How many is too many?

Discussion about the Geocaching Australia web site
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caughtatwork
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How many is too many?

Post by caughtatwork » 24 March 22 10:05 am

There have been some rumblings (complaints really) around the number of locationless geocaches that exist at GCA.

Some are perceived to be pointless and just there "for the numbers" and that they are "clogging up the ability look for 'good' locationless geocaches". Note this is not the perception of the site developers, this is feedback, public and private, so let's have a discussion.

GCA lists locationless caches as a way to let those folks who were in geocache poor areas enjoy the fun of finding a location and performing a particular tasks (generally a photo of an object). This is still a very valid reason to have locationless geocaches so there is no plan to remove them.

What we do want to have is a discussion on "how many is too many" for an geocacher to own?

Do we continue with no limit and have hunreds or throusands of locationless geocaches such as (made-up) "log a find on your birthday", "log a find at 2:00pm", "log a find when you visit the website", "log a find when you create a new query", etc?

Do we limit the number of "live" or "active" locationless geocaches that a geocacher can have in play at any time? e.g. You may have up to 5 or 10 locationless geocaches live at any one time. If you want to list another one, you will need to archive another one.

Do we leave the situation as is and allow anyone to list anything, anything they would like?

Have a conversation and let's see what the community thinks.


EDIT:
This is the trend of locationless caches over time.
Image
Link to page:
https://geocaching.com.au/stats/graphs/ ... cationless

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No_Tomorrow
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Re: How many is too many?

Post by No_Tomorrow » 24 March 22 4:11 pm

I think there definitely should be some form of restriction on locationless cache creations.

Having been one of those once living in a remote location, I found the locationless caches back then a bit of fun. Once more, they were all things you could go find outside your home somewhere.

Covid restrictions was something different though. It was kind of nice to be able to be part of the Geocaching community still whilst stuck in your house. But we aren't stuck in our houses anymore. So why are we still making locationless caches that you can do from your couch or bed even? If you can't go outside and play because of your physical condition, why are you on a geocaching site? Why not take up a new hobby? I'm not meaning to be rude. I'm genuinely confused by this.

The only way I can search for the old style ones is to order the caches from the oldest to newest and work with the old ones. It's too difficult to find ones published in the last 2 years that make you go find something outdoors or away from home. Having people restricted to 10 locationless hides at a time could be useful in fixing this. And for those who enjoy creating them, they can keep doing so. So, yeah, I can see how that would be a good move. I haven't thought of anything better either.

Whilst on the indoors vs outdoors thing... can we make a discussion thread about virtual events too? I had a real event recently and had 4 geocachers log it as a virtual. We are allowed to meet up again in public for real so we don't need to virtually...do we?

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Just a cacher
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Re: How many is too many?

Post by Just a cacher » 24 March 22 4:40 pm

How about sub-categories? Locationless (jigsaw), Locationless (mental puzzle), Locationless (go out and find something specific outside), etc.

Would that make people happy? Then it would be easy to only search for the sort of locationless you want to find (assuming, of course, that the magic elves in the system are able to DO that little thing......)

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Re: How many is too many?

Post by WazzaAndWenches » 24 March 22 8:53 pm

I'm happy to retain Locationless as a category but I do believe there should be some curbing of the number of worthless caches such as "take a photo of (something that can be found just about anywhere)".
Perhaps putting a limit of the number of locationless caches a cacher can have active at any one time may be the solution. However, that will probably just encourage some cachers to publish caches with a short life just so they can publish a new one every few days.

Is one solution to require the logger to do something that cannot be done from their lounge chair? ie, it requires some effort other than driving a keyboard.

Should there be a vetting process for non-physical caches (yeah, I know, reeks of big brother reviewer)?

Do we just continue as is but with a better search function?

My money's on continue as is with better search options.


