Thursday, October 11, 2007

Cha-Ching! The Rewards of Geocaching

I have stumbled upon an arguable new form of social media that we have not discussed—geocaching (pronounced geo-cashing). Geocaching is basically a scavenger hunt using a global satellite positioning system. It is a sport “where you are the search engine.”

How geocaching works:

You can go to the geocaching Web site to create a free account. The site explains the definition in its FAQ’s page:

“Geocaching is an entertaining adventure game for GPS users. Participating in a cache hunt is a good way to take advantage of the wonderful features and capability of a GPS unit. The basic idea is to have individuals and organizations set up caches all over the world and share the locations of these caches on the Internet. GPS users can then use the location coordinates to
find the caches. Once found, a cache may provide the visitor with a wide
variety of rewards. All the visitor is asked to do is if they get something
they should try to leave something for the cache.”

Many caches contain a log book that asks that you record when you found the cache and who you are. You can also create your own caches and record their locations (coordinates) on the Web site. A huge rule in geocaching is that you should NOT move a cache.

When I search my zip code in the Athens area there are 829 records. This “sport” really is pretty in-depth and there is much more to it than I have described. You really need to visit the Web site’s FAQ’s page to get the complete idea.

I am bringing this activity up in the context of social media for the obvious reasons. It is a great way to interact with people by actually getting out there and DOING something. I think it may be a great way to feel connected to your community too. The process of finding a cache takes you to places you may never knew existed in your area. I think this is a great form of social media for those who enjoy the glow of the sun rather than the glow of a monitor.


Ditto said...

Yes, it is a great way to meet people. Since we have been involved with Geocaching we have met so many great people. It is also a great opportunity to get out into the great outdoors. Spread the word! ;)

btw - There is also a great Geocaching resource called Geocaching Online that is located here. It has all kinds of information, how-to's and lots more to help you and your friends to get involved. We're about a million strong world-wide and always looking for other to come 'play' with us!

Lindsey Loughman said...

I actually heard about this for the first time at my internship. The group I worked
for did travel public relations. They incorporated geocaching on one of their familiarization (FAM) trips so that journalist could not only play with the new technonlogy but remember their destination as geocaching location. It was pretty cool.