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The Blorenges

SUBMITTED (21313) - [FEATURE] System to remove "ghost" trackables from cache inventories.

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Just to throw some statistics into how useful this function would be, and how much I look forward to it being added to the site:

 

In the past two weeks alone, I went on a road trip and found cache after cache that was empty of trackables despite inventories that promised two or more trackables. I left notes on 79 trackables that were no longer in the caches where they were listed.

 

Of those, the majority had been missing for a year or more. Most for two or three years. I think the worst offender had been missing for about nine years.

 

I have left over 500 similar notes over the past six years and change that we've been caching.

 

It would be swell to see this badly needed function added soon.

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One thing that doesn't help (especially for newby's) is when the TB # is so small or on the edge of something. Don't get me wrong. I like an awesome coin. But if I didnt know about TBs, I'd think it was a serial #. Maybe numbers should be more prominant????!!!!

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One thing that doesn't help (especially for newby's) is when the TB # is so small or on the edge of something. Don't get me wrong. I like an awesome coin. But if I didnt know about TBs, I'd think it was a serial #. Maybe numbers should be more prominant????!!!!

Geocoins are supposed to have a notice on them, "Trackable at Geocaching.com" or something to that effect. While having the numbers more prominent might help some, there will still be problems. We still need some better system of cleaning up cache inventory lists than what we have.

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Geocoins are supposed to have a notice on them, "Trackable at Geocaching.com" or something to that effect. While having the numbers more prominent might help some, there will still be problems. We still need some better system of cleaning up cache inventory lists than what we have.

 

+1 ... many times over, and over, and over.

 

What has been recommended and discussed in this thread is not THAT difficult ... nor is it resource intensive to implement !!

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Just waiting for this to get implemented

 

Did you bring a large food supply and your retirement papers ... ??

 

GS seems to be too involved in developing smartphone apps than providing EZ fixes to problems. :(

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Just waiting for this to get implemented

 

If past performance is anything to go by I wouldn't hold your breath waiting.

 

Ask for a new range of pointless souvenirs, they seem to have the resources to implement those. Personally I've drawn the conclusion that Groundspeak aren't actually interested in improving the game at all any more.

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Just waiting for this to get implemented

 

If past performance is anything to go by I wouldn't hold your breath waiting.

 

Ask for a new range of pointless souvenirs, they seem to have the resources to implement those. Personally I've drawn the conclusion that Groundspeak aren't actually interested in improving the game at all any more.

Maybe if everyone asked for a bunch of new souvenirs, GS would find something else to do. :ph34r:<_<

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After suggesting this feature about 20 months ago I, too, have almost given up hope of it ever becoming a reality! :lol:

 

However there's just a flickering ember of hope left in me - mostly due to the fact that this topic keeps on rolling along as more and more cachers notice it and add their thoughts.

 

MrsB :)

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After suggesting this feature about 20 months ago I, too, have almost given up hope of it ever becoming a reality! :lol:

 

However there's just a flickering ember of hope left in me - mostly due to the fact that this topic keeps on rolling along as more and more cachers notice it and add their thoughts.

 

MrsB :)

 

Part of what I find amazing is the lack of concern from GS over an issue that needs some 'help' since it makes them what I would guess is a considerable profit. Reading other forum sections I have noticed that some cachers have claimed they quit trackables because GS won't address an issue that only THEY can fix. Wonder how much GS is missing in profit by not at least making this simple fix.

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After suggesting this feature about 20 months ago I, too, have almost given up hope of it ever becoming a reality! :lol:

 

However there's just a flickering ember of hope left in me - mostly due to the fact that this topic keeps on rolling along as more and more cachers notice it and add their thoughts.

 

MrsB :)

 

Maybe Groundspeak could afford to buy themselves a filing cabinet to store good ideas, to replace the round one in the corner.

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Just wanted to throw in a vote of support for this solution. The time ranges and the number of visitors who have to mark the item missing could be discussed, but really, it would be very nice to clean out the inventories of marvelous caches like this one: http://www.geocaching.com/seek/cache_details.aspx?guid=15b66e5e-d89c-4a4a-bde1-c993d2275593 Its inventory includes travelers that have been repeatedly, consistently reported missing, both on the cache page and the bugs' pages, since 2007, 2005, and 2009.

 

Thanks for considering this idea!

 

--Q

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[it's frustrating to have to select between identical Topics for a reply, but this seems the most appropriate Topic.]

