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logging virtuals without visiting

#1 User is offline   paleolith 

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Posted 08 December 2007 - 11:08 AM

There seems to be a gang of Austrians intent on giving their country a black eye by logging virtual caches they have not visited. See Rocky Oaks GC42B8 for a long list -- it looks like about 25 of the visits in the past year are from people who did not physically visit -- who have never logged a physical cache in the US and in some cases logged distant caches on the same day.

I've emailed the cache owner and get the impression that he is going to review them. But is there anything more general to be done? Is it worth writing to these people individually, or do they not listen? Writing to the owners of the other virtuals they are logging? Individually these steps are easy, but together will take quite a while, so I thought I'd ask what others have done first.

(And yes, I did search, but the only forum search method I can find "or"s the keywords rather than "and"ing them, making complex searches nearly impossible. I welcome links to other threads.)

Edward

This post has been edited by paleolith: 08 December 2007 - 11:09 AM


#2 User is offline   The Leprechauns 

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Posted 08 December 2007 - 11:17 AM

It was good of you to write the owner. The owner should delete the fake logs, and tighten up the verification of visit requirements so the cache cannot be logged from an armchair. A photo of the finder or their GPS at the cache site is one method that's nearly foolproof.

If the owner fails to do this, they risk having the cache archived for failing to follow the virtual cache maintenance requirements.

So gee, thanks, armchair loggers. Caches get archived because of your "efforts," depriving people who actually visit the sites from getting a smiley. This is an example of where the behavior of others DOES affect the way one plays their own game.

#3 User is offline   TrailGators 

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Posted 08 December 2007 - 11:21 AM

View PostThe Leprechauns, on Dec 8 2007, 11:17 AM, said:

It was good of you to write the owner. The owner should delete the fake logs, and tighten up the verification of visit requirements so the cache cannot be logged from an armchair. A photo of the finder or their GPS at the cache site is one method that's nearly foolproof.

If the owner fails to do this, they risk having the cache archived for failing to follow the virtual cache maintenance requirements.

So gee, thanks, armchair loggers. Caches get archived because of your "efforts," depriving people who actually visit the sites from getting a smiley. This is an example of where the behavior of others DOES affect the way one plays their own game.
So people that hate virtuals could get them all archived? :ph34r: Why don't they just archive the cachers doing it instead? :ph34r:

#4 User is offline   ArcherDragoon 

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Posted 08 December 2007 - 12:29 PM

View PostThe Leprechauns, on Dec 8 2007, 11:17 AM, said:

It was good of you to write the owner. The owner should delete the fake logs, and tighten up the verification of visit requirements so the cache cannot be logged from an armchair. A photo of the finder or their GPS at the cache site is one method that's nearly foolproof.

If the owner fails to do this, they risk having the cache archived for failing to follow the virtual cache maintenance requirements.

So gee, thanks, armchair loggers. Caches get archived because of your "efforts," depriving people who actually visit the sites from getting a smiley. This is an example of where the behavior of others DOES affect the way one plays their own game.

I tried to armchair cache once...but all I managed to do was get a whole bunch of DNF's
:) :) :) :) B)

In all seriousness...contacting the cache owner was the correct way to go...with virtuals leaving the site each day for various reasons...I really don't want to see them leave becuase of reasons especially like this.

This post has been edited by ArcherDragoon: 08 December 2007 - 12:32 PM


#5 User is offline   tozainamboku 

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Posted 08 December 2007 - 01:06 PM

View PostTrailGators, on Dec 8 2007, 11:21 AM, said:

View PostThe Leprechauns, on Dec 8 2007, 11:17 AM, said:

It was good of you to write the owner. The owner should delete the fake logs, and tighten up the verification of visit requirements so the cache cannot be logged from an armchair. A photo of the finder or their GPS at the cache site is one method that's nearly foolproof.

If the owner fails to do this, they risk having the cache archived for failing to follow the virtual cache maintenance requirements.

So gee, thanks, armchair loggers. Caches get archived because of your "efforts," depriving people who actually visit the sites from getting a smiley. This is an example of where the behavior of others DOES affect the way one plays their own game.
So people that hate virtuals could get them all archived? :) Why don't they just archive the cachers doing it instead? :)

From the original virtual cache guidelines:

Quote

3. There should be one or more questions about an item at a location, something seen at that location, etc., that only the visitor to that physical location will be able to answer. The questions should be difficult enough that it cannot be answered through library or web research. The use of a "certificate of achievement" or similar item is not a substitute for the find verification requirement.

4. An original photo posted to the virtual cache log can be an acceptable way to verify a find, or an email to the virtual cache owner with valid answers for the question or questions. In NO cases should answers be posted in the logs, even if encrypted. The virtual cache owner is responsible for verifying visited logs to their cache. The owner is expected to delete/archive logs that don't meet the verification requirements.

It may be that the virtual in the OP predates this version of the guidelines and therefore is grandfathered. It uses a certificate of achievement that can be opened by obtaining the correct answer to the verification question. However, in this case the verification answer is a number. If people in Austria have time to sit and guess numbers in order to log a virtual cache find, more power to them. I don't call that geocaching but since the cache owner is using the certificate of achievement to verify finds there is not much you can do.

BTW, the cache in question was the first virtual I ever logged. (I had found a couple before that one where I just thought it wasn't worth claiming a smiley). My preference would be if the superintendent of the Santa Monica National Recreation Area could be convinced to allow just a limited number of physical caches in the area per the new NPS GPS Games Policy. Rocky Oaks is a great location for a physical cache. Perhaps Edward or one of the other cachers active in the Santa Monica Trails Council, could approach the superintendent and get permission for a physical cache here.

