Introducing Virtual Rewards!

Based on feedback we have received about Virtual Rewards, Geocaching HQ has decided to update the blog post with a new statement, found at the end of the post.

Geocaching HQ is thrilled to announce the release of Virtual Rewards, a project to reward some of geocaching’s great contributors, while also introducing a limited number of new Virtual Caches for the enjoyment of the entire geocaching community.

Starting today, approximately 4,000 geocachers in 63 countries around the world will receive emails with information about their Virtual Reward. This group is made up largely of top quality cache hiders from countries with at least 100 hiders. We created an algorithm to identify these people based on overall cache quality and cache health. Active community volunteers are also receiving a Virtual Reward as a thank you for giving their time and talent to support the geocaching community.

Those selected for a Virtual Reward have one year to submit a Virtual Cache for publication. You may see new Virtuals published in the next few days, or several months from now. New caches resulting from Virtual Rewards must comply with specific guidelines, so it could take time for the cache listings to work through the review process.

We expect this news is exciting to many in the community, but it may also raise some questions. We’ll try to answer a few of the most obvious questions here. We’ve also released an episode of the Inside Geocaching HQ podcast, where you can hear more information.

Yay, Virtuals are back!

Not exactly. Yes, we’re hoping to see up to 4,000 new Virtual Caches in the next year. But we want to make it clear that Virtuals remain a grandfathered cache type.

I own great caches. Why wasn’t I selected for a Virtual Reward?

There are certainly more than 4,000 awesome cache hiders in the world, but we had to draw a line somewhere. We found that limiting this release to the top 1% of the results from our algorithm allowed for an ideal disbursement of new Virtual Caches around the world. No algorithm is perfect, ours included. We favored quality over quantity, but in creating our algorithm, we are sure that some great hiders were missed.

Can you describe the algorithm?

We are not sharing the algorithm. But we can say it factors in geocaching activity, geocache quality, and geocache health. The algorithm heavily favors cache quality over quantity. The algorithm was created by Geocaching HQ without direct input from community volunteer reviewers.

Are Virtual Rewards distributed evenly among countries?

No. Virtual Rewards are intended as a reward for top hiders. Therefore, they were given in proportion to the number of cache owners in each country. Most countries (those with 100 or more cache hiders) were awarded a number of Virtual Rewards equivalent to 1% of the total cache owner population. Cache owners from countries with fewer than 100 cache hiders were grouped together. 1% of cache owners from that group also received a Virtual Reward. In total, cache owners from 63 countries received Virtual Rewards.

Why not just make Virtual Caches available for everyone to hide?

Because today’s Virtual Caches are rare, and because the remaining Virtuals tend to be well-liked, people often forget (or maybe never knew) that many problems led to the grandfathering of Virtuals in 2005.

The Virtual Cache type was originally created so people could place hides where physical caches were not permitted, or where muggles were so heavy that a physical cache was not practical. While the intent of this cache type was positive, it created significant problems for reviewers and often led to poor cache quality. Some people used Virtual Caches as a shortcut to create basic caches that did not require maintenance. Guidelines were eventually updated to require Virtuals to have special qualities to set them apart from other caches. However, that introduced so much subjectivity that the review process became difficult for both reviewers and cachers. The decision was finally made to grandfather Virtual Caches and no longer permit this type of cache unless we could find a way to avoid the aforementioned issues.

We’re hoping this limited Virtual Rewards release will help minimize the previous problems with Virtuals, while delivering more opportunities for the community to enjoy this beloved cache type. Most importantly, it’s a fun reward for people who have contributed so much to the game.

How do I find out when new Virtual Rewards are published?

Premium members can set up instant notifications to be aware when new Virtual Rewards are published. Also, use the Search tool to conduct a worldwide search for Virtuals.

Will there be more Virtual Rewards in the future?

We don’t have plans for anything beyond this release. But we’re always trying to think of ways to encourage quality (and healthy) cache hides, so who knows what the future may bring.

Have you considered a special icon or cache type for Virtual Rewards?

