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Feature Suggestion: User rated reviews.


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Hello everyone...

 

I have a suggestion I would like to make to Groundspeak.com/geocaching.com. I have put this in a thread in a forum to get everybodies thoughts on this suggestion.

 

Here is my background for the reasons behind my suggestion.

 

While I am new to the geocaching.com scene & forums. One thing I have noticed in this forum is that there are a large amount of posts from people about those who do cache hides & cache owners. These include complaints about HOW, WHERE, & WHY a cache is hidden to even how it is maintained &/or published. At my age I have learned from life that their are ALWAYS "Bad Apples" in every group of people you meet. Thus even getting into this sport (Yes I consider this a sport and not a hobby, as many other sports are required or needed to obtain the cache. Such as hiking, biking etc...) I realized that their would be "BAD" hides/caches for many many different reasons. Just part of dealing with life.

 

Thus from my actual experiances geocaching, to the litterly HUNDREDS of posts/complaints about CO's and their hides I have come up with the following idea/suggestion.

 

I am sure many of you have a Netflix.com &/or a Blockbuster.com account where you receive your movies/DVD's/Blu-ray's in the mail & in the case of Netflix even through your Netflix enabled "Box", know that you can easily "RATE" the movies you have seen/rented/watched. This rating system goes into a big database so that when you review a movie prior to adding it to your que, you can see how the memebership of Netflix or Blockbuster have rated that movie. The movies are rated on a scare of 1 to 5 stars.

 

Thus if you can do it for MOVIES/DVD's/Blu-rays/Instand watches.... You SHOULD be able to do it for CACHES as well.

 

I see this as a 3 part process...

 

1. Instead of the CO rating the "DIFFICULTY" from 1 to 5 stars... this should be done by the cache finders when they log a FIND or a DNF. Let the difficulty rating be done by the actual users NOT the CO.

 

2. Instead of the CO rating the "TERRAIN" from 1 to 5 stars... this should also be done by those who log a find &/or DNF. Let the users rank it not the CO.

 

3. Last but not by any means least.... a "QUALITY" rating from 1 to 5 stars. Again created by those who log a find &/or DNF. This "Quality" rating would be one that takes all things into consideration (Placement, Maintenance, The cache page, etc...) & how the finder or DNF'er found the cache to be in their opinion.

 

Yes these would be AVERAGED out based on the OPINIONS of the those who SEARCHED for the cache. But as a potential hunter of any cache we would/should take those ratings and understand that they are opinion rated. EXACTLY the same way we would take the Movie/DVD/BLu-ray ratings we find on Netflix &/or Blockbuster.

 

What are your thoughts on this (The suggestions)? Bad idea? Good idea? Something Groundspeak.com/Geocaching.com should consider? Should my suggestions stand as is, or should they be tweaked?

 

Would love to hear... I do have an open mind.

 

TGC

 

P.S. For reference... there are some of my finds that I would rate (Quality) 1 star, and others 5 stars, just as their are some of my DNF's that I would rate a 1 star as well as a 5 star. Just cause I didn't find a cache doesn't mean I would give it a 1 star.

Edited by texasgrillchef
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The should be a 'Geocaching Rating' forum area considering the number of times this is brought up, discussed, then nothing done about it.

 

However, I would like to respond…

 

First I would have an educated guess that the ratings provided by Netflix or Blockbuster are ignored particularly for new releases since they have multi-million dollar PR and trailers. However that is irrelevant.

 

(1) There is some weight in finders averaging out the difficulty of a cache. As a CO I have a hard time judging difficultly, so I usually make a 'best guess' and adjust it to finds (and the finders count) and DNF's. I have also seen this happen on other caches not just my own.

 

(2) Terrain is a different matter to difficulty because I think it's more important to know the type of terrain before you head out to cache. Only the CO would be best qualified to answer this, and I would prefer CO to not put down a 1 star and adjust the terrain according to the logs. I have seen recently in cache logs where a finder has suggested to the CO that a 1-star terrain was inappropriate as access to GZ would have been difficult for a wheelchair user.

 

(3) For some people it's hard to get them to write more than 'TFTC', so it's going to be harder to get them to rate the quality of the cache.

 

For what it's worth I still routing for 'Top 10 Profiling' method for rating. Nevertheless, since nothing ever seems to happen on this topic (i.e. from TPTB) I'm thinking of 'just doing it' and at the bottom of every log I will put a tag-line with recommendations and a quality rating using asterisks.

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What terrain difficulty rating would a brand new cache have? A 70 year old might show up with his 5 year old grand daughter to find you have to climb a tree or hike up a steep hill.

 

How could someone rate a cache difficulty if they didn't find it? It might be very easy but their GPSr had them looking in the wrong spot. I think you need to find the cache before you can give an accurate rating of difficulty.

 

When it comes to rating quality that is in the eye of the beholder. You will find that some people love the Netflix system and some don't. People that don't like lamp post caches might give it a low rating even if it was done well. Power Cachers that want to do 500 caches in a day might give a park and grab a five star rating. Now you have to consider what kind of cache the "rater" likes. If you are a power cacher and you know the "rater" is a power cacher then maybe you can agree on the cache. If you don't consider who is doing the rating then you might end up with 100 power cachers that love the cache and 100 others that hate it and the average rating doesn't mean much.

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When it comes to rating quality that is in the eye of the beholder. You will find that some people love the Netflix system and some don't. People that don't like lamp post caches might give it a low rating even if it was done well. Power Cachers that want to do 500 caches in a day might give a park and grab a five star rating. Now you have to consider what kind of cache the "rater" likes. If you are a power cacher and you know the "rater" is a power cacher then maybe you can agree on the cache. If you don't consider who is doing the rating then you might end up with 100 power cachers that love the cache and 100 others that hate it and the average rating doesn't mean much.

 

These issues are ironed out with 'Top 10 Profiling'.

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I reward caches I truly like by uploading images to the cache's gallery, and bookmarking those caches with my "top finds" bookmark.

 

Interesting thought. I have a question though. I have looked at gallery images BEFORE I went on a hunt & in one case it ruined my hunt because it was a "Spoiler" :) So not for sure how looking at gallery images would help a POTENTIAL hunter in determining if a particular cache/hide will be to their likeing or not.

 

When I am on a potential cache/hide page how do I see that it is in your "Top finds" bookmark or anyone elses? How will that help a potential hunter?

 

I personally don't see the point in bookmarking caches I have allready found, as now that I have found them, I won't be returning and will be looking for more caches to find that I havent' allready found.

 

I currently bookmark caches that I haven't found yet, but that I want to find at a later date when I am either in that area that the cache is in, or when I know I wil have more time to find that cache (Such as if it is a multi-cache, or a puzzle/mystery cache).

 

I guess what I am failing to understand is how your system would help other potential hunters?

 

TGC

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It always is interesting to me that it is mostly the cachers with the least amount of caches, that seem to always want to re-write the rules of Geocaching, and or modify the concept, exsisting rules have been in place since Geocaching started, and has been proven to be a VERY successful game the way it is. If it ain't broke don't fix it comes to mind. JMO

 

Scubasonic

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What terrain difficulty rating would a brand new cache have? A 70 year old might show up with his 5 year old grand daughter to find you have to climb a tree or hike up a steep hill.

