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thegrundygang06

Restricted Virtual Caches

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Why not allow Virtual Caches in areas that a traditional cache cannot be placed. e.g. National Parks or places where the presence of an actually cache would cause problems, but a virtual would go completely unnoticed.

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Why not create a waymark for the point of interest?

 

Why not feature the point of interest as a virtual waypoint in a multicache ending with a container at a more appropriate location for a cache?

 

Why not work with the land manager to see about hiding a physical cache with permission? Even the U.S. National Parks are at least theoretically amenable to the idea.

 

The "make it a virtual" route was tried for a few years, and did not work. The "bring back virtuals" argument has been raised ever since. Do a search and you'll see some very definitive statements that they won't be coming back to Geocaching.com.

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I highly reccomend looking at Waymarking.com I'm just getting started in it, and look forward to logging my first this week. I've already listed my first.

 

El Diablo

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Why not allow Virtual Caches in areas that a traditional cache cannot be placed. e.g. National Parks or places where the presence of an actually cache would cause problems, but a virtual would go completely unnoticed.

 

Because it wouldn't be geocaching. It would be Waymarking.

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Why not allow Virtual Caches in areas that a traditional cache cannot be placed. e.g. National Parks or places where the presence of an actually cache would cause problems, but a virtual would go completely unnoticed.

 

Because it wouldn't be geocaching. It would be Waymarking.

 

A rose by any other name.....

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Why not allow Virtual Caches in areas that a traditional cache cannot be placed. e.g. National Parks or places where the presence of an actually cache would cause problems, but a virtual would go completely unnoticed.

 

Because it wouldn't be geocaching. It would be Waymarking.

 

A rose by any other name.....

 

doesn't get you one of these icon_smile.gif but can get you one of these rose.gif.

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I agree with the first responder only in so much as there have been multiple debates on this topic, with TPTB always basically saying they refuse to bring them back, because they now have Waymarking.com. I don't agree with this decision, as many people on these forums and in the game don't agree with this decision, but TPTB haven't listened to the players on this topic - they do what they want and run the game the way they want, and we live with it until someone comes up with something better.

 

I agree with the OP's argument. Some places will likely never allow physical caches, so why fight with them over it, instead of just asking TPTB to change their opinion and allow them in those places...oh wait, see above.

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If you don't want to place the location on Waymarking, then why not just make it an offset cache where you go to the special location that won't allow a physical, use some information on site to get the coordinates to a final location where a physical container would be allowed?

 

Virtuals aren't going to come back, so you need to find a way to work around the limitation. You either list it on Waymarking.com, create a multi cache here, or list it on an alternative site that still allows for virtuals.

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I don't agree with this decision, as many people on these forums and in the game don't agree with this decision, but TPTB haven't listened to the players on this topic - they do what they want and run the game the way they want, and we live with it until someone comes up with something better.

 

I agree with the OP's argument. Some places will likely never allow physical caches, so why fight with them over it, instead of just asking TPTB to change their opinion and allow them in those places...oh wait, see above.

Your post makes it sound as though no one agrees with Groundspeak's decision to move them to Waymarking. That is incorrect. I am glad they are now moved over and have a happy home, so please don't act as if you are speaking for me. What is closer to the truth is that most people could care less.

 

A good example of this was the very brief time find counts were removed. There was a flood of complaints regarding that and they were restored very quickly. The complaints regarding virtuals no longer being allowed to be listed have only been a few in comparison.

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I don't agree with this decision, as many people on these forums and in the game don't agree with this decision, but TPTB haven't listened to the players on this topic - they do what they want and run the game the way they want, and we live with it until someone comes up with something better.

 

I agree with the OP's argument. Some places will likely never allow physical caches, so why fight with them over it, instead of just asking TPTB to change their opinion and allow them in those places...oh wait, see above.

Your post makes it sound as though no one agrees with Groundspeak's decision to move them to Waymarking. That is incorrect. I am glad they are now moved over and have a happy home, so please don't act as if you are speaking for me. What is closer to the truth is that most people could care less.

 

A good example of this was the very brief time find counts were removed. There was a flood of complaints regarding that and they were restored very quickly. The complaints regarding virtuals no longer being allowed to be listed have only been a few in comparison.

 

That was not the intention. The intention was to point out that there are a number of people who disagree with that decision - not everyone does. Some don't care. Some people argue against what anyone on here says.

