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Why are metrics calculated using Date Placed when Date Published is available

+1 vote
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I am always seeking out Lonely caches and figured the PGC Lonely Caches page would help me locate some near me.  And it did, as GC735A1 (#7, currently) on the list has a Loneliness factor of 4471.

So I took a look at it with the idea of going to find it.  But wait a minute, this cache isn't lonely, it was Published on 04/07/2017.  What the...?

As soon as I looked a bit closer however, I immediately saw the problem.  For reasons unknown, the Hidden Date is given as 05/04/2006 and, for reasons equally unknown, PGC is using the Hidden Date instead of the Publish date to calculate its Loneliness

Now I realize that caches published before 2005 do not have a Publish date, and the Hidden on date is the only one that can be used.  However, if a cache does indeed have a Publish Date, in support of accuracy, that is the date that should be used.

Incorrect metrics are useless metrics, and given my understanding that PGC was founded to calculate all sorts of metrics and statistics, it's difficult to understand why Hidden date continues to be used in cases in which Published Date is available.  I would suggest PGC take an action to correct this type of discrepancy globally.
asked Aug 1, 2018 in Bug reports by qbee37 (370 points)

1 Answer

+3 votes
The publish date is a date, when the reviewer pushes the button to let the cache out, but the hidden date is the date since the cache is out there so for most metrics it really makes sense. The cache was probably out there really since that time and was lonely.

There are always "bad" caches that do this wrong for some reason and I don't think it is up to PGC to change its algorithm to catch each and every misbehaving case. There are just few caches where CO changed the hidden date to something unreasonable and if you really thing it is bad, the best you can do is to contact the CO for clarification or fix.
answered Aug 2, 2018 by Jakuje (Moderator) (104,990 points)
So, with a straight face, you're suggesting that the cache in question really was placed in 2006, but for whatever reason, the CO chose let it sit until 2017 before telling the caching public it was there to be found?

And therefore the cache was really lonely. And, the fact that not a single cacher even knew of its existence until it was published in 2017 is irrelevant?

Sorry, but from the point of view of the cacher, until a cache is published and someone can try to find it, it doesn't exist.  And I would argue that using any arbitrary date to characterize a cache before it exists does not make sense for ANY metric.
I am not suggesting anything about your specific cache. This is generic guidance how it usually works and how it should work. If the cache was NOT placed in 2006, then the CO put there wrong date and you (because you care) should try to contact him and ask him to fix the date. There are no mechanism from PGC to force the date on specific violating caches.
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