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Smory
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I keep seeing people with thousands of finds and I can’t help but think that some accounts may be faked as currently you can just mark a cache as found without ever visiting it. I have 2 possible solutions for this problem. 1. Make the found button location based so you have to be near the cache to mark it as found. This however brings its own problems. Solution 2: Use physical qr codes in geocaches. I think it would not be too difficult to implement a scan to find system where a hider prints a qr code and places it in the cache and the finder goes on the app and scans it to confirm the find. I do feel this could cause problems if it is fully implemented so I would suggest that there is instead a system of verified finds. So on a profile it would not only show your finds but also your verified finds that you scanned a qr code to log. This would give a better indication of a user’s legitimate finds. Having this system of verified finds would also mean that not all caches need to be updated with qr codes and if a qr code gets damaged the cache can still be logged. An alternative to qr codes could also be a 4 digit pin that you find in the cache and type in to verify your log. This is just a few ideas and I’m not sure if they could actually work so please discuss below. Smory 

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1 hour ago, Smory said:

I keep seeing people with thousands of finds and I can’t help but think that some accounts may be faked as currently you can just mark a cache as found without ever visiting it

This hobby is 20 years old. Thousands of finds is not uncommon. 

 

1 hour ago, Smory said:

Make the found button location based so you have to be near the cache to mark it as found

There are obstacles to logging right there in the field. What if I don't have Wi-Fi? What if I want to come home and write a nice long log about my experience? if I write a brief log in the field and edit it later the cache owner may never see it. 

 

1 hour ago, Smory said:

Use physical qr codes in geocaches.

Can't those be shared with people who never visit the cache? Not everyone uses an app for geocaching. There was no app when this game started. 

 

Just some of my thoughts. ?

 

 

 

 

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Lists of 4-digit pins would be shared by unscrupulous cachers.

 

QR codes are something Groundspeak doesn't seem interested in, especially since there is another GPS game that uses them extensively. They also require a smartphone, which would restrict finders to smartphone users and cache placements to areas with reliable cell service.

 

Same with proximity logging: requires field logging with a smartphone. GPS locations can be spoofed as well.

 

Pins, QRs, and other codes can also go missing or become unreadable, resulting in situations where a cache is legitimately found but unloggable.

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1 hour ago, Smory said:

I keep seeing people with thousands of finds

 

If you're retired and either travel a lot or live in a cache-rich area with a mild climate, 5000 caches in a year is very realistic, even if you don't do power trails and only log legitimate finds (no throwdowns, no divide and conquer). Especially if you don't try many difficult caches and usually cache with at least one other person, which I find drastically speeds up finding tine and drastically reduces DNFs.

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1 hour ago, Smory said:

I keep seeing people with thousands of finds

Some people spend a lot of time geocaching. Some people have been spending a lot of time geocaching for many years.

 

And then there are numbers trails that enable people to log hundreds of finds a day--more if they're willing to take a few questionable shortcuts.

 

1 hour ago, Smory said:

1. Make the found button location based so you have to be near the cache to mark it as found.

What "found button"? Are you assuming that all geocachers use the same system you use, and have the same "found button" that you have? I might use a "Log Geocache" button or a "Post" button rather than a "Found" button.

 

1 hour ago, Smory said:

2: Use physical qr codes in geocaches.

Keyword caches were tried and abandoned more than a decade ago. QR codes are just a new form of keyword, and have the same flaws.

 

People share trackable codes already. They'll surely share QR codes or keywords. Meanwhile, you've complicated logging for honest geocachers, and made logging dependent on technology that can analyze a QR code, and on the legibility of the QR code itself.

 

1 hour ago, Smory said:

Having this system of verified finds would also mean that not all caches need to be updated with qr codes and if a qr code gets damaged the cache can still be logged.

And cache owners would get email from people who are tracking their "verified" finds, who want a QR code added/replaced immediately. Meh...

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1 hour ago, Smory said:

I keep seeing people with thousands of finds and I can’t help but think that some accounts may be faked as currently you can just mark a cache as found without ever visiting it.

I have 2 possible solutions for this problem. 1. Make the found button location based so you have to be near the cache to mark it as found.

This however brings its own problems. Solution 2: Use physical qr codes in geocaches. I think it would not be too difficult to implement a scan to find system where a hider prints a qr code and places it in the cache and the finder goes on the app and scans it to confirm the find. I do feel this could cause problems if it is fully implemented so I would suggest that there is instead a system of verified finds. So on a profile it would not only show your finds but also your verified finds that you scanned a qr code to log. This would give a better indication of a user’s legitimate finds. Having this system of verified finds would also mean that not all caches need to be updated with qr codes and if a qr code gets damaged the cache can still be logged. An alternative to qr codes could also be a 4 digit pin that you find in the cache and type in to verify your log. This is just a few ideas and I’m not sure if they could actually work so please discuss below.

