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Geocaching Statistics


Danie Viljoen

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On 1/17/2020 at 9:42 AM, Danie Viljoen said:

There are a number of problems which complicate the statistics of Favourite Points. One of them is that there is no record of when and where a FP has been logged. I can not go back and figure out which caches had how many FP's at a specific time in the past. Another problem is that it is quite a lengthy process to update the FPs of the full database - it takes 3 days. For that reason I take a snapshot at year-end and save it for future use. (Because it takes so long I can also never be 100% sure that it is up to date, because by the time I reach the end the first caches may have new FPs that I will miss.)

 

Thanks for clarifying. It's a pity that it's quite difficult to generate comprehensive stats about Favourite points.

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2019 Statistics, part 8: Most finds during 2019

South African finds:

 1. iPajero    1946 finds
 2. Snotx2     1011 finds
 3. pieterix   1000 finds
 4. Fish Eagle  935 finds
 5. terunkie    889 finds
 6. TeamTatoo   850 finds
 7. StrickFam   795 finds
 8. Panters     729 finds
 9. ChrisDen    686 finds
10. rodnjoan    667 finds

African finds:

 1. iPajero    1946 finds
 2. Snotx2     1011 finds
 3. pieterix   1000 finds
 4. Fish Eagle  935 finds
 5. terunkie    900 finds
 6. TeamTatoo   850 finds
 7. StrickFam   795 finds
 8. Panters     730 finds
 9. ChrisDen    695 finds
10. rodnjoan    667 finds

 

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The effect of COVID-19 on the find rates in Africa (and South Africa):

1932798354_EffectofCOVID-19.jpg.7fcdaaf402d882bf33d2d260e5a2067c.jpg

It is interesting that only 2 days have 0 finds in South Africa: 29 March and 5 April. Not sure how it is possible! (The rest of Africa has not had a 0 finds day yet.)

The previous day with 0 finds was on 22 September 2005, 14.5 years ago!

Africa started declining a good 10 days before South Africa - probably because of earlier lockdowns in Morocco and the Spanish areas (mainly the Canary Islands).

 

Edited by Danie Viljoen
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I picked up quite a few finds during the lock down period, but suspect a lot of them were simply logs created on the wrong date, given that the official app doesn't allow one to change the date. Or maybe it's people playing dumb and simply logging on the wrong date to fill daily calendars, ie. being aspris. Here's all finds in South Africa since the lock down started: Project-GC.

Edited by pieterix
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The effect of COVID-19 on the number of new caches in Africa and South Africa:

 

The following graph shows the daily number of new caches, averaged over a week:

423291027_Newcaches.jpg.50a984ab7e19ddc5b52f7f54573ccc85.jpg

The first decline started on 9 March, followed by another big decline on 24 March (when the lockdown started in South Africa).

Surprisingly there are still new caches being published (mostly events).

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The effect of COVID-19 on the find rates in Africa (and South Africa):

The following is an updated view of the number of finds during the COVID-19 period:

2125582368_COVIDfinds.jpg.82d51a92860e086dfcb447fa7daa47bf.jpg

The yellow line shows the number of finds for the corresponding dates last year. We are currently at about 40% of last year's find rate.

There were 4 days with 0 finds in South Africa: 29 March, 5 April, 13 April and 14 April

The lowest number of finds in Africa was 5, on 30 March

 

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Most South African finds during the lockdown period:

The following cachers found the most South African caches since the start of the lockdown period (27 March) up to 7 July:

 1. ManKub:          447 finds
 2. LeAdBall:        159 finds
 3. StrickFam:       141 finds
 4. ChrisDen:        119 finds
 5. k j:             106 finds
 6. Snotx2:           84 finds
 7. Strandlopers w&e: 71 finds
 8. rashman5:         70 finds
 9. Namibseun:        65 finds
10. kashmander13490:  60 finds

Total number of South African finds during the lockdown period:

652030581_COVIDfinds2.jpg.c43b42e9a85ac2e246d82bddaccef8c9.jpg

 

 

 

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Interesting, thanks for the updated stats! :D

I was very surprised to see a cacher find over 400 caches over the lockdown! It seems to be a new handle splitting off from waydom, who is catching up with logging all the past finds.

