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Has ANYONE looked at the numbers? I can't believe what I'm seeing!


Coldgears

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I remember just around when I started geocaching, there was a huge deal about 1 million geocaches. It took almost 10 years to get to 1 million geocaches. We hit 1 million geocaches last march. According to the front page it say's, "There are 1,272,737 active geocaches around the world." It took ten years to reach 1 million and now we are a quarter way to 2 million, in less then a year. If this continues we could hit another million in only 3 years from now. Better yet, if the geocaching community can grow so much so rapidly in such a short period of time it's possible it's still growing; if this is true we may be able to hit 2 million in only a year and a half from now.

 

This is crazy! :o :o :o :o

Edited by Coldgears
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It will just keep growing faster and faster and faster too. That's because there are more and more and more people out there promoting it and the growth rate starts getting scary big as those numbers climb. Here's an example of how crazy they can get. I don't remember the exact time frame on this but somewhere around 2003 I joined a photo sharing website that had just over 20,000 members. It took a few years but there was a big celebration when that number reached 100000. A couple of years later it was 10000000 and the celebration was huge. I just looked up their current growth rate and they are now adding a million members EVERY SIX WEEKS I don't expect geocaching to appeal to the type of people that made that growth happen (mostly teenagers with myface outlooks on life) but it could happen. I hope that the powers that be for this website are looking ahead and planning for something like that now because I can tell you, when the the growth rate gets that fast it can be a complete disaster. The infrastructure has to be in place before that exponential growth starts or things can get really ugly.

I also hope that they pursue quality and not just pure numbers. Numbers are necessary, anything that is not growing is dying. On the other hand we all know what the results of uncontrolled growth are....

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At what point does the growth become unmanageable? Just how many members can this hobby support?

 

I would guess that as long as the infrastructure is in place there is no upper limit. The trick is keeping that in place, both machine and human without overloading any part of it.

I bet there will be people shouting to limit the numbers though, and that they will suggest all sorts of methods that simply won't work in the real world.

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To be fair, I've gotten more than a few "first geocache!" logs on the caches in my area (more than normal as it's rather student-heavy) and most of these people will log a few and then never log again. It's really the smartphones that are driving it particularly as you can download a super-basic geocaching app for free for your first few finds, then I guess once people know what's up they're not interested in upgrading more heavily.

 

So just because you get so many millions of people signing up I'd say the number of active accounts a few weeks after the account is made is probably much more minimal. I am amazed at how many geocaches are being created though.

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How many members are actually actively participating. This doesn't include the one-time cachers who never play again or the once active cachers who have dropped off the face of the earth. The number of registered members is skewed when you consider that.

This isn't about number of registered members, it's about how many caches are hidden.

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How many members are actually actively participating. This doesn't include the one-time cachers who never play again or the once active cachers who have dropped off the face of the earth. The number of registered members is skewed when you consider that.

This isn't about number of registered members, it's about how many caches are hidden.

Right on. I gotcha ya. Just sayin'

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January 2008

501,000 active caches

 

January 2007

346,000

 

January 2006

223,000

 

Febuary 2005

143,000

 

From 2006 - 2008 the number doubled from a quarter million to a half million. From Jan 2008 to now it doubled again. Based on that increase, by mid 2012 there will a projected 2,000,000 :D

 

The above is what I estimated at the time of the 1,000,000th cache publication.

Edited by 4wheelin_fool
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How many members are actually actively participating. This doesn't include the one-time cachers who never play again or the once active cachers who have dropped off the face of the earth. The number of registered members is skewed when you consider that.

This isn't about number of registered members, it's about how many caches are hidden.

The number of geocaches being placed is very much tied to the number of geocachers placing them.

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I remember just around when I started geocaching, there was a huge deal about 1 million geocaches. It took almost 10 years to get to 1 million geocaches. We hit 1 million geocaches last march. According to the front page it say's, "There are 1,272,737 active geocaches around the world." It took ten years to reach 1 million and now we are a quarter way to 2 million, in less then a year. If this continues we could hit another million in only 3 years from now. Better yet, if the geocaching community can grow so much so rapidly in such a short period of time it's possible it's still growing; if this is true we may be able to hit 2 million in only a year and a half from now.

 

This is crazy! :o :o :o :o

 

I believe there was some guy who called it the Mainstream Event Horizon or some such once upon a time. :anibad::laughing:

Edited by Snoogans
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It's the baby boomers and in all to short a time we will be gone. The future depends on how well we grow the sport with our kids and grandkids. How many of the current members are Baby Boomers? 1 here..

