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TwistedCube

Adventure Lab Caches

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As long as people don't look at this as some kind of "reward", and more like being selected for a test group before a major rollout. Bugs me this attitude out there of "why didn't *I* get one?" with almost anything these days... flows into souvenir earning as well, imo brought on by the 'everyone gets a ribbon' mentality.

Anyway, I'm ranting again :P

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To me, it doesn't appear that creating an Adventure Lab is being rolled out as a reward. I also don't see it being promoted as a reward. However, of interest is Frau Potter's remark concerning credits. While pure speculation on my part, I could see allowing anyone to create an Adventure Lab with up to 10 locations as a basic entry point. Those that have successful (and we could debate what successful means) Adventure Labs might be given more credits to create larger Adventure Labs.

 

Where I live, we have Lake Coeur d'Alene. There are a number of historic markers all around the lake. Lots of these markers wouldn't support a cache larger than small. I could see an Adventure Lab traveling around the lake reviewing these historic markers (burnt steamships, Fort Sherman, Hobo camps, Lumber Mills, etc.) To do it right, I would probably need about 20 credits. Back to my theory, I might have to work my way up to being allowed more than 10 credits.

 

Frau Potter, thanks for being on this topic, and would you be able to expand upon 'credits'?

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35 minutes ago, thebruce0 said:

As long as people don't look at this as some kind of "reward", and more like being selected for a test group before a major rollout. Bugs me this attitude out there of "why didn't *I* get one?" with almost anything these days... flows into souvenir earning as well, imo brought on by the 'everyone gets a ribbon' mentality.

Anyway, I'm ranting again :P

 

There are easily seen requirements for this one, not hidden with an "algorithm" like the last time. 

 - I feel the wording error, mentioning "the top 1% of cache hiders"   is what really started the last one...   :D

 

"Must have found at least two lab caches" fits under "Finds"

And "Activity" says you "Must have posted a log on a cache within the past four months"

 - Looks (to me) that an OM on your own hide would suffice.   ;)

Though...

Folks with older, distant caches placed before FPs where even created may be a bit ticked by the "Your owned caches must have at least 25 total FPs".

 - I feel most of us realize FPs as "Quality" isn't a given as well.  

Not sure why it's important that someone placed their cache within the last three years for "Ownership". 

 - Many would be more impressed by hides surviving ten years or longer.  :)

 

 
 

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10 minutes ago, cerberus1 said:

Many would be more impressed by hides surviving ten years or longer.

 

These are temporary caches so experience with long-life caches is not required :D

 

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12 minutes ago, cerberus1 said:

There are easily seen requirements for this one, not hidden with an "algorithm" like the last time. 

 - I feel the wording error, mentioning "the top 1% of cache hiders"   is what really started the last one...   :D

 

Aboslutely! But I have seen some people softly ranting about the lucky ones chosen to do a Lab and slightly upset that they didn't 'win'. :P It's still out there...

butanyway

 

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32 minutes ago, Wet Pancake Touring Club said:

To me, it doesn't appear that creating an Adventure Lab is being rolled out as a reward. I also don't see it being promoted as a reward. However, of interest is Frau Potter's remark concerning credits. While pure speculation on my part, I could see allowing anyone to create an Adventure Lab with up to 10 locations as a basic entry point. Those that have successful (and we could debate what successful means) Adventure Labs might be given more credits to create larger Adventure Labs.

 

Where I live, we have Lake Coeur d'Alene. There are a number of historic markers all around the lake. Lots of these markers wouldn't support a cache larger than small. I could see an Adventure Lab traveling around the lake reviewing these historic markers (burnt steamships, Fort Sherman, Hobo camps, Lumber Mills, etc.) To do it right, I would probably need about 20 credits. Back to my theory, I might have to work my way up to being allowed more than 10 credits.

 

Frau Potter, thanks for being on this topic, and would you be able to expand upon 'credits'?

 

At this point, we are giving out one "credit" per account. Each credit allows the user to create one Adventure with up to 5 or 10 Locations as part of that Adventure (5 for the opt-in process, and 10 for geocaching organizations). Mega-Events have traditionally had 10 Locations as part of their Adventure as well. 

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You can see in the app that there is now one active in Maine, "Bangor History Tour."

