For more information about what each rating represents, see the user's guide.
Geocaches are rated based on difficulty, terrain, size, and awesomeness.
When logging a cache, users have the option to provide their opinion on how the cache should be rated. This information, along with the hider's ratings are used to determine the final ratings for the cache. All the ratings are averaged, but extra weight is given to the hider. Essentially, the hider gets ten "votes," and everyone else just gets one.
Awesomeness is handled just a little bit differently. It doesn't make much sense to have the hider rate the cache's awesomeness. How could the hider be objective?
At the same time, we don't want the first couple people to be able to swing the awesomeness of a cache sharply one direction or the other. Awesomeness a collection of many people's opinion, and shouldn't be swayed by just a couple people.
To account for this, we use Bayesian Averaging. In effect, each cache starts with 10 votes for an awesomeness of 3. So, as the first few votes as cast, the awesomeness stays near the middle. This stops early loggers from manipulating the awesomeness. However, as more and more people vote, the affect of the 10 "dummy votes" decreases, and the true opinion of the community can be seen.
If you are converting from other systems that don't use
numbers for size, use this scale as a guide.
5.0: Large (5 gallon bucket or bigger)
4.0: Regular (ammo box)
3.0: Small (sandwich container)
2.0: Micro (35mm film canister)
1.0: Even smaller