Jump to content

Please don't make geocaching a religion


Recommended Posts

I was at Geowoodstock yesterday and for the most part enjoyed the event. However, I can't say that I walked away with a positive impression of whatever organization was represented by the individuals giving the "Reviewers'" educational session.

 

The topic was the limitations on distance between caches and there was a woman with the mic. She was attempting to justify this rule but during the period I was listening she did not list any practical considerations ( for example, in an open area often busy with muggles traffic, it might draw more attention to the caches). Instead she labored on and on about how geocachers are meant to get out and see new places and a second cache only a few hundred feet from the first one is not a new place.

 

I think it's wonderful to get out and see new places, but excuse me--would she mind stepping down out of the pulpit? I do not subscribe to one Truth, capital "T," about what a pastime such as geocaching is supposed to be. I believe it means different things to different people and folks enjoy it for different reasons. Where's the need to impose your enjoyment on others? Clearly some are into the numbers game and want to run theirs up. Others are into the challenge of a particular find. Personally, I don't care about the numbers or the challenge either one, but I would not dream of imposing a rule upon someone else that says "Hey you, it's not about the numbers, it's about the esoteric joy of exploring new places."

 

The preaching I witnessed at the event really turned me off. I don't want to have any part of anything with organizers who try to dictate to me what it is about or what it means. I define the meaning of experience in my life for myself.

Link to post
LauraWoman-"...I don't want to have any part of anything with organizers who try to dictate to me what it is about or what it means. I define the meaning of experience in my life for myself."
To me it sounds like that person was expressing their opinion just like you just expressed yours. I see nothing wrong with either but neither will change the 528' rule which is there to prevent cache saturation.
Link to post

I can't tell from your post if this was a reviewer talking or not, however even if it was, they are entitled to their opinions just like the rest of us.

 

I could give you several justifications for the 528" guideline, some which are based on comments made by Jeremy or reviewers, others from the forums and still ore that are just plain common sense. You may or may not choose to agree with any of them however the simple fact is that when we are done talking/debating it, the guideline will still be in place.

 

If someones opinion on this is enough to pen the line "The preaching I witnessed at the event really turned me off. I don't want to have any part of anything with organizers who try to dictate to me what it is about or what it means." I would, at the very least, avoid events and these forums because these comments are probably the least controversial of what you will read hear or talk about in a groupd of cachers at an event.

Link to post

Um, this isn't a religion?

 

But we look for guidance from an unseen force in the sky... we get on our knees to search for the truth... usually throwing in a prayer 'please be here'... We journal about our experiences... we gather to offer thanks to those who have sacrificed for us... There are books offering truth about it (at least for dummies)... snd we try to convince others to join... and talking about it can really annoy our non believing friends...

 

Oh, now I get it... :(

Link to post

I was at Geowoodstock yesterday and for the most part enjoyed the event. However, I can't say that I walked away with a positive impression of whatever organization was represented by the individuals giving the "Reviewers'" educational session.

 

The topic was the limitations on distance between caches and there was a woman with the mic. She was attempting to justify this rule but during the period I was listening she did not list any practical considerations ( for example, in an open area often busy with muggles traffic, it might draw more attention to the caches). Instead she labored on and on about how geocachers are meant to get out and see new places and a second cache only a few hundred feet from the first one is not a new place.

 

She doesn't have to justify the rule to anyone, it comes from the "occult hand" up their in Seattle. :(

 

I think it's wonderful to get out and see new places, but excuse me--would she mind stepping down out of the pulpit? I do not subscribe to one Truth, capital "T," about what a pastime such as geocaching is supposed to be. I believe it means different things to different people and folks enjoy it for different reasons. Where's the need to impose your enjoyment on others? Clearly some are into the numbers game and want to run theirs up. Others are into the challenge of a particular find. Personally, I don't care about the numbers or the challenge either one, but I would not dream of imposing a rule upon someone else that says "Hey you, it's not about the numbers, it's about the esoteric joy of exploring new places."

 

I think you should jump right in their with the torch burners whenever the often repeated thread is posted regarding "religious materials in caches." I think you are making this a religious thing. Me personally, wish the .1 rule was .25 instead.

 

The preaching I witnessed at the event really turned me off. I don't want to have any part of anything with organizers who try to dictate to me what it is about or what it means. I define the meaning of experience in my life for myself.

 

There are plenty of cache types for you to get whatever it is you want out of the game.

Edited by Kit Fox
Link to post

LauraWoman, I noticed that in a year of caching you have just 12 finds. That's fine...we have all had 12 finds at one point or another, and not having a high find count does not mean you are not entitled to make your feelings and opinions known. However, I daresay that a person with 12 finds in a year's time does not exactly qualify as a "serious" geocacher. That's fine too, since many people are not "serious" geocachers, and since even casual participants in any activity are certainly entitled to have opinions, and to discuss what they like and dislike about an activity. But you have to take into account that the speaker you heard probably is a serious geocacher who caches several times a week, owns numerous pieces of equipment purchased specifically for caching, reads logs and participates in online logging of caches, actively hides caches, and may even be a reviewer or frequent poster on these forums. As such, she would have had the time and experience to develop stong opinions about certain aspects of caching which you, as a much more casual cacher, would not have done. I'm not trying to start an argument, just pointing out that while you may disagree with the speaker's opinions, it seems a bit presumptious to disparage her enthusiasm or to mock her vehemence. Maybe you don't understand it, but others here will. In the name of Signal, Jeremy, and Garmin, AMEN.