 

Ah, was wondering about that one.  I received a message from a Belgian cacher I don't know today, asking me for "help" with entering their answers for that Lab. Not sure when that one became active, but the cacher that contacted me has logged finds in Luxembourg, France, and Belgium every day for the past 2 weeks.  Interesting that they could fit a trip to Maine into that schedule.  :ph34r:  I guess this explains how they have 1300+ Lab Cache "finds" on their profile.

 

Location Validation = 1, Armchair cacher = 0

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6 hours ago, Frau Potter said:

Keep an eye on the Adventure Lab app to see the Adventures as they go live.

 

It occurred to me that it would be a nice feature to display the "launch date" of Adventures within the app.  Perhaps under the creator's name in the "Created by:" footer.

 

It would also be nice to see the "end date", if one has been pre-determined, so cachers can decide whether to incorporate the Adventure into their future travels.  For example, if I had a trip planned for Maine, then it would be nice to know if the Adventure is already scheduled to expire before my trip - so I don't carve out time for it and maybe plan a visit to another park or trail system while there.

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6 hours ago, Frau Potter said:

so we could adjust the documentation or guidelines or builder tool as necessary.

Yeah, the documentation has some gaps in my view (or I just DNF'd the info ;) ). After playing around a bit with the Builder, I had come up with a few questions which I e-mailed to the given help address. No answer received so far (not that this is a problem), but maybe you can give me a hint on one very basic question. A "wrong" answer would immediately kill the location(s) I have in mind, so I'm kinda curious:

At one point, it says "Adventure Labs can be ... indoors", and on the other hand you have location validation to enter the find code. But you usually don't have a GPS signal indoors, so how is this supposed to work? Place the location coordinates into the front yard, and asking the cachers to come back here when they found out the answer indoors?

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4 hours ago, arisoft said:

 

These are temporary caches so experience with long-life caches is not required :D

 

 

Why temporary? True, everything is temporary, but Lab Adventures are just as temporary as any other geocaches. Only minimum duration is limited, not maximum.

 

Quote

These Adventures will remain active for at least six months, or potentially longer, for the community to enjoy.

 

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25 minutes ago, baer2006 said:

Yeah, the documentation has some gaps in my view (or I just DNF'd the info ;) ). After playing around a bit with the Builder, I had come up with a few questions which I e-mailed to the given help address. No answer received so far (not that this is a problem), but maybe you can give me a hint on one very basic question. A "wrong" answer would immediately kill the location(s) I have in mind, so I'm kinda curious:

At one point, it says "Adventure Labs can be ... indoors", and on the other hand you have location validation to enter the find code. But you usually don't have a GPS signal indoors, so how is this supposed to work? Place the location coordinates into the front yard, and asking the cachers to come back here when they found out the answer indoors?

 

Good question and for sure you'll get more precise answer back.

My guess - general location is good enough, the "circle" where app allows playing & logging is large enough. 

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39 minutes ago, baer2006 said:

Yeah, the documentation has some gaps in my view (or I just DNF'd the info ;) ). After playing around a bit with the Builder, I had come up with a few questions which I e-mailed to the given help address. No answer received so far (not that this is a problem), but maybe you can give me a hint on one very basic question. A "wrong" answer would immediately kill the location(s) I have in mind, so I'm kinda curious:

At one point, it says "Adventure Labs can be ... indoors", and on the other hand you have location validation to enter the find code. But you usually don't have a GPS signal indoors, so how is this supposed to work? Place the location coordinates into the front yard, and asking the cachers to come back here when they found out the answer indoors?

I thought I read that these new Lab Adventures required an app to find & log. Did I misunderstand or mis-remember?

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2 minutes ago, K13 said:

I thought I read that these new Lab Adventures required an app to find & log. Did I misunderstand or mis-remember?

There is an app, and that will be the only way to submit finds when the "web player" goes away.  But the "web player" has not been retired yet, so for now it's still possible to submit finds without the app.

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5 hours ago, arisoft said:

These are temporary caches so experience with long-life caches is not required :D


The guidelines for the Adventure Lab test is actually longer than the guideline for physical caches.  Adventure Lab minimum is 6 months, while the minimum for non-lab caches is only 3 months.

Adventures associated with Mega Events are different, because they are meant to be associated with the event, but that is separate from this 250 cacher participant test.

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50 minutes ago, baer2006 said:

At one point, it says "Adventure Labs can be ... indoors", and on the other hand you have location validation to enter the find code. But you usually don't have a GPS signal indoors, so how is this supposed to work? Place the location coordinates into the front yard, and asking the cachers to come back here when they found out the answer indoors?

