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how to find archived caches?


klossner
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I, for one, think it's a good idea to get rid of the ability of finding old archived caches. But still one can look in peoples profiles to see if they have any archived caches. Know the prolific cache hiders in your area to make guesses about caches. But then again there are the one hit wonders out there too.

 

But be sure that any geo-litter you find is really geo-litter and not just a cache listed under some other service or a letter box listed under any of the dozens of letterboxing organizations that exist.

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The old static geocaching maps are gone, and with them the only mechanism I knew of to look up an archived cache if I stumble over its geolitter (which I've done three times now.) Is there another mechanism to use now?

 

As far as I know the only way to find the archived cache page is if you know the owner's handle and find in on their cache list (or even on a finders list) or if you have the GC code you could search by that. Since you pressumably have the coords of the archived cache you found, that will help you narrow things down on these caches lists.

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While some may not have a use for it, we definitely need the ability to list archived caches. Why? Here are a few reasons:

 

1. Recovery of the geolitter. Local geocaching organizations can help maintain a positive image for geocaching by making sure old caches are recovered from the field, instead of leaving them behind as trash.

 

2. Seeing where caches were formerly placed can be helpful when working with land owners/authorities on authorizing new caches.

 

3. Some cachers are thinking of creative ways to use the archived cache listings in new caches.

 

If it can't be done by the maps then how about a PQ modification?

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.......

If it can't be done by the maps then how about a PQ modification?

The pitfall of that is that many Geocachers simply load up thier GPSr and take off to go caching without reading anything. Hunting for a cache that a landowner requested archival could lead to serious problems.

 

I think you have some valid points, however. It would be nice if some mechinism allowed at least an overview of where archived caches once were.

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This is a very disappointing change. Why remove functionality from the site that has been available to us for years?

 

I personally found this archived cache information very useful and interesting.

 

The history that we lose as a result of this change is significant. I've researched archived caches for many reasons:

 

1) Placing a new cache. Was there one here already? If so, what were the issues? What did people like/dislike about the cache, placement, etc?

2) Researching land management policies. I've checked old archived caches in several areas to determine if new caches are consistent with past guidelines or not. Many caches are archived as a result of these issues so losing them also means losing that information sometimes.

3) Contacting previous finders/owners of caches. I don't necessarily remember who placed or found a cache but I can remember where they were hidden.

4) Searching for pictures of an area that are in the gallery of an archived cache.

5) Researching archived caches that might be geo-litter.

 

You can still find archived caches through hiders and finders of these caches, but there isn't any basis for a reasonable search aside from clicking through pages of finds/hides. Search by location was at least a reasonable way to start a search.

 

Please bring this back.

 

GO$Rs

 

[fixed typos]

Edited by g-o-cashers
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I hate when I pay for something and it gets removed without a warning.

It looks like it's time to go against the TOS and find our own way to do it. It shouldn't be too hard, just look at the profiles of the top 10 cachers int each area and download the GPX. maybe someone can find a way to scrape the site for them.

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I hate when I pay for something and it gets removed without a warning.

It looks like it's time to go against the TOS and find our own way to do it. It shouldn't be too hard, just look at the profiles of the top 10 cachers int each area and download the GPX. maybe someone can find a way to scrape the site for them.

You were paying specifically for the ability to look at archived caches on those old maps???!!!!???

:)

 

Or was it one of the 50 or 60 services you are paying for?? Be realistic.....

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This is a very disappointing change. Why remove functionality from the site that has been available to us for years?

 

I personally found this archived cache information very useful and interesting.

 

The history that we lose as a result of this change is significant. I've researched archived caches for many reasons:

 

1) Placing a new cache. Was there one here already? If so, what were the issues? What did people like/dislike about the cache, placement, etc?

2) Researching land management policies. I've checked old archived caches in several areas to determine if new caches are consistent with past guidelines or not. Many caches are archived as a result of these issues so losing them also means losing that information sometimes.

3) Contacting previous finders/owners of caches. I don't necessarily remember who placed or found a cache but I can remember where they were hidden.

4) Searching for pictures of an area that are in the gallery of an archived cache.

5) Researching archived caches that might be geo-litter.

 

You can still find archived caches through hiders and finders of these caches, but there isn't any basis for a reasonable search aside from clicking through pages of finds/hides. Search by location was at least a reasonable way to start a search.

 

Please bring this back.

 

GO$Rs

 

[fixed typos]

Well stated. It was fun to look at a large park area and see all of the caches that exisited in it over the years.

Maybe this could be a PMO feature on the Google maps?

Edited by 9Key
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I hate when I pay for something and it gets removed without a warning.

It looks like it's time to go against the TOS and find our own way to do it. It shouldn't be too hard, just look at the profiles of the top 10 cachers int each area and download the GPX. maybe someone can find a way to scrape the site for them.

You were paying specifically for the ability to look at archived caches on those old maps???!!!!???

