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Everything posted by Teasel

  1. quote:Originally posted by TreeBeard (Pid):That was the name! Grr dont you just hate it when you cant remember a name.... I do indeed have Darth in my posession, but I don't think it was me you couldn't remember, as I visited the cache after you two, once the sun had safely set (photos here). I assumed I'd only just missed you but... ...tut, tut, D&P daylight caching?! What's become of you two? I guess you must have found the tales of the Flincher a bit too frightening!
  2. The GeocacheUK database could list members who've posted their first UK find within the last 24hrs. But we can't find people who have signed up, but not yet started caching. Were you thinking of some sort of 'welcome to geocaching' email? I have plans to send a 'congratulations on finding your n00th UK cache' email from GeocacheUK, once the XML feed is in place.
  3. quote:Originally posted by Team Blitz:I was chatting with Marc online earlier: he tells me that he rang the pub, and that Bar-Food **WILL** be available for those of you who haven't managed to book a roast lunch. Great! Just found out I have to be "down south" on Sunday evening so, assuming I can squeeze into the pub, I'll get to see you all for the social
  4. I've just had an email from Elias. Apparently the GC.com servers have been having a bit of a hard time recently, hence the crackdown on webscrapers. So, from the sound of it, right now they've got bigger worries to sort out than our XML feed! However, Elias is hoping to have a beta test feed in the next week or so.
  5. quote:Originally posted by jeremyp: quote:Originally posted by Teasel: +-------------------+-------+-----+| Name | Total | UK |+-------------------+-------+-----+| jeremyp | 118 | 115 | I haven't found any outside the UK yet. I suspect the missing three might be caches with fake coordinates such as the final Cluedo cache. Caches with fake coordinates should be OK. Locationless caches are deliberately omitted (until I can work out what to do with them!), so if you've done any of those, they won't show. Caches which used to be in the UK, but which have now moved abroad (eg the Photographers' caches) will only show in your totals when they are currently resident in the UK! But the problem's most likely to be caches which were archived before the webscraper started running (eg "Winchester Cachers Meet" (GC408D)), as these don't appear on the current list of UK caches. I had just started a project to find all the archived UK caches when... If the XML feed ever happens, it will presumably include details of archived caches.
  6. quote:Originally posted by Team Minim:We set out to try Petrus at the weekend, the proper route would normally be across a small bridge, however at present the bridge is an island in a flooded stream. I would have been possible to do the cache by nipping along someones driveway and by passing the wet bit, but since according to my map there' s no right of way i decided to post a note on the site and call it off. As far as I'm aware, the driveway is a concessionary footpath (there are tourist info boards between it and the right of way), so you could have gone that way with a clean conscience. How much further you'd have got without getting wet feet is a different matter! When the cache itself gets flooded, that's the time to worry
  7. quote:Originally posted by lathama:Is it possible to post a complete run down of everone (without totals) in the Century club, Double century club, Triple century club and Quadruple century club from the Uk so we can see who is where and congratuate them all on a wonderful year! The following is a list of people who have found at least 100 caches, most of which are in the UK (sorry trunchbull!), showing their UK and worldwide totals. (UK figures should be taken with a pinch of salt...) +-------------------+-------+-----+| Name | Total | UK |+-------------------+-------+-----+| Slytherin | 413 | 230 || Tim & June | 314 | 292 || The Hornet | 300 | 276 || Subarite | 283 | 269 || Chris n Maria | 237 | 223 || Postie | 211 | 181 || The Northumbrian | 204 | 171 || GAZ | 193 | 154 || The Wombles | 189 | 143 || The Shooteroos | 156 | 143 || The Relic Hunters | 152 | 149 || page28 | 150 | 132 || Lassitude | 139 | 115 || Walker Dan | 126 | 115 || djh | 121 | 110 || JasonW | 119 | 99 || jeremyp | 118 | 115 || Dan Wilson | 118 | 115 || Lost in Space | 116 | 78 || ECM | 115 | 104 || Geo Weasel | 115 | 112 || dodgydaved | 106 | 104 || Huga | 106 | 99 |+-------------------+-------+-----+
  8. OK, I've had a quick play with the old and slightly incomplete data on G:UK and the top 10 is as follows: +----------+------------------------------------------+----------+| waypoint | name | count(*) |+----------+------------------------------------------+----------+| GC6F96 | London Travel bug drop box | 29 || GC171 | View from Coombe Hill | 21 || GC249 | London's First cache: A walk in the park | 19 || GC4201 | St Etheldreda's (Central London) | 16 || GC1D43 | Viaduct View (Hampshire) | 15 || GCBE3 | The Queens Oak | 15 || GC1D42 | Facing Saints (Hampshire) | 13 || GC42E | Waterbeach Island | 13 || GC295 | Mott The Hoople (Leics) | 12 || GC48E6 | poor mans cache in kensington gardens | 11 |+----------+------------------------------------------+----------+ This is actually the list of "first UK caches found by people", which probably explains why the travel bug drop box takes the number one spot.
