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coachstahly

Providing COs occasional access to their CHS

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I posted a response to a complaint about the CHS email and it got me to thinking about what the OP in that thread stated, that COs generally have a good idea of when their cache might need to be checked on.  Seeing as how this feature isn't going anywhere, I thought it might be in the best interest of GS to offer COs the occasional peek at their scores, in a manner that would limit that action and prevent it from being abused.  I'm NOT talking about a look at the algorithm.  I am talking about an occasional look at an individual cache's score, limited to a recurring specific period of time.  I would also be open to the idea of limiting the number of requests per CO, but, to me, it makes more sense to tie in a look at a CHS for an individual cache rather than an overall number of requests.  Rather than this score being hidden from the masses and endlessly debated about how, why, and when, it would at least provide for some sort of transparency, albeit in a very limited scope, for those it actually affects.

 

What if COs were allowed to look at a CHS once every 6 months or once every year for each individual cache?  Once you ask to see the score, you won't have that ability again until such time has passed when you'd be able to do so again.  I realize that continual frequent access could be used to allow some COs to game the system so that they could manipulate the scores in a manner that might not actually provide for maintenance of an individual cache.  That's my I'm positing the idea that it's an infrequent option, exactly to counter that possible abuse.  I know which of my caches have potential issues but if I'm able to see my score on the cache in question and see that it's close to being sent an email, I'd be even more convinced I need to take care of it.  If reviewers use it to help confirm their suspicions that they need to take action on a particular cache, then why couldn't COs use the same tool in a much more limited manner?

 

I know that EVERY cache has a CHS.  I'm assuming that since every cache gets scored, it has some sort of unique identifier that is "attached" to the cache that lets anyone with access to the CHS the ability to easily identify both the cache and the score associated with it.  For example, I assume, perhaps incorrectly, that a reviewer, once they click on the cache, either immediately sees the score on the cache page OR has the ability to click on a link that would take them to the page that shows the cache score.

 

Would it be possible to create a button on an individual cache page that toggles the CHS for that specific cache, and once selected, is rendered inactive until a certain period of time has passed?  Seeing as how each cache has a score, I would think that it would be a relatively "simple" way to access the score without involving the reviewers, but I have no idea how simple or difficult that code might be to write.  I'm looking for ways to avoid adding to the reviewer's work load because the most obvious manner this suggestion could be addressed is to ask your local reviewer to provide the score, but considering how large an area many reviewers cover, the possibility of being inundated with requests that require their reply would be only adding to what they're already being asked to do.

 

Personally, I would only use it occasionally.  Of all the caches I have out right now, I can only think of 3 that might be on the cusp based on the logs I've received from seekers.  I'm pretty certain that all 3 are still in play but being able to see that score, even if it's just once a year, would help me consider doing a more thorough check up on the cache in question rather than just a spot check to verify it's in play and/or in good shape.

 

Thoughts?  I'm not looking to debate the merits of the CHS or the algorithm used to score each cache so please refrain from addressing those particular points.  There are plenty of other threads available for that discussion.  What could be the possible drawbacks to both GS and COs and what could be the possible benefits to both GS and COs? 

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11 minutes ago, coachstahly said:

I know that EVERY cache has a CHS.

 

How do you know? Maybe it is calculated on demand and the algorithm may change from time to time.

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My opinion, The CHS comes out about the same as a person's credit score. I've never understood why someone needs to see their credit score to know what kind of credit worthy shape they are in. Sure, there's more to it than just being late on payments, having a bad debt to income ratio, etc,,,. but for the most part, a person is going to know what their credit worthiness is. The CHS is the same thing, you shouldn't need a score from Groundspeak to know how your cache is doing.

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1 minute ago, arisoft said:

 

How do you know? Maybe it is calculated on demand and the algorithm may change from time to time.

 

To help improve the overall caching experience, Geocaching HQ created an algorithm to calculate a hidden Health Score for each geocache.

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Just now, coachstahly said:

 

To help improve the overall caching experience, Geocaching HQ created an algorithm to calculate a hidden Health Score for each geocache.

 

OK... it is meant to be hidden. :)

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29 minutes ago, arisoft said:

OK... it is meant to be hidden.

 

That's part of the problem.  Something hidden is secretive by nature and leads to all sorts of conjecture about it.  I'm asking about it not being hidden when a CO requests a once every 6 month or once a year CHS check on an individual cache.  Who does it "hurt"? What sort of benefit (if any) might be gained by this suggestion?

 

26 minutes ago, GeoElmo6000 said:

I think that if you adhere to the geocache hiding guidelines you won't have to worry about CHS.

 

I DO adhere to the guidelines but the CHS pinged me on a cache that was right where it was supposed to be and I'm not the only one.  Rather than worry about it, if I think a cache is close, I could ask for a score check that would allow me to make a decision about the level of maintenance I'd like to perform, be it a spot check or a more detailed inspection of the cache from start to finish.  If reviewers use it to help validate their actions, why can't COs request the use of it once every year or 1/2 a year?

 

43 minutes ago, Mudfrog said:

The CHS is the same thing, you shouldn't need a score from Groundspeak to know how your cache is doing

 

I'm not stating that it's a need.  It's a want or a desire, on a limited basis, to verify that my concerns aren't unfounded.  If you're going to go that route (and in conjunction with Elmo's post), then GS shouldn't need a CHS either, because every cacher should know how their cache is doing and adhere to the guidelines in place.  We know not everyone abides by that standard so TPTB constructed this program to identify caches that might have issues.  What harm is there if a CO occasionally asks for verification of a feeling that they might want to check up on a cache?  

