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Re: Mystery box or not?
Board: Letterboxing Help Desk
Reply to: #979039 by Boxer Lover47
Sep 1, 2019 6:31pm
Thread
Does AQ consult the accompanying map at all?

No, AQ has absolutely no concept of political boundaries. It has no idea what size or shape a city, county, state or country is. The latitude/longitude coordinates are what it likes to work with--political boundaries are for people.

AQ can sometimes fill in blanks that people leave in the location. For instance, most people don't include the county when they list a location. They want to list a place like "Seattle"--it just works. There's no county, state or even country listed, but AQ can figure those out because it knows about only one Seattle (there is only one), and the one and only Seattle is located in King County, which is located in Washington state, which is located in the United States. It can use information it already knows about the city to fill in the missing information.

In a nutshell, if AQ knows what city you're referring to, it can fill in the county, state and country details. (Most of the time, at least!)

If it knows what county the box is in but not the city, it can't fill in the city, but it can still fill in the state and country.

And so on. If it doesn't know the city or county but it knows the state, it can fill in the country--but it can't fill in the city or county.

And if it only knows the country, it can't fill in the city, county or state.

Anyhow... when it comes to listing custom locations, my advise has always been to provide as much information as possible. Even if you think AQ can and should fill information like the city or county automatically, it can do it incorrectly. (What if you list the location as "Portland"? Is AQ supposed to guess which Portland it's supposed to be? There's only one Seattle, but there are a lot of Portlands out there!)

You might think the name of a location or address--which is "more specific" than a city would allow AQ to fill in the city, county, state and/or country, but locations and addresses aren't actually "regions" in that sense so the internal logic on AQ kind of breaks down at that point.

This is because the location or address can actually be less specific than a city! Most locations are the name of a park or business or whatever and most addresses are a street address that takes you to a single point in a region, but it's perfectly legitimate to have a location for "Northern California" that has no city or county but still has a state and country included. I've sometimes used the address for a road or trail (e.g. a mystery box somewhere on "Route 66"), which can span multiple state!

So the location and address fields are pretty flexible, but can't reliably be used to fill in city or county information automatically. Most of the time, AQ has no idea what "level" the location or address is being covered, and leaves everything blank until the user fills in a region at a known level.

And coordinates aren't used to fill in the blanks because AQ has absolutely no idea what region a specific coordinate is located. It has--quite literally--no idea of the size or shape of a region.

Anyhow, long story short.... always provide as much information about the location of your box as you can. AQ will attempt to fill in some of the blanks it feels fairly confident about, but you can't depend on that--and it can sometimes get it flat-out wrong.

Most the time, it works pretty well, though. Which might be part of the reason people feel compelled not to provide as much information about the location of their box as they call. They think AQ is infallible. =)

And, quite literally, every box really has two locations--the latitude/longitude coordinates which are used to run distance searches and the political region location which are used to run area searches. They're completely different searches that check the two different types of locations listed with each box. If the coordinates are incorrect, it'll mess up distance-based searches--but area searches might still work just fine assuming that data is correct. But if the area location is incorrect, the box will show up in the wrong area searches even if it shows up correctly in distance-based searches.

Locations are just messy.... =) Geocachers kind of have it easy in that regard. They don't really have to mess around with regions or areas. All they really need are coordinates, and that's what computers like.

-- Ryan
Cincinnati question
Board: Letterboxing Help Desk
Sep 1, 2019 6:46pm
Thread
Why did all the Spring Grove locations turn to coordinates? It used to list the cemetery name, but now they are all changed.
Re: Mystery box or not?
Board: Letterboxing Help Desk
Reply to: #979043 by Green Tortuga
Sep 1, 2019 6:53pm
Thread
(What if you list the location as "Portland"? Is AQ supposed to guess which Portland it's supposed to be? There's only one Seattle, but there are a lot of Portlands out there!)

And someone may want that exact ambiguity. If someone just names the box "Portland" and makes the location "USA" then gives directions, the seeker will have to figure out which Portland to start in. It may also be that "Portland" is just the name of the stamp and the start location is supposed to be figured out from something else in the clue.

Locations are just messy.... =) Geocachers kind of have it easy in that regard. They don't really have to mess around with regions or areas. All they really need are coordinates, and that's what computers like.

I like the ability to do both. Sometimes I want to be very specific. Sometimes I want to give a large area to start to figure out the location. For geocaches you have to give posted coordinates withing 2 miles of the final location. For letterboxes you can be as ambiguous as Planet Earth.

