The Geocachers’ Creed

When placing or seeking geocaches, I will:
  1. Not endanger myself or others (examples)
  2. Observe all laws & rules of the area (examples)
  3. Respect property rights and seek permission where appropriate (examples)
  4. Avoid causing disruptions or public alarm (examples)
  5. Minimize my and others’ impact on the environment (examples)
  6. Be considerate of others (examples)
  7. Protect the integrity of the game pieces (examples)
Help Raise Awareness of the Geocachers’ Creed
Free downloads (brochure,  signature cards, etc.) are available on the Resources page.
The Geocachers’ Creed is a voluntary set of guidelines that describes how geocachers in general act.  It is not affiliated with any organization or listing site.  See

The Geocachers’ Creed is designed to help orient new players to the ethos of the geocaching community and to guide experienced players in questionable situations, so that everyone can enjoy geocaching!

Above the grey line, is an excerpt from the Geocachers’ Creed website, the entire contents of which can be viewed at www.geocreed.info. The “examples” and other links do work, but they take you to the actual geocreed.info site, opened in a new window. Please do read the bulleted examples for each of the seven “tenets”, as they’re called; they are very important (although not part of the Creed itself), just too long to reproduce here in this post.

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Memorial Day (and GW) weekend in the USA

Memorial Day weekend is coming up in The USA, where OpenCaching North America is based. Since we have many readers (and even users) from outside the USA, our “Memorial Day” is celebrated the last Monday in May of each year, and is for honoring the Men and Women who died while in the service of our armed forces. Please, if you’re an American take some time to remember and honor these Men and Women in some way of your own choosing during the long holiday weekend. You can read about the long history of our Memorial Day (once known as Decoration day) in this Wikipedia article.

There is no denying that Memorial Day weekend has, over the years, increasingly become known as the traditional start of the Summer vacation season here. And for the relatively new hobby of Geocaching, it has become one of two weekends designated for the holding of the American phenomenon known as GeoWoodstock, an annual Geocaching (Mega) event. It can also be held the nearest weekend to our July 4th Holiday, known as Independence day. The choice of which weekend is up to the organizers of the event. The Florida Geocaching Association, host of this years event, has chosen Memorial Day weekend, as have the majority of the hosting organizations over the years.

We won’t get into the history of GeoWoodstock too much here, because who knows, we could think about it a few weeks out next year, and actually have an interview with it’s founder! And yes, it was founded by one guy, who held the first one June 21st, 2003, at a Boy Scout Camp in Louisville, Kentucky.
 

Geocachers Unlimited logo

All these years later, GeoWoodstock XI (that would be the 11th edition, if you’re not into Roman Numerals), is being held Saturday, May 25th, 2013 at the Circle B Bar Reserve in Lakeland, Florida. Now for some shameless self-promotion! Geocachers Unlimited is a loose organization of Geocachers who use alternative Geocaching websites in addition to Geocaching.com. They can be found on Google+ and Facebook. They will be hosting the event Geocachers Unlimited Meetup @ The Mega listed on our website, as well as on Gpsgames.org, Terracaching.com and Navicache.com. This is usually a short event (the Blogger himself attended one at GeoWoodstock IX), but there is nothing “flash mob” about it. Just a meetup, as the name suggests. You can expect to see some moving caches loggable on our website passed around, as well as meeting site admin Dudley Grunt. The time of this event is 12:00 Noon.

Are you one of the thousands of Geocachers from all over the world attending GeoWoodstock XI in Lakeland, Florida, USA this weekend? If so, feel free to comment to this blog post, and share your experiences!    

Useful GW links:

 OpenCaching.us related links:

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    The Public Domain Geocaching Logo (and a blog redesign)

    This is the first in a two part series on “things in the public domain hammered out by the community in Geocaching forums.” No, really it is. Any guesses on what the next topic will be? Anyways, the proper name for the symbol above is the Leatherman Variant of the Public Domain Geocaching Logo. That name sounds a little long, and a little complex, but it’s easily explained. Public domain means people are free to copy and alter the logo as they wish, Leatherman is the Geocaching.com username of the Geocacher who designed it, and it’s a “variant” as it was one of several designs submitted. Submitted to whom, you ask? To a forum thread in the Groundspeak forums in October, 2002, that’s who. This thread appears to have been started because a lone Geocacher and a whole Statewide Geocaching organization were using the official trademarked Geocaching.com logo to put on their signature items, and were making alterations to that logo. Groundspeak decided that legally, they could not allow these alterations.


    Downloadable versions of the Leatherman Variant can be viewed on this website created by a participant in that 2002 thread. Obviously it was generally agreed upon to be the “best” logo submitted. You also see something called the “Gustaf Variant”. This variant has fallen into disuse, if it ever even was widely used, which I personally don’t believe it was. It should be rather obvious that our Opencaching.us logo uses the Leatherman variant “G”. The Leatherman variant with the yellow sun behind it was originally designed by our German friends at Opencaching.de and is used throughout the worldwide Opencaching network. Although we at Opencaching.us are actually in the process of changing ours to a yellow outline of North America, rather than the Sun. Where else have you seen the Leatherman variant? How about this blog last week? You can see it on the top of any page on Cacheface.com! Personally, the blogger prefers what is known as the “Sissy-n-CR clean version”, which you can see as a repeated pattern as the background image of his personal Twitter account.

