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Everything posted by evenfall

  1. Paul, I wish it were safe to say that you could assume anything. I have found that I keep finding a series of usual practices punctuated by varying unusual oddities, so in the critical thinking process, there is no patent logic which we can ever apply other that the misnomer type which follows that in most cases the practice seems to follow this trend, or that, but sometimes doesn't. From there, we consult the bank of known weirdnesses to reconsider one off options... As silly as that sounds it seems true enough. We have a general idea what the common practices were for all the eras involved but there always seems to be something that just turns some of them into a puzzle... and so it goes... Enter the thousand mile stare with me as I recall the time mloser telling us how this particular weirdness was observed on one of his finds.... Hmmmmm, And Zhanna had this one that was totally off but figured out... How was that again?!?!? In the end it would be cool to see what a boolean go-no go chart for benchmark hunting would look like, you know like diagramming a sentence looked like in english classes back in the day... but there would be a lot of weird exception rules clogging the chart. We have a learnable system but only experience with it will teach us how to handle the quirks... So as for the Rules? I guess my observations are that usually, and I mean just most usually Azimuth Marks were mainly used with first order optical stations. They usually had 2 and up to 4 RM's as well, since they were the baseline, the most important triangulations. Remember these stations usually has 12-16 separate observations to bring them to first order, and then they were used to help establish second and third order stations... I have never seen an Az mark on a third order mark, and rarely have I seen many with RM's either. Second orders have usually got 1-2 RM's in my findings but rarely Az Marks, but I think I have seen a few that did. The Az Mark was placed near enough and meant to aid the survey crew in orienting the set up quickly and so that they could begin turning meaningful angles shortly there after, but not so close that you would be looking straight down from the top of a bilby tower. The geodetic Az was used until the 70's so most AZ marks were set in the south from the station mark. The asset we have as a community here is that we share the weirdnesses amongst ourselves and learn from each other... Nevertheless, I have found my share of stations that took a bit of hard thinking... I think there is a hard rule, one for sure and it goes that each mark has the potential to introduce terms like Fubar and Snafu, maybe even Bohica to our vocabularies on each and every attempt. It is easy to see why and I am sure many others take each easy find as a gift! :-) Truly, I love the hard ones... Even thinking them through from afar. The Forum allows us the armchair benchmarking opportunities after dark... 'tis nice indeed. Rob
  2. Replying to Blackdog on the Maybe there was a major adjustment... Well, you are correct. The numbers do change if there is a way to improve upon them. In fact, adjustments to various areas and States are always happening. This is why you see NAD 83 (1986) or NAD 83 (1999) or what ever year that may be in parenthesis after the NAD 83 designation. Each new year which is more recent than the last will be more precise and the superseded data should be noted on the page in it's appropriate area. I hold no disregard for the geocaching.com copy of the database, and it works fine for simply playing the game, but The NGS website really is the best source to use for Datasheets and Information. So many things are constantly being done to the NSRS by so many contributors that barely a day goes by without something changing... Somewhere someone is working on the next Geoid model or is doing a major adjustment, or what have you, Maybe even correcting a scaled location... :-) Rob
