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tmitchh

No more Glacial Erratics Earthcaches

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Starting a new thread for this...

 

I just recently submitted for a Glacier Erratic in the Juneau, Alaska area and am waiting for approval. I mistakenly left the state as my home state and didn't put Alaska. The reviewer asked me to fix and then told me about not accepting Erratics as new submissions. Then I found this thread regarding the other types of earthcaches not considered any longer.

 

I have talked to many people who refuse to create earthcaches because they think they are way too difficult. I managed to get 3 published, but they probably wouldn't under the new guidelines. The EC I am trying to get published is an Erratic in the Juneau area. There are no other Erratic ECs in the area so something unique in my opinion. Not another glacier EC since there are 3 around the area and two that are part of the same glacier. And a couple of waterfalls from around here too.

 

The requirements are becoming so difficult that no one will want to publish another one. Some areas have more features than others. Alaska has a lot of glaciers so a lot of ECs about glacier related topics. I might as well just put a cache there and say by the way an erratic deposited by the glacier is nearby, isn't it cool?

 

I have always found it ridiculous that an earthcache needs permission from the park service and POC information must be provided, but I can put a film canister at the same spot and have no issues.

 

Don't publish the erratic EC I really don't care, but let's get real, ECs might as well go to the wayside like the other caches of the past. Whatever matrix is used for determining which ECs shouldn't be allowed anymore is arbitrary at best and the decisions are very subjective. I may not get published, but the fact that my EC is the first of its kind around here is something to note. I understand not wanting another erratic in an area flush with them, but something away from the norm should be considered.

 

Oh well, I have managed to publish my requisite three to get my Platinum EC master status, for all that's worth. But I went a couple of years without publishing another one just so I didn't have to go through the hassle of trying to get one published.

 

This is a hobby and that is what everyone should remember. I have run across owners who almost deleted my find because 8 months later they got around to looking at their cache and didn't remember getting an email and I was no longer in that state. Or the ever popular owner who wants a three page paper properly referenced and researched just to log the smiley. I am not a geologist and just enjoy getting out and enjoying nature. Yes I enjoy learning things, like what an erratic is and how it got there, but nature hiking is fun and I don't mind a few requirements, but not something that takes hours of research.

 

Thanks for listening.

Edited by tmitchh

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I had gotten the impression that if there were no other examples of the EarthCache type close by and the question was more than just determine the size, these subjects would still be accepted.

 

This should be the case if, in the case of an erratic, it was shown how the source of the erratic is different to the country rock by examining the difference in rock types.

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The EC I am trying to get published is an Erratic in the Juneau area. There are no other Erratic ECs in the area so something unique in my opinion. Not another glacier EC since there are 3 around the area and two that are part of the same glacier. And a couple of waterfalls from around here too.

 

Yeah, I really have a problem with this idea that "there have been enough of these in the world and we don't need to see anymore". Earthcaching is not a college science course. It's supposed to be fun. It's supposed to be a way to learn geology, but it's ALSO supposed to be a way to enjoy the outdoors and see new places.

 

Earthcaching is caching. If the philosophy that seems to be taking over the Earthcaching world were applied to the rest of the caching world, we'd be saying "sorry, no more ammo cans, we've got enough of those already", or "sorry, no more rock pile hides, we've got enough of those too."

 

I agree that it seems to be heading in a direction where Earthcaches will no longer be fun to find - or "hide".

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The EC I am trying to get published is an Erratic in the Juneau area. There are no other Erratic ECs in the area so something unique in my opinion. Not another glacier EC since there are 3 around the area and two that are part of the same glacier. And a couple of waterfalls from around here too.

 

Yeah, I really have a problem with this idea that "there have been enough of these in the world and we don't need to see anymore". Earthcaching is not a college science course. It's supposed to be fun. It's supposed to be a way to learn geology, but it's ALSO supposed to be a way to enjoy the outdoors and see new places.

 

Earthcaching is caching. If the philosophy that seems to be taking over the Earthcaching world were applied to the rest of the caching world, we'd be saying "sorry, no more ammo cans, we've got enough of those already", or "sorry, no more rock pile hides, we've got enough of those too."

 

I agree that it seems to be heading in a direction where Earthcaches will no longer be fun to find - or "hide".

 

Unfortunately, I agree with both of you. We all must face changes in life and earthcaching is no different. The only problem is when something is new, as in a new law, there is room for interpretation. How carefully thew new law of change is written is of paramount importance. Here is a direct cut and paste of the changes which are under discussion:

 

"Home → Geocaching → Creating EarthCaches → Limiting some EarthCache types

5.5. Limiting some EarthCache types

 

There are some types of Earthcaches for which there are already many examples. For this reason, new submissions for the following types will be considered only if they provide an excellent - and unique - Earth Science lesson.

 

Watershed Divides: Only major watershed divides will be accepted.

River Confluences: Only major river confluences will be accepted.

Waterfall Classification: We no longer accept EarthCache submissions featuring the various types of waterfalls with a logging task asking to identify the type of waterfall. Waterfall EarthCaches with specific information about the local geology and related logging tasks are acceptable.

Artesian Wells/Springs: A general description of how an artesian well or spring forms will not be accepted. The EarthCache should include details about the geological conditions that caused the specific artesian well/spring to be formed at the selected location.

Glacial Erratics: We have decided to no longer publish these EarthCaches unless the cache provides an exceptional Earth Science lesson and logging tasks. Cache owners should be innovative. Text should focus on the relationship between the blocks and their surrounding geology. Create a task that examines or identifies how the action of the glaciers brought the erratics to the location.

 

Please note that we are no longer accepting new submissions about the U.S. river gauging stations."

 

Here is the problem with the above. First, note the highlighted. Words like "major", "innovative". "acceptable" and "exceptional" are extremely subjective and the interpretation of such would vary greatly from person to person. It's kind of like adding a 'WOW' factor to the narrative itself! What do these words mean from a geological standpoint?

Waterfalls....what's wrong with the cache visitor learning to identify what type (classification) of waterfall is the one they are viewing. Is that not a learning experience? Even if an earthcacher soon memorized the waterfall classification schemes and could identify each waterfall at a glance, just what's wrong with that? There are several types and combinations thereof and I seriously doubt if any two waterfalls are exactly the same! Maybe they have the same classification, but they are far from being the same thing. There are just so many ways waterfalls are formed and finding "acceptable" logging tasks is also subjective and should be spelled out!

To eliminate or attempt to make more difficult the approval of previously accepted submissions is counter productive and I believe that is what timchh and Arby Gee are expressing. If, and I believe it is, earthcaching is all about educational aspects of geology, then why put up unnecessary barriers? Yes, one eratic, waterfall or confluence may seem like another to some, but that is not logical or even actually true! I would think most geologists would agree with that statement! Just what is wrong with multiple eratics or waterfalls? A lot of mountains are formed the same way yet they are very, very different. Basically a mine is a mine (dug by someone) but who would say they are alike? What about caves? Caves are formed by only a few phenomena but no limitations so far on listing them for earthcaches (excluding the poor bat disease!). Like waterfalls or eratics, no two caves are alike!

