Sunday, January 28, 2007

Podcast geocaches

This morning I reviewed a newly submitted geocache that wasn't really a geocache. There was a downloadable wav file which users could listen to on their MP3 players to hear turn-by-turn directions to the final location of the cache container. However, Groundspeak has notified reviewers not to accept podcast geocaches.

Quoting from the guidelines: "GPS usage is an essential element of geocaching. Therefore, although it is possible to find a cache without a GPS, the option of using accurate GPS coordinates as an integral part of the cache hunt must be demonstrated for all physical cache submissions."

If you would still like to provide geocachers the option of using your home-made podcast for turn-by-turn directions to get to a cache, you must:

1. Provide the coordinates of the final location on the cache page, or in the case of a puzzle or multi, provide a method to obtain the final coordinates.


2. Provide a warning on the cache page that says "Downloading files from the internet is not always safe and you download the files at your own risk."


3. Provide an alternate way such as a printout of the podcast text that you can print from the web page and read along as you go.

I realize that these rules are not posted in the guidelines, but I have been assured they will be posted in the next iteration. Meanwhile, Groundspeak has suggested that we refer geocachers to this clause in the guidelines: "Groundspeak may change, suspend, or discontinue any portion of the Site, or any service offered on the Site, at any time, including but not limited to any feature, database, application, or content. Groundspeak may also impose limits on certain features offered on the Site with or without notice."


Bob said...

This seems to be a move that others are seeing as well with Letterbox Hybrids. My question: are night caches going to have the same scrutiny?

IowaAdmin said...

Good question. I believe night caches are receiving the same scrutiny and always have been. Most require use of a GPS to find the starting point. Some even require a GPS to find the intermediate points or the final cache.

Bob said...

Coordinates needed to find the starting point doesn't seem to be enough. Doesn't one usually have coordinates for the starting point of a podcache (begin here and turn on your iPod)?

Starting coordinates only seems to fail the "integral part" clause. Keystone stated today, "I interpret "integral" as requiring more than the coordinates for the parking lot. Take me to a random spot in the woods with GPS, then start the letterbox clues from there."

How is the "starting point" different/more than that for the parking lot?

welch said...

I would guess that a parking lot can be described much more easily (ie an address) than a 'starting point', unless of course the starting point is in a parking lot LOL


Anonymous said...

I have a cache like this in the works. I had planned on leading finders to a starting point. From there they would be navigated through an old cemetery (permission already granted). At points along the route they would need to find some information that would be collected to get the final coords. Would something like this pass muster? Or should I just drop it?

IowaAdmin said...

What welch said. I agree, and so do the other reviewers who wrote to me about this.

And Team Kryptos, your planned geocache sounds fine because you're using places to determine final coordinates, so there's definately a GPS component involved.