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jellis

What3words

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Recently we’ve found out that that generic What3Words puzzles do not comply with the rules.  Stating that it does not have sufficient GPS usage even though you derive coordinates from the web site like almost all puzzles.  It was suggested making it like a multi by placing word clues in stages you have be there (similar to GC66J6R).

Is this true? 

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I've only come across one (GC7BNPX) locally; maybe because you didn't need to enter any final coordiantes but just use the phone app to find it?  If I remember, we didn't use coordinates for this one, just found the location on the what3words app and went there to find the cache.  having to convert and enter corrected coordinates would have made it more of a puzzle.

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But doesn't using an app you are still using a GPS to get you there?I have found many W3W puzzles and maybe you can but it is always nice to confirm with a checker and that would need coordinates. 

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Uh oh. There are several of those puzzles in my area.  

Edited by Max and 99

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10 hours ago, jellis said:

Recently we’ve found out that that generic What3Words puzzles do not comply with the rules.  Stating that it does not have sufficient GPS usage even though you derive coordinates from the web site like almost all puzzles.  It was suggested making it like a multi by placing word clues in stages you have be there (similar to GC66J6R).

Is this true? 

Sounds unlikely.

Where did you find this out from?

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18 hours ago, jellis said:

Recently we’ve found out that that generic What3Words puzzles do not comply with the rules.  Stating that it does not have sufficient GPS usage even though you derive coordinates from the web site like almost all puzzles.  It was suggested making it like a multi by placing word clues in stages you have be there (similar to GC66J6R).

Is this true? 

I would like to examine the setup more precise before to make any conclusion. For example a multi cache should not use W3W because you can not solve coordinates without research that goes beyond reading the cache page as the guideline tells. Using W3W for mystery caches is very common. The W3W puzzle gives exact coordinates you can enter to your GPS device. Or you can use your GPS receiver in you mobile device to navigate.

Could you open little more your plans what kind of puzzle was in your mind?

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21 hours ago, jellis said:

Stating that it does not have sufficient GPS usage...

I don't see how this could possibly be true. Like any other puzzle you solve from home, you end up with a set of coordinates you can navigate to. I don't see how converting from W3W could be considered any different than converting from UTM, MGRS, the British Ordnance Survey Grid system, a different datum, or many other possible coordinate-related conversions.

FWIW, I've seen a W3W puzzle published as recently as a month ago.

Edited by The A-Team

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4 hours ago, jellis said:

Sorry I was at work. 

https://coord.info/GC7H116

Okay, so what was the problem with the original design?

It sounds like the original puzzle may have had a checker that allowed approximate solutions (plus or minus a few thousandths of a minute), but puzzles like that have been allowed forever. Do puzzles now need exact solutions? Because there have been some great puzzles that just can't work like that.

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20 hours ago, The A-Team said:

Like any other puzzle you solve from home, you end up with a set of coordinates you can navigate to.

Does What3Words give you  co-ordinates? I couldn't see any option for getting the actual co-ords out of the site, though that could be 'cos I wasn't looking in the right place. Given that their checker is the GS one, which doesn't allow "fuzzy" guesses, it would probably be much easier to navigate to the cache using the w3w map, than to try and guess the precise co-ords to pass the checker and stick them into a GPS.

To be clear I'm not coming down on the side of banning these puzzles, I can't see a problem with them myself.

As for the example in the OP, have we just strayed into the territory of giving away the solution to a puzzle in a forum? Maybe a moot point as the puzzle looks like it may be archived anyway....

 

 

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Yes, you can get coordinates out of what3words. Click on the 3 words at the bottom of the map. Then click on 'Share pin location', and then 'GPS'. You'll get dd.ddddd, -ddd.ddddd coordinates corresponding to the 3 words.

  • Upvote 2

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1 hour ago, MartyBartfast said:

Does What3Words give you  co-ordinates?

Using coordinates it not mandatory but using GPS is.

