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Release Notes (Website: Hide a geocache page) - December 3, 2020

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We have been working on several updates and improvements to the Hide a geocache page.
 
There are several goals we wanted to achieve with the improvements we are making to the page. Given reviewer and player feedback on the cache hiding process we hope to:
 

  • Improve the messaging and links on the page to increase understanding of the hiding rules. 
  • Increase awareness of quality cache hiding.
  • Meet the needs of players and hiders who are in different phases of their hiding journey. For this page, the three groups we focused on, to start with, are players with existing hides, players with no hides and 20+ finds, and players with no hides and 0-19 finds.
  • Encourage players with less than 20 finds to find more caches before hiding their first cache.

 

What’s new:

  1. All previous functionality remains. We have updated the design and formatting to improve page content and usability. 
  2. The “smart” video that displays for players is no longer a header banner. This was confusing for players and we have moved it to a standalone video element. If a geocacher is new to hiding caches, it will display the beginner Hiding a Geocache video. If they have previously hidden caches, it will display the video for Making a Favorite point-worthy geocache.
  3. There is now a “smart” welcome banner. Players who have found more than 20 geocaches will see buttons to begin new geocache or Event Cache listings right at the top of the page. Players who have less than 20 finds will be encouraged to find more geocaches, while still being able to learn about cache hiding and start new listings lower on the page. 
  4. We have expanded the instructions for how to hide a cache from three steps to eight. New steps are in bold:
    1. Find geocaches to get inspired
    2. Read the guidelines
    3. Take the hider quiz
    4. Pick a unique location and get accurate coordinates [Previously Hide your cache] 
    5. Prepare a quality container [Previously Hide your cache] 
    6. Create your cache page and submit for review [Previously Submit your cache for review].
    7. Communicate with your reviewer
    8. Maintain your geocache
  5. We have included more links to content that geocachers have told us they want easy access to when planning a hide.
  6. We have added a direct link to the planning map.
  7. We have added links to inspirational hiding resources.
  8. Links to Shop Geocaching hiding-related merchandise and international distributors.

 

 

Example of an updated page for players with hides:


HAC-8steps-desktop-final-with-HIDES.png

 

 

Example of an updated page for players with no hides, and 20+ finds:

 

JDYE31oH44m8l4aMaSYHSHeY6m1DssjyOXXS-0dg

 

 

Example of an updated page for players with no hides, and fewer than 20 finds:

 

Kwo0AXqPDJtOvKnREdKv3vgylo40-pJrZTN6FdYX

 

 

Erin (Oceansazul) is watching this thread to answer questions whenever possible.

 

Any posts in this thread should relate to features in this release. Comments unrelated to the release may be removed. Please direct unrelated comments to other appropriate threads. Thanks!

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4 hours ago, brendan714 said:

Has HQ ever considered offering a tool to help geocachers get accurate coordinates for their cache hides?  That would be my #1 complaint on hides from new users - bad coordinates. 

Perhaps suggesting a phone app or adding a tool on the existing Geocaching app to help with coordinate averaging?

"Place your phone down beside the cache, don't touch it while I'm taking measurements, and I will let you know when I have accurate coordinates for your geocache!"

 

This would be great! My location on my phone is pretty rubbish, so I have to stay still for about 20 seconds when getting coordinates. There are already coordinate averaging apps, but it would be nice to see this in the geocaching app or a separate app just for hiding caches. I wish we could publish Geocaches through our phones. It would be a lot easier as we could just use your idea of getting coordinates through a tool, and being able to submit new caches through an app, instead of having to use the website. However, I can cope without this feature. :cool:The new update on the website looks great! :)  

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5 hours ago, Geocaching HQ said:

We have been working on several updates and improvements to the Hide a geocache page.
 

 

Maybe something to look at in the next round of improvements is the cache type selection page:

 

image.png.a8ce0d8b7a2e466e288a3326912e60b6.png

 

Given that there's heaps of room on this page, why are only traditionals and multis shown with an extra step via a link in fine print to show the other types? Especially when mysteries are more common than multis.

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Looking at the first example (granted, for experienced hiders), it doesn't seem to say when to actually place the cache out in the field.  It mentions preparing a container, which is close, and that button in approximately the right spot, with roughly the words you're looking for ("Hide a cache") likely refers to registering a hide, not actually placing your container in the field - because the internet can't do that for you.

 

There's space there, in Step 5.  You just need one more sentence.  :)  Go hide it.

 

And lordy, physically hiding a cache definitely needs to be done before electronically "Hide a cache", or at least the last step, Submit.

 

PS, the next step after clicking "Hide a cache" may well be a nag about dealing with disabled but unpublished caches.  Nothing new here, but Is that really necessary?

