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Tikka-et-Co

2 New ratings types ?

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We do not geocache a lot but have been premium members since almost the start of this website. We do have preferences for certain types of caches and have increasing difficulty in finding the type of caches that we enjoy. I, therefore, propose to add the 2 additional cache measurements/ratings: Scenery and Elaboration Level.

 

For scenery: rating 1 to 5.

Suggestion1 - local dumpster ... 5 - View from top of the Mount Everest, ISS, etc... I am not 100% how to define the scenes in between.

 

For Elaboration: rating 1 to 5.

Suggestion:  1 - natural (man-made look), 3 - well-constructed cache, fully camouflaged into the environment, 5 - elaborate mechanical contraption, not only fully camouflaged but also requiring a skilled or logical thought process to resolve. 2 and 4 to be defined.

 

Is this something that other geocacher would be interested in?

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4 minutes ago, Tikka-et-Co said:

For scenery: rating 1 to 5.

Suggestion1 - local dumpster ... 5 - View from top of the Mount Everest, ISS, etc... I am not 100% how to define the scenes in between.

 

I have my doubts as far as how useful the end product of this would be.  I suspect that very few cache owners would ever implement the low end of the scale.  No one likes to hear that their baby is ugly.  I suspect few if any COs are going to be inclined to actually advertise theirs as such.

 

5 minutes ago, Tikka-et-Co said:

For Elaboration: rating 1 to 5.

Suggestion:  1 - natural (man-made look), 3 - well-constructed cache, fully camouflaged into the environment, 5 - elaborate mechanical contraption, not only fully camouflaged but also requiring a skilled or logical thought process to resolve. 2 and 4 to be defined.

 

Interesting concept.  It leaves a lot of interpretation to the CO, though.  I think it would be difficult to make this into an objective standard.

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2 minutes ago, hzoi said:

I think it would be difficult to make this into an objective standard.

 

You may be right but there is constant need for exclude and include caches by some basic genre. Discussion about possible ways is very welcome.

 

I am not fully satisfied with the favorite system as a tool for selecting caches I like to find. I am primarily not insterested in popular caches only.

 

I think that the intented method to select caches you are going to search is to read the cache descriptions. Reading the description should give all information needed about the genre. Unfortinately, if the area is fully covered with caches this is too tedious task to read all of them.

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, hzoi said:

  I think it would be difficult to make this into an objective standard.

I think it would be impossible to make it objective .

If the CO is responsible for the rating, I doubt many will admit their baby is ugly , apart of course from those wanting to attract people who 'need' to fill in a particular box on their scenery/elaboration grid ... You know that would inevitably become yet another 'thing' .

 

2 hours ago, arisoft said:

I think that the intented method to select caches you are going to search is to read the cache descriptions. Reading the description should give all information needed about the genre. Unfortinately, if the area is fully covered with caches this is too tedious task to read all of them.

Yep, nothing beats thorough research, using cache listing, logs and maps .

 

Last night I was looking at an area beyond my usual range which I hope to visit soon, and one puzzle listing I was looking at to decide if I should spend time trying to solve it, had the following text in the description:

" PLEASE NOTE THE DISABLED ATTRIBUTE IS FOR THE PUZZLE "

Eh ?! So you can access the puzzle whilst sitting down ? But by implicaton, not the cache ? Interestingly there was another major ambiguity in the puzzle itself, which I wasn't sure about: was it deliberate misdirection or just lack of rigour ? I have no idea.  Anyway I solved it expecting the final to involve a country walk, but see it is a roadside hide, so probably is accessible, but still ...

 

My point is, whatever information the CO chooses to put on the cache page may be thoughtfully accurate, or accidentally inaccurate, or even down right intentional misinformation for some purpose ( "Well friends, you asked for a grid filler cache for this D/T combo , and here it is !" ) . If you read the cache logs , and folk have bothered to write proper ones, you may get an idea of if the reality of the cache lives up to the listing ( " That single step up seemed a rather easy tree climb for a T4 ...") I'm not suggesting that logs should have a rating on them for scenery etc (altho' I know this is is something which is being tried out) but I would use it as one of the reasons why writing a proper individual log for any cache which is not utterly mundane is important.

 

So to my mind, a better way to indicate the positive qualities of a cache would be to somehow encourage folk to write proper logs. I dunno, maybe run a promotion where a C.O. nominates a single log from each listing they have (maybe with a top limit of 10 listngs for those with a lot of caches out there. Logs only count if made before the promotion is announced to avoid folk gaming the system) That great log gets a star , shows prominently in the app to encourage newbies to follow the good example, and the cacher who wrote the log gets a souvenir .The nominated logs go into a draw for trackable codes . Cheap to run, makes the C.O. central to the process ( usually promotions focus on finders, but it is lack of new caches that will be groundspeaks next problem according to project GC stats so something to encourage C.O.s would be wiise ) and if anyone unfairly favours a poor log from a friend over a better one from a stranger their manipulation would be visible to all.

Imply it might be an annual promotion, and see what effect it may have on logs in the next year.

