Summary Of Today’s Irish On Challenges Blog Post

For those who haven’t seen it Jeremy Irish (from this point known as J-Rish) has posted at Latitude 47 today about the new Geocaching Challenges. It is a good read but being a lengthy post I thought I would pull out the best bits and summarise them here:

  • The Groundspeak team “sat in a room and tried to distill the idea of virtuals into one sentence. The result was ‘go somewhere and do something’. This evolved into Geocaching Challenges”.
  • “Find a location of interest and challenge someone to take a photo or complete some kind of task unique to that location. Make it fun!”
  • Due to a lack of Challenges in the beginning Groundspeak will be issuing Worldwide challenges daily. “For example, we’ll challenge you to take a picture of yourself on a boat, kissing a frog, or dressed like a pirate.”

I hope being dressed as a pirate on a boat kissing a frog counts for all three. 😉

  • “… there aren’t any official guidelines. Instead, you can rate challenges with thumbs up or thumbs down, and there are reporting tools available in the case that a challenge is inappropriate or unavailable.”

Some of the feedback shows some concerns over the lack of guidelines. However, I think this could be a good thing, especially with the ratings meaning inappropriate Challenges will be frowned upon. Public opinion is a great motivator for placing a good cache (stay tuned for a post about the influence of favourite points soon).

  • “We’ll be tweaking these tools and introducing new ones as the activity grows, to ensure that the community can collectively decide what is appropriate, and what isn’t.”

Fantastic. Many in geocaching circles have been wanting more involvement and a chance to have their say. Awesome to see this as a big part of the game so those people have that chance.

  • “… there is no 520’ guideline and Challenges won’t be blocked from being issued at Disney World, or even a pub.”

Your Challenge is to buy Cumbyrocks a drink at the local pub and have a photo with him. Sounds like a perfectly reasonable and pleasant challenge to me! 😉

  • “To reduce the growth during the early days, only Premium Members can submit challenges. Premium Members will be limited to creating a Challenge once every 24 hours.”

Whew! I was worried about a sudden rush of Challenge caches and an inability to keep up with them. This certainly has me deciding on which of my ideas is best as I don’t want to waste my daily Challenge limit on rubbish.

  • “… releasing a whole new set of mobile applications for Challenges, on the iPhone, Android and Windows Phone 7.”

Sigh. Everyone keeps telling me I should be considering the switch from Blackberry to one of the ‘other’ OS types. Maybe they are right. 🙁

  • “We expect that this new activity will be primarily accessed through these free applications, though we’ll continue to support GPS devices.”
*What are your thoughts on the new Geocaching Challenges? Share them below.



  1. Eddie

    I wanted to like challenges – I really did… I thought they’d be an interesting little adjunct to ‘regular’ caching. And I guess they still could be..

    But as I’ve mentioned in previous posts, the fact that they add to your overall count (combined with no method of verification for action challenges) means I’d rather not ‘contaminate’ my totals with stuff that I don’t consider ‘real’ caches. If they were kept separate I might dabble, but the purist in me won’t let me… Same reason I tend not to do GCA locationless caches.

    Yes, you could argue that the photo caches might be no different to old fashioned virtuals, but I think the whole ‘feel’ of it has put me off. Each to their own of course.

    I’ll be curious to see how it unfolds though and what ends up being most popular. I still think there’s a fair degree of room for abuse (both in fake ‘finds’ and in the design of challenges), so it should be entertaining at least 🙂

  2. kjwx

    I think you missed the most important point, Peter … Irish’s comment that states: “For those old timers, these challenges will be like the old Locationless caches.”
    Though I wouldn’t be so bold as to consider myself an old-timer, this sentence sums up the new challenges perfectly for me. And, to my mind, also places Groundspeak in direct competition with rival Terracaching again, as well as newcomer Munzee.

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