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Groundspeak considering dropping EarthCaches?


TerryDad2
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I don't know. I actually just e-mailed the Earthcache web site asking about it as when I went to look and see if it was possible to log a new Earthcache through Geocaching.com. :(

New EarthCaches are submitted through earthcache.org. I just saw one get published local to me this morning, so it hasn't happened yet.

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I hear tell they want to cut lose earthcaching

This is just a snibit of a post in another thread.

 

Is there any truth to it?

TerryDad2,

I hope not. I think the rumor got started when Groundspeak disallowed ALR caches. Naturally, ECs have some ALR type requirements, but they were excluded from the change. I know some people who have posted that EarthCaches should be moved to Waymarking. While they consider themselves to be knowledgeable on most everything, it is only wishful thinking on their part.............at least I hope so! :(

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What is an ALR cache?

An ALR (Additional Logging Requirement) cache was one that after finding the physical cache, you had to perform some additional task in order to complete the find. I never had one but have been to a few. Some were fun and some were silly. One example was a cache which required you to tell a story when you log it on line. In this case, the story was about goofy things that happened in your love life. Another type required solving a puzzle after the fact. Still another that required something additional is a liars cache which requires you to keep the story going about the nature of the cache. In this case, the cache was a simple micro but it was rated higher and you had to tell how treacherous it was to get to the cache or your log would be denied. I didn't study GroundSpeaks decision but it was sudden and complete. No more requirements after finding the cache.

Now you see how ECs have been compared to ALR traditional caches. We also require something after finding the cache before the cacher can claim a find. Groundspeak grandfathered ECs but that upset some people.

I have no idea why Groundspeak did what they did. I suppose some of the ALRs got out of hand. Sorry for the long winded explanation but you know by now I can get long winded! :(

Edited by Konnarock Kid & Marge
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What is an ALR cache?

Alternative logging requirements, like you have to take a photo of yourself wearing a red wig or something like that.

 

EarthCaches and Challenge caches, like Delorme are exempt.

 

Could you please provide a reference for the Challenge cache exemption?

The only information we could find regarding the matter seemed pretty clear in stating that the prohibition of additional logging requirements applies to ALL PHYSICAL caches (thus the exemption for earthcaches and virtual caches).

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What is an ALR cache?

Alternative logging requirements, like you have to take a photo of yourself wearing a red wig or something like that.

 

EarthCaches and Challenge caches, like Delorme are exempt.

 

Could you please provide a reference for the Challenge cache exemption?

The only information we could find regarding the matter seemed pretty clear in stating that the prohibition of additional logging requirements applies to ALL PHYSICAL caches (thus the exemption for earthcaches and virtual caches).

Some info here

 

More info here in the guidelines

 

but specifically this piece that says

Challenge caches incorporate special logging requirements and are listed as Mystery/Puzzle caches. Typically they require the seeker to have previously met a reasonable geocaching-related qualification (Waymarking and Wherigo qualify too, of course) such as first finding a cache in every county in your state. If you are thinking of creating such a cache, please include a note to the reviewer demonstrating either that you have met the challenge yourself, or that a substantial number of other geocachers would be able to do so.

 

I hope that is what you are looking for as the search function is fairly limited and I am generally lazy.

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What is an ALR cache?

An ALR (Additional Logging Requirement) cache was one that after finding the physical cache, you had to perform some additional task in order to complete the find. I never had one but have been to a few. Some were fun and some were silly. One example was a cache which required you to tell a story when you log it on line. In this case, the story was about goofy things that happened in your love life. Another type required solving a puzzle after the fact. Still another that required something additional is a liars cache which requires you to keep the story going about the nature of the cache. In this case, the cache was a simple micro but it was rated higher and you had to tell how treacherous it was to get to the cache or your log would be denied. I didn't study GroundSpeaks decision but it was sudden and complete. No more requirements after finding the cache.

Now you see how ECs have been compared to ALR traditional caches. We also require something after finding the cache before the cacher can claim a find. Groundspeak grandfathered ECs but that upset some people.

I have no idea why Groundspeak did what they did. I suppose some of the ALRs got out of hand. Sorry for the long winded explanation but you know by now I can get long winded! :ph34r:

 

Example of an ALR---<b>to log this cache you must tell me the number that is written under the lid of the container, if you do not tell me the number you can not log a find for this cache.</b>

 

As for Earthcaches, the only thing I know that is being filtered out is from EC on their end is the pins for Bronze and Silver.

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What is an ALR cache?

Alternative logging requirements, like you have to take a photo of yourself wearing a red wig or something like that.

 

EarthCaches and Challenge caches, like Delorme are exempt.

Could you please provide a reference for the Challenge cache exemption?

The only information we could find regarding the matter seemed pretty clear in stating that the prohibition of additional logging requirements applies to ALL PHYSICAL caches (thus the exemption for earthcaches and virtual caches).

