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Bring Back Virtual Caches!


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New virtuals are a need.

 

I can't hide physical caches in National Parks, certain reserves, some state parks. Unless I really twist things for an Earthcache, which is a really poor reason to do one, I can't draw attention to some location of significance.

 

It's a genuine loss for Geocaching and Geotourism. So far and many years on, Groundspeak have turned a deaf ear to this. I wonder when they'll turn from Taking Things Away from the game, to Adding something.

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I think we can safely consign the idea of the NPS and Virtuals in the urban legend category by now. Even in the unlikely event, Virtuals were to return, Groundspeak could decide to require permission, like they do for EC's. I don't believe Virtuals are the magic bullet to the whole NPS issue.

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New virtuals are a need.

 

I can't hide physical caches in National Parks, certain reserves, some state parks. Unless I really twist things for an Earthcache, which is a really poor reason to do one, I can't draw attention to some location of significance.

 

It's a genuine loss for Geocaching and Geotourism. So far and many years on, Groundspeak have turned a deaf ear to this. I wonder when they'll turn from Taking Things Away from the game, to Adding something.

 

You can list Waymarks in those places without permission, and they are sorta like a virtual. :D

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New virtuals are a need.

 

I can't hide physical caches in National Parks, certain reserves, some state parks. Unless I really twist things for an Earthcache, which is a really poor reason to do one, I can't draw attention to some location of significance.

 

It's a genuine loss for Geocaching and Geotourism. So far and many years on, Groundspeak have turned a deaf ear to this. I wonder when they'll turn from Taking Things Away from the game, to Adding something.

 

You can list Waymarks in those places without permission, and they are sorta like a virtual. :D

 

What is this Waymarks thing of which you speak? Is that the side activity not many people care about and fewer actually participate in? I always thought an objective was to move Geocaching forward - I don't see a lot moving forward in the past ten years.

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I think we can safely consign the idea of the NPS and Virtuals in the urban legend category by now. Even in the unlikely event, Virtuals were to return, Groundspeak could decide to require permission, like they do for EC's. I don't believe Virtuals are the magic bullet to the whole NPS issue.

 

I am not sure why permission would be a major stumbling block if virtuals were to return. In fact, I would want them to have permission. When I developed earthcaches in National Parks, the permission requirement helped make my earthcaches better through review of park geologists and those who are very familiar with the site. The problem is not that earthcaches require permission, but that their focus is narrow.

 

Virtuals have brought me to some amazing historical and cultural sites where physical caches would not be appropriate - and in so doing they have expanded the game for me. I would not want to see physical caches in many of these areas, just as I would not want to see an unlimited number of virtuals at every marker in a national park. Permission with virtuals would be important - not the only guideline or restriction to be sure, but an important one.

 

It's a genuine loss for Geocaching and Geotourism. So far and many years on, Groundspeak have turned a deaf ear to this. I wonder when they'll turn from Taking Things Away from the game, to Adding something.

 

At one point Groundspeak had a need to expand - virtuals, locationless, and webcams helped establish the threshold for the game to succeed. That is no longer the case. But I think the decision was short-sighted. It's not so much as lack of a way as lack of a will. And for me that is a genuine loss.

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New virtuals are a need.

 

I can't hide physical caches in National Parks, certain reserves, some state parks. Unless I really twist things for an Earthcache, which is a really poor reason to do one, I can't draw attention to some location of significance.

 

It's a genuine loss for Geocaching and Geotourism. So far and many years on, Groundspeak have turned a deaf ear to this. I wonder when they'll turn from Taking Things Away from the game, to Adding something.

 

You can list Waymarks in those places without permission, and they are sorta like a virtual. :D

 

What is this Waymarks thing of which you speak? Is that the side activity not many people care about and fewer actually participate in? I always thought an objective was to move Geocaching forward - I don't see a lot moving forward in the past ten years.

 

Waymarking is only for elitist and we have webcams. As for geocaching moving forward? We got the message center did'nt we? :laughing:

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What is this Waymarks thing of which you speak? Is that the side activity not many people care about and fewer actually participate in? I always thought an objective was to move Geocaching forward - I don't see a lot moving forward in the past ten years.

Waymarking covers Virtual caching really, so if there are few people interested it says something about how many are actually interested in any type of virtual.

Actually the main reason it isn't popular compared to geocaching is that GC.com never bothered about it much once it was released and it never got promoted or improved.

 

It's still going reasonably well despite this neglect, but I don't think that people want to visit historic sites, geological features and so on and only get to log a waymark. They like to add a number to their geocaching stats.

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If they were ever to come back, I'd rather see them brought back in categories like earthcaches. History virtuals, biological virtuals, art virtuals, etc ... Each would have strict rules for what is acceptable like an earthcache.

 

Otherwise we'd see tons of completely lame virtuals on every corner saying "Tell me the color of the street sign".

 

The Waymarking model would work well for this, with dedicated reviewers for each category where waymarks get voted up/down, sent back if missing information. This fixes, sort of, the "wow" factor from the 2002-2003 era.

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Waymarking covers Virtual caching really,

 

No it does not. Certainly there are some overlaps, but there are many types of virtual caches that do not fit into the Waymarking framework and never will.

Moreover, virtual cache is nothing which is linked to Groundspeak's former guidelines for virtuals. Much more could be implemented as virtual cache than was ever allowed on gc.com.

