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Talbot Tribe

GeoCache Rating System

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Now that we have the GPS rating system, I would like to see a GeoCache rating system of 1 to 5 stars. This is something that could be added to the search criteria, logs, pocket queries, etc. How I see this working is that only Cachers that have found the cache could actually rate the cache, so as to avoid ratings made in frustration from DNFs. The rating would be based on how “good” the cache was, considering how cleaver the cache was, how well maintained, and its location. This would allow us to avoid wasting time on caches that are poorly placed, while providing feedback to the owner as to the general feeling about their cache and encourage better overall caches. I find it very frustrating to travel to a cache site only to find out the cache is in an abandoned dumpster or discarded beer bottle. I don’t view these types of caches as fun in any respect, as it isn’t about the numbers for me, but about the quality of the find and the time I get to spend with my family. So, my opinion is that it would be really nice to provide an overall rating for caches, to encourage a better caching experience from the placement through discovery. I don't believe the logs always provide enough information to base the value of a cache on since many logs are very short or simply TFTC.

 

Does anyone have any thought on this? It is something that I personally think would be a great addition to Groundspeak and caching in general.

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Now that we have the GPS rating system, I would like to see a GeoCache rating system of 1 to 5 stars.

 

Welcome to the forums.

 

Many different cachers have suggested many different formats of this for quite some time. I think my first post in this matter was some time around 2002. That's why Allanon posted the graphics - rolling eyes because we've heard it before, popcorn because it's usually a good show by the polarized factions.

 

On one side you have the "Any cache is a good cache" faction. That set in its extreme believes that trying to quantify something as subjective as the likes and dislikes are doomed to failure because of the wide variety of likes and dislikes. To this group, all caches are gifts by cachers to other cachers and we shouldn't be rating them. They also believe that reading the cache logs on the pages should be sufficient to let you know if you'd like the cache or not.

 

On the other side of the wide gulf you have the faction that believes that some caches suck and that the individuals need to be told that their caches suck. Caches behind dumpsters, unmaintained forest caches and micro caches under lamp-posts in Walmart parking lots need red beacons flashing on their cache pages warning other cachers not to bother finding these lame caches. Weeding through page after page of cache pages to try and find caches that have lengthy logs and look like they're in forested areas can be quite tedious for them.

 

Somewhere in the middle is a balance of these two. Jeremy Irish, one of the site founders, has agreed in the past to some concept of recommending caches - similar to the Amazon.com version of "If you liked this book, you also might like". Eons ago, I suggested a recommendation method (instead of a "your cache sucks" method).

 

Consider that this discussion has been going on almost as long as Geocaching has been out there, and you'll get some idea of why people roll their eyes when they see it coming.

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I subscribe to the top 10% list idea in Markwell's post. A 5 star system is just too simplistic and too easily manipulated.

 

One of my concerns over any rating system however - is a change over time. Lets face it things change. Containers fall apart, swag degrades, temporary geo trails form, the view changes, roads are built, trees die, mud slides happen, fires rage, trash is dumped, trees grow, etc.... What was once a easy 5 star cache slowly becomes a 2. Some 2 star caches get some attention and become 3 stars.

 

I've seen no system that easily changes with conditions.

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I appreciate the comments. I believe there must be a way to rate the caches so that we aren't wasting time on caches that just aren't worth the effort. The reason I suggested the 5 star system is that it is easily recognizable and used in many systems. Amazon.com allows you to see how many users rated a product at each level. Overtime, if a cache isn't as good as it once was, the rating would reflect that.

 

And yes, I truly believe that some caches suck. Who wants to sift through a landfill just to find a micro covered in who-knows-what?

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Some people enjoy long difficult hikes. Some people enjoy park and grabs. Some people like puzzles. Some won't even attempt them. Some like caches in historic areas and some like cache with clever handmade camouflage. Some people enjoy having to be stealthy around muggles. Other people hate this.

 

A simple rate this cache from one to five stars would probably tell you nothing about how much you would enjoy the cache. It might if you are Joe average. But I think that most cachers have their own individual likes and dislikes and some where along the way they are going to be different than the majority. On the other hand if you were to rate the cache on "would you recommend this to other cachers", we might be able to do something with the rating. Particularly if I could compare the caches I recommend to the ones you recommend. If there are a lot of caches in common then I might like some of your recommendation that I haven't found. And you might like some of my recommendations.

 

Markwell's suggestion doesn't go this far but it is appealing because it could be easily implemented. Premium members can already make a bookmark list of favorite or recommended caches. By finding caches that appear on several such lists you could further examine those list and see if the those cachers have similar taste. You'd now have several lists of recommended caches.

 

Isn't one of Vinny's Psycho Urban caches a micro in a landfill covered in who-knows-what?

Edited by tozainamboku

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Australia has a rating system which is simple & works fine. We have our own geocaching site (geocaching.com.au) which includes caches peculiar to the site as well as all caches hidden via geocaching.com. Caches from both sites can be rated. A rating can be applied to a cache hidden using the geocaching.com site by adding a link to the log.

 

Australia's rating system can be found here: http://wiki.geocaching.com.au/wiki/Rating

 

An example of a rating applied to a geocaching.com cache can be seen by having a look at GC1FBDW (one of mine) log date 23/8/08 by Secret Squirrel-BJC.

