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evaluation of each listing


bůbbles
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hi dears, since the number of caches is constantly increasing and the quality has been falling steadily for years or co's often neglect maintenance and/or do not respond to logs and mails, it seems to me that the only way to increase the quality is that each listing MUST be evaluated in the course of the log - analogous to adv labs (5 star system). my proposal: if a listing has an average rating of less than 3 within a year, the listing should be archived automatically. imho the current system of favourite points is not sufficient as they are not unlimited available and do not allow fine tuning (between 1 and 5). 

who is in favour of this idea? thanks for your comments 🙂
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18 minutes ago, bůbbles said:

dears, since the number of caches is constantly increasing and the quality has been falling steadily for years or co's often neglect maintenance and/or do not respond to logs and mails, it seems to me that the only way to increase the quality is that each listing MUST be evaluated in the course of the log - analogous to adv labs (5 star system). my proposal: if a listing has an average rating of less than 3 within a year, the listing should be archived automatically. imho the current system of favourite points is not sufficient as they are not unlimited available and do not allow fine tuning (between 1 and 5).

 

Disagree. Not all caches are going to be liked by any given user.  You are free to choose which caches you want to try to find.

(I thought your shift key was broken but see you managed to find it 4 times. Using it improves readability and quality of the post.) :)

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2 hours ago, bůbbles said:

hi dears, since the number of caches is constantly increasing and the quality has been falling steadily for years or co's often neglect maintenance and/or do not respond to logs and mails, it seems to me that the only way to increase the quality is that each listing MUST be evaluated in the course of the log - analogous to adv labs (5 star system). my proposal: if a listing has an average rating of less than 3 within a year, the listing should be archived automatically. imho the current system of favourite points is not sufficient as they are not unlimited available and do not allow fine tuning (between 1 and 5). who is in favour of this idea? thanks for your comments 🙂

 

You're lucky you live in a place where the number of caches is increasing, for me they've been in steady decline for some years now and I'm grateful for any new ones that appear. Most of the ones on my Favourites list are higher terrain caches that take me on a long hike (or kayak paddle) to some place of natural beauty, but that doesn't mean I want all caches to be like that. A lot of the time I just want a quick find and don't particularly care where it is, and as long as the log isn't too wet to sign I'm happy. Quality is a subjective thing, one man's meat being another's poison and all that. I have a friend who only does low-terrain caches, his D/T grid ends at T2.5. That's his thing and he enjoys those types of caches. There's nothing wrong with that.

 

If a cache is in a poor state of repair (soggy log, cracked container or just plain missing), there are tools already in place to deal with it. Log an NM, and if someone already has and the CO hasn't responded in a reasonable time, log an NA. Otherwise, if the log is dry and the container is sound, why should it be removed from the game just because you don't like it? There's a place for all sorts of caches from the easiest P&G to the multi-day expedition and brain-melting puzzle, and you don't have to find them all.

 

As for AL-style ratings, just about every AL around here has a rating of between 4 and 5. They're essentially meaningless except for a few extreme cases like the awesome ones that everyone gives a 5 to or the crappy ones that only rate a 3. For the rest, the rating is useless and I'd hate to see a similar scheme introduced for regular caches. The FP system is great because they're a limited resource so people can't just give an FP to everything. A cache with 50% FPs or more will almost certainly have something going for it, even if it isn't the sort of thing that interests you. For that, there's plenty of other information available at a glance, such as D/T rating, size and attributes, and you can always read the logs to get a better sense of whether it's your cup of tea or not.

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1 hour ago, TriciaG said:

I can see the abuse now: a group of cachers dislike a cache owner and gang up to put low scores on their caches. Bam - automatic archival. :ph34r:

Yep. Local geocaching feuds would become attacks to remove someone's caches by downrating them. Then the victim gets his friends together, and they downrate caches belonging to the first group. What could go wrong? :shocked:

 

If you don't like the caches others are hiding, then ignore them and/or hide the kind of caches you prefer. If their caches comply with the guidelines, then they should stay. Groundspeak and the volunteer reviewers do not want to be in the business of archiving caches that are unpopular with this group of geocachers, or that group of geocachers, or some other group of geocachers.

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hi dears, 

since the number of caches 
is constantly increasing 
and the quality has 
been falling steadily 
for years or co's 
often neglect maintenance 
and/or do not 
respond to logs and 
mails, it seems 
to me that the only way 
to increase the quality 
is that each listing 
MUST be evaluated 
in the course of the 
log - analogous to adv labs
(5 star system).
my proposal: if
listing has an average
rating of less than 
3 within a year the listing should 
be archived automatically.
imho the current system 
of favourite points is 
not sufficient as they 
are not unlimited 
available and do not 
allow fine tuning 
(between 1 and 5). 

who is in 
favour of 
this idea? 

thanks for 
your comments 🙂
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1 hour ago, bůbbles said:

it seems to me that the only way to increase the quality is that each listing MUST be evaluated in the course of the log - analogous to adv labs (5 star system). my proposal: if listing has an average rating of less than 3 within a year the listing should be archived automatically. imho the current system of favourite points is not sufficient as they are not unlimited available and do not allow fine tuning (between 1 and 5).

