2008-11-19 47 8

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Wed 19 Nov 2008 in Zürich:
47.5198710, 8.1615679

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Near Monthal


  • Someone from DRS Radio
  • ...

Expedition Reports[edit]

Participant 1[edit]



source (all parts): DRS Drü website

I shall try to translate a bit of what I understand. Any help from native Swiss German or English speakers is welcome. I am also not sure if I sorted the speakers well apart. M is always the (female) moderation. Then there are Reto, Guido and Luzi.

Part 1[edit]

source: rtsp://audio.drs.ch/drs3/geohashing.mp3

  • M: Good morning! And this - [snoring] - this sounds like work colleague Reto Widmer(?). Are you snoring?
  • Reto: Apparently, when I'm lying on my back, yes.
  • M: But, the good news for everyone sharing their bedroom with Reto: Tomorrow he will not be snoring. Just as little as his two colleagues from the "DRS-3 Digital" editorial staff, because you will probably not be sleeping at all tonight. It's rather particular: You will get up tomorrow morning and you will have no idea what's going to happen to you or rather where you will end up. We need some details.
  • Reto: Yes, the first thing we do tomorrow is to go on a website and this will tell us where we will have to go.
  • M: Ok, that wasn't really an explanation now. That means, the website says "you have to ...(??)"
  • Reto: More exactly, the website will indicate the exact coordinates of a point on the map - it says for example "you go to the Metzgerhüsli, in the Emmental", but it could just as well be somewhere in the forest or in the rocks. The point is that the location is being calculated anew every day, namely using the current date and the current Dow Jones Index, the stock index. And that's why we cannot say today where we will have to go tomorrow.
  • M: Sounds like James Bond. But how does that work technically? How do you come from an American stock index to a point on the map of Switzerland?
  • Reto: There's a complicated, complex formula behind, the details of which I am also not fully aware. And then it's that Switzerland is divided into eight rectangles, and in every of these rectangles one of these points is determined. So we have eight points in Switzerland every day.
  • M: And to one of these you would be going tomorrow. So now... we're used to lots of things from our IT editorial staff, but the one or other will ask himself: "Yes, hello?! What's that supposed to be?"
  • Reto: Well, we didn't cook that up ourselves. It's a new GPS sport, for fans of navigation devices. The whole thing is called "Geohashing". You can enter the determined coordinates in the navigation device or look them up on a map and let you navigate to that point. Now, the point is that you will be looking if other people arrive at that point, leading to spontaneous meetings. And in our case that would be our DRS-3 listeners, where we had the idea that they would also arrive at that point. Let's have a look: Today for example, in the Bern region would be close to "Granges-Château-d'Oex", somewhere near Gstaad and Saanen - let's hope that we won't have to talk French tomorrow.
  • M: Oh, so it can be anywhere in all of Switzerland?
  • Reto: That's now just for the region of Bern, and Guido goes to the Zurich region, and Luzi in the region of Basel. That means we have covered half of Switzerland already.
  • M: And then you can hike around there?
  • Reto: Yes, right.
  • M: Ah, so, it's a GPS scavenger hunt with the DRS-3 IT editorials. It starts tomorrow morning. We'll be curious how many of you will show up at the same location as these three. How it all works in detail, we will tell you tonight at ten, and you can look it up on DRS3.ch.

Part 2[edit]

