Thursday, July 26, 2007

Not sure if your hiding place is too close to existing geocaches?

Today I received email from a geocacher who sent me a set of coordinates and asked me to check to make sure this proposed location for a geocache was not too close to existing geoaches and waypoints of multicaches. I'm not sure how other reviewers prefer to handle these requests, but here's how I handle it. I asked that he go ahead and
"Create a geocache listing to submit a cache at these coordinates. Include a reviewer note on the page that the cache is not yet placed, and that you just want me to check the coordinates. That way your coordinates are entered into the database and I can easily check the maps to tell if there are any others nearby. I'll let you know and will then disable the listing so you can reactivate it after you place the cache and the page is ready for final review."

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Midwest Geobash 2007

After work this past Friday (OK, maybe before work officially ended) I left for Kendalville, Indiana to attend the 2007 version of the Midwest Geobash, or MWGB. This was a fun time because I got to see some geocaching friends from Iowa and Wisconsin and meet many geocachers.

It was held on the Noble Country fairgrounds, and there was plenty of room for all the hundreds of campers -- everything from huge RVs down to my small tent. I arrived after dark on Friday night, so after getting some directions from the helpful volunteers at the gate, I drove in to look for a campsite. I ended up at the very far fringe of the campers, which was fine with me because I figured it would be a quiet spot. Well, that would have been the case if it wasn't for the trains. After setting up my tent, I walked the campground looking for familiar faces. I found a group of geocachers from Wisconsin that I knew -- well, I knew one of them: zuma! -- so I sat at their campfire and enjoyed a beer with them before heading back to my tent and calling it a night. Indiana calls itself the Crossroads of America, so Kendalville must be the railroad crossing of Indiana. I swear that trains must have passed by at least every 10 minutes. Finally, sometime after 2 a.m. the trains decided to give the camping geocachers a break for awhile. Saturday morning I awakened at 6:30 and decided to walk around and check out the fairgrounds in the daylight. There wasn't another soul stirring. Everyone must have stayed up a lot later than I did. I ate breakfast at my campsite, then fired up my notebook computer because I heard there was a wifi network at the fairgrounds. Sure enough, I got a strong signal at my campsite so I logged in and reviewed 21 Iowa caches that morning. Later, when I saw the tasty looking pancakes being served by the Noble County Farm Bureau in one of the barns, I decided a second breakfast wouldn't hurt me.

The rest of the day included a presentation by Sonny & Sandy, hosts of the weekly podcast. They emailed me a few weeks earlier and asked if I'd be willing to sit for an interview for an upcoming show, so we found a quiet spot to do the interview. Listen for it on an upcoming show. After the interview, I went geocaching with 7 other friends I met at the event and enjoyed seeing more of Kendalville and the surrounding countryside. We got back just in time for a panel discussion featuring a panel of reviewers. Trippy1976, who organized the panel, said he needed another body willing to sit on the panel, so I found myself volunteered. I'm glad I did. It was fun to help out with the event, and it was a good way for me to meet even more geocachers as quite a few of them who now recognized me as a reviewer stopped by to chat after the panel discussion. By late Saturday afternoon it was time for me to head home. I would have enjoyed staying a second night, but Mary is going to be gone on business most of the coming week so I wanted to get home and spend Sunday with her.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Heading to MWGB

Later today I'm heading out to attend the Midwest GeoBash in northern Indiana. Looks like it will be a fun event. They're expecting somewhere around 1,000 geocachers. I'm especially interested because they have not hidden a bunch of temporary caches to occupy the time. Instead, it will be a time to get acquainted with and learn from fellow geocachers. I'll file a report here after the weekend.

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 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.