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Role of Reviewers


pcl_el_hefe
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We have a couple of new caches in WV (GC34DR6 and GC34DQH) that were published a little over a week ago. Several cachers have been beating the bushes for these but without success. Both caches had zeros in the fractional minutes for both latitude and longitude and yes I know that some cachers place them at these confluences, but this cacher is listed as new member with NO FINDS and just these two hides. Also the cache container description and contents were very unusual. Emails to the CO by several have gone unanswered as well as at least one to the Reviewer (also unanswered). Two have asked that these caches be archived and maybe they will be gone shortly.

 

My questions are what do the reviewers check before publishing? Would the triple zeros in both latitude and longitude or a new member with no finds raise a red flag (or at least an eyebrow)? Is it possible that the fractional minutes got dropped somewhere on geocaching.com or would you think this is a prank to get cachers to waste a lot of time and energy?

 

Finally, should the review process be reviewed and should a new geocacher have at least a minimum number of finds before being allowed to hide a cache?

 

Any thoughts would be appreciated as several of us have been obviously frustrated with this, but maybe the process to hide a cache needs revised. Thanks.

 

pcl_el_hefe

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I've seen a couple of people post on the forums that they hide caches under a different name than they find caches. Also, quite a few people don't register finds online, so I don't believe a minimum number of finds will work. As for the 000's, statistically that's no more unusual than any other specific number. I'd say let those be archived, and I'm sure your local reviewer will be more cautious about posting any from that particular cacher in the future.

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The coordinates, in and of themselves, is nothing to raise a flag IMO. Looking at the maps, I don't see much of anything of consequence that would suggest that something is seriously wrong (i.e. private property, middle of the ocean, etc.). Keep in mind, I'm not familiar with the area.

 

However, it does appear that folks have given it a pretty good try without success, and that something is amiss. If the cache owner and Local Reviewer aren't responding to the issue, it might be time to bump it up to Groundspeak for review (contact@geocaching.com)

 

My 0.02 :)

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I believe typically reviewers are there to make sure the rules are all followed - caches are appropriate distances from other caches, on 'legal' ground, descriptions are appropriate and so on...

 

They don't necessarily head out to find them all, and there is some latitude in the rules in many aspects, so while it may seem suspect to have a cache with '000' in the co-ordinates, it is not impossible for it to be placed as such (and in fact seems an amusing gimmick) and while the description may be odd, at the same time it probably isn't illegal.

 

The page is legal, so the cache goes live, and in effect the first few cachers to go for it are the beta testers in lieu of having to wait for the official reviewers to make it out to every potential cache (which is near impossible given the wide range of styles and difficulties involved).

 

If the cache is obviously a newbie effort and fails on one or more count it won't take too long before it is weeded out and either amended or archived.

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Hmm... No DNFs logged. Why would anyone put a Needs Archived on a cache that no one has looked for?!? Think you have some mighty presumptuous cachers nearby.

 

Looking at the caches, I'd agree, you need more attempts with dnf's. On the climbing one, no one has yet said they actually climbed looking for it. Perhaps they have, but it helps the reviewer if it's all recorded. So far, that has one comment indicating the cacher looked, but didn't want to climb, and comments about contacting the CO.

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Finally, should the review process be reviewed and should a new geocacher have at least a minimum number of finds before being allowed to hide a cache?

I'd like to see a wait period after registration. A 2 month wait after signing up before a new cacher can post their first hide. This CO was registered for just under a month.

Also a mandatory cache-hiding quiz that including questions about the guidelines and cache sizes and cache types, before posting a first cache hide.

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Right or wrong, I do not post a DNF off the bat as sometimes I don't have time to do a thorough search or it takes two or three times of searching until I make the find. Sometimes I'll see someone post a find after I've looked without finding, so I assume it's still there and I'll go back and check again. If after a few times of searching and no one else posts anything for a while (depending on the cache location and difficulty level), I'll shoot an email to the CO. I've seen many caches where the CO is not watching the logs, but usually they respond to email if they are still involved in geocaching and are still able to maintain it. With a little over 200 finds, I do not consider myself an expert at this. All that being said, I have been in email contact with at least 5 other cachers (one with over 1000 finds) who have looked for these caches. One feels that geocaching.com accidentally dropped the fractional minutes and is waiting (hoping) for the coords. to be corrected. Just a probable explanation of why there are not a bunch of posted DNFs. Thanks for the comments and insights so far.

