Jump to content

Terrain and Difficulty Rating Software?


Guest brokenwing
Followers 0

Recommended Posts

Guest brokenwing

As a result of discussions here on the forums on the subject of cache ratings, a proposed system was mostly agreed upon. Click here to read the posts:

http://forums.Groundspeak.com/ubb/Forum2/HTML/000456.html

 

Since Jeremy said he intended to post these ratings on the geocaching.com web site, I guess they can be considered semi-official recommendations. As such, some folks thought we needed an automated way to rate caches. Others thought such a program would be overly difficult to program. I took this as a challenge.

 

I have since created the Geocaching Cache Rating System. If you think this would be useful, feel free to download it here:

http://www.cordianet.com/snd/GCRS.zip

 

Let me know what you think.

 

Thanks,

Brokenwing

Link to comment
Guest Robereno

Not bad. It rated my last cache a little easier than I did. I had taken some criticism for not rating my previous cache as difficult enough so I may have been over compensating. Your program seems like a good way to compare my subjective impressions to a baseline reference point. Kind of a way to double check my initial impressions and make sure I?m in the ball park.

Link to comment
Guest Jerrold21

Amazing! Great Job, I had also started trying to put a rating calculator together. I am a little embarrassed of mine now seeing what you were able to do. In a short amount of time too. Once again Amazing! and Thank you very much. JERRY

Link to comment
Guest rusty

Very nice, I just tried it to rate my last cache which I put at 2/2 and your program came up with 2.5/2 I could easily accept that. The nice thing about all this is that we should be able to get more consistancy in rating accross all caches anywhere.

 

I'm still amazed that this subject was torn down and reworked so quickly to come up with a consensus of agreement from most cachers. The most surprising part was that some of the best ideas came from a newbie to these to the message boards here. Good job Brokenwing, kudos also to Scout and Markwell and others that first started to define the guidelines that ulimately were tweaked into this system. A commitee acutally came up with a real idea, the next thing you know the weatherman will be right about the forecast... nah.

 

Rusty...

Link to comment
Guest jaeger

shape hikers who probably have the ability to determine difficulty without a scale of any kind and can handle it even if they are mislead by the rating?

Second, the 5 rating for "special equipment". A hunt that requires a boat may be one I could take my 85 year old mother on. The need for special equipment should be noted but doesn't really equate to difficulty. Whether I need to arrive by boat or have a metal detector has NOTHING to do with difficulty of terrain.

Third, rock climbing. Here why not give it a 5 and say that it is for experienced climbers only and then use climbing terms to further describe the difficulty.

 

Jaeger

Link to comment
Guest Markwell

Very nice. Very nice, indeed. Is that a green tick on the front splash? That would be appropriate given the number of ticks I've run across. icon_biggrin.gif

 

My ratings came in right about where I expected, although I will have to "toughen" up some of my terrains. Going strictly by the "Handicapped Accessible" Guideline, I've only seen one cache that falls into that range (coincidentally - one of mine!).

Link to comment
Guest Markwell

Very nice. Very nice, indeed. Is that a green tick on the front splash? That would be appropriate given the number of ticks I've run across. icon_biggrin.gif

 

My ratings came in right about where I expected, although I will have to "toughen" up some of my terrains. Going strictly by the "Handicapped Accessible" Guideline, I've only seen one cache that falls into that range (coincidentally - one of mine!).

Link to comment
Guest c.mathis

quote:
Originally posted by brokenwing:

I have since created the Geocaching Cache Rating System. If you think this would be useful, feel free to download it here:

http://www.cordianet.com/snd/GCRS.zip


 

It would be nice if there was something that was available on a web page. That way, all computer platforms would be able to use it, not just Windows. Just a thought.

 

[This message has been edited by c.mathis (edited 13 July 2001).]

Link to comment
Guest bigmancam2

Great idea! I love the program and generally agree with the ratings it provides. I noticed, however that the program suggests ratings in increments of .25, which is not supported on the geocaching.com website. Thanks for creating this program, which will hopefully be web-based eventually to allow cachers to use it without downloading.

Link to comment
Guest brokenwing

quote:
Originally posted by jaeger:

Second, the 5 rating for "special equipment". A hunt that requires a boat may be one I could take my 85 year old mother on. The need for special equipment should be noted but doesn't really equate to difficulty. Whether I need to arrive by boat or have a metal detector has NOTHING to do with difficulty of terrain.

