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evenfall

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Posts posted by evenfall

  1. Welcome Cantland,

     

    And thanks for your input as to how the culture of Surveyors can be. I know it is a topic of shop talk in my circles. I know many old dogs who are being dragged kicking and screaming into all the many new tricks, and it is happening so fast now it is hard to keep up. Some will be hard pressed to change...

     

    Enjoy, and again welcome.

     

    Rob

  2. Stroh,

     

    More answers...

     

    > My main concern is attempting to make corrections to specific parts of the datasheet without becoming too verbose by explaining that I did not confirm everything contained therein.

     

    Then study other datasheets for details on how others accomplish this and follow that lead.

     

    > Also, I know that every profession has its own 'lingo' which mean different things to that profession than what the same words would mean to the general public. The last thing I would want to do is submit an update that unintentionally used a word or phrase that had significantly different meaning than from the one that I meant.

     

    Again, take the time to steep yourself in the idiom, Study how it has been done. Why Rush? If you are in a hurry, simply file that you found the station mark or you didn't find the station mark, Simple as that.

     

    > This is the basis for my question re: 'found' vs. 'found as described'. I know that surveyors are very precise in what they do, and, therefore, the meanings of words that they use. I just want to make sure that when I do make a submission to the NGS that I don't give the illusion of more precision than actually existed.

     

    Well, I welcome your desire to be precise. It looks like your heart is in the right place if your desire is to become precise in your recovery work. If you see ways of offering a better description than what is currently available, what would be the harm in improving upon it?

     

    What may have been precise in 1955, is perhaps not as precise 50 years later. We are recovering objects that have lasted at least a lifetime, maybe as many as four lifetimes. Generations have come and gone yet these Monuments are still here. Describe what you observed today. Compare the old with the new and see if you feel the old will suffice. If you don't then feel free to improve it. That is sort of the Hope here, You know?

     

    Rob

  3. Green Toad,

     

    Let's have a look.

     

    > I have several questions about reporting benchmarks to the NGS. I am asking here because I believe the answer will be worth including in the FAQ.

     

    What you are asking are specific questions, not really general ones, The FAQ is really for the most basic questions which arise.

     

    > Just in case it is not clear, these questions are in refernce to reporting finds to the NGS.

     

    > 1. I found JK1248 (Pike's Peak) back in 2003. It was last recovered in 1986. Since I did not know about reporting to the NGS, nor the reporting guidelines. The only information that I could provide is that I found the mark and its 2 reference marks, as far as I can tell I am the only person on GC.com that has found all three marks. Unfortunately, at the time, I did not make any references of each marks realationship to each other.

     

    > So, would it be acceptable to report the mark as "Found" (in this case, Good Condition) and include the WGS-84 coordinates for each? I feel uncomfortable reporting "Found as Described" since I cannot confirm the relational information in the data sheet.

     

    Pikes Peak is a Triangulation Station. This is a Horizontally Positioned Survey Marker. The Data sheet already contains the EXACT position of the station. A position which is accurate to millimeters where your Handheld position is accurate to within roughly 10 feet on average. The Station is not Positioned with WGS84, In Fact, It is an integral part of NAD83 Datum, so WGS84 simply does not apply.

     

    If you want to file it as a found, the NGS website allows for you to backdate to the date you were there. Since there are not many details you can certify, a simple recovery stating you found the Station Mark and the all of the Reference Marks in good condition will suffice.

     

    > 2. I recently found KY0380 (Oakdale 2) and KY3598 (Oakdale RM1 Reset). The information in these data sheets are generally correct and anyone reading them should be able to find the marks. The only corrections would be in reference to a railroad that no longer exists (it is now a rail to trail) and KY3598 was refernced to be on the side of a bank and 1 foot south of the curb. The building is no longer used as a bank and the sidewalk is approximately 8 feet wide now, but the mark is still there.

     

    > I did not have a tape measure with me to measure the exact distances. If I were to report these, how should I report the changes without explicitly confirming the other measurements? (i.e. "13 FEET EAST OF THE NORTHWEST CORNER OF BUILDING, 25 FEET WEST OF BRICK PILLAR AT THE NORTHEAST CORNER ENTRANCE TO BANK") I have no doubt that this information is correct, especially considering that there is no evidence of a change in the entrance to the building. KY0380 also refers to a train station that no longer exists ("0.05 MILE NORTHWEST OF PENNSYLVANIA RAILROAD STATION").

     

    (if you catch the bug, you will start bringing tools... Yup... :-) )

     

    >I am using this as a hypothetical, but I drive by this building every day, so I will go back and perform more accurate measurements.

     

    Found in good condition. Building formerly doing business as a Bank is now doing business as a ????. Modifications to the original Bank entryway are suspected but unconfirmable. (see, you cannot be sure so you are giving the next user a heads up to try to confirm this for themselves) The Railroad right of way is now a right of way for a rails to trails pathway. Railroad Station has been since removed from referenced area.