6 hours ago, jellis said:

Sorry I was at work. 

https://coord.info/GC7H116

This is definitely a W3W puzzle. Do you mean that this is not accepted any more?

Edited by arisoft

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1 hour ago, arisoft said:

Using coordinates it not mandatory but using GPS is.

And how, precisely,  does that answer my question?

Or did you just feel the urge to spout something?

 

 

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1 hour ago, MartyBartfast said:

And how, precisely,  does that answer my question?

Or did you just feel the urge to spout something?

I assume he was saying that whether w3w gives coordinates isn't important to the question, but actually I think he's wrong and you're on to something. The reviewer might be thinking that if you look up the 3 words on a map, you could just use the map to go there instead of getting coordinates. I've solved many w3w puzzles, and I never for a second considered that possibility, but I suppose the reviewer has a point in that it could be done that way. But that's kinda silly since with any puzzle cache -- or any cache, for that matter -- you could plot the coordinates on a map and not use a GPSr to find it. Some people cache that way, or at least started that way.

Anyway, back to your question: I didn't realize you could ask the w3w map to tell you the coordinates the way van der Decken describes, so several times I've visually plotted the same point in another map and then asked that map what the coordinates were. I think that technique is why niraD has seen this kind of puzzle with a checker allowing a loose match. Eventually I found a w3w converter that simply takes three words and prints the coordinates, and I suspect most people that have solved a few of those use something like that. Anyone that solved the puzzle that way would be baffled by the idea that this puzzle doesn't require a GPSr.

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56 minutes ago, dprovan said:

so several times I've visually plotted the same point in another map and then asked that map what the coordinates were. I think that technique is why niraD has seen this kind of puzzle with a checker allowing a loose match.

Yes I've done that too, but was interested to know if it was possible to get the co-ords from w3w, so thanks to van der Decken for  that answer.

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15 hours ago, dprovan said:

I assume he was saying that whether w3w gives coordinates isn't important to the question, but actually I think he's wrong and you're on to something. The reviewer might be thinking that if you look up the 3 words on a map, you could just use the map to go there instead of getting coordinates.

This is one explanation what a reviewer may think, but then every geocache should hide coordinates because you always can convert coordinates to a map and avoid using GPS. The simplest explanation is that CO explained to the reviewer that the player should use the map to locate the cache, which is not correct way to build a cache.

Once I had problem with my mystery cache. The setup used GPS to locate an object from GZ which guided the geocacher to the final position without giving coordinates. My error was to tell reviewer forehand which object the geocacher must locate from GZ. When the reviewer knew the object he denied the setup because it does not neet GPS. This W3W case may have similar problem that giving too much information makes the solution too "obvious".

 

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On 3/3/2018 at 4:04 AM, jellis said:

Sorry I was at work. 

https://coord.info/GC7H116

The reviewer included a coords link to an example cache listing that met the GPS requirement. My only thought is that the example cache included the following wording, "if you prefer to use coordinates at the final, use http://twcc.fr/# and select What3Words to convert". While What3Words.com can produce a set of coordinates that can be used in your GPS, it is not obvious on their web site. Adding a link to a conversion site, or adding a hint that lets you know how to get the coordinates from What3Words.com might satisfy the review process. Just a guess on my part, YMMV.

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2 hours ago, Wet Pancake Touring Club said:

The reviewer included a coords link to an example cache listing that met the GPS requirement. My only thought is that the example cache included the following wording, "if you prefer to use coordinates at the final, use http://twcc.fr/# and select What3Words to convert". While What3Words.com can produce a set of coordinates that can be used in your GPS, it is not obvious on their web site. Adding a link to a conversion site, or adding a hint that lets you know how to get the coordinates from What3Words.com might satisfy the review process. Just a guess on my part, YMMV.

Thanks for pointing out the compliant cache . I'd completely overlooked that in the reviewer's note. I don't think you're right, though, about why the reviewer thinks that's compliant. That cache requires GPSr navigation to get the 3 words, so I don't think what the seeker does with the 3 words one he  has them had anything to do with it.

