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Changing the rules?


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On April 11th, 2022 I stopped at an earthcache GC1XEAM Coteau des Prairies and found NO information sign required on that date.  I posted photos showing the rest area and gave what information I could gather at that time.

 

Since that time I notified  the CO with DETAILED information regarding the fate of the missing sign (the same night).  I talked to at state employee (not a requirement) to gather the information.  I have even emailed the director of the SD rest area regarding the sign which is NOT on the rest area site and will not be available this month.

 

On April 19th after posting needs maintenance to warn other cachers and the reviewer of the problem, my "found" log was deleted by the CO.  Included in my deleted log was the two photos I have included in a "note".

 

I also noticed that the description and requirements has been changed. I think geocaching.com has the power to see the original posted information.    Well I followed the rules on the 11th.  I think I am entitled to a smiley.

 

I would like to hear from others and find out what I did WRONG.  Thank you.

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4 minutes ago, Former Hawkeye said:

On April 11th, 2022 I stopped at an earthcache GC1XEAM Coteau des Prairies and found NO information sign required on that date.  I posted photos showing the rest area and gave what information I could gather at that time.

 

Since that time I notified  the CO with DETAILED information regarding the fate of the missing sign (the same night).  I talked to at state employee (not a requirement) to gather the information.  I have even emailed the director of the SD rest area regarding the sign which is NOT on the rest area site and will not be available this month.

 

On April 19th after posting needs maintenance to warn other cachers and the reviewer of the problem, my "found" log was deleted by the CO.  Included in my deleted log was the two photos I have included in a "note".

 

I also noticed that the description and requirements has been changed. I think geocaching.com has the power to see the original posted information.    Well I followed the rules on the 11th.  I think I am entitled to a smiley.

 

I would like to hear from others and find out what I did WRONG.  Thank you.

I think the CO should have let you keep your log. And yes HQ can see all deleted logs.

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From the Help Center article Log deletion:

Quote

Geocache log deletion
 

If the cache owner deletes your log, make sure that you logged the cache according to the guidelines and Terms of Use.

 

Contact the cache owner privately to ask why they deleted the log. Note that logs are not an appropriate communication channel to resolve disagreements.

 

If you cannot come to an agreement with the cache owner, contact Geocaching HQ.

 

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45 minutes ago, Former Hawkeye said:

I would like to hear from others and find out what I did WRONG.  Thank you.

 

There's a few logs saying the information wasn't available, others saying the building was locked.

Some say in logs they used google for info, others say staff helped them.

By logs, it seems none had the info needed due to the sign gone since 9/12/'21.  Over a dozen afterwards.

All have smileys.   Not sure what you did wrong...

 

 

Edited by cerberus1
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If you sent in the correct answers, the CO made a mistake. You don't say how he reacted when you asked him about it, so I can't say whether you should talk to him more or just ask for an appeal which I assume would be quickly granted.

 

I've run into cases where the question required specific information from the sign -- e.g., available information says the elevation is 600' but the sign says 601' 3" -- but even in a case like that, the CO should allow the "close enough" answer when the sign is missing.

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I had a similar experience on a remote EC. CO deleted my log as my answers were guesses were incorrect. I asked a recent finder what they had done his response was google was his friend. 

Post the nm and move on. 

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12 hours ago, MNTA said:

Post the nm and move on. 

I definitely don't think you should "move on". You posting an NM is not grounds for the CO to delete your log. Your answers being incorrect would be, but then you should be told so by the CO and get a chance to correct them. Have you tried to get in contact with the CO directly? If there is no reply, then you can appeal.

 

On a side note, posting an NM was somewhat unnecessary, IMHO. The answers were apparently readily googled to the CO's satisfaction. But it did have the positive effect to get the description updated to exclude any missing signs.

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26 minutes ago, Former Hawkeye said:

How do I appeal to Geocaching HQ ?

The various "Contact Us" links (at to bottom this page, and at the bottom of all/most geocaching.com pages) takes you to the main Help Center page. It has a "Can’t find what you need? Contact us." pseudo-link that opens the contact form.

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2 hours ago, ChriBli said:

On a side note, posting an NM was somewhat unnecessary, IMHO. The answers were apparently readily googled to the CO's satisfaction. But it did have the positive effect to get the description updated to exclude any missing signs.

