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Current EarthCache rules...


TheAlabamaRambler
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This question came up in our local forum and I realized that I don't have a clue about the current state of creating new EarthCaches, so where do cachers who want to hide a new cache find current guidelines for doing so?

 

I submitted a new Earthcache and received the following reply from the reviewer:

 

"I am sorry to inform you that we cannot accept this EarthCache for publication.

Many EarthCaches already exist to highlight watershed divides and we are no longer accepting new submissions in that category."

 

My question is....is there a list somewhere of categories in which they are no longer accepting new submissions? I have looked on Earthcache.org and GC.com and cannot find it. I really don't want to waste the time going to a site, planning a cache, filling out the info to submit it and then find out that category is closed.

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That's kind of a sore point for me. That important tidbit of knowledge isn't contained in the current guidelines.

 

I mentored a cacher developing a gaging station only to have him find out in a similar manor that there are some categories of EarthCaches that are not being accepted any more.

 

A real bummer after he put in all that work. And a mild embarrassment for me that as a reviewer (regular not EarthCache) that I didn't know about it.

 

So that's all I know (that I can tell). But thanks for adding to the list. Not that I am in favor of restricting them, just happy we know which ones are.

 

You might consider asking a moderator to move this to the EarthCache forum where it will receive a lot more attention from those in the know.

 

If there is a question about whether an EarthCache category is closed you should address you concerns/questions to your local EarthCache reviewer.

 

Deane

AKA: DeRock & the Psychic Cacher - Grattan MI

 

Edit to add a link to the EarthCache.org site with the official guidelines

 

This question came up in our local forum and I realized that I don't have a clue about the current state of creating new EarthCaches, so where do cachers who want to hide a new cache find current guidelines for doing so?

 

I submitted a new Earthcache and received the following reply from the reviewer:

 

"I am sorry to inform you that we cannot accept this EarthCache for publication.

Many EarthCaches already exist to highlight watershed divides and we are no longer accepting new submissions in that category."

 

My question is....is there a list somewhere of categories in which they are no longer accepting new submissions? I have looked on Earthcache.org and GC.com and cannot find it. I really don't want to waste the time going to a site, planning a cache, filling out the info to submit it and then find out that category is closed.

Edited by DeRock & The Psychic Cacher
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This question came up in our local forum and I realized that I don't have a clue about the current state of creating new EarthCaches, so where do cachers who want to hide a new cache find current guidelines for doing so?

 

I submitted a new Earthcache and received the following reply from the reviewer:

 

"I am sorry to inform you that we cannot accept this EarthCache for publication.

Many EarthCaches already exist to highlight watershed divides and we are no longer accepting new submissions in that category."

 

My question is....is there a list somewhere of categories in which they are no longer accepting new submissions? I have looked on Earthcache.org and GC.com and cannot find it. I really don't want to waste the time going to a site, planning a cache, filling out the info to submit it and then find out that category is closed.

 

why not tell them to ask the reviewer that rejected it?

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why not tell them to ask the reviewer that rejected it?

Why not ask where the current guidelines are so everyone will know? :)

 

 

well i figured that's implied, by asking the reviewer he/she would have to point them to those hidden regulations, i wouldn't settle for "that's the rules", i would want to see it black on white :smile:

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This question came up in our local forum and I realized that I don't have a clue about the current state of creating new EarthCaches, so where do cachers who want to hide a new cache find current guidelines for doing so?

 

Short answer to your question: Earthcache guidelines.

 

May want to gently remind them to read the guidelines before placing any geocache, earth or not. In the guidelines, the earthcache type instructs "The EarthCache submittal form and Guidelines may be found on the EarthCache.org site."

 

Also, when submitting an earthcache, after "earthcache" is selected, other options for the online submittal become available. One of those differences is an addition to the block check of reading and understanding the guidelines prior to hitting the submission form - "Yes. I have read and understand the guidelines for submitting an EarthCache. " with a link, just like the agreement checks for read and understand guidelines for listing a cache and read and agree to the terms of use agreement have built-in links.

Edited by Jeep_Dog
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I submitted a new Earthcache and received the following reply from the reviewer:

 

"I am sorry to inform you that we cannot accept this EarthCache for publication.

Many EarthCaches already exist to highlight watershed divides and we are no longer accepting new submissions in that category."