 

Currently ?   :D     If a CO wasn't doing maintenance on their hides, that's been able to be done since the beginning.  :D

 

It may bug you, but it's not a "problem"...

Since civilian GPS "accuracy" is still only around ten feet, "near the cache" could be well over 30' at times.

 - Though by the "Found it- Didn't..." thread, some do that already....    

There's a few location games that use codes, maybe that's a good starting spot for you to create your "rules".  :)

 

You seem to be assuming that members all use sorta-smart phones.  I did years ago, and went back to a rugby flip and a GPSr.

It wasn't until around '09 that a decent number that you'd notice of folks used phones here.

 

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1 hour ago, Max and 99 said:
2 hours ago, Smory said:

currently you can just mark a cache as found without ever visiting it

Not on my caches! 

 

To put a fly in this ointment: Loads of people have logged finds on my caches without visiting. This is sanctioned by the-powers-that-be as long as you are caching with a group where at least one person finds the cache. 

 

Finds aren't worth the paper they are written on. :anibad:

 

Edited by L0ne.R
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I think the number of cachers who are logging fake finds from their couch is pretty small and those that do usually flame out quickly enough. I mean, how interesting can it be to mindlessly log caches just to see your find count tick up by 1 (or 10 or 100 or 1000)? I'm sure after a few hours, the reality hits them that they've been sitting here gaming the system for what? They get bored and do something else.

 

Trying to patch that "bug" is pointless. There is always a backdoor method to fake log something but I don't think it's so systemic that geocaching needs to throw up roadblocks that will only penalize the honest cachers. Like I said, the ones that "find" caches without leaving the house might have their fun for a few hours, but it just doesn't hold their attention for long. 

 

 

Edited by Crow-T-Robot
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3 hours ago, Smory said:

1. Make the found button location based so you have to be near the cache to mark it as found. This however brings its own problems. Solution

2: Use physical qr codes in geocaches.

  1. It's trivially easy to use an app which will spoof the co-ords on your phone so that won't work.
  2. It's trivially easy to share qr codes with your mates (or indeed anyone) so that won't work.

TBH I think you're trying to solve a problem which doesn't need solving. If you're so bothered about this happening on your caches  then police them  by deleting any find which doesn't have a corresponding signature in the log book. If you're bothered about  logs in other cacher's caches then stop fretting about it and just concentrate on your own caching experience.

 

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Hide the find count.

 

Make the displayed find count only a ball park figure. (1-100, 100-1000, 1000+). 

 

It makes the point of faking "find" logs meaningless. What's the point of puffing up a find count if the *score* is hidden?

 

Probably bad for business though. For many players the point of geocaching is that it's a competitive game (not a recreational pastime/hobby). The +1 in the find count is a priority--the reason to play. I think most would quit geocaching if their find count wasn't publicly displayed.

Edited by L0ne.R
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5 hours ago, Smory said:

Make the found button location based so you have to be near the cache to mark it as found.

A lot of us still do plenty of caches using dedicated GPSr's rather than smartphones....

 

5 hours ago, Smory said:

hider prints a qr code and places it in the cache and the finder goes on the app and scans it to confirm the find.

A lot of hiders don't seem to be able to grasp that they need to include a logsheet when hiding, let alone a unique QR code. This would be stuffed up in endless permutations. Also - imagine how long this QR code will last when printed on plain paper in a chinese food container? What about micros/nanos?? 

 

5 hours ago, Smory said:

4 digit pin that you find in the cache and type in to verify your log

See above.....

 

Good ideas....  the location based one is now used with Adventure Labs, and I believe it is abused as much as your normal caches are, which I think is actually a fairly low percentage in any case.

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5 hours ago, Smory said:

I keep seeing people with thousands of finds and I can’t help but think that some accounts may be faked ... I have 2 possible solutions for this problem.

"People with thousands of finds" is quite common, and is not a problem.  Anyone who does geocaching on a farily consistent basis over a period of years can easily surpass a thousand finds.  

As to the "fake accounts:

1 hour ago, MartyBartfast said:

TBH I think you're trying to solve a problem which doesn't need solving. If you're so bothered about this happening on your caches  then police them  by deleting any find which doesn't have a corresponding signature in the log book. If you're bothered about  logs in other cacher's caches then stop fretting about it and just concentrate on your own caching experience.