I assume that if/when we ever get routine travel to other planet/planet-like bodies you will be able to be as ambiguous as Sol System. And then there is the (theoretically eventually) possibility of interstellar letterboxes. As ambiguous as Milky Way anyone?
Re: Cincinnati question
Board: Letterboxing Help Desk
Reply to: #979046 by PiggyJaunt
Sep 1, 2019 7:00pm
Thread
It also looks like the western side of Cincinnati is also affected. Did the city center and radius change?
Re: Cincinnati question
Board: Letterboxing Help Desk
Reply to: #979046 by PiggyJaunt
Sep 1, 2019 8:01pm
Thread
Why did all the Spring Grove locations turn to coordinates? It used to list the cemetery name, but now they are all changed.

It should be fixed now.
Re: Cincinnati question
Board: Letterboxing Help Desk
Reply to: #979048 by speedsquare
Sep 1, 2019 8:01pm
Thread
Are you seeing boxes other than ones at Spring Grove?
Box 204653
Board: Letterboxing Help Desk
Sep 1, 2019 8:11pm
Thread
From a find report I learned that I am now the owner of this series. Originally all I did was donate a stamp. Wondering if I'm the owner because all the original owners are no longer active? Seems weird!
Re: Box 204653
Board: Letterboxing Help Desk
Reply to: #979053 by BBStacker
Sep 1, 2019 10:16pm
Thread
Wondering if I'm the owner because all the original owners are no longer active?

You nailed it. *nodding*

But you can also transfer the box for someone else to be the owner if you find a fitting replacement. =)

-- Ryan
Re: Box 204653
Board: Letterboxing Help Desk
Reply to: #979057 by Green Tortuga
Sep 2, 2019 4:28am
Thread
Thanks, need to talk to my Ohio friends to see if anyone is interested in owning this series.
Re: Mystery box or not?
Board: Letterboxing Help Desk
Reply to: #978992 by Eevil
Sep 2, 2019 3:05pm
Thread
Watch it skippy, you know we could always get the band back together
Re: Mystery box or not?
Board: Letterboxing Help Desk
Reply to: #979090 by uevil
Sep 2, 2019 6:38pm
Thread
Wasn't the Eevil band disbanded?
Finds aren't showing as finds when I do searches
Board: Letterboxing Help Desk
Sep 3, 2019 4:52pm
Thread
Anyone else having trouble with recorded traditional box finds not showing as finds when you do searches? When I go to look through all my traditional finds, they have the green checkmark indicating I have recorded a particular box as a find. It also shows up in my find list--so that's all good.

A glitch I'm finding is that when I go to do a search for new boxes in a certain area, a recorded find is showing up in my search but NOT as a found and recorded box. One box I found specifically was a retired box and one is an active box. Both show up as a recorded find in my found box count but neither have check marks by their names and show up in my searches as if I haven't found them. Clear as mud? Anyone else having this problem.
Re: Finds aren't showing as finds when I do searches
Board: Letterboxing Help Desk
Reply to: #979122 by Trailtracker
Sep 3, 2019 5:55pm
Thread
Post the URL of your search and specifically what you believe is showing incorrectly. There's probably a good reason for it, but it's all theoretical and just guessing without specific examples.

-- Ryan
Re: Cincinnati question
Board: Letterboxing Help Desk
Reply to: #979052 by Eidolon
Sep 3, 2019 6:00pm
Thread
I’ll have to check the listings. Just thinking I have found quite a few in the western side of Cincinnati.
Re: Cincinnati question
Board: Letterboxing Help Desk
Reply to: #979135 by speedsquare
Sep 4, 2019 4:37am
Thread
Another possible quirk about searches in Cincinnati is that if one runs a location-based search on "Cincinnati, OH" (i.e. https://www.atlasquest.com/results.php?typeId=1;status=9;subFlags=14;title=cincinnati%2C+oh;coords=39.130725576255,-84.322771667198;rad=15;location=cincinnati%2C+oh) the search is based on a point east of Newtown OH. It seems to me those coordinates for the center of Cincinnati are a bit off.
Re: Cincinnati question
Board: Letterboxing Help Desk
Reply to: #979150 by roo
Sep 4, 2019 7:49am
Thread
Another possible quirk about searches in Cincinnati....

Yeah, Cincinnati had issues. There were two of them (one of them was a "mystery" county which was just plain wrong as far as I can tell), and neither of them were actually centered at the city center.

It should be better now, though!

-- Ryan
Re: Cincinnati question
Board: Letterboxing Help Desk
Reply to: #979154 by Green Tortuga
Sep 4, 2019 1:16pm
Thread
Oh, thanks. That is much better!

roo (who is planning a Cincy trip) :-)
Re: Cincinnati question
Board: Letterboxing Help Desk
Reply to: #979154 by Green Tortuga
Sep 4, 2019 6:52pm
Thread
It should be better now, though!

