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Geocaching.com enhancement idea


Guest ShawnandJohn
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Guest ShawnandJohn

the creators - who are legitimately biased). I believe it will raise the overall satisfaction level of the cache seekers and cause caches themselves to become more cleverly envisioned than they may be now.

 

Seperately a rather simple calculation of "% of time found". All the information is already reported. Whether or not someone visits a cache may be decided by how easily it can be found. A family for instance will probably want one that is found nearly all the time, while a more adventerous person might want the satifaction of finding a "micro" cache that only 50% of the seeker can find.

 

Both of these ideas should have "sortable" options - meaning sorting nearby caches by difficulty or the before mentioned overall satisfaction rating. Once "programmed" into the web site both these idead are maintenance free and self working not adding to the workload of the geocaching.com staff.

 

Thanx for you time in reading this far. Comments and suggestions welcomed!

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Guest martinp13

We've discussed "overall satisfaction", and kind of decided it's not a great idea... how would YOU feel if someone said "your cache sucks"? icon_frown.gif

 

For a new cache hunter, it's good to go by some general rules when picking a cache. For goodness sake, pick one with low difficulty and terrain (both 1 star, if possible) to get your feet wet. The best way to pick, in my opinion, is to use the "locate by zip code" on the Seek a Cache page. Put in your home zip code, and scan the list for 1/1's. For example, put in 76132 (my zip code) and look at the results: the STUCK ON YOU cache is a 1/1, and having been there, I can say it's a PERFECT 1/1. Concrete paths, not a hill in sight... perfect for getting the hang of using the GPS and figuring out where the cache is when you get to the coordinates.

 

Hope this helps!

 

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

> Martin

Magellan 330 (1.56/WAAS enabled!)

Don't have time to program and record your shows while geocaching? Get a TiVo !

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Guest martinp13

We've discussed "overall satisfaction", and kind of decided it's not a great idea... how would YOU feel if someone said "your cache sucks"? icon_frown.gif

 

For a new cache hunter, it's good to go by some general rules when picking a cache. For goodness sake, pick one with low difficulty and terrain (both 1 star, if possible) to get your feet wet. The best way to pick, in my opinion, is to use the "locate by zip code" on the Seek a Cache page. Put in your home zip code, and scan the list for 1/1's. For example, put in 76132 (my zip code) and look at the results: the STUCK ON YOU cache is a 1/1, and having been there, I can say it's a PERFECT 1/1. Concrete paths, not a hill in sight... perfect for getting the hang of using the GPS and figuring out where the cache is when you get to the coordinates.

 

Hope this helps!

 

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

> Martin

Magellan 330 (1.56/WAAS enabled!)

Don't have time to program and record your shows while geocaching? Get a TiVo !

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We have discussed this a lot before. I do like rating caches, but in a way where the cream of the crop are indicated, and not dumping on a cache that upset you.

 

The thought was to do a sort of "best dressed" caches list. People can vote for, say, 10 of the best caches they've been to (or less/more, maybe a ratio of found caches), and these would be indicated with a star or something.

 

Although some folks want to ban it altogether, when I was in Arizona for a short time I wanted to hit one fast that was pretty cool. It would have been nice to have this sort of rating system where the locals who play would help me decide which one to pick.

 

Definitely having thumbs down caches is a no no, but rewarding folks for fun caches sounds like a neat idea. We could even have a Geocaching version of the Emmys icon_wink.gif

 

Jeremy

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We have discussed this a lot before. I do like rating caches, but in a way where the cream of the crop are indicated, and not dumping on a cache that upset you.

 

The thought was to do a sort of "best dressed" caches list. People can vote for, say, 10 of the best caches they've been to (or less/more, maybe a ratio of found caches), and these would be indicated with a star or something.

 

Although some folks want to ban it altogether, when I was in Arizona for a short time I wanted to hit one fast that was pretty cool. It would have been nice to have this sort of rating system where the locals who play would help me decide which one to pick.

 

Definitely having thumbs down caches is a no no, but rewarding folks for fun caches sounds like a neat idea. We could even have a Geocaching version of the Emmys icon_wink.gif

 

Jeremy

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Guest brokenwing

I really like your idea Jeremy, but I do have some concerns. First, do you think people will start to ignore non-rated caches just because they don't have a star? It might be hard for newer caches to get traffic. I'd hate to see good caches be ignored just because few people have been to them.

