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Pocket Query's


howjen567
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I'm wondering if the powers that be would consider increasing the total numbers of caches in a pocket query from 500 to 1000. With the ever increasing numbers of caches I'm finding it takes more and more queries to keep my GSAK data up to date. Also most GPS now will accept up to 1000 waypoints.

I know that the numbers are capped to keep the queries to manageable sizes but with an increase in total caches per query I would need or want considerably less queries per week.

I'd be interested to hear what others may think about this issue as well.

With thanks

H

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This is a frequent question.

 

TPTB have never intentionally supported the idea of keeping up anybody's offline database. The intent of a PQ is to target the caches you want to find and then go find them. Recent discussions have generated much debate but it is very unlikely that an increase is in the works. There are no plans to increase the limit in the next release of the web site according to a few of the Groundspeak lackeys.

 

What I think is more likely to happen is to lobby TPTB to vastly increase the number of criteria we can select in a PQ to more closely target the types of caches we are most interested in finding.

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I'm wondering if the powers that be would consider increasing the total numbers of caches in a pocket query from 500 to 1000. With the ever increasing numbers of caches I'm finding it takes more and more queries to keep my GSAK data up to date. Also most GPS now will accept up to 1000 waypoints.

I know that the numbers are capped to keep the queries to manageable sizes but with an increase in total caches per query I would need or want considerably less queries per week.

I'd be interested to hear what others may think about this issue as well.

With thanks

H

Use 2 queries. (Resisting the urge to add "duh").

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:laughing: I would like to request that we increase the amount of times this topic has come up by 500 times.

 

I still don't get what's wrong with 5 PQs of 500. You can use date ranges to get a giant circle of 2500 caches each day...

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Adjacent circles of caches cover ground pretty good, I can cover all the territory I'm likely to get to with a dozen or so of 100 - 200. (Looks like those old set theory circles in math class) I seriously doubt anyone's ability to find 500 in a day or 1000 in a grueling weekend of caching. Well maybe the armchair caching set but that's another story.

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Adjacent circles of caches cover ground pretty good, I can cover all the territory I'm likely to get to with a dozen or so of 100 - 200. (Looks like those old set theory circles in math class) I seriously doubt anyone's ability to find 500 in a day or 1000 in a grueling weekend of caching. Well maybe the armchair caching set but that's another story.
If you build your PQs by placed date range, you can cover a larger area with fewer PQs and you don't have to worry as much about new caches 'outgrowing' your PQs.
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If you build your PQs by placed date range, you can cover a larger area with fewer PQs and you don't have to worry as much about new caches 'outgrowing' your PQs.

 

Using dates, only the PQ with the "newest" caches will grow, so as it approaches 500, you can just "cap" the end date on it and create a new one. The PQs with the "older" caches will only shrink in size as caches get archived and found.

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If you build your PQs by placed date range, you can cover a larger area with fewer PQs and you don't have to worry as much about new caches 'outgrowing' your PQs.

 

Using dates, only the PQ with the "newest" caches will grow, so as it approaches 500, you can just "cap" the end date on it and create a new one. The PQs with the "older" caches will only shrink in size as caches get archived and found.

Yup. That's why I stated that you didn't have to worry as much about outgrowing your PQs.
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Adjacent circles of caches cover ground pretty good, I can cover all the territory I'm likely to get to with a dozen or so of 100 - 200. (Looks like those old set theory circles in math class) I seriously doubt anyone's ability to find 500 in a day or 1000 in a grueling weekend of caching. Well maybe the armchair caching set but that's another story.

How about specifying squares rather than circles, then you'd get no overlap. Neat eh?! :laughing:

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I tried the "date placed" idea for my area as I currently draw 9 PQs for my surrounding areas. Problem I ran into was that Geocaching really caught on in my area in 2005. Eleven months in 2004 produced 460 caches, nest was 12/2004-04/2005 (5 months) with 417 caches and then 05/2005-08/2005 (4 months) was 468. I jumped forward at that point to Jan 2008 and had a count of 350 (for just one month). I then knew the number of PQs would be prohibitive!! Oh, my radius was 25 miles and I had reduced the terrain level to <3.5. I'm back to running 9 PQs twice a week.

