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Rating "found" Caches


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I've seen several ideas that could work for ratings. I agree that ratings are subjective but it's like movie ratings, if 7 out of 10 people liked a particular movie, then I am much more likely to go see it than if only 2 out of 10. Plus if it is a horror movie and I like action movies, I don't care if 9 out of 10 liked it, I will probably skip it. Many of the naysayers above seem to think it's the trade items that count or they are only into it for the number of caches they can find. I think if the cache search led me to a great park, view, trail or area of natural beauty and the cache challenged me a bit and showed some thought in design and placement, I would like to let others know in a quick rating that, yes, this cache is worth going after. Or no, this was a waste of my time.

 

And for out of towners with limited time, a way to find the best caches in an area would be godsend! ;)

 

I like the +1 or -1 rating as it would gradually push the excellent caches to the top and the mundane ones to the bottom.

At a local (San Luis Obispo, CA) meet and greet we discussed this topic and one cacher told of some guy in Northern Calif. that put out 35 caches in one day! No regard to quality, just quantity. If I spent my time searching for junk like this I would be quite t'ed off. My wife and I have only placed one cache so far but judging from the comments in the logs and in person, we did good. If people do a good job in finding a good spot to hide a well designed cache, it should be noted and in an easier way than having to read the logs.

I am all for a rating system, one that allows people to input their rating or not, as they choose. No one would be forced to rate a cache. No one forces you to sign a logbook or log your finds. That is a personal choice. The same could be said for ratings.

 

;)

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The wife and I were talking about rating caches and I asked her about some of the rating schemes. Seems there is a flaw in my thinking that people who don't like a particular type of cache won't do them. Sissy and I like different types of caches, but being a loving couple who just enjoys being with each other we will suffer through caches the other enjoys but we don't.

 

That's not to mention a different situation. We have found all of the caches in a 40 mile radius and there are only 4 within 50 miles. In other words, we'll do anything if the cache is near. Sometimes a cache will be of a type we don't like, but like it less that it's there unfound!

 

So, taking this into account, what about this; you are presented with five radio buttons. "I liked it," "I like this type of cache but didn't like this one," "I'm neutral (wasn't bad, but didn't turn me on)," "I don't like this type of cache," and "I'm not voting." This last option is selected by default.

 

This solves a few issues. One being having the ability to not vote or not vote because you don't like this kind of cache. This one lets an owner know what his fellow cachers like in his area and taylor further caches to met those preferences--if he wants. I think the other ones are self explanatory.

 

The issue of knowing who voted how can be somewhat fixed by not having the votes show up until there are 3 votes other than "I'm not voting." Then it doesn't change until there are 5 votes, and then 7, and so on. That way the owner doesn't know who voted how. The logs can still seem to reflect it was liked and the votes says they hated it. Hard to hold a log ransom with this scheme. That's not to mention you could watch the cache and return later to change it if you rely didn't like it and were afraid to rate it badly. The owner would never know who did it.

 

Just more ramblings on a rating system...

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The wife and I were talking about rating caches and I asked her about some of the rating schemes.  Seems there is a flaw in my thinking that people who don't like a particular type of cache won't do them.  Sissy and I like different types of caches, but being a loving couple who just enjoys being with each other we will suffer through caches the other enjoys but we don't.

 

That's not to mention a different situation.  We have found all of the caches in a 40 mile radius and there are only 4 within 50 miles.  In other words, we'll do anything if the cache is near.  Sometimes a cache will be of a type we don't like, but like it less that it's there unfound!

 

So, taking this into account, what about this; you are presented with five radio buttons. "I liked it," "I like this type of cache but didn't like this one," "I'm neutral (wasn't bad, but didn't turn me on)," "I don't like this type of cache," and "I'm not voting."  This last option is selected by default. 

 

This solves a few issues.  One being having the ability to not vote or not vote because you don't like this kind of cache.  This one lets an owner know what his fellow cachers like in his area and taylor further caches to met those preferences--if he wants.  I think the other ones are self explanatory.

 

The issue of knowing who voted how can be somewhat fixed by not having the votes show up until there are 3 votes other than "I'm not voting."  Then it doesn't change until there are 5 votes, and then 7, and so on.  That way the owner doesn't know who voted how.  The logs can still seem to reflect it was liked and the votes says they hated it.  Hard to hold a log ransom with this scheme.  That's not to mention you could watch the cache and return later to change it if you rely didn't like it and were afraid to rate it badly.  The owner would never know who did it.

 

Just more ramblings on a rating system...

First of all allow me to apologize to everyone, especially Thicketfella, for a particular posting of mine, it was…unnecessary, to say the least.

 

===

I do agree that it would be nice to know what people recommend but I don’t see where the information about what it was people liked would be made available. For example Cache A is rated high because it’s in a scenic location with a half a mile walk. Cache B is rated high because it’s in an urban location with a two mile walk. Cache C is rated high because it’s a five mile walk. What did the rating tell me other than it is recommended? Sure it’s for a type of cache but aren’t people looking for more than that?