 

 

Edited by hal-an-tow
One 'f' in effect . Can spell, can't type ...

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6 hours ago, Tikka-et-Co said:

For scenery: rating 1 to 5.

I think the current "Scenic view" attribute is sufficient.

 

6 hours ago, Tikka-et-Co said:

For Elaboration: rating 1 to 5.

As you've described it, I think the cache difficulty rating already does much of the job. Certainly the difference between an uncamouflaged "man-made look" container and a "fully camouflaged" container fits in the difficulty rating. The "elaborate mechanical contraption" sounds like the "Field puzzle" attribute.

 

But with that said, I think there could be room for one additional rating. There are elements of geocaches beyond getting to the location (terrain) and identifying the container once you're there (difficulty). Some sort of generic "extra challenge" rating could be used to describe what is involved in solving a puzzle, or in completing a challenge, or in retrieving a tricky cache once you've spotted the container. That would eliminate the need to reflect such things in the existing ratings (primarily the difficulty rating). But with that said, adding a rating (let alone two ratings) at this point is a huge change that would affect all the existing apps and devices and stats, and I'm not convinced that it would be worth it no matter what the new rating(s) might be.

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I think attributes are generally the best way to filter for the kind of experience you want, though it does leave out the scale of experience, and not being required means many caches will be missed by people searching for specific experiences.

 

And I think one of the issues with any 'rating' system (often paralleled with 'your baby is ugly' judgments) is the mindset of the 1-5 being bad->good.  If the ratings were more horizontal than vertical (such as cache size selection), then they would be super helpful and informative. Like (eg) a scale of rural to urban; a scale that leaves out subjective value and is more objectively descriptive.

 

Any kind of mundane-to-exciting rating won't be a properly appreciated function.

I don't know how such a rating system might translate from "nothing scenic" to "fantastically scenic", but 'dumpster' on one end probably isn't a good start :P.   Maybe something like 'human centric' vs 'nature centric'. Then value can still be judged individually.

 

All that said, it still sounds like a sytem better relegated to a separate mechanic, like GC Vote. But there'd be a difference between CO-chosen ratings, and community awarded ratings.  The current official attribute system I think was intended to provide that search-for-what-you-like functionality, limited as it may be.

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Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, Tikka-et-Co said:

We do not geocache a lot but have been premium members since almost the start of this website. We do have preferences for certain types of caches and have increasing difficulty in finding the type of caches that we enjoy. I, therefore, propose to add the 2 additional cache measurements/ratings: Scenery and Elaboration Level.

For scenery: rating 1 to 5.

Suggestion1 - local dumpster ... 5 - View from top of the Mount Everest, ISS, etc... I am not 100% how to define the scenes in between.

For Elaboration: rating 1 to 5.

Suggestion:  1 - natural (man-made look), 3 - well-constructed cache, fully camouflaged into the environment, 5 - elaborate mechanical contraption, not only fully camouflaged but also requiring a skilled or logical thought process to resolve. 2 and 4 to be defined.

 

Is this something that other geocacher would be interested in?

Not me, thanks...       Curious, what does your start date have to do with this ?   Thanks. 

We already see folks fibbing about their own caches.

 - So we sure don't want to see yet another cache rating idea,  open to way-too much interpretation

 

How many times have you seen that "great view" no longer there, with trees overgrown just a year or two later ?  

I could see it as simple as someone  placing their cache in late fall, to find nothing's visible by next spring.  :)

Folks sure aren't gonna chop down trees for the view, and I don't see many changing their "ratings" to fit.

 - Add in that we know of a cache behind a dumpster that has Favorite Points,  and I just don't see this happening.

 

As for "elaboration", I don't see where more detail (elaboration...) can't just be in the cache description if a CO fibbing thing, or simply in your log if "rating" it as a finder. 

Want more elaboration in logs,  GLWT...         (That's "Good Luck With That" in recent logger-speak)

 

 

Edited by cerberus1

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Posted (edited)
9 hours ago, Tikka-et-Co said:

 We do have preferences for certain types of caches and have increasing difficulty in finding the type of caches that we enjoy.

 

Same here.  :)

While  the other 2/3rds isn't doing any caching  (any cache just because it's there...) I've found a sort of simple solution.

I search for hides 2 -2.5T and up, and look at the map for surrounding similar.  Large areas in green is a good thing... 

Knowing that there are some caches that are rated lower in terrain with a view doesn't affect me much (some roadside rest "overlooks" here for example) .

 -  There's usually another with that higher terrain nearby, and if interested, could stop afterwards. 

 

The container (for me) is now just a means to show I was at a location (you were here long enough to remember this hobby was called "the lanquage of location" at one time), so "gadgets" and such mean little.

 - But I'd imagine you should be able to figure simply by Difficulty  ratings (and maybe FPs) whether the container is one you might enjoy.

All just takes a little more research, but rewards me with a lot more legwork.  

The extra drive distance would happen if the other 2/3rds still cached the way she did anyway.  ;)

 

I'd be terribly disappointed if I relied solely on information from others to continue a hobby enjoyed.

