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Read First! Geocaching Frequently Asked Questions

#1 User is offline   Jeremy 

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Posted 30 October 2002 - 10:29 AM

Before asking in the forums, there are several sources of answers to Frequently Asked Questions at your disposal.If you know of an FAQ not listed, contact a forum moderator so it can be added to this thread.

Jeremy Irish
Groundspeak - The Language of Location™

Index to FAQ Subjects:
Travel Bug and Geocoin FAQ's
Can I log a find on my own cache when I go back to visit?
What GPS Should I Purchase
What Icons Represent the Different Cache Types?
Meanings of Acronyms and Terms Used in Geocaching
Locationless, Virtual and Webcam Caches
Using the Forum Search Feature
Can I use a GPS while on an airline?
Forum Posting Guidelines and Forum Moderators
Finding Handicapped Accessible Geocaches
All About CITO (Cache In Trash Out)
Geocacher University
Where do I find the "Stash Note" to put in my cache to explain what it is?
What is an "SBA log"?
What's the meaning behind the Geocaching logo?
How do I "average" a waypoint?
Cache Saturation Guidelines: The "528 foot rule"
How do I log a cache that I searched for?
Do I need to wait for confirmation from the owner before logging a virtual cache find?
How do I find out about new caches hidden near me?
Adding a Picture to a Forum Post
How do I Get a Photo to Display on my Cache Page?
Why Can't I Start a Poll?
How do I manually enter cache coordinates into my GPSr?
Ethical Guidelines for Geocaching
Where can I find the Off Topic Forum?
Who's Watching My Cache?
How do I become a volunteer cache reviewer?
What's the Purpose of a "Reviewer Note" and How Do They Work?
What is the suggested forum etiquette?
How do I Adopt Ownership of a Geocache?
What are "Additional Waypoints" and How Do I Add Them To My Cache Page?
How do I change my username?

This post has been edited by Markwell: 06 May 2010 - 08:26 AM


#2 User is offline   MycoCache 

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Posted 27 January 2003 - 06:04 AM

Where can I learn about and purchase Travel Bugs?

General info on travel bugs can be found on the Travel Bug page of Geocaching.com: http://www.geocaching.com/track/
That page has a link to their store where you can order them singly or in groups.

How do I pick up and drop off a Travel Bug or Geocoin?

Links to the step-by-step instructions can be found on this page in the Groundspeak Knowledge Books.

Where can I learn more about Geocoins?

Read
The Reference, Shipping, Activating, Minting, Adopting, Shopping, Courtesy, Do's And Don't Guide To Geocoins. This is a pinned reference thread at the top of the Geocoins Forum.

This post has been edited by Keystone: 21 February 2010 - 04:35 PM


#3 User is offline   The Leprechauns 

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Posted 26 March 2003 - 08:43 AM

Can I log a find on my own cache?

This subject is also covered in the Groundspeak Knowledge Books.


It is considered "bad form" to log a find on your own cache when you go for a maintenance check. The same is true if you re-visit another traditional cache, for example, to place or retrieve a travel bug. Use the "post a note" log option to record your visit in these circumstances.

In either case, you're not "finding" a cache because you already know where it is! Save the smiley face for use when you've truly discovered a hidden cache.

This post has been edited by Keystone: 21 February 2010 - 04:37 PM


#4 User is offline   Mark 42 

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Posted 30 July 2003 - 04:58 AM

What GPS Should I Purchase?

This site: http://gpsinformation.net/ has helpful information on different consumer GPS Units.

This post has been edited by Keystone Approver: 02 May 2005 - 02:05 PM


#5 User is offline   Keystone 

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Posted 01 August 2003 - 03:24 AM

What Icons Represent the Different Cache Types?

The subject matter of this post is now also covered in the Groundspeak Knowledge Books.

All of the cache type icons are explained on this page. The pair of glasses icon means that you have listed that cache on your watchlist.

This post has been edited by Keystone: 21 February 2010 - 04:45 PM


#6 User is offline   Keystone 

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Posted 27 September 2003 - 04:13 PM

Meanings of Acronyms and Terms Used in Geocaching

To get started on the language of our game, the Geocaching.com Glossary is a good resource. Also, GeoLex, the Lexicon of Geocaching is a glossary maintained by helpful Texas geocacher, Prime Suspect.

