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+5 votes
Both these grandfathered cache types are slowly disappearing from our maps. I would to place and maintain them
in Miscellaneous by NSCR (4.5k points)

9 Answers

+7 votes
Best answer

It is a question that you should really put to Groundspeak. There has not been any of these caches published in nearly 12 years, so I am guessing "no".

by Funky_Boris (9.8k points)
selected by NSCR
I stand corrected. Contrary to Groundspeaks own FAQ _and_ rules, there seems to be 9 virtual caches made by Groundspeak themselves 8 years ago, not 12.

Still, I would not hold my breath on this :P

All of the above mentioned virtuals are archived and a good deal of them don't event have a single "Found it" logs.
All the 2009 virtuals were put out in order to win $40.000 in a competition arranged by DARPA; money that would immediately (with an extra $10.000 from Groundspeak) be donated to a charity. In the end, Groundspeak didn't win but the $10.000 were donated anyway.

Sure, this breaks the guidelines. OTOH, Groundspeak makes the guidelines. I'd say that all in all, this was a fun stunt in the spirit of the game.
+3 votes

Thank you for this question ... I also share the sadness of not being able to continue to pose virtual or webcam cache while there are more and more webcam distayantes possible in france! Yes I am also voluntary so that existing ones are not lost to replenish them to maintain them existing failing to be able to create! Yes it would be really good to remove groundspeak even through project-gc to revisit a formula of virtual and webcam cache ...

traduit du francais par google

merci pour cette question ... je partage aussi la tristesse de ne pouvoir continuer de poser des virtuels ou webcam cache alors qu'ils y a de plus en plus de webcam distayantes possibles en france ! oui je suis volontaire aussi pour que celles existantes ne soient pas perdu de les reprndre pour les maintenir existantes à défaut de ne pouvoir en creer ! oui il serait vraiment bien de remotiver groundspeak méme par l'intermédiaire de project-gc de réenvisager une formule de virtuel et webcam cache ...

by Chup'a (11.2k points)
+2 votes
They were moved to "waymarking" and will not come back as geocaches. Groundspeak allowed the ones that were still out to remain rather than archiving every one of them (like locationless caches) and has no plans to bring them back.
by StadsAlv (10.0k points)
Though interestingly some of the lab caches I have done at events have effectively been virtuals and of course earth caches are also actually a themed virtual. It is a shame though.
+2 votes
As others have said, it seems unlikely.... in any case, I think the best part of these now is their rarity.... It would be nice if the remaining ones were able to be adopted out, a lot of virtuals seem to have absentee owners these days.
by lee737 (2.4k points)
I think GroundSpeak rules prevent adoption of webcam and virtual caches.
+2 votes
Agree on the webcam part - they should just return - but as far as virtuals are concerned, I don't think it would be a good idea to revive those. Given the fact that the community is much, MUCH larger than at the time they were allowed, you could expect an explosion of nonsensical virtual caches the moment they are reintroduced.

But yeah, webcam caches, those are just awesome.
by Vooruit! (1.1k points)
Though I love webcam caches - I own two (still active) I do have an issue with many where it is practically impossible to see the cacher in the image - though it is not going to make any difference due to the fact that they will not allow new ones - it is a shame that they allowed those where you are never going to know if the cacher was truly there or not - in both of mine the image is clear and you are close enough to the camera to be able to make out you are there :-)
I ought to agree on that, but given the extreme rarity of webcam caches, at least here in the Netherlands (there are a handful left atm), I'm happy with every one of them, even when you're only a couple of pixels large. But again, if they would return, it does sound like a good rule.
I would be all for new virtual caches and webcam caches. But I do agree that they should come with good requirements and reviewing to prevent that "explosion of nonsensical virtual caches" as you call it.
+2 votes
Simply - No

They were discontinued nearly 12 years ago but those in existance grandfathered (allowed to remain) - locationless were scrapped completely - it is a shame, however.

But an interesting point,many thought this sort of cache was maintenance free due to no physcal container - as an owner of two webcams I can tell you a lot of work goes into ensuring these remain active and one in particular has caused me more maintenance issues than most of my physical caches - happily though at this time both are running very smoothly

Tim - ddm
by Deepdiggingmole (13.5k points)
I've just had a look on both your webcams. Nice. Indeed. Thanks for keeping them alive. I consider webcams a funnier part of the GC. :)
+2 votes

Personally, I would love for virtual caches and webcam caches to come back again.

Virtual caches are really good to be used in nice places that you want to show to other people, but can't leave a physical cache. Either because there are far too many muggles around to be able to log unnoticed, or because placing a physical cache would disturb the environment (like in nature). The few virtual caches that are left now usually are at really interesting places, and because of that I really love doing them. A couple of years back, I even made a long trip through the Canadian Rockies mostly following virtual caches and (old style) earth caches, that brought me to very interesting and fun places not mentioned in any tourist guide at all. That was a very fun experience.

As for the webcam caches (like for the virtual caches), I can't see why they were abolished. These too are often in fun places like old style city centres and fun to do and see, again because they usually bring you to nice and very unexpected places. However, I do know of at least one "new style" webcam cache, that is published as a traditional cache, but gives you the opportunity to have your photo taken on the spot by a webcam. See "'t Nessie". The listing doesn't reveal anything about the webcam, but find the cache and you will find the directions on how it works.

Both of these cache types have a lot of (fun) value added above the other cache types that are still available. They add enormously to the experience of caching - and as a result to the whole trip. So for me, having them back would be really good. I use them to plan routes when I travel around. And I do know of some places I'd love to show to people, but can't do now because no physical cache can or should be hidden there.

As for Groundspeak: I don't know what their exact thinking was back then to have the creation of these new caches halted. And since they are usually not very talkative about future plans, just don't expect these cache types to come back. But I personally would love to be able to publish new ones. I think "new style" virtuals where you have to send in an answer to the CO as like we have to do with earth caches would be good to have. Possibly even to have them divided in subject categories like "(virtual) nature caches", "(virtual) history caches" etc. Webcam caches can come back simply as they used to be I think, maybe with some restrictions added as to a certain quality of the resulting photos.

by NLBokkie (3.2k points)
edited by NLBokkie
Having read this thread again - it might have been missed that GS didn't abolish virtuals or Webcams completely - though they stopped the creation of new ones on the geocaching site (but did allow exisitng ones to remain) what they did in their place was to create This allowed virtual and webcams to continue. However though it states that there are over 700,000 I am not sure how much it really does get used - I created 2 on this site back in 2005 - 1 was the webcam in Wales, it has had 6 visits in 12 years. Though as this is still on that may be reason it doesn't get used so much. The other is in Tunbridge Wells in Kent. A location which ticks the history and geology button, but this has only had 2 visits (by 3 visitors) in the 12 years. If the latter had been a virtual on it would have had hundreds of visits
0 votes
Now that they revived virtuals, maybe it's time for webcams as well? :)
by Bernike (1.1k points)
Doubtful.  Webcams were a fad in the late 90s to early 2000s. These days anyone can live stream on a phone; compared to a Skype call, the quality of a webcam is terrible -- low resolution, abysmal refresh rates, and often outdated Java platforms.  Why allow new caches base on obsolete technology?
0 votes
Virtual caches are being allocated by as we speak with more to come.
by DARKSIDEDAN (3.7k points)