 

Third, rock climbing. Here why not give it a 5 and say that it is for experienced climbers only and then use climbing terms to further describe the difficulty.


 

If you had to swim instead of use a boat, would you still feel the same way? From my perspective, boating (or swimming) would be more difficult, than say, something that I had to climb/repel to. It's all based on your own personal experiences and how diffficult it would be for the average geocacher to negotiate the terrain. That said, I think the only fair way to rate ANYTHING that requires special equipment is with a 5. Why do you think rock climbing automatically gets a 5 and nothing else does?

 

As far as the metal detector is concerned, agreed, it does not have anything to do with terrain. That is why it is on the difficulty rating, not the terrain rating. I do think that a cache that requires a metal detector to find is certainly a level 5 difficulty from the perspective of the average geocacher.

 

Thanks,

brokenwing

 

[This message has been edited by brokenwing (edited 13 July 2001).]

Link to comment
Guest brokenwing

quote:
Originally posted by c.mathis:

It would be nice if there was something that was available on a web page. That way, all computer platforms would be able to use it, not just Windows. Just a thought.


 

Agreed, it would be nice, and I will probably do that soon. At least for me, a simple VB Windows app like I did is easy. It only took a few hours. On the other hand, doing something web based, could take me 5 times as long. I simply did not want to expend the time and energy to do that till I knew if people would even want such a thing.

 

On another note, if there are any crack web coders out there that would like my source, I'd be happy to send it to them if they feel like converting it. (Jeremy?)

 

Thanks,

Brokenwing

Link to comment
Guest brokenwing

good and accurate way to determine where the cutoff was between, say, a 3 and a 3.5. The way it is coded with the .25's, all it does is count the number of times the user selected the highest rating and count them. eg, one 3=3, two 3's=3.25, three 3's=3.5, etc. At least for now, I think it will be up to the user to round up or down in those cases.

 

Thanks,

Brokenwing

Link to comment
Guest brokenwing

quote:
Originally posted by WJJagfan:

Do you mind if I put access to this program on my web page (with due credit to the author of course)?


 

I have no problem with others using it in any way that they want really. I would ask that if you want to make it available on your web site, that you post it there instead of linking to my site. I don't have much bandwidth and could easily run out if lots of folks started linking to it!

 

Thanks,

Brokenwing

Link to comment
Guest jaeger

First let me say that I am just making comments based on how things look to me. I am new to this whole thing so I can't say that my opinion is based on a great deal of experience. So take my comments for what they are worth.

 

brokenwing said:

quote:
If you had to swim instead of use a boat, would you still feel the same way? From my perspective, boating (or swimming) would be more difficult, than say, something that I had to climb/repel to


quote:

As far as the metal detector is concerned, agreed, it does not have anything to do with terrain. That is why it is on the difficulty rating, not the terrain rating. I do think that a cache that requires a metal detector to find is certainly a level 5 difficulty from the perspective of the average geocacher.


 

Boating could be difficult depending on the type of boating involved or it could be the equivalent of driving there in a car (or even being a passenger). If you just happen to need to get to an island by boat, it doesn't mean that the hunt is difficult from there. Then again if you need to kayak down a class V rapid into a remote canyon...

 

All that said, the more I think about it the more I think the five makes sense for boating, scuba, climbing, or even swimming. I think that a further explaination is needed in the description.

 

I didn't know that the metal detector did go in the difficulty category.

Link to comment
Guest Hard Slate

Grrrr!My winzip is not working right!I gotta go raound about to load it!

 

[This message has been edited by Hard Slate (edited 14 July 2001).]

Link to comment
Guest ClayJar

Regarding the boating stuff, if you can only get there by boat, it's a 5. Why? Because I have no boat. It may be a five minute paddle through mirror-calm water, or it may be like "a fisherman out for a pleasure cruise at night through eel-infested waters"; either way, I can't get there. If the cache is strapped to a buoy out in the middle of a pristine mountain lake, for me it may as well be on the moon, hence the terrain rating is 5 (although in this example, the difficulty would be 1, right?).

