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The Return Of Virtuals


JL_HSTRE
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Based on the Feedback forums, Groundspeak is planning to bring back Virtuals in 2011, possibly in the spring.

 

Now some people don't like them or simply feel they belong on Waymarking or are worried about quality control. But "should they come back?" is not the question of this topic. The question is this: given they are coming back whether you personally want them or not, HOW would you bring them back?

 

I think one thing we can pretty much all agree on is no armchair virtuals.

 

Should Virtuals not count toward your Total Finds ala Benchmarks?

 

Should Virtuals be required to be educational ala Earthcaches?

 

Should Virtuals have specific requirements for logging? Example: requiring questions to answered about the site in addition to photos (ala Earthcaches).

 

Should they be restricted to certain types of locations and if so what kind? Limit it to historic buildings/landmarks, statues, and monuments? Man-made objects only not natural ones (i.e. natural objects must be Earthcaches)?

 

Should saturation restrictions (the 0.1 mile limit) apply to Virtuals now? This could limit "Virtuals spam" and help limit them to areas where physical caches cannot be placed.

 

Should their be some kind of voting process for Virtuals?

 

Should Virtuals be banned from commercial property? Ex: no Disney World Virtuals.

 

These are just some ideas I came up with on the fly. Would love to hear yours.

 

As I said at the beginning, this is about discussing how the change (already planned) should be implemented. For those wanting to chime in for or against, please visit the appropriate topic on the Feedback Forums:

Bring Back Virtuals

Don't Bring Back Virtuals

Edited by joshism
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Terrible idea to bring them back. They exist just fine on Waymarking, and that site allows others to submit similar items in the spirit of the old locationless type.

 

Virtuals go something like this: "I'm too lazy to maintain a geocache here, so visit the statue at these coordinates and tell me how many arms it has to claim a find."

 

Adding in the locationless concept, it's: "Know of any other statues? Post them in this category. When someone visits it, they can claim their find as if it was a virtual."

 

It would be far better to make the Waymarking site better than to shoehorn non-geocaches onto geocaching.com.

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Based on the Feedback forums, Groundspeak is planning to bring back Virtuals in 2011, possibly in the spring.

 

Now some people don't like them or simply feel they belong on Waymarking or are worried about quality control. But "should they come back?" is not the question of this topic. The question is this: given they are coming back whether you personally want them or not, HOW would you bring them back?

 

I think one thing we can pretty much all agree on is no armchair virtuals.

 

Should Virtuals not count toward your Total Finds ala Benchmarks? I like that idea.

 

Should Virtuals be required to be educational ala Earthcaches? Also a good idea

 

Should Virtuals have specific requirements for logging? Example: requiring questions to answered about the site in addition to photos (ala Earthcaches). Can you still ask for photos in earthcaches?

 

Should they be restricted to certain types of locations and if so what kind? Limit it to historic buildings/landmarks, statues, and monuments? Man-made objects only not natural ones (i.e. natural objects must be Earthcaches)? If they go for educational, then no.

 

Should saturation restrictions (the 0.1 mile limit) apply to Virtuals now? This could limit "Virtuals spam" and help limit them to areas where physical caches cannot be placed. .5mi between Virtuals? I don't know about physical caches.

 

Should their be some kind of voting process for Virtuals? NO

 

Should Virtuals be banned from commercial property? Ex: no Disney World Virtuals. I think ALL caches should be banned from commercial property (LPC's)

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I feel a virtual.

 

* Must Bring you to an landmark/monument, or someplace that you may not otherwise see.

 

* Must be in a place where a physical cache is not possible due to rules, laws, or property owner refusal.

 

* The 0.1 mile limit should apply. (Some leeway can be given by reviewer)

 

* The virtual should be within 50 miles of the Cache Owners home as if he was responsible to maintain it, this should stop the virtual flooding in historic areas (aka: "I always wanted to own a cache in NY/DC/etc so I made this virtual") a local is better able to determine if a physical cache is actually possible.

