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geoaware

EarthCache Guidelines Updates

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It has now been about a year since we updated the EarthCache guidelines. After listening to EarthCachers, reading forums and processing thousands of submissions, we felt we needed to make some adjustments.

 

In summary, we have made some changes to the text to make it more clear for all and adjusted the logging requirements/request for photograph guidelines.

 

You can find the new guidelines here and they come into use on 1 January 2011.

 

Cheers

 

Geoaware

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Looks like I have some work to do....now that all my photo requirements have been made optional. I strongly disagree with this change...and that is the last I'll say of the topic.

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How is this guideline actually going to be enforced? And how is this guideline actually going to be communicated to the earth cache owners who don't use the forums or frequently check the guidelines on the earth caching website?

 

Or is the onus going to fall on the finder again resulting in individual arguments between two cachers. Obviously this is a heated topic which has resulted in many hurt feelings from both sides of the fence. Creating a hostile environment by having to appeal deletions to communicate the fact that a guideline has changed is not appropriate.

 

I don't expect reviewers to look at every cache page but I expect a reasonable effort to be made to communicate this to the population at large.

 

On the upside, as a cacher who doesn't like to take pictures of me as a logging requirement I appreciate some simplification of this guideline.

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How is this guideline actually going to be enforced? And how is this guideline actually going to be communicated to the earth cache owners who don't use the forums or frequently check the guidelines on the earth caching website?

 

Or is the onus going to fall on the finder again resulting in individual arguments between two cachers. Obviously this is a heated topic which has resulted in many hurt feelings from both sides of the fence. Creating a hostile environment by having to appeal deletions to communicate the fact that a guideline has changed is not appropriate.

 

I don't expect reviewers to look at every cache page but I expect a reasonable effort to be made to communicate this to the population at large.

 

On the upside, as a cacher who doesn't like to take pictures of me as a logging requirement I appreciate some simplification of this guideline.

 

A great point!

 

The guideline changes will be announced in a future Groundspeak weekly newsletter emailed to all cacher accounts.

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Now, more than ever before more cachers have access to cameras in their phones, gpsrs etc it is decided that a photograph is too onerous?

 

The problem I have with this is that on a few occasions I have had evidence that cachers have not even been to the site when they say, one even had the blatant check to tell me the answers were acceptable as I had already accepted them from her friend who'd been there before (the item she was meant to be measuring the speed of was actually absent for its annual refit at the time she claimed she had been there)!

 

Without a photograph it leaves cheats free to crib their answers from others regardless.

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Now, more than ever before more cachers have access to cameras in their phones, gpsrs etc it is decided that a photograph is too onerous?

 

The problem I have with this is that on a few occasions I have had evidence that cachers have not even been to the site when they say, one even had the blatant check to tell me the answers were acceptable as I had already accepted them from her friend who'd been there before (the item she was meant to be measuring the speed of was actually absent for its annual refit at the time she claimed she had been there)!

 

Without a photograph it leaves cheats free to crib their answers from others regardless.

Hey don't you folks realize that "they" have been wanting to get rid of the photo option for the last two years even though "they" started it! Go figure. :unsure:

P.S. There is the usual caveat, "considered if the requested photograph is related to an Earth Science logging activity such as recording a phenomenon." whatever that means?

It's a happy New Year present!

Edited by Konnarock Kid & Marge

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Now, more than ever before more cachers have access to cameras in their phones, gpsrs etc it is decided that a photograph is too onerous?

 

The problem I have with this is that on a few occasions I have had evidence that cachers have not even been to the site when they say, one even had the blatant check to tell me the answers were acceptable as I had already accepted them from her friend who'd been there before (the item she was meant to be measuring the speed of was actually absent for its annual refit at the time she claimed she had been there)!

 

Without a photograph it leaves cheats free to crib their answers from others regardless.

 

The photos did help with the armchair logging but then again we are whipping a dead horse here. As I was just told today, we all play the game different from the rest. I some areas, armchairing is ok.

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I hope to contribute a few more EarthCaches, and will continue to enjoy seeking them, but I have came to enjoy the Waymarking site which better suits my needs and abalitys.

 

Thanks for the new guidelines geoaware, we will see you on the EarthTrek site, and thanks for for the project Gravestone pin. We will post a photo of it in the future at a really cool location to add to the site photos.

 

Manville Possum Hunters.

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Although I too am disappointed with changes in the photographic requirement, for the sake of clarity, could someone give an example or two for the explanation below?

 

"Exceptions to this guideline will only be considered if the requested photograph is related to an Earth Science logging activity such as recording a phenomenon."

Edited by GEO WALKER

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Although I too am disappointed with changes in the photographic requirement, for the sake of clarity, could someone give an example or two for the explanation below?

 

"Exceptions to this guideline will only be considered if the requested photograph is related to an Earth Science logging activity such as recording a phenomenon."

 

An example and an acceptable photograph logging task: To log this EarthCache you need to take a photo of the arrival of the tidal bore up the river at this point. Holding a watch in the photograph to record the time would be perfect.

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An example and an acceptable photograph logging task: To log this EarthCache you need to take a photo of the arrival of the tidal bore up the river at this point. Holding a watch in the photograph to record the time would be perfect.