 

It's just like stairs to a wheelchair-bound quadrapalegic (an extreme example, but since I know such a guy, it came to mind). It may be one 5-second walk up the stairs if you have the equipment (i.e. working legs), but without it, for our intents and purposes, it's impossible.

Link to comment
Guest ClayJar

quote:
Originally posted by brokenwing:

On another note, if there are any crack web coders out there that would like my source, I'd be happy to send it to them if they feel like converting it.


 

I don't know whether I'd call myself a "crack web coder" (although I think one time a guy said something I did looked like "a web coder on crack"), but I can see if I can get something into shape. (It all depends on whether/when I get some time, but for a project like this, I should be able to spare a few cycles.) Anyway, since my caches are still unhidden, I ought to give back somehow, and I do so love programming. (Any particular laguage this should be in?)

Link to comment
Guest tslack2000

I like the rating program! It rated my caches perfectly. Ever since we agreed on a uniform, consistent criteria I've been using it to rate the caches I've hidden and posted the criteria on my website. I had to change the difficulty rating on one of my caches. When I plugged that same cache into the program, it also agreed that the difficulty needed to be changed. So the program works and I like it!

 

As far as the concerns about a rating 5 on a cache; I think that there are a lot of misconceptions as to what a 5 means. In fact, the only people who understand what a five actually means are those of us who have participated in these forums. It may take a while for this to change and it's definately going to take some help from Jeremy if anything is going to happen at all. Utlimately he will decide what goes on his website and in what format, etc, etc. Personaly, now that Brokenwing has shown us how well a Cache Rating Program can work, I would like to see a page (or link to a page) that is web-based, where people can go to find out what the "suggested" rating for their cache is. Whether they use those numbers or not should be left up to them. But I think it's a GREAT guideline and I think most people will agree with the number!

Link to comment
Guest Peter Scholtz

Good job!

 

I clearly under estimated my caches. Here are my changes as per GCRS (only one of nine was right!):

 

Difficulty/Terrain:

 

1.5/1.5 -> 2/3

2/2 -> 2/3

2/2 -> 2/3

(2/3 -> 2/3)

1.5/2 -> 2/3.25

1.5/1.5 -> 3/3

2/2 -> 2/3.25

1/1 -> 1/2

2/1 -> 2/2.25

----------------

15.5/16 -> 18/25.75 (increase of 20%/61%!)

 

Some comments:

 

1. Swap the difficulty and terrain frames to match the order on Geocaching.com

2. Show distance in km's as well

3. Please publish the source in this forum

 

------------------

Peter Scholtz

www.biometrics.co.za

 

 

[This message has been edited by Peter Scholtz (edited 15 July 2001).]

Link to comment
Guest ClayJar

quote:
Originally posted by jaeger:

Actually I think you are right. I do think that once we give these sites a 5 rating, we really should explain why in the description though.


 

Definitely. A "5" is more like a "see below for further details".

 

quote:
Originally posted by jaeger:

What I don't like about this:

People tend to assume a 5 means climbing equipment is required. Hundreds of folks go to a place like Hart Miller Island every weekend. They might not even look at my future site if I give it a 5 (it would rate a 1 other than the need for a boat). No system is perfect though.


 

Hundreds of people? Wow. Is there a ferry or a place to rent a canoe or something? If there is, then IMHO (anyone can call me on this if they want) it is NOT a "5". Taking a place with canoe rentals as an example, you would not need special equiment to get there. You would need to note that you need to bring 735,000 Martian pesos to pay for a canoe rental (or bring your own, if it's allowed), but provided you note that specifically, it would definitely not be a "5".

 

A few bucks for a canoe rental doesn't count as "equipment required" in my mind, and as long as it is noted, it's no different than having to cross a toll bridge on the way to parking area (and in that case, I'd really appreciate knowing ahead of time as well).

 

On a side note, a couple caches I've hunted have been in state parks which have had entrance fees. If you happen to place a cache in such an area, for the love of Pedro, please note that in the description! (I almost had to turn back from one because I had very little paper, only plastic, and I would have been somewhat miffed.)

 

Now, regarding my previous extreme example, I can only say, "Please, don't take hyperbole literally!" The point was only to show an alternate example (specifically, one that is not within the range of our discussion, but which was intended to clarify by exaggeration). The baseline for Category Five is a cache that is unreachable by a mobile, healthy enough, old enough hiker/backpacker with no equipment. The fact that I have to clarify this to keep an intentionally extreme and unrelated example from distorting the discussion almost pains me.

