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19 minutes ago, dimwit61 said:

I don't agree that the parking lot should be the starting point of reference. I think you should use the nearest public transport location, be it a bus stop, train station, port or whatever.  


I understand the sentiment, but if everybody was rating in that way, the App would hardly show any rural caches for a basic member.

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8 hours ago, Goldenwattle said:

I have always advocated for two ratings, so the CO's rating is not affected and stays. Then people can see what the CO rates their cache, and what other people (who don't have the CO's insider knowledge of where it is, or the CO's maybe greater than average fitness) rate it.


One flaw in the plan...

 

If a CO substantially changes the nature of their hide (*), and updates the D/T ratings to match, then any previous finders’ ratings may become irrelevant.  Would there need to be some sort of reset function for the averaged ratings?

 

(*)  Say, a micro is replaced with an ammo can - wouldn’t that be nice?!  Or a cache beside a footpath is moved up the steep bank beside it.

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1 hour ago, dimwit61 said:

I don't agree that the parking lot should be the starting point of reference. I think you should use the nearest public transport location, be it a bus stop, train station, port or whatever.  

You are presuming that everywhere has public transport equal to what you likely have.  Some might have none.

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20 minutes ago, IceColdUK said:


One flaw in the plan...

 

If a CO substantially changes the nature of their hide (*), and updates the D/T ratings to match, then any previous finders’ ratings may become irrelevant.  Would there need to be some sort of reset function for the averaged ratings?

 

(*)  Say, a micro is replaced with an ammo can - wouldn’t that be nice?!  Or a cache beside a footpath is moved up the steep bank beside it.

That would happen only rarely. My solution then would be to give that information in the cache description. Easy.

As for a micro being replaced with an ammo can. Have you ever known that to happen?

It would still have a chance of being no more inaccurate than some CO's ratings.

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52 minutes ago, dimwit61 said:

I don't agree that the parking lot should be the starting point of reference. I think you should use the nearest public transport location, be it a bus stop, train station, port or whatever.  

 

There are many caches in Australia where the nearest public transport is hundreds of kilometres away. Even my most recent cache, GC8JGWN, is some 40km from the nearest train station or regular bus route. The only civilisation anywhere near it is isolated farm houses. Public transport is only available here in the larger towns and cities.

 

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And you have rated it a terrain 3.5 which I assume is fair. If you had assigned it 1.5 terrain I might have been scratching my head.

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I did a series along an abandoned rail line with the most bizarre D/T ratings.  From 1.5/5 to 5/2.5.  Average terrain rating was 4.  One took me a few tries, but the terrain was not 5!  The other caches on the rail line were 2.5 terrain.   

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1 hour ago, IceColdUK said:


I understand the sentiment, but if everybody was rating in that way, the App would hardly show any rural caches for a basic member.

I can understand that this could be a issue in large countries with limited transportation. In Japan however transportation can take you within 10 km of a cache almost anywhere. Terrain on the other hand is usually 1.5 or 3+, so I have quite a few rural 1.5s. 

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48 minutes ago, Harry Dolphin said:

I did a series along an abandoned rail line with the most bizarre D/T ratings.  From 1.5/5 to 5/2.5.  Average terrain rating was 4.  One took me a few tries, but the terrain was not 5!  The other caches on the rail line were 2.5 terrain.   

Possibly to let people fill in their statistics squares.

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53 minutes ago, dimwit61 said:

And you have rated it a terrain 3.5 which I assume is fair. If you had assigned it 1.5 terrain I might have been scratching my head.

 

I rated it 3.5 because of the 3km hike from the car park out to the waypoints along the track to the waterfall and pool, not because I was expecting someone to walk or cycle the 40km from Gosford railway station and back again afterwards. There's a horse-riding establishment down in the valley to the south, maybe I should have assumed cachers would be coming up the track on horseback and used that for the terrain rating.

Edited by barefootjeff
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2 hours ago, dimwit61 said:

I don't agree that the parking lot should be the starting point of reference. I think you should use the nearest public transport location, be it a bus stop, train station, port or whatever.  

 

I agree with GoldenWattle on this one.  If one is driving/riding in a motor vehicle than I don't think you're geocaching until you leave the vehicle.  Up to that point, its just driving.  The only time I might make an exception if a motor vehicle is used to get to the cache (or a trailhead/access point) is if the terrain dictates the use of a "special" vehicle (4WD, snowmobile, etc).  Paved roads, no matter how twisty, long or steep, require no physical effort other than pressing on a gas pedal and turning a steering wheel.

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18 hours ago, JL_HSTRE said:

I have seen enough COs who frequently underrate or overrate their caches,

 

Based on whose interpretation of the ratings?  Yours?  Your friends?  Are we talking about 1/2 star or something greater than that?  Are we talking about a majority of the caches you find or just a small minority, say 1 out of 10, 1 out of 20, 1 out of 50, or 1 out of 100?  What an experienced cacher finds easy, an inexperienced cacher finds difficult.  Hikers used to mountain hiking are going to find similar terrain ratings easier in areas with lots of rolling hills and flat prairies while those that live in flat areas are going to find terrain ratings much harder in mountainous areas.  Cerberus quoted the relevant part from the section that renders almost all of this discussion as pointless, except in situations where the ratings mistakes are noticeable to almost every finder.  "Please rate your cache accurately based on standards in your area and guidance in the table below. "  

 

This doesn't mean that ratings are always correct.  There will always be some caches with ratings that are off, for whatever reason.  I believe that most COs attempt to rate their caches as best they can.  They're not actively trying to deceive seekers on purpose.  If they are, then there are much easier and more effective means of doing so.  I just believe that so many people have so many different interpretations of what D/T ratings should be that this suggestion isn't really helpful except in those cases where ratings are so far off that it's obvious to most cachers that something isn't right.  It doesn't even matter if we're talking about the actual rating being affected or the side by side comparison.  I would venture to guess that we're probably talking about a 1/2 - 1 star variation between what the CO rates it vs. what the finders would rate it, for a large majority of the caches out there.

 

Is it really that important to swing the D/T rating a 1/2 point up or down from what the CO rated it?  Is it really that important to let the CO and other seekers know that I believe the rating to be a 2.5/2 instead of the 2/2 the CO rated it?  Why are my thoughts about the D/T rating for someone else's cache so important that I feel the need to have the ability to comment on them and offer up a "correction" so that others can see it?  Is it to show that somehow my judgment is better than someone else's?  Is it to feel self-important?  Is it done solely to hold the CO accountable for their ratings, to be able to somehow show them that they're wrong and everyone else is right?  If we're considering finder feedback for D/T, then why not size feedback?  Why not description feedback that rates how accurately the description write up adheres to the actual experience?  Why not swag feedback?  Why not location feedback?  Why not hide feedback?  Where does it stop?

 

You say we already have a means to do something like this?  It's called a log and the finder can relate their experience about everything mentioned above, if they want to?  And I can tell them what I think about the cache and my experience in finding the cache?  Who knew?

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3 hours ago, Goldenwattle said:

As for a micro being replaced with an ammo can. Have you ever known that to happen?

 

I did it for a cache I adopted that was originally an ammo can, taken and eventually replaced by the first adopter with a micro (size updated) with the intent to go back out and replace it with an ammo can but never done.  I adopted it and went out with an ammo can and restored it to its original size.

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2 minutes ago, coachstahly said:

 

Based on whose interpretation of the ratings?  Yours?  Your friends?  Are we talking about 1/2 star or something greater than that?  Are we talking about a majority of the caches you find or just a small minority, say 1 out of 10, 1 out of 20, 1 out of 50, or 1 out of 100?  What an experienced cacher finds easy, an inexperienced cacher finds difficult.  Hikers used to mountain hiking are going to find similar terrain ratings easier in areas with lots of rolling hills and flat prairies while those that live in flat areas are going to find terrain ratings much harder in mountainous areas.  Cerberus quoted the relevant part from the section that renders almost all of this discussion as pointless, except in situations where the ratings mistakes are noticeable to almost every finder.  "Please rate your cache accurately based on standards in your area and guidance in the table below. "  

 

This doesn't mean that ratings are always correct.  There will always be some caches with ratings that are off, for whatever reason.  I believe that most COs attempt to rate their caches as best they can.  They're not actively trying to deceive seekers on purpose.  If they are, then there are much easier and more effective means of doing so.  I just believe that so many people have so many different interpretations of what D/T ratings should be that this suggestion isn't really helpful except in those cases where ratings are so far off that it's obvious to most cachers that something isn't right.  It doesn't even matter if we're talking about the actual rating being affected or the side by side comparison.  I would venture to guess that we're probably talking about a 1/2 - 1 star variation between what the CO rates it vs. what the finders would rate it, for a large majority of the caches out there.

 

Is it really that important to swing the D/T rating a 1/2 point up or down from what the CO rated it?  Is it really that important to let the CO and other seekers know that I believe the rating to be a 2.5/2 instead of the 2/2 the CO rated it?  Why are my thoughts about the D/T rating for someone else's cache so important that I feel the need to have the ability to comment on them and offer up a "correction" so that others can see it?  Is it to show that somehow my judgment is better than someone else's?  Is it to feel self-important?  Is it done solely to hold the CO accountable for their ratings, to be able to somehow show them that they're wrong and everyone else is right?  If we're considering finder feedback for D/T, then why not size feedback?  Why not description feedback that rates how accurately the description write up adheres to the actual experience?  Why not swag feedback?  Why not location feedback?  Why not hide feedback?  Where does it stop?

 

You say we already have a means to do something like this?  It's called a log and the finder can relate their experience about everything mentioned above, if they want to?  And I can tell them what I think about the cache and my experience in finding the cache?  Who knew?

I don't find tree climbs, even small trees, 1.5T, just because the walk to the tree was flat. Or standing on a stool on a picnic table at an unbalanced angle 1.5T, or a cache high in the rafters of a building 1T, or a walk across sand, a scramble over rocks and up a small cliff 1T. That's just the caches that come to memory for me at present. And I can't see many others thinking they are correctly rated either. Half a star or possibly even a star doesn't make much difference. You are clutching at straws if you think this is merely about a mere half a star.

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7 minutes ago, coachstahly said:

 

I did it for a cache I adopted that was originally an ammo can, taken and eventually replaced by the first adopter with a micro (size updated) with the intent to go back out and replace it with an ammo can but never done.  I adopted it and went out with an ammo can and restored it to its original size.

Then you are just returning it to what it was originally, and which hopefully the cache was originally rated correctly for.  And it is wonderful that you went to the bother of returning the ammunition tin, as they are great caches to find.

