Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Add those attributes

For some time now the attributes feature has been available to cache owners after they create a cache listing on geocaching.com. Owners can use it to let other geocachers know if, among other things, the cache can be hunted at night, whether or not dogs are allowed in the area, whether special equipment is required to find the cache, and so on. One of the most important attributes is whether the cache is wheelchair accessible. Many of my fellow reviewers have long posted reviewer notes to cache owners whenever the owner submits a new cache but has not selected any attributes. Well, I think that's a good idea so I've started to do so too. When you submit a new cache without attributes, here's the note you may see from me to encourage you to use the "edit attributes" feature:

Please go to the edit page for your cache (and any other caches of yours that don't have attributes) and use the "edit attributes" feature to add them -- especially the one that indicates whether this geocache is wheelchair accessible. Thanks.


Jason said...

Thank you! My right to complain about cache owners not taking 20 seconds to set some attributes is somewhat diminished by the fact that I've yet to place any caches myself, but I have an unpublished draft in progress so I know how easy it is to do. I personally think that people incorrectly rating the terrain and difficulty is a much bigger problem, but that can be a matter of opinion while setting attributes like wheelchair accessibility and parking is simply being a courteous cache owner.

calebpublic said...

IowaAdmin, do you consider a terrain 1 to still be "handicap accessible" even though there now is a tag for that?

I recently had a major issue while hunting first a terr=1.5 and then a terr=1.0 with my *6 year old* and determined that neither were safe for him to travel.

My rating system is terr 1 = wheelchair/big stroller accessible. Terr 1.5, you should be able to take stroller most of the way to this cache. Terr 2.0, you can bring a young child on this one. Terr 2.5+ are adult terrains, IMHO.


juliecache said...


I think the ratings depend on a lot of things. For example, my kids were trained on terrain ratings of up to 3 since they were quite a bit younger than 6. Some kids and adults in my family are afraid of heights, but the terrain is a 1 on a bridge over a highway. To them, the terrain is a 5! And it would be wheelchair accessible, but is the bridge wide enough to allow a wheelchair and at least one other person to stop and look? Perception is tough to rate fairly across the board.

We have kind of the opposite end -- can I take a grandparent with us with this terrain? This is where photos come in handy.

IowaAdmin said...

When I read your question, I thought, "It's spelled out in the rating system instructions, isn't it?" But I just looked and I no longer see it there. However, the assumption or guideline that I have heard and followed is that a rating of 1 means that a person in a wheelchair can get to the cache location and also retrieve it. (Just my opinion.)

welch said...

If you use the clayjar rating system, when you fill in the boxes and hit 'rate' it will come back and tell you the rating and list what 1-5 mean. For a terrain one is says: "Handicapped accessible. (Terrain is likely to be paved, is relatively flat, and less than a 1/2 mile hike is required.)"
So if we assume handicapped means wheelchair, then your ok. The thing is it doesn't actually say Wheelchair! What if someone decides handicapped means something else, like people using crutches?

I think the attributes have a similar problem with the exact meaning being less than clear to everyone. For example if a cache has 'posion plants' picked from the hazard list, does this mean the cache is hidden right the middle of a big patch of PI? or just that its in a wooded area and may have nettles around? or how about somewhere in the middle, and you'll see ITCHY(?) plants along the trail but don't have to actually touch it??? And if its that 'along the trail' thing, does this mean the intended trail as used by the hider, or any trail that could get you to the cache?

WindChill said...

I had a comment typed about attributes also being a matter of opinion, but welch said it better....

Though I put attributes on my caches, I never use them myself. Partly because of the subjective nature, but mostly because pocket queries dont contain the attributes. I rarely ever visit a cache page and even more rarely do I visit before I hunt the cache.