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MN cache reviewing
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MN.Fruitcake
Minnesota Reviewer


Joined: 18 Oct 2010

Posts: 35

PostPosted: Wed Nov 17, 2010 9:03 pm    Post subject: MN cache reviewing Reply with quote

Now that I've had a few weeks of reviewing cache pages, I wanted to re-introduce myself and let you know how you can help me with your cache page submissions.

I'll start with the introductions:

The profile I use for reviewing is MN.Fruitcake, although I'm commonly known as Pear Head. I've been caching since March of 2003 and live just north of Duluth.

My purpose in reviewing cache pages for geocaching.com is to make sure, primarily, that the caches and cache pages follow the current guidelines.

I also review cache pages that have been disabled for long periods of time (usually more than 3 months) and review "should be archived" logs.

Some observations:

There are a few things you can do to help me out when submitting your cache page.

1. Read the current guidelines. Even those of you that are veteran cachers and have hundreds of finds, it doesn't hurt to read the guidelines every now and then.

2. Look at your cache page from my point of view. I'm interested in where the cache is located as well as what the cache page itself says. The guidelines are clear on a lot of things that people either miss or purposely try and pass through. The most common problems I currently see with cache pages deal with the commercial content of the cache pages and the proximity requirements (this is mostly from new cachers). If your cache page displays a commercial icon, logo, link, name, etc, etc, etc, chances are it's going to be a problem. If you aren't sure then I'd suggest changing it to remove the problem before submitting.

2a. Look at your cache location in Google Maps on the satellite view. There's a link to Google Maps on your cache page. Plug in the coordinates for other stages or the final location if it's a multi or a puzzle. If you see anything that would make me wonder about it's location then include some more detail in a reviewer note (ie. "RR tracks on the map are now a bike trail" or "the water tower in the picture has been removed and is now a park"). Make sure that the cache actually appears where you think it should on the map (and that you haven't inadvertently entered the coordinates in incorrectly).

2b. Look at the "all nearby caches" link on your cache page. Make sure that the nearest one is at least 0.1 miles away. If it's less than 528 feet to the next nearest cache (assuming that the next nearest cache isn't a set of bogus coordinates to a puzzle cache or that it's not an event cache), then I'll be asking you to move your cache so that it complies with the 528 foot rule.

3. Tell me where your cache is. It's not always obvious from looking at the map that the cache is in a particular park. Knowing (either from the cache description or a reviewer note) that the cache is in the abc city park is very helpful.

4. If your cache is in a location that has regulations (the MnGCA maintains a list of regulations of various entities in the state), then read the regulations. Most parks listed have registration requirements. If you're placing a cache in a park that has a registration requirement, make sure that the cache is registered before placing it. I require a copy of the registration for most parks so send me a copy if the park manager didn't cc: me when you received your copy. I won't publish a cache page until I've received the approved permit, so it's best to send it along before or when you enable your cache page for submission.

5. Is your cache a multi-cache or puzzle cache? If so, report all of the coordinates of the additional stages or puzzle solution using the additional waypoints feature. I can't publish a cache without having all of the waypoints entered.

5b. If your cache is a puzzle cache then I may need to know some more information about it. If it's clear to me from the cache page that it is solvable from the cache page and that the answer is merely a set of numbers then you're probably ok. If your cache page contains some encrypted text, or I can't tell the method of solving it (and what the solution will yield) then I'll likely ask you for some more information regarding it - providing that information (such as any unencrypted text) up front will save us both some time.

6. Is your cache on private property? If so, be sure your description prominently states so and gives the name of the person who granted permission.

7. Be sure that the "Yes, this listing is active" check box on the submittal form is left unchecked until you are ready to have the cache reviewed. Then be sure it is checked when it is ready so that the submittal will appear in the review queue.

8. Each cache page should stand on it's own. For example, if you're submitting a series of caches that are 150 miles from your home coordinates and someone else will be maintaining for you, please include that information on each cache page. While I'll get the idea after the first one, it may appear very odd to me or someone else down the road when we look at a cache page that doesn't have the information on it.

