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Jeremy

Cache Attributes

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After reading all pages I have to say that I like the idea, but for me there are too many icons. In my opinion it would be enough to have icons which describe the enviroment (wheel chair accessible, kids friendly, parking fee, historic places...) and the kind of cache (night cache, cave cache,...).

 

If there is gear (climbing gear, scuba gear, boat,..) needed should stay in the cache describtion also if there are hazardous places and so on.

 

Some people like to leave some options "open" (n/a), but if I know there is an option for "boat required" and I see "n/a" and there is a river or like nearby I probably would take the boat with me, because I would think the owner wants fool me.

 

Regarding snake, ticks,... like someone already said, if you go out in the country you just have to expect that. You also expect cars in the city or don't? And if you go geocaching in your backcountry you should know what you have to expect there.

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Two questions:

1.) How old are the kids in "recommended for kids"? If I plan a hike with an ascent of about 1000 meters this could be perfectly all right for a 12 year old while it is probably not feasable with a 5 or 6 year old kid...

2.) Do you see any chance of including a hovering text that is compatible with straight HTML (someone pointed this out already)?

 

All in all: a nice idea (would prefer smaller icons, though), thanks!

 

BS/2

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I'm still not completely convinced about adding a "cache is not at posted coordinates" however.

Hmmmm.... <_<

 

An (i) info attribute (a.k.a. refer to the description) would mean that "this cache cannot be found without reading the instructions." It would be extremely helpful for those who just go by the coordinates in their GPS (considering that the waypoint names describe it in some fashion).

 

Seems to me an icon telling people they can find a cache without additional info is better. Used the other way around, the absence of the icon creates a false impression that the cache can be found without additional info, when the owner has not actually made that indication.

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We already have a "puzzle" type which means "the cache is not at the posted coordinates."

 

We have trouble getting people to use that correctly. What make you think they would use the redundant attribute correctly? :blink:

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Is this the list as it stands?

 

Personaly, I think it's looking pretty darned good.

 

Do you think it will have some kind of definitions? To some folks, 0.5 miles is a "significant hike", to others it would be 5 miles or more.

 

And... Just to be persistant... I still vote for "Highway Cache" as a supplement to the "Caches along a Route" effort. :blink:

Edited by Moose Mob

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We already have a "puzzle" type which means "the cache is not at the posted coordinates."

Actually, ALL the physical cache types mean that, except Traditional.

 

We have trouble getting people to use that correctly. What make you think they would use the redundant attribute correctly?

Because the meaning is explicitly stated. There shouldn't be too much confusion, unlike with the cache types that have a good deal of gray area in their definitions.

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:blink::blink: My heads hurting. :blink: Can we go back to the KISS principle? It will take ages to file a cache report with all this carryon.

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It will take ages to file a cache report with all this carryon.

Do you mean carrion? :D

 

You can do it or not. That's your option. It also means some people won't get your cache on their result list though, but that is ok too.

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It will take ages to file a cache report with all this carryon.

Do you mean carrion? :lol:

 

You can do it or not. That's your option. It also means some people won't get your cache on their result list though, but that is ok too.

:D carrion... :lol:

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Thanks Jeremy for 'Workin' on it'! It's a great idea that will help people find caches like Night Only and 4x4 Caches. My 4x4 club wants me to show them what caching is all about. I'm sure they would be only interested in searching out the 4x4 caches at first. (Until they're hooked of course!) Keep up the good work!

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You have snakes but how about something a little more comprehensive, like

 

Dangerous or Scary Animals Seen Nearby

 

with a note that pops up to the cache creator giving a list and telling him/her to explain this in the cache description?

 

Down here there are a lot of areas with ‘gators and B I G spiders (harmless but scary). Other areas have their own such as bears, etc.

 

Also I particularly like the less than 500 feet from parking.

 

I’m not sure whether the Facilities -- Wheelchair accessible is supposed to mean the cache is Wheelchair accessible. But, this question comes up with some frequency, so I suggest you ask the handicaching site how they’d like this handled, but I’d move Wheelchair accessible to the cache Conditions section.

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I fear we may be creating a monster here. People may be willing to look through a few of these, but may abandon a long list.

