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Re: What is the longest gap in finds of a box that u have found?
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #940785 by Sir Braemoor
Jan 18, 2017 3:23pm
Thread
An in-person exchange of old lost clues would seem very consistent with my romantic vision of how early American letterboxing operated. Framing a get together around a charitable cause would be a win-win. I would sign up and help out with something like that.

As far as distributing the clues, I don't see a problem sharing any clue that was originally posted online by the planter/owner. They can be found by the industrious. The event might also satisfy those original clue owner's whose preferences were to have their clues hand-passed between like-minded boxers.
Finding/having old clues, even when there is no longer a box attached to them, is always a rush. They are like little letterboxing historical documents.
Re: What is the longest gap in finds of a box that u have found?
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #940785 by Sir Braemoor
Jan 18, 2017 5:55pm
Thread
Whatever form it might happen in, I'll be there. :)
Re: What is the longest gap in finds of a box that u have found?
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #940688 by THE RED CYCLONE
Jan 18, 2017 6:02pm
Thread
So my story isn't as long an interval as yours. I was the first finder of a box located in a county park that had been placed over 2.5 years before I found it, and nobody else has logged it in in a year since. The box was right where the clues said, and it wasn't a particularly hard box to find in a popular park.
Check those locations!
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Jan 18, 2017 6:49pm
Thread
While we've been discussing boxes that rarely get found, I'd like to reiterate the importance of making sure AQ has a reasonably accurate location for your box. Not dead-on like geocache coordinates, but close enough that it'll pop up on Box Radar when you're in the vicinity.

Recently, while preparing to box an area, I patiently went through all the boxes that Box Radar brought up in the vicinity, read through the clues, and put more accurate locations on the listings. In several instances, I found that the boxes were nowhere near where Box Radar was showing them, and in at least one case it turned out the box was in an area I visited LAST week! I'm not going back for it, so it is missed.

Having an inaccurate location causes boxers to skip finding your box on both ends: When they're in the area where the box is, they don't see the listing. When they're in the area the listing appears in, they're nowhere near the box. In neither case will the boxer find the box.
Re: Check those locations!
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #940804 by Kirbert
Jan 18, 2017 7:12pm
Thread
I'd like to reiterate the importance of making sure AQ has a reasonably accurate location for your box.

Well, unless it is a mystery whose location is not meant to be accurate.
Re: Check those locations!
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #940806 by Henry Walton Jones Senior
Jan 18, 2017 8:27pm
Thread
Or it's the early days when all you could
Do was put a city for
Location and people
Had to
Figure it out.
Re: Check those locations!
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #940807 by Baqash
Jan 18, 2017 8:34pm
Thread
Or it's the early days when all you could ...

It was the early days when all you had was an old piece of parchment and what you found belonged in a museum.
Re: Check those locations!
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #940804 by Kirbert
Jan 19, 2017 2:53am
Thread
Having an inaccurate location causes boxers to skip finding your box

You mean like someone putting the name of a street that is close by but that your box in not actually on?
Re: Check those locations!
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #940811 by Elle
Jan 19, 2017 5:43am
Thread
I don't think that is the point. Some non-mystery boxes (they have addresses) are put on a map more than 50 miles from the actual location. It pays to do your homework.
Re: What is the longest gap in finds of a box that u have found?
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #940785 by Sir Braemoor
Jan 19, 2017 6:16am
Thread
I'm an economist, and I know this stuff has value. So, would people pay for it? What would they pay for it? Obviously, all revenue would go to charity, (and it would not even cover my travel expenses to pull the thing off (which of course I don't mind eating for a good cause)), but I'm one of those people who believes value should be monetized, and whenever possible, such monetization should be used to reduce suffering in the world.

I don't know whose clues you have, but if they were clues to my boxes, I'd feel uncomfortable about having them available only to people who pay, even if the money was going to charity. You can of course do what you want with your own clues, but if you don't know if the planters would approve, I'd think twice about charging a fee for clue access.