 

It just seems that there is a small, vocal group that would like to see them returned. TPTB choose not to. Apparently you have some like of them as you have a link in your signature for your favorite virtual caches. It just seems that the OP's argument makes sense. Instead of working hard against the people who don't know what geocaching is to get them allowed in places they're not, it would make more sense to work with the people who DO know what geocaching is and have them change their policies. But we see no progress in this.

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Some people argue against what anyone on here says.

Unfortunately.

 

mtn-man's KoosKoos advice was good. Use the virtual spot as a point in a multi-cache and you can still bring people there, yet take them to another spot that can hold a cache. Win-win.

 

(Sorry, KoosKoos!)

Edited by Quiggle

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Some people argue against what anyone on here says.

Unfortunately.

 

mtn-man's KoosKoos advice was good. Use the virtual spot as a point in a multi-cache and you can still bring people there, yet take them to another spot that can hold a cache. Win-win.

:)

 

FireRef, I love the old virtual caches, yes. To me, all the good stuff has been pretty much done though. I am against any new virtuals at this point for that reason. The few targets that might be "virtual cache worthy" are not worth the grief of the hundreds that would be submitted that would not.

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Best argument aganist the OP idea is this: once you allow that, a growing number of land managers might turn to the virtual cache as an alternate to physical caches because "it is allowed". The number of areas open to virtuals would start shrinking.

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You might also consider placing an earthcache. I enjoy doing the grandfathered virtuals, but I've done some of the earthcaches lately, and they seem to be of higher quality. (But that may be my bias towards less urban caches.)

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Why not allow Virtual Caches in areas that a traditional cache cannot be placed. e.g. National Parks or places where the presence of an actually cache would cause problems, but a virtual would go completely unnoticed.

 

Because it wouldn't be geocaching. It would be Waymarking.

 

A rose by any other name.....

Alas that phrase will never work when you are trying to give your date a Dandylion.

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Best argument aganist the OP idea is this: once you allow that, a growing number of land managers might turn to the virtual cache as an alternate to physical caches because "it is allowed". The number of areas open to virtuals would start shrinking.

 

That argument was made before - however, it has never been done, so we don't know what "might" or "might not" happen. Making predictions like these are counterproductive to the game.

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Best argument aganist the OP idea is this: once you allow that, a growing number of land managers might turn to the virtual cache as an alternate to physical caches because "it is allowed". The number of areas open to virtuals would start shrinking.

 

That argument was made before - however, it has never been done, so we don't know what "might" or "might not" happen. Making predictions like these are counterproductive to the game.

Oh but it DID happen. I personally know of 2 areas that banned physicals because they saw the available option of virtuals. One changed thier mind when virtuals went away. So I know.

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Make it a Wherigo. No need to place anything there. Just visit it and have the cartridge give further instructions to a cache elsewhere.

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Earthcaches are a form of limited virtuals. But I agree with the OP and would like to see virtuals return.

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Best argument aganist the OP idea is this: once you allow that, a growing number of land managers might turn to the virtual cache as an alternate to physical caches because "it is allowed". The number of areas open to virtuals would start shrinking.

 

That argument was made before - however, it has never been done, so we don't know what "might" or "might not" happen. Making predictions like these are counterproductive to the game.

Oh but it DID happen. I personally know of 2 areas that banned physicals because they saw the available option of virtuals. One changed thier mind when virtuals went away. So I know.

Yep, what StarBrand said. One here in GA changed their mind once they were informed that virtuals went away. We place caches there now with no problems.

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Best argument aganist the OP idea is this: once you allow that, a growing number of land managers might turn to the virtual cache as an alternate to physical caches because "it is allowed". The number of areas open to virtuals would start shrinking.

 

That argument was made before - however, it has never been done, so we don't know what "might" or "might not" happen. Making predictions like these are counterproductive to the game.

Oh but it DID happen. I personally know of 2 areas that banned physicals because they saw the available option of virtuals. One changed thier mind when virtuals went away. So I know.

Yep, what StarBrand said. One here in GA changed their mind once they were informed that virtuals went away. We place caches there now with no problems.

It was made when TPTB were making the decision whether to continue to allow virtuals to continue to be posted and whether to grandfather the existing ones. I suspected and Starbrand and Mtn-Man have now confirmed that there were cases where permission to hide physical caches was denied or revoked because of the alternative of virtual caches.

 

While many people miss virtual caches there have been no convincing arguments to bring them back that can't be countered by one or more of the alternatives that remain.

