Waymarking: It’s all about the hunt

June 24, 2021
By Marcy Shortuse

BY TONYA BRAMLAGE – Looking for adventure? Waymarking is an interactive, creative, and fun way to adventure and explore new places. A waymark is a physical location anywhere on the planet marked by coordinates (latitude/longitude).

A waymarking category is a collection of similarly themed waymarks. Waymarking helps participants catalog, mark and visit interesting locations all around the world. Using GPS technology, users are able to pinpoint any location, mark it and share it with others, encouraging them to investigate further. Participants do not need a Global Positioning System to search for waymarks. Often times, a local zip code provides enough information for participants to use although using GPS typically makes finding and pinpointing locations much easier. Waymarkers use technology to tag points of interest for other waymarkers to visit, along with pictures and specific instructions on what to do to prove that you were there. Most waymarkers take photos at their locations and post them with their visit. There is no form of standard logging practice involved, instead it is a completely virtual record that is saved online.

While geocaching is all about treasure hunting for a container in unique locations, waymarking’s focus is on visiting and travel to places local and not so local for the purpose of exploration and discovery. Waymarks can be found in cities, these waymarks highlight locations of interest, fun activities, food, and unusual random tidbits. Waymarking is all about the hunt for the things and places that may not have been previously known about or experienced. In order to get started with your waymarking journey, you need to create a free account at waymarking.com. Once you have established a user identification and log in, then you can begin a search for a waymark in the appropriate tab. Start with a search within your own postal code or broaden the search to include your state or region. Using a keyword, you can search for a particular type of waymark such as the Belfry at the Lighthouse United Methodist Church in Boca Grande (which was my very first waymarking encounter).

Calusa Man in Sam Murphy Park.

Once you have found a waymark that looks interesting, scroll down and be sure to read the “Visit Instructions” portion of the site. Determine in advance what exactly it is that you are looking for and type the appropriate coordinates on your GPS. Be sure to take your camera along and any other necessary items to complete your trek. Once you have visited the waymark, log your visit on the page directly for that particular waymark. Include any photos and a short description to share with others about your findings. Be as creative as possible with your shared information keeping in mind what might be useful for future visitors.

Categories are comprised into an index of the different types of waymarks and make it simpler to narrow down a search. If you are an art guru, then you can select that category and not have to navigate through dozens of cemetery or historical waymarks to find something interesting. New categories are being added constantly, the same is true for waymarks, so be sure to keep up to date by checking the website daily.

Once a new waymark has been submitted, the site will do a search and show you any waymarks within a one mile radius of the one you are trying to create. If your spot has already been marked, you may still submit it, but a category manager will be able to deny or approve your waymark. The process is not automatic so check back occasionally to update and make sure there aren’t any issues establishing your waymark.

Located on Gasparilla Island in the quaint community of Boca Grande, Calusa-Lost Civilization Sea Shell Man is a sculpted life-sized, re-creation of a Calusa warrior, completely covered in shells from Boca Grande beaches. Calusa Man’s original location was inside the Old Theater Mall and has been relocated to Sam Murphy Park at 355 Park Avenue. Emil Alzamora is not only one of Boca Grande’s most famous sculptors and artists, he is also credited for this waymarker in the Roadside Attractions section on the waymarking.com site.

Pioneer Hole in front of the Loose Caboose.

Pioneer Hole is a Florida Historical Marker located at Park Avenue and 4th Street West in Boca Grande. The waymark gallery showcases photos of the location and includes a long description of this historical local site.

Ground Speak is the parent company of Geocaching.com and operates the Waymarking.com platform as well. The company’s slogan is “The Language of Location” as it aims to provide people with the tools to help others share and discover unique, fascinating, and not yet discovered locations on the planet. Geocaching takes you to places you would most likely never venture to on your own. Waymarking is a tool to mark locations across the globe and give them a voice. Membership is not required to become a waymarker as waymarking.com gives you plenty of user options which include the ability to download locations of waymarks, rate your visits to waymarks, save searches, create categories, and manage them.

By clicking on any of the listings and entering an area that you would like to explore, you will be presented with a list fitting that category along with the name and a short description of the location. 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. History, for example has subcategories such as Historical Markers, Register of Historic Places, Highways and Byways, WPA projects, Ghost Towns and more. Monuments section is riddled with subcategories which include Final Resting Places, Pony Express Monuments, Statues, Memorial Sites and more. Nature, includes subcategories such as Places of Geologic Significance, Ranger Stations, Civilian Conservation Corps, National Landmarks and more.

Wayfinding is a novel experience, one that is exciting, educational, and easily accessible to all. Wayfinding treks offer something for everyone  interested in an interactive adventure. Whether you prefer scavenger or treasure hunting, waymarking takes the best of both and elevates the hunt to a whole new level.

Whether you are walking in downtown Boca, kicking it up in Frankfurt or just relaxing in Mystic Seaport a waymarking adventure is just a click away.

Seek and you will find.