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evenfall

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Posts posted by evenfall

  1. Hi John,

     

    I realize it looks simple enough, but the survey marker is not on NGS property, The rockery and culvert belong to someone though. I, as a Surveyor could not Legally just up and take that rockery apart. I do not have that authorization. As it is, based on what I see in the photo, I could not occupy that Station and conduct survey operations. In the field we get what we get and use what we can. There is no instrument set up for me as it appears in that photo. That is how and why I see it as a poor Station. It would be so much simpler to just leave it be and set a new one (Station) if that was necessary. I sometimes have to make similar calls. That is just how I see it, Just My.02... :-)

     

    Rob

  2. I have a Friend who is a Fiber Optics and Communications Tech for a local power utility here near Seattle. He said that he thinks the City of Snoqualmie Washington uses a nearby Airway Beacon Tower SE of that town for a microwave tower. He also remembers seeing an Airway tower being used similarly in Eastern Washington, East of Cle Elum and North of the Indian John Rest Area on Interstate 90. He thought the Airway Beacon itself was still mounted on that particular tower, and some civil air tower signage was still mounted on that tower, though the tower is now privately owned. I asked him if he had seen any arrows and he had not, but will keep an eye open now.

     

    A google search of Airway Beacon Towers and variations on that theme brings up some interesting history to read on those if anyone is interested. Seems most went out of use during WW II and never turned back on...

     

    Very Cool Geo, Very Cool!

     

    Rob

  3. Muzikman,

     

    Thanks for the lowdown on the Ladder. That is good information. In an NGS Recovery report I would write that in my Recovery, " a six foot Ladder will be required to access the Station" and know that you know, you could go back with a step ladder if you like ot try Binoculariing it like John suggested. For the purposes of Surveying from there, all the equipment has to be carted to the Station, somehow... A team trying to use that Station would love knowing what to expect. That is why we can note these things when we recover the Station to the NGS, and for future Geocachers as well.

     

    And as always, Be super careful when attempting recoveries on railroad property, it can be very unsafe to do so, and is considered tresspassing, a serious offense by the railroads.

     

    Rob

  4. Hi John,

     

    I just wanted to share with you a Surveyor’s reason for thinking this is poor. I will base my observation from just what I can see in the single picture.

     

    I must disagree with the condition you think the mark is in. It is the same as a benchmark under an 8 foot rock cairn. The condition is good. Access is available by moving some of the rocks. Whether or not a surveyor crew would choose to do so is another question altogether. Likewise with the 8 foot cairn, will they choose to "move" it or just use another nearby mark? In both cases though the condition is good.

     

    Being a Construction Surveyor, I am pretty savvy on Rockeries... I survey for them and engineer them all the time. (chuckling) Sorry John, but each of those rocks are 250 - 750+ lb boulders, We call them 4-6 man rocks. Some are bigger based on the height of a given rockery. This situation would really limit a Surveyor’s set of choices to be sure. They were placed there with an excavator that has a clamshell bucket, and backfilled with a few scoops of 2-4 inch quarry spalls. It is an engineered fill rockery. Behind that is compacted fill and perhaps a form of matting that helps soil stay where it is put. The fill likely had to be compacted to what we call 95% compaction, which means 95% of all air voids have been compacted out of the soil. The rains have tightened it up further. Nobody will be moving these rocks easily for the purpose of conducting a survey.

     

    Though buried under a rockery, and visible from along side it, it may even be as shiny as a brand new penny, making it ultra pretty and readable, in perfect condition as a brass disc, yet in this situation, it has problems that make it a Poor Station, NGS and civil survey wise. This particular station, according to the datasheet is already a low order Station, given a D order for stability, meaning it is not a real high priority high accuracy Station in the first place. It is subject to not being really accurate and we are cautioned that we may find this to be so. Then this culvert has had heavy boulders placed (but in reality sort of dropped and scooted around till they fit well) further enhancing the accuracy of this culvert.

     

    An instrument set up over a station requires that the instrument be exactly plumbed to a position exactly over the top of that Bench Marks Cross Hair Mark or Dot in the middle of the triangle. This means if you cannot center a tripod vertically above the Disc and drop a Plumb Bob or an optical plumb site which is built in to most modern instruments, to center the instrument exactly over the mark, Then you cant take accurate readings from this location. An inch off is not accurate. Nor will the Math jibe with previous observations, and any new observations you make and record will be in error. In this Stations situation it is only half visible at all, being fully half buried by a rock at the bottom of the rockery, and the half that is visible is only approachable from a 35 degree angle from the side. Further if I were trying to shoot this Station from another I could not level a Prism pole plumb over this station either. Due to the height of the rockery it would be difficult to find a tripod that would accommodate that last step, which is a doosey... (grins) As a rule in Survey. we have to take our measurements from a point that is truly vertical above the mark. After having tons of rocks piled on it, this Station may not be as accurate as it once was, and we sure can’t get our instruments to it to even verify that.

     

    Yes, Access is available by moving some rocks. Since this is not in the scope of a survey crews purview, it is a Poor Station for NGS Survey purposes as it does exist but would be exceedingly difficult to occupy, and quite likely less accurate now that it has been under the weight of a rockery, but a very cool find for Geocaching! Sorry, But that is how I would report it to the Crews who would come after me, and I would not be using it myself. I imagine if you and I were the crew, we would just chuckle and get back in the truck. Lets go hunt another one nearby!

     

    Rob

  5. You make a good point Blackdog, and what's even more important as a recovery note, If you cannot physically get close to it, how is a Surveyor? How can the work these Bench Marks are meant to do be performed if one cannot perform an instrument setup over the disc itself?

     

    In this instance it would have to be a not recovered disc for Geocaching, and a Found Poor Disturbed report to the NGS database stating that the disc (Station) is in place, but that reaching it is not possible and an instrument set up is not possible either.

     

    It is always something that could be kept in mind when performing a recovery. Could the work these are meant to do still be performed?