After you've read these, you'll know the answers to the following frequently asked questions:

What's a "muggle?" A non-geocacher who accidentally finds a cache or is in the area when you're searching for a cache.

What is "swag?" Some say this is short for "Stuff We All Get." Swag means the trade items that we swap at geocaches and carry in our backpacks.

What does "TPTB" mean? This is short for "The Powers That Be," meaning Jeremy and the other people who run Geocaching.com. They prefer the official Groundspeak term, "Lackeys."

What do "TNLN," "TNLNSL," and "TFTC" mean in the online cache logs? "Took Nothing, Left Nothing," "Took Nothing, Left Nothing, Signed Log," and "Thanks for the Cache."

This post has been edited by Keystone: 13 February 2010 - 09:30 PM


#7 User is offline   Keystone 

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Posted 08 January 2004 - 10:18 AM

Locationless, Virtual and Webcam Caches

Q: How do I hide a new locationless, virtual or webcam cache? These options aren't on the form.
A: Geocaching.com no longer accepts new submissions of these former cache types. Existing virtual and webcam caches are "grandfathered" and are still available to be "found." All the locationless caches were archived and locked in January 2006. The new home for these types of caches is Waymarking.com.

Q: I found a place that meets the requirements for one of the old locationless caches. How do I log it?
A: You can't log it at Geocaching.com, because all locationless caches are closed to new logs. Search at Waymarking.com to see whether the same category exists there. Many, but not all, of the locationless caches were converted into waymarking categories.

This post has been edited by Keystone: 10 March 2006 - 02:04 PM


#8 User is offline   Team GPSaxophone 

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Posted 07 February 2004 - 11:37 AM

Searching the Forum

The subject matter of this post is now contained on this page of the Groundspeak Knowledge Books.

This post has been edited by Keystone: 21 February 2010 - 09:41 PM


#9 User is offline   Prime Suspect 

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Posted 09 February 2004 - 08:56 AM

Can I use a GPS while on an airline?

This question seems to come up weekly. The basic answer is yes, no, and maybe. First off, there is no restriction against possessing a GPS, any more than a cell phone.

As to whether or not you can operate it while in flight, that varies from airline to airline. These rules are usually spelled out in the seat pocket passenger instructions, or sometimes inside the in-flight magazine. However, the flight captain is ultimately in charge. If the instructions say "no", you can always ask a flight attendant if the captain will allow its use. Often they will.

There are many, many forum threads already on this topic. A search for "airline" or "airplane" will give you a good size list.

This post has been edited by Prime Suspect: 09 February 2004 - 08:57 AM


#10 User is offline   Keystone 

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Posted 12 February 2004 - 01:49 PM

Forum Posting Guidelines and Forum Moderators

The Groundspeak forums are moderated, mostly by volunteers like myself, to try to keep the discussions civil and on-topic to geocaching. To learn more about how the forums work, and the ground rules we live by here, read the Forum Guidelines, which you can access from the link at the top left of the Forums page below the Groundspeak logo.

To find out who the moderators are, look at The Moderating Team link, which is found at the bottom of the main Forum index page, just above the forum statistics section. You can also see who the moderators are for each forum by looking at their names, listed right below the name of the forum on the index page.

"Global" or Site Wide Moderators will help out wherever needed, and cover for other moderators when they're doing other things, like geocaching roadtrips.

This post has been edited by Keystone: 21 February 2010 - 04:48 PM


#11 User is offline   mtn-man 

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Posted 15 February 2004 - 07:20 PM

Finding Handicapped Accessible Geocaches

Check out the Handicaching website. Note that caches with a terrain rating of 1 star are meant to be wheelchair accessible.

Also, geocacher rldill has created a web page showing wheelchair accessible geocaches. Here is a link to his web page where you can search by state.

http://bellsouthpwp.net/g/e/geocache/

Thanks rldill.

