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Geocaching Attributes List.


iryshe
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quote:
Originally posted by Jeremy Irish:

Of the previous 40,000 caches I doubt a large percentage of them will be updated with attributes.

 


 

Without strongly encouraging owners to update their cache pages and getting the vast majority of caches updated with attributes wouldn't that severely limit the usefullness of attributes in the first place?

 

If someone comes along and wants to look for caches in areas that are dog friendly, with only a few caches updated, then the search would effectively be "show me caches that are dog-friensly AND the cache owner has updated the cache attributes." The "has been updated" part is inferred. This search would exclude huge numbers of caches that may be dog-friendly.

 

Another scenerio: Say I want a list excluding No-Dog caches. My search would actually be "exclude caches marked as No-Dogs OR haven't been updated." What I would get is a list of caches marked as not having a No-Dog attritube AND all of the ones not updated. If the bulk of caches haven't been updated the list would be just about useless. It'd be very likely I'd show up with poochie to a place that doesn't allow dogs.

 

What you would end up with is the something unused the same as why I don't go over to Dan's site much, it's simply inaccurate.

 

On the otherhand, if you had an attribute of unknown attributes you could do a search "exclude caches marked No-Dogs AND exclude caches with unknown attributes." What you would end up with is a list of caches that you know the owners have choosen to not mark No-Dogs. Now the list is accurate.

 

(of course, now you are relying on accurate information from the owner, but at least the system is not broken.)

 

CR

 

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To expand a little, the following is an example of what these attributes are telling us:

 

Dog Friendly: Cache owner means he's seen a sign saying dogs are welcome or seen a lot of dogs in the area.

 

No Dogs: Seen a sign or other information saying dogs are prohibited.

 

No Attributes: didn't see any dogs, but didn't see information prohibiting dogs, either. I don't know one way or the other. You're on your own.

 

Unknown Attributes: Haven't gotten around to putting in any attributes. It could be any of the other three.

 

All four of the above are important and gives us information that will help us make the decision of going after a particular cache.

 

While on the surface "No Attributes" and "Unknown" seem the same they are not. With "No Attributes" the cache owner is telling us he doesn't know one or the other and didn't see telling information along the way--narrow window of uncertainty. With "Unknown" we don't know if he knows anything or not, thus a much broader window of uncertainty.

 

CR

 

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quote:
Originally posted by Sissy-n-CR:

Which reminds me, what about no gas powered boats? There are places where you can use a canoe or electric powered boats, but not gas powered due to it being a drinking water reservor or sensitive area. this could be a subset of Hydrocache, but lets people know not to bring a bassboat or PWC.


No. When people see that it's a hydrocache, they simply read the description and if it's no motors, the description will say it.

 

Oh, and Jeremy, regarding the Dogs +/- Leashes cache attribute(s). Are dogs allowed at a large number of caches? If so, then flagging the specific and very select few that allow leashless operation would be very logical, no matter what some of the less thorough posters here may have commented. If few caches allow dogs at all, then it wouldn't be logical to split the cache attribute, since you'd just look in the description.

 

As far as I can guess (since we don't presently have a Dogs cache attribute to key on), the availability of dog-compatible caches is quite high. Since the availability of leashless-dog-compatible caches is certainly very low indeed, it would make perfect sense that someone would want to find those few. (In other words, don't get too worried about the apparently dogless in this thread who don't understand that letting your dog run free for at least a little while is a very desirable thing.)

 

(No, actually, I have a cat, but I have fond memories of letting our fmaily dog run free while we hiked when I was young. If you've never been a medium-to-large dog person, you couldn't possibly understand.)

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quote:
Originally posted by Jeremy Irish:

 

Unknown attributes doesn't seem necessary. It will be considered that if there are no attributes, the user has not decided to show any.


 

I had to revisit this post as I thought you were saying something else.

 

No attributes at all could mean one of two things like in my above post.

 

However, if there was some sort of indication that the owner chooses to not show any attributes--like "None"--it would be different that he not getting around to updating all of the caches he already has.

 

The "unknown attributes" could simply be no attributes shown/listed. While on the other hand the oxymoronic "No Attributes" attribute would let us know he chose to not put any attributes.

 

CR

 

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quote:
Originally posted by ClayJar:

quote:
Originally posted by Sissy-n-CR:

Which reminds me, what about _no gas powered boats_? There are places where you can use a canoe or electric powered boats, but not gas powered due to it being a drinking water reservor or sensitive area. this could be a subset of Hydrocache, but lets people know not to bring a bassboat or PWC.


No. When people see that it's a hydrocache, they simply read the description and if it's no motors, the description will say it.

 


 

At the risk of being the only person who doesn't want the entire WWW mirrored in the cache descriptions/attributes, I'll jump in.

 

If I have a special desire (pet-free parks, caches equipped with litter boxes, caches near places serving draught beer, et al.), it should be up to me to do that research. Jeremy and the cache hiders cannot divine all the wants/needs/desires of everyone who might someday seek a cache.

 

Pick the five or ten most demanded attributes and leave it at those. Anyone (including me) who wants something beyond those selected can do a Web search, make a phone call, ask in the forums, or find out in some other way. State clearly that, if the info is not included, no warranty is made as to yes, it's present/no, it's not.

 

Call me grumpy, but I don't want my caches spoon-fed to me.

