Forum: Questions And Answers About Geocaching
Topic: The virtual Virtual Cache
started by: PC Medic
Posted by PC Medic on June 06 2002,6:32 pmOK, I have tossed this around with other members of the Navicache Website Team and we seem 50/50 split. Now I figure it is time for others opinions.
To me there are two types of caches (though both have several different variations). These are the "physical" cache in which the coordinates take you to a physical object that can be traded from. The other being the "Virtual" cache, in which the coordinates simply take you to a unique and interesting place. Now while both types have there own twists, they both share one thing in common, a marked coordinate. This to me is what makes them true "caches".
Recently the idea of a cache in which there is no coordinate was submitted. Instead of finding an object or place based on its coordinate, you simply find a specified object (in this case a phone booth in a foreign country), and then post its coordinates and a picture to prove you have found or visited one.
Is this Geocaching, or is this stretching it a bit? Lets here your opinions.
Posted by Scout on June 06 2002,8:04 pm
Look at it this way. Suppose I submit a cache. Call it "The Mother of All Caches." The instructions I give are as follows. Find a good place to hide something. Leave a Tupperware box behind to prove you visited it. Then post its coordinates on the Web site to record your "find."
What is that? A traditional cache or what you called a virtual Virtual Cache and others call a locationless cache? They are all the same thing, just with the "hides" and "finds" reversed. The problem is not with the cache. It's with the database. Reverse the "hides" and "finds" to straighten things out and all is right with the world.
P.S. What's a "foreign" country?
Posted by Hinge Thunder on June 07 2002,4:53 amWrong Scout. They are not anything alike. With caches, and virtual caches, someone has gone and visited a spot, posted the coords, and it is up to others to use a GPS to reach that spot, and either find a box, or snap a pic or whatever. The challenge is to find a way to reach that spot.
With locactionless caches you really don't even a need a GPS. You go find an object which could be right outside your door, and then post your 'find'. The coords are superflous. And then challenge is for other people NOT to visit that spot. They DON'T get credit for visiting an object already posted as a find. So it is actually discouraged to use the posted coords.
Posted by Quinn on June 07 2002,5:03 amI think we need to cover all the bases in order to try our best to make everyone happy. This site is aboput Geocaching, now we just need to figure out how far we want to reach from those words in order to fill the bill for others to play.
I would like to think about the older crowd or maybe those that due to an injury are unable to go romping in the woods.
At the same time if this is going to be a "Point" generated site we need to take this into strong consideration, do we allow points for such a cache? or will it remain strictly for the fun of the hunt?
We need to place some sort of guideline in place so that we don't keep spreading thinner in the future. I hate to turn down anyones entry so working this out is quite important.
Posted by mrski on June 07 2002,6:49 amThere are two good points to "locationless" caches:
1. As Quinn mentioned, people who are not physically able to take the hikes needed to get to many caches cans till enjoy a facet of the GPS experience.
2. Properly chosen, these "locationless" caches can expose people to features or places they would never have come in contact with otherwise. And posting the coordinates will allow others to visit and enjoy the experience when they are in the area as well.
Posted by Hinge Thunder on June 07 2002,7:19 amIf the GPS part of locationless caches is so important, so that other people can visit the site that was posted (without getting credit for a find of course), how many already found locationless caches have you guys visited?
Seems to me that alot more people use locationless caches as a way to jack up their find count, than actually will visit already posted find locations. So are locationless caches REALLY TRULY a GPS activity?
Posted by mrski on June 07 2002,7:28 am>how many already found locationless caches have you guys visited?
We have not yet visited any previously visited locationless caches, but then we have only been doing this for about a month. I do track ones of interest and make notes of other finds so when I am in those areas I can locate them and enjoy them as well.
>Seems to me that alot more people use locationless caches as a way to jack up their find count, than actually
>will visit already posted find locations. So are locationless caches REALLY TRULY a GPS activity?
A GPS Activity, yes. The key part is if someone has fun doing them. We enjoy doing them because of physical limitations that do not permit us to go hiking through the woods or long distances. If they were to not count towards a total of finds, I would still go to find them. Find count is not as important to some people as the opportunity to enjoy the hunt.