 

What harms are there in this idea?  What benefits are there in this idea? I'm seeing reasons stated for not using it but nothing about the possible harms or benefits of this suggestion.  As Bruce likes to point out, there's no inherent harm in receiving a CHS email so why should there be any inherent harm in a CO asking for a CHS check once every 6 months or once every year on an individual cache they think might be close to the threshold?

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6 minutes ago, coachstahly said:

That's part of the problem.  Something hidden is secretive by nature and leads to all sorts of conjecture about it.  I'm asking about it not being hidden when a CO requests a once every 6 month or once a year CHS check on an individual cache.  Who does it "hurt"? What sort of benefit (if any) might be gained by this suggestion?

 

The score is useless until you start comparing scores. What benefits you are expecting?

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Maybe you can get the CHS when you request all data GS has on you (GDPR) :ph34r:

 

 

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3 minutes ago, arisoft said:

The score is useless until you start comparing scores. What benefits you are expecting?

 

No it's not.  The CHS is about an individual cache, not a comparison between other caches and it should never be used that way. I'm not looking to determine the validity of the CHS, only that it's close to what I think it might be.  If I'm way off base, then I need to examine what I should do to correct my maintenance issues.  If I'm close with regard to my opinion and the CHS reflects that, then I know my maintenance expectations are more in line with the CHS. 

 

It lets me know I'm not wrong (or am wrong) about a possible cache of mine.  What I think about the cache and what the CHS thinks about the cache could be the same or something different.   I would like to be able to see if my thoughts about my cache are in alignment with what the CHS thinks about my cache.  I thought the cache that got a CHS email was fine but according to the CHS, it warranted a look.  If I can head off any reviewer actions before the reviewer opts to get involved, wouldn't that be a good thing?

 

As to benefits, I think COs would be able to better determine their maintenance plans if they get some sort of reassurance that what they think and what the CHS thinks are similar.  If they're completely off base (the CO thinks the cache is fine but the CHS doesn't or the CO thinks the cache isn't that good but the CHS does), then it lets the CO know that their maintenance plans need to be adjusted in order to compensate for the discrepancy.  Less reviewer action is always a good thing in my book, so that would be a benefit.  This isn't necessarily an expectation either. I just believe it's a possible benefit that might arise from this idea.

 

I'm looking for reasons why this is a good idea or a bad idea.  Instead, I'm getting reasons for not using it at all, which I guess is bad but it doesn't really address the issues as to what harm could come from it's use or what benefit could come from its use.  The CHS isnt going anywhere.  Why not try to incorporate something that might "demystify" it and make it an occasional part of what a CO can use as part of their tool bag to determine their maintenance plan for their individual caches?

 

 

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8 minutes ago, coachstahly said:

No it's not.  The CHS is about an individual cache, not a comparison between other caches and it should never be used that way. I'm not looking to determine the validity of the CHS, only that it's close to what I think it might be.  If I'm way off base, then I need to examine what I should do to correct my maintenance issues.  If I'm close with regard to my opinion and the CHS reflects that, then I know my maintenance expectations are more in line with the CHS. 

 

Determining the validity is easy. If CHS emails you receive are valid then the algorithm is valid and vice versa. You have to solve your maintenence issues some other way. Maybe you should invent your own CHS algorithm you can monitor constantly.

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3 minutes ago, Keystone said:

Based on my review, you are the type of cache owner that Community Volunteer Reviewers dream about.  You're a "Grade A Hider," including your maintenance habits.  Scores like your caches receive are in stark contrast to hiders who have chronic behavior patterns that lead to frequent cache health score notices and reviewer actions.  You are not making work for us - those other hiders are.  If there is an occasional CHS email notice triggered to you, your reviewer would not think any less of you as a cache hider - especially if you deal with the report prior to when a reviewer would step in a week or a month later.

 

CHS algorithm should send also this kind of positive emails to inspire cache owners. ;)

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7 minutes ago, arisoft said:

 

CHS algorithm should send also this kind of positive emails to inspire cache owners. ;)

 

Then we would have forum threads complaining about unwanted and unnecessary spam messages.  "Why am I getting emails saying everything's fine?"  :D

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9 minutes ago, arisoft said:

If CHS emails you receive are valid then the algorithm is valid and vice versa.

 

So if it's not valid then the algorithm isn't valid.  That's not a claim that I suspect GS would be happy to hear and would probably want to fix, but there's no way to provide that feedback if there's a false positive.  That's not a response, though, that falls in line with what I'm asking.  I'm asking for reasons that show use of the suggestion is possibly bad or harmful vs. use of the suggestion is possibly good or beneficial.

 

What are the downfalls of using this idea and what is the upside?  It's not an idea that I believe is going to get any traction and will be a feature that we, as COs, can use.  I'm just throwing out something whereby we assume it's in use and what type of negatives and positives we could expect to see in that regard.  I keep hearing that it's this great tool that reviewers have and wondered if there was any way a CO, who actually has to do the maintenance on their caches, can get occasional access to that tool as well.   It just seems a bit odd to me that the person responsible for maintaining a cache doesn't have any ability to access the monitoring system set in place to address possible maintenance issues.  This was the idea I came up with that seemed to have the least amount of drawbacks.

