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spiritwolf922

Multiple types of earthcaches?

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I'm looking at the possibility of wanting to create an earthcache at a well-known cave.  It's a tourist attraction, so the place is manned by rangers and staff; it's not just some hole in the ground in the middle of nowhere.  Presuming that when I contact the managers at this location, that I obtain permission to 'place' an earthcache here, can anyone tell me if it's 'allowable' to set up more than one earthcache at a single location?  I'm asking because there are potentials to do an earthcache based on the geologic makeup of the place; significance of the same place as a mineral source for gunpowder at one time; the types of formations within the cave; the river system at the same location, etc., etc.  I'm in the beginning stages of research for ideas for this area, but I can see where there might be potential to set up a 'cluster' of earthcaches because the subject matter available here could be overwhelming for a single earthcache.  (It would be very, very long.)

 

I recently visited and logged a small cluster of earthcaches, and while they were related, they weren't all on top of one another - though they were within an easy walking distance.  I really enjoyed the opportunity to check out these natural phenomena, especially since it allowed me to log multiple types of earthcaches within a small area:  cave, river, bedrock, etc.  In looking at the area I'm considering, there's potential for so many earthcache-type lessons, so I'd like to maximize the potential for smileys.

 

Is this me being overexcited and ridiculous, or...?

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The Help Center page Limiting some EarthCache types lists several types that are now limited. Also, the Help Center page Create an EarthCache warns that EarthCaches that are near each other must provide distinctive lessons, and suggests that it may be better to combine the lessons into one EarthCache.

 

 

As a practical matter, it might be a good idea to start out publishing one EarthCache, just to get a feel for what it's like to own and maintain one. Then, once you've got a feel for it, go ahead and publish others with different lessons.

 

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18 minutes ago, niraD said:

The Help Center page Limiting some EarthCache types lists several types that are now limited. Also, the Help Center page Create an EarthCache warns that EarthCaches that are near each other must provide distinctive lessons, and suggests that it may be better to combine the lessons into one EarthCache.

 

I've been reading the FAQs on both geocaching.com and the links provided to the Geological Society of America and I've found that to be helpful.  Right now, I'm just doing general research on the various topics to see what might be feasible as lessons.  I still have to revisit the actual cave site to see if the lessons are still applicable.  (One has historical significance, but that alone is not acceptable for an earthcache, according to the rules.  I can still turn it into an earthcache - I think - but only if I can show the geologic value.)

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Ive seen it before... I own a couple in a Conservation area with about 10 in it already. As long as they are different it should be fine

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I hate to give a lawyer answer, but "it depends."  I was originally going to do one earthcache at Fort Jefferson, but what I had in mind ended up splitting out into two different earthcaches.  And then two more have since been published.  The key is to make sure they don't overlap with each other, and that there aren't similar earthcaches nearby.

 

There are other potential factors that could limit earthcaches here.  Is there an admission fee to the cave?  Is there any way to integrate GPS besides just taking visitors to the cave entrance or parking coordinates?

 

Ultimately, the best person to answer your questions on what can or can't be published will be the earthcache reviewer for the area in question.  That said, posting in this forum is a great way to vet out issues so you can develop your plan and ask your reviewer better questions.  Once you think you've gotten enough feedback here, you might want to email him or her with some general proposals before you spend hours writing up earthcaches.  If the cave is in the USA, then this handy map will let you know which reviewer to contact.

 

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(disclaimer, I cover the purple areas in my role as a geoaware)

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1 hour ago, hzoi said:

The key is to make sure they don't overlap with each other, and that there aren't similar earthcaches nearby.

 

There are other potential factors that could limit earthcaches here.  Is there an admission fee to the cave?  Is there any way to integrate GPS besides just taking visitors to the cave entrance or parking coordinates?

 

There are no earthcaches nearby.  I'm not sure why this location hasn't been the subject of one before now.  It's a pretty obvious place to set one up.  That said, I plan to visit it over the weekend to see if I can speak with the staff/rangers about obtaining information to create an earthcache.

