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Proposed Guideline Change – Mystery Cache Disclaimer


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The Problem

I first saw a post in the Geocaching sub-reddit a few months ago that made me start thinking about this issue. A user posted that they had come very close to trespassing on private property because they were confused about Mystery Caches with bogus coordinates. A few days ago, I saw another post about a non-premium member who saw the greyed-out icon of a mystery cache on the geocaching app, they were confused and thought it was very unsafe that a geocache is allowed to be placed beside the on ramp of a freeway.

 

There are multiple logs of a mystery cache near me with users who are visiting the posted coordinates and confused because there is nothing there. These posted coordinates happen to be in a safe area to walk, but it has caused frustration for multiple newer cachers. If I downloaded the app today for the first time and hit navigate to the closest cache (a mystery) I would spend time searching beside a sidewalk for something that is not there, and probably have a negative first-time geocaching experience. There is nothing in the description that makes it clear the cache is not at this location.

 

Short Term Solution

Create a new guideline that all new Mystery caches with bogus coordinates should have bolded text at the beginning of the description stating - This cache is not at the posted coordinates. This is something many cachers already do.

 

Potential Problems with Short Term Solution

  • Added work for reviewers to ensure new guideline is being implemented.
  • May harm the aesthetics or function of some very specific puzzles. For example, if the CO wants their description to look completely blank.
  • It will not help the problem of non-premium members concerned with greyed out icons in dangerous areas (I don’t believe they are able to read the description?)
  • There are other cache types that may use bogus coordinates. For example, I have a play anywhere Wherigo in the middle of a busy street. I do have a disclaimer at the beginning of the description.

 

Long Term Solution

An option to check a box when submitting any cache type with bogus coordinates. This automatically adds a disclaimer to the cache page and on the app. Users could click this disclaimer for more details (ex. It is not necessary to visit the posted coordinates to find this geocache. The location of the posted coordinates may be on a private property and/or in an area that may be dangerous to travel too). It would be ideal if some kind of symbol or modification to the icon was then also automatically made on the map. For example, in the same way the number of favourites is being shown on the actual mini icons.

 

Alternate Solution

Another solution would be to require bogus coordinates not be on private property or anywhere that could be dangerous to walk too. However, this would not solve the problem of new users being frustrated and not understanding that there is no physical cache at the posted coordinates. It would also require a lot of extra reviewer work, and the idea of what is dangerous could be very subjective.

 

Conclusion

A reviewer once strongly recommended I do not place bogus coordinates in a national park, because they were worried the people who worked there would be confused and think a physical cache had been placed. If adult park employees would be confused by this, surely a teenager downloading the app for the first time is going to be equally confused?

I feel that this is not a major issue, but if nothing changes eventually someone could be hurt by this confusion. It is even more likely in my opinion that someone will be upset when they anger a property owner because they think a geocache is on their farm field or front yard because they believed that is what the app was saying.

 

Anyways, curious to see what you all think? I think this is a small change with some big positives. I don’t really see many negatives in making bogus coordinate disclaimers an official recommendation….

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I agree with this suggestion.  I have several Mystery caches and on everyone I have included the statement that the cache is not at the listed coordinates.  Mostly, the listed coordinates are a suggested parking location.  

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35 minutes ago, Keystone said:

Many Mystery caches, and most Challenge Caches, ARE at the posted coordinates. So, an enforced automated solution wouldn’t work. 


I don’t think you understand what I was suggesting. It can never be completely automatic. It would be a good start to have a mandatory disclaimer for those with bogus coordinates, then eventually an optional checkbox that a user manually selects for caches that are using bogus coordinates. 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Keystone said:

Many Mystery caches, and most Challenge Caches, ARE at the posted coordinates. So, an enforced automated solution wouldn’t work. 

???

The final coordinates are part of the cache listing even if they aren't shown.

Isn't it just if final not equal posted then add bold text to cache page (or attribute, or red circle around icon, or whatever) as part of the page format?   
That would only effect the liar puzzle caches.    
 

 

Edited by schmittfamily
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7 minutes ago, DarkZen_EvilCowPie said:

I have had several mystery caches down through the years where the cache was at the posted coordinates. 

