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KBI

Feature enhancement request: 'Interesting Location' attributes

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One of the most frequent protests among many of our forum regulars is an expression of dislike (and even the occasional rant of outright distain) for caches which are not specifically designed to bring seekers to a scenic, historic, educational or otherwise interesting location. I empathize with their frustration, even if I don’t share it.

 

Scenic locations are, of course, NOT the original purpose of this hobby. "The Great GPS Stash Hunt" was not started by sightseers looking for a way to entertain other sightseers; it was invented by GPS enthusiasts who simply wanted to give themselves and other GPS enthusiasts something fun to do with their newly acquired precision (when SA was first switched off).

 

For many of us that’s all it takes to get a buzz out of this hobby: something, anything, hidden in any public place with the lat/long coordinates posted on the Web. Cool!

 

Lest I’m sounding too negative: I don’t dislike interesting locations. Quite the contrary. Given a choice between a bland parking lot micro and a cache in a magically fascinating spot, I will always prefer to be wowed. But being wowed by a location is never a requirement for me.

 

Being wowed by the location is, however, an absolute requirement for many cachers, at least according to the frequent complaint threads. And requirement or not, I think all of us would benefit from the ability of a cache owner to easily flag his cache as "Historic Setting," "Educational Location," "Beautiful View," etc.

 

My request: Can we have a useful set of these "Interesting Location Attributes" added to the attribute feature?

 

This seems like a no-brainer. I can’t think of any negatives. Sure, my proposed attributes will probably be misused here and there, but what feature of this website isn’t? We all know the hint feature, for example, gets fumbled by a confused few who don’t intuitively see the purpose, but isn’t the hint field itself still a great thing to have?

 

The existing attributes are grouped by category: Permissions, Special Equipment, Conditions, Hazards, and Facilities.

 

I am proposing a new attribute category: "Interesting Location"

 

My suggestions for some specific attributes to be made available:

  • Historic Place
  • Educational Location
  • Beautiful View
  • Strange Spectacle
  • Nostalgic Setting
  • Engineering Marvel
  • Natural Wonder
  • OMG You Won’t Believe This Until You See It

There are certainly additional ones, better ones, that I haven’t thought of. I’m not very smart. I invite all readers to submit their own suggestions. Be mindful, however, that negative suggestions such as "Lame Parking Lot Trashe" are not likely to be given serious consideration.

 

I would find these attributes moderately useful myself, but there are apparently many others who would find them absolutely essential. They would give cache seekers a way to filter only for interesting locations. They would give cache owners a standardized way to telegraph their "Personal Why." I think they would make a certain vocal subset of cachers much happier, and thus cut down on a lot of the chronic complaining in the forums. Gripe as they may, these folks are my friends. I want them to be as happy with this hobby as I am.

 

Ideas? Opinions?

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Could you add something like Bio Wonder to cover such things as environments that have rare plants and animals or unusual ecological environments well-worth seeing? Or would that be covered in Natural Wonder?

 

Carolyn

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KBI... you didn't just start this yesterday. You are pulling our legs, right?

  • Strange Spectacle
  • Natural Wonder
  • OMG You Won’t Believe This Until You See It
  • Bio Wonder (Thanks, GeoCarolyn)

Come see my new cache near the homeless person's latrine. Its a strange spectacle, a natural wonder, OMG, you won't belive this, and a Bio Wonder if I've ever seen one. Must be all those baked beans. :)

 

Seriously, you can't be serious. Way too naive for you to be suggesting. You know as well as I do that the Home Depot near me is arguably a very "interesting location" compared to the nearby Walmart. Like I'd trust a pocket query of "interesting location" caches to take me only to interesting locations... ummmm... yeah.

Edited by knowschad

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KBI, I love the idea.

 

Partially sorry for the facetious remark. I acknowledge the need, but very much skeptical of the proposed solution.

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This cache was in an interesting location - the site of turn-of-the-century heavyweight boxing champion Jim Jeffries' barn.

 

This cache was placed "to help increase the cache density in the area".

 

With an attribute you would be able to tell them apart :)

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This cache was in an interesting location - the site of turn-of-the-century heavyweight boxing champion Jim Jeffries' barn.

 

This cache was placed "to help increase the cache density in the area".

 

With an attribute you would be able to tell them apart :)

 

c3026789-ccf1-41d0-a86f-794875a75b4e.jpg

 

Well, at least it had a history lesson that the other one lacked.

Edited by knowschad

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You are pulling our legs, right?

 

Come see my new cache near the homeless person's latrine. Its a strange spectacle, a natural wonder, OMG, you won't belive this, and a Bio Wonder if I've ever seen one. Must be all those baked beans. :)

 

Seriously, you can't be serious. Way too naive for you to be suggesting. You know as well as I do that the Home Depot near me is arguably a very "interesting location" compared to the nearby Walmart. Like I'd trust a pocket query of "interesting location" caches to take me only to interesting locations... ummmm... yeah.

As I said:

 

Sure, my proposed attributes will probably be misused here and there, but what feature of this website isn’t? We all know the hint feature, for example, gets fumbled by a confused few who don’t intuitively see the purpose, but isn’t the hint field itself still a great thing to have?

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Like I'd trust a pocket query of "interesting location" caches to take me only to interesting locations... ummmm... yeah.

