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Updated Geocache Hiding Guidelines

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(This information was shared today on the Geocaching Blog.)

Today, Geocaching HQ is releasing updated guidelines for hiding caches. The main goal of the update is to make the Geocache Hiding Guidelines easier to read and understand. Here is what we have done to achieve that goal:

  • Improved guideline layout
  • Made text more clear
  • Reduced number of words by 15%
  • Moved supporting material to Help Center
  • Added some changes or clarifications to specific guidelines (see below)

In addition to the text updates, the page got a face lift, including better navigation! Read the new guidelines.

Community volunteer translators are currently translating the new guideline text into 24 languages. As these translations become available, the guidelines will be updated in those languages.

Changes and clarifications

Some guidance has changed since the last update a few years ago. Those changes include:

Caches must be accessible

Make sure to hide your cache for the long term, where it is available most of the week, and so it can be found without contacting anyone. Check out the new section in the guideline text about accessibility.

Caches cannot be buried – except with permission

To avoid problems with land managers and property owners, geocaches were previously not allowed to be buried under any circumstances. In general, this is still the case, unless you get explicit permission from the property owner. See the Regional Geocaching Policies Wiki for details in your region.

Definition of container and logbook

The lack of proper definitions and examples for container and logbook has led to confusion in the past. We have included more specific guidance for logbooks and containers in the new guideline text. The container must hold the logbook. The logbook must be physical, replaceable, easy to sign, and enclosed within a container.

Don’t hide caches far from home

Vacation/holiday caches are usually not published because they are difficult to maintain. It’s best to place physical caches in your area so you can respond quickly to maintenance needs. In rare circumstances, a vacation cache with an acceptable maintenance plan might be published.

Communicate with your reviewer

We have added new tips on how to communicate with your reviewer. Prior to publication, cache hiders should always provide information about the geocache location, container, and how it is hidden.

No precedents

Although “no precedents” was part of the previous guidelines, the reviewers were unable to link to it. You can find the new link here.

No agendas

We have updated text to clarify that what we mean by agendas, including highlighting causes such as charitable ones.

No commercial content

We have added text to make it clear that Geocaching HQ may make exceptions to the commercial guidelines for GeoTours and trackable promotions.

Family friendly

We have added text to clarify that cache pages must be family friendly.

Cache owner responsibilities

If you are a cache owner and unsure about your responsibilities, head over to this new section that details maintenance expectations.

With more than 3 million geocaches worldwide, cache owners must be extra careful to keep their geocaches in good shape. This prevents “geo-litter” and keeps the game fun for all involved. If a cache owner shows that they can’t keep up with the maintenance of their existing caches, they might lose their hiding privileges.

In addition to keeping the cache page and cache container in good shape, cache owners are also responsible for keeping the cache page guideline compliant after publication.

Letterbox Hybrid Caches

Rules about the distance between the final coordinates and the posted coordinates are defined by the underlying cache type: Traditional, Mystery, or Multi-Cache. See Letterbox Hybrid.

Wherigo Caches

Wherigo posted coordinates must be the same as the “Start at” coordinates on Wherigo.com. Exceptions:

  • “Play anywhere” cartridges
  • “Reverse” cartridges
  • Cartridges that start at a later waypoint
  • Cartridges used for geo-art

For these exceptions, the posted coordinates must be within 2 miles of the final.

Event Caches

Events cannot be held in or near transportation centers, such as airports, cruise ship ports, and train stations.

CITO Event Caches

We have updated the text regarding CITO caches to clarify that we encourage partnering with other organizations and that a separate sign-up is all that is needed such events.

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Sorry to see the new restriction that logs must be "enclosed within a container". I've seen some very creative caches that weren't. 

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33 minutes ago, Geocaching HQ said:

(This information was shared today on the Geocaching Blog.)

Today, Geocaching HQ is releasing updated guidelines for hiding caches. The main goal of the update is to make the Geocache Hiding Guidelines easier to read and understand. Here is what we have done to achieve that goal:

  • Improved guideline layout
  • Made text more clear
  • Reduced number of words by 15%
  • Moved supporting material to Help Center

Very, very helpful.