 


Yes, I have a mystery cache that is at the posted coordinates as well. The guideline I am proposing would not impact these in any way. The fact that there are mystery caches both at the posted coordinates and with bogus coordinates is another reason why I think this disclaimer would be helpful, especially for new cachers. 

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5 hours ago, x7Kevin said:

Create a new guideline that all new Mystery caches with bogus coordinates should have bolded text at the beginning of the description stating - This cache is not at the posted coordinates. This is something many cachers already do.

 

All my puzzle caches have that at the top of the description, which is fine for those players who use the website and look at the actual cache page there, but what about all the newer app-only players who have never visited the website? When they open a mystery cache in the official app, this is what they see:

 

Screenshot_20240508_071202_Geocaching.jpg.91bc7dd13764617d0030954a1f0ef4a0.jpg

A map showing the icon, and directly below that big bold bright Navigate and Log buttons. Way down near the bottom in the fine print that they're unlikely to notice, is something about "Description". Presented with a screen like this and eager to find the cache, it's not surprising that the first thing they'll do is hit the Navigate button, which will lead them to those horrible Bogus Coordinates. It's little wonder I occasionally get DNFs from such players, like this one recently on that cache from a premium member never-visited-the-website player with no finds:

 

image.png.e8201f5267b6ba3e9e807a0bd0be60a8.png

 

I do give a bit of thought to my bogus coordinates, typically putting them near the parking waypoint, in bushland near to the final (but not too near!) or over water where it ought to be clear that it's not where the cache is. I would never put them over private property, and that seems to be the case for most puzzle caches around here.

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10 minutes ago, barefootjeff said:

 

All my puzzle caches have that at the top of the description, which is fine for those players who use the website and look at the actual cache page there, but what about all the newer app-only players who have never visited the website? 

 

 

Yup, I am thinking the same. At least because you add it to the first line (like majority of hiders, but not all) it does show up on the app screen, but very easy to miss if you just hit navigate like you said. 

 

I searched mystery caches around me and was able to find some on private property (mostly middle of farm fields). There are also quite a few in dangerous places (near freeways) that a cache wouldn't be allowed to be placed. I usually try and put my bogus cooridinates as a parking suggestion, but obviously not everyone is doing this. 

 

I actually saw a new cacher confused about a mystery cache with bogus coords in the middle of a lake too awhile ago :lol:

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RTFM

 

Read The F... Manual.

 

Read the instructions. Dont just jump in, thinking you "know everything" about the subject.

I wouldn't try to climb Mt Everest with out finding out 'something' about doing it!

 

And, yes, it seems 'most' CO's that set Bogus Co-ords do say on the cache page.

(Also applies to Multi caches. :blink: How often have you read logs from newbies for a multi, that cant find a container at the first set of co-ords?!!)

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3 minutes ago, Bear and Ragged said:

RTFM

 

Read The F... Manual.

 

I agree but the reality is majority of new cachers are not going to read pages of information before their first outing. I feel strongly about this issue too because I feel it has the potential to be a safety issue. 

 

It's true that most of us do already have a disclaimer, so then it seems like this change would only impact the ~5% that do not. Why not make it easier and a better experience for both finders and hiders with a simple guideline change? 

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36 minutes ago, x7Kevin said:

I agree but the reality is majority of new cachers are not going to read pages of information before their first outing. I feel strongly about this issue too because I feel it has the potential to be a safety issue. 

 

The way the description is effectively hidden in the official app creates safety issues for more than just mystery caches. A lot of my traditionals are in potentially dangerous locations where just blindly hitting the Navigate button without even looking at the description is likely to get you into trouble. There's a safe way to get to the cache, but it's generally not in a straight line from the nearest road or along any marked trail and reading the description is pretty much mandatory, but the app designers seem to have gone to considerable lengths to discourage that.

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When I started out I was confused by a local cache icon in the middle of a pond. It hadn't occurred to me that caches might not always be at the posted coordinates. I figured it out after I read the description carefully.

 

While puzzles should usually specify at the top of the description that the cache is not at the posted coordinates (and I would be fine losing the small number of puzzles ruined by requiring it), the OP is essentially trying to reach the unreachable. 