 

For example, some interesting options open up if one allows to have virtual caches with passwords needed for logging. That could be a nice option for implementing long distance hiking virtual caches with no owner set up physical elements - this would provide a much nicer way of verification than having to collect stamps along the way which more and more often breaks down at least once as one passes the locations at times when they are closed.

 

Of course this all is only hypothetical as Groundspeak has not the slightest interest into virtuals - so they will never return and also not as restricted classes like history caches or similar concepts and also not if those classes are handled by an organization like the GSA. I guess the people at Groundspeak are unhappy that they ever allowed Earthcaches at all.

 

Actually the main reason it isn't popular compared to geocaching is that GC.com never bothered about it much once it was released and it never got promoted or improved.

 

That's only one reason, by far not the only one.

Waymarking appeals to a different audience - a lot is about classifying locations - it's more or less a classified and annotated list of waypoints. Apart from the classification goal, the goal is to make people visit the waypoints, but it's not about the activity at and in between the waypoints.

 

It's still going reasonably well despite this neglect, but I don't think that people want to visit historic sites, geological features and so on and only get to log a waymark. They like to add a number to their geocaching stats.

 

While it is true that for many cachers increasing their find count and seeing their progress tracked on gc.com is of utmost importance, what you write is not true.

 

For example, I do not care about stats (if virtuals returned, I would like to have them implemented so that the have separate find counts and are not mixed with physical caches) and I like to visit interesting places and learn more about them (not just visit them) but Waymarking does not appeal at all to me.

My only virtual cache and the 2 caches with a container I own that I would have liked to implement as virtual ones, are not fitting into the Waymarking concept at all.

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For example, I do not care about stats (if virtuals returned, I would like to have them implemented so that the have separate find counts and are not mixed with physical caches)

You mean like earthcaches, webcams, virtuals, events, exhibits....

 

I presume you mean that ultimately you'd prefer that there be a separate count for all physical cache types, and a separate count for the rest, and that if virtuals returned, they would of course be grouped into the latter.

 

..of course, you can easily get a count of all your physical finds by simply summing up the totals for all your physical cache type finds.

 

So, it's either so easy that GS won't spend the time to create a new display of a find metric since we can do it ourselves, or it's so easy that GS should just do it anyway. :P

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If they were ever to come back, I'd rather see them brought back in categories like earthcaches. History virtuals, biological virtuals, art virtuals, etc ... Each would have strict rules for what is acceptable like an earthcache.

 

Otherwise we'd see tons of completely lame virtuals on every corner saying "Tell me the color of the street sign".

 

The Waymarking model would work well for this, with dedicated reviewers for each category where waymarks get voted up/down, sent back if missing information. This fixes, sort of, the "wow" factor from the 2002-2003 era.

 

I have often thought that GS will soon quit funding the Waymarking site and bring back virtuals in a way that you describe for the interest of geocachers.

 

Geocachers are the bread and butter here that supports the Waymarking site with their Premium Memberships, it could not stand alone.

 

Also I don't see geocaching moving ahead here either, seems it's stagnated too. :(

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Actually the main reason it isn't popular compared to geocaching is that GC.com never bothered about it much once it was released and it never got promoted or improved.

That's only one reason, by far not the only one.

Waymarking appeals to a different audience - a lot is about classifying locations - it's more or less a classified and annotated list of waypoints. Apart from the classification goal, the goal is to make people visit the waypoints, but it's not about the activity at and in between the waypoints.

Yes, I think that's a good analysis. People keep telling me Waymarking covers virtuals, so I keep going back to look, but if there's any significant amount of virtual-like waymarks, there aren't many and it's not easy to find them.

 

In fact, now that I think about it, from the descriptions of bad virtuals I've heard, one of the reasons virtuals were outlawed was that people were creating virtuals for the same kind of arbitrary location classification goal that Waymarking exhibits instead of the more geocaching oriented goal of taking someone somewhere for some interesting reason. The Waymarking approach is about the person posting the waymark, while the geocaching approach is about the experience of the person visiting the geocache.

 

(By the way, it's hard to imagine why Waymarking isn't more popular when they use such sophisticated marketing techniques such as making the forum software always automatically and uncontrollably capitalize "waymarking". Just now I tried marking it with the bbcode "code", which theoretically tells the software that everything in the code has to be left untouched, and it still capitalized it.)

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(By the way, it's hard to imagine why Waymarking isn't more popular when they use such sophisticated marketing techniques such as making the forum software always automatically and uncontrollably capitalize "waymarking". Just now I tried marking it with the bbcode "code", which theoretically tells the software that everything in the code has to be left untouched, and it still capitalized it.)

Wow, fascinating. Gotta be regex with a \b check. Seems like only letters/numbers prepended will stop the auto-cap. You could get in the habit of typing wwaymarking. :laughing:

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Waymarking covers Virtual caching really,

 

No it does not. Certainly there are some overlaps, but there are many types of virtual caches that do not fit into the Waymarking framework and never will.

Moreover, virtual cache is nothing which is linked to Groundspeak's former guidelines for virtuals. Much more could be implemented as virtual cache than was ever allowed on gc.com.

 

For example, some interesting options open up if one allows to have virtual caches with passwords needed for logging. That could be a nice option for implementing long distance hiking virtual caches with no owner set up physical elements - this would provide a much nicer way of verification than having to collect stamps along the way which more and more often breaks down at least once as one passes the locations at times when they are closed.

 

Of course this all is only hypothetical as Groundspeak has not the slightest interest into virtuals - so they will never return and also not as restricted classes like history caches or similar concepts and also not if those classes are handled by an organization like the GSA. I guess the people at Groundspeak are unhappy that they ever allowed Earthcaches at all.