 

The same question was in my mind too. There are some ways to navigate inside buildings, for example Wi-Fi access points have been used for this.

 

30 minutes ago, Rikitan said:

Why temporary? True, everything is temporary, but Lab Adventures are just as temporary as any other geocaches. Only minimum duration is limited, not maximum.

 

Right, 6 months is longer than 3 months required for ordinary caches, but this time span is not in the control of the cache owner - well, do these lab caches even have an owner? There is only virtual "Locations" - nothing to own. The adventure is working as long as the player is compatible with the adventure.

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52 minutes ago, baer2006 said:

At one point, it says "Adventure Labs can be ... indoors", and on the other hand you have location validation to enter the find code. But you usually don't have a GPS signal indoors, so how is this supposed to work? Place the location coordinates into the front yard, and asking the cachers to come back here when they found out the answer indoors?

Adventure Lab does not appear to access the GPS directly or exclusively. It appears to be using the OSes Location Services, which can use the GPS, or wifi triangulation, or some other means of detecting your location. I just loaded Adventure Lab on my iPod Touch, which does not have a built-in GPS, and it knows where I am.

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4 minutes ago, Wet Pancake Touring Club said:

Adventure Lab does not appear to access the GPS directly or exclusively. It appears to be using the OSes Location Services, which can use the GPS, or wifi triangulation, or some other means of detecting your location. I just loaded Adventure Lab on my iPod Touch, which does not have a built-in GPS, and it knows where I am.

I know all that, but location data via WiFi or other non-GPS means is not nearly as precise as GPS. So it depends a lot on the allowed tolerance in reaching the location coordinates. If this is like, say, 100 meters, then it should work in the location I have in mind (it's not deep inside a concrete bunker ;) ).

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20 minutes ago, baer2006 said:

If this is like, say, 100 meters, then it should work in the location I have in mind (it's not deep inside a concrete bunker ;) ).

Turns out that this guess was spot on :D!

 

I just checked my e-mail spam folder, and dug out Groundspeak's reply to my questions. And for the tolerance around GZ it says:

"Currently, the app enforces a 100 meter logging radius around the location coordinates. The web player (soon to be retired) does not enforce any logging radius limits. In the near future, Adventure builders will be able to adjust the app's logging radius to a maximum of perhaps 10km. "

 

... which suits me well.
 

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On 2/8/2019 at 2:04 PM, noncentric said:

 

It occurred to me that it would be a nice feature to display the "launch date" of Adventures within the app.  Perhaps under the creator's name in the "Created by:" footer.

 

It would also be nice to see the "end date", if one has been pre-determined, so cachers can decide whether to incorporate the Adventure into their future travels.  For example, if I had a trip planned for Maine, then it would be nice to know if the Adventure is already scheduled to expire before my trip - so I don't carve out time for it and maybe plan a visit to another park or trail system while there.

 

There is a "feedback" option under your profile in the app. This would be a great place to add this suggestion. Thanks!

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I was one of the lucky 250 to be selected to create one of the new Adventure Lab caches. I did so and made it 'public' yesterday. I've had a few corresponding emails from Groundspeak HQ to get clarification and assistance along the way. 

 

First, with limited direction and information, I inadvertently played my own ALC (Adventure Lab Cache) which has 5 segments/stages. Each one counted as a 'find'. I was able to go in and delete the finds totals from my profile page. But on my 'build' page, I am on the leader board for First to Finish.

 

I then let a friend know and she went out and did the ALC as it was intended.

 

As of 20 minutes ago (about 24 hours after publishing), I have had 197 participants complete 175 adventures for 922 caches found!  And my friend is the only one that actually went out and did it. Okay, here is why: 

 

The web-based player is still active, at least it is in Europe, especially Germany. So somehow they are able to access it, answer the questions and get the finds. I created it with the idea of not being able to find the answers online in mind but I now know at least one can be found using Google Earth. But the others I cannot find online so I'm still baffled how they are getting the answers. HQ advised me they will be phasing out the web-based player but no date set yet. Why would HQ have us create these for the mobile app when they know that web-based players can do the ALC from  home? I found information online about how these are being shared on Facebook (in Europe). 

 

These are unlike regular caches where you can delete someone's log. There is no log. As a matter of fact the only way I can see the names of the finders is running a report in XML format. There are also no GC#s. They are not on any map we are accustomed to. There is no 'notification' system to let people know it exists, it just shows up on the app (and I guess on the web-based player). 