 

--

wcgreen

Wendy Chatley Green

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Based solely on the discussion I've seen on the MiGO group, I know our members would find these attributes, at the very least, very useful. In fact, I believe that most of our folks /would/ update their cache pages to reflect new properties if they were available. But that's just speculation based on the active interest there's been in having a way to denote the following:

 

Dogs +/- Leashes would make MANY of our group members very happy. They like to take their dog(s) to every cache. Not all specify this in the description so a lot of times they get to a park or whatnot and have to turn around because Rover is with them.

 

Handicap/Stroller accessible. Even a 1/1 isn't neccesarily accessible to those on wheels or with special needs. This would be of great benefit and I know of several people in Michigan that use the growingly comprehensive list we've built on our site. However, it's difficult to maintain the list and I suspect only a fraction of them are actually listed on our site. Doing this would greatly improve accessibility to the sport for many people.

 

Winter/4 Season. Again, another thing I know from group discussions that would be helpful. Now with the snow flying, it would be nice to know which caches are winter ready.

 

The only issues with the last two in this list is that they are subjective. It's not like saying "There is a rule about bringing dogs" or not. It's kind of a judgement call. A person who is unable to understand the needs of a handicap/stroller kind of situation would perhaps think a well paved trail, on a 50% incline would be considered accessible since it's well paved. And we use a 100 foot rule for our caches. If it's possible to get a wheelchair to 100 feet of the cache, then we consider it accessible but note that it will require a buddy.

 

Subjective things are very difficult to manage IMO, but they can be very valuable.

 

--------

trippy1976 - Team KKF2A

Saving geocaches - one golf ball at a time.

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quote:
Originally posted by Sissy-n-CR:

Without strongly encouraging owners to update their cache pages and getting the vast majority of caches updated with attributes wouldn't that severely limit the usefullness of attributes in the first place?


No, it would not have *any* influece *at all* on the usefulness of the existing and set cache attributes. The cache attributes' value lies solely in the fact that a given cache attribute *is* set on some cache. Why a given cache may have no cache attributes set is *utterly* irrelevant.

 

When you've got Super Ultra GPX Searcher 4.32 running on your computer, what does it matter if a cache doesn't have a cache attribute because of inattention, intention, or contention? When you're searching for a new favorite caving cache, you don't care if a cache isn't marked as a caving cache for reason a, b, or c. It doesn't matter *why* the caches that aren't marked as caving caches aren't marked as caving caches; you only care about the fact that there exist caches that *are* marked as caving caches.

 

"No Cache Attributes" and "Unknown Cache Attributes" are both based on misunderstanding and incorrectly approaching cache attributes.

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quote:
Originally posted by ClayJar:

When you're searching for a new favorite caving cache, you don't care if a cache isn't marked as a caving cache for reason a, b, or c. It doesn't matter *why* the caches that aren't marked as caving caches aren't marked as caving caches; you only care about the fact that there exist caches that *are* marked as caving caches.


 

You're not addressing the point, which is that claustrophobic people might want to exclude cave caches from their searches.

 

But even given that, it doesn't make sense. Let's assume, for the sake of argument, that there is an "unknown attributes" attribute. Then I can search for caches that don't have the "cave" attribute and don't have the "unknown" attribute. That will give me a list of caches that are almost certainly not cave caches. Great.

 

The problem is, that list will only include a tiny handful of caches: the ones where the owner actually set attributes, but chose not to set the "cave" attribute. I might as well just exclude caches by date; I'll get the same overall quality in my result. If the query only returns 10% of the matching caches in the area anyway, it wasn't a very useful query.

 

warm.gif

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quote:
Originally posted by Warm Fuzzies - Fuzzy:

...

The problem is, that list will only include a tiny handful of caches: the ones where the owner actually set attributes, but chose not to set the "cave" attribute. I might as well just exclude caches by date; I'll get the same overall quality in my result. If the query only returns 10% of the matching caches in the area anyway, it wasn't a very useful query.


 

I see your point and it is a good one. Another example would be of caches in areas that allow dogs. If the hider doesn't know whether the area allows dogs, he's going to skip that attribute. This forces me to either 1) do more research before taking Darby, the Wonder Pup with me or 2) take her with me but risk not being able to go after the cache.

 

However, the fact that some caches will have the attributes that I care about marked means that I don't have to do the research (or run the risk) for all caches. This makes my job easier and gives me a better caching experience.

 

My point is, having the info that I want for some of the caches is better than not having it for any of the caches (or not having it as easily accessible for any of the caches).

 

In my opinion, attributes are a good thing. I think this discussion has done a great job in addressing which attributes would be helpful.

 

Whenever I feel blue, I start breathing again.

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The brief 'cave' discussion reminded me of another possible attribute: heights.

 

Just as some people may not wish to go after a caving cache, those cachers that suffer from a fear of heights may wish to exclude certain caches.

 

I know that I have found at least four caches that kicked in my acrophobia.

 

Whenever I feel blue, I start breathing again.

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Ambulophobia-for less walking.

Agyrophobia-No crossing streets.

Bathmophobia-No steep slopes.

Cynophobia-Ban dogs.

Dendrophobia-No trees.

Herpetophobia-No creepy crawly things.

Microphobia-No micro caches.

