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Posts posted by caderoux

  1. N.B. the only sorting on the preview screen is by distance and this only applies when the PQ criteria includes an origin/radius criteria.


    There is currently no way to sort by anything other than that, and e.g. that sort will not apply to PQs which use the "within states" criteria.


    GSAK and Watcher do offer the ability to do this externally - as does GPX Sonar straight on a PocketPC (as may CacheMate or other external software)

  2. So I presented a method for estimating those coordinates only from the results of the PQ.  This is no longer trivial, but it is not horrifically difficult. 


    In thanks, I get attacked for presenting it.  I can certainly see why Jeremy is so anxious to accommodate your requests.  Given the tone of this and other posts, I am no longer willing to discuss this issue.

    Your input is very welcome, but there are plenty of PQs - such as caches in a state, caches from a watchlist, locationless caches, or caches across multiple states, or caches broken up by the calendar date partition workaround - for which the technique just doesn't work. Because it doesn't work in general, and because you can't tell from a PQ-generated GPX what the parameters were, I don't see how this is useful other than in a special case.


    People can already use existing GSAK macros and filters to avoid seeing caches which are most likely to be archived and avoid hunting them, and they need to learn about those features and use them first before asking for features from gc.com.


    However, when people request some kinds of things here, they are told that external tools already do this, so use the external tools. So people use GSAK and other tools because they offer features not available on gc.com - in the discussion below, I have indicated such potential features with (n).


    There is a limit to the number of PQs per day (1) and caches per PQ (2), so there is a very real possibility that any tool combining PQs for a route will have archived caches in them. Because you cannot request a PQ just for a bookmark list (3) or a user-defined set of caches (4), nor does the site offer a caches along a route function (5), you have no way of re-checking all the caches along a route in a timely manner. And so, thinking around the problem, a file of archived caches in the last week for the whole country would be small and could easily be used to automatically remove all these caches from the list.


    This request stems from working around five potential features on the site which do not exist. My personal opinion is that implementing some or all of those features would be preferable and please more people and be more useful, but I would support getting a list of archived caches if none of those are deemed higher priority. (1) and (2) are not likely to change. (3) has been promised for a long time, (4) or a related web service to pick up cache status may or may not be on the table (and scraping is against the TOU) and for (5) we have been told to use external tools (which all, including Watcher, have this problem).

  3. If no one had an offline data base, no one "should" need to know what caches have been archived.

    _Everyone_ has offline databases, whether on paper, in their GPSrs, in their heads, in their computers, or in GSAK.


    Some throw them away all the time, and some add and update them.

  4. Please share your magic algorithm which knows how a cache which isn't in a given PQ would have been there if and only if it were not archived the day before.



    R = maximum disatnce from origin of PQ to caches included in the query results. (NOTE - this is generally not the "maximum radius" you specified.)

    r = distance from PQ origin to the cache in question.


    If r < R and the cache is not in the query results, it is archived.

    If r > R then you need to run another query with different coordinates to determine if the cache is still active.


    Simple, see? A third-party app can quite easily go through the "missing" caches from a previous PQ and determine whether they are archived or they have moved outside the PQ circle.


    The PQ definition is not in the PQ result file, thus neither the origin nor radius of the original request are known.


    Would that be something you would think WOULD be a valid request from gc.com (PQ definition information in the schema of the PQ-based GPX files)?


    The "problem," if there is one, with GSAK is that it considers the PQ an addition to its existing database, instead of considering the PQ the base data and adding additional information to (or inferring additioal information from) it.


    Actually, it does both add and update. What it cannot do is know data outside of its database and outside of the PQ file.


    I currently have a fully functional macro and filter to find caches like this and archive or delete them myself (based on date of GPX update and an arbitrary area which I know is safely covered by PQs).


    And in the end, your proposed solution would only work for origin/radius PQ-based GPX files and not PQ-based GPX files in general, nor non-PQ based GPX files (of which currently, there is only the singleton file from the cache page and this does indicate complete cache status and logs, regardless of whether it's archived or not.) And I would hesitate to enable that algorithm for someone who is combining PQ circles to find caches along a route without better tools to stop it from archiving the caches it just loaded due to the overlapping circles.


