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So where's your cache centroid?


StumpWater
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The bumping of this thread has inspired me to experiment with a few maps. Here are a few possibilities: by year (cumulative), by year (using only the finds from that year), by month, and after every caching day.

 

Each color from green to orange represents a different year from 2002-2008. Looking at second map, it's interesting to see how a summer of productive caching trips in the western half of the country pushed my centroid for 2006 into Arkansas. Looking at the daily data, a few trips out west in 2003 (when I had less than 200 finds) pushed my centroid all the way to Central City, Ky. Over the rest of the year it drifted back toward my home. Then in 2005 I moved to Mississippi, and my centroid has been moving toward the southwest ever since.

 

081210_year_cumulative.jpg

 

081210_year_exclusive.jpg

 

081210_month_cumulative.jpg

 

081210_day_cumulative.jpg

Edited by DavidMac
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My centroid has fluctuated a lot due to trips to Washington DC, NE Wyoming, and frequent trips between So. Cal and No. Utah.

 

I take into effect about 6 months of visiting Florida over my ~50 years of life in my 'life' centroid. But that only amounts to about 1% of about 1200 miles so it's only about 12 miles. I expect my 100+ cache finds in Canada and dozen finds around DC to not impact my approximate 2200 finds centroid in the least. I just have to do the true conversion to UTM (and somehow account for different Zones) to calculate the real centroid. Lat/long is just non-Cartesian enough to make simple calculations almost meaningless.

 

Pretty cool but when I look at my finds PQ under name it says something other than my cache name. It says something like mmface(???) Also it says I have something like 150 logs. The finds number is correct though.

 

Any ideas?

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Neat program! Thanks.

 

Centroid = N 32 42.534, W 98 04.270

 

Mine is about 45 miles west of Ft. Worth Texas, USA, at a point 5.43 miles north of Interstate 20 barely into Palo Pinto County. There is a rest area with a cache directly south of the centroid on the highway. Curiously, this is about 6 times closer to my mother-in-laws home than mine!

 

The nearest published cache is GCYQJ4, about .8 mile to the northwest. Guess I'll put that one on my list to do.

 

I remembered this thread, and since that time have gone back to running national accounts instead of the regional dedicated that I did before. Got to wondering how that has affected my cache centroid, so went to work. Using FindStatsGen, I came up with N 34 45.330 W 94 44.986, and the macro in GSAK was only slightly different, giving N 34 48.317 W 94 45.330. Both these points are just north of Muse and southwest of Heavener OK in the vicinity of the Winding Stair Mtn Natl Recreation Area. Moved quite a bit northeast in the past two years.

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N 55° 13.125 W 115° 41.436

In the woods in central Alberta, Canada, south of the village of Faust, on either the Swan River Indian Reserve or the Drift Pile Indian Reserve.

 

11 caches ago when I was on leave, my centroid was in Banff National Park, but then I came back to the middle east and found 2 Kuwait caches and 9 Iraq caches.

 

By July 4th my centroid should be close to Geowoodstock. :-)

Edited by bramasoleiowa
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Yeah... so... umm... this is strange! I just stopped by yesterday to check out a possible cache location and it seems like a pretty cool spot for a cache. Still in the planning stages as of today.

 

This evening I see a thread on these forums entitled "So where's your cache centroid?" and I have to check it out. Went through the steps to find my centroid... it's about 550 feet from the cache location I just scoped out yesterday.

 

Gotta put one there now!

 

Now, to come up with a theme that goes along with the spookiness of this whole scenario...

 

Edit: Oh, and my centroid... on the grounds of a monastery.

Edited by SandyCreekPirates
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N 53 57.840, W 53 41.083

 

east of newfoundland and south of greenland, in the middle of the ocean.

 

According to GSAK mine is about 150 miles Northeast of me, which is really odd as my impression is that I've found far more caches to the south. Outside of NY, I have more finds in California, than other state, and when I combine my finds in CA, NC, and PA I've found 4-5 times as many caches in those states as I have in States to the north. When I factor in the couple of dozen or so finds in other countries (up to 8 different countries now), almost all of which are south of my home location, including a handful in the southern hemisphere I would have expected my cache centroid to move further to the south. I've got to wonder if the centroid is being calculated correctly and if the caches I've found in South Africa, Zimbabwe, and Tanzania are skewing the results in the wrong direction.