Just my .02, though.
Re: Check those locations!
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #940804 by Kirbert
Jan 19, 2017 7:20am
Thread
This is something that's been bothering me a lot lately. Lots of boxes get missed when searching certain areas of Las Vegas. It's not a tiny town any longer.
Re: Check those locations!
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #940804 by Kirbert
Jan 19, 2017 7:53am
Thread
Do you know when Geocaching became a worthless hobby?
When everyone started using smart phone apps!!! Now they expect to open their phone and not need to walk more then 50 feet for instant gratification.

Maybe being forced to plan ahead will keep the quality of this hobby up, its worth trying. I try to put the street that the parking area is on but as long as the town is correct people can figure it out if they really want my box.

If you can't take the time to plan ahead or return somewhere when you realize you missed a box, you probably can't take the time to rehide it properly and I really don't want you finding it anyway!
Re: Check those locations!
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #940804 by Kirbert
Jan 19, 2017 8:10am
Thread
A somewhat related issue that I find amusing is the markers used on the AQ map. There are three colored markers:
Blue Marker = Exact location < 1 mile
Red Marker = In or near the listed city <= 30 miles
Green Marker = A mystery location >30 miles

Seems logical, except many times I find Red Markers on boxes where the marker is < 1 mile from the box, and Blue Markers where the marker is > 1 mile from the box (or from where the clue starts).

What's more, this seems to be something AQ does automatically. I'm not sure how it does this, since I see both Blue Markers and Red Markers for boxes with only the town or city name as a location.

For that reason I don't rely much of marker color since it might not be a reliable indicator.
Maybe if there was a checkbox on the Location page while listing a box, where the planter could select the location and also could specify the "exactness" of that location. Instead of leaving the system to guess the exactness based on some assumptions.
Re: Check those locations!
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #940823 by Bon Echo
Jan 19, 2017 10:11am
Thread
Maybe if there was a checkbox on the Location page while listing a box, where the planter could select the location and also could specify the "exactness" of that location.

You can specify the exactness by setting the radius of the location, but the other thing to keep in mind is that you can list a box as being "somewhere in Seattle." It might happen to be located in downtown Seattle, a mere stone's throw from where the marker is displayed, but if the listing is for "somewhere" in Seattle, AQ doesn't know for certain that it's downtown and will still give it a red marker even though you might know it's downtown and think it should have a blue marker.

But anyhow, long story short, you do have control over the exactness of the location of the boxes you list, and premium members can set a custom location on any box if they don't like how the owner of the box has listed it, and many premium members do just that so the maps are more accurate.

-- Ryan
Re: Check those locations!
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #940821 by RIclimber
Jan 19, 2017 10:44am
Thread
I can understand not spoon feeding people the location, however, I come across boxes in results maps that dozens, even hundreds of miles away from the actual location. This is usually due to some simple mistake in entering the location information - a mis-spelled town name, or something else that the "geolocator code" cannot figure out. This is the software that takes the location information in human form and converts it to map coordinates for the software to visually display.

A recent example is a box listed along an interstate highway at a certain milepost and rest stop name. The software could not figure it out so it defaulted a "random" spot along the interstate roughly half way thru the state, well over 100 miles from the actually location.
Re: What is the longest gap in finds of a box that u have found?
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #940770 by Kirbert
Jan 19, 2017 12:55pm
Thread
No, I think it's because a focus on numbers is creeping in. "Why go on a hike that'll take all afternoon for one box when I can find four drive-bys in that time? Now, if someone would plant a half dozen boxes along that trail instead of just one, I'd be up for it!"

I'm new to letterboxing, 5 months maybe, so take these opinions as you will...

All things considered I'd rather hike to find boxes, and I do. I came from a geocaching background and though I'm a strong convert to boxing the one thing I don't understand is why planters choose to hide finds, attempts or comments (or really why that's even an option). In my areas there are boxes with found stats hidden. I don't mind hiking a couple of miles for a box but I'd like to have a reasonable idea if it's there or not before I start.

