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funkymunkyzone

New earthcache logging rule

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6 hours ago, Team Microdot said:

Did you suffer personally on any of the 36 Earthcaches you've found over the last 15 years?

That is a completely bizarre statement.  Any chance you can get back on topic?

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2 hours ago, Touchstone said:
9 hours ago, Team Microdot said:

Did you suffer personally on any of the 36 Earthcaches you've found over the last 15 years?

That is a completely bizarre statement.  Any chance you can get back on topic?

 

It's not a statement. It's a question - as indicated by the ? at the end.

 

And I think it's very much on topic and that it's not the slightest bit bizarre.

 

I get the impression that you think there's a scourge of bad EC CO's going back years and that this has influenced Groundspeak to only now instruct (some?) EC reviewers to enforce unwritten guidelines on (some?) EC owners.

 

That being the case, coupled with the fact you've steered the thread in that direction and given that this perception and its reach / scale might have influenced that choice by Groundspeak it would be relevant and interesting to know how much truth is behind that perception and what your personal experience, if any, might be :).

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I just came upon this thread after being on an extended trip during the past 30 days.      

 

The guidelines seem clear to me - once you send the answers you can log the earth cache on as a find.  So I have always felt that sending the answers is a necessary part of the process before a find log is submitted.  It is what constitutes a find.    This procedure makes it simple for me as both an earthcache finder and owner.   

 

As a finder, I have always believed that if I can post an online log I shouod be able to send my answers first.   I logged over 50 earthcaches and virtuals during our recent trip, which covered three countries, often with limited or no internet.  If I lacked internet, then I wrote the answers using the note app on my phone or tablet so I could send them when I had wifi access, before logging the find.  Some earthcaches expressly required online research, but it was still easier to follow the guidelines so I could keep track of what needed to be done with each cache.    

 

I have never considered this procedure to be onerous.   I think it's fair and considerate to the EC owner to do it this way.  The  only problem I have ever had with it was on another trip when it took me 7 - 10 days to post some find logs after I sent in my answers.  An EC owner contacted me,  I forwarded the answers I had already sent and it all worked well.

 

As an earthcache owner, I have always asked people to send their answers before logging the find so I do not have to manage whether the logging has been completed.   Usually people do that within a day or two, but going significantly beyond that makes management more complicated. Waiting 10 ten days or longer to receive a log poses a burden that the guidelines (as written) does not contemplate. 

 

My practice has been to contact a person if the logging answers are not received within a few days after I have read their log.   I ask that they send the logging answers within the next few days.  If they are a new earthcacher I may take the time to explain the importance of the logging requirement in greater detail.   If it appears that a person might be traveling I ask that they let me know if there is any reason why they cannot send the logging questions.  I hate to delete a log, so before doing that I encourage people to relog the cache as a find if it is more convenient to send me the answers later. 

 

I try to do this within a reasonable period of time because if i wait too long before contacting a cacher, then I think it's unfair to them because the recollection of my earthcache will be that much further removed. 

 

This thread posed some concerns because if the current policy is to extend the logging requirement out to an undefined time, I would have to evaluate whether I wanted to have the additional buden that such a policy imposes.   But I'll interpret it to mean that the guidelines still stand as written but earthcache owners should err on the side of graciousness.  I have no problem with that.

 

 

 

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17 hours ago, Touchstone said:

That is a completely bizarre statement.  Any chance you can get back on topic?

 

Hi Touchstone - I don't think it was an entirely unreasonable thing to ask...  Have you had a personal experience of having any logs unreasonably deleted by earthcache COs?  Of course if you answer "no", it doesn't mean it never happens, that's fine, but it seems a reasonably fair question just to gauge whether you've come across the issue that you are suggesting is big enough to warrant a change in the "policy".

 

I'll answer it too.  I can't recall anything of significance aside from one bizarre episode with a French EC owner.  Bizarrely it was the opposite situation:  I sent the answers and then logged the cache, and the CO deleted my log (several times), tried to cause other issues by also removing my photos, and cyber-stalking/harrassing me, all because I had sent him the answers directly instead of using a weird auto-responder he had set up that was bodged up using geochecker and required me to insert a certain word into my find log as verification (a word that was painfully obvious from all the other logs on the cache page).

 

Oh, the only other situation that came close to this was when I logged an EC and sent the answers through the message center, but the message center failed to send that message onto the CO - I could see it, and they couldn't.  They sent me a message a couple of weeks later and I forwarded them the message again.

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To date I've logged finds on 213 Earthcaches over the course of almost exactly 10 years.