    Note that the creator of that Groundspeak forum thread identifies himself as a corporate attorney in the first post of the thread. Nice to have an attorney who is a Geocacher around to give birth to such an idea. There is a usage and trademark information page regarding the official Geocaching.com logo. Note that it says those “terms constitute a legal agreement”. Groundspeak does not generally go after people who have used it for small numbers of signature swag or personal clothing items, but believe me, I’ve seen several violations over the years, be it in caches in the field, or at events. You should really be using the public domain Geocaching logo for your personal signature and clothing items. There is also some “legalspeak” on the bottom of the main page for the public domain logo, although it doesn’t go as far to say it constitutes a legal agreement, nor it is a Creative Commons License.


    This was announced over the weekend on our Twitter and Google+ accounts, but you may have noticed this blog has been redesigned! We tried to use “our colors” as seen on our website The colors were eyeballed though, couldn’t find the exact hexidecimal color codes on the server (yet, at least). We think it looks a lot better, especially the boxes in the sidebar. Feel free to contact us or post a comment on your own personal thoughts though. We also added the slide show widget to the sidebar. It currently contains 23 photos uploaded to our website. You may spot fellow OCNA Admin Dudley Grunt in a couple of them. You also may spot the blogger standing at the high point of Indiana in there too. These photos will be updated/changed on what we will refer to as a “regular basis”. In general, we reserve the right to add/subtract widgets to the sidebar on a whim.

    Any graphic arts wizards out there who would like to design a nice header for the top of the blog with a background image? (and sharper text?) We actually threw that one together in Microsoft Paint, and it could use some improvement. The OCUS logo is transparent. Please contact us regarding that matter, if you can help!

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    CacheFace.com: a dedicated social network for Geocachers

    Above is a screen shot from a profile page on CacheFace.com (click to enlarge). It also happens to be the profile of Paul Suggitt (Pilot Suggs), the creator and owner of the website, who has graciously agreed to be interviewed by this blog! CacheFace is, as stated in the post title, a dedicated social network for Geocachers, launched in 2012. You can read an excellent overview of all it’s features on the about-CacheFace page on their website. There are more screen shots of the site at the bottom of this blog post.

    OCNA BLOG: (Every one’s first question) Where are you from, how did you first hear of Geocaching, and when did you start?
    PAUL: I am from the North East coast of the UK, a town called Hartlepool and I got into Caching late in 2010 after my best friend Ian White (Ian D+P) mentioned it. After my first cache find, i was hooked..I now have 1,477 cache finds under my belt and also have a number of caches out in my home town and the English Lake District.

    OCNA BLOG: Can you describe all the major features of it? Is the “Face” an intentional play on Facebook?
    PAUL: I developed CacheFace to give something back to the global geocaching community, a community I found from the geocaching meets that was very friendly and extremely passionate and I have given this back by way of using my programing skills to develop a global hangout where every cacher can connect and share, no matter where they are.

    CacheFace is a dedicated social network for cachers to connect with each other. One thing for sure is it’s not trying to compete with Facebook. The idea behind CacheFace is to bring the fragmented caching groups that exist on various social networks and forums around the world and allow all these cachers to come together in 1 place and hang out, make new friends, share tips and ideas, create global groups for their interests (travel bugs, caching containers, etc), something that wouldn’t normally happen as people wouldn’t normally venture out of their local group hangout. That’s now changed.. CacheFace has created a new type of caching…social caching.

    The name CacheFace is actually from a slogan I created from seeing some photo’s of myself and my pals caching and we all had a “caching face,” be it happy, tired, exhausted or silly, so when I was developing the site it felt appropriate to use CacheFace…i.e, connect with each other and show everyone your cache face.

    OCNA BLOG: I understand it’s less than a year old. When was it launched? Is the growth in the early stages what you expected?
    PAUL: CacheFace was launched on the 21st October 2012, and the membership signups have beaten all expectations in the time its been live. Daily there continues to be new members joining up from all parts of the world.

    OCNA BLOG: There are a small amount of ads, and more recently, member discounts. I understand you have pledged that CacheFace will always be free?
    PAUL: There are a small amount of ads on the site, and these ads are purely caching related and any revenue made simply goes towards running the site. CacheFace is free to join and use and always will be. There are no hidden extras to subscribe to. CacheFace has been set up to serve the global caching community and I don’t want them to have to pay for that privilege. I recently launched the member benefits section as I want our community to totally benefit from being a member on the site, not just with the way they can connect with each other, but with other benefits such as discounts on their SWAG and other geocaching products and services.

