Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 3
niraD

Allow Challenge Caches based on authoritative third-party data sources

Recommended Posts

Currently, Challenge Caches can use only "countries, states/provinces, counties (or their local equivalent)" as location-based criteria. Other location-based criteria are considered "user-defined mapping polygons" and are not allowed.

Unfortunately, this prohibits new DeLorme Challenges, new USGS Quadrangle Challenges, and similar classic location-based Challenge Caches.

While it makes perfect sense to prohibit the use of completely arbitrary user-defined mapping polygons, please reconsider allowing Challenges based on authoritative third-party region definitions. This is already the case with counties (which are allowed). While countries and states/provinces use data on the geocaching.com website, county definitions must use external services, and therefore must use third-party region definitions.

Allowing location-based Challenges using authoritative third-party region definitions like USGS quadrangles and DeLorme atlas pages would be a benefit to geocaching.

Share this post


Link to post
21 minutes ago, niraD said:

Unfortunately, this prohibits new DeLorme Challenges, new USGS Quadrangle Challenges, and similar classic location-based Challenge Caches.

Have you tried to make such a challenge and got rejected?

Edited by arisoft

Share this post


Link to post
26 minutes ago, arisoft said:

Have you tried to make such a challenge and got rejected?

No, I have not.

Share this post


Link to post
28 minutes ago, niraD said:

No, I have not.

Meybe there is no such problem at all because I have opposite information that DeLorme is allowed.

Share this post


Link to post
11 minutes ago, arisoft said:

Meybe there is no such problem at all because I have opposite information that DeLorme is allowed.

That's not what I've heard. But what about other third-party region definitions like the USGS quadrangles?

If they're allowed, then it should be easy for a lackey to close this request once the Help Center page is updated.

Share this post


Link to post
20 minutes ago, niraD said:

That's not what I've heard. But what about other third-party region definitions like the USGS quadrangles?

If they're allowed, then it should be easy for a lackey to close this request once the Help Center page is updated.

I can only advice to ask from your local reviewer. It is possible that USGS quadrangles are allowed same way as DeLorme seems to be allowed. Guidelines are just guidelines and some exceptions are allowed as elevation, which seems to be against many challenge guidelines.

Edited by arisoft

Share this post


Link to post
19 minutes ago, arisoft said:

It is possible that USGS quadrangles are allowed same way as DeLorme seems to be allowed.

I do find it interesting that here you say Delorme challenges will be allowed, but above you have regressed to "possible" and "seems."

Either way, your statement is unfortunately not accurate.

 

Share this post


Link to post
20 minutes ago, hzoi said:

Either way, your statement is unfortunately not accurate.

No, it is not my statement, it comes from HQ.

Edited by arisoft

Share this post


Link to post
2 hours ago, niraD said:

While it makes perfect sense to prohibit the use of completely arbitrary user-defined mapping polygons...

No, sorry, it makes no sense to me to prohibit the use of completely arbitrary user-defined mapping polygons to begin with, therefore it makes just as much sense (i.e., none) to prohibit any polygon defined by anyone. The easier and much better solution to your problem is just to allow polygons without worrying about who defines them. In the end, the polygon is going to be defined by the checker implementer even when the implementer is trying to implement something defined by the USGS.

My understanding is that states and countries are defined by where the CO said the cache is, not because there's some polygon that defines each state. A challenge based on being in California would be allowed because "California" is specifically in the database, not because the cache is required to be in a polygon that GS considers legit.

Share this post


Link to post

New DeLorme Challenges are not permitted.  There are at least two which have been archived since the Moratorium, and they cannot be recreated.  People have tried.

Once you open Pandora's box and allow new DeLorme Challenges, don't you need to allow the equivalent map-based challenge for the Czech Republic?  For Australia?  Etc.  Then it becomes "this map source, that map source, etc." followed by other variations.  Soon, we're right back where we were in 2014.

Share this post


Link to post
9 minutes ago, Keystone said:

New DeLorme Challenges are not permitted.  There are at least two which have been archived since the Moratorium, and they cannot be recreated.  People have tried.

Once you open Pandora's box and allow new DeLorme Challenges, don't you need to allow the equivalent map-based challenge for the Czech Republic?  For Australia?  Etc.  Then it becomes "this map source, that map source, etc." followed by other variations.  Soon, we're right back where we were in 2014.