Thank you for all your work trying to improve the game!!

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I'll have to spend some time reading through the entire guidelines to see exactly what has changed before I can comment on most of it. However, I do find it unfortunate that the "Geocaches are never buried" guideline is being relaxed. It was always good to be able to tell muggles/land managers "The guidelines specifically say 'Geocaches are never buried'. Don't worry, nobody will be digging on your land." Changing it to effectively read "Geocaches are never buried, except..." doesn't give the same level of comfort.

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16 minutes ago, skramble said:

Sorry to see the new restriction that logs must be "enclosed within a container". I've seen some very creative caches that weren't. 

While the reviewers in our area have been allowing caches like magnetic sheets or bulletin board posters, other reviewers have been interpreting the guideline differently and haven't been allowing such caches (I know Keystone is one of them). I suspect the change to the guidelines is in an effort to get everyone on the same page.

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Right, I didn't even think of that. Are magnetic strip caches no longer allowed? Or is the 'enclosure' (tight magnetic hold) sufficient to be considered a container? =P

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37 minutes ago, Geocaching HQ said:

If you are a cache owner and unsure about your responsibilities, head over to this new section that details maintenance expectations.

This new section seems ambiguous when it comes to marking trackables as missing:

"To keep the online cache page up-to-date, the cache owner must [...] Occasionally mark trackables as missing if they are not in the geocache."

On the one hand, marking trackables missing is now something the cache owner "must" do. On the other hand, it only needs to be done "occasionally".

As a cache owner, I've preferred to wait a while after the first report that a trackable is missing, in case someone took the trackable recently, but hasn't logged their visit yet. But at what point does deferring to people who don't log caches immediately (e.g., anyone who uses field notes drafts) become a violation of the geocache hiding guidelines and their maintenance expectations?

 

 

5 minutes ago, The A-Team said:

However, I do find it unfortunate that the "Geocaches are never buried" guideline is being relaxed. It was always good to be able to tell muggles/land managers "The guidelines specifically say 'Geocaches are never buried'. Don't worry, nobody will be digging on your land." Changing it to effectively read "Geocaches are never buried, except..." doesn't give the same level of comfort.

I have mixed feelings. On the one hand, it is nice to be able to tell land managers that geocaches are never buried. On the other hand, this brings the guidelines and existing practice into better alignment.

And that probably reduces the number of complaints about geocaches that have explicit permission for a post hole or for some other hole.

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5 minutes ago, thebruce0 said:

Right, I didn't even think of that. Are magnetic strip caches no longer allowed? Or is the 'enclosure' (tight magnetic hold) sufficient to be considered a container? =P

I've found some magnetic caches where the owner has built up an area around the perimeter of the magnet, creating a small hollow in the middle where a logsheet in a bag can be stored. I suspect those could still work. However, the ones where a logsheet is glued directly to the back of the magnetic sheet, or an example near me where you sign the back of a bulletin board poster, would violate the new wording.

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4 minutes ago, niraD said:

This new section seems ambiguous when it comes to marking trackables as missing:

"To keep the online cache page up-to-date, the cache owner must [...] Occasionally mark trackables as missing if they are not in the geocache."

On the one hand, marking trackables missing is now something the cache owner "must" do. On the other hand, it only needs to be done "occasionally".

As a cache owner, I've preferred to wait a while after the first report that a trackable is missing, in case someone took the trackable recently, but hasn't logged their visit yet. But at what point does deferring to people who don't log caches immediately (e.g., anyone who uses field notes drafts) become a violation of the geocache hiding guidelines and their maintenance expectations?

I'll be interested to hear from those who have historically been opposed to being required to mark trackables as missing because they don't participate in the trackable side-game. The previous wording allowed them to ignore this function by effectively making it optional, but it now seems to be a requirement.

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Do I understand this correctly? Is it now official that asking the username is allowed? I have already made a cache which asked username, but now it is also OK to ask E-mail address?