 

I've never had a log deleted - even after disagreeing on several occasions with the conclusions of several ECO's.

 

Maybe that's because I've always sent my answers before logging.

 

Sometimes I've sent my answers before even visiting GZ - but that's another story.

 

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I just stobled over this thread. And read the initial post, but not everithing else here. So it might be that my answer is allready given by someone else.

 

I like it the new way. And the reason ist, and might although have played a roll in the decission made to change it, that you can log mobil on the road, while you are out cachin and keep your finds in correct order (wich is somehow important to me).

Then later I can do the homeworks, writing long answers on a real keyboard, have it just far more comfortable then doing all the research and answering on a mobile.

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Logging a note in the field and converting to a proper log later will satisfy your requirements.

 

You shouldn't need to do any research in the field if you've read the cache page properly.

 

 

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4 hours ago, DerDiedler said:

I just stobled over this thread. And read the initial post, but not everithing else here. So it might be that my answer is allready given by someone else.

 

I like it the new way. And the reason ist, and might although have played a roll in the decission made to change it, that you can log mobil on the road, while you are out cachin and keep your finds in correct order (wich is somehow important to me).

Then later I can do the homeworks, writing long answers on a real keyboard, have it just far more comfortable then doing all the research and answering on a mobile.

 

Thanks for adding your input.

 

There are a couple of issues:

 

1. You can keep your finds in order, as TM pointed out, by logging a note in the field and updating it to a find later once you have sent the answers.

 

However...

 

2. An earthcache is not "found" until the requirements are completed.  So if you haven't worked out the answers yet (let alone sent them to the cache owner) then you haven't "found" it yet.  The same applies if you arrive at a physical location of a traditional and have not signed a log yet.  The same even applies if you visit a location of a challenge cache, and sign the log, but you have not met the requirements yet = no find log until requirements met.

 

And...

 

3. There never was a significant problem of COs getting upset and deleting find logs if the answers are not received before.  Yes it has happened, but frankly this won't change those COs who want to get upset and cause trouble over such things.  None of the COs who posted in this thread get upset by someone sending answers after logging.

 

And...

 

4. What we have stated on our earthcaches in the past, and now we are not allowed to say, matches and simply restates Groundspeak's guidelines around finding earthcaches.  Those guidelines still state that one must send answers to the CO and then log the cache.  Now we have to remember there is an unwritten rule that overrides the written guideline.

 

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PS - thanks :)  I'm pretty stoked to have gotten my 3rd geocache of the week - second earthcache.  Y'all should come visit New Zealand (in October 2020 to line up with our next mega event) cos we have some awesome earthcaches! ;)

 

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11 minutes ago, funkymunkyzone said:

2. An earthcache is not "found" until the requirements are completed.  So if you haven't worked out the answers yet (let alone sent them to the cache owner) then you haven't "found" it yet.  The same applies if you arrive at a physical location of a traditional and have not signed a log yet.  The same even applies if you visit a location of a challenge cache, and sign the log, but you have not met the requirements yet = no find log until requirements met.

 

I almost commented on this myself but wasn't sure if by homeworks @DerDiedler meant writing proper logs or trying to work out the correct answers to the Logging Tasks back at home.

 

If it were the latter this would completely contradict the requirement imposed on Earthcache owners to provide site based logging tasks.

Edited by Team Microdot
clarification
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2 minutes ago, Team Microdot said:

 

I almost commented on this myself but wasn't sure if by homeworks @DerDiedler meant writing proper logs or trying to work out the correct answers to the Logging Tasks back at home.

 

If it were the latter this would completely contradict the requirement imposed on Earthcache owners to provide site based logging tasks.

 

Very true - sorry I wasn't even thinking about that but rather I was thinking in more general terms regarding the tasks/requirements/learning.  As in, while all earthcaches require site based learning, and most require tasks to be completed at the site, many may be completed later by additional tasks or thinking about what was observed at GZ.

 

My Rocks that float earthcache is a good example of this subset of caches.  Finders are welcome to complete the experiment at the site, or take a piece of pumice home with them and perform the experiment there (don't worry, there is more than enough pumice there for everyone).  If *I* was to do that latter, personally I would log a find on the earthcache on the date that I finally got around to doing the experiment and answering the questions - makes sense to me.  After all, I didn't earn my engineering degree until I passed the exam, not just attended (some of) the classes.