Do you trust the cache size notations in your pocket queries to always be accurate? Do you always believe the terrain ratings? How about online logs? Or how about Travel Bug inventories – do you always expect the listed TBs to be in the cache when you get there?

 

And is every encoded hint guaranteed to be helpful?

 

See my point? Yes, "Interesting Location" attributes will be misused by a few cache owners here and there. You have my guarantee on that.

 

If the risk of occasional confusion or misuse were a reason not to have a feature, then they might as well fold up this website and shut down the game.

 

I think the implementation of my proposal would cause the same kinds of occasional confusions that every other feature of this website has caused, but I also think the overall result would be substantially net positive.

 

No technology is ever used exactly as intended, but the benefits of indoor plumbing far outweigh the occasional toddler flushing SpongeBob down the toilet, don't you think?

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Well, at least it had a history lesson that the other one lacked.

 

Whoa now, a spoiler? I mean, what about the poor new players who have never witnessed the glory that is a LPC?

 

 

 

Ok, I'll be quiet now.

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Mid Road trip, I read this topic and actually think it has a lot of merit. Most people don't use the attribute system anyway when they list a cache (in my admittedly limited experience), especially when it's a "cache for the sake of being a cache." Nothing wrong with the latter but it would be awesome if, among the thousands of caches along a route or in an area, one could, given the limited time available, visit those caches where people have taken the time to indicate something of interest. Maybe I'm an optimist but I sincerely believe that someone who puts out a LPC wouldn't flag an interesting location for a Home Depot parking lot.

 

Perhaps a different, similar approach would be first to change "interesting location" to "location features" and add flags for things like numbers runs, historical location, quick highway grab etc that would allow whatever subset of the caching community to refine their search results in a bit more broad yet incisive way. Rather than having it as a referendum on interest of the cache vs not, perhaps we could devise a way to add attributes that would be useful to all cachers.

 

For instance, tomorrow I'll be driving 400 miles or so and would like to find a few caches along the way. I sorta don't want to search for ones that will take me a while (fairly easily filtered by the current system) because I want to get to where I am going eventually. Also, given the high cache density and limited time I have for planning, I would love to filter out the caches that interest me most. A cache that may get through a PQ that I might set up for the drive (traditional, low difficulty, not micro) would still yield a TON of caches. I really would not like to extend the drive by more than a few hours and probably would like to stop no more than 7-8 times. The filter I would set up would still leave me a ton of caches (a great thing since I drive the route frequently -- I can always go back for em). However, say this is a road trip to a place that isn't really in my area and I just want to find caches that appeal to me without the distraction/time expense of deciding on the road, I would LOVE a feature such has been described or what I modified to pick out a choice group (in my little subjective world) of caches that I will try for on a given day.

 

Got longwinded in the hypothetical there... sorry :) As it is , I've got a lot of caches to visit on the way tomorrow and I just wish I had a way to filter them a little more than I have. It's likely that I'll get frustrated with trying to find the correct next cache and just churn on to to my destination after 5 or so caches. I'm not hardcore and am a little impatient :D

 

I'd love to see it and Claimed Acquaintance of Chad, I agree that perhaps in the current incarnation of the idea it wouldn't be completely effective... but it would be hard to argue that it would yield better selection options than the current setup. How lucky we are to be in the situation where we are worried about filters! I hope that movement is made on something like this and that the constant evolution toward a system that works is a goal for everyone at GS.

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Good luck in getting all the owners of the older caches to retro fit atttributes.

 

For that reason, I would be very unlikely to base a PQ search on "interesting areas" as I'd likely miss 95% of caches at interesting areas.

 

Additionally, until attribute information is included in PQs, they don't excite me that much.

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Good luck in getting all the owners of the older caches to retro fit atttributes.

 

For that reason, I would be very unlikely to base a PQ search on "interesting areas" as I'd likely miss 95% of caches at interesting areas.

 

Additionally, until attribute information is included in PQs, they don't excite me that much.

 

Good point here. Hope that by demonstrating interest, action will be taken :)

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We can't even seem to come to a general consensus agreement on what the snowflake attribute really means.

 

At a minimum you would need some clear definitions of what each of those attributes includes. Then you would need at least some general acceptance of those definitions. Then you need to get people to use them. Then you got to get them included in PQs.

 

If you can manage all that - you may actually have something here. Or, we as the Geocaching community can just start "raising the bar" on what is expected from a cache hide. Then we won't have to worry about it. Maybe just a slight nudge up - I'd take that.

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Whoa now, a spoiler? I mean, what about the poor new players who have never witnessed the glory that is a LPC?

 

Who said that was an LPC before you just said it? :) The spoiler pic came from the cache's gallery so posting it here didn't spoil anything for the cache itself.

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I like it...

 

The more tools available to categorize a cache, the better. The people tossing containers in bushes along the side of the highway are probably the ones that wont be using attributes, so I don't see lack of use as a problem.

 

Provided the database and programming was done in an expandable, re-usable way, I would think adding additional attributes would not be a very difficult feat.

 

Not the fix to the worlds problems, but certainly a good step in the right direction. Wait a second.. KBI is the op? Ummm.. Maybe this isn't such a good idea after all :)

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One of the most frequent protests among many of our forum regulars is an expression of dislike (and even the occasional rant of outright distain) for caches which are not specifically designed to bring seekers to a scenic, historic, educational or otherwise interesting location. I empathize with their frustration, even if I don’t share it.