 

Actually the main reason it isn't popular compared to geocaching is that GC.com never bothered about it much once it was released and it never got promoted or improved.

 

That's only one reason, by far not the only one.

Waymarking appeals to a different audience - a lot is about classifying locations - it's more or less a classified and annotated list of waypoints. Apart from the classification goal, the goal is to make people visit the waypoints, but it's not about the activity at and in between the waypoints.

 

It's still going reasonably well despite this neglect, but I don't think that people want to visit historic sites, geological features and so on and only get to log a waymark. They like to add a number to their geocaching stats.

 

While it is true that for many cachers increasing their find count and seeing their progress tracked on gc.com is of utmost importance, what you write is not true.

 

For example, I do not care about stats (if virtuals returned, I would like to have them implemented so that the have separate find counts and are not mixed with physical caches) and I like to visit interesting places and learn more about them (not just visit them) but Waymarking does not appeal at all to me.

My only virtual cache and the 2 caches with a container I own that I would have liked to implement as virtual ones, are not fitting into the Waymarking concept at all.

I've heard these arguments before, but usually people are a bit light on offering examples. I had a look at your virtual and it seems a perfect candidate for conversion to a Waymark (not that you'll want to!). It's not that far away in design from one of mine : Cregneash, where you take a tour of a village and answer questions, then finally log it (with the bonus that the answers give you a clue to a nearby Mystery cache). I could have insisted on an email before allowing logs but in view of the likely number of visits that didn't seem useful. That waymark isn't an attempt to classify locations, but it's under a category - which if Virtuals were "brought back" they'd also have to be.

 

I've knocked down all the arguments in the past as regards "Virtuals cannot be replaced by Waymarks" and in the end the only one left is that people prefer to log them as geocaches and can't be bothered with a separate site.

In my view that's valid, but Groundspeak could have solved it (and did intend to at one time).

Edited by Happy Humphrey
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I had a look at your virtual and it seems a perfect candidate for conversion to a Waymark (not that you'll want to!). It's not that far away in design from one of mine : Cregneash, where you take a tour of a village and answer questions, then finally log it

 

I looked at your waymark. While it is not a typical waymark it is quite different from my virtual (the description will not give you a real impression).

My virtual is very closely linked to a cache of mine, it involves additional puzzle and homework parts and none of the waypoints is given which is a problem for Waymarking.

 

which if Virtuals were "brought back" they'd also have to be.

 

Not necessarily. I do not like this approach to put everything in a drawer and apart from the special restricting guidelines this is also one of the reasons why Earthcaching does not appeal

to me. I prefer flexibility and do not appreciate rules that restrict me further than when hiding a cache with a container. In my opinion it should be up to me to mix as many topics I want to mix and

to write in whichever language I want that is understandable to the reviewers.

 

I'm aware of attempts like having a surprise category on Waymarking but even that is not what would help me to implement any of the virtual cache ideas I have in mind.

 

I've knocked down all the arguments in the past as regards "Virtuals cannot be replaced by Waymarks" and in the end the only one left is that people prefer to log them as geocaches and can't be bothered with a separate site.

 

It's not true for me. I would visit interesting waymarks in my area (there are none).

 

Some virtuals can be tweaked into waymarks by making more compromises than I'm willing to make. Then it's easier to place an unwanted container.

That's like placing a container for a educative geology cache to avoid the rigid guidelines of the GSA.

 

Cezanne

Edited by cezanne
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I did say that Groundspeak have ignored Waymarks and could have made them better, so arguing that there are certain weaknesses which would compromise your particular idea doesn't mean that waymarks cannot be used in the same way as virtuals. Actually I didn't see in your virtual any obvious problem, or at least not worse than the gc.com weakness that it's a Mystery cache but also a Virtual but there is no way to express this.

 

Generally a virtual consists of going to a location and finding something (not a cache) then logging it online (with the option of a casual verification stage, i.e. a message to the CO in an attempt to prove that the log is genuine). I really don't see how that isn't covered by a waymark such as mine, where you go to the museum and then log it. The category is handy, in that if you liked that History Museum you can quickly find others...and if you didn't like it then you can remove it and all similar from your view.

 

I wonder whether others get a little confused by the "other" type of waymark, where you find something that fits into a category. A very popular example is Victorian Post Boxes, where you aren't likely to log one that has been found but you "log" the category when you find an example (i.e. Locationless cache).

Edited by Happy Humphrey
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Actually I didn't see in your virtual any obvious problem, or at least not worse than the gc.com weakness that it's a Mystery cache but also a Virtual but there is no way to express this.

 

I thought that a waymark must contain at least one set of coordinates. I do not provide coordinates for my virtual. The locations you have to go to follow from another cache of mine.

 

Generally a virtual consists of going to a location and finding something (not a cache) then logging it online (with the option of a casual verification stage, i.e. a message to the CO in an attempt to prove that the log is genuine).

 

Actually, neither for my puzzle cache that is linked tot the virtual nor for my virtual the main idea is going to a single or multiple locations and prove that you have been there.

The main message is what you learn along the way. If I wanted to do a sightseeing tour, I would have set up everything very differently and with much less intellectual focus and appealing to a different target audience. I shifted some special aspects of the topic from the physical cache to the virtual one. This is only possible because none of them needs to be provided with coordinates given to the visitors in advance.

 

That's like in order to verify that someone visited a certain geological location, there are much easier ways of verification than asking questions that require an in-depth study of the topic.

