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Please don't make your description too long

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For those of you creating earthcaches and including lots of interesting information, I strongly suggest you to put the requirements first. My Oregon 400t (and my friend's older 60sx) have a limit on the length of the downloaded description. We're traveling through Kentucky and came across a bunch of EarthCaches East of Berea, KY. For example, GC1HGJT, http://www.geocaching.com/seek/cache_detai...80-448ddaf3e5f3. We were considering doing it when we read the description on our GPSr. We read all the way up to "...To get credit for this EC, post a photo of you (I do not accept pictures of just a hand) at the posted coordinates with the open valley or of West Pinnacle rock in the background and please answer the fol."

 

I much prefer this EC's (GC22ZCK) description: http://www.geocaching.com/seek/cache_detai...af-9bef267d65f3. Now if I miss some of the description, I still have a chance (and reason) to try out the cache. I can read up on what I missed when I log it.

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I had the same thing happen on my Garmin CO with a rather lengthy Multi Virtual Cache in Yosemite that had the same flavor as an Earthcache, but predated Earthcaches by several years. Got to about Stage 4 or 5 and *POOF*, no more Description. Needless to say, quite a bummer, but the silver lining, if there is one, is that we'll have to go back to The Valley to finish it :)

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For those of you creating earthcaches and including lots of interesting information, I strongly suggest you to put the requirements first. My Oregon 400t (and my friend's older 60sx) have a limit on the length of the downloaded description. We're traveling through Kentucky and came across a bunch of EarthCaches East of Berea, KY. For example, GC1HGJT, http://www.geocaching.com/seek/cache_detai...80-448ddaf3e5f3. We were considering doing it when we read the description on our GPSr. We read all the way up to "...To get credit for this EC, post a photo of you (I do not accept pictures of just a hand) at the posted coordinates with the open valley or of West Pinnacle rock in the background and please answer the fol."

 

I much prefer this EC's (GC22ZCK) description: http://www.geocaching.com/seek/cache_detai...af-9bef267d65f3. Now if I miss some of the description, I still have a chance (and reason) to try out the cache. I can read up on what I missed when I log it.

EC's are educational, maybe you learn something scrolling through all the information to get to the requirements of how to log the find? Most GPS units are not set up for "paperless" caching anyway. :)

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Earthcaches sometimes require special preparation and equipment. You should thoroughly read the Earthcache page in advance. If you're trying to do Earthcaches on the fly, there's always a strong possibility that you'll be disappointed because you weren't prepared. In many cases, the logging requirements for an Earthcache can't be conducted without a thorough reading of the cache page.

 

Earthcache owners absolutely should not feel pressured to compromise the integrity of their Earthcache descriptions in order to accommodate geocachers who feel that a paperless caching device is a replacement for good preparation.

 

It's always a good practice to look at cache descriptions in advance, regardless of the cache type.

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I always read through the information so I know what I'm looking at when doing earth caches. Really a lot of times I'm looking at a rock and if I don't know what the rock is it's going to feel like I took a trip out into the middle of nowhere to estimate the height of a rock (or whatever the case may be).

 

Then I usually write down the questions I need to answer on a little sheet of paper that I can bring with me to the site.

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One of my goals when I create an Earthcache is to make it so you can't answer the questions without first reading the write-up. I don't always achieve that goal, but I always try. Paperless caching is fine, but sometimes you just have to do a little advance preparation. Earthcaches were never meant to be park'n'grabs.

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OP strikes a chord here, as we're lucky enough to have a GPSr that does have the capability to carry the entire cache page. We, too, have encountered the "questions fall off the bottom" dilemna...fortunately, were within PAF range to get them. We had previsouly reviewed the cache page, which gave some idea what the questiosns were...but doixie's brains are a bit on the small side, so the details weren't real clear, and the questions fell after the 10K character limit was reached - but since it is not visible on the page as to how many characters, or whre the "milestones" of 10K, 15K, etc reside, there's no good way to know that "this page may not fully load" on the GPS. And, in the interests of fairness and full disclosure, we've had it happen on both ECs and regular caches (losing the hint on regulars instead of the questions on ECs)

 

Yes, the arguments about not diluting the purpose of the cache, etc are valid - but so is the realization that the "landscape" of geocaching is indeed changing, and going toward a more portable world. The use of GPSrs with this capability is growing rapidly...and it would seem a wise tact for cache developers to at least give it some recognition and focus some effort in making their cache pages a bit more user-friendly for those who use these devices. If there is truly a desire to expand participation in the game, it might then behoove those placing caches to take seemingly reasonable efforts to enhance the experience of participants (new and old) by accomodating the abilities of emergent technology as it becomes assimilated into practice. Placing the questions/requirements into a more front-loaded location on the cache page can typically be accomplished with minimal to no dilution of the educational purpose...which is no more easily bypassed when front-loaded than the "quiz at the end" format if a seeker is truly intending to do so when using either paper or PC/laptop.

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Should we also omit diagrams and pertinent links, then, since these aren't useful on a an Oregon either? Nonsense.

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Should we also omit diagrams and pertinent links, then, since these aren't useful on a an Oregon either? Nonsense.