I agree with this - you can delete "fake" logs on your own caches if there is no matching signature in the logbook.  And let other cache owners deal with this their own way - it doesn't affect you or how you play the game.

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8 minutes ago, lee737 said:
5 hours ago, Smory said:

Make the found button location based so you have to be near the cache to mark it as found.

A lot of us still do plenty of caches using dedicated GPSr's rather than smartphones....

 

And a lot of hides in this part of the world are in locations where there's no mobile data access, including eight of mine.

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5 hours ago, Smory said:

I keep seeing people with thousands of finds and I can’t help but think that some accounts may be faked as currently you can just mark a cache as found without ever visiting it. I have 2 possible solutions for this problem. 1. Make the found button location based so you have to be near the cache to mark it as found. This however brings its own problems. Solution 2: Use physical qr codes in geocaches. I think it would not be too difficult to implement a scan to find system where a hider prints a qr code and places it in the cache and the finder goes on the app and scans it to confirm the find. I do feel this could cause problems if it is fully implemented so I would suggest that there is instead a system of verified finds. So on a profile it would not only show your finds but also your verified finds that you scanned a qr code to log. This would give a better indication of a user’s legitimate finds. Having this system of verified finds would also mean that not all caches need to be updated with qr codes and if a qr code gets damaged the cache can still be logged. An alternative to qr codes could also be a 4 digit pin that you find in the cache and type in to verify your log. This is just a few ideas and I’m not sure if they could actually work so please discuss below. Smory 

App! What app! In many cases also what mobile access? Like many, I don't use an app. I use a GPS, as geocaching was originally set up for.

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3 hours ago, L0ne.R said:

 

To put a fly in this ointment: Loads of people have logged finds on my caches without visiting. This is sanctioned by the-powers-that-be as long as you are caching with a group where at least one person finds the cache. 

 

Finds aren't worth the paper they are written on. :anibad:

 

If their signature isn't there, delete them, like I do. (Unless they can prove they were there.) If someone else writes their name on the log, I don't see how you know they weren't there. I wouldn't. But I have never heard of this being a problem, and never suspected it with my logs.

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2 minutes ago, Goldenwattle said:

If their signature isn't there, delete them, like I do. (Unless they can prove they were there.) If someone else writes their name on the log, I don't see how you know they weren't there. I wouldn't. But I have never heard of this being a problem, and never suspected it with my logs.

I've been present when the name of someone else was written on the log. 

 

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2 hours ago, Crow-T-Robot said:

I think the number of cachers who are logging fake finds from their couch is pretty small and those that do usually flame out quickly enough. I mean, how interesting can it be to mindlessly log caches just to see your find count tick up by 1 (or 10 or 100 or 1000)? I'm sure after a few hours, the reality hits them that they've been sitting here gaming the system for what? They get bored and do something else.

 

Trying to patch that "bug" is pointless. There is always a backdoor method to fake log something but I don't think it's so systemic that geocaching needs to throw up roadblocks that will only penalize the honest cachers. Like I said, the ones that "find" caches without leaving the house might have their fun for a few hours, but it just doesn't hold their attention for long. 

 

 

Agreed, and if COs are maintaining their caches and checking the logs, these armchair loggers' logs can be deleted.  We had a prolific armchair logger and an armchair publisher of a cache, but they stopped logging after awhile. I would also guess that the number of deletions they were getting would have discouraged them.

It does show though who isn't checking their logs, by who have never deleted some finds. It makes me wonder if they maintain their caches.

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6 hours ago, Smory said:

I keep seeing people with thousands of finds and I can’t help but think that some accounts may be faked as currently you can just mark a cache as found without ever visiting it.

 

Most cachers will pass 1000 finds after a few years in the game. It took me six years to reach that milestone but most of my caching friends got there in half that time. Throw in some power trails and it's easy to rack up big numbers quickly and legitimately.

 

6 hours ago, Smory said:

Make the found button location based so you have to be near the cache to mark it as found.

 

The only times I log in the field are when I'm the first finder on a new cache and send a courtesy "FTF full log to follow", the rest of the time I log from the comfort of my armchair where I can take my time composing a detailed account of my adventure and sort through my photos to find those that complement my tale, aligning, cropping and resizing them in Photoshop for best presentation. If the CO has gone to the trouble of creating a cache for me to find, I want to take the time to create the best log I can in response.

 

7 hours ago, Smory said:

Use physical qr codes in geocaches.

 

There's a multi I did last year that uses printed and laminated QR codes at the waypoints to provide clues to the next waypoint but that became something of a maintenance headache for the CO with them becoming unreadable due to dirt and scratches. Paper and pen is generally more robust and reliable than any high-tech alternative.

