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DragonsWest
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what does, "nail the verification question with Google" mean?

 

I'm excited about virtuals coming back. I'd like to see the wow factor though. There are just too many really cool places out there that are in National Parks or somewhere that a physical cache won't work and won't meet the narrow definition of an earthcache.

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As mtn-man said Not with a good verification question. One of the fun things to do when we reviewed the virtuals of old was to nail the verification question with Google. We would then tell the person submitting the virtual that it would not fly the way it was.

 

And I think that is what happened when I created one of my many virtuals.

 

But google will not lead you to the answers on this

this virtual or this virtual. Bring you pack and hiking boots and get ready for a long uphill hike.

Edited by Tahosa and Sons
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Not with a good verification question. One of the fun things to do when we reviewed the virtuals of old was to nail the verification question with Google. We would then tell the person submitting the virtual that it would not fly the way it was.

i meant for creating the virtual, not for logging it. if you turn a mcdonalds into a virtual and have the cachers take a photo of them at the location for verification, then you don't need to go out there for creating the listing and you could have one at every mcdonalds set up within a few minutes.

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Not with a good verification question. One of the fun things to do when we reviewed the virtuals of old was to nail the verification question with Google. We would then tell the person submitting the virtual that it would not fly the way it was.

i meant for creating the virtual, not for logging it. if you turn a mcdonalds into a virtual and have the cachers take a photo of them at the location for verification, then you don't need to go out there for creating the listing and you could have one at every mcdonalds set up within a few minutes.

A photo was not classified as an acceptable verification method at the end of the run for virtual caches. Some may have been changed over the five year time period since the last ones were allowed, but you had to come up with some verification question for proof that the person logging the find was there. A photo wasn't enough simply because you could post a vacation photo from years ago.

 

When I say "nail the verification question with Google", people would ask questions like "what is the fourth line of copy on the plaque at the site". Things like that are typically already on the internet, so you could do simple searches and eventually get the answer from your computer. Honestly, most of them I could do in 30 seconds or less. Really. The average plaque at a historic site has been most likely transposed and posted to the internet somewhere, somehow. If you think that is going to fly as a verification question, it won't. You need to get down and really do some work to make sure that someone has to visit the location to provide proper verification. Prime examples are the FDR Memorial, (I made it harder when I adopted it), my New Manchester Mfg. Co Cache, and one of my favorite virtual caches -- Everyone Knows Its Windy. Good luck finding the answers to those on the internet!

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A photo was not classified as an acceptable verification method at the end of the run for virtual caches. Some may have been changed over the five year time period since the last ones were allowed, but you had to come up with some verification question for proof that the person logging the find was there. A photo wasn't enough simply because you could post a vacation photo from years ago.

I vaguely remember some discussion of this, though I might claim this was a secret hidden guideline because the published guidelines said

An original photo posted to the cache log can be an acceptable way to verify a find, or an email to the owner with valid answers for the question or questions
. Interestingly, in discussions on armchair logging it has often been suggested to use the photo requirement. While a photo can be Photoshopped, it was considered that someone woould be less likely to do this than to Google answers to a a verfication question. Often the cache the information needed for the answer would not be available when the cache was first listed, but can be found later on. I predict that any virtual cache will soon be waymarked in the new category "Virtual Cache Spoilers" where the answers to all questions can be found along with photos that can be copied and Photoshopped to use as verification.
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virtz.png

 

Hmmmmm, does this mean waymarks will now count on totals? Bleech.

I'm guessing more like just the opposite. Virtuals will be listed on the website but finds won't count in your total. There will be a seperate column, like there is for travelers.

 

Does this mean that the current totals for virtuals become null and void? bleech. Does this mean there will be two types of virturals? Those before and those after? One that counts and one that does not? bleech. It is going to be interesting to see how virtuals will be brought back without tar and feathers being involved.

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You could also always just accept the fact that some people are cheats. It seems really pointless to me but if someone wants to go to the trouble of photoshopping themselves into a picture and hunting around the internet for pictures of monuments just to get credit for a virtual they haven't been to - let them.

 

I know there has been a lot of back and forth about how cheating harms other people but sometimes you just have to do what you can to minimize the odds of it and then move on.

 

Locks only keep out the casual thief but I'd rather not just sit at home with a shotgun on my lap in CASE someone is going to break in nor do I not buy something nice just in case it gets stolen.

