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Everything posted by evenfall

  1. Bill93, Thanks for bringing up the old Chaining method... I had to laugh, we don't even use them any more... All Laser range find, Total Station or GPS... Do the division to calc the chains on the calculator. It is still a valid unit of measure too, But I don't see a lot of it in my line of Surveying. All the DOT County City and so on requires Stationing at the hundred foot as all the detail is related for building to that. Everything from the tangent to the vertical curve is placed by plan to this kind of Stationing these days. I wondered about Chaining but it didn't seem conclusive. When I think of the era and see those pictures of Papa's it makes perfect sense. Change has been slow.... Anyway, it seemed odd for a Mile Marker to be within some increment of a mile. Very cool on the Railroad Information JB, I like that. Keep the .02's coming. This has been a fun adventure. I had a feeling there was something Narrow Gauge in that area... Mining and logging was big there until the early 1900's... There was pressure from the FRA, Federal Railroad Administration to go to standard gauge rails, and as revenue slipped away the D&RGW let a lot go. Onward... In Washington, Most of the Stations along Railroad Right of Ways are Bench Marks. Railroads were always concerned with gradient, as the heavy trains needed to climb hills as efficiently as possible. Steam was a different beast than diesel, and the way Horse Power and Torque was measured and developed in the power curve was different between the types. It was costly to have to double head and the lengths of trains had to be shorter, meaning less pay tonnage. The whole of logistics in steam was way different. The ruling grade on a slope was the king. The relationship of Bench Marks and a Railroad Grade was a Natural. The railroad needed the grade elevations and the ROW made the procedure of leveling much easier and convenient to get Lines of Leveling from place to place. A Triangulation Base Line would not be particularly interested in a railroad as the site selection for those was often based on the planned Station accuracy and the specific geometry of Triangulation Scheme being used in that area. The interesting thing is that for either type of Station, the where of it's location has a Rhyme and a Reason. I found the Supreme Court Case on why these markers came to be. The 1868 is the year the Survey that was used as the line was filed, and 1925 of the Court decision to use that particular Survey. You might think it a boring read but it really isn't, it was very well written, cited and bibliographied and if you like you can read the Court decision Here. I found a Map that showed some general description of the various land purchases of the west as the United States expanded, a sliver of southern Colorado was not part of the purchase most of Colorado was part of, and it took land from the purchase that New Mexico was part of to square up the borders. This is the area in dispute. New Mexico also had disputes with Texas over the State line there as well. In fact down that bunny trail I think I read while scanning through that the Texas line may not all be resolved to New Mexico's satisfaction even now. Papa, I have not pulled all the Datasheets to have a hard look at them yet, but I may. It is sort of hard to do arm chair. I have not been to the territory to sort it through, but I would be happy to help if I can. It looks to me that Bill93 has a pretty good handle on it though. I would agree with his findings from what I read. I will say it seems out of whack as you have presented it so I would say you found something here! I often chalk a lot of these typos and such to when all the old data was entered to Computer. The NGS utilized Prison Labor to do a lot of this but it really is just Human error, It was a huge undertaking. It just got a little mixed up. This one looks more like the computer did a wild thing really. In a lot of cases some of these Datasheets have never been given a good scrutinization since then. The NGS has access to data about each Station that is not included on the datasheet. They can sort things out with information we do not have here at this level. It may be good to sit down and compare all the datasheets to see what is what. Your plan to go back and make some physical measurements is exactly the best thing to do to verify these things. It will be good to verify which data belongs to what. Thanks to all, This can of historical worms has been a Kick! Edited fer typolegraffikal hairors. Rob
  2. Hey Geo, that is correct, That is a form of leveling we can use, and that is how Stationing is done, and read. But these markers do not conform to the standard Stationing I would use everyday in the field for locating things, this is written in the same format but according to JB, the 163 means miles, not hundreds of feet, This checks out nicely after scaling the Colorado State line along New Mexico west beginning at the Oklahoma line. It comes out right where it said it would, so I am thinking the + 22 could mean something other than what we are accustomed to. Part of the work we do in the field of surveying is question descriptions and instructions, until we are sure we understand them, as well as confirm they are correct. You would be surprised how many things are drawn on plans that cannot be built as indicated, or look wrong until the order of construction is sorted out... Sometimes we in the Survey field have to beg an engineer to leave the office to see what they really are working with. Often times the design meets a spec but has not been the best design for the situation, like a bridge not lining up for a road it was designed for. (it happens, Really) About the time I take something for granted, I am in error, and that is never a good thing! :-) Often, we are the last ones to catch the errors, so we develop a nose for looking for what is odd right out. This use of a given and otherwise usual nomenclature is being used, or rather written in a usual way, but for and unusual length. Knowing why and how is important in this instance. It as a marker is just an interesting artifact is all. Rob
