache is less that 528 feet from mine. Hmm, none visible in "Nearest Caches"... must be a mystery or multi final. Let's see, if I move my cache 50 feet North... hey, no more warning! 30 feet south, warning, 10 feet north, warning disappears, 6 feet south, warning reappears. You now have a ring about 5 feet across in which the cache lies. Now move your cache 700 feet south-west and repeat, then 700 feet east and repeat. In about a dozen tries, say 15 minutes on a wet Sunday afternoon, you've found GZ of a multi or mystery cache. Drive out there, log it, note the name from the logbook, and you have a smiley... which you could argue you deserved, but which probably doesn't impress the cache placer who took a month to plan the 8-stage nature trail walk. They might give fake final coordinates next time.

Edited by sTeamTraen
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You can already do this to detect conflicts with nearby Traditional caches: create the cache listing, uncheck "Yes the cache is active", and then use "Find nearby caches". If the issue you're checking for is the proximity of your Multi/Mystery final (or intermediate micro) stage, put its coordinates as the cache coordinates during this operation.

 

Why would they have to list anything? Just a message saying the entered coordinates are too close to coordinates on file for an active cache is all that's necessary.

 

Ooh, another cache is less that 528 feet from mine. Hmm, none visible in "Nearest Caches"... must be a mystery or multi final. Let's see, if I move my cache 50 feet North... hey, no more warning! 30 feet south, warning, 10 feet north, warning disappears, 6 feet south, warning reappears. You now have a ring about 5 feet across in which the cache lies. Now move your cache 700 feet south-west and repeat, then 700 feet east and repeat. In about a dozen tries, say 15 minutes on a wet Sunday afternoon, you've found GZ of a multi or mystery cache. Drive out there, log it, note the name from the logbook, and you have a smiley... which you could argue you deserved, but which probably doesn't impress the cache placer who took a month to plan the 8-stage nature trail walk. They might give fake final coordinates next time.

 

I like the OP's idea... especially in such a cache dense area as I am in.

 

Solution for the above problem? Limit checks to 1 per day or several per day or something like that - 1 hour between checks... etc...

 

Also, you're not necessarily even finding a mystery or multi FINAL - I have a 5 stage mystery - you could stumble across any of the four remaining points (as the first is posted correctly). If someone actually wants to spend the time checking this out... with some kind of timing restriction, then so be it... seems like more work in most cases.

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FireRef, because of where you live, I hope you are familiar with the story of the evil five-star puzzle cache that went unfound for 14 months. Let me quote from one of the logs:

After about 75 man hours working on solving the puzzle, we thought we had an idea of the location. We placed caches in suspected areas. The outcome was a dozen new caches in the Warren area and we are no closer to solving the puzzle. But everyone has more caches to look for. This is a toughy.

Now, if a group is determined enough to crack a puzzle that they will play a game of "battleship" and hide caches in every likely spot within two miles of the posted coordinates, imagine how much easier it would be for them to have a "coordinate probe" that could be used once per hour or even once per day.

 

Never underestimate a geocacher's determination. I didn't -- when one of the new caches was hidden 437 feet from the puzzle cache's location, I published it as an "exception" to the cache saturation guideline. I knew exactly what they were doing. They had counted on me to act like a machine, and reject any cache within 528 feet. I beat the battleship players at their own game. We had a good laugh about it the next time we were all together! :o

 

There is something to be said for retaining the human element and not automating *too* much. For me, this story illustrates that point best.

Edited by Keystone
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I wonder why they don't just ask everyone to enter all the intermediate waypoints for their multis and final coords for their puzzles by a certain date?
Huh? or do what? archive their caches? The waypoints tool was announced, discussed and now there's a warning on the cache submit form if it's not used on multi and puzzle caches. But its by cachers use is still intermittent.
If you gave a reasonable amount of time like a year, it wouldn't be a burden at all. People could even ask finders to send them the coords for their multis if they don't have them. There aren't that many multis anyhow. I would be glad to help out. Every mystery cache owner knows the final coords, so those are straight-forward. Finally, new multi and mystery caches are not supposed to be approved if the waypoints are not also provided. They aren't being approved in our area if they are missing.
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You can plug in coordinates and see distance to the nearest caches. Simple enough. It's been a long time since I had an issue with the 528' rule but at the time I knew it was only 300 and some change feet from another cache.
There's a spot down here called "Puzzle Valley." Good luck using that method. I had to solve a ton of them before I dared hide one down there....It was a puzzle! :o Edited by TrailGators
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FireRef, because of where you live, I hope you are familiar with the story of the evil five-star puzzle cache that went unfound for 14 months. Let me quote from one of the logs:

After about 75 man hours working on solving the puzzle, we thought we had an idea of the location. We placed caches in suspected areas. The outcome was a dozen new caches in the Warren area and we are no closer to solving the puzzle. But everyone has more caches to look for. This is a toughy.