 

How is it possible that caches with “missing” Trackables are viewed exactly opposite to any other Geocaching issue?

 

If this were a question of Swag, and people said “How come there's nothing nice left for me to take from the containers!”, and someone suggested a system where a cache gets automatically marked "Low Quality Swag Cache”, nobody would go for that. Exactly the same thing, but with Trackables, everybody loves the idea.

 

I'm not saying accuracy is a bad thing. I guess I'm saying that this inconsistency is bad. Actually, it's kind of nutty. :rolleyes:

Edited by kunarion

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[it's frustrating to have to select between identical Topics for a reply, but this seems the most appropriate Topic.]

 

How is it possible that caches with “missing” Trackables are viewed exactly opposite to any other Geocaching issue?

 

If this were a question of Swag, and people said “How come there's nothing nice left for me to take from the containers!”, and someone suggested a system where a cache gets automatically marked "Low Quality Swag Cache”, nobody would go for that. Exactly the same thing, but with Trackables, everybody loves the idea.

 

I'm not saying accuracy is a bad thing. I guess I'm saying that this inconsistency is bad. Actually, it's kind of nutty. :rolleyes:

 

It's not inconsistent at all, swag isn't tracked from cache to cache while trackables are. Not only that but Groundspeak charges people for trackables whereas swag can be just about anything.

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[it's frustrating to have to select between identical Topics for a reply, but this seems the most appropriate Topic.]

 

How is it possible that caches with “missing” Trackables are viewed exactly opposite to any other Geocaching issue?

 

If this were a question of Swag, and people said “How come there's nothing nice left for me to take from the containers!”, and someone suggested a system where a cache gets automatically marked "Low Quality Swag Cache”, nobody would go for that. Exactly the same thing, but with Trackables, everybody loves the idea.

 

I'm not saying accuracy is a bad thing. I guess I'm saying that this inconsistency is bad. Actually, it's kind of nutty. :rolleyes:

 

It's not inconsistent at all, swag isn't tracked from cache to cache while trackables are. Not only that but Groundspeak charges people for trackables whereas swag can be just about anything.

The fact that the Trackables are paid, owned and trackable makes my point. It should be exclusively the owner's prerogative what his TB gets "marked" (especially with no accurate log by others). It is nobody else's business.

 

Go read all the replies people posted here. Compare what they said about anything else someone doesn't like about caches: replying with the cherished, approved, recited "If you don't like it, don't look". This Topic is entirely inconsistent with everybody's policy.

 

But it's nice to see everybody's change of heart. :ph34r:

Edited by kunarion

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[it's frustrating to have to select between identical Topics for a reply, but this seems the most appropriate Topic.]

 

How is it possible that caches with “missing” Trackables are viewed exactly opposite to any other Geocaching issue?

 

If this were a question of Swag, and people said “How come there's nothing nice left for me to take from the containers!”, and someone suggested a system where a cache gets automatically marked "Low Quality Swag Cache”, nobody would go for that. Exactly the same thing, but with Trackables, everybody loves the idea.

 

I'm not saying accuracy is a bad thing. I guess I'm saying that this inconsistency is bad. Actually, it's kind of nutty. :rolleyes:

 

It's not inconsistent at all, swag isn't tracked from cache to cache while trackables are. Not only that but Groundspeak charges people for trackables whereas swag can be just about anything.

The fact that the Trackables are paid, owned and trackable makes my point. It should be exclusively the owner's prerogative what his TB gets "marked" (especially with no accurate log by others). It is nobody else's business.

 

Go read all the replies people posted here. Compare what they said about anything else someone doesn't like about caches: replying with the cherished, approved, recited "If you don't like it, don't look". This Topic is entirely inconsistent with everybody's policy.

 

But it's nice to see everybody's change of heart. :ph34r:

 

Why should it be the trackable owner's prerogative to insist that their trackable continues to be listed in a cache where it hasn't actually been for many months or years?

 

The simple reality is that the site shows what trackables are in the cache, so for that feature to be of any use at all it has to show what trackables are actually in the cache, not what trackables an owner decides they want to continue to appear to be in the cache.

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Why should it be the trackable owner's prerogative to insist that their trackable continues to be listed in a cache where it hasn't actually been for many months or years?