I also hadn't noticed that the reviewer rejecting it was Nomex. I was thinking it was just some confused reviewer prone to mistakes, but I consider Nomex to be quite reliable, so if he rejected it, I'm more worried that it is, in fact, a correct application of some new standard. I just wish I knew the logic behind it, though, since I really can't see why this is so different than any other puzzle.

Almost any puzzle that I look at these days has certitude confirmation which shows you a map of the confirmed solution. I don't see how that map is OK and the w3w map isn't. In fact, for any w3w puzzle I solve (including the one in question), I find the exact coordinates and then I make sure to confirm them with certitude because, of course, I want to be sure I really have the correct solution. That means that at the end of the solving process, I'm at exactly the same point with exactly the same information for both this noncompliant puzzle and any other puzzle that is fine. Yet for one, GS claims I won't need a GPSr and for the other I will. How can they be considered different?

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I wanted to try a W3W puzzle myself but was concerned that it could be solved without using GPS coordinates, which would be against the rules

But on the other hand, I can see that there are many W3W puzzles out there that have been published

I just don't want to go through the effort of making my puzzle (my twist on it will require a significant bit of effort on my part) and then have it rejected :(

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Did you know a site called Geocachingtoolbox.com has a way to enter the 3 words and give you coordinates?

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Yes, and I went ahead and finished the video, hid the cache, and submitted the puzzle for publishing. I'm crossing my fingers that the wealth of precedent (even though the rules clearly state that there's no such thing as precedent for publishing a cache) will get me through.

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33 minutes ago, Korichnovui said:

Yes, and I went ahead and finished the video, hid the cache, and submitted the puzzle for publishing. I'm crossing my fingers that the wealth of precedent (even though the rules clearly state that there's no such thing as precedent for publishing a cache) will get me through.

 

Good luck with it.   This is just speculation but I'm thinking that the issue with W3W is that it's primarily used as a way of identifying a location based on three words *instead* of using GPS coordinates.  As van der Decken mentioned earlier, if you know the three words you can enter them into the W3W site, then share the location and select GPS to see the coordinates (and then convert them from DD to DDM and entered into a GPS).  Far more likely, someone will just zoom in on the map and use the satellite view to find the cache (yes, I know that a traditional cache can be found that way) without ever seeing the coordinates.  

 

However, unless I'm missing something I didn't see anything on the W3W site which allows one to enter a set of lat/long coordinates (obtained using a GPS device) and have it generate the three words.  Instead one can type in a location name or place a pin out the map to "capture" the coordinates, without having to use a GPS device. 

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2 hours ago, NYPaddleCacher said:

However, unless I'm missing something I didn't see anything on the W3W site which allows one to enter a set of lat/long coordinates (obtained using a GPS device) and have it generate the three words.  Instead one can type in a location name or place a pin out the map to "capture" the coordinates, without having to use a GPS device. 

 

You can enter coordinates in the same box on the map. The corresponding three words appear at the bottom of the map. It's incredibly picky about what it sees as coordinates however: I've used dd.ddddd,ddd.dddddd format successfully.

Edited by van der Decken

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5 minutes ago, van der Decken said:

 

You can enter coordinates in the same box on the map. The corresponding three words appear at the bottom of the map. It's incredibly picky about what it sees as coordinates however: I've used dd.ddddd,ddd.dddddd format successfully.

 

Ah.  Entering coordinates in decimal degrees format seems to work even though  the help button does not indicate that GPS coords can be entered.  Because it's so easy to create a W3W puzzle without entering coordinates, if I were a reviewer and saw a cache submission that is based on W3W I might think about  asking how the CO obtained the coordinates.  

 

Although plenty of people do it, obtaining coordinates using a map is explicitly prohibited:

 

"The cache owner must visit the geocache location to get accurate coordinates with a GPS-enabled device."

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3 hours ago, Korichnovui said:

my cache already got published less than 24 hr after submission, AND found, so I guess that's that

I wonder what the original issue really was...

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