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Carbon Hunter

Statistics - bend it anyway you like!

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Average cache age, finds and Favourite points per province:

For active South African caches:

	       Years  Finds  Finds/year  FPs/cache  FPs/year  Finds/FP
Western Cape	3.4	63	18.4        3.1       0.91      20.3
Gauteng	        2.8	61	21.5        2.1       0.74      29.0
Free State	3.2	46	14.3        1.8       0.56      25.6
North West	3.4	48	14.0        1.7       0.49      28.2
Mpumalanga	3.6	33	 9.3        1.6       0.45      20.6
Northern Cape	3.8	29	 7.6        1.5       0.41      19.3
Eastern Cape	2.9	30	10.4        1.5       0.52      20.0
KZN	        2.7	34	12.4        1.4       0.53      24.3
Limpopo	        4.4	33	 7.4        0.8       0.19      41.3

South Africa    3.1     48      15.3        2.0       0.65      23.9

 

As usual Danie your stats are great. However, I want to throw the proverbial cat amongst the pigeons here. Favourite Points have been in the past and will be in the future a contentious issue. For these to have relevance should one not first look at the number of Premium Members vs Non-Premium Members? Only Premium Members may award FP's. Now that said, one will then need to look at the Premium vs Non-Premium finds on each cache before computing the FP ratios. Maybe I am wrong as I am not a statistician but that is what my logic is telling me. :unsure:

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Favourite Points have been in the past and will be in the future a contentious issue. For these to have relevance should one not first look at the number of Premium Members vs Non-Premium Members? Only Premium Members may award FP's. Now that said, one will then need to look at the Premium vs Non-Premium finds on each cache before computing the FP ratios. Maybe I am wrong as I am not a statistician but that is what my logic is telling me. :unsure:

I am well aware that only premium members can award FPs, but my assumption is that premium and non-premium members visit the same caches and have similar tastes for caches. What I am trying to say is that whatever the ratio of premium to non-premium members is, if one cache gets 100 logs and 20 FPs, and another cache gets 100 logs and 10 FPs, then I think it is fairly safe to assume that the ratio of premium to non-premium logs for the two caches should be comparable, and that the first cache is better liked. (This would of course not be true for premium caches.)

 

It would be interesting to test this assumption (that premium and non-premium members have similar cache preferences), but I can't think of a way to determine the memberhip type from the available log data.

 

If all cachers were premium members, the average South African cache (with its 48 finds) should have had 4.8 FPs. The real number is 2, so it must mean that slightly less than half of all the cachers are premium members. (Assuming they use all their FPs, and that there are not many surviving pre-FP caches with many old logs.) Does anybody know when FPs were introduced?

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Cardinal caches of South Africa:

 

Northernmost cache: GC15MHT  Mapungubwe - Cinnamon Rock Bunting
Southernmost cache: GC1H9WR  2 Oceans
West:               GC4J6P0  Gems of the West Coast
East:               GC4VXV0  Kosi Bay
Centroid: S26 00.041 E28 06.569  Closest cache: GC1P0G1  Rustfontein Yacht Club (7.7km away)

If one defines the midpoint as the center of the smallest circle containing all South African caches:
Midpoint: S29 03.820 E25 52.800  Closest cache: GC3N9DH  KG21/KG31 (14km away)

The following points are relative to the centroid:
Northeast:          GC4N80H  CROOKS CORNER
Southeast:          GC1GB58  Cape Morgan Lighthouse
Southwest:          GC2C19Q  SS: Phyllisia
Northwest:          GC4JA4A  Kalahari Sands

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QC (Quick Cup) Events Statistics:

 

The QC series of events in and around Pretoria has been going since February 2010, and the 50th one was held last month!

All 50 lie within a circle with radius 16km centered just west of the Rietvlei Dam.

 

Of these 50, Leon St hosted 29, Wormgeocash 17 and Jors 6. (Two were co-hosted).

