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Who determines the cache ratings and size?


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I have been out caching 7 of the last 8 days, visited at least 15 cache locations, most I found, some I did not. From what I understand this is not to impress you and should not matter to you as have others have pointed out it is about the adventure for me and what I get out of it. But I do need to state I think 7 days and 15 cache locations is a lot.

 

Our personal record is 15 caches in one day (a couple of hours.)

 

That's peanuts compared to some folks.

 

Is there any way to make the finds private from others viewing them?

 

Don't log them online.

 

Some folks don't log their experiences online. Some folks will log only "write note" logs.

 

It's up to you. Not logging anything online doesn't let Groundspeak or the cache owner or other cachers know of any problems with the cache.

 

B.

+1

Even though you're not logging online, you can still email a CO/TO on some issue found at GZ.

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Then wouldn't be up to the FTF's to report any issues? What if there are and they still do not report anything? That does not mean a problem does not exist, just that they did not report anything for what ever reason.
Well, yes. A lot of people don't bother posting DNF or NM or NA logs. But in my experience, eventually someone does. The worse the problem, the faster it gets taken care of.

 

I wonder if this scenario has ever happened: A CO places a new cache, he or she lies in the description or makes some sort of false statement regarding the cache and/or its placement. It is arm chair published by a reviewer hundreds if not thousands of miles a away. The very first person who searches for it finds it, but notices a problem with it. This could be anything from being at the wrong coordinates but close enough the FTF was able to find it anyway to an issue with something like the cache size, or the cache has inappropriate swag in it, say a weapon or illegal drugs, what ever, but something banned from being in a cache container. This person does not report it as NM or even NA. Then the next ten people who search for it does not find it but still no one reports an NM or NA. Then the next person who finds it is a kid, who's parents are also geocachers, and he trades for the swag and takes the banned substance home. Lets say that banned substance is illegal drugs. Oh I forgot to mention the cache is located in a city park. I will stop right there but you can see where this is going I think.
What makes you think that cache owners are the only ones who would leave such things in a cache? The worst things I've ever found in a cache container were definitely not left by the cache owner. And an army of on-site reviewers won't fix that.
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Our personal record is 15 caches in one day (a couple of hours.)

 

You've got ME beat. Mine is 14.

 

I don't know how the "power cachers" do it. After those 15 finds, I was exhausted! And brain-dead. I couldn't find the last cache and the hint made no sense to me. Until the next day and then I was "d'oh!!!".

 

I've seen folks where looking at their recent finds requires scrolling through 2 or 3 pages. And these aren't power trails, one after another. Too much like work for me. :lol:

 

B.

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So if the local on-the-spot reviewer can't find the cache, and therefore can't determine whether it follows everything the CO says, would it never be published?

 

A way to solve the reviewer being able to find the cache would be the CO would have to give a clear description of where it is located. For example if it is attached with a magnet to a metal sign post the CO would have to tell the reviewer as such. As long as the cache is within the clear geocache guidelines as set by Goundspeak then the cache would have to be published, regardless of a reviewers personal opinion of it.

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A way to solve the reviewer being able to find the cache would be the CO would have to give a clear description of where it is located. For example if it is attached with a magnet to a metal sign post the CO would have to tell the reviewer as such. As long as the cache is within the clear geocache guidelines as set by Goundspeak then the cache would have to be published, regardless of a reviewers personal opinion of it.

 

BINGO! That is exactly how you submit a cache for review. In a reviewer note. :)

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A way to solve the reviewer being able to find the cache would be the CO would have to give a clear description of where it is located. For example if it is attached with a magnet to a metal sign post the CO would have to tell the reviewer as such.
It sounds like you expect the volunteer on-site reviewers to never do any normal geocaching. All their geocaching time (and then some) would be spent inspecting new hides, using owner-provided spoilers to make sure they can actually find the new cache.

 

How often do you think this on-site review would turn up a real issue that can't be identified remotely, using the current process?