     

    > 3. When should 'Found as described' vs 'Found' be used? When using 'Found as described' should each piece of information in the datasheet be confirmed, including distances? Or can 'Found as described' be used when the datasheet is accurate enough to find the mark, but the distances were not confirmed.

     

    > My main concern is that I would like to report these marks with the proper corrections, but do not want to be seen as saying that the information that I did not correct is correct when I was unable to verify the correctness. I think this will most commonly happen in reference to distances, either inches, feet, or miles; since it is easy to determine if a road, building, or railroad still exist.

     

    Well, Use your best judgment. Compare the area to the description. If the description is just like what you are witnessing, then it is as described. If it is not and you still found it, then Found is good. If you did not check the dimensions given then did you confirm the description as described? Yes? No? If you still found it anyway then did you "found" it? :-) Your judgment will develop the more you use it on this sort of thing.

     

    Stroh, Your heart is in the right place, so let your conscience help you. If you did not verify all of it, you cannot say you did. If you did find it and you feel the description works, then say so. I don't always use all the various ways that a station is described, yet I find it. I may add o the description some new aspects of finding it without discrediting old ones.

     

    The biggest thing I can say to you is that there is some general types of information but once we begin to examine a PID it becomes like a CSI episode, and I can tell you that everyone here will chime in with a hearty yes on that. So we really do have to look hard at the variables and examine what we think is true, or still true... Or not, and what is true now that wasn't even present then... I could go on and on, but rarely two out of 25 of these is that simple.

     

    Feel free to ask as many questions of us as you like, it is what the Forums are for.

     

    Happy hunting, Rob

  4. Bicknell,

     

    I understand your desire to find middle ground.

     

    Pink Surveyor's Tape, We call it Flagging, will fade to white in a couple of months and it will be gone in a year or two.

     

    As you read in the old post the NGS has no desire to promote damages or accept liability for Witness post damages.

     

    Today's Plastic witness posts require a special driver to put them in the ground. It's is not a low budget tool.

     

    The best way to improve the middle ground is to look at the description as ask yourself a couple questions:

     

    Does this description still really work well to help find this?

     

    Can I make improvements to this description that will help the next person find it with ease?

     

    I mean, Consider that a Witness post can easily be removed, and so to use it as a key part of a description is technically shaky, practice wise. But what is available?

     

    Could the mark be 45 feet East on a hearing of 95 degrees from the edge of pavement or 55 feet from the centerline of a road?

     

    Could it be 18.5 feet from a 15 inch diameter Oak tree bearing 235 degree from the mark?

     

    Could it be 34.5 feet WNW at 280 degrees from the centerline of a well used trail which runs NE/SW near the mark, 0.25 miles from the trailhead?

     

    Are there any things that you can creatively describe which seem permanent enough?

     

    A really good description on the datasheet is the best middle ground, and far more permanent than what we leave at the scene. GPS Coordinates pretty much play the Trump card These days. Horizontal control has them, so giving some coordinates to Vertical control is one of the best gifts you could give.

     

    Rob

  5. Bicknell,

     

    Quads are those big Topographic Maps that the USGS sells. Those are cool but not what you are looking for exactly.

     

    Write and ask for the data to this station, Give them location in Degrees Minutes and Seconds, as that is standard survey format, and the city state info as will as what the stamping says. If you are emailing, Offer a Link to a Photo you have stored online. Don't email the photo though as their email system may not like it, Virus wise.

     

    Good Luck,

     

    Rob

  6. Bicknell,

     

    The US Dept. of the Interior is the parent agency of the USGS, just like the US Dept. of Commerce is the parent agency of NOAA and NGS.

     

    So you have found a Transit Traverse Disc Belonging to the USGS, But you found it in one of the USGS's Unusual disc settings.

     

    If you want the Data, It is available via the USGS. Please feel free to email them and ask.

     

    Nice find! Sorry it isn't in the database,

     

    Rob

  7. Subterranean,

     

    Having hunted not a single Benchmark, not spending a single second with these people in this Forum, I can understand your sense of Irony. You have no real world experience you can draw from with which to compare. It is hard to speak about something you haven't done, or share camaraderie with people you do not yet know.

     

    Yours was just an uninformed opinion. It's ok, Happens all the time.

     

    Good luck and have fun Geocaching, :-)

     

    Rob

  8. No John,

     

    I know what you are saying, But I know how surveyors are, They won't do it. <shrugs> What do you want me to say? You'll get a few. Look , I am here but you won't turn Many.

     

    I know these people I have worked with them for years. You will not convince the lion's share of them to check here. I am sorry if you can't accept my answer, but go try and convince them yourself. Afterwards we can have a Beer and Laugh.

     

    Hell, I cannot even convince you of anything whatsoever, so what makes you think you are going to convince tens of thousands of Surveyors to look in on a few hundred Geocachers? :-D

     

    Sure your Idea has merit John, If that is what you want to hear, but if you got 1% to do it, you'd be lucky. How shall we contact all of them? That's a good Logistics Puzzle if anyone feels like solving it.

