ExplorOz Geocaching?

Submitted: Friday, Jan 18, 2013 at 16:14
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I just stumbled across a reference to Geocoins (on the internet), which made me revisit a suggestion we've had to setup an ExplorOz geocaching system for Members. Can a geocaching expert point me to some useful resources, information, ideas etc? Or are there any volunteers who want to scope and plan the project? Coming at this cold but think it would have great potential in more ways than one.

thanks Michelle,
Michelle Martin
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Reply By: Moira S (NSW) - Friday, Jan 18, 2013 at 16:49

Friday, Jan 18, 2013 at 16:49
Hi Michelle,

We often combine a bit of geocaching with 4wd ing. The main centre is here http://www.geocaching.com . I particularly like it for the information that you get about the area & history in the cache as the cachee is usually proud of their area/spot

Good luck,

Moira
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Follow Up By: Steve B15 - Friday, Jan 18, 2013 at 16:53

Friday, Jan 18, 2013 at 16:53
geocaching.com is a good place to start for this sort of stuff.
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Follow Up By: Bookleaf - Saturday, Jan 19, 2013 at 21:23

Saturday, Jan 19, 2013 at 21:23
Geocoins are a minted metal coin, usually round and about the size of a 10 cent piece, made much like pin badges you by from tourist spots. Most are 2 sided, multi colored on one side, engraved or stamped on the revers. They become collection items amongst Geocachers. Those enthusiastically involved in Geocaching usually have them made and usually give or swap these to fellow geocachers. The design on the coin usually is that of the avatar of the cacher, and the cacher's caching name. They are also often left in caches they have found for the next finder of the cache.
On special Geocaching events, the organisers may have a geocoin minted to depict the event, and is only obtainable by attendance at the event.
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Reply By: equinox - Friday, Jan 18, 2013 at 17:52

Friday, Jan 18, 2013 at 17:52
Hi Michelle,

I've been a member of Geocaching.com since 2002

Theres an aussie forum : http://forum.geocaching.com.au/
aussie page: http://geocaching.com.au/

I joined initially because I thought it would be a challenge, which it was at the time. I tried 3 times to get the longest unfound aussie cache at Queen Victoria Spring only to be beaten by a month when I eventually got there.

I've put a couple of hard ones out there (I cancelled one at Helena Spring as it would have deteriorated before anyone found it). My one at Nichols Knob was the longest unfound aussie cache for 3 and a half years before someone from overseas picked it up.

I'll grab the occasional one now if I happen to be driving past however have generally lost interest now because. 1. Aussie Geocachers in general don't seem to be very adventurous 2. It seems to have become more of a kids game, than an adult one.

Cheers
Alan

PS - there's still $E50 at the Nichols Knob cache but don't nick it, that's called muggling lol...

Looking for adventure.
In whatever comes our way.
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Follow Up By: The Explorer - Friday, Jan 18, 2013 at 18:28

Friday, Jan 18, 2013 at 18:28
Hi,

I see it as a great way to find an excuse to go somewhere you have never been (doesn't have to be out in the never never or super adventurous) and in this respect its "family' orientated. Great for a Sunday drive when you cant think of anything else to do...and its more about the journey and location than the cache itself - the cache doesn't have to be the one and only thing you do while out and about. Having said that I don't do it that often anymore either.

I do get the impression that many adults play the "game", some of whom appear to be fully "compulsive obsessive" (i.e. log all caches religiously and aim for 100, 1000 etc and proclaim loudly on forums when achieved) which is a bit weird ...but as long as they are happy who am I to criticise :)

As far as Exploroz goes - maybe there could be a series of custom geocoins or similar (not up to speed on what options are available). I suppose you could have a series of Exploroz named caches. I dont think it would be worth while having a stand alone caching group - the caches would have to be part (subset) of those listed on Geocache.com and/or Geocache Australia (though I note Garmin have started a separate series of caches as well ( OpenCaching ) not sure how popular it is in Australia give presence of two others already)

Cheers
Greg



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Follow Up By: ExplorOz Team - Michelle - Friday, Jan 18, 2013 at 18:53

Friday, Jan 18, 2013 at 18:53
Thanks Greg, can you please elaborate on the reasoning why it wouldn't be worth having a stand alone caching group? Whilst I'm "aware" of these sites by name and sight, I've never used them so don't yet fully have an appreciation of why the concept couldn't be used in our Places system for example. I was just thinking of keeping it closed to ExplorOz Members and yes liked the idea of having custom EO geocoins made up. How cool would that be!? Or is it more fun when there's variety of what the caches themselves are - is that the idea?
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Follow Up By: The Explorer - Friday, Jan 18, 2013 at 19:25

Friday, Jan 18, 2013 at 19:25
Hi

Maybe I was being pessimistic - lack of participation maybe a killer and that was my initial thought on why it may not be worth the effort ...but that was just my opinion (after 1 minute of thought). Suppose it depends how everyone embraces it which is not something I could predict. Place could be teeming with active/would be geocachers for all I know. Can I withdraw my comment?

