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Join Geocachers to Win the DARPA Challenge


Jeremy

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We didn't announce that we would publish virts (actually traditional first, for the instant notification, then converted) so outsiders didn't try to find them on the site. As a result, the geocachers who mattered - the ones in that area - were made aware via instant notification while everyone else was in the dark.

 

 

As is see it, the social neworking portion of the contest was more in how social networks where used *prior* to the actual contest, rather than how information was exchanged yesterday.

 

Perhaps, if a notice was sent out to all PMs indicating that virutal were going to be used, more geocachers may have been out looking for the balloons.

 

How the sightings were reported using social networks didn't really matter if the social network was small and/or not prepared for when the event started.

The social media reportage is how Groundspeak got an idea of where the balloons might be, then the virts were created in that area to get a cacher to go verify the location, so the virts weren't used to find the balloons, just to verify what the media tools were reporting.

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Happily switching to the "on topic" post I came here to make:

 

My theory was that DARPA might place its balloons to feature locations relevant to the history of the internet. I shared this theory in a private setting with a large group of geocachers across the country. Another geocacher responded with a great list of "internet history" locations. We were prepared to chase down leads at any of them.

 

Personally, I scouted out Carnegie Mellon University here in Pittsburgh, as well as the large city parks in the vicinity of the University district. I also toured the downtown landmarks that might feature a balloon.

 

Obviously, I didn't spot a balloon, but I had fun developing and sharing my theory, in doing my part for the search effort, and in reading reports from others. Thanks, Groundspeak, for a fun day!

Good thinking, That's one of the reasons I think taking this challenge to the next level would involve making the challenge with no prior announcement. It would more closely mimic a real time scenario where there is no advance warning. Kind of like an Amber Alert, where you instantly have tens of thousands of people looking everywhere for the same thing.

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Is there any particular reason why you think this is of interest to geocachers throughout the world? Surely a charitable event like this should only be publicised in the region that is affected.

 

My query was stimulated by the decision to send emails to all members regardless of whether or not they could be involved with this project. Surely it would have been easy for Groundspeak to identify the members who are resident in the USA rather than assume members all over the world want to have a pointless email deposited in their in box??

 

I have of course no quarrel with Groundspeak wanting to support a political project within the USA, or encouraging those members who were able to be involved.

 

Chris

You're joking right?? Anyone with internet could have participated. I fear that some people are so busy being offended and defensive that they have failed to understand the challenge.

 

Besides all that...I wonder what the percentage is of active geocachers that are traveling internationally at any given time. some geocachers from outside the US would of course be in the US at any given time. They probably would have loved a unique challenge like this, like stumbling into a wedding parade or something.

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DARPA made it quite clear that their research wasn't about finding the balloons... they knew where the balloons were. Their research is about how participants formed teams, communicated and collaborated to verify the locations using social media tools to collect and report the locations.

 

It wasn't about getting in your car and driving around in hopes of spotting a balloon! The chances of spotting one like that are almost nil. You would be much more likely to win the lottery than get in your car and go find one of ten temporary balloons anywhere in the country!

 

This challenge was about how you use your computer, and therefore your location was irrelevant.

 

You can't win if you don't know what game you are playing!

Edited by TheAlabamaRambler
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DARPA made it quite clear that their research wasn't about finding the balloons... they knew where the balloons were. Their research is about how participants formed teams, communicated and collaborated to verify the locations using social media tools to collect and report the locations.

 

It wasn't about getting in your car and driving around in hopes of spotting a balloon! The chances of spotting one like that are almost nil. You would be much more likely to win the lottery than get in your car and go find one of ten temporary balloons anywhere in the country!

 

This challenge was about how you use your computer, and therefore your location was irrelevant.

 

You can't win if you don't know what game you are playing!

Of course they might also be interested in what percentage of the population fail to understand the concept, Haha.

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Is there any particular reason why you think this is of interest to geocachers throughout the world? Surely a charitable event like this should only be publicised in the region that is affected.