    Easier than getting a few hundred Geocachers to realize that the Survey world is based on and full of nothing but a ton of confusing rules that we all have to follow? Not to mention it too has it's own Culture like any profession does...

     

    On the other hand we could try to improve the NGS Database in the ways we do. It makes it better for all who look into it.

     

    Rob

  9. Green Toad,

     

    The Question was asked by a Geocacher as "Should I". That was excerpted as a non attributed quote from the Pinned and Locked Thread which is the NGS FAQ. It was based on many geocacher inquiries which began, Should I. NGS did not use the word Should, nor are they advocating Should. They advocate, "Sure if you want to".

     

    This is the NGS Forum, A forum created for discussing NGS recovery. Meant in part to help remove some of the barriers to discussing this. Recovery to NGS is what this forum is about, so if you are here, Recovery to NGS is not something we semantically tiptoe around. If you are here, you came to talk about the NGS aspects of recovery, Not just benchmark hunting as a game.

     

    If you want to talk Benchmark hunting as a Game where NGS recovery is treated as an option then that forum is found here: http://forums.Groundspeak.com/GC/index.php?showforum=10

     

    Otherwise the Semantics are fine for the FAQ as based on the Nature of this Forum.

     

    Thanks for your interest.

     

    Rob

  10. Sorry John, Tens of thousands of Surveyors are not going to Look to the Unofficial Geocaching website as a source for Data. NGS is the source for the data and they make the rules. They are the chief certifier for this data. There could be some symbiotic relationship, and we are forming them now, but I am sorry, That is a lot of cultural pattern to change. I don't really think it is doable. I think of it as being similar to asking you and Shirley to submit your 495 finds to NGS. I know better than to go there! :-D

     

    I admire everyones desire to be protective of the NGS Database, But...

     

    Let us all be reminded that all submitted recoveries are read by Debbie Brown before they make it in to the Database so the integrity is High. She has read a few recoveries in her Career, she ok'd all of the ones you have submitted. It is not automatic. She is one of the watchdogs your recovery must pass. All Recoveries will be read by her and or someone helping her.

     

    Make no mistake, We are not the gatekeepers here. The NGS is. It is not up to us to second guess what NGS wants, They can read what is submitted for themselves. They are a 200 year old agency and I am sure they are up to it.

     

    If I take your collective feelings about this as gospel, then the recovery of the entire country will be via: 236 some odd Geocachers: 6230 total recoveries to date. That is 1/5 of the geocacher totals. If I round down to 200 geocachers, and it is likely less than that actively, then that makes 4 people per State. And we all know many States are not seeing recoveries. So How can we improve this situation? I know Washington DC and NYC see a lot of action, Boston may be seeing it too, but what about Orlando and Dallas? How can we inspirer people to join in?

     

    There are 169629 active caches in 215 countries. 236 Benchmark hunters recovering to NGS in 25 states if we are lucky... Hrmmmmmmm :-D There are almost more countries involved in geocaching than there are people doing NGS recovery...

     

    Hey! I learned to use statistics like these from you guys!! heheheh!

     

    I am sorry but I have a historical a synopsis of the situation here at the benchmark hunting Forum, based on where I have seen resistance as an agent of change. First I saw a large amount of resistance to the idea of submitting anything to NGS, A great many people were Vehemently opposed to sending Info in to NGS. There was also resistance to starting this Forum too. Now, those of you who will send data to NGS want it cleared through you first? Or if not cleared through you first you would like it to be difficult to figure out how. People have to go through the rites of passage before they can Volunteer? How can you account for all the recoveries that no one here was able to oversee? Truth is, No one can.

     

    I proposed in the previous thread that BDT started this on as a spin off for discussing this, that if NGS were to make recovery page, made just for the geocaching website, and provide a link to it, where all a non trained geocacher could do if they so wished is enter the PID and submit the following info: Found on the current date. That is it. What I mean is; you enter a PID an email address and click an enter button They either found it or they cannot submit. They would not be able to submit a narrative recovery nor make any other kind of judgment. That system could be designed so as it would allow no more than one found recovery per calendar year.

     

    WHY do I propose this? Because NGS would really like to know which stations are still out there, and they will not find out much if we dictate to them who is allowed to recover them. Let people decide if they want to share with NGS for themselves and NGS can handle the screening. I think NGS Is up to the task. As a side note, I am in the NGS Forum Discussing NGS recovery so I figure I don't have to add the clause if you want to. I figure if you are here, then you came to play. We are already beyond that formality.

     

    There are ways to do this without allowing much harm, and that is what I am proposing. Some stations will likely never be recovered ever, otherwise. If a person decides they want to provide a Higher quality recovery, They may wind up here and read our discussions. I'll let you in on this though, if they ask Casey how, He will share. You know why? He has already done this in his FAQ:

     

    Q: Where do I submit reports to NGS?

