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Release Notes (Website: Benchmarking retirement) - October 17, 2022


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5 hours ago, Michaelcycle said:

NGS may not "see" our logs posted to geocaching.com but many of those logs have directly strengthened the NOAA database through the efforts of Dave Doyle, retired NGS chief geodetic surveyor. DaveD posted this after learning of Groundspeak's misguided decision to shutter the benchmarking section and delete the logs and photos:

"Many thanks to so many who have posted great pictures and hand-held positions that I've been able to harvest and improve the quality of tens of thousands of stations in the National Spatial Reference System"

 

That's an impressive legacy for a hobby, perhaps on par with CITO events. 

 

It really should continue.

 

Thank you so much for posting that. We were given an Agency Code to report to the NGS as quoted below from https://www.geocaching.com/mark/#geocac

"Do we have an agency code for reporting to the NGS?
Yes, you can use the GEOCAC agency code for your report."
Many took advantage of that code because they wanted to go that extra step. Many were just logging on the Geocaching benchmarking their finds and that was good, no matter which way you wanted to go. So, it was more important to the people than just finding caches. It meant something to us that Dave Doyle took his time to come to the Benchmarking forums to see what was going on and would often join our discussions. 
I understand GC's saying the code is old, but you cannot understand our reasons for updating that code to keep something that has much more meaning than anything else that GC stood for, Caching? It is taking something out in the world and leaving it somewhere for others to find and then forget. Benchmarks are permanently placed by professionals for a real reason other than a game. Keeping adding logs for said benchmarks helped to keep knowledge about what condition said benchmarks are currently in and letting NGS have that knowledge. They are strapped for help and we happily provided that to Dave D when we found something that had been logged as a did not find by a professional surveyor. At times it was more than just a game.
I hope John, who died in January of 2019 is proud of me for trying my best to explain this fact of why Benchmarking matters and therefore worth the effort to update said old code and renew what could even be bigger and better than what this site had started with. By using several databases from around the world to allow everyone worldwide have the joy and wonder that was felt by everyone here on GC. It was not our fault that you (GC) did not update and bring in all of the people who had done benchmarks here in the USA and then go home to another country and started up there own databases of the benchmarks in their countries on a local level. 
The others have posted about the years that we had to hunt for where you had hidden Benchmarking, that was true, but we always searched and found it. You could have had just as many people hunting Benchmarks all over the world if you would have just taken the time to enhance it to include more worldwide benchmark data bases. It is your own fault, not ours that you did not make money in this area like you could have done. 
Shirley half of the 2oldfarts (the rockhounders)
 
  
Edited by 2oldfarts (the rockhounders)
Old age is my reason for this edit.
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We do appreciate the feedback shared in this thread, and understand how disruptive this change will be to benchmarkers. However, for the reasons stated in the original post and in subsequent posts by the Product Manager, we wish to confirm that we will remove benchmarking from the Geocaching.com website on January 4, 2023. This is slightly later than the original time frame, due to the holidays.

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On 10/17/2022 at 12:55 PM, thebruce0 said:

...but remember, as mentioned, that is only a US-specific side-feature to the geocaching hobby which is a worldwide game.

 

As we are going to discontinue geocaching-related activities that are only available in one area (it's not fair to Latvians that the USA has Benchmarks and they don't), I guess we'll be archiving the A.P.E. caches and Geocaching HQ, too? Yeah, I know that there are still two active A.P.E. caches, but how many people travel to Brazil just for that?

I am mostly disappointed in that after 10 years of geocaching I got the Benchmark bug, actively looking for them while traveling rather than randomly finding them. Since this announcement I have traveled to 20 states and could have looked for and logged Benchmarks while on those trips, but why bother now? And no, I'm not going to begin Benchmarking, Waymarking, Letterboxing, Munzee-ing, Flagstacking, Geohashing, geodashing, Pokemon Go-ing, or any of those other stupid games.

 

One step closer to hanging up my GPS...

 

GSB

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I see that the Benchmark Count will be retained.  Will I still have access to see which of the 200 benchmarks I have found?  Is there a way to save that data if it is no longer available after January 4, 2023?  I am sad and wish this would have remained.  I even have a benchmark coin that I take with me when I benchmark.  

Edited by geojo1
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30 minutes ago, GoldenStateBoy said:

As we are going to discontinue geocaching-related activities that are only available in one area (it's not fair to Latvians that the USA has Benchmarks and they don't), I guess we'll be archiving the A.P.E. caches and Geocaching HQ, too?

