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edexter

Ignored Needs Maintenance logs

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   One of the "search and sorts" I do on occasion is to identify caches that have an open NM log before I go to look for the cache.  Yesterday instead I did a radial search and got a list of 500 caches with open NM logs, almost all of which (98% plus) have been ignored by the CO.   The only exceptions were caches that were currently disabled by the CO or  repaired by the CO  who had not posted an OM log.   Based on NM logs I have personally logged, I know that about 75% of NM logs are ignored and of those most end up being archived after an NA log and a disablement by The Reviewer.  Most of the ignored NM logs in my search are old ones and the problem reported has been fixed by someone other than the CO.   If you are a CO it would be helpful to the rest of us if you would review your caches for open NM logs and deal with them:  if the problem no longer exists, then post an OM log to that effect.  If the problem is on going, then respond to the NM log, please.

edexter

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I completely agree with you but as an owner of several caches myself one of them currently with a NM sign attatched to it. This cache had been treated by the next finder before I could do anything.

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31 minutes ago, edexter said:

Most of the ignored NM logs in my search are old ones and the problem reported has been fixed by someone other than the CO. 

 

If you compare your data with the last logged on date of those cache owners, you may find the reason, I guess. :)

 

There is nothing to do unless the cache maintenance log option is allowed to all players.

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8 minutes ago, Aer72 said:

I completely agree with you but as an owner of several caches myself one of them currently with a NM sign attatched to it. This cache had been treated by the next finder before I could do anything.

 

Looks (to me) that maintenance has been done a few times by others, yet still no OM from you.

You could have "done something" by the log saying the cache was soaked (and even wrote needs maintenance on their found it...) three months earlier than the last "log replacer".

 - Using the excuse that others are maintaining caches for you, so you can't do it is bogus.    :)

 

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2 minutes ago, cerberus1 said:

 

Looks (to me) that maintenance has been done a few times by others, yet still no OM from you.

You could have "done something" by the log saying the cache was soaked (and even wrote needs maintenance on their found it...) three months earlier than the last "log replacer".

 - Using the excuse that others are maintaining caches for you, so you can't do it is bogus.    :)

 

I had planned to visit the cache 4 days after the cache was maintained by the finder.

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59 minutes ago, edexter said:

    Most of the ignored NM logs in my search are old ones and the problem reported has been fixed by someone other than the CO.   If you are a CO it would be helpful to the rest of us if you would review your caches for open NM logs and deal with them:  if the problem no longer exists, then post an OM log to that effect.  If the problem is on going, then respond to the NM log, please.

 

We see that a lot, but instead of NMs , there's mentions of "log full", "log soaked", etc. in with the Found It log, and later "fixed" by the next person.

To me, that seems the CO isn't even reading any of their logs, or they'd at least be curious enough to check, JIC. 

Waiting until someone finally leaves a NM, when they've seen by logs that there's issues, to me,  appears they really don't want to be a hider anymore.

 

So what "feature" are you looking for?   It's not a bug... 

We supposedly have a cache-health score, but part of it relies on people leaving action logs.      :)

 

 

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26 minutes ago, cerberus1 said:

So what "feature" are you looking for?

 

Sometimes I have noticed that the cache doesn't need maintenance any more and noted this with my Find it log. A positive "Maintenance not needed" log type could help a lot, but actually there is no problems at all, because the NM status is primarily for the CO only and if the CO doesn't watch the status, the NM is meaningless.

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7 hours ago, Aer72 said:

I completely agree with you but as an owner of several caches myself one of them currently with a NM sign attatched to it. This cache had been treated by the next finder before I could do anything.

You can still post a log to clear the NM if there's no longer an action needed.  

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Yes, exactly:  if you are the CO of a cache with an open NM log and you know the cache is in good shape, posting an OM log noting that clears the open NM log.  Even if a CO pays no attention to notices, by simply reviewing your geocache list periodically you can tell which caches have open NM logs:  it's the ones with the little red wrenches next to their names...

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1 hour ago, edexter said:

by simply reviewing your geocache list periodically you can tell which caches have open NM logs

 

You can also use this tool to find caches which have the NM status.

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On 5/19/2018 at 8:09 AM, Aer72 said:
On 5/19/2018 at 8:05 AM, cerberus1 said:

 

Looks (to me) that maintenance has been done a few times by others, yet still no OM from you.

You could have "done something" by the log saying the cache was soaked (and even wrote needs maintenance on their found it...) three months earlier than the last "log replacer".

 - Using the excuse that others are maintaining caches for you, so you can't do it is bogus.    :)

 

I had planned to visit the cache 4 days after the cache was maintained by the finder.

 

If this were my cache, I would have gone with my plan to visit the cache, and ensure that it was maintained, then log the OM verifying the fix.  That assures others that you, the CO, have checked the cache as well as whoever fixed it.  And logging the OM gets rid of the red NM wrench, and that is a good thing.