 

Ways to increase quality: Hide the type of caches you would enjoy finding.  Encourage CO's who hide those types with favorite points, good logs, and possibly a personal note stating your enjoyment.  Report poor quality (broken or missing containers, soggy logs, etc) with your logs - DNF's, NM's, and NA's as appropriate.  Mentor a new cacher in quality hides.

 

The listings ARE evaluated with log tools already in place; the CO is given a chance to rectify it, and a reviewer steps in as warranted.  The CHS score, though imperfect, is a way of evaluating individual caches.  There should NOT be automatic archival of any cache without human intervention - and the current system allows for that. 

 

IMHO, allowing geocachers to rate caches on a scale as you suggest would open the door to abuse, and is not needed.  I can look at logs on a cache and decide if I want to try to find it or not, and I don't want caches being archived just because some cachers felt they were not up to standards and gave them a lower rating. 

 

I am not in favor of this idea for the above reasons, and others have given other good reasons why this is not a good idea.  There are better ways to improve cache quality!

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1 hour ago, bůbbles said:

the quality has been falling steadily for years

 

I dispute this assertion. Sure, the older caches you find today tend to be the better quality ones but that's because they've stood the test of time and survived, whereas the poorer quality containers usually don't last very long. Back when I started there were heaps of film-pot caches which were always full of water and a mushy wad of pulp that used to be the log. Granted, the demise of film cameras was probably responsible for these largely disappearing as cache containers, but the same is probably true for mint tins which aren't as prevalent now as they were a decade ago. People do tend to learn from their mistakes.

 

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Quote, "the number of caches is constantly increasing"

 

Some areas are stable, some are losing, and some are gaining.  My area, locally (within 60km) is in decline. Statewide (Florida, USA) hit the highest number in 2018, and now is  stable at about 10% below that number.

 

Active caches on Geocaching.com

0,000,000 March 2000 ;-)

0,500,000 Jan 2008

1,000,000 March 2009

2,000,000 Feb 23, 2013  
3,000,000 April 18, 2017
3,151,415 March 23, 2019
3,198,358 Oct 03, 2019

3,179,029  Feb 24, 2020 <---  worldwide, a decline

3,337,499 Oct 08, 2021 

3,362,350 Sept 29, 2022

3,361,352 Oct 28, 2022 <---  worldwide, a decline from the previous month

Yes,  increase, but  look at the rate -   9 years to get to one million, ~ 4 to get to 2 million, another 4 years to get to 3 million.

and now 5 and half years later, 3.3 million.

 

Quote, "quality has been falling steadily"  hmm? no?

 

1) the only "quality' that can be enforced on Geocaching.com is the quality of meeting the guidelines. New caches are just new. 

2) like Jeff I've seen improvement in container choices since I started. No big flat plastic boxes, wrapped in garbage bags, no film cans. No taped baggies.  After some pretty poor coords for a time early in the phone cache era, that's improved too. 

3) see CAVinoGal's post above, the Heath Score has helped thin the abandoned.  Log DNFs , Log NM, and sometimes log NA

 

 

14 hours ago, bůbbles said:

rating of less than 3 within a year the listing should be archived

This would archive any hide not found for a year. That's many caches,  US state of California, there are 1000 caches not found since 2014. Utah has 1000 not found since 2015.

The work it would take to determine how many unfound in  the last year in total exceeds my interest, but you are talking about a LOT of caches. I've owned caches unfound for 5 years. Indeed, my two personal favorites of the caches I've hidden tend to very very low find rates.  

 

I just picked up an 18.5 year old ammo can cache, about 1km down an easy trail.  In those years, it got 2 Favorite points, and 107 finds. Nearby a  2 year old line of  low D/T hides on the side of a residential road,  50 finds in 2 years, and each with 1 - 3 favorites. This is what your notion will create. 

 

An experiment was run in 2019 in two US States,  caches with no cache owner logs, edits, or logon to geocaching.com for at least 5 years were disabled. Cache owner was to log on and enable, or the cache would be archived. Mostly these went to archive. It did prove that 5 years of no activity means no active owner.

Those archives did not cause new caches to appear. <-----

 

There may be some cache saturated locations, Prague comes to mind, but for the most part, archiving caches does not cause new caches.

 

 

 

Edited by Isonzo Karst
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18 hours ago, bůbbles said:

 

No thanks...  We already have a good method to let the CO know of issues, and it's simply DNF, NM, and NA logs.

Proper use of action logs are used to warn others, notify COs, and eventually Reviewers if action by a CO isn't taken.

Telling someone their baby's ugly usually doesn't get the best results, and I could name a few areas that will "rate" a cache from someone folks don't care for as lower-than-whale-poop if given the opportunity...

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8 hours ago, Isonzo Karst said:

There may be some cache saturated locations, Prague comes to mind, but for the most part, archiving caches does not cause new caches.