No, I disagree. If the information the EarthCache directs you to is missing, that's a clear case where the EarthCache needs maintenance. I can see this argument against subsequently posting an NA since the cache is still viable because the information can be found elsewhere, although, personally, I'd still post an NA if nothing was done. (Well, except if I was the OP since the OP posting an NA could be interpreted as revenge even if it wasn't.)

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Once the CO became aware the sign used for the answers was missing they should have Disabled the Earthcache.

 

Earthcaches should only require reading the description and visiting the location. If you have to search Google for an answer that's a problem.

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I have emailed the CO and nicely ask why was my log deleted?  I will wait for 7 days for a response before appealing.  I think the CO has overreacted to the needs maintenance and might settle down and see that I am not the problem.  I will post next Wednesday or sooner if I get that requested response.

 

Thanks for all the feedback.

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30 minutes ago, Former Hawkeye said:

I have emailed the CO and nicely ask why was my log deleted?  I will wait for 7 days for a response before appealing.  I think the CO has overreacted to the needs maintenance and might settle down and see that I am not the problem.  I will post next Wednesday or sooner if I get that requested response.

 

Thanks for all the feedback.

I think that's a good idea. I also think the Needs Maintenance log was appropriate.

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10 hours ago, Max and 99 said:

I think that's a good idea. I also think the Needs Maintenance log was appropriate.

 

Agree, I did a cache (forget if ec or virtual) a while back where the information signs were missing. Someone else had posted NM and most of us Googled or used old photos of the sign... I would have been shocked if a log was deleted. Really rude of a CO to delete a log without contacting you (OP) first! Admittedly have had something similar happen. In that case I just re-posted the find and they left it (it was legit, some COs have big issues with criticism or NM!). 

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Some CO's take a NM as an insult, a bit like 'you have an ugly baby'.... instead he/she should have thanked you for your assistance, and set about fixing their cache.

 

Also - it didn't take them 7 days to delete your log, so I wouldn't give them 7 days to consider either.

I would message them, letting them know I was going to immediately repost my find, and a NM to help future finders, with an explanation that it would be taken to HQ if it were deleted again.

 

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1 hour ago, lee737 said:

 'you have an ugly baby'

I can see why some would take that as an insult...

 

There has been new devolopment in the matter. A reviewer has reacted and asked if maintenance is required, the CO has replied that the sign is not needed (in a write note, not owner maintenance). The OP's found log has not been restored though.

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What are actually acceptable logging requirements for an EC? Someone suggested you have to be able to answer the questions from information you can find in the description and/or what you can find on the location. In this case I think it is "What is the elevation of the Coteau des Prairies at this location? (fun fact: the elevation at the base of the plateau is about 960 feet)" that was previously suggested to be read from a sign that is now unavailable. Is this acceptable? Are you supposed to have a GPSr that can tell you the elevation?

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3 minutes ago, ChriBli said:

I can see why some would take that as an insult...

Of course, this is a good point. But I'd even encourage COs that get NMs that say, "The sign you point to is missing, SO YOUR CACHE SUCKS," by paying attention only to the informative part of the post and ignoring the nonsense.

 

4 minutes ago, ChriBli said:

There has been new devolopment in the matter. A reviewer has reacted and asked if maintenance is required, the CO has replied that the sign is not needed (in a write note, not owner maintenance). The OP's found log has not been restored though.

If the description points to the sign, the sign is needed. I have to admit, I'm not sure on this, but I'm under the impression that internet searches for answers would typically be legitimately rejected when the questions are asked about information available at GZ. Normally, one requirement of the EC is to be at GZ. So openly answering the question with information gather off the web would be considered invalid proof that GZ was visited. Right? (Definitely not the case here where the OP posted pictures proving that they were at GZ even though the necessary information wasn't. I'm just saying that the CO's claim that it's OK for the information to be gotten on the web is invalid.)

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16 minutes ago, ChriBli said:

What are actually acceptable logging requirements for an EC? Someone suggested you have to be able to answer the questions from information you can find in the description and/or what you can find on the location. In this case I think it is "What is the elevation of the Coteau des Prairies at this location? (fun fact: the elevation at the base of the plateau is about 960 feet)" that was previously suggested to be read from a sign that is now unavailable. Is this acceptable? Are you supposed to have a GPSr that can tell you the elevation?

