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Continue releasing country based souvenirs


NYPaddleCacher
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Has anyone directly asked Groundspeak why they have no plans to release further country souveneirs?

 

Have you in recent years experienced a situation where GS was willing to explain the reasons for their decisions?

 

Cezanne

 

Hope springs eternal; Perhaps Jeremy ran out of crayons :)

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Yes, please continue adding country souvenirs. We were disappointed not to have received a Greece souvenir. Thank you!

 

Last August I started a thread called "Bring Back country based souvenirs" which now has about 150 responses, overwhelmingly in favor of the idea. As many of you know, when the 2,000,000th active cache was identified, Groundspeak started releasing a couple of dozen country and region based souvenirs, mostly from artwork that has existed for at least a year. I'd like to think that GS listened to what it's users were asking for in that thread but it's hard to tell.

 

As GS was releasing the last of the new souvenirs, someone from GS said that they would not be releasing any other country souvenirs. I think that is a bad decision and that is why I've started this thread.

 

When one looks at countries which have the most geocaches (and presumably) geocachers, most of the top 30 countries now have souvenirs available. However, Belgium, Italy, Slovenia, and Mexico are in the top 30 (according to the last time I collected states a few weeks ago, Belgium ranked 18th in terms of the number of caches). Other notable countries which do not have souvenirs include Lithuania, Greece, Turkey, Brazil, Argentina, and China. No South America, Central American, or Caribbean country has a souvenir available. Although many of these countries do not have a *lot* of geocaches, they are frequently visited by geocachers (especially Caribbean islands visited by geocachers on cruise ships).

 

As it it, this looks like yet another feature that GS has started, but remains unfinished. I'm not suggesting that GS continues to release country based souvenirs at the rate they did last week (5-7 per day) but, if you agree (or if you don't) that GS should continue to release country/region based souvenirs, this is a thread where you can express your opinion.

Edited by harrickson
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I too would like to see more souvenirs released. On a side note, why doesn't the artwork for the US states that I have logged caches have the artwork (only a generic state symbol), yet the Canadian Provinces do?

 

The generic artwork is just the thumbnail. Click on the thumbnail to see the full artwork. The thumbnails for the U.S. states are pretty boring but the full artwork for many of them is quite nice.

 

 

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Being a person who likes the idea of souvenirs as a reward for your efforts I hope they continue. Most definitely holding my breath for Italy as I was born there and have full intent of taking a vacation there. I find geocaching as a way to see the unseen side of places while traveling.

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I also hope they release a souvenier for every country.

I am a European, and I cached in a few different countries now.

 

That does make me wonder: "Why does have Germany for every province a souvenier, and for example Croatia, Bosnia or Slovenia have none?"

 

Kinda unfair that Germans get so many and other countries get none.

I don't mind a souvenier for every province (or state) but then divide it equaly.

I can understand that the USA/Canada have a souvenier for every state/province because it is a almost a continent.

But Germany isn't that big!

Come on! Give the rest of Europe also something.

 

I am for that every country in the world should get at least 1 souvenier.

Would be nice. :)

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Just adding my opinion: Please add missing country souvenirs. It makes no sense why this is only partially implemented. (and if there is a reasonable explanation, then GS please inform us so that we can understand). Is this going to be another thing like GeoAdventures where our Premioum membership dollars are wasted on an idea but then never fully committed to? I truly dont understand this, especially for such a worldwide hobby.

 

Perknstein

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This probably wont happen, Groundspeak seems like they never listen... but I stumbled upon this topic and support it! And every country with a valid cache should have one! im sure all the positives have already been posted.

Edited by annajared
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Well, I'll put in my vote of support. I have yet to cache outside the U.S.A., but it seems only fair to have at least one souvenir per country. Tourist countries like Mexico, etc., should for sure have one.

They apparently aren't lacking in resources, as they just produced 32 new souvenirs.

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Yes, I'm in favor of more country souvenirs! Specially one for Puerto Rico!

 

This post is the petition for a souvenir for Puerto Rico.

 

Thanks to everyone for expressing your opinion here about country based souvenirs. I don't know if Groundspeak will ever continue releasing country based souvenirs but I think it's important to have a place to express our opinion on the matter so that they at least have the opportunity to see what their users are asking for.