 

* Logging requirements are up to the CO, but should made simple such as a simple question that can be answered at the site, photo of the site.

 

* A reviewer should be able to archive a virtual if someone is able to place a physical at the location sometime in the future.

 

 

I have never been a fan of the "Picture of yourself at the site", remember some people may not want to post pictures of themselves on the internet for a multitude of reasons. And the latest craze is a picture with your GPS, even though I have a true GPSr my camera is built in my GPSr so this is impossible for me. And think of all the people who use a cellphone for caching/camera.

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Good questions...

 

I think one thing we can pretty much all agree on is no armchair virtuals.

 

Yes, without a logbook sort of *required* mechanism for validating a find seems necessary.

 

Should Virtuals not count toward your Total Finds ala Benchmarks?

 

I think they should count. If all virtuals are constructed such that site must be visited (to obtain information) in order to log the find then a geocacher would have put in at least as much effort as a lot of P&G caches. One of the difficulties will be creating a fool proof mechanism for validating the find. Apparently, some geocachers share the correct answers to questions for a virtual to provide other geocachers the required information necessary to log a virtual.

 

Should Virtuals be required to be educational ala Earthcaches?

 

No, but I suppose that depends on how you define educational. I suppose useless knowledge can still be considered education.

 

Should Virtuals have specific requirements for logging? Example: requiring questions to answered about the site in addition to photos (ala Earthcaches).

 

Some sort of validation process should be in place, with the criteria being that the CO has made a best effort to prevent armchair logging. I don't think that necessitates specific requirements (taking a photo).

 

Should they be restricted to certain types of locations and if so what kind? Limit it to historic buildings/landmarks, statues, and monuments? Man-made objects only not natural ones (i.e. natural objects must be Earthcaches)?

 

I don't think that there should be restrictions on locations.

 

Should saturation restrictions (the 0.1 mile limit) apply to Virtuals now? This could limit "Virtuals spam" and help limit them to areas where physical caches cannot be placed.

 

If anythings, extending the proximity guideline to .25 miles might make sense for virtuals.

 

Should their be some kind of voting process for Virtuals?

 

No, but I did find it interesting that Virtuals are very well represented on favorites lists.

 

Should Virtuals be banned from commercial property? Ex: no Disney World Virtuals.

 

I'm not sure banning from commercial property is required as long as the existing commercial/agendas guidelines are followed. I would also grandfather any existing virts.

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I am still not quite sure how Jeremy will be able to bring back virtuals and satisfy both camps, as was the goal. It will be a herculean task.

 

When virtuals are brought back, I would keep them a part of this game (not like benchmarks). They have enriched my caching experience in numerous ways. It is not surprising that they are on so many people's list of favorites -- indeed, many of my favorites of the favorites are virtuals.

 

I don't think the earthcache model could strictly apply without a group such as the GSA to administer them, but I would not want to see every McDonald's -- or even every plaque -- turned into a virtual. And the WOW factor did not work. So some educational focus, expanded saturation requirement, or other limitations (placement only in areas where traditional caching is not permitted or not appropriate) might be necessary.

 

I used to have a lot of ideas for how I would like to see virtuals return. But since Groundspeak has a plan in place, I am content to wait and see how they resolve these types of issues.

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If we are going have to have them I'd like to see something that eliminated the mundane. I don't want to see a list of virtuals that is nothing more than a way to find the nearest McD's or such. And I certainly don't want to see virtual power trails. I can just see it happening. The conversion of the alien highway to a chain of virts. "Drive down the road while your passenger takes a picture of each power tower as you pass."

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It would be far better to make the Waymarking site better than to shoehorn non-geocaches onto geocaching.com.

 

It would be even better for Groundspeak to admit that Waymarking is an epic fail, and create one site that is home to geocaches AND interesting container-less waymarks. The distinction between container and no container is fairly arbitrary - a lot of us like finding virtual geocaches, but prefer the geocaching framework instead of the tedious taxonomy over at Waymarking.com.

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Holy cats, do we have to live through this again?

 

Carp virtuals - rotting dear carcass.