  3. JB, Not presumptuous at all, in fact thank you. For a lot of us the background info is as cool as the hunt. By All means, please do so anytime. There are a lot of great contributors and fun people in this forum. I pulled the datasheet from NGS, GM0519 and it looks like they leveled the Supreme Court Mile Marker in 1933, It is now a VERT ORDER - FIRST CLASS II Station. I am curious to the stamping however and you may know how it reads on these. BOUNDARY MI COR 163+22 CHS CO NM. In a Standard Stationing schema I would assume this Station is located 16,322 feet from the POB. In this instance assuming Mile Markers you say 163rd So are we talking 163.22 miles west of the Oklahoma State Line, assuming the Oklahoma Line is the POB? I scale this to be near San Antonio Colorado. This makes sense as the Descriptions start from the Antonito Post office. I am curious as to what the +22 part of the stamping means. The 1933 description speaks of a dismantled Railroad, I am wondering if this was some of the D&RGW Narrow Gauge which was abandoned pretty early on, that would be cool to know. In the 1984 description they claim the stamping says 163+22 CHS 1868 1925. I did a little looking and found this link: http://usgenmap.rootsweb.com/us1860.htm It details that the 1860's was when the beginning of these State Border disputes may have started. There is some info on the net about these border disputes. Papa or JB, If either of you do get back to that neck of the woods, I would love to see what that Supreme Court Mile Marker looks like. Looks like you can claim it as a find if you do too! It sounds like a Boundary Monument with engraving, and a Disc in the top of it stamped as such. I wonder if all the monuments had discs in the top of them, and was one set every mile? This has been a fun find Papa, I am glad you Crowed! and all because of a screwed up datasheet. JB, thanks again for the info. Rob
  4. Haaaaa Papa! Good on you for 200! You know those three descriptions in my thinking are all the same Station. I see the two tenth of a mile error there but new mile marker signs can do that and Vehicle odometers are not all that precise anyhow, I think I would just write Deb Brown to help get the designation typos sorted out. I really do believe you found the right Station with the PID you pulled. It will be fine! In the third decription something piqued my curiosity. Did you look for this? I realize it is not what you were looking for, but I have never seen one of these, In fact I was not aware of this type of station at all. I have never come across any here in Washington, The subject has never came up with coworkers down through the years. I have seen a lot of different types of State and Federal Markers, but never one of those, I even Googled for it and found nothing. Imagine a Supreme Court Certified Mile. I wonder if it was for the Road or the Railroad... Hmmmm If you didn't but you happen to be near there again, see if it is there, I would love to have a look at it. Congrats again for a helluva good day! I am sure Spoo is raising that Mug in his picture to you. So am I. I will leave you to edit all that paperwork! Rob
  5. Just this last week, I wrote a piece about the many Survey Markers there are in the field, and why you may not find them in the geocaching.com database. I added it to the Geodetic Interspacial Referencing Devices pinned topic in the top section of the Bench Mark Forum. In fact, it is right Here. Hopefully it is a good overview, and will help to explain a lot of the questions you might have. The FAQ's on the Geocaching.com Benchmark page are a great resource as well! I hope that helps, and if you still have questions, let us know. There are lots of us here who may be able to help find answers! Rob
  6. Hey All, NGS criteria for Destroying a Station, in this case a physical Station Disc Monumentation, is very stringent. The reason for this is so that arbitrarily, no one can simply 'not find' a Station and declare it Destroyed. It is much less stringent for say, a building or tower, something that is not a disc type Station. You can well imagine what would be left in the database if it were so easy. So in the case of this Station type going missing, unless Somebody can Physically ship the destroyed objet to NGS, or provide a picture, close up enough to show the actual stamping to show that the actual object is in fact the actual object and it is destroyed. It sounds like all that is found is a hole in the ground. Due to the stringent requirements of the NGS, good ones in my thinking, it means that in 100 years from now, this station and all the others just like it, Meaning removed from their locations, with no proof of the actual removal, will be eternally not found. In this case there is a twist however, but it is not going to change things much. This Station is not, and never was property of the NGS. What this means is that MDOT Monumented this Station and Surveyed it to a very high standard. This was a First order Horizontal Control and a Second order II Vertical control, which is not something the NGS commonly would set. The NGS primarily sticks to Triangulation Stations for Horizontal Control, and Bench Mark Stations for Vertical Control. For and NGS setting it was not really until GPS that many were doing High order accuracy on both at once. Since this Station qualified to NGS standards of accuracy, MDOT submitted it for inclusion to NGS for inclusion in their Database. After the data was analyzed by NGS, it must have qualified, so it was added. Regardlessly, this Station is still property of the State of Michigan, not the NGS. At best to the NGS all that can be done is the submission of a standard recovery report to NGS with photos that it is Not Found and a description stating that the Station has been physically removed from the location... I would dig a little in the hole myself just to make double sure. After or during the NGS report I would also Contact the Michigan State Geodetic Advisor, Most State Advisors are Dual Duty. They Work for the State, and the do duty for the NGS as their Representative in that State. They are 2 birds with one stone. Dave will know how to handle this both for the NGS and the State of Michigan, and he has the only Field Authority to truly establish, officially, that this Station has been destroyed. I would not Go to Deb Brown on this, as all she can do is ask you to submit a not found report, and advise you to contact Dave. It would be true whether this were an NGS Station or a State Owned Station. Dave can physically go to the spot look at it and take the action he deems appropriate. The main thing here is this. This is part of what State Geodetic advisors are for. It Takes a State Advisor to Officially Destroy a Ground Station. There is a great deal of planning that goes into the establishment of a First Order Station. It took a great deal of observation to establish it, and it is good to know it is gone missing. Your report to them may even cause them to establish a new one in that area if they truly need the control. I hope this helps, and this scenario would hold true for similar situations in any State. Happy Hunting! Rob Edit for a Typo.
