It is currently Sun Jul 23, 2017 10:32 am

All times are UTC - 5 hours [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 13 posts ] 
Author Message
 Post subject: Geocaching at Railroad Museums - Attracting New Visitors?
PostPosted: Mon Apr 03, 2017 11:13 pm 

Joined: Thu May 06, 2010 10:30 pm
Posts: 566
Location: Bucks County, PA
For those of you who may be unfamiliar with Geocaching:

What is geocaching?
Geocaching is an outdoor adventure where players use our free mobile app or a GPS device to find cleverly hidden containers around the world.

How many people geocache?
There are approximately 3 million active geocachers worldwide, with more than 830,000 active users in the U.S., more than 375,000 in Germany and more than 160,000 in the United Kingdom.

How many geocaches are hidden?
More than 2.8 million geocaches are waiting to be found in over 180 countries.

Why do people geocache?
People geocache because it’s a way to explore the world around them with friends and family and because it’s fun. Geocaching is a game that reveals a world beyond the everyday, where the possibility of a new discovery hides under park benches, in the forest and probably a short walk from where you are right now (literally).

For more: https://www.geocaching.com/press/faq.aspx

One railroad location that I've seen that promotes Geocaching there is the Ma & Pa Railroad Heritage Village (http://maandparailroad.com) - they have a PDF file included with their website: http://maandparailroad.com/pdf/geocaching.pdf

Also - this was posted on the Steamtown NHS calendar today: 12 Historic Sites, 1 Fantastic Geo-Caching Adventure http://www.lhva.org/3946/3946/ - The Lackawanna Heritage Valley will be hosting a Geocaching event that will run throughout the summer (or until prizes run out) - drawing visitors to the area and helping them to learn about the history of the area.

Is this something that your railroad/museum has considered or will consider? There are a huge amount of Geocachers, not only in this country but across the world - who plan Geocaching trips, to not only find a certain amount, but also to learn about the world around them. You can make/plant caches that help teach about this history of your museum/railroad, and do it safely as well.

_________________
Big Jim Video Productions
Morrisville, PA

http://www.bigjimvideo.com/home.html
http://www.youtube.com/user/bigjim4life


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Geocaching at Railroad Museums - Attracting New Visitors
PostPosted: Tue Apr 04, 2017 7:50 am 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 9:48 am
Posts: 334
Location: Kingston NY
Having a geocache on your site certainly doesn't hurt -- as long as you consider when people show up outside of your operating hours looking for it. If its inside your fence/building, make sure you are confident of your security. Or position it outside where people can access it 24/7.

_________________
--Evan


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Geocaching at Railroad Museums - Attracting New Visitors
PostPosted: Tue Apr 04, 2017 9:29 am 

Joined: Wed Jan 28, 2009 4:30 pm
Posts: 128
At NSRM we have two geocache sites that I know of. They are regularly sought out. I don't see the participants generally purchase admission to the institution after finding the site. They typically drive on to the property, search, and drive off in search of the next. It costs us nothing to have a geocache but it isn't a panacea.

The bottom line is that I am ambivalent to the whole affair. I do worry about the liability it creates for the state, especially in after-hours use. We did have one removed as its placement created what we believe to be a hazard to the searchers.

So it is at the discretion of the institution but common sense needs to prevail.


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Geocaching at Railroad Museums - Attracting New Visitors
PostPosted: Tue Apr 04, 2017 10:18 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:51 pm
Posts: 8164
Location: Baltimore, MD
I blundered into this "hidden sport" over a decade ago out West when I blundered into hidden caches at displayed steam locomotives--stuck with magnets to the bottom side of an exhibit plaque, for example. The old standard used to be a small metal tin, inside which was hidden slips of paper, tokens left by others to be swapped out, etc.; I understand it's gotten much more formal by now.

Example:
https://www.geocaching.com/geocache/GC4 ... afc61331dd

My impression has been that it can't hurt, and can help, as long as the cache is easily and safely accessible at most hours. Of course, you may want to promote visitorship by stashing it at/on a piece inside your (paid admission) exhibit hall......


