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This Is A Test, Only A Test

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A simple test to see how important the "benchmark" designation really is among surveyors.


Below is a Faux Lexical Rhetorical Test that will hopefully shed some light on how surveyors designate vertical control marks.


If you do not have a sense of humor - please leave now!


The TEST -


Below are 4 pictures from recovered "benchmarks". Using only the information in the pictures as clues can you match the 4 types of surveyors to the marks they set? After trying to match them please scroll down for the answers.


The 4 types are:


1) The perfectionist surveyor

2) The conscientious surveyor

3) The egotistical surveyor

4) The government surveyor


The 4 pictures in no particular order.


Z) 68570_100.jpg


Y) 66dc299d-f409-49ef-8075-86f6374896b0.jpg


X) ca1f689d-5d8f-46cc-96b6-10ce7e0eed4c.jpg


W) 3e4edb54-34dc-4a0c-8fa4-6b7030efdb9a.jpg













Trick question...


Even though one has a name on it, the setting surveyor may have named it for a friend or perhaps some kid that had been hanging around the project.


The next 2 disks is anybody's guess as to which was set by which.


The only one you can tell for sure is the government surveyor....He's the one that stamped his disk "B M" rather than spell it out and called it close enough for government work! :laughing:

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Sorry the first part of the test stumped you, maybe you can do better on part 2.



The Test - Part 2


Part 2 (the final part) requires good deductive reasoning. I am posting 2 more pictures for comparison. There are 2 things which you must notice before you can complete the test. After figuring out what these 2 things are then you need to compare the results to pictures W, X, & Y. All the information is in the pictures.


After comparing all the pictures you must explain the significance of what you find (or maybe what you don't find.).


If you get stumped perhaps Dr. Watson will be available to help you out. If not, There should be someone here who likes deduction problems and can help out. :D


Now the pictures to compare.


C) 380b7d4f-22c0-46a0-8743-ac03bdbd38d5.jpg



D) d0bc3a91-f79e-4f08-81f5-7e76e0b6e5cb.jpg



Enjoy this test and Remember it is only a Faux Lexical Rhetorical Test designed to show how much fun can be had with Benchmarks...



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Evenfall, sometimes you gotta go with the flow. I actually agree with you, folks should use the correct terminology, and I enjoy learning about professional surveying, mapping, etc. 2oldfarts is enjoying himself, having a nice time, enjoying life. This is good, we all need to enjoy life a little more. Lord knows this Earth needs it! I once posted about different people enjoying different things. As long as you're not harming anybody/anything - well - why not?


I am still very new to this forum, but I think *both* of you are cool guys from all my impressions. I think possibly a little stepping back and taking stock are in order . . .


. . . it's just an internet forum after all. :D

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Lime, I am Fine, Really.


I am Just pointing out that John Here enjoys acting like a Troll.


Of course it would be less fun for him to act a bit more responsibly but this is his "flow", His way of exalting himself, His way of establishing his superiority. In the larger scheme of things, this type of behavior is not considered desirable in society. It seems sad to have fun at the expense of others as much as he seems to enjoy it. He enjoys engaging in subtle, innuendo-like forms of social warfare, such as the thread we are in right now. For some reason he thinks I am a Victim, But that idea is actually funnier than his attempts at being humorous. I wish he had more self esteem, but hey. If he were more confident, I feel he would not need this "Boost" for his ego, But I digress.


He seems to enjoy acting like a Troll, I like exposing Trolls. The Hope is that he will modify his behavior and begin to act more responsibly. Which is the real flow around here when you look at the value of the average thread.


Thanks for your Kind thoughts about both of us, I enjoy your input too. I stated my Opinion, and made no rule. Forums are for discussion. I made no rule, I just pointed out a source of confusion which is a common Topic here, sorting out the terminology and clarifying things. Over time you will see a lot of confusion over definitions and though it is what it is, and this is a technical subject by it's very nature, it could have been avoided. It is the technicalities such as that one, which cause the confusion.


In comparison, I offered what I did in a manner no different than John often does when he is helping out. The difference is that I do not repeatedly take him to task for the manner he helps out. If I have something worth of adding, I add, He generally enjoys helping with Cache, Benchmark Game and GPS questions. I figure he handles it fine, and does not need my second opinion so I don't feel the need to offer it. I don't make it a point to find ways I can disagree with John. If you look back over the last year you will see plenty of instances in the history where he has chosen to spar with me on many issues, and has not treated me with the same respect that I afford him.


These internet Forums are what they are, I agree. But sometimes the elbows get a bit too sharp and we must smooth them off so it is easier for things to "Flow". I have offered to discuss this with him, and have always answered my email, but he has yet to step forward and attempt to forge an agreement with me of any kind. So, The stepping back period has unfortunately passed, and we are trying this new procedure. I am hoping we come to an understanding soon.


Best Regards,



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1. They switched from green paint to pink paint between 1982 and 1983?


2. Someone figured out in 1983 that surface disks were easier to set than steel rods?


3. The USGS was too cheap to spell out "bench mark"?


4. NGS found that the longer "vertical control mark" was just what was needed to exactly fill the allotted space on their rod cover plates?