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When someone posts an NM log, the CO is notified.  This means the next time they check their email they are aware of the NM log. They can either post a response (takes 30 seconds tops) or ignore it.  I think roughly half of all NM logs are ignored and are never acknowledged by the CO.  If an NM log indicates that the cache is damaged, especially if there is a photo showing the damage, and the CO does not reply, one can assume that the CO does not intend to repair the cache.  Either someone else does (typically) or eventually someone posts an NA.  Once an NA is posted, the clock starts ticking:.  About 25% get repaired or replaced at this point and the rest get archived, typically by the reviewer with no response from the CO.  About 10% of the time the CO archives the cache.  About 5% of the time the CO repairs or replaces the cache while complaining it really didn't need it.  About 1% of the time the cache was actually just fine.

Since an NM log is designed to alert the CO and the community that there might be (NM log based on dnfs) or is (NM based on cache damage) a problem with the cache. when a CO completely ignores a NM log, it's never a good sign.  The CO has a number of ways to respond on line in the moment but a total lack of response is it's own statement...

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Its actually also quite irksome if a CO ignores NM logs yet goes ahead setting up new caches rather than maintaining those he already has.  

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On 6/27/2018 at 5:22 AM, EmzyJanezy said:

Its actually also quite irksome if a CO ignores NM logs yet goes ahead setting up new caches rather than maintaining those he already has.  

 

Second this. How about The CO should be prevented from publishing new caches while cache maintenance is required elsewhere. COs should also stop complaining about NM logs specially when multiple experienced cachers report DNFs. 

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     Anyone who places a cache should understand that maintaining it comes with the territory, however most caches are never maintained.  This means that most cachers do not maintain their caches (sad but true).  Now anytime someone posts a log on any of my caches, I'm notified and can see it as soon as I open my email.  From reading the log, I can generally  tell if the cache needs maintenance.  If the log is vague about the problem, I email the logger and ask for more detail.  If the cache needs repair, I disable it until I can check on it.  Now anyone can do this, and except for waiting for a replay to an email, the whole process takes about two minutes. 

     Most cachers do not post NM logs, even when there is a problem.  The most common problem is that the log is soaked which means the cache is not waterproof and either needs a new log in a ziplock or a new cache box.  So if you come across a problem with a cache but no NM posted, there is no indication of a problem until you go to the cache and find a soggy pulp instead of a log.  After having had this experience a hundred times or so, I decided enough of that.  So now before I search for a cache I do a quick review of the last few logs and when it's clear there is an issue, I post an NM log.  Ten percent of the time, the CO responds in some way and addresses the issue.  90% of the time:  nothing.  I wait a month or so, then post a NA log indicating the issue and that the CO has not responded.  About 80% of the time, nothing happens and eventually The Reviewer archives the cache.  The remaining 20% either get repaired or archived by the CO, it's about 50:50 at this point.  So all in all, about 15% of caches that need maintenance get it and the rest are eventually archived.

    About one time in 20 I get pushback in some negative form from the CO.  (About one time in a hundred I get a positive response, like "Thanks for the heads up")  Typically it goes something like this:  "Why are you posting NM and NA logs on my caches when you haven't even visited it, you lazy armchair critic?  How dare you?"  For an NM it's because there is a problem with your cache according to the logs and you have ignored it. Please respond in some fashion.    For an NA:  it's because you ignored an NM log, so a damaged or missing cache keeps showing up as active on the map search page.  Please address it. 

    NM 's are designed to alert a CO of a problem with the cache not as a critic of the cacher as a person.  NA's are designed to get a cacher who has ignored both logs and an NM to go fix it or disable it so we don't go looking for a damaged or missing cache.  CO's who complain about feedback on the condition of their cache are basically saying they don't consider maintenance to be their responsibility.   On the other hand, they do feel it is your responsibility to go confirm the problem before you log an NM even though they can't be bothered to acknowledge a problem...

 

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16 minutes ago, edexter said:

   ...   So now before I search for a cache I do a quick review of the last few logs and when it's clear there is an issue, I post an NM log.  Ten percent of the time, the CO responds in some way and addresses the issue.  90% of the time:  nothing.  I wait a month or so, then post a NA log indicating the issue and that the CO has not responded.  About 80% of the time, nothing happens and eventually The Reviewer archives the cache.  The remaining 20% either get repaired or archived by the CO, it's about 50:50 at this point.  So all in all, about 15% of caches that need maintenance get it and the rest are eventually archived.

    About one time in 20 I get pushback in some negative form from the CO.  (About one time in a hundred I get a positive response, like "Thanks for the heads up")  Typically it goes something like this:  "Why are you posting NM and NA logs on my caches when you haven't even visited it, you lazy armchair critic?  How dare you?"  For an NM it's because there is a problem with your cache according to the logs and you have ignored it. Please respond in some fashion.    For an NA:  it's because you ignored an NM log, so a damaged or missing cache keeps showing up as active on the map search page.  Please address it. 