 

How about grouping the really important ones into a set you strongly encourage people to answer and then put the informative, but less essential ones, in an optional group?

 

After you get a complete list you could have people select the 5 (10?) they think are most important, such as available times, fee required, dangerous animals . . .

Edited by Thot

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OK, I'm about to (shudder) suggest a layer of complexity... (That's also probably too late in the implementation process but anyway...)

 

I can appreciate the quantity of icons/"search-ability" AND the argument of page clutter/appearance.

 

However the solution to show icons of categories with pop-ups defeats an icon's purpose: to be graphically representative.

 

My solution would be thus, if the quantity of selections within a category is greater than X (3-4?), show a category icon, otherwise show the detail icons.

 

That way folks who go overboard like 'The Selector' users won't clutter the page needlessly but crucial info is displayed without the user needing to activate an extra step.

 

Alternatively, to avoid programming logic, make the half-dozen highest priority icons displayed with the remainder under categories.

 

Food for thought,

 

Randy

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I think there should only be a few required categories, otherwise cache creators may not care to go through the list, and cachers may not bother looking at the attributes, because there are too many.

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I would suggest adding "Close to airstrip". As I mentioned in another thread, being able to search for caches that are near to airstrips would be helpful to General Aviation pilots who would enjoy geocaching by Cessna. It would also be a help to travel bugs.

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So how is this coming J?

 

southdeltan

Heard of "continental drift"? Probably about that slow. Don't hold your breath.

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We're doing some updates to the database to allow for this new feature tomorrow night. I'll probably have this launched after the New Year since I'll be visiting in-laws over the holidays and shudder at any code changes right before I go away. So we're more or less on a code freeze until then.

 

Everything is pretty much done but I'd like to do some more testing as well. I've been going back and forth between the attributes setup and the Bookmark lists functionality.

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This is fantastic. The list seems very complete. The only one I would modify is 'takes less than an hour.' That really does not say much, because it includes such a wide range of caches -- from 30 second park and grabs to rather difficult multis. We did a challenging multi in 45 minutes a couple of weeks ago, but really had to work quickly to break the existing record of 1 hr 20 minutes.

 

Perhaps add one more that says 'park and grab.' One of the icon generators out on the web has a selection called 'lunchtime cache' that is saying about the same thing. I often geocache over my lunch hour if there are quick nearby caches. However, I need to know it if can be done with work clothes and minimal time. Both 'park and grab' and 'lunchtime cache' would be helpful to me in those circumstances.

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Is there a reason thatthe time selector is for "Less than one hour" rather than "greater than one hour"? It seems that 95%+ of all caches would probably be under an hour to find. If I saw a picture of a clock on a cache page, I'd expect it to mean that it would take a longer than average time to find, not shorter. I wouldn't give it a "no" option either. Either it's longer than an hour or N/A.

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Is there a reason thatthe time selector is for "Less than one hour" rather than "greater than one hour"? It seems that 95%+ of all caches would probably be under an hour to find. If I saw a picture of a clock on a cache page, I'd expect it to mean that it would take a longer than average time to find, not shorter. I wouldn't give it a "no" option either. Either it's longer than an hour or N/A.

Good point about "takes longer than an hour." I'll adjust that.

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D'oh. Now I understand it. Many folks just want to find quick caches and by searching for this option it makes sense to keep it the way it is. Maybe some more thought should be put into that change.

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D'oh. Now I understand it. Many folks just want to find quick caches and by searching for this option it makes sense to keep it the way it is. Maybe some more thought should be put into that change.

With that consideration, "quick to find" (for me, anyway) would mean 5-10 minutes, not anything under an hour. I know you want to limit the number of attributes, but I would consider these to be two separate cases.

