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Cache Attributes


Jeremy
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For the previous discussion, refer to this thread.

 

Cache attributes were implemented today. They were tested over the last week with a small group of geocachers and smaller tweaks were made in the code.

 

Initially only 10 attributes will be allowed per listing. This is to encourage accurate (and important) attributes selections for each cache listing. Hopefully folks will know that you don't really have to choose 10 for your listing but I bet that most will anyway.

 

Will attributes be searchable?

 

Attributes will not be searchable for a while to allow people to update their cache listings with the appropriate information. We will be providing an email update to cache owners so they can add this information to their listings. The search capabilities will be in development for a while anyway.

 

Will attributes be available in Pocket Queries?

 

Pocket Queries will not contain the attribute information until we update the specification for the GPX to allow this info. We did create an attribute feature in 1.1 but we'll most likely change it to another version to accomodate some new ideas.

 

How do I know what the icons mean?

 

Hover over each icon with your mouse. Each icon will tell you what they mean.

 

ed: If we get enough requests I will add a legend link that will show all available attributes for that cache type.

 

How do attributes show up on the print friendly page?

 

They show up as the text descriptions that match the hover text when you mouse over the icons.

 

How are the attributes ordered?

 

They are in no particular order. There is currently no feature available to order them.

 

Can I suggest a new attribute?

 

Yes, though not in this thread. I'd like to keep this to questions about the new feature and not requests for new attributes.

 

Post to suggest a new attribute

 

As for new recommendations, we're trying to keep the number of attributes at a minimum so it doesn't get too crazy. However, since we can now apply different attributes to different cache types it allows us to be flexible with type-specific attributes (like, say, potluck attribute for events, or BYOB). Also try and keep your requests broad so they can cover other similar requests (for example, we removed cactus to add "thorns" since it covers both cactus and blackberry bushes)

 

Where do I post questions about attributes?

 

If you have questions about attributes, post them here and I'll try to provide you with answers if I can.

Edited by Jeremy
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Halfway through (had to wait a mo for "Server Busy" as EVERYONE updates atts simultaneously) but noticed if you selectt "No xxx", the alt text and hover text comes up as "Available xxx" instead of "Unavailable xxx".

 

A picky one: but as someone who browses without images mostly, 'twould be nice if the alt text started with the attribute as now the image box simply says, "av" for almost all of the icons! Heh..

 

Thanks again,

 

Randy

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Thanks, Jeremy I like it.

 

I do have one question. Is there an attribute to signify a cache is a park and grab cache? Selector had 2 that implied it, less than 500 feet from car and lunchtime cache. I didn't see anything that would fit for simple quick caches.

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If you hover your mouse--explanatory text should pop up Brian. (Which now includes "No..." for the 'slashed' attributes.)

 

However, it's sorta' funny as presented on the cache page to see a red slashed out bike, white dog, binocs, tick (!?), and snowflake.

 

Might it make sense to make ticks, PI, and those types of icons red instead of white-filled?

 

Right now all the "Hazards" look like positive features rather than cautions! (Or maybe a tiny red exclamation mark in the upper-right hand corners?)

 

Just a thought,

 

Randy

 

(Now that I'm done, just a couple minutes per cache page...)

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Question: Are the attribute icons going to appear on the print-friendly page?

I know you're excited, but you can always look first and ask second ;)

 

I added your answer to the top of the page. It shows up as text.

Edited by Jeremy
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Jeremy,

 

Nicely implemented - it was very easy to update the attributes on my caches. Thanks!

 

Two questions:

 

1) what determines the display order of the attribute icons on the cache description page - e.g. on one of my caches, restrooms appeared before scenic view, on another, restrooms appeared later in the list. (I'd prefer not to have restrooms the first attribute in the list!) ;)

 

2) Towards the end of the previous thread, someone suggested an attribute for "available for adoption". Although I'm not sure if attributes is the right place to put that, it would be good (i.e. perhaps lead to fewer abandoned caches) if owners had a way to indicate that they were moving on and looking for someone to adopt their cache. What do you think of adding that one?

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Two questions:

 

1) what determines the display order of the attribute icons on the cache description page - e.g. on one of my caches, restrooms appeared before scenic view, on another, restrooms appeared later in the list. (I'd prefer not to have restrooms the first attribute in the list!) ;)

I added the answer to your question in the first post. There is no particular order. However I am considering sorting them by alerts first, tools required second, and informational third. With only 10 icons they will be recognizable to most cachers quickly enough.

 

2) Towards the end of the previous thread, someone suggested an attribute for "available for adoption".  Although I'm not sure if attributes is the right place to put that, it would be good (i.e. perhaps lead to fewer abandoned caches) if owners had a way to indicate that they were moving on and looking for someone to adopt their cache.  What do you think of adding that one?