We have been doing a lot of searching in Minute Wars and have really enjoyed the opportunity to see parts of the countryside that we may never have ventured into otherwise.
Posted by Guest on June 07 2002,9:50 amWe did a virtual cache called the Yellow Jeep cache. It also had to be a jeep wrangler specifically. I had to mark my coordinates and take a picture of it. I thought it was a neat twist to the traditional cache. The more interesting you make your hide, the better. You DID have to go and find something, right?
There are a couple of other virtual caches by Anton that I want to attempt, I just haven't had the time! They don't, in my opinion, stand up to the traditional cache by a long shot, though!
Posted by Scout on June 07 2002,9:51 am
With locationless caches, someone has gone and visited a spot and posted its coordinates (in a "find" report), just like the person who has visited a neat location and submitted its coordinates as a virtual cache (in a "hide" submission). Other than the page you use to submit your report, there's no difference. Both players visited a real spot and reported real coordinates. If the visitor to a "locationless" cache would leave a Tupperware box behind, there would be no difference at all even with traditional geocaching. We don't require leaving Tupperware behind to submit a virtual cache, so "locationless" caches are just another type of virtual cache.
There's no reason for a requirement that only one person can log each location. Why would people add such a requirement, either for locationless caches or for virtual caches or for traditional caches? It seems to me that others should be encouraged (not discouraged) from going back to the spot that the first person found. After all, he published its coordinates, didn't he? Why not use them?
It's only because the web site databases invert the "hide" and "find" for so-called "locationless" caches that they appear to be something different. Change the way the Web site and database work and it all falls in place.
For example, let's take that phone booth example. Let's say I visit a phone booth somewhere. Don't let me create a "locationless" cache for phone booths. Instead, make me create a virtual cache for the real phone booth I found. I submit its coordinates as a new cache (not a "find", but a "hide"). I also create a new cache category (micro, normal, large, virtual, and now "phone booth").
Everyone who comes after me can revisit my cache (that is, the phone booth I logged), or they can submit their own cache (that is, their own phone booth that they found). There's even a category for it now, so people can search just for "phone booth" caches. Or, for those who don't care about phone booths, you can filter them out. The scoring system could do this, too, for those who want to see scores with or without phone booth caches counted.
In this way, the whole issue of "locationless" caches goes away. There's no such thing. There are only new categories of real caches (or at least real places).
Posted by Scout on June 07 2002,10:14 am
This is where I draw the line on "locationless" caches. If you aren't marking a location, but a mobile thing, then it no longer is a GPS activity. In other words, unless that Jeep is up on blocks with its oil drained or perhaps smashed up down a ravine, it's not a fit object for a GPS hunt.
Phone booths, on the other hand, are pretty immobile. (By the way, anyone remember "The President's Analyst"? In that movie, a mobile phone booth almost led to war.)
Posted by Hinge Thunder on June 07 2002,10:15 amScout, you never answered my previous question about how many already 'found' locationless caches you have visited.
The limit of only one person being able to find a specific object seems to be the standard of the locationless caches I have seen. (ie find a canal lock...only one person can log a find for a specific lock, and all others after them must find a different 'unfound' lock)
Traditional caches, and locationless caches ARE NOT alike regardless of how much you say they are. Traditional caches are more like an Easter egg hunt (except you leave the egg for someone else to find). Locationless are more like a scavenger hunt.
Just what we need, a glut of telephone booth caches. Geez, there must be a couple thousand of them in the Rochester area alone. Talk about a way to RUIN the sport. Having to weed through a bunch a waste of time telephone booth type caches to find a traditional one would be a complete pain!
Posted by Scout on June 07 2002,11:17 am
Not all phone booths would end up in the database, only those visited by someone who felt it worthwhile to report it. Why should the fact that you personally don't feel phone booths are interesting deny others the opportunity to play?
There IS a way to keep everyone happy. The biggest need is a better way to sort and filter existing caches. If you don't like "phone booth" caches, filter them out. You never see them. If someone else doesn't like film canister caches, they should be able to filter them out, too.
Best of all would be the ability of cache finders to rate the cache and then have filters that allow you to use those ratings. For example, find me all the normal-sized regular caches within 30 miles that visitors within the last 2 months rated good to excellent.