     

    A few days back, I think it was Colorado Papa Found a Station that had been monumented in the top of a Concrete Culvert Bulkhead. That is a good permanent place for a Station, but later when a Fill-and-grade operation raised the ground lever near it, a rockery of sorts was stacked over this bulkhead and covered the Station. We can see the station, but it can no longer be occupied. In this case, the judgment call is Papa got the Find, but too the NGS the Station is Poor.

     

    The cool thing about the future is that these Stations are not lost or destroyed, just currently unusable, and a future rehabilitation may effect a change that makes the Station usable again. Like someone said, Certainty is Death, Taxes and Change.

  6. Jeff,

     

    At the root of Survey, Geodetic work had to be done to establish elevation. The essence of what defines Mean Sea Level is the shape of the earth, and that part of it defined as the geoid. There are several models of this geoid as such and we refer to them as Datums. In other words a definition of a geoid. So the federal government established the shape and elevation of the country.

     

    Going forward, a State would continue to be interested in geodesy, whether they call it as such or just refer to themselves as a Civil Engineering Department. They will want to perform Leveling procedures, Traverses, and Triangulations of the land to locate important things, Develop Infrastructure, Topographic knowledge etc, so they can study Hydrology of rivers, maximum and minimum stream flows, controlling hydro electric projects, and how they will flood when they do, and where the damage will and wont be, information which is also important to insurance companies. Emergency management reasons, infrastructure development and city planning, and on, you can see how knowing where and how High above sea level becomes very important after awhile. We take for granted, much, and are pretty happy that rainfall runs off the street into the gutter to a storm drain, and goes... Somewhere.

     

    Bottom line, Yup, those old Bench Marks were pretty important.

     

    Paul,

     

    Yes the NGS is still actively studying the Geoid, and the big thing in recent times is CORS. Continuously Operating Reference Stations. You can check into the system here:

     

    http://www.ngs.noaa.gov/CORS/cors-data.html

     

    The background on how they work today is as interesting as the historical work.

     

    Yes you can recover them if you look for them in the NGS database. Some may and some may not be in the GC Database.

     

    Enjoy!

     

    Rob

  7. Paul,

     

    Here in Washington, they do keep track of geodetics in a state agency, even some counties to a degree, but they just don't call it a 'Geodetic Survey' Agency. I am sure it is a State agency involved with civil control. Maps, Websites, the whole deal. More data than you can read without having to leave the desk for ages... They all seem to have that...

     

    I have enough on my plate, I'll stick with the NGS. It would appear the states default to their data anyhow.

     

    Rob

  8. All the Myriad ways.

     

    The North Carolina Geodetic Survey. Interesting. In my spare time I will have to look into states that had their own programs. It makes sense to know these things when you are trying to plan for the development of infrastructure, and you don't want to wait for the Feds. At the same time though one wonders why a State is dabbling in geodetic observation in 1975. Most states and counties had Civil Engineering works by then so the Geodetic aspect seems well, interesting. And then a DNF by the US Geological Survey to the NGS Database...

     

    I know the US Air Force Had a Geodetic Survey Squadron started in Florida and later stationed at F.E Warren AFB in Wyoming. They undertook the Geodetic mapping of some particulaly not so comfortable places in the world, some under combat conditions. It was some years later disbanded and the Defense Mapping Agency took over the work... Sattelite work you know. For a "More Accurate" bombing...

     

    It is interesting to see all the inter-agency recoveries. More interesting to see how the study of geodesy affects most aspects of life, while most people have never even heard the word.

     

    File this post under taken for granted.

  9. Dinger,

     

    There are a number of ways to handle the database and data basing your own info. I am a surveyor type and do things sort of methodically, but that is the engineer in me. We repeatedly use methods that give us consistent results, but they do evolve and we do take advantages of technology if the benefits weigh out. I have a little theory I would like to share.

     

    Approaching a search like you might a geocache is difficult to do with a Bench Mark Station. In Geocaching you are using the GPS from the very beginning to establish the Cache. So as long as the finder has their GPS set to the WGS 84 Datum, by rights with a clear view of the sky, a finder should be able to set a Go To on a GPS and walk right to that cache within say a 30 ft circle of accuracy or better. But you know that.

     

    Coordinates for Bench Marks are well, in my thinking, not very useful. Not at first. They are really just a ballpark figure. The lion's share of Bench Marks in the field were monumented prior to 1986. 1986 was year one for the NAD 83 Datum, which is the National Standard today for the National Geodetic Survey. (it is the standard for most modern survey in the states, along with NAD 27) This superceded the NAD 27 Datum that was used to Monument many of these Marks. Those older Stations were calculated without the aid of computers and their locations, once determined, were scaled using an engineer’s scale ruler on a map to give the Station a Lat and Long for coordinates. So you have a Scaled Coordinate in NAD 27, which was then adjusted for NAD 83 Datum. ( In other words we change the way we see the shape of the earth. ) The hitch now becomes that NAD 27 and NAD 83 do not match, and formulaically, the difference to convert from one to the other changes based on where you are doing the converting, so there is no one formulaic computation to get there from here. We do not know exactly what the exact coordinates of many Bench Marks are so it is not fruitful to database them as such.

     

    So you have a bunch of scaled and adjusted coordinates which are sometimes sort of ok and at other times way off. But they are rarely ever correct and really just can't be trusted. If you wade through the Forums here, you’ll see that many hunters have found the coordinates are all over the map. A Coordinate search that really worked is a nice thought but would have people dependant on it and out looking for something where it is really not at. At this time it is a methodology that would work poorly at best.

     

    This is why the coordinates don't really work for me. I could get into the ballpark but I have ways of searching that work easier. Here on Geocaching, Searching by Zip Code works well for me. As a work around, I recommend creating a Favorite file in your Browser to save the PID's you are after, and either delete them or move them to a found file after you get them then you can see what you have. I create files for each PID and into them go the Webpage, the Photos, and the Word documents I am developing for Geocaching and NGS submittal. I move the files in a sub folder to the folder that best represents the current status the Station has for me. I could be working a pending file, or Geo Filing, or Not Found, Or Found Or, Or, Or.... The filing system only has to make sense to the end user.

