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Restore the number of distinct caches to stats


niraD
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According to Moun10Bike, "I've been told that if the community demands [the separate count for distinct caches found], we will bring it back."

 

So, does anyone support the idea of bringing back the separate count for distinct caches found?

 

Personally, I liked it, because it was an easy way to verify that I hadn't inadvertently double-logged a find (e.g., by clicking the submit button an extra time).

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According to Moun10Bike, "I've been told that if the community demands [the separate count for distinct caches found], we will bring it back." . . . .

 

Last week, an announcement was made that Lab caches were now going to be included in the count effective June 3. It has not happened yet, even though the Statistics portion of the site was down for several hours. Nothing has changed.

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According to Moun10Bike, "I've been told that if the community demands [the separate count for distinct caches found], we will bring it back."

 

So, does anyone support the idea of bringing back the separate count for distinct caches found?

 

Personally, I liked it, because it was an easy way to verify that I hadn't inadvertently double-logged a find (e.g., by clicking the submit button an extra time).

 

Bring it back!

 

There are other ways, on other sites...

 

But. It was a 'Quick and Easy' way of seeing if you'd Double Logged.

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Project GC is still reporting the number of "unique geocaches". Tbh I don't look at stats here anymore - but I would agree that it's a) essential and b ) very, very easy to report this.

 

For casual users of stats it might not be important. For anyone interested at all in them it is.

Edited by Blue Square Thing
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Bring it back. But let me hide it. I don't want other people to get their knickers in a twist because I've log multiple finds on some caches. :ph34r:

Not a bad idea. What about if the stat was only visible on your private stats and the public couldn't see it, like the GC codes of your closest to home? Is there anyone that's desperate to have the general public know how many distinct caches they've found, or is this stat most useful as a personal sanity check? That is, do we need it configurable, or can it just be hard-coded to be hidden from the public?

 

My vote is to have it come back in some form, whether it's private or public, or if it's even a simpler stat that just tells you how many caches you've logged more than once. Whatever form it's in, a way to quickly check for duplicate logs is useful. If there has been confusion about the meaning of the stat, then add a little "What does this mean?" explanation popup beside it to explain its meaning.

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Bring it back. But let me hide it. I don't want other people to get their knickers in a twist because I've log multiple finds on some caches. :ph34r:

Not a bad idea. What about if the stat was only visible on your private stats and the public couldn't see it, like the GC codes of your closest to home? Is there anyone that's desperate to have the general public know how many distinct caches they've found, or is this stat most useful as a personal sanity check? That is, do we need it configurable, or can it just be hard-coded to be hidden from the public?

 

My vote is to have it come back in some form, whether it's private or public, or if it's even a simpler stat that just tells you how many caches you've logged more than once. Whatever form it's in, a way to quickly check for duplicate logs is useful. If there has been confusion about the meaning of the stat, then add a little "What does this mean?" explanation popup beside it to explain its meaning.

 

You already have the ability to hide your stats from public view:

 

http://www.geocaching.com/account/default.aspx

 

Edit Your Statistics Settings

http://www.geocaching.com/my/statistics_edit.aspx

 

I've spent a lot of time on these forums helping people understand what "distinct" means, and how to find and remove their duplicate (triplicate, quadruplicate) "found it" logs for one GC code. Judging by the number of times this comes up, I think it's safe to say that some people do prefer to keep their stats "clean".

 

I'm one of those people. I couldn't care less about what other cachers, or other forum regulars, think about my stats. The only time I've seen any angst about the multiple-logged find is when the discussion of temporary caches comes up.

 

The "distinct" finds stat had no reason to be removed from the website. It must not be a big deal to put it back, or we wouldn't have been invited to request its return. (Unlike the return of virtual caches or the completion of the souvenirs program.)

 

 

B.

Edited by Pup Patrol
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You already have the ability to hide your stats from public view...

I believe Toz was referring to hiding just this single stat, not all of them.

 

The "distinct" finds stat had no reason to be removed from the website. It must not be a big deal to put it back, or we wouldn't have been invited to request its return. (Unlike the return of virtual caches or the completion of the souvenirs program.)