Posted by PC Medic on June 07 2002,3:28 pm
Having children that come along (and being out of shape myself ), I am all for easily accessable caches.
My two counterpoints here however would be...
1) The cache type in question here does in fact require that you visit a location. It is just a location of your choosing. So this does not enhance the sport any more than placing a cache with an "Easy" rating.
2) If there are no beginning coordinates, then you are not exposing anyone to a place they would not have visited, nor will it encourage others to visit the place they have visited. Simply will become a long list of "I was here".
Posted by Scout on June 07 2002,4:21 pm
Point 1 makes the point that visiting a locationless cache is the same as "placing" a virtual cache. Exactly. So why do we record one under "finds" and the other under "hidden"? It's this inconsistency that is making it hard to see that these are really the same activity.
Point 2 makes the point that anyone who _places_ any cache (whether it is a traditional Tupperware box or a visit to phone booth or other object called for in a locationless cache) chooses the spot himself. Exactly. That's what the "hidden" records are for. Don't record visits to locationless caches under "finds." Record them under "hidden." If anyone else wants to go back and find the same spot, they will use the GPS coordinates, just like we all do when we go back and visit the spot where someone first left a Tupperware cache.
Posted by mrski on June 08 2002,11:59 amMaybe we can come up with a new name for "Locationless Caches" to avoid the wrath of the hardliners who still wish a cache to be something searched for with extensive hiking gear and daring bushwacking.
I agree that when we search for these kind of caches, there is no booty to be found at the end. But it is still an activity that gets us out to discover new areas or at least look at things in a new light. I have discovered many interesting facts about the community I have lived in for over 20 years because of my search for these caches. To me, that is a booty of its own.
Does Navicache.com have any policies or guidelines restricting "locationless" caches? If not, I say we simply start posting them here instead and then get back to having some fun the way we choose to.
Posted by Scout on Sep. 03 2002,9:36 pm
Did a policy ever get decided on?
I've thought of a locationless cache that addresses the main objections to locationless caches raised here. ;-)
Posted by PC Medic on Sep. 04 2002,10:52 amCurrent ruling is....ALL caches must have a geographical coordinate with either a physical object or location of interest.
An exception would be a mult-waypoint cache where one must visit other locations first to get clues on the coordinates for the next location.
Posted by Bitmaster on Sep. 04 2002,7:34 pmI think that maybe a if a locationless cache were given some strict definition to its entry, made a little unique & hard, then it might be interesting to have some.
For instance, maybe a locationless cache for covered bridges. Anyone could mark a location of a covered bridge, take a picture for proof, etc. Each one found makes it that much harder for the next person to find one that hasn't been found.
I agree that this is a sticky point, but if the locationless cache is restricted to certain guidelines made by the cache creator, then I think that they could be a neat twist on Geocaching in general.
I also agree that having a locationless cache for such things as telephone booths, stop signs, etc. is rather pointless (as there are tons of them out there & most are rather dull), but a locationless cache for such things as:
1. Covered Bridges
2. Any point above 10,000 feet
3. Any point 100 feet below sea level
might be interesting to see what you would get back in terms of finds.
The list above is just ideas that one could have for a locationless cache, but I think that this would be a nice twist on our hobby. Let's face it, after a while we are going to have people in our hobby that get bored with "the same old thing" and would like to try/see something new in the hobby.
Just an idea - don't shoot me over it! It seems that this discussion is getting rather heated!
Posted by DragonWorks on Mar. 27 2003,9:58 amThis reminds me of a game we used to play in Washington State back in the 80's. The object was to locate the most pictureque, um, latrine then post the co-ords so that fellow Mountaineers could, um, enjoy, the same location.
I remember one in particular was on the Sunrise side of Mt. Rainier. If you left the door open you had an absolute killer view of the mountain and surrounding area. Too bad I don't remember the co-ords and I'm too old to climb mountains just to look for good places to... post.
Posted by Quinn on Mar. 27 2003,4:55 pmI am sure that if you left the door open it would have been a killer view for those on the outside as well.
Posted by PC Medic on April 02 2003,8:39 amI would recommend leaving, but not "taking" a prize from this one