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Thoughts on Waymarking...


iconions
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I had a waymarker this evening tell me, as a reviewer, that, because a requirement for a picture of the cemetery sign has been added to the category, if there is one, and must be posted with the waymark, that he as a waymarker would probably would not be posting in the Worldwide Cemeteries category.  This got me to thinking...

 

Honestly, I love cemeteries.  They are fascinating places of history, art and architecture.  I challenge you, though, to tell me one cemetery apart from another by a single picture, especially a snow covered one.  There are some cemeteries I have been that instantly jump to mind because they are so interesting.  There are a tremendous amount that look pretty much the same as another, especially the hundreds I have been into.  

I'll let you in on a secret.  The waymarks we post really aren't for the person posting them.  Sure, we get a little icon in a grid and a number added in our count, but think about it, a posted waymark says something about the person posting it.  Why did they take the time to look at that object?  Why do they want me to look at it? ...and if they took the time to look and get some information about the object, are they translating that passion about what they did into the actual writeups and pictures?  I was taught when I first started this Waymarking hobby to try to 'sell" my waymarks - encourage visits.  Dunno, it says quite a bit when someone tells a reviewer that one extra picture is too much effort and that they will no longer post because of that extra picture requirement.  Just some random thoughts.

 

By the way, there's a reason for the variables on the Waymarking page.  Put them in unless they aren't available.

Have a great week, y'all!
~Tom

 

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Just my two cents, but requiring a photo of the cemetery sign (if there is one), seems like such a reasonable requirement. If I visit a cemetery it's just natural to get a photo of the sign if I can find it.

 

I personally have issues with several categories regarding required photos, one of the biggest is photo goals. I got no support the last time I mentioned it. 

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2 hours ago, Max and 99 said:

Just my two cents, but requiring a photo of the cemetery sign (if there is one), seems like such a reasonable requirement. If I visit a cemetery it's just natural to get a photo of the sign if I can find it.

 

I personally have issues with several categories regarding required photos, one of the biggest is photo goals. I got no support the last time I mentioned it. 

 

I agree. When I started visiting cemeteries with my wife for her genealogy, we HAD to take the first picture of the gate/sign to separate the headstones from one cemetery to the next. Then, to trigger our memories for later, we took a couple pictures of the general area of the entrance, or the one thing that caught our attention. We might not remember the exact name of one cemetery, but we both remember "the one with the big snake"!!!

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6 hours ago, iconions said:

Just some random thoughts.

 

Some random thoughts from me: I think that two photos are a reasonable requirement, but: From time to time I grab my camera and go to an area that I haven't seen yet. I have no idea what I will find and of course I can't remember the requirements of all the categories I might find. Sometimes I come home and notice that I'm missing some information (lately I didn't write down the opening hours of an ice cream parlor because I was sure to find that info online, which cost me quite some time) and sometimes I notice that I simply forgot to make a certain photo that is required or would improve the quality of the waymark.

 

Somehow it's crazy, but I've lived in times where every taken photo cost some money and I notice that I still tend to avoid "unnecessary" photos. It's getting better though. :-) The point is: Whoever posts a waymark should provide as many photos and data as possible, but if I had the choice between not having a waymark and having a not-so-perfect waymark, that will get better with photos and data of visitors, I would go with accepting the waymark unless the requirements are strict requirements. In this case: If there were 3 or 4 beautiful photos of the cemetery, but no photo of the sign, I would probably accept it and hope that some visitor or even the owner will shoot one of the sign lateron.

 

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As this is a global game, we have to consider regional differences we might not expect. In the areas I usually waymark cemetery signage is generally unknown, larger cemeteries sometimes have an area map with the name printed on it, that could be used as a substitute picture, but normally there is nothing, not even in towns with more than one cemetery.

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1 hour ago, fi67 said:

As this is a global game, we have to consider regional differences we might not expect. In the areas I usually waymark cemetery signage is generally unknown, larger cemeteries sometimes have an area map with the name printed on it, that could be used as a substitute picture, but normally there is nothing, not even in towns with more than one cemetery.

...and I have the ability as a reviewer to check for that signage, usually.  I already also know that most cemeteries "across the pond" do not have signage, as well as most abandoned cemeteries do not.  I will approve these waymarks with a note that the cemetery signage was not available so that my fellow officers can go back and see WHY the waymark was approved by me without the required sign.  Not an issue.

 

This thread wasn't started and directed towards cemeteries with or without signage.  It really isn't about the Worldwide Cemetery category, per se.  The purpose of my post was that third paragraph of WHY we should be Waymarking - not really whether a cemetery has a sign or not.  


