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edexter

Ignored Needs Maintenance logs

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1 hour ago, niraD said:

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.

 

That might be okay if the location has features that can be easily distinguished in text, but the cache in question is in a rock crevice in the bank of a creek which is just rocks with crevices between them. Here's the spoiler photo from the cache page and a wider view that I took while there - how would you describe it in words that would distinguish it from anywhere else along that creek? All that's there are trees and moss-covered rocks, and they're all made out of ticky-tacky and they all look just the same.

 

1b058f94-658c-4bcd-8cae-c4c2c294f8da.jpg

 

ac209857-bbb8-4ea5-84aa-9e6fb334e872_l.j

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2 minutes ago, Keystone said:

 

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. 

 

Thanks.  I guess I still find it a bit illogical that the CHS tracks all caches to find caches that "might" need maintenance yet when a NM log is filed, it doesn't drop the cache beneath the threshold, despite the fact that it actually does need maintenance.  I get that time should be allowed for COs to address the issue, but the CHS email, if sent, still allows for that to occur as it stands currently AND requires some minimum action by the CO to prevent any future actions of a reviewer.  I also find it a bit unusual that it appears subsequent finds of a cache with a NM log actually increases the health of the cache, even though it still needs maintenance.  I understand the find after a DNF raising the CHS but the cache wasn't magically fixed just because it was found.  A cracked container is still a cracked container that needs to be fixed, regardless of the finds that come after the NM log.

 

If the health of the cache is what's most important (and it's my understanding that's why the CHS was implemented), I find it unusual that a log, which unequivocally states there is something wrong with the health of the cache, doesn't drop the health of the cache score below the threshold of a program that ambiguously states there might be something wrong with them.

 

Just to be clear, I'm not trying to argue or debate the merits of the CHS.  Any input we get from reviewers or lackeys to better understand some of the behind the scenes workings is much appreciated.  I just find it interesting and worth pointing out when it appears there's an incongruity that appears to go against a logical approach to what GS is attempting to do.

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Here is the description of how to find a cache that was hidden in a rainforest; a place that can be VERY tricky to find a cache in, as most of it looks similar. Another CO might have supplied a spoiler photograph, but this one gave useful instructions, which worked. Although my GPS performed better in there than I expected. (A long black snake followed me down the track, but that's separate to the comments here.)

 

" The GPS coordinates will bring you to the start of the Myrtle walk, take a left turn at bridge and head downstream. NO BUSH BASHING NEEDED.
Cache is on the left of the track after about 35 m behind a tall, distinctive twin trunked Myrtle tree only about 0.5 m from the trail, directly beside a small right hand bend in the track. One of the trunks is 3.5m high and dead. Opposite is a fantastically moss decorated spiral stump about 2.5 high It is between the large roots - you do not have to dig for it! It is weighted down with stone and hidden under a very large bit of moss covered bark.
Tread lightly and look for small sharp white rocks beside the trail on the left. I left them in a rough line pointing to the tree.
"

 

I did not find all of that description accurate; the "only about 0.5 m from the trail" for instance; it was further, and I don't remember seeing white rocks (but then I was trying to keep ahead of  that snake). However enough of the description was useful.

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2 hours ago, barefootjeff said:

That might be okay if the location has features that can be easily distinguished in text, but the cache in question is in a rock crevice in the bank of a creek which is just rocks with crevices between them. Here's the spoiler photo from the cache page and a wider view that I took while there - how would you describe it in words that would distinguish it from anywhere else along that creek? All that's there are trees and moss-covered rocks, and they're all made out of ticky-tacky and they all look just the same.

Is there anything that can be distinguished in text within a few hundred feet? Can the path from that landmark to GZ be described in text? I've seen that approach used a couple times.

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18 minutes ago, Goldenwattle said:

" The GPS coordinates will bring you to the start of the Myrtle walk, take a left turn at bridge and head downstream. NO BUSH BASHING NEEDED.
Cache is on the left of the track after about 35 m behind a tall, distinctive twin trunked Myrtle tree only about 0.5 m from the trail, directly beside a small right hand bend in the track. One of the trunks is 3.5m high and dead. Opposite is a fantastically moss decorated spiral stump about 2.5 high It is between the large roots - you do not have to dig for it! It is weighted down with stone and hidden under a very large bit of moss covered bark.
Tread lightly and look for small sharp white rocks beside the trail on the left. I left them in a rough line pointing to the tree.
"

 

Okay, but that relies on there being a track, a bridge, a distinctive Myrtle tree (which is only helpful if you know what a Myrtle tree looks like when you're out there reading it off your Garmin) and that fantastically moss decorated spiral stump. Some locations have lots of distinctive features but some don't, just a creek bed in a forest of look-alike eucalypts with piles of moss-covered rocks down either side. The only distinctive thing I can recall from that location is the pool and small waterfall a little upstream from GZ, but the cache page already mentions that and presumably it wasn't enough to fend off the NMs and NA.

Quote

Just above this cache is a small fall and a nice little water hole which after a little rain is good for a quick dip and it can be quite chilly! Also just across the other side of the creek from the cache is another beautiful falls with a rather large log.

 

Edited by barefootjeff

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4 minutes ago, barefootjeff said:

if you know what a Myrtle tree looks

I didn't, but " twin trunked " was the useful bit. That and my GPS worked better than I expected.

Edited by Goldenwattle

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2 minutes ago, Goldenwattle said:
6 minutes ago, barefootjeff said:

if you know what a Myrtle tree looks

I didn't, but " twin trunked " was the useful bit. That and my GPS worked better than I expected.

 

There's a cacher around here who delights in using the botanical names for trees in his hints. Unless you're a botanist, it pays to do your homework beforehand on his caches!

