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rragan

GA experiment on inactive owners analysis

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Re: https://www.geocaching.com/help/index.php?pg=kb.chapter&id=38&pgid=946

 

Per GGA folk, there has been no real outcry which I found curious. So, time to look at the data. 
 

I did an extraction of Disabled caches in GA. Then filtered the log text in Cachly to find those with the unique disable warning from HQ. I did some exploration of the data set of 208 caches and this is what I found. 


Estimate from GA friend that around 900 were initially disabled for inactive owners. This is out of 13,624 caches in Georgia.  Most were rescued by action of owner I guess since only 208 remained when I grabbed the set

Of those 208
192 Traditionals
10 Mysteries
6 Multis

 

18 were high Terrain (T4-T5)
I sampled some others that looked interesting (there are likely others but I looked at high D ones and high T ones. )
Some rare combos like D1/T5 GC1GGKB which continues to be found
GC2HVEW still being found D4/T5
GC1N2PJ A Baker’s Dozen Challenge Cache - Georgia D5/T2 still being found 
GC3HW2J 42481 D4/T3.5 Regularly found No DNFs
GC2M0GX Belly of the Beast D3/T2 Several instances of community repair but regularly visited
GC5963X DEAD PRESIDENTS D3/T1.5 Mystery Regular finds right up to end of 2019
GC1RZBG my first series cache #1 D3.5/T4.5 still being found regularly (last surviving cache of 4 created)

 

Counts By Year Placed
2004 3
2005 12
2006 13
2007 18
2008 18
2009 27
2010 26
2011 39
2012 29
2013 13
2014 10
2015 8

 

The 208 caches have 149 unique owners
Of those
1 has 5 caches
1 has 3 caches
6 have 2 caches
All the rest only have 1 cache

 

Initial conclusions
-Sleeping owners woke up and acted on many of them
-The majority of the caches belong to owners with only 1 cache or only one remaining of the handful they published (rest are archived already). These folks are gone. 
-Community maintenance is keeping some of them alive. Likely for DT combos people need

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44 minutes ago, rragan said:

-Sleeping owners woke up and acted on many of them
-The majority of the caches belong to owners with only 1 cache or only one remaining of the handful they published (rest are archived already). These folks are gone. 

 

Interesting stats!

 

Locals have adopted some of the caches that developed warnings or which otherwise are in danger of being archived. I can't tell who suggests the adoptions, but I know at least a couple of COs don't receive site email and don't check the site. So those cases for sure are someone reaching out to the inactive cachers, who are still around but have other priorities now.

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6 hours ago, rragan said:

Estimate from GA friend that around 900 were initially disabled for inactive owners. This is out of 13,624 caches in Georgia.  Most were rescued by action of owner I guess since only 208 remained when I grabbed the set
 

 

900 is much closer to the number for two states involved in the test - Georgia AND North Carolina.  So, any conclusions drawn based on that total being just for Georgia should be revisited.  A better number for Georgia-only would be 216 affected caches.

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Great to get the right number. So only 8 have been salvaged. That seems a more reasonable rate. I was asked for a breakdown of the sizes. 
 

Size

78 micro

53 Small

64 Regular

0 Large

0 Virtual

3 Other

10 Not Chosen

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To deal with the resulting geolitter, a local suggested a new stat, Last to Find LTF, where the container is retrieved to earn it. Imagine, LTF hounds. A GGA member mentioned a statewide CITO as a possibility focusing on these.

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9 hours ago, rragan said:

The 208 caches have 149 unique owners
Of those
1 has 5 caches
1 has 3 caches
6 have 2 caches
All the rest only have 1 cache

 

Did this come out right or am I just reading it wrong? Could be that I just haven't had my coffee yet. :P

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1 hour ago, rragan said:

To deal with the resulting geolitter, a local suggested a new stat, Last to Find LTF, where the container is retrieved to earn it. Imagine, LTF hounds. A GGA member mentioned a statewide CITO as a possibility focusing on these.

 

Curious...Many times the container hasn't even been there for some time. 

We just assume there's all these pieces of carp laying about...

Does that "LTF" get to claim it if the container's not there ? 

Since FTF isn't really a stat (proof the issue...), I feel that LTF would be a similar stat to prove.    :)

Maybe even seeing some showing with a throwdown, claiming the last "finder" didn't grab the container as claimed.

You've been around long enough to know some will do anything it takes for "points".    A hobby that turned into a game...

 

Thought I remembered reading that CITOs  won't be allowed for picking up abandoned caches. That's the CO's job.