This is very logical explanation, but it does not explain why contour lines are accepted as allowed criteria and why DeLorme was mentioned when this matter was questioned. I understand that there may be different explanations and opinions even inside HQ and everything can change without warning.

Share this post


Link to post
30 minutes ago, Keystone said:

Once you open Pandora's box and allow new DeLorme Challenges, don't you need to allow the equivalent map-based challenge for the Czech Republic?  For Australia?  Etc.  Then it becomes "this map source, that map source, etc." followed by other variations.  Soon, we're right back where we were in 2014.

Can you clarify "where we were in 2014"?

Is the problem multiple map sources? Is the problem authoritative map sources vs not-so-authoritative map sources? Is the problem something else?

I understand that the overarching issue was the time required of volunteer reviewers and Groundspeak staff to deal with Challenge Caches, but I don't understand why authoritative regions like USGS quadrangles (or the equivalent for the Czech Republic, Australia, Uzbekistan, etc.) would be a problem in that regard.

Share this post


Link to post
41 minutes ago, niraD said:

I understand that the overarching issue was the time required of volunteer reviewers and Groundspeak staff to deal with Challenge Caches, but I don't understand why authoritative regions like USGS quadrangles (or the equivalent for the Czech Republic, Australia, Uzbekistan, etc.) would be a problem in that regard.

At the end of the day it's the checker writers and their underlying databases that would have to be across all the different grid systems. You mentioned Australia, but even here we have AGD84 which is still used enough to be bothersome, GDA94, the current grid system, and the about-to-be-released GDA2020 which will be adjusted to compensate for the continent's drift since 1994. As my former boss was fond of saying, "the beauty of standards is that there are so many of them".

Share this post


Link to post
46 minutes ago, niraD said:

I understand that the overarching issue was the time required of volunteer reviewers and Groundspeak staff to deal with Challenge Caches, but I don't understand why authoritative regions like USGS quadrangles (or the equivalent for the Czech Republic, Australia, Uzbekistan, etc.) would be a problem in that regard.

One important factor is the geochecker. Nobody is resposible to update constantly changing authoritative regions. Groundspeak has own country map which does not correspond to real countries but the information is available from cache descriptions and available to geocheckers.

Share this post


Link to post
5 hours ago, barefootjeff said:

At the end of the day it's the checker writers and their underlying databases that would have to be across all the different grid systems.

5 hours ago, arisoft said:

One important factor is the geochecker.

There are already challenge checkers for a number of grandfathered cache types, including DeLorme challenges and USGS quadrangle challenges. If that were really the issue, then the existing requirement for an automated checker would cover it. There would be no need to ban new challenges base on "user-defined mapping polygons" like the DeLorme atlases or the USGS quadrangles.

Share this post


Link to post
13 minutes ago, niraD said:

There are already challenge checkers for a number of grandfathered cache types, including DeLorme challenges and USGS quadrangle challenges. If that were really the issue, then the existing requirement for an automated checker would cover it. There would be no need to ban new challenges base on "user-defined mapping polygons" like the DeLorme atlases or the USGS quadrangles.

I suppose that's fine if you just want to restrict those type of challenges to the USA. The rest of the world mightn't be quite so trivial.

Share this post


Link to post
1 hour ago, niraD said:

There are already challenge checkers for a number of grandfathered cache types, including DeLorme challenges and USGS quadrangle challenges. If that were really the issue, then the existing requirement for an automated checker would cover it.

There appears to be at least some issues: https://project-gc.com/forum/read?8,9280

Edited by arisoft

Share this post


Link to post
On 11/17/2017 at 3:29 PM, niraD said:

Currently, Challenge Caches can use only "countries, states/provinces, counties (or their local equivalent)" as location-based criteria. Other location-based criteria are considered "user-defined mapping polygons" and are not allowed.

Unfortunately, this prohibits new DeLorme Challenges, new USGS Quadrangle Challenges, and similar classic location-based Challenge Caches.

While it makes perfect sense to prohibit the use of completely arbitrary user-defined mapping polygons, please reconsider allowing Challenges based on authoritative third-party region definitions. This is already the case with counties (which are allowed). While countries and states/provinces use data on the geocaching.com website, county definitions must use external services, and therefore must use third-party region definitions.

Allowing location-based Challenges using authoritative third-party region definitions like USGS quadrangles and DeLorme atlas pages would be a benefit to geocaching.