:)

 

Or was it one of the 50 or 60 services you are paying for?? Be realistic.....

It was one of very few services I use. I don't need PQ's, and there are only about six MO caches within 20 miles of me.

What would you do if your cable stopped sending you half of the channels you pay for without asking or even a warning?

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At least you could be patient and see if part of the slow motion rollout of v2 include a newer better way to view them............no need to go out and be radical about it.

 

Again be realistic - I pay my cable company $59 per month and get 65 channels. If I only choose to view 2 of the 65 and one gets dropped I should not expect my cable bill to drop to $29.50. Especially when they are in process of rolling out newer and better features.

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Argh, I just tried to use this today and realized it was no longer there. :)

 

At least you could be patient and see if part of the slow motion rollout of v2 include a newer better way to view them
There's no sense in removing something until its replacement is operational, unless the removal is intended to be permanent.
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At least you could be patient and see if part of the slow motion rollout of v2 include a newer better way to view them............no need to go out and be radical about it.

 

A quote from OpinioNate

I can certainly appreciate that you found viewing archived caches useful before, but for some very important reasons we won't be showing archived caches on the google maps.

 

Many caches are archived because they are in sensitive areas. Some are archived because the area is dangerous or offlimits. In these cases we don't want people visiting the location because they may get in trouble/hurt themselves/hurt the environment. Therefore, we don't advertise archived caches.

Edited by Downy288
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If nothing else, I enjoy browsing through archived caches to get ideas from them.

I find this to be most often true when searching through event caches. There have been some wonderful events that I think would be well received in my area, but without being able to see archived caches, I won't know where to look...

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I count this as a step backwards as well. It's a loss of functionality that I used for a number of reasons, more than even g-o-cashers listed. I've noticed that the new Google maps seem to list *some* archived caches I have found, but not even all of those.

 

I like the new Google maps overall, but I'd really like to be able to see archived caches again like I used to be able to do.

 

I've pretty much lost faith in TPTB even acknowledging such requests based on recent experience, but FWIW consider this a request to see the functionality restored.

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Take these two caches as prime examples of just why archived cache information is important

 

Carding mill capers.

 

Kates carding mill cache.

 

Both in EXACTLY the same spot and both muggled in the summer. I am certain knowing the spot that soemone else will think what a great place for a cache and hide one in the same really obvious hiding place.

 

If when they went to list the new one the site said this location is within 0.1 of this archived cache it could prevent future repeats of the same mistake.

 

I wont miss the search facility but thats because i have a good offline database available to me and the GUK site in the UK will also list them but not allow downloads.

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I was not able to find an "archived caches" list on a Geocaching UK webpage. (Link, please?) But, the concept sounds interesting. Question for Groundspeak: how would other regional groups go about getting permission to maintain lists of archived caches on their websites, as has been done in the UK? What content can be included (esp. the coordinates)?

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I was not able to find an "archived caches" list on a Geocaching UK webpage. (Link, please?) But, the concept sounds interesting. Question for Groundspeak: how would other regional groups go about getting permission to maintain lists of archived caches on their websites, as has been done in the UK? What content can be included (esp. the coordinates)?

 

The site has sufferd a denial of service attack so its down at the moment.

 

There is a box at the base of the search page you tick to include archived and unavalable caches.

 

They only show up in the search and cant be downloaded you can click on each one to see the archived cache page.

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Hi to All:

 

First... sorry about my english

 

May be there is a lot of unnecessary information store into all of the caches that are archived, but please, take a look like a non USA or non European cachers. There is a lot of fun when some of ours go to a beautifull spot (nice landscapes, nice place to take a picnic, nice places to learn about nature), and in some countries there is a lot of caches that are archived, but with the possibilities to be manteined for another geocacher that have the time for it.

 

Here in Chile there are 210 geocaches listed, but I discovered (searching into the profile of each Chilean Geocachers) at least 18 archived caches ( http://www.geocaching.com/bookmarks/view.a...6e-5ee71e961518 ), most of them with high possibilities to be actived. Personaly, in this summer (south hemisphery) I will ask for activate 2 archived GC that are in a both beautifull places (Door to Antuco and Camino Termas de Chillán) because there a lot of fun to see the spot, to grow up the activity in small countries like Chile (and grow up the touristic activities) and, off course, to give to a foreigner G$rs a lot of fun with more beauty places.

 

Sorry about my english and I hope my point of view from this small country serve to this discussion.

 

Best to all

 

Juano

Team Chucao (Chile)

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A quote from OpinioNate
I can certainly appreciate that you found viewing archived caches useful before, but for some very important reasons we won't be showing archived caches on the google maps.

 

Many caches are archived because they are in sensitive areas. Some are archived because the area is dangerous or offlimits. In these cases we don't want people visiting the location because they may get in trouble/hurt themselves/hurt the environment. Therefore, we don't advertise archived caches.

