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Rating "found" Caches


Mr Smiles
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In the forums and at events, I have been advocating a finder's rating system to be incorporated in the GC.com web site. I can't imagine a single thing that the administrators could do to maintain and upgrade over time the integrity and overall satisfaction of our growing hobby.

 

In the current scenario, it can take nearly as much time fleshing out some caches that would LIKELY be worth taking the time to seek, and it can be discouraging to spend a day simply putting up numbers if that is not your personal objective. The success of eBay has been dependent upon a ranking system and the similarities between the buyer/seller relationship of eBay and the owner/seeker of GC.com cannot be overlooked.

 

I suspect that there would be some technical and administrative challenges to incorporating such a system, but if it were in place, hiders would tend to put more thought into their hides, and eventually the entire world off geocaching would be positively impacted.

 

Do you agree?

Edited by Thicketfella
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There is a fundamental flaw with this idea.

 

You might visit the cache when it is brand new and full of swag. You would rate it higher than the guy that comes along 2 months later and finds a bunch of junk. The cache owner might go out and fix the problem, but that other guy isn't going to revisit and change his rating.

 

Also, I might prefer cleverly hidden caches. Someone else might like easy finds. I would tend to rate an easy cache lower. The other guy might get aggravated when it takes 20 minutes to locate the cache. Do you think he would rate it very high?

 

Sorry, but ratings are too subjective. A number won't say enough for a lot of people. It's far better to read the logs.

 

That said, Keenpeople.com has a rating system you can add to your cache page.

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No ratings, please. Unless the same group is going to travel and rate all caches, it's too open to personal interpretation. I will continue to take along a cache repair kit and do my best to leave all caches in better shape than I found them. Sometimes you can't do much. If it were a poor location, I would never move it. But I am learning some people have 'styles' and after a couple of theirs, I do avoid their hides now. Others people think they are great, but they just aren't the kind I really enjoy. If you don't mind taking the time to read through a few logs, you can get lots of good info. A lot of "TNLN, TFTH" and nothing else can be revealing. However if I see people using the words 'clever hide', 'took a while to find it, great cammo' or 'terrific view' etc. I can usually assume they a cache I would enjoy.

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As mentioned, straight forward ratings have serious flaws. Subjectiveness is the major one.

 

I've been advocating a different type of rating system of which there is no 1 to whatever scale. It a simple system of being able to rate the caches you've found on different levels of which there are three: your top 50%, your top 10%, and your top 1% of finds.

 

The top 50% are basically the caches you've liked. The reason it limited to 50% is so folks wouldn't just click the "Liked It!" button on each log and move. Also, I have a theory that many would hold some votes in reserve to save from having to go back and take off a cache to make room for a cache they've just done that they really like.

 

Out of the top 50% of caches you liked you can pick a total equaling 10% of the caches you've found. Then out of that 10% you pick your top 1%

 

You can then get a precentage of Found It logs where the finder liked it to the number of total find it logs. After a few logs the decent caches should be around 50% Liked It just because of variations in taste. Truly great caches would tend to have a much higher precentage while the lame ones would have a much lower precentage. Being able to request a list of all caches with a 60% or better rating should give you a list of caches that you are more likely to enjoy than a list with all of the caches.

 

Caches that get votes for 10% and 1% get a listing something to the effect "This cache is on 3 cachers' top 10% list and 1 cacher's top 1% list!"

 

Obviously you wouldn't use this as your sole means of going for a cache. It would primarily benefit people who don't live in a particular area and newbies. It would be great to be able to go into a cache rich area and be able to skip the one's most people wouldn't put on their "Liked It" list.

 

Not only that, but if you create a regional ranking system for cache hiders that would encourage higher quality caches as they garner for those votes.

 

One note on rankings: it struck me the other day that the present tendency to rank folks by the number of caches they've found is like a hotdog eating contest. On the other hand, the above ranking scheme of hiders placing the best caches is like a cooking contest.

 

What would you rather excel at, stuffing your gut full of hotdogs or being known as the "best cook around?"

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Sure, EBay ratings are far less subjective. The item is either as listed or not and the owner responds and delivers n a reasonable amount of time. Do you just look at ratings or do you read the actual review of those ratings?