  7. Hey Papa, I saw that you posted while I was writing. Cornstarch looks great and is so easy too, just a sprinkle. That is a great tip! I really like the price and I can use it to thicken the occasional sauce too! The stamping about leaps out! how do you think it would do in a breeze or the wind? Rob
  8. Hi Paul, Nature photography has been a hobby of mine, and going where I go in my line of work I see some cool things. I have read threads about the difficulty we can have getting the stamping on the mark to pop. Of course your method looks good but I wanted to share a couple other ideas. One of the things about natural lighting that helps make a cool looking picture is the angle of the light. Low angle light, being light from the sun on a clear day which is coming from low on the horizon, casts a bit more of a shadow than light at high noon or light which is coming through a cloudy, overcast sky. The clouds are a bit of a diffuser, and from that the light seems to come from a lot of different angles, or seemingly, everywhere. Now this information is sort of useless when you need to photograph your discovery at noon of a cloudy day, but if you have plenty of memory on your digital, try taking the photos with the Flash off, and at a bit of an angle instead of directly over the station, the angle can introduce some relief to the lighting as an incidence to the lens, and you may see what you want, oh and try a few angles, you can shoot at right angles and 180 degrees and flip the picture right side up with software later. A toothbrush or small soft bristle brush is great for cleaning the disc up, and feel free to take plenty of insurance shots to compare, and discard the ones you don't like. And just because I have better luck with the flash off, your cam, and lighting may be different than mine, so feel free to take some with the flash if you like too, again try to shoot it at a bit of an angle to get a little shadow relief to make the stamping pop, also try zooming in as far as you can to frame the disc up, causing you to take the pic from further away, this way the flash is not as bright as it would be at point blank, and perhaps help keep from washing out the photo. Just a couple thoughts to ponder. Ultimately I am for whatever works best, but any method is worth a try. If anything, these methods could provide a workaround if you don't have chalk with you or would rather not bother with it. Continuing on the Topic of Chalk, Bench Mark Hunting wise, There have also been threads where talk of using upside down marking paint is used... Well, I do use a lot of it professionally I can go through several cans of pink a day when working with heavy equipment, as it is easy for the operators to see from the cab, and in a work related scenario, it has it's place, but not for guesswork or hunting... This chalk may be a child's toy to some, but it is totally water soluble. There are plenty of times I will need to make temporary marks to help me, and setting up in traffic is just not feasible. I often will pull a measurement out of a street to a sidewalk where it is safe to work, I may mark the spot on the street with chalk as a line up and make marks on the side walk as a distance from the mark in the street. I will use methods that I won't describe just now to make sure I am squared up to my Mark, (but if you understand Pythagorean Theorem) and pull my measurements from there. Say I need to get 80 feet from the centerline of road. I can quickly put the Dummy end of a tape measure out to the center of a road an measure to a point on the sidewalk. if that was 18 fee to the sidewalk, I now need 62 feet to finish my measurement, and I am out of harms way if I have to use this several times. My experiment disappears in many ways but is gone for sure during the first rain. Chalk is cool. Rob
  9. MarkDuster, Blazing Trees was common back in those days. But then there was no shortage of trees. Pull out a pocket knife and carve what was needed into the bark. Here in the Northwest I have come across many o' tree in the Datasheets that helped out as an RM to a C&GS Station, but never read of any as the Station itself, at least not as Geodesy. I can not think of one instance where I have seen the C&GS ever used a growing tree as a Station. There are plenty of trees that became Property Corners, and Section Corners and such. A much more common practice in Line work. Sometimes later survey parties would find the blaze and attempt to re-blaze the tree so as to preserve the information as the tree will try to heal. In many cases, the tree grows and heals and you never find the blaze, or you do but you cannot be sure, as growth and healing distorts the mark, etc. The Triangle with the nail in it in the root would be the location they observed. It is the Station, it was never occupied. Yup. That would be a triangulation station mark as far as basic practices would be concerned but this is a Bench Mark Station for elevation set by the USGS. Usually a cross would indicate Bench Mark, but I suppose that mark would be more difficult to interpret in a tree root, or when blazed in a tree root. The Station is VERTCON and has a Stability of D, not to mention 100 years of tree growth since as well... That is, if it is still there. It would be interesting to see a pic if you find this. If nothing else, the pic would show why after 100 years this would not be considered a best practice. Today it is not considered sound practice to Blaze a tree. It is not good for the tree, and can be considered defacing property. I would not even re blaze an old mark, it could mean that you get to buy a tree. Bad Ju Ju overall. Rob
  10. The US, back in the WWII days did a lot of Geodetic Surveying all over the place. I have not come across the Alcan Highway in the History yet, but I have not read it all yet. I can say that it would make perfect sense for them to have been there. I have Built a few miles of Road in my day and you don't do it without Elevations to establish grades. Without Control, The bridges would look pretty funny. I have read where the USC&GS did work a lot of Alaska in the 50's, I know they were there earlier than that too. The Army Corps of Engineers Built the Alcan during the War so I am sure the Geodetic work was in support of them. During WWII I read that thee were USC&GS personnel taken Prisoner in the Philippines, as we completely Triangulated a lot of south sea islands. There are a couple guys who posts on here, Dave D, Who is with the NGS, and Dan Vull,He was a Geodetic Surveyor in the USAF for quite a while. If they come across this thread, they may have some insights. I have never read what kind of monuments the USAF Set, they could have set standard monuments or they may have had discs that were unique to their work. but I have read a lot of the information I could find about the USAF Geodetic Surveyors and they Did work in the Caribbean, S. America, S.E. Asia, as well as some stateside. It is a cool study in the spare time. In addition, there are other people here who may know something. I can tell you that the Station you found was used for Elevation. It is a First Order Bench Mark Station, and was scaled off of a Map for latitude and longitude. You could tighten up its whereabouts quite nicely with your GPS, The Datum used for it's elev. is 1928 Datum. They had a different idea of how to determine Geoid Height back then, and it was not an earth centered Datum. I would not take that number as gospel today, but if that number could be properly converted it is a First Order Bench. I'd level off of it no problem. I am not sure, as this Station is in canadian Territory, but there may be a link under Tools on the NGS website that may have a way to convert the Datum to NAVD 88 I remember el Camino, offering a PID prefix grid map at one time, and Rogbarn making a digital printout of one. In the printed map that el Camino had, it could be seen that the grid overlapped the US-Canadian Border. It is pretty obvious that to properly locate the boundary, some cross boundary triangulation would be necessary, and as an agency, I can see why though they did monument the stations across the border, it would not be necessary to maintain the data for them after they served their purpose. They now fall outside of the legal territory. This is cool Gonzo, Thanks for bringing this to the table. The Alcan Highway is something I had not thought of. Rob
