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EliteJonathan81

(New Idea) Cache Rating System

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Many forums have an "ideas and suggestions" subforum, but I didn't find one here besides "user insights" but that seems to be more of user feedback on existing features rather than suggesting completely new features. If there is a better subforum for this thread, please let me know and move this thread accordingly.

 

Now that's out the way, let's get onto the idea.

 

Now I like the existing favourite point system, but I believe this could be expanded upon. As well as the existing favourite point system, an idea is that people in their "found it logs" should be able to rate these 3 qualities out of 5 stars: cache condition, cache location and hide originality. Specifically the cache location is not the immediate hiding place but the general area that the cache "brings you to", and the hide originality takes both the container as well as the immediate hiding place in mind. The cache condition? well that's self explanatory.

 

The cache condition should be separate from needs maintenance (though there should be an automatic prompt if the user tries to rate the cache condition lower than a certain amount eg 2), because if the log is full that shouldn't affect cache condition (but wet logs should). After an "owner maintenance" the CO should be able to manually reset their cache condition score after a resolving whatever was causing it to be in bad shape.

 

In addition to these 3 factors, people should also be able to rate their opinion on the difficulty / terrain as well as the size of the cache, because for the former especially the CO's rating might not be 100% reflective of how hard it is for people to find.

 

Once this data has been gathered, these should be displayed publically on the cache page. For the difficulty / terrain / size you could have the CO's rating separate from the user ratings, or have some interesting way of merging the two.

 

In addition to having these stats made public, you should also be able to filter by them, for example you could decide to only see: caches with a condition and location ratings of 3+.

 

 

Now comes the elephant in the room here. Notice I've said "people" or "users" but not specifically said who. More specifically, which features are accessible to premium members and what features are accessible to everyone. Well that's the part Groundspeak can decide upon, but for the sake of argument I'll provide my opinion (though if you disagree with this part, that's both fine and expected, but it's unrelated to the basic premise of my idea). My opinion is that all cachers (normal members and premium members) should have a similar experience finding quality or difficult caches (besides caches where the CO has decided to only allow premium members, and that's there prerogative and should stay that way). This includes having the filters (including the basic filters already in the game) accessible to everyone. In addition the 1.5 d/t thing for the mobile app is making it harder for newer players to find quality caches, hence why they often quit before getting addicted (and before wanting to pay money for premium memberships if you're listening Groundspeak). I don't think it would be controversial with anyone but Groundspeak to say that this restriction is not welcome. More specifically I think anything available for basic members on geocaching.com should be available for basic members in the app.

 

Now the above is mostly existing functionality I'd give to the base user, now for premium member functionality, you could have it so that only premium members can rate these caches (though basic members can use these ratings, and give favourite points as normal). This allows premium memberships to give more of there say on the caches in the area they like / dislike to help shape the GC community (which is what I think premium memberships should be about primarily). And this could be the first and of many new features Groundspeak could implement to allow premium members to have a bigger impact on the direction of this game both in their area and across the board.

 

Now as I've said above, if you disagree with the above 2 paragraphs that's fine, that's not the main purpose of the idea, and I could really make the above 2 paragraphs in a thread of it's own to discuss.

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If any public feedback is ever used, factored, and injected into my cache listing beyond my total control, I will never spend another dime on geocaching.

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I am moving this thread from the Geocaching Topics forum to the Website Feature Suggestions forum.

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As well as the existing favourite point system, an idea is that people in their "found it logs" should be able to rate these 3 qualities out of 5 stars: cache condition, cache location and hide originality.[...]

In addition to these 3 factors, people should also be able to rate their opinion on the difficulty / terrain as well as the size of the cache, because for the former especially the CO's rating might not be 100% reflective of how hard it is for people to find.

As I've mentioned in some of the previous threads on this topic, the more complex the data you're requiring from users, the more likely you are to get unthinking responses.

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What is the purpose of your proposed rating scheme?

 

It's a good way to help users filter out the bad caches so they end up pretty much disappearing into the oblivion of unpopularity, as opposed to simply blanket filtering micros as people often do. And it gives more of an incentive to hide quality caches in quality locations, along with proper maintenance to keep the cache in good condition.

