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0 votes
OK, the question heading is 'tongue-in-cheek' but in the last few weeks I have gone from a Bronze level badge for the Low Altitude Cacher to suddenly being Ruby level.

This occurred in at least 2 stages that I noticed.

I know that a while back the method for calculating the High Altitude Cacher stats were tightened up and I presume that some work has now been done on the Low Altitude ones, but I do not believe that there is anywhere in New Zealand that you can get a cache at 31m BELOW sea level, and yet that's now my lowest cache so I'm going to suggest there's a bug?

It may not be an actual bug as such, but I'm open to suggestions as to other explanations if anyone has any?

in Miscellaneous by TwigNZ (3.9k points)

3 Answers

+2 votes
The altitude of a cache is the altitude of the ground at the published coordinates, which in the case of puzzle cache out at sea is, of course, below sea level.

I assume there has been an improvement in PGC's mapping data for the sea bed.
by the Seagnoid (Expert) (42.8k points)
Ahhh, well my mistake then. I would have thought it would have been sensible to have the reading taken at the location of the physical cache rather than the posted co-ords.
The moment someone creates a Puzzle cache some 3km offshore in Hawkes Bay then we can all get instant Diamonds (guessing at depth, but a good chance)
PGC does not know where the finals are hidden. (Come on, Twig, you know this!)
(and it is possible to find a puzzle cache without posting corrected coordinates)
Actually I didn't know that. Obviously Groundspeak do know where the finals are, and I rather assumed that by default PGC would too. Obviously a wrong assumption on my part, but in truth how would any typical user on this site know which bits of information are and are not shared between the 2 organisations?

Regardless of my incorrect assumption, I still assert that to base an altitude reading on a location that isn't the final is a bit of a fallacy. Just an opinion of course, but I'm pretty sure there exist older Puzzle caches out there with posted co-ordinates in the middle of an ocean where the finals are on dry land which make a bit of a mockery of basing the altitude on posted co-ords.
+2 votes
I remember the low altitude badge was -200m for Diamond level some weeks ago. As there are only some caches worldwide being at -200 to -480m (Isreal) this was changed to -100m to have a better, but still challenging, change to get Diamond level.

So Ruby is now at -25m. Some Quarry/Mining caches also have a very low altitude.
by supertwinfan (17.8k points)
+2 votes

Catchy title TwigNZ; it made me think about houseboats, LOL.  Anyway, I was also curious about what is going on so I did a search for more information and discovered this thread:  It appears like more accurate data is being used from other sources and is now updating the databases. With that said, expect more changes in the near future.

Changes to the badge levels make it more realistic to achieve for a greater number of people.

by TigreToot (23.1k points)
edited by TigreToot
Thanks to the link to the other thread. It's good to see that the sources for information are being updated and improved (which is what the Seagnoid said). As for making the badge easier to attain higher levels on, I'm in two minds about it. A few minor tweaks now and again should be a good thing, but I've gone from Bronze to Ruby without lifting a finger which to my mind is too much of a tweak. I don't feel like I've 'earned' my Ruby status, unlike climbing Mt Egmont last year which was a huge effort (which I felt good about doing) but has only earned me Platinum level on the high altitude badge.
It just feels like a huge disparity.