+1  I suppose that it may be difficult to define "an authoritative source" but there are certainly some unambiguous mapping polygons that are *not* user-defined.  For example, a quadrant with a latitude between N42 and N43 degrees and a longitude between W76 an W77 degrees is a clearly defined region and not what I would consider to be user defined.  Take any country or state (or it's equivalent) and it can be divided up into quadrangles based purely on lat/long coordinates.  For example, here is a map of California with 15 regions defined based on lat/long degrees:  https://www.mapsofworld.com/usa/states/california/lat-long.html

Finding a cache in each of those regions (or even 10 of them) would be a good challenge.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
On 11/18/2017 at 1:57 AM, barefootjeff said:
On 11/18/2017 at 1:39 AM, niraD said:

There are already challenge checkers for a number of grandfathered cache types, including DeLorme challenges and USGS quadrangle challenges. If that were really the issue, then the existing requirement for an automated checker would cover it. There would be no need to ban new challenges base on "user-defined mapping polygons" like the DeLorme atlases or the USGS quadrangles.

I suppose that's fine if you just want to restrict those type of challenges to the USA. The rest of the world mightn't be quite so trivial.

The USGS quadrangles are based on 7.5 minute regions.  Although they're used by the USGS to create topo maps, the math is the same for creating 7.5 minute quadrangles for the entire globe.  In fact, 7.5 minute quadrangles have been plotted for other planets as well as the moon.   In the United States, a 7.5 minute quadrangle map covers an area of 49 to 70 square miles (130 to 180 km2).  

The World Geographic Reference System (GEOREF) would be a really good authoritative source for polygons which divide the globe into 15 minute and 7.5 minute quadrangles.  A challenge cache based on finding a cache in a specific number of quadrangles (e.g.  find a cache in 10 different 15 minute quadrangles...this would require a lot of travel) is unambiguous and is based on simple math.  Here's a good, short PDF document which describes GEOREF: http://earth-info.nga.mil/GandG/coordsys/grids/georef.pdf

 

Share this post


Link to post
On 11/17/2017 at 4:22 PM, niraD said:

I understand that the overarching issue was the time required of volunteer reviewers and Groundspeak staff to deal with Challenge Caches, but I don't understand why authoritative regions like USGS quadrangles (or the equivalent for the Czech Republic, Australia, Uzbekistan, etc.) would be a problem in that regard.

The overarching issue was that GS, for unknown reasons, cared. Because of that, they ended up spending so much time enforcing their arbitrary restrictions. I fail to see why it's important to prevent challenges based on map grids. I've never done one myself, but I've talked to a few cachers that hold them up as a particularly interesting way to get a fresh look at geocaching and at your local area.

Share this post


Link to post
35 minutes ago, dprovan said:

I've talked to a few cachers that hold them up as a particularly interesting way to get a fresh look at geocaching and at your local area.

Is there any reason why they can not get this fresh look at geocaching right away? I mean that HQ doesn't prevent geocaching based on any grid.

Share this post


Link to post
5 hours ago, NYPaddleCacher said:

The USGS quadrangles are based on 7.5 minute regions.  Although they're used by the USGS to create topo maps, the math is the same for creating 7.5 minute quadrangles for the entire globe.  In fact, 7.5 minute quadrangles have been plotted for other planets as well as the moon.   In the United States, a 7.5 minute quadrangle map covers an area of 49 to 70 square miles (130 to 180 km2).  

The World Geographic Reference System (GEOREF) would be a really good authoritative source for polygons which divide the globe into 15 minute and 7.5 minute quadrangles.  A challenge cache based on finding a cache in a specific number of quadrangles (e.g.  find a cache in 10 different 15 minute quadrangles...this would require a lot of travel) is unambiguous and is based on simple math.  Here's a good, short PDF document which describes GEOREF: http://earth-info.nga.mil/GandG/coordsys/grids/georef.pdf

 

The thing is, if you're going to allow those you'd probably have to allow other grid systems, at the very least UTM-based grids since cache pages already have their UTM grid coordinates displayed. Here, the UTM-based GDA96 is pretty much exclusively used on all grid-based maps (apart from older maps based on its predecessor AGD86 which uses the same notation but a slightly different reference frame and is still a source of confusion) - I'd never even heard of USGS or GEOREF until this thread and I doubt they get much if any use here - and I'd expect other parts of the world have their own preferred mapping grid system. So either you end up with a very restrictive set of allowable mapping grids that might be commonplace in one country but not much anywhere else, or you give the checker writers a mammoth task of catering for all the different systems people might want to use across the globe.