 

My query was stimulated by the decision to send emails to all members regardless of whether or not they could be involved with this project. Surely it would have been easy for Groundspeak to identify the members who are resident in the USA rather than assume members all over the world want to have a pointless email deposited in their in box??

 

I have of course no quarrel with Groundspeak wanting to support a political project within the USA, or encouraging those members who were able to be involved.

 

Chris

 

It's all about the networking, and the wider a net you can spread, the greater the chance you'll catch what you are looking for. Think of it as a big exercise of the 6 degrees of separation game.

 

I think we'd have a huge advantage in a no-notice test like this.

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It's all about the networking, and the wider a net you can spread, the greater the chance you'll catch what you are looking for. Think of it as a big exercise of the 6 degrees of separation game.

 

I think we'd have a huge advantage in a no-notice test like this.

I think so too, especially after this practice run. I wonder if in an emergency GS could turn on Instant Notification to everyone, even just for a short time.

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I enjoyed keeping up with the progress of finds yesterday and I congratulate Groundspeak and the folks involved with our contribution to the contest.

If there's ever a contest where 10 balloons are moored and the coordinates given to see which group would find them first.... Groundspeak would have them all in less than 15 minutes. :D

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Does anyone know the details about the possible locations that were posted as virtual caches? I personally had a possible location pop up near my home that I went and checked out. Of course there was not one there, but I'm just curious where these "possible locations" came from. Did DARPA give a bunch of possible locations to check, or were most of these bogus sightings that Groundspeak just sent us out to verify?

 

Just curious.

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Does anyone know the details about the possible locations that were posted as virtual caches? I personally had a possible location pop up near my home that I went and checked out. Of course there was not one there, but I'm just curious where these "possible locations" came from. Did DARPA give a bunch of possible locations to check, or were most of these bogus sightings that Groundspeak just sent us out to verify?

 

Just curious.

 

Signal the frog was busy. He had a List.

 

MrsB

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Does anyone know the details about the possible locations that were posted as virtual caches? I personally had a possible location pop up near my home that I went and checked out. Of course there was not one there, but I'm just curious where these "possible locations" came from. Did DARPA give a bunch of possible locations to check, or were most of these bogus sightings that Groundspeak just sent us out to verify?

 

Just curious.

 

Signal the frog was busy. He had a List.

 

MrsB

Whoa! Are you saying that Signal had a list of locations and all the War Room had to do was use social media tools to verify them? ;) Say it ain't so!

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Does anyone know the details about the possible locations that were posted as virtual caches? I personally had a possible location pop up near my home that I went and checked out. Of course there was not one there, but I'm just curious where these "possible locations" came from. Did DARPA give a bunch of possible locations to check, or were most of these bogus sightings that Groundspeak just sent us out to verify?

 

Just curious.

 

Signal the frog was busy. He had a List.

 

MrsB

Whoa! Are you saying that Signal had a list of locations and all the War Room had to do was use social media tools to verify them? ;) Say it ain't so!

 

Nooooo... but I think he had a whole spawn of tadpoles out there feeding back info to his lilypad.

 

MrsB

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Does anyone know the details about the possible locations that were posted as virtual caches? I personally had a possible location pop up near my home that I went and checked out. Of course there was not one there, but I'm just curious where these "possible locations" came from. Did DARPA give a bunch of possible locations to check, or were most of these bogus sightings that Groundspeak just sent us out to verify?

 

Just curious.

I'm guessing they were bogus sightings that were either reported to GS, of were gathered online by the GS team

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Why is this important to you?

 

 

[attempting to drag this thread back on topic... ;) ]

 

Would you be willing to share the list here? I would be very interested to see it.

 

History is cool. The Internet is cool. I like learning about the history of the Internet.

 

Likewise it would be interesting to hear what Groundspeak did to prepare for the Challenge, what resources they considered and why?

 

Maybe a good Weekly Mailer topic? :D

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