The finder records the location using their GPS receiver and often takes a picture at the location showing the named object and his or her GPS receiver. Typically others are not allowed to log that same location as a find. Webcam caches are virtual caches whose coordinates have a public webcam. The finder is often required to capture their image from the webcam for verification of the find. The cache is retrieved by connecting a device that has a USB port and that is able to read standard text files. This type is available at opencaching. An Event Cache is a gathering organized and attended by geocachers.
Cache-In Trash-Out CITO Events are coordinated activities of trash pickup and other maintenance tasks such as constructing footpaths, planting trees and removing invasive species to improve the environment. A Mega Event is defined by attendance of over people. Mega Events are typically annual events, usually attracting geocachers from all over the world. A Giga Event is an event with an attendance of over people, also attracting geocachers from worldwide.
Finally, a GPS Adventures Maze Exhibit is an exhibit at various museums and science centers in which participants in the maze learn about geocaching. These "events" have their own cache type on geocaching. Geodashing is an outdoor sport in which teams of players use GPS receivers to find and visit randomly selected "dashpoints" also called "waypoints" around the world and report what they find.
The objective is to visit as many dashpoints as possible. Unlike geocaching, nothing is to be left at the dashpoints; the sole objective is to visit them within the time limit. The first game, organized by gpsgames.
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Players are often encouraged to take pictures at the dashpoints and upload them to the site. Geocaching from space is a combination of flight to near space, the geocaching game, and a unique science experiment. The first Stratocaching event was held on 16 November in Prague and was successful.
The caches and seeds then fell to earth for people to find. GPX files containing information such as a cache description and information about recent visitors to the cache are available from various listing sites. Geocachers may upload geocache data also known as waypoints from various websites in various formats, most commonly in file-type GPX , which uses XML.
In recent years, Android and iPhone users have been able to download apps such as GeoBeagle  that allow them to use their 3G and GPS-enabled devices to actively search for and download new caches. A variety of geocaching applications are available for geocache data management, file-type translation, and personalization. Geocaching software can assign special icons or search filter for caches based on certain criteria e. Paperless geocaching means hunting a geocache without a physical printout of the cache description.
Traditionally, this means that the seeker has an electronic means of viewing the cache information in the field, such as pre-downloading the information to a PDA or other electronic device.
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Various applications are able to directly upload and read GPX files without further conversion. The latest advancement of this practice involves installing dedicated applications on a smart phone with a built-in GPS receiver. Seekers can search for and download caches in their immediate vicinity directly to the application and use the on-board GPS receiver to find the cache. A more controversial version of paperless caching involves mass-downloading only the coordinates and cache names or waypoint IDs for hundreds of caches into older receivers.
This is a common practice of some cachers and has been used successfully for years. In many cases, however, the cache description and hint are never read by the seeker before hunting the cache. The website geocaching.
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Currently, the Android , iPhone , and Windows Phone mobile platforms have applications in their respective stores. The apps also allow for a trial version with limited functionality. Additionally "c:geo - opensource"  is a free opensource full function application for Android phones that is very popular.
Geocache listing websites have their own guidelines for acceptable geocache publications. Government agencies and others responsible for public use of land often publish guidelines for geocaching, and a "Geocacher's Creed" posted on the Internet asks participants to "avoid causing disruptions or public alarm". The reception from authorities and the general public outside geocache participants has been mixed to hostile. Cachers have been approached by police and questioned when they were seen as acting suspiciously.
Schools have also been evacuated when a cache has been seen by teachers or police, such as the case of Fairview High School in Boulder, Colorado in The placement of geocaches has occasional critics among some government personnel and the public at large who consider it littering. Geocachers are also encouraged to clean up after themselves by retrieving old containers once a cache has been removed from play. Geocaching is legal in every country except North Korea where GPS and all other mobile devices are illegal to possess  and is usually positively received when explained to law enforcement officials.
Although generally disallowed, hiders could place caches on private property without adequate permission intentionally or otherwise , which encourages cache finders to trespass. Caches might also be hidden in places where the act of searching can make a finder look suspicious e.
As a result, geocachers are strongly advised to label their geocaches where possible, so that they are not mistaken for a harmful object if discovered by non-geocachers. As well as concerns about littering and bomb threats, some geocachers hide their caches in inappropriate locations, such as electrical boxes, that may encourage risky behaviour, especially amongst children. Hides in these areas are discouraged,  and cache listing websites enforce guidelines that disallow certain types of placements.
