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Atlas Quest

Help: Atlas Quest

Sub-Categories: Account Info · Adding/Editing Letterboxes · AQ Mail · Blogs · Chat Rooms · Events & Gatherings · Exchanges · Help · My Page · Navigation · Online Logbooks · PDAs and Cellphones · Preferences · Profiles · Recording Finds · Registering & Logging In · Tutorials
  1. What's up with the chick logo?
  2. Who is the webmaster here?
  3. How can I help support Atlas Quest?
  4. What browsers are supported by Atlas Quest?
  5. How do I rate a letterbox that I've already found?
  6. How are blue diamonds assigned to letterboxes?
  7. What are “blue diamond” boxes?
  8. How do I purchase a Blue Diamond Worthy Letterboxer patch?
  9. How are ‘hit counts’ counted?
  10. How do I search by location?
  11. How can I find letterboxers in my area?
  12. What happened to print-friendly clues?
  13. What do I do if PayPal canceled the subscription for my premium membership?
  14. How do I purchase a gift membership for someone?
  15. Why do retired boxes have blue diamonds?
  16. Are you on Facebook?
  17. Why did my blue diamond disappear?!
  18. How does the Online Members page work?
  19. After meeting a letterboxer, how do I add their stamps to my logbook?
  20. What is the hug count?
  21. Do different pictures on the home page mean something, for example the hats?
  22. How are the country/state/province counts calculated?
  23. What do the icons next to a member's trailname mean?
  24. How do I get notified of recently planted letterboxes in my area?
  25. What is the chick's name on Atlas Quest?
  26. How do I add a friend?
  27. How do I view the finds on a letterbox?
  28. How do I manage tags?
  29. How do I mark one of my letterboxes as "missing"?
  30. How do I formally request a new letterbox hide? Do I fill a form out and wait for reviewer to approve like geocaching?
  31. What are the icon image definitions?
  32. How can I report that I found my box still in place so that it can go from average to good?

What's up with the chick logo?

You mean Marjorie? Back in the early days while developing Atlas Quest, Amanda started taking amusing pictures of the chicks in common letterboxing situations. Just for kicks, mind you, but when Ryan saw them, he realized that a couple of the pictures could fit with the tutorials on the site. They were so popular, Amanda and Ryan looked for other places to put the chick—now named Marjorie since she's yellow like margarine. It became a theme of sorts. After deciding on the name Atlas Quest for the website, Amanda and Ryan thought it would be funny to have the chick holding the world on its back—just like the Greek legend of Atlas. Next thing you know, Marjorie had a full-time job on Atlas Quest as a mascot.


Who is the webmaster here?

The Green Tortuga, a.k.a. Ryan Carpenter. While he might be the mastermind behind the operation, however, there are a lot of supporting actors and actresses who've helped contribute ideas, comments, and tested various features. For technical help, Wes—a former mastermind behind—has been invaluable. For ideas and suggestions, Amanda from Seattle has been a driving force of inspiration. But ultimately, it's the Tortuga that makes the final call on features and changes.

How can I help support Atlas Quest?

If you think of any ideas to improve this site, share them! Depending on the complexity and changes required, it may take months before new feature can be added. And other ideas may ultimately be chucked for insurmountable implementation details or set aside for higher priority ideas, but all ideas for improvements are read and seriously considered.

Financial help in the form of subscriptions or purchasing goods and services through our affiliates will help fund improvements. The hosting expenses itself are not too bad, but the only reason Ryan can work full time, every day of the week, rarely taking a day off from monitoring and running Atlas Quest is because he does not have a 9-to-5 job to occupy his time. The plus side, of course, is that he can be around to answer questions, develop new features, and keep the site running smoothly. The down side, of course, is the lack of income, and it's help through premium memberships that Ryan can purchase food, clothes, and other necessities without having to get a real job.

Premium members are often very helpful in testing new features. Since they do help keep Atlas Quest financially afloat, premium members sometimes get sneak previews of up-and-coming features and can kick the tires for problems before the feature is realized to a wider audience.

What browsers are supported by Atlas Quest?

Firefox is the recommended browser. It's a solid browser that works on almost all types of systems including PCs and Macs with an extensive source of extensions to customize your needs. It's also the main browser the webmaster, Ryan, develops the site with so is the most unlikely to experience problems.