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2 hours ago, Keystone said:

You're assuming that all "Needs Maintenance" logs are valid and of equal importance.  As a reviewer and as a player, I've lost count of how many times I've rolled my eyes after reading a "Needs Maintenance" or "Needs Archived" log that was really just a DNF log: 

 

I agree with you that not all NM logs are valid and equal.  So why does the CHS assume that all DNF logs are valid and of equal importance?  It can't distinguish between someone who files the DNF without ever getting close to GZ vs. someone who got to GZ and searched for X amount of time before logging their DNF.  Regardless of whether or not it's a valid DNF, it still counts as a negative to the CHS.  Why would a NM log be any different?  Since we're going that route (validity), why does the CHS assume that all find logs are valid and increase the CHS of a cache?  Most of us on the forums can look at a string of DNFs, see a found it log, and then successive finds and realize that it's probably a throwdown cache.  Yet, all the CHS sees is finds which bump the health score of the cache up, even though the first find after the successive DNFs was a throwdown rather than a legitimate find.

 

Are you saying that the algorithm can differentiate between valid and invalid NM log types (or any other types)?  That would be great but I highly doubt that's the case.  The CHS treats all logs as valid, as I suspect it's designed to do,  until the reviewer steps in to determine the fate of the cache.

 

We can debate validity and importance of NM logs all day long, but in cases where the NM log is a legitimate claim, I would think that the CHS should fall below the threshold because the cache IS in need of maintenance, not possibly in need of maintenance. However, it's not possible for the algorithm to determine the validity of a NM log.  As Bruce often points out, it's better to err on the side of false positives rather than change the algorithm for a small group of caches that got caught up in the sweep inadvertently.  It's a small imposition on responsible COs to address the dual NM/CHS hit that would occur on invalid or less important NM logs, as they could take care of it with a quick log of some sort to notify the reviewer that they're aware of the situation.  If it were a more important NM log (container broken or container full of standing water), it still gets the dual hit and it hopefully draws a more immediate response by the CO to fix it or for the reviewer to take action and start the archival process for an absentee CO.  Time is still provided for the CO to fix any issues with both the NM and the CHS email, so that's really a non-issue.  Unresponsive and irresponsible COs would find that their inaction would lead to eventual archival.  I would hope that GS would rather have some invalid NM logged caches get accidentally flagged than some valid NM logged caches remain in the field, providing bad caching experiences to cachers, both old and new.

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3 hours ago, niraD said:

Is there anything that can be distinguished in text within a few hundred feet? Can the path from that landmark to GZ be described in text? I've seen that approach used a couple times.

 

I don't seem to be very good at that. At one time I created some multis that required matching numbered photos to a series of virtual waypoints along the walk, but someone complained that they couldn't see the photos on their phone and asked if in future I could use text-based waypoints. So for my next multi I had multiple-choice questions for each of the waypoints, including this one at an unusual rock formation where the question was, "Which anatomical feature does it most resemble?" with the four options being nose, eye, tongue or ear.

 

DSC_0021.jpg.ffef069d061423ca434e4603995b269a.jpg

 

To me, the cave is clearly poking its tongue out, but no, a lot of people thought it was a dog's nose. So I changed the question to say "human anatomical feature" but everyone still thinks it's a nose and wonders why the checksum doesn't work. So yeah, no more text-based waypoint clues from me, and I suppose I'll eventually I'll start getting NMs on that one complaining about ambiguous questions.

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2 hours ago, barefootjeff said:

I don't seem to be very good at that. At one time I created some multis that required matching numbered photos to a series of virtual waypoints along the walk, but someone complained that they couldn't see the photos on their phone and asked if in future I could use text-based waypoints.

I have seen multi-caches with "matching" photos in the cache description. For those, I would take screenshots on my phone, so I'd be able to view the photos if/when I lose cell signal while out on the trails.  I've also taken screenshots of photo hints that are provided with geochecker results, to save me from having to access that page again while out in the field.

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2 minutes ago, noncentric said:

I have seen multi-caches with "matching" photos in the cache description. For those, I would take screenshots on my phone, so I'd be able to view the photos if/when I lose cell signal while out on the trails.  I've also taken screenshots of photo hints that are provided with geochecker results, to save me from having to access that page again while out in the field.

 

I think it was more a case of her phone's display not being good enough to see any detail in bright daylight, particularly if the photos were a bit on the dark side.

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6 hours ago, barefootjeff said:

 

I don't seem to be very good at that. At one time I created some multis that required matching numbered photos to a series of virtual waypoints along the walk, but someone complained that they couldn't see the photos on their phone and asked if in future I could use text-based waypoints. So for my next multi I had multiple-choice questions for each of the waypoints, including this one at an unusual rock formation where the question was, "Which anatomical feature does it most resemble?" with the four options being nose, eye, tongue or ear.

 

DSC_0021.jpg.ffef069d061423ca434e4603995b269a.jpg

 

To me, the cave is clearly poking its tongue out, but no, a lot of people thought it was a dog's nose. So I changed the question to say "human anatomical feature" but everyone still thinks it's a nose and wonders why the checksum doesn't work. So yeah, no more text-based waypoint clues from me, and I suppose I'll eventually I'll start getting NMs on that one complaining about ambiguous questions.

Nose...🤥

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13 hours ago, niraD said:

Is there anything that can be distinguished in text within a few hundred feet? Can the path from that landmark to GZ be described in text? I've seen that approach used a couple times.

 

Like a Letterbox? 

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4 hours ago, NYPaddleCacher said:

Like a Letterbox? 

It could be. Or it could just be something simple, like "150 feet downstream of the falls" or "the third gray boulder".

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22 hours ago, Keystone said:

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. 

 

Additionally, a NM is a public, front-facing notice that everyone sees. Not so with the nudge email. With the NM flag a reviewer now has a much more visible actionable listing state htat needs attention in a reasonable time frame.

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Cerebus wrote "

On 5/19/2018 at 11:40 AM, cerberus1 said:

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

  I missed you asking about this.  Not looking for any feature in particular, just noting that typically there are many notes referencing problems with a cache before anyone posts an NM and that most NM logs are ignored by the CO.  This is a problem.