Which makes me wonder, is it specifically a problem with showing them on the map? Would it be possible to add an ability to search by distance in list form?

 

The loss of this feature really bothers me too. It'd be nice if there could be some kind of compromise.

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Is it possible to add a feature to GC.com by making a script using Greasemonkey? I have Greasemonkey and have added a whole list of features to GC.com by previously made scripts. Some of those include, direct logging button on cache listings when not on the page, showing all logs posted on a certain cache in top right corner and a number of other things. Why can't one be made to search archived caches?

Edited by Arndtwe
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Here are some screen shots of the features I was talking about.

 

This feature gives me a GC search from anywhere on GC.com, not just the homepage

2.jpg

 

The circled link that you see is the direct logging button that I mentioned in my earlier post. As you can see in the picture, it is not on the cache page. Even though you're not on that cache page if you push this button, you will be taken to the "log your visit" section for that cache.

1.jpg

 

The circled is actually a couple of different added features. These buttons allow me to instantly ad my find count(and this thing keeps up to date on my number all by it's self). They also tell me how many characters I have left before I run out of room. I can also adjust the size of loge vertically and horizontally.

3.jpg

 

These next few are for the Groundspeak forums. This one allows me to basically "bookmark" my favorite forums on here, and provides me with direct links to them.

4.jpg

5.jpg

 

This last one gives me easy access to anyone who posts find and hide count. This as we all know, can be very handy at times.

6.jpg

 

So my question is: If all of these different features can be added using a simple scripting program, couldn't someone make a script that adds a feature to GC.com that allows searching for archived caches? I personally would if I knew how, but I don't. I do know however, that there are a few forum regulars here that do know how to. Would any of you (the guys that know how) be willing to make one?

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The only feasible way such a script could work is if it had a database of all the archived caches in the world. It would have to intercept calls to the map and check for archived caches in the area, then inject them into the map. That's about as close to impossible as you can get, despite being theoretically possible. :)

 

Prime Suspect was able to make the scripts you have because they usually only involve adding links to known locations, such as a cache page. They can't query the GC database.

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The only feasible way such a script could work is if it had a database of all the archived caches in the world. It would have to intercept calls to the map and check for archived caches in the area, then inject them into the map. That's about as close to impossible as you can get, despite being theoretically possible. :)

 

Prime Suspect was able to make the scripts you have because they usually only involve adding links to known locations, such as a cache page. They can't query the GC database.

I'm not talking about having it show them on a map but more like showing them on a list as if you were searching them like you do a zip code or coordinate search.

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Another vote for bring it back! 99%+ of users didn't use it or care, but it was a very helpful feature for us.

We used for reviewing an area's past history. so as to avoid the same mistakes with new placements. It's not always obvious that it's a sensitive area. Easily showing archived caches would be more likely to discourage than encourage.

When we were new we placed a cache in an off-limits Nat'l Forest as there was no indication from nearby active and archived caches. Others have done the same since only to learn the hard way. :)

Even the reviewers don't always know the history. Shouldn't they check archived caches for past problems before approving new ones?

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I hate when I pay for something and it gets removed without a warning.

It looks like it's time to go against the TOS and find our own way to do it. It shouldn't be too hard, just look at the profiles of the top 10 cachers int each area and download the GPX. maybe someone can find a way to scrape the site for them.

You were paying specifically for the ability to look at archived caches on those old maps???!!!!???

:)

 

Or was it one of the 50 or 60 services you are paying for?? Be realistic.....

 

To some extent, yes, for me it was, as I rarely do more than 3 or 4 caches per weekend if that, so:

 

1) My GPS doesn't download waypoints easily (not sure if that's a premium feature though) and manual entry is fine at my level of caching.

 

2) Don't do PQs either

 

3) Though I live in the largest metropolitan area in the US, we don't have many "member only" caches, in fact my nearest one is a toll bridge and an hour's drive away. So I could live with "missing" those.

 

4) OK, I do like being able to show vs. hide my finds and hides on the Google maps, but I wouldn't be sore if I couldn't do that.

 

The main reason I "went premium" was to have the ability to see archived caches for all the reasons the others give here. Admittedly, especially in the last 2-4 months, I am caching enough that I am not going to pull my premium membership in protest; as TPTB do need to get the money to run all this stuff from somewhere and $30 or so/year isn't exactly a burden. But it would be nice if they listen to forums like this more.

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Here's another vote for bringing back some method of querying archived caches. I don't really care if they're displayed on a map or not (although maps would be nice). It is extremely convenient to search for other caches that were once in an area to see what any issues might be with a future placement.

 

I do not think the issue mentioned of people potentially going out to look for archived caches is anywhere near as great as the benefit of being able to do research into the cache history of an area.

 

Please bring back some method of searching for archived caches! Even a PQ option would be fine ... at least I could then import them into GSAK and display them any way I wanted. A PQ option would also limit the frequency of archived cache queries.