Link to post
The preaching I witnessed at the event really turned me off.

I think what you saw was typical of any activity where the guidelines were put in place either with little forethought or expressed in a simple way. It's pretty much like any rule of thumb. Folks will regurgitate a mantra ad nauseam without know the why behind it.

 

For instance, the proximity rule. Some call it the saturation rule, but there is a subtle difference. In fact, the proximity rule is not a rule at, but a guideline the reviewers use to prevent too many caches in one area. There's a major logic problem with this rule that the vast majority of folks overlook. A cache every 528' proximity would yield 112 caches per square mile in saturation. The last I looked, nowhere was there any place on earth anywhere close to this figure.

 

"Saturation" means "full." How does two caches being too close to each other mean "full?" Saturation relates to volume while proximity relates to distance.

 

Additionally, the reviewers start to apply "power trail" rules if any one person places too many caches within a certain area or if there are already "too many" caches in one certain area by any number of people. It's quite arbitrary.

 

So, the 528' rule really doesn't apply to saturation at all, even though this very site lists it as such in the Listing Guidelines.

 

Now, back in the day, when TPTB were looking at trying to slow down growth in a particular area it may very well have been easier to simply say "no caches within .1 mile of each other." They could have used any arbitrary number. (They even say this is an arbitrary distance right in the guidelines.) These guidelines is easier to remember and understand--though wrong--than to remember something like "if your proposed cache had more than 5 caches within a mile radius, then it will not be approved." (They used to use "approved" when listing a cache, but changed it to "published" presumably for legal and perception reasons. Thus "approvers" are now called "reviewers.")

 

Another issue was sometimes two caches were placed so close to each other that one could find a cache thinking it was a different cache. They got home, logged the cache they thought they found, bu the cache owner deleted the log because their names weren't in the logbook. Basically cache confusion. Yes, there used to not be any proximity rule. One could place a cache right next to another if they so choose. Back then, though, there were so few caches that most cachers found every cache in the area, so they'd know if they were placing a cache near another one. I, personally, never saw two similar caches very close to each other. I have seen a physical and virtual close to each other--its hard to confuse these.

 

As an aside, back when virtuals were still being published and after the proximity rule came into effect, a virtual could block a physical cache. Back then, and before the "wow" virts were the lazy-man's choice of a lazy hide. Today, it's just shifted to micros.

 

Sometimes "easier" causes unintended consequences. Like two separate caches only 20' apart, but separated by an unscalable wall, will likely not be published. Few reviewers have enough insight in the reasons why that they will publish a cache closer than 528' to another cache if there is such a barrier--though probably not that extreme.

 

So, it's just easier to say no caches closer than 528'. (Not that I agree with it, but when you're having to deal with the lowest common denominator...)

 

It's the same with some of the other rules and guidelines.

 

No buried caches. Why? Because of land managers might not like it? Because the NPS banned caching because of the perception? Yes, to both, but that's not the "why." The why is geocaching should and needs to be low-impact. Some of the reason are land steward perception and permission issues, damage to the land, preserving the hunt for the next cacher, and security through obscurity. The primary idea is no one should know that cachers have ever been there. This not just about burying caches, but also social trails, graffiti, permanently altering the environment, etc.

 

In short, what you're probably seeing is folks spouting dogma without knowing the "why."

 

Also, speaking of "numbers," you might want to do a bit of research on the history of Geowoodstock. Then you'll get an idea of the mentality of a lot of the folks that attend. It does seem to have moved away from that original idea as there is no mention I could find about the "top cachers," but the idea is probably still there from previous attendees.

 

No, I've not ever attended as I'm not one to "celebrate numbers" and there is no one I want to meet in person enough to make the trip.

Link to post

I was at Geowoodstock yesterday and for the most part enjoyed the event. However, I can't say that I walked away with a positive impression of whatever organization was represented by the individuals giving the "Reviewers'" educational session.

 

The topic was the limitations on distance between caches and there was a woman with the mic. She was attempting to justify this rule but during the period I was listening she did not list any practical considerations ( for example, in an open area often busy with muggles traffic, it might draw more attention to the caches). Instead she labored on and on about how geocachers are meant to get out and see new places and a second cache only a few hundred feet from the first one is not a new place.