 

There is the option to place a container or sign with the answer code. If you do, then it goes through the process of a review with a 'Do Not Publish' Multi cache submittal. If you do not place a container or sign (and your answer is from an existing object like a headstone in a cemetery) then no review process from a reviewer. 

 

And HQ stated they went with a separate app because they know a lot of cachers prefer the traditional style of caching. 

 

There are three options: Off, Private (shareable by link, but not visible on the app) and Public. I have turned mine off for now to see if others continue to log it from Europe. I will turn it back on in about an hour. It's called 'The Sedona Adventure - A Unique Wonder!'

 

Very disappointed in this process. HQ does not seem to care about the integrity of the game whatsoever. That's a shame since I spent a few hours finding my locations and preparing for this ALC. 

 

Sorry for the long write up but needed to vent and explain a little of the process as well in hopes it answers some questions. 

 

 

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On 1/31/2019 at 8:07 AM, igator210 said:

 

Being app based, you can add a proximity  setting for logging.  This will cut down on people being able to share the codes and armchair logging.

Except if the web-based player is still on as is the case for my Adventure Lab Cache that has seen 216 participants log over 1,000 geocache finds in 24 hours. Most seem to be from Germany. So HQ screwed up by letting us create them but not turning off the web based player yet. 

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On 2/8/2019 at 8:05 AM, Frau Potter said:

Congratulations to baer2006 for being one of the geocachers randomly selected during the first round.

 

Geocaching HQ has awarded 100 of the 250 Adventure credits. We will award more each week, up until the deadline of February 26. As this is a test, we wanted a smaller number of geocachers to test each week, so we could adjust the documentation or guidelines or builder tool as necessary.

 

Keep an eye on the Adventure Lab app to see the Adventures as they go live. In addition to the 250 geocachers, a select number of geocaching organizations have been given credits for up to 10 locations. You can see in the app that there is now one active in Maine, "Bangor History Tour."

I wish you had disabled the web-based player first. I also got one of the first ones. I published it yesterday. In 24 hours I've had over 215 participants complete 195 adventures and find 1,000 caches found on my one (5-stage) ALC. Predominantly from Germany and other parts of Europe. So how did they find the answers out? I know at least 4 of them could not be from the internet, so that tells me they found a back door in. 

 

I feel HQ has no respect for the integrity of the game nor the cachers who create these caches for their own benefit/profit. 

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Thanks Ahern Clan. This is all very useful and eye-opening information.

 

51 minutes ago, Ahern Clan said:

There is the option to place a container or sign with the answer code.

 

I was very surprised to read this part. I thought the whole point of these were to act as a kind of Virtual cache where physical caches wouldn't make sense or be allowed. If a physical container can be hidden, then I don't think I understand how these are any different than one of the usual cache types, other than the fact that they're restricted to app users (or at least they will be in the future).

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1 minute ago, The A-Team said:

Thanks Ahern Clan. This is all very useful and eye-opening information.

 

 

I was very surprised to read this part. I thought the whole point of these were to act as a kind of Virtual cache where physical caches wouldn't make sense or be allowed. If a physical container can be hidden, then I don't think I understand how these are any different than one of the usual cache types, other than the fact that they're restricted to app users (or at least they will be in the future).

I think it's intended to use a 'code' as opposed to signing the log. So a container with a code inside or even a sign requires a location check. Lessens the chance of it being googled. But then the 528 feet rule goes into effect. 

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I think it should also be pointed out that location spoofing on a smartphone isn't very difficult to do. I've played around with manually changing my location in an Android emulator before, and a quick Google search yields lots of instructions for spoofing your location on an Android or iOS device. While using a "finder's" location as verification will stop some bogus logging, it certainly won't stop those who are willing to put in the effort to get around it.

 

When you combine location spoofing with the existing practice of sharing codes online, I think we'll soon find that we have all of the same problems that we do now even after the web player is removed. Ahern Clan's evidence shows that there are lots of people willing to put in the effort to game the system.

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38 minutes ago, Ahern Clan said:

I wish you had disabled the web-based player first. I also got one of the first ones. I published it yesterday. In 24 hours I've had over 215 participants complete 195 adventures and find 1,000 caches found on my one (5-stage) ALC. Predominantly from Germany and other parts of Europe. So how did they find the answers out? I know at least 4 of them could not be from the internet, so that tells me they found a back door in. 

