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CathyH

New! EarthCache Guideline Update

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3 hours ago, CathyH said:

Geocaching HQ, the Geological Society of America, and the EarthCache Reviewing Team have worked together to bring you a new update to the EarthCache Guidelines, for logging tasks.  We have updated the Help Center with this guidance too.

 

Effective immediately, photo requirements are permitted, but can only be included as an addition to well-developed logging tasks.  The standard for these is the same as with the new virtual reward caches, i.e. a personal item must be an option for those who do not want to photograph themselves.

 

The same high standards for EarthCache logging tasks still apply.  This task is acceptable only as an addition to well-developed logging tasks, not as a substitution.

 

This update should make it easier for cache owners to monitor the integrity of the logs on their EarthCaches.

 

 

 

Can this be retroactively added to already published Earthcaches? (In other words can I remove the word "optional" from all of my photo requirement logs on already owned and established Earth caches?)

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4 hours ago, STNolan said:

 

 

 

Can this be retroactively added to already published Earthcaches? (In other words can I remove the word "optional" from all of my photo requirement logs on already owned and established Earth caches?)

 

Yes, you can change your existing EarthCache listings to require a photo, following the guidance in the original post above.

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Hello Cathy, can owner ask for more photos than 1?

I.e. one on each stage of multi-stage Earthcache?

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Posted (edited)
21 hours ago, CathyH said:

 

Yes, you can change your existing EarthCache listings to require a photo, following the guidance in the original post above.

 

I am assuming a CO cannot delete or harass non-compliant logs dated PRIOR to this announcement.. where the qualifier was modified? There is a small contingent of EC owners who are just mean spirited enough to attempt such an action.

Edited by bflentje
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OK, it's a good direction, but what if a player has visited a place, let's say, a month ago and didn't have opportunity to prepare anwers yet? It's a high probability that even if he / she took a photo, it may not satisfy the new requirements.

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2 hours ago, dadoskawina said:

OK, it's a good direction, but what if a player has visited a place, let's say, a month ago and didn't have opportunity to prepare anwers yet? It's a high probability that even if he / she took a photo, it may not satisfy the new requirements.

 

This is good point. I think that owners should be reasonable enough and grant exceptions in the first weeks, or few months after additional photo requirement is added to the cache page. I will certainly add photo requirements to my Earthcache listings, but in case someone will claim he just visited my EC few days or weeks before - I would let such log in. No problem.

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I'm waiting for the return of the old LOGS WITHOUT PHOTO WILL BE DELETED!!!!!

Please don't do this people. It sounds so rude. Invite people to visit this location and ask them to upload a log, not threaten them.

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I really appreciate this change! I've had the problem of armchair loggers, that use database answers on my earthcaches.

I have already updated all my cache listings to the changed guidelines. Photos are a good way to see if people were onsite or not.

However, I will be reasonable with cachers in the next few weeks. The same as I've been with wrong answers as long as I have the impression that people were actually there.

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I see nothing rude or threatening to being required to prove I actually went to the location and met the requirements of an earthcache. I don't take offense nor I feel I am being promised to be assaulted in any fashion. I think you exaggerating. 

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10 minutes ago, alain4s said:

I see nothing rude or threatening to being required to prove I actually went to the location and met the requirements of an earthcache. I don't take offense nor I feel I am being promised to be assaulted in any fashion. I think you exaggerating. 

 

See a difference between:

 

Logging requirement:

a) take a photo of xyz

b) answer the following questions...

 

and

 

Logging requirements:

a) take a photo of xyz

b) answer the following questions....

LOGS WITHOUT PHOTO WILL BE DELETED!!!!!

 

Might be a regional thing, but I've seen this so often, and it's bloody annoying.

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25 minutes ago, terratin said:

I'm waiting for the return of the old LOGS WITHOUT PHOTO WILL BE DELETED!!!!!

Please don't do this people. It sounds so rude. Invite people to visit this location and ask them to upload a log, not threaten them.

 

I could do without any bold, red, and/or all caps threats to delete finds on any earthcache, really.  But yes, I'd prefer not to see this specifically for photos, either.

 

7 hours ago, dadoskawina said:

what if a player has visited a place, let's say, a month ago and didn't have opportunity to prepare anwers yet?