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I tried the "date placed" idea for my area as I currently draw 9 PQs for my surrounding areas. Problem I ran into was that Geocaching really caught on in my area in 2005. Eleven months in 2004 produced 460

 

I hear ya. It's a mixed blessing. More caches are great, but it gets more difficult to keep track of them.

 

We're having a similar problem planning for GW6. There are just so many caches that we debated for awhile on how to pick what ones we wanted.

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I tried the "date placed" idea for my area as I currently draw 9 PQs for my surrounding areas. Problem I ran into was that Geocaching really caught on in my area in 2005. Eleven months in 2004 produced 460

 

I hear ya. It's a mixed blessing. More caches are great, but it gets more difficult to keep track of them.

 

We're having a similar problem planning for GW6. There are just so many caches that we debated for awhile on how to pick what ones we wanted.

I go out to Southern California a few times per year. It always amazes me how many caches I have to choose from there.

 

I've decided to stop trying to pick the ones I want to search for in advance. Sure, I still target extra special ones that are recommended to me, but mostly, I just create PQs for all of the caches that are in the area(s) that I will be visiting, less those that I know that I won't take the time to do. (For instance, I don't like to do puzzles or high terrain caches while traveling.) I dump the PQs into my laptop, which will live in the hotel, and into Plucker on my PDA. I also load all of the caches to my GPSr as POI.

 

This allows me to have lots of options. If I find that I have a little bit of time to look for a cache, I simply fire up the GPSr and PDA to see which of the nearby ones look interesting.

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We use exactly the same process when we go on vacation outside of SoCal. Like a recent trip to Florida - three PQs (Orlando, Space Center area and St. Augustine). Only thing added is some screenshots from GoogleEarth saved as .jpgs to the laptop - just in case there is no WiFi there and we'd have some idea of cache density.

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We use exactly the same process when we go on vacation outside of SoCal. Like a recent trip to Florida - three PQs (Orlando, Space Center area and St. Augustine). Only thing added is some screenshots from GoogleEarth saved as .jpgs to the laptop - just in case there is no WiFi there and we'd have some idea of cache density.

I have MS Streets & Trips on my laptop, so it's easy peasey to check out density.
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I tried the "date placed" idea for my area as I currently draw 9 PQs for my surrounding areas. Problem I ran into was that Geocaching really caught on in my area in 2005. Eleven months in 2004 produced 460 caches, nest was 12/2004-04/2005 (5 months) with 417 caches and then 05/2005-08/2005 (4 months) was 468. I jumped forward at that point to Jan 2008 and had a count of 350 (for just one month). I then knew the number of PQs would be prohibitive!! Oh, my radius was 25 miles and I had reduced the terrain level to <3.5. I'm back to running 9 PQs twice a week.

 

But the number of pocket queries wouldn't be any MORE prohibitive than the 9 that you're getting now. In fact the most it would be is 9. You're still gathering the same number of caches, just in PQs that don't have any duplicates from one PQ to the next.

 

Let's take this area of Chicago and the suburbs:

8487233f-6dbd-4d33-b268-d77387313d13.jpg

 

There are 1475 caches in that image. If I were to try and do several radius searches and keep them all under 500, here's what that would look like:

9abaade7-7467-4946-963b-7fc50481f26c.jpg

 

Circle A: 487 caches

Circle B: 484 caches

Circle C: 380 caches

Circle D: 425 caches

Circle E: 284 caches

Circle F: 310 caches

 

Specifically - look at how many caches are in the overlap areas - you're pulling these twice or sometimes thrice.

 

And - any time one of the circles (like Circle A) gets above 500, the whole circles would have to be adjusted because when the system gets more than 500 caches in a query, it reduces the radius returned (farthest from center point get chopped off).

 

If I did those same 1475 caches in a single radius of around 35 km from the center point and broke them up by date ranges, I could get them in 3 PQs:

Jan 1 2000 - Feb 25 2006 : 499 caches

Feb 26 2006 - Aug 27 2007: 499 caches

Aug 28 2007 - Dec 31 2099: 477 caches

 

The first two queries would never increase unless an archived cache gets unarchived or someone back-dates a placement date. When the third query hits 500, add another query. There's also no overlap. No single cache could exist in two date ranges since it only has one date.