 

A total of 134 cachers attended at least one of the events, and the top attendees were:

1. Jors attended all 50 (remarkable!)
2. Leon St           47
3. Wilduvo	     44
4. B and C Inc	     43
5. HeinG	     42

 

The average attendance was 18.4, the maximum was 38 (QCXXXIV – December 2012 – Moreleta Park) and the minimum was 12 (QCXXXI – September 2012 – Southdowns)

QCAttendance.jpg

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Favourite Points have been in the past and will be in the future a contentious issue. For these to have relevance should one not first look at the number of Premium Members vs Non-Premium Members? Only Premium Members may award FP's. Now that said, one will then need to look at the Premium vs Non-Premium finds on each cache before computing the FP ratios. Maybe I am wrong as I am not a statistician but that is what my logic is telling me. :unsure:

I am well aware that only premium members can award FPs, but my assumption is that premium and non-premium members visit the same caches and have similar tastes for caches. What I am trying to say is that whatever the ratio of premium to non-premium members is, if one cache gets 100 logs and 20 FPs, and another cache gets 100 logs and 10 FPs, then I think it is fairly safe to assume that the ratio of premium to non-premium logs for the two caches should be comparable, and that the first cache is better liked. (This would of course not be true for premium caches.)

 

It would be interesting to test this assumption (that premium and non-premium members have similar cache preferences), but I can't think of a way to determine the memberhip type from the available log data.

 

If all cachers were premium members, the average South African cache (with its 48 finds) should have had 4.8 FPs. The real number is 2, so it must mean that slightly less than half of all the cachers are premium members. (Assuming they use all their FPs, and that there are not many surviving pre-FP caches with many old logs.) Does anybody know when FPs were introduced?

I agree that FP are a fair indicator - but possibly not the best one.

 

A really good cache (e.g. difficult terrain) may only get 3 odd FPs a year due to not being found so often - while a good cache close to a tourist area (e.g. Table Mountain) can gain a LOT of FPs very quickly.

 

I see this on my Earthcaches too. My one earthcache next to the tallest building in the world in Dubai has well over 100 FPs assigned - while IMHO this is not my best EC or is it the best location I have. My perosnal favourite ECs (from a geology, landscape and beauty and the write up) have far fewer FPs (often less than 5).

 

The "herd" mentality of awarding a good cache that already has a lot of FPs - or one that is a highlight for yourself (e.g. have finally made it on an overseas trip to the Burj Khalifa and are having an awesome holiday) also add to this.

 

That said - I generally look at FPs in both my area and new areas visited in deciding what caches to attempt. So take them as an indicator - but they are not the bee all and end all. Use with care.

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Most Cardinal caches found:

The following cachers have found the most of the 10 South African cardinal caches (listed above):

1. iPajero:       8 (including 3 owned)
2. Danie Viljoen: 4
2. TechnoNut:     4

26 cachers have found 2.

Edited by Danie Viljoen

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Events Statistics:

 

The following graph shows the number of events per year (ending 29 April) in South Africa:

(All Event types included: Normal, CITO, MEGA, L&F)

RSAYearlyEvents.jpg

 

The total number of attended logs:

RSAYearlyEventAttendance.jpg

 

The average number of attendees per event per year:

RSAYearlyAttendanceperEvent.jpg

Edited by Danie Viljoen

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Most Cardinal caches found:

The following cachers have found the most of the 10 South African cardinal caches (listed above):

1. iPajero:   	8 (including 3 owned)
2. Danie Viljoen: 4
2. TechnoNut: 	4

26 cachers have found 2.

 

Danie - I have five, not four :)

 

Southernmost cache: GC1H9WR 2 Oceans

West: GC4J6P0 Gems of the West Coast

East: GC4VXV0 Kosi Bay

Northeast: GC4N80H CROOKS CORNER

Northwest: GC4JA4A Kalahari Sands

 

Just being picky :) You are probably missing a log somewhere :)

Edited by TechnoNut

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Find percentage for various cache types, over the years:

For South African caches, excluding Traditional caches (which would be off the scale).

RSApercentagefindspertype.jpg

A few observations:

- It looks as if Multi caches are losing their attraction (have been in serious decline since 2006).

- Virtual cache finds are declining, but that is to be expected.

- EarthCache finds (as a percentage of the total) is not doing too well either.

Edited by Danie Viljoen

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Average yearly finds per cache type:

For South African caches for the year 30 April 2013 to 29 April 2014:

 

RSAaveragefindspercachetypelastyear.jpg

Observations:

- I can understand why Virtual caches are so popular - they are scarce, easy and in interesting places.