 

Useless virtuals - TB graveyards 'The Grandfather of Armchair Logging'.

 

Hard to submit virtuals - The WOW factor.

 

Abandoned virtuals - Zigeunerschnitzel

 

Adopted virtuals. Fun, well maintained, but time to call in Dr. Kevorkian.

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I think this is the thread where I expand on my comments from the recent armchair logging thread.

 

arnt virtuals pretty much the same thing as Waymarking anyway, which has its own site?

 

:drama:

You almost go me to start my "robot" response, though it was mostly in reaction to Knowschad's claim that there wasn't a single virtual he regretted looking for. But then I looked and saw this thread is about armchair logging. So I'll save it for another discussion as to whether or not virtuals and waymarks are the same thing. But I will say that I don't think they are the same, though Waymarking could encompass virtuals. The problem has always been defining what a virtual cache is, so people don't submit other types of waymarks as virtual caches.

 

So here's my take. Geocaching is about finding an object using a GPSr (or a least with the option to use a GPSr). In the course of Geocaching you may be taken to interesting places (or you may be taken to a mundane place). Geocaching per se isn't about sharing interesting places, though many people enjoy the fact that they often get to go to interesting places in the process of looking for geocaches.

 

Waymarking is about sharing interesting places. However Waymarking makes no judgement about what is interesting. If a group of at least three premium members think a category is interesting, they can propose it. A peer review gives some feedback but generally the category will be approved as long as it isn't too much like an existing category. The category officers then decide if the waymarks submitted to that category are interesting enough to be published. So of course there are categories that some people find totally mundane. Most people will only find a few categories that they consider "wow".

 

Virtuals should not be used simply to share "interesting" places. If they are brought back there must be a specific item that can be found using a GPSr. There should be a specific task involving that item (either answer a question about it or take a picture of it) that serves in lieu of signing the log. There should be no "wow" requirement, but in order to prevent virtual spew, there must be some kind of way to limit their use. Perhaps requiring explicit permission, or explicit proof that a physical cache could not be placed. Perhaps severe limitations on the number of virtuals (only premium members can hide one and each member can hide at most one).

 

One other idea might be to integrate Waymarking better with geocaching. Perhaps instead of bring back virtuals, the plan is to select a number of Waymarking categories and make these waymarks available in Pocket Queries and searches for nearest geocaches. People who liked going to "interesting" places while they are geocaching could use these waymarks to take them to interesting places near the geocaches they are looking for. Since these are waymarks - not geocaches - they would not count as geocache finds. But you would not have to go to a different site in order download waypoints or to log your visit. However, if you wanted to submit a new virtual/waymark you would still do it on the Waymarking site.

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I'd like to see virtuals come back because they definitely are great in some areas and are obviously popular- I've noticed most of the states and countries in the world have a virtual (be it grandfathered or an Earthcache) as their most favorited cache, which I found interesting.

 

I think one solution would be to have something similar to Earthcaches but for history- bring cachers there, explain the background of why the spot is noteworthy, and a few questions to answer plus a picture. There are a lot of awesome spots that are just impossible for a physical container for whatever reason and frankly Waymarking isn't something most are interested in for various reasons.

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I think this is the thread where I expand on my comments from the recent armchair logging thread.

 

arnt virtuals pretty much the same thing as Waymarking anyway, which has its own site?

 

:drama:

You almost go me to start my "robot" response, though it was mostly in reaction to Knowschad's claim that there wasn't a single virtual he regretted looking for. But then I looked and saw this thread is about armchair logging. So I'll save it for another discussion as to whether or not virtuals and waymarks are the same thing. But I will say that I don't think they are the same, though Waymarking could encompass virtuals. The problem has always been defining what a virtual cache is, so people don't submit other types of waymarks as virtual caches.

 

So here's my take. Geocaching is about finding an object using a GPSr (or a least with the option to use a GPSr). In the course of Geocaching you may be taken to interesting places (or you may be taken to a mundane place). Geocaching per se isn't about sharing interesting places, though many people enjoy the fact that they often get to go to interesting places in the process of looking for geocaches.