 

I'm not sure why it's nonsense nor how the idea of diagrams or links got int the discussion, but I'll add that I can't remember this issue cropping up more than once or twice for me. Maybe the issue is that Groundspeak needs to resolve the conflict between the character limit in the PQ vs what is allowed in the cache Description. At least, I'm assuming it's a limitation of the PQ and not of the GPS that I'm using, since the only thing I do to transfer the file is merely drop it in a folder on my CO.

 

Might be a good suggestion on the Feedback/Get Satisfaction site where the Lackey's hangout.

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Should we also omit diagrams and pertinent links, then, since these aren't useful on a an Oregon either? Nonsense.

 

I'm not sure why it's nonsense nor how the idea of diagrams or links got int the discussion, but I'll add that I can't remember this issue cropping up more than once or twice for me. Maybe the issue is that Groundspeak needs to resolve the conflict between the character limit in the PQ vs what is allowed in the cache Description. At least, I'm assuming it's a limitation of the PQ and not of the GPS that I'm using, since the only thing I do to transfer the file is merely drop it in a folder on my CO.

 

Might be a good suggestion on the Feedback/Get Satisfaction site where the Lackey's hangout.

 

The point is that it's important to look at the content of the Earthcache page in its entirety, not just the logging requirements. In many cases, links and diagrams are an integral part of the Earthcache description page - as is the body of the text. If a cacher is only looking at the cache page on the GPSr, and not reading the cache page in advance, there is a good chance they won't understand what they're supposed to be looking for, and won't be prepared to fulfill the tasks.

 

It is, in fact, the device that truncates the page, and not the pocket query. I use an Oregon 450, and it's an issue I've mentioned to Garmin. I hope to see it rectified in a future firmware update. I would never dream of asking cache owners to compromise the integrity of their cache pages to accommodate a software flaw in my GPS.

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Before noses come completely out of joint as we leap from planet to planet, let me point out that my observation did not include any mention of removing content but rather simply examing the page to see if its possible to place the requirements within the first _K ([seems most devices limit this to 10) characters. Yes, there are a number of such pages out there for ECs...but if in your (the collective 'your', not any specific entity) heart-of-hearts you know yours absolutely cannot be revised such without destroying your intent for the experience, then by all means leave it as is. The intent here (at least, the intent of this poster) is simply making it possible for folks who have the ability (ie, the hardware) to retrieve the requirements on-site real-time without resorting to paper or faulty memories. Am just suggesting that those so inclined, if they indeed exist, may pause for a moment and take consideration...heavens knows, no more guidelines are neded!

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Before noses come completely out of joint as we leap from planet to planet, let me point out that my observation did not include any mention of removing content but rather simply examing the page to see if its possible to place the requirements within the first _K ([seems most devices limit this to 10) characters. Yes, there are a number of such pages out there for ECs...but if in your (the collective 'your', not any specific entity) heart-of-hearts you know yours absolutely cannot be revised such without destroying your intent for the experience, then by all means leave it as is. The intent here (at least, the intent of this poster) is simply making it possible for folks who have the ability (ie, the hardware) to retrieve the requirements on-site real-time without resorting to paper or faulty memories. Am just suggesting that those so inclined, if they indeed exist, may pause for a moment and take consideration...heavens knows, no more guidelines are neded!

 

On several of my EarthCaches, I have posted both logging requirements and any tools needed right at the top of the page and repeated them later. I use a palm for paperless caching and while I have not run into the problem of truncation with it yet, having the logging requirements upfront is a courtesy easily extended and could eliminate frustrations for both owner and finder.

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For those of you creating earthcaches and including lots of interesting information, I strongly suggest you to put the requirements first.

 

Until gc.com will offer support for multilingual descriptions, there exists no nice solution for everyone.

 

If one puts the questions in all languages first and then adds the details, this means that everyone has to print everything or apply a more involved copy and paste procedure and not being able to select the chosen language in one step.

 

Cezanne

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On several of my EarthCaches, I have posted both logging requirements and any tools needed right at the top of the page and repeated them later. I use a palm for paperless caching and while I have not run into the problem of truncation with it yet, having the logging requirements upfront is a courtesy easily extended and could eliminate frustrations for both owner and finder.

 

It's up to the owner to decide how the logging requirements are best integrated with the background text. An Earthcache is more than its requirements.

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"Noses out joint"? No, this is just our usual way of interacting :)

 

Thanks for the information narcissa, and I guess I shouldn't be surprised at yet another shortcoming on Garmin's part. Gives me yet another reason to move to Delorme :)

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"Noses out joint"? No, this is just our usual way of interacting :)

 

Thanks for the information narcissa, and I guess I shouldn't be surprised at yet another shortcoming on Garmin's part. Gives me yet another reason to move to Delorme :)

 

I wonder if the new Magellans cut off the text?

 

My partner has an excruciatingly long multi-cache description that gets cut off by Oregons. He warns people at the beginning of the cache page.

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well i don't want to see shorter descriptions for EC's just because some GPSr's cut it off

 

since we're pretty much stuck with the one we already have, i think the easiest way would be if for EC's there is a separate section for Requirements that would download in the PQ separately

Edited by t4e

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@ catsnfish - that's EXACTLY what we were talking about. Thanks for the courtesy and understanding!