Creating a new cache type is a huge project for Geocaching HQ’s developers and engineers. It would not have been possible to launch Virtual Rewards in a timely manner if a new cache type was part of the project. Some cachers might see these new Virtuals as being different from those published in the past. But the experience of finding a Virtual is the same as before, so we felt it best to use the existing Virtual Cache type.

Could an account receive more than one Virtual Reward?

No, only one Virtual Reward per account.

Can a Virtual Reward recipient give their reward to someone else?

No, adoptions are not permitted.

Can I see a list of geocachers who received a Virtual Reward?

We understand people might be interesting in knowing who received a Virtual Reward, but we are not going to publish a list of names. The reason is recipients aren’t required to use their Virtual Reward, and we don’t want them to feel pressure to create a Virtual Cache if they’re not interested in doing so. We’re going to leave it up to recipients to decide whether to share the news with others.


We will update this blog post if we hear of further common questions regarding Virtual Rewards. In the meantime, congratulations to everyone who received a Virtual Reward! We’re looking forward to seeing some cool ideas for new Virtual Caches, and we’re sure geocachers around the world will enjoy finding them!

August 30, 2017 Update:

Geocaching HQ values all cache hiders for the amazing contributions they make to this game. We apologize for any offense this promotion has caused you or any others in the community. It was certainly not our intent to upset anyone. In fact, it was our intent to do something positive for the global geocaching community. Based on feedback we’ve received, we have updated this blog post to remove the emphasis on “top 1% of cache hiders” and replaced it with “the top 1% of the results from our algorithm” as this description more accurately describes the selected group of geocache hiders. Using the phrase “top 1% of cache hiders” was inaccurate and unfortunately caused confusion among geocachers worldwide. We regret this choice of words and have adjusted the language in this blog post to more clearly describe the process.  

For this promotion, we used an algorithm that selected a very small number of cache hiders who fit a specific set of cache quality criteria. We’re hoping that by only releasing 4,000 Virtual Rewards we can help minimize the previous problems with Virtual Caches while still giving the community more Virtuals. For 12 years, the community has asked for Virtuals to return. Because of the many previous problems with Virtuals, we cannot open Virtuals up for all cache hiders. But we did want to find a creative solution to offer some Virtuals.  We have never done anything like this before. If it is successful, we may consider a similar project for the future. If we do something similar, we will change the algorithm to offer a new set of cache hiders an opportunity. Hopefully you will be one of them!

Cache quality means many things to a hider, a finder, and the community. For this promotion, the algorithm included many factors but it heavily favored cache quality over quantity. Among these factors were percentage of Favorite points on active caches (not the total number of Favorite points) and current geocache Health Score.

We know there are many more amazing hiders in the geocaching community than those chosen to receive a Virtual Reward. Your contribution to the game is highly valued by us and the geocaching community alike. Just because your username or a friend’s username wasn’t selected by the algorithm doesn’t mean that you are not a great hider and we apologize for giving anyone this impression.

We will continue to do our best to serve the global geocaching community and game of geocaching and we appreciate your support and understanding. Thank you for your contributions to the game we all love!

Hopelessly addicted cacher and Geocaching HQ's PR Manager.
  • Christine Hendriks

    So, you are removing your cache that may have given a fellow geocacher fun. I love geocaching and if there are no caches to find then I lose too. Sounds like a bunch of cry babies over something so stupid. “I wasn’t picked” boo hoo

  • Steven Timmermans


  • JimRKY

    If you say you are then I will take your word for it, for who should know better than you yourself.

  • Klaas Lingbeek

    It is the only way we can show we do not believe in creating two “classes” of geocachers besides writing a letter to HQ which we did. All of us have only temporarily disabled some geocaches. Nothing was removed in the field. We are not a bunch of cry babies but we want to make clear HQ should not create a few superheroes and the rest of the sheep.

  • Steven Timmermans

    I speak up for the geocaching community I am part off and the overwhelming lack of support that goes with it in the hope that someone will notice.

  • JimRKY

    Dear, dear Mister Timmerman’s. You speak only for your own inflated ego. You speak only for your own purposes. You speak only for yourself mister Timmerman’s, period. Now cease to trouble my breakfast.