Because it's the last remnant of a taken TB. If accuracy is so important, it needs to be logged. Go after the taker. The TB didn't evaporate, it was taken. If ideas like this get implemented, you'll see that there aren't all that many TBs in play, and the last existing TBs will be taken. Make the takers guess. Make them lay in the bed they've made. These ideas don't cause lists to contain TBs, it makes the situation worse, due to the removal of clues about which caches to not leave TBs.

 

the site shows what trackables are in the cache, so for that feature to be of any use at all it has to show what trackables are actually in the cache, not what trackables an owner decides they want to continue to appear to be in the cache.

Now that it's accepted to take TBs and not log anything (even fake the logs and sell them on ebay), I stand opposed to other people then removing the evidence, like a gang of thieves. It's up to the owner alone. In case you haven't heard, the most cherished reply to "why [cache condition]" is "If you don't like it, don't look", so that's my new policy, just like everyone else (I actually don't believe peoples' change of heart at all). Log it or leave it.

Edited by kunarion

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Why should it be the trackable owner's prerogative to insist that their trackable continues to be listed in a cache where it hasn't actually been for many months or years?

Because it's the last remnant of a taken TB. If accuracy is so important, it needs to be logged. Go after the taker. The TB didn't evaporate, it was taken. If ideas like this get implemented, you'll see that there aren't all that many TBs in play, and the last existing TBs will be taken. Make the takers guess. Make them lay in the bed they've made. These ideas don't cause lists to contain TBs, it makes the situation worse, due to the removal of clues about which caches to not leave TBs.

 

the site shows what trackables are in the cache, so for that feature to be of any use at all it has to show what trackables are actually in the cache, not what trackables an owner decides they want to continue to appear to be in the cache.

Now that it's accepted to take TBs and not log anything (even fake the logs and sell them on ebay), I stand opposed to other people then removing the evidence, like a gang of thieves. It's up to the owner alone. In case you haven't heard, the most cherished reply to "why [cache condition]" is "If you don't like it, don't look", so that's my new policy, just like everyone else (I actually don't believe peoples' change of heart at all). Log it or leave it.

Some of the ideas that have been discussed in this thread, if implemented, would not remove the evidence. The TB would still be listed, but with a strikethrough or something to show that it has been reported missing. That would be more of a warning against leaving a TB there than the current system is.

 

Currently, the TB owner has the responsibility, not the "option", of keeping the record straight concerning their TB. The CO is responsible for keeping the cache record up to date. When neither one takes their responsibility seriously, it would be nice if others could do something about it.

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I posted in one of the million other topics addressing this issue. Since this seems to be the Mother Of All Ghost Trackable Discusion Topics, I thought I would put it here too.

 

I would like it if the pocket query added an option for filtering out inactive TBs. For example, you could choose to only see TBs which had some sort of action (other than a note) logged within a given amount of time, say the last month, or maybe ones that are still 'fresh' - in caches that have only had like three logged finds since the TB was dropped. This way, the TB listings on the site would remain unmolested AND a person could be directed to living breathing TBs more easily. :)

 

Lulilac

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I would like it if the pocket query added an option for filtering out inactive TBs. For example, you could choose to only see TBs which had some sort of action (other than a note) logged within a given amount of time, say the last month, or maybe ones that are still 'fresh' - in caches that have only had like three logged finds since the TB was dropped. This way, the TB listings on the site would remain unmolested AND a person could be directed to living breathing TBs more easily. :)

That would be good. :D

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Why should it be the trackable owner's prerogative to insist that their trackable continues to be listed in a cache where it hasn't actually been for many months or years?

Because it's the last remnant of a taken TB. If accuracy is so important, it needs to be logged. Go after the taker. The TB didn't evaporate, it was taken. If ideas like this get implemented, you'll see that there aren't all that many TBs in play, and the last existing TBs will be taken. Make the takers guess. Make them lay in the bed they've made. These ideas don't cause lists to contain TBs, it makes the situation worse, due to the removal of clues about which caches to not leave TBs.

 

That's a brilliant idea. All we need to do is figure out who took them. Or, since they aren't in the cache any more, how about making the cache inventory accurate. You know, where it says what TBs are in the cache how about we adjust it so it actually shows what TBs are in the cache, rather than what TBs have been in the cache at some point over the last few months or even years.

 

There's no way of knowing which caches will be plundered for TBs. Anyone who wants to go out and steal TBs can set up a pocket query to show them caches that have TBs, then go out and steal them.

 

the site shows what trackables are in the cache, so for that feature to be of any use at all it has to show what trackables are actually in the cache, not what trackables an owner decides they want to continue to appear to be in the cache.