 

@ Touchstone - yes, we had previously donned the flame-retardant fur before stepping into the maelstrom. FYI, we have a Delorme 40SE, and it, too, truncates some exceptionally long pages (IMHO, completion of those should probably qualify for a degree from the great and powerful Oz). Not sure if the 60 series will eliminate that or not - or, maybe the 2.8 firmware did? BTW - would highly recommend the PN40 - we've been most pleased with ours.

 

To the rest - thanks for a most enlightening (and confirming) presentation! Off to dig in someone else's yard now...

Edited by 3doxies

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Hey wait a minute you were my lab partner in college

the one who showed up with no idea what we were supposed to do

 

All those times I sent you for coffee were just to get you out of my way so WE could get a good grade. I also think you should know that I know it doesn't take half an hour to get to the coffee shop and back to the lab.

 

:)

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OP strikes a chord here, as we're lucky enough to have a GPSr that does have the capability to carry the entire cache page. We, too, have encountered the "questions fall off the bottom" dilemna...fortunately, were within PAF range to get them. We had previsouly reviewed the cache page, which gave some idea what the questiosns were...but doixie's brains are a bit on the small side, so the details weren't real clear, and the questions fell after the 10K character limit was reached - but since it is not visible on the page as to how many characters, or whre the "milestones" of 10K, 15K, etc reside, there's no good way to know that "this page may not fully load" on the GPS. And, in the interests of fairness and full disclosure, we've had it happen on both ECs and regular caches (losing the hint on regulars instead of the questions on ECs)

 

Yes, the arguments about not diluting the purpose of the cache, etc are valid - but so is the realization that the "landscape" of geocaching is indeed changing, and going toward a more portable world. The use of GPSrs with this capability is growing rapidly...and it would seem a wise tact for cache developers to at least give it some recognition and focus some effort in making their cache pages a bit more user-friendly for those who use these devices. If there is truly a desire to expand participation in the game, it might then behoove those placing caches to take seemingly reasonable efforts to enhance the experience of participants (new and old) by accomodating the abilities of emergent technology as it becomes assimilated into practice. Placing the questions/requirements into a more front-loaded location on the cache page can typically be accomplished with minimal to no dilution of the educational purpose...which is no more easily bypassed when front-loaded than the "quiz at the end" format if a seeker is truly intending to do so when using either paper or PC/laptop.

We love our Magellan Triton 400 for paperless caching, and I agree that it would be nice to list logging requirements for the caches at the start of the page, but you could miss alot. I still print copys of EC's to take into the field, and it is a good thing. Problems with download from the GC site caused the unit to display "Internal Error" and it would turn itself off, so I used our back-up Garmin unit to locate the EC to log the find. Paperless caching is great, but not a replacement to what we have been doing BEFORE these new type units were avalable.

:ph34r:

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On several of my EarthCaches, I have posted both logging requirements and any tools needed right at the top of the page and repeated them later. I use a palm for paperless caching and while I have not run into the problem of truncation with it yet, having the logging requirements upfront is a courtesy easily extended and could eliminate frustrations for both owner and finder.

 

It's up to the owner to decide how the logging requirements are best integrated with the background text. An Earthcache is more than its requirements.

Where, from my statement above, can you infer I was suggesting all EC developers should set up their cachepage in that manner? Yes, an Earthcache is more than it's requirements. It is a site and lesson and experience shared between the developer and the visitor through the cache pages guidance. None of that precludes extending a courtesy to a subset of visitors who cache paperless.

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Where, from my statement above, can you infer I was suggesting all EC developers should set up their cachepage in that manner? Yes, an Earthcache is more than it's requirements. It is a site and lesson and experience shared between the developer and the visitor through the cache pages guidance. None of that precludes extending a courtesy to a subset of visitors who cache paperless.

 

I've done many Earthcaches all over North America, and it is rare that I encounter an Earthcache that wasn't created with the utmost thought and care. Earthcache owners already have a a gamut of submission guidelines and owner maintenance responsibilities to contend with. Let's not top that off with a helping of guilt about "courtesy."

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As the OP, thank you all for the comments. All of you made reasonable reasons for and against my suggestion. And I realize my point can apply to any cache type but EC's tend to have much more because of the need to impart educational information.

 

I do NOT want ECs to feel restricted by my suggestion. But if an EC is designed to teach something, then in some cases, putting the requirements first may let me attempt and enjoy the cache without having every last bit of information on my GPSr. As one example, if an EC asked you to identify a certain type of rock in a certain location and then gave you descriptions of the seven possible types of rock present in the park, switching the requirements and descriptions loses nothing because I will still have to read the missing section when I get back online to answer the question and fulfill the requirements.

 

But if the questions come last, I only have the ability to learn without logging the cache. If the question says identify a particular rock, I won't know which one.

 

From my viewpoint, it's best when nothing has to be cut off. But if the description will be long and the owner feels it won't compromise the cache, I would love to see the requirements sooner. It's also easier for quick reference in the wild.

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As the OP, thank you all for the comments. All of you made reasonable reasons for and against my suggestion. And I realize my point can apply to any cache type but EC's tend to have much more because of the need to impart educational information.

 

I do NOT want ECs to feel restricted by my suggestion. But if an EC is designed to teach something, then in some cases, putting the requirements first may let me attempt and enjoy the cache without having every last bit of information on my GPSr. As one example, if an EC asked you to identify a certain type of rock in a certain location and then gave you descriptions of the seven possible types of rock present in the park, switching the requirements and descriptions loses nothing because I will still have to read the missing section when I get back online to answer the question and fulfill the requirements.

