The Basics

What is waymarking?

Waymarking is a way to mark unique locations on the planet and give them a voice. While GPS technology allows us to pinpoint any location on the planet, mark the location, and share it with others, Waymarking is the toolset for categorizing and adding unique information for that location. Groundspeak's slogan is "The Language of Location" and our goal is to give people the tools to help others share and discover unique and interesting locations on the planet. We invite you to share your part of the world with us through Waymarking.com.

What is a waymark?

A waymark is a physical location on the planet marked by coordinates (latitude/longitude) and contains unique information defined by its waymark category. An outdoor maze category, for example, could contain information like price of admission and days of operation, while a statue category may describe the artist's medium and date of dedication.

What is a waymark category?

A waymark category holds all the waymarks specific to that category's theme. Each waymark category has specific submission requirements and content. Waymark categories are managed by individual Groups responsible for all the activity within its assigned category.

Do I need a GPS unit to use the web site?

You do not need a GPS unit in order to browse the categories and waymarks on the web site. Usually a postal code is sufficient to find waymarks near your location. Depending on the waymark submission requirements for a waymark category you may even be capable of finding the coordinates you need (latitude/longitude) from online tools. However it is strongly encouraged that you have a GPS unit to mark the most accurate coordinates possible for your waymarks. Most waymark categories will require a GPS unit to mark coordinates.

Are there any other terms we should know?

Yes. We try to include all of the terms in our glossary. If a term is missing, please let us know.

Category Directory

What is the category directory?

The category directory contains all categories and waymarks on Waymarking.com. It is helpful to think of it as a big tree, starting with the trunk and growing out into more specifically defined branches.

Groups

What is a Group?

Waymarking Groups are a way for 2 or more people to band together for the purpose of managing a category. The Group will consist of a Leader and any number of Officers and Members of the Leader's choosing.

What are the different Group ranks?


There are 3 primary Group rankings, each with unique permissions relating to category management. Leader: This is the creator of the Group and the highest ranking member. A Leader can invite, promote, and assign permissions to other Group members. The Leader must be a Premium Member. Officer: An Officer is promoted by the Leader and assists in maintenance of the Group's category. She has the ability to participate in votes that affect Group membership as well as new waymark review. The Officer must also be a Premium Member. Member: Members offer suggestions to the Leader and Officers on Group and category issues, but has no management permissions. In the future we plan to add features more specifically focused on Group Members. Anyone can be a Member.

Why can't I manage a category on my own? Why do I need a Group?

It became clear to us early on that having a single person manage a category had the potential of causing many frustrating delays in getting new waymarks reviewed. We know that not everyone has the time to refresh the website every five minutes, waiting for new waymark submissions to hit the queue. And what if the category manager goes on vacation?

We came up with the idea of Groups as a way for multiple people to share the work load. This is accomplished by sending email notifications to all Officers of the Group whenever a new waymark is submitted for review. We believe this will prevent categories from being abandoned and potentially cause a category to languish, sadly neglected, while new waymarks pile up at the door.

How does a Group settle disputes?

In some situations you will encounter issues that require an Officer vote. These situations include demoting an Officer, dismissing a Member, and agreeing upon a new category before sending it to Peer Review. All this dismissing and demoting may seem a bit dire, but we need to account for unruly Group Members and rogue Leaders accidentally invading the ranks. Probably most Groups will not ever have use for these tools, but they're there if you need them.

Categories

What should I name my category?

You will want to name your category in a way that clearly describes the waymarks contained within it. Try to avoid puns and plays on words. If your category represents lighthouses, you wouldn't want to call it "Light My Way". The better choice would be simply "Lighthouses". Waymarks, not categories, are better suited for creative titles.

How do I start my own category? How do I manage it?

  1. Upgrade your membership to Premium
  2. Create a Group to help you manage the category (two Officers and a Leader)
  3. Fill out the category submission form on your Group page
  4. Submit your category to Peer Review

What is Peer Review? How does it work?

Peer Review consists of a queue available to all Premium Members allowing them to review, vote, and comment on category hopefuls. Voting lasts for 3 days and is anonymous unless you elect to make your vote public. As a general rule of thumb, a two-thirds majority is necessary to pass a category. In the case where a category is on the fence, Groundspeak reserves the right to make the final decision, but in most cases we will err on the side of approving the category. One of the things to keep in mind when voting on categories is that some people have a different idea of what is "wow!" If you think a number of people will enjoy the category, even if you won't personally, you should vote "yea" and perhaps give some recommendations for improvement.

What happens if my category fails Peer Review?

In the off chance the community disliked your category, it will be archived and your Group will need to start over. It's not recommended to submit the same category to Peer Review more than a couple times.

What are my responsibilities as a category manager?

This is a big job! As a category manager it is your responsibility to determine the rules, with help from your Group Officers, for posting a waymark to your new category. What are you trying to accomplish?

