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thebruce0

Challenge Cache Ideas

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If the spirit of the thread is challenge ideas, and the intent is positive (whether about ideas that work or ideas that don't) - then discuss away! If the intent is to point a finger at specific challenge listings that should not have been published - send that to the reviewer. It's really a simple request. What is your goal in the comment you post? I have zero problem with well-intended discussion about challenge ideas. If that's the case for participants, then this thread won't become known as a collection of challenge-caches-that-happen-to-have-been-archived-after-being-called-out.

 

 

With the risk it will continue this side debate, I just want to say I get it, and agree with the above. It is about the spirit. I don't think that can be addressed (at least not completely) by rules such as don't mention cache names. If I say I found this new challenge cache was published which I really like, it seems reasonable for me to link to it. If I don't link to it, I would need to describe it in detail (and then it could be found anyway). Then if someone else says "wait a minute, that violates rule #325 of the latest guidelines", and it gets archived, that is collateral damage. My intent was in the spirit.

 

If, however, I scan the world for new challenges, and do my own review against the guidelines looking for violations, then post them here.. that doesn't seem right to me or in the spirit. I don't want to be the world challenge cache police, and think objections are best handled locally.

 

(I'm not saying anyone has done the statement above.)

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Yep, you got it exactly :)

 

And "How did this cache get published? [link]" (focus: listing) is different than "I found a neat challenge cache requiriring... but isn't that breaking a guideline?" (focus: challenge)

Edited by thebruce0

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The fundamental problem is that this thread has two irreconcilable goals:

 

  1. "hare our experiences with what challenge ideas have been allowed, what have been denied (and why), and what is or may actually be possible." (See original post.)
     
  2. Not "becoming an infamous source for 'problem' GCs which 'happen' to get archived after being 'discussed.'" (See Post #280.)

It would be wonderful if we could freely discuss actual and theoretical challenge cache ideas without fear that, as a result of those discussions, Groundspeak might archive new challenge caches and/or impose further guideline restrictions.

 

But the reality is that Groundspeak, on multiple occasions, has done exactly that and likely will continue to do so in the future. It doesn't matter if you omit a new challenge cache's name. It doesn't matter if you want that new challenge cache to live a long and happy life. It doesn't matter if you use the euphemism "collateral damage" instead of "archival."

 

Don't pretend that "[w]e can discuss ideas, even in detail, without tattling directly on other caches." (Post #280.) Instead, be fully aware that the discussion of new challenge caches or new challenge ideas might result in archived challenges and/or additional guidelines.

Edited by CanadianRockies

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Don't pretend that "[we]e can discuss ideas, even in detail, without tattling directly on other caches." (Post #280.) Instead, be fully aware that the discussion of new challenge caches or new challenge ideas might result in archived challenges and/or additional guidelines.

Regardless of everything else you just said, yes. This last part is right, and the intent is not to directly call out problem caches. See previous comments. Now let's get back on topic please.

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Removing my tinfoil hat of paranoia -- I would be extremely surprised If GS actively monitors this thread for ways to further restrict challenges or caches to archive after the fact,. They have formal ways to report problem caches and the reviewers guard the front door once they get a good feel for what the rules allow. I don't plan to call out problem caches here -- not even the right place. This is a place to discuss ideas.

 

Having just published my first challenge and needing to provide the reviewer with 10 locals that qualify, I can say the extra burden of proof will discourage some. Just an observation though, not a rant. People are enjoying the admittedly simple challenge and some are planning trips to qualify so I think it's OK.

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Removing my tinfoil hat of paranoia -- I would be extremely surprised If GS actively monitors this thread for ways to further restrict challenges or caches to archive after the fact,. They have formal ways to report problem caches and the reviewers guard the front door once they get a good feel for what the rules allow. I don't plan to call out problem caches here -- not even the right place. This is a place to discuss ideas.

 

Having just published my first challenge and needing to provide the reviewer with 10 locals that qualify, I can say the extra burden of proof will discourage some. Just an observation though, not a rant. People are enjoying the admittedly simple challenge and some are planning trips to qualify so I think it's OK.

Yeah, that's a good thing.

 

For my Gridrunner series I've heard that it has caused some prolific local cachers to set some new immedate goals too so they can qualify and find the series (all along one trail).

