Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 1
briansnat

New "log Your Visit" Option

Recommended Posts

I'd like to see a new log option in addition to the" found it", "didn't find it", "note" and "archive" options. It would be a cache owner maintenance option, showing that the cache had recently been visited by the owner.

 

The reason for this is that a lot of people are hesitant to hunt a cache that hasn't been found for a while and will ignore caches haven't been found for x number of days according to the search page.

 

Many people use the "note" option to log their maint visits, but this doesn't update the last found date. So in reality the cache may have been found recently (albeit by the owner), but the search page still says that the cache hasn't been found for x number of days.

Edited by briansnat

Share this post


Link to post

The idea has merit, but I write to point out a pitfall: In several localities, there are games or friendly competitions that depend on the "last found date." The best known of these is Skydiver's points system in Montana. You receive more points for finding a cache that has not been found for six months than for one that was last found a week ago.

 

Here in the Pittsburgh area, we have a "Last to Find" contest that encourages people to seek out the caches which have gone the longest without being found. Each cache receives a write-up on our local geocaching forum, saying who found it last and why it is so darn hard to find. The geocacher who finds one of the three featured caches gets their name added to a hall of fame.

 

Updating the last found date for an owner's maintenance visit would make it more difficult to conduct these fun little side competitions.

Share this post


Link to post

I agree. This is a good idea, and one whose merits outweigh any inconvenience to some "fun little side competitions".

 

I'd also like to see a new data element added to the GPX file:

 

<Groundspeak:last_found_date> </Groundspeak:last_found_date>

 

It's not always possible to determine when the last found date is from examining the last 5 logs.

Edited by Prime Suspect

Share this post


Link to post

Well, if you're going to change the software anyway, then you might as well change it and keep both groups happy. You could have a "last maintenace date" (in addition to the normal last-found-date). Then, the Skydiver games would still work, and other query tools could be modified to check for either date.

Share this post


Link to post

Our group has just started a game similar to what Leprecaun has posted (well, we plagerized him a bit, actually! But I hope he takes that as a compliment), so I like BeachBuddies idea of keeping both groups happy.

 

Janine

Cacheola Crew

Share this post


Link to post

I agree with BrianSnat and PrimeSuspect.

 

A way for owners to show that the cache has been visited recently would be a GREAT addition.

 

southdeltan

Share this post


Link to post

Is the problem the last date found, or that people don't read the logs? It seems to be fixing an issue whos solution is the same as several others. Read the cache page before you hunt for the cache. Pocket queries post the last 5 logs including a mainenance note.

Share this post


Link to post

Smart cache owners post maintenance visits in the cahce description so that those notes don't scroll down deep in the online logs if they were to post 'em in the logs. It would be nice though if there was a feature that allowed the cache owner to enter the last maintanence date and have it show up on the search pages. That way, the last found could still be as it currently is.

Share this post


Link to post

I'm also for a way to ascertain if the cache has been maintained. I just spent a couple hours looking for a cache that hadn't been visited for a couple months, couldn't find it, logged that, and nothing more has happened. I don't think the owner is even aware of the problem. I would not have wasted the time to look for it if I knew the owner wasn't watching it.

frefel

Share this post


Link to post

I like the idea, I try to maintain my caches regularly, but I can't help noting how many Cache Cuckoos there are, meaning those who put out a cache in some kind of shoddy gladware or take out food container, with no intention of ever revisiting the cache to maintain it. People like Brian will replace the container and add fresh items, but the cache remains in the name of the feckless cacher. Some cache cuckoos will put out one or two and disappear, while I can think of at least one in our area who has been doing this for three years.

Share this post


Link to post
Smart cache owners post maintenance visits in the cahce description so that those notes don't scroll down deep in the online logs if they were to post 'em in the logs. It would be nice though if there was a feature that allowed the cache owner to enter the last maintanence date and have it show up on the search pages. That way, the last found could still be as it currently is.

I actually don't agree.

 

If you record your maintenance visit on a note, it scrolls down after new visits are logged. This is at it should be. The logs from the new visitors become more useful to judge the condition of the cache than the old maintenance note.

Share this post


Link to post

While the idea might have merit (I abstain from that discussion), I must say that "because people are too lazy to read the page" is *not* a valid reason to do *anything*.

Share this post


Link to post
Smart cache owners post maintenance visits in the cahce description so that those notes don't scroll down deep in the online logs if they were to post 'em in the logs. It would be nice though if there was a feature that allowed the cache owner to enter the last maintanence date and have it show up on the search pages. That way, the last found could still be as it currently is.

I actually don't agree.

 

If you record your maintenance visit on a note, it scrolls down after new visits are logged. This is at it should be. The logs from the new visitors become more useful to judge the condition of the cache than the old maintenance note.

now this i agree with

Share this post


Link to post

It's not a matter of being "too lazy" to read the cache page.

 

If someone is using a GPX reader like Watcher or Utopia, that has some sort of last-logs indicator, it can't give a true indication of the state of the cache.

