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WVski

Bad Coords.

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I usually follow the coords of a mark to get me close, then i use the directions.

 

Today i was trying to find one, and the coords were over a half a mile off.

If i had no knowledge of the surrounding area, I would have never found it.

The usgs said it was stamped 1167, but I saw no such marking. This mark had been relocated in 1957 and then again in 1993 when a new bridge was built. But the elevation now says 1235. There was no bridge even close to the given coords. Like i said, over a half a mile away.

Kinda makes me wonder if this mark I found was in deed the mark I was after or if I found a new one.

I searched for this mark on gc.com and the ngs web page but didnt find it. The funny thing is the description was very very close to describing where the mark was.

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I'm confused (as usual). Where did you get the description, if it wasn't on GC or NGS lists?

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I originally found the coords on GC.com

 

JW0849

 

But i actually found the benchmark at a completely different location.

The coords they gave were so badly off that i thought i may have overlooked that one somehow and found another one.

 

So, this one that I found, matched the description fairly well except for the text that was supposed to be stamped on it. The description says 1167 should be on it somewhere...

Its not.

This benchmark also says it was reset in 1993.

 

My question was, could this be the same one they are describing?

 

Also, Im having trouble uploading a pic to the gc.com page on my benchmark log. is there something special i have to do. My image is 640x480 and 36k in size. but all i get is a blank image.

Edited by WVski

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WVski -

 

You have not yet found JW0849. To be a find, it must say "1167" on it.

 

The disk you found, with "1235" and RESET 1993 is not the correct disk. There are many thousands of disks that are not in the database we use.

 

Nevertheless, it is good to go ahead and log JW0849 as Not Found and include the picture and coordinates of the disk you did find. This way, others will not be likely to log the "1235" disk as a find of JW0849.

Edited by Black Dog Trackers

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Black Dog.

 

The description for Jw0849 matches exactly with the disk i found. It said

 

"40 FEET NORTH OF THE POST OFFICE AT MOATSVILLE, AT BRIDGE 13 A, IN THE TOP OF THE WEST END OF THE SOUTH BRIDGE SEAT, 12 FEET WEST OF THE CENTER LINE OF THE TRACK, AND 4 FEET LOWER THAN THE RAIL. A UNITED STATES GEOLOGICAL SURVEY STANDARD DISK, STAMPED 1167."

 

I followed those directions exactly. they pointed me directly to this old RR bridge that is now a one lane road bridge that has been replaced (apparently in 1993). The mark was in the top of the bridge directly above the west end of the south bridge seat.

 

There is no other post office within 10 miles. And the coords that were in the description pointed me 10 feet in the middle of a river. I went to a few of the neighbors around here that are in their retirement years...and they told me the only post office ever in that vicinity was exactly where I was. They said a RR track ran within 50 or 60 feet of that post office back in the late 30's.

 

So, I still think i found the right one. Could it have been destroyed when the bridge was replaced? And maybe they decided to put one back in that location?

The original log says 1935.....This mark had "1957 RESET 1993" stamped on it.

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To be a "find" the markings on the disk have to match the datasheet. No ifs ands ors or buts. I have a similar situation just down the road from my house. There was a 1942 benchmark on a cement bridge. In 1994 they replaced the bridge, but the NYDOT put their own benchmark on the new bridge in the exact location where the original benchmark would have been. Of course it has a different marking, but talk about confusing. IMO, the original benchmark is destroyed, but I can't prove it sufficiently to have it logged as such. Oddly enough, the USPS recorded the benchmark found in 1995, a year after the bridge was completely replaced. I suspect they mistook the new one for the old one.

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WVski -

 

The replacement (RESET) of a disk happens often in a place where a disk in the database had been. Sometimes the new disk will have the same general stamping on it, but the word RESET will be added. Other times, the disk has a completely different stamping on it. In either of these cases, the new disk will either be included in the NGS (and Geocaching) database, or it will not. The Geocaching database is a 5 year old copy of the NGS database and for a new mark to be included in the NGS database, the setters of the mark must go to the effort of submitting data on the new disk according to NGS standards. If they don't want to do that, the new disk won't be included in the NGS databse.

 

What you have found is not a find of JW0849 even if it is put in the exact same hole where the original disk was. A find must say "1167" and cannot say "1957 RESET 1993".