source: rtsp://audio.drs.ch/drs3/heute/geohashing_2.mp3

  • M: Now in the studio: Two work colleagues from the DRS-3 IT editorial staff. Reto Widmer and Guido Berger and the IT staff has some plans - together with you! Tomorrow - it is, if I understood correctly some kind of scavenger hunt, but not with sticks and stones and chalk marks on the ground, but with real technology: GPS navigation devices. The whole thing is called "Geohashing" - and now I am wondering: What kind of scavenger hunt is it and where are you going?
  • Reto: We don't know yet either - that's the point of this "geohashing", that you only know on the day itself where you have to go.
  • M: Totally clueless today - who is telling you where it goes?
  • Reto: Totally clueless, yes. The location where it goes is being calculated anew every day from the current date and the Dow Jones Index, the stock index, which you cannot predict. Hence it is totally spontaneous. And behind it is a formula, which I must admit, I did not fully get behind either.
  • M: Ok, so it is being calculated day per day, and you will try tomorrow if it is going to work. The point lies anywhere - what happens when the point lies for example on the other side of the world?
  • Reto: That can't happen, because the world is divided into rectangles. Switzerland has got eight of these rectangles, and every rectangle has got its own "geohash", one of these unique points. Tomorrow what will happen is that Guido will visit the rectangle Zurich/Inner Switzerland, Luzi will do Basel/Jura/Elsaß and I will go to Bern, Berner Oberland, Wallis. Maybe up the glacier, let's see.
  • M: Oookay - so three people on the road, three regions, Guido, you'll also be there, you (...), it could be that you'll have to take a bath in the Vierwaldstädter See!?
  • Guido: Yes, that could really happen, because in my graticule there's many lakes: The Vierwaldstädter See, the Zuger See, the Zürisee, so it could really happen that I'll have to get somewhere on the lake and I have no idea how I would manage that. Today for example would have been easy - today I would just have to get to some farm west of Brugg, where I would have been within an hour. Luzi would have had to go somewhere on the Jura, that also would have been feasible, Reto would have had a more difficult task: He'd have to climb a mountain near Gstaad.
  • M: Guido and Reto, we have told a bit about that earlier, tomorrow then you will be headed to some place which you don't know today where it is. How will you get there?
  • Guido: In the ideal case, with the car. We're also a bit lazy. I fear that we'll just have to get as far as possible with the car and probably we'll have to get out our hiking boots to get somewhere up a mountain.
  • M: Yes, if the (??) is somewhere up the (??)...
  • Guido: We'll see, the chance that the car won't suffice is high.
  • Reto: For me today, it would have been easy with the car, today I would have to get to Brugg which takes not more than an hour, that wouldn't be fun. In such a case I would raise the stakes and take the public transport to see if it's possible.
  • M: In any case you have to be well prepared, the weather tomorrow is not so great, you will surely take warm [paddings? something to put into the shoes], what else will you take?
  • Guido: Not that much, actually. The mobile phone certainly, mainly for the photos which we will send to the studio, to put them on the DRS 3 website. Then each of us brings a navigation device so that we can find the spot exactly, and that we don't get lost.
  • Reto: I will certainly take a raincoat - while the weather does not look that bad currently, but we won't want to freeze either. And then, because maybe it gets boring when I have to wait until my colleagues reach their mountaintops, and that's why I would be really happy if some other people came, some of our listeners, if you'd like to join in and choose one of the points and find us there.
  • M: So, it's extremely interactive! You can look up where the three are venturing and what there is to see from them, and what difficulties they have to surmount; if maybe they need help - at our site drs3.ch.

Part 3[edit]

