I hope this message finds you well in these strange times. Best wishes. And thanks for supporting a way to get outside!
I've been contemplating a challenge cache that I wondered if you could let me know if you think it would be possible to get a checker for it. I've read the guidelines, and I believe it should be. I did also reach out to a local reviewer and they thought it interesting and viable.
The idea is an "Alberta 4D challenge" and would be based on finds on physical caches within the province of Alberta (which I read as being OK as an existing allowed area). 4D means the 4 dimensions : N-S (lat), E-W (long), low-high (altitude) and old-young (time).
Alberta runs N-S 60 degrees to 49 degrees, E-W 110 to 120 degrees, lowest cache about 180m highest 3500m (project GC source), oldest active cache Nov 2000.
The challenge would be based a total number of points where points are accumulated for each dimension, let's say a max of 10 points possible for each dimension.
So for N-S, the checker would need to find the latitude difference between a cachers most northerly and southerly physical find within Alberta and compare that to the 11 degree range of the province. So, if the found caches latititude difference was 5.5 degrees they would get 5.5/11 of the 10 points, i.e. 5 points towards the target value.
For E-W, the longitude difference between most westerly and easterly caches physically found compared to the 10 degree range.
Similar for altitude, height difference between highest and lowest find within Alberta compared to the range (which is about 3300m).
And time between youngest and oldest find compared to maybe a 20 yr range.
So basically a score out of 10 for each dimension that then gets added together for a sum. I was thinking if they got 30 points or more, they would qualify...
(FYI... I think I just about qualify based on this scenario, and have a friend who I know does. I didn't find it easy to work out my most NSEW finds).
The hope is that it encourage cachers to explore a little further afield in each direction, a little higher or lower, or a little older.
Thanks for reading. l look forwards to hearing what you might think is this is technically possible. I feel all the required data is in the system and thus should be accessible for the checker and then the math isn't too bad.
Best wishes, and thanks again
It appears you don't qualify just yet - you have 27 points.
The points have been calculated by:
N-S: the difference between furthest N and S, divided by 11 degrees, then multiplied by 10
E-W: the difference between furthest E and W, divided by 10 degrees, then multiplied by 10
Elevation: the difference between highest and lowest, divided by 3300, then multiplied by 10
Hidden date: the difference between oldest and newest finds, divided by 20m then multiplied by 10
Each part is then rounded down, then added together for the total. I think this is what you require.
The current output shows you the qualifying caches, I think this works, but I can change it to what you want if you want it different.
Looking good already!
May be the youngest find isn't working quite right. The test of the checker shows the GC code for mine as from March 2020, but I have a find for a cache hidden Nov 2020 find (GC92G6P). The math based in the GC code shown wouldn't be right because it is less than 20 years...but for my youngest find it would be. So that needs a check to be sure.
I had thought about not rounding because to the distances and effort involved to extend the ranges. So could the math be changed to get it to 2 decimal places for each of the scores out of 10 and then adding them for the score out of 40 ie. xx.xx ?
Looks like I need a trip E to qualify though !
Thanks again for the quick work !
Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/28/2020 03:11PM by hunthikers.
Made the 2 decimal point adjustment as requested, and found where my logic had failed in the newest/oldest cache part - should be fine now.
Have also added cache page links to the output.
Please can you also provide a GC-code to attach to the checker.
Hope this is good now!
Great work DrAcorn
Here's a code : GC9391M
Seems to work perfectly based on the testing so far :)
I appreciate the work and now I have the added motivation for a road trip a few degrees to the E to reach the magic number and hence be able to get the challenge published.
Am I right that it is working on physical caches only ? For example no earthcaches or virtuals etc.
Re Alberta 4D checker for GC9391M (it needs a cousin)
Since I don't quite qualify (yet = road trip required) for my Alberta 4D challenge, I am exploring a couple of variations, one for Calgary (division 6) and Canmore (division 15).
So any chance I can get a modified version of this Alberta 4D checker for another challenge?
It will be based on the following which I mined from the project GC site (although I'm not sure its finding the true highest and lowest e.g. what does it do for puzzles ? posted or final coords). Or maybe you know a better way to find the lowest and highest cache in a region ?
N\ew GC code : GC93F87
region = Alberta, division 6 = Calgary
NS range is 1.631 degrees
EW range is 1.61333 degrees
altitude range is 657m
time range lets stick with 20 yrs (for now though its 19.5 yrs based on oldest active cache at present).
As for the points total for the find I think we need to up it from 30 to 36 (at least for now).
The ranges are as you requested.
as for puzzle caches, I believe that the posted coordinates are used - it doesnt have access to final coords. I think there is a way to incorporate finding the range in the actual script (by searching the highest and lowest caches in the region, for example), it would take a bit of time to put into the script if you wanted this.
Again, you hadnt mentioned any different, so it is still only physical caches in this checker.
Just a note to say, I have now altered the elevation part of the script so that it calculates the difference between the caches it finds to be the highest and lowest, then uses that value for the subsequent calculations. I don't think it varies much at all from the previous values I had entered, but should a new cache be placed that is highest or lowest, it would automatically take that into account.
What do you think about something similar for age ? Could we compare oldest active to newest active to set the range ?
I also have a question related to the divisions etc.
Looking at the map on the project GC NSEW-oldest tool, the most N cache in this Alberta division 6 (Calgary) area as https://coord.info/GC1Q6KR at N 51 52.959
But when I look at the same map and follow the boundary shown, this cache https://coord.info/GC2877V at N 51 56.432 looks to be in the division but is not being reported as such in the tool.
Is there a way to know the division parameters that Project GC is using to establish the boundaries?
Many thanks again for the quick work !
Something similar with age would be possible, although I think it would have to be the difference between the oldest cache and the date the checker is run. I can try to implement this later.
If you are wondering, I dont think it would be possible to do the same thing with NSEW caches.
As for the NSEW tool, I think it shows GC2877V as in Red Deer County rather than Calgary - it is by the road that is bordering the counties, so must be just the wrong side of the line. If you use the Map Counties tool, you can see the boundaries. I believe the data used is from census data.
Unfortunately, we can’t see the unpublished listings, but as long as you have added the challenge attribute, it is a mystery cache, and there is a link to the checker in the description, you should be good to go :)
A couple of questions... the cache title isn't appearing on the check page (just empty brackets) and does the checker get reset to zero for publication ? (it currently shows my development test counts).
One other thought, do you think it would be possible to display the finds on a map in the checker result ?
Thanks for all the help so far, I hope the get the first of the series published within the next few days :)
The system does not have access to unpublished caches, so the title will appear when it is published :)
I’m not 100%, but I dont think that the checker gets reset to 0/0. If it bothers you, I can issue a new checker link for you.
Personally, I don’t currently know how to put a map on the output (not had to before), but I will have a look into it for you. If you want, you can publish the cache, and if/when I add the map, it will automatically be added.
Ok thanks for the reply.
I think the map output could be a cool way for cachers to see their finds in relation to the challenge, so if it happens great, but I will continue with the writing up the page. If I could get a new link to reset, I would certainly use it!