    NM 's are designed to alert a CO of a problem with the cache not as a critic of the cacher as a person.  NA's are designed to get a cacher who has ignored both logs and an NM to go fix it or disable it so we don't go looking for a damaged or missing cache.  CO's who complain about feedback on the condition of their cache are basically saying they don't consider maintenance to be their responsibility.   On the other hand, they do feel it is your responsibility to go confirm the problem before you log an NM even though they can't be bothered to acknowledge a problem...

 

 

This subject of armchair wannabe reviewers has more than a few threads.

I don't feel it's proper to log a NM, and definitely not an NA if you didn't visit the cache.  Others have opinions similar to yours.

 

I asked what feature you were looking for back in May, with no response.    This is the website forums, and it's not a bug ...

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As the thread doesn't suggest a new feature or report a bug, I am moving this to the Geocaching Topics forum.

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2 hours ago, edexter said:

After having had this experience a hundred times or so, I decided enough of that.  So now before I search for a cache I do a quick review of the last few logs and when it's clear there is an issue, I post an NM log.

 

 

Thank you. 

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6 hours ago, edexter said:

     Anyone who places a cache should understand that maintaining it comes with the territory, however most caches are never maintained.  This means that most cachers do not maintain their caches (sad but true).

 

Sort of the nature of the beast.  Sometimes I wonder.  One weekend cachers?  Garbage caches.  NA quickly.  Cachers with great caches.  Active for a fair while.  Great caches.  But they've left the game.  (Seem to be a fair number of them.)  Great hike for a number of caches!    But the bear chewed on that one.  No one will ever hid another cache there.  (Hiking/bushwhacking caches are on the decline.)  NM/NA?  Tough question.

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6 hours ago, edexter said:

I wait a month or so, then post a NA log indicating the issue and that the CO has not responded. 

Maybe they passed away. Another sad reality of the game. Just something to consider. 

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2 hours ago, Touchstone said:

Maybe they passed away. Another sad reality of the game. Just something to consider. 

There’s a heck of a lot of dead cache owners out there. 

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19 hours ago, cerberus1 said:

 

This subject of armchair wannabe reviewers has more than a few threads.

 

I differ on the term. I would call it ombudsman.  

 

Is it a reviewers job to log NMs and NAs? 

 

It is a community’s responsibility to note caches with issues and the reviewers job to decide if the cache warrants maintenance. They then disable and eventually  archive. It has evolved through the years, due to lack of community participation in the process,  that reviewers have taken on the responsibility of scanning for issues in the logs to determine if a cache needs their attention. They don’t post NMs and NAs though. 

 

If we as seekers, doing research for our next hunt, see a cache listing with obvious signs of neglect, and deterioration,  we owe it to the community to alert the owner, the reviewer, and those finders who don’t enjoy geocaching for numbers (they like a good container experience) by logging NMs and NAs. We shouldn’t need to spend time and gas money being the ombudsman investigating the many reports of years of neglect by finders who don’t wannabe ‘that guy’. 

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6 minutes ago, L0ne.R said:

I differ on the term. I would call it ombudsman.  

 

So you're saying that there's complaints about maladministration ?    And you're appointed to fix it?    :huh:   

The role of an "ombudsman" is to investigate complaints that haven't been solved by an organization.

No offense, but I find it odd to think that someone would appoint themselves to fix an "issue", when no one asked them to do it.    :)

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On 12/1/2018 at 10:32 AM, cerberus1 said:

 

No offense, but I find it odd to think that someone would appoint themselves to fix an "issue", when no one asked them to do it.    :)

 

To provide some evidence to a recurring issue...based on the feedback from that big Admin survey in the forums done a few months ago, I think there is an issue that most people who responded to the survey wanted fixed:

 

Edited by L0ne.R
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12 minutes ago, L0ne.R said:

To provide some evidence to a recurring issue...based on the feedback from that big Admin survey in the forums done a few months ago, I think there is an issue that most people who responded to the survey wanted fixed:

 

 

I figured the reason there weren't any replies to that post was because most realized that simply "counting how many times a word comes up" doesn't prove much. 

I could have said "...then I saw the CO did maintain it the day before."  and it would have come up on that "count" ...

 

Edited by cerberus1

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No offense, but I feel this "I'm going to save this hobby from itself !" thinking is a bit silly.  And way late.    :D

We're not seeing the  "non-forum" cacher having these issues. 

I was looking at cache pages today, in-between rain bouts, to find "regulars" with at least a 2T (dropping in ornaments).

Some logs might mention a damp log (one, "swag floating, the log okay"), but no one after that mentioned anything about the container's condition.

Did someone fix it?  Did the CO, now into another hobby do maintenance and didn't log an OM ?  Who knows...

 - But when I get there, I can decide if it simply needs a wipe-down or an NM.

 

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5 hours ago, L0ne.R said:

 

To provide some evidence to a recurring issue...based on the feedback from that big Admin survey in the forums done a few months ago, I think there is an issue that most people who responded to the survey wanted fixed:

 

 

Yours would be a valid point if all the words counted weren't from the same small group of people whose life mission is to complain about maintenance in the forums.