The question is - when is it too much effort to waymark?  Is it because you have to take an extra picture?  ..because you have to research and fill in all variables on the Waymarking page?  ...other reasons?  Again, I was rather shocked that a fellow waymarker would attach a note stating that he was "disappointed" with the category that the requirement for cemetery signage was added and that he would no longer post in the category because it would be too much effort.   

 

 

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As  a fellow reviewer in the category with recently improved requirements, I feel your pain.  Hopefully, the improved requirements will soon be enforced and accepted by all.

 

Years ago as a newbie waymarker, I could get really frustrated by the rejections.  "Of course I don't have additional photographs.  I have already attached all my photographs.  I will probably never get back to that great spot.  Why can't you accept my post, even with its shortcomings?"

 

As a much older (and perhaps more mature) waymarker, I still fail sometimes but I have decided on one important thing about Waymarking: each and every post of mine should be given the best effort possible.

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24 minutes ago, elyob said:

As  a fellow reviewer in the category with recently improved requirements, I feel your pain.  Hopefully, the improved requirements will soon be enforced and accepted by all.

 

I wish there was a way to let people know that the category has made a change to posting requirements. Why would anyone who has posted hundreds or even dozens of photos bother to check the category requirements?

**A date of change should be required in the description so It doesn't appear the change was always the requirement. 

 

It ticks me off when a category leader makes a change and doesn't feel the need to inform the other officers. I have dealt with that before, and it's unacceptable.

 

Since we're having this discussion, and it relates to another thread, at what point does a change in category requirements warrant a discussion with the community since a change is being made to what was peer approved.

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31 minutes ago, elyob said:

As  a fellow reviewer in the category with recently improved requirements, I feel your pain.  Hopefully, the improved requirements will soon be enforced and accepted by all.

 

Years ago as a newbie waymarker, I could get really frustrated by the rejections.  "Of course I don't have additional photographs.  I have already attached all my photographs.  I will probably never get back to that great spot.  Why can't you accept my post, even with its shortcomings?"

 

As a much older (and perhaps more mature) waymarker, I still fail sometimes but I have decided on one important thing about Waymarking: each and every post of mine should be given the best effort possible.

Yep - that is why I am going back through my older waymarks and updating them.  Some of them are really not up to standards.  It's time consuming - yes, but ultimately it will hopefully make the hobby a better place.  Also, I am finding a ton of other waymark categories I should have posted these pictures, so there is that side benefit...  :D

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I think that Waymarking is in a vicious cycle. Some visitors don't care much about the waymark owners and simply type a "TFTW" or "Been there" or something similar. That might be one of the reasons why some of the posters don't care much about the visitors and don't go that extra mile to create perfect waymarks, or - even worse - they quit Waymarking at all. Another reason might be that you might create a waymark and don't have any visits for years. Additionally, Groundspeak doesn't do anything to significantly improve Waymarking.com. The gallery is "simple", the search function could be better and so on. This leads to less visitors and less posters. I do what I can to make things better. I usually post more photos than required and add as much Information as I can find. Lately I don't visit that much, but try  to write more than just a few words, hoping that some will follow my example. But honestly, how many people (beside the waymark owner) will ever read my visit logs? Anyway, I still think that Waymarking is great and will conitinue my efforts and IF one day Groundspeak might think that Waymarking is worth a makeover, things will get better.

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40 minutes ago, Max and 99 said:

I wish there was a way to let people know that the category has made a change to posting requirements.

 

If there was a note about the change in the description (not just the Expanded description), I'm sure that would help. Something like "01/01/2018: NEW REQUIREMENTS!" at the end of the description would be a good thing, no? And within the expanded description new requirements should be highlighted in some way. Whenever I post a waymark in a category that I know, I will not open the expanded description, but if there was a note about changed requirements, I sure would.

Edited by PISA-caching
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1 minute ago, PISA-caching said:

 

If there was a note about the change in the description (not the Expanded description), I'm sure that would help. Something like "01/01/2018: NEW REQUIREMENTS!" at the end of the description would be a good thing, no? And within the expanded description new requirements should be highlighted in some way. Whenever I post a waymark in a category that I know, I will not open the expanded description, but if there was a note about changed requirements, I sure would.

Agree!

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38 minutes ago, Max and 99 said:

I wish there was a way to let people know that the category has made a change to posting requirements. Why would anyone who has posted hundreds or even dozens of photos bother to check the category requirements?

**A date of change should be required in the description so It doesn't appear the change was always the requirement. 

 

It ticks me off when a category leader makes a change and doesn't feel the need to inform the other officers. I have dealt with that before, and it's unacceptable.

 

Since we're having this discussion, and it relates to another thread, at what point does a change in category requirements warrant a discussion with the community since a change is being made to what was peer approved.

