Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 1
Walts Hunting

Earth Caches cannot require pictures

Recommended Posts

I am in a discussion with a CO about this but can't find where in the guidelines it is. The page with caches describes what you will have to do at an Earth Cache but does not address the picture issue either way.

Share this post


Link to post

I had planned on hunting an EarthCache today. But I had not charged the battery in the camera in a few months, and it was dead. The EarthCache required photos of the two major minerals found at the site. As far as I can determine, requiring selfies is not permitted. But requiring a photo of the location is permitted. As to whether an EarthCache owner can delete a log that does not include those photos is up to the EarthCache owner. As far as I can tell, that is permitted. Non-selfies can be required.

I hope to go for that EarthCache next weekend, instead. That's my interpretation of the guidelines.

Share this post


Link to post

My interpretation is pictures cannot be required. The exception of four geological interests does open it to interpretation. However in the instant case the Co requires a selfie.

Edited by Walts Hunting

Share this post


Link to post

I think the guidelines are pretty clear. EarthCaches cannot require selfies ("a photograph of the geocacher as proof that they were at the EarthCache site"). But EarthCaches can require "photographic tasks [...] if they relate specifically to the Earth Science lesson", such as photos of minerals found at the site, or photos of some geological phenomenon.

 

And older EarthCaches are NOT grandfathered in this regard.

Share this post


Link to post

 

I interperate that to along the lines of

 

"Take a selfie infront of the dog shaped rock" As no

 

But

 

"Take a photo of a vein of opal in the rock" as fine.

 

OP is questioning the requirement for a photo at all?

Generally both would not be allowed. The only situation of a photo requirement which would be acceptable is of some dynamic or changing process. Tidal bores were once an example of this type of process, but I'm not sure that is still true or not.

 

From the Guidelines:

 

All requests for photographs must be optional.

 

...and from a related Help Center article:

 

Requiring a photograph of the geocacher as proof that they were at the EarthCache site is not permitted, and this has not been grandfathered for older EarthCache listings.

 

Link for reference:

 

Earthcache Logging Requirements

Share this post


Link to post

I wonder if this has changed since the advent of Message Centre. I'm sure when I created my Earthcache last year, photos had to be optional as finders needed to be able to submit their answers via the CO's email link on their profile page, which of course doesn't support photos.

 

Jeff

Share this post


Link to post

All Earthcache photos are optional. There's been no recent change in that guideline due to the message center or otherwise.

 

I'm moving this discussion from the Geocaching Topics forum to the Earthcache forum.

Share this post


Link to post

As far as I understand it, even photos of geological features cannot be required unless it relates to a specific earth science task that can't be done in any other way, such as recording a phenomenon. Awhile back, Geoaware explained:

 

An example and an acceptable photograph logging task: To log this EarthCache you need to take a photo of the arrival of the tidal bore up the river at this point. Holding a watch in the photograph to record the time would be perfect.

 

So, would it be acceptable to ask a cacher to take a picture of a certain phenomena such as fossils in situ with, say, their GPSr for scale?

 

No. The example you give is NOT recording a phenomenon that can't be measured in some other way (like asking people to measure the size of the fossil for example).

 

Bottom line is that it will require a exceptional circumstance (like the example I gave) to allow a photograph to be taken as a logging task.

 

That said, you are more than welcome to ask cachers to provide a photograph, but the request must be optional and that you can't delete a log if a person does not provide a photograph.

 

If this has changed, I am sure it will be explained. I remembered more specific guidelines on the earthcache site but do not find them now.

Edited by geodarts

Share this post


Link to post

Thanks. That is very interesting. While the wording on the GS site does leave some wiggle room for misinterpretation the wording for submittal is absolute. All picture submittal is optional.

Share this post


Link to post

Thanks. That is very interesting. While the wording on the GS site does leave some wiggle room for misinterpretation the wording for submittal is absolute. All picture submittal is optional.

 

I once had a EarthCache owner delete my log because I posted my photo at GZ. :laughing: I have had to contact GSA two times in reguards to the same CO for deleting my logs over the photo issues. :anibad:

Share this post


Link to post

Here is a link to GSA's Guidelines for Submittal , and number 6 is quite clear that All requests for photographs must be optional.

 

Good catch. I did not see that the first time I read it but just returned from camping and earthcaching and was too tired to notice the specific language

Share this post


Link to post

When you run across Earthcache listings that are out of date and ask for a photo, just submit all of the requirements except the photo and log your find. There are a lot of Earthcache owners who still ask for this and fly under the radar, and lots of people who think they need to comply. Even after all the drama when the rule initially changed there was never any sort of crackdown on it.

