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FLtravelers

How are earthcaches assigned to a reviewer?

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We have written up 28 earthcaches. The reviewers of these have always been a pleasure to work with, and responded in a timely manner. A couple of years ago we submitted one in Haiti. We were assigned GeoawareGBL. They were not responsive and each communication took over a week. After going back and forth for two months, rewriting the description twice, GeoawareGBL came back and said the location wasn't appropriate - you had to take a cruise ship to get there. We were very frustrated. Why wasn't that call made before all the work we put into it. We didn't complain, but it was enough to make us question whether we wanted to continue writing up earthcaches.

 

We still write up earthcaches and as long as we get a GeoawareUSA or CA, we're fine. I took a recent trip to Japan. They lack earthcaches. I submitted one and a GeoawareUSA approved it within two days. I submitted two more and heard nothing for over a week. Sure enough, we got GeoawareGBL on these two. They sent their stock email advising us of earthcache requirements. Almost a week later, one was denied for being oceanographic. Too bad. It was a really cool whirlpool location. They said nothing about the other one. We withdrew it, hoping that if we resubmitted it, we'd get a different reviewer. Nope. Same reviewer that waits several days and then sends a stock email advising you of earthcache requirements. Now eleven days later, we're still waiting for approval.

 

So how does an earthcache get assigned to a reviewer? Can we request that an earthcache be reviewed by someone else if we are dissatisfied with the assigned reviewer?

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Earthcaches are reviewed by Geoaware reviewers who divide the world up geographically.

 

Earthcaches on average take far longer to get published due to their specialized nature.

 

GeoawareGBL handles all the areas of the world that aren't covered by another Geoaware. You don't get to choose your reviewer.

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Earthcaches on average take far longer to get published due to their specialized nature.

 

Thankfully that hasn't been our experience, except with GeoawareGBL.

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Earthcaches on average take far longer to get published due to their specialized nature.

 

Thankfully that hasn't been our experience, except with GeoawareGBL.

 

Guys, I feel for you. I have had similar experiences but will refrain from venting on a public forum. So much so that I no longer submit ANY EarthCaches that are not on a specific continent.

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It might have helped if you told the whole story FLtravelers, namely that you first tried to place an EarthCache at a location you had not visited recently. After your cruise to this location you tried again, but it turned out this location is only accessible by cruise passengers, if I remember correctly only from one specific cruise line.

 

Nina, GeoawareGBL

Edited by GeoawareGBL
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It might have helped if you told the whole story FLtravelers, namely that you first tried to place an EarthCache at a location you had not visited recently. After your cruise to this location you tried again, but it turned out this location is only accessible by cruise passengers, if I remember correctly only from one specific cruise line.

 

Nina, GeoawareGBL

 

So you refused to publish the listing because it is only accessible by cruise passengers? Which guideline does that fall within? :unsure:

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It might have helped if you told the whole story FLtravelers, namely that you first tried to place an EarthCache at a location you had not visited recently. After your cruise to this location you tried again, but it turned out this location is only accessible by cruise passengers, if I remember correctly only from one specific cruise line.

 

Nina, GeoawareGBL

 

So you refused to publish the listing because it is only accessible by cruise passengers? Which guideline does that fall within? :unsure:

Link for reference:

 

Does my geocache meet commercial guidelines?

 

Although I expect that there is probably more to the situation, since the OP admitted as much, that the topic was not geology related.

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It might have helped if you told the whole story FLtravelers, namely that you first tried to place an EarthCache at a location you had not visited recently. After your cruise to this location you tried again, but it turned out this location is only accessible by cruise passengers, if I remember correctly only from one specific cruise line.

 

Nina, GeoawareGBL

 

So you refused to publish the listing because it is only accessible by cruise passengers? Which guideline does that fall within? :unsure:

Link for reference:

 

Does my geocache meet commercial guidelines?

 

Although I expect that there is probably more to the situation, since the OP admitted as much, that the topic was not geology related.

 

It may have been too commercial, its hard to tell from reading this thread that the only purpose seems is to complain about one of the reviewers.

 

Staying on topic, the last EC I submitted I retracted after about a week of stagnating in the review queue.