 

Hyperbole requires the judicious excercise of common sense, and if taken literally instead of as intentionally outlandish for clarity of example, it backfires... I'm not offended or anything, but I had hoped to not have to go back and clarify that I was giving an exaggerated example for explanation's sake, like the exaggerated angles between magnetic north, grid north, and true north on some topographic maps. Whatever, I'm tired, and I'm going to sleep now.

Link to comment
Guest brokenwing

rail(intIndex).Value = True Then

intTrail = optTrail(intIndex).Index + 1

End If

Next intIndex

intIndex = 0

 

For intIndex = 0 To 3

If optOvergrown(intIndex).Value = True Then

intOvergrown = optOvergrown(intIndex).Index + 1

End If

Next intIndex

intIndex = 0

 

For intIndex = 0 To 3

If optElevation(intIndex).Value = True Then

intElevation = optElevation(intIndex).Index + 1

End If

Next intIndex

 

If intMax = 4 Then

sglDec = sglDec + 0.25

computeDecimal

Exit Sub

End If

 

If intLength > intTrail Then

intMax = intLength

Else

intMax = intTrail

End If

 

If intOvergrown > intMax Then

intMax = intOvergrown

End If

 

If intElevation > intMax Then

intMax = intElevation

End If

 

computeDecimal

End Sub

 

Private Sub computeDecimal()

If intMax = intLength Then sglVL = 0.25

If intMax = intTrail Then sglVT = 0.25

If intMax = intOvergrown Then sglVO = 0.25

If intMax = intElevation Then sglVE = 0.25

 

sglDec = sglDec + sglVL + sglVT + sglVO + sglVE

sglDec = sglDec - 0.25

If intMax = 1 Then sglDec = 0

sglTerrain = intMax + sglDec

 

Load frmDifficulty

Unload Me

frmDifficulty.Show

End Sub

 

frmDifficulty:

Private Sub cmdContinue_Click()

intIndex = 0

For intIndex = 0 To 4

If optDiff(intIndex).Value = True Then

intDifficulty = optDiff(intIndex).Index + 1

End If

Next intIndex

 

Load frmResults

frmResults.Show

Unload Me

End Sub

 

frmResults:

Private Sub Form_Load()

Dim strTerrReason As String

Dim strTerrRLvl As String

Dim strTerrR1 As String

Dim strTerrR2 As String

Dim strTerrR3 As String

Dim strTerrR4 As String

Dim strTerrR5 As String

 

Dim strDiffReason As String

Dim strDiffRLvl As String

Dim strDiffR1 As String

Dim strDiffR2 As String

Dim strDiffR3 As String

Dim strDiffR4 As String

Dim strDiffR5 As String

 

txtTerrRate.Text = sglTerrain

intTerrlvl = Int(sglTerrain)

strTerrRLvl = "A level " & intTerrlvl & " terrain ranking is defined as: "

strTerrReason = strTerrRLvl

 

strTerrR1 = "Handicapped accessible. (Terrain is likely to be paved, is relatively flat, and less than a 1/2 mile hike is required.)"

strTerrR2 = "Suitable for small children. (Terrain is generally along marked trails, there are no steep elevation changes or heavy overgrowth. Less than a 2 mile hike required.)"

strTerrR3 = "Not suitable for small children. (The average adult or older child should be OK depending on physical condition. Terrain is likely off-trail. May have one or more of the following: some overgrowth, some steep elevation changes, or more than a 2 mile hike."

strTerrR4 = "Experienced outdoor enthusiasts only. (Terrain is probably off-trail. Will have one or more of the following: very heavy overgrowth, very steep elevation (requiring use of hands), or more than a 10 mile hike. May require an overnight stay. )"

strTerrR5 = "Requires specialized equipment and knowledge or experience, (boat, 4WD, rock climbing, SCUBA, etc) or is otherwise extremely difficult."

