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Ibar

Retiring Earthcaches

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Hallo,

 

I'm relatively new to geocaching (11 months / 380 caches) and even more to earthcaching (3 in three different countries :rolleyes: ), but on those three I got some kind of strange feeling about how this thing is put together.

 

- On my first one, I got a very kind mail in reply from the CO confirming my answer and since then we are "friends" in geocaching

 

- On the second one, I sent all the measures to the CO and still have to get any kind of answer

 

- On the third one I did an "experiment", namely I was there, took the pic, but did NOt send a mail to the CO with the answers (that I do have). Reason is that a few previous logs were complaining by the lack of reply by the CO. As I expected, my log is still there. Btw,looking at the profile of the CO he hasn't logged a cache since years, so I guess he left the game.

 

My question is, is there anybody checking if the Earth Caches are still valid? A tradi (at least in Belgium where I live) that is not maintained, sooner or later will be disabled and archived by the "central admins", but by its nature I don't think that is something likely to happen, isn't it? and somehow ... I don't think it's really fair.

 

Looking forward to your comments

 

Regards

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Well, since an Earthcache has no physical component at the cache site, there's really no maintenance required, is there? Send in your answers and log the find. If you get no reply from the owner, so what? Of course that means there may be some people logging the find with incorrect answers or not sending answers at all, but does that really affect your enjoyment of the cache?

 

If, from an ethical standpoint, you think the cache needs to be archived, post an NA log and let your local reviewer handle it from there.

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is there anybody checking if the Earth Caches are still valid

 

The player community can do this. Most players won't report to site admins that the cache owner is no longer active, as long as the cache requirements are still doable.

 

I'm aware of 2 Earthcaches archived by site admins when the cache owner was gone, and the cache had become unworkable because of the changes on the ground.

 

I directly emailed the publishing Geoaware about an Earthcache - it needed a number of changes because of changed conditions. It had been non-functional for quite a while. The Geoaware account disabled the listing, and somewhat to my surprise, the cache owner DID surface and make the needed changes.

Edited by Isonzo Karst

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Although this hasn't happened to be very often, my attitude is that I learned the lesson, and I knew my answers were right before I sent them, so a lack of confirmation isn't very important. If the description requests waiting for confirmation before logging the find, I'll mention in my found log that I gave up waiting. Otherwise, I'd probably just forget about it. I enjoyed the cache, I think others coming after me will enjoy the cache, so I see no reason to become a detective to determine if there CO has disengaged just so I can try to prevent people in the future from seeing a perfectly good EarthCache.

 

To me, it takes something more significant than a lack of response to make an EarthCache invalid, like if there's a real problem such as an object required to answer the questions being removed or not being accessible.

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I don't think it's really fair.

 

Life's kind of that way sometimes. I'm with dprovan. If the Listing is still relevant, I'll dutifully send in my answers and log the Find.

 

If it makes you feel any better, Virtuals are handled in much the same way. I've seen some that are still logged online, long after the object of the Virt has disappeared. I'm not sure I understand that thinking, but eventually someone calls it in, and after an appropriate mourning period, it gets Archived as well.

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As for a response: Some COs just dont reply back while others do. I try my best at confirming the answers.

As for archiving: In my area some ECs are archived on a seasonal basis. So the archiving may be only temporary.

As for exiting the game: Most COs transfer their ownership.

Hope this helps…

Edited by GEO WALKER

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Hi,

These are good questions.

COs are expected to "maintain" EarthCaches. What this means, generally, is to keep an eye on changes "on the ground", or changes to access, land management, etc. We've seen EarthCaches along roads or trails that are closed due to construction or hazards. In those cases, the CO is expected to update the cache page accordingly. If the CO has disengaged, then usually we'll see Needs Archived or Needs Maintenance logs, and the local reviewers, or GSA, can take action in those cases. [in fact, we're working on one of these right now.] If you visit an EarthCache that requires maintenance because of local changes, please let it be known so that the proper steps can be taken. If an EarthCache is otherwise fine (access is the same, the geological features are still present and accessible, you can still perform logging tasks, the location is safe, etc.), but the CO is non-responsive, we generally won't take action.