I'm pretty sure it was removed because it was broken. When they added the Lab cache stats earlier this week, that count was no longer accurate and I think they just decided to scrap it entirely rather than spend the time investigating how to fix it. If we convince them it's still desired, then they'll spend the time figuring out how to make it work with the Lab caches.

 

All the problems with Lab caches seem to come back to one common flaw: the Lab caches are stored in a different way and in a different database than the geocaches. I think this was one of the big problems with the short-lived Geocaching Challenges, too. They were designed to be so different from regular geocaches that they just can't be integrated into the existing system/website in a coherent manner. If they had put them in the same database and just made some tweaks to add functionality (ie. add new columns or tweak existing columns to accept new data), things would be a lot easier.

 

Now, I don't profess to be an expert in database design, and I didn't stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night, so I don't know if this is really the best way to do things. However, the way it's been done for Lab caches and Challenges doesn't appear to work well either. Personally, I think it's time to bite the bullet and increase the membership rates, hire the required developers, and build a well-designed and more sustainable site from the ground up. The current one is just too broken to be salvageable.

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You already have the ability to hide your stats from public view...

I believe Toz was referring to hiding just this single stat, not all of them.

 

The "distinct" finds stat had no reason to be removed from the website. It must not be a big deal to put it back, or we wouldn't have been invited to request its return. (Unlike the return of virtual caches or the completion of the souvenirs program.)

I'm pretty sure it was removed because it was broken. When they added the Lab cache stats earlier this week, that count was no longer accurate and I think they just decided to scrap it entirely rather than spend the time investigating how to fix it. If we convince them it's still desired, then they'll spend the time figuring out how to make it work with the Lab caches.

 

All the problems with Lab caches seem to come back to one common flaw: the Lab caches are stored in a different way and in a different database than the geocaches. I think this was one of the big problems with the short-lived Geocaching Challenges, too. They were designed to be so different from regular geocaches that they just can't be integrated into the existing system/website in a coherent manner. If they had put them in the same database and just made some tweaks to add functionality (ie. add new columns or tweak existing columns to accept new data), things would be a lot easier.

 

Now, I don't profess to be an expert in database design, and I didn't stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night, so I don't know if this is really the best way to do things. However, the way it's been done for Lab caches and Challenges doesn't appear to work well either. Personally, I think it's time to bite the bullet and increase the membership rates, hire the required developers, and build a well-designed and more sustainable site from the ground up. The current one is just too broken to be salvageable.

 

Probably a simpler solution is to deep six the lab caches, or at least have them live a separate life and not be mingled in with real caches.

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Probably a simpler solution is to deep six the lab caches, or at least have them live a separate life and not be mingled in with real caches.

Probably. But more likely a simple programming change.

Distinct Caches = SELECT COUNT(*) DISTINCT gc_code WHERE ...

Total Finds = SELECT COUNT(*) WHERE ... + lab caches.

 

So anyone with lab caches would have more total finds than distinct caches.

 

But AFAIK you can only log a lab cache one time so every lab cache find is distinct. It's just as easy to add the lab cache count to the distinct caches as it is to add them to the total finds.

 

The problem is that everyone wants their statistics to be correct per their definition of what is correct

 

Groundspeak defines what the statistics are. Actually it's probably left up to the programmer as there seems to be no requirements or acceptance tests. While I find the discussions on the statistics irrelevant to my style of geocaching, I'm beginning to understand that for a vocal minority of cachers this is an important feature of the website. Threads like this end up being the defacto requirements and acceptance tests for this feature. It's a bit much to expect a programmer to know that once you decide to count lab caches in finds that means you need to count lab caches in distict caches as well, unless someone gives him/her the requirement.

 

What I interpret based on comments from Moun10bike and other lackeys, is that "Geocaching Labs" refers to a long term project to redesign the Geocaching site to be more maintainable and scalable. They're using agile development methods, so its not big one shot project. Instead the developers do a little bit at a time and produce a potentially deliverable system that we as users get to play with. Lab Caches are just the beginning of what is being developed. Users indicated that statistics were important so that is what they worked on in this last release. I don't think they were at the point where they were really ready to add statistics, but that is just my opinion. It's up to Groundspeak to determine the priorities and at this point I think they are willing to take input from customers and their own developers.