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Right or wrong, I do not post a DNF off the bat as sometimes I don't have time to do a thorough search or it takes two or three times of searching until I make the find. Sometimes I'll see someone post a find after I've looked without finding, so I assume it's still there and I'll go back and check again. If after a few times of searching and no one else posts anything for a while (depending on the cache location and difficulty level), I'll shoot an email to the CO. I've seen many caches where the CO is not watching the logs, but usually they respond to email if they are still involved in geocaching and are still able to maintain it. With a little over 200 finds, I do not consider myself an expert at this. All that being said, I have been in email contact with at least 5 other cachers (one with over 1000 finds) who have looked for these caches. One feels that geocaching.com accidentally dropped the fractional minutes and is waiting (hoping) for the coords. to be corrected. Just a probable explanation of why there are not a bunch of posted DNFs. Thanks for the comments and insights so far.

 

I doubt that any reviewer is going to give much creadance to complaints or archive requests on a cache that does not have a single DNF on it. With the proliferation of caches in the last couple of years it is farely easy to get 1000 finds in less than 6 months without driving more than 5 miles form your home and I know of several that have found more than that that I would not consider experts.

 

I've heard your argument before about not claiming a DNF, whether it's pride, uncertainty or laziness it is not a good practice. My DNF rate is greater than 10%. Of those, around 50% either get disabled or archived after I've looked for them. About half of the rest I have gone back again and found them. In many of those cases the cache was in pllace where I had already looked, I just missed it. I don't see anything wrong with that.

 

It is impossible for a reviewer to judge the validity of searchers claims that a cache is missing or the coords are gone on a cache that only has 5 logs on it, none of which are DNF's. If you want them to do anything about it you should post your DNF's and encourage the others that have looked for it to do the same thing.

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Right or wrong, I do not post a DNF off the bat as sometimes I don't have time to do a thorough search or it takes two or three times of searching until I make the find. Sometimes I'll see someone post a find after I've looked without finding, so I assume it's still there and I'll go back and check again. If after a few times of searching and no one else posts anything for a while (depending on the cache location and difficulty level), I'll shoot an email to the CO. I've seen many caches where the CO is not watching the logs, but usually they respond to email if they are still involved in geocaching and are still able to maintain it. With a little over 200 finds, I do not consider myself an expert at this. All that being said, I have been in email contact with at least 5 other cachers (one with over 1000 finds) who have looked for these caches. One feels that geocaching.com accidentally dropped the fractional minutes and is waiting (hoping) for the coords. to be corrected. Just a probable explanation of why there are not a bunch of posted DNFs. Thanks for the comments and insights so far.

 

I doubt that any reviewer is going to give much creadance to complaints or archive requests on a cache that does not have a single DNF on it. With the proliferation of caches in the last couple of years it is farely easy to get 1000 finds in less than 6 months without driving more than 5 miles form your home and I know of several that have found more than that that I would not consider experts.

 

I've heard your argument before about not claiming a DNF, whether it's pride, uncertainty or laziness it is not a good practice. My DNF rate is greater than 10%. Of those, around 50% either get disabled or archived after I've looked for them. About half of the rest I have gone back again and found them. In many of those cases the cache was in pllace where I had already looked, I just missed it. I don't see anything wrong with that.

 

It is impossible for a reviewer to judge the validity of searchers claims that a cache is missing or the coords are gone on a cache that only has 5 logs on it, none of which are DNF's. If you want them to do anything about it you should post your DNF's and encourage the others that have looked for it to do the same thing.