#6 User is offline   paleolith 

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Posted 08 December 2007 - 01:55 PM

View Posttozainamboku, on Dec 8 2007, 01:06 PM, said:

It may be that the virtual in the OP predates this version of the guidelines and therefore is grandfathered. It uses a certificate of achievement that can be opened by obtaining the correct answer to the verification question. However, in this case the verification answer is a number. If people in Austria have time to sit and guess numbers in order to log a virtual cache find, more power to them. I don't call that geocaching but since the cache owner is using the certificate of achievement to verify finds there is not much you can do.
Despite the age of the cache, the owner asnwered my email within a few minutes. I think he is going to look into the situation. I have not followed the trail to the other probably bogus logs from the same group. A lot of virtual cache owners are long since gone from any contact with gc.com, so the problem is more with those than with the cache I cited.

For a while it was not obvious that these logs were bogus. The log entries generally sound innocuous -- "greetings from Austria" sounds odd now that I know they really were "finding" the cache in Austria, but a slightly odd phrasing from a non-native speaker doesn't generally raise my eyebrows. I had been watching it for a while for other reasons before I got suspicious. So a lot of Europeans like SoCal virtual caches? Doesn't seen unreasonable -- there are quite a few European tourists in SoCal. Finally I noticed too many similar wordings. Also, the number of valid visits has been quite a bit larger this year than in recent years. So I don't blame the owner for not having noticed -- he said that (like me) he was getting the feeling something was wrong but that's all.

Quote

BTW, the cache in question was the first virtual I ever logged. (I had found a couple before that one where I just thought it wasn't worth claiming a smiley). My preference would be if the superintendent of the Santa Monica National Recreation Area could be convinced to allow just a limited number of physical caches in the area per the new NPS GPS Games Policy. Rocky Oaks is a great location for a physical cache. Perhaps Edward or one of the other cachers active in the Santa Monica Trails Council, could approach the superintendent and get permission for a physical cache here.
I mentioned the new policy to Big Eagle a few weeks ago, and his response was the same as yours. If you are interested in helping, you might contact him. Zuma Canyon is another area in the SMM which is seriously underused, and some caches could help draw a few more people in.

Edward

#7 User is offline   Team Cotati 

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Posted 08 December 2007 - 02:39 PM

View PostTrailGators, on Dec 8 2007, 11:21 AM, said:

View PostThe Leprechauns, on Dec 8 2007, 11:17 AM, said:

It was good of you to write the owner. The owner should delete the fake logs, and tighten up the verification of visit requirements so the cache cannot be logged from an armchair. A photo of the finder or their GPS at the cache site is one method that's nearly foolproof.

If the owner fails to do this, they risk having the cache archived for failing to follow the virtual cache maintenance requirements.

So gee, thanks, armchair loggers. Caches get archived because of your "efforts," depriving people who actually visit the sites from getting a smiley. This is an example of where the behavior of others DOES affect the way one plays their own game.
So people that hate virtuals could get them all archived? :) Why don't they just archive the cachers doing it instead? :)


Now there's an idea that is long over due.

#8 User is offline   Mr.Yuck 

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Posted 09 December 2007 - 02:19 PM

View Postpaleolith, on Dec 8 2007, 01:55 PM, said:

View Posttozainamboku, on Dec 8 2007, 01:06 PM, said:

It may be that the virtual in the OP predates this version of the guidelines and therefore is grandfathered. It uses a certificate of achievement that can be opened by obtaining the correct answer to the verification question. However, in this case the verification answer is a number. If people in Austria have time to sit and guess numbers in order to log a virtual cache find, more power to them. I don't call that geocaching but since the cache owner is using the certificate of achievement to verify finds there is not much you can do.
Despite the age of the cache, the owner asnwered my email within a few minutes. I think he is going to look into the situation. I have not followed the trail to the other probably bogus logs from the same group. A lot of virtual cache owners are long since gone from any contact with gc.com, so the problem is more with those than with the cache I cited.

For a while it was not obvious that these logs were bogus. The log entries generally sound innocuous -- "greetings from Austria" sounds odd now that I know they really were "finding" the cache in Austria, but a slightly odd phrasing from a non-native speaker doesn't generally raise my eyebrows.


Greetings from Austria, Greetings from Germany. You can see hundreds if not thousands of these logs, and you can rest assured they never "visited" the virtual. It's all the rage in Europe. And I'd suspect you'll see a lot more of it in the upcoming winter months. I'm surprised this thread almost fell off the front page with only 6 posts before mine. Apparently it's a subject that doesn't bring people out of the woodwork with their torches and pitchforks. :(

#9 User is offline   robert 

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Posted 09 December 2007 - 02:24 PM

This thread was fun:

http://forums.Ground...howtopic=177062

I don't think you should log the virts w/o visiting the locations. It just doesn't make sense to me. :( There's one near where I work that has that all the time, you can see the answer from a Google map right on the cache page. Unfortunately the owner doesn't seem to be deleting the fake logs like they're supposed to. :D

This post has been edited by robert: 09 December 2007 - 02:25 PM


#10 User is offline   DocDiTTo 

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Posted 09 December 2007 - 08:10 PM

Apparently armchair virtuals and caches that can be logged without stepping foot out of the house or using a GPS are quite popular in some circles... although not in mine.

Armchair Caches

Ein paar schöne Couchpotatoes

Couch Caching

@home Caches

Rainy Day Caches

There are more, but I haven't got the time...

#11 User is offline   briansnat 

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Posted 09 December 2007 - 09:46 PM

View PostDocDiTTo, on Dec 9 2007, 11:10 PM, said:

Apparently armchair virtuals and caches that can be logged without stepping foot out of the house or using a GPS are quite popular in some circles... although not in mine.

Armchair Caches

Ein paar schöne Couchpotatoes

Couch Caching

@home Caches

Rainy Day Caches

There are more, but I haven't got the time...


There are many virtuals that CAN be logged without stepping outdoors. It doesn't mean that you should. I know there are a handful of grandfathered virtuals that are actually meant to be logged without a visit anywhere, but TPTB sqashed those pretty quickly when they first appeared.