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Geocaching at Railroad Museums - Attracting New Visitors
PostPosted: Tue Apr 04, 2017 10:31 am 

Joined: Thu May 06, 2010 10:30 pm
Posts: 566
Location: Bucks County, PA
https://www.geocaching.com/about/cache_types.aspx

Of course there are many different cache types, but as a museum, you could go for a "Multi-Cache" - have one somewhere outside your museum, and then as an incentive, place the other one or two inside the museum somewhere - then giving the incentive to the "cacher" to pay admission and come in to find the other one/two, etc.

Or if you have want to have a "clean up" day for your museum grounds, you can do a CITO (Cache In, Trash Out) event - another great way to get people in and helping out: https://www.geocaching.com/cito/default.aspx

_________________
Big Jim Video Productions
Morrisville, PA

http://www.bigjimvideo.com/home.html
http://www.youtube.com/user/bigjim4life


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Geocaching at Railroad Museums - Attracting New Visitors
PostPosted: Tue Apr 04, 2017 10:21 pm 

Joined: Tue Apr 05, 2011 9:26 pm
Posts: 46
We have two at the Shelburne Falls (MA) Trolley Museum. One small problem with the multi-cache is that the clues are on a sign and a bench, and when we move things around it messes up the clues. Otherwise, like the others have said above, no problem, no real benefit.

_________________
Sam Bartlett, President
Shelburne Falls Trolley Museum
Shelburne Falls, Massachusetts, USA


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Geocaching at Railroad Museums - Attracting New Visitors
PostPosted: Thu Apr 06, 2017 9:28 pm 

Joined: Tue Dec 18, 2012 11:21 am
Posts: 37
Location: Milner, KY
A number of years ago, the Bluegrass Railroad Museum hosted a Geocaching Train. It was put on by a (then) member who was (then) interested in it. He publicized it on several geocaching forums and wherever else.

He packed the train. 200 cachers came in from all directions, some drove 2-4 hours to get here. Each ticket was $20-25.

Three areas were set up down the track. Each area had 3 or 4 caches. The train would drop off a fair size group at each area, which was likely about a car load for us, and shuffle them up and down, such that every group visited each area. The cachers would find the caches in each area.

It was quite a successful event for us. But, it wasn't the type of event that would do so well each year. By the time two or three years had gone by, volunteerism woes had happened, that guy wasn't volunteering with us anymore, and he himself had a declining interesting in caching anyway.

Much like other specialized events, it needs to have someone in charge of it who has an active interest and knowledge of it, to make it work out well. Steampunk, teddy bear, princess, dinosaur, just about any event, which isn't a trademarked package, needs that knowledgeable person in charge of it.

James

_________________
The Bluegrass Railroad Museum, Versailles, KY
http://www.bluegrassrailroad.com
http://www.facebook.com/BluegrassRailroad


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Geocaching at Railroad Museums - Attracting New Visitors
PostPosted: Fri Apr 07, 2017 8:48 am 

Joined: Mon Apr 07, 2008 10:12 am
Posts: 17
Geocaching and even the similar concept of Pokemon Go could be a great way to bring people to your museum or facility though there should be some guidelines set in order to protect your heritage equipment.

The Heart of Dixie Railroad Museum had a cache placed on one of our display locomotives several years ago by a geocacher. The cache was advertised through the geocaching community without consulting the museum on its placement.

The issue this caused was that although the cache was at ground level, the cache was VERY hard to find and resulted in geocache searchers climbing on the piece of equipment and opening every engine door down the side of the locomotive. Museum volunteers were consistently having to pay attention to make sure the doors were closed and nothing else was amiss like opened journal boxes. Surrounding equipment also had to be monitored.

If your facility decides to welcome a cache, have it placed in a safe place for visitors and your heritage equipment. Word the cache description so as the cache is able to be found safely by the seeker and not cause harm to any of your facilities/grounds/displays.

The cache at our museum has since been removed and we no longer have the issues we were having with that piece of equipment.

Our museum grounds is free to the general public though we charge for train rides and special events. A geocache or Pokemon go would bring awareness about the museum though we would be unable to use a cache to translate into monetary gain directly.

If your facility requires paid admission, and there is a safe place to put a geocache, go for it!

