Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Water logged

I have an idea of hosting a 5-star terrain event cache. The event would be held in such a place (think famous NW Iowa lake) that special equipment would be required to get there (think watercraft). As incentive for geocachers to attend, I would offer special prizes -- Groundspeak's trackable 2008 Volunteer Geocoin for the first, say, six or eight geocachers who show up at the coordinates at the designated time, which would probably be mid-morning the Saturday before Memorial Day. There would also be a special FTF prize -- a Groundspeak Lackeys 2007 trackable geocoin. What do you think? Would anyone show up?

Friday, March 14, 2008

More about mobility

On a few occassions in the past I have blogged about reveiwing geocaches while "on the road" at exotic locations such as Cozumel, The Bahamas and Dyersville. I did the reviewing by packing along my notebook computer, a Dell Inspiron and finding a wifi hotspot. Sometimes I used my wife's notebook, because she has nationwide broadband coverage. While this has worked fine for the most part, my computer is not the most convenient thing to lug around. It has a large screen and, as notebooks go, is not the most trim PC you could own. Well today I tried something new. For the first time I reviewed (and approved) a geocache using a mobile phone. Recently my wife upgraded her cell phone to get one with more bells and whistles so her old phone -- a Cingular 8125 -- was going unused. Even though I don't use it for phone service, I decided to charge up her old phone to see if I could use it to access the Internet via our home wifi. I logged into geocaching.com and reviewed a new cache called Drake Bulldogs Madness (GC1A395). Now I have a pocket-sized way to access the Internet, provided I'm in a free wifi hotspot. I'm looking forward to trying this out "on the road" sometime because it means I may not be lugging around my computer or relying on borrowing time on my wife's computer. Besides, it's fun to be geeky with gadgets.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

How to know if your new cache is 528 ft from others

After I couldn’t immediately approve his cache last week, a geocacher asked how he’s supposed to know if there are multicache waypoints that are too close to the new cache he just placed and submitted.

There are two ways to find out. First, you could find all the nearby multis within two miles and keep a record of the coordinates for each waypoint. The reason I say two miles is because that’s the maximum distance that waypoints of multicaches and puzzle caches are supposed to be from the original listed coordinates on the cache page. If there are a lot of geocaches in the same area as your new cache, and if a lot of those are multis or mystery caches, there’s a good chance that your geocache is closer than 528 ft. from one of the waypoints. And if those waypoints are actual physical caches, then they need to be at least 528 ft. away from your cache.

A second and easier method is to record the coordinates of your proposed new cache location and submit them on a new cache page. But be sure to write a reviewer note stating that the cache is not yet in place and that you just want to see if this location is available. That way I can easily check it against the Geocaching.com database and let you know if that spot is OK. If it’s not, I can suggest which direction you may want to move it, or if it might be better to choose a new location all together.