 

What's with the attributes for specialty caches. Exactly how many hydro or cave caches are there in the entire country?

 

Why would we make an attribute for a phobia?

 

Where is this discussion going?

 

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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 Sissy-n-CR:

Without strongly encouraging owners to update their cache pages and getting the vast majority of caches updated with attributes wouldn't that severely limit the usefullness of attributes in the first place?


No, it would not have *any* influece *at all* on the usefulness of the existing and set cache attributes. The cache attributes' value lies solely in the fact that a given cache attribute *is* set on some cache. Why a given cache may have no cache attributes set is *utterly* irrelevant.


 

I'm feeling awful dumb. I can't for the life of me see how using attributes will do a bit of good unless a good portion of the caches are on board.

 

Basically, you can only search accurately through the set of caches where an owner has choosen to mark or not mark attributes. If only a few owners choose to mark a few caches a search will only turn a small portion of the number of caches you are actually looking for.

 

Assuming distribution is even and only 10% of the caches are marked, then a search on any particular attribute will turn up only 10% of the caches that would normally "fit." If you are looking for hydrocaches, only 10% of the hydrocaches would be returned. If you are trying to elimiate No_Dog caches, it would leave 90% of the No_Dogs caches in the list.

 

The list would be much more accurate if you know which caches have been properly marked, as then if you are trying to exclude No-Dog caches you will not end up with a bunch of them in your list, because then you are searching only properly marked caches.

 

In my area I have about 204 caches in a 100 mile radius. If only 10% have been properly marked, a search will only turn up 10% of the caches with certain attributes. That basically leaves me with a list on about 20 caches to choose from. Hardly worth the effort to search through attributes.

 

Back to the arguement at hand. You can't rely on an attribute not being set to mean the opposite of it being set. Not being set has more than one meaning than the opposite of being set.

 

CR

 

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From my POV it's not so much about searching as it is about having the information in the GPX files. That way a program such as EasyGPS could display little icons in your cache listings for each attribute. Or something like that. It would help to make those with special features stand out. It could also be used for searching if you had a need for it. For instance you could run one general query that includes no filtering and another that returns only ones marked handicap accessible. You may want to do this if you were in that situation to have a list of the ones that someone consciously denoted as handicap accessible. It would be handy.

 

But as someone pointed out before, for the most part... having /some/ caches with this information is better than having /no/ caches with it. If the people I know are any measure of the community at large, I think they attributes will get added.

 

I agree also with Leatherman, the phobia thing is a bit much IMO. Arachnophobia - there may be spiders near this cache. Ha icon_wink.gif But then - I don't think we have to worry about it. The guys behind the site seem to have a level head and will make good decisions. I just appreciate the chance to give some input. Solicited or not icon_wink.gif

 

--------

trippy1976 - Team KKF2A

Saving geocaches - one golf ball at a time.

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quote:
Originally posted by Sissy-n-CR:

I can't for the life of me see how using attributes will do a bit of good unless a good portion of the caches are on board.


 

This is true. This doesn't diminish the usefulness of caches that do adopt these attributes.

 

quote:

You can't rely on an attribute not being set to mean the opposite of it _being_ set. Not being set has more than one meaning than the opposite of being set.


 

Exactly. No argument there. In fact, you can't rely on the attribute even when they are set. It's just another element of information that can be used by both the cache hider and the cache finder.

 

Jeremy Irish

Groundspeak - The Language of Location

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quote:
Originally posted by sbell111:

The brief 'cave' discussion reminded me of another possible attribute: heights.


 

Terrain is handled already. IMO it would be more useful to have a "flashlight required" attribute than a "cave" attribute.

 

No phobic attributes will be added except for clownaphobia.

 

Jeremy Irish

Groundspeak - The Language of Location

 

[This message was edited by Elias on December 12, 2002 at 07:26 PM.]

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On the ! or info attribute. Is that going to be for a situation where you can't find the cache without reading the description? If so, could that be split into two attrtbutes? One stating it's a pretty good idea to read the description, but you can find it without it. The other one either like the "commando" attribute I described as meaning the cache can be found with only your GPS or it can be an attribute saying you can't find it without reading the discription. Personally, I like the positive attribute of "Commando" or whatever you want to call it. This way folks can load up on those and go.

 

But, with the "You might want to read the description" attribute it can catch things that don't fit in the other attributes. Things that most would want to know about, but wouldn't prevent you from getting the cache.

 

CR

 

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I may not always look for the rules when placeing a cache so what if there could be a place for a finder to put in this info like the coordinates, Then at a click of a button you can veiw only this information that the previous finders have noted, like having to pay or needing a canoe to get to the cache, or even that the coordinates are wrong. I have found i need to look at previos entrys to check that the coordinates are right or missenterd.

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The only attribute that would REALLY be handy for me would be is there a public restroom? icon_eek.gif Not all of the caches I've been to have one.. Perhaps use the state parks restroom criteria....flush, vault, seasonal restrooms?

 

Do I need to stop at a 7-11 before I hit the park? icon_confused.gif

 

worried.gif Children are natural mimics who act like their parents despite every effort to teach them good manners.

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Elevation is covered in the terrain rating. It wouldn't fit in a cache attribute, anyway. (Every cache has some sort of elevation, and a 25 foot elevation change that's a vertical cliff at sea level is harder than a 100 foot elevation change from the parking lot to the actual top of a tourist mountain.)