As an existing geocacher (once in a while) I obviously know how much fun it can be, so having an Exploroz based one is not a bad idea. All you need is something integrated into the website that is the same as the other geocaching websites...Users submit caches (coords/description), finders submits "log" of find - easy....plus some rules of course. Being able to download caches to GPX file with coords/description/logs is also the current standard so ability to do that is essential.

Some integration with geocaching iPhone and Android apps would also be handy for all those smartphone users out there i.e. live cache updates/downloads.

So - Go For It...Get Dave onto it - he's probably got nothing to do :)

Cheers
Greg
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Follow Up By: The Explorer - Friday, Jan 18, 2013 at 19:37

Friday, Jan 18, 2013 at 19:37
...By the way a "cache" can be anything from a large ammo container/20L bucket to a film canister (I generally use lunch box size container or 5 liter bucket with lid). Minimum contents - some way of recording visit i.e. note pad or bit of paper. People also throw in small toys/stubby holders/key rings/other useless stuff + geocoins etc . They also uses Trig points as "caches" - but no actual cache. You just go there and log your visit online. Could do that with Exploroz places I suppose and see who is "most" traveled.

Cheers
Greg
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Follow Up By: ExplorOz Team - Michelle - Friday, Jan 18, 2013 at 19:37

Friday, Jan 18, 2013 at 19:37
Exactly, that's why I thought this would be so easy for us - 1. we have the right audience and people out there travelling to use it, and 2. ExplorOz Places already has these functions, just need to add the data layer to specifically show only "caches", and present it differently so its obvious & simple.

And yes, you're right. David will probably kill me when he read this post. LOL
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Follow Up By: ExplorOz Team - Michelle - Friday, Jan 18, 2013 at 19:45

Friday, Jan 18, 2013 at 19:45
Thanks Greg for all your input. I just needed someone on the same page as me to get some of my basic issues covered. I'll put some time into reviewing the Geocaching.com site etc and see what we come up. Definitely think we'd encourage this as a tangible caching project where there is a canister to find. Wouldn't it be cool if the geocoin was left with the cache at all times and had something in it you scanned like a barcode into your phone that tagged you to the site?! Or maybe we (and our helpers) place geocoins into the caches at each site that people collect as keepsakes. Maybe each Member gets a geocoin when they join and you try to build up your supply of geocoins by chasing caches. Just tossing ideas around. If anyone else likes these ideas - please toss your ideas in too. I'll eventually work something out.
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Follow Up By: Bonz (Vic) - Friday, Jan 18, 2013 at 21:21

Friday, Jan 18, 2013 at 21:21
I have done a bit to a lot of this and even looked up a few at the Silverton gathering, I like the EO geocoin idea and reckon it would integrate with the Geocaching.com approach too, as a swap item!

Toonfish was started on them up there and is a geonut now!
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Reply By: Member - John L (WA) - Friday, Jan 18, 2013 at 20:07

Friday, Jan 18, 2013 at 20:07
Not a Geocacher but had lovely exchange of info with family poking under a rubbish bin outside my local theatre! They were geocaching & showed me the very small tin they found.
It leads to some interesting places in areas local & remote - I have been told there is a whole lot along the Great Central Road. Gives an excuse to pull off & walk around - smell the land (no roses out there!).
Perhaps we could buy 20 coins for a donation to RFDS, put our names on back, swap for a new one at each cache & see how many exploroz members we can collect!
Heather L.
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Reply By: Member - reggy 2 (VIC) - Friday, Jan 18, 2013 at 21:04

Friday, Jan 18, 2013 at 21:04
Hi Michelle
As a fellow Cacher I found a Geocoin on the Hay River it had not been found for 2 yrs
the container was not to be found the coin came from Nth Carolina .
So I put it back in to transit on the east coast of NSW.
It is now in NewZealand you can keep track of the coins when you log on to the Geocacheing site once you register.
In you home town log on to the site and look at how many caches are there it will surprise you as to the amount caches there.
I also incorporate it when we go to desert/bush
It's good fun and as said it gets you to look more closely at the surrounds.
A OZ Coin would be good in circulation (or many).
cheers reggy2
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Reply By: setsujoku - Friday, Jan 18, 2013 at 22:51

Friday, Jan 18, 2013 at 22:51
I've been caching since 2004, and whilst it has taken me to so many great places that I would have never known about, it is also how I met my wife.
There is a lot to be gained from caching, and there isn't a right way to play it. There are guide lines, but not rules, so everyone does it how they want.