     

    A: NGS has an on-line mark recovery page. To submit a report, just visit http://www.ngs.noaa.gov/FORMS_PROCESSING-c...y_entry_www.prl

     

    So, Now, Based on what I have defined, what would be the harm of making it easy to submit a simple find as I have outlined?

     

    Rob

  11. Casey,

     

    I realize that the problematic for the government situation is hard to avoid, but as a thought, can you contact USGS and ask how they fund and apply the Hats and t-shirts, stickers and such in the National Map program? Perhaps they have a basis for how to go about this as a model your agency or programs, and you can modify to suit the way you work. They are giving these things away as rewards for the help they receive from Volunteers. People are motivated by these sorts of things.

     

    I agree with others who feel this should not be a competition, so I would be fine if you had a point system, But I feel the system should be kept in the blind from those participating, this way they do not weight their work in the direction of gaining points rather than recovering the networks as best they can.

     

    So when you have such a program and you feel a participant is worthy of having a prize bestowed upon them, send them a post card telling them they have earned an award. their choice of a Hat, Or a T- shirt, a Decal and Lapel pin combo, a sweatshirt. Maybe a Patch they can sew on a jacket or Daypack. They can pick one and provide the size they wear. This way people get the recognition in a style they feel best to wear it.

     

    A Place I once worked provided point vouchers for safety and productivity awards. It helped create initiative. They had a catalog with things you could order in exchange for the right number of accumulated points so if someone wanted an inexpensive Decal set or a Lapel pin maybe that is a low amount of points they have to send in to you to order it. If they want a Hat that is more. If they want a t-shirt or a jacket then they have to save and continue to accumulate their points to earn that, over a longer period of time.

     

    The case here was that these redeemable points were given as rewards with no point system to determine worthiness. If you saved the company money you could get some points if you had perfect attendance you could get points. If you had an idea that improved safety you could get more points but it was up to the Boss to decide to whom how much when and if to bestow.

     

    There are several ways you can structure this but the participant is bestowed points by you, and they have no need to know the formula. Some may be looking at the county lines and some may be looking at dead stations nested in the box scores and some may be hunting stations and recovering however while others may be working to help in other ways. It appears there are a lot of ways to help. You may even want to reward on an ad hoc manner over and above the system just because you can.

     

    Anyhow, Just a few thoughts to ponder.

     

    Rob

  12. Green Toad,

     

    Let me see If I can help...

     

    You said: "If I understand correctly, there are vertical stations and there are horizontal stations. My question deals with this dichotomy, why are vertical and horizontal stations separate? Why don't the surveyors determine both dimensions accurately when placing a benchmark/monument/disk/etc.? It seems odd to me, to be accurate one way, but not the other. Am I missing something?"

     

    First, Holograph addressed this really well... Horizontal control, Lat/Lon uses a different Methodology to derive than Vertical control. He covered this with you. But the history is interesting and I will only go back so far. Until 1992 we used a system of 26 tide stations which were mathematically averaged to determine mean sea level. This was the basis for Vertical control.

     

    As science became available to observe the earth in better ways we learned that too many things affect tides to rely upon the average of them to suffice as a reference standard. Gravity, Wind, and how much water IS in the ocean at any given time are factors. Then we found that Wind is weather, and that isn't static. and gravity, well, it isn't static either. In fact the gravity has more to do with what elevation is about than wind or water, so we tossed the old model.

     

    The New Orthometric model was accomplished by leveling. Well so was the old model, but we now use just one point in Quebec to base all the leveling off of. it is known as Father Point/Rimouski. Accomplishing this caused all the numbers to change towards more accuracy..

     

    Today in the GPS era we have a reference ellipsoid that the GPS Satellites use as a base model for the surface of the earth it is a smooth ellipsoid that represents what is now considered mean sea level and has nothing to do with the sea. It is just an averaged earth surface to the ellipsoidal size of Earth.

     

    Then we have a Gravity reference called the Geoid. It is a reference of the gravity measured over all the areas of earth. It is sort of generally ellipsoidal too but it is lumpy and unequal It is high in the mountains and low in the valleys, even lower in the oceans... It is not the actual terrain but is is close.

     

    Finally there is the actual ground. When we measure this with GPS, the figuring considers ellipsoid height, Geoid Height and orthometric height, with Orthometric height being the actual dirt. The formula works like this: The relationship geoid height is the vertical distance from the ellipsoid to the geoid level surface. These heights obey a simple equation h = H + N

     

    It is a straightforward procedure to algebraically subtract an interpolated geoid height, N, from a GPS ellipsoidal height, h, to obtain an orthometric height, H: H = h - N . What I mean by interpolated is that the geoid height can be above or below the ellipsoid height. The actual surface, the orthometric height can go below the ellipsoid as well. The ellipsoid is a smooth sphere like non undulating surface, the Geoid is comparatively lumpy and both are existent in the same space. So interpolate is meaning to recognize the positive or negative comparison to the ellipsoid. Your GPS is going to measure your height above or below these references in order to tell you what the elevation is.

