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Preserve the heritage of geocaching.


moose61

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It doesn’t happen often, but still too often. An old and special cache gets archived. Just because the owner does not want to keep it alive or the owner is not caching anymore and does not maintain the cache. Many other geocachers who want to adopt the cache to keep it alive, but still the owner or a reviewer archives it. A shame, since this way the history of geocaching gets lost. The latest example: GC77 First Germany

 

At this moment the guidelines do not allow other owners to adopt the cache if the owner is not willing. Therefore I propose a change to the guidelines to preserve the heritage of geocaching before it is lost. Groundspeak would actively need to participate to keep a cache alive. Active by talking with the owner and looking for geocachers willing to adopt the cache. Even helping the CO if necessary by talking with the land owner. And if it was archived let somebody adopt it and get it unarchived.

 

Caches to preserve:

- All caches placed in 2000 and 2001

- The first caches placed in every country/state

- The first caches of each type placed in every country/state

- All webcam, virtual and ape caches

 

This also would require a change to geocaching.com, so only Groundspeak can archive these caches.

 

What’s your opinion? Should the guidelines be adapted? Should Groundspeak actively help to preserve the heritage of geocaching?

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I think Groundspeak's position is unlikely to change, nor should it.

 

Only the cache owner can transfer ownership of a listing. So if cache has no owner and falls into serious disrepair, it should be archived. If an active owner archives the cache, as happened with GC77, that's absolutely their right.

 

Note that the heritage is preserved. The listing is in the archives.

 

The place where perhaps they could change (but I don't expect it to happen) would be to permit the adoption of webcams and virtuals.

Currently those cannot be adopted, nor the coordinates altered.

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I'm more of a believer in every cache having a life cycle rather than every old cache must be saved.

 

Beyond that, you still have the same old issue of "inactive" cachers and "abandoned" caches that prevent them from being forcible adopted. Just because the owner does not sign on to GC.com or the cache has been archived does not mean the cache is dead. It could still be listed elsewhere.

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I really don't find that words on a webpage are all too historic to preserve with a new owner. In most cases the original owner is gone, the original container is gone, the original logbooks are gone and the physical site location just isn't what it was 10 years ago. So all that is left to be historic is the words written on the webpage. A simple link from a new 'tribute' cache page to the archived page can preserve that.

 

Plus - geocaching has not even reached its teenage years yet - hard to think of anything that young as historic.

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It doesn’t happen often, but still too often. An old and special cache gets archived. Just because the owner does not want to keep it alive or the owner is not caching anymore and does not maintain the cache. Many other geocachers who want to adopt the cache to keep it alive, but still the owner or a reviewer archives it. A shame, since this way the history of geocaching gets lost. The latest example: GC77 First Germany

 

I didn't realize First Germany had been archived. I'm sad to see it happened. But it appears to be the choice of the adopted owner, BlackyV, who is still an active geocacher. I'd be interested in knowing his reasoning for not adopting it out, since he himself adopted the listing from the original owner, ferenc.

 

Basically what you appear to be proposing is that Groundspeak exercise some sort of eminent domain over a geocache. Not taking care of Mingo? We're taking over. Forget that it's actually your cache container. And forget who actually owns the land and gave permission in the first place. And forget that Groundspeak is a small company in Seattle and has to rely on volunteers to run its operations.

 

Think about that last part, because I'm not just talking about reviewers and such. I'm talking about cache owners. How many cache listings does Groundspeak actually own or control? 56, and most of those were events. If you count the two adventure mazes as events, Groundspeak owns a grand total of four physical caches, or les than 0.0002% of all active caches. That means they rely on geocachers to hide and maintain the other 99.9998% for them.

 

So, what are you proposing that they actually do to effect this preservation?

 

If a webcam becomes inoperable, must Groundspeak now replace the camera and provide the power and web connection to keep it going?

 

If a cache is swallowed up by a sinkhole, must Groundspeak go spelunking for it?