 

I’m not trying to be argumentative; I’m just trying to understand what is beyond just a stamp of approval. Because if it’s only that a cache is “liked” wouldn’t you think that nearly every cache actively searched for, say six months, is going to be recommended? Pretty soon there won’t be anything but recommended caches. Not a bad thing of course, but I still need to know what caches fit what I want to do, then whether or not it’s scenic, or a clever hide,

 

Am I missing something or perhaps I am expecting it to be providing information at a level it isn’t designed for?

 

There is also the survey style rating.

 

Choose one of the following

Terrian: 1: Great for the serious hiker 2: Strenuous hike 3: Good leg stretcher……6 great for old ladies pushing strollers.

Scenic 1: Stunning 2: Definitely worth seeing ……….6: Keep your eyes closed!

Hide: 1:

 

Followed by

Overall how would you rate this cache.

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

 

Obviously my survey doesn't cover all types of caches and if people are using boats, bikes, etc. I’m just conveying a general idea.

 

I guess I still lean towards a local cacher providing me a review, whether that be through a club website or personal email.

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Because if it’s only that a cache is “liked” wouldn’t you think that nearly every cache actively searched for, say six months, is going to be recommended?

Not neccessarily. I like urban micros, especially high-risk ones, but some UB's just leave me wondering why I even bothered wasting the gas to hunt them.

 

Thing is, right now, there is really no way other that the logs--which we know people aren't perfactly honest with AND are limited in PQ's--to know if it's a worthwhile cache to hunt. You can't go back the cache page as we've stopped hunting a series right in the middle because it was tedious and boring even though the cache pages where beautiful. Many of the best caches I've done had nondescript pages.

 

The way I envision it working is you peruse the cache page and look at the discription as you do now. However, you would now have sort of a tally of those people who found it and liked it. It would actually be less subject than logs and more useful. That's not to mention you would be able to filter on caches folks have liked, thus pushing the truly crappy caches off your radar and not having them waste your time.

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I guess I still lean towards a local cacher providing me a review, whether that be through a club website or personal email.

The idea of a rating system has been growing on me--it would be nice to know how many people liked the cache and to what degree. I do pay attention to that sort of information on Amazon when I decide whether to buy something from them.

 

But what it doesn't do is tell me WHO liked it. If Cacher A didn't like a cache but Cacher B didn't...but Cacher B liked the next cache while Cacher A didn't, that doesn't help me decide which cache to visit if I happen to prefer the same type of hide that Cacher B does.

 

In that regard, I'll still have to trust the logs to see what Cacher B thought of each of the two caches to decide where to go.

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It can be done regionally. This is how the Chicago area did it.

 

The problem is that since it's not on the Geocaching.com site, people coming to Chicago may never know about it.

 

We broke it up into regions of the city, and characteristics (Great for Kids, Great for Newbies, Quick In-and-Out, Most Rugged and Don't Miss This One). Every login to the site can therefore vote for 4 regions and five different caches based on the characteristics. It is not mandatory that I vote for all to have it counted. If I don't know of a really rugged cache in the NW region, I leave it as "no opinion."

 

Lots of votes, but I don't know if it's specifically helped people plan a caching trip into Chicago or not.

 

So here's a fine topic in the General Discussion area with several very workable suggestions. Have any of TPTB ventured into here to read them and would care to comment?

 

Doesn't anybody remember that Jeremy DID say THIS?

Edited by Markwell
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So here's a fine topic in the General Discussion area with several very workable suggestions. Have any of TPTB ventured into here to read them and would care to comment?

HUH?

I see about 25 people (out of close to 253,000 registered users) that can't even agree on a workable rating system, or even if there should be a rating system. What/why should TPTB be commenting on?

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It can be done regionally.  This is how the Chicago area did it.

 

The problem is that since it's not on the Geocaching.com site, people coming to Chicago may never know about it.

That's exactly the 'review through a club website' thing I'm talking about!

 

I first need to know what types caches are available, kid friendly, then what is recommended. That one fits the bill.

Edited by Elf Danach
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With all the different things people enjoy about caching, a "rating" system would be near impossible. But there are a few things that could be added to a cache that are factual and could be used in rating cachers. Things like:

 

1. How far from the nearest paved road. If two people found 100 caches each, but one had a total of 500 miles from paved roads and the other had a total of 20 miles from paved roads, the first cacher would have worked harder to get to the caches. Also, could use nearest distance from any "drivable" road. If there is a hiking trail, how far of a hike from the trail.

 

2. Elevation change from the nearest paved road. I found one last night, 500 feet from the highway, but also 200 feet higher than the highway. I was sweaty and dirty when I got there, but it was satisfying.

