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Geocaching Growth


fizzymagic
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But the semi-log plot can give us a limit on how early we might reach the magic number. Assuming exponential growth, it looks to me like we could hit is as early as October. Perhaps we should start a pool?

 

Interesting new data, I hope.

Thanks fizzy, for sharing your scientific insight, as always. :rolleyes:

 

For people concerned about the end of 6 letter waypoints (old eTrex and Geko users), be sure to look around for software tools that can automate changes to waypoint names (GCxxxxx --> xxxxx) like GSAK and GPX Spinner.

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Looks like it is time to update the graphs. I did it a few times during the run-up to the Great Digit Addition, but I didn't update everything like I should have. So now the time has come.

 

First, the growth in the number of caches out there (or at least submitted):

Caches0307.gif

 

A semilog plot shows that it is still sub-exponential:

LogCaches0307.gif

 

The number of accounts, however, has really increased dramatically:

Users0307.gif

 

In fact, if you look at the square root of the number of accounts, which used to be linear, you can see something happen about the middle of 2005:

SqrtUsers0307.gif

 

In fact, it almost looks like growth in user accounts is approaching exponential:

LogUsers0307.gif

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Lil Devil poked me and I realize it has been a long time since I updated these graphs. So I did it tonight.

 

Here's the number of caches:

GrowthCaches_2-6-2009.gif

 

The number of registered cachers:

GrowthUsers_2-6-2009.gif

 

And the number of logs:

GrowthLogs_2-6-2009.gif

 

There is no point doing linear scales any more; all three have become close to exponential, though not quite.

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In fact, if you look at the square root of the number of accounts, which used to be linear, you can see something happen about the middle of 2005:

 

So, in retrospect, any idea what happened in 2005 to cause the increased rate in the number of new accounts? Something GC did? Something a GPS manufacturer did? Critical mass??

 

Just curious, cool stats do that to me :)

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In fact, if you look at the square root of the number of accounts, which used to be linear, you can see something happen about the middle of 2005:

 

So, in retrospect, any idea what happened in 2005 to cause the increased rate in the number of new accounts? Something GC did? Something a GPS manufacturer did? Critical mass??

 

Just curious, cool stats do that to me :)

One possibility is that is when you could no longer change your account name. People who wanted to rename their account would have to create a new account and copy logs from the old account to the new one. This would have resulted in an increase in the number of accounts and logs. Later they changed so you could request your account be renamed, but many people still find the old forum posts suggesting you just start a new account so they keep doing it.

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When was it that you had to login under an account in order to see the cache coordinates? That could also explain a rise in the rate of new account creation.

I think Keystone probably has it. IIRC, it was around then that you had to start logging in to see the coordinates.

 

What is interesting is that there is no corresponding increase in cache placements or logs at the same time.

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Thanks FizzyMagic! This is very interesting data. It looks like the current trend is showing that the number of accounts is increasing by a factor of 10 about every five years. I also have noticed that a much higher percentage of people have heard of geocaching nowadays. Five or six years ago when I mentioned geocaching to friends or coworkers the common reaction was "GEO WHAT?" :)

Edited by TrailGators
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I also wonder if the number of new logs might be a reflection of the number of event caches being hosted in recent years. One event can quickly rack up many logs. This is especially so if you are in a region where multiple-logging of events for each "event-only cache" is considered acceptable practice. It seems that there are more and more events every year. More players, more people that want to get everyone together. Just a thought.

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I see what he's getting at. Here I am Mr Deadbeat Cacher (hypothetically) and I've left all or most of my caches for dead. I've moved to the center of the Earth or Mars where there are no caches... well... yet. Anyway, if someone hits my cache or moves my TB then I get an e-mail and while I don't geocache anymore and have no intentions to I still follow the links provided in the e-mail to read the log on the cache page... because reading the e-mail version isn't as pretty. There's an example of an inactive cacher who's last activity date could be as recent as 20 seconds ago... ehh?

Chances are though that Mr. Deadbeat cacher isn't bothering to log into the site first, just following the links. If he's not logged in it doesn't count. I don't know how long the login cookies could potentially stick around, though.

How long does the site remember your login. I'm logged in every time I visit.

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When was it that you had to login under an account in order to see the cache coordinates? That could also explain a rise in the rate of new account creation.

 

Thank you Fizzy for updating your charts! I always enjoy looking through this thread when it's bumped.

So the players could have already been there, just not logging in or writing logs?

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I see what he's getting at. Here I am Mr Deadbeat Cacher (hypothetically) and I've left all or most of my caches for dead. I've moved to the center of the Earth or Mars where there are no caches... well... yet. Anyway, if someone hits my cache or moves my TB then I get an e-mail and while I don't geocache anymore and have no intentions to I still follow the links provided in the e-mail to read the log on the cache page... because reading the e-mail version isn't as pretty. There's an example of an inactive cacher who's last activity date could be as recent as 20 seconds ago... ehh?

Chances are though that Mr. Deadbeat cacher isn't bothering to log into the site first, just following the links. If he's not logged in it doesn't count. I don't know how long the login cookies could potentially stick around, though.

How long does the site remember your login. I'm logged in every time I visit.

 

Now or in 2003?

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I haven't read all the threads... (graphs make my head hurt) and I apologize if this has been asked already....

 

What are the TOP 10 areas most saturated with caches? And whether or not it can be narrowed down to a state/county level? Or whether its east coast vs west coast, countries....

 

Don't worry about figuring this out unless you 'enjoy' doing it. Wasn't meant to be more work for ya...was just curious.

 

Awesome work you've done already!! Did I mention, graphs make my head hurt? (LOL)

Edited by Lieblweb
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