I wanted to find some allowable challenge requirements that wouldn't easily be qualified merely with quantity of finds or caching career length. A few are localized (complete a challenge within a specific county or counties), and some are just counts of qualified bordered regions (counties, states/provinces, countries). Of the 10 initially published, there may have been a couple of people who qualified for all of them at once, but there were certainly more than 10 each who qualified within Ontario. Finding the 10 was a combined task of checking the highest-finders in Ontario, prolific local cachers, and ambitious challenge-cachers (who've already made efforts to qualify for some of the more esoteric challenges).

 

...and then I added one challenge most everyone qualifies for these days within a few months - to find 500 caches. :) And also included a puzzle (which hasn't yet been solved).

 

To get around the tighter guideline allowances, I put more effort into a theme than unique requirements; the challenge details themselves aren't necessarily original or unique. (and I got some feedback insisting that they prefer simplicity in their challenge listings; which of course is valid and fine, but not a rule :P)

 

A nice in-between challenge - not quite a full fizzy but more than a bingo line on the DT grid - is the set of 17 D+T sums which I called the 'Starbar' for the context of this series. I do vaguely recall seeing some older challenges using the same D+T idea, but they're not that common.

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Removing my tinfoil hat of paranoia -- I would be extremely surprised If GS actively monitors this thread for ways to further restrict challenges or caches to archive after the fact,.

But Groundspeak doesn't necessarily have to actively monitor this thread. There are plenty of challenge-cache-haters out there. If some of them read this thread and report questionable challenge caches or guideline "loopholes," then the end result is the same: Groundspeak might archive new challenge caches and/or further restrict guidelines.

 

Whatever the mechanism, it's indisputable that Groundspeak, on multiple occasions, has archived challenge caches and/or imposed more guidelines soon after those precise challenge caches and/or challenge ideas have been discussed on these forums.

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<tongueInCheek>I shall do future discussions encrypted with rot13 to defeat their dastardly doings. </tongueInCheck>

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Hmm... let's test my hypothesis with a challenge I have been thinking about. If this discussion results in a new rule, then the hypothesis is confirmed.

 

As far as I can tell, this idea does not violate any of the rules for challenges.

 

My idea is for a new type of "well-traveled cacher" challenge: the cacher must find 6 caches such that the area of the polygon formed by those 6 caches is greater than 10% of the Earth's total surface.

 

It is not a particularly difficult challenge to qualify for, especially if you have done caches in the Southern hemisphere. I qualify for it, and I know several others nearby who do as well. Does it sound interesting?

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It is not a particularly difficult challenge to qualify for, especially if you have done caches in the Southern hemisphere. I qualify for it, and I know several others nearby who do as well. Does it sound interesting?

 

Yes it sounds interesting to me.

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Rereading the guidelines, I don't see such a challenge as being explicitly prohibited except possibly by the "any geographic area" clause but that would be a stretch. I think this would test the limits of what is tolerated. I like it and it is properly challenging. A checker for it might need to be written and finding the largest enclosing polygon is an interesting challenge in its own right.

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Rereading the guidelines, I don't see such a challenge as being explicitly prohibited except possibly by the "any geographic area" clause but that would be a stretch. I think this would test the limits of what is tolerated. I like it and it is properly challenging. A checker for it might need to be written and finding the largest enclosing polygon is an interesting challenge in its own right.

 

Well, yeah! Writing the checker will be fun. I'll probably just use a spherical approximation because the full ellipsoid one will be very messy.

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Rereading the guidelines, I don't see such a challenge as being explicitly prohibited except possibly by the "any geographic area" clause but that would be a stretch. I think this would test the limits of what is tolerated. I like it and it is properly challenging. A checker for it might need to be written and finding the largest enclosing polygon is an interesting challenge in its own right.

 

Well, yeah! Writing the checker will be fun. I'll probably just use a spherical approximation because the full ellipsoid one will be very messy.

I wonder if a flat projection would be easier to write for the checker portion? Sounds like a unique and interesting idea.