 

 

Phones don't have this feature through the app, though you can get other apps that will show it  on iPhones there is a compass app, but if you look at the topographical maps you can get pretty close.

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39 minutes ago, MNTA said:

 

 

Phones don't have this feature through the app, though you can get other apps that will show it  on iPhones there is a compass app, but if you look at the topographical maps you can get pretty close.

 

The modern-day computer-generated topographic maps (as opposed to the old ones that were drawn by cartographers) don't handle cliffs very well. I once had a cache in a sea cave at the base of a vertical cliff, but the OSM map shows it as a gently sloping hill with the sea anything up to 50 metres above sea level.

 

Cliff.jpg.22a3490239b678ceb40a736ff1518f66.jpg

 

It's places like this where a lot of the interesting geology for an EC can be found but relying on a phone's topographic map for elevation isn't likely to be too accurate.

 

Back on topic, when I was preparing my EC back in 2014, I was told by the reviewer that it had to be entirely based on the contents of the description and the observations on-site, with even a mention of online research forbidden. So I think a missing sign would be a valid reason for an NM, and needs to be addressed by the CO, even if the required information can be found online.

Edited by barefootjeff
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1 hour ago, ChriBli said:

What are actually acceptable logging requirements for an EC? Someone suggested you have to be able to answer the questions from information you can find in the description and/or what you can find on the location. In this case I think it is "What is the elevation of the Coteau des Prairies at this location? (fun fact: the elevation at the base of the plateau is about 960 feet)" that was previously suggested to be read from a sign that is now unavailable. Is this acceptable? Are you supposed to have a GPSr that can tell you the elevation?

FWIW, I logged a DNF for an EarthCache once, because it required the elevation, we hadn't found any signs providing the elevation, and the group I was with didn't want to stay any longer looking for such a sign.

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2 hours ago, ChriBli said:

There has been new devolopment in the matter. A reviewer has reacted and asked if maintenance is required, the CO has replied that the sign is not needed (in a write note, not owner maintenance). The OP's found log has not been restored though.

 

The owner's reply is accurate, but only because the owner edited the logging requirements section of their cache page on April 19th.

 

While a Reviewer got involved due to the "Needs Maintenance" log, the Reviewer would not be the person to restore the OP's "found it" log.  While Reviewers have the ability to delete and restore logs, that authority is not exercised in the event of a logging dispute between the cache owner and the visiting geocacher.  The OP would need to contact Geocaching HQ as described above.  Another option for the OP would be to answer the new logging question and then log a very simple new "found it" log, with no editorializing.

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6 hours ago, ChriBli said:

What are actually acceptable logging requirements for an EC? Someone suggested you have to be able to answer the questions from information you can find in the description and/or what you can find on the location. In this case I think it is "What is the elevation of the Coteau des Prairies at this location? (fun fact: the elevation at the base of the plateau is about 960 feet)" that was previously suggested to be read from a sign that is now unavailable. Is this acceptable? Are you supposed to have a GPSr that can tell you the elevation?

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.

(but note that the cache in question is from 2009 and the rules were likely very different)

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On 4/20/2022 at 2:32 PM, ChriBli said:

I definitely don't think you should "move on". You posting an NM is not grounds for the CO to delete your log. Your answers being incorrect would be, but then you should be told so by the CO and get a chance to correct them. Have you tried to get in contact with the CO directly? If there is no reply, then you can appeal.

 

On a side note, posting an NM was somewhat unnecessary, IMHO. The answers were apparently readily googled to the CO's satisfaction. But it did have the positive effect to get the description updated to exclude any missing signs.

 

I kind of disagree as googling answers goes against EarthCache guidelines. Likewise writing down words from an infosign. However, this is an older cache and the logging requirements likely grandfathered. CO should have worked with the reviewer to fix his cache or archive it. Deleting the log is rubbish, but in the end the cacher didn't really find it either. So... not sure.

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I don't have any issue with googling answers*, I've often done it** - some EC's seem to require a degree in geology otherwise. Doing some extra research is never a bad thing....