 

Waymarking is about sharing interesting places. However Waymarking makes no judgement about what is interesting. If a group of at least three premium members think a category is interesting, they can propose it. A peer review gives some feedback but generally the category will be approved as long as it isn't too much like an existing category. The category officers then decide if the waymarks submitted to that category are interesting enough to be published. So of course there are categories that some people find totally mundane. Most people will only find a few categories that they consider "wow".

 

Virtuals should not be used simply to share "interesting" places. If they are brought back there must be a specific item that can be found using a GPSr. There should be a specific task involving that item (either answer a question about it or take a picture of it) that serves in lieu of signing the log. There should be no "wow" requirement, but in order to prevent virtual spew, there must be some kind of way to limit their use. Perhaps requiring explicit permission, or explicit proof that a physical cache could not be placed. Perhaps severe limitations on the number of virtuals (only premium members can hide one and each member can hide at most one).

 

One other idea might be to integrate Waymarking better with geocaching. Perhaps instead of bring back virtuals, the plan is to select a number of Waymarking categories and make these waymarks available in Pocket Queries and searches for nearest geocaches. People who liked going to "interesting" places while they are geocaching could use these waymarks to take them to interesting places near the geocaches they are looking for. Since these are waymarks - not geocaches - they would not count as geocache finds. But you would not have to go to a different site in order download waypoints or to log your visit. However, if you wanted to submit a new virtual/waymark you would still do it on the Waymarking site.

 

If we ever meet, you're gonna get a big hug from me.

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Terrible idea to bring them back. They exist just fine on Waymarking, and that site allows others to submit similar items in the spirit of the old locationless type.

 

Virtuals go something like this: "I'm too lazy to maintain a geocache here, so visit the statue at these coordinates and tell me how many arms it has to claim a find."

 

Adding in the locationless concept, it's: "Know of any other statues? Post them in this category. When someone visits it, they can claim their find as if it was a virtual."

 

It would be far better to make the Waymarking site better than to shoehorn non-geocaches onto geocaching.com.

 

I'm with Sax on this one.

 

If we are going have to have them I'd like to see something that eliminated the mundane. I don't want to see a list of virtuals that is nothing more than a way to find the nearest McD's or such. And I certainly don't want to see virtual power trails. I can just see it happening. The conversion of the alien highway to a chain of virts. "Drive down the road while your passenger takes a picture of each power tower as you pass."

 

How do we do this without making reviewers the arbiters of the quality of the virtual? We tried that before and it was a failure.

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I won't answer each question. I like the idea of virtuals. I did some of the virts at WDW and it was neat to be able to cache while there. I have been there so many times that I like having something else to do. In the Bahamas, I did two. It was just as good as the physical cache, and I learned something, too.

 

But I also would not like to see every fence post be a virt--there has to be a real reason for it to exist--something to offer the cacher.

 

Photos? My phone is my GPSr and my camera, so some of those requirements don't work for me. But one I did in Epcot had that, and I explained my situation, and it is credited to me anyway. I don't mind the idea of photos to help validate and reduce the "armchair" caching, but let's not shut out the smartphone users.

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I could see allowing photos to be a logging requirement on virtuals to raise quite the issue with the earth caching community who just lost the ability to require photos as a logging requirement (except in special circumstances). They should standardize what they will and will not allow for logging requirements for virtuals and earth caches before rolling this out so you don't get one group with the hackles up going on and on about how unfair this or that is.

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If we are going have to have them I'd like to see something that eliminated the mundane. I don't want to see a list of virtuals that is nothing more than a way to find the nearest McD's or such. And I certainly don't want to see virtual power trails. I can just see it happening. The conversion of the alien highway to a chain of virts. "Drive down the road while your passenger takes a picture of each power tower as you pass."

 

How do we do this without making reviewers the arbiters of the quality of the virtual? We tried that before and it was a failure.