 

My question is....is there a list somewhere of categories in which they are no longer accepting new submissions? I have looked on Earthcache.org and GC.com and cannot find it. I really don't want to waste the time going to a site, planning a cache, filling out the info to submit it and then find out that category is closed.

 

Now, this is a completely different issue than a request for the guidelines link. As you know, this simply isn't in the guidelines. I've tried a time or two to find the "categories," but the only place to find them was on the old earthcache.org online (separate) submission form.

 

I thought it unusual at the time, since some folks submitting may not have known about the different types. I vaguely remember a forum discussion along the lines of a recommendation of "don't worry about the selection of category, since the reviewer will assign the type based on what is submitted in the listing."

 

Hmmm. I thought this unusual. Now, there's a number thresh-hold of listings against each category? Goodness.

 

Well, earthcaching still is getting feet under it as a concept. There will be growing pains. Heck, in comparison to the geologic timescale, the time it takes is a mere blip. :smile:

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As saturation of containers is an issue in traditional geocaches (and that is why there is a distance rule), so is saturation of content an issue for EarthCaches.

 

The issue as we see it is that a person visiting an area should not be presented with EarthCaches covering the same Earth science lessons. Therefore we have the following guideline :

 

EarthCaches should highlight a unique feature. EarthCaches that duplicate existing EarthCache information about the site or related sites may be rejected. EarthCaches should be developed to provide a unique experience to the visitor to the region. Multiple EarthCaches on the same feature should be avoided and content rather than proximity will be the guiding principle.

 

What this means is that some Earth science features have been covered so many times that new EarthCache submissions on the same content may be rejected. Examples of content which falls into this are (and not limited to) :

 

River gauging stations - in the US there already is a considerable number of these.

Glacial erratics

Waterfalls - where the content is about classification

 

It is up to the EarthCache developer to look at the other EarthCaches in the wider area before starting development. I would also suggest a friendly email to the EC reviewers checking if you are unsure would work as well.

 

Geoaware

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EarthCaches should highlight a unique feature. EarthCaches that duplicate existing EarthCache information about the site or related sites may be rejected. EarthCaches should be developed to provide a unique experience to the visitor to the region. Multiple EarthCaches on the same feature should be avoided and content rather than proximity will be the guiding principle.

 

What this means is that some Earth science features have been covered so many times that new EarthCache submissions on the same content may be rejected. Examples of content which falls into this are (and not limited to) :

 

River gauging stations - in the US there already is a considerable number of these.

Glacial erratics

Waterfalls - where the content is about classification

 

Thank you for your helpful reply. I have been aware of the paragraph from the guidelines which you refer to. Up to now I have understood it, however, in a more local form than it is apparently intented.

Somehow, I thought that the paragraph should eliminate for example two Earth caches dealing with the same volcano. It might well be that other cachers have misunderstood the part referring to the "same feature" in the same way as it happened to me. Maybe it would help to add some clarifying explanation on the meaning of "same feature".

 

I am in favor of guidelines which take care of the saturation problem also for Earthcaches. I am not sure, however, whether the unique experience to which your quoted text refers to, is necessarily connected to the uniqueness of the topic treated. I will try to explain what troubles me a bit by an example from my home province, Styria. There is an area in the SouthEastern part of Styria which is called Styrian Volcano area/land (see for a short description in English http://ec.europa.eu/enterprise/sectors/tou...nd/index_en.htm )

The area is quite large (at least from an Austrian perspective), but in the whole area remnants of old volcanoes play a large role. There exist several nice geotrails in the area in all of which volcanism plays some role. I recently learnt that an Earthcache around Fehring that has been rejected due to the existence of Earthcaches dealing with the volcano topic e.g. in Kapfenstein and in Riegersburg. In the opinion of the large majority of Styrian geocachers (who are not experts in geology) the experience to be obtained at each of the geotrails is more special and unique than the experience they get from some Earthcache dealing with a topic with no relation to volcanism, but where what can be seen at the location is very unspectactular and of no or only moderate appeal to most cachers who are not specialists in geology.

Please note that the example I mentioned does neither serve the purpose of complaining about the rejection of the Earthcache near Fehring (moreover, meanwhile a multi cache has been established in the area as a consequence of the rejection of the Earthcache) nor the purpose of criticizing the work of the Earthcache reviewers. I am just trying to explain why I think that the notion "unique experience" is somehow problematic and certainly means something different to geologists and to people far from geology.