 

If the oldest cache in Madeupistan is on private property and the cache owner is tired of people stepping on his flower bed, should Groundspeak buy that corner of the property?

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There are new caches being placed today. In 10-12 years, will you be begging to have those live on forever? ALL caches have a lifespan. If you were to take a trip to find Mingo today, you wouldn't really be finding Mingo. The listing is the oldest. The cache, however...has it even been six months since it was last replaced? Nothing of the original container remains.

 

Hey, I'm not against keeping old caches alive. I love finding them myself. But, if it's time for it to go, it's time. Clinging to an old cache like it's some precious jewel is giving it undue value. Keep repeating to yourself: It's just a cache. That's all it is. Wouldn't it be wonderful if all those old caches from long ago were still around and able to be found? Yeah, it would but that's not the reality.

 

Groundspeak doesn't (and shouldn't) babysit caches that fall into neglect. That includes caches with "heritage". The only caches they are expected to maintain are the ones they own. When the Tunnel of Light Ape cache was archived, it was an extremely popular cache, chock full of as much history and heritage as you can get in a hobby that is a little more than a decade old. Still, they did not delay in shutting it down. That should be a pretty clear signal that no cache is above archival.

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I feel nostalgic about some caches, but someone might find a reason to protest almost any cache being archived...it's got the most favorite points in the state, in the county, in my town; it was the first guardrail hide in the state, or whatever. If they stick around, cache saturation will get out of hand, and in many places it's already a problem. Better to let those go and have new fresh hides to find and let others who are dedicated to upkeep on them put them out there, rather than a moldy old cracked lock 'n' lock sticking around years beyond its lifespan.

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I own a cache placed in 2002

 

Two placed in 2003

 

One placed in 2006

 

One placed in 2003 and re-listed in 2007

 

I do have to say that I would have reservations if someone told me that I needed to archive a cache and replace it.

 

I think I'll ask my locals if they think I should replace any of them.

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And if it was archived let somebody adopt it and get it unarchived.

What if a tribute or other cache has since been placed at or near the spot? Are you saying they should both exist concurrently? That could be a problem for some, like Mission 9: Tunnel of Light and its tribute cache at exactly the same coordinates.

 

I agree with the others that caches should be allowed to be archived regardless of their age or importance. Caches have a lifecycle like many other things in life. Caches are born, they live for a while, and someday they will die.

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One of the things I like about this game is that it is impermanent. Caches are placed. Caches disappear. A new cache is placed. Everything has its cycle. I think Donovan wrote a song about that.

 

A cache was just placed in my area that was said to be the first cache there. Those of us who have been here longer might have called it the fifth or sixth. It is the nature of the game.

 

Groundspeak just lists them and there is no reason that listing should change just because a cache was deemed to be special. If there was, we would have a lot more APE caches. I am sad to see some older listings archived, particularly if they are virtuals and cannot be replaced. But first there is a cache, then there is no cache, then there is. My zen teacher might have also said something along those lines.

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I really don't find that words on a webpage are all too historic to preserve with a new owner. In most cases the original owner is gone, the original container is gone, the original logbooks are gone and the physical site location just isn't what it was 10 years ago. So all that is left to be historic is the words written on the webpage. A simple link from a new 'tribute' cache page to the archived page can preserve that.

 

Plus - geocaching has not even reached its teenage years yet - hard to think of anything that young as historic.

 

I agree, a cache is a "container", what should be remembered is, who you were with, the excitement and pictures of finding the cache and maybe a few items of swag that were interesting and you took.

 

To keep things fresh (IMHO) its good for a cache to have a "life cycle".

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I agree, a cache is a "container", what should be remembered is, who you were with, the excitement and pictures of finding the cache and maybe a few items of swag that were interesting and you took.

 

To keep things fresh (IMHO) its good for a cache to have a "life cycle".

I think the heritage of geocaching is more about the idea of hiding a container for others to find, including a logbook and possibly some swag to trade. <_<

 

Beyond that, a cache that is in its original container, in its original location is something to be happy about. It's the "APE rule". Once the original container is gone, the cache changes a bit. I have a harder time paying homage to a cache that isn't in its original state.