+1

 

There is nothing like a string of DNF's and maybe a couple ignored Maintenance Requests to check on the status of the cache that will help the reviewer pay attention to an archive request. No logs of any kind and an archive request is pretty much an ignore.

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Right or wrong, I do not post a DNF off the bat as sometimes I don't have time to do a thorough search or it takes two or three times of searching until I make the find. Sometimes I'll see someone post a find after I've looked without finding, so I assume it's still there and I'll go back and check again. If after a few times of searching and no one else posts anything for a while (depending on the cache location and difficulty level), I'll shoot an email to the CO. I've seen many caches where the CO is not watching the logs, but usually they respond to email if they are still involved in geocaching and are still able to maintain it. With a little over 200 finds, I do not consider myself an expert at this. All that being said, I have been in email contact with at least 5 other cachers (one with over 1000 finds) who have looked for these caches. One feels that geocaching.com accidentally dropped the fractional minutes and is waiting (hoping) for the coords. to be corrected. Just a probable explanation of why there are not a bunch of posted DNFs. Thanks for the comments and insights so far.

 

I doubt that any reviewer is going to give much creadance to complaints or archive requests on a cache that does not have a single DNF on it. With the proliferation of caches in the last couple of years it is farely easy to get 1000 finds in less than 6 months without driving more than 5 miles form your home and I know of several that have found more than that that I would not consider experts.

 

I've heard your argument before about not claiming a DNF, whether it's pride, uncertainty or laziness it is not a good practice. My DNF rate is greater than 10%. Of those, around 50% either get disabled or archived after I've looked for them. About half of the rest I have gone back again and found them. In many of those cases the cache was in pllace where I had already looked, I just missed it. I don't see anything wrong with that.

 

It is impossible for a reviewer to judge the validity of searchers claims that a cache is missing or the coords are gone on a cache that only has 5 logs on it, none of which are DNF's. If you want them to do anything about it you should post your DNF's and encourage the others that have looked for it to do the same thing.

+1

 

There is nothing like a string of DNF's and maybe a couple ignored Maintenance Requests to check on the status of the cache that will help the reviewer pay attention to an archive request. No logs of any kind and an archive request is pretty much an ignore.

 

+3 and added some bolding.

Although it is a statistical oddity that both of this new hiders coords do end in .000. And it is quite possible that there is an error here. But I didn't see anything else on those pages that would give the reviewer any reason to hesitate hitting the publish button.

 

We've got a series around here called Just a Minute where the caches are deliberately placed at these confluences. But the cache page makes it quite clear that it is part of the plan, not a mistake. And they are placed by a very experienced cacher.

Edited by wimseyguy
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Right or wrong, I do not post a DNF off the bat as sometimes I don't have time to do a thorough search or it takes two or three times of searching until I make the find. Sometimes I'll see someone post a find after I've looked without finding, so I assume it's still there and I'll go back and check again. If after a few times of searching and no one else posts anything for a while (depending on the cache location and difficulty level), I'll shoot an email to the CO. I've seen many caches where the CO is not watching the logs, but usually they respond to email if they are still involved in geocaching and are still able to maintain it. With a little over 200 finds, I do not consider myself an expert at this. All that being said, I have been in email contact with at least 5 other cachers (one with over 1000 finds) who have looked for these caches. One feels that geocaching.com accidentally dropped the fractional minutes and is waiting (hoping) for the coords. to be corrected. Just a probable explanation of why there are not a bunch of posted DNFs. Thanks for the comments and insights so far.

 

A discussion on whether or not, and when, to log DNFs would be too far off-topic for this thread, but there are plenty of existing threads that debate the things that you are saying. Worthwhile reading, if you are interested in other points of view.

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Right or wrong, I do not post a DNF off the bat as sometimes I don't have time to do a thorough search or it takes two or three times of searching until I make the find. Sometimes I'll see someone post a find after I've looked without finding, so I assume it's still there and I'll go back and check again.

 

Methinks you do not understand the purpose of a DNF log. A DNF log simply means that you didn't find it on your search. A DNF log is not telling the CO that the cache is missing.