Also it seems boxers check on their boxes much less often. Again there are boxes here listed on longer hikes that have a string of attempts going back years with no update from the owner. We still attempt those, and have occasionally found some, but usually it's obvious the box is missing when you get to the site.

I guess my point is these things seem like they might deter new converts or really anyone from heading out to a far flung box.

I'm still learning the mysterious ways of boxing... but i'm getting there!
;-)

Just my 2ยข.

DZ
Re: What is the longest gap in finds of a box that u have found?
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #940770 by Kirbert
Jan 19, 2017 1:04pm
Thread
Let me preface this by saying that I am not a numbers person and, as a general proposition, I think that the numbers-mongers do have a bad effect on the hobby. That said, I think that there are two types of numbers-mongers:

1) There are those who have huge numbers because they really love the hobby. Sure, they find drive-bys and prefer a trail with a half-dozen boxes as Kirbert was talking about, but they also find the challenging boxes with hard clues or hikes. They plant boxes that reflect some thought - they have developed a "voice" as a planter.

2) There are also those who find the low-hanging fruit and sometimes even engage in shady practices to inflate numbers (like "planting" boxes under a noxer's trail name and recording them as "finds"). Their plants don't reflect thought or care. The clues are directions, the spots generic, and the carvings indifferent.

My suspicion is that when we talk about the numbers game as a problem, it's really this second type of boxer that we mean.
Re: Check those locations!
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #940827 by Green Tortuga
Jan 19, 2017 1:15pm
Thread
You can specify the exactness by setting the radius of the location, but the other thing to keep in mind is that you can list a box as being "somewhere in Seattle." It might happen to be located in downtown Seattle, a mere stone's throw from where the marker is displayed, but if the listing is for "somewhere" in Seattle, AQ doesn't know for certain that it's downtown and will still give it a red marker even though you might know it's downtown and think it should have a blue marker.

I wasn't aware of the radius parameter since I have yet to use the Custom Location option; so far every location I've tried has come up where I wanted it. And I'm willing to bet that many users don't know about the radius option, and that few have read the associated help page:
https://www.atlasquest.com/about/wiki/question.html?wikiId=522
My guess is that most users put in a location and if a match is found, they're happy and they move on to the next page while preparing the listing. While in theory "A small city, for instance, has a much smaller radius than a large city, and a large city will likely have a much smaller size than a state or province", sometimes this is not the case - for example in the case of amalgamation. Or as another example, where the search for the same town (Waterdown, ON for example) name returns two similar results each with a different radius (one under a mile and the other over)

Don't get me wrong, the system that has been devised for "guessing" the radius is clever and now I see there is a way to override that. But ultimately it's still just an "educated guess" in (I expect) most cases, so why not further simplify the process to move from "guess" to "user provided information"?

(of course I invite other users to hit "Disagree" if they do; this also helps me understand how others use and experience this site)
Re: Check those locations!
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #940813 by MichKathy
Jan 19, 2017 5:47pm
Thread
I don't think that is the point.

But it IS my point. People have been know to do this and then not understand when others get upset because they have driven up and down the road listed and the place they are trying to find is just not there. Later the place was found but is was not on the road listed, but instead close-by.
Re: What is the longest gap in finds of a box that u have found?
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #940744 by MissMoon
Jan 19, 2017 7:03pm
Thread
I'm sure Tom thinks of himself more "Experienced" than old :)

Just sayin ' :)
Re: What is the longest gap in finds of a box that u have found?
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #940849 by Jiggs
Jan 19, 2017 9:01pm
Thread
We used to say seasoned. Always found it interesting when former students seen in public referred to me to their spouse/girlfriend etc as their "OLD" teacher. Interestingly former players still just called me coach, not their OLD coach.
Re: Check those locations!
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #940811 by Elle
Jan 19, 2017 9:58pm
Thread
You mean like someone putting the name of a street that is close by but that your box in not actually on?

Actually, close by usually works OK! When the box pops up on Box Radar because you're in the area, you read the clue and realize the box isn't on that street -- but it's close by, I'll just drive over to where it is and find it!