As with most of what I have said, I realize that it is opinion, but I believe earthcaching should be more inclusive, not exclusive!

Thanks. :blink:

Edited by Konnarock Kid & Marge

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Here is the problem with the above. First, note the highlighted. Words like "major", "innovative". "acceptable" and "exceptional" are extremely subjective and the interpretation of such would vary greatly from person to person. It's kind of like adding a 'WOW' factor to the narrative itself! What do these words mean from a geological standpoint?

Waterfalls....what's wrong with the cache visitor learning to identify what type (classification) of waterfall is the one they are viewing. Is that not a learning experience? Even if an earthcacher soon memorized the waterfall classification schemes and could identify each waterfall at a glance, just what's wrong with that? There are several types and combinations thereof and I seriously doubt if any two waterfalls are exactly the same! Maybe they have the same classification, but they are far from being the same thing. There are just so many ways waterfalls are formed and finding "acceptable" logging tasks is also subjective and should be spelled out!

To eliminate or attempt to make more difficult the approval of previously accepted submissions is counter productive and I believe that is what timchh and Arby Gee are expressing. If, and I believe it is, earthcaching is all about educational aspects of geology, then why put up unnecessary barriers? Yes, one eratic, waterfall or confluence may seem like another to some, but that is not logical or even actually true! I would think most geologists would agree with that statement! Just what is wrong with multiple eratics or waterfalls? A lot of mountains are formed the same way yet they are very, very different. Basically a mine is a mine (dug by someone) but who would say they are alike? What about caves? Caves are formed by only a few phenomena but no limitations so far on listing them for earthcaches (excluding the poor bat disease!). Like waterfalls or eratics, no two caves are alike!

As with most of what I have said, I realize that it is opinion, but I believe earthcaching should be more inclusive, not exclusive!

Thanks. :blink:

 

Well said. I had been thinking of developing a glacial erratic Earthcache in a local metropark that would take people on a 2 mile hike through a seldom visited part of the park to see three erratics. There's nothing spectacular about these erratics, just a nice hike and a reminder of the geology that's all around us. For those people who haven't done the other glacial erratics in the area, it would be a learning experience. For those who have, there wouldn't be as much to learn, but it would still be a worthwhile cache for those who choose to do it. And I guess that's the key. If I've had my fill of glacial erratics, then I can choose not to find any more of them or list any more of them. But it's getting more and more like someone else wants to make those decisions for us.

 

Needless to say, this particular Earthcache is going on the shelf.

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Being new to earthcaching.... The only letdown is that many of the cache pages look exactly alike... Copy and pasted. I'm not complaining... Just an observation. Maybe this is the reason for excluding some waterfalls.

 

I guess the major problem is that there is such a large fray area right now.

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I was really looking forward to doing an erratic cache I picked out in another state as they're not common at all here. Same with waterfall caches or spring caches. I'm sure they're popular else where but not where I am. I would guess there are some geology lessons over done everywhere geographically that aren't common else where. A more localized view versus a blanket ban would be nice.

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I have always found it ridiculous that an earthcache needs permission from the park service and POC information must be provided, but I can put a film canister at the same spot and have no issues.

What is the geocaching policy in Tongass National Forest? The GeocacheAlaska! website has information about caches in Chugach National Forest, but not Tongass National Forest.

 

It's my understanding that EarthCaches about erratics, waterfalls, watersheds, etc., will still be published if the cache owner ties the feature into the local geology and makes their cache page unique. I think the context of the moratorium pertains to cut and paste type cache pages that don't relate to the local geology/earth science.

 

For example, many grandfathered erratic EarthCaches ask the cacher to measure the rock and estimate its mass. However, the real lessons learned can be about from which direction the erratic came, whether the erratic was plucked from the ground by a glacier sliding over it or was conveyed from its origin on top of the glacier, comparing the erratic rock to rocks where it is resting, the grooves carved into the erratic, the "age" of the erratic, etc.

 

I believe a little extra effort by the EarthCache submitter can still result in an exceptional published EarthCache.

Edited by Ladybug Kids

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I suppose I'll add my random thoughts as well. Ladybug Kids and TerryDad2 seem to have the right understanding of the intent of the guideline changes. Some types of caches have been overdone in ways that make them no more than mere cookie cutter "cut and paste" carbon copied clones of each other. (How's that for alliteration?).

 

We were doing some EarthCaches on a trip once, and we found several of the same sort of phenomena that each had the same set of tasks all within three miles of each other. The first one was cool---we don't have anything like that around home--the second one was disappointing. We left the third one undone and didn't even look at the other ones nearby after checking the logging requirement. EarthCaches were still pretty new then and I suppose everyone in the area wanted to be the host of their very own EarthCache, but gee, that wasn't very interesting.

 

On the other hand, I'm a teacher. I like the idea of a teacher being able to take their classes on a short field trip to a local EarthCache, perhaps even a walking trip. So I appreciate the notion that we can list the same sort of EarthCache as one that exists in the next town over. I'm not keen on the idea of designating some hard and fast number of miles/kilometers apart as a distance requirement and I appreciate the reviewers taking each one on it's own merit.

 

But by the same token, if I am going to talk my school board into paying for two trips or talk my kids into going to the one ten miles away on their own--it better have a different lesson. There really isn't any point in going to four springs four miles apart and measuring the flow rate four times. Yeah maybe I learned something, but I didn't learn something new--and it's usually easy enough to teach me something new.

 

Teach me instead why one of those springs is a natural hot spring and another was a wildly popular mineral spring back in the 1920s and it isn't hot, even though it's less than a half-mile from a hot spring. Why is one just "a spring" and another an "artesian spring". Make me figure out how you can have a freshwater spring near brackish water--or a non-polluted spring near a polluted stream. Why are some streams called disappearing streams and others are classified as intermittent. And all of these things have something to do with the natural water table in the area--Can't you get me to try to figure out the depth of the water table using the nearby bodies of water?

 

And again, for those who say they don't know enough about geology to come up with these clever ideas--I think that is one good use of this forum. Bounce your ideas off other people in here, get in contact with people who have posted in here, ask the rest of us for ideas.

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I have always found it ridiculous that an earthcache needs permission from the park service and POC information must be provided, but I can put a film canister at the same spot and have no issues.

I'll add that geoaware recently posted what I consider the ultimate answer to this question.

I'm copying it below, because it does address your concern and ties it to the original thread topic as well:

Really it is pretty simple. It is about ensuring that bringing people to the site does not cause a conflict with the management of that site - many sites have multiple management issues, such as the protection of rare and endangered fauna, the protection of archeological artifacts and the protection of a geological phenomenon. That protection has been in many cases, obscurity (i.e. because people don't know about it, they don't visit). By placing an EarthCache we may cause a management issue and so the land manager needs to make sure that the EarthCache fits into their management plan.

