Forum: Site Suggestions
Topic: Adding GPS type to the Cache submission form?
started by: Quinn

Posted by Quinn on Nov. 22 2001,9:02 pm
Quite a few times when I go Geocaching i get to a point where I just need to sit down and figure out just how far off I am with the person who may have placed the Cache. I sit and wonder what type of GPSR they used to take a reading when submitting the coordinates. This can play a HUGE part in how accurate a coordinate really is, REASON: Lets say I was to place a cache in a wooded lot that consisted of heavy tree cover, and in doing so I used a Etrex (yellow) to take my coordinate readings, Now for those of you that have used this unit you would know it is a very reliable type of GPSR, not to mention hundreds of people are using it everyday to locate Geocaches all over the world. But it is a known fact that it is not nearly as receptive as many of it's brothers such as the IIIPlus or the Magellan line like the map 330 or meridians. So when this person takes a reading that will be used to submit that cache, it could really be off by several feet if not much higher. Maybe if we were to have a section within the submission form that ask's what type of GPS was used to place a Cache, this information would show on each cache page giving anyone wishing to hunt for this Cache  an idea of a possible + / - factor when it comes to searching the cache area. If I was to know that someone placed a Cache using the IIIPlus or map 330, I would consider that the coordinate reading would be pretty close to what my own GPSR is showing, in other words I think I would trust the readings a bit more than a unit that has a less receptive antenna. Do you think this to be a good idea? or do you think that we have been doing fine the way things have been, and that adding this feature takes away a bit of the mystery of finding the Cache in the first place?
Posted by mikechim on Nov. 23 2001,11:11 pm
I can't say I see any real reason not to do this, but at the same time I'm not sure it will help all that much.  For one I haven't had that many problems there has only been a handful of caches I've been to that were way off of the coordinates people had been getting.  The other problem is I think a lot of the accuracy for the coordinates depends on the behavior of the cache placer.  My only unit is the etrex venture and since I know it's limitations I take about 10 - 15 readings for the cache location after placing it and average them (all coming from varying distances and varying direactions and all that good stuff).  My question is basically this, is taking a reading once with the IIIplus or even the IV better then multiple readings on a lower quality unit?  
:looking: Just realized I've been rambling, see what happens when i actually get home early on a friday night and hop on the net, brain can't handle being locked up  :p

Anyway point is I don't know what's more important the type of GPS or the method used to get the coordinates.




Posted by Gimpy on Nov. 24 2001,9:25 am
That's not a bad idea. Every cache I place, I take along the III Plus, the MAP76 & the Vista. When I get to my spot, I set all 3 at the cache location & let them set for at least 5 minutes. I'll observe them & see how much the numbers wander & keep an eye on the EPE of each unit. Depending on the overhead cover, the III Plus & the MAP76 will always be very close, as long as the MAP has had time to settle in. In my experience, the III Plus will usually hit a set of numbers rather quickly & not wander much at all from those numbers. The numbers on the MAP will usually be off by as much as 50 ft. when I set the units down & settle in after the 5 minute period. The Vista, I've found, will sometimes be right there & other times be off considerably. I've not posted the numbers off the Vista on any of the 22 caches I've put out. There is one cacher, whose caches I know are going to be 30 to 50 ft. off from the posted numbers every time. Thats ok if you know that going in. Just widen your search area a little bit. The first cache I found of his was pretty frustrating. But on subsequent hunts of his caches, I kept that in mind, & was not a problem. Nobody ever said this was supposed to be easy. :D  But if the posted numbers at my Bald Mountain cache were off by 30 to 50 ft., it could turn a 1 hr. cache hunt into a 3 to 4 hr. cache hunt very easily. So I think, knowing the GPS unit the posted numbers came off, would cut some of the possible frustration. Some may like the added suspense, but I've been known to have very little patience. I got spoiled when I first started caching. About the only person with caches out there at the time was Quinn. He placed them & posted numbers off his III Plus. I searced for them & found them with my III Plus. I was then, and still am now, very rarely off by more than 5 to 8 ft. at one of Quinns caches.  I've been rambling too, huh. :o
Posted by Guest on Nov. 24 2001,2:05 pm
While I at least want them to get me in the same park  :thumbsup:  , I am not sure I want the postings to get so accurate that I trip over the cache when I arrive. While half the fun is being introduced to new locations while on the hunt, the other half (for my family any way, is looking for the cache once we have arrived in the general vicinity.

Another thing is that I think it is more method than equipment when it comes to accurate coordinates. If the cache owner runs in and out, without taking time for the reading to settle, and verify his coordinates, it doesn't really matter if he used a eTrex Yellow or a Magellan Meridian.


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