 

There are, in fact, caches that are very old that still have the original container and logbook. Now, that is something to think is "cool". But "preserve" it? That makes no sense.

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I feel nostalgic about some caches, but someone might find a reason to protest almost any cache being archived...it's got the most favorite points in the state, in the county, in my town; it was the first guardrail hide in the state, or whatever. If they stick around, cache saturation will get out of hand, and in many places it's already a problem. Better to let those go and have new fresh hides to find and let others who are dedicated to upkeep on them put them out there, rather than a moldy old cracked lock 'n' lock sticking around years beyond its lifespan.

 

Just before I read your post I was wondering what might count as "heritage of geocaching", and whether the first wet film pot behind a sign should be preserved, then got to ideas like the first wet film pot behind a sign in every county, the first nano on a guard rail in every county, the first totally unsuited takeaway container under a stone heavy enough to crack the container and let the rain in, the first cache hidden in a plastic bag that filled up with wet leaves and slugs, the first cache hidden on private property on the basis that back in the day nobody asked too many questions even though the new owner put up a barbed wire fence and breeds Rottweilers, and so on.

 

It always seems a shame when a good cache that's been there for years is archived but ultimately if the owner wants to archive it rather than adopt it out, it's gone. As you say, better to archive it than insist it must survive even when it's turned into a mouldy shadow of its former glory.

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'Historic' or very popular caches that are years old, don't just occur over night. Nor do conditions that affect their locations. My own opinion is that these are in fact the creation of the finders, almost as much as the CO.

As they develop into whatever they are today, the locals will know the situation, and should figure out that a; they want to preserve the cache, b; that they are interested enough to make that happen by contacting the owner and then doing what it takes to preserve it.

 

I care for one (officially) that was maintained by the owner, but I can do it much easier and more frequently. I got involved when the site/location owner had issues with some seekers causing damage to the site and considering asking for it's removal. That part is long ago history now, and the cache (a local favourite) is thriving, the site management is quite happy and really supporting Geocaching tourism and I don't have too much to do after fine tuning the location and doing a lot of CITO and other maintenance for the site owner.

 

Point is, that I (a fairly new cacher at the time) saw the problem, the need and was willing to intercede.

I was offered the chance (still an option) to adopt it, but it was my choice to let the CO retain it. It is his cache after all. Now the site manager is starting to Geocache and might be interested in taking it on... or we could shut it down and re invent it (while still preserving the location and a cache)a bit.

 

Hindsight is the problem, once it is gone it is gone. Until replaced that is... unless the permissions change or get rescinded for some other reason. One just has to determine the best or most prudent method.

Get out and catalog such caches and get proactive if you want to keep them going. Otherwise they may not.

Please note this is NOT on the scale of a throwdown or minor cache maintenance, but is a commitment at least equal to or more than placing a cache. Not something to be done on any old cache.

 

Doug 7rxc

Edited by 7rxc
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What heritage? In most instances with very old caches the original logbook and container are gone and often the hide method, location and even the cache owner are different.

 

So true. I've re-visited a few old caches and it's common to see that the container and hiding method were quite different. One was originally a sandwich size rubbermaid container under a rock, now it's a peanut butter jar hanging in a tree about 15 metres away from the original spot.

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What heritage? In most instances with very old caches the original logbook and container are gone and often the hide method, location and even the cache owner are different.

 

So true. I've re-visited a few old caches and it's common to see that the container and hiding method were quite different. One was originally a sandwich size rubbermaid container under a rock, now it's a peanut butter jar hanging in a tree about 15 metres away from the original spot.

 

In another forum topic, Mudfrog got me thinking, is all this talk about preserving heritage more about getting the old GC # in one's stats then it is about the actual original physical cache?

Edited by L0ne R
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In another forum topic, Mudfrog got me thinking, is all this talk about preserving heritage more about getting the old GC # in one's stats more then it is about the actual original physical cache?