Thanks for caching,

Matt Dawson, GSA

geoawarehq

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Personally my philosophy for these as well as Virtuals and Webcams is log them send the info and then move on and not play Cache Cop. I know i fulfilled the requirements for the log and whether or not others did is none of my business.

 

You need to remember that this is an ill regulatd hobby at best.

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I recently visited an Earthcache, and could not send the answers to the owner. Their profile said I could send a message because the profile was "inactive" and there was no email address on the cache page. User hasn't logged into the site in months. In my log I just said I'm happy to provide the answers when/if there is a place to send them.

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I respond to all emails I get on our earthcaches. Unless the cacher unchecked the box and sent the email without a return address, in which case I assume that, if they want clarification or confirmation, they'll ask for it.

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I used to respond to every email when someone found my Earthcache. I seem to be busier now so I'll take a quick read through the answers but seldom send a response anymore. Kinda sad.

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I used to respond to every email when someone found my Earthcache. I seem to be busier now so I'll take a quick read through the answers but seldom send a response anymore. Kinda sad.

 

I know this is off topic- but what about OutForTheHunt, and his BCC/YOSM. Just imagine the amount of emails he gets...

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We logged one a few days ago where the CO has not signed on in a few years. Their last visit was Sunday, 13 February 2011.

We uploaded our photos, but I don't see any point in attempting to answer any of the questions when the CO is no longer active.

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Only God can retire an earthcache ...............i.e collapse a cave!

 

And even then, it's still an EC -- just change it to one about the stages of cave life. :D

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Although this hasn't happened to be very often, my attitude is that I learned the lesson, and I knew my answers were right before I sent them, so a lack of confirmation isn't very important. If the description requests waiting for confirmation before logging the find, I'll mention in my found log that I gave up waiting. Otherwise, I'd probably just forget about it. I enjoyed the cache, I think others coming after me will enjoy the cache, so I see no reason to become a detective to determine if there CO has disengaged just so I can try to prevent people in the future from seeing a perfectly good EarthCache.

 

To me, it takes something more significant than a lack of response to make an EarthCache invalid, like if there's a real problem such as an object required to answer the questions being removed or not being accessible.

 

+1.

Lately, it seems some mails requiring validation have " no reply " so responding becomes more involved.....this could be the reason for some non-reply's.

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We logged one a few days ago where the CO has not signed on in a few years. Their last visit was Sunday, 13 February 2011.

We uploaded our photos, but I don't see any point in attempting to answer any of the questions when the CO is no longer active.

I would think that the point of doing it is that it is a requirement of logging an earthcache. (Where's that geocaching is full of cheaters guy?)

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We logged one a few days ago where the CO has not signed on in a few years. Their last visit was Sunday, 13 February 2011.

We uploaded our photos, but I don't see any point in attempting to answer any of the questions when the CO is no longer active.

I would think that the point of doing it is that it is a requirement of logging an earthcache. (Where's that geocaching is full of cheaters guy?)

Well, if you think I cheated because I did not send my answers to a non-existant user that already left the game, I disagree with you. I uploaded my photos and took my time to gather the required information, I just don't see the point in sending my awnser into the void. Maybe the listing should be archived and let someone else list one there. But consider it is in a Tennessee State Park and permission is required even for Earthcaches, or at least the one that I archived in a Tennessee State Park was, a one year permit was required. I thought it was silly that Waymarks at the same location did not require permission or permits.

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We logged one a few days ago where the CO has not signed on in a few years. Their last visit was Sunday, 13 February 2011.

We uploaded our photos, but I don't see any point in attempting to answer any of the questions when the CO is no longer active.

 

First, the last visit displayed on the web page does not count in visits via mobile phones and GSAK. People can even log caches

months after the date of the last shown visit.

 

Second, answers are sent to the e-mail address of the owner. There is no need to log into the site to reply to e-mails at least not if the sender

is reasonably polite and transmits his e-mail address. Those who don't, do not deserve a reply anyhow.

I know of cachers who have not been active for a long time, but still take care of their caches and react if it is required.

 

 

Of course there are EC-owners that do not reply, but in my experience this is not any more common among those whose last visit displayed on

the site is not quite recent than among those with a recent last login date.

