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Everything posted by evenfall

  1. This brings new definitions to the word bureaucracy, doesn't it? Rob
  2. In summary, This is the very definition of being told to go play in the freeway, only this time it isn't meant as a Joke. I say Don't Do It!. Take it from someone who makes a living an a field where he has had to run as fast as he could for the Guardrail to jump and save his own life, on more than one occasion. I don't like working in these areas let alone playing there. and you really don't want to know what it is like having heavy traffic whizzing past your elbows at 75 mph. Unfortunately I do know and I may have to face more occasions where I may have to do it again, professionally. I just hope I am not killed, as it can happen. Just take my word, It Just pass on these stations and don't look for a workaround to hunt in the right of way. Just stay safe and hunt the others. All the Bests, Really! Rob
  3. Believe me, I am not so worried about you being safety conscious, It's the people in the cars we can't predict, and it happens fast. Usually when you least expect it, even if you think you are. Rob
  4. And so it goes, But you are very right to double think yourself about doing anything outside of your car in an interstate right of way. The safest place to be in an interstate right of way is in a moving car. I have spent more than a few hours of my life working in these locations and it is stressful. Cars Rarely slow down much if at all, and will not be predictable You could die from your injuries if you are struck by a car in that area. I used to know a few people who were hit while working in that area. State workers are injured in Interstate highway accidents while performing their work all too often. A State officer could stop and ask you to move along. They too get run into while parked on the side of the Hwy with all their lights flashing! Legally, you could be ticketed for not placing traffic control in place while you are in that area. You are not a state employee so they will likely question your presence and ask you to move along for safety's sake. I could go on but I think you see where I am going with this. If you can see these markers from a real safe place, or maybe read what is written on them with binoculars, because you will need to read what is on them as per game rules, then fine. Maybe you can see these stations from a sidewalk on the overpass if any. But a wing wall is often a retaining wall with a drop off on one side and with often a considerably steep slope leading to it, It might not be the safest place to be. All you need is a slip on a bit of wet grass and you have a ride to the bottom. Where you land may not be a great place either. In any case have fun, but be safe. My best advice would be to skip the dangerous ones altogether. Interstate and Railroad rights - of - way are no place to be. Good Luck! Rob
  5. Arkville, Yes, I have seen them, and I won't use them because I don't trust their stability. I have only seen a few. I first thought I was looking at a bearing tree tag from BLM, but I figured this was a quick and dirty way USGS used to mark the location of a TOPO they did without setting an actual monument. I once mentioned I had seen these here in this Forum and a Surveyor from the Denver Area didn't believe me... I guess they didn't use them everywhere. Heck, I was not sure I believed it either. I would say it is Novel. Quaint. I wouldn't use it. :-D It is not of sufficient quality to be included in NGS data, so it wont be in Geocaching's DB either, But it is a cool find! Rob
  6. Gerry, Z-15, Mike gave you a very well rounded explanation. The NGS Datasheet is the only sheet of paper in the Nation I can use to certify the elevation or location, Mark type not withstanding, at that particular station. Nobody else is going to take responsibility for an NGS station. My job is to survey it, and check what I get against it. If the two concur, then I am properly calibrated. That is what tells everyone else my survey is on the money. I may have to tie in to various points of known location or elevation to show I stayed on the money as I went. How do I know that one station is not off? Well, To begin, I don't. I may have to include a couple of Stations of a similar type and quality, and see if the data compares favorably with what I got in order to be sure. I can tell you when you find any survey marker that does not agree with it's own data, you now get to be the lucky guy or gal who has to chase down why, because we have to find which one is making the survey not close, or if it was just an error we made ourselves. In other words, you are not done until either the survey closes, or you figure out why it wont by removing the specific problem from the equation, once you determine what it is. The funny thing is that the methods for doing this and what you have to establish in order to do it vary, when based on the equipment you have. I once found a bust when I was surveying on a platt, I was surveying for the installation of storm drain. Everything was fine until I had to stake the grade elevation to a storm tie in across the street on a different platt. The GIS Data that the engineer used on our side of the street was taken from one city, and the GIS data on the other side was another city. There was a 1.5 foot difference in published elevations, and this was not good. We took our survey across the street for the tie in and our numbers did not square. I had