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3 hours ago, L0ne.R said:

Hide the find count.

 

Make the displayed find count only a ball park figure. (1-100, 100-1000, 1000+). 

 

It makes the point of faking "find" logs meaningless. What's the point of puffing up a find count if the *score* is hidden?

 

Probably bad for business though. For many players the point of geocaching is that it's a competitive game (not a recreational pastime/hobby). The +1 in the find count is a priority--the reason to play. I think most would quit geocaching if their find count wasn't publicly displayed.

 

Have you considered a career in the mind-reading business?

 

I disagree, naturally, about numbers as the primary reason people play.  If it were merely accumulation of useless numbers, there are a lot of easier ways to accomplish that task. 

 

Your consistent disparaging of other cachers' motives is gettting kinda old.

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2 hours ago, Goldenwattle said:

If someone else writes their name on the log, I don't see how you know they weren't there. I wouldn't. But I have never heard of this being a problem, and never suspected it with my logs.

 

People talk. Groups became quite popular where I cache. Especially when the province experimented with allowing events for group caching (I think it's still allowed but COVID has happened). Some groups included 50+ people, there was one caching event that attracted 100 cachers everyone logging finds on all the finds collected that day. It was enough of a problem that someone else (not me -- instead I stopped hiding caches) tried to get everyone in a group to sign his caches' logs. They thought it was funny to get one person to visit his cache, an ammo can and completely fill a thick logbook with each of the group's signatures as requested (LOL), then log an NM (to poke fun at the CO for his unreasonable request).  Also, in my case for almost a month, every day I got email alerts to let me know someone found my cache -- almost all were cut n paste logs (they seem to share the same GSAK cut n paste log). So it can be a problem if the numbers-game takes hold in a community. Fake finds are allowed depending on how it's done. The only way I can see to decrease the problem the OP outlines is to take the score out of find counts. But they'd have to get rid of stats (and challenge caches because they require visible public stats). Statistics are a big driving force for people who play geocaching. 

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13 hours ago, Smory said:

I keep seeing people with thousands of finds and I can’t help but think that some accounts may be faked as currently you can just mark a cache as found without ever visiting it. I have 2 possible solutions for this problem. 1. Make the found button location based so you have to be near the cache to mark it as found. This however brings its own problems. Solution 2: Use physical qr codes in geocaches. I think it would not be too difficult to implement a scan to find system where a hider prints a qr code and places it in the cache and the finder goes on the app and scans it to confirm the find. I do feel this could cause problems if it is fully implemented so I would suggest that there is instead a system of verified finds. So on a profile it would not only show your finds but also your verified finds that you scanned a qr code to log. This would give a better indication of a user’s legitimate finds. Having this system of verified finds would also mean that not all caches need to be updated with qr codes and if a qr code gets damaged the cache can still be logged. An alternative to qr codes could also be a 4 digit pin that you find in the cache and type in to verify your log. This is just a few ideas and I’m not sure if they could actually work so please discuss below. Smory 

 

1000's of finds is easy. We go out once, sometimes twice  almost every week weather/time permitting. We go on longer weekends away from home to find caches. We've done 139 in a day (never again!) and we started in 2006. Our counter stands at 10000+ and even with the large % of multis we did it was not difficult.

 

As for your "solution" of a non-existing problem:

1. I don't log in the field, I use a GPS that allows me to mark a cache as found. how do you expect that to be location based? What about locations without cell coverage?

2. I carry a tablet (no smarthone) so I can scan QR codes (have needed them to get to the next WP) but I can easily take a picture of it. Pictures of QR codes can be shared too. 

Going to "the app"? There are several apps, not "the" app. I don't have that, I use a GPS.

Verifying finds is what a CO does (or should do). Compare paper log with online log but then again, it's possible to sign for someone else.

Pin codes can (and will be shared).

 

You're not the first to come up with this and you will not be the last. In all these threads the conclusion is: Can't be done/won't work.

 

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4 hours ago, L0ne.R said:

Some groups included 50+ people, there was one caching event that attracted 100 cachers everyone logging finds

The biggest group I have been part of has been about 30 people, and that was a one off to find two caches in a tricky place. Many people were not willing to attempt those caches, except in a group. Most groups I go in are five or less people. I go to events here, and I have never heard talk of groups of 50 plus. Regional differences it seems.

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10 hours ago, L0ne.R said:

Hide the find count.

When I see a DNF I check to see how experienced that finder was, to see if I will attempt that cache, and number of finds is the way of finding that out, so I find the find count useful. If they only have a few finds, I likely will think, 'Beginner' and ignore their DNF and attempt to find the cache, but I might not bother to attempt to find a low rated cache following a DNF from an experienced cacher.