 

I think it's wonderful to get out and see new places, but excuse me--would she mind stepping down out of the pulpit? I do not subscribe to one Truth, capital "T," about what a pastime such as geocaching is supposed to be. I believe it means different things to different people and folks enjoy it for different reasons. Where's the need to impose your enjoyment on others? Clearly some are into the numbers game and want to run theirs up. Others are into the challenge of a particular find. Personally, I don't care about the numbers or the challenge either one, but I would not dream of imposing a rule upon someone else that says "Hey you, it's not about the numbers, it's about the esoteric joy of exploring new places."

 

The preaching I witnessed at the event really turned me off. I don't want to have any part of anything with organizers who try to dictate to me what it is about or what it means. I define the meaning of experience in my life for myself.

 

So the fact that there is an entire event dedicated to hiding boxes and moving toys from box to box (some attached to military-style dog tags) didn't give you pause? :(

 

Even though I wasn't there, I'm pretty sure it wasn't the sermon on the Mount.....

Edited by PhxChem
Link to post

I read the topic title and though this was going to be about puritans.

 

I will say the OP makes a good point.

I think it's wonderful to get out and see new places, but excuse me--would she mind stepping down out of the pulpit? I do not subscribe to one Truth, capital "T," about what a pastime such as geocaching is supposed to be. I believe it means different things to different people and folks enjoy it for different reasons.

 

Geocaching.com should not have rules solely to impose the frog's or any reviewer's idea of what geocaching is. There may be many people who enjoy getting out and visiting new places and they may get a bit upset at times where there are dozens of new caches placed .1 miles from each other in a given area or along a "power" trail. There are clearly many geocachers who, on the other hand, enjoy the fact that can plan a geocaching outing based on going to the "new" area and finding as many of these caches as they can in a day. Or if they live close by, they may enjoy the fact the they can find one cache a day/week/month for the next thirty days/weeks/months without spending a lot on gasoline to travel to another area.

 

It may be that Groundspeak does want geocachers to expand the area where caches are hidden. You can look at a map and see areas that are saturated with caches next to areas that are virtual voids. One might make an argument that the saturation guideline is meant to limit the caches in any one area in order to encourage cache hiders to find "new" places so that new cachers will discover something close to where they live. Being able to say there are are caches hidden everywhere may be a part of Groundspeak's marketing as well as belief by the frog that this is good. They are also painfully aware that some land managers have their own ideas of how many caches is too many in their parks. Before allowing more caches in a park that seems to have "enough" caches already, Groundspeak has a interest in having caches hidden in less dense nearby areas. Then they can point to the general popularity of geocaching as an argument to allow more caches in the park that either already limits or may be about to limit caches.

Link to post
I do not subscribe to one Truth, capital "T," about what a pastime such as geocaching is supposed to be. I believe it means different things to different people and folks enjoy it for different reasons.

That's why it's so cool that the word "Geocaching" is not a ™ of anybody, and anyone can list their caches at any one of several sites, many of which do not have a minimum distance between the caches, or indeed, in some cases, any form of review process. How they handle the subsequent issues with landowners, who said "sure, you can place a geocache in our park" only to find 100 separated by 3 feet each and a very muddy geotrail where grass used to be, is up to them.

 

Geocaching.com has determined that there are various good reasons to insist, in the general case (exceptions apply, both up and down), that there be 0.1 miles between boxes. These reasons include, but are not limited to, the possibility of confusion between the caches (sure, not at 0.1 miles, but at some value below that it gets interesting), an assurance to land managers that there is some natural upper bound to the number of caches that might ever be placed on their land, and, yes, a desire to keep a minimum of quality in the game. (The most common criticism I hear is that are way too many lame caches being placed, and that the reviewers should be tougher on 'worthless' micros.)

 

If the person who was speaking felt particularly strongly in agreement with the last of those reasons, then it seems reasonable for her to emphasis it. Perhaps she had just had to archive 100 caches submitted 3 feet apart and wanted to give a "c'mon, people, we can all do a little better" message. It's good that you and she both feel strongly about the game. It's perhaps not quite so helpful to report hearsay in here.

Link to post

Um, this isn't a religion?

 

But we look for guidance from an unseen force in the sky... we get on our knees to search for the truth... usually throwing in a prayer 'please be here'... We journal about our experiences... we gather to offer thanks to those who have sacrificed for us... There are books offering truth about it (at least for dummies)... snd we try to convince others to join... and talking about it can really annoy our non believing friends...

 

Oh, now I get it... :P

 

:(

 

 

LauraWoman I respect your POV as well as the woman whom you are speaking about in your post. I wonder though if you thought to speak directly with her about your observations and concerns vs. opening a thread here complaining about her style or passion for this game/sport/hobby? That would have seemed to me to be the better way to handle your issue than bringing it here.

 

But maybe that's just me. :ph34r:

Link to post
BIG SNIP: It may be that Groundspeak does want geocachers to expand the area where caches are hidden. You can look at a map and see areas that are saturated with caches next to areas that are virtual voids.

