Friday, November 2, 2007

Collaborating with Communities of Interest


Building support for the mission of Coastwalk means constantly looking for ways to expand the number of people who know about what Coastwalk does. Discovering groups of outdoor activists who have been to the California coast, and finding methods to help them do what they want to do - while serving to advance your activities - has to be the right way to proceed.

Geocachers are enthusiasts who place small caches of removeable treasures in locations identified by their Global Positioning System (GPS) locations on websites. Almost a thousand of them have been placed close to the California Coastal Trail, a project of Coastwalk. Coastwalk is building an interactive website which identifies the trail locations, is engaged in placing signs of the Trail, and is soliciting volunteers who can provide it with the GPS locations of the signs and other coastal access points for its website. The latest project of this blog is to bring the two groups together in an organized way.

The website of the geocachers identifies by GPS location all of the geocaches which exist, including those on the California Coastal Trail. Because the geocaching community has also collaborated with Google Earth staff, a method has been produced which downloads all of the geocache locations to an overlay on Google Earth. I have downloaded that overlay to my home computer, and am in the process of transferring to a spreadsheet the vital information about each geocache on the Coastal Trail. My objective is to assemble a database of the potential geocachers who could assist us in the development of a GPS-coded trail.

I have also produced a short video, which I have placed on Youtube. It can be seen here. I will be sending a link to those geocachers I find who have placed caches near the California Coastal Trail to invite them to our official signings of the trail.

To learn more about geocaching, go to
  • Geocaching - The Official Global GPS Cache Hunt Site
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