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Geocaching Attributes List.


iryshe
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Please provide any attributes you think should be assigned to caches. I'll start.

 

Wheelchair Access

Dogs - Offleash

Dogs - Leashed

Dogs - Prohibited

Boat Required

Kid Friendly

Leave Kids at Home

Special Equipment

 

(Thoughts on time/distance to cache?)

 

The gameplan will be to provide attributes on the "report/edit cache" page, and list them on the cache detail page. Next we will provide them in the GPX cache files, Mobipocket, and the Pocket Query Generator. Lastly we will provide searching tools on the web site.

 

Jeremy Irish

Groundspeak - The Language of Location™

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quote:
Originally posted by Jeremy (Admin):

 

(Thoughts on time/distance to cache?)


Everythig else sounds great, but time/distance is just too variable to be of any use. If I'm in a wheelchair, or have kids in tow, its gonna take longer. Another example; person I've been caching with recently is all of 5ft tall. I'm almost 6ft. When I'm by myself, my avg hiking speed is 3.5-4mph. For her, with her shorter legs, 4mph is almost running, and 2.5mph is more comfortable for her. Didn't seem like much, until we started running out of light on a 7 mile hike that I figured we would have plenty of time for. As for distance, same thing. Too much variation. Most caches don't list a start location, its up to the cache seeker to find a parking spot and the way to the cache. One cacher might opt for 1 mile of easy trails, whereas cacher #2 might go for the 1/4 mile bushwack instead.

 

Tae-Kwon-Leap is not a path to a door, but a road leading forever towards the horizon.

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quote:
Originally posted by Mopar:

 

Everythig else sounds great, but time/distance is just too variable to be of any use.


 

Granted. I'm thinking, however, there can be a difference noted between a drive-by and one that involves a 3 day trip on the Nile...

 

So like...

Quick

Expedition (or Camping involved?)

 

I also would like to keep the attribute list pretty short, though icons could keep the larger lists from cluttering the cache page. I'll just have to figure out how I want the attribute logic to work.

 

Jeremy Irish

Groundspeak - The Language of Location™

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Originally posted by Jeremy (Admin):

<>

 

Wheelchair/Stroller <--add. This might help people relate a bit better.

Dogs - Offleash

Dogs - Leashed

Dogs - Prohibited

Boat Required

Kid Friendly

Leave Kids at Home<--delete - Kids like adults are all different.

Special Equipment

Recommended parking coords? This might be to confusing.

Micro (film/altoids/similer size

Small (sandwich sized tupperware or the like)

Medium (30 cal ammo can/1 quart soup container

Large (50 cal ammo can/1 gallon paint can)

Extra large (5 Gallon container/Animal proof food storage container

 

(Thoughts on time/distance to cache?)<--delete - To many variables

 

<> Lastly we will provide searching tools on the web site. Very cool idea

 

[/quote

 

====================================

As always, the above statements are just MHO.

====================================

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quote:
Originally posted by Jeremy (Admin):

Granted. I'm thinking, however, there can be a difference noted between a drive-by and one that involves a 3 day trip on the Nile...

 

So like...

Quick

Expedition (or Camping involved?)


Gotcha, but isn't that already factored into the cache rating system under terrain?

 

Tae-Kwon-Leap is not a path to a door, but a road leading forever towards the horizon.

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I normally cache alone and prefer rural/wilderness caches so I would like to know ahead of time if trail and cache area have cell-phone coverage strictly in the interests of safety.

Cheers, Olar

 

wavey.gif

"Pi 'r not square, Pie 'r round you dummy!"

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Okay, I like Jeremy's original list with the addition of "Bikes Allowed" (and perhaps the wheelchair/stroller combo).

 

The one thing I'd probably do differently is to change "Leave Kids at Home" to something else. Possibilities include, but are in no way limited to, "Exercise Care", "Use Caution", "Be Careful", "Warning", "Danger", and the like. (The point being to alert not only parents but also the less adventurous.)

 

I'd probably stay away from "Danger", since some idiot (um, logically challenged person?) could take that to mean "Blame us when you do something stupid." "Warning" might be okay, if paired with one of the other phrases.

 

The only other thing that I'd probably add would be "Fee Required". Many of our best caches in Louisiana are in areas where either an admission fee (state-run parks and area), a parking fee (some camping areas, etc), or even a boat launch fee (avoidable if you canoe, but not if you motor). Obviously, on the whole these are not commercial locations, yet there may be fees required during the cache hunt. It would be nice to have that noted by an attribute.

 

Regarding cell phone coverage, we'd have to have an attribute for Cingular, one for Verizon, one for T-Mobile, one for Nextel, one for... But it *was* a nice idea, if only it were possible. (Of course, some places may have nearly uniform coverage, but at least down here, that's *quite* the exception.)

 

Regarding 4WD, ATV, and Snowmobile... Around Louisiana, it seems that 4WD- and ATV-compatible caches are quite rare indeed. (Snowmobile caching is a no-show around here.) Around other places in the country, are they more widespread? We don't want every possible attribute; it would be too many, but if these three are actually more populated categories than Louisiana would lead you to believe, I suppose they could work.

