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+1 vote
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On the Statistics - General (Overview) page, the right hand side of the page deals with 'Activity'.

Can I get some clarification on what constitutes a cacher being "Active"?

Is it simply logging a cache? Or does it include logging TB's? Or even something like posting a 'Write Note' on an event (like re-confirming attendance at the Seattle event next year)?

Or are you considered 'Active' if you simply log onto your Geocaching account?

The reason for my query is to truly understand the stat that (apparently) there were 2651 active cachers in New Zealand last month.

Considering we were in lock down, I would like to know whether this was a whole bunch of people breaking the lockdown rules, or whether the stat gives a false impression as maybe most of those are perfectly innocent?

Thank you.
in Support and help by TwigNZ (4.7k points)

3 Answers

+1 vote
I would argue that it doesn't represent the true picture of what is really going on.  The only people who can truly determine if they are active is the individual user, Reviewer, and HQ at geocaching.com. The Reviewers have a lot more tools they use to determine if a user is active.  Obviously, HQ would have all the tools.  My local reviewer confirmed all of the above since I had a similar question and wanted to know what active means.

The simple definition is they have an account with geocaching.com that is not suspended, locked, or disabled by user.  Active may simply mean they have been visiting their profile, logged a note, or edited etc.  It should not be assumed they were out geocaching but, even if they were, they do have the right to make that decision whether it's a good or bad one.  Some geocaches can be found without exposing anyone and hopefully if people geocache they keep that in mind and only go after the caches where they can solo and not pose a threat.
by TigreToot (26.5k points)
edited by TigreToot
Yes, I agree with pretty much all your comments. The specific reason for my query is that there has been an article published in a National newspaper here in NZ that has painted Geocaching in a very bad light, which I am sure wasn't the intention of the person interviewed, but unfortunately some stats from (I believe) PGC have been used in the article and before I go back to the journalist I would like to have some better understanding of the stats so I can make assertions with some authority on the subject.
I might be wrong about the source of the stats, but if I'm right then the use of them has completely distorted the accuracy of how Geocachers in New Zealand have behaved during our restrictions.

It would be helpful if some kind of answer from an administrator or suchlike from PGC could confirm what constitutes 'Active' for the specific stat on the overview :)
OK, thanks for the details about the situation.  If it were me, I would be very careful  getting involved without first consulting your Reviewer who can contact HQ.  Directly interacting with a journalist regarding geocaching could become very controversial and downright tricky at best.  Good luck.
I agree, but that has already happened, and I was considering a bit of damage control.
+1 vote

It's based on "Found it" logs and equivalents.

There are probably several different reasons to these "2651 active", and it might not even be illegal.

  • Couch logging
  • Logging fulfilled challenges on later dates (allowed from guidelines)
  • Logging field notes with the wrong date. By purpose or not.
Personally I have no clue how hard your restrictions are/has been. To me personally it seems weird if you aren't allowed to leave your cabin in the woods, to take a walk in those woods, if there is no neighbor. Anyway, the logs in April are fairly evenly spread over the month.
by magma1447 (Admin) (230k points)
Great answer, thank you. But can I ask a clarification please? When you talk of "found it" logs and equivalents, do those equivalents include Write Notes?

My thinking is that a lot of people may have used lockdown time to solve puzzle caches for retrieval at a later date and once solved may have updated co-ordinates and included a note. I'm wondering if that kind of activity would be included as activity for a cacher?

This is not in anyway a complaint, I'm really just trying to totally understand how the stats are arrived at so that possibly some kind of rebuttal statement can be made to clear up a more accurate picture of lockdown activity for cachers in New Zealand.
No, "found it" logs and equivalents would not include "write note".

According to the "Top Logged Caches" tool here, there were 2923 caches found in New Zealand in the date range 26/3 - 27/4. One of these was found 10 times and 944 total were found more than once. ETA: 52 of these were Earth, Virtual or Webcam, which means no physical contact needed.

In the same timeframe, the "Top finders" tool says 1276 cachers logged finds in New Zealand, the highest number of finds logged being 53 (nearly 2 per day on average for the timeframe). 755 of these logged more than one find.
Thanks for the reply. Yes, I too found the same number of 1276 for cachers logging finds for that date range.
So if the date range is made just the whole month of April then I get 1170 cachers posting a "found it" log.
Compare that then to the General Overview stat of 2651 "active" cachers in NZ for the month of April and I go back to my original question of what exactly constitutes "active"? What did the other 1481 people do to be considered "active"?
+1 vote
I read an article when it was mentioned on the regional FB page and a comment about 2300 people actively playing the game would suggest people finding caches but this figure is not the same as a search made on PGC where the stats shows that just over 1300 have found caches. (Using the 'Top finders' function on PGC) So maybe that figure does reflect other logging activity

Reading the article and noting the chart used (not sure where it comes from, though my guess is the stats have been pulled from PGC) but there is a difference in wording to that of a similar PGC chart
On the article chart it shows for March 25th - 'Geocaches found' (it uses that phrase) - 432
On PGC - using the 'log entries per date' function this also shows for March 25th - 434 (I would suggest 2 new logs for that date made since 27th April would account for the difference)
other dates shows very similar comparisons
So my guess is the numbers have come from PGC but used with incorrect wording - but it would seem clarification from PGC to confirm  - is the 'log entries per date' function for ALL log types (found it , DNF, Write Note etc etc) or just 'Found it' logs

However despite the wording etc etc it is easy to see that 1300 'different' cachers have 'found' caches in NZ during that period - it is possible that over 2.5k cachers have been active on the website - many of whom may have been disabling their own caches
by Deepdiggingmole (13.1k points)
edited by Deepdiggingmole
Another great answer, thank you. And thanks for mentioning the Top Finders function as I hadn't explored that one previously, but have now.

See my comment back to magma1447 above seeking further clarification of whether a Write Note constitutes activity. It would be great to have a clearer understanding of that 'activity' stat. If it includes people disabling caches then that would explain a lot too.

Even some of the 1300-odd finders could be legitimate during the L4 lockdown, if they had been for Adventure Lab caches, Virtuals, or Earthcaches that they might have been able to do within walking distance of their homes as part of a daily exercise routine. That would be hard to prove of course without doing some cyber-stalking which I would be very uncomfortable able. I don't want a witch hunt, just a clearer view of what happened under Level 4 :)
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