 

I'm thinking we should create a new thread for new attributes. That way we can separate the general questions about attributes with new attribute recommendations. I'll update the first post with this info.

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Looking great!

 

In anticipation of folks asking for definitions, what should one consider as "Parking nearby"? 25 feet? 200 feet? To some, it could mean a 1/2 mile. It could be 10 feet in a 4x4, but 500 feet in a sedan. The same type of questions will probably arise for things like "Takes less than an hour".

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In anticipation of folks asking for definitions, what should one consider as "Parking nearby"? 25 feet? 200 feet? To some, it could mean a 1/2 mile. It could be 10 feet in a 4x4, but 500 feet in a sedan. The same type of questions will probably arise for things like "Takes less than an hour".

I don't really think some icons really need to be overdefined. Like I posted in the OP, I'd like to see attributes cover many requests and just act as a pointer for people to get a general idea for a hunt.

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Question: Are the attribute icons going to appear on the print-friendly page?

I know you're excited, but you can always look first and ask second ;)

 

I added your answer to the top of the page. It shows up as text.

Ahh... very subtle. I did look, but didn't notice it there. Actually, the default font in Firefox made the text a black blob. I'm looking at it now in Safari and it's a lot clearer. Not that it's meant for browser display...

Edited by The Cheeseheads
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Question: Are the attribute icons going to appear on the print-friendly page?

I know you're excited, but you can always look first and ask second ;)

 

I added your answer to the top of the page. It shows up as text.

Ahh... very subtle. I did look, but didn't notice it there.

Sorry for the confusion. I meant you should go out and click the "print friendly" link on a cache listing with attributes to see what it looks like before asking the question. It was a friendly barb. But I went ahead and responded you your question and added the reply to the original post.

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Thanks Jeremy!!!

 

This looks great, I'm going to be going through my cache listing over the next couple of days I guess. What a cool thing to do to increase the information available to cachers before they attempt a given cache.

 

Nice plan and implementation of that plan!

 

nfa-jamie

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In anticipation of folks asking for definitions, what should one consider as "Parking nearby"?  25 feet? 200 feet? To some, it could mean a 1/2 mile.  It could be 10 feet in a 4x4, but 500 feet in a sedan.  The same type of questions will probably arise for things like "Takes less than an hour".

I don't really think some icons really need to be overdefined. Like I posted in the OP, I'd like to see attributes cover many requests and just act as a pointer for people to get a general idea for a hunt.

I can't agree more. Too much definition would not leave the flexibility needed for this sport. As I was updating the attribute for my caches, a lot of questions came to mind, the "Parking nearby" was probably the most questionable. If I think 200 feet is nearby, and someone else thinks it should be 500, or 50. If the interpretations are too vaque, then the attributes lose a lot of thier meaning.

 

Back to why they should not be too tight... in our area, any non-urban cache has cactus. Some areas have lots more of it. At shich point should the "thorny object" be a significant attribute? In the same way that terrain ratings have pretty much stabailzed over time, I feel that the attributes will do the same. It would be nice to have a starting point.

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For "parking nearby" distance, I would stick with the 0.1 mile (528 feet) measure which would be consistent with several other rules and guidelines around here. That's equivalent to a one or two minute walk at an average walking speed of 3mph.

 

At which point should the "thorny object" be a significant attribute?

I would say at the point when one must actively avoid it. If you're just passing the occasional saguaro on the trail, no need to mention it. But if you're having to dodge cactus landmines, or tiptoe through berry vines all around the cache area, then it would be good to mention it.

 

On the other hand, don't bother with things like "no poison plants" or "no motorcycles" for an urban cache. Those are pretty much a given.

 

Just try to select the attributes that aren't already obvious and common for the area.

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For "parking nearby" distance, I would stick with the 0.1 mile (528 feet) measure which would be consistent with several other rules and guidelines around here. That's equivalent to a one or two minute walk at an average walking speed of 3mph.

 

At which point should the "thorny object" be a significant attribute?

I would say at the point when one must actively avoid it. If you're just passing the occasional saguaro on the trail, no need to mention it. But if you're having to dodge cactus landmines, or tiptoe through berry vines all around the cache area, then it would be good to mention it.

 

On the other hand, don't bother with things like "no poison plants" or "no motorcycles" for an urban cache. Those are pretty much a given.

 

Just try to select the attributes that aren't already obvious and common for the area.

Thanks Hemlock,

 

That's pretty much in line with what I was thinking also. Perhaps I was looking for the written explanation or description and not for a strictly defined set of criteria.

