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Cache Guidelines Counterproductive?


Jeep_Dog
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Ok, ok, ok. Before 1500 folks post supporting or flaming approvers, please read carefully. I have no issue with my approver, they are upholding cache guidelines, and in fact even being helpful in suggesting alternatives. Yes, I understand the guidelines, and read them every time I create a cache in case there are any changes I should understand and consider.

 

No, I am not whining, and merely wish for an intelligent discussion without angst.

 

Here's the story:

 

A very historical town nearby was blockaded by two virtuals. One virtual was archived last weekend. The other still in place. This is an awesome little place to visit, and one redeeming factor is this history is literally 3 minutes off an interstate. Among other things, the town maintains a museum for the region, managed and curated by a town matron who married into one of the region's founding families. This wonderful lady is a personal friend of mine (Scottish connection, see posts regarding kilts :rolleyes: ), and has been interested in my geocaching activities since I began the sport last fall. She has even asked me several times if I could create a cache at the museum, each time I've had to decline since a virtual straight-line distance is definately within .10 miles. She sees geocaching as literally part of this region's continuing history, and even volunteered to keep an eye on the cache and let me know if anything is amiss!

 

Part of the intended description: "Located on the grounds of the Central /EDIT/ Area Museum. Be sure to stop in and say hello to Ms. Cille (prounounced "seal") the museum manager. She's an expert on central /EDIT/ history, and specifically the Scottish influence in the region. She's very excited to support a geocache on the grounds, and would like to meet geocachers.

 

My note to the approver summarizes the above information, and also outlines the straight-line distance is not in accordance with guidelines, but true walking distance (measured by me, of course) certainly is outside of that distance.

 

You can probably guess the outcome of the attempt. The approver replied in a very courteous and helpful manner, as I already mentioned.

 

However, are we cutting off our nose to spite our face? Honestly, if we get such a helpful property/land manager that could greatly promote geocaching in an area, shouldn't we perhaps bend the "guidelines" to account for this? Please, no flames, just intelligent discourse on the topic.

 

By the way, the cache is not moving. The museum manager is too excited (blah blah blah, I should have emailed approver first, blah blah blah, but I can't) to move it, so I will list it on an alternative site. Naturally, the "cache" will be stripped of any geocaching.com reference. Loving GC as much as I do, I will create a GC cache based upon the approver's suggestion, when I get the time to do so.

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Since the guidelines have proved to be extremely flexible (when TPTB want them to be), I think something like this is what exceptions were designed for. Its a real cache when the nearest other one is a virtual, the walking distance between the two is beyond the .1 mile limit, the site is far from the run of the mill Wal-mart locations, and the management is eager to have the cache there.

 

Caches like this one should be encouraged.

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Since the guidelines have proved to be extremely flexible (when TPTB want them to be), I think something like this is what exceptions were designed for. Its a real cache when the nearest other one is a virtual, the walking distance between the two is beyond the .1 mile limit, the site is far from the run of the mill Wal-mart locations, and the management is eager to have the cache there.

 

Caches like this one should be encouraged.

Briansnat saved me from havin to type so much, and he said it better anyway. Ditto.

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I think that this is a good instance of an exception to the guideline.

If there's a land manager who's more than happy to allow a cache somewhere of historical value, and this *is* what the caching community claims to want, then I think that a cache should be placed there.

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Have you written to the owner of the virtual and asked them if they would archive it? Cachers have done that here with older virtuals in order to allow a new physical cache in the area.

This happened on one of my caches and the owner was kind enough to archive the virtual (she wasn't caching anymore anyways). Being patient and persistent are the keys. :rolleyes:

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I would suggest writing the contact address for an exception. I think this case is borderline myself. I think it would be well worth your time to write the contact address. The reviewer did what they were supposed to do. I highly recommend asking for an exception in this case.

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As a general guide - I believe that "real" caches should bump virtuals. Of course there are probably many hundreds of exceptions to this. In this particular case, the land manager is eager and willing - I would: 1- ask the owner of the virt to close shop 2 - ask for an exception (thanks mtn-man!) 3 - keep up the wonderful work with land owners/managers!!

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Have you written to the owner of the virtual and asked them if they would archive it? Cachers have done that here with older virtuals in order to allow a new physical cache in the area.