Looking at these lists however, a lot of them are simply virtuals where the answer CAN be found online. Being that the entire point of geocaching is to use a GPS to find things, I can't fathom how anyone can think that sitting in front of a PC and Googling answers to virtuals has anything to do with geocaching.

#12 User is offline   Mr.Yuck 

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Posted 10 December 2007 - 06:05 AM

View Postbriansnat, on Dec 9 2007, 09:46 PM, said:

View PostDocDiTTo, on Dec 9 2007, 11:10 PM, said:

Apparently armchair virtuals and caches that can be logged without stepping foot out of the house or using a GPS are quite popular in some circles... although not in mine.

Armchair Caches

Ein paar schöne Couchpotatoes

Couch Caching

@home Caches

Rainy Day Caches

There are more, but I haven't got the time...


There are many virtuals that CAN be logged without stepping outdoors. It doesn't mean that you should. I know there are a handful of grandfathered virtuals that are actually meant to be logged without a visit anywhere, but TPTB sqashed those pretty quickly when they first appeared.

Looking at these lists however, a lot of them are simply virtuals where the answer CAN be found online. Being that the entire point of geocaching is to use a GPS to find things, I can't fathom how anyone can think that sitting in front of a PC and Googling answers to virtuals has anything to do with geocaching.


Those bookmark lists are generally for virts that permit or encourage armchair finds. But they aren't enough, I guess. :( Here
is an example of a virtual cache in Tulsa, Oklahoma with a boatload of "Greetings from Germany" type logs.

#13 User is offline   Team Cotati 

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Posted 10 December 2007 - 06:16 AM

I find it totally astounding that someone would have created a virtual cache that cachers could log without having to physically visit the location. Even more astounding that cachers would actually do that.

My caching buds feel the same way.

Heckfire, no wonder vitruals are no longer being allowed. :) :( :D

#14 User is offline   Team GeoBlast 

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Posted 10 December 2007 - 06:58 AM

View Postpaleolith, on Dec 8 2007, 11:08 AM, said:

There seems to be a gang of Austrians intent on giving their country a black eye by logging virtual caches they have not visited. See Rocky Oaks GC42B8 for a long list -- it looks like about 25 of the visits in the past year are from people who did not physically visit -- who have never logged a physical cache in the US and in some cases logged distant caches on the same day.

I've emailed the cache owner and get the impression that he is going to review them. But is there anything more general to be done? Is it worth writing to these people individually, or do they not listen? Writing to the owners of the other virtuals they are logging? Individually these steps are easy, but together will take quite a while, so I thought I'd ask what others have done first.
h
(And yes, I did search, but the only forum search method I can find "or"s the keywords rather than "and"ing them, making complex searches nearly impossible. I welcome links to other threads.)

Edward


I don't think you are going to find much argument for this being a very curious practice here but my advice is to not expend too much energy in policing this or any other Geocaching activity. Report it, move on, and go find some great caches. In the end, you'll enjoy the activity more.

#15 User is offline   Dinoprophet 

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Posted 10 December 2007 - 07:26 AM

I wonder if there's a misunderstanding and some people think this is how virtuals are meant to be done. That's usually what I assume when I see an atypical log (found log on a virtual that indicates the person didn't do all the stages, owner maintenance using a Found note, etc). These loggers are making no attempt to hide that they're finding the info online, so surely they don't realize it's not the right way to do it.

#16 User is offline   Mr.Yuck 

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Posted 10 December 2007 - 08:23 AM

View PostTeam GeoBlast, on Dec 10 2007, 06:58 AM, said:

View Postpaleolith, on Dec 8 2007, 11:08 AM, said:

But is there anything more general to be done? Is it worth writing to these people individually, or do they not listen? Writing to the owners of the other virtuals they are logging? Individually these steps are easy, but together will take quite a while, so I thought I'd ask what others have done first.
h
(And yes, I did search, but the only forum search method I can find "or"s the keywords rather than "and"ing them, making complex searches nearly impossible. I welcome links to other threads.)

Edward


I don't think you are going to find much argument for this being a very curious practice here but my advice is to not expend too much energy in policing this or any other Geocaching activity. Report it, move on, and go find some great caches. In the end, you'll enjoy the activity more.


Good point, Team GB. I missed what I bold quoted above in the original post. Naw, don't do anything like writing to the Austrians, or following their online trail to alert other cache owners. Although you could surf the listings, see what shenanigans they've pulled in the past, and shake your head and mutter to yourself. :unsure:

I also didn't notice the pretty recent thread linked to by Robert. That was a rather strange thread. :unsure:

#17 User is offline   tozainamboku 

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Posted 10 December 2007 - 08:27 AM

View Postbriansnat, on Dec 9 2007, 09:46 PM, said:

There are many virtuals that CAN be logged without stepping outdoors. It doesn't mean that you should. I know there are a handful of grandfathered virtuals that are actually meant to be logged without a visit anywhere, but TPTB sqashed those pretty quickly when they first appeared.

Looking at these lists however, a lot of them are simply virtuals where the answer CAN be found online. Being that the entire point of geocaching is to use a GPS to find things, I can't fathom how anyone can think that sitting in front of a PC and Googling answers to virtuals has anything to do with geocaching.


View PostDinoprophet, on Dec 10 2007, 07:26 AM, said:

I wonder if there's a misunderstanding and some people think this is how virtuals are meant to be done. That's usually what I assume when I see an atypical log (found log on a virtual that indicates the person didn't do all the stages, owner maintenance using a Found note, etc). These loggers are making no attempt to hide that they're finding the info online, so surely they don't realize it's not the right way to do it.