 

As long as the cache is within the clear geocache guidelines as set by Goundspeak then the cache would have to be published, regardless of a reviewers personal opinion of it.
Well, yes. Under the current system, volunteer reviewers have been known to hold their noses while publishing certain caches that are within the geocaching guidelines.
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So if the local on-the-spot reviewer can't find the cache, and therefore can't determine whether it follows everything the CO says, would it never be published?

 

A way to solve the reviewer being able to find the cache would be the CO would have to give a clear description of where it is located. For example if it is attached with a magnet to a metal sign post the CO would have to tell the reviewer as such. As long as the cache is within the clear geocache guidelines as set by Goundspeak then the cache would have to be published, regardless of a reviewers personal opinion of it.

 

That's pretty much how it works now. Reviewers' opinions of cache placements don't come into play. (It's called the "wow factor".)

 

Here's a thought...

 

why don't you try creating a cache page? Don't enable it, it's not for review.

 

It's just an exercise in going through the steps of the cache submission form.

 

For a more complete experience, create a cache page for a multicache.

 

You will get a GC code, and you can use the page later if you do place a cache and want to enable it and send it to review.

 

B.

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I bet that local with all the FTF's is actually my reviewers player account! :mad:
Oh, yeah. That brings up the FTF issue. Should the volunteer on-site reviewer sign the end of the log as a beta tester? Should the volunteer on-site reviewer claim FTF? Is a volunteer on-site reviewer cheating by finding the cache before it is published on the geocaching.com site?
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I bet that local with all the FTF's is actually my reviewers player account! :mad:
Oh, yeah. That brings up the FTF issue. Should the volunteer on-site reviewer sign the end of the log as a beta tester? Should the volunteer on-site reviewer claim FTF? Is a volunteer on-site reviewer cheating by finding the cache before it is published on the geocaching.com site?

 

Did'nt really want to bring it up, but what about all those TB's that disappear and end up on eBay? :unsure:

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I bet that local with all the FTF's is actually my reviewers player account! :mad:
Oh, yeah. That brings up the FTF issue. Should the volunteer on-site reviewer sign the end of the log as a beta tester? Should the volunteer on-site reviewer claim FTF? Is a volunteer on-site reviewer cheating by finding the cache before it is published on the geocaching.com site?

 

Did'nt really want to bring it up, but what about all those TB's that disappear and end up on eBay? :unsure:

 

A cache is description is supposed to state whether or not it has a travel bug, correct? I take it this is to entice cachers to find it? When a TB goes missing would that be the correct time to file an NM or NA report? Can the TB be replaced and restarted from its last known location or does it have to start all over again from its original starting point? I assume policing this is the responsibility of the CO and when necessary a reviewer?

Edited by SUX_VR_40_Rider
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In general, a missing TB or coin would not require a NA or even a NM log. If you find a cache where a traveler is listed, you certainly can mention in your log that the expected traveler is missing. You may want to inform the CO or TBO that it is missing, so one of them could log it as not being in the cache.

 

Realize, however, that it might have been picked up by a recent finder who hasn't yet had a chance to log the pickup, or any of a dozen other issues. So it not being there does not mean it is necessarily gone, or that there is a problem with the cache.

 

If you suspect that the cache has been compromised by muggles, or a mean-spirited cacher who are taking any travelers left in that cache, then you definitely should mention that in your log, and that would be, in my opinion, a reason to send a NM log. Others will disagree with me.

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I bet that local with all the FTF's is actually my reviewers player account! :mad:
Oh, yeah. That brings up the FTF issue. Should the volunteer on-site reviewer sign the end of the log as a beta tester? Should the volunteer on-site reviewer claim FTF? Is a volunteer on-site reviewer cheating by finding the cache before it is published on the geocaching.com site?

 

Did'nt really want to bring it up, but what about all those TB's that disappear and end up on eBay? :unsure:

 

A cache is description is supposed to state whether or not it has a travel bug, correct? I take it this is to entice cachers to find it? When a TB goes missing would that be the correct time to file an NM or NA report? Can the TB be replaced and restarted from its last known location or does it have to start all over again from its original starting point? I assume policing this is the responsibility of the CO and when necessary a reviewer?