source: rtsp://audio.drs.ch/drs3/digital/schnitzeljagd.mp3

  • M: The traditional scavenger hunt gets a rival: The new spare time fun is called "geohashing" and we will not only talk about it, but we'll participate actively. We need for that a GPS device and Internet. The experimental rabbits are our three IT editorial members. They will travel this morning - namely to a point that has been randomly chosen and hope to encounter a bunch of you people there. That's the main idea, Guido Berger will be with me for a few minutes in the studio. He is armed with a raincoat and lots of other things and - you really only knew a few minutes ago where you will be going-?
  • Guido: That's correct. I'll be starting from Zurich, and I'll have to go to a point which lies in the north-west of Brugg in the Aargau canton. There's a hill and it lies somewhere in the middle of the forest. My two colleagues, Luzi Müller and Reto Widmer from the IT editorial staff are also going, Luzi is starting from Basel, and his target is in the Alsace today, not far behind the frontier. He said he will be travelling via the Jura and then across the border to Alsace, to a hamlet called "Pfetterhouse" - very nice - also somewhere in the forest, as far as the satellite image tells, it looks a bit mountainous. And Reto originally was supposed to start from Bern, but his point is a little difficult. It's at the southern flank of a mountain called "Vanil Noir"...
  • M: But Reto is a big hiker, isn't he?
  • Guido: Well, yes, but it's on 1800m and you're right, he is an experienced man, and when he tells me that it's not reachable then I will respect that. We can't expect that from him. And that's why we have changed plans, and he will be going to the same point as I do, that is also to the north west of Brugg. But we won't travel together. He'll be coming from Solothurn and me from Zurich, and we'll see if we really meet each other at the location.
  • M: So, that's what you know since only this morning, and - from your estimation: Who will be lucky, who not?
  • Guido: Well, Reto has been a bit unfortunate, and that's why we have redirected him - Luzi could also encounter some difficulties as you can't just walk through the mountains, and to really find the actual point. What's also important to say: We haven't been able to plan this in advance, the point is being calculated as follows: For once it depends on the date, then from the area - so for example everyone in the region of Zurich have to reach the same point, and then there's the stock index in it, and that's what we couldn't know yesterday, what it would read today. That means we have really only been informed this morning, and we have all had a bad sleep tonight.
  • M: I can imagine. So, when will you start? Or when will be hear from you again?
  • Guido: I will be leaving right now, the other two as well, we will be taking our mobiles and the GPS device, to really find the exact point, and then we'll report in at a few minutes to ten, when we will probably all still be traveling, and take a quick break on the roadside. Then, we will report past eleven, when maybe the first ones will have reached their point. And then in the afternoon, about two o'clock, when we all should have been able to reach our coordinates. And now for one more request: To you out there, listeners. It would really be great if you didn't just let us stand out there alone in the forest, but if you also came. If you'd like, you can go on our website drs3.ch and there you will find the exact point where we will be going. And then you'll also be able to come, and -yes- maybe bring some hot drinks or the like.
  • M: And then you have planned something really special...
  • Guido: Right, we will be bringing the DRS 3 flag, and will be marking our claim in the forest, so that you'll be able to recognize us well.
  • M: Like on the moon - so let's not leave our IT people alone, and they're really three handsome young guys. If you find them, or how to find them, and how it all works -it's a bit complicated- you'll find it all on drs3.ch.

Part 4[edit]

  • M: What we knew formerly as "converging walk" (Sternwanderung), could be called so-to-say as "geohashing" today. Like many others, you arrive at a point on the map. The difference with geohashing is that the point of convergence is not determined by someone, -but- is calculated from the value of the current Dow Jones Index. All that we heard this morning on DRS 3 and also that Reto Widmer, Guido Berger and Luzius Müller of the DRS 3 IT editorial staff are traveling today to one of these predetermined points. Now we are wondering, where are these three? Luzi Müller, where are you?...
  • Luzi: I am in Zwinger, in a heartly village in the Laufle(?) valley, haven't come really far yet. The next station will be Laufen, then Delémont. And then, some time I should make it to Porrentruy. And from there I will be following the navigation device, somewhere short behind the French border in the French Jura, in Rappberg(?). I have no idea what will await me there. At the moment it's really easy though, simply to follow the road list to Delémont and Porrentruy. I took some equipment - good shoes and a coat - but the sky is blue and I am confident that it will work out.
  • M: We will give over to.. to Guido...
  • Luzi: Right, Guido should be on its way?
  • M: Guido, where are you?
  • Guido: I haven't come far either yet. I am still in Zurich, near the highway entrance, you may maybe hear the passing traffic in the background. Here it's not yet that good with the weather - cloudy, but the clouds are parting. I believe I have also brought the raincoat in vain. I will be going on the highway now, taking the exit at Baden, I think, and in the direction of Brugg an to the back-country of Aargau, somewhere up on a hill. In the forest - the point is actually right in the forest on a steep slope. Not too steep for me, I hope.
  • M: The one who's missing now is the third in the round - Reto Widmer who seems to have disappeared without trace - do you know more, Guido?
  • Guido: No, we're not reaching him. He might be underway and in a reception dead spot, but he will be reaching the same spot as I do. However, we will not be traveling together, but he started in Solothurn, me in Zurich, and we should reach the same spot in the area of Brugg. And yes, I hope that I will meet him - I know at least what he looks like.
  • M: Wonderful! But what you look like, our listeners do not know - you're hoping that a few of them are coming, right?
  • Guido: Right. And that's why we brought a flag. We've got the DRS 3 flag, a small improvised DRS 3 flag, and we will plant her when we've found the spot. So those who want to join us should look for a DRS 3 flag.
  • M: And on drs3.ch you can calculate it exactly, basically.
  • Guido: Right, there's everything explained. How you find the exact point, the coordinates and how you get there. It's all on our website.
  • M: Wonderful then. Happy searching. We'll be hearing from you again after eleven, and as we said, if you want to take part, go there too, geohashing, all the rest is online on drs3.ch.

