Photographer: Yuriko Nakao/Bloomberg

Long Before Pokemon Go, There Was Geocaching

An offline GPS treasure hunt that started in 2000 paved the way.

In 2000, a computer consultant named Dave Ulmer placed a five-gallon bucket in the woods near Beavercreek, Ore., leaving behind some CDs, a VHS tape, a slingshot, a Ross Perot book, a can of beans, and a logbook. He posted the coordinates online, using the global position system, and declared one rule: Take something, leave something. Sixteen years later, there would be hundreds of thousands of smartphone-wielding people hoping to find a psychic duck or anthropomorphic turtle, using virtually the same game mechanics employed in Ulmer's strange scavenger hunt.

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