Taking on the challenge of a high tech treasure hunt, 47 teams from took part in the Communications Association of Hong Kong (CAHK)’s annual Geocaching Competition, held on May 13. The event was part of the 11th annual World Telecommunication and Information Society Day (WTISD-HK), which aimed to show how big data is changing our world.
The students braved the drizzly weather and gathered at the Sha Tin Science Park, where each team received a map that gave them a route to destinations across the city, along with a list of challenges and questions they’d have to solve at each stop.
Then it was ready, set, go, and students started sprinting to the nearest bus station, racing to get to the first stop at Shatin Plaza.
Young Post tagged along with last year’s winners, Team Glados, from HKMA David Li Kwok Po College, and we soon discovered that it was going to be a sweaty and challenging day ahead. However, most of the teams agreed that last year was more physical.
“We ran less this year, had to use less transportation,” said Team Glados member, Tommy Ng Chi-Chung, 19. “Last year, each checkpoint was much further apart, and now, all locations are much closer together.”
Teammate Benedict Casino, 16, agreed. “It was really enjoyable to be able to take the MTR and bus to each destination,” he said. “We were going so fast; adrenaline was rushing through my veins during each task!”
The tasks for this year’s race were a little different than previous years, as many of them involved using virtual reality to hunt for clues at a destination. “Through the goggles, we could see places like Prince of Wales Hospital and the IFC as if you were right there,” said Team Glados’ captain, 17-year-old Vincent Wong Wang-lik. “Then we had to find out things such as which department is developing an electronic health system, and where the China Mobile is in the Shatin Mall.”
Once the answers had been recorded, it was back on the bus or the MTR and off to the next stop. “We had to carefully strategise which transportation was best to provide the route,” said Benedict.
The winner of this years event, HKMA David Li Kwok Po College’s Team RAM, had a secret weapon that helped them do that: City Mapper. “It’s like Google Maps, but it uses less data to access,” explained Team RAM member, Billy Lam Chun-hin, 16. “It even tells you which exit and which train door is closest to your next destination. It also tells you when the next train or bus will come, together with its transportation route, timing and fees. It’s really useful.”
Team Ram completed the race in one hour and six minutes, but they’re already working on their strategy for next year’s event. “To further improve our time, we would like to have plan our routes even better,” Billy says. “Also, we would like to do more research about different areas in Hong Kong. That way, we can be more flexible in our answers and know different checkpoints even quicker.”
For their victory, Billy and his teammates Lau Chung-hang, Au Yeung Wai Hung, and team captain Levan Lui Chun-yin, each received an LG K8 phone and a HK$500 Telecom Digital cash coupon. And in addition to the prizes, they also had a great experience.
“Today was very pleasant, as I could spend time with my friends searching Hong Kong,” said Levan. “Together, we discovered new places and learned from these questions. I would love to come back next year!”