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38 minutes ago, Goldenwattle said:
5 hours ago, L0ne.R said:

Some groups included 50+ people, there was one caching event that attracted 100 cachers everyone logging finds

The biggest group I have been part of has been about 30 people, and that was a one off to find two caches in a tricky place. Many people were not willing to attempt those caches, except in a group. Most groups I go in are five or less people. I go to events here, and I have never heard talk of groups of 50 plus. Regional differences it seems.

 

Yes, I've been in a couple of groups of 20+ cachers in the lead-up to Geocaching NSW events, where there was an optional meet-up a few kilometres from the event location and a walk from there grabbing some caches along the way. Someone at the head of the pack would make the find then pass the log around for everyone to sign. These were all 1.5/1.5 traditionals close to the paths, nothing exotic. All the other outings have been with a small group of friends, either on foot or on kayak, doing a handful of higher terrain caches over the course of a day. Again the person who makes the find passes the log around for the others to sign. On one occasion lee737 signed my name for me as my hands were covered in mud, but I was standing right next to him at the time with no armchairs in sight!

 

42 minutes ago, Goldenwattle said:

When I see a DNF I check to see how experienced that finder was, to see if I will attempt that cache, and number of finds is the way of finding that out, so I find the find count useful. If they only have a few finds, I likely will think, 'Beginner' and ignore their DNF and attempt to find the cache, but I might not bother to attempt to find a low rated cache following a DNF from an experienced cacher.

 

I don't know whether my 1100 odd finds and seven years in the game makes me experienced or not, but you can't infer anything about a cache from my DNFs. A few weeks back I DNFed three in a row, two of them 1.5/1.5 and the other 3/1.5. The latter and one of the 1.5/1.5s have since been found with logs saying "Quick find" and "Easy find". Unless I've also logged an NM with my DNF, there's at least a 90% chance the cache is still there and will likely be an easy find for you.

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17 minutes ago, barefootjeff said:

I don't know whether my 1100 odd finds and seven years in the game makes me experienced or not

I would put you in the experienced camp. I am mostly thinking finds less than 100 for beginner (in this example). And this is for low rated finds, especially when many people have written 'quick find' or that beginner log :rolleyes:, 'easy find'. (So easy for a beginner to confuse quick/lucky find with easy.) For higher rated caches, I likely would search, even if the previous DNF was an experienced cacher.

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It's really fascinating how a hobby where the game never ends and there are no prizes has so many competitive people. Someone should do a psychological study on geocachers, particularly numbers hounds.

 

I don't know how you decentivize cheating at somewhere where there is no winning in the first place. Ultimately, most people who cut corners at geocaching are surely cutting corners and being irrationally competitive about other things in life too. Their geocaching behavior is merely symptomatic of a larger issue. Geocaching isn't the problem; some geocachers are a problem.

 

Even if geocaching.com didn't display stats they could be gathered via the API.

 

Stats are useful though even if you're not trying to be competitive. Simple curiosity for one thing. Challenges, even personal ones - finding a cache in every county or Delorme page is a great way to push yourself to see places you might not otherwise go. Qualifying for a challenge cache by doing so is a bonus.

 

Numbers are also a personal diagnostic. Have I been caching enough? Last calendar year was a personal low find count for me, but the low number of finds was symptomatic of not spending enough time outdoors.

 

I do the same thing with my reading. I'm on a website where I can track what I want to read, what I've read, and what myself and others think of what we've read. Every year my goal is to read at least 50 books. It's not competitive - practically  everyone else I know reads far more or far less - but it's a gauge to see if I've spent as much time as I should reading books. Usually I find I need to read more often.

Edited by JL_HSTRE
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On 7/24/2020 at 10:18 PM, L0ne.R said:

Make the displayed find count only a ball park figure. (1-100, 100-1000, 1000+). 

 

Which would encourage the fake loggers even more. REALLY need to get to the next step 9,000 to 10,00 or 20,000 to 30,000

instead of adding 10 or 20 fakes, it's going to be 100's or 1,000s at a time :(

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28 minutes ago, Bear and Ragged said:

 

Which would encourage the fake loggers even more. REALLY need to get to the next step 9,000 to 10,00 or 20,000 to 30,000

instead of adding 10 or 20 fakes, it's going to be 100's or 1,000s at a time :(

I think the suggestion was that the highest rating would be 1000+.

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Quote

 

  On 7/24/2020 at 5:18 PM, L0ne.R said:

Make the displayed find count only a ball park figure. (1-100, 100-1000, 1000+). 

