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Release Notes (Adventure Lab® App: Time to complete Adventures) - November 19, 2021


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Release Notes (Adventure Lab® App: Time to complete Adventures) - November 19, 2021
 
With today’s release, players will begin to see the approximate time to complete each Adventure in the Adventure Lab® app, on app version 1.3.14 or higher. The estimated time is calculated automatically once an Adventure has at least five completions. 
 
You can always find the most up-to-date release notes for Adventure Lab in the App Store or Google Play Store. This release is particularly experimental and we expect there may be some hiccups in the calculations we are performing. To get this feature out as quickly as possible to test and learn, we wanted to share a few details here in the forums so that you can share feedback on this update.    
 
When can I see time to complete Adventures in the Adventure Lab® app?:
 
This feature will be visible in the Adventure Lab® app, on version 1.3.14 or higher. Some players will begin to see version 1.3.14 available to update or install in the App Store and Google Play Store as soon as today. After installing the new version, it may take 24 hours to see the new feature. Additionally, it may take a full week before all players will see the new version for update or install. This incremental release allows us to monitor performance of this new experimental feature. Thank you for your patience.
 
Where can I see time to complete Adventures in the Adventure Lab® app?:


On the Explore map, when you select a map pin, in the Adventure Detail preview 
On the Directory list view, on each Adventure Detail preview  
On the Adventure Detail screen 
 

           image.png       estimatetime_directory.png

 

 

How are estimated times calculated? 
 

  • We are calculating the approximate amount of time it takes a player to complete all Locations in an Adventure. From this, we are using the median of all completion times on the Adventure to calculate the estimate. 
    • The median is the number right in the middle. For example, if the completion times are 1, 4, 5, 6, 7, 10, 12, 4,678, and 58,920 minutes, the median will be 7 minutes. The average would be about 7,000 minutes.
    • In the data we have reviewed, and in interviews with creators and players, the median appears to be a realistic gauge of the time to complete an Adventure.
  • An Adventure must have at least five completions, after May 1, 2021, to display an estimated completion time. This is the date we began collecting approximate completion times.
  • Estimated time to complete an Adventure is categorized into the following time buckets: 
    • 0-30 min.
    • 31-45 min.
    • 46-60 min.
    • 61-90 min.
    • 91-120 min.
    • 120+ min.
    • --:--      No estimate yet

 
We intend to watch this experimental feature release closely. We plan to update the algorithm if we learn there are optimizations that can be made. 
 
Erin (Oceansazul) is watching this thread to answer questions whenever possible.

 

Any posts in this thread should relate to features in this release. Comments unrelated to the release may be removed. Please direct unrelated comments to other appropriate threads. Thanks!

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31 minutes ago, Geocaching HQ said:

With today’s release, players will begin to see the approximate time to complete each Adventure in the Adventure Lab® app, on app version 1.3.14 or higher. The estimated time is calculated automatically once an Adventure has at least five completions. 
 
You can always find the most up-to-date release notes for Adventure Lab in the App Store or Google Play Store. This release is particularly experimental and we expect there may be some hiccups in the calculations we are performing. To get this feature out as quickly as possible to test and learn, we wanted to share a few details here in the forums so that you can share feedback on this update.    

I can't wait to see how this displays in years. 😁

Can you clarify if an adventure lab has 10 locations are you going to wait until all 10 are completed or after 5?

Why is the first designation 0-30 but the second 31-45?

Edited by Max and 99
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I'm not sure I'm understanding. The time will be displayed when at least five completions are made. Are you talking about five different players? Or five locations for one player? 

So if I'm understanding correctly a person's time will not be added to the mix if they have not completed the adventure?

Edited by Max and 99
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18 minutes ago, Max and 99 said:

I'm not sure I'm understanding. The time will be displayed when at least five completions are made. Are you talking about five different players? Or five locations for one player? 

So if I'm understanding correctly a person's time will not be added to the mix if they have not completed the adventure?

5 differents players that have completed it

 

27 minutes ago, Max and 99 said:

I can't wait to see how this displays in years. 😁

Can you clarify if an adventure lab has 10 locations are you going to wait until all 10 are completed or after 5?

Why is the first designation 0-30 but the second 31-45?

Yeah sadly the highest is 120+ min. Not very helpful for a lot of Adventure labs in my area that take a lot more than that

 

Instead of those 6 time level you should simply display the median time or a least increase to 360+ minutes. 