 

      More recently you wrote:  "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."   That's fair enough, I suppose. By visiting the cache, you may be able to confirm that it's there, but not that it's missing.  Here's a question for you:   Imagine that you were interested in finding a cache and the three of the last five "finds" described various levels of damage to the cache and two other recent logs were "dnf"s, in any order.  Would you believe the cache needed to be checked by the CO?  If so, would you do nothing, post an NM log or go visit the cache?  Assuming you decided not to post an NM or ignore the obvious problem and went to the cache site and couldn't find it:  after logging a dnf would you also log an NM?  If you did find the cache but it was damaged as previously noted, would you post an NM?  If you did post an NM and after two months there was no response from the CO would you then do nothing, log a NA, or go visit the cache again? 

    Imagine instead the cacher before you logged an NM which the CO ignored and you went anyway and couldn't find the cache:  after logging an dnf, would you also log an NA?   This is the conundrum:  if a cache is missing only the CO who placed it or someone who previously found it and remembers exactly where can determine for sure that it is missing.  Visiting GZ and coming up empty only adds the information that you couldn't find it.    

    As more folks who placed caches drop out of the game and/or stop maintaining their caches the number of broken or missing caches increases.  Based on what actually happens when an NM log is posted (mostly nothing) it seems pretty reasonable to me after two months or so the cache should be archived.  This stops the cache from showing up on searches and pocket queries and removes the deadwood.  It takes a few seconds for the CO to respond to an NM log and if they can't spare the time to do that, well...

 

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40 minutes ago, edexter said:

Here's a question for you:   Imagine that you were interested in finding a cache and the three of the last five "finds" described various levels of damage to the cache and two other recent logs were "dnf"s, in any order.  Would you believe the cache needed to be checked by the CO?  If so, would you do nothing, post an NM log or go visit the cache?

Not directed at me, but I would log a 'Note', asking if the cache will be attended to, as I would like to attempt to find it.

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Perhaps it would help if it was easier for CO's to see a "reminder" that they have outstanding NM's on their owned caches.  Perhaps, if there was a bolded number (in red) next to the "Hides" item in the left-nav menu of the Dashboard.  Or some type of callout at the top of the Dashboard, when there are caches that need maintenance.  Sometimes, CO's just forget about or miss seeing an email. So, having something else to call a CO's attention to outstanding NM's might be helpful.

 

5 hours ago, Goldenwattle said:

Not directed at me, but I would log a 'Note', asking if the cache will be attended to, as I would like to attempt to find it.

I have done similar before, with positive results. Sometimes, CO's just need a reminder.

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6 hours ago, Goldenwattle said:

Not directed at me, but I would log a 'Note', asking if the cache will be attended to, as I would like to attempt to find it.

But that is saying the cache needs maintenance, so why not just post "needs maintenance"? I'm sick of people acting as if "needs maintenance" is an iinsult, and even sicker of the attitude that it isn't the responsibility of seekers to help a CO notice that a cache needs maintenance.

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7 minutes ago, dprovan said:

But that is saying the cache needs maintenance, so why not just post "needs maintenance"? I'm sick of people acting as if "needs maintenance" is an iinsult, and even sicker of the attitude that it isn't the responsibility of seekers to help a CO notice that a cache needs maintenance.

I won't log a NM if I haven't visited it.

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49 minutes ago, dprovan said:

But that is saying the cache needs maintenance, so why not just post "needs maintenance"? I'm sick of people acting as if "needs maintenance" is an iinsult, and even sicker of the attitude that it isn't the responsibility of seekers to help a CO notice that a cache needs maintenance.

When I've posted "Notes" - it's been on caches where there's already an existing NM log and the CO seems to be an 'active' cacher.  Or caches where there's a log from the CO saying they are going to fix the cache, but there aren't any logs on the cache page saying that has been done.  I feel like the 'Note' is a reminder and if the CO still doesn't respond, then they aren't going to.  But then, I know that CO's sometimes just "forget" and the Dashboard doesn't seem to make outstanding NM's easily noticeable.

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2 hours ago, noncentric said:

When I've posted "Notes" - it's been on caches where there's already an existing NM log

 

I generally do not overanalyze the situation. I have seen players who do not post DNF until they are sure that the cache is missing etc. If the cache needs any maintenance, I post the NM and if I can not find the cache I post the DNF. Some COs monitor only NM logs. By using inappropriate log type you may miss your goal to remind the CO.

Edited by arisoft
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On 12/4/2018 at 1:17 PM, thebruce0 said:

Additionally, a NM is a public, front-facing notice that everyone sees. Not so with the nudge email. With the NM flag a reviewer now has a much more visible actionable listing state htat needs attention in a reasonable time frame.

 

This actually reinforces the point I'm trying to make.  

 

The CHS is designed to alert COs to a possible issue with their caches.  It's supposedly designed to nudge COs to address any possible issues so that reviewers don't have to  Time is provided for the CO to address the issue, if any, and post the appropriate log to rectify the situation so the reviewers don't have to, except in the case of inaction by the CO, which the reviewers can take to mean that the CO is either inactive or has no intent to do maintenance.  They then have the leeway to address the issue with the cache as they see fit.

 

The NM log is designed to alert COs and reviewers that some sort of required maintenance is needed on the cache that has the NM log.  As Bruce indicates, this type of log is a bit more "important" than the CHS email notification, as it pertains to the reviewer and the CO, because it needs attention in a reasonable time frame, whereas the CHS time frame is a bit more nebulous.  Time is still provided, although most likely (and I'd say appropriately) a bit shorter than the CHS email, to rectify the situation, either through CO action or reviewer action.

 

Here's the illogical part, at least to me.  The "less" important notification, the CHS, uses the "more" important log type as part of the method by which it scores the individual cache, but that more actionable NM log doesn't drop the score below the threshold to notify the CO that there might be a potential problem with their cache.  To wit,  "...a much more visible actionable listing stage that needs attention in a reasonable time frame..." has actually been filed to indicate there IS a problem with the cache yet it still doesn't trigger the CHS email that says there MIGHT be a problem.