  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
5 hours ago, arisoft said:

Is there any reason why they can not get this fresh look at geocaching right away? I mean that HQ doesn't prevent geocaching based on any grid.

If you don't understand challenges, I probably can't explain it to you, but having a cache that you can find because you've found all the caches in the grid is a motivator. Saying, "Gee, I feel like finding all the caches in the grid" is not, even if, for no particular reason, it occurs to you that that is something you could do.

Share this post


Link to post
5 hours ago, barefootjeff said:

The thing is, if you're going to allow those you'd probably have to allow other grid systems, at the very least UTM-based grids since cache pages already have their UTM grid coordinates displayed.

You say that as if it would be some great tragedy to allow UTM based grids. But to me, it strikes be as just another idea that there's no earthly reason to object to.

5 hours ago, barefootjeff said:

So either you end up with a very restrictive set of allowable mapping grids that might be commonplace in one country but not much anywhere else, or you give the checker writers a mammoth task of catering for all the different systems people might want to use across the globe.

Checker writers are free to implement or not as they choose. Although from what I hear, you'd have no problem finding someone that would find it interesting to write a checker for whatever grid system you might want to name.

Once again, the only effort here is in GS having to decide and enforce what's allowable, and that effort evaporates when GS just realizes it's not worth worrying about.

Share this post


Link to post
14 minutes ago, dprovan said:
5 hours ago, barefootjeff said:

The thing is, if you're going to allow those you'd probably have to allow other grid systems, at the very least UTM-based grids since cache pages already have their UTM grid coordinates displayed.

You say that as if it would be some great tragedy to allow UTM based grids. But to me, it strikes be as just another idea that there's no earthly reason to object to.

5 hours ago, barefootjeff said:

So either you end up with a very restrictive set of allowable mapping grids that might be commonplace in one country but not much anywhere else, or you give the checker writers a mammoth task of catering for all the different systems people might want to use across the globe.

Checker writers are free to implement or not as they choose. Although from what I hear, you'd have no problem finding someone that would find it interesting to write a checker for whatever grid system you might want to name.

Once again, the only effort here is in GS having to decide and enforce what's allowable, and that effort evaporates when GS just realizes it's not worth worrying about.

No, all I'm saying is that if they allowed challenges based on one grid system, they'd really need to allow them all otherwise there'd be cries of geographical discrimination. As an indication of what's in use globally, my Garmin 62S lists dozens of different grid systems in its coordinate system menu - Austrian Grid, Borneo grid, British Grid, Dutch grid, EOV Hungarian Grid, Estonian Grid, Finnish Grid, Icelandic Grid, Indonesian Equatorial, Indonesian Irian, Indonesian Southern, no less than nine Indian grids, Irish (ITM), Irish (IG) and so forth right through to UTM and W Malayan RSO, and since at present only project-gc checkers are allowed for challenges, that's a lot of work for someone, particularly when you consider all the different ways someone could potentially frame a challenge around those grids. I might be wrong, but I wouldn't be surprised if that's why they decided not to allow any grid or polygon challenges.

Share this post


Link to post
1 hour ago, barefootjeff said:

No, all I'm saying is that if they allowed challenges based on one grid system, they'd really need to allow them all otherwise there'd be cries of geographical discrimination. As an indication of what's in use globally, my Garmin 62S lists dozens of different grid systems in its coordinate system menu - Austrian Grid, Borneo grid, British Grid, Dutch grid, EOV Hungarian Grid, Estonian Grid, Finnish Grid, Icelandic Grid, Indonesian Equatorial, Indonesian Irian, Indonesian Southern, no less than nine Indian grids, Irish (ITM), Irish (IG) and so forth right through to UTM and W Malayan RSO, and since at present only project-gc checkers are allowed for challenges, that's a lot of work for someone, particularly when you consider all the different ways someone could potentially frame a challenge around those grids. I might be wrong, but I wouldn't be surprised if that's why they decided not to allow any grid or polygon challenges.

I'm still not seeing the problem. There exists an authoritative grid system. There exists a checker for a challenge using that grid system. How does this cause problems for the volunteer reviewers, or for Groundspeak's lackeys?