 

Scenic locations are, of course, NOT the original purpose of this hobby. "The Great GPS Stash Hunt" was not started by sightseers looking for a way to entertain other sightseers; it was invented by GPS enthusiasts who simply wanted to give themselves and other GPS enthusiasts something fun to do with their newly acquired precision (when SA was first switched off).

 

For many of us that’s all it takes to get a buzz out of this hobby: something, anything, hidden in any public place with the lat/long coordinates posted on the Web. Cool!

 

Lest I’m sounding too negative: I don’t dislike interesting locations. Quite the contrary. Given a choice between a bland parking lot micro and a cache in a magically fascinating spot, I will always prefer to be wowed. But being wowed by a location is never a requirement for me.

 

Being wowed by the location is, however, an absolute requirement for many cachers, at least according to the frequent complaint threads. And requirement or not, I think all of us would benefit from the ability of a cache owner to easily flag his cache as "Historic Setting," "Educational Location," "Beautiful View," etc.

 

My request: Can we have a useful set of these "Interesting Location Attributes" added to the attribute feature?

 

This seems like a no-brainer. I can’t think of any negatives. Sure, my proposed attributes will probably be misused here and there, but what feature of this website isn’t? We all know the hint feature, for example, gets fumbled by a confused few who don’t intuitively see the purpose, but isn’t the hint field itself still a great thing to have?

 

The existing attributes are grouped by category: Permissions, Special Equipment, Conditions, Hazards, and Facilities.

 

I am proposing a new attribute category: "Interesting Location"

 

My suggestions for some specific attributes to be made available:

  • Historic Place
  • Educational Location
  • Beautiful View
  • Strange Spectacle
  • Nostalgic Setting
  • Engineering Marvel
  • Natural Wonder
  • OMG You Won’t Believe This Until You See It

There are certainly additional ones, better ones, that I haven’t thought of. I’m not very smart. I invite all readers to submit their own suggestions. Be mindful, however, that negative suggestions such as "Lame Parking Lot Trashe" are not likely to be given serious consideration.

 

I would find these attributes moderately useful myself, but there are apparently many others who would find them absolutely essential. They would give cache seekers a way to filter only for interesting locations. They would give cache owners a standardized way to telegraph their "Personal Why." I think they would make a certain vocal subset of cachers much happier, and thus cut down on a lot of the chronic complaining in the forums. Gripe as they may, these folks are my friends. I want them to be as happy with this hobby as I am.

 

Ideas? Opinions?

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Wait a second.. KBI is the op? Ummm.. Maybe this isn't such a good idea after all :)

It's not for me. I'll hardly use the feature, if at all.

 

It's for you. You and folks like you. Hopefully it will allow you to have what you want, to enjoy the hobby more, and to be happy.

 

Just thinking of you, man. :D

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Perhaps a different, similar approach would be first to change "interesting location" to "location features" and add flags for things like numbers runs, historical location, quick highway grab etc that would allow whatever subset of the caching community to refine their search results in a bit more broad yet incisive way. Rather than having it as a referendum on interest of the cache vs not, perhaps we could devise a way to add attributes that would be useful to all cachers.

I like KBI's idea (as already indicated in the General forums), but I like it better as modified by mrbort.

 

So we have a new category:

 

Locations Features

  • Historic Place
  • Educational Location
  • Beautiful View
  • Scenic Hike
  • Strange Spectacle
  • Nostalgic Setting
  • Engineering Marvel
  • Natural Wonder (I think this would cover biological, geographic, etc.)
  • Park and grab
  • Highway Access (most like used in the negative, i.e., no highway access)
  • No Redeeming Value
  • OMG You Won’t Believe This Until You See It

And yeah, you'll never get all existing cache owners to add these attributes. Quite a few owners still can't figure out how to remove the "Needs Maintenance" attribute, much less add new ones. All of my caches controlled under various accounts would get new attributes (if applicable), but one person is not a majority. Iif TPTB adds these attributes today, filtering on them tomorrow would yield exactly zero caches.

 

Which brings us to the topic mentioned by Maingray. Why isn't attribute data included with Pocket Queries??? This would be so simple to implement, just add ten comma separated text values. Or even just ten numbers (11=Parking, 01=No Parking, 12=Snowmobiles, 02=No Snowmobiles, etc.). Within a very short time GSAK would issue an update allowing filtering, and off we go!

 

I could download a PQ that eliminates the attributes I absolutely have no interest in and allowing everything else. Then I could very quickly see which caches meeting certain requirements are available using GSAK filters. Three caches along the route are "Historic"? GREAT - flag for installing into BackCountryNavigator. No caches along the route in one county with any interesting attributes? That's OK as well, just flag a Park-n-grab or two. Everybody's happy. Even that dog that knows a guy named Chad.

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Kind of sad you would actually need an attribute to highlight an interesting location. At one time that was the reason for most cache placements.

Edited by briansnat

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Kind of sad you would actually need an attribute to highlight an interesting location. At one time that was the reason for most cache placements.
Some people just seem like they enjoy complaining, even when someone is trying to help them get what they want.

 

Kind of sad.

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Kind of sad you would actually need an attribute to highlight an interesting location. At one time that was the reason for most cache placements.

