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More Canadian Reviewers Needed?


tirediron
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This topic sort of started to develop in another thread, but rather than go OT, I decided to start anew. The case was being made for more Canadian reviewers. While I don't think that we need one per province, I do believe that a few more are necessary. Not to reduce the workload, but to stay abreast of local/regional/provincial issues.

 

According to figures posted by one GC.coms esteemed reviewers from south of the border, since 01 July, reviewers in major 'caching centers of the US appear to be working an average case-load of about 300 'cache applications per reviewer. I have no idea how much time is taken up per 'cache, but that sounds like a lot of work for a volunteer to me. That aside, if we look at Canada, our two Canadian reviewers in the same period have had an average of about 220 'cache applications each, broken down as follows:

 

30 Alberta

110 British Columbia

3 Manitoba

60 New Brunswick

25 Newfoundland

1 Northwest Territories (last one before that was 9/26/03)

30 Nova Scotia

0 Nunavut (last one was 12/20/03)

150 Ontario

1 Prince Edward Island

24 Quebec

5 Saskatchewan

1 Yukon Territory

 

I agree that we certainly don’t need a reviewer for every province, however, I think a few additional ones are in order. My suggestion is thus:

 

British Columbia to have it’s own reviewer based on the number of ‘’cache submissions and geography. One reviewer to cover the Prairie provinces, one for Ontario, again based on the number of ‘caches and geography. One for Quebec, who should be fluently bi-lingual in order to resolve language based issues, and One for the Maritimes. The Territories, despite their unique geography, could be shared on a first come, first served basis.

 

While we don’t have anywhere near the issues that the US does with NPS, and other land-management agencies, I am sure that they are coming, and are indeed here for both ON and PQ. Asking one person to keep abreast of all of this, for many provinces, as well as the diverse geography is a bit over the top in my opinion.

 

Thoughts… discussion…. Rebuttal?

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Thank you! thank you! thank you! I'm glad someone agrees with me, We should have more Canadian based reviewers. And they should be based in the areas they represent.

 

I was thinking though, that we should have 1 or 2 concentrating exclusively on the West and the North; 1 or 2 for ontario and Quebec and 1 for the Maritimes. Although I've never had a problem with an approver (in their approver role :( ) I'd much rather deal with someone who is based out west and has an understanding of the West. No disrespect to our ontario reviewer; but ontario's problems are seldom the same as those of BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan or Manitoba.

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Excellent idea...I wish I had thought of it!

 

Would this ENSURE that BC submissions would ONLY be reviewed by BC Approvers?

No.

 

When those lazy slackers take time off from volenteering to review our caches other reviewers step in. I live in the western US and have had a cache approved by a reviewer from the southeastern US. Our normal reviewer was inconsiderate enough to wind up in the hospital just when I wanted a cache approved. Luckily I had ask about the cache in advance of placment since the distance from my home was questionable.

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Is it a no-no to ask what the Canadian reviewers think? I have no idea of the amount of time that this takes out of their day. I can say, as a volunteer myself, that I tend to want to get the work that is there to be done, done, regardless of how much longer it takes than I was planning to help. Maybe they do get overwhelmed on occasion...

 

edit: Ok, reading the OP again, I see that we're not talking about the workload. It just seems to me to be a lot to take on, and I would need a big binder (not as "techie" as some of the rest of you!) to keep track of all the provincial/regional/municipal guidelines/bylaws.

 

MaisOui

:0)

Edited by MaisOui & Avrohead
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Excellent idea...I wish I had thought of it!

 

Would this ENSURE that BC submissions would ONLY be reviewed by BC Approvers?

Don't misconstrue what I am trying to do here... This is not a "Keep Canada Canadian" rant . I am as pro-Canadian as you are likely to find, but I would like to think that Geocaching is an international activity. . Provided the approver (and I think that most would/do make the effort) is familiar with local conditions/requirements, I don't really care who approves my 'cache!

 

The purpose of this suggestion (and I don't consider it 'mine'.. it is borrowed from several other posts!) is to make things a little location appropriate. For instance, if I am a 'cache approver, and I am asked to fill in for a WA state approver, sure, I know what the terrain is like, the climate, and all the rest, but I may not be familiar with all the specifics of NPS and other land-management issues.

 

Likewise, could you imagine Keystone, or Mtn-man (unless you have talents of which I am unaware; no offence intended) trying to sort out a 'cache placement issue with someone from Lac St Denis? Humorous to say the least.

 

As for your question MJDJ, I don't think that could ever happen. Even we were to get a Provincial approver, the poor person is going to have to take a holiday sometime, his/her computer will break et cetera. Someone will have to fill in. And yes MaisOui, I would very much like to see input from the Canadian approvers.