  • Steven Timmermans

    You should really take your condescending attitude elsewhere.

  • JimRKY

    Ahhh…breakfast and also a leisurely round of early morning chores – in other words, important things – done. Dear Mr. Timmermans…you mentioned Troll. I did NOT address you, but you addressed me apropos of nothing in this thread. With your ensuing comments, YOU, therefore are “The Troll” (and a tiny, mean-spirited one at that – but with a HUGE ego). As usual, you transfer your own failings onto others. You ARE predictable, Mr. Timmermans.

    I see that you are SPAMMING this entire thread. That’s for Groundspeak to police – not me. In point of fact, HAD I wanted anything to do with you I would have directly addressed you (see above).

    I will, again, remind you that Groundspeak:
    – Invented the game
    – ‘Owns’ the ‘balls, bats, gloves, helmets…and playing field’
    – Created and Polices “The Rules”

    Or are you Officially part of Groundspeak? I think not.

    I might ask, do you often dispute with God regarding the “fairness” of the universe? Wonder what you think you get for results…

    That said, you speak for YOURSELF, Mr. Timmermans; you speak only for your OWN PURPOSES, Mr. Timmermans; and you speak from and to YOUR OWN EGO, Mr. Timmermans.

    Now I have things to do. We, each of us – every day – have a DECISION to make: Geocache or Not Geocache; and that keeping the realities of the situation in mind. For myself, and for today, I choose to Geocache. You go ahead and SPAM this thread, and incite…what??? Do you understand what a Sisyphean Labor is?

    In closing, in regards to Geocaching – It’s a Great GAME and Hobby. It
    is a shame, for you, that you seem to find it necessary to imbue it with
    ‘Life or Death’ consequences – or is only here can you get the Wide
    Audience which you so evidently (and repeatedly) desire, and cannot
    obtain elsewhere? It is also a shame for a large majority of that Geocaching Community which you mention that WE have to, repeatedly, listen to you – in varying disguises – roll on about your Favorite (and seemingly ONLY) score: Geocaching isn’t doing right by ME…er, Malaysia!!

  • OusKonNé

    Great comment Torbjörn but don’t worry, in my example above, Geocacher A to Geocacher F are not one of these reviewers or site contributors.
    By the wy, these volunteers do a remarkable job and it is OK to reward them.
    But what about other volunteers very involved in their regions, like geocachers who have worked hundreds of hours as part of the Organization Committee of Mega-Events, geocachers working years after years on Geocaching Associations in their regions, etc.? Have they been forgotten?

  • David Cull

    Please say there will be a similar project, although on a smaller scale for Webcams. Even if a small number were added, say 100 in the US & 50 elsewhere, it would revive a much beloved icon. Thanks. David of teamCull.

  • Cass

    Dear Groundspeak your cache quality criteria is crap.
    A quality 5 star hide will have numerous DNF’s.
    Your updated statement still insults the majority of the true Top Hiders.

  • @Wilbertoord

    i hope next round will include the owners of the Hitchhikers which were archived by HQ this year!

  • Vitor Sérgio

    É melhor arquivar mesmo 🙂

  • Adam

    This is my first time contributing to gc blog. I don’t actually read it very often. But I feel like I have to sympathise with all those who would like to see more caches in (at least from geocaching point of view) developing countries. I have spent 12 months of 2016 and 2017 traveling around the globe as active cacher and I have seen the ridiculous gap between number of caches in Europe (where I live) and North America on one side and some Asian countries on the other. Thanks to this recent decision we will have another thousand or more virtuals placed in US in addition to thousands that are already active. Who is going to benefit from this? On the other hand we have tens of countries that are struggling hard to promote tourism and attract foreign visitors to their countries and GC might just be the right tool to help attract the right people. Not the resort types, but the outdoorsy and adventurous kind of people (you gotta be if you decide to go geocaching in Asian countries – with few exceptions of course). It might also help to promote GC as sensible leisure time activity (personal point of view of course :)) and it would let the few locals who are into GC know that Groundspeak counts with them and cares about them. Not to mention the cultural exchange this might bring when people travel to different countries with different cultures, that this world needs so badly. What we see now is the exact opposite. Groundspeak has just acknowledged that it doesn’t give a damn about most of the world and that it sees GC as strictly “Western” game. Very unfortunate in my opinion. For me geocaching in some countries is frustrating because of too many caches everywhere. But it’s equally frustrating in huge countries like Myanmar or Iran which have around 50 active caches each. There’s hardly anything in between. Virtuals are just the way to change this (at least in the beginings), but this chance received quite a blow right now.