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What I interpret based on comments from Moun10bike and other lackeys, is that "Geocaching Labs" refers to a long term project to redesign the Geocaching site to be more maintainable and scalable.

I understood Geocaching Labs to be a testing ground for new concepts related to the game, not redevelopment of the existing product. For example, I believe the first Lab caches (at the Block Party and later Megas) were intended to test the viability of temporary caches. I think the Valentine's Day Lab caches were a way to test "private" caches.

 

I could be wrong, but that's what I gathered when the Labs were announced.

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Or if it's too hard to bring back the "distinct caches" count (now that Lab Caches are counted more fully in our stats, but still aren't 100% full-fledged caches), then perhaps Groundspeak could replace it with a "duplicate caches" count.

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Bring it back. But let me hide it. I don't want other people to get their knickers in a twist because I've log multiple finds on some caches. :ph34r:

+1. There are two or three local caches that we log multiple times (2 grandfathered moving cache and a multi-location vitual). Don't need outsiders get their knickers in a twist.

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This thread started June 6th and almost two weeks later less than two dozen people have expressed an opinion. It could be that very few people have noticed this thread, or maybe nobody really wants the distinct caches count brought back. I'd personally like to see it brought back but with so few supporters in this thread it doesn't look promising. I know I can get the info elsewhere but it was convenient to see that info when I opened up my stats page. I agree with an earlier comment that it would be even better if there was a duplicate logs count instead.

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According to Moun10Bike, "I've been told that if the community demands [the separate count for distinct caches found], we will bring it back."

 

So, does anyone support the idea of bringing back the separate count for distinct caches found?

 

Personally, I liked it, because it was an easy way to verify that I hadn't inadvertently double-logged a find (e.g., by clicking the submit button an extra time).

 

Yes, please bring back this useful feature. It was a quick way for me to know if I logged a cache more than once. And when looking at another players stats it was a way to know if they have been padding their numbers. By this I mean logging of bonus smileys on the same cache for doing something or answering a question as well as logging temp caches at events. Temp caches are those placed by the event host that do not have GC codes because they do not meet the separation guidelines. They are logged on the event page as an additional "attended". So if the event host places 200 "temp caches" the people attending are allowed to find those and post an additional "attended" log on the event page. So the event plus 200 temp caches logged as "attended" gives the player 201 attended events when they in fact attended only one event. Before this feature was taken away I was able to tell that a player with 10,147 finds on 8,639 distinct caches. That's a whooping difference of 1,508.

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My goodness,, another goofy change on this website. :blink:

 

I did go to the thread that this page linked to and from what i read, still don't undertand. Too many support tickets? People who can't figure out the difference between distinct versus total finds probably won't understand the support reply either.

As far as lab caches not counting correctly, they should be totally separate, possibly on their own website. They do not need to be included in our geocaching stats.

 

Please bring distinct back. And while you're at it, please bring the old cache submission form back. Oh, how bout this, please go back to sending us pocket query emails with the gpx file attached. ;)

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Too many support tickets seems a perfectly cromulent reason to drop a meaningless statistic.

 

From what I can tell distinct caches are are of interest to two groups: puritans who peruse the statistic pages to find people who are logging lots of caches/events multiple times, and semi-puritans who are concerned that they might have accidentally logged a cache more than one time and rely on this number as conformation that they haven't done so.

 

With regard to the first group, I'd rather that Groundspeak refrain from providing them with this tool to attack other cachers. Moreover, these puritans will grab at any straw to "prove" their world view is the only correct one.

"Groundspeak wouldn't publish the Distinct Cache number unless there is something wrong with logging found on a cache more than once." In this case, I thank Groundspeak from removing the annoying number and letting some people get there knickers untwisted.

 

With regard to the second group, it seems there are now other sites you can go to determine if you have accidentally logged a cache more than once. There are other sites that provide better tools that actually help to find the duplicate logs. Bringing back an "official" statistic for this seems unnecessary. The Distinct Caches number in the Geocaching.com stats just turned people who would otherwise not care into semi-puritans who flooded the the support line with tickets asking why they had different counts and how to fix this. Worse yet, some of these people became puritans and started to look for people who are entering multiple find for caches and events.