 

I'd say the CO should be reasonable and lenient about it, and stick to the requirements that the finder knew about.  (Which I would expect of any CO of any type of cache: reason and leniency.  It's not like there is money on the line.)

 

I have changed logging requirements for a handful of my earthcaches over the years.  Each time, I gave a heads up in an owner maintenance note that the requirements had changed but that I would accept the old answers for a while.  I recall it coming up maybe twice - my earthcaches aren't in high traffic areas like Köln or anything.  And it's becoming less of an issue with folks favoring phone over offline GPSr.

 

I have yet to go back and change any of our earthcaches to add a photo requirement.  I need to think about the caches for which it'd be apropos.  

 

7 hours ago, bflentje said:

I am assuming a CO cannot delete or harass non-compliant logs dated PRIOR to this announcement.. where the qualifier was modified? 

 

I'd also assume that the logs between the 2011 and 2019 guideline changes would be grandfathered as being legit at the time, and that appeals would restore any that got deleted just for this reason.

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Posted (edited)
27 minutes ago, alain4s said:

I see nothing rude or threatening to being required to prove I actually went to the location and met the requirements of an earthcache. I don't take offense nor I feel I am being promised to be assaulted in any fashion. I think you exaggerating. 

 

I'll bite.  Which of the following would you say is more welcoming?

 

Quote

To log this earthcache, message or email us and copy and paste these questions, along with your answers. Please do not post the answers in your log, even if encrypted. There's no need to wait for confirmation from us before you log, but we will email you back if you include your email address in the message. Group answers are fine; just let us know who was with you.

 

or

 

Quote

IN ORDER TO COMPLETE THESE LOGGING TASKS PLEASE SEND US YOUR ANSWERS USING THE Message this owner LINK AT THE TOP OF THIS PAGE OR USING THE MESSAGE CENTRE OR EMAIL VIA OUR GEOCACHING PROFILE BEFORE SUBMITTING YOUR LOG. PLEASE DO NOT INCLUDE ANSWERS OR SPOILERS IN YOUR ONLINE LOG. YOU CAN GO AHEAD AND LOG YOUR FIND AS SOON AS YOU HAVE SENT YOUR ANSWERS IN ACCORDANCE WITH Groundspeak GUIDELINES. LOGS WITHOUT ADEQUATE LOGGING TASK EVIDENCE MAY SUBSEQUENTLY BE DELETED.

 

Both of those are copied directly from earthcaches; only change was to remove links from both.

Edited by hzoi
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18 minutes ago, hzoi said:

 

I'll bite.  Which of the following would you say is more welcoming?

 

 

or

 

 

Both of those are copied directly from earthcaches; only change was to remove links from both.

 

this gentleman understands what I'm on about :cool:

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Posted (edited)

Both the black and red paragraphs don't make me fear for my safety, I don't feel insulted and I don't feel I am in any fashion not welcomed to go visit any of those earthcaches, learn and have fun. Neither is the equivalent of an insult ("You're a F&%& M?&*&?") nor of a threat ("I will harm you if..."). Now, realising she used too strong words, terratin admits she feels being asked a photographic proof in bold text is only an annoyance. That's all.

I understand that some cache owners feel the need to write their instructions in big bold red letters because some geocachers simply don't pay attention to the specific requirements of out of the ordinary geocaches otherwise. I see often the (unnecessary, in my opinion) reminder "Bring your own pen" in many descriptions. I see also "The geocache is not located at the published coordinates; you need to solve the puzzle first..." in big bold red letter in the descriptions of many mystery geocaches. I think all those reminders are unnecessary because I consider that if I decided to participate in a game, it's my responsibility as a player to learn the rules of the game first. But, that said, I don't consider those reminders rude or unwelcoming. They don't spoil my fun.

Edited by alain4s

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16 minutes ago, alain4s said:

I see also "The geocache is not located at the published coordinates; you need to solve the puzzle first..." in big bold red letter in the descriptions of many mystery geocaches. I think all those reminders are unnecessary because I consider that if I decided to participate in a game, it's my responsibility as a player to learn the rules of the game first. But, that said, I don't consider those reminders rude or unwelcoming. They don't spoil my fun.

