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Rating System Change?

Summitt Dweller

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Not sure if this has ever been suggested or discussed so here goes... I'd like to suggest changing the existing difficulty/terrain rating system from a 1-5 scale (with half values) to a 0-9 (or 1-9) scale. How? Simply multipy existing ratings by 2 and subtract 1. Why? Well, for those of us who download cache data to Garmin units every character in the waypoint description is precious. The current scheme can demand up to 7 characters to represent the difficulty/terrain ratings (3-characters per rating plus a required seperator).


A 0-9 or 1-9 scale with whole numbers only (NO HALVES) would only require 2 characters. The advantage is that on a 6-character GPS unit we could then represent the waypoint with a 4-character ID (drop the GC prefix) plus a 2-character rating (1-character per rating and no seperator required).


Another option would be to convince some of the folks that author GPX readers and similar software to make this adjustment for us.


I understand that any such change would require some getting used to...but geocachers are exceptional people, they catch on fast.



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...I understand that any such change would require some getting used to...but geocachers are exceptional people, they catch on fast.




I don't know about that! Some cachers still haven't learned that a 1 for Terrain is only for wheelchair accesssible caches. icon_wink.gif



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Um, there's no reason at all to change the way Geocaching.com does the ratings, but if GPX Spinner doesn't already have this as an option, I'm fairly sure they wouldn't mind adding it. (I'm not going to add it to Watcher, but that's just because Watcher doesn't *do* waypoint mangling. There's no sense in Watcher doing Spinner's stuff if Spinner does it well enough... I'm too busy with Watcher stuff already. icon_wink.gif)


(I've often stuck the ratings in the altitude field, myself. I filter all my PQ GPX batches through Watcher, anyway, so I only have the rating there as a curiosity... I've already filtered all the 1/1s and 5/1s and such into "just in case" files... and put the 1/5s in the "very short list" file on my Meridian.)


[[[ ClayJar Networks ]]]

Home of Watcher downloads, Official Geocaching Chat, and the Geocache Rating System

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I think the Rating system could use a tweak.


There seems to be a slow start and then a quick rise in difficulty. All the seriouse terrain is compressed between 3 and 4 and it makes it hard to judge both what to rate your own cache as well as how difficult a cache is going to be.


True it's subjective but I think with a couple more years experience under our belts that was available when it was first done we can tweak it a bit.

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As I mentioned to Mark in email, I think this is a good idea, and have already updated the upcoming version (v0.9.4) of Utopia to allow a 1-9 scale for Difficulty and Terrain when exporting data to a file or your GPS. You'll also be able to embed this into the waypoint name, along with the found/unfound status, cache type and container size. Of course, you won't be able to get all that in, unless your GPS supports 10 character waypoint names. You'll have much greater control over the formation of the waypoint name than in the current version.


The display columns will continue to show the familiar 1-5 scale with ½ increments. The scale conversion will be performed during the export process.



"Don't mess with a geocacher. We know all the best places to hide a body."

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