If you choose "Medieval Castles" and would like to know not only the location, but also the year a castle was built and who lived there, you should clearly define each of these points in the description of your category. Also, you will have the option of approving each new waymark submitted to your category. If you choose to review all new waymarks, it will be your responsibility to judge each submission for adherence to your stated guidelines. Many people will be counting on you to preserve the integrity of your category.

Are there any prohibited categories?

In general, no. We don't consider ourselves the waymark police, and intend for the waymarking community to decide what categories are appropriate. However, we still reserve the right to deny categories which do not appear to be in the spirit of this endeavor. For example, this site was not created to replace Geocaching.com.

Waymarks

How do I find out if my waymark has already been submitted?

When you submit a new waymark you'll be shown a list of all waymarks within a one mile radius of the coordinates you entered. You'll need to review this list to make sure your waymark is not already listed. If it is already listed, you can still proceed with your submission but the category manager will have the option to deny your new waymark. If there are no waymarks near your entered coordinates, your entry will be automatically submitted for review by the category manager.

How do I create a waymark?

Find the appropriate waymark category and click the “Post New Waymark” link at the right. You'll then be directed to the waymark submission form. You can also create a waymark from scratch using the link in the upper right of the home page.

I want to add a waymark to a category but there is no "Post New Waymark" link. Why?


Some categories are too broad to contain waymarks, and are limited to containing sub-categories only. You should look within the appropriate sub-category for a place to record your waymark. If no sub-category exists and you are a Premium Member, feel free to create a new one.

What information do I need to create a waymark?

When you submit a new waymark you must enter a nickname, latitude and longitude, the country, a short description, and any further information required by the category manager.

What are my responsibilities as a waymark owner?

Your responsibilities as a waymark owner are to exactly follow the instructions of its parent category and to describe it in detail. You'll also want to periodically review the logs for your waymark and respond to any issues reported by other waymarkers.

Why doesn't my waymark show up in the directory?

Category groups review all new submissions and will only accept waymarks that strictly adhere to their posted guidelines. Keep in mind that category groups usually have a job apart from waymarking (shocking!) so it may take a short time for them to review your new waymark. You'll be notified by email when your waymark has been reviewed.

Can I submit a waymark for a commercial location?

Sure. There is no restriction on posting commercial waymarks or waymarks which charge an entrance fee.

What if my waymark doesn't fit in a category?

To submit an uncategorized waymark click the Post a New Waymark link in the upper right of the home page, and simply leave the category dropdown on the waymark edit form blank. Because the waymark has no category it will live in its own queue with all of the other uncategorized waymarks, waiting to be categorized. Uncategorized waymarks serve as the core ingredients for regular waymarks and can be categorized by other waymarkers when a category is found that meets the location's description. A single uncategorized waymark can be made into any number of regular waymarks, provided each one meets the new category's requirements.

How do I categorize an uncategorized waymark?

First, view the uncategorized waymark's details and click the Assign Category to this waymark link at the top of the page. On the edit page choose the appropriate category from the dropdown menu and press the Select Category button. Assigning the category will insert category-specific questions for you to answer at the bottom of the edit page. Once these are filled in you can submit the new waymark and await Group review.

Visits (Logs)

How do I post a visit?

Once you are logged in, visit the individual waymark page and click the "Visit Waymark (Post Visit)" link at the right. Enter your comment and select a visit type, then click "submit visit". You may also choose to rate the waymark and include additional coordinates.

What kind of information should I include in my visit?

It's entirely up to you when deciding what to post. If you really enjoyed the waymark, compliment the owner on their choice of location. It's a good idea to include any information about the waymark you think might be helpful to the next visitor.

Were the coordinates off? Is it prettiest at sunset? Did you disturb a nest of killer bees?

Can I upload images to my visit?

Yes. After you submit your visit you'll have the option to upload an image. If you decide afterwards to upload an image or edit your visit you can always return later to do so.

Waymarking and Geocaching

Waymarking was born out of our experience with Geocaching and in response to the huge interest created by locationless caches. The Geocaching.com website was never designed to support the unique challenges posed by these particular caches, so a new solution in Waymarking.com was born.

What about virtual caches?

No new virtual geocaches will be listed on Geocaching.com, but if there is a suitable category for submitting your location on waymarking.com, please feel free to submit a new waymark. If you are a Premium Member and no category exists, you can create a new category for posting your waymark.

What is the difference between geocaching and waymarking?

In geocaching, it's all about the hunt and the treasure at the end. With waymarking, the location itself is the treasure. The primary difference is that no physical object is placed when creating a waymark. This added freedom allows us to enjoy certain locations that have previously been off-limits to geocaching. This time, the entire focus is on what can be gained from the location in terms of education, entertainment, or simply your obsessive desire to document the location of every annual Star Trek convention (for, you know, a friend).

I have a membership with Geocaching.com. Can I login to Waymarking.com with that username?

Yes! Anyone who currently has a membership on the Geocaching.com website, whether Premium or Basic, will be able to login with the same username and password on the Waymarking.com website. A Groundspeak Premium Membership covers both Geocaching.com and Waymarking.com.