 

If you have logs by other people indicating that the cache is there, why on earth wouldn't you post a DNF if you didn't find it?

 

ETA: I better say something on-topic. IMO, the likelihood that the caches are at the posted coords is quite low, but that is not the reviewer's problem when the cache is listed.

 

I'm surprised that this does not happen more often, considering the awkwardness of the coordinate-entry portion of the cache listing page. Maybe a little sanity-check logic could be put there...

Edited by fizzymagic
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Right or wrong, I do not post a DNF off the bat as sometimes I don't have time to do a thorough search or it takes two or three times of searching until I make the find. Sometimes I'll see someone post a find after I've looked without finding, so I assume it's still there and I'll go back and check again. If after a few times of searching and no one else posts anything for a while (depending on the cache location and difficulty level), I'll shoot an email to the CO. I've seen many caches where the CO is not watching the logs, but usually they respond to email if they are still involved in geocaching and are still able to maintain it. With a little over 200 finds, I do not consider myself an expert at this. All that being said, I have been in email contact with at least 5 other cachers (one with over 1000 finds) who have looked for these caches. One feels that geocaching.com accidentally dropped the fractional minutes and is waiting (hoping) for the coords. to be corrected. Just a probable explanation of why there are not a bunch of posted DNFs. Thanks for the comments and insights so far.

 

I doubt that any reviewer is going to give much creadance to complaints or archive requests on a cache that does not have a single DNF on it. With the proliferation of caches in the last couple of years it is farely easy to get 1000 finds in less than 6 months without driving more than 5 miles form your home and I know of several that have found more than that that I would not consider experts.

 

I've heard your argument before about not claiming a DNF, whether it's pride, uncertainty or laziness it is not a good practice. My DNF rate is greater than 10%. Of those, around 50% either get disabled or archived after I've looked for them. About half of the rest I have gone back again and found them. In many of those cases the cache was in pllace where I had already looked, I just missed it. I don't see anything wrong with that.

 

It is impossible for a reviewer to judge the validity of searchers claims that a cache is missing or the coords are gone on a cache that only has 5 logs on it, none of which are DNF's. If you want them to do anything about it you should post your DNF's and encourage the others that have looked for it to do the same thing.

+1

 

There is nothing like a string of DNF's and maybe a couple ignored Maintenance Requests to check on the status of the cache that will help the reviewer pay attention to an archive request. No logs of any kind and an archive request is pretty much an ignore.

 

The string of DNFs and NMs will take perhaps weeks if not months. Then the Reviewer Note. Then a couple more months waiting for the CO to respond before the listing is archived. If the CO would monitor their new cache and respond asap, it would be the responsible thing to do, instead of wasting the time, gas money and patience of a bunch of cachers.

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Two points to make on this one;-

 

Record your DNF's on every occasion. You looked...you didnt find.

 

My money is on these caches being a wind up. I cant believe any cacher placing a new cache would not be watching the logs etc and wouldnt respond to what has been posted in some way even if it was just to gloat.

 

Contact Groundspeak asap.

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Two points to make on this one;-

 

Record your DNF's on every occasion. You looked...you didnt find.

 

My money is on these caches being a wind up. I cant believe any cacher placing a new cache would not be watching the logs etc and wouldnt respond to what has been posted in some way even if it was just to gloat.

 

Contact Groundspeak asap.

Could be the hiding account is a sock puppet and the real CO did not put a watch on the cache to get the logs. Or it is like so many BSA caches I have/haven't found, they are placed for the patch and then quickly forgotten and left to die a slow lonely death.

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I went to the GC34DR6 page; there is a NM log and 2 SBA logs, but still not a single DNF.

 

How embarrassing for the local geocaching community there! Not a single seeker had the basic decency to log a DNF!

 

What's wrong with a note? As a CO I'm OK with a note or a DNF, as long as someone tells me they think there's a problem with our cache or they think that it might be missing. Whatever floats their boat and will encourage them to report problems.

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We have a couple of new caches in WV (GC34DR6 and GC34DQH) that were published a little over a week ago. Several cachers have been beating the bushes for these but without success.