Now, if a group is determined enough to crack a puzzle that they will play a game of "battleship" and hide caches in every likely spot within two miles of the posted coordinates, imagine how much easier it would be for them to have a "coordinate probe" that could be used once per hour or even once per day.

 

Never underestimate a geocacher's determination. I didn't -- when one of the new caches was hidden 437 feet from the puzzle cache's location, I published it as an "exception" to the cache saturation guideline. I knew exactly what they were doing. They had counted on me to act like a machine, and reject any cache within 528 feet. I beat the battleship players at their own game. We had a good laugh about it the next time we were all together! :o

 

There is something to be said for retaining the human element and not automating *too* much. For me, this story illustrates that point best.

 

Yes, I am familiar with that one - if I remember correctly, it was never solved, and then was archived with no solution given in case the original hider wants to try again to use that particular scheme. And I do believe I heard about all the extra caches being placed...

 

But as a hider (not as prolific as some, but definitely a few out there), it is extremely frustrating to go through all the work of finding a good location for a cache (which, yes, some of mine are just guardrails... and there's a million of them around there, but not all...), and then having to wait up to 3-4 days sometimes (not always - I had a multi-step multi that was published within 2-3 hours of me posting final coords, and the same day as the page was created) to find out if there is anything wrong with it. Had I needed to move a bunch of the parts of that multi, I probably would never plan another multi. I got lucky... one stage had to be moved because of the fact that another unpublished cache was located 300+ feet away, which happened to be published while I was in the process of placing the first stage.

 

Now, I don't believe the coordinate checker system would account for this issue, but it definitely would be nice if there was SOME way to check coords to see if they were safe to place a cache at the current time. Maybe not an automated system, but maybe an email to a specific local reviewer to check coords? Or a general email address which forwards to a specific area's reviewers, for the same purpose. I know you guys are volunteer, and put a good amount of time into making sure this game works...but one of my biggest problems with placing complicated caches is that if some part of it is near another cache that I don't know about or haven't found that part of, a lot of work that I have done isn't "good enough".

 

I ran into this problem with a cache I placed... the final to a simple, 2-step multi was located "too close" to a place where I wanted to place a cache. The problem is that the first stage was missing. Therefore, because the first stage was missing, I couldn't find the cache in order to figure out where to move mine away from it. The owner, luckily, told me where the final was, and therefore I knew where to move mine to be safe. However, having an entire area off limits because a cache is "somewhere" there makes it difficult. (yes, the obvious answer would be "go somewhere else", but that doesn't eliminate the issue).

 

There are several problems currently with contacting a reviewer. There seem to be 3 reviewers in my area. Some want email replies when they ask questions. Some want reviewer notes posted. Some post email addresses they want to be contacted at, not the one associated with their profile. None seem to have an easy way to check with them without "making the cache active", which may not be ready if I'm not sure I have the cache ready, because I don't know if I can even place it there. You never know which reviewer is going to get to my cache. I do assume you all have access to the same information on our caches.

 

How does the email "check coordinates", rather than an automated system, sound?

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FireRef, because of where you live, I hope you are familiar with the story of the evil five-star puzzle cache that went unfound for 14 months. Let me quote from one of the logs:
After about 75 man hours working on solving the puzzle, we thought we had an idea of the location. We placed caches in suspected areas. The outcome was a dozen new caches in the Warren area and we are no closer to solving the puzzle. But everyone has more caches to look for. This is a toughy.

Now, if a group is determined enough to crack a puzzle that they will play a game of "battleship" and hide caches in every likely spot within two miles of the posted coordinates, imagine how much easier it would be for them to have a "coordinate probe" that could be used once per hour or even once per day.

 

Never underestimate a geocacher's determination. I didn't -- when one of the new caches was hidden 437 feet from the puzzle cache's location, I published it as an "exception" to the cache saturation guideline. I knew exactly what they were doing. They had counted on me to act like a machine, and reject any cache within 528 feet. I beat the battleship players at their own game. We had a good laugh about it the next time we were all together! :laughing:

 

There is something to be said for retaining the human element and not automating *too* much. For me, this story illustrates that point best.