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9 hours ago, Keystone said:

 

Actually, since at least 2006, Terrain 1 = Wheelchair accessible.  See this forum post I made back then.  The more recent change was to force the use of the attribute for T1 caches so that Reviewers didn't need to post that form letter day after day.

I've never understood that.  Before 2006, it made more sense to me. 

 

There are, per what I recall to be the ORIGINAL Clayjar and any of the old rating methods, caches that would qualify as 1.0 terrain and would still not be wheelchair accessible.  A cache can be on dead, flat, level ground, but could require someone to stand up to reach the cache.  Those would logically carry a 1.0T but not the wheelchair accessible attribute.  Those that are on dead, flat, level ground but can reasonably be expected to be reached from a chair would be T1.0 with the wheelchair accessible attribute lit up.

 

Since it is possible to search both by T and attribute, I don't see the problem that was being addressed in 2006.

 

 

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Just now, Goldenwattle said:

I don't find tree climbs, even small trees, 1.5T, just because the walk to the tree was flat. Or standing on a stool on a picnic table at an unbalanced angle 1.5T, or a cache high in the rafters of a building 1T, or a walk across sand, a scramble over rocks and up a small cliff 1T. That's just the caches that come to memory for me at present. And I can't see many others thinking they are correctly rated either. Half a star or possibly even a star doesn't make much difference. You are clutching at straws if you think this is merely about a mere half a star.

 

Out of over 10,000 caches you've found, you're talking about what, 50 caches - .5% of all your finds?  Let's say it's 100 caches - 1% of all your finds.  Let's say it's 500 caches - 5% of all of your finds.  That means that 95% (a massive majority of all your finds) are rated close enough for you to not be overly concerned about their ratings.  Applying such a small percentage to the notion that this is a problem everywhere isn't a valid assertion.  Yes, there are some caches that are off on their ratings.  We've all probably encountered them but statistically speaking, they're such a small portion of the overall total of caches that for the huge majority of the caches out there, we're talking about differences in ratings that will most likely be around the 1/2 star difference for almost all the caches out there.  As more cachers rate the D/T, the smaller that gap will get between what the CO rated it and what the finders rated it, assuming it's accurately rated, which, IMO, most of them are, based on the standards in the area.

 

Also, the ones you mention are what I'm referring to as ones that are obvious and are typically far enough off that most cachers who find them, find the ratings to be wrong as well.  I'm betting that all of us here in the forums are in agreement that a cache that requires you to climb trees isn't a 1.5T.  That's an obvious outlier.  Same goes for standing on a picnic table to reach a cache in the rafters.  It also applies for your example of a 1 T hike that's not wheelchair accessible.  That's three caches out of over 3 million, or whatever number it currently stands at.  In the larger scheme of things, these three examples aren't even a drop in the bucket.  This suggestion of rating caches is a solution looking for a problem.  Yes, it will address these three caches (and the small percentage of other ones that are obviously wrong) and give a more accurate rating but for the large overwhelming majority, we're probably talking about 1/2 star difference, less as more ratings come in.

 

You appear to have encountered more inaccurately rated caches than what most of the rest of us have encountered.  That's a shame.  However, the small sample size you've offered up does not imply that this is a rampant issue everywhere.  It implies that you live in an area where this happens.  It might do wonders for your area (or at least that small amount of caches you've remembered) but for the rest of us, odds are that it wouldn't meaningfully change much that we can already do on our own without a suggested rating system.

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8 hours ago, coachstahly said:

 

Out of over 10,000 caches you've found, you're talking about what, 50 caches - .5% of all your finds?  Let's say it's 100 caches - 1% of all your finds.  Let's say it's 500 caches - 5% of all of your finds.  That means that 95% (a massive majority of all your finds) are rated close enough for you to not be overly concerned about their ratings.  Applying such a small percentage to the notion that this is a problem everywhere isn't a valid assertion.  Yes, there are some caches that are off on their ratings.  We've all probably encountered them but statistically speaking, they're such a small portion of the overall total of caches that for the huge majority of the caches out there, we're talking about differences in ratings that will most likely be around the 1/2 star difference for almost all the caches out there.  As more cachers rate the D/T, the smaller that gap will get between what the CO rated it and what the finders rated it, assuming it's accurately rated, which, IMO, most of them are, based on the standards in the area.

 

Also, the ones you mention are what I'm referring to as ones that are obvious and are typically far enough off that most cachers who find them, find the ratings to be wrong as well.  I'm betting that all of us here in the forums are in agreement that a cache that requires you to climb trees isn't a 1.5T.  That's an obvious outlier.  Same goes for standing on a picnic table to reach a cache in the rafters.  It also applies for your example of a 1 T hike that's not wheelchair accessible.  That's three caches out of over 3 million, or whatever number it currently stands at.  In the larger scheme of things, these three examples aren't even a drop in the bucket.  This suggestion of rating caches is a solution looking for a problem.  Yes, it will address these three caches (and the small percentage of other ones that are obviously wrong) and give a more accurate rating but for the large overwhelming majority, we're probably talking about 1/2 star difference, less as more ratings come in.

 

You appear to have encountered more inaccurately rated caches than what most of the rest of us have encountered.  That's a shame.  However, the small sample size you've offered up does not imply that this is a rampant issue everywhere.  It implies that you live in an area where this happens.  It might do wonders for your area (or at least that small amount of caches you've remembered) but for the rest of us, odds are that it wouldn't meaningfully change much that we can already do on our own without a suggested rating system.

I don't remember every cache I do. But I have done power trails of hundred's (not all at once) of caches where nearly all the caches are given the same standard ratings, no matter what. The one that comes to mind now, is mainly with the cache size, which I haven't been referring to here and I wasn't planning to bring up. Most called smalls, even though many if not most are smaller than 35mm film canisters; some not much more than large nanos. But for me that's another discussion. I am only commenting on that to show that ratings don't mean much to all COs.

Wrong size rating is a nuisance, and can mean the difference to finding the cache and not finding the cache. But D/T ratings are a bigger problem, and the worst is wrong terrain rating, as this can become a danger issue; placing someone in a situation that their fitness level is not suited for. Wrong terrain also can result is disappointment, after driving/cycling/etc a long distance (perhaps 20/50/100kms or more) and then finding the trip was wasted as the rating was wrong. Terrain is the one that worries me. The others are a nuisance, but don't pose the same level of possible danger. It is wrong terrain that made me bring up this subject; the others are incidental.

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1 hour ago, Goldenwattle said:

I don't remember every cache I do. But I have done power trails of hundred's (not all at once) of caches where nearly all the caches are given the same standard ratings, no matter what. The one that comes to mind now, is mainly with the cache size, which I haven't been referring to here and I wasn't planning to bring up. Most called smalls, even though many if not most are smaller than 35mm film canisters; some not much more than large nanos. But for me that's another discussion. I am only commenting on that to show that ratings don't mean much to all COs.

Wrong size rating is a nuisance, and can mean the difference to finding the cache and not finding the cache. But D/T ratings are a bigger problem, and the worst is wrong terrain rating, as this can become a danger issue; placing someone in a situation that their fitness level is not suited for. Wrong terrain also can result is disappointment, after driving/cycling/etc a long distance (perhaps 20/50/100kms or more) and then finding the trip was wasted as the rating was wrong. Terrain is the one that worries me. The others are a nuisance, but don't pose the same level of possible danger. It is wrong terrain that made me bring up this subject; the others are incidental.

 

Perhaps another good reason to avoid power trails.

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On 4/21/2020 at 9:33 PM, Goldenwattle said:

That's not a good idea. Think of all those TFTC type logs. If they can't be bothered to log more than that, it's doubtful they could be bothered to rate the cache. They would sway the rating back to what the CO put, even if the CO's rating is way out. It wouldn't work.

I have always advocated for two ratings, so the CO's rating is not affected and stays. Then people can see what the CO rates their cache, and what other people (who don't have the CO's insider knowledge of where it is, or the CO's maybe greater than average fitness) rate it.

 

A concern would be people only rating the cache if they radically disagree with the rating.

 

On 4/22/2020 at 5:39 AM, dimwit61 said:

I don't agree that the parking lot should be the starting point of reference. I think you should use the nearest public transport location, be it a bus stop, train station, port or whatever.  

 

Basing it on public transportation is only possible in more urban areas and maybe Europe. Most of the US has very little public transportation outside of metro areas.

 

It also requires extra work on the CO's part to figure out where the nearest bus stop is. As opposed to the nearest parking lot which the CO probably used when hiding the cache. 

 

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12 hours ago, Goldenwattle said:

I don't remember every cache I do.

 

I don't either but I certainly remember ones where the D/T rating was off enough that I wasn't the only one to make a comment about it in my log or send off an email to the CO, letting them know I believe they had their D/T ratings inverted.  Not all of them but enough to know that it was far less than 1% of all my finds.  Those tend to stick out (as do the really good ones) because there was something about them that was different than the usual caches I have found.

 

12 hours ago, Goldenwattle said:

The one that comes to mind now, is mainly with the cache size, which I haven't been referring to here and I wasn't planning to bring up. Most called smalls, even though many if not most are smaller than 35mm film canisters; some not much more than large nanos. But for me that's another discussion. I am only commenting on that to show that ratings don't mean much to all COs.

 

Then why bring it up?  It's a different topic.  Yes, it's annoying.  I will agree with you that it's a much more global issue.  It's not a massive issue but it's certainly more prevalent than D/T issues.  However, you appear to think that they came to this decision due to the fact that it doesn't mean much to them to rate it correctly.  I attribute those mislabeled sizes to their lack of knowledge about what a small actually is as well as the fact that they've most likely found quite a few caches incorrectly labeled as small so they assume, without verifying it in the help center or with more experienced cachers, that all caches like that are smalls.  It's not that they don't care to label them correctly.  They believe they are labeling them "correctly", based on their own limited knowledge and their personal experience finding caches with the same size rating.  If they truly didn't care, they would have rated them as regular or large instead of rating them based on what they've personally found.

 

12 hours ago, Goldenwattle said:

But D/T ratings are a bigger problem, and the worst is wrong terrain rating, as this can become a danger issue; placing someone in a situation that their fitness level is not suited for. Wrong terrain also can result is disappointment, after driving/cycling/etc a long distance (perhaps 20/50/100kms or more) and then finding the trip was wasted as the rating was wrong. Terrain is the one that worries me. The others are a nuisance, but don't pose the same level of possible danger. It is wrong terrain that made me bring up this subject; the others are incidental.

