Police were called when a suspicious package was spotted in an Edmonton park. A concerned citizen called police around 8:30 a.m. on Friday, May 3, 2013. The southbound lanes of Fairway Drive SW and the northbound lanes of 119th Street from 34 Avenue SW were closed off by authorities investigating the potential bomb threat. Following incidents like the Boston marathon bombing, authorities are being extra cautious with suspicious packages and activity. Fortunately, in this case, the container in question turned out to be a harmless geocache, cops confirmed.
Geocaches are containers of varying sizes hidden in parks and urban areas all over the globe. Basically, it is a treasure hunting/scavenger hunting sort of game that implements GPS tracking devices. Outdoor enthusiasts and adventurers in general tend to gravitate towards GPS technology. These navigation devices ensure the safety of hikers, campers, off-roaders and backpackers much more reliably than leaving a bread crumb trail. For starters, squirrels and birds can’t eat the digital trail leading back to your vehicle or camp.
One of these creative adventurous types created a whole game using GPS technology available to anyone with a GPS device! The game is called geocaching. Essentially, interested parties can go to the website geocaching.com and find geocache locations, like the one police mistook for a bomb, to track down. The site provides the GPS coordinates of the container and sometimes provides a few hints as to the location or what to look for. The coordinates provide a general location, as GPS technology is not entirely precise.
Once the geocache is located, the player or players can mark the discovered location as conquered and move on to the next location. Depending on the size of the container, some of the geocaches have little sign-in sheets within them, providing a record of all the players keen enough to discover the cache. It’s an all-around fun game with a twist of technology.