- It appears as if the moment one has to work for a cache, then its popularity drops! (CITO, EarthCache, Mystery)

- Once again one can see that Multi-caches are very unpopular at the moment. (Less than half the finds of Traditional caches).

- Not sure why Wherigo is so unpopular - most of them are actually fun and interesting to do. Maybe because not everybody has the hardware and know-how to do them?

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Most active South African caches found:

There are currently 10282 active caches in South Africa. The following cachers have found the most of these:

1.  iPajero:	    8013 (77.9%)
2.  Danie Viljoen:  2987 (29.1%)
3.  rodnjoan:	    2984 (29.0%)
4.  Louise_Gerhard: 2924 (28.4%)
5.  TechnoNut:	    2848 (27.7%)
6.  Leon St:	    2804 (27.3%)
7.  Antron:	    2662 (25.9%)
8.  cownchicken:    2641 (25.7%)
9.  The Huskies:    2632 (25.6%)
10. Wormgeocash:    2418 (23.5%)

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Most active Gauteng caches found:

There are currently 2837 active caches in Gauteng. The following cachers have found the most of these:

1.  iPajero:	      2450 (86.4%)
2.  rodnjoan:	      2263 (79.8%)
3.  Leon St:	      2103 (74.1%)
4.  Danie Viljoen:    1897 (66.9%)
5.  Wormgeocash:      1893 (66.7%)
6.  Louise_Gerhard:   1816 (64.0%)
7.  B and C Inc:      1659 (58.5%)
8.  HeinG:	      1622 (57.2%)
9.  pannie&medusae:   1620 (57.1%)
10. Happy Hunters SA: 1524 (53.7%)

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Most active Western Cape caches found:

There are currently 2155 active caches in the Western Cape. The following cachers have found the most of these:

1.  cownchicken:	    1939 (90.0%)
2.  terunkie:	            1739 (80.7%)
3.  The Huskies:	    1685 (78.2%)
4.  battlerat and pussycat: 1531 (71.0%)
5.  iPajero:	            1462 (67.8%)
6.  PieterM:	            1456 (67.6%)
7.  Henzz:	            1148 (53.3%)
8.  AndyT1:	            1125 (52.2%)
9.  SKATTIE@1:	            1102 (51.1%)
10. paddawan:	            1087 (50.4%)

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Most active Natal caches found:

There are currently 1942 active caches in KZN. The following cachers have found the most of these:

1.  iPajero:	   1507	(77.6%)
2.  TechnoNut:	   1487	(76.6%)
3.  hovelj:	    937	(48.2%)
4.  Noddy:	    911	(46.9%)
5.  LegoMikey:	    896	(46.1%)
6.  Wh00:	    892	(45.9%)
7.  mlornelh:	    830	(42.7%)
8.  ScottScott:	    788	(40.6%)
9.  Kwenda Tafuta:  745	(38.4%)
10. ferdie.estelle: 741	(38.2%)

(To be fair I should have compensated for owned caches - if one takes into account TechnoNut's many local owned caches he should be no.1 in KZN.)

Edited by Danie Viljoen

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Most active Eastern Cape caches found:

There are currently 1174 active caches in the Eastern Cape. The following cachers have found the most of these:

1.  iPajero:	   969 (82.5%)
2.  Mixs:	   773 (65.8%)
3.  NaviMate:	   717 (61.1%)
4.  Spesbona:	   678 (57.8%)
5.  Wikkelgat:	   618 (52.6%)
6.  Chris'nDenise: 565 (48.1%)
7.  iNokia:	   548 (46.7%)
8.  simplr:	   528 (45.0%)
9.  Kingrobert:	   433 (36.9%)
10. grannynasty:   433 (36.9%)

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Most active Mpumalanga caches found:

There are currently 728 active caches in Mpumalanga. The following cachers have found the most of these:

1.  iPajero:	           548 (75.3%)
2.  Fish Eagle:	           489 (67.2%)
3.  surreptitious007:	   398 (54.7%)
4.  Bouts777:	           345 (47.4%)
5.  chimpguy:	           329 (45.2%)
6.  mvubu147:	           301 (41.3%)
7.  Louise_Gerhard:	   288 (39.6%)
8.  Sleaves:	           267 (36.7%)
9.  Tricky Vicky & Mickey: 247 (33.9%)
10. Danie Viljoen:	   244 (33.5%)

(If one takes into account Fish Eagle's many owned caches in Mpumalanga, he should in fact be no.1 in this province.)