 

But if the questions come last, I only have the ability to learn without logging the cache. If the question says identify a particular rock, I won't know which one.

 

From my viewpoint, it's best when nothing has to be cut off. But if the description will be long and the owner feels it won't compromise the cache, I would love to see the requirements sooner. It's also easier for quick reference in the wild.

I develope caches of Historic value, with the purpose to educate. Why complain that a users cache page is too long just because it won't fit in your GPS unit? Look before you download, the cache may not even interest you. This sounds like a seekers issue and not the CO's problem to adjust.

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But if the questions come last, I only have the ability to learn without logging the cache. If the question says identify a particular rock, I won't know which one.

 

Earthcache pages are generally intended to be read BEFORE you attempt the logging requirements. The Earthcache page may contain diagrams and additional links to further your understanding of the material. Read the Earthcache page in advance, at home, on your computer.

 

Reading in advance is always the best practice for any type of cache other than a traditional, and even with traditionals, reading the cache page in advance may tell you about the best trail, parking, and the nosy neighbour to watch out for.

 

Speaking of "courtesy," consider how much courtesy you're showing to an Earthcache owner by going to their Earthcache ill-prepared and then sending low-quality or incomplete responses that you put together by skimming the cache page AFTER visiting the site. If you're not willing to read the entire cache page in advance and go to the site prepared, then you should just skip the Earthcache. If you don't have time to read the cache page in advance, skip the Earthcache.

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I never said EC weren't be courteous. And I don't think my comments are discourteous. For those of you who think we seekers need to prepare in advance, please quickly download all caches (because I like many types, not just ECs) between STL and Raleigh, NC. (Let's see, 5 PQs per day, max of 1000 per PQ means how many days / weeks to prepare for a 1 week vacation?)

 

As you can see, it just ain't possible always to prepare. We're on vacation traveling through many states, geocaching along the way. Several earth caches looked very interesting but, sadly, the requirements were cut off. So we couldn't try them out en route. Sometimes, the best I can do is reading the descriptions for the first time on the road. When the cache can't be done (say for a puzzle cache with a steganographic puzzle) on route, I accept that. But when some simple editing could bring more cachers to your EC, that may be a good thing.

 

I merely wanted to alert cache owners that some GPSrs cut off long descriptions.

 

TTFN

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I never said EC weren't be courteous. And I don't think my comments are discourteous. For those of you who think we seekers need to prepare in advance, please quickly download all caches (because I like many types, not just ECs) between STL and Raleigh, NC. (Let's see, 5 PQs per day, max of 1000 per PQ means how many days / weeks to prepare for a 1 week vacation?)

 

As you can see, it just ain't possible always to prepare. We're on vacation traveling through many states, geocaching along the way. Several earth caches looked very interesting but, sadly, the requirements were cut off. So we couldn't try them out en route. Sometimes, the best I can do is reading the descriptions for the first time on the road. When the cache can't be done (say for a puzzle cache with a steganographic puzzle) on route, I accept that. But when some simple editing could bring more cachers to your EC, that may be a good thing.

 

I merely wanted to alert cache owners that some GPSrs cut off long descriptions.

 

TTFN

 

The fact that you indiscriminately download 5000 geocaches at a time does not give you special license to take short-cuts on Earthcaches. As an Earthcache owner, I'd prefer to have one well-prepared, intellectually engaged visitor a year than 200 unprepared cachers who treat it like a virtual park and grab.

 

Now that you know that Earthcaches get cut off, you can make sure that you either prepare for them in advance, or leave them out when you're on vacation. There are many cache types I love, but that I leave out when I'm on vacation because I know they won't be practical or they'll take too much time and preparation.

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For those of you creating earthcaches and including lots of interesting information, I strongly suggest you to put the requirements first. My Oregon 400t (and my friend's older 60sx) have a limit on the length of the downloaded description. We're traveling through Kentucky and came across a bunch of EarthCaches East of Berea, KY. For example, GC1HGJT, http://www.geocaching.com/seek/cache_detai...80-448ddaf3e5f3. We were considering doing it when we read the description on our GPSr. We read all the way up to "...To get credit for this EC, post a photo of you (I do not accept pictures of just a hand) at the posted coordinates with the open valley or of West Pinnacle rock in the background and please answer the fol."

 

I much prefer this EC's (GC22ZCK) description: http://www.geocaching.com/seek/cache_detai...af-9bef267d65f3. Now if I miss some of the description, I still have a chance (and reason) to try out the cache. I can read up on what I missed when I log it.

A quick check of the cache page would have told you that the owner of the EC in Kentucky is banned at this time. I don't just randomly download caches, but we are not numbers hunters. :ph34r: We only seek caches that interest us, and that requires reading a cache page. Anyone that has ever submitted an EC for review can tell you that EC's are not easy to create. :D Now you want us ECO's to make it easier for paperless cachers on a numbers run or vacation caching. Be prepared when you cache, it's up to the seeker, not the hider.

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For the last two posters, I take issue with your assumption that I'm am trying to do a park and go with the ECs. I am not. I am trying to do interesting caches during my trip. ECs are interesting and educational. If I come across a good one on my travels, I'd like to do it, if possible.

