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Geocaching Labs: Mega-Event Caches

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Well, the word "demanded" was Nate's, not mine, and frankly, it puts me off, especially when so many good ideas are politely posted to the request forum and they don't even get acknowledged.

 

Is there a special secret place where we can go to demand things, like a nano size or the ability to ignore a user's 450 placed, then neglected micros, with just a few clicks?

 

 

I'd appreciate if you would quote me in context, in particular because I was careful to clarify my use of the word "demand" being in the "supply/demand" sense and not "I demand you do X or else". There is an appetite for finds that comes with attending an event. Organizers are responding to that appetite.

 

I did take it that you were getting feedback that was requesting/demanding temp caches that added to the find count, be allowed for events. I guess I misunderstood, and for that I apologize.

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What is a Lab Cache?

Lab Caches are a new and rare geocache type. Anytime you find something that’s being tested by Geocaching Labs, it will count as a Lab Cache.

 

Does this count as a find?

Absolutely! For every Lab Cache you find, you’ll earn a smiley and your find count will go up. However, since these aren’t full-fledged geocaches, they won’t earn you souvenirs (including for the 31 Days of Geocaching) or count toward earning Favorite Points.

 

If the Lab Cache goes away, will my find go away as well?

Nope! With this new geocache type, all of your Lab Cache finds will stay on your profile.

 

How can I get the Lab Cache icon on my profile?

Right now the only way to obtain a Lab Cache icon for your Geocaching profile is to attend a Mega-Event where a Lab Cache is being offered. So far that’s only Block Party, but we are aiming to extend them to other Mega-Events soon.

 

How does this Lab Cache work?

These mostly work the same as regular geocaches: navigate to the location, find the cache and sign the logbook. However, these differ in that you must use the find code in order to mark the geocache as found.

 

 

I have some basic operational questions:

 

Firstly, is the only way to find one of the active Lab Caches by visiting the "labs." website? Is a functional way to view this information going to be provided to cachers via any other methods (i.e. existing Geocaching.com maps, Weekly Geocaching email server list, or the "List Newest in <state>" feature)? Given that these are only going to be offered at Mega Events at this time, will some sort of separate link from within a Mega Event cache listing show these as available?

 

Secondly, I'm wondering what the icons look like that are mentioned in Nate's OP? While the find count may go up, how does this display within the "Statistics" tab of a cacher's profile?

 

Thanks!

 

Any word on the answers to these questions (bolded by me above)?

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In placing a recent event cache I was motivated by the reviewer to reduce the number of times I mention a particular commercial entity in the description. I am baffled at what I now see on the "production side" of the geocaching web site, especially since it is being put in place by folks who make the policy, yet I see no alteration in the policy that would allow what I am seeing.

 

I look at the labs as having different criteria, different guidelines, different rules. All bets are off - do something new and different and wild (within reason.) If you put out a mega and want to put out some lab caches, it looks like you work directly with GS who may let you do some things you typically couldn't with a traditional cache. Such as be commercial. Or have a shorter than 90 day life. Or have proximity easements. It's labs.

 

I think stability is important, particularly when you consider all the reviewers who are now left scratching their head and trying to defend a policy that is suddenly not defensible

 

I don't see what's not defensible?

 

I would make some quick adjustments to pull these things out of the production side, move them into a beta site, give users the assurance that if this does get into "production" that then their finds will count. This then gives you time to do a thoughtful, careful revision of the policy, announce it for a particular effective date and then shift the beta stuff to production.

 

Why? People are smile hungry. Without a smile, participation will be minimal even with a promise of a potential maybe in the future smile.

 

If there was an alpha or beta stage, then you need to consider how you do this sort of testing because it was a significant failure in reducing your risks. It should have identified for you the needed policy changes and you would have had time to carefully do what you must now do in haste with lots of band-aids.

 

Where are the risks? Why are you assuming policy changes need to be made? I don't see any reason to expect that a GS approved lab cache will ever mean that the lab cache concept will ever make it to the real world caching.

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I have some basic operational questions:

 

Firstly, is the only way to find one of the active Lab Caches by visiting the "labs." website? Is a functional way to view this information going to be provided to cachers via any other methods (i.e. existing Geocaching.com maps, Weekly Geocaching email server list, or the "List Newest in <state>" feature)? Given that these are only going to be offered at Mega Events at this time, will some sort of separate link from within a Mega Event cache listing show these as available?

 

Secondly, I'm wondering what the icons look like that are mentioned in Nate's OP? While the find count may go up, how does this display within the "Statistics" tab of a cacher's profile?

 

Thanks!

 

Any word on the answers to these questions (bolded by me above)?