 

1. You can have a virtual as a stage in an offset or multicache. Just make the final a real container with a log somewhere nearby where a cache is allowed.

2. You can make an Earthcache if the location is of geologic interest and you meet the other requirements for an Earthcache.

3. You can share the coordinates as a Waymark. If you don't want to give away the category or make the experience of finding the answers more like a virtual cache you can use a category like Best Kept Secrets.

 

While combining #3 with geocaching is not yet easily accomplished, once the Geocaching database is moved to version 2, there will most likely be ways to get PQ that contain both Geocaches and Waymarks from selected categories so you can hunt them together.

 

The one argument that can't be countered easily is that you don't get a geocaching smiley for finding a waymark. Waymarking keeps its own stats.

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The one argument that can't be countered easily is that you don't get a geocaching smiley for finding a waymark. Waymarking keeps its own stats.

 

So getting a smiley is the only reason to visit a new and interesting location?

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The one argument that can't be countered easily is that you don't get a geocaching smiley for finding a waymark. Waymarking keeps its own stats.

 

So getting a smiley is the only reason to visit a new and interesting location?

Getting a smiley is the only reason to geocache :) getting a Waymarking award is the reason for visiting a new and interesting location :)

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The one argument that can't be countered easily is that you don't get a geocaching smiley for finding a waymark. Waymarking keeps its own stats.

 

So getting a smiley is the only reason to visit a new and interesting location?

Getting a smiley is the only reason to geocache :rolleyes: getting a Waymarking award is the reason for visiting a new and interesting location :D

 

Visiting interesting locations is the key for me. I've never logged a virtual cache because I never found one that interested me. Nor have I ever logged a locationless cache for the same reason. Now I've reached that point with regular caches. I've logged my share of LPCs and other lame caches, but they just don't interest me. My original intent with caching wasn't to find a LPC, a P&G, or magnetic keyholder on the back of a sign or a guardrail.

 

Waymarking on the other hand has opened a brand new door. Now I can go do what I originally started caching for in the first place, which was to go to interesting places that I didn't know exsisted. To get out and to explore my world. It wasn't to explore a parking lot, a dumpster, or the back of a sign or guardrail.

 

El Diablo

Edited by El Diablo

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Why not create a waymark for the point of interest?

Because a waymark doesn't show up on cache searches, doesn't show up on cache maps, doesn't appear in any kind of cache lists. To do both geocaching and Waymarking, you have to spend twice as much time in front of the computer. For most of us, this isn't the point of geocaching. Of course I'm sitting in front of the computer ...

 

This however is a problem that (unlike some problems brought up here) has a technical solution. I hope that we will see that solution implemented by Groundspeak.

 

As for EarthCaches, sounds like a great idea, but I'm down on them. I haven't logged one yet. I've seen some which are truly educational, with serious logging requirements. I've seen way too many which are totally lame, which are really just virtuals under a different name, with almost no information in the description and no logging requirements which take more than five seconds to satisfy. I've seen good descriptions which you don't have to read to log a find. An NPS unit recently published two EarthCaches at the same coords (exactly in one case, within a few feet in the other case) as existing virtual caches, and EarthCaches conceal virtual caches on Google Maps. In one of those EarthCaches, the description fit the entire mountain range and had nothing whatever to do with the specific site. So although EarthCaches are supposedly reviewed by someone knowledgeable in the field, it appears that they are being allowed as easily as virtuals once were.

 

Edward

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Why not create a waymark for the point of interest?

Because a waymark doesn't show up on cache searches, doesn't show up on cache maps, doesn't appear in any kind of cache lists. To do both geocaching and Waymarking, you have to spend twice as much time in front of the computer. For most of us, this isn't the point of geocaching. Of course I'm sitting in front of the computer ...

 

This however is a problem that (unlike some problems brought up here) has a technical solution. I hope that we will see that solution implemented by Groundspeak.

 

I agree and the perfect solution would be to get rid of geocaching as a website and make it a Waymarking category.

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Why not... it seems like that is where they want to go... they moved 3-4 categories over there already.

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Why not... it seems like that is where they want to go... they moved 3-4 categories over there already.

 

At the risk of getting my hand slapped.

 

Why do you cache or post here? You seem to have nothing but disdain for GC and those on the forum. Your constant negative posts make it difficult for those of us who may actually fall on your side of an issue to be able to make our points after you have turned it into a angst filled discussion.

 

Back on topic.