 

For example, this cache's last 6 logs are either DNFs or notes. It appears that there's something wrong with the cache to anyone using a GPX viewer, because there's no way for the viewer to interpret the notes as meaning "I've checked on the cache, and it's okay". In fact, it's just a tricky hide that some people find a bit challenging.

 

And when you're looking at hundreds of caches in a viewer, it's not reasonable to think that someone is going to open up and read the logs of every one. They're going to make a decision based on what they see in the list. If the list shows nothing but DNFs, they're probably not going to give it another look.

 

If there was a "Maintenance Check OK" type of log, that was only available to the cache owner (which would reset the last find date, but not count as a Find for the poster), it would solve the problem completely.

Edited by Prime Suspect

Share this post


Link to post

Sure, it would solve the problem if there were a "Maintenance Check OK" log type. Then we'd see that it was checked out OK right before those five notes. Oh, wait.

 

Adding a "last found" element to the GPX data might be useful, argue that on its own merits. As far as the maintenance thing, how about we go back to asking for the "last updated" element? When a cache owner updates the cache page to let you know that it was maintained, you'll be able to tell. In fact, even if they just fix the coordinates or replace the description with the correct one, you'll see the cache page was updated. If a GPX app developer wants to use the cache's "last updated" element to adjust the weights of log types in some "health" formula, it'd be there for them, too.

 

Adding a "Matintenance Check OK" log type would be a kludge.

Share this post


Link to post

Wasn't that "last updated" element supposed to be put in? Now that you jog my memory, I thought it was supposed to be there, but I just looked through a recent gpx file and didn't see it.

 

In fact, I remember that we were going to use that to reduce the number of caches that had to be sent in PQs, right? Hmmm... I had forgotten all about that.

Share this post


Link to post

I believe it sounded like something that was/is going to be included in the next update to the information sent in the PQs, but that update hasn't happened (and indeed, in the interim, more things have also been discussed, some of which also would almost certainly be in any update).

Share this post


Link to post
Sure, it would solve the problem if there were a "Maintenance Check OK" log type.  Then we'd see that it was checked out OK right before those five notes.  Oh, wait.

You lost me there. If one could post a Maintenance Check, there's no need for the 5 notes.

 

Adding a "last found" element to the GPX data might be useful, argue that on its own merits.  As far as the maintenance thing, how about we go back to asking for the "last updated" element?  When a cache owner updates the cache page to let you know that it was maintained, you'll be able to tell.  In fact, even if they just fix the coordinates or replace the description with the correct one, you'll see the cache page was updated.  If a GPX app developer wants to use the cache's "last updated" element to adjust the weights of log types in some "health" formula, it'd be there for them, too.

 

Adding a "Matintenance Check OK" log type would be a kludge.

A last-update element solves nothing. It would be an incredible leap of logic to assume that just because a cache page was updated, that it somehow is an indicator of the caches "health". It could just as easily mean that Joe Blow finally noticed the typo in his cache page and fixed it.

 

Having a Maintenance Check log type is no more of a kludge than the Note log is. And it has the advantage of actually solving a problem. What a concept!

Share this post


Link to post

well I'm a newbie at caching (but not a newbie at database design) and I can say there seem to be some quirks with what counts and doesn't for finding a cache.

 

repeat visits to the same cache seems to increase your caches found count.

Let's accept that some people think that number is a cool stat to compete with (and pretend that cheating doesn't occur).

 

Why should the owner of a cache affect "Last Found" info. Perhaps there should be 2 dates. Last confirmed and last Found. Last confirmed is the most recent maintenance by the owner or find by a user. Last found is only the most recent user. This would protect some user games where cache aging matters.

 

In that same light, the log types available should be limited to the mode of the user. If I'm the owner, I shouldn't be able to put "Found It" logs on my cache. I should be able to add a Note (or Maint.) log entry. I think "Maint" log entries could be reserved for the owner actually visiting the log. Where as "Notes" are just that, and do not convey proof of cache condition.

 

So in short, I think the desire is for "Found" entries to truly mean that, and for them to count, only in the ways that matter at the time.

 

If I find a cache twice, yes other people might want to know the cache has been proven recently. If you're competing with me for cache finds, you'd rather I not get credit for finding something I already knew where it was (a repeat visit). If I'm the owner of a cache, my log entries have a different meaning than normal visitors

 

Just a few thoughts,

Janx

Share this post


Link to post
well I'm a newbie at caching (but not a newbie at database design) and I can say there seem to be some quirks with what counts and doesn't for finding a cache.

 

repeat visits to the same cache seems to increase your caches found count.

Let's accept that some people think that number is a cool stat to compete with (and pretend that cheating doesn't occur).

 

Why should the owner of a cache affect "Last Found" info.  Perhaps there should be 2 dates.  Last confirmed and last Found.  Last confirmed is the most recent maintenance by the owner or find by a user.  Last found is only the most recent user.  This would protect some user games where cache aging matters.

 

In that same light, the log types available should be limited to the mode of the user.  If I'm the owner, I shouldn't be able to put "Found It" logs on my cache.  I should be able to add a Note (or Maint.) log entry.  I think "Maint" log entries could be reserved for the owner actually visiting the log.  Where as "Notes" are just that, and do not convey proof of cache condition.