More than probable, since he did mention...

Caches to preserve:

- All caches placed in 2000 and 2001

- The first caches placed in every country/state

- The first caches of each type placed in every country/state

- All webcam, virtual and ape caches

 

Kinda looks like a challenge cache requirement set-up to me.

 

Just like the guy who wanted to "Re-enable Locationless Caches already Locked...", I hinted to (but guess no one got it) the fact that, "some may need them for challenges" (he didn't have any locationless).

Usually when requests like these come up there's a reason for them, not always for everyone's benefit.

Edited by cerberus1
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In another forum topic, Mudfrog got me thinking, is all this talk about preserving heritage more about getting the old GC # in one's stats more then it is about the actual original physical cache?

 

See Mingo for your answer. Cachers don't care whether it's the original container or a bison tube throwdown they found...as long as they get to log the oldest active cache.

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I'm doing my part to preserve history. I started the Geocaching Heritage Project. It's dedicated to documenting old caches' log books before those logs are lost forever, usually due to a missing or archived cache or water damage. Remember those logs? When you targeted just a few caches for that day and actually wrote something within the log book itself? All this needs to be preserved. Not many people realize the value of preserving the present until the present is the distant past and it's already too late. Forethought is key.

 

Most new caches in my area do not seem to have been placed with any sense of semi-permanency, whether due to hide location and/or container choice.

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If it is the original container, original type of hide, I can see trying to keep it going. Personally if an older cache has to be moved or modified to much I think it should be archived.

 

Ultimately someone is crying that a cache is archived with an old GC code even though it was moved/modified a number of times. All they want is the old GC code, or to make it easier for them to complete their Jasmer.

 

In 10 years when more are archived, the few that remain will be even more special, and they should be watched closer for changes, not ignored to keep the gc code.

 

If you tear down the White House, the Eiffel Tower, or the Brandenburg Gate then stick the label on another building, it is not the same thing.

Edited by BlueRajah
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I'm doing my part to preserve history. I started the Geocaching Heritage Project. It's dedicated to documenting old caches' log books before those logs are lost forever, usually due to a missing or archived cache or water damage. Remember those logs? When you targeted just a few caches for that day and actually wrote something within the log book itself? All this needs to be preserved. Not many people realize the value of preserving the present until the present is the distant past and it's already too late. Forethought is key.

 

Most new caches in my area do not seem to have been placed with any sense of semi-permanency, whether due to hide location and/or container choice.

 

Nice project site. Ahhh the old days of logbooks. This will be a great site to point to when a 'TFTC acronym only' discussion pops up again.

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What heritage? In most instances with very old caches the original logbook and container are gone and often the hide method, location and even the cache owner are different.

Cache container and log book are only tools of the game. The location, information, etc. are what make a cache. I don't care if a container is now a rubbermaid versus a glad container before. I don't care if the log book got full and a new book was added. In a overly romanticized way....the hide itself is where the heritage is. Like an old Duesenberg; you don't argue it's heritage because it was restored or not, it still is a Dussey!

 

Now, if you change the location, spirit, or other SIGNIFICANT aspect of the cache...sure, it may be argued that it isn't true "heritage". However, there are a number of caches and cache owners who'd be quite offended by disregarding their efforts to have a continuously available cache for folks to log and enjoy.

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This reminds me of the family that boasted their broom had lasted 5 generations...the handle had been replaced 10 times and the broom head 6 times. :unsure:

 

Actually, it was great-great-great-great grandpa's hatchet.

 

You know, the one he borrowed from George and never gave back. ;)

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What heritage? In most instances with very old caches the original logbook and container are gone and often the hide method, location and even the cache owner are different.

Cache container and log book are only tools of the game. The location, information, etc. are what make a cache. I don't care if a container is now a rubbermaid versus a glad container before. I don't care if the log book got full and a new book was added. In a overly romanticized way....the hide itself is where the heritage is. Like an old Duesenberg; you don't argue it's heritage because it was restored or not, it still is a Dussey!