 

Virtuals were abused. No doubt about it. I also saw the virtuals being used by land managers as an easy out. Were there ways to fix them? Yes but they involved too much work on volunteers part. It is unfortunate they went away and, no, Waymarking is not an alternative.

 

"TPTB" (I hate that acronym) do own the site and apparently, as far as GC goes, knows what they are doing since our numbers keep growing. While I would vote to bring virts back, it has not impacted me one way or another.

Edited by baloo&bd

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Why not... it seems like that is where they want to go... they moved 3-4 categories over there already.

Virtuals were abused. No doubt about it. I also saw the virtuals being used by land managers as an easy out. Were there ways to fix them? Yes but they involved too much work on volunteers part. It is unfortunate they went away and, no, Waymarking is not an alternative.

 

"

 

Please educate me here. I've heard time and time again that Waymarking is not an alternative to virtuals. Why not? Seems exactly the same to me except you don't get a smiley on your main account. So someone please take me to school on this so that I might understand.

 

Thanks!

El Diablo

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Please educate me here. I've heard time and time again that Waymarking is not an alternative to virtuals. Why not? Seems exactly the same to me except you don't get a smiley on your main account. So someone please take me to school on this so that I might understand.

 

Thanks!

El Diablo

 

I'm hardly an expert on the subject, but here are my impressions. When I've done a virtual, it's generally of the form of, "go to these coordinates and answer these questions." Usually, the cache page doesn't tell you exactly what you're looking for. When I do a waymark, the waymark page tells me exactly what I'm looking for. A recent example: I visited the Mall in Washington, DC. For logging visits to memorials, I would generally need to post a picture of myself at the memorial, a picture of myself with my GPS at the memorial, or just a description of my visit. The name of the waymark would be something like "WWII Memorial". One particular virtual required me to find a part of the WWII memorial I would not have visited otherwise and answer a question about it.

 

So Waymarking isn't very much about "the hunt", in my experience. It is missing the experience of "go to a neat place someone else has identified but where you're not sure exactly what you'll find until you get there." It doesn't have a "puzzle" aspect to it. Maybe there are individual categories that have that characteristic, but I haven't run into them.

 

That said, I like Waymarking. It's interesting to know that there's a ginormous foam fire hydrant nearby and go visit it. And I don't mind too much the ban on creating new virtuals...there are quite a number in the system that will keep me busy for a while. Given the nature of them, they will be around for far longer than physical caches. And I can see where they "crowd out" traditional caches.

 

On the other hand, I think Groundspeak is missing something by not allowing new virtuals. There are certain places that aren't appropriate for physical caches, but where it would be good to have some type of cache. As I said above, I think earthcaches are a good step in that direction. Maybe "history caches" would be another step? I wouldn't want someone hiding a nano at Versailles, but something that had people answer something historical in order to log it would be kinda neat.

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I wouldn't want someone hiding a nano at Versailles, but something that had people answer something historical in order to log it would be kinda neat.

There are two traditional caches there now and two additional puzzle caches. One of the traditional caches has been there since 2001.

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I wouldn't want someone hiding a nano at Versailles, but something that had people answer something historical in order to log it would be kinda neat.

There are two traditional caches there now and two additional puzzle caches. One of the traditional caches has been there since 2001.

 

D'oh! Should have checked first. That's cool. But I meant inside the palace.

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Please educate me here. I've heard time and time again that Waymarking is not an alternative to virtuals. Why not? Seems exactly the same to me except you don't get a smiley on your main account. So someone please take me to school on this so that I might understand.

 

Thanks!

El Diablo

 

I'm hardly an expert on the subject, but here are my impressions. When I've done a virtual, it's generally of the form of, "go to these coordinates and answer these questions." Usually, the cache page doesn't tell you exactly what you're looking for. When I do a waymark, the waymark page tells me exactly what I'm looking for. A recent example: I visited the Mall in Washington, DC. For logging visits to memorials, I would generally need to post a picture of myself at the memorial, a picture of myself with my GPS at the memorial, or just a description of my visit. The name of the waymark would be something like "WWII Memorial". One particular virtual required me to find a part of the WWII memorial I would not have visited otherwise and answer a question about it.

 

So Waymarking isn't very much about "the hunt", in my experience. It is missing the experience of "go to a neat place someone else has identified but where you're not sure exactly what you'll find until you get there." It doesn't have a "puzzle" aspect to it. Maybe there are individual categories that have that characteristic, but I haven't run into them.

