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Bring Back Virtual Caches!


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I would like to see new virtuals, but agree that they must be closely controlled and not impose an additional burden on reviewers.

 

Done!

 

No container necessary, has to be special, and totally removed from the traditional review process. Sounds like a workable (albeit difficult) solution.

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I think we need to bring back Virtual caches! There are many good ones still active but it would be nice if those newer cachers (or not so new) cachers have a chance to create a Virtual cache.

Yet you've only found about 10% of the available Virtuals in your home State? It looks like you have a fair amount to find, and it begs the question, if you love them so much, why haven't you found more?

 

What kind of a person does it take to post this kind of reply?

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I think we need to bring back Virtual caches! There are many good ones still active but it would be nice if those newer cachers (or not so new) cachers have a chance to create a Virtual cache.

Yet you've only found about 10% of the available Virtuals in your home State? It looks like you have a fair amount to find, and it begs the question, if you love them so much, why haven't you found more?

 

What kind of a person does it take to post this kind of reply?

It was a simple question that they answered in a very reasonable follow up post. Would you like to elaborate on your post?

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I would like to see new virtuals, but agree that they must be closely controlled and not impose an additional burden on reviewers.

 

We have Earthcaches which are effectively virtuals which teach an earth science lesson. I would suggest 3 new categories of virtuals. All would be restricted by a virtual saturation rule. No new virtual within 0.5 miles of a physical cache (please suggest a better value for this).

 

1. Scenic virtual. These must be located at an official scenic lookout.

 

2. Historic virtual. These must be located at a site of historic significance. There must be a plaque or other marker showing the significance of the site.

 

3. Artistic virtual. This must be at a piece of artwork: a statue, sculpture or mural.

 

The logging requirement for any of the above must include a question which proves that the person was there. This will probably be unrelated to the significance of the location - maybe the colour of a nearby object or the wording of a nearby sign. Questions about the focus of the virtual would be encouraged.

 

The submission process would require a photograph of the lookout, the plaque or the artwork.

 

I agree that virtuals should be of scenic, historical or cultural interest. However, I don't think they need to be limited to only those with marked by a plaque or other marker showing the significance of the site. However, I do agree the sites should be limited to significant places. Instead of a marker as proof I would just have the submitter write a brief explanation as to way this place is worthy of being a virual. .

 

I can think of a few sights near by that don't have any type of markers yet are quite significant. The last slave ship to land on American shores a little east of where I live. There is no marker of any type at the site yet the site is pinpointed in historical texts. The foot of Conti Street, Mobile, AL. In 1865 One of the persons brought over on that ship Cudjo Lewis (African name, Kazoola) founded the town of Magazine Point, just north of Mobile, calling their community Africatown, it stand stands today. Cudjo was the mayor and acting judge of Africatown, a year or two after the end of the Civil War the KKK marched down the streets of Africatown many of the residents pleased with Cudjo to arrest and hang the hooded thugs. Cudjo responded, "The law says they are allowed to peacefully assemble, as long as they remain peaceful they are welcome. The Kan just left.. Cudjo also from what I read outlived all other ex-salves in America he died in 1935 at the age of 94... There are no monuments or markers to this man or the salve ship Clotilde, and I think his story should be told.

 

Or another unmarked place comes to mind, the place where Fire Ants were first documented to be in America. 555 Clairborne St, Mobile, AL... The Fire Ants were first discovered and documented by E O Wilson when he was just a boy about 12 years old if I remember correctly. He used his Mom's Kodak and wrote a paper entitled "Ants From Hell", and submitted it National Geographic magazine. E O Wilson is now a world renowned scientist and fire ants are all over the south east of America. Both of these could be done with offset caches but a virtual would allow me to bring people to these places without the worry of a physical cache in a very crowded down town area. Waymarking.com would do the same thing I suppose but as others have pointed out it is under used. I have submitted a couple of Time Capsules to Waymarking.com back in 2010 but so far no one has marked them as visited the time capsule.

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I think we need to bring back Virtual caches! There are many good ones still active but it would be nice if those newer cachers (or not so new) cachers have a chance to create a Virtual cache.

Yet you've only found about 10% of the available Virtuals in your home State? It looks like you have a fair amount to find, and it begs the question, if you love them so much, why haven't you found more?

 

What kind of a person does it take to post this kind of reply?

