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brendan714

Earthcache log - What would you do?

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So I'm CO on an Earthcache.

 

I received a found it log, followed by an email for the required answers.

 

The cacher simply took a photo of the sign which contains 4 out of 5 answers and emailed it to me, saying that the photo should suffice.

 

I kindly responded saying that I need answers to all 5 questions, and simply taking a photo of the sign does not answer any of the questions at all.

 

The cacher responded with written answers to 4 out of 5 questions.

 

I responded that, again, all 5 questions must be answered.

 

The cacher responds again saying that since they were there in the dark, they could not answer all 5 questions. However, the answer to the 5th question can easily be looked up. So the cacher includes the answer to the 5th question, stating: "If you would like me to lie, then: (Answer to 5th question)". The cacher then goes on to explain that I should put a note on the cache page saying it must be performed during the day.

 

The answer they provided for the 5th question was actually incorrect, so I deleted their found it log and explained that I'd be more than happy to accept their "found it" log if they returned to the EC site during the day and correctly answered all 5 questions.

 

So, what would you have done? Would you have deleted the log (or perhaps even sooner than I did)? I'm not too sure of the rules, but isn't it kind of implied that most ECs must be completed during the day? Usually you are looking at some sort of geological feature - that would be tough to do without proper lighting!

 

I'm expecting some sort of rebuttal pretty soon. If they respond with the correct answer for #5, I suppose I have to let them log a found, don't I?

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I would expect an earthcache CO to allow a log if all the logging criteria were met, and there is not clear evidence of a bogus log. Having a bad attitude is not a reason to delete a log, however if they were there when the area was closed, that might be reason to delete a log.

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I don't own an Earthcache. But if I did..

 

My understanding of Earth caches is the purpose is to educate. It isn't neccessary that the finder answer all the questions exactly right; as long as you as owner feel they attempted it in good faith. I've had my answers to an Earth Cache corrected before by the owner.

 

If you feel that question 5 is fundemental to the cache and they didn't give it a fair effort, then deleting it is the right thing.

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I would expect an earthcache CO to allow a log if all the logging criteria were met, and there is not clear evidence of a bogus log. Having a bad attitude is not a reason to delete a log, however if they were there when the area was closed, that might be reason to delete a log.

Agreed. All logging criteria were not met, and I figured 3 incorrect attempts was enough. I have to admit that their attitude didn't help their case. If they were polite and willing to learn where they made mistakes, I would have been much more understanding. As it was, they were quite rude. It was almost like my EC was a chore.

 

I don't own an Earthcache. But if I did..

 

My understanding of Earth caches is the purpose is to educate. It isn't neccessary that the finder answer all the questions exactly right; as long as you as owner feel they attempted it in good faith. I've had my answers to an Earth Cache corrected before by the owner.

 

If you feel that question 5 is fundemental to the cache and they didn't give it a fair effort, then deleting it is the right thing.

Exactly. I'm not expecting the answers to be 100% correct 100% of the time. The idea is that the cachers read the information at the site and that helps them to interpret the geological item they are seeing (in daylight, of course). However, by coming at night the educational experience is greatly diminished.

 

I've now realized that the questions CAN be answered in the dark, but that's really against the educational lesson I'm trying to accomplish.

 

I'm still stuck on this one. Perhaps I do have to include a clause that says they have to be there during daytime (I thought that was implied for most ECs).

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They didn't fulfill the logging requirements, nor did they make anything resembling a good faith attempt to fulfill the logging requirements. That is on them, not you.

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Perhaps I do have to include a clause that says they have to be there during daytime (I thought that was implied for most ECs).
Well, my EC includes the "Not 24-7" attribute and the "Not Recommended at Night" attribute, but that's because the location is open only 8 AM to sunset. The necessary on-site information is available on signs that can be read by flashlight, but no one should be there in the dark.
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Perhaps I do have to include a clause that says they have to be there during daytime (I thought that was implied for most ECs).
Well, my EC includes the "Not 24-7" attribute and the "Not Recommended at Night" attribute, but that's because the location is open only 8 AM to sunset. The necessary on-site information is available on signs that can be read by flashlight, but no one should be there in the dark.

Great point, I'll definitely add in the "Not Recommended at Night" attribute.

In this case, they can access the site on any day at any time. But, going at night greatly takes away from the purpose of the EC.

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However, the answer to the 5th question can easily be looked up

 

Where, from the sign on site or maybe close by?

 

Regards,

MB

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However, the answer to the 5th question can easily be looked up

 

Where, from the sign on site or maybe close by?

 

Regards,

MB

Within 10 meters of the sign. It might be difficult to see in the dark but it's VERY obvious in the daylight.