 

For simplicity it would be ideal if the rating system or similar could be incorporated into the geocaching.com site. However there would be nothing wrong with anyone using Australia's rating system by adding a link to their log.

 

Where there is a will there is a way.

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I think that the Australian rating system would work really well.

 

tozainamboku - A rating system isnt' about determining how well a cache would fit with your individual preference so much as it is about gaining a general concensus of how "good" a cache is. Yes, park and grabs are fun on occasion, but there usually isn't anything note worthy about them. Overall, I believe the general concensus about these typical types of caches would at most be average or less. Outstanding caches don't necessarily require that you hike in for days, as it could be a simple object that is in plain sight but hidden in a clever way; something that is note worthy or worth checking out.

 

A rating system such as Flicker, Amazon, or your general four star ratings for movies don't reflect whether you will like something or not, but gives you a good idea if the majority of people liked it or would recommend it. It is still up to you to research the logs or comments left by other people. The point is that a rating system would be beneficial in determining how well a cache has been received by the majority and help in the decision process.

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I still like the "If you liked this cache you might like ...." way.

 

What I would like more than THAT is if caches were associated with tags like "Hike, Cemetary, Parking Lot, Historic Marker" and those tags could be assigned by users and then I could search tags.

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I think that the Australian rating system would work really well.

 

tozainamboku - A rating system isnt' about determining how well a cache would fit with your individual preference so much as it is about gaining a general concensus of how "good" a cache is. Yes, park and grabs are fun on occasion, but there usually isn't anything note worthy about them. Overall, I believe the general concensus about these typical types of caches would at most be average or less. Outstanding caches don't necessarily require that you hike in for days, as it could be a simple object that is in plain sight but hidden in a clever way; something that is note worthy or worth checking out.

 

A rating system such as Flicker, Amazon, or your general four star ratings for movies don't reflect whether you will like something or not, but gives you a good idea if the majority of people liked it or would recommend it. It is still up to you to research the logs or comments left by other people. The point is that a rating system would be beneficial in determining how well a cache has been received by the majority and help in the decision process.

I think you miss the point.

 

If it fits my preference I will rate it a 5. If it does not fit my preference I will rate it a 1. Therefore the overall rating will be more about what a cacher perfers then anything objective. It won't tell the next guy anything.

 

If my goal is to get 100 caches found on a Saturday - then I will perfer lamppost caches and rate them as 5 stars because it fit what I was looking for.

 

Also - what about those folks that don't want to rate caches?? If only 25% of visitors have rated cache gcxxxx - what does that really "mean"? How will it affect the rating? How will that fact be reported when I see the stats?

 

I have stated many times that the vast majority of caches will end up with a rating of 3 or 4 after some time with the 5 star system. Then anything between 2.5 aqnd 4.5 really won't mean anything at all. On the flip side caches rated as a 1 or 2 will be quickly abondoned and we will as a group be creating geo-trash.

 

I would like to see some kind of feedback system about caches but a simplistic 5 star sytem just isn't going to cut it.

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I think you miss the point.

 

If it fits my preference I will rate it a 5. If it does not fit my preference I will rate it a 1. Therefore the overall rating will be more about what a cacher perfers then anything objective. It won't tell the next guy anything.

 

No, I haven't missed the point. Based on the comments here against a rating system, people are having difficulty bridging the gap between an overall rating that is based on a community concensus, and trying to determine how it will fit their personal interests.

 

I congratulate the Australian geocaching society for creating a rating system with specific guidelines for the ratings. If you haven't read through it please don't bash a "simplistic" system. It can provide a great deal of information at a glance and is utilized in many aspects of our lives, from the products we buy and watch, and the experiences we can have. Its all about trying to have a system to allow users to make better decisions and better use of their time. If you are just in it for the numbers, by all means go-for-it, knock-yourself-out, have fun. But, a typical lightpost cache shouldn't ever be rated higher than a 1 because they are all too common and not very inventive.

 

http://wiki.geocaching.com.au/wiki/Rating

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A rating system such as Flicker, Amazon, or your general four star ratings for movies don't reflect whether you will like something or not, but gives you a good idea if the majority of people liked it or would recommend it. It is still up to you to research the logs or comments left by other people. The point is that a rating system would be beneficial in determining how well a cache has been received by the majority and help in the decision process.