 

Website registration

A cache page that requires one or more of the following will generally not be published:

  • Create an account with another website.
  • Provide personal information to another website (excluding email address and username).
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39 minutes ago, The A-Team said:

I've found some magnetic caches where the owner has built up an area around the perimeter of the magnet, creating a small hollow in the middle where a logsheet in a bag can be stored. I suspect those could still work. However, the ones where a logsheet is glued directly to the back of the magnetic sheet, or an example near me where you sign the back of a bulletin board poster, would violate the new wording.

The latter was what I'm more curious about, and would love an official weigh in (though the former would be good to know too) as this is essentially a new restriction. Although it's about as enforceable as the CO describing the container as such when marking the listing for publishing, and not withholding/lying about it. But that goes with any detail in the publishing.

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The only one I'm not sure about is the buried cache change.

Disallowing all buried caches made things simple. Anyone finding one knew that it did not comply with the guidelines.

Now we won't be sure.

Chances are people won't speak up for fear of rocking the boat and that will open the doors to more buried caches that lack permission.

 

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Thanks for explaining  clearly that logs must be "enclosed within a container".    :)

I'd bet this has caused some issues with publishing at times, when some either thought the wording wasn't clear enough, or those simply looking to see what they could get away with.

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10 minutes ago, Team Microdot said:

The only one I'm not sure about is the buried cache change.

Disallowing all buried caches made things simple. Anyone finding one knew that it did not comply with the guidelines.

Now we won't be sure.

Hopefully this will be tempered by the new guideline's requirement that cache owners must "state on the cache page" their explicit permission.

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4 minutes ago, niraD said:

Hopefully this will be tempered by the new guideline's requirement that cache owners must "state on the cache page" their explicit permission.

Yes that would be the only real way to ensure. Although, some might see that as a 'hint' that it could be buried :P

But I think it's generally good practice to disclaim if permission has been granted anyway. Helps to avoid any confusion and unwarranted concern or reporting.

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11 minutes ago, niraD said:
22 minutes ago, Team Microdot said:

The only one I'm not sure about is the buried cache change.

Disallowing all buried caches made things simple. Anyone finding one knew that it did not comply with the guidelines.

Now we won't be sure.

Hopefully this will be tempered by the new guideline's requirement that cache owners must "state on the cache page" their explicit permission.

Ooh!

I had not seen that. That'll teach me to skim :unsure:

I for one am really impressed with these guideline revisions - many of which seem to relate directly to discussions we've had here in the forums in recent months - in some cases very recent.

I think what I like most about the new guidelines is the simple clarity.

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1 hour ago, niraD said:

This new section seems ambiguous when it comes to marking trackables as missing:

"To keep the online cache page up-to-date, the cache owner must [...] Occasionally mark trackables as missing if they are not in the geocache."

On the one hand, marking trackables missing is now something the cache owner "must" do. On the other hand, it only needs to be done "occasionally".

As a cache owner, I've preferred to wait a while after the first report that a trackable is missing, in case someone took the trackable recently, but hasn't logged their visit yet. But at what point does deferring to people who don't log caches immediately (e.g., anyone who uses field notes drafts) become a violation of the geocache hiding guidelines and their maintenance expectations?

58 minutes ago, The A-Team said:

I'll be interested to hear from those who have historically been opposed to being required to mark trackables as missing because they don't participate in the trackable side-game. The previous wording allowed them to ignore this function by effectively making it optional, but it now seems to be a requirement.

Similar to niraD, "must" and "occasionally"  could be made a bit more clear...  

Must, requiring me to go on an all-day paddle, just to see if someone's Hello Kitty TB is inside, really doesn't seem fair.  We've never marked missing without looking first.  Or,  a  group caching together, all logging but one.  A newbie caches later that day and writes "no TB in cache" in his log.  A what point am I required?

 - Some TO's are just gonna have to get used to odd make-no-sense logs I guess...

 

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10 minutes ago, thebruce0 said:

 

15 minutes ago, niraD said:

Hopefully this will be tempered by the new guideline's requirement that cache owners must "state on the cache page" their explicit permission.