As you and I both know:

 

Scenic locations are, of course, NOT the original purpose of this hobby. "The Great GPS Stash Hunt" was not started by sightseers looking for a way to entertain other sightseers; it was invented by GPS enthusiasts who simply wanted to give themselves and other GPS enthusiasts something fun to do with their newly acquired precision (when SA was first switched off).

You can therefore either express your vote and say yay or nay on the proposed enhancement -- a change that is specifically designed to help YOU -- or you can continue to do nothing but whine as others try to help you to better enjoy our favorite hobby.

 

I look forward to your input.

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As indicated when i started the original 'historic attribute" thread in general discussion.

 

I am in favor of this idea.

 

At least the historical attribute.

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Kind of sad you would actually need an attribute to highlight an interesting location. At one time that was the reason for most cache placements.

As you and I both know:

 

Scenic locations are, of course, NOT the original purpose of this hobby. "The Great GPS Stash Hunt" was not started by sightseers looking for a way to entertain other sightseers; it was invented by GPS enthusiasts who simply wanted to give themselves and other GPS enthusiasts something fun to do with their newly acquired precision (when SA was first switched off).

 

Actually you aren't quite right.

 

Dave Ulmer's first usenet post proposing the idea of geocaching on may 5th, 2000:

 

I'm thinking of half burying a five gallon plastic bucket with lid at the stash point. Putting in some stuff. Adding a logbook and pencil so visitors can record their find. The log should contain: Date, Time, What you got, and What you put in. Scanning the log book should give you a quick inventory of the stash. I'll look for a place near a road where few people would normally go... Put in some cash, an old digital camera, and some antique silverware!! I will come up with a cool name for my stash and post coordinates soon!!! Make your own stash in a unique location, put in some stuff and a log book. Post the location on the Internet. Soon we will have thousands of stashes all over the world to go searching for.

 

Dave Ulmer's Usenet post, June 12th, 2000 discussing the difficulties of urban caching (obviously before the advent of the micro):

 

The second major problem I found with geocaching was that you couldn't easily place them in urban areas or other areas of special interest. One of the goals I had for geocaching was to attract people to some of those "special spots" that only local people know about. I know of many unique spots in the urban area that I would like to identify for people to visit.
Edited by briansnat

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Kind of sad you would actually need an attribute to highlight an interesting location. At one time that was the reason for most cache placements.

As you and I both know:

 

Scenic locations are, of course, NOT the original purpose of this hobby. "The Great GPS Stash Hunt" was not started by sightseers looking for a way to entertain other sightseers; it was invented by GPS enthusiasts who simply wanted to give themselves and other GPS enthusiasts something fun to do with their newly acquired precision (when SA was first switched off).

 

Actually you aren't quite right.

 

Dave Ulmer's first usenet post proposing the idea of geocaching on may 5th, 2000:

 

I'm thinking of half burying a five gallon plastic bucket with lid at the stash point. Putting in some stuff. Adding a logbook and pencil so visitors can record their find. The log should contain: Date, Time, What you got, and What you put in. Scanning the log book should give you a quick inventory of the stash. I'll look for a place near a road where few people would normally go... Put in some cash, an old digital camera, and some antique silverware!! I will come up with a cool name for my stash and post coordinates soon!!! Make your own stash in a unique location, put in some stuff and a log book. Post the location on the Internet. Soon we will have thousands of stashes all over the world to go searching for.

 

Dave Ulmer's Usenet post, June 12th, 2000 discussing the difficulties of urban caching (obviously before the advent of the micro):

 

The second major problem I found with geocaching was that you couldn't easily place them in urban areas or other areas of special interest. One of the goals I had for geocaching was to attract people to some of those "special spots" that only local people know about. I know of many unique spots in the urban area that I would like to identify for people to visit.

While I agree in principle, I must ask why didn't Dave Ulmer take his own advice? Obviously every cache is in a unique location since there can't be more than one in any given spot. The original stash is certainly not in a location that anyone would consider unique apart from the fact that that is where the first stash was placed. No hike, no soaring vistas.

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Kind of sad you would actually need an attribute to highlight an interesting location. At one time that was the reason for most cache placements.

As you and I both know:

 

Scenic locations are, of course, NOT the original purpose of this hobby. "The Great GPS Stash Hunt" was not started by sightseers looking for a way to entertain other sightseers; it was invented by GPS enthusiasts who simply wanted to give themselves and other GPS enthusiasts something fun to do with their newly acquired precision (when SA was first switched off).

 

Actually you aren't quite right.

 

Dave Ulmer's first usenet post proposing the idea of geocaching on may 5th, 2000:

 

I'm thinking of half burying a five gallon plastic bucket with lid at the stash point. Putting in some stuff. Adding a logbook and pencil so visitors can record their find. The log should contain: Date, Time, What you got, and What you put in. Scanning the log book should give you a quick inventory of the stash. I'll look for a place near a road where few people would normally go... Put in some cash, an old digital camera, and some antique silverware!! I will come up with a cool name for my stash and post coordinates soon!!! Make your own stash in a unique location, put in some stuff and a log book. Post the location on the Internet. Soon we will have thousands of stashes all over the world to go searching for.