  11. Can’t Find your Benchmark at Geocaching.com?!? It is a very common question in the Benchmarking Forum to ask what to do with benchmarks that don’t seem to be in the Geocaching database. I wanted to take just a moment to explain something about Bench Mark Hunting and how it works in the Geocaching Database, for those who may be curious about the what’s and why’s. First, a little background about Survey Markers. In the United States there are literally millions of Survey Markers and Monuments set, both temporary and permanent and as you may well imagine it all has a purpose. It would be a massive undertaking to try to bring the catalogs together. There have been several Agencies of the US Government that have set Survey Monuments for several reasons, as have different branches of the US Military. A Short but not all-inclusive list could include the NGS, NOS, USCG&S, CGS, USGS, BLM, NPS, USE, USACE, USAF, USN, et, al. Each agency has a mission to carry out, and these markers are used for these mission’s purposes. It is common that the right hand (being one agency) does not know what the left hand (being yet another agency) is doing, but sometimes they intermingle. In addition, nearly every State has it’s own various Agencies, as do the Counties and Cities. Then there is the Private Surveyors who support the industry on all various levels. They too set survey monuments in the field for a number of different reasons. What I want you to know is that there is a very high likelihood that in the search for Bench Marks, a hunter will come across many various markers, which will not seem to be in the Geocaching Database. It is not you. You are likely not doing anything incorrectly. This is a correct outcome. They will not be found in there, and likely will never be. The Geocaching.com Database uses a copy of a database that was issued by the National Geodetic Survey. Today, the NGS is a department within the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, otherwise known as the NOAA. This Agency, the NGS was originally set forth by Thomas Jefferson in the Early 19th Century, charged with the task of measuring the Coastlines and Heartlands of the United States. This kind of Survey falls under what is called Geodetic Research. Its overall mission has not changed all that much over the years although the technologies and methodologies have improved greatly. Over the nearly 200-year tenure of this Agency, it has also changed names a few times to hopefully best reflect the mission. What started out as the Coast Survey, later became names that most in Benchmark Hunting will be most familiar with as; US Coast & Geodetic Survey, National Ocean Survey, and National Geodetic Survey. This Agency is charged with maintaining a network of survey monuments, which are of the highest order of accuracy possible and are the reference standard for all other forms of survey in the field. These markers each can serve different purposes, but most of them are responsible for Vertical Control, Horizontal Control, and in same cases a bit of both kinds of data at the same time. There are other applications but these are beyond the scope of this subject. The current NGS Database uses only Survey Markers, which have qualified as being within standards of high confidence for accuracy, and only then are they included in the National Spatial Reference System. What this means is that there may be survey markers in the field which were monumented by this Agency, or one of it’s former agency names, which was rejected from continuing inclusion in this database because it did not meet, or no longer meets the standards. It also means that other Agencies may submit their Survey Markers to the NGS as well, but if they do not meet the standard, they are not included. At a time in the not too distant past, the NGS offered their entire database of survey monuments, and the supporting data for them on CD-ROM. This database contained 736,425 Survey Markers at that time. It since has discontinued the practice of offering the database on CD-ROM. It does still offer the Data, but not in it’s entirety in one package as it had with the CD-ROM. Of all the Monuments that are represented in that data, the current physical status (an important distinction) of a good many of them is not currently known. Geocaching.com is using a version of that CD-ROM Database. Since there have been no new updates issued to this Format, there have been no updates to the Geocaching.com database. This will and does result in finding the inaccuracies of the Data at the point it was published as well as not having access to the Data added and corrected, or updated since the time the static copy was published. It will mean that you will find Markers that you think should be in there and they will not be. Some of the reason will be that they never were. Other reasons will be that the NGS continues to update it’s Data, as well as add and subtract to the state of Markers in the field to maintain the integrity of that data, which is not reflected in the copy at Geocaching.com Currently, there has not been an NGS update to the Geocaching.com data for some time. It is unclear as to whether this will happen again, but there some who are looking for ways to make this happen. Until it does, the sad truth, if you choose to feel that way about it, is that if you find a Mark that is not currently included in the GC Database, you cannot log it. There is no provision to take credit for things that are not there, and many other agencies do not offer their data to the public. By all means, do keep data for what you find but cannot log at this time in your own database. Things evolve all the time, and someday, you never know when things may change at some future time. Most of all, Have fun Bench Mark Hunting! Rob
  12. Hi Shirley, When I read your request I couldn't help to think it was an interesting thought. But I know, as well as the others here who work in the field know that a list like that is quite an undertaking, and to be honest, rarely ever complete. I fear that if I attempted a full list it would be a big job, and never done because there are always more acronyms. Construction Staking, Surveying, Engineering, and the Acronyms attached to that work is a vast and varied set. Yes there are main acronyms, and I think I will have you covered for a good many of them by the time I am done, but I want you to know that there are no real hard and fast rules, There are lots of Acronyms and they are as varied as the industry is, and written as differently as the Firm that is establishing them. So more than it being right or wrong as to the method, the trick is to know how to interpret the meanings either way. There is more than one way to write the same thing in engineering code. In the end it comes down to the reader. That is tricky, but it is how it is. They may use Acronyms differently from company to company and state to state. For many who may be interested in this kind of information, I can offer you this. No matter what state you live in, it is highly likely that your State, County, and many Cities have engineering information on line. Departments of Transportation and City Engineers are likely sources. Many publications are available from them for free, as a .pdf document download for use with Adobe Acrobat Reader. Here in Washington State, the Department of Transportation, WSDOT, offers a number of different Publications, and many are free downloads. One I think everyone may enjoy downloading is Highway Survey Manual. It is 204 pages, about 1.8 MB and is an overview of the Survey methods and standards they use. To be sure it is just a Guideline, and not a lock step method that even their own crews use, but is still good information. Beginning on page 26 of that manual there is a 4 1/2 page list of Acronyms that they use, but as I said it is by no means exhaustive. But perhaps this information as well as other things you may have wondered about will be a wealth of understanding going forward. I would suspect that there are other states who have similar information and publications online. If you are interested in downloading a copy of this, it is available Here. Clicking that link will likely begin a download from The Washington State Department of Transportation Website, so please be prepared in advance for this in case that is not what you expect to have happen. I hope that helps! Rob
  13. Tennesee, When I see the "Yep, I am having fun" change to something else, Iwill take that as a sign. Please, Keep Smiling! I think we like you best that way! Rob
