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PDXLOVE2006

Coordinates

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Every time I want to place a geocache the coordinates are off and I need some help on ways to get more accurate coordinates.

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If you don't trust your coordinates, then test them.

 

Enter your coordinates into your device, and then approach the cache location from at least 100ft/30m away. The arrow should point right at the cache location as you approach. Repeat the process, approaching the cache location from various directions, from at least 100ft/30m away each time. No matter which direction you approach from, the arrow should point right at the cache location.

 

If it doesn't, then adjust your coordinates until it does.

 

Bonus points for repeating the test on another day when the GPS satellites are in a different configuration.

 

Also, the Help Center article How to Get Accurate Coordinates should prove useful.
 

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I checked what kind of caches you have made and found some comments about coordinates.

 

" Coordinates show this cache on private property, in someone's yard. Can CO verify coordinates are correct? "

 

This kind of problems are extremely easy to fix. What you need to do is to enter coordinates from the cache page to any mapping tool to see where you cache actually is.

You will see an image like this

 

coords.png.4e7838eb77054f9055f6dce28a990ae6.png

 

From this aerial view you can easily recognize that this is NOT the place where  you hide the cache.

The next step is to visit the cache again and take new coordinates with your GPS receiver until you are satisfied with the results.

 

If you don't now any suitable mapping tool you can always use the Google maps.

Here is your cache visualized in the Google maps. https://goo.gl/maps/3BWa61MTXG72

Edited by arisoft
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53 minutes ago, PDXLOVE2006 said:

Every time I want to place a geocache the coordinates are off and I need some help on ways to get more accurate coordinates.

 

If you're talking about "Well coords, per my GPSr indicate 21 feet off " as on one hide, it doesn't really seem that far off.  :)

 - It appears most are finding them with little issue. Once in a while you get a finder who believes his GPSr is the most accurate on Earth.  :D

Civilian GPS is only accurate to around 10' on a good day,  but can be much further off by something simple.

For example, in our area we have a lotta rocks with a high iron content, and get bounce.

 

We use waypoint averaging usually, and unless really far away, will come back another day (or two) to see how "accurate" we are.

 

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It would help if you could mention what device you are using and method you use for determining the coordinates. Also you could research coordinate or waypoint averaging.

Edited by colleda
clarification

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Some gps units have a function to average the coords. You could do that.

Or take a reading then repeat about five times then average that. Then place it in a map just to check. If using a smart phone good luck! I know this opens a can of worms. But I have seen far too many smartphone coords waaayyy off.

 

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FYI to the OP - When you want to update the posted coords of your caches, then you need to submit an "Update Coordinates" log:

  • Go to your cache page
  • Click the green "Log geocache" button
  • Select the "Update Coordinates" log type
  • Enter your new coords
  • Submit the log

I mention this specifically for your "Pokey" cache, where you submitted an OM log saying that you updated the coords, but the cache page coords didn't change.  I suspect you used the "corrected coordinates" feature (see image below), but this does not update the posted coords for your cache for everyone.  It only changes the coords for your eyes only.  If you want to change the coords that all cachers see when they search for your cache, then you need to use the "Update Coordinates" log type that I mention in the above bullet points.  It can be a bit confusing, but hopefully it makes more sense once you use it and see the change on your cache page.

 

image.png.6397979ce305a28a99f5eb41696fcc86.png

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1 hour ago, noncentric said:

FYI to the OP - When you want to update the posted coords of your caches, then you need to submit an "Update Coordinates" log:

  • Go to your cache page
  • Click the green "Log geocache" button
  • Select the "Update Coordinates" log type
  • Enter your new coords
  • Submit the log

I mention this specifically for your "Pokey" cache, where you submitted an OM log saying that you updated the coords, but the cache page coords didn't change.  I suspect you used the "corrected coordinates" feature (see image below), but this does not update the posted coords for your cache for everyone.  It only changes the coords for your eyes only.  If you want to change the coords that all cachers see when they search for your cache, then you need to use the "Update Coordinates" log type that I mention in the above bullet points.  It can be a bit confusing, but hopefully it makes more sense once you use it and see the change on your cache page.

