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Northern Ireland Issue


papollo & wifey
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We are traveling to Ireland in our near future and have a question about logging finds in Northern Ireland.

 

If we log a find in Belfast (definitely in Northern Ireland - part of the United Kingdom) we get credit for a find not in the UK but in Ireland. If we log a find in Scotland we get credit for a find in the UK, and on the Statistics Europe map Northern Ireland lights up as (correctly) it is part of the UK.

 

When we travel to Ireland, we plan to cache in both the Republic of Ireland and in Northern Ireland. Why won't we receive credit for caching in two countries? As the website currently works, we will get credit for finding caches in Ireland, and won't get credit for caching in the UK.

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We are traveling to Ireland in our near future and have a question about logging finds in Northern Ireland.

 

If we log a find in Belfast (definitely in Northern Ireland - part of the United Kingdom) we get credit for a find not in the UK but in Ireland. If we log a find in Scotland we get credit for a find in the UK, and on the Statistics Europe map Northern Ireland lights up as (correctly) it is part of the UK.

 

When we travel to Ireland, we plan to cache in both the Republic of Ireland and in Northern Ireland. Why won't we receive credit for caching in two countries? As the website currently works, we will get credit for finding caches in Ireland, and won't get credit for caching in the UK.

 

We made a similar trip to Ireland last year fully expecting to get credit for 2 countries. We were extremely surprised to learn that no, we only get credit for Ireland.

 

You can read the thread suggested by the other user, but you will probably find it just makes you more annoyed or confused. Basically Groundspeak is considering Ireland the island versus Northern Ireland being part of the United Kingdom and The Republic of Ireland being it's own "country". Confusing to outsiders, but apparently it makes sense to residents of Ireland, the island. It seems to me that Groundspeak is totally misusing the word "country" in this instance. Elsewhere the word country is used by Groundspeak to identify geo-political boundaries (e.g., Canada, USA, Mexico), but in this case it is the geographic land mass that is being used to identify a "country".

 

Incidentally, you will notice in the Pocket Query dialog that under countries only Ireland is listed (i.e., not The Republic of Ireland). A PQ that selects the "country" of Ireland will return caches in both The Republic of Ireland AND Northern Ireland. Conversely, if the PQ selects the "country" of the United Kingdom it will only return caches in Great Britain (i.e., all of the UK EXCEPT Northern Ireland). Very confusing IMHO.

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Please read this Help Center article, which describes the process used by the UK and Ireland geocaching communities to work with Groundspeak in defining geographic divisions, rather than political ones. As visitors, the wishes of those who live there and hide caches for us there should be respected.

I live in Northern Ireland and my views are not respected. While we live on the Island of Ireland we have our own Government, currency and an International Frontier with the Republic of Ireland.

If Gibraltar can have it's own region with Geocaching.com so should Northern Ireland.

 

One of the differences here is that Gibraltar is recognized as a distinct geographic region in the United Nations geopolitical ontology (which is primarily what GS uses as an authoritative source for Countries/Regions) while Northern Ireland is not (nor is Scotland or Wales). Maybe that will change someday, as it did for Sudan/South Sudan for now know it's a known policy, documented on the web site.

 

 

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This always irks me. People get caught up in the politics and miss the website bug. I can see that Groundspeak's decision to use geographic boundaries rather than political ones is deeply annoying to many, but that's the decision they've made. The bug is that while logging caches follows the geographic boundary (logging a Belfast cache ticks off "Ireland"), the statistics map follows political boundaries (logging a cache in London colours in Northern Ireland on the map).

 

While I accept we're unlikely to see the regions change for logging caches, could we at least get the stats map consistent with those regions?

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One of the differences here is that Gibraltar is recognized as a distinct geographic region in the United Nations geopolitical ontology (which is primarily what GS uses as an authoritative source for Countries/Regions) while Northern Ireland is not (nor is Scotland or Wales). Maybe that will change someday, as it did for Sudan/South Sudan for now know it's a known policy, documented on the web site.

 

I thought that the point is that Scotland and Wales are part of the United Kingdom, as is Northern Ireland. If Scotland is United Kingdom, so is Northern Ireland. What seems to have happened here is that the UK reviewers didn't want to have to deal with Northern Ireland, so the Ireland reviewers handle that part of the UK. Not political reality, nor geographic reality, but more convenience for the reviewers.

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This always irks me. People get caught up in the politics and miss the website bug. I can see that Groundspeak's decision to use geographic boundaries rather than political ones is deeply annoying to many, but that's the decision they've made. The bug is that while logging caches follows the geographic boundary (logging a Belfast cache ticks off "Ireland"), the statistics map follows political boundaries (logging a cache in London colours in Northern Ireland on the map).

 

While I accept we're unlikely to see the regions change for logging caches, could we at least get the stats map consistent with those regions?

That's been noted in the past as well. The statistics maps are provided by a Google service, and that's why the maps don't match up in this case.

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I just returned from a great trip to the island of Ireland where I found two totally and distinct countries. You can tell when you go from one of those two countries to the other because your phone (and most importantly, your geocaching maps) stop working! One country, primarily in the Western and Southern area of the Island is the Republic of Ireland. Except for the physical proximity of being next to one another on the island of Ireland, the Republic of Ireland has not political or geographic interdependence to the second country, totally in the Northeastern part of the island named Northern Ireland which is part of the United Kingdom along with England and Scotland and many others. I also just claimed an earthcache at Queens College in Belfast, and expected for it to appear in a new country for which I had no previous claims, namely Northern Ireland, and for the map of the UK to light up since that's where the earthcache is located.

 

I think geocaching.com owes it to its premium members to get whatever needs to be fixed at Google, fixed; or, use a different service that understands what needs to be done. I think that there are probably many members that value, enjoy and appreciate being able to claim geocaches in different counties of the world. I'm included. So, not being able to see recognition in my statistics that I have claimed a geocache in a new country is very disheartening and disappointing. It's not enough for you to just shrug your shoulders and state to us that that's the way it is. Put yourself in our place and I think you would agree that the state of affairs is unacceptable and untenable. You probably pay Google a substantial fee for their service that's not working properly. I would request with great vigor that the issue be expediently resolved for all concerned.

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