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Andromeda321

Advice Needed- Nerd Nite talk about Geocaching!

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Hi all,

 

I was asked to do a "Nerd Nite" talk- a ~30min talk on a nerdy topic, usually to an audience of 20-30 somethings, at a bar over beers on a Friday night- about geocaching. This isn't for two months, so I have time to prepare! But I was wondering, has anyone given such a talk before for the general public about geocaching, and if so are there any resources for writing one?

 

Obviously, the first part I know has to be a general explanation about how geocaching works, and I have a mess of pictures from my adventures in exotic destinations where I found geocaches (like Tibet and Argentina), so was thinking one or two anecdotes from there. I was also thinking of highlighting one or two local caches that I think are cool, but don't want to pick ones that are too easy to find if you just want to vandalize them... luckily here in Amsterdam we have one or two "by boat" geocaches under bridges, so one of those might be cool to show. But hey, these are just some ideas I'm tossing around, and I'm happy to hear any others folks might have.

 

Thanks all!

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I've done a nerd nite talk before, but not on geocaching - though I was thinking about doing that.

I'd say it would depend on your slant. You can do a 101-style teaching talk, focusing how it works and how to get started, or you could focus on the fun and adventures you can have while geocaching (sharing your love for it) such that you could inspire more people to look into it themselves :)

 

But yeah, I'd start off broad - share your best or most talk-worthy experience to grab their attention, then move into why, then how. If you have info about high tech geocaches, I'd definitely include some of those (some German caches, night caching, UV/LED/IR/Beacon types, etc). Attempt a brief technical description of how GPS works, what devices have GPS, and why some brands are better than others. I'd end off tongue in cheek showing samples of the run-of-the-mill stuff that most people hate :) Good to end on a light note, so you could joke about LPCs perhaps :P

 

That's how I'd structure it at least. I wouldn't come at it from an 'intro course' slant - in the NN atmosphere it may be apt to focus on entertaining more than educating (because geocaching!), while providing enough info to get started (and definitely inform that you'd be glad to help people get started if they want more info or to try it out themselves!)

 

I only recommend entertain over educate because I see the NN environment as about sharing your passion, what it is you love about what you're talking about :) But ultimately, it's up to you!

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Attempt a brief technical description of how GPS works, what devices have GPS, and why some brands are better than others. I'd end off tongue in cheek showing samples of the run-of-the-mill stuff that most people hate :) Good to end on a light note, so you could joke about LPCs perhaps :P

 

 

There is nothing funny about an LPC. big_smile.gif

 

If you're going to be truly nerdy you're going to want to talk about how a GPS receiver works with satellite systems, routing, and things like WAAS (waves to fizzymagic). I might also be helpful to dispel the myth that having a GPS means that someone will be able to track your location (that a GPS is a *receiver* and does not necessarily transmit ones location).

 

I also like the idea of covering the basics, and then going over some of the variations (puzzles, earth caches) and different ways some play the game (the FTF game, power trails, geoart). You could easily go over 30 minutes so that difficult thing may be trying to decide what to leave out.

 

I gave a presentation several years ago to a local GIS users group. There were also a couple of temporary caches placed to provide a hands-on experience and we also had an exercise which had everyone (we had about 8 GPS receivers that attendees could use) to a specific place and capture a waypoint. Then we plotted all of the waypoints on a map as a demonstration to show the accuracy of a GPS.

 

 

Edited by NYPaddleCacher

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Yeah, keeping a talk about something you're passionate about to under 30 minutes is no small feat :laughing: (I was granted 40 :) )

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My first encounter with Geocaching was a talk like this. Not in a bar, though, but as an exam in a course about presentation and stuff. The candidates were to give a speech at any topic of their choice and someone chose geocaching. He explained what geocaching is and how to obtain the cache data. How GPS works and what caches may look like. Which types of caches there are and what TBs and Coins are. He even got a TB and a Coin to show us. Unfortunately no one mentioned to copy their codes, just in case one of us might start geocaching in the future ;-)

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Attempt a brief technical description of how GPS works, what devices have GPS, and why some brands are better than others. I'd end off tongue in cheek showing samples of the run-of-the-mill stuff that most people hate :) Good to end on a light note, so you could joke about LPCs perhaps :P

 

 

There is nothing funny about an LPC. big_smile.gif

 

 

Not only that but they don't exist in Europe, so it's a bit pointless to mention them. :P

 

I just heard from the organizers btw that it's even shorter- it's a 20 minute talk, and then a 10 minute Q&A session. So short! :( Also discovered luckily tho that there's an intro presentation on the geocaching site itself, which I won't have time to go through all of but using some of the slides are a great starting point type thing, so that's nice. I was also thinking it might be interesting to mention on the nerdy side a brief start to the history of geocaching, as I doubt most people realize the reason we now have GPS everywhere is because before 2000 it just wasn't possible!

