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Black Dog Trackers

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  1. Difficult Run - In PFF's log, the second picture shows the arrow pointing from one roof post to the other. Also it points away from the post with a knot in it and a wet spot on the ledge to the left. The third picture shows the knot and the wet spot and therefore the arrow points in a direction parallel to the side of the house with the deck and away from the parked cars. The fourth picture (aerial) shows that this direction is (down) South. (I checked with the Google Maps link on the AZ mark's benchmarking page.) As TillaMurphs says, it is a very cool adventure shared by PFF !
  2. TillaMurphs - NGSREAD processes all the PIDs in a county, or all the PIDs in a whole state. It can also be restricted to a radius in miles around a point, or a USGS quad when reading either a county file or state file. All the fiddling I mentioned was just in formatting the box score as I showed when I wrote the program. Running ngsread is easy. To get that example, I typed in a DOS window: ngsread /html=yes va059.dat After I typed that, it read the file and made a directory called html and put a few hundred html files, one per PID, in there. For the PDA, I just copy all the html files onto its chip when the chip is in my computer's chip slot (generally for a camera chip). (Ngsread will work in drag-and-drop mode too, but I prefer using the DOS window.)
  3. The AZ's arrow points South. It should point West.
  4. It does look to be a bit loose sitting in there on its throne.
  5. welch - OK, here's a graph of recoveries by agency. There are some before 1900 but very few. I combined CGS and NGS. Here's the total recoveries of the top 20 contributors (CGS and NGS are not combined here). 369926 NGS 237051 USPSQD 148020 CGS 59763 USGS 39026 GEOCAC 24610 NCGS 24472 MNDT 17174 SCGS 11186 INDIV 8911 LOCENG 8680 WIDT 8140 MSHD 8018 LOCSUR 7733 FLDT 7267 6710 FLDEP 5927 FLDNR 5436 NOS 4938 USACE 4812 CADT (There were 7267 with no contributor agency.)
  6. Hi Shirley, Thank you for posting that link. When I looked, I recalled reading it at the time, but I forgot about it. Considering the hundreds of good reports to the NGS under the GEOCAC flag, I just can't see this one as a highly signficant and representative log. welch- Yes it certainly is possible. Graphs do get quite busy looking with all those agencies though. Also most in the list are relatively new. Alternatively, just a graph without separating by agency could be made, just to see when recovery reports were being done. It can't be done by month earlier than around 1999 or something. Before that time, only the year was noted.
  7. I can't help but be curious about this. I'm wondering if there was a way in which such a thing could have been prevented. Was the "noob told NGS" communication an email to NGS, or was it in a recovery report? After that, how did a lot of professional surveyors hear of this communication?
  8. TillaMurphs - I have a HP iPAQ too and have tried it with benchmarking. I used NGSREAD which optionally makes an html file for each PID. I copied all the html files to the iPAQ along with a couple of indexes of the benchmarks. The html files include all the recovery reports and the box score information and all the other datasheet items we use for hunting. NGSREAD includes the box score information in the html files but I did fiddle with the format slightly to make it easier to use. Here is pretty much what it looks like, except it has table borders: PID Reference Object Distance ddd mm ss.s HV5127 DRANESVILLE ATL SEABOARD MAST APPROX. 5.1 KM 031 32 14.9 HV5131 SUNSET HILLS BOWMAN DISTILL TK APPROX. 0.9 KM 038 10 15.2 HV2783 RESTON RM 1 81.81 FEET 105 11 HV5267 HERNDON RAD STA WHRN CEN MAST APPROX. 2.6 KM 250 02 09.2 HV5266 HERNDON MUN STANDPIPE APPROX. 2.9 KM 294 54 58.6 HV5244 HERNDON WEST MUN TANK APPROX. 3.6 KM 309 50 05.8 HV5243 HERNDON EAST MUN TANK APPROX. 3.6 KM 321 20 55.6 HV9060 RESTON AZ MK 1333.95 FEET 331 07 24.7 HV2784 RESTON RM 2 78.62 FEET 354 11 At the bottom of each PID's datasheet is a clickable (click on a PID and it jumps there) index of nearby PIDs that looks pretty much like this: PID Feet|Mi Azim. 16 pt. Designation HV5134 81.698 105 ESE RESTON 2 HV2784 95.288 339 NNW RESTON RM 2 HV2783 121.876 159 SSE RESTON RM 1 HV8697 951.760 352 N WAG 11 B HV2772 1089.296 306 NW AH 9 HV8327 2091.111 158 SSE BA 9 HV5131 2821.884 38 NE SUNSET HILLS BOWMAN DISTILL TK HV8311 3420.270 77 ENE BA 13 HV8605 3471.853 260 W POWELL HV9245 3880.273 250 WSW NC 25 I wonder what Cachemate and Geoscout did to the box score that you don't like. Maybe what I did to it in ngsread is bad too? I didn't like the NGS version of the box score because: 1) the distances are all in meters whereas the recovery reports are all in feet (I left the KM ones as is.) 2) the dddmmss data are all crammed together, making it hard to read.
  9. I got the data and made graphs and trendlines from it. Like holograph, I narrowed it to just GEOCAC, USPSQD, and the rest. Based on a linear fit, the GEOCAC has been growing at a rate of just over 6 recoveries per month from the beginning in 2004. USPSQD quit during 2007 after a rapid decilne since 2004. The rest all together have been declining at a rate of almost 10 recoveries per month. The linear fit of GEOCAC and the linear fit of all the rest crossed earlier this year, so GEOCAC is now not only the largest recovery contributor, it is larger than all the rest put together; the 'rest' being all the state DOTs, INDIV, NGS, surveying companies, and everyone else in the Contributor List. I also noticed that since the beginning of 2004 the number of GEOCAC recoveries has almost reached the number of USPSQD's recoveries during the period 2004 to present.