  14. It is Common in Construction Surveying and Staking to use a nail with a washer, and possibly a piece of colored Flagging or not, nailed to a hard surface. Different companies use their own color codes with flagging to discern what kind of work is being performed with a particular staking. In the Dirt, we would set or drive a Hub, which is a 2x2 of various lengths, into the ground with a sledgehammer. Sometimes, based on the need for higher accuracy, we will set a tack in the top of that hub. Set our target instrument on the top of that hub or tack if there is one and the instrument operator would take the reading of what that hub is, as to its location and elevation. Commonly this is not arbitrary. We are placing this hub so that Constructors can establish line and grade. Once we know what the location is we can define it on a Lath, a 1/2x2x 3 or usually4 foot length of wood stating what that hub is for, and how it is to be used. We will often assign an elevation to the top of the hub, and establish what work is to be performed at or near the hub, whether it is a Cut or fill, meaning the adding or removal of soil to accomplish what ever it is which is in the Plan for the job. The Instrument Op will record this information on a Cut Sheet, and a Point sheet. The point sheet will tell anyone later that a specific Point on an engineering plan was surveyed, and how to locate the point, It will correspond to a Plan View map with points notated on the job. The Cut sheet will denote what grade elevations were found at a point, and what will need to be added to or subtracted from that location to concur with a final engineering plan. It could be any number of things such as the centerline of a road, Back of sidewalk where a curb is to be placed, a Right Of way, a Building Foundation corner etc. Over Asphalt and Concrete we cannot set a hub and a Lath so a Nail, or a something we call a Mag, which is a kind of nail we can easily find later with a metal detector is set in that surface, and we record all the same things to it we would a hub, and file a copy in an office file for the job, and give copies of the info to the people building on that Job. The Builders will then engineer, and take measurements from that Hub or nail to perform the work that is needed and check it against the Hub and the instructions on the Lath to affirm that the work is finished correctly. Once the point serves it's purpose it is forgotten, and no one ever thinks about it again. In any case they are usually just a temporary Bench Mark or point for something, and the only people who know are the companies who are using them to do a job. Added in edit here: I forgot to add, the painted triangles may be being used as an aid to help find the nailed stations over a longer period of time. One thing that may be happening is a set of point has been nailed in a side walk or road, but only so many points were set, so as not to fill the sidewalk with nails. Then a number of different kinds of work can be assigned to a given point, and the point gets re used several times until all the work is done. It saves money on survey and keeps the sidewalk a lot more tidy... Beyond this, there are a number of reasons a Nail with a washer can be pounded into a sidewalk or road, and I could be wrong about why those particular ones are. But They are Survey, and the do correspond to something. Rob
  15. Hi All, Just a thought... This is a good place to address this. Call it taking a topic to a next step. It goes without saying we as Bench Mark Hunters like finding old marks. But looking through a Zip Code search on the GC site, or a Radial search in the NGS Database can be mind numbing after awhile. I mean it is like easter eggs, you are in a target rich enviroment and there are many side tracking diversions that are of interest as well. I want to offer an alternative way of surfing for oldies. The trick is to click the "view original datasheet" link. This is not a hard and fast Rule of thumb, but often when you pull the NGS Datasheet, such as the one you can view off the GC website, There is sometimes a section on the Datasheet that will detail Reference Objects. This section if it is available is usually a listing of Stations that were in existence at the time the Station in question was monumented. If not, I have found that many of them are of the same era. The important thing here is that this list is a list of old stations. Some may be lost, some may be officially destroyed and no longer listed, but it is how I found MY4736, the Bolt that was monumented the same year as the earthenware cone. This is what the section you are looking for may look like on any given Datasheet: You have to admit, it is something that can make you go Hmmmmm. Now I have no idea what is there and what is not until I run each PID, but sometimes you get lucky. In 2004 who knows. As a Survey team would see it, you could find something you can use that has modern stability. I would not survey from an earthenware pot, as I would be expected to find a more modern and stable for of control than that, and there is plenty of control in the field to choose from. With a total station we may need to find Survey we can use today, in say, 1873, the Station was there, but in 2004 trees and buildings can obscure the view from that location, Further, there is so much State and County, even City Survey in place today, which we may choose to use instead that it might not be an issue. But this aspect of finding old Survey Markers could be a new spin on hunting. A good bit of this would be hunting you can do from home. Then you can take your list and go see what is and is not there. Call it another spin to the adventure. Surf on! Rob
  16. What say a different 1846 catch in your area? http://www.geocaching.com/mark/datasheet.aspx?PID=MY4736 A bolt in lieu of an earthenware cone, Same realative age. You could be the first to see it as a geocacher...
  17. Hi Mike! Thanks for adding that information, I started a paragraph that started to say that a low order Station was a Minimum of 4 observations... Then I got to thinking I had a book going as it is, and I was worrying about getting too far afield with the point I tried to make... Too many points obscure the point. Thanks however, for pointing out the predetermined manner which a Stations Order would be. I have found that many First Order Stations out here in the Pacific Northwest have commanding views. It is pretty hilly country out here. Most of which I know of, also have a view of Puget Sound. Coastline measurements, and many cross Sound as well as Island positionings must have been some of what these stations helped locate for the Sake of Coast Survey and established Geodetic Survey. Going a bit off topic, The oldest Station out here in the Puget Sound Area, still extant, which I am aware of is BELLEVUE 1854 a Second order Station. I have not looked at everything, there may be others, but this one is a nice find. I hope to visit this Station someday. It is part of the intitial Survey of the Coast on the West Coast and in this area. I have investigated Datasheets for when the CG&S first came to Puget Sound but most Stations are lost. Interestingly this Station is from the same general time when the US Boundary in the Strait of Haro, Rosario Georgia and on through the San Juan Archipeligos was not yet decided between Washington and Canada. The Hudson Bay Company had a post on San Juan Island, and both US and British citizens were living there. in 1859 An American Farmer killed a Pig that was allowed to roam free range, and was foraging in the Farmer's fields... What is now known as the Pig War ensued. A war we Had but never fought with the British on the West Coast. A synopsis. Both the Americans and British had Camps set up on the Island and the Stand off continued for some years... During the Pig War the CG&S Coast Survey had dabblings in the negotiations of and ferrying important visitors to this stand off war... Delivering messages and what not. This can be read in the History of the CG&S in the NGS website. There was also a Young Captain in the Army Stationed at American Camp, who was credited with designing a Gun emplacement, also known as a redoubt. It remains as a grassy pile of dirt today. This Captain was a Civil Engineer who was later the Consulting Engineer of the Seawall at Galveston Texas. His name was Henry M. Robert. He went on to retire from the Army as a Brigadeer General after serving as chief of engineers, United States Army. He is the same man who is famous today for creating Roberts' Rules of Order. Station Bellevue 1854 was monumented about half way between where the American and British Camps were later located, on the west end of San Juan Island, five years before this war... Excerpted from http://www.history.noaa.gov/stories_tales/...fichistory.html These Coast Surveys were part of what set the Border when the Kaiser and King of Germany, Wilhelm I, Decided in the favor of the Americans in October of 1872. What Constitutes a Find? It depends on what you are open to looking for. :-) Really, I was just geocaching.
