“Jested” GCKDBV GEOCACHE OF THE WEEK – August 2nd, 2010

"Jested" GC
Jested Tower

The Czech Republic geocache “Jested” (GCKDBV) rests high on Mt. Jested, not far from the border of Germany and Poland.

The search for this cache takes you to one of the most stunning landmarks of Northern Bohemia,  Jested Tower.  The structure is an architectural feat which combines a 94 meter (308 foot) tall transmitter tower, a hotel and a restaurant.

More than 1200 geocachers have logged “Jested” since Dorcadion Team hid the cache in August of 2004.

The regular-sized difficulty 2, terrain 2.5 geocache takes adventures up to an altitude of 987 meters (3,237 feet).  Dorcadion says his other interest, ”
(except geocaching) is photography of nature and architecture – and this tower is one of the most interesting examples of modern architecture in our country…”

View from Mt. Jested

Beyond discovering the traditional geocache, you’ll also find an amazing view that extends to Germany and Poland.

Dorcadion says he didn’t really expect the cache to become so popular, “in the time when I placed the cache (the first in the whole Liberec region)  the number of all Czech geocachers was lower than 50… But I expected that people will visit this cache – Jested is very popular and easily accessible by rail car, car or by short steep hike.”

Explore all the Geocaches of the Week here.

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Boy Scouts Geocaching Merit Badge – Geocaching.com’s Lost & Found Video

This year, the Boy Scouts of America announced their plans for a new Geocaching Merit Badge. Watch our latest Lost & Found video to see how Boy Scout Troop 75 incorporates geocaching into their program. The scout troop from from Manhattan, Kansas also demonstrates some of the critical thinking and problem solving skills needed to earn the badge.

Requirements for the Geocaching Merit Badge are available online.  The official Geocaching Merit Badge patch is in final development and expected to be released in the near future.

Groundspeak is currently hosting a booth at the BSA 2010 National Scout Jamboree in Fort A.P. Hill, Virginia. Scouts there can borrow GPS devices to seek out geocaches hidden in the area during the event, which runs from July 26 – August 4, 2010.

Watch all the Lost & Found stories, which highlight the worldwide adventure of geocaching.

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Dinosaur Train Geocaching Challenge

So easy - "Catie, finds it with her eyes closed!" - Team RAGAR

Geocaching.com teams up with The Jim Henson Company, PBS stations, museums, zoos and aquariums across the United States to bring you the Dinosaur Train Geocaching Challenge.  The PBS children’s show Dinosaur Train encourages kids to “Go outside, get into nature and make you own discoveries!”  Now Dinosaur Train challenges families to find geocaches with fun facts about dinosaurs from the show hidden inside.

Each Dinosaur Train geocache is located in a safe, easy-to-access location and features one of the dinosaurs found in the Dinosaur Train Field Guide.

Team RAGAR is one of more than 300 geocachers to log a Dinosaur Train geocache so far.  They found the Dinosaur Train Cryolophosaurus Cache-WVIZ in Cleveland, Ohio.   They logged, “Came to find this one this morning because Catie loves the Dinosaur Train show on PBS… Catie was very excited to trade a pathtag for a dinosaur.”

Catie found the Dinosaur Train Cryolophosaurus

Geocachers are also encouraged to record their favorite dinosaur.  T-Rex seems to be the reigning favorite among the adults.

Tyrannosaurus, a favorite among parents (and kids)

There are nearly twenty Dinosaur Train geocaches around the U.S. so far, with many more being planned for the near future.  Soon you’ll find instructions to make and hide your own Dinosaur Train geocache.  You can find the growing list of Dinosaur Train Geocaches here.

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Geocaching Caption Contest 9 – Win a Barely Coveted Prize

Winning entry by geocacher Ellemmiire, “FTF gets… JAZZ HANDS!”

This is the ninth installment of our Geocaching Caption Contest.  This picture was taken at “Signal Studios” during Groundspeak’s Lost & Found Celebration on July 4th.

What caption would you write? “Mommy, the SWAG scares me!”  You can do better.

Barely coveted prize

The winner receives this Barely Coveted Prize. The Trackable commemorates Groundspeak Headquarters (the Lily Pad) and ten years of geocaching.

Good luck!  Please include your geocaching username in all entries.

The winner will be chosen by an ad hoc committee of Lackeys.

19 Lackeys voted to crown the winner of the eighth Geocaching Caption Contest.  Take a look at the Latitude 47 blog post to see who won.  Explore the wit and wisdom of geocachers by checking out all the Geocaching Caption Contests.

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Who’s Hiding in Your GPS Device?

Who's in your GPS device?

Your GPS device is hiding a cast of tens of thousands. Every time your GPS device blinks to life, pioneers, innovators and at least one Chinese explorer blink back.  The journey to help you walk out your front door and find a geocache begins way back in 1400.

There were clearly no GPS devices then. Magnetized needles were used to find direction for more than a thousand years. But it wasn’t until the 14th century that an admiral in China put the innovation to another use.  Zheng He is reported to be the first person to use the compass as a navigational aid. The Chinese explorer and diplomat employed the compass to direct ocean expeditions to the South and West of China beginning in 1405.

Chinese magnetic compass (pbs.org)

Over the next two hundred years others, including Galileo and Amerigo Vespucci, the namesake of America, further researched navigating by latitude and longitude. But there was still far to go.

It wasn’t until the 1884 the International Meridian Conference adopted a universal Prime Meridian – or zero point of longitude.

Less than a hundred years later, in the 1970’s, a constellation of GPS satellites was launched into orbit.  They provided never-before-realized navigation accuracy to the U.S. military.  The rest of us began enjoying that accuracy on May 2nd, 2000 when the order was issued to stop intentionally degrading the GPS signal available to the public. GPS accuracy instantly improved tenfold.

One day later the first geocache was placed.

Think of the scientists, politicians and navigational crusaders behind the ideas of navigating by latitude and longitude.  Every time you power up your GPS their ideas boot up too. There’s a lot going on inside your GPS.

In addition to all those innovators, don’t forget the 40-some Lackeys at Groundspeak, 200-some volunteer Reviewers and four to five million other geocachers who drive this activity.   Each of these people and events make your geocaching adventure a reality.

Now don’t you want to put them all to the test and go grab a geocache?