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semi-puritans who are concerned that they might have accidentally logged a cache more than one time and rely on this number as conformation that they haven't done so.
Ooh, ooh! I'm a semi-puritan!

 

Are there such things as demi-semi-puritans? How about hemi-demi-semi-puritans?

 

(SICNR)

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Too many support tickets seems a perfectly cromulent reason to drop a meaningless statistic.

 

From what I can tell distinct caches are are of interest to two groups: puritans who peruse the statistic pages to find people who are logging lots of caches/events multiple times, and semi-puritans who are concerned that they might have accidentally logged a cache more than one time and rely on this number as conformation that they haven't done so.

 

With regard to the first group, I'd rather that Groundspeak refrain from providing them with this tool to attack other cachers. Moreover, these puritans will grab at any straw to "prove" their world view is the only correct one.

"Groundspeak wouldn't publish the Distinct Cache number unless there is something wrong with logging found on a cache more than once." In this case, I thank Groundspeak from removing the annoying number and letting some people get there knickers untwisted.

 

With regard to the second group, it seems there are now other sites you can go to determine if you have accidentally logged a cache more than once. There are other sites that provide better tools that actually help to find the duplicate logs. Bringing back an "official" statistic for this seems unnecessary. The Distinct Caches number in the Geocaching.com stats just turned people who would otherwise not care into semi-puritans who flooded the the support line with tickets asking why they had different counts and how to fix this. Worse yet, some of these people became puritans and started to look for people who are entering multiple find for caches and events.

 

I am not in the first group. I do try to fulfill the cache maintenance guideline that states that i should delete obvious bogus logs but that's as far as my concerns go..

 

On the second, yes. I do want my stats to be as correct as possible but why should i have to go to another website to check? Everything should be right here at gc.com. Having this one stat in an obvious spot on my profile makes for an easy to see mistake that i or a glitch in the website may have made.

 

Honestly, it just doesn't seem like there would be that many support tickets pouring in from people who can't figure out what "distinct finds" means. On the otherhand, i would bet a dollar that lab caches messing with the stats might be the more likely reason for this being taken away.

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.. why should i have to go to another website to check? Everything should be right here at gc.com. Having this one stat in an obvious spot on my profile makes for an easy to see mistake that i or a glitch in the website may have made.

But the stat didn't help you find the duplicate. I suspect a lot of support tickets weren't over the meaning of distinct caches, but on how to fix the numbers. Once someone figured out that multiple find logs count multiple times, many wanted to find the duplicates so they could fix it. For many people this meant having to use a third party site, or a premium membership to get a my finds query along with using a third party tool.

 

Honestly, it just doesn't seem like there would be that many support tickets pouring in from people who can't figure out what "distinct finds" means. On the otherhand, i would bet a dollar that lab caches messing with the stats might be the more likely reason for this being taken away.

I don't buy this since it would be easy to add the lab caches to the distinct count. I don't think there is a way to log multiple finds on a lab cache, so it should be simple arithmetic. The number of support tickets is a much more likely reason.
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Too many support tickets seems a perfectly cromulent reason to drop a meaningless statistic.

Standard use of that word (appears legit but actually bogus) would seem to indicate your preference for the return of the number, which in the rest of the text, appears not to be the case.

 

and semi-puritans who are concerned that they might have accidentally logged a cache more than one time
How about those who just want to ascertain whether their regular logging procedure (especially when using 3rd party software and macros and all of that) isn't creating any incorrect results? Especially if the divergence between found/unique is growing or jumps quickly, it's a red flag for a process issue.
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Too many support tickets seems a perfectly cromulent reason to drop a meaningless statistic.

Standard use of that word (appears legit but actually bogus) would seem to indicate your preference for the return of the number, which in the rest of the text, appears not to be the case.

 

and semi-puritans who are concerned that they might have accidentally logged a cache more than one time
How about those who just want to ascertain whether their regular logging procedure (especially when using 3rd party software and macros and all of that) isn't creating any incorrect results? Especially if the divergence between found/unique is growing or jumps quickly, it's a red flag for a process issue.