 

I've seen Earthcaches get DNFs because no container was found, and people refuse to send answers despite the requirement being stated at the top of the description. Virtual and Challenge COs similarly get people who refuse to meet the requirements spelled out in the description. Even if spelled out in big bold text on the first line of the description. 

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14 minutes ago, JL_HSTRE said:

the OP is essentially trying to reach the unreachable. 


Obviously there will always be some people who are ‘unreachable’. You could have a flashing warning pop up and an alarm start blasting and they still wouldn’t understand. 
 

I am trying to reach the new cachers who are doing their best to understand what can be a pretty complex hobby when first starting. The two people in the example at the beginning of my post were able to easily understand the concept of bogus coordinates once someone explained it to them. A new cacher shouldn’t need to make a Reddit post to understand a basic aspect of the game. 
 

There is also a big difference between what I am talking about and a DNF on an EC or improper logging of a virtual. Someone being confused about bogus coordinates can be a safety issue. 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, JL_HSTRE said:

I've seen Earthcaches get DNFs because no container was found, and people refuse to send answers despite the requirement being stated at the top of the description. Virtual and Challenge COs similarly get people who refuse to meet the requirements spelled out in the description. Even if spelled out in big bold text on the first line of the description.

 

A few weeks ago I got this log on a 4-stage multi with physical waypoints, based around a narrative in the description that unfolds with the information attached to each themed object:

 

image.png.07abc4078a8853efc3e67bec78a6d22f.png

 

They joined in 2022, have never visited the website, and have found just one other cache (a traditional) which they did on the same day as my multi. I checked the logbook on Sunday and as expected there's no signature from them so I suspect they just pressed Navigate on the app screen, went to the first object at the listed coordinates and thought that was all they had to do to log a find. As a diligent CO I really can't let their log stand, but I'm struggling to come up with suitable wording to explain how multis work and why just finding the first stage isn't enough, without sounding officious and putting them off the game.

 

It used to be that making a cache PMO was a good way to shield raw beginners from caches like this, particularly those players with no interest beyond scoring points in a phone game, but these days just about every app-only never-visited-the-website new player starts with PM before they've even found anything. The way it's being promoted as purely an app-based game, I'm starting to wonder if there's still a place for non-traditional caches or really anything that isn't an easy P&G.

Edited by barefootjeff
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As the majority of mystery caches are not at the coordinates (or those I have experienced), maybe standard text could appear automatically under Geocache Description saying, 'Cache is not at these coordinates', unless the CO ticks a box for, 'Cache is at these coordinates'. That would also cover all past mysteries. An email should be sent out to all COs with mystery caches warning them. Active COs would be able to go in and tick this box if applicable. Any mystery caches (at coordinates) not corrected, it would indicate an inactive CO. The reviewer might be able to pick this up (DNFs, NM), and after a warning, considered whether to archive that cache or not. 

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Mystery/Unknown caches kind of annoy me with the clutter on the map. All other caches I can go there and find it or answer the questions and qualify. I wish the default was to display corrected coordinates as findable and possibly change the icon and allow them to be filtered out better. If the mystery/unknown cache is hidden at the posted coordinatesthe co could automatically update the corrected coordinates. But all other ones I'm not going to use the app on at all. You solve them at home not on your phone near the GZ.  

 

If I'm traveling to a new area, I turn them all off because I'm not going to be able to find them without work on my end and more than likely I was not prepared.

 

The app could do a better job for sure.

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Posted (edited)
22 hours ago, x7Kevin said:

Added work for reviewers to ensure new guideline is being implemented.

 You mention this issue several times in your OP. I suspect you will get some pushback from the volunteers who already put in long hours to keep this game running smoothly.

 

16 hours ago, x7Kevin said:

I agree but the reality is majority of new cachers are not going to read pages of information before their first outing. I feel strongly about this issue too because I feel it has the potential to be a safety issue. 

 

I agree that many new cachers do not read the instructional materials. They just click the buttons and blindly follow the arrow. These cachers probably will not read the cache page too.

 

14 hours ago, x7Kevin said:

A new cacher shouldn’t need to make a Reddit post to understand a basic aspect of the game. 