It was a simple question that they answered in a very reasonable follow up post. Would you like to elaborate on your post?

 

Yes, luckily he took your mean-spirited stalking with a grain of salt and raised above being petulant.

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I think we need to bring back Virtual caches! There are many good ones still active but it would be nice if those newer cachers (or not so new) cachers have a chance to create a Virtual cache.

Yet you've only found about 10% of the available Virtuals in your home State? It looks like you have a fair amount to find, and it begs the question, if you love them so much, why haven't you found more?

 

What kind of a person does it take to post this kind of reply?

It was a simple question that they answered in a very reasonable follow up post. Would you like to elaborate on your post?

 

Yes, luckily he took your mean-spirited stalking with a grain of salt and raised above being petulant.

Just for the record, I reject your interpretation of my post.

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I think we need to bring back Virtual caches! There are many good ones still active but it would be nice if those newer cachers (or not so new) cachers have a chance to create a Virtual cache.

Yet you've only found about 10% of the available Virtuals in your home State? It looks like you have a fair amount to find, and it begs the question, if you love them so much, why haven't you found more?

 

What kind of a person does it take to post this kind of reply?

It was a simple question that they answered in a very reasonable follow up post. Would you like to elaborate on your post?

 

Yes, luckily he took your mean-spirited stalking with a grain of salt and raised above being petulant.

Just for the record, I reject your interpretation of my post.

 

So tell me then, what percent of the virtuals in a state does one have to find in order to have an opinion about bringing virtuals back?

 

I've found every virtual in Minnesota and I DON'T have an opinion about bringing them back. Is that ok with you?

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I would like to see new virtuals, but agree that they must be closely controlled and not impose an additional burden on reviewers.

 

Done!

 

No container necessary, has to be special, and totally removed from the traditional review process. Sounds like a workable (albeit difficult) solution.

Not totally removed from the traditional review process, but incorporated into it in such a way as to avoid reviewers being forced to give opinions. Avoiding a "wow" factor.

 

If a council or volunteer group has built a scenic lookout then the location can be assumed to have adequate scenic quality. The reviewer can simply tick that box.

 

If an historic site has a plaque or even signboard stating the historic event, then a photo of that would be sufficient proof of the historic significance.

 

Artistic or cultural may be less clear cut and I wouldn't be upset if they were put on hold or even dropped.

 

As stated above some significant sites don't have markers, so a link to an appropriate web site showing the significance could take the place of the photograph.

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If you're going to ban virtuals, why not earthcaches? And if you're going to allow those, why not watercaches, or skycaches, or botanycaches? What's so special about geology?

 

Actually GC.com tried to ban Earthcaches as geocaches by moving them to Waymarking. But the GSA wasn't happy with the change so they were moved back here.

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Not totally removed from the traditional review process, but incorporated into it in such a way as to avoid reviewers being forced to give opinions. Avoiding a "wow" factor.

 

If a council or volunteer group has built a scenic lookout then the location can be assumed to have adequate scenic quality. The reviewer can simply tick that box.

 

If an historic site has a plaque or even signboard stating the historic event, then a photo of that would be sufficient proof of the historic significance.

 

Artistic or cultural may be less clear cut and I wouldn't be upset if they were put on hold or even dropped.

 

As stated above some significant sites don't have markers, so a link to an appropriate web site showing the significance could take the place of the photograph.

 

As much I like virtual, I would not want to see the average plaque, public art, or scenic overlook turned into them. A lot of such areas are suitable for traditiobals or offsets. But combine them with the kind of buffer you suggested earlier (I have mentioned two miles in the past) and it becomes more interesting to think about. Limit them to certain types of areas. Further limit them to one per premium member and people might think about whether their idea is a good one. Require permission for the same reasons that earthcaches do. Develop separate reviewers because existing volunteers have enough work to do. Require more than a photo because some kind of educational objective gives s focus that could distinguish them from wayrmarks. Do not allow appeals because Groundspeak has better things to do or use some kind of peer review in place of appeals for the inevitable complaints. Or think of something else entirely.

 

It's not so much as whether there is a way, but how many hoops are necessary without it becoming unworkable. And it's not how many hoops can be used, but whether there is a will.