But any modern browser installed or updated since about March of 2017 will work well. This includes Firefox, Chrome, Safari and Microsoft Edge. Note that Internet Explorer is no longer supported—Microsoft is pushing people to their Edge browser so that's the one we will support.

To log into Atlas Quest, you must have cookies on your browser enabled. Most of the website should work fine if JavaScript is disabled, but there are a couple of features that rely heavily on JavaScript so it is recommended that you leave it enabled.

How do I rate a letterbox that I've already found?

Blue diamonds are assigned to letterboxes based on votes by AQ members who've recorded finds on the letterbox. To view your votes, change them, or vote on letterboxes you've previously not voted on, use the Record Ratings page. You can also check out your voting statistics.

How are blue diamonds assigned to letterboxes?

Those who find a letterbox have the option of recording their opinion of the letterbox on a scale from 1 to 5. And no, you cannot rate your own letterboxes—there is too much conflict of interest in allowing that. How you vote will never be exposed publicly. Administrators and webmasters on Atlas Quest can see how you voted if they need to, but that is not likely to happen since they have better things to do with their lives than worry about what you think of other people's letterboxes.

The actual calculations used by Atlas Quest to rank the letterboxes is a secret to discourage people from trying to 'beat the system.' It's not a simple calculation. A variety of factors is taken into account to determine rankings such as the voting history of each finder, their experience level, and even the standard deviation of how everyone voted on a given letterbox.

Once each month, Atlas Quest runs these calculations then assigns blue diamonds to the top 5% of the letterboxes.

Your Voting Patterns
Record Votes

What are “blue diamond” boxes?

Blue diamond letterboxes are the highest ranked letterboxes based on anonymous votes cast by people who've found letterboxes.

Obviously, not all letterboxes can be blue diamond boxes. First, the brutal truth: Some letterboxes are better than others. Most letterboxes, by definition, are average. There is no shame in this—even the most average letterboxes are delightful to find. But to give recognition to those that create particularly memorable letterboxes and help those in unfamiliar territory to narrow down an often bewildering number of boxes in an area, Atlas Quest picks out the top 5% of boxes—based on the anonymous votes—and highlights them by including a blue diamond as one of the attributes.

It's not a precise science, and boxes with no finds (and therefore no votes) won't have blue diamonds no matter how good they are. Letterboxes with very few votes may be skewed if the people who found it judge a box differently from you. Or, it might be that your idea of the “perfect” letterbox is very different than the normal person on Atlas Quest, and thus the blue diamonds end up on all the wrong boxes from your point of view.

To help prevent a lot hurt feelings, you will not be able to see who nor how people voted and rated your own letterboxes. The only thing you will ever know about how the votes might have gone is based on whether a blue diamond shows up next to your letterbox or not, and there's no shame if you do not receive the blue diamond—95% of the letterboxes listed on Atlas Quest will not have them.

How do I purchase a Blue Diamond Worthy Letterboxer patch?

There is no criteria or hoops to jump through to get this patch. Even if you HAVE a blue diamond, there is no guarantee you will have it tomorrow, so this patch says LetterboxER instead of Letterbox. You may not have a blue diamond at this time, but if you are a BD in your heart and manner, by treating others with kindness and respect and doing your best to be a positive contributor to the letterboxing hobby, you qualify. Use the patch to inspire you to explore cool places, write awesome clues, and carve beautiful stamps!

To order, go to, a site run by Der Mad Stamper. They'll take good care of you! UPDATE: This link is currently not working and a new address is not confirmed.

How are ‘hit counts’ counted?

If you have a clue hosted on Atlas Quest, the site will try to keep track of the how many people have viewed your clues. The numbers are available on the box details page, and only the person or persons who planted or own the box can see the counts, and this number is called the ‘hit count.’ Only AQ hosted clues will have hit counts since there is no way for Atlas Quest to count the number of people viewing clues on remote websites.

As a general rule of thumb, each time someone views your clue, it counts as a single hit. If they view your clue multiple times in quick succession, only the first hit will count. If they view a clue then come back the next day and view it again, both viewings will count as a hit. Only viewing the actual clue will count as a hit—someone viewing the box details page will not.

If you view the clue of the box you planted or own, it will not count as a hit as long as you’re logged into your account.

Hit counts are not a precise science. Some of the hits are caused by spiders, a technical term for things like search engines that crawl through the web looking for web pages to add to their search results. Two hits by different people using the same computer may only get counted as a single hit. And hits only count when someone views the actual Atlas Quest hosted clues. Views to cached clues do not get counted, so people who print several clues to the same page will not be counted since it is actually the cached version of the clue that is displayed.