 

On the issue of MIA's, cant the powers to be do some software data analysis and automatically clear out the caches that have not been active (found/logged) in XXX amount of time? This way there would be no issues about the NA problem. Like, if a cache has not been logged in the past 12 months, automatically NA it... (I'm not saying 12 months is the exact time, just some number determined reasonable)

 

This might really clean up the data base and open up areas where saturation is an issue. Just a thought!

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Like, if a cache has not been logged in the past 12 months, automatically NA it... (I'm not saying 12 months is the exact time, just some number determined reasonable)

I hear what you're saying, but many caches are difficult to reach and may only naturally receive a visitor every X months, if not every Y years. It will be very difficult to find the right number of months to apply to them. The best method is probably to continue to handle things locally - in an area where inactive / problem caches are causing a problem, local cachers can report those that they have visited and honestly believe are missing, and the local reviewer can evaluate the situation and work with the CO on a plan of action.

 

(Please prepare yourself for a few responses after mine that will disagree with your suggestion using more forceful language. Try not to be discouraged.)

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We need to get the term NA swung over from Needs Archiving to NEEDS ATTENTION... This would eliminate some of the hesitation.

Let the reviewers do the job... WITH the help of cachers in an area doing some of the leg work... Most if not all reviewers do at least an annual 'sweep' I've been told... I'd guess that is within the realm of their reviewer toolset... to sort by various dates, found not found and so on, not to mention NM and NA (SBA) flags... Wouldn't be to hard to recruit some people to check out a few really remote caches in great locations in some circles, where the CO isn't available anymore... Perhaps the option to have an endorsed special adoption circumstance as a 'bribe' might help. Look at what the TB Rescue people managed to set up... not much different, except that the Reviewers would be controlling the work. I already keep an eye on caches near here... some I've become the official maintainer of, and more the unofficial one... just watch for logs that list problems or simply accompany new or visiting cachers to the ones I've done... but not much help, most of the time...

 

As for the numbers...

 

Most things start off slow at first, it's new and no one really knows anything about the subject, then they start to expand it.

People who hear about it have to hunt down the current participants and get mentored into it. Then someone decides they can make money out of it by various means... teaching bulk classes, selling stuff to the new people. That last for a bit until the new people start dragging out everyone that will listen... telling them 50% of the 50% that they listened to half heartedly...

And so on... Does not matter what it is/was... it is the same process. Eventually the next fad will come and go as well.

The serious people will continue on and try to clean up the mess if any... and carry on mentoring the willing to listen.

 

Have fun.

Doug 7rxc

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We need to get the term NA swung over from Needs Archiving to NEEDS ATTENTION... This would eliminate some of the hesitation.

 

I've got an idea. Add a log type called "Privately Alert the Reviewer Without Drawing Attention to Yourself or Hunting Down Who the Reviewer Is." (PARWDAYHDWRI)

 

This would accomplish the following:

 

-Contact the reviewer

-Make a record of this contact viewable by subsequent reviewers and Groundspeak that become part of the cache history, but be invisible to everybody else.

-Eliminate the need to scroll to the "published" log, or in the case of really old caches in areas where reviewers have changed, hunt down who the current reviewer is.

-Not draw attention to the person that is trying to get the reviewer's attention. Why risk the cache owner getting bent out of shape over a NA log?

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So you have told everyone you know. How many think you are nuts? I have plenty of those.

I stopped telling people for precisely that reason. I'd be happy to go geocaching with some of my friends, but they're going to have to learn about the game from someone else.

Every person I've told thought it sounded interesting. Either I live among amazing people, or I'm an amazing explainer, or people are just patronizing me. :ph34r::laughing:

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How many members are actually actively participating. This doesn't include the one-time cachers who never play again or the once active cachers who have dropped off the face of the earth. The number of registered members is skewed when you consider that.

This isn't about number of registered members, it's about how many caches are hidden.

Hides are and new memberships are up, but finds are not. Maybe finds will improve by spring. Just a personal observation.

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Every person I've told thought it sounded interesting. Either I live among amazing people, or I'm an amazing explainer, or people are just patronizing me. :ph34r::laughing:

 

They all found it interesting, as in "Wow, that's so cool! Will you take me with you sometime?" Or was it more like, "Ummmm... that's so... interesting?"

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Every person I've told thought it sounded interesting. Either I live among amazing people, or I'm an amazing explainer, or people are just patronizing me. :ph34r::laughing:

 

They all found it interesting, as in "Wow, that's so cool! Will you take me with you sometime?" Or was it more like, "Ummmm... that's so... interesting?"