     

    In the field I do not use the GPS to find the station. I never have. In fact I like the challenge of putting the puzzle together. I bring a copy of the Description with me. I may re-read it several times to take it all in and look at the lay of the area now... All the usual things we do to find them. I use the back of the description to hand write my recovery and measurements. My notes. I take a NAD 83 GPS (Not any other Datum) fix of the station before I leave. So that the Database, once I update with my findings will have a better fix than it has ever had.

     

    For alternatives, I suppose if I had a laptop I could take it along in the vehicle but then I would have to worry it’s security in some situations, and I do have a palm pilot but it just isn’t the right tool in the field for me. Makes a nice address book but I can’t write in it well enough and the typing aspects of a palm are a joke. In the field, too much battery power equals extra weight or space something more useful could take. I am carrying along enough crap as it is. Basics are really a good thing. I like Paper and Pen on the hunt. Besides, it is all part of the adventure.

     

    In any case the database is full of Stations that do and don't exist, and all the maybes in between. That is why we are recovering them, and why many attempted recoveries remain attempts. There is a smaller percentage of certainty in Bench Mark Hunting than Caching, until you know for sure, which is part of the journey. The Geocachers have a database full of for-sure things. Unless the Cache has been pirated or archived, it should be there.

     

    For those who like the executive summary; From the database point of view a cache is either active or not and found or not. A Bench Mark is a lot more things when it comes to a state of status, both before and after recovery. In the end, the Geocaching Database may not do what you want it to in an automatic or automated way. It may not ever be all and end all. A best fit databse... What a concept. It may be that you will have to create ways to collate the data in a way that works best for you. I think it is the nature of the database and what it has to do that keeps you from doing what you would like. As well as being a Database of older origin being used in a newer way. In the end, a print out of the PID web page is old school but it always works!

  10. Hi Bill,

     

    Azimuth Marks are just work that has been done once and made permanently part of the Station, so it won’t need be repeated. Common on stations that were used for many observations, and often, higher order Stations were ones that most often had them. Meant to make life in the Survey Party's quicker easier and more accurate.

     

    It aids a quicker set up. On an instrument set up you need an initial bearing to observe to set the horizontal vernier to a zeroed setting so you can start measuring angles clockwise from there. It is no particular cardinal direction necessarily, but can be set up that way. This way a measurement can be taken of a third location quickly and the trigonometry could begin. Either way, the first shot the instrument man is going to take is to establish the Azimuth for the instrument. Thanks to the permanent Azimuth Mark, you will know the angle of and the bearing to the first reading you take after you calibrate. The Azimuth just created a line of known tangency to read the first angle from... Since you already know it, you don't have to compute the first bearing. It is close by and handy to put a target on so the calibration stays tight. You can use any station as another Azimuth too, but it is not always as handy, nor has it necessarily been pre computed. Just remember Old school. Paper and pencil, Mechanical instruments, Brain power and Time. Lots of time. That’s the short version anyhow. Setting up and getting started took longer without a known azimuth.

     

    The reason GPS can put a go to between two points is because all the Satellites know where they are as well as all the others are and the GPS does too, so azimuths are all known, and the Bearing just pops right up and stays up despite the coming and going of the constellation of Satellites on that GPS Horizon.

     

    I hope that made some sense, unless I misinterpreted your question.

     

    Rob

     

    Re Edited after MORE Coffee...

  11. jj, and all, Hey!

     

    I do admire your enthusiasm. I am not questioning the game of Bench Mark hunting from those who see it as a contest to that of those who approach it as an NGS recovery. I prefer the latter, but that is me. I like that you enjoy it, Keep it up!

     

    In geocaching, the policing happens by the consientious owner of a Cache. If you do not sign the log proving you were there, the owner can disallow the find if you post one. In Bench Mark hunting there is no owner that will do this, so the burden of proof has to be on the recovering party, a Pic or GPS fix, hopefully in NAD 83 datum of the station, or better yet both!

     

    jj, I have a concern though. I looked at your zip code and there were a few Bench Marks you had posted not found on which you made no attempt to find. For instance, Because a Bench Mark is located in the middle of a Municipal Airport runway does not make it not found. It is Not Known until someone goes and looks. If you didn't go look, you didn't not find it. You can arrange to go try to recover this station if you make the right connections. If they politely say no to your offer to recover them then they do. It is likely they would decline you as a geocaher but maybe not if you intended to make a real NGS recovery. I am not suggesting you should try either way, but I do question posting any kind of status report other than a note to the Geocaching database if no attempt was made to Physically attempt to recover the station.

     

    In a couple other not founds I saw that you put that if the pros could not find it last time then there is no point in looking. Well The interesting thing is some times the so called pros have an off day, or they didn't see the area the way someone else might, they may not find it but Why? Why did they acertain it was not found? Is it because every attempt was made based on the description but to no avail? Is it because all the references to it have changed or are now gone? Is it because of regrading or construction or it is now impossible to reach? If they did not tell you why they did not find it, then I feel it is still worth a look. Further, I often go look anyway just to see. I mean if Colorado Papa says an 1879 telegraph pole is gone, well we know wood won't last that long and telegraph has been largely superceeded by Radio and telecom so it not being there is likely true and I would concur with a CGS attempt to recover from almost anytime going forward that that mark is gone. I may not bother with it since it has been reported as gone. and gone for many many years. It is cool that Papa was in the area and looked, found nothing and said Nope! At least he was there and it crossed his mind to look. He familiarized himself with that marks former location and can concur with the previous report. If it were a bench mark disc, I may choose instead to have a look. If it was much more recent I may have a look. If the USPSQD reported NOT FOUND, I am definately going to double check. In the environment things change all the time. Not founds can resurface. believe it.

     

    I know in the Geocaching Database if we put an Icon there that reminds us of a status other than found we then wont keep seeing the blank, but A note would be more appropriate than a not found because the icon you put up could be uninspiring to those in your area who may want to search. It could also inspire them to not use the appropriate methods to log a find. Just a thought. What is the Impression we make?