 

The wording "1957 RESET 1993" implies to me that the JW0849 disk is long gone, and another disk was put in a very close (or even identical) location, and that disk is also now gone and a RESET disk was put in its place. Neither of these later disks (after 1935) would count as a find for JW0849.

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Black Dog.

 

The description for Jw0849 matches exactly with the disk i found.  It said

 

"40 FEET NORTH OF THE POST OFFICE AT MOATSVILLE, AT BRIDGE 13 A, IN THE TOP OF THE WEST END OF THE SOUTH BRIDGE SEAT, 12 FEET WEST OF THE CENTER LINE OF THE TRACK, AND 4 FEET LOWER THAN THE RAIL. A UNITED STATES GEOLOGICAL SURVEY STANDARD DISK, STAMPED 1167."

 

I followed those directions exactly.  they pointed me directly to this old RR bridge that is now a one lane road bridge that has been replaced (apparently in 1993).  The mark was in the top of the bridge directly above the west end of the south bridge seat.

 

 

Your description doesn't quite match the benchmark's description. I added the color so the differences will let you see where the disk MIGHT still be hiding under some debris.

 

John

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This is my suggestion as to where you might find JW0849. Which by the way I also do not believe that you have found.

 

I believe that the area has either changed enough or that a bad description was put in for this monument. Since this is a vertical control mark, I would use the elevation to control where I would look. By looking at the quad map for this area, you have a bridge which is 2000' NE of the current search coordinates. On the quad you also have an elevation of 1173. I would check at N 39° 13.053 W 079° 56.278 and use the bridge description of "IN THE TOP OF THE WEST END OF THE SOUTH BRIDGE SEAT". Of course this may not be the original bridge, but I believe this is the probable area of the original site.

 

The elevation for the area and the cap that you found are too much different to be JW0849. The cap that you found does match the BM found upon the quad for that area.

 

CallawayMT

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Here is my take on the situation.

 

The bridge was never converted from railroad use to road use. The bridge that goes across the Tygart Valley River from southeast to northwest (Clemtown Rd) was always there, or has been since at least 1927. The bridge you are looking for carried the B&O Railroad over the Teter Creek (or Run, or something, it isn't stated on the maps). The old railbed was used to create a new road along the south bank of the river, but that road ends at the old Moatsville Station. The town of Moatsville Station seems to exist no longer, but the town of Moatsville is still there to the south. My guess is that the town of Moatsville found itself in the wrong spot when the railroad came to town, or in this case, near town, and the PO of Moatsville Station was created to receive the mail by train.

 

It would appear that both the coordinates and the description contain inaccuracies. The mark is described as being 40 feet from the PO at Moatsville but was definitely in Moatsville Station. Maybe since that was the only post office in the Moatsville area, it was simply called the Moatsville Post Office. The coordinates are wrong, as you described.

 

I have posted some maps and pics at JW0849 to show my research and conclusions.

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Mloser is right on the money in my book, the difference of a foot as he said is the difference between adjusted and non-adjusted or a slight datum shift. I will have to check into your historical map site for future references. Nice work Mloser.

 

CallawayMT

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I LOVE Maptech! But they only have historical maps for states in the northeast so it is only a resource if your state is in their database.

 

I used it the most for KW1220 and discovered that the roads had been moved. In the end, I didn't find that mark, but at least I knew I was looking in the right place. I have used Maptech numerous times since then, usually just to get a sense of what the area used to be like. They often have maps from the early 1900s and from the 1920s-1950s. I find the mid-century maps to be the most helpful as they sometimes have the benchmarks on them, like the Moatsville one. They are very useful in determining if a road has been moved or a bridge shifted.

 

My fear with this mark, like the one Photobuff was hunting for, is that it simply no longer exists. In this case the missing mark will be easier to determine quantitavely though--no bridge, no mark.

 

Maptech Historical Maps

 

Matt

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WVski, I know it's confusing that a reset mark isn't the real mark! It's kind of a hard concept to wrap your mind around. "It's in the right place, so it must be the same benchmark." But it isn't. Sometimes the reset mark has its own PID. In this case, apparently it never got one. In any event, it isn't JW0849, even if it's in exactly the same location. (And I see by the above discussion that it may not be.)

 

I'm sure you'll be able to find some other benchmarks that are still there!

 

Patty

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Thanks guys.

 

I understand now whats going on.

 

There is another bridge there that you all cannot see from the maps. Moatsville is actually aobut .5 miles away from the river. But at least i understand whats going on now...Thanks...