It depends on who they are. I've had a range from, "that's soooo cool", to "that's pretty neat!". If I don't know the people very well, it ends there. If I know them better, then we usually end up taking them at some point.

 

Most people I know don't have their own gps, so they mainly only go if they go with us. They enjoy it in general, but mostly not enough to buy a gps and do it themselves. On the other hand, a lot of our relatives and some friends started caching around the same time as us, on their own. So we're surrounded by a fair amount of cachers (although a lot of them only cache casually). I know maybe one person that we totally converted and went out and bought a gps right away after caching with us once.

 

I don't think I've ever spoken to someone who just said, "that's.....interesting". :P Our area is pretty focused on the out of doors, so that may have something to do with it.

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Like, if a cache has not been logged in the past 12 months, automatically NA it... (I'm not saying 12 months is the exact time, just some number determined reasonable)

I hear what you're saying, but many caches are difficult to reach and may only naturally receive a visitor every X months, if not every Y years. It will be very difficult to find the right number of months to apply to them. The best method is probably to continue to handle things locally - in an area where inactive / problem caches are causing a problem, local cachers can report those that they have visited and honestly believe are missing, and the local reviewer can evaluate the situation and work with the CO on a plan of action.

 

(Please prepare yourself for a few responses after mine that will disagree with your suggestion using more forceful language. Try not to be discouraged.)

Not more forceful language but I certainly do not think any cache should be archived just because no one has logged it in any period of time. I was the last to log a difficult cache until a group went out on MLK day and found it, a year and a day after me. I own a multi that hasn't been sought in almost a year. I know it is still there because I check on it every other month on average. It just takes effort to get to so it doesn't get many visitors.

 

Back on topic: I've noticed a distinct increase in the number of geocachers that place hides within a relatively short period of joining the game. Four years ago, when I started, most new cachers waited and watched and made a number of finds before placing their own caches. Inexperience doesn't seem to inhibit new geocachers as much anymore. Many newer cachers consider placing caches as important(or even more so) than finding them. So as the number of players has increased the number of hides has increased faster than before. Please note that I am not drawing any conclusions as to whether that is good, bad, or indifferent to the game :smile:

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It's the baby boomers and in all to short a time we will be gone. The future depends on how well we grow the sport with our kids and grandkids. How many of the current members are Baby Boomers? 1 here..

 

On the issue of MIA's, cant the powers to be do some software data analysis and automatically clear out the caches that have not been active (found/logged) in XXX amount of time? This way there would be no issues about the NA problem. Like, if a cache has not been logged in the past 12 months, automatically NA it... (I'm not saying 12 months is the exact time, just some number determined reasonable)

 

This might really clean up the data base and open up areas where saturation is an issue. Just a thought!

 

No way could I ever support this. My Cherry Top cache Was placed on 6/3/07, found on 7/22/07 and found again on 11/7/08. That's it. No DNFs. No NMs.

 

Your system would have had it automatically archived a year ago. That's just plain wrong. I have reason to doubt that the cache has any problem except that most don't want to walk four miles for a single cache.

Edited by Don_J
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It's the baby boomers and in all to short a time we will be gone. The future depends on how well we grow the sport with our kids and grandkids. How many of the current members are Baby Boomers? 1 here..

 

On the issue of MIA's, cant the powers to be do some software data analysis and automatically clear out the caches that have not been active (found/logged) in XXX amount of time? This way there would be no issues about the NA problem. Like, if a cache has not been logged in the past 12 months, automatically NA it... (I'm not saying 12 months is the exact time, just some number determined reasonable)

 

This might really clean up the data base and open up areas where saturation is an issue. Just a thought!

 

No way could I ever support this. My Cherry Top cache Was placed on 6/3/07, found on 7/22/07 and found again on 11/7/08. That's it. No DNFs. No NMs.

 

Your system would have had it automatically archived a year ago. That's just plain wrong. I have no reason to doubt that the cache has any problem except that most don't want to walk four miles for a single cache.

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Back on topic: I've noticed a distinct increase in the number of geocachers that place hides within a relatively short period of joining the game. Four years ago, when I started, most new cachers waited and watched and made a number of finds before placing their own caches. Inexperience doesn't seem to inhibit new geocachers as much anymore. Many newer cachers consider placing caches as important(or even more so) than finding them. So as the number of players has increased the number of hides has increased faster than before. Please note that I am not drawing any conclusions as to whether that is good, bad, or indifferent to the game :smile:

More hides are good whether or not they are maintained.