  9. quote:Originally posted by Lance Ambu:This is definitely a case for GUK stats page. The closest we could get would be "caches found on a person's first day's caching", as there is no time field on the logs. About 18% of people do more than one cache on their first day (walruschef did 12!). Other than that, it shouldn't be too difficult. Of course, first we need to get the data from geocaching.com... [This message was edited by Teasel on January 06, 2003 at 05:59 AM.]
  10. quote:Originally posted by jeremyp:Actually because there are only 179 even days in the year the probability that two of us share a birthday is greater than evens if there are only 16 of us in the list. My birthday's also the 14th June - what're the chances of two matches in such a small sample size, I wonder?
  11. quote:Originally posted by Team Blitz:Am I right is saying that what you'll end up with is a more efficient way of getting the data... ie rather than "scraping" it of a large number of pages, the data will come in a more "raw", but more efficient form? Exactly. It will hopefully therefore remove a few headaches, such as archived caches. So what I lose in flexibility, we gain in robustness. Also, it means that I can get a full dump of all the caches every day, rather than just trying to guess at which ones have been logged since the last scrape. quote:By the way, sorry to throw a spanner into the works, but have you considered the effects of the Data Protection Act? Whilst you don't *control* the source of the data, you *are* processing it, and it *does* contain references to "living people"... IANAL, but I am confident that the DPA 1998 does not apply to this data. The Act concerns the processing of personal data, defined as data "which relate to a living individual who can be identified from those data or from those data and other information which is in the possession of, or is likely to come into the possession of, the data controller." Using available data, I am not able to identify an individual using data available to me. Nor am I able to identify those data which relate to a named individual. (I would therefore be unable to provide subject access to the data.) Nor, indeed, do all usernames relate to an individual and it is not possible, using available data, to determine which do and which do not. Is Team Blitz a person, or a group; I have no way of telling. If Margaret Blitz from Suffolk sent me a tenner and demanded access to all data I hold on Team Blitz, should I comply with her request? Only if geocaching.com were to disclose the identity of geocachers would I have to register my current database. Now, the question is, what if I allowed people to enter their home coordinates and/or email address to access extra features (eg to be emailed when TheCat's fox came within 50miles of their home on a foxhunt). Does an email address, or location of a person's house / tower block, enable personal identification under the terms of the Act?
  12. Things still seem to be progressing. On 13th December, I got an email from Elias indicating that he was working on an XML feed of the UK cache data, but that there were still a few political issues still to be worked out. For example, they are worried about people getting lists of cache coordinates without first signing the Grounded inc licence agreement. In response, I've added the licence agreement to GeocacheUK's download pages, and Elias has referred it to their legal guy to see whether this is acceptable. Since then, I've not heard back, so I guess the chances of getting the pages back up this year are slim. But I've written the program to load Groundspeak XML files into my database, so we should be back in business within hours of Elias giving us the go-ahead and switching on our XML feed.
  13. quote:Originally posted by L8 Ed:Do it anyway. If you don't feel you can, let someone else get the stats and link from your site. It worked well like that before no hassle. Perhaps anothe geocache uk web site may take it on if you are worried about the Yanks. ED Yes, I can see it now... - We switch the stats pages back on - Jeremy wastes time adding us to his firewall - We waste time installing the scraper on another server - Jeremy wastes time randomly corrupting any requests made by our new server - We waste time writing code to bounce our requests off random proxies, at random intervals - Jeremy deletes our IDs and archives all our caches - We waste time creating new IDs and relogging all our finds - Jeremy continues to waste time and money threatening us and our ISP with tenuous international copyright law suits - The UK caching community realise they owe far more loyalty to Jeremy than to us, and don't visit our site anyway No, I enjoy geocaching, and I'm afraid I'd prefer not to fall on my sword in this way! As you say, there's nothing to stop another UK site from writing their own stats pages, deliberately against the wishes of geocaching.com. However GeocacheUK have chosen to negotiate with geocaching.com in the hope that this will provide the best long-term benefits to the UK geocaching community. ps is the pseudonym a reference to a certain Ed Hall? A good precedent, perhaps, but not one I'd prefer to follow myself.
