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Lostboy1966

What does 'Geocache that may need your help' Message mean?

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On my profile page I am getting this flag. There are no 'Needs Maintenance' alerts I can see, it's just a hide of mine that has scored a couple of DNFs, and I've had a couple of people messaging me for hints (FTF is already done). The container is perfectly fine; I was out there just a day or two ago to check on it. Is this some kind of GC bot monitoring DNF vs Found ratios, or am I missing an alert from a cacher somewhere? I've never seen one of these messages before.

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1 minute ago, Lostboy1966 said:

On my profile page I am getting this flag. There are no 'Needs Maintenance' alerts I can see, it's just a hide of mine that has scored a couple of DNFs, and I've had a couple of people messaging me for hints (FTF is already done). The container is perfectly fine; I was out there just a day or two ago to check on it. Is this some kind of GC bot monitoring DNF vs Found ratios, or am I missing an alert from a cacher somewhere? I've never seen one of these messages before.

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It kind of sounds like a cache health score notification. when you are certain that the container is okay you can log an owner maintenance.

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Apparently the CHS needs to be tweaked again.  2 DNFs, a find, and another DNF on a 3D cache that's less than a week old.  Log the OM to reset the score if you go check to make sure it's in place.

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So to stop getting bot-nagged I should paint all of my hides florescent orange and hide them under a pile of sticks in a  Walmart parking lot? /s

Thank you for the info. Someone did PM me of an errant cut/paste of parking coordinates today, but as I said, I saw no Needs Maintenance logs so I was confused. I've been out of the game for awhile, and had never seen this alert before. Is it something related to the new Cache Owner Dashboard doodad?

 

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14 minutes ago, Lostboy1966 said:

So to stop getting bot-nagged I should paint all of my hides florescent orange and hide them under a pile of sticks in a  Walmart parking lot? /s

Thank you for the info. Someone did PM me of an errant cut/paste of parking coordinates today, but as I said, I saw no Needs Maintenance logs so I was confused. I've been out of the game for awhile, and had never seen this alert before. Is it something related to the new Cache Owner Dashboard doodad?

 

Not at all. This is old. 

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46 minutes ago, Lostboy1966 said:

Is this some kind of GC bot monitoring DNF vs Found ratios, or am I missing an alert from a cacher somewhere?

Did you click the question mark to see what it said?

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Lostboy1966 said:

So to stop getting bot-nagged I should paint all of my hides florescent orange and hide them under a pile of sticks in a  Walmart parking lot? /s

Thank you for the info. Someone did PM me of an errant cut/paste of parking coordinates today, but as I said, I saw no Needs Maintenance logs so I was confused. I've been out of the game for awhile, and had never seen this alert before. Is it something related to the new Cache Owner Dashboard doodad?

 

 

The Cache Health Score (CHS) is an automated algorithm that tracks the "health" of each cache.  DNFs and NM logs count as negative scores while finds count as a positive score.  OM logs reset the score back to where it started.  The D/T rating factors into the scoring as well but no one really is sure to what extent.  It's my assumption that a DNF of a 1.5/1.5 would be a larger negative score than a DNF of a 3/1.5 cache, which would be a larger negative score than a DNF of a 4.5/1.5 cache.  At some point, once the score reaches a certain threshold, an automated email goes out to the CO, letting them know that their cache might need some help.  

 

I have only received one email and it specifically mentioned the CHS as the reason for my email and the issue regarding my cache.  I don't know if the current notifications do the same thing since I've not received one in quite some time.  As Tricia noted, is there any further specific information if you click the "?"

Edited by coachstahly
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They're "helping" you keep you caches in pristine shape. Why don't you feel helped?

 

1 hour ago, Lostboy1966 said:

So to stop getting bot-nagged I should paint all of my hides florescent orange and hide them under a pile of sticks in a  Walmart parking lot?

There's no particular reason to think that would help. (Funny joke, though: as if anyone ever has hidden a cache in a Walmart parking lot anywhere other than under a lamp skirt. Hiding it under a pile of sticks would definitely throw everyone for a loop.)