 

On a second level, seeking permission has raised the positive profile of caching in the eyes of land managers, opening the way of all types of geocaching on those lands.

 

We realize that it seems a step in the process that to many seems superfluous, but it is as important as developing great logging tasks!

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I have always found it ridiculous that an earthcache needs permission from the park service and POC information must be provided, but I can put a film canister at the same spot and have no issues.

I'll add that geoaware recently posted what I consider the ultimate answer to this question.

I'm copying it below, because it does address your concern and ties it to the original thread topic as well:

Really it is pretty simple. It is about ensuring that bringing people to the site does not cause a conflict with the management of that site - many sites have multiple management issues, such as the protection of rare and endangered fauna, the protection of archeological artifacts and the protection of a geological phenomenon. That protection has been in many cases, obscurity (i.e. because people don't know about it, they don't visit). By placing an EarthCache we may cause a management issue and so the land manager needs to make sure that the EarthCache fits into their management plan.

 

On a second level, seeking permission has raised the positive profile of caching in the eyes of land managers, opening the way of all types of geocaching on those lands.

 

We realize that it seems a step in the process that to many seems superfluous, but it is as important as developing great logging tasks!

 

Just what is GS's official position on the 'permission' issue regarding earthcaches? What you said is all well and good and may be the current position, but the head Honshu himself (Jeremy) said it seemed unnecessary and without merit. Sorry, not an exact quote, but Jeremy did express himself on the subject and it wasn't a positive vote and he is right! I am not going to track down the blog/log, whatever and anyone else is welcome to do so, but that's what Jeremy said and we looked forward to a change in the guideline.

 

P.S. While it may be good PR, it is an unnecessary and is not legally required. What it is is an encumbrance to developing ECs!

You don't need permission to visit National and/or State Parks and yes, they will tell you where in the park you may venture. No permission to visit a park then why permission to encourage folks to do the same thing i.e.earthcaching?

Thanks.

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But by the same token, if I am going to talk my school board into paying for two trips or talk my kids into going to the one ten miles away on their own--it better have a different lesson. There really isn't any point in going to four springs four miles apart and measuring the flow rate four times. Yeah maybe I learned something, but I didn't learn something new--and it's usually easy enough to teach me something new.

 

I certainly understand this, but I think the point many of us are making is that it's your choice. If you see an Earthcache that you consider to be lame, or one that repeats a lesson you've already learned, you have every right to pass it by and choose another one. But the other side of that coin is that people who haven't yet learned that lesson should have the option of doing so. And why restrict them to learning it at just one place?

 

I don't care much for the lame, cut-and-paste Earthcaches either and in general I don't seek them unless they're at a nice area that has no other caches to find. In my own Earthcache listings I always try my best to include local, specific information. But it's not always possible to be "innovative" and come up with an "exceptional" science lesson. And I'm not sure I would want to spend the time working at it only to be told that my lesson isn't "innovative" or "exceptional" enough.

 

Most of us are amateurs who've learned what we know from reading books and doing other people's Earthcaches. Even if we kick ideas around on this forum, there's still a limit to how innovative and exceptional we can be without running the risk of providing erroneous information, which would be the worst crime of all.

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But by the same token, if I am going to talk my school board into paying for two trips or talk my kids into going to the one ten miles away on their own--it better have a different lesson. There really isn't any point in going to four springs four miles apart and measuring the flow rate four times. Yeah maybe I learned something, but I didn't learn something new--and it's usually easy enough to teach me something new.

 

I certainly understand this, but I think the point many of us are making is that it's your choice. If you see an Earthcache that you consider to be lame, or one that repeats a lesson you've already learned, you have every right to pass it by and choose another one. But the other side of that coin is that people who haven't yet learned that lesson should have the option of doing so. And why restrict them to learning it at just one place?

The point I was trying to make was there doesn't need to be repetition. It's (almost always) possible to create a new learning experience for each spot--even if they are all the same type of thing. Then everybody wins.

 

Most of us are amateurs who've learned what we know from reading books and doing other people's Earthcaches. Even if we kick ideas around on this forum, there's still a limit to how innovative and exceptional we can be without running the risk of providing erroneous information, which would be the worst crime of all.

So what would you recommend instead?

Doing nothing?

Complaining that it's 'too hard' to make an EarthCache and just not making one?

 

How about, just doing the ones you are willing to tackle --and perhaps talking someone else into tackling the more challenging ones?

 

I'm going to say something that is difficult for me, because it seems harsh, but it's true that "all caches are not for everybody". There are puzzle caches I can't solve, high-terrain caches I can't navigate, and caches that require specialty equipment I don't own and don't care to spend the cash to rent. I'll never do those caches, and I'll certainly never create one of them either. I won't create the EarthCache equivalent of those either; you won't see a 5 terrain EarthCache from me. I don't feel bad about myself about not doing or creating those caches though, and I just do and make the kind I can. I don't think anyone else cares if I do them or not either. Why would we be more demanding on ourselves about EarthCaches than we are about any other kind of cache? Do the ones you can, leave the rest to others.

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So what would you recommend instead?

Doing nothing?

Complaining that it's 'too hard' to make an EarthCache and just not making one?

 

I'm recommending what I've been saying all along: putting the "caching" back in Earthcaching. Realizing that each and every Earthcache shouldn't have to be an innovative and exceptional science lesson any more than each and every geocache has to be a 10-stage encrypted puzzle accessible only by a 6-mile upstream kayak journey.

 

One of the most important aspects of caching is getting out and enjoying nature. We seem to be losing sight of that.

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I think it is important to look at what Earthcaching is... it's goal.. and how it is accomplished.

 

An EarthCache site is a special place that people can visit to learn about a unique geoscience feature or aspect of our Earth. Visitors to EarthCache sites can see how our planet has been shaped by geological processes, how we manage the resources and how scientists gather evidence to learn about the Earth.

 

It is accomplished by

  • Taking you to a unique location.
  • Teaching you about the site. Either through the cache page, interpretive signs, or logging tasks at the location.
  • Have you perform logging tasks to prove you were there.

 

Certain things were limited. Terrydads answer was right. Is a Glacial Erratic, spring, or waterfall a few hundred miles from another tossed out. No. However when a reviewer sees those they throw a red flag. It tells us to look closer. The biggest problem is the write-ups are identical, and as Neos2 pointed out, It gets boring to do the same thing at different places. Hopefully one of the things that people enjoy about them is that it takes you to new places, and teaches you new things. With Yellowstone I see a number of write-ups about geysers. Does every geyser, mud pot, or fumerole need an earthcache this identical to the others? People would loose interest in them. Making them unique saying what is special about the geology of the location adds to the interest.

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I think it is important to look at what Earthcaching is... it's goal.. and how it is accomplished.

 

An EarthCache site is a special place that people can visit to learn about a unique geoscience feature or aspect of our Earth. Visitors to EarthCache sites can see how our planet has been shaped by geological processes, how we manage the resources and how scientists gather evidence to learn about the Earth.