If APE caches were independent things that weren't geocache listings and running on an old code base that's hanging the website development back, then yeah, they'd be gone too.

Thankfully they aren't, and they are up to date within the current modern ecosystem of geocache listings. So not the same thing.

 

 

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Bench marks have not been that big of a deal for me to log as found. I have and will continue to use benchmarks as a reference point for some of my geocache hides when and where they are close to a cache I may hide. Places like Fire Lookout sites, and mountain tops. 

Glad there is still an place where those who like benchmarking can continue through the way marking link.

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Yay! About time this aspect of geocaching was assigned to the same place as Locationless caches, Webcam caches, (and Virtual caches).

Other countries have an extensive system of Geodetic marks **but we can't play them as Benchmarks.**

Benchmarks provide an opportunity for someone to start an alternative game not associated with geocaching.

The first geodetic survey mark in New Zealand was placed in 1848, and it and many thousand others still exist, but we can not publish, or find them as geocaches. 

There is a similar but alternative to Geocaching Benchmarks in Australia, so, as I say, "Yay to consigning them to legacy caches", or **open them up to world-wide.**

Cheers, Phronimos

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44 minutes ago, Phronimos said:

Yay! About time this aspect of geocaching was assigned to the same place as Locationless caches, Webcam caches, (and Virtual caches).

Other countries have an extensive system of Geodetic marks **but we can't play them as Benchmarks.**

Are you familiar with the phrase "dog in the manger"?

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If this is based truly on non use (vs cost cutting which I believe it is) then get rid of other things in geocaching that get little use such as caches that require special equipment such as Wherigo or project APE caches.  You guys talk out both sides of your mouth!

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23 hours ago, GoldenStateBoy said:

As we are going to discontinue geocaching-related activities that are only available in one area (it's not fair to Latvians that the USA has Benchmarks and they don't), I guess we'll be archiving the A.P.E. caches and Geocaching HQ, too?

 

This statement, of course, makes zero sense. If you truly believe that's a viable argument, perhaps you should archive all your active caches, as after all, they are unfairly only available to geocachers in California.

 

(I've at least tried to spread out my active hides over several states and a couple countries. I try to give the people what they want.)

 

As an aside, it's nice of you to think of the Latvians, but despite your concern, I can assure you based on my personal experience from my visit to Riga that geocaching there is doing quite nicely. Latvia is only slightly larger than West Virginia but has over 1,600 more active geocaches. (And that doesn't even get into the hundreds of geocaches in the West Virginia back country that haven't been logged in 5+ years. Compare to Latvia, where currently the loneliest cache in Latvia is only 4 years and change lonely. So, Latvia might have at least 2,000 more truly active caches)

 

Plus - a special bonus!! - Latvia even has its own benchmark category on Waymarking. (Which you were perhaps referencing in irony in your post.  But if not, it's especially apropos that your concern for Latvian benchmark hunters is unwarranted.)

 

23 hours ago, GoldenStateBoy said:

Yeah, I know that there are still two active A.P.E. caches, but how many people travel to Brazil just for that?

 

Again, funny you should ask, but as of today, 812 have found the Southern Bowl A.P.E. cache, plus 3 DNFs. In fact, one of the more recent sets of logs is from a group of geocachers who traveled from Germany and Switzerland to, among other things, find the A.P.E. cache; the set of logs before that is from a group that traveled from the USA and Canada.

 

So, as it happens, it appears that hundreds of people have traveled to it.

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On 10/18/2022 at 10:19 AM, Bl4ckH4wkGER said:

Both have been on a steady decline since 2010 and even more significantly since 2015.

 

Unfortunately, with a finite amount of resources we have to be selective in which ones we pursue. At this point benchmarking isn't one of them due to its locally restricted nature when the game as a whole becomes more and more global.

 

Your first comment describes ALL of geocaching, it's just in a steady decline.

 

At this point in Geocaching's timeline, it is not becoming more and more global.  Again, it's all just in decline.

 

You should do what you can to keep the cachers you have. Your ability to capture new cachers is very limited these days.

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On 10/17/2022 at 11:50 AM, Geocaching HQ said:

These pre-release notes give advance notice of an upcoming change to Geocaching.com. On January 4, 2023, we will remove Benchmarking from the Geocaching.com website.