 

Regarding "4 Seasons"... I have to say that I find myself completely opposed to that. The idea behind attributes should that you select them to *add* information. All caches are, by default, available year round. Some caches in some areas (such as the northern climes) are not available year round. These and these alone should have an attribute assigned to them. So, instead of "4 Seasons", I propose the alternative of "Seasonal" (which tells you there is *additional* information about dates of accessibility).

 

[This message was edited by ClayJar on December 05, 2002 at 08:05 PM.]

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I'm assuming all of these will be optional checkboxes or whatever... I mean, something that people can check if they know, but people don't HAVE to check a definite "yes" or "no" when it comes to dogs, kids, pay to park, etc.

 

I mean, if I choose not to check any of those options - I don't want it to make my cache look like I checked "NO" on all of them or something.

 

The whole idea of all these extra options just makes me nervous, with the way many people seem to have a hard enough time hiding a cache, posting a picture, or logging a travel bug. icon_smile.gif

 

I'm looking forward to more information on how these new qualifiers will be implemented.

 

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quote:
Jeremy - I also would like to keep the attribute list pretty short, though icons could keep the larger lists from cluttering the cache page. I'll just have to figure out how I want the attribute logic to work.

 

Jeremy: Use the MULTIPLE attribute in a list and you can put many many cache attributes in the list. They can then be selected with clicks to select only the attributes needed from the list and still keeping the main page uncluttered.

 

Had to go look the WWW code up.. i could not remeber if forms supported multiple picks from a select list, but it does. icon_smile.gif

 

As far as the sort and select logic you are going to need to provide output for folks on searches, that will be the trick!

 

-Centaur

 

[This message was edited by Centaur on December 05, 2002 at 09:19 PM.]

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quote:
Originally posted by ClayJar:

"Exercise Care", "Use Caution", "Be Careful", "Warning", "Danger", and the like. (The point being to alert not only parents but also the less adventurous.)


Well, folks like me would check that box for every cache that they've hidden. None of mine are terribly dangerous, but I'm all for telling people to be careful. At any one of my caches, someone could twist an ankle, get bitten by bugs, or lose their keys in the brush. So, I'd always have "use caution" checked. Imho, a selection like that is probably too subjective and most likely overused - making it not very useful.

quote:
The only other thing that I'd probably add would be "Fee Required". Many of our best caches in Louisiana are in areas where either an admission fee (state-run parks and area), a parking fee (some camping areas, etc), or even a boat launch fee (avoidable if you canoe, but not if you motor).
Yup - that is definitely one that I think we can all agree upon. There isn't one of us that wouldn't be a little miffed if we show up for a cache without realizing that we had to hand over a few bucks. Not a big deal to most, but I think everyone would like to know beforehand.
quote:
Regarding cell phone coverage, we'd have to have an attribute for Cingular, one for Verizon, one for T-Mobile, one for Nextel, one for... But it *was* a nice idea, if only it were possible.
I don't have a cell phone - I wouldn't know if there was coverage or not. icon_smile.gif

 

My list would all be things that exclude, rather than include. I wouldn't have "dogs allowed" or "drinking fountains available" or "public restroom here" - I think the better way is to EXCLUDE, assuming that things are there/allowed unless specified otherwise. I mean, that is how most people hide caches... without asking, most assume it is okay to place a cache in a park or area unless it specifically says otherwise somewhere.

 

Here's what I'd have:

 

PETS NOT ALLOWED

NOT WHEELCHAIR ACCESSABLE

TRAILS FOR FOOT TRAFFIC ONLY

INACCESSABLE WITHOUT SPECIAL EQUIPMENT (see description)

NO VISIBLE TRAILS

UNAVAILABLE DURING CERTAIN HOURS (see description)

 

That last one is for those folks who enjoy hunting at night - since many caches are in parks that are closed after dark - I think it'd be used quite often.

 

I'm not sure what to do about you ATV / bike folks... I've been to a lot of parks, and while I've never seen a sign that says bikes are prohibited, I'm not sure that they are allowed, either. *shrug*

 

Anyway, there's my 2 cents... the extended version.

 

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Doh! I just noticed that the "time of day" thing was already covered in an earlier post... heh

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Here is one im not sure of:

-NOT Travelbug Friendly - For the folks that keep insisting on trying to stuff TB's in the Micros or other tiny caches. What say ye?

 

And perhaps a Specialty attribute: CacheCam - take your picture.

Though that might be too specific an attribute.

 

Attributes we do NOT need:

Leave Top Off.

McToys Only.

Dirty Golf Balls Only.

and the ever popular: PLUNDER ME!

 

icon_wink.gif

 

66427_2800.gif

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Okay, here goes my "Overview of Cache Attributes: What They Are and How To Use Them" post. In it, I will try to explain what I'm thinking and why, with the hopes that it will help narrow the thread a little. Note that this is simply my opinion, but bear in mind that it is an opinion that I considered deeply and repeatedly (in several drafts over a couple hours) before posting it. Anyway, on with the show, and see you in the morning.

 

Cache Attributes

 

"Attributes" could mean many things, but in the case of cache attributes, we're dealing with a very specific meaning. Cache attributes are not simply another place for the cache description. Rather, cache attributes are flags that are there to allow cachers to look over the vast field of caches to see the particular type they're interested in. As such, cache attributes should not simply give information about the cache -- they should highlight the most important classification information. Cache attributes should not simply be decoration on the page. If a cache attribute is simply a way to put a nice icon on a cache page, that is a terrible waste -- the cache attributes should actually be markers to help interested cachers find the cache in the first place.