Thank you for the suggestion. I have sent an email to the virtual owner, suggesting perhaps collaborating into an "uber" cache that goes along the offset cache guidelines; I sent this email along after the new cache was not approved.

 

However, given the guidelines of "this is an arbitrary distance and is just a guideline, but the ultimate goal is to reduce the number of caches hidden in a particular area and to reduce confusion that might otherwise result when one cache is found while looking for another," I thought perhaps an exception was in order. The primary purpose is to reduce confusion between caches, and clearly there would be no confusion between a virtual and a physical. While natural physical barriers are not present, the town setting of the caches and the need to travel in restricted lanes (vis a vis fence break, roads, buildings, and sidewalk), there's more distinction geographically than meets the eye on a map scan. I have no doubt that a consensus among cachers in this area would agree that both merit a cache, especially given the opportunity to work with the town's museum manager, annual festival organizer, and all-around respected matron.

 

There's some nostalgia to the original virtual, as well. I couldn't very well respect the region's history, and expect a stand-down of a virtual that was the very first cache in the town. Both caches have their merits, and I truly believe both should be approved.

 

Again, I appreciate your help, yet the nature of my post wasn't a query for ideas as to how to get my physical established. Rather, I was hoping for a discourse on when to recognize the guidelines for what they are and honoring the intent of the guidelines as opposed to being chained to them.

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I would suggest writing the contact address for an exception. I think this case is borderline myself. I think it would be well worth your time to write the contact address. The reviewer did what they were supposed to do. I highly recommend asking for an exception in this case.

Thanks mtn-man. Contact info for PA is moot. Noting this, I thought that I had started off asking for an exception. Knowing y'all are volunteers, I did not believe asking for an exception on the exception was and exceptional course of action. :( If the nature of my approver note isn't clearly an exception, perhaps I need to readdress the reviewer.

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Knowing y'all are volunteers, I did not believe asking for an exception on the exception was and exceptional course of action.  :D

:(

 

Keep in mind that as volunteers we are asked to adhere to the guidelines. According to the guidelines, your cache is too close to an existing cache so we cannot list it as is. The upper level admins might say "Yeah, why not.". I would ask that your message be sent to Hydee. I think your cache might get listed if she reviews it.

 

(hint hint, nudge nudge, no promises, just my personal opinion looking at it)

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Knowing y'all are volunteers, I did not believe asking for an exception on the exception was and exceptional course of action.  :D

:(

 

Keep in mind that as volunteers we are asked to adhere to the guidelines. According to the guidelines, your cache is too close to an existing cache so we cannot list it as is. The upper level admins might say "Yeah, why not.". I would ask that your message be sent to Hydee. I think your cache might get listed if she reviews it.

 

(hint hint, nudge nudge, no promises, just my personal opinion looking at it)

Especially, if you send your request with a box of chocolate. :D

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How can two virts 'blockade' a whole town? I don't think I could block my neighbor's yard if I put a cache in mine. 1/10 mile is a tiny, tiny distance.

LOL. One of the virtuals was particularly crazy in that it was a multi virtual that started at one end of town and worked across to the other, and about where the final was for that virtual bumped right up on the .10 radius of the virtual giving my fledgling physical cache problems.

 

Talk about an annoying virtual that canvasses an entire ville. :D

 

Either the data of all the stages was lost between the old reviewer and current reviewer, or perhaps the reviewer noted this huge virtual, since the town's first phsysical was located within feet of one of the stages. I've abstained from other caches in this town based upon needing to complete this virtual, and found that tidbit out over the weekend. On a sidenote, there I was completing the virtual, doing homework/scouting for future caches, and it gets archived that very morning. :(

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Now that is a totally different story. Even virtuals have to be maintained by the guidelines. If this person is not in the area to maintain the virtual it could be viewed as a vaction cache and be archived. I would submit a should be archived email and let the local reviewer take a look at it.

Who's to say that someone can't maintain a cache several states away? I have a cache that's several hundred miles from my home that I have no trouble maintaining (with a little help from a friend, of course, but so what?). I know plenty of people who can personally maintain caches great distances from their home areas.