I doubt that Groundspeak has anything to do with this but something I've noticed is that, in urban caching, some parts of town have nothing at all in them while other parts are well stocked (occasionally lousy with finds). After examining this phenomenon in four larger towns I am familiar with, I've come to the conclusion that this is a pattern that has been created by the hiders themselves.

 

The parts of town that are bereft are "bad" parts of town! It makes sense. I wouldn't place a cache in a neighborhood that I wouldn't feel safe in, or where I would be concerned for the safety of fellow cachers and/or their cars, the cache, etc. I think this is kind of a useful quirk! When traveling, if I want to know which parts of town to stay in, I'll choose the parts of town that are cache-rich not for the hunt opportunities, but because they are likely to be the "better" parts of town.

 

Sort of like our own personal Rand-McNallys.

Link to post

I was at Geowoodstock yesterday and for the most part enjoyed the event. However, I can't say that I walked away with a positive impression of whatever organization was represented by the individuals giving the "Reviewers'" educational session.

 

The topic was the limitations on distance between caches and there was a woman with the mic. She was attempting to justify this rule but during the period I was listening she did not list any practical considerations ( for example, in an open area often busy with muggles traffic, it might draw more attention to the caches). Instead she labored on and on about how geocachers are meant to get out and see new places and a second cache only a few hundred feet from the first one is not a new place.

 

There must be more to this story. What else about the presentation did you find "preachy"?

 

I think the 528ft rule has very little to do with getting people to visit new places. The average person can walk 528ft in about 3 minutes. If that was the only reason the presenter gave then I agree that she didn't do a very good job of explaining.

 

By the way, are you sure this isn't a religion? Should I stop praying to the geogods? I say a little prayer to them every night, hoping that they will give me focus and make my caching expeditions DNF free.

Link to post

(1) Groundspeak shalt be thy Supreme Diety in all things regarding Tupperware hidden in the shrubbery, and thou shalt have no other cache listing service before them

 

(2) Thou shalt not post an image or any likeness of what is in the shrubbery, lest thou spoil the hunt of thy brethren

 

(3) Thou shalt not take the name of Signal in vain

 

(4) Remember the CITO day and keep it holy

 

(5) Honor your Reviewer and your Forum Moderator

 

(6) Thou shalt not kill another cacher, unless they post an SBA on thy cache

 

(7) Thou shalt not lust over the stats of others

 

(8) Thou shalt not muggle caches, nor shalt thou steal coins or bugs

 

(9) Thou shalt not bear false witness in thy cache logs

 

(10) Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's ammo can

Link to post

Haven't you noticed? It is already a religion except the part of, "do unto others as ye would have them done unto you". That is found in most of the World's major religions except geocaching! :(

That's covered by "Hide the types of caches that you like to find".

Link to post

The speaker on the podium was the reviewer for the Dakota's and formally Nebraska Electric Mouse.

She has been a cacher since 2001 and a reviewer since 2004.

 

I am pretty sure that she understands the complexities of the .1 mile rule but a public gathering of several thousand people is not really conducive to being able to communicate the nuances of the guideline and why it exist.

 

My thought was that she was trying to encourage the lady asking the question to spend the effort on finding another interesting location instead of trying to fight a guideline that probably isn't going to be changed.

 

But that is just my impression.

Link to post

The speaker on the podium was the reviewer for the Dakota's and formally Nebraska Electric Mouse.

She has been a cacher since 2001 and a reviewer since 2004.

 

I am pretty sure that she understands the complexities of the .1 mile rule but a public gathering of several thousand people is not really conducive to being able to communicate the nuances of the guideline and why it exist.

 

My thought was that she was trying to encourage the lady asking the question to spend the effort on finding another interesting location instead of trying to fight a guideline that probably isn't going to be changed.

 

But that is just my impression.

 

Sounds like a perfectly good explanation to me, from someone who was there. Other than that, I have no idea what this thread is about, or how someone is trying to make Geocaching a religion. :(

Link to post

Forgivce my ignorance but have no idea what the 528 rule is or any other number rule, i geocahce for the fun of it, nothing more, nothing less, i enjoy the frill of finding whats in the little box or the gratification of finding that illusive micro/nano. If i were to attend an event like what you did and they started saying what your said i probably feel the same way, it's all about fun of getting out there, getting together with fellow cachers and enjoying yourself, NOT discussing what YOU CAN'T do. I've heard that as a rule you can not look for a cahce for more than 10mins once you reach GZ, whether this be true or not... I personally don't give a rats :(, ill keep searching until iv'e had enough, i abide by the rules set out in local area and do not falsafy logs which some do. That type of event which you went to sound WAY TOO SERIOUS for an everyday cacher but i guess like any other sport/activitary some people take it too seriously. But like what was mentioned in previous posts everyone has their own opinion. Enjoy the fun and don't let one person sway you from that.

