Well we have another rollout of new things at groundspeak this week. There are a few changes this week and a few things that might interest some people.
Cache Submission Process
Well, we have a new process to submit caches. As of now this is in Beta and people can try it out as an option.
As a reviewer we see a lot of dumb submissions. Some that are simple errors and some that repeat over and over. So the new process is a step to help clear up some issues that seem to repeat on a regular basis. There has been a lot of internal testing to get this going, and to get the Beta out to everyone.
There are a few things that it can help clear up. When you enter your coords you have to "see it on a map" before continuing. Many people place caches and are off by a few hundred feet to thousands of miles. I get a handful in the middle of the ocean a few times a year.
It also will also help with additional waypoints, and getting it submitted. If you are listing a new cache.. try it out.
There are a number of new updates, to the guidelines. Nothing huge, but wording corrected, and things to help us solve problems. Here is an overview of a few of the changes that may effect people.
Other than documenting a Challenge Cache, physical caches cannot require geocachers to contact anyone.
Cache pages cannot require, and should not strongly encourage, the placement of new caches.
and about vacation or distant caches.
Document your maintenance plan in a Note to Reviewer on your cache listing. This should include contact information of the maintainer.
A traditional cache consists of at least a container and logbook and is located at the posted coordinates. For all caches types that have multiple stages, physical elements (tags, containers, or any physical additional to the location) must be added to the listing as Additional Waypoints.
Oh.. I almost forgot. You can tie groundspeak into facebook now, and use facebook as your login. For those that are interested.
Fundamental Placement Guidelines
1: Local laws (no significant changes).
2: Permission (Cache owner's assurance).
3: Buried caches (succinct explanation of what is not permitted).
4: Property (added 'damage').
5: Wildlife (included natural environment).
6: Schools/Military installations (updated language, cache owner liability).
7: Proximity (removed 'generally').
8: Caches in Space (clarified).
Other Placement Considerations
· Updated text about cache owner liability. Linked to disclaimer with regards to location and container.
· Added 'include GC code' on outside of container.
Inappropriate or Non-publishable Placements
· Re-organized text.
· Clarified that land owner/manager wishes will be respected by Groundspeak.
· Added note about some cemeteries allowing cache placement.
· Updated text about cache proximity to railroads.
· Clarified text about public structures.
· Added links to article about working with the reviewer (updated KB articles).
Listing Guidelines that Apply to All Geocaches
· Updated text terminology.
· Updated process for cache owner responsibilities for cache listing and the cache placement.
· Updated requirements for cache maintenance plans (caches far from home location).
· Added "or logbook" to cache container contents.
· Updated text for cache contents.
· Updated "Solicitation" and "Commercial" guidelines to clarify scope of what is publishable.
- Specifying that requiring/encouraging cache placement is not publishable.
· Updated process for requesting a scheduled publication.
· Updated process for communicating with reviewer.
Additional Guidelines that Apply to Specific Geocache Types
· Added definition of Traditional Cache to introduction.
· Clarified requirements for multi-staged caches to add additional waypoints to the listing.
· Mystery/Puzzle: Clarified cache type name, updated process for adding additional waypoints, post reviewer note with puzzle solution).
· Letterbox Hybrid: clarified cache type.
· Wherigo: Updated text.
· Event caches: Updated text, clarified non-publishable events, clarified how to meet commercial guideline.
· Mega-Events: Added pricing guideline, added exclusivity guideline.
· CITO: Clarified types of CITO events, and how external events can be publishable.
· EarthCaches: Added link to Knowledge Book articles.
· Virtual and Webcam caches: Clarified cache owner responsibilities.
Logging Physical Caches
· Updated text about Challenge Cache logging.
· Added text about cache owners requiring contact for logging (not permitted).
Logging Non-physical Caches
· EarthCaches: Highlighted that photographic requirements must be optional, added link to EarthCache.org guidelines.
· Virtual caches: Clarified logging requirements.
· Webcam caches: Clarified that the photo must be from the webcam associated with the cache.
· Event caches: Added.
· Mega-Event caches: Added.
Posthow the cache is solved
I have had a few ask why. There are a few reasons.The guidelines state
The information needed to solve a this type cache must be available to the general community and the puzzle should be solvable from the information provided on the cache page.
I have seen puzzles that are solvable from things that are not available to the public. As it is not "available to the general community" it would not be listable.
A cache that uses something prohibited, a flash drive logbook for example.
Is it possible to even solve?
Is a photo on the page? Is the only clue "find where the I took the picture" (not allowed). Or is there metadata in the photo, or other data on the cache page (allowed).
The other reason that I can think of is to determine if it is still findable. We have all seen caches that used graphics from a location that goes away. The page is unsolvable. If the reviewer knew how to solve the cache he would know if it was still findable, or not.
Most are obvious, Sudoku, codes, etc. It would be the others.