 

Now if I am caching and can’t find a place to park, questioned by the police for an hour, end up on the wrong side of the river, get the car stuck in snow, get the car stuck in mud, questioned by every muggle walking down the trial, chased by bees, bears and cougars, have to walk up hill, through nettles, poison ivy, and garbage, walk up hill (yes again), have no gps reception, the waypoint is off, the cache not put back where it’s supposed to be, and the only thing to trade is old ticket stubs, but I “found the cache, nice view”, what does any of that have to do with how much fun I am having? What if I rated it high and you missed out on half of that? I’d never hear the end of it.

 

Edit: I forgot being held at gunpoint by some drunken rowdy.

Edited by Elf Danach
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I tend to agree with the general consensus here. A rating system is unrealistic because different people look for different things in a cache.

 

What if an a "non-hiker" decides to find a hiking cache? Would he rate it low for the inaccecability?

 

Or vice versa, would a pro-hiker rate a "park-n-grab" as too easy and not worth effort?

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As mentioned, straight forward ratings have serious flaws. Subjectiveness is the major one.

 

I've been advocating a different type of rating system of which there is no 1 to whatever scale. It a simple system of being able to rate the caches you've found on different levels of which there are three: your top 50%, your top 10%, and your top 1% of finds.

 

The top 50% are basically the caches you've liked. The reason it limited to 50% is so folks wouldn't just click the "Liked It!" button on each log and move. Also, I have a theory that many would hold some votes in reserve to save from having to go back and take off a cache to make room for a cache they've just done that they really like.

 

Out of the top 50% of caches you liked you can pick a total equaling 10% of the caches you've found. Then out of that 10% you pick your top 1%

 

You can then get a precentage of Found It logs where the finder liked it to the number of total find it logs. After a few logs the decent caches should be around 50% Liked It just because of variations in taste. Truly great caches would tend to have a much higher precentage while the lame ones would have a much lower precentage. Being able to request a list of all caches with a 60% or better rating should give you a list of caches that you are more likely to enjoy than a list with all of the caches.

 

Caches that get votes for 10% and 1% get a listing something to the effect "This cache is on 3 cachers' top 10% list and 1 cacher's top 1% list!"

 

Obviously you wouldn't use this as your sole means of going for a cache. It would primarily benefit people who don't live in a particular area and newbies. It would be great to be able to go into a cache rich area and be able to skip the one's most people wouldn't put on their "Liked It" list.

 

Not only that, but if you create a regional ranking system for cache hiders that would encourage higher quality caches as they garner for those votes.

 

One note on rankings: it struck me the other day that the present tendency to rank folks by the number of caches they've found is like a hotdog eating contest. On the other hand, the above ranking scheme of hiders placing the best caches is like a cooking contest.

 

What would you rather excel at, stuffing your gut full of hotdogs or being known as the "best cook around?"

The system you advocate has great merit. I don't have a perfect plan in mind, but trust the good folks that have done such a marvelous job of creating a worlwide phenomenon could implement a rating system that takes MOST of the guesswork, subjectivity, and "reading between the lines" out of selecting candidate caches to hunt down.

 

I can't imagine a scenario where some system would not be better than none. The idea here is not to rate caches by difficulty, but by a criteria which includes location, container, contents, uniqueness, cleverness, etc. The ratings could be anonymous and impersonal.

 

In time, the trend would be toward more rewarding caching experiences, and rewarding a cache owner for some extra thought and effort with a high average rating will help us all.

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No, for pretty much the same reasons as everyone else. Since different people enjoy different types of caches, I would guess eventually most caches will just just even out anyway. On a scale of 1-10, most caches will end up a 5, and the rating becomes meaningless. The best way to rate a cache before you go (if you care about that) is to read the logs.

I think CR's idea has some merit, but seems a little complex and confusing to add to the website. I mean, look at how many people have problems just changing avatars? It would probably work well on a regional site. I've even seen it done already on people's profile ( example) with some sucess.

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In time, the trend would be toward more rewarding caching experiences, and rewarding a cache owner for some extra thought and effort with a high average rating will help us all.

You're missing it.

What's a rewarding cache?

Some people think a puzzle cache that takes weeks of mathematical calculations to derive the coords is rewarding. Some people HATE puzzle caches.

Some people think spending 2hrs searching for a cleverly hidden nanocache is rewarding. Some people don't even want to see micro caches listed.

Some people think 100 caches along a trail is the most awesome thing in the world. Some people think it spells the end of geocaching.

