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twilliams

Geocaching Banned - The End Of Geocaching

171 posts in this topic

[bTW - I looked for this type of poll thread over the last 90 days. I'm sure it's been up before but not recently as far as my searches ]

 

Take some guesses;

How do you think geocaching will end? fade out slowly? or get banned?

When will this happen (2 years - 15 years)?

How do we prevent that?

 

----

My wild a** guess is that enough problems like the recent airport detention and the bombsquad near school event (or god forbid someone getting seriously injured on a dangerous cache route) will finally get some sensationalized negative media coverage - the "what are you going to do to protect us" crowd will get local and then state officials to ban this on public property.

 

I could see the sport eventually getting depicted like this: strangers leaving barely marked, camoflauged metal military ammo containers hidden near your house/kids school/playground/park. A whole bunch of other strangers (many odd looking) start snooping around these locations with guidance systems, some of them with criminal records.

 

How to prevent?

It does seem like *anything* which has the possibility to get caches kicked out of managed areas is a seriously bad idea for the whole sport.

 

Because people don't need real reasons, they need excuses; I'd rather have a few caches never planted and planted ones archived than for this even to be a newsworthy discussion ("tonight on news at nine - are people planting hidden devices near your house? tune in and...")

Once it's a discussion, people, we might be finished. I assume noncachers don't care about our game. I asume we aren't very well organized, we don't speak with a single voice, and have little money, and no political or PR clout. Right now we're super eco-friendly hikers playing an innocuous game of hide and seek. I'd say we really need to keep up that image about all else. And fortunately that's something we all can do when speaking with other people and playing the sport.

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The end of Geocaching? It will never happen.

 

If it does get banned, it will continue mostly in the form of Virtuals. If geocaching.com disappears, then my guess someone else would put up their own site. If that doesn't happen, local communities will form and the cache community would be fragmented in the form of webrings, blogs, and listservs (???).

 

John Doe

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In the end, if the whole stink was about the boxes and containers, we could go virtual. We would still be getting out to amazing places.

Once they ban that sort of activity, you know somethings wrong!

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...some of them with criminal records...

I propose a background check and a 3 day waiting period on all GPSr sales. That should solve the problem.

 

</sarcasm>

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If something like banning geocaching could ever happen all over the USA (not likely), it would go underground, using newsgroups and folks posting their own pages, just like it started.

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Even if caching was somehow banned in the US, there is still the rest of the world where most of the security and liability concerns are not as big an issue. If GC were to go away as a result of caching being banned in the US, I predict it would just go underground, as other posters have indicated, in the form of smaller websites, blogs, usenet, etc.

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I agree with Gorak.

 

The only other scenario is, people may just become bored with it...not! <_<;)

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But what if the satellites get shut down?

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But what if the satellites get shut down?

Thou wonders if thou has forgotten that thine millitary uses them?

That police use them? That firefighters use them?

 

They weren't put there for geocachers.

 

 

Caching will never die because even if we're not allowed to use public land, enough of us will manage to use thier own yards to keep it going.

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i'm more worried about running out of hidy places more than .1 miles from other caches! <_<

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I just can't see the sport being banned, at least not nationwide. Whenever I talk to people about geocaching, I mention CITO. Most people, at least the one's that arent interested in the sport, will at least think we do our share to clean up the enviroment.

I do think we need to "reach out" to the emergency services sector and educate them about our sport. This can only help us as then at least the police will have an idea of what we do and that it is a sport enjoyed by many. We could also utilize the sport as a way of helping to train search & rescue teams. I've been a member of the Civil Air Patrol, and geocaching is a great form of practice.

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I think the sheep have more problems on their hands what with the deadly dihydrogen monoxide problem.

LOL - is that old joke still going around? I first saw that in the '70's. In fact, I did a Toastmasters speech a couple of years ago on the evils of dihydrogen monoxide. Over 3/4 of the audience signed my petition to have the substance restricted. <_<

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The end of Geocaching?  It will never happen.

 

If it does get banned, it will continue mostly in the form of Virtuals. 

 

John Doe

 

Well I think the loss of physical caches would be a severe if not completely fatal blow.