 

Cache attributes show what's special about a cache. When you (eventually) search using cache attributes, you'll want to be looking *for* something. You want the cachers to look at the cache attributes and say, "I want to go on a cache like that." They choose that attribute, and instantly they are looking at caches that are indeed somewhat like that. (Hypothetically, they could look at the cache attributes and say, "I never want to go hydrocaching again!" They choose the hypothetical, "Ignore all caches with the [X] hydrocaching attribute," and instantly, all caches that have that attribute are gone.)

 

Okay, so, cache attributes should show what sets the cache apart from the caches-at-large, and cache attributes should be there to draw interested cachers (and not just to notify those who are already there). With that in mind, it is apparent that the value of a given cache attribute is directly related to how "special" that cache attribute makes the cache combined with how many cachers and caches will use that attribute. (Something like "Uses Calculus" would not make a valuable cache attribute, since although it would be very special, it would be very little used. Something like "Has Container" would not make a valuable cache attribute, since although it could be used very often in caches, it's not at all special.)

 

If the cache is wheelchair accessible, that sets it apart from the general cache population. "Wheelchair Accessible" would make a good cache attribute. If a cache only allows foot traffic, it is just another in the vast majority of caches. "Foot Traffic Only" would not make a valuable cache attribute. If you can only reach the cache by boat, it is one of the special class of caches known as hydrocaches. "Boat Required" is a very useful cache attribute. If a cache is available year-round, it is either any given cache in a non-snowy climate or perhaps it is simply much more difficult (yet still *possible*) in the snow. "Available Year-Round" is not as valuable a cache attribute.

 

Good, Very Valuable Cache Attributes

These all point out things that are unusual and important.

Wheelchair Accessible

Kid Friendly

Boat Required

Special Equipment Required

Fee Required (this would be one of those "don't show it" cache attributes)

 

Good, Somewhat Valuable Cache Attributes

These all point out things that make a caching trip more (or less) fun.

Biking (as in, "Come here and ride!")

ATV

4WD

Dogs (leashed/unleashed can be separate, if you want)

No Dogs (this would be another "don't show it")

 

Not-So-Good, Not-Really-Valuable Cache Attributes

These all point out that the cache is actually the same as the "normal" cache

Hiking Only

Parking Available
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With each of these attributes, there should be 3 selections: True, False and None Selected, and the default for all of these attributes would be "none selected."

 

I know it would be in the best interest for these attributes to be marked, but I may not always want to share how long the hike is - or I may not KNOW the status of whether dogs are allowed or not.

 

If it were just a check box, by leaving a check box unchecked, people will assume false - and therefore not search the cache if, for example they have a dog that caches with them. By having a "none selected" feature they would know that the owner didn't select "false" - they just didn't answer.

 

Markwell

Chicago Geocaching

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To answer CJ's question, ATV's are a big thing up here. Many of the caches I have visited are very near ATV trails. I'm assuming they are used in many other states too. I have read about lots of good ATVing across the US. Just never in Louisiana icon_wink.gif

 

However, I'd still have to take the nature of all the attributes lightly. After all, the hider is apt to say the spot is ATV acessible just because the trail is wide enough, or because there were tracks there. You'd still have to assume the hider knew it was legal to be there. That's one reason I don't even really care for the idea. But that's me....

 

As far as boats required, in place of "boats only" I like just "hydrocaching" or something like "Water crossing necessary" (for those that don't know what hydrocache means). That would imply the person had to cross water one way or the other, including boat, inner tube, swimming, ice during winter, helicopter, and whatever else.

 

I like the "Seasonal" as opposed to 4 season, as it could imply that access to the cache could vary greatly depending on the season. After all, all caches probably could be accessed year round if the finder had the right equipment and determination, but it could turn a 2 into a 5 easily.

 

I just got lost in thought. It was unfamiliar territory.

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I was just thinking about my caches in particular and trying to think of attributes in addition to ScooterJ's icons (which I already use on my cache pages) that would apply, and I came up with a couple that have been discussed in the fora off and on in the past year or two:

Puzzle caches. What you'll find at the given coordinates may or may not be the final cache, but whatever it is, you'll have to solve some sort of puzzle to get to the logbook.

Quiz cache. Distinct from a puzzle cache, believe it or not. The coordinates for this cache will require you to get the correct answers on a quiz of some kind, whether it be a trivia quiz or a list of virtual cache stages with associated questions.

Cache Description Required. Some puzzle caches and quiz caches put the puzzle or the quiz in the first-stage cache container, and some put it in the cache description. If this attribute is set, you know that you'll need to read the cache description before seeking this cache.

Invalid coordinates. The given coordinates do not point to the cache; you'll have to read the cache description to get the actual coordinates. (Offset caches would have this attribute set, too.) Obviously this is a subset of the "Cache Description Required" attribute, but it's not an equivalent set: Earthling Vector Perelandra has an actual first stage at the given coordinates, but you won't know what it is or what to do with it unless you read the description.