Some people think caches in parking lots are great. Others wont touch a cache unless there's a 2 mile hike.

How do you cram all these different ideas of a good cache into one rating? You can't.

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Like G&B said check the logs. I do this look for good/bad caches based on what others say.

 

On other drawback is that a "good" cache can be replaced wrong by other finders - either making it too easy or too hard.

 

I agree with what Elf says about ebay. With ebay there are clear expectations: don't decieve the buyer, deliver what you advertise, ship on time, be courtious.

 

The only expectation of geocaching is that the hider get the cordinates correct. Also that they correctly rate terrain and difficulty. This here is subjective and I don't take much stock it it unless I see a 4-5. All of the 2 & 3 rankings I see are about the same.

 

I do like the 50%, 10%, 1% idea. To make it less convoluted just keep it to top 10%. After every 10 finds you get to select 1 find as a "Top 10%" and give that cache a "vote" Others would see how many Top 10 votes the cache received and how many finds it had. I think something along these lines would be helpful.

 

If there was something like this then I would search for caches with the most votes or highest ratings.

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One more thought - sorry if I am hijacking your thread. On the subject of rating caches I wish there was a separate icon for Mircos. (like there are different icons for tradional and multi caches.)

 

Seems like PQ doesn't work well for Micros as people don't always ID them correctly.

 

If this happend then how would you classify a "micro"? Any cache small enough that only has room for a log sheet and no trade items?

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Sure, EBay ratings are far less subjective. The item is either as listed or not and the owner responds and delivers n a reasonable amount of time.

What I'm proposing is similar to Ebay's rating system.

 

On Ebay each person leaves feedback on a particular transaction. There are two components; positive/neutral/negative and the comment. Most of the time the feedback is positive. Also most of the time the comment is a generic "Fast transaction A++++++ Will do it again." Basically, the feedback is positive if the transaction goes smoothly and you get what you've paid for.

 

Now, there is room for abuse. There are some sellers who require you to leave positive feedback before the item is shipped! Some won't leave feedback until you leave positive feedback before they will leave feedback. Even as well thought out as Ebay is there is room for abuse. However, the ratings are very neccesary to help make sure you're not dealing with lowlifes.

 

The cache rating scheme I'm thinking of is very similar. Only you are limited to giving postive feedback to only half the caches you've found. If you really want you could make it your top 60% or 70%, that's about as high as I would go--if it was unlimited too many people would just click Liked It and move on. Plus, cache owners could hold your log ransom until you made sure it had a Liked It on your log. However, if it was limited it would be much harder for an owner to justify holding the log ransom. (Another reason cache owners shouldn't be able to delete logs, but that's another issue.)

 

Reading the logs isn't an answer--sadly the best answer at the moment--to determining a quality cache. PQs are used primarily for going paperless or at least offline. A major drawback is the 5 log limit. That right there limits your ability to make a determination of if a particular cache is good enough to go after. Second, logs may contain spoilers. So, in order to determine if a cache is quality enough to hunt you have to risk having it spoiled by looking at limited information. That just doesn't make sense in the least.

 

Look, this scheme is not about rating it on a scale of 1 to 5. It's only about if you liked it or not. Different strokes for different folks, but the higher the precentage score the more likely you will like it.

 

But that does not mean you can't go after a lower rated caches if you want. It's not as if it's limiting you to do what ever caches everyone else likes. It's only a guide telling you how many others have liked it that's all, nothing more, nothing less.

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How do you cram all these different ideas of a good cache into one rating? You can't.

One thing you are forgetting is the fact folks will only be rating that caches they've found. If they don't like micros and tend to not hunt them, then they will tend to not rate them either.

 

For instance, neither of us particularly like tedious fill in the blank puzzle caches, so we tend to skip them. We couldn't rate the ones we don't do, right?

 

The ratings will generally be by people who like that kind of cache, otherwise they wouldn't have done it in the first place.

 

The rating will be saying "8 out of 12 cachers who've found this cache liked it." In other words, "8 out of 12 cachers who generally like this kind of cache liked this one."

 

About the only time you'll have cacher rating caches that they don't like are the very prolific who don't have something they'd like to do more. It bobbles the mind for someone who is supposed to be having fun to willingly do something they don't like. If I ever get to that point, I'd rather go see a movie.

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I think CR's idea has some merit, but seems a little complex and confusing to add to the website.