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29 minutes ago, coachstahly said:

The NM log is designed to alert COs and reviewers that some sort of required maintenance is needed on the cache that has the NM log.  

 

An additional feature of the NM log is that it alerts finders that there is an issue with the cache. It's also a tool so that (premium member) finders can filter out caches that may have problems. 

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15 hours ago, edexter said:

  Here's a question for you:  

Imagine that you were interested in finding a cache and the three of the last five "finds" described various levels of damage to the cache and two other recent logs were "dnf"s, in any order.  Would you believe the cache needed to be checked by the CO?  If so, would you do nothing, post an NM log or go visit the cache?  Assuming you decided not to post an NM or ignore the obvious problem and went to the cache site and couldn't find it:  after logging a dnf would you also log an NM?  If you did find the cache but it was damaged as previously noted, would you post an NM?  If you did post an NM and after two months there was no response from the CO would you then do nothing, log a NA, or go visit the cache again? 

 

I look at caches singly (most times by terrain).  

If I immediately see a number of DNFs on a cache page, I'll read what the DNF's about.  

 - We see enough "couldn't cross the stream" and similar DNFs to realize it's not they couldn't find it, they didn't even look....  

If they seem legit, I might head there if something about the area is of interest, or I might just go look at another cache.

If I went and DNF as well,  or found the container damaged and needing repair, I'd log a NM.

I don't "go back" to see if  a cache I NM was fixed or not.   

 

"Going back", or "checking to make sure it was fixed by your demand" seems  unhealthy (to me).

We had a cacher here like that once... 

All their caches were pmo, and would make mention on cache pages about how "accurate" other's caches were in coordinates, D/T,  etc.,   (by their standards).    Sheesh...

I don't see this fun hobby as a place for harassment and micro management of others.

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9 hours ago, Goldenwattle said:
9 hours ago, dprovan said:

But that is saying the cache needs maintenance, so why not just post "needs maintenance"? I'm sick of people acting as if "needs maintenance" is an iinsult, and even sicker of the attitude that it isn't the responsibility of seekers to help a CO notice that a cache needs maintenance.

I won't log a NM if I haven't visited it.

Do you log a Note? If you log a note that says "you need to check on this cache", why is that any more valid just because you didn't use the official log type that says the CO needs to check on his cache? It strikes me as less valid.

 

9 hours ago, noncentric said:

When I've posted "Notes" - it's been on caches where there's already an existing NM log and the CO seems to be an 'active' cacher. 

The appropriate log type is Needs Archived if an NM has been posted and not acted on. One or twice, I've elected to post a second NM, but I can't imagine a reason to post only a note when the need for maintenance has been logged and not dealt with.

 

By the way, I don't think the CO being "active" has anything to do with it. I don't care what state the CO is in, only what condition of the cache is in.

 

9 hours ago, noncentric said:

Or caches where there's a log from the CO saying they are going to fix the cache, but there aren't any logs on the cache page saying that has been done.  I feel like the 'Note' is a reminder and if the CO still doesn't respond, then they aren't going to.  But then, I know that CO's sometimes just "forget" and the Dashboard doesn't seem to make outstanding NM's easily noticeable.

An NA reminds the CO just fine. Again, it is irrelevant to me whether the CO forgot or has consciously decided not to do anything. If he forgot, he can still act after the NA. If he's decided not to do the maintenance, I don't want any more delays about getting the failed cache off the books.

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3 hours ago, coachstahly said:

Here's the illogical part, at least to me.  The "less" important notification, the CHS, uses the "more" important log type as part of the method by which it scores the individual cache, but that more actionable NM log doesn't drop the score below the threshold to notify the CO that there might be a potential problem with their cache.  To wit,  "...a much more visible actionable listing stage that needs attention in a reasonable time frame..." has actually been filed to indicate there IS a problem with the cache yet it still doesn't trigger the CHS email that says there MIGHT be a problem.

The CHS is a hack trying to fit into a system designed for cooperation. If something about the CHS seems illogical to you, just imagine the situation without the CHS. If people used logic to post NMs and NAs when they're needed, we wouldn't have reviewers unilaterally judging caches and needing the CHS to help them do it.

 

I think you're fundamentally confused about the CHS. COs can't see the CHS. The CHS doesn't post any logs of any types. The CHS only interacts with COs via automated email alarms about caches with a bad CHS, and through reviewer actions taken based on the CHS.

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I’m not a GSAK user, but I was wondering if there’s a GSAK macro out there that mimics the CHS?

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4 hours ago, coachstahly said:

Here's the illogical part, at least to me.  The "less" important notification, the CHS, uses the "more" important log type as part of the method by which it scores the individual cache, but that more actionable NM log doesn't drop the score below the threshold to notify the CO that there might be a potential problem with their cache.

 

The illogical part is the one you missed totally. If there is a fatal problem with the cache you post DNF and NM - not only NM. When you use your tools the way they are designed, the system begins to seem more logical. DNF with NM = BAD, NM only = minor problem not preventing to find the cache.

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44 minutes ago, Touchstone said:

I’m not a GSAK user, but I was wondering if there’s a GSAK macro out there that mimics the CHS?

 

Someone would have to know the algorithm for the CHS in order to implement a GSAK macro which mimics the CHS.

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36 minutes ago, arisoft said:

The illogical part is the one you missed totally. If there is a fatal problem with the cache you post DNF and NM - not only NM. When you use your tools the way they are designed, the system begins to seem more logical. DNF with NM = BAD, NM only = minor problem not preventing to find the cache.

Of course this assumes I visited GZ. If the problems revealed by the log are so bad that I'm not even going to bother to go look for the cache, then obviously I'm not going to post a DNF.

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3 hours ago, dprovan said:

Do you log a Note? If you log a note that says "you need to check on this cache", why is that any more valid just because you didn't use the official log type that says the CO needs to check on his cache? It strikes me as less valid.