 

How could someone rate a cache difficulty if they didn't find it? It might be very easy but their GPSr had them looking in the wrong spot. I think you need to find the cache before you can give an accurate rating of difficulty.

 

When it comes to rating quality that is in the eye of the beholder. You will find that some people love the Netflix system and some don't. People that don't like lamp post caches might give it a low rating even if it was done well. Power Cachers that want to do 500 caches in a day might give a park and grab a five star rating. Now you have to consider what kind of cache the "rater" likes. If you are a power cacher and you know the "rater" is a power cacher then maybe you can agree on the cache. If you don't consider who is doing the rating then you might end up with 100 power cachers that love the cache and 100 others that hate it and the average rating doesn't mean much.

 

Very good points that you make. :blink: Of course I never said that my suggestions were perfect. But you do have to start somewhere before you can find a solution. I am still thinking. :)

 

TGC

Edited by texasgrillchef
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It always is interesting to me that it is mostly the cachers with the least amount of caches, that seem to always want to re-write the rules of Geocaching, and or modify the concept, exsisting rules have been in place since Geocaching started, and has been proven to be a VERY successful game the way it is. If it ain't broke don't fix it comes to mind. JMO

 

Scubasonic

 

I personally don't have any complaints with any cache hides that I have found, or DNF. Not saying there weren't any issues with some of my find's or DNF's, but I don't have any complaints about the issues that I had.

 

My suggestions that I have suggested for open review were based soley on the number & type of complaints that I read about CO's on these forums/threads.

 

Whenever I see a problem/issue of any type, anywhere I have an inhierant urge to help find a solution. I do realize that sometimes there isn't always a solution to every issue/problem. But I do believe that one should at least try to find a solution. I never meant to imply that my suggestions were perfect. Far from it. That is EXACTLY why I posted my suggestions in a forum to get others opinions & suggestions as well. I appreciate your opinion. Obviously you don't see a problem/issue, in that case you should be perfectly happy. Right?

 

I do agree if it ain't broke don't fix it. But with over several hundred complaints about CO's (many of the SAME complaints by different people) that I read about in these forums, then IMHO there IS something that is broken!

 

TGC

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When it comes to rating quality that is in the eye of the beholder. You will find that some people love the Netflix system and some don't. People that don't like lamp post caches might give it a low rating even if it was done well. Power Cachers that want to do 500 caches in a day might give a park and grab a five star rating. Now you have to consider what kind of cache the "rater" likes. If you are a power cacher and you know the "rater" is a power cacher then maybe you can agree on the cache. If you don't consider who is doing the rating then you might end up with 100 power cachers that love the cache and 100 others that hate it and the average rating doesn't mean much.

 

These issues are ironed out with 'Top 10 Profiling'.

 

How would 'Top 10 Profiling' work?

 

Would the top 10 be based on geographic areas, or all 850,000+ cache hides?

 

Who would decide what cache hides are in the top 10? How would the top 10 hash out issues between a "power cacher" and a "Nature cacher" or any other type of cacher?

 

What about 'BOTTOM 10 profiling'. I only ask because sometimes I want to know WHO the WORST are so I don't go there.

 

Example... being that I am a chef, I of course know the TOP 10 restaurants in Dallas/Fort Worth. But as well as knowing the top 10. I know the BOTTOM 10 as well. Why? Because I can garuntee you that you don't ever want to go to a BOTTOM 10 restaurant... you literly might not survive!

 

But like I said in a previous post. I don't have any complaints with any CO's that I have looked for. Even the ones that I logged as DNF. My suggestions were entirely generated by the shear number of complaints I read in the forums about CO's and various issues.

 

TGC

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I reward caches I truly like by uploading images to the cache's gallery, and bookmarking those caches with my "top finds" bookmark.

 

Interesting thought. I have a question though. I have looked at gallery images BEFORE I went on a hunt & in one case it ruined my hunt because it was a "Spoiler" :) So not for sure how looking at gallery images would help a POTENTIAL hunter in determining if a particular cache/hide will be to their likeing or not.

 

I tend to look for caches that require a long hike, that end with an ammo can under a rock or a bush. I'm not worried about the spoiler aspect, because the thrill for me was being outdoors, and the bonus was the cache.

 

When I am on a potential cache/hide page how do I see that it is in your "Top finds" bookmark or anyone elses? How will that help a potential hunter?

 

I personally don't see the point in bookmarking caches I have allready found, as now that I have found them, I won't be returning and will be looking for more caches to find that I havent' allready found.

 

My top finds bookmark is on the right hand side of the geocache page located for review by potential cache finders. It has been my experience that caches with multiple "This is my favorite geocache" bookmarks are usually caches I would enjoy finding also.

 

To date, i've only found one lamp post cache that was actually bookmarked as a favorite, and then I truly enjoyed the find. 99.9% of caches I wouldn't enjoy are also lacking "personal favorites bookmarks."

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How would 'Top 10 Profiling' work?

...

Would the top 10 be based on geographic areas, or all 850,000+ cache hides?

See: Top 10 Rating System, Rating caches based on top 10 favourites lists

 

Basically 'Top 10 Profiling' works by every find log has a drop-down with '-,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10' or a link to 'Add to my top ten'. You select the position in your top ten or not (i.e. '-'). This adjusts your personal 'Top Ten' (the others below shift down) and it appears on your profile page. When a cache is in a finders top ten it is scored 10 points for first, 9 points for second, and so on. Each cache shows the average of the points nominated to it.

 

Who would decide what cache hides are in the top 10? How would the top 10 hash out issues between a "power cacher" and a "Nature cacher" or any other type of cacher?

A 'Power Cacher' would have (presumably) park 'n grabs in their top ten or the best of a power trail, the 'Nature Cacher' would have the best outdoor locations in his top ten. These two top tens would be different and so not be detriment to the same caches. Actually, if there was a park 'n grab, perhaps next to a waterfall then it would benefit from this because it may come up on both top ten lists.

 

What about 'BOTTOM 10 profiling'. I only ask because sometimes I want to know WHO the WORST are so I don't go there.

'Top 10 Profiling' is all very friendly and gives a real kudos boost to the cache owners. It's this sort of amity that keeps Geocaching enjoyable, so I think 'Bottom 10 Profiling' would be the exact opposite and only bring animosity and perhaps forums flaming.

Edited by Tavisman
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My top finds bookmark is on the right hand side of the geocache page located for review by potential cache finders. It has been my experience that caches with multiple "This is my favorite geocache" bookmarks are usually caches I would enjoy finding also.

 

To date, i've only found one lamp post cache that was actually bookmarked as a favorite, and then I truly enjoyed the find. 99.9% of caches I wouldn't enjoy are also lacking "personal favorites bookmarks."

 

I went and looked at a few caches both those I have allready found & a few I haven't seached for yet. I did notice that some showed people bookmarking them & others that haven't been listed in a bookmark.

 

Personally speaking. I like most all types of hides. Depends on the mood I am in on a particular day. My only true wish is that a Cache/hide page would be more forthcoming about the "Type" of hide it is. I do realize of course, that sometimes that is impossible to do without giving away the hide! LOL

 

TGC

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'Top 10 Profiling' is all very friendly and gives a real kudos boost to the cache owners. It's this sort of amity that keeps Geocaching enjoyable, so I think 'Bottom 10 Profiling' would be the exact opposite and only bring animosity and perhaps forums flaming.

