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View Full Version : It isn't about the numbers, is it?



arkfiremedic
04-25-2010, 07:27 PM
I am currently taking a statistics/researching methods class and part of a recent assignment was to develop trends. I decided to attempt to determine what geocachers liked to find, based solely on the geocaches I have placed. I came up with some interesting trends I wanted to share with you.

Cachers in my area found caches as part of a series nearly five to one.

I figured the most found caches would be found in town, but this did not always prove true. The most found cache I have is part of the cemetery cache series and it has been found 85 times, followed by F.D. Series caches at 71, 71, 67, and 66 times. The cache with 85 finds also had a cache less than 1/4 mile away had the least amount of finds with only two finds (Go Edieo and Mathseeker) posted but ironically not very many DNFs posted.

Not counting TinmanJones and my new power trail, I had 157 caches with a grand find total of 3,941 or an average of 25.1 finds per cache since I have been hiding since October of 2008.

The new power trail has 103 caches and has been out less than a month with several caches not even having been found yet (or logged) and it has 1005 finds or 9.8 finds per cache since the first cache has been published less than one month ago and several being posted in the last several days. I have had dozens of people inquire about the power trail from at least five states and several milestones already have taken place or have been planned around the trail. I know at least two people completed the entire trail today and haven't logged them yet, so these numbers will quickly change.

This gives me a grand total (as of this posting) of 4,946 smileys that have been logged that I have handed out on my caches.

There is you another idea for a cache gingerose! You can only log the cache if you have handed out so many smileys by giving back to the sport. It could be a number like 5,000 or 10,000 or more smileys handed out. I know many people in Arkansas have tons more caches out than me, and have lots more smileys dished out, but I thought you may find this information interesting, or not.

astrodav
04-25-2010, 08:52 PM
I would tend to agree with what you've found. Series's (is that even a word??) seem to be trememndously popular .... even if they are quick & easy. My Hwy10 trails hows that, which I was initially disappointed in. It was PLANNED as a quick Power-Trail, but with the houses, peoples, traffic, dogs, etc....it's almost a Stealth-Trail. I usually don't like those personally, but with that entire trail being run every other day on average, seems lots of other people do.

I like numbers as much as the next person, but I also like the very PHYSICALLY challenging caches .... but not so much on the difficult caches to FIND. It's no fun to hike 2 miles to the top of a volcano, at night, battling a few Grizzly Bears on the way .... then can't find the little-bitty nano thrown in a pile of leaves. On the other hand, I don't like to do those every DAY. Sometimes I just want to do a quick run down a fairly deserted road & pick up 30 Baby Coke Bottles hanging in the cedars.

But I tend to agree with series's (there it is again, so I guess it really is a word) being one of the most popular types. Specifically, I don't mean Power-trails or 10 caches set along a trail that takes all day to walk. Those are good too. But by THIS "series", I mean a 4-6 hour drive on a fairly country highway, catching every old school building along the way .... or cemetery .... or historical location .... or church .... etc., etc.

As far as city caching, I've found that for me personally, that varies wildly. And I haven't yet figured out WHY. Russelville was tremendously fun & well laid out for the most part. I need to go back to get new ones, but when I hit the whole city over a 3-day period several months ago, it was loads of fun. I can think of only about 3-4 caches where I had no fun at all.

Little Rock is near the same. I've found about 70-80% of all caches there & only around a half-dozen irritated me. But then I tried to do Conway & Hot Springs. While still mostly enjoyable, "something" just wasn't the same. And then there were 2 other cities, which I won't name, which I was so disgusted with that I was just finding caches to get them marked off my map, hoping that none would ever pop up there again.

So, just in my own short experience, cities are hit & miss. But I'm not entirely sure why.

If I just had to pick one single method of caching to do the rest of my caching-career, wih no other? Then I'd most likely have to go with a lightly traveled 2-land blacktop hiway, with caches at least the size of BCB's, hidden about every 1 mile or so, but around 1/2 of them off the hiway a bit, requiring a 10 minute walk or so. I can't see myself ever tiring of that type of caching, nor not ever looking forward to it.

But that's the beauty of the sport. You find them in every imaginable situation, every method of hiding, every type of container, & every level of difficulty. I won't lie & say I like them ALL .... but there's not a single cache out there that I don't think has a reason .... as long as it's maintained properly & has at least enough info provided to make it an enjoyable hunt.

There's 1 cachers personal preferences, so figure those into your stats. I'd like to hear others opinions too.

P.S. Just gotta say this. I would like to see more SIZE to the average container. My size-stats might be a bit bias'd towards the larger containers, since I often target those, but it still seems like "Micros" are a bit high on the list .... at 60%. The very FIRST cache was a 5-gallon bucket. But it was also partially buried & had food in it. :) :) Pill Bottles & 35mm's have their place, but some places are to the point of saturation with those. Those make excellent urban-caches, but why put one in the woods, a half-mile from a road? In those instances, I'd like to see a few more larger containers popping up.