 

If any public feedback is ever used, factored, and injected into my cache listing beyond my total control, I will never spend another dime on geocaching.

 

That's interesting to hear. I personally trust the public feedback for geocaching (the info in logs seems quite accurate), and while there might be some angry cachers rating a cache 1/5 for an unjustified reason, the majority usually outweights the minority here in my opinion, though your's may beg to differ. I'm personally of the belief that public feedback on difficulty (maybe not so much terrain or size) is more accurate from public vote than than the CO's judgement as it's the public that actually go and find the geocache (as opposed to imagining how hard it would be for others to find).

 

As well as the existing favourite point system, an idea is that people in their "found it logs" should be able to rate these 3 qualities out of 5 stars: cache condition, cache location and hide originality.[...]

In addition to these 3 factors, people should also be able to rate their opinion on the difficulty / terrain as well as the size of the cache, because for the former especially the CO's rating might not be 100% reflective of how hard it is for people to find.

As I've mentioned in some of the previous threads on this topic, the more complex the data you're requiring from users, the more likely you are to get unthinking responses.

 

Just to clarify this would be an optional thing to add to your log, not a necessity.

 

I am moving this thread from the Geocaching Topics forum to the Website Feature Suggestions forum.

 

I apologise since I'm new to the forums, I didn't realise there were 2 subforums: 1 for website and 1 for the app. However this is a suggestion for both the app and website (I don't know if there is a "general feedback" subforum").

Edited by EliteJonathan81

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Though asked for before, doubtful that Groundspeak would add a "rate this cache" system that could possibly be used to harass or embarrass it's members.

- When asked of the purpose of your rating scheme , you even enforce that thinking by saying, "It's a good way to help users filter out the bad caches so they end up pretty much disappearing into the oblivion of unpopularity".

 

You agree that issues are often simply presented in logs, since you say, "the info in logs seems quite accurate".

- So if cachers would just use the functions already present (DNF, NM, NA), "bad caches" would be taken care of, with no need for anything further. :)

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- snip - In addition the 1.5 d/t thing for the mobile app is making it harder for newer players to find quality caches, hence why they often quit before getting addicted (and before wanting to pay money for premium memberships if you're listening Groundspeak). I don't think it would be controversial with anyone but Groundspeak to say that this restriction is not welcome. More specifically I think anything available for basic members on geocaching.com should be available for basic members in the app.

I'd like to keep the restriction as-is, thanks. :)

 

Years ago, besides membership, a cacher had to invest in a hand-held GPSr before they could even get started in this hobby (or use a map...).

- Those people often learned as much as they could of the hobby, some maybe to justify spending those kinda bucks to the other half.

Today, most "basic members" are using phones they've already had for years.

No cost to load an app, and no incentive to learn a hobby (that you noticed mention of on some site) to start.

 

I think as part of a promise from the site many years ago, Groundspeak has continued to allow a basic member to see all caches (except pmo) on the site for free.

- They have to at least enter the site to access them. Something I guess...

There's no need otherwise to ever enter the site today with a phone.

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Are you aware of http://gcvote.com/ ?

 

No I wasn't aware. I might download it, though I don't know how well used this is.

 

Though asked for before, doubtful that Groundspeak would add a "rate this cache" system that could possibly be used to harass or embarrass it's members.

- When asked of the purpose of your rating scheme , you even enforce that thinking by saying, "It's a good way to help users filter out the bad caches so they end up pretty much disappearing into the oblivion of unpopularity".

 

You agree that issues are often simply presented in logs, since you say, "the info in logs seems quite accurate".

- So if cachers would just use the functions already present (DNF, NM, NA), "bad caches" would be taken care of, with no need for anything further. :)

 

I do agree with you there. Many cachers say things like "log wet" in a found it log, without using the tools they've been given already.

 

- snip - In addition the 1.5 d/t thing for the mobile app is making it harder for newer players to find quality caches, hence why they often quit before getting addicted (and before wanting to pay money for premium memberships if you're listening Groundspeak). I don't think it would be controversial with anyone but Groundspeak to say that this restriction is not welcome. More specifically I think anything available for basic members on geocaching.com should be available for basic members in the app.