Edited by Danie Viljoen

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Most active Free State caches found:

There are currently 636 active caches in the Free State. The following cachers have found the most of these:

1.  iPajero:	           508 (79.9%)
2.  Antron:	           397 (62.4%)
3.  Witelse:	           386 (60.7%)
4.  Scmeirei:	           362 (56.9%)
5.  Tricky Vicky & Mickey: 330 (51.9%)
6.  Louise_Gerhard:	   313 (49.2%)
7.  Orgulas:	           311 (48.9%)
8.  Danie Viljoen:	   286 (45.0%)
9.  TechnoNut:	           279 (43.9%)
10. Land Rover Team:	   275 (43.2%)

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Most active North West caches found:

There are currently 341 active caches in North West. The following cachers have found the most of these:

1.  iPajero:	     247 (72.4%)
2.  Thrips:	     225 (66.0%)
3.  Danie Viljoen:   165 (48.4%)
4.  dolos:	     151 (44.3%)
5.  Louise_Gerhard:  149 (43.7%)
6.  Team Tip Top:    148 (43.4%)
7.  Leon St:	     146 (42.8%)
8.  Skola & Lingiwe: 119 (34.9%)
9.  Jors:	     118 (34.6%)
10. Cherokee.za:     118 (34.6%)

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Most active Limpopo caches found:

There are currently 313 active caches in Limpopo. The following cachers have found the most of these:

1.  iPajero:	        229 (73.2%)
2.  Farm girls and Dad: 112 (35.8%)
3.  henslin:	        109 (34.8%)
4.  Danie Viljoen:	108 (34.5%)
5.  Mapula:	        106 (33.9%)
6.  Zandyl:	         98 (31.3%)
7.  Louise_Gerhard:	 90 (28.8%)
8.  rodnjoan:	         89 (28.4%)
9.  Werrie & Lize:	 89 (28.4%)
10. miking:	         88 (28.1%)

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Most active Northern Cape caches found:

There are currently 156 active caches in the Northern Cape. The following cachers have found the most of these:

1.  iPajero:	            93 (59.6%)
2.  cownchicken:	    90 (57.7%)
3.  Tricky Vicky & Mickey:  66 (42.3%)
4.  PORKY2:	            55 (35.3%)
5.  battlerat and pussycat: 52 (33.3%)
6.  Danie Viljoen:	    51 (32.7%)
6.  Hesamati:	            51 (32.7%)
8.  The Huskies:	    49 (31.4%)
9.  johanchristel:	    48 (30.8%)
10. Hansie & Grietjie:	    47 (30.1%)

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Most active South African caches found:

There are currently 10282 active caches in South Africa. The following cachers have found the most of these:

 

 

(and the rest of the provinces) :)

 

Thanks Danie - very interesting stuff ....

 

Please can you do it again - but this time make it ALL caches (i.e. including archived caches). This will give a better picture of whoi has found the most in SA and each province. (If not too much PT)

 

Thanks

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Most caches found in Cape Town:

There are 1739 caches in Cape Town, of which 645 are archived.

The following cachers have found the most of them:

                          Finds Own   % Found
1.  cownchicken	           1603	  13	92.9%
2.  The Huskies	           1387	  23	80.8%
3.  battlerat and pussycat 1346	  16	78.1%
4.  terunkie	           1353	   5	78.0%
5.  Henzz	           1138	  30	66.6%
6.  paddawan	           1036	  99	63.2%
7.  PieterM	            994	  94	60.4%
8.  iPajero	           1007	   1	57.9%
9.  SKATTIE@1	            982	  25	57.3%
10. Zambesiboy	            935	  44	55.2%

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Most caches found in Pretoria:

There are 1660 caches in Pretoria, of which 620 are archived.

