Jump to content

Question For Approvers


Eric K
Followers 0

Recommended Posts

Just curious.

 

After reading the thread about the cache near the L.A. airport, and seeing more cases of bomb squads being called out have the guidelines changed for placing caches?

 

In my opinion, if they haven't, I think they should for the good of geocaching. I think if to many calls to the bomb squad continue to happen then who knows what government agency could start to crack down on geocaching.

 

I am assuming for now that geocaching has fallen under the radar of agencies like the FBI, Homeland Security etc.

 

I'm sure some of you will want to say, the government can't tell me where I can place caches etc. My point is though if it came down to it I think the government could bring a lot of unwanted negative pressure to geocaching.

 

So, to get back on topic, if the guidelines haven't changed on placing caches near public areas maybe they should. I haven't placed a cache in a few years so I don't know.

 

Maybe there could be some kind of check box when placing caches with question like.

 

1. Is this cache near (schools, airports, government building, hotels, public buildings) etc.

 

2. Is this cache in an area where a finder could easily be seen by (someone in a housing development, etc)

 

Comments?

Edited by Eric K
Link to comment

Moving the topic to the proper forum, and answering as follows:

 

The guidelines already address Off Limits Areas, as they have for quite some time. Quoting from the guidelines as last revised in November of 2003:

 

By submitting a cache listing, you assure us that you have adequate permission to hide your cache in the selected location. However, if we see a cache description that mentions ignoring "No Trespassing" signs (or any other obvious issues), your listing may be immediately archived.

 

Caches will be quickly archived if we see the following (which is not inclusive):

 

* Caches on land maintained by the U.S. National Park Service or U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (National Wildlife Refuges)

* Caches that are buried. If a shovel, trowel or other “pointy” object is used to dig, whether in order to hide or to find the cache, then it is not appropriate.

* Caches placed on archaeological or historical sites. In most cases these areas are highly sensitive to the extra traffic that would be caused by vehicles and humans.

* Caches hidden in close proximity to active railroad tracks. In general we use a distance of 150 ft but your local area’s trespassing laws may be different. All local laws apply.

* Caches near or on military installations.

* Caches near or under public structures deemed potential or possible targets for terrorist attacks. These include but are not limited to highway bridges, dams, government buildings and airports.

 

There may be some exceptions. If your cache fits within one of the above areas, please explain in notes to the reviewer section of the cache page. For example, if you are given permission to place a cache on private property, indicate it in the notes for the benefit of both the approver and people seeking out the cache.

 

In addition, there may be local regulations already in place for certain types of parks in your region (state parks, county preserves, etc.). There are many local caching organizations that would be able to help you out with those regulations.  If your area does not have a local caching organization please contact your local approver for information on regulations. If you have complied with special regulations by obtaining a permit, please state this on your cache page or in a ‘note to the reviewer’.

 

If the Geocaching.com web site is contacted and informed that your cache has been placed inappropriately, your cache will be archived or disabled and you will be contacted with any information provided by the individual or organization who contacted us.

 

The reviewers use maps, aerial photos, the text of the cache description, intuition, and correspondence with the owner to resolve issues when a new cache submission falls into one of the categories described above. We do take a fair amount of abuse when questioning cache owners on these points.

 

The very last quoted paragraph deals with the many situations where a land manager or law enforcement official contacts the website to complain about a cache.

 

Note that the guidelines do not specifically address schools, although it could be argued that schools are within the definition of "government buildings." However, elsewhere in the guidelines you will find the following statement:

 

For all cache types please be sensible when choosing your location for cache placement. Please be aware of what may be a perceived to a non geocacher as dangerous or questionable behavior.  For example, suspicious looking characters wandering about near an elementary school.  The land may be public property, but keep in mind what is on the other side of that property line.  Also, clearly label your physical containers on the outside with appropriate information to reduce the risk of your cache being perceived as a danger to those that are unaware of our sport. 

 

As I mentioned in the previous discussion thread concerning a cache near a school, I will bring up the issue of school proximity as a subject for possible change to the guidelines.

Link to comment

Keystone:

 

Thanks for the answer. However, do you think the guidelines may be like licensing agreements for software?

 

I may be wrong but could it be possible that 'some' cache hiders don't actually read the guidelines fully?

 

Do you think it may be more helpful to have check boxes you have to check before submitting a cache? I know the possibility exist there also that some people may just check and not read them.

 

Or maybe highlight or color certain portions of the text to make sure hiders read them.

Link to comment
Do you think it may be more helpful to have check boxes you have to check before submitting a cache? I know the possibility exist there also that some people may just check and not read them.