I'd like to keep the restriction as-is, thanks. :)

 

Years ago, besides membership, a cacher had to invest in a hand-held GPSr before they could even get started in this hobby (or use a map...).

- Those people often learned as much as they could of the hobby, some maybe to justify spending those kinda bucks to the other half.

Today, most "basic members" are using phones they've already had for years.

No cost to load an app, and no incentive to learn a hobby (that you noticed mention of on some site) to start.

 

I think as part of a promise from the site many years ago, Groundspeak has continued to allow a basic member to see all caches (except pmo) on the site for free.

- They have to at least enter the site to access them. Something I guess...

There's no need otherwise to ever enter the site today with a phone.

 

Now I completely disagree with you there. I mean yes people had to invest in a GPS device, but your phone has an inbuilt GPS. Specifically a free in built GPS. Geocaching app is just a convenience tool. There are many GPS apps (that aren't designed for geocaching) that you can just type in your co-ordinates completely for free. Heck there are even 3rd party geocaching apps that connect to geocaching.com without this restriction either (not mentioning names as I don't want to get banned here). So if I wasn't a premium member, I could very easily get around this if I wanted to, just would be rather annoying. Which makes me ask what does the restriction actually achieve besides a money maker for Groundspeak (and I don't have a problem with a company wanting to make money, I just don't like it specifically in this way).

 

When I was into this game 7 years ago I used to use a proper GPS. Now I do use a smartphone for geocaching (and it does have it's problems, namely battery life, so investing in a handheld GPS may not be any bad thing). And I'm the pedantic sort of geocacher (ie complaining when the sizes of cachers are listed wrongly etc). And using the smartphone app doesn't make any difference to how I cache beyond saving a great deal of time (including reading descriptions / hints / logs / logging my cache afterwards on the fly). But as I said earlier, I'm probably going to put this in a new thread of it's own (though it's probably been discussed to no end already).

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Many forums have an "ideas and suggestions" subforum, but I didn't find one here besides "user insights" but that seems to be more of user feedback on existing features rather than suggesting completely new features. If there is a better subforum for this thread, please let me know and move this thread accordingly.

 

Now that's out the way, let's get onto the idea.

 

Now I like the existing favourite point system, but I believe this could be expanded upon. As well as the existing favourite point system, an idea is that people in their "found it logs" should be able to rate these 3 qualities out of 5 stars: cache condition, cache location and hide originality. Specifically the cache location is not the immediate hiding place but the general area that the cache "brings you to", and the hide originality takes both the container as well as the immediate hiding place in mind. The cache condition? well that's self explanatory.

 

The cache condition should be separate from needs maintenance (though there should be an automatic prompt if the user tries to rate the cache condition lower than a certain amount eg 2), because if the log is full that shouldn't affect cache condition (but wet logs should). After an "owner maintenance" the CO should be able to manually reset their cache condition score after a resolving whatever was causing it to be in bad shape.

 

In addition to these 3 factors, people should also be able to rate their opinion on the difficulty / terrain as well as the size of the cache, because for the former especially the CO's rating might not be 100% reflective of how hard it is for people to find.

 

Once this data has been gathered, these should be displayed publically on the cache page. For the difficulty / terrain / size you could have the CO's rating separate from the user ratings, or have some interesting way of merging the two.

 

In addition to having these stats made public, you should also be able to filter by them, for example you could decide to only see: caches with a condition and location ratings of 3+.

 

 

Now comes the elephant in the room here. Notice I've said "people" or "users" but not specifically said who. More specifically, which features are accessible to premium members and what features are accessible to everyone. Well that's the part Groundspeak can decide upon, but for the sake of argument I'll provide my opinion (though if you disagree with this part, that's both fine and expected, but it's unrelated to the basic premise of my idea). My opinion is that all cachers (normal members and premium members) should have a similar experience finding quality or difficult caches (besides caches where the CO has decided to only allow premium members, and that's there prerogative and should stay that way). This includes having the filters (including the basic filters already in the game) accessible to everyone. In addition the 1.5 d/t thing for the mobile app is making it harder for newer players to find quality caches, hence why they often quit before getting addicted (and before wanting to pay money for premium memberships if you're listening Groundspeak). I don't think it would be controversial with anyone but Groundspeak to say that this restriction is not welcome. More specifically I think anything available for basic members on geocaching.com should be available for basic members in the app.