  14. quote:Originally posted by The Merman:As I understand it, the OSGB is based on figures that were set down by the Astronomer Royal Sir George Airey in 1936. Subsequent space mapping has shown his figures to be out by as much as 100 metres. The figure I read was 20m, which is scarily good, considering these were the days before interferometry! The 100m you quote is possibly the (deliberate) difference between the WGS84 and OSGB36 datums. To quote from the above OS article: quote: Hence, the overall size of the TRF still used for British mapping came to be derived from the measurement of a single distance between two stations on Hounslow Heath in 1784 - using eighteen-foot glass rods! The error thus incurred in OSGB36 is surprisingly low - only about 20 metres in the length of the country. [GEEK] (A 'datum' is a mathematical model which is defined, not measured, and therefore has no inaccuracies as such. A 'TRF' is a set of measurements intended to realise this model, eg by measuring the positions of thousands of concrete pillars, or dozens of satellites, or a single tide gauge, or... For example, the WGS84 datum defines a 'squashed football' whose centre is the exact centre of mass of the Earth. But by observing the orbits of satellites, we can only measure the centre of the Earth to an accuracy of around 1cm. Not perfect, but good enough to enable the US government to build us a great Geocache Placing System. So differences between datums are not errors. Rather the errors are the difference between a datum and its TRF. You can also introduce errors when converting between two datums, but that's a different thread!) [/GEEK]
  15. Fantastic, thanks Jeremy! quote:Originally posted by Bill D:Just one small point - using Ordnance Survey's GridInQuest to convert co-ordinates of caches from the Lat/Long on the cache page to OSGB, I'm finding that there are small differences in the last digits of the eastings and northings on the cache pages and in GIQ's results. Does anyone know why this would be? I do realise it's a tiny difference - I'd just like to know the reason. The quick answer is that OSGB36 is quite old (that's 36 as in 1936) and has some distortions. The simple "Helmert" transformation which is used in the OS spreadsheet (and geocaching.com) is accurate to only 5m or so. There are more accurate transformations which use a "rubber sheet" model, in which the exact transformation changes depending on where in the country you are. For the full, gory details try this
  16. quote:Originally posted by Pharisee:Maybe the database number crunchers would be able to find out, just out of curiosity, you understand. From reading this and previous threads on the subject, the problem seems to be that no one can decide whether it's frequently visited, or infrequently visited caches which should be archived, or whether virtual caches should be more or less 'ripe for destruction', or... Personally I'm against archiving any cache that obeys the guidelines for placing caches. I also don't like to judge anything by a single metric (take the cacherstats pages on GeocacheUK for example!), and that goes for caches as much as cachers. As a "database number cruncher", I'd suggest a system which flags up "unusual" caches for further investigation. Eg caches which have not been found for an unusually long time (considering their terrain/difficulty, type, county, proximity to other caches, the time of year etc), or which have been found unusually frequently, or whose last n visits have all been failures, or whose "couldn't find" count is abnormally high for the stated difficulty, or ... By looking for differences from the norm, you should get better results than applying blind rules such as 'anything which hasn't been found for 90 days'.
  17. quote:Originally posted by washboy: quote: ...couldn't it be re-written to spread the load over a period, I think I remember Teasel mentioning in another thread that he had done things to reduce the amount of "hammering" it caused GC.com. The impression I got is that the stats system, as we saw it latterly, is somewhat different "under the bonnet" to what it was originally. No doubt Mark or Teasel would have commented to this by now if it weren't such a delicate issue It's a complete rewrite, from scratch. The main difference is that all the data is now held in a database, so the creation of web pages is totally separated from the harvesting of the cache data. The advantages of this are that i) we don't have to retrieve all caches every night; ii) it's very easy to quickly knock up new reports (and be a show-off in the forums ) and iii) if we start getting data in a different way, we won't have to rewrite the user interface as well. Current total is around 6000 lines of code. None of the correspondance from Jeremy and Elias has so far explicitly mentioned the load on their web server; the main issue is that of ownership, care and usage of the data. Sure, other sites out there webscrape cache data from geocaching.com, maybe with less regard for server load. The problem (other than our initial rudeness!) is that by crossing the border between interest and utility, GeocacheUK has raised more issues for geocaching.com. At the risk of stating the obvious, our discussions so far involve trying to persuade geocaching.com that we're "nice people to do business with", arguing that having extra functionality on GeocacheUK improves rather then competes with the "geocaching.com experience", and discussing what data we'd like to use, and how we'd like to use it.