     

    Now for your horizontal work, the Latitude and Longitude are based on the ellipsoid and so you make the grid we use and impose it on that ellipsoid. It seems pretty simple, and that is what GPS does.

     

    But the earth is not a perfect ellipsoid so then what? Well In the first place we used optical surveys and triangulation to base relative physical locations marked on the ground. We used a different model for our ellipsoid then too. Science reared it's progressive head again and we tossed the old model, then we had to make all the positions we had before fit the new model because we had very good physical measurements with which we could compare just like in the vertical models.

     

    We went from a place where we considered a place in Kansas, called Meades Ranch as the center of all horizontal survey in North America, to using a model we considered the center of the Earth, or pretty close to it. GPS Simply Positions in the horizontal to a grid drawn on the ellipsoid in a basic way. the size and shape of the ellipsoid has a lot to do with where the positions actually are and the science behind the ellipsoid is quite involved too as you well might imagine.

     

    Taken all at once the GPS can formulaically get close to a three dimensional position. But, and I mean a Big But, when you get to the critical, highly accurate observations, we cannot take them all at once because we are applying Calculus to these to statistically accurize a network of observations and the vertical observations will skew the horizontal ones and visa versa. This is why some datum treat the Horizontal and the vertical separately.

     

    In the end if you fix a horizontally averaged location against all the others in the average and you lift one up and push another one down in the vertical plain, you will observe that the positioning in the horizontal plain will have been altered. The Mathematics just won't play, so we keep them separate.

     

    "Also, correct me if I'm wrong, because there are three dimensions. Is a vertical disc equivalent to elevation, while the horizontal is equivalent to latitude + longitude?" Yup. You got it! :-)

     

    Simple GPS is not enough to position these locations, GPS has to add the Formulas contained in a Datum to get the accurate positioning these stations represent. The Horizontal Datum for these discs is called NAD83, and for the vertical is NAVD88. Some discs are Vertical only Some are Horizontal only, some carry Data for both, but the Datum for either Horizontal or vertical is kept separate always. WGS84 does not apply to these monuments in any sense.

     

    Hope that Helps,

     

    Rob

  13. No worries Bill, This is no flame war and it won't be.

     

    I fear some of the folks here don't always get me, so let me help.

     

    To Be Honest, Everyone comes across a bit harsh sometimes. It is the way print works. It is difficult to really know how anyone really is here. All People do have an emotional life... I know most of you by your writing style, but I don't really "Know" any of you. I do not however reduce you to a bunch of text in a Forum. I know there is a Person that I do not know a lot about behind all the writings here. I am Mindful of that no matter how much personality you choose to show us here. Most of you know me through a writing style that is like one of a teacher. Teaching is not what I do for my Money though I have trained a good many people and I am probably a lot more fun loving than many of you might guess. I have never referred to anyone in this forum as a person making a stupid comment. I even try to avoid insensitive innuendoes. I am however not afraid of being direct or meeting issues head on.

     

    I can tell you, I am not afraid of the things I say, and I am also not afraid of defending my thoughts. I sign my name to all of it. I do my own thinking just fine, and I try to keep track of my ducks. I usually don't point it out when I feel someone has come across harshly towards me. Harsh is not a problem. you might try working in the construction trades a few years and then you'll know harsh! It used to be a lot harsher than it is lately too! I can tell you that the ones who still do that work are still there because they could handle it.

     

    Bilbo, Let me spin this for you. My Comments were far from stupid.

     

    Let's look at what I replied to:

     

    Well, here's my take on it. I find it strange benchmarks are even given a category on the stats page. Geocaching is about cachers hiding things for other cachers to find with a GPS. Benchmarks, of course, are missing this hidden to be found by others aspect.

     

    There are many other things (high points, degree confluence points, etc.) that can be found with a GPS, but have nothing to do with caching. Benchmarking, in my opinion, is similar to these. I don't think it should even be given a stats category and certainly shouldn’t count in the geocache find total.

     

    Ok Bilbo, Say you own a restaurant and don't know me, I am not a good customer, as I am no customer of yours at all, and I come in, Bring my own eggs and start telling you that I don't think you cook eggs as good as my favorite restaurant down the street does. I go on to tell you that I would not want to compare your eggs with theirs because they are above your league. Then when you look into it, you find out that I don't know a thing about cooking eggs because I am a sewer plant operator. I am sure your thought might be Oh? Well who asked ya?

     

    That is a different take on subterranean's Comment.

     

    Now Bilbo, I know you are a Benchmark hunter. I know roughly how much experience you have and I know how your opinions in the past have shown what you care about. I cannot confirm you file any with NGS as you have no statistics showing that you have so far as is currently known. Since you do seem to care, and I know you do to some degree, I am interested in what you think about benchmark hunting. I have also been interested in helping you understand something when you didn't.