Correct. Add one more semi-puritan to the list here. Whenever I see my unique and total count diverge, I know I've done something wrong, and look to see what I have to do to put it right. Since I started logging my finds from Field Notes, these kinds of problems have become rarer, but they can be a acute smart in the lumbar region to locate six months later with several thousand finds in total.

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.. why should i have to go to another website to check? Everything should be right here at gc.com. Having this one stat in an obvious spot on my profile makes for an easy to see mistake that i or a glitch in the website may have made.

But the stat didn't help you find the duplicate. I suspect a lot of support tickets weren't over the meaning of distinct caches, but on how to fix the numbers. Once someone figured out that multiple find logs count multiple times, many wanted to find the duplicates so they could fix it. For many people this meant having to use a third party site, or a premium membership to get a my finds query along with using a third party tool.

 

Honestly, it just doesn't seem like there would be that many support tickets pouring in from people who can't figure out what "distinct finds" means. On the otherhand, i would bet a dollar that lab caches messing with the stats might be the more likely reason for this being taken away.

I don't buy this since it would be easy to add the lab caches to the distinct count. I don't think there is a way to log multiple finds on a lab cache, so it should be simple arithmetic. The number of support tickets is a much more likely reason.

 

I'm going by what Moun10bike mentioned in another thread.

 

Incorrect counts of hides/finds for those with Labs will be corrected once the affected account posts a log or waits long enough for the cache to expire on the server. We have in fact removed the "distinct" line from the stats, as it seems to generate tons of support tickets from people who don't know what it means or why their numbers are different, and it was failing to properly count lab caches after the release.

 

The issue with incorrect links on Lab Cache milestones is still awaiting investigation.

 

Read the bolded part above. It doesn't seem to agree with your assessment of the situation.

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Correct. Add one more semi-puritan to the list here. Whenever I see my unique and total count diverge, I know I've done something wrong, and look to see what I have to do to put it right. Since I started logging my finds from Field Notes, these kinds of problems have become rarer, but they can be a acute smart in the lumbar region to locate six months later with several thousand finds in total.

I wonder how many semi-puritans have actually found that they had a duplicate log based on the Distinct Caches count. My guess is that if you are concerned about avoiding duplicate logs you already take care not to create them. The "Distinct Caches" statitistic is primarilly a "feel good" stat for the semi-puritan. It doesn't prevent them from making a duplicate entry and does little to help them fix the problem should it show up.

 

I'm not knocking semi-puritans. In fact I've been making a suggestion for a few years now that duplicate found logs generate a warning. Here's my feature request from earliet this year Feature Request

 

I'm going by what Moun10bike mentioned in another thread.

 

Incorrect counts of hides/finds for those with Labs will be corrected once the affected account posts a log or waits long enough for the cache to expire on the server. We have in fact removed the "distinct" line from the stats, as it seems to generate tons of support tickets from people who don't know what it means or why their numbers are different, and it was failing to properly count lab caches after the release.

 

The issue with incorrect links on Lab Cache milestones is still awaiting investigation.

 

Read the bolded part above. It doesn't seem to agree with your assessment of the situation.

The bold part clearly lists two reasons for dropping the Distinct Caches

  1. it seems to generate tons of support tickets from people who don't know what it means or why their numbers are different, and
  2. it was failing to properly count lab caches after the release

I gave a suggestion earlier in this thread on how lab caches could be counted in the Distinct Cache count. It seems almost trivial. If that were the only reason, Grounspeak could easily restore this statistic.

Edited by tozainamboku
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I for one am glad that the distinct word has been removed. It should never have been included in the first place in my opinion. I hope they do not ever bring it back, period.

 

Why would this stat matter to you? Do you have a guilty conscience or something? :o

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I for one am glad that the distinct word has been removed. It should never have been included in the first place in my opinion. I hope they do not ever bring it back, period.

 

Why would this stat matter to you? Do you have a guilty conscience or something? :o

 

I have no guilty conscience, however, this stat has been the source of much angst on these forums and in the geocaching community at large. If the stat goes away, it will likely become a non-issue, eventually.

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