 

I agree with the suggestion of a souvenir for Puerto Rico. Even though I've never been there (but was seriously looking at as a potential vacation destination last year) I think it meets three important criteria for a souvenir. It has a fairly substantial number of geocaches and a relatively large number of local cachers. It is also, as was mentioned, a popular tourist destination, thus there would be quite a few geocachers from other places traveling to Puerto Rico, finding a few caches, and "bringing back" a token of remembrance for geocaching in another place. That, to me, is what souvenirs are all about.

 

 

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I'm currently on my way back from Belgium and am disappointed I won't be getting a souvenir for my efforts :-( I have trips to Sweden and Gibraltar lined up, so here's hoping...

 

A souvenir for Sweden has been released but you'll probably never see one for Gibraltar, and unless we can convince GS otherwise you won't see one for Belgium either.

 

 

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Thanks to everyone for expressing your opinion here about country based souvenirs. I don't know if Groundspeak will ever continue releasing country based souvenirs but I think it's important to have a place to express our opinion on the matter so that they at least have the opportunity to see what their users are asking for.

 

I agree with the suggestion of a souvenir for Puerto Rico. Even though I've never been there (but was seriously looking at as a potential vacation destination last year) I think it meets three important criteria for a souvenir. It has a fairly substantial number of geocaches and a relatively large number of local cachers. It is also, as was mentioned, a popular tourist destination, thus there would be quite a few geocachers from other places traveling to Puerto Rico, finding a few caches, and "bringing back" a token of remembrance for geocaching in another place. That, to me, is what souvenirs are all about.

 

Thanks for your support in our request! We (local PR geocachers) all received the following "template" email from GS:

Hello there!

 

Thank you for contacting us regarding Souvenirs. Due to concentration on other projects, we are not currently creating or releasing new souvenirs. We appreciate your enthusiasm for the game and have added Puerto Rico to the list of Souvenirs that we would like to create in the future! If you wish to access the list of available Souvenirs, they can be found here. [link to to flicker album with souvenirs, as posted previously in the forums]

 

Happy geocaching!

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Thanks to everyone for expressing your opinion here about country based souvenirs. I don't know if Groundspeak will ever continue releasing country based souvenirs but I think it's important to have a place to express our opinion on the matter so that they at least have the opportunity to see what their users are asking for.

 

I agree with the suggestion of a souvenir for Puerto Rico. Even though I've never been there (but was seriously looking at as a potential vacation destination last year) I think it meets three important criteria for a souvenir. It has a fairly substantial number of geocaches and a relatively large number of local cachers. It is also, as was mentioned, a popular tourist destination, thus there would be quite a few geocachers from other places traveling to Puerto Rico, finding a few caches, and "bringing back" a token of remembrance for geocaching in another place. That, to me, is what souvenirs are all about.

 

Thanks for your support in our request! We (local PR geocachers) all received the following "template" email from GS:

Hello there!

 

Thank you for contacting us regarding Souvenirs. Due to concentration on other projects, we are not currently creating or releasing new souvenirs. We appreciate your enthusiasm for the game and have added Puerto Rico to the list of Souvenirs that we would like to create in the future! If you wish to access the list of available Souvenirs, they can be found here. [link to to flicker album with souvenirs, as posted previously in the forums]

 

Happy geocaching!

 

This is actually good news. The message posted by GS when the last batch of country based souvenirs were released seemed pretty firm that they would not be releasing any new country based souvenirs but this message implies that they might actually create and release some in the future.

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Though chances are slim, I'd really love to see a souvenir for Qatar! I love that little country, and there are so many caches for such a small surface area. Plus I found a lot there :laughing:

 

A country that I'd like to see have a souvenir is Tanzania. The Mt. Kilimanjaro area and Zanzibar are frequently visited by tourist and although it doesn't have a huge number of caches finding almost any cache in Tanzania is going to be memorable. I'd also like to see one released for Ethiopia, especially since they already have artwork available.

 

 

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I am posting another thought on country souvenirs. GS took the time to do little sections of countries, like Germany (which I hope to get fall of 2014) before getting the main boundaries like China and Mexico. There must have been a reason.

I also think it odd because in our stats page you can see a map with all the countries cached in and how many.

Our info is on our profile, just not the pretty artwork.

I still think it is sad to not have a rep of each country I visit. More important than each 'state' of a small country imo.

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I find it quite amazing that Groundspeak can't/won't produce a souvenir for each country but they can produce a souvenir for each day in August 2013!

