Yesterday Morning, Clyde posted new geocache logging guidelines in his GSAK Forum. These guidelines were outlined in an email from Groundspeak to its API partners.
These new guidelines are sure to shake things up and spark some real controversy among geocachers. but will they make the game a better game?
The new geocache logging guidelines from the Groundspeak email
The first area of change regards the log types supported by Geocaching. They include:
We believe that enforcing these will streamline the core logging structure of the game, resolve long-standing requests for these changes from our community, and reduce confusion for our newer community members.
So this will clearly affect both hiders and finders.
New multiple geocache logging guidelines.
Many players have been calling for guidelines prohibiting multiple logging for years. This topic springs up in forums where geocachers hang out on a regular basis.
For some cachers, the very idea of logging a cache multiple times is nothing short of cheating. They see it as a way to artificially inflate find counts and geocaching stats. These cachers see it is an unfair advantage over others who compare these numbers but do not log caches more than once each.
Some cache owners have noted that recently many new geocachers inadvertently double log caches. Often this is down to unfamiliarity with the game and with the smartphone apps. I have noticed this trend with my own caches. So I routinely delete the double log for new cachers. Then they have one less to chase down later when they realize what has happened. Obviously, a block preventing the second log will alleviate this need.
Not that Did Not Find (DNF) logs are not included here. Presumably, you will still be able to log multiple DNFs on a cache.
Purposely multi-find geocaches
There are some geocaches out there that are intended by the cache owner to be found multiple times. Many are challenge caches encouraging people to perform multiple other tasks or visit multiple locations. Then geocachers are allowed to claim a find for each of these tasks or locations.
There is a cache in Forest Park in St. Loius which is a multi-cache that invites cachers to hide the final container in a new location. Then they leave new coordinates and hints in the starting container. After it has been rehidden by ten or more other geocachers, cachers are invited to find and log the cache again.
Many of these caches have hundreds of favorite points and tens of thousands of finds.
Going by comments from reviewers and forum moderators it seems unlikely that Groundspeak has any intentions of grandfathering these caches. Making exceptions to the new geocache logging guidelines for them doesn’t seem to be on the table. But what is completely unknown is whether Groundspeak will identify and remove multiple logs that already exist on these caches.
New owner geocache logging
Also included are new cache logging guidelines for cache owners. They will no longer ba able to log Finds, DNFs, Webcam Photo Taken, Needs Maintenance, or Needs Archived logs on their own caches.
Again, many geocachers have been calling for new geocache logging guidelines prohibiting cache owners from logging their own caches. Very few geocachers seem to actively do this, and fewer probably are willing to admit to it. Many cachers look on anyone who does this with scorn, and not many are willing to risk the ill will of such a large portion of the geocaching community.
Attended and will attend logs are specifically absent from the list of types that cache owners may not use on their own caches. Presumably, we will still be welcome to log these for our own events.
Some argue, and I agree, that logging a needs maintenance on your own cache can be helpful. It might take a couple of days to get around to performing that maintenance, so this cache log lets people know there is an issue in the mean time. I’m not sure what the reason is to block this particular log type.
I can’t think why any owner would log a needs archived on their own cache. But The block could serve to prevent accidental NA logs by cache owners and that’s a good thing.