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Posts posted by monkeykat

  1. The designation 7 KEM just looked like a USGS designation and so it is. I don't know why a description of the mark was never submitted. The USGS description reads:


    50 ft NW. and 37 ft SW. of, and 0.2 ft higher than T-rd. NW; 8 ft NE. of underground telephone connection; 3 ft SW. of corner fencepost; 1 ft E. of witness post; in concrete post projecting 0.2 ft; standard table stamped "& KEM 1973 77". I will forward the USGS info on to the NGS database team and have them add this description.


    Oh no, but that's no fun then! :huh:

  2. As an example, or my proof of update, I noticed that 2 of my recoveries have been updated to green in the screen capture I use to represent the site.


    Old March 2007 Version:




    New Dec 2007 Version:




    The red arrows show two recent recoveries.

  3. Been a while since I've made an update, but I just checked the NGS website this morning and the Shape Files I use to create the database of points for the benchmark viewer has been updated. The links in the popup bubbles take you to the most up to date database entries for each PID, but the actual data I use to color code entries is static in my own database (apprx 750,000 points and 100MB space). These points haven't been updated in my database since March 2007, the last time the shape files were uploaded for public use.


    Needless to say, with all the recoveries being made, and beautiful maps by holograph, users have been getting anxious to see the benchmark viewer turn green with recoveries.


    My web hoster (godaddy) has decided to disable the bulk upload command I was using to update my database so I have to write some new scripts to get things working. It may take me a few days to get all 50 states updated, but I am already getting started.


    I have NY State updated this evening, so if you are a user of that state, take a look at some of your recoveries from the past year that you remember being white or not updated, and see if they have changed. There are also 22,603 markers in the state now, when the previous database held 22,587 points. 2 of the points have apostrophies in their names and choked my script, so I will have to figure that out for the other fifty states. (probably do a replace of ' with an _ ).


    So in conclusion its Great News! Updates arriving soon.


    In the future, I still need to contact NGS about finding a way to get more regular updates or working with the software people there to maybe share information easier. For now though, I should be able to get the database updated thru december. Of course in another 3 months we will all get antsy again as the database gets old. Hopefully I'll have a solution by then.

  4. Hey, Great News Everybody!


    I just checked the NGS site this morning, and the archived shape files have been updated. These are the shape files I used to create the NGS Benchmark Viewer. The previous shape files were from March 2007, and the lates shape files are from December 10th,11th, and 12th, 2007. A full 9 months of GEOCAC recoveries will slowly be making their way to the viewer!


    I had everything automated, but the host of my web site (godaddy) has seen fit to disable large database loads using the "load data" command, which takes a file and loads it into the database with very little massaging of the data. After about 3 hours of work I finally determined the problem and think I have a solution. It will take a little time to write up some new scripts and get them running (a few days), but expect your state to be updated in the near future.


    I just completed updating NY State, and can already see all my recoveries around Rochester popping up.

  5. ... I use a Palm m500, which is a black and white model, no backlight though...


    My Palm m500 has a backlight. Press and hold the power button for 2 seconds to toggle on or off.


    Oops, my mistake, I haven't read my manual much. Sorry for posting bad information. When I did my research, I came to the conclusion that any of the m500, m505, and m515 are all fine choices.


    Be sure and tell us what you ended up getting.


    Happy Caching!

  6. I would also like to echo that color is probably not the way to go. Early color screens (the ones you will find for the cheapest $$$'s) do more poorly in sunlight than black and white palms. I use a Palm m500, which is a black and white model, no backlight though. I was able to get one on ebay for around $20 with manual and accessories, but I had to wait a while.

  7. My Benchmarking/Geocaching Mobile is a 1995 2 Door Camry Coup (4cyl Manual). It has served me very well over these years. It is my first car ever owned and I plan on driving it until it cannot be repaired any more. Right now I am at 162,000 miles and I still get between 29mpg - 33mpg with everyday driving, which is as good if not better than what the newer year camry specs are.


    My only complaint is the low ground clearance. If you have ever driven behind a 94-05 camry you can see the exhaust system hangs extremely low. I had mine replaced for the second time last summer, and it hangs even lower now. There are some speed bumbs near my house I have to go around because it bottoms out. I also have to be careful on shoulders with drainage ditches close by, I have flung some mud in close calls, but have not gotten stuck yet. Nothing like that adrenaline surge when you slow down on a shoulder and feel the car make that "sinking feeling", and then I floor it to get out before I get stuck. :laughing:


    The vanity 'TETRIS' license plate and numerous Boston Red Sox decals on the car make for definitely un-official looking benchmarking vehicle, but my vest, pda, and hard hat make up for that. I got a automobile travel bug sticker for the car, you can track it at: TB1CT5C


    And the pics:


    GeoMobile Close Up:




    With a knocked over benchmark:




    The mark in the photo is logged on the Waymarking web site: USGS 34 WSM 1949

  8. I think overall, the WorldView imagery is pretty impressive. It may not be the best out there for benchmarking purposes, which I have to remind myself that is what this forum is truly for. But, I just wanted to start a thread for future technology, and a place to post links for imagery, software, and applications that are interesting, and may be of value in the future.

  9. This disk is a little unremarkable at first.




    Except for when you see the picture from the same location 3 days later. :D




    I found the disk while scouting out viewing angles for another Eastman Kodak Building Implosion. No marks destroyed in this implosion, but I was happy to make this unexpected find. I will be adding it to the Waymarking website shortly. It is a NY State DPW Disk.