What I envision is very easy.

 

When you are logging the only thing extra you see is another checkbox with a lable that says "Liked It?" Next to that is a statement that says something "You have 5 Liked It votes in reserve to issue to caches you've found. You gain one for every 2 caches you find. Use them wisely."

 

This is the core and even if you don't ever use the 10% and 1% options this is very useful. Even if some use it wrong it would be no less useful than the D/T rating or cache types.

 

Lists similar to your watch list shows you Liked It caches and you have the option to remove it. Adding and removing caches that you've liked would be as simple as the Watch list.

 

Yes, some people can't figure out the Watch lists, but does that mean we have to dumb down the rest of us? We do that is too many areas of society as it is.

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...

The ratings will generally be by people who like that kind of cache, otherwise they wouldn't have done it in the first place.

 

The rating will be saying "8 out of 12 cachers who've found this cache liked it." In other words, "8 out of 12 cachers who generally like this kind of cache liked this one."

 

Um, but the ratings will only show this after 12 cachers have found the cache. In many areas now the first few finds are by 'chronics' who will run over their own mothers for an FTF. These folks will tend to skew the ratings somewhat over the more casual hunters. They will also tend to spend TOO much time discussing the fact they were first, why they were first or why they weren't first, all of which will tend to skew their ratings.

 

Why make this more complicated? The player can go to the page, check the description, check the mapQuest, read a log (if any) and choose whether to hunt or not.

 

If anything, perhaps there can be more stringent requirements for the owners' descriptions before allowing the cache. Things like container size and type, warnings about hazards, camo'ed locations, sensitive areas, etc.

 

More responsible feedback from finders can help. "TN/LN/SL/TFTC" just will not do. especially on the first few finds. Comments like, "Very clever camo job." "Surrounded by a sea of nettles." "Bring your sturdiest snake-bashin' stick." would help a lot.

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I think CR's idea has some merit, but seems a little complex and confusing to add to the website.

What I envision is very easy.

 

When you are logging the only thing extra you see is another checkbox with a lable that says "Liked It?" Next to that is a statement that says something "You have 5 Liked It votes in reserve to issue to caches you've found. You gain one for every 2 caches you find. Use them wisely."

 

This is the core and even if you don't ever use the 10% and 1% options this is very useful. Even if some use it wrong it would be no less useful than the D/T rating or cache types.

 

Lists similar to your watch list shows you Liked It caches and you have the option to remove it. Adding and removing caches that you've liked would be as simple as the Watch list.

 

Yes, some people can't figure out the Watch lists, but does that mean we have to dumb down the rest of us? We do that is too many areas of society as it is.

OK, it seems fairly easy until you start getting up into the triple digit finds (50 votes).

Chances are, the more caches you've found, the more important your input is to the cache rating, correct? I mean, if a person has found 3 puzzle caches, they dont have as much to compare it against as someone who's done 30 puzzle caches.

As your experience grows, your tastes change. I'm sure most people would count the first cache or 2 they did as among their favorites, even if later they decided as far as a cache goes, it sucked. As my top 50% "watchlist" grew I would constantly have to go back and review my previous picks and re-evaluate them against my newest finds. That might not be too bad when your top 50% is only 50 caches, what about when it's 250 caches, or 500 caches? Heck, people with 2000 finds are not that rare now, what if that watchlist was 1000 caches long? Now, every new cache they find need to go back through all the old ones and decide if the new find is better then any of those past 1000 caches on the list.

I think the higher the find count goes, the less likely people would use your rating idea, or at least use it properly. After a few hundred finds, it just gets too complicated. It would come down to "OK, I found 30 caches today, which were the best 15 of those 30?" when they SHOULD be saying "Are ANY of these 30 caches better then the other 600 caches I've found?". So really, the people who are probably in the best position to accurately rate the cache probably either wont rate it, or wont rate it properly. Either way, by not rating the cache, or rating it wrong (top 50% for the day instead of top 50% for your lifetime) the results become flawed, less accurate, and less useful.

Edited by Mopar
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Unfortunately because of Sock puppet accounts, logging fake finds,  petty disagreements between cachers and egos in general this can never work. The human element is the weak point here.

Fake people logging fake finds? That never happens, does it?

Maybe once, but surely not twice?

Yippie, yahoo found it!

Neat hiding spot. TNLN!