 

Hmmm, I do like the concept. Needs a little tweaking I think. But I do like the concept of 'Top 10 Profiling'.

 

You also make a very good point about 'Bottom 10 Profiling'. It deffinately would bring on animosity and Im sure lots of forum flamings. I have seen similar things happen in many other forums of various types that I belong too.

 

While alot of honest CO's would have a big desire to be in someone's top 10. We still have a problem with rooting out and letting potential hunters know about those CO's that are not playing the sport in a manner that would best reflect intentions of this game/sport.

 

I only say this because it's those CO's that could COST the geocaching community the enjoyment of our sport.

 

Legal legislation from your local, state and/or federal government could easily be imposed banning Cache hides on PUBLIC property. That would HURT our wonderful sport that I love and I know many others love as well.

 

The LAST thing we want to hear on the national NBC/CBS/ABC/CNN news is that some child/family/person died or was seriously hurt while trying to find a cache/hide. This event would cause lots of problems for this wonderful sport. It wouldn't matter if the Cache hunter was in the wrong, or if it was the CO at fault. IT would still hurt our sport.

 

I have seen so many wonderful things in life RUINED by a few idiots that then caused legal legislation to outlaw the enjoyment so many people had.

 

Example.... motorized 3 wheelers. I had several. Loved them. I rode them reponsibly and I required anyone else riding them to do the same. However, as we all know a few hundred people didn't, then got hurt or killed & thusly, our federal goverment outlawed them. Now I have 2 - 3 wheelers sitting in storage that I can't ride and aren't worth a penny!

 

As much as I beleive in Positive reenforcment of those CO's who do good. We MUST DO a better job watching THOSE CO's that DON'T. Because IF WE DON'T..... OUR GOVERNMENT WILL!

 

TGC

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While alot of honest CO's would have a big desire to be in someone's top 10. We still have a problem with rooting out and letting potential hunters know about those CO's that are not playing the sport in a manner that would best reflect intentions of this game/sport.

 

Do you know how you sound to folks like me when you make statements like this? :lol:

 

I only say this because it's those CO's that could COST the geocaching community the enjoyment of our sport.

 

You've been cachin' all of 6 weeks and you've come to that conclusion huh? :P

 

Legal legislation from your local, state and/or federal government could easily be imposed banning Cache hides on PUBLIC property. That would HURT our wonderful sport that I love and I know many others love as well.

 

The LAST thing we want to hear on the national NBC/CBS/ABC/CNN news is that some child/family/person died or was seriously hurt while trying to find a cache/hide. This event would cause lots of problems for this wonderful sport. It wouldn't matter if the Cache hunter was in the wrong, or if it was the CO at fault. IT would still hurt our sport.

 

ALARM! ALARM! THE SKY IS FALLING er COULD FALL! :)

 

I have seen so many wonderful things in life RUINED by a few idiots that then caused legal legislation to outlaw the enjoyment so many people had.

 

As much as I beleive in Positive reenforcment of those CO's who do good. We MUST DO a better job watching THOSE CO's that DON'T. Because IF WE DON'T..... OUR GOVERNMENT WILL!

 

TGC

 

And a rating system will save us from ALL THAT! Lordy! WE MUST HAVE ONE THIS INSTANT!!! :blink:

 

P.S. Those 3 wheelers would make GREAT cache swag or better yet TRAVEL BUGS! :D

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A simple 1 to 5 star rating just isn't enough. Everybody likes different things. My 2 might be your 4 - and what will each other's rating tell us??

 

Markwell once suggested a top 10% bookmark list. You could add up to 10% of all your finds as a favorite. Then I could search for caches that were on like minded peoples top 10% list. Or recomendations, something like: "Cachers that liked this cache also liked caches x and y nearby".

 

TPTB once promised to work on a "rewards" based system for rating caches - I don't know where they are with the project.

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Do you know how you sound to folks like me when you make statements like this? :lol:

 

Sorry, Actually I don't. Maybe It's because Im Texan and we being the state that uses capital punishment the most tend to have those types of POV's. I could be wrong though.

 

 

You've been cachin' all of 6 weeks and you've come to that conclusion huh? :P

 

Shouldn't matter how long I have been cachin or not. It's something that has happend in practically all sports & walks of life. One "Bad Apple" can spoil it for everyone. I could easily list off a dozen or more examples where there wasn't any laws regulating a particular "Thing", then after someone lost their life or was injured laws were passed to prevent it in the future.

 

 

ALARM! ALARM! THE SKY IS FALLING er COULD FALL! :)

 

So I take it, that in life as well as with geocaching. You would rather wait until someone dies or gets injured before any action is taken to prevent more injuries and deaths in the future? So then I assume you don't really believe in preventive safety devices/laws until after someone has died or been seriously injured by the lack of any preventive safety device or law?

 

 

And a rating system will save us from ALL THAT! Lordy! WE MUST HAVE ONE THIS INSTANT!!! :blink:

 

P.S. Those 3 wheelers would make GREAT cache swag or better yet TRAVEL BUGS! :D

 

Nope.... Never meant to imply that a rating system was the answer. That is EXACTLY why I POSTED my SUGGESTION in a forum. To see if others thought it would be a solution or not, or if someone had a BETTER idea. I did TRY to imply though that a SOLUTION was needed though. I just offered a suggestion as a solution for public discussion. Never tried to imply or say that my solution was the best solution. IT is also exactly why in my original post I asked if it was a good idea? Bad idea? Did it need to be tweaked... etc...

 

Yes That is true... they would make great swag. But if I did. I would be arrested, since they are still working. I guess I could disassemble them and sell them as parts. That would be legal.

 

Just keep in mind. I cant' speak for other states, but as far as Texas goes. Legislation (City & State levels) is coming to regulate our sport on PUBLIC lands. Like it or not. We can limit the devastation of legislation by self-regulating to a degree that can show law makers that we some control over the members of our sport.

 

TGC

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Markwell once suggested a top 10% bookmark list. You could add up to 10% of all your finds as a favorite. Then I could search for caches that were on like minded peoples top 10% list. Or recomendations, something like: "Cachers that liked this cache also liked caches x and y nearby".

 

 

I like that idea as well. Netflix and Blockbuster also have a similar type thing. People who liked this movie also liked.... In fact Netflix just recently IMPROVED the Algorythym to improve the accuracy of that feature.

 

Still doesn't handle those CO's who are "Bad Apples" though. Right now from the other threads I have read, we can't even get a true concensus on the "Deffinition" of a CO who is a "Bad Apple". Much less get a concensus on how we go about finding/rating them.

 

TGC

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Just curious... Are there any Geocachers out there reading these posts in this forum that happen to be a lawyer &/or are currently employed in law enforcement?

 

If so... Whats your opinion on the legal liability (Criminal &/or Cival) of a CO & how, where & why s/he hid their cache?

 

What would be the legal liabilty be if their cache were found with illegal substance inside? Or were placed near something illegal such as a "Pot Plantation".

 

I am asking for a lawyer &/or law enforcement geocachers to respond to this question. Because only a lawyer can provide true legal opinions, & law enforcement can only say what they would or would not take action on, or report to the prosecutor/court system.