 

And unless there is a will to keep virtuals as part of the game, any discussion seems premature. So I still believe the place to start is to keep existing virtuals active and maintained. Allow adoptions. The recent loss of the Weary Traveler in DC is a good example of why some virtuals should be open to adoption.

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I would not be opposed to giving virtuals a separate spot on the website, similar to benchmarks, with their own count. Take away that +1 smiley and we'll see just how popular they really are. I've often thought that the biggest mistake with Waymarking was not integrating the Waymarking find count with your GC.com finds. If they counted then I think Waymarking would be quite popular.

 

Ultimately, Waymarking is the the place to go if you truly enjoy discovering cool locations. If you're in it for another +1 in your profile, then not so much.

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If you're going to ban virtuals, why not earthcaches? And if you're going to allow those, why not watercaches, or skycaches, or botanycaches? What's so special about geology?

 

Actually GC.com tried to ban Earthcaches as geocaches by moving them to Waymarking. But the GSA wasn't happy with the change so they were moved back here.

 

I was unaware of that, when did it take place?

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If you're going to ban virtuals, why not earthcaches? And if you're going to allow those, why not watercaches, or skycaches, or botanycaches? What's so special about geology?

 

Actually GC.com tried to ban Earthcaches as geocaches by moving them to Waymarking. But the GSA wasn't happy with the change so they were moved back here.

 

I was unaware of that, when did it take place?

 

When the Waymarking site was introduced.

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I would not be opposed to giving virtuals a separate spot on the website, similar to benchmarks, with their own count.
Geocaching Challenges did pretty much that, didn't they? And they even eliminated the reviewer headaches associated with virtuals by eliminating the need to have them reviewed.
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I believe the same thing happened to the Waymarking site as with virtual listings being discontinued. I love using the Waymarking site to visit interesting locations, but it takes a little time to learn how to navigate the site away from the commerical listings. I have to believe that the site would run smoother if there were not 1000 categories or more. We Waymarkers know how problematic the site is, and recently it is much worse. Maybe now would be a good time for Groundspeak to rethink virtual geocaching and the Waymarking site. :)

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If you're going to ban virtuals, why not earthcaches? And if you're going to allow those, why not watercaches, or skycaches, or botanycaches? What's so special about geology?

 

Actually GC.com tried to ban Earthcaches as geocaches by moving them to Waymarking. But the GSA wasn't happy with the change so they were moved back here.

 

There were grandfathered earthcaches still on gc.com, but the Waymarking ones languished. For me it was not simply that one gave a +1 and the other didn't, but that one was a part of this game and the other wasn't.

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I would not be opposed to giving virtuals a separate spot on the website, similar to benchmarks, with their own count. Take away that +1 smiley and we'll see just how popular they really are. I've often thought that the biggest mistake with Waymarking was not integrating the Waymarking find count with your GC.com finds. If they counted then I think Waymarking would be quite popular.

 

Ultimately, Waymarking is the the place to go if you truly enjoy discovering cool locations. If you're in it for another +1 in your profile, then not so much.

There is one other thing that you can do with a geocache that you cannot do with a waymark, and that is visit a trackable. Not that this has any impact on a large portion of the geocachers out there, but there are some that like to visit their personal trackable at caches, as a way of keeping a distance counter.

 

Are these two reasons (smiley, visiting trackable) reason enough to bring back virtuals? Probably not.

 

Skye.

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I have a suggestion on virtual caches, and it also addresses some land manager approval issues.

 

In reading some of the discussions on virtual caching, one of the complaints that I heard was that the 'wow' factor of virtual caches was decreasing. Anything was allowed. What was lost when virtual caches were dis-allowed was caches in (usually environmentally sensitive) areas where physical caches were not allowed. Coincidentally, a number of the areas where physical caches are not allowed are also areas with a high 'wow' factor. So, can we limit virtual caches to environmentally sensitive areas with a high 'wow' factor?

 

I have also read discussion regarding changes made by land managers regarding geocaching. The New Jersey State Parks one comes to mind. A few, low impact geocaches suddenly blossomed into large numbers of caches, with a much larger impact.

 

I propose allowing select, vetted land managers to be their own reviewer for the lands they manage. And, allow this group to approve virtual caches, if they want.