There's one near me that has a buncha micro-litter scattered in a park, all dumped by the CO after a NA on one cache.

Folks were logging the top to a nano as found, rather than log a DNF.   Maybe all the other "caches" are similar.

 - I could have around a dozen "LTFs" there.   If they were there...      :D

 

I figure if a cache was in a nice spot ,  eventually someone else will find that spot cool.

The next person to "claim" that spot would remove the carp from around their fresh, new cache.  

 

 

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16 minutes ago, cerberus1 said:

Many times the container hasn't even been there for some time. 

We just assume there's all these pieces of carp laying about...

 

I've only ever found an archived cache box once.  That was set at the edge of the little forest area (possibly by park workers).  Other cache spots were vacant by the time I placed mine.  I've tried to find some old archived ones at times just for fun, and never found any cache parts.

 

But I guess we can't be absolutely sure until we go check. :cute:

 

 

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4 minutes ago, rragan said:

The LTF idea was more of a humor thing than a serious proposal.

 

I like to poke around in spots that once had archived caches.  Especially if it's still a viable place, just that maybe it got muggled a lot or whatever made it always a problem.  I've placed my own caches in some of those places, once I have a plan to mitigate the previous issues.

 

But the old container's long gone.  So much for my LTF. :mad:

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9 minutes ago, rragan said:

I could see our current Very Lonely Cache game morphing into something that would include cleaning geolitter. 

 

Why ?   Many of the caches I head to are "lonely".  Heading to one this week.   It hasn't been found in over a year.   

Dollar-to-a-donut someone will whine after I find it, that they were "saving" it for a lonely run.    :)

I have two caches that are lucky to be found once every-other year. 

 - I can see one in my car at roadside, the other's a two-minute walk when in the area.  

Just last week a couple that gets more than perturbed over "lonely" caches I found just before they go to them found one.

They found it a year and a half after I did.

   

The site already said that "very lonely" caches are going to have some odd edge over everyone else.

Instead of archiving, the site will be allowing others to "adopt" them because of their status as "pioneer" or "legacy" caches.

A person who finds one of those caches, will place their own, brand-new container in that spot.

Bypassing actions meant for everyone simply due to their age, I feel isn't a nice thing to do.

 - Anyone who read Animal Farm knows that was the beginning of the end, when the pigs said "Some animals are more equal than others".

 

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57 minutes ago, cerberus1 said:

Instead of archiving, the site will be allowing others to "adopt" them because of their status as "pioneer" or "legacy" caches.

A person who finds one of those caches, will place their own, brand-new container in that spot.

 

I would like to think that there's some limit of modifiability with caches adopted with the this in mind. eg if someone adopts the old listing to keep it alive, and changes the container and listing and all that, I'm sure it will raised flags at HQ or at least a reviewer. I'd be surprised if it didn't... but it would be interesting to know if there a certain of adjustment in 'upkeep' that's allowable given this extra-special exceptional circumstance.

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20 hours ago, cerberus1 said:

The site already said that "very lonely" caches are going to have some odd edge over everyone else.

Instead of archiving, the site will be allowing others to "adopt" them because of their status as "pioneer" or "legacy" caches.

 

Site has said where anything about "allowing others to "adopt", or any edge in relation to "very lonely"?
 

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21 hours ago, cerberus1 said:

The site already said that "very lonely" caches are going to have some odd edge over everyone else.

Instead of archiving, the site will be allowing others to "adopt" them because of their status as "pioneer" or "legacy" caches.

I've heard that as well.  Anything is possible with an active Cache Owner.

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3 hours ago, Isonzo Karst said:

Site has said where anything about "allowing others to "adopt", or any edge in relation to "very lonely"?

 

No.  It was caches '04 and earlier.   The majority of "very lonely" caches I've been hitting fit.

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On 1/27/2020 at 6:36 AM, rragan said:

Great to get the right number. So only 8 have been salvaged. That seems a more reasonable rate.

I'm kinda confused with the shifting numbers. Does this mean only 8 were brought back to life and the other 892 look like they'll be archived?

 

What I'm wondering is how many of these caches look like they have any problem. Everyone keeps shouting that absentee owners are a terrible scourge, so I'd love to see whether the results here supports or refutes that hypothesis. My concern is that all this will do is archive some remote caches that were much loved but infrequently visited. So, in other words, caches that would almost always be a positive experience if anyone visited and, even if they were missing or leaking, would still only account for one or two negative experiences a year, so less that a drop in the bucket of "bad cache" experiences. If these are bad caches that are visited frequently, wouldn't they have been archived long ago?