    There is, of course, the general solution which is fully and only within gc.com's abilities (check a new Is Archived filter on the PQ, and sending only GC waypoint identifier and archive status on those caches). And this would be especially useful for people other than GSAK owners who have to cull their paper binders and don't have such a powerful database tool at their disposal.


    In the global scheme of things, having better tools on the site to filter caches and make hitlists (still can't download bookmark lists in GPX files, map-based tools to select multiple caches and add to a bookmark list, etc.) would tend to eliminate the need for GSAK or Watcher or any of these tools for a lot of people who are just trying to organize their lists of caches to hunt. This request is one of many which would be completely mitigated and unnecessary with the evolution of better tools on the site to organized people's caching needs.

  5. A third-party program such as GSAK can identify archived caches from the existing PQs without any ambiguity.  So I don't understand all the fuss.  Just because GSAK doesn't identify those caches for you doesn't make it geocaching.com's problem.


    Seriously.  The algorithm is not that complicated.  There are some things that geocaching.com could do to make it a little easier (like putting the PQ name in the PQ, for example), but those do not involve adding archived caches to regular PQs.


    In fact, I don't see any significant issues that have been brought up of late that cannot be solved by third-party software.  That includes keeping more than 5 logs, corrected coordinates, your own notes, intermediate waypoints, etc.  The only one I cannot see how to solve with third-party software is the issue of getting all logs for a set of caches.  Everything else is quite solvable -- in fact, I have done much of it myself.

    Please share your magic algorithm which knows how a cache which isn't in a given PQ would have been there if and only if it were not archived the day before.

  6. If I was local, it would be mildly annoying - if I was visiting, it would be very annoying.


    Is there a reason to do it this way (suppressing the information)?


    I know a lot of people don't do multis at all. I've been thinking of ways to coax people into doing multis, but I can't figure out any good ones. I've thought of making traditionals with added bonus legs - but if you don't make them necessary for the smiley, that won't really push people towards doing them, and if you make caches into prerequisites for other caches, you probably should list them as puzzle. I thought about just doing no swag in the regular traditional and make the bonus location have really nice swag.

  7. What about the "Is not active" flag? I guess that's only for temporarily disabled caches...

    The disabled flag is of great use. Caches which are disabled and come in a PQ before they eventually get archived usually don't get accidentally hunted...

  8. So once again, people want THIS SITE to change things to fix a problem in SOMEONE ELSE'S program.


    Why not ask Clyde to fix the problem with GSAK?


    This is not just a problem for GSAK, it's an intrinsic problem of updating any data which you aren't receiving without knowing why you aren't receiving the data. Such an archived waypoint will never come in a PQ and so may not be removed from whatever hardware or software system you use - even perhaps your GPSr, however they work their waypoint databases.


    GSAK is not encouraging people to cache with stale data, but they do need to know how to use such a powerful database to avoid coming to the wrong conclusions.


    Perhaps by default GSAK should not archive stale data.


    Yep, that's the problem of how GSAK will know it's stale since gc.com won't send data indicating the caches which should be staled.


    Perhaps the GSAK database could include the date a cache was last updated

    Perhaps it should have a "stale data" flag on caches that havent updated in x days.

    Updated doesnt even have to mean a new cache log. The mere presence of the cache in a new PQ could be enough to zero the timer.


    GSAK has the date of last update (GPX and user) and I believe the Last GPX Date is on the default view, too (it's been on mine for a while) - people need to be sure to include that in their filters, and then it will not display those caches. However, due to the uncertainties of the PQ system it is possible that a cache is not updated (coming in a PQ) do to the cache no longer falling within the 500 (or whatever) cache limit of a PQ due to new caches in the radius pushing it out of the search results. So using such a filter will potentially eliminate caches which are searchable but which simply aren't updated.


    Although PQ radius elimination issues are a sidebar here, this can also result in disabled caches not being received (although they were previously received as enabled). Unless you are able to run enough PQs to guarantee latest information on your trip and don't cache near the boundaries of your PQ, there are other effects you could run across like this. With the 5 PQ daily limit in a very cache dense area, you could find yourself caching at the boundaries (as I did in my trip to the UK last summer - I had PQs centered on Waddesdon, London and Cambridge, but had some dead zones where the 500 cache limit did some funny things)


    Just a few ideas for ways the 3rd party software vendor might address a problem with his software instead of expecting other people to change their software so his will work properly.


