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Geocaching Guidelines Web Site
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fidian
Geocacher


Joined: 23 Nov 2005

Posts: 126

PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2006 1:23 pm    Post subject: Geocaching Guidelines Web Site Reply with quote

I have started a web site that you can use to search for any applicable geocaching guidelines for people interested in hiding caches. I hope that it grows and becomes useful for everyone in the U.S. I grabbed the MnGCA guidelines pages, individual park pages, city guidelines, other organizations, and whatever else I could find. I'm not quite done adding rules to it for other states, but Minnesota is about as done as I can make it.

Instead of listing just places where caching is restricted or not allowed, I intend to also list places where hiding caches is allowed or even encouraged. Such as the Washington County Parks. This started with another post and then some private discussion with Silent Bob and myself. It is my goal that other organizations will add their information to this site and then refer people over to this database.

http://rumkin.com/reference/geocaching/

If others here would check it out and give me their inital impression and maybe kick it around a bit, I would greatly appreciate it. Also, please send a submission if you know of other cities or counties that I do not have listed.

Things yet to do:

    Add more information from GeocachingPolicy.info
    Contact each county in MN and the cities near me for permission.
    Ask other organizations about their thoughts - SLAGA, SoCal, Florida, etc.)
    Find a way for other sites to incorporate my listings on their page. Iframe? Theming?
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celticwulf
Geocacher


Joined: 24 Oct 2005

Posts: 685

PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2006 1:44 pm    Post subject: Re: Geocaching Guidelines Web Site Reply with quote

Just checked out the website, looks like a great start and a good way to get the information centralized. Some immediate thought's I had looking at it were:

At least when you head to the state level, instead of just showing the overall guidelines and nothing else, it may be more helpfull to show all of the MN policies and the other drop down menus be filtering OUT the info, instead of to filter it in.

Add pictoral representation and clickthrough if possible.

and that's all I came up with in quick glance...brain stopped way to quickly Wink

On another note, the following is something that I would be slightly concerned on:

fidian wrote:
Contact each county in MN and the cities near me for permission.


As we've seen both on a national level and a local level, it is MUCH easier for places to say NO than yes, and much harder to work past that initial NO. I am, however, not saying this is not something that should be done, but it must be done very diplomatically with a consistant message. If the first contact is just "Do you allow Geocaching in your park?", the first response of many will be "what's that?" followed shortly by "no". If instead, a consistent message explaining what Geocaching is and the positive aspects can be put together (or found if it already exists), bringing that forth to begin with would be a better idea IMHO.

Just my thoughts for now, but great job on doing this, always great to see people trying to help make Geocaching better rather than arguing about it Laughing

Celticwulf
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fidian
Geocacher


Joined: 23 Nov 2005

Posts: 126

PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2006 1:53 pm    Post subject: Re: Geocaching Guidelines Web Site Reply with quote

celticwulf wrote:
At least when you head to the state level, instead of just showing the overall guidelines and nothing else, it may be more helpfull to show all of the MN policies and the other drop down menus be filtering OUT the info, instead of to filter it in.
...
Add pictoral representation and clickthrough if possible.


So, list the county and city level guidelines when you pick a state? I'm not sure I understand what you want to see. Hmmm. Maps. Just for the state level, or county too? City level?

celticwulf wrote:
If the first contact is just "Do you allow Geocaching in your park?", ... <snip> ... If instead, a consistent message explaining what Geocaching is and ...


My "form letter" of sorts tries to explain geocaching and has links to geocaching.com, mngca, etc. I'm open to suggestions for comments to add to my form letter (PM me). I'd also prefer if the MnGCA would contact each county instead of me, but I understand that the board is usually busy.
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Moe the Sleaze
Geocacher


Joined: 10 Jan 2003

Posts: 1146

PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2006 1:59 pm    Post subject: Re: Geocaching Guidelines Web Site Reply with quote

fidian wrote:
Things yet to do:

    Contact each county in MN and the cities near me for permission.


Please leave that to the MnGCA. Anoka County, for one, has expressed that they would prefer to work with an organization than with individuals.

I really don't see the need for this site. The MnGCA guideline page is already serving the purpose. Another site listing a bunch of information that may or may not come from questionable sources will only confuse matters.
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celticwulf
Geocacher


Joined: 24 Oct 2005

Posts: 685

PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2006 1:59 pm    Post subject: Re: Geocaching Guidelines Web Site Reply with quote

fidian wrote:
celticwulf wrote:
At least when you head to the state level, instead of just showing the overall guidelines and nothing else, it may be more helpfull to show all of the MN policies and the other drop down menus be filtering OUT the info, instead of to filter it in.
...
Add pictoral representation and clickthrough if possible.


So, list the county and city level guidelines when you pick a state? I'm not sure I understand what you want to see. Hmmm. Maps. Just for the state level, or county too? City level?


Basically, when I went to look at guidelines for "Minnesota", the only thing that showed up was the state level guidelines. To get to Duluth's approval, I had to pick the county and city before I could read what's going on in Duluth. Personally, I would prefer if the whole list showed up right away for the state, and then I could either scroll up and down to find the info, or use the drop downs to filter it more if I didn't want to scroll.

And it depends on how you'd want/be able to do it as far as maps. Personally I'm more of a visual person, so if we're going nationwide, having the standard national map, with each state clickable, then each county or city or just general area.

Does that make more sense?

I'll think more on the contacting places thing before I post more on that subject...don't want to stick foot further in mouth than usual Laughing

Celticwulf
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dmnrec
MnGCA Board


Joined: 17 Mar 2005

Posts: 544

PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2006 2:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The site looks good, but there might be other land-owners that you would want to list as well...such as Minnesota Power owns quite a bit of land on Island Lake and around that area north of Duluth...there are probably other examples as well.
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Moe the Sleaze
Geocacher


Joined: 10 Jan 2003

Posts: 1146

PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2006 5:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

dmnrec wrote:
but there might be other land-owners that you would want to list as well...such as Minnesota Power owns quite a bit of land on Island Lake and around that area north of Duluth...there are probably other examples as well.