Funny you ask this... I looked at your stats.. You have some hides yourself. At the bottom of the edit cache page is the following 2 statements (with links) and checkboxes:

 

Yes. I have read and understand the guidelines for listing a cache.

Yes. I have read and agree to the terms of use agreement..

 

Is this not exactly what you are asking for? And if I remember correctly EVER time you edit a page, it makes you re-check them...

Link to comment
Do you think it may be more helpful to have check boxes you have to check before submitting a cache?  I know the possibility exist there also that some people may just check and not read them.

Funny you ask this... I looked at your stats.. You have some hides yourself. At the bottom of the edit cache page is the following 2 statements (with links) and checkboxes:

 

Yes. I have read and understand the guidelines for listing a cache.

Yes. I have read and agree to the terms of use agreement..

 

Is this not exactly what you are asking for? And if I remember correctly EVER time you edit a page, it makes you re-check them...

Abby Family:

 

I know to submit a cache you have to say "Yes" you have read the guidelines. The thing is that does't mean a person actually has read the guidelines before saying yes.

 

That is why I was using the analogy of installing software. Almost every piece of software you have to check a box saying you read and agree to the agreement. The thing is how many people actually read the agreement before checking the box.

 

I'm not saying that is what is happening here as I do not know.

Link to comment

Honestly, I don't know that I've ever read the guidelines.

I mean, I know what they are from talking about them and always excerize common sense, but I really don't think I've read them completely.

 

Checkboxes are like price stickers. People don't pay attention to either.

Link to comment

Eric,

 

Since you say that you haven't hidden a cache for awhile, you may not be aware of the revised submission form that's been in use for the last year or so. At the bottom of the form where you type in the coordinates, cache name, description, etc., there are two checkboxes. One says that you've read and understood the cache listing guidelines and the other says that you've read and agreed to the site's terms of use. Hyperlinks to those documents are provided right there. You cannot submit a cache without checking each of the two boxes.

 

If someone did not read the guidelines, but checked the box saying that they did, then frankly they have nobody to blame but themself. The reviewer will certainly bring any oversight to their attention if they did not.

 

It has been suggested in the past that there ought to be a number of checkboxes to cover all of the rules. This would make the cache submission form pretty lengthy, so that is why the guidelines are a separate document! Here is a sample, and incomplete, list of possible checkboxes:

  • If a physical cache, the cache is not in a park or other area where the land manager has banned geocaching, such as US National Parks and US National Wildlife Refuges.
  • The cache is not buried.
  • The cache is not near a sensitive archaelogical or historic site.
  • The cache is not placed in a railroad right of way.
  • The cache is not placed on or near a military installation.
  • The cache is not placed near or under a public structure deemed potential or possible targets for terrorist attacks, including but not limited to highway bridges, dams, government buildings and airports.
  • If the cache is placed on private property, the cache page states that permission from the owner has been obtained.
  • If the cache is placed in a park or other area where the land manager has established a permit system for geocaches, the cache page states that the permit has been obtained.
  • If a physical cache, the container includes a logbook or logsheet.
  • If there are multiple locations, all of the waypoints have been disclosed privately in a "note to reviewer."
  • If there are multiple locations, no redirector clue involves the defacement of public or private property.
  • The cache is not temporary, but rather is expected to be in place for three months or longer.
  • The cache will remain at the posted coordinates and does not have a goal of moving to other locations not provided for review.
  • The cache (or any stage of a multiple-waypoint cache) is not within 528 feet of any other existing cache or stage of any other existing multiple-waypoint cache, unless there are special circumstances explained in a "note to reviewer."
  • The cache is within the owner's usual geocaching territory or, if placed beyond the owner's maintainable distance, maintenance arrangements with a local geocacher have been explained on the cache page.
  • The cache contents do not include explosives, fireworks, ammo, knives (including pocket knives and multi-tools), drugs, alcohol or other illicit material, or any food items/scented items.
  • If a Mystery/Puzzle cache, the posted false coordinates are no more than 1 or 2 miles from the actual coordinates.
  • If a Letterbox Hybrid cache, the cache can be found by reference to GPS coordinates, and the container includes a letterboxing stamp.
  • If a Virtual Cache, the owner has confirmed that no physical cache -- even a multicache or a micro -- can be placed in the vicinity of the virtual cache target.
  • If a Virtual Cache, the target is a specific, permanent/semi-permanent physical object that can be referenced through GPS coordinates -- not just a nice hike or a nice view.
  • If a Virtual Cache, the target is novel, of interest to other players, and has a special historic, community or geocaching quality that sets it apart from everyday subjects and "wows" the prospective finder -- not a common object like signs, memorials, tombstones or historical markers.
  • If a Virtual Cache, the cache page provides a verification method that requires a visit to the site and cannot be found in a simple internet search, yet is unambiguous and easy to follow for someone at the location.
  • If a Webcam Cache, the photo is of sufficient resolution and detail to identify the cacher, the webcam updates at reliable intervals, and a sample photo has been posted to the cache page.
  • If "expedited handling" within 72 hours is desired, the cache owner has submitted the required fee to the volunteer reviewer via PayPal.