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Okay. I've just read through 4 pages of development, and I've got some opinions. I like the idea that users can quickly see what's required. But I also think that there comes a point when it has gone too far. "Requires Bug Spray" is not a good one, it is common sense, just like sunscreen. If I'm going to be out in the sun, sunscreen is a good idea, and I don't need a cache attribute to tell me about it. I don't like the "Does not take less than one hour." Stick with a yes/n.a answer on the time... if I don't choose "takes less than one hour," this automatically implies it takes more than one hour. Same for the poison plants and cacti - if I don't say, yes, there are, then why mark no? There are a lot of attributes which I would leave N/A, only because I wouldn't know. Earlier people suggested "RV accessable", etc. I have no clue whether it would be or not, as I've never driven an RV. Some of these icons are things which people should use their common sense on. I know some people will ignore the icons and just read the cache description, and others will just look at the icons and go to the coords, not having any clue what to expect.

 

Now what I DO like. I like the dogs/bicycles/motorcycles, etc. I don't actually have any of those on the list, but if I did, it would be nice to see that they are allowed. I like the fact that they are very similar to what the National Parks use to let people know what is/is not allowed.

 

And while we're still suggesting icons, how about a big "W" for all of those Wal-Mart light pole caches? B)

 

~Jared

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Regarding the enormous number of icons, at this point I'm leaning towards a distinct icon for each category and providing a hover that shows all of the attributes. On the print version it would just list the categories and a comma delimited list of the attributes for each category.

 

I think this option is a good compromise (although my browser, Mac Safari :cool: , doesn't support hover well, I can switch one which does if I find I use the feature). If the print version's list got long (or could get long) perhaps a slightly reduced type face to 1) reduce the space occupied in the print-out and, 2) distinguish it from the other text of the cache desciption (maybe different color too)? Just thinking aloud...

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Hi All,

 

I was pointed to this post because I asked a question about having a way to know whether a cache would include an interesting hike. Now, looking through the above remarks I summarize the following:

 

1) Adding attributes is already done.

2) Still, it is a great idea to standardize it in the geocaching.com site, because we may then run queries on them.

3) There is some (I think justified) concern about allowing too many attributes.

4) On the other hand there is some concern (also justified) about the right choice of names and detail for attributes.

 

Furthermore I have the following ideas

- As was mentioned by others, the idea of a 'prepare for anything' attribute appeals to my boyscout nature.

- Furthermore, I feel the absence of icons DOES NOT SAY ANYTHING.

So maybe we should be able to chose between YES, NO, Not Applicable, A Number (sometimes) and NO INFORMATION.

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While doing the dishes I was pondering over it some more.

 

I still think there are two categories in attributes (not mutually exclusive)

 

1) Giving information to the potential cacher who found your cache-page

2) Providing information to a search-engine for those caches who have specific wishes.

 

I hope most people agree with me that geocaching encompasses the Forest Gump principle: Geocaching is like a box of chocolates, you never know what ya gonna get. From this principle, I find that attributes of category 1) should still contain minimal information. Personally, instead of stating 'poisonous plants', I would prefer 'wear covering clothes', and instead of 'ticks' I would also prefer 'wear covering clothes'.

 

On the other hand, because of 2), the attributes should contain 'often queried information', and therefore state details like 'boat' or 'swim' rather than just 'wet'.

 

I think the desired level of accuracy for attributes can only be found by letting the number grow in a moderated way, and by looking at what is actually used in cache pages. Furthermore, editing the cache pages can be done in a similar way as with the clickable smileys. Only show the often used and most general attributes in the standard list, and save the more subtle attributes for an extended list that people may refer to if they want.

 

Finally, it is very important to weigh the value of the symbols and their descriptions. I read in an earlier post that someone equated 'puzzle cache' with 'read the instructions first'. However, my feeling is that 'read the instructions' is MUCH broader, because I would hesitate to call a cach with the requirement to 'state the number of pilars in your log' a puzzle cache. Still it requires you to read the log. IMHO 'read the instructions first' is an icon of category 1), while 'puzzle cache' is an icon of category 2).

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Just an update. We have updated the database in production and our next step is to set up replication to the other databases. At the same time I have been wiring in all the pieces. At launch (early January) we'll only have the ability to view attributes on the cache listing and edit attributes for each listing. Once that is properly tested we'll start adding search capabilities.

 

The first display concept will be a simple list of text attributes.

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At launch (early January) we'll only have the ability to view attributes on the cache listing and edit attributes for each listing. Once that is properly tested we'll start adding search capabilities.