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That sounds like a neat challenge. And it's not polygon-limited in that caches must be within an arbitrary boundary, it's more like they are forming a boundary, but it has nothing to do withfinding caches within it (they're already found :P). It's a mathematical challenge. It'd certainly be interesting to see if it gets approved. To my knowledge in Ontario the reviewers deliberate over all new challenge ideas so they're all on the same page on whether to allow or deny. A couple of mine went throguh extensive discussion before I heard back yay or nay. So I'd think whether it's brought to light via this forum or via standard publishing procedure, it would undergo the same scrutiny. But if it is denied, I think it would definitely be another case of "clarifying" a guideline interpretation =/. If you do publish it (and find out an optimal way to script a checker!) I'd certainly be game for working on it! (heck I might qualify after my Iceland trip, or at least be a few percentages closer :P)

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If the reviewer wants 10 people that qualify, I suspect my Greenland, Australia, Peru, Jordan, Alaska, Baja points might make a qualifying polygon.

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(heck I might qualify after my Iceland trip, or at least be a few percentages closer :P)

 

Interestingly, if you have found a cache in California and another in Europe, your Icelandic caches would not be part of the bounding polygon! I have started noodling around and found that surprising result.

 

Part of the reason I want to do this challenge is to help people visualize their finds on a spherical Earth. Seems to me that learning about geodesy is a legitimate geocaching goal... but then I love that stuff.

 

My best polygon goes from Hawaii to Norway to Turkey to Australia to the Canary Islands to Panama and back to Hawaii. I think. The geodesic from Australia all the way back to Hawaii might pass to the south of the Canary Islands and Panama. Ideally the challenge checker would make an image of the globe for you with geodesics connecting your points. Figuring out how to do that in lua is, um, challenging!

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Very cool idea! I think I might qualify with Hawaii to Alaska to Svalbard to Switzerland, Antarctica, Ecuador, and back to Hawaii. I'm local for you so you can use my name.

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(heck I might qualify after my Iceland trip, or at least be a few percentages closer :P)

 

With finds in Seattle, Copenhagen, Dubai, Johannesburg (South Africa), Singapore, and Beijing I'm pretty sure that I'd easy qualify for such a challenge. The challenge for me would be getting to the west coast to find the physical cache.

 

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I like Fizzy's idea, and would love to see a visualization of my six chosen points: Sydney, Australia; Geocaching HQ in Seattle; Acadia National Park in Maine; Istanbul, Turkey; Petra in Jordan, east of the Dead Sea; and View Carre in New Orleans.

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I like Fizzy's idea, and would love to see a visualization of my six chosen points: Sydney, Australia; Geocaching HQ in Seattle; Acadia National Park in Maine; Istanbul, Turkey; Petra in Jordan, east of the Dead Sea; and View Carre in New Orleans.

 

Take a look at this site:

 

It has a polygon on a world map that can be manipulated by dragging points on the polygon (it starts with a triangle) to locations on the map. It take a bit of work to adjust the polygon but eventually you'll end up with something like this.

 

NZWHCyI.jpg

 

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Here is a rough cut of my polygon. Tablets are not great for using the tool.

 

29xdg5t.jpg

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That sounds like a neat challenge. And it's not polygon-limited in that caches must be within an arbitrary boundary, it's more like they are forming a boundary, but it has nothing to do withfinding caches within it (they're already found :P). It's a mathematical challenge. It'd certainly be interesting to see if it gets approved. To my knowledge in Ontario the reviewers deliberate over all new challenge ideas so they're all on the same page on whether to allow or deny. A couple of mine went throguh extensive discussion before I heard back yay or nay. So I'd think whether it's brought to light via this forum or via standard publishing procedure, it would undergo the same scrutiny. But if it is denied, I think it would definitely be another case of "clarifying" a guideline interpretation =/. If you do publish it (and find out an optimal way to script a checker!) I'd certainly be game for working on it! (heck I might qualify after my Iceland trip, or at least be a few percentages closer :P)

 

Even though i doubt i'd ever qualify, it sounds like a nice challenge. The thing that i think might get it nixed is that reviewers, and then Groundspeak, may consider it too difficult for the masses. One of the original headaches for TPTB was the whining from people that CCs were too difficult and therefore, unfair for them. As demonstrated in this thread, there are some who qualify for it,,, but in the big picture, are there enough people?

