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Alke04

Earthcache rules

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I wanted to ask. If the earthcache owner wants to complete a task that is in violation of the current rules, do I have to do these tasks or are they voluntary? E.g. that it is not a geological task?

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11 minutes ago, Alke04 said:

I wanted to ask. If the earthcache owner wants to complete a task that is in violation of the current rules, do I have to do these tasks or are they voluntary? E.g. that it is not a geological task?

Have you read the Earthcache guidelines?

 

Acceptable logging tasks

  • Questions that can only be answered by visiting the site.
  • Questions that allow geocachers to demonstrate what they have learned.
  • Open questions, like "what/why/how do you think...?"
  • Questions that ask geocachers to compare geological features. For example, “Compare the shale layer to the one above it? How does it compare in thickness/color/hardness? How do you think this difference has occurred?”
  • Asking geocachers to provide a photo of themselves or a personal item to prove they visited the site.  A personal item must be an option for those who do not want to photograph themselves.  This task is acceptable only as an addition to well-developed logging tasks, not as a substitution.

Tip: Tasks that require geocachers to take measurements are only accepted if they allow people to demonstrate what they have learned.

Unacceptable logging tasks

  • Questions that can be answered without visiting the site, such as stating an elevation reading.
  • Questions that assume prior knowledge of geology, such as "What type of rock is found here?"
  • Asking geocachers to research the topic online.
  • Asking geocachers to quote information from a sign.
  • Asking geocachers to take measurements that do not relate to the earth science lesson and only prove that they visited the site. For example, “Measure the height of the boulder.”

Important: Provide the answers to your logging tasks and how the finder can determine them, in a Reviewer Note on the cache page. Reviewer Notes are automatically deleted when a cache is published

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In 2012, there was a relatively major revamp of the Earthcache Guidelines that tended to require more focus on geologic aspects in the Description and Logging Requirements.  In general, Listings Published prior to that date were grandfathered, so you may still see a few Listings out there that have non geologic Logging Requirements (e.g. pick a word or date off a nearby sign, or things of that nature).

 

Around 2010, or so (I can't remember exactly), photo verification was discontinued.  Cache owners were advised to stop enforcing that sort of Logging Requirement, but photo verification has been recently reinstated as an acceptable Logging Requirement, provided that the other Logging Requirements are sufficiently focused on the geology.  Grandfathering those old Listings may muddy the waters for some of the older Listings, as cache owners are allowed to add the photo requirement back in without a re-Review of the Listing page.

 

In short, the guidance from HQ is if it's an old Listing, answer the questions to the best of your ability, play nice, and get along with everyone.

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2 hours ago, Alke04 said:

I wanted to ask. If the earthcache owner wants to complete a task that is in violation of the current rules, do I have to do these tasks or are they voluntary? E.g. that it is not a geological task?

No, you don't have to do the tasks listed in an EarthCache regardless of whether they violate the rules.

 

I rather think what you really mean to ask if whether you can claim a find on an EarthCache when you've refused to meet some of the requirements because they violate the current rules. I don't know if there's an official rule on this, but I would say, "no." If the EarthCache doesn't appear to be legal to you, then you're saying it shouldn't have been published in which case you wouldn't able to find it, and why would you want to? But as far as I'm concerned, it's up to you. If you think you adhered to the spirit of the EarthCache even though you don't want to meet some of the requirements, then log your find. I try to meet the requirements when I can and leave the question of whether the EarthCache should exist to someone else to decide.

 

I won't bother to address the question of what you should do if the ECO deletes your find log.

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I guess it would depend on when the EC was published. Rules have changed along the way and it would have meet the guidelines at the time it was published. So I would think you need to answer all the questions.  Without knowing the GC#, it's hard to determine. But if you think it's a problem, you can address it with the publishing EC reviewer.

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On 9/13/2019 at 9:48 PM, Alke04 said:

I wanted to ask. If the earthcache owner wants to complete a task that is in violation of the current rules, do I have to do these tasks or are they voluntary? E.g. that it is not a geological task?

 

The guidelines have changed at different points.  Logging questions that were OK to publish back in 2009 may not be publishable in 2019, but that doesn't necessarily mean that they get tossed out for older caches.  Not all of the changes have been retroactive.  I've tried to go back and make our questions better based on guideline changes, but not everyone has - and depending on the change, they may not be required to.

 

One change was retroactive: photos became optional around January 2011.  Many folks didn't change their caches to reflect this, and there were plenty of earthcaches that still claimed it was mandatory to post a photo (even though it wasn't).  My approach during this time was to take a photo, but point out to the cache owner that I was opting to do so since the guidelines had changed.  Some COs got the hint and updated their descriptions.  Others did not.  This all became overcome by events when mandatory photos were once again allowed earlier this year.

 

So while I can't give a definitive answer without knowing the specific cache or questions with which you take issue, I can for now propose you take the approach I took: satisfy the requirements as written to log a find, but perhaps point out to the CO that the questions be updated.  Or, skip it and go to an earthcache you enjoy more instead.

Edited by hzoi
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I'm frustrated that the guidelines keep changing. I stopped taking a proof of visit picture at Earth Caches, because they weren't required anymore. This is the first time that I became aware that they were reinstated. Was there an announcement made, perhaps in an email to all geocachers? How am I supposed to know what to do at Earth Caches if it keeps changing? I am behind on logging, and am trying to catch up. I hope that I don't get any EC finds denied because of this.

 

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54 minutes ago, Ambrosia said:

I'm frustrated that the guidelines keep changing. I stopped taking a proof of visit picture at Earth Caches, because they weren't required anymore. This is the first time that I became aware that they were reinstated. Was there an announcement made, perhaps in an email to all geocachers? How am I supposed to know what to do at Earth Caches if it keeps changing?

 

The guidelines and the help center articles were updated in June 2019.  I didn't see an announcement in the blog.  I don't recall if it went out in the newsletter.

 

56 minutes ago, Ambrosia said:

I am behind on logging, and am trying to catch up. I hope that I don't get any EC finds denied because of this.

 

I hope you don't see that, either.  Since the rule from, what, 2011 to 2019, I think, was that photos weren't required, I usually ignored it on older caches that hadn't been updated as well.

 

Hopefully earthcache owners will understand the potential for confusion given the rule changes and be flexible.

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Posted (edited)
11 hours ago, Ambrosia said:

How am I supposed to know what to do at Earth Caches if it keeps changing?

 

You are supposed to read the description and act accordingly. Cache owner is responsible to follow guidelines in the description.

Edited by arisoft

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