Edited by Mopar
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OK, it seems fairly easy until you start getting up into the triple digit finds (50 votes).

Chances are, the more caches you've found, the more important your input is to the cache rating, correct? I mean, if a person has found 3 puzzle caches, they dont have as much to compare it against as someone who's done 30 puzzle caches.

As your experience grows, your tastes change. I'm sure most people would count the first cache or 2 they did as among their favorites, even if later they decided as far as a cache goes, it sucked. As my top 50% "watchlist" grew I would constantly have to go back and review my previous picks and re-evaluate them against my newest finds. That might not be too bad when your top 50% is only 50 caches, what about when it's 250 caches, or 500 caches? Heck, people with 2000 finds are not that rare now, what if that watchlist was 1000 caches long? Now, every new cache they find need to go back through all the old ones and decide if the new find is better then any of those past 1000 caches on the list.

I think the higher the find count goes, the less likely people would use your rating idea, or at least use it properly. After a few hundred finds, it just gets too complicated. It would come down to "OK, I found 30 caches today, which were the best 15 of those 30?" when they SHOULD be saying "Are ANY of these 30 caches better then the other 600 caches I've found?". So really, the people who are probably in the best position to accurately rate the cache probably either wont rate it, or wont rate it properly. Either way, by not rating the cache, or rating it wrong (top 50% for the day instead of top 50% for your lifetime) the results become flawed, less accurate, and less useful.

I would just like to confirm the accuracy of Mopar's observation, at least in my case. Earlier in the topic, Mopar linked to my profile page, where I list "The Leprechauns' Top 5% Greatest Cache Hunts." That list changes *frequently.* There have been plenty of caches that I thoroughly enjoyed at the time I did them, and made the list, only to be removed later because I did more caches that were even better. The most extreme example of this, I'm almost embarrassed to admit. The first cache in our area that was hidden in a lamp post base took me 45 minutes to find. I had never seen this technique before, and I was stumped and amazed. It made my list of favorite caches! Granted, the cache was in a super location, a riverside park with a flag plaza/memorial, and not a supermarket parking lot, but it was still a lamp post cache. Once I found a bunch more lamp post caches, this first one didn't seem so unique anymore and it came off the list.

 

I tend to find caches in bunches. As an extreme example, I have nearly 250 logs still to write from my recent one-week geocaching vacation. I wouldn't care to take extra time to assign ratings to most of these caches - heck, it is enough just to remember which cache it was, and to say something more than "TNLNSL, TFTC." And, from my personal experience with my top 5% list, it is a lot of work right now going back and reviewing old finds to see which ones will fall from or be added to the list as a result of having found so many caches recently.

 

Local websites and profile pages like mine are a great tool for people looking to do just the best caches in a particular area. Add another vote against ratings.

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... less useful.

Less useful, yes, but not useless. It doesn't have to be 100% accurate to work and I think that's the beauty of it.

 

The crappy caches will still not get the votes. Even if a cacher votes on the 50% of the day the crappy caches will still get weeded out. Plus the better ones will still rise to the top.

 

That's not to mention that you don't have to vote on any cache. You can save your votes up and keep several in reserve. It would be a matter of taste of how one approaches it just like many aspects of hobby.

 

So even as personal preferences change and you don't go back to change your vote it's still valid as you liked it at one time. Someone else might as well. Plus, with the ability to go back and change it if you choose, you're not locked in if someone starts putting out some really outstanding caches that warrant the change.

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Earlier in the topic, Mopar linked to my profile page, where I list "The Leprechauns' Top 5% Greatest Cache Hunts." That list changes *frequently.*

Basically, what I'm proposing came from an idea that was a tool to keep track of your top 10% finds. It came from folks coming to town and asking for the better caches around.

 

It started off as a simple liked it checkbox that was private to the finder only. That would weed out the caches you didn't like and had no chance to be on your top 10% list. You would be presented this list of caches you've liked and you pick however many equaled 10% of your finds.

 

The original idea was to do it through PQs--but you had to manually put in the archived one--and run it through some program. (That's not to say any developer couldn't take this idea and run with it.)

 

But as it got fleshed out more I saw the potential of it being more that a simple tool to harvest your top 10%. That being the ability of others to see your choices from the cache's view point; i.e. not that you liked that cache, but that cache had x number of people like it.

 

The posibilites are enormous for tapping this single source.

 

I think folks are making it more complicated than it really is.