The following cachers have found the most of them:

                   Finds  Own  % Found
1.  rodnjoan	    1494     2	 90.1%
2.  Leon St	    1311   127	 85.5%
3.  Wormgeocash	    1347    75	 85.0%
4.  Jors	    1334    12	 80.9%
5.  Danie Viljoen   1219    41	 75.3%
6.  iPajero	    1227     0	 73.9%
7.  cache-fan	    1152    62	 72.1%
8.  B and C Inc	    1177    27	 72.1%
9.  HeinG	    1035   116	 67.0%
10. pannie&medusae  1032    63	 64.6%

Edited by Danie Viljoen

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Most caches found in Johannesburg:

There are 1153 caches in Johannesburg, of which 522 are archived.

The following cachers have found the most of them:

                    Finds  Own  % Found
1.  KeithWood	      740     9	  64.7%
2.  iPajero	      732     1	  63.5%
3.  rodnjoan	      682     1	  59.2%
4.  Happy Hunters SA  614    45	  55.4%
5.  BruceTP	      582    21	  51.4%
6.  Antron	      569     0	  49.3%
7.  Leon St	      557     2	  48.4%
8.  cache-fan	      552     7	  48.2%
9.  warthog	      535    12	  46.9%
10. Wazat	      523     7	  45.6%

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Most caches found in Durban:

There are 1399 caches in Ethekwini, of which 502 are archived.

The following cachers have found the most of them:

                 Finds  Own  % Found
1.  TechnoNut	   1075	 199	89.6%
2.  iPajero	   1027	   1	73.5%
3.  Noddy	    909	  70	68.4%
4.  hovelj	    882	  55	65.6%
5.  LegoMikey	    778	  65	58.3%
6.  Wh00	    782	  36	57.4%
7.  ScottScott	    727	  15	52.5%
8.  Kwenda Tafuta   704	  44	52.0%
9.  ferdie.estelle  676	  48	50.0%
10. DonJolley	    628	  14	45.3%

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Most caches found in South Africa (including archived caches):

There are currently 14805 caches in South Africa, of which 5032 have been archived.

The following cachers have found the most:

   Cacher	          Finds	 Own  % Found
1.  iPajero:	          10049	 170   68.7%
2.  rodnjoan:	           3889	   7   26.3%
3.  Louise_Gerhard:	   3784	 105   25.7%
4.  cownchicken:	   3786	  42   25.6%
5.  Danie Viljoen:	   3755	  59   25.5%
6.  Tricky Vicky & Mickey: 3611	  83   24.5%
7.  Leon St:	           3544	 153   24.2%
8.  TechnoNut:	           3459	 223   23.7%
9.  Antron:	           3482	  76   23.6%
10. The Huskies:	   3445	  45   23.3%

And to show just how far ahead of the pack iPajero is:

RSApercentagecachesfound.jpg

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Number of new caches:

During the year 1 May 2013 to 30 April 2014, 2811 new caches have been published in South Africa; an average of 7.7 per day.

For the previous year the number was 2030, for an average of 5.6 per day.

 

The number of new caches per month, for the past year:

RSAnewcachespermonth.jpg

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Number of new caches:

During the year 1 May 2013 to 30 April 2014, 2811 new caches have been published in South Africa; an average of 7.7 per day.

For the previous year the number was 2030, for an average of 5.6 per day.

 

The number of new caches per month, for the past year:

RSAnewcachespermonth.jpg

 

Hi Danie, can you do the breakdown for the Western Cape province?

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Number of new caches:

During the year 1 May 2013 to 30 April 2014, 2811 new caches have been published in South Africa; an average of 7.7 per day.

For the previous year the number was 2030, for an average of 5.6 per day.

 

 

Sadly, I think the attrition rate has also gone up in that a large number of these new (physical) caches have been archived already.

(Of course there are many more events taking place these days and we know that these will be archived.)

 

Danie - is it possible to pull any stats on the longevity of physical cache types? I am thinking of something on the lines of:

 

For archived physical cache types .....

Average / Range in Days between "Publish" and "Archive" for caches published in "Calendar Year".

 

I know that the earlier caches did not have a "Publish" Log, so perhaps just for the calendar years since we started seeing "Publish" logs

 

As always your stats are interesting - and that leads to more questions :)

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Hi Danie, can you do the breakdown for the Western Cape province?