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My purpose for this post was to determine how earthcaches were assigned to a reviewer, and Keystone answered that one. The other question that remains unanswered: can one request a different reviewer if they are not satisfied? The two different examples were given as a reason why one might want a different reviewer.

 

The first example was a perfectly good earthcache that was denied because the reviewer can, and there is no apparent way to contest that decision. Here is the WHOLE story. I am guilty of asking the (at the time unknown) reviewer if I could get it published before physically being at the site. I relied on a friend's personal account and photos for the submission, and I stated so at the time of my submission. We were going on a cruise with thirty to forty other geocachers and I thought it would be fun if we could go to this interesting place together and do an earthcache. I had heard that geocaching was supposed to be fun. I stated in my request that I would correct any inaccuracies after visiting the site in person. I figured that was the purpose for the guideline.

 

I had also heard that they called them "guidelines" rather than rules. Thus giving "guidance" rather than hard and fast rules. I figured the reviewer had some leeway. My request was denied. I didn't complain. I resubmitted after being at the location, and that took two months to deny, after the rewrites that the reviewer requested. This earthcache was geological and was denied because of access. I will add that there is a traditional cache at that location and event caches. I’m sure there are many caches in the Antarctic that can only be gotten to by one means of transportation. There are two cruise lines that go to this location in Haiti. End of story. Dissatisfied but given no options.

 

If I had never encountered this reviewer again, I would have let it go. Unfortunately that’s not the case, and I find our submissions in their hands again… and possibly in the future as well if we stumble into their “territory”.

 

This discussion brings up other questions. What is a reasonable time for approval of an earthcache? GeoawareGBL responded to this post much faster than they have to any of our earthcache submittals. Where can one go if they feel that the reviewer is “sitting” on their earthcache submittal, or don’t agree with the reviewer’s decision?

 

I brought this to the forum, not to complain, but in hopes that someone would know the answers. Any other suggestions to get answers?

 

Such a serious game… I’m going to have some fun and find a cache!

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I had also heard that they called them "guidelines" rather than rules. Thus giving "guidance" rather than hard and fast rules. I figured the reviewer had some leeway. My request was denied. I didn't complain. I resubmitted after being at the location, and that took two months to deny, after the rewrites that the reviewer requested. This earthcache was geological and was denied because of access. I will add that there is a traditional cache at that location and event caches. I’m sure there are many caches in the Antarctic that can only be gotten to by one means of transportation. There are two cruise lines that go to this location in Haiti. End of story. Dissatisfied but given no options.

 

I can see why a reviewer would have to think carefully about this. Commercialization? The traditional cache at Labadee was placed in 2001 so that would not offer much help in interpreting current guidelines. Royal Caribbean (and a few Celebrity ships) stop there, but I would wonder how one can complete it without having to go "inside a business, interact with employees and/or purchase a product or service." Local language? Normally an earthcache in Haiti would have to be submitted in French or Haitian Creole, but does that apply to an area that is fenced off and patrolled by armed security to keep the locals out (apart from a controlled group)? Permission? Presumably Royal Caribbean provided that. But if I were a reviewer it would not necessarily be a quick turn-around.

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My purpose for this post was to determine how earthcaches were assigned to a reviewer, and Keystone answered that one. The other question that remains unanswered: can one request a different reviewer if they are not satisfied? The two different examples were given as a reason why one might want a different reviewer.

 

The first example was a perfectly good earthcache that was denied because the reviewer can, and there is no apparent way to contest that decision. Here is the WHOLE story. I am guilty of asking the (at the time unknown) reviewer if I could get it published before physically being at the site. I relied on a friend's personal account and photos for the submission, and I stated so at the time of my submission. We were going on a cruise with thirty to forty other geocachers and I thought it would be fun if we could go to this interesting place together and do an earthcache. I had heard that geocaching was supposed to be fun. I stated in my request that I would correct any inaccuracies after visiting the site in person. I figured that was the purpose for the guideline.