My post earlier (FPs on  dumpster, and on one, a porta potty hide ...Yuck !) shows that "others" aren't really gonna help much.  :)

Edited by cerberus1

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3 hours ago, niraD said:

But with that said, I think there could be room for one additional rating. There are elements of geocaches beyond getting to the location (terrain) and identifying the container once you're there (difficulty). Some sort of generic "extra challenge" rating could be used to describe what is involved in solving a puzzle, or in completing a challenge, or in retrieving a tricky cache once you've spotted the container.

 

I'm sure frinklabs will be along shortly to tell us for the umpteenth time about his idea. :laughing:

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11 hours ago, hal-an-tow said:
13 hours ago, hzoi said:

  I think it would be difficult to make this into an objective standard.

I think it would be impossible to make it objective .

If the CO is responsible for the rating, I doubt many will admit their baby is ugly , apart of course from those wanting to attract people who 'need' to fill in a particular box on their scenery/elaboration grid ... You know that would inevitably become yet another 'thing' .

 

With an ugly baby leaderboard.  

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5 hours ago, The A-Team said:
9 hours ago, niraD said:

But with that said, I think there could be room for one additional rating. There are elements of geocaches beyond getting to the location (terrain) and identifying the container once you're there (difficulty). Some sort of generic "extra challenge" rating could be used to describe what is involved in solving a puzzle, or in completing a challenge, or in retrieving a tricky cache once you've spotted the container.

 

I'm sure frinklabs will be along shortly to tell us for the umpteenth time about his idea. :laughing:

 

I like letting him take one for the team :ph34r::P

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15 hours ago, Tikka-et-Co said:

For scenery: rating 1 to 5.

Suggestion1 - local dumpster ... 5 - View from top of the Mount Everest, ISS, etc... I am not 100% how to define the scenes in between.

Ha, Ha, I had one in the local recycling centre. That would be rated 1 then, although it (originally) had a very nice cache matching where it was. A cute, small garbage bin. I ended up archiving it, after a few years, and after its third hide tree was cut down and then after a load of illegally dumped garbage was dumped on top. My cache is still likely still there, as I wasn't prepared to dig through the garbage to find it.

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This rating can come down to taste. I am thinking of the cache in the grotty alleyway. I have one like that. Some might go, it stinks, it's covered in ugly graffiti, it's dirty, after dark, drunks come here to piss. But others might go, wow, interesting, colourful art work on the walls. Wow, pleased I was brought here to see it.

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Thank you all for your replies and discussion so far, it brought a smile on my face in some instances :-) There some good ideas out there.

 

Maybe the different suggested extremes should probably be redefined to remain as objective and non-critical as possible ;-)

 

The additional rating discussion was due to a recent area that I had scouted using the existing cache criteria. Once there (not next door), I discovered that the caches were very easy and mostly with a "man-made" look, easily accessible from a forest path with nothing very scenic but trees. The cache was just there for the cache's sake, not for IMO an interesting location sake (an attribute I try to look for). Being an engineer, I also marvel at some CO's ingenuity... another attribute I value a lot.

 

So IMO, I was mislead by the description, the attributes and the logs. I was trying to figure out if there was a way at getting a much quicker idea of the geocache attributes rather than spending a lot of time browsing through the logs as I much prefer being out in the field than behind a screen...

 

We are all looking for different personal rewards with this activity, so I was looking for ways it would be easier to satisfy more and more finders.

It is clear that any implementations, may or may not be complex, but that's another issue.

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16 minutes ago, Tikka-et-Co said:

So IMO, I was mislead by the description, the attributes and the logs. I was trying to figure out if there was a way at getting a much quicker idea of the geocache attributes rather than spending a lot of time browsing through the logs as I much prefer being out in the field than behind a screen...

 

Just a thought, but on each cache page just above the logs is a link to View the Image Gallery, which will show all the photos the CO and seekers have posted on the page. If the cache is anywhere scenic and has had a fair number of finders, you can be pretty sure someone will have posted a photo or two that will give you an idea of what to expect without having to trawl through the individual logs.

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On ‎3‎/‎26‎/‎2019 at 6:34 AM, barefootjeff said:

Just a thought, but on each cache page just above the logs is a link to View the Image Gallery, which will show all the photos the CO and seekers have posted on the page. If the cache is anywhere scenic and has had a fair number of finders, you can be pretty sure someone will have posted a photo or two that will give you an idea of what to expect without having to trawl through the individual logs.

Agreed. 

Now that I search for specific caches singly (and maybe add some similar nearby...), I take the time to read logs, and yep, look at pics.     :)

We used to just head out, to find very little presented in the cache description true... 

 - For example, a 2T "beautiful, multiple-trail park" description didn't mention that the cache was just behind a porta potty at parking.

Some, like one recently, had little in description, and I wouldn't have gone there if not for those logs n pics. 

We've seen enough "liar's caches" and some just not accurate, so (for me) the extra minutes looking for a good day out is worth it.

 

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