     

    In closing to jj I say this. Having been stationed in Mtn Home once I see that you have not recovered my favorite old fishing spot, So grab your Gear and a couple fishing poles and head out to Crane falls off the Bruneau Hwy... It was my favorite place to bag bass when I was there, and I wish it were still near by. While you are there, (I wasn't sending you for nothing) Recover Crane Falls NV1205 and Crane Falls Cairn NV1204 No One has recovered this Cairn since 1945 and the Station not since 1959. After that go down to Bruneau Hot Springs out in the desert and enjoy! Anderson Ranch and CJ strike were favorite places too...

     

    How we choose to report is a question of practice. The NGS Database is Very Important, and has been Damaged by Reports that could have been better. Since Geocachers can report to the NGS database under the GEOCAC submission code, I would like to help anyone who chooses to do so, to do so in a manner that improves the database. If I can't find it, I want to let the next Surveyor or Engineer, partly since I am one, know why I think it is gone, and what I tried to do to recover it. Remember that some of us look here too. If a local can tell me that they think the area was regraded in 1985, that may be why I can't find it and I will add that to my recovery report. We can learn a lot about how to recover these by reading how others tried, even when they failed. Don't be afraid to ask.

     

    On database integrity, In a simple example, if a description says that the station is 0.8 feet N of a witness post, and you get there and find no witness post, yet you find the mark, You could say I found it! But you could also improve upon the status by reporting that the witness post is missing however, other parts of a description are still adequate. If it is now under 4 inches of Soil when it used to be on the surface, And the witness is no longer there that is good for future recoverers to know. And it is likely still there, so keep looking! You are already there, Use the description and the ol tape measure... Besides, witness posts make it too easy! heheheh Just kidding! If the description is now so poor that you were lucky to find it at all, perhaps a new one is in order. This takes time but here is a pay off, your recovery and initials will still be there in 150 years.

     

    I would be happy to help any way I can to help sort all this out, for those who may be interested in this method of recovery. And at the same time, I am fine with the sport and contest. But I feel that the way we treat the database is important and I feel Logging something not found because it is too hard to recover is inappropriate to the database integrity and sends a message that others should to. Why not attempt to persuade geocachers to improve their Bench Mark recovery skills? I also have no problem recovering someone else's find. It is not mine until I find it. I may not find it first but it is more than finding it to me. Is the description adequate? are there new factors affecting this mark? Erosion, pending construction etc? If I determine it is gone for sure, I have no problem using that destroyed symbol here on geocaching, as well as a not recovered posting to NGS to note it's demise and why, But I prefer to go make sure with my own eyes before I sign my name to that. I have to know for sure it is gone.

     

    I live in Seattle. Seattle, like many cities, is becoming quite post industrial and many Landmark stations are gone or so altered that they no longer fit. Many Bench Mark Discs are becoming lost, or their descriptions altered due to new construction as well. But if we read carefully, we can acertain a lot from the previous recoveries and it will provide clues as to what we can expect today, sometimes. Here is a geocaching recovery I frowned on. Frowned on twice really. Go have a look at the PID for SY3912 Read the 1932 and 1959 recoveries. Based on the 59 recovery, these cannot even be the same towers. It takes a few months to erect these babies so I am sure we just shut the power off a few months to facilitate the move. No body would mind eh? No. The new one was constructed next to the old ones, wired and the power transferred, then the old one dismantled... Yet this PID can be recovered by 2 different people, one at exactly 53 mph... (gotta love these sticklers for accuracy!) Look! Like totally dude! I am so sure! It's a transmission tower! If you look at the other recoveries this Team recovered a number of things in Seattle at freeway speed... Hmmm... Now I flew over a few different cities while back, and this sorta gets me to thinking... Easy Pickings! Just need the window seat!

     

    Another favorite of mine I don't even need to post. We all have this one near us. A recovery is made and a photo taken.... of a monument cover.... Paved into the street.... It is a close up of the monument cover..... that looks like all the other monument covers in the city.... Yet! this one is the Station we are recovering, trust us! an easy find! Um Yeah. I am thinking of the mind boggling number of these covers in any city... But no pic of what is under the cover, or one as proof of the proper intersection or whatever... Tell you what, I am going to take a Pic of the monument cover in the street in near my house. In fact, one in concrete and one in asphalt. I will sell this pic to anyone for $20 each and you can recover it any way you like! I am going to start by using the Concrete Cover pic as my recovery for the Space Needle! :-) Perhaps someone would like one of these pics for their recovery of the Washingtom Monument? Lincoln Memorial? The Alamo?

     

    Hope you enjoyed it as much as I,

     

    Rob

  12. I have Followed this thread so far with interest, In fairness to Team Desertrat, Congratulations for the sheer quanity of finds you have amassed in a year along with all the geocaching. I think that though you will find folks here have many finds, they have not been very contest oriented about it. The Bench Mark forum Regulars seem to be more Quality oriented in the way they approach the find. It seems to be the Hallmark of the Bench Mark Hunter. I mean, I know how much time I spend on my recoveries, and most are not even posted as yet. If you came looking for a pat on the back, this is not what you are looking for.

     

    I don't want to be too critical, as the status of a find is different for people and some are in it for the quanity. The rules are loose and relatively undefined, but then I looked at the team log... Papa mentioned the log so what the hey... Lots of finds with little description. Zero Pics. I have noticed the trend on geocaching to post WGS 84 Coords. I assume this because geocaching is WGS84 by default while Real World Bench Mark Recovery is NAD 83. Using WGS 84 to compare with NAD 83 adjusted NAD 27 scaled Coord's... But what choice has a future reader got to go with if one does not make a note of the Datum? In the engineering world where the Bench Mark Hails from, we assume little... We spend hours looking for ways to deine what has not been adequately defined. In this instance, No Pictures, no real improved descriptions, anything. They are legit I am sure, but they differ from the spirit of what Recovering a Bench Mark is.