 

So in short, I think the desire is for "Found" entries to truly mean that, and for them to count, only in the ways that matter at the time.

 

If I find a cache twice, yes other people might want to know the cache has been proven recently.  If you're competing with me for cache finds, you'd rather I not get credit for finding something I already knew where it was (a repeat visit).  If I'm the owner of a cache, my log entries have a different meaning than normal visitors

 

Just a few thoughts,

Janx

I agree with most of what you've said.

 

However, the last-found date exists simply to say, "as of this date, we're sure the cache was there". Whether that date is set by a finder posting a find, or the owner posting a maintenance log, should be irrelevant.

 

If there is a group of people using the dates for some scoring system, well, that's totally their concern. The date wasn't put there for the purpose of their game, and system decisions shouldn't be made because of it.

 

If you maintain two separate dates - last found, last maintained - which do you show on the search list? Or do you add more clutter and show both?

 

As for restricting owners from being able to log a find on their own cache - shouldn't do it. There are still traveling caches out in the field, that were grandfathered in when the rules changed. It's perfectly valid for a cache owner to log their own cache in that circumstance.

Edited by Prime Suspect

Share this post


Link to post
Sure, it would solve the problem if there were a "Maintenance Check OK" log type.  Then we'd see that it was checked out OK right before those five notes.  Oh, wait.

You lost me there. If one could post a Maintenance Check, there's no need for the 5 notes.

Tell that to the cachers who posted the notes.

Share this post


Link to post
Sure, it would solve the problem if there were a "Maintenance Check OK" log type.  Then we'd see that it was checked out OK right before those five notes.  Oh, wait.

You lost me there. If one could post a Maintenance Check, there's no need for the 5 notes.

Tell that to the cachers who posted the notes.

Huh? icon_stupid.gif

 

I think you've gotten a bit confused on the subject of the notes. These are notes posted by the owner, explaining that, despite the DNFs, there's not a problem with the cache.

Share this post


Link to post

I am not confused, but as you appear to be, I must also not be explicit enough. I will attempt to explain better.

 

A log type that says the cache was maintained will do no good to a PQ user if someone, *ANYONE*, adds five logs to the cache. A log type without static information in the PQ *cannot* be relied upon, as we all know. You have yourself criticized Watcher for giving an iconic overview of the five logs, as you considered that overview to be equivalent to commentary on the cache based on information which could not possibly be complete. (As noted at that time, the "smileys" in Watcher make no such commentary on the actual state of the cache; they are merely there to assist the user process the information the log types do provide.)

 

The fact that one could argue for a cache maintenance log type from the grounds that it is now some great idea to do just what was a bad idea before is what is escaping me. Again, I'm not saying there shouldn't be a maintenance log type (nor that there should be), but I am contesting the idea that it will solve the problem. (Granted, in some or even many cases, it will fill an existant gap, however, as it will, by rule, leave at least a portion of the self-same gap it is being purported to fill, it is not a solution.)

Share this post


Link to post
I am not confused, but as you appear to be, I must also not be explicit enough.  I will attempt to explain better.

 

A log type that says the cache was maintained will do no good to a PQ user if someone, *ANYONE*, adds five logs to the cache.  A log type without static information in the PQ *cannot* be relied upon, as we all know.  You have yourself criticized Watcher for giving an iconic overview of the five logs, as you considered that overview to be equivalent to commentary on the cache based on information which could not possibly be complete.  (As noted at that time, the "smileys" in Watcher make no such commentary on the actual state of the cache; they are merely there to assist the user process the information the log types do provide.)

 

The fact that one could argue for a cache maintenance log type from the grounds that it is now some great idea to do just what was a bad idea before is what is escaping me.  Again, I'm not saying there shouldn't be a maintenance log type (nor that there should be), but I am contesting the idea that it will solve the problem.  (Granted, in some or even many cases, it will fill an existant gap, however, as it will, by rule, leave at least a portion of the self-same gap it is being purported to fill, it is not a solution.)

Of course the Maintenance Check will scroll off after 5 more logs are made. But that's irrelevant, because it's being replaced with more current information.

 

As for the static information, that's why we were advocating that the Maintenance Check log reset the Last Found date. That would have an immediate effect on the search page, and in GPX viewers when that information eventually becomes available there.

Edited by Prime Suspect

Share this post


Link to post
However, the last-found date exists simply to say, "as of this date, we're sure the cache was there". Whether that date is set by a finder posting a find, or the owner posting a maintenance log, should be irrelevant.

 

If there is a group of people using the dates for some scoring system, well, that's totally their concern. The date wasn't put there for the purpose of their game, and system decisions shouldn't be made because of it.

 

This is the issue.

 

Having a "last found" date that means "the last time the cache was seen by anyone" is much more useful that knowing the last time someone else found the cache. Divide it into two different data fields if you wish. (last found/last seen)

 

Good idea, Brian!

Share this post


Link to post
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 1

×
×
  • Create New...