Edited by ePeterso2
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At least you could be patient and see if part of the slow motion rollout of v2 include a newer better way to view them............no need to go out and be radical about it.

 

A quote from OpinioNate

I can certainly appreciate that you found viewing archived caches useful before, but for some very important reasons we won't be showing archived caches on the google maps.

 

Many caches are archived because they are in sensitive areas. Some are archived because the area is dangerous or offlimits. In these cases we don't want people visiting the location because they may get in trouble/hurt themselves/hurt the environment. Therefore, we don't advertise archived caches.

 

Does this mean archived caches are not listed in peoples finds or hides either??? I can understand wanting to keep people out of senistive areas, but I don't see how making it harder to locate where an archived cache was will keep people from going there.

I almost wonder if it was cause whatever problem happened the first time to repeat with a later cache since you would have to know who placed caches in the area, or what the ID numbers were instead of being able to easily pan a map and see if there was anything there in the past .

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I almost wonder if it was cause whatever problem happened the first time to repeat with a later cache since you would have to know who placed caches in the area, or what the ID numbers were instead of being able to easily pan a map and see if there was anything there in the past .
It strikes me that this reasoning (which is sound, IMO) outweighs, or at least counters, the reasoning that by not showing archived caches at all people will stay out of sensitive areas.

 

Here's an example of what I mean:

icon_note.gifAugust 19, 2005 by RumneyHiker (1 found)

This cache has been removed by the U.S. Forest Service who visited the site on 8/17/05 and found unacceptable impacts.

 

This is an historic site protected under the National Historic Preservation Act and a memorial to the 7 airmen who were injured or killed here. Since late 2002 when the cache was created, there has been a noticeable increase in damage to the remaining plane parts and vegetation around the site. A bushel bag of flagging was removed from the trail. Initials and dates (mostly beginning in 2003) have been scratched into a wing and a 1' by 2' piece of wing was cut out and removed. This is the same wing that contained the cache. Many other large pieces of the plane have been rolled over or moved.

 

In an effort to prevent further damage and desecration of the memorial, it can no longer be a cache location. JS

In general, caches are allowed in the National Forests here in NH. They aren't allowed in wilderness areas or alpine zones or other areas deemed sensitive. This location has obviously been deemed sensitive, but unless you somehow stumble across this listing (or happen to have it bookmarked like me) you likely won't know that.

 

If I hadn't seen this listing and decided tomorrow that it'd be fun to go put a cache up at the plane crash, I'd be violating the NFS wishes, but wouldn't know it. I was recently at the local NFS ranger station seeing about who I could put down as a contact for an earthcache I'm developing, and the general view of geocaching held by the rangers I spoke with could use a little help. Help that isn't going to come by them finding another geocache in a place they don't want one.

 

Edited to add: I also think the ability to see archived caches should come back to help reduce geolitter. I personally own 3 caches that were once archived & abandoned and discovered a fourth that the cache owner reactivated himself when I found that it was not, in fact, missing. All four containers would still be sitting out in the woods effectively unfindable if not for the ability to see archived caches on a map. There are 2 more that I had already bookmarked that I'm 99% sure are still in place, I just need to find the time to make the hikes.

Edited by Too Tall John
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I almost wonder if it was cause whatever problem happened the first time to repeat with a later cache since you would have to know who placed caches in the area, or what the ID numbers were instead of being able to easily pan a map and see if there was anything there in the past .
It strikes me that this reasoning (which is sound, IMO) outweighs, or at least counters, the reasoning that by not showing archived caches at all people will stay out of sensitive areas.

 

Here's an example...

Maybe that's a better example for why not to show archived caches. That cache brought people to the site of a plane wreck that the forest service considered "a protected historic site". In general, the forest service does not like letting the general public know where these sites are - whether they are on planewrecks.com or geocaching.com - because they see any additional traffic as potentially damaging to the site. By allowing one to search for archived caches it might be possible to find the site of the wreck. Even if all you got was the link to the archived cache, that could encourage additional traffic. So what if you can't place another cache there - wouldn't you be interested in visiting the "forbidden" site. You might even place a cache nearby and encourage people to visit the wreck when they go to your cache. By making it hard to search for such caches GC.com may help prevent more damage. Of course, the reviewers still have access to the nearest archived caches, so if another cache was placed there they could deny that placement under the current guidelines.

 

There may be other examples where knowing that a landowner/manager objected to a previous cache would be useful to someone contemplating placing a cache. Not every instance should the locations be hidden. But you picked a bad example to make your point.

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I almost wonder if it was cause whatever problem happened the first time to repeat with a later cache since you would have to know who placed caches in the area, or what the ID numbers were instead of being able to easily pan a map and see if there was anything there in the past .
It strikes me that this reasoning (which is sound, IMO) outweighs, or at least counters, the reasoning that by not showing archived caches at all people will stay out of sensitive areas.

 

Here's an example...