 

I'm curious to know how many cachers have found a cache during the lockdown and how many cachers found their first cache during this time?

 

 

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From looking at the graph it appears of very few caches were find during the stage 4 lockdown and most were found after the amended stage 3 regulations. 

 

We have seen lots of new cachers in our area since the relaxation of the regulations. 

 

#2 to #7 are all in our area after the relaxation of level3. New 100 cache power trail

Edited by ChrisDen
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On 7/11/2020 at 8:53 PM, Delbadore said:

I'm curious to know how many cachers have found a cache during the lockdown and how many cachers found their first cache during this time?

 

A total of 1002 cachers found at least one cache during the period 27 March to 10 July.

Surprisingly, 443 of these cachers found their first South African cache during this same period.

 

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Most caches placed during the lockdown period:

 

During the period 27 March to 12 July 2020, 66 cachers have placed at least one cache in South Africa, and the total number of new caches is 261.

During the same period last year, 568 new caches were placed by 155 cachers.

 

Top cache planters:

1. Snotx2:         65
2. k j:            32
3. Skurwejantjies: 15
4. Desertal:       12
5. Adventure_T:     9

 

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Centroid:

The centroid of all active South African caches is currently at S30 09.905 E26 02.409, which is 29km east of Trompsburg in the southern Free State. The closest cache is GC19JT3  Louw Weppener.

 

The earliest centroid I calculated was on 8 October 2013, when it was at S29 13.290 E26 41.972. It moved 122km to the south west in the past 7 years, corresponding to the relative bigger growth of the number of caches in the Western Cape.

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African Centroid:

The centroid of all active African caches is at S17 37.931 E19 39.420, which is in southern Angola, just north of the border with Namibia. It is about 33km north of Rundu. The closest active cache is 138.3km away, GC7C4X6  Trees of Africa - Camel Thorn.

Edited by Danie Viljoen
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Top cache finders:

The following cachers have found the most South African caches:

 1. iPajero:       18497
 2. The Huskies:    8626
 3. rodnjoan:       8060
 4. terunkie:       6989
 5. Geelvink:       6963
 6. SKATTIE@1:      6781
 7. GorNat:         6663
 8. ChrisDen:       6654
 9. Louise_Gerhard: 6597
10. cownchicken:    6503
11. Henzz:          5994
12. PieterM:        5970
13. Leon St:        5597
14. Antron:         5546
15. pieterix:       5533
16. dolos:          5495
17. Wikkelgat:      5260
18. Thrips:         5236
19. Spesbona:       5188
20. TechnoNut:      5062

 

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Top cache hiders:

The following are the top hiders of South African caches of all time:

 1. PieterM:     503
 2. iPajero:     370
 3. Fish Eagle:  339
 4. SKATTIE@1:   333
 5. Panthera03:  328
 6. Adventure_T: 318
 7. Panters:     299
 8. ChrisDen:    294
 9. Enigma_DKL:  262
10. TechnoNut:   256
11. SawaSawa:    251
12. Snotx2:      250
13. GEO936:      231
14. Wazat:       229
15. Leon St:     227

 

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Top finders during the lockdown:

The following cachers have found the most South African caches during the period 27 March 2020 to 18 August 2020:

 1. ManKub:       455
 2. Uncharted_za: 213
 3. LeAdBall:     185
 4. MissShcroft:  176
 5. StrickFam:    166
 6. golden-girls: 163
 7. iPajero:      137
 8. Snotx2:       133
 9. Theon06:      127
10. ChrisDen:     123

 

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I guess the Lockdown months are now going to be some of the hardest (after 2001/2002) to find caches that were hidden - especially in SA?

 

 

Is there any way to do a correlation of when our experienced cachers (say >100 finds) found their first find and were converted to experienced cachers - and also how many cachers have been regular finders over at least a 2 -3 year period.

 

I really believe that to keep our game sustainable we need more cachers - then the hides / finds / events / etc. follow organically.

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On 9/8/2020 at 7:07 AM, ChrisDen said:

There are a significant number of new cachers every year that disappear very quickly. We need to find a way to turn some of those into long term cachers. 
 