 

It is accomplished by

  • Taking you to a unique location.
  • Teaching you about the site. Either through the cache page, interpretive signs, or logging tasks at the location.
  • Have you perform logging tasks to prove you were there.

 

Certain things were limited. Terrydads answer was right. Is a Glacial Erratic, spring, or waterfall a few hundred miles from another tossed out. No. However when a reviewer sees those they throw a red flag. It tells us to look closer. The biggest problem is the write-ups are identical, and as Neos2 pointed out, It gets boring to do the same thing at different places. Hopefully one of the things that people enjoy about them is that it takes you to new places, and teaches you new things. With Yellowstone I see a number of write-ups about geysers. Does every geyser, mud pot, or fumerole need an earthcache this identical to the others? People would loose interest in them. Making them unique saying what is special about the geology of the location adds to the interest.

 

I was going to attempt to do those Yellowstone earth caches last year but as a I recall one of those creative and innovative logging tasks on many of the caches in yellowstone not only involves taking a picture but taking a picture of yourself at the site. And a lot of the pages are very very similar. However, at the same time chances are where I live I won't see a geyser so seeing a bunch of those geothermal things in one spot was cool and the fact that I was getting the same information from those caches essentially didn't stop me... it was the silly photograph logging requirements that are left on so many earth caches out there (and if you look at the listings of caches in the top 1000 thread you'll see a similar story).

 

We don't have a plethora of waterfalls here or springs. We don't have a bunch of glacial erratics laying around but you want an earth cache about open pit mining or specifics about the geology of the rocks involved you'll find plenty. I'm not particularly interested in another mining earth cache but I would like to have a glacial erratic closer than a few hundred miles away if there was one which I wouldn't know. Or even some water falls or swamps or something.

 

Point is every area has earth caches that are over done. There shouldn't be a blanket ban on a type of earth cache because some areas are saturated with it while others are not. There's only so much information out there. You can only say so much about some of these earth caches and there's only so much tie in you can have that is completely unique to the area. For you reviewers it might be old hand and old information but for the person making the page and the people finding the cache it might be new information. It might be a huge learning experience in fact which is dismissed because the reviewers and people who are heavy earth cachers are essentially jaded by the information. That's not right.

 

I agree that earth caching should get back to the basic premise that it is caching. In caching there are lots of repeated concepts. Lots of hollowed out logs, tree stumps, guard rails, LPCs, dead fall with ammo cans shoved under them etc. Doesn't mean we need to pan ammo cans shoved in rotting tree stumps or birdhouses just because there's so many the write ups are the same. Same with earth caches.

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OK????

Just what is/are the criteria for denying Earthcaches? Is this saturation based on “proximity”? If so what is the measure used?

Or… Is this based on overall numbers?

Please keep in mind most folks will not travel great distances for ECs… So even if the numbers seem many within a given geographical area at least this will make ECs more available as an educational tool.

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OK????

Just what is/are the criteria for denying Earthcaches? Is this saturation based on “proximity”? If so what is the measure used?

Or… Is this based on overall numbers?

Please keep in mind most folks will not travel great distances for ECs… So even if the numbers seem many within a given geographical area at least this will make ECs more available as an educational tool.

 

You don't need me to say it, but wonderfully put!

Reviewers, lighten up and just because if you have gotten tired of waterfalls, eratics, etc. doesn't mean the rest of us have! Publish the criteria for denial or at least be consistent and do away with arbitrary denials. Why or whom said that what was OK in the past, a far as earthcache criteria goes, is not worthy in the present?

Do we want to promote earthcaching or create some sort of exclusive club?

Thanks.

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The guidelines say:

 

2. EarthCaches should highlight a unique feature. EarthCaches that duplicate existing EarthCache information about the site or related sites may be rejected. EarthCaches should be developed to provide a unique experience to the location's visitors, and to teach a unique lesson about the feature at the site. Multiple EarthCaches on the same feature should be avoided and content, rather than proximity, will be the guiding principle of EarthCache reviewers.

 

The key word in there is "unique".

 

You CAN get an EarthCache on a waterfall published, as long as the lesson is site specific and unique. We will NOT publish cut and pasted logging tasks about classification.....so just look at what is unique about the Earth science site....and write the text and logging tasks based on those.

 

You CAN get an EarthCache on a glacial erratic published - as long as the lesson is site specific and unique. We will NOT publish 'determine the weight of the rock' type of logging tasks....what about a task about where the rock might have come from? or why is it 'out of place' at the site etc.

 

There are many neat questions that can be asked about waterfalls and erratics that both make the visitor have to think about what they are seeing and that can only be done by being at the site.

 

As the guideline says "content, rather than proximity, will be the guiding principle". However, if there is an EC on the SAME topic with the SAME type of logging tasks withing a short drive, maybe you should look for some other angle to your EC development.

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The guidelines say:

 

2. EarthCaches should highlight a unique feature. EarthCaches that duplicate existing EarthCache information about the site or related sites may be rejected. EarthCaches should be developed to provide a unique experience to the location's visitors, and to teach a unique lesson about the feature at the site. Multiple EarthCaches on the same feature should be avoided and content, rather than proximity, will be the guiding principle of EarthCache reviewers.

 

The key word in there is "unique".

 

Perhaps that is the problem? There is no location on Earth that is 'unique'. (Abuse of the English language.) Requiring 'unique' lessons/chores takes an intresting spot, and turns it into a boring pain. And that, frequently, is not informative.

Recently , I visited two artesian wells. Very interesting! But, they had to teach 'different' lessons. Both asked the temperature of the water. Good, and interesting. One asked the flow. Interesting. The other needed an additional task. How long does it take a stick to float into the river. Hunh? The river is flooded, and four feet higher than usual. What did I learn? No much. But a 'uniquest' lesson is required, so he had to come up with something.

Teach a lesson. Okay. Require that the lesson be 'uniquer' than another nearby is... desperation?

Take me somewhere interestng. Educate me. Go for it! But, good golly, teach me something interesting! (I've been to some great ones! But I've also been to some Meh!)

Restricting educational locations because the CO cannot come up with a 'more uniquer' (but meaningless) task weakens the entire concept of EarthCaching (IMHO).

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The guidelines say:

 

2. EarthCaches should highlight a unique feature. EarthCaches that duplicate existing EarthCache information about the site or related sites may be rejected. EarthCaches should be developed to provide a unique experience to the location's visitors, and to teach a unique lesson about the feature at the site. Multiple EarthCaches on the same feature should be avoided and content, rather than proximity, will be the guiding principle of EarthCache reviewers.

 

The key word in there is "unique".

 

But the guidelines say "unique feature", not "unique lesson". And they don't specify "unique for a given region", they just say "unique". And as Konnarock Kid and Marge pointed out in Post #4, for several Earthcache types they go well beyond "unique" and specify "exceptional", with further restrictions being placed on specific classifications.

 

Perhaps the problem is the wording of the guidelines?