Share this post


Link to post
4 hours ago, barefootjeff said:

No, all I'm saying is that if they allowed challenges based on one grid system, they'd really need to allow them all otherwise there'd be cries of geographical discrimination. As an indication of what's in use globally, my Garmin 62S lists dozens of different grid systems in its coordinate system menu - Austrian Grid, Borneo grid, British Grid, Dutch grid, EOV Hungarian Grid, Estonian Grid, Finnish Grid, Icelandic Grid, Indonesian Equatorial, Indonesian Irian, Indonesian Southern, no less than nine Indian grids, Irish (ITM), Irish (IG) and so forth right through to UTM and W Malayan RSO, and since at present only project-gc checkers are allowed for challenges, that's a lot of work for someone, particularly when you consider all the different ways someone could potentially frame a challenge around those grids. I might be wrong, but I wouldn't be surprised if that's why they decided not to allow any grid or polygon challenges.

All I'm saying is the more the merrier. Definitely they should allow challenges based on any grid system anyone can imagine. Who cares? The CO that wants to publish the challenge is the only one that needs to worry about the effort since he's the one responsible for coming up with the checker. GS mandates a checker, but it was nothing to do with creating them.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
8 hours ago, dprovan said:

If you don't understand challenges, I probably can't explain it to you, but having a cache that you can find because you've found all the caches in the grid is a motivator. Saying, "Gee, I feel like finding all the caches in the grid" is not, even if, for no particular reason, it occurs to you that that is something you could do.

I thought they thought it is a particularly interesting way to get a fresh look at geocaching. If this is true, why they need an extra motivator? For example I like to collect triplets and I have collected 571 triplets by now. Perhaps they succeed in finding another fresh and equally interesting goal if the motivator is important to them.

Share this post


Link to post
On 11/17/2017 at 6:01 PM, dprovan said:

No, sorry, it makes no sense to me to prohibit the use of completely arbitrary user-defined mapping polygons to begin with, therefore it makes just as much sense (i.e., none) to prohibit any polygon defined by anyone. The easier and much better solution to your problem is just to allow polygons without worrying about who defines them. In the end, the polygon is going to be defined by the checker implementer even when the implementer is trying to implement something defined by the USGS.

The problem with this was the polygons are now affected by the "wow" factor. Reviewers would have to judge and determine which are permitted and which are not, since "patterns" are not allowed as challenge caches.  Counties, strictly defined and checked within Project-GC, is their solution to this polygon issue.

And trust me, I wish user-defined polygons were allowed - restricting even down to lat/lon degree qualifications is, imo, ridiculous.  Counties are the only "polygons" that are allowed. And I believe that's only because it's really hard to make a "pattern" from county boundaries :P  (eg, you can do that by selectively choosing specific lat/lon degrees).  Closest I got to 'pattern' with counties was releasing certain common challenges but within a select list of neighbouring counties.

 

tldr: The way I see it, restricting user-defined polygons was primarily due being friendly with the other rule about no challenges based on user-defined patterns. The only 'polygons' (location-defined boundaries) which are not user-defined and quite difficult to make a 'pattern' in some form are counties on file at PGC.

Share this post


Link to post
On 11/19/2017 at 9:16 AM, NYPaddleCacher said:

For example, a quadrant with a latitude between N42 and N43 degrees and a longitude between W76 an W77 degrees is a clearly defined region and not what I would consider to be user defined.

Agreed, however with the pattern clause, reviewers would need to judge whether requiring quads X Y and Z are actually forming a user-defined pattern. And now they have to deal with the 'wow' factor problem again. They don't want to have to judge something like that.  Same with challenges that are lines over the DT grid. Strangely, if it's mathematically checkable it's (generally) allowed, but if there's the implication of a custom "pattern" it's not.

For example: I had challenge based on D+T star qualification. It so happened that the 'qualified' grid of D+T's looks like a pattern. I couldn't show that pattern. So to show the qualifiers for say D+T=5, I showed all the relevant D/T combos in an organized manner. But that looked visually like a pattern (a diamond at the time). I practically had to remove any semblance of the appearance of a pattern in the challenge description for it to be published.

I would say the same issue of D/T grid patterns applies to lat/lon quadrant selection and limitation. Far to easy to imply a 'pattern', and rather than having reviewers judge what is or isn't a pattern, GS just said "nope".

Share this post


Link to post

In short, my belief is that if the guidelines didn't disallow patterns, then coordinate grid-system based challenges would be allowable. But patterns is a big can of worms, related to the "bookkeeping" clause, just as alphabet challenges are also disallowed.