 

For those of you who believe in slippery slopes the state of Michigan and North Carolina aren't banning but cleverly is charging a $25-35 fee for physical geocaching permits. Increasing that cost, or fines would effectually be a ban.

 

The Pennsylvania DNCR is already requiring permit forms and official approval for all geocaches on state property.

 

Missouri also has a permitting process and official approval required

West Virginia also has a permitting process and offical approval required

North Carolina has (or had) a $25 special use permit requirement

Arkansas has a permitting process.

Illinois has a geocaching permitting process for at least much of the state managed lands.

Wisconsin requires "approval"

North Dakota, New York, Arizona, ... many many states.

 

Hmmmmmm. At least let's make sure we know the rules and are compliant.

Edited by twilliams
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But what if the satellites get shut down?

Thou wonders if thou has forgotten that thine millitary uses them?

That police use them? That firefighters use them?

 

They weren't put there for geocachers.

 

 

Caching will never die because even if we're not allowed to use public land, enough of us will manage to use thier own yards to keep it going.

thou wonders if "they" consider that as old technology and

thou wonders if "they" won't let anybody use the miltary system.

 

thou remembers a day when thou couldn't have good accuracy.

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For those of you who believe in slippery slopes the state of Michigan isn't banning but cleverly is charging a $35 fee for physical geocaching permits.

Of course! Taxes could kill it! Instead of raising taxes on things that kill you like cigarettes, let's tax things that get people to be healthier by exercising!

 

Sorry but I can't stop myself from saying this: Those guys are morons!

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I don't ever see geocaching dieing, It would as stated here go underground. My biggest concern now is what would happen to our great sport/game if the powers that be in D.C. decided that in the interest of national security to once again turn on Select Availabilty (SA). What would we do to overcome this?

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... letterboxing would suddenly become more popular

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quick...buy duct-tape and bottled-water <_<

 

geocaching cannot die or disappear...it could just be forced underground and decentralized...

 

this might not be an all bad thing...

 

the hunt for caches would still be basically the same (once you found the local website or yahoo group with listings for the area you were visiting), but people would have a tougher time whining about their TBs being stolen... ;)

 

until that happens though, I'll enjoy using gc.com

 

nfa-jamie

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I don't ever see geocaching dieing, It would as stated here go underground. My biggest concern now is what would happen to our great sport/game if the powers that be in D.C. decided that in the interest of national security to once again turn on Select Availabilty (SA). What would we do to overcome this?

Wait a few years and then use Galileo instead.

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....Missouri also has a permitting process and official approval required........

Not the whole state, just one agency.

 

Most of the cities/counties don't mention geocaching in Missouri.

A few other require an e-mail approval - no permits.

Others, like St. Louis parks, don't want to be bothered approving geocaches and want the local geocachers to manage them.

 

Missouri is a pretty friendly geocaching state.

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quick...buy duct-tape and bottled-water <_<

 

geocaching cannot die or disappear...it could just be forced underground and decentralized...

 

- that's what they said about napster

- depends on your definition of die

;)

If it's expensive (or illegal) to traditionally cache, I think it's pretty much dead for the bulk of current cachers. If geocaching.com gets sued out of existance someone may replace it (like napster has been replaced with other filesharing systems). Unlike napster I don't think there are, to my mind, very many good alternatives to this site currently and there likely isn't even a tenth of a percent of the interest that filesharing has to encourage that kind of development. But maybe it would regenerate, but I'd rather avoid that.

 

So, if there is any point in the thread it's that it's prudent to be aware of what you can do to prevent this from happening. I think dangerous caches are probably the worst risk - generally when people die, lawyers, politicians and the courts get involved. And this can risk can be mitigated to some extent. For example, I think it's reasonable to not plant obviously dangerous caches, ones that are going to grab police attention for whatever reason, and to get all the legal liability disclaimers humanly possible associated with the signup agreement required for getting an account on this site.

Edited by twilliams
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quick...buy duct-tape and bottled-water <_<

 

geocaching cannot die or disappear...it could just be forced underground and decentralized...