 

I had also heard that they called them "guidelines" rather than rules. Thus giving "guidance" rather than hard and fast rules. I figured the reviewer had some leeway. My request was denied. I didn't complain. I resubmitted after being at the location, and that took two months to deny, after the rewrites that the reviewer requested. This earthcache was geological and was denied because of access. I will add that there is a traditional cache at that location and event caches. I’m sure there are many caches in the Antarctic that can only be gotten to by one means of transportation. There are two cruise lines that go to this location in Haiti. End of story. Dissatisfied but given no options.

 

If I had never encountered this reviewer again, I would have let it go. Unfortunately that’s not the case, and I find our submissions in their hands again… and possibly in the future as well if we stumble into their “territory”.

 

This discussion brings up other questions. What is a reasonable time for approval of an earthcache? GeoawareGBL responded to this post much faster than they have to any of our earthcache submittals. Where can one go if they feel that the reviewer is “sitting” on their earthcache submittal, or don’t agree with the reviewer’s decision?

 

I brought this to the forum, not to complain, but in hopes that someone would know the answers. Any other suggestions to get answers?

 

Such a serious game… I’m going to have some fun and find a cache!

 

Well, it does look as if you called GeoawareGBL out in this thread and they responded. I also asked a legitimate question if the cache was denied because of access and if that was one of the guidelines, but I got no response. I think I have a good understanding of how EC's work, as I have had about a dozen or so published here.

 

As for how they are assigned, I know a little about that too. One person in Canada was assigned to any EC's that are near caves in North America. I do assume that the GSA reviewers are professional and knowledgeable about the subjects of the listings that they review, but if we don't agree with them that's just too bad for us and there is nothing we can do about it.

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As to the question of how EarthCaches are assigned to reviewers: It is based on location, but sometimes other reviewers will help out in other geographic areas if someone is on holiday, or there is a high volume of submissions needing review. I would also point out that reviewing "globally" is very difficult and time-consuming, as there is a lot of ground to cover.

 

As to the calling out of a particular reviewer and particular caches; I will leave that alone.

 

Either way, we greatly appreciate those who submit EarthCaches, and those who volunteer to review them :)

 

Best wishes,

Matt

GeoawareHQ

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Sounds like the reviewer made the right call here. Happy to see that this dedicated team of reviewers remains dedicated to ensuring quality Earthcache listings in accordance with the guidelines and the spirit of the game.

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As to the question of how EarthCaches are assigned to reviewers: It is based on location, but sometimes other reviewers will help out in other geographic areas if someone is on holiday, or there is a high volume of submissions needing review. I would also point out that reviewing "globally" is very difficult and time-consuming, as there is a lot of ground to cover.

 

Thanks Matt.

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The other question that remains unanswered: can one request a different reviewer if they are not satisfied?

 

Actually, Keystone answered that one as well:

 

You don't get to choose your reviewer.

 

As a general policy, this seems to be consistent throughout the site, not just for EC's. You don't like the Review you got on a Listing, Appeals is the last stop on that train.

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Appeals is the last stop on that train.

And how is that done?

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For what it's worth....

 

Contact Groundspeak

 

One of the pulldown options is for Appeals, which will route your request to the Volunteer Support Staff. Keep in mind, they will NOT give you a *new* Reviewer. Your Listing is handled by one of the paid Staff at Groundspeak. That's not to say they ALWAYS agree with a Volunteer Reviewer, but I think it's safe to say that the Volunteers get in the position they are in because their interpretation of the Guidelines is aligned with how Groundspeak and the Geologic Society of America want them implemented.

 

On occasion, I've seen a few Listings get approved that are in the grey margins of the Guidelines, but to be honest, and from what I've read of your situation, it sounds pretty black and white.

 

It sounds like you have a potentially interesting topic, that you've spent a great deal of time and energy developing. I honestly wish you the best of luck.

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Thanks Touchstone.

 

In retrospect, I probably should have just asked the questions without the examples, which just muddied the water. We're not trying to pursue the earthcache in Haiti. That is long over, but it's nice to know that there is some recourse, even if the end result is the same.

 

I guess we'll just have to be patient and hope that one of these days our pending earthcache gets reviewed.

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As the administrator of the Earthcache program, GeoawareHQ (Matt) is also very helpful in assisting in answering queries and issues if there is a misunderstanding between you and your appointed reviewer.