    I don't think the majority of GSAK users would like to simply delete all the caches in their databases which haven't come from gc.com lately. People are using GSAK more and more for other kinds of waypoint management (not just geocaching and related games). In addition, it is possible that you want to keep a cache in the database because of its history. So a more accommodating approach would be to get archived cache information in an automated way so that caches could be updated more easily.


    If people want to keep their cache data updated or clean out stale caches, it is still a manual process to either archive or delete the caches or get the GPX files for each archived cache manually. GSAK does have macros and filters to make it easier to keep your data clean and updated, but the point is still valid for gc.com to provide status update services for archived caches (and perhaps, to some extent, newly disabled caches in the border area of a PQ - although these can be extracted with yet another PQ which should not hit the count before the radius). We'd be talking about a status data subset of the GPX schema.

  9. I adopted 4 of his micros and Yes, I let him log them all as finds.  It's not like he doesn't know where they are.  I'm almost positive he's been there before.  :)

    Well, yes, that's rather the point. Taking credit for finding something you hid yourself is lame.

    Ummm, if they're moving any reasonable distance so that they can't maintain their caches, won't their old caches kind of disappear from their nearest unfound list anyway?


    That seems to be an invalid excuse. I've seen people around here log caches they've helped hide as finds, because of course, they can't joint hide (and this predates the ignore list), and they are obviously staying in the area.

  10. I would have been willing to try anything today. The GPS was only putting me to within about 50 feet. I went 10 out of 11 in a nearly 4-hour hunt, and every one was harder than it needed to be. Never felt like I was in the zone at all.


    Dowsing rods definitely can work - the cable guy used them before digging a trench at my dad's house - wonder if they would work for caching.

  11. ...  People who do this are good geocaching citizens and contribute positively to the activity.  People who defy these conventions have their own reasons and are still allowed to do whatever they want.

    You didn't come out and say it, but your post infers that the converse is also true; that if you do not log online, you are a 'bad' geocaching citizen and contribute negatively to the activity. That is certainly (and obviously) not inherently true. Also, I'm sure that you'll agree that there are many 'bad' geocaching citizens who leave a negative impact on the hobby, yet happily post their blah online.


    I still don't buy your conclusions.

    It's necessary but not sufficient. Never logging implies not good - it doesn't imply bad.

  12. I don't understand how you made your leap that it is rude not to log online.

    Just like it is rude not to send thank you notes or not to RSVP to an invitation. It's just common courtesy to let someone know you received the gift or that you'll be attending or not attending. People will continue to behave that way, and there's no point getting upset about it. But just because I accept it, I don't have to hold it up as an example of behavior that I recommend.


    I'm not labelling them or dehumanizing them. I'm not upset about it - I'm just calling it what it is - bad manners and anti-social. They can keep doing it for all I care, but it doesn't change what it is.


    Anyway, the OP's question was Is It A Rule? No


    Why isn't it a rule? Because it can't be enforced and there's no point - you can't guarantee the physical world match the virtual world


    Is it OK to do anything you want as long as you are having fun? Yes


    What do most geocachers do? They sign the logbook and write a note online. The reason they do this is because it promotes good cache maintenance and a positive experience for all cachers. People who do this are good geocaching citizens and contribute positively to the activity. People who defy these conventions have their own reasons and are still allowed to do whatever they want.

  13. If nobody logged, there would be no such thing as geocaching as we know it.

    True...but that dosn't mean there wouldn't be geocaching.


    If someone who dosn't log online is still having fun then we are not allowed to be critical because having fun is all that matters...right?



    No, we are perfectly justified in being critical of that kind of behavior. There are a lot of people having fun doing things which are not against "rules" and are not illegal, but which are not socially acceptable and generally when they do that, we call it rude or bad manners.


    We don't pass laws against it.


    We don't make rules against it.


    But we don't have to like it, accept it, condone it, approve of it, or hold it up as an example for our children.