Number of new caches in the Western Cape:

During the year 1 May 2013 to 30 April 2014, 550 new caches have been published in the Western Cape; an average of 1.5 per day.

This is 32% more than for the previous year where the number was 417.

 

The number of new caches per month, for the past year:

WCnewcachespermonth.jpg

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Hi Danie, can you do the breakdown for the Western Cape province?

Number of new caches in the Western Cape:

During the year 1 May 2013 to 30 April 2014, 550 new caches have been published in the Western Cape; an average of 1.5 per day.

This is 32% more than for the previous year where the number was 417.

 

The number of new caches per month, for the past year:

WCnewcachespermonth.jpg

 

Thanks Danie.

I asked the question since it it felt to me like over the last few months there has been a gradual decline in the number of new caches published in the 80km radius around Cape Town.

 

For the whole of SA, from your graph, it appears as if there has been a gradual decline in the number of caches published since July/August last year. This seems to be the case in the Western Cape too, except for December/January - we had some very active hiders. Very interesting.

 

Can it be said that it's only because of the "find a cache a day" challenge August last year that also more caches were published, thereby pushing up the daily average?

 

Is it meaningful to plot the number of active geocachers over the number of new hides?

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is it possible to pull any stats on the longevity of physical cache types? I am thinking of something on the lines of:

 

For archived physical cache types .....

Average / Range in Days between "Publish" and "Archive" for caches published in "Calendar Year".

To generate the following graph, I looked at all archived South African caches, and excluded all the event types. To calculate the age I took the difference between the placed date and the last found date. (I feel the last found date is better than the archived date).

 

RSAAgeofarchivedcachesvsplaceddate.jpg

The vertical axis represents the average age of the archived caches in years, and the horizontal axis is the published date.

 

I must warn that this may be a very misleading graph. It does NOT necessarily imply that recently published caches don't last as long as the older ones. The problem here is that the averaging for recently published caches is over a shorter period than for the older caches. To put it differently - archived caches that have been published in 2013 can at most be 1 year old, while caches published in 2004 could have lasted anything up to 10 years. We are not comparing apples with apples here!

 

I am not sure how to fix this. Maybe it would be better to ask: "What percentage of caches published in a calendar year is archived within a year?" I'll think about this one.

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it felt to me like over the last few months there has been a gradual decline in the number of new caches published in the 80km radius around Cape Town.

 

For the whole of SA, from your graph, it appears as if there has been a gradual decline in the number of caches published since July/August last year. This seems to be the case in the Western Cape too, except for December/January - we had some very active hiders. Very interesting.

 

Can it be said that it's only because of the "find a cache a day" challenge August last year that also more caches were published, thereby pushing up the daily average?

 

Is it meaningful to plot the number of active geocachers over the number of new hides?

I share your feeling that we appear to be in a slump, but if you look back you'll see that new caches are very seasonal. If one compares the past year with the previous one it does not look so bad.

 

Yes, there has always been a strong correlation between the number of cachers and the number of new hides. I shall generate a graph, but not today.

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is it possible to pull any stats on the longevity of physical cache types? I am thinking of something on the lines of:

 

For archived physical cache types .....

Average / Range in Days between "Publish" and "Archive" for caches published in "Calendar Year".

 

I must warn that this may be a very misleading graph. It does NOT necessarily imply that recently published caches don't last as long as the older ones. The problem here is that the averaging for recently published caches is over a shorter period than for the older caches. To put it differently - archived caches that have been published in 2013 can at most be 1 year old, while caches published in 2004 could have lasted anything up to 10 years. We are not comparing apples with apples here!

 

I am not sure how to fix this. Maybe it would be better to ask: "What percentage of caches published in a calendar year is archived within a year?" I'll think about this one.

 

Thanks Danie. I take your point about the chart being misleading. We do need to look at this in a different way.

 

So - please consider this ...

 

Of all the caches placed in <year>, how many (%) are still active (available / disabled)? And, of those archived, how many (%) lasted <1 year?, 1 - 2 years?, longer than 2 years?

 

Obviously 2013 and 2014 can't answer all the questions.

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Of all the caches placed in <year>, how many (%) are still active (available / disabled)? And, of those archived, how many (%) lasted <1 year?, 1 - 2 years?, longer than 2 years?

