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Virtual logs with QR codes ?


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Hi all,

I'm a french geocacheur and i've find several and just made 3 caches myself (1 traditionnal, 1 multi and 1 mystery).

 

I'm thinking a lot about the capabilities of QR codes for geocaching (not like Munzee but a better way I guees).

 

I'm thinking about doing a multi cache and on each stage before the final cache to have some QR codes to find which will reveal an enigma, or directly the next stage coordinates. Then at the end you will find a regular cache in a container.

 

But I'm also thinking about something else, as the final stage (or the cache in the case of a traditionnal) will not be a container, but a QR code to flash to go to a small website to put logs. it's still physical (you need to find a sticker somewhre) but the writing of the log is virtual.

What do you think ? In some areas that could be better that way, a QR code is unlikely to be removed instead of a real container, mostly if it's very touristic for example.

 

Do you think that kind of cache would be accepted with the review process ?

 

The main things I'm thinking about is that the cache needs to be in a good data cellphone coverage area and that the cacheurs need to be aware of what to find at the end.

 

Thank you for your help.

 

BTW, if you know some simple website to create some online logs without registration (just captcha), that could be great. I can program it myself but that will be simpler.

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I have used that process (a QR code sticker) on stages in puzzles and a multis before.  It works kind of nice.

 

As for the ending log  From the guidelines

 

Quote

 

For all physical caches, there must be a logbook for geocachers to record their visit. The logbook must be

  • Physical
  • Replaceable
  • Easy to sign
  • Enclosed within a container

Examples: Notebook, paper scroll.

 

 

A virtual logbook like you explain would not work.  Your argument is that the QR code is the physical log, but it is not.  It is another stage to get to your virtual log.   HQ has pushed back against these over the years.

Edited by BlueRajah
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All physical geocaches must have a physical logbook/logsheet to sign with a pen or pencil.  Your multi cache must end in a physical container with a logbook.  You can use QR codes for the intermediate stages of the multi-cache only.

 

As this idea is discussed, let's all avoid discussions of and references to other geolocational gaming activities, and concentrate on this geocaching idea.

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8 minutes ago, Pyroboynroses said:

The main things I'm thinking about is that the cache needs to be in a good data cellphone coverage area and that the cacheurs need to be aware of what to find at the end.

And they would have to use a phone for geocaching, leaving out those who use a GPS device. 

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7 minutes ago, Keystone said:

You can use QR codes for the intermediate stages of the multi-cache only.

I'm sorry to second guess you, but is this really correct for multi-caches? Mystery physical stages sure, but I would have assumed it's too much for a multi. Unless maybe you can require that the QR code gives the directions to the next waypoint directly, instead of, say, pointing to a website with a puzzle...

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2 minutes ago, mustakorppi said:

I'm sorry to second guess you, but is this really correct for multi-caches? Mystery physical stages sure, but I would have assumed it's too much for a multi. Unless maybe you can require that the QR code gives the directions to the next waypoint directly, instead of, say, pointing to a website with a puzzle...

I've made a multi with some coordinates stickers on a sign but with multiple choices. In fact you need to count things aroud you and then that will lead you to pick a solution on the given list. That could be the same with QR code but you can directly write everything on the QR (the enigma, what to count and the coordinates list, without having to write it on the description of the cache).

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2 hours ago, Pyroboynroses said:

I've made a multi with some coordinates stickers on a sign but with multiple choices. In fact you need to count things aroud you and then that will lead you to pick a solution on the given list. That could be the same with QR code but you can directly write everything on the QR (the enigma, what to count and the coordinates list, without having to write it on the description of the cache).

That's cool that you can fit in all those physical stages for a multi! Sometimes that's a challenge with other nearby caches.

Edited by Max and 99
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2 hours ago, mustakorppi said:

I'm sorry to second guess you, but is this really correct for multi-caches? Mystery physical stages sure, but I would have assumed it's too much for a multi. Unless maybe you can require that the QR code gives the directions to the next waypoint directly, instead of, say, pointing to a website with a puzzle...

 

I was recently informed by a reviewer that QR-code in a multi-cache is ok, if the description says that the cache needs reading QR-codes. What the code contains is another story. I have not wery well informed how much, if any, use of internet is allowed with a multi-cache. For example, I have got mixed signals wether it is allowed to use geochecker as a required part of a multi-cache.

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19 minutes ago, arisoft said:

 

I was recently informed by a reviewer that QR-code in a multi-cache is ok, if the description says that the cache needs reading QR-codes. What the code contains is another story. I have not wery well informed how much, if any, use of internet is allowed with a multi-cache. For example, I have got mixed signals wether it is allowed to use geochecker as a required part of a multi-cache.

 

This is just me as a reviewer in my area. 

If the QR code give your coordinates to the next point.  I treat those as if you posted a label with the next coordinates.  You could have it as a multi.  If each step has you solve a cypher, puzzle, or needing to figure out a code to enter into a checker, I would say those run a mystery.   I am sure there are grey areas in between, but that would be my general rule.  I do not know how prevalent that idea is in the reviewer community. However that is my thought process. 

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3 hours ago, Pyroboynroses said:

Thank you guys for your answers. I'll then try to make a new cache with QR code to lead to the final step which will be physical.

 

About GPS users : do you know the % of only GPS users vs smartphone users ?

 

Even if they cache solely with GPSr high number of people over the age of 16 have smartphones that have camera and have some limited form of data plan.

Don't let this be a reason to not try your idea.

If they still have a old flip phone I bet they know someone who doesn't.  

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4 hours ago, Pyroboynroses said:

The main things I'm thinking about is that the cache needs to be in a good data cellphone coverage area and that the cacheurs need to be aware of what to find at the end.