It’s a fuzzy number at best, but it could give you a sense of which boxes people are looking at and which ones they are passing over.

How do I search by location?

The “location” search can take various forms:

  • Leave the option blank: (All locations search) If you don’t include any location information then all locations will be returned.
  • City, State/Country: (Location-based search) If you search from a specific point such as a city, park, address or zip code, all locations within the specified distance will be included in the search results. If the distance is zero, all boxes within the specified park, city, or specified address will be included and no others. This little trick does not work for zip codes, however—it will include all boxes within the city that the zip code matches instead. For more details about what sorts of locations can be used and the proper format for entering them, check out How does a location based search work?
  • Latitude, Longitude: (Location-based search) If you use a GPS and want to search based on latitude and longitude coordinates, not a problem! Go for it!
  • City, County, State, or Country: (Area search) If your search radius is smaller than the location being searched, AQ will generate an “area” search that includes all locations within that area. For instance, a “10 mile search for all boxes in California” doesn’t really make a lot of sense—California is HUGE!—so AQ assumes you want to run a search for all boxes in California. On the other hand, a “100 mile search for all boxes in Rhode Island” has its own paradox since Rhode Island has a much smaller radius than 100 miles. Atlas Quest perceives this request as a search for all boxes in Rhode Island along with neighboring boxes in bordering states. So specifically, it is the radius of your search compared to the radius of the location being search that determines if the search is a location-based search or an area search. If you keep the default search radius at 15 miles, any location larger than 15 miles becomes an area search while any location smaller than 15 miles becomes a location-based search.
  • Home: (Location-based or area search) If you are logged into an AQ account and have set your location in the Account Info page, a search for “home” will run a search with your personal location as the focus of the search. If the location is a coordinate, address, street intersection or city, it will run as a normal location-based search. If the location is a county, state or country, the search will run as an area search as long as the radius is smaller than the specified area.
  • BETWEEN Location AND Location: (Rectangle search) If you run a search for all objects (boxes, events, trackers or whatever) between Point A and Point B, AQ will run a “rectangle” search. The two points mark opposite corners of a rectangle, and any objects within that rectangle will be returned. The distance, if specified, will be ignored.
  • FROM Location TO Location: (Linear search) If you run a search that specifies a location to another location, AQ will run a linear search between those two points, and the distances will include both the distance along that path from the first location and the distance off the linear path that the object (box, event, tracker, etc.) is listed.
  • ALONG Route FROM Location TO Location: (Trip planner search) This will run a search from Point A to Point B following one of the predefined routes—mostly Interstates and popular long-distance paths. If Atlas Quest cannot find the requested route, the search will be converted into a linear search and the ALONG part will be ignored.

Search Options

  • Use Exact Locations: This option is particularly useful for area searches when you want to run a search for mystery boxes within a specified area.
  • Use Original Locations: Premium members can override the location of letterboxes, event and trackers, and when AQ runs a search, it will use these custom locations by default if they are available. By checking this option, you can force AQ to use the original locations specified by the owner and ignore your custom locations. Since custom locations are a premium member perk, only premium members will see this option.

“Use Exact Locations” Option

The Use Exact Locations option seems relatively straight-forward, but it is actually trickier than you might expect. For instance, what if there is a mystery box whose location is listed as “somewhere in Northern California”? If you run a search for mystery boxes in California, even if you “use exact locations,” you will usually still want it to return boxes somewhere in “Northern California.” People expect AQ to sort boxes into certain levels—address, city, county, state, and country. Any box that doesn’t fit neatly into a category (such as “Northern California”) can be problematic, and for searching purposes, AQ will “upgrade” Northern California into a “California” level, allowing it to show when you run an “exact” location for boxes in California. Otherwise, you might miss such a letterbox completely.

Another example where “exact” can be a little fuzzy is park names and addresses. What if one person lists the location of their box as “Lincoln Park, 2323 Elm Grove Road” but you run an “exact” search for “Lincoln Park”? Most people would expect this to match even though, technically speaking, it is not really exact. Close enough, though!

So that “Use Exact Locations” option is not accurate in the strictest sense of the word. It is possible, however, to force AQ to run an exact search in the very strictest sense of the word, you can set the radius of your search to 0. It is somewhat of a hack and most people should never need this option, but it is there if it’s ever needed.