Yes, in the past all of these have been somewhat handled with the cache type, but they haven't been handled consistently, and a cache type of "mystery" has been used to hide a multitude of sins. By using attributes in conjunction with the type, we can communicate that Shortwave is a puzzle cache with bogus coordinates and you need to read the description, or that Perfectly Perplexing Puzzles is a puzzle multicache that you don't need to read the description of, or that Fort Wayne, Cash Cache is a quiz multicache with bogus coordinates that you have to read the description for.

 

I forsee the "invalid coordinates" and "description required" attributes being very useful for automated conversion software, as well, since those who upload large collections of caches to their GPSr with no supporting information can choose to ignore caches that have claimed those attributes for themselves.

 

warm.gif

 

[This message was edited by Warm Fuzzies - Fuzzy on December 06, 2002 at 05:57 AM.]

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Any good database designer will tell you you dont start with the input data, you start with what you want OUT of the system. That will dictate what data you have to put In.

Think for a little on how you would like to search and display the cache lists... And eazy example: I always cache with my Dog. So I want to EXCLUDE any cache marked NO DOGS. So there needs to be at the minimum a NO DOGS attribute, being an exclusionary mark. I would think Dogs Ok - Leashed and Dogs Ok - Unleashed might be more data then a cache needs, but I dont own a dog. They would be examples of Inclusionary Attributes. Where you would only include a cache if they were marked. Which might lead to problems if the cache placer does not know if dogs are ok.

Same thing with NO DOGS, if they cache placer does not know, he leaves it unmarked, and you have to find out the old fashion way, when you get there with your dog.

 

I tend to think exclusionary attributes are more valuable, that is to eliminate from the search caches you really dont want to go for that dont meet your minimum criteria. Boat Required/ Aquacaches/special equipment/etc. Could all be used to Exclude caches from the search.

 

As for things like "kid Friendly" I think it should be "NOT Kid Friendly" as agian, you might be looking to exclude a small number of caches from the list. (Arent most caches kid friendly? icon_wink.gif

 

I believe it will be eazier in the long run to take the cache database and Exclude the ones you dont care to visit as opposed to start with an empty set and include the ones you do want to visit. My 2 cents for the morning. YMMV

 

66427_2800.gif

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quote:
Originally posted by Centaur:

I believe it will be easier in the long run to take the cache database and Exclude the ones you dont care to visit as opposed to start with an empty set and include the ones you do want to visit.


I'm afraid that I must disagree strongly. Let me try to explain why.

 

I don't go to just any cache. In fact, since I've grown out of the neocacher stage, I've become even more particular about the caches I hunt. I have a search for all caches with terrain 4+ in a 500-mile radius. I even use Google to try to find hydrocaches.

 

Excluding the caches I don't want to hunt is akin to filtering spam. (NO! I'm not calling the caches spam... read with me here.) I want to find the 5-10% of caches I personally want to hunt, and whatever the rest of the caches are is of no consequence at all. I don't want to know about it; I don't want to think about it. When I want to hydrocache, I want to hydrocache.

 

Now, back when I was a neocacher, I would try to hunt *all* the caches near me. Perhaps then I would have considered exclusionary cache attributes more valuable, but I attempted, or at least looked at, all the caches. Having the "no tall guy cachers with long hair" cache attribute would have saved me a little time in avoiding those caches, but it wasn't like I needed to do a lot of searching to find the caches that don't exclude tall guy cachers with long hair.

 

I wasn't particular, and in the end, it turned out that I enjoyed some caches far more than others. Which brings me to where I am now. I'd like to be able to search on a hydrocache attribute so I can find more exciting hydros to hunt. I'd like to be able to search for biking trail caches so I can actually get my bike out of mothballs and use it. I don't care one iota (well, not three iotas, then) about the rest of cache-dom; I only want to find the caches I want to hunt.

 

So, basically, my philosophy is that cache attributes can be inclusionary or exclusionary, the sign makes no difference, really. It's what makes it different from normal that matters.

 

As far as the tri-state flags, by the way, I don't like those. I don't think it's necessary to specify for each and every non-hydrocache on earth that it's not a hydrocache. Now, not specifying it is a hydrocache means you can't do a search for hydrocaches to find it, but it doesn't necessarily mean it's not a hydrocache.

 

Would you really do a search for "all caches that are explicitly not hydrocaches"? I don't think you would. Now, if you wanted to end up with attributes for every possible thing, you could add a "terracache" (okay, whatever) cache attribute that people could specify to explicitly state that it's firmly on solid ground. (You could even add "aerocache" for those caches which are neither water nor land based, such as caches up trees, caches dangling off cliffs, and caches attached to tethered blimps, but that's going a bit far.)

 

Basically, cache attributes should be simple flags that tell you what's special about the cache. They should be simple flags, not tri-state (or multi-state) variables. "Container-Size (micro/small/medium/large/747/virtual/unknown)" is overloading what should be a *very* simple concept: A cache attribute is basically the logical equivalent of a plain vanilla checkbox, and, "We don't need no hanging chads."

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quote:

How could the cache owner possibly know whether _your_ cell phone service is supported?


Excellent question. I did not think of that aspect. I guess we are spoiled here in Southern Ontario by having only two major carriers to choose from.

I officially withdraw attribute request.