 

Another concern. We all have different ideas about what makes a good cache. Some might get stars because of contents or a theme, some because they are easy, some because they are hard, others for easy terrain, and still others for difficult terrain. My point is, will I really get anything useful from the stars other than to know someone other than myself, whose tastes may be different than mine, liked the cache? I could get the same info from careful reading of the logs now.

 

Maybe if you had text to go along with the star rating. For example, using your ?Emmy? analogy, this one gets a star for best use of theme, this one gets a star for creativity, this one for best challenge, etc.

 

Just to throw out some numbers, maybe a ratio of being able to rate 1 cache for every 5 finds would be a good place to start?

 

By the way, I really like the travel bugs. Great idea!

 

Thanks,

brokenwing

 

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

http://www.cordianet.com/geocaching

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quote:
Originally posted by jeremy:

Definitely having thumbs down caches is a no no, but rewarding folks for fun caches sounds like a neat idea. We could even have a Geocaching version of the Emmys icon_wink.gif

 

Jeremy


 

I like that idea! How about if it were say, a monthly vote where each State could have the top caches listed for that month. That way more people would have a chance at having their cache listed.

 

Tedoca

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quote:
Originally posted by jeremy:

Definitely having thumbs down caches is a no no, but rewarding folks for fun caches sounds like a neat idea. We could even have a Geocaching version of the Emmys icon_wink.gif

 

Jeremy


 

I like that idea! How about if it were say, a monthly vote where each State could have the top caches listed for that month. That way more people would have a chance at having their cache listed.

 

Tedoca

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quote:
Originally posted by brokenwing:

 

Maybe if you had text to go along with the star rating. For example, using your ?Emmy? analogy, this one gets a star for best use of theme, this one gets a star for creativity, this one for best challenge, etc.

 

 

Thanks,

brokenwing

 


 

Another good idea!

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one more distinction? i think one more distraction. how about starting with the closest ones and then expanding your searches to the farthest ones. remember if it works dont fix it. this is just one guys opinion and you know what they say about those.

carpe diem dudes.

jonser

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Guest Robereno

quote:
Originally posted by jeremy:

The thought was to do a sort of "best dressed" caches list. People can vote for, say, 10 of the best caches they've been to (or less/more, maybe a ratio of found caches), and these would be indicated with a star or something.

 

Jeremy


 

I?m uncomfortable with this. When I visit a cache I read the description and get a feel for what the cache will be like. It?s pretty easy to tell if a person has put a lot of thought into the contents and placement of a cache. Some people go all out with lengthily descriptions, photos, spoilers and hints. You just know that the cache will be better than average. Of course, reading the logs help a lot. I really prefer the casual approach to this game. You do your research, make your preparations and hope for the best.

 

For me, scores, ratings, awards and gold stars would distract from the innocence of the game. Geez, next thing people will be writing scripts for websites where you can ?rate a cache?. I just feel that giving any sort of preference or ?head nod? to a cache will change the character of the game.

 

Of course, I may just be over sensitive ever since that time 40 years ago when I was picked last for dodge ball.

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Guest badbitbucket

Consider this one more vote for "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."

 

Overall my biggest concern is controversy/conflict. so far I've seen very little, if any, controversy/conflict. very few highly emotional forum messages, etc.

 

I'm concerned that if caches start getting rated and rewarded, Jeremy will need to start deleting derogatory forum messages, and cache owners will have to start removing derogatory messages from their pages.

 

Let's keep the freindly competition in the sport. Please let's not fall into the same traps that other sports fall into when trophies and prizes are awarded.

 

-BBB

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Guest badbitbucket

Just had another thought:

A compromise might be to rate cahces as to how well the cache owner rated his chache's terrain and difficulty according to the rating guidlines.

 

This kind of rating should address Jeremy's and other hunters' needs when looking for a "quickie" hunt while traveling through an area. This is something I'd like as well, since I do a fair amount of road travel in Oregon, Washington, and Idaho.

 

-BBB

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Guest Choberiba

quote:
Originally posted by martinp13:

The best way to pick, in my opinion, is to use the "locate by zip code" on the Seek a Cache page. Put in your home zip code, and scan the list for 1/1's.


 

How hard would it be to make these searches less manual? a "Show caches rated" field or "sort by last visited"

 

As far as the icon-trophy idea is concerned.