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9 minutes ago, HHL said:

Yes, the first section should be 1-30 mins. 0 minutes does not make sense as a time range anyway. :rolleyes:

Actually, I didn't even catch that! Very good point!

 

What I was wondering about was that the first time frame is 30 minutes, and the others 15 minutes. On one hand I can understand, but.....

I think it would be helpful to know if the AL is being completed in a mean time of less than 15 minutes. Some may say yeah, that's for me, and others will want to skip it for being ridiculously easy. Just an observation. Maybe HQ decided to not include an under 15 min. time because most ALs are not completed that quickly!

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18 minutes ago, Max and 99 said:

What I was wondering about was that the first time frame is 30 minutes, and the others 15 minutes. On one hand I can understand, but.....

I think it would be helpful to know if the AL is being completed in a mean time of less than 15 minutes. Some may say yeah, that's for me, and others will want to skip it for being ridiculously easy. Just an observation. Maybe HQ decided to not include an under 15 min. time because most ALs are not completed that quickly!

 

I'm wondering why the need to categorise the time into those buckets rather than just display the actual median time. That would have been simpler to implement and also made it inclusive of those ALs that typically take more than two hours to complete.

 

That said, it's probably not going to be a particularly meaningful statistic on at least two of my three. A fair number of those who have completed Wreck of the Maitland have broken the loop into two separate walks and done them on different days, and my latest one 5 Lands Walk, while intended as a 10km walk, can also be done by just driving to each of the locations and so far all who've completed it have done that. A few have also spread it over multiple days since the road access to each of the locations is a rather indirect route needing a lot of back-tracking. Even my 3.7km Broken Bay Sands can be done by walking, driving, public transport or a mixture of them so times are likely to be all over the place.

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Just now, barefootjeff said:

I'm wondering why the need to categorise the time into those buckets rather than just display the actual median time. That would have been simpler to implement and also made it inclusive of those ALs that typically take more than two hours to complete.

I agree with this. When I read the title of the release, I assumed it would be an actual time, not a time frame.

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Interesting feature, which has the potential to be very useful.

 

OTOH ... is this the point, where the saying "Armchair loggers are only cheating themselves" (and BTW, I didn't only read this on forums, FB, etc., but also once in an official response from GS) finally breaks down? As soon as the number of armchair logs exceeds the number of legitimate logs, the median will be in the "0-30 min" range, no matter how long the AL actually is. This might especially affect more complicated ALs, where the number of legitimate players is relatively low.

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It's taken me months to finish some adventures, and I've already started some adventures that I won't complete for years, if then. Those will just get averaged in?

 

It strikes me that it would have been a lot easier *and* more accurate to just provide a field that AL owners need to fill in giving an approximate time. And even that's unnecessary if we could establish a culture where the owners habitually included that information in the opening lines of the AL.

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1 hour ago, dprovan said:

It strikes me that it would have been a lot easier *and* more accurate to just provide a field that AL owners need to fill in giving an approximate time. And even that's unnecessary if we could establish a culture where the owners habitually included that information in the opening lines of the AL.

 

There are some ALs, including two of mine, that can be done on foot, by bike or by car (or bus), with vastly different completion times. In those I've the described the distance and terrain along the way, which in conjunction with the map (which would also be much more useful if it had a scale) I think is more helpful than trying to estimate how long it's going to take someone.

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9 hours ago, dprovan said:

It's taken me months to finish some adventures, and I've already started some adventures that I won't complete for years, if then. Those will just get averaged in?

Those you haven't completed yet won't be counted, those you have completed will be taken into account, but they won't be "averaged in" as they're not doing an average calculation they're taking the median. You completing one in 2 years would have no greater affect than if you completed it in a few minutes greater than the current median - it's explained in the OP.

 

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12 hours ago, dprovan said:

It's taken me months to finish some adventures, and I've already started some adventures that I won't complete for years, if then. Those will just get averaged in?

 

Yeah, this update assumes people who do ALs all in one go, it seems. What about knocking the locations off over days? If everyone tends to do that, though they may not have to, the 'time to completion' will be 120+ minutes, which may not be realistic per the owner who intended it to be walking a couple of blocks around downtown in under an hour.

 

There could be any number of exceptions, but none would provided an "accurate" estimation. I don't think it's possible at all to have a relatively trustworthy 'time to completion', and the best estimation would come from the owner; but then it's not relative to actual time spent...