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6 hours ago, dprovan said:

I'm kinda confused with the shifting numbers. Does this mean only 8 were brought back to life and the other 892 look like they'll be archived?

 

What I'm wondering is how many of these caches look like they have any problem. Everyone keeps shouting that absentee owners are a terrible scourge, so I'd love to see whether the results here supports or refutes that hypothesis. My concern is that all this will do is archive some remote caches that were much loved but infrequently visited. So, in other words, caches that would almost always be a positive experience if anyone visited and, even if they were missing or leaking, would still only account for one or two negative experiences a year, so less that a drop in the bucket of "bad cache" experiences. If these are bad caches that are visited frequently, wouldn't they have been archived long ago?

The near 900 was a guess I got from a GGA person. In this thread, a lackey clarified that for GA the number was 216 so the 208 I found represented only 8 salvaged by owner. 
 

There were too many for me to look at all of them but if you note, I sampled some high D and high T ones as they might reflect more challenging caches that don't get hit often. First, note that find frequency is not the criteria, it is that the owner has not visited the site in a long time and so might have left the game. 
 

That said all the ones I sampled are being found with some frequency. Of those, one is being kept going by kindness of cachers repairing and fixing logs. 

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I found one of those archived recently since I had it on my GPS unit and it was in fine shape.

 

While I understand what they are doing, if the caches are in good shape and still being found on a regular basis, especially a level 1 terrain in a wooded rural area, I would like to it the formula perhaps tweaked (I did offer to adopt the cache).  https://www.geocaching.com/geocache/GC4JR94_squirrel

 

I also took a photo of it as proof it is fine where it is. 

 

This one has had over 20 different finds over the past several months.

 

4426090b-e4c5-4434-93ba-75186f2f7b8b_l.j

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3 minutes ago, gpsblake said:

I found one of those archived recently since I had it on my GPS unit and it was in fine shape.

The Listing you linked to is merely Disabled, though it appears on its way to being Archived in the not too distant future.

 

Your time might be better spent trying to round up the cache owner and seeing if they would be willing to Adopt it over to you or someone in the Community that lives nearby.  I don't think that HQ is going to veer from the current trajectory on this iteration of the project.

 

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1 minute ago, Touchstone said:

The Listing you linked to is merely Disabled, though it appears on its way to being Archived in the not too distant future.

 

Your time might be better spent trying to round up the cache owner and seeing if they would be willing to Adopt it over to you or someone in the Community that lives nearby.  I don't think that HQ is going to veer from the current trajectory on this iteration of the project.

 

 

Thanks. I did send an email to the owner offering to adopt it. I'm not saying veer from the project but perhaps tweak it before completely archiving the caches. Geo-litter being one of the concerns. 

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8 minutes ago, gpsblake said:

I found one of those archived recently since I had it on my GPS unit and it was in fine shape.

 

While I understand what they are doing, if the caches are in good shape and still being found on a regular basis, especially a level 1 terrain in a wooded rural area, I would like to it the formula perhaps tweaked (I did offer to adopt the cache).  https://www.geocaching.com/geocache/GC4JR94_squirrel

 

I also took a photo of it as proof it is fine where it is. 

 

This one has had over 20 different finds over the past several months.

 

4426090b-e4c5-4434-93ba-75186f2f7b8b_l.j

 

I don't understand the great need to keep this abandoned cache alive. The GC code isn't old. It's just a  pill bottle hide at a trailhead kiosk.

 

Why adopt it? Place your own when it's archived. 

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29 minutes ago, gpsblake said:

 

Thanks. I did send an email to the owner offering to adopt it. I'm not saying veer from the project but perhaps tweak it before completely archiving the caches. Geo-litter being one of the concerns. 

As mentioned earlier in the thread, there is some discussion of putting together a statewide CITO of some sort, to deal with the absent cache owners trash.  Perhaps you can get involved locally to coordinate with the state organization that might sponsor this initiative.

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3 hours ago, rragan said:

The near 900 was a guess I got from a GGA person. In this thread, a lackey clarified that for GA the number was 216 so the 208 I found represented only 8 salvaged by owner. 
 

There were too many for me to look at all of them but if you note, I sampled some high D and high T ones as they might reflect more challenging caches that don't get hit often. First, note that find frequency is not the criteria, it is that the owner has not visited the site in a long time and so might have left the game. 
 