 

15 minutes ago, arisoft said:

CHS algorithm should send also this kind of positive emails to inspire cache owners

 

Nope.  It would be nice but it wouldn't do anything more to spur on COs who don't care to do maintenance as they'd never see this.  I suspect it wouldn't inspire a CO who received a positive note to be any better a CO than they already are.

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35 minutes ago, Keystone said:

and to help me stay awake during a 90 minute conference call at my paying job

 

LOL

 

35 minutes ago, Keystone said:

So, regarding your feature suggestion, the people who really need to see their cache health scores are the same ones who are ignoring DNF logs, NM logs, CHS emails and reviewer notes.  Based on their behavior in dealing with issues, I doubt that many of those hiders would make use of the feature to view their caches' health scores.  

 

Thanks. This was the type of feedback I was looking for.  I completely agree that this suggestion wouldn't benefit them because they wouldn't be inclined to ask anyway.  However, I was thinking that those who might benefit most are new COs and those COs who just aren't sure about what their expectations are when it comes to maintenance.  This type of idea would at least let them grade their caches (and it's health) against the CHS and give them a better idea of when they might need to perform maintenance vs. letting things go a bit and being less stressed about wondering if the next DNF is going to trigger the email or make them go check the cache.

 

I would also venture to guess that the COs who would make use of this idea would also use it less and less as they got a better feel for providing the type of maintenance expected of them.

 

35 minutes ago, Keystone said:

Therefore, I'm not sure that the significant development effort required to expose Cache Health Scores periodically to cache owners would be justified.

 

Not knowing the ins and outs of coding, I don't know how realistic this particular idea would even be, so it's good to get that type of feedback as well.

Edited by coachstahly

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Honestly, I don't care about the CHS numbers for my caches. If I were to receive a "friendly email" from the CHS system, I still wouldn't care about the CHS number for the cache in question. (And I don't care about my credit score number either.)

 

We've been assured that the scoring algorithm for the CHS is being tuned on an ongoing basis. Other than that, my first priority for changes to the CHS system would be a way for cache owners who receive a "friendly email" from the CHS system to report false positives:

29 minutes ago, coachstahly said:

So if it's not valid then the algorithm isn't valid.  That's not a claim that I suspect GS would be happy to hear and would probably want to fix, but there's no way to provide that feedback if there's a false positive.

 

My second priority for changes to the CHS system would be to update the "friendly email" to include an explanation of why the cache in question was flagged. The score itself is irrelevant. Telling the cache owner that the cache was flagged because its CHS dropped to 55% is useless. The explanation needs to be in plain language, describing what indicates that there might be a problem that the CO needs to address, for example:

  • The cache has a difficulty rating of 1.5 and the last 3 logs have been DNFs.
  • The cache received a Needs Maintenance log last month, and no Owner Maintenance log has been posted.
  • The cache hasn't been found in 3 months, after having been found at least once a week since it was published.

But whatever the (suspected) problems are that triggered the "friendly email", they need to be explained to the CO in plain language.

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A few thoughts:

1. Knowing the CHS without knowing the threshold score that triggers the email doesn’t provide any guidance. 

2. Similarly, knowing the CHS without knowing what a “high score” is doesn’t provide any guidance.

3. Since the behavior of the CHS with time and events is unknown, knowledge of a CHS at an isolated point in time is not meaningful.  That score could change abruptly or gradually in either direction.

 

Based on posts over the years, the documented responsibilities of being a CO, and GS’s general description of what affects the CHS, we have a very good idea about what keeps the CHS high (or high enough, I suppose).  We even have a good idea about what pushes the CHS below the threshold.  There are quirks in the algorithm that occasionally yield a misleading score from time to time, and these just need to be lived with. 

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22 minutes ago, Joe_L said:

A few thoughts:

1. Knowing the CHS without knowing the threshold score that triggers the email doesn’t provide any guidance. 

2. Similarly, knowing the CHS without knowing what a “high score” is doesn’t provide any guidance.

3. Since the behavior of the CHS with time and events is unknown, knowledge of a CHS at an isolated point in time is not meaningful.  That score could change abruptly or gradually in either direction.

 

Based on posts over the years, the documented responsibilities of being a CO, and GS’s general description of what affects the CHS, we have a very good idea about what keeps the CHS high (or high enough, I suppose).  We even have a good idea about what pushes the CHS below the threshold.  There are quirks in the algorithm that occasionally yield a misleading score from time to time, and these just need to be lived with. 

Regarding point #1 above and supposing the CHS triggered at 60%. I can only speak for my area but some cache owners would wait until their score was 61% before performing maintenance. Why invite a CO to hover above the minimum while they should be attempting to stay at the maximum?

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2 hours ago, Joe_L said:

A few thoughts:

1. Knowing the CHS without knowing the threshold score that triggers the email doesn’t provide any guidance. 

2. Similarly, knowing the CHS without knowing what a “high score” is doesn’t provide any guidance.

3. Since the behavior of the CHS with time and events is unknown, knowledge of a CHS at an isolated point in time is not meaningful.  That score could change abruptly or gradually in either direction.