 

Now the above is mostly existing functionality I'd give to the base user, now for premium member functionality, you could have it so that only premium members can rate these caches (though basic members can use these ratings, and give favourite points as normal). This allows premium memberships to give more of there say on the caches in the area they like / dislike to help shape the GC community (which is what I think premium memberships should be about primarily). And this could be the first and of many new features Groundspeak could implement to allow premium members to have a bigger impact on the direction of this game both in their area and across the board.

 

Now as I've said above, if you disagree with the above 2 paragraphs that's fine, that's not the main purpose of the idea, and I could really make the above 2 paragraphs in a thread of it's own to discuss.

 

No. No to all of this. This would make the game more about cliques and less about adventure and getting outdoors. I like you're brainstorming but not the idea. I had written a thread about "advanced geocaching" which I thought was a good idea where people would work their way up to advanced status of caching and THEN could have access to more challenging caches. This way, newer people wouldn't get upset when they see that cache on their map knowing its to hard for them but they complain about it anyways. Instead it wouldn't show up at all on the map unless they applied to get into the advanced status which they would then agree to the challenges associated with high terrain caches. many people disagreed with this idea saying that no matter what you do you can't fix the problems that have been around in geocaching for years.

 

Give people a chance to rate a cache based on if they liked it or not and you give them a power that is undiserved and confusing. What if the cache is fine but because others don't like the hider suddenly the cache has a poor rating. Don't bring that social part into rating caches that will only bring headaches. I think having a stable rating system with more clarity from Groundspeak would be more helpful like out of 10 instead of 5.

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What is the purpose of your proposed rating scheme?

 

It's a good way to help users filter out the bad caches so they end up pretty much disappearing into the oblivion of unpopularity, as opposed to simply blanket filtering micros as people often do. And it gives more of an incentive to hide quality caches in quality locations, along with proper maintenance to keep the cache in good condition.

 

 

There are nearly as many opinions as to what constitutes a "bad cache" as there are geocachers. How else to explain the popularity of 1000 micro-cache long power trails with "community maintenance" AND the popularity of the novel and well maintained VIEW CARRE ' cache (no longer with us, unfortunately) and many others like it. There is just too much subjectivity to geocaching to make your scheme useful. Adding more granularity would just dilute the system to meaninglessness given the broad range of interests in the geocaching community.

The "favorite" point system, while flawed, at least has the virtue of being limited by experience (you have to earn those points in order to give them away.)

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No. No to all of this. This would make the game more about cliques and less about adventure and getting outdoors. I like you're brainstorming but not the idea. I had written a thread about "advanced geocaching" which I thought was a good idea where people would work their way up to advanced status of caching and THEN could have access to more challenging caches. This way, newer people wouldn't get upset when they see that cache on their map knowing its to hard for them but they complain about it anyways. Instead it wouldn't show up at all on the map unless they applied to get into the advanced status which they would then agree to the challenges associated with high terrain caches. many people disagreed with this idea saying that no matter what you do you can't fix the problems that have been around in geocaching for years.

 

Give people a chance to rate a cache based on if they liked it or not and you give them a power that is undiserved and confusing. What if the cache is fine but because others don't like the hider suddenly the cache has a poor rating. Don't bring that social part into rating caches that will only bring headaches. I think having a stable rating system with more clarity from Groundspeak would be more helpful like out of 10 instead of 5.

 

That's actually a very good idea to have an advanced cacher status, I didn't think of that. This idea could also go on my new thread as well.

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- snip - In addition the 1.5 d/t thing for the mobile app is making it harder for newer players to find quality caches, hence why they often quit before getting addicted (and before wanting to pay money for premium memberships if you're listening Groundspeak). I don't think it would be controversial with anyone but Groundspeak to say that this restriction is not welcome. More specifically I think anything available for basic members on geocaching.com should be available for basic members in the app.

