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virtual caches


Moral Decay
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Do this - invest $5 in an ammobox, log book, and some trinkets. That's what

geocaching should be about - not posting the coordinates of every halfway

interesting place around town. Let quality take precedence over quantity!

Best Wishes,

geocaching.com admin

We must have misplaced the special glassed required to actually view all that quality. It seems to have taken a backseat to quantity despite the best efforts to keep geocaching pure.

 

The topic that never gets much mention in these discussions about virtuals is the arrogant, dismissive attitude. This note was described as a polite suggestion by the reviewer who authored it back in 2002 it to explain why they rejected a proposed virtual.

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Okay, let's do a quick Wow! test. http://coord.info/GCGKG2 - Plenty of photos in the gallery.

 

Yes or no, does this pass your personal Wow!

 

OMG, OMG, OMG. It was approved during the "Wow factor" period. When you couldn't get a virtual published in my State to save your life. I will be having no further comment on the inconsistencies that took place during that time period. No, that does not meet my personal "wow factor". :P

I don't have much concern over whether or not this meets anyone's level of wow.

 

My virtual cache GCGK2D which was also approved during the "Wow factor" period is nothing more than the rusty remains of an old sheep pen. I admitted to the reviewer at the time that it wasn't very "wow". I kinda think a giant rocking chair is more interesting.

 

However, my cache is in a National Park where I was not able to place a physical cache. I argued that it shared the experience of a hike in a unique historic and natural area that geocachers would love to discover but might not try if there was no cache to find. After initially turning it down, the reviewer reversed his decision and published it.

 

Since I placed it, there have been some other caches placed just outside the park boundary that require even a longer hike (or bike ride). And there are now some multis with virtual locations in the park (that aren't wow at all - simply existing tags on some oaks, or numbers on electric transmission towers) leading to caches placed just outside the park. I would have a much harder time convincing a reviewer that a virtual was the only way to allow geocachers enjoy this area.

 

My guess is that nowadays a if you saw a giant rocking chair in a gas station off the interstate, you would wonder why not just ask permission to leave a cache. Or why not turn it into a multi offset to cache nearby. My guess is when it was published there were no other caches nearby and no cachers in the area who would maintain a physical cache there. But someone convinced a reviewer that this stretch of highway needed a cache for cachers traveling by.

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Okay, let's do a quick Wow! test. http://coord.info/GCGKG2 - Plenty of photos in the gallery.

 

Yes or no, does this pass your personal Wow!

 

OMG, OMG, OMG. It was approved during the "Wow factor" period. When you couldn't get a virtual published in my State to save your life. I will be having no further comment on the inconsistencies that took place during that time period. No, that does not meet my personal "wow factor". :P

I don't have much concern over whether or not this meets anyone's level of wow.

 

My virtual cache GCGK2D which was also approved during the "Wow factor" period is nothing more than the rusty remains of an old sheep pen. I admitted to the reviewer at the time that it wasn't very "wow". I kinda think a giant rocking chair is more interesting.

 

However, my cache is in a National Park where I was not able to place a physical cache. I argued that it shared the experience of a hike in a unique historic and natural area that geocachers would love to discover but might not try if there was no cache to find. After initially turning it down, the reviewer reversed his decision and published it.

 

Since I placed it, there have been some other caches placed just outside the park boundary that require even a longer hike (or bike ride). And there are now some multis with virtual locations in the park (that aren't wow at all - simply existing tags on some oaks, or numbers on electric transmission towers) leading to caches placed just outside the park. I would have a much harder time convincing a reviewer that a virtual was the only way to allow geocachers enjoy this area.

 

My guess is that nowadays a if you saw a giant rocking chair in a gas station off the interstate, you would wonder why not just ask permission to leave a cache. Or why not turn it into a multi offset to cache nearby. My guess is when it was published there were no other caches nearby and no cachers in the area who would maintain a physical cache there. But someone convinced a reviewer that this stretch of highway needed a cache for cachers traveling by.

