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About those numbers that it's not about


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Over in the feedback forums http://feedback.geocaching.com/forums/75775/suggestions/1857029 someone suggested creating a ranking system for geocachers. Whether or not that's a good idea, I started thinking about how someone might devise a meaningful ranking system and looked at the data on Cacherstats.com.

 

It looks like the 50th percentile is 446 or 447 caches -- that is, half of the Cacherstats rated folks have found more than that, and half have found fewer. Since Cacherstats doesn't even list anyone with under 200 finds, the "real" midpoint would be even lower, but that seems odd, too low. Anyone want to check my numbers or suggest an alternate way to figure it out?

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I haven't checked your numbers because it looks perfectly reasonable to me. When a set of data has a long tail, as here, the mean is often a great deal different from the median. That's why, for example, the median is usually used for economic indicators rather than the mean.

 

Edward

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Whoa. The only people that seem to be voting are newbies. As it might sound as a great idea, if it's established it will cause a lot of judgement, and people will rush out to get more finds so they can be betteer than another cacher, or a rank. Towtrkdug is right. Your number of finds is your rank.

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The median is far lower than what you see on that site. I recall Jeremy saying somewere that the overwhelming majority of accounts only have a handful of finds.

 

Re the idea of official ranking, just what we need is to increase the emphasis on numbers. That will certainly improve the geocaching experience.

Edited by briansnat
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Yes, the "long tail" does drag the number down. It IS interesting though that out of several million cachers, Cacherstats.com only finds around 126,000 with more than 200 finds.

 

And that's all I'm after in bringing it up here -- interesting purely as a numeric exercise. I'm not bothered one way or the other about a ranking system being a good or bad thing.

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