Edited by Markwell
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I'm wondering if the powers that be would consider increasing the total numbers of caches in a pocket query from 500 to 1000. With the ever increasing numbers of caches I'm finding it takes more and more queries to keep my GSAK data up to date. Also most GPS now will accept up to 1000 waypoints.

I know that the numbers are capped to keep the queries to manageable sizes but with an increase in total caches per query I would need or want considerably less queries per week.

I'd be interested to hear what others may think about this issue as well.

With thanks

H

If they were going to increase anything I would rather see them increase how many miles that can be covered in a PQ for caches along a route.

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I tried the "date placed" idea for my area as I currently draw 9 PQs for my surrounding areas. Problem I ran into was that Geocaching really caught on in my area in 2005. Eleven months in 2004 produced 460

 

I hear ya. It's a mixed blessing. More caches are great, but it gets more difficult to keep track of them.

 

We're having a similar problem planning for GW6. There are just so many caches that we debated for awhile on how to pick what ones we wanted.

I go out to Southern California a few times per year. It always amazes me how many caches I have to choose from there.

 

I've decided to stop trying to pick the ones I want to search for in advance. Sure, I still target extra special ones that are recommended to me, but mostly, I just create PQs for all of the caches that are in the area(s) that I will be visiting, less those that I know that I won't take the time to do. (For instance, I don't like to do puzzles or high terrain caches while traveling.) I dump the PQs into my laptop, which will live in the hotel, and into Plucker on my PDA. I also load all of the caches to my GPSr as POI.

 

This allows me to have lots of options. If I find that I have a little bit of time to look for a cache, I simply fire up the GPSr and PDA to see which of the nearby ones look interesting.

 

i've just had a reality check here, after reading numerous pleas for more pq's, pq sizes, raw data dumps

from the server, ad infinitum........

 

my first thought upon embarking in this hobby is that *they* should allow me to download all i want, etc.

just suck down everything within 500 miles, etc.... how convenient is that? i have a 30 mb net connection...

as they say, hook me up, dood.

 

*they* are doing all of us a favor in keeping us from stealing more chain than we can swim with... i did

a little test, with a few PQ's, to see how much data we are dealing with.... the answer is, a whole bunch.

 

i set ground zero as huntington beach, calif. (center of the known universe, of course)

 

i set the PQ size at 500 (of course)

 

i set the radius at 500 miles (a good days drive)

 

i filtered out everything but conventional caches, and eliminated micros, just to have something

big enough to put a geocoin in. that should trim the output, right? just active caches. nothing

exotic or wierd.... meat and potatoes, so to speak.

 

i started at 01/01/1998, and it took till 11/13/01 to amass 500 caches. almost 4 years.

the second PQ took 7 1/2 months to fill.

 

this month, may of 2008, a 500 hit PQ is filling up in 11 days, er, 10 days. 50 new caches per day.

 

that means, to have an offline mirror of *most* of the caches within a days drive of my house

would require i purchase an additional membership or so, every year, just to tread water.

and three memberships just to get current.....

 

as that line in the movie "blow" went..... "we need a bigger boat"

 

the hell with it... time to quit being a database adminsitrator, and just go look under a

bush for a tupperware tub.

 

FulThrotl

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I tried the "date placed" idea for my area as I currently draw 9 PQs for my surrounding areas. Problem I ran into was that Geocaching really caught on in my area in 2005. Eleven months in 2004 produced 460

 

I hear ya. It's a mixed blessing. More caches are great, but it gets more difficult to keep track of them.

 

We're having a similar problem planning for GW6. There are just so many caches that we debated for awhile on how to pick what ones we wanted.

I go out to Southern California a few times per year. It always amazes me how many caches I have to choose from there.

 

I've decided to stop trying to pick the ones I want to search for in advance. Sure, I still target extra special ones that are recommended to me, but mostly, I just create PQs for all of the caches that are in the area(s) that I will be visiting, less those that I know that I won't take the time to do. (For instance, I don't like to do puzzles or high terrain caches while traveling.) I dump the PQs into my laptop, which will live in the hotel, and into Plucker on my PDA. I also load all of the caches to my GPSr as POI.

