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Year of the Hide - is there anything in it for COs?


barefootjeff
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3 hours ago, barefootjeff said:

With a longer-term disabled cache (say because of a trail maintenance closure), we're required to post a WN every 28 days to avoid having the cache summarily archived. It would be nice if the system could generate a reminder when another WN is due, particularly when natural disasters (fires, floods, etc.) result in having multiple disabled hides, instead of just the dashboard banner saying "Some of your hides may need attention" that appears from the moment any cache is disabled.

 

Your post is very thoughtful, and I've upvoted it.  I did wish to point out that posting a note to a disabled cache every 28 days is not a Geocaching HQ requirement.  Therefore, I believe it unlikely that programming functionality to send reminder notes would be a high priority.

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47 minutes ago, Keystone said:

 

Your post is very thoughtful, and I've upvoted it.  I did wish to point out that posting a note to a disabled cache every 28 days is not a Geocaching HQ requirement.  Therefore, I believe it unlikely that programming functionality to send reminder notes would be a high priority.

 

Thanks. This is from the boilerplate Reviewer Note that was posted a few months back on a cache I've had disabled since April due to a track closure following flood damage:

 

Quote

If you require more time please be sure to post a note (not an email) explaining the situation and how much more time you require. For ongoing issues please ensure you visit the listing and post a new note every 4 to 6 weeks (maximum) to keep everyone up to date, if you do not then you cache may be archived without further note from a reviewer. Caches archived due to lack of maintenance are no longer unarchived and you will need to submit a replacement as a new cache.

 

But maybe that's just a local thing with the reviewers here. I've seen caches in a similar situation archived without further warning if the CO misses posting a note.

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4 hours ago, barefootjeff said:

Show the cache size volume ranges on the cache creation page instead of just the pictures of a bison tube (micro), Tupperware box (small), ammo can (regular) and a bucket (large). Unless a container is one of those things, it's not clear where the boundaries between sizes are.

 

This is a nice idea, but I doubt most cachers have an idea about container volume nor the inclination to look it up.

 

Perhaps a link to a chart giving examples of common containers and the appropriate sizes?

 

4 hours ago, barefootjeff said:

Provide a better way of taking coordinates in the app than just adding a waypoint to an existing cache. Something that provided averaging or, ideally, showed the coordinates' drunken bee dance to give a visual indication of where the average is and the sort of spread that's occurring.

 

If the site needs averaging for the hide then it needs a true GPSr, not a smartphone.

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1 hour ago, Keystone said:

I did wish to point out that posting a note to a disabled cache every 28 days is not a Geocaching HQ requirement.

 

Most Reviewers ask for a monthly (calendar month) update on disabled caches.

 

Some seem very tolerant of caches disabled for an extended period of time, as long as regular updates are provided. Others seem to feel being disabled for more than a few months, for any reason, is grounds for archival.

 

Whatever the policy is for frequency of updates and duration disabled more consistency between Reviewers would be good.

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There are a bunch of containers I own that I would like to hide, but haven't. Even some ammo cans. What can Groundspeak do to encourage me to hide them?

 

How about when you log Owner Maintenance there's a checkbox option to Enable the cache, like there is for NM/NA on Finds? For most COs this would be a small convenience. But it would also hopefully  avoid the reoccurring issue of COs who can't grasp the should both OM and Enable, leading to replaced caches being archived. There comes a point where even if your system is reasonable you have to account for clueless user behavior.

 

My biggest issue as a CO is one Groundspeak can't control: land managers. Too many green places near me are on a prescribed burn cycle. It's hard to find a place for an ammo can that will last 5 years.

 

Some places it's very difficult to get ahold of someone to give permission. Email contact is especially hard to find sometimes, but it's my preferred method. I hate calling strangers, and I want permission in writing in case there's a problem later. (Groundspeak has provided a wiki for permission contact which is very helpful.)

 

The biggest improvements for COs is probably an indirect one: improve the seekers.

 

Require email verification before logging any caches.

 

Better educate geocachers about logging procedures and good log writing, and to be more careful closing containers. How I don't know.

 

I see a paradox when it comes to helping COs. What quantity-based hiders want is probably different, and even diametrically opposed, to what quality-based hiders want.

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6 hours ago, barefootjeff said:
  • Provide a way to see found mysteries and multis at their corrected coordinates. We know where they are because we've found them, yet we can't see them on any of the site's maps, particularly the planning map where it would be most helpful.
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  • Provide a better way of taking coordinates in the app than just adding a waypoint to an existing cache. Something that provided averaging or, ideally, showed the coordinates' drunken bee dance to give a visual indication of where the average is and the sort of spread that's occurring.
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These are really great.