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However, as cache reviewers typically cannot see exactly where and how every particular cache is hidden, problematic hides can slip through. Ultimately it is also up to cache finders to use discretion when attempting to search for a cache, and report any problems. Regional rules for placement of caches have become quite complex. For example, in Virginia,  the Virginia Department of Transportation and the Wildlife Management Agency now forbids the placement of geocaches on all land controlled by those agencies.
Some cities, towns and recreation areas allow geocaches with few or no restrictions, but others require compliance with lengthy permitting procedures. The South Carolina House of Representatives passed Bill  in , stating, "It is unlawful for a person to engage in the activity of geocaching or letterboxing in a cemetery or in an historic or archeological site or property publicly identified by an historical marker without the express written consent of the owner or entity which oversees that cemetery site or property.
Several deaths have occurred while geocaching. In , two lost hikers on Mount Hood , Oregon , United States, after spending the night in a snow cave, stumbled across a geocache and were able to phone this information out to rescuers,  resulting in their timely rescue. Three adult geocachers, a year-old woman and her parents, were trapped in a cave and rescued by firefighters in Rochester, New York, United States, while searching for an ammo can in Rochester Fire Department spokesman Lt.
Ted Kuppinger said, "It's difficult because you're invested in it you want to find something like that so people will probably try to push themselves more than they should but you need to be prudent about what you're capable of doing. In , the coastguard were called to a group of geocachers who were spotted walking into the Severn Estuary off the coast of Clevedon , England, in search of clues to a multi-cache. Although they felt they were safe and were able to return to land, they were considered to be in danger and were airlifted back to the shore.
In October , four people discovered a crashed car at the bottom of a ravine in Benton, Washington , United States, while out geocaching. They spotted the driver still trapped inside, and alerted the emergency services who effected a rescue. They were carried by the tidal wave for almost the whole length of the tunnel to the Vltava river where the tunnel ends. One woman was found dead in the river a few hours later.
Six days later a second body, that of a man in the group, was found in the river.
Numerous websites list geocaches around the world. Geocaching websites vary in many ways, including control of data. The first website to list geocaches was announced by Mike Teague on May 8, He copied the caches from Mike Teague's database into his own. As of [update] , Teague had logged only 5 caches. The largest site is Geocaching. With a worldwide membership and a freemium business model, the website claims millions of caches and members in over countries.
Hides and events are reviewed by volunteer regional cache reviewers before publication. Free membership allows users access to coordinates, descriptions, and logs for some caches; for a fee, users are allowed additional search tools, the ability to download large amounts of cache information onto their gps at once, instant email notifications about new caches, and access to premium-member-only caches.
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The Opencaching Network provides independent, non-commercial listing sites based in the cacher's country or region. The Opencaching Network is less restrictive than many sites, and does not charge for the use of the sites, the service being community driven.
Some or all listings may or may not be required to be reviewed by community volunteers before being published and although cross-listing is permitted, it is discouraged. Some listings are listed on other sites, but there are many that are unique to the Opencaching Network. Features include the ability to organize one's favourite caches, build custom searches, be instantly notified of new caches in one's area, seek and create caches of all types, export GPX queries, statpics, etc.
Countries with associated opencaching websites include the United States at www.
The main difference between opencaching and traditional listing sites is that all services are open to the users at no cost. Generally, most geocaching services or websites offer some basic information for free, but users may have to pay for premium membership that allows access to more information or advanced searching capabilities. This is not the case with opencaching; every geocache is listed and accessible to everyone for free.
Additionally, Opencaching sites allow users to rate and report on existing geocaches. This allows users to see what other cachers think of the cache and it encourages participants to place higher quality caches. The rating system also greatly reduces the problem of abandoned or unsatisfactory caches still being listed after repeated negative comments or posts in the cache logs. Caches were approved by a community process and coordinates were available without an account.
The service closed on 14 August In many countries there are regional geocaching sites, but these mostly only compile lists of caches in the area from the three main sites. Many of them also accept unique listings of caches for their site, but these listings tend to be less popular than the international sites, although occasionally the regional sites may have more caches than the international sites.
There are some exceptions though, e.
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Additional international sites include Geocaching. The website lists nearly any type of geocache and does not charge to access any of the caches listed in its database. All submissions are reviewed and approved. Membership is managed through a sponsorship system, and each cache is under continual peer review from other members. It is increasingly attracting members who like the point system. In Europe, TerraCaching is supported by Terracaching.