 

So, would it be acceptable to ask a cacher to take a picture of a certain phenomena such as fossils in situ with, say, their GPSr for scale?

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An example and an acceptable photograph logging task: To log this EarthCache you need to take a photo of the arrival of the tidal bore up the river at this point. Holding a watch in the photograph to record the time would be perfect.

 

So, would it be acceptable to ask a cacher to take a picture of a certain phenomena such as fossils in situ with, say, their GPSr for scale?

 

No. The example you give is NOT recording a phenomenon that can't be measured in some other way (like asking people to measure the size of the fossil for example).

 

Bottom line is that it will require a exceptional circumstance (like the example I gave) to allow a photograph to be taken as a logging task.

 

That said, you are more than welcome to ask cachers to provide a photograph, but the request must be optional and that you can't delete a log if a person does not provide a photograph.

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It is nice to see the clarification and I am pleased to hear that the update will be communicated more widely than previous updates have been.

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In summary, we have made some changes to the text to make it more clear for all and adjusted the logging requirements/request for photograph guidelines.

 

You can find the new guidelines here and they come into use on 1 January 2011.

 

Cheers

Geoaware

 

I could use some clarification on the new photo request guidelines. I have created & submitted 3 ECs in the past year, all of which have a photo requirement, and all of which were approved without any question in regard to this being part of the cache under the 2010 guidelines. As a geologist, I consider the field photograph as part of the training - geologists nearly always document their field work with good, careful photographs, and I have made this clear in the caches I've placed. As an educator, I consider the field photograph to be the best assessment tool I have to use.

 

I thought the change last year was a good one, to eliminate the unnecessary requirements of some caches that insisted on including the cacher's face in the picture, for example. I've made sure the photos I've asked for are part of the learning process for the finder.

 

In two of the caches I own, I ask for a photograph of the geologic object that includes an object for scale. This is a critical part of documenting field work in geology, and in my opinion is a perfectly reasonable request for an EarthCache. A "for scale" object can be anything the finder wants it to be so long as it accomplishes the goal of giving appropriate size information. Many objects in geology are fractal in nature and can look very similar at grossly different scales; I think this in itself is a great lesson to learn about the Earth.

 

Secondly, as a cache owner, the photograph allows me to see with confidence if the finder has actually found the object they are supposed to be looking for. Other cache owners have made this argument in the past - that the photograph is what they need for proof of finding the cache. This has been responded to by saying that the cache must include field determinations that can only be done on-site. In theory, I think this is reasonable - but in practice it is not. Even though I have logging requirements that can only be determined on site (and I agree that all caches should have this), the fact is that many people who have no training in the field as geologists make mistakes, gross mistakes, when they are making measurements. Even very basic field measurements such as the height or length of some geologic object can be missed, and the more difficult the measurement, the more likely the average geocacher is to making a mistake. In one of my caches, I ask finders to measure the angle of a plane from horizontal with a protractor - wow can people goof that up big time! There are many reasons as to why this can happen and I've seen it many times over just the past few months when people log the ECs I own. The fact is that people with no training in geology often simply don't see the rocks the way a trained geologist does, and they won't necessarily know what they are looking at or if they are looking at the wrong thing. Misinterpretations happen. There have been several logs of my ECs where I would have sworn that the person logging the cache couldn't possibly have visited the site based on the answers they gave to the questions - but their photograph proved they were there. I would argue, therefore, that the photograph is the ONLY reliable way for a cache owner to know that the cacher actually found the cache - onsite measuring requirements are not always reliable due to the nature of the game. Having the picture allows me as the cache owner to email the cacher back and help them understand what mistakes they made in their measurements and perhaps what they could have done differently for the future. It helps me to give them guidance & help, because I can be confident that their incorrect answer is not due to a lack of trying. As an educator of Earth science, that's a big part of it that I enjoy - helping people really learn about their planet. Without the photograph requirement, I believe I would have to be more stringent with the other logging requirements. And based on my experience with the answers people give, I know that some people who genuinely visit the site will submit completely erroneous answers. This I fear will lead to more "he said/she said" situations that I'd really like to avoid.

 

In the third cache I own (GC2GP79 Sword in the Stone), I ask for a photograph of a knife stuck in a paleosol. The idea behind this cache is for cachers to discover old, weathered rock that is now buried beneath younger sedimentary rocks by prodding the rocks/paleosol with a knife. In doing so, I'm hoping that the cacher will discover that the granitic gneiss below the sedimentary rocks is hard & stiff at the bottom, but progressively softer & weaker where it is weathered at the top. You can't really tell this by simply looking at the rocks, it takes some poking to figure it out. The photograph the cacher posts is one part of their answer that shows me whether they were really able to get this or not.

 

So please elaborate on what "exceptions" will be made for photograph requirements, including some examples (feel free to look at mine and use them as examples if you wish - GC2GP79, GC2H0W6, and GC26CM1) so that I can better understand what is expected of cache owners & finders.

 

And thanks for working hard to make EarthCaching an enjoyable & educational hobby! I love this stuff!

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In summary, we have made some changes to the text to make it more clear for all and adjusted the logging requirements/request for photograph guidelines.

 

You can find the new guidelines here and they come into use on 1 January 2011.