 

The cache page has an inventory list for trackables past and present. If a TB goes missing from a cache, then the CO can mark it missing. missing TB's is no reason to mark the cache itself as NM or NA.

 

I do post with my found logs that TB's were not present if they show up in the caches inventory.

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When a TB goes missing would that be the correct time to file an NM or NA report?
NO.

 

Can the TB be replaced and restarted from its last known location or does it have to start all over again from its original starting point? I assume policing this is the responsibility of the CO and when necessary a reviewer?
Missing trackables are NOT the responsibility of the cache owner.

 

Usually, the trackable owner will either mark the trackable missing and ignore it, or possibly start a new proxy (a copy using the same tracking code that was on the original). Usually the proxies start wherever the trackable owner goes geocaching, but I did have one trackable owner mail me a new proxy, which I placed in my cache, which was the last known location of the original.

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I'm going to say some things that have already been said by others, but I want to be able to put it all out there.

 

First off, the system that is in place has been working fine for 16 years now, so if it ain't broke, don't fix it. :anibad:

 

The two biggest problems I see with having the reviewers find each proposed cache is the staggering amount of reviewers that would entail in certain areas, and quite simply, gas. Volunteers shouldn't have to pay for all that gas.

 

Right now, there are hundreds of reviewers around the world. Already, there are some issues with inconsistency, because it's really hard to herd that many people together and to get them to understand everything. It would also be very difficult to find enough "qualified" cachers to fill the larger quota that you would need.

 

I'll use Washington State for an example. There are five (sometimes six) of us who review WA. A couple of those reviewers also review in other areas as well. You would need to have a lot of reviewers on the west side, because there's a lot of populated areas. But the east side has fewer large towns, with a lot of space in between. You could have a reviewer live in a town, but then have to drive miles into nowhere to look for new caches, because there's so much open space.

 

I can't even fathom how many reviewers you would need in some places to have them find every cache. They would get burned out very quickly.

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I have been out caching 7 of the last 8 days, visited at least 15 cache locations, most I found, some I did not. From what I understand this is not to impress you and should not matter to you as have others have pointed out it is about the adventure for me and what I get out of it. But I do need to state I think 7 days and 15 cache locations is a lot.

 

I forgot to mention was 5 of the cache locations were via my bike on the way to work, two were on the same commute trip.

 

Yes - still peanuts. There are plenty of people that cache everyday for a month or 100 or 200 days (caching streaks). There are even some that cache everyday for a year, or more. Finding 15 caches in a week is not a big deal, many cachers find more than that in a day. I'm not sure why the mode of transport makes a difference.

 

You may want to get out more and do more caching, and perhaps get out of your 5 mile radius. You will run out of caches on your commute route anyway, so after a few weeks you'll be forced to expand your search area. The world is really much bigger and the variety of caches is much larger than your 2 dozen Traditional finds (and the 1 Virtual that doesn't even have any visit requirements).

 

You've been a member for less than 2 months, that's not long at all. From your posts, it's clear that there is still a lot about geocaching that you aren't aware of. Your suggestions about how the hobby should be managed might be taken more seriously if you were more knowledgeable about the hobby.

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Oh, wait, I can tell you what happens when something like this is left to be self regulated: mature people enjoy playing a game with each other. Once in a while, someone that isn't mature enough to play with adults doesn't get it, but it's explained to them and usually they're fine after that. Sometimes people are banned, but not often.

So what exactly are you saying?

I'm saying the existing system works great.

 

I am going to be banned?

Why? Have you done something wrong?

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Even though I am still new at this I think I can safely say I have seen what happens when something like this is left to be self regulated/governed.

What happens if something like this is left to be self regulated/governed? Do people run amok?

 

Oh, wait, I can tell you what happens when something like this is left to be self regulated: mature people enjoy playing a game with each other. Once in a while, someone that isn't mature enough to play with adults doesn't get it, but it's explained to them and usually they're fine after that. Sometimes people are banned, but not often.

 

I think SUX would have a heart attack if we told him that Geocaching Australia, which exclusively lists something like 20% of the caches in the country, doesn't have reviewers at all like we do here and manages to do alright without to many issues.