 

I am not even going to try that one. There aren't enough caches around me to access anymore without a lot of time out of my day. If I get one on a day it will be nice, but do I really want my page cluttered with AUgust 2013?

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I find it quite amazing that Groundspeak can't/won't produce a souvenir for each country but they can produce a souvenir for each day in August 2013!

 

I am not even going to try that one. There aren't enough caches around me to access anymore without a lot of time out of my day. If I get one on a day it will be nice, but do I really want my page cluttered with AUgust 2013?

 

I've set myself a target of one cache per day but, as things stand at the moment, I am not really a souvenir fan - the UK souvenir has a very stereotypical image and so does the proposed England one, and as for the proposed Wales one which I will also get if it is ever approved, it has a very generic image. The Great Britain souvenirs all seem to look like old fashioned railway posters from the time when rail companies, in the decades before the railways in the UK were nationalised, used to encourage people to visit holiday resorts, travelling by train of course. If GC.com could have copied the "Skegness is so bracing" poster for the England souvenir, instead of a very stereotyped picture of the white cliffs of the southern England coast, I might be a bit more enthusiastic :)

 

However I will make a special effort to get the souvenir for International Geocaching Day 2013 (2013-08-17) and would urge other cachers to seek this goal, no matter how disillusioned they may be feeling.

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Not even a simple flag?

 

 

Ya know, that's exactly what I have been thinking.

The international country-based souvies have been 'put on hold' because 'there is no time to create the specialized artwork'.

 

Specialized and creative artwork is nice, but why not just the nation's flag until something better can be produced?

 

Personally, I don't give a rat's rectum about them, but I really do sympathize with those who somehow manage to find them interesting.

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It seems like a no-brainer to have 1 souvenir for each country.

 

If Groundspeak thinks it's too much trouble to design more country souvenirs, how about having a contest and letting the general public design them. Could be alot of fun!

 

Someone made that suggestion early on in this thread and it's come up in other threads as well. Back in post #7, Keystone responded:

 

"I don't know that it's safe to assume that "artwork design resources" is the primary constraint for Groundspeak."

 

I don't know if Keystone is privy to what the constraints are but, the souvenir awarding processes are already in place and it is my understanding that releasing a regional souvenir mostly just requires setting a flag in the database for a specific region and invoking a retroactive awarding process to award the souvenir to anyone that had previously logged a found it/attended log for the region. That process is likely very compute intensive but it's not new development. I kind of like the idea of using Country/State flags for artwork, at least for the thumbnail images.

 

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Agreed - sad to see the list of countries grind to a halt. They have managed to find the resources to provide a souvenir for each day this August (...bizarre and annoying as its too hard - not enough local caches left to do !). Should be able to get a souvenir for all countries sorted... unless the whole set up is going the way of the Waymarking site (ie dont give a £$%%££)

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We definitely need more country souvenirs...it seems like GS started a job but haven't finished it. There is a finite list of 'recognised' countries, so it shouldn't be too much of a problem to recruit an artist or artists to design the artwork! Personally, I would love to see a souvenir for each county of the UK, but would rather the country souvenirs were completed first, for the good of all GC members.

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What was GS thinking issuing 31 daily souvenirs when we cannot get a souvenir for our travel efforts?

Mass appeal, I'd have to guess.

 

Souvenirs likely to be handed out for Nicaragua: 100

Souvenirs likely to be handed out for Mexico: 10,000

Souvenirs likely to be handed out for August 13: 1,000,000

 

It's like US dollars - if you print a trillion of them, one has no real value anymore.

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We definitely need more country souvenirs...it seems like GS started a job but haven't finished it. There is a finite list of 'recognised' countries, so it shouldn't be too much of a problem to recruit an artist or artists to design the artwork! Personally, I would love to see a souvenir for each county of the UK, but would rather the country souvenirs were completed first, for the good of all GC members.

 

Thought I'd bump the thread after the forum topic merge and the 31 days of August promotion is coming to an end. If people have enjoyed getting a souvenir a day in August perhaps that indicates an interest in souvenirs and that geocachers would like more country based souvenirs as well.

 

 

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Another post to support souvenirs for all countries that have caches.

 

Seems like a petty thing to not have souvenirs for all countries that have caches that can be found, when a souvenir prompted by a travel bug supposedly going to the ISS can be whipped out in no time.

 

 

B.

