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I'd imagine the number of folks in the top 10% has increased but there's probably a much larger increase in the bottom of the pack as a larger percentage of individuals try it and don't become addicts. For each person that hits 100 caches there are probably 100 that don't hit 10.

 

I'd imagine if the stats were based on those that found a cache within the last month, it might show a much different results set.

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I'd imagine if the stats were based on those that found a cache within the last month, it might show a much different results set.

Limiting stats to a certain timeframe is the only way those new to the game could ever hope to "compete."

 

The thing is, I don't see how the number of finds give you any kind of status or why anyone really would want to compare numbers. Sure, a certain number of finds correlates to your experience level, but only loosely correlates to how "good" you are.

 

The hobby isn't about how many caches you've found, it's about how much fun you have while leaving the cache ready for the next person. Is a person who only hunts easy urban caches a better cacher than one who places awesome caches with challenging hikes and exquisite views? What about a cacher who only cares about finding the cache and rarely makes an effort to rehide the cache to prevent it from being accidently discovered? Would he be a better cacher than someone with fewer finds who always makes sure to leave the cache area as though no one had ever been there?

 

I think "competing" through simple find counts is counter productive to the sport. The sport is much more involved that just a find count.

 

EDIT: Clarity and speeling

Edited by CoyoteRed
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Stats are just stats and for those interested in stats, they are fun to analyze. Just as folks find it fun to analyze every word of someone's post here in a forum (not my cup of tea but it seems others live for it), it's just interesting to them.

 

I don't think you need to pay attention to stats if you're not interested, but I do find stats (of any kind) interesting to discuss. Sure beats discussing the merits of micro caches, what should be free or cost money, whether a multi is better or worse then 3 caches along the same route, or why can't I download more then 500 caches for the 2,307th time.

 

Stats are fun... rehashing the same discussion posts is boring. That's for me. Your pain threshold might be different. I just rather see varying posts and if stats bring up discussions related to the stats (and not the fact that it's a stat and why should anywhere care about stats int he first place) I think it's something worth chatting about.

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...Limiting stats to a certain timeframe is the only way those new to the game could ever hope to "compete."...

This is true. That's one reason I like stats. Or what we could of had with stats.

 

Best cacher this month, Best cacher this year. Reverse stats where time between a caches finds means more points than caches found often,

 

Once thing newbies can do that old timers can't is be shooting stars. Most finds the fastest. Back in the day when there were 79 caches within 100 miles 7 was an awe inspiring day. Now I beat that without trying, but even so I can't snag 100 caches in a week locally. I've done them all. But newbies...the sky is the limit.

 

There are a thousand other ways to split the stats hair and let people have fun. I can't beet anyone on that list anytime soon. But almost anyone can be king of some hill at least once if there was enough variation to how you looked at the numbers. Oh and you can ignore the numbers as well.

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Hi,

 

I'm still relatively new to geocaching, and I'm doing it to see cool places I'd never go otherwise and to get some exercise, not to match my numbers against other people...

 

BUT...so what if it is about the numbers for some people. Why is that such a problem for so many people? Some people engage in sports and compare themselves with others engaged in the same sport; to read the last few posts, you would think that was an evil thing to do.

 

I'd just as soon let everybody geocache the way they want to, and not tell portions of the community that they are bad or shallow or missing the point just because they do it differently than I do.

 

:blink: (donning fireproof hood to avoid flames from pc crowd) :lol:

 

nfa

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...let everybody geocache the way they want to...

Not picking on you NFA, but this statement I've heard so many times and it still bothers me.

 

I do agree with the statement to a certain extent, but it needs qualifying. I've seen variations that amount to "everyone play their own game." Well, you can't do that if the sport is to survive. There has been a term called "maggot" coined that discribed what could be argued as "someone playing their own game." It's the same with pirates and the variations thereof.

 

While I understand what many are meaning by "play your own game" as cache as frequently as you want, go after the caches you want, or other such critiria of how you like to play. However, you must always remember that we play at the whim of others. If it weren't for other players there wouldn't be a game to play. Reason? We hunt other players' caches and we hide caches for other players to find. So, we most always be mindful of other players and their game pieces.

 

Now, follow this out to controverial subjects of cache machines and marathons. If everyone followed the "play your own game" and decided to go on a 24 hour marathon to beat some record. The present record is fairly impressive, IRRC something in the neighborhood of 240 caches in 24 hours. That's averaging 1 cache every 6 minutes. (There are even caveats in that they were escorted and chauffeured around, and when they couldn't find a cache the escort confirmed it was there or missing furthering the reduction of wasted time.) I'd have to wonder really hard, how in the world can you maintain that kind of pace while worrying about protecting the cache location--i.e. not being observed by muggles and properly returning the cache to its location?

