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The-Eaves

Important additions to Pocket Queries

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Hi guys

 

I believe the new GPX format is soon to be released. September is the last that I heard (although with perhaps August 20th?). There are some suggestions on the feedback forum for additional information to be included in the GPX format. I would appreciate it if you would read my suggestion below and vote on the feedback forum if you feel likewise:

 

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

 

In order to calculate favorite point to find ratio using GSAK we will need to know for every find logged whether the cacher was or was not a premium member...

 

(This is important as non-Premium Members do not contribute to the denominator given that they are not going to be able to issue favorite points)

 

My concern is that, in an attempt to maintain high favorite point to find ratios many cache owners with high quality caches may make their caches Premium-Member-Only...

 

Please do inform as to what the plan is for the new pocket queries...

 

Thanks

 

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

 

Here is a link to the feedback forum topic where you can vote... Thanks

 

http://feedback.geocaching.com/forums/75775-geocaching-com/suggestions/2146407-include-membership-status-for-each-log-in-pocket-q

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What is this obsession with favourite points? We've done fine without them for years. Great caches, and even just reasonably good ones, get discussed by cachers and suggested as "must dos" at events. Some of the best caches I've done, don't have any favourite points.

 

As a CO, I prefer reading a nice log, over getting a favourite point any day of the week and it will be a sad day indeed if new cachers start to get the idea that submitting a "TFTC" log for an enjoyable cache is fine, as long as they give it a favourite point as well.

 

I for one will NOT be publishing any Premium Only caches as a way to get some silly points. I'll let the logs of EVERYONE tell me if they enjoy my caches or not.

Edited by MnCo

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Hi there MnCo... Some of your caches are indeed my favorites and I'm glad you will not go the PMO route. Everything you mention I do also agree wholeheartedly. We do not however all the play the game in the same way, and we may derive pleasure from different aspects of the game with some things being true for one group and not for the next.

 

Some of the things that come to mind as justification for my suggestion (in no particular order - just as they come to mind - which really will most likely represent rough inverse value of importance):

 

#- I love statistics. I might actually love mathematics and physics more than finding or hiding geocache in the first place! Is this perhaps excessive? Of course it is! As are my geocache hides and the machine I build to count the number and average color of all the cars that drive past my house :) (this was much fun btw and the parts are soon going to find themselves reused for another stupid project)...

 

#- I am planning a trip to Italy next year. This after a colleague (and geocacher) went there recently (returned a week ago actually). He decided to plan his route between Rome and Milano using favorite points as a guide (Europe has a really ridiculous cache density) and he found that many caches had many favorite points (but purely as a function of a high find count). Other caches had few favorite points but on opening the caches and inspecting the logs it was found that very few PM cachers had logged finds and the find:fav ratio was very high! This high quality cache was also reflected in the logs! @MnCO: As you rightly say, logs are much more pleasurable to read! I have been smiling ear to ear for the past two weeks following the most beautiful logs I have been reading... This is the true motivation for my now planning more hides!

 

Same point... For the favorite point to mean anything we need to know the denominator. The value is otherwise absolutely useless and any statistician will agree.

 

Perhaps the ratio could be expressed as a single value in the GPX file? Or the membership status of each log must be included (better in my opinion - more data is always better)

 

#- Discussion about which caches are excellent at local meetings is great and an awesome part of building a local community, but it is not an accessible form of information. I for one have never been to a local meeting! I work all the time and cache on Sundays and at night! (And I am by no means unique) Furthermore with my planning to go to Italy now there is no way for me to first join a local geocacher social to discover the awesome caches. Neither do I have time to look up the membership status on every log for every cache between Milano and Brixen (my planned route - ending at the World Unicycle Convention!)

 

Same point... I want to be able to plan my route such that I can do 20 of the best caches I can get to in Italy. I am really not interested in the micro cache that has been found by 300 people and has 12 favorite points.

 

#- We all find vastly different things make us happy. Sometimes something that makes one happy can frankly offend another.

 

In this case however I am suggesting increased functionality that will not in any way negatively impact someone who care not for it. In fact you would not even notice its existence! :)

 

>>>>>>>>>>

 

I call for anyone who is keen to push for increased functionality, and who may have an interest in making valid the favorite point to follow the link and vote.

 

It must be done soon though - before the next release - otherwise once the format is standardized it will never make it in...

 

Thanks for listening...

Edited by The-Eaves

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That is rather pointless information to be adding to the gpx file format. It does nothing to help anyone find the cache they are searching for. As a CO i couldn't care less if my cache gets favorite points or not. PMs make up only a small section of the caching community. Further more there are only a small group of PMs who actually use the favorite points. So overall the points are meaningless.

 

If i want to know if a cache is worth seeing i read the logs and check the map to see what kind of area its in.

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What is this obsession with favourite points? We've done fine without them for years. Great caches, and even just reasonably good ones, get discussed by cachers and suggested as "must dos" at events. Some of the best caches I've done, don't have any favourite points.

 

As a CO, I prefer reading a nice log, over getting a favourite point any day of the week and it will be a sad day indeed if new cachers start to get the idea that submitting a "TFTC" log for an enjoyable cache is fine, as long as they give it a favourite point as well.

 

I for one will NOT be publishing any Premium Only caches as a way to get some silly points. I'll let the logs of EVERYONE tell me if they enjoy my caches or not.

 

+1

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That is rather pointless information to be adding to the gpx file format. It does nothing to help anyone find the cache they are searching for.