 

I do have 2 close relatives I can contact for their opinions. One is an agent for the FBI, the other is a lawyer. Might be a while on replying back what the FBI agent has to say as she is currently undercover, or at least that is what my Uncle is telling me. (It's his wife).

 

TGC

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Do you know how you sound to folks like me when you make statements like this? :D

 

Sorry, Actually I don't. Maybe It's because Im Texan and we being the state that uses capital punishment the most tend to have those types of POV's. I could be wrong though.

 

 

You sound to me like you're going to be a verrrry productive member of the North Texas group. :P

 

I'll save judgment until the word of mouth gets down to Houston where I live.

 

For the record, I know most of the social cachers in your neck of the woods personally and I don't recall any of 'em that thought capital punishment and geocaching were parallel pursuits. :lol:

 

 

You've been cachin' all of 6 weeks and you've come to that conclusion huh? :D

 

Shouldn't matter how long I have been cachin or not. It's something that has happend in practically all sports & walks of life. One "Bad Apple" can spoil it for everyone. I could easily list off a dozen or more examples where there wasn't any laws regulating a particular "Thing", then after someone lost their life or was injured laws were passed to prevent it in the future.

 

But it does matter when you're ringing alarm bells and calling hiders "bad apples" with just over 20 cache finds and 1 hide to your credit for context. It raises flags of concern over what sort of mentality would do such a thing and where it might go from there. Just FYI.

 

 

ALARM! ALARM! THE SKY IS FALLING er COULD FALL! :)

 

So I take it, that in life as well as with geocaching. You would rather wait until someone dies or gets injured before any action is taken to prevent more injuries and deaths in the future? So then I assume you don't really believe in preventive safety devices/laws until after someone has died or been seriously injured by the lack of any preventive safety device or law?

 

Newsflash- there are dozens of geocaching injuries EVERY day and at least 1 geocaching death (IN TEXAS) that I know of.

 

It's a fact of life that going outdoors is dangerous. :D

 

840f47bd-f595-4214-b367-8fc1800f155b.jpg

 

 

And a rating system will save us from ALL THAT! Lordy! WE MUST HAVE ONE THIS INSTANT!!! :blink:

 

P.S. Those 3 wheelers would make GREAT cache swag or better yet TRAVEL BUGS! :D

 

Nope.... Never meant to imply that a rating system was the answer. That is EXACTLY why I POSTED my SUGGESTION in a forum. To see if others thought it would be a solution or not, or if someone had a BETTER idea. I did TRY to imply though that a SOLUTION was needed though. I just offered a suggestion as a solution for public discussion. Never tried to imply or say that my solution was the best solution. IT is also exactly why in my original post I asked if it was a good idea? Bad idea? Did it need to be tweaked... etc...

 

Yes That is true... they would make great swag. But if I did. I would be arrested, since they are still working. I guess I could disassemble them and sell them as parts. That would be legal.

 

Just keep in mind. I cant' speak for other states, but as far as Texas goes. Legislation (City & State levels) is coming to regulate our sport on PUBLIC lands. Like it or not. We can limit the devastation of legislation by self-regulating to a degree that can show law makers that we some control over the members of our sport.

 

TGC

 

Well the place to start is not by gathering up a posse to go "rooting" out "bad apples." That's coming on a little strong. Ya dig? :D

 

You appear to love geocaching. That's good. Your heart is in the right place. Try not to love it to death in your local continuum. Go to some events and get the lay of the land. There's a GREAT buncha folks in your area. I count many among my close personal friends. :D See ya at the next Texas Challenge! :D

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1. Instead of the CO rating the "DIFFICULTY" from 1 to 5 stars... this should be done by the cache finders when they log a FIND or a DNF. Let the difficulty rating be done by the actual users NOT the CO.

 

2. Instead of the CO rating the "TERRAIN" from 1 to 5 stars... this should also be done by those who log a find &/or DNF. Let the users rank it not the CO.

 

I was thinking about something along those lines a few days ago. I can defiantly see the merits. If you weight more recent responses heaver then older responses then you would have a built-in system to account for changing conditions. You would also need to provide the voters with clear guidance on how what makes a 5 star vs a 4 star, etc.

 

I also think it's a good idea to let the cache owner self-rate the cache. List both stats side by side.

 

3. Last but not by any means least.... a "QUALITY" rating from 1 to 5 stars. Again created by those who log a find &/or DNF. This "Quality" rating would be one that takes all things into consideration (Placement, Maintenance, The cache page, etc...) & how the finder or DNF'er found the cache to be in their opinion.

 

I'm still opposed to a "quality" rating. It's just to subjective and I think it goes against some of the values of geocaching. I haven't yet read all the responses to this thread, but I'm sure others have covered the standard objections in more depth then I.

Edited by Arrow42
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What is it, exactly, that you want legislated out of geocaching? What is it that put this bur under your saddle? Found a cache that you thought was too dangerous? One you figured we need to be protected from?

 

Most of the angst I've seen regarding people FOR rating systems is people that want to be "protected" from parking lot micros and the like. :lol::):blink:

Edited by Snoogans
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See: Top 10 Rating System, Rating caches based on top 10 favourites lists

 

Basically 'Top 10 Profiling' works by every find log has a drop-down with '-,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10' or a link to 'Add to my top ten'. You select the position in your top ten or not (i.e. '-'). This adjusts your personal 'Top Ten' (the others below shift down) and it appears on your profile page. When a cache is in a finders top ten it is scored 10 points for first, 9 points for second, and so on. Each cache shows the average of the points nominated to it.

 

I think I like this system better then the 1-5 star "quality" system. But... it still suffers from the problem of encouraging groupthink in my opinion.

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It always is interesting to me that it is mostly the cachers with the least amount of caches, that seem to always want to re-write the rules of Geocaching, and or modify the concept, exsisting rules have been in place since Geocaching started, and has been proven to be a VERY successful game the way it is. If it ain't broke don't fix it comes to mind. JMO

 

Scubasonic

Didn't sound to me like anyone was asking to change rules. The OP seems to be looking for ways to help weed through the vast number of caches that are hidden so they can find the better caches and ignore the poorer caches. Whether a rating system would work is debatable, but geocaching has grown because TPTB and the community have made changes and enhancements. There are more ways now to search for and filter cache and as the number of caches to find increases there are is more need to be able to search and filter caches to find ones you might enjoy (as possibly to avoid the ones you don't enjoy).

 

'Top 10 Profiling' is all very friendly and gives a real kudos boost to the cache owners. It's this sort of amity that keeps Geocaching enjoyable, so I think 'Bottom 10 Profiling' would be the exact opposite and only bring animosity and perhaps forums flaming.

 

Hmmm, I do like the concept. Needs a little tweaking I think. But I do like the concept of 'Top 10 Profiling'.

 

You also make a very good point about 'Bottom 10 Profiling'. It deffinately would bring on animosity and Im sure lots of forum flamings. I have seen similar things happen in many other forums of various types that I belong too.

 

While alot of honest CO's would have a big desire to be in someone's top 10. We still have a problem with rooting out and letting potential hunters know about those CO's that are not playing the sport in a manner that would best reflect intentions of this game/sport.

 

I only say this because it's those CO's that could COST the geocaching community the enjoyment of our sport.