 

I don't disagree with you.  The wrong terrain rating can certainly create issues.  However, I don't believe it's as big a problem as you do and a rating system that either runs side by side or "replaces" the CO's D/T rating isn't necessary as we have tools available to us to address the problem already in place.  Are there some out there that are incorrectly rated?  Absolutely.  However, the scope of the problem is mostly limited to caches that most experienced cachers can readily identify once they arrive at GZ.  Your picnic table, climbing trees, and 1 T that's not wheelchair accessible are perfect examples.

 

Based on what has been suggested, these caches wouldn't be "adjusted" until enough finds have accrued to get an accurate rating, so the problem would still remain until such time as it hit that find limit, whatever it might be.  If the threshold is 20 finds and every finder rates the D/T, that means that 20 finders have found an incorrectly rated cache without apparently knowing beforehand (other than logs that might mention it).  If the adjustment was immediate, it still wouldn't provide an accurate adjustment until more cachers made the find, again, arriving to realize that it's not the D/T it's supposed to be, even with the "fix" in place.  For example, let's say the 1.5 T tree climb was found and the first cacher rated it a 3.5 T.  That means the T rating only goes up to a 2.5 T.  Closer but still not accurate (although some might argue based on how easy it is to get up in the tree as well as how high it might be up there).  The next person rates it as a 3.5 T as well and the average still falls below a 3.  It would take one more cacher, all rating it a 3.5 to get the T rating to a 3, which may or may not still be accurate.  

 

That means that 3 cachers all have found an incorrectly rated cache, assuming that all 3 make the find and submit their ratings.  Instead, the first finder can post a NM log that states that the T rating for a tree climb is wrongly listed as a 1.5 T and not something more appropriate.  That way, every other cacher that sees this cache immediately knows that something is wrong with the T rating instead of having to look at some other set of ratings, which might not even be showing yet because it's not had enough finds to trigger its release.  Something that's rated differently enough to be evident to most cachers (especially terrain) should be flagged with a NM log, especially if it could conceivably put someone in danger that wasn't expecting it.  I would hope that the cacher in question would realize that possible danger and forego their intended cache search and move on to another one.  Would they be disappointed?  Sure.  Who wouldn't?  There's no guarantee, however, that they're going to find the cache and sign the log in the first place, even if it were a cache rated correctly.  Disappointment is part of geocaching, whether it's not making a find, not being able to get to GZ, realizing that you bit off more than your body can chew, or any other possible issue that would prevent someone from making a find.

 

This suggested D/T rating idea would only really affect those caches that are somewhat obvious to almost all seasoned cachers.   What's the point in quibbling over a 1/2 star difference, saying that a 2/2 cache is, in your opinion, a 2/2.5?  For a large majority of the caches out there, that's what we're probably talking about.  It's not going to affect, in much of a meaningful way, the majority of the caches out there and could even lead to abuse, as has been mentioned in this thread.  File the NM log in order to notify the CO (and other seekers interested in that particular cache) to get an obviously incorrect T rating changed.  Include a picture of the offending cache for proof that it doesn't come close to meeting the posted T rating.  If they delete the NM log and/or file an OM log but don't change the T rating, then file another one or file the NA log due to the inaccurate assertion that the issue was fixed and include another picture (if feasible).  If they truly don't care about their cache (since they apparently don't care to get the ratings correct), there's a good chance they'll ignore the NM log so you follow up with a NA due to CO inaction.  The cache page is part of the cache and also belongs to the CO.  We are expected to validate logs, maintain our caches, and maintain our cache pages.  Failure to do so can be grounds for archival.

 

 

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4 minutes ago, coachstahly said:

Then why bring it up?  It's a different topic.  Yes, it's annoying.  I will agree with you that it's a much more global issue.  It's not a massive issue but it's certainly more prevalent than D/T issues.  However, you appear to think that they came to this decision due to the fact that it doesn't mean much to them to rate it correctly.  I attribute those mislabeled sizes to their lack of knowledge about what a small actually is as well as the fact that they've most likely found quite a few caches incorrectly labeled as small so they assume, without verifying it in the help center or with more experienced cachers, that all caches like that are smalls.  It's not that they don't care to label them correctly.  They believe they are labeling them "correctly", based on their own limited knowledge and their personal experience finding caches with the same size rating.  If they truly didn't care, they would have rated them as regular or large instead of rating them based on what they've personally found.

The example I was alluding to the CO has finds in the five figures and has placed over a 1,000 caches. They should be experienced by now. to know the sizes.

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44 minutes ago, Goldenwattle said:

The example I was alluding to the CO has finds in the five figures and has placed over a 1,000 caches. They should be experienced by now. to know the sizes.

 

So call them out on it if it matters to you that much.  Do you participate in the swag part of caching?  Trackables?  If you do, then that provides extra incentive.  You've filed a NM for a full log so why not file the NM log for an incorrectly sized cache and include a picture of their cache as well as a link to the sizing measurements.  Post it on every found/NM log of their caches labeled incorrectly.  Do it every single time you find one of their small caches that isn't really a small cache.  Have a template log ready to go for their caches that you find that are sized incorrectly.  That way other cachers will also see that it's not really a small and will hopefully not label theirs incorrectly as well.  Send the CO a private message with links and pictures, explaining why this affects everyone who participates in the swag part of caching as well as the trackable part of caching.  You can't leave a common TB in a magnetic key holder or a film can.  That's how I typically determine if it's a small cache - one that can accept a regular sized trackable (not one with a  large toy attached but something more like a matchbox car or some similar sized toy).  

 

Alternatively, ignore their caches or ignore the issue and keep finding their caches.  Complaining about it on here isn't going to get it changed.  It will allow you to vent and point out that some CO's label the size of their caches incorrectly, but the issue will still be there, at all of their caches they've labeled incorrectly.  

 

And yes, they should know better but they apparently don't.  

Edited by coachstahly
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1 hour ago, coachstahly said:

 

So call them out on it if it matters to you that much.  Do you participate in the swag part of caching?  Trackables?  If you do, then that provides extra incentive.  You've filed a NM for a full log so why not file the NM log for an incorrectly sized cache and include a picture of their cache as well as a link to the sizing measurements.  Post it on every found/NM log of their caches labeled incorrectly.  Do it every single time you find one of their small caches that isn't really a small cache.  Have a template log ready to go for their caches that you find that are sized incorrectly.  That way other cachers will also see that it's not really a small and will hopefully not label theirs incorrectly as well.  Send the CO a private message with links and pictures, explaining why this affects everyone who participates in the swag part of caching as well as the trackable part of caching.  You can't leave a common TB in a magnetic key holder or a film can.  That's how I typically determine if it's a small cache - one that can accept a regular sized trackable (not one with a  large toy attached but something more like a matchbox car or some similar sized toy).  

 

Alternatively, ignore their caches or ignore the issue and keep finding their caches.  Complaining about it on here isn't going to get it changed.  It will allow you to vent and point out that some CO's label the size of their caches incorrectly, but the issue will still be there, at all of their caches they've labeled incorrectly.  

 

And yes, they should know better but they apparently don't.  

So heavy and constant, gets boring after awhile.

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On 4/22/2020 at 10:01 AM, coachstahly said:

Is it really that important to swing the D/T rating a 1/2 point up or down from what the CO rated it?  Is it really that important to let the CO and other seekers know that I believe the rating to be a 2.5/2 instead of the 2/2 the CO rated it?  Why are my thoughts about the D/T rating for someone else's cache so important that I feel the need to have the ability to comment on them and offer up a "correction" so that others can see it?  Is it to show that somehow my judgment is better than someone else's?  Is it to feel self-important?  Is it done solely to hold the CO accountable for their ratings, to be able to somehow show them that they're wrong and everyone else is right?  If we're considering finder feedback for D/T, then why not size feedback?  Why not description feedback that rates how accurately the description write up adheres to the actual experience?  Why not swag feedback?  Why not location feedback?  Why not hide feedback?  Where does it stop?

 

You say we already have a means to do something like this?  It's called a log and the finder can relate their experience about everything mentioned above, if they want to?  And I can tell them what I think about the cache and my experience in finding the cache?  Who knew?

 

Cache size feedback would be good too. I'm certainly sick and tired of seeing Preforms and Magkeys listed as Small instead of Micro.

 

D/T (and Size and Attributes) are a finite selection, unlike descriptions or swag, which are open text fields.

 

I can and do leave feedback on a cache in the log, although based on  your comments it sounds like I shouldn't. I should be grateful for whatever the benevolent CO gives me and am unworthy to critique their hides in any way.

 

Lets say a cache is listed as a 1.5/1.5 but it's actually a difficult micro up a tree that should have been related something like 3/4. I post this in my log. The CO changes nothing, for whatever reason. Several other finders have a similiar experience, which they mention in the logs, sometimes vaguely. Still no CO action. Another prospective finder comes along and doesn't have any clue there is an issue until they read the logs, by which time they've probably already wasted time and perhaps would have skipped the cache entirely.

 

 

On 4/22/2020 at 11:08 AM, coachstahly said:

Out of over 10,000 caches you've found, you're talking about what, 50 caches - .5% of all your finds?  Let's say it's 100 caches - 1% of all your finds.  Let's say it's 500 caches - 5% of all of your finds.  That means that 95% (a massive majority of all your finds) are rated close enough for you to not be overly concerned about their ratings.  Applying such a small percentage to the notion that this is a problem everywhere isn't a valid assertion.  Yes, there are some caches that are off on their ratings.  We've all probably encountered them but statistically speaking, they're such a small portion of the overall total of caches that for the huge majority of the caches out there, we're talking about differences in ratings that will most likely be around the 1/2 star difference for almost all the caches out there.  As more cachers rate the D/T, the smaller that gap will get between what the CO rated it and what the finders rated it, assuming it's accurately rated, which, IMO, most of them are, based on the standards in the area.

 

Also, the ones you mention are what I'm referring to as ones that are obvious and are typically far enough off that most cachers who find them, find the ratings to be wrong as well.  I'm betting that all of us here in the forums are in agreement that a cache that requires you to climb trees isn't a 1.5T.  That's an obvious outlier.  Same goes for standing on a picnic table to reach a cache in the rafters.  It also applies for your example of a 1 T hike that's not wheelchair accessible.  That's three caches out of over 3 million, or whatever number it currently stands at.  In the larger scheme of things, these three examples aren't even a drop in the bucket.  This suggestion of rating caches is a solution looking for a problem.  Yes, it will address these three caches (and the small percentage of other ones that are obviously wrong) and give a more accurate rating but for the large overwhelming majority, we're probably talking about 1/2 star difference, less as more ratings come in.