 

Which would encourage the fake loggers even more. REALLY need to get to the next step 9,000 to 10,00 or 20,000 to 30,000

instead of adding 10 or 20 fakes, it's going to be 100's or 1,000s at a time :(

 

 

 

There would only be 3 categories (beginner, intermediate, experienced). Some may fake log to get into the 1000+ category but after that there would be no incentive. 

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2 hours ago, JL_HSTRE said:

I do the same thing with my reading. I'm on a website where I can track what I want to read, what I've read, and what myself and others think of what we've read. Every year my goal is to read at least 50 books. It's not competitive - practically  everyone else I know reads far more or far less - but it's a gauge to see if I've spent as much time as I should reading books. Usually I find I need to read more often.

 

That's how I prefer to look at my numbers. As a personal thing. I don't need to know what the numbers are for other people. I'm not gauging my reading enjoyment by the number of books someone else read. 

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I like stats a lot but instead of looking at them like "I need to... to get ....." I see them as Oh, I did ... and have ....  I don't care about increasing numbers and make no special effort to get "milestones". About the only thing I keep a close eye on is the percentage of traditionals... I'd like to see that drop below 50% but then again, I could go the easy way and find some geoart which in fact, in the field, most of the time, are traditionals.

I never compare stats with someone else.

 

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43 minutes ago, on4bam said:

I never compare stats with someone else.

 

I agree what's the point. There is no prize for anythings except did you enjoy your time or not.  I do look at the maps yesterday saw one that was in Antartica, on my bucket list, just because I can not go now does not mean anything. 

 

Yesterday I found my 776th of the year, I do have a goal to find 1000 before the end of the year hopefully I'll make it as I doubt I'd try again. It started out with me having a crazy Saturday and doing around 110 in a day, something I don't wish to do again, hey it's January and I'm 1/10th the way to 1000 so let's try. 

 

 So just because people go out and find 100 a day or even 1000 a day it has nothing to do with you. If you had time to do 2 great. It's all about personal enjoyment and what drives you to get out of the house or not.  My map is so full of blue sad faces that all I have nearby is those and I do retry those several times just to get them off the map.  Bottom line you play the game your way and I'll play it mine as long as everyone has a good time doing it.

 

I see more fake logs on new caches rather than experienced. If a person fails to find specially my challenge caches and I find out through maintenance checks that it was truly missing I'll offer them to log it. Some CO's do this others don't, I've had this happen to me a couple of dozen times. Most of the time I simply can't find it and the next time I try I'm like what was I doing its right there as I walk up. I usually blame it on the sun being in my eyes. My #776 was the third time I had been to that spot this year and found it almost immediately, funny I never looked closely enough at the spot it was hidden at.

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7 hours ago, on4bam said:

I like stats a lot but instead of looking at them like "I need to... to get ....." I see them as Oh, I did ... and have ....  I don't care about increasing numbers and make no special effort to get "milestones". About the only thing I keep a close eye on is the percentage of traditionals... I'd like to see that drop below 50% but then again, I could go the easy way and find some geoart which in fact, in the field, most of the time, are traditionals.

I never compare stats with someone else.

 

 

I try to do something special for my milestones, particularly the major ones like 500 (I went to Lord Howe Island and did GC5K9KJ for that) and 1000 (the day-long group hike to the terrain 4.5 GC5E7A3). It'll likely be another four or more years before I have to start planning the next one at 2000 and I'll be nudging 70 by then, so I guess number 10,000 will have to be terrain 1 if I'm still around for that.

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I find it interesting to see how many caches people have found and the 1000+ suggestion would be very disappointing and boring. I see someone with high numbers and think, what interesting places and countries have they visited, and then take a look at their map. I would hate the suggested boring, 1,000+ system to be implemented. I don't see this as a competition of who has the most finds, and don't see this as a competition, only interesting where people have travelled to to get those caches. I would be not likely to check someone's travelled for only a few finds, except to find where those people, who never say where they live, do live.

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On 7/24/2020 at 5:18 PM, L0ne.R said:

Probably bad for business though. For many players the point of geocaching is that it's a competitive game (not a recreational pastime/hobby). The +1 in the find count is a priority--the reason to play. I think most would quit geocaching if their find count wasn't publicly displayed.

 

I'd be fine with this so long as the hide count was hidden only publicly. I like to see where I've been, how I've cached, what I've accomplished.

 

That information doesn't need to be shared with anyone ELSE mind you. But I'd like to still have an accurate gauge; I don't care if anyone else sees it. 