Yes. I was only mentioning the GPSers, not meaning to discourage your use of QR codes. 

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1 hour ago, BlueRajah said:

This is just me as a reviewer in my area. 

If the QR code give your coordinates to the next point.  I treat those as if you posted a label with the next coordinates.  You could have it as a multi.

And, at least to my knowledge, each of those stickers would need to be listed as physical waypoints since it's something the owner has left physically at the location, as opposed to looking at something that already existed there.

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I finally posted a "prototype" qr code cache today. It's still under review.

 

The principle is fairly simple in fact : the start coordinates are to find the sticker somewhere. Then when you have it you'll have the final coordinates and also a hint inside the qr code.

 

In fact the hardest part is to find the qr code at the start location. The logbook is very simple to find.

 

I've created a multi, the first stage is physical as I've really installed a sticker, so as the final stage.

 

I hope that will be accepted by the reviewer.

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7 minutes ago, thebruce0 said:

And, at least to my knowledge, each of those stickers would need to be listed as physical waypoints since it's something the owner has left physically at the location, as opposed to looking at something that already existed there.

Yes, and that's why I posted earlier about the physical stages and the OP is fortunate to have plenty of space that's far enough from someone else's cache. 

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59 minutes ago, thebruce0 said:

And, at least to my knowledge, each of those stickers would need to be listed as physical waypoints since it's something the owner has left physically at the location, as opposed to looking at something that already existed there.

Correct.  

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4 hours ago, thebruce0 said:

And, at least to my knowledge, each of those stickers would need to be listed as physical waypoints since it's something the owner has left physically at the location, as opposed to looking at something that already existed there.

 

We accessed a multi back around '08 or so, when a bison stage kept coming up missing.

The CO added 'em as a "JIC it's missing again...".  Funny no one ever noticed the QR stickers.   :)

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11 hours ago, Max and 99 said:

And they would have to use a phone for geocaching, leaving out those who use a GPS device. 

 

I've done a few QR caches.  I use a GPSr.  Take a photo of the QR, and hope it works.  Check the QR on the internet, and come back for the final.  Did a four-stage QR cache that took me five trips.  One, the photo didn't work.

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On 8/30/2021 at 8:27 AM, Pyroboynroses said:

About GPS users : do you know the % of only GPS users vs smartphone users ?

 

It would be an interesting statistic, but with limited usefulness.

 

There are actually three categories:

1. Smartphone-only cachers

2. GPS cachers without smartphones 

3. Cachers who have a GPS and a smartphone.

 

The caching habits of those three types will be different. The smartphone-only cachers are mostly casual cachers who have a very low find count and only find Traditionals.

 

Depending on the location, non-smartphone seekers might be willing to take a photo of the QR code, scan it at home, and return. 

 

Regardless, a smartphone is an example of a Tool Required. It's much more common than many of the other tools required by caches with that attribute.

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2 hours ago, mustakorppi said:

What an utterly ridiculous claim. 

 

If you calculate the rate of casual cachers in every category you must admit that most of them belongs to the Smartphone-only cachers and they are the majority of all geocachers.

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14 hours ago, mustakorppi said:

What an utterly ridiculous claim. 

 

How so?

 

There's a reason Groundspeak structures polls and souvenir events as they do. They've occasionally posted statistics to support it.

 

You and I, with thousands of finds each, going to events, posting on the forum? We are the geocaching 1%.

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7 hours ago, JL_HSTRE said:

 

How so?

 

There's a reason Groundspeak structures polls and souvenir events as they do. They've occasionally posted statistics to support it.

 

You and I, with thousands of finds each, going to events, posting on the forum? We are the geocaching 1%.

Because that 1% is also mostly smartphone cachers. Who cares, in the context of this particular topic, what people who only find a few trads every now and then use.

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On 9/3/2021 at 5:38 PM, JL_HSTRE said:

There are actually three categories:

1. Smartphone-only cachers

2. GPS cachers without smartphones 

3. Cachers who have a GPS and a smartphone.

 

The caching habits of those three types will be different. The smartphone-only cachers are mostly casual cachers who have a very low find count and only find Traditionals.

 

Depending on the location, non-smartphone seekers might be willing to take a photo of the QR code, scan it at home, and return. 

 

Regardless, a smartphone is an example of a Tool Required. It's much more common than many of the other tools required by caches with that attribute.

 

On the flipside, while you assume "most casual cachers" have low find counts and only Traditionals (a point that really is pretty irrelevant to the topic, true or not), that kind of minimizes the relevance of those of us who only cache with a smartphone and have well over 10,000 finds and been geocaching over a decade - likewise one can assume that the number of cachers (casual or hardcore) who only cache with a dedicated GPS device with no mobile access to a smartphone (much more relevant to the topic) is as rare as those like me are assumed to be. So is a smartphone really a special tool?

 

 

Anyway, I'd say smartphones are ubiquitous enough not to be a 'special' device; but, it could still be prudent to indicate in some way that a field puzzle, or afield task is required. You can't look at it and move on to the next stage (unless you can mentally decode a QR).  It needs 'solving' - and it so happens that smartphones typically have a convenient tool for 'decoding' it automatically.

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11 hours ago, thebruce0 said:

Anyway, I'd say smartphones are ubiquitous enough not to be a 'special' device; 

 

Yep, when the other 2/3rds was a FTF monster, she used her phone more than GPSr as far back as '05, with blackberry and the Trimble app.

That changed to 50/50 when we went to the 60csx from blue legends. 

 - When iphone came out, she went back to pretty-much phone-only, except when on rock.   :)

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