9. On the same token, don't assume I know or remember certain unique characteristics about you. While I continually am meeting more and more people over the years, I often forget some of the little details. For example, if you regularly travel the route between Rochester and Moorhead, don't assume I'll remember that when you try and place a cache far from your home coordinates. Include the note on each cache page (that's what copy/paste is for).

10. If you disable your cache for maintenance, please resolve the situation in less than 3 months. Caches that are disabled for 3 months go on my 'disabled list' and require extra work on my behalf to follow up on.

11. If the terrain of your cache is 1 then please either add the wheelchair attribute if applicable or change it to something higher than 1. Terrain of 1 indicates that it should be wheelchair accessible - if the attribute isn't included then it's an extra couple of steps for me to remind you.

12. Choose a container size. Sometimes you don't want to, and this is fine, but don't skip this choice out of laziness. If you don't choose a container size then it's an extra couple of steps for me to remind you.

13. Read the current guidelines.

If you send me an email, it's very helpful to include the GCxxxxx code as well as a link to the cache page. Including the link saves me a number of extra clicks. Also, it helps me to keep things straight if you send the email to my MN.Fruitcake account, not my Pear Head account.

If you don't tell me what cache you're emailing me about then it's pretty unlikely that I'll know. I deal with 20-50+ cache listings every day, so it's pretty rare that I remember any one in particular.

I also happen to have a life outside of geocaching. For times when I plan on being gone for a few days I'll typically ask another reviewer to come in and take a look at listings as time allows.

Many (most) of the reviewer notes I use are templates, written for specific circumstances (ie. proximity issues or commercial content). Keep that in mind when you read them. No, I didn't write that whole reviewer note just for you (usually Wink).

And remember that I'm human, and make mistakes. I may incorrectly disable or archive your cache, or I may incorrectly publish a cache that I shouldn't have. Email me and we'll sort it out. It's my goal to assess each cache on it's own, fairly, regardless of the owner or any previous issues that have come up.

While I'll entertain questions about generic issues here, I won't entertain disputes (which are best left to email). I'll ask that the moderators keep a tight reign on the thread and don't hesitate to split threads off that may develop.


Last edited by MN.Fruitcake on Tue Nov 30, 2010 4:12 pm; edited 1 time in total
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timewellspent
Geocacher


Joined: 19 Mar 2008

Posts: 705

PostPosted: Thu Nov 18, 2010 8:33 am    Post subject: Re: MN cache reviewing Reply with quote

MN.Fruitcake wrote:
Most of you that either watch new cache listings or submit a lot of caches have probably already figured out that I do most of my reviewing in the late afternoon and evening, Sunday through Thursday. I don't typically review on Fridays or Saturdays, nor do I do much during the day. Thus if you submit a cache or send me an email on Friday morning, know that it may be a couple of days before I get back to you.

I also happen to have a life outside of geocaching. While I try to get listings published inside of 24 hours (except on Friday and Saturday), sometimes I may be gone for an extra day, be sick for a couple of days, etc. For times when I plan on being gone for a few days I'll typically ask another reviewer to come in and take a look at listings as time allows.


Thanks for pointing this out. I know we got used to things with SJ and even though you didn't have to explain when you typically review, it is nice to know.

You are doing a great job and as you know, we all do appreciate you stepping up to take on such a time demanding volunteer position!
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sir_zman
Past MnGCA Board


Joined: 30 Jun 2005

Posts: 1763

PostPosted: Thu Nov 18, 2010 10:54 am    Post subject: Re: MN cache reviewing Reply with quote

MN.Fruitcake wrote:
cache pages deal with the commercial content of the cache pages and the proximity requirements (this is mostly from new cachers). If your cache page displays a commercial icon, logo, link, name, etc, etc, etc, chances are it's going to be a problem. If you aren't sure then I'd suggest changing it to remove the problem before submitting.