 

Oh, that shouldn't be necessary, no; I agree.

 

But I've clearly had a couple of people go to published coords and claim they couldn't find the cache. It's obvious they don't understand the way multis or mystery caches sometimes work. So I can live with having that on cache descriptions. Those of us who know can zip past it; if it helps one person understand the game better then it's fine by me - it's a line of text.

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7. The EarthCache text and logging tasks must be submitted in the local language.

should better sound 7. The EarthCache text and logging tasks must be submitted in the local language and english

I've seen EarthCaches only in german or only in dutch which were impossible to answer for non native geocachers

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19 minutes ago, masito said:

7. The EarthCache text and logging tasks must be submitted in the local language.

should better sound 7. The EarthCache text and logging tasks must be submitted in the local language and english

I've seen EarthCaches only in german or only in dutch which were impossible to answer for non native geocachers

 

Adding English doesn't make it any easier for someone who only speaks, say, Spanish.

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21 minutes ago, masito said:

7. The EarthCache text and logging tasks must be submitted in the local language.

should better sound 7. The EarthCache text and logging tasks must be submitted in the local language and english

I've seen EarthCaches only in german or only in dutch which were impossible to answer for non native geocachers

I know that EC Reviewers can require a translation if it is necessary to complete the Review process, but to expect a CO to accommodate every non native speaker sounds like a ridiculously high bar to reach. 

 

The other her side of that argument is that the CO cannot require answers to LR’s in any specific language. Faced with such a hurdle as a Finder, I would merely google translate to the best of my ability and answer the questions in English. So there!

 

Back on topic. I’m looking forward to the all cap threats of deletion in a rainbow hue  of colors ;)

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7 hours ago, hzoi said:

I'll bite.  Which of the following would you say is more welcoming?

...

Both of those are copied directly from earthcaches; only change was to remove links from both. 

Neither of them is rude or threatening or unwelcoming. The second one expresses the requirements and consequences more precisely, but one hopes the ECO of the first one enforces the rules, too, even if he doesn't spell that out. I suppose you could consider it rude to use red and all caps, but I see it more as just over the top.

 

I like the calmer one better, and I'd encourage ECOs to follow that standard, but I see no reason to promulgate the notion that using red and all caps and clearly emphasizing the requirements and what happens if you don't follow them makes that approach "unwelcoming". If you gotta post a picture, you have to post a picture, so I can't really complain if the ECO feels a need to emphasize that.

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17 hours ago, bflentje said:

 

I am assuming a CO cannot delete or harass non-compliant logs dated PRIOR to this announcement.. where the qualifier was modified? There is a small contingent of EC owners who are just mean spirited enough to attempt such an action.

 

  • If you add a photo requirement to an existing EarthCache, it is completely unfair to require a photo retroactively.  Logs posted before the change should be grandfathered. 
  • No doubt there will be people who find an EarthCache before the addition of a photo requirement, but don't log it online until afterward.  When the EarthCache was actually found can't be proved one way or the other, so all I can say is Be Nice during that transition period if you add a photo requirement to an existing EarthCache.  Step back, take a deep cleansing breath, and remember that you created your EarthCache to show people an impressive geological feature, not to micromanage their behavior.  There is no perfect solution to this.
  • Regarding screaming bold red capital letter fonts on EarthCache logging tasks: They may not look as friendly as logging tasks in a regular font, but I understand why cache owners do it.  Many of them started as regular fonts and gradually got bolder and screaming bright in response to finder after finder not reading the logging tasks.  It's natural to make something more prominent if it is important and not being seen.  If it bothers you, "vote with your feet" and bypass an EarthCache if the cache page hurts your eyes. :blink:
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1 hour ago, CathyH said:

Many of them started as regular fonts and gradually got bolder and screaming bright in response to finder after finder not reading the logging tasks.

Well...They think finders aren't reading the logging tasks, but the finders are just ignoring the requirements and hoping the CO doesn't do anything. That's part of the reason red/cap comes off looking bad: while technically ECOs are just stating requirements and consequences, unconsciously they're yelling at the past finders who ignored the requirements.