 

Large organizations, such as the National Park Service, or State Parks, etc., already have rules regarding geocaching. But how do they audit that, and make sure that geocachers are following the rules. I don't know what tools Groundspeak and its volunteer reviewers have that help them in this area, so my assumptions may be a bit incorrect. My assumption is that they already have people checking on this. Did everyone that placed a cache in a Washington State Park get a permit? Someone may be downloading the caches, and comparing them against the list of permitted caches. If so, they are auditting after the fact, and a cache could get published that didn't have their permission. My point is that they are already dedicating resources to geocaching on their lansd, my proposal would give them the ability to directly control caches on their land.

 

It has the added benefit that it show Groundspeak and geocaching in a more favorable light to land managers. It shows that Groundspeak understands that geocaching may have an impact on your lands. We hear your concerns, and we want to spread geocaching in a responsible manner. So we have created tools where you can directly control the geocaching on your lands.

 

I see land managers using this functionality in two ways. First, they could simply be reviewers, allowing anyone to submit a geocache. Agencies like the Bureau of Land Management, which currently has a very open geocaching policy, would like this. For agencies that are very strict, like National Parks, the agency would only approve their own geocaches submissions, and disapprove all others. And, in more sensitive areas, they could create virtual caches.

 

Skye.

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I propose allowing select, vetted land managers to be their own reviewer for the lands they manage. And, allow this group to approve virtual caches, if they want.

 

 

Who's going to manage this list of approved land managers. Remember this is a global game and it wouldn't make sense to allow a cache type in some places (like the US) but not everywhere.

 

As others mentioned, the primary reason that we have earth caches is due to the efforts of the "Geological Society of America". Although the GSA includes "America" in it's name "the Geological Society of America s a global professional society with a growing membership of more than 26,000 individuals in 115 countries." The reason that we have Earthcaches and not History caches is that there hasn't been a global Historical association that has step up to the plate to create HistoryCache guidelines and provide reviewers to make sure that a HistoryCache complies with the guidelines. Earth Sciences tend to be more global in nature while most historical societies are regional. There are organizations like UNESCO or the World History Association but UNESCO would recognize local history and the WHA is more about the study of history and not about historical places.

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No thanks. I used to want them brought back too, but we have the Waymarking site here for virtual listings. :)

 

remind me again ... do waymarks count? no? precisely why I don't do them ... I do, however, own some, they don't count either but they were an amusing way to get over the angst of losing locationless caches

 

waymarks are not virtuals ... well done virtuals request that you accumulate a little data to demonstrate that you were actually there

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No thanks. I used to want them brought back too, but we have the Waymarking site here for virtual listings. :)

 

remind me again ... do waymarks count? no? precisely why I don't do them ... I do, however, own some, they don't count either but they were an amusing way to get over the angst of losing locationless caches

 

waymarks are not virtuals ... well done virtuals request that you accumulate a little data to demonstrate that you were actually there

 

Geocaching is not about the numbers to me, it is all about the adventure. I do enjoy good virtual listings more than Waymarks, and would not like to see virtual listings turned into Waymarking with commerical listings and phone booths. :D

 

The Waymarking site has about ran it's course, so maybe it's a good time to rethink it and virtual listings. B)

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If most physical geocaches were well thought out and hidden in interesting places in quality containers, I might listen to the argument that virtual caches might degrade the game. That ship has long sailed with the over saturation of poorly unimagitive placed micros placed on every street corner or thrown into bushes every 500 feet to boost find counts. I'll take a virtual cache in an interesting location any day over most of the caches I see today. I enjoyed virtual caches and would love to see them come back. If you need more guidelines to allow them that's fine. Personally I don't buy the argument that virtuals are not geocaching when you allow power trails.

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I propose allowing select, vetted land managers to be their own reviewer for the lands they manage. And, allow this group to approve virtual caches, if they want.

 

 

Who's going to manage this list of approved land managers. Remember this is a global game and it wouldn't make sense to allow a cache type in some places (like the US) but not everywhere.

 

As others mentioned, the primary reason that we have earth caches is due to the efforts of the "Geological Society of America". Although the GSA includes "America" in it's name "the Geological Society of America s a global professional society with a growing membership of more than 26,000 individuals in 115 countries." The reason that we have Earthcaches and not History caches is that there hasn't been a global Historical association that has step up to the plate to create HistoryCache guidelines and provide reviewers to make sure that a HistoryCache complies with the guidelines. Earth Sciences tend to be more global in nature while most historical societies are regional. There are organizations like UNESCO or the World History Association but UNESCO would recognize local history and the WHA is more about the study of history and not about historical places.