  10. Hi jackson_5 - The US Power Squadron (USPSQD) officially ended their efforts in benchmark recovery during 2007. You can see evidence of that in holograph's graph here. Compared to a surveyor, I don't think the USPSQD had any more authority than we (GEOCAC) do in recovering benchmarks. Both USPSQD and GEOCAC are in the category of John Q. Public being allowed to help the NGS in the recover effort. For a surveyor, recovering benchmarks is part of their job. However, even they must get proper permissions, etc. for doing their work.
  11. Ah, a new graph. I still prefer lines. Anyway, someone did quit !
  12. Two lines would've been easier to look at to compare the two. It appears that the gas prices hit both, but the GEOCAC is more immune to that. That's surpising since they are paying for their own gas. The yellow is a mixture of government agencies and engineering companies. It looks a bit like some sector of one of those quit.
  13. Hi snowfreak37 - You can find out here about these mysterious marks and what you can do about them. The one you found is one of the thousands of USGS marks not in the NGS database.
  14. True, but I didn't want to recommend using that, since it is a third kind of datasheet. The best one to bring, especially electronically, is the current NGS datasheet.
  15. jmdshort - Hopefully some of the paperless experts will answer you here, but the basics are to get datasheets from the NGS site by one of the modes listed on that page. Groundspeak has never offered a PQ for benchmarks, so we get files of datasheets from the NGS site instead. There are several programs for converting the NGS files to put them in a paperless machine. Never go benchmark hunting without paper or electronic copies of the datasheets in NGS format ! The GC copy of the datasheet does not include the 'box score' for triangulation stations - a critical omission.
  16. For many reasons, most people tend to gravitate toward using the NGS site to get lists of stations and descriptions to conduct searches. Generally people start benchmark hunting by just logging to the GC site, and later when they feel they have sufficient experience, they log on the NGS site as well. It's up to you what to do, of course.
  17. It could be that the county yearly archives are discontinued in favor of monthly statewide updates. TillaMurphs message prompted me to look at the state area. Whole states are updated monthly! Then I read this message about it over there. So instead of a county, you get the whole state. (Hmm, I wonder if this change was somehow related to the last 2 lines of this post of mine in January. Nah, probably not. )
  18. I suggest putting this information on Holograph's wiki site. The wiki does not have the problem of not being able to modify a post after a short period of time. Also there are several different programs we're talking about here, maybe 6 or more, and the best way to deal with that is for each to have its own section under a general section. Each program can have updates posted as needed, and all authors and users can contribute to the texts including how-to, features, usage notes, comparisons, etc. As for the forum, there could be a link to the wiki in a pinned area topic.
  19. NavMaster16 - DSWORLD is good for that too.
  20. There is also NGSREAD which is a different 'improved version' that makes waypoints by calculating positions of reference marks from the box score with an additional feature of not doing that for reference marks and other box score items that already have adjusted coordinates. It was written so that clicking on an icon in Google Earth will pop up a complete (for hunting) datasheet. It also has an option to produce html datasheets for exporting to a handheld computer. It also has a bunch of filtering and label coding that might address your interest: "Would be real nice to have info attached about wether its a disc, landmark, whatever at least." Perhaps after looking at all these programs, you might get ideas of what you'd like to do in your own version. A couple of other programs vaguely similar in scope are: monkeykat's Benchmark Viewer and MRAS's DSWORLD.
  21. Hi gooneybird - Here is the main NGS datasheet page. Click on "DATASHEETS", then choose how you want to access them on the next page (NGS DATASHEET RETRIEVAL PAGE).
  22. There is also the benchmark gallery at Waymarking. Every few days another type of disk is added to the list of benchmark agencies in the USBM category. There's over 280 of them in the list now. There's also interesting benchmark galleries for other benchmark categories like Australian Trig Points, Canadian Benchmarks, French Benchmarks, Disney Benchmarks, etc.
  23. cjz_here - For scaled marks, surveyors looking for the mark rely on the description and measurements from landmarks, not the scaled coordinates. If those are wrong, it's important to update/correct them in your report. Adding your GPS readings at the mark helps too.
  24. Vernacular is a problem. A while ago, I believe it was ArtMan who suggested using two terms: "benchmark" and "bench mark". The first one, one word, refers to the things we look for here in the Benchmark Hunting section of the Geocaching site. The terms are defined here in the Benchmark Hunting FAQ page. Perhaps it's a bad convention, but at least it follows the generalized concept of "Benchmark Hunting". Certainly what is written on the disks is "Bench Mark", a more specific term for vertical control points. Perhaps a different convention would be "Station"s and "Bench Mark"s. But then, there's no word for both, except "control points", and then the FAQ would need to say something like "In the Benchmark Hunting section, we look for Control Points." That might begin to frustrate people even more. We also look for azimuth marks, reference marks, and witness marks. Those aren't even control points, unless I'm mistaken. What to call them all? Benchmarks? Marks? Markers? Stuff in the NGS database? PIDs? Certainly if a better convention could be devised, the FAQ could be fixed in a subsequent edit by volunteers. There would still need to be some kind of verbal bridge to define the term "Benchmark Hunting" that the Site uses. We (the volunteers of the time) settled on the "benchmark" vs. "bench mark" convention last time.
  25. I've just uploaded whatever I have and let the system change it how it wants to. I think Groundspeak has changed how they do that from time to time. I suggest uploading a bunch of views for a mark at a bunch of different settings on your camera, don't pre-edit any of them, and document what happens. I'm sure we'd all be interested in such an experiment.
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