Maybe that's a better example for why not to show archived caches. That cache brought people to the site of a plane wreck that the forest service considered "a protected historic site". In general, the forest service does not like letting the general public know where these sites are - whether they are on planewrecks.com or geocaching.com - because they see any additional traffic as potentially damaging to the site. By allowing one to search for archived caches it might be possible to find the site of the wreck. Even if all you got was the link to the archived cache, that could encourage additional traffic. So what if you can't place another cache there - wouldn't you be interested in visiting the "forbidden" site. You might even place a cache nearby and encourage people to visit the wreck when they go to your cache. By making it hard to search for such caches GC.com may help prevent more damage. Of course, the reviewers still have access to the nearest archived caches, so if another cache was placed there they could deny that placement under the current guidelines.

 

There may be other examples where knowing that a landowner/manager objected to a previous cache would be useful to someone contemplating placing a cache. Not every instance should the locations be hidden. But you picked a bad example to make your point.

Compared to the traffic generated by other websites, I bet the archived cache listing on GC.com would generate a very small fraction of the traffic already going there.

 

I believe the usefulness would far outweigh the potential downsides. At least on this site you can read that the NFS is concerned about visitors, while on the crash listing sites it probably makes zero mention of negative impacts of visitors.

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Compared to the traffic generated by other websites, I bet the archived cache listing on GC.com would generate a very small fraction of the traffic already going there.

 

I believe the usefulness would far outweigh the potential downsides. At least on this site you can read that the NFS is concerned about visitors, while on the crash listing sites it probably makes zero mention of negative impacts of visitors.

The land manager isn't going to say that it's ok to allow searches for archived caches because it's less likely to cause someone to visit the site and do some damage than another site or that since it has a log that expressing the land manager's concern, anyone who sees it won't damage the site. The land manager is going say "I thought by getting this cache archived people couldn't find the coordinates of the crash site as easily. Now someone who remembered there was cache there could look for nearby archived caches and get the coordinates."

 

If Geocaching were to bring back the old "Archive (no show)" category, then caches that land managers want excluded from searches could be marked hidden while other archived caches that are not in sensitive areas could be searched for. I read elsewhere where the Retract log is now used for this. However, I don't like the idea of hiding the entire cache listing like it never existed. Perhaps instead put fake or NULL coordinates in these caches so you could still see the cache if you know the GC number or the name of someone who found or hid the cache but couldn't see the coordinates or find it in a search of nearest archived caches.

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I almost wonder if it was cause whatever problem happened the first time to repeat with a later cache since you would have to know who placed caches in the area, or what the ID numbers were instead of being able to easily pan a map and see if there was anything there in the past .
It strikes me that this reasoning (which is sound, IMO) outweighs, or at least counters, the reasoning that by not showing archived caches at all people will stay out of sensitive areas.

 

Here's an example...

Maybe that's a better example for why not to show archived caches. That cache brought people to the site of a plane wreck that the forest service considered "a protected historic site". In general, the forest service does not like letting the general public know where these sites are - whether they are on planewrecks.com or geocaching.com - because they see any additional traffic as potentially damaging to the site. By allowing one to search for archived caches it might be possible to find the site of the wreck. Even if all you got was the link to the archived cache, that could encourage additional traffic. So what if you can't place another cache there - wouldn't you be interested in visiting the "forbidden" site. You might even place a cache nearby and encourage people to visit the wreck when they go to your cache. By making it hard to search for such caches GC.com may help prevent more damage. Of course, the reviewers still have access to the nearest archived caches, so if another cache was placed there they could deny that placement under the current guidelines.

 

There may be other examples where knowing that a landowner/manager objected to a previous cache would be useful to someone contemplating placing a cache. Not every instance should the locations be hidden. But you picked a bad example to make your point.

 

While you may consider this providing public access to forbidden sites please consider two things:

 

1) Finding this information wasn't exactly easy the way it was presented in the old maps. Its not like someone could type a name into search engine and find what they are looking for. They would have to know within a few miles where they were searching, know how to work the old map interface to find archived caches (which most geocachers didn't know how to do), and search the descriptions. Its very unlikely anyone would stumble upon it.

 

2) I would also like to think that most people aren't going to use this in a malicious way, quite the opposite. There's always a few that will but I hope that people like myself and Too Tall John who are trying to use it in a positive way far out weigh the bad apples. I guess it depends on your perspective -- I'll take the glass 1/2 full side.

 

FWIW, in the last two days I've tried to find 2 archived caches; one because of a land management question in the Green Mountains of VT and another the because I was interested in finding a cache I had coordinates for but never found -- I wondered what had become of it.

 

I was able to find the later because I was able to track down who owned the cache - but it took me 15 minutes because it had been adopted, a search which would have taken 30 seconds with the old interface. In the land management case I wasn't able to find what I was looking for -- that's the real shame because I'd like to think it might have helped someone decide on a better cache placement in an already sensitive area.