I couldn't care one bit what the "majority of people like". I cache for what I like. In my opinion the majority of people like micros under lamppost skirts in parking lots. That's why so many of the are hidden and even more why the get found by so many people. I'd prefer a long hike in the mountains or at least some clever camouflage that takes a while to find. But I'm not convinced that a rating system will help me sort that out. If movie ratings work it may be because you can separate out the action block busters from the dramas from the romantic comedies, etc. Since you're seeing the average rating of people who like that genre of movies you might find it useful in finding movies in the genre you like that more people liked. Now if you like a particular actor and the movie he is in is rated low, you might decide you still want to see the movie; but if you don't really care about who is in a movie than you might use "the one more people liked" as the measure you make your choice on. Now you may be able to discern, by using the terrain and difficulty and looking at maps, which caches are urban PnGs and which are hikes in the woods. And you can tell if the cache is a regular size or a micro. So perhaps after selecting the cache "genre" from this, knowing which more people liked would give you another measure to make the final decision. The problem is that many people who like urban caching simple select an area and proceed to find all the caches in the area. Even people who like hikes will pick a trail or a park and find all the caches there. It's true that some people will say I've only got time to find one cache today and will want to pick the one they think will be the most fun. But wouldn't a recommendation system work for that? The people who want a rating system seem to think they can use it to eliminate the real stinkers. Some even argue that there will be fewer real stinkers because people will archive their caches that get bad reviews. I don't believe this will happen. There is another listing site that does have ratings. And supposedly caches there can be voted off the site. I don't frequent that site so I can't tell you if it works that way or not. My concern is that some stinkers may be caches that a small number of people would genuinely like to find. I don't scuba dive or rock climb, yet there are caches for people who like to do this. The difference between these caches and the stinkers is that they self select. Only people with the equipment and skill to do a five star terrain cache will attempt it and and the rest can filter these out before they ever try. Now a one and a half star terrain that takes you to the dumpster behind the strip mall doesn't tell you in advance that's where you will be. Nor does it tell you that perhaps the cache isn't in the dumpster at all but cleverly hidden on a wall nearby. At any point, however, you are free to decide that your are not enjoying yourself at the cache. You don't even have to post a DNF if you don't want to, but you might just so that the next person can have an idea of what is in store. Just don't be surprised if the cache owner deletes your log. If you are going to suffer through finding this cache just so you can give it a low rating I'd wonder why you stayed. It would be like requiring people to sit through a lousy movie just so they can rate it. My guess is the really low ratings on the movie sites are from people who walked out halfway through.

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ooooh, i love this question EVERY time it comes up, on average every three and a half weeks.

 

a lot of people like lame park 'n' grabs. you can tell by the number of cachers who hunt them predominantly. so sucky caches are going to rise to the top?

 

prob'ly.

 

me, i'll subvert any rating system i can. rate ccaches opposite to the trend. give caches by cachers i don't like low ratings. give low ratings to caches i love that i want to keep secret. create sockpuppets to rate my own caches very, very poorly.

 

all five-star rating systems tell us is what bob and edna petersen like. since they also like their cousin joe-bob who has a cobra tattooed on his face, i'm doubtful as to the worth of their opinion as it applies to my caching experience.

 

it isn't hard at all to tell from the logs what's a lame walmart cache and what's a solid container in a nice location. i NEVER hunt for a cache that i think is going to be great and come up with a dumpster micro, 'coz i may be brain-damaged, but even i can tell where the lame caches are.

 

sometimes (rarely) i come across a cache that i think is going to suck but doesn't. surprise!

 

i like surprises.

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No, I haven't missed the point. Based on the comments here against a rating system, people are having difficulty bridging the gap between an overall rating that is based on a community concensus, and trying to determine how it will fit their personal interests.

 

If I can't use the rating system to determine if a cache is one I would rate high and therefore like - then exactly what use is it??

 

I congratulate the Australian geocaching society for creating a rating system with specific guidelines for the ratings. If you haven't read through it please don't bash a "simplistic" system.

I did read through it. It is much more opinion and personal preference then it is anything else. Folks can't even use the difficulty and terrain systems consistently with detailed descriptions and even the clayjar system. How can we depend on ratings to follow a narrow definition??

 

It can provide a great deal of information at a glance and is utilized in many aspects of our lives, from the products we buy and watch, and the experiences we can have. Its all about trying to have a system to allow users to make better decisions and better use of their time. If you are just in it for the numbers, by all means go-for-it, knock-yourself-out, have fun. But, a typical lightpost cache shouldn't ever be rated higher than a 1 because they are all too common and not very inventive.

 

Still shows you don't get it. I absolutely gaurantee you that some users of this forum would consistently rate an LPC at a 5. You don't like them, I don't like them. But somebody does because they keep getting placed. Somebody would rate them a 5. Some folks ARE in this only for the numbers and they like fast caches. Blended with other ratings - next thing you know it would be at a 2.5 and tell me nothing.

 

What about my other points raised above. How would you handle those things. They will have to be handled in some way??

 

I agree that a rating system of some kind is needed but a system that allows for caches to both be praised and derided is not it.

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For those that haven't read my idea from 7 years ago, the one key thing in my idea is not to rate anything as "sucks", but instead to establish the really good ones. In my high-school graduating class, we had a group that was listed as being in the "Top 10%". In college, we had people that graduated Cum Laude, Magna Cum Laude and Summa Cum Laude. The individuals that did not receive these honors weren't failures because they didn't receive them. The ones that received the honors had risen above the rest by working hard. There's an adage: What do you call a medical student who graduated bottom of their class? (Doctor)

 

My idea is to lift up those caches that go above and beyond the norm, but that idea doesn't negate the good intentions of the other placers. The idea of a "really good" cache list aggregating many votes doesn't benefit the person that finds all of the caches in an area. If a cacher is new to the area or going to be in town for one or two days on business and has limited time for cache hunting, it can be overwhelming to try and figure out the ones that he or she might enjoy devoting their their limited time in finding.

 

I know there's many problems with my idea - which is why it hasn't been implemented. I know there are a lot of people that don't want this system as well. I respect their opinions too, which is why I don't actively push hard for this idea anymore.

 

However I have yet to hear a well-thought-out reason that has convinced me that this idea can't work - without me countering with "if you don't like to use these, don't use them." In other words, as an added feature, it could be beneficial for some. For those that don't like the idea, wouldn't it be possible to just ignore the ratings?