I don't believe you should log a NM until you have actually seen this yourself, and flag a cache before you do.

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2 hours ago, dprovan said:

 

I think you're fundamentally confused about the CHS. COs can't see the CHS. The CHS doesn't post any logs of any types. The CHS only interacts with COs via automated email alarms about caches with a bad CHS, and through reviewer actions taken based on the CHS.

 

Nope.  Not confused.  I know the CHS doesn't post any logs of its own.  I know we can't see it on any cache, much less our own.  It tracks the health of individual caches using an algorithm that takes into account a variety of statistics, among those, the NM log.  It sends an automated email when the score falls below a threshold, whatever that might be, to send a note to the CO that something might be wrong.  That's it.  As Bruce often says, it really doesn't do much other than nudge the CO to take some minimal, but required, action on that particular cache.

 

One of the scoring elements of the CHS is the NM log.  As Keystone mentioned earlier in this thread, NM logs are indeed part of the scoring element written into the algorithm, but they don't automatically cause the threshold of the cache to fall below the level that would send out an automated email to indicate that there might be a problem.  Instead, the NM log, which means that there is a problem with the cache, only lowers it to some point that still remains above the threshold, which means that, according to the CHS, there's not enough information in the data to determine that there's anything wrong with the health of the cache.  Yet, the NM log means there is indeed something wrong with the health of the cache that the CO should address.  

 

Here's an example to help illustrate the point I'm trying to make.  A cacher files a NM log, using "container is damaged" because it's cracked, missing a lid, smashed, etc....  That NM log is now scored using the algorithm to compute the cache's health score to see if it should send an automated CHS email out to address any potential problems.  According to Keystone's explanation, this cache, with a damaged container, doesn't immediately warrant a CHS email being sent to the CO to address potential issues, despite the fact that there's a log on record (the NM log) that states the container is damaged.  Rather than getting both the NM log and the CHS email because the health of the cache is obviously bad, they only get the NM log because the CHS algorithm has determined this damaged cache is in good enough health that the automated email won't be sent to the CO.  

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3 hours ago, dprovan said:

Do you log a Note? If you log a note that says "you need to check on this cache", why is that any more valid just because you didn't use the official log type that says the CO needs to check on his cache? It strikes me as less valid.

 

 

I don't think validity really has anything to do with this situation.  I think it's more of a comfort level regarding the type of log that is filed.  I'm personally not comfortable filing a NM log on a cache that I've not visited and would file the WN log instead because that's my preference.  I'm not comfortable filing any log without first visiting the location to verify with my own eyes.  Call it morals, ethics, personal choice, etc...  Yours are different and I have no issue with them.  I'm not going to tell you you have to do it my way because that's the right way.  I'm going to let you log it the way you prefer while I would hope that you would let me log it based on my own personal comfort level.

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3 hours ago, Goldenwattle said:

I don't believe you should log a NM until you have actually seen this yourself, and flag a cache before you do.

I understand you think there's some kind of logic, but since I don't see it, I'm trying to understand your thinking. If a cache needs maintenance, logic says you should file a needs maintenance log. When I can tell from the logs that a cache is missing, visiting GZ will provide me with zero information: I already know I won't find it. Do you consider yourself some kind of supercacher that will always find a tricky cache that others have missed? As long as they have reasonable experience, I trust the people that filed DNFs before me.

 

3 hours ago, coachstahly said:

I don't think validity really has anything to do with this situation.  I think it's more of a comfort level regarding the type of log that is filed.  I'm personally not comfortable filing a NM log on a cache that I've not visited and would file the WN log instead because that's my preference.  I'm not comfortable filing any log without first visiting the location to verify with my own eyes.  Call it morals, ethics, personal choice, etc...  Yours are different and I have no issue with them.  I'm not going to tell you you have to do it my way because that's the right way.  I'm going to let you log it the way you prefer while I would hope that you would let me log it based on my own personal comfort level.

When you talk about morals and ethics, you imply that there's something wrong with filing an NM. That's exactly what the problem is. There's nothing wrong with filing a competent NM even when it turns out to be wrong. Sure, don't go off half cocked, but when you can read enough DNFs to know that plenty of expertise has looked for the cache and not found it, your one additional DNF will be meaningless. The only impact is that an NM which you could have filed right away while you're looking at the cache description will be delayed until whenever you get around to getting to GZ. And, worse, if you decide not to go to GZ -- and why would you? -- the NM will never be filed.

 

By all means, feel uncomfortable if you don't know enough to file the NM. Gather more information if you need to, including visiting GZ if you think that will tell you anything. But visiting GZ without finding the cache is just one data point. It's as illogical to require that one specific data point as it is to file an NM based on only that one data point.

 

Naturally I'm not demanding you file an NM even if it makes you uncomfortable. But I hope you will consider that there's really no downside to filing the NM -- worst case, you're wrong, big deal -- but there is a downside to not filing the NM when it's justified.

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3 hours ago, coachstahly said:

Nope.  Not confused.  I know the CHS doesn't post any logs of its own.

OK, I stand corrected. You said, "The CHS is designed to alert COs to a possible issue with their caches," and called it, 'The "less" important notification, the CHS.' Those imply it's a notification that interacts with COs, and that's what struck me as somewhat confused.

 

3 hours ago, coachstahly said:

According to Keystone's explanation, this cache, with a damaged container, doesn't immediately warrant a CHS email being sent to the CO to address potential issues, despite the fact that there's a log on record (the NM log) that states the container is damaged.  Rather than getting both the NM log and the CHS email because the health of the cache is obviously bad, they only get the NM log because the CHS algorithm has determined this damaged cache is in good enough health that the automated email won't be sent to the CO.

This is only confusing if you think CHS is at the same level as user posted logs. As I tried to explain, CHS is a hack laid on top of the logging system. Looked at this way, this case makes perfect sense: the CO already received a notification about the NM, so the CHS nudge in addition would be redundant. As you say, the NM is the more important signal, so if the CO is ignoring that, it's reasonable to assume he'll ignore the less important CHS notification, as well.