 

By that I mean that we shouldn't let the chaves ruin the fun for everyone.

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I'm excited about virtuals coming back. I'd like to see the wow factor though. There are just too many really cool places out there that are in National Parks or somewhere that a physical cache won't work and won't meet the narrow definition of an earthcache.

 

I don't think virtual geocaches should be permitted in places that are off-limits to physical caches. It gives those entities an excuse to continue banning physical geocaches, which is one of many reasons that virtual geocaches were eliminated in the first place.

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I heard that to claim the new virtuals you will have to submit no less than 1/4 your total DNA sequence to the cache owner for verification. Also, there will be a new icon that looks like a pony and they will be called "PWND" caches instead of "Virtual Caches".

 

When you mouse over the new icon a sound file will play over your PC that plays the sound of a frog croaking as recorded on the body of water that the "search with google maps" feature defaults to on the website.

 

There will be a contest marking the re-introduction of virtuals. Winners will receive a free geocoin in the shape of a pony that will be engraved with a platinum level account activation code and Jeremy's social security number.

 

To avoid "wow factor" and over saturation you will only be allowed to list virtuals every odd hour (Pacific Time Zone) and only on Tuesday and Thursday in the first and thrid week of the month. You will have to provide a video clip (.avi format only) of yourself making physical contact with the location described in the cache listing.

 

At least that's what I heard.

Edited by Castle Mischief
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I'm excited about virtuals coming back. I'd like to see the wow factor though. There are just too many really cool places out there that are in National Parks or somewhere that a physical cache won't work and won't meet the narrow definition of an earthcache.

 

I don't think virtual geocaches should be permitted in places that are off-limits to physical caches. It gives those entities an excuse to continue banning physical geocaches, which is one of many reasons that virtual geocaches were eliminated in the first place.

What about places that require $50 for an annual permit to place a physical cache but allow virtual caches without a permit?

Link to comment

I'm excited about virtuals coming back. I'd like to see the wow factor though. There are just too many really cool places out there that are in National Parks or somewhere that a physical cache won't work and won't meet the narrow definition of an earthcache.

 

I don't think virtual geocaches should be permitted in places that are off-limits to physical caches. It gives those entities an excuse to continue banning physical geocaches, which is one of many reasons that virtual geocaches were eliminated in the first place.

What about places that require $50 for an annual permit to place a physical cache but allow virtual caches without a permit?

 

That pretty well describes Fort Ord, near Monterey, California. It's under BLM and they have a discouraging approach to physical caches, nevermind you can run riot with your mountain bikes. :blink:

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I'm excited about virtuals coming back. I'd like to see the wow factor though. There are just too many really cool places out there that are in National Parks or somewhere that a physical cache won't work and won't meet the narrow definition of an earthcache.

 

I don't think virtual geocaches should be permitted in places that are off-limits to physical caches. It gives those entities an excuse to continue banning physical geocaches, which is one of many reasons that virtual geocaches were eliminated in the first place.

Except we haven't really seen much progress with those properties opening up to physical caches in the past few years since the banning of new virtuals? Have we?

 

Yes, I know there are a few SSB caches on NPS property. I even had the ranger pass one over the counter to me. :blink: Almost as much hunting there as on the ET trail, but hey I got my smiley. :)

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I heard that to claim the new virtuals you will have to submit no less than 1/4 your total DNA sequence to the cache owner for verification. Also, there will be a new icon that looks like a pony and they will be called "PWND" caches instead of "Virtual Caches".

 

When you mouse over the new icon a sound file will play over your PC that plays the sound of a frog croaking as recorded on the body of water that the "search with google maps" feature defaults to on the website.

 

There will be a contest marking the re-introduction of virtuals. Winners will receive a free geocoin in the shape of a pony that will be engraved with a platinum level account activation code and Jeremy's social security number.

 

To avoid "wow factor" and over saturation you will only be allowed to list virtuals every odd hour (Pacific Time Zone) and only on Tuesday and Thursday in the first and thrid week of the month. You will have to provide a video clip (.avi format only) of yourself making physical contact with the location described in the cache listing.

 

At least that's what I heard.

 

I finally get my pony?!

 

woot!