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You all have become quite better at hunting in the last year.

 

Makes me smile. I enjoy sitting back and watching these days.

 

Thanks,

 

Rob

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Matt...

 

The bridge that you pointed out in your maps...there is a BM at that bridge...I believe it is JW0848. If you are looking at the old RR bridge in your map, follow that little creek (teter creek) a little less than a mile back up the mountain. You will hit moatsville there. There is a big bridge that crosses teter creek at moatsville. Right beside the PO. Then about 60ft or so away, there is an old RR bridge that crosses a very little (10ft) creek that runs into Teter creek. This little bridge is where the BM is located. This bridge is the one that is 40 ft from the PO. Let me throw some marks on my map and i'll send it to you...That way you can get a better idea.

 

EDIT:

Topo Teter Creek

 

The red "X" is the bridge over Teter Creek. Upper left hand corner (just out of the frame) is the old RR bridge that is no longer there. There is a bridge just to the bottom left of the red "X". That is where the BM is located.

Edited by WVski

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Coordinates can be notoriously bad, especially scaled coordinates. But sometimes, when you're off in the wilderness, they might be all you have to go by. On the other hand, when you can find the described references, definitely go by those. This is especially true in an urban environment.

I haven't logged this yet, but today we went looking for KV0164 today. Monumented by CGS in 1933. Not found by CGS in 1955. Good golly, the Passaic County Court House is easy to find, even if the coordinates are .15 mile off.

On the other hand, we went looking for KV3925 strictly from the coordinates, since there is no description (hmm... GC has no description, but NGS does. Oh, well.) (and Google Earth showed a chimney at the right location.) For this, the coordinates were right on the money.

Just don't get me started on 'Rockaway'...

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Kris,

After looking at your map and the descriptions for the two benchmarks, I am sticking with my original theory (unless you actually found the benchmark--then I stand corrected!).

 

JW0848 is set in a rock outcrop and is across Teter Creek from (what I think is) JW0849. This sort of thing is common in my area--the USGS or the railroad set a mark and later the NGS came along and set their own, often in the same bridge! The Reading Railroad set hundreds of rivets in my area and on many of the larger bridges there is a rivet AND a benchmark. The rivet monument date is usually UNK, for unknown, just like the USGS JW0849, and the description date is the same as the set date for the mark on the opposite end of the bridge. I am not sure why this was done, but I have seen it enough that I am not surprised by it.

 

ABOUT 13.9 MILES SOUTH ALONG THE BALTIMORE AND OHIO RAILROAD FROM THE STATION AT GRAFTON, TAYLOR COUNTY, 40 FEET NORTH OF THE POST OFFICE AT MOATSVILLE, AT BRIDGE 13 A, IN THE TOP OF THE WEST END OF THE SOUTH BRIDGE SEAT, 12 FEET WEST OF THE CENTER LINE OF THE TRACK, AND 4 FEET LOWER THAN THE RAIL. A UNITED STATES GEOLOGICAL SURVEY STANDARD DISK, STAMPED 1167.

 

The description definitely places the mark along the railroad, and the bridge you have marked was a road bridge in 1927, so it is very likely that it was always a road bridge.

 

The elevation of your location is significantly different from the benchmark elevation. There is a benchmark in Moatsville proper, according to the topo map, at an elevation of 1234 feet. The elevation lines on the map indicate that the bridge you think the mark is on cannot be more than 20 feet different from that mark (there are no lines between the BM 1234 and the bridge, and the elevation lines are 20 feet apart). By the way, I would guess that BM 1234 is a USGS disk mounted vertically on a public, or once-public building, as the X seems to be at the northeast corner of a larger than normal black rectangle. I would think post office normally, but if you are saying the bridge is 40 feet north of the Moatsville PO, then I would be wrong.

 

I would still be looking about where Teter Creek joins the river.

 

Matt

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Scaled Coordinates are not notoriously Bad, they are inherently inaccurate. These are only on Vertical control anyway. The survey was never about where in the first place.

 

But they get you in the ballpark.

 

If you find it, feel free to improve them.

 

Triangulated Coordinates are not Notoriously Bad, they are better than you can derive without Survey instruments. With survey instruments it will take you some time to properly verify anything, other than to concur with the datasheet. You cannot improve on them and the difference you may be witnessing in your equipment is it's inherent inability to derive a better more accurate solution.