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According to GSAK mine is about 150 miles Northeast of me, which is really odd as my impression is that I've found far more caches to the south. Outside of NY, I have more finds in California, than other state, and when I combine my finds in CA, NC, and PA I've found 4-5 times as many caches in those states as I have in States to the north. When I factor in the couple of dozen or so finds in other countries (up to 8 different countries now), almost all of which are south of my home location, including a handful in the southern hemisphere I would have expected my cache centroid to move further to the south. I've got to wonder if the centroid is being calculated correctly and if the caches I've found in South Africa, Zimbabwe, and Tanzania are skewing the results in the wrong direction.

I don't know which program you are using to calculate the centroid, but for my FindStats it is possible for your centroid to be north even if you have found caches far south. Remember that India is northeast of NY, not southeast, even though its coordinates are further south.

 

The centroid I use is actually the position on the Earth's surface closest to the 3-dimensional centroid of your finds. If you had found half your caches at one spot and then the other half directly opposite, the centroid would actually be near the center of the Earth and its surface location would not mean a whole lot.

 

I don't know how the GSAK macro and the other stats programs do it, though, so I can't comment on their values.

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According to GSAK mine is about 150 miles Northeast of me, which is really odd as my impression is that I've found far more caches to the south. Outside of NY, I have more finds in California, than other state, and when I combine my finds in CA, NC, and PA I've found 4-5 times as many caches in those states as I have in States to the north. When I factor in the couple of dozen or so finds in other countries (up to 8 different countries now), almost all of which are south of my home location, including a handful in the southern hemisphere I would have expected my cache centroid to move further to the south. I've got to wonder if the centroid is being calculated correctly and if the caches I've found in South Africa, Zimbabwe, and Tanzania are skewing the results in the wrong direction.

I don't know which program you are using to calculate the centroid, but for my FindStats it is possible for your centroid to be north even if you have found caches far south. Remember that India is northeast of NY, not southeast, even though its coordinates are further south.

 

The centroid I use is actually the position on the Earth's surface closest to the 3-dimensional centroid of your finds. If you had found half your caches at one spot and then the other half directly opposite, the centroid would actually be near the center of the Earth and its surface location would not mean a whole lot.

 

I don't know how the GSAK macro and the other stats programs do it, though, so I can't comment on their values.

 

I was using the FindStats macro so that might explain it. Only a small percentage of my finds are in Africa and Europe so I was surprised that the results would be skewed so much. About 15% of my finds are more than 200 miles from home (over 6% over 1000 miles from home) so I would expect that my cache centroid would not be very close to where I live.

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I don't know how the GSAK macro and the other stats programs do it, though, so I can't comment on their values.

I was using the FindStats macro so that might explain it. Only a small percentage of my finds are in Africa and Europe so I was surprised that the results would be skewed so much. About 15% of my finds are more than 200 miles from home (over 6% over 1000 miles from home) so I would expect that my cache centroid would not be very close to where I live.

Although I said it was possible, from your description I would not expect your centroid to be where it is.

 

But, as I said, there are other possible definitions of "centroid." For example, you could minimize the sum of distances from the centroid to all your finds along the Earth's surface. Or you could minimize the sum of squared distances, which would very heavily weight those finds furthest from your home territory. Maybe I will look at the GSAK macro code and try to figure out what it does.

 

Meanwhile, you can try FindStats and see what it says...

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Mine's out in the Atlantic Ocean a ways. Odd, since I haven't found anything East of there. I think the whole "centroid" thing is too much for my brain. It's not a "center point" at all is it? Anyway, it's cool to find and watch it move around. Maybe sometime I'll go visit it and see if I can catch a fish there. Who knows, maybe I can eat my centroid for dinner, grilled with white wine and some tomato. :laughing:

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I worked hard to get my centroid directly over my house. My home coordinates are at my front door, and I got the centroid to within 25 feet North of that centroid. That put the centroid directly on top of my house. It took a lot of effort, as the centroid moves small increments when you have over 4000 caches.

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Mine is near Wellington Utah, interestingly enough that is where I went to Jr. High school in the 1950's. It surprised me that it is only 414 miles from home in NE Wyoming as we have cached mostly in the Southwest. We have picked up caches in all 50 states and 28 countries.

AZ 3413

NV 2042

CA 2000

UT 1663

WY 1622

We went to Europe in May and picked up about 250 caches, that must have really counteracted the caches found in Thailand and Laos.

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Mine is near Wellington Utah, interestingly enough that is where I went to Jr. High school in the 1950's. It surprised me that it is only 414 miles from home in NE Wyoming as we have cached mostly in the Southwest. We have picked up caches in all 50 states and 28 countries.