to trace back all my work, and include all the local control to see if my survey would close, meaning it was accurate. I went beyond that and checked further away from my control that was used for this platt to make sure it all jibed. It did. So I was ok, but it didn't solve my problem. Storm sewers are gravity drained but they are kept pretty flat, and water won't run up hill. Based on my info from my side of the street I went and got the Platt maps that had been filed for across the street and let the office know I had a problem, Got them to looking at some things. Control on the other side of the street was right, but at some point, either a TBM had been put in wrong or used wrong and a good bit of the storm sewer was as built, a bit more shallow than it was supposed to be. Maybe they caught it but somehow they made it work for them. They never filed the as built change and so this little problem was never recorded by the folks who did the work across the street. This means no one else would know the design change happened or how to design around it. The GIS assumes everyone has done their job. The next guy just comes along and plans with what it shows they can use. It is assumed to be an accurate representative of what is in place. We now had to adjust some of our pipe runs and grade work in order to compensate for the error made by someone else across the street in order to get the storm water to flow in the pipe at 1-2 % grade. We like to have 2% but when this sort of thing happens, you may have to settle for less, and it depends what can be shuffled in the design. In any case, we have to get rid of the water as there is no pond designed for the location. City control is using Geodetic control to help certify it's control. So is County, Borough, and State. It is a hierarchical thing. I look up their data and they say their city marker is NAD83 (1991) Or NAVD88 or what have you. That shows me that they certified their control from NGS survey and data. This is true much of the time, but States also establish geodetic quality control on their own and we use it too. So If I am at an NGS station and it had no control and it is the control for most other control in the area, and it could be, then we have lost control! Hehehe We're gunna crash! No, But we can't use it because there is nothing there to prove our survey is accurate. We have to use another Station. The Datasheet is the document we need. The other stations are likely fine. But this one, we cannot use. Gary. You made a great point from the sheet Mike posted. You want to write a description so that I could come to your town and find what I am looking for. and I am not from there at all. In closing a quick note. PLSS which is overseen by BLM is about Property lines. It is also called Cadastral survey. And while it strives to be geodetically accurate, and I mean by that while they try to make Cadastral measurements fit within the constructs of Horizontal control, it does not always do this. First, It really does not address the vertical component of a survey well at all and second While Horizontal Geodetic control locates by using Triangulation and Trigonometric least squares adjusted triangles, PLSS used and can still use depending on the age of a survey, Chained distanced from place to place to points where the angle to the next point was turned on a transit. It is sort of linear in the way it was established. Property was never defined geodetically in the first place. It is where it is, so the the surveyor had to describe it by starting at a known place that was a base for Cadastral work, call it a P.O.B. or point of beginning for a survey and describe their way over to that particular piece of land in order to describe that land. It is known to us that if we come to that piece of property from another point of control and with newer more accurate instruments we may not Jibe with the older survey, so we have to compare and accurize as we go. Meaning we find errors and lost survey markers and things that do not fit the world as we are surveying it. Yet we still have to define what we are doing. It was not until later that they tried to make the PLSS work fit in a geodetically calculated world. Even now, PLSS has some fudge factor built in, but Geodetic work does not. On the geodetic side, we need to come up with numbers that compare favorably with those 5 places to the right of a decimal point. Hopefully this explains in a small way that the NGS benchmark is not really related in a PLSS survey and if we were to try and include it, like Mike said, it would be costly as the BM is not horizontally described in the first place, only vertically and the PLSS survey does not really do much with vertical control, as it's job is to describe the location of a particular line or a set of lines on earth. We do need to know both types of information, but they are traditionally described separately, not taken together. Hopefully I have shown a little of how that Bench Mark data is important in a real world way. Good Luck, Rob
  7. Nice going Matt! 500 is sweet! That is an awesome milestone! I'll let you off for not workin it ol' school this time, but next time I may have to whip up a penance like when you hunt, you can only investigate USPSQDN Not founds, and when you are home, you will have to be the Chief Answerer to the "I just found a Mark but I can't find it in the Geocaching database" questions. <EG> ;-) As always, Rob