Clearly, people will claim a smiley face for all sorts of reasons and cache owners sometimes encourage this. The people who do it say they are just having fun and it really doesn't harm the people who choose to log only caches they actually went to and found. Remember that this is not like someone claiming a find on a physical cache that isn't there, causing briansnat's friend to drive 100 miles for no reason. The claiming of an armchair virtual doesn't have much effect on people who choose to actually visit the site. If people in Germany or Austria or California are having fun sitting in front of a computer googling for answers to virtuals they can play their own game. TPTB have eliminated listing new virtuals from being listed, but prior to that they had already taken action against virtuals that were set up to be done virtually :unsure: by changing the guidelines to require answers that couldn't be easily found online, eliminating "certificates of achievements" as a sole way to verify that someone found the cache, and by clarifying that the intent was to actually visit the cache site. Older virtuals that were approved before these changes were grandfathered and some people undoubtedly changed their virtual pages after being approved as well. TPTB have made changes that indicate that they only wish to list geocaches on the geocaching.com website. Other games, like couch-potato caching, should find there own website. However, TPTB have decided that they are not going to police cache log and if someone is playing a different game by logging a find for something other than finding a cache, they are not going to do anything about it. If they see this logging as something that actually gets in the way of people actually using the logs for logging that they found a cache, they would probably take some action. Right now, anyone who wants to find a virtual that someone in Germany has logged virtually, can go to the location and log the cache; and in their log they can write about the experience they had by visiting the site instead of "Greeting from Germany, TFTC"

#18 User is offline   DocDiTTo 

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Posted 10 December 2007 - 03:09 PM

View Posttozainamboku, on Dec 10 2007, 08:27 AM, said:


Clearly, people will claim a smiley face for all sorts of reasons and cache owners sometimes encourage this. The people who do it say they are just having fun and it really doesn't harm the people who choose to log only caches they actually went to and found.


Perhaps you missed this post above:

Quote

If the owner fails to [delete fake find logs], they risk having the cache archived for failing to follow the virtual cache maintenance requirements.

So gee, thanks, armchair loggers. Caches get archived because of your "efforts," depriving people who actually visit the sites from getting a smiley. This is an example of where the behavior of others DOES affect the way one plays their own game.


I can't say it much better than Lep already did.

#19 User is offline   tozainamboku 

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Posted 10 December 2007 - 03:51 PM

View PostDocDiTTo, on Dec 10 2007, 03:09 PM, said:

View Posttozainamboku, on Dec 10 2007, 08:27 AM, said:


Clearly, people will claim a smiley face for all sorts of reasons and cache owners sometimes encourage this. The people who do it say they are just having fun and it really doesn't harm the people who choose to log only caches they actually went to and found.


Perhaps you missed this post above:

Quote

If the owner fails to [delete fake find logs], they risk having the cache archived for failing to follow the virtual cache maintenance requirements.

So gee, thanks, armchair loggers. Caches get archived because of your "efforts," depriving people who actually visit the sites from getting a smiley. This is an example of where the behavior of others DOES affect the way one plays their own game.


I can't say it much better than Lep already did.

I did point out that the guidelines have been changed (prior to no new virtuals becoming the guideline) to clarify that a cache set up for armchair logging was no longer acceptable. I won't argue with Lep because I know that under his other account he is a reviewer, so perhaps the reviewers would archive a cache if someone reported that it no longer meets the old guidelines (pre grandfathering). But I suspect that so long as one can still visit a virtual and log it it won't be archived just because the cache owner allows armchair logs. If I am wrong, then it one more thing that Groundspeak has done that is unnecessary. My find on the cache in the OP has not become worth less because someone from Austria logged it without leaving Vienna. I am not affected by it and, so long as the cache is not archived, neither is anyone who wants to go visit and log that cache.

#20 User is offline   Jeep_Dog 

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Posted 10 December 2007 - 04:29 PM

Interesting dicussion. Perhaps of amusement and to highlight the extent of this practice, is this very pleasant email I received just this morning -

"Hello Jeep Dog,

concerning virtual cache Buffalo Soldiers GC9117 I would like to confirm my solution as there is no reply from the cache owner. Since you have visited the cache in reality please let me know if I was correct.

Best regards,"


:unsure:

#21 User is offline   knowschad 

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Posted 10 December 2007 - 04:41 PM

5 of the 5 that I checked all used the password-protected 'certificate of accomplishment" phrase in the body of the log page. I'm not sure what that means, but I find it interesting.

That said... so what? People cheat at solitaire every day. Let 'em.

#22 User is offline   DocDiTTo 

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Posted 10 December 2007 - 04:55 PM

View Postknowschad, on Dec 10 2007, 04:41 PM, said:

5 of the 5 that I checked all used the password-protected 'certificate of accomplishment" phrase in the body of the log page. I'm not sure what that means, but I find it interesting.

That said... so what? People cheat at solitaire every day. Let 'em.


Geocaching is not solitaire. You don't play it all by yourself with no involvement from others. Someone else hides the caches you find, others read your logs and use them to determine whether to hunt a specific cache or perhpas HOW to hunt a specific cache. As Briansnat says, you don't play this game in a vacuum. What you do DOES affect others.

#23 User is offline   Stunod 

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Posted 10 December 2007 - 05:05 PM

View PostDinoprophet, on Dec 10 2007, 09:26 AM, said:

I wonder if there's a misunderstanding and some people think this is how virtuals are meant to be done. That's usually what I assume when I see an atypical log (found log on a virtual that indicates the person didn't do all the stages, owner maintenance using a Found note, etc). These loggers are making no attempt to hide that they're finding the info online, so surely they don't realize it's not the right way to do it.


There is an archived virt near me that was logged recently with "drop virt. pers coin" as a note. Not a odd log to see come thru a watchlist, but the cacher name wasn't familiar to me, so I clicked the link to visit the log. Turns out after they submitted the log, they changed the log from a note to a find, edited the date further to 1/6/2006, and stated "A quick one...tftc" (this was a 2.5 terrain, not a drive-up). I'm pretty sure they knew they were doing something "wrong"...