  3. Hey All, I Have always submitted mine in the same manner they are printed on the official datasheet; if the datasheet says it like this: NAD 83(1986)- 47 40 07. (N) 122 24 06. (W) SCALED So if there is an improvement to the datasheet that I can make, I annotate it as such: WAAS CORRECTED NAD 83 GPS COORDINATES: 47 40 59.3(N) 122 23 11.7(W) I just stay with the format on the datasheet so the thinking and interpretation remain the same. If I do not get WAAS lock then I do not say I did. I never use any other Datum or formats so there is no risk of conversion error on the part of myself or and other users who would have to field convert later. I just add that paragraph to my recovery report. Thats it. I do it as a separate paragraph so as to set it apart from other forms of description. I give the tenth of a second too, as without it, the update is not a lot better than scaled. Closer, but not as tight as it could be. In an ugly situation that tenth can be just the trick to find you need, and is the difference between give or take 5 and 50 feet, depending on where you are standing. We all know there are plenty of places to lose a Station in a 50 foot stretch, eh? My .02. Rob
  4. Hey All, That list of stations Paul pasted and placed in bold in his last post is called the "Box Score" and there is commonly a box score on many but not all higher order Triangulation, or horizontal control. It commonly lists stations near the mark with bearings to and distances in meters. A useful bit of info, but watch out, as not all the stations can be directly searched by PID if they don't have one, and some stations have been removed from the database if they have truly been confirmed destroyed. It does look like RM 3 could have a couple conflicting locations, and that A Grid and Geod Az are not always the same thing... Good catch there! But it is worth knowing that Azimuth marks in the old days were commonly set south of the actual station and were commonly a quarter mile or so away, give or take. It seems with every mark we are to solve a puzzling confusion made different by time... ... a lot like a box of chocolates, you never know what you are going to get! Rob
  5. Bicknell, Here are my suggestions to your thoughts, "Correction #1 The coordinates on JV4061 should be changed to be the same as JV2521 based on the information above. While perhaps not the exact location of the point, until it's found that will be much closer, and within the margin of error for scaled coordinates." At best, if you did not find it, just file a mark not found report, nothing more. That would tell me that it is not found and save me time I'd waste Professionally hunting it. The coordinates are scaled in the first place and since there is no other updates and you didn't find it, the coordinates are, well, not knowable. We cannot be much closer to something we do not know and cannot find, especially when the location was a guestimation in the first place. "Update #1 Based on the changes at the location, and the fact that there was a "Reset" marker set 12 years later I think JV2521 should be marked destroyed, at least in the geocaching site, if not in the NGS database." We have no clear evidence that a survey party set this reset based on the loss of a point on the same level line, and no empirical evidence of a destroyed station, so we cannot destroy it as the standards for destroying a mark at NGS are super rigorous, especially if it was a disc type monumentation. The Geocaching site only mirrors an old copy of the NGS Data, yet as you can see, when Artman hunted this station he decided he could not confirm anything and just posted a note to say that he had tried to. This is a great examples of how sometimes scaled locations and descriptions can confuse when they don't Jibe. "Correction #2 The coordinates for JV2358 should be changed to be the same as JV2521 for the same reasons as correction #1." We cannot change anything if it does not improve it, and the only way to improve it is if someone actually finds the monument and makes a GPS waypoint of the location that they can submit. " Update #2 Again, due to changes in the area, and the fact that there is a reset marker for the reset marker, I think JV4061 should be marked as destroyed." Again, the NGS Rules for destroying a station in their database apply... Not going to happen. "The story doesn't end there. If a marker does exist, then it's probably JV2358 as it is the newest." This is a nice theory but it is possible that both exist and that none do both at the same time. 50/50 chance because they could be just lost or buried or truly removed and long gone. Nobody can confirm it. I like the way you are thinking, as it shows you are really looking hard at all the critical thoughts involved, but just remember that the rules never allow us to assume anything. (though sometimes it would be nice) We are only allowed to work with what is, and what is not is in the parallel universe which we may never know. So based on your work, if you are not yet finished, I would keep