Edited by Pup Patrol
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Hey Pup Patrol,

 

Moun10Bike summed up a few of the challenges with country souvenirs in another thread recently. Here is what he had to share:

 

The issue with souvenirs is complex. The system was initially built as a gameplay feature in a mobile app and was commandeered to be used for the souvenir system you see today. However, it is very clunky and inefficient for the job. It can only trigger off a specific date, a specific cache ID or set of IDs, or a specific country and/or state. This means that we can't even do a souvenir for "England", for example, since our country/state system doesn't include a discrete country/state selection for that entity.

 

In addition, each country-based souvenir adds a new layer of load to this already creaky system. Unlike event-based or date-based souvenirs, which can quickly check a cache ID or log date and then move on, the country-based souvenirs have to check the country and state IDs for every cache log that comes through and determine whether or not to award the appropriate souvenir. Country/state souvenirs have to operate indefinitely, while date and event souvenirs essentially spike briefly and then fall out of use.

 

On top of this, nearly every time we release a new country souvenir, we get complaints about the text or picture. Not errors (which are easy enough to fix), but complaints about offensive imagery or content. Many Germans felt that the font used for the German state souvenirs was stereotypical and hearkened back to WWII; we had a Norwegian vow to never log another cache in Norway because of the "propagandistic" nature of that country's souvenir; some French users felt that the use of a rooster on the French souvenir was a stereotype; and so on, and so on...

 

Given all of this, we have been extremely conservative when it comes to releasing new country souvenirs. We know that it seems inconsistent, but the bottom line is that the system is just not built well for how it is being used. What really needs to happen is an overhaul of the feature that eliminates the downsides while at the same time encouraging interest in exploring new areas. That's why you'll here us talk about an "achievements" system that will include various badges including a new system of souvenirs for visiting states/countries that does not offend the sensibilities of various users around the world.

 

I hope that this helps explain the situation.

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Hey Pup Patrol,

 

Moun10Bike summed up a few of the challenges with country souvenirs in another thread recently. Here is what he had to share:

 

The issue with souvenirs is complex. The system was initially built as a gameplay feature in a mobile app and was commandeered to be used for the souvenir system you see today. However, it is very clunky and inefficient for the job. It can only trigger off a specific date, a specific cache ID or set of IDs, or a specific country and/or state. This means that we can't even do a souvenir for "England", for example, since our country/state system doesn't include a discrete country/state selection for that entity.

 

In addition, each country-based souvenir adds a new layer of load to this already creaky system. Unlike event-based or date-based souvenirs, which can quickly check a cache ID or log date and then move on, the country-based souvenirs have to check the country and state IDs for every cache log that comes through and determine whether or not to award the appropriate souvenir. Country/state souvenirs have to operate indefinitely, while date and event souvenirs essentially spike briefly and then fall out of use.

 

On top of this, nearly every time we release a new country souvenir, we get complaints about the text or picture. Not errors (which are easy enough to fix), but complaints about offensive imagery or content. Many Germans felt that the font used for the German state souvenirs was stereotypical and hearkened back to WWII; we had a Norwegian vow to never log another cache in Norway because of the "propagandistic" nature of that country's souvenir; some French users felt that the use of a rooster on the French souvenir was a stereotype; and so on, and so on...

 

Given all of this, we have been extremely conservative when it comes to releasing new country souvenirs. We know that it seems inconsistent, but the bottom line is that the system is just not built well for how it is being used. What really needs to happen is an overhaul of the feature that eliminates the downsides while at the same time encouraging interest in exploring new areas. That's why you'll here us talk about an "achievements" system that will include various badges including a new system of souvenirs for visiting states/countries that does not offend the sensibilities of various users around the world.

 

I hope that this helps explain the situation.

 

Seems strange then, to saturate the data base with 31 finds for days in August.

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For me one of the many attractions of caching is the ability to create a record of where I have travelled and found geocaches. As has been mentioned before, geocachers like to see pictoral records of their achievements. Smileys on the map are great but for many of us the oppurtunity to find a cache in a whole new country is a big deal. Not everyone has the time/money/health etc to travel abroad often and my one Italian cache find on my 6 day trip meant alot. I probably won't get the oppurtunity to visit another country for a while so it would be nice for people to get souvenirs for the small amount of international caching they do manage to achieve.

 

It also seems unfair that one cacher could get a souvenir for their travels to a certain country (France for example), however another cacher who visits an adjoining country (for example Belgium or Italy) could get nothing.