 

Anyway - I'm done arguing for this for this month. sigh.gif

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For those that haven't read my idea from 7 years ago, the one key thing in my idea is not to rate anything as "sucks", but instead to establish the really good ones. In my high-school graduating class, we had a group that was listed as being in the "Top 10%". In college, we had people that graduated Cum Laude, Magna Cum Laude and Summa Cum Laude. The individuals that did not receive these honors weren't failures because they didn't receive them. The ones that received the honors had risen above the rest by working hard. There's an adage: What do you call a medical student who graduated bottom of their class? (Doctor)

 

My idea is to lift up those caches that go above and beyond the norm, but that idea doesn't negate the good intentions of the other placers. The idea of a "really good" cache list aggregating many votes doesn't benefit the person that finds all of the caches in an area. If a cacher is new to the area or going to be in town for one or two days on business and has limited time for cache hunting, it can be overwhelming to try and figure out the ones that he or she might enjoy devoting their their limited time in finding.

 

I know there's many problems with my idea - which is why it hasn't been implemented. I know there are a lot of people that don't want this system as well. I respect their opinions too, which is why I don't actively push hard for this idea anymore.

 

However I have yet to hear a well-thought-out reason that has convinced me that this idea can't work - without me countering with "if you don't like to use these, don't use them." In other words, as an added feature, it could be beneficial for some. For those that don't like the idea, wouldn't it be possible to just ignore the ratings?

 

Anyway - I'm done arguing for this for this month. sigh.gif

I still agree with the idea - best one I have seen - thats 1 and counting Markwell!!!

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Peer pressure. You might like cacher XYZ but they might place lots caches that you dont enjoy. No one wants hard feelings.

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It's anonymous

Wouldnt you see if the rating went up or down after a cacher visited? I am all for it but i have already unintentionally stepped on some local cachers toes. We'll just have to wait.

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I appreciate the comments. I believe there must be a way to rate the caches so that we aren't wasting time on caches that just aren't worth the effort.

 

I believe every cache is worth the effort.

 

Also, on a side note, I am on dialup at home and I would never waste the extra effort to rate a cache.

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One of the biggest problems with any rating system is the issue with cache owner retaliation. Because cache owners can delete a log on a whim anyone who doesn't vote their cache the way they want is at risk of not being able to log that cache.

 

In essence, with the way the site is presently set up any rating system is held hostage by the whims of the cache owners.

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I believe every cache is worth the effort.
I don't. I bypass caches on a regular basis because they fall well below my fun-factor.

 

Also, on a side note, I am on dialup at home and I would never waste the extra effort to rate a cache.
I would think any scheme would be added to the log page so all you have to do is click a box. So unless you're on 300 baud I don't think a well thought-out system would make much of a difference.

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What I would like more than THAT is if caches were associated with tags like "Hike, Cemetary, Parking Lot, Historic Marker" and those tags could be assigned by users and then I could search tags.

This "TAG" idea has some merit, to me. Although it doesn't fit the "rating" idea, it does give us the ability to identify the genre of caches. Sometimes I'm in the mood for a hike, other times I'm in the mood for P&G caches.

 

This could be set up as the Attribute section is. And input would be by the owner. Not sure how any community input could be implemented. Ideas here????

 

And allow multiple tags to be selected if a cache fit them.

 

I'd like the TAG system implemented even if a rating system isn't.

Edited by Cache O'Plenty

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Sounds like "attributes"

 

i thought you were done talkin' about this for the month?

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I'm not promoting my idea. I'm commenting on the "Tag" idea, and that it sounds like attributes. :)

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Sounds like "attributes"

Actually I think that the attributes would've worked better had it been implemented as a tagging system. While you could have a set of predefined tags = the current attributes, with tags you'd allow users to put any text they thought would be helpful for people searching for their caches. Then people who hide night caches could tag them as night caches, people who hide cache where there is some historical point of interest could tag them as historical, people who hide park and grab caches for numbers chasers could tag them as PnG, etc.

 

A search for caches with a given tag or set of tags would've much easier to implement than the current search on attributes which probably still doesn't work as most people expect. You could even put a tag search on the basic search page so it would be available to basic members.

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I like tags, too. They'd probably be more useful for ferreting out the caches one might like in terms of genre or style, but I don't think it would entirely supplant a well engineered logging system that includes a rating system.

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I believe there must be a way to rate the caches so that we aren't wasting time on caches that just aren't worth the effort.
So, what kinds of caches to you think "just aren't worth the effort", and why should someone who likes those kinds of caches care?

 

Conversely, what kinds of caches do you think are "worth the effort", and why should someone who dislikes those kinds of caches care?

 

I like blinkers on public sculptures, puzzles with great "Aha!" moments, and clever 4-star camouflage. Will my ratings help a mom who likes caches with lots of "treasure" for her kids; or a 4x4, kayaking, or rockclimbing enthusiast who enjoys 5-star terrain; or a wheelchair user who can access only 1-star terrain?

 

The reason I suggested the 5 star system is that it is easily recognizable and used in many systems. Amazon.com allows you to see how many users rated a product at each level.
FWIW, I generally ignore 5-star ratings, including those at Amazon.com. The "Recommended for You" lists at Amazon.com and other sites are much more helpful.

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like blinkers on public sculptures, puzzles with great "Aha!" moments, and clever 4-star camouflage. Will my ratings help a mom who likes caches with lots of "treasure" for her kids; or a 4x4, kayaking, or rockclimbing enthusiast who enjoys 5-star terrain; or a wheelchair user who can access only 1-star terrain?