I remember hearing something recently on a podcast from a reviewer or maybe it was a quote from someone, but it was on this point. They had said that it wasn't against the rules to have commercial name, as long as you were trying to sell something...for instance, saying "Behind Wallmart" would be ok, but saying, "Stop in the Wallmart and buy a GPSr" wouldn't be.

Is this your understanding of the rules, or did I misunderstand what they said. The main question I have (and I haven't had to deal with this) so I don't know how this impacts this rule; is if I host an event and have a few sponsors send door prizes, can I say Door Prizes provided by XXX, XXX, XXX? If that is ok, does it matter if the name is in text or if their logo is used?

While I'm on the subject, I was never clear on this with Surfer Joe and never asked, but if the Twin Cities GeoCaching PodCast wants to host an event, is that allowed, or are Podcasts grouped in with businesses?
E.g. TCGPC Summer Slamdown or "The Twin Cities GeoCaching PodCast Winter Warmup - enjoy some hot coco and listen to us record a live show"

Thanks!
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bflentje
Geocacher


Joined: 29 May 2006

Posts: 4041

PostPosted: Thu Nov 18, 2010 11:22 am    Post subject: Re: MN cache reviewing Reply with quote

sir_zman wrote:
MN.Fruitcake wrote:
cache pages deal with the commercial content of the cache pages and the proximity requirements (this is mostly from new cachers). If your cache page displays a commercial icon, logo, link, name, etc, etc, etc, chances are it's going to be a problem. If you aren't sure then I'd suggest changing it to remove the problem before submitting.


I remember hearing something recently on a podcast from a reviewer or maybe it was a quote from someone, but it was on this point. They had said that it wasn't against the rules to have commercial name, as long as you were trying to sell something...for instance, saying "Behind Wallmart" would be ok, but saying, "Stop in the Wallmart and buy a GPSr" wouldn't be.

Is this your understanding of the rules, or did I misunderstand what they said. The main question I have (and I haven't had to deal with this) so I don't know how this impacts this rule; is if I host an event and have a few sponsors send door prizes, can I say Door Prizes provided by XXX, XXX, XXX? If that is ok, does it matter if the name is in text or if their logo is used?

While I'm on the subject, I was never clear on this with Surfer Joe and never asked, but if the Twin Cities GeoCaching PodCast wants to host an event, is that allowed, or are Podcasts grouped in with businesses?
E.g. TCGPC Summer Slamdown or "The Twin Cities GeoCaching PodCast Winter Warmup - enjoy some hot coco and listen to us record a live show"

Thanks!


I too am hoping to have the commercial cache issue resolved. I will have no problem on your position so long as it is equally applied. If pizza party events are allowed in the way they are currently listed, it would only be fair that we can also refer to the existence of an outfitter during a canoe event. Evil or Very Mad Yep, you've figured out that it bothers me.
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bflentje
Geocacher


Joined: 29 May 2006

Posts: 4041

PostPosted: Thu Nov 18, 2010 11:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

And where do you stand on cemetery caches? Private, public and abandonded..
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MN.Fruitcake
Minnesota Reviewer


Joined: 18 Oct 2010

Posts: 35

PostPosted: Thu Nov 18, 2010 11:36 am    Post subject: Re: MN cache reviewing Reply with quote

Commercial content is perhaps the biggest issue at the moment for me. It's (admittedly) a tough one for me to deal with at times too, so my approach has been a strict interpretation of the guidelines.

Also, FYI, I'm not able to make exceptions here at all. If an exception needs to be made it needs to be done through Groundspeak.

sir_zman wrote:

I remember hearing something recently on a podcast from a reviewer or maybe it was a quote from someone, but it was on this point. They had said that it wasn't against the rules to have commercial name, as long as you were trying to sell something...for instance, saying "Behind Wallmart" would be ok, but saying, "Stop in the Wallmart and buy a GPSr" wouldn't be.

Is this your understanding of the rules, or did I misunderstand what they said.


I don't know some of the history of the rules, so they could have changed from when you heard this. Currently (and I don't forsee this changing) you pretty much can't have a name, logo, etc in/on the cache page with little exception. "Behind Walmart" would likely need to be changed (it depends on the context although I can't think of anything right now that would make this work).