 

It would be Groundspeak that would have to define the vetting process. I would imagine that they would come up with the criteria. It would probably include national park managers or other government agencies. National parks, state parks, maybe county parks. I am looking at organizations that own the land, and are already spending time and money managing geocaching on that land. GSA doesn't own any of the land that earthcaches are located on. UNESCO and WHA don't manage (own) land, they simply promote certain locations.

 

Reviewers cover regions, these new land manager reviewers would cover specific regions, and be the reviewer for their region. As I mentioned, a number of these land managers are already approving and/or monitoring geocaching on their lands. Allowing them direct access to the caches on their lands may actual save them time and energy. They would have tools provided by Groundspeak to directly approve and monitor caches on their lands, rather than have to duplicate existing systems.

 

This is a worldwide proposal, lots of countries have national park systems, or other similar regions. The vetting process would have to take this into account. Therefore, virtual caches would be limited to select lands, but it would be worldwide.

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I think we need to bring back Virtual caches! There are many good ones still active but it would be nice if those newer cachers (or not so new) cachers have a chance to create a Virtual cache.

 

Lab caches are effectively virtuals. The ones I've logged at MOGA were all points of interest at which I had to find the answer to a question.

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I think that virtual caches should be brought back, but only to an extent. Perhaps, virtual caches could only be allowed in places where physical caches are not allowed, for an example, national/provincial parks. Otherwise, physical caches should be placed.

 

Allowing the placement of virtual caches in areas that do not allow physical geocaches would really make a better geocaching experience.

Edited by dctr_derek
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I would like to see a new type of virtuals that have educational or historical value introduced. They should be limited to places where physical geocaches are not permitted, like National Parks, and they would require the land managers permission, unlike waymarks.

 

Another option I like is the use of a logging code that is entered in order to log the listing as found, other geocache listing services use this function and it works quite well with both virtual and physical geocaches.

 

Now that the Waymarking site is falling apart, hopefully Groundspeak will consider that geocachers are interested in virtual geocaches and not waymarks. :)

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Even with my limited imagination, I can think of workarounds and/or other websites that do exactly that.

 

I do not know a single existing one that does exactly that. There are sites which offer tour descriptions and some gpx downloads and even some limited user comments but I have not seen

sites where direct contact between those who created a route and those who use it is possible and in particular no sites where tasks are offered along the way like in question to answer stages of

geocaches. So I would not agree that there exist workarounds for "exactly that" (actually not even for something close to what I have in mind).

 

The interesting part of most urban picture hunting caches is to find all photo locations and not to find a micro at the end. A tour description through a city like in guide book is something different.

 

There was this game that did do exactly that.

 

Unfortunately, it died a quiet death years ago (even though gpsmission.com is still active, though erroring, all this time).

 

I made use of it for a project a couple of years before it faded away, and it was great, though still in development at that time. Its most active community was in Germany, with pocket of activity in the US.

 

The concept was wonderful. It needs to come back.

 

Perhaps thinly veiled in my post was the suggestion that perhaps nobody has created a web site ... because there isn't a large enough market for it

This I fear was the problem GPSMission faced. Maybe they just launched too early, when precision/reliable smartphone gps was still in its infancy.

Too costly to maintain actively with the little interest they could muster up.

Edited by thebruce0
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I would like to see a new type of virtuals that have educational or historical value introduced. They should be limited to places where physical geocaches are not permitted, like National Parks, and they would require the land managers permission, unlike waymarks.

 

As has been mentioned many times when this request has come up, educational or historical virtual caches will likely never see the light of day unless some organization like the GSA steps up to the plate and offers to develop guidelines for these cache types *and* provides reviewers to ensure that these types of caches comply with the guidelines.

 

 

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I would like to see a new type of virtuals that have educational or historical value introduced. They should be limited to places where physical geocaches are not permitted, like National Parks, and they would require the land managers permission, unlike waymarks.

 

Another option I like is the use of a logging code that is entered in order to log the listing as found, other geocache listing services use this function and it works quite well with both virtual and physical geocaches.