 

In our particular case, the officers (reviewers) were informed but it has now become our burden to inform the posters who might not meet the improved requirements.  A date of change highlighted in the category description should be required!  The improvement in category requirements should be a community discussion!  We have no better way to inform waymarkers of the changes.

Edited by elyob
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1 hour ago, elyob said:

 

In our particular case, the officers (reviewers) were informed but it has now become our burden to inform the posters who might not meet the improved requirements.  A date of change highlighted in the category description should be required!  The improvement in category requirements should be a community discussion!  We have no better way to inform waymarkers of the changes.

Good question - I'm not sure that the changing of a posting requirement would require a peer review.  My thought would be when you change the entire description or major portions thereof.

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1 hour ago, iconions said:

Good question - I'm not sure that the changing of a posting requirement would require a peer review.  My thought would be when you change the entire description or major portions thereof.

Even thought I AGREE with the required photo, I still think that's a big enough change to warrant a discussion. I don't think it needs to be "the entire description or major portions". Photos are an integral part of waymarks,  so I think changing the photo requirement is a big deal.

 

Just my opinion.  Is there any chance the complaint was because of the change, rather than the requirement? I keep wondering about that.

 

And I really like PISA-caching's suggestion that the change should be highlighted, with a date, in the category description. That's a great way to let people know of the change!

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1 hour ago, Max and 99 said:

Even thought I AGREE with the required photo, I still think that's a big enough change to warrant a discussion. I don't think it needs to be "the entire description or major portions". Photos are an integral part of waymarks,  so I think changing the photo requirement is a big deal.

 

Just my opinion.  Is there any chance the complaint was because of the change, rather than the requirement? I keep wondering about that.

 

And I really like PISA-caching's suggestion that the change should be highlighted, with a date, in the category description. That's a great way to let people know of the change!

Unfortunately, I am not the leader of the category and I did not make the change -I only suggested it.  No, the complaint was for the requirement.
Seriously, 99% of the waymarks for the category came in with multiple pictures AND a picture of the signage AND an excellent writeup.  The waymarker in question was basically doing "drive-by" Waymarking and getting a single picture with a minimal writeup.  The waymarker in question is upset because he would have to do a little more work to "just get by" for the number.

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It really is such an easy requirement.  Like Vulture, I have to find a way to distinguish all the cemeteries I visit, and if there is no Cemetery sign, I have to take a "blank" photo in order to keep the cemeteries straight.  Those entrance signs are vital!

Edited by Max and 99
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5 hours ago, Max and 99 said:

It really is such an easy requirement.  Like Vulture, I have to find a way to distinguish all the cemeteries I visit, and if there is no Cemetery sign, I have to take a "blank" photo in order to keep the cemeteries straight.  Those entrance signs are vital!

The wife's old cemetery notebook still has some pages in it that have a cemetery name written in Sharpie marker. We would take a picture of that page as our "separator". Sometimes it would have the town name, because there are a lot of duplicate names, just in different counties or towns. (kind of like Main Street. Which town?)

 

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1 minute ago, vulture1957 said:

The wife's old cemetery notebook still has some pages in it that have a cemetery name written in Sharpie marker. We would take a picture of that page as our "separator". Sometimes it would have the town name, because there are a lot of duplicate names, just in different counties or towns. (kind of like Main Street. Which town?)

 

Haha. I've done that too.

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1 hour ago, vulture1957 said:

The wife's old cemetery notebook still has some pages in it that have a cemetery name written in Sharpie marker. We would take a picture of that page as our "separator". Sometimes it would have the town name, because there are a lot of duplicate names, just in different counties or towns. (kind of like Main Street. Which town?)

 

 

1 hour ago, Max and 99 said:

Haha. I've done that too.

Ummm, both y'all - you realize there ARE twelve step programs for your addictions!!!!!  LOL  ...and I thought I was bad having my pictures separated by state and by date and whether they are complete.  Oh, they are on a separate external hard drive, but I'm not addicted, either!  :D

 

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I almost missed out on finishing  TWO wonderful Geotours all because I kept stopping at cemeteries. Honest to God, I literally told my husband, more than once while on vacation, "Do NOT stop at any more cemeteries, no matter what!!"  It was the only way to get the Geotour done, and we just barely got them done in the second try.  Cemeteries are really really hard to drive by when you are on vacation!

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For the most part this discussion is lost on us. When we're doing, for example, a churchyard cemetery, Barb will do the cemetery and I'll do the church. When we're done we will usually have 25 or more pix in total, and on occasion a whole lot more. Sometimes we'll even post all of them.

