Posted by: geonarcissa | June 1, 2009

An addendum to yesterday’s post…

Just posted a comment to an article I complained about yesterday. It’s popped up a few times on Twitter since my post, and it’s been irking me despite the venting I’ve already done. Here’s what I had to say:

Some parts of this article are misleading and likely confusing for readers not already familiar with geocaching and/or GPS. Geocachers don’t look for “prizes,” and there are no “clues” transmitted from space.

What geocachers look for is a geocache – a hidden container that contains a logbook. The container may or may not contain other items, and occasionally there are “prizes” associated with some geocaches, but, generally speaking, we’re looking for the container itself so we can sign the logbook and claim the find. Other items in the geocache are a secondary consideration. The word “prizes” is a particularly dangerous word to use because it connotes value, and could make geocaches vulnerable to theft and vandalism.

The GPS satellite system transmits signals that a GPS receiver uses to calculate its location on earth. That’s what comes from space. The specific coordinates for geocaches come from the internet – not from space.

It’s great to see geocaching in the media, but a little frustrating to see it inaccurately described. Inaccuracies confuse potential new geocachers, and contribute to misperceptions about what we do. Geocachers often have to struggle to keep the game allowed on public land, at least in part because land managers read articles like this and make policy decisions based on incorrect information about what geocaching really is.

I think I covered all the bases, at least as far as my personal concerns go. I’d be interested to know if any readers out there have anything to add. Or maybe you disagree with me! I welcome, and, indeed, INVITE your commentary.



  1. Hi there,

    Nice blog, and I agree 100%, this great hobby of ours is often made into something it’s not, because people don’t get it.
    It’s not about the contents of the cache – it’s about finding the cache.

    Many thanks
    John & Bex


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