 

Cheers

Geoaware

 

I could use some clarification on the new photo request guidelines. I have created & submitted 3 ECs in the past year, all of which have a photo requirement, and all of which were approved without any question in regard to this being part of the cache under the 2010 guidelines. As a geologist, I consider the field photograph as part of the training - geologists nearly always document their field work with good, careful photographs, and I have made this clear in the caches I've placed. As an educator, I consider the field photograph to be the best assessment tool I have to use.

 

I thought the change last year was a good one, to eliminate the unnecessary requirements of some caches that insisted on including the cacher's face in the picture, for example. I've made sure the photos I've asked for are part of the learning process for the finder.

 

In two of the caches I own, I ask for a photograph of the geologic object that includes an object for scale. This is a critical part of documenting field work in geology, and in my opinion is a perfectly reasonable request for an EarthCache. A "for scale" object can be anything the finder wants it to be so long as it accomplishes the goal of giving appropriate size information. Many objects in geology are fractal in nature and can look very similar at grossly different scales; I think this in itself is a great lesson to learn about the Earth.

 

Secondly, as a cache owner, the photograph allows me to see with confidence if the finder has actually found the object they are supposed to be looking for. Other cache owners have made this argument in the past - that the photograph is what they need for proof of finding the cache. This has been responded to by saying that the cache must include field determinations that can only be done on-site. In theory, I think this is reasonable - but in practice it is not. Even though I have logging requirements that can only be determined on site (and I agree that all caches should have this), the fact is that many people who have no training in the field as geologists make mistakes, gross mistakes, when they are making measurements. Even very basic field measurements such as the height or length of some geologic object can be missed, and the more difficult the measurement, the more likely the average geocacher is to making a mistake. In one of my caches, I ask finders to measure the angle of a plane from horizontal with a protractor - wow can people goof that up big time! There are many reasons as to why this can happen and I've seen it many times over just the past few months when people log the ECs I own. The fact is that people with no training in geology often simply don't see the rocks the way a trained geologist does, and they won't necessarily know what they are looking at or if they are looking at the wrong thing. Misinterpretations happen. There have been several logs of my ECs where I would have sworn that the person logging the cache couldn't possibly have visited the site based on the answers they gave to the questions - but their photograph proved they were there. I would argue, therefore, that the photograph is the ONLY reliable way for a cache owner to know that the cacher actually found the cache - onsite measuring requirements are not always reliable due to the nature of the game. Having the picture allows me as the cache owner to email the cacher back and help them understand what mistakes they made in their measurements and perhaps what they could have done differently for the future. It helps me to give them guidance & help, because I can be confident that their incorrect answer is not due to a lack of trying. As an educator of Earth science, that's a big part of it that I enjoy - helping people really learn about their planet. Without the photograph requirement, I believe I would have to be more stringent with the other logging requirements. And based on my experience with the answers people give, I know that some people who genuinely visit the site will submit completely erroneous answers. This I fear will lead to more "he said/she said" situations that I'd really like to avoid.

 

In the third cache I own (GC2GP79 Sword in the Stone), I ask for a photograph of a knife stuck in a paleosol. The idea behind this cache is for cachers to discover old, weathered rock that is now buried beneath younger sedimentary rocks by prodding the rocks/paleosol with a knife. In doing so, I'm hoping that the cacher will discover that the granitic gneiss below the sedimentary rocks is hard & stiff at the bottom, but progressively softer & weaker where it is weathered at the top. You can't really tell this by simply looking at the rocks, it takes some poking to figure it out. The photograph the cacher posts is one part of their answer that shows me whether they were really able to get this or not.

 

So please elaborate on what "exceptions" will be made for photograph requirements, including some examples (feel free to look at mine and use them as examples if you wish - GC2GP79, GC2H0W6, and GC26CM1) so that I can better understand what is expected of cache owners & finders.

 

And thanks for working hard to make EarthCaching an enjoyable & educational hobby! I love this stuff!

 

Wow, these sound like great tasks!

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I agree, those are exceedingly clever and well thought out tasks. Unfortunately, in that "Wow" of yours, there is a slippery slope which ultimately led to the demise of Virtuals as we used to know them.

 

I say make them optional, unless as Geoaware clearly stated, they document some dynamic process at work.

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Narnian, as someone once said, "you are tilting at windmills!" or maybe they said it another way and to another person? Anyway, you make excellent points and keep on tilting! Just why did photos become so shameful? Every scientific community that I am aware of uses photos in one form or another. Maybe it's from an electron microscope, a photo from a telescope or even from a satellite or a field camera, but you are right that photos are acceptable and yes, scientific!

Way back when a few squeaky wheels demanded grease and though most said don't change (yes, those we heard from!) the skid was greased and we all knew photos were on their way out! I agreed with working the photo into the context of the geological phenomena and not taking a photo for a photos sake, but our interests are not being represented!

Question: if a photo is an aspect of an ALR just what in the heck are the questions? I'll answer my own question. The questions are scientifically/educationally oriented therefore they could never be considered as ALR requirements. Sure and I have a lot of sea front property for sale in Arizona!

Thanks for your most excellent argument.