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On 12/1/2018 at 10:14 AM, L0ne.R said:

Is it a reviewers job to log NMs and NAs? 

 

Lest you forget, GS did do something about the maintenance issues out there and it's called the CHS.  I would have thought that NM logs would have hurt the CHS MUCH more than a series of subsequent DNFs, but apparently it's not working as it's intended.  The only way that it wouldn't affect the CHS is if the cache is automatically removed from CHS consideration once the NM log is filed, as maintenance is, in most cases, obviously needed since someone actually visited the cache to apprise it of its condition and filed the NM log.

 

As to the post suggesting a NM log without actually visiting the cache, while you might have some claim to file the log, it's no better than the CHS as to whether or not the cache truly needs maintenance. Your way is basically using the same method as the CHS, but without any "formula" to determine whether you might be correct or not.  I'll only file a NM log if I've found the container and determine it to be in need of maintenance.

 

On 12/1/2018 at 10:14 AM, L0ne.R said:

If we as seekers, doing research for our next hunt, see a cache listing with obvious signs of neglect, and deterioration,  we owe it to the community to alert the owner, the reviewer, and those finders who don’t enjoy geocaching for numbers (they like a good container experience) by logging NMs and NAs. We shouldn’t need to spend time and gas money being the ombudsman investigating the many reports of years of neglect by finders who don’t wannabe ‘that guy’. 

 

While I agree with your sentiment, I disagree with your approach.  You are, in essence, doing the same thing the CHS is doing, but without any sort of statistical analysis, other than your geo-senses, behind you to support your rationale.  That's why I will not post a NM without visiting the actual site.  I have no proof, only conjecture.  

 

As mentioned previously in other threads, I don't really see this overwhelming maintenance issue you apparently see in your area.  That does NOT mean it isn't an issue in your area, but I, @dprovan, @barefootjeffand others have repeatedly said that our respective communities don't typically have a maintenance issue that apparently plagues your caching area.  If it's truly that prevalent in your area, organize an event that de-stigmatizes the NM logs and re-emphasize the value of a community based maintenance effort that focuses on a partnership between seekers who file NM logs and COs of caches who shouldn't be offended when such a log is posted and go out and maintain the cache when a NM log comes through.  Make it a monthly event, or semi-annual, or annual so that there's a continued emphasis regarding maintenance, rather than a one and done event where the momentum stalls after a short time.  Let there be a consensus that some small maintenance is welcomed by COs (log replacement of full logs, swag additions when possible), while other types of maintenance (new container, general cleaning) would be unwelcome.  You'll never get complete agreement on all the topics but I would think you could come to an agreement on a few small items that would make well maintained caches more prevalent, rather than the unusual.  Continual complaints here on the forums where such a small audience gathers isn't productive and does absolutely nothing to address the issue in your area.

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How would the CHS have handled/scored this one?

Traditional

Published  17/3/13

D2/T2.5

3 NMs

45 Found Its. Early finds using a spoiler pic, most used other finders coords. 14 or more finders mentioned coordinates out by as much as 30 metres.

23 DNFs

7 WNs Most mentioning disparity in coords.

6 finders offering corrected coords

NA logged 8/11/18 to get the attention of a reviewer.

OM finally 2/12/18 with CO comments " Completed to remove unnecessary spam"  and " It seems many of the past cachers are not capable of reading past logs, reading clues or using a little bit of intuition to find a pretty easy cache. My apologies for not making this any easier for you earlier. "

Co-ords updated by CO 2/12/18, presumably using those of a previous finder.

Coordinate error 35m or 115 feet!

Barefootjeff probably knows which cache this is as he took a dip there!;)

 

 

 

Edited by colleda
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35 minutes ago, colleda said:

How would the CHS have handled/scored this one?

Were you hoping to get a response from one of the Developers at HQ, because I'm not sure they monitor threads like this, and I'm pretty sure nobody here would know how to answer that.

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51 minutes ago, colleda said:

How would the CHS have handled/scored this one?

Traditional

Published  17/3/13

D2/T2.5

3 NMs

45 Found Its. Early finds using a spoiler pic, most used other finders coords. 14 or more finders mentioned coordinates out by as much as 30 metres.

23 DNFs

7 WNs Most mentioning disparity in coords.

6 finders offering corrected coords

NA logged 8/11/18 to get the attention of a reviewer.

OM finally 2/12/18 with CO comments " Completed to remove unnecessary spam"  and " It seems many of the past cachers are not capable of reading past logs, reading clues or using a little bit of intuition to find a pretty easy cache. My apologies for not making this any easier for you earlier. "

Co-ords updated by CO 2/12/18, presumably using those of a previous finder.

Coordinate error 35m or 115 feet!