Basically it comes down to product placement. Companies pay lots of money to have their products/name slipped into movies, etc, and Groundspeak wants to be careful that they aren't slipped into cache pages the same way I think. The easiest way to enforce it is to do my best to attempt to enforce it equally across the board.

This can also be an issue without using a business name. "Check out the awesome restaurant here" or "they serve great steaks inside" for example.

Quote:
The main question I have (and I haven't had to deal with this) so I don't know how this impacts this rule; is if I host an event and have a few sponsors send door prizes, can I say Door Prizes provided by XXX, XXX, XXX? If that is ok, does it matter if the name is in text or if their logo is used?


*I believe* (this is off the top of my head although I know there's guidance on it) that saying thanks to xxx for the door prizes should be ok. Links and logos wouldn't be.

Quote:
While I'm on the subject, I was never clear on this with Surfer Joe and never asked, but if the Twin Cities GeoCaching PodCast wants to host an event, is that allowed, or are Podcasts grouped in with businesses?
E.g. TCGPC Summer Slamdown or "The Twin Cities GeoCaching PodCast Winter Warmup - enjoy some hot coco and listen to us record a live show"


I don't think I'd see a problem with it versus the MnGCA hosting an event. I'd have to evaluate it based on the cache page submitted, but as a geocache organization (and one that isn't in it for a profit), I don't see a problem with it on the surface.

Keep in mind all of this is based on today's guidelines as I understand them. The guidelines may changed or I may become further educated down the road.
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MN.Fruitcake
Minnesota Reviewer


Joined: 18 Oct 2010

Posts: 35

PostPosted: Thu Nov 18, 2010 11:43 am    Post subject: Re: MN cache reviewing Reply with quote

bflentje wrote:
I too am hoping to have the commercial cache issue resolved. I will have no problem on your position so long as it is equally applied. If pizza party events are allowed in the way they are currently listed, it would only be fair that we can also refer to the existence of an outfitter during a canoe event. Evil or Very Mad Yep, you've figured out that it bothers me.


I knew it bothered you. I never saw that particular cache page so I can't really comment on it - we'd just have to deal with it as it comes up.

I believe there are some differences between an event at a business location (such as an OCB) and an event that's not. I don't really want to debate it here, but I will say that I don't intend on basing new decision solely from old ones. I may use information that I've learned to make a new educated decision, but just because it didn't work once doesn't mean it wouldn't a second time. Each case is a new case, and it will be my attempt to apply the guidelines each time.

In cases where I'm not sure or my radar is going off I'll often refer it to other reviewers for a second opinion.


Last edited by MN.Fruitcake on Thu Nov 18, 2010 11:49 am; edited 1 time in total
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MN.Fruitcake
Minnesota Reviewer


Joined: 18 Oct 2010

Posts: 35

PostPosted: Thu Nov 18, 2010 11:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

bflentje wrote:
And where do you stand on cemetery caches? Private, public and abandonded..


SJ required proof before publishing - I'm maintaining that stance.

Abandonded is interesting and I haven't dealt with it yet that I know of. There is still an underlying property owner however so I guess the approach would probably be the same.

A little explaination for those that may not understand this:

Cemeteries are unique in that a lot of people don't feel geocaches belong in them. Personally I'm mixed - I've seen some very poor placements and I've seen some very well done placements. My feelings aren't the issue though. It's my guess and understanding that very *very* few cemeteries will knowingly allow geocaches on their property. Knowing that this group of land managers will almost exclusively deny caches makes me want proof that the cache is allowed there. The guidelines require that you obtain adequate permission, so it shouldn't be an issue to provide that permission (which you certainly have obtained).
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EPMinnesota
Past MnGCA Board


Joined: 13 Apr 2006

Posts: 1944

PostPosted: Thu Nov 18, 2010 11:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What about caches in/on park benches, bus stops, guardrails, streetsigns, etc. that are on a main boulevard/hwy on city easement property meaning between the sidewalk and the street either in an industrial/business/residential/church area?
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MN.Fruitcake
Minnesota Reviewer


Joined: 18 Oct 2010

Posts: 35

PostPosted: Thu Nov 18, 2010 11:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

EPMinnesota wrote:
What about caches in/on park benches, bus stops, guardrails, streetsigns, etc. that are on a main boulevard/hwy on city easement property meaning between the sidewalk and the street either in an industrial/business/residential/church area?