    I don’t share the sentiment about how evilous the algorithm is. I suppose it was too big of a goal to satisfy everyone and hopefully Groundspeak will be more careful next time. But I have to say it also seems a bit childish to me to disable caches as a protest just because someone can not hide one piece of virtual cache and someone else can. I believe it could hardly be an intention from Groundspeak to offend best hiders in any area. I suppose they just screwed the algorithm, that’s it. Those who are satisfied with it don’t comment on this blog I believe…

    Let’s better go geocaching. Cheers.

    Adam (nudle_cz) from the Czech Republic

  • Eric Kristoff

    I mentioned this in passing to a few reviewers at mega-events. I would love to put an Arduino, camera, and cellular chip out in the middle of a forest somewhere as an official webcam. I got a “never say never” response, but maybe they were thinking of the soon-to-be release Virtual Reward.

  • JR Grad

    I think this is great! there is now more opportunities to find virtual’s. I think this is done correctly; I don’t want to see virtual’s every where like when there was the challenges! I have enjoyed looking at the new listings and adding some to my list.

  • J-Dan

    Wow what a great program. Glad to have a bunch of new virtual caches. It is amazing that people are finding a way to complain about this. Great program. I would love the same with Webcams and other grandfathered caches!

  • OusKonNé

    In the meantime, here is an alternative to webcams: Virtual Webcams
    Example (in French): GC7B9B8 La chute virtuelle

  • t4e

    Your algorithm is really flawed if it picks the much frowend uppon puppet accounts to reward them with placing a virtual. Virtuals have always held a special pkace in my geocaching heart, not anymore.

  • t4e

    That would be too much work, its why they grandfathered them in the first place, the reviewers couldn’t be bothered to make a judgement call on what is qualjty or not, yet they are allowed to make their own rules when it comes to challenges. Been a premium member for 10 years now, I still hope that some day they will listen to the opinion of the long time supporters.

  • psgels

    I agree with you, this whole outrage is ridiculous. I can understand the point that it would be lovely to give the Asian and African countries more exposure, but all of the butthurt “top hiders” who are upset because they didn’t get anything.

    The Dutch geocachers in particular can be incredible drama queens. That’s why I decided to just play the game and not involve myself with this community.

  • Luc Robb

    Concerning the method of cache allocations my opinion is mixed and rather negative. Many top hiders took it for their rank. 🙁

  • Chester Rowland

    GC is okay with me going and buying an ammo box,,, jumping thru the USFS hoops,, making the Reviewer happy,, then hiding it. All to support a game that they profit from, but I’m not qualified to set up a virtual. Finished.

  • Arnold Erickson

    I have long thought that if virtuals were to return, the numbers would have to be limited (and perhaps the type of areas where they are placed). Virtuals are the first thing I seek in any given area and I particularly like the way they have expanded the game into places where physical containers are not appropriate.

    I did a new one while traveling and it was fun because it was new, but nothing that made it stand out in any particular way.

    So the algorithm used make me wonder. Cache quality? I have looked at three new ones (not a representative sample to be sure) but there was nothing that stood out. None had a lot of favorite points (which I don’t think is the best measure in any event). Non had hid more than a couple of handfuls of caches. None had found many virtuals or earthcaches, which might have indicated experience or interest – and one specifically said they had only a limited knowledge of virtuals.

    It makes me curious. I would have started from a differen place than whatever algorithm was used.