I feel HQ has no respect for the integrity of the game nor the cachers who create these caches for their own benefit/profit. 

 

Thanks for that.  :)

IIRC, a similar issue happens time-to-time with wherigos as well.

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Warning! Stupid(?) question ahead...

 

How would I even start an Adventure in this "web player", when I only see the Adventures in the new smartphone app? Not that I want to do it to log armchair finds, but after what Ahern Clan said, I'm thinking about delaying plans for my own Adventure until this "web player" is really retired.

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And finally, what is the point with adventures lab ? I see no advantages with virtuals. At least with virtuals you don't need a separate app and you can have additional requirements such as a picture.

Adventures are looking to me more as temporary caches or cache for my friends (if you need to receive a the link for logging them) 

The roots of geocaching, or at least what I consider as such, are more and more fading away

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17 hours ago, The A-Team said:

I think it should also be pointed out that location spoofing on a smartphone isn't very difficult to do. I've played around with manually changing my location in an Android emulator before, and a quick Google search yields lots of instructions for spoofing your location on an Android or iOS device. While using a "finder's" location as verification will stop some bogus logging, it certainly won't stop those who are willing to put in the effort to get around it.

 

When you combine location spoofing with the existing practice of sharing codes online, I think we'll soon find that we have all of the same problems that we do now even after the web player is removed. Ahern Clan's evidence shows that there are lots of people willing to put in the effort to game the system.

 

Yep, and wherigos and AR caches can also be gps-spoofed.  With those, you still have to find a physical geocache and post a log, which the CO can verify and delete if called for.  With an ALC there is no log and the owner retains no control over its activity.

 

Honestly looks like a whole lot of great effort has gone into the framework for the Adventure Lab cache, but it may suffer the same fate as Geocaching Challenges from play/abuse standpoint.

 

I haven't asked or checked into it, but if the answers are sent with the 'lab' data, in any manner, it will be hacked. If it's a hashed string, or even a plaintext A=B check, that is not the way to implement this.  At the very least the codephrase check has to be a remote server verification request (another reason for requiring a phone, to be online), otherwise it will be hacked. That's not foolproof protection, but the web-based player, and localized code verification - those are recipes for disaster. And not giving the lab owner the ability to check/verify logs, or simply delete as a basic option, is going to greatly devalue the fun of creating them. There's no active ownership.

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7 hours ago, p0cy said:

And finally, what is the point with adventures lab ? I see no advantages with virtuals. At least with virtuals you don't need a separate app and you can have additional requirements such as a picture.

Adventures are looking to me more as temporary caches or cache for my friends (if you need to receive a the link for logging them) 

The roots of geocaching, or at least what I consider as such, are more and more fading away

I see adventure labs as a series of mostly virtual-like caches that take you to a set of related locations. In that respect, they are more like a multi-cache, except you can log each intermediate location. They can be CO directed (have to do them in sequence, like a tour guide), or self-directed.

 

As for needing to receive a link, that link could be posted locally. For example, I work at a university that has a couple of arboretum's. The university may want to create an adventure lab in one of them. (We do offer a geocaching/orienteering class.) The link to the adventure lab could be printed on the literature available at the parking area, posted on the signage at the kiosk, and added to the class syllabus.

 

Now that I think about it, I could see adventure labs being used as part of a number of classes on campus. We have areas that have restricted access, and are used as part of various classes. Hydrology, forest management, fish and wildlife management, and others. The professor could create an adventure lab for the class, and hand out the URL in class. Because the areas are restricted access, the professor can't make the adventure lab public. Just because the adventure lab is not public doesn't mean that it is temporary. 

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8 hours ago, p0cy said:

And finally, what is the point with adventures lab ? I see no advantages with virtuals. At least with virtuals you don't need a separate app and you can have additional requirements such as a picture.

Adventures are looking to me more as temporary caches or cache for my friends (if you need to receive a the link for logging them) 

The roots of geocaching, or at least what I consider as such, are more and more fading away

For Groundspeak, simple. Advertising. The app has the annoying small google ads banner on it. So they will make money by pushing the adventure lab app. 

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3 hours ago, thebruce0 said:

There's no active ownership.

 

Ownership - in one sense or another - is key to almost everything.  In the world.

 

Boxes in the woods vs. "Challenges"

Capitalism vs. Socialism.

Most everything in between.