    OCNA BLOG: The Mobile version of the website works very nicely.  Are there plans for Smartphone apps specific to Android, iphone or Windows Phone?
    PAUL: I have plans in place for introducing an iOS, android and windows phone app for the site that will again be free to download and use, to help our members get more from their CacheFace experience.

    OCNA BLOG: There are many privacy settings on CacheFace. Were those built in originally, or were they added later by request of some of the members?
    PAUL: The privacy settings have been there since the sites launch as I want members to be able to decide on what level of privacy they have on site. This keeps the member completely in control. They can decide who sees their posts, who can contact them, mark themselves private so they don’t appear in the public members directory and more. Members are completely in control of their privacy at all times.The site itself is completely encrypted with a 256bit SSL certificate so all browsing and interaction on site is secure.

    OCNA BLOG: Did you write the whole website yourself?
    PAUL: I did write the site myself. The site has been developed on a php framework that is very robust and utilises the latest technologies to help bring the best usability experience to members. I have an ongoing development list to continually introduce new features that are of benefit to the site / members.

    In other words, it’s lightning fast! The blogger was going to mention that if Paul didn’t himself. It is a simple to use, yet well-designed website. Give it a try! After some trial and error here with the Blogger software, it looks like the easiest and most effective way to post some screen shots of CacheFace is via links, which take you to a somewhat decent full-sized view on my personal Flikr account.

    Screen Shots of Cacheface.com:

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    RSS Feeds, Geocaching in the News, a failed experiment, and a new experiment (be a BETA tester!)

    Above is a (rather large and nicely done) RSS Feed icon. Might as well go with the Wikipedia definition, as follows: 

    “RSS Rich Site Summary (originally RDF Site Summary, often dubbed Really Simple Syndication) is a family of web feed formats used to publish frequently updated works—such as blog entries, news headlines, audio, and video—in a standardized format. An RSS document (which is called a “feed”, “web feed”, or “channel”) includes full or summarized text, plus metadata such as publishing dates and authorship.”

    Here is an excellent article from Google support, titled Feed 101, should you need to read up more on what RSS feeds are, and how they work (in layman’s terms). Now this blog post could be about just about any subject. But in Geocaching, we do in fact have new web content just about every day of what is bolded in the quote above: blog entries, news headlines, audio, and video.

    EDIT: This has become the most viewed post on our blog over time. Hopefully the short overview and links above are helpful to all you search engine visitors!!

    By the way, feel free to subscribe to any or all of our own OCNA RSS feeds! Clicking on the RSS feed icon in the sidebar to the right will take you to a page on our site where we have four feeds available. A little shameless self promotion here, the world wide Opencaching network is the only Geocaching listing service entity that seems to have embraced RSS feeds. Geocaching.com seems disinterested (except for their own blog, or in their forums), and I’m not aware of any other alternative sites that offer any feeds of their content at all. In addition to the latest caches, the latest log entries, our latest news and this blog, you can also get feeds via your profile on our site of your own cache logs, and the logs posted to your owned caches.

    So what was the failed experiment? In March, we at Opencaching North America launched a weekly “Geocaching in the news” newsletter generated by the service Paper.li. If you’re on Twitter, you’ve seen these newsletters, believe me! There are literally dozens in the Twittersphere dedicated to Geocaching alone. Most people generate their content from tweets from the people they follow on Twitter. We noticed you can also generate the content from RSS feeds, and thought we could generate better content than most. However, half the time, the various RSS feeds generated no content through paper.li, and in addition to that, the newsletter didn’t auto-tweet for three weeks. So after only six weeks, we announced the elimination of this failed experiment.

    On the sidebar of this blog, you will see six RSS feeds, seven if you count the Twitter feed as one (which it technically is). This could use some serious improvement too, the blogger “RSS feed Widget” generates fresh web content, but it sort of reminds me of a screen shot from a Unix terminal or something! And as of the date of this post, the widget is not generating the “authors” of the Podcasts, so it’s hard to tell which one is which. This brings us to our new experiment, where you have a chance to be a BETA tester.

    This is Freddie, the mascot for MailChimp.com. Don’t worry, we’re in full compliance with their brand assets page to use his image here! MailChimp offers an RSS to email newsletter service. We would like to try this out, using the six feeds seen below our Twitter feed on the sidebar (by the way, the Videos and Podcasts are “feed mixes”, already generated by MailChimp). This would be a weekly newsletter in various formats, and would contain graphics from several of the feeds, with the HTML version, and we would assume the mobile version as well. I guess we’ll find out on the mobile version, seeing as you are BETA testers!

    Want to subscribe to this new RSS feed generated Geocaching newsletter? Just enter your email address in the basic form below. You must opt-in to receive this newsletter (per MailChimp.com guidelines), and this post is the only place the form is being shown (for a while, at least). We don’t like deadlines here at the OCNA blog,  but we should have no problem setting up the template, and getting the first edition out by May 15th, two weeks from the date of this post.

    EDIT: Beta RSS newsletter was aborted, sign-up form that appeared below this line deleted.


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