You could also use any search engine to reasonably find the answer. I think this is what the cacher did, but they answered it incorrectly. I fully intended for cachers to use the obvious items within 10 m of GZ to answer the 5th question.

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I think it would also depend on the difficulty attributed to the cache. When we have done EC's the CO's have been a happier to accept our attempts when it has been a D1 even if we have been a bit off the mark but expect much more detailed answers when the difficulty is D3.

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It might be difficult to see in the dark

 

Maybe it might be a good idea to mention this in the cache listing just to avoid any irritations.

 

Greertings

MB

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It might be difficult to see in the dark

Maybe it might be a good idea to mention this in the cache listing just to avoid any irritations.

 

Absolutely not. If the cacher had read the description, it would have been completely obvious that additional research would be required if the site was visited after dark.

 

Earthcaches are not meant to be power-caching friendly. They are intended to be educational, and, like it or not, education requires some actual thought. In my mind, photos of signs are not acceptable as responses to EC questions; direct quotes from signs might be in some circumstances, but in my responses I always re-word them in some way that indicates that I understood what was going on.

 

Earthcaches are an opportunity to learn something new. I know that some cachers view the questions as hoops to be jumped through, but that attitude is directly opposed to what they are all about! Even if you already know the answers to every question posed for an earthcache, there is always something new to learn.

 

If you don't want to be bothered with learning new things, then don't do Earthcaches.

 

(BTW: I only own one EC, and it's never been logged. So take what I say as coming from a finder, not a hider)

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It might be difficult to see in the dark

Maybe it might be a good idea to mention this in the cache listing just to avoid any irritations.

 

Absolutely not. If the cacher had read the description, it would have been completely obvious that additional research would be required if the site was visited after dark.

 

Earthcaches are not meant to be power-caching friendly. They are intended to be educational, and, like it or not, education requires some actual thought. In my mind, photos of signs are not acceptable as responses to EC questions; direct quotes from signs might be in some circumstances, but in my responses I always re-word them in some way that indicates that I understood what was going on.

 

Earthcaches are an opportunity to learn something new. I know that some cachers view the questions as hoops to be jumped through, but that attitude is directly opposed to what they are all about! Even if you already know the answers to every question posed for an earthcache, there is always something new to learn.

 

If you don't want to be bothered with learning new things, then don't do Earthcaches.

 

(BTW: I only own one EC, and it's never been logged. So take what I say as coming from a finder, not a hider)

100% agree. Thank you.

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It might be difficult to see in the dark

Maybe it might be a good idea to mention this in the cache listing just to avoid any irritations.

 

Absolutely not. If the cacher had read the description, it would have been completely obvious that additional research would be required if the site was visited after dark.

 

Earthcaches are not meant to be power-caching friendly. They are intended to be educational, and, like it or not, education requires some actual thought. In my mind, photos of signs are not acceptable as responses to EC questions; direct quotes from signs might be in some circumstances, but in my responses I always re-word them in some way that indicates that I understood what was going on.

 

Earthcaches are an opportunity to learn something new. I know that some cachers view the questions as hoops to be jumped through, but that attitude is directly opposed to what they are all about! Even if you already know the answers to every question posed for an earthcache, there is always something new to learn.

 

If you don't want to be bothered with learning new things, then don't do Earthcaches.

 

(BTW: I only own one EC, and it's never been logged. So take what I say as coming from a finder, not a hider)

 

I'm with Fizzy on this one.

 

I'm quite happy to nudge people in the right direction on our EC's if it is obvious that they have invested real effort and are over half way there but I've also been known to delete logs where it's clear that they haven't / think it's an just easy smiley that they are entitled to just for turning up / become impolite at the prospect of being asked to demonstrate that they've learned what was intended.

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I am moving this thread from the Geocaching Topics forum to the Earthcaching forum.

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Attitude is everything. If the cacher had directly answered the first 4 questions and Googled the 5th (either without mentioning it, or admitting he was making a best guess because of the circumstances) would we even be having this thread?

 

Agreed with fizzy: Earthcaches are about learning something.

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It might be difficult to see in the dark

Maybe it might be a good idea to mention this in the cache listing just to avoid any irritations.

 

Absolutely not. If the cacher had read the description, it would have been completely obvious that additional research would be required if the site was visited after dark.

 

Earthcaches are not meant to be power-caching friendly. They are intended to be educational, and, like it or not, education requires some actual thought. In my mind, photos of signs are not acceptable as responses to EC questions; direct quotes from signs might be in some circumstances, but in my responses I always re-word them in some way that indicates that I understood what was going on.

 

Earthcaches are an opportunity to learn something new. I know that some cachers view the questions as hoops to be jumped through, but that attitude is directly opposed to what they are all about! Even if you already know the answers to every question posed for an earthcache, there is always something new to learn.