 

I'm a late era boomer who has been playing this game for 20+ years. I have noticed that many people in younger generations prefer to crowdsource their information via social media posting when it is seemingly easier to look up the answers via Google or the help center. It's not an issue that is unique to geocaching. I see this phenomenon in several other communities I am active in. It is a generational shift in attitude and behavior. Adding another disclaimer to the cache pages won't help those people.

 

I applaud your creative thinking but IMO you are suggesting a solution that is a problem for a very small subset of the geocaching community. I agree that parts of this game have steep learning curves, but do not feel this is one of them. New cachers face larger issues that deserve the attention and energy this project would demand. Getting accurate coords and learning about different formats would be #1. A close #2 is understanding that just because you did not find it doesn't mean it isn't there.

 

** I just read the latest update release from HQ and it seems they have taken some significant steps to address issue #1.

 

Edited by wimseyguy
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It says something about a CO who would put their mystery coordinates on a grassy knoll surrounded by highway. It would only take one determined newbie to make this go very badly. I wouldn't want to be a CO that's responsible for the potential tragedy, or for freaking out other drivers who see someone running across a highway. Maybe the CO either hasn't considered it, or maybe they think it's amusing.

 

should-there-be-a-cache.thumb.webp.665bc113a6b124027848217aed682473.webp

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21 minutes ago, wimseyguy said:

Adding another disclaimer to the cache pages won't help those people.

 

It's not adding another disclaimer, it's adding the first disclaimer in situations where there is none. Someone who opens the app right now and navigates to a mystery cache where there has been no disclaimer added to the description will at no point see a single disclaimer. 

 

The short term solution I proposed would take one staff member 30 minutes to implement. It only requires adding a line to the guideline page and no coding changes. As others have mentioned in this thread, because most COs are already adding this at the top of their descriptions, it should also have a very minimal impact in terms of more work for reviewers. 

 

I also don't believe it is necessary to apply this rule retroactively. It would just be a good idea moving forward. Maybe one day when there's a long term solution, but for now there are very simple changes that could be made in the short term. 

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4 minutes ago, L0ne.R said:

It says something about a CO who would put their mystery coordinates on a grassy knoll surrounded by highway. It would only take one determined newbie to make this go very badly. I wouldn't want to be a CO that's responsible for the potential tragedy, or for freaking out other drivers who see someone running across a highway. Maybe the CO either hasn't considered it, or maybe they think it's amusing.

 

Yes, that's one of the original examples that prompted my post. I found many others just in my area that are similar, different COs. It's something I wouldn't have considered myself, but seeing all the brand new users in my area immediately getting premium made me think more about it. It is fun having bogus coords in interesting spots, but if we are doing this then it should be clear that there's no reason to actually visit that spot in-person. 

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I'm not totally unsympathetic but I don't completely agree either. 

You say: 

18 hours ago, x7Kevin said:

I am trying to reach the new cachers who are doing their best to understand what can be a pretty complex hobby when first starting. The two people in the example at the beginning of my post were able to easily understand the concept of bogus coordinates once someone explained it to them. A new cacher shouldn’t need to make a Reddit post to understand a basic aspect of the game. 

Doing their best? They can figure out how to post on Reddit but they can't figure out how to read the "Quick guide" in the app which explains that, "Most often, the final container is not at the posted coordinates"? Or maybe go to the Geocaching.com and find an explanation for what all those different icons mean? 

 

At one time, in the app, when you clicked on a cache type for the first time a message would pop up explaining about the type. To move on you had to click "OK". As an experienced user it was really annoying but for a new user it could be helpful assuming they bother to read it. It would only pop up once (but would sometimes reset after an app update). I haven't seen it in a while so I don't know if it still happens for new users but, to some extent, it would address the issue you bring up.

 

 

 

 

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7 hours ago, L0ne.R said:

It says something about a CO who would put their mystery coordinates on a grassy knoll surrounded by highway. It would only take one determined newbie to make this go very badly. I wouldn't want to be a CO that's responsible for the potential tragedy, or for freaking out other drivers who see someone running across a highway. Maybe the CO either hasn't considered it, or maybe they think it's amusing.

 

should-there-be-a-cache.thumb.webp.665bc113a6b124027848217aed682473.webp

 

Meh...

 

I've found TRADITIONAL caches that were in locations similar to that. They were placed on public pedestrian/multi-use paths that went through a freeway interchange, and the satellite images looked like yours, except that it was a TRADITIONAL cache icon, not a mystery/puzzle cache icon.