Edited by Mudfrog

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That sounds like a neat challenge. And it's not polygon-limited in that caches must be within an arbitrary boundary, it's more like they are forming a boundary, but it has nothing to do withfinding caches within it (they're already found :P). It's a mathematical challenge. It'd certainly be interesting to see if it gets approved. To my knowledge in Ontario the reviewers deliberate over all new challenge ideas so they're all on the same page on whether to allow or deny. A couple of mine went throguh extensive discussion before I heard back yay or nay. So I'd think whether it's brought to light via this forum or via standard publishing procedure, it would undergo the same scrutiny. But if it is denied, I think it would definitely be another case of "clarifying" a guideline interpretation =/. If you do publish it (and find out an optimal way to script a checker!) I'd certainly be game for working on it! (heck I might qualify after my Iceland trip, or at least be a few percentages closer :P)

 

Even though i doubt i'd ever qualify, it sounds like a nice challenge. The thing that i think might get it nixed is that reviewers, and then Groundspeak, may consider it too difficult for the masses. One of the original headaches for TPTB was the whining from people that CCs were too difficult and therefore, unfair for them. As demonstrated in this thread, there are some who qualify for it,,, but in the big picture, are there enough people?

Per the discussion around the Bi-Polar Challenge, it would appear that 10 local qualifying cachers is a common number that gets tossed around to demonstrate the "attainable" portion of the Help Center guidance. For the Bi-Polar Challenge, I think it ended up that the CO found maybe 5 local cachers. My guess is that those 5 would probably qualify for fizzymagic's concept as well, leaving another 5 to find. There's a lot of well traveled cachers in fizzymagic's home area, so that seems like a pretty simple task to accomplish.

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I was trying to grok what 10% might look like -- not helped by a Mercator projection. North America has 5.8% of surface area. So visualize multiple North Americas in your polygon and if you can fit two instances, you probably qualify.

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Cool. My rough attempt at mine. I accidentally created more than 6 points, but it is roughly the right shape. My 6 points are: Davenport Iowa, Copenhagen Denmark, Almaty Kazakhstan, Beijing China, Auckland NZ, Capetown, South Africa.

 

48e8da3a-190c-4534-bcb6-2c2f7c62305c.png

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Cool. My rough attempt at mine. I accidentally created more than 6 points, but it is roughly the right shape. My 6 points are: Davenport Iowa, Copenhagen Denmark, Almaty Kazakhstan, Beijing China, Auckland NZ, Capetown, South Africa.

 

48e8da3a-190c-4534-bcb6-2c2f7c62305c.png

 

Its interesting that we have some of the same cities but the map I created went across the pacific rather than a point in the US as the western most point. I also accidentally created more than six points as well and noticed that the line between Copenhagen and Beijing went through Seattle (which I originally included as a point). If I excluded my finds in Cuba and Costa Rica it actually created a larger polygon. Based on future travel plans between now and next June my polygon will get a bit larger. I'll be going to Iceland at the beginning of November and have had approval to attend a conference next June in Australia.

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Here is mine:

 

b9307568-ddf9-401c-a10b-afd0c0068d4d_l.jpg

 

Clearly getting to South Africa or Argentina helps a lot!

 

I've been studying up on the math involved; the problem of finding a polygon that covers the area is called the "convex hull" problem. And that there is no convex hull algorithm that will work on an entire sphere. There is one that will do a hemisphere, but that doesn't seem right to me.

 

So I am starting to lean toward Touchstone's suggestion that we use a Mercator (or some similar) projection and do the convex hull in 2D (which is a well-known problem). The issue now is how to define the minimum and maximum longitudes. For a cache in California, I am tempted to use the 180 degree meridian. That would work very well for most people in the US.

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Mathematically, considering a spherical body, if I make any polygon, and color one part red and the other part green. Say that the red part covers 25% of the globe, then the green part covers 75% of the globe. But since it is a sphere, then there is no reason to assume that the 25% is 'inside' and the 75% is 'outside' is there? The same polygon is a boundary for both parts.

 

Therefore, everyone that makes any polygon, would qualify for the challenge -- and any 3 points define a polygon.

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Mathematically, considering a spherical body, if I make any polygon, and color one part red and the other part green. Say that the red part covers 25% of the globe, then the green part covers 75% of the globe. But since it is a sphere, then there is no reason to assume that the 25% is 'inside' and the 75% is 'outside' is there? The same polygon is a boundary for both parts.

 

Therefore, everyone that makes any polygon, would qualify for the challenge -- and any 3 points define a polygon.

 

While that is certainly true, by simply stating that the smaller region must be >10%, the spirit of the challenge is maintained.