 

If you don't want to be bothered with learning new things, then don't do Earthcaches.

 

(BTW: I only own one EC, and it's never been logged. So take what I say as coming from a finder, not a hider)

 

I'm with Fizzy on this one.

 

I'm quite happy to nudge people in the right direction on our EC's if it is obvious that they have invested real effort and are over half way there but I've also been known to delete logs where it's clear that they haven't / think it's an just easy smiley that they are entitled to just for turning up / become impolite at the prospect of being asked to demonstrate that they've learned what was intended.

 

I have a friend who owns an EarthCache. He loves Earth Caches. It's a fairly simple, but interesting one.

A cacher from some distance off came through, and did a number of caches in the areas. Logged the EarthCaches as a walk through. "I was here." No answers. My friend reminded the cacher that answers were required. No answers; the log was deleted. Cacher relogged the cache with no answers. Log deleted again. The cacher sent nasty e-mail to my friend. This was reported to Groundspeak and the cacher was banned from logging that cache.

So, we think that such an attitude shows that the cacher never bothered actually doing the EarthCache, or learning anything.

In OP's case, it is probably very similar. It sounds like the cacher never really attempted the cache, but just expected a freebie.

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Attitude is everything. If the cacher had directly answered the first 4 questions and Googled the 5th (either without mentioning it, or admitting he was making a best guess because of the circumstances) would we even be having this thread?

 

Agreed with fizzy: Earthcaches are about learning something.

Probably not. But if they did do this, they would have made a legitimate attempt to solve the Earthcache. As it was, I was sent sloppy answers 3 times, and each time the answers were incorrect.

There has to be a certain amount of effort involved. Sending me a photo of the sign is the laziest logging I've ever seen.

 

I would have very likely accepted the following:

"I was quickly rushing through but I had 5 minutes to stop and visit your Earthcache. Really interesting! I read through the description and found a sign that gave me the answers to the first 4 questions. Here's what I got: (Answers to first 4 questions). Unfortunately, I visited during the night so I couldn't see the answer to the 5th question. However, I knew that I could Google the answer so I went ahead and did a little research. Here's what I came up with as an answer to the 5th question: (...). Fascinating how (abc) results in (xyz)!

I'll be sure to stop in next time I'm driving by to see what this excellent Earthcache looks like during the day!"

 

Doesn't that sound a lot better than:

"Attached is a photo showing the answers to the questions"

 

I have to draw a line somewhere that divides enough effort from not enough effort. In this case, I think they failed. Unfortunately, now I look like the bad guy. Really, it's only fair to those who actually put in the work to learn and understand.

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It sounds like the cacher never really attempted the cache, but just expected a freebie.

Yes, I think so.

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The cacher simply took a photo of the sign which contains 4 out of 5 answers and emailed it to me, saying that the photo should suffice.

 

Boy, I might be in the minority here, but a few of your EC's appear to rely on verbage on nearby signs, and this illustrates why such Logging Requirements are inadequate IMO. From the EC Guidelines:

 

The logging tasks must have visitors using the information from the cache page along with their observations at the site to perform some type of analysis of their own.

 

So this kind of begs the question as to what kind of learning experience is being imparted by finding information on a sign and regurgitating it back to the cache owner?

 

My opinion: Ask a Reviewer to reinstate the Find log or invite the User to relog it, as it's apparent that your Logging Requirements are not rigorous enough and need to be reworked to include observations of nearby geologic features rather than signs.

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I would not have published an EC whose questions can be answered from a single nearby sign.

 

I've only logged a few ECs, but they required looking carefully at the site and answering questions which had significant ambiguity.

 

Edward

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I've only logged a few ECs, but they required looking carefully at the site and answering questions which had significant ambiguity.

 

And therein lies the rub.

 

I was put off EarthCaches for quite a long time to begin with because of ambiguity - or rather my lack of confidence in knowing that I was looking at what I was supposed to be looking at, based on the ambiguous / non-specific information on some of the pages.

 

Putting together a reasonable EarthCache is a bit of a balancing act.

 

In simple terms:

 

  • The answers should be on the cache page
  • The seeker shouldn't be required to do lots of research
  • There should be some evidence that the location was actually visited
  • The emphasis is on education and EC owners are encouraged to correct incorrect answers

 

I like to do some research before setting out for and EarthCache in a bid to ensure that I get the most out of the experience and that I have as good a chance as possible of completing the Logging Tasks well.

 

These days, more often than not I find that I can answer most if not all of the questions without leaving my armchair - which I don't think aligns well the the overall intent behind EarthCaches.