 

- that's what they said about napster

- depends on your definition of die

Napster.com is gone, but there are still a whole slew of sites to download free music with the same type protocol. So, in essence, it HAS gone underground. ;)

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quick...buy duct-tape and bottled-water ;)

 

geocaching cannot die or disappear...it could just be forced underground and decentralized...

 

- that's what they said about napster

- depends on your definition of die

Napster.com is gone, but there are still a whole slew of sites to download free music with the same type protocol. So, in essence, it HAS gone underground. ;)

of course. ;)

that's what I elude to in that note.

 

and the difficulty of the same possibility happening, or at least happening as easily with geocaching. Still in all the death of napster is unfortunate, the fragmentation to "underground" software has not been a good thing for filesharers.. and imagine starting over losing all the stats, e-logs, TB history, etc.. <_<

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quick...buy duct-tape and bottled-water ;)

 

geocaching cannot die or disappear...it could just be forced underground and decentralized...

 

- that's what they said about napster

- depends on your definition of die

Napster.com is gone, but there are still a whole slew of sites to download free music with the same type protocol. So, in essence, it HAS gone underground. ;)

of course. ;)

that's what I elude to in that note.

 

and the difficulty of the same possibility happening, or at least happening as easily with geocaching. Still in all the death of napster is unfortunate, the fragmentation to "underground" software has not been a good thing for filesharers.. and imagine starting over losing all the stats, e-logs, TB history, etc.. <_<

hi,

 

geocaching isn't really about

all the stats, e-logs, TB history, etc.
it's about the seeking coords, finding a cache, signing a log, trading an item...all of the other stuff is icing...

 

don't get me wrong, I like icing, I like it a lot...but the game would be fine without it.

 

nfa-jamie

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if they outlaw geocaching only outlaws will geocache <_<

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and the difficulty of the same possibility happening, or at least happening as easily with geocaching. Still in all the death of napster is unfortunate, the fragmentation to "underground" software has not been a good thing for filesharers.. and imagine starting over losing all the stats, e-logs, TB history, etc.. <_<

No argument here.

If things were to come crashing down, it would seperate the "men from the boys", so to speak.

Only the hardcore cachers would still be involved and all of the politics would be stripped away, if only for a short while.

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if they outlaw geocaching only outlaws  will geocache ;)

I think I've heard that before!

 

If they ever try to take away caching by trying to tax it to the death, we can rebel and throw ammo boxes into the Boston harbor! <_<

 

"We have not yet begun to fight!"

Edited by TrailGators
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I don't think geocaching will be banned, not this year anyway, the bottom line is this, use your head when placing a cache.

Ask yourself why some states are requiring a fee or approval to place a cache, it probably comes down to the fact that some people don't use their head when placing a cache.

Talk to your game and parks commission (or similar agency) about CITO, most states don't have the funding to keep wildlife areas cleaned up (in our area that includes several interstate lakes) I have found refrigerators, tons of broken beer bottles, cans and other junk in these areas. If we, as a group, proceed to clean these areas up the government will eventually take note of our activities and the fees and other bureaucratic bs might go away, or otherwise be reduced.

 

Remember one bad apple can, indeed spoil the whole bunch.

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There already is an "heir apparent" to GC.com. Anyone here use Navicache? Something happens like GC gets sued out of buisness, Navicache is already up & running. Most of the caches on it are also listed on GC.

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There already is an "heir apparent" to GC.com. Anyone here use Navicache? Something happens like GC gets sued out of buisness, Navicache is already up & running. Most of the caches on it are also listed on GC.

"Heir apparent?" I don't think so. Not so apparent to me. :blink::blink:

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I don't ever see geocaching dieing, It would as stated here go underground. My biggest concern now is what would happen to our great sport/game if the powers that be in D.C. decided that in the interest of national security to once again turn on Select Availabilty (SA). What would we do to overcome this?

Same thing we old farts did before... get as close as we can with GPS and then use map and compass.

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But what if the satellites get shut down?

Oh, no!!...the sky really is falling!! :blink:

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For those of you who believe in slippery slopes the state of Michigan and North Carolina aren't banning but cleverly is charging a $25-35 fee for physical geocaching permits. Increasing that cost, or fines would effectually be a ban.

