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Snowflake attribute should be renamed


medoug
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The snowflake attribute is currently labeled as "Available in Winter".  Based on the lengthy discussion found here: The "Available in Winter" attribute icon , its use is confusing to some members due to its current name.  The common consensus, however, is that most people understand it as meaning that "the cache is hidden in a manner such that it can be found without digging into the snow".  It really has everything to do with snow cover and nothing to do with the actual winter season.  

In Iowa, we have some winters with little snow.  I'm sure that Florida and Texas have nearly every winter without snow.  Winter time alone does not make a cache harder to find, but snow cover most certainly does.  In fact, most caches are actually easier to find in the winter time with no snow cover on the ground as vegetation obscuring it is at its minimum that time of year.  

As a result, this attribute should be renamed as "Snow Friendly" or possibly "Snow and Ice Friendly".  That would make it match the most commonly understood meaning in words that actually match that meaning.

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4 hours ago, medoug said:

The common consensus

Was there really a common consensus in that thread?

4 hours ago, medoug said:

As a result, this attribute should be renamed as "Snow Friendly" or possibly "Snow and Ice Friendly".  That would make it match the most commonly understood meaning in words that actually match that meaning.

Or maybe it could be renamed to something that means only that the cache is merely available during snowy/icey/winter conditions, rather than implying that the cache is somehow "friendly" during such conditions.

Although "Snow and Ice Friendly" could be a nice hint for certain temperature-based gadget caches.

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16 hours ago, niraD said:

Was there really a common consensus in that thread?

Yeah, I had the same impression that there was no consensus in the other thread. But on the other hand, the argument in the OP convinces me. I don't know if I was just too stupid to understand that position in the other thread or if it's just stated better here.

Having said that, I also agree with niraD that I'm not convinced that "Snow Friendly" is right, either. The advantage of "available in winter" is that it means there could, in fact, be a reason to use it in Texas and Florida if some factor other than snow could be expected to prevent a cache from being found in the winter. Changing it to "snow friendly" means that it is completely useless to COs in Texas and Florida. Perhaps not a big practical problem, but it seems a shame to limit an attribute like that. Kinda like naming the poison plant attribute named "poison ivy", thus making it useless for places that only have other poisonous plants.

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16 minutes ago, dprovan said:

...] The advantage of "available in winter" is that it means there could, in fact, be a reason to use it in Texas and Florida if some factor other than snow could be expected to prevent a cache from being found in the winter [...]

No, that's what the "Seasonal access" attribute is for. The "Available in Winter" attribute actually does mean "available when snow is on the ground", hence the snowflake icon. ;-)

 

Hans

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Yep. Available 24/7 for single-day restrictions, and seasonal access for longer periods of .. unavailability. Everyone I know (local and afar) interprets the icon as "Winter friendly" (or 'not') which, of course, implies a bit of a hint about how it's hidden, but so do some other attributes.

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On ‎1‎/‎1‎/‎2018 at 11:19 AM, HHL said:

The "Available in Winter" attribute actually does mean "available when snow is on the ground", hence the snowflake icon. ;-)

What's your source for this? AFAIK, there has never been an official definition for this attribute, which is why there are so many different interpretations.

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23 minutes ago, The A-Team said:

What's your source for this? [...]

Common Sense!

The attribute's long version name is "Available in Winter (even when snow covers the ground (or water is frozen))."

Edited by HHL
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Caches labeled as "Available in the winter" while, in practice, inaccessible because frozen under more than a meter of snow and/or destroyed by ice have ruined several of my geocaching excursions. For me, it's the area where geocaching.com could improve the most my experience of the game. I almost didn't buy a premium membership because of that misleading label. I hike in average 2½ hours each day to reach caches. Last week made me want to quit. Not a single cache found despite being outside every day, with temperatures below -20°C.

Edited by alain4s
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15 hours ago, The A-Team said:

What's your source for this? AFAIK, there has never been an official definition for this attribute, which is why there are so many different interpretations.

From the Help Center:

https://www.geocaching.com/help/index.php?pg=kb.chapter&id=38&pgid=715

6.18. Seasonal tips for cache owners

Winter

  • Hide your cache above snow level or in a place that’s protected from snow coverage.
  • Add the “Available During Winter” attribute to your cache page.
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