 

Select Case intTerrlvl

Case 1

strTerrReason = strTerrReason & strTerrR1

Case 2

strTerrReason = strTerrReason & strTerrR2

Case 3

strTerrReason = strTerrReason & strTerrR3

Case 4

strTerrReason = strTerrReason & strTerrR4

Case 5

strTerrReason = strTerrReason & strTerrR5

End Select

 

If sglTerrain <> intTerrlvl Then

stradddec = " The decimal value represents the fact that you selected multiple items that would account for a level " & intTerrlvl & " Rating."

strTerrReason = strTerrReason & stradddec

End If

 

txtTerrReason.Text = strTerrReason

 

txtDiffRate.Text = intDifficulty

 

strDiffRLvl = "A level " & intDifficulty & " difficulty ranking is defined as: "

strDiffReason = strDiffRLvl

 

strDiffR1 = "Easy. In plain sight or can be found in a few minutes of searching."

strDiffR2 = "Average. The average cache hunter would be able to find this in less than 30 minutes of hunting."

strDiffR3 = "Challenging. An experienced cache hunter will find this challenging, and it could take up a good portion of an afternoon."

strDiffR4 = "Difficult. A real challenge for the experienced cache hunter - may require special skills or knowledge, or in-depth preparation to find. May require multiple days / trips to complete."

strDiffR5 = "Extreme. A serious mental or physical challenge. Requires specialized knowledge, skills, or equipment to find cache."

 

Select Case intDifficulty

Case 1

strDiffReason = strDiffReason & strDiffR1

Case 2

strDiffReason = strDiffReason & strDiffR2

Case 3

strDiffReason = strDiffReason & strDiffR3

Case 4

strDiffReason = strDiffReason & strDiffR4

Case 5

strDiffReason = strDiffReason & strDiffR5

End Select

 

txtDiffReason.Text = strDiffReason

 

End Sub

 

----End code----

 

I apologize for the lack on indentations, the forum deleted them!

 

[This message has been edited by brokenwing (edited 16 July 2001).]

Link to comment
Guest jaeger

quote:
Originally posted by ClayJar:

Hundreds of people? Wow. Is there a ferry or a place to rent a canoe or something?


 

No, just a nice beach where boaters hang out (mostly power boaters). I think that on a nice Saturday there is usually 80 or more boats, almost all with more than one person on board.

 

quote:

Now, regarding my previous extreme example, I can only say, "Please, don't take hyperbole literally!"


 

I was just gently (I hope) poking fun. Probably not a good thing for me to do. I'm glad you were big enough to not take offense.

 

Any way I think we are more in agreement than not. Your comment:

quote:

Definitely. A "5" is more like a "see below for further details".


It says exactly what I think. I wish I had said it. It would be nice if everyone realized that. Maybe it should be described that way on the web page.

 

BTW: I plan to use brokenwing's program to rate my caches. It really seems to rate well and as consistently as is possible.

 

Jaeger

Link to comment
Guest ClayJar

at-have-you, and I don't think it should matter too much (unless it ends up on Geocaching.com itself, which would imply .asp would be preferred).

Link to comment
Guest ClayJar

Announcing the initial upload of the online version of the Geocache Rating System

 

Anyway, it's up. If anyone wants to give it a whirl, now would be the time to do it. Make any suggestions you'd like, and if you see any problems, please let me know. I've coded it up in what I hope is a nicely cross-platform-y very light way. It should even work in Lynx. icon_wink.gif

 

It's only one little PHP file, about 12KB, and it's only that big because I wanted it to look nice. I hope you don't mind that I mostly just copied the text from your GCRS program, Brokenwing. icon_smile.gif

Link to comment
Guest ClayJar

Announcing the initial upload of the online version of the Geocache Rating System

 

Anyway, it's up. If anyone wants to give it a whirl, now would be the time to do it. Make any suggestions you'd like, and if you see any problems, please let me know. I've coded it up in what I hope is a nicely cross-platform-y very light way. It should even work in Lynx. icon_wink.gif

 

It's only one little PHP file, about 12KB, and it's only that big because I wanted it to look nice. I hope you don't mind that I mostly just copied the text from your GCRS program, Brokenwing. icon_smile.gif

Link to comment
Guest leskowitz

Sweet idea! Here are my comments:

1. The boat issue needs to be changed a little in the program. A two mile canoe ride should not be a 5 rating, unless it is in rapids.

2. There should also be something said about tree coverage in the rating system. My etrex sucks the big one under trees. That should weigh into the ratings somehow.