 

I understand that escort is a responsible cacher and routes were choosen carefully, but this escort is not your average bear. If someone else tried to duplicate this and failed to protect the caches hit, how many caches would have to be archived for various reasons?

 

I just don't want overzealous cachers running around worrying only about their find count and couldn't care less if that cache is there for the next person. Our game pieces are already too vulnerable as it is.

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Don't worry...I don't feel picked on...just confused by your post... :lol:

 

So are you saying that speed-cachers are as bad as (or worse than) people who care about their numbers, that they are the same people, that both groups are more likely than slow cachers to trash caches...what? :D I don't know the stats on this stuff, and doubt that anyone else does either.

 

My post certainly was not intended to promote cache-trashing (and I doubt many read it that way), it was intended to caution against telling people how they should have fun. :D

 

I don't care a lot about my numbers, my biggest day was 6 caches (no escort, but the caches were all fine afterwards), and if people don't want to cache as I do, then it's fine with me(as long as they follow the rules). Please don't take this post as an invitation to trash caches. :blink:

 

nfa

Edited by NFA
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There are those who find caches and don't bother to log them on gc.com and then there are those who log caches for the numbers, and there are many variations in between. I find myself somewhere in between. I like keeping track of the number of finds because it is a challenge to myself to get to the next level (I am currently working on 500 finds), but at the same time I really enjoy the long hikes and difficult hides that only count as 1 smiley. I drove 110 miles round trip the other day for 2 caches, then a couple days before that I hiked 4 miles round trip for 1 find. They were alot of fun and it got me out to visit areas that I normally would not have gone to. Then there are the days that I go to the bigger cities and pull down 20-25 caches a day just to get the numbers, but still enjoying the locations. If this is a sport then numbers should be considered just like when I run. I don't compete in the olympics or anything like that, I just run for the exercise and I like to push myself to see how far or how fast I can go. I do on occasion run local 5k runs but not competitively, just to go out and see how I stack up. While I may never bring home the overall trophy, I do sometimes bring home a small trophy for my age group. As with caching, it's all about how you 'play the game'.

 

P.S. If it isn't about the numbers then why do so many complain that some people log caches twice :lol: or log finds in caches that they own :blink: (neither of which I do)?

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NFA, upon re-reading my post I realized I got away from the train of thought that prompted me to click the QUOTE button.

 

What I mean is some folks might interprete "play the game your own way" as "play the game by your own rules."

 

That is not something you want.

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Like Mopar, I wanted to applaud CR's first post to this topic.

 

I quite like the fact that I've rendered my find count irrelevant by fouling it up with a single day in which I found 240 caches to become the co-owner, with carleenp, of the one-day record. There is just no way that those finds can be compared to others, like the 14 miles of hiking that Carleen and I did just a few short weeks later in Washington to score a grand total of three finds. It is quite cool that you get the same single smiley for a lamp post micro that you get for a 5-difficulty puzzle cache that you get for a hydrocache requiring a full day of paddling and an overnight in the backcountry. The smiley is the great equalizer.

 

As for CR's second post, note carefully how he chose his words to avoid accusing or attacking me. He *wondered* how anyone could find 240 caches without compromising their location. I'd be happy to answer that. It is a dadgum good question, and I wondered that myself as I prepared for the marathon. Believe it or not, we employed the same standards of stealth that we would normally use -- and boy we sure got good at it, with that much practice. It was July 4th and people were out and about everywhere. It was a bit easier to be stealthy at 4 a.m. when the only people we met were other crazy GeoWoodstock attendees!

 

I checked the caches frequently after our record run, curious to see if our stealth skills had been sufficient. Every single one of the 240 caches was found successfully by others after our visit! I just checked all my finds for that day again. Here are the results:

  • A cache was disabled on July 4th after numerous finders, including my group, complained of tick infestation. Ticks are everywhere this year, I see log after log mentioning them.
  • A cache in a geocacher's front yard was archived voluntarily on 8/7.
  • A cache container was found on 8/28 to have been destroyed by a mower.
  • A cache turned up missing on 9/6 and was archived.
  • On 9/13, a cache's hiding spot was ruined when a tree fell over during a storm, and the cache got archived.
  • On 9/14, a cache was archived because its Parks District permit had expired.
  • On 9/25, a group reported that a cache was missing and the owner archived it.
  • A phone booth micro disappeared, along with the phone booth itself, and was archived on 9/29.