Yes that would be the only real way to ensure. Although, some might see that as a 'hint' that it could be buried :P

But I think it's generally good practice to disclaim if permission has been granted anyway. Helps to avoid any confusion and unwarranted concern or reporting.

 

When I grant exceptions, it can be for a buried cache, or for a design that involves altering a natural object (like a tree or rock), or any number of other listing guideline issues.  In all cases, I ask for the CO to include the following text:  "Permission was granted by [Land Manager], both for the placement of this geocache and for the manner in which it was hidden."  At best, the reader will know that there's "something" out of the ordinary with the cache design. 

The exceptions to the "no buried caches" guideline were becoming so numerous that it made sense to acknowledge the concept formally in the new guidelines.  It's hard to explain to a homeowner or a park ranger that they can't hide their cache in the desired manner.

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4 minutes ago, Keystone said:

It's hard to explain to a homeowner or a park ranger that they can't hide their cache in the desired manner.

Oh I hadn't even thought of that direction... not just a cacher getting permission to place on private property, but the actual property owner hiding a cache on their own property. Why can't they do it as they please? Good point.

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41 minutes ago, thebruce0 said:

 

1 hour ago, The A-Team said:

I've found some magnetic caches where the owner has built up an area around the perimeter of the magnet, creating a small hollow in the middle where a logsheet in a bag can be stored. I suspect those could still work. However, the ones where a logsheet is glued directly to the back of the magnetic sheet, or an example near me where you sign the back of a bulletin board poster, would violate the new wording.

The latter was what I'm more curious about, and would love an official weigh in (though the former would be good to know too) as this is essentially a new restriction. Although it's about as enforceable as the CO describing the container as such when marking the listing for publishing, and not withholding/lying about it. But that goes with any detail in the publishing.

 

These posts prove that it was worthwhile to add the clarifying language to the new guidelines.  There has been no change in policy, but the requirements are stated more clearly now.

Don't believe me?  Run a search in these forums on keyword "magnet" and for posts authored by me. You will see posts I've made from 2008 to earlier this year, all of which consistently state that a magnet by itself is not a geocache, but a magnet that encloses a separate logsheet does qualify as a geocache.

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15 minutes ago, thebruce0 said:
20 minutes ago, niraD said:

Hopefully this will be tempered by the new guideline's requirement that cache owners must "state on the cache page" their explicit permission.

Yes that would be the only real way to ensure. Although, some might see that as a 'hint' that it could be buried :P

HINT?  Looks more like a blatant giveaway, if.... 

Is this explicit permission on the cache page just for review/approval purposes (only seen/given away to the reviewer), or will it remain as part of the published cache page.  If the latter, it does seem like a dead giveaway.

???

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9 minutes ago, Team Microdot said:

I for one am really impressed with these guideline revisions - many of which seem to relate directly to discussions we've had here in the forums in recent months - in some cases very recent.

I think what I like most about the new guidelines is the simple clarity.

+ 1

I also like how some of the terms and concepts link to the help center where definitions or more explanation is given.

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11 minutes ago, Keystone said:

These posts prove that it was worthwhile to add the clarifying language to the new guidelines.  There has been no change in policy, but the requirements are stated more clearly now.

Don't believe me?  Run a search in these forums on keyword "magnet" and for posts authored by me. You will see posts I've made from 2008 to earlier this year, all of which consistently state that a magnet by itself is not a geocache, but a magnet that encloses a separate logsheet does qualify as a geocache.

Oh I believe you :)  Yeah it's good to have it literally in writing then. Before, it seems it was either a matter of reviewer interpretation, or people not describing the hide style sufficiently (or lying). Because over the years there've been plenty, many many magnet-strip cache finds.

What about fake covers? Do those count as enclosed containers? I've rarely if ever found the loghseet+bag inside another 'pouch' behind the cover. 99% of the time they're either held by a magnet to the back or even just sitting loosely only held by the cover's magnet to the wall.  Are those going to be denied as well (if the reviewer is made aware of the hide type)?