#24 User is offline   knowschad 

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Posted 10 December 2007 - 05:33 PM

View PostDocDiTTo, on Dec 10 2007, 04:55 PM, said:

Geocaching is not solitaire. You don't play it all by yourself with no involvement from others. Someone else hides the caches you find, others read your logs and use them to determine whether to hunt a specific cache or perhpas HOW to hunt a specific cache. As Briansnat says, you don't play this game in a vacuum. What you do DOES affect others.


I haven't read Briansnat's post yet, but...

No it doesn't. Not really. Only if others chose to let it affect them. If these guys find it more challenging and rewarding to sit in front of their computers and do internet searches for the answer so they can get "points"... well, in MY opinion, its their loss, but shoot... its a virtual cache, let'em collect virtual points if thats what floats their boat. Yeah, seems stupid to me, but lots of things seem stupid to me that others seem to enjoy.

#25 User is offline   TrailGators 

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Posted 10 December 2007 - 05:53 PM

What's really weird is that this doesn't bother me. I could actually care less. However, if good virts start getting archived because of this then it would bother me.

#26 User is offline   Dinoprophet 

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Posted 10 December 2007 - 05:57 PM

View PostStunod, on Dec 10 2007, 05:05 PM, said:

View PostDinoprophet, on Dec 10 2007, 09:26 AM, said:

I wonder if there's a misunderstanding and some people think this is how virtuals are meant to be done. That's usually what I assume when I see an atypical log (found log on a virtual that indicates the person didn't do all the stages, owner maintenance using a Found note, etc). These loggers are making no attempt to hide that they're finding the info online, so surely they don't realize it's not the right way to do it.


There is an archived virt near me that was logged recently with "drop virt. pers coin" as a note. Not a odd log to see come thru a watchlist, but the cacher name wasn't familiar to me, so I clicked the link to visit the log. Turns out after they submitted the log, they changed the log from a note to a find, edited the date further to 1/6/2006, and stated "A quick one...tftc" (this was a 2.5 terrain, not a drive-up). I'm pretty sure they knew they were doing something "wrong"...

I know that people do it. I've deleted such logs myself. I just meant the people in the OP.

#27 User is offline   briansnat 

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Posted 10 December 2007 - 07:28 PM

View Postknowschad, on Dec 10 2007, 08:33 PM, said:

View PostDocDiTTo, on Dec 10 2007, 04:55 PM, said:

Geocaching is not solitaire. You don't play it all by yourself with no involvement from others. Someone else hides the caches you find, others read your logs and use them to determine whether to hunt a specific cache or perhpas HOW to hunt a specific cache. As Briansnat says, you don't play this game in a vacuum. What you do DOES affect others.


I haven't read Briansnat's post yet, but...

No it doesn't. Not really. Only if others chose to let it affect them. If these guys find it more challenging and rewarding to sit in front of their computers and do internet searches for the answer so they can get "points"... well, in MY opinion, its their loss, but shoot... its a virtual cache, let'em collect virtual points if thats what floats their boat. Yeah, seems stupid to me, but lots of things seem stupid to me that others seem to enjoy.



Well perhaps you missed Lep's post.

Quote

It was good of you to write the owner. The owner should delete the fake logs, and tighten up the verification of visit requirements so the cache cannot be logged from an armchair. A photo of the finder or their GPS at the cache site is one method that's nearly foolproof.

If the owner fails to do this, they risk having the cache archived for failing to follow the virtual cache maintenance requirements.

So gee, thanks, armchair loggers. Caches get archived because of your "efforts," depriving people who actually visit the sites from getting a smiley. This is an example of where the behavior of others DOES affect the way one plays their own game.


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Posted 10 December 2007 - 08:14 PM

View Postbriansnat, on Dec 10 2007, 07:28 PM, said:

Well perhaps you missed Lep's post.

Quote

It was good of you to write the owner. The owner should delete the fake logs, and tighten up the verification of visit requirements so the cache cannot be logged from an armchair. A photo of the finder or their GPS at the cache site is one method that's nearly foolproof.

If the owner fails to do this, they risk having the cache archived for failing to follow the virtual cache maintenance requirements.

So gee, thanks, armchair loggers. Caches get archived because of your "efforts," depriving people who actually visit the sites from getting a smiley. This is an example of where the behavior of others DOES affect the way one plays their own game.


I'd truly like to see Lep respond that he went a little to far in his post. True that a virtual cache that can be logged without requiring a visit is in violation of the guidelines that existed just before the no new virts guidelines. I'm sure that the reviewers turned down many virtuals because they were able to find the answer on the internet when new virtuals were accepted. But many virtuals were placed either before the guideline or when the required information was not available or easy to find. The idea that you could now bring up to the reviewers a cache that wouldn't have met some guideline that may or may not have been in effect when the cache was approve as SBA because someone in Germany choose to log it and the cache owner refuses to delete the "bogus" log is STUPID. You want to punish geocachers who enjoy finding virtuals (the traditional way) by denying them the opportunity to log an otherwise perfectly good virtual cache because of some required maintenance that may or may not have been required when the cache was first approved. There are a whole lot of traditional caches that ought to archived for the same reason.

#29 User is offline   The Leprechauns 

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Posted 10 December 2007 - 08:51 PM

The virtual cache maintenance guidelines apply to all virtual caches, regardless of the date placed, and the virtual cache maintenance guidelines remain unchanged in substance over the past several years. I asked my buddy Keystone. But I suppose you could go ask your grandfather. :D

#30 User is offline   paleolith 

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Posted 10 December 2007 - 09:50 PM

I have to come down on the side of those who say that fraudulent logging does affect others. Oh, if you never read logs and never watch caches, then it won't affect you (and that's one of many perfectly OK ways to approach caching). But I like to read logs from previous visitors (and in some cases just read the logs of visitors to caches I'll never visit), and having a lot of armchair logs dilutes the fun of reading the logs. In the case of the cache I originally cited, I've been watching a bookmark list which includes that cache, and lately about a third of the logs on the 60+ caches in the list have been these armchair logs. That dilutes the fun I was trying to have with that bookmark list.