     

    You may not convince me or you may, but I do listen to you because you have lived a little real life doing this stuff, and I am supportive of your efforts. So if you, Like many others who benchmark hunt were to say, and many have said, I wish the Benchmark hunting I did added a statistical value to my Geocaching. I can understand why you would feel this way because I know how much time this takes.

     

    Geocaching is a full 75% easier than benchmark hunting. Benchmarks involve a lot more work and prep. There is more to understand, and it leads to knowing a lot of history and background info. Developing Critical Thinking Skills. Research, and a lot of it. The effort put into it on an individual level in learning alone is not all, there are tools to buy and physical methods, techniques and it goes on. Map reading, GPS Studies, Geodesy Surveying and it's many sub aspects... Or you can take your GPS default it to factory presets and run a Go To on a plastic Box or ammo can in a schoolyard...

     

    Geocaching is easier, that is why more people do it, There is quick and easy rewards and payoff, even a treasure to find and keep or move along. Geocachers do benchmarks when they find they are easy or handy. the pay off is small in that it doesn't count to the easy to get total they have so why bother doing them at all. Nothing to take home either. There are people who do not find challenges fun, that is ok. You will notice that people who primarily geocache are not here looking to help find the hard ones. It is all good, and it is Fine with me. From what I read, Some others who hunt these feel fine with that too.

     

    Benchmark hunters and Geocachers and those who consider themselves as both are all under the umbrella of Geocaching and Groundspeak. No one holds an elevated position over another.

     

    As to my recoveries Bilbo, Yeah, I have bothered to list a few here. You see 25 recoveries but there are 57 entries. 25 were finds. 16 were not found. 13 were destroyed that I confirmed were destroyed in reality whether or not NGS policy will allow it, and 3 notes. Cross sectionally in my recoveries, there are a lot of different difficult situations a Benchmark Hunter will encounter as a mark duster. There are more unsuccessful finds than successful ones.

     

    There are places I had to obtain access to restricted areas, Permission to be on private property, Stations that had been improperly recovered for years, which I needed access to NGS research to prove my theory in a three way screw up. Land Marks that had been altered but could be mistaken as not, One Disc station I suspect had been dug up and replaced as best as possible by a contractor. I could have easily filed a recovery on the Seattle Space Needle, I have driven past it thousands of times and been to the top more than a few. But why? Plenty of geocachers like recovering that for a mile away or before they even arrive in Seattle. Read their recovery logs. Where is the integrity in that?

     

    Have I got more than that? Yup. Stations I have dealt with helping others in this forum? over 100 easy. Stations I have worked with on the NGS Level without sharing them with Geocaching, probably over 140 times ten. Professional filings from On the Job? A Bunch, I never kept track. It was never about me. I was doing that before there was a Geocaching, Before Selective Availability was turned off. I was working in this field before there was a NAD83 or a WGS84.

     

    There are things I work on that do not pertain to benchmark hunting, and so it goes. Survey markers of any kind I have dealt with or set in my career, probably 100,000 Plus. I am guessing. I have days where I have set upwards of one hundred just doing construction staking... All Of those are positioned usually Via SPCS, and are tied into a local BM for Elevation Control. Each one has a piece of 4 foot lath with a lot of info written on it and It is accurate to the 100th of a foot. Graded by Construction workers to between a tenth and 2/100's of a foot. You know, It don't matter. As long as the next paycheck clears the Bank and I can live my life the way I want to, that is what matters.

     

    You have 140 finds and I have been doing this for years but it don't matter. I hope you understand though I wouldn't expect you to understand. I never have made a big deal of my stats because it just isn't what I am about. I have forgotten places I have surveyed. I am supportive of the Benchmark hunters who do because it is dadgum hard work. It don't matter if they claim them to NGS or not. Most of the dedicated folk here are not just picking the low lying fruit. I don't personally care if they log with NGS or not, I respect them for the challenges they take on, even if they have taken issue with me in the past. They are growing while accomplishing good things that are highly difficult. It makes them think, and challenges them and I like that about all of them.

     

    If I in some way helped you learn something that made a better benchmark hunter of you, or you read an answer to a question you never asked, and you came away learning something new that day, if it enabled you, and you had more fun and success in your hunting, then that was what I was hoping for. Good. I was hoping I could help it be more fun. There are some real quality people here doing a quality job, asking quality questions and having quality fun. If they are disappointed their accomplishments are not a part of all they have done under the Geocaching umbrella, I don't blame them.