Share this post


Link to post

For a while, when logging earthcaches that still mandated a photo, I would point out to COs in my email with the answers that requiring photos is no longer allowed. At least half the time, I would get a response that they know the rule has changed and that they aren't deleting logs, but that they didn't want to change the description because otherwise it would be too easy to fake a log. Nine times out of ten, the ECs in question were basically earth science virtual caches that taught little and just required a photo and maybe parroting some answers off a sign, which tells me that the owners couldn't be bothered to think of good logging questions and are just hoping that none of the geoawares make them change their caches.

Share this post


Link to post

To make things clear, pictures can be required and not all pictures are optional.

 

Please see http://coord.info/GC3967X which is the listing to an Earth Cache, scroll down to "Station 2 "Wet Feet": " and read about picture requirement.

 

regards,

MB

Share this post


Link to post

To make things clear, pictures can be required and not all pictures are optional.

 

Please see http://coord.info/GC3967X which is the listing to an Earth Cache, scroll down to "Station 2 "Wet Feet": " and read about picture requirement.

 

regards,

MB

Perhaps the German translation is a bit more clear, because further down the page it refers to the picture as "optional". All the same, it doesn't appear that the picture suggested in the requirements really adds much to the educational experience, and judging by the number of selfies in the gallery, it doesn't appear other people think so either or don't care.

Share this post


Link to post
All the same, it doesn't appear that the picture suggested in the requirements really adds much to the educational experience

 

Agree, maybe the German reviewer is not familiar with the guidelines:

http://support.Groundspeak.com/index.php?pg=kb.page&id=296

Requiring a photograph of the geocacher as proof that they were at the EarthCache site is not permitted, and this has not been grandfathered for older EarthCache listings. However, photographic tasks will be considered if they relate specifically to the Earth Science lesson.

 

Further down the listing, auto responser email address is mentioned, also not allowed in ECs.

Share this post


Link to post

To make things clear, pictures can be required and not all pictures are optional.

 

Please see http://coord.info/GC3967X which is the listing to an Earth Cache, scroll down to "Station 2 "Wet Feet": " and read about picture requirement.

 

regards,

MB

Perhaps the German translation is a bit more clear, because further down the page it refers to the picture as "optional". All the same, it doesn't appear that the picture suggested in the requirements really adds much to the educational experience, and judging by the number of selfies in the gallery, it doesn't appear other people think so either or don't care.

 

The optional photo at the last stage is a different one than the one which is required (at Stage 2). The EC is however from 2012 and there has been a time when photos related to the geology were allowed in certain cases by the EC reviewers. Note that the EC predates the current version of the EC guidelines.

Share this post


Link to post

To make things clear, pictures can be required and not all pictures are optional.

 

Please see http://coord.info/GC3967X which is the listing to an Earth Cache, scroll down to "Station 2 "Wet Feet": " and read about picture requirement.

 

regards,

MB

Perhaps the German translation is a bit more clear, because further down the page it refers to the picture as "optional". All the same, it doesn't appear that the picture suggested in the requirements really adds much to the educational experience, and judging by the number of selfies in the gallery, it doesn't appear other people think so either or don't care.

 

The optional photo at the last stage is a different one than the one which is required (at Stage 2). The EC is however from 2012 and there has been a time when photos related to the geology were allowed in certain cases by the EC reviewers. Note that the EC predates the current version of the EC guidelines.

The photo ban was first implemented in January of 2011, so your assertion is incorrect. There have been some slight wording changes, to clarify the intent, but the result is the same. Grandfathering was never a consideration.

Share this post


Link to post

To make things clear, pictures can be required and not all pictures are optional.

 

Please see http://coord.info/GC3967X which is the listing to an Earth Cache, scroll down to "Station 2 "Wet Feet": " and read about picture requirement.

 

regards,

MB

Perhaps the German translation is a bit more clear, because further down the page it refers to the picture as "optional". All the same, it doesn't appear that the picture suggested in the requirements really adds much to the educational experience, and judging by the number of selfies in the gallery, it doesn't appear other people think so either or don't care.

 

The optional photo at the last stage is a different one than the one which is required (at Stage 2). The EC is however from 2012 and there has been a time when photos related to the geology were allowed in certain cases by the EC reviewers. Note that the EC predates the current version of the EC guidelines.