 

Legal legislation from your local, state and/or federal government could easily be imposed banning Cache hides on PUBLIC property. That would HURT our wonderful sport that I love and I know many others love as well.

 

The LAST thing we want to hear on the national NBC/CBS/ABC/CNN news is that some child/family/person died or was seriously hurt while trying to find a cache/hide. This event would cause lots of problems for this wonderful sport. It wouldn't matter if the Cache hunter was in the wrong, or if it was the CO at fault. IT would still hurt our sport.

 

I have seen so many wonderful things in life RUINED by a few idiots that then caused legal legislation to outlaw the enjoyment so many people had.

 

Example.... motorized 3 wheelers. I had several. Loved them. I rode them reponsibly and I required anyone else riding them to do the same. However, as we all know a few hundred people didn't, then got hurt or killed & thusly, our federal goverment outlawed them. Now I have 2 - 3 wheelers sitting in storage that I can't ride and aren't worth a penny!

 

As much as I beleive in Positive reenforcment of those CO's who do good. We MUST DO a better job watching THOSE CO's that DON'T. Because IF WE DON'T..... OUR GOVERNMENT WILL!

 

TGC

Snoogans answered this pretty well and seeing how he's from Texas I'm not sure I understand this exchange:

Do you know how you sound to folks like me when you make statements like this? :)

 

Sorry, Actually I don't. Maybe It's because Im Texan and we being the state that uses capital punishment the most tend to have those types of POV's. I could be wrong though.

 

One problem with geocaching is that is fairly simple. Anyone can pick it up will have seen enough good and bad caches in a month that they can have an opinion about why there are some good and some bad caches and what can be done about. The point is, these concerns have been around since a few months after Dave Ulmer hid the first geocache. There has aslo been a debate over whether to restrict the caches some see as bad or if it is better to allow the "sport" to evolve without having too many extra rules. If some style of hide have causes real problems, there are additions made to the guidelines to restrict these. But this is taken only after careful consideration. Even then, the adoption of new guidelines is never without controversy.

 

As to the issue of someone getting seriously hurt geocaching. Every cache page contains a disclaimer that geocaching is an outdoor activity that has inherent risks. I don't think some getting killed because they didn't take proper precautions heading out looking for a cache is likely to cause a great deal of problems. Of course if someone rated a dangerous cache 1 terrain and put a family friendly attribute on it that might reflect badly. It might even be a reason that someone other than the cache owner should have a say in the ratings or at least be able to raise the problem of misrated cache to the reviewer to force a change.

 

The concerns of the OP that the government is going to take over because geocaching doesn't police irresponsible hiders is just showing a lack of knowledge of the facts. Groundspeak and reviewers will archive a cache if a property owner or land manager asks. They will archive a cache in violation of guideline unless the cache owner can show they have permission (and is some instances permission is not even enough). One does not need to rate caches to take care of "bad" caches. You can post a needs archive (or email the reviewer) But if you post a needs archive on a properly rated 4.5 or 5 star cache because "someone might get killed" it probably isn't going to be archived. You had better be careful in knowing the difference between caches that just shouldn't be and caches you personally don't like.

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Well, hopefully Toz's excellent reply has cooled the Chef's coals a little. :)

 

Chef - like Snoogans said, the sky is not falling. Ease back, have a beer, and enjoy the day. Geocaching will be ok in the morning. Trust me, I'm on my 8th year of caching and it hasn't died yet. :blink:

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Well, hopefully Toz's excellent reply has cooled the Chef's coals a little. :)

 

Chef - like Snoogans said, the sky is not falling. Ease back, have a beer, and enjoy the day. Geocaching will be ok in the morning. Trust me, I'm on my 8th year of caching and it hasn't died yet. :blink:

 

And if it can survive eight years of that!

 

 

 

Sorry, resistance to mischief is at a low tonight.

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Hello everyone... <snip>

While I am new to the geocaching.com scene & forums. One thing I have noticed in this forum is that there are a large amount of posts from people about those who do cache hides & cache owners. These include complaints about HOW, WHERE, & WHY a cache is hidden to even how it is maintained &/or published.

Thus from my actual experiances geocaching, to the litterly HUNDREDS of posts/complaints about CO's and their hides I have come up with the following idea/suggestion.<snip>

 

Your entire premise is based on a serious flaw. And I think it's a significant enough distinction that I've had it as one of my signature lines in the forums for several years: "You're apparently confusing the forums with the geocaching community. That's kind of like confusing society with talk radio and editorial pages."

 

I see this as a 3 part process...

 

1. Instead of the CO rating the "DIFFICULTY" from 1 to 5 stars... this should be done by the cache finders when they log a FIND or a DNF. Let the difficulty rating be done by the actual users NOT the CO.

 

2. Instead of the CO rating the "TERRAIN" from 1 to 5 stars... this should also be done by those who log a find &/or DNF. Let the users rank it not the CO.

 

3. Last but not by any means least.... a "QUALITY" rating from 1 to 5 stars. Again created by those who log a find &/or DNF. This "Quality" rating would be one that takes all things into consideration (Placement, Maintenance, The cache page, etc...) & how the finder or DNF'er found the cache to be in their opinion.

 

Yes these would be AVERAGED out based on the OPINIONS of the those who SEARCHED for the cache. But as a potential hunter of any cache we would/should take those ratings and understand that they are opinion rated. EXACTLY the same way we would take the Movie/DVD/BLu-ray ratings we find on Netflix &/or Blockbuster.

 

P.S. For reference... there are some of my finds that I would rate (Quality) 1 star, and others 5 stars, just as their are some of my DNF's that I would rate a 1 star as well as a 5 star. Just cause I didn't find a cache doesn't mean I would give it a 1 star.

Further flaws with a completely finder/seeker driven rating system-

Many cachers decide which caches to seek based on the ratings. When a cache is new it will have no ratings or insignificant ones. So how will cachers know which new listings are suitable for their interests? This concept could further polarize the already absurd FTF hound patrol race and how some of those cachers are viewed by the rest of our community.

 

There are some older caches simply do not attract a lot of traffic for a number of reasons, same with the more difficult puzzles. I own an educational multi that has only been found 50 times in almost four years. It seems most cachers just don't want to spend 2-3 hours touring downtown, learning about architecture/geology, and then off to the final. But those who have taken the time have enjoyed the experience. Still, that isn't a large enough sample of the community for the data to be statistically significant.

 

I do agree that it would be nice if there was some additional feedback mechanism besides the logs and pics, and the system that Markwell proposed some time ago is a good one. I also like the concept of tying the number of votes/reviews to the number of caches hidden/found. While it may skew things a bit toward the number runners and away from the old school hikers, this does place value on experience.

 

Now could someone please quote Harrald's forum sig? It seems appropriate to add to this thread too. :)

Nothing personal TGC, but your geocaching experiences are too limited to have much weight at this early stage in your career. Stick around for a while, find a few more, hide a few more, attend some events, and then perhaps you might have a better idea?

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2. Instead of the CO rating the "TERRAIN" from 1 to 5 stars... this should also be done by those who log a find &/or DNF. Let the users rank it not the CO.
Frankly, I think the cache owner is in a better position to rate the terrain. I know of too many instances where geocachers approached a cache location in a way that made the terrain much more difficult than it needed to be. If such geocachers rated the terrain based on their own experience, then the terrain rating would be misleadingly inflated.