 

Although is someone legitimately could cover over 50% of the globe, their "qualifying" area would start to shrink, rather than grow, but I don't think that that's going to be an issue in reality.

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Mathematically, considering a spherical body, if I make any polygon, and color one part red and the other part green. Say that the red part covers 25% of the globe, then the green part covers 75% of the globe. But since it is a sphere, then there is no reason to assume that the 25% is 'inside' and the 75% is 'outside' is there? The same polygon is a boundary for both parts.

 

Therefore, everyone that makes any polygon, would qualify for the challenge -- and any 3 points define a polygon.

 

While that is certainly true, by simply stating that the smaller region must be >10%, the spirit of the challenge is maintained.

 

Although is someone legitimately could cover over 50% of the globe, their "qualifying" area would start to shrink, rather than grow, but I don't think that that's going to be an issue in reality.

 

Do these issues go away if it is based on a 2D projection? With the 2D map, it seems clear to me. I can see the size of the entire world, and within that, the size of my polygon.

 

As has been said; there will need to be a checker (and that itself is a challenge, no pun intended). That will determine what your percentage is.

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So I am starting to lean toward Touchstone's suggestion that we use a Mercator (or some similar) projection and do the convex hull in 2D (which is a well-known problem).
I would think that a projection like Gall–Peters would work better, given that you're trying to determine the area inside the polygon. But then, drawing the polygons correctly might be an issue.

 

This does sound like an interesting location-based challenge. I don't see myself ever completing it, but it does sound interesting.

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Mathematically, considering a spherical body, if I make any polygon, and color one part red and the other part green. Say that the red part covers 25% of the globe, then the green part covers 75% of the globe. But since it is a sphere, then there is no reason to assume that the 25% is 'inside' and the 75% is 'outside' is there? The same polygon is a boundary for both parts.

 

Therefore, everyone that makes any polygon, would qualify for the challenge -- and any 3 points define a polygon.

 

While that is certainly true, by simply stating that the smaller region must be >10%, the spirit of the challenge is maintained.

 

Although is someone legitimately could cover over 50% of the globe, their "qualifying" area would start to shrink, rather than grow, but I don't think that that's going to be an issue in reality.

 

Do these issues go away if it is based on a 2D projection? With the 2D map, it seems clear to me. I can see the size of the entire world, and within that, the size of my polygon.

 

As has been said; there will need to be a checker (and that itself is a challenge, no pun intended). That will determine what your percentage is.

 

Any projection to 2D (as long as it is continuous) fixes the problem, yes. So I am working on finding best projection. The Mercator projection, flawed as it is, has the advantage of computational simplicity.

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So I am starting to lean toward Touchstone's suggestion that we use a Mercator (or some similar) projection and do the convex hull in 2D (which is a well-known problem).
I would think that a projection like Gall–Peters would work better, given that you're trying to determine the area inside the polygon. But then, drawing the polygons correctly might be an issue.

 

Oooh, I like that projection. It kind of (sort of) preserves area. It lets me do the convex hull in 2D, which should be reasonably fast, yet has a semi-meaningful area measure. I like it.

 

The Hobo-Dyer projection may be more appealing since it is closest to the "natural" aspect ratio (that is, 180:90 = 2:1) but it is also an equal-area projection.

 

I have found a couple of convex-hull-finding algorithms in lua online already; I am hoping they will be fast enough.

Edited by fizzymagic

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So I am working on finding best projection.

Is Project-GC accepting new challenge checker programmers?

 

I don't think so. But I am one.

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I got the convex hull working in Python and overlaid it onto a Hobo-Dyer equal area cylindrical projection. I like this projection because the aspect ratio is close to 2. The projection has the property that equal areas on the sphere have the same areas on the projection. The meaning of the lines is not easy to interpret, but I think it makes for a pleasing display.

 

Because of the properties of the Hobo-Dyer projection, the convex hull can be computed from the lat/lon of the caches and then only the hull points transformed, which saves a lot of computation.

 

My implementation, which uses numpy, runs in less than a second for my ~8000 finds.

 

If somebody is a true lua genius, perhaps they can figure out how to make the map as part of the checker. I think it looks cool.

 

Here is my convex hull. Total area is almost exactly 30%.

 

e64229ac-cbe9-4ecf-8087-472353dfcfac.png

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Nice work. I looked at some of the existing checkers and the DeLorme ones draw a map with data superimposed. The 360 degree challenges also draw a map but doesn't look like a good fit.