 

3. In an incorporated city or out of the city.

 

4. Elevation. Hike a mile at sea level and then hike a mile at 13,000 feet. Tell me which one is harder.

 

So here is a basic ranking system.

 

Elevation:

0-1000 feet = 1 point

1000-2000 feet = 2 points

2000-3000 feet = 3 points

etc....

 

Nearest Road:

Paved Road = 1 point

Dirt Road = 2 points

 

Distance from road:

1 point per mile

 

Elevation change from nearest parking spot:

1 point per 100 feet elevation up or down.

 

There are some flaws, but at least these are concrete facts.

 

Inmountains

Bayfield, Colorado

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With all the different things people enjoy about caching, a "rating" system would be near impossible. But there are a few things that could be added to a cache that are factual and could be used in rating cachers. Things like:

 

1. How far from the nearest paved road. If two people found 100 caches each, but one had a total of 500 miles from paved roads and the other had a total of 20 miles from paved roads, the first cacher would have worked harder to get to the caches. Also, could use nearest distance from any "drivable" road. If there is a hiking trail, how far of a hike from the trail.

 

2. Elevation change from the nearest paved road. I found one last night, 500 feet from the highway, but also 200 feet higher than the highway. I was sweaty and dirty when I got there, but it was satisfying.

 

3. In an incorporated city or out of the city.

 

4. Elevation. Hike a mile at sea level and then hike a mile at 13,000 feet. Tell me which one is harder.

 

So here is a basic ranking system.

 

Elevation:

0-1000 feet = 1 point

1000-2000 feet = 2 points

2000-3000 feet = 3 points

etc....

 

Nearest Road:

Paved Road = 1 point

Dirt Road = 2 points

 

Distance from road:

1 point per mile

 

Elevation change from nearest parking spot:

1 point per 100 feet elevation up or down.

 

There are some flaws, but at least these are concrete facts.

 

Inmountains

Bayfield, Colorado

I like those for ranking, similar to the terrain ratings. As far as actually using them to rate whether a cache is good or bad, though, they won't work. 20 years ago, I could hike all day above the timber line. Two years ago, it was all I could do to drive a car that high without passing out from lack of oxygen. I wouldn't mind seeing something like this used as a difficulty rating. In fact, I might start using it on my own caches, and may even start my own list of caches I've found and rate them that way for difficulty. Even so, a cache at 13,000 feet with a beautiful view but filled with dirty golf balls and soggy business cards, expired coupons and ticket stubs, would still rate less to me than a well-planned cache 10 feet off a parking lot that is difficult to find.

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So here is a basic ranking system.

 

Elevation:

0-1000 feet = 1 point

1000-2000 feet = 2 points

2000-3000 feet = 3 points

etc....

 

Nearest Road:

Paved Road = 1 point

Dirt Road = 2 points

 

Distance from road:

1 point per mile

 

Elevation change from nearest parking spot:

1 point per 100 feet elevation up or down.

 

There are some flaws, but at least these are concrete facts.

 

Inmountains

Bayfield, Colorado

Torry: say it one more time please?

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So here is a basic ranking system.

What does this have to do with how much someone liked a cache?

 

You assertion "With all the different things people enjoy about caching, a "rating" system would be near impossible" is seriously flawed as many things in life have rating systems; movies, songs, TV shows, jsut to name a few. People's tastes are varied in those areas, yet there are ratings. Those things are easy to rate by just the number of people who watch the show or buy the product.

 

Caches are no different. You just have to have a different way to rate them.

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But isn't all of that taken into account by the cache hider on the terrain?

 

What people are talking about here is "Is this cache one that I would recommend?" - right?

 

The answer to THAT question is purely subjective. There's no objectivity at all.

 

The best you can do is come to a consensus that "a lot of people would recommend this cache."

 

==============================

 

Here's what I proposed once (along with many other people before me)

 

Cachers could rate 10% of their finds as favorites (10% is arbitrary). If you've found 10-19 caches, you can pick 1 as your top 10%, 20-29 - 2; 500-509 - 50, etc. You could only mark caches as one of your favorites if you have a "found it" log on the cache page.

 

When a cache has a certain number of cachers identifying it as a favorite, it shows as a statistic. I wouldn't want it to show every cache's number of favorites. That would suck if people didn't like my cache, and I knew that it only had one vote (mine).

 

So a cache that has (for example) two cachers that think it's one of their favorites, it may not say anything. That way you don't know if it's two or none.

 

But, when a cache reaches that critical mass of (arbitrary) 5 favorite votes, the cache page would say in some cool graphic (cooler than this one):

1d5a93b3-4698-4400-8c7c-9222a63d56c0.jpg.

 

You could modify your list to your liking - maybe spending those hours when the blizzards of winter keep you inside remembering those cool summertime caches and recommending them to someone else.

 

The next step, of course, would be for people's profiles to show the list of caches THEY think are the top 10% (like I do on my manually right now).