Now that it's accepted to take TBs and not log anything (even fake the logs and sell them on ebay), I stand opposed to other people then removing the evidence, like a gang of thieves. It's up to the owner alone. In case you haven't heard, the most cherished reply to "why [cache condition]" is "If you don't like it, don't look", so that's my new policy, just like everyone else (I actually don't believe peoples' change of heart at all). Log it or leave it.

 

Who said taking TBs without logging them is accepted?

 

People have requested Groundspeak do something to make logging TBs easier but apparently endless souvenirs are more important. So there's no way of knowing whether someone took a TB and didn't log it because they were stealing it, or because they didn't know how to log it. A while back I saw a cacher who routinely logged things like "took trackable GC1010" in their text, and would subsequently write "left GC1010" in another log. They had moved the trackable, reported it the only way they knew how, but the site still thought the trackable hadn't moved.

 

If you can find the people who are stealing TBs by all means explain to them why they should stop. Good luck with that. In the meantime there's no point having a list of what trackables are in a cache unless it shows, you know, what trackables are actually in the cache.

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I am a newbie, too. And I have obtained two travel bugs. With the first, I went on this website to figure out what, exactly I was to do with it. Had I retrieved it? Grabbed it? Found it? Snaggle-toothed it? The instructions were clear on this point, sort-of. Since I had taken (discovered, found, snagged, stolen, etc.) from the cache that had it listed . . . I had RETRIEVED the bug. Confusing enough.

 

Second point - what number to use. Seems easy enough as the only number etched on the TB was the one I used. But then there's ANOTHER number starting with the TB prefix. And this vague admonition to keep some number (uh, which one?) secret.

 

With instructions like these and not everybody having obtained their Ph.D. In geocaching, I am not surprised there are so many issues with logging and not logging bugs. Although the OP's suggestion has the ring of simple which usually bodes well for a good suggestion, Groundspeak should really look to the current instructions to simplify them. Here's an idea - think like an average, in-the-field cacher with a high school education, not like an over educated lackey or minion. I like minions.

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Are you serious? There are three options when you find a trackable. Retrieve, Grab, or Discover. Pretty straight forward for the average 3rd grader.

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Are you serious? There are three options when you find a trackable. Retrieve, Grab, or Discover. Pretty straight forward for the average 3rd grader.

Actually this feedback is dead on accurate, based on my observations while researching trackables and marking more than 3,200 of them as "missing." Back when the only option was "retrieved," it was easier to understand what to do. I've lost count of how many "discovered" logs I've read where a newer geocacher clearly stated that they had retrieved the trackable item and intended to place it in another cache. When they do that, and don't see the trackable in their inventory to drop, that trackable falls off the radar screen.

 

You should be more respectful of this sort of feedback, so that new geocachers feel comfortable expressing their views in the Groundspeak Forums.

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Are you serious? There are three options when you find a trackable. Retrieve, Grab, or Discover. Pretty straight forward for the average 3rd grader.

Actually this feedback is dead on accurate, based on my observations while researching trackables and marking more than 3,200 of them as "missing." Back when the only option was "retrieved," it was easier to understand what to do. I've lost count of how many "discovered" logs I've read where a newer geocacher clearly stated that they had retrieved the trackable item and intended to place it in another cache. When they do that, and don't see the trackable in their inventory to drop, that trackable falls off the radar screen.

 

You should be more respectful of this sort of feedback, so that new geocachers feel comfortable expressing their views in the Groundspeak Forums.

 

+1

 

Sometimes, if you've been doing something long enough, EVERYTHING seems obvious and we forget how even "simple" things can be confusing to a person doing them for the first time. Clearly, the instructions on how to handle trackables were at least a little confusing to Evil Aunt Edith and she was pointing out something that could be fixed. Getting cache/trackable inventories correct is what this thread is all about, so we should be supporting those who want to help make the process easier.

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Are you serious? There are three options when you find a trackable. Retrieve, Grab, or Discover. Pretty straight forward for the average 3rd grader.

 

Firstly you need to know that you have to click on the trackable from within the cache you just found or enter the tracking code from another screen entirely. From there it obviously isn't clear that "Discover" doesn't mean "took it away with me" simply by virtue of the number of people who pick the wrong one. So unless large numbers of geocachers are less intelligent than a 3rd grader there's room for improvement.