Whew!

Edited by Keystone Approver
Link to comment

To answer the broader question. "No"

 

A listing site can not be responsible for each and every individual cache. Thats up to the owner. No matter what guidelines exist and why they exist it's going to come down to the cache owner is responsible and the listing site does the best job it can but flat out can't hold itself out as responsible.

 

Reversing what I just wrote and making the site 100% responsible, means the stie would place and list it's own caches because it wouldn't be any fun any more for most cachers. We don't want to go there. Not because the site couldn't place some good caches, but becuase they could never even come close to placing enough of them to keep this RASH viable. It's always going to come back to cache owners placing caches.

Edited by Renegade Knight
Link to comment

Thank you RK. The Guidelines couldn't have said it any better. Although they do say that, too:

 

The cache owner will assume all responsibility of their cache listings. 
For all cache types please be sensible when choosing your location for cache placement.
As the cache owner, you are also responsible for checking on your cache periodically, and especially when someone reports a problem with the cache (missing, damaged, wet, etc.). 
Please do your best to research fully, hide wisely, and maintain properly for a long cache life.
Link to comment

First off, thanks to everyone for keeping this on topic. :lol:

 

Even though the owner resumes responsibility for cache placement any bad press or any law enforcement would most likely come down on geocaching.com and not the user that placed the cache.

 

I guess there is no way to tell if people are just checking all the boxes or actually reading the guidelines before checking the boxes.

 

Maybe certain words in the guidelines should be in bold or listed in red.

 

Also, I don't want this to come across as I'm saying there is something wrong with the current system. ;)

Edited by Eric K
Link to comment
Even though the owner resumes responsibility for cache placement any bad press or any law enforcement would most likely come down on geocaching.com and not the user that placed the cache.

Geocaching.com is just a listing service. Responsibility for caches lies with the cache owner. If law enforcement contacts the listing service, action will be taken as quoted above in the Guidelines.

 

I guess there is no way to tell if people are just checking all the boxes or actually reading the guidelines before checking the boxes.

 

They often don't, as evidenced by some of the responses that the reviewers hear back. "Gee, I didn't know that" is a polite summary. And the reviewers surely do not catch all guideline violations.

 

Maybe certain words in the guidelines should be in bold or listed in red. 
The problem with this suggestion is that any one guideline can prove to be critically important in a particular case. The cache owner should be familiar with all of them. Today, the airport guideline is extremely important here in the forums. But as Tahosa pointed out in his post today, he could care less about that guideline because all of his caches are hidden in the back country.

 

So, what you would wind up with is a long document that is boldfaced and red. The real challenge is figuring out which guidelines are implicated for a particular cache placement.

Link to comment
Now wait a cotton picking minute. How in the heck did anything I say ever come to resemble a guideline? I must of put on the sheep dog suit this morning.

RK, did you not get the memo? It is role reversal day. Please excuse me while I go cross-list all of my caches on the other listing services.

Link to comment
Do you think it may be more helpful to have check boxes you have to check before submitting a cache?  I know the possibility exist there also that some people may just check and not read them.

Funny you ask this... I looked at your stats.. You have some hides yourself. At the bottom of the edit cache page is the following 2 statements (with links) and checkboxes:

 

Yes. I have read and understand the guidelines for listing a cache.

Yes. I have read and agree to the terms of use agreement..

 

Is this not exactly what you are asking for? And if I remember correctly EVER time you edit a page, it makes you re-check them...

Abby Family:

 

I know to submit a cache you have to say "Yes" you have read the guidelines. The thing is that does't mean a person actually has read the guidelines before saying yes.

 

That is why I was using the analogy of installing software. Almost every piece of software you have to check a box saying you read and agree to the agreement. The thing is how many people actually read the agreement before checking the box.

 

I'm not saying that is what is happening here as I do not know.

Sorry if you took that wrong. I agree that there is that strong possibility that, like software there is the chance that people don't read before checking. I replied because it looked like you were asking for checkboxes with the part of the statement that I quoted, not commenting on the usage of them.

 

Along that line, I hope that people do read them. I think these guidlines are actually MORE important than the stuff in software agreements. I'd hate to see bad caches squeek past the reviewers and cause damage to the sport.

Link to comment

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Followers 0
×
×
  • Create New...