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Number of world wide active virtual caches


Optimist on the run
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Following my analysis of the number of world wide active webcam caches (see separate thread), I've done the same analysis for virtual caches. The results are similar, but there are more of them, and the rate of decline is lower.

The number of caches at the end of each months since April 2000 is as follows:

Apr 2000: 0; May 2000: 1; Jun 2000: 3;

Jul 2000: 3; Aug 2000: 5; Sep 2000: 7; Oct 2000: 7; Nov 2000: 7; Dec 2000: 11;

Jan 2001: 15; Feb 2001: 22; Mar 2001: 41; Apr 2001: 59; May 2001: 78; Jun 2001: 118;

Jul 2001: 177; Aug 2001: 265; Sep 2001: 335; Oct 2001: 451; Nov 2001: 530; Dec 2001: 606;

Jan 2002: 730; Feb 2002: 887; Mar 2002: 1110; Apr 2002: 1366; May 2002: 1600; Jun 2002: 1923;

Jul 2002: 2307; Aug 2002: 2785; Sep 2002: 3265; Oct 2002: 3636; Nov 2002: 3991; Dec 2002: 4263;

Jan 2003: 4568; Feb 2003: 4815; Mar 2003: 5035; Apr 2003: 5261; May 2003: 5451; Jun 2003: 5605;

Jul 2003: 5806; Aug 2003: 5918; Sep 2003: 5965; Oct 2003: 6002; Nov 2003: 6046; Dec 2003: 6077;

Jan 2004: 6113; Feb 2004: 6139; Mar 2004: 6205; Apr 2004: 6263; May 2004: 6287; Jun 2004: 6281;

Jul 2004: 6293; Aug 2004: 6302; Sep 2004: 6273; Oct 2004: 6273; Nov 2004: 6262; Dec 2004: 6251;

Jan 2005: 6231; Feb 2005: 6217; Mar 2005: 6169; Apr 2005: 6126; May 2005: 6063; Jun 2005: 6012;

Jul 2005: 5986; Aug 2005: 5966; Sep 2005: 5938; Oct 2005: 5926; Nov 2005: 5903; Dec 2005: 5893;

Jan 2006: 5876; Feb 2006: 5867; Mar 2006: 5849; Apr 2006: 5841; May 2006: 5830; Jun 2006: 5817;

Jul 2006: 5803; Aug 2006: 5788; Sep 2006: 5771; Oct 2006: 5760; Nov 2006: 5747; Dec 2006: 5741;

Jan 2007: 5705; Feb 2007: 5691; Mar 2007: 5677; Apr 2007: 5662; May 2007: 5645; Jun 2007: 5629;

Jul 2007: 5614; Aug 2007: 5601; Sep 2007: 5592; Oct 2007: 5564; Nov 2007: 5557; Dec 2007: 5552;

Jan 2008: 5543; Feb 2008: 5531; Mar 2008: 5518; Apr 2008: 5510; May 2008: 5501; Jun 2008: 5493;

Jul 2008: 5477; Aug 2008: 5469; Sep 2008: 5457; Oct 2008: 5440; Nov 2008: 5437; Dec 2008: 5385;

Jan 2009: 5345; Feb 2009: 5336; Mar 2009: 5323; Apr 2009: 5310; May 2009: 5302; Jun 2009: 5294;

Jul 2009: 5279; Aug 2009: 5249; Sep 2009: 5236; Oct 2009: 5217; Nov 2009: 5179; Dec 2009: 5152;

Jan 2010: 5131; Feb 2010: 5126; Mar 2010: 5121; Apr 2010: 5113; May 2010: 5106; Jun 2010: 5101;

Jul 2010: 5088; Aug 2010: 5080; Sep 2010: 5077; Oct 2010: 5074; Nov 2010: 5065; Dec 2010: 5061;

Jan 2011: 5056; Feb 2011: 5039; Mar 2011: 5033; Apr 2011: 5021; May 2011: 5012; Jun 2011: 5007;

Jul 2011: 5002; Aug 2011: 4999; Sep 2011: 4992; Oct 2011: 4981; Nov 2011: 4978; Dec 2011: 4977;

Jan 2012: 4965; Feb 2012: 4963; Mar 2012: 4941; Apr 2012: 4936; May 2012: 4931; Jun 2012: 4917;

Jul 2012: 4912; Aug 2012: 4907; Sep 2012: 4904; Oct 2012: 4899; Nov 2012: 4894; Dec 2012: 4891;

Jan 2013: 4881; Feb 2013: 4876; Mar 2013: 4875; Apr 2013: 4871; May 2013: 4871; Jun 2013: 4870;