 

Since we've got the option to drop off bugs from our inventory the most obvious solution would be to allow pickup or dropoff of bugs, as a number of people (myself included) have mentioned at least once in threads like this. See the list of bugs, select "Took away", "Discovered", "Missing" or "No action", enter the tracking code for anything taken away or discovered, and everything is done in one place.

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Are you serious? There are three options when you find a trackable. Retrieve, Grab, or Discover. Pretty straight forward for the average 3rd grader.

Actually this feedback is dead on accurate, based on my observations while researching trackables and marking more than 3,200 of them as "missing." Back when the only option was "retrieved," it was easier to understand what to do. I've lost count of how many "discovered" logs I've read where a newer geocacher clearly stated that they had retrieved the trackable item and intended to place it in another cache. When they do that, and don't see the trackable in their inventory to drop, that trackable falls off the radar screen.

 

What's worse is when the newbie cacher can't figure out how to log the trackable into the cache so they write "Dropped off coin GC1234" in their log, letting anyone so inclined create virtual logs against the trackable and potentially getting it locked.

 

This issue of "retrieve", "grab" or "discover" seems like another situation where changing the wording might be useful - just like "needs maintenance" and "needs archived" against a cache might be better called "needs owner attention" and "needs reviewer attention" or similar, maybe the trackable options might be slightly reworded to make it clearer to everyone just what they all mean.

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Suggestion for stages:

 

A cacher visits a cache where a trackable is listed, but it's not in the cache. They log this on the trackable's page using a new logtype: Not in Cache. This notification goes to the TO and CO.

 

Additionally, this logging action automatically "greys out" that trackable from that cache inventory. (Not removes it completely, just greys out the text a bit - It could even be referred to as "ghosting the trackable". That would be enough to alert everyone that the trackable is not there.)

 

What next?

 

After a period of 3 months (open to debate!), if that trackable has no further 'movement' log on it (i.e. a 'retrieve' or 'grab') the system automatically marks it 'Missing'. It goes to the limbo state of "Unknown Location" and disappears from the cache inventory.

 

During the 3 month period any any further 'retrieve' or 'grab' log on the trackable would automatically confirm its existence and bring it back to full opaqueness.

 

Note: If any trackable passes into Unknown Location through an error (e.g. it was in the cache but the cacher just didn't see it there) it is very easily brought back into the game by the next person who finds it and notes the tracking number. Marking any trackable as Missing does not mean (and has never meant) that the item can not return to the game.

 

Sounds like a great idea!

Edited by Love Cachers

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Currently, the TB owner has the responsibility, not the "option", of keeping the record straight concerning their TB. The CO is responsible for keeping the cache record up to date. When neither one takes their responsibility seriously, it would be nice if others could do something about it.

 

Sorry. The CO has no such responsibility.

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Currently, the TB owner has the responsibility, not the "option", of keeping the record straight concerning their TB. The CO is responsible for keeping the cache record up to date. When neither one takes their responsibility seriously, it would be nice if others could do something about it.

 

Sorry. The CO has no such responsibility.

 

It may not actually be a 'responsibility', but Groundspeak does advise: http://support.Groundspeak.com/index.php?pg=kb.page&id=57

 

re: cache maintenance by CO's ...

 

OWNERS:

 

Once you have made repairs, post an "Owner Maintenance" log on the geocache page. This log removes the Needs Maintenance Icon. Don't let your geocache be filtered out in Pocket Queries by forgetting to remove the Needs Maintenance Icon.

 

Additional reminders for Geocache Owners:

 

Replace the container if the current one is not holding up in its environment.

Make sure that that your container is watertight and that the contents are free from debris.

If any of the geocache contents are wet, dry them off or replace them.

Check that there is enough space left in your logbook for many more entries.

If winter is approaching, make sure you include a pencil in your geocache since the ink in pens can freeze.

If your geocache will not be accessible due to seasonal weather conditions, note this on the geocache page.

Verify the Trackables that are listed in your geocache. Those that are listed in the online inventory but are no longer physically in the geocache can be marked as "missing" by using the appropriate link on the Trackable's page.

-------------------------

 

Also, see http://support.Groundspeak.com/index.php?pg=kb.page&id=152

 

reading in part: If you are not the Trackable owner or geocache owner and notice that a Trackable is not in a geocache, you can use the Trackable's reference number to log a note to the Trackable listing telling the owner that the Trackable is not there. Or you can email the geocache owner or the Trackable owner and point them to this Knowledge Book page. As a courtesy, it is nice to email the Trackable owner first.