Thanks, Olar

 

wavey.gif

"Pi 'r not square, Pie 'r round you dummy!"

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You've got some good points there, ClayJar - I can see what you mean about the attributes being inclusion attributes, rather than exclusionary. Hmm - I wonder if those are real words.

 

Anyway - I see your point, about how if these attributes are to be used more for search options and the sort - it'd be better that have special attributes that tell what the cache DOES have.

 

It is a difficult thought process for me to put into words, unfortunately... but yet, I can see how the options would be more valuable if you could search for caches that are only accessable by boat, or only accessable with climbing gear, or only accessable with scuba gear.

 

If the attributes were like I suggested in my post from the other day, it wouldn't work well with the search engine options. My idea would work well for those who are just concerned with icons and info on the actual cache page, though.

 

I think I'm better off sitting back and letting the programmers hash this one out - as when it comes to database applications, and how to get the most use out of them - I'm not the guy to ask. icon_smile.gif

 

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quote:

How could the cache owner possibly know whether _your_ cell phone service is supported?


 

Isn't that why there is a "roaming" feature? You'll pay extra to use another service provider's equipment.

 

But ever so, I don't think I would want to be staring at my phone during the hike to see if I have a signal or not.

 

homer.gif

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

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An attribute I'd like to see is one that identifies access. Some caches can be driven to, but only if you don't mind really bad roads. Having recently paid for a new oil pan and transmission, how about an attribute that asks for access quality?

I.E.:

Trailhead Access: All, High Clearance, or 4X4 only

Or

Road Quality: Paved, Gravel, Dirt, Unmaintained, Never maintained, There is a road here? Mostly stream, and last but not least... Boulder Field.

 

Or something like that anyway. Having to contact the placer to find out if our vehicle can make it to the trailhead is a little annoying. And turning around due to sheer terror isn't our favorite course of action. (So I shouldn't have driven through the puddle? How far is it to the main road from here? That Far? You wanna walk out this time, or should I?) **BUying a truck soon! icon_smile.gif**

-Jennifer

 

Nothing is really work unless you would rather be doing something else. (JM Barrie)

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quote:
Originally posted by ClayJar:

I even use Google to try to find hydrocaches.

 

When I want to hydrocache, I want to hydrocache.

 

I'd like to be able to search on a hydrocache attribute so I can find more exciting hydros to hunt.

 

I don't think it's necessary to specify for each and every non-hydrocache on earth that it's not a hydrocache. Now, not specifying it is a hydrocache means you can't do a search for hydrocaches to find it, but it doesn't necessarily mean it's not a hydrocache.

 

Would you really do a search for "all caches that are explicitly not hydrocaches"?


 

I'm with you, man. Just one question: what's a hydrocache? icon_wink.gif

 

Charlie

"One should never begin a journey by heading in the wrong direction."

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quote:
Originally posted by Warm Fuzzies - Fuzzy:

+ Puzzle caches. What you'll find at the given coordinates may or may not be the final cache, but whatever it is, you'll have to solve some sort of puzzle to get to the logbook.

+ Quiz cache. Distinct from a puzzle cache, believe it or not. The coordinates for this cache will require you to get the correct answers on a quiz of some kind, whether it be a trivia quiz or a list of virtual cache stages with associated questions.

+ Cache Description Required. Some puzzle caches and quiz caches put the puzzle or the quiz in the first-stage cache container, and some put it in the cache description. If this attribute is set, you know that you'll need to read the cache description before seeking this cache.

+ Invalid coordinates. The given coordinates do not point to the cache; you'll have to read the cache description to get the actual coordinates. (Offset caches would have this attribute set, too.) Obviously this is a subset of the "Cache Description Required" attribute, but it's not an equivalent set:

I forsee the "invalid coordinates" and "description required" attributes being very useful for automated conversion software, as well, since those who upload large collections of caches to their GPSr with no supporting information can choose to ignore caches that have claimed those attributes for themselves.


 

Being able to identify these different cache types at a glance would be great for those that use pocket quarries. Possibly reading them for the first time out in the field.

As for on off leash.

I know of only one park with a off leash area. There my be more in the area, even though I've not seen them while out caching. All other parks a leash is required.

My point is the only attribute that would be helpful is the No Dogs Allowed icon.

 

leathermanani.gif

If you do not extend your expectations unto others, you will not be disappointed by the stupid things they do.

Mokita!

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quote:
Originally posted by ClayJar:

quote:
Originally posted by Centaur:

I believe it will be easier in the long run to take the cache database and Exclude the ones you dont care to visit as opposed to start with an empty set and include the ones you do want to visit.


I'm afraid that I must disagree strongly. Let me try to explain why.


Not a Problem. Nowhere did I say that I didnt want inclusionary attributes. Eazier to program exclusionary perhaps, but inclusionary have their uses too. Its 2 sides of the same coin.

quote:

I don't go to just any cache. In fact, since I've grown out of the neocacher stage, I've become even more particular about the caches I hunt. I have a search for all caches with terrain 4+ in a 500-mile radius. I even use Google to try to find hydrocaches.