 

That said, I like Waymarking. It's interesting to know that there's a ginormous foam fire hydrant nearby and go visit it. And I don't mind too much the ban on creating new virtuals...there are quite a number in the system that will keep me busy for a while. Given the nature of them, they will be around for far longer than physical caches. And I can see where they "crowd out" traditional caches.

 

On the other hand, I think Groundspeak is missing something by not allowing new virtuals. There are certain places that aren't appropriate for physical caches, but where it would be good to have some type of cache. As I said above, I think earthcaches are a good step in that direction. Maybe "history caches" would be another step? I wouldn't want someone hiding a nano at Versailles, but something that had people answer something historical in order to log it would be kinda neat.

 

So let me get this right, even though a Waymark carried you to the same place as a virtual would have, but you didn't have to answer a question it's not the same? My recollection of virtual caches are that you were required to take a pic or to answer a question to verify that you had indeed been there, and not just googled the image. I've also never seen a virtual cache that didn't tell you what it was you were looking for. That would be listed as a Mystery cache I believe.

 

There is a old virtual down the road from me that is both listed as a virtual and a waymark. Both require the same logging criteria.

 

So once agin I have to ask what is the difference?

 

El Diablo

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Please educate me here. I've heard time and time again that Waymarking is not an alternative to virtuals. Why not? Seems exactly the same to me except you don't get a smiley on your main account. So someone please take me to school on this so that I might understand.

 

Thanks!

El Diablo

 

I'm hardly an expert on the subject, but here are my impressions. When I've done a virtual, it's generally of the form of, "go to these coordinates and answer these questions." Usually, the cache page doesn't tell you exactly what you're looking for. When I do a waymark, the waymark page tells me exactly what I'm looking for. A recent example: I visited the Mall in Washington, DC. For logging visits to memorials, I would generally need to post a picture of myself at the memorial, a picture of myself with my GPS at the memorial, or just a description of my visit. The name of the waymark would be something like "WWII Memorial". One particular virtual required me to find a part of the WWII memorial I would not have visited otherwise and answer a question about it.

 

So Waymarking isn't very much about "the hunt", in my experience. It is missing the experience of "go to a neat place someone else has identified but where you're not sure exactly what you'll find until you get there." It doesn't have a "puzzle" aspect to it. Maybe there are individual categories that have that characteristic, but I haven't run into them.

 

That said, I like Waymarking. It's interesting to know that there's a ginormous foam fire hydrant nearby and go visit it. And I don't mind too much the ban on creating new virtuals...there are quite a number in the system that will keep me busy for a while. Given the nature of them, they will be around for far longer than physical caches. And I can see where they "crowd out" traditional caches.

 

On the other hand, I think Groundspeak is missing something by not allowing new virtuals. There are certain places that aren't appropriate for physical caches, but where it would be good to have some type of cache. As I said above, I think earthcaches are a good step in that direction. Maybe "history caches" would be another step? I wouldn't want someone hiding a nano at Versailles, but something that had people answer something historical in order to log it would be kinda neat.

 

So let me get this right, even though a Waymark carried you to the same place as a virtual would have, but you didn't have to answer a question it's not the same? My recollection of virtual caches are that you were required to take a pic or to answer a question to verify that you had indeed been there, and not just googled the image. I've also never seen a virtual cache that didn't tell you what it was you were looking for. That would be listed as a Mystery cache I believe.

 

There is a old virtual down the road from me that is both listed as a virtual and a waymark. Both require the same logging criteria.

 

So once agin I have to ask what is the difference?

 

El Diablo

None that I can see, no matter how many times people try and explain the difference. Just the smiley. Which doesn't make sense to me, because I don't cache for a smiley. I like my logs showing up on my profile, because it's an online journal of where I've been. But I get that at Waymarking as well, because it lists all the waymarks I've created and visited. Yes, it's at two different sites, which doesn't bother me one bit - it's just one click away. Perhaps one day the two sites will be integrated, and I don't mind waiting because I'm just having too much fun with both geocaching and Waymarking to notice. :grin:

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I think you're right Ambrosia. If GC gave a smiley for a waymark, people would flock to it like flies to....(Insert your favorite fly gathering here.).

 

Now if people would just go out and enjoy and stop worrying about status in the game, they would have a lot more fun.

 

El Diablo

Edited by El Diablo

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I think you're right Ambrosia. If GC gave a smiley for a waymark, people would flock to it like flies to....(Insert your favorite fly gathering here.).