 

Of course, the ultimate end of this would be that there would be a "recommended" flag as part of the GPX export. I could then sort as to whether or not the cache is recommended by others, and adjust my travel plans accordingly.

 

Edit: that graphic should say 14 cachers

Edited by Markwell
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The biggest problem with any real rating system is the problem of coming to a concensus. However, the GGA seems to have a decent answer to that...

 

Every year, we have an annual vote of "outstanding caches". The topics we cover are similar to the following:

 

Outstanding Must Hit

Outstanding Cache Title

Outstanding Cache Theme

Outstanding Cache Hike

Outstanding Scenic Cache (location)

Outstanding Hard Cache To Find, Physically

Outstanding Hard Cache To Find, Mentally

Outstanding Multi-Stage Cache

Outstanding Micro Cache

Outstanding Virtual Cache

Outstanding Drive-By Cache

Outstanding Mystery Cache

Outstanding Remarkable Location

*Outstanding Creative Cache*

 

Once someone receives an award, they can display that award on their cache page.

this solves the whole problem. It's objective, it tells you what was good, and it lets you decide. The only problem is that there isn't a method by which to search on that...

 

anyway, just my $0.02. I'm back to lurking again...

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Here's what I proposed once (along with many other people before me)

 

Cachers could rate 10% of their finds as favorites (10% is arbitrary). If you've found 10-19 caches, you can pick 1 as your top 10%, 20-29 - 2; 500-509 - 50, etc. You could only mark caches as one of your favorites if you have a "found it" log on the cache page.

Mopar asked what idea(s) TPTB should be considering in this thread. I think Markwell's system still meets the KISS criteria and addresses some of the other concerns while keeping the emphasis on the positive. No "rating system" will be perfect or answer all of the questions, but this one seems to be headed in the right direction as a supplement to the logs.

 

Inmountains, most of the things you mentioned are already addressed in the difficulty/terrain ratings. You may also want to check out the Selector system provided by 9key as a graphic method of dealing with some of the issues you raised.

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When a cache has a certain number of cachers identifying it as a favorite, it shows as a statistic.

Ain't gonna work without modifications, because most of the people excited about caches are newbies, and most of their excitement is either about caching in general, or about swag. Not about something comparative and lasting about caches.

However it is possible to use a "cachers who liked this hide (or group of hides) also recommended XX, YY, ZZ..."

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CoyoteRed, I said BASIC, not COMPREHENSIVE. I gave a list of things that are hard facts, of course there are many, MANY other factors. The quality of the cache, the contents, the hiding, etc.... As far as I am concerned, a container with a dry log book makes a quality cache. I am not out to find treasure, if I were, I would play as a day trader in the stock market.

 

I read today where someone found 37 caches in one day. I will give $100 to anyone who can find 37 caches in my county in one day. You can't because there aren't 37 caches here. One day, my children and I set up a plan to hit as many caches as we could in one day here, and we found 5. Then again, I drive 70 miles just to go to the nearest Sam's Club. So what is harder, finding 5 caches over 20 square miles and a 3,000 foot elevation change or 37 caches over a couple of flat, square city miles? One cache we found last year, near my home was 25 miles of paved road, 18 miles of dirt road, 3 miles of ATV trail and then 1 mile of walking at 12,000 feet. We found it. How would YOU rate that? I didn't care what was in it, other than the log book!

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How would YOU rate that?

Depends. You've said nothing about how you enjoyed the cache.

 

I've done some pretty hard caches, Tube Torcher is one. I enjoyed it. I've done Bradley's Bottom in 25° weather on Christmas Day. Panther Tail Perch which is a 900'+ climb. I enjoyed those, too. But I've also enjoyed ones that were a 500' walk in a grassy park.

 

It's not about the technical aspects of the hunt. It's about the idea that you enjoyed yourself.

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...

Doesn't anybody remember that Jeremy DID say THIS?

Thanks, Markwell, for digging that up.

 

This is what I had to say about ratings in that thread...

 

I'm not in favor of this idea for the reasons already discussed.

 

First, its way too subjective. In the Nashville area, many people enjoy easy micros. Since these are enjoyed, they will get a higher rating than a more traditional 1/4-mile walk in the woods cache. Someone who is passing through the area would not necessary know about this data skew.

 

Also, the rankings will often be that of the cacher, not the cache. Cachers will rate the caches of their friends high. Also, cachers who are known to take retribution for any and all perceived slights will tend to get higher ratings.

 

I agree that the best way to identify a good cache is to read the cache page and logs. I don't see how this proposed feature is needed. 

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...

Doesn't anybody remember that Jeremy DID say THIS?

Thanks, Markwell, for digging that up.

 

This is what I had to say about ratings in that thread...

 

I'm not in favor of this idea for the reasons already discussed.