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14 hours ago, dprovan said:

one hopes the ECO of the first one enforces the rules, too, even if he doesn't spell that out.

 

He does.  (I do.)  I save the rule enforcement for one-on-one communication.

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If I could edit my signature block  - hey, by the way, why can't I edit my signature block? - I'd be adding this.

 

16 hours ago, CathyH said:

Step back, take a deep cleansing breath, and remember that you created your EarthCache to show people an impressive geological feature, not to micromanage their behavior. 

 

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27 minutes ago, hzoi said:

If I could edit my signature block  - hey, by the way, why can't I edit my signature block? - I'd be adding this.

 

16 hours ago, CathyH said:

Step back, take a deep cleansing breath, and remember that you created your EarthCache to show people an impressive geological feature, not to micromanage their behavior. 

That's good advice. BUT STILL, it's not micromanaging to spell out requirements and consequences explicitly, even in red caps. That's what I'm finding a little off about this conversation. Labeling as "unwelcoming" the act of emphasizing what needs to be done and adding "or else", it sounds like ECOs should welcome people that don't intend to following the rules. Maybe "unfriendly" would be the better term.

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there will always be people who go nuts and micormanage everything.  I know a few earthaches that people avoid because of that.  In the end HQ will not micromanage everything because  people will find another way to micromanage something.  

Just cache, do your thing, see something new and hope you learn something new. 

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The other option, and in my opinion the better option, is to merely provide a link to the Help Center article that expresses the expectation in a clear, non-micromanaging , welcoming way:

 

https://www.geocaching.com/help/index.php?pg=kb.chapter&id=107&pgid=688

 

I have no real issue with the all cap, bolded text in bright festive colors approach, but a flashing scrolling marquee would definitely cross the line for me. 

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On 6/14/2019 at 4:10 AM, Touchstone said:

but a flashing scrolling marquee 

Excellent suggestion, I will get right on it... :)

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Or, is the scrolling marquee html now sanitized out of the allowed HTML?  *afraid to check*

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1 hour ago, thebruce0 said:

Or, is the scrolling marquee html now sanitized out of the allowed HTML?  *afraid to check*

 

Oddly, despite being depreciated for years and years, it's still there.

 

An alternative would be a Flash banner... 😱

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13 minutes ago, Blue Square Thing said:

An alternative would be a Flash banner... 😱

 

That is absolutely sanitized out of the allowed description HTML! (thank goodness!)

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6 minutes ago, thebruce0 said:

 

That is absolutely sanitized out of the allowed description HTML! (thank goodness!)

 

But...

 

sendanswers.gif.968f97bbf3f5f314eaac4a1e0d140163.gif

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Can't stop someone making a huge annoying animated GIF!  Just no embedded Flash plz!

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The beauty of an animated gif is you can embed subliminal messages in there that just flash up for a split second... hehe

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On 6/12/2019 at 11:12 AM, Blue Square Thing said:

 

Adding English doesn't make it any easier for someone who only speaks, say, Spanish.

 

I am glad that at least my caching app has a "translate" button built right in to change a listing in say Spanish into "google translate" style English.  Its usually close enough.

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9 hours ago, PathfinderMark said:

 

I am glad that at least my caching app has a "translate" button built right in to change a listing in say Spanish into "google translate" style English.  Its usually close enough.

 

Yep, usually close enough, and the rest of the time it's hilarious gibberish!

 

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12 hours ago, funkymunkyzone said:

 

Yep, usually close enough, and the rest of the time it's hilarious gibberish!

 

 

My favourite was for a cache in Spain, “on the path of the killer donkeys”.  We were very careful...

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10 hours ago, IceColdUK said:

 

My favourite was for a cache in Spain, “on the path of the killer donkeys”.  We were very careful...

 

Well that just takes the cake.  Killer donkeys is definitely a biology topic, NOT geology!!!

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1 hour ago, funkymunkyzone said:

Well that just takes the cake. 

Or maybe that takes the fair path of stealing killer donkey pastry...

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I think photos should be required for certain locations but not others. Example, if you have logging tasks that are hard to be armchaired then photos shouldnt be required but ones that can be googled should be required. Its up to the CO but im glad to see a change in the EC guidelines :)

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