That's it! Seven caches gone out of 240, and one disabled. I think that's a cool statistic.

Edited by The Leprechauns
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I'm glad to know to this date I've yet to hear of problem with marathon sessions and cache machines. I can only hope all future adventures are attempted by such diligent cachers.

 

Still, one cache every six minutes is quite mind boggling.

 

(To be perectly honest, I didn't have you and C in mind. I'm thinking of a story relayed by MonkeyBrad about a marathon session and I think your names would have stuck in my mind. I'm just too lazy to do a search on it.)

 

Oh, and congratulations on the record!

Edited by CoyoteRed
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With one or a thousand caches under our belt we can only focus on one all important cache. The next one.

 

Looking back a 12 mile hike in backcountry would be fun, you may not remember what was in the cache or how you signed the log but you will remember the day and the company be it friends or nature. So would a blazing day of 240 caches. You may not remember any of the caches at all, but you will remember the day and the company you kept and you will remember the highlights.

 

Sorry but I just can't find an issue with the contrast in numbers. The 1 is no better or worse than the 240. Each of the 240 no less a contribution to the world of caching than the 1. We as owners place them. You as finders do them at lunch and it's the only one you got all week thank your lucky stars you got out at all for that cache, and others as part of a group and you can't even recall what was so special about it.

 

In the end you get out of the RASH what you put into it.

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Another fine contribution, RK. The three find day and the 240 find day are just two different experiences. They were both memorable for the fun that I had. I've had one-cache days and ten-cache days that were not fun. It is all what you put into it.

 

I started having fun with my first cache and that didn't change as I marched up the ranks of the percentiles that are the topic of this thread. Note my skillful effort to stay on topic. When I am not having fun, I take a break.

 

DNF's can be fun, too, and I don't need a smiley for those.

 

Finding caches with Carleenp is fun and it always gives me a smile in addition to the smilies. I think I shall do that again very soon!

 

CR, our record breaking effort eclipsed the prior record in which Monkeybrad served as wheelman. In large part, our route retraced his steps. Two of Monkeybrad's caching buddies served as our wheelman and navigator and boy were they FUN. There was no real pride in owning the prior record, or else the Nashville regulars would not have *invited* Carleen and me to attempt to break it. What a great bunch of people!

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Some people watch professional baseball.

 

Some people play baseball professionally.

 

Some people who play baseball professionally are concerned with the rate at which they get on base when facing any left-handed pitcher.

 

Some people who watch professional baseball are concerned that a specific left-handed pitcher doesn't have a good record against a particular hitter when men are in scoring position in the second third of the game.

 

Some people play baseball professionally and don't care about their past record.

 

Some people watch professional baseball and don't even know some of these situations exist.

 

What do they all have in common?

 

For the most part, they are all enjoying the game of baseball independent of the other's cares, concerns, and calculations.

 

Some of you should go play ball. Some of us are doing math.

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I always find numbers interesting, although as has been pointed out, it is hard to give them a universal meaning. That is probably part of why I enjoy playing fantasy sports so much. So I find the percentiles interesting and am interested in if or how they have changed. I don't know how much can be gleaned from them, but I am interested nonetheless.

 

To the extent the inquiry raised some other issues, I find those interesting as well. A sport like geocaching means so many different things to different people that people are always going to take differing personal views of "the numbers." I have always said that I don't care what a person's view is as long as they are personally enjoying themselves. So if someone wants to stick to difficult hunts that won't really add to their numbers because they simply don't care about that, then great! If others want to aim for personal numbers goals, I also think that is great. I think it is OK for it to not be about the numbers and is OK if it is about the numbers. In reality, I suspect it falls somewhere in between for many people.

 

CR pointed out something that I also have wondered about and could be valid, but I hope that cacher responsibility keeps it from being or becoming valid. I could imagine that cachers seeking numbers might in their rush compromise a cache. I would hope, and think it is the case, that in most instances the cachers are responsible and don't compromise a cache during a numbers run. I am heartened to know that so far that does not appear to be the norm. I hope it stays that way! I also was happy to see Lep's research of disabled/archived caches after our run. It is nice to know that all was OK. We were as careful during our numbers run as we always are and the Nashville people at GW2 in general took pains to keep people on numbers runs in smaller separate groups on different routes. I would have hated to see a cache go missing right after I was there! That can happen for outside circumstances, but it is always a bummer that can leave the last finder worried that they did something wrong!