  8. Hey all, There was some discussion about these meridian monuments last fall. Here is the link to the thread. It is a long thread... 2 pages. http://forums.Groundspeak.com/GC/index.php?showtopic=73806 Good Luck! Rob
  9. Gerry, The case with NGS is that they are a Government Agency and they are keepers of High accuracy Data. They make their own rules about that data. They are pretty tough on things actually. Tough on us too. But there is nothing wrong with high expectations. They Have a set of rules in their agency that covers various reasons for not publishing Data. This means they may have a PID and Data, But not all the Data or whatever else that meets their criteria. So they don't publish. This PID has no descriptive text. I do not know why it does not but it doesn't. Now the NGS in their files may know everything else. the Stations order of accuracy, the various heights, Superseded info, everything. But their own rule is that they have no Descriptive Txt in this case, and there are other criteria but this is the case here. Since they do not, than they will not publish the PID. We are free to use anything published on the datasheet, This PID is currently giving us nothing we can use, they would likely put this station back in service if they had descriptive text. I see this happen more than you think. I'll pull a datasheet and this form comes up with various codes. In this particular instance, If no one ever furnishes descriptive Text for this station, it will never be published again, Not ever, Because most of us won't do it, as there is not Time to do it for what the bean counters says our time has to pay, and the NGS does not have field staff who can do it either. We all serve our Masters. I know how to establish what the elevation is at this point, I know more way than one. I could even survey it to high horizontal accuracy. But, If I have no control for the point, I cannot certify the survey I am doing with this station. It has to come from published data and currently, there is no published data. NGS is not publishing the Data because there is not enough Data in their possession for them to meet their own criteria. So, to a Surveyor, this monument, and PID are valueless without Data. Even if I could reestablish it some way, NGS has to publish before I can use it to help certify a survey. If someone gives NGS descriptive Test and NGS feels it is of adequate quality, they may put the station back into play, but until they do, to the end user, it is as good as destroyed, whether that is official or not. NGS will keep the data they have and never publish it, in perpetuity. Rob
  10. Laser range finders are not generally accurate enough for this sort of work. Unless you have access to EDM, and I don't think that was what you meant. Too many things in the environment can throw them off. Good luck, Rob
  11. R_C, Back in the day, these stations were surveyed at night with battery powered lights. Many had towers erected over the station mark. This was done to increase the distance they could see. When this station was surveyed, the time you are referring to, the light, or instrument was that high above ground level. We are talking the top of the tower. Meters to Feet is Meters divided by 0.3048. Enjoy, Rob
  12. Foxtrot, NGS won't publish a point if it doesn't have a location, elevation, and descriptive text. They are not publishing anything we can use. "If it's on the datasheet, use it". That is what they say, but there is no data to use. To us surveyor types it is not usable. I think of it as destroyed. Many Surveyors would. We do not have the on the clock time to do other, unless this were the job, fix this station. Get Paid make a Buck. Z-15 has mentioned several times in the past as well, many projects lose funding and just pass away. They could be 98% done too. Oh well. It happens. Money makes it all go round and the bean counters are sure nothing is free. If you want, you could contact NGS and offer a description, you know, descriptive text. If they have the rest of the requisite data, perhaps they will put it back. If nobody ever does anything, this station will never be published again. Since there is nothing usable on this datasheet, it is effectively same as destroyed to the potential end user. At least, until it is not. BDT. No Matter. Until this station has met a requirement; They are calling for descriptive text, there is no data available which will be published to the public. NGS Policy. This is obvious as it is. It is not meeting criteria for no descriptive text. That is what the D code means. They do say feel free to use what is published but this time, nothing is. So to you and I, as readers of the datasheet, is is effectively destroyed. Not officially, just effectively. If you want to offer to fix the stations problem, I am sure they will publish it. For now, there is nothing here a surveyor can use. When I said Consider it destroyed, I do. NGS may tell you how to fix it and that is the Semantical part. Until it is fixed, it is unusable. Unusable is like destroyed to me. But if you can fix it, feel free. Good luck, Rob