That said all the ones I sampled are being found with some frequency. Of those, one is being kept going by kindness of cachers repairing and fixing logs. 

 

Two clarifications:

 

1.  "Near 900" is the total for Georgia and North Carolina combined.  They were the two states chosen for the experiment.  216 caches in GA were disabled by HQ, and another 649 in North Carolina, which adds up to 865.  Similar to Georgia, ten of the NC caches have been re-enabled already.

 

2.  I'm not a Lackey.  I'm just a Community Volunteer with an awesome set of GSAK databases and some basic GSAK search and filter skills.  But, thank you for the compliment!

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5 hours ago, rragan said:

The near 900 was a guess I got from a GGA person. In this thread, a lackey clarified that for GA the number was 216 so the 208 I found represented only 8 salvaged by owner.

Thanks. That clears things up quite a bit. So, if I have this right, the only serious mistake in the original post was that there is not any evidence that lots of sleeping owners woke up. In fact, there's very little evidence that anything happened here except a bunch of good caches are on the road to being archived (although, admittedly, that's because you didn't look too much on what their current state is).

 

5 hours ago, rragan said:

First, note that find frequency is not the criteria, it is that the owner has not visited the site in a long time and so might have left the game. 

I understand that, I was merely noting that getting rid of low frequency caches will have essentially zero impact on the perception that cache quality has gone to heck in a hand basket.

 

5 hours ago, rragan said:

That said all the ones I sampled are being found with some frequency. Of those, one is being kept going by kindness of cachers repairing and fixing logs. 

Of the ones that aren't being kept going by kindness, how many were appeared to be in bad shape? That's really the key question. If they're just archiving mostly good caches, what's the point?

 

3 hours ago, Touchstone said:

Your time might be better spent trying to round up the cache owner and seeing if they would be willing to Adopt it over to you or someone in the Community that lives nearby.  I don't think that HQ is going to veer from the current trajectory on this iteration of the project.

Be that as it might me, I think my time is better spent exploring whether this project is actually accomplishing anything in the hopes that gpsblake doesn't have to waste any time at all on preventing good caches from being archived.

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On 1/27/2020 at 11:52 AM, rragan said:

The LTF idea was more of a humor thing than a serious proposal. There would need to be some sort of proof though.
 

 

I love the the LTF idea on archived caches! And the hunt for archived caches.  Proof would be a photo of the cache, a photo of the surrounding area and landmarks and your new coordinates? The coords can be googled and show the exact location of the archived cache. A photo of the cache in the gallery will be additional proof. But then again, geocaching is also based on the honor system, the majority of cachers honor that. GS can then give us points or souvenirs for helping to clean up archived geo-litter.  Probably won't materialize but still, being serious CITO's, I love this idea. 

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8 hours ago, Keystone said:

 

Two clarifications:

 

1.  "Near 900" is the total for Georgia and North Carolina combined.  They were the two states chosen for the experiment.  216 caches in GA were disabled by HQ, and another 649 in North Carolina, which adds up to 865.  Similar to Georgia, ten of the NC caches have been re-enabled already.

 

2.  I'm not a Lackey.  I'm just a Community Volunteer with an awesome set of GSAK databases and some basic GSAK search and filter skills.  But, thank you for the compliment!

Was this experiment initiated by HQ or did the GA and NC caching communities have some input?

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11 minutes ago, 31BMSG said:

Was this experiment initiated by HQ or did the GA and NC caching communities have some input?

I'm not sure why you quoted my post, as your question has nothing to do with what I wrote. So, my disconnected answer to that is to advise you that I'm sitting in my jammies in my den here in Pittsburgh, enjoying the morning news and a great cup of coffee.  Time to drive downtown for work, though.  Have a great day!

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I listened to Brian Roth on Podcacher and have read the posts by HQ on this "Clearing the Gameboard" initiative. I still have to wonder: What happened to Reviewers killing caches by the Health Scores?? Anything with a "Needs Maintenance" against it will surely show up on that, and I'm seeing this as part of the issue with caches that have wrapped to the "Lonely", or better abandoned, criteria for the experiment.

 

Oh, and I always keep the Last Expedient in mind: "No decision regarding any one cache..."

 

That said, do I think there are caches that need to be disabled or Archived? Yes. Do I also think that HQ needs to develop a better way for caches that are active and don't have an Active CO on them to NOT be Archived? YES! Why not take the caches that are to be archived and put them in an announced 'Orphanage' for active, credentialed Cachers? (Credentials as HQ put on applying for a 20th Anniversary Event, perhaps)? Then cachers could apply for them and save 'good' caches. Any that weren't good could then be archived by an active cacher with eyes on the situation - something that a Reviewer OR HQ Can't do.