Part 5[edit]

  • M: Today, we're doing a scavenger hunt. Namely the way you do a scavenger hunt in the year of 2008. "Geohashing" is the modern spare time fun called, where every day a random location is chosen, and that's where you meet up. The "DRS 3 Digital" editorial staff, that's Reto Widmer, Luzi Müller and Guido Berger, are testing the game today. That means, they're on their way to three different locations in Switzerland. In the Aargau are at the moment on the road Guido Berger and Reto Widmer, Guido where are you exactly?
  • Guido: I am now in the area of Brugg, in a small hamlet called Rüfenach, where I've taken a break and went into a pub, (...) it's called, a really nice countryside pub, and I'm drinking a coffee now.
  • M: We're hearing it in the background. Why is it that you and Reto Widmer are heading to the same point?
  • Guido: Reto was originally supposed to start from Bern, and then he'd have to go somewhere in the (...) on a mountain on 1800m, probably snowed in. And since we didn't want to do this to him - it might have been dangerous - and that's why we've decided that he will be heading for the same point as I do. But we are starting from different points: He is coming from the area of Solothurn, and I am coming from Zurich, and we'll see if we can find each other.
  • M: Right. And on the other line we're having Reto - Reto, where are you exactly now?
  • Reto: I am now.. wait, let me look on the GPS.. in the middle of the forest, it's rather dense bushes, some 20 meters from the destination. So, Guido (...) we have found it already.
  • Guido: Definitively, yes.
  • M: So 20 meters.. and the flag... (...) Our DRS 3 listeners have had the chance to accompany you. On the one hand in the Internet, and if they would like to of course by coming to the spot. Can you already see someone?
  • Reto: No, I don't see anyone yet. Yes, I hope that will change soon, I have also brought two dogs, which enjoy this greatly and are running around, so maybe the dogs who haven't been walked yet, that would be the chance to get together. It's not terribly complicated, it's a bit in the forest. But it's nice here!
  • M: And you've brought a Swiss flag, didn't you? So they know it's the guy from DRS 3. Good. Guido Berger - Reto is almost there, you aren't yet, but what will you be doing now?
  • Guido: Well, I'll take it slowly, if I've lost anyway I won't have to hurry. I'll drink up my coffee and then I'll be looking if I can find Reto. And when I found him we'll be planting the DRS 3 flag as well, in case anyone comes by. And in the morning, before I started, I have looked in the Internet, on the website, where you can see the destination points every day, and there I've seen that people have suggested an alternative point. Our point would have been on the hillside, in the middle of the forest, quite steep as it seems. And they suggested that we go up the hill, where we will at least have a view. That's just some 300m from the point we're heading to, so when we're finally there and have planted the flag, we'll go looking the 300m further on at the alternative meeting point, if we find some people there, to collect them.
  • M: Right. And that's what we will be hearing from you. You appear to me like the first astronauts on the moon - We've just heard Redo Widmer and Guido Berger, on their way in the Aargau, soon at their destination. One is missing, that's Luzi Müller, on his way to the Elsaß, where are you Luzi?
  • Luzi: At the moment I'm in Alle, somewhere in the canton of Jura, before Porrentruy. What you maybe can hear in the background is the rivulet called Alle?? - I didn't know it existed. I took a wrong turn, now for the first time, because I've simply followed the road to Porrentruy until my navigation device has alarmed and told me "Hey, take the highway". So I had to go some way back in the direction of Delémont. Now I'm up here, in (...), a one-horse town where -how do you say?- fox and cat, no fox and hare wish themselves a good night (lit. for "out in the sticks"). But it's cracking and crunching here.
  • M: Maybe that's wild boars? There are some, they say. Pay attention.
  • Luzi: (...) did I see, (...), cows, many things.
  • M: Good, are you still far from the goal?
  • Luzi: Yes, it's quite a bit still. Also, now it's getting challenging, I'll have to cross the border, and then I'll have to find the village in the Alsace called Pfetterhouse. And from there on I will have to rely on the navigation device, there are only forest tracks. On the satellite image it looks like there was a (???), and maybe a small lake - if I'm lucky I will be able to catch a carp.
  • M: So, when I got you right, it's really getting more difficult now.
  • Luzi: Yes, now I have to rely on the navigation device, on my GPS device. Up to the frontier it's clear, but from there on I'll let me guide.
  • M: Could you repeat for all those who have not been following your trip from the beginning on - how do you calculate that point?
  • Luzi: The calculation takes place every day anew, so the location we're looking for is being generated anew every day, based on the date, the origin location which is Basel in my case, and based on an unpredictable factor, the Dow Jones Index. So it's impossible to know in advance where the location will be. And this morning, all three of us have looked that up and are now, individually, travelling. I've started from Basel, so that it has cast me to the Alsace, and I am hoping of course for other people to join in. It's already getting rough here, there's no more reception of DRS 3, that's making it all (...), so I don't know if there are many listeners, but I hope it of course.
  • M: We're all having big hopes there, and we will of course hear of it, because when you've all reached your destinations, which will be this afternoon between one and two o'clock, we will be hearing the full story.