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I agree, those are exceedingly clever and well thought out tasks. Unfortunately, in that "Wow" of yours, there is a slippery slope which ultimately led to the demise of Virtuals as we used to know them.

 

I say make them optional, unless as Geoaware clearly stated, they document some dynamic process at work.

 

I went ahead and made the photo optional in ALL of mine. I guess the smiley wins over validation?

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I went ahead and made the photo optional in ALL of mine. I guess the smiley wins over validation?

 

Ditto - so did I and now am bracing for the sudden influx of foreign "tourists" [mainly German - sorry for that but they do seem to be the majority] who will be "flying in" to remote places for no other reason other than to do my EarthCaches - ignoring all the traditionals and others that are close by - on the same day that they were on holiday in Southern Borneo!

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I agree, those are exceedingly clever and well thought out tasks. Unfortunately, in that "Wow" of yours, there is a slippery slope which ultimately led to the demise of Virtuals as we used to know them.

 

I say make them optional, unless as Geoaware clearly stated, they document some dynamic process at work.

 

I went ahead and made the photo optional in ALL of mine. I guess the smiley wins over validation?

OK I said I wasn't going to touch this subject but I guess I changed my mind...

 

It was made clear that my obligation as an EC owner was to ensure that finds were legitimate. By watering down the proof of visit requirements, the "policing" of my ECs becomes more difficult. It seems clear now that TPTB no longer really care about the legitimacy of the finds, which isn't all bad cuz now I don't have to worry about reading and replying to all those pesky emails folks send me...but I have to wonder how they will bring back Virts without them having on ALR? This could get messy...well messier.

Edited by Lostby7

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If general photos were required I wouldn't care but there seem to be many people who continue to have the "take a picture of yourself at the site" as a requirement for logging caches. And it seemed while reading here that many people were looking for any possible loophole through the older version of the guideline to have the logging requirement of people having to take a picture of themselves at the site. The old guideline wasn't worded well.

 

I don't armchair log and I enjoy earth caches. And because of cache owners insistence of keeping their requirement of having a picture of the finder I have found myself seriously limited in the caches I'm able to do and I know I'm not the only one. I went on vacation last year excited to go some place where there would be many earth caches and found basically I could do 1 because of the logging requirements. Which is fine. If that is how the earth caching community wants to limit itself I can just go find traditional caches. But I would think the earth caching community does not want to alienate potential finders.

 

I've done earth caches where there has been no photo logging requirement. Having talked to that cache owner at one point they seemed to have no issues with armchair logging but their cache requirements went beyond signage at the area. And since they were not huge tourist areas vacation photos were scarce. Although I'm sure if I'm desperate enough I could have dug information on a couple of them online.

 

Honestly, I enjoyed earth caching a whole lot more before I ever came to these forums. Thought it was the coolest thing until I got to see how the earth cache owners view the people that find their caches or tend to behave in general. I'm sorry I don't know much about geology. I probably couldn't use a protractor at this point if you paid me and for the most part I have no clue what is being written about in most of the wordy cache pages. I'm sorry I don't want to put my picture up on a cache page so you know that I've been there because I couldn't answer the questions to your liking. I'm sorry that I sometimes when looking for earth caches my camera and gps are the same unit (for more urban ones) so taking a picture of it to show size becomes impossible.

 

I'll still incorporate earth caches into my caching because I like the wow factor of some earth caches. I'll still learn what I can from the pages. But I'm likely going to forever be leery of the cache owners and wondering how much my answers will get picked apart or if my log will get deleted because the answers weren't perfect. And I'm likely not going to be as enthusiastic about it. It went from being something really fun to something way too serious for me to really enjoy greatly anymore.

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Post #25

 

I'll still incorporate earth caches into my caching because I like the wow factor of some earth caches. I'll still learn what I can from the pages. But I'm likely going to forever be leery of the cache owners and wondering how much my answers will get picked apart or if my log will get deleted because the answers weren't perfect. And I'm likely not going to be as enthusiastic about it. It went from being something really fun to something way too serious for me to really enjoy greatly anymore.

 

I feel that the original point of this issue is that w/Ecs there is no written log and in lue of this the photo requirement filled this need. I also feel that the overall general elimination an original requirement such as the photo deminishes the quality of the EC as to validation of the posting.

Now, I have never deleted a find and can accept the lack of a photo given a good reason. I also try an incorporate responses based on observation of the finder in their own words, thereby creating a situation of mulptile answers. The questions of an EC help validate an understanding of the text, the photo validates the visit while eliminating the “armchair find”.

Why incorporating your GSPr into a photo is not acceptable is a bit beyond my comprehension, it works for validation in Waymarkiing.

Here again the issue here is the generalize blanket elimination of the photo, which was an original requirement.

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Well said Chokecherry...but every cache is not for every person. No one says you need to do EarthCaches. I love puzzles but avoid many (most) puzzle caches because they are simply too hard. I'm not going to demand that the puzzles all provide answers or hints just because I think they are too hard.

Edited by Lostby7

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Hey folks, it's a losing battle! The die was caste two years ago.

This statement is what 'floors' me: "All EarthCaches must conform to this guideline as photo requests are considered "additional logging requirements" (ALRs) and follow the guidelines set forth by Geocaching.com.

One last time and very slowly............ if a photo is an ALR just what are those so ever so sacred questions?