 

In fact, on this very cool earthcache in Finland, I did exactly that - I took a sample of the water all the way home to New Zealand and finally did the experiment 2 months later on my kitchen bench using wine testing equipment, and only logged the find after I had completed the task and worked out the, rather surprising, answers.

 

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7 hours ago, funkymunkyzone said:

Very true - sorry I wasn't even thinking about that but rather I was thinking in more general terms regarding the tasks/requirements/learning.  As in, while all earthcaches require site based learning, and most require tasks to be completed at the site, many may be completed later by additional tasks or thinking about what was observed at GZ.

 

There's an Earthcache near here that requires collecting a litre of lake water and boiling it down to find out how much salt was in it. While it might be possible to do that on site over a camp fire, it's a lot easier to take the sample home and do the boiling down in the kitchen.

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11 hours ago, funkymunkyzone said:

PS - thanks :)  I'm pretty stoked to have gotten my 3rd geocache of the week - second earthcache.  Y'all should come visit New Zealand (in October 2020 to line up with our next mega event) cos we have some awesome earthcaches! ;)

 

 

That's awesome.  Congratulations!

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14 hours ago, barefootjeff said:

 

There's an Earthcache near here that requires collecting a litre of lake water and boiling it down to find out how much salt was in it. While it might be possible to do that on site over a camp fire, it's a lot easier to take the sample home and do the boiling down in the kitchen.

 

Yeah this kind of EC is a favourite for me. A bit more fun to do something interactive.

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I just discovered this thread as well.  I have an Earthcache I have struggled with this issue on.  People will claim a find then want to wait 2-3 weeks to send answers.  

 

I have asked them to send the answers the same day they post the found it log.  This is simple logistics, I am not going to keep a spreadsheet comparing who logged it and who sent answers. This Earthcache is an overlook on a scenic highway and gets a lot of visitors, so daily or more often finds in the summer are not uncommon.  Do both at the same time.  This particular Earthcache is pretty easy though:  look out and see how many layers you see.  There are a couple other questions but generally if the answer is even reasonable I will say ok.  However, if I get a logged find and no answers I send them a message reminding them.  The biggest issue is foreign travelers complaining about lack of internet.  If they try, I work with them.  If they don't I delete the log

 

As the guidelines say, "send the answers then post the log". 

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On 11/12/2018 at 3:25 PM, Team OPJim said:

The biggest issue is foreign travelers complaining about lack of internet.

Yeah, this is a common one - enough internet to claim the find, and the smiley (and more often than not, forget all about sending answers later)... but not enough internet to send a simple number or a couple of words to answer a question...

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On 11/11/2018 at 6:25 PM, Team OPJim said:

As the guidelines say, "send the answers then post the log". 

I'll send answers first, then post my log, so when my log says "answers submitted" - that is indeed the case.  If my husband and I are caching together, he'll wait till I've emailed our answers before posting his log as well.  It's the way I thought it was supposed to be done!  Now and then a CO will acknowledge my answers; none have ever deleted a log because we got it "wrong", and most times I hear nothing, so I assume all is well.

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14 hours ago, CAVinoGal said:
On 11/12/2018 at 2:25 AM, Team OPJim said:

As the guidelines say, "send the answers then post the log". 

I'll send answers first, then post my log, so when my log says "answers submitted" - that is indeed the case.  If my husband and I are caching together, he'll wait till I've emailed our answers before posting his log as well.  It's the way I thought it was supposed to be done!  Now and then a CO will acknowledge my answers; none have ever deleted a log because we got it "wrong", and most times I hear nothing, so I assume all is well.

 

This is exactly what I do too - it's simple, logical and respects the CO's time.

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I tend to log finds days to weeks after I made the find, using Drafts and making sure to use the actual date that I visited the cache. I also keep my caches in the order I found them within a day, so if an EC was the 10th cache I found one day, then I won't be submitting my log for it until after I've logged the 1st-9th caches of the day.

My process is to type up EC answers in Notepad. Once I get my "Found It" log typed up for the EC, then I open the CO's profile in another browser tab and send them the answers I've saved in Notepad. Then I go back to the other browser tab and submit my "Found It" log.  My goal is that the CO will see my two emails directly next to each other in their Inbox - the email from GS that says I found their cache, and the email from me with the EC answers.  I follow this same process with Virtual caches.

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1 hour ago, noncentric said:

I tend to log finds days to weeks after I made the find, using Drafts and making sure to use the actual date that I visited the cache. I also keep my caches in the order I found them within a day, so if an EC was the 10th cache I found one day, then I won't be submitting my log for it until after I've logged the 1st-9th caches of the day.