 

While signage is pretty common everywhere we've Waymarked, we began to realize that many small rural cemeteries had no signage so Barb came up with the brilliant idea of taking a dry erase board along. I see that she wasn't the only one to come up with that ploy. When we came to a cemetery without a sign, we'd make our own.

 

The Vulture's comment about "The one with the snake" struck a chord here. When we're at home trying to remember the location of something we had Waymarked years ago, or even just took pix of and intend to Waymark now, we have found that the most reliable way to remember the location of that distant place was through association with some memorable event or an unusual sight nearby. Funny how the mind works, or that it even works at all after one attains a certain age.:lol:

Keith

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On ‎8‎/‎20‎/‎2018 at 3:54 PM, Max and 99 said:

It really is such an easy requirement.  Like Vulture, I have to find a way to distinguish all the cemeteries I visit, and if there is no Cemetery sign, I have to take a "blank" photo in order to keep the cemeteries straight.  Those entrance signs are vital!

If you make sure your photos are being geotagged, you can use GeoSetter to see where they were taken.
Needed: Any smart phone with a camera, or an expensive camera-with-built-in-GPS.  Most of us already have the former.

GeoSetter is free.

At my age, geotagging has become a necessity!  ("Where in the world did I take that??")

In fact, even in my younger days I would end up with old pre-digital photo prints and wonder "where in the world did I take that?" -- but paper doesn't talk to me. :(

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I once bought "an expensive camera-with-built-in-GPS", but I noticed that the battery is getting empty very fast and additionally the GPS isn't as accurate as my Garmin Oregon. So, I always take one photo with the Garmin to have more accurate coordinates and I take the photos for the waymark with my camera. After transfering the photos to my hard disk, I rename the folder to something like 20180824_Wien-Prater (which lateron will give me an idea of where I took the photos) and I add a subfolder called Garmin and move the photos of my Garmin device  there. And I have my girlfriend who is several years younger and additionally has the "Total Recall". :-)

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11 hours ago, MountainWoods said:

In fact, even in my younger days I would end up with old pre-digital photo prints and wonder "where in the world did I take that?" -- but paper doesn't talk to me. :(

 

If your paper isn't talking to you I would take that as a very good sign. :)

Keith

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3 hours ago, PISA-caching said:

I once bought "an expensive camera-with-built-in-GPS", but I noticed that the battery is getting empty very fast and additionally the GPS isn't as accurate as my Garmin Oregon. So, I always take one photo with the Garmin to have more accurate coordinates and I take the photos for the waymark with my camera. After transferring the photos to my hard disk, I rename the folder to something like 20180824_Wien-Prater (which later on will give me an idea of where I took the photos) and I add a subfolder called Garmin and move the photos of my Garmin device  there. And I have my girlfriend who is several years younger and additionally has the "Total Recall". :-)

 

We sort of experienced the same thing with "an expensive camera-with-built-in-GPS". Bought a Nikon P510 about 6 years ago now. Turned out that  the GPS took longer to get a fix than the length of time I usually spent taking pix at a location, so very few pix got geotagged. I eventually turned the GPS feature off and haven't used it in years. Didn't really buy it for that feature, though, so no real loss.

 

As for the rest of the camera, I love it. It's still my #1 camera and has taken somewhere between 75 and 100 thousand pix, if not more. It gets a little slow when the SD card gets full, but otherwise it has been a great camera.

Keith

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Interesting discussion.

When you start playing Waymarking, you always make the mistake to take only one photo, but we learn quickly that you will almost always need two photos.

An experienced waymarkers complaining about the second photo requirement, looks like a joke, and i am not sure it's a bad news if he does not want to publish anymore in your category.

 

The suggestion to communicate about new requirements or categories description's modifications, is an excellent idea, i will create a discussion with this idea.

 

In the category, "Wi-Fi Hotspots" as we were upset about a lot of poor quality drive-by waymarks, we decided to add new requirements, a wi-fi sign picture and we have less submissions but only quality waymarks and we are now sure that the location provide Wi-Fi.

Unfortunately a waymarker was upset because he did not know this new requirement and he wrote that he will not published anymore in this category, even if he would not read the forum we should communicate better and the Forum is the only way.

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Sometimes when traveling I will take an extra photo of something that catches my eye or I will take it for one category then realize it also fits in another while researching. It is too late to take that extra photo for the new category. It can take awhile before getting back to a location that is not close. I try to take multiple photos but sometimes miss special requirements. I finally remember the tombstone requirement for churchyard cemeteries. I use the GPS feature on the camera but sometimes Google maps is better. Sometimes the camera isn't on long enough for a fix since I turn it off to save batteries, I hate running out of battery on a trip. I have started packing the charger. I have used the Google street feature to find that sign. It can sometimes take awhile to redrive the road.

Edited by ripraff
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