 

Dave Ulmer's Usenet post, June 12th, 2000 discussing the difficulties of urban caching (obviously before the advent of the micro):

 

The second major problem I found with geocaching was that you couldn't easily place them in urban areas or other areas of special interest. One of the goals I had for geocaching was to attract people to some of those "special spots" that only local people know about. I know of many unique spots in the urban area that I would like to identify for people to visit.

Regardless of what Dave Ulmer thought when he hid the first cache he picked "a place near a road where few people would normally go." One could certainly argue there was nothing special about that spot. Later Dave Ulmer proposed virtual caches as a way to share interesting spots. This eventually morphed into Waymarking. If the point is visiting these "special spots that only local people know about" it would make more sense to waymark them. If you are going to hide something for people to find that is a geocache and it can be argued that virtual caches proved that you can't define what is special or interesting in a way everyone agrees on. If you want to combine finding hidden containers with visiting what you think are interesting places, you might want to suggest attributes (or bookmark lists) of caches that take you to these areas. Or you could use Waymarking to find the interesting places and then click on "Nearby Geocaches" to find caches to look for while you are visiting.

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Kind of sad you would actually need an attribute to highlight an interesting location. At one time that was the reason for most cache placements.
As you and I both know:
Scenic locations are, of course, NOT the original purpose of this hobby. "The Great GPS Stash Hunt" was not started by sightseers looking for a way to entertain other sightseers; it was invented by GPS enthusiasts who simply wanted to give themselves and other GPS enthusiasts something fun to do with their newly acquired precision (when SA was first switched off).
Actually you aren't quite right.

 

Dave Ulmer's first usenet post proposing the idea of geocaching on may 5th, 2000:

I'm thinking of half burying a five gallon plastic bucket with lid at the stash point. Putting in some stuff. Adding a logbook and pencil so visitors can record their find. The log should contain: Date, Time, What you got, and What you put in. Scanning the log book should give you a quick inventory of the stash. I'll look for a place near a road where few people would normally go... Put in some cash, an old digital camera, and some antique silverware!! I will come up with a cool name for my stash and post coordinates soon!!! Make your own stash in a unique location, put in some stuff and a log book. Post the location on the Internet. Soon we will have thousands of stashes all over the world to go searching for.
Dave Ulmer's Usenet post, June 12th, 2000 discussing the difficulties of urban caching (obviously before the advent of the micro):
The second major problem I found with geocaching was that you couldn't easily place them in urban areas or other areas of special interest. One of the goals I had for geocaching was to attract people to some of those "special spots" that only local people know about. I know of many unique spots in the urban area that I would like to identify for people to visit.

So since Dave Ulmer claimed to have wanted caches to be used as a sightseeing tool, even though he hid his first cache in a pretty lame spot, your conclusion is that a tool on the web site to help folks find those really cool spots is a bad thing, or a good thing? I'm confused what it is you're arguing here.

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Kind of sad you would actually need an attribute to highlight an interesting location. At one time that was the reason for most cache placements.

As you and I both know:

 

Scenic locations are, of course, NOT the original purpose of this hobby. "The Great GPS Stash Hunt" was not started by sightseers looking for a way to entertain other sightseers; it was invented by GPS enthusiasts who simply wanted to give themselves and other GPS enthusiasts something fun to do with their newly acquired precision (when SA was first switched off).

 

Actually you aren't quite right.

 

Dave Ulmer's first usenet post proposing the idea of geocaching on may 5th, 2000:

 

I'm thinking of half burying a five gallon plastic bucket with lid at the stash point. Putting in some stuff. Adding a logbook and pencil so visitors can record their find. The log should contain: Date, Time, What you got, and What you put in. Scanning the log book should give you a quick inventory of the stash. I'll look for a place near a road where few people would normally go... Put in some cash, an old digital camera, and some antique silverware!! I will come up with a cool name for my stash and post coordinates soon!!! Make your own stash in a unique location, put in some stuff and a log book. Post the location on the Internet. Soon we will have thousands of stashes all over the world to go searching for.

 

Dave Ulmer's Usenet post, June 12th, 2000 discussing the difficulties of urban caching (obviously before the advent of the micro):

 

The second major problem I found with geocaching was that you couldn't easily place them in urban areas or other areas of special interest. One of the goals I had for geocaching was to attract people to some of those "special spots" that only local people know about. I know of many unique spots in the urban area that I would like to identify for people to visit.

Regardless of what Dave Ulmer thought when he hid the first cache he picked "a place near a road where few people would normally go." One could certainly argue there was nothing special about that spot. Later Dave Ulmer proposed virtual caches as a way to share interesting spots. This eventually morphed into Waymarking. If the point is visiting these "special spots that only local people know about" it would make more sense to waymark them. If you are going to hide something for people to find that is a geocache and it can be argued that virtual caches proved that you can't define what is special or interesting in a way everyone agrees on. If you want to combine finding hidden containers with visiting what you think are interesting places, you might want to suggest attributes (or bookmark lists) of caches that take you to these areas. Or you could use Waymarking to find the interesting places and then click on "Nearby Geocaches" to find caches to look for while you are visiting.

 

The fact remains that the original point of geocaching as envisioned by the inventor and the early adopters was to bring people to unique places. It has since morphed into something completely different.