 

All about inconsistency here. You'd have to be high on crack to even submit a rocking chair in front of a gas station as a virtual in my State during the Wow factor period, let alone think you'd have any chance of it being approved. I guess it was really "subjective" in those days, eh? :ph34r:

 

I am actually OK with your hike in a national park to a rusty old sheep pen. Consider this a Wow. :lol:

 

EDIT: By the way, Gas Station Rocking Chair virtual cache guy doesn't read the forums, does he? If he does, consider this a pre-emptive Oops.

Edited by Mr.Yuck
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All about inconsistency here. You'd have to be high on crack to even submit a rocking chair in front of a gas station as a virtual in my State during the Wow factor period, let alone think you'd have any chance of it being approved. I guess it was really "subjective" in those days, eh? :ph34r:

 

I am actually OK with your hike in a national park to a rusty old sheep pen. Consider this a Wow. :lol:

I don't see this as inconsistency. I see this as proof of the subjective nature of "wow" and part of the reason why anyone who would be crazy enough to be a volunteer virtual cache reviewer will likely not last at it for a long time. There will many submissions they will decide are not "Wow" enough that others are likely to find worthy.

 

There are 719 Ginormous Everyday Objects waymarks. There are 262 Old Agricultural Equipment waymarks (closest I could find for sheep pens). There are 71 Best Kept Secrets. Perhaps you can say the fewer waymarks in a a category the more "wow" it is (there are 3324 McDonald's Restaurants*)

 

* I had to figure out how to un-ignore to get this number.

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All about inconsistency here. You'd have to be high on crack to even submit a rocking chair in front of a gas station as a virtual in my State during the Wow factor period, let alone think you'd have any chance of it being approved. I guess it was really "subjective" in those days, eh? :ph34r:

 

I am actually OK with your hike in a national park to a rusty old sheep pen. Consider this a Wow. :lol:

I don't see this as inconsistency. I see this as proof of the subjective nature of "wow" and part of the reason why anyone who would be crazy enough to be a volunteer virtual cache reviewer will likely not last at it for a long time. There will many submissions they will decide are not "Wow" enough that others are likely to find worthy.

 

There are 719 Ginormous Everyday Objects waymarks. There are 262 Old Agricultural Equipment waymarks (closest I could find for sheep pens). There are 71 Best Kept Secrets. Perhaps you can say the fewer waymarks in a a category the more "wow" it is (there are 3324 McDonald's Restaurants*)

 

* I had to figure out how to un-ignore to get this number.

 

I define inconsistency in this case as caches that are published in one region, but would not be published in another. I have said in the past that inconsistency is inherent to the volunteer reviewer system. I know that makes the reviewers bonkers, but hey, I'm on a 30 day trial membership, and that's my opinion. (Long story, Pay Pal dispute). For example, from around my region, the commercial guidelines are so strictly interpreted in Ontario, that you can't even say "$5 Tim Horton's gift card for the FTF" on a cache page. In the Eastern half of New York, caches the reviewer deems too close to a playground are rejected.

 

By the way Toz, did you know over 90% of accounts were not around for any portion of the "Wow factor" period? Even I missed the first two months of it. Subjective. Ah yes, that was their buzzword. They being a much smaller Groundspeak, which maybe consisted of 10-15 employees, and a much smaller review team. The wow factor was subjective, and it was deemed it couldn't be defined. You know what? In a nutshell, they didn't try hard enough. Subjective was thrown around, and they gave up in only two short years, and came up with Waymarking. I believe the wow factor could be defined through a thorough, well-written set of virtual guidelines. And no, I'm not going to write these guidelines here in this thread, I have stuff to do. :anicute:

 

Would there be inconsistencies? Of course, they're inherent. :P If I didn't tick Keystone off the first time, now I did. And some gas station rocking chair virtual guy. Sorry guys. B)

 

EDIT: P.S. I do not ignore McDonald's, and have visited four. I do not ignore any categories. In my experience, you're only going to see fast food chains, supermakets, dollar stores, etc... listed in an area where there is a prolific local Waymarker (who is of the opinion they should be listed), and those areas areas are few and far between.