 

Regarding your first question, it's yet to be decided how (or even if; it needs to succeed as a concept first) Labs will fully integrate with the rest of Geocaching.com, so all those things you mentioned will come into being when they are ready, and not before. The goal of a Lab Cache will always be to "graduate" to real geocaching. That is when you would start seeing them on a map.

 

As for the second, it displays in the statistics tab as other cache types do. Once we fix the display bug you'll be able to view other cacher's stats tab and see for yourself (to be released next week).

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Regarding your first question, it's yet to be decided how (or even if; it needs to succeed as a concept first) Labs will fully integrate with the rest of Geocaching.com, so all those things you mentioned will come into being when they are ready, and not before. The goal of a Lab Cache will always be to "graduate" to real geocaching. That is when you would start seeing them on a map.

 

As for the second, it displays in the statistics tab as other cache types do. Once we fix the display bug you'll be able to view other cacher's stats tab and see for yourself (to be released next week).

 

Thanks Nate!

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If this type of cache is graduated into a "real" cache (who's playing the role of Geppetto?) will it continue to only be available with mega-events, because as an event organizer, I could see this being a great way to set up poker runs and other activities involved with larger events that don't qualify for the mega-event.

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... we don't deploy code on Fridays.
Smart, very smart. Nobody likes weekend emergencies. :lol:

 

I love the Labs idea. Whether it's beer or event this-or-that or demand-blah-blah is just details. You've got the framework to do some serious experimenting. Go nuts.

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I completed the block party lab today at the block party but don't see the new icon on my profile page. okay, never mind I just read that it will be next week.

Edited by billkat

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Was anyone able to download the gpx file for the Explore The Block lab caches? I tried and it only download a 343 byte file with no cache information in it, unlike the Microbrew Excursion gpx which worked had some cache information in it.

 

Terrible Ts

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Was anyone able to download the gpx file for the Explore The Block lab caches? I tried and it only download a 343 byte file with no cache information in it, unlike the Microbrew Excursion gpx which worked had some cache information in it.

 

Terrible Ts

 

I just did it off of the geocaching.com/BP page.

 

A few notes (if the lackeys care) about the lab caches.

 

The coords were SOFT on the handout. And by soft I mean......the coords were on PRIVATE PROPERTY on at least 2 caches. Almost every cache had different coords on the paper as opposed to the webpage. And the paper was wrong.

 

We were yelled at and chased off of a lot by a local. Mind you, we were still on the street, but the guy was fed up.

 

The website was down, and the breweries weren't listed anywhere. So we had no idea where to go, how to do it, etc.. Finally we were able to get back online (thanks for the quick work bringing it up!)

 

The breweries were all happy to see us cachers, and it generated a lot of talk about geocaching everywhere we went. The brewery staff said they had no idea how many people were going to be by, but they were so happy. I bet.

 

And our mini mugs are just flat out adorable!!!

 

The tour of Fremont was just enjoyable as all get out. Whereas block parties of the past were just overcrowded in the plaza, here we just checked in, and wandered on our own way. It was the best block party yet!

 

Sooooo......I can't wit to see more lab caches!

 

I wish you could see my lab caches as finds on my profile page (not the icon, but the actual cache in the list like all the other caches).

 

Aso, I wish you could click the link 'labs cache' and at least see the ones I've done.

Edited by JesandTodd

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My family and I completed the "Explore the Block" series today at the Block Party and really enjoyed the adventure. We liked having an activity to do during the event and really enjoyed the puzzle pieces last year and the 4 activities to complete. So this year we were looking for something similar. (My kids don't really like it when I just stand around and talk with other adults.) This year we had two activities to choose from: the Lab Cache Explore the Block and the Geotour. We started out with the intention to do both, but quickly shed the notion of completing the GeoTour caches. Those were typical caches that were well done, but always had a crowd and a line to sign the log book and get the stamp. No real search and discover today with the masses, so they kind of lost their appeal.

 

On the other hand, the event specific activities were better suited for the masses: no log books, fun locations, and simple to identify keywords. The coords on the paper in the balloon weren't the greatest, but the phone app worked well when it worked. We were able to move around quite easily without standing in a line. So while I was glad to get a smiley for the event, I also enjoyed getting a few additional smileys with the associated activities. I love the concept, but the name has to change.

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Was anyone able to download the gpx file for the Explore The Block lab caches? I tried and it only download a 343 byte file with no cache information in it, unlike the Microbrew Excursion gpx which worked had some cache information in it.

 

Terrible Ts

 

I just did it off of the geocaching.com/BP page.

 

It may because I had already logged them before I tried to get the gpx file. I just tried again and I still get the same file.