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Except we haven't really seen much progress with those properties opening up to physical caches in the past few years since the banning of new virtuals? Have we?

 

Yes, I know there are a few SSB caches on NPS property. I even had the ranger pass one over the counter to me. :blink: Almost as much hunting there as on the ET trail, but hey I got my smiley. :)

 

I don't know about the NPS situation - I live in Canada.

 

There are numerous park authorities and tourist boards in the United States and Canada who have embraced geocaching as a way to boost visitor numbers over the last couple of years.

 

Parks Canada now allows geocaching on its lands, and with any luck, Ontario Parks will follow suit when it gets around to dealing with the issue.

 

I don't know if getting rid of virtuals has played any role in this, but I don't think it's at all accurate to say there hasn't been improvement. Geocaching is becoming more mainstream all the time, and many land managers are starting to notice and consider the potential benefits.

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I agree with everything you just said, and still think none of that had anything to do with the elimination of virts. I think it has to do with geocaching going more mainstream, being used in educational programs, and articles in family oriented publications, and the park systems being responsive to user groups.

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I'll take a "wait and see" approach before I get too worked up either way.

Yeah, no kidding.

 

One: If virts are brought back to geocaching.com then there will be a backlash. Newer folks have no idea why they went bye-bye, but will soon find out.

 

Two: if another site is created for these new virts will it fair better than any other spinoff from Groundspeak? I mean Waymarking and Wherigo being such a hit and all.

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I'm excited about virtuals coming back. I'd like to see the wow factor though. There are just too many really cool places out there that are in National Parks or somewhere that a physical cache won't work and won't meet the narrow definition of an earthcache.

 

I don't think virtual geocaches should be permitted in places that are off-limits to physical caches. It gives those entities an excuse to continue banning physical geocaches, which is one of many reasons that virtual geocaches were eliminated in the first place.

What about places that require $50 for an annual permit to place a physical cache but allow virtual caches without a permit?

 

That pretty well describes Fort Ord, near Monterey, California. It's under BLM and they have a discouraging approach to physical caches, nevermind you can run riot with your mountain bikes. :blink:

 

drat, I used to live there, unfortunately a few years before I discovered Geocaching >_<

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virtz.png

 

Hmmmmm, does this mean waymarks will now count on totals? Bleech.

I'm guessing more like just the opposite. Virtuals will be listed on the website but finds won't count in your total. There will be a seperate column, like there is for travelers.

 

And if that's the way they want to go, that's fine with me as long as they are consistent. Take ALL cache types that have no containers out of the count. Count all types or only count conatiner caches. Pick one. Stop the fence-sitting and make a decision.

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virtz.png

 

Hmmmmm, does this mean waymarks will now count on totals? Bleech.

I'm guessing more like just the opposite. Virtuals will be listed on the website but finds won't count in your total. There will be a seperate column, like there is for travelers.

 

And if that's the way they want to go, that's fine with me as long as they are consistent. Take ALL cache types that have no containers out of the count. Count all types or only count conatiner caches. Pick one. Stop the fence-sitting and make a decision.

 

Good point on the consistency. Isn't it odd that going to a pizza restaurant and talking for a few hours counts as a cache find? But people love events. Groundspeak loves that people love events. If this rule were implemented events would have the logbook inside a container (perhaps a pizza box).

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I have travelled many miles to get virtuals and have probably one of the top 20 totals in the UK. I would like to see virtuals re-instated but only if they were separate from the historic virtuals- it would devalue the efforts of virtual chasers like myself and others if 100's of new ones appeared. The suggestion that they would be ideal for the US national parks seems a very strong argument. With earthcaches being allowed, I don't see the lack of a physical container as a reason for them not to exist. I was told that the quality of virtuals was getting worse and worse and that was why they were discontinued. I know (having placed one) that earthcaches have a rigorous process to being accepted. I suppose this could be a sticking point in bringing back virtuals- geological experts monitor earthcaches, but who would be a virtual expert? Reviewers with some justification seem very reluctant to get involved in issues of quality.

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Virtuals provide a great geocaching option in areas of community and historical significance that would otherwise be left out of the game completely.

 

On a recent trip to Washington, D.C. I was delighted by all the virtual caches located along the National Mall. Due to the high security of this area it is impossible to place a physical contaier in this area, but virtual caches made it possible to explore discover many of the unique sites located along the National Mall.