Edited by briansnat

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Dave Ulmer's first usenet post proposing the idea of geocaching on may 5th, 2000:

 

I'm thinking of half burying a five gallon plastic bucket with lid at the stash point. Putting in some stuff. Adding a logbook and pencil so visitors can record their find. The log should contain: Date, Time, What you got, and What you put in. Scanning the log book should give you a quick inventory of the stash. I'll look for a place near a road where few people would normally go... Put in some cash, an old digital camera, and some antique silverware!! I will come up with a cool name for my stash and post coordinates soon!!! Make your own stash in a unique location, put in some stuff and a log book. Post the location on the Internet. Soon we will have thousands of stashes all over the world to go searching for.

 

Dave Ulmer's Usenet post, June 12th, 2000 discussing the difficulties of urban caching (obviously before the advent of the micro):

 

The second major problem I found with geocaching was that you couldn't easily place them in urban areas or other areas of special interest. One of the goals I had for geocaching was to attract people to some of those "special spots" that only local people know about. I know of many unique spots in the urban area that I would like to identify for people to visit.

All the more reason you should be happy to support this proposal.

 

Another reason: It’s your idea.

 

You are clearly unhappy with the caching preferences of a large subset of geocachers. I am truly sorry that you are unhappy. We can’t change other people’s tastes for you, but we might be able to encourage those who share your tastes to flag their caches for you. If a significant number of these Briansnat-minded cache owners begin using the proposed attributes, then won’t you be happier?

 

So again I ask: Are you here to give feedback and/or suggestions regarding my (our) request? Or did you only come in here to gripe that too many of your fellow cachers possess what you feel is an incorrect taste in caching?

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The fact remains that the original point of geocaching as envisioned by the inventor and the early adopters was to bring people to unique places. It has since morphed into something completely different.

I really don’t think the original founder of a thing should be allowed to dictate to all future participants how they may or may not enjoy the thing.

 

For example: Do you ever eat graham crackers, Briansnat? If so, do you enjoy them for the taste? Do you use them to build s’mores around the campfire?

 

... or do you strictly eat them only for their original intended purpose?

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(referreing to the previously referenced link)

  • coffee-tablesque beauty

Now, that is one that I can support. Unambiguous and very expensive (and expansive, for that matter). Who can argue with coffee-tablesque beauty? Is there one person here who can honestly state that they have seen a coffe table book with a picture of a lamp skirt? (Of course... I guess I should include ammo cans in that question, huh?)

 

nevermind

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I see a lot of back and forth about what was intended and how it's changed and etc etc... I thought what we were discussing is a way to filter/categorize what is out there already (and what will be placed). The debate over cache placement is one that seems to pop up in just about every discussion but if you're just saying what type of experience to expect at a cache, it might aid everyone in searching for the caches that he or she likes. It also might help people realize what type of cache they like and create/categorize those caches appropriately.

 

Some might like numbers runs and might want to filter out anything that takes time.... Cool. Some might be driving through an area and want to 1) not take a lot of time/cache and 2) visit some historic or interesting sites.... Cool. Others might want to ditch anything that doesn't take a hike or include a vista or etc... Cool. Seems like if we add a categorization to the system as has been described (less the "interesting feature" attribute and more the "location features" category) we would be giving all of the people who shudder at parking lot hides a way of avoiding them and those who want to avoid doing a great deal of work/cache (this was me today because I wanted to not be on the road forever and get home at a reasonable time yet see some cool caches along the way) a way to find caches that suit their desires.

 

Seems like discussing the intent of the founder in usenet is really a moot point. Geocaching is what it is and will evolve where we as a community take it. Let's keep that in mind because the participants rather than the initial idea are what form the reality of the hobby.

 

I feel that while setting examples of special locations with caches and forum posting regarding cache selection reaches those who inhabit or wander into the forums, most cachers don't notice this (a consequence of lack of forum presence or physical presence for example caches); another way to enhance awareness of the various qualities of caches is to shape the way that people can search for and classify caches. Awareness and experience can be translated in this way as well!

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... or do you strictly eat them only for their original intended purpose?

Hmm!. Looks like the Governor of South Carolina isn't eating enough Graham Crackers. (When he first went missing and his staff said he was hiking the Appalachian Trail, I was sure he was geocaching and the story was to protect himself from the embarrassment of State Senator Ceips finding that out. Gosh, maybe he was geocaching.)

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... or do you strictly eat them only for their original intended purpose?

Hmm!. Looks like the Governor of South Carolina isn't eating enough Graham Crackers. (When he first went missing and his staff said he was hiking the Appalachian Trail, I was sure he was geocaching and the story was to protect himself from the embarrassment of State Senator Ceips finding that out. Gosh, maybe he was geocaching.)

 

Gosh - Looks like Ms. Ceips had her own extra marital affair. More Graham Crackers for everyone in South Carolina.

Edited by tozainamboku

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I think it may be time to revisit the attributes. KBI's proposed list would, for me anyway, be more useful than much of the current list.

 

Perhaps there should be a list of finder applied attributes. It could be a better approach than ratings. Come up with a list of say ten finder applied attributes and show the top two or three selected on the page. PQs could even be sorted by FAAs.

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I feel that while setting examples of special locations with caches and forum posting regarding cache selection reaches those who inhabit or wander into the forums, most cachers don't notice this (a consequence of lack of forum presence or physical presence for example caches); another way to enhance awareness of the various qualities of caches is to shape the way that people can search for and classify caches. Awareness and experience can be translated in this way as well!

This is an excellent point.