Then they should report those efforts in the logs. As a reviewer, I need that foundation of evidence before I can take action. Otherwise there'd be forum threads about reviewers arbitrarily disabling caches.

Both caches had zeros in the fractional minutes for both latitude and longitude and yes I know that some cachers place them at these confluences, but this cacher is listed as new member with NO FINDS and just these two hides. Also the cache container description and contents were very unusual.
There is nothing unusual about the cache page, cache container or cache contents here. There is nothing unusual about caches with zeros in the coords, or .666 in the coords, or .999. They are just locations. Does the location make sense? Then I publish the listing. My job is to find reasons to say "yes!" rather than reasons to say "no." This is especially important with new hiders, to encourage them to get involved in our game. I see you haven't hidden a cache yet. How would you feel if you were told that the minimum find count was 250? I don't want to turn off newcomers. I want to help them. I would hope your local community would feel the same way.
Emails to the CO by several have gone unanswered as well as at least one to the Reviewer (also unanswered). Two have asked that these caches be archived and maybe they will be gone shortly.
It's not unusual for the reviewer to hang back and await an owner response, or for the accumulation of more evidence. It's always better when an owner fixes their own issue and emerges with a better cache page, than to have a reviewer impose that solution or, worse yet, archive the listing.
My questions are what do the reviewers check before publishing?
We check for compliance with the guidelines, and for obvious errors. I get cache submissions in the ocean almost every week, some from veteran hiders. There's nothing unusual about the locations of the two published caches. Should the reviewer have asked, "is the cache REALLY in a park?"
Would the triple zeros in both latitude and longitude or a new member with no finds raise a red flag (or at least an eyebrow)?
Not if the location makes sense. How do you know that the reviewer hasn't put a cache on hold from this same owner, with zero's in the coords, because the location didn't make sense? (Hint: he indeed has done that. You only see the published caches.)
Finally, should the review process be reviewed {snip}?

All reviewers are continuously reviewed by the volunteer coordinators at Groundspeak, via the appeals process, and in forum threads like this one, and by direct feedback. If you feel this situation isn't being handled to your satisfaction, write to appeals. Appeals, unlike the public observer, has access to the entire picture -- including this owner's caches that were NOT published. The reviewer here is doing his job. I'm not as sure about the local community's reaction, or about their logging habits.

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My money is on these caches being a wind up. I cant believe any cacher placing a new cache would not be watching the logs etc and wouldnt respond to what has been posted in some way even if it was just to gloat.

 

Contact Groundspeak asap.

My money is on the hider being a newbie without a proper GPS. Bad coords and lack of owner response is quite common. Query: would the owner be more likely to respond if their page wasn't filled with "Needs Archived" logs and "Post a Note" logs?

 

In support of this I will offer my own most recent experience: On August 4th I published a cache located in a wooded area along a stream, with all zero's as the final three digits of latitude and longitude. Three logs politely questioned the location after they couldn't find the cache. Then an area geocacher wrote me an email asking me to take a look. After the cache had been active for a month with just those three logs, I disabled the listing on September 7th and asked the owner to explain what was going on. After there was no response, I archived the listing on September 19th.

 

So now do you believe? This stuff happens.

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We have a couple of new caches in WV (GC34DR6 and GC34DQH) that were published a little over a week ago. Several cachers have been beating the bushes for these but without success. Both caches had zeros in the fractional minutes for both latitude and longitude and yes I know that some cachers place them at these confluences, but this cacher is listed as new member with NO FINDS and just these two hides. Also the cache container description and contents were very unusual. Emails to the CO by several have gone unanswered as well as at least one to the Reviewer (also unanswered). Two have asked that these caches be archived and maybe they will be gone shortly.

 

My questions are what do the reviewers check before publishing? Would the triple zeros in both latitude and longitude or a new member with no finds raise a red flag (or at least an eyebrow)? Is it possible that the fractional minutes got dropped somewhere on geocaching.com or would you think this is a prank to get cachers to waste a lot of time and energy?