 

*as long as you have visited GZ

**as well as visiting GZ

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25 minutes ago, lee737 said:

I don't have any issue with googling answers*, I've often done it** - some EC's seem to require a degree in geology otherwise. Doing some extra research is never a bad thing....

 

*as long as you have visited GZ

**as well as visiting GZ

 

Sure, unless Googling (or having a geology degree) is the only way to answer the questions. I've walked away from some ECs like that.

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1 hour ago, terratin said:

Deleting the log is rubbish, but in the end the cacher didn't really find it either.

What makes you think that? According to the OP, they gathered the information that was available at the time and presumably answered the two first questions of the logging requirements. The third question could not be answered using the sign as was presumably suggested in the original description of the logging requirements, and the OP informed the CO of this. The OP was obviously at the site.

 

The CO did not remove the OP's found log immediately, so the reason was probably not their failure to google the answer to the third question (Very easy to do, by the way. There's a Waymark right there that includes a photo of the sign). Instead, the log was removed a week later, after the OP posted an NM. Rubbish.

 

I would just have googled the answer, mentioned that in my log, and then moved on. If I had found the sign online and read it there, I would have learnt all the information that the CO intended me to learn anyway. Posting an NM, even though correct, will not make the CO magically conjure up a new sign. Instead, the requirement was changed to suggest you find the elevation through whatever alternate measures you see fit.

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Some might consider being unable to answer a question because a sign is missing, as much a "didn't find" as (to some) finding a container with no log sheet to sign. Most would log it found, but a handful may be "purist" and not log it because they didn't sign the log. For the EC, ... tough call.

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3 hours ago, thebruce0 said:

Some might consider being unable to answer a question because a sign is missing, as much a "didn't find" as (to some) finding a container with no log sheet to sign. Most would log it found, but a handful may be "purist" and not log it because they didn't sign the log. For the EC, ... tough call.

Logstrip missing may be reason for a purist to not log found, but it can not be reason for the CO to remove any logs. It is the CO's duty to provide a new logstrip. If they don't want any found logs in the meantime, then disable the cache.

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6 hours ago, ChriBli said:

Logstrip missing may be reason for a purist to not log found, but it can not be reason for the CO to remove any logs. It is the CO's duty to provide a new logstrip. If they don't want any found logs in the meantime, then disable the cache.

 

Think like appeals, I don't actually believe that IF a cacher gets their find log deleted, and then appeals it, HQ will necessarily reinstate the log. I think this would fall into the category of them encouraging the CO to be less stringent, figure it out between themselves, and allow a new Find log to stand. It's one of those who-takes-the-high-ground situations, imo. Since signing the log sheet is basically the 'one rule' and HQ will side with COs who delete logs because the sheet isn't signed, this exceptional situation would be difficult to adjudicate because of a lot of he-said-she-said. It'd be the CO's judgment as whether it's reasonable to disallow the find or to allow it. Ideally, they should perform maintenance (replace the log) and likely recommended to avoid conflict by letting the Find stand if it seems reasonable.

 

 

tl:dr; A grey area that I believe HQ appeals would first suggest and prefer be sorted between the finder and hider, rather than cite a rule supporting reinstatement of the deleted Find log (since there isn't one). And that the CO do a maintenance run to replace the log.

But, IANAL(ackey) :omnomnom:

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On 4/22/2022 at 6:51 PM, niraD said:

FWIW, I logged a DNF for an EarthCache once, because it required the elevation, we hadn't found any signs providing the elevation, and the group I was with didn't want to stay any longer looking for such a sign.

This is just a side note FYI. If you have the adventure lab app it provides your approximate elevation.

Edited by Max and 99
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6 minutes ago, Former Hawkeye said:

Happiness is...HQ has restored my find to GC1XEAM.  I am hoping the matter is now closed.  My thanks to the HQ for checking the facts. good job:) and much appreciated.

👍

Edited by Max and 99
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On 4/22/2022 at 7:51 PM, niraD said:

FWIW, I logged a DNF for an EarthCache once, because it required the elevation, we hadn't found any signs providing the elevation, and the group I was with didn't want to stay any longer looking for such a sign.

 

GPS units with a built-in barometer provide altitude readings with good accuracy, although you often need to give them a few minutes to settle down.

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