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Fugads

Help with Earthcache project: Is it worth pursuing?

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Is this forum a place where I can ask for help with my earthcache creation? Not sure if that is misuse of the forums, but I figure there is no harm in asking.

 

I have invested considerable hours into the creation of an earthcache at a spot that I felt was unique and interesting, but my listing was returned to me by the Geoaware reviewer with the following note:

Quote

At this time, your Logging Requirements are inadequate. The use of signs and interpretive displays is not generally allowed as the basis for Logging Requirements. Logging Requirements must be based on direct observation of nearby geologic features.

I understand the reason for this but it also does not seem cut and dry to me. It seems like using information from informational signs can sometimes be allowed, but is discouraged. What I am struggling with is the location for this earthcache leans heavily on the presence of those signs. And I am beginning to think that maybe because of this, the location is simply not earthcache worthy, even though it may be an interesting spot. I'd love to get some more thoughts and feedback from the greater earthcaching community to help me see if this project is worth pursuing. I've already invested a good chunk of time into it, but don't want to expend more effort if the earthcache project really shouldn't proceed.

 

Here is a link to my listing as it currently is.

 

So I guess I could use help in two ways:

  1. Is this earthcache worth pursuing? Is it simply not a location with enough of an earth science lesson?
  2. If it is worth pursuing, any feedback or suggestions for how to craft suitable logging requirements.

 

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I looked at your Earthcache and would say that it is worth continuing. .   Remember that signs are not the Earthcache, they are like the cache page.  You can educate, and give them info from signs.  Often the signs are far better than I could explain, sometimes I take info from the sign and put it on the cache page so if the sign changes my info does not go away. 

 

Use them like a textbook and ask questions like  a jr high or high school teacher would ask to see if they learned anything. 

  • What evidence do you see of....? 
  • How do you think these tracks ...?   
  • Why do you think...?  
  • Compare the track/fossils/rock A vs B.... what similarities do you see, and what differences.  

People think too much like a virtual geocache at times and want you to just pull a word off a sign.  Usually just a little tweaking and looking at it a different way gets you over that hump.  However many people just give up on them. 

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Thanks for the response. Very encouraging. I sent you a PM with follow up.

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After the helpful response from Blue Raja, I tweaked my listing, mostly fixing the logging requirements.  Even after my edits, I wasn't sure if it would pass muster with the reviewer, but today it was published! https://coord.info/GC7R77A. I'm very pleased and am thankful for the encouragement. I am still a little unsure about how to write these up, and was hoping to get some more feedback from the reviewer. But for now, I'll just sit back and let the logs roll in...:D

 

 

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All the cool kids have earthcaches in Abiquiu.  :laughing:  Congrats!

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Hey this EC looks pretty awesome. I'll see if I can manage a swing by Santa Fe next time I head out to the family Ranch!

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17 hours ago, STNolan said:

Hey this EC looks pretty awesome. I'll see if I can manage a swing by Santa Fe next time I head out to the family Ranch!

Please do! I actually have a second EC that was also just published in Ghost Ranch, one on top of Kitchen Mesa.  A bit more of a hike but well worth it.https://coord.info/GC7R74N

 

18 hours ago, hzoi said:

All the cool kids have earthcaches in Abiquiu.  :laughing:  Congrats!

still haven't been to your EC at Echo Amphitheater, despite going up to Ghost Ranch and Abuiqui lake several times. Man, I need to do that, it's definitely on my list.

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This looks like a great EarthCache. If I'm ever in that area I'll be sure to visit! I always look for EC when I'm caching.

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A very nicely put-together EarthCache page :wub:

 

The nitpicker in me noticed that task 2 needs a question mark at the end ;)

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On 6/21/2018 at 9:34 AM, Fugads said:

What I am struggling with is the location for this earthcache leans heavily on the presence of those signs.

 

I came here to post something similiar on an Earthcache I am trying to get published. I guess I understand the desire to push Earthcaches farther away from being Virtuals, but I think making people stop and read signage is pretty useful. 2 of the 4 active Earthcaches I've created are at least 50% signage-related. Maybe I should archive them if the GeoAware team doesn't want those kinds of Earthcaches anymore?

 

I have done observation-intensive Earthcaches (and own one that is entirely observation-based), but I'm generally not a big fan of them. The explanations aren't always clear and the questions are sometimes vague. I've definitely skipped or DNF'd some because I simply didn't understand what I was being asked to observe and describe, or I was being asked to explain why I thought something was the way it is and had no idea. I prefer questions that have clear, definite, correct answers (in geocaching and otherwise).

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10 hours ago, JL_HSTRE said:

 

I came here to post something similiar on an Earthcache I am trying to get published. I guess I understand the desire to push Earthcaches farther away from being Virtuals, but I think making people stop and read signage is pretty useful. 2 of the 4 active Earthcaches I've created are at least 50% signage-related. Maybe I should archive them if the GeoAware team doesn't want those kinds of Earthcaches anymore?

 

I have done observation-intensive Earthcaches (and own one that is entirely observation-based), but I'm generally not a big fan of them. The explanations aren't always clear and the questions are sometimes vague. I've definitely skipped or DNF'd some because I simply didn't understand what I was being asked to observe and describe, or I was being asked to explain why I thought something was the way it is and had no idea. I prefer questions that have clear, definite, correct answers (in geocaching and otherwise).

 

I haven't heard of any effort to eliminate older ECs that don't meet current guidelines, so you shouldn't worry about archiving your 2 caches.