Barefootjeff probably knows which cache this is as he took a dip there!;)

 

 

 

 

Yes, I know the one you mean and I can see both sides of the story. The cache is in a deep gully with rather poor GPS reception, and right from the beginning the CO said in the cache description, "I am fairly sure my coords are a little out as accuracy was to ten metres and the bateries were rather low. So I have provide a photo of GZ." To make things worse, the GPSr the CO was using at the time was an older model that didn't perform at all well under those conditions. At the time I found it, the two previous logs had been DNFs and the most recent find almost a year earlier, but those DNFs all said they either didn't bring the spoiler photo with them or discovered they couldn't access it on site (there's no mobile data anywhere near GZ). With the aid of the photo, it only took me about ten minutes to make the find.

 

Five people have posted corrected coordinates on it, which themselves have quite a spread, suggesting that even modern GPSrs aren't coping too well with the location.

 

CoordinatesSpread.jpg.ac4b1ba15ed9bd95de087860fd78f6a0.jpg

 

Sure, the CO really should have responded to those NMs a bit sooner, but it's a reasonably remote cache taking a couple of hours of driving and hiking to reach and the cache was easily findable using the spoiler photo he provided on the cache page. I should also point out that the updated coordinates the CO eventually provided aren't the same as any of the coordinates those finders have posted, nor are they the average of them, although they fall generally in the same area, so I strongly suspect he went back out there to recheck it himself before posting the update.

 

I also have some sympathy as one of my own hides (GC664DZ) is in an even deeper gully, and even with my latest Oregon 700 I struggle to get day-to-day readings within 25 metres of each other. Like this CO, I provided spoiler photos for all the waypoints and final in the gully, but the last log on that cache (a DNF nearly 2 years ago) was from someone who didn't bring the photos and realised too late that there was no mobile data there (which it also says in the description - You'll likely have no mobile reception here so come prepared with everything you need). What is it they say about leading horses to water? Perhaps sometimes, with caches in locations like this with poor GPS reception, searchers need to do their homework before they set off.

 

 

Edited by barefootjeff
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I understand about checking descriptions and spoilers but that's not always practical. When I search an area I would do pocket queries and then load up the GPS. I'm not likely to read through 20 or 30 cache descriptions looking for spoilers. The CO really should have been on top of it when the logs started pointing out the inconsistances. I'll guess the CO did not take multiple coords on different days and average them out which is what I do on all of mine and even then I may come back and tweak them a little but I've never been out anything like 30m even in 2012 with my little Etrex 10.

Anyhoo, I'll have to go back and turn my frowny into a smiley. A good exuse to get my old Yamaha DT175 out of the shed and go trailing, when the weather's cooler.

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45 minutes ago, colleda said:

I understand about checking descriptions and spoilers but that's not always practical. When I search an area I would do pocket queries and then load up the GPS. I'm not likely to read through 20 or 30 cache descriptions looking for spoilers. The CO really should have been on top of it when the logs started pointing out the inconsistances. I'll guess the CO did not take multiple coords on different days and average them out which is what I do on all of mine and even then I may come back and tweak them a little but I've never been out anything like 30m even in 2012 with my little Etrex 10.

Anyhoo, I'll have to go back and turn my frowny into a smiley. A good exuse to get my old Yamaha DT175 out of the shed and go trailing, when the weather's cooler.

 

Some of the older caches I've found in the gullies around here, set using GPSrs of that vintage, were at least that far off. In the case of my one at Patonga, I took six sets of readings on six separate days and averaged them before publication, but even so, every time I've visited it since, I've been getting readings 20 or more metres different again. It's one of those locations that has a very restricted view of the sky and there's typically only 4 or 5 satellites visible at any one time, so I could post updated coordinates until the cows come home and it wouldn't make it any easier for anyone.

 

At least my Patonga one is only ten minutes from home so it was easy for me to check on multiple days, but for that one up in the Watagan Mountains it's maybe not quite so easy, particularly as at the time the CO set it he was too young to drive and had to rely on Dad's or Mum's taxi.

 

I don't know what the answer is to loading multiple caches via PQs and not being able to see the full cache page and any spoiler photos, because there are some caches, particularly the more remote ones away from the modern trappings of mobile data, where you really do need to properly prepare beforehand. It bothers me the way TPTB are trying to discourage people from ever looking at the cache page, as I'd hate to see the game reduced to just caches where all you need to find them is a set of coordinates and the hint.

 

Edit to add: On my latest cache, GC7YP51, a traditional, anyone trying to find it just using the coordinates is likely to come to grief, as they'll follow a road that appears to lead directly to GZ only to end up at the top of a cliff with GZ at the bottom and no easy way down. Hopefully they'll have the sense to at least look at the description then rather than attempt the climb.

Edited by barefootjeff
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5 hours ago, coachstahly said:

As to the post suggesting a NM log without actually visiting the cache, while you might have some claim to file the log, it's no better than the CHS as to whether or not the cache truly needs maintenance. Your way is basically using the same method as the CHS, but without any "formula" to determine whether you might be correct or not.

