Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Geocaching for GIS day

Today is Geographical Information Systems Day. To commemorate the day the Department of Conservation Services launched a series of geocaches and challenged everyone to find them. Boy was this fun!  As soon as I heard about this yesterday, I loaded an app on my blackberry, gathered up the kids and went off to search. One of the government caches was hidden in the Arboretum (#3) and when I searched online at www.geocaching.com (free basic membership gets you 3 downloads every 24 hours) I saw that there was another cache there also. I had no idea that geocaching was so popular here - there are so many to find!


I don't want to give away the locations so these are some seriously cropped photos!! I also won't tell you which one was which cache. Also due to my camera problem -- these are from my phone so not the best!


The Department on Conservation services had rubber GIS day bracelets in it as well as the log book-- Rose claimed the bracelet  I thought the others would not be happy having only one bracelet and 3 of them to share it but they did not mind at all. The fun is really in the hunt! Amy and Rose were racing ahead with the phone yelling "this way!" and counting down the meters -- 100m, 75m, 50 m etc. I kept calling them back so that we could stay together ( and also monitor that we were in fact going basically in the right direction! )


We also had a little fun running around in the park. It was slightly windy and overcast.

Even Emily was happy about our outing

We can't wait to find the one at Cooper's Island. The girls had just visited there on the weekend but I didn't know that they could have been searching for one!

There are some rules that everyone should be mindful of :
Sign the log book inside and read about who else has been there.
If you take any treasures out be sure to put a treasure of your own of equal or greater value in its place.
There are some little travelbug tags often found inside a cache and attached to a keychain or small item. If you take one of these out of a cache you must go to the website printed on it, log in it's serial number and retrieve it. Then you should put it into another cache and log it's new location online. Don't take it out and just keep it!! The owners can track online where their travel bug has traveled. If you just keep it and don't pass it on to another cache it will spoil their fun.

This was not an activity on our family fun list -- but by golly it should have been! Definitely adding it to the next list -- find at least 5 geocaches :) This was a great way to spend our day off while the teachers had a Professional day!

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