     

    I was looking through the logs after noticing they live in a place I was stationed while I was in the Service so I was once familiar with the area...

     

    So I ran a search on the team Zip Code.

     

    83647...

     

    I would just like some others here at the forum to have a go at 83647. It is ok to draw your own conclusions.

     

    I will gather my thoughts in a bit and write about them later. But I reccomend running a search on 83647. I highly encourage reading the not founds.

     

    I hope others will gather their thoughts here too. I would be interested.

     

    I will leave you all with one thought. If I never leave this chair, I look up a PID and find that the last Crew reporting to NGS that attempted to recover it failed, Should I log it for myself as a not found? Or, should a not found be an attempted recovery by me, and reported as such that I tried but did not recover the Actual Mark. I have no problem with updating the Geocaching log with a destroyed icon and an excerpt of the Actual datasheet stating why something is not found or destroyed, as that would be a historical reference as to why. I do go familiarize myself with the former location to be sure as well.

     

    Is not found, in the most simply put terms, good enough evidence to assume anything?

  13. I have to triple the warning about Railroad Right of Way recovery work.

     

    Reading of your close encounter with the train had me thinking Oh No... Nothing personal, it just happens real fast as you learned.

     

    Post 9/11 the Railroads mean Business. They changed the way they regard trespassers. If you do not have a company Badge, not to mention the requisite Safety gear on, which is a dead give away that you do not belong on the property, you are subject to being treated as if you may be a Terrorist. If a K9 Officer finds you, you may be a Chew Toy until the Handler finds you. It used to be they just ran people of, as many Rail Fans ambled onto rail road property to take photos. Liability is an issue for them also, as people are run over by trains a lot more often than they used to be. The advent of modern diesel power and welded ribbon rail has quieted trains down a lot in the oncoming aspect. People walk the rails without being aware that a train has come up behind them.

     

    ElCamino is absolutely correct, when we want something off railroad property, we are completely at their behest and it is totally at their convienience after they give permission. Permission also means that you will likely be provided an escort, taken off another job to babysit a visitor. In some cases you may have to go through a contractor safety certification before they will allow you to do anything. I know this can be the case with BNSF. You will not roam free at your whim, (I would advise having the REAL NGS Datasheet with you, not the Geocaching one) and you will do your business and leave. I am sorry, but post 9/11 Trespassing on RR property is super frowned on. Otherwise, I would just advise you and anybody these days to think on it hard. It is the times we are now in, and benchmarking is not meant to be that much of a drag.

     

    The only other thing I hope will stick in anyones mind is that when you are hunting Bench Marks or Geocaches near public infrastructure, Please, Think about where you are. People in cars and trucks Rarely slow down for us with Safety gear on and cones all around us. In an near sheet metal at high speed when you are only flesh and bones. People are driving with things on their mind, Cell phones in thier ears and kids in the back seats. You will find that the mentality is such that you are in their way, not the other way around. There are laws about pedestrians but I assure you, a pedestian is an unwelcome visitor to that realm, just the same. You just have to plan for the worst place scenario, along with an exit strategy. Some of us work in the field and have developed a sixth sense but not everyone has, so when you are out there be on your best awareness, don't wear your walkman or iPod, keep your eyes and ears and neck moving, look behind you and listen listen listen... That will help keep you safe. I would even advocate a safety vest or shirt in some locations. You just never know, it can happen so fast.

     

    Sorry all, I don't mean to harp or preach, and I probably sound that way, but this is all too true and real. I want us all to live, and come back in one piece, with no new criminal records. I have never read of a mishap as yet, but at the same time, I hope I never do.

  14. MarkDuster,

     

    That Map has good info on it, which I wasn't privy to. I was just basing my thoughts off the datasheets, and I don't have any local knowedge of that area... ( it is a job keeping up with mine! ) But I'll stand with what I said... NGS tries to name with whatever is most logical, and the 1971 report, tying their 1935 BM into the NGS database is well, different for them to do it, but not odd for the NGS to commadeer a USGS Monument for their own Bench use, so I dunno...

     

    But the Map sure is telling... Either way, the NGS had no data for this Station prior to 1971, and nearly 20 years after their first visit to the general area.

     

    I like it. Sounds fun! Who knows! Go Recover them!

  15. MarkDuster,

     

    MW0902 was Monumented By the CG&S in 1948 for Geodetic Survey purposes.

     

    MW0925 was monumented by the USGS, a different agency having a different mission, in 1971, and elected to register their Bench Mark in the NGS Database.

     

    Possible reasons for the USGS to do this could be that they feel that they needed a Station placed where they put it for their own reasons, They may feel that Where they put it is the actual name of the peak. They may not have realized that when the engineers of the NGS name a disc they are not necessarily concerned about officially naming a place, even though they may in fact use a place name to name a disc.

     

    One thing is certain. When we sort out the missions of the two organizations, we find that the NGS is concerned with Geodetic Control of the Country, and the USGS is concerned, in part, with the proper naming of places in the country.

     

    In this case, the CG&S back in the day found what they felt was a good place up high to conduct their work and called it a name for record keeping purposes, and the USGS went up to the location they did to accurately name a specific location.

     

    Perhaps the USGS engineer just wanted to add it to the NGS database as an additional resource in the area, beyond that, my other guesses would become too speculative.

     

    Rob

  16. Spam4u,

     

    There are a few things we would need to know about the disc, and we may be able to tell you more about it. Perhaps even why you cannot seem to upload it here at Geocaching.com.

     

    In lieu of up loading the picture for now, can you tell us, is it a brass disc of approximately 3.5 inches in diameter and what exactly does the bench mark say on it?

     

    For instance there will be the name of the organization to whom it belongs manufactured into the circumference of the disc. It may contain words like "Coast and Geodetic Survey", "National Ocean Survey", National Geodetic Survey", United States Geological Survey", or some such name like that.

     

    In the center of the disc is there a triangle with a dot in the middle, Or a long skinny arrow, Perhaps a line with a small circle in the middle of it or an X otherwise called a Cross Hatch?