 

Yes, there is an admission fee, however, the entryway of the cave - probably 50-75 feet? - is accessible for free; it's the waiting area for the tour into the fenced-off area.  This is why I want to visit the location to see what lessons can be done just from this area, but I would include descriptions of the formations on the inside of the caves.  I'm also planning on taking a tour of the cave so I can get my own photos of formations to be used in the description as visual examples so that visitors do not HAVE to go into the cave.

 

I want to make this earthcache easy enough that a child could do it, so I'm writing it with terminology but with simple definitions.  I'm hoping that this will make it more 'publishable'.

 

Thoughts?

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PS, just to clarify, since earthcaches are geology-based, it is not necessary to include chemical reaction equations in descriptions even if they're present, right?

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22 hours ago, spiritwolf922 said:

I plan to visit it over the weekend to see if I can speak with the staff/rangers about obtaining information to create an earthcache.

 

Awesome.  Having staff on board is always helpful.

 

22 hours ago, spiritwolf922 said:

Yes, there is an admission fee, however, the entryway of the cave - probably 50-75 feet? - is accessible for free; it's the waiting area for the tour into the fenced-off area.  This is why I want to visit the location to see what lessons can be done just from this area, but I would include descriptions of the formations on the inside of the caves.

 

A fee isn't necessarily a show stopper, but it makes a difference how much it is ($10 or under is normally reasonable) and whether it's paid to a commercial cave company or a town/county/state/national park fee.

 

If part of the cave is available at no cost, and the rangers are OK with having an earthcache there, that's certainly helpful.  But at the end of the day, a geocacher should be completing an earthcache with what they can observe.  So if they're only going to get a good lesson by going into the cave, then set it up that they have to go in.  Cachers will vote with their feet on whether they want to pay the fee or not.

 

22 hours ago, spiritwolf922 said:

I want to make this earthcache easy enough that a child could do it, so I'm writing it with terminology but with simple definitions.  I'm hoping that this will make it more 'publishable'.

 

Not all geoawares are geologists, so yeah - not only does this make the cache accessible to more cachers, it can also be helpful on the front end as well.  :laughing:

 

22 hours ago, spiritwolf922 said:

PS, just to clarify, since earthcaches are geology-based, it is not necessary to include chemical reaction equations in descriptions even if they're present, right?

 

I mean, you can, if you want.  That might take away from your earlier point about making it accessible.  Maybe include that in a link for those who are interested in more reading.

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On 7/10/2019 at 11:09 AM, spiritwolf922 said:

PS, just to clarify, since earthcaches are geology-based, it is not necessary to include chemical reaction equations in descriptions even if they're present, right?

 

Some of the information plaques inside caverns have the chemical reaction information that was critical in forming the cavern. Why would this not be part of a geology lesson?  Without that chemical reaction, there would be no cave.

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Posted (edited)

One catch with a fee, is it a government run, charity,  or a for profit business.  The latter can pose a problem if it is a fee, as it is purely commercial.

Edited by BlueRajah
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On 7/17/2019 at 5:19 PM, BlueRajah said:

One catch with a fee, is it a government run, charity,  or a for profit business.  The latter can pose a problem if it is a fee as it is purely commercial.

 

Should it really matter?

 

I don't know about your area, but we don't have any government run or charity run petrol stations and that's the biggest expense while geocaching!

 

If there's an amazing spot with a really cool potential earthcache lesson, why exclude it just because it might be private property with an entrance fee?  If you don't want to pay then don't pay and don't do the earthcache - it's really that simple.

 

To any one individual, there is absolutely no difference* between an earthcache not existing at all, and an earthcache existing but they refuse to visit it - just that with the former option nobody at all gets to enjoy it.

*except for petty jealousy of others visiting it and enjoying it.

 

Why can't we just accept that a whole heap of businesses profit from the sport of geocaching, and get on with having fun going out and finding the caches we choose to find!

 

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6 hours ago, funkymunkyzone said:

Why can't we just accept that a whole heap of businesses profit from the sport of geocaching, and get on with having fun going out and finding the caches we choose to find!