 

Posting a SBA on a virtual that (as far as I can tell) seems to be in perfectly good shape seems like nothing more than harassment to me. The cache is already there, and it's doing fine. And I'm willing to bet it's older than the "vacation cache" rule and is grandfathered--so I doubt that argument would work anyhow.

 

Ask them politely to archive the cache (or adjust the coordinates to the "correct" location, since the posted coordinates are for the parking area) if you want. But demanding that the approver archive the cache simply because is just happens to be too close to where you want to hide another cache is, as far as I'm concerned, an abuse of the SBA function.

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Now that is a totally different story. Even virtuals have to be maintained by the guidelines. If this person is not in the area to maintain the virtual it could be viewed as a vacation cache and be archived.

The virtual in question was listed before the guidelines were updated to ban vacation caches. It is therefor grandfathered.

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I'd concur with everything said earlier and add my 2p worth or should that be 2c worth?

 

Why not ask the owner of the virtual if you could create a multi-cache that required you to visit the virtual location to gain infomation to access your cache? this would mean that their virtual still got visits and only one cache in vicinity.

 

I don't own any caches as yet but if I had a virtual and received a request from someone who wanted to & had permission to place a trad, i'd bow down gracefully.

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One of the virtuals was particularly crazy in that it was a multi virtual that started at one end of town and worked across to the other, and about where the final was for that virtual bumped right up on the .10 radius of the virtual giving my fledgling physical cache problems.

 

Hmm, to me that sounds like a really good virt.

 

... On a sidenote, there I was completing the virtual, doing homework/scouting for future caches, and it gets archived that very morning.

Now I'm really confused. If it was archived, it's no longer in your way, right?

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Ask them politely to archive the cache (or adjust the coordinates to the "correct" location, since the posted coordinates are for the parking area) if you want. But demanding that the approver archive the cache simply because is just happens to be too close to where you want to hide another cache is, as far as I'm concerned, an abuse of the SBA function.

I agree fully, and that is exactly why I haven't asked for SBA. :( It is a fine virtual, I logged it and said a nice thing about it, so I'm certainly not interested in getting archived just so I can place a traditional cache nearby.

 

Another poster suggested I email the virt owner, which I did, and gave several suggestions, one of which is to create an offset cache out of both. No response yet, after a bit of time...

 

A virtual is more or less easy to maintain (other than ensuring some target info does not change, get moved, et cetera), and maintenance from a distance isn't the problem in my view. My whine hovers around the concept that perhaps someone that far away is "out of the scene" so to speak with local cache developments, trends, and the community. If it was maintained by a local, it would be easier to catch up with them during an event or such, and discuss face-to-face.

 

No, mtn-man, I won't whine about your virtual 100 miles away. I don't plan on getting to know and befriend museum owners that far from home. :grin:

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Is this a problem?  I own a virt that's close to 2000 miles away from my home.

Hmmm. I've been mulling this over quite a bit. I personally do not have a problem with this. Then again, I don't personally have a problem with placing a physical cache within .10 straight line distance of a virtual either.

 

In my case, if the approver is sticking so dadgum close to the "guidelines" when it comes to placing a cache near a virtual, then shouldn't the approver then stick close to "Placing caches on vacation or outside of your normal caching area is unacceptable and these caches may not be listed" ?

 

I don't mind judgement on our caches, for it is a necessary evil. I believe we should and can expect at least consistency in the intrepretation and application of guidelines.

 

Edit: mtn-man has already pointed out the grandfather issue. My argument is moot. :D

Edited by Jeep_Dog
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Jeep Dog, it looks like Hydee is giving you cache a looksee so there's a good chance it will get an exception and be approved. You might want to quit while your ahead. :D

I appreciate your advice.

 

Yet, I fail to see how or why I am "ahead." I'm working the cache through the appropriate channels, and this thread was not intended as a "flank attack" on the reviewer. I did not start this discussion to gather votes for the cache one way or the other.

 

I was attempting to get discussion going on how, at times, the guidelines could prove counterproductive and prevent what they were intended to enforce, and how different cache types and placement may impact each other and the sport. To me, these are worthwhile issues to address as the sport grows.

 

Hemlock believes the distance should be increased, if anything. I would agree on 99% of the available areas out there. Yet, any "hard" number on distance is and could be a hinderance.