Works for me. Im sure there are cases where starting with the empty set and including only specific caches will fill the bill better then starting with the full set and trying to eliminate the ones you dont want. I was just trying to think along the way I cache now.

quote:

Excluding the caches I don't want to hunt is akin to filtering spam. (NO! I'm _not_ calling the caches spam... read with me here.) I want to find the 5-10% of caches I personally want to hunt, and whatever the rest of the caches are is of no consequence at all. I don't want to know about it; I don't want to think about it. When I want to hydrocache, I want to hydrocache.


A perfect example of a need filled by inclusionary attributes. Works for me.

quote:

Now, back when I was a neocacher, I would try to hunt *all* the caches near me. Perhaps then I would have considered exclusionary cache attributes more valuable, but I attempted, or at least looked at, all the caches. Having the "no tall guy cachers with long hair" cache attribute would have saved me a little time in avoiding those caches, but it wasn't like I needed to do a lot of searching to find the caches that don't exclude tall guy cachers with long hair.

 

I wasn't particular, and in the end, it turned out that I enjoyed some caches far more than others. Which brings me to where I am now. I'd like to be able to search on a hydrocache attribute so I can find more exciting hydros to hunt. I'd like to be able to search for biking trail caches so I can actually get my bike out of mothballs and use it. I don't care one iota (well, not three iotas, then) about the rest of cache-dom; I only want to find the caches I want to hunt.


Jeremy, the selection logic we are going to get you to program for this is going to be a hummdinger! icon_wink.gif Too bad there isnt a boolian expression interface for us do-it-yourself'ers.

quote:

So, basically, my philosophy is that cache attributes can be inclusionary or exclusionary, the sign makes no difference, really. It's what makes it different from normal that matters.


I think you have hit it though... For the neo's (Which I am) I would probably be using exclusion more for my searches. Its the quick-n-dirty way of filtering the ones I dont care for. On the other hand, as you state, more selective more experienced folks might find it eazier to include only caches, as your example states.

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Basically, cache attributes should be simple flags that tell you what's special about the cache. They should be simple flags, not tri-state (or multi-state) variables. "Container-Size (micro/small/medium/large/747/virtual/unknown)" is overloading what should be a *very* simple concept: A cache attribute is basically the logical equivalent of a plain vanilla checkbox, and, "_We don't need no hanging chads._"


 

There ya go. icon_smile.gif I was not focusing so much on the specific attributes, my programming mind was trying to visualize the selection logic was all, ans what might be eazier for the general cacher. Of course, how does one define a general cacher? I dunno. icon_smile.gif

 

Pardon me while I go hang chad... icon_wink.gif

 

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Actually, I can see "No Dogs Allowed" and "Dogs Allowed" as valid attributes, but I wouldn't split leash-less into a third. It's easy enough to take the leash off if you so desire (as too many people do in the leashed areas, not that I dislike most dogs).

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quote:
Originally posted by Jennifer & Dean:

An attribute I'd like to see is one that identifies access. Some caches can be driven to, but only if you don't mind really bad roads. Having recently paid for a new oil pan and transmission, how about an attribute that asks for access quality?

I.E.:

Trailhead Access: All, High Clearance, or 4X4 only

Or

Road Quality: Paved, Gravel, Dirt, Unmaintained, Never maintained, There is a road here? Mostly stream, and last but not least... Boulder Field.

 


 

Can't this info be obtained from a decent map of the area? If no colored lines are near the cache on the map, there are no roads--don't risk your vehicle unless it's off-road enabled.

 

Granted, we did do some camping off dirt roads in a Jaguar XJ6, but it wasn't good for the car.

 

--

wcgreen

Wendy Chatley Green

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quote:
Originally posted by Centaur:

Jeremy, the selection logic we are going to get you to program for this is going to be a hummdinger! icon_wink.gif Too bad there isnt a boolian expression interface for us do-it-yourself'ers.


Actually, thanks to GPX, I'll be able to have queries that send me GPX files of Louisiana and the surrounding states, and then I'll simply do all the searching, filtering, or what-have-you on my local computer. (Yet another benefit of my Geocaching.com membership... and they only asked for $30!)
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quote:
Originally posted by ClayJar:

Actually, thanks to GPX, I'll be able to have queries that send me GPX files of Louisiana and the surrounding states, and then I'll simply do all the searching, filtering, or what-have-you on my local computer. (Yet another benefit of my Geocaching.com membership... and they only asked for $30!)


 

Good point. But not everyone here will be able to do that. All depents I guess on how much logic and coding Jeremy wants to provide in the site, or wants to leave to the GPX/downloading and local processing folks. I hope this discussion is helping Jeremy out. icon_smile.gif

 

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I don't see what all the fuss is about "Kid Friendly". Sure, the parents are going to read the description and such before they take their kids out to the cache, but being able to have a starting point, fuzzy or not, must be worth something. I know for a fact that a cache I'm working on isn't going to be "Kid Friendly" in the least, but I have a cache (not really mine, but I posted it for the group) that I qould say is "Kid Friendly". (Some kids wouldn't work with it, perhaps, but at least I can let the parents know that it's worth reading.)

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quote:
Originally posted by infosponge:

I think "kid friendly" is open to a lot of variable interpretation and should not be on the list. It's better to let the parents read the description and rating and weigh that against the ages/abilities/moods of their kids.


 

Would kid friendly indicate that it is full of Happy Meal Toys? icon_wink.gif

 

"We will add your biological and technological distinctiveness to our own. Your culture will adapt to service us. Resistance is futile. We are the Borg."