 

 

It is up to the EarthCache developer to look at the other EarthCaches in the wider area before starting development. I would also suggest a friendly email to the EC reviewers checking if you are unsure would work as well.

 

I noticed that the reason for rejection mentioned in the first posting in this thread did not include the argument that a certain region is already overloaded by Earthcaches of a certain type. If someone wants to come up with a new Earth cache, he can certainly have a look at the existing Earthcaches in the wider area, but it would be too much to ask to look at all Earthcaches in a large province or even a whole country.

Personally I feel that "wider area" leaves too much freedom of interpretation. How large is the area one should take into consideration? (I do not want to get a precise number, just a general feeling.)

If the GSA decides, for example, that there exist already too many watershed caches in the whole US or even the whole world, it would be better to come up with an explicit list of still eligible categories.

 

I am sorry for having bothered you with my long posting.

 

Cezanne

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I saw waterfalls used as an example of ECs that would be highly scrutinized...with only 10 to 12 falls of any significant height in the whole state of Wisconsin, I'd hope that the scrutiny would be based on a very specific area around the cache rather than a blanket of "hey we just aren't allowing these anymore."

 

...and from my dealings with Geoaware, there is some room for discussion on these matters. I guess as a developer just take a look around your area...perhaps as far as 500 miles or so and see if there is a duplicate feature...if there is, contact a EC reviewer or Geoaware HQ and see what the ruling would likely be on your proposed listing.

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I am confused are we going by Geocaching guidelines or Earthcache.org guidelines. Such as a distance from a traditional. I was told since it is a virtual you can place it near a traditional.

The Earthcache guidelines say.

 

EarthCache sites can be a single site, or a multiple virtual cache. No items, box, or physical cache can be left at the site.

 

We are not placing a physical cache so it shouldn't be an issue for the proximity or saturation.

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As saturation of containers is an issue in traditional geocaches (and that is why there is a distance rule), so is saturation of content an issue for EarthCaches.

 

The issue as we see it is that a person visiting an area should not be presented with EarthCaches covering the same Earth science lessons. Therefore we have the following guideline :

 

EarthCaches should highlight a unique feature. EarthCaches that duplicate existing EarthCache information about the site or related sites may be rejected. EarthCaches should be developed to provide a unique experience to the visitor to the region. Multiple EarthCaches on the same feature should be avoided and content rather than proximity will be the guiding principle.

 

What this means is that some Earth science features have been covered so many times that new EarthCache submissions on the same content may be rejected. Examples of content which falls into this are (and not limited to) :

 

River gauging stations - in the US there already is a considerable number of these.

Glacial erratics

Waterfalls - where the content is about classification

 

It is up to the EarthCache developer to look at the other EarthCaches in the wider area before starting development. I would also suggest a friendly email to the EC reviewers checking if you are unsure would work as well.

 

Geoaware

 

I am confused are we going by Geocaching guidelines or Earthcache.org guidelines. Such as a distance from a traditional. I was told since it is a virtual you can place it near a traditional.

The Earthcache guidelines say.

 

EarthCache sites can be a single site, or a multiple virtual cache. No items, box, or physical cache can be left at the site.

 

We are not placing a physical cache so it shouldn't be an issue for the proximity or saturation.

In the case of Earthcaches...saturation refers to the type of clasification it fits into...

 

There are some many Glacial Erratic Earthcaches that I can see them not publishing those anymore...whether that is a bround or specific area or region...the same could (as hinted to)...be said about the other two items Geoaware mentioned in his earlier post...

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"EarthCaches should highlight a unique feature. EarthCaches that duplicate existing EarthCache information about the site or related sites may be rejected. EarthCaches should be developed to provide a unique experience to the visitor to the region. Multiple EarthCaches on the same feature should be avoided and content rather than proximity will be the guiding principle.

 

What this means is that some Earth science features have been covered so many times that new EarthCache submissions on the same content may be rejected. Examples of content which falls into this are (and not limited to) :

 

River gauging stations - in the US there already is a considerable number of these.

Glacial erratics

Waterfalls - where the content is about classification

 

It is up to the EarthCache developer to look at the other EarthCaches in the wider area before starting development. I would also suggest a friendly email to the EC reviewers checking if you are unsure would work as well."

 

Is there a general rule of thumb, for the geograpical zone/distance concerning EC saturation?

Some folks will and others will not travel distances for any cache...

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