 

I think the trick is to try to provide general information on the cache page which could relate to and will support what is observed at GZ and ask the seeker to apply the knowledge gleaned from the page to their observations and arrive at (hopefully) the expected conclusions - thus demonstrating that they learned something. At least that's what I aspire to.

 

This does tend to mean though that the degree of success - or failure - is proportional to the effort invested by those completing the EarthCache - which I think is completely fair and not something that should result in angry emails.

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Boy, I might be in the minority here, but a few of your EC's appear to rely on verbage on nearby signs, and this illustrates why such Logging Requirements are inadequate IMO.

 

So this kind of begs the question as to what kind of learning experience is being imparted by finding information on a sign and regurgitating it back to the cache owner?

 

I would not have published an EC whose questions can be answered from a single nearby sign.

Well, it is very naive to imply my ECs are "inadequate" without knowing the facts.

 

In fact, I TRIED to make them more in-depth. They are all inside national parks and as such required permission from the land manager (Parks Canada). Parks Canada required me to edit the ECs to make them as simple as possible. That way it's friendly for all the tourists and foreigners. They required me to go through many rounds of editing (sometimes taking up to a month). Often I was forced to just ask cachers to take information off of signs. It's not ideal, but hey, something is better than nothing. We are lucky that geocaching is allowed in our national parks (although there are strict regulations). We are forced to abide by their rules which, unfortunately, doesn't always mean you end up with the product you envisioned.

 

Even if they are just "regurgitating" information, at least they have to stop, take the time to acknowledge the question and identify the answer. Given the location and the type of expected visitor, sometimes a quick and simple lesson of some underlying principles is fine. I'm trying to work with them right now to make a more complex EC. We'll see how that ends up.

 

Anyway, that's all quite off topic and neither of you answered the question set out in the original post. What would you have done if you were in my shoes?

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I like you would not have accepted a photo log as the answers to my questions. But if number 5 was to "List 4 mountains you can see from this viewpoint" and the finder explained that they were there after dark I would accept their answers and send them a thanks for the visit message.

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Anyway, that's all quite off topic and neither of you answered the question set out in the original post. What would you have done if you were in my shoes?

 

At the risk of repeating myself, here is my reply to your question again:

 

My opinion: Ask a Reviewer to reinstate the Find log or invite the User to relog it, as it's apparent that your Logging Requirements are not rigorous enough and need to be reworked to include observations of nearby geologic features rather than signs.

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Anyway, that's all quite off topic and neither of you answered the question set out in the original post. What would you have done if you were in my shoes?

 

At the risk of repeating myself, here is my reply to your question again:

 

My opinion: Ask a Reviewer to reinstate the Find log or invite the User to relog it, as it's apparent that your Logging Requirements are not rigorous enough and need to be reworked to include observations of nearby geologic features rather than signs.

 

This is illogical. They were rigorous enough that this character entirely failed to complete one of them.

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Anyway, that's all quite off topic and neither of you answered the question set out in the original post. What would you have done if you were in my shoes?

 

At the risk of repeating myself, here is my reply to your question again:

 

My opinion: Ask a Reviewer to reinstate the Find log or invite the User to relog it, as it's apparent that your Logging Requirements are not rigorous enough and need to be reworked to include observations of nearby geologic features rather than signs.

 

This is illogical. They were rigorous enough that this character entirely failed to complete one of them.

They sent a picture of the answers. Lame Logging Requirements results in lame answers. Although in this case, I would give partial credit to the Finder for finding a creative solution to a poorly constructed problem. Anyone that bases there Logging Requirements on signs, kind of gets what they deserve in my book. There's a reason the Guidelines were updated on this issue, and this is pretty good illustration why.

Edited by Touchstone
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Anyway, that's all quite off topic and neither of you answered the question set out in the original post. What would you have done if you were in my shoes?

 

At the risk of repeating myself, here is my reply to your question again:

 

My opinion: Ask a Reviewer to reinstate the Find log or invite the User to relog it, as it's apparent that your Logging Requirements are not rigorous enough and need to be reworked to include observations of nearby geologic features rather than signs.

 

This is illogical. They were rigorous enough that this character entirely failed to complete one of them.

They sent a picture of the answers. Lame Logging Requirements results in lame answers. Although in this case, I would give partial credit to the Finder for finding a creative solution to a poorly constructed problem. Anyone that bases there Logging Requirements on signs, kind of gets what they deserve in my book. There's a reason the Guidelines were updated on this issue, and this is pretty good illustration why.

 

The cacher's abject failure to comply with simple instructions is not related to this issue.