And every other private property owner in the state?
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fidian
Geocacher


Joined: 23 Nov 2005

Posts: 126

PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2006 7:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd be willing to list all large land owners (3M, any college, etc.) that say yes or no. I'd even be willing to list private people (my dad) if they say yes. They would be listed with the individual city and only shown at the county level if they owned land in several cities.

In my opinion, the more the merrier. There's nothing wrong with it that I can think of.
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Marsha and Silent Bob
Past MnGCA President


Joined: 02 Sep 2003

Posts: 6261

PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2006 7:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There is no reason to go out to private land owners and ask if they do/do not permit geocaching for your list.

Geocaching should not be considered for most private owned land. The rest (say your "dad") don't belong on a list accessable nationwide. A note on the cache page would be sufficient.
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fidian
Geocacher


Joined: 23 Nov 2005

Posts: 126

PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2006 6:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't plan on asking any private land owners, including my dad. However, if they decide to make a public statement on lands that they own, I'm not against listing it. If the permission is granted to an individual for a single cache, that is a different story. So, if the U of M decides to openly allow geocaches in the arboretum on 5 west of the cities, then I would list it. If they just give KB permission to place one cache or maybe if they just flat-out deny geocaching, it likely wouldn't be listed unless the land feels like a public land -- a 3M playground that is open to the public or an island that people picnic at which is owned by the power company. Either way, I'm probably not going to contact private parties unless I have an area in mind where I might be able to place a cache.
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WindChill
Geocacher


Joined: 02 Aug 2005

Posts: 40

PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2006 7:54 am    Post subject: Re: Geocaching Guidelines Web Site Reply with quote

fidian wrote:

Add more information from GeocachingPolicy.info


Im courious as to why you decided to start another site instead of adding the info to geocachingpolicy.info?


fidian wrote:

Ask other organizations about their thoughts - SLAGA, SoCal, Florida, etc.)


The Iowa Geocachers Org is fortunate to have a board member who is a conservationist with Worth county. He has sent a letter to the conservation board of all 99 counties asking if they allow caching, if they have a policy and if they plan to have a policy. The results are being collected and submitted to geocachingpolicy.info. We have a map on our site with a link to the gp.info.
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fidian
Geocacher


Joined: 23 Nov 2005

Posts: 126

PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2006 5:19 pm    Post subject: Re: Geocaching Guidelines Web Site Reply with quote

WindChill wrote:
Im courious as to why you decided to start another site instead of adding the info to geocachingpolicy.info?


Because I wanted to go down to the city level. Also, I found several links on geocachingpolicy.info to be bad and the descriptions were often unhelpful ("no official policy" -- why list that?) or referenced other web sites without explaining what was and was not allowed.
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Grey Wolf and Wild Rice
Geocacher


Joined: 31 May 2005

Posts: 381

PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2006 6:40 pm    Post subject: Re: Geocaching Guidelines Web Site Reply with quote

Moe the Sleaze wrote:

Please leave that to the MnGCA. Anoka County, for one, has expressed that they would prefer to work with an organization than with individuals.

I really don't see the need for this site. The MnGCA guideline page is already serving the purpose. Another site listing a bunch of information that may or may not come from questionable sources will only confuse matters.


I think this says a lot. Fidian.......Listen to what is being said here. I agree with Moe that this is a function of the MnGCA and not of individual cachers. Why don't you work with the MnGCA on this and not be a "Lone Wolf"?

And...if I am reading things correctly....you are being told by others here to back off and let the organization do the job.

Moe is being kind, but someone had to be blunt about this and I guess it's Grey Wolf's role today.
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WindChill
Geocacher


Joined: 02 Aug 2005

Posts: 40

PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2006 7:13 pm    Post subject: Re: Geocaching Guidelines Web Site Reply with quote

fidian wrote:

Because I wanted to go down to the city level. Also, I found several links on geocachingpolicy.info to be bad and the descriptions were often unhelpful ("no official policy" -- why list that?) or referenced other web sites without explaining what was and was not allowed.



Hmmm. Okay....What Ive heard from our people working on this, the geocaching policy folks are great to work with. I imagine they would accomodate city-level info, and I imagine they would be happy to update any dead links if someone points them out.

"no official policy" does serve a purpose, it means somebody checked and there is no policy. Not listing anything doesnt mean there is no policy, it more likely means nobody has checked.

Though I appriciate your efforts on behalf of geocaching, it seems like reinventing a wheel that doesnt need reinventing.
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fidian
Geocacher


Joined: 23 Nov 2005

Posts: 126

PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2006 6:48 am    Post subject: Re: Geocaching Guidelines Web Site Reply with quote

Grey Wolf and Wild Rice wrote:
I agree with Moe that this is a function of the MnGCA and not of individual cachers. Why don't you work with the MnGCA on this and not be a "Lone Wolf"?


What's sad is that I agree with you. Getting the guidelines is best served by the MnGCA. Why haven't they already contacted all of the counties in MN? I assumed that they just either didn't care enough or that they were too busy. My assistance should be welcomed with either scenario. If nobody thought about it until now, I would have hoped that the MnGCA would say, "Thanks for contacting the four counties you emailed. We're now sending emails to the other counties and will have at least a 'first contact' with every county by the end of the week."

I will not wait for the MnGCA to contact all of the counties. There's only about 100 of them and the MnGCA was around since 2002. Give the organization a year to get started, that still leaves over two years for the board to tackle the issue themselves. That's about 1 email a week.
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