    For pictures of the actual building implosion, view my gallery at: Kodak Building 65 and 69 Implosions

  10. Very cool! The only thing I'd change is to have it use an icon other than the geocache icon, to distinguish by the icon from geocaches. Easy to make a mass replacement in a full featured text editor though. I did a little playing, and it looks like the default is the small city icon. I put "benchmark" in like gc.com does for the BM waypoint files, and it brought up the same symbol in my software as when I put "refried beans" in as the type. Not sure what mapsource or other software will do as I don't use it at home.


    I did some playing around with this too, and it seems like whatever I put into the type field it doesn't matter, I get the same icon on the GPS. I haven't been able to find a file standards document for .LOC files, so I am not really sure how to change this yet. May need to make it as a GPX file which has much more fields, and can be modified more, its also a bit more difficult.

  11. OK, so I realize I am breaking rule number 1 with this post, but I found this pretty amazing, and quite a rare opportunity to see. This is mark LW3976 CENTERVILLE CHURCH, a mark I visited last summer while vacationing on Cape Cod. We had so much fun we went back again this year, and when I woke up in the morning I noticed this was going on:




    Their truck said "Historic Painters". I guess this is what they do. Pretty amazing.





  12. I hope all users are enjoying the benchmarking viewer site. I thought I would share some of the statistics gathered by my service provider. :D


    These statisitcs are for my entire domain, which includes the Main Web Site ScaredyCatFilms.com as well as the benchmarking site: http://benchmarks.scaredycatfilms.com/index.html


    Most of the stats should be hits from the benchmark viewer, although I do get a surprising amount of hits on the images page for my wallpapers featuring indy car driver Danica Patrick. If only Benchmarking had Sex Appeal. :)


    Monthly Statistics:

    The Monthly Report identifies activity for each month in the report time frame. Remember that each page hit can result in several server requests as the images for each page are loaded.


    Month | Num of requests | Num of page requests

    1. March 2007 | 728 | 224

    2. April 2007 | 9,897 | 1,047

    3. May 2007 | 12,413 | 1,217

    4. June 2007 | 23,424 | 1,867

    5. July 2007 | 51,031 | 3,699

    6. August 2007 | 43,119 | 1,962

    7. September 2007 | 31,861 | 1,585


    The more significant of the stats is the last column, the number of page requests, as the middle column includes images. I think there are a lot more images since July onwards, as that is when I went from text to a more graphical layout. Not sure about the huge jump in July. It may have coincided with heavy activity on the geocaching forum, and/or search engine spider hits. The number of page requests seems pretty steady in the 1,500 range, if you toss out the March and July anomalies. It doesn't say I have 1500 users, just 1500 requests. I am sure 30 of those are mine. :D


    Seriously though, its not about the page hits, I did this project as a way to visualize the benchmarks in my area and learn about SQL and the Google Maps API. Since I had the room, I decided to add the other states, and post for all to see. I hope others find it useful.

  13. I got back to doing a little work on the benchmark viewer this weekend, since I didn't have enough time to plan any benchmark or geocaching excursions. One thing I had been working on is generating LOC files for the GPS. I wanted to have a one stop shop for datasheets and LOC files. Before, my process was to use the viewer to seek out marks and get the data sheets. Then I needed to go to geocaching.com and find the marks I was interested in and get the LOC files.


    The good news is that I think you can all do it from one site now. I added a Generate LOC button to the PID Viewer on the right side of the screen. When you click the button, all PIDs you have in the list will be added to a text area below the google map. You can hide or show the text area using two additional buttons. The LOC data is erased and generated again each time the button is pressed.


    The user will need to copy the data from the text area and place it in an application such as notepad. Save the text as a .LOC file and you are ready to go! I would have liked to create the file for you, but my service provider prevents that type of dynamic operations. I think it could potentially be used by people creating malicious programs on their servers dynamically. I also had trouble trying to create the file in a popup window because Internet Explorer kept trying to interpret the XML instead of treat it like text.'


    Enjoy, and happy benchmarking.

  14. very cool achievement mloser. I haven't considered polishing of a county. That must have taken a lot of time and effort. Definitely something to toot about.


    I consider any old chiseled square I find to be somewhat of an achievement. I have 3 so far.

  15. Hmmm, I bet this messes up my Perl script for converting these sheets to a smaller readable file for my PALM. Where's the interface document from the NGS on this anyways? That's what we do in the software world. :(

  16. I checked my camera, it is indeed set to 2006. Interesting that Groundspeak uses the EXIF Data. I am ashamed to say that I didn't even look at that, and I call photgraphy one of my hobbies, and I used to work at Kodak. Ohh well. Thanks for spotting that.

  17. For a few months now I've been noticing that when I upload photos to a log or a travel bug, they sometimes show up with the correct month and day, but the year is 2006 instead of 2007. Has anyone else seen this occur? I've been trying to narrow down just when this occurs, but it seems to be happening very randomly.


    Last night I uploaded 33 pictures and 6 were the correct date and 27 were wrong. Of the 27 wrong ones, all were on Travel Bug Galleries. Of the 6 correct ones, 5 were on Cache logs, and one was a travel bug.


    First I thought it was happening when you go back and add an image to a log after it is submitted. Then I thought it was happening only for travel bug photos. But lately I have had photos correctly dated for both of those cases. If you check my profile, you will see that I have images in my gallery that are dated from before I even created an account on Geocaching.com.


    When uploading an image, there is no place to set the date of that image, so it should use the log date I would assume. Its a little annoying to not have a chronological order of photos in my gallery, but it is also goofing up other people's travel bug galleries as my pictures show up earlier than other peoples images.


    Its not a big deal, but I would be curious to see what is causing it.

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