 

Finally, should the review process be reviewed and should a new geocacher have at least a minimum number of finds before being allowed to hide a cache?

 

Any thoughts would be appreciated as several of us have been obviously frustrated with this, but maybe the process to hide a cache needs revised. Thanks.

 

Ever heard of the Degree Confluence Project?

 

http://confluence.org/

 

1996 - 2011: the project is 15 years old

February 20, 2011 marks the 15 year anniversary of the start of the Degree Confluence Project. In 1996 Alex Jarrett and Peter Cline made the first visit, to 43°N 72°W in New Hampshire. Fifteen years later, over 11,000 visitors have submitted over 91,000 photographs for over 11,000 confluence visits in 183 countries.

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Here's another thing I don't get, in view of Keystone's excellent response. The one of these caches I looked at was placed on 9/18, just 10 days ago. Why is it such an emergency? Is the thought of an nearby unfound cache so stress-inducing that it requires immediate intervention by a reviewer? How can a cache that has been out less than a week and has never been found deserve not one, but two SBA logs?

 

It seems to me we are missing a piece of the story. The over-reaction is so great that there must be something else going on.

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My money is on these caches being a wind up. I cant believe any cacher placing a new cache would not be watching the logs etc and wouldnt respond to what has been posted in some way even if it was just to gloat.

 

Contact Groundspeak asap.

My money is on the hider being a newbie without a proper GPS. Bad coords and lack of owner response is quite common. Query: would the owner be more likely to respond if their page wasn't filled with "Needs Archived" logs and "Post a Note" logs?

 

In support of this I will offer my own most recent experience: On August 4th I published a cache located in a wooded area along a stream, with all zero's as the final three digits of latitude and longitude. Three logs politely questioned the location after they couldn't find the cache. Then an area geocacher wrote me an email asking me to take a look. After the cache had been active for a month with just those three logs, I disabled the listing on September 7th and asked the owner to explain what was going on. After there was no response, I archived the listing on September 19th.

 

Thanks for the response and looks like our bets are laid. Maybe we will never get to the bottom of this one but in some ways I kind of hope that a local cacher goes out and finds the caches and they prove to be really clever.

 

The second part of your response begs a more sinister question. Is there an inerloper out there purposely registering new caches at 000 co-ordinates with no actual cache placed as a wind up. Maybe I am just over cynical and I guess only time will tell

 

So now do you believe? This stuff happens.

 

My original post was in no way a challenge to the reviewers. I am sure this stuff happens but as with others I think we are just trying to make sense of the circumstances.

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Thanks for the response and looks like our bets are laid. Maybe we will never get to the bottom of this one but in some ways I kind of hope that a local cacher goes out and finds the caches and it proves to be really clever hide.

 

The second part of your response begs a more sinister question. Is there an inerloper out there purposely registering new caches at 000 co-ordinates with no actual cache placed as a wind up. Maybe I am just over cynical and I guess only time will tell

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For GC34DR6, could I suggest going to what appears to be a small park&ride lot at ~ 38 26.356 / 81 49.982? The degrees/minutes match, and the location would fit the title...there are trees surrounding the lot that may be climbable.

 

(If the cache is found at or near these coordinates - I claim Co-FTF! :) )

 

For GC34DQH the only thing I can come up with is a dirt lot west of the posted coordinates, near the corner of 3rd Ave & 10th St.

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...February 20, 2011 marks the 15 year anniversary of the start of the Degree Confluence Project. In 1996 Alex Jarrett and Peter Cline made the first visit, to 43°N 72°W in New Hampshire. Fifteen years later, over 11,000 visitors have submitted over 91,000 photographs for over 11,000 confluence visits in 183 countries.

As the cache owner of the nearby “Lots of Zeros” (GCK35Z ) at N44° 00.000 W072° 00.000 and “Lots of Zeros –Part Deux“ (GCTXBVN) at N43° 00.000 W 071° 00.000, I know that coordinate numbers like this are possible-but they are not at all common.

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