A long time ago, I gave up rushing out the door for first to finds for newly placed geocaches.
I don’t mind grabbing an FTF here and there, but I usually avoid doing it right away, especially being as many of the caches in our area are published at night. I always worry I might miss what the cache owner wanted to show a geocacher if I go at night and can’t see what’s around me.
Still, when a notice comes in the e-mail, I like to see where they are. If it’s a park-and-grab and it’s close or something, I might be tempted to go check it out and see if it’s something I might be interested in getting at, even after dark.
So, when a new geocache popped up Tuesday night and wasn’t too far from me, I got interested.
The description was short and to the point — and made me think it was in an area where I might be willing to go check it out and see if I could snag an FTF.
this has always been one of my avorite spots to just come and sit it is in the middle of a neighborhood and muggle activity can be rather high but it also has its moments of relaxing quiet time and you can sit listen to the water and just think.
That made me definitely think it was somewhere near a small park, or something near a small river or creek etc. However, one thing I always do is check the satellite view — especially being as this was showing being off any main roads or out of any villages.
Though something like this rests on the cache owner, it’s an honest mistake. I’ve done it. I’m sure many others have done it. It happens. A slip of the finger when typing in coordinates can make things really crazy.
But it seems like, sometimes, the review process doesn’t pick up on things like this.
A couple of years ago, I placed a cache. I switched a number somewhere that put the cache in a different location. For some reason, I didn’t check the cache page and see where the map showed things.
Soon after, I got an e-mail from the area reviewer asking me if I was sure this was the location for the geocache because it was many miles from my home base and didn’t seem to match my description.
Sure enough, he or she was right.
One problem with the reviewers in New York State is that they are anonymous. It’s not like they are the only reviewers who choose to remain nameless when doing a thankless job like this, but it makes it difficult to see if they’ve switched reviewers or something along those lines — especially if they reviewer name goes with the “territory.”
This time, this cache got through despite not being in the user’s area and not really matching the description. I’ve been working on another blog post in regard to reviewing and things that seem wacky in our state, but that will be saved for another time. I’ve met other reviewers who don’t mind having people know who they are. After all, it’s almost like a checks and balance thing — but I’ll save that for the future blog post, too.
This time, the cache got through.
When I saw it and matched things up, I decided to e-mail the cache owner. A little while later, I received an e-mail saying that the coordinates were wrong because he had swapped a number.
He then disabled the geocache and will be changing the coordinates. If it’s a certain distance, it requires a reviewer to make the change, not the cache owner.
The cache was nearly 100 miles from where it was originally published — or as noted when the coordinates were changed: Distance from original: 364812.8 feet or 111194.9 meters.
As I said, an honest mistake. It happens.
This is a good lesson, however. Always double- and triple-check your coordinates. Look at the map and make sure it looks like it’s in the right spot. You have ways of checking things before you hit that submit button. One digit can be the difference between hiding a cache or having people maybe going in the wrong spot — 100 miles away.
I learned this lesson the hard way, as do others. Hopefully nobody is out in the woods looking for this geocache that was put in our area, despite not being there. And hopefully, lessons have been learned!
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UU Jester says
Thanks, PJ. I saw this pop up and even though I’m away at a seminar, I looked it up. I read the description and then pulled up the map. Something seemed off, so I deleted the email and forgot about it. I’ve been there– one wrong digit is easy to do. The “view on map” function has saved me more than once.
Yep, it seemed off and I figured if I could get the guy an e-mail, it would help. Turns out it was in Port Jervis.
I know I haven’t been very active lately. (Lots of things going on, unfortunately.) But, I usually will pull up the email on my phone, which I can click on the cache to bring it up in the official app. From there I open it into google maps to see if it makes sense first. Also I do that to know the surrounding area before heading there to spot any potential problems. And yes, lately, it seems our new caches are always posting at night, which robs us of seeing things that going in daylight might offer. I will remember to triple check my coordinates when (if) I get the chance to put some of my own out later this year. I am a “numbers person” at my job, so its already a habit to check my work multiple times.
I always like to look at things on the map. Makes me see where things are. I don’t worry about potential problems for the most part, but it gives me an idea of what I could be up against. The red flag for me here was the description and the user name — one I had never seen. That usually makes me look. As for when they are posted — caches have always (since I’ve cached) seemed to come out at night. Sometimes, they hit early in the AM. But night always seemed to be popular. Triple-checking coordinates is always a good thing — but also remember to check when publishing, just to make sure things seem right-on.
Mrs. GeoK says
Great post. We goofed entering the coordinates for one of our first caches, too. Very embarassing – and hopefully never again.
Hope you don’t mind that I’ve referenced this post in the final instalment of our series on the topic of variables affecting handheld GPSr accuracy over at http://thegeoks.wordpress.com/2012/01/18/handheld-gps-receivers-variables-affecting-accuracy-and-implications-for-geocaching/
Mrs. GeoK recently posted..Handheld GPS Receivers: Variables Affecting Accuracy and Implications for Geocaching
Thanks for the note! And no problems on linking! Thanks!
I have noticed three new caches in my area with inaccurate coords since January 1st. Perhaps these cachers got a new GPS for Christmas and don’t yet know how to use it properly. One of these coords placed the cache in quite dangerous terrain which makes these errors very worrying.
I would imagine that this type of thing happens quite a bit around the holidays. People get a new toy, play a new game… and don’t get it fully right. How inaccurate are the coords though?