 

Now if people would just go out and enjoy and stop worrying about status in the game, they would have a lot more fun.

 

El Diablo

 

When they flock like flies beware of Waymarks like this:

6f64bade-a3f3-4bf8-a618-9b9b575ddb57.jpg

 

WM3CVA :grin:

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So let me get this right, even though a Waymark carried you to the same place as a virtual would have, but you didn't have to answer a question it's not the same? My recollection of virtual caches are that you were required to take a pic or to answer a question to verify that you had indeed been there, and not just googled the image. I've also never seen a virtual cache that didn't tell you what it was you were looking for. That would be listed as a Mystery cache I believe.

 

There is a old virtual down the road from me that is both listed as a virtual and a waymark. Both require the same logging criteria.

 

So once agin I have to ask what is the difference?

 

Look at GCK12J. It's an example of something that doesn't tell you exactly what you're looking for. Without giving it away, it's part of the WWII memorial I wouldn't have noticed without the cache.

 

Or look at GC8348. It tells you that it's a statue of a general, but it doesn't tell you which general. (If you know much about military history, you can figure it out.) Logging the cache is like getting a good feeling from answering a quiz (OK, an easy quiz in this case). Waymarking that same statue is more like checking something off a to-do list.

 

I have no real attachment to the smilies. I've gotten the same number of smilies and waymark visits (~60ish) over the past 16 months. I'm just trying to explain why they scratch slightly different itches.

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So let me get this right, even though a Waymark carried you to the same place as a virtual would have, but you didn't have to answer a question it's not the same? My recollection of virtual caches are that you were required to take a pic or to answer a question to verify that you had indeed been there, and not just googled the image. I've also never seen a virtual cache that didn't tell you what it was you were looking for. That would be listed as a Mystery cache I believe.

 

There is a old virtual down the road from me that is both listed as a virtual and a waymark. Both require the same logging criteria.

 

So once agin I have to ask what is the difference?

 

Look at GCK12J. It's an example of something that doesn't tell you exactly what you're looking for. Without giving it away, it's part of the WWII memorial I wouldn't have noticed without the cache.

 

Or look at GC8348. It tells you that it's a statue of a general, but it doesn't tell you which general. (If you know much about military history, you can figure it out.) Logging the cache is like getting a good feeling from answering a quiz (OK, an easy quiz in this case). Waymarking that same statue is more like checking something off a to-do list.

 

I have no real attachment to the smilies. I've gotten the same number of smilies and waymark visits (~60ish) over the past 16 months. I'm just trying to explain why they scratch slightly different itches.

 

Of the caches or virtuals/waymarks that you mentioned, isn't the common goal the same? The goal of getting you to a special spot, to see a special site? Does it matter if you have to answer a question, or just take a picture? Isn't any cache or virtual like checking off a to do list?

 

Please understand that I'm not debating you, I'm just trying to understand.

 

El Diablo

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Look at GCK12J. It's an example of something that doesn't tell you exactly what you're looking for. Without giving it away, it's part of the WWII memorial I wouldn't have noticed without the cache.

 

Or look at GC8348. It tells you that it's a statue of a general, but it doesn't tell you which general. (If you know much about military history, you can figure it out.) Logging the cache is like getting a good feeling from answering a quiz (OK, an easy quiz in this case). Waymarking that same statue is more like checking something off a to-do list.

 

I have no real attachment to the smilies. I've gotten the same number of smilies and waymark visits (~60ish) over the past 16 months. I'm just trying to explain why they scratch slightly different itches.

Nice examples of virtual caches which don't tell you everything about what you are going to find. They give the opportunity to be surprised about what you are going to find. For some people this may make finding the answers to the verification questions more like searching for a cache. While most of Waymarking categories want to have as much information about the waymark as possible in the listing, Waymarking is flexible enough to allow categories that still offer this surprise factor. For example take a look a the Best Kept Secrets category.

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So let me get this right, even though a Waymark carried you to the same place as a virtual would have, but you didn't have to answer a question it's not the same? My recollection of virtual caches are that you were required to take a pic or to answer a question to verify that you had indeed been there, and not just googled the image. I've also never seen a virtual cache that didn't tell you what it was you were looking for. That would be listed as a Mystery cache I believe.

 

There is a old virtual down the road from me that is both listed as a virtual and a waymark. Both require the same logging criteria.

 

So once agin I have to ask what is the difference?