People could opt-out of that information when hunting/placing caches.

 

Seems like a fair compromise.

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Guest cache_ninja

its easy enough to get an idea concerning how people felt about certain caches by reading the logs. that seems to me to be the best method. if people thought a particular cache was a great spot, great view, fun hike etc, they almost always say so in the log.

 

IMHO rating system = bad idea.

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Guest Iron Chef

[Lots people visiting]

+ [lots of smiley faces]

+ [words like "awesome", "supercool", and "wicked"]

= a relatively "wickedly-awesome supercool" geocache that should be on your list of places to go.

 

Simple as that. :~)

 

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

-Iron Chef

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

agefive.com/geocache/ ~ Fe-26

Lets Drive Fast and Eat Cheese!

 

[This message has been edited by Iron Chef (edited 23 September 2001).]

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Guest echo2000

K.I.S.S.

 

I think everyone knows what that means. icon_smile.gif

 

I'll echo (no pun intended) previous sentiments and say, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."

 

Simple things are best, IMHO. One of the reasons I got into this is that it gave me a reason to get out and poke around in the woods and my surroundings in general instead of, well, poking around my surroundings and getting lost or endo-ing at a switchback. icon_wink.gif

 

Adding rating systems and stuff may make it too much like a task instad of something done for fun.

 

Personally, the Zip Code Search seems the best. I find the ones closest to my home and when I travel, I'll be able to find out if anything's near where I'll be.

 

Sorry for the ramble.

 

E2

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Guest echo2000

K.I.S.S.

 

I think everyone knows what that means. icon_smile.gif

 

I'll echo (no pun intended) previous sentiments and say, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."

 

Simple things are best, IMHO. One of the reasons I got into this is that it gave me a reason to get out and poke around in the woods and my surroundings in general instead of, well, poking around my surroundings and getting lost or endo-ing at a switchback. icon_wink.gif

 

Adding rating systems and stuff may make it too much like a task instad of something done for fun.

 

Personally, the Zip Code Search seems the best. I find the ones closest to my home and when I travel, I'll be able to find out if anything's near where I'll be.

 

Sorry for the ramble.

 

E2

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Maybe there is a way to have a 'Featured Cache of the Month' that would showcase some of the inventive and fun caches that are out there. Not everyone reads the forums or are aware of caches in other parts of the country/world.

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quote:
Originally posted by Markwell:

Who would nominate such caches - who would choose? Jeremy and crew are already far too busy to put something like this together and would end up spending more time reviewing submissions than maintaining and enhancing this wonderful website. It's a great idea, but implementation is a bear.

 


 

These were my thoughts too. Just trying to simplify a good idea by ShawnandJohn. I know that Jeremy is quite upset with the constant demand for enhancements to the website. But there is a lot of wonderful caches and cache themes out there that many cachers are not aware of. Exposing these to everyone may help raise the level of fun for everyone and increase the dynamics of the sport.

 

Maybe there could be a few regional volunteers who are active and willing to forward nominees to Jeremy for review. This is not meant to be a competition of which caches are better than others. Looks like there are several regional geocaching associations out there that are on top of what is going on in their area.

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I don't think I'm upset about people's request for enhancements to the site. I enjoy getting requests! The day I stop getting requests is the day the music dies for geocaching.

 

I do, however, have to set priorities for enhancements since I have a limited time to implement many of them. I also have to consider that whatever changes I do make will not adversely impact the game itself.

 

Making this a scoring game, for instance, would turn a leisure activity to a competitive sport, which isn't what I believe the spirit of geocaching is. Also grading caches isn't a good idea either. But I do think awarding creative caches is in the best interests in the game (and encourages creativity).

 

So the question is, how can I stimulate creativity, award it by the peers who play, yet don't make it a grading game?

 

Jeremy

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Guest nkdcain

I think whenever you create a 'top xxx' list it changes the basic core of that thing. Instead of watching the caches for who showed up and what they did, you are angling to see if yours comes out on top.

 

But how do you reward creativity? I think perhaps rather than having a cache highlighted based on frequency, or reviews you could have a rotating monthly spotlight based on its uniqueness.

 

This could be because of it's location and/or theme involved. I believe I once read there was a cache 40 ft below sea level. This would fit that description exactly.