revisiting and hunting, but if you are finished for now, I would submit reports that claim what you did find, A lot of new construction and changes to the area. A description that really does not work well for the current way the area now is and stations that currently cannot be found. Maybe something will solve the puzzle sometime, and you can always submit a find later if you do manage to locate one or both. For right now, your submissions to geocaching will tell Surveyors who look here that it is not going to be easy, if possible and that is helpful. If you choose to submit to the NGS as well, then that would help update their data too, though you are under no obligation to do that unless you like. Thanks for your interesting thoughts! Rob
  6. Blackdog, Yes Your contribution will be very helpful to future seekers of that station, more so if it was particularly difficult to find with the description that it had. What you shall see, is your update, as you wrote it, in your own hand. and it will be there for the next several hundred years unless someone destroys the station and physically returns the remains to an NGS Geodetic advisor, in which case it may be removed from the database. As a Surveyor, you will have just carved off a bunch of time I'll spend hunting it. I now could add the coordinate to my equipment and run a basic GO TO in order to find it, and by rights I should walk right up on it. As an aside, yet worth reminding all other readers who may not yet know or realize, the practice of adding the GPS Coordinates which you got when visiting a Station is really only necessary for Vertical control Stations, NOT the Horizontal ones. The datasheet will tell you which kind you are working with, and please submit the data in Degree Minute and Second format which is standard to the format used with the datasheet and surveying. Thanks! Rob
  7. Zipper, You didn't tell us which mapping program you were using to try and map this station. As Artman pointed out, the coordinate you are using is a decimal degree format created by geocaching.com and perhaps your mapping program is looking for you to use the degree minute and seconds format, so you may want to look into the preferences. Degree minutes and degree seconds are base 60 while decimal degrees are not and that may be the basis for some of what problem you are seeing. Online there are solutions such as the http://www.topozone.com/ website which should have no problem parsing your formats either way, and perhaps they will help you get where you would like to go. Good Luck! Rob
  8. Neweyess, The PID system was developed well after the 1930's. Basically the PID system is in theory no different than you knowing that you keep the socks you wear in the top dresser drawer on the left side. You know that if you look there, what you expect to find will be there. The PID is a drawer or a folder that contains the Data for a station named X... The near by stations were well, nearby, so they received a sequential PID... But Basically, the PID is just a computer file name for data ascribed to a particular station, that is it. The Data in the file will have what there is to know about the station, and there may be data which NGS has that is not important to the datasheet itself, but is on file about any particular station... Hope that helps... Rob
  9. In the earliest monumentations I could find in Washington State, still extant, the stations began life as drill holes (Triangulation 1854). The earliest I recall any of the drill holes updated to brass discs out here was 1902 revisits to the drill holes, 1880 era revisits were finds of drill holes and sometimes the drill hole was found to have a stick in it or it was cleaned and repacked with sulfur to aid in finding it again at a future date. As to leveling, Most of what is out here on the West Coast would have come after the Brass disc, However Bolts and Rivets or some such item could have been used to signify a leveled location prior to the discs themselves in the East, Prior to disc Monuments. It is hard to say when the USGS was doing it's leveling and or when they did that Court House, But writing the USGS about it as it says on every disc may unearth an answer. Dave D may also have a line on some of the info, and maybe he will see this and look into it if he has time. To Casey or DaveD, Do you guys have any internal documentation as to when the USCGS began using brass disc style station markers? My best guess is 1890's or early 1900's from what I have come across, But I have never read anything in the NGS History, so far, as to when exactly the practice was undertaken. Any thoughts? Just to help out with when Leveling became Geodetically important and how the beginning was carried out, Here is a quote from: http://www.history.noaa.gov/stories_tales/geodetic5.html Rob
