The all new National Parks 'Creature Cache'

Geocaching Australia governance issues
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darth trader
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The all new National Parks 'Creature Cache'

Post by darth trader » 12 May 10 10:12 pm

So tonight I was thinking about this issue with the national parks and thier problem with us geocaches wanting to visit and the national parks folk wanting us to visit but not wanting any physical disturbance to the natural enviroments.

I also got to thinking about the imbedded metadata inpregnated / watermarked into most digital photos these days.
as evident on my album's page map http://picasaweb.google.com.au/10838405 ... directlink

So I started adding these together and got to thinking about how us geocachers just want to share these really cool spots we found that no-one else knows about.
Maybe we also want to share tangible information about our local flora and fauna with others.

so how do we do this without a phisical log book to sign?

How about the whole photo thing.

I believe one of the new garmin oregons actually has a camera and the ability to navigate to the co-ordinates of a photo. even a photo shared online. However, we don't all have one of these.

and the meta data within the photo could also be tampered or the photo shared and given as someone else's log...

SOOO I was also thinking how most of us have a signature item, beit a pathtag or a coin that is precious to us.

So if a geocacher was to enter a national park armed with a GPS. a Camera. and a sierial number on an item of some description. and navigated to a wombat hole or a nice waterfall and took a photo of said GZ with their item in the photo and the meta data included in the photo and then submitted that photo online along with the log (is there some kind of software required here to confirm the co-ords in the metadata to allow the log?) Could we now have our very own 'CREATURE CACHE'?

Am I crazy?

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Re: The all new National Parks 'Creature Cache'

Post by caughtatwork » 12 May 10 10:41 pm

I believe we can extract meta data when the photo is uploaded. Need to test, but assume yes.

How does this work?
A cacher finds a place and lists the co-ords?
You go and prove you were there from the meta data in the picture?
How "tight" is the meta data requirement? 10m? 20m? 100m?
What about those without this capability? How can they "find" the cache?
How does this stop people going "off track" to get to the location?

Fascinating idea.

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Re: The all new National Parks 'Creature Cache'

Post by homedg » 12 May 10 11:36 pm

It's great that you've been putting lot's of thought into this.
And your idea is great.
But to me it kind of defeats the purpose of caching if there is no cache.
Just my thoughts, of course.

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Re: The all new National Parks 'Creature Cache'

Post by rogerw3 » 12 May 10 11:43 pm

Lots of thought into this, but to my way of thinking it sounds just like a Waymarking type system.
Do we really want a waymarking .com.au?

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Re: The all new National Parks 'Creature Cache'

Post by Mr Emu » 13 May 10 12:03 am

Another point of view:
darth trader wrote:... So if a geocacher was to enter a national park armed with [...] a Camera...
[-(

Not so fast with the innovative-but-benign "enjoy your National Parks and geocaching together" ideas, darth trader, I believe you may need a license for that! :evil:

This recent article gives an interesting account of the current state of affairs for photography in National Parks in Australia, including the worrying statement in paragraph 7:
"In New South Wales, for instance, a landscape photographer could be slugged with a $3,300 fine for undertaking “commercial photography” without a permit in a National Parks Wildlife Service (NPWS) reserve. According to NPWS’ Filming and Photography Policy, endorsed in October 2001, commercial filming and photography means “any filming or photography principally intended for public viewing which may or may not be undertaken for financial gain”."
*Yes, stirring the pot - I know - but I wanted to point out that you just can't assume "free and open" in many of our popular pastimes any more...

Other than that - an intriguing idea, for sure. Good luck! :wink:

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Re: The all new National Parks 'Creature Cache'

Post by Papa Bear_Left » 13 May 10 1:12 am

Umm.. how does this differ from the "take a photo of yourself holding a GPSr at the GZ" type of virtual?

If the point is to make it impossible (or at least very difficult) to fake a log, then I don't see how it does it. If I can photoshop a picture of me in front of the GZ point, I can fake a photo of me holding a signature item in front of the GZ point...

Besides, that's not really important, since the only reward on offer for cheating is a smiley, while the reward for being honest is a smiley and the view/lesson/experience that the owner placed the cache for.

Am I missing your point?

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Re: The all new National Parks 'Creature Cache'

Post by darth trader » 13 May 10 7:37 am

Yes it is almost the same as a virtual cache. However it would be Labeled diferently. and require a signature item (could even be your caching name on a piece of paper) in the photo. The different snappy label, ie. 'creature cache' would help visitors recognize that they are in a national park area and treat it with the respect it deserves.

