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Every once in a while there's a discussion on the relative positive and negative values of log (either geocaching or NGS). There's several possible situations and outcomes and I figured I'd explore them. Here they are. Perhaps you can figure out some more cases.


|           Case #  -----> | 1  | 2  | 3  | 4  | 5  | 6  | 7  | 8  | 9  | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 |
|Mark is there             | Y  | Y  | Y  | Y  | Y  | Y  | Y  | Y  | N  | N  | N  | N  | N  |
|Found it                  | Y  |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |
|Found it but didn't believ|    | Y  | Y  |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |
|Found wrong thing         |    |    |    | Y  |    |    |    |    | Y  |    |    |    |    |
|Found nothing             |    |    |    |    | Y  | Y  |    |    |    | Y  | Y  |    |    |
|Found True evidence of Des|    |    |    |    |    |    |    | Y  |    |    |    | Y  |    |
|Found False evidence of De|    |    |    |    |    |    | Y  |    |    |    |    |    | Y  |
|Report                    | F  | N  | D  | F  | N  | D  | D  | D  | F  | N  | D  | D  | D  |
|Error in Reporting        | N  | N  | Y  | N  | N  | Y  | N  | N  | N  | N  | Y  | N  | N  |
|Error in Finding          | N  | Y  | Y  | Y  | Y  | Y  | Y  | N  | Y  | N  | N  | N  | Y  |
|True Report               | Y  | N  | N  | N  | N  | N  | N  | Y  | N  | Y  | N  | Y  | N  |
|Value Added               | 1  | 0  |-100| 0  | 0  |-100|-100| 1  | -1 | 0  | 0  | 1  | 0  |


Note: the "Des" and "De" above are supposed to be "Destroyed", but it wouldn't fit otherwise.


Codes are Yes or No except for the Reports which are Found, Notfound, Destroyed. I didn't try to address Post-A-Note, because that could be anything.


I don't know the real value-added to surveyors, but I put in some qualitative numbers.


1: A well documented log reduces search time.

0: A search is still required to use the PID.

-1: A false search is engendered by the log.

-100: A bad 'destroyed' log can render the mark useless.


One could argue the values; are all the zeroes really zero, isn't the result of incorrectly 'destroying' a mark really much worse than -100, why even try to use numbers, etc. I'm thinking of these numbers as more qualitative than really quantitative.


I'm not trying to be specific here as to reporting to either the Geocaching site or the NGS site; it's a general concept I'm trying to present.


Although there's no way to directly log a Destroyed at NGS, an unknowningly false evidence of a destroyed status could end up with the NGS coding the PID as destroyed, so that end result what I'm referring to with "D" if you're looking at in terms of a NGS log.


Cases 2 and 3 apply to non-disks and stem-no-disk cases where explicit identification is not possible.


I took out impossible or silly combinations like Found-it when the mark really isn't there. The usual case is Found-it when finding the wrong thing. A silly example would be logging Found-it when nothing at all was found (although I guess some people do).


Obviously reporting D is treading on dangerous waters compared to reporting N.


A 'true report' is the goal and either an error in finding or an error in reporting will ruin that. A case #4 is probably the most common bad log.


Anyway, I thought it was somewhat interesting, so I decided to share it here. :laughing:

Edited by Black Dog Trackers
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It's a thought provoking chart. Thanks.


Elaborating on your comment, I would call Case 4, where the mark IS there, but someone found something else and false reported, as an error (Y) in reporting. Case 4 is identical to Case 9, because the person logged the wrong thing.


Noone knows the condition of the mark described as the PID for both, so a Found log in either case is an error. I would switch Case#4's value added to -1 as well.

Edited by BuckBrooke
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In case number 4, the error was in finding; the wrong thing was found. Bearing in mind that the person thought that they had found the correct mark, their reporting procedure had no error. The result was an untrue log/report.


Reporting destroyed with no evidence (wrong or right) of destroyed is an example of a reporting error.


Case 9 isn't the same as case 4 since in case 9, the mark wasn't actually there.


I agree that the value of case 4 should be -1. It will engender a false search to find a wrong-thing, especially if the wrong-thing's location is documented, but poorly enough so that it requires a search to follow the instructions.

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The chart assigns zero value to ALL reports of NOT FOUND(#2,5,10). If this were true, then we should never bother to log a NOT FOUND.


The chart also implies that a report of NOT FOUND = NOT THERE. I believe you should modify the chart for case #5 in the TRUE REPORT row. If I go out, look for a mark diligently, find nothing, and report it as NOT FOUND without comment, how can you say that this is not a TRUE REPORT. I did not report it as NOT THERE, just NOT FOUND.


I would say that Cases 5 and 10, the TRUE NOT FOUNDS, do have some value, although of much less value than a TRUE FOUND. They tell me to do a little more prep work before hunting a mark, or expect not to find the mark at all. Then again, it just may be counter-productive, since a NOT FOUND by the NGS makes me want to hunt that mark all the more...

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TerraVador -


The chart assigns zero value to ALL reports of NOT FOUND(#2,5,10).
Good point. I was thinking from the perspective of a surveyor who'd be looking for a mark in the area. Fruitless searches would be of pretty much zero value in that scenario. I think you're implying that there really IS a value, and there possibly is some value, especially compared to a found mark equally nearby. Certainly a Notfound does give some information; not exactly zero.


I believe you should modify the chart for case #5 in the TRUE REPORT row.
In case #5, there is a finding error - the mark was there, but the person failed to find it. I admit that the term "True Report" is rather vague and terse, but what I meant was: no finding-error AND no reporting-error. In other words, I didn't mean true in the sense of an honest job in reporting, but I meant true in the sense that what was reported fit what was actually there. In case #5, the report of Notfound was honest and true and without reporting-error on the part of the person looking, but there was a finding-error, so in a final analysis, the report is untrue/incorrect/suboptimal.


I would say that Cases 5 and 10, the TRUE NOT FOUNDS, do have some value
Good point, I definitely agree with you. If I'd have dared to come up with more numbers, I wouldn't have used zero for any of the cases.
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I agree that the report in case 4 is not correct / not true. Its incorrectness is because of an error in finding, not an error in reporting. The searcher did the correct reporting procedure.


The concept is like filling out an income tax form. A person can do the form perfectly correctly, but if they incorrectly (without glasses or something) read a number from some form showing an income and enter it into the tax form then they:

Find incorrectly (they read poorly from a form and entered a wrong number)

Report correctly (all their math and boxes on the form are properly done)

and therefore their tax form is Not True.


Uncertainty does remain, so I put 0 for the value of the case 4 report.

Edited by Black Dog Trackers
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I like the table.. nice job...


I have never reported a Not Find to the NGS - only because hey - I'm not a surveyor, and don't have all the tools that a surveyor does.


I will usually only record a find if it hasn't been reported as being found in the last 10 years (Just a guide I use..) OR if the condition has changed considerably.


I think that certain Not Founds should still be logged - that way if someone DOES find it, they're in a better position to then record possibly HOW they found it. For example: EE0090. Here, you don't see the most recent update from 2000 where the DOT corrected the original description, stating that it was 3.2 miles, instead of 3 miles.


(That's also a reason why I always get the latest datasheet from the NGS, instead of Geocaching. :))


So sometimes, I can see how reporting something as 'Not Found' could come in handy..



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