 

I suppose this is why they are "guidelines."

 

Some newer folks are learning something from this particlar cache's case, based upon email received. Isn't that what really counts? :D

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I know hydee well enough to say, if the young lady wants chocolate, send her chocolate. :D

 

I suspect that, in the near future, virtuals and traditionals will be treated exclusive of each other anyway.

 

So my vote is for exception. :D:D

LOL. I've been pondering this problem, septic. However, it is my wife's birthday this week, and she's watching the cache transactions pretty closely to ascertain her gift(s). So, my problem lies in the fact I'd be in a pool of deep doo-doo if I got hydee chocolates when the frau didn't get any. :D

 

Still working out the details, however. Regardless of the outcome of the cache, hydee may get her chocolates... :D

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...I was attempting to get discussion going on how, at times, the guidelines could prove counterproductive and prevent what they were intended to enforce, and how different cache types and placement may impact each other and the sport.  To me, these are worthwhile issues to address as the sport grows.

 

Hemlock believes the distance should be increased, if anything.  I would agree on 99% of the available areas out there.  Yet, any "hard" number on distance is and could be a hinderance....

I don't agree that the cache guidelines are necessarily counterproductive in this case. The fact that there has always been opportunity to get a cache listed even when the distance guidelines are breached tells me that they are not counterproductive.

 

Hemlock's beliefs are not the guidelines. The fact that he disagrees with the guidelines, yet must still enforce them strengthens the argument that the guidelines are being administered fairly.

Edited by sbell111
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I don't agree that the cache guidelines are necessarily counterproductive in this case. The fact that there has always been opportunity to get a cache listed even when the distance guidelines are breached tells me that they are not counterproductive.

Yes, that sums up the discussion very well. In this case, the cache was approved, but my response on this topic would have been the same even if it was not. Exceptions and common sense is applied through the approval system. The system is not perfect, but none is, so some deserving caches could get denied. GC has a reclamas precedure in place, and that is the most we could hope for. One could argue that the process for submitting an exception isn't exactly clear, so some folks may give up and/or get frustrated at the first denial, but then again, that's what the forums certainly fill this information gap nicely. :(

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One thing I don't understand: what need is there to maintain virtual caches? I mean, short of location of the virtual being blown up or something, what maintainance does a virtual need?

There are instances of the target of a virtual going missing or temporarily removed etc. That happened with a virtual in my state. A local would be aware of that and know when to disable or archive the page. Someone far away might eventually learn of a problem through DNF logs but would lack the knowledge to know whether the target was being replaced or not and would not necessarily know when it was back up again.

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One thing I don't understand: what need is there to maintain virtual caches? I mean, short of location of the virtual being blown up or something, what maintainance does a virtual need?

It depends on the virtual. Signs get changed, or vandalized. Bricks get worn, Buildings built, things moved, and bigger and better displays are made, and so on.

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I don't mind judgement on our caches, for it is a necessary evil. I believe we should and can expect at least consistency in the intrepretation and application of guidelines.

I would note that in the case of this listing, the application of your statement would have resulted in the cache not being listed. I believe the flexibility of the guidelines (and inconsistency) worked in this cache's favor.

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I don't mind judgement on our caches, for it is a necessary evil.  I believe we should and can expect at least consistency in the intrepretation and application of guidelines.

I would note that in the case of this listing, the application of your statement would have resulted in the cache not being listed. I believe the flexibility of the guidelines (and inconsistency) worked in this cache's favor.

Right-o. My points in that post were moot (was thinking out loud on that posting, and random/creative thinking does not always lend to a logical argument), hence my edit of the post stating such. :ph34r:

 

I am very aware of what worked in favor of that cache, and am quite appreciative of GC's reclamas procedures, hence the "GC has a reclamas precedure in place, and that is the most we could hope for" statement.

 

Ack, I'm getting verbose. Before I get banned :ph34r: , your note was duly noted and I heartily agree. GC's flexibility in keeping to intent and/or spirit of the sport as opposed to "rules" is very evident in this case.

 

Nothing but a happy cacher here on this end.... :ph34r:

 

EDIT: Took out Jeremy flames. Just kidding, poor grammar edit...

Edited by Jeep_Dog
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