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ArtMan

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Everything posted by ArtMan

  1. TT4376 is clearly a victim of ongoing attacks on the Census.
  2. Benchmark hunting would be featured more prominently if the folks who run the site could figure out how to monetize it. I haven't been very active on geocaching.com in recent years, but I came for the caches but stayed for the benchmarks.
  3. Years ago (2000s) I enjoyed a great day benchmarking with Paul. He's a gregarious and generous fellow who speaks North Carolina with much more authority than I can muster as he reassured residents who wondered what we were doing that "we're not gonna widen your road, and we're not gonna raise your taxes!"
  4. I would add two things. Before setting out, see if the area is visible in Google Maps Street View. It'll give you an idea of what to expect. I found one of the most useful things in my kit was a pair of pruning shears. Great for cutting grass and roots around disc for a clear photo or for getting into overgrown brambles, etc. Please be respectful of others' property, of course. Good luck! ~ArtMan~
  5. If a wife or girlfriend has ever rolled her eyes when you talk about Benchmarking, you might be interested in this BBC-TV series from a few years back. It centers on a couple of quirky metal detecting hobbyists who take their activity oh so seriously as they roam the scenic countryside around their lovely village. Their search for a big treasure payday more likely turns up a modern one-pound coin or a beer can pull tab than a stash of Saxon gold, and not everyone gets their passionate involvement in detecting business. I'm finding it a refreshing change from nonstop pandemic news. Also, no one does quirky like the Brits. I've been watching on Acorn TV, but it may be available on other platforms, too. Cheers! ArtMan PS: fans of the wonderful 1960s British series The Avengers will want to know that Diana Rigg appears in some of the later shows, but not in the first season.
  6. I posted quite a few times to these forums (fora) over the years, but I have absolutely no recollection of adding a Machu Picchu disk to this conversation, nor where I found that image.
  7. I think it's a matter of nomenclature. An artifact or mark that denotes a place where the latitude and longitude and/or elevation has been precisely measured to a high degree of accuracy. In Commonwealth countries and some others they are known as trig points. (I assume that derives from the trigonometry traditionally used to derive the locations marked and then to identify locations derived from the trig points.) In the United States and some others the elevation marks are identified as bench marks (two words.) Here at geocaching.com, we tend to lump together marks that represent both horizontal position and elevation as benchmarks (one word), which probably causes actual professional surveyors to wince. I've been doing benchmarks here for nearly two decades, but I'm not a professional, so please feel free to correct me. ~ArtMan~
  8. I seem to recall that she retired a few years ago, but I am not confident of my recollection.
  9. Bill93, You are right of course. But given the choice, I'd rather recovery reports from the past 18 (?) years than have the possibly-deleted historical info that, indeed, may be helpful in some situations. -ArtMan-
  10. I hate when an online question is answered with a non-answer, but here goes... I tried some phone apps for my benchmark excursions, but eventually found that works best for me is to plan an outing with marks targeted in a given area, or maybe along a certain road, whatever. Then, I print out the actual NGS datasheets (usually edited to eliminate all the stuff I don't care about, and hopefully get it on a single sheet of paper). Make sure you download the up-to-date info directly from NGS, not the stale, rotting corpse of decades-old datasheets entombed on geocaching.com. Then it's over to the Geocaching site to hand-copy potentially-useful info from logs. I'll sometimes print out a map, or do a sketch, too. Put your printouts on a clipboard — a very important accessory if you want to look like you belong there, or anywhere — and you are ready. Obviously, this approach is best for a planned outing, not a random, "Oh, here I am in St. Louis ... I wonder if I can grab some benchmarks near the Arch." ArtMan
  11. These triangulation stations were often named for a nearby town, village, geographic feature, or person. In this case the nearby village of Knauers is the source. Note, however, that the 1993 recovery report repeatedly misspells it as Knavers, possibly due to a transcription error from handwritten field notes.
  12. Scaredycatfilms' benchmark viewer is back online. David E., who maintains this terrific resource, wrote to me that " I recently performed a migration to a new server, and despite the claims that it would be easy, it was of course, less than easy." Sad to say, this is a common story.... But I'm glad the benchmark viewer is back.
  13. There are other files on this server of possible interest, too. See the readme.txt file in ftp://ftp.ngs.noaa.gov/pub/DS_ARCHIVE
  14. I'm pretty confident you'll find benchmarks in at least a few dozen more-developed countries. I made a point, when I was in France a few years ago, of taking time to recover a couple. The datasheets, if I recall correctly, usually included photos and diagrams, so actually finding the marks was generally painless. (Navigating the website where the datasheets could be downloaded, on the other hand, was considerably more challenging....) -ArtMan-
  15. I've noticed this annoying false precision — apparently an automated "feature" — for several years now. I've lived and traveled abroad and am pretty comfortable with the metric system. If the U.S. and the handful of other holdouts (democratic powerhouses Liberia and Myanmar) would convert, I would be happy. But in the meantime I can only wonder why NGS didn't render 120 yards more precisely as 109.728 meters. -Artman-
  16. My earliest logs were apparently in August 2002. My recordkeeping wasn't perfect back then (and no, it still isn't) but my first seems to be HV7765 in Arlington, Virginia. I think the benchmark section of geocaching.com was inaugurated earlier in 2002. A potentially more interesting question is a timeline of the changes marking the declining support for benchmark hunting on the site: the failure to ever update that database, the loss of a homepage link, etc. It would be nice to see data on the number of users/number of logs over time. Unfortunately, I'm sure it has declined, as has activity on this forum. ArtMan
  17. I've had no problem in the past labeling photos with DSWorld. But one photo has been giving me trouble. When I first tried to label it, the "Label" (and "Place Arrow") menu options were grayed out. I thought there might be some problem with the photo itself, so I tried a different photo with a slightly different result: the "Label" and "Place Arrow" options were not grayed out, but the standard label option (CTRL-L) gave me a popup error message. Custom label worked fine, however. I've brought this to the attention of the developer, Malcolm Archer-Shee, but I'm mentioning it here in case others have had problems with the labeling feature of DSWorld. I'm using the latest version, 4.01.17 -ArtMan-
  18. Awesome. Thanks for posting this. Here's a teaser of what lies behind the link: Decades-Old Mystery Put To Rest: Why Are There X's In The Desert? Pez Owen was flying over the desert in her single-engine Cessna airplane when she spotted a huge "X" etched in the desert below. She says it was the strangest thing. "It's not on the [flight] chart," Owen says. "There just wasn't any indication of this huge cross." Then she spotted another one. "There had to be some reason," she says. "So, of course, I immediately thought I had to get Chuck in on this." Chuck Penson is her former colleague from the University of Arizona. Penson worked in facilities, and Owen worked in the planetarium. Now, they're adventure-seeking friends. That's how Scott Craven from The Arizona Republic described them in a recent article. Their version of hanging out is exploring abandoned mineral mines and military radar bases. Mysterious X's plotted in the desert was too good to pass up. "I was not going to rest until I knew what was going on with these," Penson says. "It's conspiracy theory stuff, you know?" Owen says. "It's right out of the movies." A giant grid of X's Owen rolls out a map she received from the Defense Mapping Agency. It shows Casa Grande, Ariz. — the same area she flew over. Owen points to rows of little boxes that are drawn in. "You can see each of these [boxes] is one of the crosses," she says. "There's a grid of these things," Penson says. "There's not just a few, there's a bunch of these." He counts 273 X's on this map. Each marker is spaced about a mile apart. Pez Owen had flown her little plane over the edge of a massive 289-square-mile grid.
  19. ArtMan