 

Terrain, difficulty, and basic cache types are already part of the search criteria. As Markwell's idea states, its about promoting the good and exceptional caches. Like I said previously, if you think the park-n-grab and dumpster diving caches are great, more power to you. However, I personally would like to avoid those types of caches, and I would like to be able to search for the exceptional caches that are intriguing. There are some really clever and surprisingly they could be a park-n-grab. But, not all caches are created equally. I would like to know which caches in my area are really exceptional and worth visiting.

 

Perhaps the answer is having more attributes available to describe a cache, such as light pole, cemetery, etc. since these are available to include or exclude via pocket queries.

 

Another thought on this is to allow you to enable or disable a rating system based on your personal profile. If you don't want to see or use the rating system, then you simply disable it. That way, all caches could be equally as good as the last for those that feel all caches are worth the effort. Likewise, those of us that would like to better utilize our caching time could use the rating system to direct our search efforts.

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I would like to be able to search for the exceptional caches that are intriguing. There are some really clever and surprisingly they could be a park-n-grab. But, not all caches are created equally. I would like to know which caches in my area are really exceptional and worth visiting.

I can see how Markwell's suggestion for recommending cache might help someone find "exceptional" cache. Rather than having finder rate each cache they find, it asks instead for cachers to maintain a list of exceptional, favorite, or recommended caches. The system would find cache that appear on some number of these lists. Instead of having to look at the logs on every cache to decide what you might like, you could start by looking a recommended caches. If you see a lamppost hide that got a lot of recommendations you might even think that maybe this one is an "exception" to the ordinary lamppost hide and maybe worth trying. Caches that many people would recommend might be a good way to accomplish you goal of seeking out exceptional caches.

 

On the other hand a simple rating from 1 to 5 will likely get misused. With some exceptions, most caches will get too few people rating them to be a meaningful number. It is just to easy for a group of people to "stuff the ballot box" and skew the results. My guess is that people making comments like "A lamppost cache should never be rated more than 1 star", will get a lot of people to rate every lamppost cache they find 5 stars just to counter this attitude.

 

I suspect that movie ratings aren't as useful for selecting which movies to see as they are in providing people some entertainment in seeing whether they agree with the majority or not. If you think that five star movie really deserves five stars, you'll probably be happy that you think like every one else (or at least the three other people who rated that movie). If you think the five star movie really only deserved two stars, you'd probably say that you have better taste than the general public. If caches were rated that is about all the good it would do. If you think the caches are being rated correctly it will bolster your belief that everyone has the same tastes as you do. If the caches are being rated wrong, you will say that you have better taste than the numbers chasers who are happy finding film cans in lampposts.

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Although this whole discussion may be amusing to some and have others riled up, I would really like to find some common ground and find a solution to this ongoing issue. Is there anyone willing to discuss this issue in a collaborative way and work out a solution? I think the bashing on both sides should come to an end as it doesn't help the community. If we work together on this, we might be able to get Groundspeak to address this and prevent this from continually popping-up on the forum. My only objective to presenting the rating idea (yet again) is to make the geocaching community better and to encourage "better" cache placements. I didn't realize how heated everyone would get about this topic. So, is there anyone willing to work with me or whoever to work out a solution to this issue?

Edited by Talbot Tribe

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Although this whole discussion may be amusing to some and have others riled up, I would really like to find some common ground and find a solution to this ongoing issue. Is there anyone willing to discuss this issue in a collaborative way and work out a solution? I think the bashing on both sides should come to an end as it doesn't help the community. If we work together on this, we might be able to get Groundspeak to address this and prevent this from continually popping-up on the forum. My only objective to presenting the rating idea (yet again) is to make the geocaching community better and to encourage "better" cache placements. I didn't realize how heated everyone would get about this topic. So, is there anyone willing to work with me or whoever to work out a solution to this issue?

Only those that agree with you.

 

Those that don't will never 'discuss' it because they don't agree.

 

Think Democrats and Republicans.

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Only those that agree with you.

 

Those that don't will never 'discuss' it because they don't agree.

 

This may be true, but... If we had a system that could be enabled/disabled by user profile, those that don't like or want a rating system wouldn't need to use it or see it. So, that shouldn't prevent the rest of us from making a proposal.

 

I realize I'm probably hoping in futility for something I think could be beneficial to many cachers out there. I guess I just get bored easily with "common" caches.

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Although this whole discussion may be amusing to some and have others riled up, I would really like to find some common ground and find a solution to this ongoing issue. Is there anyone willing to discuss this issue in a collaborative way and work out a solution? I think the bashing on both sides should come to an end as it doesn't help the community. If we work together on this, we might be able to get Groundspeak to address this and prevent this from continually popping-up on the forum. My only objective to presenting the rating idea (yet again) is to make the geocaching community better and to encourage "better" cache placements. I didn't realize how heated everyone would get about this topic. So, is there anyone willing to work with me or whoever to work out a solution to this issue?

The issue of how to sort through caches to find ones you would enjoy more and avoid ones you might not enjoy has been brought up frequently on the site, as has the more specific request to have a rating system. The rating system idea has so many detractors that even TPTB have chimed in that they have no interest in implementing a rating system. Jeremy did however indicate that he thought Markwell's recommendation scheme might be workable. He has even indicated that Project Phoenix (a revamped Geocaching website whose release date remains a mystery), will have some feature by which cachers can reward exceptional caches and there may be some kind of affinity system to recommend: "If you liked this cache you may also like..."