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Touchstone--

 

Not true, really. You can ask questions that require the use of a sign, but still require thinking. Sending a pic of the sign would not be enough in such a case. I have a couple of ECs where the answers are on my cache page for the most part, with questions requiring observation, as well, just as the OP has done. In the modern world, ANYTHING can be found on the internet, even the average temperature of the water in a spring, I bet, when an EC owner wants a temperature reading. I can think of few things for an EC that somebody somewhere couldn't find a way to cheat on. I write ECs for people who want to learn. I don't worry that much about those who cheat to get it done--they harm only themselves. My ECs are out there to teach--I teach for a living. That means I'm used to acknowledging that I'm not going to reach everybody. I take the joy in the ones who take joy in learning like I do. I've logged over 350 EarchCaches, some of "lame," to use your terminology. I still learn from them by doing more research. You get out what you put in when it comes to logging ECs. I chose to concentrate on the positives and ignore the negatives.

Edited by Dame Deco
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If all the answers are on the sign. Part of me thinks that is all you need. I am leaning with touchstone on this one. If you can answer everything with the sign, a photo is all you should need. If they did not answer #5 then they should include what is missing.

 

The sign is not the Earthcache, it is the area around you. But,if you are going to allow almost everything to be answerable from the sign, then that is what you will get.

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If all the answers are on the sign. Part of me thinks that is all you need. I am leaning with touchstone on this one. If you can answer everything with the sign, a photo is all you should need. If they did not answer #5 then they should include what is missing.

 

The sign is not the Earthcache, it is the area around you. But,if you are going to allow almost everything to be answerable from the sign, then that is what you will get.

 

To be clear, what you are saying is this: When an Earthcache is easy, expect people to utterly fail at it because it's too easy.

 

That doesn't make any sense.

 

There are other threads where people cry and scream about Earthcaches that are too hard. Blah blah you shouldn't need a degree blah blah.

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So I guess what I'm getting from this discussion is that most people feel that basing Logging Requirements on a nearby interpretive sign is fine, but to take a picture of the sign to fulfill the requirements is not, even though the answers may be clearly visible in the picture (excluding the example above in which one of the answers was obscured).

 

So for those advocates of the "sign as a Logging Requirement" crowd, what if I were to take a picture of the sign, go home and transcribe everything to a piece of paper, and then submit a picture of my transcription. Would that fulfill the spirit of the Logging Requirements? Of course my follow up question would be, what exactly did I learn by copying the information from a sign?

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If all the answers are on the sign. Part of me thinks that is all you need. I am leaning with touchstone on this one. If you can answer everything with the sign, a photo is all you should need. If they did not answer #5 then they should include what is missing.

 

The sign is not the Earthcache, it is the area around you. But,if you are going to allow almost everything to be answerable from the sign, then that is what you will get.

 

To be clear, what you are saying is this: When an Earthcache is easy, expect people to utterly fail at it because it's too easy.

 

That doesn't make any sense.

 

There are other threads where people cry and scream about Earthcaches that are too hard. Blah blah you shouldn't need a degree blah blah.

 

There are many kinds of Earthcaches, some are masters thesis with questions requiring a ton of work. But we are not discussing those. We are discussing the ones where all the answers are on the sign. You wanted answers with no thought put into your questions or development of a cache, you will get an answer that is just as nonsensical, a photo. It has the answers. As much as I would be annoyed as a cache owner, that has the answers. I tell many people to take the educational material from the signs to interpret what you see around you.

 

Sign "The black layer is coal"

Bad logging tasks "what is the black layer" or "the black layer is _____"

Good logging tasks "Find the black vein identified from the sign. Is it uniform in thickness" "How does it vary from the other layers?" "Are there similar layers nearby?" "Go to the coal layer and describe the coal type....?

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There are many kinds of Earthcaches, some are masters thesis with questions requiring a ton of work. But we are not discussing those. We are discussing the ones where all the answers are on the sign. You wanted answers with no thought put into your questions or development of a cache, you will get an answer that is just as nonsensical, a photo.

 

(1) No, not all of the answers are on the sign. Question #5 wasn't on the sign.

(2) No, the ECO DID want thoughtful answers, but the land manager didn't. See post #23.

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Sign "The black layer is coal"

Bad logging tasks "what is the black layer" or "the black layer is _____"

Good logging tasks "Find the black vein identified from the sign. Is it uniform in thickness" "How does it vary from the other layers?" "Are there similar layers nearby?" "Go to the coal layer and describe the coal type....?

Agree. Just because answers can be derived from a sign doesn't mean it has to be fill in the blank.

 

However, if the park required the questions to be fill in the blank in order to grant permission, not much the cache owner can do.

 

Fortunately I've yet to have a park require those sort of changes. Most have approved my drafts as is or with minor changes. (I'm pretty sure at least a few just checked it to make sure I wasn't guiding people into closed areas and trusted me to have gotten the science right.) In one case, the NPS actually forwarded my request to the author of one of the pieces of research I was using, who provided great feedback and recommendations to help refine the listing. But no one ever asked me to dumb anything down; that would be frustrating.