I'd like to keep the restriction as-is, thanks. :)

 

Years ago, besides membership, a cacher had to invest in a hand-held GPSr before they could even get started in this hobby (or use a map...).

- Those people often learned as much as they could of the hobby, some maybe to justify spending those kinda bucks to the other half.

Today, most "basic members" are using phones they've already had for years.

No cost to load an app, and no incentive to learn a hobby (that you noticed mention of on some site) to start.

 

I think as part of a promise from the site many years ago, Groundspeak has continued to allow a basic member to see all caches (except pmo) on the site for free.

- They have to at least enter the site to access them. Something I guess...

There's no need otherwise to ever enter the site today with a phone.

Now I completely disagree with you there. I mean yes people had to invest in a GPS device, but your phone has an inbuilt GPS. Specifically a free in built GPS. Geocaching app is just a convenience tool. There are many GPS apps (that aren't designed for geocaching) that you can just type in your co-ordinates completely for free. Heck there are even 3rd party geocaching apps that connect to geocaching.com without this restriction either (not mentioning names as I don't want to get banned here). So if I wasn't a premium member, I could very easily get around this if I wanted to, just would be rather annoying. Which makes me ask what does the restriction actually achieve besides a money maker for Groundspeak (and I don't have a problem with a company wanting to make money, I just don't like it specifically in this way).

 

When I was into this game 7 years ago I used to use a proper GPS. Now I do use a smartphone for geocaching (and it does have it's problems, namely battery life, so investing in a handheld GPS may not be any bad thing). And I'm the pedantic sort of geocacher (ie complaining when the sizes of cachers are listed wrongly etc). And using the smartphone app doesn't make any difference to how I cache beyond saving a great deal of time (including reading descriptions / hints / logs / logging my cache afterwards on the fly). But as I said earlier, I'm probably going to put this in a new thread of it's own (though it's probably been discussed to no end already).

I think you may have missed the point. As you mentioned, cachers could use a GPS app on their phone to guide them to a set of coords after finding those caches on the website. They can certainly use a desktop, laptop, or phone to get to the website. But they'd still be visiting the website, which is the point. Visiting the website to learn about the hobby is different than simply downloading an app to 'play a game'. Some of the 'new players' that download the app are just looking for a new game to play, and then 'drop out' after a short time of playing.

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When the favorite system was added, I wondered by a 1-5 rating system wasn't done instead. After using it for a very short period of time, it became obvious that a favorite system was infinitely better than the 1-5 star rating.

 


  •  
  • It's all positive: You can't punish somebody because you don't like them or the location. If a cache is really not taken care of, then the NM/NA is the appropriate way of handling this.
  • Limiting this to premium members means it's much less likely that caches will be artificially raised up by sock puppets.
  • Limiting this to 10% of your finds means you are going to think before giving out a favorite point ... you're likely not going to give your buddy a favorite for his parking lot micro. Well you might, but it's up to you ... but nobody else will.
  • A 5 star rating system tends to rate nothing 5 star, and nothing 1 star. Things end up averaging down, and you'll get an inaccurate listing of "what are the best caches in an area"
  • The favorite system really does seem to work. In general, most caches with a high number of favorites really are something special. Either in location, with the hide itself, or something historical. I'll admit I don't understand why virtuals and earthcaches are always highly rated, as they usually aren't for me, but I've learned that.

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No. No to all of this. This would make the game more about cliques and less about adventure and getting outdoors. I like you're brainstorming but not the idea. I had written a thread about "advanced geocaching" which I thought was a good idea where people would work their way up to advanced status of caching and THEN could have access to more challenging caches. This way, newer people wouldn't get upset when they see that cache on their map knowing its to hard for them but they complain about it anyways. Instead it wouldn't show up at all on the map unless they applied to get into the advanced status which they would then agree to the challenges associated with high terrain caches. many people disagreed with this idea saying that no matter what you do you can't fix the problems that have been around in geocaching for years.

