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GeoawareGSA1

EarthCache Guidelines Updated

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Dear Members of the EarthCache Community

 

The EarthCache guidelines have worked well since the last update on January 1, 2011. However, we have made further revisions to the guidelines in a new update that takes effect on January 1, 2013. All EarthCaches submitted on or after January 1, 2013, will be subjected to these newly updated guidelines. The guidelines can be found here: http://www.geosociety.org/earthcache/guidelines.htm

 

The updates are intended primarily to bring more clarity to the process of developing and reviewing EarthCaches. Although we are not able to incorporate everyone’s ideas and wishes into the guidelines, these updates were guided by feedback received from the EarthCache community through the forums, e-mails, and personal contacts at the 1st International EarthCache Mega Event. Very helpful input was also received from the EarthCache review team.

 

We will inform the geocaching community of the updated guidelines through various means, including social media (www.facebook.com/EarthCache). Please feel free to help us spread the word.

 

We are also working to develop translations of the guidelines into multiple languages. If you or somebody you know may be interested in helping with this process, please contact earthcache@geosociety.org.

 

The Help Center articles about EarthCaches, hosted at Geocaching.com, will be updated soon as well, to help further clarify the guidelines updates.

 

Questions about the guidelines may be directed to earthcache@geosociety.org.

 

We are excited for 2013, and are very much looking forward to the 2nd International EarthCache Event, which is coming on September 7, 2013! (http://coord.info/GC3JG9V)

 

So, happy new year, and a big thank you to the entire EarthCache community, particularly:

-Those who have visited EarthCaches

-Those who have developed EarthCaches

-The volunteer team of EarthCache reviewers

-The folks at Geocaching.com

-Anyone else we may have missed!

 

Sincerely,

Matt - GeoawareHQ

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For those of us who aren't intimately familiar with the old guidelines, it might be helpful if someone provided a summary of the significant changes. Thanks.

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I'd like to add my request for the list of updates; I was familiar with the guidelines, but not so much that I had 'em memorized.

 

I tried going through the web.archive.org wayback machine, but it hadn't crawled the guidelines page since 2010, so I can't tell which are the 2011 updates and which are the 2013 updates. If y'all could give us a quick rundown, that'd be swell.

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For those of us who aren't intimately familiar with the old guidelines, it might be helpful if someone provided a summary of the significant changes. Thanks.

 

It looks as though they "defined" each element via a hyperlink. My guess is to take away any confusion of interpretation between the CO and the reviewer.

 

IMHO it does “officially” limits the definition of Earth Science as well as giving examples of EC Topics no longer accepted in a more direct format.

Edited by GEO WALKER

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There were/are very few changes.

 

No Autorepsonders - you have to allow people to email through your profile

Questions which only serve to prove that someone visited the site, and do not relate to the site's geology, are not permitted.

 

Other than those the links will be updated. The links were not there before, so many were submitting caches not realizing the additional information in the Help Center.

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Questions which only serve to prove that someone visited the site, and do not relate to the site's geology, are not permitted.

 

May I ask something about this? I've just had someone send me vague answers to my EC questions. Things didn't add up for me, and they've claimed that they were there in 2011, when the site was not an EC. Is it important that a cacher is at the site (frankly I'm not convinced they were there - it's totally out of the way) or that some geology is learned?

 

Perhaps I need a new question, or fewer photos on my page.

 

And are there guidelines for "back-logging" of this kind, I couldn't find them.

 

Thank you!

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Questions which only serve to prove that someone visited the site, and do not relate to the site's geology, are not permitted.

 

This is important and a welcome change. I have long felt that these kind of questions were simply ALRs. Often they were used to make the "optional" photo less optional.

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And are there guidelines for "back-logging" of this kind, I couldn't find them.

Thank you!

 

This has come up before as a separate topic at least once. Rather than post my opinions about back logging here, I will simply refer to Geoaware's post pertaining to that:

 

I think that a person should not log an EarthCache unless that visited the site to DO the EarthCache.