This post has been edited by Keystone: 18 March 2006 - 10:24 AM


#12 User is offline   MissJenn 

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Posted 18 March 2004 - 10:30 AM

All About CITO (Cache In Trash Out)

This quote is from the CITO website:

Quote


Cache In Trash Out is an opportunity for geocachers to help clean up the parks and other cache-friendly places throughout the world. Through the volunteer efforts of the Geocaching community, we will all help preserve the natural beauty of our outdoor resources.
Check out the CITO Forum for lots more info.
Posted Image

This post has been edited by Keystone: 18 March 2006 - 10:25 AM


#13 User is offline   Keystone 

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Posted 08 April 2004 - 07:30 AM

Geocacher University

At least three VERY frequently asked questions can be answered through the good work of Illinois geocacher and "Getting Started" moderator CyBret, the creator and Dean of Students for Geocacher U.

1. How does a total newbie learn about getting started with geocaching?

See Geocaching 101 - The Basics of the Hunt at Geocacher U.

2. How do I get started with "Paperless Geocaching" using Pocket Queries and a PDA?

See "Geocaching Without Paper" at Geocacher U.

3. Is there a brochure that I can show to land managers and friends, in order to introduce them to Geocaching?

See Geocacher U's "Let's Go Geocaching!" brochure.

This post has been edited by Keystone: 18 March 2006 - 10:29 AM


#14 User is offline   Keystone 

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Posted 11 May 2004 - 03:57 PM

Where do I find the "Stash Note" to put in my cache to explain what it is?

The information/explanation sheet that should be included in every geocache is often referred to as a "Stash Note." You can find some basic Stash Notes by following the links collected on the Hide a Cache Page. Other geocachers have developed their own versions, particularly for tiny microcaches, although there is a very basic microcache note included on the page I linked to.

This post has been edited by Keystone Approver: 28 February 2005 - 02:29 PM


#15 User is offline   Keystone 

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Posted 13 May 2004 - 04:56 AM

What is a "Needs Archived" log?

"Needs Archived" is a special type of log that a geocacher can write on a cache page. Examples of when an SBA should be logged include caches placed on posted private property, and caches neglected by the owner.

Once an SBA log is posted, a notification is sent to the volunteer cache reviewer team. We then take a look at the cache page and decide how to handle the situation -- one option being to archive the cache.

This option used to be known as "Should be Archived" and the "SBA" acronym continues to stick around with old timers.

It's important to understand the differences between "Needs Archived" and "Needs Maintenance" logs. A "Needs Maintenance" log sets an attribute "flag" on the cache page, notifying the cache owner of a problem with the cache. Volunteer cache reviewers do NOT receive notifications of "Needs Maintenance" logs.

This post has been edited by Keystone: 21 February 2010 - 04:57 PM


#16 User is offline   Keystone 

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Posted 15 May 2004 - 07:49 PM

What's the meaning behind the Geocaching logo?

Posted Image

To answer the question about what the Groundspeak logo "means," this old topic, and especially Markwell's post, might make for interesting reading.

And, here is a Post from Jeremy which says that the original logo design took its inspiration from a now-defunct dot com boom website called sixdegrees.com.

And here is a newer post from Jeremy on this same subject.

This post has been edited by Keystone: 13 February 2010 - 10:11 PM


#17 User is offline   Keystone 

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Posted 25 May 2004 - 08:00 AM

How do I "average" a waypoint?

There are two ways of averaging a waypoint: the high-tech way and the manual way. Mostly, when folks say in the forums or on a cache page that they "averaged" a waypoint, they mean that they used the auto-averaging feature built into their GPS receiver. Theoretically, you can obtain a more precise waypoint by using this feature to take continuous readings for 3 to 5 minutes, and letting the GPS calculate the average. In actuality, if you have a bad satellite constellation, a poor view of the sky due to tree cover, etc., what you may get are 200 averaged waypoints that all suck.

Another way to average waypoints is to approach the cache location from multiple directions -- and preferably, on different days and at different times of the day -- in order to get some waypoints under different satellite conditions. Watch your accuracy or EPE readings as you mark a waypoint. Give greater weight to a waypoint taken with 14 foot EPE than one taken on a different day at 30 foot EPE because the satellites were all clustered directly overhead.

Once you've measured several waypoints, average them together using gut instinct and basic math. Suppose you have taken five waypoints on three separate days (one to scout out the cache location, a second trip to place the cache, and a third trip just to make sure, because you had bad satellites when you placed the cache). Assume you obtained the following results (only the last three digits are included):

Day 1: Waypoint 1 - North .350 and West .580 - EPE 14 feet
Day 1: Waypoint 2 - North .354 and West .577 - EPE 20 feet
Day 2: Waypoint 3 - North .348 and West .582 - EPE 28 feet
Day 3: Waypoint 4 - North .352 and West .579 - EPE 20 feet
Day 3: Waypoint 4 - North .353 and West .578 - EPE 18 feet

With these results, I'd discount Waypoint 3 because the coordinates are off from the "main cluster" and the EPE was higher. I'd then eyeball the other waypoints and post coordinates of North .352 and West .579.