Edited by Arby Gee

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The guidelines say:

 

2. EarthCaches should highlight a unique feature. EarthCaches that duplicate existing EarthCache information about the site or related sites may be rejected. EarthCaches should be developed to provide a unique experience to the location's visitors, and to teach a unique lesson about the feature at the site. Multiple EarthCaches on the same feature should be avoided and content, rather than proximity, will be the guiding principle of EarthCache reviewers.

 

The key word in there is "unique".

 

But the guidelines say "unique feature", not "unique lesson". And they don't specify "unique for a given region", they just say "unique". And as Konnarock Kid and Marge pointed out in Post #4, for several Earthcache types they go well beyond "unique" and specify "exceptional", with further restrictions being placed on specific classifications.

 

Perhaps the problem is the wording of the guidelines?

 

As I said before, reviewers lighten up! I'll even throw in a please lighten up.

Unique feature.....just what does that mean? Unique from what? Unique for where? I believe that earthcaching may be going in the wrong direction with all the rejections. Once again I would like to remind TPTB that most are not geologists nor do most carry around a chem lab or expensive measuring instruments. So what if some of the so-called lessons are somewhat duplicated? Is that the end of the earthcaching World as we know it? Remember, while you may be geologists most are not!

Frankly, a careful reading of the quoted guideline could mean it pertains to the proximity issue and has been 'stretched' to apply to too many of this or that earthcaches....and not at the same location.

Tell us, why is it so darn important to limit anything? Are you getting tired of reviewing similar ECs? If so, get more reviewers not less submissions!

Arby Gee, you are absolutely right!

Thanks for your posts and that's why I haven't submitted recent ECs. I have a waterfall that is the highest waterfall East of the Mississippi(400 feet +) with permission to list, but I'm not because someone does not want anymore duplicate "lessons"! It may share common geology with other waterfalls, but it's characteristics are far different!

Oh yes, we all know the WOW factor doesn't count, but to most seeking ECs they get bored with lengthy and esoteric displays of the developers ego! To some they are valuable lessons, to others they are why they do not seek ECs. This may make some of you to want to rip up those PhDs, but people seek out earthcaches because they want to learn a little, but see a lot! Just yesterday, we attended a geocachers meet and earthcaches were discussed. I'll admit opinions differed, but most give up on earthcaching before getting started. Why? The questions! Can't folks develop an appreciation of geology without becoming one (geologists)?

OK, have a good lesson and maybe the argument shouldn't be about duplicate questions (lessons) it should be more about duplicate answers. Try that on for size and remember, no two waterfalls, eratics, etc. are alike therefore even with using common questions, the answers, therefore the lessons, are unique to that particular waterfall, eratic, etc.!

I'll get off the soapbox now as I fully realize that nothing will change.

Thanks. :)

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Believe it or not, EarthCahes ARE about people learning something about Earth science....and not just taking people to a wonderful location. Understanding something about the Earth science behind the wonderful location is the goal. The goal is NOT (and never was) to have thousands of duplicated EarthCaches.

 

We watched and learned from the proliferation of other cache types (such as the so-called 'lame guard rail caches" and micros) and developed the EarthCache guidelines to try and avoid similar issues.

 

As this thread and many others show us - we are "damned if we do and damned if we don't". And so we will continue to use the guidelines as they are...as it seems many CO have no trouble in developing great EarthCaches following them.

 

So if you want to propose a glacial erratic or waterfall (or spring etc etc)...just follow the guidelines and make your site a wonderful unique place for people to learn...and it will be published.

Edited by geoaware

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Believe it or not, EarthCahes ARE about people learning something about Earth science....and not just taking people to a wonderful location. Understanding something about the Earth science behind the wonderful location is the goal. The goal is NOT (and never was) to have thousands of duplicated EarthCaches.

......

 

As this thread and many others show us - we are "damned if we do and damned if we don't". And so we will continue to use the guidelines as they are...as it seems many CO have no trouble in developing great EarthCaches following them.

.....

 

Clap, Clap, Clap.

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To be absolutely honest, the greatest challenge to my making ECs was my own ignorance. When I started to do more research about my own area and different areas that I have travelled to, then I was able to perceive the opportunity to create caches in accord with the guidelines. It is usually a case of getting out of our own way and less about the "strictness" of the guidelines.

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My two-cents -- reviewers rarely flat-out "deny" EarthCache submissions (rather, they are disabled, comments provided, etc.). On the other hand, rarely is an EarthCache submission ready to publish on the first go. This is the case with any type of cache, whether it is a reverse fault or a glacial erratic.

 

I recommend that cache owners work with their local reviewer on determining what needs to be done to get their EarthCache published. Unless a location is particularly weak on earth science, there is often a way to enhance a cache listing to get it published. Does it take a bit of extra work? Sure it does, but that's a part of EarthCaching. (This is a fact demonstrated by some of the cachers who have posted in this very thread, who I am pretty sure have put in significant effort to have some of their EarthCaches published.)

 

The bottom line is that no guideline can cover it all. We can debate the particulars of each guideline, each word and clause, each theoretical cache, all day long. But every cache is different, and that's why there are human reviewers. The reviewers are not a rubber stamp, but nor are they out to "deny" or block EarthCaches. Reviewers would much rather hit "publish" than any other button. Reviewers enjoy working with cache owners to help guide their cache toward publication.

 

Happy caching!

 

geoawarehq

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On the other hand, rarely is an EarthCache submission ready to publish on the first go.

 

I'm sorry, but I have to say I find this statement very disturbing. I'm glad I got involved with Earthcaching years ago when I did, because I've really learned a lot and seen some very interesting places. I'm saddened though that the policy now seems to be one of erecting barriers. It was a nice program while it lasted.

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On the other hand, rarely is an EarthCache submission ready to publish on the first go.

 

I'm sorry, but I have to say I find this statement very disturbing. I'm glad I got involved with Earthcaching years ago when I did, because I've really learned a lot and seen some very interesting places. I'm saddened though that the policy now seems to be one of erecting barriers. It was a nice program while it lasted.

 

That is what you got from that statement? :blink:

 

Every one of my caches has been refined and improved from the feedback I get from the reviewers. I may not have a huge track record, but with 7 of my own ECs I can tell you that the process has done me well and I have developed a desire to make even more. It is because of the help I received, rather than despite it.

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I have always found it ridiculous that an earthcache needs permission from the park service and POC information must be provided, but I can put a film canister at the same spot and have no issues.

 

Strictly speaking, that's not true -- the physical cache guidelines require that you have adequate permission for your hide. In practice, though, you're right -- the regular cache reviewers seem to assume that permission is adequate unless there is evidence to the contrary, while earthcache reviewers require the hider to bear the burden of proof.

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That is what you got from that statement? :blink:

 

Every one of my caches has been refined and improved from the feedback I get from the reviewers. I may not have a huge track record, but with 7 of my own ECs I can tell you that the process has done me well and I have developed a desire to make even more. It is because of the help I received, rather than despite it.

 

What I get from that statement is that the vast majority of Earthcache submissions aren't published as is. A reviewer, who might be thousands of miles away, has decided that he or she wants something added or edited before publishing the cache. It's not an optional suggestion, it's a demand.