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It's the baby boomers and in all to short a time we will be gone. The future depends on how well we grow the sport with our kids and grandkids. How many of the current members are Baby Boomers? 1 here..

 

On the issue of MIA's, cant the powers to be do some software data analysis and automatically clear out the caches that have not been active (found/logged) in XXX amount of time? This way there would be no issues about the NA problem. Like, if a cache has not been logged in the past 12 months, automatically NA it... (I'm not saying 12 months is the exact time, just some number determined reasonable)

 

This might really clean up the data base and open up areas where saturation is an issue. Just a thought!

 

No way could I ever support this. My Cherry Top cache Was placed on 6/3/07, found on 7/22/07 and found again on 11/7/08. That's it. No DNFs. No NMs.

 

Your system would have had it automatically archived a year ago. That's just plain wrong. I have reason to doubt that the cache has any problem except that most don't want to walk four miles for a single cache.

 

BULLSEYE! I'm a newb at this but I'm enjoying the heck out of it when I can! It gets me and the kid out of the house. More importantly, the country caches are the best for providing exercise in a healthier environment. When I map over a city, there are so many caches that the roads can't be seen. Of course, I HAVE to find those that are nearby (kinda like marking my territory with smileys), but the longer trek type caches are the most rewarding for me in many ways.

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It's the baby boomers and in all to short a time we will be gone. The future depends on how well we grow the sport with our kids and grandkids. How many of the current members are Baby Boomers? 1 here..

 

On the issue of MIA's, cant the powers to be do some software data analysis and automatically clear out the caches that have not been active (found/logged) in XXX amount of time? This way there would be no issues about the NA problem. Like, if a cache has not been logged in the past 12 months, automatically NA it... (I'm not saying 12 months is the exact time, just some number determined reasonable)

 

This might really clean up the data base and open up areas where saturation is an issue. Just a thought!

 

No way could I ever support this. My Cherry Top cache Was placed on 6/3/07, found on 7/22/07 and found again on 11/7/08. That's it. No DNFs. No NMs.

 

Your system would have had it automatically archived a year ago. That's just plain wrong. I have reason to doubt that the cache has any problem except that most don't want to walk four miles for a single cache.

 

BULLSEYE! I'm a newb at this but I'm enjoying the heck out of it when I can! It gets me and the kid out of the house. More importantly, the country caches are the best for providing exercise in a healthier environment. When I map over a city, there are so many caches that the roads can't be seen. Of course, I HAVE to find those that are nearby (kinda like marking my territory with smileys), but the longer trek type caches are the most rewarding for me in many ways.

 

WHAT THE HELL.

I did not Write that!

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...I don't expect geocaching to appeal to the type of people that made [the growth of social networking sites] happen (mostly teenagers with myface outlooks on life)...

Why do you say that? Geocaching's pretty popular with teenagers.

 

I've got an idea. Add a log type called "Privately Alert the Reviewer Without Drawing Attention to Yourself or Hunting Down Who the Reviewer Is." (PARWDAYHDWRI)

 

This would accomplish the following:

 

-Contact the reviewer

-Make a record of this contact viewable by subsequent reviewers and Groundspeak that become part of the cache history, but be invisible to everybody else.

[...]

-Not draw attention to the person that is trying to get the reviewer's attention. Why risk the cache owner getting bent out of shape over a NA log?

I think it's important to keep NA logs available to the public. One of the great parts of geocaching is that all the cache's information is right there on the cache page. Logs from cachers who have found the cache, logs from cachers who haven't, logs from the owner, and NA logs. They're an important resource to cachers trying to decide whether to seek the cache.
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Back on topic: I've noticed a distinct increase in the number of geocachers that place hides within a relatively short period of joining the game. Four years ago, when I started, most new cachers waited and watched and made a number of finds before placing their own caches. Inexperience doesn't seem to inhibit new geocachers as much anymore. Many newer cachers consider placing caches as important(or even more so) than finding them. So as the number of players has increased the number of hides has increased faster than before. Please note that I am not drawing any conclusions as to whether that is good, bad, or indifferent to the game :smile:

 

Perhaps a limitation on placing caches needs to be made, such as a person can only place a cache after finding x number of caches. I know that many of the really lame caches I have found were from newby cachers, as well as many of the abandoned caches were from low number folks also. There are several caches around here where the COs have more cache hides than finds, and then they have gone inactive. What annoys me is that these caches sit on the books, so to speak, are either low quality or in need of maintainance/missing, and block others from placing caches in the area. I am not trying to say this applies to all new cachers, I have found some great caches by newbies, but it is definately something that requires a bit of experience in my opinion.

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