All that being said, many folks have very good success by just taking one good reading with good satellite geometry and a low estimated position error. Many new hiders spend way too much time worrying about the coordinates for their cache. There's nothing wrong with that! It's far better to be very sure about your coordinates than to post bad ones and get criticized for it. Over time, as you hide more and more caches, you'll become more comfortable with the readings your GPS gives you, and knowing whether they are good or bad readings.

This post has been edited by Keystone Approver: 28 February 2005 - 02:25 PM


#18 User is offline   Keystone 

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Posted 06 June 2004 - 04:12 AM

Cache Saturation Guidelines: The "528 foot rule"

The Cache Saturation Guideline, also known as the "Proximity Test" or the .1 rule, is found in the Geocache Listing Requirements/Guidelines. Here's a summary of what the Guideline says:
  • The guideline applies to all physical caches and physical stages of multicaches and mystery/puzzle caches.
  • The guideline applies to virtual stages of multicaches and mystery/puzzle caches ONLY if the cache owner uses the "Stages of a Multicache" type when entering an Additional Waypoint for that stage. If you don't want a "surprise" virtual spot in your multi to be spoiled by a later cache placement nearby, code the virtual waypoint as a "Stage of a Multicache."
  • The guideline does NOT apply to virtual stages of multicaches and mystery/puzzle caches coded as "Question to Answer" or "Reference Point." If you don't care whether another cache is hidden within 528 feet of the historic marker or park sign used as a stage in your cache, use one of these waypoint types.
  • The guideline does NOT apply to earthcaches or to grandfathered virtual caches and webcam caches. You can hide a physical cache at any distance from any of these.
  • The guideline does NOT apply to any "bogus" posted coordinates for puzzle caches.
  • The guideline does NOT apply to stages within a single cache. You can have two stages of your own multi hidden close together (but we recommend not placing them so close that the finder locates them in the wrong order).
The volunteer reviewers allow exceptions to the proximity rule when circumstances warrant; for example, if the two caches are on opposite sides of a river, top and bottom of a cliff, etc.

This post has been edited by Keystone: 21 February 2007 - 05:02 PM


#19 User is offline   Will+Bill 

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Posted 27 July 2004 - 11:46 AM

How do I log a cache that I searched for?

A full page has been added to help newcomers to the game answer this question:
http://www.geocachin...ut/logging.aspx

As such, a moderator has made the older (original) text below less prominent.

1. You need to be logged in on the website under an account that has been validated.
2. Find the cache page for the cache that you visited. Go to the top of the page, and click on the "log your visit" button in the upper right:

3. A page pops up where you select "found it," "didn't find it", "post a note", etc., as well as the date of your log. Then enter the text for your log, and submit the log.

Good luck!

(Answer expanded by moderator to provide more detail)

Mar 7 2005: Markwell changing icon

This post has been edited by MissJenn: 16 April 2009 - 02:27 PM


#20 User is offline   Keystone 

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Posted 21 September 2004 - 03:06 AM

Do I need to wait for confirmation from the owner before logging a virtual cache find?

Most geocachers log their virtual cache finds on the cache page at the same time when they send the verification e-mail to the cache owner.

A minority of virtual caches state on the cache page that the verification must be confirmed before a find can be logged. If you don't do that, you risk the chance of having your find deleted by the cache owner. If you *do* follow the directions and you don't get a response from the cache owner to your e-mail within a reasonable period of time (ten days, to allow for vacations, etc.) then my advice would be to go ahead and log the find.

This post has been edited by Keystone Approver: 02 March 2005 - 04:59 AM


#21 User is offline   Keystone 

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Posted 23 September 2004 - 04:56 AM

How do I find out about new caches hidden near me?