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33 minutes ago, STNolan said:

 

I'd be fine with this so long as the hide count was hidden only publicly. I like to see where I've been, how I've cached, what I've accomplished.

 

That information doesn't need to be shared with anyone ELSE mind you. But I'd like to still have an accurate gauge; I don't care if anyone else sees it. 

I am interested in what others have done too, and as I like to see where others have been (it's interesting), I don't mind others seeing where I have been. I have nothing to hide, and it makes me wonder about others who think they have something to hide get up to. If I wanted to hide my movements for some reason, I would not geocache while at it, or at the very least, be home before I logged those caches. Anyway, most people don't know who I am., so what does it matter if others can see where I've been. And likewise, what does it matter if others can see where others have been. Leave it as it is.

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17 minutes ago, Goldenwattle said:

I am interested in what others have done too, and as I like to see where others have been (it's interesting), I don't mind others seeing where I have been. I have nothing to hide, and it makes me wonder about others who think they have something to hide get up to. If I wanted to hide my movements for some reason, I would not geocache while at it, or at the very least, be home before I logged those caches. Anyway, most people don't know who I am., so what does it matter if others can see where I've been. And likewise, what does it matter if others can see where others have been. Leave it as it is.

 

I don't mind people seeing my number of finds, and I don't mind people seeing my map either; I'm proud of all the places I've been! I'm just saying that if we were to move to a system of finds similar to what L0ne.R is suggesting, I would like to still be able to see my total and accurate find count. 

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14 hours ago, STNolan said:

 

I'd be fine with this so long as the hide count was hidden only publicly. I like to see where I've been, how I've cached, what I've accomplished.

 

That information doesn't need to be shared with anyone ELSE mind you. But I'd like to still have an accurate gauge 

 

Same here. 

Edited by L0ne.R
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On 7/24/2020 at 12:12 PM, Smory said:

I keep seeing people with thousands of finds and I can’t help but think that some accounts may be faked as currently you can just mark a cache as found without ever visiting it. I have 2 possible solutions for this problem. 1. Make the found button location based so you have to be near the cache to mark it as found. This however brings its own problems. Solution 2: Use physical qr codes in geocaches. I think it would not be too difficult to implement a scan to find system where a hider prints a qr code and places it in the cache and the finder goes on the app and scans it to confirm the find. I do feel this could cause problems if it is fully implemented so I would suggest that there is instead a system of verified finds. So on a profile it would not only show your finds but also your verified finds that you scanned a qr code to log. This would give a better indication of a user’s legitimate finds. Having this system of verified finds would also mean that not all caches need to be updated with qr codes and if a qr code gets damaged the cache can still be logged. An alternative to qr codes could also be a 4 digit pin that you find in the cache and type in to verify your log. This is just a few ideas and I’m not sure if they could actually work so please discuss below. Smory 

 

Hello. Smory! I am intuiting that you may be new to Geocaching? If so, Welcome! As you've seen, if you've read the replies, this game has been around a while. There is 20 years of history, and reasons why a great many things are done, and not done - some merely because Groundspeak (the company owning Geocaching) wants them that way. That said, it's not really "hidebound" as there is quite a bit of 'laissez-faire' latitude in some ways. A lot of freedom to create.

 

If I could suggest, try contacting someone(s) in your area who has a good amount of experience to bounce questions off: a mentor. We Geocachers tend to be "our" own best resource. Most cachers will help you. With the lack of Events due to Covid-19 that may be a bit harder than usual, but you can always try messaging the Cache Owners of local caches to you who have experience.

 

And please remember - We were all new once, too - most cachers will be willing to help you if asked.

 

Enjoy Geocaching!

JimRKY

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2 hours ago, STNolan said:

I don't mind people seeing my number of finds, and I don't mind people seeing my map either; I'm proud of all the places I've been! I'm just saying that if we were to move to a system of finds similar to what L0ne.R is suggesting, I would like to still be able to see my total and accurate find count. 

 

Yep,.  I'd add though that I don't care at all about stats.     :)

I find out about something when someone asks here, or an event.  I'd be good with no visible find count.  

After seeing years ago that some had numerous finds on one cache (e.g. 3,450 caches , with 3,300 "unique") I left my stats open to view.

 - Many of those people with a "find" every time they did maintenance on their-own caches didn't, after it was brought to their attention in a "why don't my totals add up ?" question here.   :D

Good thing  I left it open too, as a couple years ago I had an issue with a pm card,  became basic, and someone here  looked up my D/T for me.   ;)

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17 hours ago, JL_HSTRE said:

It's really fascinating how a hobby where the game never ends and there are no prizes has so many competitive people. Someone should do a psychological study on geocachers, particularly numbers hounds.