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quote:
Originally posted by Markwell:

With each of these attributes, there should be _3_ selections: True, False and None Selected, and the default for all of these attributes would be "none selected."

 

I know it would be in the best interest for these attributes to be marked, but I may not always want to share how long the hike is - or I may not KNOW the status of whether dogs are allowed or not.

 

If it were just a check box, by leaving a check box unchecked, people will assume false - and therefore not search the cache if, for example they have a dog that caches with them. By having a "none selected" feature they would know that the owner didn't select "false" - they just didn't answer.

 

http://www.markwell.us

http://www.chicagogeocaching.com

 

Agreed, if I know the answer to these questions, I would be happy to put them on the cache, but they should be optional.

 

"We will add your biological and technological distinctiveness to our own. Your culture will adapt to service us. Resistance is futile. We are the Borg."

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Regarding the kid friendly thing, I would just ignore the indication on the cache and make my own decision..."kid" could mean anywhere from 0-15+ and there's no way to say what's friendly for any particular family grouping. I've been to caches that were described as kid-friendly that weren't, and I've been to caches that were described as inhospitable that were kid-friendly.

We need to differentiate between attributes that are absolute ("dogs not allowed") and attributes that are subjective ("kid friendly").

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About Roads:

__________

Can't this info be obtained from a decent map of the area? If no colored lines are near the cache on the map, there are no roads--don't risk your vehicle unless it's off-road enabled.

__________

Actually, the road was on our map. Forest service roads are of varying quality depending on use and area, but they all show up as the same type of road on our maps. We have been 11 miles up one that was really good, and 11 miles up one that was really bad. Both were the same on the map and there was no way to tell the difference. I just think that having a way to let people know that street cars are not recommended or that vehicles should be off-road enabled would come in really useful.

 

About Kid friendly:

Some kids are ready to climb where I won't go. Some are not. One 5 year old around here has been on top of more mountains than we have. Kid friendly is subjective, maybe toddler friendly would be more of a realistic box? I wouldn't take a toddler places I would have no problem taking a 12 year old.

-Jennifer

 

Nothing is really work unless you would rather be doing something else. (JM Barrie)

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I hate to bring up an old topic, but since it looks like some work is being done around here.

 

I'd like to see an option for hiding coordinates from non-registered visitors to a cache page. Totally optional.

 

It's been voted on in two polls, both polls in favor of this idea. I have since been quiet about it, but have seen other threads come and go in favor of this idea.

 

As long as we are adding checkboxes all over the place, I'd really like to see this happen now, while there is work being done, instead of forgotten about only to be brought up again later.

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I've read through the thread and here are some of my thoughts.

 

I like the idea of the owner having the ability to hide the coordinates from non-registered members.

 

Would I exclude "hydrocaches" from a search list? Yep, I don't have a boat, can't go for them, so why should they clutter up my GPS and Palm? Now for the day I rent a boat, I'd want to do a search for all of the hydrocaches in the area.

 

Kid friendly or not is subjective. It's not as if you're saying "Kids Prohibited." We recently went on a hunt where I'd probably NOT let a child at the end game--it was an abandoned train tressle! So, let the hunter make the final decision, but let the owner tell you if they think you shouldn't bring your toddler along.

 

I've been to plenty of parks that let you know if bicycles are allowed--it's usually at the trailhead. We have parks around here that have dedicated biking trails. I'd probably like an attribute that said "foot traffic only" or "biking trail."

 

Three state for the attribute: I don't know if dogs are allowed. How would I put that? Say we have a dual state attribute for NO DOGS. I don't know if dogs are allowed. So, to be on the safe side I check NO DOGS and someone comes along finds out dog are allowed. Problem. I go the other way and say dogs are allowed and someone shows up with a dog. Problem.

 

No, I think there has to be a three state choice on most of the attribute, if not more. But that's assuming you're going to be making a data field for each attribute.

 

If on the other hand you have only one data field and use a three digit hex code for attributes, you can have many, many atttributes. (or use abbreviations like MI for "micro," but that might complicate the search routine.) You'd just need to use a translatation table.

 

000=micro

001=large micro

002=regular

...

012=traditional

013=offset

014=multi

015=puzzle

015=printout required

...

045=kid friendly, kid's park, etc.

046=not kid friendly, dangerous for youngsters.

047=educational for children.

...

056=dog park/training area

057=dog friendly

058=all animals must be on leash

059=dog prohibited

...

 

You get the the picture.

 

With up to FFF that's over 4000 different attributes you could search on, both to include or exclude. Plus, it's effectively "multi state."

 

Then the attribute data field might look like:

000 013 045 059attributes> (I don't know XML, so please forgive the syntax.) This would mean it's an offset micro in a kid's park that prohibits dogs.

 

You could easily add an attribute, like sub-micro, later to the end of the list, or even a whole different category like the kind of boat that is required to reach the cache: air boat, canoe sized, deep-water, etc. You could get ridiculous with the attributes if you want: "hard-core mountain bikers only," or "narrow 4WD or ATV only."

 

Doing it with a single attribute data field, you'd always be adding to the field whenever the users makes a decision to include information, either inclusive or exclusive.