 

Then the cache hiders would be stimuated in a creative way based on how to create more enjoyment for those on the hunt.

 

You wouldn't be directly involved in competition for the 'best' as there is no best. Just different and interesting.

 

Rotate this spotlight per month or some time frame. Put the old ones in archives. This would give the cache hiders something new to strive for.

 

S

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Guest Peter Scholtz

quote:
Originally posted by nkdcain:

Rotate this spotlight per month or some time frame. Put the old ones in archives. This would give the cache hiders something new to strive for.


 

I like the "Caches Featured This Month" idea ...

 

When logging a find the cacher can indicate if they liked it enough to have it "advertised" to others and a rating. The top 10/20 (average rating) each month can then be "featured". But only once a year.

 

Maybe have featured caches per area. The number featured to be a equal fraction of the total caches per area.

 

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

Peter Scholtz

www.biometrics.co.za

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Guest arffer

Jeremy,

 

Based on your comment that having limited resources to apply to the site, I personally think that the resources would be best spent on developments that would benefit the most players; you know, the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.

 

And as such, I don't know that development of a rating system would benefit that many. It would most help those visiting an area to pick the best cache to hit during their visit, but how many folks can that be?

 

I don't think it will help the locals much, we already know what's in our own backyards.

 

For example, we have around 75-100 caches that can be gotten to without requiring an overnight stay. All the local cachers start close and work our way outward. If a new cache goes up in an area, you see all the local cachers hit it within say a two month period, and then it goes stale. All of the caches we have hidden, and all those we have hit act in this manner. After the first couple of months, the only hits you see are new cachers that start in the area.

 

So rating would not make that much difference to local cachers, we're going to hit everything in our area anyway. Only visitors to the area with limited time would benefit.

 

A secondary effect of course would be the virtual pat on the back of those winning the ratings (sure, I've got three caches of my own I'd like to nominate), but I don't think expending your limited time just for ego building for us cachers is time best spent.

 

Just my humble comments...

 

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

Team CacheCows of Wisconsin

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Guest jeremy

ell thought out caches would help to improve the quality of caches overall, which will definitely benefit the needs of the many.

 

Usually I give all ideas time to brew in the forums so everyone can provide feedback *before* I make it real. People come up with some great points that have saved my butt many times before.

 

J

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Guest Sluggo

Okay! Here we go.

 

Assume an enhancement is needed/desired.

 

Allow cachers to place the waypoint (GCxxxx) for the cache they liked most in their profile. They could update it when they found one they liked better. It would display right next to "xx Found". A visitor or newby could scan the details see log entries and look for common waypoints while they looked for 1/1 etc. A reccomendation from someone with 200 finds would have more gravity than one from someone with 6 finds.

 

It would be just like saying "Check This Out!"

 

No vote, no hurt feelings, no not making the team, no... well you know what I mean.

 

Now do I get one of those cookies Jeremy is always giving out?

 

- Sluggo (2000 miles from home)

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Guest Choberiba

quote:
Originally posted by Sluggo:

Allow cachers to place the waypoint (GCxxxx) for the cache they liked most in their profile. It would display right next to "xx Found".


 

For out-of-town folks, people could pop into Kinkos, search on a local zipcode, see what caches are getting such admiration and be on their way. I like it!

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Guest Markwell

Let's take this good idea one step further. What you propose (if I'm right) is that my login of Markwell would have 38 found, Fav Cache: GC28 after my name on the logs (personally, I'd rather see it by name with a hyperlink).

 

I would have to scan through the area logs of all the caches to try to find the people with a lot of finds to find their favorite caches.

 

The only way for something like this to be practical would be to have something on the results page that shows in glancing at a list of caches that this cache either is listed as favorite by xx number of cachers, or just "is someone's favorite cache." The former gives the idea of how many people think this is a good cache - but that turns more into mine is better than yours. The latter levels the playing field a little, but doesn't really give the whole picture. Who thinks this is their favorite cache? How many?

 

Another minor consideration: the system will need to delete (or at least not show) the favorite cache if that cache becomes archived. My actual favorite cache would have been GCD4C, but it has since been archived. My profile would have to be udpated automatically to not show this archived cache as part of my logs. What would be the point of showing your favorite cache if it's not there anymore - other than giving pats on the back for implementation or spot? And what happens if that cache becomes "unarchived" (rare, but it happens).