We'll need some sort of incentive program to get folks to update their cache pages. Maybe something like: anyone that gets her/his pages updated within the first week after launch gets a free TB, or a discount on something, or some other goody.

 

I guess with the "search" part not coming up at the start of this, we wont be seeing this feature in PQs for quite some time. Any ideas on time-frame (3 months, 6, longer)?

 

Will the gpx files include the new attributes at launch, or is that something that we would be waiting for?

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I think I have come up with a good solution that doesn't overtake the cache listing but still displays the data in a way that is easily recognizable.

 

All attributes can fit into 3 categories: alerts, equipment, and information. Alerts are for things that you should know about when seeking out the cache (no x allowed, dangerous cliffs, etc), equipment is for special equipment required (boat, climbing gear, scuba gear, flashlight) and information is the catch-all for just nice to know items (wheelchair accessible, bathrooms nearby, picnic tables nearby, etc). Sticking different options into the different categories will be interesting, but seems effective.

 

The display on the page will be in the form of 3 icons underneath the cache size text and above the travel bugs (if there are any). If there is any information the icons will be in bold. Otherwise the icons will be greyed out. This keeps uniformity on the cache listings and is also a way to encourage geocache owners to update their listings.

 

Below the icon will be the text equivalent of the different attributes, comma delimited. Like:

 

campfires allowed, available in winter, wheelchair accessible, dogs allowed, hunting area

 

Also hovering your mouse over each icon will show the items in each category.

 

The nice thing is eventually we could add smaller representations of these images to the search result page so users can see it before visiting the listing.

 

I currently have this system running on an internal machine and it seems to be working well. I'll try and get this implemented in early January.

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Below the icon will be the text equivalent of the different attributes, comma delimited. Like:

 

campfires allowed, available in winter, wheelchair accessible, dogs allowed, hunting area

 

Also hovering your mouse over each icon will show the items in each category.

Jeremy,

 

Sounds like an elegant implementation that nicely balances the various, and sometimes conflicting, interests discussed in the forum.

 

However, I'm not sure if I completely understand what you're saying above - i.e.

 

Page displays:

[Alerts Icon] [Equipment Icon] [information Icon]

"Alert Attribute A, Alert Attribute B, Information Attribute C"

 

Hover text says "Alert Attribute A, Alert Attribute B, Information Attribute C"?

 

Is the text on the page and the text on the hover the same, or do they display different information?

 

Thanks!

 

Edit: Brain skip on Jeremy's name :blink:

Edited by Kai Team

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I would think the hover text over [Alerts Icon] would only have "Alert Attribute A, Alert Attribute B" and the hover text over [information Icon] would only have "Information Attribute C"

 

But I could be wrong. It happened once before :blink:

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Is the text on the page and the text on the hover the same, or do they display different information?

Whatever attribute applies to that category will be listed in the hover text.

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Will "Parking Nearby" eventually include the ability to enter parking coordinates? It would be great to have that included in a GPX file.

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Not for attributes, no. That doesn't seem to be the right way to do it. You will, however, be able to attach a GPX file to your cache listing that can contain that info.

 

If anything, "parking nearby" seems redundant. Obviously there is parking nearby.

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If anything, "parking nearby" seems redundant. Obviously there is parking nearby.

How about "recommended parking" or "preferred parking" or something that indicates the best place to park before searching for the cache.

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Not for attributes, no. That doesn't seem to be the right way to do it. You will, however, be able to attach a GPX file to your cache listing that can contain that info.

 

If anything, "parking nearby" seems redundant. Obviously there is parking nearby.

Will this GPX become part of the info downloaded in a PQ?

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Also, will "trading cache" "non-trading cache" or whatever be part of the attributes? I must have missed any answer.

 

I know a lot of past threads where ragging on micros because they (most) don't contain trades, yet most, if not all, of the ones around here do.

 

I figure trading is more of the issue than the size of the container.

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Obviously there is parking nearby.

Sorry, I don't quite understand this (maybe my English is not fluent enough). Why should parking be obviously nearby?

 

BalkanSabranje

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Parking is not an "attribute." All caches have parking; it is a question of where. And that is information, not an inherent characteristic of the cache.