 

First, its way too subjective. In the Nashville area, many people enjoy easy micros. Since these are enjoyed, they will get a higher rating than a more traditional 1/4-mile walk in the woods cache. Someone who is passing through the area would not necessary know about this data skew.

 

Also, the rankings will often be that of the cacher, not the cache. Cachers will rate the caches of their friends high. Also, cachers who are known to take retribution for any and all perceived slights will tend to get higher ratings.

 

I agree that the best way to identify a good cache is to read the cache page and logs. I don't see how this proposed feature is needed. 

At least the retribution factor is non-existent or at least diminished in Markwell's ratings proposal. You may want to note that Jeremy did seem to favor a similar idea. I like it for the following reasons:

 

--Those who don't like the cache won't rate it all/list it as one of their favorites.

 

--Newbies still can have input, but the quantity of their input grows in proportion to their finds (and hopefully, experience).

 

--Some will never like ratings for anything subjective (books, movies, etc.), but many others do and that's why this subject continues to be raised. Just like people are often told to skip "micros" if they don't like them, those that don't like ratings can skip them, yet allow others to still enjoy them.

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Just my 2 cents... What about a "Thumbs-Up" icon which includes a

thumbs-up = LOVED IT!

thumbs-halfway = OK

thumbs- down = HATED IT!

Then people could note in their logs the specifics for that certain cache... That way cachers could, if they wanted to, read the specific accolades or criticisms!

Easy enough....

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Ratings are not what geocaching is all about. Geocaching is about entering coords into a GPSr, finding the box, and logging the find. If you want ratings, go to www.georatings.com.

 

Wait a minute, I think I mixed up my rants. I'll be right back... ;)

OK, show of hands......

How many people went and checked to see if there really was anything at www.georatings.com ???

 

student%20raise%20hand1.jpg

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The wife and I were talking about rating caches and I asked her about some of the rating schemes.  Seems there is a flaw in my thinking that people who don't like a particular type of cache won't do them.  Sissy and I like different types of caches, but being a loving couple who just enjoys being with each other we will suffer through caches the other enjoys but we don't.

 

That's not to mention a different situation.  We have found all of the caches in a 40 mile radius and there are only 4 within 50 miles.  In other words, we'll do anything if the cache is near.  Sometimes a cache will be of a type we don't like, but like it less that it's there unfound!

 

So, taking this into account, what about this; you are presented with five radio buttons. "I liked it," "I like this type of cache but didn't like this one," "I'm neutral (wasn't bad, but didn't turn me on)," "I don't like this type of cache," and "I'm not voting."  This last option is selected by default. 

 

This solves a few issues.  One being having the ability to not vote or not vote because you don't like this kind of cache.  This one lets an owner know what his fellow cachers like in his area and taylor further caches to met those preferences--if he wants.  I think the other ones are self explanatory.

 

The issue of knowing who voted how can be somewhat fixed by not having the votes show up until there are 3 votes other than "I'm not voting."  Then it doesn't change until there are 5 votes, and then 7, and so on.  That way the owner doesn't know who voted how.  The logs can still seem to reflect it was liked and the votes says they hated it.  Hard to hold a log ransom with this scheme.  That's not to mention you could watch the cache and return later to change it if you rely didn't like it and were afraid to rate it badly.  The owner would never know who did it.

 

Just more ramblings on a rating system...

First of all allow me to apologize to everyone, especially Thicketfella, for a particular posting of mine, it was…unnecessary, to say the least.

 

===

I do agree that it would be nice to know what people recommend but I don’t see where the information about what it was people liked would be made available. For example Cache A is rated high because it’s in a scenic location with a half a mile walk. Cache B is rated high because it’s in an urban location with a two mile walk. Cache C is rated high because it’s a five mile walk. What did the rating tell me other than it is recommended? Sure it’s for a type of cache but aren’t people looking for more than that?

 

I’m not trying to be argumentative; I’m just trying to understand what is beyond just a stamp of approval. Because if it’s only that a cache is “liked” wouldn’t you think that nearly every cache actively searched for, say six months, is going to be recommended? [Pretty soon there won’t be anything but recommended caches. Not a bad thing of course, but I still need to know what caches fit what I want to do, then whether or not it’s scenic, or a clever hide,

 

Am I missing something or perhaps I am expecting it to be providing information at a level it isn’t designed for?]

 

There is also the survey style rating.

 

Choose one of the following

Terrian: 1: Great for the serious hiker 2: Strenuous hike 3: Good leg stretcher……6 great for old ladies pushing strollers.

Scenic 1: Stunning 2: Definitely worth seeing ……….6: Keep your eyes closed!

Hide: 1:

 

Followed by

Overall how would you rate this cache.

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

 

Obviously my survey doesn't cover all types of caches and if people are using boats, bikes, etc. I’m just conveying a general idea.

 

I guess I still lean towards a local cacher providing me a review, whether that be through a club website or personal email.