 

Give people a chance to rate a cache based on if they liked it or not and you give them a power that is undiserved and confusing. What if the cache is fine but because others don't like the hider suddenly the cache has a poor rating. Don't bring that social part into rating caches that will only bring headaches. I think having a stable rating system with more clarity from Groundspeak would be more helpful like out of 10 instead of 5.

 

That's actually a very good idea to have an advanced cacher status, I didn't think of that. This idea could also go on my new thread as well.

 

At least one of the letterboxing sites has the ability to hide boxes from members unless they have found at least 50 or 100 or 500 boxes. Of course you could lie and log boxes you didn't find, but in general the letterboxing folk seem to not care about the numbers and are much more into the stamp and art and creative write ups.

 

I'm not sure how well such a system would work here, or how a cacher would gain advanced status if something other than found/hide count was used.

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I'd love to see a supported system of deeper analysis of favourite point attribution, more than simply a mere count and percentage of finds. I know there are other apps/tools/sites that will do loads of statistical analysis with the information that's available, but to see deeper connections, like weighing how often a person who's given a fav hands out their points (rare may be more likely to mean the point has more meaning than someone who gives them out willy nilly); or as little as a percentage not of points to find logs, but points to finders who can give out points (PM); weigh in how many caches a person who's awarded a point has found; lots of little things like that. And then if the calculation is flexible enough, give us the option to weigh certain aspects differently for what we prefer (like say we'd value points awarded by people who enjoy higher terrain caches - bump those up higher on the list)

I think there's a whole lot of use that can be tapped into with this system. It's a network of data :)

 

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When the favorite system was added, I wondered by a 1-5 rating system wasn't done instead. After using it for a very short period of time, it became obvious that a favorite system was infinitely better than the 1-5 star rating.

 

A 1-5 star rating (gcvote) is way better than the favorites as they are now. I used gcvote for the few first years we were caching and it helped in selecting "good" caches. Favorites can give an indication on cache quality but it's useless to filter "good" ones. A new fabulous cache will only be filtered after enough PM's have found and favored it when filtering > xx favorite points, a "bad" cache will eventually have > xx after enough people found it.

That's where percentage comes in (a macro in GSAK will calculate % of PM finders vs. favorite points) but even then logs have to be read to check how "good" a cache is.

The way GCvote works it's possible to rate the level of "good" which gives a better impression of cache "quality" than the binary favorite system.

With GCvote I would rate some caches 4 or 4.5 stars (very good caches) but I would not give them a favorite point. On the other hand, we found caches with 25+ favorites I would rate 1 star on GCvote.

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When the favorite system was added, I wondered by a 1-5 rating system wasn't done instead. After using it for a very short period of time, it became obvious that a favorite system was infinitely better than the 1-5 star rating.

 

A 1-5 star rating (gcvote) is way better than the favorites as they are now. I used gcvote for the few first years we were caching and it helped in selecting "good" caches. Favorites can give an indication on cache quality but it's useless to filter "good" ones. A new fabulous cache will only be filtered after enough PM's have found and favored it when filtering > xx favorite points, a "bad" cache will eventually have > xx after enough people found it.

That's where percentage comes in (a macro in GSAK will calculate % of PM finders vs. favorite points) but even then logs have to be read to check how "good" a cache is.

The way GCvote works it's possible to rate the level of "good" which gives a better impression of cache "quality" than the binary favorite system.

With GCvote I would rate some caches 4 or 4.5 stars (very good caches) but I would not give them a favorite point. On the other hand, we found caches with 25+ favorites I would rate 1 star on GCvote.

 

The other thing with fp's is bad caches and decent caches don't differ so much in fp's, it's the caches that go above and beyond that get them. And that was how it was designed, I don't have enough fp's to toss around on the caches that I "quite like", only the truly awesome ones can get favourite points. And that's not a bad thing in itself (sometimes you want to find those gems out there), but sometimes you just simply want to get rid of the bad ones. Some caches I mean to give fp's to, but I can't (at least not yet) as I just don't have enough fp's to toss around.