Nah, it's not the end of the world. Nor would it be the end of the world if gc.com went belly up. But both are/would be in the category of spoiling some of the fun, or at least diluting it.

My issue was and is with regular virtual caches which are intended to be visited physically. Whether caches intended to be armchair caches should be allowed is a different matter. The answer on whether gc.com allows them seems clear, but their existence would indeed not bother me, since I would not seek them or at least would not seek them as part of the same game. The problem for "real" geocachers arises from armchair logs to caches not intended for armchair caching.

Finally, I totally agree with the sentiment that the proper action is to archive offending cachers, not caches. Part of my interest in this cache was specifically because of its age (and of course by definition all virtuals on gc.com are fairly old). I certainly don't want it archived -- on the contrary, I want it protected,

Edward

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Posted 11 December 2007 - 12:45 AM

I enjoy virtuals and wish there were more of them. To me , it brings me to a very cool location where a "regular cache" wouldn't do. There's this oe that is most interesting: GCA645 :D

#32 User is offline   cezanne 

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Posted 11 December 2007 - 01:04 AM

View Postpaleolith, on Dec 11 2007, 06:50 AM, said:

I have to come down on the side of those who say that fraudulent logging does affect others.
...............
Finally, I totally agree with the sentiment that the proper action is to archive offending cachers, not caches. Part of my interest in this cache was specifically because of its age (and of course by definition all virtuals on gc.com are fairly old). I certainly don't want it archived -- on the contrary, I want it protected,


In my opinion your formulations "fraudulent logging" and "archiving cachers" are way too strong. I replied to your question in the German speaking subforum and provided you with two explanations for the situation you observed. You did not react to what I wrote neither there nor here. You should have linked to this thread in the other thread. I discovered this thread only by coincidence.

By the way, in the meantime I had a look at the cache you referred to and I would like to mention that it is not true that the majority of the armchair logs for that cache comes from Austria - the number of such logs from Germany is higher, the only difference is that quite a number of the cachers from Germany did not use a phrase like "Greetings from ........". Some (not all) of the Austrian cachers who log virtuals in an armchair manner have a rather bad command of English. So they just copy what they read in previous logs.

As the guidelines are concerned, you should also take into account that Groundspeak only offers an English version. I am convinced that by now the majority of the cachers in my country (the same is true for Germany) has not studied the guidelines in detail (the situation was different a few years ago when geocaching was a very unknown activity in Austria and when the typical geocacher was a person used to communicate in English in a regular manner). Unlike the description of the cache you referred to the guidelines are formulated in a quite complicated way - automatic translation tools just yield garbage for such texts.

Let me add something which I mentioned already in my reply to you in the other subforum. It is the responsibility of the owner of a virtual cache to assure that a proof of the visit to the location is provided. Questions like "How many steps lead up to the tower" are not adequate for this purpose if the tower is a well-known object.

In the case of armchair virtuals I feel that archiving these caches is the best way. In the case of grandfathered real virtual caches the best way is to ask more difficult questions and/or to require a photograph and to delete every "found it log" that does not comply with the stated logging requirements. If an owner of a virtual cache does not care any longer about his cache, it should be archived or adopted (if that's possible) - in this case no geolitter results, so no problem at all.


Cezanne

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Posted 11 December 2007 - 01:31 AM

ouch :D

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Posted 11 December 2007 - 01:33 AM

I, personally would hate it if any virtuals were to be archived. They are so unique And we can't make any more :D

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Posted 11 December 2007 - 03:16 AM

View Postcezanne, on Dec 11 2007, 04:04 AM, said:

As the guidelines are concerned, you should also take into account that Groundspeak only offers an English version. I am convinced that by now the majority of the cachers in my country (the same is true for Germany) has not studied the guidelines in detail (the situation was different a few years ago when geocaching was a very unknown activity in Austria and when the typical geocacher was a person used to communicate in English in a regular manner). Unlike the description of the cache you referred to the guidelines are formulated in a quite complicated way - automatic translation tools just yield garbage for such texts.

Even without the guidelines, it should be pretty clear to people that in order to log a cache you must find it (or in this case visit the location). What's the point in submitting bogus logs from across the ocean and never having seen what it is the cache is supposed to show you? :D

Geocaching ethics aren't language restricted.

#36 User is offline   cezanne 

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Posted 11 December 2007 - 03:35 AM

View Postrobert, on Dec 11 2007, 12:16 PM, said:

Even without the guidelines, it should be pretty clear to people that in order to log a cache you must find it (or in this case visit the location). What's the point in submitting bogus logs from across the ocean and never having seen what it is the cache is supposed to show you? :D

Geocaching ethics aren't language restricted.


I explained some of the underlying background in my reply to the OP in the German speaking subforum. I wrote in English - so you can read my contribution there. I will however repeat some explanations here as I fear that not many people will be motivated to look up the other thread.

In short, what you miss is that the concept virtual cache is not well-defined (without making reference to some sort of guidelines). I had numerous discussions with geocachers in my country who argued that virtual caches are stupid because one does not need to leave one's home (I need to mention that I like *real* virtual caches if they are well done and own one myself). This experience taught me that quite a lot of cachers do not know what virtual caches at gc.com are about (the probability that a cacher belongs to that group is somehow indirectly proportional to the length of the period the person is already active in geocaching).
It appears that some people interpret the virtual in "virtual cache" similar to the meaning of that term in "virtual reality", i.e., the visit to the location is a virtual one. Personally, I have never regarded the term "virtual caches" as well chosen as cache and container means something different to me. A cache can be a hike/walk of 15 km length with lots of intermediary stages and with a container at the end in case of a physical cache. If there is no container at the end, the walk is still there - so the term virtual is misleading.