 

Something that was suggested a while back in another thread is traffic light indicators - green if the cache's score is good, amber if it's marginal and red if it's dropped below the email threshold. For me, the amber indicator would be useful as it would enable me to check out and deal with potentially problematic caches in my own time before they became critical, for once the email goes out, the CO is expected to act within quite a short time frame (a week or so, apparently) to make the repair, disable the cache (and then not keep it disabled for more than a few weeks) or archive it. That might be fine for easy-to-reach caches, but that's not always the case. Some of my tougher hiking caches are best visited in cooler weather, so if one of those showed amber I could pick a suitable day to go and visit it at my leisure rather than have a CHS email suddenly turn up in the middle of a summer heatwave (which is when the one CHS email I've had did turn up).

 

2 hours ago, niraD said:
  • The cache hasn't been found in 3 months, after having been found at least once a week since it was published.

 

I'm wondering what the CO is supposed to do to fix that. Force or bribe people to go out and find it?

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32 minutes ago, barefootjeff said:
3 hours ago, niraD said:
  • The cache hasn't been found in 3 months, after having been found at least once a week since it was published.

 

I'm wondering what the CO is supposed to do to fix that. Force or bribe people to go out and find it?

 

If it were mine, I'd go check to be sure it's still there. 

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35 minutes ago, barefootjeff said:

I'm wondering what the CO is supposed to do to fix that. Force or bribe people to go out and find it?

 

Yeah, sorta agree.    Once all the locals have hit any cache, it's activity is slower.   That's pretty basic.

Kinda surprised that this wasn't worded better...

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44 minutes ago, barefootjeff said:
3 hours ago, niraD said:
  • The cache hasn't been found in 3 months, after having been found at least once a week since it was published.

 

I'm wondering what the CO is supposed to do to fix that. Force or bribe people to go out and find it?

 

I have 3 caches that rarely get visited. The 2 that are listed as puzzles get maybe 6 visits a year. The traditional has been out for a decade and gets most of its finds in the spring/summer, about 15 visits a year. I have never received a CHS email. I do try to get out to check them about a couple of times a year. 

Edited by L0ne.R
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5 minutes ago, L0ne.R said:
38 minutes ago, barefootjeff said:
3 hours ago, niraD said:
  • The cache hasn't been found in 3 months, after having been found at least once a week since it was published.

 

I'm wondering what the CO is supposed to do to fix that. Force or bribe people to go out and find it?

 

If it were mine, I'd go check to be sure it's still there. 

 

One of mine (GC5WGTZ) was last found just over a year ago. It's typical of many of the caches around here, it gets found by most of the locals in its first few months of life then, once they've all done it, it goes quiet. Getting to that cache is about an hour's hike along a fire trail, then a hundred metres or so of bush-bashing to the top of a small cliff, then a further bush-bash down to the bottom and back along to where the cache is hidden deep under a small rock ledge. The chances of it being muggled or otherwise going missing are miniscule, and no, it's not one I want to go check on in the middle of summer - if it got a CHS email today I'd probably just archive it then go and retrieve the container in the winter months.

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6 hours ago, GeoElmo6000 said:

I think that if you adhere to the geocache hiding guidelines you won't have to worry about CHS.

I'm not so sure about that.  I saw a well known and rarely found (high D) cache get archived a couple of months ago that was being found at infrequent intervals, but still being found from time to time.  Wasn't my cache, but I wrote to the 'new' reviewer for our area suggesting that he look at the log history to understand why it may have popped up on his radar, but no change yet.  It's a DNF that I'd love to clear some day, but I know it was going to take more visits to do it.

 

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1 hour ago, barefootjeff said:
4 hours ago, niraD said:
  • The cache hasn't been found in 3 months, after having been found at least once a week since it was published.

I'm wondering what the CO is supposed to do to fix that. Force or bribe people to go out and find it?

The examples I gave are not examples of problems.

 

The examples I gave are (hypothetical) examples of something that might trigger the CHS system to send the "friendly email" to the CO. The fix for any of them might be to click on the "False Positive" link in the "friendly email" sent by the CHS system. Or it might be to visit the cache location. The CHS system can't figure out which. A human (e.g., the CO, the volunteer reviewer) will have to sort that out.

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7 hours ago, GeoElmo6000 said:

I think that if you adhere to the geocache hiding guidelines you won't have to worry about CHS.

 

My run-in with the CHS was on a D2/T5 multi that was just 7 weeks old, had one find (with an FP) 10 days after publication, a DNF 5 weeks after that and then the CHS email less than 3 days later. I'd love to know which of the geocache hiding guidelines it violated.

Edited by barefootjeff

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57 minutes ago, ecanderson said:

I'm not so sure about that.  I saw a well known and rarely found (high D) cache get archived a couple of months ago that was being found at infrequent intervals, but still being found from time to time.  Wasn't my cache, but I wrote to the 'new' reviewer for our area suggesting that he look at the log history to understand why it may have popped up on his radar, but no change yet.  It's a DNF that I'd love to clear some day, but I know it was going to take more visits to do it.

 

 

Why hasn't the owner responded?

 

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24 minutes ago, niraD said:

The examples I gave are not examples of problems.

 

The examples I gave are (hypothetical) examples of something that might trigger the CHS system to send the "friendly email" to the CO. The fix for any of them might be to click on the "False Positive" link in the "friendly email" sent by the CHS system. Or it might be to visit the cache location. The CHS system can't figure out which. A human (e.g., the CO, the volunteer reviewer) will have to sort that out.