Thanks

Link to comment
Guest tslack2000

I tried out the web-based version of the Rating system. I rated my caches with it and got different ratings than when I used the downloaded program from BrokenWing. I think you need to put the questions back in that are missing to help define the rating better. I seem to agree more with the rating that I get from BrokenWings version than with this one. Otherwise, good job!

Link to comment
Guest ClayJar

quote:
Originally posted by leskowitz:

Sweet idea! Here are my comments:

1. The boat issue needs to be changed a little in the program. A two mile canoe ride should not be a 5 rating, unless it is in rapids.


This has been discussed at length, and the consensus (although not quite unanimous), is that any cache requiring a boat is, by definition, a terrain 5 cache. If there are canoe (etc.) rentals, though, you don't need your own boat, so it does not count as requiring special equipment. (I can put that explanation in there, if you want.)

 

quote:
Originally posted by leskowitz:

2. There should also be something said about tree coverage in the rating system. My etrex sucks the big one under trees. That should weigh into the ratings somehow.

Thanks


I concur. Any suggestions on what the question/answers would be for the tree cover case?

 

quote:
Originally posted by tslack2000:

I tried out the web-based version of the Rating system. I rated my caches with it and got different ratings than when I used the downloaded program from BrokenWing.


Could you give me an example or few? It's a lot faster to debug with examples than to just try rendomly, although I will try randomly (I didn't last night because it was sleepy-time icon_wink.gif).

 

quote:
Originally posted by tslack2000:

I think you need to put the questions back in that are missing to help define the rating better. I seem to agree more with the rating that I get from BrokenWings version than with this one. Otherwise, good job!


 

What questions are missing? It should have everything that was in the VB wizard-y version (unless I've overlooked something). If I've somehow missed something (don't know how), I can put it back pretty easily. As for the ratings being different, that's a bug not a feature. icon_smile.gif

Link to comment
Guest ClayJar

quote:
Originally posted by leskowitz:

Sweet idea! Here are my comments:

1. The boat issue needs to be changed a little in the program. A two mile canoe ride should not be a 5 rating, unless it is in rapids.


This has been discussed at length, and the consensus (although not quite unanimous), is that any cache requiring a boat is, by definition, a terrain 5 cache. If there are canoe (etc.) rentals, though, you don't need your own boat, so it does not count as requiring special equipment. (I can put that explanation in there, if you want.)

 

quote:
Originally posted by leskowitz:

2. There should also be something said about tree coverage in the rating system. My etrex sucks the big one under trees. That should weigh into the ratings somehow.

Thanks


I concur. Any suggestions on what the question/answers would be for the tree cover case?

 

quote:
Originally posted by tslack2000:

I tried out the web-based version of the Rating system. I rated my caches with it and got different ratings than when I used the downloaded program from BrokenWing.


Could you give me an example or few? It's a lot faster to debug with examples than to just try rendomly, although I will try randomly (I didn't last night because it was sleepy-time icon_wink.gif).

 

quote:
Originally posted by tslack2000:

I think you need to put the questions back in that are missing to help define the rating better. I seem to agree more with the rating that I get from BrokenWings version than with this one. Otherwise, good job!


 

What questions are missing? It should have everything that was in the VB wizard-y version (unless I've overlooked something). If I've somehow missed something (don't know how), I can put it back pretty easily. As for the ratings being different, that's a bug not a feature. icon_smile.gif

Link to comment
Guest brokenwing

ClayJar, I think it's fantastic! It looks good, and is easy to use. I played with it some and it seemed to give me the ratings I expected, so I'm not sure why tslack2000 would have gotten different results. I admit, I didn't try every possible combination, but did try many and they all gave me what I expected.

 

There are only two things that I think might need to be changed.

 

One, move the difficulty question to the top. I think it will make more sense that way since that is the order of the results, and the order on the geocaching.com cache input page. I should have done this in the VB version, but just didn't think of it!

 

Two, add in meters to the distance estimations for the rest of the world that refuses to understand that the inch, foot, mile system is far superior to any old metric system. icon_wink.gif (Thanks Peter!)

 

Great job!

 

brokenwing

Link to comment
Guest brokenwing

ClayJar, I think it's fantastic! It looks good, and is easy to use. I played with it some and it seemed to give me the ratings I expected, so I'm not sure why tslack2000 would have gotten different results. I admit, I didn't try every possible combination, but did try many and they all gave me what I expected.