 

So as much as I think the CHS itself is misguided, this particular feature seems reasonable: the CHS signals an entirely different kind of failure than a human being looking at the situation with intelligence and then standing up and declaring that a cache needs maintenance. A cache may trigger either or both of those events, and I see no reason to force the CHS event to happen whenever the NM event does.

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1 hour ago, dprovan said:

Do you consider yourself some kind of supercacher that will always find a tricky cache that others have missed?

That's a silly comment! I am only saying what I do. You do what you like.

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1 hour ago, dprovan said:

I understand you think there's some kind of logic, but since I don't see it, I'm trying to understand your thinking. If a cache needs maintenance, logic says you should file a needs maintenance log. When I can tell from the logs that a cache is missing, visiting GZ will provide me with zero information: I already know I won't find it. Do you consider yourself some kind of supercacher that will always find a tricky cache that others have missed? As long as they have reasonable experience, I trust the people that filed DNFs before me.

 

I hope no-one infers from my DNFs that a cache is missing, even if they're repeated DNFs on the same one, because most of the time it's not; I just couldn't find it. There's a D1/T1.5 traditional at a lookout over the other side of the bay that I must have tried at least half a dozen times, only to be defeated by swarms of muggles or, when I've had a bit of a gap between them to search, still haven't been able to spot it. Other people seem to find it okay, though, and occasionally the CO checks too, so it's not missing.

 

On the other side of the coin, on rare occasions I've been able to find a cache where the string of DNFers before me failed. My best one was after nine straight DNFs over the two years prior to my find, and yes, I did get a helpful hint from a previous finder ( a photo taken in the vicinity from which I was able to line myself up with the buildings in the background), but it was there all the time still with the original log in the original container.

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This all just goes to show that nothing is concrete. Every situation is a grey haze of opinions, and everyone looking at it has to infer something by interpreting any data they can absorb, and even that is coloured by their knowledge (or lack) of the source individuals (loggers/COs/reviewers/community/etc).  Knowing that there's no certainty about a cache by its logs, that either means everything is just meaningless, or we have to assume some status quo, which necessarily means some interpretations will be wrong, some will by right by chance, and some will be right by experience, in regards to a cache's status.

I'll look at the log history, weighing the people who posted them with my knowledge of the CO, perhaps even the local community, if I know any of that, and decide what my next course of action will be, which will also influenced by my own ethics within the bounds of the standardized guidelines. That means my decisions may be very different someone else's, and vice versa.  Hopefully if we were to visualize everyone's decisions, they'd cluster around some central general understanding.  Groundspeak is trying to decide where to draw the boundary for the game they are crafting via their worldwide listing website geocaching.com.

I don't envy them their task.

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6 hours ago, Goldenwattle said:
7 hours ago, dprovan said:

Do you consider yourself some kind of supercacher that will always find a tricky cache that others have missed?

That's a silly comment! I am only saying what I do. You do what you like.

It's not silly. I'm not trying to convince you to do anything different. I really want to know why you feel your visit is important when you already have logs from other people that couldn't find the cache. The only possibility I can think of is that you consider the other seekers incompetent compared to you. Me, when I'm looking at a D1.5 cache's log online and see 3 DNFs from people with more finds than I have, I'm quite confident I'm not going to do any better, so there's no reason for me to go to GZ to look before I post my conclusion in an NM. Surely there has to be more to your reasoning than just checking a box.

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5 hours ago, barefootjeff said:

I hope no-one infers from my DNFs that a cache is missing, even if they're repeated DNFs on the same one, because most of the time it's not; I just couldn't find it. There's a D1/T1.5 traditional at a lookout over the other side of the bay that I must have tried at least half a dozen times, only to be defeated by swarms of muggles or, when I've had a bit of a gap between them to search, still haven't been able to spot it. Other people seem to find it okay, though, and occasionally the CO checks too, so it's not missing.

Lots of information goes into the decision to file an NM. Your one DNF is no more important to me than it was to you, so I'm not going to post an NM based on just your DNF. But hopefully you yourself will sometimes post an NM after you DNF a cache even though you recognize that your DNFs don't always mean a cache is missing. I, too, will take your DNF as one piece of information that might lead me to post an NM if you haven't. I can see just as well as you can when a cache is often overlooked by seekers of your caliber, and I will adjust my guess about whether the cache is missing accordingly.

 

5 hours ago, barefootjeff said:

On the other side of the coin, on rare occasions I've been able to find a cache where the string of DNFers before me failed. My best one was after nine straight DNFs over the two years prior to my find, and yes, I did get a helpful hint from a previous finder ( a photo taken in the vicinity from which I was able to line myself up with the buildings in the background), but it was there all the time still with the original log in the original container.

If there's one point I wish I could make clearly, it's that it's OK for an NM to be wrong. Anecdotes about presumed missing caches found doesn't change my opinion that an NM should be filed when there's enough information to conclude the cache is missing. If you don't believe that, you'll never file an NM and missing caches will never be cleaned up.

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42 minutes ago, dprovan said:

It's not silly. I'm not trying to convince you to do anything different. I really want to know why you feel your visit is important when you already have logs from other people that couldn't find the cache. The only possibility I can think of is that you consider the other seekers incompetent compared to you. Me, when I'm looking at a D1.5 cache's log online and see 3 DNFs from people with more finds than I have, I'm quite confident I'm not going to do any better, so there's no reason for me to go to GZ to look before I post my conclusion in an NM. Surely there has to be more to your reasoning than just checking a box.

Offhand, I can only remember one occasion when I asked if a cache was going to be fixed soon (in a note), explaining I was soon to visit the country and I would like to find the cache in the town, where there were very few, and most not findable for me, as I didn't speak the language to solve the puzzles, which most of the few caches were. My travel companion also asked the same question, separately from me. There might have been other caches, but I can't remember the incidents right now, as it's not such a big thing to me. Many COs appear to ignore DNFs, so I was trying to jolt them into action. It didn't work. I didn't want that cache archived, so was not going to do a NM (also I hadn't been there, and I usually avoid NM when I haven't personally visited. There might be a few exceptions, but not often).