 

There was no legal access to the cache locations from the freeway, and the listings warned seekers not to try to access the caches from the freeway. But it was a lot of fun figuring out how to access the cache location safely and legally, and where the nearest trailhead for the public path was.

 

Many T5 caches are a much bigger risk for "potential tragedy" than these caches. I certainly hope cache owners don't stop putting out interesting caches because they're terrified of being "a CO that's responsible for the potential tragedy".

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43 minutes ago, niraD said:

I've found TRADITIONAL caches that were in locations similar to that. They were placed on public pedestrian/multi-use paths that went through a freeway interchange, and the satellite images looked like yours, except that it was a TRADITIONAL cache icon, not a mystery/puzzle cache icon.

 

Yep, like this one:

 

Rascal.jpg.6f63b579ac07c54e819e8655d5902566.jpg

 

It's not visible through the trees in the satellite image, but there's a pedestrian/bike path underpass going from the car park in the top left under the roundabout and then looping around onto the top path inside the roundabout. You can get to the cache without ever having to set foot on a road.

 

There's a whole series of similar caches near here called "Stay off the road!" which are in pedestrian underpasses or overpasses on busy roads. The description makes that clear, but the app provides little incentive to read that, and for traditionals the "Info" button (which you have to scroll right to the bottom to find) even says to only look at the description if you get stuck. For caches like these, and others that are in potentially dangerous locations such as near cliffs, by then it's probably too late.

 

Most new players these days have never visited the website and exclusively use the app, so rather than blame COs, I'd prefer to see the app give the description a bit more prominence so there's at least some chance it will be viewed before they just tap "Navigate" and start blindly following the arrow.

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11 hours ago, L0ne.R said:

It says something about a CO who would put their mystery coordinates on a grassy knoll surrounded by highway. It would only take one determined newbie to make this go very badly. I wouldn't want to be a CO that's responsible for the potential tragedy, or for freaking out other drivers who see someone running across a highway. Maybe the CO either hasn't considered it, or maybe they think it's amusing.

 

Given the highway numbers in the screenshot, it didn't take long to identify the cache in question. On the cache page, viewed on the website, guess what it says in bold letters right at the top?

 

image.png.5616c2f508d4a6310c9584825570e573.png

So is this the CO's fault for not placing their bogus coordinates in a family-friendly park (but not near a playground, of course), or is it the app designers' fault for encouraging players to just hit Navigate without even looking at the description?

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11 hours ago, threenow24 said:

Easiest way to solve this problem - get rid of the app(s)! Website and GPSr use required to participate, can you imagine?

 

That genie isn't going back in the bottle.

 

I think apps are very useful, but as an entry into the hobby instead of just a tool they do sometimes lead to problems.

 

Verified accounts are a must. If your account doesn't have a verified email should be no logging. Newcomers should get a welcome email with links to intro videos and FAQs. If someone fails to use those resources then coming to grief is on them.

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3 hours ago, JL_HSTRE said:

 

That genie isn't going back in the bottle.

 

I think apps are very useful, but as an entry into the hobby instead of just a tool they do sometimes lead to problems.

 

Verified accounts are a must. If your account doesn't have a verified email should be no logging. Newcomers should get a welcome email with links to intro videos and FAQs. If someone fails to use those resources then coming to grief is on them.

100% agreed 

 

Easiest way for geocoding to disappear as we know it is to go backwards. Personally I think it is overdue for a leap forwards. 

 

Solve the problem do not allow for navigation to an unfindable cache.

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Mystery cache type means that you must read the description to figure out where the cache is or what you are required to do to find it.

 

The App should tell this to the user. This is a game and the game mechanics works the best. Usually, players are informed about new features during the gameplay. Not every time but at the first time the player faces a new thing. A game that requires reading a manual or consulting reddit is a dead game pretty quickly.

 

At the beginning, the official app hides mystery caches from beginners, but it is just a paywall, not a designed path of learning. It seems that newbies turns to members too soon, without opportunity to develop gradually to the higher level as it happens in many other games.