Like so many others, I live in an area with very few GCA caches (apart from mine) and very few other GCA cachers. A new GCA cache is at least an hour away. Logging locationless caches from my lounge chair is one way to keep myself busy but, sorry folks, it's not about the numbers. It's about the experience. "Finding" a photo of something green is definitely not an "experience".

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Re: How many is too many?

Post by caughtatwork » 25 March 22 10:02 am

Categorisation of locationless has been a challenge since day 1. I remember being asked whether we could categorise them and someone said they would look in to it but it didn't happen and I simply didn't pay attention to it.

The basic problem with vetting is personal bias. I think this is bad, so do not let it through. You think this is OK and let's it through. opencaching.com had a "peer review" which turned very, very ugly, when opposing factions tried to use it as a weapon. So sad to see it happen.

The original idea of the locationless was to go geocaching, outside, using your GPS to find a thing and log its location. We haven't monitored the creation of locationless geocaches to keep to that theme, so now we have a large and unwieldy collection of "log this cane because it's Friday". A big part of this grew from Covid lockdown, but that is pretty much over, so maybe we could curb that enthusiasm.

From the wiki: https://wiki.geocaching.com.au/wiki/Locationless_cache
A Locationless cache is a cache where the hider has found something interesting and sets a challenge to other geocachers to find more of the same item.

GCA has no rules so there was no rule to break about creating a locationless cache, but it does seem we have grown a problem due to the lack of rule.

To continue the conversation, do we set a direction where we start to archive those which do not fit the original guidance in the wiki. Should jigsaw puzzles be locationless caches as they do not have an outside or GPS component? Do we allow for only those locationless caches that have a searchable or findable item?

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Re: How many is too many?

Post by mattyrx » 25 March 22 2:03 pm

I think the lockdowns over the last two years have definitely changed they type of locationless caches listed on GCA - which was great at the time. In some parts of Australia, other geocaching sites were pretty much unusable for months even though they continued to accept cash for their services while our site stayed active and offered alternate things to do.

Now that we’re back outside again, I think our caches should be too.
A Locationless cache is a cache where the hider has found something interesting and sets a challenge to other geocachers to find more of the same item.
The definition of a geocache, and a locationless cache is pretty simple, and I think we should adhere to it. If we want a new cache type that deviates from the ones we have already (e.g. Virtual Puzzle Cache, Online Jigsaw Puzzle Completion Cache, Non-Event Event Cache), then that’s a whole different discussion and the case should be put forward by the community. I would support a decision that new and existing locationless caches all should fit the definition provided in the wiki.

At this stage I don’t think we need to limit the amount of locationless caches someone can own and have active. Keeping the site free and open is great, and while there are no rules - we should be maintaining the definition of cache types, just like we should be trying and adhere to the Geocachers Creed.

Saying this - many people these days want their numbers. They want more finds than the next cacher, and taking away such a simple way of incrementing your find count may lead to the dis-interest and eventual loss of some people currently active on this site. GCA cachers and caches are spread pretty thinly in some parts of the country, and there’s been mention on this forum about how some people find it difficult to play games and find GCA caches when they’ve all been found within a large radius of home. Fewer people could equal fewer caches - of all types...

That being said, I’m still for adhering to the wiki definition of Locationless caches, and implementing a process of placing a message on the caches that don’t fit the brief to either have the cache owner modify them to make them fit the category, or archive them. If there’s no response or action after a fixed time, they could be archived by GCA. I’d expect the same if I listed a multi as a traditional, or a beacon as a webcam.

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No_Tomorrow
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Re: How many is too many?

Post by No_Tomorrow » 25 March 22 5:48 pm

mattyrx wrote:
25 March 22 2:03 pm
If we want a new cache type that deviates from the ones we have already (e.g. Virtual Puzzle Cache, Online Jigsaw Puzzle Completion Cache, Non-Event Event Cache), then that’s a whole different discussion and the case should be put forward by the community.
I like this idea. New cache types for the ones you don't need to leave home for. Then everyone should be happy.
What could they be called?
The Homebody Cache, the Indoorsy Cache, the Iso Cache, the Armageddon Cache (because that's what it will take to keep me indoors), the Lotus-Eater Cache? Sorry, meant for a whole different discussion, right.