Edited by Chris & Renee
Link to post

Forgivce my ignorance but have no idea what the 528 rule is or any other number rule, i geocahce for the fun of it, nothing more, nothing less, i enjoy the frill of finding whats in the little box or the gratification of finding that illusive micro/nano. If i were to attend an event like what you did and they started saying what your said i probably feel the same way, it's all about fun of getting out there, getting together with fellow cachers and enjoying yourself, NOT discussing what YOU CAN'T do. I've heard that as a rule you can not look for a cahce for more than 10mins once you reach GZ, whether this be true or not... I personally don't give a rats :ph34r:, ill keep searching until iv'e had enough, i abide by the rules set out in local area and do not falsafy logs which some do. That type of event which you went to sound WAY TOO SERIOUS for an everyday cacher but i guess like any other sport/activitary some people take it too seriously. But like what was mentioned in previous posts everyone has their own opinion. Enjoy the fun and don't let one person sway you from that.

 

"The 528 rule" refers to the Groundspeak Guideline that states that a new cache can not be placed closer than .10 mile (528ft) from any other physical part of any other cache.

 

As for a "rule" about not looking for a cache for more than 10 minutes :( ... that's a joke. There are plenty of logs on caches, and posts on this forum, where cachers tell their tales of searching for an hour or more for the elusive box. The general feeling seems to be "search until it's no longer any fun for you."

 

Geocaching events are generally great fun and provide opportunity for meeting up with like-minded souls. As with any religion, there are zealots, puritans, new converts, regular observers of the faith, a few heathens... but by far the majority are those who integrate 'the faith' into their daily life where it hopefully enriches their leisure time and enhances life generally. I believe the frog wants you to enjoy yourself. :P

 

MrsB

Link to post

That type of event which you went to sound WAY TOO SERIOUS for an everyday cacher but i guess like any other sport/activitary some people take it too seriously.

 

It really wasn't a serious event. It was a giant party complete with festival food, vendors, a petting zoo, a giant plushy Signal the Frog wandering about, and people trading path tags while standing in lines. The seminars had a casual flair to them. A number of them were given by vendors.

 

The seminar the OP is talking about was a panel discussion with a number of reviewers there to answer questions from the crowd (including the immortal "boxers or briefs" question). My impression wasn't that the reviewers were religious zealots, but just that they were mostly quiet people who suddenly found themselves in front of a crowd of people on a hot day answering questions while other people milled around buying geocoins and chatting people up. It had to be a difficult venue to speak in.

 

I listened to most of the panel discussion with half an ear since I was also buying geocoins and taking pictures of geodogs, but none of it struck me as preachy. Not the reviewers or the other presenters or the crowd in general. In fact, I was a bit shocked at how few people were as aggressively opinionated at GeoWoodstock as they are on the forums. I'd assumed that the opinions on this forum represented the wide world of geocaching, but I was wrong. The geocaching world is both broader and more tolerant than I'd imagined.

 

Carolyn

Edited by Steve&GeoCarolyn
Link to post

When this topic was brought up last year at the Midwest Geobash someone (instead of bringing it to the forums) as the reviewer to please expand on their reasoning. The response was something to the effect of ...what was different 528' away that needed a new cache?

 

Listening to the session at GeoWoodstock VII I heard nothing that I felt was unclear in her explanation. Then again if I did this was an open session and anyone was able to ask questions. On the way back to Indiana I stopped at one interchange and grabbed a handful of caches. One parking lot I believe had 5 caches in it. Looking at the 528' rule was it okay? Yes, it was. Now based on the explanation given what experience did I gain or what new thing did I see? Nothing, a couple LPC's, a guardrail, trees. These were placed there because the "space" permitted.

 

My comment back to OP is if you have the opportunity again to sit and listen to one of the sessions please ask questions this is your chance to talk to the reviewers. This is the 3rd session I've attended and I've never walked away from one with out learning something. Now if I can start seeing some different smiling faces it would be good :(

Link to post
Or if they live close by, they may enjoy the fact the they can find one cache a day/week/month for the next thirty days/weeks/months without spending a lot on gasoline to travel to another area.

 

B I N G O !!!!I live in the country and that is a big consideration.

Link to post

Some reviewers see the 528-ft "guideline" as an absolute minimum distance decreed by the Great Frog. 550-ft would be better. Others see 528 as a goal, but will accept lesser distances (obviously "reform" reviewers). The reviewer who took that question is apparently from the more conservative school.

 

I was doing a volunteer stint in the shop at the time, but was listening to the speakers. My problem with the answer was that I don't think it actually answered the question. As I understood it, the background was that the questioner hid a cache and got coordinates. Plugging the coordinates into Geocaching.com shows that the nearest cache is 535-ft away, so they write it up and submit for review. The reviewer rejects the submission because he/she shows it as 525-ft from the nearest cache. The question was, why were the numbers different? The reviewer gives the referenced "speech" about going to find somewhere else to hide a cache; 528 isn't a goal to shoot for but a number to avoid.

 

The questioner tries to clarify, and the canned response was "satellite drift". This was also an incorrect response, because the questioner was talking about hard coordinates and math. The questioner had coordinates, and one piece of software returned distance of 535-ft and the other piece of software returned a distance of 525-ft. Why? What software do the reviewers use? The mathematical distance between two points should always be the same, so why the difference? How can a cacher avoid this problem in the future?