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I'm thinking the accuracy and efficacy of this system is based more on the numbers of people that would use it. I certainly wouldn't bother using it, and I'm sure I'm not alone there. So, if it is only being used by a small percentage of cachers, then the numbers will certainly be skewed. And I will go along with the prevalent opinion that the ratings are still subjective to the person giving them, and still open to abuse.

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Clayjar provided a formula for us to use in rating difficulty and terrain which has proven effective and useful. Cache OWNERS use this criteria to take some of the subjectivity out of describing their hides.

 

A formula which provides some criteria for "lame" to "WAY COOL!" would still be subjective, but could, over the long haul, help to discourage placing lame caches and encourage way cool ones. The current method of writing about your visit is proving to be ineffective...for a number of reasons. The new system would be used by cache FINDERS to issue some kudos for a job well done, by cache SEEKERS, to help in the selection process, and by cache OWNERS, to get a clearer picture of what they are doing right and to get a heads up on caches that need maintenance or renewal.

 

Local cachers with years of experience would likely not get as much direct benefit from cache ratings, but newbies and non-locals would find them to be invaluable. Often, the newbies, (and some ol-timers too!) don't really know what makes for a really cool cache...a Clayjar kind of formula and a way to use it...couldn't help but benefit the caching community.

 

Thicketfella

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I'm not sure how similar this is to some of the other ideas here, but I thought I'd mention it.

 

How about once you have at least 20 finds, you have the option of going into your "found" list and designating up to five caches as your "favorites"? They wouldn't be ranked from 1-5; they'd all carry the same weight.

 

As you find more caches, you could then change which five are your favorites as your tastes in caches change or as you come across better ones than the first five you designated.

 

You also wouldn't have to use all five votes if there aren't five that you feel are worthy.

 

The cache page would then reflect the number of people who have that cache on their favorites list.

 

This would be fairly sock-puppet proof, as you would need to have a large number of puppets to make a bad cache show up.

 

You could also create a separate list saying "the people that have this cache on their favorites list also have these caches on their favorites:" and have that list sorted by number of votes from people that had voted for the original cache. This way, you can get an idea of "If I liked this cache, I might like these as well."

 

And since you redesignate your votes instead of adding new votes over time, this should theoretically reflect the current caching landscape in your area.

 

Would this be non-subjective enough to be useful?

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For a rating system to really work it would have to have a lot of catagories and end up being very complex.

 

I've not yet seen a KISS type rating system that can cover technical hides, park and bags, scenic hikes, and urban micro's with a rating that is both simple and would allow users to filter the caches based on the ratings and have workable results.

 

This was debated at ghreat length on Opencaching and all usefull systems proved to be complex in their implementation.

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I readily grant that there are the "lesser caches," the "greater caches," and even the "top greater," and "bottom lesser," but,

ut of the top 50% of caches you liked you can pick a total equaling 10% of the caches you've found. Then out of that 10% you pick your top 1%

are you sure that only half should get a vote.

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Although not quite the same rating idea, you can use

 

http://www.handicaching.com

 

to rate caches you've visited using the familiar difficulty and terrain ratings, which are then averaged to create a single terrain and difficulty rating for a cache. If your idea of a great cache is a "5" for terrain, for example, then this will help you identify which of those caches really are considered a "5" by a group of people.

 

Groover

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I'm not sure how similar this is to some of the other ideas here, but I thought I'd mention it.

 

How about once you have at least 20 finds, you have the option of going into your "found" list and designating up to five caches as your "favorites"? They wouldn't be ranked from 1-5; they'd all carry the same weight.

 

As you find more caches, you could then change which five are your favorites as your tastes in caches change or as you come across better ones than the first five you designated.

 

You also wouldn't have to use all five votes if there aren't five that you feel are worthy.

 

The cache page would then reflect the number of people who have that cache on their favorites list.

 

This would be fairly sock-puppet proof, as you would need to have a large number of puppets to make a bad cache show up.

 

You could also create a separate list saying "the people that have this cache on their favorites list also have these caches on their favorites:" and have that list sorted by number of votes from people that had voted for the original cache. This way, you can get an idea of "If I liked this cache, I might like these as well."

 

And since you redesignate your votes instead of adding new votes over time, this should theoretically reflect the current caching landscape in your area.

 

Would this be non-subjective enough to be useful?