I've got over 3300 finds, and whilst I can remember most of them, there are some really great ones that stand out, especially when you get to a place and see that without caching you would probably have a hard time even knowing the place existed, let alone how to get there.

The geocaching.com site is the main one across the world, whilst the .au site does have listings, it is mainly used for it's forums and wiki.
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Reply By: Member -Toonfish - Saturday, Jan 19, 2013 at 09:15

Saturday, Jan 19, 2013 at 09:15
Great idea we are into geocaching in a big way "the toonies"
I would certainly use eo geo coins on our trip around oz from next week
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Reply By: ExplorOz Team - Michelle - Saturday, Jan 19, 2013 at 13:21

Saturday, Jan 19, 2013 at 13:21
So I downloaded the free Geocaching iphone app ('cause I don't have a handheld gps anymore) & gathered the kids together last night after finding a few caches on Geocaching.com.au within walking distance of my home. Instead of finding the cache (in the park and seems to have a history of going missing) we found a sticker with a barcode from a different geocaching mob ! Scanned it with my QR reader on my iPhone and my find was automatically logged to their system (so I joined that and downloaded their app too). Told David about the barcode sticker and he liked this idea - so simple and would be much cheaper to produce than the geocoins (even if we did get them done in China - as you'd need so many). People could order the stickers through the shop, then lay your own caches. Could still be be stuck onto a cache container, or the sticker could be placed under a seat, back of a sign, etc. Geez, what have I started?! LOL
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Follow Up By: setsujoku - Saturday, Jan 19, 2013 at 14:04

Saturday, Jan 19, 2013 at 14:04
That sounds more like you found a Munzee, rather than anything to do with caching.
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Follow Up By: ExplorOz Team - Michelle - Saturday, Jan 19, 2013 at 20:55

Saturday, Jan 19, 2013 at 20:55
Yes indeed it was a Munzee a finds a find :)
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Follow Up By: Bookleaf - Saturday, Jan 19, 2013 at 21:10

Saturday, Jan 19, 2013 at 21:10
Yes indeed you did find a Munzee. Munzee is the latest "catch-on" world search game using a smart phone. I was thinking of it when a previous poster mentioned maybe scanning something when at a spot.
This is exactly how the Munzee game works. There is no actual cache container but rather a QR code sticker that you can produce your self on your home laser printer. (a QR code is those squares you now see every where with a series of black and white dots in the square. These dots are coded for whatever information you want to put on the QR code. Most contain an Email address to take you to the companies web site. In the case of Munzees, the QR code contains the Email address of "Munzee headquarters - in the USA" - main server, and a reference number to the Munzee you just scanned. Software on the server updates your profile to show you found this Munzee, updates your tally of finds and allocates "find" points to increase your find score")
Munzees are usually placed out of site by the creator, for others to find using the GPS on their smart phones and dedicated Munzee software. It is free and world wide.
Like Caching, I do not think the existing operators would be interested in setting up a select side group, just for ExploreOZ people. - far to complicated and would mean the opening of a door for any common minded group applying to do the same, so taking away the concept of "free, fun FOR ALL"

Both Caching and Munzees are fun to participate in though ( I participate in both).
Good thought (Caching or Munzees), but I think just a little too much work needed behind the scenes to get it running
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Follow Up By: ExplorOz Team - Michelle - Saturday, Jan 19, 2013 at 23:01

Saturday, Jan 19, 2013 at 23:01
Yep Munzee was obvious actually thanks and we don't need to use any other existing system actually as we could use the existing technology of ExplorOz Places by mobile etc we just need to make the user interface. He's designed QR code production for clients previously too so there's no technology limitation to get this happening if we think people would use it. We could actually print the QR codes on UV resistant sticker sheets for people to get via mail order from us or chose to download and self print if preferred. The tags could still be put on a canister cache or not depending on the person creating the cache. In fact we can load a QR code downloadable on every ExplorOz Place page to get the system started with 80,000 of them! Visitors to a Place location could therefore tag it by taking a geo pic and sending to Places (via the mobile Place uploader that's been on this site for years) which is already a feature in Members MyPlaces. So if we launch this, our system could be a combination of all these collectables and methods.
Michelle Martin
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