 

I realise that, but I'm struggling to understand why the CHS would consider a cache that simply hasn't been found for some time would be in need of maintenance. Four of my caches haven't been found in over a year (one is now well over two years), and only 10 of my 34 active hides have been found in the last three months, but that's just from a lack of active cachers in the region and no new blood interested in anything more arduous than roadside P&Gs. No amount of cache visits and OM logs from me will remedy that underlying "problem".

 

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52 minutes ago, L0ne.R said:

 

Why hasn't the owner responded?

 

No idea if has or hasn't.  Don't have access to his comms with the reviewer...

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6 minutes ago, ecanderson said:

No idea if has or hasn't.  Don't have access to his comms with the reviewer...

 

 

It sounds to me that what you are describing is an abandoned listing. 

Cache maintenance is not just a dialogue between owner and reviewer, it is a necessary dialogue between owner and future finders. 

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1 hour ago, barefootjeff said:

 

I realise that, but I'm struggling to understand why the CHS would consider a cache that simply hasn't been found for some time would be in need of maintenance. Four of my caches haven't been found in over a year (one is now well over two years), and only 10 of my 34 active hides have been found in the last three months, but that's just from a lack of active cachers in the region and no new blood interested in anything more arduous than roadside P&Gs. No amount of cache visits and OM logs from me will remedy that underlying "problem".

 

If a cache that hadn't been found for a long time with no DNFs since last (trusted) log and it was remote, I would be likely to consider adding an owner maintenance and putting something like, 'found by last visitor. Cache is in a protected, safe place. There have been no DNFs since last find'.

But would a cache with no DNFs since last find get a NM? Sorry, I haven't been following this whole thread?

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1 hour ago, barefootjeff said:

I realise that, but I'm struggling to understand why the CHS would consider a cache that simply hasn't been found for some time would be in need of maintenance.

Keep in mind that I have no idea what criteria the CHS actually uses. But my example wasn't just a cache that hasn't been found in 3 months. My example was a cache that was found at least once a week since it was published, and then that pattern changed and the cache wasn't found in 3 months.

 

Maybe an easy cache in a high-traffic area is missing, and the local geocaching community doesn't log DNFs. Or maybe the cache location is no longer accessible, and the local geocaching community doesn't log DNFs or NMs without visiting the cache location. Or maybe all the locals finally found it, and tourist season is over so no one else is finding it either. Or maybe the local geocaching community is having a political squabble, and everyone is boycotting the CO's caches. Or maybe the weather has been bad, and no one has been geocaching in that area for several weeks.

 

The CHS system has no way to distinguish between any of these possibilities. But I could imagine a change in the pattern of Find logs triggering a "friendly email" from it. That makes as much sense to me as a DNF or two triggering a "friendly email" from it.

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4 minutes ago, Goldenwattle said:

But would a cache with no DNFs since last find get a NM? 

That example didn't include anything about a NM log. It was just a hypothetical change in the pattern of Find logs.

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23 minutes ago, niraD said:

a DNF or two triggering a "friendly email" from it

DNF or two!!:rolleyes:

 

I have seen caches with MANY DNFs and no response, so either the CHS is not working as if should, or it's being ignored by the reviewer. A few of some recent examples I have encountered.

D2/T1.5 - 10 DNFs, 2 NM (a long list of finds before) - nothing from the reviewer unto a NA was added.

 

D1.5/T1.5 - 5 DNFs, no response from reviewer until a NM.

 

D4/T1 (I am suspecting the D4 happened because the co-ords (logs mentioning this) are out and the CO has never corrected them, instead upping the D when people couldn't find it) 10 DNFs, 2 NM, 1 note and no response from the reviewer until a NA. (There was 1 found in the middle of the finds, but I find that find doubtful, as where I suspect the cache is has been removed)

 

D1.5/T1.5 - 11 DNFs, finally (after the last DNFer wrote ' How many DNFs does this need.") a response from the reviewer.

 

Then suddenly there is a response by the reviewer, after a month and no action (as there should be) to ' Log is full and needs maintenance.' No DNFs.

 

I think I read that the COs history might be taken into account, but surely these examples negate these examples.

 

Edited by Goldenwattle
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44 minutes ago, Goldenwattle said:

DNF or two!!:rolleyes:

 

I have seen caches with MANY DNFs and no response, so either the CHS is not working as if should, or it's being ignored by the reviewer. A few of some recent examples I have encountered.

D2/T1.5 - 10 DNFs, 2 NM (a long list of finds before) - nothing from the reviewer unto a NA was added.

 

D1.5/T1.5 - 5 DNFs, no response from reviewer until a NM.

 

D4/T1 (I am suspecting the D4 happened because the co-ords (logs mentioning this) are out and the CO has never corrected them, instead upping the D when people couldn't find it) 10 DNFs, 2 NM, 1 note and no response from the reviewer until a NA. (There was 1 found in the middle of the finds, but I find that find doubtful, as where I suspect the cache is has been removed)

 

D1.5/T1.5 - 11 DNFs, finally (after the last DNFer wrote ' How many DNFs does this need.") a response from the reviewer.

 

Then suddenly there is a response by the reviewer, after a month and no action (as there should be) to ' Log is full and needs maintenance.' No DNFs.