 

Most of the "con" point of views seem to assume I'm trying to avoid reading the entire description and just get one for my "numbers". I am not. All I was saying was that very long descriptions can get cut off (which I wasn't aware of and can now be better prepared for) and that EC owners may want to consider that in their posting. But I don't think they have to. It was a suggestion, that's all.

 

Whether or not you put the questions at the top or the bottom won't affect how the seeker fulfills the requirements. Just because they prepare in advance and print everything off doesn't mean they won't still just scan and answer (as an earlier poster incorrectly suggested I was doing). Nor would putting the questions at the top mean a traveler like myself wouldn't give due diligence and proper honors to the EC.

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For the last two posters, I take issue with your assumption that I'm am trying to do a park and go with the ECs. I am not. I am trying to do interesting caches during my trip. ECs are interesting and educational. If I come across a good one on my travels, I'd like to do it, if possible.

 

Most of the "con" point of views seem to assume I'm trying to avoid reading the entire description and just get one for my "numbers". I am not. All I was saying was that very long descriptions can get cut off (which I wasn't aware of and can now be better prepared for) and that EC owners may want to consider that in their posting. But I don't think they have to. It was a suggestion, that's all.

 

Whether or not you put the questions at the top or the bottom won't affect how the seeker fulfills the requirements. Just because they prepare in advance and print everything off doesn't mean they won't still just scan and answer (as an earlier poster incorrectly suggested I was doing). Nor would putting the questions at the top mean a traveler like myself wouldn't give due diligence and proper honors to the EC.

 

If it helps, we don't think it is your intention is to turn ECs into a park-n-grabs nor are you being discourteous or doing anything indiscriminately!

At one time, I took issue with the suggestion that the cache write up should be shorter, but after finding more than 200 ECs, I'm not sure anymore? We use a Pda and have had more than one the cache page truncated (edited because of space limitations).

To prevent being out in the field and finding ourselves at an EC site without the "questions", we copy and paste and print all required tasks just to be sure. Admittedly, that is an additional step, but who wants to climb a mountain or take a strenuous 6 mile hike only to return empty handed!

Most EC pages could be a lot shorter and we believe the origin of the length lies within two factors. First, previously, it was 'demanded' that the page be longer by constant rejections with the return note saying. "more geological information needed!" Hence, more and more length!

The second factor which probably doesn't play as significant role as the first is our egos. The limitation of the maximum number or words can become a kind of goal. In other words, the space is there so why not fill it up? Yep, not only do some of us like to hear ourselves talk, some of us also like to read what we write!

We are now testing all of our ECs to see if the problem is occurring with any of them. If we cannot shorten the page, certainly there is no reason why the required tasks couldn't be placed nearer to the top of the page. Our goals, in reverse order of priority, is to allow the cacher learn a little something, have fun and see one of Mother Nature's wonders (that dreaded WOW factor). The last thing we want is for the cacher to be bored to death and above all to return empty handed! Thanks. :ph34r:

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Some of the most well-written and engaging Earthcaches I've read and visited had the logging requirements incorporated into the body of the text. As you read about a stage of the feature's formation, you are immediately given a task related to that information. I think this is a good strategy, and one I've thought about incorporating into future Earthcaches of my own.

 

Earthcache owners face the challenge of writing for an unknowledgeable audience (as per the submission guidelines) and doing so in their own words. It's simply not possible to explain the Wisconsin glaciation in an engaging manner without getting a little lengthy.

 

I really hope that Garmin addresses the truncating problem in a future firmware update, but ultimately the responsibility of dealing with that device issue lies with the device owner.

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For the last two posters, I take issue with your assumption that I'm am trying to do a park and go with the ECs. I am not. I am trying to do interesting caches during my trip. ECs are interesting and educational. If I come across a good one on my travels, I'd like to do it, if possible.

 

Most of the "con" point of views seem to assume I'm trying to avoid reading the entire description and just get one for my "numbers". I am not. All I was saying was that very long descriptions can get cut off (which I wasn't aware of and can now be better prepared for) and that EC owners may want to consider that in their posting. But I don't think they have to. It was a suggestion, that's all.

 

Whether or not you put the questions at the top or the bottom won't affect how the seeker fulfills the requirements. Just because they prepare in advance and print everything off doesn't mean they won't still just scan and answer (as an earlier poster incorrectly suggested I was doing). Nor would putting the questions at the top mean a traveler like myself wouldn't give due diligence and proper honors to the EC.

I do not assume that you are asking ECO's to turn EC's into P&G's, but I do assume that you have no idea how difficult that it is to develope an EC and get it published. You only want us ECO's to make it a little eaiser for users that are fortunate enough to have a GPS device capable of paperless caching. When my Triton 400 displayed "internal error" and shut off, I was real glad to have our field notes and an extra GPS unit. When seeking some caches I just copy and paste the GC# and some info that I may need in the field. You may need it sometime. I still think that random downloading would not interest me, I read the cache page for other finders comments, clues/hints, and other reasons for caches that I download.