 

You appear to have encountered more inaccurately rated caches than what most of the rest of us have encountered.  That's a shame.  However, the small sample size you've offered up does not imply that this is a rampant issue everywhere.  It implies that you live in an area where this happens.  It might do wonders for your area (or at least that small amount of caches you've remembered) but for the rest of us, odds are that it wouldn't meaningfully change much that we can already do on our own without a suggested rating system.

 

Ah, the old argument of "I acknowledge the problem exists, but I don't think the problem exists enough to do anything about it."

 

There is nothing about this problem that would cause it to be constrained to any local area.

 

9 hours ago, coachstahly said:

However, you appear to think that they came to this decision due to the fact that it doesn't mean much to them to rate it correctly.  I attribute those mislabeled sizes to their lack of knowledge about what a small actually is as well as the fact that they've most likely found quite a few caches incorrectly labeled as small so they assume, without verifying it in the help center or with more experienced cachers, that all caches like that are smalls.  It's not that they don't care to label them correctly.  They believe they are labeling them "correctly", based on their own limited knowledge and their personal experience finding caches with the same size rating.  If they truly didn't care, they would have rated them as regular or large instead of rating them based on what they've personally found.

 

Based on what has been suggested, these caches wouldn't be "adjusted" until enough finds have accrued to get an accurate rating, so the problem would still remain until such time as it hit that find limit, whatever it might be.  If the threshold is 20 finds and every finder rates the D/T, that means that 20 finders have found an incorrectly rated cache without apparently knowing beforehand (other than logs that might mention it).  If the adjustment was immediate, it still wouldn't provide an accurate adjustment until more cachers made the find, again, arriving to realize that it's not the D/T it's supposed to be, even with the "fix" in place.  For example, let's say the 1.5 T tree climb was found and the first cacher rated it a 3.5 T.  That means the T rating only goes up to a 2.5 T.  Closer but still not accurate (although some might argue based on how easy it is to get up in the tree as well as how high it might be up there).  The next person rates it as a 3.5 T as well and the average still falls below a 3.  It would take one more cacher, all rating it a 3.5 to get the T rating to a 3, which may or may not still be accurate.  

 

That means that 3 cachers all have found an incorrectly rated cache, assuming that all 3 make the find and submit their ratings.  Instead, the first finder can post a NM log that states that the T rating for a tree climb is wrongly listed as a 1.5 T and not something more appropriate.  That way, every other cacher that sees this cache immediately knows that something is wrong with the T rating instead of having to look at some other set of ratings, which might not even be showing yet because it's not had enough finds to trigger its release.  Something that's rated differently enough to be evident to most cachers (especially terrain) should be flagged with a NM log, especially if it could conceivably put someone in danger that wasn't expecting it.  I would hope that the cacher in question would realize that possible danger and forego their intended cache search and move on to another one.  Would they be disappointed?  Sure.  Who wouldn't?  There's no guarantee, however, that they're going to find the cache and sign the log in the first place, even if it were a cache rated correctly.  Disappointment is part of geocaching, whether it's not making a find, not being able to get to GZ, realizing that you bit off more than your body can chew, or any other possible issue that would prevent someone from making a find.

 

This suggested D/T rating idea would only really affect those caches that are somewhat obvious to almost all seasoned cachers.   What's the point in quibbling over a 1/2 star difference, saying that a 2/2 cache is, in your opinion, a 2/2.5?  For a large majority of the caches out there, that's what we're probably talking about.  It's not going to affect, in much of a meaningful way, the majority of the caches out there and could even lead to abuse, as has been mentioned in this thread.  File the NM log in order to notify the CO (and other seekers interested in that particular cache) to get an obviously incorrect T rating changed.  Include a picture of the offending cache for proof that it doesn't come close to meeting the posted T rating.  If they delete the NM log and/or file an OM log but don't change the T rating, then file another one or file the NA log due to the inaccurate assertion that the issue was fixed and include another picture (if feasible).  If they truly don't care about their cache (since they apparently don't care to get the ratings correct), there's a good chance they'll ignore the NM log so you follow up with a NA due to CO inaction.  The cache page is part of the cache and also belongs to the CO.  We are expected to validate logs, maintain our caches, and maintain our cache pages.  Failure to do so can be grounds for archival.

 

Is a NM for an inaccurate D/T or Attributes considered acceptable? I am not of the impression that it is.

 

I think many COs are not concerned with getting their D/T rating (or their coords or their cache size) as accurate as reasonably possible. And some resent being told they are wrong.

 

It also requires the CO to actually read their logs and/or messages; many don't. Then after reading them they actually have to take action.

 

You are right that the solution to the problem SHOULD be active, responsive COs. The idea of Finders giving their opinion on D/T, Size, and Attributes is to make up for the COs who don't do as they should.

 

You also keep harping about how a 1/2 star difference in rating doesn't matter. It sure matters when I run PQ and filter by D/T!

 

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1 hour ago, JL_HSTRE said:

Is a NM for an inaccurate D/T or Attributes considered acceptable? I am not of the impression that it is.

 

Of course it is. Maintaining the cache page is just as much a CO's responsibility as maintaining the container. If something on one of my listings was inaccurate, or became inaccurate because of changed conditions, I'd want to know about it and an NM would be a good way of attracting my attention to the problem. An NM is a report on the cache, not its owner. On one of my hides I'd included the "no dogs" attribute because I thought dogs weren't allowed in the reserve, but a cacher questioned that and when I checked it turned out he was right, dogs were allowed there, so I removed the attribute and everyone was happy. In that instance he was someone I knew and contacted me personally, but I would have just as readily accepted an NM.

 

1 hour ago, JL_HSTRE said:

I think many COs are not concerned with getting their D/T rating (or their coords or their cache size) as accurate as reasonably possible. And some resent being told they are wrong.

 

Many? As in a majority of COs? Maybe I'm naive and live in a caching nirvana bubble, but the vast majority of caches I've done have been accurately rated, are the stated size and are where they should be within reasonable GPSr accuracy bounds. There will always be a few that aren't, either though ignorance, laziness, wilful deceit or just simple mistakes, but that will always happen regardless of how heavy-handed the system becomes.

Edited by barefootjeff
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12 hours ago, barefootjeff said:

Many? As in a majority of COs?

 

Many as in a significant minority. And besides the one-and-done clueless newbie hiders who are gone in a flash, most problematic COs hide a large number of caches. They're about quantity not quality.

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19 hours ago, Goldenwattle said:

So heavy and constant, gets boring after awhile.

 

I'm not the one that brings up the same couple of caches each time some issue arises like what is being discussed here - a tree climb that's 1.5T and a 1.5T that's up in the rafters.  I agree with you that those are incorrectly rated (and that it's an issue that needs to be addressed) but don't believe those 2 caches represent a majority of the caches out there.   Those are outliers, meaning they're not the normal type of caches that most of us run into and they're obviously wrong.  Do you honestly think I don't care about faulty D/T ratings or incorrectly listed sizes?  I do but unlike you, I don't see them as massive problems that require a new, finder driven rating system.

 

You have 4 1/2 options to address any of these issues raised here.  You can ignore any CO (and their caches) who has incorrectly rated their D/T or size of their caches and not have to worry about it.  You can ignore the issue of a wrongly rated D/T cache or wrongly sized cache, find them, don't mention anything, and move on to the next one.  You can selectively ignore the issue of a wrongly rated D/T cache or wrongly sized cache, find them, make occasional mention of it in your log and move on to the next one. Or you can post a NM log every time something comes along that needs to be taken care of. The half option is a combination of the last three, where sometimes you just ignore the faulty ratings, sometimes you mention them in select logs, and sometimes you file the NM.  

 

Coming on here to vent is fine but it's not going to accomplish any real change.  The two suggested feedback systems (as it pertains to D/T) aren't going to happen because the ratings vary too much amongst all the areas geocaching takes place.  If our discussions and suggestions here on the forums can't get a power trail cache a new type or a new attribute, then how does anyone think that a finder based rating system is going to get implemented?  It's not.  That means our only option to address these issues is already at our fingertips and has been for a long time.   For those caches whose ratings are obviously wrong (some of which have been posted as examples here), file the NM because that's what it's there for.  That's what it's designed to do - draw the CO's attention to a maintenance issue with the cache, which includes the cache page and the logs (although I don't believe I've ever seen a NM filed for a log issue).  Barring that, mention it in your logs or send a private message to the CO of the cache in question, letting them know that the rating on the cache is wrong and this is why.  Show me I'm wrong and I'll drop the issue.  Show me that there's another way, currently in place, to address incorrect D/T ratings and incorrectly sized caches to attempt to get them rectified.

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1 hour ago, coachstahly said:

 

I'm not the one that brings up the same couple of caches each time some issue arises like what is being discussed here - a tree climb that's 1.5T and a 1.5T that's up in the rafters.  I agree with you that those are incorrectly rated (and that it's an issue that needs to be addressed) but don't believe those 2 caches represent a majority of the caches out there.   Those are outliers, meaning they're not the normal type of caches that most of us run into and they're obviously wrong.  Do you honestly think I don't care about faulty D/T ratings or incorrectly listed sizes?  I do but unlike you, I don't see them as massive problems that require a new, finder driven rating system.

 

You have 4 1/2 options to address any of these issues raised here.  You can ignore any CO (and their caches) who has incorrectly rated their D/T or size of their caches and not have to worry about it.  You can ignore the issue of a wrongly rated D/T cache or wrongly sized cache, find them, don't mention anything, and move on to the next one.  You can selectively ignore the issue of a wrongly rated D/T cache or wrongly sized cache, find them, make occasional mention of it in your log and move on to the next one. Or you can post a NM log every time something comes along that needs to be taken care of. The half option is a combination of the last three, where sometimes you just ignore the faulty ratings, sometimes you mention them in select logs, and sometimes you file the NM.  

 

Coming on here to vent is fine but it's not going to accomplish any real change.  The two suggested feedback systems (as it pertains to D/T) aren't going to happen because the ratings vary too much amongst all the areas geocaching takes place.  If our discussions and suggestions here on the forums can't get a power trail cache a new type or a new attribute, then how does anyone think that a finder based rating system is going to get implemented?  It's not.  That means our only option to address these issues is already at our fingertips and has been for a long time.   For those caches whose ratings are obviously wrong (some of which have been posted as examples here), file the NM because that's what it's there for.  That's what it's designed to do - draw the CO's attention to a maintenance issue with the cache, which includes the cache page and the logs (although I don't believe I've ever seen a NM filed for a log issue).  Barring that, mention it in your logs or send a private message to the CO of the cache in question, letting them know that the rating on the cache is wrong and this is why.  Show me I'm wrong and I'll drop the issue.  Show me that there's another way, currently in place, to address incorrect D/T ratings and incorrectly sized caches to attempt to get them rectified.