 

Also, I realized last night that it might be cool to ask the organizers if we could host a geocaching event there too for geocachers- just have a signup sheet on a table with a box for trackables type thing- as it's free and pretty fun normally as a night out, so why not?

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Is there a cover fee for your NN event? If so, it might not pass as an official geocaching event. But you could try. I had negotiate a way to have a recent event of mine work in a place that had a cover fee (which they waived for the 15 minute-ish period of what I published as a flash mob event =P).

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Attempt a brief technical description of how GPS works, what devices have GPS, and why some brands are better than others. I'd end off tongue in cheek showing samples of the run-of-the-mill stuff that most people hate :) Good to end on a light note, so you could joke about LPCs perhaps :P

 

 

There is nothing funny about an LPC. big_smile.gif

 

 

Not only that but they don't exist in Europe, so it's a bit pointless to mention them. :P

 

I just heard from the organizers btw that it's even shorter- it's a 20 minute talk, and then a 10 minute Q&A session. So short! :( Also discovered luckily tho that there's an intro presentation on the geocaching site itself, which I won't have time to go through all of but using some of the slides are a great starting point type thing, so that's nice. I was also thinking it might be interesting to mention on the nerdy side a brief start to the history of geocaching, as I doubt most people realize the reason we now have GPS everywhere is because before 2000 it just wasn't possible!

 

Also, I realized last night that it might be cool to ask the organizers if we could host a geocaching event there too for geocachers- just have a signup sheet on a table with a box for trackables type thing- as it's free and pretty fun normally as a night out, so why not?

 

The other things I did for my presentation was that I brought in several containers to demonstrate what someone might look for. Several people thought the nano cache was really interesting. I didn't really talk about each container type during the presentation but put them on the table for people to look at after the presentation was over.

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Is there a cover fee for your NN event? If so, it might not pass as an official geocaching event. But you could try. I had negotiate a way to have a recent event of mine work in a place that had a cover fee (which they waived for the 15 minute-ish period of what I published as a flash mob event =P).

 

I didn't see that the OP had any intention of making it a geocaching event.

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One thing I always make sure to mention whether it's a public program or for Scouts is how trackables work. They can figure out so much from the site and just getting out there and caching, but can easily miss what coins and bugs are all about. Emphasize that they're not swag! If you have trackables there, even better!

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Is there a cover fee for your NN event? If so, it might not pass as an official geocaching event. But you could try. I had negotiate a way to have a recent event of mine work in a place that had a cover fee (which they waived for the 15 minute-ish period of what I published as a flash mob event =P).

I didn't see that the OP had any intention of making it a geocaching event.

 

->

Also, I realized last night that it might be cool to ask the organizers if we could host a geocaching event there too for geocachers

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Is there a cover fee for your NN event? If so, it might not pass as an official geocaching event. But you could try. I had negotiate a way to have a recent event of mine work in a place that had a cover fee (which they waived for the 15 minute-ish period of what I published as a flash mob event =P).

I didn't see that the OP had any intention of making it a geocaching event.

 

->

Also, I realized last night that it might be cool to ask the organizers if we could host a geocaching event there *too* for geocachers

 

That sounds like she was asking about using the facility to host a geocaching event, not necessarily making the nerd night event a geocaching event.

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Ok. I understood it differently, since "too" can mean simultaneously (and I know first hand of trying such a thing as well, gc event combined with non-gc event). So my tip still stands :P

 

But anyway...

 

When is this NN event? How long do you have to plan?

Edited by thebruce0

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1) No fee required to attend

 

2) 20 minute presentation

 

3) Event itself is March 20, but they want to see slides and run through it with me a week before. I guess they don't like people waiting to the last minute!

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Awesome, in that case I don't think there'd be a problem posting a geocaching event there too; just like any other restaurant-gathering event :)

 

Greetings to NN Amsterdam from NN Waterloo! ;)

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