     

    Finally, above, and perhaps below the mark in the middle of the disc, What is stamped into the disc? It would be stamped in with hand held stamps and will be what the Name or Number that the disc ws given as one of it's designations.

     

    Finally, What State is the Gunnison National Park located in. We will need to know the State to research the database properly.

     

    Thanks, Rob

  17. FtMgAl,

     

    Thanks for all the beer...

     

    With a GPS set up you do most of the programming from engineering files in the office. The Vertical Curves and projected Super elevations Tops and toes of slopes are sorted out in house. The points and offsets are uploaded from the laptop to the GPS Rover and you basically become a stake pounding pack mule... 100 feet of road is a lot yes, but the points as I said have already engineered. Taken right off the plans. I walk to the coordinate position the point is at, set the pole on the point, double check the divot I made for accuracy, Pound a Hub in it, Put the Rover on top of the stake and read. Grab a Lath, Write the point number and the Station elevation on the back, turn the lath around, and write the offset to the work, the type of work the station is for, and the cut or fill to grade and I am off. If I know I have 36 Curb stakes to place I can make most of them up the day before, then just fill in the blanks I can't do until I am on location. You can do 1000 feet of road if you prep right and Hump Fast! It is a long day. Probably more that you would get done on a winter day at that.

     

    Do I miss having to calc where the top of slope is going to be for the backside of a super elevated curve from Centerline Survey using just a Profile sheet, Scale Ruler, a Calculator, Hand level, and a Tape Measure? Uh, No.

     

    After all that, Beer is a good thing.

  18. Bear,

     

    That is the case. Physical verification is the preferred method. As a couple examples, I have a church near me which has a tall pointy steeple and is on a ridgeline. In early 2003 the steeple was located mid way on the southerly side of a roof with a peak that runs east to west. I have a picture of that as I was going to recover the landmark. At the time there was scaffolding erected in the front yard of the church. By late 2003 the steeple on the church had be moved from its former location to the North side of the roof peak and in the front of the building on top of a new addition. I waited to report it. I went back took another Pic and a new GPS fix for it. I will report it as POOR DISTURBED with an explanation similar to this. It is important as it can serve as a good azimuth mark for many Surveys. Is it Destroyed? Yes really in terms of an exact location it is, but since there is a steeple in place on the same building, a choice may be made to adjust this position so it can still be of future service. That is above my pay scale.

     

    In 3 similar cases I have in my pending file, there are or were actual discs cemented to the roofs, some with RM discs and some without. Until I obtain permission to access the roof to physically see them and check their measurements, find out if roofing tar has buried them since last recovery etc, then all I know for sure is that the building is still there. In one of these cases the Building had physical discs cemented in the roof but has been torn down. So I need to put the case together to accurately as possible explain what happened to them. I have to contact the municipality who owns the place and find out what I can of the history.

     

    In one other case, I have an old School that had a 30 foot stack which was a Landmark station which was unmarked. I checked it and the chimney now only protrudes 10 feet. This is a common thing that happens when a buildings boilers are converted from Oil which needs a chimney that will draught properly, to Natural Gas where the Chimney is relegated to being a vent pipe. Again, the station is now POOR Disturbed and I need to explain why.

     

    When you know a building is there, but you don't go compare the description to the current reality, it may seem trivial but there is a lot we can miss... Is the Station GPS usable? Can it be occupied? Has foliage or trees rendered the station a difficult place to see anything from? Have other obstructing Buildings been erected near it? Has the station become obscured by something else? Has a recent remodel changed it somehow? I suppose one question we could think about when we recover a station of any kind is; What kind of work could this station be used to do right now? If there is no longer a view to the north due to recent construction in the area, then that is a good information to make note of...

     

    Sometimes when you are on location, things are still hard to say!

     

    Rob

  19. These are fun questions for Surveyors... Technical stuff…

     

    An unmarked point has a couple different connotations, but here, I'll just dump a little of my brain out here and let you keep the parts you like.

     

    This description is extreme engineerspeak for what is obviously a Landmark Intersection point, where several things can be done with it, and several things cannot be done with it. It is unmarked because there is no way to climb up there and cement a brass disc on it. I mean without special rigging you are not going to put a brass disc on a lot of things. This engineer just decided to call it as such. So you can intersect this station but you cannot set up on it, whereas with a brass disc you can do both. It can seem like a virtual benchmark as there is no disc, it is a landmark acting like a disc, and this was important as the Geodetic Surveying was done over long distances. These Land Mark Stations were used to help cross check other work. They were already elevated places and did not need to have tall towers erected over them to be part of an equation for a measurement.

     

    Maybe I am stating the obvious, but for those who may not understand the process, Triangulation and Resection involve setting up a transit, theolidite or total station these days, with a tripod over the top of a Bench Mark station, with a Plumb bob dangled from under the instrument to center the instrument. Often we use the optical plummet, which is incorporated in modern instruments, and does the same thing. Either way we are centered over the mark. This is an instrument set up. Remember that. I will come back to that.

     

    Now from the brass disc monumented in the ground to the center of the sight piece of the instrument is measured and called the height of instrument. (Height of the light) Then you add that measurement to the information you find on the Datasheet:

     

    As an example:

     

    *CURRENT SURVEY CONTROL

    RD3152 ___________________________________________________________________

    RD3152* NAD 83(1991)- 45 31 10.23551(N) 122 44 37.89866(W) ADJUSTED

    RD3152* NAVD 88 - 290.77 (+/-2cm) 954.0 (feet) VERTCON

     

    Ok, we are at 954.0 feet elevation to the monument plus the HI or Height of Instrument, which I will call 5.0 feet. So for the purpose of working all the Math equations, we are at this coordinate, and our measurements will be taken from an elevation of 959 feet. This is Station A

     

    From the datasheet the instrument operator knows their Coordinate location, and swivels the instrument so it points at the unmarked point (Station C) as described. If we like, we can zero the instrument’s horizontal angle to this angle but we need not do it either. We do however need to take note of what measurement is indicated by the vernier. Then the measurement is what direction is the instrument pointing, Not necessarily a cardinal direction yet, just the number which is read off the horizontal vernier on the instrument, Zero since we zeroed here but will be the bearing or heading to the unmarked point once we determine it and what is the vertical angle when measured from that which is horizontal, above or below? The number which is read off the vertical vernier on the instrument.