 

We had our Kentucky DeLorme Challenge go by the wayside for this sort of inability - and, of course, it can never come back.

 

Just my two-cents.

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5 minutes ago, Jimrky said:

I still have to wonder: What happened to Reviewers killing caches by the Health Scores??

Nothing.  We still do that every day, even in GA and NC.  It's now about one third of my workload.

Quote

Anything with a "Needs Maintenance" against it will surely show up on that,

Not right away, of course.

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1 minute ago, Keystone said:

Nothing.  We still do that every day, even in GA and NC.  It's now about one third of my workload.

Not right away, of course.

 

Thanks for the quick reply.

 

Then I'm a little puzzled...200 of 13,000 caches -  ~1.5 Percent?  There is a major campaign on over 1.5% of caches? That just doesn't BEGIN to resolve the issue as stated by HQ - making ROOM for caches for new cachers. Is there another initiative to cleanse the databases of all data for CO's whose caches are closed out by this initiative? Now THAT I could understand - old data, unused types and icons, dead weight on the hosting servers all going away - that makes sense even for 1.5%.

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1 hour ago, Jimrky said:

We had our Kentucky DeLorme Challenge go by the wayside for this sort of inability - and, of course, it can never come back.

 

Just my two-cents.

 

Challenges are usually the reason (pretty much the only reason) cited for saving abandoned listings. It's no longer about finding nice geocaches in nice locations, it's about qualifying for challenges. 

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5 minutes ago, L0ne.R said:

 

Challenges are usually the reason (pretty much the only reason) cited for saving abandoned listings. It's no longer about finding nice geocaches in nice locations, it's about qualifying for challenges. 

You comment didn't make much sense.  A Challenge Cache (which you seem to hate, since it's "the only reason people cache anymore") is gone because the owner is gone.  Shouldn't you be cheering since there is one less CC causing people to post C&P logs just about the Challenge and not the cache?

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26 minutes ago, The Jester said:
35 minutes ago, L0ne.R said:

 

Challenges are usually the reason (pretty much the only reason) cited for saving abandoned listings. It's no longer about finding nice geocaches in nice locations, it's about qualifying for challenges. 

You comment didn't make much sense.  A Challenge Cache (which you seem to hate, since it's "the only reason people cache anymore") is gone because the owner is gone.  Shouldn't you be cheering since there is one less CC causing people to post C&P logs just about the Challenge and not the cache?

 

I read this as people are not wanting to save abandoned challenge caches, but saving abandoned caches that will help them qualify for challenges.

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Archived challenges can still be claimed long after they are gone if you have signed them. Challenges are widely varied so I'd guess only date-based ones like Original Fizzy and Jasmer and its descendants in other states would be affected by older ones going away. 
 

I found no challenge caches in the GA or NC sets. Sampling suggests that folks who set challenges appear to be very active. Or maybe challenges were excluded from those deemed to have an inactive owner. I did find one webcam in the NC set. One might expect the owner to have to log in to verify valid find claims though. Also that cam is unavailable in the winter months.

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41 minutes ago, L0ne.R said:

 

Challenges are usually the reason (pretty much the only reason) cited for saving abandoned listings. It's no longer about finding nice geocaches in nice locations, it's about qualifying for challenges. 

 

Do you honestly believe that ALL abandoned caches are caches that qualify people for challenges?  You seem to think that everyone caches based on challenges they're working on.  Sometimes, contrary to your belief, people wish to pay a cache a visit because it intrigues them, not because it manages to fulfill a challenge.  I will sometimes pick a cache to visit because it fulfills a challenge, but only if I am actively thinking about it.  Finding caches is only about the numbers if you choose to make it about the numbers.  If I have the time, I'll go out of my way to find a multi over any other type of cache.  It's not because I want to get to some pre-determined number of multi finds to qualify for a challenge; it's because I generally prefer multis over other types of caches.  I'll select non-traditional caches over traditional caches because those are the ones I prefer, not because they fulfill some challenge.

 

15 minutes ago, CAVinoGal said:

 

I read this as people are not wanting to save abandoned challenge caches, but saving abandoned caches that will help them qualify for challenges.