  • Jerry Bowling

    This is a joke. Someone should have known that this would upset many of the good cachers. There are many other ways to improve the quality of GEOCACHING. Caches are published with little or no description and coords are way off and never fixed even after numerous log comments. Hiders hardly ever inactivate a reported mia cache or one that have many dnfs. How about educating the new and some old cachers that it is required to actually find and make a log entry in a cache with a date before claiming a find. There are so many of abuses going on in caching today that “quality” cachers are loosing interest. Geocaching needs to come up with programs to fix some of these many problems and not create a new one if they want cachers to continue caching.

  • António Jesus

    It’s nice, but… why give that opportunity to some geocachers rather than others?
    I think that it’s not fair, for example, Setubal city has won 3 virtual caches! Why not Sesimbra? It’s a place that deserves one…
    In my opinion, this opportunity should be given to one that have nice places to have one virtual cache and/or have a distance of 50km (example) between similar caches.

  • Jocemo

    When I learned that Groundspeak was giving a reward to the top cache hiders, I couldn’t wait to see what criteria they would use to determine the winners. In reading the communiqué, I noticed that cache quality and health were important factors and that quantity was not going to be considered. HATS OFF! I thought to myself, finally, we are giving importance to quality.
    In the days following the announcement, I attended many Events. Needless to say, this was a topic of conversation. “Were you selected?” I was asked on a number of occasions. I answered « no, not me ». In these events, I met eight (8) happy winners that live in the area and whom I know very well. Congratulations! You all place nice caches and you deserve it.
    I then asked myself “Are these our best cache hiders”?
    Here are their stats:
    C 70 6950 1007 19.80%
    F 47 2136 1177 56.70%
    O 4 265 98 43.80%
    Pe 35 2323 220 15.70%
    Po 3 69 40 55.90%
    S 75 4534 1120 28.80%
    T 4 109 66 64.70%
    V 12 808 191 31.30%

    And here are mine:
    Jocemo 533 49243 4439 10.50%

    At first glance, Groundspeak has made the right choice but in looking at these statistics in more detail, I notice that the best ratios belong to the small hiders (except for “F”). I then did some research to identify my top 20 ratios. Here is the result:
    GC4ER5D 45 37 84%
    GC4AJPE 48 37 80%
    GC6MZD2 128 93 78%
    GC6M4BW 31 23 74%
    GC67ETH 68 42 70%
    GC4V23V 61 35 66%
    GC3CCW5 199 102 65%
    GC63Q6C 116 67 64%
    GC4Z8TY 61 35 64%
    GC53K9P 59 35 64%
    GC5FC2V 48 29 64%
    GC4QFWX 61 34 62%
    GC57N7H 192 99 59%
    GC2WA5D 89 42 58%
    GC6MZDE 135 66 54%
    GC498C5 138 62 54%
    GC5C8JK 64 32 54%
    GC49ZT7 113 48 51%
    GC4PWWT 94 44 51%

    The ratio average is 63%.

    Did Groundspeak make the best choices? That’s up to you.

    If Groundspeak really wants to reward the best hiders, they should tell us the basis of their evaluation. How I am supposed to improve the quality and health of my caches if I don’t know the criteria used to make the evaluation?
    My suggestion would be, find the owners of the best caches with a minimum of 25 FP and the best ratio of FP/logs Premium. Then you will have the best hiders.


  • Nastja Romanova

    Despite all the bad comments, I would like to thank you for trying new things! This time it was not a succes due to not perfect algorithms, besides it doesn’t help at all that people rather whine and leave bad comments in stead of helping (for example with ideas). I am thankful for this attempt to bring the Vitruals back and reward some of the players. And I’m sure next time will be a succes!

  • Joe Birner

    Soooo, everyone wants HQ to step up and do more, keep the game interesting. They do exactly that, they tried to pick something better than completely random and Everybody gets hurt feelings. They went with 1% off of some algorithm to keep the numbers low, in order to not swamp the reviewers. Also to reduce the possibility of crummy stop sign victuals. So in the end from what i get out of these comments is that , its NOT the effort that counts??