 

If you had read and understood the thread, you would know that cache attributes should be things that you would use while searching, *NOT* just little pieces of pretty description. If you base your caching choices on the style of restroom facilities available at the various locations, you have issues that a professional could probably help you work out. While it may be interesting, especially to those with children, to note what type of restroom is at a particular location, I would have to agree that it not something that belongs as a cache attribute.

 

(Now, on the other hand, if someone wants to start Geocaching Potty Selections, Inc. (NASDAQ: GPSI) and collect all the information about all the restrooms at or near caches, I will gladly send along a compendium of my limited knowledge, but it still doesn't belong in a cache attribute.)

 

Oh, and finally, as to splitting the "Read Me" cache attribute into the "I'd very much like you to read me, if you're feeling like it, but you don't *really* have to" cache attribute and the "Yes, you really *do* have to read me, because otherwise you might get upset looking for the cache and need a time-out" cache attribute... *THAT* is what I call going too far.

 

To quote Albert Einstein, "Things should be made as simple as possible -- but no simpler." You are trying to simplify life for the people who don't want to read cache pages, but in so doing, you would be actually be making the system more complex.

 

I think we may be at or near the point referenced by Lewis Carroll's King speaking to Alice, "'Begin at the beginning,' the King said gravely, 'and go on till you come to the end: then stop.'"

 

None of us will ever make cache attributes cover *every* possibility while still being usable. We started with a few thoughts, and we added some new ideas, but eventually we have to decide that we have covered a vast number of ideas and have taken the best of them. While there are always things left out, with the input we've had (and continue to have) has pointed out the most important things we could collectively think of. Eventually, we have to figure that we've come up with all the important ideas we can, and that being the end, we stop. (Of course, then once the cache attributes start being used, we come up with ideas left out or improvements to be made, but that's another thread.)

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quote:
If you had read and understood the thread, you would know that cache attributes should be things that you would use while searching, *NOT* just little pieces of pretty description.

 

Hmmm, I guess I can't find where Jeremy said that......

 

quote:
If you base your caching choices on the style of restroom facilities available at the various locations, you have issues that a professional could probably help you work out. While it may be interesting, especially to those with children, to note what type of restroom is at a particular location, I would have to agree that it not something that belongs as a cache attribute..

 

If you had "read and understood" my original post, you would notice that I did not say that I based my choices on whether there was a restroom available. Only that it would be nice to know whether I need to stop at a gas station before moving on to my next cache. Being a female, it is difficult to just whip it out and go anywhere, and don't particularly want to dig around in a bunch of leaves where others have done so.....

 

Honestly folks! If you don't like what some people say, simply blow it off as another idiot posting......

 

worried.gif Children are natural mimics who act like their parents despite every effort to teach them good manners.

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quote:
Originally posted by Geo-Johnson's:

Hmmm, I guess I can't find where Jeremy said that......


On behalf of all the non-Jeremy people who have spent the time and effort to try to make this thread a very productive and not-*too*-harsh environment for discussion, I would like to thank you for considering us all worthy of ignoring for the sole fact that we are not Jeremy. Since my thoughts apparently are not worthwhile, I will refrain from replying to the rest of your post. (My ideas are quite thoroughly documented in the many previous posts; I see no need to rehash, as you apparently don't seem to care about the rest of our ideas.)

 

Incidentally, no, Jeremy did not say it himself. Merry Christmas, as the case may be.

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Clayjar-

 

I respect your opinion and have found you to be an asset in the forums. However, take a breath. From reading your recent posts, I can't imagine why you are being so harsh.

 

This is a thread about what attributes cachers would like included. You must understand that everyone will not agree with your opinion as to what these should be. Allow people to give there opinions without being rude, please.

 

Whenever I feel blue, I start breathing again.

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My humblest and most sincere apologies to the thread and the cachers represented in it. I have apparently gotten too attached to it, and so, I will now retire from the field until such point as I have something new and different to add.

 

I hope that somehow I have managed to explain that cache attributes, implemented in one rather particular way, can become far more useful than just another page decoration, but if I have failed in that respect, at least the pretty pictures will remain. Best of luck, and I await the final result with guarded hopes.

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I'm not suggesting that your contribution has not been worthy. I'm just saying that other cachers may wish to use the attributes to qualify the field in ways that you are not interested in.

 

This does not make their suggestions any less valid.

 

Whenever I feel blue, I start breathing again.

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I would just like to clear things up on my end so that I don't look like the bad guy here......

 

quote:
On behalf of all the non-Jeremy people who have spent the time and effort to try to make this thread a very productive and not-*too*-harsh environment for discussion, I would like to thank you for considering us all worthy of ignoring for the sole fact that we are not Jeremy. Since my thoughts apparently are not worthwhile, I will refrain from replying to the rest of your post. (My ideas are quite thoroughly documented in the many previous posts; I see no need to rehash, as you apparently don't seem to care about the rest of our ideas.)


 

This last comment did not make sense to me. First of all, I am not the one that made this thread "too harsh". Jeremy asked for ideas......I gave mine. A simple restroom icon would be nice....that's all. It was simply an idea. Second of all......I did not say that I considered all of the other posts worthy of ignoring. I said that if you didn't like my post, you could ignore it. I read your ideas......along with everyone elses. All were very valid ideas, and I cannot for the life of me figure out how you interpretted my post as having said that I didn't care about anyone elses.