 

And yes, an answer to that last question is to use a higher number as a base line, such as 550-ft, or to find a different place to hide.

 

(Webscouter: I saw you and your hat in the audience later, but I didn't get a chance to say "HI")

Edited by J-Way
Link to post

The 528 ft is a strict rule, not a guideline. Once I accidentally place a cache in a terrific spot, but it was 12 ft within the 528 demarcation. Nope, had to move it; no compromises. The reviewer actually said something about the dangers of breaking the rule, and then all sorts of exceptions would creep in, and there would be trouble. And then, and then, chaos!, famine!, war! EEK!

 

 

Some reviewers see the 528-ft "guideline" as an absolute minimum distance decreed by the Great Frog. 550-ft would be better. Others see 528 as a goal, but will accept lesser distances (obviously "reform" reviewers). The reviewer who took that question is apparently from the more conservative school.

 

I was doing a volunteer stint in the shop at the time, but was listening to the speakers. My problem with the answer was that I don't think it actually answered the question. As I understood it, the background was that the questioner hid a cache and got coordinates. Plugging the coordinates into Geocaching.com shows that the nearest cache is 535-ft away, so they write it up and submit for review. The reviewer rejects the submission because he/she shows it as 525-ft from the nearest cache. The question was, why were the numbers different? The reviewer gives the referenced "speech" about going to find somewhere else to hide a cache; 528 isn't a goal to shoot for but a number to avoid.

 

The questioner tries to clarify, and the canned response was "satellite drift". This was also an incorrect response, because the questioner was talking about hard coordinates and math. The questioner had coordinates, and one piece of software returned distance of 535-ft and the other piece of software returned a distance of 525-ft. Why? What software do the reviewers use? The mathematical distance between two points should always be the same, so why the difference? How can a cacher avoid this problem in the future?

 

And yes, an answer to that last question is to use a higher number as a base line, such as 550-ft, or to find a different place to hide.

 

(Webscouter: I saw you and your hat in the audience later, but I didn't get a chance to say "HI")

Link to post

lol! Great analogies!

 

Um, this isn't a religion?

 

But we look for guidance from an unseen force in the sky... we get on our knees to search for the truth... usually throwing in a prayer 'please be here'... We journal about our experiences... we gather to offer thanks to those who have sacrificed for us... There are books offering truth about it (at least for dummies)... snd we try to convince others to join... and talking about it can really annoy our non believing friends...

 

Oh, now I get it... :(

Link to post
The questioner tries to clarify, and the canned response was "satellite drift". This was also an incorrect response, because the questioner was talking about hard coordinates and math. The questioner had coordinates, and one piece of software returned distance of 535-ft and the other piece of software returned a distance of 525-ft. Why? What software do the reviewers use? The mathematical distance between two points should always be the same, so why the difference? How can a cacher avoid this problem in the future?

The speaker might not have been aware of a reported issue with how this website calculates distance. I seem to remember a thread or two about the discrepancy. If true, it's also possible the reviewer in question didn't know about it, either.

 

And yes, an answer to that last question is to use a higher number as a base line, such as 550-ft, or to find a different place to hide.

Or the reviewer could ask the question "what's so different about this spot versus the other nearby spot that I should grant this little bit of leeway?"

 

I've seen enough small parks to know there are plenty of opportunities to place several caches in close proximity and still see something different. Sure, if it were one person placing then it could be a multi. But many times only a traditional is placed and folks don't know to take the time to explore the rest of the park. Why shouldn't someone else be able to come along and highlight a missed part of the park?

 

<tangent>

Speaking of which, I'm reminded of some examples of what is essentially power trails where, like mentioned earlier in this thread, there are several caches surrounding a shopping center or mall. Why isn't the same admonishment made for these as is made on trails with several caches? Power trails aren't necessarily a cache every 528', but sometimes simply as a number of caches on a single trail. Why isn't this applied to shopping centers with several caches? Wouldn't one be enough?

</tangent>

Link to post

Haven't you noticed? It is already a religion except the part of, "do unto others as ye would have them done unto you". That is found in most of the World's major religions except geocaching! :ph34r:

I disagree, geocaching qualifies... :(

 

Trade equal or better. :P

 

'Nuff said B)

Link to post

I have never been to a Geowoodstock. I am not sure if I will be attending the local one next year as I cannot see that far into the future.

 

Perhaps the "the powers that be" from Groundspeak could have a panel discussion about the various guidelines at the next GW. Sometimes knowing the mindset behind the guidelines can be a good thing.

Link to post

The 528 ft is a strict rule, not a guideline. Once I accidentally place a cache in a terrific spot, but it was 12 ft within the 528 demarcation. Nope, had to move it; no compromises. The reviewer actually said something about the dangers of breaking the rule, and then all sorts of exceptions would creep in, and there would be trouble. And then, and then, chaos!, famine!, war! EEK!

