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Adding non-NGS benchmarks


jef
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We can always add benchmarks that aren't in the d.b. by just making them virtual caches. However those just aren't as much fun as regular caches. Well, here's a way to make virtual caches in general much more interesting, so that they become a good alternative for the non-NGS benchmarks.

 

First, add a new optional attribute for caches: a codeword lock. In order to log a cache as found, the seeker has to supply the correct codeword. Some caches already do this informally, via email to the hider; this would just make it enforcable.

 

Two: any individual log entry or photo on a codeword-locked cache could be marked as locked, by either the seeker or the hider. These locked items would only be viewable by those who had found the cache. This would let people post photos of the find that include the codeword, without being spoilers or having to photoshop the word away.

 

The way I'd implement the codeward checking is: elide all non-alphanumeric characters, pound to lower case, then test whether the seeker-supplied codeword is a *substring* of the hider-specified codeword. This lets the hider allow multiple different codewords by just putting them all in the string.

 

Some examples of how I'd use this:

 

What is the name of the bronze statue at N 37 52.304 W 122 15.408?

 

What is on the benchmark at N 37 56.855 W 122 18.305?

 

What was founded at N 37 52.387 W 122 15.379?

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Now that I've had a chance to read through the non-benchmark forums, I see that virtual and locationless caches are a hot topic lately, and that the Geocaching admins are somewhat frowny about them! That's too bad, but I can understand the problem - it's way too easy to spam a bunch of stoopid caches when you don't have to bother with creating an actual cache box.

 

However I still think virtual caches are the right solution for importing non-NGS benchmarks, so I don't want to see virtual caches pushed too far into second-class status.

 

We have a guy in the SF bay area who creates hundreds of utterly pointless caches. They're not scenic or interesting locations. He just logs the location of a piece of trash he found and calls it a cache. Yes, really! An empty soda bottle in a tree: cache. So stoopid traditional caches can be a problem too.

 

What if we were to approach this problem from the other direction? Rather than deprecating certain types of caches, how about providing tools to let people filter out certain cachers? And in the forums, too; after only a couple days reading, there are already a couple of posters who I don't really want to see any more.

 

When I implemented user-based filtering on the WeLL back in 1992, I called it the bozofilter. I still consider it an essential feature of any discussion forum.

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We're not frowny on locationless caches or virtual caches. We're just not satisfied with the current tools on the site to adequately manage them.

 

If there is a bozo out there creating "caches" that aren't, let me know. I'll investigate and, if necessary, remove their caches from the site.

 

Jeremy

 

Jeremy Irish

Groundspeak - The Language of Location

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>If you filter out Bozo (in the forums) and

>several people reply to his/her post then

>you have no idea what they are talking about.

 

Yes. You have to set things up so that it's fairly easy to temporarily bypass the filter and see what a bozo is saying just one time. I do this on one of my other discussion systems by turning off the filter when you use the link that displays a single post out of its context.

 

But mostly you just ignore the responses to the bozo. In practice the issue doesn't arise too much, since the really obnoxious folks get bozoed by pretty much everybody.

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