Moreover, there exist several cache data bases (among them one which has its origin in Germany and has a German user interface) which contain caches which are designed in such a way that a visit is not required by the owner of the cacher and sometimes not even possible (because the place cannot be reached). These data bases do allow logs for virtual caches without having visited the corresponding location. That's why it is hard to argue with
geocaching ethics. The only way to argue is via the rules of a certain geocaching data base, but in this way the handling of virtual caches results in a separate ethics for each data base.

To provide another example which should help to demonstrate that virtual caches were viewed upon in a different way by parts of the German speaking geocaching community (also parts of the Dutch speaking one) have a look at this cache (it is by now archived).
http://www.geocaching.com/seek/cache_detai...ca-6e83f461ee24
It received almost 1200 logs from 2003 to 2005 and among these logs only very few people, I only know of a Dutch family and of myself, have visited the location f and provided evidence of this visit. The owner of the cache never intended to require a visit to the location.

Cezanne

This post has been edited by cezanne: 11 December 2007 - 03:51 AM


#37 User is offline   Hobo2 

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Posted 11 December 2007 - 03:43 AM

View PostDocDiTTo, on Dec 9 2007, 09:10 PM, said:

Apparently armchair virtuals and caches that can be logged without stepping foot out of the house or using a GPS are quite popular in some circles... although not in mine.

Armchair Caches

Ein paar schöne Couchpotatoes

Couch Caching

@home Caches

Rainy Day Caches

There are more, but I haven't got the time...

This is deceitful at best, but if they want to ruin there own name/honor/reputation this way, then let them… one of these people is an educator, or are they? :D ... scary :blink: If they were smart, :blink: they would set up their own website and have their own on-line hunts, where as the hunt would be totally done from their home PC, instead of discrediting themselves here and disrupting a game that is set up on trust. But people like this usually aren't that bright or very ambitious. :ph34r:

#38 User is offline   robert 

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Posted 11 December 2007 - 04:01 AM

View Postcezanne, on Dec 11 2007, 06:35 AM, said:

In short, what you miss is that the concept virtual cache is not well-defined (without making reference to some sort of guidelines). I had numerous discussions with geocachers in my country who argued that virtual caches are stupid because one does not need to leave one's home (I need to mention that I like *real* virtual caches if they are well done and own one myself). This experience taught me that quite a lot of cachers do not know what virtual caches at gc.com are about (the probability that a cacher belongs to that group is somehow indirectly proportional to the length of the period the person is already active in geocaching).

If the virtual caches are stupid because you don't have to leave your home to log them, what does that make the act of logging them? The point of geocaching is to get you out of your home! Is it really geocaching if you sat in your chair and logged a bunch of locations you never visited?

Nein.

#39 User is offline   cezanne 

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Posted 11 December 2007 - 04:14 AM

View Postrobert, on Dec 11 2007, 01:01 PM, said:

If the virtual caches are stupid because you don't have to leave your home to log them, what does that make the act of logging them?


I never claimed that the people who say that virtual caches are stupid are the same who log them. What I tried to explain is simply that there are a lot of cacher who think that virtual caches are to be visited in a virtual way. Whether or not people are interested into virtual visits is a different story and divides the group into two subgroups.

Quote

Is it really geocaching if you sat in your chair and logged a bunch of locations you never visited?


Not to me. Since there even exist cache data bases who host such caches (and even gc.com has accepted such caches in some countries for some years - the guidelines conflicted with what some reviewers/approvers did), it is however evident that some cachers do not share my opinion. Since these other data bases use the term geocaching as well, the definition of geocaching does not follow from the term, but is based on individual preferences and rules set up by the people setting up a data base.


Cezanne

#40 User is offline   Isonzo Karst 

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Posted 11 December 2007 - 04:27 AM

I think that many of the armchair loggers of virtuals believe this to be acceptable practice. As cezanne has pointed out, there are other listing services in use that do support virtual logging of virtual caches, there are older GC.com virtuals that are armchair caches from inception, and this website isn't easy to understand if you're not a native English speaker.

The onus of dealing with armchair logging where inappropriate falls to the cache owner.

#41 User is offline   CoyoteRed 

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Posted 11 December 2007 - 05:04 AM

View Postknowschad, on Dec 10 2007, 08:33 PM, said:

I haven't read Briansnat's post yet, but...

"...I will give an opinion anyway."

Seriously, you should read other folks' posts, at least most of them, before spouting off. Two fairly respected and experienced cachers, one with real authority, gave their opinions. Yet, clearly without even reviewing or considering what they had to say made a statement that ran counter to it.

:D

View PostTrailGators, on Dec 8 2007, 02:21 PM, said:

Why don't they just archive the cachers doing it instead?

Unless it creates a problem for Groundspeak or the volunteers I doubt that would happen.

#42 User is offline   Dinoprophet 

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Posted 11 December 2007 - 05:24 AM

Thank you, cezanne. It sounds like it's much as I suspected.

Given that, I'd say the proper way to handle it is for the owners of such caches to delete the logs, while politely explaining to the logger that gc.com virtual caches are meant to be visited in person, and thanking them for their interest in the cache, hope they can visit it some day. That's probably the best way to handle it in any case, rather than assuming evil and intrigue.

This post has been edited by Dinoprophet: 11 December 2007 - 05:26 AM


#43 User is offline   Mr.Yuck 

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Posted 11 December 2007 - 05:41 AM

View PostIsonzo Karst, on Dec 11 2007, 04:27 AM, said:

I think that many of the armchair loggers of virtuals believe this to be acceptable practice. As cezanne has pointed out, there are other listing services in use that do support virtual logging of virtual caches, there are older GC.com virtuals that are armchair caches from inception, and this website isn't easy to understand if you're not a native English speaker.

The onus of dealing with armchair logging where inappropriate falls to the cache owner.