Depends on the reviewer. Around here it's a hard rule, with few if any exceptions. In other parts of the world it's more subjective. You have to request an exception to get within 528-ft, but it's possible. And then there are cases where two caches are within 528-ft but are inaccessible from each other, such as when separated by a sheer cliff, wide and deep river, or major limited-access highway.

 

I've seen enough small parks to know there are plenty of opportunities to place several caches in close proximity and still see something different. Sure, if it were one person placing then it could be a multi. But many times only a traditional is placed and folks don't know to take the time to explore the rest of the park. Why shouldn't someone else be able to come along and highlight a missed part of the park?

I completely agree with this. In some areas, the view in spot "A" might be identical to the view 550-ft away (trees, grass, a trail, maybe a rock or two). In other areas you could have completely different ecological and/or cultural experience only 300-ft away. I've canned two great cache ideas (IMHO :() because of the 528-ft rule. One was a letter-box style follow the instructions trail in a local park that was blocked by a guard-rail cache on a road way up the hill. I eventually listed this one on Terracaching.com with good reviews. The other was going to be a series of letter-box hybrid caches ending at a hidden monument to the Trail of Tears. But the final was blocked by a small cache in the back of a park about 400-ft away, but you'd have to drive about a mile to get there.
Link to post

That is but 1 possible explanation of the guideline for minimum distance between caches. Even the guidelines themselves refer to the distance as a purely arbitrary number. I respect carleenp and her opinions.

 

Bottom line is whether you agree with the logic or reasoning or you do not or whether you believe it exists for another goal or reason - the guideline remains.

Link to post

Um, this isn't a religion?

 

But we look for guidance from an unseen force in the sky... we get on our knees to search for the truth... usually throwing in a prayer 'please be here'... We journal about our experiences... we gather to offer thanks to those who have sacrificed for us... There are books offering truth about it (at least for dummies)... snd we try to convince others to join... and talking about it can really annoy our non believing friends...

 

Oh, now I get it... :ph34r:

 

Quit messing with the labels, or they'll figure out that everything is a religion. B):P:(

Link to post

The Frog said, "Let there be a way of protecting the cache from the elements". So the Frog created the ammo can. And the Frog saw it was good! :(

Thou shalt not steal another's cache

 

Thou shalt not claim FTF if thou are not

 

Thou shalt not covet they neighbors cache - but you can log it

 

Thou shalt not commit adultery - where it might interfere with someone caching

 

Thou shalt not refer to your lamp skirt micro as a "unique and fun" hide

 

Thou shalt not put thy cahce closer than 528 feet to another

 

Thou shalt hold no other idols before the Frog

 

Thou shalt not take the Geocache site in vain

 

Thou shalt not prosletysize while caching

 

Thou shalt worship at the temple of the temple of the "AA"

Link to post
LauraWoman-"...I don't want to have any part of anything with organizers who try to dictate to me what it is about or what it means. I define the meaning of experience in my life for myself."
To me it sounds like that person was expressing their opinion just like you just expressed yours. I see nothing wrong with either but neither will change the 528' rule which is there to prevent cache saturation.

 

From what I can see this isn't so much about a discussion of the 528' rule. The difference between that woman at the event expressing here opinion and LauraWoman expressing her opinion here is that the woman at the event had a microphone. I doubt that the microphone was passed around to allow anyone else that wanted to express their opinion about how the game should be played.

 

The game does allow a lot of latitude about how one plays the game, which is a good thing as the conditions under which different people play are extremely diverse. I don't understand how some can advocate a one true way to play the game when there some areas which are very sparse (there are lots of countries with no caches at all), others in areas which may have a couple of dozen within 10 miles, and others with the luxury have having 1000 or more within 10 miles of of home. How anyone can expect individuals, all with their own preferences, in such diverse communities to play the game the same way is beyond comprehension.

Link to post

I have never been to a Geowoodstock. I am not sure if I will be attending the local one next year as I cannot see that far into the future.

 

Perhaps the "the powers that be" from Groundspeak could have a panel discussion about the various guidelines at the next GW. Sometimes knowing the mindset behind the guidelines can be a good thing.

That panel discussion is exactly what we're talking about in this thread. Reviewers and Lackeys have participated in similar question and answer sessions for at least the past five years. These sessions are quite popular and we are happy to take time to participate during the event. It is very helpful to hear explanations and to have an opportunity to ask questions about the cache review process, the listing guidelines, new features, etc. In fact, I understand that one of your own veteran reviewers from Washington State participated in the discussion at GeoWoodstock about the Cache Saturation guideline. :P

Edited by Keystone
Link to post

 

Perhaps the "the powers that be" from Groundspeak could have a panel discussion about the various guidelines at the next GW. Sometimes knowing the mindset behind the guidelines can be a good thing.

 

Apparently if you do that and answer a question to the best of your ability, you get accused of being preachy, so why bother?