  18. Hi Rog and all, This post may be a little lengthy, so make your run to the fridge and bathroom and settle in for a bit! :-) Rog, you made a good point and were right, I was a bit off handed and a bit too generalizing in my post, so let me shore up my thoughts on this. I should have been clearer in my statement. I realize some people will know what I am explaining but I will be specific for those who may not. Allow me to explain myself a bit better and less generally here. Landmark Stations, commonly Stacks, Steeples, Towers etc, which are unmarked, or rather do not have a Station Disc placed on them are used for Horizontal Control, Their locations are determined by Triangulations performed from other ground based Stations in the area and then become Stations from which Triangulations can be performed. These Triangulations determine Latitude and Longitude and are very commonly Third Order Horizontal Control. I have seen Lower order as well; Very rarely second order if ever, and I say if ever as I think they are meant to be Third by Standard but there may have been Typos. I think I remember seeing it but I cannot verify. I have never personally come across a First Order Landmark. They cannot be occupied for one thing and are rarely as stable as solid ground. Third Order is the Minimum Accuracy to meet national standards. They do not define Lower orders than Third order. If you come across one, it is below current National Accuracy Standards. You are also correct that great pains have been taken to adjust these stations, and all Horizontal Control (many not revisited since NAD 27 by NGS) to NAD 83 XXXX, which is what the current year updated datum correction may be, as not all Stations are adjusted in each adjustment. The Datum has an upcoming correction coming starting next year. By rights, a GPS should point at a Landmark, but sometimes will not. I will get into this further in a few moments or so. Landmark Stations qualify the majority of the time as being used exclusively for lower order Triangulation, but are not usually Leveled. Leveling is the method of determining a Station’s elevation. Leveling is a different operation than Triangulation and quite often the Station types are kept separate at the highest orders of accuracy. This is no longer the case in the case of CORS Stations, where High order data is possible from one single Station. When a Landmark has had an elevation assigned it is most usually Scaled. Scaled is not a direct measurement but rather is taken off a topographic map. Triangulation Disc Stations are also horizontal control, and can be as high as A Order Accurate, but most of the older control in the field are very commonly Second order. There are some that are also Third and Fourth order Stations determined by the stability of where the Station was set. In the days of Optical Surveying, the highest order was First. A and B order accuracy are possible today thanks to Electronics and GPS. Triangulation Stations sometimes have Scaled Elevations or can be both Triangulation and Bench Marked for Vertical Accuracy. But most commonly as I mentioned before, Horizontal Control was kept somewhat separate from Vertical control at the highest levels as these were meant to be the Standard for NAD 27 and NAD 83 in the later days. In other words, a high order Triangulation Station is primarily concerned with Latitude and Longitude, not vertical elevation. Vertical Control in times prior to GPS is the domain of what was called a Bench Mark Station. It is common to call them all Bench Marks but truly, Bench Marks are Vertical Control. Unlike a Triangulation Station, this type was concerned with NGVD 29 Vertical Datum Control, which has been superceded and is currently NAVD 88 Vertical Datum. Again, there are orders to the level of accuracy associated to Vertical Control. There is 2.0 mm or less accuracy possible in First Class 0 Vertical Control, there is 5.0 mm +/- 1: 10,000,000 relative to other A order stations possible in A order Horizontal Control. This is a place smaller than a cat eye marble. However when we start using accuracy at the SCALED, NADCON, VERTCON, POSTED and ADJUSTED Level, we are not this accurate. In some cases we might be but none of these levels of accuracy are empirically checked. Before we get tunnel vision from accuracy here I will say that with the exception of Posted and Scaled, we should be ok for most things that we need to do with this data. Though Landmarks are almost always adjusted, Bench Marks, meaning Vertical Control Stations can be SCALED Horizontally, and POSTED vertically. SCALED is something that can happen in both Horizontal Control and Vertical Control. POSTED means that the Vertical Station was not included in the NAVD 88 General Adjustment. ADJUSTED is A complex process this is true, but there were three processes used to Adjust, and that was decided by the Order of accuracy the station was assigned to begin with. Most of the time this is accurate enough for a lot of things, but be careful of Scaled anything because they can be wildly off. In My professional experience I mentally filter when I see the words Posted or Scaled on a datasheet. I just don’t like to use them. To be honest, I want to see better than NAD 27 adjusted horizontal control a lot of the time, because in legal situations, it can matter. Adjusted NAD 83 1998 Control on a B order Station is a lot tighter than Adjusted NAD 83 1986 control on a Third order Station. That is a Sure Bet that it has not been physically visited since NAD 27 Datum Times. With DGPS it is easy enough for us to set up and verify either way, but that will not upgrade the accuracy on Paper. Things Surveyed under NAD 83 and NAVD 88 are safest bets. I am not correct to say that adjusted Coordinates are not good enough for a lot of things because depending on what you are doing, and which Station you are at it is fine. In most cases it is certainly good enough to make a go to point at it. There is yet another situation for the Geocaching Bench Mark Hunter that can cause the GPS to lead you on a wild goose chase. It is inherent in the GC website. A Geocache is filed under, and to be searched for under the WGS 84 Datum. NGS Horizontal Data for Bench Mark Stations is NAD 83. When you compare the two Datum together, WGS 84 and NAD 83 are approximately 2 meters different. At Consumer accuracy you turn a 5-foot circle of accuracy under WAAS or DGPS into 10 by being in the wrong Datum. It is important to set the GPS to the Datum you need to use. It is similar to using WGS 84 Datum on the GPS with a NAD 27 Datum USGS Quad Map. You are not going to be where you think you are. If you have mapping capabilities on the GPS the map coordinates will not jibe with where you are. Another way we can be lead astray is also part of the GPS default settings and the Geocaching website. It is not their fault. It is our own. It means we need to check and verify our equipment and ourselves. Many GPS Units will default to WGS 84, and if you fool with other settings they will default the Datum to WGS 84 because you changed a different parameter. You have to verify the datum on the last thing you do before you leave the units settings. You have to double