 

Now, if you change the location, spirit, or other SIGNIFICANT aspect of the cache...sure, it may be argued that it isn't true "heritage". However, there are a number of caches and cache owners who'd be quite offended by disregarding their efforts to have a continuously available cache for folks to log and enjoy.

 

I once watched a street judge show where there was a dispute that involved a porsche. The defendant showed off his porsche to the judge. The judge, knowing something about porsches, recognized that the only thing about it that was a porsche was the shell. To me the GC# is the shell and some people want the shell because it looks cool.

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This reminds me of the family that boasted their broom had lasted 5 generations...the handle had been replaced 10 times and the broom head 6 times. :unsure:

 

Actually, it was great-great-great-great grandpa's hatchet.

 

You know, the one he borrowed from George and never gave back. ;)

The version I know is:

I Love my Grandfather's Axe.

 

I love my 90 year old axe because it belonged to my beloved Grandfather and has been used by 3 generations of my family.

 

It has been through 6 handles and 3 heads over the years.

 

I Love my Grandfather's axe.

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Let the game play out the way it is.....

 

Surely, it's nice to have those original caches in place, maintained, and/or adopted....but if the situation doesn't grant that to happen - so be it. Caches have a life cycle...and when they get archived, it makes room for newer caches. This helps keep the game alive in any given area.

 

Forcing people to keep caches alive...and/or forcing someone to adopt them... will only make 'unhappy' CO's who are unlikely to keep them maintained.

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This reminds me of the family that boasted their broom had lasted 5 generations...the handle had been replaced 10 times and the broom head 6 times. :unsure:

 

Actually, it was great-great-great-great grandpa's hatchet.

 

You know, the one he borrowed from George and never gave back. ;)

The version I know is:

I Love my Grandfather's Axe.

 

I love my 90 year old axe because it belonged to my beloved Grandfather and has been used by 3 generations of my family.

 

It has been through 6 handles and 3 heads over the years.

 

I Love my Grandfather's axe.

 

This is a perfect example of how we can attach sentimental value to an object for reasons unrelated to the object. Even if Grampa's axe has changed over the years, it's still Grampa's axe and it represents something special.

 

The question is, should we attach the same sentimental values to geocaches, even if they no longer represent what they were originally?

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To use another analogy. Is the White House any less prestigious or have less heritage because it has been almost completely replaced....TWICE.

You would have a point if the current version wasn't as old as it is versus these 'historic' caches being less than 13 years old and likely replaced in the last 2 to 3 years.

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To use another analogy. Is the White House any less prestigious or have less heritage because it has been almost completely replaced....TWICE.

If I went to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, discovered that the White House was missing, left a double wide mobile home in its place and then told all my friends that I visited the White House, then yes, it's less prestigious and has less heritage.

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To use another analogy. Is the White House any less prestigious or have less heritage because it has been almost completely replaced....TWICE.

If I went to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, discovered that the White House was missing, left a double wide mobile home in its place and then told all my friends that I visited the White House, then yes, it's less prestigious and has less heritage.

 

This is why I love reading the forums.:lol:

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To use another analogy. Is the White House any less prestigious or have less heritage because it has been almost completely replaced....TWICE.

If I went to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, discovered that the White House was missing, left a double wide mobile home in its place and then told all my friends that I visited the White House, then yes, it's less prestigious and has less heritage.

 

Carmen Sandiego strikes again.

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This reminds me of the family that boasted their broom had lasted 5 generations...the handle had been replaced 10 times and the broom head 6 times. :unsure:

 

Actually, it was great-great-great-great grandpa's hatchet.

 

You know, the one he borrowed from George and never gave back. ;)

The version I know is:

I Love my Grandfather's Axe.

 

I love my 90 year old axe because it belonged to my beloved Grandfather and has been used by 3 generations of my family.

 

It has been through 6 handles and 3 heads over the years.

 

I Love my Grandfather's axe.

The original version was the ship of Theseus, and even that probably wasn't original. Just like that oldest cache in the county.

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