 

The nice thing about having this stuff in writing, is that it preempts the questions people have. Those folks who visit forums may understand the concepts and the background, but those folks who do not access the forums end up confused and frustrated.

 

Just in case there is any confusion, I really do like these attributes, and even if they are not explained publically, they are going to be a big bonus.

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Two questions:

 

1) what determines the display order of the attribute icons on the cache description page - e.g. on one of my caches, restrooms appeared before scenic view, on another, restrooms appeared later in the list.  (I'd prefer not to have restrooms the first attribute in the list!)  :P

I added the answer to your question in the first post. There is no particular order. However I am considering sorting them by alerts first, tools required second, and informational third. With only 10 icons they will be recognizable to most cachers quickly enough.

I see the point of putting alerts first, although I'd suggest displaying the attributes in the order of:

1) Conditions (am I interested in this cache because it has a scenic view, doesn't take much time, is winter accessible?)

2) Hazards (am I still interested in this cache?) ;)

3) Permissions (can I bring my dog, bike, horse?)

4) Special Equipment (do I have what it takes?)

5) Facilities (is there a place to eat lunch, get a drink, go to the bathroom?).

 

That's the order I would consider the information in reviewing a cache, but everyone may have their own preference, at which point any order is as good as any other as long as it's consistent. And cnce the attributes become searchable and are included in PQ's, the order is less important, since you'll be able to sort by what you're looking for (or trying to avoid).

 

Thanks again Jeremy!

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1. Good to have this info in the database, it just makes sense.

 

but

 

2. What would typical searches on attributes look like? (e.g. I don't think several of them make sense to have in queries)

 

For instance, if you were looking to go camping and caching, you probably wouldn't want to filter on camping available, because not every cache owner near your camping site will put that on their cache - they may not see their cache as being close enough of associated with camping.

 

Or search for caches with campfires? There are a lot that don't quite make sense - the info is very useful, but you wouldn't use it to define your search.

 

There are attributes which I think would be very conducive to search, and I looked at the last thread but didn't see them (i.e. they all fit well into scenarios when you'd ask the question: "What are all the caches with XXXXX near where I've going?"):

 

1. A TB Hotel/Exchange etc.

 

People may want to see all TB exchanges nearby to move a TB on. This is exactly the kind of thing which people may want to search on quite frequently (and across a variety of cacher preferences - I am not a big TB mover, but I see a lot of people who are always picking up TBs and dropping them off).

 

2. Historical Significance

 

Some people are interested if the cache takes you someplace of significance other than the hike and the view.

 

3. Local favorite

 

I might be biased, but the cachers in the New Orleans area know the local favorites which we like to point out to visitors, and we have our own state-wide voting system - the Louisiana Lagniappe (http://www.lageocaching.com). We get a lot of out-of-town visitors, we love to be good hosts and there are a number of caches which are especially attractive for tourists. As LALagniappe has shown, only the more conscientious hiders use the system, and only for the better caches, so the system works well (for us).

 

Food for thought,

 

Cade

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2. What would typical searches on attributes look like? (e.g. I don't think several of them make sense to have in queries)

You may not, but others may. Just don't choose to search by them.

 

In my original post I indicated that the search feature isn't available yet. I'll consider your thoughts when I work on that section. But it does seem to me to be a personal choice whether one attribute or another should be searchable. Technically it is irrelevant.

 

1. A TB Hotel/Exchange etc.

2. Historical Significance

3. Local favorite

 

Feel free to move these to the other thread.

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I just checked the "Report a new cache" page and I don't think the attritubes are very noticable on this page. The link at the top is easily overlooked. I'd think a larger font near the other parts of the listing (description, difficulty/terrain, etc). would make people listing new caches more likely to notice it.

 

southdeltan

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I like the new feature. I just went through and updated all my cache pages. Going through it generated a few minor questions:

 

1. One thing that seems to require a bit more definition is "Dangerous area". It seems to me that geocaches are not allowed in "dangerous areas"; so how does this attribute make sense?

 

2. I have a rough notion what "wheelchair accessible" means, but it really would help me to have a link to some information provided by wheel-chair-bound geocachers as to what they consider accessible or inaccessible.

 

It might make sense to create an Attributes Glossary web page. These questions that are coming up now will pop up continually from here on out.

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2. I have a rough notion what "wheelchair accessible" means, but it really would help me to have a link to some information provided by wheel-chair-bound geocachers as to what they consider accessible or inaccessible.

I was thinking about that too. Is a cache that you can get to within 50' of in a wheel chair, wheel chair accessible? How much actual seaching can you do from a wheel chair anyways? Or for that matter on crutches? I have a couple that would be easy to get to if someone else was doing the searching (and then retrieved the cache for you to look at), does that fall under 'wheel chair accessible'?