check and know what you really have going. It can change though you did not realize this. We can be on the Correct Datum but still be led astray. How do you handle your Data? Do you print out the NGS Datasheet from NGS or the one from the Geocaching website? Dou you just print the GC page for the PID with the Description and the Map? Do you download the actual data to your computer and handle it with one of many different programs that allow you to manipulate it or even load it to a PDA? A waypoint is a waypoint. If you load the waypoint for it to your GPS, seventhings is correct, it should get you there. The GPS will know where it is in relation to a waypoint. But is there a typo in the Data? From Geocaching? It is possible. From NGS we have found errors as well. We can find these typos and do. It is common for many to write Deb Brown to help them get corrected. It is reasonable to assume that GC.com could introduce more error. If we go directly to the Datasheet, we can eliminate GC as a possibility. Another common mistake is the setting we choose for displaying the Latitude and Longitude. Either way we choose is fine, but it should match the way the printed page we have in our hand is displaying the data or we will wind up a long way off. For instance the GC website displays the position format for Latitude and longitude in hdddº mm.mmm’ format. NGS Datasheets are formatted in the hdddº mm’ss.sss” position format. Both numbers represent the same place on earth but part of the number changes, they do not look the same and are not comprised of the same numbers even though they are the very same place. They can be easily mistaken. Be sure if you are using the NGS Datasheet to use the same position format they do. If you use the GC Page, use theirs. If you are looking at the coordinates in an NGS datasheet and your GPS is set to the hdddº mm.mmm’ format that GC.com uses, you will not walk to where you want to, and you will think the Station is not where it is supposed to be. You will be many feet away. And you, not the Station will be wrong. The hdddº mm’ss.sss” position format NGS uses will likely be slightly truncated to hdddº mm’ss.s” on consumer grade equipment. We can agree that a Non Bench Mark hunting Geocacher, and perhaps an uninformed Benchmark hunter could easily be led astray by WGS 84 Datum and Position Format errors. We all have to reformat to be on the right page. I still think Scaled anything is not all that, I will stand by what I did say, because a scaled something is likely in error, and when you adjust it in an update of Datums, it is still scaled in origin, and is still in error. Landmarks are not scaled in the first place and as it goes, not in error. I also have my concerns over adjusted older Stations. The Datasheet Can be Spot on, and really it is, but if the Station has not been checked physically in a long time, particularly on older lower order accuracy Stations, it is no guarantee the Station will physically match the datasheet. Lower order Stations are as such because the Setter had concerns about the stability of the location for any number of reasons. Common Practice in Survey is hdddº mm’ss.sss” position format. I am not suggesting anyone change and use it, but I offer one thought. It does match the NGS Datasheet and that is the most original data form. Besides once you familiarize yourself with the Datasheet you will give yourself points for finding Stations based on their Vertical or Horizontal accuracy. Remember the higher order accuracy stations are rarer to find. GC did a conversion of position format for their website and that is an additional time a human manipulated the data. I cannot be as sure of this data, and I cannot certify NGS Data if I do not use it. That is why I don’t use the Station Coordinates on the GPS to find the Station. I could resort to GPS later if I am having no luck and I think it should be there. I try to use the description to certify it works. Besides, the GPS can be a bit too easy. Then when I find the Station and place my GPS on top of it, I can save a waypoint and can compare to the Datasheet and see how good my GPS is. In the case of a Scaled Horizontal Control, I can report my findings to the NGS in the Recovery form in NAD 83 and the correct format, and perhaps improve upon the Scaled location with a consumer grade GPS location. In closing, I realize this post was lengthy and I apologize to those it may offend for being so. I feel as a whole, we as geocachers are at all kinds of different levels of understanding on what these things are for and what they represent. It is just my aim is to help if I can and bring understanding. If I am still on topic, I hope I helped people find the exact spot, as well as have a better understanding of what they found when they found it. Thanks for listening! Rob
  19. Here in Seattle, after a quick look around, there is one AI series Bench Mark associated with Boeing Field, SeaTac has zero. Paine Field, Home of the Big Boeing plant has no A Series PID's assigned to it. The Bellingham Airport has a couple AA and AI series Stations, One AC, but the vast majority of them are the Usual series for the area and they seem to be parts of different surveys conducted at different times. A couple other regional airports reveal only the usual series of prefixes here. I am aware of 1 AA series, and one AI series, both are resets, not in airports. So as a matter of being associated with airports, Perhaps, but here in the Pacific Northwest, some airports have and some have not. I did notice two successive numbers in a series one of which was set in a runway at Bellingham, the PID prior to it was established in a runway In Wenachee Washington, Those Two PID's stood alone as a series of 2, None before none after in succession. Most specifically, Some of the A series PID's seem to be used in special applications and resets, and intersperced throughout the Nation. As an airport survey, it is logical to use a series to fix locations to Aeronautical Charts and such, but all I can really do is speculate. I have thought about rhyme and reason but nothing is self evident here. Yes they do seem to be used at Airports, but not inclusively here in this area, nor not in the majority of NGS survey in place within the confines of those airports I looked at locally. It is an interesting observation, and I have a feeling Dave D would have an idea if anyone. Rob
  20. That is a good point, Papa. Though when you consider the sheer size of the database, the female prisoners did a pretty good job overall and actually did something useful to repay their debts to society. As a side thought about the AA section of the database. Each part of the country is sectioned off with a two-letter address as we all know. Intrerestingly, The AA's when you have a look at just them, seem to rove arounfd the country. I have never read as to why in any official pubs or trades that cross my desk, nor have I isolated a rhyme or reason. By the Map, AA should be Southern Florida, but I have Crossed a few here in the Puget Sound Area, so it is an interesting sub set for the pid range if nothing else... Ahhhh The Mystery! Now where did I lay down my time travel remote....?