It's turtles all the way down.

Edited by thebruce0
  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
1 hour ago, thebruce0 said:

The problem with this was the polygons are now affected by the "wow" factor. Reviewers would have to judge and determine which are permitted and which are not, since "patterns" are not allowed as challenge caches.  Counties, strictly defined and checked within Project-GC, is their solution to this polygon issue.

Naturally my basic complaint is how silly it is to worry about wow or user defined patterns to begin with. I think the fact that there has to be a physical container makes this situation entirely different than virtual caches, yet GS seems to feel the problem is identical.

But even allowing some good reason that I just don't understand for not letting owners so whatever they want no matter how stupid, it seems obvious that a challenge based on any old grid system would be easy to distinguish from any attempt to use to grid system to do something "bad". But then, I still have no clue whatsoever why they thought challenges spelling words was so terrible it had to be prohibited at all costs.

Share this post


Link to post

Agreed. I have no problem with "bookkeeping" and found that to be one of the best ways to create and fulfill unique creative challenge caches.

Share this post


Link to post
On 11/20/2017 at 2:48 AM, niraD said:

I'm still not seeing the problem. There exists an authoritative grid system. There exists a checker for a challenge using that grid system. How does this cause problems for the volunteer reviewers, or for Groundspeak's lackeys?

I don't see the problem either (other than Groundspeak doesn't want them).      If there is a defined map/grid that is generally accessible and the challenge checker can use it, then let it be used.  

These are some of the most popular challenges, and they are geography based.   Seems like the kind of challenge to be encouraged.   I really don't get why they are disliked by Groundspeak.     I guess it is some fear about opening a can of worms which I don't understand.

A compromise approach could be to define a small number of "approved maps" - e.g. Delorme and USGS in the USA.    And to let reviewers from other countries choose what maps they allow.  In the UK, I've only seen challenges based on the Ordnance Survey maps; I'd be happy with being able to use just those.    But defining a set of approved maps is more work than just allowing any "clearly defined and documented map which can be verified in a challenge checker".   

Share this post


Link to post
1 hour ago, redsox_mark said:

These are some of the most popular challenges, and they are geography based.   Seems like the kind of challenge to be encouraged.

Exactly. This is supposed to be a game about location, but many straight-forward challenges based on location are prohibited. I just don't get it.

Share this post


Link to post

Again, the only reason it seems to me they don't allow it is the 'threat' of pattern-based challenges, which they seem to lump in with the 'bookkeeping' aspect, and reviewers having to make judgement calls in grey areas and whatnot. Counties are unlikely to have any issues like that, as with altitude.  I really wanted to see pattern-based allowance for challenges but they wouldn't budge. DT grid or lat/lon grid, same thing.  Basically, make it a mathematical/statistical challenge, not something influenced by any form of 'wow'/cool/neat factor, at all.

Share this post


Link to post
On 11/25/2017 at 9:50 AM, thebruce0 said:

Again, the only reason it seems to me they don't allow it is the 'threat' of pattern-based challenges, which they seem to lump in with the 'bookkeeping' aspect, and reviewers having to make judgement calls in grey areas and whatnot. Counties are unlikely to have any issues like that, as with altitude.  I really wanted to see pattern-based allowance for challenges but they wouldn't budge. DT grid or lat/lon grid, same thing.  Basically, make it a mathematical/statistical challenge, not something influenced by any form of 'wow'/cool/neat factor, at all.

I don't think "patterns" play a role.  Counties are governmental delineations, like state and country delineations, that are fairly stable. Changes to such borders because of political issues arise infrequently and I'd wager that is why GS allows them.

DeLorme map pages are determined by a private company. If DeLorme is allowed, then cachers would argue that Thomas Guide maps should also be allowed, and then all the other major map sources across the globe would need to be fairly included.

Ordnance Survey and USGS maps are questionable, but my guess is that there are too many different mapping systems across the globe (even multiple within a specific country) that it was 'cleaner' for GS to say they just aren't allowed at all. It certainly wouldn't be fair for GS to allow USGS-based challenges, but not other map systems in other countries. If they allowed USGS, then they'd have to allow Ordnance Survey, and then they'd have to allow the other systems in all the other countries. Similar to what barefootjeff mentioned earlier in this thread.

Share this post


Link to post
On 11/20/2017 at 7:14 AM, thebruce0 said:

... since "patterns" are not allowed as challenge caches.