 

Anyway in light of CR's comments I think I will revise my statement that I don't care what a person's view is as long as they enjoy themselves. I now say it is OK as long as they enjoy themselves provided that they aim to do no harm to caches or cachers in their enjoyment. Fortunately I think that is the norm. I hope it continues!

 

Finally, this is an interesting thread with some great comments. :blink:

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Finding caches with Carleenp is fun and it always gives me a smile in addition to the smilies.

All I want to add is that at least when Lep caches with Carleen, he's not on the cell phone with her while his partners find the caches. :blink:

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The hobby isn't about how many caches you've found, it's about how much fun you have while leaving the cache ready for the next person.

You are describing your hobby. As for me, I'm interested in some stats on this "fun" thing you talk about. :)

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The hobby isn't about how many caches you've found, it's about how much fun you have while leaving the cache ready for the next person.

You are describing your hobby. As for me, I'm interested in some stats on this "fun" thing you talk about. :mad:

By the same token, for pirates and maggots I guess you could describe stealing and vandalizing caches as their hobby.

Edited by CoyoteRed
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The thing is, I don't see how the number of finds give you any kind of status or why anyone really would want to compare numbers. 

 

The hobby isn't about how many caches you've found, it's about how much fun you have while leaving the cache ready for the next person. 

 

I think "competing" through simple find counts is counter productive to the sport.  The sport is much more involved that just a find count.

I snipped a couple of complete statements from one of your posts towards the top. Never clicked on your link to your web page before, but thought it was at least a little ironic that at http://www.sissy-n-cr.com/ the 1st link is to your stats.

 

From this I would have to conclude that:

  • You used to care about your stats, though maybe you no longer do but haven't updated your web page
  • You were taking the opposite side of the discussion from others (and yourself) just to have a discussion and stats don't really bother you
  • The other half of your team cares about stats even if you don't

And I don't disagree that number alone don't tell a story, but if, as you wrote, "..it's about how much fun you have...", which I agree with, there's no way to quantify that. So to me, my "stats" help quantify how much fun I've had as in all but 1 or two finds, I had fun.

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Well, I had a rather lengthy reply, but the computer hiccupped and I lost it.

 

To be shorter in this reply, we used to power cache, but we found we were missing out on a great number of opportunities. Our philosophy now is "stop to smell the roses" and are now advocates for it. I feel you should be concentrating on this cache and this location and why the placer brought you here, not thinking about the next cache before you've finished with this one.

 

Comparative stats and play ranking is counter to that philosophy because one can get caught up in "the chase."

 

Our stats page was originally going to be a map of the caches we've done showing our range and a list of present active caches.

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As a person who deals professionally with numbers and what they mean in the real world, I have ignored entering these types of discussions as much as possible, although I do enjoy reading them sometimes. Now I think it may be time to throw in my 27 cents (inflation, you know) worth.

 

The problem with trying to establish rankings based on finds logged on caches is the extreme variation of caching methods, logging methods and attitudes of cachers in general. There is no basis for comparison. For the rankings to be meaningful, all participants should follow the same rules for participating. How can one compare a cacher who logs only is finds without logging DNFs, to one who logs a DNF when they didn’t even get out of the car to search. How can one compare teams that log all their finds under the team identity even when they search alone to a cacher who always searches alone? How can one compare finds that while logged by each participant of a team, during a team hunt, with those finds logged by each of that team found separately?

 

It is for these reasons that the numbers are not important. One cannot compare, with any meaningful results, such widely varying subjects.

 

As with all posts about subjective topics, this is just my humble opinion, but here it is for what it’s worth.

 

Cache Well.

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...One cannot compare, with any meaningful results, such widely varying subjects....

But you can compair in a fun ways.

 

A person can build a reputation for Conehead caching (consume mass quantities) Or they can build a repuation for always finding the remote caches and there name is always there when you finally get out to do that 6 mile hike to see the downed WW II vintage aircraft.

Other's can do extreme caches. Nothing less than a 5 rating.

 

There is room for all kinds, and while some cachers may never make it to the top in sheer numbers they can make it to the top of their segment, were it split out. Persistance will pay off for all cachers as they climb through the percentile ranks.

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... we used to power cache, ...

I'm in agreement with what CR is saying here. When I moved to where I am now, Salt Lake City became a lot closer and it's pretty much untouched territory for me.

 

Orginally I was looking forward to heading down and racking up some seriouse numbers. But what I ended up doing was sticking with what power caching used to be. 10 or 20 finds on a route that took you over several hundred miles.