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10 minutes ago, Team Christiansen said:

+ 1

I also like how some of the terms and concepts link to the help center where definitions or more explanation is given.

I do think such a hierarchical approach is the right way to go.

What seems to have evolved historically is overlapping sometimes contradictory sets of documentation which can be overwhelming and lead to confusion.

I see rationalisation of the documentation as a good and useful thing.

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The proximity rules for events are still unclear imo. No time or distance between caches is mentioned. And what if unrelated (small) events from different owners are accidentally planned near each other? When is close too close? Please make that explicitly clear, as we're having constant discussions about that with the reviewers. It is especially an issue in the densely populated areas.

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Also, please make explicitly clear that small events at restaurants, cafes, ice cream parlours, diners, dönershops etc with free access and where nothing has to be ordered are just fine and not considered 'commercial'. As this is another constant issue we run into with reviewers.

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5 minutes ago, NLBokkie said:

Also, please make explicitly clear that small events at restaurants, cafes, ice cream parlours, diners, dönershops etc with free access and where nothing has to be ordered are just fine and not considered 'commercial'. As this is another constant issue we run into with reviewers.

The event guidelines are pretty detailed.  You can hold an event at a commercial location, and even mention its name, as stated.  Most issues arise when the event host uses the event page to promote the awesomeness of the chosen restaurant.  Repeating the menu, linking to the restaurant's website, going on about the selection of beers, and so forth, cross the line into promotion.  The details can be worked out with your local Community Volunteer Reviewer.

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I'm puzzled by the restriction on events being near transport hubs.  In an airport, cruise terminal etc. I can understand - but near?

How near is near?

If a park is just outside the airport and folk gather there to watch planes take off and land is an event allowed there?  What if there is a road between the park and the airport?  What if the event is at the far side of the park?

What about events designed to meet other geocachers going on your cruise- how far from the cruise terminal do they have to be?  Is 100m OK?  500m?

This change seems odd to me.

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17 minutes ago, Gill & Tony said:

I'm puzzled by the restriction on events being near transport hubs.  In an airport, cruise terminal etc. I can understand - but near?

How near is near?

If a park is just outside the airport and folk gather there to watch planes take off and land is an event allowed there?  What if there is a road between the park and the airport?  What if the event is at the far side of the park?

What about events designed to meet other geocachers going on your cruise- how far from the cruise terminal do they have to be?  Is 100m OK?  500m?

This change seems odd to me.

What's even odder in this is that railway stations are specifically included in the transport hubs events can't be near. Does this exclude having an event in, say, a park that's within walking distance of a train station?

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24 minutes ago, Gill & Tony said:

I'm puzzled by the restriction on events being near transport hubs.  In an airport, cruise terminal etc. I can understand - but near?

How near is near?

That's one I noticed too. We have a busy cruise terminal here in the summer, and typically have up to half a dozen events from visiting cruisers each year. These are usually held just outside the cruise terminal in an area alongside a public road and accessible by the general public. Off the top of my head, I'd have to guess that it's about 200 metres from the ships. I suspect this probably fits the definition of too "near", but can't think of why there would be any issue with holding an event there. The area is heavily used by both tourists and locals, so a gathering of a dozen or two people would likely go completely unnoticed.

Edited by The A-Team
Clarification
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The more I think about this, the odder it becomes.

Assume a 200m limit for train stations.  

There can't be many places in London that are further than 200m from the nearest tube station.  In New York there is probably just a thin strip down the middle of central park.  Probably most of Tokyo is eliminated.

If the limit is actually 500m then that could effectively ban events from all major cities.

 

Also, why the restriction inside airports?  Most airports have groundside areas specifically designed for people to meet.  The groundside food hall would be perfect for travellers to meet and swap trackables.

Edited by Gill & Tony
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29 minutes ago, Gill & Tony said:

The more I think about this, the odder it becomes.

Assume a 200m limit for train stations.  

There can't be many places in London that are further than 200m from the nearest tube station.  In New York there is probably just a thin strip down the middle of central park.  Probably most of Tokyo is eliminated.