 

Also (while you can use a macro to calculate a %), the older caches inevitably have more fp's so just by using the basic fp filter, you also filter out newer caches which arguably might be just as good.

 

Now 1-5 star ratings do have problems, especially the optional ones, as it's often very polarised. Eg the people who have an axe to grind rate 1, and those who really enjoyed it (ie those that would give an fp) rate 5. Now that's not entirely true, but it's often biased that way. But I still think it would be a useful metric to be integrated into the game itself. I'm still yet to try GC Vote. Also as mentioned in my OP, more categories to rate the cache in is useful so people know the pro's and con's, rather than just an overall rating. Eg a 1 - location, 1 - hide, 5 - condition is likely a nano on a lampost next to a busy road in an even more uninspiring part of it, however the cache is nicely maintained. And a 3/4/2 means a quality container that was either hand made, or different from usual in some respect, in a fairly nice location (either rural, or a somewhat interesting part of the city) but not very well maintained (with some problem) at all. A cache rated 3/5 could mean pretty much anything.

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I'd love to see a supported system of deeper analysis of favourite point attribution, more than simply a mere count and percentage of finds. I know there are other apps/tools/sites that will do loads of statistical analysis with the information that's available, but to see deeper connections, like weighing how often a person who's given a fav hands out their points (rare may be more likely to mean the point has more meaning than someone who gives them out willy nilly); or as little as a percentage not of points to find logs, but points to finders who can give out points (PM); weigh in how many caches a person who's awarded a point has found; lots of little things like that. And then if the calculation is flexible enough, give us the option to weigh certain aspects differently for what we prefer (like say we'd value points awarded by people who enjoy higher terrain caches - bump those up higher on the list)

I think there's a whole lot of use that can be tapped into with this system. It's a network of data :)

The only additional factor I'd like it to consider is the similarity of someone's Favorites to my own. It would be nice if I could get a list of caches that were marked as a Favorite by people who have similar preferences to my own.

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I'd love to see a supported system of deeper analysis of favourite point attribution, more than simply a mere count and percentage of finds. I know there are other apps/tools/sites that will do loads of statistical analysis with the information that's available, but to see deeper connections, like weighing how often a person who's given a fav hands out their points (rare may be more likely to mean the point has more meaning than someone who gives them out willy nilly); or as little as a percentage not of points to find logs, but points to finders who can give out points (PM); weigh in how many caches a person who's awarded a point has found; lots of little things like that. And then if the calculation is flexible enough, give us the option to weigh certain aspects differently for what we prefer (like say we'd value points awarded by people who enjoy higher terrain caches - bump those up higher on the list)

I think there's a whole lot of use that can be tapped into with this system. It's a network of data :)

That's where percentage comes in (a macro in GSAK will calculate % of PM finders vs. favorite points) but even then logs have to be read to check how "good" a cache is.

The geocaching.com website already does this, although it's only visible when looking at an individual cache page. Clicking on the down arrow next to the fave count towards the top of the cache page shows the percentage of faves / PM logs.

 

Perhaps, as a first step, the website's search results could display this % value instead of the raw fave count?

 

Seems that displaying the % idea has been brought up before:

Caches Ranked by Percent Favorites?

Favorite Points as a percentage

Edited by noncentric

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Another inherent issue with both the FP and Rating ideas is that if it's a generic rating, either type, it's entirely generic. Points can be given for some memory that is no relation whatsoever with the cache itself; something completely personal. Some may even do it to keep track of the cache. Granted that's likely a very small component of the whole, but it raises the concept of categorized ratings. ie, How would you rate the [insert aspect here] for this cache? (Fav* or 1-5) Container, approach, environment, location, puzzle, listing, etc. Far too many categories for general use, obviously :) but having a context for the awarded value would be that much more helpful towards weighing the desireability of a cache.

 

ETA: Random concept: Current FP system as it exists. Add: Expand the awarding panel to show specifics. If you wish to tie your point to a certain aspect of the cache, you can do so. If not, it remains a basic FP. Bonus: If you really like multiple aspects of the cache, you can assign multiple FPs, to different tags. Idea being that if the ability is there to provide more information, but it's not required, then the additional info is only helpful, and not in any way negative in that it's "more complex". Everything else remains exactly as is. But at least there'd be a way to find out why certain FPs were awarded, if the cacher chose to say why. hm.