     

    Finding 52 Geocaches as subterranean has does not make him a Benchmark hunter, and so coming to the Benchmark hunting forum and saying to the benchmark hunters, I don't think what you guys do should statistically count, was... inept. Geocaching keeps track of what it's registered users find. Period. It tracks all the finds but the Benchmarks as I pointed out are not all Finds, yet each attempt has a result. In the overall scheme a good portion of the work results in no recognition at all, and the benchmarks are empirical where a virtual cache is not and yet a virtual counts against the grand total? HA! It is easier to be inclusive of all the things they host. Yet they do not. People want to have what they did counted, that seems easy enough. They log it all here so they want to see the numbers here. Many are bummed that there is not a cumulative total of what they found, Period. I don't see a problem with that. That was the premise of what WX guesser was lamenting. As a Result, Benchmark hunters have created ways of keeping their own statistics in ways they agreed amongst themselves seemed sufficient. They did not wait for Geocaching to do it, as it seemed as though it would not happen.

     

    Speaking of Virtuals, if you would like to see what a classic flame war looks like you ought to go have a read on other forums about those! Them folks wade in and deep! I have said nothing inflammatory at all. I am not even wading into a he said she said scenario. I just met an opinion head on. I felt the statement was insensitive towards benchmark hunters coming from someone who never has, That IS my opinion. And I am entitled to free speech last time I checked. I say if you wanna say you don't understand why a Benchmark should count on the total, go recover a couple hard ones. After working HARD for four hours and not coming up with all of it, you will wish it counted because some days you find 15, and some days 1 beats you up, heck some will beat you up for two weeks and wind up not being countable! :-D

     

    In essence, when you come down to considering the post subterranean made in context of what WX Guesser said about benchmark hunting finds, if you don't benchmark hunt at all, then don't expect benchmark hunters to respect what you think about a hobby they enjoy. I perceived it as rather insensitive to say. I never said he had no right to his opinion. I just said that I consider his opinion no more valuable than that of a Monday morning Quarterback or a back seat driver. My input was not a stupid comment at all. In fact, I am not a not a Monday Morning Quarterback. I do know what it takes to earn benchmark hunting statistics and I know how much the people here doing the hard work care. I stand with them.

     

    I don't Geocache at all. I also do not post in their forums and advise them of what I think of their statistics. What would be the point? How many friends would that make me? It is tough enough making friends of some people here when I explain to them how the Survey world works. They are welcome to disagree with me or not understand, but that doesn't change the way the survey industry works. I don't take it too personally.

     

    I have been asked on several occasions to handle a few questions in the USGS National Map Forum and have declined. I know a good bit about what the work involved is like, But I have not got the time to Join Up and do a Quad so I can speak to all the Nuance Difficulties. When people ask questions about the many programs that are used to collate the Data Here, (GSAK etc...) I don't answer the question. That is not my forte area. As to the people who are Geocaching, I think it is great that they are having fun, and really, that is great! I don't criticize their way of enjoying themselves. I just don't think anything I would have to say or add would carry much weight with the Geocachers. I have Zero practice running a WGS84 Go To on Tupperware or an ammo can. :-)

     

    So Bilbo, If I have offended you, I figure you will recover. Get over me. There was no Flame here. And good luck to you in your upcoming deployment. I support the troops. I have been one too. All the best to you, You'll be in my thoughts.

     

    River_Lime Got it right. We need to be respectful towards all of it, and that what what I said to begin with.

  14. Me & Bucky,

     

    Interesting to see an AZ Mark off to the east of the station. The practice was that they were attempted to be placed to the south. I looked at Photos and it appeared that buildings in the area may have prevented that practice form being practical.

     

    If the NGS Datasheet is pulled, we can see that this station has photos. In three of them we can see the GPS Antenna and receiver mounted on the tripod above the station. one photo shows a Long cable is stretched from that back to the comfortable, air conditioned Suburban where the Party Chief can monitor out of the HOT Arizona Sun. That is the way to do it!

     

    Another Interesting thing about that Station; It is an A order Station, but rather than being as such by way of GPS observations, It was done with VLBI (Very Long Baseline Interferometry) which is no where near as commonly done.

     

    Thanks for sharing!

     

    Rob

  15. subterranean,

     

    I sort of agree with you in a 180º out sort of way. I don't Geocache. There is not a bone in my body that even wants to. But I think the treatment of Benchmark hunting statistics for those who enjoy this hobby could be treated better and could be done in a more effective way than the way it is.

     

    Though it has been asked for many times, there has been no response whatsoever from the TPTB. I guess than means they are not workin' on it.

     

    I do think Benchmarks Could be a better tracked Category at geocaching. I would definitely Advocate keeping it separated from Geocaching Statistics. It would be ineffective to water down the numbers that way. I suppose a total of all finds of any type found could be a category if it was wanted by many. I feel it would seem rather smug and somewhat like high minded and elitist thinking to feel that benchmark hunting statistics not be included in any way.

     

    I checked your Stats. Since you don't benchmark hunt nor contribute here in the Forums at all, and just barely Geocache for that matter, I don't see where you really have any place making exclusionary statements about benchmark hunting whatsoever. I would consider your advocacy if you were a participant of the hobby, but since your opinion appears to be 100% armchair driven, I won't. Your Post here basically makes you appear as if you are a Troll. But it is just your .02...