 

I always find that communication via emails are always useful. Often with an earthcache - there are many issues that need addressing - and it may appear to be a HUGE task - but as they say in Africa - you eat an elephant one bite at a time.

 

So keep on plugging away - and if you have a fundamental difference of opinion or misunderstanding due to culture/language/local knowledge etc. - then feel free to ask if you could involve Matt (I'm sure most reviewers would be happy to have his respected inputs to assist). At the end of the day I think we ALL want more earthcaches published.

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As the administrator of the Earthcache program, GeoawareHQ (Matt) is also very helpful in assisting in answering queries and issues if there is a misunderstanding between you and your appointed reviewer.

 

I always find that communication via emails are always useful. Often with an earthcache - there are many issues that need addressing - and it may appear to be a HUGE task - but as they say in Africa - you eat an elephant one bite at a time.

 

So keep on plugging away - and if you have a fundamental difference of opinion or misunderstanding due to culture/language/local knowledge etc. - then feel free to ask if you could involve Matt (I'm sure most reviewers would be happy to have his respected inputs to assist). At the end of the day I think we ALL want more earthcaches published.

 

Thanks for your helpful comments. We're still waiting for approval on our 12/17/15 resubmission of an 11/16/15 earthcache in Japan. Have heard nothing from the reviewer since their stock response on 12/20/15. We've posted reviewer notes asking if they need anything else, and have had no response. It's kind of a turn off. It leaves us with the feeling that they are discouraging earthcaches.

 

We really enjoy finding earthcaches as we travel (949 so far). When we find interesting places, we like to contribute by placing an earthcache if there isn't one. We have several in mind from our current trip, but find it hard to get inspired to do the work.

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Thanks for your helpful comments. We're still waiting for approval on our 12/17/15 resubmission of an 11/16/15 earthcache in Japan. Have heard nothing from the reviewer since their stock response on 12/20/15. We've posted reviewer notes asking if they need anything else, and have had no response. It's kind of a turn off. It leaves us with the feeling that they are discouraging earthcaches.

 

 

You may/must have fallen through a crack if you haven't gotten a response in all this time. Have you tried contacting the reviewer more directly?

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Thanks for your helpful comments. We're still waiting for approval on our 12/17/15 resubmission of an 11/16/15 earthcache in Japan. Have heard nothing from the reviewer since their stock response on 12/20/15. We've posted reviewer notes asking if they need anything else, and have had no response. It's kind of a turn off. It leaves us with the feeling that they are discouraging earthcaches.

 

 

You may/must have fallen through a crack if you haven't gotten a response in all this time. Have you tried contacting the reviewer more directly?

 

Just sent off an email. Will let you know how that works. Thanks.

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Submitted this EC over six months ago. Still no closer to getting it approved or denied. Posted reviewer notes & sent email requests to everyone but Jeremy Irish. In early February a new reviewer asked for some clarifications. We responded to that and nothing since, and no responses from anyone else that I emailed after that.

 

I guess we could submit a local one and see if maybe we're on a blackball list. Any other suggestions?

Edited by FLtravelers
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I will see what I can do. My guess is that one of the two marked it as being worked on (it does not show up in the queue) and I assume both reviewers think the other is working on it.

 

I will see if I can get one of them to get it back into the queue.

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Your EC that's the subject of this thread is currently on hold by geoawareAFR. It looks like that Geoaware owes you a response to your reviewer note from February 23rd. I saw that geoawareAFR does NOT have your cache page on their watchlist. Therefore, and in the absence of any contact/communication instructions in the reviewer notes on your cache listing, I recommend that you send an email to geoawareAFR via their profile.

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Email sent. Thanks for the great suggestion. Fell through the cracks it seems. I'll post how it goes.

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YEA! Published today. Definitely fell into several cracks along the way. Thank you to all who helped along the way.

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Definitely fell into several cracks along the way.

 

Sounds like a geology lesson. :lol:

 

And a higher rated terrain area! :P

 

Glad to hear it all worked out finally.

 

B.

Edited by Pup Patrol
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