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6 hours ago, coachstahly said:

At some point, once the score reaches a certain threshold, an automated email goes out to the CO, letting them know that their cache might need some help.  

 

At the moment the emails are turned off due to the COVID situation, but the CHS is still active and it seems the dashboard notifications are still operating. I understand reviewers are still being notified too when a cache's score drops below the threshold. This Help Centre page provides some info on how it works.

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10 hours ago, coachstahly said:

Apparently the CHS needs to be tweaked again.  2 DNFs, a find, and another DNF on a 3D cache that's less than a week old.  Log the OM to reset the score if you go check to make sure it's in place.

And then there are caches with a low rating and a string of DNFs (even perhaps NMs) and nothing seems to happen.

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4 minutes ago, Goldenwattle said:

And then there are caches with a low rating and a string of DNFs (even perhaps NMs) and nothing seems to happen.

Like this one?

Unresponsive CO, DNFs, throwdowns, 7 NA's. But hey, now finally a reviewer TD'ed it. Maybe the CHS is not low/high enough with all those fake found logs.

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56 minutes ago, on4bam said:

Like this one?

Unresponsive CO, DNFs, throwdowns, 7 NA's. But hey, now finally a reviewer TD'ed it. Maybe the CHS is not low/high enough with all those fake found logs.

I logged that cache in 2015. Not one of my better log entries. Rather short. From my two weeks caching there (80 finds), I did get the impression, at least in 2015, that caches in Iceland didn't get much action from a reviewer.

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1 hour ago, Goldenwattle said:
2 hours ago, on4bam said:

Like this one?

Unresponsive CO, DNFs, throwdowns, 7 NA's. But hey, now finally a reviewer TD'ed it. Maybe the CHS is not low/high enough with all those fake found logs.

I logged that cache in 2015. Not one of my better log entries. Rather short. From my two weeks caching there (80 finds), I did get the impression, at least in 2015, that caches in Iceland didn't get much action from a reviewer.

Heh. Been there as well, in 2009.

 

Perhaps things have changed, but I recall that locally owned geocaches in Iceland were well outnumbered by tourist caches when I visited, and even the locally owned caches weren't all that quickly maintained.

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2 hours ago, Goldenwattle said:

And then there are caches with a low rating and a string of DNFs (even perhaps NMs) and nothing seems to happen.

 

This is what I don't get about the CHS.  I can point to lots of 1.5/1.5 caches that are most likely gone or in bad shape but they don't appear to get tagged by the CHS and just keep on keepin' on.

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14 minutes ago, hzoi said:

Perhaps things have changed, but I recall that locally owned geocaches in Iceland were well outnumbered by tourist caches when I visited, and even the locally owned caches weren't all that quickly maintained.

 

Is that supposed to be a reason for keeping non-maintained, photologged, thrown down caches alive?

This is a perfect example of "monkey see, monkey do" (apologies to the primates) where there are plenty of logs "like others I attach a photograph as proof". Proof of what? Being there, certainly no proof of finding a cache.

 

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5 hours ago, barefootjeff said:

 

At the moment the emails are turned off due to the COVID situation, but the CHS is still active and it seems the dashboard notifications are still operating. I understand reviewers are still being notified too when a cache's score drops below the threshold. This Help Centre page provides some info on how it works.

 

Maybe where you are but we've seen a lifting of the allowed maintenance deferral and a bunch of reviewer actions related to caches that need maintenance.  I don't know if the CHS email is part of that or not but I would assume that the CHS has played a role.  Perhaps the email will be replaced by notification via the new CO dashboard.  

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35 minutes ago, on4bam said:
54 minutes ago, hzoi said:

Perhaps things have changed, but I recall that locally owned geocaches in Iceland were well outnumbered by tourist caches when I visited, and even the locally owned caches weren't all that quickly maintained.

 

Is that supposed to be a reason for keeping non-maintained, photologged, thrown down caches alive?

 

In theory, of course not.

 

In practice, there are many locations around the world, where geocaching has not taken root, where tourist caches are about the only game in town. While having quality caches maintained by a local owner is of course preferred to having shoddy tourist caches propped up with throwdowns, the latter is sometimes a necessary evil where the alternative is no caches at all.