Another example, it's not the same thing to guide people to an old ruin and making them answer a simple question to make sure that they visited the location than trying to make them acquire knowledge how for example to recognize a former neck ditch.

 

I really don't see how that isn't covered by a waymark such as mine, where you go to the museum and then log it. The category is handy, in that if you liked that Living Museum you can quickly find others...and if you didn't like it then you can remove it and all similar from your view.

 

I agree that it is handy for some group of people, for others it is not and it restricts the flexibility and it's bad for people with interests in many different fields which they would like to bring together.

 

I wonder whether others get a little confused by the "other" type of waymark, where you find something that fits into a category. A very popular example is Victorian Post Boxes, where you aren't likely to log one that has been found but you "log" the category when you find an example (i.e. Locationless cache).

 

I cannot speak for others. I do not confuse the different notions. I've never been into locationless caches (when they still existed). The opencaching sites offer Safari virtuals that implement locationless caches but with the exception of very special situations the concept does not really appeal to me.

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I thought that a waymark must contain at least one set of coordinates. I do not provide coordinates for my virtual. The locations you have to go to follow from another cache of mine.

You have N 47° 04.200 E 015° 25.800 for your virtual. I used N 54° 04.243 W 004° 45.961 for my waymark/virtual (which correspond to a parking area a short walk away). Both are equally meaningless from the cache point of view.

 

I agree that it is handy for some group of people, for others it is not and it restricts the flexibility and it's bad for people with interests in many different fields which they would like to bring together.

Again, if Groundspeak had cared to develop the idea further they could have incorporated more sophisticated searches. But obviously you can simply ignore categories and do searches by location, no worse than on gc.com.

 

I cannot speak for others. I do not confuse the different notions. I've never been into locationless caches (when they still existed). The opencaching sites offer Safari virtuals that implement locationless caches but with the exception of very special situations the concept does not really appeal to me.

That's fine, but some people seem to get the idea that Waymarking = locationless and I was just trying to emphasise that this isn't the case.

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I thought that a waymark must contain at least one set of coordinates. I do not provide coordinates for my virtual. The locations you have to go to follow from another cache of mine.

You have N 47° 04.200 E 015° 25.800 for your virtual. I used N 54° 04.243 W 004° 45.961 for my waymark/virtual (which correspond to a parking area a short walk away). Both are equally meaningless from the cache point of view.

 

In my case the coordinates are arbitrary bogus coordinates. They are not even a pointer to the area where the stages are and the coordinates are not a recommended starting point. I believe that the category managers at Waymarking would have an issue with this kind of construction.

 

I agree that it is handy for some group of people, for others it is not and it restricts the flexibility and it's bad for people with interests in many different fields which they would like to bring together.

Again, if Groundspeak had cared to develop the idea further they could have incorporated more sophisticated searches. But obviously you can simply ignore categories and do searches by location, no worse than on gc.com.

 

I did not mean the process of searching for waymarks on the Waymarking site - sorry for not having been sufficiently clear. As a creator I do not want to have to categorize my work into classes and I do not want to have to cope with narrow rules thought up by the category managers. What I meant is that I could e.g. want to combine historical aspects, artistical aspects, sightseeing aspects, suprise aspects, educational aspects into one work and this without having to assign it to one or more categories. I do not categorize my physical caches either.

 

 

 

That's fine, but some people seem to get the idea that Waymarking = locationless and I was just trying to emphasise that this isn't the case.

 

Rather it seems that Waymarking was intended to provide a home for both the old virtuals and the old locationless but in my opinion neither of it worked out nicely.

Edited by cezanne
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(By the way, it's hard to imagine why Waymarking isn't more popular when they use such sophisticated marketing techniques such as making the forum software always automatically and uncontrollably capitalize "waymarking". Just now I tried marking it with the bbcode "code", which theoretically tells the software that everything in the code has to be left untouched, and it still capitalized it.)

Wow, fascinating. Gotta be regex with a \b check. Seems like only letters/numbers prepended will stop the auto-cap. You could get in the habit of typing wwaymarking. :laughing:

When I'm not being lazy, I italicize the "w": "waymarking".

 

I wonder whether others get a little confused by the "other" type of waymark, where you find something that fits into a category. A very popular example is Victorian Post Boxes, where you aren't likely to log one that has been found but you "log" the category when you find an example (i.e. Locationless cache).

I'm not confused by that other type of waymark: it's the only kind of waymark in my area, so as far as I can tell, that is waymarking.

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Wow, fascinating. Gotta be regex with a \b check. Seems like only letters/numbers prepended will stop the auto-cap. You could get in the habit of typing wwaymarking. :laughing:

When I'm not being lazy, I italicize the "w": "waymarking".

Ah right, hidden formatting markup. *cue Markdown angst* :ph34r::lol:

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I'm not confused by that other type of waymark: it's the only kind of waymark in my area, so as far as I can tell, that is waymarking.

I suppose that it's a chicken-and-egg situation. If people had created lots of virtual-style waymarks years ago you'd see plenty around and they'd be more popular so more would get created. It seems more popular to partake in the Locationless variant - at least you know that wherever you go there are going to be innumerable waymarks of this type!

 

In my experience most people just aren't that interested in creating virtuals, except in the situation that they wanted to create a geocache but can't be bothered with the inconvenience and admin of placing a physical cache. Just think of the possibilities if it was a free-for-all: power trails of several thousand virtuals, almost guaranteed to need no maintenance.