BTW: I do great big long write-ups of information on most of my caches, not just EC's. But that is not an issue with paperless caching that has no other requirements than find it, sign it, log it. :)

I completly agree with KK, I know that one of my EC pages was MUCH shorter until the reviewer contacted me stating that I needed to include more Earth science information in the listing, I though it would never get approved. Seems the reviewers are doing a great job to make sure EC have better standards now. One of the last EC's that we logged took almost six months just to get published. So understand what we as EC developers have to go through to get one published, and look at what you are asking of us to accomadate you.

Edited by Manville Possum Hunters

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Some of the most well-written and engaging Earthcaches I've read and visited had the logging requirements incorporated into the body of the text. As you read about a stage of the feature's formation, you are immediately given a task related to that information. I think this is a good strategy, and one I've thought about incorporating into future Earthcaches of my own.

 

Earthcache owners face the challenge of writing for an unknowledgeable audience (as per the submission guidelines) and doing so in their own words. It's simply not possible to explain the Wisconsin glaciation in an engaging manner without getting a little lengthy.

 

I really hope that Garmin addresses the truncating problem in a future firmware update, but ultimately the responsibility of dealing with that device issue lies with the device owner.

 

I really like that idea too.

 

I'm going on a trip in a couple weeks and due to where we're going we will be doing a bunch of earth caches. Because there's 2 of us going I printed up the pages so we can share them when it comes to logging. But in addition to taht we are using the earth caches as our own personal tour of where we're going. We're very excited about the diagrams, pictures and the long explanations of what we're going to be looking at.

 

I did a PQ for the entire trip and still hand picked the caches that we're going to do. Read the description of every one of them and picked them based on that.

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Earthcaches are for education and in my opinion should not be manipulated for the convenience of the electronic device you use. My Earthcaches will have all the Earth Science in them that I think is necessary for the geological feature in the Earthcache. I think I will do the same as one of the above posers, and put my logging requirements in the body of the Earth Science, if you don't read it you don't know what the questions are! My feelings are if you don't have time to read the entire cache page, then maybe you don't have time to do the cache.

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I really like that idea too.

 

I'm going on a trip in a couple weeks and due to where we're going we will be doing a bunch of earth caches. Because there's 2 of us going I printed up the pages so we can share them when it comes to logging. But in addition to taht we are using the earth caches as our own personal tour of where we're going. We're very excited about the diagrams, pictures and the long explanations of what we're going to be looking at.

 

I did a PQ for the entire trip and still hand picked the caches that we're going to do. Read the description of every one of them and picked them based on that.

 

Taoiseach and I always handpick caches that really strike our fancy - usually virtuals and webcams because they're rare, as well as Earthcaches, and other caches that take us to interesting sites. We still run more general PQs in case we have time to do extra caching, but we always have our short list of destination caches. And we make sure we're prepared for them.

 

Sometimes it happens that we see an Earthcache that we're able to do on the go, but it has often happened that I've spotted an Earthcache on my GPS, looked at the description, and had to pass it up. I think to myself "dadgum, wish I'd noticed that when I was planning my route."

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I appreciate these last set of responses as I must have touched a nerve with my original post. I do not know what is required for EC approval, since I own but a single mystery cache. And to have me suggest you make them shorter when the approval process keeps forcing you to add content must have seemed like salt in the wound.

 

Now that I know better, I will be much more appreciate of an EC. I do agree the best solution is for the electronic devices to handle more data. Thank you for increasing my knowledge of ECs.

 

BTW, Chimney Rock is a fantastic place with an EC! We got to do that today.

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Some of the most well-written and engaging Earthcaches I've read and visited had the logging requirements incorporated into the body of the text. As you read about a stage of the feature's formation, you are immediately given a task related to that information. I think this is a good strategy, and one I've thought about incorporating into future Earthcaches of my own.

Out of curiosity, could you give some examples (GC#) of EC's like that? :) I'm working on my own EC and I need inspiration. :D

 

OT: I have edited some of my caches to put important info at the top, after hearing things like this topic in the forums. I think that if it's possible, then do it. But sometimes it's not really, and at those times, the cache owner should be able to make the cache page any way they want without guilt. I just created a rather long multi with lots of history, and I couldn't see any way to put important info at the top without messing with what I was wanting to do. So I didn't. I do feel a bit of guilt, but I love the cache page and am sticking to that.

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Ambrosia, I'm all for that. I feel the goal is to make the cache fun and useful for the cacher. Sometimes that means you can put imprortant info at the top. But sometimes the description has to flow a certain way. Good luck with your cache description.

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It is my goal to create interesting caches for others to enjoy and I do long write ups, mostly about history in our area and place the cache container at or near the historic locations. Again, this is no problem to paperless caching. With EarthCaches being the only issue here, Let me say that there is a certian flow that must be followed to create an educational listing involving Earth science to be published as an EarthCache. Having worked with EC reviewers getting EC's approved, and one not approved, I would guess that what you are asking would be considered detrimental to the educational perspective of the EC, and a good reviewer would not approve an EC submission in that form. :anibad:

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Ambrosia, I'm all for that. I feel the goal is to make the cache fun and useful for the cacher. Sometimes that means you can put imprortant info at the top. But sometimes the description has to flow a certain way. Good luck with your cache description.