I am not the one who is venting, am I. I write something and you vent. I move on and you are still venting. Move on too.

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12 hours ago, JL_HSTRE said:

I can and do leave feedback on a cache in the log, although based on  your comments it sounds like I shouldn't. I should be grateful for whatever the benevolent CO gives me and am unworthy to critique their hides in any way.

 

Apparently you didn't remember one of my earlier replies on the first page.  "I'm also not saying that it's a finders "job" to lavish praise on a hider who has done a poor job attempting to accurately rate, place, or hide their cache.  Yes, they hid it for us to find but they barely put any effort into it and the experience I might have been hoping for didn't match the rating I saw on the cache page.  You can bet I'll be mentioning some disappointments I had but I'm not going to suggest they do this or that, only point out that I didn't get the experience I was hoping for. "

 

12 hours ago, JL_HSTRE said:

Lets say a cache is listed as a 1.5/1.5 but it's actually a difficult micro up a tree that should have been related something like 3/4. I post this in my log. The CO changes nothing, for whatever reason. Several other finders have a similiar experience, which they mention in the logs, sometimes vaguely. Still no CO action. Another prospective finder comes along and doesn't have any clue there is an issue until they read the logs, by which time they've probably already wasted time and perhaps would have skipped the cache entirely.

 

I've already addressed this.  The ONLY way we currently have is to file the NM log.  In a situation like the one you mention above, it's obviously incorrectly rated.  All of us can tell.  The suggested finder rating system will obviously cover that but it's not going to happen.  It's purely a hypothetical suggestion that will never get implemented.  We can't even get GS to create a new cache type or attribute for a power trail and that's a far less subjective point.  What percentage of caches have you come across in your 6000 finds are like what you describe above?  In a slightly later post, you say a significant minority.  What are we talking about?  5%?  1%? 10%?  Significant, at least to me, implies something like 25% or above, meaning 1 out of every 4 times you encounter a cache with a similar incorrectly rated D/T cache.  If that's the case, then I certainly see why you are all for this suggestion.  

 

13 hours ago, JL_HSTRE said:

Is a NM for an inaccurate D/T or Attributes considered acceptable? I am not of the impression that it is.

 

Jeff already addressed this but why wouldn't it be?  The cache and cache page are the responsibility of the CO.  Anything wrong with the cache or cache page would be grounds for a NM.  I'l use a puzzle cache with a checker as an example.  Let's say there's something wrong with the puzzle - the new reverse image proxy screwed up the puzzle or the CO inadvertently got something wrong that resulted in an incorrect solution.  Perhaps the CO hasn't noticed (or thought it was done correctly).  You're within your rights to file the NM because the puzzle needs maintenance in order to provide the correct solution.  I'm guessing that this might be a less likely used option and that most of us would probably privately reach out to the CO to let them know that something is wrong with the puzzle.

 

13 hours ago, JL_HSTRE said:

I think many COs are not concerned with getting their D/T rating (or their coords or their cache size) as accurate as reasonably possible. And some resent being told they are wrong.

 

Jeff has already addressed this as well but you seem to think many (whatever that implies) are purposefully choosing random or incorrect ratings when publishing their new caches.  Until such time as we see some statistical facts, this is all conjecture.  Some absolutely do get ratings wrong.  Some may be on purpose, some will be brand new cachers who create a rating based on someone in a wheelchair getting to their cache (happened to me on one I went after), and some will be accidental.  Like Jeff, however, I don't believe this to be a rampant problem everywhere.

 

13 hours ago, JL_HSTRE said:

It also requires the CO to actually read their logs and/or messages; many don't. Then after reading them they actually have to take action.

 

Yes it does.  If they aren't going to take action on a NM log, then file the NA log.  If you truly care enough or if it's truly that great of a problem that caches are rated incorrectly and the CO takes no steps to fix the issue (be it size or D/T), then their inaction to fix what is wrong is grounds for archival, just like the caches that L0ne.R posts that are full of water and mold that don't get attended to by a lax CO.  

 

I'm telling you what you and others like you who feel this is a problem can currently do, right now, which appears to me to be better than doing nothing.  We don't have a finder driven feedback rating system and odds are we never will.  

 

13 hours ago, JL_HSTRE said:

You are right that the solution to the problem SHOULD be active, responsive COs. The idea of Finders giving their opinion on D/T, Size, and Attributes is to make up for the COs who don't do as they should.

 

So hold them accountable right now.  Don't wait for a system that will probably never materialize.

 

13 hours ago, JL_HSTRE said:

You also keep harping about how a 1/2 star difference in rating doesn't matter. It sure matters when I run PQ and filter by D/T!

 

If you're looking for a very specific cache, then yes it certainly does.  That's one of the tangential drawbacks to inaccurately rated caches and one that before now, wasn't brought up.  However, the suggested finder feedback system isn't in place so you're still going to get inaccurately rated caches in your PQ.  

 

However, let's examine a potential scenario where this suggested feedback idea comes to fruition.  I'm going to use round numbers because the math is easier and I'm going to use a cache whose CO attempted to rate it accurately.  Let's say a 2.5/2 cache is posted and gets 99 finds (the 100th rating used is the CO's rating). Let's say 50 disagree with the CO's 2 T rating and say it's a 2.5.  Let's say the the other 49 agree with the 2 T.  The terrain rating then averages out to a 2.25.  That's a quarter point difference between what half of the finders think and the CO thinks.  Let's be a bit more varied with our ratings.  Let's say 20 rate it as a 3 T (they found it in summer when vegetation is in full growth).  20 rate it as a 1.5 T (they found it in the winter when vegetation is gone). 30 rate it as 2.5 T and 29 rate it as the CO rated it.  You get the exact same rating - 2.25.  Even with  half of the cachers rating it a full star or 1/2 a star above the COs rating, it's still less than 1/2 a star difference from what the CO rated it.  What does this 1/4 point actually tell you, other than it's just a little bit harder terrain than the CO rated it?  How can you differentiate what that .25 points means?  Even at a .5 difference in the current ratings, there's enough of a debate about terrain in different regions that there is no consistent agreement across the board.

 

Now we get to the issue of PQs.  How is a PQ going to read a 2.25 or any other number that doesn't end in .5 or .0?  If it's a side by side comparison only, then the CO's rating will be the one that is used by the PQ, meaning you'll still get an inaccurately rated cache, albeit one that has a number slightly different than the one that has been suggested by the CO.  If the finders' feedback is what replaces the CO's rating, then that means the site will need to create a brand new PQ format to recognize numbers that aren't equal to numbers that end in .5 or .0.  That seems like an awful lot of work for the programmers to do.

 

If this suggestion were to be implemented, then your example (1.5/1.5 being a 3/4) would obviously be impacted in a much larger manner than the example I posted but the difference is that this example is an outlier, meaning it's not a typical cache rated relatively close to what most of us would rate it.  It is a blatantly incorrect rating that most any seasoned cacher can tell.    If the CO refuses to change the rating, you're still stuck with the same PQ issue mentioned above - either the CO's incorrect rating used for a PQ or a brand new PQ system that will need to learn how to differentiate from .01-.99 in order to provide the caches that are desired.

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2 minutes ago, Goldenwattle said:

I am not the one who is venting, am I. I write something and you vent. I move on and you are still venting. Move on too.

 

1 hour ago, coachstahly said:

Show me I'm wrong and I'll drop the issue.  Show me that there's another way, currently in place, to address incorrect D/T ratings and incorrectly sized caches to attempt to get them rectified.

 

I'm debating the merits of this proposed solution to a problem.  I'm agreeing with you that incorrectly rated caches (size and/or D/T) are a problem that need to be addressed.  However, I disagree about the scope of the problem and the suggested solution. I have heard from a few posters, implying that it's bad where they cache and this system is the thing needed to clean it up.  If enough of them feel that this is a serious problem where they currently cache, then why are they waiting and hoping for a finder rating system instead of using the tools currently at their disposal that can immediately address the problem?  Why not take action now rather than wait for GS to implement a finder feedback system that may never come? Instead, it feels like some of you are saying, "It's really bad right now, with all these inaccurately rated caches (both D/T and size), but I'm going to wait until GS comes up with this new system instead of trying to address the problem myself, right now."

 

If enough people continually file NM logs to address incorrectly rated and sized caches, then doesn't it stand to reason that it could reduce the number of occurrences of incorrectly rated and incorrectly sized caches?  Isn't that the end goal of this entire thread/suggestion?  To significantly reduce COs incorrectly sizing and incorrectly rating their caches to the point that something like that is an anomaly instead of an apparently regular occurrence?  Why are we opting to wait for something that may never come to pass instead of doing something that could immediately address the very issue being discussed?

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So a perfectly fine geocache container should get a NA because it's rated a 1.5/1.5 but should be more like a 3/3 if the CO doesn't respond to a NM requesting the change? That is the argument that has been made by a recent poster, and it is ludicrous.

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1 hour ago, JL_HSTRE said:

So a perfectly fine geocache container should get a NA because it's rated a 1.5/1.5 but should be more like a 3/3 if the CO doesn't respond to a NM requesting the change? That is the argument that has been made by a recent poster, and it is ludicrous.

 

Just a thought, and maybe it is ludicrous, but perhaps if your community did that, it wouldn't be such a widespread problem for you.

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14 hours ago, JL_HSTRE said:

So a perfectly fine geocache container should get a NA because it's rated a 1.5/1.5 but should be more like a 3/3 if the CO doesn't respond to a NM requesting the change? That is the argument that has been made by a recent poster, and it is ludicrous.

 

Is the cache you mention rated correctly or is it rated incorrectly?  We can all agree it's obviously wrong - a tree climb isn't a 1.5 T rating.  That begs the following question -  are you more concerned that the cache could get archived or that the cache is correctly rated?  Your answer shows that you care more about the +1 that the cache represents than the fact that it's correctly rated by the CO.  You're just paying lip service to something that you think is a problem because it's a "perfectly fine geocache container" that's not worth the possible archival to hold the CO accountable and get their rating right.  If it really mattered to you, then you'd be willing to hold the CO accountable, to the point that the cache could get archived.  You've basically stated that it's better to have an inaccurately rated cache not get archived and still be active and inaccurately rated than it is to have it rated correctly.  "While this 1.5/1.5 tree hide really should be a 3/3 tree hide, I'd rather let it stick around as an incorrectly rated 1.5/1.5 than hold the CO accountable to accurately rate this cache."