If you are a premium member:
Use the "insta-notify" feature, found at http://www.geocaching.com/notify -- this can also be accessed by clicking on the "member features" link at the top of your "My Account" page. Set up as many as ten requests, based on cache types, and you will be sent an e-mail very shortly after a new cache is listed within the specified radius from the specified coordinates (up to 50 miles).

Or, you can set up a pocket query for new caches within X miles of your home coordinates or zipcode, that are new within the past seven days, and which you haven't found. Run the pocket query here on the site and bookmark that page. You don't even need to ever order the PQ files to be sent to you by e-mail unless you want to. Check your bookmarked page often.

See this page in the Groundspeak Knowledge Books.


If you are not a premium member:

Bookmark a page here on the site like the Tennessee State Homepage, which shows the ten newest caches hidden, or the Search Results Page for Tennessee Caches, which shows all caches listed in descending order by date hidden (obviously, substitute your state, province or country for the Tennessee examples). Check your bookmarked page often. Add "&f=1" at the end of the second link to exclude new caches that you've already found.

See this page in the Groundspeak Knowledge Books.

This post has been edited by Keystone: 21 February 2010 - 05:06 PM


#22 User is offline   Keystone 

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Posted 03 October 2004 - 05:43 PM

Adding a Picture to a Forum Post

The subject of this post can also be found on this page in the Groundspeak Knowledge Books.

1. Your picture must be on the internet somewhere -- not on the hard drive. If you want to share a personal photo, but don't have web space, upload it to a cache log, cache page or your profile page.

2. Copy the URL for the image so that it's in your clipboard.

3. Compose your forum post. When you want to insert the image, click on the "Insert Image" button in the top "Code Buttons" section. It's the icon that looks like a photo of a tree.

4. A dialog box will pop up, prompting you for the URL of the image. Paste the URL from your clipboard into the box (Ctrl-V = paste) and click "OK."

5. Preview your post to make sure it works!

If you are having trouble, try practicing in the test thread that is pinned at the top of the "Getting Started" forum.

This post has been edited by Keystone: 21 February 2010 - 05:07 PM


#23 User is offline   Keystone 

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Posted 15 October 2004 - 08:01 AM

How do I Get a Photo to Display on my Cache Page?

The subject of this post can also be found on this page in the Groundspeak Knowledge Books.

You can upload an image right to your cache page, or you can hyperlink to an image hosted elsewhere on the internet -- but NOT on your hard drive. Let's use this cache page as an example. The owner of that cache wanted to show off the beautiful view of a city's skyline. To do that, the owner followed these steps:

1. Click on the "upload images" button at the top right of the cache page.
2. Navigate to your photo directory on your hard drive, and identify the correct picture. Give your photo a name ("View from West End Overlook" in the example) and upload it.
3. The photo now appears on the cache page as a little camera icon with a hyperlink on its name. Look for it just below the maps and just above where the logs are.
4. Click on the hyperlink to open the photo onto its own page with its own URL.
5. Copy that URL from the browser address box into the clipboard.
6. Put the cache page into edit mode, make sure that the box is checked to say that you are using html on the cache page, and then insert the html code for the image so that the photo will display in the center of the cache page:
<center><img src="http://img.Groundspeak.com/cache/a0f1a0a9-af25-4574-9dc8-cd46521ca68e.jpg"></center><br>

You can see the results on the sample cache page! Bear in mind that this requires the rest of your cache page to include proper html commands. Read The quick and dirty guide to bad html for your cache page if you need help on the image command or any others, like paragraph breaks.

This post has been edited by Keystone: 21 February 2010 - 05:11 PM


#24 User is offline   Keystone 

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Posted 08 December 2004 - 05:47 AM

Why Can't I Start a Poll?

The poll feature in the forum software is disabled in the Groundspeak Forums, except for rare cases when Jeremy wants to conduct a poll.

The reason for this was because a fair percentage of the community, including Jeremy, got tired of repetitive and poorly designed polls that people were posting in the older versions of the forums (pre-November 2003). It seemed like once a month there would be a poll on whether you used a Garmin or a Magellan, someone would say "what about Cobra and Lowrance?" and then everyone would start arguing.

Other community members feel that polls would be useful as a way to get community input about issues in geocaching, improvements and new features for Geocaching.com, and problems with the way Geocaching.com is now set up. They would like to see the poll feature returned to the forums. Occasionally Jeremy does start a poll for feedback on an issue. The last poll he started can be found here. It conveys his views on the subject.