 

There are only two things that I think might need to be changed.

 

One, move the difficulty question to the top. I think it will make more sense that way since that is the order of the results, and the order on the geocaching.com cache input page. I should have done this in the VB version, but just didn't think of it!

 

Two, add in meters to the distance estimations for the rest of the world that refuses to understand that the inch, foot, mile system is far superior to any old metric system. icon_wink.gif (Thanks Peter!)

 

Great job!

 

brokenwing

Link to comment
Guest brokenwing

te of the things to consider when rating cache difficulty and insure tree cover is mentioned.

 

It could get messy programmatically, and make the form excessively long if we started asking questions about everything that relates to cache difficulty.

 

Your mileage may vary...

 

brokenwing

Link to comment
Guest db8tr

I agree with brokenwing that adding tree cover to the difficulty equation would be highly subjective to the model of gps that the finder was using. As incredible as it seems, with my Garmin III+, I can occasionally get a 2d signal from my basement. I have never had problems with tree cover obscuring the signal. On the other hand, I also have a really old no-name gps that you practically have to be on top of a hill to get a signal from. I think the finder should take into account his/her personal equipment when contemplating going after a cache. Perhaps the cache placer should include a note in the description that heavy tree cover could make that specific cache harder for some people with weaker antennas. Admittedly a compromise, but I don't think tre cover should factor into the difficulty.

Link to comment
Guest PharoaH

I have to say, "WOW!". I really like the applet. I feel like the ratings system will cover most cache situations, and more importantly that it will standardize ratings. I agree that this needs to be integrated into the web. For those of you taking cases of canoe rides up niagra falls, etc (j/k) I still feel that the cache description page could have "dummy" icons that show what a cacher might encounter. Eg. A boat, a rock climber, a steep hill, a machete... ASP pages would probably be preferred since Jeremy is running IIS 5, but I bet he could use SSI's to access a perl script. ActiveState Perl is free and runs great on win32.

Link to comment
Guest PharoaH

I'm sure I didn't explain the icon idea very well, so here's a link to a hiking page with a good description of the trail. Granted, most geocachers can't give this amount of detail (degrees of slopes, etc.) but I would love to see an adaptation of these types of icons with every new cache listed. Then you really could decide for yourself if you can do that cache. The icons and their associated text could even be driven by the ratings forms.

Link to comment
Guest ClayJar

quote:
Originally posted by brokenwing:

ClayJar, I think it's fantastic! It looks good, and is easy to use. I played with it some and it seemed to give me the ratings I expected, so I'm not sure why tslack2000 would have gotten different results. I admit, I didn't try every possible combination, but did try many and they all gave me what I expected.


I haven't noticed any unexpected results, but if anyone comes up with any, please let me know.

 

quote:
Originally posted by brokenwing:

There are only two things that I think might need to be changed.

 

One, move the difficulty question to the top. I think it will make more sense that way since that is the order of the results, and the order on the geocaching.com cache input page. I should have done this in the VB version, but just didn't think of it!


I just changed it, but I reverted it right back again after reading down the page again. As it stands now, it actually follows a logical progression:

  • Do you need to buy equipment?
  • Do you need to bring overnight gear?
  • Will it be a very long walk?
  • Will it be a hard walk?
  • Will it involve bushwhacking?
  • Will it be exhausting?
  • ...by the way, how hard will it be to find it if I actually get there?

 

It's basically more or less following a progression from home to the cache. The "Do...?" questions are before you leave, the "Will...?" questions are once you get started, and the difficulty question is once you're all the way there. It doesn't match the order of the stars on Geocaching.com, but it puts the questions in the most logical order to ask them. (Is that good enough reasoning?)

 

quote:
Originally posted by brokenwing:

Two, add in meters to the distance estimations for the rest of the world that refuses to understand that the inch, foot, mile system is far superior to any old metric system. icon_wink.gif (Thanks Peter!)


Okay, I've added metric generalizations. I just put in "<1 km", "1-3 km", "3-16 km", and ">16 km" (those were the closest numbers, and it's not an exact science -- round numbers should work, eh?).