Edited by Mr.Yuck
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I define inconsistency in this case as caches that are published in one region, but would not be published in another. I have said in the past that inconsistency is inherent to the volunteer reviewer system. I know that makes the reviewers bonkers, but hey, I'm on a 30 day trial membership, and that's my opinion. (Long story, Pay Pal dispute). For example, from around my region, the commercial guidelines are so strictly interpreted in Ontario, that you can't even say "$5 Tim Horton's gift card for the FTF" on a cache page. In the Eastern half of New York, caches the reviewer deems too close to a playground are rejected.

Granted reviewers are human and the guidelines are just that - "guidelines". They are often left to interpretation so the different reviewer make different decisions. Often, reviewers are expected to take regional difference into consideration.

 

By the way Toz, did you know over 90% of accounts were not around for any portion of the "Wow factor" period? Even I missed the first two months of it. Subjective. Ah yes, that was their buzzword. They being a much smaller Groundspeak, which maybe consisted of 10-15 employees, and a much smaller review team. The wow factor was subjective, and it was deemed it couldn't be defined. You know what? In a nutshell, they didn't try hard enough. Subjective was thrown around, and they gave up in only two short years, and came up with Waymarking. I believe the wow factor could be defined through a thorough, well-written set of virtual guidelines. And no, I'm not going to write these guidelines here in this thread, I have stuff to do. :anicute:

IMO there was quite a bit of effort spent on the Wow requirements. They were tweaked several times attempting to clarify what would or would not be acceptable as a virtual. Certainly, much of the tweaking also led to such a high bar that almost no virtuals got approved; and that might have been part of the problem. The "Wow" requirement became a code word for "We don't like virtuals."

 

When Waymarking came out, the idea was that you'd have lots of alternatives for defining "wow". If you like fast food places there would be categories for that . If you like historic markers there would be categories for that. If you like public art or old buildings there would be categories for that. There would even be catetories if you like giant rocking chairs. No longer would someone say "That's not a unique enough place to warrant a virtual cache".

 

Still, Groundspeak wasn't sure what to do with virtual caches. Jeremy kept asking for someone to define what would make something worthy of being a vitual cache instead of a Waymark. Maybe he had made up his mind, but several people tried to explain the difference between a virtual cache and a waymark and Jeremy was not swayed by anyone. True he only continued with this for a few week before announcing that virtual caches would be grandfathered. But it's not like in the seven years since people haven't had a chance to keep trying.

 

Over the last seven years there have been hundreds of threads calling for virtuals to be brought back. It has been suggested several time on several different feature suggestion forums. All of this must have had some influence on Groundspeak, since they have added Challenges as another way to share interesting location without having to hide a cache there.

 

There have been attempts both by individuals and TPTB to address some of the concerns with Waymarking and now with some of the concerns with Challenges. The options of Waymarks and Challenges have be picked up by many people as ways to share places without hiding a physical cache - especially many who were not around for virtual caches with or without the "wow" requirement.

 

I think the main issue that remains is that there are still some places where you cannot place a cache - or someplace where you would be unable to maintain a cache and no one else is stepping up and placing a cache there. Some people will feel that these places are so special that the are screaming for a cache, and they want to bring back virtuals to allow a cache to be placed there.

 

The issue is deciding what makes something so special that the usual requirement to hide a geocache can be ignored. Since some people who place physical caches find a location worthy simply because there is no other physical cache within .1 miles. What makes you think that someone won't say that every spot where they can't put a physical cache is worthy of a virtual cache?

 

Would there be inconsistencies? Of course, they're inherent. :P If I didn't tick Keystone off the first time, now I did. And some gas station rocking chair virtual guy. Sorry guys. B)

I'm not afraid of inconsistencies - though I certainly am not planing to volunteer as virtual cache reviewer. I'm more concerned that virtuals will be abused. That people will use them when they are too lazy to hide or maintain a physical caches, or that they will hide virtual caches in places that don't really need a cache at all (either physical or virtual).

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