 

Who is the only one who can fix the cache page or the logs?  Who is responsible for maintaining the cache, making sure the cache page is maintained to be accurate and updated to meet any possible changes, and to police the logs and validate finds?  It's ALL on the CO.  Is this a somewhat extreme solution?  Yes, but this is the ONLY way we currently have to address what you and a few others say is a growing problem or a "significant minority" of caches out there right now.  Those of you who want something like this rating system as a solution don't have that right now so you tell me what solution would you recommend, right now?  Not some plausible solution that will take time to implement, if it ever even gets any traction.  Something we can do right now to address this problem.  If you're not willing to file a NA on a cache of a CO who has ignored or deleted your NM log that has obviously wrong information on the cache page, then that tells me that the problem isn't as serious as you think it is.  You're willing to let the incorrectly rated cache remain in play, despite your argument that it's a problem that needs to be fixed.  You're not fixing the problem; you're maintaining the status quo.

 

Let's assume I agree with you and the others on here that say this is a problem that needs a solution and this rating system is just the thing to address the issue.  What are we going to do with all of those caches that are incorrectly rated or sized between now and the time that this program gets implemented?  Wait around and do nothing to try to stem the tide?  That's not a viable solution as far as I'm concerned.  "We have a problem, but it's OK.  We're going to wait until GS does something about it." That's like getting a large cut on your forearm that needs medical attention and waiting until the body takes care of the issue by letting the blood clot in order to stop the bleeding so it can start healing on its own.  How is that addressing the issue at hand?  It's not and it has the possibility of making the issue worse as more newer cachers find these incorrectly rated/sized caches and think that it's acceptable to hide some just like it, all because no one is willing to file a NM or a NA regarding a piece of information on a cache page that's obviously incorrect and needs to be fixed.

 

The real test of this will be if someone is willing to file a NA on an incorrectly sized cache or incorrectly rated cache and a reviewer is asked to step in.  Their decision will tell you how much they think this is a problem.  

 

If they side with the cacher who filed the NA (due to pictures and images that prove your 1.5/1.5 is really a 3/3 or the magnetic key holder isn't a small), then that tells you the actions are justifiable, even if they seem extreme.  The CO will be forced to change their D/T/size rating (fixing the problem for that cache) and will most likely need to fix all their other incorrectly rated caches so as to avoid having to go through this again.  Their other option, and one some will take, will be to archive all the incorrectly rated caches as they get hit with NM/NA logs (or do a geocide) because they don't agree.  Either way, you get the problem addressed and fixed, as it applies to those caches.  Either you get correctly rated caches or you get incorrectly rated caches archived and removed from the field so that you won't have to deal with them.  

 

If they side with the CO and it's not archived, then that tells you the actions aren't justifiable and that GS, despite proof that completely contradicts their own guidelines (due to pictures and images that prove your 1.5/1.5 is really a 3/3), doesn't care about incorrectly rated caches, meaning that they don't think it's that big a problem and that the proposed rating system won't be implemented.   What a CO chooses to do with regard to ratings and sizes is more important than what other people think it should be.

 

Or you could do what I suspect most of us on here do.  We find a cache we know is incorrectly rated/sized, make a note of it in our log in some manner, and then move on, perhaps even going so far as to send a private email or message to the CO.  If this is what you already do, then it's not really a problem worth addressing with a proposed solution (over a tool we already have at our disposal) because you're not truly holding the CO accountable for getting their ratings correct.  You're hoping they do the right thing; you're not holding them accountable to do the right thing.

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If you take exception to something on the listing page, make a note of it in your log.

If the CO sees it and takes heed, fine.  If not, finders will catch onto this soon enough, because....

Regardless of what the CO does or does not do about a problem listing, your comments are there in the logs for other finders to see and consider when doing their searches.  If you have a reputation for more correctly assessing the situation, other finders will learn to be pay close attention to your comments.  If a particular CO has a reputation for erroneous cache listings, finders will adjust and look for additional information in the logs. 

For certain CO's caches, we play particular attention to prior logs before starting our search.  Doesn't everyone?

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17 hours ago, JL_HSTRE said:

So a perfectly fine geocache container should get a NA because it's rated a 1.5/1.5 but should be more like a 3/3 if the CO doesn't respond to a NM requesting the change? That is the argument that has been made by a recent poster, and it is ludicrous.

 

Lets say a visitor to the area, maybe limited in time to find a cache in the state,  picks that one and gets skunked because the CO incorrectly listed it easy to find and access in their time allotted.

Or it's visited by many older folks, realizing there's no way they can do it once they get there.  

If it was a half or even a full point difference, we could see the issue.   1.5 to 3 though, is too big a difference and should be fixed.

If the CO isn't responding, then the normal means to "fix" the situation through action logs is needed.  :)

This is my biggest issue we see with folks who "don't wanna get involved".  

 - A cache like that might have been "fixed" much earlier, if folks would just use the tools given them.

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28 minutes ago, ecanderson said:

For certain CO's caches, we play particular attention to prior logs before starting our search.  Doesn't everyone?

 

Maybe if they're familiar with that CO, sure. 

Hitting caches singly mostly, I'll read the entire cache page, some logs, and sometimes the hint on every cache.

 - But the other 2/3rds and a couple thousand others are running PQ s, assuming the CO they don't know is accurate.

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Since i rarely look at the D/T ratings when I go out to find a cache I could care less that they are. In the end all ratings are subjective and the CO's assessment is as good as any. Consider:

 

1.  When I first started caching it took me 45 minutes to find my first lamp post hide. That doesn't make that style hard.

2. When I first started caching a 5 mile round trip walk in the woods was no big deal. Now my knees refuse to continue working beyond 1.5 miles. Does that mean anything that requires a long walk should have a high terrain rating?

Edited by ras_oscar

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9 minutes ago, ras_oscar said:

1.  When I first started caching it took me 45 minutes to find my first lamp post hide. That doesn't make that style hard.

This is a common issue. Low difficulty ratings often mean that a cache is hidden in "the usual place". For beginners who don't yet know where "the usual places" are, they aren't really as easy as the low difficulty rating might indicate.

 

11 minutes ago, ras_oscar said:

2. When I first started caching a 5 mile round trip walk in the woods was no big deal. Now my knees refuse to continue working beyond 1.5 miles. Does that mean anything that requires a long walk should have a high terrain rating?

Of course not. A T2 rating is a "hike is less than 2 miles". The fact that such a hike can be trivial to one and impossible to another is the reason we have terrain ratings, not a reason to change the terrain ratings based on an individual's ability.

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1 hour ago, cerberus1 said:

 

Maybe if they're familiar with that CO, sure. 

 

Hitting caches singly mostly, I'll read the entire cache page, some logs, and sometimes the hint on every cache.

 - But the other 2/3rds and a couple thousand others are running PQ s, assuming the CO they don't know is accurate.

One learns about the habits of COs in a geographic area pretty quickly.  We have one that doesn't see context when hiding micros.  We have another that must be using a 1:25000 map and ruler to determine coordinates.  Doesn't take long to start looking at logs more carefully.

 

Like you, we look at the whole thing, and we are also operating by PQ.  However, we'd consider it a waste of time not to look through the entire content of the PQ page before heading out, especially given what we know about some local COs.

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23 minutes ago, ras_oscar said:

Since i rarely look at the D/T ratings when I go out to find a cache I could care less that they are. In the end all ratings are subjective and the CO's assessment is as good as any. Consider:

1.  When I first started caching it took me 45 minutes to find my first lamp post hide. That doesn't make that style hard.

2. When I first started caching a 5 mile round trip walk in the woods was no big deal. Now my knees refuse to continue working beyond 1.5 miles. Does that mean anything that requires a long walk should have a high terrain rating?

 

That D/T says what you might be in for, and it's hard to believe you're aren't aware what you're headed for when out.   :)

I'd have a completely different pack with me if I knew I was going for a 3T hide, knowing it means it'll most likely require something as simple as more water, compared to a little camera bag on hides 2 or less.

 

Caches that require a longer hike have higher terrain ratings for them based on mileage, not on each individual's ability...  

No offense, but you really didn't know that ?

 

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6 hours ago, ras_oscar said:

Since i rarely look at the D/T ratings when I go out to find a cache I could care less that they are. In the end all ratings are subjective and the CO's assessment is as good as any. Consider:

 

1.  When I first started caching it took me 45 minutes to find my first lamp post hide. That doesn't make that style hard.

2. When I first started caching a 5 mile round trip walk in the woods was no big deal. Now my knees refuse to continue working beyond 1.5 miles. Does that mean anything that requires a long walk should have a high terrain rating?

 

Maybe the terrain ratings don't matter much when you mostly only encounter low-terrain caches. An able-bodied person is unlikely to be fazed by a 1.5 that's really a 2.5, especially if the only difference is the length of the hike and a bit of undergrowth. But when you start getting into the higher levels of terrain rating, it can matter a lot.

 

There's a young cacher here who's created a lot of higher terrain caches, with many 4s and some 4.5s. When a new one appeared from him at a remote spot in the Watagan Mountains, I headed up there to give it a try. At GZ, my GPSr pointed me to the edge of a cliff, with a narrow ledge a few metres below the top. It would be possible to climb down there but pretty risky, especially for me as I have a damaged sense of balance. Feeling despondent, I looked again at the description on my GPSr and saw that it was a T2. Knowing that this CO is pretty accurate with his terrain ratings, I could immediately rule out that scary ledge and started looking more carefully along the cliff-top, eventually finding it under a log about a metre back from the edge.

 

In locations like this, having accurate terrain ratings allows searchers to rule in or out the many potential hiding places and avoid taking unnecessary risks.

Edited by barefootjeff
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4 hours ago, barefootjeff said:

 

Maybe the terrain ratings don't matter much when you mostly only encounter low-terrain caches. An able-bodied person is unlikely to be fazed by a 1.5 that's really a 2.5, especially if the only difference is the length of the hike and a bit of undergrowth. But when you start getting into the higher levels of terrain rating, it can matter a lot.

 

There's a young cacher here who's created a lot of higher terrain caches, with many 4s and some 4.5s. When a new one appeared from him at a remote spot in the Watagan Mountains, I headed up there to give it a try. At GZ, my GPSr pointed me to the edge of a cliff, with a narrow ledge a few metres below the top. It would be possible to climb down there but pretty risky, especially for me as I have a damaged sense of balance. Feeling despondent, I looked again at the description on my GPSr and saw that it was a T2. Knowing that this CO is pretty accurate with his terrain ratings, I could immediately rule out that scary ledge and started looking more carefully along the cliff-top, eventually finding it under a log about a metre back from the edge.