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47 minutes ago, dprovan said:

Lots of information goes into the decision to file an NM. Your one DNF is no more important to me than it was to you, so I'm not going to post an NM based on just your DNF. But hopefully you yourself will sometimes post an NM after you DNF a cache even though you recognize that your DNFs don't always mean a cache is missing. I, too, will take your DNF as one piece of information that might lead me to post an NM if you haven't. I can see just as well as you can when a cache is often overlooked by seekers of your caliber, and I will adjust my guess about whether the cache is missing accordingly.

 

I don't log that many "might be missing" NMs - 3 in the last two years out of 39 DNFs if anyone's counting - but a big part of my decision to do so is what I see at GZ. Is there an obvious empty hiding place or a multitude of possible nooks and crannies? Is it an open area or is there thick undergrowth in which the cache might still be concealed? Are there signs of a disturbance, like recent construction work or muggle detritus? Usually I'll visit the site a second time to take another look with fresh eyes before hitting the NM button, and will include as much information and photos taken at GZ as I can, so hopefully the CO can get a good idea before leaving home of what to expect (or tell me they can see the cache in one of my photos). Perhaps I have a different perspective on this because of the style of cache I mostly attempt - I'd imagine a string of DNFs on a carpark LPC would be pretty strong evidence it was missing, but we don't have LPCs here (thankfully) because our lamp posts don't have base covers, and for most of the caches I do there are plenty of ways for me to not find them without them having to be missing.

 

1 hour ago, dprovan said:

If there's one point I wish I could make clearly, it's that it's OK for an NM to be wrong. Anecdotes about presumed missing caches found doesn't change my opinion that an NM should be filed when there's enough information to conclude the cache is missing. If you don't believe that, you'll never file an NM and missing caches will never be cleaned up.

 

I agree with you on this, and would much rather someone logged an NM on one of my hides that turned out to be wrong than for a problem to slip under my radar because someone didn't. I do have a worrying niggle though with the growing trend to treat NMs as de-facto NAs, with caches that are still findable and servicable being disabled and ultimately archived because an absent CO hasn't cleared an outstanding NM for something relatively minor. In an area that's cache poor, losing otherwise good caches because of an uncleared NM isn't a good outcome for anyone.

 

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11 hours ago, dprovan said:

This is only confusing if you think CHS is at the same level as user posted logs. As I tried to explain, CHS is a hack laid on top of the logging system. Looked at this way, this case makes perfect sense: the CO already received a notification about the NM, so the CHS nudge in addition would be redundant. As you say, the NM is the more important signal, so if the CO is ignoring that, it's reasonable to assume he'll ignore the less important CHS notification, as well.

 

 

The CHS uses more important user generated logs to help determine the health of a cache.  If the log that comes in is a NM log, I would think that important log would automatically trigger the less important CHS because the health of the cache is obviously bad.  I would rather it trigger both events so that it would hopefully draw reviewer attention to it at a faster rate, especially in the cases where the NM log that is filed is associated with a damaged container.  In the cases where it's other or full log (as the default types available) I'm not as concerned with the CHS falling below the threshold because neither log type typically affects the experience of being able to find a cache in good condition.  However, a smashed cache, or a waterlogged cache due to a cracked container or missing lid absolutely affects the experience a cacher will have, which is why I believe, at least in that case, it should trigger both because the health of the cache is bad based on a user's log with firsthand information.  That being said, I don't know if the algorithm has the ability to differentiate between the four default NM selections.  I'd rather it err on the side of valuing the user generated log (the NM) over the automated scoring and drop it beneath the threshold.  There's no difference in what the CO must do for both to be activated.  The difference typically involves the response time of the reviewer to get involved, or so I assume.

 

Sticking on topic with the NM log, it appears the NM default, cache might be missing, is gone.  Logbook is full, container is damaged, cache should be archived, and other are the 4 default logs now available to choose from.  I'm not sure why the archive default is under the NM umbrella, unless it actually posts as a NA log.  I'm not going to test it out on someone else's cache but wonder if anyone has selected that option to know if that's what happens.

 

12 hours ago, dprovan said:

the CHS signals an entirely different kind of failure than a human being looking at the situation with intelligence and then standing up and declaring that a cache needs maintenance.

 

I disagree with this statement.  It's certainly a different methodology but it's not a different kind of failure, as it pertains to the actual cache.  The CHS tracks the health of the cache (like you, I'm not a fan of the CHS, but for argument's sake, I'm just stating the premise behind what it does).  The NM log is a direct reflection of the health of the cache because it indicates there's something that needs the CO's attention to bring it back into alignment with the maintenance guidelines.  Simply put, there's something wrong with the cache.  That problem most certainly varies with respect to the severity of what is wrong, but even something as simple as a NM for a full log means the health of the cache could be improved with a CO visit to replace the log.

 

12 hours ago, dprovan said:

When you talk about morals and ethics, you imply that there's something wrong with filing an NM

 

Then let me clarify.  I'm referring only to MY reason/s for choosing to file the NM log.  I don't find a NM inherently right or wrong.  I find it as something that states there's something wrong with this cache that needs attention.  My actions that lead up to me choosing to file a NM log are what I'm specifically talking about.  I have a personal preference to verify with my own eyes the status of what others have reported.  I want firsthand information to determine if my NM is warranted, not secondhand information from other cachers.  That doesn't mean I'm a better cacher or they're worse than I am.  It's my preference to do it this way.   I don't think my way is better or worse than what others do and I'm certainly NOT saying that's the way it should be done.  It's what I'm comfortable doing.  A 1.5/1.5 that's likely missing in a lonely country cemetery is still a nice place to visit.  Why should I deny myself that little pleasure because there's a good chance that the cache might be missing?  The peacefulness of a small undulating cemetery with fresh falling snow that blankets the grass is what I get if I don't find the cache.  I file my DNF, file my NM and move on to the next one, having enjoyed the experience for what it was.

