Sorry I didn't respond sooner on the thread in the German-speaking forum.
. It seems that Groundspeak is somewhat inconsistent in providing notice of replies.
Your points are good, and I thank you. In particular, I take these points:
-- virtuals are rare in parts of Europe, providing cachers in those areas little experience other than what they see online or from friends.
-- the term "virtual cache" can be quite misleading, even to native English speakers.
-- the guidelines are a long document in English.
I had not realized that there was no German translation of the guidelines. Actually I hang my head to admit that I hadn't even thought about that. Someone pointed out that some of the armchair caching groups are US-based. This only points out that language issues are not limited to which language is your native one, but also to how well (and whether) you read in your native language. Plenty of people in Germany and other countries in continental Europe read and write English better than the majority of Americans (cezanne being an example). Yeah, I too find automatic translation tools to be pretty useless -- it's amazing how often they are unable to translate even a text of a single simple word.
Yes, I should have noticed that I was looking at a very small sample. I preach this point myself. Thanks for the correction.
In the case of the cache I cited, the landmark is not well known, and I very much doubt that you can find the number of steps on the Internet, unless it's someplace devoted to armchair caching. However, the number is small enough that at least some of the armchair loggers are probably just guessing it, although they may be passing it around as well. Or they may be using one of the many programs around which crack MS Word passwords.
Nothing "proves" someone visited. A photograph? I have one word: Photoshop. If we make it into a contest, then the armchair loggers will unquestionably win. I don't think that increasing the difficulty is the answer. Asking for a photograph is probably effective because it makes the requirement to visit the location clear, rather than because it's "proof". Since you've pointed out that most of the armchair logging is probably well-intentioned, it seems that education is the best response. A simple statement in the description that "a physical visit to the location is required" might stop many of the armchair logs. Deleting armchair logs with feedback on the reason is likely to get the cache removed from some of the armchair log bookmark lists, if those lists are also well-intentioned. The biggest problem here may be that so many virtual cache owners are long since MIA, something seen a lot more for virtual than for physical caches since virtuals require relatively very little maintenance.