 

3. Last but not by any means least.... a "QUALITY" rating from 1 to 5 stars. Again created by those who log a find &/or DNF. This "Quality" rating would be one that takes all things into consideration (Placement, Maintenance, The cache page, etc...) & how the finder or DNF'er found the cache to be in their opinion.
As I have pointed out in past threads on the subject...

I enjoy blinkers hidden in plain sight on interesting public sculptures, caches with 4-star camouflage, and puzzles with great "Aha!" moments. My ratings won't be very useful to a mom who likes caches with lots of "treasure" for her kids, or to 4x4/scuba/rock-climbing/kayaking enthusiasts who like 5-star terrain, or to anyone else who doesn't share my preferences. And vice versa. I find simplistic 5-star rating systems useless. However, I find systems useful when they compare my preferences with others' preferences and recommend things that are highly rated by those with preferences similar to my own.

 

But if you want a simplistic 5-star rating system, see GCVote:

http://dosensuche.de/GCVote/index_en.php

 

I personally don't see the point in bookmarking caches I have allready found, as now that I have found them, I won't be returning and will be looking for more caches to find that I havent' allready found.
In addition to various personal reasons (e.g., milestone caches, caches that meet requirements for a challenge cache, or puzzles you've solved but haven't found yet), you can also bookmark favorite caches to help others find the caches you think are especially worthwhile. Some maintain multiple favorites lists (e.g., beautiful location, excellent camouflage, under-appreciated historical sites, mind-bending puzzles, and fun puzzles accessible to anyone).

 

Also, some of us enjoy receiving email notifications of logs posted to our favorite caches, to share in the experiences of others who find them after us. Bookmark lists can help you manage this more easily.

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As I have pointed out in past threads on the subject...

I enjoy blinkers hidden in plain sight on interesting public sculptures, caches with 4-star camouflage, and puzzles with great "Aha!" moments. My ratings won't be very useful to a mom who likes caches with lots of "treasure" for her kids, or to 4x4/scuba/rock-climbing/kayaking enthusiasts who like 5-star terrain, or to anyone else who doesn't share my preferences. And vice versa. I find simplistic 5-star rating systems useless. However, I find systems useful when they compare my preferences with others' preferences and recommend things that are highly rated by those with preferences similar to my own.

 

So instead, those that wanted to participate, could fill out a questionnaire about their cache preferences. Then those people only could rate caches. The ratings would be invisible, but would be used to return search results for "caches I like" in any certain area. A cache that is rated high by someone who's questionnaire answers were similar to mine, would show up on my search for "caches I would like". Of course the downside being is not all caches would be included.

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Very good points that you make. :lol: Of course I never said that my suggestions were perfect. But you do have to start somewhere before you can find a solution. I am still thinking. :)

TGC

Yes we have to start somewhere. I have made my own suggestion for a cache rating system a while back. I was more interested in being able to choose caches that would match my preferences, than weeding out "bad" caches. Of course there is NO perfect answer if for no other reason than there are lots of caches already in the field and at least some people that would not help with the system. At least that was one of the reasons given to me, " won't work, we can't expect people to make a few extra mouse clicks, or what about all the caches that haven't been "rated" yet? You might try a search on the forum for cache rating. :blink:

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Markwell once suggested a top 10% bookmark list. You could add up to 10% of all your finds as a favorite. Then I could search for caches that were on like minded peoples top 10% list. Or recomendations, something like: "Cachers that liked this cache also liked caches x and y nearby".

 

 

I like that idea as well. Netflix and Blockbuster also have a similar type thing. People who liked this movie also liked.... In fact Netflix just recently IMPROVED the Algorythym to improve the accuracy of that feature.

 

Still doesn't handle those CO's who are "Bad Apples" though. Right now from the other threads I have read, we can't even get a true concensus on the "Deffinition" of a CO who is a "Bad Apple". Much less get a concensus on how we go about finding/rating them.

 

TGC

"bad apples"!!!! - I DID NOT suggest any kind of system to punish anybody for placing anything. Only a way to ID caches I would most enjoy.

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Ok...I admit I was sort of skimming and lost the plot about half-way through when all the talk about mortal peril began. But I do have a couple of comments on the original topic.

 

#1 - Finder-defined terrain and difficulty ratings.

I think the CO should define the "official" terrain and difficulty. However, it might be userful to know how finders would rate these things too. So I started thinking about how zappos.com does reveiws on shoes. In addition to buyer's comments (parallel to finder's logs) they allow buyers to rate how "true to size" the shoes were, along with other things. That's very useful information if you have a lot of reviewers telling you the shoes run a size small. So what if the official rating/terrain was set by the CO and left exactly as-is, but as part of the logs, we get to see the average terrain/difficulty rating according to the finders? So, maybe at the top of the logs, we'd see something like "average finder terrain rating: X" and "average finder difficulty rating: X." People could take or leave that information as they see fit. I do think it should be limited to people posting a "found it" log since there are way too many variables related to DNFs that could have nothing to do with the cache itself.

 

#2 - Quality ratings.

I've only been around the forum for less than 2 months and I've already seen this topic come up several times. There's obviously a common desire (admittedly not held by everyone, but clearly held by many) to have more information on caches before they hunt for them. The very valid rebuttal that always crops up is that "quality" is totally subjective and different people like different kinds of caches. Plus, a 1-5 star rating system may create lot of acrimony. Not to mention it could be abused, and would all-around create an enormous headache for the people at Groundspeak. I'm not sure there's any way around this.

So what if instead of saying "I liked it" or "I didn't like it," we are allowed to add finder-defined attributes to the cache log, detailing what we like or didn't like? So, as I'm filling in my log, I can check boxes for things like "Good for kids," "Scenic area," "Quick Park and Grab," etc.? I read a thread about this topic pretty recently, and I think it's a good idea.

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So what if instead of saying "I liked it" or "I didn't like it," we are allowed to add finder-defined attributes to the cache log, detailing what we like or didn't like? So, as I'm filling in my log, I can check boxes for things like "Good for kids," "Scenic area," "Quick Park and Grab," etc.? I read a thread about this topic pretty recently, and I think it's a good idea.

 

Why not just include that in your log? That's what the log is for, after all.

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Cache rating system

 

  1. Make it anonymous in order to get more honest assessments and not to hurt the owners feelings.
     
  2. Make it a cream of the crop system - e.g. a 10 star system. Those that get rated 8 or more stars get a special mark indicating that most raters liked this cache. This ties into the anonymous criteria - owners know only when their box is considered exceptional, not when it's average or below average.
     
  3. Weight the quality of rater votes - I'm a member of a website where my vote is weighted. I can't mark everything as 5/5 - that shows I put little thought into my vote. A variety of factors is taken into account to determine rankings such - voting history, experience level, and even the standard deviation of how people vote on a given letterbox.
     
    Here's what my ratings stat page says:

    You have rated 142 [items] with an average rating of 3.02 and a standard deviation of 0.92.
     
    You've distributed your votes as follows:
    1. 5% (7 votes)
    2. 21% (30 votes)
    3. 46% (66 votes)
    4. 22% (31 votes)
    5. 6% (8 votes)
     
    The database tries to determine the quality of your votes when it comes time to calculate which items should get diamond ratings. The higher quality your votes are, the higher their weighting will be in the calculations.
     