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When they see a need, they will add one.

 

From my viewpoint, approvals happen just as fast as they always have. Nothing is causing me tothink anything needs to be changed.

 

My caches are generally approved by both CT and CA, nearly a 50-50 split is my recollection.

Edited by canadazuuk
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by TiredIron:

Provided the approver (and I think that most would/do make the effort) is familiar with local conditions/requirements, I don't really care who approves my 'cache!

Bingo!

 

As for your question MJDJ, I don't think that could ever happen. Even we were to get a Provincial approver, the poor person is going to have to take a holiday sometime, his/her computer will break et cetera.

I realize this...but the MAJORITY of his/her work would be for BC, correct? Perhaps there could also be a couple of "standbys" in place for holiday relief and such.

I'd rather wait the extra day and have my cache reviewed by a local!

 

by Zuuk:

From my viewpoint, approvals happen just as fast as they always have. Nothing is causing me tothink anything needs to be changed.

I don't recall the issue being the SPEED of the approvals, but rather the possibility of denials stemming from a lack of knowledge or understanding of the locality. Although there are those who suggest that terrain is terrain is terrain.... :(

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From the numbers posted, I don't think we need more Canadian Cache Reviewers for this reason, the numbers posted is for one of the busiest caching months in Canada, more or less June, July and August, then school starts up for the kids and soon after it is winter and things are not as busy. You cannot judge the numbers of July only.

Edited by cache-tech
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I don't recall the issue being the SPEED of the approvals, but rather the possibility of denials stemming from a lack of knowledge or understanding of the locality. Although there are those who suggest that terrain is terrain is terrain.... :(

It's not just denials dude. Let's say your 'cache in Vancouver is approved by XXX-Approver, who works out of TO.... he isn't aware that the City of Vancouver just placed a moritorium on geocaches in all municipal parks and that you (don't take this personally!) are trying to sneak one by him.

 

That kind of accidental approval is not going to help to put our activity in a good light!

 

A local BC (or insert province here: _____) approver is more likely to be in touch with provincial and regional issues. This is not to demean our current approvers, but IMHO, it's a whole lotta **** to stay on top of!

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I have a page where I list all restrictions and current policies in place for the other cache reviewers who may review caches. This is listed for the cache reviewers, I am also working with some of the local associations to ensure these policies and restrictions are known to the cachers, like the pinned topic on the top of this forum.

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by Tired Iron:

...he isn't aware that the City of Vancouver just placed a moritorium on geocaches in all municipal parks and that you (don't take this personally!) are trying to sneak one by him.

This is the part that I am having trouble with. As a Geocacher with almost a year and a half worth of experience...I am NOT going to try "sneaking" one past an approver by hiding a cache in an area that forbids it! Why bother putting the time and the effort and the MONEY into a venture that one KNOWS as being wrong and that risks rejection to begin with?

As cachers, it is our responsibility (morally and ethically) to provide a positive caching experience for others. This includes hiding our caches responsibly, maintaining them responsibly, providing worthwhile swag for the effort expended, and addressing issues of the cache with other seekers.

Why do the guidelines always assume that the hiders are unscrupulous, irresponsible or untrustworthy?

Furthermore, you have just confirmed what I have been saying...the Guidelines that apply for "Municipal Parks" don't (or shouldn't) apply to wilderness caches. As mentioned, Canadian wilderness isn't administrated the same way as its American counterpart. To suggest that it is...also demonstrates what I have been saying!

 

That kind of accidental approval is not going to help to put our activity in a good light!

So to prevent this from happening, we should enforce guidelines without exception? I'm talking exceptions within reason...especially when something such as a "mileage limit" doesn't really exist.

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by Zuuk:

From my viewpoint, approvals happen just as fast as they always have. Nothing is causing me tothink anything needs to be changed.

I don't recall the issue being the SPEED of the approvals, but rather the possibility of denials stemming from a lack of knowledge or understanding of the locality. Although there are those who suggest that terrain is terrain is terrain.... :(

Can you provide an example of where this *MIGHT* have happened, even if just for a hypothetical *WHAT IF* analysis?

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by Zuuk:

When are you going to ask to have your gc.com caches unarchived?

I won't...GC.com has made it perfectly clear what it thinks of its members by denying it, based on the assumption that I was lying.

If...and that's a BIG "if"...TPTB have seen the resultant threads and overturn MT's decision and approve my Heffley Lake Cache, then I may re-activate one or two of them.

It's a pity you never had the chance to do Zip-a-dee-doo-dah...the finish was (in my opinion) a heck of a nice payoff! As it is now, it is listed on Navicache as Spoon Valley Cache....so much for the puzzle aspect!

 

Can you provide an example of where this *MIGHT* have happened, even if just for a hypothetical *WHAT IF* analysis?