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oldfella
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Re: How many is too many?

Post by oldfella » 26 March 22 8:44 am

I am for leave it as is. Soon hopefully the need to continue as we are at the moment will come to an end and get back to where we were pre COVID.

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Re: How many is too many?

Post by Tuena » 26 March 22 10:43 am

mattyrx wrote:
25 March 22 2:03 pm


............... adhering to the wiki definition of Locationless caches, and implementing a process of placing a message on the caches that don’t fit the brief to either have the cache owner modify them to make them fit the category, or archive them. If there’s no response or action after a fixed time, they could be archived by GCA.
This is worthy of consideration. We have strayed from the definition & a return would see greater control.

C@W - it was I who asked about categorization. I looked at how it could be done but even then ( a decade ago or more) the process was too complicated.

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Re: How many is too many?

Post by Team737 » 26 March 22 10:32 pm

I agree that these need changes. I logged a few some time back - things like finding trigs with x amount unloved etc- and thought they were quite cool, when I looked again last year I just found jigsaws, and haven't looked again. I'm of the opinion a locationless cache should involve completion of some kind of geocaching related task to be allowed.

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Re: How many is too many?

Post by Keeper of Time » 27 March 22 3:55 pm

I would suggest we leave things as they are .... free and open.

Perhaps the only change is as previously suggested to have a new category of locationless caches for the jigsaw puzzles etc so they can be filtered out.

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Re: How many is too many?

Post by Sol de Lune » 28 March 22 8:35 am

During the 2020 Game of Games, we had our first experienced of COVID. To keep that game going, the admins decided to change a couple of months of the finding requirements to locationless finds, therefore allowing the game to continue. From memory these locationless caches were:

Show us what you can cook,
Show us certain flowers in your garden, and
Find a 2 legged, 4 legged and 8 legged insect/animal.

At that stage no-one knew how long lock downs would last, so the locationless finds for games lasted 3 months...and have continued on.

To cut a very long story short, lock downs seem to be over now, however we still have lots of these style of locationless. e.g. Jigsaws, Virtual Events

I believe these locationless have served their purpose and it's time for locationless caches to return to what they were before things were changed for the 2020 Game of Games.

As others have posted, this is what a locationless is:
A Locationless cache is a cache where the hider has found something interesting and sets a challenge to other geocachers to find more of the same item.
I agree that our site is all about Free and Open, however we also have to follow what our definition of what a locationless is.

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oldfella
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Re: How many is too many?

Post by oldfella » 28 March 22 8:46 am

I still say leave it alone. Time will eventually bring things back to normality. ( pre COVID)

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caughtatwork
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Re: How many is too many?

Post by caughtatwork » 28 March 22 8:56 am

I have added live statistics to the OP.

In the first 20 years we got to 1,000 locationless caches. In the first 20 years we got to 50,000 finds (average 50 finds per cache).
In the last 2 years we have climbed to 11,000. i.e. 5,000 new locationless caches per year or 100 per week. In the last 2 years we have climbed to 350,000 finds (average 30 (or so) finds per cache).

They are still popular, but I do suspect they may not slow down as the serve a part of the community that play the game differently, although not as original intended by the wiki description of a locationless cache.

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oldfella
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Re: How many is too many?

Post by oldfella » 28 March 22 9:04 am

Well said and I agree with what you have said. I enjoying caching GCA and GC but am limited to distances and availability I do like Locationless and play an active part but I have slowed right down to publishing one per day but this may change. There a re few of us who like the current situation but I feel if we are to continue as we are that each publisher restricts themselves to one locationless publication per day. The few of us who do publish obviously please the greater majority of active locationless players who like a daily challenge. Personal opinion.

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