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Everything posted by RACooper

  1. Dang, you're just SW of an area that I target (US 290 up to Hempstead). Do you get much North of there? Maybe I need to swing down a little bit for some more "interesting" mark sites....*grin*
  2. I've seen that...I'm looking for the actual structure of the tables, fields, etc within the Sybase DB.
  3. This message is mostly to GC.com admins and/or DaveD (our incredible insider resource!), but if anyone else has any suggestions, please feel free to expound on them... I'm wondering if it would be possible to get a copy of the Database schema used by either GC.com or the NGS for survey marks. I'm considering building my own logging system (for personal use, but I'll consider releasing it if it's anywhere up to par), and would like to maintain field names, table names, etc that are consistant with the two databases. Provided, of course, that GC.com and NGS schemas are consistant... I know several posters here have talked about building their own MS-Access database for such logging. How has that helped you in your searching? or do you only use it post-find (or post-notfound) to record where you've been? Thanks, RAC
  4. USAPhotoMaps is a very, very neat peice of software. Thanks for the link! I haven't seen it before, and it's quite useful!
  5. Sometimes you do have to dig. Many times markers get covered by changes in the surroundings (such as the addition of the flowerbed you mentioned), or runoff from rain depositing sediment, or landowners raising the topsoil (like my dad did in our side yard once, to try and grow grass in soil rather than Central Texas red clay). I had to unbury a marker a few weeks ago with an inch of dirt over it that was originally marked as "level with the ground". Another reason is that some markers seem to be placed slightly below ground level to protect them from mowers and such (usually with a witness post placed nearby). That's strictly an observation; I'm not a professional surveyor.
  6. Drove by this one this past weekend--which I previously logged as found--and stopped to confirm today. Concrete monument has been pulled from the ground in chunks. There are at least 4 pieces laying about 6 feet from the hole where the monument used to be positioned. Kinda depressing, really, as this wasn't in the way of construction, or anything else that I can tell.
  7. As the description says, there should be a cast-iron cover in the sidewalk (or was at the time that description was made) that, if lifted, should reveal the disk on a concrete mounting. If you're lucky, the cover actually states "SURVEY MARKER", but you may not be able to lift it (could be wedged, or jammed, or the support rim of the cover damaged...) or it could just be plain and unmarked (or even marked as UTILITY or something). I've come across one or two of these on the forums, and one marker I haven't logged (last saw it about 5 years ago, and haven't been back to confirm it yet) where the cover is missing, but the disk is still intact inside an iron rim in the sidewalk. (See BM0028, and look at "BM Disk, Shot 3" on Jumpmaster's log entry for an example.)
  8. Why not move this to the bugs/suggestions pinned thread? I belive it's already been requested (several times) with continued assurances from the admins that it is definitely in the works for Benchmarking....
  9. There is some ongoing debate on how to log confirmed destroyed marks. The two options are "destroyed" or "found" with an indication as "confirmed destroyed". The consensus seems to be that GC.com needs to change their log entries for benchmarks (see the suggestions/bugs thread for this discussion...I don't feel like rehashing it here). However, in the case of the concrete pedestal that you found, it should be considered "found in poor condition", not "destroyed", unless the monument itself has been dislocated or removed from it's original location. The disk it not always necessary, especially in case of a horizontal (?) control, where the latitude and longitude are more accurate than any recorded elevation. (Then again, I'm no expert, and I'm sure that the professionals on this board will -- nicely -- correct me if I am mistaken.)
  10. Here is the original suggestions/bugs thread. I've given it a *bump* and a request to re-sticky it in the new forums.
  11. Don't know which browser you're using, but I have no problem resizing the text using the broswer functions. Mozilla and the PrefsBar add-on make it very easy, and it works like a charm!
  12. Well, it seems the consensus here is that a "Benchmark Volunteer" card is pretty much a novelty more than something useful, so I will not persue this any further...Jeff, Snipe, et al...thanks for the POV from the law enforcement standpoint. I certainly wouldn't assume that a Geocaching ID card would replace a valid state ID! I'll get to work on a letter or info page (probably 1/2 sheet) that can be presented to a property owner or others that explains what we are about. I'll post more (new thread) with a draft when I have time to work on it. However, if someone else wants to take the initiative, I certainly won't have my feelings hurt! RAC
  13. I had an additional thought, but it would take the cooperation of DaveD's office, and probably rebuilding the querys into the NGS database... If there was a way to directly query a specific PID in the NGS database, the GC.com details page for a marker could be dynamically updated with the latest info in the NGS files. However, I haven't found any way to query the NGS data without using this form (ds_pid.prl) on their site. I guess it's really a lot to ask to have NGS recode their site just for GC.com's benefit...