 

Now that takes you on even more remote back country than it used to and I enjoy that. Salt Lake will be there when I'm ready, and one day I'll go see if I can double my personal best day. It won't be hard. It was 24 caches and 500 miles.

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There is room for all kinds, and while some cachers may never make it to the top in sheer numbers they can make it to the top of their segment, were it split out. Persistance will pay off for all cachers as they climb through the percentile ranks.

This is fine, but how would you split it out? How many different ranking categories? Would cachers be allowed to select their category? Would they allowed to participate in multiple categories? How would you categorize a find? Would a find fit into more than one category? Would all cachers automatically be included, even if they didn't care? Could a cacher Opt Out? Would GC.com be responsible for categorizing caches, cachers, finds? How would you manage this? Could it even be automated at all, or would it require personnel to manage the stats?

 

And in the end, what does it all mean? I cache my way, according to the posted guidelines, when I am able to get out and hunt. If enjoy it, what difference if someone else has more or less finds than I do?

 

Again, Cache Well.

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...This is fine, but how would you split it out? ...

Thats the beauty of it. You can let people decide, and what's popular is what works. There will be good ideas, bad ones, and some middle of the road ones. Alas you do need some freedom to work with the data to work through some of these things. That doesn't exist as of now. It's not any one person or site that will think of everything. Jeremy had a new angle with the percentiles that people enjoyed.

 

You asked "What does it matter" but if that was true then why ask the question? So I'll counter, "What's wrong with doing this for fun?" Back to the percentiles. It may be meaningelss but it would be cool to say, target 50 caches and hit the top 50%. Just as it can be fun to target caches that haven't been found in a long time (Skydiver's point system) etc.

 

To answer your question, I wouldn't split out anything but some basics, and some data. Others will rise to the challenge of other ways to look at things.

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...This is fine, but how would you split it out? ...

Thats the beauty of it. You can let people decide, and what's popular is what works. There will be good ideas, bad ones, and some middle of the road ones. Alas you do need some freedom to work with the data to work through some of these things. That doesn't exist as of now. It's not any one person or site that will think of everything. Jeremy had a new angle with the percentiles that people enjoyed.

 

You asked "What does it matter" but if that was true then why ask the question? So I'll counter, "What's wrong with doing this for fun?" Back to the percentiles. It may be meaningelss but it would be cool to say, target 50 caches and hit the top 50%. Just as it can be fun to target caches that haven't been found in a long time (Skydiver's point system) etc.

 

To answer your question, I wouldn't split out anything but some basics, and some data. Others will rise to the challenge of other ways to look at things.

I like Jeremy's percentile rankings. It allows you to know where you are within the total population, but doesn't compare one person with another. This is not ranking cachers but putting them into buckets. For those that want to compare themselves to others, let them start their own comparisions off site. Individual rankings have no place here. It would take resources needed to keep the site running smoothly.

 

Cache Well.

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...For those that want to compare themselves to others, let them start their own comparisions off site....

We had that for a good portion of the early days of geocacing.

 

While the stats might have been imperfect, flawed, and so on, it was fun to call my friend up and rub in that I had more finds in his home town than he did. Of course he has long since rectified the situation, and the loss of stats deprives him of the pleasure of calling me up to tell me how far behind I am.

 

As a side effect it also showed me who was logging (this site has that but not broken out by state) recently so I could call and say "Hey you were down in the city of rocks, hows Joe at the old general store doing?" You could see things that a person was in an area and hit every cache but yours. Perhaps a problem? And so on. There are stats, and things that you can do with the informatino needed to do stats that are also valuable.

 

As for not having a place, that's an opinion, as it happens TPTB share it. You are correct to say it would take resources.

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I think people here have lost track of something. Statistics do not require you to use them as a measuring stick! Even if people want to know their exact percentiles from Jeremy's original post on the matter, they can't...but the numbers are still interesting, because it describes a very interesting phenomena (that can even be seen in the forum statistics!). A small number of people are the upper 5% of the population distribution for finds (OR posts). (Aside: I wonder how those distributions overlap..it's probably very good initially and then drops off faster on the forum posts than the caches).

 

Back on track, you can simply use statistics to gain insight into a cacher's habits. How many people do/don't log a significant portion of DNFs to Finds? How many people have logged over 100 caches in their lifetime? in a year? in a day? Of those that logged that many in a day, where did they do it? in "Cache-ville"? in Idaho? And so on...