 

This allows me to have lots of options. If I find that I have a little bit of time to look for a cache, I simply fire up the GPSr and PDA to see which of the nearby ones look interesting.

 

i've just had a reality check here, after reading numerous pleas for more pq's, pq sizes, raw data dumps

from the server, ad infinitum........

 

my first thought upon embarking in this hobby is that *they* should allow me to download all i want, etc.

just suck down everything within 500 miles, etc.... how convenient is that? i have a 30 mb net connection...

as they say, hook me up, dood.

 

*they* are doing all of us a favor in keeping us from stealing more chain than we can swim with... i did

a little test, with a few PQ's, to see how much data we are dealing with.... the answer is, a whole bunch.

 

i set ground zero as huntington beach, calif. (center of the known universe, of course)

 

i set the PQ size at 500 (of course)

 

i set the radius at 500 miles (a good days drive)

 

i filtered out everything but conventional caches, and eliminated micros, just to have something

big enough to put a geocoin in. that should trim the output, right? just active caches. nothing

exotic or wierd.... meat and potatoes, so to speak.

 

i started at 01/01/1998, and it took till 11/13/01 to amass 500 caches. almost 4 years.

the second PQ took 7 1/2 months to fill.

 

this month, may of 2008, a 500 hit PQ is filling up in 11 days, er, 10 days. 50 new caches per day.

 

that means, to have an offline mirror of *most* of the caches within a days drive of my house

would require i purchase an additional membership or so, every year, just to tread water.

and three memberships just to get current.....

 

as that line in the movie "blow" went..... "we need a bigger boat"

 

the hell with it... time to quit being a database adminsitrator, and just go look under a

bush for a tupperware tub.

 

FulThrotl

What you failed to take into account (although your end result is dead on :unsure: ) is the attrition of caches as they are archived causing your PQ to eventually get smaller. Maybe not nearly at the rate of growth, but it is significant enough you can condense these PQs over time. I managed this way for the last 4 years before settling in on a different scheme noted elsewhere in these forums. My PQ growth amounted to 1 addtional PQ per year prior to my change.

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OK - here's an idea...

 

Whittle the PQ down to just the caches that you'd TYPICALLY like to find. My favorites style:

  • Terrain between 1.5 and 3.5 (I know - can't do it through PQ, but I CAN limit it to less than 3.5)
  • Difficulty between 1.0 and 3.0
  • Traditional Caches (coords take me to spot)
  • Regular or Large Sized
  • Active (not disabled)
  • I haven't Found
  • I don't own

My perimeter around my house for these styles of caches is 28.1 miles for 497 caches. If I DIDN'T limit that data, and just looked at all of the non-archived caches within 28.1 miles of my home, I'd have 2,096. So about 23% of the caches are the ones that I think I'd enjoy just by their very nature.

 

Why not go out and find those 497 caches? Enjoy myself. Log them and then when I run out of caches in a 30 mile radius, I can extend my radius.

 

I looked on my own offline GSAK database, and found that I have about 942 caches that match the criteria above within 64.08 miles of my home. I could at any given moment run a PQ on the fly of those caches and go out and have a great day. Lather, rinse, repeat.

 

time to quit being a database adminsitrator, and just go look under a bush for a tupperware tub
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OK - here's an idea...

 

Whittle the PQ down to just the caches that you'd TYPICALLY like to find. My favorites style:

  • Terrain between 1.5 and 3.5 (I know - can't do it through PQ, but I CAN limit it to less than 3.5)
  • Difficulty between 1.0 and 3.0
  • Traditional Caches (coords take me to spot)
  • Regular or Large Sized
  • Active (not disabled)
  • I haven't Found
  • I don't own

My perimeter around my house for these styles of caches is 28.1 miles for 497 caches. If I DIDN'T limit that data, and just looked at all of the non-archived caches within 28.1 miles of my home, I'd have 2,096. So about 23% of the caches are the ones that I think I'd enjoy just by their very nature.