 

Let me give you a piece of advice you can either ignore or save for future reference......... In corporate training, they discuss a thing called "mirroring". People will naturally mirror your attitude back to you. If you smile, they'll smile......if you're nasty, they'll be nasty back. Or as my 15 year old son would say......I'm pickin' up what you're throwin' down.

 

In the future, please do not read more into my posts than what I say. I'm a simple mind with simple ideas. icon_biggrin.gif

 

worried.gif Children are natural mimics who act like their parents despite every effort to teach them good manners.

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quote:
Originally posted by Jeremy (Admin):

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 think we should already be able to tell that from the difficulty and terrain ratings. It's the shades of gray in between that are harder to distinguish, but I don't see how these fields would clear up those sorts of judgment calls.

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Here is a synopsis of some of the attributes I'd like to see and why. I've also listed some people have asked for but I feel are not necessary and tell why.

 

I thought about this from the standpoint of looking for an attribute to include or exclude from a query. This is opposed to looking for the absense of an attribute, which is not the same as the opposite of the postive set attribute.

 

Some of these will be better for use in a search and kind of redundant on the caches page and some vice versa.

 

Here goes:

 

Commando: This is set when the cache can be found with nothing but the coordinates in the GPS. A list can be made with this attribute for those who like to go minimalist. It can be set for Traditional, Offset, Multis whatever as long as there is something at the listed coordinates the hunter can find to continue and eventually find and log the cache.

 

! or READ: Hunter MUST read cache discription, have printout, or need some other knowledge in order to find and log the cache. This could be a fill-in-the-blank sheet, key to look for to decrypt the hint, whatever. This is the counterpart to "Commando" above.

 

Quick Cache: Set for caches that can be, and generally are, completed in less than a half hour. This is independant of the difficulty rating. I've been on a 2.5/4 that took about a half hour, maybe a little more. A good hide, very short distance over very diffuclt terrain can still be a Quickie.

 

Wheelchair: I feel is redundant as a terrain of 1 means it's wheelchair/stroller accessible.

 

Boat Required: lists can be made to exclude hydrocaches or a list of only hydrocaches--for the day I borrow or rent a boat and go for all of the hydro's in my area. Reading the discription is very much implied with this attribute to check for hydrocaches that may be in sensitive areas that prohibit gas motors.

 

No Dogs, Dogs Leashed, Dogs Unleashed: Mostly self explanatary, but the reason I'd include the (un)leashed part is while most parks prohibit unleashed dogs, there are plenty of caches in the woods where dogs can run free.

 

Restrooms, Picnic Areas, Camping: These can be set indepentantly for those who want to plan trips around facilities available. It would also help plan during a caching trip to see where a good place to picnic or set up camp, even if you didn't search on it.

 

[This is the second time typing this up. I got the dreaded "no username" error and when I tried to backup it was gone. This not complete as I've now run out of time. More later.]

 

CR

 

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Two more real quick before work:

 

Friendly area: Areas that are generally free of hazards to children and pets. Examples of hazards include near busy roads, snakes, trash/glass, hoodlums, unprotected cliffs and bluffs, dangerous waters, etc. This is not to include areas where children and pets may go under close supervision, but only places like parks and park-like areas.

 

Risky area: The counterpart to above. This is for places that require individuals to have indepentant thinking and risk assessment skills. Children and pets only under strict and close supervision and then it's not advised.

 

The two above are not the only choices. It should be thought that a good gap between to two exists. Guidelines can be written for people to follow so everyone is on the same page.

 

ATV, Bike, Horses, 4WD: These are set for trails that allow and can be searched for by people who have those toys. Have an ATV and want only caches that allow it?

 

Fee area: mostly an alert on the cache page warning of money required. Can be excluded in a search.

 

Limited Access: More of a flag warning user to see cache discription of hours and seasons cache is available.

 

More later...

 

CR

 

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quote:
__Wheelchair__: I feel is redundant as a terrain of 1 means it's wheelchair/stroller accessible.


 

If this is the way you feel, I will have to assume that you have not talked with many people who have family members with a handicap. The problem is that one star does not equate to wheel chair accessible all the time.

 

We maintain a list of handicap accessible caches that our members have reported at the MiGO web site at this URL:

http://www.mi-geocaching.org/modules.php?name=Content&pa=showpage&pid=12

 

What you will find is that a majority of the caches that have been reported are one star. However, some are not. Such as:

http://www.geocaching.com/seek/cache_details.aspx?ID=31660

http://www.geocaching.com/seek/cache_details.aspx?ID=23889

http://www.geocaching.com/seek/cache_details.aspx?ID=22218

 

Now, while you may argue that since most of these are one star, the rest should be as well... the important thing to note is all the 1/1 caches that have been visitied by Michigan Geocachers and have NOT been reported as handicap accessible. That is the very important point. 1/1 does not equate to wheelchair accessible unfortunately and frankly - shouldn't have to. There are many things that would keep a person on a wheelchair from being able to get to a cache. A 1/1 may have a perfectly paved trail, but the trail may be a foot wide. In this case the terrain would certainly deserve a 1 but would not be accessible.