If the limit is actually 500m then that could effectively ban events from all major cities.

The same goes for Sydney's Hyde Park - a central location with plenty of room and lots of shady trees - an ideal place for a event except there are not one but two railway stations underneath it (St James and Museum). I'd have thought access to rail transport would be something that'd be encouraged for events, not prohibited.

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5 hours ago, Geocaching HQ said:
Event Caches

Events cannot be held in or near transportation centers, such as airports, cruise ship ports, and train stations.

A number of local events have been held in the outdoor dining area of a local bakery/cafe. It's near a major bus stop, but that's okay.

A similar bakery/cafe is located near another major bus stop, but that major bus stop also serves a commuter rail station and a light rail (trolley) station. So are events at that cafe off limits because it's near the train stations?

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Question about these statements in the guidelines:

  • Caches cannot require geocachers to contact the cache owner or anyone else.
  • For privacy reasons, geocachers are not required to post a photo of themselves. 

Perhaps I'm misreading the guidelines, but I'm trying to understand what would constitute an acceptable "proof-of-find" for the new Virtual Rewards caches? 

It appears questions can't be answered as that would require the cacher to contact the CO with the answer(s). The only response I can come up with that would adhere to these two requirements is an image of the virtual site, perhaps with a GPS photoshopped included in it. 

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10 minutes ago, Team Tierra Buena said:

Question about these statements in the guidelines:

  • Caches cannot require geocachers to contact the cache owner or anyone else.
  • For privacy reasons, geocachers are not required to post a photo of themselves. 

Perhaps I'm misreading the guidelines, but I'm trying to understand what would constitute an acceptable "proof-of-find" for the new Virtual Rewards caches? 

It appears questions can't be answered as that would require the cacher to contact the CO with the answer(s). The only response I can come up with that would adhere to these two requirements is an image of the virtual site, perhaps with a GPS photoshopped included in it. 

Even more problematic are Earthcaches which absolutely require the finder to contact the CO.

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21 minutes ago, barefootjeff said:

Even more problematic are Earthcaches which absolutely require the finder to contact the CO.

Different set of Guidelines govern Earthcache submissions.  Irrelevant for this update.  Likewise for Team Tierra Buena's concern.  A separate set of Guidelines was written for Virtual Rewards.  The new update does not have any impact.  Nothing to see here.  Move along.

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29 minutes ago, Team Tierra Buena said:

Question about these statements in the guidelines:

  • Caches cannot require geocachers to contact the cache owner or anyone else.
  • For privacy reasons, geocachers are not required to post a photo of themselves. 

Perhaps I'm misreading the guidelines, but I'm trying to understand what would constitute an acceptable "proof-of-find" for the new Virtual Rewards caches? 

It appears questions can't be answered as that would require the cacher to contact the CO with the answer(s). The only response I can come up with that would adhere to these two requirements is an image of the virtual site, perhaps with a GPS photoshopped included in it. 

That section is located under accessibility. You should not have to contact the cache owner or someone else to get access to a cache. 

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4 hours ago, barefootjeff said:

What's even odder in this is that railway stations are specifically included in the transport hubs events can't be near. Does this exclude having an event in, say, a park that's within walking distance of a train station?

I think that there may be a poorly worded guideline here. I think that by hub, they mean a route of transportation. A road! That may be meaning that an event should not require a mile hike in the woods to get to. It should be easy to get to.

A park, a restaurant , a public place to gather. Train station! Of course not, airport, now way bus station nope.

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22 minutes ago, Mn-treker said:

I think that there may be a poorly worded guideline here. I think that by hub, they mean a route of transportation. A road! That may be meaning that an event should not require a mile hike in the woods to get to. It should be easy to get to.

A park, a restaurant , a public place to gather. Train station! Of course not, airport, now way bus station nope.

The actual wording is:

Events cannot be held in or near transportation centers such as

  • Airports
  • Cruise ship ports
  • Train stations

I don't see anything there to exclude events requiring some hiking to the location. Some of the most enjoyable events I've attended (and one I hosted) have involved a hike of a few kilometres to reach.