 

Why not go out and find those 497 caches? Enjoy myself. Log them and then when I run out of caches in a 30 mile radius, I can extend my radius.

 

I looked on my own offline GSAK database, and found that I have about 942 caches that match the criteria above within 64.08 miles of my home. I could at any given moment run a PQ on the fly of those caches and go out and have a great day. Lather, rinse, repeat.

 

time to quit being a database adminsitrator, and just go look under a bush for a tupperware tub

 

yeah, that's pretty much the conclusion i came to.... however, where i find myself on any given day

with regards to work usually is within 30 miles of my house, but can range anywhere between

santa barbara, and the mexican border, and up to 100 miles inland... so i wanted a large offline list

that my laptop could spit out a list of the close ones to where i am at that day, as broadband

access isn't always available.... i sometimes end up with dead time in the middle of my workday,

and this seems like a natural for a time filler.....

 

now, if my customers will leave me alone long enough to find some of these..... :-)

 

FulThrotl

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This recurring discussion always seems to be predicated on some subset of the following assumptions (not all of which apply in this particular version of the thread... yet...), none of which I believe to be true:

  1. 500 caches and 5 PQs per day were the "right" numbers for site performance when PQs were introduced and the servers "must" have since become faster. (But for all we know, Groundspeak might have bitterly regretted choosing these numbers and wish they had been way lower. And with the increasing number of PMs, perhaps the increased amout of PQ data cancels out most of the speed gains.)
  2. The number of caches you can download should naturally be some function of the number of caches in the database. (Whereas many would argue that there is a natural limit of what you can reasonably process, store, pre-sort, upload to your GPSr, or even just think about.)
  3. Going on a road trip and getting home to find that although you found 8 caches, you could have found 9 because there was one in a roadside pull-off which your PQ missed, is in some way a major disaster from which psychological recovery could take months,if not years. (Perhaps that's a indication that a reality check is in order.)
  4. Not only should $30/year get you the same features for the same price every year you renew, plus any new Premium Member features which have been added, but it should also entitle you to get more data per day than you did last year. (That's some loyalty program.)
  5. A human being, with a life to run, can take the time to perform regular updates to keep tens of thousands of caches in an offline database up to date. (Without, say, violating the site ToU by using automated tools to scrape the site for updates at frequent intervals to see if caches have been archived.)

Edited by sTeamTraen
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I think one underlying reason for many people's desire for ever larger PQ's is that they prefer spending their time analysing data rather than actually going out and hunting tupperware. :unsure:

 

You might think that. I couldn't possibly comment. ;) (Private in-joke for Brits. Nothing to see here.)

 

About 18 months ago in France we had a new player who seemed to enjoy the game, but before he had found 10 caches he'd turned it into a personal IT project. Why isn't the database accessible as a Web service, when is the site going to become open-source, this or that feature of the data model is clearly wrong, etc etc. He actually had many good ideas from an IT point of view but it was amusing to note how he had totally missed the overall point. He quit the game fairly rapidly and I guess a large part of it was because he found some other web site to drive from the back seat.

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I think one underlying reason for many people's desire for ever larger PQ's is that they prefer spending their time analysing data rather than actually going out and hunting tupperware. :grin:

Yes I do. I pick the caches I want to look for. I pick the places I go to and I use three different maps to do it with as they each have different features that help me analyze those cache locations and how best to get there.

 

I don't whine about a rating system.

I don't whine about not being able to find a cache... well with the exception of one DNF that was an archived micro in the woods but that's my fault due to very stale data I had in my PDA. But I take ownership of that issue and the whine was more at me than anybody else.

 

I pick, I go, I hunt, I find or don't find, I enjoy the adventure, and I get home safe and sound to start all over again.

 

Is there something wrong with that picture you don't like? :huh:

Edited by TotemLake
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I just dont understand why people have to have a up to date COPY of Geocaching.com on their own computer, isnt that why all the info is listed on the site, It takes me 10 minutes to set up a query, open it up in GSAK and send it to my palm, GPS and nuvi, is the Y2K bug going to happen again and a GS crash going to happen? If it is i better start my own collection of caches on my puter too.

 

Barry of sweetlife

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