 

Now I would have no problem with an optional suggestion, and I would in fact be grateful if a reviewer were to hold up publication of my listing if he or she found that it contained an error. And if I was crass enough to copy and paste my write-up from someone else's Earthcache, I'd figure I had it coming. But if my write-up is accurate and in my own words, then I should have the right to decide whether to use the reviewer's suggestions or not. After all, it's my name at the top of the listing, not the reviewer's.

 

Refusing to publish caches until they can be made to conform to the extremely arbitrary and subjective guidelines we've seen here will deter most potential Earthcache developers from ever submitting Earthcaches. Plain and simple. But then again, I'm getting the impression that's exactly what TPTB want.

Edited by Arby Gee

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What I get from that statement is that the vast majority of Earthcache submissions aren't published as is.

 

That is a negative? Why should the people that originated this awesome facet of geocaching bend to our vision? Shouldn't we be aiming to reach their vision? They have a broad view of where they want to take this game and I am sure that it stands to our benefit. Why not trust them since they got us this far?

 

A reviewer, who might be thousands of miles away, has decided that he or she wants something added or edited before publishing the cache.

 

Have you ever defended a point that you thought was unjust or unclear? I have and it was usually a simple clarification. Also, in these cases have you ever had the experience that they were way off base or was it a reasonable expectation? The distance isn't an issue it is whether or not it works, so far it does.

 

It's not an optional suggestion, it's a demand.

 

This is only because it is outside the guidelines. So again, can you really complain about it?

 

But if my write-up is accurate and in my own words, then I should have the right to decide whether to use the reviewer's suggestions or not. After all, it's my name at the top of the listing, not the reviewer's.

 

I agree 100% with this as long as you are within the limits of the guidelines.

 

Refusing to publish caches until they can be made to conform to the extremely arbitrary and subjective guidelines we've seen here will deter most potential Earthcache developers from ever submitting Earthcaches.

 

Fortunately your wrong on this point. There are more ECs being published than ever, so it appears that it is the unsilent minority that holds this idiom, rather than the many. It isn't slowing down a bit.

Edited by Flintstone5611

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Refusing to publish caches until they can be made to conform to the extremely arbitrary and subjective guidelines we've seen here will deter most potential Earthcache developers from ever submitting Earthcaches. Plain and simple. But then again, I'm getting the impression that's exactly what TPTB want.

Most EarthCaches I review are not published upon the initial submittal for the following reasons (given in approximate order of frequency, noting that many submittals have more than one issue):

1. The Cache Owner did not provide contact information for the land manager who provided permission for placement of the EarthCache. (Guideline 8)

2. The Cache Owner did not provide the answers to his/her logging tasks (Guideline 6)

3. The Cache Owner did not properly attribute the source of his/her cache page information (Guideline 3)

4. The Cache Owner required a photograph to be posted with the visitor's log (Guideline 6)

5. The Cache Owner developed the EarthCache as a virtual cache (how tall is the sign post or how many words are on the first line of the sign?) with no interaction with the location and Earth Science/geology lesson. (Guideline 6)

6. The Cache Ower did not teach a unique lesson about the location (Guideline 2)

7. The EarthCache is written about something other than Earth Science or Geology. (Guideline 1)

 

I see very little arbitrariness or subjectivity with the above issues. Instead, what I see is a tendency for the Cache Owner not to read and adhere to the basic tenets of the EarthCaching guidelines. When a cacher is struggling with a unique lesson, I'll oftentimes do my own research and give him/her suggestions on what could work. Some folks run with the idea(s) and some folks abandon their efforts.

 

As an EarthCache Reviewer, I would MUCH rather publish an EarthCache on the first pass and that would happen a lot more often if the EarthCache creator would read the guidelines and verify for him/herself that their EarthCache complies at the most basic level before it even arrives in my review queue.

Edited by GeoawareUSA4

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Refusing to publish caches until they can be made to conform to the extremely arbitrary and subjective guidelines we've seen here will deter most potential Earthcache developers from ever submitting Earthcaches. Plain and simple. But then again, I'm getting the impression that's exactly what TPTB want.

Most EarthCaches I review are not published upon the initial submittal for the following reasons (given in approximate order of frequency, noting that many submittals have more than one issue):

1. The Cache Owner did not provide contact information for the land manager who provided permission for placement of the EarthCache. Isee Guideline 8)

2. The Cache Owner did not provide the answers to his/her logging tasks (Guideline 6)

3. The Cache Owner did not properly attribute the source of his/her cache page information (Guideline 3)

4. The Cache Owner required a photograph to be posted with the visitor's log (Guideline 6)

5. The Cache Owner developed the EarthCache as a virtual cache (how tall is the sign post or how many words are on the first line of the sign?) with no interaction with the location and Earth Science/geology lesson. (Guideline 6)

6. The Cache Ower did not teach a unique lesson about the location (Guideline 2)

7. The EarthCache is written about something other than Earth Science or Geology. (Guideline 1)

 

I see very little arbitrariness or subjectivity with the above issues. Instead, what I see is a tendency for the Cache Owner not to read and adhere to the basic tenets of the EarthCaching guidelines. When a cacher is struggling with a unique lesson, I'll oftentimes do my own research and give him/her suggestions on what could work. Some folks run with the idea(s) and some folks abandon their efforts.

 

As an EarthCache Reviewer, I would MUCH rather publish an EarthCache on the first pass and that would happen a lot more often if the typical EarthCache creator would read the guidelines and verify for him/herself that their EarthCache complies at the most basic level before it even arrives in my review queue.

 

I have to agree with you totally. The biggest issue for me in the years I have been reviewing EarthCaches is that the developers have not read the guidelines...and so we spend time working with developers to get the submission to meet the guidelines so it can be published. IN the meantime, the queue grows....and so there is a delay in us reading the next submissions. All the reviewers do the very best job they can to assist developers in getting their submissions published...and so, to help us A LOT, please read the guidelines and make sure you meet them before you submit!

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That is a negative? Why should the people that originated this awesome facet of geocaching bend to our vision? Shouldn't we be aiming to reach their vision? They have a broad view of where they want to take this game and I am sure that it stands to our benefit. Why not trust them since they got us this far?

 

It wasn't just "them" that brought us where we are. It was "us" geocachers who have been developing fun, educational, and interesting Earthcaches for years before these guidelines came into effect. Why can't "they" trust "us" since we've gotten "them" this far?

 

This is only because it is outside the guidelines. So again, can you really complain about it?

 

When the guidelines are that a reviewer thousands of miles away who may never have set foot within hundreds of miles of my Earthcache has to determine that it is a "unique feature" and an "exceptional" science lesson, yes, I really can complain.

 

Fortunately your wrong on this point. There are more ECs being published than ever, so it appears that it is the unsilent minority that holds this idiom, rather than the many. It is slowing down a bit.

