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Links to the Geocaching Community

Show Profile  Michael Posted: 18 February 2012, 5:42 AM  
After a rogaine there is often some interest in the maps by those who couldn't take part, and where the land is public it can become a large permanent course. As well as making maps available, we're mulling over making the control coordinates available.

These could let a team (navigating by map) know they have reached a control from which the marker has been taken in. They might also widen the appeal of mapsports to the geo-caching community. It's hard to imagine getting to some of our control points solely by GPS, and it may be that the quality of our mapping, and our sport as a whole, might be recognised more widely. There are 5 million geo-cachers worldwide.

Any thoughts about the benefits or disadvantages? Orienteers who are also geocachers may have valuable views. As a test, this week's P-Max (1hr mini rogaine in Petone) has been put on the OHV website as the map (pdf) control locations (pdf) and the GPX file. It's in the map download area under "About the club" and also under "Permanent courses".

Show Profile  Rolf Posted: 18 February 2012, 1:06 PM  
Interesting Idea Michael. My family have started Geocaching. it is frustrating as hell that the kids are not interested in Orienteering but love Geocaching!
I have also wondered vaguely if there is some sort of connection or opportunity... Actually I had wondered if could be the other way around in that Orienteers have ready made long distance courses and Rogaines already made with geocaches scattered throughout most towns.
Perhaps the only downer is that sometimes these Geocaches can be very hard to find and Orienteers expect to be able to find the checkpoint instantly when they arrive.

Show Profile  Michael Posted: 18 February 2012, 4:36 PM they should! You've pointed out an interesting thing, there are lots of geo-referenced "control markers" out there in the form of a geo-cache container containing a log-book and pencil hidden under a bush. I prefer to visit the spot and write a good control description and unambiguous question. Updating the map as I go.

This message was edited by Michael on 19 February 2012, 11:41 AM

Show Profile  Michael Posted: 20 February 2012, 4:56 AM  
A respected orienteer who is also heavily into geocaching feels the two activities are best kept separate. Other views welcome, but from the orienteering permanent course point of view, any thoughts? Have posted maps and GPX's for last year's P-Max mini rogaines.

Show Profile  SteveO Posted: 20 February 2012, 6:16 AM  
Michael, one variation of geocaching that is still in its infancy but would appear to be closer to your thoughts can be found at

It appears to have been set up by a Czech orienteer (I'm guessing) and combines the GPS navigation of geocaching with publicly visible controls or check points.

Show Profile  Michael Posted: 20 February 2012, 9:14 AM  
Interesting variation on geocaching Steve. This could well attract people who aren't turned on by the swapping of little treasures and other parts of the GC ethos, and are more interested in the challenge of getting there.

Personally I like to minimise the placing of objects in the terrain (whether a plastic box or as appears to be used in geocheckpointing, a small laminated marker on a string). I prefer "virtual controls", either by Q&A about a positive landmark, or by comparing a GPS track with a file of control coordinates.

You might remember from another thread that Bryan Teahan developed a little programme to compare a track with a set of waypoints and report whether the track passed within "X" of the points. In the meantime its simple enough to eyeball the track and the points in your GPS software.




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