    So yes, they can do it, have fun doing it, and I would never support making or enforcing a rule against it. In fact, I would die to support their right to do so and to keep doing so.


    The cache listing service is inextricably intertwined with the physical caching act in synthesizing the activity. Letterboxing's pre-Internet existence is a prime example of the effect which the online component has on the activity overall.


    However, the fact remains that it is inconsiderate relative to the norm (not established here in the forum where only a minority of cachers hang out, but the norm established by the thousands of logging cachers using real geocaching sites). I would encourage them to be more considerate if they were to show up at an event cache. But I don't see that these people would show up at an event cache or post here, since they do not get anything out of that. And, in cases like I gave before, it sometimes goes beyond rude and becomes disruptive.

  14. If nobody logged, there would be no such thing as geocaching as we know it.


    And thus, by definition, people who refuse to log any caches are not participating in geocaching as required to make geocaching what it is. It is the community consensus that people should log online - it is that act that CREATES the community.


    Rude is when you do a cannonball into a swimming pool filled with infants and elderlies. Rude is when you talk loudly on your cell phone in a restaurant or elevator.


    So I think rude IS precisely what it is. They can do it, and they have a right to do it, and I would defend their right to do it, but it is STILL rude.

  15. I'm curious ... what do you call people who insist on labeling other people?


    But not all people. Just like not all people log caches online. Which would you consider to be worse: Failing to log caches online, or dehumanizing other people by refering to them as parasites, maggots, muggles, etc.? I vote for the latter.

    The cache maggots already dehumanized themselves already before we applied the labels - is vandals or pirates a less insulting term for people who leave feces in caches or steal caches and leave behind their notes.

  16. ... but Letterboxing  hasn't grown nearly as quickly as geocaching and the lack of online logs has a lot  to  do  with that.

    ... Or people can't/don't want to create their own stamp, or are too lazy/cheap to go out and purchase a nice one, or they don't want to be bothered carrying a stamp, inkpad and personal logbook around with them. Or perhaps they just don't like the "feel" of the letterboxing website.


    But I'm curious; how did you determine the lack of online logs is a major reason for Letterboxing's slower growth rate?

    Online logging has created interaction and communication. It is delayed, and asynchronous, but it is still communication. It is the trail left by other people, a continuity.


    Humans are (in general) social animals, that is why they like it. Letterboxing IS LESS social and more introspective, therefore it has LESS uptake.

  17. I agree with much of what you are saying (though I wouldn't say non loggers aren't geocachers).

    I may have been a bit harsh, but let me give an example of the effect it does have on our community and friendships.


    We have a group of teachers that seems to have a "tech-day" about twice a year. They get together at the school board or administration place and then go out and find local caches. They don't log online and they stuff the caches (including micros) with calling cards. Some caches get ruined as they can no longer close because they are filled with calling cards.


    These are teachers who have no idea that they have really messed up the game for the rest of the participants because they are not part of the community. They should know better, but what can you do - they don't log online. (Some people have managed to retrieve some of the cards, but I don't have any)


    But it gets worse.


    Seeing all this happen now twice in the past year, a few of us decided that making PMO caches might help cut down on the problems of less-dedicated cachers ruining the game. So about 20 PMO caches appeared last week. Now the cachers who placed the PMO caches start to get flack from a prominent local cacher who let her PM lapse because she wasn't using any of the PM features and now "we're stopping her from hiding caches since she can't see where the PMO caches are". Bad blood is created between the camp who wants to try PMOs (turns out that not all the prominent locals are PMs) and those who think they are elitist and have more downsides (this includes some PMs).


    Funny thing: that cacher who is most vocally against PMOs is the one most affected by the teachers and most vocal about the calling card problem because she likes to place caches in the area near the school board - the hot zone. She collected over 70 of the calling cards from her caches. And the Non-PMO camp is saying that the PMO'ers are forcing them to play the game differently, that the PMO'ers are distorting the game and dividing the community.


    So now we've got cachers fighting against cachers and friendships being potentially busted up - all because someone started playing our game the way they wanted to and not participating in the community. Now the problem is not simply the fact that they don't log, but the non-logging is part and parcel of their complete isolation and ignorance about the community consensus about how caching is to be done.

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