 

Assuming this challenge is allowed, it will need a catchy name. Fizzy challenge seems to be taken. :D

Edited by rragan

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Assuming this challenge is allowed, it will need a catchy name. Fizzy challenge seems to be taken. :D
I suppose this could be the "Magic" challenge...

 

Although I like names that indicate something about the challenge, like the Puzzling Month challenge. There are other "Well Traveled Geocacher" challenges, so maybe something along these lines:

 

Well Traveled Geocacher: 10% Polygon

Well Traveled Geocacher: Convex Hull

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I'm not an approved Lua developer although I wrote a checker that was discussed in this thread and then had the idea rejected by GS. If I can help, let me know. Lua is not that hard a language. The tricky bit is testing the code. Previously I wrapped the code in my own test harness faking the PGC API calls.

 

Still, once bitten twice shy so the idea ought to be deemed acceptable before coding.

Edited by rragan

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I'm wondering how widespread a practice it is for Reviewers to publish a proposed challenge cache when a minimum number of local geocachers haven't already completed that challenge. According to the guidelines:

 

A challenge cache needs to appeal to and be attainable by a reasonable number of cachers. Your reviewer may ask for a list of cachers from your area who qualify.

Several jurisdictions (including, I believe, California, Florida, and Ontario) seem to require at least 10 pre-qualifiers before a challenge will be published. On the other hand, in Alberta, Canada, I've had a couple post-moratorium challenges approved when it didn't appear that any other locals had pre-qualified (although several appeared to be reasonably close to qualifying).

 

There are several potentially interesting challenge cache ideas that might stand a chance of being published in places like Alberta but probably would face huge obstacles in, say, Florida.

 

For example, a Double Jasmer Challenge. Ten Alberta cachers have completed the Single Jasmer Challenge, and a compelling argument might be made to the Reviewer that a reasonable number of those would be interested in and capable of attaining a Double Jasmer.

 

While Florida has 38 Single Jasmer completers, only five of them have finished the Double Jasmer. If one of them wanted to create a Double Jasmer Challenge cache, then they would have to convince six more Florida geocachers to pre-qualify...a task that likely involves lots of travel and perhaps months or years of work, with no guarantee that enough of them will succeed and permit the creation of a Florida Double Jasmer.

 

Or what about a challenge to find the oldest active Multi-type caches in at least 25 Groundspeak jurisdictions (i.e., regions/countries)? I doubt many geocachers would pre-qualify or could qualify without a major effort. But there might be significant interest in completing such a challenge if it was already published.

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I think it would just be a matter of convincing TPTB; but going in without any high expectations.

 

I think it's helpful to remember than any challenge ideas discussed in this thread may or may not for whatever reason be publishable in any various location around the world. Publishable in one doesn't mean it will be publishable in another, whether due to local qualified cachers, availability of qualifier caches, or remaining subjective judgement of the local reviewer. But that hopefully shouldn't hinder discussion of challenge ideas (and how they may be localized as means to be allowable), rather than focusing on the challenge review process.

 

I would think that in the case of Jasmer-based challenges, one localization factor other than local qualified cachers would be how feasible it is to find qualifying caches in the region's vicinity. That spread may differ greatly between Alberta and Florida (I haven't checked).

 

If in Alberta there are 10 single-jasmer cachers qualified and everyone's interested in going for double, but the reviewer deems the spread of applicable caches too sparse, it'll likely still not be published.

If in Florida there are 38 single-jasmer cachers qualified with 5 double qualified and there's a good spread of applicable caches to find, well, dunno what the reviewer might do. They could publish it with less than 10 people provided, or they could ask to wait until 10 people qualify. Depends on the reviewer and the local team's agreed-upon requirements.

 

I don't want to comment on whether I like certain guidelines (in this thread - because that can lead to off-topic stuff), but rather just talk about ideas, and how to work around problems.

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I'm wondering how widespread a practice it is for Reviewers to publish a proposed challenge cache when a minimum number of local geocachers haven't already completed that challenge. According to the guidelines:

 

A challenge cache needs to appeal to and be attainable by a reasonable number of cachers. Your reviewer may ask for a list of cachers from your area who qualify.