  10. Rog, There is a 99 & 44/100 % chance that no one will be out to re-stamp that disc... Maybe even less! But stranger things have happened... Ahhnold is the Governor after all... And could be President if the idea catches on... Girlymen, be very afraid! Rob
  11. Hi Vaughn, Most everything seems to be in order. It is a USGS Monumentation submitted to the NGS with one recovery and looks to be an aluminum disc. The final acid test would be to take your GPSr and while set to the NAD 83 Datum and the DD.MM.SS format, test to see if the coordinates concur with those on the NGS Datasheet. If they do, I would say you have a loggable find, though it is likely the find based on what you have anyway. And Congrats on the find on the Cairn as well, you got a bonus on that as the station did not list a cairn. It was a secret Cairn... All the Cairn Collectors will envy you! Rob
  12. Interesting, But not too hard to sort out. First and most important, the Datasheet has on it this all important line: ED0700* NAVD 88 - 576.857 (meters) 1892.57 (feet) ADJUSTED This is the current elevation, and is what the surveyor is going to need to know. Since it is adjusted to NAVD 88, they will know it is current, or at least reasonably so. Though the elevations seem confusing to the year, here is what the lowdown is on elevations as based on Vertical Datum: If we work backwards from the latest info on the sheet, we can know that the NAVD Datum went into effect in 1991. That represents a variable Datum Shift from the NGVD 29 Datum, depending on where you happen to be checking elevations on the Geoidal reference Sphere (Gravity Model). This datum shift almost always will represent some sort of elevation change. NAVD 88 is currently using the Geoid 99 frame of reference for this station. The NGVD 29 Datum really didn't use a reference spheroid, and so really didn't take gravitational effects into consideration for it's calculations. It based elevations off the observation of a series of 26 tidal gauges, 21 in the US and 5 in Canada. Prior to the NGVD 29 which averaged all 26 references, there was likely a local reference or two that had been being used to establish elevations in the Area. Anyhow, the users of the BM will know to use the most recent data when dealing with this station as the old data is no longer considered up to date, UNLESS a local municipality is asking for them to us an older datum. This is sometimes the case. Either way, that data is on the sheet too. So there are two approaches you can use here if you like. Your choice. 1. You can send in what you know to the datasheet entry form, from your find as a straight submission to this datasheet. That you noted the monumentation date confusion and noted the buildings build date. That the stamping "1892.516 feet is now a superseded value and that it be ignored, (though most users of BM's know not to use any value which has been stamped on them) And if you have it, Please add your GPSr waypoint: Lat/Lon dd.mm.ss NAD 83 data to your submission to tighten up the Horizontal scale to find info. 2. or, You can write Cheryl Malone at NGS cheryl.malone@noaa.gov and try to explain what you find odd about the date of monumentation in the Data sheet and if she would research to see if the USGS data for this USGS BM has a different date of Monumentation that the erroneous data on the NGS sheet, and if so, please make the necessary corrections. Then after she has done what she felt was appropriate, then submit your find to them based on the corrected datasheet as opposed to the erroneous one. This is a USGS BM and not an NGS BM so the conventions for naming and stamping are different and sometimes open to interpretation. This could have also been a data entry error from when they added this to the electronic database. In any case, the NGS has information on this station in various archives that may aid them in sorting all this out. I hope I didn't confuse you further and gave you a little background as to why other stamped BM's may no longer seem correct as well. Good Luck! Rob
  13. Hey, Heeeeeeere's the FAQ! And if this becomes a pinned Topic, so as to aid people in getting directly to the FAQ page from the Forum well then cool Beans! Glad it can help!