5. In 1962 they briefly experimented with drilling small holes in the surface of the marks, but later decided that it made it hard to stamp the date on the disk?



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I realize what you are driving at John. A Legitimate Faux-Rhetorical test. Nice. How Oxymoronic.


The Fact of the matter is, that your motivation for doing it is that of a Troll.


I knew where you were headed in the first place. But I know the reason behind your game. and the motivations behind your question are not what you hope people will think.


A Ruse is no longer a Ruse when it is set out for all to see in the light of day.


If your rhetorical revolving answer to a supposed question is anything less than "How Many Fingers am I holding behind my back?", I'd be surprised. But you know, The NOAA changed a lot of things for no apparent reason when they took things over in the 70's. I would venture to guess that the people who work there could not give you an answer beyond a best guess. No worries, as I know you will never check.


If you were to check in, as a Hypothetical happenstance, which of course will never occur, NGS would tell you that the term "Benchmark" is unfortunately used as a colloquialism to describe Survey markers, which is incorrect, and is a common misunderstanding. One they wish was not happening, but can't seem to do a lot about except to foster the use of the correct terminology whenever they can.


Some of us realize that you have the "I'm going to do things the way I want to" Gene in your pool, and have given up on you ever "getting it". It apparently does not matter that terms have been defined, and what is, is, You skipped class that day. It is ok, You have your Opinion.


The difference here is that while you and the NOAA have the "No apparent reason" commonality between you as a what appears to be a character trait, They are a government agency, and you enjoy acting like a Troll. That is the difference.


You are a geocacher John, and I suppose you perceive this as a ticket for you to do as you please. This is not an uncommon theme among many on the internet who feel that they can act differently than they would in society. I suppose that too, is a case of what is, is. But I don't have to tolerate your troll behavior especially when you direct it towards me. I would probably at this point mention it if I were to see that you were directing it towards someone else. If you would like me to stop pointing out your behavior, I'll need to see your behavior change.


Many of us hope you will rethink your behavior, John. We're waiting.



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Looking at the 5 pictures there are several things that just jump right out at me. The first is of course they are all elevation markers set by different "Agencies". I know they are all the same outfit just different names. There are some distinct differences between the last 2 (C&D) and the first 3 (W,X&Y) that leads me to believe the NGS decided a few changes were needed to correct a minor nuisance and a second condition they hoped to improve.


By using our deductive abilities we know it was the NGS who had sanctioned these changes. It's their name on the last 2 marks.


The most notable is the $250 warning is gone.....Guess they got tired of everyone asking if anyone had ever been arrested....That's a Joke, son, that's a Joke!


We know any change to the mark design was approved by the NGS, their name gives this away.


The changes took place at least 25 years ago (1982/1983) allowing for design lag.


The one thing that is missing (replaced is probably more correct, here) is the word "Benchmark"! The NGS understood even WAY back then that the general public had "corrupted" the definition of the word "Benchmark" to include all survey markers. So in order to help avoid confusion in describing the type of marker being discussed they changed the Type of Marker "Name" from "Benchmark - Bench Mark - BM" to "Vertical Control Mark".


So for all you kind folks who still call an elevation station a benchmark, I'm afraid I have some bad news for you. You are only about 25 years behind the times... :(


Look on the bright side though...Even if the NGS doesn't condone the use of Benchmark at least they don't condemn it's use!


As long as we're out there finding them it doesn't really matter what we call them - VCM or BM or Tri-station, or whatever - they are all "benchmarks" and fun to find.





PS: Holograph, Shirley said "She loves that you noticed that they changed the paint from green to pink.".

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My thoughts, so far, on this thread.


I'm not catching onto the lexical, rhetorical, faux pas, split infinitive

quiz at all, but here's my attempt at deduction. :laughing:


As per photo (D)

"THE DIRECTOR" is stamped into the disk

at the factory! Pretty serious ego there,

if you ask me. :laughing: Which director, though?

Spielberg?, Scorsese? J. Edgar Hoover?


The surveyor who mask taped the disk so yellow paint wouldn't

spray onto the brass disk is a perfectionist!


The surveyor who gives elevations to the nearest foot

"ABOVE SEA" is giving results "good enough for government work".


The surveyor who sprayed green paint is near sighted.


I'll have to study the photos some more before I deduce anymore.

Anyway, off to work.



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Well John,


The word which troubles you has been very well and very specifically designed and documented for use in the field which upon you play a game. Though you assume you are just playing a game, the terminology continues to be of the most use when it is used in the most succinct rather than most ambiguous ways, even among the game players.


Post after post the ambiguity continues. I am surprised you never realize it. But in your view, it would appear there is no game here beyond the way you play.


Your continuing complaint is simply one where you refuse to accept reality, and instead replace reality with a version which you prefer, and when others don't follow and fall in step with your thinking, you attempt to discredit or resort to these silly troll tutorials.


Mocking Reality and the People who prefer it isn't gaining you ground John. The Mocking is really a reflection. I'd like to see you reexamine your motives here and consider whether these troll like attacks are really lifting anything up around here. I think it would be a responsible gesture.


Please give it some consideration.



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