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6 hours ago, thebruce0 said:

Honestly looks like a whole lot of great effort has gone into the framework for the Adventure Lab cache, but it may suffer the same fate as Geocaching Challenges from play/abuse standpoint.

Oh yeah, Geocaching Challenges. Now that I think about it, these ALCs are very similar. In fact, in some respects, they're pretty much the same thing. Go somewhere, do something, record that you did it in an app. No log details. No ability to delete "finds". Confusing name. What's new is that they have an owner (largely in name only) and that they count in your find total. Otherwise, it seems like history repeating itself.

 

What was that poster? "Let's make better mistakes tomorrow"? Did it get taken down?

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10 hours ago, The A-Team said:

What was that poster? "Let's make better mistakes tomorrow"? Did it get taken down?

Does better = bigger?  It won't be as easy to erase this mistake with an app on many peoples phone, as Challenges was to erase from the website...

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10 hours ago, The Jester said:

Does better = bigger?  It won't be as easy to erase this mistake with an app on many peoples phone, as Challenges was to erase from the website...

IIRC, there were Geocaching Challenges apps too. That didn't stop them from erasing Geocaching Challenges from the site, or from pulling the apps from the Apple and Google app stores.

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2 hours ago, niraD said:

IIRC, there were Geocaching Challenges apps too. That didn't stop them from erasing Geocaching Challenges from the site, or from pulling the apps from the Apple and Google app stores.

Just for kicks, I kept the Challenges app on my phone up until about a year ago. I'd fire it up occasionally, but it never did anything after they killed off Challenges. I finally removed it, but I can still see it in my list of "purchased" apps (though I can't re-download it).

challenge_app.png

 

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Regarding Adventure Lab, here is some additional information, updates, and answers to some of the questions that have been asked:

 

Lab Caches have been around for a few years. They were originally offered to Geocaching Mega events and Giga events as a way for event hosts to create temporary experiences for visitors without the challenge of placing and maintaining traditional (or other) geocaches for months before/after the event. The idea was to provide a toolset for combining locations, media, and triggers (in the current case, Q&A) so that creators could create interactive geocaching experiences to entertain geocachers. During the past few years, we’ve also tested non-Mega/Giga experiences as well, including ones at the Seattle Museum of Flight, Antietam Battlefield, Washington Park Arboretum, and more. Lab Caches also allow for the creation of private experiences – which we’ve tested with schools, for example, who would like to create interactive geocaching experiences but cannot have random geocachers showing up on school grounds.

 

The player tool for these Lab Caches has historically been a responsive web player – allowing participants to play using their smartphone browsers. Aside from a number of other technological limitations of this responsive web implementation (subpar GPS, for example), we discovered that more than a few players were sharing the ‘find codes’ and logging these experiences even though they didn’t visit the location or actually participate in this experience.

 

We’ve thought for a while about how we might improve this platform and ultimately decided to build mobile applications to support Lab Caches. Some of the goals of the application include providing builder and player access to the new technologies allowed through apps vs. responsive web, and notably, restricting the ability of players to fake log these experiences in order to bring more integrity to the platform. 

 

When the Adventure Lab mobile applications were ready for testing, we had to decide whether to turn off the responsive web player before launching the apps, or to allow them to exist simultaneously. Since we were really looking to test the app(s), it didn’t make sense to retire the system that had already been working, albeit with limitations (including fake logging), before we could confirm that the apps would function as expected. So, we decided to wait to retire the responsive web player until we could adequately test the mobile applications.  

 

So, today we have a limited test where a few hundred geocachers and a number of geocaching organizations are being provided with access to the builder to create some test adventures. While some great new experiences have been created, we still have the issue of fake logging through the responsive web player (and possibly also through the use of GPS spoofing). Despite that fact that the fake logging is not new, it remains understandably objectionable to Adventure Lab creators. Although we planned to eventually retire the responsive web player without a specific end-date in mind, information gathered during this testing phase leads us to believe that expediting the retirement and better addressing fake logging are more important priorities to be addressed soon.

 

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So, here is what will be happening next:

 

To be clear, we plan to continue developing and supporting the Adventure Lab applications and overall platform. We believe there is significant potential to provide a broader array of fun experiences to engage and delight geocachers. 

 

Upcoming changes will include the ability of a creator to adjust the required logging radius for each of the Lab Cache locations. We believe that this will allow creators to enable logging from a nearby hotel room or Wi-Fi location, but still prohibit logging from non-participants, especially those hundreds of miles or kilometers away. 