 

5 hours ago, coachstahly said:

While I agree with your sentiment, I disagree with your approach.  You are, in essence, doing the same thing the CHS is doing, but without any sort of statistical analysis, other than your geo-senses, behind you to support your rationale.  That's why I will not post a NM without visiting the actual site.  I have no proof, only conjecture.

Too funny. I had no idea anyone actually thought the mindless CHS was demonstrably better than humans reading logs, looking at cache descriptions, considering ratings, and knowing the people involved. The CHS is "statistical analysis"!! Hahahahaha.

 

Anyway, I think the CHS is wrong headed for a lot of reasons, but that doesn't mean there isn't enough information on a cache page to determine the cache needs maintenance without going to GZ. In particular, I often look at a cache log and decide going to GZ and not finding the cache would not add one iota to the evidence that the cache is missing. And once the log gets to that point, there's no reason to think anyone will ever go to GZ, so no NM will ever get filed. The CHS is already discouraging people from filing proper NMs. Please don't encourage more people to think they don't need to file NMs by claiming that the CHS is a better mechanism than human intervention for remotely deciding a cache is likely missing.

Edited by dprovan
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1 hour ago, colleda said:

Anyhoo, I'll have to go back and turn my frowny into a smiley. A good exuse to get my old Yamaha DT175 out of the shed and go trailing, when the weather's cooler.

 

Even with the updated coordinates, I'd still strongly recommend taking the spoiler photo, as GPS reception in the gully is still pretty suss and the hiding place isn't at all obvious - even if you look right at it, you probably wouldn't realise there's a cache in there.

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38 minutes ago, barefootjeff said:

 

Even with the updated coordinates, I'd still strongly recommend taking the spoiler photo, as GPS reception in the gully is still pretty suss and the hiding place isn't at all obvious - even if you look right at it, you probably wouldn't realise there's a cache in there.

I'll certainly do that, print the spoiler, but try without it first. Wont have any time in the next month anyway as I'm on a cruise to New Guinea and, on checking the four Melanesian islands I'll be visiting, have found there are no caches to be had. Bummer. Will be calling in at Cairns, Gladstone, Airlie Beach and Brisbane so no problem there. Did someone say vacation cache? Run for cover.

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2 hours ago, Touchstone said:

Were you hoping to get a response from one of the Developers at HQ, because I'm not sure they monitor threads like this, and I'm pretty sure nobody here would know how to answer that.

No not really, was kind of rhetorical I suppose.

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44 minutes ago, colleda said:

checking the four Melanesian islands I'll be visiting, have found there are no caches to be had. Bummer.

Exactly what I thought when I checked that with a possible future cruise in mind <_<...bummer. Enjoy the cruise. (I was pleased when my recent cruise called into Suva, that someone published the first cache there just a few weeks before my visit. Otherwise, there would have been no caches there either.) How do you like Earth caches? Feel like publishing any in the Melanesian Islands during your visit?

Edited by Goldenwattle

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Spoiler photographs don't show up on my Garmin, and bulk loads only show the last five logs. So unless I read the log before I leave home and can contact a friend to print a colour version of the spoiler photograph for me, (my B&W printer doesn't do a good job with photographs), the spoiler photograph is useless (non-existent) for me.

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14 minutes ago, Goldenwattle said:

Spoiler photographs don't show up on my Garmin, and bulk loads only show the last five logs. So unless I read the log before I leave home and can contact a friend to print a colour version of the spoiler photograph for me, (my B&W printer doesn't do a good job with photographs), the spoiler photograph is useless (non-existent) for me.

 

So what's the answer? Either we don't allow caches in places with poor GPS reception and/or no mobile data access, or accept that there are some caches you have to better prepare for, be willing to log a DNF the first time and come back better prepared another day, or simply put on your ignore list.

 

I really don't know how I could improve on my Patonga cache that would avoid the need for the photos. Whoever said a picture paints a thousand words was so right. At one time early on I even considered archiving it and moving the whole kit and caboodle to another site where GPS reception might be better, but I couldn't find anywhere locally that would fit with the series of physical waypoints woven into the story of that cache.

 

The same is no doubt true for the cache Colleda mentioned in the Watagan Mountains. As a finder of that cache who used the photo to good effect, I'd struggle to describe the hiding place in words that would be of any help to someone on the ground searching - you really have to see that spot to know what it is you're looking for. Yes, the CO's improved the odds a bit with the updated coordinates, but with the topography there it'd still be hard to get better than ten metres accuracy on any GPSr - you only have to look at the fifteen metres of spread in the "accurate" coordinates various finders have posted to see that - and with a ten or fifteen metre search radius in that spot with so many nooks and crannies and a very well concealed cache (necessary because of the high number of muggle hikers around there), I think it'd be pretty tough. The CO tried to be helpful by stating up front that the coordinates were likely poor and providing a photo on the cache page (not in a log but as a link on the page itself), and all he gets are NMs from people who didn't read the description or look at the photo and ultimately an NA which has still to be considered by a reviewer.