-------------------------

 

In other words I would guess it is not 'mandatory', but is considered proper etiquette and part of standard cache maintenance to make sure cache inventories of trackables is accurate and up-to-date.

 

This doesn't solve the inventory problem and solution being discussed here, but would be greatly improved by making the recommended change to how trackables are handled in cache inventories.

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Is this dead, or GS still implementing a solution to enable geocachers to mark a trackable missing? Keeping the listings accurate would be very helpful when the TO and CO are MIA.

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The story so far:

 

This thread is now over two years old. So far this is the only official word we've gotten back from Groundspeak:

 

I can't give you any specifics or a timeframe, but an overhaul of the trackables system is currently in the brainstorming phase.

 

I guess my phrasing was a bit underwhelming. However, as a longtime cacher, I can tell you that I am very excited about the changes being discussed.

 

There has been no commitment to put it on the schedule to develop, so there's no real status update to offer you.

 

I think these were the last official updates on the possibility of adding this feature.

 

When last I posted here, not six months ago, I wrote that I'd left notes on over 500 missing TBs. Since then it's grown to over 650, and I have not exactly been caching my butt off this year.

 

I'd really like to see this added. If nothing else, it makes the reviewers' jobs easier. Keystone has noted that he personally has marked over 3,200 TBs missing. Wouldn't it be nice if there was a system in place where we could identify these missing bugs for reviewers?

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The story so far:

 

This thread is now over two years old. So far this is the only official word we've gotten back from Groundspeak:

 

I can't give you any specifics or a timeframe, but an overhaul of the trackables system is currently in the brainstorming phase.

 

I guess my phrasing was a bit underwhelming. However, as a longtime cacher, I can tell you that I am very excited about the changes being discussed.

 

There has been no commitment to put it on the schedule to develop, so there's no real status update to offer you.

 

I think these were the last official updates on the possibility of adding this feature.

 

When last I posted here, not six months ago, I wrote that I'd left notes on over 500 missing TBs. Since then it's grown to over 650, and I have not exactly been caching my butt off this year.

 

I'd really like to see this added. If nothing else, it makes the reviewers' jobs easier. Keystone has noted that he personally has marked over 3,200 TBs missing. Wouldn't it be nice if there was a system in place where we could identify these missing bugs for reviewers?

 

I believe Jeremy's quote very nicely encapsulates GS attitude toward the problem.

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I believe Jeremy's quote very nicely encapsulates GS attitude toward the problem.

I believe his quote accurately conveyed the status of the requested improvement.

 

As has been said many times, there are lots of improvements that Groundspeak would LIKE to make, but programming resource constraints and urgent priorities like server overloads prevent all of these improvements from happening on a reasonable timeline.

 

In my personal opinion, "attitudes" like yours contribute to Groundspeak's reluctance to post timeframes or commitments for implementing specific suggestions. Instead, the improvements show up as unexpected surprises from time to time.

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I'm just a little bit chuffed that interest from other cachers has kept my "Feature Suggestion" active for two years! :D

 

I've always enjoyed the Trackables aspect of the geocaching game but my enthusiasm for it has been waning over the last couple of years. (And I never thought I'd say that.) Not just because of this on-going problem of too many ghost trackables in caches but also other recent practices in handling and recording trackables which seem to have become acceptable withing the geocaching community. I'm unlikely to buy any more in the future - I'll just be re-cycling my old tracking numbers as my own items "disappear" in one way and another.

 

MrsB :)

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I am the same. Got plenty of lost trackables so I just recycle the numbers. Was buying 10 TBs every two weeks but stopped about 6 months ago and don't plan to buy any more.

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I'm just a little bit chuffed that interest from other cachers has kept my "Feature Suggestion" active for two years! :D

 

I've always enjoyed the Trackables aspect of the geocaching game but my enthusiasm for it has been waning over the last couple of years. (And I never thought I'd say that.) Not just because of this on-going problem of too many ghost trackables in caches but also other recent practices in handling and recording trackables which seem to have become acceptable withing the geocaching community. I'm unlikely to buy any more in the future - I'll just be re-cycling my old tracking numbers as my own items "disappear" in one way and another.

 

MrsB :)

 

What 'practices' are you referring to ... ??