 

GO$Rs

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I almost wonder if it was cause whatever problem happened the first time to repeat with a later cache since you would have to know who placed caches in the area, or what the ID numbers were instead of being able to easily pan a map and see if there was anything there in the past .
It strikes me that this reasoning (which is sound, IMO) outweighs, or at least counters, the reasoning that by not showing archived caches at all people will stay out of sensitive areas.

 

Here's an example...

Maybe that's a better example for why not to show archived caches. That cache brought people to the site of a plane wreck that the forest service considered "a protected historic site". In general, the forest service does not like letting the general public know where these sites are - whether they are on planewrecks.com or geocaching.com - because they see any additional traffic as potentially damaging to the site. By allowing one to search for archived caches it might be possible to find the site of the wreck. Even if all you got was the link to the archived cache, that could encourage additional traffic. So what if you can't place another cache there - wouldn't you be interested in visiting the "forbidden" site. You might even place a cache nearby and encourage people to visit the wreck when they go to your cache. By making it hard to search for such caches GC.com may help prevent more damage. Of course, the reviewers still have access to the nearest archived caches, so if another cache was placed there they could deny that placement under the current guidelines.

 

There may be other examples where knowing that a landowner/manager objected to a previous cache would be useful to someone contemplating placing a cache. Not every instance should the locations be hidden. But you picked a bad example to make your point.

 

Maybe that's why the "Archived Search" should be allowed. Our public land managers are using the tool of closure and exclusion more and more instead of actual management.

 

Don't want to deal with the public on public lands? Just lock 'em out.

 

Want to create a new Wilderness Area. Just erase the 4wd tracks and minng ruins from the map. Voila an area untrammeled by man suitable for a new Wilderness Area.

 

Geocaching is a historical part of our public lands, albeit a very brief and most likely insignificant part, along with all the other human uses of our public lands.

 

Some of us a very interested in what WAS there, even if it was only a few years ago.

 

Another VOTE for the archived search.

Edited by karstic
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Add me to the list of people who agree there ought to be a way to search for archived caches. The reasons cited here are good.

 

Beyond that, we realize the majority fo caches were not archived for reasons of "sensitivity"--they usually get archived because that type of cache didn't work well in that spot. Knowing what was there before allows the next person to evaluate the spot more accurately. Perhaps it needed a different treatment, perhaps a cache really shouldn't be there--without the history we are more likely to repeat the mistake.

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If Geocaching were to bring back the old "Archive (no show)" category, then caches that land managers want excluded from searches could be marked hidden while other archived caches that are not in sensitive areas could be searched for. I read elsewhere where the Retract log is now used for this. [...]
You're right: certain listings are retracted and appear as if they are never published. However, I would guess this is less that .1% of all caches. In the past year within a 50-mile radius 2 caches in my area have been retracted. I don't think problems with sensitive areas are a problem at all in the grand scheme of things, but I guess GS has to have some sort of policy to point to.

 

I don't see the ability to actively find (i.e. not stumble across) archived listings a problem in that regard, and would also like to see it return.

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Here's a proposal:

 

When archiving a cache, an entry would be required giving the reason: not allowed, inappropriate, removed, orphaned, other. Of course the web page would explain more fully.

 

All but not-allowed would show up in a search for archived caches. Perhaps not-allowed would show up with munged coordinates which only place it within, say, a mile. (While there are some valid arguments for allowing fully responsible people to search for not-allowed, the negatives in terms of displaying something thought to have been removed are larger.)

 

When attempting to place a cache, a not-allowed archived would show up as close to the new cache if within 0.1 mile, just like an active cache. Reviewers would determine whether it is also a problem. While this is potentially an additional task for the reviewers, it would probably save them even more time by showing potential problems quickly and easily.

 

"Inappropriate" would be for smaller scale problems, such as being on the wrong side of a wall, and so would not show up as proximate to a new cache.

 

The "orphaned" category would aid in searching for geolitter. The "removed" category would be useful to those interested in former cache sites.

 

I can't think of a reason for "other", but if it's not included, then someone will find a reason.

 

Well, that was my idea for the day. Now I can go to sleep.

 

Edward

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Add me to the list of people who agree there ought to be a way to search for archived caches. The reasons cited here are good.

 

Beyond that, we realize the majority fo caches were not archived for reasons of "sensitivity"--they usually get archived because that type of cache didn't work well in that spot. Knowing what was there before allows the next person to evaluate the spot more accurately. Perhaps it needed a different treatment, perhaps a cache really shouldn't be there--without the history we are more likely to repeat the mistake.

 

Ditto. Glad I'm not the only one who is missing this feature.

 

As for the concern over caches that get archived due to their "sensitive" nature, if they can't be retracted (i.e.., they were found) then the coordinates can easily be changed to bogus ones and the description modified to remove any specifics. As others have noted this is a very small percentage of caches, here it has only happened once in the 2.5 years.