Exactly. But I was forced by the premise in the OP to assume that we are going to get them, wanted or not. The question being how would I like to see them work, or some such. That being the case I want the wow factor. Perhaps appoint a panel to review for wow. I don't know how to make it work but that is what I want.

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I've noticed most of the states and countries in the world have a virtual (be it grandfathered or an Earthcache) as their most favorited cache, which I found interesting.

I've been doing some digging on this since I first noticed it myself, and many of the cases it seems very correlated to the find rate. That doesn't mean they're not worthy caches, but most of those atop the Favorites leaderboard have voting rates at far below 10%.

 

How do we do this without making reviewers the arbiters of the quality of the virtual? We tried that before and it was a failure.

Earthcaches seem to work okay, in the sense that the "quality" or "wow" or "guidelines" or "whatever" factor was farmed out to a third party. If I have to accept that Virtuals are coming back (something I'm not excited about), I wouldn't mind if they were managed/restricted by say the American Historical Society in a way similar to how the GSA stays on top of Earthcaches (only 9 in all five boroughs of NYC combined).

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I've been doing some digging on this since I first noticed it myself, and many of the cases it seems very correlated to the find rate. That doesn't mean they're not worthy caches, but most of those atop the Favorites leaderboard have voting rates at far below 10%.

 

add to that the fact that ECs and especially virtuals are few and far apart, and you got your explanation.

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I'm glad they're coming back, and I think it was a mistake to let them go in the first place. However, they did need some updating, and perhaps the break that they got will have allowed for that.

 

I don't think VCs belong in places that physical caches would work just fine. That idea seems silly to me. However, in parks and near monuments where physical caches are an impossibility for any of a myriad of reasons, VCs are the perfect solution. When we climbed Half Dome in Yosemite last year, had it not been for VCs, there would have been no cache. It'd be a crying shame to not have geocaching represented on such a famed and fabled mountain, but Yosemite's not about to start letting folks place ammo cans in their national park. Throughout one of my favorite hiking areas, Joshua Tree, there is nothing BUT VCs, because physical caches are off limits. Problem solved now.

 

I agree that they were probably over used prior to their being banished, but I think with the right tweaking and the right guidelines for using them, they will be a successful cache type.

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How do we do this without making reviewers the arbiters of the quality of the virtual? We tried that before and it was a failure.

Exactly. But I was forced by the premise in the OP to assume that we are going to get them, wanted or not. The question being how would I like to see them work, or some such. That being the case I want the wow factor. Perhaps appoint a panel to review for wow. I don't know how to make it work but that is what I want.

 

A suggestion was made, by some geocacher, at one time, to have anonymous panels of geocachers to vote on the 'Wow" factor. Geocacher proposes a Virtual. Information sent to volunteers. Majority vote of thirty judges on the panel (or however many), and the Virtual is accepted. Less than majority, the Virtual is denied. No onus on the reviewers. No appeal.

I'm sure we could get a panel of several thousand volunteers, to vote on one proposed Virtual a week.

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It would be even better for Groundspeak to admit that Waymarking is an epic fail,

 

If they would allow waymark stats on your gc.com profile you'd see a rise in interest.

 

If they integrated them with this site and had an integrated profile with stats for both as well as pocket queries, you'd see a rise in interest.

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I think it would be cool if the "new" virtuals had their own icon to differentiate from the old ones. Its been what, 8 years? I think its cooler to have an old one logged than say a newer one. The old ones have survived this long.

 

If new rules are to be implemented, then the different icon would help separate the requirements of the two (ie proving you have been there).

 

I am not sure they "should" be educational, but they should have some parameter. There is one virtual, I wont name names, that you just have to find a number on a fire hydrant. Apart from being old, thats not very exciting.

 

If they are bringing back virtuals...great! I personally hope webcams and locationless caches can be brought back, especially locationless, as I do not have any. At least allow the old ones to be logged. There are not that many of them.

 

I think some rule about proximity from another virtual or earth cache is just fine, but I do not think there should be a rule about proximity to other physical caches.