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Photographing the sign shows you know where to find the answers, doesn't prove you know/can find the information to answer the question/s...

(Unless the relevant parts where photo image edited to highlight/mark the answers.)

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If all the answers are on the sign. Part of me thinks that is all you need. I am leaning with touchstone on this one. If you can answer everything with the sign, a photo is all you should need. If they did not answer #5 then they should include what is missing.

 

The sign is not the Earthcache, it is the area around you. But,if you are going to allow almost everything to be answerable from the sign, then that is what you will get.

 

To be clear, what you are saying is this: When an Earthcache is easy, expect people to utterly fail at it because it's too easy.

 

That doesn't make any sense.

 

There are other threads where people cry and scream about Earthcaches that are too hard. Blah blah you shouldn't need a degree blah blah.

 

There are many kinds of Earthcaches, some are masters thesis with questions requiring a ton of work. But we are not discussing those. We are discussing the ones where all the answers are on the sign. You wanted answers with no thought put into your questions or development of a cache, you will get an answer that is just as nonsensical, a photo. It has the answers. As much as I would be annoyed as a cache owner, that has the answers. I tell many people to take the educational material from the signs to interpret what you see around you.

 

Sign "The black layer is coal"

Bad logging tasks "what is the black layer" or "the black layer is _____"

Good logging tasks "Find the black vein identified from the sign. Is it uniform in thickness" "How does it vary from the other layers?" "Are there similar layers nearby?" "Go to the coal layer and describe the coal type....?

 

I think you've gotten confused here. I'm not the original poster. It isn't my cache we're talking about.

 

You can't simultaneously flame someone for having tasks that are too easy, yet too difficult for someone to complete.

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So I guess what I'm getting from this discussion is that most people feel that basing Logging Requirements on a nearby interpretive sign is fine, but to take a picture of the sign to fulfill the requirements is not, even though the answers may be clearly visible in the picture (excluding the example above in which one of the answers was obscured).

 

So for those advocates of the "sign as a Logging Requirement" crowd, what if I were to take a picture of the sign, go home and transcribe everything to a piece of paper, and then submit a picture of my transcription. Would that fulfill the spirit of the Logging Requirements? Of course my follow up question would be, what exactly did I learn by copying the information from a sign?

 

Missed the point.

 

If you transcribed the information for just four of five questions and logged the cache anyway, your log is illegitimate because you did not complete the tasks.

 

The quality of the Earthcache is not the issue here. The cacher's utter failure to complete the logging tasks is the issue. Your subjective feelings about those tasks is not relevant.

Edited by narcissa
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So I guess what I'm getting from this discussion is that most people feel that basing Logging Requirements on a nearby interpretive sign is fine, but to take a picture of the sign to fulfill the requirements is not, even though the answers may be clearly visible in the picture (excluding the example above in which one of the answers was obscured).

 

So for those advocates of the "sign as a Logging Requirement" crowd, what if I were to take a picture of the sign, go home and transcribe everything to a piece of paper, and then submit a picture of my transcription. Would that fulfill the spirit of the Logging Requirements? Of course my follow up question would be, what exactly did I learn by copying the information from a sign?

 

Missed the point.

 

If you transcribed the information for just four of five questions and logged the cache anyway, your log is illegitimate because you did not complete the tasks.

 

The quality of the Earthcache is not the issue here. The cacher's utter failure to complete the logging tasks is the issue. Your subjective feelings about those tasks is not relevant.

OK, let's try this from an alternate angle. Let's say I take a picture of the sign and redact all the information in the photo except all the words and information required to play this little game of "Where's Waldo?".

 

Just for clarification, "quality" is not germane to my original point, but compliance with the spirit of the Guidelines. I'm still not seeing how Logging Tasks of this nature fulfill the educational intent of the Guidelines.

 

The argument of "dumbing down" the Tasks to placate a Land Manager reminds me of the argument of the Land Manager putting out caches in violation of the Proximity portion of the Guidelines. Of course, Groundspeak/Reviewers can wave that portion of the Guidelines if they feel that there is some benefit to the game, but the sense I'm getting from this discussion, is that this is perfectly acceptable and should be adopted as the new norm :blink:

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So I guess what I'm getting from this discussion is that most people feel that basing Logging Requirements on a nearby interpretive sign is fine, but to take a picture of the sign to fulfill the requirements is not, even though the answers may be clearly visible in the picture (excluding the example above in which one of the answers was obscured).

 

So for those advocates of the "sign as a Logging Requirement" crowd, what if I were to take a picture of the sign, go home and transcribe everything to a piece of paper, and then submit a picture of my transcription. Would that fulfill the spirit of the Logging Requirements? Of course my follow up question would be, what exactly did I learn by copying the information from a sign?