Frankly, I think GS's guidelines are most always thought out and by-an-large conform to the geocaching communities wants and needs, but GSA's, well that's another story! Speaking of GS's guidelines, since GSA wants so desperately to conform to them, while you are in the mood for revisions, eliminate the questions or at least make them optional.

How about it Groundspeak? Thanks. :)

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Yes I know arguing the photo requirement is like spitting into to wind. The decision has been made and I accept it...I just don't agree with it. My 10 caches have been updated to reflect the changes...the 20 others I wrote for friends are still out in the wild; I don't know if those folks will read about the new guidelines or not. I'm guessing not. The constant changing of the requirements is a PITA and are bound to cause more angst and frustration than any benefit that could come from the changes being made in the first place.

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I agree, those are exceedingly clever and well thought out tasks. Unfortunately, in that "Wow" of yours, there is a slippery slope which ultimately led to the demise of Virtuals as we used to know them.

 

I say make them optional, unless as Geoaware clearly stated, they document some dynamic process at work.

 

Or another way of putting it, Fun wins out over control.

 

Groundspeak has a pretty well documented record of promoting fun, sometimes at the expense of control. People that have issues letting go of that control don't tend to do so well on this website.

 

I went ahead and made the photo optional in ALL of mine. I guess the smiley wins over validation?

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I agree, those are exceedingly clever and well thought out tasks. Unfortunately, in that "Wow" of yours, there is a slippery slope which ultimately led to the demise of Virtuals as we used to know them.

 

I say make them optional, unless as Geoaware clearly stated, they document some dynamic process at work.

 

Or another way of putting it, Fun wins out over control.

 

Groundspeak has a pretty well documented record of promoting fun, sometimes at the expense of control. People that have issues letting go of that control don't tend to do so well on this website.

 

I went ahead and made the photo optional in ALL of mine. I guess the smiley wins over validation?

Fun huh? I think finding all those puzzle caches would be fun. Groundspeak could you please send me the coords for all those so I can have some fun. I feel that many of the puzzle cache owners are too controlling in that they are way smarter than me and because of that I cannot go find their caches. I mean they require me to do internet research or complicated math or code breaking...I simply cannot be bothered by all that extra work. I don't feel the cache owner should be able to require me to do those things.

Edited by Lostby7

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The other alternative is to find some smart friends to tag along with. That sounds fun to me.

Agreed. My point is just that all Puzzles are really geocaches with an ALR. There is no consistency in the guidelines across cache-types and there shouldn't be an expectation of consistency. Each cache type has it's own set of rules. There is no reason to require EarthCaches to follow the ALR rules when they already break those ALR rules due to the need for answering questions.

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I'll respectfully disagree. By and large, most of the Puzzle Listings that I have encountered have all the necessary information on the cache page somewhere that is required to derive the Final coordinates, independent of the cache owner.

 

Challenge Caches and Earthcaches are currently the only exceptions that I'm aware of. I assume that Groundspeak has allowed these minor variations to the game based on the assumption that most people enjoy them in spite of the extra steps involved.

 

Judging from what I've observed what is unfolding with the new Favorite feature, I'd say they were correct. By and large, Earthcaches run about 50% Favorited in the Western US the last time I checked. Compared to other cache types, I'd say that one was knocked out of the park.

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P.S. There is the usual caveat, "considered if the requested photograph is related to an Earth Science logging activity such as recording a phenomenon." whatever that means?

As stated by geoaware, some Earthcaches are transient/periodic in nature such as the Turnagain Arm Tidal Bore Earthcache and a photo is a great way to record them. Edited by Ladybug Kids

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Challenge Caches and Earthcaches are currently the only exceptions that I'm aware of. I assume that Groundspeak has allowed these minor variations to the game based on the assumption that most people enjoy them in spite of the extra steps involved.

 

Judging from what I've observed what is unfolding with the new Favorite feature, I'd say they were correct. By and large, Earthcaches run about 50% Favorited in the Western US the last time I checked. Compared to other cache types, I'd say that one was knocked out of the park.

I have seen the same thing where a very large number of favorited caches here in WI seem to be Earthcaches (or challenge caches). My question is why mess with success? Clearly the people have spoken, and they have said they like ECs regardless of the photo requirement. Here's a leap, but what if people are attracted to these listings due to the images which have been loaded on the cache page? But in the end I don't expect the new rules to be rolled back or to convince folks that my opinion is the right one. I just like a civil debate and to express my opinion. Thanks for sharing yours.

Edited by Lostby7

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I'll still incorporate earth caches into my caching because I like the wow factor of some earth caches. I'll still learn what I can from the pages. But I'm likely going to forever be leery of the cache owners and wondering how much my answers will get picked apart or if my log will get deleted because the answers weren't perfect. And I'm likely not going to be as enthusiastic about it. It went from being something really fun to something way too serious for me to really enjoy greatly anymore.

For the most part, I have found Earthcache owners more than happy to walk me through where I may have made a mistake in meeting the logging requirements and I do the same for those who seek my earthcaches. In many cases for me, earthcaching is about learning about something new, and sometimes that is an iterative process.