 

I did too but I don't see an issue with this because that's how some players choose to play.  Why should we eliminate caches based on the sole factor that they're caches that allow some people to qualify for challenges?  What happened to the notion of "To each their own."?  There are some who would say eliminate PTs because they're bad for the game, promote throwdowns, take up way too much space, and only provide a +1 to those who go find them.  There are some who would say eliminate puzzle caches because they're too hard to solve and they take up space that could be better used for a cache that will actually get visited.  There are some who would say eliminate multis because they take up an inordinate amount of space that also prevent many cachers from placing their own caches.  There are some who would say eliminate LPCs or GRCs because they're not really "good" caches.  That's part of the beauty of geocaching; there's something for everyone and you are the one that gets to determine the manner in which you choose to cache.

 

I'm not a fan of cut and paste logs that tend to talk more about the challenge than they do about the cache they found that helped them meet the challenge.  However, I don't get upset that some cachers have chosen to find one of my caches because it happens to fill a hole in a challenge they are working on.  There are LOTS of reasons that cachers choose to visit a cache and, contrary to L0ne.R's opinion, it's only about the numbers if a cacher chooses to make it about the numbers.  Some do and some don't.  I fail to see the harm involved in someone caching that way because it's not how I usually cache, it's how they usually cache.  This urge to dissuade finders from caching to fulfill challenges (and instead find nice geocaches in nice locations) seems to be more about a personal pet peeve and the desire to castigate all who choose to cache that way vs. realizing that both types of caching have merit, even if one doesn't like the reasoning behind it.  I get it.  I really do.  I'm not a fan of PTs but I'm not going to tell those COs and those who choose to find them that I think it's in their best interest to stop finding them because it's not really about what geocaching is or that they're finding them because they only care about the +1.  So what if they only care about the +1?  So what if someone only cares about a certain cache because it fulfills a challenge?  That doesn't mean that every cacher who visits that cache has chosen it because it fulfills a challenge or some other number based reason.

 

As it pertains to this particular thread, I understand what they're trying to do but I wonder if it's truly the best way to approach cache quality, if that's truly the motivating factor behind this test policy.  If we're looking at just 1.5% (that would mean there are roughly 31,200 caches in GA?) of the caches in GA, then I have to wonder what percentage of caches in GA currently have outstanding NM logs that haven't been addressed by the CO within 30 days (the typical amount of time a reviewer will allow for a disabled cache to be fixed).  I would think that percentage would be higher, hence the potential impact to cache quality would be even greater as it would remove caches with unattended NM logs or get those caches fixed by their COs.

 

I understand the reasoning behind this but like someone else has stated, I question that this will noticeably improve the quality of caches that are being found in either of the two states where this is being tested.  Sure, it will remove some caches that might be poorly maintained but it will also remove some caches that are just fine as they are, other than the fact that they have absent COs.  Eventually, if cachers were to go through the right process, they would get NM logs, then NA logs and then disappear from the listing site as they're archived.  I think they'd get more potential benefit from a renewed focus on NM logs, why they're not a bad thing for seekers to file, how they should be approached by the CO (they're not personal attacks but factual comments about their cache status that should be addressed), as well as the follow up procedure of filing a NA log if the CO is unable or unwilling to address the initial NM log that was filed in order to get a reviewer to help get needed maintenance done or remove them from the listings because they're not up to the standards listed within the guidelines.

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6 minutes ago, coachstahly said:

Eventually, if cachers were to go through the right process, they would get NM logs, then NA logs and then disappear from the listing site as they're archived.

You missed a couple of steps in this process:

 

  1. NM for full or missing logsheet
  2. Subsequent Finder adds or replaces logsheet
  3. NM for cracked or unusable container
  4. Subsequent Finder places a throwdown that bears little resemblance to the original
  5. NM for missing throwdown
  6. Subsequent Finder logs a Find for piece of velcro/zip tie/magnet
  7. NA logged by someone that remembers how the game used to be played

YMMV

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2 minutes ago, Touchstone said:

You missed a couple of steps in this process:

 

  1. NM for full or missing logsheet
  2. Subsequent Finder adds or replaces logsheet
  3. NM for cracked or unusable container
  4. Subsequent Finder places a throwdown that bears little resemblance to the original
  5. NM for missing throwdown
  6. Subsequent Finder logs a Find for piece of velcro/zip tie/magnet
  7. NA logged by someone that remembers how the game used to be played

YMMV

 

That's not the "right" process, which is why I didn't mention them.  Emphasize and educate about the procedures needed to address caches that need maintenance and some of this will fall off on its own.  The issue isn't that people don't know how to file NM/NA logs (although GS hasn't made it as simple as it used to be); it's that people are afraid to do it because they see it as a cache that might disappear rather than the fact that it's up to the CO to maintain a cache that needs maintenance.  There's nothing wrong with getting unmaintained caches off the books or alerting COs that their cache needs maintenance. That's actually how it's supposed to work but because so many people take it as a personal attack rather than a simple notification of the status of their cache, we find ourselves where we are now, following the steps you outline above.  Disabling caches of 5 year inactive COs isn't going to address any of your 7 steps in a meaningful and long lasting manner.