 

Always hate to see folks losing interest in the trackable aspect of GCing. ... :(

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I'm just a little bit chuffed that interest from other cachers has kept my "Feature Suggestion" active for two years! :D

 

I've always enjoyed the Trackables aspect of the geocaching game but my enthusiasm for it has been waning over the last couple of years. (And I never thought I'd say that.) Not just because of this on-going problem of too many ghost trackables in caches but also other recent practices in handling and recording trackables which seem to have become acceptable withing the geocaching community. I'm unlikely to buy any more in the future - I'll just be re-cycling my old tracking numbers as my own items "disappear" in one way and another.

 

MrsB :)

 

What 'practices' are you referring to ... ??

 

Always hate to see folks losing interest in the trackable aspect of GCing. ... :(

 

Will PM you - Don't want to take this topic off at a tangent.

 

MrsB

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I believe Jeremy's quote very nicely encapsulates GS attitude toward the problem.

I believe his quote accurately conveyed the status of the requested improvement.

 

As has been said many times, there are lots of improvements that Groundspeak would LIKE to make, but programming resource constraints and urgent priorities like server overloads prevent all of these improvements from happening on a reasonable timeline.

 

In my personal opinion, "attitudes" like yours contribute to Groundspeak's reluctance to post timeframes or commitments for implementing specific suggestions. Instead, the improvements show up as unexpected surprises from time to time.

 

I have to agree with jholly on this and say I think Jeremy's post shows a total lack of regard for what his customers (many of them paying customers) think about the service his company provides.

 

If the powers that be decide it's a bad idea they have every right to reject it and say they won't be doing it. If they think it's a good idea it would be nice to at least have an idea that they are going to look at it, and maybe an idea of what sort of priority the change has been assigned.

 

Instead we get nothing, one admin talking as if it's going to be done only for Jeremy to come and say no decision has been made. If no decisions are going to be made on the ideas put forward here, this forum has no purpose. As it stands the only purpose I can see to this forum is as a place that anyone who wants to set up in competition with Groundspeak can come and see some of the things Groundspeak's customers wish they would do.

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I believe Jeremy's quote very nicely encapsulates GS attitude toward the problem.

I believe his quote accurately conveyed the status of the requested improvement.

 

As has been said many times, there are lots of improvements that Groundspeak would LIKE to make, but programming resource constraints and urgent priorities like server overloads prevent all of these improvements from happening on a reasonable timeline.

 

In my personal opinion, "attitudes" like yours contribute to Groundspeak's reluctance to post timeframes or commitments for implementing specific suggestions. Instead, the improvements show up as unexpected surprises from time to time.

 

Suggesting that GS doesn't post timeframes or commitments because someone might show "attitude" seems like giving them an easy way out.

 

We know NOTHING, but perhaps as a moderator you are privy to more information regarding these alleged resource constraints and server overload priorities. If that is the case, you make it sound like they can't pull their programming finger from the dike or the whole IT infrastructure house of cards will come tumbling down.

 

I believe I've been here long enough to have a firm set of expectations regarding GS's (lack of)communications -- an "unexpected surprise" (is there any other kind?) would be to see a list of prioritized list of development tasks with expected delivery timeframes and challenges affecting their delivery.

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If putting more control into the hands of cachers who actually enjoy finding and moving trackables is a bad thing, I'd like to know how. The Cache Owner is under no obligation to monitor trackables in their caches and the Trackable Owners can't necessarily physically monitor the movements of their possessions. They rely on us, the geocachers who find and log the caches, to keep this stuff moving and up to date. How can we do that if every means currently at our disposal (writing notes and NM logs) is ineffective? We spend money on this stuff and expect some small amount of return on the investment...in the form of written logs and photographs - a journal of sorts - of where these things go. As it is, I think we have the right to some small amount of "attitude" when we are made to feel like our money is going into a black hole and those with the power to help are perceived as being - or flat out state that they are - disinterested in our concerns.

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If the powers that be decide it's a bad idea they have every right to reject it and say they won't be doing it. If they think it's a good idea it would be nice to at least have an idea that they are going to look at it, and maybe an idea of what sort of priority the change has been assigned.
There is no shortage of good ideas. And there is no way that Groundspeak is going to be able to implement them all. I've been on teams that have had backlogs of good ideas that had been in the database for years.

 

Do you remember the Get Satisfaction feedback system that Groundspeak used for a while? One of the reasons they dropped it was because it was producing far more good ideas than they could ever implement, and users were getting the impression that just because people had voted up a good idea, that meant that Groundspeak would implement it in the next release.