 

In the meantime, the site offers several way to help you filter caches to find ones you might enjoy more.

 

Premium members can create bookmarks of favorite caches and make these public so they appear on the cache page. If you find a cache on someone's favorite list that you liked, you can see what other caches that person has on his favorite list. And bookmark lists can also be used to collect genres of caches - for example find a night cache on a list of other night caches. One problem is there is no current way to search for what lists happen to be out there. You just have to get lucky and hit a cache on the list.

 

Another thing that people have noticed is that exceptional caches tend to get longer logs than your average caches. And some people will purposely leave a very short log on caches they consider lame. You can browse through the logs when looking at caches and get a good idea whether you would like to do this one or not. The problem is that in this day of paperless caching, most cachers simply run a PQ and load a bunch of caches into their GPS. Then they complain when the go to look for one that they don't enjoy. A quick check of the logs before you go and you could avoid the caches you don't like. Some people have created a macro for GSAK. Load up the caches in GSAK. It's best if you build up a database with several more logs than the 5 or so you get in a PQ. Run the macro to find the caches that have the longest average log length. Even better would be to modify the macro to look for words like "excellent", "creative", "clever", "cleaver" (because a lot of people misspell this one), "entertaining", "educational", and "fun".

 

Kit Fox started a great thread where he has invited people to give their recipe for fun, and tell how they select the cache they enjoy and avoid the ones they don't. There are lots more ideas there.

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Although this whole discussion may be amusing to some and have others riled up, I would really like to find some common ground and find a solution to this ongoing issue. Is there anyone willing to discuss this issue in a collaborative way and work out a solution? I think the bashing on both sides should come to an end as it doesn't help the community. If we work together on this, we might be able to get Groundspeak to address this and prevent this from continually popping-up on the forum. My only objective to presenting the rating idea (yet again) is to make the geocaching community better and to encourage "better" cache placements. I didn't realize how heated everyone would get about this topic. So, is there anyone willing to work with me or whoever to work out a solution to this issue?

Sure.

 

I think the 5 star system is debunked enough.

 

What do you think about Markwell's idea??

 

Any other schemes?

 

But do keep in mind that the "recomendation" system has been promised by the owner of the site even if the delivery date is pretty fuzzy.

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Here's one vote for the "Markwell Cache Rating System". Wouldn't have to be part of GC.com. If it was out there I'd use it.

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Only those that agree with you.

 

Those that don't will never 'discuss' it because they don't agree.

 

This may be true, but... If we had a system that could be enabled/disabled by user profile, those that don't like or want a rating system wouldn't need to use it or see it. So, that shouldn't prevent the rest of us from making a proposal.

 

I realize I'm probably hoping in futility for something I think could be beneficial to many cachers out there. I guess I just get bored easily with "common" caches.

What is the point in this system?

 

You effectivly have two sites...one with ratings and one without.

 

Personally, if a rating was required, and I could do it either way I'd either not do it, not rate it, or rate it at the lowest possible rating "just because". If a rating was required and I couldn't find it without one, I'd either not find it or rate it the lowest because or the requirement...and I'd never require a rating on my caches.

 

Ratings will NEVER influence whether I search for a cache or not unless they are required...then they'll just be a filter to tell me "don't search for this one".

 

And if you get bored with 'common caches', to to Terracaching...they think they're better and you'll fit right in.

Edited by Allanon

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Well, well, something new to jump in on! :laughing:

 

I wonder if we couldn't have the rating AND recommendation system, combined with tags (how's that for a combined solution!) Here's what I picture:

 

Cacher A goes and finds a cache. He enters his log. If he posts a find or DNF, he's brought to the log completed page. We've all seen it.

 

On this page, there is an option below where the individual CAN click on a 5-star rating system, if they so choose. There is also a checkmark to "Add this cache to my favorites list". Cacher A really enjoyed this cache. In fact, it was his favorite ever! 5 stars and added to the recommended list.

 

Cacher B found a lame LPC right next to a stinky dumpster. When he logs, he selects 1 star.

 

Cacher C found the same cache as Cacher A, but she's not really into that kind of cache. Not really a favorite, but it was decent, so she gives it 3 stars.

 

Cacher D is getting ready to go caching. He runs a pocket query, filtering out anything below 3 stars. Why, because that's how he plays the game. He will visit the first cache but not the second.

 

Cacher E knows that he likes the same caches as Cacher A, so he goes after that first cache because it's on his favorites list.

 

Cacher F could care less about any of this, and will choose caches based on descriptions and logs. He doesn't believe in these rating systems, thank you very much. So, the ratings and favorites are ignored, and since they are not intrusive, it's easy to do.

 

Cacher G looks at the small box on the page showing how many cachers marked this cache as a favorite, and picks one that gets last of recommendations.

 

So, there you go - something for everyone. Something allowing ratings to be contributed, favorites to be listed, and the ability to filter on one, both, or neither, depending on personal preference, without pushing anyone to accept something they don't like.

 

If you look at the oft-quoted Amazon model, it works pretty similar to this. With ratings, recommendations, and even logs to look at (aka reviews). People will shop Amazon based on their own preferences.

 

To quote the too-often quoted: "Can't we all just get along?"