Some info here

 

More info here in the guidelines

 

but specifically this piece that says

Challenge caches incorporate special logging requirements and are listed as Mystery/Puzzle caches. Typically they require the seeker to have previously met a reasonable geocaching-related qualification (Waymarking and Wherigo qualify too, of course) such as first finding a cache in every county in your state. If you are thinking of creating such a cache, please include a note to the reviewer demonstrating either that you have met the challenge yourself, or that a substantial number of other geocachers would be able to do so.

 

I hope that is what you are looking for as the search function is fairly limited and I am generally lazy.

However, if you continue reading further on in that section, you will find the following (which is published on a later date than the previous and therefore would seem more applicable):

Logging of All Physical Caches

Geocaches can be logged online as Found once the physical log has been signed.

 

If it is appropriate for your cache location or theme, you may ask the cache seeker to accomplish an optional and simple task, either close to the cache site (normally within 0.1 miles or 161 meters) or when writing their online log. For example, wear the goofy hat inside the cache container and upload a photograph. Cache finders can choose whether or not to attempt or accomplish optional tasks. Cache owners may not delete the cache seeker's log based solely on optional tasks.

 

This guideline change applies immediately to all logs written from April 4, 2009 and going forward. Older caches with "additional logging requirements" (ALRs) are not grandfathered under the older guideline.

 

While this does not specify an exemption for challenge caches, it seems to allow them, but then prevents the cache owner from deleting logs if cachers choose not to fulfill the challenge.

 

For what its worth, it seems that nearly all the finders of caches in our local area are either 1) unaware of the ALR prohibition or 2) are respecting the wishes of the cache owner anyway. For out part, we have continued to honor the original intent of the challenge caches.

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What is an ALR cache?

Alternative logging requirements, like you have to take a photo of yourself wearing a red wig or something like that.

 

EarthCaches and Challenge caches, like Delorme are exempt.

Could you please provide a reference for the Challenge cache exemption?

The only information we could find regarding the matter seemed pretty clear in stating that the prohibition of additional logging requirements applies to ALL PHYSICAL caches (thus the exemption for earthcaches and virtual caches).

Some info here

 

More info here in the guidelines

 

but specifically this piece that says

Challenge caches incorporate special logging requirements and are listed as Mystery/Puzzle caches. Typically they require the seeker to have previously met a reasonable geocaching-related qualification (Waymarking and Wherigo qualify too, of course) such as first finding a cache in every county in your state. If you are thinking of creating such a cache, please include a note to the reviewer demonstrating either that you have met the challenge yourself, or that a substantial number of other geocachers would be able to do so.

 

I hope that is what you are looking for as the search function is fairly limited and I am generally lazy.

However, if you continue reading further on in that section, you will find the following (which is published on a later date than the previous and therefore would seem more applicable):

Logging of All Physical Caches

Geocaches can be logged online as Found once the physical log has been signed.

 

If it is appropriate for your cache location or theme, you may ask the cache seeker to accomplish an optional and simple task, either close to the cache site (normally within 0.1 miles or 161 meters) or when writing their online log. For example, wear the goofy hat inside the cache container and upload a photograph. Cache finders can choose whether or not to attempt or accomplish optional tasks. Cache owners may not delete the cache seeker's log based solely on optional tasks.

 

This guideline change applies immediately to all logs written from April 4, 2009 and going forward. Older caches with "additional logging requirements" (ALRs) are not grandfathered under the older guideline.

 

While this does not specify an exemption for challenge caches, it seems to allow them, but then prevents the cache owner from deleting logs if cachers choose not to fulfill the challenge.

 

For what its worth, it seems that nearly all the finders of caches in our local area are either 1) unaware of the ALR prohibition or 2) are respecting the wishes of the cache owner anyway. For out part, we have continued to honor the original intent of the challenge caches.

Since the page was updated the day before the change took place, it looks like they updated the guidelines before making the announcement so they wouldn't have people saying "but the guidelines said" also I said I was lazy. The guidelines read clearly to me and mesh with what the Lackeys have stated in the forums. I can't find the exact quote, but it stated that challenges were exempt from the ALR guidelines that came out.

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To Knight-Errant's posts re Challenge Caches and the Logging of Physical caches section of the listing guidelines.

While this does not specify an exemption for challenge caches, it seems to allow them, but then prevents the cache owner from deleting logs if cachers choose not to fulfill the challenge.

 

If a Challenge cache is published, the cache owner has met the Challenge Cache standard in the Mystery section. The cache owner can delete logs of cachers who have not met the Challenge requirements.

 

Things can be a bit muddy with some caches published prior to the addition of the Logging of Physical caches section. There are some caches with additional logging requirements that have the word Challenge in their title.

Just having that word doesn't make them a Challenge cache. There are also some legit challenge caches that don't have the word Challenge in the title!

