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marc_54140
WGA Member



Joined: 2004-01-28
Posts: 2631
Location: Little Chute

PostPosted: Sun Feb 26, 2006 2:53 pm Reply with quote Back to top

I believe it is time for the WGA to host a numbers site. Although House of Brew has done an excellent job on his site, it places a considerable burden on his time to keep the site current and running.

Is it all about the numbers? No, not really. But everyone approaches geo-caching from a different prespective. For some, yes, the numbers do count! For others, no. To each their own.

Personally, I like to see what my totals look like, and to be able to compare with others. I do not feel I am in competition, I just like to see the numbers. If you consider a Bell curve distribution of cachers, I believe I would fall somewhere in the middle. That means, I believe a lot of you out there feel fairly much the same as I do.


Before you jump in with a reason against this suggestion, please pause and consider for a moment. If you are not interested in numbers, you are certainly not required to look at any such listing. But is that a reason to deny it to those who are interested?


[This message has been edited by marc_54140 (edited 02-26-2006).]
 
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Cathunter




Joined: 2003-09-10
Posts: 1263
Location: Bristol WI

PostPosted: Sun Feb 26, 2006 6:02 pm Reply with quote Back to top

Before any such thing could ever take place, we would need to get permission from Groundspeak to mine the data from their site.

After what has happened to Buxley, I am under the impression that they don't care much for the idea.
 
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marc_54140
WGA Member



Joined: 2004-01-28
Posts: 2631
Location: Little Chute

PostPosted: Sun Feb 26, 2006 6:42 pm Reply with quote Back to top

There are numerous other sites listing stats for different states.
 
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Cathunter




Joined: 2003-09-10
Posts: 1263
Location: Bristol WI

PostPosted: Sun Feb 26, 2006 10:03 pm Reply with quote Back to top

I'm not against it, I'm just pointing out that is has never been approved that I am aware of.

Our "recent finds" pages mines data from the site too. Every time Groundspeak updates their website, the "recent finds" page, Brew's Stats page, and everyone elses comes crashing down and needs to have mods done to make it all work again. If we had some open communication with Groundspeak, much of the trouble might be circumvented.

Grabbing data off other people's servers without their authorization borders on being a crime.
 
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arffer
WGA Member



Joined: 2002-02-17
Posts: 1375
Location: Darien, WI US

PostPosted: Sun Feb 26, 2006 10:28 pm Reply with quote Back to top

quote:
Originally posted by Cathunter:
Grabbing data off other people's servers without their authorization borders on being a crime.
Are you of the opinion then that when someone creates a website, open to the public, with no security, password or otherwise, that permission to view that page is not implied?

When you go and view www.google.com, permission is not implied that you are allowed to view the page?

Because that is exactly what WGA's Recent Logs page does. It uses a very basic browser (wget) to simply view geocaching.com's recent log page.

No access is made to any of their databases, no logon to their system is done.

I'm simply not familier with such a broad definition of 'data mining', nor am I familier with the laws we are encroaching on.

 
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Cathunter




Joined: 2003-09-10
Posts: 1263
Location: Bristol WI

PostPosted: Sun Feb 26, 2006 11:26 pm Reply with quote Back to top

<cringe> Image

Not at all what I meant... my fault.

When I view someone's web page I am viewing it as they intended.

If I were to copy data from their website and post it up on my own without their approval, I don't feel I would be doing the right thing.

Opinions may vary.




[This message has been edited by Cathunter (edited 02-26-2006).]
 
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Team Deejay
WGA Member



Joined: 2005-10-02
Posts: 2373
Location: Rochester, WI, US

PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2006 12:22 am Reply with quote Back to top

Until this gets decided further, here is a working site to hold you over.
http://grand_high_pobah.home.comcast.net/Wisconsin1.html

As you will see, this doesn't have the detail of House of Brew's list, and you may also find that you are not on the list. The site looks at certain "popular" caches to get names of cachers with more than 200 finds, but, if you are like me, you haven't actually found any of these specific hides. In this case, you can just email the website owner and he will add you manually to the database.


[This message has been edited by Team Deejay (edited 02-27-2006).]
 
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PCFrog
WGA Member



Joined: 2005-05-11
Posts: 728
Location: Sparta, WI

PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2006 6:46 am Reply with quote Back to top

I will ask since the question has not been asked yet.

Why donít you sponsor the site yourself if the interest is so strong?


This is not a question to be a butt just wondering is there a technical reason or other reason why you donít just take it over.
 
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CB&MB
WGA Member



Joined: 2005-02-24
Posts: 385
Location: Silver Lake, WI

PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2006 11:37 am Reply with quote Back to top

quote:
Originally posted by Team Deejay:
Until this gets decided further, here is a working site to hold you over.
http://grand_high_pobah.home.comcast.net/Wisconsin1.html



Very cool site! Thanks for posting the link!
MB


 
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marc_54140
WGA Member



Joined: 2004-01-28
Posts: 2631
Location: Little Chute

PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2006 3:39 pm Reply with quote Back to top

I do not have the technical know-how to create such a site.
 
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Jeremy
WGA Member



Joined: 2002-02-19
Posts: 3249
Location: Milwaukee, WI

PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2006 5:39 pm Reply with quote Back to top

quote:
Originally posted by marc_54140:
I do not have the technical know-how to create such a site.


As I told Marc on Saturday, I do have the technical ability to take this on but...

I think the Board should solicit input from members and then answer the following questions:

1. Should the WGA put cacher statistics on the WGA site? Reasons not to include a) it could appear the organization is promoting/glorifying the numbers game b) it could make Groundspeak mad and it is technically in violation of their Terms of Use.

(Note that collecting cacher statistics is different than the recent logs in that you must be logged in as a user in order to see the user profile pages. So this information is not wholly public. Whose account should we use when collecting this information?)

2. If yes to #1, do we contact Groundspeak to try to get official approval to do this, or do we try to fly it under the radar? I would think that eventually they will catch on to what we are doing... plus if we don't have written permission we'd be violating another of the Terms of Use:

quote:

You agree that you will not use any robot, spider, scraper or other automated means to access the Site for any purpose without our express written permission.



3. If yes to #1, is this going to be an opt in or opt out system? If it is an opt in system and many people decide not to display their statistics in the list, then the ranking could become irrelevant. However just grabbing a cacher's data/information without their permission and displaying it seems to violate even more conditions of the Terms of Use. Also, do we allow non-members (out of state cachers who have finds in Wisconsin) to be listed?

Note that if we are certain House of Brew is down for the count, I'd be willing to work on a replacement whether it appears on the WGA site or not. (Of course, this would only be after I complete the work on the new WGA site I've already signed up for...)

The other option is to pay to have our statistics collected by the cachestats.made.nu site. So far, this site plus the Grand High Pobah site, other state statistics sites, have not been shut down by geocaching.com. But if you read the this notice on cachestats.made.nu, you'll see that several restrictions have been placed on their site... basically limiting how fast they can request new data from geocaching.com and preventing "spidering" operations. Plus, it appears that their system is completely busted for new members (which all of us would be) according to this note:

quote:

New members are most affected by this change as the system no longer has any mechanism to locate logs that were entered prior to the member being included in the stats system.



[This message has been edited by jvechinski (edited 02-27-2006).]
 
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Team Deejay
WGA Member



Joined: 2005-10-02
Posts: 2373
Location: Rochester, WI, US

PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2006 9:39 pm Reply with quote Back to top

Quote:
The other option is to pay to have our statistics collected by the cachestats.made.nu site.


Hate to be a wet blanket on this, but I checked out this site and they are approximately 3 months behind, probably indicating they stopped downloading data in November. I checked several of the clubs (change the last digit to check out other clubs) and no one has anything new after November. Maybe the GC.COM lawyers caught them when they were heading out to the trail....

That said, the features on this site are really first rate. If we decide to create our own site, we could do a lot worse than to emulate their features. One example: When you click on an individual user profile, you not only get a count of each type of cache, you also get how many of each size, each state, each country, etc. Another example: the site apparently grabs a listing of the most recently placed caches in the club area (I didn't count them, but I would guess they are grabbing about 40). Both of these features are very nice. Too bad they seem to have given up the process.

Edited because I don't know how to not hit enter at the wrong time.



[This message has been edited by Team Deejay (edited 02-27-2006).]
 
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Jeremy
WGA Member



Joined: 2002-02-19
Posts: 3249
Location: Milwaukee, WI

PostPosted: Tue Feb 28, 2006 8:00 am Reply with quote Back to top

quote:
Originally posted by Team Deejay:
Hate to be a wet blanket on this, but I checked out this site and they are approximately 3 months behind, probably indicating they stopped downloading data in November.


Thanks for pointing out that this site is busted... well that removes that particular option from the table. Anyone happen to know if an alternative to this site has popped up in the past couple months? Maybe the WGA should create something and sell stats to other clubs as a fundraiser!? Image

quote:
Originally posted by Team Deejay:

That said, the features on this site are really first rate. If we decide to create our own site, we could do a lot worse than to emulate their features.



Unfortunately some of these features are probably what got it shut down or blocked by geocaching.com. To get more information than Brew provides, you really have to look beyond the user profile pages and at the list of finds and hides for a user and then at the cache pages themselves. This "spidering" process can really cause a lot of requests to be generated and chew up a lot of bandwidth, so it is not surprising they were noticed and blocked.

If geocaching.com would just change the "My Finds" pocket query feature to allow it to be scheduled and emailed to a different address we'd be able to provide these detailed stats. Members would set up their My Finds pocket query to be sent to say stats@wi-geocaching.com, and each time a query arrived it would be parsed and used to update the stats database. We could provide the option for people to manually upload the My Finds GPX file, but it would not be as useful...

[This message has been edited by jvechinski (edited 02-28-2006).]
 
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marc_54140
WGA Member



Joined: 2004-01-28
Posts: 2631
Location: Little Chute

PostPosted: Tue Feb 28, 2006 10:10 am Reply with quote Back to top

Perhaps it's time someone - like from the WGA board - queries GC and find out what requirements they have regarding stats and crawling techniques. I heard that Buxley closed down because of what they were asking.
 
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wooden_nickel
WGA Member



Joined: 2003-06-09
Posts: 100
Location: Verona, WI

PostPosted: Tue Feb 28, 2006 1:03 pm Reply with quote Back to top

Perhaps the board before even opening the can of worms by contacting geocaching.com, should poll the membership to see if there is even a majority that desires the WGA to host a stats site such as this.

One big reason geocaching.com doesn't allow this crawling for info is that it slows down their site.

I guess if I had to decide between an even slower geocaching.com on weekends in order to get the nice site to count stats or a faster geocaching.com. I would choose the later.
 
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