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Adler 12

Why aren't earthcachers as pretty as virtual geocachers?

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The virtual Geocache guidelines allow an autoresponder and log pictures as a requirement to log the Geocache.

As far as I can see the only difference between a virtual and earthcache is the topic. Both Geocaches ask questions about things nearby and don't have a physical container.

 

I question, why aren't earthcachers allowed to have a log picture requirement like the virtuals? Are earthcachers just too ugly to show on pictures?

Can someone please point out why there are different requirements for the same virtual Geocache type and why earthcachers are not allowed to ask for a log picture.

 

Log pictures would simplify the logging tremendously and ensure that the Geocacher was there (a solution database would be useless too). Unlike other Geocache types earthcaches just require the correct answers to prove a visit. No other type unlike the lab caches have such a low requirement. A lot of earthcachers feel neglected and a bit discriminated compared to virtuals. A unified requirement would help new geocachers and avoid conflicts.

Edited by Adler 12

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Photo requirements were allowed in the beginning, and it didn't appear to work out so well.

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QUOTE: photos are only accepted if they allow people to demonstrate what they have learned  

 

If you can think of a "proof of learning" photo, have at it.

Otherwise, I agree with Touchstone above - photo requirements were part of Earthcaches, and now they aren't. Assorted reasons.

 

QUOTE: the only difference between a virtual and earthcache is the topic

Well, no. There's no science or learning requirement for a virt.  Virts have gone through 4 stages of development on this site*, but learning, or even any kind of task was never part of any of those stages. Those things have always been part of Earthcaching. 

 

* 1) anything goes early to ~2003 2) preference for physical caches where ever possible 3) preference for physical caches where ever possible + quality control, a virt had to be special

4) after a long time gone, a release of  4000 virts Aug 2016, with very different rules. Back to anything goes as far as the virt location with some logging restrictions.

 

 

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6 hours ago, Isonzo Karst said:

QUOTE: photos are only accepted if they allow people to demonstrate what they have learned  

 

If you can think of a "proof of learning" photo, have at it.

 

 

The GSA Earthcache Guidelines appear to be more restrictive:  "All requests for photographs must be optional."   

 

Which guideline applies?

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4 minutes ago, geodarts said:

 

 

The GSA Earthcache Guidelines appear to be more restrictive:  "All requests for photographs must be optional."   

 

Which guideline applies?

I’ve heard of one or two remotely possible situations where a photograph would be allowed. A video or picture of a tidal bore was an example I’ve heard might get past Appeals, but suffice it to say, remote, nearly non existent situations might exist. 

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Why aren't earthcachers as pretty as virtual geocachers?

 

We've seen the same people going after both, so I guess "pretty" might be one of those "eye of the beholder" things.

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Hmm it is still a bit confusing with all those different regulations. I've seen the "lessons learned pictures" a view times. You should include a drawing of what you can see (but always as a sketch). I think if it requires a digital picture you run into the earthcache.org guidelines.

Quote

All requests for photographs must be optional.

If you publish an earthcache you must confirm the earthcache.org guideline and geocaching hiding guideline. Both apply.

To sum it up you can take a sketch as a log requirement but no photograph. Everything else is up to the mood of the reviewer. (And sometimes even guideline conform geocaches get refused.)

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I'm not sure how a sketch would fulfill the educational intent of the Guidelines.  Like a photo, I would assume it would run afoul of the following well documented and long standing restriction for all cache types:

 

https://www.geocaching.com/help/index.php?pg=kb.chapter&id=107&pgid=823

 

As far as the "mood of the reviewer" goes, you would have to show some examples.  I've yet to hear of a situation where the Reviewer flatly refused to Publish a Listing because of their "mood".   The Forum is replete with examples where Reviewers state the reasons for the rejection, and the CO disagrees with the reasons, but "mood" is not one of them.

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On 11/21/2018 at 11:22 PM, Adler 12 said:

The virtual Geocache guidelines allow an autoresponder and log pictures as a requirement to log the Geocache.

As far as I can see the only difference between a virtual and earthcache is the topic. 

 

There is at least one main difference between earthcaches and virtual caches. Earthcaches are about teaching an earth science lesson, whereas virtual caches are only about showing up.

 

I don't know what your experience was like in science class, but I found that earth science doesn't always lend itself to simple answers.  If an earthcache lesson is such that a mindless email robot can grade the answers, I have to say, it does not sound like a very good science lesson.

 

As far as photos, I have seen a few that have tried to be more specific based on the lesson. Most are still just "take a photo in the area with you in it" - in other words, proof you were there, not a demonstration of a lesson learned. (Which hasn't been allowed for years, and yet they are still out there.) That isn't enough for GSA, so it isn't allowed.

Edited by hzoi
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On 11/27/2018 at 8:42 PM, hzoi said:

 

Earthcaches are about teaching an earth science lesson, whereas virtual caches are only about showing up.

 

I don't know what your experience was like in science class <snip>

 

My impression of education these days is that everyone gets a certificate for just showing up! 😁

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To be honest the whole thing is a bit of a hotchpotch.

 

I'm not allowed to ask for a photo as proof of visit - but people who haven't managed to answer the questions correctly cling to the fact they have a photo as proof of their visit as their entitlement to log a find.

 

I have to work incredibly hard to provide logging tasks that satisfy the reviewer's standards but I'm encouraged by the same reviewer to just hand over the correct answers to anyone who didn't get them right - despite the fact the reviewer made me work very hard to put together an Earth Science Lesson that facilitated answering those questions by a 14 year old with no prior geological knowledge, and refused to publish the EC unless I did so.