How can I find letterboxers in my area?

Atlas Quest does not require that people include their location when signing up for an account, so there is no systematic method to search for letterboxers based on where they live. Someone might choose to list that information in their profile, but since there is no standardized form for entering the location or error checking to insure Atlas Quest knows where a specific location is, it is not very useful for sorting or searching purposes. Additionally, some people may prefer that their location not be so readily available to everyone else.

Thus, there is no system available to search for letterboxers based on their location. You can, however, guess the area where someone lives based on where they plant and find letterboxes since most people tend to plant in areas they live or visit often. Additionally, if you hold a gathering in the area, most people who attend likely live somewhere within easy driving distance. Or, a more direct method of finding out is to post a message on the state board where you live as ask where everyone lives. It will not get you a complete listing of all letterboxers in your area, but neither is any other method of trying to figure out who lives nearby.

With a little time and experience, you will be able to figure out who lives in your area, or at least who the most active letterboxers are.

What happened to print-friendly clues?

There used to be a button explicitly for "print-friendly clues." The print-friendly page used black text on a white background, removed decorative images, and removed any information not required to find a letterbox such as the planter's name or the last found date of a box.

Breaking this down into two issues: People liked the black text on a white background and removal of decorative images. People did not like the removed information such as the planter's name or last found date of the box. So it was recommended that you just print the clue page. It was always print friendly, regardless of the horrible colors you might see on the screen. The only difference between printing the clue page and printing the print-friendly was the lack of additional information not needed to find a letterbox. But since pretty much everyone wanted that extra information, it made the print-friendly page completely useless. Nobody actually wanted to print it! So it was removed.

When that happened, a lot of people spoke up to complain that they used the page to read otherwise difficult-to-read clues. They didn't want to print the page, but they still wanted to see it since it got rid of all those ugly or difficult-to-read color combinations that people used in their clues. It turns out that the print-friendly page was more often used as a screen-friendly page, and the screen-friendly page was more often used as a print-friendly page!

Rather than create a "screen friendly" link, however, a new Miscellaneous Preference was added so you could ignore color choices by planters completely. Use that option, and the clue page will look much like the old print-friendly page did. Regardless of whether or not that option is selected, the printed view should still look good with black text on a white background.

What do I do if PayPal canceled the subscription for my premium membership?

Not to worry. Usually this happens when your default payment source no longer works (probably an expired credit card), and even though there might still be months left on your premium membership, will cancel all your subscriptions. It's a very annoying habit of PayPal and out of the control of Atlas Quest. Sometimes, people who've changed their credit card information with PayPal have also inadvertently canceled their subscriptions.

Don't panic, though. While it is not possible to 'uncancel' your subscription, you will still get the same renewal rate as long as you manually renew your premium membership before it expires. Atlas Quest will send you an AQ mail warning you of your impending expiration about one month before your premium membership expires.

How do I purchase a gift membership for someone?

Use the Gift a Premium Membership page. You can also find a link for this page from the Premium Membership page.

As of this writing (March 3, 2011), new premium memberships run $38/year. If you are paying for a renewal, the rate will vary depending on when the original subscription was started. If you inadvertently overpay (or underpay for that matter), they'll get as much time as was paid for. For instance, if you pay $35 for a renewal that should have cost $30, they'll get 35/30=1.16667 years extra of premium membership (1 year and 61 days). If you inadvertently underpay $30 instead of $35, however, the recipient will receive 30/35=0.8571 years of premium membership (313 days).

Most gift memberships seem to be for new premium memberships, however, and at this time new premium memberships run $38/year. Pricing only gets more complicated if you're dealing with renewals. (It's easy for the recipient to figure out—they see exactly how much their yearly rates are from the Premium Membership page, but it's more complicated for gifters since they can't see what the recipient is paying.)

Why do retired boxes have blue diamonds?

A better question to ask is why should they not have blue diamonds? A favorite letterbox that goes missing can still be a favorite, and seeing as we're not talking about real diamonds, there is nothing to lose by leaving them in place.

Atlas Quest ranks the top rated 5% of boxes with blue diamonds. It could give them to the top 5% of all letterboxes, or the top 5% of all active boxes, but it will not change the ratings either way for active boxes. And while many people sometimes use blue diamonds to help narrow down a search, they are also meant as a pat on the back for a job well done!

So, retired boxes can continue having the diamonds.