 

jrr

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Sounds like a conspiracy from a semi-famous movie:

 

"Purged from the otherwise complete Jedi Archives is all evidence of the mysterious world of Kamino. A lonely world beyond the Outer Rim and just south of the Rishi Maze, few could have predicted that Kamino would become a key contributor to a massive shift in political power in the waning days of the Republic. "

 

What else is missing from the archives? :lol:

 

Count me in for wanting it back!!!

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I almost wonder if it was cause whatever problem happened the first time to repeat with a later cache since you would have to know who placed caches in the area, or what the ID numbers were instead of being able to easily pan a map and see if there was anything there in the past .
It strikes me that this reasoning (which is sound, IMO) outweighs, or at least counters, the reasoning that by not showing archived caches at all people will stay out of sensitive areas.

 

Here's an example...

Maybe that's a better example for why not to show archived caches. That cache brought people to the site of a plane wreck that the forest service considered "a protected historic site". In general, the forest service does not like letting the general public know where these sites are - whether they are on planewrecks.com or geocaching.com - because they see any additional traffic as potentially damaging to the site. By allowing one to search for archived caches it might be possible to find the site of the wreck. Even if all you got was the link to the archived cache, that could encourage additional traffic. So what if you can't place another cache there - wouldn't you be interested in visiting the "forbidden" site. You might even place a cache nearby and encourage people to visit the wreck when they go to your cache. By making it hard to search for such caches GC.com may help prevent more damage. Of course, the reviewers still have access to the nearest archived caches, so if another cache was placed there they could deny that placement under the current guidelines.

 

There may be other examples where knowing that a landowner/manager objected to a previous cache would be useful to someone contemplating placing a cache. Not every instance should the locations be hidden. But you picked a bad example to make your point.

Ok, so there are some caches that Groundspeak wants to hide because the park management wishes it. Still I think that should be the exception rather than the rule of just forgetting anything thats archived ever existed.

 

... However, I don't like the idea of hiding the entire cache listing like it never existed. Perhaps instead put fake or NULL coordinates in these caches so you could still see the cache if you know the GC number or the name of someone who found or hid the cache but couldn't see the coordinates or find it in a search of nearest archived caches.

 

My only issue with that is it assumes the person will KNOW to look it up. Over time cachers can move away, change patterns, or just plain loose interest and drop out. If I get a GPS for Christmas and take up caching this winter, unless there are current finds or hides from a person I can't really know who was caching around 'my' area a week before I joined but quit, let alone months or years ago.

To give an example, this is a private nature center near here with several miles of hiking trails. If you look at current caches you might think people are just lazy and stick to hiding along the 'low' areas of the creek and largest most used trail. If you could map out the archived caches easily and read those you would notice that there have not been caches on the flat upland praire areas (because they're burned yearly and the park manager doesn't want caches there that could be burned up or run over by their mower), but there have been caches in the hilly upland wooded areas. If you read about those that were in the forest you notice that the park does not want them within close distance (less than several hundred feet), one cache was placed right next to one of the big eroding gullies and the 'park' manager (who has always been happy to have caches in the are so long as they get to reviewer location beforehand) asked it be either removed or relocated far away from the erosion area in hopes of not encouraging the edge to erode faster. The owner of that cache got all ticked off (even though had he asked before placement they would have told him no) and removed the cache and archived it. He later moved a couple hundred miles away but still seems to cache on a limited basis. Another of the those forest caches was placed too close to another of the gullies, the park asked it be moved, and this owner complied, eventally years later the container got damaged and the owner removed it and the listing was archived. This one doesn't seem to cache anymore, but AFAIK still lives around here. A third cache was placed in the forest area, but was away from any gullies and was there for a few years, but also eventally was removed and archived by its owner, this one still caches from time to time though infrequently.

I know the stories because I was around for them, but how can someone that wasn't find out?? Yea sure the reviewers can still see the caches or whatever, but not average joe. Sure not everyone knew how to look up archived caches on the old maps, but those that wanted too could be proactive and check out the past if they wanted.

 

Additionally as has been meantioned not all archived caches were archived for parks issue. Maybe the area floods worse than it looks like it would. Maybe kids from the nearby school hid there smoking cigarettes and have muggled the last cache hidden 'around there'. There are all sorts of maybes, and noone can know everything that has happened, but dang why make it harder than needed to find out what used to be around??

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The new maps do not even show the archived caches that I've found!
I don't remember, did the old maps do that?

 

About a week before the loss of the old maps, I had started a bookmark of archived caches that might be of interest in my area. I have started expanding it by fishing through profiles of cachers who have been caching longer & have many more finds than I. I'm sticking with a 30-40 mile radius for my list at this point, and am up to 41 archived caches. Many have "Final Logs" that sound like the cache is still in place:


  • Don't know why this one is archived - it is present, the log is in good shape and it is totally and easily findable!

  • No action on this cache...container appears to still be in place.