 

In locations like this, having accurate terrain ratings allows searchers to rule in or out the many potential hiding places and avoid taking unnecessary risks.

Well put. The terrain rating can mean whether someone takes an unnecessary risk or avoids the unnecessary risk, so it's important that the terrain is rated as accurately as possible. Some people get bogged down in arguing what does half a star matter. Exactly what does half a star mean, or on some lower rated caches even sometimes a star. If in doubt, rate it higher. In lower rated caches it can be subjective. But when the terrain gets to risky levels, it needs to be as accurate as possible.

 Not long ago I faced one of those ledge problems you mentioned below a cliff. This one marked rather low at only 2T. Alone as I was, it would have been possible suicide to try to lie down and lean over and reach it that way, if I could even reach it, as there was a high chance of me slipping off head first. From below, after getting down a steep (but doable) incline though scratchy bushes it was way beyond my reach. Fortunately for me (not the logs) the cache was temporally in a plastic bag as someone had nicked the cache container, and I was able to hook it down with a long stick. If it had been in its original ammunition tin I'm not sure how I would have been able to get it down. Likely not. It took two visits to find this cache, but it was a 2001 cache, so that increased my determination, as it is increasing many other people's determination. My logs. I attempted this twice.

Didn't find itDidn't find it

I really wanted to find this one. My first approach came to a place which I knew I could get down, but wasn't sure I could get up again. I was about to give up then, but I wandered on a bit further (I really wanted this one) and found a way I could get up as well as down. Then I searched on several levels, but frustratingly couldn't find it. I was also late for dinner, so I had to leave. (And I did arrive late for dinner.) I hope to get another opportunity to search here. DNF icon_smile_sad.gif.

Found itFound it

I returned to have another attempt at finding this old cache, and found it this attempt icon_smile_big.gif. But wow, hard work. I would rate this 3.5T, maybe even 4T. Definitely NOT a mere 2T. There is also the scramble about trying to find the cache that adds to the difficulty. I brought a stool to stand on, but ended up only using it to peer into the wrong ledges and holes, with my hand above me holding a mirror to look in those spaces. Finally I spotted the cache from above, but being by myself I would not attempt to retrieve it from there. I returned back below down the slope through scratchy bushes and I heaved myself onto a wet ledge giving me a wet behind and managed to retrieve the cache with a stick. I threw it back. Some very tall people apparently can reach (but would need to be extremely tall), but I'm only about average height.
Sadly, someone has stolen the cache and left the log books in no more than a ripped plastic bag. One log in particular is very wet. I removed soaked leaflets and junk and took them away to dispose of. I supplied the only plastic bag I had with me. It doesn't seal though.....
.....So pleased to change that icon_smile_sad.gif to icon_smile.gif.

 

The log following mine I thought a great log. It also demonstrates that people do judge a cache and what to expect on the rating given.

Found itFound it

The closer you get to completing a challenge, the more determined you become in not only seeking out qualifiers but also the efforts you go to find them. Only recently realising this oldie was close-ish and a reasonable D/T, made the 80km roundtrip detour on my way home from a family function over the weekend to tick off my third last Ausmer month (or 7th last Jasmer). The walk from car to GZ matched the D/T expectations but the last few metres was where the “fun/insanity” of doing this solo kicked in. Had overheard a friend talk about “coming from the top/bottom” but only realised once onsite I was going to struggle with either option. Even with thunder now growing louder in the valley, I was determined not to leave without a find and cautiously positioned myself to confirm a likely spot with a mirror. Apparently the missing container was replaced the following day but today luck was on my side as the log books were still currently in a double zip lock bag and the Macgyver in me, worked out a way of hooking a stick into a torn section and gently manoeuvring them to within reach. Signing duties completed, I carefully balanced prostrate in the mud and loose leaf litter once more (following torrential rain last week) and returned the bagged logbooks to their shelter (and without the TBs I’d intended to drop). Caught my breath, checked for leeches, assessed scratches then made my way back to the car to wipe myself down, even considering changing clothes, just as the rain started to teem down. Again, timing was everything!

 

 

Edited by Goldenwattle
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22 hours ago, coachstahly said:

The real test of this will be if someone is willing to file a NA on an incorrectly sized cache or incorrectly rated cache and a reviewer is asked to step in.  Their decision will tell you how much they think this is a problem.

 

To my knowledge, Reviewers do not review D/T, Size, or Attributes. (Exception being Handicapped Accessible.)

 

Much like illegal parking, it happens all the time but there aren't enough police to deal with the problem. In the case of Reviewers they have their hands full just publishing caches, dealing with appeals, monitoring long-disabled caches, and responding to existing NA logs. I doubt Reviewers want to deal with people logging NAs that say "Cache rated 1.5/1.5 Small. Should be 2/2 Micro."

 

But here's an even bigger problem: geo-trash. How many COs who aren't placing or maintaining accurate cache listings are going to actually retrieve the container after archival? Few, if any. We have too many ruined caches being left behind. Lets not add to the problem with a bunch of good containers abandoned in the field too.

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22 hours ago, ecanderson said:

For certain CO's caches, we play particular attention to prior logs before starting our search.  Doesn't everyone?

 

Any CO where I regularly need to read the cache logs before searching is a CO going on my Ignore list.

 

21 hours ago, ras_oscar said:

Since i rarely look at the D/T ratings when I go out to find a cache I could care less that they are. In the end all ratings are subjective and the CO's assessment is as good as any. Consider:

 

1.  When I first started caching it took me 45 minutes to find my first lamp post hide. That doesn't make that style hard.

2. When I first started caching a 5 mile round trip walk in the woods was no big deal. Now my knees refuse to continue working beyond 1.5 miles. Does that mean anything that requires a long walk should have a high terrain rating?

 

0. I PQ filter out higher D/T for trips in particular, but I generally avoid higher D caches as I'm not interested in 30 minute shrub hunts for micros.

 

Difficulty is subjective, but with a few clear guidelines and examples, plus experience as a finder, it's usually not hard to get right on the first try. Especially if erring slightly on the side of difficult (better to say "that wasn't so bad" than "D2 my donkey!")

 

1. An LPC should be D1.5 because it will rarely have DNFs, but will trouble newbies. Contrast to a D1 ammo can on the back side of a tree with a clear hint that shouldn't get a DNF unless it's missing.

 

2. Terrain rating has very clear guidelines for distance. Distance is not subjective.

 

If you have mobility issues wouldn't you need to check Terrain rating to avoid the higher ones?

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9 hours ago, Goldenwattle said:

Well put. The terrain rating can mean whether someone takes an unnecessary risk or avoids the unnecessary risk, so it's important that the terrain is rated as accurately as possible. Some people get bogged down in arguing what does half a star matter. Exactly what does half a star mean, or on some lower rated caches even sometimes a star. If in doubt, rate it higher. In lower rated caches it can be subjective. 

 

I know I'm that "some people" you're referring to so why not just say coachstahly.  I'm not going to get offended because it's true.  For me, the only real difference that matters in a 1/2 star variation is the caches that fall in the 1/1.5 and 4.5/5 - wheelchair vs. non-wheelchair and really difficult but nothing extra required vs. special tool needed (boat, climbing gear, etc..).  Anything else and the difference is hard to quantify when you're talking about a 1/2 star difference.    The difference between  1.5/2, 2/2.5, 2.5/3, 3/3.5, 3.5/4, 4/4.5 isn't likely to deter many cachers from going after a cache.  If a CO attempts to rate their cache accurately and the difference between the CO's rating and the suggested finders' ratings is a 1/2 a star or less (due to averaging), then it's a pointless ratings system because it's only reinforcing the notion that the CO rated it close enough to be what most everyone considers reasonably accurate.  

 

Can you objectively tell me the difference between a 2 T and a 2.5 T cache that applies to EVERY cache across the globe?  You certainly can for the 1/1.5 and 4.5/5 difference but not for any of the others.  Are all tree climbing caches rated the same?  The harder it is to get up into the tree to begin the climb, the higher the T rating should be.  The easier it is to get up in the tree to begin the climb, the lower the T rating will be.  The higher up you have to go, the harder the T rating should be and if it's only a branch or two up, the lower it will be.  The availability of limbs that can support an average adult's weight, the distance in gaps between limbs in order to get higher, and the number of dead limbs vs live limbs are all possible factors that can go into play to determine what a CO should rate a tree climb.  I've found quite a few of them and they've ranged from 2.5 to 4.5.  There's no one size fits all approach to T rating except for two very specific cases; there are only suggestions from GS to help a CO decide.  That's why I'm saying that a 1/2 star or less variation doesn't really matter, assuming that the CO has attempted to rate it as accurately as possible.  

 

10 hours ago, Goldenwattle said:

But when the terrain gets to risky levels, it needs to be as accurate as possible.

 

Need

 

1. Require (something) because it is essential or very important rather than just desirable

2. Expressing necessity or obligation

 

I agree with the above quote and have provided a definition that helps preface the following words.  On to your example.  I agree with you that this particular example is rated incorrectly.  In this example, it's not a 1/2 star variation either.  Without having done the cache, I'll go with your assessment that it should be a 3.5 T, possibly even a 4 T cache.  That's a large enough difference that it probably should be fixed so that cachers aren't completely unprepared and put themselves at risk (assuming they don't cancel on their own due to the realization that they may have bit off more than they can chew).

 

Are you truly willing to hold the CO accountable in order to fix it or are you just going to suggest it be fixed?  I would assume that you would want the CO to fix it and rate it correctly so that risk is mitigated.  As you have stated, blatantly wrong T ratings can be potentially dangerous for the cacher attempting them so they "need(s) to be as accurate as possible."  Therefore it must to be fixed so that cachers don't unknowingly put themselves in harm's way.  So what did you do with the cache you provided as an example?  Instead of filing a NM to notify the CO and others, you did what most of us do, which is make note of it in your log and hope that the CO takes note and fixes it themselves.  Did the CO fix it or is it still rated incorrectly?  Has the risk to the potential cacher been reduced by a CO change to the T rating?  So tell me again how your actions got this cache fixed?  You didn't even attempt to fix an issue that you believe needs to be fixed, you only hoped that the CO might change it based on your log, despite quite a few other logs over the previous 19 years that imply it was more challenging than the T rating indicated.

 

Let's say, for argument's sake, that this was a 2018 cache instead of a 2001 cache.  Everything else is the same.  The T rating is, at a minimum, 1.5 stars too low.  Are you wiling to hold the CO accountable for an inaccurate and dangerously low rated cache that might place a finder in harm's way?  Does it need to be fixed or do you hope that it gets fixed?  Those are two different concepts.  One implies action on your part to mandate that change (since the CO obviously has it wrong) and the other implies action that may or may not come from the CO based on a suggestion.  I'd really like to hear your answer.  This isn't a rhetorical question.  For a cache with an obvious incorrect T rating (too low), does it need to get fixed or do you hope that it gets fixed?