The first suggestion will lead to a similar situation as my last graph. Caches published in 2004 have had 10 years to disappear, while recent caches have had less time.

Your second suggestion is similar to mine - I'll see what I can do.

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Of all the caches placed in <year>, how many (%) are still active (available / disabled)? And, of those archived, how many (%) lasted <1 year?, 1 - 2 years?, longer than 2 years?

The first suggestion will lead to a similar situation as my last graph. Caches published in 2004 have had 10 years to disappear, while recent caches have had less time.

Your second suggestion is similar to mine - I'll see what I can do.

 

Great - thanks Danie.

 

Now - just a comment - it won't (necessarily) lead to any work for you :)

 

I wonder what the "critical" age for a cache is?

 

In other words, once a cache gets to be older than a certain period, the chances of it being muggled drop considerably. If it lasts (say) two years, then it is obviously in a good hide and the chances of a muggle spotting it and removing it fade away. On the other hand, badly placed caches get muggled quickly.

 

I know from personal experience that my caches in nature reserves hardly ever go missing, while I am often doing maintenance on my urban cache 'n dash placements. And that seems to be of general validity in KZN (and probably SA).

 

Perhaps the guys who have caches in National Parks / Nature Reserves can comment?

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I wonder what the "critical" age for a cache is?

 

In other words, once a cache gets to be older than a certain period, the chances of it being muggled drop considerably. If it lasts (say) two years, then it is obviously in a good hide and the chances of a muggle spotting it and removing it fade away. On the other hand, badly placed caches get muggled quickly.

If I remember correctly I did a graph of archive probability vs. age quite some time ago. I don't have time to look for it now, but if you are interested you can search for it earlier in this topic.

 

Given enough time, different mechanisms come into play of course. Muggling is probably the biggest killer of caches, but veld fires, flooding and development cause caches to be archived as well.(Just thinking back on my own archived caches.)

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Early archiving of caches over the years:

The following graph really surprised me - it is contrary to what most people believe.

 

It shows the percentage of caches that were archived within one year from publishing:

(I ignored all events.)

RSAearlyarchivedpercentage.jpg

What this means is that in spite of the fact that most of the prime hiding spots were still available in the early years, the mortality rate of those early caches was three times that of recent caches. One case where the good old days were not so good after all!

Edited by Danie Viljoen

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Early archiving of caches over the years:

The following graph really surprised me - it is contrary to what most people believe.

 

It shows the percentage of caches that were archived within one year from publishing:

 

What this means is that in spite of the fact that most of the prime hiding spots were still available in the early years, the mortality rate of those early caches was three times that of recent caches. One case where the good old days were not so good after all!

 

Now that really is surprising .... and completely opposite to what I thought. When I get a chance (Mega website going live hopefully today), I will trawl through the logs of those early caches and see what I can find.

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First find vs. first hide:

I am currently comparing cachers' first find dates with the dates of their first hides. This is complicated by the fact that early caches don't have publish dates, and by new cachers adopting old caches. Nevertheless, I discovered a surprising thing - a significant number of cachers (in the order of 8%) hid their first cache before finding a single cache!

 

The record is held by ploegsmous, who placed his first cache in September 2002 and found his first cache in October 2008 - more than 6 years later!

 

The cacher with the biggest gap between finding his first cache and placing his first cache is Stasher: First find: 26 Oct 2003, first hide: 23 Mar 2013, 9.4 years later!

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Interval between first find and first hide:

I managed to match up the first find and hide dates of 1616 South African cachers. The data is not perfect - there are many strange dates in the master database, like finds in 1940, but after filtering out the obvious, I got the following frequency distribution:

 

RSAintervalbetweenfirstfindandfirsthide.jpg

The horizontal axis represents the time difference in days (how many days after the first find the first hide happened).

The median is 74 days.

Edited by Danie Viljoen

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Is it meaningful to plot the number of active geocachers over the number of new hides?