    You have rated plenty of items within the expected distribution.

  4. Make the ranking system optional. If you are an owner that, on principal, doesn't like the idea of people ranking your caches, you can opt out.

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#2 - Quality ratings.

I've only been around the forum for less than 2 months and I've already seen this topic come up several times. There's obviously a common desire (admittedly not held by everyone many, but clearly held by many a few) to have more information on caches before they hunt for them. The very valid rebuttal that always crops up is that "quality" is totally subjective and different people like different kinds of caches. Plus, a 1-5 star rating system may create lot of acrimony. Not to mention it could be abused, and would all-around create an enormous headache for the people at Groundspeak. I'm not sure there's any way around this.

So what if instead of saying "I liked it" or "I didn't like it," we are allowed to add finder-defined attributes to the cache log, detailing what we like or didn't like? So, as I'm filling in my log, I can check boxes for things like "Good for kids," "Scenic area," "Quick Park and Grab," etc.? I read a thread about this topic pretty recently, and I think it's a good idea.

Fixed that for you.

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So what if instead of saying "I liked it" or "I didn't like it," we are allowed to add finder-defined attributes to the cache log, detailing what we like or didn't like? So, as I'm filling in my log, I can check boxes for things like "Good for kids," "Scenic area," "Quick Park and Grab," etc.? I read a thread about this topic pretty recently, and I think it's a good idea.

 

Why not just include that in your log? That's what the log is for, after all.

 

I can't speak for anyone else, but I purposely don't read the logs before finding a cache unless I'm already there, have been looking for a while, and am having trouble. I don't want any clues or spoilers unless I'm stuck. I think the rating system that keeps coming up is a way to look at finder input before you ever even decide to go find the cache.

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Markwell once suggested a top 10% bookmark list. You could add up to 10% of all your finds as a favorite. Then I could search for caches that were on like minded peoples top 10% list. Or recomendations, something like: "Cachers that liked this cache also liked caches x and y nearby".

 

 

Ooh, I really like this actually. I have cringed every time I've seen the rating subject come up again and again, but this is a really good idea. It gives people options. Cool.

 

-Roz

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#2 - Quality ratings.

I've only been around the forum for less than 2 months and I've already seen this topic come up several times. There's obviously a common desire (admittedly not held by everyone many, but clearly held by many a few) to have more information on caches before they hunt for them. The very valid rebuttal that always crops up is that "quality" is totally subjective and different people like different kinds of caches. Plus, a 1-5 star rating system may create lot of acrimony. Not to mention it could be abused, and would all-around create an enormous headache for the people at Groundspeak. I'm not sure there's any way around this.

So what if instead of saying "I liked it" or "I didn't like it," we are allowed to add finder-defined attributes to the cache log, detailing what we like or didn't like? So, as I'm filling in my log, I can check boxes for things like "Good for kids," "Scenic area," "Quick Park and Grab," etc.? I read a thread about this topic pretty recently, and I think it's a good idea.

Fixed that for you.

 

As far as I'm concerned, it didn't need fixing. I stand by my opinion. You can have a different one; that's OK. Maybe you have a different definition of "many." You know you could have expressed that in a "I disagree" way rather than a "No, you're wrong" kind of way. It was a bit presumptuous the way you did it.

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You have to be kidding! As the song goes, "God is great, beer is good and people are crazy!" With all the tribal warfare, there is no system that would be objective. Our form of rating is just don't go to them. Heck, people even use the bookmark list rating as a system of throwing mud! Look at our FTF list. Tell me how someone can say the same nasty things more than once? If anything is done, Groundspeak should allow erasers.

That would be especially true of the 'quality' rating. :)

Edited by Konnarock Kid & Marge
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There is now a way to vote, if you are a Firefox user with Greasemonkey installed.

The Greasemonkey script is called GCVote, and it allows users to 'vote' on a scale of 1-5 for the perceived quality of each cache.

You can change your mind and your vote at any time, but only one vote per customer (presumably tracked by your IP address).

You can see the average of the total votes, and how many have voted.

 

As others have stated elsewhere, most caches will probably average out somewhere in the middle.

For local caches, I wouldn't bother looking. But if I were on vacation I would definitely check for either an exceptionally high or low score, with a significant number of votes to help determine which caches to put on the 'must do' list, and which to put on the 'don't bother' list.

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There is now a way to vote, if you are a Firefox user with Greasemonkey installed.

The Greasemonkey script is called GCVote, and it allows users to 'vote' on a scale of 1-5 for the perceived quality of each cache.

You can change your mind and your vote at any time, but only one vote per customer (presumably tracked by your IP address).

You can see the average of the total votes, and how many have voted.

 

As others have stated elsewhere, most caches will probably average out somewhere in the middle.

For local caches, I wouldn't bother looking. But if I were on vacation I would definitely check for either an exceptionally high or low score, with a significant number of votes to help determine which caches to put on the 'must do' list, and which to put on the 'don't bother' list.

 

I downloaded GCVote and I like it. It's the best solution at the moment. I'm wondering though, is it an anonymous system. If I rate a cache a "1" and the owner of the cache uses GCVote will they see that someone rated it a "1". I'm guessing that they do. They won't know it's me who rated it the "1" but if I'm worried about hurting a cache owners feelings I may never feel comfortable rating caches a "1". That's why I prefer a Cream-of-the-crop-type of system where only the best rated caches get a distinction.

Edited by Lone R
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As others have stated elsewhere, most caches will probably average out somewhere in the middle.

For local caches, I wouldn't bother looking. But if I were on vacation I would definitely check for either an exceptionally high or low score, with a significant number of votes to help determine which caches to put on the 'must do' list, and which to put on the 'don't bother' list.

 

Exactly AZcm. Let's talk about vacation caching.

 

Those who don't want a rating system, what would you consider the best way to quickly determine the best caches to visit on a 3-day conference to Dallas Texas? The cacher has 2-3 hours in the afternoon/evening, they're hoping to visit about 20 of the best local caches.

 

There are approximately 620 caches within 10 miles of Dallas - how would you suggest a visitor/vacationer maximize their caching enjoyment? Read all the logs? If you allow 2 minutes per cache to read a few logs that'll take 1240 minutes (20 hours). Read bookmark lists? You can't do a search for bookmark lists. And, is one person's opinion better then a rating system that involves maybe 100s of opinions?

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OK rating systems aren't bad, as long as they are implemented in the right way.. and contrary to some of the objections I see here over idea - they do work in general.

 

1 or 2 bad ratings against 50 good gives someone a general impression it's good (and they should see it's e.g. a PND or virtual or Multi etc... first - therefore it's a good/bad multi and if they hate multi's they will avoid anyway). 50-50 will mean just that, there's a chance you'll love it or hate it.

 

Anyway, this got me thinking. Maybe not an open terrain/difficulty rating system - but what about a log/comment system like Amazon.com? Amazon have a feature with the most positive comment/negative comment and a few key words could help someone determine if it's the cache for them rather than a simple 1-5 rating. (Eg. "I'm a wheelchair user and this was difficult to get to" or "I really enjoy scraping around in the dark so this was a great cache!") :o

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What is it, exactly, that you want legislated out of geocaching? What is it that put this bur under your saddle? Found a cache that you thought was too dangerous? One you figured we need to be protected from?