 

Social media platforms is a gateway for newbies to the hobby.  It is alarming to see dirty laundry being washed out there.  The obsession of some people to try and tell others how to cache is not helping.  

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Number of cachers and active cachers in South Africa:

During the year 4 Nov 2019 to 3 Nov 2020 there were a total of 6283 cachers who found at least one cache in South Africa.

Of these, 1100 (17.5%) found at least 12 caches (my arbitrary measure of an "active" cacher).

1780 (28.3%) found only a single cache during the year.

(It must be noted that the lockdown period probably distorted these numbers.)

 

There were a total of 74161 finds during the year. (An average of 11.8 finds/cacher, which is surprisingly high)

If one only looks at the active cachers (those with 12 or more finds), then the average is 52 finds/cacher.

 

Over all time, there had been 48558 cachers who found at least one cache in South Africa.

5896 cachers (12.1%) found only a single cache in South Africa.

Their total number of finds is 1530626, for an average of 31.5 finds/cacher.

 

 

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Wow, thanks for the interesting stats! Indeed, caching popularity has dropped these past few years and Covid-19 has also added to this. What is a big concern too is a drop in owner maintenance - fewer caches are being placed and caches are also falling to the wayside without maintenance. 
 

I remember when the resuscitator challenge was popular (finding a cache that hasn't been found in more than a year). Now there are plenty of caches that fit this criteria! Can you perhaps generate some stats on find frequencies lately? 

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Posted (edited)

It will be interesting to see if anybody still reads this forum!

 

I have noticed that the total number of finds in South Africa has been dropping the past few years, and I am curious to pinpoint the reason(s).

 
First, a graph of the yearly number of South African finds:
image.jpeg.5a4430f9c79adf71019d10708d04319f.jpeg
Some observations if we compare the current situation to the peak:
 
The peak was for the year 7 Nov 2015 to 6 Nov 2016, when there were 207426 finds, for an average of 567 finds/day
Currently, for the year 1 May 2023 to 30 Apr 2024, there were 53701 finds, an average of 147 finds/day
 
In terms of total number of finds, we are currently down 74% from the peak, and we are back to Sep 2010 levels.
 
It gets interesting when we compare the number of cachers during these two periods:
Total number of cachers during the peak year: 9852, with an average of 21 finds during that year.
Total number of cachers during the last year: 7048, with an average of 7.6 finds.
So the number of cachers dropped by 28%, but they were MUCH less active; their average number of finds declined by a massive 64%.
 
The total number of new cachers during the peak year: 6190
Total number of new cachers during the past year: 4316 (-30%)
 
I am not able to calculate the exact number of active caches back then, because caches get archived and unarchived continuously, but the total stayed roughly the same. I don't think the number of active caches is the driving factor. The number of new caches, however, declined significantly:
New caches during the peak year: 3113 (8.5/day)
New caches during the last year: 859 (2.3/day)
The number of new caches now is 72% down from the peak.
 
To summarize
  • Massively fewer caches are being found now. 
  • Although there are fewer cachers (and new cachers) now than back during the peak period, this can't be the main reason. 
  • Although the total number of active caches has stayed relatively stable, the number of new caches declined a lot.
  • It is a clear fact that cachers are much less active now than back then. What the reasons are, I can only speculate. 
  • One possibility may be the relatively stable number of active caches during the last few years. It is possible that the really active cachers may have found most of the readily findable caches and are now reliant on newly placed caches, of which there are currently 72% fewer than back at the peak.

 

Any other possible explanations for the big decline?

 
Edited by Danie Viljoen
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The effect of COVID:

 

The COVID lockdown was from 15 March 2020 to 1 March 2021.

image.jpeg.7a998fa3fdea9c49c2a405897a5fd0db.jpeg

The total number of yearly South African finds declined from 101469 on 15 March 2020 to 66852 on 1 March 2021, a 34% decline. (Center part of the graph.) After that it recovered slightly to 76403, but then continued its long decline which started in November 2016. If one looks at the long term graph (see my previous posting), the effect of COVID is barely noticeable.

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