  • silverflurry

    Terrific to see virtuals back even in a limited way. Perhaps we’ll see some worthy locations that have fallen to archival over the years back with new owners. And of course fresh eyes mean fresh perspectives, so hopefully lots of new locations as well.

  • Michael Buckley

    Hey it’s a start. I have no complaints. So what that I wasn’t picked out of millions of cachers out there. I know that this is being done as a trail run. I’m just glad to see that an effort was made in bringing back Virtual caches, even if it was for a limit time, by a limited few. The old Virtual caches took me to places I never even knew existed in places where a physical cache couldn’t be placed for me to experience what was there to see. I just hope there will be a few new ones out by me to go find. Can’t wait to find one of these. Just hope it’s a good one. And just maybe, the powers-that-be, find a way to bring them back for us to enjoy again.

  • BigBadger

    Wow, what an unbelievable amount of whining. Groundspeak, you are doing a great job! Keep up the good work of keeping this fun hobby alive and well!

  • OusKonNé

    Once upon a time in Cachetown, there were two geocachers: Mary and John.

    Mary is a very well-known geocacher. Over the last 10 years, she hid superb series of caches appreciated by the whole Geocaching community. She has worked hundreds of hours on the organizing committee of a Mega-Event in Cachetown, she attended all the CITOs and she is always available to initiate people to Geocaching. Often, instead of going Geocaching, she takes her weekends to perform maintenance of her caches. But this is ok for her because she is very proud of her 250 caches and she knows that geocachers from all over the country come to hike her Geocaching trails. This is the case of Peter who heard about Mary’s caches and scheduled a Geocaching long-weekend in Cachetown. On the first day, he hiked a series of 35 great caches very well maintained and would have liked to give a favorite point to each cache. But he could not because he only had 2 points available plus 3 other points earned during the hike (1 FP per 10 caches). So he was able to give only 5 favorite points to Mary while he would have liked to give her 35 points. Mary finally received a percentage of 14% FP for this beautiful series. On the second and third day, Peter hiked other amazing series created by Mary but was able to give only one favorite point per 10 caches found. While driving back home, Peter was thinking: Wow, this is what Geocaching is all about, thanks Mary!

    John is a less-known geocacher. He started Geocaching 3 years ago but never participates to any activities such as Events and CITOs. He was asked to be volunteer at the Mega-Event but he declined. He never hid caches except last year when he decided to hide 3 caches similar to those of Mary. A few months later, Joanne was passing by Cachetown and stopped to find the 2 active caches of John (the 3rd cache was disabled by the reviewer fallowing a need maintenance and John never performed maintenance of this cache). As Joanne had 2 points available, he was able to give a favorite point to each of the two active caches of John. John received a percentage of 100% FP for those 2 active caches.

    Then in the summer of 2017, Geocaching HQ decided to develop an algorithm to reward the best geocacher between Mary and John. This is a very sophisticated algorithm since it favored quality over quantity and the percentage of favorite points on active caches instead of the total number of favorite points. Thus John was selected by the algorithm as the best geocacher. HQ proudly rewarded John by granting him the right to place a virtual cache as one of the 4000 Geocaching’s great contributors around the world.

    Congratulations John!

    Later, HQ apologized but Mary still hurts from this injustice.

    I would have written this story before August 24th and no one would have believed me.

    All the Geocaching community would have chosen Mary, but not the algorithm.

    Two major factors that have penalized Mary:

    1. Since geocachers can give only one favorite point per 10 caches found, her percentage of favorite points on her hiking trails is a lot lower than the 2 caches of John;

    2. Since Geocaching Favorites was introduced in December of 2010, all her caches hid before December of 2010 do not have all the points they deserve and therefore the percentage of favorite points of these caches is a lot lower.

    Also, the algorithm does not consider other Geocaching great contributions she did like the hundreds of hours she worked on the organizing committee of a Mega-Event in Cachetown, etc.

    “Reward” or “Disregard”, that is the question for Mary!

  • BigBirdO>

    Love this idea! A competition for the best virtual spots…fantastic!