Jul 2013: 4869; Aug 2013: 4861; Sep 2013: 4853; Oct 2013: 4850; Nov 2013: 4848; Dec 2013: 4847;

Jan 2014: 4842; Feb 2014: 4840; Mar 2014: 4834; Apr 2014: 4830; May 2014: 4817; Jun 2014: 4811;

Jul 2014: 4806; Aug 2014: 4803; Sep 2014: 4797; Oct 2014: 4792; Nov 2014: 4787; Dec 2014: 4787;

Jan 2015: 4778; Feb 2015: 4775; Mar 2015: 4766; Apr 2015: 4761; May 2015: 4756; Jun 2015: 4742;

Jul 2015: 4737; Aug 2015: 4725; Sep 2015: 4719; Oct 2015: 4714; Nov 2015: 4712; Dec 2015: 4702;

Jan 2016: 4696; Feb 2016: 4690; Mar 2016: 4687; Apr 2016: 4682; May 2016: 4680; Jun 2016: 4668;

Jul 2016: 4665; Aug 2016: 4657; Sep 2016: 4649; Oct 2016: 4641; Nov 2016: 4636; Dec 2016: 4630;

Jan 2017: 4627; Feb 2017: 4623; Mar 2017: 4622; Apr 2017: 4615; May 2017: 4598; Jun 2017: 4594;

Jul 2017: 4586; Aug 2017: 4586;

It's interesting to note that unlike webcam caches, there seems to have been a decline in the number of virtuals being published in the months leading up to the cut-off date of November 2005. Were reviewers being stricter, or was there less interest in creating them?

Virtual graph.png

Edited by Optimist on the run
fix typo
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12 minutes ago, mvhayes1982 said:

Perhaps the decline in published Virtuals coincided with the "WOW Factor" requirement that was the band-aid attempt to save Virtuals as a category?

I'm not sure the time frame on the Wow Factor guidelines. 

The "Wow" factor was instituted in earlyish 2003.  Between that time and 2005 when Virtuals were retired as a cache type, there looks to be 1,000 Virtuals published as a conservative estimate.  Of the 6,000 or so Virtuals Published on the site, that's a pretty good chunk, so it's hard to say that the Wow factor made much of a dent on the submissions.  Definitely the heyday of Virtuals appears to be in the 2001-2002 time frame.

In spite of the various Forum threads on the demise of Virtuals, the graph above tells a different story for me.

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I suspect (but have no evidence, as I wasn't caching then) that the decline in virtual cache placement might simply have been a natural result of saturation.   I would expect that the obvious "wow" locations would eventually start to all be claimed by some virtual cache owner or another, leading to fewer of them being created over time.

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9 hours ago, Team Hugs said:

I suspect (but have no evidence, as I wasn't caching then) that the decline in virtual cache placement might simply have been a natural result of saturation.   I would expect that the obvious "wow" locations would eventually start to all be claimed by some virtual cache owner or another, leading to fewer of them being created over time.

I wasn't around at the time, but I've read that one of the triggers for the WOW Factor was the creation of increasingly mundane Virtuals. If that's true, then there really wasn't any saturation prior to the WOW Factor. Basically, if you can make it into a Virtual, no matter how lame, then it's a Virtual!

Based on the timings posted by Touchstone, the lower rate is most likely related to the WOW Factor. However, looking at it closely, there are actually two reductions in the rate leading up to the demise. The first happens early in 2003, which is probably when the WOW Factor was instituted. There's then another reduction in 2004, about 6 months before the peak. Were there any changes to the WOW Factor that further tightened the requirements?

This is an interesting graph. I see there were a few sharper drops, one immediately after the grandfathering, and two more around late-2008/early-2009 and late-2009/early-2010. Reviewers cracking down on ownerless Virtuals?

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On 8/20/2017 at 3:46 AM, Optimist on the run said:

Following my analysis of the number of world wide active webcam caches (see separate thread), I've done the same analysis for virtual caches. The results are similar, but there are more of them, and the rate of decline is lower.

The number of caches at the end of each months since April 2000 is as follows:

Jul 2017: 4586; Aug 2017: 4586;

 

 

Well @Optimist on the run your data for August 2017 is officially incorrect, as there has been a new virtual published today.

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1 minute ago, dprovan said:

Good point. It will be interesting to see the graph again at the end of next year. It hadn't occurred to me until just now how many new virtuals they're hoping for: nearly doubling the number.