 

Attempting to log a site because they have been there in the past, even if they can answer the logging questions, is, in my opinion, the same as armchair logging .

 

As others have said, it is a game. It has rules. You should follow them. Not following them is cheating.

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Here is a link to the old guidelines: http://www.geosociety.org/earthcache/guidelines_2011_01_01.htm

 

The Help Center articles about EarthCaches, hosted at Geocaching.com, will be updated soon, to help further clarify the guidelines updates.

 

And regarding the "backlogging" matter, thanks to geodarts for digging up geoaware's earlier statement on that. Our stance remains the same. While a cache owner may certainly allow such logs if they choose (if they satisfy the logging tasks, etc.), we do not feel that someone has truly visited and logged an EarthCache unless they visited the site after the EarthCache was developed and published, and at that point, solved the logging tasks.

 

geoawarehq

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The new guidelines seem to restrict Earth caches that are primarily based on air and water.

Last we checked the “Earth” had more water, than land. There are many locations near our oceans, lakes and streams, where the interaction of water and the atmosphere plays important role in shaping the “Earth” For example the Gulfstream and the Labrador current intersect and cause many interesting options for earth caches. Not all will be directly related to the physical earth. There are tidal pools and various currents around islands and in large bodies of water that affect our planet. The flow of air, wind currents etc. caused by atmospheric phenomenon are some other examples.

We wonder why you have restricted out two thirds (air and water) of the forces that shape our planet/earth?

If you consider this category an “Earthcache”, why not let earth caches be representative of all the forces that shape our earth/planet?

 

We are retired full time RVers who use geocaching as way to find interesting places, gain knowledge and meet folks with similar interests. For us it’s not the “game” of geocaching and trying to see how many geocaches we can find, but more what we learn when we go to a geocaching location. I know we are not alone in this view of geocaching. We meet folks every day that enjoy the activity and could care less how many geocaches they can find in a day, week or month. We see many moves by geocaching administration to cater more to the avid geocacher than the recreational geocacher like ourselves. For example, allowing geocaches to be placed along a narrow two lane road w/o shoulders or places to park to retrieve the caches. Last we checked not allowing new virtual caches to be placed. A particular problem for us wanting to get people to interesting places in ecologically sensitive locations (such as the 6.5 million acre Adirondack Park in NY for example) . We wonder why so much emphasis on making sure geocachers get “deserved credit” for their cache and not more emphasis on the quality of the location the cache resides.

 

Chris & Edith – CTC42

PS: we know about Waymarking and Benchmarking but those locations are often restaurants and other commercial establishments and there are far fewer Waymarks than geocaches. Geocaching is generally more rural and w/o the commercial locations.

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The new guidelines seem to restrict Earth caches that are primarily based on air and water.

Last we checked the “Earth” had more water, than land. There are many locations near our oceans, lakes and streams, where the interaction of water and the atmosphere plays important role in shaping the “Earth” For example the Gulfstream and the Labrador current intersect and cause many interesting options for earth caches. Not all will be directly related to the physical earth. There are tidal pools and various currents around islands and in large bodies of water that affect our planet. The flow of air, wind currents etc. caused by atmospheric phenomenon are some other examples.

We wonder why you have restricted out two thirds (air and water) of the forces that shape our planet/earth?

If you consider this category an “Earthcache”, why not let earth caches be representative of all the forces that shape our earth/planet?

.

 

On this I agree! I find that the current reviewing process and the new set up of earthcaches have made them less about learning. I am NOT LEARNING anything at the last two new earth caches I've done here in oregon-one at the coast and one here in portland. The questions are common knowledge and I could answer them without visiting...I will visit because that is my nature, but taking out ALL references to animals and plants in one's write up? Excuse me but as you state, water and air are what MAKES life and THAT is determined by the soil and the structure of the landscape If you want me to observe the landscape and determine WHAT type of geological formation it is, don't I need to KNOW what grows or lives on it?

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