 

Look at GCK12J. It's an example of something that doesn't tell you exactly what you're looking for. Without giving it away, it's part of the WWII memorial I wouldn't have noticed without the cache.

 

Or look at GC8348. It tells you that it's a statue of a general, but it doesn't tell you which general. (If you know much about military history, you can figure it out.) Logging the cache is like getting a good feeling from answering a quiz (OK, an easy quiz in this case). Waymarking that same statue is more like checking something off a to-do list.

 

I have no real attachment to the smilies. I've gotten the same number of smilies and waymark visits (~60ish) over the past 16 months. I'm just trying to explain why they scratch slightly different itches.

 

Of the caches or virtuals/waymarks that you mentioned, isn't the common goal the same? The goal of getting you to a special spot, to see a special site? Does it matter if you have to answer a question, or just take a picture? Isn't any cache or virtual like checking off a to do list?

 

Please understand that I'm not debating you, I'm just trying to understand.

 

El Diablo

In reference to the second example, GC8348: I don't see much difference here. You can look at the gallery and see just what everything looks like there, you just don't have the actual name of the general. In Waymarking, everything would be the same, but you'd have the name of the general and perhaps some interesting info on the Waymarking page about him.

 

When you get to the site, you'll get his name, write it down for verification and then go on. I don't remember getting anything significant out of that virtual when I visited it, other than it was a pretty memorial. I went on, and now years later I've forgotten the name of the general. With the waymark, I'm be able to look back at the page and read the info again and reinforce my memories of the location and history better.

 

With that in mind, I really rather like the Waymarking versions rather than the virtuals, myself.

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Best argument aganist the OP idea is this: once you allow that, a growing number of land managers might turn to the virtual cache as an alternate to physical caches because "it is allowed". The number of areas open to virtuals would start shrinking.

 

That argument was made before - however, it has never been done, so we don't know what "might" or "might not" happen. Making predictions like these are counterproductive to the game.

Oh but it DID happen. I personally know of 2 areas that banned physicals because they saw the available option of virtuals. One changed thier mind when virtuals went away. So I know.

Yep, what StarBrand said. One here in GA changed their mind once they were informed that virtuals went away. We place caches there now with no problems.

First, let me say that I really enjoyed virtuals. I was a little bummed when they went away. If the decision to stop listing virts was made solely because lame virts were being submitted, I'd be stridently against the change. That being said, I fully support the site not listing any new ones if it takes away an easy reason for land managers to say no to traditional caches.

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The one argument that can't be countered easily is that you don't get a geocaching smiley for finding a waymark. Waymarking keeps its own stats.

 

So getting a smiley is the only reason to visit a new and interesting location?

Getting a smiley is the only reason to geocache :mad: getting a Waymarking award is the reason for visiting a new and interesting location :)

Getting off the couch is the reason for me. Geocaching is the activity that I choose to make that happen. Smileys is how I track my couchoffedness.

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A minority of the 150 virtual caches I've found have had a "surprise" element to them. Most either told you what you were looking for, or you could figure it out from the photo gallery.

 

For the ones that did have a "surprise," much of the time it was not a pleasant surprise. More like, "I drove 10 miles out of my way to see a street sign, and I got a smiley for that?" (True story.)

 

With Waymarking, I can pick and choose to visit just the categories of places I'd like to see, such as historic sights or the local Starbucks or the ruins of old iron furnaces. I can ignore the entire category for witty street signs.

 

There's a tiny subset of the virtuals with a surprise. These are the handful that truly made me say "WOW." One of those is now a waymark in Mr. T's "Wow Waymarking" category. I wish that category had more entries. Perhaps that says something about what was wrong with virtual caches. At least it does for me.

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There's a tiny subset of the virtuals with a surprise. These are the handful that truly made me say "WOW." One of those is now a waymark in Mr. T's "Wow Waymarking" category.
Is it the most awesomely paved street of all time (not counting Heaven)?

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A minority of the 150 virtual caches I've found have had a "surprise" element to them. Most either told you what you were looking for, or you could figure it out from the photo gallery.

 

For the ones that did have a "surprise," much of the time it was not a pleasant surprise. More like, "I drove 10 miles out of my way to see a street sign, and I got a smiley for that?" (True story.)

 

With Waymarking, I can pick and choose to visit just the categories of places I'd like to see, such as historic sights or the local Starbucks or the ruins of old iron furnaces. I can ignore the entire category for witty street signs.

