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Lab cache finds appearing incorrectly in month stats

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I found many caches on leap day 2020, and Iogged them on the next day, March 1.  I was careful that all cache logs were submitted as February 29.  I have not found or logged any caches since that time.

In my latest dashboard, it reports that I have found 4 caches in March.  However, that is wrong. All caches were in February, none in March.  I checked geocaching.com, and it is correct there... all caches are logged properly for February 29.  

Unsure why project-gc is picking up 4 caches and assigning them to March incorrectly.
asked Mar 3 in Bug reports by caverdon (170 points)
edited Mar 4 by caverdon

1 Answer

0 votes
You have four lab caches showing as found on 1 March. Check your Lab Caches tab to confirm.
answered Mar 3 by sumbloke (Expert) (32,320 points)
OK.  I looked in the project dashboard for lab caches, and I see there are 4 lab caches listed there for March 1.  So those are the problem.  However, these were logged on February 29 in the Adventure Labs app.  I checked the geocaching web site and the Adventure Labs app to find where lab caches are logged, but cannot find them anywhere.  Know where else to look, to confirm the error is with the Groundspeak software?
I suspect a time zone logging problem.  When I look at these 4 lab caches, all were late in the day on February 29, about 6:00-7:00pm.  On the Pacific Coast U.S. it would still be February 29.  However in Europe at that time it would be March 1.
I'm afraid not. PGC only gets limited information from Geocaching for lab caches - name, ID and date. If the date is wrong, that's based on what Geocaching is returning.

I have a suspicion, however, that it returns the UTC date from when you logged the lab cache, rather than your local time. Given you're in USA, if you logged them late enough in the day, it would have been after midnight UTC.
I believe you are correct with that suspicion. The Adventure Lab meta data for finds most likely is going off of UTC. I'm in central time and if I log an adventure lab cache after 6 PM CST, it shows up as the following day on project-GC. Interestingly enough, the geocaching.com stats appear to adjust adventure lab find times for local time, thus displaying these correctly and causing the discrepancy between the two. I imagine when DST begins the cutoff will change to 7 PM CDT.
I finally found the location on the geocaching web site where you can see your individual lab caches and the dates.  As was suspected, it reports the 4 lab caches as "Completed: 3/1/2020 UTC".  This is different from the other caches, which just list a date. (It doesn't indicate UTC, but I suspect it is the correctly adjusted date for your time zone due to some late-night caching I've done.)

So what is the solution?  From this I assume that Project-GC only has the date and cannot covert it to reflect the time zone as the geocaching API does not provide the needed information.  Or more likely it shouldn't do this anyway, because the geocaching API / data is just too limited (a design problem, IMHO).  I will submit a bug report to GroundSpeak, but they may say, "This is just how it works."

However -- when you look at geocaching.com's stats... lab cache counts ARE included correctly for the month... contradicting what Project-GC reports.  So there is a discrepancy.... the geocaching.com stats page counts it correctly, but another geocaching.com page reports it incorrectly.

I do hope it is somehow correctly, because basically I am being cheated of completing 4 lab caches on a leap day due to this bug.
I have found that this is a known date problem with lab caches.  I'm not the only one who is having the problem.  You can see discussion about this issue on this geocaching.com thread:

https://forums.geocaching.com/GC/index.php?/topic/355538-adventure-lab-cache-time-stamp-error/
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