 

The Pennsylvania DNCR is already requiring permit forms and official approval for all geocaches on state property.

 

Missouri also has a permitting process and official approval required

West Virginia also has a permitting process and offical approval required

North Carolina has (or had) a $25 special use permit requirement

Arkansas has a permitting process.

Illinois has a geocaching permitting process for at least much of the state managed lands.

Wisconsin requires "approval"

North Dakota, New York, Arizona, ... many many states.

 

Hmmmmmm. At least let's make sure we know the rules and are compliant.

If a permit is required or a fee is needed to place a cache in a park or state owned land, there isn't much you can do about that, aside from simply placing a cache without the fee or permit. As I've said before, geocaching isn't going to get banned. Paying fees to place a cache, sucks. But it is a FAR cry from an outright ban.

 

Adam Pierson

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In my view - from reading a LOT of posts on the forum - geocaching would bring down the wrath of the powers that be if cache containers continued to be placed in 'sensitive' areas. If law enforcement are going to bothered by concerned citizens calling to report 'suspicious' people wandering around their urban areas, seen to be fiddling around with an ammo box, and a camouflaged one at that, then the authorities are going to step in and regulate or ban the sport.

 

Simple solution? Keep away from heavily trafficed urban areas, get out into the wilder areas. Not so many suspicious people = happy sport.

 

Personally, I would much rather hike, or 4X4, into a remote area, packed up for a day in the country and enjoy myself without interference, than be hassled while trying to determine the position of a 35mm film canister attached to a light pole in a busy parking area.

Edited by Azaruk
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With fear growing in the population there will be more incidents concerning caches.

A thread in this forum with subject 'Panic about a cache' will have its regular contributions in the future.

I cannot image a total worldwide ban on geocaching activities. But should things detoriate in de USA resulting in a ban on geocaching then you can be sure that geocaching in France will become a national pastime there. Special geocaching hollidays and honeymoons to France will be organised. :blink:

 

But it is the technical progress that will change our sport. There will come a day when we have some kind of super-WAAS and we can find a spot not with 10 meter accuracy but with 1 meter. What kind of impact will that have on your geocaching behaviour?

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But it is the technical progress that will change our sport. There will come a day when we have some kind of super-WAAS and we can find a spot not with 10 meter accuracy but with 1 meter. What kind of impact will that have on your geocaching behaviour?

You could just add a random offset to the coordinates to simulate an uncertainty of ~10 meters - that would make the search about as difficult as it is today.

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But it is the technical progress that will change our sport. There will come a day when we have some kind of super-WAAS and we can find a spot not with 10 meter accuracy but with 1 meter.  What kind of impact will that have on your geocaching behaviour?

You could just add a random offset to the coordinates to simulate an uncertainty of ~10 meters - that would make the search about as difficult as it is today.

I've never been a fan of intentional giving wrong coordinates.

 

Considering to get ~1 meter accuracy your unit would have to display another decimal place to show that resolution, you could drop the last one and have ~6 foot resolution. Drop another and get ~60 foot resolution.

 

Actually, I think ~1 meter accuracy and >1 meter resolution would be a good thing in some situations as sometimes it's more about the destination than the hunt for the box. You can figure that if your unit is saying "0" then it's within arm's reach. There would be less need to trample. I'm sure there are other advantages that I can't think of right now.

 

To keep hunts challenging, folk would just think up different ways to describe the location. For example, one of the forefathers of the hobby described what is something like a circular offset. The coordinates are the center of a circle and the cache is on the circumference. The distance can be described in the description or you have to figure it out--could be the same as the height of the object, maybe a radio tower.

 

So, yes, hyper-accurate units will change the sport a little but not necessarily in a bad way.

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My eTrex Venture (and I think most today's units) gives less-than-meter resolution. Just the other day it said I was 0.09 meters from the cache. Of course, the accuracy being about 6 meters, the cache was coupla meters away from that point.

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Unlike napster I don't think there are, to my mind, very many good alternatives to this site currently and there likely isn't even a tenth of a percent of the interest that filesharing has to encourage that kind of development.

