Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
We just wanted to thank you for all the time and effort you give so that we can put out and hunt caches. It is amazing how many you have approved this past year. We just started geocaching in June and are having such fun as a family. We appreciate all you do and we know we couldn't do it with out you. THANK YOU!
Merry Christmas to you and your family!
Friday, December 18, 2009
Here's the cache they were going for: New Phila Ballfields in Ohio.
And here's the result, a story in their local newspaper:
Headline: Shortcut may cost geocachers
Saturday, December 05, 2009
Saturday, November 21, 2009
Thursday, October 22, 2009
You have been a wealth of information to me lately and because of that, I have a semi-hypothetical question for a real-life situation and how our geocaching guidelines apply to it....
Let's say you and I are good geocaching friends and we call ourselves "GeoPair". So maybe I go out and make a find today (by myself) and sign the log as "GeoPair". I let you know I found it, and BOTH OF US log a find. But since GeoPair is just a pseudonym for our partnership, we have to log our find individually using our separate usernames on geocaching.com. The owner of the cache does a log check and finds GeoPair signed the log, but you and I both posted finds. Perhaps it is well known that you and I together are "GeoPair", perhaps not. The general guideline is once you've signed the physical log, you can post the find on the internet. In this situation is it allowable for both of us to log a find? Is it acceptable (without repercussion) for the owner to delete both of our logs (due to the "bogus" nature of the logs)?
I ask these questions because I am aware of a situation that exactly mirrors my description of this hypothetical situation. What are the exact "rules" that apply here? If I had made this "find" today I could have just as easily signed my name and "forged" your name and the owner probably wouldn't/couldn't know the difference. I assure you, I am NOT doing this. I am aware of another geocacher that IS doing this (signing a pseudonym and/or signing for others). I am just looking for clarification of our geocaching guidelines and options/remedies for a situation such as this. I am relatively new to geocaching, but I believe in and insist on maintaining the integrity of this sport.
I would appreciate your insight and opinion regarding this matter. Thank you!
And here's my response...
I appreciate your efforts to protect the integrity of geocaching, but the geocaching logs are sometimes a mysterious place where one person's viewpoint conflicts with the next person's. As a volunteer reviewer, I have been instructed time and time again that reviewers are not the log police, so we shouldn't be editing or deleting logs on caches (other than those we own) unless a log violates terms of agreement that all geocachers "signed" when they created their account on geocaching.com.So what do you think?
Note: The rest of this email is my personal opinion and not necessarily that of geocaching.com. My personal opinion -- and I believe the widespread opinion of many long-time geocachers -- is that if you are not physically present for a find, you shouldn't claim it as a find.
In additon to my IowaAdmin account (which I rarely use to log finds), I have an account that I use when I cache hunt on my own and a third account that my wife and I use when we geocache together. Having said that, I know of many couples (usually husband and wife) who have just one account and log all their finds there regardless of whether they were both present. If a single account is shared by a nuclear family, there's seems to be widespread agreement among geocachers that it's OK for family members to log a find even if a spouse or kids were not present. To each his/her own.
Regarding the situation you describe, the cache owner IS the cache police for his/her own cache. I believe the cache owner is justified in deleting any logs he/she truly feels are not legitimate. Like any situation where there may be a difference of opinion, all actions by the cache owner should be done with tactful courtesy and not out of spite or nastiness. The cache owner should clearly explain why he or she is taking the action, such as deleting a log, and give the geocacher a chance to respond or revise the log. If the geocacher doesn't like the outcome, he/she can choose not to search for any more caches owned by that particular cache owner. But there's no need for public shouting matches about it. Just accept it and move on.
I hope this helps.
Friday, October 02, 2009
- I reviewed 3,053 new geocaches during the past year -- roughly from September 2008 through August 2009. All of these were in Iowa. That comes to an average of 8.36 caches reviewed per day.
- Worldwide, 391,742 new geocaches were reviewed during the past year.
- In the United States, 193,054 new geocaches were reviewed during the past year.