 

How effective is it to arrogantly lecture one’s fellow cachers from here in the forums? How effective can the preaching ever be, when the pews are mostly empty because most of the audience is out caching... and blissfully ignoring the sermon?

 

If, instead, the idea of great locations were to be subtly included in the online new cache submission form – in the way I have proposed, or similar – we just might be surprised at the result. My proposal hopes merely to better flag the wow-location caches that would have existed anyway. But who knows, maybe the addition of these attributes will encourage more creative thinking about great locations, and actually change the mix going forward.

 

I’d be cool with that. Who wouldn’t?

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Perhaps there should be a list of finder applied attributes. It could be a better approach than ratings. Come up with a list of say ten finder applied attributes and show the top two or three selected on the page. PQs could even be sorted by FAAs.

I really like this suggestion.

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Kind of sad you would actually need an attribute to highlight an interesting location. At one time that was the reason for most cache placements.

As you and I both know:

 

Scenic locations are, of course, NOT the original purpose of this hobby. "The Great GPS Stash Hunt" was not started by sightseers looking for a way to entertain other sightseers; it was invented by GPS enthusiasts who simply wanted to give themselves and other GPS enthusiasts something fun to do with their newly acquired precision (when SA was first switched off).

 

Actually you aren't quite right.

 

Dave Ulmer's first usenet post proposing the idea of geocaching on may 5th, 2000:

 

I'm thinking of half burying a five gallon plastic bucket with lid at the stash point. Putting in some stuff. Adding a logbook and pencil so visitors can record their find. The log should contain: Date, Time, What you got, and What you put in. Scanning the log book should give you a quick inventory of the stash. I'll look for a place near a road where few people would normally go... Put in some cash, an old digital camera, and some antique silverware!! I will come up with a cool name for my stash and post coordinates soon!!! Make your own stash in a unique location, put in some stuff and a log book. Post the location on the Internet. Soon we will have thousands of stashes all over the world to go searching for.

 

Dave Ulmer's Usenet post, June 12th, 2000 discussing the difficulties of urban caching (obviously before the advent of the micro):

 

The second major problem I found with geocaching was that you couldn't easily place them in urban areas or other areas of special interest. One of the goals I had for geocaching was to attract people to some of those "special spots" that only local people know about. I know of many unique spots in the urban area that I would like to identify for people to visit.

Regardless of what Dave Ulmer thought when he hid the first cache he picked "a place near a road where few people would normally go." One could certainly argue there was nothing special about that spot. Later Dave Ulmer proposed virtual caches as a way to share interesting spots. This eventually morphed into Waymarking. If the point is visiting these "special spots that only local people know about" it would make more sense to waymark them. If you are going to hide something for people to find that is a geocache and it can be argued that virtual caches proved that you can't define what is special or interesting in a way everyone agrees on. If you want to combine finding hidden containers with visiting what you think are interesting places, you might want to suggest attributes (or bookmark lists) of caches that take you to these areas. Or you could use Waymarking to find the interesting places and then click on "Nearby Geocaches" to find caches to look for while you are visiting.

 

The fact remains that the original point of geocaching as envisioned by the inventor and the early adopters was to bring people to unique places. It has since morphed into something completely different.

I found this post from Dave Ulmer from June 7, 2000 discussing places where you might hide an urban cache.

What we need is some standard urban stash location ideas. I thought of a

magnetic stash box stuck to the bottom of the big blue U.S. Mail

Boxes...hmmm.. Then I thought of other metal items to stick it to. Maybe

tying the stash to a rope and hanging it down a sewer drain grate. I really

don't know, but we should be able to think of something. Urban areas have

similar things like street lights, drains, curbs, alleys, power boxes,

signs, overpasses, etc. There is got to be something we can agree on.

Seems the inventor wasn't thinking only about the places briansnat (or even Geocaching.com) would find acceptable.

 

I will admit that the first post resulted in the discussion of issues that law enforcement might have with suspicious hidden containers on some of the these structures. And this was more than a year prior to 9-11. It resulted in Dave coming up with this idea for urban caching.

Ok, for the urbanites we need a little different game. Here's how it goes...

 

GeoCacher finds an urban location that has a unique name or number at the

published coordinates. The name or number could also be written or stamped

at the location. The location could also be a favorite restaurant or bar the

stasher wants you to visit.

 

When the hunter visits the site they learn the name or number and emails it

back to the stasher.

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Perhaps there should be a list of finder applied attributes. It could be a better approach than ratings. Come up with a list of say ten finder applied attributes and show the top two or three selected on the page. PQs could even be sorted by FAAs.

I really like this suggestion.

 

This was the idea I had while reading through this thread. Glad someone else thought of it too! I really like the idea of attributes, but I'm worried about subjective attributes given to the cache by the owner. One man's natural beauty is another man's "meh, whatever." If it's the users who are giving the attributes, one could get an idea of the subjective qualities of the location through many opinions of (mostly) unbiased geocachers. I think that's really the way to go.

 

As for objective attributes, like "historical significance" or "educational Setting," I see no problem with those being assigned by the cache owner.

 

I would love to see stuff like "county park," "state park," "nature preserve," "national forest," etc - that would be extremely useful to me in planning.

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Why are we arguing the history of geocaching? I thought this thread was about ideas for the future.

Good question.