 

There is a difference, it is important to the conversation to know this, but I would never go as far to say that coordinates are bad, and include Horizontal control in my discussion. As I said. Unless you are a Surveyor and can check it out, you can't reveal any inaccuracy with consumer grade gear. The most you can find wrong is likely a typo.

 

Rob

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Sorry. I did not mean to cast aspersions upon the surveying profession. I do not understand the subtleties and intricacies involved therein. I hunt for benchmarks as a hobby. I will probably never understand the difulgalties between horizontal and vertical requirements. Nor will I ever understand the difference between 'nortoriously bad' and 'inherently inaccurate'. But, I'm not a surveyor. I'm a benchmark hunter. I am seeking to find something based on historical records. The cases in point are benchmarks KV0163and KV0164. The descriptions are good, but not especially informative. The coordinates are probably scaled and 'inherently innacurate'. The coordinates listed are over 500 feet away (looking at the GPS, Google Earth and mappoint.com.) The listed coordinates put them 213 feet apart, when they are probably 20 feet apart at most. (Not being a surveyor, I did not measure the distance.) My response was to OP's question concering the accuracy of listed coordinates for help in finding a benchmark. My examples are in an urban environment (Paterson was developed as a manufacuring site in the 1830's). The coordinates are several blocks away form the actual benchmarks. When looking for a notable landmark, such as the Passaic County Courthouse, this is not a major concern. Off in rural areas, 500 feet can make a major difference between finding a benchmark, and not finding it.

But, as I said, I am a bencmark-hunting hobbyist, and not a surveyor.

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The cases in point are benchmarks KV0163and KV0164. The descriptions are good, but not especially informative. The coordinates are probably scaled and 'inherently innacurate'. The coordinates listed are over 500 feet away (looking at the GPS, Google Earth and mappoint.com.)

 

Hi, Harry:

 

Not "probably" scaled. One of them IS scaled, while the other is ADJUSTED. The importance of reading that portion of the data sheet cannot be overstated.

 

By the way, if you are not using the TOPOZONE feature on CG.com, I recommend you give it a try. Regarding the marks you mention above, the chimney in the targeted area is quite distinctive on the topo map, when viewed in the 1:24000 scale.

 

Best regards,

-Paul-

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Just to let everyone know, I went back to the old bridge where you all had told me it probably was, and I found a BM size hole in the concrete foundation of the bridge. Looks like somebody had a very hard time getting it out of there too...

 

But I just wanted to say thanks for the help.

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At least you found the evidence of the mark. Technically, most of us consider that a "not found". Since there is no disk, we cannot be certain the hole is from the one we were trying to find. The NGS also considers these to be not found.

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WVski -

 

I agree with mloser; your log for JW0849 probably should be "Didn't find it", not "Destroyed". The difference is that "Destroyed" in geocaching.com logs is pretty much reserved for those situations where not only the disk is gone, but the structure where it was mounted is also completely gone. For NGS logs, the circumstances for "Destroyed" are even more strict and in fact only the NGS itself can directly code a mark as "Destroyed", based on an observer's written report and photograph.

 

Speaking of which, can you take a picture of the place where it appears that a disk was removed?

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I have pictures of the empty hole but im having trouble uploading them to the gc site and this site for that matter...

 

Do they have to be under a certain size. 100k or so?

I have dialup, so i know uploading will take a while.

 

But i let it upload for over an hour and still no luck.

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Can you email it to one of us and we will post it in a note on the site? I already have a note there I can add it to.

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Finally got the pics to post.

 

I posted just one pic for jw0849.

 

I also posted a pic for jw0852. Id like you guys to take a look at it and see if you see anything wrong. Read the description and then look at the mark.

 

The description says 1909 the mark says 1903. Could this be a misreading? The elevation is correct and this is the only boulder in the immediate area and the directions pointed directly to it.

 

This mark is used very very frequently by local surveyers.

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WVski -

 

That's a very convincing picture for JW0849 !

 

As for your log of JW0852, I agree that it's a find of 1275. The date is very likely (but not absolutely) an error. The same thing happened to me in West Virginia with HW1441. The main thing of course, is the designation, 1275. Now if the date was something like 1925, then we'd have a problem.

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Just want to note that in mloser's log of JW0849 he includes a snippet of vintage topo map from the Maptech historical map collection. While very incomplete — nothing south of Virginia; nothing west of Ohio — these old maps can be tremendously valuable in sleuthing difficult marks, and are fascinating for browsing.

 

-ArtMan-

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