True. I hadn't thought about it in those terms either -- 4,000 seemed like a sizable number, but I forgot about the information in this thread. Doubling is SIGNIFICANT. It will be interesting to see how many of those end up in the US. ("selfish American" right here). (just curious really, I recognize that geocaching is a truly global hobby)

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I submitted my last virtual in May of 2003. I was worried that it wouldn't be published, because of the WOW factor. I received an email that said something about how that reviewer didn't really post virtuals anymore, but that my submission was what a virtual cache should be like, so he published it. So that shows how much the WOW factor had cut down on virtual submissions, at least for that reviewer.

 

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1 hour ago, Team Christiansen said:
1 hour ago, Team Christiansen said:

Three new virtuals within the first hour of announcement.

Sorry four now.

I saw a link to a new one in another forum.  I did a webcam cache at the same location a couple of years ago.  Unfortunately, after 13 years it has been archived. 

Will new webcam caches to a select few uber hiders be available next?  I've suggested a few times that GS should allow temporary web cam caches at large (mega) events.

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3 hours ago, mvhayes1982 said:

Well @Optimist on the run your data for August 2017 is officially incorrect, as there has been a new virtual published today.

I should have added a disclaimer that the data for this month was correct to when I calculated the statistics. I hadn't anticipated more Virtuals being published, but there's always the possibility of some existing ones being archived. If someone reminds me at the end of the year, I'll run the statistics again.

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13 minutes ago, Optimist on the run said:

I should have added a disclaimer that the data for this month was correct to when I calculated the statistics. I hadn't anticipated more Virtuals being published, but there's always the possibility of some existing ones being archived. If someone reminds me at the end of the year, I'll run the statistics again.

Its more likely the existing ones will get archived easier because the new virtual are coming in.  Ever time a virtual get archived, its like pulling teeth. So the old ones arent so safe anymore... even its less painful.

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13 minutes ago, Optimist on the run said:

I should have added a disclaimer that the data for this month was correct to when I calculated the statistics. I hadn't anticipated more Virtuals being published, but there's always the possibility of some existing ones being archived. If someone reminds me at the end of the year, I'll run the statistics again.

Let me be explicitly clear - My post was tongue in cheek. Obviously, none of us could anticipate new virtual caches being published. I appreciate the work that went into mining this data for both virtual and webcam caches. 

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1 hour ago, SwineFlew said:

Its more likely the existing ones will get archived easier because the new virtual are coming in.  Ever time a virtual get archived, its like pulling teeth. So the old ones arent so safe anymore... even its less painful.

Interesting thought. I wonder if there will be a bigger crackdown on ownerless Virtuals*. There are many out there that should be archived, and archiving lots of them would be more palatable now.

*with "ownerless" meaning Virtuals whose owners are no longer active and/or aren't dealing with bogus logs.

Edited by The A-Team
Clarification
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2 hours ago, The A-Team said:

Interesting thought. I wonder if there will be a bigger crackdown on ownerless Virtuals*. There are many out there that should be archived, and archiving lots of them would be more palatable now.

*with "ownerless" meaning Virtuals whose owners are no longer active and/or aren't dealing with bogus logs.

Yes... that what I was trying to say. Now I think people wont be protesting as much when they archived a virtual since someone can place a new one at that location. I would love to see a new one back at Bruce Lee resting spot.

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1 hour ago, SwineFlew said:

Yes... that what I was trying to say. Now I think people wont be protesting as much when they archived a virtual since someone can place a new one at that location. I would love to see a new one back at Bruce Lee resting spot.

The archival of Bruce Lee's virt made me sad. I'm sure someone will put one back there? I'd be tempted, but I want to put a virt in my smaller town.

Edited by Ambrosia
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1 hour ago, mvhayes1982 said:

It will be interesting to see what percentage of the New Virtuals are placed at the location of archived well-loved Virts from the past. 

That is part is what I am watching for... The Eiffel tower got one today. I am not sure but I think there used to be a old one there.

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6 hours ago, SwineFlew said:

That is part is what I am watching for... The Eiffel tower got one today. I am not sure but I think there used to be a old one there.

Not as far as I can tell. I do like the design of this one though - some of the others seem a little underwhelming in terms of logging requirements. This one made me smile and is, I think, exactly the sort of thing that virtual caches can do.

So far the Canadian ones seem the most interesting to me. The one in Quebec City (or near it anyway) seems to be a webcam virtual as well which is thoughtful.

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It's interesting (at least I think it is) to note that if all  of the 4000 new virtuals are created then we will almost double the number of virtual caches out there, and there will be around 30% more virtuals in existence than there  was at their peak.
 

Would be nice to see what OOTR's graph looks like in 6-12 months.

 

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