 

Some cache owners only reply if some of the answers are wrong and they have objections or additional explanations. Some answer also if everything

is alright.

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We logged one a few days ago where the CO has not signed on in a few years. Their last visit was Sunday, 13 February 2011.

We uploaded our photos, but I don't see any point in attempting to answer any of the questions when the CO is no longer active.

 

First, the last visit displayed on the web page does not count in visits via mobile phones and GSAK. People can even log caches

months after the date of the last shown visit.

 

Second, answers are sent to the e-mail address of the owner. There is no need to log into the site to reply to e-mails at least not if the sender

is reasonably polite and transmits his e-mail address. Those who don't, do not deserve a reply anyhow.

I know of cachers who have not been active for a long time, but still take care of their caches and react if it is required.

 

 

Of course there are EC-owners that do not reply, but in my experience this is not any more common among those whose last visit displayed on

the site is not quite recent than among those with a recent last login date.

 

Some cache owners only reply if some of the answers are wrong and they have objections or additional explanations. Some answer also if everything

is alright.

OK, so what if the user is banned from owning EC's under another account then just falls off of the radar? Which appears to be the case here. :ph34r:

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We logged one a few days ago where the CO has not signed on in a few years. Their last visit was Sunday, 13 February 2011.

We uploaded our photos, but I don't see any point in attempting to answer any of the questions when the CO is no longer active.

I would think that the point of doing it is that it is a requirement of logging an earthcache. (Where's that geocaching is full of cheaters guy?)

 

I'd like to think that logging an earthcache is more than just a smiley. If the owner is inactive and I cannot send the answers, I'll still go about the logging task to experience the cache as intended. I may not physically send my answers, but since the point of an earthcache is to take away a geological lesson, I like to make sure that I get that experience whether the CO is active or not.

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We logged one a few days ago where the CO has not signed on in a few years. Their last visit was Sunday, 13 February 2011.

We uploaded our photos, but I don't see any point in attempting to answer any of the questions when the CO is no longer active.

 

First, the last visit displayed on the web page does not count in visits via mobile phones and GSAK. People can even log caches

months after the date of the last shown visit.

 

Second, answers are sent to the e-mail address of the owner. There is no need to log into the site to reply to e-mails at least not if the sender

is reasonably polite and transmits his e-mail address. Those who don't, do not deserve a reply anyhow.

I know of cachers who have not been active for a long time, but still take care of their caches and react if it is required.

 

 

Of course there are EC-owners that do not reply, but in my experience this is not any more common among those whose last visit displayed on

the site is not quite recent than among those with a recent last login date.

 

Some cache owners only reply if some of the answers are wrong and they have objections or additional explanations. Some answer also if everything

is alright.

OK, so what if the user is banned from owning EC's under another account then just falls off of the radar? Which appears to be the case here. :ph34r:

Post a NA, if you think that it's appropriate. That being said, if you are going to log a find on a cache, then you should satisfy the requirements of doing so.

 

By your logic, I could run a report of all caches owned by AWOL cache owners and log finds on them. After all, what's the point of needing to actually go find the cache and sign the logbook when the CO is no longer active?

Edited by sbell111

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We logged one a few days ago where the CO has not signed on in a few years. Their last visit was Sunday, 13 February 2011.

We uploaded our photos, but I don't see any point in attempting to answer any of the questions when the CO is no longer active.

 

First, the last visit displayed on the web page does not count in visits via mobile phones and GSAK. People can even log caches

months after the date of the last shown visit.

 

Second, answers are sent to the e-mail address of the owner. There is no need to log into the site to reply to e-mails at least not if the sender

is reasonably polite and transmits his e-mail address. Those who don't, do not deserve a reply anyhow.

I know of cachers who have not been active for a long time, but still take care of their caches and react if it is required.

 

 

Of course there are EC-owners that do not reply, but in my experience this is not any more common among those whose last visit displayed on

the site is not quite recent than among those with a recent last login date.

 

Some cache owners only reply if some of the answers are wrong and they have objections or additional explanations. Some answer also if everything

is alright.

OK, so what if the user is banned from owning EC's under another account then just falls off of the radar? Which appears to be the case here. :ph34r:

Post a NA, if you think that it's appropriate. That being said, if you are going to log a find on a cache, then you should satisfy the requirements of doing so.