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I'm kind of inclined to say bring back virtuals if:

  • Jeremy can guarantee property owners aren't going to point to virts as "good enough" for a cache instead of a physical cache.
  • Count TOWARDS the find count.
  • Not interfere with real caches in any way.

 

The primary reason I think virtuals should NOT come back is the difficulty in convincing property owners that virtual caches are NOT as good as physical caches in most cases. Yes, sometimes only a virtual would work on some lands, but once that gets a good toe hold then many property owners will take the easy way out and prohibit real caches and only allow virts. That would be worse than the trache take-over that has happened in the past few years.

 

Fix number 1 and the other two will likely improve the hobby. Most trache would eventually go away as the lazy cachers would "place" virts instead of the trache seen today. Just don't let a virt interfere with a real cache. A lazy virt lister shouldn't take a spot that someone who is actually willing to put the effort in placing a decent cache could use.

 

Those three are really the only things I care about with virts. Let the virt owner decide the verification. No WOW factor. Let it go back to the way it was with virts otherwise. Everyone who is clamoring for the virts to come back will get a real eye full.

 

...or just leave them on Waymarking.com where they belong.

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I am very much looking forward to the return of virtuals. The tour of Washington, DC via virtuals is an experience I will always cherish. I was very concerned that caches like To a man on his day that was at the Martin Luther King site was gone permanently. So to answer some of the questions

 

I think one thing we can pretty much all agree on is no armchair virtuals. Agree

 

Should Virtuals not count toward your Total Finds ala Benchmarks? Yes caching is about using coordinates to find something as far I am concerned

 

Should Virtuals be required to be educational ala Earthcaches? No though most are

 

Should Virtuals have specific requirements for logging? Example: requiring questions to answered about the site in addition to photos (ala Earthcaches). Yes the learning is part of what makes virutals so enjoyable

 

Should they be restricted to certain types of locations and if so what kind? Limit it to historic buildings/landmarks, statues, and monuments? Man-made objects only not natural ones (i.e. natural objects must be Earthcaches)? Part of what I love about caching is caching getting me to places I would never have visited otherwise. The CO wants me to visit for a reason so restrictions should be really thought out.

 

Should saturation restrictions (the 0.1 mile limit) apply to Virtuals now? This could limit "Virtuals spam" and help limit them to areas where physical caches cannot be placed. I vacillate on this, some times there can items of interest in close proximity. On the other hand have one every 10 feet does not make them special

 

Thanks for bringing them back amid all of the controversy.

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Photos? My phone is my GPSr and my camera, so some of those requirements don't work for me.

 

Take a hand mirror with you. Hold it facing the camera so that you can see a reflection of the camera/gpsr in the mirror while taking a photo of yourself.

 

For inspiration, here's a photo of a guy taking a photo of himself, taking a photo of the tattoos on his wrists. He is the only person in the room.

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Should Virtuals have specific requirements for logging? Example: requiring questions to answered about the site in addition to photos (ala Earthcaches).

 

A minor point of clarification - Earthcache guidelines no longer permit photo requirements.

 

That is true, but we are not prohibited from uploading photos of our Earthcache finds. The CO just can't no longer demand them as logging requirements.

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Should Virtuals have specific requirements for logging? Example: requiring questions to answered about the site in addition to photos (ala Earthcaches).

 

A minor point of clarification - Earthcache guidelines no longer permit photo requirements.

 

That is true, but we are not prohibited from uploading photos of our Earthcache finds. The CO just can't no longer demand them as logging requirements.

 

:blink:

 

No, we are not prohibited from uploading pictures, that is correct.

 

:blink:

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I could see allowing photos to be a logging requirement on virtuals to raise quite the issue with the earth caching community who just lost the ability to require photos as a logging requirement (except in special circumstances). They should standardize what they will and will not allow for logging requirements for virtuals and earth caches before rolling this out so you don't get one group with the hackles up going on and on about how unfair this or that is.

I agree, this is to be expected. All the trouble in the forums, banned users, locked threads, normally starts with the Earthcachers.

