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Thursday, February 23, 2012

Geocaching- fun for the whole family

As I mentioned in my previous post about Twitter, I am currently taking my last class towards my masters in Technology in Education at Lesley University.  One of our assignments recently involved tagging and geotagging.  We explored social bookmarking through Diigo and geotagging through Flickr.  For extra credit, we encouraged to go geocaching.  I had heard of geocaching before, but I had yet to try it.  The basic idea behind geocaching is that someone has hidden something, and your main clue to finding it is its GPS coordinates.

I started my geocaching journey by exploring the site  People who have hidden items all over the world post their listing(s) on this site.  I began by entering my zip code so I could find a cache hidden near BB&N or my house.  I found the perfect geocache to try to located- located in Davis Square on my way home from work, and, even more importantly, it was labeled as "easy."  I don't want to give away too much information in case someone else wants to try to find it, but I will say that it took a good 20 minutes to locate the cache, as it was so much smaller than I had anticipated.  Another thing about geocaching is that you're supposed to take something from the cache and leave something behind, as well as sign the log.  The problem was that the cache was so small that nothing I had brought with me would fit inside it.  I ended up taking a guitar pick and leaving a mini pterodactyl from a barrel full of dinosaurs (think "barrel full of monkeys," just not monkeys.)  Inside the cache was a bunch of small things including some Chinese money and a plastic fish with a GPS locator inside it, also known as a travel bug.  I have read articles about schools who placed travel bugs in geocaches so they can track their coordinates as they travel from cache to cache, making their way across the US, and even ending up in a dogsled race in Alaska!

If geocaching sounds interesting to you, give it a try.  And if you find the cache on Brattle, please let me know, because I can't find it!  And if you think geocaching sounds like a blast, check out letterboxing too!

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