 

Yep, that's been my experience too. Over the course of my CO lifetime, I've archived 14 of my hides and only once has a new cache appeared within 161 metres of one of those. That instance was a new cache I placed, as the archived cache at the base of a waterfall opened up an interesting spot near the top that I thought was worthy of a themed cache (GC9TW3Y). The new cache hasn't created much interest, though, with only 7 finds in the five months it's been there even though it's a pretty easy 1.5/2.5 traditional just 50 metres from the road.

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Further on the asserted decline in cache quality, here's a real world example of the opposite. In 2009, someone placed a cache at a waterfall in the hinterland near here, which I found in 2016. It was an Eclipse mint tin which was already starting to show signs of reverting to its natural iron oxide state then. In 2020 the owner archived it as he'd moved away from the area and was no longer able to carry out maintenance, so thinking it'd make a nice addition to my Chasing Waterfalls series, I decided to put a cache of my own there. I retrieved the old mint tin which had now lost its lid:

 

20221029_120929.jpg.9049241b19125b73bc082de86d763f23.jpg

 

and, in a slightly different spot where I could hide something bigger, placed a 1 litre Sistema.

 

Container-GC92WV1.jpg.3c8adee009ff557608420f1538058713.jpg

 

That went well until the floods in April this year when its hiding place would have been underwater for several days, leading to some water ingress and damage to the logbook. So I've since replaced it with a Duratech ABS instrument case which seem to be able to handle immersion better:

 

DuratechContainer.jpg.a78e52d49b450f60232cc27de5def58f.jpg

 

I'll be keeping an eye on this over the summer as more heavy rain and flooding is likely, but hopefully it'll get through it all okay.

 

For caches to be long-lasting, they have to be able to handle everything the environment throws at them. It's natural selection at play and the result ought to be an improvement in container quality over time.

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reading your comments to me it seems that QUALITY is not very high ranked among cachers. as long as there are MANY TINS out there: "who cares"...

 

obviously  this as a common attitude in our world: MORE, ALWAYS MORE.

 

greed is a very nasty feature. yet: just my two pence...

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24 minutes ago, bůbbles said:

reading your comments to me it seems that QUALITY is not very high ranked among cachers. as long as there are MANY TINS out there: "who cares"...

 

obviously  this as a common attitude in our world: MORE, ALWAYS MORE.

 

greed is a very nasty feature. yet: just my two pence...

Not sure if you're miffed about caches that are poorly maintained, or those that you find boring to start with. If the former, there are mechanisms in place to weed them out already. If the latter, someone else may like them and they most often do not prevent the placement of a quality cache.

 

The five-star system used for ALs does not work, not for ALs either as has already been discussed, precisely because the stars are not limited. There is no reason to conserve them, so most people will just give five stars to every cache. That's why the AL ratings all tend to be in the range 4-5.

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2 hours ago, bůbbles said:

reading your comments to me it seems that QUALITY is not very high ranked among cachers.

I didn't get that impression at all. From reading the comments, it seems to me that your idea of automatically archiving unpopular caches is the not very highly ranked among cachers.

 

As others have pointed out multiple times, there is already a process in place for caches that are not being maintained properly.

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6 hours ago, bůbbles said:

reading your comments to me it seems that QUALITY is not very high ranked among cachers. as long as there are MANY TINS out there: "who cares"...

 

Your idea is similar as another idea to automatically discontinue the free geocaching membership if the player has not found enough geocaches.

 

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12 hours ago, bůbbles said:

reading your comments to me it seems that QUALITY is not very high ranked among cachers. as long as there are MANY TINS out there: "who cares"...

 

obviously  this as a common attitude in our world: MORE, ALWAYS MORE.

 

greed is a very nasty feature. yet: just my two pence...

 

I don't know whose comments you're referring to but I don't see any saying what you're inferring. Yesterday I travelled down to Sydney (an hour and a half by train from here) and spent the day caching along a 6.5km harbour foreshore walk. It's a walk I did a couple of years back so I'd already found the older caches along there, but in the past year there have been a few new ones placed, including one just last week that prompted the trip. In all I made four finds: a nano, 2 micros and a small (which really should have been listed as a micro), of which three were roadside hides and one was in a suburban park. All had clean containers, dry logs and plenty of room in the logs for more signatures and none of the locations could have really supported much larger containers (the nano has already been muggled once and replaced by the owner). I didn't give any of them an FP as I don't find many caches (just over 1500 in almost 10 years) and it has to be something fairly special to get into my top ten percent.

 

So how would I rate those caches on your proposed scale of 1 to 5? It depends on what I'm comparing them to. Compared to this:

 

20221029_120929.jpg.9049241b19125b73bc082de86d763f23.jpg

 

they'd all be a 5, but compared to this:

 

Destination.jpg.fb1b67074473ec8cdc33de22f28603bf.jpg

 

probably a 2. Yet even so, I don't think they should be archived, because if that had happened it would have been a day with no cache finds.

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