 

The first "real" Earthcache in the Cleveland metropolitan area (where I live) was the Deer Lick Cave Earthcache (GC15P0N) in 2007. It is a very simple cache, but it continues to be extremely popular to this day. Shortly after the publication of Deer Lick Cave there was an Earthcache explosion in the Cleveland metropolitan area, with 35 new Earthcaches being published in the next 3 years, many of them quite sophisticated. But there have been only four published in the 12 months since then. And the way things are going, I have no doubt that a cache like Deer Lick Cave will soon be on the same blacklist as springs, glacial erratics, etc.

Edited by Arby Gee

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It wasn't just "them" that brought us where we are. It was "us" geocachers who have been developing fun, educational, and interesting Earthcaches for years before these guidelines came into effect. Why can't "they" trust "us" since we've gotten "them" this far?

 

 

In part I have to agree with you - but only the part about how this has been a joint effort. I appreciate the huge effort all the Earthcache developers have put in over time.....and look what we have all accomplished. It is wonderful to read the logs and see the growth of Earthcaches around the globe.

 

However, I want everyone to know that there has ALWAYS been guidelines...since day one! I wrote them with Groundspeak and with the US National Park Service folks who wanted to see caching work on their lands. So the premise that EarthCaches were developed before any guidelines is completely false.

 

Yes the guidelines have evolved over time....just as the guidelines for all geocaching have evolved over time.

 

We trust that people will do the right thing by following the guidelines....and its been by following the guidelines that we have gotten this far!

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In part I have to agree with you - but only the part about how this has been a joint effort. I appreciate the huge effort all the Earthcache developers have put in over time.....and look what we have all accomplished. It is wonderful to read the logs and see the growth of Earthcaches around the globe.

 

However, I want everyone to know that there has ALWAYS been guidelines...since day one! I wrote them with Groundspeak and with the US National Park Service folks who wanted to see caching work on their lands. So the premise that EarthCaches were developed before any guidelines is completely false.

 

Yes the guidelines have evolved over time....just as the guidelines for all geocaching have evolved over time.

 

We trust that people will do the right thing by following the guidelines....and its been by following the guidelines that we have gotten this far!

 

Correct, there always have been guidelines. I didn't deny that in my post. I said that those Earthcaches were developed in the days before "these guidelines" came into effect. Those were the days before each and every Earthcache had to be a "unique feature" that provided an "exceptional" science lesson. They were also the days when we were branching out and widening our scope to find more things to write about. Today we're pulling back and shortening the list, rather than lengthening it.

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Those were the days before each and every Earthcache had to be a "unique feature" that provided an "exceptional" science lesson. They were also the days when we were branching out and widening our scope to find more things to write about. Today we're pulling back and shortening the list, rather than lengthening it.

I don't think this list is being shortened at all. By encouraging cachers to focus on what is unique about the feature they are highlighting, the review team is helping the total EarthCache knowledge base to continues to grow rather than stagnating with cookie-cutter, "what type of waterfall is this, what is the flow rate of the spring, how many letters are on the sign" logging tasks.

 

It's the EarthCache developer who won't do location specific research to help the visitor learn about why a spring or a waterfall is the way it is at that location that is, in my opinion, limiting the learning opportunities.

Edited by Ladybug Kids

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It's the EarthCache developer who won't do location specific research to help the visitor learn about why a spring or a waterfall is the way it is at that location that is, in my opinion, limiting the learning opportunities.

 

To me that's like saying the author of a third grade textbook is limiting educational opportunities by not writing a college-level text. People need to start somewhere. My first Earthcaches were very simple efforts that I didn't put any more than a couple hours into. For a couple of my later Earthcaches I've put in several dozen hours each. But interestingly, it's those simple Earthcaches that have been the most popular and brought in the most newbies. The more complicated ones have only been attempted by the experienced Earthcachers. Those caches have a fraction of the "finds" that the simpler ones have.

 

Earthcachers need an opportunity to grow, both as finders and developers. You can't force them all to be professional geologists overnight.

Edited by Arby Gee

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It's the EarthCache developer who won't do location specific research to help the visitor learn about why a spring or a waterfall is the way it is at that location that is, in my opinion, limiting the learning opportunities.

 

To me that's like saying the author of a third grade textbook is limiting educational opportunities by not writing a college-level text. People need to start somewhere. My first Earthcaches were very simple efforts that I didn't put any more than a couple hours into. For a couple of my later Earthcaches I've put in several dozen hours each. But interestingly, it's those simple Earthcaches that have been the most popular and brought in the most newbies. The more complicated ones have only been attempted by the experienced Earthcachers. Those caches have a fraction of the "finds" that the simpler ones have.

 

Earthcachers need an opportunity to grow, both as finders and developers. You can't force them all to be professional geologists overnight.

 

Arby Gee, none of my points were answered in my last post and I understand why.

Some where, some how, some people have gotten the idea that they have built earthcaching to what is is today and it's a special club where if you don't like it get lost! Sorry, but that impression is totally wrong. TPTB of earthcaching as well as GS need to realize WE are the customers! We have bought the ideas and we have built earthcaching. It has also been forgotten that most are not geologists so with limited knowledge of geology repetition will and does exist.

To most there are just so many ways to describe an eratic or spring or waterfall. Please tell me what is wrong with repetition? Are your feelings being hurt because so many amateurs have joined the fun and have limited knowledge?

So what's wrong with a cache developed having the cacher estimate the size or identify the type of rock that is the erstic? Who's going to decide the streams which merge to form a confluence are important or unimportant? To the developer, they must have been important or they wouldn't have taken the time to develop the EC.

My favorite, waterfalls. Again there are just so many ways they are formed. Overuse of the classification schemes, maybe, but so what? Each waterfall is different. Even if the questions are repetitive are you assuming each cacher visits the same caches and will tire of the questions? Just how may complaints from the customer, aka cacher, have you received because cachers have gotten tired of the same type of questions?

Admit it, all the questions of the questions are among TPTB and not the caching public.

I know all of this is falling on deaf ears, but one last question. Is the goal exclusivity or supporting the growing fun with earthcaches which by and large are being developed by those interested in but not schooled in geology.

Did someone wake up one morning and say, "OMG we have too many eratics, etc. and they are being described the sane way"! So what! Maybe something is being accomplished if the whole world has learned the waterfall classifications and can accurately describe any waterfall they may see in the future. Did learning or did not learning take place?

I am out of here as this discussion is futile and makes no difference!

Thanks anyway.

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By encouraging cachers to focus on what is unique about the feature they are highlighting, the review team is helping the total EarthCache knowledge base to continues to grow rather than stagnating with cookie-cutter, "what type of waterfall is this, what is the flow rate of the spring, how many letters are on the sign" logging tasks.

 

Basically I agree. I am wondering however whether it is the best way to couple two issues that are unrelated from my point of view.