 

At this point, that should not be the case for Iceland. But it's certainly going to be the case in less developed countries.

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3 hours ago, on4bam said:

Like this one?

Unresponsive CO, DNFs, throwdowns, 7 NA's. But hey, now finally a reviewer TD'ed it. Maybe the CHS is not low/high enough with all those fake found logs.

Your example isn't a great one for CHS because of all the fake found it that resets the counter.

 

But yeah there are some I wonder if the CHS email got send at all or if the reviewer didn't took action because of the CO popularity.

 

Not a lot of reviewers likes to take action on cache from 2004 because they are considered legacy. Even Groundspeak didn't touch them in their inactive CO experience in 2 US states.

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Posted (edited)
35 minutes ago, Lynx Humble said:

Your example isn't a great one for CHS because of all the fake found it that resets the counter.

 

How about those 7 (now 8 :ph34r:) Needs Archived logs.

Some reviewer is publishing caches there so I would expect that NA and CHS would be taken care of too.

 

Edited by on4bam
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3 hours ago, hzoi said:

Heh. Been there as well, in 2009.

 

Perhaps things have changed, but I recall that locally owned geocaches in Iceland were well outnumbered by tourist caches when I visited, and even the locally owned caches weren't all that quickly maintained.

I checked some of the 80 caches I found in Iceland in 2015. Of those I checked, 37 were by Icelandic cachers, although most had low finds, in two or three figures. 19 were from other countries (UK, USA, Sweden, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland). Two I couldn't work out. So for just over half of the caches I found, two thirds were by Icelandic cachers.

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, hzoi said:

While having quality caches maintained by a local owner is of course preferred to having shoddy tourist caches propped up with throwdowns, the latter is sometimes a necessary evil where the alternative is no caches at all.

 

I would have to respectfully disagree with that. I firmly believe that no caches at all is a much better alternative.  Shoddy tourist caches propped up with throwdowns are just litter.

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6 minutes ago, RocTheCacheBox said:

I would have to respectfully disagree with that. I firmly believe that no caches at all is a much better alternative.  Shoddy tourist caches propped up with throwdowns is just litter.

 

In areas (or countries) with very few caches another solution could to be to be less strict on "no interaction". We have found caches we we had to ask for the container or where the container was in a tourist office. No purchase necessary. In a tourist office you can just walk in, look around and log the cache without interaction. As long as the listing mentions you have to enter somewhere there's no problem (except guidelines).

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10 minutes ago, on4bam said:

 

In areas (or countries) with very few caches another solution could to be to be less strict on "no interaction". We have found caches we we had to ask for the container or where the container was in a tourist office. No purchase necessary. In a tourist office you can just walk in, look around and log the cache without interaction. As long as the listing mentions you have to enter somewhere there's no problem (except guidelines).

In some countries that's possibly the only way a cache will survive.

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8 minutes ago, Goldenwattle said:
19 minutes ago, on4bam said:

 

In areas (or countries) with very few caches another solution could to be to be less strict on "no interaction". We have found caches we we had to ask for the container or where the container was in a tourist office. No purchase necessary. In a tourist office you can just walk in, look around and log the cache without interaction. As long as the listing mentions you have to enter somewhere there's no problem (except guidelines).

In some countries that's possibly the only way a cache will survive.

 

I've geocached in many areas/countries like this and that matches my experience.  When I have had interactions with a caretaker of the cache it has always been very pleasant and I've never felt that there was any commercial intent.  This is an example where I think a less strict adherence to the guidelines improves the game for everyone and causes no harm whatsoever.  

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17 hours ago, coachstahly said:

 

The Cache Health Score (CHS) is an automated algorithm that tracks the "health" of each cache.  DNFs and NM logs count as negative scores while finds count as a positive score.  OM logs reset the score back to where it started.  The D/T rating factors into the scoring as well but no one really is sure to what extent.  It's my assumption that a DNF of a 1.5/1.5 would be a larger negative score than a DNF of a 3/1.5 cache, which would be a larger negative score than a DNF of a 4.5/1.5 cache.  At some point, once the score reaches a certain threshold, an automated email goes out to the CO, letting them know that their cache might need some help.  