On 11/20/2017 at 7:21 AM, thebruce0 said:

Agreed, however with the pattern clause, reviewers would need to judge whether requiring quads X Y and Z are actually forming a user-defined pattern.

On 11/20/2017 at 7:24 AM, thebruce0 said:

In short, my belief is that if the guidelines didn't disallow patterns, then coordinate grid-system based challenges would be allowable. But patterns is a big can of worms, related to the "bookkeeping" clause, just as alphabet challenges are also disallowed.

Can you explain what you mean by "patterns"?  You've mentioned several times that "patterns" are not allowed for CC's, but I don't see anything in the guidelines that reference any sort of 'pattern'.  You mentioned having problems with a challenge that created a diamond shape in the D/T matrix. Did the Reviewer say that it wasn't allowed because of the 'pattern', or because of some other reason?

Share this post


Link to post
26 minutes ago, noncentric said:

Can you explain what you mean by "patterns"?  You've mentioned several times that "patterns" are not allowed for CC's, but I don't see anything in the guidelines that reference any sort of 'pattern'.

From the Help Center in the "not allowed" column of the Challenge Listing guidance:

Quote

Challenges based on geographic areas other than countries, states/provinces, counties (or their local equivalent). For example, user-defined mapping polygons, latitude/longitude, radius, etc. (updated Aug 2016)

I'm assuming that thebruce0 is referring to these "user defined mapping polygons" and is calling them "patterns".  In other words, you can't make up some strange shape, and call it the boundaries of your Challenge.

Edited by Touchstone
edit typo

Share this post


Link to post
24 minutes ago, Touchstone said:

I'm assuming that thebruce0 is referring to these "user defined mapping polygons" and is calling them "patterns".  In other words, you can't make up some strange shape, and call it the boundaries of your Challenge.

Yeah, that's what I remember. My impression was that it was mainly so someone couldn't get around one of the other rules by drawing a line around a specific set of caches. For example, a challenge can't require a specific set of caches, so the CO gets around that rule by simply creating a polygon that includes those caches and no others. I think this led to the general thinking that patterns were bad, so it was just bad luck that perfectly reasonable polygons, such as one defined by a park boundary, were outlawed with the same stroke of the pen.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
On 11/24/2017 at 3:53 PM, niraD said:

Exactly. This is supposed to be a game about location, but many straight-forward challenges based on location are prohibited. I just don't get it.

I completely agree.  Those sorts of challenges are not only about location but specifically about location using geospatial data (lat/long coordinates).  To me, that makes a lot more sense that a challenge to find caches with specific letters in the cache name (or cache owner).  

Share this post


Link to post
15 hours ago, Touchstone said:

I'm assuming that thebruce0 is referring to these "user defined mapping polygons" and is calling them "patterns".  In other words, you can't make up some strange shape, and call it the boundaries of your Challenge.

Exactly. Whether it's regional or grid-based, a CO could come up with a 'pattern' of required statistics in order to qualify. Lines across a DT grid aren't allowed. Lat/lon is effectively a much larger grid, for example. So they aren't allowed specific combinations of (arbitrary) lat/lon regional qualifications, just as they won't allowed specific combinations of (arbitrary) D/T qualifications.

As a specific example, I'd hoped to publish a challenge where you form a pattern on the DT grid over a certain threshold. Calculable, and even had a checker programmed to verify qualification. But it wasn't allowed essentially because a CO could create any number of arbitrary patterns, and patterns aren't allowed.

Secondly, it was also disallowed in the context of merely depicted qualifications. For my D+T Stars challenges, I had to find a way to visually explain which D/T combos equated to the D=T values, without the resulting illustration looking like a "pattern" (whether it was a 'star' type shape, or a line pattern on the DT grid, etc). Or just not visually depict it. In that case if the impression was an arbitrary pattern, it was disallowed. Yep.

Thirdly, challenges for accomplishing a normal statistical challenge within specific latitutde and/or longitude regions (like a fizzy grid, eg) was disallowed, primarily by pointing to the guideline clause denying lat/lon grid, but indirectly because ultimately the same thing can happen - COs choosing lat/lon regions and making an arbitrary 'pattern' boundary within which to qualify (eg, find caches in these N/W degree quadrants, which used to be allowed)

But counties? Those were allowed. And I couldn't come up with a discernable 'pattern' boundary of counties for qualification :P  Selective counties? Allowed.