 

I think the record was seven cycles of edit and resubmission before the cache was accepted - but I'm still supposed to just hand over the answers to anyone who bothered to turn up - and possibly some who didn't turn up at all.

 

I think the icing on the cake was an initial rejection of a question about granite, the basis of which was the reviewer having granite worktops in his kitchen meant he could answer that one question without going to GZ.

 

And the latest trend - can't have questions about stuff that can be seen on Google Streetview. What's the point of that restriction? Disallow a location on that basis because it's a way for people to cheat but then encourage me to just hand over the answers anyway?

 

And then I see new EC's published where I can answer the questions to the CO's satisfaction using only - you guessed it - Google Streetview.

 

I can well understand how some might feel that the reviewer's mood on a particular day is a fundamental element of the whole process.

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Earthcaches have become my favorite type to hide, but they take a lot of work to publish. I recently had one publish in Glacier National Park and it took several months to get permission and then I had to get it published by the reviewer. I'm very thankful for the process because it does make my earthcaches quality, whereas they may not have been had I not had reviewer critique.

 

Having said all that, I would like photos to be a part of the logging tasks. I know this has to do with the GSA, but I like seeing pictures of people working on my ECs. Even though I don't have to, I post pictures with the ECs I work on. For my Glacier NP EC, having a picture would really require people to be there. You can't fake it. It proves you were in that spot and did the work. Another EC I have is on a sandbar on a lake. Someone sent in the "correct" answers, but it was obvious they didn't go out on the lake to get the answers because it was November in Michigan. Having to have a picture would have had them wait until they could get out on the lake.

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26 minutes ago, sgerbs said:

Earthcaches have become my favorite type to hide, but they take a lot of work to publish. I recently had one publish in Glacier National Park and it took several months to get permission and then I had to get it published by the reviewer. I'm very thankful for the process because it does make my earthcaches quality, whereas they may not have been had I not had reviewer critique.

 

Having said all that, I would like photos to be a part of the logging tasks. I know this has to do with the GSA, but I like seeing pictures of people working on my ECs. Even though I don't have to, I post pictures with the ECs I work on. For my Glacier NP EC, having a picture would really require people to be there. You can't fake it. It proves you were in that spot and did the work. Another EC I have is on a sandbar on a lake. Someone sent in the "correct" answers, but it was obvious they didn't go out on the lake to get the answers because it was November in Michigan. Having to have a picture would have had them wait until they could get out on the lake.

 

I've had similar experiences but getting permission has been the least time consuming part.

 

I too appreciate reviewer critique but it's not always been useful and there have been times when it has proven an unncessary obstacle to publication. External peer review has proven a useful tool / process as Earthcaching has brought me into contact with some highly qualified and knowledgable people over the years.

 

I think photographs are a double-edged sword.

 

In some regards I would welcome them as they would enrich the rather short, empty logs that some finders post and brighten the cache page somewhat at the same time.

 

In other regards they are a pain. Sometimes there are out-and-out spoiler pictures posted and at other times a collection of photographs builds up which collectively enables armchair logging - and people sometimes get terribly upset when their photographs are later deleted - making things a bit difficult.

 

There's still an element of the community who remember a time when Earthcaches taught very little Earth Science and that proof of visiting the location by posting a photograph was pretty much guaranteed to see their log stand - and get upset when they discover that's no longer the case - making things a bit difficult.

 

And now there's things like GDPR to deal with whereby at any point in the future a data subject can required a data holder to locate, report on and, if required, delete all personally identifiable data held. I can imagine that being a logistical nightmare for Groundspeak in the absence of any sort of machine-readable image tagging. But then again - such photographs exist across all cache types other than Earthcaches presently so GDPR requirements isn't really a compelling reason for forbidding photographs on Earthcaches in the existing circumstances.

 

It's important though to remember that while a photograph demonstrates physical presence at the cache location it does not prove that the logging tasks were properly completed. People could still get the answers from someone else and then spend only the few brief seconds required to snap a selfie actually at GZ.

Edited by Team Microdot
typo

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I guess at the end of the day, I received my degree in Engineering because I passed (barely) a bunch of exams, not because I posted a selfie in a lecture room.  And I think that, along with the idea of allowing geocachers a little privacy, underlies the no photograph requirements rule.

 

For a while, the rule was that you could require photos if those photos documented a geological phenomena - perhaps volcanic activity or flow over a waterfall or something (not necessarily great examples).  However, I tried that on a couple of ECs, where I thought that having the photo record would really add to the value of the EC, but I was always knocked back and told "no photos whatsoever" - effectively another case of guidelines say x, reviewer says y, reviewer trumps guidelines.  So I gave up.  I'm a certified quitter.

 

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11 hours ago, funkymunkyzone said:

I guess at the end of the day, I received my degree in Engineering because I passed (barely) a bunch of exams, not because I posted a selfie in a lecture room.

 

It's a shame that I didn't have a digital camera when I took the bar exam in 2000.  But I passed, so I suppose it's moot.  :laughing:  (No idea if it was barely or not - don't want to know.)

 

11 hours ago, funkymunkyzone said:

guidelines say x, reviewer says y, reviewer trumps guidelines

 

The guidelines are slanted against photos, sure, but don't prohibit them outright.  Personally I've never come up with an angle that couldn't be covered by some written task, but then I struggle with logging tasks overall, so I'm sure there are good examples out there.

 

Quote

Tip: Tasks that require geocachers to take measurements or photos are only accepted if they allow people to demonstrate what they have learned. In most cases, photos are not necessary and can be replaced with observational or measurement tasks.

 

If you feel your photo task follows the guidelines, the appeals process exists for situations like this, if you choose to use it.  

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