I note that the list isn't exhaustive so presumably events can't be near other transportation centres like ferry wharfs and bus interchanges. Is the intention to stop people using public transport to attend events? If so, why?

 

Edited by barefootjeff
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5 minutes ago, barefootjeff said:

The actual wording is:

Events cannot be held in or near transportation centers such as

  • Airports
  • Cruise ship ports
  • Train stations

I don't see anything there to exclude events requiring some hiking to the location. Some of the most enjoyable events I've attended (and one I hosted) have involved a hike of a few kilometres.

I note that the list isn't exhaustive so presumably events can't be near other transportation centres like ferry wharfs and bus interchanges. Is the intention to stop people using public transport to attend events? If so, why?

 

I am guessing as a security precaution?

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8 minutes ago, Uncle Alaska said:
13 minutes ago, barefootjeff said:

The actual wording is:

Events cannot be held in or near transportation centers such as

  • Airports
  • Cruise ship ports
  • Train stations

I don't see anything there to exclude events requiring some hiking to the location. Some of the most enjoyable events I've attended (and one I hosted) have involved a hike of a few kilometres.

I note that the list isn't exhaustive so presumably events can't be near other transportation centres like ferry wharfs and bus interchanges. Is the intention to stop people using public transport to attend events? If so, why?

 

I am guessing as a security precaution?

I often meet up with friends in a restaurant across the road from the local railway station but no-one has ever claimed that's a security risk. Why should a geocaching event be any different? I can understand them not wanting events inside train stations (or airports or cruise ship ports) but near them? These vicinities often have lots of cafes and restaurants where they want people to gather and enjoy themselves.

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1 hour ago, barefootjeff said:

I often meet up with friends in a restaurant across the road from the local railway station but no-one has ever claimed that's a security risk. Why should a geocaching event be any different? I can understand them not wanting events inside train stations (or airports or cruise ship ports) but near them? These vicinities often have lots of cafes and restaurants where they want people to gather and enjoy themselves.

My guess is only based on what "near" means to Groundspeak. It may not mean across the road.

Edited by Uncle Alaska
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6 minutes ago, Uncle Alaska said:
1 hour ago, barefootjeff said:

I often meet up with friends in a restaurant across the road from the local railway station but no-one has ever claimed that's a security risk. Why should a geocaching event be any different? I can understand them not wanting events inside train stations (or airports or cruise ship ports) but near them? These vicinities often have lots of cafes and restaurants where they want people to gather and enjoy themselves.

My guess is only based on what near means to Groundspeak. It may not mean across the road.

That's what I'd like clarified. There are plenty of railway stations in Sydney that have cafes in the concourse area on the public side of the ticket barrier - it's a nice little rent earner for them - and I don't see why such cafes should be off-limits to events. The same goes for all the restaurants clustered around the cruise ship terminal on Sydney Harbour - a great place for muggles to gather, but not cachers it seems. I'd hate to go to all the trouble of preparing an event in an eatery a hundred metres from a railway station only to have it knocked back by a reviewer who says it has to be further away, especially if there aren't any convenient places far enough away.

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1 hour ago, Mn-treker said:

I think that there may be a poorly worded guideline here. I think that by hub, they mean a route of transportation. A road! That may be meaning that an event should not require a mile hike in the woods to get to. It should be easy to get to.

A park, a restaurant , a public place to gather. Train station! Of course not, airport, now way bus station nope.

Sorry about that. I should use my computer to read these instead of smartphone. I thought they were griping about needing to have an event near a transportation hub. Well of course near them may not be a good idea. But same question how close is close. Best answer is to just go to a park or food joint. 

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11 minutes ago, Mn-treker said:

Sorry about that. I should use my computer to read these instead of smartphone. I thought they were griping about needing to have an event near a transportation hub. Well of course near them may not be a good idea. But same question how close is close. Best answer is to just go to a park or food joint. 

