Thursday, February 15, 2024

GPS End Points

Wishing you had a GPS right about now, eh?
Photo submitted by Dawnkey.

If you log into Atlas Quest and check out one of your boxes, you might notice this new attribute that AQ will record called the "GPS End Point". There is one for every traditional box on AQ. Or rather, it's available for every traditional box on AQ.

Don't worry, I'm not turning into this hobby into a geocache hybrid! You still have to follow whatever clues the owner of the box provides.

But it did occur to me that it might be handy to record the precise GPS coordinates of where your letterboxes are located. 

  • If the landmarks in your clues become impossible to follow (for instance, a forest fire swept through the area or a trail was re-routed), there would still be a way to find and check up on the box.
  • If someone looks for your box but doesn't find it, they could send you the precise GPS coordinates of where they looked and you can check if they were actually looking in the right place.
  • If the worst should happen and you pass away, it would allow anyone who adopted your box to check up on it even if the clues were difficult or impossible to follow.
  • You might forget precisely where you planted the box and have trouble finding it later because the landmarks have changed.

Basically, it's kind of a "backup" for your clues, and might make it easier to figure out if someone was actually looking in the correct place for your box if there was otherwise some uncertainty in the matter.

The only people who can see these coordinates are the owner and planters of the letterbox--not the people who are looking for it. Even the carvers of the stamps for the box can't see the coordinates--just those with "admin powers" over the box.

And adding coordinates is completely optional in any case. Obviously, there's no way AQ can go back and retroactively add coordinates to the hundreds of thousands of boxes that have been listed over the years and most of you likely have never kept track of this information either. (I know I haven't, although there are a couple of boxes I have planted where that information would definitely be useful right now!)

So if you notice information on your boxes about the "GPS end point", it'll be empty by default. You can edit the box and add it if you want--and know the coordinates of the actual location of the letterbox.

The coordinate is attached to individual boxes in a series since, obviously, different boxes will have different coordinates--even those in the same series. (At least that's how boxes should be listed, although I do know that people list boxes incorrectly all the time for a variety of reasons. I'll fix those when I come across them, but if you have two stamps with the same GPS coordinates, they should be counted as one box in a series!)

Anyhow, I hope some of you find this helpful! =)

Happy trails!

Crisis averted! Dawnkey and 4EyesMcGee find their treasure!
Photo submitted by Dawnkey

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