 

 

 

These changes will include updates to the following pages:

  • Old dashboard
  • Cache details pages
  • Public profile
  • Help Center
  • Public forums

 

The “NGS Benchmarks” entry and find count on public profiles will be retained to preserve statistics and player accomplishments.

 

image.png

 

 

I have noticed that the Found Count of Benchmarks have disappeared from our Stats page,  It that going to stay removed now too??

Edited by Bl4ckH4wkGER
fixed formatting
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9 minutes ago, bajatym said:

I have noticed that the Found Count of Benchmarks have disappeared from our Stats page,  It that going to stay removed now too??

 

I confirmed that Benchmark finds were never featured on the stats page. Outside the dedicated benchmarks find page, they were only ever surfaced on the public profile where the number will remain even after the retirement.

Edited by Bl4ckH4wkGER
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On 12/7/2022 at 11:00 AM, COMC said:

If this is based truly on non use (vs cost cutting which I believe it is) then get rid of other things in geocaching that get little use such as caches that require special equipment such as Wherigo or project APE caches.  You guys talk out both sides of your mouth!

 

I expect Wherigo will be grandfathered sooner rather than later. It never had the stability or support to make it successful. Labs can effectively replace basic Wherigos too.

 

The APE will last as long as the containers do because it is hugely popular, unlike benchmarking (or Wherigo). It also has no real support cost on the web side because it's just another cache type.

 

If Benchmarks had been programmed as a geocache type from the beginning they too would stay around. But instead they used a completely separate database and search system that haven't been updated in two decades, and a separate (and now old code) logging system.

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Although I am saddened by this news, I do understand the reasons behind it. At the suggestion of a lackey, I downloaded Waymarkly for iPhone. I have played around with it a bit but have not been successful logging a benchmark just yet. I just need the time to figure out another app.  Is anyone else finding this app to be challenging?

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"Today, they are not in line with the global game geocaching has become..."

 

That is correct. Benchmarking isn't a game. Note how many of us do it even though it doesn't alter our geocaching stats in any meaningful way. It's one of the few aspects of geocaching that is actually a public service (the other being CITO).

 

Too bad they didn't elect to spin it off into its own site, like they did with Waymarking, rather than throw away twenty years of user activity. 

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On 10/17/2022 at 2:50 PM, Geocaching HQ said:

Today, they are not in line with the global game geocaching has become. In addition, because benchmarks are not owned by community members, “maintenance” is not possible like with geocaches.

Many benchmark listings refer to marks that were removed or destroyed long ago, which makes for an uneven game experience.

Odd that snowdog didn't explain where they saw this.    This may be my only reason (for me...) for keeping benchmarks.

 - A hobby that helped Groundspeak when they were short caches in the beginning, and simply wasn't needed after many caches and cachers joined in.  Fortunately, it's now mostly covered by Waymarking...

We never considered the hobby of Benchmarking a game.  There's no "points" involved...

Games need points.  In Geocaching points are replaced by smileys. 

We haven't logged most our events and some really bad caches because this is a hobby for us too, just like hiking, fishing, hunting, etc.

 - Meeting your friends a couple times a month didn't seem like a "point" to us, and telling a CO "Your baby's ugly" in a log never pans out...

Games need a winner and a loser.  This hobby has already shown a few times that "everyone gets a trophy" is a thing, by re-issuing cache types no longer in play, so people entering the hobby many years later can get an icon they wouldn't be able to get otherwise. That's not playing the game fairly...

 

Edited by cerberus1
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On 12/26/2022 at 11:17 AM, streudelz1222 said:

@Geocaching HQ I have someone who would be willing to host an archived, read-only copy of the geocaching.com/mark pages in the cloud if we were to get permission through the appropriate channels. We understand the reasons for removing the pages from the website, but at this point we just want to preserve the logs and photos that so many cachers worked so hard for so that future individuals who decide to hunt for benchmarks through different avenues at least have this valuable information at their disposal. Please feel free to message me regarding this.

 

Merry Christmas to all!

 

We appreciate your enthusiasm for saving the benchmark logs and photos. We are unable to transfer player data/content to independent developers who aren't part of our API partnership program without player permission, and because we will not continue to support benchmarking, it doesn’t make sense for us to enter into such a relationship. Players are welcome to save their own benchmark data.
 