I do think that some have missed a point in this discussion. For all...take away your personal preferrences, your own biases, your somewhat limited experiences,

and ask only this: Could there be a system which provided a simple, quick, and informative way of gathering input from cache finders, that would, over time, tend to maintain or improve the world of Geocaching?

 

In the current scenario, we can glean a lot of info from a glance at a cache page, without reading a single log. There may be one more clue here that we would like to see. Without that icon or message that reflects finder's input, however, we then resort to the logs to learn what we can about it. And here, without a doubt, is where a great big gray area exists. Some people express themselves in print well, others don't, regardless of their caching experience. But just about everyone has a cache or two that they will remember fondly, and that rates as a "fave". How can you share your favorites with cachers to follow, other than in the logs, where your comments soon get lost as out of date, or back on page 3?

 

Not a rule...an option. Still subjective...but not as much as now. More helpful to some than others, but not harmful to anyone.

 

All smiles...

 

MrSmiles

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I would have to say, if we're going to do anything, have a place where we can list our top 10 favorite caches on our profile.

Make it a form where the first box is the Waypoint, then you get to put in a sentance or two about why you like that cache.

Then make it so that it's displayed on your profile, for instance... you'll get the cache waypoint and name as a clickable link along with an explanation from that cacher about why they liked it.

then have a spot on the cache page where it'll say something like..

10 account(s) are watching this cache

32 account(s) have listed this cache as one of their top 10 caches.

 

This way, we're not saying if something is bad - which is more subjective in this sport than in any other sport - we're just saying what the best of the best are. Nothing says what makes a good or a bad cache. If you're 4, the best cache is the one with the best toys.. Or the first one you found before Dad... if you're 24, the best cache is perhaps something more along the lines of 'this is the most beautiful spot I've ever been to'... If you're 44, it's more along the lines of 'looked 40 minutes for an extremely clever hide that was right under my nose'...

Like Lep said.. One of his top 1% used to be a pill bottle in a light pole, and now how many people complain about those all the time. Don't rate them all, just list the best.

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The Hungarian geocaching website at www.geocaching.hu uses user ratings. Each finder is requested to provide three scores from 1 to 5: for the place (i.e. surroundings), the hide and the presentation on the web. This system has worked very well for years now. BTW this website is a lot more advanced than gc.com, with a number of great, advanced features. Although it's true that there are only about 1000 caches in Hungary, so the database is not very big.

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So here is a basic ranking system.

 

Elevation:

0-1000 feet      =  1 point

1000-2000 feet  =  2 points

2000-3000 feet  =  3 points

etc....

 

Nearest Road:

Paved Road  =  1 point

Dirt Road      =  2 points

 

Distance from road:

1 point per mile

 

Elevation change from nearest parking spot:

1 point per 100 feet elevation up or down.

 

There are some flaws, but at least these are concrete facts.

 

Inmountains

Bayfield, Colorado

Torry: say it one more time please?

K.I.S.S.

Edited by Torry
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In addition to all the eloquent statements against a rating system, I'd like to add:

 

Rating systems are great for metacachers who like to spend even more time in front of their computers and play with statistics, and devise systems that other cachers would be expected, or even required, to waste their valuable time on, that they could just as well have spent outside hunting caches.

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Oh, and when I go outside of my own area and want to find out which caches I might like, I look until I find one, and then I contact the owner and ask what he or she recomends. I'll then focus on those, and pick up some others on the way, and will then, on the fly, get to know the styles of different hiders, and focus on those.

 

We don't need no stinking rating system to find out what we like to do.

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Rating systems are great for metacachers who like to spend even more time in front of their computers ...

Actually, it's just the opposite. It's so you can spend less time trying to weed through caches you are less likely to enjoy.

 

Look at it as your caching firends recommending at cache to you, only in a different way.

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But isn't all of that taken into account by the cache hider on the terrain?

 

What people are talking about here is "Is this cache one that I would recommend?" - right?

 

The answer to THAT question is purely subjective. There's no objectivity at all.

 

The best you can do is come to a consensus that "a lot of people would recommend this cache."

 

==============================

 

Here's what I proposed once (along with many other people before me)

 

Cachers could rate 10% of their finds as favorites (10% is arbitrary). If you've found 10-19 caches, you can pick 1 as your top 10%, 20-29 - 2; 500-509 - 50, etc. You could only mark caches as one of your favorites if you have a "found it" log on the cache page.

 

When a cache has a certain number of cachers identifying it as a favorite, it shows as a statistic. I wouldn't want it to show every cache's number of favorites. That would suck if people didn't like my cache, and I knew that it only had one vote (mine).

 

So a cache that has (for example) two cachers that think it's one of their favorites, it may not say anything. That way you don't know if it's two or none.

 

But, when a cache reaches that critical mass of (arbitrary) 5 favorite votes, the cache page would say in some cool graphic (cooler than this one):

1d5a93b3-4698-4400-8c7c-9222a63d56c0.jpg.