The photo ban was first implemented in January of 2011, so your assertion is incorrect. There have been some slight wording changes, to clarify the intent, but the result is the same. Grandfathering was never a consideration.

 

The photo ban at that time did not refer to photos that related to an Earth science related logging task where a photo requirement seemed appropriate (in the eyes of the EC reviewer). I do not agree that the new formulation provides the same result as the new formulation outrules any sort of photo - actually I need to admit that I have not been aware of that change.

 

The German text of the EC page under discussion says that the reviewer agreed with the photo requirement at Stage 2 (and I do believe that this was the case and is not a lie) - the photo requirement at Stage 3 about the selfie has been optional from the beginning (as it appears from the cache page).

Edited by cezanne

Share this post


Link to post

(and I do believe that this was the case and is not a lie)

 

Please reread my response. I never said you lied. A BIG difference in how you characterize the discussion.

Share this post


Link to post

(and I do believe that this was the case and is not a lie)

 

Please reread my response. I never said you lied. A BIG difference in how you characterize the discussion.

 

I read your response carefully from the beginning and I never thought that you said that I'm lying.

 

My statement about "not a lie" did not refer to me, but to the cache page which mentions that the EC reviewer in charge of the EC under dicussion declared the geological photo requirement at Stage 2 (not the optional one at Stage 3) to be within the guidelines. Neither of us knows that this is true but as I have encountered other such caches too and forum discussions back then in which it was was mentioned that such photos are ok (of course not un-conditionally).

 

I somehow believe that you misunderstand what the cache page asks for at Stage 2 and what the text says. How good is your German?

Share this post


Link to post

I've responded to that question already. I see no need to repeat myself.

 

I could not find any statement in this thread about how proficient you are in German and the fact that you wrote that the German translation might be more clear because further down the photo is declared as optional makes me still think that you did not get the precise meaning and that the photo requirements at Stages 2 and 3 are not of the same type (optional at Stage 3, not optional at Stage 2 though no log deletion appears to happen if photos are missing).

Share this post


Link to post

Sorry. You were making some pretty far fetched assumptions regarding photo logging requirements ( just as you just did regarding log deletions), so I thought you would easily infer that information from my earlier post. I am not fluent in German. Thank you for the clarification.

Share this post


Link to post

Sorry. You were making some pretty far fetched assumptions regarding photo logging requirements ( just as you just did regarding log deletions),

 

I do not think that my formulation which said that it appears to me that if photos for Stage 2 are missing, no log deletion happens is very far fetched as several found it logs exist which do not include the photo which is required according to the cache description.

 

Actually, it's not too uncommon that owners of ECs do not react at all and let all logs stand and even more likely when they make use of automatic responders (like is the case for the EC under discussion) as they usually do that in order to minimize the work on their side.

 

I also do not think that it is too far fetched to believe the statement of the cache owner that the EC reviewer gave his ok to the photo requirement at Stage 2. I'm also 100% sure that in an earlier version of the EC guidelines photo requirement that related to the geology were mentioned as exception.

(Comment added: What I found here

http://www.gc-reviewer.de/update-der-earthcache-guidelines-zum-01-01-2013/ - only in German, however, effectively proves that the change that no photos can be required became effective in January 2013 and the EEC discussed here has been published under a previous version).

 

 

So I wonder what was pretty far fetched in what I wrote.

Edited by cezanne

Share this post


Link to post

The problem I see is, that the guideline for EC is not quite clear:

 

From the Groundspeak Help Center http://support.Groundspeak.com/index.php?pg=kb.page&id=296

Requiring a photograph of the geocacher as proof that they were at the EarthCache site is not permitted, and this has not been grandfathered for older EarthCache listings. However, photographic tasks will be considered if they relate specifically to the Earth Science lesson.

Here it states, that under some conditions, photos may be required from the CO

 

The guidelines from geosociety, updated on 1 Jan 2013: http://www.geosociety.org/earthcache/guidelines.htm

Please be aware that your EarthCache must meet all of these guidelines before it is published

And: All requests for photographs must be optional.

 

Here are no exceptions.

 

The German Reviewer Guidelines make it even more clear:

http://www.gc-reviewer.de/update-der-earthcache-guidelines-zum-01-01-2013/

· Fotos dürfen, zu welchem Zweck auch immer, nicht mehr gefordert, sondern nur erbeten werden. Dies gilt auch für Fotos, die eine Aufgabe oder eine Beobachtung dokumentieren sollen.

Translation:

Pictures for whatever reason may no longer be required, only requested as optional. This also applies for pictures which are to document a task or an observation.

