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Ode to the Virtual Cache

If you listen to our show #8, we discuss finding three virtual caches on our bookended weekend adventure in the Colorado mountains. For those of you unfamiliar to the virtual cache, these we available for listing on geocaching.com as “…exists in a form of a location. Depending on the cache “hider,” a virtual cache could be to answer a question about a location, an interesting spot, a task, etc. The reward for these caches is the location itself and sharing information about your visit.
Because of the nature of these geocaches, you must actually visit the location and acquire the coordinates there before you can post. In addition, although many locations are interesting, a virtual cache should be out of the ordinary enough to warrant logging a visit.” (Source:geocaching.com)
A few years ago, the site was reorganized, and a companion Groundspeak site, waymarking.com, was created for tracking and logging of ‘virtuals’ and ‘webcam’ caches. This site describes waymarks as ‘a way to mark unique locations on the planet and give them a voice.” (source:waymarking.com)
Existing virtual caches on geocaching.com were ‘grandfathered’ and are available even today to visit and log.
I would like to see the return of the virtual cache for the following reasons:
1) Many geocachers have physical limitations that prevent them from finding may geocaches that are hidden. I always love it when a listing states that the cache is handicap accessible, ‘except for the last few feet’. A cache is either handicap accessible or not!! By having virtiuals at historical monuments, plaques, or building; many of these locations are ADA compliant.
2) This would be good for Groundspeak from a public relations standpoint. Promoting the monuments. statues, and plaques that honor America.
3) I would prefer not to have to manage my visits on more then one site. The problem that I see with waymarking.com is that there is different logging requirements for different categories. In some cases the same location is listed under multiple categories!
4) waymarking.com does not have GPX file export. It would be useful if I knew what the logging requirements were BEFORE I got to the location.
How to bring back the virtual cache? The placement of earthcaches was standardized with the formation of earthcache.org This forced placers earthcaches to incorporate a ‘learning element’ into the proper logging of the cache. We can do the same thing with a virtual. A website like Roadside America can spearhead this effort in the setting of standards for new virtuals.
This important cache type should not be left to ‘die on the vine’.