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And if you get bored with 'common caches', to to Terracaching...they think they're better and you'll fit right in.

 

That was a little uncalled for I think. I'm not trying to pick a fight or be abused.

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And if you get bored with 'common caches', to to Terracaching...they think they're better and you'll fit right in.

 

That was a little uncalled for I think. I'm not trying to pick a fight or be abused.

Sorry if you took offense, but you started it...why are you calling anyone's caches not worth finding...or "common" let alone saying "And yes, I truly believe that some caches suck"?

 

I know the last quote referred to a garbage dump, but how do we know your definition of that?

 

I know some won't make the 'leap of logic' to see the problem, but there is one...in other words, no two people agree on the definitions...there in lies the problem.

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I wasn't really offended. But I can see that it would be extremely difficult to come to a consensus. However, for the record, I like the options of being able to search by more tags (attributes), and I like the "you might like", and Markwell's suggestions as options. Markwell is right in that there is a divide between cachers in this world... There are those with star bellies and those without stars, some with two, and even some with three. :rolleyes:

 

So, after being beaten down, I won't bring it up again... (sigh)... :laughing:

Edited by Talbot Tribe

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And if you get bored with 'common caches', to to Terracaching...they think they're better and you'll fit right in.

 

That was a little uncalled for I think. I'm not trying to pick a fight or be abused.

Sorry if you took offense, but you started it...why are you calling anyone's caches not worth finding...or "common" let alone saying "And yes, I truly believe that some caches suck"?

 

I know the last quote referred to a garbage dump, but how do we know your definition of that?

 

I know some won't make the 'leap of logic' to see the problem, but there is one...in other words, no two people agree on the definitions...there in lies the problem.

While no two people may agree on what is fun, it is clear that there are some caches that some people do not enjoy. They would prefer to spend their caching time spent hunting cache in places that they find more pleasant than a landfill or a dumpster behind a strip mall. They may find certain urban hides interesting and challenging, but find others to be rather boring because they've already found dozens just like it. There is no reason to take offense because they say some caches aren't worth finding or even that they believe some caches suck. So long as they recognize that this is just their opinion and there are others who like finding those "boring" but easy caches and perhaps even some people who find a sense of accomplishment to find that cache in the landfill that others might simply walk away from.

 

The issue with a simple rating system of how "good" a cache is, it that those proposing such a system truly believe that most geocachers have the same taste as they do. They fully expect the LPCs and dumpster caches to the lowest ratings and the caches they like most to get the highest rating. The actual logs on these caches may indicate that the opposite is actually what will happen. I often think TBTP should implement a 5 star system just to see how many LPCs will be rated 3 or higher. While the OP's suggestion only allows the people who found the cache to rate it, other suggestion would allow anyone to rate a cache. People who get frustrated by a DNF on a difficult cache may rate it one star. People who don't like puzzles may give a low rating to every puzzle cache. Or if only finders can log a cache, people who find the micro in the landfill may give it a high rating - after all they met a challenge that most people would pass on and perhaps had a lot of fun doing it.

 

But while a rating system may have flaws, there seems to be a real need for people to be able to filter through all the caches to select those which will maximize their fun. Fortunately there are many who are willing to share idea for how to do this using the currently available capabilities of the site as well as suggesting new features that could possibly work better. Telling someone to use some other site is only marginally valuable. That other site that was suggested does have a rating system - and it's the one where caches that don't get a minimum rating are delisted. I suppose the OP could try that site to see if the quality of caches there are better for him. I know he won't find the same quantity, but then perhaps the number of caches isn't so important to him.

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I appreciate the comments. I believe there must be a way to rate the caches so that we aren't wasting time on caches that just aren't worth the effort. The reason I suggested the 5 star system is that it is easily recognizable and used in many systems. Amazon.com allows you to see how many users rated a product at each level. Overtime, if a cache isn't as good as it once was, the rating would reflect that.

 

And yes, I truly believe that some caches suck. Who wants to sift through a landfill just to find a micro covered in who-knows-what?

 

Here is the deal. Your sucky caches and my sucking caches are not the same thing. Your great and my great are also not the same thing. We also likely enjoy different aspects of caching. Keep that in mind.

 

Now consier a rating system. For it to be useful to me, It needs to help me find cahes that I will enjoy. The top 10% method would tend to find the caches that rise to the top of everones list. Not bad. It doesn't help me avoid the ones that manage to be universally detested. Both extremes exist though the caches themselves that rise or drop to the occasion are truly rare.

 

Now if you take a system that rates the 'experience' you muddy the waters with urban lovers and remote lovers taking caches down to the average vote even though urban lovers will be happier with some and remote lovers others. Neither benefits by a rating system based on the simple star method. If you actually do make a system that accomodates both kinds of folks the rating system itself is so complicated that nobody would rate anything though plenty might like to use it.

 

Lastly another method is what I think is called the Affinity method. It's actually as simple as the 5 star method for when folks rate caches but there is more work behind the scenes to match up people with similar tastes. This one can actually predict what you would like based on what others have rated caches who are similar to you in your taste. I've used this on Netflix to watch some shows that normally I woudln't and it seems to work. Some have said it's like the "Amazon you might also like method" and they are probably pretty much the same thing. I like this one because it can help me lay out a day of caching and the more you rate the better your results. The problem here is unrated (new) caches won't have any data to work with.

