The High Tech Scavenger Hunt

Geocaching in its simplest sense is a high tech scavenger hunt.  Persons receive clues as to where to hunt for a hidden geocache.  The geocache is usually a container that varies in size from a tiny thing the size of a quarter to that of an ammo box.  In the cache there will be a log book to record you finding the location and many times other things are in the container.  Some are called trackables meaning they are then placed in another geocache elsewhere and the movement of the trackable is tracked.  Some have made their way around the world.  A greater wealth of information on geocaching, how to get started, and where to look for geocaches in your area can all be found at  Here is a one minute video describing how to join in the fun, “What is Geocaching“.

While virtual geocaching has existed for some time, Campus Recreation Services is putting its own spin to this form of the hunt.

Geocache example
Example of a geocache. These containers come in all different sizes.

Since you cannot physically visit the locations and find a cache similar to the one pictured, why not use your computer to run down the clues and find the location.  To prove you landed there, answer the question or two designed to show you actually found it.  In this way, there isn’t any reason we can’t hide virtual caches around the country.  You may find this journey takes you places you always wanted to visit or never new existed.  Either way it should be fun.

Virtual Geocache — Practice Round

Let’s start with an easy one to get our bearings.  Each cache will have a name, map coordinates, a clue or two to help direct you, some hints to help if you get off-track, and of course the one or two questions used to prove you found the spot.

Do read the specific how-to instructions that follow this first geocache before you dash out to find this cache.  Avoiding unnecessary frustration can only help enhance the experience.

“Anybody Got the Time?”
Love him or hate him he resides in one of the most well-known residences in this country.

The map coordinates are 38.897872   -77.036536.  If you walk south of his temporary home, the real prize will appear.  It is one of the largest sundials in the world.

Once you find this location, zoom in and see if you can answer this question.  In terms of the distance separating the two dark concentric circles that encircle this timepiece, how many paver blocks are needed to span that distance?

Need a second hint?
For those completely lost, this additional hint should clear the confusion.  The father of our country had this stone structure erected for him.  If you still can’t find me, then this is sure to put you on the mark, 38.8896751   -77.0355252.

Virtual Geocaching Specific How-to Instructions
First let’s see how to get started on our search.

1.  Start with Google Maps and punch in the map coordinates you are given.  Turn to the satellite imagery.  There is a block on the bottom left of the screen that you can click to rotate through the map and satellite views.

2.  Zoom in and out to get a quick lay of the land.  Once you are comfortable with the layout of the general area, go to the Google Maps street view.  Without using street view you will likely not find the specifics you are searching.

3.  To access the street view, find the little yellow figure, known as the Pegman, at the bottom right corner of your map page.  Click on him, drag him close to where you wish to start.  Using the mouse buttons you can explore the area at street level and get up close to things of interest.

4.  When in street view, there is a map view in the lower left corner that shows blue lines and blue circles.  Along the lines you can move back and forth.  The blue circles are static locations that permit a 360 degree view of that location.

5.  You exit street view by clicking on the arrow in the street view box located at the top left of the browser screen.

6.  It may be that a quick read of this page will help:

How to Use Google Street View: 11 Steps (with Pictures) – wikiHow
How to Use Google Street View.  Have you ever seen one of the Google Street View cars driving around your neighborhood? They have a large, ball-shaped camera attached to the roof, which allows them to take a continuous stream of 360° … 

Happy hunting!  New virtual geocaches will be posted here.  Hope you will check back on occasion.  By all means drop me an email if any questions come up.

These first two virtual geocaches come courtesy of two students at the College and these are great places to visit in person if you get the chance.  In the meanwhile let’s try visiting through this virtual format.

Virtual Geocache #1
“Your Big Green Monster Doesn’t Scare Me” — location submitted by Shea Santor
The map coordinates will drop you off at Gate D to buy your tickets to this much sought after venue,  42.3455796  -71.0982331.

Walk along the perimeter as you search for a large sign in the shape of a downward pointing arrow.  Enter that location and look around.

Questions for Proof
1.  On the pennant hanging from the wall, what year is listed for their world championship?
2.  What is the headline of the framed newspaper displayed on the wall?

Additional Hints
The location housing these two items is a family-friendly area where persons can enjoy food and beverages on game day.  The items to be found are in the general area nearest the ladies room.

Still More Hints
The location is the Bleacher Bar, 42.3471782  -71.0967892.

Virtual Geocache #2
“It’s the Real Thing” — location submitted by Alexis Jimenez

Standing before you is Pemberton Place, 33.7624949,-84.3935102, a super frequented spot in this major metropolis.  We have something special in mind for you.  We have been told through the years that “It’s the Real Thing” and “Things Go Better With ____”.

Questions for Proof
Time for us to visit the land of Coke.  Find the entry and let’s explore.

1.  When you find the waiting area for the theatre known as the Loft there are many displays of Coke through the years.  Find the display that has a famous actress on it who was featured in a CBS-TV special on April 26.  Her first name is listed.  What is it?  Granted this is from years ago but hopefully her name hasn’t faded completely.

2.  Next find your way to the Vault where the secrets to Coke are kept.  Find the answer to this question among the displays in the vault.  “Like an alchemist of old, Pemberton used what item to mix the first batches of Coca-Cola syrup in a cast iron kettle?”

Enjoy the rest of your visit.

Additional Hints
The World of Coke is quite large.  When in street view enlarge the Pegman’s screen on the lower left and a number of other blue lines and circles will emerge.  Take your time, there is plenty to explore.

Virtual Geocache #3
“Where the Pros Play”

Woody Harrelson and Wesley Snipes made us laugh in this movie about basketball and the street hustle that takes place along these well-known beachfront courts.  Take a walk along Ocean Front Walk to see if you can find those famous basketball courts where the pros play.  Start at this end of the strip, 33.984252  -118.4714052.  Walk to the northwest keeping the water to your left.  As you pass the numerous businesses that line the cramped corridor, you can almost smell the usual beach fare — funnel cakes, hot dogs, churros, etc.

Questions for Proof
You will first pass the Muscle Beach workout area.  Just past that you should find the Venice Beach Athletic Center building.  Here sit several basketball courts with low rise bleachers.  On the building is a red sign that states what hours the park is closed.  What are those hours?

Additional Hints
The athletic center building street number is 1800.   The map coordinates are 33.985736  -118.472750.

This virtual geocache series was created by:

Gene Sessoms
College of Charleston | Campus Recreation Services
207 Silcox Gymnasium | 24 George Street | Charleston, SC  29424 | 843.953.8257

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