 

Now that the Waymarking site is falling apart, hopefully Groundspeak will consider that geocachers are interested in virtual geocaches and not waymarks. :)

Yes, I do wish the PTB would devote there energy on this. I understand the problems with the old system and agree that the old virtual caches can not come back, but how about something along the line of earthcaches except with educational or historical value introduced.

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If you're going to ban virtuals, why not earthcaches? And if you're going to allow those, why not watercaches, or skycaches, or botanycaches? What's so special about geology?

 

Well...it IS called Geocaching...not aquacaching or aerocaching. :anitongue:

 

Technically, geo is a placeholder for geo-location. Geocaching really isn't inherently related to geology, merely using GPS satellites to locate hidden containers/caches. The Earth matter I think is really just an extension of the fact that it takes place in nature more than anywhere else, so we want to make sure that we care about how our presence alters the environment. So it became an Earth-friendly pastime; and with people loving to be outdoors searching and discovering, it was a natural (:laughing:) partnership.

 

By extension, aquacaching, by name, wouldn't have anything to do with GPS location. ;)

 

Going by naming conventions, I don't see why Earthcaches as a conceptual subset of Geocaching couldn't be extended to historical sites, for example.

However, "Earthcaching" is also a bit misleading - there's no "cache" to find as there is in "geocaching", unless you define "cache" as fulfilling the online listing. But alas, I'm thinking too hard again, lol

 

ETA: ...which is not to say I think there should be "Historicaching" - just that I can see the logic that could be used to make an argument for it, with Earthcaching as a precedent. :ph34r:

Edited by thebruce0
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By extension, aquacaching, by name, wouldn't have anything to do with GPS location. ;)

 

Why not?

 

Putting certain issues of practicality to one side momentarily...

 

Roughly 71% of the Earth is covered in water...

 

GPS is a global system...

 

I think it could work :)

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By extension, aquacaching, by name, wouldn't have anything to do with GPS location. ;)

 

Why not?

 

Putting certain issues of practicality to one side momentarily...

 

Roughly 71% of the Earth is covered in water...

 

GPS is a global system...

 

I think it could work :)

 

By name. Geo(location)-caching = GPS located caches/containers. Earth-caching = Earth-education caches/non-containers. Aqua-caching = Water-something caches/containers.

 

I suppose you could argue that "geo"caching is about finding geologically-hidden caches (locating them on earth somewhere), and using GPS is implied... or perhaps "geo" stands for both Geological and Geo-locative... Otherwise it would be more accurately called geogeocaching :P

 

Earth geocaching would be appropriate.

"By name" was the key point. Following the trend, geocaching either implies GPS and/or Geology; earthcaching implies Earth; aquacaching implies water.

 

...

 

Ok, I'll cede the point if you define "-caching" as a colloquial reference to the pastime with the implication that GPS technology is assumed. Then geo(logically located)-caching (hunt by GPS) is valid, as is Earth(educational)-caching (hunt by GPS), and also Aqua(tically located)-caching (hunt by GPS), etc.

 

:laughing::ph34r:

Edited by thebruce0
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By extension, aquacaching, by name, wouldn't have anything to do with GPS location. ;)

 

Why not?

 

Putting certain issues of practicality to one side momentarily...

 

Roughly 71% of the Earth is covered in water...

 

GPS is a global system...

 

I think it could work :)

 

By name. Geo(location)-caching = GPS located caches/containers. Earth-caching = Earth-education caches/non-containers. Aqua-caching = Water-something caches/containers.

 

I suppose you could argue that "geo"caching is about finding geologically-hidden caches (locating them on earth somewhere), and using GPS is implied... or perhaps "geo" stands for both Geological and Geo-locative... Otherwise it would be more accurately called geogeocaching :P

 

The geo could also be short for "geospatial" which dictionary.com defines as "pertaining to the geographic location and characteristics of natural or constructed features and boundaries on, above, or below the earth's surface; esp. referring to data that is geographic and spatial in nature".

 

That data could be manifested as the lat/long coordinates.

 

While "cache" has some specific definitions which imply a hiding place, in the context of Geocaching, as a game, Groundspeak has chosed a more liberal definition which includes virtual locations, locations of events, and places to stand to get a photo taken.

 

As I said, it's probably very unlikely we'll see historical or educational caches without some organization facilitating the creation of a new cache type. Nevertheless, a historical location might be considered educational, and if one consider a cache to be a "hiding or storage" place, one might use the term EduCache to describe a location where knowledge can be found.