     

    Now as a frame of reference, we have determined our coordinate location, our elevation at the instrument, the vertical angle to the unmarked point, and an initial horizontal direction to the unmarked point.

     

    Next, a second measurement will be made just like the one just made, of a different location. (Station B ) It will be the azimuth mark for this measurement. It could be a top point of Landmark that has been made a Station, which is also an unmarked point if we are trying to determine the point we are standing on. Or, since we are trying to determine the unmarked point, it can and should be another Bench Mark with a brass disc where a person holding a Signal, usually a prism (which acts as a reflector or target) mounted on a prism pole of known length which should be the same as the height of the measuring instrument, i.e., they should match each other (another height of the light) and the process is taken over again, the horizontal angle and Vertical angles are taken. As I said earlier, this station must be a known point, such as another Bench Mark Station. This Unmarked station has now almost been intersected.

     

    Mathematically through Geometry and Trigonometry we can determine the bearing and distance to the other known station through comparison of the coordinates, though this is usually only done in geodetic work. Then, once this is known we can compare the second horizontal direction, which is now a known cardinal direction as well, to the first one we took to find the angle we measured. Once we add or subtract the angle to or from the bearing we know between the two Bench Marks, depending on if we are turning clockwise or counter clockwise to this bearing, we then determine the bearing to the unmarked point.

     

    The Tally determined so far: From the datasheets Our Coordinate location and elevation, as well as the Coordinates of the other Bench Mark Station. A known, calculated bearing between them. A stated elevation for both stations and a vertical angle with distance we can use to double-check both elevations for accuracy or changes. An angle which gives us a Bearing to the unmarked Location and a vertical angle between Station a and c with no distance.

     

    The coordinance of the unmarked station, Station C, a roof peak, are found by closing the horizontal triangle. There will be 180 degrees in a closed triangle and starting off we measured the angle between the 2 stations, B and C, taken at station A so we move the instrument setup from Station A to Station B and measured for the angle between A and C at station B. We can also measure the vertical angle from B to C for elevation comparisons.

     

    Now that we know two of the angles we can find the third angle which is the intersected point at station C the unmarked location. Using the Trigonometric formulas alone with the Sines, Cosines and Tangents, we can then determine the location and elevation of Station C

     

    Now that is old school and a very simplified explanation but it is still being done for us in the computers on our instruments. We just basically need only tell a total station where it is and carry the reflective prism around and it will tell us where the prism is on the earth. A GPS has several satellites helping triangulate it’s location all the time, in real time and the more Satellites, the better the accuracy due to multiple triangulation comparisons. The GPS’s internal computer just uses those signal’s origin locations in relation to a Known Datum of the Geoid to mathematically determine it where it is. Many hand held GPS units can triangulate your location at 500 MPH… Whereas It just took 10 minutes to read about just one triangulation.

     

    I hope this answered some of the questions. And truly yes Bear, in order to truly find it Mathematically is to re-shoot it. But since we have Reference data containing the physical description of what the location looks like, we only need that to recover the station.

  20. Leprechauns,

     

    I read that you have reservations about Bench Mark Hunting. I know it is a little like trying to Vote... There are Parties and Issues... Republicans and Democrats and Voting Oh MY!

     

    If you read about issues here it is because it is not as simple as looks. The forum is no different than any other group just trying to sort out a better way to go about it. We do not have the luxury of setting our GPS to WGS 84, autoloading the waypoint and running a GO TO. Part of the criteria is to log what we find when we find it, and how to do this is not always clear. These are the issues of playing the game and improving upon ones play. Did the original poster of this thread get some people’s goat? Sure, but he raised a good point in so doing and eventually it settled into a more constructive discussion.

     

    I think it is good to talk about stuff, and help each other as well. If we do than we have a way to develop a better method of going forth.

     

    I am not going to tell you to be a Bench Mark hunter or not. And you have my permission to log it the way you see it. I won't hit you over the head. I may log the same find after you did... I am not here to be a FTF player. No biggie. If I log it different that you did, that is just my perception. No harm, no foul.

     

    If anything this thread does raise the point that there are better ways we could do this and it could still be as fun, as fun as it already is, and maybe less confusing. If a discussion help forward the hobby and improves it it serves a purpose. I mean if it were truly put up or shut up then there would not be a forum eh? This is just like business as usual... If this scares people away, that is really a shame, because if not for discussions, how would anything at all ever advance? This is not unlike anything else. So won't you join us? Go ahead. Log a Bench Mark...

  21. Hi Black Dog, Thanks for your thoughts... I Like them.

     

    Now Lemeesee....

     

    The NGS Does not pick too many nits as to categorization, nor should we. I think when should have credit for not founds as I said but the deal is If it is Poor, as in I cannot see the center point of the disc due to damage, that is what the Poor designation is for and what the narrative entry is used to explain. I mean If I were employed at NGS and I were to go in the database for a particular city and call up only marks reported poor, I could. Then after looking at the narratives I could see what I may have to do to improve the marks in the field, as in re stamp the names or what have you. In other words a good report of the Bench Marks current status is there. As for the disc having a legible center point? Well, I know the center is the center even with no mark and so do most people in the field who are likely to use it, but if the notes in the last recovery say that a disc has some damage, I will keep that in mind.