 

image.png.6397979ce305a28a99f5eb41696fcc86.png

There is so much confusion over this issue.   I wish TPTB would make it clearer.  The problem is that the CO does see the change on their cache page and thinks it is really changed. 

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15 minutes ago, NanCycle said:

The problem is that the CO does see the change on their cache page and thinks it is really changed. 

I have seen that innocently done by a newbie and also done on purpose. In the second case arguing and arguing by the CO that the coordinates I had (and everyone else) ie the  public coordinates were off (by about 150 metres), and they had changed the coordinates. (But only on their page.) I thought they didn't know any better and were EXTREMELY THICK, after I and others, politely and patiently explained the problem over and over. Then they deleting the advice. Turns out it was a dispute with a neighbouring cache owner, as they wanted their cache in an already occupied spot. The cache was archived after the reviewer intervened.

Edited by Goldenwattle

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32 minutes ago, NanCycle said:

There is so much confusion over this issue.   I wish TPTB would make it clearer.  The problem is that the CO does see the change on their cache page and thinks it is really changed. 

Yeah, I wonder if changing the label from "Corrected" to "Solved" would help.  Maybe I'll start a new thread about it.

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6 hours ago, noncentric said:

Yeah, I wonder if changing the label from "Corrected" to "Solved" would help.  Maybe I'll start a new thread about it.

 

On the official app, under Waypoints you see ‘Posted Coordinates’.  If you edit them, they are shown as ‘Solved Coordinates’.  So much for consistency!

 

Renaming would help, but I think displaying a big warning message if a CO attempts to correct the coords of their own cache might be better.

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16 hours ago, IceColdUK said:

 

On the official app, under Waypoints you see ‘Posted Coordinates’.  If you edit them, they are shown as ‘Solved Coordinates’.  So much for consistency!

 

Renaming would help, but I think displaying a big warning message if a CO attempts to correct the coords of their own cache might be better.

This isn't an either /or situation --do both!

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When I place a cache, I will check on google maps to see if they are in the right area (unless in a forest area).  For your hides (urban hides), ground zero can often be seen on google maps.  I have come to learn coordinates from google maps are more accurate than a phone or gps.  I would recommend using the coordinates from google maps.  Thanks for placing some new caches in the area.

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2 hours ago, OmNom! said:

I have come to learn coordinates from google maps are more accurate than a phone or gps.

I'm not sure what standard you would compare Google Maps with to show that it is more accurate than a GPS-based device.

 

But my experience is that the accuracy of Google Maps varies. In some areas, it is calibrated well and has accuracy comparable to the GPS-based devices that I've used. In other areas, not so much.

 

Regardless, according to the guidelines, you "must visit the geocache location to get accurate coordinates with a GPS-enabled device."

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2 hours ago, OmNom! said:

I have come to learn coordinates from google maps are more accurate than a phone or gps. 

 

It depends on what part of the world you're in. Google's satellite images here used to be quite sharp and detailed but they've recently become quite blurred (presumably intentionally) so that you can't really discern anything smaller than about ten metres. I used to be able to clearly see the power pole next to the big rock over the cave where this cache of mine is hidden, but now all that's really visible is the access road off to the left and the fuzzy tops of trees.

 

image.png.ac60aef84f40addfd834c76e6af61d8a.png

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6 hours ago, OmNom! said:

I would recommend using the coordinates from google maps.

 

I would not recommend this because it is against the geocaching guidelines. It is mandatory to use your GPS receiver to get coordinates. A map can not be used as a primary source of the coordinates.

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4 minutes ago, arisoft said:

 

I would not recommend this because it is against the geocaching guidelines. It is mandatory to use your GPS receiver to get coordinates. A map can not be used as a primary source of the coordinates.

I have successfully used a map to get coordinates.

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26 minutes ago, Goldenwattle said:

I have successfully used a map to get coordinates.

 

You just confessed that you have not followed the guidelines. It is the same as saying that you have no permission from the landowner for you cache. You can succesfully do many things against the guidelines.

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1 hour ago, arisoft said:

 

You just confessed that you have not followed the guidelines. It is the same as saying that you have no permission from the landowner for you cache. You can succesfully do many things against the guidelines.