 

I don't know that I have the answers, just the problems. But I think we're on the right track, just not quite there yet from a user perspective.

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Guest david.april

when the rating system discussion came up on the gpsstash list way back when, I had suggested a "mark as favorite" option on the geocaching.com cache page just like you have a "watch this cache" option. Then a viewer of the page would see, at the top, something like "9 marked as favorite". You don't need to give a reason or quantify it any way, it's just your (or one of your 10) favorite cache. Most of the caches I have visited I have enjoyed and I usually post complimentary comments in the log, but I certainly can pick out a few that have, for different reasons been most memorable experiences that I would like others to share. A "favorites" feature would help promote this.

 

Dave

 

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Guest Markwell

I think allowing each login one favorite cache would make more sense of this scenario, though. I, too, enjoyed almost all of my caches (except one that I hated - but I was very diplomatic in the logs). So with the 38 caches I've visited in your scenario, David, I could have 37 favorite caches, which of course makes my rating meaningless.

 

My thoughts from up above: each login is allowed one favorite (we all have them, be honest). This is then magically transformed into some type of special icon on the search page and on the cache details themselves. As I said, whether it's "Five people think this is their favorite cache" or "This is someone's favorite cache" - I'm still undecided.

 

I also wouldn't mind seeing my favorite cache "GC####" after my name (with a hyperlink). That could lead to a best-case scenario of something like this:

 

I'm headed to northern Chicago for business and search on the coords of N42° W088°. The list of caches pops up and Shine, Little Glow Worm has a notation that "This is someone's favorite cache". Wow. I'll take a look at that. Then I scroll through the logs seeing Markwell, Mohawkpilot, Robamy and 6 of the other seekers have "GC1662" listed as their favorite cache, which is this one.

 

That, to me would allow me the ability to narrow down the favorite caches in the area, and then see how many people thought it was their favorite and offset that by how many finds each of them had.

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Guest AZMark

OK here goes,,,,I know rateing bad bad!

 

But unless you put a numerical value on things it makes it tough for a computer.

 

Soooooo, just don't show the results to anyone. Keep the point totals quiet. (Well I guess when J. travels he will still be able to see who is #1)

 

Create a few catagories. Senic, Creative, Fun, Workout.

Rate these one-five. Don't show anyone the results. Top ten caches in the State in each catagory get a little icon on the cache page letting people know. (must have x number of finds to get a rating?)

 

Now we get to talk about what kind of icons.

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Guest Markwell

Actually, I thought we were on track with where this forum was already going. The type of suggestion (rating the caches, keeping the numbers quiet, having a minimum number of rates, etc.) has all been talked about before (although I can't seem to quickly find the thread). Implementation would have been a nightmare.

 

And it also lead to the "community" not thinking your cache is worthy. Wow - that would hurt my feelings more than any one person saying my cache sucked.

 

I think we're actually on to something here already, but it just needs some refinement.

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Guest AZMark

New caches will really get gipped in that system as people forget to re-rate their favorites, and the favs of those cachers long since forgotten still carry their weight.

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Guest navdog

The one concern I have with ratings and favorites is that it can be very subjective. Without an explanation as to why a person says this is his favorite how would someone else know that they would want to invest the time in looking for it? Also as someone stated before most cachers know what all the caches are like in their local area.

 

The thoughts I posted above was about something that might be a more simple approach, and that was to have one or several featured caches each month.

 

The idea behind this was to showcase the clever, fun and new types of caches that cachers are doing. Many people are not aware of the wide variety of caches in different parts of the country/world and there is currently no way to know about them without a lot of searching.

 

Having access to fun and new ideas about placing caches would benefit both the people who are looking to place a new and inventive cache and the folks who would be finding and enjoying the cache later.

 

[This message has been edited by navdog (edited 03 October 2001).]

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<--had to use that icon.

 

As a newbie, I'm not in favor of any ratings. I'm just starting with the ones that are closest to my house and working outward. In seems like a beautiful plan to me. Then, I'm looking for ones made by certain geocachers that have a knack for interesting locales, etc.

 

- Seth!

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Guest jbmccarthy69

Instead of looking for a rating system, just read the Forum for the area you are interested in.

 

I noticed in the Sacramento Area posting that someone was coming into the area for a visit and asked what were some good caches in the area.

 

They received lots of replys.

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