     

    As for a shank and no disc, It would be filed under the NGS criteria for Poor, disturbed, mutilated, requires maintenance, as that is true. A new disc could be installed in this monument and a surveyor could technically use this location if necessary. Now if you can physically find the Bench Mark disc which was separated from the monument and hold it in your hand, then you can do this: For destroyed marks do one of the following:

     

    1) If you have found the actual marker separated from its setting, you can report the point as destroyed. To do so please send the report on the destroyed mark as an email to Deb Brown (Deb.Brown@noaa.gov). If you send this email, please do not submit the current form, Deb Brown will submit the report for you. In addition, please submit proof of the mark's destruction via actual disk, rubbing, photo, or digital picture (preferred) to Deb Brown:

     

    See, the burden of proof is on the finder of the Destroyed Mark. The finder has to report this to Deb Brown and She will decide as an NGS representative if it is a legitimate Destroyed classification.

     

    It is a system that works because it is simple and requires little overseeing. If the GC.com site were to do the same it would not need overseen either. There is no money in it anyway. And it would not be different that the NGS system and therefore not as confusing when the comparisons are made. In the GC.com scheme however, I would just remove the ability to report a destroyed. Nothing is destroyed, if it ain’t there then it ain't… Not found is heheh Not found... I mean, this way there needs be no overview of a destroyed mark on GC.com and NGS will take care of itself.

     

    As far as landmark intersection stations, well they were always a convenient part of the landscape anyway. There is no and can be no fine to a private property owner for altering their property if they want and so landmark stations are a rather transitory object. Oh well. I am not too worried about them. I mean hey, The Space needle is an intersection station.... Now where did they hide that darn thing??? Tons of people log it… And how about the smoke stack of the sawmill in 1905. Think it is still there? Neither do I. Go look and see what is. Report on that. Log it Not found. Real simple.

     

    In truth there are hard core Bench Mark Hunters and casual ones but the NGS logging system will work for both, and on GC.com, as many people can log a find as they want, and we can always go in and update the info too, so that should not be a problem... It is all up front to see and easy to see when we just read through the finds.

     

    I just think it could work, and after all, a lot of what we discuss in this forum seems to be based on sorting out what is what. When we can log new NGS Stations and so on, so if we can talk, sort out what is what, and what we feel would work best, perhaps do a thread or two, perhaps we can sound like we have a few unified ideas for Jeremy and Elias instead of a bunch of different and confusing ones.

  22. Ted, I have been thinking about this a Bit...

     

    Off hand, an update would be ideal. I got to thinking about an update and decided it would not be an easy task for GC even if a disk was available. How would it affect PIDs that have since been declared destroyed by NGS? Would the log entries in GC be lost? What about the pictures for those points?

     

    Seems like the update would have to be programmed so it would append any new data and flag CG files for destroyed PIDs while revising descriptions for others. I'm not a programmer but seems like a monumental task.

     

    The NGS list is the ruling list so geocaching would have to takes its lumps on the downside, but it would add the listings not currently in the GC database on the upside. To be sure, basing on the stringent rules for destroyed marks at NGS we would likely lose little. When you consider hypothetically, If I found something in 2002 in geocaching that was destroyed after I found it, Reported by a diferent party to NGS as destroyed with proof and it was removed from the database, There would be no record of my one time find, but it would be the truest representation of the world of NGS Markers on the ground, Today. Besides, Nobody can find it anymore if it is truly no longer there eh? No one else can make a recovery on the mark ever again, and to be honest, the NGS does not mind a new recovery of a Station every year to two years. If geocaching loses log entries due to an uncontrolable reality, it would because it is the reality that is most true. The destroyed PID has no further need to be.

     

    So the DBA has the old Geocache Logs line up with PID's that are still there and adds the new ones... A good dba could handle it No Prob, and as for the data that is no longer relevant... well, it is no longer relevent... Just like the NGS. Fixing it to be so this way would make all the future update more stream lined anyway and we chalk our losses up to a learning curve.

     

    Getting the NGS database might not be too hard, I mean, if you believe in getting what you negotiate.

     

    We really do need to play by NGS rules. That makes it more accurate. It can still be a game too, it just makes the game become more truthful and less open to interpretation.

     

    It would be cool to change the javascripting on this site to mirrior NGS reporting rules too.

     

    For instance:

     

    Good

    Not recovered, not found

    Poor, disturbed, mutilated, requires maintenance

     

         For Destroyed condition Make note of your reason to believe it is destroyed under the Poor listing.

     

    And why not give credit for the different types of Loggings? 17 goods 6 not recovered 4 poor... It could work... And an over all total... The pay off in Bench Marks is more at finding the Current status of the Station than that of finding the station itself. This makes all the attempts count for something and there is a better payoff for the game players too, the geocachers who are concerned about the sheer numbers, and the casual finders of Bench Marks. Finally, We would have an accurate credit for all the true hunting we really did.

     

    However, What we often read however is something like this...

     

    Found it is Um.... Heheheh Yeah. There is a water tower here so this must be it right eh? This one looks a bit different but it is a water tower....

     

    Didn't find it... Hehehehe Hmmm It says there is supposed to be a water tower here... There was in 1920... (No credit for this log.)

     

    Make a Note? Heheheh ( don't see many notes...) Has anyone seen My water tower? (No credit but then, why do we need this?)

     

    Destroyed... I drove out there but there was just a field full of blackberries so this is surely destroyed... ( No credit)

     

    I mean, it would clear up the confusion over criteria and it would remove all the marks assumed destroyd just because someone didn't try too hard to find it and log it as such. It just gives clearer guidance as to how to file the report, and is great training for how to really do it on the NGS site if those who may wish to submit their info over there.

     

    I am just thinking out loud, But it could improve the integrity of everything...

     

    Perhaps we could all talk this over a bit and maybe submit to Jeremy that adopting the NGS Logging / posting standards for logging Bench Marks from a point in time going forward, yet leaving what has been posted as it is would be a good idea. Maybe some of these other ideas have some merit too... If it looks good, I may think of starting a thread about it. Once we refine it a bit, Perhaps then we can start posting a solid request to the Pinned Hey Jeremy and Elias thread.

     

    Does anyone have any input on this? Lets hash this out, pros and cons and see how it all lays out. once we weigh it all out, perhaps we can work to make this better.

     

    Thanks all,

     

    Rob

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