It would seem more consistent and easier to understand for the majority of cachers if the same requirements for logging tasks hold regardless of the classification of the EC and how many of the type exist already. It somehow seems unconsistent to me that "what is the third word on the sign?" is a well accepted key logging task for an EC of a rare type in the area and that the question "what is the flow rate of the spring" is not an acceptable one just because there are many spring cache submissions in some areas. As a neutral observor (in the sense that I do not have developped an EC myself and thus have not got any denied) it seems to me that this inconsistency is the source of a lot of frustration and of unnecessary work burden on both sides (i.e., the EC developpers and the hard working review team).

 

Have a look at the the formulations used in the knowledge book regarding waterflows and glacial erratics. What is written there somehow can be interpreted in a way that excellent logging tasks are asked for this types while "bad" (in comparison to what is meant with "excellent") logging tasks are fine for more rare cache types. I am not sure if this is the best way to communicate the philosophy of the EC team.

 

My recently opened thread was an apparently failed attempt to address this and related issues. I somehow feel that the discussion here went offtopic in key aspects and is not really any longer connected to the topic "no glacial erratics earthcaches).

 

 

Cezanne

Edited by cezanne

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I'm still back at being amused by the fact that taking a picture of yourself at a site while against the current guidelines is still a logging task in highlighted caches which are considered good.

 

I will never develop an earth cache as I lack the knowledge to do so. I also have never done one that you have to measure the flow rate of a stream though I'd like to learn how to. Unfortunately I will have travel some distance to do this which is not an option. I will have to go some distance to see an erratic also.

 

There is only so much unique information the average person has about an area. This weekend I was looking at a sink hole and researching it for an earth cache only to stop because of the reality that I may know about sink holes but nothings about why that one is there and therefore because I don't have unique local knowledge I stopped. Figure Ill wait and see what the new virtuals hold in store as that will be a better option for me.

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There is only so much unique information the average person has about an area. This weekend I was looking at a sink hole and researching it for an earth cache only to stop because of the reality that I may know about sink holes but nothings about why that one is there and therefore because I don't have unique local knowledge I stopped. Figure Ill wait and see what the new virtuals hold in store as that will be a better option for me.

I bolded the part I want to focus on. You see, I think that's the key to making a good EarthCache--that you will learn what you need to know to create the EarthCache so you can share it with your visitors.

 

You already know enough about the topic to be curious about that spot, you know what makes a good spot for an EarthCache, and you thought that would be a good spot. So, that's when it gets personally interesting and you do a bit of poking about and eventually you come up with the other information you needed to create your logging tasks and write up. I love that 'Eureka moment' when it clicks and you realize that Yes! That's it! And nine times out of ten, it's a better EarthCache than if you already knew all about before you started.

 

I'm not convinced someone needs a background in geology to make the average EarthCache, as long as they have a little curiosity and a willingness to learn something new. And if they aren't interested (or at least willing) to learn more then I suppose it's not a problem--because they wouldn't be interested in creating an EarthCache, anyway.

 

It's not like having the background automatically means you know everything about every kind of feature on the face of the planet. Hey, I teach Earth Science, so I do know some things already, but even so, I learn more about geology every time I make a new EarthCache. I'd be willing to bet the reviewers learn new things about geology from reading some of the write-ups. I know we all learn more by going to great EarthCaches.

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This weekend I was looking at a sink hole and researching it for an earth cache only to stop because of the reality that I may know about sink holes but nothings about why that one is there and therefore because I don't have unique local knowledge I stopped.

 

Can't wait for you to finish this. This is exactly how I started each of my ECs and probably how I will continue to do so. You will appreciate the things you work for, don't stop because of what you heard. Go and experience the process for yourself, see if all that you are hearing is fact or fiction based on your experience not someone elses.

 

And don't feel that you are unable to do it, the reviewers want you to succeed. Use these resources to the full.

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I won't be finishing it. As I stated I know about sink holes and general sinkhole formation. Per the guidelines that's not enough. I could tell you why a sink hole formed there by talking about rocks. But I can't and won't ever be able to expound why on that specific dirt road there is a sink hole in that exact location. I do not have the knowledge to expound on anything but generalities about sinkholes. I cannot discuss any geological issues unique to that specific sinkhole. So no earth cache will be placed by me at that location.

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I have pulled my submission. No longer watching this topic either. Good luck to everyone.

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I have pulled my submission. No longer watching this topic either. Good luck to everyone.

And now, as Paul Harvey would say, "The rest of the story."

 

The content of the OP's cache was fine for publishing once it arrived in my queue. His cache page and logging tasks about a large glacial erratic had enough site specificity that the page could have been published as submitted.

 

However, the OP had some relatively easy to resolve issues (all from the list included in one of my earlier posts in this thread) to bring his cache submittal into compliance with the current guidelines. One issue was lack of permission from the Tongass National Forest land manager and I provided contact information for easy resolution. Other requests involved simply providinng the answers to the logging tasks in a Reviewer Note and annotating his sources.

 

Rather than continue to work through the process, the OP's response was to archive his submittal.

 

Reactions like this to my efforts to help EarthCache developers through the process are very frustrating and leave me feeling like I wasted my time by even looking at the original submittal when I instead could have been working on other EarthCaches in the backlog. I really do want to publish EarthCaches and some developers respond quickly and positively while others just walk away and never communicate again. The former group of cachers are a pleasure to work with and the latter group leave me shaking my head wondering why they even submitted an EarthCache since they apparently didn't read or never intended to comply with the current guidelines. This happens during the review process for Traditional caches as well, so I'm not singling out EarthCache developers, though it does seem to happen more often "over here."

Edited by GeoawareUSA4

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I can understand the frustration of getting ECs published and have had some myself. After successfully publishing 28 or 29 ECs I did notice a much stricter and difficult process. My knee jerk reaction to the hurdles was to retract a submission myself. I have not created another listing since...I think that was over a year ago. The process can sometimes be painful and understanding all the rules can be daunting. I appreciate the help the reviewers offer but sometimes folks just want to create and do it on their own terms...which obviously doesn't work when the rules get in the way. I'm almost over my irritation with the review process and have again begun to look around me at possible locations...but if I do attempt another publication I'll be sure to have as many Ps and Qs in order on the first try...and will also have to be more discriminating about the location so as not to repeat a nearby listing or attempt a listing type that has become difficult to publish.

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I have pulled my submission. No longer watching this topic either. Good luck to everyone.

 

That is a shame, especially in light of the reasons for it. Verifying permission is such a protection for us, it means that the ECs are able to last that much longer as well. I hope you reconsider, and make use of all the time you spent researching the topic.

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I think many are Master crazy and went to get to Platinum and just relax. In the meantime though they must post 3, and rush to put them in as many rapid places as possible - the next waterfall or spring they see, etc. This though has lead to the realization of many frequent EarthCachers that these aren't very informative and just teach you what the last waterfall EarthCache taught you. Some reviewers are just too lenient. Those are just my observations :P

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I have pulled my submission. No longer watching this topic either. Good luck to everyone.

 

Hey out there to any whom may care. Well, was it worth it to lose another earthcacher? :huh:

Edited by Konnarock Kid & Marge

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