 

I look forward to the return of Virtual caches!

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I'm guessing more like just the opposite. Virtuals will be listed on the website but finds won't count in your total. There will be a seperate column, like there is for travelers.

 

I have thought about that. But if Groundspeak intends to bring virtuals back into this game in a way that would satisfy those who want them, then leaving them outside the primary focus of the game (like benchmarks or travelers) does not seem like the best place to start. However, doing that in a way that won't "upset" those who do not like virtuals seems equally daunting. People will be upset either way.

 

Groundspeaking has been exploring ideas for awhile. As another thread pointed out not too long ago, they have talked about ways of making geocaching "a little more social, a little more virtual." But Jeremy has also recognized the difficulty of translating the geocaching "aha" experience into a virtual game. And allowing virtuals without opening the floodgates (any more than lamp post caches have opened them up with traditional caching) seems like it would require specific guidelines and partners, similar to the way that the Geological Society set up and reviews earthcaches.

 

I think virtuals should have a place in this game, particularly in areas that do not permit traditional geocaching, and have found my own "aha" experiences at virtuals and earthcaches. Both have enriched the game for me. So it will be interesting to see what comes out of this, if anything.

Edited by mulvaney
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I'd almost rather not see physical caches in National Parks. I don't know, if there were some there, I'd probably look for them but somehow it shatters my little illusion that I was the one who followed the well marked trail to discover the summit of Half Dome via cables if there is a cache up there.

 

Ok bad example, but still I like nature like I like my men, raw and untamed but yet respectful and able to pick a good wine with dinner.

Edited by lachupa
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I'd almost rather not see physical caches in National Parks. I don't know, if there were some there, I'd probably look for them but somehow it shatters my little illusion that I was the one who followed the well marked trail to discover the summit of Half Dome via cables if there is a cache up there.

 

Ok bad example, but still I like nature like I like my men, raw and untamed but yet respectful and able to pick a good wine with dinner.

 

No such thing. Pick one.

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As far as lame virtuals, I would not do a lame virtual, a lame micro or lame traditional.

the thing is that it takes at least a minimal amount of effort to put out a lame traditional. not so with virtuals, all you need to do is create the listing. if you pick the coords off google, you don't even need to leave the house.

Not with a good verification question. One of the fun things to do when we reviewed the virtuals of old was to nail the verification question with Google. We would then tell the person submitting the virtual that it would not fly the way it was.

I like that way. One other thing would be to monitor the CO's activity status. All the ones that seemed to be problematic were the ones with inactives owners. Several around this corner of the country got nailed by people from out of the country trying to rack up numbers. There should be a time period of say 6 months or a year that if the cache owner has been inactive then a virtual could be adopted by someone willing (since it just needs monitored and not a physical container maintained) or archived to prevent the problems. I have seen several that were good virtuals that mtnman had to archive because they were getting nailed by people that obviously were not visiting the cache. I think most of the logs said Greetings from Germany in them.

Edited by cw1710
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I'd almost rather not see physical caches in National Parks. I don't know, if there were some there, I'd probably look for them but somehow it shatters my little illusion that I was the one who followed the well marked trail to discover the summit of Half Dome via cables if there is a cache up there.

 

Ok bad example, but still I like nature like I like my men, raw and untamed but yet respectful and able to pick a good wine with dinner.

 

No such thing. Pick one.

 

Yes there is, I found one. :):D

 

(Except we don't drink wine - sparkling grape juice is great, though! :D )

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For those of you who haven't visited the UK recently and might be interested in our royalty, Caches are banned in the Royal Parks.

 

Bear in mind in our antiquated land-ownership scheme of things, this covers much of the green area of Central London. Also, probably like most of the rest of the world, caches are banned from a certain periphery of some major airports.

 

We also have SSSIs (Sites of Special Scientific Interest). These are often huge areas (apparently, if there was once a special plant in a forest, the whole estate becomes an SSSI). If a cache is placed in an SSSI, the reviewer needs written proof that the cache has permission (both the land owner and English Heritage or whoever has deemed it an SSSI)

 

So basically, we have whole areas without any caches. In our little island, a few hundred square miles without a cache is quite significant.

 

Virtuals will clearly help this. Unfortunately SSSIs are often quite significant because they have something else of interest.

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