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Just think of the possibilities if it was a free-for-all: power trails of several thousand virtuals, almost guaranteed to need no maintenance.

 

I do not think that this would happen if there existed different counters for virtuals, no badges etc.

 

It's clear that the type of virtuals I'm interested into will never become attractive for the masses, but that's true for my preferred types of caches with a container too.

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In my experience most people just aren't that interested in creating virtuals, except in the situation that they wanted to create a geocache but can't be bothered with the inconvenience and admin of placing a physical cache. Just think of the possibilities if it was a free-for-all: power trails of several thousand virtuals, almost guaranteed to need no maintenance.

 

I don't think anyone who wants to see new virtuals is advocating for a free-for-all. I would feel the same way about that as I do about repetitive trails that need no maintenance as long as you bring a supply of film cans.

 

To me, it is not that I do not want the bother, inconvenience, and administration of placing a container - earthcaches can be more difficult to place and require significantly more administration and occasional maintenance. But there are some areas where containers are not appropriate- the state parks in my area, for instance, distinguish between places where containers are permitted and areas that allow only virtuals - earthcaches, waymarks, or listings from other sites. The NPS land managers where I live have long-stated that traditionals will never be permitted under their management and I would not want to see containers left in many areas of the park. So the issue has been whether this game can encompass other forms of virtuals in addition to earthcaches (and the grandfathered caches that are being phased out).

 

Several ideas have been suggested over the years as ways to accommodate virtuals without the wow factor (limitations based on numbers that can be placed by premium members, saturation rules, separate review panel, permission requirements, limitations based on land policies or other factors, educational requirements such as earthcaches). But discussion about those is rather pointless unless Groundspeak is willing to seriously reconsider the issue.

 

As a starting point, it would be nice if existing virtuals could be adopted by people willing or able to administer them.

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In my experience most people just aren't that interested in creating virtuals, except in the situation that they wanted to create a geocache but can't be bothered with the inconvenience and admin of placing a physical cache. Just think of the possibilities if it was a free-for-all: power trails of several thousand virtuals, almost guaranteed to need no maintenance.

 

Several ideas have been suggested over the years as ways to accommodate virtuals without the wow factor (limitations based on numbers that can be placed by premium members, saturation rules, separate review panel, permission requirements, limitations based on land policies or other factors, educational requirements such as earthcaches). But discussion about those is rather pointless unless Groundspeak is willing to seriously reconsider the issue.

 

Maybe they could be offered as a cache type included and limited to GeoTours? Toss in a webcam to make them more interesting and allow seekers to collect those rare icons. B)

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I'd say that the first problem to overcome is why Groundspeak should put in all that effort to duplicate an aspect of Waymarking that is already in place.

 

No-one has convinced me that you cannot presently set up a "virtual" if you want to. Hence the conclusion that they aren't attractive in themselves, but only if loggable on Geocaching.

 

On Earthcaches; I don't log them (because of the silly questionnaires that you have to fill in) although I do take notice of them. In my view they belong back in the Waymarking fold with all the other "virtuals". I understand why some virtuals are left in Geocaching, but as I understand it, the only reason for Earthcaches being here are that there was pressure applied to move them from Waymarking.

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I'd say that the first problem to overcome is why Groundspeak should put in all that effort to duplicate an aspect of Waymarking that is already in place.

 

As they are not even willing to work together with an organization like the GSA in another field and as they are not willing to develop Waymarking any further I'd say that the chances

that something will happen in terms of virtual caches or some form of it is zero anyway.

 

I do not have the slightest hope that virtual caches will return. My point was just that not all types of virtual caches are covered by Waymarking.

 

No-one has convinced me that you cannot presently set up a "virtual" if you want to. Hence the conclusion that they aren't attractive in themselves, but only if loggable on Geocaching.

On Earthcaches; I don't log them (because of the silly questionnaires that you have to fill in) although I do take notice of them.

 

At least Earthcaches meanwhile do not have photo requirements - most Waymarking categories are based on photo requirements which annoys me.

If EC questions are nicely done, I like the learning effect and my own virtual also requires sending in answers (which require research and are not just writing down digits like in your waymark where in addition sending in the code word is not a logging requirement).

 

If I happen to invest the considerable work for setting up one my complex virtual projects, I'm by far better off implementing it at the opencaching network than at Waymarking. The first is better suited for geocaches and I do not need to tweak anything at all. In both cases of course the audience is limited (in case of opencaching it is not any more limited than for caches with a container however and so I rather see the problem in the fact that most people just want to visit a single site).

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I'd say that the first problem to overcome is why Groundspeak should put in all that effort to duplicate an aspect of Waymarking that is already in place.

 

As they are not even willing to work together with an organization like the GSA in another field and as they are not willing to develop Waymarking any further I'd say that the chances

that something will happen in terms of virtual caches or some form of it is zero anyway.

 

 

How do you know that GS isn't willing to work with an organization like GSA that will provide the same services provides but for another domain (e.g. a Global Historical society for "Historical" caches)? Do you know of any organization that has even asked?

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At least Earthcaches meanwhile do not have photo requirements - most Waymarking categories are based on photo requirements which annoys me.

If EC questions are nicely done, I like the learning effect and my own virtual also requires sending in answers (which require research and are not just writing down digits like in your waymark where in addition sending in the code word is not a logging requirement).

Yes, if you're playing the "Locationless" game then a photo is likely to be a requirement. It's not much to ask though, when almost everyone has at least a phone camera, and if you don't like that category then you can always make it disappear. If you're logging a waymark though, they rarely ask for photos.