  14. Gosh, Have you read the FAQ?
  15. I know whereof elcamino speaks... Break given! That Surveyor in the first article is likely a Power Squadron member... Got that nice boat and is wanting to impress... heheh, so take that with a grain of salt... or two or three, as you read it, since there is a copious amount of back scratching in it... Besides, we know the real score, so keep up the great work! On the second article, rest assured that the real field personnel are laughing at the engineer in the office who has perhaps never been in the field, (many haven't) yet is sweating over the temperature of his Invar Rod... What they are really trying, is to slice a gnat in to fifths and heheh, in the real world it isn't going to happen. Why? Because grains of sand are bigger than the particle they are worrying about and the earth has a lot of sand that isn't getting any smaller. 99% of the time we do not perform leveling to this degree of triple check procedure, and likely would only do this for establishing Geodetic data, period. I mean no disrespect to the science behind our work, but I just want it to be known from the outside looking in that this is not the daily life of a surveyor at all. What it all is on paper is not like the field at all. We have days like that but not every day :-) Usually it is a lot more hurry up and fun. It is often more like the day elcamino said one of his former colleagues pulled the electronic reader board through the drive up at Mc Donald's... A few trips to the wilderness into precarious situations and playing Rodman in busy traffic will cure them of the invar rod fetish real quick! Gotta love those technical articles though!! Rob
  16. Hi All! Sorry for being conspicuously absent for so long and thanks to those who checked in on me. That was really nice. Speaking to the point Zygote is making, BM's which are in essence Vertical Control, in most cases truly do not have accurate horizontal locations. They were never horizontally located. As we all know, Descriptions change over time and "Scaled" Locations are never exact and often not as close as we would like. So you will be almost always be improving the location and the How to Find status of any vertical control by adding the NAD 83 Waypoint Coordinates to your filing either here at Geocaching or with the NGS should you choose to file there. It will help us Surveyors find them in the future be a large margin. Remember it can take us as long to find a hard one as it does you. There is no magic wand that automatically finds the vertical control marks! Some time in the Future when a Young Survey Tech is hacking blackberries for a vertical tie in, they will thank a Geocacher for knowing exactly where to hack! ...Trust Me! This is a practice that will be helpful whenever you find that a datasheet contains no Adjusted Horizontal Control. And Yes, some of us Surveyor types like what has been happening here at the Benchmark group on Geocaching, so thanks for all you do and are doing! Rob
  17. Camper, That is a cool find! I have never seen any CG&S Hand Hole Covers before. We don't have any I have ever come across in these parts. When you do get the cover off, and a simple pry bar will do that, there is a station disc inside which is stamped NELSON 1927. It is an unusual Station as such: DG0215 HORZ ORDER - FIRST DG0215 VERT ORDER - FIRST CLASS II It was made as such when monumented, this means this station is dual duty and high order quality all the way back to when it was set. There were not many instances where a station carries both types of control, and even fewer from back in that day. Today with GPS, This sort of Dual Control Station is much more common. Some of the old stations are selected to be updated in the quality and types of control. It took a good bit of surveying to develop the control for this station. Thanks for the look at it. Rob
  18. You make a great point Artman. There are a lot yet to find and safer ones than these. All Railroad Property is pretty much Posted, so Just Pass on it. I said that already but there just seems to be another who comes along who says Heheheh I am going to look for a work around. Do yourself a Favor, Just skip the work around... Pass on these Stations. Casey from NGS even told us that NGS Personnel Have difficulty gaining access to some stations, and my being a surveyor does not make it magic either. Stay Safe! Rob
  19. I suppose it is worth repeating. All Railroad Security Cops are Deputized as a Federal Marshalls. They are on the look with fresh eyes toward Homeland Security and Terrorist Activities. It is of note that just today, A Freight and Passenger Train were intentionally derailed by a vehicle that was purposefully parked by a Supposedly Suicidal Man on the rails. 10 so far died, 180 were Injured. The dead and missing are not completely known at the time of this writing. The rescue efforts are not yet complete. A suspect is in custody and preparations are being made to to charge him. He did not die in the collision, He apparently got out of the SUV just before the collision, stood nearby and watched. You too could be one person in the wrong place. Enough avoidable bad things happen on railroad property as it is. The Railroads will not go easy. If you have not got permission and safety training to be where you are on their Property, then you are a trespasser which in this day is not just a trespasser. You could be a terrorist. Please take pause, and try to imagine. What do you look like to a Railroad Security Cop? Keep in mind, you are not supposed to be where you are. If you were in their shoes, what would you do? Does this person know that they