Are you on Facebook?

There is an Atlas Quest Junkies group. It's not maintained by the Green Tortuga (he's too busy on Atlas Quest to maintain groups on other sites as well!), but you'll find a lot of familiar names in that group.

Why did my blue diamond disappear?!

Blue diamonds are assigned to the 5% most favorite boxes on Atlas Quest based on the votes people cast when recording a find. These votes are recounted once per month, and blue diamonds are distributed based on the new counts. This means that a box that used to have a blue diamond can lose it if other boxes push past it in the rankings. It doesn't happen often, but it does happen.

Specific reasons why a box's ranking change include:
  • Someone changed a previous vote
  • New (low) votes can pull down a previous high ranking
  • Votes on other boxes may increase the rankings of those boxes relative to yours, even if no votes changed on your box
  • The process for calculating rankings may be tweaked to try to get better results over time

When your box does get a blue diamond, it will keep it for at least one month since the rankings are only calculated once per month. Over 95% of boxes with a blue diamond typically keep it during the next ranking, but occasionally, as more votes are amassed (and particularly for "vulnerable" boxes that are already close to the 5% cut-off), a box will lose it's blue diamond. Don't feel bad—it may still be ranked very well—just no longer in the top 5% of all boxes that are listed.

How does the Online Members page work?

Tucked away under People is the Online Members page, which shows a rough approximation of who is currently on Atlas Quest at the time you view it. Keep in mind the following limitations, however:

  • Members can opt out of showing up in this list from their Privacy Preferences. Just because you don't see someone doesn't mean they aren't online.
  • Only members who are logged in will show up. Guests visiting the site but who do not have an account or have not logged into one will not show up.
  • Members who have recently been on Atlas Quest but quit without logging out will continue to show up in the list for an hour before their name drops off. Just because someone is on the list doesn't necessarily mean they are online!

That last point should have further explanation. Due to the nature of the Internet, it's not actually possible to know who is using Atlas Quest at any given time. Rather, when someone visits a page on Atlas Quest, the time of the visit is recorded. The list is simply a list of the most recent visitors to Atlas Quest. The "age" column is how long it has been since Atlas Quest detected a page hit by that member—NOT how long they have been on Atlas Quest. The older the age, the more likely the person has moved on to another website or shut down their browser without logging out.

After meeting a letterboxer, how do I add their stamps to my logbook?

This is really a two-part question since there are two distinctly different types of stamps you might acquire from a fellow letterboxer: their signature stamp (an exchange) and their personal travelers (recorded as a find on the box).

How do I list an exchange?
How do I record finding a personal traveler?

What is the hug count?

The hug count is an AQ creation related to your message board posts. When you read the message boards, you have the option of clicking buttons at the end of each post for casting votes, of a sort—indicating that you think a post is funny, interesting, educational, or whatever the case may be. And there's a hug option. If someone describes a rough day at work, or a death in the family, or you just want to show a little sympathy or kindness, you can click on the hug button. And the hug count is the total number of times people have given you a virtual hug on the message boards.

This count usually doesn't update during a session on Atlas Quest. The number is calculated when you first log in. There are a few places where it gets recalculated—saving certain preferences, for instance—but you shouldn't expect this value to change during a session on Atlas Quest. If you really can't wait to see an updated value, you'll need to log out and back in again.

Do different pictures on the home page mean something, for example the hats?

Atlas Quest regularly changes the theme that's displayed. For instance, during the Christmas season, we'll display a Christmas theme. Some themes may not be obvious, such as Picasso's birthday. Most themes will include a small, almost hidden link just below the login/logout button in the upper-right corner of the page labeled About Theme. Click on this link to learn more about the theme. Some themes that are more-or-less self-explanatory will not include such a link.

The small images, called icons, next to trail names, box names, and so forth do have specific meanings. If you hover your mouse cursor over the image, a tooltip will pop up with a brief hint about what the icon represents. In most cases, you can click directly on the icon to open a help page with more details about the icon's meaning. For instance, if you click on a hat by someone's trail name, a tooltip labeled "Premium Member" pops up. If you click on the icon, a page of Member Attributes pops up with a more thorough explanation of all of the icons that you might find by a member, including the hats.

How are the country/state/province counts calculated?