In practice though, all these judgement are reviewer interpretation of the guidelines when it comes to more specifics that aren't explicitly covered in the guidelines.

ETA: It may be true that someone wants to publish a challenge within a specific lat/lon quadrant. But then the reviewer has to judge whether it's a "pattern" or not. And if they deem a "line" over a grid to be a pattern, then they really don't want to face the difficulty and angst of denying SO many grid-based challenge requirements over a reviewer judgement.  Point to the guidelines for allow/deny, that's as easy as they'd like it to be. :P

Edited by thebruce0

Share this post


Link to post
2 hours ago, thebruce0 said:

In practice though, all these judgement are reviewer interpretation of the guidelines when it comes to more specifics that aren't explicitly covered in the guidelines.

Hmmm... I don't remember how clearly this was spelled out in the guidelines, but in the forum threads, I thought it was made clear to us that the reviewers wouldn't have any discretion in the kinds of geographical areas they were allowed to accept.

Share this post


Link to post
19 minutes ago, dprovan said:

Hmmm... I don't remember how clearly this was spelled out in the guidelines, but in the forum threads, I thought it was made clear to us that the reviewers wouldn't have any discretion in the kinds of geographical areas they were allowed to accept.

Yes. Which is why my quote reads: "reviewer interpretation of the guidelines when it comes to more specifics that aren't explicitly covered in the guidelines".  If it's not explicitly in the guidelines, the reviewer has to make a judgement call (eg, "wow factor"). They no likey that.  Which means yes, the guidelines have been made clear for challenge caches post-moratorium: No region boundaries except counties, states/provinces, and countries.

Share this post


Link to post
21 minutes ago, thebruce0 said:

guidelines have been made clear for challenge caches post-moratorium: No region boundaries except counties, states/provinces, and countries.

It costs nothing to ask from reviewer or directly form HQ if one have a good new idea. Foor example contour lines have been accepted as we know.

Share this post


Link to post
1 hour ago, arisoft said:

It costs nothing to ask from reviewer or directly form HQ if one have a good new idea. Foor example contour lines have been accepted as we know.

From what I understand, it's likewise with the authors of the Checkers as well.  They sound very well versed in what is allowable and what is not.  If they refuse to waste time writing a Checker, it's more than likely gray or not allowed.

Share this post


Link to post
11 minutes ago, Touchstone said:

From what I understand, it's likewise with the authors of the Checkers as well.  They sound very well versed in what is allowable and what is not.  If they refuse to waste time writing a Checker, it's more than likely gray or not allowed.

Checker authors have good knowledge about what have been accepted or not. If the challenge seems to be not allowed, they only have to refer appropriate guidelines to the CO. But, when the request is on the grey area, the CO is usually adviced to ask permission from local reviewer. If the perimission is already granted then cache authors have no reason to deny the idea if it is possible to make.

Share this post


Link to post
2 hours ago, arisoft said:

Foor example contour lines have been accepted as we know.

What do you mean by contour lines?

Altitude regions?  Such as find x number of caches between altitude 300-400m?  I wouldn't call that altitude boundaries. That's a mathematical lookup - and altitude as an allowable challenge metric has been discussed earlier in the thread.  There aren't polygons for altitude regions used within checkers (plus that would be excessively complex); rather it's a numeric value lookup that, from what I read, it looks like some reviewers allow and some don't.

Share this post


Link to post
56 minutes ago, thebruce0 said:

What do you mean by contour lines?

See: https://www.britannica.com/topic/contour-line

Lets assume that you need a cache which elevation is over 3000. Would you prefer to do some mathematical look ups to find one or just open a map to locate the qualified area or pattern?

Edited by arisoft

Share this post


Link to post

...I know what a contour line is. I meant for the context of challenge checking by region.

For altitude it's unnecessary in the context of challenge checking. No, I wouldn't look at a map and try to find some geographical region that is 3000+ to see if I have any found caches that qualify.  For a challenge, I'd look at my stats, and have the altitude updated by an altitude script.  Or if on PGC, they have the altitude reference system in place.

If I was looking for a cache that would qualify, that's a different context than whether altitude is allowed as a challenge parameter. Altitude is not stored in PGC or GC as a database of regional polygons.  I'm 99.9% confident they do a lookup by coordinate with Google or another geospatial resource that does have that worldwide altitude/topographical data.  That's what is used to check challenges.

Edited by thebruce0

Share this post


Link to post

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 3

×