Actually, considering the level of development of some of the third party programs I do think there would be plenty of interest.

 

What I envision though is not another central repository, but many regionally based ones to share the load. The software would be developed so anyone can run it on their own server or web host much like forum software is today. The basic mechanics of hosting caches is, well, trivial. In fact, the major sticking point is the fact that the 3rd party developers only use Groundspeak's proprietary format of cache distribution. If gc.com closed it would take very little to accommodate a new format for distribution.

 

The biggest problem I see if gc.com got shut down would be the orphaned caches and how to handle those.

 

Something else to consider. If gc.com wasn't so well run and if geocaching wasn't getting so popular, would we still be having these problems? I found geocaching through letterboxing. Do we really need this constant inflow of new blood and the associated problems? Do we really need Parade magazine articles? If the answer is "yes, because we have to pay for the gc.com services" then maybe some priorities are in the wrong place.

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In my view - from reading a LOT of posts on the forum - geocaching would bring down the wrath of the powers that be if cache containers continued to be placed in 'sensitive' areas. If law enforcement are going to bothered by concerned citizens calling to report 'suspicious' people wandering around their urban areas, seen to be fiddling around with an ammo box, and a camouflaged one at that, then the authorities are going to step in and regulate or ban the sport.

 

Simple solution? Keep away from heavily trafficed urban areas, get out into the wilder areas. Not so many suspicious people = happy sport.

 

Personally, I would much rather hike, or 4X4, into a remote area, packed up for a day in the country and enjoy myself without interference, than be hassled while trying to determine the position of a 35mm film canister attached to a light pole in a busy parking area.

Amen.

 

And everyone try not to get killed. :blink: I really think things could change, for this site at least, pretty radically if someone was killed trying to get to a dangerously located cache.

 

-thaw-

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It is interesting to note that no one (including myself) who has posted in this topic is willing to consider the actual denial of geocaching, our beloved obsession.

 

What if the world's infrastructure was actually removed somehow? No computers, no electricity, no oil, no AA batteries. How could we live with ourselves if there really was no geocaching? :blink::blink:

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What if the world's infrastructure was actually removed somehow? No computers, no electricity, no oil, no AA batteries. How could we live with ourselves if there really was no geocaching? :blink::blink:

If we all of a sudden had no computers, electricity, oil or batteries, I think we would have a lot more to worry about than caching. :blink:

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If we all of a sudden had no computers, electricity, oil or batteries, I think we would have a lot more to worry about than caching.  :blink:

Easy for you to say! :blink::blink::blink:

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BTW - no one is saying that the end is near. Just that if the end could happen (for this site, or for caching in particular states or regions) there are probably things we can all do about it to prevent that. It's worth thinking about because the solutions won't take much energy on anyones part, just awareness. (unless someone sues geocaching.com :(. I just can't see navicache and others cutring it)

 

Now I was expecting you creative :( people to point out other possible scenarios;

 

A cool one was - improved accuracy of GPS systems. I hadn't thought about this, I can think of some ways you could get around it but it's a very curious problem.

 

And how about;

 

Is it possible for the growth of interest in the sport to overcrowd caches on your normal weekend search? Or will it just temporarily overload the easy ones until the fad passes?

 

Corporatization? Jeremy leaves the site to his brother-in-law during a weekend in Fiji and comes back to find Pepsi owns the site and all the cache coordinates are stashed under special bottle caps of Pepsi One or in Dorito bags--- c'mon you know what I mean...corporately someone could try to grab this site as GPS proliferation grows.

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Even if caching was somehow banned in the US, there is still the rest of the world where most of the security and liability concerns are not as big an issue. If GC were to go away as a result of caching being banned in the US, I predict it would just go underground, as other posters have indicated, in the form of smaller websites, blogs, usenet, etc.

Thank you! I agree with you. There's no way to ban all Geocaching everywhere. What about the ones placed on private property? Virtuals? Etc. There's absolutely no way. :(

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...some of them with criminal records...

I propose a background check and a 3 day waiting period on all GPSr sales. That should solve the problem.

 

</sarcasm>

I wouldn't think it would ever go that far. . .

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