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I have a rough notion what "wheelchair accessible" means, but it really would help me to have a link to some information provided by wheel-chair-bound geocachers as to what they consider accessible or inaccessible.

I was emailed by someone who was wheelchair-bound that said just by having that attribute available gave them enough information to decide for themselves whether or not they could visit the cache location. I don't think most folks require you to do any thorough investigations to determine whether the cache itself is accessible.

 

It might make sense to create an Attributes Glossary web page. These questions that are coming up now will pop up continually from here on out.

 

It is a good idea. I do have a description field in the database for that purpose but haven't taken a stab at defining each attribute, hoping that we could keep the attributes broadly defined for different situations.

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Have you decided how cache attributes will appear in GPX files?

I answered that in question number 2 of the original post. Not yet, though 1.1 version of the Groundspeak:cache namespace does have an implementation.

Edited by Jeremy
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I would hesitate to have a specific glossary as regional differences will abound.

 

(For example, the suggestion of 528' for Parking would cover the majority of caches here! I opted for "in eyeshot"...)

 

Why not wait to write a glossary after the community has had time to generate usable definitions via application? Then keep the glossary as general as possible.

 

Specifics should be detailed in the descriptions after all!

 

(Attributes/icons are simply a digital manner of communicating an analog situation...)

 

So everyone implementing them are affectively "digitizing" their geocache's circumstance!

 

Heh,

 

Randy

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Hello Jeremy!

 

I am on a huge learning curve, only been in the hobby/sport for almost a year.

 

I did stumble across 9key's attribute list (texas geocaching) while looking at other cache listings, and immediately started to use it. They were very nice and added our local geocaching group to their listing so people could have a link to go to our group.

 

When I saw this new feature, I e-mailed 9key to say thanks and see if he could make some additions to his service.

 

He replied and told me that he is not going to update the attributes because of what you did. He also added that he was upset with GC.com because they - wait - let me quote him -

 

"I've discontinued development on the tool since gc.com is using my stuff

without permission. Kinda pissed me off."

 

Is this true? Why didn't you ask for permission? I noticed that you said thanks to him at the bottom of the page, but did you not ask him for permission to use it? Don't you think you should have?

 

I'd like to hear from you directly. Please e-mail me at attribute@thewaterman.com

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He replied and told me that he is not going to update the attributes because of what you did. He also added that he was upset with GC.com because they - wait - let me quote him -

I don't mean to be curt, but the attributes functionality has been discussed ad-nauseum over the last few years and implemented by several different folks in different ways. It is neither a new idea nor one invented by one individual. Don't make this into your own personal issue since you have no reason to be part of it. Thanks.

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For "parking nearby" distance, I would stick with the 0.1 mile (528 feet) measure which would be consistent with several other rules and guidelines around here. That's equivalent to a one or two minute walk at an average walking speed of 3mph.

I'm not sure the "nearby" is even needed for the Parking attribute. To be honest, the intuitive meaning of the parking icon is that there is a designated parking area. Many caches in parks, etc. are not "nearby," but it is handy to know that there is a proper place to park.

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No attributes allowed for Webcams?

Yea!, what gives. How come no attributes for webcam virtual caches?

 

Not all attributes would make sence for a webcam cache.

However, the following attributes would be usefull:

 

Access or parking fee

Recommended at night

Wheelchair accessible

Parking nearby

Public transportation

Telephone nearby

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If you hover your mouse--explanatory text should pop up Brian. (Which now includes "No..." for the 'slashed' attributes.)

 

Using mouse over text or ALT tags on images isn't always second nature for newbies, or for some of oldbies for that matter. A lot of websites still do not use ALT tags in their IMG tag and therefore have no text when you mouse over the images. I've also seen people mouse over images but never hover long enough for the ALT text to be displayed. Most people do know enough to try clicking on things. So, how about linking to a legend page that lists and describes each attribute when someone clicks on an attribute icon. Like what happens when someone click on a cache icon and they get the cache types page.

 

Also good descriptions for the attributes on an attribute legend page would hopefully help reduce the number of debates on exactally how far away nearby parking can be before it is no longer nearby. B)

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For "parking nearby" distance, I would stick with the 0.1 mile (528 feet) measure which would be consistent with several other rules and guidelines around here. That's equivalent to a one or two minute walk at an average walking speed of 3mph.

I'm not sure the "nearby" is even needed for the Parking attribute. To be honest, the intuitive meaning of the parking icon is that there is a designated parking area. Many caches in parks, etc. are not "nearby," but it is handy to know that there is a proper place to park.

I agree. I don't think it really matters how far away it is - just that there is an official (perhaps accepted is a better term) parking area at one of the places you can begin your hunt.

 

sd

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