     

    Rob

  16. That is a long time bummer with people here WX Guesser. Most have accepted it, but many have wished that the statistics that are kept were kept a bit differently.

     

    Sorry, but no one here has an answer. Perhaps you could email Geocaching for us, get an answer and report back?

     

    Rob

  17. Buck,

     

    Joe is on the same page as I am, And he sees exactly what I am suggesting. He is offering the ways NGS makes data available and he thinks what we propose is doable if we work with the already provided NGS formats. Geocaching will store no data.

     

    As an example; I go to the geocaching website. I call the geocaching webpage for PID HX7890 The webpage code I load tells the browser to render html and other web browser codes from Geocaching, and it tells the browser to go to NGS for Data, and how to render the data so it appears the way Geocaching wants it to on the page. None of the NGS Data comes from Geocaching, Just the How to render it for the desired appearance and formatting does.

     

    ALL the Survey data would come direct from NGS and be as fresh as that days date every day. If I load that page today I get today's page. If I load that page in a month from today and a station recovery was received and added to that PID it will show up that time when I load the page. This way Geocaching is loading only the freshest NGS data in perpetuity or until geocaching quits. Best of all, It could be done and no one would really notice because the page look could remain the same and the rest goes on behind the scenes. It would be up to Geocaching if they wanted a different page look, as that is their trademark.

     

    This schema would require Geocaching to archive very little NGS Information beyond needing a Map of currently available, Valid PID's. Of Course Geocaching can code so that it never deletes the old destroyed PID but always adds new ones, this way the geocacher recoveries made to marks, before they were destroyed will remain archived by geocaching as geocaching data.

     

    Holograph and a few others among us have shown that various types of Data can be mined form either website and formatted in any way it needs to be presented. This is how he tabulates the statistics he does. In a similar manner, we can develop ways to help Geocaching work more efficiently.

     

    What we need to get our mind around is this. NGS outputs Data in a limited number of ways. They will not be creating one off specials. We currently have your choice of DATASHEET, SDTS, or ShapeFile. We can do it in Counties and Monthly updates and PID Singles. that is all. When Properly coded, a webpage would chase only what is needed to fulfill the question asked. One PID at a time. All Geocaching would need to store is a Master list of all possible PIDS from when they began up to now and continue adding as NGS adds. Those are the limitations.

     

    Another thing we need to understand is that Jeremy and his team are not looking to add more to their plate than they have to. They are busy for one with the daily work of this website and the Benchmark hunting scenario is not High priority.

     

    Did I make it clear that the Owner(s) favor Geocaching over benchmark hunting here? I mean for us all to understand this. So if we want a change for the better, WE need to sort through the details and do some of the heavy lifting. It would in the end need to work, and work well. Also be low maintenance as possible.

     

    A Major point we have in our favor is that this will ease pressure on Geocaching servers. It will free up some space and use a bit less bandwidth for them so that would be a plus, even though it is basic text they are storing. Those are good business plans in any Business's book

     

    Jeremy did mention last October that he would be interested in listening to ways the database could be upgraded and he may still be. He Phrased the Sentence to NGS during the conversation when Casey was appointed as Liaison to Geocaching. Seven Months have Passed since though, and both NGS and Geocaching have other Irons in the fire. I am proposing that we find a way to keep it upgraded to real time NGS Status and it is doable. Once done, unless a scheme is changed somehow, Geocaching should never have to worry about updating again.

     

    If someone here knows how to Code and understands Databases, then we could try to assemble code that will do what we would like to see incorporated here and offer it to Jeremy as a possible upgrade model which he can test.

     

    The Key is we need it to work well and be simple for Geocaching to incorporate or it will not likely happen. I am reasonably sure that if we do nothing, Nothing is what we will get. People have been asking for Pocket Queries on Benchmarks for ever and it has not happened. Most of the things that have been developed to make Benchmark hunting easier have come from Geocachers and are 3rd party. We need to understand that there will be little handed to us.

     

    So the work for now is deciding on a scheme we would like to see and to see if we can develop it. If we can't, or more importantly if nobody is willing to, then I would not look for much to happen. We may get what we negotiate, but that is it. I am hopeful we can all come together to hammer out the details and try to make something work.

     

    As Always, Rob

  18. Joe,

     

    Do you think the NGS severs could handle Geocaching pulling fresh data from the servers in the course of generating every webpage a geocacher may call? It would be nice to generate the geocaching pages from the freshest data and it would seem to be in line with your agencies desire to have the freshest data be available.

     

    This is an internet application, not a field app, so it would seem to be in line with current NGS thinking. It would appear you guys are handling some pretty good traffic already, It might not be much of a problem at all.

     

    What might be your thoughts on this idea Joe?

     

    Thanks, Rob

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