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1 hour ago, arisoft said:

At the beginning, the official app hides mystery caches from beginners, but it is just a paywall, not a designed path of learning. It seems that newbies turns to members too soon, without opportunity to develop gradually to the higher level as it happens in many other games.

 

Almost all the newbie accounts I've been seeing over the past few years have had premium membership before they've even found their first cache and, as they've also never visited the website, they've signed up through the app, probably using a social media account. Do new players signing up this way get a free three-month PM or something? Whatever the reason, the end result is logs like this when they just hit navigate on the first cache they see, if that happens to be a mystery or some other non-traditional:

 

image.png.e8201f5267b6ba3e9e807a0bd0be60a8.png

 

That log was a month ago and they're still a premium member with no finds. Then for every one DNF, there are probably a dozen who don't log anything and just walk away shaking their head before browsing through the app store for different game to try. I guess HQ are happy because they're getting money for nothing, but is this really good for the game?

 

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Posted (edited)
On 5/9/2024 at 8:36 PM, arisoft said:

At the beginning, the official app hides mystery caches from beginners, but it is just a paywall, not a designed path of learning. It seems that newbies turns to members too soon, without opportunity to develop gradually to the higher level as it happens in many other games.

 

Time for three stages of membership?

 

1. Free. (trial period, limited caches/cache types limited D/T  shown/able to search for)

2. Small payment. (Ability to see other types of cache, but not PMO) *As can be seen on the website for free

3. Premium Member. (Can see all caches/cache types.)

 

That would also allow Premium Members to hide PMO caches to limit the cachers that can seek them.

Edited by Bear and Ragged
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I am not a coder, so please don't interpret this as usable code (or anything even remotely close), but

 

If:

User selects 'Navigate', &

CacheType is one of 'Unknown, Multi, Letterbox', &

CacheAttribute 'ChallengeCache' is not set, &

CorrectedCoordinates is not set, then

DisplayMessage '[CacheType] caches are generally not located at the posted coordinates, are you sure you want to navigate to here?'

 

User selects Yes (proceeds to navigate) or No (returns to cache page)

 

Edited by BFMC
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17 minutes ago, BFMC said:

CacheType is one of 'Unknown, Multi, Letterbox',

 

For multis, you do want to navigate to the listed coordinates because that's the first waypoint you need to visit. The same is also true for many LBHs, but not all. The important thing to get across, especially for non-traditionals, is to read the description first.

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4 minutes ago, barefootjeff said:

 

For multis, you do want to navigate to the listed coordinates because that's the first waypoint you need to visit. The same is also true for many LBHs, but not all. The important thing to get across, especially for non-traditionals, is to read the description first.

 

Yes, true. Multi's should not be in there.

 

As for Lbox, I can recall very few where I had to visited posted coordinates, but accept that may not be a consistent experience. Hell, just make it unknowns without the challenge attribute.

 

My ultimate point being, there's more than one way to skin a cat.

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1 hour ago, BFMC said:

I have a challenge cache that can literally be logged as a new player's second ever find....

 

Right, but they will try it at the first one, without reading the description. Not a good reason to show them all. There are also many mystery caches at the posted coordinates.

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1 hour ago, arisoft said:

 

Right, but they will try it at the first one, without reading the description. Not a good reason to show them all. There are also many mystery caches at the posted coordinates.

 

Which is why the pop up asks for confirmation and gives a reason why, not stops them from doing it. It's not foolproof, nothing is. But at least it forces a response. The message could easily include 'visit the cache description for more information', or even a link to the help centre article on finding caches in the field. Plus, if an unknown cache is at the posted coordinates I would hazard a guess that most cachers who have identified that would likely update it to be corrected coordinates, in which case the pop-up wouldnt appear.

 

It's not a foolproof method, but i'd argue it would be more effective than enforcing a line of text in the cache description, which it seems like we can all agree often goes unread in this scenario.

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Curious that this is "proposed". I (co) own a puzzle, for which the feedback we got upon submission was, essentially, "please add a sentence to the top of the description saying that the cache is not at posted" -- so I assumed this was already a guideline. I guess it is a regional (or more likely per-Reviewer) thing.