I also belive that a history of photos of an area / item / rock / orchard / tree / cliff would make a permenant online photographic record of such an area an assist national parks themselves in maintaining or reseaching a particular place over an extended time frame.

of course you could edit your photo. some people could easily work out how to manipulate the metadata using freeware from the interweb.

And It is scary that you could be fined for photographing without a licence. (can't do ANYTHING ANYMORE!) but isn't this why we are talking / liasing with the national parks on this; So that that wouldn't happen when 'creature caching'.

Just a bit of blue sky thinking here. thanks for kicking the idea around.

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Re: The all new National Parks 'Creature Cache'

Post by PesceVerde » 13 May 10 2:07 pm

Not sure about the specifics of your idea, though I think I like your train of thinking. For cachers without the necessary hardware, maybe a photo or two standing next to (like 1 metre away) simply , or touching, the point of interest could be included.

It'd be interesting to know if Parks & Wildlife Service 'people' would be warm to this particular idea, however as far as I'm aware, Earthcaches and Virtuals are already on the national park green list, in Queensland. Many of these types of caches promote visitation and bushwalking to more remote areas and comparitively less natural disturbance. Then again, so do Traditionals if placed well. :!: :?: :-k

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Re: The all new National Parks 'Creature Cache'

Post by Pesky! » 14 May 10 10:40 am

sounds just like a locationless type or virtual, with a parity check via meta data.
so all the same - only different - with a more definative proof of visit.
i guess the best way to see if it flys is to tie it to a boulder and throw it out there...
if people find it easy, fun,enjoyable then this type of cache will flourish, if not...
try setting one up as a virtual for now and see what happens....
not sure i t wiwll pass if the Meta data becomes an A.L.R. though.

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Re: The all new National Parks 'Creature Cache'

Post by roundcircle » 14 May 10 11:11 am

Sounds a bit like your thinking of "Shutterspots"

http://shutterspot.gpsgames.org/cgi-bin/sh.pl

Shutterspot is a game in which some players take photographs and other players are challenged to find the exact spot where the photographer stood when the camera shutter clicked. That's the "Shutterspot".

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Re: The all new National Parks 'Creature Cache'

Post by Damo. » 14 May 10 11:32 am

roundcircle wrote:Sounds a bit like your thinking of "Shutterspots"

http://shutterspot.gpsgames.org/cgi-bin/sh.pl

Shutterspot is a game in which some players take photographs and other players are challenged to find the exact spot where the photographer stood when the camera shutter clicked. That's the "Shutterspot".
Main difference in the comparison is that with Shutterspots you are given location coordinates which are within a few kilometres. The challenge is to find the actual spot.
Darth Trader is proposing to provide the actual coordinates and have some verification through photo data or signature item method.

I'm wondering about how common "the imbedded metadata inpregnated / watermarked into most digital photos these days" is to make this a viable method. Do you happen to have a camera with inbuilt GPS that geotags the metadata and you think this is the norm?

What you are proposing does sound like a virtual with an ALR (Additional logging requirement) and these are currently permitted in National Parks (with permission) as Earthcaches.

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Re: The all new National Parks 'Creature Cache'

Post by homedg » 14 May 10 1:03 pm

I thought ALR's were now a no-no?

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Re: The all new National Parks 'Creature Cache'

Post by caughtatwork » 14 May 10 1:30 pm

This is in the GCA Senate forum, so I am making the assumption that this is discussing the CC concept at GCA, not at GC.

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Re: The all new National Parks 'Creature Cache'

Post by Damo. » 14 May 10 1:32 pm

homedg wrote:I thought ALR's were now a no-no?
Earthcache = Virtual cache with ALR.

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Re: The all new National Parks 'Creature Cache'

Post by CraigRat » 14 May 10 4:31 pm

Damo. wrote:
homedg wrote:I thought ALR's were now a no-no?
Earthcache = Virtual cache with ALR.
Don't go bringing correct logic like that in to these discussions please!! :lol:

To me this sounds like an extension of a shutterspot, would be technically do-able
Most gps phones and GPS devices with cameras tag the co-ords in their EXIF data. I'd say these devices are almost common enough to at least entertain the idea of this kind of cache (although to me it would still be a shutterspot)

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