 

And finally, if you _wanted_ to compare a series of these numbers, you would recognize the caveats proscribed above and could *still* choose to compare them. Yes, I have 81 finds and I have done nearly all of them completely on my own and taken my time. But if I do 10 more caches my own way, then I will pass someone else who has found 90 caches in their own time and in their own way. Think of baseball statistics. Nobody compares the on-base percentage of Barry Bonds and Ichiro Suzuki (.610 vs .414, btw) and complains that Ichiro isn't hitting the ball enough (just broke 80 yr old single season hit record)...because most of Bonds' OBP is from nearly as many walks as Ichiro has hits. Plus when Bonds hits, he hits homeruns (45 HR/135 hits). BUT I can still look at all those numbers and get a feel for each hitter (Bonds - HR power hitter with no one else in the lineup close to him in power so they can walk him safely to avoid his bat; Ichiro - slap singles hitter with a lot of plate discipline and a good eye). There's little reason *not* to have these same statistical equivalencies here (and I'm a little disappointed that someone who "deals with numbers professionally" can't see the utility in what I describe because they are hung up on inches vs centimeters).

 

Absolutely NONE of that forces me to geocache in any other way than I want. If you want to make your efforts qualify yourself in your numbers, you could choose to do that (even now). If you simply like to see where you end up in the system, you currently have very few poor options.

 

If you were to feel "cheated" or some other nonsense because of the numbers not coming from the same rulesets, etc., you would need to reevaluate how you geocache and for what reasons. The same as happens now when people complain about team finds on specialized caches and other "against the rules" activities.

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Nice analogy, but flawed.

 

First, you aren't presented with all of the information to make the distinctions as in your analogy. Well, you could but it'd take a ton of work.

 

Right now, we are only presented with one basic number, the number of found it logs. This doesn't even relate to the number of caches found. Event caches and locationless are included, not to mention multiple logs on one cache be they accidental logs or moving caches.

 

A little harder to find is the date a person started and the area they cache. While you can figure these things out it's not presented easily.

 

Then there are less obvious influences to the data like free-time-to-cache, financial position, and more that are hard, if even possible, to quantify.

 

There are far too many variables that put each other in different leagues much less different ballparks. It would be like comparing players in the MLB and Little League.

 

Even the precentile method is flawed unless you are accounting for lifetime finds or the number found in the last 30 days. Imagine in 20 years a person will find it very difficult to get in the top 1% because some many people will have been caching for so long.

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...For those that want to compare themselves to others, let them start their own comparisions off site....

We had that for a good portion of the early days of geocacing.

 

While the stats might have been imperfect, flawed, and so on, it was fun to call my friend up and rub in that I had more finds in his home town than he did. Of course he has long since rectified the situation, and the loss of stats deprives him of the pleasure of calling me up to tell me how far behind I am.

 

As a side effect it also showed me who was logging (this site has that but not broken out by state) recently so I could call and say "Hey you were down in the city of rocks, hows Joe at the old general store doing?" You could see things that a person was in an area and hit every cache but yours. Perhaps a problem? And so on. There are stats, and things that you can do with the informatino needed to do stats that are also valuable.

 

As for not having a place, that's an opinion, as it happens TPTB share it. You are correct to say it would take resources.

All you say probably was great fun, and easy for the site to do back when the hobby was new, but now with 14263 account holders writing 68422 new logs a week, it probably just ain’t possible.

 

I guess my main concern here is that this site cannot be everything to everyone. I think that the main purpose for this site should always be a place for cachers to list hides and finds. Anything that could detract from the ability to do that needs to be evaluated very carefully, before implementation. I know that some people just love to compare themselves to others, this is human nature. I just think that this should be voluntary and should not detract from the ability to use this site for its main purpose. Jeremy’s percentile groupings probably wouldn’t impact the site very much, if done weekly, during a slow time, but anything involving more processing just might.

 

Cache Well

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Right now, we are only presented with one basic number, the number of found it logs. This doesn't even relate to the number of caches found. Event caches and locationless are included, not to mention multiple logs on one cache be they accidental logs or moving caches.

 

Then there are less obvious influences to the data like free-time-to-cache, financial position, and more that are hard, if even possible, to quantify.

I believe we are posting in the "things we'd like to see from the website" forum. "Right now" is only pertinent to bugs. Feature requests deal with the future, therefore what numbers are available "right now" are unimportant. If the answer is then that there isn't enough power here to do the analysis/statistics, then the feature changes from asking for statistics here to asking for licensing to the log entries for statistics somewhere else that has the power/time to analyze the data.