 

Although all the souvenir artworks I have seen are really nice, I'm sure many people would be happy with just a flag and the country's name as a piece of artwork to remember their trip by. Not only would this hopefully take less time to produce (if artwork for a country hasn't already been produced), this would also hopefully avoid some of the offence that has been caused as mentioned in Moun10bike's quote above.

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For me one of the many attractions of caching is the ability to create a record of where I have travelled and found geocaches. As has been mentioned before, geocachers like to see pictoral records of their achievements. Smileys on the map are great but for many of us the oppurtunity to find a cache in a whole new country is a big deal. Not everyone has the time/money/health etc to travel abroad often and my one Italian cache find on my 6 day trip meant alot. I probably won't get the oppurtunity to visit another country for a while so it would be nice for people to get souvenirs for the small amount of international caching they do manage to achieve.

 

You might be surprised at the number of different countries some geocachers can get. There's another thread here called "Collecting Countries" where a bunch of cachers have been discussing the places they've visited and various strategies for finding cache is some specific countries. For example, I found out when I have a 5 hour layover in Copenhagen about three weeks from now, that I could take a 1 hour r/t train ride into Sweden and grab a couple of caches there. There is at least one participant in that thread that has found caches in over 40 different countries.

 

It also seems unfair that one cacher could get a souvenir for their travels to a certain country (France for example), however another cacher who visits an adjoining country (for example Belgium or Italy) could get nothing.

 

I think i mentioned this earlier in the thread but, for the most part, the countries which have souvenirs are those with the highest number of caches. Countries like Belgium, Italy, and Mexico didn't quite make the cut. Some countries like South Africa and South Korea did get souvenirs even though there are some countries like Belgium and Italy that have more caches. Personally, I would attribute greater value to a souvenir for a country which *doesn't* have a lot of geocaches. It's sort of like collecting coins or stamps. There rare coins or stamp generally have more value because they are much harder to obtain. There was actually artwork created for a souvenir for Ethiopia but it was never released and that kind of chaps my hide a bit because I've found a cache in Ethiopia.

 

 

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I for one, have been reviewing my own souvenir page regularly, assuming that perhaps some day, I will also have souvenirs awarded for Russia, Belarus, and Lithuania, where I recorded cache finds on a recent trip through that magical portion of Europe. I was somewhat dismayed to read through this thread, to discover I may have been searching my souvenir page in vain. Surely, with the looming Olympics, at least Russia should have a geocaching souvenir made available :unsure:?

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Is there a way to find out which countries have and don't have "souvenirs" in order to see if a missing country souvenir is due to a system error or just lack of a souvenir having been created for that country. In particular, I'm interested in Chile and Easter Island, where we have cached but see no souvenir.

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Is there a way to find out which countries have and don't have "souvenirs" in order to see if a missing country souvenir is due to a system error or just lack of a souvenir having been created for that country. In particular, I'm interested in Chile and Easter Island, where we have cached but see no souvenir.

 

If you look at the list of souvenirs at the link that Keystone posted you'll see that the countries included are all in the top 25 or so in term of the number of caches in the country. With countries like Belgium, with almost 20,000 caches and don't make the cut, we'll probably never see a souvenir for a country like Chile with only a few over 600 caches. Personally, I'd rather see souvenirs for countries which don't have a lot of caches as they've be more rare and more difficult to obtain.

 

 

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A year ago we logged geocaches in the Dominican Republic and couldn't believe that we did not receive a souvenir for the country. Guess we were naive newbies eh? We're all for having souvenirs for all countries containing caches and events. We know people very capable of designing souvenirs, so what's the problem?

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I agree with at least making a national flag souvenir for countries without one. Is that so hard?

 

I do like that idea, Instantly see which countries I've cached in.

 

If Groundspeak want to keep the existing country/county souvenirs, then why not create a new tab, possibly under under statistics, and show the flags of all the countries caches have been found in, with a choice of date or alphabetical order.

 

 

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I was recently in the Bahamas and found a nice cache on a beach. I was very bummed out when I got home that I did not receive a souvenir! Then reading here there I find out there are many missing countries, I am very surprised. Even more surprised that GS is not responding to this issue. Is there any way I can design one and get it on my souvenir page myself? I also like the idea of the country flag and forget new cache types. that can't be all that hard. GS please respond.

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