 

Plus, it would be relatively easy to add the single attribute data field and then work on what attributes to add. Start off with size of cache, type, kids, dogs, payment required, etc. and add others as when required. I.E. you don't need to know everything you're going to put in there before you start.

 

That's just my two cents.

 

CR

 

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What if someone wants to search on any information on a particular attribute? Say, I want to list all caches that say something about dogs.

 

If you categorize the different attributes into "data spaces" i.e. 00x for cache size, 01x for cache type, 02x for required equipment, ... 04x for dogs.

 

Then the routine could search only for 04x to see if the owner says anything about dogs.

 

The usefullness would be limited, but say you want to exclude caches that require extra equipment (compass, printout, boat, whatever.) Simply do a search and exclude any caches with a 02x code.

 

Come to think about it, the required equipment might take up two blocks. probably can hit 16 different required things pretty quick.

 

PRO: probably make the search quicker.

CON: creates headroom, thus effectively reducing the total number of attributes.

 

Another thing that would probably help is making the cache's attribute list numerically ordered. Say you're looking for 045 and you hit 046, you know you can stop looking for 045 in that cache.

 

Just another penny or two from me. All of the above is probably no-brainers for you guys.

 

CR

 

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quote:
I don't know if dogs are allowed. How would I put that?

 

You wouldn't. The point of cache attributes is to add information. If you have no information to add, you just don't add any. When you're talking about a cache, you don't say, "It's got nice trails. I don't know if dogs are allowed. I don't know if bikes are allowed. I don't know if ATVs are allowed. I don't know if 4WDs are allowed. I don't know if you should bring your kids. I don't know if you can go there year round. I don't know if..."

 

If you know something about the cache, you say it, but if you don't know about something, there's no reason to ramble on and on about every little thing you don't know. If you don't say anything about a particular thing, people will just have to think for themselves. It happens every day. We don't need multi-state flags precisely because we should only be saying the "important" things; there's no need to explicitly say something about every attribute.

 

quote:
Kid friendly or not is subjective.

 

Of course it is! So is "Boat Required" (I've seen logs). So is 3.5 stars for the terrain. So is "I liked this cache." So is "The cache was rather full." So is "The cache is well hidden."

 

Just because we have an attribute to let people know that it might be a good cache to look at when they're heading out with the kids doesn't mean that we're telling them an absolute fact that they should take as-is without a second thought. Parents understand that they need to check it out, but giving the hider the ability to say, "Hey, you might like this one. I think it's easy enough for the kids." is a good thing.

 

Finally, regarding mapping tables of numeric values that may or may not be bitmapped with this or that or the other: That's all irrelevant to the user. Perhaps Jeremy, et al, will use something like that on their internal database, but it doesn't matter at all to us. On the cache pages, it will just show the attributes, and in the searches, it'll just show the attributes. In the XML, it will not be numbers, either. The beauty of XML is that it *isn't* a whole bunch of assigned numbers; it's good old-fashioned (new-fashioned, perhaps) text. You'll have one cache attribute tag per cache attribute the cache has, so there's no need to try overloading a bunch of extra information. In fact, even multi-state flags are workable (although I do not like them for the reasons I have been explaining). XML is a high-level representation of the data, so it abstracts out the need to be tied to any particular database representation (you can add or drop whatever).

 

Anyway, keep up the discussion. It's nice to see a bunch of cachers of all backgrounds working together to hash something like this out. (See, we *are* still mostly good people. icon_wink.gif)

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I was originally thinking that there might be a data field for each attribute. In other words, a data field for "dogs allowed" and then one for "dogs leashed only" etc etc. That's why I was thinking about the three state thing. But if you're adding information to a single data field for whatever, then the absence of data would the third state of "I dunno."

 

As for being able to download the attribute field coded and human readible, I think that should be up to the searcher. Some of us will want it readible, but others might want it in code to save space.

 

But that's all up to the people who know what they're talking about. Me, I just want to see if there's a bike trail, you need a print out, or a boat, stuff like that.

 

Is all of this working up to a downloadable database that I can search on my Palm? Something where if I'm at a certain cache I can see the nearest caches, stuff like that? Or include or exclude certain caches on a search on my Palm?

 

That's what I'd like.

 

CR

 

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quote:
Originally posted by Sissy-n-CR:

Is all of this working up to a downloadable database that I can search on my Palm? Something where if I'm at a certain cache I can see the nearest caches, stuff like that? Or include or exclude certain caches on a search on my Palm?


Absolutely! While there aren't any applications that will fully do that yet, the GPX files that the Pocket Queries will give you have everything you need to do that. That's one of the "killer apps" of GPX and the Pocket Queries, and I for one am exceedingly interested in doing something exactly like that.

 

(I want to be able to input my coordinates and see a rudimentary map with the nearest caches and ratings with optional marks for the attributes I choose to display. Then I could tap each icon to see the name, short description, atttributes, and rating, with a "view full cache page" button, etc.)

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A variation on the "kid friendly" and "wheelchair access" is "pushchair access". Ours is considerably more mobile than most wheelchairs but we're not yet climbing mountains with it.

 

It would also be good to see an attribute for "nearby pub serving fine ale" icon_wink.gif (ducks and runs for cover .......... )

 

Dave

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