BTW: I enjoy Waymarking Earthcaches, it is quite simple to do so.

Edited by Manville Possum Hunters
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Should Virtuals have specific requirements for logging? Example: requiring questions to answered about the site in addition to photos (ala Earthcaches).

 

A minor point of clarification - Earthcache guidelines no longer permit photo requirements.

 

That is true, but we are not prohibited from uploading photos of our Earthcache finds. The CO just can't no longer demand them as logging requirements.

 

:blink:

 

No, we are not prohibited from uploading pictures, that is correct.

 

:blink:

I think that most of us that still enjoy EC's will upload photos of our finds. I really enjoy my uploads.

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As far as armchair virtuals, everyone that I have ever done there was something at the site the CO could have ask about that would have been impossible to answer unless you had been there. A good example was one I did that was a grave site of an important person, which the information the CO wanted could have probably been found on the internet, but the kicker was he asked for information from a headstone next to it that was just a normal grave.

 

Virtual caches should count on your total the same as a regular cache or an earth cache.

 

I also think the reviewers should police virtuals better, don't just allow the CO to have a cacher go to some coordinates and ask a question like tell me what you see.

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As long as we're expression concerns about how virtual cache might be implemented here's one of mine.

 

Jeremy was fairly vague in the feedback topic comment that they are investigating how to bring back virtuals in "some form". Here's a form that I hope that they'd *don't* take (and I hope I'm not giving them ideas).

 

There are lots of location based social media applications out there such as Foursquare, Gowalla, etc. They rely on the use of a smart phone that is location aware (because it has a GPS in it) and the fact that you have "found" some sort of feature on the site is confirmed by initiating a message to the application from that location. I could effectively confirm that someone was physically at the location of virtual cache and thus prevent armchair logging. I'm not saying that GS is considering this but they could theoretically update the official geocaching app to support virtual caches in that manner but it would mean that someone that only had a handheld GPS unit would not be able to log virtual caches.

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Should their be some kind of voting process for Virtuals?

 

 

In an effort to try and create (once again) the Wow! factor (or even the Well-I-never factor) I would love to see all new Virtual cache submission go to a voting panel. One for each country or US state. It would have to be an odd number... 7 people (experienced cachers, lucid and fully compos mentis) would do... no abstaining from voting allowed! Each submission would be considered carefully and then the vote made. Majority rules. ;)

 

I'm pretty sure it'll never happen this way but I can dream...

 

MrsB

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make it so its not possible to armchair log it i don't rly now how right now but there definently r ways of doing

personnly some of the best caches that i have found are in fact virtuals. so i have not had a negative expierience with them.

With voting though the majority do rule, but what if the result is something like 51/49, doesnt really seem to solve the problem

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As long as we're expression concerns about how virtual cache might be implemented here's one of mine.

 

Jeremy was fairly vague in the feedback topic comment that they are investigating how to bring back virtuals in "some form". Here's a form that I hope that they'd *don't* take (and I hope I'm not giving them ideas).

 

There are lots of location based social media applications out there such as Foursquare, Gowalla, etc. They rely on the use of a smart phone that is location aware (because it has a GPS in it) and the fact that you have "found" some sort of feature on the site is confirmed by initiating a message to the application from that location. I could effectively confirm that someone was physically at the location of virtual cache and thus prevent armchair logging. I'm not saying that GS is considering this but they could theoretically update the official geocaching app to support virtual caches in that manner but it would mean that someone that only had a handheld GPS unit would not be able to log virtual caches.

 

How about sending a tracklog to verify time and position?

Yes, I know they can be spoofed - but then so can phone GPSes....

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As long as we're expression concerns about how virtual cache might be implemented here's one of mine.

 

Jeremy was fairly vague in the feedback topic comment that they are investigating how to bring back virtuals in "some form". Here's a form that I hope that they'd *don't* take (and I hope I'm not giving them ideas).