 

That should just about cover everything for now. Tree cover has been voted down, since it is not well categorizable (if that's not a word, it should be). Of course, we're humans and not machines, so if it is actually important to a cache, the hider can easily adjust the suggested rating; it just won't be in the GCRS.

 

Thanks for the nice comments, by the way; they were much appreciated. icon_smile.gif

Link to comment
Guest ClayJar

quote:
Originally posted by brokenwing:

ClayJar, I think it's fantastic! It looks good, and is easy to use. I played with it some and it seemed to give me the ratings I expected, so I'm not sure why tslack2000 would have gotten different results. I admit, I didn't try every possible combination, but did try many and they all gave me what I expected.


I haven't noticed any unexpected results, but if anyone comes up with any, please let me know.

 

quote:
Originally posted by brokenwing:

There are only two things that I think might need to be changed.

 

One, move the difficulty question to the top. I think it will make more sense that way since that is the order of the results, and the order on the geocaching.com cache input page. I should have done this in the VB version, but just didn't think of it!


I just changed it, but I reverted it right back again after reading down the page again. As it stands now, it actually follows a logical progression:

  • Do you need to buy equipment?
  • Do you need to bring overnight gear?
  • Will it be a very long walk?
  • Will it be a hard walk?
  • Will it involve bushwhacking?
  • Will it be exhausting?
  • ...by the way, how hard will it be to find it if I actually get there?

 

It's basically more or less following a progression from home to the cache. The "Do...?" questions are before you leave, the "Will...?" questions are once you get started, and the difficulty question is once you're all the way there. It doesn't match the order of the stars on Geocaching.com, but it puts the questions in the most logical order to ask them. (Is that good enough reasoning?)

 

quote:
Originally posted by brokenwing:

Two, add in meters to the distance estimations for the rest of the world that refuses to understand that the inch, foot, mile system is far superior to any old metric system. icon_wink.gif (Thanks Peter!)


Okay, I've added metric generalizations. I just put in "<1 km", "1-3 km", "3-16 km", and ">16 km" (those were the closest numbers, and it's not an exact science -- round numbers should work, eh?).

 

That should just about cover everything for now. Tree cover has been voted down, since it is not well categorizable (if that's not a word, it should be). Of course, we're humans and not machines, so if it is actually important to a cache, the hider can easily adjust the suggested rating; it just won't be in the GCRS.

 

Thanks for the nice comments, by the way; they were much appreciated. icon_smile.gif

Link to comment
Guest ClayJar

regarding signal and cover that could be put in the "bushy or overgrown" description for those whose cache will, say, be in the densest part of the Amazon? Putting some note or something there might put the tree coverage questions gently to rest. Just a thought.

Link to comment
Guest tslack2000

I don't have my downloaded version of the GCRS on this computer (I'm at work) and I'm not allowed to download it (Government Computer) so I can't site the examples right now. I'll get back to you on that though as soon as I check it out on my computer at home! Chances are I just answered the questions differntly or something. All I know is that for some reason the two programs didn't rate the caches the same. It could be user error...I'll find out and let you know.

Link to comment
Guest brokenwing

quote:
Originally posted by ClayJar:

Is there a note regarding signal and cover that could be put in the "bushy or overgrown" description for those whose cache will, say, be in the densest part of the Amazon? Putting some note or something there might put the tree coverage questions gently to rest. Just a thought.


 

I don't think it belongs there. It really is a seperate issue and relates to difficulty, more than terrain. I'd say, just put a note down on the bottom of the difficulty question that says something like: "Please consider visibility, accessibility, and relative signal strength due to tree cover or other obstructions when rating the cache."

 

Any other things that need to be added here?

 

Thanks,

Brokenwing

Link to comment
Guest ClayJar

quote:
Originally posted by brokenwing:

I'd say, just put a note down on the bottom of the difficulty question that says something like: "Please consider visibility, accessibility, and relative signal strength due to tree cover or other obstructions when rating the cache."


I have added this line below the difficulty question: "Please consider visibility, accessibility, and relative signal strength due to tree cover or other obstructions when answering this question." That should take care of the tree cover question, and I agree that it does fit in better in "Difficulty" than in "Terrain", since poor reception will only really bite you when you're at the end looking for the cache (on the way there, you can always just find a spot with good reception and check your bearings from there).

Link to comment

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Followers 0
×
×
  • Create New...