Part 6[edit]

  • M2: Most of you will be working, or learning, or making the laundry. But maybe everything that has to be done, has already been done - and now you're a bit bored. And not only today, but every day... too much time on your hands, too few friends. Or the wrong friends. Then you are potential geohashers. That's got nothing to do with marijuana, even though geohashing could lead you into the hemp fields, if it happens. Geohashing is nothing else that a modern form of a scavenger hunt. Every day anew, a complicated formula calculates the coordinates of a location in your surroundings, which you will have to find. The complete DRS 3 IT editorial staff has departed this morning to test geohashing - now we're asking Luzi Müller: Where did you end up?
  • (silence)
  • M2: Luzi Müller, here he is. Are you there?
  • Luzi: Yes, hello. I'm in the middle of the pampa, and lost my cellphone reception. I reached the destination, indeed. The last time I believe you heard from me when I were a bit before (...), still in the car. I passed a place called Pfetterhouse. And from there I navigated by GPS, to the edge of a forest, where I could no longer pass by car. So I left the car, put on my hiking boots and fought my way through.. it was really swampy.. and finally I reached the middle of a forest, near a carp pond.
  • M2: He landed in the pure idyll, the GPS worked, the cellphone a bit less well. We're having reception losses then and again, so don't move too much Luzi. So, did anyone else make it? As you could follow on our website where you have gone, did anyone else join you?
  • Luzi: Well, I must say that in the first moment I thought that "Oh my, I am all by my own lonesome." But suddenly there was some whistling in the forest, and someone waved, and came to me. It was Michel ???, also from Basel, and has been there some ten minutes before I arrived, while he chose a different route. But finally, the destination counts, and he is now standing next to me, and I can ask him: Michel, how did you come to geohashing? Do you do that, too?
  • Michel: Well, I have heard that it happened yesterday, and went looking, and discovered that yes, the place is nice, that's perfect, we can go hiking there. And so I decided to go, too. And so I came up here, too.
  • Luzi: But you don't do that usually, in your regular life. And what equipment did you bring?
  • Michel: My hiking boots, of course,(...). A GPS device, Garmin, and a printed map.
  • Luzi: The two of us are now still all by our own, but we did bring a picknick and will be waiting if someone comes. Oh, there's someone waving! Oh, it's just a dog. (...)
  • M2: A geohashing dog!
  • Luzi: Right. And if not, we will be eating and returning home some time later.
  • M2: Luzi Müller, IT editorial of DRS 3 has made a new friend, thanks to geohashing.

Part 7[edit]

Part 8[edit]