 

None of what you've brought up interferes with good analysis of the numbers. The NL has no DH, the AL does. That introduces some very wierd twerks on the psyche of a pitcher, influences hit batter numbers, etc. People still compare Roger Clemens' numbers from his AL days to his NL days AND his NL days this year to Pedro's AL days this year. You can't argue that the numbers are meaningless. You can only argue that the numbers are meaningless in your eyes. And that's fine, don't look at the numbers. I'd like to see them because for me I can draw some meaning out of them. Statistics is as interpretive as dance (thus the old line "3 kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics"). Some people put absolutely no faith in fielding percentage (errors are highly subjective and player's position dependent) and others take into consideration the position dependency and only compare 3rd basemen to 3rd basemen and yet others compare 3rd basemen in night games to 3rd basemen in night games...because they know that day games are harder to field...and the beat goes on. Even little league parents have been known to say "if that kid was hitting like this in the majors, he'd be better than Ichiro".

 

Of course, NONE of this causes baseball to come to a screetching halt. So, what argument do you have for not composing the numbers? Because you're not going to convince anyone who wants to look at them that they are illegitimate. Everyone has their own value judgements on the statistics.

 

Statistics are what they are. Take them or leave them, but it'd be nice to even have that choice.

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Thank you everyone for the feedback on the topic.

Last May, when Jeremy posted those numbers, there were many that were thankful for the stats "bone" that was tossed to them.

It was a simple overall picture of cachers playing their own game their way.

Since last May, I've seen noticeable increases in the number of caches available, cachers celebrating big number milestones, the number of people caching, and (of course) my own find count.

I was curious to see how the percentile ranking had changed and if I were atleast holding my ground with the rest of the community.

 

When I can't go out and find a cache, I like to read about caching in the forums and sometimes even enjoy looking at the various numbers available.

I also find many responses to this topic comical in how blown out of proportion they have become. "Numbers don't matter" from posters who congratulate each other in the various milestone topics, complain about an essay writer's numbers, and have the nerve to voluntarily post smilies instead of notes on their own cache hunts.

There are those who are afraid that the intense demand on system resources to compile this list would slow the system down so much that it wouldn't be worth seeing numbers that wouldn't be accurate anyway.

And the connection between having this evil chart and the increase in trashed caches. Give me a break!

Sometimes it's fun to factor these along with a forum post to find ratio for a Hot Air quotient.

 

I appreciate the posts in support of my request. To me, nowhere near an expert, it didn't seem like a difficult task to compile the list or harmful to do so.

 

Thanks again for the discussion and consideration to my request!

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Statistics are what they are. Take them or leave them, but it'd be nice to even have that choice.

You don't have that choice to begin with.

 

When the data isn't complete you are only analyzing an incomplete dataset. When not everyone is logging you can only compare players who log. Then what about players who only log some of the caches they do? That's like having players on the field and never write down their plays.

 

Another thing about your baseball analogy being flawed is because everyone on the field knows they are competing and make an effort to compete. Most cachers aren't competing with each other so how can you compare those that are with those who aren't? You would be comparing folks by numbers that don't reflect differing goals. Again, you don't have a complete picture, nor will you.

 

In short, you can't get much out of the numbers in a comparative way when the numbers generated aren't coming from a competition.

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You can't argue that the numbers are meaningless. You can only argue that the numbers are meaningless in your eyes. And that's fine, don't look at the numbers.

I forgot to address this point.

 

I probably would have to clarify my stance. I don't think the numbers are meaningless. I believe that too many people place too much meaning on a find count when, in fact, the numbers they are chasing don't reflect a true sense of experience, contribution, or participation.

 

That's not to mention the focus on numbers is generally "who has found the most caches?" In fact, the largest contributors of this hobby are the people who placed the caches we hunt. In fact, if you want to look at those numbers then I would fully acknowledge that someone like BrianSnat would be far ahead of us as he is nearing four times the hides we have, while only having a third of the finds. But the impression I get from most people is they would look at him and say "he don't cache much."

 

See what I mean?

 

I've yet to see any scheme that would make numbers meaningful in any way to "rank" a participant.

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When the data isn't complete you are only analyzing an incomplete dataset. When not everyone is logging you can only compare players who log. Then what about players who only log some of the caches they do? That's like having players on the field and never write down their plays.