    Easements

    Some years back I had a terrific day benchmarking in North Carolina with frequent (though not recent) forum contributor PFF. Unlike a Yankee like me, Paul speaks the local language and was quick to reassure residents whose yards might contain disks of interest that we were not surveyors and were not planning on widening the road or making any other "improvements" that would raise their taxes, increase traffic, or otherwise lower their quality of life. Also, if memory serves, ate some pretty fine Carolina BBQ (my favorite variety).
  20. I asked Christine if the webinar would be archived for those, like me, who missed it. She says it will be on the "Recorded Webinars" tab on this web-page: http://www.ngs.noaa....webinar_series/ That page seems to have other topics of interest, such as a February presentation on "GPS Observations on Bench Marks" -ArtMan-
  21. I've got a spreadsheet with my benchmark finds, but I never thought to include the date monumented. Any ideas about how to identify my oldest marks? Thanks, -ArtMan-
  22. Well done! I think there should be extra credit for recoveries found in areas not open to the general public, especially if tanks are involved. A suggestion about photographs, if I may: I think it's helpful to show the disk (or other marker) in context of nearby landmarks, to help the next person — who may be a professional — quickly locate the mark. Here are a couple of examples of how I do it. In most cases I draw a box around the target, using the "stroke" feature on Photoshop Elements. (Other graphic programs will have a similar feature, possibly with a different name.) This example, from JC1173 (St. Louis, Mo.), clearly shows that the disk is on the first round column after a bunch of square ones. In the past I generally used an arrow, which is probably a more popular indicator. Here's an example from KV7118 in Morris Co., N.J. —
  23. Happy Benchmarking in 2016. And enjoy the holidays, however you celebrate. (Responsibly, of course!)
  24. Washington Monument 1913 (HV4442) is one of those intersection stations, but it has the very rare distinction of having been occupied. A few years ago, when the monument was surrounded by scaffolding for repairs, crews from the National Geodetic Survey installed GPS equipment on top of the monument. One finding of the latest survey: the monument is a bit shorter than previously reported.
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