Edited by thebruce0

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I'm stingy. I only give favorite points to caches that are exceptional in every way. Great cache, but nowhere to park -- no point. Great view and crappy nano -- no point. Could be why have a slew of them lying around I guess.

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ETA: Random concept: Current FP system as it exists. Add: Expand the awarding panel to show specifics. If you wish to tie your point to a certain aspect of the cache, you can do so. If not, it remains a basic FP. Bonus: If you really like multiple aspects of the cache, you can assign multiple FPs, to different tags. Idea being that if the ability is there to provide more information, but it's not required, then the additional info is only helpful, and not in any way negative in that it's "more complex". Everything else remains exactly as is. But at least there'd be a way to find out why certain FPs were awarded, if the cacher chose to say why. hm.
I think a simpler approach would be to correlate the FP awarded by different users, and to show me a list of caches that were enjoyed by people with similar preferences to my own. This is similar to the way sites like YouTube offer recommendations based only on a simple "thumbs up" rating system, and preference data for thousands of active users.

 

That eliminates the need to catalog everyone's reasons for awarding FP, as well as the need to maintain a list of potential reasons for awarding FP. Because ultimately, the reasons don't matter. All that matters is that I can get a list of caches that I'm likely to enjoy, because people with similar FP patterns liked them.

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That's where percentage comes in (a macro in GSAK will calculate % of PM finders vs. favorite points) but even then logs have to be read to check how "good" a cache is.

 

The geocaching.com website already does this, although it's only visible when looking at an individual cache page. Clicking on the down arrow next to the fave count towards the top of the cache page shows the percentage of faves / PM logs.

 

That's why it's an almost useless feature. If you cant filter or sort it can't be used to make a selection. At least GSAK allows filtering on FP, sorting on % and more before exporting to GPS. I can't imagine looking at all listings to see FP%.

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ETA: Random concept: Current FP system as it exists. Add: Expand the awarding panel to show specifics. If you wish to tie your point to a certain aspect of the cache, you can do so. If not, it remains a basic FP. Bonus: If you really like multiple aspects of the cache, you can assign multiple FPs, to different tags. Idea being that if the ability is there to provide more information, but it's not required, then the additional info is only helpful, and not in any way negative in that it's "more complex". Everything else remains exactly as is. But at least there'd be a way to find out why certain FPs were awarded, if the cacher chose to say why. hm.
I think a simpler approach would be to correlate the FP awarded by different users, and to show me a list of caches that were enjoyed by people with similar preferences to my own. This is similar to the way sites like YouTube offer recommendations based only on a simple "thumbs up" rating system, and preference data for thousands of active users.

 

That eliminates the need to catalog everyone's reasons for awarding FP, as well as the need to maintain a list of potential reasons for awarding FP. Because ultimately, the reasons don't matter. All that matters is that I can get a list of caches that I'm likely to enjoy, because people with similar FP patterns liked them.

I suppose those were two different use cases I was positing. One was showing caches by similar preferences (as you mention above), and one was on an individualistic basis to optionally have more detail about why a cache received the points it did.

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That's where percentage comes in (a macro in GSAK will calculate % of PM finders vs. favorite points) but even then logs have to be read to check how "good" a cache is.

The geocaching.com website already does this, although it's only visible when looking at an individual cache page. Clicking on the down arrow next to the fave count towards the top of the cache page shows the percentage of faves / PM logs.

That's why it's an almost useless feature. If you cant filter or sort it can't be used to make a selection. At least GSAK allows filtering on FP, sorting on % and more before exporting to GPS. I can't imagine looking at all listings to see FP%.

Agreed, that's why the sentence after the one you quoted was "Perhaps, as a first step, the website's search results could display this % value instead of the raw fave count?". If that was done, then at least search results could be sorted by the percentage.

 

If the % became more of a priority, then the Advanced Search filter could use it too - instead of, or in addition to, the current filter option of raw FP count.

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