 

So, who is right? Maybe Groundspeak need to update their site.

Edited by Mausebiber

Share this post


Link to post

It is confusing. I thought that a picture could be required if it related directly to a task and not as proof you were there. We need an official geoaware to weigh in--

Share this post


Link to post

It is confusing. I thought that a picture could be required if it related directly to a task and not as proof you were there. We need an official geoaware to weigh in--

 

Why not just contact GSA and ask? As for me, I understand the ALL photo requests are optional. Period. :D

Share this post


Link to post

This has been beaten into the ground in older threads.

 

You can ask for photographs at the site as a task related to the earth science lesson, i.e. as a form of data collection or observation of a variable at the site.

 

You cannot ask for a photograph solely to confirm someone's presence at the site.

Share this post


Link to post

This has been beaten into the ground in older threads.

 

You can ask for photographs at the site as a task related to the earth science lesson, i.e. as a form of data collection or observation of a variable at the site.

 

You cannot ask for a photograph solely to confirm someone's presence at the site.

 

This may no longer be accurate. In an earlier post I quoted geoaware (in one of the threads that you probably are thinking about) to the effect that you could require photographs under a rare exception that was related to recording a geological phenomenon. Indeed, in January 2011, the earthcache.org guidelines read:

 

7. Requests for photographs must be optional. Exceptions to this guideline will only be considered if the requested photograph is related to an Earth Science logging activity such as recording a phenomenon. This particular guidelines was updated on 1 January 2011. All EarthCaches must conform to this guideline as photo requests are considered "optional tasks" and follow the guidelines set forth by Geocaching.com. Existing EarthCaches that do not meet this guideline must be updated to comply. Cache owners may not delete the cacher's log based solely on optional tasks.

 

That section is no longer there. It was replaced when the guidelines were updated on January 1, 2013. As was pointed out above, the guidelines now state only "All requests for photographs must be optional." So I am no longer sure that you could use a photograph to record a variable at the site. I take the newer guidelines for what it says.

 

Perhaps one of the geoawares could confirm if there are exceptions to this statement.

Edited by geodarts

Share this post


Link to post

This has been beaten into the ground in older threads.

 

You can ask for photographs at the site as a task related to the earth science lesson, i.e. as a form of data collection or observation of a variable at the site.

 

You cannot ask for a photograph solely to confirm someone's presence at the site.

 

This may no longer be accurate. In an earlier post I quoted geoaware (in one of the threads that you probably are thinking about) to the effect that you could require photographs under a rare exception that was related to recording a geological phenomenon. Indeed, in January 2011, the earthcache.org guidelines read:

 

7. Requests for photographs must be optional. Exceptions to this guideline will only be considered if the requested photograph is related to an Earth Science logging activity such as recording a phenomenon. This particular guidelines was updated on 1 January 2011. All EarthCaches must conform to this guideline as photo requests are considered "optional tasks" and follow the guidelines set forth by Geocaching.com. Existing EarthCaches that do not meet this guideline must be updated to comply. Cache owners may not delete the cacher's log based solely on optional tasks.

 

That section is no longer there. It was replaced when the guidelines were updated on January 1, 2013. As was pointed out above, the guidelines now state only "All requests for photographs must be optional." So I am no longer sure that you could use a photograph to record a variable at the site. I take the newer guidelines for what it says.

 

Perhaps one of the geoawares could confirm if there are exceptions to this statement.

 

Makes no difference to me - even when the older guideline was there stating that "Exceptions to this guideline will only be considered if the requested photograph is related to an Earth Science logging activity such as recording a phenomenon" I tried creating an earthcache that required this and I was refused by the earthcache reviewer at the time. As always, the rules are one thing, and what the reviewer decides may be another, and it is always the latter that means anything.

 

That said, current rules seem pretty clear - all photos are optional.

 

Many of my earthcaches still ask for a photo. I haven't bothered going back and changing them. Some people post photos, some don't - I never demand them or delete logs based on them, because the rule is they are optional.

 

Share this post


Link to post

This has been beaten into the ground in older threads.

 

You can ask for photographs at the site as a task related to the earth science lesson, i.e. as a form of data collection or observation of a variable at the site.

 

You cannot ask for a photograph solely to confirm someone's presence at the site.