I would LOVE to have this capability!! And I would use it. You have added a goodie to the overall concept with the "Amazon.com" thing where I could see a composite of other's favorites too.

 

Right Arm!, Cheesehead(s)

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If you must rate caches, I think a simple checkoff box on the log page saying "would you recommend this cache to others" work. Then the cache page can say something like 9 of 12 finders recommend this cache.

 

This being said, there is already a rating system. The logs. They'll tell you everhthing you need to know about the cache. You don't even have to read them. If you want a quick idea, just scan the page and if all the entries are 1 or 2 lines, its likely that the cache is a clunker. If there are paragraphs upon paragraphs of logs, you can bet that its an excellent cache.

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Don't mean to sound mean, (No pun intented) but 99% of every cache that we have found have been worth our while. A cache is a cache! Ratings on all caches would probobly just create more arguements. They should be up to the hider and finders of the cache. However, I do agree that they could be usefull to some. If I see one of the indipent rating sites on a cache, I will usually imput my rating, but looking at the number will not influence my decision to hunt or not hunt.

Edited by Will+Bill
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I'd started a similar topic somewhere else and someone sent me here... so let me put in my 2 cents worth...

 

First off… Yes, ratings can be subjective, but the current rating system is subjective anyway, isn't it? It’s based on only ONE person’s opinion, and it seems that some people don’t seem to follow the guidelines set up by geocaching.com. Isn't a 1/1 supposed to be handicapped accessible? Well, I can’t tell you the number of times we’ve gone to a 1/1 that was NOT! If people who went to the cache were able to rate the terrain you’d end up with a much more balanced rating. Same thing goes for difficulty.

 

So, what I’m suggesting is that people who log have the opportunity to rate the cache on the same criteria as the person who hid the cache… difficulty and terrain… and that everyone’s ratings are averaged in to give a more accurate representation.

 

But the other part I’d like to see rated is creativity and/or beauty. Sooo many caches are over-looked because they’re off the beaten path, or might be a little more difficult to get to. But if they’re rated for their creativity or beauty, people might find that they’re worthwhile.

 

Yes, you can learn different people’s styles and avoid doing their caches, but that doesn’t work too well when you’re in a strange area.

 

I personally don’t have time to read the profiles of EVERYONE on geocaching.com, and we don't generally read the logs because we're afraid of getting too much info that will take the challenge out of finding the cache. We may scan them quickly to see if there are a lot of purple faces, but that's it.

 

As for the contents of the cache… is that really the point of this hobby? Not for us, and I daresay not for most. For us the point is getting out into Nature, getting a little exercise, seeing beautiful sites, and visiting places that we’d probably never know were there!!!

 

OK… so what I envision is something really quite simple… as you log your find you click on a number (1-5 like the current system) for 3 categories: difficulty - terrain - creativity/beauty. You can only rate it once and you can only rate it if you log a find. The cache-owner does NOT know your rating, so they can NOT alter it. As someone else said, it would only be rated by people who are interested in doing the puzzle caches, or the micro caches, or the hiking caches, so you'd get a more balanced rating.

 

Just MHO

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I'd started a similar topic somewhere else and someone sent me here... so let me put in my 2 cents worth...

 

First off… Yes, ratings can be subjective, but the current rating system is subjective anyway, isn't it? It’s based on only ONE person’s opinion, and it seems that some people don’t seem to follow the guidelines set up by geocaching.com. Isn't a 1/1 supposed to be handicapped accessible? Well, I can’t tell you the number of times we’ve gone to a 1/1 that was NOT! If people who went to the cache were able to rate the terrain you’d end up with a much more balanced rating. Same thing goes for difficulty.

 

There's nothing wrong with including in your log that you thought the difficulty rating should have been higher or lower.

 

Here's a log left last weekend by a local on one of my caches. I'm not at all offended by it, in fact, coming from him, I'm pretty proud of myself for making him work to get a cache. He's definitely made me work for a lot of his!!

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The last time ratings were discussed, I pointed to Slashdot's rating system.

 

Every so often, a program gives a cacher 5 points. He can then spend them in one of 2 ways: To give +1 to a certain cache (up to a limit) because he found it to be particularly good. Or to give it -1 (up to a smaller limit) because he found it to have problems.