I don't think any manner of calculation will be remotely 'perfect'.

 

 

So on that note, I think in longer form display it should perhaps read 'Time to completion (calculated)' to imply a calculation of prior stats than the owner setting it.

Otherwise it's fine as is. I don't think it'd get any better or more reliable with other methods of calculation. They could perhaps exclude completions that take more than a day, just for those fringe completions that could skew the time; but that would make ALs that are intended to take more than a day have no estimate.

Perhaps in that case there could be a >1 day category - then you know that no one has completed it within a day.

Edited by thebruce0
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1 hour ago, Max and 99 said:

Wow, looks so different. I updated to the newest version so hopefully I'll see the time  feature soon.

 

The time rating is now showing on my latest AL:

 

TimeRating.jpg.774041726ce542941003b65d4d15518b.jpg

 

The 61-90 min rating is unlikely to be helpful to anyone actually walking the walk, as it's 10km and takes about four hours. I'm pretty sure all those who've completed it so far have driven to each location and some have spread it over several trips depending on what area they're in. Driving it all in one hit is likely to take less than an hour.

 

I don't like that the start button is now covering the description text. They really don't want people reading descriptions now, it seems.

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4 minutes ago, barefootjeff said:

I don't like that the start button is now covering the description text. They really don't want people reading descriptions now, it seems.

I'm wondering how many will just click start and not keep scrolling down to finish reading the description.

 

5 minutes ago, barefootjeff said:

The time rating is now showing on my latest AL:

I've updated and logged in and out twice, so I think it's just a matter of waiting at this point, for me.

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4 hours ago, barefootjeff said:

I don't like that the start button is now covering the description text. They really don't want people reading descriptions now, it seems.

 

If anything it should be like terms & agreements - put the "Start" at the bottom of the description you have scroll to get through. Indicate that it's at the end of course, or perhaps even show the start button, but disabled, until you get to the end of the description. That at least encourages people to read it first, even if they just scroll so they can hit the button.

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I finally got the update and as I expected my first AL is over 120+ min because of the driving required and I guess people spend some time finding cache along the way and the second one under 30 min because you can walk it.

 

It's nice they added if the lab is sequential or not but why not adding this information in the list tab? Not super useful when you need to click on each individual ones to check...

 

I also have a strange bug on Android about missing rating value (see attached image) even if there are rating stars???

Screenshot_20211122-222033_Adventure Lab.jpg

 

Edit : Another strange thing I see is for the ALs with more than 5 stages the timing doesn't seems to make any sense unless half the players used teleportation? Wondering if there are a coding issue that only calculate 5 stages instead of the 10.

 

Edit #2 : Hum I think I find the culprit. It's a coding issue because ALs with less than 5 completions default to 0-30 min instead of --:--

Guess Groundspeak still forgot to do some essential testing before releasing a new update....

Edited by Lynx Humble
Adding about 5+ locations ALs
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The time finally showed up on my AL app. I know what median means. But I'm trying to wrap my head around a local AL that requires an hour of driving time between two states. I'm having a hard time understanding how the median time is 0 to 30 minutes. And it's sequential so there's no picking and choosing what you do first. 

Edited by Max and 99
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1 hour ago, Max and 99 said:

But I'm trying to wrap my head around a local AL that requires an hour of driving time between two states. I'm having a hard time understanding how the median time is 0 to 30 minutes.

 

Eco-conscious players reducing CO2 emissions?

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1 hour ago, Max and 99 said:

The time finally showed up on my AL app. I know what median means. But I'm trying to wrap my head around a local AL that requires an hour of driving time between two states. I'm having a hard time understanding how the median time is 0 to 30 minutes. And it's sequential so there's no picking and choosing what you do first. 

 

Lots of these?

 

Armchairs.jpg.263f77485c103bfc8dd2f630aeeccade.jpg

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16 minutes ago, arisoft said:

 

That is one possibility but did you know that one player can play an ALC and then let others to complete it with the same phone?

Someone did mention that on the forums. I had forgotten about that.

24 minutes ago, barefootjeff said:

Lots of these?

I'm out of any other ideas. 

Someone mentioned it was the longest multi ever! It's a solid hour driving time between locations.

Thanks for the possible explanations everyone. 