On the AQ Statistics page, you'll find a list of how many active boxes are in each country, state, and province listed. Only active boxes are counted. Mystery boxes, if a state or province is not provided, will be grouped separately. If you're looking at your personal statistics (available to premium members only), all boxes are counted, regardless of whether they are still active or not.

The countries, states, and provinces are sorted alphabetically, from left to right, top to bottom. The smaller numbers in gray immediately after the country/state/province name is its ranking in that group. So, if California has #4 after it, it means that there are three other states that have more letterboxes than California.

In case of a tie, the rankings are then sorted alphabetically, so two states with the same number of boxes will not have the same ranking. So, for example, if both Antarctica and Argentina each have one letterbox, Antarctica will rank higher since it comes first alphabetically. Not fair, perhaps, but that's the way it works. If Argentina gets another letterbox however, then Argentina will rank higher.

Countries, states, and provinces with no letterboxes at all do not get included in these lists.

Your personal statistics will include country, state, and province counts for both boxes you've "planted" and boxes you've found. Technically, the personal stats only count boxes you own rather than planted. Most of the time, the planter and owner is the same and you'll rarely notice the issue. The reason owners are used rather than planters has to do with some technical stuff that causes the database queries to run much more efficiently when searching for box owners rather than box planters. So most of the time, you won't notice a difference, but it is something to keep in mind.

And for unlisted boxes you've recorded finding, those have no location information and therefore will not be included in the find counts. It will also only show statistics if you've planted or found boxes in more than one category. (For instance, if you've only planted boxes in the United States, the country-based counts will not be included on the stats page—it's the same as your P-count!)

What do the icons next to a member's trailname mean?

View Profile Allows you to view this member's profile.
Contact Member Allows you to contact this member.
View Logbook Allows you to view this member's online logbook.
Add Note Read Note View and/or edit any notes you've taken about this member. If the notepad is blank, you haven't added any notes for this member yet. If the notepad has writing on it, then there are notes to read.
Planted 1 letterbox Planted 20-39 letterboxes Planted 300-399 letterboxes Trophies represent the number of planted letterboxes. Bronze trophies display your exact number of plants from 1 to 9. Silver trophies represent between 10 and 99 planted boxes (the number on the trophy is rounded down to the nearest 10), while gold trophies represent between 100 and 999 plants (the number on the trophy is rounded down to the nearest 100).
Found 1 letterbox Found 20-29 letterboxes Found 300-399 letterboxes Found 4,000-4,999 letterboxes Found 50,000-59,999 letterboxes Ribbons represent the number of found letterboxes. The ribbon gets an extra "point" at the bottom for every zero that follows the first digit. The ribbons are color-coded to the first digit roughly in a rainbow pattern from 1 to 9: 1 = red, 2 = orange, 3 = yellow, 4 = green, 5 = cyan, 6 = blue, 7 = magenta, 8 = purple and 9 = silver/grey.
1 message posted 20-29 messages posted 300-399 messages posted 4,000-4,999 messages posted 50,000-59,999 messages posted 600,000-699,999 message posted Stars represent the number of messages the member has posted to the Atlas Quest message boards. The number of stars or the size of the star increases as the count number increases. Each small star is worth one digit, and each big star is worth three digits. For example, two small stars = 10-99. One large star and one small star = 3 + 1 = 1,000-9,999. The biggest stars are color-coded to the first digit in roughly a rainbow pattern: 1 = red, 2 = orange, 3 = yellow, 4 = green, 5 = cyan, 6 = blue, 7 = magenta, 8 = purple and 9 = silver/grey. (If there are small and large stars, the color on the small star means nothing.)
New member since November 11, 2011 The stroller indicates that the user is new to Atlas Quest and will appear for the first two weeks from the time they signed up.
Profile updated November 11, 2011 Means that member has updated their profile within the last seven days. It may be nothing more exciting than adding a favorite food to the profile, or it may be they have filled out their interview!
Last Login: > 1 month Last Login: > 3 month Last Login: > 1 year The green, yellow and red battery indicators represent the last time the member logged into Atlas Quest. Green and still mostly full means they haven't logged in for at least 1 month. Yellow and half empty means that they haven't logged in for at least 1 quarter (3 months). Red and empty means that they haven't logged in for at least 1 full year.
Happy Anniversary! The picture of a cake means this user is celebrating an anniversary—the anniversary of the date they signed up on Atlas Quest!
Resting in Peace This is one icon you will never see next to your name, and you would probably prefer if others did not see it next to your name either since it means you have died. We won't delete your account if we find out about your death, but it lets other people know why you are no longer replying to AQ mail or maintaining your letterboxes. It also means there is a tribute section for you in the letterboxer obituaries.
Those with premium memberships at Atlas Quest get a feather in the cap to recognize their important contribution in helping to fund Atlas Quest. There are a few dozen hats available for premium members to choose, but you'll see a red or yellow feather in their hat regardless of the type they've selected. Additionally, as premium members, they get access to special features not accessible with a free membership. Learn more about the benefits of premium membership and how you can become one too!
Coffee Cup This icon is a premium member perk that indicates you've done an exchange with the person.
Silver Coin This member has found (or attempted to find) somewhere between 1 and 4 challenging boxes.
Gold Coin This member has found (or attempted to find) somewhere between 5 and 19 challenging boxes.
Coin Stacks This member has found (or attempted to find) somewhere between 20 and 49 challenging boxes.
Coin Pile This member has found (or attempted to find) somewhere between 50 and 99 challenging boxes.
Bills and Coins This member has found (or attempted to find) somewhere between 100 and 249 challenging boxes.
Bag of Coins This member has found (or attempted to find) somewhere between 250 and 499 challenging boxes.
Safe with Coins This member has found (or attempted to find) 500+ challenging boxes!