 

The cacher is limited to putting only 1 point of his 5 points on a single cache and for every point comes a reason. For -1 they would be things like "wet inside/damaged container". For +1 they would be "novel hiding spot" or whatever. The user who looks at the rating will be told the total sum AND all of the attributes. If it looks like there's been a rating war (+1: well hidden, -1: misrated, +1: well hidden, -1: misrated....) then they'll see all of that to be able to filter in their own mind what to think of the ratings.

 

These point expire when not used (and are then given to someone else) and the more often you log finds, the more likely you are to receive the next batch the program hands out (therefore, the more experienced do get more to say about what is good).

 

There is also a meta-system that anyone can participate in. Where 5-10 ratings are pulled from the latest ratings and you are asked "is this a fair rating". These would be pulled from caches you have done and the rater is anonymous. If you agree with the rating, it stands, if not it's removed.

 

This is a difficult system to sway because each person is limited to the number of votes they get and they have to be an active cacher (therefore less likely to be a screwball with their votes). On top of that radically dumb votes will get meta-moderated.

 

As to the comments on how "that rating system is too subjective....etc"...of course they are. That's what *RATING* is: subjectivity by the cachers. Every log can say what a cacher thinks of the cache right now anyways. It's our own little subjective block attached to each cache...they just aren't easily summed up currently.

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How about once you have at least 20 finds, you have the option of going into your "found" list and designating up to five caches as your "favorites"? They wouldn't be ranked from 1-5; they'd all carry the same weight.

 

As you find more caches, you could then change which five are your favorites as your tastes in caches change or as you come across better ones than the first five you designated.

 

Would this be non-subjective enough to be useful?      Quote edited

I would LOVE to have this capability!! And I would use it. You have added a goodie to the overall concept with the "Amazon.com" thing where I could see a composite of other's favorites too.

 

 

Right Arm!, Cheesehead(s)

Sure! People love being tadpoles in the forums. They would pee their pants in excitement to be one for a cache rating system. :unsure:

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Ah, found my post from last year on this subject.

 

=====

Unfortunately what makes a good cache is somewhat subjective. Set aside beautiful locations and interesting cache hides for a moment. If I am traveling I have to consider several things: How much time do I have to cache, will I have kids with me, will I have a stroller, what's the weather predicted to be, are there caches near the places I will be visiting, do I have or need transportation. Will I be able to take any special equipment with me on the trip. Etc, etc.

 

I find it far easier to look for a local active cacher in that area, send them an email explaining my situation and the kind of caches I would like to find. I have always received a positive reply, recommending caches to look for.

 

I recently vacationed in San Francisco. I found a cacher with several hides, explained that I had the kids with me, we did have a car and would like caches that would take us to nearby tourist attractions. They sent me a list of about 15 caches I could do!

 

We are a community, enjoy the benefits.

======

 

Therefore knowing that a cache is highly rated really doesn't cover what I need to know.

Edited by Elf Danach
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I think that Jeremy has said that he might add a "lists" feature to the profile page where we could create something like the Top 5% list in Lep's profile page. It would be like the watch list, only different. I'd like to see this feature implemented because I am not so swift and getting links and stuff into mine. Such a list could be used to generate ratings similar to what CR has proposed. You could display up to five stars on the search list if five people reccommended it. It would work in a perfect world but I really do have to wonder if it would work in this one. It might end up being even less useful than the difficulty and terrain ratings and the petty politics and ill will that it could generate probably wouldn't be worth it.

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How about once you have at least 20 finds, you have the option of going into your "found" list and designating up to five caches as your "favorites"? They wouldn't be ranked from 1-5; they'd all carry the same weight.

 

As you find more caches, you could then change which five are your favorites as your tastes in caches change or as you come across better ones than the first five you designated.

 

Would this be non-subjective enough to be useful?      Quote edited

I would LOVE to have this capability!! And I would use it. You have added a goodie to the overall concept with the "Amazon.com" thing where I could see a composite of other's favorites too.

 

 

Right Arm!, Cheesehead(s)

Sure! People love being tadpoles in the forums. They would pee their pants in excitement to be one for a cache rating system. :)

Being new to the forums, I didn't even know what a "tadpole" was! Now that I get that, have I just been "flamed?" :unsure:

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Yes, I believe you were flamed, and my opinion is supported by those who reported Elf Danach's first post above. All's I can say is that Elf's second post is a lot more insightful. Let's stick to posts that are thoughtful and contribute to the discussion. Thank you.

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