  18. quote:Originally posted by logscaler:My best so far was 30 in a day, not locationless, no virtuals, no miss's, 19 hours and around 430(?) miles total. Looks like the UK's got some way to go in the numbers game! The top 20 UK caching trips is slightly more restrained. 'Fraid Huga's epic trip isn't on here as the data's no longer being refreshed (and may disappear completely soon ).
  19. quote:Originally posted by Team Blitz (Michael):1: Are there any 5/5s in the UK apart from wildcat? Looks like the UK cache stats pages won't last the week , but FWIW... here's a list of the hardest UK caches. As you'll see, there are currently three 5/5 caches. An easily found cache stuck halfway down an easy abseil shouldn't really warrant a difficulty of 5. IMHO, it shouldn't warrant terrain 5 either, but in the absence of a 'specialist equipment needed' flag, I guess it'll have to do! Now a non-virtual multicache taking in Tryfan, Crib Goch, etc now that would deserve both 5s!
  20. It seems silly to post incorrect coordinates in an attempt to work around the travel bug, ummm, bug! I'm sure that was just an oversight and expect it will be fixed soon. My 2p worth would be to post the coordinates of a suitable car park. This ensures that it is placed in the correct town/county/postcode and that distance calculations (eg for travel bugs) will be as accurate as possible without giving away the exact location of each bit of the multicache. It also helps cachers find a place to park! NB you can't give two caches exactly the same coordinates (except zeros!), but that shouldn't be a problem as I've never seen a car park < 1m square! Whilst towns/counties are not currently available for cachers outside the US (except on the GeocacheUK stats, whose future is currently uncertain), it is hoped that they will be available soon. The main benefit of zero coordinates is that it's very obvious what's going on. Of the three options you list, I think rounding to the nearest degree is the worst choice. Posting deliberately incorrect, but otherwise perfectly valid coordinates seems likely to confuse cachers and computer systems alike! [This message was edited by Teasel on November 28, 2002 at 05:32 AM.]
  21. Unfortunately I've had to get rid of the new stats pages, as Jeremy is not happy with me using his data without permission. (There's been a stats page at geocacheuk.com for longer than I've been caching, and I'd wrongly assumed that it had Jeremy's acceptance).
  22. quote:Originally posted by Jeremy Irish: quote:Originally posted by Chris n Maria: Is there no way round this? Good people like Mark, Teasel & JeremyP are trying to provide facilities which significantly enhance the experience of Geocaching out here in the minor leagues. It would be a shame if the functionality we need was locked out whilst not being availble on the main site. Have you considered some form of limited licencing or making some sort of ftp download available to us? Certainly. I am definitely open to a dialog. It's the grabbing without asking that I have some issues with. Jeremy Irish Groundspeak - The Language of Location Sorry! There has been a webscraper at geocacheuk.com (and others elsewhere) for longer than I have been geocaching, and I wrongly assumed that this meant that you did not have any objections. I should have checked before releasing the new features. I have now switched off the stats pages at geocacheuk, but hope we can reach some sort of agreement whereby we can continue to provide them. They provide a range of features which I hope are both useful (eg searching by UK Towns / Counties) and fun (eg hunting Tim & June bears!). Once again, appologies for stealing your data without permission!
  23. D'Oh - the figures were OK, but they were in km, not miles as stated in the html!
  24. Wow, those figures are spookily close! Which suggests there's a bug in my program. The program effectively assumes you have no home and move nomadically from one cache to the next in a perfectly straight line. That's dedication to the sport! But it does mean that the figure quoted should be very much a lower bound. I'll go and figure out what's going wrong... quote:Originally posted by Tim & June:One thought has occurred to me, Some caches have a waypoint of N0.00.000 W0.00.000 because they are part of a multi or whatever, Does your calculation ignore those ? Yes, though the cache in Hampshire which is due South of the Isle of Wight is included The same cannot be said of the geocaching.com travel bug page! [This message was edited by Teasel on November 25, 2002 at 07:00 AM.]
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