  14. I've been looking through the forums and reading quite a few great suggestions (IMNSHO), but they're so scattered and in seemingly unrelated threads that they are hard to follow. I'll try and summarize some of them here, and please add more. I'll try and email Jeremy to request that he periodically look through this thread for bugs to fix, and hopefully suggestions to implement, for the Benchmarking section. My issues/favorites so far: 1) BUG. Fix the Terraserver links from the benchmark data pages. (I entered this in the GC.com forum on 9/23 and haven't even seen a response to my posting, much less a fix.) 2) SUGGESTION: change the way Benchmarks are logged. Make two fields: Status and Condition. Status would indicate Found/Not Found/Note, and Condition would be Good/Poor/Confirmed Destroyed (or similar). There's my starting list. What else can be done to improve the Benchmarking section? [This message was edited by Tennessee Geocacher on October 22, 2003 at 06:05 AM.]
  15. quote:Originally posted by photosaurus:I'v only done a few benchmarks, and I don't know what an RM is. Would someone please tell me? An RM is a Reference Mark. When a triangulation station is placed (and probably for others, but tri-stations are usually where I've seen them) several other markers are placed that, if the primary marker is missing or destroyed, will allow a surveyor to reset the mark. Usually I've found 2-3 RMs, plus an azimuth mark, and many times there is mention of an underground mark (which I've never seen nor have I found any descriptions of how to locate). Some BMs were RMs that were redesignated when the original BM was destroyed, too.
  16. thank you, Thank You, THANK YOU for fixing the date issue with gpx2html! I don't care what they say about you...*grin* just kidding, I and a lot of other people appreciate the work you've done to help the Geocaching/Benchmarking community!
  17. Unfortunately, not all of us are surveyors by trade, and (at least for me) the only ID I have other than my driver's license is the hospital badge I have to carry around the office. I don't think that will make any impression on someone when I knock on their door asking permission to dig in their front yard. I do carry some datasheets and a marked map, but just something to clip on my collar with my name on it can go a long way to establish legitimacy because it gives an air of credability to the search at hand. Actually, the biggest questions I keep getting are "are you expanding the road?" or "what are you going to be building here?", and those are from locals. I've not yet been stopped by law enforcement.
  18. there are a lot of RMs in my area that have their own PID. I'm guessing that the way the GC database is set up that the total count is every unique PID. So, I search for RMs. However, I also will search for RMs that are only referenced on a BM datasheet, for completeness, mainly because I will also submit an NGS recovery entry if there is any substantial change in condition or environs. (or if a mark hasn't been recovered in 10 years or more...)
  19. I've found one case in Central Texas where FM road names have been flip-flopped ( BM0975) a few years after the horizontal control mark was observed and recorded. I did a Google search on the old name of the road and found some history that included a name swap 3 years later.
  20. After you click on the link and get a 404 page, try adding an "x" after the ".asp" in the URL. I posted this to the geocaching.com forum a week or so ago, but haven't seen any response to it or any sign of it getting fixed yet. I know Jeremy has been busy getting the new maps up for Caches, and I'm hoping that some Benchmark work is scheduled in the very near future. If I was an ASP/.Net programmer, I would offer to help, but I prefer PHP and MySQL...
  21. Thanks, elcamino! I never thought that trig would come into play...thought I was done with that my sophomore year in college!
  22. Queston for the surveyors on here... Is there a relatively simple way for one person to measure the height of a radio mast? I am trying to confirm a mark (BM0975) that doesn't match the description given on the NGS datasheet. The official sheet shows a "recovered in good condition" by USPSQD on 2003-07-20 (also in 1994 and 1999). Delorme Street Atlas now shows that location to be KMBV-FM radio (which is possible, I guess). I've talked to the engineer that maintains the tower now, and he believes it to only be ~230 feet, while the original was 310. So, there's the background on my question.
  23. It appears that terraserver-usa.com has made a minor change to their image search. The link from a benchmark page on gc.com redirects to http://terraserver-usa.com/image.asp?blahblah, and the terraserver site is looking for image.aspx now. (example: http://www.geocaching.com/mark/redir.asp?PID=BM0157&R=3 goes to a 404 page, but add an 'x' after the image.asp in the address bar on the 404 and you get the page you're looking for).
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