AZ 3413

NV 2042

CA 2000

UT 1663

WY 1622

We went to Europe in May and picked up about 250 caches, that must have really counteracted the caches found in Thailand and Laos.

 

Imagine a 3D representation of where you are within the Earth, on average ;)

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Imagine a 3D representation of where you are within the Earth, on average ;)

 

Unless one is caching on mountains in a regional area, wouldn't almost all experienced centroids be below sea level?

 

Anyone know of an online centroid calculator that accepts my "My Finds PQ" and calculates it for me? I can't load programs up on my work computer and kinda wanna know my centroid now:P . I think the old Itsnotaboutthenumbers site used to do it. I tried http://www.mygeocachingprofile.com/ but centroid is not one of the stats it gives you.

 

Well, according to my old stats run on gsak from home, my Centroid is in the Thames river in CT, right off the Nuke Sub base. Not a good place for a cache.

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I worked hard to get my centroid directly over my house. My home coordinates are at my front door, and I got the centroid to within 25 feet North of that centroid. That put the centroid directly on top of my house. It took a lot of effort, as the centroid moves small increments when you have over 4000 caches.

 

My cache centroid is currently 66 miles northwest (mostly north) of my home coordinates. I think mine tends to move around quite a bit as I've often found caches far from home, with finds in Europe, Africa, Asia, and Central America. I *am* planning on doing some caching in Georgia and South Carolina a month from now so that might move might centroid a bit further south (but also further west).

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here is mine as of 2-17-2008

 

N 42° 55.903 W 85° 28.954

 

If I cache a tad more west I will be in the Thornapple River in the Grand Rapids MI area.

 

I live in Kentwood, MI and mine is N 43 23.102, W 83 59.324. It ends up to be over by Saginaw, MI as I have snagged a few out in Burlington, VT while out east for training.

 

I've seen your name in a number of logs, gvsu4msu.

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guess my #s close to home dwarfs the times I have left my area.

 

N 47° 21.954 W 121° 56.403. Give or take, about 60 Km from home turf. Not far.

Nearest cache is GC226D4, about 0.7 KM away. Did not find that one, but I did find the 4th nearest to the centroid, about 2 KM away.

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FindStats obviously averages all of your caches weighted by wherever you do the most caching. I live in southern Wisconsin and my centroid is only 75.9 miles SW of my home. In my case I have done caches in Spokane, WA which would be my farthest north and west. Gettysburg, PA would be my farthest east and Port Aransas, TX would be my farthest south. It would be interesting to find a program that would give me the center of those four coordinates.

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FindStats obviously averages all of your caches weighted by wherever you do the most caching. I live in southern Wisconsin and my centroid is only 75.9 miles SW of my home. In my case I have done caches in Spokane, WA which would be my farthest north and west. Gettysburg, PA would be my farthest east and Port Aransas, TX would be my farthest south. It would be interesting to find a program that would give me the center of those four coordinates.

GSAK

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N 42 19.205, W 71 57.008 which is a little west of Worchester, which is strange because I have not done much caching in northern New England but quite a bit in southern New England around Cape Cod. My home is southern New York. My prior centroid, last run before a trip to India, was in southern CT near Groton.

 

How is centroid calculated? I only did two in India I think but since it is 7000 miles away, is it "weighted" more?

 

India is to the south on the map yet by way of the Great Circle, the most direct route to India is north toward Greenland. Do Centroid determinations use a flat map or great circle method of calculating?

 

Maybe once I become more familiar with GSAK I will just take the centroid from my more recent finds to see how that pushed my overall centoid as others have done here.

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N 42 19.205, W 71 57.008 which is a little west of Worchester, which is strange because I have not done much caching in northern New England but quite a bit in southern New England around Cape Cod. My home is southern New York. My prior centroid, last run before a trip to India, was in southern CT near Groton.

 

How is centroid calculated? I only did two in India I think but since it is 7000 miles away, is it "weighted" more?

 

India is to the south on the map yet by way of the Great Circle, the most direct route to India is north toward Greenland. Do Centroid determinations use a flat map or great circle method of calculating?

 

Maybe once I become more familiar with GSAK I will just take the centroid from my more recent finds to see how that pushed my overall centoid as others have done here.

Centroid

 

In its most simple terms it's the average or mean of all the cache locations. One cache way beyond your 'normal' range can pull your centroid in its direction.

 

A mode would show you where you cache most often.

 

For example the mean of 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 1,000 is 110. That's moved away from the mode 10 beacuase of the 1,000.

Edited by Totem Clan
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