 

Thanks

Terrible Ts

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Hmmmmmmmmmmm........there must be a major glitch somewhere.........everybody I know, even people who are nowhere near the Block Party, is showing a total of 12 Lab caches! How did THAT happen?

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I did the lab caches today and had a lot of fun doing it.

The coords were way off, but they were easy enough to find today that that wasn't a problem. It would have been a problem if I hadn't known the coords were off, but there were enough cachers around to say, "No, it's over there, the coords are off". I passed on the favor to many other cachers who were surprised at how far off the coords were. No worries. All were found. At least all that I attempted. I wasn't able to get to them all, but still had a lot of fun. Thanks!

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Is anyone seeing the 12 Lab caches in EVERYONE'S stats? Even people who didn't go anywhere near Block Party.... :laughing:

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Was anyone able to download the gpx file for the Explore The Block lab caches? I tried and it only download a 343 byte file with no cache information in it, unlike the Microbrew Excursion gpx which worked had some cache information in it.

 

Terrible Ts

 

I just did it off of the geocaching.com/BP page.

 

It may because I had already logged them before I tried to get the gpx file. I just tried again and I still get the same file.

 

Thanks

Terrible Ts

 

I downloaded the GPX after completing them today and it came through just fine... I got all 7 of them and then reworked the code and cache-type so it fit in with everything else in GSAK.

 

-TWT

Edited by TheWinterTrio

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I have been thinking of suggesting something similar for some time now. Having seen events that have temporary caches that are logged as multiple attended logs, I have thought an official form of temporary cache for events would be great. These should be for larger events but not only Mega’s.

 

My thought was for an official temporary cache type tied to an event. Number would be limited to maybe just a few dozen or so. The spacing requirements would be lower maybe 200ft.. They would automatically archive a few days after the event. This would allow for fun cache related games or contests at an all day event without logging multiple attends which count as finds but not unique ones. These type of caches are also great for newbies to see different kinds of caches in a group event and learn a lot about the game. After the event some of these caches could be submitted to be permanent if they meet the requirements.

 

I hope this is the direction we are heading with these Lab caches. If not I would hope Goundspeek might consider this type of event tied cache.

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Why not trial virtuals again? Everyone I speak to want them back but Groundspeak don't seem interested in listing them on the Geocaching site.

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Why not trial virtuals again?
That's what Geocaching Challenges were.

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I have been inspired now to think of more tie ins for this new Lab Rat concept. And I think I am on to an untapped resource. Under performing Golf courses. Now don't scoff, just hear me out. There has been a growing trend to turn Golf Courses back into the Corn Fields they originally came from. Something to do with the rising price of Corn and Soybeans. A profit focused entrepreneur looks for available resources to take advantage of. Groundspeak can get in now, and start buying up Golf Courses, and then have a Lab Rat event there every weekend. Of course multiple repeat visits come with full cache re-logging privileges.

 

Understand that to make the game more fun and exciting, we need to modify a few time honored standards of play. Lets move all the holes closer together. About 200 ft max ought to do it. Then the holes need to be bigger. Big enough to hold an Ammo Can, so that when you putt out (or just take a gimmie from the rough), you can log your find. And you will use a baseball bat to tee off instead of an expensive driver. And of course because we have shortened all fairways, and 18 easy smilies is never enough, we can triple the hole count to 54. Certainly there is more than enough room at every tee to place a temporary cache right there in plain site. Actually hiding them just seems so old fashioned. And don't forget to log the snack bar after the front 27, and again at the end. The possibilities are endless, but you get the idea. For good measure, top off the day with the nostalgic lamp post nano power trail in the parking lot. I might never do a 5 hour Multi cache ever again. That is such a waste of time for only one find. Nothing like that will ever come out of the Lab. Our new slogan can be "To infinity and beyond". Pretend I made that up just now, and you never heard it before.

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Noted another "bug" or 2 with the Labs Caches.

 

They don't seem to get counted properly in the Stats page either, at least for Milestones.

The Block party was find #1,000, and GC HQ was 1,001. But since I logged the "Picture Perfect" lab cache as #991, it seems to not count toward the milestone count and so GC HQ appears on my Milestone list as 1,000.

 

They also down't show up in the "Cache Types I found" chart anywhere (although I now have "1" for HQ and Block Party!)

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I did the lab caches today and had a lot of fun doing it.

The coords were way off, but they were easy enough to find today that that wasn't a problem. It would have been a problem if I hadn't known the coords were off, but there were enough cachers around to say, "No, it's over there, the coords are off". I passed on the favor to many other cachers who were surprised at how far off the coords were. No worries. All were found. At least all that I attempted. I wasn't able to get to them all, but still had a lot of fun. Thanks!