 

The biggest thing holding me back from hiding is the fact I don't know if I'm going to spend days creating an awesome cache., submit it and have the reviewer come back saying, "Sorry, you're 5 feet too close to a puzzle cache".

 

I don't work many puzzle caches, and even when I do, I can't tell where they are later.

Case in point, a huge series of 25 (or so) "X" caches near me. They fill up a huge area. I've found a huge percentage of them, but now have no idea where the final coords were. I won't hide anything in that entire area (many miles) because I'd likely be near one.

 

 

 

Having the capability of taking coords in the app is brilliant. It would be great if it had capability of multiple readings within a setting, so we could take coords at, say, 3 new cache sites, and take 4 sets of coords at each one (for accuracy) and be able to get home and have them in neat packets: Cache #1, Cache #2, Cache #3

 

 

 

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11 hours ago, barefootjeff said:

Provide a way to see found mysteries and multis at their corrected coordinates. We know where they are because we've found them, yet we can't see them on any of the site's maps, particularly the planning map where it would be most helpful

I wish we had this one! Not even just for hiding, just for knowing where the cache is - I recall better what the cache was when looking back when it's at the final location cos that's the spot I remember.

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6 hours ago, JL_HSTRE said:

This is a nice idea, but I doubt most cachers have an idea about container volume nor the inclination to look it up.

 

The most common cache size transgression I see around here is Eclipse mint tins being listed as smalls. For those, there's no need to look anything up or even do any measurements, for anyone in a metric country the cursed things fall obviously well short of the 100ml needed to qualify as a small (they're actually about 50ml).

 

20210913_063510.jpg.bfc8cc0b8f6a5654408472ebbdf27d8e.jpg

 

But they're substantially bigger than a bison tube, which is the only guide on the cache creation page to what is considered a micro, so that's probably why they keep getting listed as smalls. The only place the actual volumes are shown is on page 6.12 of the Help Centre and really, the Help Centre would have to be one of geocaching's best kept secrets what with its link being at the very bottom of everything and placed under "Contact Us".

 

image.png.2bb4fa3d8e035fbd81b248217cad38c8.png

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15 minutes ago, barefootjeff said:

The most common cache size transgression I see around here is Eclipse mint tins being listed as smalls.

I blame nanos. If nanos are micros, gee whiz gosh, anything bigger than that has to be a small...at least. And those 'smalls' are naturally regulars.

 

Cure; have a nano size rating.

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1 hour ago, Goldenwattle said:

I blame nanos. If nanos are micros, gee whiz gosh, anything bigger than that has to be a small...at least. And those 'smalls' are naturally regulars.

 

Cure; have a nano size rating.

 

 

People have been asking for a Nano size longer than I've been caching (2010). I'm surprised it has never come to pass.

 

No matter what example you use people seem to assume "everything bigger must be the next size". A magkey is bigger than a film, a Preform is much bigger than a Bison or a Film can. Thus the solution is picking the largest Micro and using that as the example. In other words, instead of a Bison Tube the sample container for Micros should be a Preform.

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9 hours ago, JL_HSTRE said:

If the site needs averaging for the hide then it needs a true GPSr, not a smartphone.


There's nothing inherent about a true dumb GPSr and a smart phone GPSr that makes GPS averaging possible on one and not the other.

On the iPhone, I've been using an app such as this one: https://apps.apple.com/us/app/gps-averaging/id841885774
(i hope the link is allowed) to get great averaged coordinates that tend to be a lot more accurate than a single snapshot reading.

I've always thought functionality like this should be built into the official app.
 

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2p: The smallest size should indicate its maximum size and anything smaller, just as the largest size should indicate its minimize size and anything larger. On the small side, anything smaller than a mint tin would include nanos and there'd be no question, just as anything bigger than a bucket or tub would include trailers and walk-in human-sized ammo cans, etc.  

Other should be special for sizes wanting to be left a surprise, or too complex to define a size, not for a size that doesn't fit a classification in any way.

Edited by thebruce0
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Ok, I hope my ideas don't end up with a penalty point from some anonymous moderator again.

 

"Use current coordinates"

When setting up a new geocache, even in 2022, we can enter location only using GPS coordinates. This was understandable years ago, but nowadays most of us find and create caches with our smartphones. Similarly, fairly detailed satellite maps already exist. So it would be good to have a "Use current coordinates" button when creating a listing, or to be able to select a location on the satellite map. Yes, we can (and do) do this with for example Mapy.cz and copy it, but why?