Year  Cachers	 New caches
2001      38	      72
2002	  82	      84
2003	 165	      94
2004	 224	      93
2005	 410	     360
2006	 671	    1070
2007	 997	    1104
2008	1510	    1207
2009	2026	    1191
2010	2559	    1603
2011	3480	    2423
2012	4550	    1850
2013	5878	    2913

The following graph shows the total number of cachers who have found at least one cache in South Africa, as well as the number of new caches, for each year:

 

RSAcachescachersvstime.jpg

There is clearly a strong correlation between the number of cachers active during a period and the number of new caches.

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Is it meaningful to plot the number of active geocachers over the number of new hides?

Year  Cachers	 New caches
2001      38	      72
2002	  82	      84
2003	 165	      94
2004	 224	      93
2005	 410	     360
2006	 671	    1070
2007	 997	    1104
2008	1510	    1207
2009	2026	    1191
2010	2559	    1603
2011	3480	    2423
2012	4550	    1850
2013	5878	    2913

The following graph shows the total number of cachers who have found at least one cache in South Africa, as well as the number of new caches, for each year:

 

RSAcachescachersvstime.jpg

There is clearly a strong correlation between the number of cachers active during a period and the number of new caches.

 

My interpretation of the data is that although the number of new cachers joining closely follows an exponential trend, the number of new caches published doesn't quite follow the same trend. Since there must be some average number of published hides/cacher ratio, I would expect the new hides published ratio to follow the same exponential curve closer than it actually does. I agree that geocaching is some seasonal activity, affected by weather, holidays etc., but as I said before, it does feel like we have less caches published, in the Cape Town area in any case...

 

I suppose the Cape Town area is slowly being saturated, or at least the worthy spots have caches, which could explain or confirm my gut feel that we have less caches that are published.

 

I've also wondered what effect the increase in petrol price the last few months have had on geocaching, clearly not that much, if I look at your stats. Or has it?

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I've also wondered what effect the increase in petrol price the last few months have had on geocaching, clearly not that much, if I look at your stats. Or has it?

If one plots the total yearly number of finds on a logarithmic scale (I'll publish it later), the graph is very close to a straight line, especially since 2006. This means the exponential growth is not noticeably affected by the petrol price. Maybe the effect is to force some cachers to cache more closer to home?

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Total number of find logs for South Africa:

(With the best exponential fit in white)

RSAfindlogs.jpg

 

And on a logarithmic scale:

RSAfindlogslogarithmic.jpg

 

Yes, we are currently slightly below exponential growth, but this has happened before, as can be seen from the graph.

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Archive probability:

 

RSAarchiveprobability-1.jpg

This graph may need some explaining: It does not directly show cache survival probability; I'll get to that later.

What it does show is the probability that a cache will be archived during any given month interval.

To give an example: The probability that a South African (non-event) cache will be archived during its 7th month after publication is about 1% (the seventh bar on the graph).

 

It shows three interesting things:

1. There is quite high infant mortality. (2.6% of all South African caches are archived within the first month alone).

2. There is no specific "critical age", to use TechnoNut's term, when one can say a cache is now safe - the curve stays smooth and flattens out gradually. The best one can say is that most of the archiving happens in the first few months. (I'll publish another graph that will show this clearer.)

3. This is no classical bathtub curve, where the failure rate starts increasing again because of old age. Caches appear to be like soldiers in the saying: Old soldiers don't die, young ones do!

Edited by Danie Viljoen

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Cumulative archive probability:

 

RSAcumulativearchiveprobability-1.jpg

Once again, this is not really related to cache survival probability, since here I only looked at caches that had been archived.

What it shows is that 50% of all the archived South African (non-event) caches had been archived before 13 months after publication, 80% at 33 months and 90% at 4 years.

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Cache survival probability:

Based on all South African non-event caches.

RSAcachesurvivalprobability.jpg

 

The attrition rate (during the first four years) is about 8.5% per year.

 

See the EarthCache forum (posting of 15 May 2014) to see how much differently EarthCaches behave.

Edited by Danie Viljoen

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Number of active mystery caches in South Africa, versus Difficulty:

 

RSANoofactivemysterycachesvsD.jpg

There are surprisingly few D=1 mystery caches in South Africa.

 

Average number of finds vs. Difficulty:

For active South African mystery caches.

RSAAvgactivemysterycacheFindsvsD.jpg

Nothing surprising here - the finds come down linearly as the Difficulty goes up.

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