This next one has the following log:

  • easy find a little nervous looked like private property.but hey it,s Sunday morning no one around and I just can't drive by an easy cache.took bic lighter left chattering teeth.

... followed by a SBA a year later, no finds or DNF's in between?!? The next one is the same exact situation, down to the SBA logger.

  • NICE WALK. VERY QUIET THIS MORNING.TOOK WHISTLE LEFT DR. SUESS PIN .THANKS FOR A GREAT CACHE.

  • no longer wish to maintain this cache

This last log is all the explanation we got when a local cacher archived all but 2 caches. The containers for at least 3 of those caches were left out as geolitter. I know because I went out and started them as new caches. The log is from one that I didn't get to (yet).

  • The Cache is still there! My two nephews and I were out on our four wheelers Sunday morning, I knew we would be in the area of the cache and brought along GPS and coordinates. Although I was unsure of the status of the cache, my nephews had never been Geocaching before so we decided to try to find it anyway. We found the cache no problem, my nephews had a terrific time. The Cache obviosly hasen't been maintained for a while, the log book is kind of rough but the Cache is still intact!

  • As the last one to find it, and knowing how it was hidden, I believe it is still there. It is vey unlikely that anyone would find it by mistake. Unless an animal managed to take it, the cache should still be there. It is hidden quite well and it was only after much searching and a stroke of luck that my wife and I managed to find it. I do think that the owner should check up on it just to make sure that it is there. Good luck!

  • The cache is still intact.

The following log was posted well after cache was archived. This is not the cache owner. No mention of it being retrieved:

  • This cache is back up and operational. BUT, due to the high waters of this summer, all original cache contense has been washed away. We were unable to find even the original cache container. So, as of last night, the cache is back up but without any treasures inside. We will be filling it shortly.

  • Cache should not have been archived! The zoomer is still there!!
    ...and...
  • This one was in the gps from a long time ago. It is still there and in good shape. SL

...are from the same cache.

 

Only the last two logs are from the same cache, so that's 10 caches out of 41 that look like they may never have been retrieved. Almost 25%!

 

I didn't post the links for these so I'm not stepping on GS's current policy of hiding archived caches by making the list any easier to get to. If you have questions about any of these caches and their relevance, PM me. I'll send you a link, but won't post it here (even though that is what I really think I should do). :(

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I'd like to put my $0.05 in on this one. I agree with TooTallJohn for the same exact reasons...I occationally used the older function to pretty much look at all the archived caches in the area, to make sure they were not left as geo-trash. The other reason, was to see what was out there, and what worked or didn't work...

 

I vote to bring it back...(although it probably won't do much good)

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The new maps do not even show the archived caches that I've found!
I don't remember, did the old maps do that?

 

Yes. The maps usd to show all found caches, with a clickable icon. Even the archived ones. I looked for one to answer a question on the forum, and found that they no longer show on the maps. That made it much tougher to find. Oh, well. I'm sure that TPTB have their reasons. If they want a cache to 'disappear as if it never existed' they do have the 'delist' function available.

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Only the last two logs are from the same cache, so that's 10 caches out of 41 that look like they may never have been retrieved. Almost 25%!

 

This issue of providing access to archived caches is very much related to geotrash and that is my guess as to why this feature went away. As you suggest there is evidence to suggest that geotrash is steadily accumulating without any real way to organize an effort to clean it up. At least for those of us interested in trying to organize clean up, having access to a crude archived cache search tool via the maps gave us something to work with -- now there is next to nothing.

 

FWIW, I ran some numbers last year about the growing problem based on a pretty large sample of caches. You can take a look at my estimates here .

 

GO$Rs

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From my reading of this topic thread, there seems to be three (3) reasons for a cache to be archived:

1. No physical cache is allowed in the area,

2. Cache has been archived by owner for some reason other than number 1 above, usually that it was muggled too often,

3. Cache has been archived by local reviewer for some reason other than number 1 above, usually that it was abandoned by owner.

 

I can think of no valid reason why caches in categories 2 and 3 should not be available for all to see in queries, listings, and maps. Only for category 1 archived caches can I see any justification for trying to hide their locations. Some loggers have already suggested some possible ways to handle this problem other than the present method of hiding all archived caches.

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I'll add my bit...I, too, wish there was a way to PQ archived caches, if only to elimante them from my gsak database.

Case in point, I regularly delete all disabled caches from the database knowing that if they do not return with the next pq then most likely they have been archived.

But while doing a cache run in Leesville, La, we came upon one that was not disabled but had several DNF's. Regardless of that we stopped an looked a few minutes but decided that if "that" cacher didn't find it, it probably wasn't there.

Once I got back home I looked at the cache on-line and discovered that it went from active to archived with no disabled in the middle. That eliminated my way of taking care of archived caches since it never disabled in GSAK.

The reason for the drastic change was the owner had moved away and just was no longer able to take care of the cache.

Had I been able to run a pq for the area for archived caches I this one would have shown up.

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