 

I think I read that the COs history might be taken into account, but surely these examples negate these examples.

 

 

This is the reality.

 

Hypothetical situations keep being brought up here to argue against the CHS tool. 

 

1 hour ago, niraD said:

It was just a hypothetical change in the pattern of Find logs.

 

And a cache owner that doesn't respond to DNFs and a reviewer not, but hypothetically hasn't abandoned their cache and listing because hypothetically they are corresponding with a reviewer behind the scenes.

 

And then there are all those hypothetical caches whose only fault is they haven't been visited in a long time and the hypothetical responsible owners keep hypothetically getting pinged by CHS email.

 

The reality is as you describe.  And based on reality, it really doesn't look like a CO's history has much weight. I know of a few addicted owners who do not maintain caches. They continue to get their new caches approved, even though on a monthly basis a reviewer will archive at least a couple of their caches for non-response, or a promise that they'll get around to checking and never do. The CHS tool is barely making a dent and isn't the big threat to irresponsible ownership it is made out to be. Those caches still linger on for months and years, and continue to be hidden with no expectation of maintenance. 

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9 hours ago, Keystone said:

 

Then we would have forum threads complaining about unwanted and unnecessary spam messages.  "Why am I getting emails saying everything's fine?"  :D

 

That's just it. We don't need no stinking emails! :P

 

We should all know how our caches are doing by how we own them. If we stay on top of them, respond to multiple DNFs, perform required maintenance, and post OM logs when appropriate,,, then our CHS is going to be good. I'd think it'd be obvious that the CHS is going to be lower on a cache that receives NM logs, but then its owner delays maintenance or doesn't respond in any fashion. 

 

As Keystone posted, Coachstahly's caches are doing fine. Because of his maintenance routine, I'd think Coachstahly would know that the CHS on his caches was good.

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1 hour ago, Goldenwattle said:

but surely these examples negate these examples.

There have been cases of owners receiving a "friendly email" from the CHS system after only a single DNF, or after a couple DNFs.

 

But we can throw hypothetical examples back and forth all we want, and those examples will all remain completely irrelevant to my main point:

8 hours ago, niraD said:

My second priority for changes to the CHS system would be to update the "friendly email" to include an explanation of why the cache in question was flagged.

 

I don't care what the reasons are for the CHS flagging a cache and sending a "friendly email". But whatever those reasons are, they should be stated in clear language in the "friendly email" itself.

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There seems to be a lot of unnecessary going back over old ground in responses to the OP. I think Touchstone pretty well covered it. The OPs suggestion would satisfy a curiosity factor but I don't see that it would alter much my maintenance habits unless oldtimers takes a bigger hold of me than it already has.

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We know Finds "good" and DNFs/NM/NA "bad" for CHS. 

 

The concern with the CHS is the gray area in the middle. How many DNFs, relative to the D/T rating, result in a failing grade? How much inactivity (no logs of any kind) result in a failing grade?

 

Groundspeak doesn't want to give too many details because they don't want people gaming the system, which is a very wise concern. But without enough info COs don't know enough info of when they are expected to act.

 

It's easy for me; my caches are simple so any DNFs (except by some newbies) usually means the cache is missing. For those with 4/4 multis that usually only get found every three years it's much less clear. 

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11 hours ago, colleda said:

There seems to be a lot of unnecessary going back over old ground in responses to the OP. I think Touchstone pretty well covered it. The OPs suggestion would satisfy a curiosity factor but I don't see that it would alter much my maintenance habits unless oldtimers takes a bigger hold of me than it already has.

 

I thought maybe I was there already, as I don't see one Touchstone post in this thread.     :) 

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43 minutes ago, cerberus1 said:

 

I thought maybe I was there already, as I don't see one Touchstone post in this thread.     :) 

Fixed. Thanks for asking ;)

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14 hours ago, Mudfrog said:

As Keystone posted, Coachstahly's caches are doing fine. Because of his maintenance routine, I'd think Coachstahly would know that the CHS on his caches was good.

 

I don't know what the CHS is for any of my caches, although Keystone certainly provided me with enough information that reflects what I believe the status of my caches to be.  I had a cache I thought was perfectly fine and above the threshold and then it got pinged and I got the CHS email.  It's NOT a big deal to get one (despite what many may believe or believe me to believe) but I didn't think anything was wrong with the cache at all.  I have 3 I think might be on the verge of a visit but it would be nice to have the ability to confirm my suspicions against the CHS.  Based on what Keystone said, I think those 3 are fine as they stand.  Being able to see, however, would help me make the determination to visit or not to visit that much easier and would allow me to know the status (according to the CHS) vs. what I think it might be.  As I've stated, I've been wrong before.

 

Perhaps the green light, yellow light, red light might even be more effective than seeing the score (since we don't really know what score means what).

 

The point of this thread wasn't to debate the merits of the CHS, lack of response by a CO, why some caches get 2 DNFs and a CHS email while many others do not,.....etc.  It was to see what people thought if they were given the occasional option, on each individual cache owned, to be able to see the score (or the status) to help gain a better understanding of how their maintenance stacks up to the expectations of the CHS.  I know that I would use it occasionally on caches I think might be on the verge of needing a visit and this option would either confirm my thoughts or put me more at ease.  I also assume I'd use it less and less because I would better know what might trigger a large enough drop in the CHS to get to that threshold.