That is an excellent post, Isonzo Karst. Between yours and cezanne's posts, I have a better understanding of the whole European armchair logging thing. Not that I had the torch and pitchfork out, I'd consider my posts to this thread to be more of an informative nature about what is going on. Also a good point about other listing services, I'd never considered geocaching.de. I also know Terracaching has probably over 100 "armchair locationless caches", mostly puzzles or finding things on Google earth. But I'd be hard pressed to find a single European log on any of them.

At the end of the day, I'd say it's all there in black and white in the guidelines, as outlined by Lep. And he said he asked Keystone, so he must be right. :D

And it's not just confined to Europe. In post no. 9, Robert linked to a thread that's gone without any comments that featured several militant California-based armchair virtual loggers, and their associated sock puppets. :blink:

#44 User is offline   robert 

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Posted 11 December 2007 - 05:49 AM

View PostTheWhiteUrkel, on Dec 11 2007, 08:41 AM, said:

And it's not just confined to Europe. In post no. 9, Robert linked to a thread that's gone without any comments that featured several militant California-based armchair virtual loggers, and their associated sock puppets. :D

Definitely not confined to Germany, Austria, etc. It wouldn't be fair to say it's just a language mis-understanding or an issue only occurring with overseas cachers as there are probably folks in the U.S. doing the same thing.

#45 User is offline   fishingfools 

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Posted 11 December 2007 - 07:53 AM

People try to log one of my virts without visiting it. If I suspect some one of doing that, I check thier caches found. If they logged caches 1000's of miles away on the same day, I delete thier find. There are a couple of other nearby physical caches that most people get when they get mine, so I check them too.

#46 User is offline   paleolith 

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Posted 11 December 2007 - 10:29 AM

cezanne,

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.

Edward

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Posted 11 December 2007 - 10:40 AM

View PostTheWhiteUrkel, on Dec 11 2007, 05:41 AM, said:

View PostIsonzo Karst, on Dec 11 2007, 04:27 AM, said:

I think that many of the armchair loggers of virtuals believe this to be acceptable practice. As cezanne has pointed out, there are other listing services in use that do support virtual logging of virtual caches, there are older GC.com virtuals that are armchair caches from inception, and this website isn't easy to understand if you're not a native English speaker.

The onus of dealing with armchair logging where inappropriate falls to the cache owner.


That is an excellent post, Isonzo Karst. Between yours and cezanne's posts, I have a better understanding of the whole European armchair logging thing. Not that I had the torch and pitchfork out, I'd consider my posts to this thread to be more of an informative nature about what is going on. Also a good point about other listing services, I'd never considered geocaching.de. I also know Terracaching has probably over 100 "armchair locationless caches", mostly puzzles or finding things on Google earth. But I'd be hard pressed to find a single European log on any of them.

At the end of the day, I'd say it's all there in black and white in the guidelines, as outlined by Lep. And he said he asked Keystone, so he must be right. :D

And it's not just confined to Europe. In post no. 9, Robert linked to a thread that's gone without any comments that featured several militant California-based armchair virtual loggers, and their associated sock puppets. :blink:




Oddly, I've run into physical caches, some that involved a bit of a hike, that contained the the names of these "militant California-based armchair virtual loggers". They obviously are not afraid to do "real" caches as well, and they don't have the excuse of not understanding English, or the intent of what a virtual cache is supposed to be. This leaves me completely befuddled as to why someone would sit at a computer, falsely log virtuals and think it is all right :blink:

#48 User is offline   RiverCacher 

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Posted 11 December 2007 - 01:43 PM

The whole thing about the Euro virtual loggers is very interesting.

I have just determined that a U.S. cacher with over 2,000 finds has logged a virtual of mine, and I am positive that the cacher did not visit the site. I emailed for answers, which he provided, but now that I think about it, he could have found them online.

I am planning on taking the following steps:
1) I'm going to delete the log
2)I'm going to tighten up my "find" requirements so that someone must give me some information that may be irrelevant to the theme of the cache, but would verify that they were there.

Question: Do I tell the person, who appears to have a history of logging virtuals without actually visiting them, that I am deleting the log, or do I just do it in anticipation that he won't ever notice?

Scott

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Posted 11 December 2007 - 01:56 PM

View PostRiverCacher, on Dec 11 2007, 01:43 PM, said:

Question: Do I tell the person, who appears to have a history of logging virtuals without actually visiting them, that I am deleting the log, or do I just do it in anticipation that he won't ever notice?

Scott


Oh believe me - they will notice! They get an email notification anytime any log is deleted.

I consider it to be bad form to delete a cache log for any reason without first notifying the cacher reponsible for the log and giving them a chance to modify or delete it themselves.

I would get over the fact that some of the old finders bent the rules and go forward. Doesn't mean I agree that it's OK, it's just not worth worrying about in the big scheme of things.

Deane
AKA: DeRock & the Psychic Cacher - Grattan MI

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Posted 11 December 2007 - 02:18 PM

View Postcezanne, on Dec 11 2007, 04:14 AM, said:

View Postrobert, on Dec 11 2007, 01:01 PM, said:

If the virtual caches are stupid because you don't have to leave your home to log them, what does that make the act of logging them?


I never claimed that the people who say that virtual caches are stupid are the same who log them. What I tried to explain is simply that there are a lot of cacher who think that virtual caches are to be visited in a virtual way. Whether or not people are interested into virtual visits is a different story and divides the group into two subgroups.

Quote

Is it really geocaching if you sat in your chair and logged a bunch of locations you never visited?


Not to me. Since there even exist cache data bases who host such caches (and even gc.com has accepted such caches in some countries for some years - the guidelines conflicted with what some reviewers/approvers did), it is however evident that some cachers do not share my opinion. Since these other data bases use the term geocaching as well, the definition of geocaching does not follow from the term, but is based on individual preferences and rules set up by the people setting up a data base.


Cezanne

Cezanne, thank you for taking the time to come to this forum and provide such articulate responses. Your explanations regarding European perceptions of virtual caches make a lot of sense, and probably enlightened a lot of us, regardless of how we perceive armchair logging practices.

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