 

On or after March 25th, we will be retiring the responsive web player.

 

We will publicly adjust the associated Lab Cache guidelines to state that fake logging, whether through GPS spoofing or other methods, is not acceptable, and that violators will be subject to discipline including potential account locks and/or future prohibition from the use of the Adventure Lab platform in its entirety.   

 

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For what it’s worth, we believe that ongoing innovation and testing of new ideas is important. Over the past 18 years, we have tested many different ideas with varying levels of success. We believe in this project and intend to continue with it as we move forward. 

 

And yes, we still have a sign at Geocaching HQ that says, “Let’s make better mistakes tomorrow.”

 

We sincerely appreciate all of you who have offered constructive feedback on this project and we ask that you keep it coming. Thank you.

 

 

 

 

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Excellent update. Thanks for the info. Good to know you're aware of inherent potential drawbacks and are working on ways to make it all work out. It's definitely a platform with high potential; the trick is figuring how to minimize abuse (or the inferred value of cheating). Looking forward to what it can become!

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On 2/13/2019 at 8:47 PM, Ahern Clan said:

HQ does not seem to care about the integrity of the game whatsoever.

 

I know you're frustrated by the cheaters, but let's be fair.  Groundspeak developed a location-based app specifically to get after the lab cache cheating problem.  Yes, the web based lab cache logging is still around, but that was to allow a grace period for folks who don't have the app yet (and to give time for any kinks in the app to be worked out).

 

Hopefully Bryan's post above alleviates some of your concerns about where Groundspeak stands.  But at the end of the day, the only 100% successful system against cheating is personal integrity.  

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21 hours ago, Bryan said:

Upcoming changes will include the ability of a creator to adjust the required logging radius for each of the Lab Cache locations. We believe that this will allow creators to enable logging from a nearby hotel room or Wi-Fi location, but still prohibit logging from non-participants, especially those hundreds of miles or kilometers away.

 

I understand that people might not want to use cell data to log the caches, but without data, how will you be able to play?

Will the app have the ability to load the adventure while on WiFi and still let you progress though each point without logging each answer?

Edited by igator210

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You talked about cheating with adventures lab caches.

As far as I know, there is not a lot of cheating with virtual caches, so let’s replace adventures lab caches with virtuals. At least the CO can ask for additional requirements such as a picture and can ontrol (delete) logs. And finally as hzoi wrote, it is a question of personal integrity.

My main problem with adventures lab caches is that they are not geocaches (in my sense). For me geocaching is finding physical boxes in interesting places and meeting other geocachers (events).

Anything else (Waymarking, munzee, pokemon, adventures lab, you name it) can be fun and interesting but this is not geocaching.  I have no problem if Groundspeak create and advertise other games or apps,  but let’s not mix that with geocaching (other userids, other stats, etc)

Ask yourself why Groundspeak retired webcams and virtuals (okay, they allowed to create a batch of more virtuals recently but then stopped)

My experience with lab caches during mega events is that some of them looks like temporary virtuals (go to some place, find a word or a number). For me a geocache, even virtual, should be permanent. Or those lab caches where just games, fun activities, but nothing looking as a geocache. Again, I think it can be fun and interesting to have games, workshops, food and drink, shop, visits, etc during a mega event, but for me those activities are not geocaching and should not be counted as such. Ideally, we should do those labcaches because we are thinking that they are fun to do, not because it increases a counter. Geocaching is not a competition;

Another grief I have with adventures labcaches is that you cannot play them with a GPS. I mean, normally you can find a cache with a GPS or with a smartphone and an app. You cannot find an adventure lab with a GPS, you must use a smartphone and an app. Nothing wrong with that except that it is not geocaching.  

It was also said in the discussion that adventures lab caches can be a solution for places where the placement of a physical box is not allowed. That can be solved with a virtual cache or with a multi with a virtual WP inside the “protected” area (go there, find a number, a word, answer a question, transform it in a number and use it in some formula for the final box placed outside the “protected” area).

If you want to restrict the people who can do the cache (for example restrict it to the student of a school) or make it temporary,   that is against the spirit of a geocache (permament and accessible to all geocachers).

And finally, the minimum distance between adventures lab caches is not enforced (just as with simple virtual WPs in a multi).

Again nothing wrong per se, but something different than geocaching.

Just my personal opinion.

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