 

You could modify your list to your liking - maybe spending those hours when the blizzards of winter keep you inside remembering those cool summertime caches and recommending them to someone else.

 

The next step, of course, would be for people's profiles to show the list of caches THEY think are the top 10% (like I do on my manually right now).

 

Of course, the ultimate end of this would be that there would be a "recommended" flag as part of the GPX export. I could then sort as to whether or not the cache is recommended by others, and adjust my travel plans accordingly.

 

Edit: that graphic should say 14 cachers

When I "browse" through the profiles of fellow cachers, I notice a manual "my favorites" list quite often. Hence, it seems to be a kind of a "natural desire" to recommend caches in that way.

 

The system that Markwell proposes is really "in sync" with this "natural desire" to say which caches one liked most. It is not rating any silly little cache you came across, it's telling which ones were really great adventures.

Currently, one has to look at profiles for the manual lists or extensively read logs to get that information (as far as possible). Markwell's system would provide a "summary" of those logs that say "this one was one of the greatest in my (geocaching) lifetime". It does not require any more effort from the users than many are willing to spend anyway when they create and maintain their private lists - a further important plus.

 

I'm definitely hoping that something along that lines will be implemented in future!

 

HoPri

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Rating systems are great for metacachers who like to spend even more time in front of their computers ...

Actually, it's just the opposite. It's so you can spend less time trying to weed through caches you are less likely to enjoy.

 

Look at it as your caching firends recommending at cache to you, only in a different way.

I'm afraid it's more like making your geocaching friends spend their time making recommendations (the relevance of which which I am not convinced of), just so you won't need to ask someone whose judgment might be relevant to you, and even that only if you were inclined to ask in the first place.

 

It's shifting an unnecessary burden to other cachers. No thanks.

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First, no one is making anyone do anything. You don't want to rate it, then don't.

 

Second, not everyone knows who to ask about what they might like.

 

Third, it's no more of a burden to ask for a simple checked box than it is to log the find.

 

It's not rocket science or the end of the world. It's a simple tool letting others know how many people liked the cache. It's a way quantify the subjective.

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Rating systems are great for metacachers who like to spend even more time in front of their computers ...

It's shifting an unnecessary burden to other cachers. No thanks.

Again, no one would be required to rate or even pay attention to the ratings unless they wanted to do so, at least under the system Markwell is proposing. On your profile page, you already do something in line with this by listing your favorite caches. Markwell's proposal would simply reflect such listings on those caches' pages to help others take note of them.

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First, no one is making anyone do anything. You don't want to rate it, then don't.

 

Second, not everyone knows who to ask about what they might like.

 

Third, it's no more of a burden to ask for a simple checked box than it is to log the find.

 

It's not rocket science or the end of the world. It's a simple tool letting others know how many people liked the cache. It's a way quantify the subjective.

I fully agree with your sentiments. No one would be FORCED to rate a cache if they didn't want to. I compare a rating system for geocaches to one like is used for IMDS, the internet movie database website. I can choose to input my ratings or just browse what others have input. Movies are also a subjective thing to rate but I find the ratings quite useful. Seeing I don't go to horror movies, I don't rate them and don't care if one has a high rating or not because it doesn't matter. I don't go to horror movies. But adventure or comedies with high ratings I would more likely go see than ones that have consistantly low ratings.

 

I recently had a few days in Minnesota and Wisconsin and did a bit of caching there but woud have loved a rating system to check out the best in the area. I didn't have the time, as some here would have me do, to locate a number of caches, see which ones I liked and contact a local cacher for his or her input. And yes, I spend as much time on the computer as I do out looking but I have neither the young feet and legs of a 20-30 year old nor do I have lots of time to spare on my weekends. I DO have time in the evenings to browse arond and maybe find some good caches I can do on my limited weekend time.

 

So what would it hurt, to have a simple system to give a +, -, or neutral rating to one or two catagories, IF I wanted to, to give a simple rating score to the caches I visit.

 

AND to KISS as one guy keeps saying over and over again, he doesn't have to rate it, and he doesn't have to read the rating. Is that simple enough?

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I don't think Groundspeak/Geocache wants to just lay back and let the site eventually get surpassed and relagated to a has been site. All sites that are numero uno always have to be looking over their shoulder or someone else will build a better site and eat their lunch. (Remember Alata Vista or Lycos search engines?)

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I don't think Groundspeak/Geocache wants to just lay back and let the site eventually get surpassed and relagated to a has been site. All sites that are numero uno always have to be looking over their shoulder or someone else will build a better site and eat their lunch. (Remember Alata Vista or Lycos search engines?)