 

Some of my favorite ECs are the observational type.  In fact, I prefer them to the ones where you only have to get info from a sign.  (But reading signs usually help me understand better what I am seeing.)  Remember, the EC is supposed to be a learning experience - dashing in just to grab a few bits of data from a sign, then dashing off is not what they consider a "learning" experience.  Spending some time observing the geology will stay with you longer than just a quick stop.  From the EarthCache site:

6. Logging an EarthCache requires visitors to undertake site-specific tasks that provide a learning opportunity related to the topic. Visitors will use the information from the cache page along with their on-site observations to perform some type of analysis. Their task-solution logs will serve as proof that cachers have visited the site. Questions that only serve to prove that someone visited the site but do not relate to the site's geology are not permitted.

 

I agree that the questions can sometimes be confusing.  But a Reviewer has looked at them, and at the answers the cache owner provided, so they should be answerable.  Could the questions become less confusing if you are onsite?  If a cacher emailed me about some of my questions before they visited one of my ECs, I would certainly try to clarify.  No guarantees this is a universal attitude, though!!

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11 hours ago, JL_HSTRE said:

I have done observation-intensive Earthcaches (and own one that is entirely observation-based), but I'm generally not a big fan of them. The explanations aren't always clear and the questions are sometimes vague. I've definitely skipped or DNF'd some because I simply didn't understand what I was being asked to observe and describe, or I was being asked to explain why I thought something was the way it is and had no idea. I prefer questions that have clear, definite, correct answers (in geocaching and otherwise).

 

It's on the ECO to put together a concise, adequately detailed Earth Science Lesson that, together with your onsite observations, facilitates answering the questions.

 

I used to shy away from EarthCaches for the same reason - I didn't understand what I was supposed to be looking at. It turned out it wasn't really my fault - it was the lack of adequate detail in the Earth Science Lesson.

 

These days I love them - and have done some good, really well written ones.

 

I've also done poorly written ones and even ones which claimed that certain things were present at GZ which clearly were not - probably to convince the reviewer it was worth publishing.

 

Ironically though an EarthCache I've submitted for review recently has been rejected BECAUSE the Earth Science Lesson facilitated answering the questions - go figure!

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15 minutes ago, egroeg said:

 

I haven't heard of any effort to eliminate older ECs that don't meet current guidelines, so you shouldn't worry about archiving your 2 caches.

 

 

Actually, they did in 2006, for not meeting Guideline #5.  But that was a one-update.  (Now Guideline #6.)

Edited by Harry Dolphin
Clarification

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13 minutes ago, egroeg said:

I agree that the questions can sometimes be confusing.  But a Reviewer has looked at them, and at the answers the cache owner provided, so they should be answerable.  Could the questions become less confusing if you are onsite?  If a cacher emailed me about some of my questions before they visited one of my ECs, I would certainly try to clarify.  No guarantees this is a universal attitude, though!!

 

Contacting the CO for clarification requires knowing in advance the Earthcache is problematic (and in turn to get a prompt enough reply). Often times the problems aren't readily apparent until arriving at GZ and trying to make the necessary observations. I also don't want to have to read every Earthcache page in advance.

 

Answerable is not the same as easy to understand based on one's existing knowledge base on geology plus the cache description. Earthcaches here in Florida are usually fairly easy for me now, but even early on I remember one Earthcache where I got every answer wrong because there I misunderstood the cache page and there was no signage at GZ. When I get into the mountains on vacation and have to try to understand certain things about rocks it can be a struggle (here in FL we have exactly one type of naturally occurring rock -  limestone - and we rarely see it). I attempted several newer Earthcaches on the Blue Ridge Parkway on my last vacation that I barely understood enough to cobble together passable answers. For one question I could find absolutely no basis for determining the correct answer beyond "well, it would make sense" (and just because something makes sense doesn't make it true) unless I was already very familiar with identifying what a certain kind of rock looks like.

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3 minutes ago, JL_HSTRE said:

I also don't want to have to read every Earthcache page in advance.

 

I personally class this as essential.

 

I like to formulate as many of my answers as I can before I even leave the house.

 

I might also look at GZ on Google Earth to get an idea about the lay of the land - and check some geological resources to check out what the bedrock might be.

 

Then, when I'm at GZ, I get to test my theories.

 

Several times I've been able to submit answers for EarthCaches without even visiting the site - but I've always come clean and refused to log as found until I've actually been there.

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11 minutes ago, JL_HSTRE said:

 

 I also don't want to have to read every Earthcache page in advance.

6 minutes ago, Team Microdot said:

 

I personally class this as essential.

 

 

 

I couldn't agree more.

If I'm taking a vacation on the other side of the country, knowing that I may never get there again, I make sure to read the cache pages and understand what I'm looking for.  This makes the experience much more enjoyable.  

There used to be complaints about accessibility of the page in some locations, too.  Or that not all the page (or diagrams) came through on some apps.  Or that the pages were long and truncated before the questions.  Preparation is a must for me.

 

i understand your problem with not having experienced geology other than Florida's, and the problems this could cause for you.  I can't think of a good solution.  Well, other than doing lots more EarthCaches!!!

 

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I have gotten to a few Earthcache sites and needed a special tool, others just needed you to visit another location.  It was just way easier to look and read the cache page before I got there. 

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19 hours ago, Team Microdot said:

It's on the ECO to put together a concise, adequately detailed Earth Science Lesson that, together with your onsite observations, facilitates answering the questions.

 

That said - I've had a look through some of my nearest EC's today and - from the cache page - I wouldn't have a clue what I was supposed to be looking for at GZ :unsure:

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