 

Edited by Viajero Perdido
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At which point in the new instructions does the prospective CO find out whether the location they’ve picked (step 4) is actually available? That is, when do they get a permission (if applicable) and when do they get told by reviewers whether another cache is too close? If I used ”quality containers” for my caches, I’d want to know the spot is ok before preparing one.

 

We have a local practice for that (submit cache page with a specific name and if the location is free it’s reserved for your cache for enough time to flesh out the cache page and prep and hide the container), but of course that isn’t mentioned anywhere on GS’s cache hiding instructions. I don’t know what everyone else does (and this isn’t the thread for that), but wouldn’t it be a good idea to have at least something in the instructions? Or better yet, figure out a standardized way to ensure a location is available, which would enable the instructions to be clear on it too.

 

 

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6 minutes ago, mustakorppi said:

At which point in the new instructions does the prospective CO find out whether the location they’ve picked (step 4) is actually available?

 

The very first item the new hider encounters on the updated cache hiding instructions is a link to the Help Center:

 

image.png.30c7d785a25cc4af7d1775434785d4d2.png

 

Click on that link, and the reader is taken to the detailed cache hiding instructions in the Help Center.  The very first "chapter" is called "Follow the Guidelines."  Click on that link, and the second topic covered is entitled "Check for minimum distance:"

 

image.png.69d3f97abb7b4256da41dfd12f2e5f07.png

 

If the reader follows the link to the "Check for minimum distance" article, they will see these detailed instructions:

 

image.png.9351be6d0d5fc6a0c4a14b8cbf3b4afb.png

So, the instructions are there, and they are linked pretty prominently.  I hope that this step-by-step guide is helpful to you.

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26 minutes ago, Keystone said:

I hope that this step-by-step guide is helpful to you.

I’ll retract the part of my comment about having this somewhere in the instructions. However, you just described following two generic sounding links in a row to find a link describing the solution to a problem that a person with 20 finds probably doesn’t even know exists. Are you really sure being snarky about it is warranted?

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No snark is intended on my end.  I posted a factual, step-by-step guide to answer your question.  And, I truly do wish that it is helpful to you and others who read it.  There is a wealth of information in the Help Center and behind the other links on the redesigned cache hiding instructions.  Not every single issue can be highlighted on a single page - not even the main Guidelines page.  Otherwise, you would have one long page that nobody reads.  This was a criticism of prior versions of the Guidelines and instructions.

 

Most hiders, including new hiders, don't run into a cache saturation issue.  They are able to hide their first cache without knowing about the option to check coordinates in advance of hiding their cache.  The coordinate check protocol is a good "advanced feature" that is best suited, and most often used by, experienced hiders.  When a new hider stumbles onto a saturation issue, I link them to the detailed guidance.

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5 hours ago, mustakorppi said:

At which point in the new instructions does the prospective CO find out whether the location they’ve picked (step 4) is actually available? That is, when do they get a permission (if applicable) and when do they get told by reviewers whether another cache is too close? If I used ”quality containers” for my caches, I’d want to know the spot is ok before preparing one.

 

 

If they got permission they have already figured out step 2 which explains the saturation.

 

I like this change because there is no excessive white space. Good job!

Edited by arisoft

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I know I complain a lot about the changes you make to the site, but this actually looks good! Thank you.

 

One little beef as someone that likes quality above quantity the header

 

Quote

Welcome, technetium.

Thanks for hiding 56 caches in the community.

 

Was a little icky for me. Although it's nice to have one's work appreciated, it gives me the impression hiding more caches is better. What about:

 

Quote

Welcome, technetium.

Thanks for creating a cache that received 100% favourites.

Please keep creating high quality caches.

 

Tc

Edited by technetium
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On 12/5/2020 at 6:12 AM, technetium said:

I know I complain a lot about the changes you make to the site, but this actually looks good! Thank you.

 

One little beef as someone that likes quality above quantity the header

 

 

Was a little icky for me. Although it's nice to have one's work appreciated, it gives me the impression hiding more caches is better. What about:

 

 

Tc

 

I don't have a problem with that.  I think there's enough "quality over quantity" messaging.  In fact it has been everything that has ever been drummed into us, including outright exclusion of high number hiders from things like the virtual rewards, even if those high number hiders put out high quality caches.

 

This is a harmless gesture of thanks to those who keep the game running.  You should check out the "rule of 80/20" - it applies to geocaching too. :)

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I get the page for people with hides and I  hate the patronising garbage at the top.  Delete everything from "Welcome ..." to just above the hide buttons.  Move the left hand side up beside the little video box,so the hide buttons are right at the top.

 

It would be nice to have a drop-down selection for cache type, instead of the two step process.   Include virtual reward and Adventure Lab for those who have the right to create them, omit them for those who don't. 