 

I am planning a trip to Italy and along my proposed route there are over 500 caches within 100m of the road! How better to search for good caches than using favorite points? Reading the logs of over 500 caches is a ridiculous undertaking. Just because you don't find it useful this does not mean that is not. I would find it to be the most useful attribute in the pocket query! Logs and favorite points both reflect the quality of the cache. Completely disregarding one or the other is short sighted. Favorite points could be an extremely valuable tool to help foreigners plan their routes.

 

PMs make up only a small section of the caching community. Further more there are only a small group of PMs who actually use the favorite points.

 

Exactly! For the favorite point system to be valid we must know how big the denominator is! If there is a small population of Premium Members it DOES NOT MATTER if we properly define the premium members as the denominator.

 

E.g.

Popular-tourist-spot-cache: 100-finds; 10 favorite points; 40 premium logs --- Ratio = 10/40 = 25%

Popular-tourist-spot-cache: 800-finds; 10 favorite points; 40 premium logs --- Ratio = 10/40 = 25%

 

Really-awesome-cache-atop-a-mountain: 40-finds; 6 favorite points; 8 premium logs --- Ratio = 6/8 = 75%

Really-awesome-cache-atop-a-mountain: 158-finds; 6 favorite points; 8 premium logs --- Ratio = 6/8 = 75%

 

Further more there are only a small group of PMs who actually use the favorite points. So overall the points are meaningless.

 

This is false... If some PM's do not use their favorite points it STILL DOES NOT MATTER - this as they still form part of the denominator and the denominator is equal across the board.

 

See above example - The ratio remains unchanged even if some PM's choose not to assign favorite points as they are part of a common denominator.

 

If i want to know if a cache is worth seeing i read the logs and check the map to see what kind of area its in.

 

I agree with you. This is the best way to judge a cache. I am proposing a simple addition to the GPX format which will be invisible and allow increased likelihood that a search will yield the best caches for me in my planned tour of a completely foreign land where I may not know the area or even the language!

 

If you think about it for a moment you cannot possibly come to the conclusion that the information is useless. Consider the converse - right now, without ratio that I propose the validity of the favorite points is really statistically totally null. The favorite point, right now is as you put it....

 

So overall the points are meaningless.

 

What I am asking for here is contribution. How best to formulate a suggestion which will bring increased USEFUL functionality to GC.com and the rest of us planning a trip to another country, or perhaps even a trip to another city. Please if you don't like the idea that is perfectly within your right. I am making this suggestion - If it is heard and approved it will not impact negatively on your lives in any way. The converse I believe will be true. Foreigners visiting our country will know where to head first to experience the best caching South Africa has to offer, and we will have better tools with which to search for the best caches.

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As The Eaves has stated - if you don't care about this it won't affect you one way or the other. You have twenty votes - you can use up to three votes for a suggestion. Use some of your votes if you have some left. If you need them later for something more important to you, you can claim them back. I suspect most people don't even know or care much about the twenty votes - much like the fave points.

 

Go on vote for this - i think this should be the link http://feedback.geoc...log-in-pocket-q

 

trev

 

added: my three votes pushed the ranking up from 1224 to 809 - your vote could make a difference!

Edited by trevorh7000

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...and he found that many caches had many favorite points (but purely as a function of a high find count).

 

Hi Eaves, I find the above statement interesting... All the heated debates on the forum somehow revolves around the "quality" of caches although, ironically, it can never be resolved because it is so highly subjective. The point is - not even favorite points will constantly lead you to what you'd consider to be good quality caches because, doesn't matter how you create the numbers, it's still based on a value judgement.

 

In my mind 3 things influence the overall quality of a cache experience.

1) The "absolute quality" (what everyone is trying to define - at least we can agree that a nifty hide is better than a piece of paper in a plastic bag, etc, etc).

2) Your personal preferences and frame of reference (countless possibilities including likes & dislikes and your relationship with the CO).

3) Your mood/state of mind while doing a specific cache (e.g. group caching [yes even record attempts by those inclined] and holidaying in an exotic location).

The interrelationship between these will for example move me to give a favorite point to what might be an average cache for locals (when I'm high on holiday-endorphins :blink:) or snub a scenic location cache if the cache hasn't been maintained.

 

In any case, as the gist of your discussion goes, it's about trying to focus on the better caches when you have limited time and using favorite points is definitely one of the better, quick tools for that. I just can't believe there will be many people who will create accounts to vote for themselves or only open caches for PMs to get a better favorite's ratio (too much conspiracy theory :ph34r:, it's a game for goodness sake!), so chances are that you'll miss them in any case. So if you end up at a "bad" cache just sit a while, take in the Italian scenery and say to yourself - "This still beats the hell out of sitting in my office!"

 

See ya!

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Hi there Hesamati and Trevor7k

 

Thanks for constructive comments and Trevor thanks for the vote! I personally am quite excited at the possibility of the feature.

 

Hesamati your comment does make one reconsider and moderate one's views. I must admit what makes a cache fun is often completely independent of the cache itself - my favorites have all been done with awesome company!

 

I have thought about my proposal and there is perhaps another reason why it my not work at all! - A pocket query will not contain all the logs! For this reason a much simpler, single calculated ratio would be a much simpler addition to the format and would really not be difficult to add...

 

I will make a new suggestion on the feedback forum and suggest closing of the original....

 

Here is my new suggestion for just a simple ratio to be included for people who want to search for the best caches in an area: http://feedback.geocaching.com/forums/75775-geocaching-com/suggestions/2158537-favorite-point-to-premium-member-find-ratio-in-gpx

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