TinmanJones
04-26-2010, 09:35 AM
great information fellas!

wilddav
04-26-2010, 12:16 PM
I would tend to agree with what you've found. Series's (is that even a word??)

P.S. Just gotta say this. I would like to see more SIZE to the average container. My size-stats might be a bit bias'd towards the larger containers, since I often target those, but it still seems like "Micros" are a bit high on the list .... at 60%. The very FIRST cache was a 5-gallon bucket. But it was also partially buried & had food in it. :) :) Pill Bottles & 35mm's have their place, but some places are to the point of saturation with those. Those make excellent urban-caches, but why put one in the woods, a half-mile from a road? In those instances, I'd like to see a few more larger containers popping up.
I know that when i started this hobby i lo0ked high and l0w for all the cache's that i downloaded into gps i know that i found more than few that was not there,but as i get further(referring to distance)away from home i am backing away from the Micro's and lo0king more at ammo boxe's with TB or no TB's,also i l0ve the thrill of going to a cache and searching for the ammo box's,and its not about the numbers to me it's the thrill of looking,and finding the cache's.For me i am an AMMO b0x kind of guy i only have one Micro and i feel that lovers ln(street) needed it!In the near months i have 11 ammo boxs that i will be putting out,and i am thinking putting 1 or 2 onto a island naming it scarecrow island,but i dont know if anyone ever would be able to g0 there and find it?But than again thats is what it is all about the treasure hunting game!!!

pshelto
04-30-2010, 11:42 PM
Geez Firemedic, what a nerd! Seriously, is Eldo THAT boring?! :wink:

I like your stats, and it's neat you could find a way to relate them to your class. I am currently taking Project Management and my main project is my planned attack of Cane Creek State Park. It's great to do work when it relates to a thing I love doing.

I've heard of this power trail and as soon as it gets above 100 degrees, with a humidity level of 86%, I plan on hitting it. Until then, I'm waiting to see what else comes out (actually I just want to hit the whole thing and not piece by piece).

arkfiremedic
05-01-2010, 07:18 AM
Geez Firemedic, what a nerd! Seriously, is Eldo THAT boring?! :wink:

I like your stats, and it's neat you could find a way to relate them to your class. I am currently taking Project Management and my main project is my planned attack of Cane Creek State Park. It's great to do work when it relates to a thing I love doing.

I've heard of this power trail and as soon as it gets above 100 degrees, with a humidity level of 86%, I plan on hitting it. Until then, I'm waiting to see what else comes out (actually I just want to hit the whole thing and not piece by piece).No, ElDO isn't THAT boring, but this research methodology is. I just wanted to 'jazz' it up a bit with something I had been curious about for a while. I wonder why there isn't software (that I have seen) that can break down how many people have found your caches, who found the most, etc. If I was smart I would do it, but we know the truth of that matter (no comments from the gallery needed). GSAK can do this for your FINDS but not those that have FOUND yours (unless I'm not that smart- maybe someone knows of another program that does).


I would like to extend the trail just a wee bit more (I still have a list of 20-25 cachers I would like to include) but I'm waiting on ChuckWalla's fingers or claws (or what ever pointing appendage big lizard's have to push that button) because I know they are probably sore now. There is actually another perfect spot for the L.A. or LA #2 Series just west of Junction City, but it is not as rural as this section and has a couple dozen houses on it. The caches couldn't be as close as they are in the other end. I have the containers ready, just trying to gradumatate so uh cun be smurt like u :lol: .

pshelto
05-01-2010, 09:31 AM
Let's think here for a sec. What would said program need to do? Pull up a person's caches, check smilies for each, and sum that. I'm extremely horrible at programming but I love to do it. I've got one class left on my degree and then I'll check into this. I suspect it would be relatively easy for the site itself to do but I'd have to get into the code.

arkfiremedic
05-01-2010, 09:46 AM
Let's think here for a sec. What would said program need to do? Pull up a person's caches, check smilies for each, and sum that. I'm extremely horrible at programming but I love to do it. I've got one class left on my degree and then I'll check into this. I suspect it would be relatively easy for the site itself to do but I'd have to get into the code.Yep, just similar to GSAK except instead of what I have found, whose caches I have found and how many etc. calculate who has found mine, who has found the most of mine, and how many people have found mine, etc. I knew you were the right guy for this job.

pshelto
05-01-2010, 10:20 AM
Well no promises but I think it can done. I suspect if I crack GSAK I could see how it pulls stats. Redirect it to a person's caches and go from there.

astrodav
05-01-2010, 08:00 PM
Might want to check GS guidelines on that before you do it. Just a heads-up, 'cause I don't want anyone getting in trouble. I'm no coder for sure, so don't know the exacts .... but I do know some approximates. :lol:

Heard rumours GS wasn't very cool with "scraping" data from their site. I assume that means an automated robot data gathering thingy which mines for data like that.

arkfiremedic
05-01-2010, 10:06 PM
Might want to check GS guidelines on that before you do it. Just a heads-up, 'cause I don't want anyone getting in trouble. I'm no coder for sure, so don't know the exacts .... but I do know some approximates. :lol:

Heard rumours GS wasn't very cool with "scraping" data from their site. I assume that means an automated robot data gathering thingy which mines for data like that.What is the difference for me determining "who" found my caches versus "whose" caches I found :?:

pshelto
05-01-2010, 10:38 PM
I would think GSAK would be the route to go through. I am going to check their coding and see how they do it. It may turn out, astrodav, that they DO require some sort of license, so I will have to check into that. However, I would think for personal use, it might not be an issue. I will have to reread my user agreement on the site and see what I agreed to.

QuartzCachers
05-02-2010, 12:31 PM
Hey guys, I'm not at a computer right now (this is coming from the Blackberry), but I'm pretty sure that GSAK already does this. I am positive that somones does, because I have seen this on some profiles before. I even had a discussion with a cacher from another state that my caches were in their top five most found, even though they live hundreds of miles away. Your new trail will provide you with some similar results. Now if I could just remember where I saw that. :? :?: :?

arkfiremedic
05-02-2010, 12:54 PM
Hey guys, I'm not at a computer right now (this is coming from the Blackberry), but I'm pretty sure that GSAK already does this. I am positive that somones does, because I have seen this on some profiles before. I even had a discussion with a cacher from another state that my caches were in their top five most found, even though they live hundreds of miles away. Your new trail will provide you with some similar results. Now if I could just remember where I saw that. :? :?: :?Yes, I can see that indeed you are in my top #4 (QuartzCachers 128 finds or 7.72 % of caches found) cachers whose caches I have found with a GSAK Macro. I was just curious who has found the most of my caches and how many times my caches have been found.

QuartzCachers
05-03-2010, 05:21 PM
Yeah, it will do that too. Check out those folks who came and visited my trail from Maine. Lexmano is their caching name, and they have on their profile, both who has found their caches, and whose caches thay have found. Now if I could just figure out how to load all that cool info on my profile. :?
BTW, I am very proud to be number four on your finds list. You only need to come find 36 more of mine for me to be numero uno. As soon as I get enough hidden, I'll holler at you, so you can come get enough to have QC as your number one cache provider. :D :D :D

BSA534
05-03-2010, 10:55 PM
Bruce,
Thats all done with a GSAK macro. It can generate all kinds of interesting bits of info.

arkfiremedic
05-04-2010, 12:18 AM
Thanks to you both QuartzCachers and BSA534. I had hoped GSAK had a macro to do such, but with the dozens of macros available as add-ons tonight after trying several I was unable to come up with the right one. As a last ditch effort I emailed Lexmano to ask him:


Greetings from Arkansas! A while back you made a trip through Arkansas caching and joined up with ArkGeo. You have again come up in the forums under a discussion about statistics and specifically your profile page. QuartzCachers posted that your profile page provided specifics about what cachers had found 'your' caches. If you don't mind me asking which GSAK macro did you use to get this information and how did you do it? I've looked through the dozens and dozens of available macros and wasn't able to figure out which one you used. This will help a lot of us Arkansans out who are trying to get statistics on our hides we have out. Thank you in advance for your help!

Thanks again.

arkfiremedic
Justin Murphree

Lexmano
05-04-2010, 11:18 AM
Nice to get an e-mail form Arkansas! We had a great trip and lunch with Bruce and Denise? was definitely a highlight!

The stats you want are part of the capability of the FindStatGen macro by Lingmuaqua. When you set up your options you ask for stats on your placed caches.

Go to the GSAK help forums, the Macro help area and you will find an FAQ area on the stats program and this topic is covered. It can take awhile to get it set up right, but after that just keep updating your GSAk database on your hides and it will be there every time you run the stats generator.

I think of you guys from time to time. On April 1, 2010 a group of folks hid 111 caches in a remote series of roads in Waldo county Maine intending them to be published as an April fool's day bash. One of the hiders let it slip to my brother-in-law (assuming since we live two hours away we were not factors in the FTF frenzy). Well we got to a wi fi hot spot by 5AM and the publisher let them go. Our out of town FTF poaching trip resulted in 105 finds, 86 FTF's and 6 DNF's.

My wife and I leave for Denver Thursday to complete the Mountain states. Colorado, Wyoming, Idaho, Montana and Utah. That will leave me with DC. Delaware, North and South Carolina, Alaska and Hawaii. We will get Alaska in early June and the East coast in August. Then we got to get to Hawaii before my brother-in-law!

Cache On! :D