I'm not aware of Groundspeak or the guidelines saying that they aren't allowed. I'm assuming that cachers have adequate permission to place caches there.

The only exception to this would be that I won't knowingly publish caches placed in/on utility poles. These are private property. Some view it as defacing the pole - that it's no different than putting a nail or a hole in a tree, dead or alive. Power poles are expensive to buy and replace for the power company (or whomever owns it) - adding to the degredation of the pole (even in a minor amount) doesn't help us as a community.

Basically I don't plan on making any changes from the way SJ did things. I respect him and and the way he looked at things and plan on continuing to the best of my ability, changing as the rules and other guidance changes.
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spinowner
Geocacher


Joined: 25 Nov 2004

Posts: 586

PostPosted: Thu Nov 18, 2010 1:53 pm    Post subject: Re: MN cache reviewing Reply with quote

MN.Fruitcake wrote:
6. Is your cache on private property? If so, be sure your description prominently states so


Having been stopped more than once by a property owner while caching has made this a pet peeve of mine. I'm glad to know the part I've italicized is something you pay attention to.
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MN.Fruitcake
Minnesota Reviewer


Joined: 18 Oct 2010

Posts: 35

PostPosted: Tue Nov 30, 2010 4:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I added three items today:

MN.Fruitcake wrote:
10. If you disable your cache for maintenance, please resolve the situation in less than 3 months. Caches that are disabled for 3 months go on my 'disabled list' and require extra work on my behalf to follow up on.

11. If the terrain of your cache is 1 then please either add the wheelchair attribute if applicable or change it to something higher than 1. Terrain of 1 indicates that it should be wheelchair accessible - if the attribute isn't included then it's an extra couple of steps for me to remind you.

12. Choose a container size. Sometimes you don't want to, and this is fine, but don't skip this choice out of laziness. If you don't choose a container size then it's an extra couple of steps for me to remind you.
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Rustynails
Geocacher


Joined: 27 Oct 2009

Posts: 788

PostPosted: Wed Dec 01, 2010 11:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

MN.Fruitcake wrote:
I added three items today:

MN.Fruitcake wrote:
10. If you disable your cache for maintenance, please resolve the situation in less than 3 months. Caches that are disabled for 3 months go on my 'disabled list' and require extra work on my behalf to follow up on.



What about caches that are not winter friendly? I temp disable one because I don't want some one looking for it and not finding it. In our part of the world 3 months is two short.
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WestSideDaddy
Past MnGCA Board


Joined: 06 Apr 2010

Posts: 561

PostPosted: Wed Dec 01, 2010 12:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wondering if this would be useful to move as an article in the tech articles. That way you can maintain the full list and users don't have to scan through pages (eventually) of posts and comments to see the full list of review observations?
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MN.Fruitcake
Minnesota Reviewer


Joined: 18 Oct 2010

Posts: 35

PostPosted: Wed Dec 01, 2010 4:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rustynails wrote:
MN.Fruitcake wrote:
I added three items today:

MN.Fruitcake wrote:
10. If you disable your cache for maintenance, please resolve the situation in less than 3 months. Caches that are disabled for 3 months go on my 'disabled list' and require extra work on my behalf to follow up on.



What about caches that are not winter friendly? I temp disable one because I don't want some one looking for it and not finding it. In our part of the world 3 months is two short.


I indirectly answered this here:

http://mngca.org/forum/viewtopic.php?p=76321#76321

Basically, disabling a cache is a maintenance issue, not because the cache is under the snow (or ice) or the area isn't accessible. Just add that information to the cache page instead.
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