That is a great story! People are so funny sometimes! :o
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FireRef, if you're working on a multi or puzzle, you can write it up and put the coords in the waypoints tool - UNCHECK "this cache is currently active", then email one of your PA reviewers and ask them to take a look at it - include the GCxxxxx number.

Having the coords in the waypoints tool makes this check easier for them - easier than if you just send them coords.

 

You can certainly just email coords - as I mentioned in an earlier post, I get about one query per week, "are these coords okay?". However if you email me a list of coords for a multi, I'm going to have to re-enter them into a test cache as a means of querying the database - if you've already done that work, by entering them into your own cache page and into the waypoints tool, the check is way easier for your volunteer.

 

Finally, new multi and mystery caches are not supposed to be approved if the waypoints are not also provided. They aren't being approved in our area if they are missing.

Nope, they haven't been approved anywhere for a while without being provided. But provided isn't IN the waypoints tool. Provided is usually in a reviewer note. It isn't a guidelines violation to not enter coords in the waypoints tool. Most cachers will, especially if asked, but some won't.

 

There are many many caches with coordinates in archived reviewer notes. Those coordinates are just text on an archived page. They aren't coordinate data in the database. When I started reviewing in Florida I PQed the entire state for puzzles multis and letterboxes (multiple date ranged queries) and manually opened each and every one, looking for the old waypoint data, and then entering into the waypoints tool. This delightful task ate up hours and hours and hours.......... I've since done other states and a Canadian province. It takes a lot of time.

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I agree, just a yes or no is sufficient. Sure, people could try to work the system and figure out the final stage to a multi or puzzle, but who cares? If someone doesn't want to participate in the stages of one of my multi-caches or puzzle, I don't care. I'd probably give them the final coordinates if they emailed and asked.

 

The reviewer and owner could save lots of time if there was a search feature available.

 

IMHO of course.

 

AB

Why would they have to list anything? Just a message saying the entered coordinates are too close to coordinates on file for an active cache is all that's necessary.

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They wouldnt be able to get the co-ordinates for a final of a cache if the proximity guide just told them something along these lines

"These co-ordinates are within .1 miles of a physical cache. Please find a different hiding place."

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I believe that there should be an automatic notice that comes up when you are submitting a cache that tells you if the coords are too close to another cache

 

There is. Create your listing, then "View the cache page"

 

When you get the listing open, click "all nearby caches"

 

If you are at least .1 miles from the nearest cache, you are generally OK.

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They wouldnt be able to get the co-ordinates for a final of a cache if the proximity guide just told them something along these lines

"These co-ordinates are within .1 miles of a physical cache. Please find a different hiding place."

 

Not in one attempt. But after half a dozen they'd be closing in. See posts #9 and #11 of this thread.

 

There are two ways that finding a puzzle cache this way is bad. First, you defeat the owner's idea in setting the puzzle. Second, one you have the final coordinates (even allowing for the slight inaccuracy of the last digit in each direction) you can often reverse-engineer the whole puzzle. Once that's known, it spreads round the community a lot quicker than the precise coordinates would.

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I agree, just a yes or no is sufficient. Sure, people could try to work the system and figure out the final stage to a multi or puzzle, but who cares?

That would be the people who spend a great deal of time and effort to come up with cleaver, difficult puzzles, and multi-caches. Just so you know.

 

Oh, and Rosebud was his sled.

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I agree, just a yes or no is sufficient. Sure, people could try to work the system and figure out the final stage to a multi or puzzle, but who cares?

That would be the people who spend a great deal of time and effort to come up with cleaver, difficult puzzles, and multi-caches. Just so you know.

 

If those auto proximity warnings existed, there would be a lot more finds on some of the tough puzzles & multi's around here, that's for sure! And I'm sure people would try and automate it too.

 

Oh, and Rosebud was his sled.

 

And Soylent Green is people.

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There was a cacher in the area that had a cache with a very hard puzzle. When People solved it he kept adding puzzle after puzzle. Some cachers wanted to see if this cache really existed. They played battleship and figured out the coords were in the middle of a fairway on a private golf course and that there never was an actual cache. The reviewer in the area archived it when shown the evidence.

Edited by Wacka
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