 

Missed the point.

 

If you transcribed the information for just four of five questions and logged the cache anyway, your log is illegitimate because you did not complete the tasks.

 

The quality of the Earthcache is not the issue here. The cacher's utter failure to complete the logging tasks is the issue. Your subjective feelings about those tasks is not relevant.

OK, let's try this from an alternate angle. Let's say I take a picture of the sign and redact all the information in the photo except all the words and information required to play this little game of "Where's Waldo?".

 

Just for clarification, "quality" is not germane to my original point, but compliance with the spirit of the Guidelines. I'm still not seeing how Logging Tasks of this nature fulfill the educational intent of the Guidelines.

 

The argument of "dumbing down" the Tasks to placate a Land Manager reminds me of the argument of the Land Manager putting out caches in violation of the Proximity portion of the Guidelines. Of course, Groundspeak/Reviewers can wave that portion of the Guidelines if they feel that there is some benefit to the game, but the sense I'm getting from this discussion, is that this is perfectly acceptable and should be adopted as the new norm :blink:

 

You're still shouting about the quality of the geocache, rather than addressing the issue at hand, which is that the cacher failed to complete the logging tasks (regardless of how you personally feel about those tasks).

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I'll just share my own opinion - as a person who is a big fan of EarthCaches, as one who has found about 50 of them, as an owner of about 3 of them, and as a professor of geoscience at the college level. I think that grace is better than the letter of the law. I have seen how people attempt to log my ECs, and I've seen a lot of COs comment about their responsibility to make sure the logs meet the criteria, and I've experienced trying to log other people's EarthCaches. Seeing the experience from a lot of sides helps in how I think about it. Frankly, I've come to the conclusion that I think many COs take this stuff way too seriously, and all they seem to care about is protecting the "purity" of the logs, so that ZERO fake logs get through the process. The problem is, this gets to the point that it can really lose the "fun" aspect entirely. Many COs are adamant about not wanting to allow any disingenuous logs to be filed, and so they toe the line hard on what it takes to log the cache. I understand their passion and I appreciate their zeal, but I think that some of them take it too far. Yes, EarthCaching should should require the cache logger to demonstrate something educational, but it should also be fun and inspiring. The Geological Society of America wants people to learn about geology, and this is a great way for that to happen. I think if we as COs work too hard to make sure there are no "fake logs", then we run the risk of ruining the experience for the vast majority of people who are trying to enjoy the outdoors, learn something new, and log their caches. As a CO, I'd rather err on the side of letting a few fake logs through the process than ruin the experience for everyone else. I've been to a few sites where the questions were so bizarre that we just decided that cache wasn't worth logging, because the CO had sucked all the fun out of it. And let's face it, if someone really wants to cheat, it's not that hard today with the information available on the web, no matter how hard COs try to make sure that an actual visit to the site is required (and yes, we try, and should). But I mean, think about the person who's making fake logs - that person has got to be pretty lame to live their life like that, cheating at an online free "game". What kind of a loser does that?!? Most people who do this are genuinely putting in a reasonable effort. I've had people get the questions so completely and utterly wrong before that I would have sworn they never visited the site - but they post a picture of themselves smiling and having a good time at the cache site that I realize that they aren't trying to cheat, they just really didn't understand what I was asking for. Lame people just trying to create fake logs aren't really into EarthCaching, and so they aren't going to stick around for something they really don't care about for very long. They'll be gone before too long, and a few fake logs won't damage the community. So as to the original post, personally I think 5 questions is just too many. That's a lot of details for any person who visits the site to record, and I think 3 questions would make for a better experience for the geocaching community. And I would encourage grace when it comes to the logs, and not be a real stickler for exact answers to exact questions.

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As a CO, I'd rather err on the side of letting a few fake logs through the process than ruin the experience for everyone else. I've been to a few sites where the questions were so bizarre that we just decided that cache wasn't worth logging, because the CO had sucked all the fun out of it.

 

I'm not sure I've ever had a fake find on any of our ECs. I've had a couple that didn't even attempt to answer the questions, just logged their find and didn't bother responding to me when I emailed them the questions. So I deleted them. But when someone attempted to answer the questions, even if they were way off, I've never deleted those. Often I'll reply to their message or email and try to steer them in the right direction if they were way off, because the goal is that they get a find and they learn something. That usually works.

 

As for overly complex earthcaches, I know I've skipped many.

 

I'd be curious as to your feedback on our earthcaches, since I try to strike that balance. But I'll send you a message, we can have that conversation offline.

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And I would encourage grace when it comes to the logs, and not be a real stickler for exact answers to exact questions.