 

The reason I don't like the EC questions is that I don't like filling in forms or questionnaires in my leisure time. It's boring work, and I don't want to waste time on dull stuff when I don't have to. I'll read the EC description and maybe learn something whilst studying the feature, but I don't then feel the need to write notes or spend time checking on answers to questions. Part of the attraction of Geocaching is its simple and casual nature, without excessive rules or admin.

 

I tend to post a note to thank the CO for the information and point out that I visited (unfortunately this often puzzles them and they offer to help with the answers, but I'm quite happy not to post a "find").

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I'd say that the first problem to overcome is why Groundspeak should put in all that effort to duplicate an aspect of Waymarking that is already in place.

 

As they are not even willing to work together with an organization like the GSA in another field and as they are not willing to develop Waymarking any further I'd say that the chances

that something will happen in terms of virtual caches or some form of it is zero anyway.

 

How do you know that GS isn't willing to work with an organization like GSA that will provide the same services provides but for another domain (e.g. a Global Historical society for "Historical" caches)? Do you know of any organization that has even asked?

 

There are several indications for that. One has been recently been mentioned by fizzymagic in this forum (an organization has been found and brought together with Groundspeak - he did not the organization, but I hardly think that that matters).

There are other indications as well and the fact that Earthcaches have been moved to Waymarking and only returned after pressure from the GSA also points into that direction.

I'm quite sure that a contract like the one with the GSA will never going to happen again on the gc.com site.

 

Cezanne

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There are several indications for that. One has been recently been mentioned by fizzymagic in this forum (an organization has been found and brought together with Groundspeak - he did not the organization, but I hardly think that that matters).

There are other indications as well and the fact that Earthcaches have been moved to Waymarking and only returned after pressure from the GSA also points into that direction.

I'm quite sure that a contract like the one with the GSA will never going to happen again on the gc.com site.

 

Cezanne

 

This is so filled with inaccuracies that it's hardly worth responding to.

 

I'm not sure how you can be "quite sure" about a subject about which you have absolutely no direct knowledge. Suffice it to say, your confident assumption is not rooted in reality. If Groundspeak or GSA were ever to come out and say they were unhappy with their partnership, then you'd have something to run with. Until then, your baseless insinuations only do a disservice to the community.

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If Groundspeak or GSA were ever to come out and say they were unhappy with their partnership, then you'd have something to run with.

 

What I wrote did not mean that I believe one of them or both are unhappy with their partnership. I might not have chosen the best way to formulate what I tried to say. All what has been written back then when ECs have been moved back to gc.com however pointed into the direction that GS would have preferred not to have ECs on the gc.com site (Waymarking does belong to Groundspeak too - so what I wrote was not about Groundspeak but about what they want to host on gc.com). Actually, a lot of what Jeremy Irish wrote when he still wrote in the forum makes me believe that with today's knowledge they never would have allowed any sort of virtual cache on gc.com, but maybe that's just my misinterpretation and of course it's speculative anyway as one never knows the future.

 

Given that you are an insider could you please tell us why what fizzymagic wrote about http://forums.Groundspeak.com/GC/index.php?showtopic=333360&st=89 failed

and whether it is conceivable that something like Earthcaches is introduced in another area (like history, biology, arts etc) once an organization is taking over a similar role than the GSA? Never ever someone official from Groundspeak made any comment in the forums that such an approach has any chance to be realized at all, and also noone comments on fizzymagic's post and replied that Groundspeak has a potential interest into an EC-like deal.

Edited by cezanne
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Actually, a lot of what Jeremy Irish wrote when he still wrote in the forum makes me believe that with today's knowledge they never would have allowed any sort of virtual cache on gc.com, but maybe that's just my misinterpretation and of course it's speculative anyway as one never knows the future.

You speculate about a lot of things. The problem is that you regularly present those speculations as fact.

 

Given that you are an insider could you please tell us why what fizzymagic wrote about

I have no idea what fizzymagic is talking about. He may very well have brought an organization to Groundspeak and it didn't worked out. Lots of proposals are made that don’t work out. That’s just the way of the world. But it’s a huge stretch to say that because one proposal doesn’t work that therefore an entity (e.g. Groundspeak) will never listen to another proposal again.

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Given that you are an insider could you please tell us why what fizzymagic wrote about

I have no idea what fizzymagic is talking about. He may very well have brought an organization to Groundspeak and it didn't worked out. Lots of proposals are made that don’t work out. That’s just the way of the world. But it’s a huge stretch to say that because one proposal doesn’t work that therefore an entity (e.g. Groundspeak) will never listen to another proposal again.

 

Note that fizzymagic wrote "it appears that Groundspeak has no .....". His formulation was chosen more carefully than mine (he is used to the American style to which I will never get used and writes in his language), but the key message is not too different. Groundspeak does not make cachers feel that it would make sense to invest time and effort in trying to find a suitable organization.

 

Whenever the topic has been brought up regardless of whether in the positive sense by suggesting that a solution for virtuals would be to have EC-like contracts nor in the negative sense like when someone reported about a failure and concluded that Groundspeak does not seem to have any interest into an EC-like deal

there has been any response from Groundspeak. This sends out a message to the community, intended or not-intended. As Groundspeak does not communicate with the community about the virtual topic since

Jeremy stopped to take part in the forum, it's not surprising that we are left with having to speculate.