 

If you did them in the logical order, then you could avoid PP, but we started with the breweries first...then walking back we made the turn at the 7 deadly ducks towards the print shop. It was already 1600 by then, and the crowds were dwindling so no huge crowds to look for, and the lackey at the print shop couldn't be seen when coming the back way.

 

Why not trial virtuals again?
That's what Geocaching Challenges were.

 

Yes, and we've learned our lesson...never ask for Virtuals again. Never.

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Is anyone seeing the 12 Lab caches in EVERYONE'S stats? Even people who didn't go anywhere near Block Party.... :laughing:

 

Yes- there seems to be some sort of glitch/bug- looks like anyone who logged a cache on the 17th got all the labs. Hoping this will be fixed when the lackeys get back to work next week. Fun party.

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After experiencing this concept in the context of the Block Party my feedback is 1) I understand why they were created and 2) I think it worked- I spent most of my day in Seattle caching- what with the geotour, the labs and the beer. Daylight left over to hit the oldest cache in Seattle and some of the most favored caches as well before heading out of town. Thanks for the fun.

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Is anyone seeing the 12 Lab caches in EVERYONE'S stats? Even people who didn't go anywhere near Block Party.... :laughing:

 

Yes- there seems to be some sort of glitch/bug- looks like anyone who logged a cache on the 17th got all the labs. Hoping this will be fixed when the lackeys get back to work next week. Fun party.

Is it just some people that see the lab caches? I found some caches on the 17th, and I don't see any labs on my cache list. I just checked another cacher that I know found some on the 17th, and I don't see any labs on his list, either.

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Is anyone seeing the 12 Lab caches in EVERYONE'S stats? Even people who didn't go anywhere near Block Party.... :laughing:

 

Yes- there seems to be some sort of glitch/bug- looks like anyone who logged a cache on the 17th got all the labs. Hoping this will be fixed when the lackeys get back to work next week. Fun party.

Is it just some people that see the lab caches? I found some caches on the 17th, and I don't see any labs on my cache list. I just checked another cacher that I know found some on the 17th, and I don't see any labs on his list, either.

 

I'm not seeing this either.

 

Is it a possibility that anybody who logged a labs is seeing it on everyone else's list?

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PQ download for "Explore the Block" doesn't work for me. Can anyone who got the file send it to me?

 

I really enjoyed the lab caches, but I am a bit concerned about logging them...

They do count in our find count, but they are not included in the "My Finds" PQ.

There's no way you can see which one you've logged, and there's no log attached to it.

 

This will break all statistics like FindStatGen and Project-GC.com

 

Groundspeak, can you please include this in our My Finds PQ and in the API in some way?

If it's not a "real smiley", my personal opinion is that it's better of as a separate smiley count - like the old challenges had...

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PQ download for "Explore the Block" doesn't work for me. Can anyone who got the file send it to me?

 

I really enjoyed the lab caches, but I am a bit concerned about logging them...

They do count in our find count, but they are not included in the "My Finds" PQ.

There's no way you can see which one you've logged, and there's no log attached to it.

 

This will break all statistics like FindStatGen and Project-GC.com

 

Groundspeak, can you please include this in our My Finds PQ and in the API in some way?

If it's not a "real smiley", my personal opinion is that it's better of as a separate smiley count - like the old challenges had...

 

I know that the Lackeys have had a busy weekend, but I'm hoping that when they get time, my questions in post #48 can be answered. Another question, can a found log on these caches be deleted with the find count decreased?

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We did the walking tor which was fun. We only had time for one stop on the pub tour, which would have been fun to complete. I liked the change in logging method.

My finds show up on my account; BUT are not included in MY FINDS Pocket Query. Is this a BUG or do I need to do something else to get the Lab Finds in MY FINDS Pocket Query.

Thanks... Fun event.

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Why not trial virtuals again?

That's what Geocaching Challenges were.

 

Yes, and we've learned our lesson...never ask for Virtuals again. Never.

 

I learned to never ask for them again at a different point.

 

Since there aren't going to be any more, yet they still get archived, I thought I'd run out and find some.

That has been an enlightening process.

 

while the first few I found years ago, were at amazing places that were very worthy of a cache, but it was at a place that was too environmentally sensitive for a container- what we all want a virtual to be- I recently have found some that are in places that make me realize why these aren't a good thing.

I can see that people were starting to just place them anywhere, and that's really not a good thing.

 

I've seen a few bad ones now and I can see how they had started to go downhill and I can also see how things could continue to really get out-of-hand.

 

I no longer mind them leaving. It was a good thought that didn't work out in practice.

