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PETITION: Include offline and archived caches in PQs

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Background: We're planning a trip to southern Florida and we want to cache along the way. The problem is querying for all of the caches along the way. I thought I could create a series of queries with small radii to grab all along my route. Then I'd combine them via Spinner. However, I realized because it will take me several days to complete the list caches might get stale and be archived. When caches are archived, they no longer come down with a query. At present, AFAIK, there is no way to know when a cache is archived, or even become unavailable except for it's absence from the query. Even then, you wouldn't know if it's a temporary thing or permanent.


Upon briefly inspecting a GPX file there is already two tags that tell us if the cache is unavaiable or archived. The ability to distinguish is already there.


Proposal: Create the ability in your queries to include unavailable and archived caches for the sole purpose of updating a locally built database. On archived caches, replace the original coordinates with zeros.


Purpose: Because, as how all present software now works, only those records that are included in an incoming query are updated, those caches that are not included for whatever reason, including offline and archived, are not updated. These are perhaps the second most important ones behind new caches to be updated. Merging an older file with a newer that doesn't have the offline and archived caches leaves us with an assumption that it is still available without looking at the last exported date. Then with a file that has multiple exported dates from multiple queries from multi areas, it's virtually impossible to know if it's offline for a reason or just didn't fit the critiria of the latest query. Only queries with offline and archived caches included will we know for certain that caches in our records are no longer available.


The reason for zeros in the coords for archived caches is to prevent cachers going to the original spot. Some of the reasons caches become archived is because of the spot they are in. To prevent promoting unlawful behaviour and to promote good will towards land owners, coordinates of that cache would not be included in the waypoint information.



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I am about 99% with you on this. I raised this point in April in this thread. But nothing ever came of it. I again repeat that I really do think this would save a lot of server and bandwidth resources.


I think you are going to see some people not agree with the part about putting zeros in for the coordinates. I think I have seen several posts by ClayJar about having bogus data in the PQs. He seems to get pretty upset about that. For me I have to defer to him on that subject. He knows way more about XML and keeping the data clean than I do. I only know just enough to get myself in trouble.


I would tend to disagree about putting zeros in the data. I like to have it there and think it should remain. I have used it in the past to visit parks that I saw mentioned in caches but were latter archived. I could not remember where the park was but I could find it by finding the archived cache. I also like having the data there to use for myself. I keep a map which uses the coords to place the caches I have found, some of which have since been archived. I would not want to loose that ability. Having zeros would create a big pile of caches just off the west coast of Gabon in Africa.


I understand the point about keeping people away from those areas. But people are going to do what they are going to do regardless. But getting a list of archived caches would be very very helpful.

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I don't see archived caches with original coords as being included in PQs simply because it's an issue of protecting geocaching. In many instances, land owners want those caches, and all references to them, gone. True, the cache pages are still to be reviewed, but it's for archival purposes only.


I feel the beauty of my solution is:

  • With Spinner's CorrectedCaches adjustment, you can always have a list of the original coords.
  • Developers could have their programs ignore zeroed out cache records or update everything but the coords. (Actually, a non-default setting to make it do this would be better.)
  • New databases with archived caches wouldn't have coords to the spot. This would mean while we still can see the cache page and logs, it should satisfy land owners because the coords are missing.


What I'm trying to come up with is a solution everyone can live with--to protect GC.com from angry land managers AND let us have what we need to keep our records straight.





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I would assume that a minority of the caches archived have anything to do with an "angry land manager."


I think you have a good idea, but the coords should stay.



"Just because I don't care doesn't mean I don't understand."

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