 

I would encourage the people at Groundspeak and here in this thread to visit our discussion forums both on our site

(www.mi-geocaching.org)

And on our old yahoogroup

(www.yahoogroups.com/group/migo)

And read some of the messages about cachers who have handicap family members that like to cache. For them, this attribute would make caching so much more accessible and enjoyable it would be an invaluable addition.

 

I would give up knowing any of the other items that were just summarized if that attribute could be included.

 

The only other attribute that was not in the list that I would really like to see is a "4 seasons" attribute. Again, there has been interest and much discussion on the topic in our group for this feature. I understand that it may not be valuable to the folks in the warmer climes so I wouldn't be suprised if it got nixed, but I just wanted to get it in there one more time icon_smile.gif

 

--------

trippy1976 - Team KKF2A

Saving geocaches - one golf ball at a time.

migo_sig_logo.jpg

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I guess what we're saying is that IDEALLY - if everyone followed the guidelines for rating their caches found here, one star terrain ratings WOULD be the equivalent of handicapped accessible.

quote:
stargreen.gif Handicapped accessible

Terrain is likely to be paved, is relatively flat, and less than a ½ mile hike is required.


 

But if people are unwilling to follow a guideline about terrain ratings, what makes you think that they'll add the appropriate handicapped accessible attribute. Bottom line, these features are only going to be as reliable as the people entering in the data for their cache.

 

Markwell

Chicago Geocaching

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Note that "handicapped accessible" != "wheelchair accessible" and "wheelchair accessible" doesn't mean the same thing to everyone. It largely depends on their chair, their particular disability, and their stamina.

 

One would think that decent criteria for "wheelchair accessible" would be a minimum 4' wide, paved path, the cache is no more than 12" off the trail, no closer to the ground than 12", and no higher off the ground than about 4'. Even those guidelines, though, wouldn't be perfect; they're basically tailored for someone who's unable to walk but otherwise reasonably fit. What about the people who can't lean over, can't reach up, or who don't have the manual dexterity or strength to open an ammo can?

 

The best we can do, I think, is to say that a cache appears to be handicapped-friendly, and give details in the description to support that claim. It'll still be up to the person seeking the cache to determine whether she believes it will be accessible to her personally. That goes way beyond just picking the number "1" out of the terrain dropdown.

 

warm.gif

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I was under the impression that a terrain difficulty of 1 means it's wheelchair accessible. That's way most of mine are 1.5 stars. Most of mine are either in a hole in the ground, under a bridge, up at head level, or some other place where someone in a wheelchair would have a hard time reaching. Otherwise a person could get to the spot where the cache is, just can't reach it.

 

If a 1 does mean it's wheelchair accessible, but people are reporting caches with a 1 rating and not accessible, then it's the fault of the cache owner.

 

It's the same where many offset caches are listed as a traditional cache when they are supposed to be listed as a multicache.

 

I could be an issue of making the links to the instructions when reporting a cache more prominate or something.

 

While composing this, Fuzzy posted. Good points. If you were to define the attribute in such a way as he did, then I'd be all for it.

 

However, if you were to define a rating of 1 for terrain the same way, wouldn't the end result be the same?

 

Eh, it'd probably be easier to go with a wheelchair attribute. That way the more atheletic can go for the caches on a little more difficult terrain or longer trek. The less agile can filter on wheelchair attribute AND rating of 1.

 

CR

 

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quote:
Originally posted by trippy1976:

The only other attribute that was not in the list that I would really like to see is a "4 seasons" attribute.


 

How would this work? Would this attribute be set for caches that are not effected by snow or whatever? This way someone who knows there is a lot of snow on the ground could make a list of caches that shouldn't be effected.

 

Is that how you envision it working?

 

If so, then I think it a valuable attribute. Would probably change "Limited Access" to pretty much mean what it says; access limited to only certain times--read description.

 

CR

 

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Unlimited access versus Limited access?

 

If I had to choose one over the other the former would probably be better. That way you can list the caches that you know could do at any time. (Did I hear flashlight caching?) It wouldn't really make sense to search for caches with limited access unless you were to exclude them.

 

This goes with the "Available 4 Seasons" cache attribute versus "Season Limited" cache attribute. You'd want to search for caches that are available not unavailable, right?

 

CR

 

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That's the gist of it. But in more detail I'll quote an email message from cleenjeep that sum up a majority of my own requirements. These aren't in relation to this thread, but was part of a discussion on the MiGO list about how to make your caches winter friendly. They seem to be good guidelines for how to determine whether you have a 4 season cache or not. I've added my own comments in [brackets]:

 

quote:

-Doesn't rely upon clues you find on the ground [or that could be buried by snow]. Such as "at the end of a small fallen log, near the mossy patch past the grassy knoll".

 

-Isn't hidden too far under/inside things. Such as a cache you might have to lay in the snow to reach [or more importantly, that the opening to might be buried in snow or leaves].

 

-You dont have to cross potentially hazardous areas to reach it. You should never have to walk on thin ice that is invisible under two inches of snow to reach a cache. If the area surrounding the cache is heavy with fallen branches that might trip up a cacher, keep that in mind. Make a note of it in the description if you must place a cache there. Not everyone who caches is sure of foot, and if someone were to injure themselves, alone, in the woods without a phone, they could be there a while before they are found/rescued. (of course, you should haev a phone, but sometimes you forget/cant afford one)

 

-make double sure your container is water proof. Are you sure? Check again. snow blows around, and can blow into caches. Caches then get bombarded by the winter sun, which could raise the surface temp enough to melt snow on/in them. Then there is ice, in the seals, on the logbook, on the items, on the camera, etc. Even seemingly water-tight containers arent always water tight.