- Iowa now has 7,949 active geocaches (including event caches but not including EarthCaches) listed on geocaching.com.
- Worldwide, there are now 912,967 active geocaches.
Friday, August 28, 2009
My standard operating procedure for cemetery caches remains what it has been for several years. When a cache is submitted that is inside a cemetery in Iowa, I temporarily disable the cache and send this note to the cache owner:
"This cache appears to be in a cemetery. Because of complaints about geocachers
playing 'games' in cemeteries across the country, I need to make sure you
received permission from the cemetery owners or caretaker before this is listed.
Also, the cache needs to be placed away from graves so it doesn't upset mourners
who may accidentally find it or see geocachers in the cemetary. Please reply by
posting in a reviewer note the name and contact information of the person who
granted permission for this cache and then re-enable the cache so it reappears
in my review queue. If you don't plan to seek permission, please archive
the listing and remove the cache. Thanks for your understanding."
Therefore, if you are planning to place a cache in a cemetery in Iowa, you'll need to seek permission. Once you receive permission, please be sure to include that information somewhere on the cache page, either in a reviewer note or in the short or long description.
Occasionally, a cache owner will submit a new geocache and state that it is just outside of the cemetery. It happened just this morning. In those cases, I have not been asking the cache owner to seek permission. However, if the cache is hidden on the gate, fence or wall that surrounds a cemetery, I have been asking them to seek permission, because gates, fences and walls are part of the cemetery and owned/maintained by the cemetery owner/groundskeeper.
Monday, July 27, 2009
Just a question regarding our upcoming event. For last years event,
you allowed us to submit caches "pre-approval" before the event and then
published them a few days after the event. We are already scoping out
places for this year's event and were hoping to do the same thing. A few
of the containers we make for a specific spot. How much extra work
is it for you to pre-approve these caches and then sit on them? Do you have a separate database of caches that have been approved
but are not yet published? As always, thanks for your time.
So that more geocachers can understand how I like to handle these situations, here's my answer. In general it's fine to submit caches for pre-approval that you don't want published until a specific date. I'll look them over and let you know if they appear to comply with all the guidelines, including the 528ft. proximity guideline. Rather than me setting some type of timer on them for publication on a specific date (a feature which is not available to me but which would be nice to have), I'll disable them and wait for you to re-enable them when you're ready for publication. That way they will to reappear in my review queue.
It's fine to submit caches several weeks in advance. Even a couple of months is OK if you're planning to submit a large number of them. However, it wouldn't be fair to other geocachers to let you submit geocaches more than a few months in advance, because that would be abusing the privilege of "reserving" geocaching locations.
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
Thursday, May 21, 2009
I had a great time in Cherokee last weekend attending the "Welcome Spring" geocaching event hosted by Tonedog52 and Wonderboy. The caches placed for the event that I found were worthy of standing on their own. By that I mean the organizers did a very nice job of hiding quality caches. Some of the parks where the geocaches were placed did not exist when I lived in Cherokee back in the late 1960s to mid 1970s. It was great to meet so many geocachers that I have corresponded with, and to renew a few aquaintences as well. Lots of people came up to me with questions about specific types of cache hides or specific caches that they were thinking about hiding, so it was enjoyable for me to offer guidance and encouragement. I especially enjoyed the Sunday morning paddle trip down the Little Sioux River as we found geocaches along the way that Tonedog52 and Wonderboy had placed for the river event. I wish every event included a paddling-while-caching aspect to it. Lots of fun, despite the fact that a few paddlers managed to dunk themselves that morning.
Thursday, May 14, 2009
Sunday, April 05, 2009
Logging of All Physical Caches
Geocaches can be logged online as Found once the physical log has been signed.
If it is appropriate for your cache location or theme, you may ask the cache seeker to accomplish an optional and simple task, either close to the cache site (normally within 0.1 miles or 161 meters) or when writing their online log. For example, wear the goofy hat inside the cache container and upload a photograph. Cache finders can choose whether or not to attempt or accomplish optional tasks. Cache owners may not delete the cache seeker's log based solely on optional tasks.