 

 With this "recent" push towards cache maintenance, it seems that GS has provided reviewers with a tool that can help expedite possible maintenance issues, but they've apparently neglected the people responsible for actually providing the maintenance.  If TPTB want better maintenance, then why aren't they providing some sort of program or tool to the people who are actually supposed to DO the maintenance?  We get the CHS email, but that's when it's at the point that the cache is most likely already in trouble (more often than not, despite false positives).  We're left to our own devices to examine the logs that come in to our caches and then make a determination of whether or not our cache might need a visit.  Reviewers are provided a tool that does that exact thing.  That seems backwards to me, giving reviewers access to a tool that helps them determine whether or not a reviewer should get involved, rather than giving occasional access to the people who are the ones who can actually prevent reviewers from choosing to be involved.

 

As Keystone (and other reviewers and other posters) have frequently stated, those COs who most need this ability are actually the ones who most likely won't ever use it.  The rate of return of CO action on reviewer actioned caches seems to be very low, across the board.  The CHS is NEVER going to reach those types of COs so this idea of occasional access isn't worth considering for them.  I do think, however, that it might be beneficial for newer COs so that they have a better understanding of when to perform maintenance and "learn" how and when to take action, based on their thoughts and then confirmed (or not confirmed) by the score.  A single DNF doesn't mean you need to rush right out and check on the cache.  Multiple DNFs on a harder D cache don't mean it's gone but if they want to see how the CHS is scored to better understand when they might need to visit the cache, that would most likely help them as well.  Each CO would be able to better figure out what maintenance to provide (and when) to prevent the cache from ever reaching the point where the CHS is sent and a reviewer begins to determine whether or not reviewer action is warranted.  It seems to me that's a winning outcome for all involved.  Saying that, I also realize it's an idea that won't happen.  I just wanted to float something out there.

 

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24 minutes ago, coachstahly said:

...The point of this thread wasn't to debate the merits of the CHS, lack of response by a CO, why some caches get 2 DNFs and a CHS email while many others do not,.....etc.  It was to see what people thought if they were given the occasional option, on each individual cache owned, to be able to see the score (or the status) to help gain a better understanding of how their maintenance stacks up to the expectations of the CHS.

 

I feel most understood that, but one sees a keyword,  which often brings up the same talking points ... and it drifts.   :)

We'd rather not know a "score".     We act on online logs, which is usually the first notice to any issue.  I'd think that's a good thing...

We have seen some inconsistencies with others, but they seem (to us) the exception to the way we understand CHS.

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3 hours ago, cerberus1 said:

 

I thought maybe I was there already, as I don't see one Touchstone post in this thread.     :) 

Oops, my mistake, should have been Keystone.

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2 hours ago, coachstahly said:

I had a cache I thought was perfectly fine and above the threshold and then it got pinged and I got the CHS email.  It's NOT a big deal to get one (despite what many may believe or believe me to believe) but I didn't think anything was wrong with the cache at all.

 

Whether it's a "big deal" or not is probably subjective, but the one I got left me in a quandary as I was unable to immediately do any of the things the email wanted me to do. The cache is a water-access T5, but during the summer school holidays (which still had another four weeks to run at the time I got the email) the normally quiet waterway becomes a playground of waterskiers and jetskiers often ending in a booze-up on the little beach just below GZ (which is why it got DNFed in the first place), so no, I didn't want to visit the cache until after the holidays. Even then, a visit has to be timed with the tides and winds, which in summer usually means waiting for a mid-morning high tide so I can get out there and back before the sea breeze picks up. I also didn't want to disable or archive it as the person who logged the DNF was keen to go back for another try. In the end it took several emails back and forth to HQ to try to explain the situation before they were willing to accept that the cache didn't have a problem (and that was after the DNFer had gone back and found it). The DNFer was also a bit upset as she thought it was all her fault for logging the DNF. So getting a CHS email mightn't be a big deal if visiting the cache isn't a big deal for the CO, but not all caches are that easy to check on within the week that's now allowed before a reviewer might step in and TD it.

 

That's why I think something like the traffic light indication could be a good thing, as an amber warning would give COs the flexibility to arrange a visit to the cache at a time they're comfortable with, without the sudden rush of getting a CHS email out of the blue and then having to act within a week or disable/archive the cache (and disabling it only buys them a few more weeks anyway). On caches that might only get one or two attempts a year, if that, a delay of a month or two before the cache is checked isn't going to hurt anyone, especially when the CHS is just guessing that there might be a problem.

 

3 hours ago, coachstahly said:

We're left to our own devices to examine the logs that come in to our caches and then make a determination of whether or not our cache might need a visit.  Reviewers are provided a tool that does that exact thing.  That seems backwards to me, giving reviewers access to a tool that helps them determine whether or not a reviewer should get involved, rather than giving occasional access to the people who are the ones who can actually prevent reviewers from choosing to be involved.

 

The tool the reviewers have doesn't do that exact thing, as it can only count the logs, not read them to determine their context, and while the reviewers can certainly read those logs, they don't have the knowledge of GZ or the way the cache is hidden that the CO does, so the CO is in a far better position to judge which DNF logs are likely to indicate a problem and which aren't. Even the person logging the DNF is in a better position to judge whether a CO visit is warranted than a reviewer who just has the logs to go by. For nearly all my DNF logs I really don't want the CO or anyone to take any action because I know I'm not very good at spotting well-camouflaged caches or finding needles in haystacks, all I want to do is record the fact that the cache defeated me on the day and I'll probably come back for another crack at it sometime. It bothers me that an algorithm or a reviewer scanning the logs might think my DNF is contibuting evidence that the cache might be missing, because that's not my intent in logging it.