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I have been thinking of suggesting something similar for some time now. Having seen events that have temporary caches that are logged as multiple attended logs, I have thought an official form of temporary cache for events would be great. These should be for larger events but not only Mega’s.

 

My thought was for an official temporary cache type tied to an event. Number would be limited to maybe just a few dozen or so. The spacing requirements would be lower maybe 200ft.. They would automatically archive a few days after the event. This would allow for fun cache related games or contests at an all day event without logging multiple attends which count as finds but not unique ones. These type of caches are also great for newbies to see different kinds of caches in a group event and learn a lot about the game. After the event some of these caches could be submitted to be permanent if they meet the requirements.

 

I hope this is the direction we are heading with these Lab caches. If not I would hope Goundspeek might consider this type of event tied cache.

 

I like this idea.

 

This would solve the problem of event caches that have been some controversy in the past.

People could then create and log event caches.

 

This is a great idea!

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Wow! After reading most of the posts, I can't believe the negativity about something that is in addition to all else Groundspeak / geocaching offers - not taking something away (or instead of).

 

I feel that Groundspeak was attempting to do something nice - especially for those who spent a lot of money and time coming to the Mega. I came in from Arizona and I met people from the Netherlands, Australia, Mexico and Germany. If it was just an event where you signed a log and chatted, that is a lot of $$ to spend for that.

 

I heard in the past people where disappointed when temporary caches where placed just for the event that could not be logged. I believe Groundspeak was attempting to address that.

 

I participated in the tour and the lab and the brewery labs and enjoyed them very much.

 

The caches on the tour were really, really well done. A lot of time, thought and expense went into them. Groundspeak engaged the local community to participate, which is cool. They were very cool. Anyone who has hosted a small event knows how much work this is to plan and prepare for. I can tell that Groundspeak really worked hard to have different activities for all interests.

 

I enjoyed the labs - and with all the people there, it did not seem possible to hide and re-hide the cache while someone was standing there. Instead they created fun games and things to do at each lab location and you had to have the code to log it.

 

As far as violating the proximity rule. I for one was glad they did. I didn't have a car and was able to walk to all of them and do some caching in the area too.

 

A Mega - and especially the super Megas should be allowed to bend the rules (within reason). It makes it possible for those coming from out of town on a limited budget and not having a lot of time to maximize their experience. There are people of all ages and I for one had a great time and thank Groundspeak for the effort, thought and time they put into this past Block Party.

 

I also appreciated access to the food trucks and the vendors.

 

To those naysayers I say, you can always ignore them - it's not taking anything away from you.

Edited by ILuvAZ

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Why not trial virtuals again?
That's what Geocaching Challenges were.

 

I disagree. Challenges were nowhere near the same as virtuals. Waymarks are more similar to Challenges. I use virtuals to see whats neat about a new city I have never been to. I would like to see the return of virtuals.

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Was anyone able to download the gpx file for the Explore The Block lab caches? I tried and it only download a 343 byte file with no cache information in it, unlike the Microbrew Excursion gpx which worked had some cache information in it.

 

Terrible Ts

 

I just did it off of the geocaching.com/BP page.

 

It may because I had already logged them before I tried to get the gpx file. I just tried again and I still get the same file.

 

Thanks

Terrible Ts

 

I downloaded the GPX after completing them today and it came through just fine... I got all 7 of them and then reworked the code and cache-type so it fit in with everything else in GSAK.

 

-TWT

 

Could access the lab page but could not download to iPhone5. Used green sheet from balloon.

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Is anyone seeing the 12 Lab caches in EVERYONE'S stats? Even people who didn't go anywhere near Block Party.... :laughing:

By viewing my caching partners stats, I seethe lab icon. But I don't see the icon on my stats. I suspect if someone viewed my stats it will be there. Since this Mega just happened and I am sure everyone at Groundspeak is exhausted, I am willing to give this some time to get fixed.

 

I have a screen shot of my friends stat page but see no way to upload here except by posting to my web page. I'm too tired from this past weekend to do this. :)

Edited by ILuvAZ

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(Snip for clarity)

I can see that people were starting to just place them anywhere, and that's really not a good thing.

 

I've seen a few bad ones now and I can see how they had started to go downhill and I can also see how things could continue to really get out-of-hand.

 

I no longer mind them leaving. It was a good thought that didn't work out in practice.

 

I actually agree, and for the exact same reasons. Seeking out some virts had shown me why they went away...and need to stay away. Wish we could adopt the good ones out though..

 

Wow! After reading most of the posts, I can't believe the negativity about something that is in addition to all else Groundspeak / geocaching offers - not taking something away (or instead of).