 

Over time, this will straighten out. Cache owners will learn that they cannot delete logs on ALR caches, as cachers complain about it.

 

Re Earthcaches going away: as others have said, it was asked at GW7, and it's just a rumor, likely related to misunderstandings about the death of ALR caches.

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To Knight-Errant's posts re Challenge Caches and the Logging of Physical caches section of the listing guidelines.

While this does not specify an exemption for challenge caches, it seems to allow them, but then prevents the cache owner from deleting logs if cachers choose not to fulfill the challenge.

 

If a Challenge cache is published, the cache owner has met the Challenge Cache standard in the Mystery section. The cache owner can delete logs of cachers who have not met the Challenge requirements.

 

Things can be a bit muddy with some caches published prior to the addition of the Logging of Physical caches section. There are some caches with additional logging requirements that have the word Challenge in their title.

Just having that word doesn't make them a Challenge cache. There are also some legit challenge caches that don't have the word Challenge in the title!

 

Over time, this will straighten out. Cache owners will learn that they cannot delete logs on ALR caches, as cachers complain about it.

 

Re Earthcaches going away: as others have said, it was asked at GW7, and it's just a rumor, likely related to misunderstandings about the death of ALR caches.

From what we can tell, while the official posted policy regarding challenge caches does not specify that they are exempt from being included with other Additional Logging Requirement caches, but it appear that information provided to reviewers provides for that exception. We would like to see the current policy (as posted on geocaching.com) reflect, if it really is the case, that challenge caches (caches that meet the proper definition of challenge caches, not just in name only) are specifically not included in the prohibition of Addtional Logging Requirements.

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Since the Review process for Earthcaches is handled on a completely separate site, and by a completely different set of Reviewers (aka: the GSA), your comment does not appear to be relevant. For the current Guidelines regarding Earthcache submissions, I believe you can find all your answers at the following link:

 

Earthcache Guidelines

 

When I submit an Earthcahe, I don't even bother referring to the Geocaching Guidelines. They don't apply.

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Since the Review process for Earthcaches is handled on a completely separate site, and by a completely different set of Reviewers (aka: the GSA), your comment does not appear to be relevant. For the current Guidelines regarding Earthcache submissions, I believe you can find all your answers at the following link:

 

Earthcache Guidelines

 

When I submit an Earthcahe, I don't even bother referring to the Geocaching Guidelines. They don't apply.

 

You pose a good question.

I totally agree with you that EarthCaches have separate guidelines but they are listed on Groundspeak so do all or some of those guidelines apply? I certainly could be wrong, but I haven't read anything that states that some if not most of the Groundspeak's guidelines apply.

There are a lot of things covered by Groundspeak that are not addressed by GSA such as cache owners responsibilities, etc. I know the approval process and how to list an EC is different and covered by GSA but there are a lot of things not covered by GSA. :laughing:

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EarthCaches ARE geocaches, so ALL the appropriate rules and guudelines apply.

 

I kinda suspected that it WASN"T true that Groundspeak's guidelines were NOT applicable. In other words if I am understanding it, there are some guidelines that only apply to ECs such as those listed on the EarthCache site and there are some applicable guidelines on Groundspeak that are also applicable to ECs. I know the .1 mile guideline from Groundspeak isn't applicable to ECs, are there others?

Thanks Geoaware for, pardon the pun, making us 'aware' of the two ruling guidelines. :D

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At the end of the day, EarthCaches are administered by GSA using the guidelines developed over time in consultation with Groundspeak. ALL the geocaching guidelines, other than a few which are not appropriate for various and mostly obvious reasons, are also followed. Those geocaching guidelines that EC do not follow have already been mentioned.

 

EarthCaches are an integral part of the educational geocaching experience and GSA is proud to work in partnership with Groundspeak to maintain the program on all levels.

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The reasoning may be "obvious" to you, but I am at a loss to understand why a virtual cache (when they were still considered for publication) was subject to the "vacation cache" or "maintainable distance" guideline, but an earthcache isn't. Signs go missing for earthcaches just as often as they do for virtuals. Parks have temporary closures with earthcaches inside them just as often as they do with virtuals inside them. Under the listing guidelines still applicable for maintenance of grandfathered virtual caches, the owner "must periodically check the physical location." Why would this not be equally true for earthcaches?

 

The reasoning may be "obvious" to you, but I am at a loss to understand why an earthcache can be published inside a commercial location that charges an admission, complete with promotional material on the cache page, while a geocache at the same for-profit location must comply with the commercial caches guideline -- where no interaction with staff or entry into the business is permitted.

 

Perhaps you could enlighten us who cannot see the obvious?

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Personally, I do not think any cache type should be done away with. This game is so customizable and with all of the caches out there, you can avoid the type of caches you do not want to do and there would STILL be plenty to find. I actually liked some ALRs. However, I respect the rules and if I come across a cache where there is a request from the owner (within reason) I think it is still the right thing to meet it.

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