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funkymunkyzone

Earthcache Guidelines History

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Just wondering if anyone can tell me where I can go to find previous versions of the earthcaching guidelines, and what dates the guidelines changed?

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Just wondering if anyone can tell me where I can go to find previous versions of the earthcaching guidelines, and what dates the guidelines changed?

 

Heh - to answer my own question... The internet archive is your friend...

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Most things were grandfathered with new editions.

Photo requirements were not.

It depends the photo requirement:

 

"Requiring a photograph of the geocacher as proof that they were at the EarthCache site is not permitted.

However, photographic tasks will be considered if they relate specifically to the Earth Science lesson."

 

Source: EarthCache Logging Requirements

Edited by BlueRajah
error... I hit edit not reply :P

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Most things were grandfathered with new editions.

Photo requirements were not.

It depends the photo requirement:

 

"Requiring a photograph of the geocacher as proof that they were at the EarthCache site is not permitted.

However, photographic tasks will be considered if they relate specifically to the Earth Science lesson."

 

Source: EarthCache Logging Requirements

 

In 99% of the EarthCaches the photo requirement in not specifically related to Earth Science. It is just to have a photo. In over three years of reviewing EarthCaches I don't think have published one with a photo requirement.

 

(We will try to answer again.. as I apparently cannot read the difference between "reply" and "edit"

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Most things were grandfathered with new editions.

Photo requirements were not.

 

That's not entirely true. A quote from Groundspeak's page on creating earthcaches:

 

These guidelines were updated on January 1st, 2013. All EarthCaches published prior to this date should be reviewed by the geocache owner and if necessary, edited to comply with current guidelines.

 

But that's not actually why I was interested in looking at the old guidelines. I've just been noticing some pretty ridiculous earthcaches and wondering how they *ever* got published in the first place. There have been (and still are, to some extent) significant inconsistencies with how the guidelines are enforced when earthcaches are reviewed and published.

Edited by funkymunkyzone

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I've just been noticing some pretty ridiculous earthcaches and wondering how they *ever* got published in the first place. There have been (and still are, to some extent) significant inconsistencies with how the guidelines are enforced when earthcaches are reviewed and published.

 

That is true. Before 2008ish All caches were reviewed by one person (if I recall). As time rolled on Geoaware added GeoawareHQ. They are both GSA employees and did this as part of their job. By late 2009 this became very unwieldy and they asked a group of 4-5 to come and help out. When I started reviewing EarthCaches there were hundreds of caches to go through, I would guess at ties there were actually 400-500 with more coming every day. We spent a year chipping away at that number, and that was with a larger group of people working on it. Some were so overwhelmed they gave up on reviewing because of the work involved.

 

There were a few issues. Originally everyone submitted the info on the EarthCache website. Geoaware (and later GeoawareHQ)checked it and then created the cache page and published it, then they adopted it out to the cache owner. There were literally creating hundreds of cache pages, reviewing them all, and they also had to do their work they got paid for. During this period some things slipped through the cracks. At this time some guidelines were still kind of gray. We also see that many cache pages have been changed by the cache owner post publication.

 

Then as the Geoaware team was brought in, there were many variations on what was acceptable as topics, or logging tasks. There is training involved, and getting people on the same page. Not to mention guidelines that have been updated to make the cachers, cache owners, and the reviewers life easier. The Geoaware team over time has expanded to include a number of people and we discuss a lot of information. At this point there is usually a consensus when we look at caches on what should be done.

 

PS. The reason I mentioned the photo requirement as that has been the big one that seems to come up when we change the guidelines.

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That is true. Before 2008ish All caches were reviewed by one person (if I recall). As time rolled on...

 

Yes, I understand, but I'm looking at much more recent earthcaches published in the last couple of years when the guidelines have been anything but grey.

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Neat to see the history of the development of Earthcaching--It is too easy to second guess, but few of us could have done better. I have developed 43 earthcaches since 2008 and have experienced the progress. My THANKs goes to all the reviewers!

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Thanks to Blue Rajah for the nice historical overview, and thanks to all Geoawares for all their hard work reviewing and publishing EarthCaches!

--Matt

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