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I agree with the RTFM mentality. Just because someone is ignorant enough (through their own doing, by not researching) not to realize that a cache isn't at a posted location,  doesn't mean they are stupid enough to run across a busy freeway. These are life lessons we are taught as children and have adhered to throughout our lives.  At some point people need to be able to make commonsense decisions for themselves.  Most cachers that hop in from the App, and do stuff like this don't last anyway. 

 

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On 5/8/2024 at 10:51 AM, barefootjeff said:

A few weeks ago I got this log on a 4-stage multi with physical waypoints, based around a narrative in the description that unfolds with the information attached to each themed object:

 

image.png.07abc4078a8853efc3e67bec78a6d22f.png

 

They joined in 2022, have never visited the website, and have found just one other cache (a traditional) which they did on the same day as my multi. I checked the logbook on Sunday and as expected there's no signature from them so I suspect they just pressed Navigate on the app screen, went to the first object at the listed coordinates and thought that was all they had to do to log a find. As a diligent CO I really can't let their log stand, but I'm struggling to come up with suitable wording to explain how multis work and why just finding the first stage isn't enough, without sounding officious and putting them off the game.

 

I subsequently sent them this message:

 

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I got no reply, although I saw they did visit the website for the first time the following day. I went back out to the cache this morning but there's still no signature in the logbook matching their find so I've now deleted their log. This is not a good outcome, though, as the app would have just presented them with this when they tapped on the cache icon and they probably had no idea they had to do anything more than tap Navigate, go to where the arrow pointed them, find the object hidden there (the first waypoint in this multi) and tap Log.

 

Screenshot_20240519_120501_Geocaching.jpg.e35d9f6197e471ac1fcf3f8168790b05.jpg

 

Maybe they were expecting the app to navigate them to the next waypoint once they logged a find on the first one, like the AL app does after you find each stage, but if so they wouldn't have been able to edit or delete their log as the app doesn't support that functionality.

 

So getting back to the topic of this thread, I'm forced to wonder whether multis also need something in big bold letters at the top of description explaining how they work and how to add waypoints in the app to move onto the next stage, but there's still the problem of the description being effectively hidden so anything you write in that probably won't be seen anyway. I guess multis are just an anachronism is this modern-day tap-find-log style of app-only geocaching.

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46 minutes ago, barefootjeff said:

I got no reply, although I saw they did visit the website for the first time the following day. I went back out to the cache this morning but there's still no signature in the logbook matching their find so I've now deleted their log.

Thank you for doing that. I wish more COs would delete logs of people who didn't sign, or can't prove other proof of find. I sent out a message a fortnight ago for one missing signature; actually two messages, but the other person got back quickly and supplied some proof, and I allowed their log to stay.

I checked a very clear and easy to read log yesterday and two signatures were missing. Getting tired of people not signing, so this time I just deleted without a message to them. Now though when deleting you have to give a reason, so I told them why. Now they know they must sign. No response yet from either of them.

 

46 minutes ago, barefootjeff said:

, I'm forced to wonder whether multis also need something in big bold letters at the top of description explaining how they work and how to add waypoints in the app to move onto the next stage

I think they do need to do this. Ignorance is increasing due to the apts.

Edited by Goldenwattle
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45 minutes ago, Goldenwattle said:
1 hour ago, barefootjeff said:

, I'm forced to wonder whether multis also need something in big bold letters at the top of description explaining how they work and how to add waypoints in the app to move onto the next stage

I think they do need to do this. Ignorance is increasing due to the apts.

 

My multi in question has this as its second paragraph (the first sets the back-story for the narrative that unfolds through the waypoints):

 

image.png.17e177304ce51783887f1fbf267a2644.png

 

Okay, sure, it doesn't explain how to do that in the official app, but shouldn't the app itself be doing that? But in any case, it hardly matters what I put in the description since the sort of players who are getting into trouble with non-traditional caches are unlikely to read it anyway, they just want to do what the app is clearly telling them to do, which is Navigate and Log.

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39 minutes ago, barefootjeff said:

they just want to do what the app is clearly telling them to do, which is Navigate and Log

 

This button obviously should be at the bottom of the description, if the cache is not a traditional one.

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Whenever a new player joins, they should be sent a message/email (both) welcoming them to geocaching, and give them information on the game and different types of caches, with the message saying something like, this will help you understand the game better, and therefore get more enjoyment from it.

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