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Map enhancement to find available areas for new caches


combinatorics
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Where I live, there are a good number of caches. When I create a new one and start looking for a hide location, I have a hard time figuring out what spots are already covered by the 1/10th mile rule. So, I would like to have an option to click a checkbox on the map view and have little 0.10 mile radius discs appear around each cache. That would make it easy to look at the map for an area, hopefully a nice park, that isn't 100% saturated. I get really tired of doing the manual work to do what a feature like this could do in less than a second.

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I think that a map view showing a little 0.1 mile radius discs around each cache would be a killer spoiler for the mystery and multi caches. Don't forget that also the physical intermediate points are under the restriction of 0.1 distance. This suggestion, would be worse that the other already posted in this foruns and in the feedback site under the tittle "is this area free?", when creating a new cache.

 

In the other hand, is it geocaching supposed to completely occupy every "nice park, that isn't 100% saturated."? If a nice park has already some caches to draw geocachers attention on it, is it really necessary to saturated it until it has no more space available for more caches?

 

Just my opinion and concerns.

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Agreeing with MAntunes here. Just because space is available doesn't necessarily mean it SHOULD have a cache.

Is there really a reason to have a park (or other location) "100% saturated."?

 

There is, ya know, support to have the Saturation Guideline extended to a greater distance. Not that it will happen, but it shows that not all agree with the philosophy of creating cache placements simply because there is space to do so.

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... When I create a new one and start looking for a hide location, I have a hard time figuring out what spots are already covered by the 1/10th mile rule. ...

 

I would say you are going backwards up the cache hiding flowchart.

 

Rather than:

Decide to place a new cache > Find a spot more than 528 feet from any other cache > Put cache here.

 

Most everyone will be more appreciative if you:

Find a great place for a cache (like something you would bring an out-of-town guest to see) > Check for nearby caches > Put cache here

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IMHO, if the only way you can find a spot that is 528ft/161m from all other caches is to look for holes in a saturation map, then the area already has enough geocaches, and you should find somewhere new to hide a cache, somewhere that isn't so saturated.

 

+1

 

There is also the fact that in most places in the world, saturation is *not* an issue and it's clearly obvious looking at the map there there are plenty of open spaces where a cache could be placed. Essentially, the enhancement is asking GS to spend development resources for a global feature that already exist using third party tools to address a perceived "problem" that only exists in the most highly saturated areas, areas that probably don't any more caches anyway.

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Reading the objections here I agree that this is a difficult but to crack -- I've often spent the time to come up with a cool container, write up the cache description and submit only to find that the hide is too close to a stage in a multicache that I would have had no way of knowing about unless I had previously found that cache. I would be nice if there was a way to tell if an area you are interested in is clear of such blockers w/o spoiling the game for others. Not sure how to accomplish that but wanted to add my voice to a desire to find such a way. ;)

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I added a function to my Geocaching Map Enhancements script a while back that lets you drop circles of an arbitrary size onto the geocaching map. As well as checking spacing for new caches, it can be helpful with some types of puzzle cache.

 

However, while I'm all for people using tools that help them hide and seek caches, I wouldn't be too keen to see this function implemented in the main website. In particular, I wouldn't want it to draw circles around every cache, as in Dr H0rrible's screenshot. I'd rather people find interesting locations for caches, then check whether there's anything nearby that conflicts, instead of looking for a gap in the saturation map, then going out to hide a low-quality cache in some nondescript location that meets the spacing requirements. In any case, there may well be good reasons for gaps in otherwise saturated maps, e.g. areas where landowners have denied permission.

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I think that a map view showing a little 0.1 mile radius discs around each cache would be a killer spoiler for the mystery and multi caches. Don't forget that also the physical intermediate points are under the restriction of 0.1 distance. This suggestion, would be worse that the other already posted in this foruns and in the feedback site under the tittle "is this area free?", when creating a new cache.

 

This will be the thing that kills the idea. If you can see little discs on the map that give away where the multis and mysteries really are it will be dead in the water. If you can't see little discs giving away where the multis and mysteries really are it will be useless - you could find a perfect spot, hide your cache there, and then have it rejected because it was too near the final of a mystery.

 

In the other hand, is it geocaching supposed to completely occupy every "nice park, that isn't 100% saturated."? If a nice park has already some caches to draw geocachers attention on it, is it really necessary to saturated it until it has no more space available for more caches?

 

If a park is saturated with wet film pots behind signs it doesn't need another film pot behind a sign. But maybe the would-be hider had a decent size cache with lots of goodies in it in mind, in which case it would be great to see a larger cache among all the film pots.