P-Count Icon Sequence

Bronze trophies (1-9 plants):
Silver trophies (10-99 plants):
Gold trophies (100-999 plants):
Winner's podium (1,000+ plants):

F-Count Icon Sequence

0-point ribbons (1-9 finds):
1-point ribbons (10-99 finds):
2-point ribbons (100-999 finds):
3-point ribbons (1,000-9,999 finds):
4-point ribbons (10,000-99,999 finds):

Message-Count Icon Sequence

1 small star (1-9 posts):
2 small stars (10-99 posts):
3 small stars (100-999 posts):
1 large star, 1 small star (1,000-9,999 posts):
1 large star, 2 small stars (10,000-99,999 posts):
1 large star, 3 small stars (100,000-999,999 posts):

How do I get notified of recently planted letterboxes in my area?

  1. Run a search for the area you want to cover.
  2. From the search results page, click the link to Save Search in the upper-right corner of the page.
  3. Name your search. If you're a premium member, you can request notification for new boxes that match your search as often as every 15 minutes or as little as once per week. If you are not a premium member, you can only get notifications every 24 hours.
  4. Save it!

You'll now receive notifications of all newly listed letterboxes that match your search.

What is the chick's name on Atlas Quest?

Marjorie Quack, born in Indianapolis and in a relational ship with George.

See also: What's up with the chick logo?

How do I add a friend?

There's no "friend list" per se on Atlas Quest. You can add friends as an AQ mail contact (use the box in the upper-right corner of the page). If you've exchanged with them, you can also list them as an exchange.

How do I view the finds on a letterbox?

The list of who found a box and when for traditional boxes is now a premium member perk. Non-premium members can only see a summary of the most recent finds and attempts of a letterbox along with the last found date.

How do I manage tags?

First, make sure you are logged into your Atlas Quest account. You can't manage anything if AQ doesn't know who you are!

Then, when you view a letterbox, tracker or event—you'll see a set of checkboxes for each of the available tags. Check or uncheck as necessary, then click the "Save Changes" button to make them stick.

To change the name of a tag, click the pencil next to the "Save Changes" button. The pencil represents the 'edit' link, and it'll let you edit the names of the tags.

How do I mark one of my letterboxes as "missing"?

Scroll down on the page of the letterbox in question to the colored section which lists Carver and Status. Click on the arrow on the Status box and switch from Active to Unavailable, if you plan to replant, or Retired, if you do not plan to replant.

How do I formally request a new letterbox hide? Do I fill a form out and wait for reviewer to approve like geocaching?

Register on Atlas Quest. Go to the toolbar and select Add Letterbox. Fill in the pages and choose Next Page up through the Restrictions Page. Save.

What are the icon image definitions?

If you hover your mouse cursor over an image, you’ll see a tooltip with what the icon represents. Usually, if you click the image, it will take you to a help page with a more thorough description of what the icon represents as well as related icons.

How can I report that I found my box still in place so that it can go from average to good?

Go to My Page on the toolbar at the top of this page and click the My Logbook option. Find your box and open the details page for it, select Maintenance Check on the top toolbar. Click on All is Good and then save.