 

I don't know how you decentivize cheating at somewhere where there is no winning in the first place. Ultimately, most people who cut corners at geocaching are surely cutting corners and being irrationally competitive about other things in life too. Their geocaching behavior is merely symptomatic of a larger issue. Geocaching isn't the problem; some geocachers are a problem.

 

Even if geocaching.com didn't display stats they could be gathered via the API.

 

Yes, but I have to wonder whether cheating is really such a widespread problem. Most of the duplicate logs I've encountered have been accidental, a lot due to that old problem in the app where it'd make multiple retries if reception was marginal and each one would create a log entry. Removing stats from the website won't stop the cheaters, they'll just find another way to cheat, instead it'd just reduce the enjoyment for those who like stats.

 

There seems to be a lot of talk about cachers with big find counts as if they're some huge problem, but in my entire state (New South Wales, Australia) there are only 20 cachers with more than 10,000 finds and many of the names in that group are prominent cachers with a decade or more in the game. They're the names that pop up on the regional association committees or as frequent event hosts, with at least one reviewer amongst them. My own meagre find count (and even more meagre find rate) puts me at number 399 on that list, so the great majority of cachers here don't make all that many finds or are particularly motivated by their comparative find count.

 

Then there are cachers who enjoy other statistics, such as their D/T grid (filling the grid, getting their average D or T up or whatever), filling their calendar or bettering their "best day" or longest streak. I wouldn't mind seeing my number of finds on regular-sized caches get ahead of my number of finds on micros as it's only 46 behind, but that's probably not something I'll actively pursue given the limited caching opportunities here. I'm in awe of one local cacher whose average terrain score is 2.65 from just over a thousand finds - there are some wonderful stories in his logs.

 

As I've said before, one of the great things with caching is its appeal across such a broad range of interests. I'd much rather see that diversity embraced and celebrated than restricted and despised.

Edited by barefootjeff
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7 hours ago, barefootjeff said:

 

I try to do something special for my milestones, particularly the major ones like 500 (I went to Lord Howe Island and did GC5K9KJ for that) and 1000 (the day-long group hike to the terrain 4.5 GC5E7A3).

 

Yes, that's about the only statistic driven thing we do too but only every 1000. Corona messed this up this year as we planned to have our 10000th in Slovenia. We now went for a higher FP instead as we were still restricted in our movements. We're good for another year now. ;)

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I tend to do a completely stupid cache for milestones, simply because I don't notice when it's time. I met some other cachers on Saturday and one asked me how many finds I have. I didn't know and I still could not answer that question.

 

But: logging is important to me. I always log at my computer at home. I need to be properly annoyed by a cache to just write 'Found. Thanks for the cache'. Plus the places I prefer to cache at might not have a phone signal, or are abroad where I don't have mobile data. Thus the whole scanning idea is not helpful for me. After all, caching used to be about going to interesting places, not picking up micros in your neighbourhood.

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7 minutes ago, terratin said:

 After all, caching used to be about going to interesting places, not picking up micros in your neighbourhood.

Exactly.

If only all caches could be like this:

 

HighVoltage.jpg.aa5e59c7a3dafccb84971a730d176013.jpg

 

Keys/codes to open the not shown compartments and lock are inside the grid. Touching the wires meant sparks! Again a 1 hour drive to find 15 of these high quality caches.

 

Another one:

 

Typewriter.thumb.jpg.c0507fba03366172ac4e6c81214400f9.jpg

 

A little folding chair was in the cache to sit down while typing. All keys on the typewriter had switched positions making it hard to type unless you could type blind (I can't).

 

Now try to get me to find a micro behind an utility pole after all this ;)

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On 7/24/2020 at 7:12 PM, Smory said:

1. Make the found button location based so you have to be near the cache to mark it as found.

 

No. Just no.

 

On 7/24/2020 at 7:12 PM, Smory said:

Use physical qr codes in geocaches.

 

But isn't that what the logbook is supposed to be for? You proof that you've been there by writing your name in the book. (And don't tell me others can do for me - they can give me the scanned QR code, too.)

 

As soon as you are out geocaching you shouldn't be forced to be online or transmit your position using your smartphone. Paper and handwritten signature may be old but they work - and they keep a minimal kind of protection of my data (e. g.: where am I right now?).

Groundspeak doesn't make it possible with the lab "caches" (those aren't caches) but luckily enough normal caches work without high tech technology - just my GPS and a pen and that's enough.

 

Jochen

 

PS: I made my 12,000 found yesterday after ~12 years of geocaching. Am I a cheater to you?

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