 

The rest of the page is sort-of-OK, but I'm not really enamoured of the layout.  Would be nicer to have bullet points, expandable on request, or links to help pages

Edited by Gill & Tony
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17 hours ago, Gill & Tony said:

I get the page for people with hides and I  hate the patronising garbage at the top.  Delete everything from "Welcome ..." to just above the hide buttons.  Move the left hand side up beside the little video box,so the hide buttons are right at the top.

 

Yes, that big bolded text at the top is a bit overwhelming and in-your-face. The first time I opened the page I thought I was being shouted at.

 

image.png.c288fd68d2a23ca55d862e6423f6d10a.png

 

The other thing that bothers me a little is the emphasis on favourite-point worthy both in the text and the video on the right. No matter how cool or whiz-bang the caches are, still only one in ten of the caches I find can ever be favourite-point worthy. It's a bit like wanting schools to get more of their students into the top decile.

Edited by barefootjeff
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8 hours ago, barefootjeff said:

The first time I opened the page I thought I was being shouted at.

I opened it today without having seen this post - I thought I'd won something!

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9 hours ago, barefootjeff said:

Yes, that big bolded text at the top is a bit overwhelming and in-your-face. The first time I opened the page I thought I was being shouted at.

 

Absolutely.  It's just so in your face!

 

9 hours ago, barefootjeff said:

The other thing that bothers me a little is the emphasis on favourite-point worthy both in the text and the video on the right. No matter how cool or whiz-bang the caches are, still only one in ten of the caches I find can ever be favourite-point worthy. It's a bit like wanting schools to get more of their students into the top decile.

 

No problem with this.  Of course all caches can't be in the top 10%, but nothing wrong with encouraging COs to aim high.

 

To add: wouldn't it be great if every cache was 'favourite-point worthy'?  It would be a shame not to be able to award a point to them all, but surely better than struggling to find a cache worthy of one.

 

Edited by IceColdUK
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21 minutes ago, IceColdUK said:

No problem with this.  Of course all caches can't be in the top 10%, but nothing wrong with encouraging COs to aim high.

 

To add: wouldn't it be great if every cache was 'favourite-point worthy'?  It would be a shame not to be able to award a point to them all, but surely better than struggling to find a cache worthy of one.

 

For me, when I'm placing a cache it's the location that comes first, somewhere interesting I've found that I'd like to bring other cachers to. What I put there is then largely defined by that, for example my most recent cache is at a waterfall and is all about the waterfall, so I didn't want a whizz-bang container to distract from that and there were also size constraints on what I could hide there without it being likely to be muggled. On the other hand, from the moment I discovered my Cave of Power location I knew it was calling out for a themed spooky container. Whether they'd get lots of FPs or none at all never crossed my mind, they're just what I'd thought would be nice places to visit. But most of the caches around here are in nice places to visit and only a tenth of them can get an FP from each finder, so whether you do or not is often just pot luck. I think it's more important to choose a good spot (there's that briansnat quote again!) and chose a container that first and foremost will do its job of keeping the logbook snug and dry while complementing the location. Some caches unexpectedly get lots of FPs and some unexpectedly get none at all because everyone has different tastes to me. Best just to hide what you think is the most appropriate cache for GZ and be happy with whatever response you get.

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1 hour ago, lee737 said:

I opened it today without having seen this post - I thought I'd won something!

:laughing:

I had to go back and deliberately look for the heading. My inclination is to skip that entire banner...

1610791501_ScreenShot2020-12-07at7_04_48AM.thumb.png.b47f794c98790f0c7039a32be9cd11fb.png

 

and start reading the bullet items...

1744771104_ScreenShot2020-12-07at7_08_23AM.thumb.png.864198cdbb0a119c74654ac8929bc1ba.png

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17 minutes ago, barefootjeff said:

 

For me, when I'm placing a cache it's the location that comes first, somewhere interesting I've found that I'd like to bring other cachers to. What I put there is then largely defined by that, for example my most recent cache is at a waterfall and is all about the waterfall, so I didn't want a whizz-bang container to distract from that and there were also size constraints on what I could hide there without it being likely to be muggled. On the other hand, from the moment I discovered my Cave of Power location I knew it was calling out for a themed spooky container. Whether they'd get lots of FPs or none at all never crossed my mind, they're just what I'd thought would be nice places to visit. But most of the caches around here are in nice places to visit and only a tenth of them can get an FP from each finder, so whether you do or not is often just pot luck. I think it's more important to choose a good spot (there's that briansnat quote again!) and chose a container that first and foremost will do its job of keeping the logbook snug and dry while complementing the location. Some caches unexpectedly get lots of FPs and some unexpectedly get none at all because everyone has different tastes to me. Best just to hide what you think is the most appropriate cache for GZ and be happy with whatever response you get.