 

Either I communicated incorrectly, or you misunderstood my intentions.

 

First... I am opposed to legislation in general that might regulate geocaching to the point of death. I usually am again't most all legislation in general about anything unless I beleive that it will have an actual positive effect in the real world. Examples of this include legislation about abortion, pro-life or pro-choice as I don't believe any abortion legislation in the real world would honestly change anything. I am a Non-Smoker, but I also don't beleive in most No-Smoking legislation as at least in the Dallas area... there isn't anyone around to actually ever ENFORCE it! There are many restaurants in Dallas that still let their diners smoke. Why? Because the only ones who can write tickets for smoking in restaurants is a Health inspector. Who are only on duty in dallas M-F 8am to 6pm! So NO I am currently not wanting any legislation regarding Geocaching. I would like us to be self-regulating like many other sports.

 

Second, if you read my opening post that will tell you exactly your answer to "What put this bur under my saddle?". It was NOT from any personal experiance that I have had with finding &/or hunting any caches. Nor with any issues I have had with the caches I am currently in the process of publishing. 2 currently. 8 or 9 more on the way.

 

As far as finding a cache that was too dangerous or illegal. Yes I did find one that was hiden in a spot that had (After he had hiden it) become in a spot that is now a "No Trespassing" area. However I have NO grief or issues with the CO on that hide. Why? Because he placed it before it had become a "No Trespassing" area, It wasn't HIS fault for that. I do NOT consider him a "Bad Apple". At a Texas State Park, there was one placed near an Alligator den of eggs, Obviously that den was built by the Alligator AFTER the cache had been placed. I simply notified a Park ranger at the park & he took care of the issue. That didn't make that CO a "Bad Apple" either. As he had no control over the Alligator. It wasn't his fault the Alligator built her den there. Neither of those CO's did I have a problem with. Things like that happen. I actually haven't come across any "Bad Apples" yet. But just because I haven't does NOT mean they don't exist, nor does it mean we shouldn't look for them.

 

In another post, I beleive I also stated that we as geocachers can't even get a concensus on the DEFFINITION of what a "Bad Apple" CO would be. I will openly admit at this point in time I woudln't even begin to suggest a deffinition of one.

 

Again I will say this... I never suggested that MY suggestion was a perfect cure all. But at least I was making a suggestion.

 

TGC

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What is it, exactly, that you want legislated out of geocaching? What is it that put this bur under your saddle? Found a cache that you thought was too dangerous? One you figured we need to be protected from?

 

Most of the angst I've seen regarding people FOR rating systems is people that want to be "protected" from parking lot micros and the like. :antenna::o:)

 

I Can't speak for other geocachers. I personally don't find a geocacher who makes "Lamp Shade Hides" or Parking lot hides, (Nano, Micro, or otherwise) as someone being a "Bad Apple" either.

 

I also don't think the "Lord British" who made a cache hide at 7000 feet under the ocean 300 miles off the coast of South America as being a "Bad Apple" either. I beleive that geocaching should be open to all types of hides, including "Novelty" &/or "Specialty" hides, Nature hides, Enviromental hides, Parking Lot hides, etc...

 

As far as what the deffinition of a "Bad Apple" CO is.... that isn't for me to decide. That is something the Geocaching community should have a concensus on. Which as I have seen (At least at this point in time) no one can fully agree on!

 

TGC

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To texasgrillchef:

 

I agree with your desire to have a ratings system. I especially think of this whenever I'm visiting a new area and I dont have time to wade through hundreds of caches to find a few I might enjoy. (When I'm caching in my local area I have time to review each cache and decide if I want to find it.)

 

When you talk about rooting out bad apples I think you'll turn a lot of people against you. A rating system should be about caches, not cache owners. (There's another thread in the forums about wanting a feature to ignore cachers at the press of a button. That might be a feature request you may want to support). If you find caches that are not (or no longer) allowed, the owner or a reviewer should be notified. A rating system isn't the solution for that.

 

If you hang around the forums long enough you'll begin to understand that there are multiple ways to play this game. Apart from following the guidelines, there isn't a right and wrong way to play. Light pole and guard rail caches may not be something that most people don't find very interesting but they satisfy the needs of some cachers some of the time but that's a whole different topic.

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The concerns of the OP that the government is going to take over because geocaching doesn't police irresponsible hiders is just showing a lack of knowledge of the facts. Groundspeak and reviewers will archive a cache if a property owner or land manager asks. They will archive a cache in violation of guideline unless the cache owner can show they have permission (and is some instances permission is not even enough). One does not need to rate caches to take care of "bad" caches. You can post a needs archive (or email the reviewer) But if you post a needs archive on a properly rated 4.5 or 5 star cache because "someone might get killed" it probably isn't going to be archived. You had better be careful in knowing the difference between caches that just shouldn't be and caches you personally don't like.

 

Lets keep in mind a few facts.

 

1. Any legislation, rules, regulations that our government would or could enact about geocaching would probably come from those people that are NOT geocachers. Their PERCEPTION of our sport could cause them to presure the appropriate government officials to enact legislation, rules & regulations. It is PUBLIC perception of the use of steroids in Proffesional Baseball that has caused legislation, rules & regulations to change regarding the use of steroids in proffesional baseball. Those changes came about because of PUBLIC pressure... not pressure from the athletes! We are the athletes in our sport of Geocaching.

 

Another Example.... To place a geocache on Texas State Parks, you DO have to get a State Park permit AND follow the RULES & REGULATIONS as dictated by the Texas State Parks administation. Now it is true that most of their requirments are also requirements required by geocaching.com. However they are still rules & regulations that a geocacher must follow or could possibly end up having to pay huge fines.

 

2. I never meant to imply that anyone at Groundspeak/geocaching.com doesn't do the best they can at eliminating or even preventing improper cache hides from existing. So far I think they have done a decent job.

 

One other point to make about disclaimers and "common knowlege".

 

McDonalds had a disclaimer about their coffee being very hot. Yet they were still SUCCESSFULLY SUED for 10 million+ dollars for having coffee that burnt the womans crotch. Doesn't matter what our opinion of that case is, & if she should of won or not. THE FACT IS... SHE DID WIN!

 

I believe in prevention. I don't believe in doing things once it's to late. The Amber alert should have been in place before Amber went missing! Now the system has saved thousands of children, possibly even yours. Or you may even know someone it saved. It could have saved more though if it was in place even earlier. Why did we wait?

 

TGC

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Well, hopefully Toz's excellent reply has cooled the Chef's coals a little. :o

 

Chef - like Snoogans said, the sky is not falling. Ease back, have a beer, and enjoy the day. Geocaching will be ok in the morning. Trust me, I'm on my 8th year of caching and it hasn't died yet. :antenna:

 

Never said the sky was falling... yet... Just trying to tell everyone that it WILL! :)

 

But hey no problem.. I'll lean back.. I will relax.... but when it does... Allow me to say "I told you so" when it does happen.

 

As far as legislation goes... Im not supporting it, but since I do have connections with our Texas State Government, as well as with my local city government. I will say this, IT IS coming.

 

TGC

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