 

Let me ask the following concrete question: Are there any reasonable chances that if someone finds an appropriate organization that EC-like virtuals for another field will find their place on gc.com (not another site) and will be treated like ECs (which are treated like physical caches with respect to the counters)? I'm sure that many would like to know the answer to this question.

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Let me ask the following concrete question: Are there any reasonable chances that if someone finds an appropriate organization that EC-like virtuals for another field will find their place on gc.com (not another site) and will be treated like ECs (which are treated like physical caches with respect to the counters)? I'm sure that many would like to know the answer to this question.

 

I seriously anybody from HQ would speculate on such an open ended question. What organization? Does it meet the strategic direction HQ wants to go? Is there money involved? What's the positive impact to the game, what's the positive impact to the partner?

 

Speculating on what ifs isn't useful.

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No-one has convinced me that you cannot presently set up a "virtual" if you want to. Hence the conclusion that they aren't attractive in themselves, but only if loggable on Geocaching.

I accept your word that one could set up something just like a virtual cache as a waymark, but there'd be no point since no one would notice. It's true that a large part of that is that few would care because it wouldn't count as a find on geocaching.com, and the even larger part is that it wouldn't show up on geocaching.com maps or lists. But even if someone was interested in going beyond geocaching.com to look for it, it would be impossible to find on the site because it wouldn't stand out from the multitude of waymarks that are nothing like virtual caches.

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No-one has convinced me that you cannot presently set up a "virtual" if you want to. Hence the conclusion that they aren't attractive in themselves, but only if loggable on Geocaching.

I accept your word that one could set up something just like a virtual cache as a waymark, but there'd be no point since no one would notice. It's true that a large part of that is that few would care because it wouldn't count as a find on geocaching.com, and the even larger part is that it wouldn't show up on geocaching.com maps or lists. But even if someone was interested in going beyond geocaching.com to look for it, it would be impossible to find on the site because it wouldn't stand out from the multitude of waymarks that are nothing like virtual caches.

Hmm. To test this out I chose a random (almost) geocache in California and did a Waymark search. 4th in the list is Mape Memorial Park Arch - eminently loggable, but no-one has - despite it being easy to spot. Bear in mind that I have many categories suppressed so your results may not be the same and you may see more "Locationless" types. In my view, though, it was a mistake that there isn't an indicator to say whether your Waymark is designed to be logged (i.e. it's in the Virtual game rather than the Locationless).

 

So I agree that Groundspeak would need to do some more work on Waymarking to make it more popular and to make searches more useful, but my point is that there are "virtuals" on there if you can be bothered, and yet people don't log many of them. My conclusion is that they aren't as attractive a concept as some people seem to think.

 

Had Jeremy continued with the project to amalgamate Waymarking and Geocaching stats (which he told me about personally), and to further develop Waymarking, I think we'd have less of the "Bring Back Virtuals!" threads.

Edited by Happy Humphrey
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Hmm. To test this out I chose a random (almost) geocache in California and did a Waymark search. 4th in the list is Mape Memorial Park Arch - eminently loggable, but no-one has - despite it being easy to spot.

 

I think we agree on the fact that for many cachers anything that does not provide them with a score on gc.com is not attractive.

As I have explained before, I'm not belonging to that group however and still I would not logged that waymark if it were in my area.

 

The waymark you linked to above is like the photo taking virtuals I do not like at all. There is no activity involved at all with this waymark and everything is linked to taking a photo.

 

Had Jeremy continued with the project to amalgamate Waymarking and Geocaching stats (which he told me about personally), and to further develop Waymarking, I think we'd have less of the "Bring Back Virtuals!" threads.

 

We certainly would have less such threads if waymarks and geocache founds had the same counter.

 

It would not change however that virtuals of my favourite type would not be possible without ending up with big compromises. I remember discussions with Jeremy in the forum when he still participated about the challenge plans and it became pretty obvious to me that he did not understand the message I tried to bring across and what's the difference between his ideas for challenges and waymarks and the concept of a virtual cache I have in mind.

 

There is something else about Waymarking that makes me furious, namely that at least in my area many of those who own waymarks have stolen the text from geocache pages owned by other people -

e.g. look at this waymark

http://www.Waymarking.com/waymarks/WMDPCQ_Koralpe_Geopark_Glashtten_Steiermark_Austria

and this EC

https://www.geocaching.com/geocache/GC1XE6B_koralpe-geopark-glashutten

Note that in the waymark text even the part "To log this cache" has not been changed - quite bold and also demonstrates that the quality control at Waymarking does not work. For many waymark owners in Austria it's apparently about earning certain badges on Waymarking and not about making a cache like contribution.

 

I'm glad that the waymark does not receive any logs - that's what it deserves.

Edited by cezanne
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[...]

I'm glad that the waymark does not receive any logs - that's what it deserves.

 

That is very small-minded.

 

 

Why? Do you think that unauthorized 1:1 copying the text of an EC into which someone else invested work and without adapting the text to what makes sense for a waymark is acceptable behaviour?

 

I would never make the same sort of statement for an arbitrary waymark - it was about a specific waymark which never should have become public. BTW: I also do not think that it is acceptable to publish ECs where photos are taken from the internet which show people without having the right to use those photos.

 

One of the issues with waymarks is that it is very easy to set up waymarks without ever having been at the location. For the type of virtual caches I appreciate this is definitely not the case.

Edited by cezanne
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[...]

I'm glad that the waymark does not receive any logs - that's what it deserves.

 

That is very small-minded.

 

 

Why? Do you think that unauthorized 1:1 copying the text of an EC into which someone else invested work and without adapting the text to what makes sense for a waymark is acceptable behaviour?