 

Each method has problems and challenges but overall I think there are a couple of workable solutions and only a couple of years ago I was a fan of ratings but didn't see how to implement them simply and usefully. That's changed over time.

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here's a wrench that can be thrown into the star system:

 

i support going to see caches for yourself.

 

i would therefore be likely to rate caches opposite to the trend, to even out the scores.

 

i'm just really opposed to scores for caches; i see it as another way that people will insert competition. your cache total isn't a score and yet many people see it that way. it's only be a matter of time before people are lining up to tell us all how fabulous their ratings are.

 

once again the answer is to rate caches opposite to the trend.

 

 

i'd be all for an affinity system, which would be helpful maybe. i still like to go to caches myself and see if i like them rather than letting someone else decide for me which ones i'll go see.

 

some caches are sucky and some are gems. i want to find out for myself which ones are which. furthermore, i want you to have to come out to my caches yourself and draw your own conclusions. if that star system ever comes out, i'll be the first one to rate my caches low, low, low and ask my friends to do so as well, just to filter out cachers who can't be bothered to come and see for themselves.

 

if you're too good for "common caches", you're too good for my caches. maybe i don't want to share my beautiful view with you anymore. move along. nothing to see here.

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We find that the various tools already available are very effective in allowing us to customize our geocaching experience. We have had many full caching days that were a pleasure from start to finish. But then again, the most caches we've ever found in one day is 24. We're not into power caching, we are into having a great day caching. Since that's what the rating system discussion is all about, we want to share that in our opinion the tools already available allow us to do just that.

 

We can give examples of one person's lousy cache being someone else's "creative hide." For this and several other reasons we don't support a rating system. The concept of recommending caches (enhancement of the favorites list idea) is a more positive way to go about improving what is already there.

 

Bean

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If my goal is to get 100 caches found on a Saturday - then I will prefer lamppost caches and rate them as 5 stars because it fit what I was looking for.

 

Realistically, is there anyone reading this thread that would actually rate an light pole cache with a 5/5 rating (unless they intentionally trying to mess with the rating system)? Even for people that prefer drive-ups, I just don't anyone see any rating a light pole cache as a 5 (except maybe the first one they ever found).

 

While I agree that the majority of caches will end up being rated as "average" I still think a 5 star rating system would help exceptional caches rise to the top which is what most people are asking for with a rating system.

 

I don't think a rating system would very good at identifying caches to completely avoid since I expect the many cachers would not want to give a "1 star" ie: "poor" rating and would skip the rating altogether for those or just rate as "average"

Edited by sdarken

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I've read a few posts, and I believe it's come down to laziness. Ratings are done by the people who hide the cache, which makes the rating more flawed than any other system that would be in place. A rating system that used percentages, is not a flawed system and not easily abused. Cachers have better things to do than to abuse a rating system, we like to explore and find the caches. This is not a "RATE my face site".

 

I've seen caches, especially micros, rated as 1 when they should be 3+

 

The rating system is subjective to the person placing a cache, so its natural that they will under rate the cache which makes it not very accurate.

 

There are different ways the rating system could be implimented like a starting rating as set by the person placing a cache, and an actual rating by those who rate the cache once logged. Yes DNF's are going to give it a higher difficulty rating, which is legit. People re-visiting or experience cachers are going to give it a lower rating. It all plays the role in the over-all rating, that is how it's supposed to work.

 

A more simplistic rating would be to set a minimum rating based on cache size.

 

A lot of people seem to be taking the rating suggestion the wrong way. IT IS NOT TO RATE HOW GOOD THE CACHE IS. You don't rate a lamp post cache as 5 (highest difficulty). That is not what it is about. It's about rating how difficult the cache was for YOU to find.

 

So much controversy over a stupid difficulty rating system it's rediculous. It seems that there are some very childish geocachers, which is probably a good thing that if any self rating sytem is to come in place, that it be only available if either a person has first reached a certain amount of found caches, or to premium subscribers.

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I've read a few posts, and I believe it's come down to laziness. Ratings are done by the people who hide the cache, which makes the rating more flawed than any other system that would be in place. A rating system that used percentages, is not a flawed system and not easily abused. Cachers have better things to do than to abuse a rating system, we like to explore and find the caches. This is not a "RATE my face site".

 

I've seen caches, especially micros, rated as 1 when they should be 3+

 

The rating system is subjective to the person placing a cache, so its natural that they will under rate the cache which makes it not very accurate.

 

There are different ways the rating system could be implimented like a starting rating as set by the person placing a cache, and an actual rating by those who rate the cache once logged. Yes DNF's are going to give it a higher difficulty rating, which is legit. People re-visiting or experience cachers are going to give it a lower rating. It all plays the role in the over-all rating, that is how it's supposed to work.

 

A more simplistic rating would be to set a minimum rating based on cache size.

 

A lot of people seem to be taking the rating suggestion the wrong way. IT IS NOT TO RATE HOW GOOD THE CACHE IS. You don't rate a lamp post cache as 5 (highest difficulty). That is not what it is about. It's about rating how difficult the cache was for YOU to find.

 

So much controversy over a stupid difficulty rating system it's rediculous. It seems that there are some very childish geocachers, which is probably a good thing that if any self rating sytem is to come in place, that it be only available if either a person has first reached a certain amount of found caches, or to premium subscribers.

Methinks you badly misunderstand.

 

The idea presented here was to rate a caches "quality" - not terrain or difficulty - those are already very well defined.

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