are trespassing? Are they Suicidal? Are they a terrorist? Are they looking for something or hiding something? Is that a shovel? Are they tampering with the tracks? Do they have a Gun? Do you really want to be in a place you are not supposed to be answering to someone with similar thoughts on their mind? Are they already having a bad day? Are you causing them to have one now? They hate having train wrecks that evacuate towns, and kill passengers or nearby residents or First responders. They wonder what will happen when the Terrorists really do target their railroad. Some time Back, I was working on a road redesign with a Paving company. They had to pave up to the edge of the tracks for the crossing overlays. Permission from the Railroad was needed to do so, as in the railroad had to be there watching with a radio to keep the paving and train crews safe... All had been warned not to be in the right of way without a Railroad Representative handy. The schedule did not go as planned so the Paving Foreman decided not to wait and paved next to the tracks early. Early as in before the appointed time for the Railroad track inspector to arrive. The inspector turned the air a very deep shade of Blue when he arrived, and that involved the job getting shut down by the Municipality. The railroad wanted to file charges with the City for trespassing, and reckless endangerment to their crews which could have potentially found a paving crew in the way. That didn't happen, fortunately. It took several days afterwards to get the job done and a different crew had to finish it. That particular Paving Foreman had to take some unplanned time off, and the Paving Company Had to kiss up to both the City and the Railroad because the Railroad was not quick to want to allow it again, and the City was also not happy as they needed the job done days before. This was a rather ruinous adventure even though nothing happened... I really hate to big deal this simple hunting of a Benchmark, but I assure you that the Railroad folks can and likely will. The station may be easy pickings, but please, Just skip all these. This game is not worth Jail or worse. Rob
  20. Marvin, Railroads can be Amenable to escorting those who have legitimate work to do on their right of way. It is a scheduling thing, and no one is going to put the railroad out. If a Licensed Surveying Firm needed access, or some form of construction access, I imagine they would provide an escort for that as it is a revenue job, but to escort someone for the purpose of playing a game is unlikely. Keep in mind that they will have to pay someone union scale to tag along with you and those Man Hours can be billable to the person who needs their escort. Railroad personnel have been instructed not to be nice guy's and help or look the other way anymore. It used to be many would, but they could lose their jobs for doing that today. Good Luck. Rob
  21. Hi ArtMan, Perhaps your Browser is just giving the standard error messages, and a note off to the owner of that website will fill in the blanks? Rob
  22. I know that the various cities in this area often have differing styles of permanent markers that they set for their own reasons, So it goes with the state also. Many are tied in to the NSRS. It does not look like any Marker I have ever seen. It may not be one. If it is a Marker, it is likely this is just another one of those survey marker styles which were selected to set their markers apart from others. I can't say I have seen one like this in a Catalog either... The Crux of the problem is that when we surveyors go looking for survey to use, we have the data and have an idea as to where to look. We are hunting for something specific, and we have an idea what it will look like. Then there is the local knowledge factor, we have an idea as to what to expect to see, how things are commonly done in that locale... I have no local knowledge as to Anchorage but I can say from experience that this station, if it is one, could belong to a number of different agencies or municipalities, so the approach to figuring out the to whom this belongs is a bit more involved. It is a form of working in reverse... On the other hand a local surveyor would look at this and likely know. Perhaps a call to a Surveyor in Anchorage is in order? They may know who uses this marker type off the top of their heads... Probably not much of an answer, but just a possibility, Rob
  23. I answered that in My reply to you Geo, A Reference or Azimuth Mark is loggable if it has Horizontal or Vertical Data ascribed to it. If it only serves as Reference or Azimuth, It will not. I hope that helps clarify it for you Geo, Rob
  24. Geo, Generally speaking, though the datasheet will list a PID for the AZ and RM's, The actual PID is the station these are attributed to. Unless actual Triangulation or Elevation data were ascribed to the AZ or RM's, the seemingly PID like number next to them on the Datasheet will not usually turn up further Data. What you are seeing there are stations listed in what is known as the Box Score, and it does list the bearing and distance to the RM and AZ Marks from the Station disc. It will also often list the PID's of other nearby Stations, including PID's to stations that may have been deemed destroyed and are no longer in the database. Bearings and distances to all. Hope that helps Geo, Rob
  25. Geo, Sometimes the Internet and its many servers and routers just go down, and then come back, or there is a reboot or something... It happens. That is the message you should be getting. This site is no different. It happens... Rob
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