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4 hours ago, barefootjeff said:

In an area that's cache poor, losing otherwise good caches because of an uncleared NM isn't a good outcome for anyone.

 

I can understand the sentiment. It seems sad when that happens. But that's only if you ignore the fact that the individual is not being a responsible (ie responsive) owner. The cache itself may have no problems (assuming the NM happens to be unnecessary), but at the same time, I personally have no qualms against holding caches to an equal footing as the owner's desire to maintain them and be a responsible owner.  In my mind, if the CO is awol and it's a good cache with a NM, then eventually it'll get archived and I (or someone else) can place a new identical listing there, if the cache is so good.  Unless it IS all about the numbers for a finder, then I don't see any problem whatsoever with that strategy, and it keeps the "good cache" in play, with a responsible owner.

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10 hours ago, Goldenwattle said:

Offhand, I can only remember one occasion when I asked if a cache was going to be fixed soon (in a note), explaining I was soon to visit the country and I would like to find the cache in the town, where there were very few, and most not findable for me, as I didn't speak the language to solve the puzzles, which most of the few caches were. My travel companion also asked the same question, separately from me. There might have been other caches, but I can't remember the incidents right now, as it's not such a big thing to me. Many COs appear to ignore DNFs, so I was trying to jolt them into action. It didn't work. I didn't want that cache archived, so was not going to do a NM (also I hadn't been there, and I usually avoid NM when I haven't personally visited. There might be a few exceptions, but not often).

OK. That's a lot more complicated than I was expecting. I thought we were talking about caches that obviously needed maintenance just from the logs. You never run into those? Wow, you're lucky. The reason for this thread as well as all the threads about "cache quality" is that many people see these all the time and want to see fewer of them. I see them regularly, but not frequently enough to consider it a problem since posting NMs and NAs tends to clear them up.

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9 hours ago, barefootjeff said:

I don't log that many "might be missing" NMs - 3 in the last two years out of 39 DNFs if anyone's counting - but a big part of my decision to do so is what I see at GZ. Is there an obvious empty hiding place or a multitude of possible nooks and crannies? Is it an open area or is there thick undergrowth in which the cache might still be concealed? Are there signs of a disturbance, like recent construction work or muggle detritus? Usually I'll visit the site a second time to take another look with fresh eyes before hitting the NM button, and will include as much information and photos taken at GZ as I can, so hopefully the CO can get a good idea before leaving home of what to expect (or tell me they can see the cache in one of my photos). Perhaps I have a different perspective on this because of the style of cache I mostly attempt - I'd imagine a string of DNFs on a carpark LPC would be pretty strong evidence it was missing, but we don't have LPCs here (thankfully) because our lamp posts don't have base covers, and for most of the caches I do there are plenty of ways for me to not find them without them having to be missing.

Those things could be red flags, of course, but they're as important when someone else notes them in their logs as when I see them myself. But that's not very interesting to me because the much more common case I run into is that the cache is simply missing with no evidence whatsoever at GZ to explain where it was or what happened to it.

 

I guess you're lucky. The people complaining about cache quality here in the forums act like they see missing caches every day. Historically I run into about one a month, and it's normally a cache I did, in fact, look for.

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5 hours ago, coachstahly said:

The CHS tracks the health of the cache (like you, I'm not a fan of the CHS, but for argument's sake, I'm just stating the premise behind what it does).

The CHS predicts the health of the cache based on a guess about what various logs might mean. It does not track the cache's health. That's why I call it a different class of failure: CHS says there's a possibility of a failure of unknown type, while an NM flags a specific failure based on a reasoned analysis.

 

5 hours ago, coachstahly said:

I have a personal preference to verify with my own eyes the status of what others have reported.

I don't mind you verifying the other reports, I just want to make sure you understand it's not a neutral choice: you're allowing yourself to be comforted by the verification at the cost of delaying filing the NM...assuming you do eventually get around to personally verifying the situation. That's no big deal, I just get tired of people acting like there's some undeniable logic behind requiring personal knowledge in order to file an NM, some to the point of objecting to other people filing the NM without visiting GZ.

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5 hours ago, thebruce0 said:

In my mind, if the CO is awol and it's a good cache with a NM, then eventually it'll get archived and I (or someone else) can place a new identical listing there, if the cache is so good.  Unless it IS all about the numbers for a finder, then I don't see any problem whatsoever with that strategy, and it keeps the "good cache" in play, with a responsible owner.

 

That's fine if you're in an area where caching is growing, but in some places it's in serious decline. The map on the left is all the caches I've found in my immediate area (the Woy Woy peninsula) since I started in 2013, while the map on the right is the caches here now. What's more, well over half those remaining caches have inactive owners.

 

WoyWoyPeninsula.jpg.17d8cdcaba60787a1372e2b5db98509d.jpg

 

Five of those remaining caches in the map on the right have outstanding NMs. One dates back eight years and was a heads-up to the CO about roadworks in the area that might have destroyed the cache but in the end didn't; one is for a missing cache that the CO disabled, replaced and re-enabled but didn't add an OM as well to clear the flag; one dates back a couple of years reporting a full log (which presumably was replaced by a subsequent finder); one was for a wet log back in 2010 (seems to have been resolved as the cache was good when I found it in 2013 and later dropped a TB there in 2016); and the fifth is wet log problem dating from mid 2017 which seems to come and go depending on how much rain we have. Four of those caches have inactive owners long gone from the game yet all of them are still being regularly found and enjoyed.

 

In the whole of the New South Wales Central Coast region, there have only been five new caches since the beginning of August (one of them mine), so people aren't stepping in to fill the void. The last thing we need is forced archival of caches that are still in reasonable condition but just don't have an active owner to log that all-important OM.

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