 

By your logic, I could run a report of all caches owned by AWOL cache owners and log finds on them. After all, what's the point of needing to actually go find the cache and sign the logbook when the CO is no longer active?

I photo log my finds to prove I was there, and Earthcaches don't have log books.

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I photo log my finds to prove I was there, and Earthcaches don't have log books.

 

If you were there but didn't perform the tasks, then your log is not legitimate.

 

If you performed the tasks, but can't send the responses because the email function is disabled, you should still keep a record of the tasks in case the owner resurfaces and asks for it.

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We logged one a few days ago where the CO has not signed on in a few years. Their last visit was Sunday, 13 February 2011.

We uploaded our photos, but I don't see any point in attempting to answer any of the questions when the CO is no longer active.

 

First, the last visit displayed on the web page does not count in visits via mobile phones and GSAK. People can even log caches

months after the date of the last shown visit.

 

Second, answers are sent to the e-mail address of the owner. There is no need to log into the site to reply to e-mails at least not if the sender

is reasonably polite and transmits his e-mail address. Those who don't, do not deserve a reply anyhow.

I know of cachers who have not been active for a long time, but still take care of their caches and react if it is required.

 

 

Of course there are EC-owners that do not reply, but in my experience this is not any more common among those whose last visit displayed on

the site is not quite recent than among those with a recent last login date.

 

Some cache owners only reply if some of the answers are wrong and they have objections or additional explanations. Some answer also if everything

is alright.

OK, so what if the user is banned from owning EC's under another account then just falls off of the radar? Which appears to be the case here. :ph34r:

Post a NA, if you think that it's appropriate. That being said, if you are going to log a find on a cache, then you should satisfy the requirements of doing so.

 

By your logic, I could run a report of all caches owned by AWOL cache owners and log finds on them. After all, what's the point of needing to actually go find the cache and sign the logbook when the CO is no longer active?

I photo log my finds to prove I was there, and Earthcaches don't have log books.

Photologging that you were at ground zero at an earthcache doesn't necessarily prove that you learned the required lessen and it isn't a proper alternative to the logging requirement.

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I can answer the required questions. When I visited the site and took our photos I was completing the required logging tasks. It was after the fact that I noticed that the CO was inactive and their other account is banned from owning Earthcaches and their EC's arvhived by geoaware in 2010.

But yeah, I see the point. Nothing is stopping anyone from logging the 22 EC's owned by this inactive CO. If they request, I will respond with my answers and let them determin if I completed their logging requirements. Maybe I should just go back and post them on the cache page with my log. :D

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I can answer the required questions. When I visited the site and took our photos I was completing the required logging tasks. It was after the fact that I noticed that the CO was inactive and their other account is banned from owning Earthcaches and their EC's arvhived by geoaware in 2010.

But yeah, I see the point. Nothing is stopping anyone from logging the 22 EC's owned by this inactive CO. If they request, I will respond with my answers and let them determin if I completed their logging requirements. Maybe I should just go back and post them on the cache page with my log. :D

What I don't understand is that you went to this guy's profile page to do all kinds of research on him, but you didn't bother to hit the 'send a message' link.

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I can answer the required questions. When I visited the site and took our photos I was completing the required logging tasks. It was after the fact that I noticed that the CO was inactive and their other account is banned from owning Earthcaches and their EC's arvhived by geoaware in 2010.

But yeah, I see the point. Nothing is stopping anyone from logging the 22 EC's owned by this inactive CO. If they request, I will respond with my answers and let them determin if I completed their logging requirements. Maybe I should just go back and post them on the cache page with my log. :D

What I don't understand is that you went to this guy's profile page to do all kinds of research on him, but you didn't bother to hit the 'send a message' link.

 

OK, I just went back and sent the CO my answers. You bullied me into submission, I am a bad, bad, geocacher. :(

The first time I visited the profile page with the intent of sending my answers I reconized the user name and remembered that the user was banned by geoaware from owning EC's. I'm sure this is for valid reasons. I assumed the CO being inactive is no longer interested, which appears to be the case. If they have a ? about my visit they can contact me. B)

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