 

-Make sure your container doesnt break when it gets cold, and impacted. Sometimes, sh** happens. Limbs fall, cachers drop the container. They lift the lid wrong. Plastic is brittle when it is cold, and is reluctant to seal properly. See that it works well in the cold before you place it. Try leaving it outside on your porch for a day, then try to operate it.

 

-Include a pencil and a small sharpener. Pens don't work when they are cold, at least, not all the time.


 

Some of these are more guidelines for the cache placer than the finder because of the context of the original discussion, but things like having a writing utensil that's usable year 'round, not being of material that will crack under colder conditions, and not having a physical feature that changes with the seasons as part of the requirements to find it are all important.

 

But again... it might be moot. Most people who go out caching in 4 seasons are prepared for those caches that don't have a pencil or are brittle in the cold and have an idea of how to address the situation.

 

--------

trippy1976 - Team KKF2A

Saving geocaches - one golf ball at a time.

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Here is my say on some of this.

 

quote:
Fee required
, I have made the switch to plastic and normally carry $10 or less on me.

 

quote:
Parking Coords
, this can be good or bad. For example: One time coords ere given and I spent close to an hour driving around a lake trying to find the correct street to get to the corrds and never found them. I decided to park in the spot I first thought about before that hour and I was only ten minutes away for the cache. On the other side of that story is what happened recently were the only legal parking was a mile away from the cache and I spent ~45 mins before I realized that.

 

quote:
Bushwacking
, Ever bushwack up a steep incline covered with "foxtails" that embed themselves into your clothing and try to burrow into your skin. I have and I gave up on that one. "Nice easy climb" my butt.

 

quote:
Time/Distance
, Time is relative, just like up is relative in space. Distance on the other hand is useful. Most of use know how fast we can walk, alone or with a caching buddy. I think that the average cache is no longer that 1 mile round trip. Anything else should be described in the description. I had one that was 2 miles round trip and half that was bushwacking. The description said nothing about the length or bushwacking, but it did mention what a great place the park is to take the family. Anyone ever cache with children? I have and the one I was with likes the outdoors, but would not have liked this cache.

 

That is all for now, but I shall return.

 

Thanks,

 

Maldar

MI-GEOCACHING.ORG

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quote:
Originally posted by maldar:

quote:
_Bushwacking
_, Ever bushwack up a steep incline covered with "foxtails" that embed themselves into your clothing and try to burrow into your skin. I have and I gave up on that one. "Nice easy climb" my butt.

 

quote:
_Time/Distance
_, Time is relative, just like up is relative in space. Distance on the other hand is useful. Most of use know how fast we can walk, alone or with a caching buddy. I think that the average cache is no longer that 1 mile round trip. Anything else should be described in the description. I had one that was 2 miles round trip and half that was bushwacking. The description said nothing about the length or bushwacking, but it did mention what a great place the park is to take the family. Anyone ever cache with children? I have and the one I was with likes the outdoors, but would not have liked this cache.

 

That is all for now, but I shall return.

 

Thanks,

 

Maldar

MI-GEOCACHING.ORG


 

These 2 are really already part of the Terrain rating of the cache and are factored in using the Geocache Rating System linked from the "hide a cache" form. Even then, its very subjective. I've turned several easy 1/1 caches into 1/4 caches by trying to take the shortest distance instead of the path of least resistance. I've also turned 4 star terrain caches into 1 star by finding an easy way to access the cache that the hider didn't know about. BTW, that cache was quickly archived, since the hider's intent was to place a hard cache. His next caches were TRUE 4.5 terrain caches!

 

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

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quote:
These 2 are really already part of the Terrain rating of the cache and are factored in using the Geocache Rating System linked from the "hide a cache" form. Even then, its very subjective. I've turned several easy 1/1 caches into 1/4 caches by trying to take the shortest distance instead of the path of least resistance. I've also turned 4 star terrain caches into 1 star by finding an easy way to access the cache that the hider didn't know about. BTW, that cache was quickly archived, since the hider's intent was to place a hard cache. His next caches were TRUE 4.5 terrain caches!


 

I know what you mean, but in the experiances that I listed, the ratings for both were understated. Now since then one of the caches have been updated, but the other has not. The "bushwaching" example I gave still states: "There is no trail to the cache but the hike is a relatively brush-free 2 1/2 mile round trip if you start at the correct point. (see hint) The elevation gain is about 300 feet." We tried this one right after we backpacked Yosemite for 3 days. If "relatively brush-free" means most of the brush is 2 1/2 to 3 feet tall, then I quess that the description is correct. Now that cache was placed in the fall and I tried it the summer after so the growth may be less in September than it is in June, but not by much. To this date my brother and I are the only ones that have attempted this cache and posted. We plan to try again the next time I'm out in CA.