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2 hours ago, Max and 99 said:

But I'm trying to wrap my head around a local AL that requires an hour of driving time between two states.

Is there any restriction on distance between WPs. I've thought of an idea. I am planning to drive around Australia on Hwy 1, when I am free to do so. (Caring responsibilities) I thought it would be great to place the five WPs thousands of kms apart. Like a long multi, of which I have completed and thoroughly enjoyed several of these. Naturally the WPs would need to be where there is mobile phone signal. I will be kind and allow Wps to be done in any order.

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29 minutes ago, Goldenwattle said:

Is there any restriction on distance between WPs. I've thought of an idea. I am planning to drive around Australia on Hwy 1, when I am free to do so. (Caring responsibilities) I thought it would be great to place the five WPs thousands of kms apart. Like a long multi, of which I have completed and thoroughly enjoyed several of these. Naturally the WPs would need to be where there is mobile phone signal. I will be kind and allow Wps to be done in any order.

The tip says to set up an adventure lab so all locations can be visited within two hours, ideally walkable. 

Edited by Max and 99
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4 minutes ago, Goldenwattle said:

A tip, but is that a rule?

No because there are no reviewer involved.

 

1 hour ago, barefootjeff said:

 

Lots of these?

 

Armchairs.jpg.263f77485c103bfc8dd2f630aeeccade.jpg

Maybe but I already answered why the 0-30 min issue in my previous post people. Groundspeak doesn't test their code properly and no ALs has a completion time of --:-- for under 5 completion since May

Edited by Lynx Humble
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18 minutes ago, HHL said:

No, it's for users being able to use common sense.

I have done a number of long distance multies covering thousands of kms*. Everyone doesn't need to have a WP a short walk from the last to inflate their find numbers. "Common sense" says that as the long distance multies are enjoyed by long distant travellers, so would this AL. It won't get many people completing it, but it will get some (the WPs will be near the Hwy), but then neither do some caches in remote areas get many visitors. I visited a traditional cache recently out in the country and was the first finder in two years for instance, and that cache was not 'really' remote. Different caches for different people.

*

Completed:

Canberra to Darwin

Canberra to Sydney

Canberra to Melbourne

Canberra to to Adelaide

Adelaide to Canberra

Melbourne to Canberra

Darwin to Canberra

Canberra to Hobart (this included an overnight ferry ride)

Hobart to Canberra

 

Partly completed:

Canberra to Perth (next WP is on the Nullarbor Plain)

Canberra to Brisbane

 

And each of them, only one smilie each :)

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19 hours ago, barefootjeff said:

The 61-90 min rating is unlikely to be helpful to anyone actually walking the walk, as it's 10km and takes about four hours. I'm pretty sure all those who've completed it so far have driven to each location and some have spread it over several trips depending on what area they're in. Driving it all in one hit is likely to take less than an hour.

 

The calculation is not magic. If most people complete it by driving, then the median will reflect that. If you can convince more people to walk it, then it will reflect that. It is simply showing how long it typically took the people who chose to seek it. 

 

19 hours ago, barefootjeff said:

I don't like that the start button is now covering the description text. They really don't want people reading descriptions now, it seems.

 

That must depend on your screen size. The "Start" button floats, so content underneath it moves as you scroll but it stays put. Here's what my screen shows on my phone, where you can clearly see the "Read more" text:

2021-11-23 08.46.40 copy.jpg

 

This was done because a remarkable number of people are new to the game and literally don't understand how to start an Adventure.

 

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14 hours ago, Lynx Humble said:

Edit #2 : Hum I think I find the culprit. It's a coding issue because ALs with less than 5 completions default to 0-30 min instead of --:--

Guess Groundspeak still forgot to do some essential testing before releasing a new update....

 

Do you have an example of one of these Adventures?

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8 hours ago, Max and 99 said:

The time finally showed up on my AL app. I know what median means. But I'm trying to wrap my head around a local AL that requires an hour of driving time between two states. I'm having a hard time understanding how the median time is 0 to 30 minutes. And it's sequential so there's no picking and choosing what you do first. 

 

Can you supply the name of this Adventure so that I can look into what is happening?

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14 hours ago, Lynx Humble said:

I also have a strange bug on Android about missing rating value (see attached image) even if there are rating stars???

Screenshot_20211122-222033_Adventure Lab.jpg

 

I see the same bug.