 

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On 12/28/2022 at 6:34 PM, Frau Potter said:

 

We appreciate your enthusiasm for saving the benchmark logs and photos. We are unable to transfer player data/content to independent developers who aren't part of our API partnership program without player permission, and because we will not continue to support benchmarking, it doesn’t make sense for us to enter into such a relationship. Players are welcome to save their own benchmark data.
 

 

Booooooo to this >:(  Try harder.  Do you get player permission for pages getting cached or crawled on the web?

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On 12/1/2022 at 8:55 AM, JL_HSTRE said:

Groundspeak is a business. Since the vast majority of their perceived customers have less than 100 lifetime Finds their decision-making is aimed primarily at those cachers.

 

If getting rid of benchmarks costs Groundspeak 100 PMs (and I doubt it will), but new feature Groundspeak is going to roll out after getting the old benchmarking code out of the way gets them 200 new PMs that's a win for Groundspeak. And the new feature will be used worldwide instead of only in the US. Unlike most aspects of geocaching.com, Benchmarking could only ever appeal to half the customer base because of its geographical limitations.

 

As long as Groundspeak is a for-profit business it will do what they think is best for business. Trying to keep 1% of geocachers happy isn't important for business.

True, but the small percentage of cachers with over 100 finds:

  • Have been loyal customers for years and would be more likely to be repeat customers.
  • Hide the majority of caches
  • Organize the majority of events

On the other hand, cachers with less than 100 finds:

  • Are more likely to not be repeat customers
  • Are more likely to hide a cache and then stop playing the game shortly after
  • Are more likely to not put a cache back correctly or to take a travel bug and not circulate it

They should try to keep the loyal customers they have AND figure out ways to keep newbies that try it for a season and then stop.

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On 12/6/2022 at 12:23 PM, dprovan said:

Are you familiar with the phrase "dog in the manger"?

I had never heard this phrase before but it sure is perfect here.  "I don't have Benchmarking, therefore on one else should."

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On 12/28/2022 at 3:34 PM, Frau Potter said:

 

We appreciate your enthusiasm for saving the benchmark logs and photos. We are unable to transfer player data/content to independent developers who aren't part of our API partnership program "without player permission", and because we will not continue to support benchmarking, it doesn’t make sense for us to enter into such a relationship. Players are welcome to save their own benchmark data.
 

 

Excellent point Frau Potter. “without player permission” And with that as a fact I do not give permission to destroy my personal property that has been entrusted with Groundspeak for safe keeping.

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As the final day for benchmarks is here, I am voicing my disagreement with this decision once again. I have tried Waymarking as suggested and find it not to be user friendly. There obviously have been no resources devoted to upgrading it. The answer from HQ on every suggestion in this forum has been a firm "NO" so I don't expect any change of direction. Sad day that this business has chosen to cater more to short-term members and ignore the please and suggestions of those who found this part of the activity to be interesting for many years. 

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A final thought - a majority of US Benchmarks submissions at Waymarking.com contain links back to the grocaching.com/mark site, so expect a degradation in the information contained there as well

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We are updating these release notes to inform you that the benchmark retirement is complete as outlined in the original post.

 

Sven (Bl4ckH4wkGER) 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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What bothers me the most about this decision is that it wasn't reasonably announced in advance - I get all sorts of e-mails from Groundspeak about Signal the Frog or the new geocoins I can get but eliminating benchmarks wasn't similarly announced. I can't retrieve old logs to post elsewhere.

 

It's too bad that Groundspeak wants to limit geocaching to those who like to take selfies with cell phones, as in Waymarking and earthcaches, and not those who care about history.

 

What would it have cost to keep the old logs? There is a great deal of historical information there that is not available elsewhere. I have links to geocaching.com from historical websites that will now be broken.

 

And if you try to reference a benchmark on geocaching.com, you just get a generic file not found message - surely it would be little trouble to bring up a benchmark-specific web page.

 

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12 hours ago, Zhanna said:

For anyone who wants to retrieve the text (not the photos) of their benchmark logs and see others' logs for a particular mark, you can use Internet Archive's Wayback Machine.

The benchmarking home page (as of December 30, 2022) is available here:

 

https://web.archive.org/web/20221230041305/https://www.geocaching.com/mark/

 

The postal code search doesn't work, but the PID search does, at least for all PIDs I have tried.

Thank you for posting this and the other links.  I had already saved all of my own logs and pictures, but it's nice to know that at least some of the data from other people is still available.