 

After reading this list some more I think that people feel that most of us want to create a new form that has 100 new checkboxes to read and fill-out. What I'm working on is a 1/2 page outline on what people should consider when placing a cache report. New ratings or symbols are not what we need. If there is a hunters parking area give the coords so peoples cars can be safely off the road. Should people take a specific trail head, don't list it as the only thing in the hints. That has happened to me, I decoded a hint that told me where I could get a map of the park and what trail to take. Well, I was already at the coords and having trouble locating the cache and there was nothing about the cache location in the hint.

 

Maldar

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IMHO, terrain and distance are completely different. Some people may be comfortable on long, relatively flat walks (dist. 2 miles, terrain - 1 star) while others may not want to walk that far and require a flat walk (distance 1/2 mile, terrain - 1 star).

 

I try to list the distance and terrain on all of my cache pages, but have neglected to indicate park hours:

 

HitchCache II

 

I try to list other items that I think would be useful in the description. I don't specify kid friendly or not, that depends on the kid (similar for the elderly -- some 60 year-olds are in much better shape than some 40 year-olds).

 

I don't have much else to say that hasn't been said already. Except maybe noting if a cache is on land used for hunting. The cache I listed above has a "closed hunt" every year and I make sure I change the description to indicate the dates of the hunt and if the trails are open or closed (open during bow & black powder, closed during shotgun season). The geocacher can then make the decision if they want to cache under those circumstances.

 

John

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quote:
Originally posted by John & Everest:

IMHO, terrain and distance are completely different. Some people may be comfortable on long, relatively flat walks (dist. 2 miles, terrain - 1 star) while others may not want to walk that far and require a flat walk (distance 1/2 mile, terrain - 1 star).


If you use the ClayJar rating system (linked from the hide a cache page and also viewable here, a two-mile walk automatically takes you out of 1-star terrain territory; it would be rated a 2/1, if all other variables are set to their easiest setting. In other words, distance is already taken into account in the rating system. I just wish everyone would use that system, or at least take its recommendations into consideration as a starting point.

 

Sorry to get a little off-topic.

 

x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x

If there's no accounting for stupidity, then why do I need to file a tax return?

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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: http://www.geocaching.com/seek/cache_details.aspx?ID=29484 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.


I agree with the first two, but not the last two. I am a firm believer that you HAVE to read the cache page before you go looking. The cache hider spent time to create the page... so spend 5 minutes reading it. I have 2 current caches ("Legacy of Six Flags" and "Power & Glory") that have "bogus" or "cache page info needed" coords. Why would anyone EVER go look for something without knowing the details?? In my book, that's just plain dumb.

 

If you go look for my Six Flags cache and end up at the Parking Lot Booths, keep looking... I'm sure you'll find something there one of these days. But it won't be the cache box. icon_smile.gif

 

_____________________________________________________

> Martin (Magellan 330)

Don't have time to program and record your shows while geocaching? Get a TiVo!

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:anicute: I have read all the posts and would like to mention that horse people are out there looking for geo caches! not a lot of mention about them, but I would like to be able to filter out the non horse accessable caches/ or select caches on trails that allow horses- "whatever" :D

 

Trailer Parking info is very important- these things are BIG and they dont turn around on a one lane street!

 

some caches near me are at the "end" of, or on outlying trails, so I would not be parking near the cache site. Just today I rode 8 miles one way to reach a cache that was right off the street for everyone else. got skunked but had a great time! If that cache said "horses allowed", it would not have been very accurate- yes they are allowed on those trails but the closest trailer parking was about 2 miles down the road-if you happened to know where it was. you cant park a horse trailer where people park their cars- my "rig" is over 30 feet long.

 

"horses allowed" is a good start, but I would definitely need to know where the trailhead parking areas were located as well- even if theyre 5 miles away. it would be a fantastic way to introduce equestrians to local trails - its not easy to get info such as this unless youre a "local" rider. gps coords. for parking lots would be all thats needed.

 

I have also noticed caches that could be accessable by kyack in my area- not required, but COULD BE done that way. we have raft companies around here- a caching raft trip would be a blast. it would just be nice to be able to find the ones you want, and not have to sort though everything.

 

thanks for considering this!

 

:rolleyes: Amy Parsons

Edited by BigBlackHorse
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would it be possible to do a word search on the description of the cache so a person could search for whatever attribute is important to them?

 

so if I type in a word, the DESCRIPTIONS would be searched, not just the name of the cache- at least that would narrow it down some. If the person wants to talk about facilities, accessability, or whatever, I can read it and get my own opinion on whether the cache is right for me.

 

Ive typed the word horse in the search box and come up with all kinds of caches that have nothing to do with horses :anicute:

 

Amy Parsons :rolleyes:

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The cache attributes project is still very much on the radar screen. But pending its introduction, premium members can search the description of a cache -- or both the description AND the logs -- by using third party software like GSAK or Watcher that work with the Pocket Query GPX files. Personally I used this to look for "bike" and "bicycle" in order to discover some bike trail caches in my area.

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Just an update, I am actively working on this project now. It took much longer to change the code over to the new system and I didn't want to add a bunch of new features until then. And with increasing traffic, etc. it seems like we're just keeping our heads above water keeping up with it.

 

I'm at the point now where you can see a list of attributes for a particular cache type and choose from them. I now have to hook up the database so you can then assign the values to each cache. Once I do this I need to add them to the display on the cache page. And finally, we'll add it as part of pocket queries to search on. It will be implemented in phases.

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