 

 

 

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It sounds like most of us here in the forums agree that we would enjoy a new type of virtual listing, but how do we address this request to the powers that be at Groundspeak?

 

The Bring Back Virtuals thread had a lot of support on the old Get Satisfaction site (or whatever one was being used at the time). Groundspeak's answer to that was the Geocaching Challenges, which pleased very few people who wanted virtuals to return and even fewer people who did not want new virtuals. Of course the entire experiment was eventually consigned to oblivion. So I suppose it always come down to the details. But after that, it would surprise me to see any movement from the current plan of letting virtuals fade away from attrition.

 

To me, the only way of addressing a new type of virtual with Groundspeak would be to find a group that could make a proposal similar to what the GSA did with earthcaches.

Edited by geodarts
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To me, the only way of addressing a new type of virtual with Groundspeak would be to find a group that could make a proposal similar to what the GSA did with earthcaches.

 

Been there. Did that. Found one. Got them together. Proposals. No dice.

 

Sorry, but Groundspeak appears completely uninterested in another Earthcache-like deal, so I wouldn't hold your breath.

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It sounds like most of us here in the forums agree that we would enjoy a new type of virtual listing, but how do we address this request to the powers that be at Groundspeak?

Come up with a way to make the WOW factor objective rather than subjective. Until that's done, there's no way you'll be able to convince the reviewers, let alone Groundspeak, that new virtuals would be feasible.

 

As someone else mentioned, puzzles and offset multis can often give the same experience as a virtual (e.g. visit a plaque and get information off it), but it seems like some people wouldn't be satisfied if it didn't have the ghost icon. Why? If you're getting the same experience, why does it matter what icon it uses? Those asking for virtuals to come back need to step back and consider whether it's really virtual caches they want back, or just more of the ghost icon to help with challenge caches or stats.

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It sounds like most of us here in the forums agree that we would enjoy a new type of virtual listing, but how do we address this request to the powers that be at Groundspeak?

Come up with a way to make the WOW factor objective rather than subjective. Until that's done, there's no way you'll be able to convince the reviewers, let alone Groundspeak, that new virtuals would be feasible.

 

As someone else mentioned, puzzles and offset multis can often give the same experience as a virtual (e.g. visit a plaque and get information off it), but it seems like some people wouldn't be satisfied if it didn't have the ghost icon. Why? If you're getting the same experience, why does it matter what icon it uses? Those asking for virtuals to come back need to step back and consider whether it's really virtual caches they want back, or just more of the ghost icon to help with challenge caches or stats.

 

Making a set of objective criteria that would encompass ALL areas with a high WOW factor would be very difficult to do. However, maybe it would help to look at this in reverse. Generally speaking, where are the areas with a high WOW factor? And are places that don't allow, or have high standards, for placing geocaches. A large portion of these are government protected areas. Let large government agencies be the Reviewer for the lands they control. Some of these agencies already have people monitoring and/or managing caches on these lands, so they are already spending time and money on geocaching. Let them have the tools to better manage their lands with respect to geocaching.

 

Does this cover all areas. No, but it would cover millions (if not billions or higher) acres of land.

 

Skye.

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Come up with a way to make the WOW factor objective rather than subjective. Until that's done, there's no way you'll be able to convince the reviewers, let alone Groundspeak, that new virtuals would be feasible.

 

A suggestion was made a ways back: An independent panel of geocachers. A couple hundred volunteers? Submit the Virtual cache page/photos/explanation to a panel of twenty. The panel decides if it has a wow factor, and is a good Virtual. Allow (say) three weeks. If more than ten on the panel approve, it becomes a Virtual. Anonymous panel: no one can argue with them. Reviewers have minimal say. No one can argue with the local reviewer. Make it more than five hundred miles from the panel members, so they won't be influenced.

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Another suggestion I would present is a new icon and a souvenir for logging one. :) I recently drove over 150 miles to log a web cam just for the icon. :D Well, not really. But it was one of the highlights on our over-night geocaching road trip. B) We did visit a web cam cache, EarthCaches, and a Virtual.