Thanks. :rolleyes:

 

It is my goal to create interesting caches for others to enjoy and I do long write ups, mostly about history in our area and place the cache container at or near the historic locations. Again, this is no problem to paperless caching. With EarthCaches being the only issue here, Let me say that there is a certian flow that must be followed to create an educational listing involving Earth science to be published as an EarthCache. Having worked with EC reviewers getting EC's approved, and one not approved, I would guess that what you are asking would be considered detrimental to the educational perspective of the EC, and a good reviewer would not approve an EC submission in that form. :anibad:

 

This Earthcache kinda does that. You still need to read the description, but I really like how everything is clearly stated at the top in an orderly way.

Edited by Ambrosia

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For those of you creating earthcaches and including lots of interesting information, I strongly suggest you to put the requirements first. My Oregon 400t (and my friend's older 60sx) have a limit on the length of the downloaded description.

 

What is that limit, how many characters?

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It is my goal to create interesting caches for others to enjoy and I do long write ups, mostly about history in our area and place the cache container at or near the historic locations. Again, this is no problem to paperless caching. With EarthCaches being the only issue here, Let me say that there is a certian flow that must be followed to create an educational listing involving Earth science to be published as an EarthCache. Having worked with EC reviewers getting EC's approved, and one not approved, I would guess that what you are asking would be considered detrimental to the educational perspective of the EC, and a good reviewer would not approve an EC submission in that form. :anibad:

 

Manville Possum Hunters, could you clarify your statements in this post. With no sarcasm or derision intended, I do not understand the point you’re trying to make. If you are referring to a specific previous post, could you include that also?

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It is my goal to create interesting caches for others to enjoy and I do long write ups, mostly about history in our area and place the cache container at or near the historic locations. Again, this is no problem to paperless caching. With EarthCaches being the only issue here, Let me say that there is a certian flow that must be followed to create an educational listing involving Earth science to be published as an EarthCache. Having worked with EC reviewers getting EC's approved, and one not approved, I would guess that what you are asking would be considered detrimental to the educational perspective of the EC, and a good reviewer would not approve an EC submission in that form. :rolleyes:

 

Manville Possum Hunters, could you clarify your statements in this post. With no sarcasm or derision intended, I do not understand the point you’re trying to make. If you are referring to a specific previous post, could you include that also?

When you submit an EC for review, it has to be sent in an educational format about Earth science. I just think that a reviewer would not publish an EC with the logging requirements posted at the front of a cache page. I may be wrong. As far as flow, I mean that when reading the cache page, some of the answers are in the discription. As far as a past post, no. Point, EC's are tough and reviewers are strict. And that is the way I like it. :unsure::drama::anibad:

Edited by Manville Possum Hunters

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It is my goal to create interesting caches for others to enjoy and I do long write ups, mostly about history in our area and place the cache container at or near the historic locations. Again, this is no problem to paperless caching. With EarthCaches being the only issue here, Let me say that there is a certian flow that must be followed to create an educational listing involving Earth science to be published as an EarthCache. Having worked with EC reviewers getting EC's approved, and one not approved, I would guess that what you are asking would be considered detrimental to the educational perspective of the EC, and a good reviewer would not approve an EC submission in that form. :rolleyes:

 

Manville Possum Hunters, could you clarify your statements in this post. With no sarcasm or derision intended, I do not understand the point you’re trying to make. If you are referring to a specific previous post, could you include that also?

When you submit an EC for review, it has to be sent in an educational format about Earth science. I just think that a reviewer would not publish an EC with the logging requirements posted at the front of a cache page. I may be wrong. As far as flow, I mean that when reading the cache page, some of the answers are in the discription. As far as a past post, no. Point, EC's are tough and reviewers are strict. And that is the way I like it. :unsure::drama::anibad:

 

There is no required format that an Earthcache page must be in. They must have Earth science lessons and be educational in content, not format.

This EarthCache not only lists a shortened version of the logging requirements directly after the title, it also details local history before discussing the geological lessons at the site, as do many of my EC's. The only difficulty with publishing this was geoaware contacting me to ensure there was adequate permission for the sampling task. The only reason he did that was that I had forgotten to attach that permission when I submitted the cache. It was published very quickly after I forwarded the express permission.

This cache description has 6497 characters including the citations. A Garmin Oregon truncates at 8192 characters, I don't know the truncation limits of other devices, but as you see you can pass along alot of information in those 8192 characters.

There are other local EC's where the developer has written the pages in the manner of an assignment for 'Mission Impossible', as they contained the necessary geologic information and lessons, they were quickly published. There was no problem with the manner they were written in.

Once again there are no required formats, but there is required content. As to the point that you make, yes reviewers are strict, but it need not be difficult to develop an EarthCache. The Fort Lisa's Loess Bluffs EC took a few hours of research and less than 20 minutes to write, all of which was quite pleasurable. in fact, it took me much longer to create the title graphic. Permission was received from the land manager within a day. The only part I found to be tough was getting the html the way I wanted it. I'm not saying it isn't tough for some to write an EC page in the manner they want, but for me the whole process is enjoyable and not difficult at all. And that is the way that I like it. (no sarcasm or derision intended)

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This EarthCache...

 

Wow! Very nicely done too. It's fun to see what other people have come up with. I like the mix of Geology and History. Particularly for that era, the two were more inexorably intertwined than they are nowadays. Very imaginative presentation.