 

There's a tiny subset of the virtuals with a surprise. These are the handful that truly made me say "WOW." One of those is now a waymark in Mr. T's "Wow Waymarking" category. I wish that category had more entries. Perhaps that says something about what was wrong with virtual caches. At least it does for me.

 

I agree with The Leprechauns on this, I have found a few hundred virtual caches and very few was I truly surprised. Most either had something in the title, description, or gallery which pretty much told me what I was to expect.

 

If you like surprises then become a waymark submitter in a historical/building category. I go out with a list of 20 - 50 listings from the National Register of Historic Places or sites listed in the American Guide books (guides written each during the Great Depression). Usually with little more than an address and a name. I am often surprised what I find (or don't find, sometimes the building is no longer there).

 

The world presents many surprises, many of which were not my intended "target." Many of the "surprises" may not be while at the site but rather found during research when writing up the waymark... it like "WOW" that happened there? The other surprises come in the form of logs when some one has information about the location I waymarked and added to the their log ("spoilers" are encouraged).

 

The best surprises are the emails I have received from people outside of the Waymarking community, who found the waymark by googling, thanking me for having photo of their grandfather's grave or other ancestor (I have received a few of these), a location they remember from when they were a child, etc. My most pleasant surprise came in reference to a plaque at Lackland AFB (yes waymarks can be on military installations) honoring two enlisted men's action during Vietnam, the email was from one of the Airmen mentioned and he was not even aware there was a plaque honoring him. From his email I could tell he was quite moved by the tribute.... surprises come in many different ways.

Edited by BruceS

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There's a tiny subset of the virtuals with a surprise. These are the handful that truly made me say "WOW." One of those is now a waymark in Mr. T's "Wow Waymarking" category.
Is it the most awesomely paved street of all time (not counting Heaven)?

Yep that is a great virtual and a great example of why a surprise category is needed in Waymarking. Imagine if the the category was "Streets with unusual paving material" or even "Creative engineering solutions". Would most people be interested in visiting? The virtual caches and best kept secret waymarks sort of promise you a "Wow" without telling you much else about it. It becomes an adventure to see what you will find. And the fact that it may just be a street sign or a plaque that isn't so "Wow" just makes finding a "Wow" one that much more fun. Its just like finding LPC after LPC because you know that every so often there will be a cache in a Wal*Mart parking lot that is unusual and especially creative.

 

Too much time and effort was spent on trying to define "Wow" for virtual caches. Waymarking uses categories which are a bit less subjective. The groups that manage these categories decide what waymarks qualify. Waymarkers can select the categories that interest them and will find the places they visit to be generally more worthwhile than most virtuals (or LPCs for that matter). Those who like the surprise or that you need to find something specific are invited to submit ideas for new categories. Check out the Waymarking Games department to see some other creative ideas for Waymarking such as taking a picture of the same location you find in an old photo, a postcard, or on a postage stamp.

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There's a tiny subset of the virtuals with a surprise. These are the handful that truly made me say "WOW." One of those is now a waymark in Mr. T's "Wow Waymarking" category.
Is it the most awesomely paved street of all time (not counting Heaven)?

Yep that is a great virtual and a great example of why a surprise category is needed in Waymarking. ...

That is a must-do if I ever get back to the area.

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I'll take a closer look at the Waymarking Games category; that looks closer to the spirit of virtuals. Yet...how is "News Article Locations" a game? Also, "Philatelic Photographs" doesn't have any specific logging requirements. It would make sense to me to challenge the visitor (not just the waymark creator) to duplicate the shot on the stamp.

 

Most of the reasons why waymarks are not a true replacement for virtuals are not inherent. Here are a few. 1) Waymarking.com does not have as many features as geocaching.com (hopefully that will be rectified soon) 2) Fewer people waymark than geocache, meaning more gaps in coverage for waymarks than geocaches (hopefully this will shift when Waymarking.com improves) and 3) Most waymarkers seem more about creating waymarks than visiting them.

 

I don't know what the significance is of the last one, but it makes Waymarking seem like a replacement for locationless caching, not virtual caching.

 

Anyway, I enjoy both virtual caches and waymarks as they are today, and I imagine the situation will only improve with the promised upgrades to Waymarking.com and the placement of more earthcaches.

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I never liked Waymarking, two main reasons: I disliked locationless caches and therefore was not inclined to there replacement, and second its separate. Not so much the smileys but just that its a separate site and the data has to be processed differently.

 

I like the approach to earthcaches, consistent standards and a reviewing body for them.

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