 

I feel that Groundspeak was attempting to do something nice - especially for those who spent a lot of money and time coming to the Mega. I came in from Arizona and I met people from the Netherlands, Australia, Mexico and Germany. If it was just an event where you signed a log and chatted, that is a lot of $$ to spend for that.

 

I heard in the past people where disappointed when temporary caches where placed just for the event that could not be logged. I believe Groundspeak was attempting to address that.

 

I participated in the tour and the lab and the brewery labs and enjoyed them very much.

 

The caches on the tour were really, really well done. A lot of time, thought and expense went into them. Groundspeak engaged the local community to participate, which is cool. They were very cool. Anyone who has hosted a small event knows how much work this is to plan and prepare for. I can tell that Groundspeak really worked hard to have different activities for all interests.

 

I enjoyed the labs - and with all the people there, it did not seem possible to hide and re-hide the cache while someone was standing there. Instead they created fun games and things to do at each lab location and you had to have the code to log it.

 

As far as violating the proximity rule. I for one was glad they did. I didn't have a car and was able to walk to all of them and do some caching in the area too.

 

A Mega - and especially the super Megas should be allowed to bend the rules (within reason). It makes it possible for those coming from out of town on a limited budget and not having a lot of time to maximize their experience. There are people of all ages and I for one had a great time and thank Groundspeak for the effort, thought and time they put into this past Block Party.

 

I also appreciated access to the food trucks and the vendors.

 

I agree with everything here. We could put out some very fun tasks/tours or very cool caches that would be impossible to keep permanent. The possibilities are actually exciting.

 

This was my third HQ block party and it was by far the best!

 

I love Az too :)

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Is anyone seeing the 12 Lab caches in EVERYONE'S stats? Even people who didn't go anywhere near Block Party.... :laughing:

By viewing my caching partners stats, I seethe lab icon. But I don't see the icon on my stats. I suspect if someone viewed my stats it will be there. Since this Mega just happened and I am sure everyone at Groundspeak is exhausted, I am willing to give this some time to get fixed.

 

I have a screen shot of my friends stat page but see no way to upload here except by posting to my web page. I'm too tired from this past weekend to do this. :)

 

Those of us that have not logged any of them do not see the icons on anyone's profile. This was going to addressed this week. If you logged some of them, you should see them on your profile. I think that they still have some technical work to do on these, but wanted to get them online for the Block Party. I guess we just need to be patient.

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Wow! After reading most of the posts, I can't believe the negativity about something that is in addition to all else Groundspeak / geocaching offers - not taking something away (or instead of).

 

I feel that Groundspeak was attempting to do something nice - especially for those who spent a lot of money and time coming to the Mega. I came in from Arizona and I met people from the Netherlands, Australia, Mexico and Germany. If it was just an event where you signed a log and chatted, that is a lot of $$ to spend for that.

 

I heard in the past people where disappointed when temporary caches where placed just for the event that could not be logged. I believe Groundspeak was attempting to address that.

 

I participated in the tour and the lab and the brewery labs and enjoyed them very much.

 

The caches on the tour were really, really well done. A lot of time, thought and expense went into them. Groundspeak engaged the local community to participate, which is cool. They were very cool. Anyone who has hosted a small event knows how much work this is to plan and prepare for. I can tell that Groundspeak really worked hard to have different activities for all interests.

 

I enjoyed the labs - and with all the people there, it did not seem possible to hide and re-hide the cache while someone was standing there. Instead they created fun games and things to do at each lab location and you had to have the code to log it.

 

As far as violating the proximity rule. I for one was glad they did. I didn't have a car and was able to walk to all of them and do some caching in the area too.

 

A Mega - and especially the super Megas should be allowed to bend the rules (within reason). It makes it possible for those coming from out of town on a limited budget and not having a lot of time to maximize their experience. There are people of all ages and I for one had a great time and thank Groundspeak for the effort, thought and time they put into this past Block Party.

 

I also appreciated access to the food trucks and the vendors.

 

To those naysayers I say, you can always ignore them - it's not taking anything away from you.

 

Without reviewing the entire thread, I only recall one post that was highly critical. It seems that most have been pretty open minded. A lot of us are curious as to how finds on the Lab caches will be incorporated into the stats and the My Finds PQ so third party programs can see them.

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I am excited by new things. Innovation and experimentation is my business (at work). If I were to ever even contemplate involving the "production side" of my world without an alpha and beta stage, then that would have serious negative consequences, even if everything worked perfectly.

 

The various policy violations that I now see on the production side of geocaching.com are going to cause huge issues in terms of credibility. In placing a recent event cache I was motivated by the reviewer to reduce the number of times I mention a particular commercial entity in the description. I am baffled at what I now see on the "production side" of the geocaching web site, especially since it is being put in place by folks who make the policy, yet I see no alteration in the policy that would allow what I am seeing. You are poisoning your own water by letting these new experimental things count on the production side of your operation.