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I am facing the same problem. I live in a urban, almost saturated region. I tried to hide a traditional cache but it is 'mission impossible'

There are two problems:

- a lot of caches are extremely difficult mystery caches with a lot of protected waypoints. I'm not able to solve them. Only a few can. So, putting all waypoints in GSAK doesn't solve the problem (and besides that, I have a Mac... ;-) )

- most caches are placed years ago by a limited number of people, mostly very experienced users.

This means that

- hiding caches is something for the 'happy few', monopolizing the region

- newbies aren't very motivated to hide new caches

 

So I support the idea to show colored spots.

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I am facing the same problem. I live in a urban, almost saturated region.
Perhaps it would be better to find somewhere new to hide a cache, somewhere that isn't so saturated.

 

My experience in a very saturated suburban area is that if there is a hole in the saturation map, then there is a reason for the hole. There may be a puzzle or multi-cache final there. The area may just be a bad spot for a cache. There may be something else going on. But that's because the area is very saturated. The best place to hide a cache is somewhere else, somewhere that isn't so saturated.

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There is a macro in gsak that puts circles at 528 ft. around each of the caches you have loaded into a database, then shows the circles on google earth. If you have done the corrected coordinates for puzzles and multi's nearby you're problem is solved and you can see what you are looking for.

 

Otherwise, in a perfect world the puzzle or multi listing coords should be within 2 or 3 miles away and there is a chance that the descriptions might indicate what park it's actually in.

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I have often wondered why there isn't a way to enter the coordinates of where you want to hide a cache and have it tell you whether it is ok to place it there or not. geocaching.com would have to do that since they have the final coordinates for puzzles and multis.
One reason is that such a system would be used to "battleship" the final locations of puzzles and multi-caches. People use the current system (submitting cache listings or asking volunteer reviewers to verify the availability of a location) to "battleship" final locations, so an automated system would make it worse.
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I have often wondered why there isn't a way to enter the coordinates of where you want to hide a cache and have it tell you whether it is ok to place it there or not. geocaching.com would have to do that since they have the final coordinates for puzzles and multis.
One reason is that such a system would be used to "battleship" the final locations of puzzles and multi-caches. People use the current system (submitting cache listings or asking volunteer reviewers to verify the availability of a location) to "battleship" final locations, so an automated system would make it worse.

 

This requests comes up frequently and the "battleship" argument is always brought up.

 

Here's how I would do it. This could be built into the cache submission process.

 

Implement something that will tell you if there any non-pmo traditional caches within .1 of a mile of the user provided coordinates. If so, issue a message which indicates there is a conflict and disable any links which would allow you to continue the submission process. If there are no conflicts, check the coordinates to see if there are any mystery/unknown or multi caches within 2 miles. If so, issue a *warning* that indicates that there *might* be a conflict with the location.

 

A two step approach could reduce reviewer time by preventing submission where there is *definitely* a proximity but just send a warning if there *might* be a conflict. It would still be up to the geocacher making the submission to resolve potential issues.

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I have often wondered why there isn't a way to enter the coordinates of where you want to hide a cache and have it tell you whether it is ok to place it there or not. geocaching.com would have to do that since they have the final coordinates for puzzles and multis.
One reason is that such a system would be used to "battleship" the final locations of puzzles and multi-caches. People use the current system (submitting cache listings or asking volunteer reviewers to verify the availability of a location) to "battleship" final locations, so an automated system would make it worse.

 

This requests comes up frequently and the "battleship" argument is always brought up.

 

Here's how I would do it. This could be built into the cache submission process.

 

Implement something that will tell you if there any non-pmo traditional caches within .1 of a mile of the user provided coordinates. If so, issue a message which indicates there is a conflict and disable any links which would allow you to continue the submission process. If there are no conflicts, check the coordinates to see if there are any mystery/unknown or multi caches within 2 miles. If so, issue a *warning* that indicates that there *might* be a conflict with the location.

 

A two step approach could reduce reviewer time by preventing submission where there is *definitely* a proximity but just send a warning if there *might* be a conflict. It would still be up to the geocacher making the submission to resolve potential issues.

 

That wouldn't work very well in urban areas, the very areas where such a system is most likely to be used. Certainly round substantial parts of London you'd struggle to find very many places that didn't have a mystery cache with posted coordinates within 2 miles. Just to make it a little more difficult you've also got a few other mystery caches that are a good 5-10 miles from the actual coordinates because the nature of the puzzle is such that it would be too easy otherwise.

 

Checking for non-PMO traditional caches still wouldn't help a regular member. Truth be told I'd see it as less of an issue if a regular member managed to deduce the location of a PMO traditional. To be able to battleship the location of a difficult puzzle rather defeats the point of setting difficult puzzles.

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