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54 minutes ago, coachstahly said:

instead of filing a NM to notify the CO and others, you did what most of us do, which is make note of it in your log and hope that the CO takes note and fixes it themselves.

If a CO refuses to correct a D/T/size rating, except for T1 for wheelchairs the reviewers will not interfere, so it'll do no good making a NM as it will be ignored. All that can be done is put in the log that the D/T/size rating is wrong. That's all a finder can do, and it will also warn the next person who goes to search for the cache. So, no I will not make a NM when it won't have any effect. The only other thing is to message the CO, but from experience, those COs who have their rating way out (I wouldn't be bothered making contact for a half star, or ever a one star difference) and don't correct it, either have left the game or won't change it. Some won't change it because of the 2D/T limit for non-premier members. Some even get irate. Not worth the hassle. It's worth mentioning and I do, but if nothing happens, especially when several have mentioned it, the CO has no plans to fix it. The only exception, might be for a 1T (wheelchairs) when it isn't, if the CO refuses to correct this. I haven't ever made a NM for this either, but there were some marked wheelchair accessible caches that blatantly weren't I found in the past and I wish I had done a NM for them. The next 1T I find up high in the rafters of a building, for example, I will more than likely do a NM, but I would give the CO a chance to change it first.

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46 minutes ago, JL_HSTRE said:

To my knowledge, Reviewers do not review D/T, Size, or Attributes. (Exception being Handicapped Accessible.)

 

You're right.  They don't review ratings during the publication process.  Instead, they rely on the CO to provide accurate ratings, accurate coordinates, accurate sizing, accurate descriptions, permission to place the cache, and accurate attributes, among other things.  They're assuming the CO is providing everything accurately on good faith.  I was FTF on a cache that was posted in the middle of a corn or soybean field but was instead found in a church parking lot LPC at least .25 miles from the posted coordinates.  I was FTF on two caches that were posted in areas that were free of saturation issues but both of those caches had initially been submitted in locations where saturation came into play.  The reviewer obviously noted that there was an issue so the COs found new coordinates, posted them, and then submitted them for publication, without moving the cache to the new location.  The reviewer can only go on the information provided them, unless you're willing to pony up the money for them to go to every submitted cache location to verify that everything is as it should be, both on the cache page as well as with the cache itself.  Barring that, there's no way they CAN actually review any of those things because they have no firsthand knowledge like the CO does. 

 

So what is our remedy to fix something that's obviously incorrect but the CO refuses to do anything about?  Are you saying that a reviewer can't do anything at all if a cacher finds a cache that is rated as a 1.5 T but is up in a tree, files the NM and then files the NA?  If that's the case, then the CO is always right, even when they're wrong which means that there is no need to consider implementing a finder driven feedback system because the CO is always right and everyone else's opinions, despite evidence to the contrary within the guidelines and help center, are irrelevant.  

 

Unlike the publishing process, a reviewer, once called to a cache for whatever reason, can then review the logs (that have firsthand knowledge in most cases) in order to address any issues that arise.  Do you honestly believe that a reviewer will side against a finder who has posted a screenshot of what a 1.5 T is within the help center and what is on the cache page and then posts a picture of the actual cache in the tree?  If they do, then they're basically telling you that there's nothing ANYONE can do to "fix" the cache.  That renders this discussion completely meaningless.  Are you OK with that?  I'm not, so I believe that if you are truly concerned about inaccurate ratings and the potential detrimental impact they can have then you should be willing to consider that reviewers CAN evaluate a cache for rating and size accuracy once the cache is published, based on firsthand knowledge of finders, and that they be notified and called into action if you want to demand change.  Otherwise, all you're doing is hoping that the issue gets addressed instead of actually addressing the issue.

 

As has been discussed elsewhere, part of the problem here is the notation used to draw a reviewer's attention to an issue with a cache.  The more appropriate log type should be "Needs Reviewer Attention".  However, all we have is "Needs Archived".  When I've been saying that the only means we have at our disposal to rectify obviously inaccurate ratings is to file a NA, it's not because I want the reviewer to archive the cache.  It's that I want the reviewer's attention to be called to this situation to attempt to get the CO to change their rating to more closely resemble the actual size or D/T.  However, that still means that a reviewer could, if the CO is unwilling to "fix" the issue, archive the cache.  Once the reviewer gets involved, the onus is on the CO, which is where it should be in order to address ANY issues, be it a lack of maintenance of the cache or grossly incorrect ratings that potentially could cause injury to unsuspecting cachers who believe they're going on an easy walk on a trail and instead find themselves having to climb a tree or figure out a way up or down a rock face through summer vegetative growth.  Archival is always an option, should the reviewer deem it necessary.  If you're not wiling to run that risk of possible archival, (regardless of what we call reviewer attention) then you don't need this issue fixed, you only desire it to be fixed (see my definition in the post above to understand the difference).

 

I really don't know any experienced cachers who are adamantly opposed to the concept of correctly rated or sized caches.  I think all of us desire or hope that COs attempt to rate and size their caches accurately.  However, it appears that some on here believe this is enough of a problem that there should be some sort of solution to move the needle from a desire to have correctly rated or sized caches to an obligation or mandate that COs rate and size caches accurately.  Isn't that what this proposed rating system is attempting to solve?  If that's truly how you feel, then the only current option available to you to mandate that COs provide accurate ratings or sizes is to get a reviewer involved.  Waiting for GS to put something in place doesn't address this issue in any immediate manner and certainly doesn't address the caches that are out there right now, with incorrect and potentially dangerous D/T ratings.

 

I'll ask again.  Do any of you that really need caches to be fixed that are incorrectly rated or sized have any other solution beyond what I've mentioned?  Something that we can do right now instead of hoping and waiting for GS to institute some sort of finder feedback rating system?  I'm willing to listen to possible solutions that can be implemented immediately but all I'm hearing is that some of you appear to believe that archival of a perfectly good cache, due to what could be a potentially hazardous safety issue for a fellow cacher, isn't worth the exchange of mandating that a CO get their ratings right.

 

1 hour ago, JL_HSTRE said:

Much like illegal parking, it happens all the time but there aren't enough police to deal with the problem. In the case of Reviewers they have their hands full just publishing caches, dealing with appeals, monitoring long-disabled caches, and responding to existing NA logs. I doubt Reviewers want to deal with people logging NAs that say "Cache rated 1.5/1.5 Small. Should be 2/2 Micro."

 

I agree with you but what do you propose be done to get things right?  What immediate options are available to us to address this problem?  Do you need this issue fixed or do you desire to have this issue fixed?  If you need it and want to mandate it, then your current options are extremely limited and I've already highlighted them.  If you desire it, then it's not really an overwhelming and important problem because you're willing to wait until such time as GS implements some sort of rating program that allows finders to chime in.  

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If Reviewers are expected to take action when an inaccurate D/T rating or cache size is brought to our attention, this will require changes to the guidance given to the Reviewers by Geocaching HQ.

 

Having this responsibility would materially impair my enjoyment of the game when I'm in "player mode."  I'm ethically obligated to call out guideline violations when I see them out in the field as a player.  Sometimes these interactions with cache owners are unpleasant and can lead to ramifications to my player account, such as retributive deletions of my logs.  If I had to take action after finding any park 'n grab challenge cache with a five star terrain rating, or any micro cache that should be listed as a small, I would be very busy and very unhappy.

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3 minutes ago, Goldenwattle said:

If a CO refuses to correct a D/T/size rating, except for T1 for wheelchairs the reviewers will not interfere, so it'll do no good making a NM as it will be ignored. 

 

And you know this how?  Pre-publication, you're correct.  Reviewers will not interfere because they are going on good faith that the CO is submitting everything as accurately as possible.  As I mentioned to JL, unless you're willing to fork out the money for reviewers to physically visit each and every cache that is submitted, there's no other recourse for them than to believe that the CO has, in good faith, accurately submitted everything to get it published.  Post publication, however, is the unknown factor, unless you've actually involved a reviewer via a NA log, which calls them to evaluate the accuracy of the T rating of a cache.  You're right, the reviewer will ignore the NM log (as will an recalcitrant CO) but they can't ignore a NA log, regardless of how frivolous that NA log might be.  I use the example of a newbie who goes out looking for a cache, doesn't find it and incorrectly files a NA log.  The reviewer must reply, in some manner, even if it's to say that this log was incorrectly filed and is a mistake.  Unless you've actually done what I've suggested, you're making an assumption about what a reviewer can and cannot do.  Until such time as a reviewer actually comes on here and says that they're not allowed to evaluate a post-publication cache for an inaccurate T rating (especially one that's like your tree climb, your shelter, or your 2001 cache example) or any other thing that might be wrong with a required submission field for publication (attributes are optional), then I'm going to assume that this would fall under a lack of maintenance, as it applies to cache page maintenance.

 

26 minutes ago, Goldenwattle said:

All that can be done is put in the log that the D/T/size rating is wrong. That's all a finder can do, and it will also warn the next person who goes to search for the cache. So, no I will not make a NM when it won't have any effect. The only other thing is to message the CO, but from experience, those COs who have their rating way out (I wouldn't be bothered making contact for a half star, or ever a one star difference) and don't correct it, either have left the game or won't change it. Some won't change it because of the 2D/T limit for non-premier members. Some even get irate. Not worth the hassle. It's worth mentioning and I do, but if nothing happens, especially when several have mentioned it, the CO has no plans to fix it. The only exception, might be for a 1T (wheelchairs) when it isn't, if the CO refuses to correct this. I haven't ever made a NM for this either, but there were some marked wheelchair accessible caches that blatantly weren't I found in the past and I wish I had done a NM for them. The next 1T I find up high in the rafters of a building, for example, I will more than likely do a NM, but I would give the CO a chance to change it first.

 

So it's not that you need the caches to be correct, it's that you hope the CO fixes it, which by your own admission probably won't happen.  You can't tell me, then, that this is a problem that truly needs a solution.  This is only a problem that you hope gets addressed.  If you're not willing to get a reviewer involved to force the CO's hand, then no solution will ever be arrived at as it stands right now.  Despite your stated concern regarding the potential safety of your fellow cachers that an incorrectly rated cache could have, you're OK not doing anything that requires the CO to act (via reviewer intervention) and would be OK waiting for a program that will probably never get implemented due to the variability and subjectivity of D/T ratings wherever geocaches exist.

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