 

I have only received one email and it specifically mentioned the CHS as the reason for my email and the issue regarding my cache.  I don't know if the current notifications do the same thing since I've not received one in quite some time.  As Tricia noted, is there any further specific information if you click the "?"

In all of my years on the Interwebs, this is one of the clearest, to-the-point replies I have ever received when posting a question in a public forum. Thank you for helping keep my faith in humanity alive, lol!

There was no additional information in the alert beyond pointing me to the cache in question. I posted an OM and it cleared.

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On 7/10/2020 at 7:39 AM, coachstahly said:

This is what I don't get about the CHS.  I can point to lots of 1.5/1.5 caches that are most likely gone or in bad shape but they don't appear to get tagged by the CHS and just keep on keepin' on.

 

"Bad shape" can only be determined by log types. If nobody logs DNFs or NM how CHS to know there is a problem?

 

Geocaching is supposed to be a largely community-policed activity (in terms of reporting problems), but too many seekers are either ignorant of the proper procedures or lacking integrity. 

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On 7/10/2020 at 7:39 AM, coachstahly said:

This is what I don't get about the CHS.  I can point to lots of 1.5/1.5 caches that are most likely gone or in bad shape but they don't appear to get tagged by the CHS and just keep on keepin' on.

 

When I hit any cache,  if an issue's present, nine times outta ten my DNF or NM is the first there, no matter how long it's been an issue.

They may make reference in their log, but that extra two seconds for an action log I guess is too much for a game...

We act on logs, not waiting for a NM, because we see so few log anything other than that Found It.

Unless the CHS algorithm now picks out "wet", "mold", "broken"  or "missing" from smiley logs, it's simply not gonna catch it.   :)

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6 minutes ago, cerberus1 said:

When I hit any cache,  if an issue's present, nine times outta ten my DNF or NM is the first there, no matter how long it's been an issue.

 

Same here.

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1 hour ago, cerberus1 said:

They may make reference in their log, but that extra two seconds for an action log I guess is too much for a game...

I know what you mean, but I think it's usually not laziness. I think it's more often seekers that have picked up the unhealthy attitude -- often represented here in the forums -- that the seeker/CO relation is combative, so the seekers think COs see NMs and NAs as insults instead of as the aides to ownership they really are. In my experience, COs don't actually view NMs and NAs as insults -- and I think any COs that do see them as insults merely need an education -- but I think a lot of non-owners have been trained to think that way, hence they keep their heads down and mumble about the problem in their find logs without posting the appropriate NM to get the CO's attention.

 

1 hour ago, cerberus1 said:

We act on logs, not waiting for a NM, because we see so few log anything other than that Found It.

I only have a few caches, so I read every find log and watch for problems that I can fix proactively. (As it happens, I'm just about to go out and do that today.) But I sympathize with cache owners that have lots of caches, but I also suspect they're no more happy than anyone else about getting nagged, especially since they must get nagged a lot more often than me.

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5 hours ago, cerberus1 said:

Unless the CHS algorithm now picks out "wet", "mold", "broken"  or "missing" from smiley logs, it's simply not gonna catch it.   :)

 

I guess I'd better avoid logs like this then:

 

The forest was wet after the recent storms with lots of fallen trees and broken branches covered in mold. Once at GZ it was a quick find, which was just as well as I didn't want to risk missing my train home.

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Which is why I seldom post more than one DNF on a cache.  That seems to get some archived.

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On 7/12/2020 at 11:06 AM, cerberus1 said:

When I hit any cache,  if an issue's present, nine times outta ten my DNF or NM is the first there, no matter how long it's been an issue.

Same here. But I attribute it not only to the same reasons others have mentioned but also because, with the rise of "apps", I truly believe there a lot of people that are not even aware there's a NM or NA log. Those, for all intents and purposes, are hidden 

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What it may mean to me:

 

        if I get one too many BOGUS wrist slaps from "The Cache Health Policing Agency" generated in part or whole by an individual from a "certain group" it may be time to make all of my hides "premium only" ORRRRRRRRR archive the whole lot.