 

Because, if that business wishes to profit from the free advertising provided by Geocaching.com to drive visitors to their enterprise, they can pay for advertising.  Just ask the smart organizations that have set up official GeoTours or partnered on special Trackable promotions.  If anyone can "get it for free," what's the incentive to pay for those things?  None. 

 

Like it or not, Groundspeak is a business and a smart online business doesn't give away valuable web impressions for free.

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On 7/22/2019 at 4:29 PM, Keystone said:

 

Because, if that business wishes to profit from the free advertising provided by Geocaching.com to drive visitors to their enterprise, they can pay for advertising.  Just ask the smart organizations that have set up official GeoTours or partnered on special Trackable promotions.  If anyone can "get it for free," what's the incentive to pay for those things?  None. 

 

Like it or not, Groundspeak is a business and a smart online business doesn't give away valuable web impressions for free.

 

OK.

 

1. You've misunderstood the point I was making.  Good luck getting petrol companies etc to pay Groundspeak for the fact that geocaching makes us all go out and buy petrol.

 

2. Never said anything about web impressions or links to businesses.

 

3. We are not talking about advertising.  We are talking about visiting caches in touristic spots that happen to have an entry fee... Like the top of the Empire State Building for example...

 

Incidentally, if you're a fan of geocaching youtubers then you'll be well aware that there are many caches around the world, particularly in Germany it would seem, that take cachers to businesses, inside businesses, etc, all apparently ok.

 

 

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18 minutes ago, funkymunkyzone said:

Your link doesn't have anything at all about paying to enter a touristic location to find a cache.

Sure it does. In the "Not okay" list, it includes "Suggestions or requirements to enter a business, interact with employees, or buy a product or service."

 

If the cache location requires you to "enter a business, interact with employees, or buy a product or service", then it is not okay. So if the "touristic location" is a business, then the cache cannot require you to enter it.

 

On the other hand, if the "touristic location" is not a business (for example, a public park or open space), then that's okay, even if the "touristic location" charges an entrance fee or parking fee.

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Posted (edited)
21 minutes ago, niraD said:

Sure it does. In the "Not okay" list, it includes "Suggestions or requirements to enter a business, interact with employees, or buy a product or service."

 

If the cache location requires you to "enter a business, interact with employees, or buy a product or service", then it is not okay. So if the "touristic location" is a business, then the cache cannot require you to enter it.

 

On the other hand, if the "touristic location" is not a business (for example, a public park or open space), then that's okay, even if the "touristic location" charges an entrance fee or parking fee.

 

Interesting.... Hmmm, look at all those virtuals and earthcaches in Disneyland... 😆

 

Edit to add:  Incidentally, "Suggestions or requirements to enter a business, interact with employees, or buy a product or service", if it applies as you suggest to cover paying for entrance to a touristic spot, does not make any distinction between paying for entrance to a site run by a commercial business or a government/non-profit - it simply says it's not okay to have to buy a product or service (from anyone).  Note that "if a, b, or c" means any of those independently, not "if a and c".

 

Edited by funkymunkyzone

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23 minutes ago, funkymunkyzone said:

Interesting.... Hmmm, look at all those virtuals and earthcaches in Disneyland... 😆

How many caches at Disneyland have been listed recently?

 

The guidelines (and the current interpretations of the guidelines) have changed over the years. Tighter enforcement of the restrictions on commercial geocaches is just one of the areas that have changed.

 

As the guidelines say: "There are no precedents for placing geocaches. Past publication of a similar geocache is not justification for publication of a new geocache. If a geocache was published that you feel violated the guidelines, you may report it. However, the existing geocache may have been placed prior to a guideline change, and may be grandfathered."

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4 minutes ago, niraD said:

How many caches at Disneyland have been listed recently?

 

The guidelines (and the current interpretations of the guidelines) have changed over the years. Tighter enforcement of the restrictions on commercial geocaches is just one of the areas that have changed.

