Guidelines

These are the current guidelines that must be met to have an EarthCache published on geocaching.com.

Please be aware that your EarthCache must meet all of these guidelines before it is published. Please read through the following carefully to make sure your EarthCache submission meets these guidelines PRIOR to submittal. Your submission will be processed by one of the EarthCache Team reviewers (geoawareXXX) to ensure appropriateness of the site and educational standard of the notes, and logging requirements. The review process can take up to a week and even longer if your submission requires adjustments. Failure to follow these guidelines may delay or prevent the publishing of your EarthCache.

For more information on EarthCaches, please read the following:
Help Center articles on EarthCaches (hosted by Geocaching.com)
EarthCache FAQs

(Updated 1 January 2013)

Please read through these carefully to make sure your EarthCache submission meets these guidelines PRIOR to submittal.

1. EarthCaches must provide an earth science lesson. (earth science defined)

2. EarthCaches must be educational. They provide accurate, educational, but non-technical explanations of what visitors will experience at the site. The cache page, including the description and logging tasks, must assume only a basic knowledge of geology. (educational aspects of EarthCaches defined)

3. EarthCaches must highlight a unique feature. (uniqueness defined) EarthCaches that duplicate existing EarthCache information about the site or related sites may be rejected. EarthCaches must be developed to provide a unique experience to the location's visitors, and to teach a unique lesson about the feature at the site. Multiple EarthCaches on the same feature should be avoided and content, rather than proximity, will be the guiding principle of EarthCache reviewers.

4. EarthCaches must have approval from the Land Manager prior to submission (depending on local laws and customs). The name, title, and contact details of the person that authorized the EarthCache must be included in a Reviewer Note. Otherwise, information about the type of land, and the reasons why permission may not be required, must be included in a Reviewer Note. (permission requirements explained)

5. An EarthCache can be a single site or multiple sites. You must have visited the site(s) recently (within two months) to make current, first-hand observations. You must provide accurate coordinates for each site where visitors are to perform the logging tasks, and ensure these areas are accessible to the public. You are responsible for taking appropriate actions if conditions change regarding access, permission, or other concerns. (site requirements explained)

6. Logging an EarthCache requires visitors to undertake a site-specific task which provides a learning opportunity related to the topic. The logging tasks must have visitors using the information from the cache page along with their observations at the site to perform some type of analysis of their own. Logging task solutions will serve as the cache owner's proof that the cacher has visited the site. Questions which only serve to prove that someone visited the site, and do not relate to the site's geology, are not permitted. All requests for photographs must be optional. Visitors must be able to send their answers to logging tasks via the cache owner's profile. Auto-responders cannot be used to verify answers. (link to Help Center) The answers to the logging tasks must be placed in a Reviewer Note at the time of submission. (logging tasks explained)

7. The EarthCache text and logging tasks must be submitted in the local language. Additional languages are encouraged, but the local language must be listed first. You may be requested to provide text in a language understandable to your reviewer to assist with the reviewing process.

8. Respect Trademarks and Copyright and only use text, images or logos if you have permission. EarthCaches with information that is copied from other sources, plagiarized, or used without proper attribution will not be published. Limited amounts of text may be quoted, but must be properly attributed. (link to Help Center)

9. EarthCache sites adhere to the principles of geocaching and Leave No Trace outdoor ethics. In addition, use waypoints to ensure cachers take appropriate pathways and use established trails only. Damage to the site is unacceptable. Please be mindful of fragile ecosystems. EarthCache sites will highlight the principle of collect memories--not samples. Furthermore, no physical cache, or other items, can be left at the site.

10. EarthCaches are submitted through geocaching.com and must meet these guidelines and adhere to the Geocache Listing Requirements / Guidelines and geocaching.com Site Terms of Use Agreement. The Geological Society of America and the EarthCache Team retains the right to edit, modify, reject or archive any EarthCache that does not adhere to these guidelines, or for any other purpose that the Team deems as appropriate.