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59 minutes ago, Touchstone said:

You missed a couple of steps in this process:

  1. NM for full or missing logsheet
  2. Subsequent Finder adds or replaces logsheet
  3. NM for cracked or unusable container
  4. Subsequent Finder places a throwdown that bears little resemblance to the original
  5. NM for missing throwdown
  6. Subsequent Finder logs a Find for piece of velcro/zip tie/magnet
  7. NA logged by someone that remembers how the game used to be played

YMMV

Are you claiming that a significant fraction of these caches had this kind of history? I really doubt it, but I'd like to see the evidence. If it's true, I'd be a little more supportive.

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1 hour ago, coachstahly said:

That's not the "right" process, which is why I didn't mention them.

 

I suspect Touchstone was being cynical of today's trends, not stating that it's actually the proper process...

 

21 minutes ago, dprovan said:

Are you claiming that a significant fraction of these caches had this kind of history? I really doubt it, but I'd like to see the evidence. If it's true, I'd be a little more supportive.

 

Don't know about stats, but in my area that certainly seems to be the perception most of the time, if not statistically significant. (and I think that was the point of the comment)

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3 minutes ago, thebruce0 said:

 

I suspect Touchstone was being cynical of today's trends, not stating that it's actually the proper process...

 

I'm sure that's the case but the only way to address those things is to re-emphasize what a NM and NA log are for.  It's certainly not going to clear up overnight but without any sort of push from GS it's just going to stay the same or get worse.  On another thread, someone called their NM and NA logs weapons.  They're simply tools that many cachers have no idea what to do with or how to approach them if they receive them.  

 

Focusing on absentee owners of 5 years or more isn't going to address a significant enough portion to affect overall cache quality via archival of a few hundred caches out of the thousands in a state.  If the stats are right, you're talking about 1-2 caches in 100.  That's a drop in the bucket.  I'm sure it will catch some crappy caches that have deteriorated to a point where they should be archived but there are still plenty of those out there with active COs as well, which aren't being addressed. It will also catch some caches (probably less) that are in good shape as well, even though the CO is absent.

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4 minutes ago, coachstahly said:

Focusing on absentee owners of 5 years or more isn't going to address a significant enough portion to affect overall cache quality

 

I suspect the Groundspeak doesn't want their database filled with abandoned listings. 

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16 minutes ago, L0ne.R said:

 

I suspect the Groundspeak doesn't want their database filled with abandoned listings. 

 

I'm not disagreeing with that point but 1-2 (1.5%) out of 100 caches isn't "filling" the database at all.  You, of all people, complain about the number of unmitigated NM logs out there and the poor inherent cache quality due to those ignored logs.  I am saying that addressing the outstanding NM logs would go further to improve cache quality than focusing on less than 2% of all the caches in a state.  Great.  They're removing 200 caches from the active list.  That still leaves all the other caches with outstanding NM logs that weren't caught up in this.

 

I get it but this is addressing a small portion of caches, not a larger portion that would have a larger effect on cache quality out there.  If your area is anything like mine, we're talking about 10% (10 out of 100) of the caches, more if it's worse.  If applied to the GA list, instead of 208 caches now we're talking about 2080.  You tell me which one would have a potentially greater impact on cache quality.

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Nowhere in the Help Center article is the word "quality" talked about.  I think LOne.R has it essentially correct.  The purpose is to clear Listing pages owned by people that have been absent for 5 years or more.  That appears to be the only metric used for this particular project, with a few exceptions for date of placement, Listing pages that showed trackables, and some vague "special circumstances" (...wondering what that means?).

 

I'm not sure why you brought the word "quality" into the conversation, since I'm not sure that's an achievable goal from a keyboard and monitor.  I think that something that has to be worked out at the local level.

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8 hours ago, Jimrky said:

We had our Kentucky DeLorme Challenge go by the wayside for this sort of inability - and, of course, it can never come back.