  • Jeff Hower

    OK, I’m not a super cacher and only have 11 caches placed. I have some favorite points but not near as many as many of the people I have met. I have no idea why I was selected but I am honored to have received the ability to place a Virtual. I’m working hard on my awarded virtual and hope it is worthy of the respect of my fellow cachers. It will not be an easy park and grab but it will be in a remote area of a National Park (since that is the only thing they allow) with spectacular scenery. It will be about 20-30 rugged miles from the nearest cache. I have been to South America and Africa, traveling to some very remote areas of both continents on a motorcycle and the spot I have selected is in the US, and one of my favorite places. I’m hopeful it will get an endless list of favorites for those bold enough to log the cache. I know many of you will feel that you are more deserving and you are probably right. I don’t have any control over this so I just hope that my good fortune will make you all proud. ADVTraveler

  • Can I see a list of geocachers who received a Virtual Reward?

  • Can I see a list of geocachers who received a Virtual Reward

  • Lars Botner

    Stop crying….and be thankful for more virtuals ….
    We will keep up in the way we always has done…Experimenting, try out everything .We win some ,we lose some that’s the name of our game ,our agenda ,our omen ,our objective ,our goal .Whether we fit in a logaritme frame/box or not is not relevant….
    Either is Gino or Groundspeak ,but our visitors is…..
    keep up the good work cache owners

  • R Sc

    A lot of cache owners who place 100s of unmaintained caches, and are heavily into stats and grid filling, think they are promoting the game and deserve a new icon on their list of hides. I like that the majority of virtual rewards in my area went to active owners who have been caching for many years, have a handful of manageable caches, and monitor and maintain their physical caches and listings quickly and regularly.

  • R Sc

    Is that map an example of a handful of obsessed geocache owners who placed hundreds of caches and saturated the area with so many caches he can’t and won’t maintain them?

  • R Sc

    I agree. It’s too bad that people aren’t considering the future. In a year if this experiment worked (which I don’t think it did judging by the comments here and in the forums), they may have had another go at it and awarded 4000 new cache owners a virtual. And maybe more cache owners would improve their health scores in order to qualify. That would be a big win for the game. But I have a feeling that it isn’t worth it for Groundspeak to do virtuals again. My interpretation from those that didn’t get a VR is the true value of virtuals is the icon (grid filling).

  • Greg Smith

    There are also some people who place a lot and do maintain them, giving up a lot of time to do so- they may also hold events, and work to keep a happy and active community and spent time every day doing something related to the game. This algorithm eliminated everyone who has set a lot of caches immediately regardless of maintenance, due to the FP – hides ratio they have applied. In my area the people who received virtuals have placed between 5-20 caches, archived half of what they owned, often in a poor state with no maintenance ever performed, and have received high favourites on a small number of caches which are often for location (e.g a city where they have got a lot of visits) more than anything else. The two that went out closest to me were both given to people who have actually given up, and although they have said they will set their virtual, they are unlikely to monitor the logs/answers very closely as they lost interest years ago. Some of them have set very poor virtuals because they aren’t actually very active or familiar with what makes a good cache. Ironically most of them have never even found a virtual. I just find the choice very bizarre.

  • Wallups P Junklehead

    Cool, glad these are back. Working to earn a spot next round!

  • Wallups P Junklehead

    wowsie wow wow, just got back into geocaching after a couple year break, I am excited about it…. reading some of these comments reminded me of how I lost interest… I for sure need to remind myself never to read the comment section again…. talk about grumpy old men! and disrespect!

  • Ronnie Joe Armstrong

    Y”all are doing a good job of taking the fun out of Geocaching. Over thinking this thing will kill it. It’s a simple game guys. Use the KISS formula, people can understand that. Using big words like algorithm to appear intelligent was a poor choice. The statement “We are not sharing the algorithm.” really makes one think that you have something to hide. Do a scientific analysis on the comments you received about this “Introducing Virtual Rewards”, and I think that most people don’t like or understand it.

  • nct

    I did not say they would be “equally in the world”, so not sure how I am “wrong”.
    If all 4000 virtual reward caches are placed, then there would still be less virtual caches than wherigo caches. That is what I said and that is correct.