Yesterday I released the beta version of the Dog-U-Lator, a web-based points calculator for the increasingly popular Facebook group Dogspotting.

Facebook is basically a wasteland of Buzzfeed articles and sponsored garbage at this point, except for Dogspotting. Dogspotting is more than a group, it’s a lifestyle. It brings dog enthusiasts from all over the world together in unity around a shared, noble purpose: taking pictures of excellent dogs.

For example:

a picture of a dog wearing sunglasses

The group’s description reads as such:

Dogspotting is the art of seeing a dog, classifying it and its actions, and assigning a score to it. The goal of Dogspotting is to spot the dog in as natural a state as possible–ideally doing something wondrous, unique or exciting. A dog in its natural state is a beautiful thing.

In other words:

the rules of dogspotting

Dogspotting’s rules are designed to increase the quality of spots, discourage easy spots (i.e. dog parks or vet offices), and quantify the value of each particular spot.

Certain characteristics are worth more points. For example, under the current rulebook (Reformed Boruff-Savoian Rules as of today) all dogs are worth one point, a dog with a missing component (such as a leg or eye) gets a +3 point bonus, a dog employed as an officer of the law is penalized -25 points, and so on.

I built a web calculator for Dogspotting points based on my best interpretation of the current rules. The calculator allows you to input the number of dogs, how many dogs are eligible for a Multispot bonus (multiple dogs with shared purpose), and then select from a number of valid bonuses and penalties.

picture of the dog-u-lator UI

Once you’ve selected all of the options the Dog-U-Lator will automatically tally up the bonuses and give you a score:

picture of the calculating UI of the dog u lator

After posting the Dog-U-Lator to the group I received some pretty good feedback on it:

Thank you for bringing German precision to the world of dogspotting

This may help some of our newer members get the hang of proper tabulation and attribution of points. Good work. An app version would likely be very popular!

Thank you. From the bottom of my heart

As someone who is mathematically challenged, I’d like to thank you for this.

omg this is revolutionary

Ultimately I’m just trying to give back to a community that has given so much to me. Since joining a few months ago Dogspotting has been a large and important part of my life and I’m thrilled to be able to contribute to it in some small way (aside from spotting dogs, of course).