 

Grace is always good. I have never looked upon earthcaching as a "test." The best earthcaches I have done are those that encourage hands-on exploration (who knew that there were zeolites right near this trail?) or that gets me to think about the earth. I probably won't remember the exact answer to exact questions a month later, but I might remember the site and some of the geology.

 

The only time I have ever been given a hard time by the CO was with an answer that it was impossible to fail on its own terms - measure the elevation with your gpsr. But with my own earthcaches, I will always let the log stand as long as there is an attempt to answer.

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I'll just share my own opinion - as a person who is a big fan of EarthCaches, as one who has found about 50 of them, as an owner of about 3 of them, and as a professor of geoscience at the college level. I think that grace is better than the letter of the law. I have seen how people attempt to log my ECs, and I've seen a lot of COs comment about their responsibility to make sure the logs meet the criteria, and I've experienced trying to log other people's EarthCaches. Seeing the experience from a lot of sides helps in how I think about it. Frankly, I've come to the conclusion that I think many COs take this stuff way too seriously, and all they seem to care about is protecting the "purity" of the logs, so that ZERO fake logs get through the process. The problem is, this gets to the point that it can really lose the "fun" aspect entirely. Many COs are adamant about not wanting to allow any disingenuous logs to be filed, and so they toe the line hard on what it takes to log the cache. I understand their passion and I appreciate their zeal, but I think that some of them take it too far. Yes, EarthCaching should should require the cache logger to demonstrate something educational, but it should also be fun and inspiring. The Geological Society of America wants people to learn about geology, and this is a great way for that to happen. I think if we as COs work too hard to make sure there are no "fake logs", then we run the risk of ruining the experience for the vast majority of people who are trying to enjoy the outdoors, learn something new, and log their caches. As a CO, I'd rather err on the side of letting a few fake logs through the process than ruin the experience for everyone else. I've been to a few sites where the questions were so bizarre that we just decided that cache wasn't worth logging, because the CO had sucked all the fun out of it. And let's face it, if someone really wants to cheat, it's not that hard today with the information available on the web, no matter how hard COs try to make sure that an actual visit to the site is required (and yes, we try, and should). But I mean, think about the person who's making fake logs - that person has got to be pretty lame to live their life like that, cheating at an online free "game". What kind of a loser does that?!? Most people who do this are genuinely putting in a reasonable effort. I've had people get the questions so completely and utterly wrong before that I would have sworn they never visited the site - but they post a picture of themselves smiling and having a good time at the cache site that I realize that they aren't trying to cheat, they just really didn't understand what I was asking for. Lame people just trying to create fake logs aren't really into EarthCaching, and so they aren't going to stick around for something they really don't care about for very long. They'll be gone before too long, and a few fake logs won't damage the community. So as to the original post, personally I think 5 questions is just too many. That's a lot of details for any person who visits the site to record, and I think 3 questions would make for a better experience for the geocaching community. And I would encourage grace when it comes to the logs, and not be a real stickler for exact answers to exact questions.

 

Earthcache owners have very little responsibility in terms of cache maintenance. The one thing we are asked to do is to monitor the veracity of logs on our Earthcaches. If I ignore fake logs and don't try to enforce a minimum standard of effort, I'm not fulfilling my obligation as an Earthcache owner.

 

Earthcache requirements are clearly outlined in the cache description. If you read the description and it isn't interesting or fun for you, you're under no obligation to participate.

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I'm super relaxed if I get answers whith missing things or wrong answers. I explain the missing things and if a geocacher forgot to solve a part I encourage him to take a closer look at the next time he should be in this area. The EarthCache can be logged for sure. :omnomnom:

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I'm super relaxed if I get answers whith missing things or wrong answers. I explain the missing things and if a geocacher forgot to solve a part I encourage him to take a closer look at the next time he should be in this area. The EarthCache can be logged for sure. :omnomnom:

 

So how do you demonstrate that learning has taken place?

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I explain what was wrong. It depends on the answers, if the message with the answers is almost empty or I see that the geocacher wasn't in the field I would maybe delete the log. But this isn't happening here in my region. I own 10 EarthCaches since January and all answers and logs are really good and long. So no problems here.

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I'm super relaxed if I get answers whith missing things or wrong answers. I explain the missing things and if a geocacher forgot to solve a part I encourage him to take a closer look at the next time he should be in this area. The EarthCache can be logged for sure. :omnomnom:

 

So how do you demonstrate that learning has taken place?

 

I explain what was wrong.

 

That might demonstrate that teaching has taken place - but I don't think it demonstrates that learning has taken place.

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If someone writes answers to 4 of 5 questions, he has learned pretty much (speaking of my own EarthCaches). So teaching for the last question is okay.

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