Well, yes. But that's another issue, that new location-based challenges like USGS quadrangle challenges and DeLorme challenges can no longer be listed.

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2 hours ago, coachstahly said:

I get it but this is addressing a small portion of caches, not a larger portion that would have a larger effect on cache quality out there.  If your area is anything like mine, we're talking about 10% (10 out of 100) of the caches, more if it's worse.  If applied to the GA list, instead of 208 caches now we're talking about 2080.  You tell me which one would have a potentially greater impact on cache quality.

Georgia has 13,611 caches. Of these 418 are currently disabled of which 208 are the ones from the missing owner experiment. That leaves 210 of 13600+ truly disabled. It looks to me like in Georgia NM's are not allowed to linger for months. 

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4 hours ago, dprovan said:

Are you claiming that a significant fraction of these caches had this kind of history? I really doubt it, but I'd like to see the evidence. If it's true, I'd be a little more supportive.

 

In my analysis, I sampled some GA caches. This was one of them. GC2M0GX Belly of the Beast. It has 14 favorite points and lots of glowing logs. It is also a tough one to get to. It has a long history of community repair and log replacement. The last owner visit I can see is from 2011.

 

2019-08-13 Found with 1st offspring! She was super stoked! Replaced log with fresh paper! Tftc
2019-04-11 Nothing like I was expecting.   Needs maintenance.  Log was soaked so I signed the baggie
2016-02-16 Found cache tube on the ground and remnants of fishing line overhead. Replaced as best we could. This one needs attention!
2014-08-20 Found but in need of a fresh log, this one is dampish and unreadable. :(. Fun container though!
2013-12-13 Needs a new log and baggie; this one's not going to be salvaged. Powerful smell of mildew as soon as the cache is opened, and the log's still damp enough that I wasn't going to try to roll it out & sign it with that smell in the air; may want to take it in for a cleaning too. :\
2012-09-26 Log damp
2011-04-2018 Thanks to all who like and have been courteous enough to attempt to repair it. I found the time today to come out and take a look at how bad the environment has beaten it to death

 

It is not particularly old nor that rare a DT combo. It is a challenging location and apparently a creative hide. The best thing for it would be adoption by some prepared to care for it (or a more waterproof design as the environment sounds very damp)

 

This by no means implies that a goodly fraction of the caches have community maintenance going on in the absence of a missing owner. I'd guess a number of those with higher favorite counts fall in that area. However, a number of them were being happily found several times a year with no maintenance being needed so the missing owner wasn't causing trouble (yet).

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One more interesting stat. In Georgia, 108 of the 208 were found in the last 3 months. Happily ticking along without owner around. 
 

And in NC 266/640 were found in the last 3 months. 

Edited by rragan

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If cache saturation is a goal, this will help but not a lot. I wanted to see how many puzzles are around here that have been found by everyone likely to ever find them. I grabbed the nearest 1000 puzzles (In < 20 miles)  Of those 1000, 167 have not been found in more than a year. These are largely urban caches and so are blocking closer in places wher new more productive hides could exist.

 

In the same 20 mile radius there are around 5400 total caches so roughly 20% of our local hides are puzzles with unknown final coordinates. No wonder new hiders get frustrated. 

Edited by rragan
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I used Search to ask for Disabled caches in North Carolina. I created a bookmark of those.  I queried the bookmark. In GSAK I filtered for log: Temp disable, by Geocaching HQ Admin

 

639 total - TD log is Jan 15, my query 2 weeks later. Some number may have already been enabled by owner.  

312 have the NM attribute set (about half)

336 had been found in the last year  (since 15 Jan 2019)

210 with no DNFs, no NM

110 with 2+ DNFS - most of these don't look too good

24 have 4 DNFs, NM set and likely would have been picked up by HS fairly soon

 

Broad distribution around the state, a modest clustering around Greensboro. 


611 Traditional
18 Mystery (only 1 bonus, all caches needed archived )
9 Multi-cache
1 LBH

503 at Terrain 1 - 2

Edited by Isonzo Karst
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Because of interest in Lonely caches expressed in this thread (that interest has nothing to do with the HQ Admin Disable) I ran some filters on the caches that had not been found in2 years (from 15 Jan 2018 back) and had only 1 DNF or 0 DNF:

42 caches in that group ~  reading the last 4 logs, I found that 17 of those were either throwdown finds,  finds of a previous throwdown or DNF= Found it! 

25 of the lonely group seem to be original, of those 11 have their last log as DNF. 

 

Edited by Isonzo Karst
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