I got better.
Old and Active LB's
Board: Letterboxing Help Desk
Sep 4, 2019 9:23pm
Thread
Old and Active....sounds like me! But is there a way to search by year? I'm always happy to find a LB that is over 10 years or more. I think my oldest find was 2005, but can't remember what. When I first was stamping I wasn't logging the planted date. I am now. But when searching, I'd like to search by year and the area I'm in and try to find some old ones that maybe haven't been found in a while.
Re: Old and Active LB's
Board: Letterboxing Help Desk
Reply to: #979172 by Hippie Mountain Girl
Sep 5, 2019 12:19am
Thread
You could do an Advanced Search and choose the "Sort Order" to be "Oldest Planted" for a given area. You can also somewhat do it with your logbook if you put your trail name in for the "Finder," but this won't sort any Unlisted finds.
Slideshow
Board: Letterboxing Help Desk
Sep 6, 2019 7:46am
I view the photos every so often and when there are multi-pictures I use the slideshow. However, now when I click slideshow it will go to the opening page but when I hit next, it just goes back to the column of pictures. Is it just me or a glitch?

I would still like to see the number of pictures shown in the album photos info.
Wrong location
Board: Letterboxing Help Desk
Sep 8, 2019 8:25am
Thread
Hello admins,
I hope you can help. This box is listed for Mackinac Island, MI, but is showing up in a San Antonio, TX search. I hope someone can look into this so Michigan boxers will be able to see this one.
https://www.atlasquest.com/showinfo.php?boxId=307160
Re: Wrong location
Board: Letterboxing Help Desk
Reply to: #979264 by Mosaic Butterfly
Sep 8, 2019 9:48am
Thread
Interesting... I only took a quick glance, but the name Partridge Trail is the only commonality I can see... and it exists in both locations... but not the same state.

Perhaps they just need to simplify the location to Mackinac Island MI.

That should be more than enough... but then I haven't planted any yet!
Re: Wrong location
Board: Letterboxing Help Desk
Reply to: #979264 by Mosaic Butterfly
Sep 8, 2019 12:02pm
Thread
I'm guessing somebody has fixed it, because it looks just fine to me.
Re: Wrong location
Board: Letterboxing Help Desk
Reply to: #979267 by ST-Ranger
Sep 8, 2019 2:29pm
Thread
Yes--the location now shows in its rightful place. Thanks!
box stamp versus travel stamp
Board: Letterboxing Help Desk
Sep 9, 2019 5:35pm
Thread
Hi - I'm brand new to letterboxing and wondering if we take our own stamp with us on searches, then do we choose a different stamp to put in our own box if we decide to actually place a letterbox somewhere?

thanks!
Re: box stamp versus travel stamp
Board: Letterboxing Help Desk
Reply to: #979323 by ca29
Sep 9, 2019 6:17pm
Thread
If you hover your cursor over the word "Home" you will see links to extensive information and help on how to letterbox, FAQ, how to, glossay, etc. There is a lot of information to be had at these links. Also hover your cursor over "Toolbox" and see the Tutorial link there.

Each person has a personal stamp representing them. It is their "trailstamp". :::That stays with them:::. The image is inked into the logbook of the letterboxes you find.

When you decide to plant a letterbox you will then carve (or buy) a stamp that goes into the letterbox you plant. It will represent the subject matter or location , etc of your letterbox.

Please read the help sections and tutorials here on AQ. Most of your question will be answered there.

You should go letterboxing, find some, and see how others are planted, how clues are written, etc before planting yourself.

Please rehide the boxes well so they cannot be seen.

Welcome to letterboxing!
Re: box stamp versus travel stamp
Board: Letterboxing Help Desk
Reply to: #979323 by ca29
Sep 9, 2019 8:14pm
Thread
Go to an event and learn the ropes that way. Most fun way, for sure.
Re: box stamp versus travel stamp
Board: Letterboxing Help Desk
Reply to: #979323 by ca29
Sep 10, 2019 5:39am
Thread
Welcome! Hope you enjoy letterboxing as much as I do. It’s a great way to get a souvenir if your travels, even traveling for work or kid soccer games! I’ve visited lots of neat spots I’d have never seen if there wasn’t a letterbox there.

It’s exciting to plant a box but I agree with others that you would benefit from finding a bunch first. You’ll see the ways they are hidden, what kinds of spaces are too obvious and should be avoided, different types of boxes and pouches and how durable they are, etc. For example, I donated a stamp to a casual boxer who has left the hobby. From the comments of its finders, it sounds like it was hidden in a garden behind a tree under some palm fronds in a public park. Needless to say, the groundskeepers got it within a month. Also avoid places that invite investigation from “muggles” - interesting clefts in rocks, hollows in trees facing the trail, etc. If it catches the eye someone will look inside! Also, label your box do the geocachers don’t take your stamp and so that well-meaning muggles know to leave the box alone.

Have fun!!!!
Re: Cincinnati question
Board: Letterboxing Help Desk
Reply to: #979170 by Oberon_Kenobi
Sep 13, 2019 1:00pm
Thread
Oh, thank you! I was hoping it was that clip!

KuKu