This post has been edited by Keystone Approver: 28 February 2005 - 02:17 PM


#25 User is offline   Sputnik 57 

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Posted 26 December 2004 - 10:34 AM

How do I manually enter cache coordinates into my GPSr?

This question comes up frequently, and it is easy, but not obvious for a newbie. On most GPSr's you simple "mark" your current location as a waypoint. Then scroll to the coordinates that were just entered and edit them to the coordinates that you want to enter. You can also edit the waypoint name and symbol if you'd like. Press "save" or "OK" and viola!

This post has been edited by Sputnik 57: 26 December 2004 - 10:35 AM


#26 User is offline   Kai Team 

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  Posted 27 January 2005 - 07:59 PM

Ethical Guidelines for Geocaching

The Geocachers' Creed is a voluntary set of guiding principles - it describes how geocachers in general act, and is not affiliated with any geocaching organization or listing service.

It was developed by the geocaching community (in the forums) and is designed to orient new players to the ethos of the geocaching community and to guide experienced players in questionable situations, so that everyone will enjoy geocaching! It's brief and the associated examples answer a lot of questions about geocaching behavior.

You can find it at http://www.geocreed.info

#27 User is offline   Keystone 

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Posted 04 February 2005 - 02:34 PM

Where can I find the Off Topic Forum?

The text of this post is now found in the Groundspeak Knowledge Books.

This post has been edited by Keystone: 21 February 2010 - 05:16 PM


#28 User is offline   Markwell 

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Posted 07 March 2005 - 10:46 AM

Who's Watching My Cache

Is there any way to find out who is watching my cache?

Currently, no. The closest approximation you can get is to post a note to the cache page and the watchers will all receive it as an e-mail. If you ask them to respond and they choose to, you'll get an idea of who's watching.

See Jeremy's thoughts on the subject.

#29 User is offline   Keystone 

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Posted 11 May 2005 - 01:14 PM

How do I become a volunteer cache reviewer?

The text of this post is now found in the Groundspeak Knowledge Books.

This post has been edited by briansnat: 11 August 2011 - 03:33 AM


#30 User is offline   Keystone 

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Posted 29 June 2005 - 02:16 PM

What's the Purpose of a "Reviewer Note" and How Do They Work?

Reviewer Notes, which have a Signal the Frog icon: :rolleyes: , are different from all other log types because they automatically get deleted when a cache is published. Prior to a new cache being listed, reviewer notes are used as part of the process of communicating information between the cache owner and the volunteer reviewer.

A cache owner can leave an initial reviewer note by filling out the field right on the cache submission form. Or, supplemental information can be added by a later, separate log entry. Examples for use of a reviewer note include asking that the cache not be published until a later date (like the date of an event cache nearby), or explaining any issues which the cache owner thinks may be presented under the listing guidelines ("you may see railroad tracks on the online maps; these were removed years ago and it is now a rails-to-trails").

Important Update: In the past, reviewer notes were used to disclose the locations of puzzle caches and the stages of multicaches. But since January 2006, the "Additional Waypoints" feature should be used to tell the reviewer all the other coordinates. For more information about Additional Waypoints, see this FAQ post.

A reviewer may use a reviewer note to indicate unexplained problems with the cache submission that were noted during the course of the review. The reviewer note will cite the guideline that's relevant, explain why it's an issue for this cache, and suggest action to be taken by the cache owner to address the issue. The reviewer will also specify a preferred method for the owner to follow up with answers on the issue noted -- either e-mail or by leaving another reviewer note. If no method of communication is specified, send the reviewer an e-mail. This is because reviewers do NOT automatically receive notifications when a new note is left on the page -- they would need to watchlist the cache for that to happen. A minority of reviewers do just that.

Once the issues are resolved, the reviewer presses a button to publish the cache, and all the reviewer notes disappear. They can be accessed later on by the reviewer, if necessary to check on the history of the cache. For example, if someone else comes along and hides a new cache near an existing multicache, the reviewer can check the old notes to see where the other stages of the multi are located, so that the new cache won't encroach on the existing cache under the cache saturation rule.

After a cache is listed, the reviewer note log type is only available for use by site volunteers. Many reviewers prefer to use this log type when posting logs about maintenance issues, etc., as this aids in identifying them as a representative of the Geocaching.com website.