...I'll assume that you missed the fireworks: My denied Heffley Lake Cache is a good example. It was denied on the basis that it was too far from my "normal area"...whatever! Just because I don't seek caches every time I'm in Kamloops, I am told that I never go there! Basically I was called a liar by an approver who has never met me.

You're a mainlander...by way of #5, how long does it take YOU to get to Kamloops? 3 - 4 hours tops right? Try explaining that to an approver who won't listen!

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by Zuuk:

When are you going to ask to have your gc.com caches unarchived?

I won't...GC.com has made it perfectly clear what it thinks of its members by denying it, based on the assumption that I was lying.

If...and that's a BIG "if"...TPTB have seen the resultant threads and overturn MT's decision and approve my Heffley Lake Cache, then I may re-activate one or two of them.

It's a pity you never had the chance to do Zip-a-dee-doo-dah...the finish was (in my opinion) a heck of a nice payoff! As it is now, it is listed on Navicache as Spoon Valley Cache....so much for the puzzle aspect!

 

Can you provide an example of where this *MIGHT* have happened, even if just for a hypothetical *WHAT IF* analysis?

...I'll assume that you missed the fireworks: My denied Heffley Lake Cache is a good example. It was denied on the basis that it was too far from my "normal area"...whatever! Just because I don't seek caches every time I'm in Kamloops, I am told that I never go there! Basically I was called a liar by an approver who has never met me.

You're a mainlander...by way of #5, how long does it take YOU to get to Kamloops? 3 - 4 hours tops right? Try explaining that to an approver who won't listen!

Gee, I read all the notes on the cache and the approver never once called you a liar, in fact he was very kind and tried his best to me civil to you. HIs posts were informative and direct. Looks like the guy did they job they asked him to.

 

Remember back where there was only one approver for the world if he had stuck to his area you never would have had caches at all.

 

JWAP

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As was already pointed out:

30 Louisiana (I work this)

220 Minnesota (I work this and I also work some other areas as well)

320 Texas (two reviewers)

330 Florida (one reviewer)

1000 California (three reviewers)

 

Canada's 440 caches in July should have easily been handled by 2 approvers.

 

Also 300 per approver is only 10 a day. Most of which wouldn't require 40 rounds of email tag since the vast majority of gc'ers seem to stick very well to the guidelines. (Imagine the number of "my approver hates me" threads if this weren't true?). Not to mention the fact that approval statistics are likely substantially higher in the spring/summer.

 

Thorin

Edited by thorin
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From the numbers posted, I don't think we need more Canadian Cache Reviewers for this reason, the numbers posted is for one of the busiest caching months in Canada, more or less June, July and August, then school starts up for the kids and soon after it is winter and things are not as busy.  You cannot judge the numbers of July only.

Since it was me who asked what the Canadian reviewers think, let me say thank you for your input cache-tech. That addresses my concern about workload (although that wasn't the intent of this thread, I misunderstood), and your next post shows that anyone subbing for you can easily find out about restrictions and policies in your area. Works for me.

 

MaisOui

:0)

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:( Well.. it seems that the majority are happy with the status quo. I have to admit that I'm a little surprised. A few miscellaneous thoughts...

 

  This is the part that I am having trouble with. As a Geocacher with almost a year and a half worth of experience...I am NOT going to try "sneaking" one past an approver by hiding a cache in an area that forbids it! 

 

Dude, the point I was making was that some do this, not that you did it, and that IMHO it would be difficult for an approver covering half a country to keep up with every change in land-management! Also, please don't keep bringing up old topics. We are all aware of your recent discussions with TPTB, and they are OT in this thread. Thanks!

 

  Also 300 per approver is only 10 a day. Most of which wouldn't require 40 rounds of email tag since the vast majority of gc'ers seem to stick very well to the guidelines. (Imagine the number of "my approver hates me" threads if this weren't true?). Not to mention the fact that approval statistics are likely substantially higher in the spring/summer. 

 

The approver workload was never the topic of this thread, but rather the amount of area for which an approver is responsible for, and the many permutations and anomolies that can occur within that area. IMHO rather a lot for one person to mangage.

 

  have a page where I list all restrictions and current policies in place for the other cache reviewers who may review caches. This is listed for the cache reviewers, I am also working with some of the local associations to ensure these policies and restrictions are known to the cachers, like the pinned topic on the top of this forum. 

 

This is what I was getting at. Is it really possible to expect one person to maintain such a list for such a potentially dynamic situation? Given the number of provinces and municipalities involved... the number of local by-laws, et cetera. I would think this would be more easily shared among a few more approvers...