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I wonder if this scenario has ever happened: A CO places a new cache, he or she lies in the description or makes some sort of false statement regarding the cache and/or its placement. It is arm chair published by a reviewer hundreds if not thousands of miles a away. The very first person who searches for it finds it, but notices a problem with it. This could be anything from being at the wrong coordinates but close enough the FTF was able to find it anyway to an issue with something like the cache size, or the cache has inappropriate swag in it, say a weapon or illegal drugs, what ever, but something banned from being in a cache container. This person does not report it as NM or even NA. Then the next ten people who search for it does not find it but still no one reports an NM or NA. Then the next person who finds it is a kid, who's parents are also geocachers, and he trades for the swag and takes the banned substance home. Lets say that banned substance is illegal drugs. Oh I forgot to mention the cache is located in a city park. I will stop right there but you can see where this is going I think.

 

See the problem that would be prevented if a reviewer lived in the geographical area and physically reviewed each cache before publishing it? Do not say this type of secenario could not happen, it is very plausible.

Are you saying that this happens often, based on your months of experience as a geocacher? Because, after reviewing more than 50,000 geocache submissions over the past thirteen years, this hasn't been my experience. Perhaps I lead a charmed life from my armchair.

 

I don't recall any examples of a pistol or other dangerous weapon being left in a cache, much less being unreported and later retrieved by an unsupervised minor.

 

There are several examples involving pocket knives. If one is traded into a cache, or is included in the initial contents but not disclosed, then there's a risk that the land manager might find out about this and ban geocaching. Out of the entire world, I can think of one county park system in Ohio that did this many years ago. They've since mellowed their position, have hidden their own caches, and have allowed caches hidden by others after going through a permit process. That more land managers have not taken drastic action is in part due to the published listing guidelines and in part due to the community's self-policing efforts. Here is a recent example where I found and removed a pocket knife when I was geocaching under my player account. (Note the cache owner's excellent, prompt reaction to the report of a knife.)

 

When the presence of a prohibited item, like a pocket knife, is apparent during the review process, I ask the cache owner to remove the prohibited item from the cache, and I don't publish the listing until this is confirmed. Here is an example of what can happen if a CO tells their reviewer that all's well, but they didn't actually return to the cache. That cache is more than 175 miles from my armchair, but I was able to handle the issue from afar. That example is from 2007; I don't see it happen very often.

 

I also recall one example where a cache was set up for the purpose of trading illegal drugs. I managed to sniff that out from my armchair as well, and the cache was never published. It is not a frequent occurrence. There are sporadic examples where illegal drugs, or drug paraphernalia, are found inside geocaches. These are typically reported and dealt with promptly by the cache owner.

 

We are able to catch quite a few issues from our armchairs. The tools used by reviewers for this purpose get better and better each year. For example, the introduction of Google Street View and Bing Birds' Eye View imagery is vastly superior to the mapping resources available in 2003 when I began reviewing. Sometimes it's almost like being there.

Edited by Keystone
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I wonder if this scenario has ever happened: A CO places a new cache, he or she lies in the description or makes some sort of false statement regarding the cache and/or its placement. It is arm chair published by a reviewer hundreds if not thousands of miles a away. The very first person who searches for it finds it, but notices a problem with it. This could be anything from being at the wrong coordinates but close enough the FTF was able to find it anyway to an issue with something like the cache size, or the cache has inappropriate swag in it, say a weapon or illegal drugs, what ever, but something banned from being in a cache container. This person does not report it as NM or even NA. Then the next ten people who search for it does not find it but still no one reports an NM or NA. Then the next person who finds it is a kid, who's parents are also geocachers, and he trades for the swag and takes the banned substance home. Lets say that banned substance is illegal drugs. Oh I forgot to mention the cache is located in a city park. I will stop right there but you can see where this is going I think.

 

See the problem that would be prevented if a reviewer lived in the geographical area and physically reviewed each cache before publishing it? Do not say this type of secenario could not happen, it is very plausible.

In your utopian geocaching world, wouldn't the CO and/or Reviewer need to check the physical cache after every Found It log? I mean, the 10th person that found it could've put a weapon or illegal drugs into the cache, even though no such item was in the cache when it was published.