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7 minutes ago, barefootjeff said:

 

So what's the answer? Either we don't allow caches in places with poor GPS reception and/or no mobile data access, or accept that there are some caches you have to better prepare for, be willing to log a DNF the first time and come back better prepared another day, or simply put on your ignore list.

 

I really don't know how I could improve on my Patonga cache that would avoid the need for the photos. Whoever said a picture paints a thousand words was so right. At one time early on I even considered archiving it and moving the whole kit and caboodle to another site where GPS reception might be better, but I couldn't find anywhere locally that would fit with the series of physical waypoints woven into the story of that cache.

 

The same is no doubt true for the cache Colleda mentioned in the Watagan Mountains. As a finder of that cache who used the photo to good effect, I'd struggle to describe the hiding place in words that would be of any help to someone on the ground searching - you really have to see that spot to know what it is you're looking for. Yes, the CO's improved the odds a bit with the updated coordinates, but with the topography there it'd still be hard to get better than ten metres accuracy on any GPSr - you only have to look at the fifteen metres of spread in the "accurate" coordinates various finders have posted to see that - and with a ten or fifteen metre search radius in that spot with so many nooks and crannies and a very well concealed cache (necessary because of the high number of muggle hikers around there), I think it'd be pretty tough. The CO tried to be helpful by stating up front that the coordinates were likely poor and providing a photo on the cache page (not in a log but as a link on the page itself), and all he gets are NMs from people who didn't read the description or look at the photo and ultimately an NA which has still to be considered by a reviewer.

I was just saying what spoiler photographs are for me. Not that they shouldn't be used. However I have seen some COs use a spoiler photograph as the hint, instead of a written hint, when in some cases a written hint would work, and all can access that. I am guessing those COs are phone cachers, and have never used a GPS and don't know about the workings of them.

Edited by Goldenwattle
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5 hours ago, dprovan said:

In particular, I often look at a cache log and decide going to GZ and not finding the cache would not add one iota to the evidence that the cache is missing. And once the log gets to that point, there's no reason to think anyone will ever go to GZ, so no NM will ever get filed. The CHS is already discouraging people from filing proper NMs. Please don't encourage more people to think they don't need to file NMs by claiming that the CHS is a better mechanism than human intervention for remotely deciding a cache is likely missing.

 

Neither one is a good option, IMO.  If you're on the side of posting that you agree with those who post NMs without actually visiting the site, then you shouldn't have any complaints about the CHS either,  but that's not the point of this thread.

 

All of this is irrelevant,  based on the OP's title of the thread. I would have assumed that the reviewer or the CHS would have tackled a cache with a posted and ignored NM log already, but it appears that's not the case.   I would assume a NM log would carry a whole lot more weight than a DNF and would automatically trigger a CHS email, which would start the clock toward reviewer intervention if the CO is unresponsive.  Someone actually visited the cache and determined that it needs maintenance.  There's no grey area here, yet it appears nothing has been done.  There are 13 of the first 100 (which holds with my belief that in my area it's not as big a problem as in other areas) closest to my home coordinates with posted NM logs, many of which have gone unresolved (by the actual CO) for years.  We used to have 2 reviewers in the state and they'd follow up somewhat regularly, yet now there's only one and I'm pretty sure he's got too much on his plate to address this particular issue.  Most are wet log issues, meaning the container is probably faulty, and the large majority of them are micro P&Gs.  About half of them are owned by COs who are no longer involved.

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1 hour ago, coachstahly said:

I would assume a NM log would carry a whole lot more weight than a DNF and would automatically trigger a CHS email, which would start the clock toward reviewer intervention if the CO is unresponsive.

 

I don't believe that this is how it works, but my understanding of the CHS is a little loose and based pretty much on forum posts.   @Keystone would know.

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11 hours ago, dprovan said:

The CHS is already discouraging people from filing proper NMs.

The CHS is also already discouraging people from filing proper DNFs. :(

 

 

8 hours ago, Goldenwattle said:

I was just saying what spoiler photographs are for me. Not that they shouldn't be used. However I have seen some COs use a spoiler photograph as the hint, instead of a written hint, when in some cases a written hint would work, and all can access that. I am guessing those COs are phone cachers, and have never used a GPS and don't know about the workings of them.

I've found caches in locations with terrible GPS reception. In those cases, the COs used text hints, not spoiler photos. The goal here isn't to show exactly where the cache is hidden (spoiler photo). The goal here is to put the seeker at the correct GZ to start searching. If the text hint can get you within 10-20 ft (3-6 m), then it has addressed the problem with terrible GPS reception.

 

But yeah, the CO has to have some concept that not everyone uses a device that can display spoiler photos, or access the web from the field, or whatever.

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3 minutes ago, niraD said:

The CHS is also already discouraging people from filing proper DNFs. :(

 

Honestly...why is the CHS discouraging anyone from filing any log?  Why is the threat of a reminder to someone else causing anyone to hesitate to post the appropriate log?  