Sometimes you have to list the wrong street because the geocoder gets confused easily. You put in the correct street name and it decides your box is 30 miles away at some other place with the same street name. Then you've got to get creative with the location so that it reliably appears in the correct vicinity.
Re: Check those locations!
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #940821 by RIclimber
Jan 19, 2017 10:13pm
Thread
Nah. The smartphone apps for geocaching work great! Two things made geocaching a worthless hobby: 1) The proliferation of micros, and 2) the fact that packaging each and every trade item in its own baggie never caught on. That leaves cachers with the choice of hunting caches filled with musty, moldy, rusting Happy Meal toys or hunting micros which contain no trade items at all.
Re: What is the longest gap in finds of a box that u have found?
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #940704 by dingus dufus
Jan 20, 2017 8:26am
Thread
Not too long ago, MizScarlet and I found a box that we are convinced was never previously found (planted in 2000 ish), however; it had been replaced by the planter, so we cannot be sure of the pre-replacement history, though we are pretty comfortable in our perception of its' "not previously found" status.

LB
When Carving stamps for an Event...
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Jan 20, 2017 9:03am
Thread
I have a few events that I am going to be carving stamps for and I am super excited. Not only will I be helping out the event and bringing joy to other boxers but it gives me practice to get better at carving.

That being said...should I do all the stamps one size or should I vary the sizes?

We all know letterboxes come in all shapes and sizes so I was just curious.

Thank you

~MamaFrog
Re: Check those locations!
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #940843 by Bon Echo
Jan 20, 2017 9:06am
Thread
so why not further simplify the process to move from "guess" to "user provided information"?

You mean like asking for a street address? I can't even get a lot of people to do that much! ;o)

But truth be told, if there was a separate box for people to include a radius every time they listed a location, I doubt it would get used very much either because people didn't understand what it was for or because they simply don't know. I used to have an option where people could mark how long a trail was--which seemed simple enough, but people would refuse to use it because they weren't sure exactly how long the trail was. "It's about 2 or 3 miles, but is it 2? Or 3? Or 2.5? I can't put 2.5, though, because maybe it's only 2.... Oh, hell, I'll just leave it blank." Which is exactly what

The radius is an advanced feature, but it's better to be approximately correct than precisely wrong. I'm happy to let advanced users set it on their own, but most of the time, the geocoder will be more accurate than most human-entered values.

-- Ryan
Re: When Carving stamps for an Event...
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #940873 by MamaFrog
Jan 20, 2017 9:07am
Thread
First, you can ask the event coordinator if they have a preference...they may be planning to use certain types of containers which could limit how big to make your stamp. Other than that, I would say to carve in a size that is comfortable for you in your carving style, but being mindful that you wouldn't want it to be so big that it might not fit on an average-sized logbook page. Personally, I try for smaller stamps now, when I can, to save my carving medium....they just don't make it like they used to, if you know what I mean!
Re: When Carving stamps for an Event...
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #940875 by Gypsy Fiddler
Jan 20, 2017 9:26am
Thread
Personally I try to stay around 2.5 inches or smaller I feel anything bigger like you said wouldn't fit most Log books. Plus at this size it's still easy for me to carve small details as I am still a newbie carver.
Re: When Carving stamps for an Event...
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #940876 by MamaFrog
Jan 20, 2017 9:30am
Thread
Well, you are on the right track-keep practicing! And hosts always appreciate any carving contributions they can get! So, it's a win-win! Also, 2.5" and smaller is good, in case you ever want to make an LTC of your carve!
Re: When Carving stamps for an Event...
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #940873 by MamaFrog
Jan 20, 2017 10:10am
Thread
Definitely would need to be an organizer decision. They would know the style and size of the containers they will be using. Also would know general location spaces that could impact size and ease of hiding.

As a rule I would typically stay with smaller stamps if guidelines are not given, which allows for more versatility for those planting. It also saves on carving material costs.