 

Maybe it depends on the UI language. Mine is German, the screenshot by Lynx Humble shows French. But the English screenshots in this thread all look fine.

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This is a useful feature to get a sense of the amount of time an adventure will take!

 

I think breaking up the first time slot to 0-15 and 16-30 would be helpful.  I have found some AL's that take 5 minutes to complete because all 5 stages were within very close proximity.

 

And on the other end, I think having some more time categories above 120 min would be helpful as well.  Maybe adding a few more time categories like 120 - 180, 181 - 240 and >240? I think that there's a guideline/suggestion that Adventures are to take less than 2 hours, but many take much longer than that if the locations are spaced out...

 

One more comment: why is it still called an Adventure LAB cache?  Why not just an Adventure cache?  The lab part is probably confusing for a lot of people (it kind of is for me, and I'm a more experienced geocacher).  I think this experiment has been developed well beyond the "lab" stage?

It's confusing because the terms "Adventure Lab" and "Adventure" are used interchangeably.  Go to the profile page on the app and everything is simply referred to as an "Adventure".  Go to the forums, go to the online Adventure web pages, go to the terms of use, everything is called "Adventure Lab".  

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Here is one to look at: https://adventurelab.page.link/AT3P

 

The app shows it as taking 0-30 min.

 

The lab owner describes it this way:

This Adventure Lab is NOT a walking adventure, but rather an adventure of LONG, scenic drives! If you do not like long drives, or waypoints that take you far out into the woods, this Adventure Lab is NOT for you! Completing it in multiple days works best for this Adventure! (Min. of 2 days ~ Day 1: Rock Creek, California Creek, Little Spokane. Day 2: Mill Creek, LeClerc Creek, Bonus Cache.)

 

When I did it I took 3 days, spaced out over a couple of months. I don't believe anyone has done it in less than two days but I could be wrong.

 

 

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Thank you for your feedback, particularly for sharing bug screenshots and repro steps, and for sharing specific Adventure Titles and details when the time to complete an Adventure estimate seems particularly off. We are watching this experimental feature release closely and we are investigating optimizations that can be made to improve the algorithm. 

 

Additionally, we are working on a bug fix for the count of Reviews that are displaying, in some languages, as "[Missing {{rating}} value]]". 

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22 minutes ago, Oceansazul said:

Thank you for your feedback, particularly for sharing bug screenshots and repro steps, and for sharing specific Adventure Titles and details when the time to complete an Adventure estimate seems particlarly off. We are watching this experimental feature release closely and we are investigating optimizations that can be made to improve the algorithm. 

 

Additionally, we are working on a bug fix for the count of Reviews that are displaying, in some languages, as "[Missing {{rating}} value]]". 

Well the bug to fix for the time off is super easy. Like I said before those under 5 completion default to 0-30 min instead of --:-- ......

 

Screenshot_20211123-153406_Adventure Lab.jpg

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3 hours ago, Moun10Bike said:

The calculation is not magic. If most people complete it by driving, then the median will reflect that. If you can convince more people to walk it, then it will reflect that. It is simply showing how long it typically took the people who chose to seek it. 

 

I realise that, I'm just making the point that the median completion time isn't very meaningful if there are a variety of ways to travel between locations. What I'd find much more helpful in getting a sense of how long an AL is likely to take would simply be a scale on the map that shows the locations.

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The times on my Adventure Labs seem accurate. People complain about the one that is spread out and takes well over two hours. It's five enjoyable hikes, and the description says that.

 

I finished a spread out lab yesterday where I found the first spot January 13 and the last two spots November 22

 

For many of the labs I've done, I've already found nearby caches. But how does the time adjust for whether people are caching while they are labbing?

 

I'd like to have the actual median time rather than buckets. But I suppose having the bucket of "over two hours" is sufficient. Let people who want them compact avoid those.

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2 hours ago, Oceansazul said:

We are investigating the bug report when the time displayed is defaulting to 0-30 min when it should be '--:--", when there are less than 5 completions. Thank you for this report.  

Thanks.

 

Just to add that Animal Climbers of North East Victoria has 13 reviews, and still defaults to 0-30 min.

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3 hours ago, HHL said:

Not if one uses a FakeGPS app to complete the AdLab.

Even if you use a fake GPS it still takes over an hour to drive from Wodonga to Mount Beauty.

 

A Harrier jump-jet would be quicker, though

Edited by Gill & Tony
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