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6 minutes ago, J Grouchy said:

Honestly...why is the CHS discouraging anyone from filing any log?  Why is the threat of a reminder to someone else causing anyone to hesitate to post the appropriate log?  

Maybe the "reminder" isn't perceived as just a reminder.

Maybe geocachers don't want their DNF to be interpreted as NM, or as NA, either on its own or in combination with other DNFs.

Maybe geocachers don't want to contribute to getting a valued old cache archived.

Maybe geocachers no longer interpret DNF as "Did Not Find" but as "Summon the CHS".

Maybe something else.

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1 hour ago, niraD said:

Maybe the "reminder" isn't perceived as just a reminder.

Maybe geocachers don't want their DNF to be interpreted as NM, or as NA, either on its own or in combination with other DNFs.

Maybe geocachers don't want to contribute to getting a valued old cache archived.

Maybe geocachers no longer interpret DNF as "Did Not Find" but as "Summon the CHS".

Maybe something else.

 

I guess my point shouldn't have been phrased as a question.  I honestly just feel like none of those points you list should be a factor.  As long as I post honestly, I have no problem with triggering a CHS reminder, no matter what cache we are talking about. *

 

If a cache needs maintenance, post an NM log.

If you can't find it, post a DNF log. 

If the cache owner abandons a cache and doesn't maintain it, post an NA log.

 

This should all be very obvious and nobody ever ought to feel uneasy or conflicted about being 100% honest about the conditions in the field.  

 

* Also, this is entirely separate from the subject of whether or not a particular log SHOULD be a CHS thing.  Personally, I feel DNFs should barely affect the CHS, if at all.

Edited by J Grouchy
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3 hours ago, hzoi said:

 

I don't believe that this is how it works, but my understanding of the CHS is a little loose and based pretty much on forum posts.   @Keystone would know.

 

I don't know how it works either but it seems to me that the CHS is looking for caches that "might" need maintenance.  If a cache has a NM log on file (meaning it actually NEEDS maintenance) and it hasn't been cleared up, how is it not double flagged for both CHS and reviewer attention?  It seems to me that it would have two strikes against it, rather than the single possible CHS strike, which only assumes it needs maintenance.

 

I assume EVERY cache has a CHS.  We know that if it falls below a certain threshold, the email is sent out, indicating that something might be wrong.  I would also assume that a cache with an outstanding NM log, which indicates a requirement for maintenance (not a possibility of maintenance) , would automatically drop the score of the CHS beneath the threshold required for a "healthy" cache. Am I wrong to make this assumption?

 

Or does the NM log remove it from CHS algorithm scoring and place it in a separate grouping for possible future address by the local reviewer because it automatically indicates the need for maintenance?  That means there would be three flagged cache categories a reviewer would have to look at to determine if reviewer action is needed - a NM list, a CHS list, and a NA list. Add these three lists to their workload of reviewing caches for publication, answering emails, providing coordinate checks, doing this on a volunteer basis, living their personal lives, working at their non-caching job (and any other commitments that require some of their time), and it seems relatively simple as to why there are so many unresolved NM logs out there that absentee COs have left on their caches.

 

I understand and hope that NMs would be cleared up by the respective COs, but in many of the cases in my area, the CO is no longer active so they can't clear up the wrench with an OM log, which means the reviewer is the one that has to deal with each one of those and it's my guess that is low on their list of priorities.

 

While GS has pushed for increased maintenance, it seems to me that the onus of all of this is still falling back on the reviewers to take action.   Yes, the CO is the one who provides the maintenance needed for caches, but we've heard so many people complain that maintenance isn't done that GS came up with the CHS to help identify even more caches that might need some TLC, beyond the ones already tagged by the NM logs.  However, based on the problems indicated here on this thread, there are caches with longstanding NM logs that are still prevalent and require some sort of reviewer intervention because 3 out of 4 are ignored.  Now we're adding MORE caches to the pile that need addressing, since it's my guess that the same ratio probably holds true for the caches that are flagged by the CHS.  If reviewers don't have the time to address the ones that have already been flagged as requiring maintenance, then why is GS adding more caches to a list that "might" need attention of already swamped reviewers?

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5 minutes ago, coachstahly said:

I assume EVERY cache has a CHS.  We know that if it falls below a certain threshold, the email is sent out, indicating that something might be wrong.  I would also assume that a cache with an outstanding NM log, which indicates a requirement for maintenance (not a possibility of maintenance) , would automatically drop the score of the CHS beneath the threshold required for a "healthy" cache. Am I wrong to make this assumption?

 

Yes, every cache has a Cache Health Score, and it's no secret that a "Needs Maintenance" log has a negative impact on the CHS.  But, an NM log doesn't trigger an immediate drop below the threshold where a reminder email is sent to the cache owner.  The CO must be given a reasonable opportunity to address the issue.  If nothing else happens (owner maintenance log, cache temp disabled, subsequent finds of the cache, etc.) then the CHS will continue to decline to the point where, eventually, a reminder notification is triggered. 

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