BIT Caches (aka QR Code Caches)

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caughtatwork
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BIT Caches (aka QR Code Caches)

Post by caughtatwork » 10 August 12 2:03 pm

http://wiki.opencaching.us/index.php/BIT_Caches

With the rise of Munzees I have been asked (privately a few times) as to whether Geocaching Australia can have a new cache type to add to the twelve we already support. Muznees, by the way, is not an original idea. QR codes have been used as cache waypoints before Munzees existed as a site and the OpenCaching network has a QR style cache well before Munzees, but it wasn't well utilised.

So, getting straight to the point.

Do we want a QR Code cache?
The location would have a QR code.
The QR code would contain a keyword.
You log the cache as you would any other, but to get a "find" you would provide the codeword.
Maybe we can harangue mxtrax into an upgrade for the GA Cacher app, but even if not, you could just note the codeword and log it via the site.
Codewords will likely be passed around so there will be no "proximity check" like a Munzee. If you want to cheat, knock yourself out.

Thoughts?
Ideas?
Discussions?

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Re: BIT Caches (aka QR Code Caches)

Post by Laighside Legends » 10 August 12 2:10 pm

Can't you just hide a cache and put the coords in a QR code which is then stuck somewhere? Kinda Exactly like all those multi caches freddo has...
:?

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Re: BIT Caches (aka QR Code Caches)

Post by caughtatwork » 10 August 12 5:35 pm

That would be a multi or mystery, not a new cache type.

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Re: BIT Caches (aka QR Code Caches)

Post by Laighside Legends » 10 August 12 7:49 pm

Thats what I mean. Why the new cache type?

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Re: BIT Caches (aka QR Code Caches)

Post by caughtatwork » 10 August 12 8:03 pm

Why a mystery?
Why a multi?
Why a moveable?
Why anything?
Gee, I don't know.
Why are Munzees so popular?
Maybe some of the Munzee-ers can comment on why they like them.
Maybe they like the grab and run?
Maybe they like that they can be found easier?
Maybe they like the not have to make a written log?
Maybe the like the integration of technology?
Maybe they can be hidden in more obvious locations?
Maybe they can be seen as the spawn of the devil.

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Re: BIT Caches (aka QR Code Caches)

Post by CraigRat » 10 August 12 8:32 pm

Laighside Legends wrote:Thats what I mean. Why the new cache type?
New cache types expand the game.

If we left it to other sites we'd just end up with 2 or 3 types....
That might be fine for some, but to us it's just stifling the game.

We are open to any suggestions for different GPS based activities we can turn in to some kind of cache type.

It's about broadening the games horizons, not locking it in to a pre-defined box because that's the safe thing to do.

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Re: BIT Caches (aka QR Code Caches)

Post by Zalgariath » 10 August 12 8:51 pm

(Not that Munzee created the idea at all, but the guy who started Bit Caching stole the idea directly off Munzee. He was an early member, active for a month or two, then created and tried to TM Bit Caches or any similar product. He posted once about Munzee breeching his TM, and then mysteriously disappeared from Munzee circles... Sounds like Apple. Poor form. But enough on that :P)

I think a QR Cache is a cool idea, and that they are different enough from other cache types to warrant existing.

The main attraction of Munzee for me is the tech integration and the fact they simply work better in an urban environment than 90% of city micros and nanos I have encountered.

The two biggest flaws of the urban mirco/nano is because they are in densely populated areas they get muggled very often, and the logs fill up very quickly and need to be replaced all the time.

A QR Cache solves both these problems as there is no log to fill, and due to their 2D persona are both easier to hide inconspicuously, and less like to be muggled if they are spotted. That is not opinion, that is observation over 12 months of having nearly 200 Munzees deployed, mostly in cities, and only having lost a small handful to muggles. Compare that to the average life of a micro in your local CBD.

Those who Munzee can easily double them up if they are so inclined. It will also fulfil the wishes of those who have asked for the Password Cache (if you follow the Bit Cache Model).

With Every cache already allocated a QR, and an App which could link to a free Scanner app, I think a mechanism could be fun.

Would this work?

The QR's for QR Cache link to the Found Log, rather than the cache page like the existing ones does.
Attempting to access Found Log via the App, Scanned QR or normally Via the webpage prompts a Password which allows the log to be submitted.
Other than the QR/Password verifying the cache would be logged like normal.

Simples? Do others desire this form of cache?

I can see the Password being problematic for Arm Chair Loggers, but like any cache log, it is up to the owner to police if they think it is a genuine find, and the cacher is only cheating themselves by arm chairing it.

In summary, 9.5/10 times I would prefer to log a QR Cache than an urban Nano, and probably 7.5/10 times Id prefer it over the urban micro. It goes back to the old mantra. "Hide the Best Cache you can in a location". You CAN hide a nano in the bush, or an Ammo Can in the city... but neither are a great idea most of the time. There are many situations where I believe a QR Cache would be the best thing to hide, and Id love to see them on the play sheet. :D

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Re: BIT Caches (aka QR Code Caches)

Post by caughtatwork » 10 August 12 9:32 pm

The QR codes at GCA take you to the log page.
i.e. The QR code on this page http://geocaching.com.au/cache/ga4434 takes you to http://geocaching.com.au/my/log/new/ga4434
There's a hook into GA cacher so you can also log it from there. No codeword in that app at the moment.