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15 hours ago, Zhanna said:

As someone who has searched for and documented well over 1,200 benchmarks over the past 20 years, it certainly was very surprising and disappointing to discover that the benchmark hunting section of Geocaching.com was gone without any warning to me. I do not regularly read the forums, so I had no idea this change was imminent. I only found out when I researched it after the fact. I receive plenty of emails from Groundspeak about souvenirs and their latest promotions—would it have been that difficult for them to send a message about the "retirement" of the benchmark pages?

 

Another thing that should have been done was to add a deprecation announcement to each benchmark page, so it would be obvious to anyone viewing the pages that after a certain date, the benchmark pages would no longer be available. It's just standard practice.

 

But apparently it's too late for any of that.

 

I understand the need to move away from legacy code that has become a maintenance burden, hinders future innovation, and does not fit the current goals of the organization. Frankly, given the lack of updates to the benchmarking portion of the site, I expected this to happen a long time ago, and that's why I began documenting my survey mark recoveries on my own website instead. But many people did not have that option, and they put a lot of time and effort into their benchmark logs on Geocaching.com. We have also heard over and over how useful geocachers' logs have been for professional surveyors. We had built an impressive archive of historical documentation over the decades, much of which is not available elsewhere, and it is a shame to lose that.

 

For anyone who wants to retrieve the text (not the photos) of their benchmark logs and see others' logs for a particular mark, you can use Internet Archive's Wayback Machine.

The benchmarking home page (as of December 30, 2022) is available here:

 

https://web.archive.org/web/20221230041305/https://www.geocaching.com/mark/

 

The postal code search doesn't work, but the PID search does, at least for all PIDs I have tried.

 

To go directly to a mark's page, you can use URLs of the form:

 

https://web.archive.org/web/20221208090238/https://www.geocaching.com/mark/details.aspx?PID=[PID]

 

where [PID] is the mark's PID.

 

Unfortunately, because I don't see a way to view the marks a user has logged, you will need to know the PIDs of any marks you want to look up on the Wayback Machine archive.

The NGS Data Explorer can help with that:

 

https://geodesy.noaa.gov/NGSDataExplorer/

 

I hope this is useful.

 

To anyone who enjoyed this activity, took it seriously, and understands its value, please spend some time on the NGS website and learn how to submit your data directly to them instead. Survey marks are still in constant use and your efforts will be appreciated there.

Thank you for this. I just found a puzzle cache that I am fairly certain had the location to the final in a BM photo. So I was able to get back to the page using your info, but as you stated no photos. I bet the CO doesn't even know. 

 

You really did us dirty HQ. I am not happy. I might never be with you ever again. I have little desire to support you in any way any more. That is how wrong this was. However, I do not think you care. 

Edited by elrojo14
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21 hours ago, Zhanna said:

To anyone who enjoyed this activity, took it seriously, and understands its value, please spend some time on the NGS website and learn how to submit your data directly to them instead. Survey marks are still in constant use and your efforts will be appreciated there.

 

Anyone who took benchmarking seriously should have been doing that from the beginning. 

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7 hours ago, elrojo14 said:

Thank you for this. I just found a puzzle cache that I am fairly certain had the location to the final in a BM photo. So I was able to get back to the page using your info, but as you stated no photos. I bet the CO doesn't even know. 

 

 

You are welcome! I'm so glad it helped, at least to some degree. 

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I have been researching, searching and finding most Benchmarks for many years, something I very much enjoyed. But now, for some lame reason that has been taken away. Searching & finding benchmarks is a part of history, each one has its own special story to tell. Geocaching is searching for junk and replacing it with other junk…! 
I will be deleting my geocaching account after this.

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I have been a dedicated premium of geocaching for many years, and I've come across things I don't like, but my hobby remains - scavenger hunts, exploring, discovering, friends, traveling, collecting, trading, and so even though sometimes I'm upset that something changes, I'm still here because the hobby is freaking fantastic and these stewards who run this website are doing what they can to keep it alive in a changing world. So. I'm keeping my geocaching account after this, and I fully expect that the loss of benchmarks will NOT put a dent in either the business or the community. Happy caching, all!

Edited by thebruce0
fixed, lol
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2 hours ago, thebruce0 said:

So. I'm keeping my geocaching account after this, and I fully expect that the loss of benchmarks will put a dent in either the business or the community. Happy caching, all!