 

There are lots of location based social media applications out there such as Foursquare, Gowalla, etc. They rely on the use of a smart phone that is location aware (because it has a GPS in it) and the fact that you have "found" some sort of feature on the site is confirmed by initiating a message to the application from that location. I could effectively confirm that someone was physically at the location of virtual cache and thus prevent armchair logging. I'm not saying that GS is considering this but they could theoretically update the official geocaching app to support virtual caches in that manner but it would mean that someone that only had a handheld GPS unit would not be able to log virtual caches.

You would just have to provide an alternative verification method for those cachers such as the old GPSr in the pic requirement.
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If we are going have to have them I'd like to see something that eliminated the mundane. I don't want to see a list of virtuals that is nothing more than a way to find the nearest McD's or such. And I certainly don't want to see virtual power trails. I can just see it happening. The conversion of the alien highway to a chain of virts. "Drive down the road while your passenger takes a picture of each power tower as you pass."

 

How do we do this without making reviewers the arbiters of the quality of the virtual? We tried that before and it was a failure.

Exactly. But I was forced by the premise in the OP to assume that we are going to get them, wanted or not. The question being how would I like to see them work, or some such. That being the case I want the wow factor. Perhaps appoint a panel to review for wow. I don't know how to make it work but that is what I want.

 

Let the finders determine the WOW factor. Have only the finders vote on the cache. Have [A] being very good, being average, & [F] being poor and after 10 finds or so tally the votes. If A+B is greater than F, the cache stays. If F is greater than A+B, then the cache gets archived.

 

This takes the reviewer out of the hot water determining what is good enough and let the actual finders say, Yea or Nay. If the votes were shown on the cache page it would also allow people a chance to decide if they want to even bother with finding it.

 

John

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* A reviewer should be able to archive a virtual if someone is able to place a physical at the location sometime in the future.

This is a wonderful idea. It gets rid of the "too lazy to maintain a real cache" crowd from taking over with virtuals on every corner.

 

Unfortunately, land managers may still ban physical caches if virtuals are even an option.

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Holy cats, do we have to live through this again?

 

Carp virtuals - rotting dear carcass.

 

Useless virtuals - TB graveyards 'The Grandfather of Armchair Logging'.

 

Hard to submit virtuals - The WOW factor.

 

Abandoned virtuals - Zigeunerschnitzel

 

Adopted virtuals. Fun, well maintained, but time to call in Dr. Kevorkian.

 

:lol: You forgot "turtle shell" - I'd link to it, but that might be construed as "calling out" the cache owner.

Oh yeah, remember "shoe in bush"?

 

Anyway, Jeremy & Co know all this stuff; there's a plan, which is based on a very broad and thorough experience of the issue.

What will be.

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Should Virtuals have specific requirements for logging? Example: requiring questions to answered about the site in addition to photos (ala Earthcaches).

 

A minor point of clarification - Earthcache guidelines no longer permit photo requirements.

 

Not true! Under some circumstances, photos are allowed! Please see revised guidelines and the ensuing discussion via the earthcache forum.:ph34r:

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Virtuals can be great.

But don't bring them back.

There are so many new cachers out there now that I think we'd be inundated with lame ones.

And probably bad coords too, if the amount of phone cachers are as high as I presume**.

 

**my presumption is a total guess. :)

As a waymarker I see new categorys being rejected because they are quite lame and not interesting. Even the phone booth and McD's waymarkers seem tobe trying to improve the site. I think that Waymarking has around 1000 categorys now, but the site is not used by many. Geocachers that have not found the site useful are the ones that are requesting the new virtuals, you can't get a smily for a waymark, and geocaching is all about the numbers for many cachers. I'm not into numbers, I have almost gave up geocaching except for developing ones of historic interest. This is how/why I found the Waymarking site and learned to use it. I even waymark earthcaches, so you can't say all waymarks are lame, they are almost exact copys of some EC's, but the photo is still a requirement, just not all the silly answers that you have to email the CO. But they cover the same topic, you visit the same site and learn the same thing. We just don't call them Earthcaches or virtuals, they are waymarks. Kinda like Mules, Donkeys, and Burros.

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