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dubidubno

How to know if coordinates are avaialble

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This is frustrating.

Before placing a cache I used an app that draws circles around traditionals to show occupied space. Multies and mysteries can not be shown since you can't know the end coordinates without solving them. However, geocaching.com accepted my coordinates, and I submitted for review. The reviewer denied publication a few days later, saying the coordinates are less than 161 metres from a cache I haven't logged online. I moved the cache and submitted again. Same response. He will not tell me which cache blocks mine, nor where there are free areas. In my opinion this is less than helpful. I just wan't to give back to the community by placing caches, but I can't travel back and forth endlessly to try to find an available spot in the area. In my opinion geocaching.com should tell you during the submission process if coordinates are not available.

What do you suggest I should do?

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Posted (edited)

The better approach is to ask your local reviewer if a given location is available.

Sometimes placing a Multi or Mystery instead of a Traditional, using those already attempts as virtual stages (without the 161m rule to comply), will do the trick, because you can place the container (final stage) far from a crowded area.

Edited by RuideAlmeida

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37 minutes ago, dubidubno said:

In my opinion geocaching.com should tell you during the submission process if coordinates are not available.

 

If the site did this, people could "battleship" the locations of Mystery or Multi finals by trying lots of possible coordinates and seeing which ones are too close to an invisible cache. Such a feature may sound good at first, but would actually cause more problems in the long run.

 

As RuideAlmeida said, your reviewer can tell you whether some coordinates are available or not, so you don't need to keep going back out into the field. If you find that you keep running into other caches, that's a good indication that the area is already pretty saturated and you should consider looking at different areas.

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2 hours ago, dubidubno said:

He will not tell me which cache blocks mine, nor where there are free areas. In my opinion this is less than helpful. I just wan't to give back to the community by placing caches, but I can't travel back and forth endlessly to try to find an available spot in the area. In my opinion geocaching.com should tell you during the submission process if coordinates are not available.

So, suppose I tell you that your proposed location is 110m northwest of the final coordinates for "Cacher Conundrum," a five-star puzzle cache that only four people have ever solved and logged in the past three years.  Armed with that intelligence, you track down the container and sign the log at the same time when you move your cache to a spot that's 162m away.

 

What do I get for being helpful?  A flaming email from the CO of "Cacher Conundrum," who also posts to three Facebook groups, and files a complaint with Geocaching HQ that I gave away secret information and ruined the puzzle cache.  Having had that happen to us enough times, reviewers nowadays are constrained to be less forthcoming with details.  Depending on your reviewer, you may get a hint, like "you are less than 161m from "Cacher Conundrum," GCABCDE, or you may get a hint that you should strongly consider moving to the southeast, or you may not get any guidance at all.  So, that's how come.

 

Quote

In my opinion geocaching.com should tell you during the submission process if coordinates are not available.

In a world where people hack lab caches and share the final coordinates of puzzle caches in Facebook groups, the inevitable outcome of such a feature would be to spoil every puzzle cache, multicache and Wherigo cache, plus a fair percentage of letterbox hybrid caches.  There are people who like placing and finding these cache types.  Geocaching.com has chosen not to alienate them by ruining the ability to keep the actual locations a secret.

 

"But all I need is a distance and direction," you might say.  So, the cheater simply enters enough coordinates into the planner tool to permit them to hone in on the actual location through triangulation.  Think that can't happen?  Talk to the travel bug stalkers who watch for drops of trackables in unpublished caches so they can figure out the locations and log a pre-publication "FTF."  Talk to the group of cachers who hid traditionals in every conceivable spot within two miles of a 5-star puzzle, knowing they'd eventually "battleship" their way to a hit, and then they could do a scorched earth hunt within that area.  I foiled them by publishing their cache even though it was 200 feet away from the puzzle final.  Reviewers are smart humans*, you see, and that is better than an automated system.

 

*Many reviewers are dogs.

 

Edited by Keystone
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Well, I can't continue to travel back and forth 50 mins each way to find a new spot to try, so I guess the cache community will have to do without my cache. 

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It's a good thing that you don't need to do that.  Make one trip, find the 12 or so non-traditional caches that are within two miles of your proposed spot, and then figure out a free spot.  Or, make one trip to scout out two or three desirable locations and then follow the procedure for asking a reviewer to pre-check those coordinates for you.  If you get the OK on one of the spots, then go hide your cache at that spot, which is "reserved" for you in the meantime.  See this Help Center article, under the heading "Ask a reviewer to check coordinates."

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Non-traditionals are not my thing. I rarely do them.

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Then you will definitely want to follow the "Ask a reviewer to check coordinates" method.

 

If driving 50 minutes more than once is a barrier to hiding a cache, then I wonder how quickly you would be willing to respond to a string of DNF logs saying that all the trees in the area have been chopped down by landscapers.  If it's too far away to make more than one trip in order to place a cache, then it's too far away for you to maintain in accordance with the Cache Maintenance section of the listing guidelines.  I place my caches at spots I drive to frequently, or which are easily reached from my home.  They are at places I like to visit frequently.  If I have to move a cache, I view that as a new opportunity to go hiking in that park or to go shopping in that commercial district.

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9 hours ago, Keystone said:

Then you will definitely want to follow the "Ask a reviewer to check coordinates" method.