Jimmy Summers
Heart of Dixie Railroad Museum


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Geocaching at Railroad Museums - Attracting New Visitors
PostPosted: Fri Apr 07, 2017 12:19 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 9:48 am
Posts: 334
Location: Kingston NY
About Pokemon Go, where I volunteered had a 'gym' on it which attracts players to either defend it or defeat who's defending it. You could tell the players because they wandered the museum site with their thumbs on their phones and heads down oblivious to their surroundings. To my knowledge it didn't result in additional ticket sales. The gym has since been removed (not that we asked), but anyway the Pokemon Go craze is fading.

_________________
--Evan


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Geocaching at Railroad Museums - Attracting New Visitors
PostPosted: Mon Apr 10, 2017 11:59 am 

Joined: Thu Nov 22, 2007 5:46 am
Posts: 2425
Location: S.F. Bay Area
About time. Those Pokemon get in the traction motor cables and cause ground fault trips.

We had to deal with a geocache, unfortunately it was at a remote car storage area that we *really* didn't want to call attention to, which greatly increased visitors, people crawling all over equipment and testing our door locks (there's a bit of a crossover between geocaches and urbex'ers), and greatly increased social media exposure of the site. What's more, the geocache had been installed inside gage, which we felt was a terrible training for folks. I was able to rearrange the site so all the original clues led to a different location just off our property. However the original placer revisited, and rather than following his own clues, simply went to the original spot, found it missing, and removed the online listing claiming it had been destroyed by the landowner. I'm sure it's still there.


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Geocaching at Railroad Museums - Attracting New Visitors
PostPosted: Tue Apr 11, 2017 12:45 am 

Joined: Thu May 06, 2010 10:30 pm
Posts: 566
Location: Bucks County, PA
Fortunately, the Geocache trend isn't fading - it's still going strong. I went out today to a few spots - and found one in particular that someone had found/logged earlier that day at some point.

If done responsibly, and with the railroad/museum's permission - this should be able to bring in some more visitation and increase awareness (at the very least) at minimal cost to the location in question.

ADM IV had a great idea. Put something in your exhibit hall - somewhere that perhaps most visitors won't think to look/disturb, but "cachers", with given clues and coordinates, can recognize and log. You can even put notes in - indicating that they don't have to climb on equipment, set boundaries as to what they can/cannot do while looking for said cache. If I know that in order to find a cache, I don't have to climb over or under any equipment, and/or don't have to go near a certain location, then I, as well as other people looking, would stay away from said areas, and not do said things to find the cache.

Or set up a series of "puzzle" caches within the grounds. You control the clues, you control where the caches are placed, and have a final "cache" - maybe include a small token or prize for finding them all. Again, if done properly, and promoted properly (at least in the geocaching community), then you can not only get more business, but also spread awareness of your museum - and maybe get more people into your doors that way as well.

_________________
Big Jim Video Productions
Morrisville, PA

http://www.bigjimvideo.com/home.html
http://www.youtube.com/user/bigjim4life


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Geocaching at Railroad Museums - Attracting New Visitors
PostPosted: Fri Apr 14, 2017 9:21 pm 

Joined: Thu May 06, 2010 10:30 pm
Posts: 566
Location: Bucks County, PA
The Oil Creek & Titusville in PA did a couple of GeoTrains, in 2012 and 2013 (at least) - with some degrees of success, according to reports: http://m.titusvilleherald.com/news/arti ... l?mode=jqm

_________________
Big Jim Video Productions
Morrisville, PA

http://www.bigjimvideo.com/home.html
http://www.youtube.com/user/bigjim4life


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Geocaching at Railroad Museums - Attracting New Visitors
PostPosted: Thu Apr 20, 2017 10:28 am 

Joined: Thu May 06, 2010 10:30 pm
Posts: 566
Location: Bucks County, PA
There apparently is also a section of the Seashore Trolley Museum in ME for Geocaching - as per their website:

https://www.trolleymuseum.org/museum/geocaching.php

_________________
Big Jim Video Productions
Morrisville, PA

http://www.bigjimvideo.com/home.html
http://www.youtube.com/user/bigjim4life


Offline
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 13 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 5 hours [ DST ]


 Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot], Exabot [Bot], Google [Bot], JimBoylan, John Risley, Overmod, Ted Anderson and 48 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to: