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Church Micro Statistics Notes

Why your statistics are not correct
Finder Ranking Table
Placed statistics
Owner Ranking Table
Top 10 Statistics
Statistics enhancement history
Possible future enhancements
How the statistics are produced
How GDPR can affect your statistics


These are for the UK series only.

It is my intention to make weekly updates to the statistics page and the awards data file, though obviously this won't happen those weeks when I'm on holiday and in practice the update might take place on any day of the week depending on what I'm doing that week.

These statistics are based on the Church Micro bookmark lists (see home page). If the cache isn't listed there, then I won't be taking it into account. If you think there's a cache missing from any list please take this up with Andy33.

Feedback is welcome. Thoughtful criticism and constructive suggestions will be responded to and may result in me changing/enhancing the page. (A list of suggested enhancements is included further down this page.) No promises though! Please contact me through my profile BaSHful.

Name Changes

Prior to 15th January 2013, if you changed your caching name it would result in your statistics being split. Since then the new program uses your unique "Member ID" and should take any name changes in its stride. The name displayed on the web page is taken from the most recent log and should therefore be up-to-date.

Unique finds

Should you log the same cache as found more than once then it only counts as one. And this has happened in the past! See this report.

Excluded caches

GC1CT4F - Church micro-St Martha`s is not part of the series, solely because The Roos did not obtain a number from sadexploration! This could have been easily and quickly rectified but after a period of many months, once it became apparent that nothing was going to be done by the Roos, I took it upon myself, with sadexploration's agreement, to create an official one, Church Micro 1036...St Martha’s

Removed caches

Note: This is not a compete list.

15th March 2011
For reasons unknown the owner of GC1JPNZ and GC1KWAN has decided to remove these two caches from the Church Micro series. They were at one time numbers 400 and 401. Andy33 has removed them from the bookmark list and I have removed them from my GSAK database. Anyone who logged these caches will have seen their count reduce slightly.

13th July 2013
For reasons unknown the owner of GC3WA0V has decided to remove this from the Church Micro series. Andy33 has removed it from the bookmark list and I have removed it from my GSAK database. Anyone who logged this cache will have seen their count reduce by one.

25th April 2014
For reasons unknown the owner of GC4N17T has decided to remove this from the Church Micro series. Andy33 has removed it from the bookmark list and I have removed it from my GSAK database. Anyone who logged this cache will have seen their count reduce by one.

29th May 2016
GC5CMAD was added by mistake. The real Church Micro 6982 is here. Andy33 has removed it from the bookmark list and I have removed it from my GSAK database. Anyone who logged this cache will have seen their count reduce by one.

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Why your statistics are not correct

GDPR: If you check the box to "Do not allow Authorized Developer applications to access my public profile information" your statistics will be wrong.
this section below for a full explanation.

That issue aside, I hope your statistics will be fine. However, the process by which my database is updated is not perfect.

Very important: Under normal circumstances in can take up to two weeks before a new cache (or a cache converting into the series) is added to my Church Micro database. On the occasions when either or both of Andy33 and myself are on holiday, it may take three or even four weeks.

Firstly, check that the caches you have found are all in the relevant Church Micro bookmark lists. Please bear in mind that Andy33 is only human, very busy and also occasionally goes on holiday like the rest of us. If your stats were correct last week then you only need to check those you've logged since then.

Remember: It can be up to a week (or more) after being added to a bookmark list before the cache gets added to the database.

Other issues:-
If a cache is found more than 30 times since I last updated my database then I will only capture the most recent 30 finds.

For example, on 5th January 2013, the date it was published, Church Micro 3189...Wilbarston had 55 finders! Once this was brought to my attention I was able to use the "Get recent logs..." API to capture all the missing logs for this cache. Note: use of this API is "throttled" which effectively prevents its use across all caches.

The most popular caches (see relevant Top 10 table) often get found more than 30 times in a week. Every couple of months I capture these logs ("Get recent logs..." API again), which can take a considerable length of time and is why it is not done weekly. Therefore there will be periods when the database is not fully up-to-date.

If you log a cache late I may not capture your log. If, at the time you actually create the log, there are 30 or more later dated logs then I certainly will not capture your log.

If you log a cache after it is archived it is unlikely that I will capture your log.

Another situation is where an existing cache changes its name and joins the series. I need to be informed of this so that I can manually run the "Get recent logs..." API to capture the earliest logs.

Additionally, very occasionally, a cache is removed from the bookmark lists and from my database. This can be because the cache owner has removed the cache from the series or because the cache was added by mistake in the first place. If you have found such a cache, then, when it gets removed from my database, your count will decrease.

If you notice that any of your statistics are are incorrect then, in the first instance, I would ask you to be patient. If after a couple of weeks your statistics are still wrong then please contact me and I will see what can be done to sort it out. I will start by sending you a list of all the caches for which I have a found log for you. It will be up to you to identify which caches are missing. I will take it from there.

Important: If you do decide to contact me through my profile, make sure "I want to send my email address along with this message" is checked. If you do not, I will not respond. If you want my help, please do not make life difficult for me.

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Finder Ranking Table

Minimum requirement

The minimum number of caches you need to find to be listed in the main table is steadily increasing over time. The table lists exactly the top 500, so you will need to keep on finding Church Micros if you wish to stay in the top section.

Cache owners

Being the owner of a Church Micro caches does not increase your finder count.
Warning: While I consider it extremely unlikely, should I discover that any owner has stooped to inflating their find count by logging their own caches as found, I will remove them completely from these statistics. However, see the note about adopted caches, just below.

Adopted caches

It is absolutely OK to adopt a cache subsequent to finding it. In this situation your find of the cache still counts and it will count towards your owner count too. I find it hard to imagine anyone adopting a cache they had not found, but should this occur, then, obviously, it won't count towards your found total.

Ranking order

The primary sort, as you would expect, is on number of unique finds in the series. Within each subset of people on the same number of finds I have sorted by the 'last find' date. I.e. You are ranked higher if the have achieved the same number of finds by an earlier date. If you achieved the same number of finds on the same date then the person who started later get the higher ranking on the grounds that they've achieved their finds quicker. If you're tied on all three criteria then I reackon you're working as a team! You'll be listed in reverse order of member ID. However, you do get the same ranking.

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Placed statistics

For these I am indebted to Sean of the Flookfinders.

The eagle eyed amongst you that have been paying attention will have noticed that the chart shows a Church Micro published in October 2007, which is before Church Micro 1...Earlswood was published. The cache is question is Church Micro #850...East Worldham - St Mary’s which was published on 2nd October 2007 under a different name and subsequently converted to a Church Micro in around September 2008.

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Owner Ranking Table

Minimum requirement

Nominally the table is of the top 50. However, I also include everyone below 50 who have the same number as #50.

Ranking order

The primary sort order is on the number of active caches owned. Within that you'll be listed in reverse order of member ID.

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Top 10 Statistics

For these I am indebted to Sean of the Flookfinders.

Church Micros with Highest Favourite Percentage

Caches have to have at least 10 favourite points to appear in this table. Where caches are tied on percentage, the one that has more favourite points will rank higher. As only premium members can award favourite points, caches that are restricted to premium members have an advantage over other caches. There is no way to compensate for this. Note: The percentage figure shown by Groundspeak on their web site is of the premium member logs only. I cannot distinguish between premium and other logs, so, where a cache is open to non-premium members, my percentage figure will be lower, as it is based on the total found figure.

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Statistics enhancement history

Added "Cumulative Live Church Micro Caches by Month" report.

The ranking of finders is extended from the top 500 to everybody with 10 or more finds. At the date of implementation this was 10,082 cachers.

On the "Top 10" tab, the "Church Micros with Highest Favourite Percentage" table is tweaked to exclude caches with less than 10 favourites points.

The statistics produced for placed caches is greatly expanded.

On the "Top 10" tab, there is a new table: "Church Micros with Highest Favourite Percentage".

On the "Top 10" tab, there are two new tables: "Church Micros with Most Finds" and "Church Micros with Most Did Not Finds".

On the "Top 10" tab, the "Church Micros with Most Favourite Points" now includes an owner column. On the same tab, in the "Total Number of Church Micros Found by a Cacher in Day" table, the cacher name has become a hyperlink to their profile page.

In the top/common section added a line to show the total number of different cachers who have placed one or more caches in the series. Also corrected minor bug - format of date the statistics were generated now dd/mm/yyyy.

Complete re-write of the statistics generating program to correct two fundamental flaws and to improve the range of data presented.

Addition of "Placed statistics" web page

The Finder Ranking Table is brought in line with the awards. I.e. Owned caches no longer count towards your found total.

Enhanced to generate the data file that tells you the county a Church Micro cache is in.

Enhanced to generate the data file that drives the awards.

August 2008
First release of the statistics.

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Possible future enhancements

There is no guarantee that any of the following will come to fruition. However, if the inclination strikes and I have a bit of spare time, these are the ideas I've had or have had suggested to me. Please indicate your support (or objection!) for any of the ideas mentioned. The order in which they are listed is indicative of the order they might be attempted but, again, no guarantee....

Please feel free to make additional suggestions. I will consider them. I may add them to the list. They might even get built some day.

From Woking Wonders: It might be interesting to plot the popularity in CM finds over time. To avoid a graph that grows too steeply you would probably need to divide by the number of CM placed at that point.
Note: This needs to be better defined but currently looks difficult to realise.

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How the statistics are produced

All the data required to produce the statistics is held in a GSAK database. Every time Andy33 updates the Church Micro bookmark lists he sends me a GPX file of all the caches added. I then import the file to add the new caches to the database.

If a cache converts into the series (rare), Steve/SadEx will inform me of this and I add it manually into the database. I then run the "Get recent logs" API to capture all logs for it.

I run the "Refresh cache data" API weekly to capture the last 30 logs for all caches that are not archived. This can take a long time to run but mostly ensures I have captured all the found logs.

About every two months I run the "Get recent logs" API for the most popular cachers, any of which may get more than 30 finds in a week. This process takes a long time to run, so can't be done weekly.

Rarely, and only when an issue has been identified, I run the "Get recent logs" API to capture all logs for a specific cache.

The above is all about capturing the data required to produce the statistics. Below I set out the process of creating the web page you see.

I start by running a GSAK macro to extract two CSV files: the first of cache data and the second of all unique found logs. I then run separate macros to produce the 'Placed' and 'Miscellaneous' statistics. (All of these courtesy of Sean of the Flookfinders.)

These files are the (main) inputs to a bespoke java program (written by me) which actually produces the html file you see. This program also produces the file from which the awards are generated and the file showing what county every cache is in.

Inevitably this is somewhat of a simplification but does cover all the main points.

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How GDPR can affect your statistics

GDPR stands for General Data Protection Regulation. See this Wikipedia article to learn more.

As a consequence of this legislation Groundspeak have added an option to your Account Settings.
Go to your account.
Click on 'Authorizations'.
Scroll down until you see:-

If you check this box your statisics will be wrong.

Getting more technical

I, like many tens of thousands of other cachers, use GSAK as a major aid to my geocaching, in particular planning and production of statistics. GSAK is an authorized developer and is able to use Groundspeak's APIs to do a number of things but it is the retrieval of caches and logs that is of interest here. If you check the box then your user id is set to zero in all records sent via the APIs to GSAK, thus rendering you anonymous.

What is affected

Anything where caches or logs are counted by cacher. These are the 'Finder Ranking Table', the 'Owner Ranking Table' and the 'Total Number of Church Micros Found by a Cacher in Day'. Also, all cacher profile URLs, throughout the statistics, are constructed using the owner id (in the format http://www.geocaching.com/profile/?id=xxxxxx). If the id is zero the link will not work.

Action to address the issue

As at 18 Jun 2018, this is still to be finalised/implemented. However, my current thinking is that for the generation of the above mentioned tables I will simply ignore any record where the owner id is zero.

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