This guideline change applies immediately to all logs written from April 4, 2009 and going forward. Older caches with "additional logging requirements" (ALRs) are not grandfathered under the older guideline. If you own an existing cache with mandatory additional logging requirements, we request that you:
- Cease deleting logs based on additional logging requirements.
- Review your own cache listing to see if the ALR can be made into an optional and simple task, or whether it must be removed altogether.
- Adjust your geocache listing by editing the text then contact a reviewer to change the cache type, if appropriate.
What do you think? Do you (did you) love ALRs and think this is a terrible idea? Or did you hate them and think it's about time they were written out of the guidelines?
Thursday, April 02, 2009
But wouldn't it be nice?
My thanks to General Disarray, who reviews caches for Oklahoma, for letting me borrow the idea. I understand Heartland Cacher, who reviews for Nebraska, also played this prank in the Cornhusker state.
Wednesday, April 01, 2009
Cache Size: Cache containers must now be of the one quart size or larger. No “nanos”, matchstick containers, or film canisters will be published.
Cache Content: All caches must contain a logbook (not log sheet) and items for trade. Fast food toys will be added to the list of items disallowed inside caches.
Permissions: As all land is owned by someone, all cache owners must obtain permission from the landowner in writing and fax or email this to me. This will be kept on file for the duration of the caches existence. *fax number to be added to my profile*
New Saturation Guidelines: The .1 mile rule still applies to caches placed within public parks. There is a new guideline for “linear” trails (sometimes referred to as “power” trails). This guideline states that caches must be placed no closer than 3-4 miles apart and must be in a location that will “wow” your fellow cachers.
Logging Guidelines: 1. Physical logbook: your physical log must contain more than just a signature. 2. Online Log: Acronyms are no longer an acceptable way to log online. You must write a minimum of three sentences detailing your experience. Logs containing “TFTC”, “TFTH”, “SL”, etc will be deleted.
As more information becomes available to me I will make it available to you via this site and my profile. Let’s continue to make Iowa the best state to geocache in.
Thursday, March 12, 2009
Friday, February 27, 2009
Thursday, February 26, 2009
Sunday, February 22, 2009
My daughter is undertaking an interesting GPS-based project today for one of her art school classes. She calls it Dérive, which is French for drift. Jacey has been geocaching with me a few times over the years, so it's interesting to me to see how she is applying her experience with GPS to create this project. You can read the blog she created for this here. I'm not sure I completely understand what's she's doing, but I'm looking forward to reading about it and viewing her photos.
Saturday, February 07, 2009
Thursday, February 05, 2009
Thursday, January 29, 2009
This got me to thinking about how many geocaches I have published. In a post last September, I wrote that I had published close to 6,000 geocaches in my 5+ years of reviewing. I don't recall how I arrived at that figure, but upon checking this morning, IowaAdmin has officially published 6,491 caches since the summer of 2005, which is as early as the "published" log type goes back. I probably published an additional 1,000 in the 12 months before that. And for a year prior to creating my "IowaAdmin" I.D., I reviewed geocaches in Iowa and Wisconsin using the I.D. "WGA2". Because WGA2 is now owned by a different reviewer, I don't have an accurate way to know exactly what my total is. My best estimate is that it's now around 8,000 caches.
Thursday, January 01, 2009
On this first day of 2009, I know that some of my friends celebrated by going geocaching. However, I participated in a different outdoor activity to mark this first day of the year. My daughter and I went kayaking. The weather wasn't great -- 23 degrees, wind gusts up to 30 mph and snow falling -- but the challenging conditions seemed to make it that much more fun. And before you start thinking that we are completely nuts, I should tell you that the lake -- Columbia Lake near Portage, Wis. -- is a cooling lake for a coal-fired power plant so the water temperature is in the 70- to 80-degree range year round. That doesn't make the wind any less bitter when you're putting your kayaks back on top of the car, but it does make the paddling a little more bearable. How ever you celebrated today, I hope you had a good one. Here's to a great 2009! (It's got to be better than 2008, right?)