My process is to type up EC answers in Notepad. Once I get my "Found It" log typed up for the EC, then I open the CO's profile in another browser tab and send them the answers I've saved in Notepad. Then I go back to the other browser tab and submit my "Found It" log.  My goal is that the CO will see my two emails directly next to each other in their Inbox - the email from GS that says I found their cache, and the email from me with the EC answers.  I follow this same process with Virtual caches.

On behalf of all other Earth Cache COs here, thank you. 

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On 9/22/2018 at 6:40 AM, geoawareUSA1 said:

For the record, the following is not found anywhere in the Help Center or FAQ:

 

On 9/20/2018 at 7:13 PM, funkymunkyzone said:

Logs that do not follow such an email will be deleted.

 

Per your original statement, this was part of the original instructions.  I'm not saying your a bad person, or that you would even carry through on such a threat, but it's likely this single sentence that got the attention of the EC Reviewer.  Since Logging Requirements are backed up by documentation in the Guidelines and Help Center, such threats of deletion are pointless, and by no means improve the chances of people actually following your instructions.

 

Curious, as I've just been looking at a slideshow presentation by GeoawareANZ2 at last month's mega in Parkville, Victoria, Australia (Facebook link). It says under "Plan Out Your EarthCache Listing" that "You should state that a find can be logged immediately, but if the tasks are not completed within, say, ten days, then the find log may be deleted."

 

So an EC gets knocked back by one reviewer because it mentions deleting logs if the tasks aren't completed, yet another reviewer is saying you should include a statement saying precisely that.

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On 11/17/2018 at 10:47 PM, CAVinoGal said:

I'll send answers first, then post my log, so when my log says "answers submitted" - that is indeed the case.  If my husband and I are caching together, he'll wait till I've emailed our answers before posting his log as well.  It's the way I thought it was supposed to be done!  Now and then a CO will acknowledge my answers; none have ever deleted a log because we got it "wrong", and most times I hear nothing, so I assume all is well.

 

That has been exactly my procedure and experience. 

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4 hours ago, Max and 99 said:
On 11/18/2018 at 4:47 AM, CAVinoGal said:

I'll send answers first, then post my log, so when my log says "answers submitted" - that is indeed the case.  If my husband and I are caching together, he'll wait till I've emailed our answers before posting his log as well.  It's the way I thought it was supposed to be done!  Now and then a CO will acknowledge my answers; none have ever deleted a log because we got it "wrong", and most times I hear nothing, so I assume all is well.

 

That has been exactly my procedure and experience. 

 

The CO should at least acknowledge the answers.

 

If they can't be bothered I have to wonder why they bother having an EC in the first place.

 

Part of the enjoyment is interacting with others.

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Apparently me theory on guideline implementation differences between reviewers was deemed disrespectful and unconstructive, so my post was removed.

 

On a positive note though at least the mod took the time to let me know it had been deleted.

 

I think in future I'll just keep my theories to myself as, true or not, they are apparently not welcome.

 

Oh for a full and frank discussion between all interested parties. What a breath of fresh air that would be :wub:

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35 minutes ago, Team Microdot said:

theory on guideline implementation differences between reviewers

 

Do you really need to theorize that? They are human beings and therefore it is quite obvious that they handle things differently...

And sometimes you are lucky with there decision and sometimes you aren't...

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1 minute ago, frostengel said:

 

Do you really need to theorize that? They are human beings and therefore it is quite obvious that they handle things differently...

And sometimes you are lucky with there decision and sometimes you aren't...

 

Basically what I suggested but not in those precise words.

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1 hour ago, Team Microdot said:

 

Basically what I suggested but not in those precise words.

 

But I still don't seem to understand the difference between "there" and "their", sorry. 😞

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1 minute ago, frostengel said:

But I still don't seem to understand the difference between "there" and "their", sorry. 😞

 

Don't worry about it - I understood what you meant.

 

I would add also that it shouldn't come down to luck given that there are clear mechanisms, processes and resources in place within Groundspeak to ensure that guidelines are interpreted appropriately / consistently across the board.

 

Given that this is the case I can see no logical reason for individual Earthcache reviewers to arrive at diametrically opposed interpretations of any single guideline - or for that to be considered acceptable by cachers, reviewers or Groundspeak or taboo as a subject of frank, open, honest, robust adult discussion.

 

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An Earthcache, in north west England, published 8 November 2018 contains

 

"Please do not log your visit until you have received a response from me to your answers. I am usually very quick in this."

 

Amended after publication or different guidelines for different countries?

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