[...]

 

No. My comment does not relate to that copy and paste issue. It deals with your infantile punishment.

It's not rocket science interpreting quotes correctly, isn't it?

 

Hans

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No. My comment does not relate to that copy and paste issue. It deals with your infantile punishment.

It's not rocket science interpreting quotes correctly, isn't it?

 

I interpreted your quote correctly. I do not think however that my opinion that such a waymark (the waymark is not the location)

does not deserve a visit is an infantile punishment. Every visit would send the implicit message that publishing such waymarks is ok.

Even if one would add a comment to the visit log, the owner of the waymark would not care at all.

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As I have explained before, I'm not belonging to that group however and still I would not logged that waymark if it were in my area.

 

The waymark you linked to above is like the photo taking virtuals I do not like at all. There is no activity involved at all with this waymark and everything is linked to taking a photo.

I understand that such things are not to your taste, but the discussion was "bring back virtuals" and I don't see how you not liking it doesn't make it a "virtual".

 

The typical virtual cache (of which I've logged a few) requires you to log the cache by going to the coordinates and viewing the item of interest...quite often including a requirement to post a photo of yourself with GPSr, or to answer a question that the CO imagines is only possible to get correct by actually visiting. Much though you hate the photo activity it's quite accepted practice, and your option to not log it because there is no "activity" beyond this is simply your own preference. The "question and answer" is usually more about weeding out fake find logs than for any educational purpose. Personally I'd rather leaving logging open with no requirements at all.

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As I have explained before, I'm not belonging to that group however and still I would not logged that waymark if it were in my area.

 

The waymark you linked to above is like the photo taking virtuals I do not like at all. There is no activity involved at all with this waymark and everything is linked to taking a photo.

I understand that such things are not to your taste, but the discussion was "bring back virtuals" and I don't see how you not liking it doesn't make it a "virtual".

 

It's a virtual of course but not one that does not fit on Waymarking (which is proved anyway as there is a waymark there). That's why it's not really a good example when it comes to my claim that Waymarking does not cover virtuals.

 

I've never belonged to those who complained that one can only find fast food restaurants on Waymarking. It's trivial that in a category for say Gothic churches you will not encounter hamburger restaurant waymarks.

 

There are many old virtuals which I do not like at all. The concept of a virtual however is more general than those old virtuals which I do not like and more general than Waymarking and more general than the challenges which do not exist any longer.

 

 

The typical virtual cache (of which I've logged a few) requires you to log the cache by going to the coordinates and viewing the item of interest...quite often including a requirement to post a photo of yourself with GPSr,

 

Yes, I'm aware of that. The stress is on that is not the only form of virtual. This is relevant when it comes to discussing about whether you are right with your statement that Waymarking covers virtuals.

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Folks are welcome to set up a website with strict copyright fact-checking instead of informal peer review.

 

With that said, let's get off the back and forth side tangent about an individual waymark and return to the main discussion of virtual caches.

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This is relevant when it comes to discussing about whether you are right with your statement that Waymarking covers virtuals.

The only contradictory example you came up with is your own virtual, which is quite unusual but which I didn't think could not be converted to a Waymark. The reason you thought that it couldn't was because of dummy coordinates. I still haven't seen one that couldn't be a Waymark so it seems that from my point of view the argument stands.

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Hmm. To test this out I chose a random (almost) geocache in California and did a Waymark search. 4th in the list is Mape Memorial Park Arch - eminently loggable, but no-one has - despite it being easy to spot.

Good example. That's the 4th waymark in the list...and it's also the 5th, exactly the same waymark, even exactly the same picture, by the same person, just in a different category. Then the 6th, 7th, 8th, and 9th in the list are the same park, just different elements of it. Also, all the waymarks on the page are by the same person. And I'm not sure how you picked this random location, but although the first page might be vaguely interesting locations, in the second page we get into the fastfood joints and by the third page they dominate.

 

Don't tell me I don't do waymarks because I don't get credit for them in my geocaching found count.

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This is relevant when it comes to discussing about whether you are right with your statement that Waymarking covers virtuals.

The only contradictory example you came up with is your own virtual, which is quite unusual but which I didn't think could not be converted to a Waymark.

 

No, I also mentioned that two further of my caches with a container (without naming them) and some ideas I have in mind.

I cannot provide you with further examples of existing virtuals. Note that there have never been more than two real virtuals in my home country at all (my virtual being one of them).

 

The reason you thought that it couldn't was because of dummy coordinates. I still haven't seen one that couldn't be a Waymark so it seems that from my point of view the argument stands.

 

No, that's one of several reasons and I have mentioned others as well. Another one was the linkage to a mystery cache in the sense that it can only be visited if one has done the mystery cache.

Another one is that it relies on having to send in answers to questions which are more complex than I have seen them in any sort of existing Waymarking category as compulsory visit requirements.

The point of my virtual is not paying a visit to a certain set of locations. It would become pointless with waymark typical visit conditions. (Side comment: While I'm aware that PMs can create categories if they find sufficient support, the whole concept of categorizing things does not fit into my style of thinking about virtuals - I actually would need a separate category for every virtual project I have in mind and none of them is an existing one and none of them is one where I would have many ideas of the same kind.)

 

In your waymark one can start out at the waymark coordinates (or somewhere else) and visit it with the help of the waymark description. That cannot be done for my virtual and it cannot be done for my other projects I have in mind either (in one of them e.g. first a puzzle would have to be solved and there are other obstacles too).

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