 

So now we're back to the forums. This specific idea has been "submitted", so they consider it a good idea, and they have it in their database. I reread the lackey posts in this thread, and it looks like their developers have discussed it, but that's as far as it has gotten.

 

So, did you want a statement of the priority the change has been assigned? Or did you want a statement that the change had been assigned a higher priority?

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If the powers that be decide it's a bad idea they have every right to reject it and say they won't be doing it. If they think it's a good idea it would be nice to at least have an idea that they are going to look at it, and maybe an idea of what sort of priority the change has been assigned.
There is no shortage of good ideas. And there is no way that Groundspeak is going to be able to implement them all. I've been on teams that have had backlogs of good ideas that had been in the database for years.

 

Do you remember the Get Satisfaction feedback system that Groundspeak used for a while? One of the reasons they dropped it was because it was producing far more good ideas than they could ever implement, and users were getting the impression that just because people had voted up a good idea, that meant that Groundspeak would implement it in the next release.

 

So now we're back to the forums. This specific idea has been "submitted", so they consider it a good idea, and they have it in their database. I reread the lackey posts in this thread, and it looks like their developers have discussed it, but that's as far as it has gotten.

 

So, did you want a statement of the priority the change has been assigned? Or did you want a statement that the change had been assigned a higher priority?

 

It would be nice to know if we can look forward to seeing it at some point before, say, I'm too old to go geocaching any more.

 

It gives a really bad impression when the web site shows it's been submitted, lackeys appear to indicate it might just get done and when someone asks if there's any progress the only response is from Jeremy to say there's no commitment to do it at all.

 

I assume Groundspeak is a fairly small company but even so there seems little point in having a forum like this if there's going to be no feedback regarding which, if any, of the ideas might actually see the light of day at some point. If Groundspeak thinks it's a bad idea it's their ball and they are free to say they aren't going to implement it. If they think it's a good idea it would be nice to get some indication of when they might hope to implement it, even if it's nothing more than "great idea, but low priority so we can't say when we'll get to it". So far the most official statement appears to be Jeremy saying they may or may not even do it.

 

Hence my comment that the only apparent use of this forum is as a place for anyone wanting to set up in competition with Groundspeak to go to find a list of Things They Might Do Better.

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We still think this feature is well overdue - in 2013 we wrote notes for 49 "ghost trackables" and we are not very prolific cachers with 185 finds during the year.

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The TB system is a legitimate problem in my opinion and it's degrading the credibility of the game by seeding so many caches with false information. I used to love TBs, but since getting back into caching lately, I have quickly discovered that the TB system has completely fallen into disarray. If I do happen to find one, great (I haven't in a long time), but I no longer seek them out, and I would absolutely not spend money to buy one. Not anymore. The more people that lose interest, the worse the problem gets. The worse the problem gets, the more people that lose interest...

 

I think it's going to be a challenge, if even possible to keep them from disappearing. But it's totally possible to keep cache information credible. It's been a really long time since this idea was posted. I really hope it eventually gets some attention before the TB system dies on it's own from neglect.

Edited by Shortleaf

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It is really a sad situation that GS cannot take action to correct what causes so many of us so much frustration over an issue THEY MAKE SO MUCH CASH FROM.

Most companies go a bit out of their way to protect their cash cows.

 

A simple fix like the original suggestion here would prevent logs like this (below) that appeared today on a cache I have on my watchlist:

 

Log Date: 1/16/2014

We've been very disappointed on our trip from Utah to find so many travel bug hotels, or caches that list them in their inventory, to have no travelers to move. We took 2 of the 4 that were here today to move on during our long trip back home. Hubby loved this stop, as he's watched Adam Richmond on "Man Versus Food" get a free steak! No chance for hubby to try tonight!! Loved the decor on the motel. Fun stop!! Thanks!!

Edited by nevadanick

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I came looking for this thread again.

 

Lately, whenever a relatively novice cacher submits a cache or logs one of mine, when I have time, I'll go click on their finds. Any cache showing trackables, I'll Mark Missing that inventory at about an 80% rate.

Getting some automated, or semi-automated, user fix in for this would be very nice.

 

Think about how bad the missing cache issue would be if all the old archived listings still showed as active on the site. People would hardly believe that caches were really out there and findable at all. All the old trackable inventory does show.

 

Thank you

 

(when caches are mentioned on these forums, oldest local, favorites, fun etc, I often go there and clear huge trackable inventories; I do this when I travel as well.)

Edited by palmetto

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