 

If driving 50 minutes more than once is a barrier to hiding a cache, then I wonder how quickly you would be willing to respond to a string of DNF logs saying that all the trees in the area have been chopped down by landscapers.  If it's too far away to make more than one trip in order to place a cache, then it's too far away for you to maintain in accordance with the Cache Maintenance section of the listing guidelines.  I place my caches at spots I drive to frequently, or which are easily reached from my home.  They are at places I like to visit frequently.  If I have to move a cache, I view that as a new opportunity to go hiking in that park or to go shopping in that commercial district.


Who said I was driving?  You are making assumptions. I use public transportation. I pass the area frequently enough to do maintenance. Why should I waste my time and damage the environment by doing more trips than necessary?

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If your visiting the area damages the environment, maybe you ahould find another place for a cache.

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17 hours ago, dubidubno said:

What do you suggest I should do?

 

Go to a cache Event with locals who are familiar with the area. Also ask around, especially when certain persons seem to have several caches in the place, or when some people seem to find them all. I was fortunate when I'd mention that I'd like to hide a cache in a particular spot, some more experience local would say something like, “That sounds great and on an unrelated topic, have you found cache X?” Maybe you'll be that lucky.

 

Remember that even if you don't solve puzzle caches, that other people do. Some prefer puzzles. In a saturated place, packing more caches where there's a puzzle cache can make it easier to find without solving the puzzle. Basically people may simply go to the center of the “empty” place surrounded by traditionals.

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24 minutes ago, kunarion said:

Remember that even if you don't solve puzzle caches, that other people do.

Yep.  :)

Dyslexic old farts don't do well with many puzzles, but there's a heck of a lot more of those who can.

 - But  they don't do rope climbs or caving, and with me in their team, they've a number of boats too.     ;)

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17 hours ago, Keystone said:

See this Help Center article, under the heading "Ask a reviewer to check coordinates."

 

So I did this and submitted a "Coordinate Check" cache.

 

This is the reply I got from the reviewer (my attempt at translation from Norwegian):

 

This is absolutly the wrong way to do it...

 

When a cache is completly ready and ready for publication, only then should you submit the cache.

If you want a coordinate check, make a GC-code and send it to one of us reviewers. If the spot is free, your GC-code will have the lowest number and you have first rights to the spot. If the spot is not free, you will get a notice about this and you can find a new spot.


This just makes a mess [tull i rekkene], since you have found a spot withh coordinates that are not free.

This means you must find a new spot, and I send your request back

Please do not cross off that everything is ready, when that is not so. [...]

 

 

Any comments?
 

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1 hour ago, dubidubno said:

 

So I did this and submitted a "Coordinate Check" cache.

 

This is the reply I got from the reviewer (my attempt at translation from Norwegian):

 

This is absolutly the wrong way to do it...

 

When a cache is completly ready and ready for publication, only then should you submit the cache.

If you want a coordinate check, make a GC-code and send it to one of us reviewers. If the spot is free, your GC-code will have the lowest number and you have first rights to the spot. If the spot is not free, you will get a notice about this and you can find a new spot.


This just makes a mess [tull i rekkene], since you have found a spot withh coordinates that are not free.

This means you must find a new spot, and I send your request back

Please do not cross off that everything is ready, when that is not so. [...]

 

 

Any comments?
 

 

You should comply with what the reviewer requests.  The Help Center gives the general process, but reviewers may have certain ways to do things.  I also think that the Help Center article could be a little more specific on the steps.

 

 

Edited by kunarion
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4 hours ago, dubidubno said:

Any comments?

 

Two comments:

1. It would be nice if the reviewers could collectively agree on a single procedure for this so you don't run into issues like you just did.

2. That reviewer should be made aware that the Help Center advises to use this procedure, so they shouldn't be telling members that it's "absolutely the wrong way to do it". It's fine to tell the member that there's a different procedure that's preferred, but they shouldn't be saying it's wrong.

 

Unfortunately, there are two procedures and there are reviewers who prefer one or the other. The one that's recommended the most often is the one you tried, where you submit a listing for review with a statement that it's only for a coordinate check. The second procedure is what your reviewer responded with, where you create the listing and don't submit it, instead sending the GC code by message to a reviewer. The second procedure is more difficult for the hider, because they need to identify an active reviewer to send the message to, and there's the possibility that the reviewer they chose is on vacation or otherwise unavailable (whereas with the first procedure, any of the local reviewers can service the request).

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4 hours ago, kunarion said:

I also think that the Help Center article could be a little more specific on the steps.

 

  1. Create a cache page with a title like "Coordinate Check".
  2. Add locations as waypoints if you'd like the reviewer to check more than one location. This is similar to adding stages for a Multi-Cache.
  3. Add a Reviewer Note to make sure that the reviewer does not publish the cache page. For example, “Do not publish, this is a coordinate check."
  4. Submit your cache page for review and wait for your reviewer to reply.

 

I don’t see how this could be much more specific.  And I don’t understand why the OP’s reviewer should have had an issue with it.  Hey ho!

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19 hours ago, K13 said:

If your visiting the area damages the environment, maybe you ahould find another place for a cache.


The global environment. Reducing the number of trips reduces emissions.

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