A GPS-Geocaching GLOSSARY 

Benchmark--A marker usually placed on tops of mountains, geographic locations or specific landmarks by the U.S. government.

Earthcache--Earthcaches identify unique geographic locations. While similar to waymarks, and having their own category on waymarking.com, you can also visit www.earthcache.org for more information.

Event Cache--Many geocaching groups or organizations identify a meeting, workshop or seminar not with a location, but with a GPS coordinate.

Geocache--A hidden container at a specific GPS location, sometimes containing objects that geocachers may take and leave behind. Many contain log books which finders can sign and date.

Geocaching--A sport in which players find geocaches placed by other geocachers using GPS units.

GPS--Short for Global Positioning System. A system of satellites, mostly put in space by the U.S. military, which allows computers and GPS linking devices to triangulate a user's position (longitude and latitude) on the surface of the Earth.

Latitude--The distance measured in degrees north or south of the earth's equator. The half-way point between the North Pole and the equator is 45 degrees, which runs in an east to west direction just north of New Meadows, Idaho. Boise is at 43 degrees north latitude.

Letterbox--Letterboxing predates geocaching but shares many of the same characteristics. Today there are combination letterbox/geocaching locations. Letterboxing involves using clues instead of coordinates and players often have personal stamps they leave behind in a letterbox log book. Letterboxes often contain a stamp, which players stamp in their personal log book, much like a passport.

Locationless or Reverse Caches--Instead of containers at specific locations, the player is assigned the task of finding unique objects and logging their coordinates. Locationless caches have mostly been incorporated into waymarking.

Longitude--The angular distance running north to south around the globe measured in degrees from Greenwich, England, which is zero. Boise, Idaho, is at 116 degrees west longitude.

Muggled--A geocache that has been discovered by non-geocaching people and has been compromised or stolen.

Muggles--A word used to describe people who do not know about geocaching, but who inadvertently observe someone finding a geocache. They may compromise the location by either stealing it or doing something to it through ignorance of geocaching. The word comes from the Harry Potter series of books, where it refers to non-magical people who are better off not knowing that wizards and witches exists around them.

Multi-Cache--A multiple cache, in which two or more locations need to be visited to find the final cache. Often, one location will provide clues to the next location.

Mystery or Puzzle Caches--Much more complicated than a multi-cache, these involve solving a riddle or complicated puzzle to discover the coordinates of a cache.

Travel Bugs and Geocoins--These are trackable objects that are placed in geocaches for geocachers to take and move to a new cache location as they participate in the sport. They are trackable through geocaching.com. The owner can establish a mission for the bug or coin (for instance visiting 10 countries or traveling around the world) and track its progress via the Web site.

Virtual Cache--These types of caches do not have a container to find and exist to identify a location of interest. In many National Parks, where geocaches are not allowed, these are the type of caches which can identify unique spots. Now called "waymarking," virtual caches should be out of the ordinary enough to warrant a visit. Visit www.waymarking.com for GPS coordinates to unique sites you may not know are there. Waymarks may include fountains, mountain summits, plane crash sites, hot springs or the exact locations of where historical events took place.

Web Cam Cache--A location where someone has set up a Web cam or camera. The object is to document your visit by getting the camera to take a picture of you and recording it. Many Web cam caches are available on waymarking.com.

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