 

Don't let what you read in the forums be overly discouraging. In a lot of cases, those who participate in the forums (a small subset of the overall community) are passionate on one side of a situation or the other and the majority of folks who have more moderate opinions don't chime in. I find reading the forums to be a good way to understand differing viewpoints which I use in forumlating my own.

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what if people are attracted to these listings due to the images which have been loaded on the cache page?

I know I have been attracted to some locations due to the photo gallery. One can still encourage posting of a photograge this way:

 

Optional - to earn "extra credit," post a photograph of yourself with your GPS at your favorite location with your log.

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what if people are attracted to these listings due to the images which have been loaded on the cache page?

I know I have been attracted to some locations due to the photo gallery. One can still encourage posting of a photograge this way:

 

Optional - to earn "extra credit," post a photograph of yourself with your GPS at your favorite location with your log.

I have stated on my pages something to the extent of: Uploading photos to the cache page is the best way to say thank you to the cache developer and to encourage others to visit the location. Or Uploading photos to the cache page is the best way to encourage others to visit the location and to view changes throughout the year.

Posting images of a waterfall year round really shows the process of its development and erosional powers. Check out this photo gallery taken all year round from a trickle to a flood and finally an ice flow...

http://www.geocaching.com/seek/gallery.aspx?guid=679e3306-48a3-4d20-92c9-bab0db1fa439

 

00ce87db-c3ca-455c-989d-9946739f1420.jpg

5c3e1f33-abfd-4d49-b114-a07ac2b776b7.jpg

127b008c-e0c7-4651-abd7-1a8b1c8b3cdf.jpg

 

Imagine the loss of these images...the images are what makes this listing so special to those who cannot make the visit...and encourages many folks to make the trip in the first place. Let's face it a cache page is not only for folks visiting the location, it is also for folks visiting the cache page.

Edited by Lostby7

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I have stated on my pages something to the extent of: Uploading photos to the cache page is the best way to say thank you to the cache developer and to encourage others to visit the location. Or Uploading photos to the cache page is the best way to encourage others to visit the location and to view changes throughout the year.

 

<snip>

 

Imaging the loss of these images...the images are what makes this listing so special to those who cannot make the visit...and encourages many folks to make the trip in the first place. Let's face it a cache page is not only for folks visiting the location, it is also for folks visiting the cache page.

Very cool photo sequence!

 

I post photos for great (and just plain nice) caches (earthcache or other) with my logs. Folks who take your (and my) approach to enhancing our logs with photographs (nearly 2800 and growing) will continue to do so. Those who are on the fence about posting a photo may or may not depending on their mood, time, battery status, etc. Those who have been adamant about never posting a photo won't change.

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If general photos were required I wouldn't care but there seem to be many people who continue to have the "take a picture of yourself at the site" as a requirement for logging caches. And it seemed while reading here that many people were looking for any possible loophole through the older version of the guideline to have the logging requirement of people having to take a picture of themselves at the site. The old guideline wasn't worded well.

 

I don't armchair log and I enjoy earth caches. And because of cache owners insistence of keeping their requirement of having a picture of the finder I have found myself seriously limited in the caches I'm able to do and I know I'm not the only one. I went on vacation last year excited to go some place where there would be many earth caches and found basically I could do 1 because of the logging requirements. Which is fine. If that is how the earth caching community wants to limit itself I can just go find traditional caches. But I would think the earth caching community does not want to alienate potential finders.

 

I agree completely with you here. The "take a picture of yourself" ECs went too far, and I'm glad the change was made last year to eliminate that. I don't think taking a picture that you are personally uncomfortable with and that provides no educational value, should be required. ECs shouldn't be that limiting.

 

Honestly, I enjoyed earth caching a whole lot more before I ever came to these forums. Thought it was the coolest thing until I got to see how the earth cache owners view the people that find their caches or tend to behave in general. I'm sorry I don't know much about geology. I probably couldn't use a protractor at this point if you paid me and for the most part I have no clue what is being written about in most of the wordy cache pages. I'm sorry I don't want to put my picture up on a cache page so you know that I've been there because I couldn't answer the questions to your liking. I'm sorry that I sometimes when looking for earth caches my camera and gps are the same unit (for more urban ones) so taking a picture of it to show size becomes impossible.

 

I'll still incorporate earth caches into my caching because I like the wow factor of some earth caches. I'll still learn what I can from the pages. But I'm likely going to forever be leery of the cache owners and wondering how much my answers will get picked apart or if my log will get deleted because the answers weren't perfect. And I'm likely not going to be as enthusiastic about it. It went from being something really fun to something way too serious for me to really enjoy greatly anymore.

 

I'm not sure if you are directing this at me, but it seems to respond to some specific things I said. I do empathize with your situation. You shouldn't have to know much about geology to do an EC - the whole point of them is to help folks like yourself who don't know much about geology to learn more about this fantastic Earth of ours. And that's why I create ECs - so other people can learn about geology! Because it's fantastic! And so ECs need to be written at an appropriate level. But they still can be a challenge - a fun challenge. A chance to learn something new or better. And if using a protractor is part of that, then so be it - take up the challenge, and it will be worth it. As to the answers - I'm certainly not, and neither are most EC owners I know, expecting the answers to be "perfect", as you stated. The mistakes I wrote about in my previous post are significant, enormous errors - like if the answer is supposed to be 25, and people give you an answer of 142. It happens. And yes, some ECs are pretty serious - but ECs are an educational experience by design, and education must be taken seriously or it ceases to be, well, educational. And as to camera/GPS being one unit, no problem! Almost anything can be used for scale - a coin, an umbrella, a hat, whatever.

 

The point I tried to make with my previous post is simply this: what am I expected to do, as an EC owner, when the answer is supposed to be 35 and I get an answer of 267? From the numbers alone, I would have to conclude that the person didn't really visit the site, or if they did, they really didn't have a clue of what they were doing. But how am I supposed to know which one it is, if they cannot answer the questions correctly and they can't provide some kind, any kind, of photographic evidence to help me out? When people post a photograph (note again that I never ask for anything personal, like a face), it helps me to know how to approach them. And furthermore, again I'll reiterate that taking good quality photographs is part of a field geologist's daily work - it is part of the educational process to document physical evidence.

 

The bottom line is this: If any and all photographs are optional, fine. I'll change my ECs to reflect that, and I'll abide by the guidelines, and it won't be a problem. But when people send answers to the questions that are grossly in error, and choose to not provide a photo, I will have to let them know that they failed to answer the questions correctly and request that they try again. I won't nit-pick on tiddly little things - if they are close to the right answers, that's good enough for me, and it should be for all ECs. It is the ones who submit answers that are totally out in left field that will be a problem (such as saying 200 when the true answer is more like 35). If they provide a photo, that gives me what I need to extend a bit more grace and try to help them understand where they went wrong because I know they've been there.

 

But again, I'll reiterate that I need some additional clarification from Geoaware on when photos are allowable, and when they are not. The two examples given so far are helpful, but don't answer all of the questions. Clearly from the examples, sometimes photos are allowable, and that is what needs to be clearly communicated so that we can all understand.

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The point I tried to make with my previous post is simply this: what am I expected to do, as an EC owner, when the answer is supposed to be 35 and I get an answer of 267?

I sometimes get wide-ranging answers like that to the first question of my Castle Mountain Fault earthcache even though all the information required to reach the answer is provided on the cache page. However, some people are not and/or never were very good with math word problems, so I'll e-mail back a response along the lines of, "your answer of ____ isn't quite what I was looking for. Can you tell me how you arrived at it? I'll be happy to help you out if I have a starting point." That puts the ball back in the cacher's court explain their method and to try again, yet leaves the door open to receive help.

 

I recently visited a number of danieloliveira's very nicely done earthcaches in Portugal and he related to me how some cachers have real difficulty estimating the size of objects. He knows they visited the location because the accompanying photos are correct, but they'll say a feature was three meters tall when it was thirty meters or that a fossil was ten centimeters long when it's really only 20 millimeters. He's attempted to remedy that situation by providing ranges of sizes to choose from that provide the cacher with the right order of magnitude to choose from.

 

Having run into the wall (literally and figuratively) on some earthcaches where I just didn't "get it," I try to empathize with with cachers that don't "get" my caches, help them along, and sometimes adjust my cache page in recognition that perhaps I didn't get my write up correct on the first attempt(s).

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I'm absolutely terrible at estimating dimensions of an object. I can't even do it on an average human so I can empathize with that. I remember standing in front of a giant rock wall last year and best I could come up with was like 3 cars tall probably. But looking up at it I had no clue how tall that thing was. But I explained clearly how I arrived at my estimate.

 

I didn't mean to direct my post at anyone it's just I remember protractor being mentioned and I recall going to look at the particular page and glancing through. Trying to remember what a protractor even was let alone how to use it. Then trying to figure out what all the information on the page meant and what exactly one was supposed to measure. Honestly I'd probably not do that cache because it was well above my head as a non-geologist. Too many technicalities. But that's fine. That's the level at which you write your pages and I'm not able to complete something that requires as much knowledge in the area as your pages involve. And that's fine.

 

I understand owners get wildly wrong answers and I can't tell you how to write a cache page to remedy that. Strictly from a finder's perspective I've found the most enjoyment from questions that involve something that I could get wrong paired with stuff that even a novice like me would be able to address at the site that you would need to be on site to see. With an array of questions some of which I know I can answer once I get there the more chances I have to get some right and prove I was there.

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Well said Chokecherry...but every cache is not for every person. No one says you need to do EarthCaches. I love puzzles but avoid many (most) puzzle caches because they are simply too hard. I'm not going to demand that the puzzles all provide answers or hints just because I think they are too hard.

 

I don't do many puzzles either.

 

If you don't want people to earth cache and have it be elitist great. I would like to do earth caches. I enjoy the ones I do. But if I'm apparently not welcome to do earth caches because "not all caches are for all people" then fine.

 

But if that is the official stance of earth cachers I would hope that is clearly posted on all earth cache pages and promoted by the overseeing group. So people don't become disenchanted and think earth caches are meant to be found by all cachers. Not just the select few.

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Well said Chokecherry...but every cache is not for every person. No one says you need to do EarthCaches. I love puzzles but avoid many (most) puzzle caches because they are simply too hard. I'm not going to demand that the puzzles all provide answers or hints just because I think they are too hard.

 

I don't do many puzzles either.

 

If you don't want people to earth cache and have it be elitist great. I would like to do earth caches. I enjoy the ones I do. But if I'm apparently not welcome to do earth caches because "not all caches are for all people" then fine.

 

But if that is the official stance of earth cachers I would hope that is clearly posted on all earth cache pages and promoted by the overseeing group. So people don't become disenchanted and think earth caches are meant to be found by all cachers. Not just the select few.

 

I don't think that's official stance. Sure hope not. It's not my stance, anyway... You are welcome to come do my earthcaches - I only have three, but I like to pretend they are good ones. The more the merrier!

 

I do require that you include a picture of the pear in your log. It's such a nice pear. :anicute:

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Yes I know arguing the photo requirement is like spitting into to wind. The decision has been made and I accept it...I just don't agree with it. My 10 caches have been updated to reflect the changes...the 20 others I wrote for friends are still out in the wild; I don't know if those folks will read about the new guidelines or not. I'm guessing not. The constant changing of the requirements is a PITA and are bound to cause more angst and frustration than any benefit that could come from the changes being made in the first place.

You are exactly right so also allow me to spit! The "benefit" of the change has never been stated.

If the photos were not ALR requirements in 2010 what makes them ALR requirements in 2011? I believe the answer is nothing has changed other than GSA wanting to eliminate to use of photos. It's a shame because as someone so aptly demonstrated with the waterfall pics, these will be missed, but what the heck, the WOW factor never counted anyway!

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what if people are attracted to these listings due to the images which have been loaded on the cache page?

I know I have been attracted to some locations due to the photo gallery. One can still encourage posting of a photograge this way:

 

Optional - to earn "extra credit," post a photograph of yourself with your GPS at your favorite location with your log.

I have stated on my pages something to the extent of: Uploading photos to the cache page is the best way to say thank you to the cache developer and to encourage others to visit the location. Or Uploading photos to the cache page is the best way to encourage others to visit the location and to view changes throughout the year.

Posting images of a waterfall year round really shows the process of its development and erosional powers. Check out this photo gallery taken all year round from a trickle to a flood and finally an ice flow...

http://www.geocaching.com/seek/gallery.aspx?guid=679e3306-48a3-4d20-92c9-bab0db1fa439

 

00ce87db-c3ca-455c-989d-9946739f1420.jpg

5c3e1f33-abfd-4d49-b114-a07ac2b776b7.jpg

127b008c-e0c7-4651-abd7-1a8b1c8b3cdf.jpg

 

Imagine the loss of these images...the images are what makes this listing so special to those who cannot make the visit...and encourages many folks to make the trip in the first place. Let's face it a cache page is not only for folks visiting the location, it is also for folks visiting the cache page.

Thanks so much for sharing. Marge and I love waterfalls. We have a series of traditional geocaches called "Fallin' For Virginia" which features 18 different waterfalls in Southwest Virginia. Also, several of our ECs are waterfalls. Yes, were nutty over them and can't get enough.

The pics are just beautiful.

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Well said Chokecherry...but every cache is not for every person. No one says you need to do EarthCaches. I love puzzles but avoid many (most) puzzle caches because they are simply too hard. I'm not going to demand that the puzzles all provide answers or hints just because I think they are too hard.

 

I don't do many puzzles either.

 

If you don't want people to earth cache and have it be elitist great. I would like to do earth caches. I enjoy the ones I do. But if I'm apparently not welcome to do earth caches because "not all caches are for all people" then fine.

 

But if that is the official stance of earth cachers I would hope that is clearly posted on all earth cache pages and promoted by the overseeing group. So people don't become disenchanted and think earth caches are meant to be found by all cachers. Not just the select few.

EarthCaches are no more an elitist type of cache than are puzzles...the fact remains that I cannot solve many puzzles...does that make the owner elitist? No. You many not want to publish a photo (any photo) does that make an EarthCache owner elitist? No. It's not a big leap to state that every cache is not for every person.

Edited by Lostby7

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Well said Chokecherry...but every cache is not for every person. No one says you need to do EarthCaches. I love puzzles but avoid many (most) puzzle caches because they are simply too hard. I'm not going to demand that the puzzles all provide answers or hints just because I think they are too hard.

 

I don't do many puzzles either.

 

If you don't want people to earth cache and have it be elitist great. I would like to do earth caches. I enjoy the ones I do. But if I'm apparently not welcome to do earth caches because "not all caches are for all people" then fine.

 

But if that is the official stance of earth cachers I would hope that is clearly posted on all earth cache pages and promoted by the overseeing group. So people don't become disenchanted and think earth caches are meant to be found by all cachers. Not just the select few.

 

I don't think that's official stance. Sure hope not. It's not my stance, anyway... You are welcome to come do my earthcaches - I only have three, but I like to pretend they are good ones. The more the merrier!

 

I do require that you include a picture of the pear in your log. It's such a nice pear. :anicute:

 

I'd include a picture of the pear in the logs of your earth caches. Thanks for being welcoming in the earth cache world to me (and I'm assuming others) instead of attempting to make earth caches only for the chosen crowd. Might have little earth caches. Maybe they're not perfect but I appreciate the effort that you took reaching out.

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