 

Show something new

The "lab cache" was said to be used to test new features. It's been a few years and the "labs" are still Adventures. There's nothing new here?  What about the new attribute promised as "coming soon" in October 2021? What about these tips for new geocache type? I think such a thing would motivate players to create.

 

Maker Madness 2

In 2014, ten days in March/April were designated as Cache Hiders' Days. On these days, it was possible to organize an event included in a special bookmark, and each participant received a virtual souvenir for attending. In total, 972 events took place. I think it would be useful to repeat such an event - to show cache makers how to do it. And having such an event with a unique icon? Great!

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4 hours ago, HoochDog said:

There's nothing inherent about a true dumb GPSr and a smart phone GPSr that makes GPS averaging possible on one and not the other.

 

I didn't mean as a matter of function. Rather, in my experience, smartphones are comparable to Garmins in open areas, but not when tree cover and other interference is present.

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6 hours ago, HoochDog said:

There's nothing inherent about a true dumb GPSr and a smart phone GPSr that makes GPS averaging possible on one and not the other.

 

Sure, if you mean a particular smartphone.  My iphone 8 can be 200 feet off and may "average" down to a really super amazingly average point that far off.  It was almost that far off while I was caching yesterday.  Fortunately I also had my Garmin. 

 

So "a" smartphone is other phones besides mine.  Look at the threads about this issue and it applies to many more than mine.  Sure, they all can average the error.  And it may be a combination of App and Phone (and even the SIM card, based on the threads).  And when you're all done, averaging produces an average.  Go figure.

 

I also think that adding "averaging" to The Official App would open a whole can of worms for cache hunters and hiders.  

 

Edited by kunarion
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3 hours ago, kunarion said:

Sure, if you mean a particular smartphone.  My iphone 8 can be 200 feet off and may "average" down to a really super amazingly average point that far off.

A good averaging algorithm would notice the very odd outlier and not include it in averaging. Outliers can happen on any device because it could be hardware and it could be environment.  Averaging is done differently based on different manufacturers and brands and hardware tech age. One cannot simply wave off "smartphones" today. If someone invests in an old smartphone of some minor or less successful brand or model, well then that's a different matter entirely... :P  I've had zero problems with my phones in the last oh 10 years with speed or accuracy when it comes to geocaching; and I don't use averaging (iOS handles this differently when it comes to what the OS feeds the active apps on polling for a gps location).

 

And whenever these topics arise there are always opinions across the board about what anyone may feel is the 'best' or 'worst' device; and almost entirely anecdotal. The market is full of quality and trash. Just got to know what's decent, get what you prefer, and live with it. Dodge the endless debates. :drama:

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26 minutes ago, thebruce0 said:

And whenever these topics arise there are always opinions across the board about what anyone may feel is the 'best' or 'worst' device; and almost entirely anecdotal. The market is full of quality and trash. Just got to know what's decent, get what you prefer, and live with it. Dodge the endless debates. :drama:


I have a theory that although a whole range of iPhone may be 300 feet off in the App “and they’re working on it”, that if a Garmin had that issue, there would be updates pronto.  Because a Garmin has one job, that map point.  Yes, a phone can do maps.  So can mine, it’s 300 feet off.

 

But even with the weird and elusive 300 foot off glitch, I found a cache yesterday.  But I’ve also found caches that were listed 2.5 miles off.  


Averaging, yeah, probably most cachers would never bother.

 

Edited by kunarion
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Here's another suggestion that would make life easier for COs creating new caches. This is the planning map on the cache edit page for a new multi I'm working on.

 

image.png.f2809c22ba18555ae1c60a07af9f66ea.png

 

Can you see what's missing? That's right, THERE'S NO SCALE ON THE MAP! This is the only place on the site I can see where my cache's hidden waypoints are yet I can't easily tell whether to set the <1km or 1km-10km attributes.

 

Why is there so much reluctance these days to put scales on maps?

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Let's see, site improvements for hiders

1) allow corrected coords to stay on site maps, as requested in the opening post

2) make the planning actually do what it says, " "The map below displays visible locations that are already taken by existing geocaches. The map does not display hidden waypoints..."

 

What it actually does is show the visible posted coords of Trads and Multi-caches, ignores posted of Mystery and LBH, and shows visible stage coords of any type.

 

 

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8 hours ago, Isonzo Karst said:
On 11/19/2022 at 12:39 PM, barefootjeff said:

Why is there so much reluctance these days to put scales on maps?

 

because of the amount of scaling that people do with zoom. 

 

The Browse map and Search map both have scales, as does the small map on cache pages, and they're just as zoomable as the planning map on the cache creation page. Surely adjusting the scale on a zoomable map is just a bit of arithmetic which computers are supposed to be good at doing, aren't they?

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