 

I think stability is important, particularly when you consider all the reviewers who are now left scratching their head and trying to defend a policy that is suddenly not defensible, and even more individuals who want very much to place interesting and useful caches. My sense is that if I were in your position, I would make some quick adjustments to pull these things out of the production side, move them into a beta site, give users the assurance that if this does get into "production" that then their finds will count. This then gives you time to do a thoughtful, careful revision of the policy, announce it for a particular effective date and then shift the beta stuff to production.

 

If there was an alpha or beta stage, then you need to consider how you do this sort of testing because it was a significant failure in reducing your risks. It should have identified for you the needed policy changes and you would have had time to carefully do what you must now do in haste with lots of band-aids.

 

Please do NOT give up on lab caches. The idea is great and will give you very valuable information that you need to grow and develop.

 

AMEN!

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Of course, every cacher's wish would be the attend the Block Party for once, and also visit HQ.

 

You are wrong. The HQ is not even among the 100000 places that I'd like to visit and I would not participate

in the Block Party even if someone paid everything for me.

 

Along the same lines, the five brewery lab instance is about as interesting to me as a guardrail cache.

I agree with CardinalRed. More and more geocaching delevops away from what it has meant to me.

 

Cezanne

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I am baffled at what I now see on the "production side" of the geocaching web site, especially since it is being put in place by folks who make the policy, yet I see no alteration in the policy that would allow what I am seeing. You are poisoning your own water by letting these new experimental things count on the production side of your operation.

 

You don't get it, Hynr. It's okay for Groundspeak lackeys to experiment, but not for you common cachers, the ones that hide the caches, organize most of the events and pay the bills. Your local reviewer will be happy to not clarify the situation.

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Devil's advocate:

 

This is Groundspeak's product and service. They have every right to limit what customers can do or try, for whatever reason they see fit (generally for the betterment and control of their product and service), to set up rules for general use and activity - while trying new things themselves. Especially if what they try is blatantly in contradiction to rules they set up for all of us users. For example, business and advertising. It's perfectly legitimate that they not want users to "advertise" in listings (intentionally or not) without express approval, yet go about their own actions which incorporate business partnerships and strategic marketing. That is entirely acceptable. We are not partners of Groundspeak, we are not equals to their staff (or even volunteers, who also must still abide by the same rules we do).

 

Now, we may not like some of where their developmental focus may appear to be placed (since we don't know what's going on behind the scenes - and I think rightfully so, what with the raging engine of ranters, entitled customers, and rabble-rousers that would erupt in these forums)... but we have been given the ability and right to express our concerns and desires -- they can choose to listen or to ignore. Our response is our continued or discontinued funding of their product. Be glad we even have a forum.

 

We don't have a right to do the same things that Groundspeak does on geocaching.com, and they aren't "breaking their own rules" when they do something we are not allowed to.

 

/ End devil's advocacy.

 

Now, where'd I put that pitch fork?

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I was at Block Party (and had the pleasure of quickly chatting with most the Lackeys). I like the overall concept of the Lab cache and see the pros and cons. I always search out the unique and awesome and think with the right organizer and team that Lab caches can highlight those things at the Mega or in the nearby city. I know at GWX a lot of peeople spent time doing tours at distilleries and I could see that being integrated into a lab cache. The Freemont one mainly focusedo n public art and some other unique features. I love the idea of using the lab cache to hide a super crazy cache that would not work in the wild (liek the giant walk in ammo can at Block Party).

 

But there are still bugs. I know lots of people shared teh codes and people who have never stepped foot in Seattle logged all 12. Some sort of geolocking should be instituted.

 

With the right guidance I think these can be successful and fun.

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Of course, every cacher's wish would be the attend the Block Party for once, and also visit HQ.

 

You are wrong. The HQ is not even among the 100000 places that I'd like to visit and I would not participate

in the Block Party even if someone paid everything for me.

 

Along the same lines, the five brewery lab instance is about as interesting to me as a guardrail cache.

I agree with CardinalRed. More and more geocaching delevops away from what it has meant to me.

 

Cezanne

 

Domo Cezanne!!!

 

Compared to many others, just too bad your 'taste' of Geocaching is sooo limited NOT to include any other cache or cache site to visit, or even a place with no cache at all.

"##### is as ##### does." (Fill in the #####)

Not nice, at all.

 

For the "Lab" concept, I still want the Lackeys to 'experiment', and try new ideas. Why not?

A Beta test site would be a great idea to test these new things.

Limiting the access to a limited number of invited members, and having them 'play' with it for a while would also be nice.