Putting what it does now aside, we can direct the QR code to anything. The QR code for the special QR Code Cache Type would only be visible on the site to the cache owner. You add the codeword, you print it, you place it.

I recently placed 26 caches in Brimbank Park. Each one has the QR code on the logsheet. So if you desire you can log them while you walk from one cache to the other. They're standard traditional caches though, so you can log them any way you please.

The idea as it has been given to me is to have a new cache type, consisting of the codeword and the QR code (aka the BIT Cache at OpenCaching) and that's the thing you find. No container to go missing. The logbook is online only. No physical log. I don't give a rats about armchair loggers. They can do as they please. Doesn't spoil the game for me.

Now, do I think they're a good thing? Dunno. Not taken by Munzees, but then I'm not taken by WhereIGo's either. Doesn't stop me from asking the community whether there is enough interest for us to make a QR Cache.

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Re: BIT Caches (aka QR Code Caches)

Post by Richary » 10 August 12 10:28 pm

Personally am I a bit ambivalent here. For me part of the fun of caching is to find and retrieve the thing. This is one reason I haven't really taken to munzees. That said, it doesn't stop me logging trigs as valid finds, which are generally going to be easier to spot than a QR code.

If only the "place the best cache you can for the spot" was a mantra that was followed however.

The danger I see is it will lead to cache saturation in popular areas like the CBD. To hide a micro or small in a high muggle area and have it last requires some thought and can be a bit of a challenge. To stick a QR code on the back of a lightpole or under a seat requires a lot less (apologies to those who think Munzees are the ants pants) and could be an easy way out.

I wouldn't want to see a situation where every possible pole/seat in the city has a "cache" on it, especially as some people will kill two birds with one stone and stick a Munzee code right next to the GA QR cache code so people can get two for the price of one - it would just lead to confusion. If it gets to that level it would diminish the hobby IMHO.

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Re: BIT Caches (aka QR Code Caches)

Post by Zalgariath » 10 August 12 11:03 pm

Fair points Richy. Of coarse there are the proximity guidelines here to help with saturation. But as you say the best intentions... and some people given the easy option stop trying. I hadnt looked at it from that perspective as obviously Im taken by the geeky aspect of the thing :-k Others may as you say see it as a window to abuse.

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Re: BIT Caches (aka QR Code Caches)

Post by quiet1_au » 10 August 12 11:09 pm

Although I've been playing with some QRs lately at work and have considered them for caching ideas, I think the "Mystery/Puzzle" cache type is perfectly adequate for them and a separate cache type is probably unnecessary. 2c worth (which these days I guess is rounded down to worthless...)

Add: "...caching ideas" (ie. stages of a multi)

:-$
Last edited by quiet1_au on 11 August 12 8:48 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: BIT Caches (aka QR Code Caches)

Post by LouiseAnn » 10 August 12 11:12 pm

quiet1_au wrote:Although I've been playing with some QRs lately at work and have considered them for caching ideas, I think the "Mystery/Puzzle" cache type is perfectly adequate for them and a separate cache type is probably unnecessary.
+1

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Re: BIT Caches (aka QR Code Caches)

Post by Bewilderbeest » 11 August 12 11:23 am

CraigRat wrote:We are open to any suggestions for different GPS based activities we can turn in to some kind of cache type.
But QR codes arent a GPS based activity, its a smartphone based activity, isnt it? My Oregon isnt a cheap, low-end GPS, nor is it that old, but it cant scan barcodes.

I agree with the last couple of posters, leave them in the realm mystery caches (and munzees, for those that want to do them). Those who want to use them can, but you arent excluding people who dont have a fancy phone from a whole cache type.

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Re: BIT Caches (aka QR Code Caches)

Post by CraigRat » 11 August 12 11:24 am

Bewilderbeest wrote:
CraigRat wrote:We are open to any suggestions for different GPS based activities we can turn in to some kind of cache type.
But QR codes arent a GPS based activity, its a smartphone based activity, isnt it? My Oregon isnt a cheap, low-end GPS, nor is it that old, but it cant scan barcodes.

I agree with the last couple of posters, leave them in the realm mystery caches (and munzees, for those that want to do them). Those who want to use them can, but you arent excluding people who dont have a fancy phone from a whole cache type.
Finding the physical location of the QR code is the GPS based part.

Cache types that require special hardware are already on this site, such as beacon caches.
The precedent for that has already been set.

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Re: BIT Caches (aka QR Code Caches)

Post by caughtatwork » 11 August 12 11:47 am

One one hand it excludes people who cache but don't have a smartphone.
On the other hand it includes people who have smartphone and want to cache.

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