News reports “remember” Geocaching while reporting on Pokémon Go

Screenshot_2016-07-13-19-57-28Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last 10 days, as of the date of this post, you may have heard of a new app for Android and ios named Pokémon Go. Originally released in the U.S., Australia and New Zealand on July 6th, it became available in Germany on July 13th, and is being rolled out in other European Countries as we speak. You may have seen people doing it. Personally, the OCNA blogger, Mr.Yuck, has observed about 40 people playing in those 10 days, most of them in groups, and most of them in their late teens. That doesn’t mean that he, self described as “well over 40” hasn’t tried it too. As a matter of fact, the screen shot you see here (click to enlarge) is his character standing in his house, looking at a Gym and three Pokéstops in a nearby County Park. Expect a review of the game from the perspective of a long time, old school Geocacher who still plugs a handheld GPS into a computer, in the near future. That won’t happen until he reaches level 5 though, which you must do to participate in all aspects of the game. But for now, we thought it was rather interesting how some early news articles “remember” Geocaching, and compare it to the craze over this new Augmented Reality game. One article even suggests going Geocaching instead of playing Pokémon Go. Four articles are outlined below:

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Forging Community in Rome

Forging Community TagForging Community in Rome is a Geocaching event listed on our site coming up on Friday, October 16th in Rome, Georgia. This is a pre-event (unofficial) for the annual Going Caching Mega Event, now in it’s 5th year, and it’s 2nd consecutive at Ridge Ferry Park in Rome. This interactive Mega has a Renaissance theme this year. You’ll notice from the Forging Community pathtag artwork here you see both Munzee and Geocaching logo’s. This is in fact a tri-listed event for Geocaching (our site), Munzee and Eventzee, which is a less than a year old photo scavenger hunt app brought to you by The team at Munzee.com. If you’re not familiar with Eventzee, you can read more about it here. So at this event, you can expect to find temporary OCNA caches, event (temporary) Munzees with a badge for the event, and an Eventzee scavenger hunt. Another integral part of this is tri-event is a food and donation drive for the Action Ministries Rome that is the local food bank for the Rome Georgia area. For every 5 food items or $5 donated you will receive one of the Forging Community pathtags. The goal is to give back to the community that is hosting their fun that weekend. We sent a few questions to obxgeek, AKA Rob, who hails from Northern Virginia, about this tri-event.

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GeoWoodstock XIII ideas; Cycling in Hancock

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In our last blog post about the Sideling Hill cut on I-68, we were about 35 miles from the site of GeoWoodstock XIII in Boonsboro, Maryland, and we’re inching closer! Above is a view of Hancock, Maryland from U.S. 22 (photo by Andrew Bossi), which is about 6 miles east of the cut, and about 30 miles from GW. Are you bringing a bicycle to GW? (You can rent one too); then Hancock is the place to be! If you don’t believe us, note that there is an official GW Cycling “after event” (created by the GW XII committee), On Sunday Morning, May 24th in Hancock.

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Has Geocaching finally peaked, and on the decline?

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That depends on how you define “on the decline”.  If it were defined as the number of new caches created by year, we’re afraid the answer is yes. Here you see a bar graph of caches created by year on our website. Note that caches created doesn’t necessarily mean all of them were published, but 98%+ of them were. Keep in mind our site was launched in mid-August 2010, so there was quite a bit of interest in the new website to have 527 caches created in just 4 1/2 months. Then we had a somewhat unexplained decline in 2011, and we peaked in 2012. You can see where the numbers have gone from there. It’s not just us though. With 3 weeks left in 2014, new caches hidden in The United States in 2014 are down 23% from their 2013 levels on Geocaching.com, as well as being down in most Countries in the world that are considered traditional hotbeds of Geocaching activity. However, there are a few Countries that are exceptions to this overall decline in caches hidden, and there is some good news regarding the number of new Geocachers, and the overall number of caches being found.

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Geocaching taking a beating from Government Officials and the media as of late! (Part 1 of 3)

File this post under current events in Geocaching. We highly recommend all Geocachers subscribe to a Google news alert for the word Geocaching. Or alternatively, you can come read this blog, and look at the RSS feed we have of the 5 latest Geocaching news stories on the internet in the sidebar. Two “negative” stories came out this week, one regarding the mass removal of caches on BLM land in Oregon, and another with a negative headline about Geocaching and North Carolina State Gamelands, although the article itself is quite balanced and generally favorable towards Geocaching. But there is a 3rd “negative story” this week, that didn’t show up on a Google news alert (yet), and  it’s a big one. Here you see a parcel map of the State of Arizona. Everything shown in blue (light or dark) is State Trust Land. Although it’s been said for years Geocaching is not an authorized recreational activity on these lands, State officials have apparently taken it to the next level. This week, Geocachng.com HQ archived over 4,400 caches on State Trust Land property. We do have an explanation from The Arizona Assistant Director of Natural Resources Division (via an email an Arizona Cacher received from them, and has given us permission to post and/or quote from). Originally intended to be one post touching on all three news stories, we’ve decided to cover all three of individually, beginning with the situation in Arizona.

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Law enforcement officials express concern over Geocaching (Allegedly)

Albuquerque, New Mexico Geocaching

We have not made any sort of announcement, but here at the OCNA blog, we have resolved to post more “Geocaching in the news” content in 2014. Considering the very popular Geocaching blog that normally covers current events (Notaboutthenumbers.com) hasn’t been posted to in 4 months, save for a single guest blog post in November. No, we have no idea what’s going on over there either. Unfortunately however, we’re going to have to ring in 2014 with an absolutely preposterous negative news story on our hobby.

The picture above is a winter scene in downtown Albuquerque, New Mexico. Television Station KOB 4, an NBC affiliate, ran a news report on Monday night, December 30th claiming that law enforcement officials from the department of Homeland Security have expressed concerns about Geocaching, although no one from the department of Homeland security is named or quoted (more on that later).

The reason for the alleged concern? “Tech-savvy kids” use their smartphones to go Geocaching,  and a map of Geocaches in the City and a map of the National Sex offender registry shows that “some” Geocaches are less than 500 feet from a registered sex offenders home.

The video of the news report and the associated article appeared here on their website today, December 31st. The reporters name is Jen Samp, and she opens the video live from a Geocache site, which she says is a couple hundred feet from a registered sex offenders home.

In our opinion, this is manufactured news. The blogger can’t remember for exactly how long, but he has subscibed to Google News Alerts for the word Geocaching for years, and has never seen nor heard anyone, anywhere in the world, attempt to put anything remotely close to this spin on Geocaching. What we think happened is that Jen Samp came up with this crazy idea to check Geocaching maps and sex offender registry maps simultaneously, and “officials from the department of Homeland Security” only expressed “concern”, after she reported her findings to them.

It should go without saying, but if you are one of the what probably will be hundreds of Geocachers to respond to this article on the KOB-TV website, please be respectful, and follow their terms of use for posting.

Oh, and a very Happy New Year from the OCNA Blog!!

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