 

I really wonder what else is coming down the pipe?

 

Good Luck & Cache On!

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I am excited by new things. Innovation and experimentation is my business (at work). If I were to ever even contemplate involving the "production side" of my world without an alpha and beta stage, then that would have serious negative consequences, even if everything worked perfectly.

 

The various policy violations that I now see on the production side of geocaching.com are going to cause huge issues in terms of credibility. In placing a recent event cache I was motivated by the reviewer to reduce the number of times I mention a particular commercial entity in the description. I am baffled at what I now see on the "production side" of the geocaching web site, especially since it is being put in place by folks who make the policy, yet I see no alteration in the policy that would allow what I am seeing. You are poisoning your own water by letting these new experimental things count on the production side of your operation.

 

I think stability is important, particularly when you consider all the reviewers who are now left scratching their head and trying to defend a policy that is suddenly not defensible, and even more individuals who want very much to place interesting and useful caches. My sense is that if I were in your position, I would make some quick adjustments to pull these things out of the production side, move them into a beta site, give users the assurance that if this does get into "production" that then their finds will count. This then gives you time to do a thoughtful, careful revision of the policy, announce it for a particular effective date and then shift the beta stuff to production.

 

If there was an alpha or beta stage, then you need to consider how you do this sort of testing because it was a significant failure in reducing your risks. It should have identified for you the needed policy changes and you would have had time to carefully do what you must now do in haste with lots of band-aids.

 

Please do NOT give up on lab caches. The idea is great and will give you very valuable information that you need to grow and develop.

 

AMEN!

 

+1! (from another religion...)

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But there are still bugs. I know lots of people shared teh codes and people who have never stepped foot in Seattle logged all 12. Some sort of geolocking should be instituted.

 

 

That is truly sad.

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But there are still bugs. I know lots of people shared teh codes and people who have never stepped foot in Seattle logged all 12. Some sort of geolocking should be instituted.

 

 

That is truly sad.

 

That's the biggest problem I see with the 'submit the code' method of logging. You can of course say "cheaters will cheat" and "it's not about the numbers" so who cares if someone 'cheats'? Nonetheless, the intent of the system is being abused. I don't know if there's a fool-proof way to minimize 'bad' logs. At least with caches, there's a physical log book that the owner has the choice to review for online log verification. But here, how can an owner know whether a log by someone who did the cache and flew home the next day was actually legitimate and not someone false-logging from across the world?

 

That other M game had similar issues in its youth, when the QR codes were plain links to the listing in question. Easily copyable and captureable by anyone (at least within the 1000ft radius, as at the time, or if the user managed to spoof their gps location or the communication data to the web server).

 

Anyway, point being, a simple code entry to post an essentially "valid" log is just asking for excessive abuse, especially if there are people (and there are) who want numbers and icons regardless of how they get them. :sad:

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Having done the lab caches, I thought they were a cool idea, an attempt to allow temporary caches at big events and yes, in this case, going to commercial establishments and violating the proximity rules. They were just temporary caches after all, not permanent.

 

As far as the beer places go, we did go try the beer at each one, but it was not a requirement. In fact, you did not have to go inside the establishments at all...thus, a kid could have done them no problem.

 

A little bit eager that the caches do not show up in the cache finds download and thusly, not my stats on the profile or in GSAK (they do show in my total stats on the profile page and in the category count, but I want it all!). I liked them and glad they are experimenting to give folks something new. A lot of effort was put to place the 9 new caches and the new 12 lab caches, not to mention the film festival and the block party itself. If folks out there hate everything but traditionals, then do them only.

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If folks out there hate everything but traditionals, then do them only.

 

I guess that everyone who has a look at my profile will easily see that I do not belong to that group. Even if lab caches will show up in my area (which is not likely at all), I of course can easily ignore in the same way as I will never ever attend a mega event. This having been said, I still feel that cachers like me do have the right to have a negative opinion about lab caches (in the form as they are used now), powertrails and megaevents in general. None of these matches what geocaching means for me. It is about being outdoors in the nature, alone or in a very small group and without attracting anyone's attention more than necessary. My motivation for geocaching is certainly not socializing.

 

I could well imagine that lab caches could offer something interesting for me if the experiments were of a different nature. Permanent caches for mega events, a cache type which I regard as problematic is certainly nothing I feel happy about.

Cezanne

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Okay new glitches....

First it was if you did not do the Labs you could not see them in the profiles of those who did. Then I learned they fixed it.

Now it seems they reverse it. Everyone can see My Labs....but ME!!!! I asked a friend who was with me and same thing. She can see others but can't see her own Labs.

What happened?

Edited by jellis

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