  13. BDT, I can help with what no descriptive data means. If you look, they do not designate this station as either vertical or hoizontal control, what they do tell us is that there is nothing they can tell us. They have no data to describe the station. I have destroyed a lot of stations in my career, and surveyed from a few too. When I pull a page like this, it means to me that the NGS has decided to pull control. They can state a number of reasons, but it still isn't going to give me survey control. Some I have destroyed will say different reasons for being pulled, but when you see this page, the PID is not considered active any more. This code means there is no Data here. Data is the be all end all of being able to survey. when there is no data, well, we surveyors don't go there. Unless we will be establishing said data and in this case that had already happened. I can surmise from what I know about station naming conventions that this was once vertical control. But without data, there is no control. I could have a brass disc in the ground but without data, I cannot use it. It is effectually, destroyed. You could take me to task on semantics all day if you like and I'd be ok with that, but it is so rare when this sort of thing happens that they ever come back. This could be a station that could come back, but that would be an exception to the rule. I would say for most intents and purposes, this one is gone. Thanks, Rob
  14. Foxtrot, Sorry, that station is destroyed. When you see that, they destroyed it and could have for any number of reasons. Good Luck! Rob
  15. Bill, You make a conscientious observation and great point. It could be in a place we do not think it is, especially around county lines, but until someone goes out there to confirm anything, it seems fine to correct these for where they are thought to be for the sake of having an appropriate county download. Scaled marks, even if we cannot be sure where they may really be, seem most appropriate to be in the county it "seems" they are a part of. If after someone confirms this and finds it to be in the wrong county in actuality, then we can correct it. It is a good thing to have the Lat/Lon be listed in the correct county, as this makes the Data correct based on what we now know. Well, what we think we know anyway. If the case later turns out to be wrong when the mark is found and an on location waypoint is taken, then we can correct that too. No Harm, No Foul. Rob
  16. Paul, Not so curious really. Debbie Brown reads all submissions before they are added, If you had something to add and it was less that a year, and if it was a valuable bit of info, She will see no harm in adding it, but she isn't going to clog a PID with 7 found its just because it was easy for someone to find and often does. The rule of no more than one per year is just a way of asking people to use good judgment more than anything else. Certainly if we can improve a description, she will add it. Rob
  17. As Quoted From the FAQ "I found a benchmark, but it isn't in your database. Why? ] The NGS is not the only organization that creates and uses benchmarks and other types of control markers. For example, the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) places survey markers at their dams, dikes, levees, flood control systems and other structures. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and other federal agencies, along with your county surveyor and private surveyors and engineers place markers that often appear very similar to geodetic markers, to reference land survey corners as part of the public land survey system. Your local highway department also may have set markers along highways, at major bridges and overpasses. Many markers have also been set in recent years by utility companies, telecom companies, and others engaged in laying pipe or cable over long distances, to mark their underground lines. In most cases, the information stamped on the disk will tell you, or at least give you a clue, about its purpose. Remember, all these markers are highly important, both to businesses and to individual citizens such as your neighbors, so please treat them with respect, while enjoying the thrill of the hunt. We'll try to find other databases and add them to the site as well. If you have access to one of these databases and would like to submit it to Groundspeak." This station, Set by USGS, The United States Geological Survey was either never submitted to NGS for inclusion in their database, or the station did not somehow reach the High Standards that NGS requires for inclusion in their database. No where near all USGS Stations are in the NGS Database, Just some of them. Good Luck! Rob
  18. sis, You may find over time that the determination to log smiles is pretty wild. Some people will Log Smiles under some of the most far fetched of circumstances. I guess the desire to log a find and get that smile can sometimes overcome their need to be correct. It happens! Good Luck! Rob
  19. Matt, You are completely on the right line of thinking, but there is one thing we could keep in mind. Before 2000 ( Y2K, Remember when we used to type or say that a lot?) Selective availability was a limiting factor on all consumer grade GPS and there were not all that many units around. Accuracy was not all that in the consumer grade world. Before the 90's there was GPS but it was not widely used among all surveyors, it was still pretty new. Even then they were not driving around with it running in the cab of their vehicle. So if we think about it, some of these surveyors from various agencies had little more than the datasheets description. Without setting up and turning angles from a known point, Optically we have no Idea what the Coordinates for a different spot is. At this point, it is no different than just walking around looking at numbers. We still do not have a known coordinate. They would need to train an instrument on the steeple and calc it's position to know that this assumed