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It is my goal to create interesting caches for others to enjoy and I do long write ups, mostly about history in our area and place the cache container at or near the historic locations. Again, this is no problem to paperless caching. With EarthCaches being the only issue here, Let me say that there is a certian flow that must be followed to create an educational listing involving Earth science to be published as an EarthCache. Having worked with EC reviewers getting EC's approved, and one not approved, I would guess that what you are asking would be considered detrimental to the educational perspective of the EC, and a good reviewer would not approve an EC submission in that form. :)

 

Manville Possum Hunters, could you clarify your statements in this post. With no sarcasm or derision intended, I do not understand the point you’re trying to make. If you are referring to a specific previous post, could you include that also?

When you submit an EC for review, it has to be sent in an educational format about Earth science. I just think that a reviewer would not publish an EC with the logging requirements posted at the front of a cache page. I may be wrong. As far as flow, I mean that when reading the cache page, some of the answers are in the discription. As far as a past post, no. Point, EC's are tough and reviewers are strict. And that is the way I like it. :huh::o:)

 

There is no required format that an Earthcache page must be in. They must have Earth science lessons and be educational in content, not format.

This EarthCache not only lists a shortened version of the logging requirements directly after the title, it also details local history before discussing the geological lessons at the site, as do many of my EC's. The only difficulty with publishing this was geoaware contacting me to ensure there was adequate permission for the sampling task. The only reason he did that was that I had forgotten to attach that permission when I submitted the cache. It was published very quickly after I forwarded the express permission.

This cache description has 6497 characters including the citations. A Garmin Oregon truncates at 8192 characters, I don't know the truncation limits of other devices, but as you see you can pass along alot of information in those 8192 characters.

There are other local EC's where the developer has written the pages in the manner of an assignment for 'Mission Impossible', as they contained the necessary geologic information and lessons, they were quickly published. There was no problem with the manner they were written in.

Once again there are no required formats, but there is required content. As to the point that you make, yes reviewers are strict, but it need not be difficult to develop an EarthCache. The Fort Lisa's Loess Bluffs EC took a few hours of research and less than 20 minutes to write, all of which was quite pleasurable. in fact, it took me much longer to create the title graphic. Permission was received from the land manager within a day. The only part I found to be tough was getting the html the way I wanted it. I'm not saying it isn't tough for some to write an EC page in the manner they want, but for me the whole process is enjoyable and not difficult at all. And that is the way that I like it. (no sarcasm or derision intended)

Sounds like you are intellgent and talanted as well as fortunate to be able to own a real nice GPS unit. But to ask everyone else that creates EC's to adjust THEIR EC's to accomadate you and other paperless EarthCachers is just asking too much from others that like to create EC's however they choose. :tired: I don't think that you would have trouble logging ANY EarthCcahe, you just want all the cache page to fit in your GPS unit, where the rest of us have to use paper field notes. Don't worry, someone will build a bigger, better GPS unit that holds more information, then you can upgrade. :) BTW: I really love that EC, great job. I also found another that has the logging information at the beginning, but the EC does not interest me no matter where the logging requirements are listed.

Edited by Manville Possum Hunters

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I know exactly where the original poster is coming from on this. On more than one occasion, I have gone hunting for an earthcache, the description of which is so long (sometimes due to HTML language, sometimes due to having descriptions in two languages, sometimes just because the earthcache is just very, very long) that it gets cut off by our Oregon.

 

I always review earthcaches ahead of time -- we don't just randomly load caches into our GPSr and go. But we don't usually travel with our laptop, so we count on the description that's saved to the GPSr. Some earthcaches we've just had to skip. One, in Quebec, we were able to find because, after staring at the screen for a very, very long time, enough of our high school French came back to us that we were able to translate the French logging requirements.

 

We've placed a few earthcaches of our own, and we put the requirements at the end. But rarely do earthcaches need hints, and hints are almost always saved in a separate section in a paperless cache description. So as a compromise, and as a boon to paperless cachers, we copy the posting requirements and paste them into the hint.

 

To all of the folks who've posted "you should do this, you should do that," rather than acknowledge that this is such an easy issue to fix and actually spend ten seconds to edit your earthcaches to compromise, that's wonderful that your hindsight is of such clarity. On behalf of all paperless cachers who have less than 100% accurate memory and who apparently naively assume that a given earthcache is less than a billion words, thanks very much for your cooperative spirit. I hope you find all the caches you are looking for. I *CERTAINLY* don't secretly hope that this problem happens to you someday. Really, I don't. That would be terrible. </sarcasm>

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p.s. As someone who writes for a living, let me pass this along. My job is communicating ideas to people, specifically, military commanders. These folks have limited time in the day and have to pull the trigger (sometimes figuratively, sometimes literally) on an issue without spending all day on it. Or if it's not a commander, it's a judge, who has far too much paperwork to do and does not want to wade through pages and pages of prose to get to the bottom of an argument.

 

So, my dad, who was also in my line of work back in the day, taught me a valuable lesson. It's this:

 

Imagine that every word you write costs you a dollar.

 

Now imagine that you do NOT have an unlimited budget, and you have a lot of information that you need to get to different audiences.

 

Without reverting to caveman speech, without cutting corners on the information that you need to convey, try to spend as little money as possible to get that message across. If five hundred words will do, do you really need six hundred? or a thousand? no, because it comes out of your pocket!

 

right, rant over.

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