Saturday, May 27, 2006

A reminder about adding waypoints

Greetings from sunny (and breezy) Okoboji! I'm logged on to check the cache queue. I was able to approve a couple new ones just now, but for four others I had to post a note to the owners asking them to use the "add/edit waypoint" feature on the edit page to enter the additional waypoints for their multicaches. I know it may take some time for all geocachers to become aware of this new feature, so I'll keep plugging away to get the message out.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Okoboji meet and greet?

We'll be joining my extended family for our annual Okoboji Memorial Day reunion next weekend. If there's any interest in a geocachers' meet-n-greet -- say on Sunday morning for breakfast -- maybe we can organize something. It's too late to list an official event cache on, but let me know if you're interested and we can publicize it on this blog and in the IGO forums.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

A reminder: "add/edit waypoints" feature

For the past few weeks I've been asking cache owners who submit new caches and who have not used the "add/edit waypoints" feature to go back and edit the cache page to add waypoints (if they originally listed additional waypoints in their description). And so far, the system seems to be working well. Everyone has been complying nicely. My thanks to everyone for doing this. It makes reviewing more efficient and it gives us a better way to document where the additional waypoints are for multicaches, which helps maintain the .1 separation.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Cemetary caches: What's the policy?

I received a suggestion today from Iowa geocacher Windchill, who suggested I link to a post in the IGO forums about an e-mail that fellow geocacher Iowa Tom received. It's a very moving story from the parents of a baby who died more than 40 years ago when the parents lived in the Waterloo area. If you're a parent or have ever wanted to be a parent, you should read the post.

Then Windchill went on to say: "With the strong feelings that this topic brings out, I thought I'd mention it and ask if you would share the official Groundspeak position, and your personal position, on cemetery caches."

There is no universal guideline for all areas of the world about cemetary caches. I understand that in Europe, it's no big deal to geocache in a cemetary. However, in some areas of the U.S., it is highly discouraged.

To answer Windchill's question about the official Groundspeak position, the closest that the guidelines come to a position on cemetaries is this:

"For all cache types please be sensible when choosing your location for cache placement. Please be aware of what may be a perceived to a non geocacher as dangerous or questionable behavior. For example, suspicious looking characters wandering about near an elementary school. The land may be public property, but keep in mind what is on the other side of that property line."

The way I interpret this guideline is to ask the geocache owner to obtain permission from the cemetary owner or caretaker. I feel it's important that the cemetary caretakers know ahead of time that geocachers may be visiting the cemetary, and why, and that they approve of the cache placement.

I also request that the cache owner consider including a note in the description to tell hunters not to geocache after dark, don't hunt for the cache if there are mourners in the area, and in general to be respectful at all times, including not posting photos of themselves next to a gravestone, for example.

To sum it up: If you get permission, you can place a geocache in a cemetary. But please don't place it on or around a gravestone.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Polk County permit required

For geocachers in Polk County who may not be aware, the county now requires a permit be obtained before placing a geocache in county parks. I have already approved a couple of geocaches since March, when the Polk County policy went into effect. Those geocache owners stated in their descriptions that they had obtained the proper permit. You can read more about the Polk County policy at this site. Click on Policies>Facility Policies>then click on search by Facility and go to Polk County.