 

As far as the guideline itself, you have to draw a line somewhere. .1 mile sounds as good as any place to draw a line. It seems quite reasonable to me.

 

It astonishes me that .1 mile has become an issue these days. When I hid one of my first caches there were no published guidelines (at least that I was aware of) at the time, but common sense told me there would be some sort of proximity rule. I was afraid my cache would be in violation but I submitted it, crossed my fingers and let out a sigh of relief when it was published. The distance that had me worried? 3 1/2 miles.

Link to post

The preaching I witnessed at the event really turned me off. I don't want to have any part of anything with organizers who try to dictate to me what it is about or what it means. I define the meaning of experience in my life for myself.

 

I actually took the weekend off from preaching to participate in the reviewer panel. Trust me...that wasn't preaching! :P

 

The 528 foot guideline is there for a few reasons, saturation and confusion being a couple of them. Reviewers work with what Groundspeak hands down to us as the guidelines, we're allowed a bit of leeway in how we interpret it. You'll find some reviewers who will publish a cache a few feet under 528 (given typical GPS signal drift and such). When a cache is out and out refused due to the guideline you always have the option of contacting appeals@geocaching.com for a direct "hotline to heaven" on your cache.

 

Personally I felt the reviewer panel went great Saturday, not because of the reviewers but because of the great questions that were asked. The crowd really did a great job!

Link to post

The preaching I witnessed at the event really turned me off. I don't want to have any part of anything with organizers who try to dictate to me what it is about or what it means. I define the meaning of experience in my life for myself.

 

I actually took the weekend off from preaching to participate in the reviewer panel. Trust me...that wasn't preaching! :P

 

The 528 foot guideline is there for a few reasons, saturation and confusion being a couple of them. Reviewers work with what Groundspeak hands down to us as the guidelines, we're allowed a bit of leeway in how we interpret it. You'll find some reviewers who will publish a cache a few feet under 528 (given typical GPS signal drift and such). When a cache is out and out refused due to the guideline you always have the option of contacting appeals@geocaching.com for a direct "hotline to heaven" on your cache.

 

Personally I felt the reviewer panel went great Saturday, not because of the reviewers but because of the great questions that were asked. The crowd really did a great job!

 

Again thank you for taking the time answering our questions. I as well think the session went great. Can we have pop-corn next time?

Link to post

The speaker might not have been aware of a reported issue with how this website calculates distance. I seem to remember a thread or two about the discrepancy. If true, it's also possible the reviewer in question didn't know about it, either.

The only issue I've ever heard of concerned the distance shown on cache lists, when the cache was exactly due North of the starting point. That was fixed long ago. AFAIK, this was never an issue in reviewing.

 

If you know of any existing distance calculation issue, then please link to it.

Link to post

And a dead horse?

I could do a funeral for it.

 

I don't think so, you would have to bury it.

 

See the thread about buried caches... hardee har har.

I'm assuming a cache large enough to hold a dead horse would be considered a large :P

 

-Rozie

Link to post

Some reviewers see the 528-ft "guideline" as an absolute minimum distance decreed by the Great Frog. 550-ft would be better. Others see 528 as a goal, but will accept lesser distances (obviously "reform" reviewers). The reviewer who took that question is apparently from the more conservative school.

 

I was doing a volunteer stint in the shop at the time, but was listening to the speakers. My problem with the answer was that I don't think it actually answered the question. As I understood it, the background was that the questioner hid a cache and got coordinates. Plugging the coordinates into Geocaching.com shows that the nearest cache is 535-ft away, so they write it up and submit for review. The reviewer rejects the submission because he/she shows it as 525-ft from the nearest cache. The question was, why were the numbers different? The reviewer gives the referenced "speech" about going to find somewhere else to hide a cache; 528 isn't a goal to shoot for but a number to avoid.

 

The questioner tries to clarify, and the canned response was "satellite drift". This was also an incorrect response, because the questioner was talking about hard coordinates and math. The questioner had coordinates, and one piece of software returned distance of 535-ft and the other piece of software returned a distance of 525-ft. Why? What software do the reviewers use? The mathematical distance between two points should always be the same, so why the difference? How can a cacher avoid this problem in the future?

 

And yes, an answer to that last question is to use a higher number as a base line, such as 550-ft, or to find a different place to hide.

 

(Webscouter: I saw you and your hat in the audience later, but I didn't get a chance to say "HI")

 

Just chimming in to say that this was how the exchange seemed to me. Laura Woman asked one question, received an answer that didn't really address the question she asked- in that context it did seem a little preachy. I don't disagree with what the reviewer said, but I do see how it could have been taken as speaking down to Laura Woman. I don't think when the crowd applauded the statements of the reviewer, in support of "taking cachers to places worth seeing" it really helped the feelings of Laura Woman.

 

Also- in looking over my pictures of the event I noticed Webscouter's hat too. And where was I during the mentioned debate? Taking this picture.

 

5-23-09%20024.jpg

Link to post

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
×
×
  • Create New...