 

We all know that FPs are a pretty blunt tool, but it's the only metric we've got.  (Sorting on FPs alone isn't guaranteed to find you caches that you'll enjoy, but they might help.)  Surely going into cache hiding with the attitude of I'd like my cache be up in the top 10% (however that might be measured!), is better than thinking let's just throw one out to allow cachers to accumulate 1/10th of a FP for somebody else's cache?  Isn't that essentially the message?

 

38 minutes ago, barefootjeff said:

for example my most recent cache is at a waterfall and is all about the waterfall, so I didn't want a whizz-bang container

 

And it's not all about 'whizz-bang' containers - the video even says "sometimes the location will do it for you".

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I don't mind a 'whizz-bang' container, if by 'whizz-bang' you mean 'reliably dry and waterproof'.... :)

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10 hours ago, IceColdUK said:

Surely going into cache hiding with the attitude of I'd like my cache be up in the top 10% (however that might be measured!), is better than thinking let's just throw one out to allow cachers to accumulate 1/10th of a FP for somebody else's cache?  Isn't that essentially the message?

 

The two caches I hid just after the lockdown here, From the Mountain to the Sea and Big Lagoon, were in a couple of spots I came across during my permitted exercise walks and thought they might be nice locations for a cache. I didn't expect they'd get many FPs and indeed they haven't (0 and 1 respectively) but I didn't just "throw them out" either. They're both Sistemas with good-sized logbooks and the hiding places were chosen to be easy-to-spot for cachers but unlikely to be disturbed by muggles. They were meant to be just lower D/T enjoyable traditonals in a part of the map where there aren't many others and with what I thought were interesting walks to places most people just drive past and wouldn't discover if not for the cache. The FPs they didn't get can now go to other caches that are more deserving of them.

 

NonFPCaches.jpg.8aea753978606177c7ec4b56029326ed.jpg

 

If I only hid what I thought were FP-worthy caches, those two (and a lot of my others) wouldn't have been born. I just want to hide caches that are a bit of fun for the local community and visitors to the area, not jostle for position in any FP ranking table.

Edited by barefootjeff
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The outlook of the new page is OK when i use Edge, but I experience problems when I click "Play/Hide a geocache" using Windows 10 and Firefox 83.0. All I get is a blank page.

Pointing at "Hide a geocache" shows the URL as https://www.geocaching.com/play/hide but I get redirected to https://www.geocaching.com/play/hideacache and the blank page.

Very annoying.

I've tried to clean all cached data and cookies but to no avail.

Any ideas anyone?

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4 hours ago, yxza said:

The outlook of the new page is OK when i use Edge, but I experience problems when I click "Play/Hide a geocache" using Windows 10 and Firefox 83.0. All I get is a blank page.

Pointing at "Hide a geocache" shows the URL as https://www.geocaching.com/play/hide but I get redirected to https://www.geocaching.com/play/hideacache and the blank page.

Very annoying.

I've tried to clean all cached data and cookies but to no avail.

Any ideas anyone?

 

Thanks for reporting these issues of blank pages. We have been able to repro the issue. It is related to cookies. We will fix it, but the work-around if you don't want to wait is to temporarily accept advertising cookies. You can do this in settings: https://www.geocaching.com/account/settings/cookies.

We expect a fix soon!

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This might not be the right place for this question, but the threads regarding image uploads are closed. But when I upload a picture to the description the size is its true size (which often means very big), so I change the width manually. But whenever I edit the description, the image is back at its original size, which means that if I want to edit the page I have to edit the size of every picture again! That can be quite frustrating when you have a lot of pictures in the description

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On 1/9/2021 at 11:06 AM, Coland said:

This might not be the right place for this question

Maybe do a post on the Website forum. Are you switching between the description editors, (HTML and User-Friendly editor)? I've found and as it says, if you switch from HTML to the User-Friendly editor, it removes some perfectly fine, compatible HTML elements. Maybe everytime you edit the cache page, it swaps editors and removes the image size HTML code. I usually just copy most of my caches HTML for the description just in case it goes wrong, then I can just copy and paste it back in.

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28 minutes ago, isaac7437 said:

Maybe do a post on the Website forum. Are you switching between the description editors, (HTML and User-Friendly editor)? I've found and as it says, if you switch from HTML to the User-Friendly editor, it removes some perfectly fine, compatible HTML elements. Maybe everytime you edit the cache page, it swaps editors and removes the image size HTML code. I usually just copy most of my caches HTML for the description just in case it goes wrong, then I can just copy and paste it back in.

 

Yep, if I'm doing a listing that's anything more than bare bones text, I'll leave it in source editor and never switch to the wysiwyg mode. To preview I go through the extra steps of saving and reloading the listing (usually one tab for editing and one for viewing the saved listing).  The visual editor butchers code, especially if you like how you format your HTML source code's layout... (more an issue for people who code a lot :P )

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