Thing 17: Geolocation Tools

I decided to try Geocaching.com I downloaded the App to my phone and after a wee explore realised that I pass several geocaches on my walk to work. I was hoping that this blog post would be accompanied by a triumphant photo of a geocache – but it turned out to be slightly harder than I’d imagined!

I tried to locate 4 geocaches – at each location the GPS on the App was showing that I was very near the item – but I just couldn’t find it. I had been wondering how it would be that these items can remain in place in a busy city and this answers my question – they are hard to find! On discussing this with my wise colleague at work I also find there is more info on the App than I’d realised. If you tap the geocache you find out what type it is. So it turned out the 1st location was a Multi-Cache – these involve finding two or more locations with the final being a physical container – so this was really the start of a treasure hunt and I was looking for a first clue rather than a container. I found there are further details on the main website so here’s what I was looking for:
https://www.geocaching.com/geocache/GCPXVG_duddingston-details and I can see from the notes that others have found it fairly recently – so armed with this new information I might give it another go! I also notice it was hidden in 2005. It’s really interesting to me that there have been people looking for this geocache for the last 11 years and that I’ve been wondering past on my way totally oblivious to this game taking place nearby. The website offers an interesting page on the history of Geocaching it’s mad to think that GPS – something I pretty much take for granted (I love my Garmin for logging runs and Google Maps), has only been available for 16 years – how quickly technologies become ‘normal’.

The 2nd location was an EarthCache – these don’t have a physical container but instead teach you an Earth-science lesson. To log these geocaches, you’ll have to answer questions in the description.  Here are the details from the website: https://www.geocaching.com/geocache/GC1YF7E_samsons-ribs

3rd location – Mystery – may involve solving a puzzle for the correct coordinates. https://www.geocaching.com/geocache/GCWH8V_yobbies – Looks like other people have had trouble with this one too!

4th location – Multi-Cache https://www.geocaching.com/geocache/GCX4BK_weirs-way-an-edinburgh-volcano

The App keeps encouraging me to upgrade so I’m not sure how much of this I can use without upgrading? It also seems clear that you need to do some preparation via the website before heading off to the location. So this is not really the adventure I’d planned but it did take me away from my usual path, encourage me to get my feet wet, climb into bramble bushes and dig about under rocks and leaves and no doubt confuse some passersby with my odd behaviour! It also frustrated me just enough that I want to know a bit more and armed with this little bit of experience I think I could go forth and plan a proper adventure.

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