Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
The Internet Technology

A Struggling Town Is Reviving Itself With... Geocaching (vice.com) 33

An anonymous reader shares a report: In the town of Wilberforce, Ontario, a quick detour from the main street will take you to a seven-foot-tall wooden fork that sits at the point where the road splits into two -- a literal fork in the road. Unfamiliar passers-by may think it's a joke. But to locals, this landmark goes by the name "Fork and Beans." It has a logbook hidden inside its frame and it's one of the more than 500 geocaches scattered around Wilberforce -- the "Geocaching Capital of Canada," as the town calls itself, and home of one of the most popular geocaching tours in the world.

The rise of Pokemon Go in 2016 brought with it a surge of location-based outdoor games on mobile. Geocaching, which is akin to an outdoor scavenger hunt, uses GPS to locate hidden caches with logbooks inside and predates the latest crop of augmented reality games; it was a fixture of internet culture at the turn of the millenium. Geocachers use either an app or a GPS-enabled device to search for hidden containers (usually filled with something like a notebook) that are nearby or that they've sought out online. According to Geocaching HQ, a company that created one of the largest websites for the geocaching community in 2000, there are currently more than three million of these caches hidden in more than 190 countries around the world.

For Wilberforce, geocaching is more than a game from back when a low-res dancing baby was the height of online entertainment. It's a growing industry, with new caches being hidden and special events organized every year, that is helping keep the town afloat amidst economic struggles.

This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

A Struggling Town Is Reviving Itself With... Geocaching

Comments Filter:
  • by H3lldr0p ( 40304 ) on Friday March 30, 2018 @02:59PM (#56354681) Homepage

    And it's an old hack that lasts about as long as the trend you've attached yourself to does. So unless you can get some hookers and blackjack going as well, I hope you have a plan C when people move on to other distractions.

    • Well done with the Bender reference!
    • And it's an old hack that lasts about as long as the trend you've attached yourself to does.

      Geocaching isn't a trend - it's a hobby and an activity with a huge number of active participants across the world.

  • Come on Vice, it's not a story unless Elon Musk is leaving bitcoin in geocaches around town!
  • You're forgetting the actual "cache" part of geocaching! In traditional geocaching, the cache is a cache, a depository, a place where stuff has been stashed away. You bring something to the cache, and swap it with something that's been left behind by a previous geocacher. The traditional objects are custom-made coins, Geocoins, which are trackable online at Geocaching.com.

    I'm not a cacher myself but I work for a company that makes stuff like coins and we get a lot of geocacher customers.

    • by WallyL ( 4154209 )

      Can we patent geobitcoins? Let's use as a catchphrase, "Shave and a haircut, two bitcoins!" (Obviously, would have been more applicable in 2011 or before.) In fact, let's go with GeoBitCoinCaching (GBCC) and GBNU, Geocaching Blockchain is Not Unix!

      • I've had to make some physical representations of bitcoins at work (still not clear exactly what use those are), so yeah I don't see why not. Make geobitcoins, I mean. Patents don't work like that.

    • You're forgetting the actual "cache" part of geocaching! In traditional geocaching, the cache is a cache, a depository, a place where stuff has been stashed away. You bring something to the cache, and swap it with something that's been left behind by a previous geocacher.

      Some cachers swap do-dads. Others (like myself) just sign the log and move on.

      The traditional objects are custom-made coins, Geocoins, which are trackable online at Geocaching.com.

      The traditional objects are do-dads or tchotkes of

  • by Anonymous Coward

    "The rise of Pokemon Go in 2016 brought with it a surge of location-based outdoor games on mobile."

    Then can you explain to me how I was Geocaching long before Pokémon Go and I owned a cell phone?

    Now get off my lawn.

  • I geocache. So far I found 2735 caches in 42 countries, so I'm not doing too badly. I remember when I first started, there was this cool website by and for nerds. It had fascinating articles, interesting and stimulating discussion, and whenever an article was posted you could count on at least a few real experts chiming in. Sadly, it declined greatly since then. What was it called again... something like 'sloshdad'.

  • The town is also less than 18 km away from a Degree Confluence Point [confluence.org] (45 Degrees North, 78 Degrees West) - a 'natural' geocache.

  • by hcs_$reboot ( 1536101 ) on Saturday March 31, 2018 @01:43AM (#56357473)
    Geocaching is a GO PREMIUM! real-world, outdoor UPGRADE! treasure hunting game using GPS-enabled UPGRADE! devices. Participants GO PREMIUM! navigate to a UPGRADE! specific set of GPS coordinates and then UPGRADE! attempt to find the geocache GO PREMIUM (container) hidden at that location. Geocaches GO PREMIUM! can be found all UPGRADE! over the world. It is common for GO PREMIUM! geocachers to UPGRADE! hide caches in locations GO PREMIUM! that are important to UPGRADE! them, reflecting a GO PREMIUM! special interest UPGRADE! or skill of the cache GO PREMIUM! owner. These UPGRADE! locations can be quite GO PREMIUM! diverse. They may UPGRADE! be at your GO PREMIUM! local park, at the end of UPGRADE! a long GO PREMIUM! hike, underwater or on UPGRADE! the side of a city street. UPGRADE!!!!

Thus spake the master programmer: "When a program is being tested, it is too late to make design changes." -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"

Working...