See my post above about Sydney's Hyde Park. One of the things that makes this so attractive as an event venue is public transport access, with two railway stations directly beneath it, and I'm sure there've been events held there in the past, but by just about any definition of "near" this would fall foul of the new guideline.

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9 hours ago, The A-Team said:

While the reviewers in our area have been allowing caches like magnetic sheets or bulletin board posters, other reviewers have been interpreting the guideline differently and haven't been allowing such caches (I know Keystone is one of them). I suspect the change to the guidelines is in an effort to get everyone on the same page.

There's a way around the perceived limitation they've placed. Is it a 2D cache?  Well, if you put a back cover on it that flips over the log, then the log is "inside" the cache, it's 3D and problem solved ... until such time as they start clarifying further.  I don't see the point in such a rule.  The first time I found a cache with the log on the back side I thought it was very clever, quite ingenious.  I don't see so many I tire of them.  The only gripe is when they get wet and the CO used notebook paper or such, rather than all weather map paper, which holds up under water.

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4 hours ago, niraD said:

A number of local events have been held in the outdoor dining area of a local bakery/cafe. It's near a major bus stop, but that's okay.

A similar bakery/cafe is located near another major bus stop, but that major bus stop also serves a commuter rail station and a light rail (trolley) station. So are events at that cafe off limits because it's near the train stations?

No doubt about it, this will play havoc with those events in Rachel, Nevada, as that's near a well known intergalactic spaceport.

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An even better example of the problem I see with this event guideline is Circular Quay on Sydney Harbour. This is a great spot for an event, and has been used often in the past, but it's one big transportation centre with a railway station, cruise ship terminal and five ferry wharves all in close proximity. Many of the eateries are underneath the railway station so by any definition of "near" they're going to be too near (zero metres on the map).

It's a tourist attraction - the government and the businesses want people to come and gather there. Again one of the things that makes this an attractive event venue is its proximity to public transport yet that's what we're now being told we must avoid. Are there no places like this elsewhere in the world? Are transport centre precincts everywhere else now off limits to anyone not in the process of travelling?

 

CircularQuay.jpg

Edited by barefootjeff
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10 hours ago, RufusClupea said:
10 hours ago, thebruce0 said:
10 hours ago, niraD said:

Hopefully this will be tempered by the new guideline's requirement that cache owners must "state on the cache page" their explicit permission.

Yes that would be the only real way to ensure. Although, some might see that as a 'hint' that it could be buried :P

HINT?  Looks more like a blatant giveaway, if.... 

Is this explicit permission on the cache page just for review/approval purposes (only seen/given away to the reviewer), or will it remain as part of the published cache page.  If the latter, it does seem like a dead giveaway.

???

As a cache owner which would you prefer?

  • Seekers don't realise your cache is buried. As a result they post DNF's and NM's. The health score of your cache starts to fall. Seeing an accumulation of negative logs people start to steer clear of your cache.

or

  • Seekers realise your cache is buried. They post Found It logs. The health score of your cache remains positive.
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2 hours ago, barefootjeff said:

An even better example of the problem I see with this event guideline is Circular Quay on Sydney Harbour. This is a great spot for an event, and has been used often in the past, but it's one big transportation centre with a railway station, cruise ship terminal and five ferry wharves all in close proximity. Many of the eateries are underneath the railway station so by any definition of "near" they're going to be too near (zero metres on the map).

It's a tourist attraction - the government and the businesses want people to come and gather there. Again one of the things that makes this an attractive event venue is its proximity to public transport yet that's what we're now being told we must avoid. Are there no places like this elsewhere in the world? Are transport centre precincts everywhere else now off limits to anyone not in the process of travelling?

That's an example of a perfect event location and it shouldn't be off limits. We were not caching at the time we visited there (2003). If I remember correctly the harbour tours start at the ferry terminal.

I think this blanket guideline will make many great locations off limits. Locally I can think of the (historic) Antwerp Railway station where serveral flashmobs were held and 5 previous events (3 of them inside the station). Another string of 11 events took place in stations all over Belgium (Geotrainmen Multi event).

 

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