 

Another thing about your baseball analogy being flawed is because everyone on the field knows they are competing and make an effort to compete. Most cachers aren't competing with each other so how can you compare those that are with those who aren't? You would be comparing folks by numbers that don't reflect differing goals. Again, you don't have a complete picture, nor will you.

 

In short, you can't get much out of the numbers in a comparative way when the numbers generated aren't coming from a competition.

You just don't get it and since that's the case, it's pointless to continue the discussion. The statistics that you can determine from the find logs of this site will have as much meaning/weight as the person calculating them or viewing them chooses to give them.

 

You obviously give them no weight. You consider them horrible miscalculations based on completely skewed information. Great. I don't feel this way and while your complaints about the data are contingencies that may be interesting to consider, should we ever gain this level of access to the numbers/information, the statistics will still tell me interesting summation about those that do choose to log online and what trends may exist among the logs.

 

My line of work is statistics. I form calculations on how genes behave in liver cells when I delete other genes and compare that to the original genes. Statistics can give you information on the system and even on the specific members of the system. That is a plain fact of math and how statistics work. It is the credibility and careful attention to the caveats of the data that may alter our perception of the facts, but the facts are still there nonetheless. Statistics have errors. That is acknowledged. That does not invalidate statistics. Move on.

 

Now, if you'd like to try and discuss the features of getting new percentile rankings or how to license the data so that a third-party can generate the statistics, then I'll respond in the future...but it's absurd to have to defend statistics as a form of information gathering.

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You just don't get it...

This you are obsolutely, 100% correct on, I don't get it. I only see what I see and I don't think it's conducive to a healthy hobby because the numbers that jump out don't even begin to tell the whole story.

 

I also agree that this is getting us nowhere, but one last word: if someone can come up a way to better compare ourselves to others then I might be more inclined to accept it. In the past, I advocated a cacher hide ranking system which would promote better caches, but that flew like a lead balloon.

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Still, one cache every six minutes is quite mind boggling.

If they were going the same route my group did - even for a while, their first hour stats would have been even more mind boggling.

 

We lucked out and managed to find ourselves in an area near a mall at 8 AM on a Sunday. There were three other cars out on the roads, and it seemed like there was a cache in every parking lot. We literally parking lot hopped, zigzagging through roads and everything else, to find caches for our first hour or so and ended up with something like one every 3 minutes.

 

 

As for site stats... I'd like to see them, too, but at the same time... I don't think it could be just a listing of those found/hidden graphics that we now have. Although the chart could be set up

 

CACHER NAME - FINDS - AVERAGE DIFFICULTY - AVERAGE TERRAIN - HIGHEST DIFFICULTY - HIGHEST TERRAIN - HIDES

 

That would at least give us some sort of an idea what these people do.

So you would know if Cacher 1 has 2146 finds because he only hunts 1/1 micros versus if Cacher 12 only has 946 finds because all she's going after are minimum difficulty of 3/2

 

I, too, would like to see an updated list of the percentile rankings. It is interesting to at least know if you're in the top 10%.

 

I kind of like the idea of a stats page, though. Maybe only do it for the people that are in the top 1% of all finders. I'm not a huge numbers person, but it'd be nice to see who's around me with a like number of finds, and who knows... Maybe a chart telling me that I can find 12 caches and pass four people in the rankings would get me off my butt and out caching more.

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My 2c...

 

I would like to see monthly updated stats, it's a simply database query from a coding point of view, with 2 tables - the first percentile rankings "lifetime" and one that is a rolling window based on all cache finds in the past 12 months.

 

As someone posted, as a relatively new cacher, I can not expect to any time soon achieve 1,000 cache finds. But the person who has 1,000 cache finds has GOT to slow down and his stats in the past year are comparable and attainable to my own.

 

We have a local cacher who is quite active and has over 1,300 cache finds. I'm trying to find all the caches in Ann Arbor and can go out all the time doing so. Now there are very few near me and my wife has commented that I have slowed down now. The reality is that my rate of cache finds has got to slow simply because to get tons of them, I have to now drive a non-trivial distance.

 

I disagree with making a cut of those who have more than say 50 cache finds - simply using a rolling window of the past 12 months will continually show how you are currently caching in relation to all others who have done anything in the same window.

 

And if you don't want to look at the stats, then don't.

 

Cheers,

Caleb

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Lets take a beat to consider the meaning of these numbers. A cacher can be in the top 10% of all cachers in the world by finding 54 caches?????

 

Yikes!

 

This game is like the Platte River, a mile wide and an inch deep.

 

Would really like to know what goes on between cache 1 and cache 53 that costs us so many players.

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