Well, I'm not worried about that happening. Have you looked at the competition? Besides, a rating system on caches that only a handful would use, and the other handful would abuse isn't gonna be a deciding factor in the success of this site. Oh, yeah....that's funny! :P

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I don't think Groundspeak/Geocache wants to just lay back and let the site eventually get surpassed and relagated to a has been site. All sites that are numero uno always have to be looking over their shoulder or someone else will build a better site and eat their lunch. (Remember Alata Vista or Lycos search engines?)

Well, I'm not worried about that happening. Have you looked at the competition? Besides, a rating system on caches that only a handful would use, and the other handful would abuse isn't gonna be a deciding factor in the success of this site. Oh, yeah....that's funny! :P

And how can you tell that only a handful would use a rating system? Because you wouldn't and everybody emulates you? Everyone I know who goes to the movies often will look at the critic's ratings even though they often disagree with the individual critics.

Any rating is better than none. And none is what you have now unless you read all the logs before seeking a cache.

 

And if whoever Jeremy is, I presume he is behind Groundspeak, he knows that if he waits until the competition is getting good, he may be too late. Ebay has a pretty good site and no close competitors. Do you think that they are sitting back and resting on their laurels?

 

And as far as abuse of the rating system, if implemented well it would be minimal. I use eBay daily and find it's rating system very useful and mostly fair and unabused.

 

I suggest to whoever it is that decides what to add for features to GC that they think of adding ratings to the executive membership. I know that would swing me to part with the extra dough. They could let new members have access to the ratings system for 30 or 60 days and then after that only with the executive membership. If people pay to get the ratings then I don't think anyone would complain about the uselessness of ratings.

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It'd be simpler just to not have Jeremy implement a rating system.  He's got better things to do with his time, I'm sure.

I'm sure Jeremy keeps very busy, but did you notice that Jeremy appeared to have a favorable view of a "favorite caches" rating system, perhaps very similar to Markwell's proposal. To decide he "has better things to do" should be his own decision. At least in the past, he had a positive outlook on a "list of favorites" style of ratings.

 

See earlier in this thread for Markwell's proposal and link to Jeremy's comments.

Edited by Teach2Learn
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I'm a newbie at this sport.

 

With that caveat in mind, I set up management and quality systems in my last profession and feel qualified to comment on this topic.

 

Because I love this sport and would like it to remain one of comraderie and good will, let's not copy - or even adapt - eBay's rating system which has created much competition and ill will between buyers and sellers, or sellers and sellers, and even buyers and buyers. It also encourages expression of other baser human characteristics.

 

Human nature being what it is, a rating system could become a means for some to elevate themselves or denigrate others. Some people become judgemental when given the chance while others allow their own preferences to rule their ratings.

 

Instead, let's emphasize the positive aspects of a cache and of the sport in general. For those who live in a populated area, a rankings and feedback system provided by the local geocaching group, e.g. the ChiTown Cachers and cited by Markwell above (ChiTown Cachers' Rankings) is valuable for visitors and locals alike.

 

I also appreciate an individual cacher's listing of favorites such as The Leprechauns' (The Leprechauns' profile). It doesn't matter whether an individual's favorites change as s/he evolves within the sport and visits additional caches: any list is a snapshot in time. The comments that accompany the list are particularly helpful.

 

Within a couple of weeks of starting this hobby, I ended up in a walking cast. While destroying my summer hiking season, I've continued geocaching by concentrating on easier finds. While I'd rather spend my days hiking to the more distant and challenging locations, I've enjoyed the easier, more accessible caches too. There's room in the sport for all kinds!

 

Everyplace has its special historic, artistic or cultural spots worthy of a virtual cache. Likewise, there is room in this sport for those who want to collect FTFs, gather lots of park-and-dash caches, take time to solve puzzles, hike to remote spots to experience that incredible mountaintop view, enjoy this sport as a safe and healthy activity en famille , or participate in whatever way floats their boat! <--my niece's quote.

 

If a cacher considers a cache to be a poor example of a specific type of cache, s/he always has the option of commenting directly to the owner via e-mail. Constructive feedback is valuable and almost always welcome. There's no need to publicize criticism.

 

So... what can geocaching.com do to enable users to list their favorites?

1) Create guidelines and criteria.

2) Provide a coding tool that makes it easier to construct a favorites list.

3) Encourage initiation of local clubs/chapters and provide links to their websites.

 

Those are my suggestions. This discussion has become increasingly argumentative, so I'll just bow out now.

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It'd be simpler just to not have Jeremy implement a rating system.  He's got better things to do with his time, I'm sure.

I'm sure Jeremy keeps very busy, but did you notice that Jeremy appeared to have a favorable view of a "favorite caches" rating system, perhaps very similar to Markwell's proposal. To decide he "has better things to do" should be his own decision. At least in the past, he had a positive outlook on a "list of favorites" style of ratings.

 

See earlier in this thread for Markwell's proposal and link to Jeremy's comments.

Yes, I'm quite aware of his previous post. Do you see a rating system implemented? Hence my comment. Not rocket science, now, is it?

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