location has moved, unless it was obvious in the Datasheet's Narrative Description. GPS is cool because the Constellation constantly radio triangulates itself and knows where it is before helping a unit on the ground. It always comes from the premise of a Known point, no matter where it is. In other words, it is likely that without local knowledge, which is common in Government Survey teams, as they often traveled the country, they could sometimes get it wrong. They had less to go on than we do now with a GPSr. Just like all people, when it is one of those days, they may not have tried as hard as they could have, May not have taken field notes as well as they should have... the list of fallibility's goes on and on... We could say they could have done better because they were Surveyors, but all that would be is a hope or wish, not a fact. It can happen to us all, and we always have to work hard for it not to. This is in part why The field of Surveying relies heavily on a system of practices and procedures. Just like a checklist a Pilot would do before they fly, it help us stay consistent. It can only help us if we use it. Similarly, because the history of many of these landmarks are not known to us is, we too must really work hard to confirm we have the real, described object. It is so easy to be wrong. Much more difficult many times over to confirm we are correct. I do a lot of my hunting based on the Datasheet alone. I prefer the challenge from this method. It isn't for everyone and can be more difficult in the hunt phase, But I confirm the position with the GPSr after I find, and there have been times I have gone to the GPS to find a station when there did not appear to be any other choice. It is fine with me to change methods in order to get to the final result. There have been a couple stations I went back to a couple times to sort them out before I concluded what was what. Things can go wrong with both Landmarks as well as brass disk stations as we know. GPS is a tool, and one we didn't have up until not all that long ago. It helps give us the evidence we need to make accurate determinations, and that is most of the payoff for us, isn't it? Feel free to prove to the NGS that that old landmark is gone. It is helpful to have deadwood like that landmark removed from the database so it won't waste anyone's time anymore. Thanks Matt, Rob
  20. Scammell, It is possible that what you found was once used for an aerial survey. The Targets sometimes differ from place to place and survey to survey It does not mean that the survey it was used for was reported to the NGS. Sometimes they are on the datasheet, other times not. These targets are often set up, but sometimes not taken down after the survey, and they wind up as litter in the world... It is really too bad, but not everyone sees these things the same way and some years back, littering was not considered as it is now. As an aside, there are Geocachers who do pack out the litter they find and it is never a bad idea to do this, but this may be a bit more litter than as person may be bargaining for. In any case, it is always good form to leave things as good, or better than we found them. Normally if the data states: "Projects 3 feet", then you are likely looking for something sticking out of the ground. The only hard fast rule about survey markers is read the datasheet. It is the only clue we have and we can find fault with all of these things. The marker, The data... We just have to go out and see what turns up. Compare what we find with what we were told we would likely find. As to the Hacksaw job. It is simply Vandalism. It happens, and it isn't a good thing, but nevertheless, that is likely what happened. It is very frowned upon to do this to any type of survey marker, temporary or permanent. Good Luck! Rob
  21. Jim, A Surveyor type's view on this kind of damaged station is like this. In this instance, you have found a station that marks a horizontal survey position. If I were to need to use this, as a Surveyor, I still could. the instrument set up requires that I locate the center of this position to survey it for Latitude and Longitude. In this case the position is findable if it compares favorably to data and reference marks nearby, as it still exists and is still useable, but I would call it Poor. Had this been a station which locates a vertical survey position, I would call it not found. The reason is that I must physically rest a survey instrument upon the station to measure the elevation. Since the Brass disc is gone, the elevation it now has will no longer compare accurately with what was measured there before, it will not match what the data for it says, and so there is no way for a Surveyor to properly calibrate their instruments at this station. We are not allowed to wing it, and so the station is bad. We would have to officially call it not found due to the un-useability. The official rules of the agency it belongs to The NGS, will not allow the station to be called destroyed unless certain criteria are met, and this does not meet that criteria. So we must call it not found in the industry. You may call it either not found or destroyed for logging here at geocaching if you like. Good Luck! Rob
  22. Artman, Nice Navigating, and I second the motion! It is well worth knowing ones way around on the NGS site. There is a ton of useful and informative stuff there. It could keep people as busy as they like, just reading away... Kudos! Rob
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