Tough! You will not bully me. I will continue to check my coordinates on a map to compare them against those I took. I take great care with taking coordinates and you will not get me to take a lower standard. I will check a map too. You will not rule what I do.

Edited by Goldenwattle
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2 hours ago, Goldenwattle said:

I have successfully used a map to get coordinates.

 

43 minutes ago, Goldenwattle said:

Tough! You will not bully me. I will continue to check my coordinates on a map to compare them against those I took. I take great care with taking coordinates and you will not get me to take a lower standard. I will check a map too. You will not rule what I do.

 

I think checking your readings (taken at GZ) against a map / satellite images is sensible.  However, your original post suggested you simply took the coords from the map, which is against the guidelines.

 

5 hours ago, niraD said:

But my experience is that the accuracy of Google Maps varies. In some areas, it is calibrated well and has accuracy comparable to the GPS-based devices that I've used. In other areas, not so much.

 

It’s difficult to prove, but I do think this is improving.  I check my readings against both Google and Bing maps / satellite images.  More often than not, now, the calibration of the two mapping services seems to agree.  Of course, they could both be wrong!

 

Edited by IceColdUK
Added the ‘of course...’
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7 hours ago, barefootjeff said:

 

It depends on what part of the world you're in. Google's satellite images here used to be quite sharp and detailed but they've recently become quite blurred (presumably intentionally) so that you can't really discern anything smaller than about ten metres. I used to be able to clearly see the power pole next to the big rock over the cave where this cache of mine is hidden, but now all that's really visible is the access road off to the left and the fuzzy tops of trees.

 

image.png.ac60aef84f40addfd834c76e6af61d8a.png

 

In some areas it's certainly better than it used to be.  Several years ago Google implemented a way to capture satellite imagery for a location over time, then would stitch together the "best" images.  That meant the the view that you see may be from images captured on different days.   I used to post a satellite image for a cache I've found  in Costa Rica that was in the middle of the rain forest.  The entire area was covered in clouds, making the image useless for locating where the cache was actually located, which could be problematic as it was very close to a severe drop-off into a river.   In general the resolution has improved in many areas but is still not good enough for heavily forested areas and there are some areas where the satellite imagery is *intentionally* skewed (in China). 

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We (hubby and I) use our phones' GPS to take coordinates at a potential hide location - we come from different directions, and average our results.  We later go back on a different day, using the coordinates we got before to see where they take us.  I also plot those coordinates on Google maps (which seem to be pretty accurate in my home area).  When we get readings that are consistent, those become the coordinates we submit for the write up.

 

We've hidden about 20 caches in our (relatively) short career using the above described method.  Only one has had a complaint of wrong coordinates, yet the new coords suggested were about 10 feet from ours, and re-visiting the site, our coordinates still put us in grabbing distance of the cache.  The original posted coordinates still remain on the cache page.

 

Advice:

  • Use a couple of different devices (bring a friend) to get readings
  • Take readings on a least two different days
  • Use Google maps or another satellite map to view the site 
  • If coordinates get folks to within 10 feet, all is good!

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2 hours ago, CAVinoGal said:

If coordinates get folks to within 10 feet, all is good!

 

That's a good goal but not necessary for every cache.   A cache in a tree, in middle of an open field, doesn't really require coordinates as accurate as a nano stuck somewhere on a long metal fence.   As a general rule, the more potential hiding places at GZ, the greater benefit of having very accurate coordinates.   

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11 hours ago, IceColdUK said:

I think checking your readings (taken at GZ) against a map / satellite images is sensible.  However, your original post suggested you simply took the coords from the map, which is against the guidelines.

Agreed. Checking your coordinates against a map is often a good way to make sure that a mistake didn't occur somewhere along the line. For example, a location glitch while the GPSr was averaging, fat-fingering while manually averaging sets of coordinates, or a typo while entering the coordinates on the website. I've seen many cases where a listing was published with wildly incorrect coordinates, and a quick check on a map would have told the CO that something wasn't right.

 

...but that's completely different from getting your coordinates from a map as originally stated by Goldenwattle. That's strictly disallowed on this site. I've personally seen caches get retracted or archived after a CO stated that they used a map to get their coordinates.

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