Did you mistype and meant to say "will not put"? If so, there are six pages of people telling you that this is a direct slap in the face to many members and many members plan on dropping their accounts. For you to come on here and tell these people their experience and feelings do not matter is odd. 

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6 hours ago, thebruce0 said:

These stewards who run this website are doing what they can to keep it alive in a changing world. So. I'm keeping my geocaching account after this, and I fully expect that the loss of benchmarks will NOT put a dent in either the business or the community. Happy caching, all!

Yeah color me unimpressed lately with HQ. I definitely see them less as stewards now and more of a corporate machine that does not care about us, only about the bottom line. They talk a good game, but killing benchmarks and then messing up the search function and telling us "Sorry, we are on vacation and will get around to it when we get around to it" has me completely put off. At least I can go find a ton of adventure labs with little to no effort from a parking lot somewhere. What an adventure. 

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I need to post another reminder: participants in the discussion are welcome to ask questions about the logistics of removing benchmarks from Geocaching.com, or to respectfully criticize the decision that was made.  But, criticize the decision - do not personally attack or be disrespectful towards the individual people who made the decision.  Such posts will be hidden from view.

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On 11/23/2022 at 2:31 PM, BlueMoth said:

GS has given up being the stewards of the game and appointed itself its driver instead. 

 

GS is constantly taking away things we want and giving us things we don't want and never asked for.

 

...that attitude is going to be the eventual death of geocaching because GS is so focused on being the driver they forgot how to be the steward. 

 

What GS can't see is that in their attempt to attract the inattentive newbie gadfly with all the shiny objects they dangle out there they keep driving away their longtime paying customers because they are doing it at the expense of things that are useful, needful and enjoyable to us as  committed paying geocachers.

 

Some people on this thread have said they have had enough and will not be renewing their pmo. Can GS afford this continuing trend? What will be the next thing to go? Benchmark hunters are angry  and disappointed now. Who will GS anger next? Will the gadflies pony up the $30 a year for their few days or six months of a lark? No, most of them will be on to whatever next catches their attention.

 

Benchmark hunting is the mother of both virtual caches and adventure labs. What a shame it was never recognized and promoted as such. Think of all the swag,   T-shirts, coins, pins, tags etc GS could have sold in their store and profited off of and earmarked for the update of the benchmark data base. Because we all know money is the bottom line for decisions like this.

 

I hope they reflect on the wasted opportunity they always had in their hand. 

 

I lived in the Seattle area, the home of Groundspeak, for 35 years, but didn't learn about Geocaching until 2014 after moving to Las Vegas. I've been addicted to the hobby ever since, and my caching stats reflect that. I enjoyed Benchmarks, have no interest in Waymarking and don't think much of Adventure Labs anymore.

 

I think the focus on, and over saturation of meaningless, instant gratification, driveby ALs is a clear reflection on Groundspeak's business decision to focus on short-term growth. I say "short-term", because I firmly believe that today's youth market is fickle and will move on when they tire of these quick and easy low quality ALs. Groundspeak's competition in that market segment is Munzees and Poke-Mon. I suspect not that many of those users will become long term dues paying Premium Members.

 

I deeply regret the lost 13 years of Geocaching that I missed.  At age 81, I expect that I won't have that many years left to actively pursue this hobby, but I will as long as I can. I will continue to be a dues paying Premium Member as long as I can keep getting out, traveling and searching for caches - or until the hobby deteriorates to the point where it is no longer fun.

 

What I don't regret, is that I probably won't be around to see the demise of Groundspeak and Geocaching that will certainly occur if this trend continues.

 

 

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2 minutes ago, Skyhawker said:

I think the focus on, and over saturation of meaningless, instant gratification, driveby ALs is a clear reflection on Groundspeak's business decision to focus on short-term growth. I say "short-term", because I firmly believe that today's youth market is fickle and will move on when they tire of these quick and easy low quality ALs.

 

I'm not sure about the people finding them, but the AL spam placements are coming from well-established community members. People with thousands of finds and usually premium memberships.

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On 1/14/2023 at 1:55 PM, Keystone said:

I need to post another reminder: participants in the discussion are welcome to ask questions about the logistics of removing benchmarks from Geocaching.com, or to respectfully criticize the decision that was made.  But, criticize the decision - do not personally attack or be disrespectful towards the individual people who made the decision.  Such posts will be hidden from view.

 can you take a look at the post I made above yours. I believe it to be legit and polite, and at least deserving of an answer.  Thanks!

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