  21. Fudge factor. Hehehe GPS is cool, but Scaled NAD 27's which have been adjusted to NAD 83 are well... Not all that. I just use the description. The Proof in the pudding is serious. The description is how we find these things. It is how I found them in the field, or didn't prior to GPS, and I have to say that it is a good test of a description to find what you are looking for with it. Finding it with ease is a verification of the description, Finding it without ease may call for an update of the description. If there are changes and there quite often can be, they will almost write a new description for you. Besides, it is considered helpful to state in the recovery that the description was still adequate or if it was not, that you updated it to aid the next user of the Station. e.g. help the next Surveyor out! After I have the Station located. I will take GPS coordinates in NAD 83 Datum to add to my recovery notes. That will get anyone close to where you want to be forevermore. GPS for me is after the find. I must say though that a GoTo on an unrecovered Station could bring more doubt to a recovery than it would confidence. But read the Datasheet. It May say GPS on it and that should be spot on. To contrast my thoughts, and for a bit of silly comedy relief, I give you The Seattle Space Needle I particularly like the recoveries of this item from the interstate a mile away, (read more of this person's recoveries if you cant get enough of drive by interstate recovery) and the one where the recoverer intends to fly to the city and recover it while there, A few days hence. The sick thing is that I live here, I have eaten dinner inside the top of it on more than one occasion, and I can go downtown and not even remember looking at it while driving just blocks from it. I won't be recovering it though. :-) Enjoy the Laughs... Rob
  22. Grizz, Beacons, Steeples, Tanks and Stacks were almost always unmarked, meaning there was no physical monument put on them. This is not always the case however, so a careful read of the description is always in order. These tall Landmarks were usually used as an intersected point, or in other words, targeted as a part of a solution to solve a triangulation by trigonometric means. Again, a close read of the narrative description will often explain what the intersected point was. To recover these it is important to go to the location and see if it is there. If something is there, compare it to what was described, as something may be there that is not what was described. (you would be surprised how many people recover the something that was there, not what was described, all because of a careless reading of the datasheet) Sometimes old tanks have a new tank built right next to an existing one then the old one is torn down, hence the station is a tank, but not the tank that is there today. Sometimes Churches remodel or sell their buildings to different churches and either move their steeples to a new part of the roof or remove the original and take it with them to their new location. Sometimes a Church is torn down and a new one built. The important thing is that there may be something in place that we think is what we are recovering and it isn't. To a Geodetic Study, the math will no longer work and it really isn’t the exact thing we are looking for. So it is good practice to ask the locals, perhaps an old timer knows what is original or not. If it is not the original, then it isn’t the Bench Mark you are looking for. You want the one that was originally described. There is no need to climb up, just take a photo of it and a GPS fix as close as you can get to it, stating how close you approximately were to it. I would be cautious of super old Tanks, and Super old Transmission Towers, and for obvious reasons. The likelihood of them being the original is slim as there is an upper limit to the life span of things like these. They can be replaced with a newer model and never be caught. They can be moved to Facilitate other infrastructure as well, and the NGS never have an update. If a building tenant will not allow you onto the roof to examine the smoke stack, but the top of the stack is the intersected point, then Photograph the stack and go on your way. If on that stack there was a Bench Mark Station Brass Disc mounted to it, and the tenant will not allow you on the roof, then you can log a not found, or you can just ignore having tried. But without a physical examination of the brass disc, it is a Not Found. If a building tenant does allow you on a roof, well, Ok but do the NGS a favor and report the findings to them. It is one thing to find these as part of a game on the ground, but when access to an area not publicly accessible is granted, A Geocacher is technically taking a game into a private property area. It would wear out the welcome fast to have a hoard of gamers trying to collect a treasure on your own roof eh? So if you do get there, Report what you find as an official recovery to the NGS, and be as professional as you can, so that when a Surveyor legitimately asks to use that Station, they are not meeting up with a worn out welcome. There is a Building here locally to me in an area where I once needed some elevations for a Construction Contractor. I pulled the datasheet and read that the building tenant will allow people on the roof to access the station for a fee. Yup, charging for the use of the roof. That was the last entry in the station log and you can guess why. In the final analysis, the most empirical recovery is a station disc. It will have a code on it and if it is where it was said to be, then you recovered it. Further, those brass discs are the most important to the NGS for recovery, and they are the most straight forward to recover. The Climbing gear is just fine in the closet. Save it for the Mountains! Rob
  23. C'mon Paul, Where is your sense of adventure? :-) These are the very things that build Character!
  24. Hi John, I was talking this over with some of my fellow coworkers today, and we looked at the picture to see how they would recover the Station and we agree the Station is poor. We see the disc as the representational Center of the station, and the condition of the disc is important as you say, but we all agree that if the station cannot be occupied and this particular one cannot, it is poor. There is no way for an instrument to see the Station Mark from the vertical, As that is where we have to make all out measurements from, and it does not fall within our responsibility to remove the rocks as I said. We can only see half of the disc in the picture and the half we see can only be seen only from a 35 degree angle from the side, max. There is no way for us to use this. We also felt that the weight of the rockery over the Station may have caused settling of the bulkhead in the streambed. It is a low order Station according to the datasheet and this is why we look at it this way. My take is that the NGS would call it poor as well. Up until 5 years ago, nobody but Surveyors ever recovered these and we just did it as a matter of course. It is a civil engineering activity. Part of the Job. It was just something that was understood. We look at all survey the same, pretty much, we evaluate it all just off the top of our head. Can we use it? Is it accurate for our needs? We update the database if we need one, find one or use one. That may be why the Criteria seems vague. Up until that time this was an inside the industry related activity, and how we approched it was just a handed down knowledge. I realize the criteria for station recovery is less than clear. A lot of what a Surveyor does follows a "best practices" method that is developed from experience in the field. It is a calls it as we sees it sort of thing. A lawyer in a courtroom and a framing carpenter both have a special experiential knowledge of their work in a similar way, but it is not covered as well as perhaps it could be in a book somewhere. It truly is a judgment call. Just a Surveyors opinion. The cool thing is, that it is up to the one who recovered it to make the call. Rob
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