 

This may no longer be accurate. In an earlier post I quoted geoaware (in one of the threads that you probably are thinking about) to the effect that you could require photographs under a rare exception that was related to recording a geological phenomenon. Indeed, in January 2011, the earthcache.org guidelines read:

 

7. Requests for photographs must be optional. Exceptions to this guideline will only be considered if the requested photograph is related to an Earth Science logging activity such as recording a phenomenon. This particular guidelines was updated on 1 January 2011. All EarthCaches must conform to this guideline as photo requests are considered "optional tasks" and follow the guidelines set forth by Geocaching.com. Existing EarthCaches that do not meet this guideline must be updated to comply. Cache owners may not delete the cacher's log based solely on optional tasks.

 

That section is no longer there. It was replaced when the guidelines were updated on January 1, 2013. As was pointed out above, the guidelines now state only "All requests for photographs must be optional." So I am no longer sure that you could use a photograph to record a variable at the site. I take the newer guidelines for what it says.

 

Perhaps one of the geoawares could confirm if there are exceptions to this statement.

 

That's too bad. I suspect that the possibility of an exception was perhaps being abused by individuals who don't want to create better logging tasks.

Share this post


Link to post

I suspect that the possibility of an exception was perhaps being abused by individuals who don't want to create better logging tasks.

 

You are probably right, but only where the reviewers actually entertained the possibility of an exception as per the guidelines. I never encountered one that did, so maybe it was already an unwritten rule that ALL photos had to be optional, and then in 2013 what was unwritten became written.

Share this post


Link to post

That's too bad. I suspect that the possibility of an exception was perhaps being abused by individuals who don't want to create better logging tasks.

 

I do not think so as for ECs the reviewers take care of the logging tasks anyway. It could be that the reviewers ended up with too much debates however and asked for a change.

 

What I do not appreciate that much is that changes in the EC guidelines are not well announced. I realized that the current guidelines are from January 2013 but up to this thread I did not realize that the photo guideline has been changed back then.

Share this post


Link to post

I suspect that the possibility of an exception was perhaps being abused by individuals who don't want to create better logging tasks.

 

You are probably right, but only where the reviewers actually entertained the possibility of an exception as per the guidelines. I never encountered one that did, so maybe it was already an unwritten rule that ALL photos had to be optional, and then in 2013 what was unwritten became written.

 

Maybe as typical it depended on the reviewer. I have seen several exceptions.

Share this post


Link to post

What I do not appreciate that much is that changes in the EC guidelines are not well announced. I realized that the current guidelines are from January 2013 but up to this thread I did not realize that the photo guideline has been changed back then.

 

I can see why the change was made since the old guidelines probably led to a lot of confusion, angst, and reviewer time, but it appears many of us (including myself) missed learning about the changes. It would be good if revisions to the guidelines are made a pinned topic here.

Share this post


Link to post

What I do not appreciate that much is that changes in the EC guidelines are not well announced. I realized that the current guidelines are from January 2013 but up to this thread I did not realize that the photo guideline has been changed back then.

 

I can see why the change was made since the old guidelines probably led to a lot of confusion, angst, and reviewer time, but it appears many of us (including myself) missed learning about the changes. It would be good if revisions to the guidelines are made a pinned topic here.

Considering the small minority of cachers that actually visit the Forum, I'm not sure what a pinned topic will accomplish. On the other hand, there are several articles in the Help Center regarding submissions and guidelines, there's the GSA site of course, as well as a link/checkbox on the online submission form with a link directing people to the GSA site (which also has several hyperlinks sprinkled in the Guidelines offering further clarification). I'm not against more information, but it seems like just one more avenue of opportunity for people to ignore.

Share this post


Link to post

Considering the small minority of cachers that actually visit the Forum, I'm not sure what a pinned topic will accomplish. On the other hand, there are several articles in the Help Center regarding submissions and guidelines, there's the GSA site of course, as well as a link/checkbox on the online submission form with a link directing people to the GSA site (which also has several hyperlinks sprinkled in the Guidelines offering further clarification). I'm not against more information, but it seems like just one more avenue of opportunity for people to ignore.

 

What I would like to have is a list of changes that comes along with every guideline change (like it is standard for software packages) and not just a replacement of the old text by the new one (and removing the old version to make it even harder to make comparisons). This list should be available directly at the same place as where the official guidelines reside.

 

Well, if I'm going to submit an EC (which will never happen due to the language guidelines) I'm willing to read through the current version from the beginning to the end when I start to prepare my caches - in all other cases, I'm not willing to do so and just want to skim through what has been changed and I think that many others share this approach.

Edited by cezanne

Share this post


Link to post

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 1

×
×
  • Create New...