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On 7/10/2020 at 1:03 PM, on4bam said:

 

How about those 7 (now 8 :ph34r:) Needs Archived logs.

Some reviewer is publishing caches there so I would expect that NA and CHS would be taken care of too.

 

 

The cache is now archived. It seems logs had a cleanup too as many (last 6 months) of the "cache is gone so include photo" fake found logs are gone.

 

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21 minutes ago, on4bam said:

 

The cache is now archived. It seems logs had a cleanup too as many (last 6 months) of the "cache is gone so include photo" fake found logs are gone.

 

I noticed that on a cache recently I had made a NM or a NA on. I mentioned that one log among all the DNFs was actually a DNF as well (the wording made that obvious). After the reviewer came in I noticed that log appeared to have disappeared; either that, or had its find changed to a DNF and was now just one of the DNFs.

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1 hour ago, Goldenwattle said:

I noticed that on a cache recently I had made a NM or a NA on. I mentioned that one log among all the DNFs was actually a DNF as well (the wording made that obvious). After the reviewer came in I noticed that log appeared to have disappeared; either that, or had its find changed to a DNF and was now just one of the DNFs.

 

I'm seeing that occasionally on my hides, where the email notification says it was a find but the content clearly indicates it wasn't. By the time I go to the cache page to check, the logger has changed the log type to DNF. The likely cause is my favourite irk, the default log types on the new logging page that assume everything's a find on other people's caches or an OM on yours.

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3 hours ago, on4bam said:

 

The cache is now archived. It seems logs had a cleanup too as many (last 6 months) of the "cache is gone so include photo" fake found logs are gone.

 

All the fake find logs are now DNFs wording still the same in the logs. Changed by reviewer perhaps?

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15 minutes ago, colleda said:

All the fake find logs are now DNFs wording still the same in the logs. Changed by reviewer perhaps?

 

Are people getting emails about this as when logs are deleted? That would cause a stir :ph34r:

 

I'd like to see this happen more and then, just maybe, we'll see less fake logs.

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33 minutes ago, colleda said:

All the fake find logs are now DNFs wording still the same in the logs. Changed by reviewer perhaps?

 

This is not something that reviewers have jurisdiction to do. 

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15 minutes ago, Keystone said:

 

This is not something that reviewers have jurisdiction to do. 

 

Maybe they should have.

If there was some kind of policing of blatantly fake log maybe we'd see less of them. Now it seems they are on the increase just like there are more "CO allowed to log a find" when the cache is clearly gone.

 

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17 minutes ago, Keystone said:

 

This is not something that reviewers have jurisdiction to do. 

 

Unless I'm missing something the only others (besides someone at Groundspeak) that could change a log from a Found It to a DNF would be those that posted the Found It logs and I doubt very much that any of those that posted Found It logs with "photo proof" did that.

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On 7/16/2020 at 1:15 AM, humboldt flier said:

What it may mean to me:

 

        if I get one too many BOGUS wrist slaps from "The Cache Health Policing Agency" generated in part or whole by an individual from a "certain group" it may be time to make all of my hides "premium only" ORRRRRRRRR archive the whole lot.

I recently changed a cache to Premium only, after a row of logs without signatures from beginners. Unfortunately some of them were Premium members, but I thought still, might improve slightly the odds of the log being signed.

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On 7/9/2020 at 7:16 PM, dprovan said:

(Funny joke, though: as if anyone ever has hidden a cache in a Walmart parking lot anywhere other than under a lamp skirt. Hiding it under a pile of sticks would definitely throw everyone for a loop.)

 

Heh, I was at a Walmart a few weeks ago and went straight for the lamp skirt...and it wasn't there.  We were confused for a moment, until my kid spotted an electric plate cover on the lamp post itself!  Well done, CO!

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I have also found a WalMart parking lot hide that wasn't associated with a lamp post. It was very creatively done! GC6WV0R

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7 hours ago, Ageleni said:

Heh, I was at a Walmart a few weeks ago and went straight for the lamp skirt...and it wasn't there.  We were confused for a moment, until my kid spotted an electric plate cover on the lamp post itself!  Well done, CO!