This post has been edited by Keystone: 21 February 2010 - 06:16 PM


#31 User is offline   TotemLake 

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Posted 06 September 2005 - 06:49 PM

What is the suggested forum etiquette?

Thereís no excuse for bad manners or behavior in a forum. Even though some of these common sense guidelines are covered here, some folks really donít understand the underpinnings of general forum etiquette, or as it is more commonly known, netiquette. It is a long standing practice of any forum since the inception of billboards on the network to self-police and advise new forum users of the incorrect way they may have posted. New users tend to misinterpret these advisements as bullying. So just what are the Netiquette Guidelines?

Forum Etiquette (Netiquette) Guidelines
  • Before posting your question, try searching the forum. Your question or comment may have already been discussed, answered, or resolvedÖ several times. If youíre not sure how to use the Search function, feel free to use the Getting Started Forum. You will find excellent help there.
  • Create a concise subject line that adequately summarizes your topic. For example: "Ideas on a puzzle cache hide?" is more helpful than ďIdeas?Ē
  • If you're seeking help, include details. If you have a question about your GPS unit or a software program, include the make and model in your question. If it's about a particular cache, include the waypoint ID (assuming there's not a good reason not to). More information is always better.
  • Be patient. All the participants of this forum are participating in discussions on their own time, and sometimes answers will not be instantaneously provided.
  • Do not use all capital letters, excessive question marks (?) or exclamation points (!) in your entire subject line or content. Using all capital letters is considered yelling and is very hard to read. Ignoring this guideline will net you fast criticism.
  • Do what you can with proper punctuation, correct grammar and correct spelling. You want others to be able to read with as little difficulty as possible if you expect to receive an appropriate response.
  • Increase the likelihood of starting a discussion by providing details in your comment or question, and by choosing a relevant forum to post your topic. Cross-posting the same topic to other forums is bad form.
  • Help others. This forum is a community, and works best when people share information. Donít just criticize without providing a helpful suggestion.
  • Give feedback. If someone helps you by answering your question, try to add a follow-up response letting them know if it worked or not. If it didnít work, provide details.
  • Forum etiquette doesnít do away with heated debates. Arguing opinions is a long standing part of forum debate. If you canít handle the heat, be careful how you post or be prepared to defend your post. People arenít trying to be mean or be a bully, but they will challenge your way of thinking.
Some specific points not otherwise covered:
  • Old timers welcome newcomers. Do not chastise them for not reading the forum etiquette and guidelines. Make them feel welcome in the community.
  • Newcomers, expect to make mistakes. Lurking before you jump into any discussion may help you gain a feel for how the crowd might respond. Even when all the guidelines are followed, the forums can be a rough place to be in if youíre not ready. If subtle hints arenít picked up on, you may receive an in-your-face criticism. Make use of the emoticons to help convey the tone of your post.
  • Everybody, remember there are people participating. Post as if you were in a face-to-face discussion and treat them as you will have them treat you. If you always yell, you will be treated accordingly. If you speak badly, you may receive an inadequate response. If you canít spell, try to take advantage of the auto-spelling in your document processor to help you with your post. Second language mistakes and minor errors are not the issue here; it is blatant and poorly edited posting that has potential to quickly cause problems with your peers.

With special thanks to everybody at this thread for helping out with the collaborative feedback!

This post has been edited by TotemLake: 06 September 2005 - 06:51 PM


#32 User is offline   Keystone 

  • Everything in Moderation
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Posted 17 March 2006 - 08:42 AM

How do I Adopt Ownership of a Geocache or Trackable?

The text of this post now appears in the Groundspeak Knowledge Books.

This post has been edited by Keystone: 21 February 2010 - 05:28 PM


#33 User is offline   Keystone 

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Posted 18 March 2006 - 10:02 AM

What are "Additional Waypoints" and How Do I Add Them To My Cache Page?

Many thanks to Volunteer Cache Reviewer gpsfun for developing these step by step instructions!

The text of this post is now in the Groundspeak Knowledge Books.

This post has been edited by Keystone: 21 February 2010 - 05:45 PM


#34 User is offline   D3C1B3L 

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Posted 22 August 2007 - 12:43 PM

How do I change my username?

Find out about username changes in our KB.

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