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Remember this is a global game and it wouldn't make sense to allow a cache type in some places (like the US) but not everywhere.

c4974f80-1a37-4223-ac16-c5036f777ec8.png

And that's one of the reasons this is the last year for the Block Party. I've always been so sorry it's stuck so badly in your craw, but I guess you can relax as it won't bother you any more.

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Remember this is a global game and it wouldn't make sense to allow a cache type in some places (like the US) but not everywhere.

c4974f80-1a37-4223-ac16-c5036f777ec8.png

And that's one of the reasons this is the last year for the Block Party. I've always been so sorry it's stuck so badly in your craw, but I guess you can relax as it won't bother you any more.

It won't bother any more, because it has never bothered me in the least. I mentioned it simply as a counter-example.

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How about for Virtuals that you allow for a self-governing operation where people group together to form interesting categories for Virtuals, so that the community can assess the WOW factor; and allow members of the groups to be reviewers and such.

 

Wait a minute! That sounds very familiar. How about combining the Waymarking stats somehow with the Geocaching stats and then you have your virtuals.

 

There would have to be one simple arithmetic calculation in the stats. In Waymarking, you are allowed and encouraged to Visit your own Waymarks, because you are simply visiting something that already exists, but that you got around to documenting as a Waymark. When combining stats, an individual's Visited count would have to have the Waymarks that they posted/visited (that is they posted and visited the same waymark) subtracted from that Visited count to be added to the Geocaching Find count.

 

I don't even think you'd have to add their Waymark Posting count to the Geocaching Hide count, because those numbers aren't as important, I think, to those who are in it for the numbers. (But then, I have to admit that I have the Waymarking mentality over the Geocaching mentality...)

Edited by MountainWoods
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How about for Virtuals that you allow for a self-governing operation where people group together to form interesting categories for Virtuals, so that the community can assess the WOW factor; and allow members of the groups to be reviewers and such.

 

Wait a minute! That sounds very familiar. How about combining the Waymarking stats somehow with the Geocaching stats and then you have your virtuals.

 

There would have to be one simple arithmetic calculation in the stats. In Waymarking, you are allowed and encouraged to Visit your own Waymarks, because you are simply visiting something that already exists, but that you got around to documenting as a Waymark. When combining stats, an individual's Visited count would have to have the Waymarks that they posted/visited (that is they posted and visited the same waymark) subtracted from that Visited count to be added to the Geocaching Find count.

 

I don't even think you'd have to add their Waymark Posting count to the Geocaching Hide count, because those numbers aren't as important, I think, to those who are in it for the numbers. (But then, I have to admit that I have the Waymarking mentality over the Geocaching mentality...)

Maybe allowing us (the community) to act as Reviewer is the reason it isn't absorbed in already.

I don't remember thinking of Waymarking as Virtuals though.

(To me) they seem more like the locationless caches.

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Come up with a way to make the WOW factor objective rather than subjective. Until that's done, there's no way you'll be able to convince the reviewers, let alone Groundspeak, that new virtuals would be feasible.

A suggestion was made a ways back: An independent panel of geocachers. A couple hundred volunteers? Submit the Virtual cache page/photos/explanation to a panel of twenty. The panel decides if it has a wow factor, and is a good Virtual. Allow (say) three weeks. If more than ten on the panel approve, it becomes a Virtual. Anonymous panel: no one can argue with them. Reviewers have minimal say. No one can argue with the local reviewer. Make it more than five hundred miles from the panel members, so they won't be influenced.

Not bad. I like the anonymity aspect. I was a bit concerned that each panel member would be judging based on their own personal criteria, but I guess that would be somewhat diluted due to the nature of the panel structure. Even if a few have wacky notions surrounding what a WOW virtual is, there would still need to be multiple others to vote the same way. The size of the panel and necessary percentage of votes would have to be discussed and debated (personally, I think 20 is too small and 50% too low). Groundspeak may still want to provide some overarching guidelines to cover some aspects (I can't think of any right now, but I'm sure there would be some).

 

There would still need to be some involvement from a reviewer to check for guideline issues. Some I can think of that could come into play are permission, law/policy issues, sensitive locations, commercial, etc. A local reviewer would know far more about such issues than a diverse and remote panel of cachers. Maybe the panel could rule on the WOW Factor and if approved, then pass it to a local reviewer to check for guideline compliance.

 

It's a good start. Too bad it will likely never happen.

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