 

I think you're missing the 'community' nature of this hobby. If a cacher finds an inappopriate or prohibited item in a cache, then they should remove it. I've come across plenty of caches where I removed items: bag of cashews, candy, pack of gum, tea bags, cigarettes, unused feminine products, bullet casings, etc. I'd bet money that none of those items were in the cache when it was published.

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Another issue with the Reviewer-visits-before-publishing idea: what if a cache is placed where the local Reviewer will not or cannot go, even though said placement is within Guidelines? Examples: on a mountain, up a tree, in a swamp, or along a river. Even with an athletic, adventurous, and well-equipped Reviewer months might be required before a particularly arduous cache can be inspected personally.

Edited by Joshism
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I can't believe I read this thread.

 

We already have a massive team that that goes out and checks caches to see if they are there. I like to call it "geocaching". In fact some geocaches get looked at to ensure that they are there several times a week and even hundreds of times after publication.

 

"Geocachers" are this massive volunteer force that goes out and does these things. When there is a problem, it gets noted or reported to the CO or in some cases to a reviewer if it requires urgent attention.

 

It seems that the problem is solved.

Edited by GC Parrotheads
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We already have a massive team that that goes out and checks caches to see if they are there. I like to call it "geocaching". In fact some geocaches get looked at to ensure that they are there several times a week and even hundreds of times after publication.

 

"Geocachers" are this massive volunteer force that goes out and does these things. When there is a problem, it gets noted or reported to the CO or in some cases to a reviewer if it requires urgent attention.

 

It seems that the problem is solved.

Where is the LIKE button when you really need it?
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I review for Alaska, Hawaii, and Greece, and help another Reviewer with covering problem caches in several dozen countries around the world. I can't wait to receive my booklet of travel vouchers to pay each cache in my queue a pre-publishing visit. Have Passport, will travel (within the limits of the five weeks of vacation my real job employer provides)!!!

 

I bet that local with all the FTF's is actually my reviewers player account! :mad:
Extremely unlikely...we're too busy answering e-mails, reaping (reviewing caches that have NA logs, growing strings of DNFs, "temporarily" disabled caches that have been so for more than thirty days), answering land manager's questions, teaching at public and geocaching events, responding to irate property owners who weren't asked for permission for a cache to be placed on their property, and iterating as many times as it takes with Cache Owners who submitted caches that do not comply with Groundspeak's Guidelines even though said Cache Owners checked those two little boxes at the end of the cache submission process that says "Yes. I have read and understand the guidelines for listing a cache," and "Yes. I have read and agree to the terms of use agreement."

 

Depending on the day, 10%-50% of new cache submissions in my queue don't get published the first time I look at them.

 

Oh, yeah. That brings up the FTF issue. Should the volunteer on-site reviewer sign the end of the log as a beta tester?
That's up to the Cache Owner and the Reviewer. Many caches get beta-tested, especially in remote areas when learning about bad coordinates means a long trek back to ground zero. Reviewers started out as cachers and continue to enjoy finding caches just as the rest of the geocaching community does.
Should the volunteer on-site reviewer claim FTF?
Reviewers can (but most don't) chase the FTF after the e-mail notification hits cachers' e-mail accounts. However, most do not (see above list of other assigned duties). I personally log three to five FTFs per year, but most of those are in the backcountry long after the cache was published.
Is a volunteer on-site reviewer cheating by finding the cache before it is published on the geocaching.com site?
It depends. See above response about signing as a beta-tester. It's also possible the Reviewer attended an event that featured caches for attendees to find that are not published for all other Cachers to chase until after the event. Reviewers are selected in large part for their integrity and take pains to be above reproach which why one won't generally see them chasing FTFs, especially on puzzle/mystery caches and multi-caches, until the general caching population has had a big head start (a week or more, or until the FTF has been logged).

 

Groundspeak is petty swift to dispatch a Reviewer who does not live up their vision of a Community Volunteer. Enough care is taken during the vetting process that very, very few Reviewers have been sacked.

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