Some of my longest searches have been for caches that were hidden near "obvious" hiding spots, but didn't use those "obvious" hiding spots. And when there are multiple "obvious" hiding spots at GZ (e.g., a lamp post, a bench, and a free newspaper box), it's even worse. It can take a long time before I stop focusing on the "obvious" spots and look around to discover the actual hide.

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11 minutes ago, niraD said:

Some of my longest searches have been for caches that were hidden near "obvious" hiding spots, but didn't use those "obvious" hiding spots. And when there are multiple "obvious" hiding spots at GZ (e.g., a lamp post, a bench, and a free newspaper box), it's even worse. It can take a long time before I stop focusing on the "obvious" spots and look around to discover the actual hide.

 

A few years ago I found a cache near the YMCA.  From the spot where I found it I could see: a guard rail, a lamp post, a metal fence post,  a green electrical box (which could be lifted), and a few feet away a long hillside with large rocks.  The cache was in one of the nearby pine trees.

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5 hours ago, niraD said:

Some of my longest searches have been for caches that were hidden near "obvious" hiding spots, but didn't use those "obvious" hiding spots.

 

I did one last year that had a high difficulty rating, but I hopped out of the car, lifted up the lamp skirt, took out the pill box, and signed the log.  Then had a second thought because lamp skirts are not difficult.  Looked through previous logs and found one where the person said the cache was missing, so he replaced it.  More investigation of logs prior to that noted how hard it was, how you needed a tool, etc.  Long story short, I found the real cache in one of those concrete bumpers.  I guess someone THOUGHT it would be under the skirt, and when he didn't find it, he simply put one there and claimed the find.  I removed the throwdown and told the whole long story in my log, and even requested that the throwdown "find" all the others after that be removed.  (But the CO didn't remove them.)

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On 7/31/2020 at 5:44 PM, Ageleni said:

 

I did one last year that had a high difficulty rating, but I hopped out of the car, lifted up the lamp skirt, took out the pill box, and signed the log.  Then had a second thought because lamp skirts are not difficult.  Looked through previous logs and found one where the person said the cache was missing, so he replaced it.  More investigation of logs prior to that noted how hard it was, how you needed a tool, etc.  Long story short, I found the real cache in one of those concrete bumpers.  I guess someone THOUGHT it would be under the skirt, and when he didn't find it, he simply put one there and claimed the find.  I removed the throwdown and told the whole long story in my log, and even requested that the throwdown "find" all the others after that be removed.  (But the CO didn't remove them.)

 

I've mentioned this one a few times in the past but there was a cache which had coordinates for a  spot near a lamp post in a parking lot but that's not where the cache was hidden.  There was a culvert (about 30 feet wide and 8 feet high) under the parking lot that held a small creek.   The entrance to the culvert was about 200 feet from GZ and it was a fairly easy walk 200' into the culvert where the cache was hidden.  The cache had quite a few "searched in the obvious spot, it isn't there" logs.

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58 minutes ago, NYPaddleCacher said:

 

I've mentioned this one a few times in the past but there was a cache which had coordinates for a  spot near a lamp post in a parking lot but that's not where the cache was hidden.  There was a culvert (about 30 feet wide and 8 feet high) under the parking lot that held a small creek.   The entrance to the culvert was about 200 feet from GZ and it was a fairly easy walk 200' into the culvert where the cache was hidden.  The cache had quite a few "searched in the obvious spot, it isn't there" logs.

I've done a few caches like that. I went to GZ and it was not there. It was below. Not all the entrances were close by either. One had maybe a km walk underground to get to the spot where the GPS had originally taken me.

Here is a photographic example of what can be required. In this example, the  entrance wasn't too far from GZ. Initially I went to the spot above ground, but then figured out where the cache really was. Entrance, underground and on way out.

Underground 1.jpg

Underground 2.jpg

Underground 5.jpg

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45 minutes ago, Goldenwattle said:

I've done a few caches like that. I went to GZ and it was not there. It was below.

Not all the entrances were close by either. One had maybe a km walk underground to get to the spot where the GPS had originally taken me.

Veering OT...

Same here.  We were surprised that a lot didn't notice D/T.   :)

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