 

As the guidelines say: "There are no precedents for placing geocaches. Past publication of a similar geocache is not justification for publication of a new geocache. If a geocache was published that you feel violated the guidelines, you may report it. However, the existing geocache may have been placed prior to a guideline change, and may be grandfathered."

 

2017.  The anti-commercial guidelines have been there as long as I can remember.  And I highly doubt grandfathering and no precedents applies to geocaching.com giving away free advertising or giving away "valuable web impressions for free" as Keystone put it.  Because that would not be what a "smart online business" would do.

 

All of this is quite OTT anyway, not to mention veering wildly off topic...  I just don't see the issue with paying a reasonable fee to enter a touristic spot that a/ many people would enter anyway, and b/ people can choose not to enter.

 

(And I don't have any such cache I'm trying to get published or bitter about not being published, if that's what you're thinking.)

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2 hours ago, funkymunkyzone said:

We are not talking about advertising.  We are talking about visiting caches in touristic spots that happen to have an entry fee... Like the top of the Empire State Building for example..

Thanks for confirming that we are talking about the same thing.

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15 hours ago, funkymunkyzone said:

 

2017.  The anti-commercial guidelines have been there as long as I can remember.  And I highly doubt grandfathering and no precedents applies to geocaching.com giving away free advertising or giving away "valuable web impressions for free" as Keystone put it.  Because that would not be what a "smart online business" would do.

 

All of this is quite OTT anyway, not to mention veering wildly off topic...  I just don't see the issue with paying a reasonable fee to enter a touristic spot that a/ many people would enter anyway, and b/ people can choose not to enter.

 

(And I don't have any such cache I'm trying to get published or bitter about not being published, if that's what you're thinking.)

The introduction of the Commercial portion of the Guidelines dates back to 2002.  Back then, the guidance read as follows:

 

Quote

Commercial Caches

What is a commercial cache? A commercial use of the web site cache reporting tool is an direct or indirect (either intentional or non-intentional) attempt to solicit customers through a geocaching.com listing. Examples include for-profit locations that require an entrance fee, or locations that sell products or services.

Some exceptions can be made for certain cache types (e.g. locationless) In these situations, permission can be given by the geocaching.com web site. However, permission should be asked first before posting. If you are in doubt, ask first.

Commercial by this definition is not restricted to monetary solicitations. Caches posted for religious, political, or social agendas will not be posted either.

In the Off Limits portion of the same version, there is also mention of various means of granting exceptions to various portion of the Guidelines.  For example, back then, there might be exceptions granted for the Proximity portion of the Guidelines, which you rarely if ever see nowadays.

 

Then, like now, the usual approach is to describe the situation in a Note to the local Reviewer, who may or may not agree.  Failing that approach, Appeals can be reached through the Contact section of the Help Center for a final ruling.

 

Success may hinge on your abilities of persuasion and the merits of your argument (e.g. things like "because I said so" are rarely successful).  It really depends on how strongly you feel about the subject, and judging from your posts, it sounds like you are fairly passionate about commercial locations.

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On 7/22/2019 at 7:29 AM, Keystone said:

Like it or not, Groundspeak is a business and a smart online business doesn't give away valuable web impressions for free. 

 

Google does!

 

The problem with Groudspeak is that the advertising value of an average cache description is negligible. This is also quite hypocritical because we can see caches and events made inside business. The entrance fee is not playing a factor in this equation. It would be logical to ban all business related caches or have price tag for any business related caches. The latter would be the smartest move for this online business.

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For caves (and other types of EarthCaches) it might be a good idea to not think in terms of 'I want to place an EC at this cave' but in terms of 'This cave has a very interesting xyz'. Where xyz could be a specific form of erosion, specific minerals, something in an unusual colour related to the rocks, specific something else. I guess this is the most difficult part when it comes to placing EarthCaches as the potential placer needs to notice this, be willing to read up on it and make a short, easy to understand sumary for the description. I'm writing this as ECs are about phenomena and not locations. A cave is a combination of many phenomena, some more interesting than others, and hardly ever very specific. For other places, such a general EC might be fine of course. It always depends on what we're dealing with and what's already available nearby.

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