 

If the cache is a park 'n grab, the owner could select the "parking nearby" attribute shown on the sample page. If it's a long ways away, the owner could select the "significant hike" attribute. These are radio buttons and icons, not free-form text fields where parking info. could be entered. K.I.S.S.

 

As for what the coordinates ARE, I much prefer having a downloadable GPX file with the parking location, which Jeremy mentions as a future site enhancement. That feature would also help with multicaches that have 13 waypoints listed on the cache page. It would be nice if we could somehow flag or search for caches that had these files associated with them, so if I ran a PQ for an area, I could then search it to find out which caches had additional coordinates that I need to download into my GPS. Ideally the extra GPX file with the parking and other waypoints for GC1234 would give the supplemental waypoints related names like GC1234-A, GC1234-B, etc., so I could associate them with the proper cache when I look at a map screen or list of nearest waypoints. So, as a compromise, when the GPX upload functionality is added, howabout an attribute that says "supplemental waypoint file available."

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I just read through all of the pages of this thread and figured I would chime in with two cents:

 

- Important information should not be available *only* via hover text. Hover text won't be available on printouts, several browsers (Mac browsers in particular but also those on Sidekicks, etc.) and no one wants to hover over numerous little icons on a page to see if you need a flashlight or rope or whatever. I see a potential pitfall of cache owners putting important informatioon in icon attributes and not in their description text where it (also) belongs.

 

- My initial reaction is that while these icons will be nice, personally I expect to use them only rarely. As such, I would hope that I don't feel like I *have* to use them.

 

- I'm surprised that - unless I missed it - no one has suggested an icon for "public restrooms" in the facilities category, which are probably going to be of more importance than say picnic tables, at least for some people.

 

- A lot of the icons on the sample page seem like they could be attributes of other icons. For example cactus, snakes, falling rocks, abandonded mines and perhaps others seem like they should be attributes of "dangerous area". In fact you could make an argument that each subset of icons in a category should merely be attributes of a single icon for that category. That would sure clean things up. That way there's a single "hazards" or "permissions" icon and all of the many items in each category are just attributes of that category icon.

 

A side benefit of that would be that a large list of attribute options wouldn't clutter up every page. Having an option for "high clearance vehicle" as well as "4x4 required" no longers requires two icons display on every single cache page.

 

Thanks to Jeremy and the others at Groundspeak for working on all of the various new site features.

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Parking is not an "attribute."  All caches have parking; it is a question of where. 

Not quite. As soon as parking is far enough away (which is obviously not a question of distance in time), there is no way of logically associating a parking area to a cache IMHO.

Let's assume that the parking area is some five hours' walking distance from a cache and fifteen minutes by cablecar - would you associate the parking area to the cache???

 

BalkanSabranje

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Let's assume that the parking area is some five hours' walking distance from a cache and fifteen minutes by cablecar - would you associate the parking area to the cache???

Yes, I would, if Jeremy were to implement a GPX file functionality and I downloaded logically named parking coordinates, as I described in my last post.

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Ideally the extra GPX file with the parking and other waypoints for GC1234 would give the supplemental waypoints related names like GC1234-A, GC1234-B, etc., so I could associate them with the proper cache

This wouldn't be much use to those of us with GPS that limit waypoint names to 6 characters.

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Ideally the extra GPX file with the parking and other waypoints for GC1234 would give the supplemental waypoints related names like GC1234-A, GC1234-B, etc., so I could associate them with the proper cache

This wouldn't be much use to those of us with GPS that limit waypoint names to 6 characters.

It would if you use GSAK with the "%Drop 2" waypoint naming option (it drops the "GC", which would allow a 5th or 6th character to display on a GPSr that limits waypoints to 6 characters). Perhaps the parking coordinates should be standardized as GC1234P. :angry:

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Also, will "trading cache" "non-trading cache" or whatever be part of the attributes? I must have missed any answer.

 

I know a lot of past threads where ragging on micros because they (most) don't contain trades, yet most, if not all, of the ones around here do.

 

I figure trading is more of the issue than the size of the container.

Wouldn't a micro with trade items be a small cache?

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