 

Just my $001 1/2 worth... (the exchange rate don't ya know :( )

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I have a page where I list all restrictions and current policies in place for the other cache reviewers who may review caches. This is listed for the cache reviewers, I am also working with some of the local associations to ensure these policies and restrictions are known to the cachers, like the pinned topic on the top of this forum.

As someone who lives out West, I find it very reassuring and comforting to know that someone from ontario is looking out for me.

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The approver workload was never the topic of this thread
Ummmm ok I seem to remember a very large grouping of stats at the start of this thread and statements like:
reviewers in major 'caching centers of the US appear to be working an average case-load of about 300 'cache applications per reviewer. I have no idea how much time is taken up per 'cache, but that sounds like a lot of work for a volunteer to me. That aside, if we look at Canada, our two Canadian reviewers in the same period have had an average of about 220 'cache applications each
British Columbia to have it’s own reviewer based on the number of ‘’cache submissions and geography. .......

If we're discussing area coverage then why aren't there any area based numbers in this thread? ie: Landmass calculations for the country and provinces. Population density statistics. Cache density statistics. etc.... Numbers that are "area" relevant, as opposed to the "workload" numbers that have been posted and commented on.

 

/me scratches his head

 

I followed your lead, sorry you didn't lead where you meant to. <shrug>

 

Thorin

Edited by thorin
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The approver workload was never the topic of this thread
Ummmm ok I seem to remember a very large grouping of stats at the start of this thread and statements like:
reviewers in major 'caching centers of the US appear to be working an average case-load of about 300 'cache applications per reviewer. I have no idea how much time is taken up per 'cache, but that sounds like a lot of work for a volunteer to me. That aside, if we look at Canada, our two Canadian reviewers in the same period have had an average of about 220 'cache applications each
British Columbia to have it’s own reviewer based on the number of ‘’cache submissions and geography. .......

If we're discussing area coverage then why aren't there any area based numbers in this thread? ie: Landmass calculations for the country and provinces. Population density statistics. Cache density statistics. etc.... Numbers that are "area" relevant, as opposed to the "workload" numbers that have been posted and commented on.

 

/me scratches his head

 

I followed your lead, sorry you didn't lead where you meant to. <shrug>

 

Thorin

Okay... :P Point well taken. That didn't come out the way I was thinking it. It seems that the workload on a per-cache basis is similar, or perhaps lighter that their US counterparts. The whole thrust of my post was that there are enough variables within our country to warrant more approvers, and enough cache submissions to ensure that they will not molder away from disuse.

 

Anyway... I think this thread has about run it's course... people seem to divided on the issue, but I don't think Jermey et al are likely to appoint any more in the near future...

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Seems to me that people are looking for an issue when one does not exist yet.

 

If the approvers for Canada (Cache-Tech and Cache Advance) are overwhelmed by the sheer volume of work, what do you think they would do?????

 

"Ah excuse us Jeremy, but we are finding that it is difficult to keep up with the amount of submissions and monitoring the forums. Do you think that we could get another approver to help with the workload?"

 

I'm not saying that CT and CA don't spend a lot of time at this, I'm sure they do. But CT always makes an effort to join us for our Wednesday night Geo-chat. He/She doesn't say much but answers questions when asked and is rather friendly. CA, I don't know all that well since he stopped being the ON approver when CT was brought on board.

 

I cannot speak for others but I know that CT has spent a great deal of time making sure that cache submissions are appropriate. He/She even took the time to edit one of my VERY LONG cache pages because somehow HTML was turned on even though the box was NOT checked. CT went through it line by line to make sure the layoit was right and matched the rest in the series.

 

He/She didn't need to do that, and if he felt overwhelmed CT could have just as easily told me to fix it.

 

In the most recent Bruce Trail magasine is an article about 'volunteer burnout' and yet here are two people that seem to say "Nope, we have this under control and doing fine... thanks for the concern but we are happy the way it is"

 

If this is really a thinly veiled attempt to get caches approved quicker let's consider a few things....

 

1... it's just a hobby, not heart surgery

2... if someone beats you to a spot, they would have no matter how long the approval process is. That's another reason for GC#'s

3... While you're waiting, plan your next hide or go find one just outside your usually stamping grounds. Expand your horizons.

 

:anitongue: The Blue Quasar

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If the approvers for Canada (Cache-Tech and Cache Advance) are overwhelmed by the sheer volume of work, what do you think they would do?????

 

"Ah excuse us Jeremy, but we are finding that it is difficult to keep up with the amount of submissions and monitoring the forums.  Do you think that we could get another approver to help with the workload?"

Excellent point, BQ, and one which I didn't think of...

 

As it was, I figured I'd like to hear the response of the reviewers to the original topic "More Canadian Reviewers Needed?", since they would be the ones to know.

 

MaisOui

:0)

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