 

I'm curious what is meant by "local" and "from your area". My local government area is Gosford City, population 160,000 and with at most a dozen active cachers. Setting the bar on a challenge cache low enough so that ten of them qualify would essentially mean everyone qualifies, in which case what's the point of the challenge?

 

But just the other side of the river are the northern fringes of Sydney, Australia's largest city with a population of nearly 5 million and many hundreds of active cachers. If that was considered part of "my area", it's a completely different ballgame.

 

Is this something that's defined somewhere or is it purely at the whim of the local reviewer?

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I would guess the minimum area would be that covered by the reviewer responsible. In cases of high activity like the Bay Area and LA where there are multiple reviewers, you might make a case for a larger area. Reviewers learn from each other and I think the 10 qualifiers idea seems to be spreading.

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1. I would pick a different example than a Double Jasmer, Triple Jasmer, etc. It would be a significant uphill battle to get anything beyond a regular Jasmer Challenge published, anywhere, under the new guidelines.

 

2. The "Find 10 people who qualify" is not written in stone. It's a good rule of thumb. But "three who qualify and five who are really close" would likely be fine, depending on the nature of the challenge. Do check with your local reviewer, however. It's possible that some have established "10 qualifiers" as a minimum hurdle, perhaps simply due to the volume of challenge caches being submitted in their territory. And that's fine. I don't personally have that issue in my territory.

 

3. You can work with your reviewer to define an appropriate "local area" for your challenge. Your reviewer knows the local geocaching communities and their travel habits. For example, here in Pittsburgh, fans of challenge caches will travel north to Erie and Cleveland and south to West Virginia, but typically not east to Philadelphia. If someone submitted a challenge cache in Pittsburgh, I would similarly count geocachers from Ohio and West Virginia as "local" for purposes of the popularity/attainability guideline. In the example of Gosford City, I would hope your reviewer would count that as part of the "Greater Sydney" geocaching community. Having just driven through that area a few weeks ago, I think that answer makes sense.

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1. I would pick a different example than a Double Jasmer, Triple Jasmer, etc. It would be a significant uphill battle to get anything beyond a regular Jasmer Challenge published, anywhere, under the new guidelines.

Suppose 11 of Ontario's 56 Single Jasmer completers pre-qualify for a Double Jasmer. Would an Ontario Double Jasmer challenge cache still face a significant uphill battle beyond "attainable by a reasonable number of [area] cachers?" If so, what other hurdles come into play?

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I really don't understand applying the 10 local people qualify rule to a Jasmer. No one is going to complete it without substantial travel. They generally take several years to earn it. As one of the top 4 challenges in our sport, it should not be trivial to attain. Having one placed near a community raises awareness and interest. Still we seem to mostly have one per state and this almost seems to have become a tradition.

 

Double Jasmer, it could be argued is gilding the lily. There are only 11 published globally so maybe the world could do with a few more.

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I would think that in the case of Jasmer-based challenges, one localization factor other than local qualified cachers would be how feasible it is to find qualifying caches in the region's vicinity. That spread may differ greatly between Alberta and Florida (I haven't checked).

I can understand how travel could factor into whether or not a challenge is "attainable by a reasonable number of [area] cachers." But you seem to suggest that travel could be a factor in addition to that "attainability" guideline. Which other guideline(s) do you think travel might play a part?

 

If in Alberta there are 10 single-jasmer cachers qualified and everyone's interested in going for double, but the reviewer deems the spread of applicable caches too sparse, it'll likely still not be published.

I believe there are only four active caches that were placed in August of 2000. Three are in the U.S. (none in Florida) and one in Sweden. So, there would be very few areas where even a Single Jasmer challenge would be allowed if there was some hidden guideline requiring proximity to qualifying caches. But there have been several post-moratorium Single Jasmer challenge caches published, including one in Florida and another in the United Kingdom, so it doesn't appear that far distances to qualifying caches is a disqualifying factor (as long as a reasonable number of local geocachers have/can visit the qualifying caches).

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I did a search for Mystery type with challenge in the title and sorted by Date Placed. I found a surprising number of challenges are being done. Some are nice new spins on basic ideas. I liked the Electoral College Challenge. You have to find enough states to accumulate 270 electoral votes.

 

I was looking for a cache-to-cache distance challenge and found at least one. This would seem to suggest my Antipodes challenge would be ok. I qualify the existing checker for the one in Florida and I found 10 folks locally that qualify.

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