 

If I were a cynic I might assume it is because there are a few regulars here who are only happy when they are complaining – griping is their favorite hobby, not caching – and that this proposal apparently represents a threat to the very existence of one of their favorite targets of protest: the fact that not all cachers share their very specific and demanding personal caching preferences.

 

If this idea is adopted it will diminish, possibly even remove, one of their primary excuses for insulting other cachers, for whining about lameness, and for generally failing to enjoy their second favorite hobby ... and will thus leave them with little else to grumble about.

 

If I were a cynic, that is.

 

Being more of an idealist, I prefer to assume that the habitual complainers (those who would benefit the most from my proposal) are simply taking their time composing their thoughts, and will be along shortly to offer constructive feedback and helpful improvements to my suggestions.

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I would like to humbly bump this back into life. I would really like to see this feature enhancement.

 

Carolyn

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I would like to humbly bump this back into life. I would really like to see this feature enhancement.

Yup.

 

I wonder if the complainers have finished composing their thoughts... :laughing:

 

Anyway, I'm in favor of this add.

 

[Edit]

Oh, and adding Attribute data to the GPX would be most awesome as well!

Edited by J-Way

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In reply to the OP, I see your point.

But, just as with a rating system, wouldn't this be just a bit subjective, and (not like the rating system) reliant on the OWNER's interpretation of those attributes?

While someone may be enamored of a location that is the northernmost reported sighting of the Western Tree Toad, non-hereptologists might not care, and those who regularly encounter Western Tree Toads will say 'SO !%*&ing WHAT!', just another cache under a mossy log.

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I think it may be time to revisit the attributes. KBI's proposed list would, for me anyway, be more useful than much of the current list.

 

Perhaps there should be a list of finder applied attributes. It could be a better approach than ratings. Come up with a list of say ten finder applied attributes and show the top two or three selected on the page. PQs could even be sorted by FAAs.

 

Finder-applied attributes would also be cool, but still the subjectivity monster rears it's head.

I think an overall rating system must come first.

I would still be more likely to go after a cache where 35 finders rated it five-stars, while only 14 rated it three or less stars.

 

I'm probably not going to quibble over which of the WOW factors provoked the five-star ratings..at least not at this point (as I float in a sea of uninspired micros).

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I am proposing a new attribute category: "Interesting Location"

 

My suggestions for some specific attributes to be made available:

  • Historic Place
  • Educational Location
  • Beautiful View
  • Strange Spectacle
  • Nostalgic Setting
  • Engineering Marvel
  • Natural Wonder
  • OMG You Won’t Believe This Until You See It

There are certainly additional ones, better ones, that I haven’t thought of. I’m not very smart. I invite all readers to submit their own suggestions. Be mindful, however, that negative suggestions such as "Lame Parking Lot Trashe" are not likely to be given serious consideration.

 

Perhaps, we might consider not using profanities is such a listing?

And you forgot:

[*] Starbucks

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It has probably already been suggested, but what about if, instead of the owner who set an attribute, it would be the finder who rate the interest or the originality of the cache. After a lot of rating, you would have an average appreciation and you could sort by this rate...

Edited by jgagne

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In reply to the OP, I see your point.

But, just as with a rating system, wouldn't this be just a bit subjective, and (not like the rating system) reliant on the OWNER's interpretation of those attributes?

Yes, it would.

 

It would be very subjective, totally dependent on both the owner’s judgment and his grasp of the concept.

 

Which is precisely the way it works already with all the other, existing attributes. And the difficulty rating. And the terrain rating. And the cache size designation.

 

Each of those venerable cache page elements suffers from occasional clumsiness of use, do they not?

 

An owner could choose to use the new attributes, or not use them, as he sees fit. The sole purpose of my proposal is to assist those who ONLY desire to hunt caches placed by owners who believe their location is worth seeing regardless of the cache.

 

It’s easy: If you place a cache to highlight a clever camouflage technique, or because you need a destination at the end of a challenging puzzle (and the location itself is of no relevance), or because the coords happen to match some numerical theme, or because your theme is to hide a micro at every spot where your car odometer happens to turn over another 10,000 miles, or because you just wanted to have an easy 1/1 drive-up micro outside your office window so you can spectate ... then you would have no use for my attributes. Each of these hides is an example of a perfectly valid way to entertain yourself and your fellow cachers, yet would have no use for my proposed designations.

 

If, on the other hand, you place your cache specifically for the purpose of bringing your fellow cachers to enjoy a particular waterfall, a spectacular overlook, a weird echo effect, an architectural phenomenon, a presidential birthplace or some obscure unknown bar where one can get an exceptionally tasty black-and-tan, then you might consider using one of my proposed attributes.

 

If TPTB decide to make them available to us, that is.

 

While someone may be enamored of a location that is the northernmost reported sighting of the Western Tree Toad, non-hereptologists might not care, and those who regularly encounter Western Tree Toads will say 'SO !%*&ing WHAT!', just another cache under a mossy log.

Yup.

 

No matter how well any system is designed there will always be complainers.

 

My humble proposal is intended merely to help those rational-minded cachers who regularly and vocally yearn for a way to flush out the "interesting location" caches from the massive and growing number of listings. Certain people, however, are chronically unappeaseable. That perma-cranky two percent – the irrational hard-core complainers who exist in every group – are immune to help. I prefer to ignore those folks.

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