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6 hours ago, coachstahly said:

We get the CHS email, but that's when it's at the point that the cache is most likely already in trouble (more often than not, despite false positives).  We're left to our own devices to examine the logs that come in to our caches and then make a determination of whether or not our cache might need a visit.  

I read the logs that folks write on my caches - if there's a question in my mind that something is wrong, I will visit and either write a note, or log an OM and "fix it".  If I get a CHS email, false positive or otherwise, I plan to work with my reviewer and do what needs to be done to make it right.  I hope none of mine ever get to the point that an email would be triggered!

 

6 hours ago, coachstahly said:

Perhaps the green light, yellow light, red light might even be more effective than seeing the score (since we don't really know what score means what).

This might be useful to me as a CO - though I likely know where the cache would fall on the spectrum anyway, based on logs, finds, and comments made in the logs.

 

Maybe I'm too new to the game, and with only a handful of hides that I consider my "babies" I watch them pretty closely.  If I had a hundred hides, would I still read every log?  Actually, I can't see myself with that many hides.  I'm considering a few more but I don't want so many I can't keep up with them.  That's why, for me, knowing the CHS is kind of redundant - I know more about my cache than a simple "score".  The CHS is a reviewer tool to spot those caches and CO's who are not up to par, for whatever reason.  I don't need it.

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3 hours ago, barefootjeff said:

 

Whether it's a "big deal" or not is probably subjective, but the one I got left me in a quandary as I was unable to immediately do any of the things the email wanted me to do. The cache is a water-access T5, but during the summer school holidays (which still had another four weeks to run at the time I got the email) the normally quiet waterway becomes a playground of waterskiers and jetskiers often ending in a booze-up on the little beach just below GZ (which is why it got DNFed in the first place), so no, I didn't want to visit the cache until after the holidays. Even then, a visit has to be timed with the tides and winds, which in summer usually means waiting for a mid-morning high tide so I can get out there and back before the sea breeze picks up. I also didn't want to disable or archive it as the person who logged the DNF was keen to go back for another try. In the end it took several emails back and forth to HQ to try to explain the situation before they were willing to accept that the cache didn't have a problem (and that was after the DNFer had gone back and found it). The DNFer was also a bit upset as she thought it was all her fault for logging the DNF. So getting a CHS email mightn't be a big deal if visiting the cache isn't a big deal for the CO, but not all caches are that easy to check on within the week that's now allowed before a reviewer might step in and TD it.

 

That's why I think something like the traffic light indication could be a good thing, as an amber warning would give COs the flexibility to arrange a visit to the cache at a time they're comfortable with, without the sudden rush of getting a CHS email out of the blue and then having to act within a week or disable/archive the cache (and disabling it only buys them a few more weeks anyway). On caches that might only get one or two attempts a year, if that, a delay of a month or two before the cache is checked isn't going to hurt anyone, especially when the CHS is just guessing that there might be a problem.

 

 

The tool the reviewers have doesn't do that exact thing, as it can only count the logs, not read them to determine their context, and while the reviewers can certainly read those logs, they don't have the knowledge of GZ or the way the cache is hidden that the CO does, so the CO is in a far better position to judge which DNF logs are likely to indicate a problem and which aren't. Even the person logging the DNF is in a better position to judge whether a CO visit is warranted than a reviewer who just has the logs to go by. For nearly all my DNF logs I really don't want the CO or anyone to take any action because I know I'm not very good at spotting well-camouflaged caches or finding needles in haystacks, all I want to do is record the fact that the cache defeated me on the day and I'll probably come back for another crack at it sometime. It bothers me that an algorithm or a reviewer scanning the logs might think my DNF is contibuting evidence that the cache might be missing, because that's not my intent in logging it.

Your cache was pinged in the early days of CHS. I would like to think that the algorythm has been tweaked since then which would, most likely, eliminate a repeat occurence

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11 hours ago, coachstahly said:

 

I don't know what the CHS is for any of my caches, although Keystone certainly provided me with enough information that reflects what I believe the status of my caches to be.  I had a cache I thought was perfectly fine and above the threshold and then it got pinged and I got the CHS email. 

 

 

This is interesting. And it does raise some questions since you got that email on a cache that you thought was doing fine. I've always figured it would have to be something noticeable going on with a cache to get the "ping". I'm not really worried about it but it would be nice to know what caused the ping so that I could take action to help keep it from coming again. If you're not sure of the reason, then an email to Groundspeak asking about it might be in order.

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13 hours ago, coachstahly said:

Perhaps the green light, yellow light, red light might even be more effective than seeing the score (since we don't really know what score means what).

I still don't care whether my cache's CHS status is green, yellow, red, or paisley.

 

Tell me WHY the system thinks my cache might need maintenance, or leave me alone.

 

And don't tell me to read the logs. I've already read the logs. If I could figure out what was wrong from reading the logs, then I'd already know what was wrong and I wouldn't need the CHS to send a "friendly email" to remind me.

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